Close Guantanamo torture prison, petition


This video says about itself:

Torture -The Guantanamo Guidebook

28 August 2012

UK’s channel 4 “Guantanamo Handbook” documentary

From Congresswoman Barbara Lee in the USA today:

It’s long past time to close the detention center at Guantanamo Bay, Fellow Progressive.

Indefinite detentions do not promote our democratic ideals and the ongoing use of the U.S. detention center at Guantanamo Bay is an affront to American values. President Obama has asked Congress to work with him to shut it down – join his call for action now.

This is about more than values. Our use of Guantanamo Bay is serving as a recruiting tool for terrorists. Congress’s failure to close Guantanamo is jeopardizing our national security. Americans don’t have to accept this. We need to speak up.

You can join President Obama in asking Congress to advance our values and our security. Add your name to demand action.

Tell Congress: Close Guantanamo Bay!

Obama Administration No Longer Pursuing Executive Order To Shut Down Guantanamo: Report: here.

US Afghan hospital bombing, six months later


This video from the USA says about itself:

White House Fighting Independent Investigation Of Hospital Bombing

7 October 2015

It’s been four days now since the US bombed a Doctors Without Borders hospital in Kunduz, Afghanistan, and the calls for an independent investigation have only grown louder and more insistent in that time. Cenk Uygur and John Iadarola (Think Tank), hosts of the The Young Turks, break it down. Tell us what you think in the comment section below.

By Sophia Jones:

Afghans Haunted By U.S. Strikes On MSF Hospital Want The Truth, Not Money And Apologies

Six months after the attack that killed 42 men, women and children, the U.S. military’s lack of transparency is still hurting Afghans.

03/31/2016 03:24 pm ET | Updated 14 hours ago

ARWAN, Afghanistan — A bullet through the head didn’t kill 9-year-old Amina. Her father, Abdel Qadir, had managed to carry her limp body to the trauma hospital in Kunduz, praying that she would live.

But on Oct. 3, less than a week after surviving a firefight between Afghan forces and Taliban insurgents that had surrounded her home, Amina burned to death in a hospital bed as her father watched helplessly. Her last words were screamed in terrified pain.

“Father! Father!” she wailed as flames consumed her body, Abdel Qadir recalled, weeping.

It’s been nearly six months since a U.S. attack aircraft bombed the Médecins Sans Frontières trauma clinic where Amina was staying. Time has not yielded clarity — there still seem to be more questions than answers. And the U.S. military’s lack of transparency has only compounded people’s mistrust.

According to Gen. John Campbell, the top U.S. general in Afghanistan at the time, what happened in Kunduz was a “tragic but avoidable accident.” MSF, the international medical aid organization that ran the hospital, has described the assault as a potential war crime.

Amina and at least 41 other men, women and children perished in the attack on the clinic, which had been the only hospital of its kind providing free trauma care in northern Afghanistan. And while the bombing happened six months ago, the murky circumstances under which it occurred are still having a chilling effect on medical care in the area.

MSF has said it cannot make a decision about re-opening the trauma hospital until all parties to the conflict can ensure the safety of MSF staff, patients and medical facilities.

“We need assurances that we can work according to our core principles and to international law,” an MSF spokesperson told The WorldPost on Thursday. “Namely, that we can safely treat all people in need, no matter who they are, or for which side they fight.”

As of now, the clinic can only treat a small number of patients, many of them victims wounded in the Kunduz attack. This leaves many Afghans with no choice but to travel to the capital — a trip that can take hours, often via dangerous roads — to find free, high-quality emergency medical care.

Survivors of the Oct. 3 bombing describe a nightmarish scene. The first strike hit the intensive care unit. Doctors, some with severed limbs, bled out in front of colleagues. Others were gunned down as they ran for their lives. Patients died on the operating table mid-surgery. Those who were unable to run — like young Amina, a clever girl who loved computers — were incinerated.

