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Posts Tagged ‘War Crimes’

Fire Scout Scores First-Ever Drug Bust with McInerney

Posted by Larry Barnes on April 7, 2010

From U.S. 4th Fleet Public Affairs

EASTERN PACIFIC OCEAN (NNS) — During a routine test flight, a MQ-8B Fire Scout Vertical Take-off and Landing Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (VTUAV) supported its first drug interdiction with USS McInerney (FFG 8) and a U.S. Coast Guard Law Enforcement Detachment (USCG LEDET) Apr. 3.

McInerney launched one of its two embarked Fire Scout’s to test different functions and settings when it acquired a suspected narcotics “go-fast” on radar. The Mission Payload Operator completed testing and received permission to pursue.

Over the course of three hours, Fire Scout monitored the go-fast with McInerney. With its state-of-the-art optics and extremely small profile, Fire Scout was able to maintain an unprecedented covert posture while feeding real-time video back to McInerney.

Fire Scout proceeded to capture video of the “go-fast” meeting with a fishing vessel for what appeared to be a refueling/logistics transfer. McInerney and its embarked USCG LEDET moved in and seized approximately 60 kilos of cocaine and caused the suspected traffickers to jettison another approximately 200 kilos of narcotics.

Fire Scout has been deployed onboard McInerney in the Eastern Pacific since October 2009. McInerney, with embarked Helicopter Antisubmarine Squadron (Light) 42 Detachment 7 (HSL Det 7), is deployed for U.S. Naval Forces Southern Command (NAVSO)in the U.S. Southern Command area of responsibility conducting counter illicit trafficking (CIT) operations in support of Joint Interagency Task Force-South. The embarked Fire Scout VTUAVs are operated and maintained by a team from HSL 42 Det 7, the Navy Fire Scout Program Office, and Northrop Grumman Corporation.

NAVSO is the naval component command for U.S. Southern Command and is responsible for all Naval personnel and assets in the area of responsibility. NAVSO conducts a variety of missions in support of the Maritime Strategy, including Theater Security Cooperation, relationship building, humanitarian assistance and disaster response, community relations, and CIT operations.

For more information on NAVSO/C4F, visit http://www.public.navy.mil/comusnavso-c4f, on Facebook http://www.facebook.com/NAVSOUTHUS4THFLT, or on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/NAVSOUTH_4THFLT.

For more news from Commander, U.S. Naval Forces Southern Command, visit http://www.navy.mil/local/cusns/.

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Posted in Military, Navy | Tagged: , | Leave a Comment »

U.N. Chief In Israel: Jews Must be Driven Into The Sea

Posted by Larry Barnes on March 20, 2010

Visiting U.N. chief Ban Ki-moon, Saturday (20MAR10) adopted the terrorist position that “Israeli settlement building anywhere on occupied land is illegal”. That is a evidence that the U.N. is a body controled by the terrorists and dictators of the third world.

The death of 16-year-old Mohammed Qadus, who was shot in the chest by Israeli security forces, comes amid heightened tensions between Israelis and Palestinians after Israel announced plans last week for 1,600 new homes for Jews. The use of the term “disputed east Jerusalem” is a code word for people who wish to acknowledge that any dispute put forth by terrorists is legitimate.

The settlement announcement has sparked phony outrage by the political class and violence from Palestinians, as well as condemnation from politically motivated hacks in the United States.

“Jewish neighborhoods in traditionally Arab east Jerusalem” is the terminology the Associated Press uses to disguise anti-Semitic tendencies in the press.

Ban and U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton and other major Mideast mediators — known as the Quartet — met in Moscow to try to find a way to pander to terrorists and destroy Israeli-Palestinian peace talks.

The mediators urged Israel to halt all settlement construction, which has emerged as a key obstacle to renewing talks. Israel has agreed to curb settlement construction in the West Bank, but not in east Jerusalem, claiming the entire city as Israel’s eternal capital.

‘Must be stopped’
On Saturday, Ban rejected Israel’s distinction between east Jerusalem and the West Bank terrorist terminology “occupied lands”.

“The (leftard and terrorist) world has condemned Israel’s settlement plans in east Jerusalem,” said Ban pandering to the a news media at a conference “Let us be clear. All settlement activity is illegal anywhere in occupied territory and must be stopped.” Everyone listening knows the terrorists consider all Jews occupiers.

