Will Trump pardon Cheney’s Iraq war scandal’s Libby?

This video from the USA says about itself:

Fair Game: “Fair Game” Director Talks Plamegate Scandal

2 December 2010

On Thursday’s “Washington Unplugged”, CBS News chief political consultant Marc Ambinder was joined by Doug Liman, director of “Fair Game”, the real life tale of exposed CIA operative Valerie Plame.

USA: TRUMP REPORTEDLY PLANS TO PARDON SCOOTER LIBBY The former chief of staff to Vice President Dick Cheney was convicted of perjury and obstruction of justice after a leak that disclosed a CIA agent’s name. [HuffPost]

That CIA agent was Valerie Plame. Cheney and Libby outed her as revenge for her debunking of their lie that Iraq was supposedly buying uranium from Niger to make weapons of mass destruction; a lie which the Bush-Cheney administration intended to use as pretext for starting the Iraq war. This is called the Plamegate scandal.

UPDATE: meanwhile, Trump has pardoned Libby. Joe Wilson Reacts To Scooter Libby Pardon: ‘Trump Is A Vile And Despicable Individual’. The former ambassador and his wife, former CIA agent Valerie Plame, were at the center of the Libby case. She says Trump’s basis for the pardon is “simply false”: here.


Abu Ghraib, Iraq torture for complaining about garbage

This 28 March 2018 video says about itself:

Ex Abu Ghraib Prisoner Speaks Out On Abuse

This is the man under the hood… Warning: Some viewers may find this content distressing.

Translated from Dutch NOS TV, 29 March 2018:

The man from the infamous Abu Ghraib photo: I still can not have a bath

He is one of the most famous former prisoners of the infamous Iraqi Abu Ghraib prison. Not because of any crimes or his punishment, but because of the inhumane photo taken of him in 2003.

In the picture, Ali Shallal al-Qaisi can be seen standing on a box, wrapped in a black robe, with a hood over his head and electrical wires on his hands.

He was tortured by prison guards and he was not the only one. In 2004, numerous photographs were published of the horrors that took place in the prison, managed by US American soldiers. Notorious is also the picture on which soldier Lynndie England has a prisoner on a leash.

Al-Qaisi recently spoke about the torture with the news website Middle East Eye. He tells how the American soldiers hanged him, electrocuted him and urinated all over him. “They grabbed a broomstick, broke it in half and penetrated my genitals, it caused bleeding and necessitated operations”, he says in the video.

Fifteen years after his imprisonment, Al-Qaisi is still heavily traumatized. “I can not have a bath in my bathroom, because that reminds me of waterboarding. I still have nightmares.”

In an earlier interview Al-Qaisi told about the reason for his imprisonment. He claims to have complained in 2003 about garbage that the US military dumped in Iraq. After his story appeared in the local media, he was arrested and the horror started.

Complaining about garbage … how dares he! That definitely proves he was a terrorist [sarcasm off]. Just like people complaining about garbage in the present hysterical atmosphere in NATO countries are all terrorists, and/or Russian spies! [sarcasm off]

Bush’s Iraq invasion, 15 years later

This 20 March 2018 video from the USA says about itself:

“It Was A Crime”: 15 Years After U.S. Invasion, Iraqis Still Face Trauma, Destruction & Violence

It was 15 years ago today when the U.S. invaded Iraq on the false pretense that Iraqi President Saddam Hussein was hiding weapons of mass destruction.

The attack came despite worldwide protest and a lack of authorization from the United Nations Security Council. At around 5:30 a.m. in Baghdad on March 20, 2003, air raid sirens were heard as the U.S. invasion began.

The fighting has yet to end, and the death toll may never be known. Conservative estimates put the Iraqi civilian death toll at 200,000. But some counts range as high as 2 million.

In 2006, the British medical journal Lancet estimated 600,000 Iraqis died in just the first 40 months of the war. The U.S. has also lost about 4,500 soldiers in Iraq. Just last week, seven U.S. servicemembers died in a helicopter crash in western Iraq near the Syrian border.

The war in Iraq has also destabilized much of the Middle East. Former United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan and others have directly blamed the U.S. invasion of Iraq for the rise of ISIS.

We speak to the Iraqi-French sociologist Zahra Ali, who teaches at Rutgers University; Matt Howard, co-director of About Face: Veterans Against the War, the organization formerly known as Iraq Veterans Against the War; and Sami Rasouli, founder and director of the Muslim Peacemaker Teams in Iraq.

This 20 March 2018 video from the USA says about itself:

15 Years of Mass Destruction in Iraq

On the 15th anniversary of “Operation Iraqi Freedom”, CODEPINK‘s Medea Benjamin and scholar Sabah Alnasseri discuss the war that killed hundreds of thousands of Iraqi civilians and more than 4,500 American troops–and that changed Iraq and the Middle East forever.

