Macedonia convicted of aiding CIA with torture of prisoners

By LUIS MIRANDA | THE REAL AGENDA | DECEMBER 14, 2012

On Thursday Macedonia became the first European country to be found guilty for collaborating with the U.S. in the so-called secret CIA flights and for hosting secret CIA torture sites. The Strasbourg Court said the country was guilty for aiding the CIA to torture a German citizen of Lebanese descent who was mistaken as a terrorist.

The European Court of Human Rights has established that Khaled el Masri was tortured after his arrest on December 31, 2003 and before being delivered 23 days later to the CIA, which sent him to a prison camp in Afghanistan where he remained for 6 months.

Macedonia broke up four articles of the European Convention of Human Rights, according to the Court, which places special emphasis on the third article, which prohibits torture and therefore condemns the country to pay the complainant € 60,000 in damages.

The country also violated the right to liberty and security, respect for private and family life and the right to an effective remedy, according to the judgment. Macedonia not only practiced torture with El Masri but gave him to the CIA knowing that he risked further torture, said the ruling.

“This sentence deserves to be described as historic: it is the first conviction in an international court of the practice of illegal transportation of detainees and the CIA’s secret detention,” said the president of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, Jean-Claude Mignon.

This pan-European body, which brings together 47 States of the Old Continent, whipped these shady practices that emerged after the attacks of September 11, 2001, in a report by Swiss senator Dick Marty in 2006, in which he detailed that 14 European countries collaborated in these illegal practices.

Amnesty International, meanwhile, saw the ruling as “a milestone in the fight against impunity” and a first step to convict other countries who also collaborated with the CIA.

The Human Rights Court validated the testimony of El Masri, born in 1963 and living in the German city of Ulm, who said he was mistaken for a terrorist when he arrived in Skopje on December 31, 2003 for sightseeing.

There he was arrested by the Macedonian authorities, who took him to a hotel room, There, he was held for 23 days without any legal help, interrogated in English  — a language he did not speak properly — and isolated from all external contact. This, he says put him in a permanent a state of distress.

But his ordeal had just begun, because 23 days later he was handcuffed, hooded and taken to the airport, where he waited a group of CIA agents who subjected him to harsh torture while in custody of Macedonian authorities. “The Macedonian government’s responsibility is accepted in regard to acts committed on its territory by agents of a foreign state,” said the statement issued by the Court.

El-Masri was beaten, stripped and sodomized with an object, reads the statement. These forms of torture “were used with premeditation in order to provoke El-Masri severe pain and suffering to obtain information from him. The Court considers that torture,” say the judges.

While the Court issued this statement, in the United States, the Senate intelligence committee has officially concluded that CIA interrogations were ineffective. “The report is the most detailed independent examination to date of the agency’s efforts to “break” dozens of detainees through physical and psychological duress, a period of CIA history that has become a source of renewed controversy,” reports the Washington Post.

In the case of El-Masri, he was sedated and placed in an aircraft. After a stopover in Baghdad, the plane landed in Afghanistan, where El-Masri was detained in a detention center and kept in a small concrete cell. They suffered further torture and made two hunger strikes before May 28, 2004, five months after his arrest, when he was transferred to Germany.

Visibly affected by torture, and weighing 18 kilos less than before, El Masri filed a complaint that year and since then has struggled to make European and U.S. authorities recognize the mistake made by the CIA.
One of the most important elements in the trial of Macedonia as an accomplice of the CIA was the testimony of the country’s Interior Minister at the time of the facts, who confirmed the arrest of El-Masri and his surrender to the CIA.

In a similar case, the British government settled a case with Sami al Saadi, a Libyan dissident by paying him 2.2 million pounds (2.7 million euros) after he was secretly handed over to the regime of Muammar Gaddafi in 2004. The Libyan was captured with the help of the British intelligence service MI6. Saadi claimed he was tricked by MI6 and the CIA, taken to Libya and tortured while he was there.

The Real Agenda encourages the sharing of its original content ONLY through the tools provided at the bottom of every article. Please DON’T copy articles from The Real Agenda and redistribute by email or post to the web.

