"To the hell that is Iraq?" New study on deaths.

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Re: Secret killing program is key in Iraq, Woodward says

Postby elfismiles » Tue Sep 09, 2008 12:46 pm

elfismiles wrote:Mobile Labs to Target Iraqis for Death
By Robert Parry / December 13, 2007

Mobile Labs to Target Iraqis for Death

By Robert Parry
December 13, 2007

U.S. forces in Iraq soon will be equipped with high-tech equipment that will let them process an Iraqi’s biometric data in minutes and help American soldiers decide whether they should execute the person or not, according to its inventor.

"A war fighter needs to know one of three things: Do I let him go? Keep him? Or shoot him on the spot?” Pentagon weapons designer Anh Duong told the Washington Post for a feature on how this 47-year-old former Vietnamese refugee and mother of four rose to become a top U.S. bomb-maker.

Though Duong is best known for designing high-explosives used to destroy hardened targets, she also supervised the Joint Expeditionary Forensics Facilities project, known as a “lab in a box” for analyzing biometric data, such as iris scans and fingerprints, that have been collected on more than one million Iraqis.

The labs – collapsible, 20-by-20-foot units each with a generator and a satellite link to a biometric data base in West Virginia – will let U.S. forces cross-check data in the field against information collected previously that can be used to identify insurgents. These labs are expected to be deployed across Iraq in early 2008.

Duong said the next step will be to shrink the lab to the size of a “backpack” so soldiers who encounter a suspect “could find out within minutes” if he’s on a terrorist watch list and should be killed.

Duong justified this biometric-data program as a humanitarian way of singling out “bad guys” for elimination while sparing innocent civilians.

"I don't want My Lai in Iraq," Duong said. "The biggest difficulty in the global war on terror – just like in Vietnam – is to know who the bad guys are. How do we make sure we don't kill innocents?"

In Iraq and Afghanistan, U.S. military units already are operating under loose rules of engagement that allow them to kill individuals who are identified as suspected terrorists or who show the slightest evidence of being insurgents. American forces also have rounded up tens of thousands of Iraqi military-age males, or MAMs, for detention.

During a summer 2007 trip to Iraq, Anthony Cordesman, a military analyst at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, was briefed on U.S. plans to expand the number of Iraqis in American detention by the end of 2008.

“The detainees have risen to over 18,000 and are projected to hit 30,000 (by the U.S. command) by the end of the year and 50,000 by the end of 2008,” Cordesman wrote in his trip report.

The sweeps have enabled the U.S. military to collect biometric data for future use if and when the Iraqis are released back into the general population.

Test Tube

In effect, the Bush administration is transforming Iraq into a test tube for modern techniques of repression, which already include use of night-vision optics on drone aircraft, heat resonance imaging, and firepower that is both deadly and precise.

The new techniques represent a modernization of tactics used in other counterinsurgencies, such as in Vietnam in the 1960s and in Central America in the 1980s.

In Vietnam, U.S. forces planted sensors along infiltration routes for targeting bombing runs against North Vietnamese troops. In Guatemala, security forces were equipped with early laptop computers for use in identifying suspected subversives who would be dragged off buses and summarily executed.

Now, modern technologies are updating these strategies for the 21st century’s “war on terror.”

The U.S. news media mostly has reacted to these developments with gee-whiz enthusiasm, like the Post story about Duong, which breezily depicts her complicated life as a devoted mom whose personal history as a Vietnamese refugee led her to a career developing sophisticated weapons for the U.S. government.

The Post feature article expressed no alarm and no criticism of Duong’s comment about shooting Iraqi suspects “on the spot.” [Washington Post, Dec. 1, 2007]

Similarly, U.S. newspapers have consigned stories about U.S. troops engaging in extrajudicial killings of suspects mostly to pages deep inside the newspapers or have covered the news sympathetically. While some harsh criticism has fallen on trigger-happy Blackwater “security contractors,” U.S. troops have been given largely a free pass.

For instance, no furor arose this fall when the U.S. military, in effect, endorsed claims by members of elite Army sniper units that they have been granted broad discretion in killing any Iraqi who crosses the path of their rifle scopes.

On Nov. 8, a U.S. military jury at Camp Liberty in Iraq acquitted the leader of an Army sniper team in the killings of three Iraqi men south of Baghdad during the early days of the troop “surge” this year.