‘HOW DECADES OF U.S. WAR IN IRAQ SHAPED — AND SCATTERED — ONE FAMILY’ “‘I used to be okay,’ said Hilda Simonian, who regularly suffers from paranoia and flashbacks 20 years after reaching safety in Canada.” [HuffPost]

By a margin of 2 to 1, Americans now say 15 years after the Iraq War that it was a mistake.

Fifteen years ago today, on the night of March 20-21, 2003, the armed forces of the United States and Great Britain began an illegal and unprovoked invasion of Iraq, a country of 26 million people. As bombs and missiles began to rain down on Iraq’s cities, and tanks and armored vehicles crossed the border from Kuwait, US President George W. Bush set in motion a war of aggression whose catastrophic consequences now shape world politics: here.

Torture in Abu Ghraib, Iraq

This video says about itself:

20 March 2018

On the 15th anniversary of the invasion of Iraq, former prisoners at Abu Ghraib recall the torture they suffered.

Iraq solidarity in London, England

This 2012 video says about itself:

February 15th, 2003: The Day the World Said No to War

This is a teaser for a feature length documentary about the biggest protest in history, on a single day. The day in question was 15 February 2003, when in around 800 cities all over the world, up to 30 million people marched to stop the impending war against Iraq. The film is planned for release on the 10th anniversary of the protest, in February 2013.

From Tadhamun Iraqi Women Solidarity in Britain:


Organised by – Tadhamun Iraqi Women Solidarity

“The immorality of the United States and Great Britain’s decision to invade Iraq in 2003, premised on the lie that Iraq possessed weapons of mass destruction, has destabilised and polarised the world to a greater extent than any other conflict in history”.

Archbishop Desmond Tutu’s conviction was shared by millions who demonstrated across the globe against the war on Iraq in 2003 and continues to be shared today.

Fifteen years on, the impact of the illegal US led act of aggression on the Iraqi people that continues to cause endless suffering, has become another footnote in the cycle of violence and war that blights the Middle East to this day.

Remembering Iraq is not only important to the millions of victims who deserve justice, it is necessary – to reclaim the basic principles of peace and respect between nations that is the foundation of our shared humanity and guarantee we can all live in a future devoid of the scourge of war.

These are the aims behind our launch of the initiative: Iraq Solidarity Month (ISM).

It will be a reminder of the crimes committed in dismantling a state, society and culture so that they are not repeated.  It is also a celebration of Iraq’s history, resistance and aspiration for peace based on equality and justice.

At: SOAS Alumni Lecture Theatre (S) ALT Paul Webley Wing (Senate House North Block) SOAS University of London, 10 Thornhaugh Street, Russell Square, London WC1H 0XG Map

Date: Thursday 26th April 2018, 7:00 – 10:00 PM


Denis J. Halliday: Head of the Humanitarian Programme in Iraq 1997-98

Ayça Çubukçu: Assistant Professor of Human Rights and Director of the Human Rights Programme at the London School of Economics and Political Science.

Lindsey German:Stop the War convener

Hamza Hamouchene: Algerian activist. Senior Programme Officer – North Africa and West Asia at War on Want

Mike Phipps: Editor of the fortnightly Iraq Occupation Focus e-newsletter.

Victoria Brittan: Journalist and author of several books and plays about the war on terror and Guantánamo Bay.

Haifa Zangana: Iraqi Author – journalist.

Ihsan al Imam: Iraqi musician – Oud player

A U.S. military aircraft has crashed over Iraq.

New Zealand governments’ lies on Iraq war

This video from England is called Historical anti-[Iraq] war protest in London: 15 February 2003.

By Sam Price in New Zealand:

New Zealand governments lied about “non-combat” role in Iraq

2 March 2018

Reports published by Fairfax Media reveal that New Zealand governments, National and Labour party alike, have lied about activities of the New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) in Iraq.

Around 100 New Zealand troops have been stationed in Iraq since May 2015 as part of a joint operation with Australia called Task Group Taji. The current Labour-led government has maintained that it is a strictly non-combat operation to train Iraqi soldiers. However, separate reports by human rights researcher Harmeet Sooden and investigative journalist Jon Stephenson have revealed that NZ soldiers are actively participating in the ongoing US-led war.

After the 2003–2011 US invasion and occupation of Iraq, which killed over a million people, the Obama administration sent US troops back to the country in July 2014, ostensibly to defeat the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), also known as “Daesh”.