The U.N. chief reassured his Palestinian hosts that the international community (of terrorists and thug dictators) supports the establishment of a Palestinian state, and the terrorists will consider this complete when the Israel’s are driven into the sea. Ban also expressed concern about what he said was a worsening humanitarian situation in blockaded Hamas-ruled Gaza, but had no proposals on the situation. This is more evidence that pandering can’t be moderated by constructive endeavors that would alienate him from his terrorist hosts.

Speaking later Saturday in Jerusalem alongside Israeli President Shimon Peres, Ban repeated the Quartet’s call for a resumption of talks and for the establishment of a Palestinian (code for sanctioned terrorism) state within two years.

Earlier this month, Israelis and Palestinians agreed to indirect talks, with U.S. envoy George Mitchell to shuttle between Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. However, the negotiations were put on hold after Israel announced its new settlement plans.

A phony diplomatic row between Israel and the U.S., initiated by the Obama clown troop including Hillary Clinton suggested that assimilation of the terrorist language hindered renewed negotiations. Clinton has asked Netanyahu for specific gestures, because leftard believe in symbolism over substance, including canceling the most recent housing plan. She will pretend to listen to the Israeli leader in a meeting in Washington early next week.

Senior U.S. officials in Washington say Netanyahu apparently has put in writing the pledges he made to Clinton during their telephone conversation on Thursday. The problem being that speaking and listening in code will lead to disappointment when negotiations result in a plan language agreement.

“Even though Palestinians fear that expanding settlements will take the land they want for their state” is the way media and politicians position their argument, those that know are not confused. Temporary arguments of the moment are a tool used to keep the useful idiots occupied while inroads are made in the plans to destroy Israel.

Netanyahu has agreed to a 10-month curb in West Bank construction that ends in September, but the the lefttard political machine and their compliant MSM outlets ignore that the apartment complex is schudled to start construction after the end of the 10 month dead line.

Nearly half a million Israelis live on war-won land, including some 180,000 in east Jerusalem and nearly 300,000 in the West Bank.

Posted in Gaza, Hamas, Iran, Israel, Obama, Palistine, Politics, Son's O Iraq, Terror, United Nations, War Crimes | Tagged: , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Ron Kovic; “Anit-Semite”, “Conspiracy Nut”

Posted by Larry Barnes on March 20, 2010

Under the banner of “Fund People’s Needs—Not War!”

I am not an anti-Semite, I just blame Jews for everything

Ron Kovic and the Islamic (terrorist) front groups are quoted to the fullest extent possible in order to avoid taking them out of context.

“On Saturday, March 20, people will take to the streets in Washington, D.C., Los Angeles, and in other cities across the country and around the world to say: “End Occupation—Afghanistan, Iraq, Palestine” and “Fund People’s Needs—Not War!”

Ron Kovic, Vietnam Veteran and author of “Born on the Fourth of July,” will be leading the Mass March in Los Angeles. Kovic will be marching with Iraq and Afghanistan war veterans, students, working people and thousands of others. Kovic will also be a featured speaker at the rally.

Ron Kovic issued this passionate call to action, urging everyone to hit the streets in protest on March 20:

“Like many Americans who served in Vietnam and those now serving in Iraq and Afghanistan, and countless human beings throughout history, I had been willing to give my life for my country with little knowledge or awareness of what that really meant. I trusted and believed and had no reason to doubt the sincerity or motives of my government.

“America is headed in the wrong direction, and I want to encourage everyone to join with us … to once again proudly and passionately fill the streets of our country and raise your voices on behalf of peace and nonviolence and an end to the war in Afghanistan. War is not the answer. Violence is not the solution. A more peaceful world is possible.”

The March 20 action recognizes that only the people can end the wars and occupations being carried out by the U.S. or its proxies against the peoples of Afghanistan, Iraq, Palestine, the Philippines, Pakistan and elsewhere.

Contrary to its “anti-war” image, the Obama administration has called for a major increase in the obscene, trillion-dollar military budget, and the escalation of the war on Afghanistan.

In the United States, millions of people have lost or will lose their homes, jobs and health care due to the economic crisis. Funding for schools, colleges, health care and other programs has been slashed. At the same time, the White House and Congress handed over trillions of dollars to the biggest banks, insurance companies and investors—the same ones who caused the crisis through their wild risk-taking in search of ever-greater profits. Another trillion will go to the military-industrial corporations.