U.S. Military Thugs Celebrate Death

AGENCE FRANCE PRESSE | APRIL 18, 2012

US soldiers took pictures of themselves posing with the mangled remains of suspected Afghan suicide bombers on more than one occasion in 2010, the Los Angeles Times reported on Wednesday.

The LA Times said the US Army had launched an investigation into the incident after the newspaper showed them some of the photos, which it had obtained from a soldier in the division.

The first incident took place in February 2010, when paratroopers from the 82nd Airborne Division were sent to an Afghan police station in Zabol province to inspect the remains of an alleged suicide bomber.

The soldiers had intended to try to get fingerprints and possibly scan the irises of the corpse, but instead they posed for pictures next to the Afghan police, holding up or squatting beside the remains, the newspaper said.

A few months later, the same platoon went to inspect the remains of three insurgents whom Afghan police said had blown themselves up by accident.

Two soldiers posed holding up one of the dead men’s hands with the middle finger raised, while another leaned over the bearded corpse, the newspaper reported.

Another soldier apparently placed an unofficial platoon patch reading “Zombie Hunter” next to the other remains and took a picture.

The LA Times said the military had asked it not to publish the photos for fear of inciting violence, but Times editor Davan Maharaj said that the newspaper had decided to publish a “small but representative selection.”

“After careful consideration, we decided that publishing a small but representative selection of the photos would fulfill our obligation to readers to report vigorously and impartially on all aspects of the American mission in Afghanistan,” he was quoted as saying.

As of early Wednesday, however, the photos had not yet appeared on the newspaper’s website.

The photos come after a series of scandals that has strained US-Afghan ties.

In March a US soldier allegedly went on a shooting rampage in two Afghan villages, killing 17 people — mostly women and children — in what is believed to be the deadliest war crime by a NATO soldier in the decade-long conflict.

The burning of Korans in mid-February triggered deadly anti-US protests, and there has been a surge in “insider” attacks on NATO troops by Afghan forces.

NATO has a 130,000-strong US-led military force fighting the Islamist Taliban, which has led an insurgency against the Western-backed Kabul government since being toppled from power in 2001.

The United States plans to gradually draw down combat troops from the middle of next year before handing over control to Afghan security forces by the end of 2014 as agreed by the NATO alliance.

US Marines proudly pose with Nazi SS Flag

by Julie Watson
Associated Press
February 10, 2012

 The Marine Corps on Thursday once again did damage control after a photograph surfaced of a sniper team in Afghanistan posing in front of a flag with a logo resembling that of the notorious Nazi SS — a special unit that murdered millions of Jews, gypsies and others.

The Corps said in a statement that using the symbol was not acceptable, but the Marines in the photograph taken in September 2010 will not be disciplined because investigators determined it was a naïve mistake.

The Marines believed the SS symbol was meant to represent sniper scouts and never intended to be associated with a racist organization, said Maj. Gabrielle Chapin, a spokeswoman at Camp Pendleton, where the Marines were based.

“I don’t believe that the Marines involved would have ever used any type of symbol associated the Nazi Germany military criminal organization that committed mass atrocities in WWII,” Chapin said. “It’s not within who we are as Marines.”

The Corps has used the incident as a training tool to talk to troops about what symbols are acceptable after it became aware of the photograph last November, Chapin said.

The image has since surfaced on an Internet blog, sparking widespread outrage and calls for a full investigation and punishment, including bringing those in the photograph and anyone who condoned it to court martial.

“This is a complete and total outrage,” said Mikey Weinstein of the Military Religious Freedom Foundation, headquartered in Albuquerque, N.M.

His organization sent a letter to the head of the Marine Corps, Gen. James Amos, and Defense Secretary Leon Panetta on Thursday, demanding punishment for those involved.

It was the second time this year the Marine Corps has had to do damage control for actions of its troops. It’s also investigating a separate group of Marines recorded on video urinating on the dead bodies of Taliban fighters.

“First we have Marines peeing on dead bodies and now this,” Weinstein said.

The Marines in the photograph are no longer with the unit. Chapin said she did not know if they are still in the Corps.