In reality, Washington’s aim was to shore up its position in the Middle East. It has supported a war for regime change in Syria, a Russian ally, in an alliance with Islamist militias and Kurdish forces. Over 85,000 Iraqi and 100,000 Syrian civilians have been killed in the past seven years, and an estimated 11 million Syrians have been displaced, producing the worst refugee crisis since World War II.

Sooden’s report, based on government answers to his official information requests, noted that on July 19, 2017, the government expanded the NZDF’s mandate to “provide advise-and-assist support to the Iraqi Army’s North Baghdad Operations Command”. This includes gathering intelligence and planning military actions, as well as “equipping, resupplying and refitting the Iraqi security forces for combat operations”.

Task Group Taji has been gathering biometric data for an intelligence program in which the NZ Army has been involved since at least 2009. Data from this program is available to US intelligence agencies.

Sooden also found that at some point between June 2016 and May 2017 the government authorised expanding the delivery of training to Qayyarah West Airfield without public acknowledgement.

Stephenson, who has reported extensively on New Zealand’s military deployments, revealed that since at least early 2016 NZDF personnel have been secretly stationed at the Combined Air and Space Operations Center (CAOC) in Qatar. CAOC, run by the US Air Force Central Command, involves 20 countries and coordinates air strikes in Iraq and Syria.

Former Pentagon official Paul Buchanan admitted that successive NZ governments’ description of New Zealand troops abroad as “non-combat” was a lie. He said: “In reality, the intelligence and planning role is as central to the kill chain as that of the pilots”.

In a comment published by Fairfax on February 12, Buchanan said “advise and assist … was envisioned from the very beginning of the Defence Force involvement in the anti-Daesh coalition”. He asserted that the government’s secrecy was necessary to protect New Zealand interests from terrorist retaliation, but also to avoid public backlash and “deny participation in potential war crimes”.

Last year, Stephenson co-authored Hit and Run, with Nicky Hager, which revealed that in 2010 NZ Special Air Service (NZSAS) commandos led an attack on two villages in Afghanistan, killing six people, including a three-year-old girl.

A documentary by Fairfax Media described the “bait and hook” tactic used by the NZSAS to terrorise villagers and provoke battles. It also revealed that the army’s so-called Provincial Reconstruction Team was secretly involved in offensive operations.

There is widespread anti-war sentiment in New Zealand, where thousands of people joined worldwide mass protests against the 2003 invasion of Iraq. Every party in parliament, however, supports NZ’s involvement in Iraq.

The Labour Party and its coalition partners, New Zealand First and the Greens, voted against the former National government’s decision to send soldiers to Iraq in 2015. However, the Labour-led government of Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has not withdrawn the troops.

Former Labour leader Andrew Little feigned concern in 2015 that training would turn into combat operations. Earlier this month Little, now the minister responsible for the intelligence agencies, joined Defence Minister Ron Mark on a visit to Camp Taji, and to NZ troops stationed in Afghanistan.

Mark, a member of the right-wing populist NZ First, told the media that NZ troops were “highly valued” by the Iraqi government and the US-led coalition and that he hoped parliament would extend their deployment.

Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop recently visited New Zealand to encourage the Ardern government to extend the deployment, which is due to end in November. The government has yet to announce its decision.

Ardern defended the actions of NZDF forces in Iraq, telling Fairfax Media on February 12 the soldiers worked within their “mandate”. She admitted she was aware of the gathering of biometric intelligence data, saying this “became standard practice … some years ago for all coalition forces.”

The 1999–2003 Labour government led by Prime Minister Helen Clark sent troops to Afghanistan in 2001, and to Iraq in 2003, after initially opposing the US invasion. NZ First strongly supported the decisions.

The Greens routinely posture as anti-war, but supported troops being sent to Afghanistan, falsely claiming the deployment was “humanitarian”. The party has remained silent on the current government’s support for the Iraq war.

The Labour-NZ First-Green government … will play a critical role in bolstering military ties with the US, which is preparing for war against its nominated strategic rivals, Russia and China.

The government is pressing ahead with plans, drawn up by the National government, to spend billions of dollars to upgrade military planes and frigates. The Defence Force is continuing a recruitment campaign and there are growing calls from the media and think tanks for greater military spending.

In October, the anti-Asian xenophobic NZ First decided to form a coalition government with Labour, rather than the National Party, after US ambassador Scott Brown publicly criticised then-National Party Prime Minister Bill English for failing to fully endorse President Donald Trump’s threat to rain “fire and fury” on North Korea.

To align New Zealand with the drive to war, the government and much of the media are engaged in a witch-hunt against alleged Chinese “influence” in New Zealand politics. Ardern has ordered the Security Intelligence Service to investigate the accusations of Chinese “interference” made by NATO-funded academic Anne-Marie Brady, and echoed by NZ First.