Staff Sgt. Michael Hensley was found not guilty of murder, though he was convicted of lesser charges that he had planted an AK-47 rifle on one of the dead men and had shown disrespect to a superior officer.

In an e-mail interview with the New York Times, Hensley complained that he should not have even faced a court martial because he was following guidance from two superior officers who wanted him to boost the unit’s kill count.

“Every last man we killed was a confirmed terrorist,” Hensley wrote. “We were praised when bad guys died. We were upbraided when bad guys did not die.” [NYT, Nov. 9, 2007]

Asymmetric Warfare

The case of Army sniper Jorge G. Sandoval Jr., who served under Hensley, also revealed a classified program in which the Pentagon’s Asymmetric Warfare Group encouraged U.S. military snipers in Iraq to drop “bait” – such as electrical cords and ammunition – and then shoot Iraqis who pick up the items, according to evidence in the Sandoval case. [Washington Post, Sept. 24, 2007]

(Like Hensley, Sandoval was acquitted of murder but convicted of a lesser charge, the planting of copper wire on one of the slain Iraqis to make it look as if the dead man were involved in making explosive devices.)

Another case of a targeted killing of a suspected insurgent surfaced at a military court hearing at Fort Bragg, North Carolina, in mid-September. Two U.S. Special Forces soldiers took part in the execution of an Afghani who was suspected of heading an insurgent group.

As described at the hearing, Staffel and Anderson were leading a team of Afghan soldiers when an informant told them where a suspected insurgent leader was hiding. The U.S.-led contingent found a man believed to be Nawab Buntangyar walking outside his compound near the village of Hasan Kheyl.

While the Americans kept their distance out of fear the suspect might be wearing a suicide vest, the man was questioned about his name and the Americans checked his description against a list from the Combined Joint Special Operations Task Force Afghanistan, known as “the kill-or-capture list.”

Concluding that the man was insurgent leader Nawab Buntangyar, Staffel gave the order to shoot, and Anderson – from a distance of about 100 yards away – fired a bullet through the man’s head, killing him instantly.

The soldiers viewed the killing as “a textbook example of a classified mission completed in accordance with the American rules of engagement,” the International Herald Tribune reported. “The men said such rules allowed them to kill Buntangyar, whom the American military had designated a terrorist cell leader, once they positively identified him.” [IHT, Sept. 17, 2007]

According to evidence at the Fort Bragg proceedings, an earlier Army investigation had cleared the two soldiers because they had been operating under “rules of engagement” that empowered them to kill individuals who have been designated “enemy combatants,” even if the targets were unarmed and presented no visible threat.

In effect, Duong’s mobile labs would streamline the process for identifying suspected insurgents like Buntangyar.

Rather than relying on physical descriptions, U.S. forces could scan a suspect’s eyes or check his fingerprints -- and instantaneously cross-check it with data stored in West Virginia -- before deciding, in Duong’s words, "Do I let him go? Keep him? Or shoot him on the spot?”

[For more on this topic, see Consortiumnews.com’s “Bush’s Global Dirty War” and “Iraq’s Laboratory of Repression.”]

Robert Parry broke many of the Iran-Contra stories in the 1980s for the Associated Press and Newsweek. His latest book, Neck Deep: The Disastrous Presidency of George W. Bush, was written with two of his sons, Sam and Nat, and can be ordered at neckdeepbook.com. His two previous books, Secrecy & Privilege: The Rise of the Bush Dynasty from Watergate to Iraq and Lost History: Contras, Cocaine, the Press & 'Project Truth' are also available there. Or go to Amazon.com

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Postby Foote Hertz » Tue Sep 09, 2008 1:14 pm

Probably a "dark side" First Earth Battalion-type effort has borne lethal fruit. Death by just thinking about it. They blow'd up real good.

I'll take memetic warfare for one thousand. I imagine that micro-swarms will perform more on the buggy side.
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Postby FourthBase » Tue Sep 09, 2008 1:32 pm

But seriously, think about the tactical realities of warfare and ask yourself what could really change things so drastically.