In the photo taken in the Afghanistan town of Sangin, the Marine Corps unit is posing with guns in front of an American flag and a large, dark blue flag with what appear to be the letters “SS” in the shape of white jagged lightning bolts.

Camp Pendleton spokesman, Master Gunnery Sgt. Mark Oliva, said he did not know where the flag came from but it was likely the property of one of the Marines in the photograph.

The photograph appeared on the blog for a military weapons company called Knight’s Armament in Titusville, Fla. The company did not respond to emails or phone messages left by The Associated Press.

The SS, or Schutzstaffel, was the police and military force of the Nazi Party, which was distinct from the general army. Members pledged an oath of loyalty to Adolph Hitler.

SS units were held responsible for many war crimes and played an integral role in the extermination of millions of Jews along with gypsies and other people who were deemed undesirable. The SS was declared to be a criminal organization at the Nuremberg war crime trials.

Rabbi Marvin Hier, founder of the Simon Wiesenthal Center, headquartered in Los Angeles, said he does not buy the explanation that posing with the flag was an innocent mistake and insisted the American public has a right to know what happened.

“If you look at any book on the Nazi period, this is the dreaded symbol of the SS, and to have a Marine Corps unit adopt it and put it beside the American flag when 200,000 Americans died to free the world of that dreaded symbol is just beyond the pale,” he said.

Truth, lies and Afghanistan

How US military leaders have let us down

by Lt. Col. Daniel L. Davis
AFJ
February 6, 2012

I spent last year in Afghanistan, visiting and talking with U.S. troops and their Afghan partners. My duties with the Army’s Rapid Equipping Force took me into every significant area where our soldiers engage the enemy. Over the course of 12 months, I covered more than 9,000 miles and talked, traveled and patrolled with troops in Kandahar, Kunar, Ghazni, Khost, Paktika, Kunduz, Balkh, Nangarhar and other provinces.

What I saw bore no resemblance to rosy official statements by U.S. military leaders about conditions on the ground.

Entering this deployment, I was sincerely hoping to learn that the claims were true: that conditions in Afghanistan were improving, that the local government and military were progressing toward self-sufficiency. I did not need to witness dramatic improvements to be reassured, but merely hoped to see evidence of positive trends, to see companies or battalions produce even minimal but sustainable progress.

 Instead, I witnessed the absence of success on virtually every level.

My arrival in country in late 2010 marked the start of my fourth combat deployment, and my second in Afghanistan. A Regular Army officer in the Armor Branch, I served in Operation Desert Storm, in Afghanistan in 2005-06 and in Iraq in 2008-09. In the middle of my career, I spent eight years in the U.S. Army Reserve and held a number of civilian jobs — among them, legislative correspondent for defense and foreign affairs for Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison, R-Texas.

As a representative for the Rapid Equipping Force, I set out to talk to our troops about their needs and their circumstances. Along the way, I conducted mounted and dismounted combat patrols, spending time with conventional and Special Forces troops. I interviewed or had conversations with more than 250 soldiers in the field, from the lowest-ranking 19-year-old private to division commanders and staff members at every echelon. I spoke at length with Afghan security officials, Afghan civilians and a few village elders.

I saw the incredible difficulties any military force would have to pacify even a single area of any of those provinces; I heard many stories of how insurgents controlled virtually every piece of land beyond eyeshot of a U.S. or International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) base.

I saw little to no evidence the local governments were able to provide for the basic needs of the people. Some of the Afghan civilians I talked with said the people didn’t want to be connected to a predatory or incapable local government.

From time to time, I observed Afghan Security forces collude with the insurgency.

FROM BAD TO ABYSMAL

Much of what I saw during my deployment, let alone read or wrote in official reports, I can’t talk about; the information remains classified. But I can say that such reports — mine and others’ — serve to illuminate the gulf between conditions on the ground and official statements of progress.

And I can relate a few representative experiences, of the kind that I observed all over the country.

