British forces torturing Iraqi prisoners. High level, not ‘bad apples’

This 2007 video from the USA is called Shocking Stories of Abu Ghraib Prisoners.

From British weekly Socialist Worker:

British Army command ‘sanctioned prisoner abuse’

The high command of the British Army officially sanctioned the hooding and mistreatment of Iraqi prisoners, a court martial has been told.

The claims were made by a witness in the court martial of seven soldiers charged in relation to the abuse and ill treatment of nine Iraqis in Basra in 2003.

Major Antony Royce told the court that he was instructed by those higher up the chain of command in Basra to use “conditioning techniques”, including putting prisoners in stress positions and hooding them, to prepare detainees for “tactical questioning”.

Royce told the court that he was told by Major Mark Robinson, a brigade intelligence adviser, to “condition” prisoners.

British attack in Basra: here.

British brutality in Iraq here.

Tom Hayden on Iraq war: here.

Botero and Abu Ghraib painting

13 thoughts on “British forces torturing Iraqi prisoners. High level, not ‘bad apples’

  1. Dear friends,

    This month’s elections here in the States have created the biggest opportunity in years for a new direction in Iraq. The shake-up in Washington means public opinion, here and around the globe, can play a huge roll in shaping what comes next—if we act quickly.

    Our friends at the Ceasefire Campaign have launched an urgent initiative to show American and British leaders that people all over the world are calling for a peaceful solution in Iraq. They’re aiming to gather 100,000 signatures, and they’ll publish the total in major US and UK newspapers at the end of the week.

    Will you add your voice? Learn more and sign up here:


    –Eli Pariser
    Tuesday, November 22nd 2006

    P.S. Here’s a note from the Ceasefire Campaign with some more detail:

    Dear friends,

    The winds of political change are sweeping the United States. This month, the American people voted overwhelmingly to reject President Bush’s war in Iraq and the key architect of the war, US military chief Donald Rumsfeld, announced his resignation. This is the perfect time for a global public outcry to finally end this disastrous war.

    To seize this opportunity, we are running an ad campaign in US and UK papers calling upon the US-led coalition to accept a larger role for the international community in finding a diplomatic solution, and a phased withdrawal of all its troops from Iraq.

    So far, almost 50,000 citizens from over 100 countries have signed on to the campaign—we need 100,000 signatures THIS WEEK so that our next round of ads can report a rising wave of global support. Please tell all your friends and family, and click below to the see the ad and endorse its call to action:


  2. *Lessons from the Vietnam War*

    Keith Olbermann responds to Bush’s comparison between Vietnam and Iraq

    by Keith Olbermann
    Anchor, ”Countdown’
    Nov 20, 2006

    It is a shame and it is embarrassing to us all when President Bush
    travels 8,000 miles only to wind up avoiding reality again.

    And it is pathetic to listen to a man talk unrealistically about
    Vietnam, who permitted the “Swift-Boating” of not one but two American
    heroes of that war, in consecutive presidential campaigns.

    But most importantly — important beyond measure — his avoidance of
    reality is going to wind up killing more Americans.

    And that is indefensible and fatal.

    Asked if there were lessons about Iraq to be found in our experience in
    Vietnam, Mr. Bush said that there were, and he immediately proved he had
    no clue what they were.

    “One lesson is,” he said, “that we tend to want there to be instant
    success in the world, and the task in Iraq is going to take a while.”

    “We’ll succeed,” the president concluded, “unless we quit.”

    If that’s the lesson about Iraq that Mr. Bush sees in Vietnam, then he
    needs a tutor.

    Or we need somebody else making the decisions about Iraq.

    Mr. Bush, there are a dozen central, essential lessons to be derived
    from our nightmare in Vietnam, but “we’ll succeed unless we quit,” is
    not one of them.

    The primary one — which should be as obvious to you as the latest
    opinion poll showing that only 31 percent of this country agrees with
    your tragic Iraq policy — is that if you try to pursue a war for which
    the nation has lost its stomach, you and it are finished. Ask Lyndon

    The second most important lesson of Vietnam, Mr. Bush: If you don’t have
    a stable local government to work with, you can keep sending in
    Americans until hell freezes over and it will not matter. Ask Vietnamese
    Presidents Diem or Thieu.