The U.S. military has reportedly responded by reviewing its targeting process, re-training its forces on rules of engagement and disciplining more than a dozen service members — including officers and enlisted personnel, but not generals — who took part in the attack. The service members will not, however, face any criminal charges.

U.S. Central Command has not yet published its investigation into the attack, which is reported to be 3,000 pages or more. The investigation cannot go public until certain material has been redacted, according to Brig. Gen. Wilson Shoffner, chief spokesman for U.S. forces in Afghanistan, who spoke to The WorldPost in Kabul in late January.

The military has ignored multiple calls by MSF and other parties for a truly independent investigation by an outside group, arguing instead that fact-finding efforts carried out by military officers outside the chain of command in Afghanistan would be “thorough and unbiased.”

Basic details are still up for debate. The U.S. military insists the strikes went on for 29 minutes. MSF and survivors say the targeted assault dragged on for at least an hour.

And larger questions remain. …

According to U.S. military statements on the incident, a U.S. Special Forces commander called in the strike, carried out by a powerful AC-130 gunship, at the request of Afghan forces on the ground. U.S. forces did not have eyes on the target before calling in the strikes, the Associated Press reported in November.

They instead placed trust in their Afghan allies who had, just three months earlier, violated international law by raiding that same clinic, shooting in the air and attacking three staff members while allegedly searching for an unarmed, highly ranked al Qaeda patient.

The U.S. military has repeatedly insisted it would not knowingly target the MSF’s clinic, and has said it did not know it was shelling a hospital, even though the trauma center was on the military’s no-strike list and its exact coordinates were no mystery. MSF had sent the coordinates to U.S. forces and NATO allies as recently as Sept. 29 — four days before the bombing.

Frantic calls and texts during the attack from MSF to the Operation Resolute Support headquarters in Kabul proved futile. Thirty minutes after MSF’s initial call for help, at 2:19 a.m., someone at the NATO mission texted back, saying: “I’m sorry to hear that, I still do not know what happened.” When MSF warned that the death toll was growing, the person responded: “I’ll do my best, praying for you all.”

Campbell, the army general, has blamed a deadly combination of unfortunate events for the strike. U.S. forces misidentified the target and launched 69 minutes early without verifying whether the target was on a no-strike list. Technical glitches onboard the AC-130 meant troops could not send or receive electronic messages or video. The aircraft, forced beyond its normal orbit by a missile, could not accurately strike a target.

“Why did nobody take the decision to hold off and say that they weren’t sure?” said Guilhem Molinie, MSF’s representative in Afghanistan. “It questions the capacity of NATO in this country and many other armies to be indiscriminate in the way they conduct warfare and respect the Geneva Conventions.”

Afghan officials, including the acting governor of Kunduz, Hamdullah Danishi, insisted in the days after the bombing that the Taliban had used the compound to launch attacks on Afghan forces, a claim MSF fiercely rejects. …

A dozen MSF staff, surviving civilians, Kunduz residents and family members of patients told The WorldPost they saw no armed gunmen on the hospital grounds at any time before or during the strikes. The clinic had a strict no-weapons policy.

“It’s completely untrue that there were Taliban inside the hospital,” said Dr. Mohammad Omar, an MSF emergency room supervisor who survived the attack.

Just two days before the strikes, Carter Malkasian, a top adviser to the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, reached out to MSF, asking whether there were Taliban “holed up” in the hospital. He was told that while there were no armed combatants inside the compound, there were indeed Taliban patients being treated. Malkasian declined a request by The WorldPost for more information.

MSF staff have, for years, treated people on all sides of the conflict, including patients believed to be high-ranking insurgents.

That leaves many Afghans and medical professionals wondering whether the presence of wounded but unarmed Taliban patients inside the clinic may have prompted the Oct. 3 strike.

The attack has raised concerns over the current U.S. role in Afghanistan, and questions about the presence of special forces now that the United States’ combat mission is formally over. American forces are primary in a “train, advise and assist” capacity, though it seems troops are still finding themselves in active combat situations.