In January 2011, I made my first trip into the mountains of Kunar province near the Pakistan border to visit the troops of 1st Squadron, 32nd Cavalry. On a patrol to the northernmost U.S. position in eastern Afghanistan, we arrived at an Afghan National Police (ANP) station that had reported being attacked by the Taliban 2½ hours earlier.

Through the interpreter, I asked the police captain where the attack had originated, and he pointed to the side of a nearby mountain.

“What are your normal procedures in situations like these?” I asked. “Do you form up a squad and go after them? Do you periodically send out harassing patrols? What do you do?”

As the interpreter conveyed my questions, the captain’s head wheeled around, looking first at the interpreter and turning to me with an incredulous expression. Then he laughed.

“No! We don’t go after them,” he said. “That would be dangerous!”

According to the cavalry troopers, the Afghan policemen rarely leave the cover of the checkpoints. In that part of the province, the Taliban literally run free.

In June, I was in the Zharay district of Kandahar province, returning to a base from a dismounted patrol. Gunshots were audible as the Taliban attacked a U.S. checkpoint about one mile away.

As I entered the unit’s command post, the commander and his staff were watching a live video feed of the battle. Two ANP vehicles were blocking the main road leading to the site of the attack. The fire was coming from behind a haystack. We watched as two Afghan men emerged, mounted a motorcycle and began moving toward the Afghan policemen in their vehicles.

The U.S. commander turned around and told the Afghan radio operator to make sure the policemen halted the men. The radio operator shouted into the radio repeatedly, but got no answer.

On the screen, we watched as the two men slowly motored past the ANP vehicles. The policemen neither got out to stop the two men nor answered the radio — until the motorcycle was out of sight.

To a man, the U.S. officers in that unit told me they had nothing but contempt for the Afghan troops in their area — and that was before the above incident occurred.

In August, I went on a dismounted patrol with troops in the Panjwai district of Kandahar province. Several troops from the unit had recently been killed in action, one of whom was a very popular and experienced soldier. One of the unit’s senior officers rhetorically asked me, “How do I look these men in the eye and ask them to go out day after day on these missions? What’s harder: How do I look [my soldier’s] wife in the eye when I get back and tell her that her husband died for something meaningful? How do I do that?”

One of the senior enlisted leaders added, “Guys are saying, ‘I hope I live so I can at least get home to R&R leave before I get it,’ or ‘I hope I only lose a foot.’ Sometimes they even say which limb it might be: ‘Maybe it’ll only be my left foot.’ They don’t have a lot of confidence that the leadership two levels up really understands what they’re living here, what the situation really is.”

On Sept. 11, the 10th anniversary of the infamous attack on the U.S., I visited another unit in Kunar province, this one near the town of Asmar. I talked with the local official who served as the cultural adviser to the U.S. commander. Here’s how the conversation went:

Davis: “Here you have many units of the Afghan National Security Forces [ANSF]. Will they be able to hold out against the Taliban when U.S. troops leave this area?”

Adviser: “No. They are definitely not capable. Already all across this region [many elements of] the security forces have made deals with the Taliban. [The ANSF] won’t shoot at the Taliban, and the Taliban won’t shoot them.

“Also, when a Taliban member is arrested, he is soon released with no action taken against him. So when the Taliban returns [when the Americans leave after 2014], so too go the jobs, especially for everyone like me who has worked with the coalition.

“Recently, I got a cellphone call from a Talib who had captured a friend of mine. While I could hear, he began to beat him, telling me I’d better quit working for the Americans. I could hear my friend crying out in pain. [The Talib] said the next time they would kidnap my sons and do the same to them. Because of the direct threats, I’ve had to take my children out of school just to keep them safe.

“And last night, right on that mountain there [he pointed to a ridge overlooking the U.S. base, about 700 meters distant], a member of the ANP was murdered. The Taliban came and called him out, kidnapped him in front of his parents, and took him away and murdered him. He was a member of the ANP from another province and had come back to visit his parents. He was only 27 years old. The people are not safe anywhere.”

That murder took place within view of the U.S. base, a post nominally responsible for the security of an area of hundreds of square kilometers. Imagine how insecure the population is beyond visual range. And yet that conversation was representative of what I saw in many regions of Afghanistan.