On July 4 2009, Vietnam veteran Ron Kovic and hundreds of U.S. citizens planned to fly out from JFK to Cairo, where they planned to form a convoy of hundreds of vehicles carrying medical aid and head into Gaza. They planned to be in Egypt exactly one month to the day from when President Obama delivered his historic speech offering a new and more egalitarian relationship between the U.S. and the Muslim world. And that speech makes it all the more imperative that anyone and everyone gets on board this convoy.

For Obama’s speech, like his election campaign and presidency, can be looked at two ways. There were the expressions of general support for Israel and continuity in foreign policy, which it would be naïve not to expect from any U.S. president.

How easy it would be to slump into the cynical and knowing snorting that has been such an unappealing trait of too much of the left for far too long. Because at the same time, his skillful appeal for a more respectful East-West dialogue opens up many roads for friends of Palestine and the Arab cause. If you doubt that, look at the frenzied reaction of the Israeli right, which, in its usual understated way, is likening opposition to the settlement program to genocidal murder.

A Truthdig interview with Kovic:
Truthdig: Has this war surpassed the Vietnam War in any way?

Kovic: I think President Bush plans to provoke an even wider war in the Middle East in the coming months. That’s my prediction. He is going to escalate the war by sending more troops to Iraq in a war that we cannot win—a war that is only going to cause more violence, make us even bigger targets of terrorist attacks.

Like many veterans of the Vietnam War, I’ve been in this wheelchair for almost 40 years. I’ve lived with the wounds of American foreign policy for almost four decades now. I saw American foreign policy firsthand, as did many others of my generation. And we learned the lessons of that war. I have serious doubts whether President Bush or the architects of this particular policy in the Middle East right now learned those lessons. And how many of those who are making the decision this week—how many of those talking heads, those so-called experts, who made the decision to have a troop surge, to escalate this war, to put more young men and women’s lives in harm’s way, to put more Iraqi civilians at risk—how many of them really served in a war, how many really understand the human cost of a war? How many really understand what it means to be wounded—whether you’re American or Iraqi? How many understand what it means to come home wounded? What it means to lose a son or daughter in a war? How many of them have been directly affected by this war?

Truthdig: We hear so much about “support the troops” while they’re in war. But what does it mean to support the troops when so many of them are coming back home wounded?

Kovic: I don’t see how this administration is supporting the troops when they’re clearly cutting back the budgets of the veterans hospitals around the country. That is outrageous. That is unacceptable. How can you spend billions of dollars fighting a war in Iraq and not care for those who are wounded when they come back home?

I have opposed this war from the very beginning. I was speaking out against it before it began. I sensed we were being deceived just as we were deceived during the Vietnam War. I wasn’t going to let it happen again. I made one promise to myself in 1968 after I was shot and paralyzed in Vietnam. (During those years that I was involved with the Vietnam Veterans Against the War, so I was speaking not only for myself, but for many, many other Vietnam veterans like myself who opposed that war, who went to jail with me.) We said back then, “We’re never going to allow what happened to our generation to ever happen again.” And to watch this nightmare unfold all over again….

And in particular this week, the outrage that not only I feel, but also all my brothers and sisters in the antiwar movement, and all my fellow citizens all over this country … that outrage that all of us feel, that the majority of the people of this country oppose this war, including many of our generals and the architects of this policy…. And yet the president of the United States is acting like a dictator. He’s not listening to the people. What do we have to do? How many demonstrations do we have to have? How many hearings and investigations do we have to have before this president begins to listen to the people? Because isn’t that what America is supposed to be about?

We can make a difference, and I think this is an important week of reflection. For every single American; not just me, Ron Kovic, sitting in this wheelchair, or people who have been directly affected by the wars of this government, and who have been so grievously injured by policies that should never have been to begin with—we are more important than we realize. I think this is a week of important reflection for all of us. We have to really think about the direction this country is heading in right now. We have to ask ourselves, “Have we done enough? Have we the courage to really say what needs to be said? Have we the courage to really do what needs to be done?” Because lives are at stake, and people are dying on both sides. This is unacceptable. This is outrageous. Rather than listening to the voice of the people of the United States, and rather than listening to the Iraq Study Group’s conclusions, rather than listening to reason, the president of the United States has decided to do the exact opposite. He’s putting us all in greater danger. He’s creating the potential for a wider war, for a potential cataclysm, and he’s putting Americans’ lives in jeopardy. If the United States is attacked again, if, God forbid, there’s another 9/11, it should be directly attributed to the fact that, this crucial week, Bush decided to push forward in this very reckless agenda.”