What might actually exist may not even being really used over there?
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Meme-reversing November 22="assassination stops violenc

Postby Hugh Manatee Wins » Tue Sep 09, 2008 1:33 pm

Bob Woodward: top-secret Naval Intelligence Agent

ONI Woodward is killing and torturing three birds with one stone:
1) interfering with a dangerous meme about who killed JFK and why
2) bolstering McCain's line about the 'surge' being successful.
3) validating US 'counter-insurgency' violence and atrocity

1) November 22 will be the 45th anniversary of Vietnam I's rapid increase in violence due to one assassination.
Because JFK had begun the US withdrawal from Vietnam just before the CIA killed him.
So uber-spook, Naval Intelligence Officer Bob Woodward is cleverly viral marketing a meme-reversal of "assassination" during Vietnam II to mean "reduction in violence."

2) Of course the morality of US violence is being affirmed by spook Woodward during (s)election season 2008 when, as in other rituals, the values and beliefs of the ruling classes are reaffirmed. McCain has been the walking talking embodiment of all post-Vietnam memes applied to the Warfare State - US as victim, US as survivor, US as world police.

3) It has long been a goal of military-intelligence to validate in the eyes of the public the moral cost-benefit of all those horrible counter-insurgency programs to decapitate social groups/movements using surveillance, harassment, torture, and murder like-
Operation Condor
Operation Phoenix
Operation CHAOS
Last edited by Hugh Manatee Wins on Tue Sep 09, 2008 1:56 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Fat Lady Singing » Tue Sep 09, 2008 1:39 pm

Wow, I'm learning a lot today. For some reason, I had this notion that soldiers killed enemy soldiers in the heat of battle, when being fired upon.

I'm being only a little sarcastic... I had hoped the situation hadn't sunk quite so far, so that now soldiers are executing people in cold blood.

Apparently, this is no big deal. Am I an oddball for thinking this is really heinous? I mean, is this just routine in times of war? Dunno, sounds like the Nazis to me.

I'm reminded of a skit from That Mitchell and Webb Look. A Nazi officer studies his cap for a while, contemplates the skull logo on its brim, and arrives at the conclusion that they must be "the baddies." Wonder if our troops ever feel that way?
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Manhattan Project

Postby doctorgonzo » Tue Sep 09, 2008 1:49 pm

Hey all,
Tangent alert... but I got to thinking if they had this
http://www.guardian.co.uk/science/2008/ ... alresearch
in a backpack, and it worked....
Well it would seem likely that 80-90% of actionable intelligence would come from a system of these.
And it would definitely qualify as comparable to the Manhattan project......
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Postby Foote Hertz » Tue Sep 09, 2008 1:57 pm

Well it would seem likely that 80-90% of actionable intelligence would come from a system of these.

Isn't it likely that a shrewd operator could defeat this sort of scanning by visualizing green fields and puppies etc, something akin to the anus-clench toe-curl lie detector work-around?
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Postby JackRiddler » Tue Sep 09, 2008 2:32 pm


Thanks everyone.

To me the verdict is now more or less clear.

Of course Woodward is a propagandist and, on occasion, an obedient delivery man.

Whether or not he is lying (or even knows he is lying), whether or not the new "technique" actually exists and was actually used, we can still figure out the most important thing he is saying:

In the tradition of its El Salvador and "Phoenix" projects, the US military oversaw and/or directly conducted the death-squad massacre of thousands, possibly tens of thousands of Iraqi citizens. In the process, a substantial proportion of the insurgents and their supporters were killed without mercy.

The killing was no doubt both: largely indiscriminate, and justified as highly precise and just, conducted scientifically. Woodward's partial revelation is helping to provide the justification.

The "Manhattan Project" part probably means that, at least in Woodward's telling, the massacre was conducted according to a new system or algorithm. There was some manner of scientific selection of the targets and victims. (I choose the word "selection" deliberately). I would guess an unprecedented combination of technologies was deployed. Some of these might have been used in battle conditions for the first time. They may have included total micro-level surveillance systems, biometrics, and/or microwave or other remote-type tactical weaponry.

Again, this in turn provided the justification for whatever massacre was in fact conducted, regardless of how indiscriminate or "precise" it actually was. (Also regardless of whether US forces have the right to kill anyone in a country they invaded in an aggressive, unprovoked war; they do not.)