In all of the places I visited, the tactical situation was bad to abysmal. If the events I have described — and many, many more I could mention — had been in the first year of war, or even the third or fourth, one might be willing to believe that Afghanistan was just a hard fight, and we should stick it out. Yet these incidents all happened in the 10th year of war.

As the numbers depicting casualties and enemy violence indicate the absence of progress, so too did my observations of the tactical situation all over Afghanistan.

CREDIBILITY GAP

I’m hardly the only one who has noted the discrepancy between official statements and the truth on the ground.

A January 2011 report by the Afghan NGO Security Office noted that public statements made by U.S. and ISAF leaders at the end of 2010 were “sharply divergent from IMF, [international military forces, NGO-speak for ISAF] ‘strategic communication’ messages suggesting improvements. We encourage [nongovernment organization personnel] to recognize that no matter how authoritative the source of any such claim, messages of the nature are solely intended to influence American and European public opinion ahead of the withdrawal, and are not intended to offer an accurate portrayal of the situation for those who live and work here.”

The following month, Anthony Cordesman, on behalf of the Center for Strategic and International Studies, wrote that ISAF and the U.S. leadership failed to report accurately on the reality of the situation in Afghanistan.

“Since June 2010, the unclassified reporting the U.S. does provide has steadily shrunk in content, effectively ‘spinning’ the road to victory by eliminating content that illustrates the full scale of the challenges ahead,” Cordesman wrote. “They also, however, were driven by political decisions to ignore or understate Taliban and insurgent gains from 2002 to 2009, to ignore the problems caused by weak and corrupt Afghan governance, to understate the risks posed by sanctuaries in Pakistan, and to ‘spin’ the value of tactical ISAF victories while ignoring the steady growth of Taliban influence and control.”

How many more men must die in support of a mission that is not succeeding and behind an array of more than seven years of optimistic statements by U.S. senior leaders in Afghanistan? No one expects our leaders to always have a successful plan. But we do expect — and the men who do the living, fighting and dying deserve — to have our leaders tell us the truth about what’s going on.

I first encountered senior-level equivocation during a 1997 division-level “experiment” that turned out to be far more setpiece than experiment. Over dinner at Fort Hood, Texas, Training and Doctrine Command leaders told me that the Advanced Warfighter Experiment (AWE) had shown that a “digital division” with fewer troops and more gear could be far more effective than current divisions. The next day, our congressional staff delegation observed the demonstration firsthand, and it didn’t take long to realize there was little substance to the claims. Virtually no legitimate experimentation was actually conducted. All parameters were carefully scripted. All events had a preordained sequence and outcome. The AWE was simply an expensive show, couched in the language of scientific experimentation and presented in glowing press releases and public statements, intended to persuade Congress to fund the Army’s preference. Citing the AWE’s “results,” Army leaders proceeded to eliminate one maneuver company per combat battalion. But the loss of fighting systems was never offset by a commensurate rise in killing capability.

A decade later, in the summer of 2007, I was assigned to the Future Combat Systems (FCS) organization at Fort Bliss, Texas. It didn’t take long to discover that the same thing the Army had done with a single division at Fort Hood in 1997 was now being done on a significantly larger scale with FCS. Year after year, the congressionally mandated reports from the Government Accountability Office revealed significant problems and warned that the system was in danger of failing. Each year, the Army’s senior leaders told members of Congress at hearings that GAO didn’t really understand the full picture and that to the contrary, the program was on schedule, on budget, and headed for success. Ultimately, of course, the program was canceled, with little but spinoffs to show for $18 billion spent.

If Americans were able to compare the public statements many of our leaders have made with classified data, this credibility gulf would be immediately observable. Naturally, I am not authorized to divulge classified material to the public. But I am legally able to share it with members of Congress. I have accordingly provided a much fuller accounting in a classified report to several members of Congress, both Democrats and Republicans, senators and House members.

A nonclassified version is available at http://www.afghanreport.com. [Editor’s note: At press time, Army public affairs had not yet ruled on whether Davis could post this longer version.]