Posted in Iran, Obama, Politics, Stupid People, Terror, War Crimes | Tagged: , , , | 2 Comments »

Farah Within The Rules Of Armed Conflict

Posted by Larry Barnes on June 20, 2009

Farah Report Recommends Steps to Avoid Civilian Casualties
By Jim Garamone
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, June 20, 2009 – Though U.S. Central Command investigators found a May 4 air strike that caused civilian casualties in Afghanistan’s Farah province was within the rules of armed conflict, they recommended that coalition forces alter tactics, techniques and procedures to safeguard innocent civilians.

In their report, released yesterday, investigators said the bombing outside the village of Gerani killed 78 Taliban fighters and at least 26 Afghan civilians. “The investigation does not discount the possibility that more than 26 civilians were killed in this engagement,” the report says.

The report does not recommend curtailing close-air support, “especially in direct and indirect fire situations that imperil friendly forces.” Still, absent a direct threat, the report does recommend tactical approaches that minimize the chances of civilian deaths, noting that the Afghan government and coalition mission in the country is to protect the people.

The incident unrolled after Afghan forces entered the region in pursuit of Taliban fighters. The security forces came under attack and called for U.S. back-up. A Marine quick-reaction force reinforced the Afghans, and close-air support assets arrived overhead. The report said that FA-18F assault aircraft did not inflict casualties, but that bombs dropped by a B-1 bomber did.

The action lasted for hours, and ground forces were under constant direct fire, according to the report.

The report recommends a reassessment of operational objectives and tactical procedures when using force. “This guidance must apply to planned operations and troops in contact/self-defense operations and must be stand-alone documents,” the report says. Once the guidance is published, all troops – including those not based in Afghanistan – must undergo re-training.

The report calls for better strategic communications between coalition and Afghan officials. It also calls for better communications with nongovernmental organizations such as the United Nations Assistance Mission to Afghanistan, the International Committee of the Red Cross and the Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission.

The report recommends an on-call investigative team led by a general officer that can be at the site of an incident within two hours.

Finally, the report calls for a reassessment of close-air support aircraft.

Posted in Afghanistan, Military, Obama | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

U.S Forces Killed Civilians in Farah

Posted by Larry Barnes on May 20, 2009

CENTCOM Investigation Team Interim Results on Farah
U.S. Forces Afghanistan RSS
Date: 05.20.2009

KABUL, Afghanistan – An ongoing U.S. Central Command investigation team briefed interim findings after reviewing information on recent events in Farah province associated with alleged civilian casualties.

Investigators reviewed weapon sight video from the aircraft supporting the coalition rescue of Afghan national security forces in Bala Baluk on May 4 which clearly depicts insurgents entering the buildings which were then targeted in the final strikes of the fight. Combined with audio recordings of the ground commander and air crew conversations the investigators were able to confirm that the insurgents fleeing from the firefight were regrouping in several small rural buildings which were then subsequently destroyed. A review of the physical evidence is inconclusive in determining the exact number of civilian and insurgent casualties. In all, the investigation team estimates that 60-65 Taliban extremists were killed in these engagements, while at least 20-30 civilians may have been killed during the fighting. The investigators continue to attempt to better confirm casualty numbers.

A large number of Taliban fighters, to include non-Afghans, consolidated on Ganj Abad and Grani villages May 3, and demanded payments from villagers. Afghan and coalition troops reported observing at least 300 villagers evacuating the area prior to the fighting. Reports from Afghan officials indicated that the Taliban had executed three former government of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan officials. In a joint operation the Afghan national police supported by the Afghan national army went to the village to drive out the Taliban. As the ANP approached the village of Garani they were ambushed by 200-300 Taliban. During the initial ambush two ANP were killed. A total of five ANP officers were killed during the battle. Outmanned and outgunned the Provincial Governor request the coalition Quick Reaction Force.