Underlying Woodward's talk of a "Manhattan Project," this is what seems to be so breathtaking to him: the triumph of the will to kill.
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Postby Nordic » Tue Sep 09, 2008 2:44 pm

http://www.iht.com/articles/reuters/200 ... LDIERS.php

U.S. soldiers say they executed Iraqis

Published: August 27, 2008

WASHINGTON: Three U.S. soldiers killed four handcuffed and blindfolded Iraqi prisoners with pistol shots on the bank of a Baghdad canal last year, the New York Times reported on Wednesday.

Sergeant First Class Joseph P. Mayo, the platoon sergeant, and Sergeant Michael P. Leahy Jr., Company D's senior medic and an acting squad leader, made sworn statements in January to Army investigators in Schweinfurt, Germany probing the incident, the newspaper reported on its website.

The men each described killing one of the Iraqi detainees, as directed by First Sergeant John E. Hatley, according to the statements. Hatley shot two other detainees with a pistol in the back of the head, Mayo and Leahy told investigators, according to the NYT.

U.S. soldiers cannot harm enemy combatants once they are disarmed and in custody, the NYT said.

A spokesman for the U.S. Army in Europe declined to comment, saying he could not speculate on any future legal action.
Today on IHT.com

David Court, the lawyer in Germany named by the NYT as representing Hatley, was not immediately reachable.

According to Leahy's statement, cited by the NYT, Army officials directed Hatley's convoy to release the men because there was insufficient evidence to detain them.

"First Sergeant Hatley then made the call to take the detainees to a canal and kill them," as retribution for the deaths of two soldiers from the unit, Leahy said in his statement.

"So the patrol went to the canal, and First Sergeant, Sgt. First Class Mayo and I took the detainees out of the back of the Bradley (fighting vehicle), lined them up and shot them," he added, according to The Times. "Then we pushed the bodies into the canal and left."

After the men were killed, Hatley told Leahy and Mayo to remove the Iraqis' bloody blindfolds and plastic handcuffs, according to the newspaper. The three soldiers then shoved the bodies into the canal and drove back to their combat outpost, the paper said.

No charges have been filed against Hatley, Mayo or Leahy -- all from Company D, First Battalion, Second Infantry, 172nd Infantry Brigade.

However, four other soldiers have been charged with conspiracy to commit premeditated murder relating to an incident that occurred last year in Baghdad, the U.S. Army in Europe said in a statement last month.

A hearing in that case opened on Tuesday and is still going on in the southern German town of Vilseck, the U.S. Army spokesman said on Wednesday.

So we're already just executing people over there, whenever we feel like it.
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Postby Luposapien » Tue Sep 09, 2008 2:50 pm

Nordic wrote:So we're already just executing people over there, whenever we feel like it.

Sounds like a fairly concise definition of US foreign policy in general.
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Postby 8bitagent » Tue Sep 09, 2008 5:53 pm

When people realize how many Panamanians were murdered by Poppy Bush in 1989 by exotic stealth ray weapons(turned into jelly), when people realize how much time, R&D and money has been put into horrifying "wonder weapons"...

Youd realize Woodward and his contacts arent bluffing.

If the US uses horrifying weapons that wipe out whole villages(along with a couple errant "terrorists") in Iraq, the right wing will say "whatever it takes"

If the US uses these horror weapons in Afghanistan, wiping out villages, the left in America will say "bout time theyre doing something there!"
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Postby Wombaticus Rex » Tue Sep 09, 2008 6:09 pm

^^Do I even have to say it...probably do....any and all documentation on stealth ray jellification weapons would be much appreciated.
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Postby elfismiles » Tue Sep 09, 2008 6:45 pm

Wombaticus Rex wrote:^^Do I even have to say it...probably do....any and all documentation on stealth ray jellification weapons would be much appreciated.

Not much found with search terms: panama invasion stealth ray jellification weapons or variants thereof.

Not sure if its actually covered in the links below but ...

They have had those for quite some time now. There are reports of them being used during the Panama invasion. Of course the military denied it, but numerous eye witness and photographs of victims indicated that the military was using something "new." This only confirms those accusations.