TELL THE TRUTH

When it comes to deciding what matters are worth plunging our nation into war and which are not, our senior leaders owe it to the nation and to the uniformed members to be candid — graphically, if necessary — in telling them what’s at stake and how expensive potential success is likely to be. U.S. citizens and their elected representatives can decide if the risk to blood and treasure is worth it.

Likewise when having to decide whether to continue a war, alter its aims or to close off a campaign that cannot be won at an acceptable price, our senior leaders have an obligation to tell Congress and American people the unvarnished truth and let the people decide what course of action to choose. That is the very essence of civilian control of the military. The American people deserve better than what they’ve gotten from their senior uniformed leaders over the last number of years. Simply telling the truth would be a good start. AFJ

America’s Death Pornography Culture

Celebrating brutal deaths of Muammar Qaddafi and Saddam Hussein.

by Wayne Madsen
Strategic Culture Foundation
November 2, 2011

The United States government and military revel in death and pornographic intimidation. The videos and photographs of howling Iraqis celebrating the hanging of Iraqi president Saddam Hussein after his U.S.-administered kangaroo court trial in Iraq and the physical abuse, alleged sodomizing, and execution of Libya’s Muammar Qaddafi by NATO-armed and directed rebels after his convoy in Sirte was reportedly struck by a U.S. drone-launched missile, exemplify America’s fixation with pornographic death scenes…

The George Walker Bush and Barack Hussein Obama administrations share a fascination for displaying the dead bodies of their vanquished enemies. For Bush, it was the gruesome stone-slabbed corpses of Qusay and Uday Hussein, Saddam’s sons, after they were killed in a firefight with U.S. troops in. That was followed by the body of Saddam after his hanging in.

Of course, it did not suit President Obama to broadcast a photograph of Osama Bin Laden, allegedly killed while resisting arrest in Abbotabad, Pakistan. In the case of Bin Laden, there is a strong reason to believe that Osama’s body could not be shown because there was no body of Osama. Whether an Osama Bin Laden look-a-like was killed or not may never be known, but what is certain is that the Obama administration’s explanation for ”Osama’s” burial at sea from a U.S. aircraft carrier appears dubious.

There was also the curious designation of the operation to kill Bin Laden as “Geronimo.” President Obama, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, and Defense Secretary Robert Gates were in the White House Situation Room when they heard the news from the strike team: “We’ve ID’d Geronimo,” followed by “Geronimo EKIA” or “Geronimo enemy killed in action.”

There was outrage among Native Americans over the designation of Bin Laden as Geronimo. But the code name has its own ghastly history. In 1918, in another macabre display of ghoulishness by America’s political elite, Prescott Bush, the future U.S. senator and father and grandfather of two future presidents, allegedly dug up the grave of the famed Apache leader Geronimo and stole his skull and some bones. The remains are said to be among the prized possession of Yale’s elite and secretive Skull and Bones society, along with the skull of former President Martin van Buren, the only president of the United States who was not in the blood line, close or distant, of the British royal family.

As Qaddafi’s body, along with those of his son, Mo’tassim, and the former Libyan army commander, Abu Bakr Yunis, rotted in a meat freezer in Misrata – for the whole world to see — more details emerged about Qaddafi’s last hours in Sirte. On October 19, at around 8:00 am in Sirte, a convoy of 70 vehicles departed the heavily-bombed out city, heading west. There were also Twitter messages coming out of Sirte reporting that several white flags of surrender were seen in the city at day break. However, a CIA Predator drone tracking the convoy passed its coordinates on to NATO. French and other NATO jets pounded the convoy, incinerating many of the drivers and passengers. Many of those killed were black Libyans. There are now reports of mass graves in Sirte containing the bodies of scores of Qaddafi supporters and fellow tribal members.

There have been some reports that a truce and a surrender by Qaddafi and his forces was worked out between some rebel leaders and Qaddafi’s entourage through the auspices of the Qaddadfa (the tribe to which Qaddafi belonged) tribal leaders in Sirte. After the convoy was on the highway heading west, with reported white flags from some of the vehicles, the motorcade, which was not engaging in fire with rebel or NATO forces, was set upon by NATO forces. Witnesses to the surrender and/or safe passage negotiations will be hard to come by, since one of those murdered in his home in Sirte by Libyan rebels was reportedly the chief of the Qaddadfa tribe who was part of the negotiations for surrender and safe passage.