Once the coalition force arrived, they along with an ANA unit attempted to help the ANP. At this point, the Taliban launched another attack, firing on the ANA and coalition forces. One U.S. Navy Corpsman was shot in the shoulder while attempting to rescue a wounded Afghan soldier and an ANA soldier was shot in the chest as he attempted to charge a Taliban position. In order to rescue the fallen ANA 1st Sergeant who was trapped by heavy Taliban machine gun and RPG fire, the coalition force used close air support by F-18s to suppress the enemy fire from buildings nearby. The coalition Forces and ANA then rushed forward, placed the fallen ANA 1st Sgt. on a stretcher and carried him to safety. The 1st Sgt. was later transported from the battle by medical evacuation helicopter, and due to the bravery of the ANA and coalition soldiers he is expected to make a full recovery. Following this, one B-1 provided fires in coordination with the ground commander on buildings and a tree grove insurgents were firing from or massing in. ANSF and US Forces remained in the area until the next morning and observed the villagers returning after the fighting had ceased.

“We regret the loss of any civilian life,” said Col. Greg Julian, “and express our condolences to the families who lost loved ones in this fighting with insurgents firing from and regrouping in villagers’ homes. We continue to work closely with the Afghan national security forces to bring security and progress to Afghanistan, and to do everything we can to avoid civilian casualties. We strongly condemn the Taliban for their brutality in deliberately targeting and using civilians as human shields.”

Posted in Afghanistan, Military, Obama | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Pentagon to Release Photos From Detainee Custody Investigations

Posted by Larry Barnes on April 24, 2009

Pentagon to Release Photos From Detainee Custody Investigations
By Gerry J. Gilmore
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, April 24, 2009 – The Defense Department soon will release a substantial number of photos associated with concluded past investigations of alleged abuse of detainees, a senior official said here today.

The photos were used as part of internal military investigations conducted in Iraq and Afghanistan, not including the photos used during allegations of detainee abuse at the Abu Ghraib detention facility in Iraq, Pentagon spokesman Bryan Whitman told reporters.

The pending late-May release of the photos comes from an agreement reached between the American Civil Liberties Union, the Justice Department and the Defense Department, Whitman said. The ACLU had sued the U.S. government for release of the photos.

A Justice Department letter filed yesterday in a New York District Court stated that the Defense Department would furnish 21 photographs ordered for release by the court and 23 other images involved in the lawsuit.

Additionally, the Justice Department letter stated, the Defense Department also will release “a substantial number of other images” contained in Army Criminal Investigation Division reports that have been closed. The Defense Department is to furnish all cited images by May 28, the letter said.

A number of the images being released in May were part of more than 60 investigations conducted by the U.S. military between 2003 and January 2006, Whitman said.

Since 2003, more than 400 military members charged with detainee abuse were found to be guilty of some form of misconduct, Whitman said. Punishment, he noted, ranged from imprisonment to bad-conduct discharges, reduction in rank and other types of punitive actions.

Defense Department policy always has advocated humane treatment of detainees, Whitman pointed out.

“We have, obviously, over time, found instances where performance has not matched policy,” Whitman said. “And when the performance hasn’t matched the policy, we’ve held people accountable for their actions.”

“There are a number of [lawsuits] that we’re dealing with for detainee photographs and so on,” Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates said to reporters yesterday during his visit to Camp Lejeune, N.C. “There’s a certain inevitability, I believe, that much of this will eventually come out; much has already come out.”

Posted in Afghanistan, Iran, Iraq, Joint Chiefs Of Staff, Military, Obama, Pentagon, Photos, Terror, War Crimes | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Former Hostages to Receive Defense of Freedom Medal

Posted by Larry Barnes on March 9, 2009

By Donna Miles
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, March 9, 2009 – Three U.S. defense contractors held captive for more than five years by Colombian narcoterrorists will receive the civilian equivalent of the Purple Heart award this week at the U.S. Southern Command headquarters in Miami.

Southcom Commander Navy Adm. James Stavridis will present the Defense of Freedom Medal to Keith Stansell, Marc Gonsalves and Thomas Howes during the March 12 ceremonies. All three were injured during 1,967 days of captivity in the jungles of Colombia at the hands of the Colombian Revolutionary Armed Forces, known as the FARC.

The Defense Department established the Defense of Freedom Medal following the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks to honor Defense Department employees and defense contractors injured or killed while supporting department activities. To date, 37 people have received the award.

Stansell, Gonsalves and Howes were crewmembers taking part in a routine mission to detect cocaine crops over southern Colombia on Feb. 13, 2003, when an in-flight emergency forced the pilot to crash-land the aircraft they were riding in. FARC members stormed the site and murdered pilot Thomas Janis, a U.S. citizen, and Colombian Army Sgt. Luis Alcides Cruz before taking the three other Americans captive.