    The third vital lesson of Vietnam, Mr. Bush: Don’t pretend it’s
    something it’s not. For decades we were warned that if we didn’t stop
    “communist aggression” in Vietnam, communist agitators would infiltrate
    and devour the small nations of the world, and make their insidious way,
    stealthily, to our doorstep.

    The war machine of 1968 had this “domino theory.”

    Your war machine of 2006 has this nonsense about Iraq as “the central
    front in the war on terror.”

    The fourth pivotal lesson of Vietnam, Mr. Bush: If the same idiots who
    told Lyndon Johnson and Richard Nixon to stay there for the sake of
    “peace With honor” are now telling you to stay in Iraq, they’re probably
    just as wrong now, as they were then … Dr. Kissinger.

    And the fifth crucial lesson of Vietnam, Mr. Bush — which somebody
    should’ve told you about long before you plunged this country into Iraq
    — is that if you lie your country into a war, your war, your presidency
    will be consigned to the scrap heap of history.

    Consider your fellow Texan, sir.

    After Kennedy’s assassination, Lyndon Johnson held the country together
    after a national tragedy, not unlike you did. He had lofty goals and
    tried to reshape society for the better. And he is remembered for
    Vietnam, and for the lies he and his government told to get us there and
    keep us there, and for the Americans who needlessly died there.

    As you will be remembered for Iraq, and for the lies you and your
    government told to get us there and keep us there, and for the Americans
    who have needlessly died there and who will needlessly die there

    This president has his fictitious Iraqi WMD, and his lies — disguised as
    subtle hints — linking Saddam Hussein to 9/11, and his
    reason-of-the-week for keeping us there when all the evidence for at
    least three years has told us we need to get as many of our kids out as
    quickly as possible.

    That president had his fictitious attacks on Navy ships in the Gulf of
    Tonkin in 1964, and the next thing any of us knew, the Senate had voted
    88-2 to approve the blank check with which Lyndon Johnson paid for our
    trip into hell.

    And yet President Bush just saw the grim reminders of that trip into
    hell: the 58,000 Americans and millions of Vietnamese killed; the 10,000
    civilians who’ve been blown up by landmines since we pulled out; the
    genocide in the neighboring country of Cambodia, which we triggered.

    Yet these parallels — and these lessons — eluded President Bush

    And, in particular, the one over-arching lesson about Iraq that
    should’ve been written everywhere he looked in Vietnam went unseen.

    “We’ll succeed unless we quit”?

    Mr. Bush, we did quit in Vietnam!

    A decade later than we should have, 58,000 dead later than we should
    have, but we finally came to our senses.

    The stable, burgeoning, vivid country you just saw there, is there
    because we finally had the good sense to declare victory and get out!

    The domino theory was nonsense, sir.

    Our departure from Vietnam emboldened no one.

    Communism did not spread like a contagion around the world.

    And most importantly — as President Reagan’s assistant secretary of
    state, Lawrence Korb, said on this newscast Friday — we were only in a
    position to win the Cold War because we quit in Vietnam.

    We went home. And instead it was the Russians who learned nothing from
    Vietnam, and who repeated every one of our mistakes when they went into
    Afghanistan. And alienated their own people, and killed their own
    children, and bankrupted their own economy and allowed us to win the
    Cold War.

    We awakened so late, but we did awaken.

    Finally, in Vietnam, we learned the lesson. We stopped endlessly
    squandering lives and treasure and the focus of a nation on an
    impossible and irrelevant dream, but you are still doing exactly that,
    tonight, in Iraq.

    And these lessons from Vietnam, Mr. Bush, these priceless, transparent
    lessons, writ large as if across the very sky, are still a mystery to

    “We’ll succeed unless we quit.”

    No, sir.

    We will succeed against terrorism, for our country’s needs, toward
    binding up the nation’s wounds when you quit, quit the monumental lie
    that is our presence in Iraq.

    And in the interim, Mr. Bush, an American kid will be killed there,
    probably tonight or tomorrow.

    And here, sir, endeth the lesson.

    Read this at:


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