Reports that Qaddafi and his group were trying to make a dash through the offensive lines around Sirte make no sense since the convoy left after sun up and in broad daylight, when white flags could clearly be seen by the belligerents, and the Twitter messages out of Sirte indicated that rebels, pro-Qaddafi forces, and neutral observers could all see the white flags. If Qaddafi wanted to make a break for it, he would have done so at night with headlights out.

One of the last things Qaddafi is heard asking his captors is “Do you know right from wrong?” If the rebels or NATO reneged on a promise of safe passage and ignored the universally-recognized white flag signifying truce and surrender, it would constitute a gross violation of the Hague Conventions of 1899 and 1907, and would, therefore, be a war crime. Under the conventions, the white flag is protected as a sign that an approaching party intends to surrender or negotiate the terms of surrender. Those displaying a white flag may not fire or be fired upon.

If NATO and the rebels violated the white flag in Sirte, it would represent one of the first major violations of a practice that began with the Eastern Han dynasty in China in the year 25, and was recognized by the Roman Empire, armies during the Middle Ages, and every major and minor nation since. A violation by NATO of the flag of truce would represent a flagrant return to barbarism by the “collective defensive” organization.

Hillary Clinton reacted to news of Qaddafi’s death by chortling like a school girl. Preparing for an interview with CBS News, Clinton, who had just paid a visit to Libya, joked, “We came, we saw, he died.” Other NATO leaders, including Obama, David Cameron, Nicolas Sarkozy, and Anders Fogh Rasmussen, as well as UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, who all self-identify themselves as Christians, expressed relief and joy at the news of Qaddafi’s death, a very “un-Christian” trait.

The brutal treatment of Qaddafi and his forces matches the treatment meted out by American forces to detainees in Iraq, including the pornographic abuse of prisoners, including minors, at Abu Ghraib and other prisons. In the report by U.S. Army General Antonio Taguba, there are instances of U.S. guards forcing male and female prisoners into naked and explicit positions, including human piles, and taking photographs and video shots, forcing male prisoners to wear women’s underwear, forcing male prisoners to masturbate while being photographed and videotaped, and sodomizing detainees with broom sticks and chemical lights. One prisoner murdered by U.S. forces, Manadel al-Jamadi, was kept on ice to prevent decomposition and spirited away from investigators to cover up his suffocation by U.S. prison guards.

The abuse at Abu Ghraib continues to have ramifications and has resulted in a lawsuit in California, Ford v. CAARNG (California Army Reserve National Guard). The suit charges that “retired Sergeant Frank G. Ford who, in 2003, was assigned to Iraq with the 223 Military Intelligence Unit under the 205 Military Intelligence Brigade as a Counter Intelligence Agent and Medic, was strapped to a gurney against his will and kidnapped. He was then sent from a war zone [Iraq] to Germany . . . because he reported the torture going on at Abu Ghraib prison as well as the death by torture of a prisoner while in custody.” The suit also alleges that “Ford cared for and treated, as an onsite medic, numerous victims of torture.”

A video currently circulating of a Libyan rebel sodomizing Qaddafi with what appears to be a rifle barrel brings back the scenes of the U.S. house of horrors at Abu Ghraib. Obama’s decision to become judge, jury, and executioner in the death sentences (“targeted killings”) carried out by a CIA drone flying over Yemen on September 30, on U.S. citizens Anwar al Awalaki (a former Islamic confidante of the Pentagon), and Samir Khan, and an additional October 14 drone strike in Yemen that killed Awlaki’s teenage son, Abdulrahman al-Awlaki, also a U.S. citizen, reinforces a growing belief that Obama lords over a voodoo-like death cult that has taken over U.S. military and foreign policy.

By word and action, the U.S. military and its NATO underlings have discarded thousands of years of chivalric military tradition, common practices, and law against a backdrop of ghoulish and pornographic behavior.