The Kunduz attack is also yet another stain on the U.S. military’s reputation in Afghanistan. Survivors and family of people killed in the bombing still have no closure, no real explanation as to why the attack occurred. And there’s very little confidence among Afghans that such an “accident” won’t happen again.

“The Americans have access to good information,” Abdel Qadir said, sitting cross-legged on the floor of a guesthouse in Parwan, an Afghan city between Kabul and Kunduz, as rain pitter-pattered outside. “Why would they make this mistake?”

As with past combat incidents in Afghanistan and Iraq that led to civilian deaths, the U.S. military has made more than 100 condolence payments to family members of Kunduz victims, according to Shoffner. Some recipients say they’ve received around $6,000 or $7,000 each — the U.S.-determined price of life for a daughter, brother or father wrongfully killed.

A brother of one of the slain MSF doctors told The WorldPost that he refused the money, instead giving it to other families who needed it more. He said he learned of his brother’s death via Facebook, after someone posted a photo of ashes with the caption, “Here is the body of Dr. Osmani.”

But despite the U.S. military’s efforts to remedy the horrific event, Afghans whose lives have been torn apart by the attack demand something far more difficult to come by than scripted apologies and condolence payments — namely, the full truth.

“They killed so many civilians,” said one male Kunduz resident who lives close to the MSF compound. “Most of the people here, their ideas changed of the American people. The people are angry. The Americans have the technology and the information. They can see if there are armed people or not.”

“An apology is not enough,” continued the young man, who asked that his name not be published for security reasons. “I lost four friends — two doctors, one nurse and one student.”

An apology also means nothing to Omar, the ER doctor, who now lives in terror that such an attack will happen again. He’s far from the only one. The Italian-run Emergency Hospital in Lashkar Gah responded to the attack by building a bunker large enough to accommodate staff and patients.

Omar said he remembers the Oct. 3 bombing like it was yesterday. As the attack aircraft unleashed hell outside, the experienced ER doctor thought there was no way he would survive. He called his wife to say goodbye.

“She was crying,” Omar said solemnly. “It was the hardest moment of my life.”

Omar survived because he was in the clinic’s basement, where MSF staff had set up makeshift trauma stations in an attempt to save those they could.

When the sound of the attack aircraft finally died out, people scrambled out from the ruins of the hospital, plumes of smoke still rising as much of the compound burned.

Patients were loaded into ambulances that had come to collect the wounded. Some staff members, including foreigners, were whisked away to the airport. Many local staff had to fend for themselves, seeking shelter in nearby homes and hitching rides with helpful strangers.

But the dead remained. Amina’s body still lay in the ICU. Her parents weren’t able to collect her remains until days later.

“I couldn’t save her,” cried Abdel Qadir, gasping for breath between sobs. “I took her ashes, her skeleton, and gave them to my wife.”

Half a year after the fatal attack, Abdel Qadir is left with a wad of cash from the U.S. military. It does nothing to fix his broken heart. He remains haunted by a simple question: Why did his daughter have to die?

All he can do is pray for Amina, the daughter he couldn’t save twice.

Naiemullah Sangen contributed reporting from Parwan and Kabul.

CIA-armed, Pentagon-armed paramilitaries fight each other in Syria


This video from the USA says about itself:

The Pentagon & CIA Are Arming Different Sides Of The Syrian War

28 March 2016

Syrian militias armed by different parts of the U.S. war machine have begun to fight each other on the plains between the besieged city of Aleppo and the Turkish border, highlighting how little control U.S. intelligence officers and military planners have over the groups they have financed and trained in the bitter five-year-old civil war…

Read more here and here and here.