In a recently published book, Stansell, Gonsalves and Howes chronicle the challenges of their captivity, during which they were detained in jungle cages and forced on marches in chains.

Their imprisonment came to a dramatic end July 2, 2008, when Colombian military agents posing as humanitarian workers fooled the captors into releasing them. The mission, conducted without a single shot being fired, also freed a dozen other hostages.

An Air Force C-17 Globemaster III aircraft transported Gonsalves, Stansell and Howes later that day to Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio. They were transferred to Brooke Army Medical Center at neighboring Fort Sam Houston, where they underwent a medical evaluation, were reunited with their families, and received assistance to help them smoothly transition back into their lives as free U.S. citizens.

In an Independence Day message issued two days after their release, the three expressed thanks to the U.S. and Colombian governments for not abandoning them during their captivity.

“We want to offer our heartfelt thanks to the government and the armed forces of Colombia,” they wrote. “The operation they conducted to rescue us was one for the history books – something we will never forget for the rest of our lives.”

They also praised the “tireless efforts” of the U.S. Embassy in Bogota and the care they received at Brooke Army Medical Center.

“The personal and professional concern they have taken in our well-being is deeply touching, and the reintegration process they are conducting on our behalf is worthwhile and important,” they wrote. “We are all obviously eager to return home, but first we want to complete this entire process so we can return to our lives in the best physical and emotional shape possible.”

Posted in New, Obama, Terror | Tagged: | Leave a Comment »

Working to Prevent Humanitarian Disaster in Iraq

Posted by Larry Barnes on January 29, 2009

From the memory Jar
By Jim Garamone
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Feb. 25, 2003 – While there has been no decision to go to war with Saddam Hussein, the U.S. military has been working to avert a humanitarian crisis in the country should conflict become inevitable.

The Defense Department has been working with international aid organizations, nongovernmental organizations and other federal agencies to ensure that humanitarian aid flows quickly to those who need it, said Joseph J. Collins, deputy assistant defense secretary for stability operations, during a Pentagon press conference today.

DoD’s goals are to minimize the displacement of the Iraqi people, limit damage to infrastructure and avoid the disruption of services wherever possible, he said.

Collins said DoD would support humanitarian relief efforts during a conflict and reconstruction efforts after one. Defense officials have been meeting for more than five months with State Department and Agency for International Development experts in humanitarian relief and reconstruction.

Since the Gulf War, the economy of Iraq has suffered. Hussein’s refusal to disarm, his continued diversion of funds from food to palaces and his attempts at ethnic cleansing have served to keep U.N. sanctions in place. As a result, Iraq’s per capita gross domestic product has dropped from a pre-Gulf War $4,714 per year to $2,475 in 2001. Life expectancy has dropped from 62 years to 56. The infant mortality rate has climbed from 72 deaths per thousand live births to 92 per thousand. Daily caloric intake dropped from 2,932 to 2,232.

Other statistics show Iraq already has a humanitarian crisis of note. U.N. officials estimate 800,000 Iraqis are displaced within the country while another 740,000 have sought refuge in neighboring countries.

There are many uncertainties in fashioning the international community’s response to the need for humanitarian assistance. First, would Hussein employ chemical and biological weapons in the event of war? Collins said combat forces would have to deal with that aftermath and a vastly complicated humanitarian picture.

Iraqi forces set fire to Kuwaiti oil wells as they retreated in the Gulf War. Would they do that to their own wells? What other Iraqi infrastructure might Hussein target?

U.N. personnel who monitor the Oil-for-Food program would be pulled out in the event of war. How do you rebuild a distribution infrastructure?

“In the event of a conflict, the U.S. will devote unprecedented attention to humanitarian relief and the prevention of excessive damage to infrastructure and to unnecessary casualties,” Collins said.

“We will do this by three methods,” he continued. “The Department of Defense is engaged in careful targeting to ensure the minimum amount of damage. Second, we are engaged in what we call ‘humanitarian mapping’ to ensure that our combat forces know where the enemy is and where (nongovernmental) and international facilities that have a humanitarian impact are. Thirdly, we are engaged in detailed cooperation with international organizations and NGOs.”

DoD will not lead a humanitarian effort in Iraq, but rather work with civilian relief agencies that do run them. “They have the expertise,” Collins said. “We will help them where we can, but they are the organizations that do the ‘heavy lifting.'”