The Panama Deception (1992)
http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid ... 3710&hl=en

The Empowerment Project::The Panama Deception

Democracy Now! | "The Panama Deception": The Untold Story of the December 1989 U.S. Invasion of Panama
http://www.democracynow.org/2003/6/13/t ... told_story

http://www.gigposters.com/forums/anythi ... y-gun.html


'High tech space weapons are in use. The U.S. and Israeli military are lying about them. They're well established in the public record.' Video shows the Mobile Tactical High Energy Laser (THEL)& the mobile version (MTEL). Lasers have been weaponized since 1971, at least. See Col. Doug Beason's glorification of ABL (airborn lasers), ADS (active denial systems), RME (relay mirrors) and SSL (solid state lasers) in his book The Electron Bomb: How America's New Directed Energy Weapons Will Change the Way Future Wars Will Be Fought (2005). Vid calls attention to the prize-winning documentary Panama Deception. The GHW Bush invasion of Panama in Dec 1989 was used as a testing ground for laser-maser-crazer weapons. Prof. Fitrakis spoke at the Madison 9/11 conference hosted by Prof. Jim Fetzer, Aug 5, 2007 filmed by Josh Harvey of Snowshoefilms (pt. 2 of 2). Scenes from Star Wars in Iraq and Panama Deception. Music thanks to Alistair Hulett, 'Shot Down in Flames'. (see Joe Friendly (youtube) for unedited version). See our video on youtube,'Can You Help Us Please?' for pictures of some of the advanced Israel-US weapons used on Lebanese civilians in July 2006.

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Postby Wombaticus Rex » Tue Sep 09, 2008 7:16 pm

^^Thanks, elfis! I figured that's what he was referring to, but the "turned to jelly" is an angle/claim I'd never seen...I was rather under the impression that these rays simply burn the shit out of people.

Two good recent Cryptogon reads:

Mobile laser cannon: http://cryptogon.com/?p=3619

Long-range blowtorch -- probably the same tested in Panama, the ultimately "plausible deniability" weapon: http://cryptogon.com/?p=3450
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Postby JackRiddler » Tue Sep 09, 2008 7:26 pm


An incredibly simple sequence occurs to me.

1) Begin with Plan A: carpet bomb, invade, "shock and awe," kill everything that moves, pull down the statue, secure the oil and interior ministries, allow the central symbols of Iraqi identity to be looted and destroyed. Dissolve the army, the only functioning institution.

2) Wait for the people to greet your forces with strewn flowers and happy songs.

3) Iraqi people fail to strew flowers or sing happy songs.

4) The period of waiting and seeing what the occupation will bring passes. As anyone glancingly familiar with history expects, a native insurgency begins.

5) Time for Plan B: foment a "civil war." US intel "predicts" the arrival of an "al-Qaeda" component to the insurgency under the mysterious Zarqawi. This indeed inserts itself into Iraq as a foreign element -- funded through friendly Saudi Arabia -- and proceeds to push irrelevant fundamentalist hate rhetoric... and to bomb the Shia shrines in a series of horrific signature attacks on civilians that foment an irretrievable conflict between Shia and Sunni.

6) Focus entirely on the "al-Qaeda" element in the insurgency, as though it represents 90 percent of the fighters when in fact it's about 1 percent of them. Blame everything that happens on "Zarqawi." Level Fallujah to the ground. "Kill" Zarqawi.

7) Now the Shia brigades turn on the Sunni in earnest. Arm the Shia death squads and insert them into the Interior Ministry.

8) Offer to pay the Sunni insurgents (now besieged by the Shia) to "awaken" their strongholds and join your side. Announce a simultaneous "surge." Oversee ethnic cleansing of Baghdad. Build big walls through the city.

9) Use your "al-Qaeda" infiltrators and the new Sunni allies to completely roll up any Sunni fighter who's not playing the new game. This was how they "killed them all," as Woodward claims Bush said. They probably did kill all fighters who didn't join the "awakening," or who were sucker enough to cooperate in any way with the "al Qaeda" operation.

10) Shia have won the land struggle and control the government, with joint Iranian-US support. (!) Sunni "allies" are on the payroll. Four million people are refugees in other countries. A few hundred thousand are dead. The stuff of future conflict is sown: for a Sunni "re-awakening" in the other direction, for Sadr vs. the government, for Shia vs. the US.

But in the meantime, it looks like success.

11) To help mystify and cover up the above, and to intimidate future enemies, dispatch Woodward to make the claim that the victory was the result of a magic new killing system that entirely wiped out the enemy, a "game changer."
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