THE CIA WEAPONS THAT CREATED A BLACK MARKET “Weapons shipped into Jordan by the Central Intelligence Agency and Saudi Arabia intended for Syrian rebels have been systematically stolen by Jordanian intelligence operatives and sold to arms merchants on the black market, according to American and Jordanian officials.” [NYT]

Murdered Berta Cáceres’ daughter on Honduras and the Pentagon


This video from the USA says about itself:

Part 1: Berta Cáceres‘ Daughter: US Military Aid Has Fueled Repression & Violence in Honduras

18 March 2016

Another indigenous environmentalist has been murdered in Honduras, less than two weeks after the assassination of renowned activist Berta Cáceres. Nelson García was shot to death Tuesday after returning home from helping indigenous people who had been displaced in a mass eviction by Honduran security forces.

García was a member of COPINH, the Civic Council of Popular and Indigenous Organizations of Honduras, co-founded by Berta Cáceres, who won the prestigious Goldman Environmental Prize last year for her decade-long fight against the Agua Zarca Dam, a project planned along a river sacred to the indigenous Lenca people.

She was shot to death at her home on March 3. On Thursday, thousands converged in Tegucigalpa for the start of a mobilization to demand justice for Berta Cáceres and an end to what they say is a culture of repression and impunity linked to the Honduran government’s support for corporate interests. At the same time, hundreds of people, most of them women, gathered outside the Honduran Mission to the United Nations chanting “Berta no se murió; se multiplicó – Berta didn’t die; she multiplied.”

We speak with Cáceres’s daughter, Bertha Zúniga Cáceres, and with Lilian Esperanza López Benítez, the financial coordinator of COPINH.

This video is the sequel.

Human rights and indigenous activists took to the streets of Tegucigalpa, Honduras’s capital, Wednesday to demand explanations for the murder of Honduran indigenous rights activist Berta Cáceres and a halt to the rampant killing of activists throughout the country: here.

United States bombs killed more people in Afghan hospital than thought


This video says about itself:

Scenes From Kunduz Hospital in Afghanistan

7 October 2015

This is footage taken at the Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) trauma hospital in Kunduz, Afghanistan, in 2011, 2014 and 2015. The hospital was the only facility of its kind in the northeastern region of the country. It provided cost-free, high level life- and limb-saving trauma care. In 2014, more than 22,000 patients received care at the hospital and more than 5,900 surgeries were performed. MSF treats all people according to their medical needs and does not make any distinctions based on a patient’s ethnicity, religious beliefs or political affiliation.

At the time of the aerial attack on October 3, there were 105 patients and their caretakers in the hospital, alongside more than 80 international and Afghan MSF staff. MSF expresses its sincere condolences to the families and friends of its staff members and patients who have tragically lost their lives in this attack.

MSF calls for State activation of the International Humanitarian Fact-Finding Commission to investigate Afghanistan bombing. Read more here.

Translated from NOS TV in the Netherlands:

MSF/Doctors Without Borders: more deaths in hospital in Kunduz than thought

Today, 06:17

The death toll from the US American bombing of an MSF hospital in Afghanistan is greater than previously thought. The official death toll stood at thirty, but the organization said in a statement that at least 42 people were killed.

Among the dead are 14 members of MSF, 24 patients and four relatives of patients. The bombing was in October. The exact number of victims is only known now because many files were destroyed in the hospital.

Conversations with employees of MSF and survivors show that there were more people in the hospital than was assumed at first. Recently, more human remains were found in the destroyed hospital. Also, a number of injured people brought to other hospitals have died from their injuries.

… The organization previously called for an independent examination.

The New York Times Thursday published a lengthy investigative report based on a probe by the Naval Criminal Investigative Service into the torture and murder of detainees by Navy SEALs in Kalach, Afghanistan in May of 2012. While the official report, obtained by the Times through the Freedom of Information Act, details horrendous accounts of torture, resulting in the death of a detainee, charges against all four SEALs were dropped: here.

How Americans are propagandized about Afghanistan. The Pentagon is again forced to admit that its original claims about an attack were false: here.

THE resurgence of the Taliban in Afghanistan, where they recently mounted a major military operation in Helmand province in the south and where throughout the rest of the country they are increasingly active, is emphatic evidence that Nato’s prolonged military mission there has been a dismal failure: here.