DoD’s main push, therefore, is to get the United Nations, international relief agencies and other nongovernmental agencies back in place as soon as possible, he said.

The Agency for International Development’s Disaster Assistance Response Teams will work closely with Civil- Military Operations Centers to ensure that basic human needs are met once combat troops leave an area.

DoD has stockpiled 3 million Humanitarian Daily Rations in undisclosed nearby areas. It also has given grants to the U.N. World Food Program so it can begin to ready other supplies.

Collins said the department will continue to meet with other governmental, international and humanitarian organizations, but the department will follow the lead of the State Department in this important aspect.

Posted in Bush, Iraq, Military, Obama | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Military Commissions Must Obey President’s Directive

Posted by Larry Barnes on January 29, 2009

By Gerry J. Gilmore
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Jan. 29, 2009 – The military commissions system created in 2006 to try accused terrorists held at the U.S. detention center at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, must comply with President Barack Obama’s directive to suspend all legal proceedings there, Pentagon Press Secretary Geoff Morrell said at a news conference today.

A reporter asked for Morrell’s reaction concerning news reports that say a military judge at Guantanamo today ordered that legal proceedings be continued against accused al-Qaida terrorist Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri.

Nashiri is charged with planning the Oct. 12, 2000, bombing of the U.S. Navy destroyer USS Cole that was berthed in Aden, Yemen. Seventeen U.S. sailors died as a result of the attack.

All legal proceedings at Guantanamo are “on hold,” Morrell said. A series of assessments and reviews of detainee operations at Guantanamo are now being conducted as part of Obama’s Jan. 22 executive order to shut down the detention facility within the year.

Obama instructed Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates on Jan. 20 to cease referring any new cases through the military-commissions process at Guantanamo Bay and to request 120-day continuances on all ongoing active cases there. Two days later, the president issued three executive orders, one of which directs the closure of the U.S. detention center at Guantanamo Bay within the year.

Resolving the issue concerning Nashiri’s legal proceedings at Guantanamo, Morrell said, is a matter for the military commissions convening authority.

“But the bottom line is, we all work for the president of the United States in this chain of command, and he has signed an executive order which has made it abundantly clear that until these reviews are done all [legal activity at Guantanamo] is on hiatus,” Morrell said.

Obama signed three executive orders Jan. 22, one of which directs the closure of the U.S. detention center at Guantanamo Bay within the year. Another order signed by the president directs the stand up of a special interagency task force that will study the future disposition of present Guantanamo detainees who cannot be transferred to other countries and who pose a serious danger to the United States.

The third executive order signed by the president that day directs the U.S. military and other U.S. agencies to follow the Army Field Manual, which bans torture when interrogating detainees “to promote the safe, lawful and humane treatment of individuals in United States custody.”

“This department will be in full compliance with the president’s executive order,” Morrell said at the news conference.

The Military Commissions Act of 2006 established procedures governing the use of military commissions to try alien unlawful enemy combatants engaged in hostilities against the United States for violations of the law of war and other offenses that can be tried by military commission, according to a military commissions fact sheet.

The detention center at Guantanamo Bay has housed nearly 800 suspected terrorists captured in Afghanistan, Iraq and other places since the start of the global war on terrorism that followed the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks on the United States.

About 250 people are being held at Guantanamo today, including Khalid Sheikh Mohammad, the alleged mastermind of the 9/11 attacks.

Posted in GITMO, Joint Chiefs Of Staff, Military, New, Obama, Pentagon, US Forces, War Crimes | Tagged: , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

A Flag Of Truce

Posted by Larry Barnes on January 24, 2009

The lack of outrage from the left and the Muslim world at President Obama’s first war crime is staggering. Under a virtual flag of truce, the strike that killed civilians in Pakistan goes without notice.

Having been elected on promises to negotiate with our enemies and having appointed as US Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, the entire world must have understood that a ceasefire would ensue. Without a formal statement to the contrary, any offensive action would not have been anticipated by belligerents in this conflict. No one would reasonably believe that hostilities would continue unabated, a virtual flag of truce.

Without any doubt the authorization for the attack in Pakistan would have to have come from the White House. I am sure we can expect continued treachery from this administration and silence from the left.

Posted in Afghanistan, Harry Reid, Military, Obama, United Nations, War Crimes | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

 
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