Body Of War

As a sidebar to Jim's post below(originally submitted 2008-03-22 01:19:15), steal your hearts and read The New Yorker article on Abu Ghraib -- cho

Last night, 3-21-08, on the PBS Bill Moyers Journal, Bill talked
with Phil Donahue and Ellen Spiro on the true cost of war and their documentary, BODY OF WAR

Photobucket The filmmakers talk about Iraq war veteran Tomas Young who was shot and paralyzed less than a week into his tour of duty. Three years in the making, BODY OF WAR tells the poignant tale of the young man’s journey from joining the service after 9/11 to fight in Afghanistan, to living with devastating wounds after being deployed to Iraq instead.

The official site for the documentary includes behind-the-scenes photos, video and a listing of showings in the U.S.

In case you didn't know about this weeks show, or missed it or part of it, you can view part one here followed by part two here

You can also find a link to the transcript and much more.

Especially this:

Photobucket Tomas Young worked with musician Eddie Vedder on an album to accompany BODY OF WAR.

Visit the Web site for the album and then head over to the blog to tell us about your favorite protest songs.


When you enter the Album Website you will listen to the Documentary Track Theme Song No More by Eddie Vedder and Ben Harper

After viewing the Journals show, and the Documentary site as well as the Album site, a Re-Visit, or first visit, to War Comes Home - Winter Soldiers - Iraq and Afganistan would be in order! As well as a Visit to The Real News Network Iraq Page to view a number of the Testimonies from 'Winter Soldier 2008' as well as newly added video's about Iraq.

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GI death toll in Iraq nears 4,000
Three U.S. soldiers die in Iraq, toll nears 4,000

The three deaths, which brought the number of U.S. soldiers killed since the U.S.-led invasion in 2003 to 3,996, came just days after U.S. President George W. Bush said the United States was on track to victory in Iraq.

Video: A psychic Dr. Zbigniew Brzezinski

“ Every war, when viewed from the undistorted perspective of life's sanctity, is a "civil war" waged by humanity against itself."

- Daisaku Ikeda

"The wise man points to the stars and the fool sees only the finger - and discusses it 24/7 on cable."

The New Yorker article (by Philip Gourevitch and Errol Morris) this week on Sabrina Harman "the woman behind the camera," includes several chilling details about ordinary folks get twisted by the leaders who are entrusted to make sound decisions.

And, if we want to focus on obscene coverups, how about this one, instead of all the frothing about Obama or Clinton?

Jamadi’s C.I.A. interrogator has never been charged with a crime. But Sabrina Harman was. As a result of the pictures she took and appeared in at Abu Ghraib, she was convicted by court-martial, in May of 2005, of conspiracy to maltreat prisoners, dereliction of duty, and maltreatment, and sentenced to six months in prison, a reduction in rank, and a bad-conduct discharge. Megan Ambuhl, Javal Davis, Chip Frederick, Charles Graner, and Jeremy Sivits were among the handful of other soldiers who, on account of the photographs, were also sentenced to punishments ranging from a reduction in rank and a loss of pay to ten years in prison. The only person ranked above staff sergeant to face a court-martial was cleared of criminal wrongdoing. No one has ever been charged for abuses at the prison that were not photographed.

Originally, Harman’s charges included several counts pertaining to her pictures of Jamadi, but these were never brought to trial. The pictures constituted the first public evidence that the man had been killed during an interrogation at Abu Ghraib, and Harman said, “They tried to charge me with destruction of government property, which I don’t understand. And then maltreatment for taking the photos of a dead guy. But he’s dead. I don’t know how that’s maltreatment. And then altering evidence for removing the bandage from his eye to take a photo of it and then I placed it back. When he died, they cleaned him all up and then stuck the bandages on. So it’s not really altering evidence. They had already done that for me. But in order to make the charges stick they were going to have to bring in the photos, which they didn’t want, because obviously they covered up a murder and that would just make them look bad. So they dropped all the charges pertaining to the guy in the shower.

This last night and had to stop, waiting till blood pressure drops a tad to go back!

“ Every war, when viewed from the undistorted perspective of life's sanctity, is a "civil war" waged by humanity against itself."

- Daisaku Ikeda

"The wise man points to the stars and the fool sees only the finger - and discusses it 24/7 on cable."

We've known for two years about Sanchez's directions... and one of the points of the article is that the 372 didn't have the training or the experience -- and thus were perfect tools.

Although they did not know it at the time, the lack of experience and training in handling prisoners in wartime made the soldiers of the 372nd ideally suited to Abu Ghraib, where almost nothing was run according to military doctrine.


The Abu Ghraib rules, promulgated by Lieutenant General Ricardo Sanchez, the commander of ground forces in Iraq, elaborated on the interrogation rules for Guantánamo Bay, which had been issued by Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld; they were designed to create far more license than restriction for interrogators who sought to break prisoners. The M.P.s at Abu Ghraib were enlisted as enforcers of such practices as sleep deprivation, sexual humiliation, sensory disorientation, and the imposition of physical and psychological pain. They never received a standard operating procedure to define what was required and what was allowed, but were repeatedly instructed simply to follow the guidance of Military Intelligence officers. An orthodox standard operating procedure leaves nothing to the imagination, and as Megan Ambuhl settled into her job it occurred to her that the absence of a code was the code at Abu Ghraib. “They couldn’t say that we broke the rules because there were no rules,” she said.

“ Every war, when viewed from the undistorted perspective of life's sanctity, is a "civil war" waged by humanity against itself."

- Daisaku Ikeda

"The wise man points to the stars and the fool sees only the finger - and discusses it 24/7 on cable."

Another comment from this week's The New Yorker by David Denby in his review...

Dilawar, a taxi-driver, was arrested, along with three of his passengers, after he was accused of driving the getaway car in a raid against an American base. It later emerged that the Afghan who made the charge against him was actually the one involved in planning the raid. Gibney tells us that only seven per cent of the prisoners in Guantánamo were captured by American and Coalition forces. In Afghanistan, most of the detainees were turned over by Afghans friendly to the Americans—members of the Northern Alliance or local police and the like. Some of these people may have had grudges against those they named. It is not known why Dilawar was accused, but, as his tormentors admit, it became clear before the end of the interrogation—during which he was hung up by his arms and repeatedly struck on the legs—that he was innocent. They kept hitting him, however. They all took turns.