tagged w/ War on Iraq
In 2011 the Commission on Wartime Contracting found that between 31 and 60 billion dollars was lost in Iraq to waste, bribery, or fraud. FUN!
And if that doesn't convince you of the war's distastefulness, let me count the other 60 billion reasons that this was a neconservative hatched plot to make crazy money.
DISCLAIMER: THERE MAY BE SOME FACTS IN THIS VIDEO. THEY HAVE ALL BEEN RESEARCHED. I APOLOGIZE IN ADVANCE.
Written, directed, and edited by Francesca Fiorentini
Camera by Patricio Guillamón
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Visit my tumblr site: http://www.laughtonotcry.comIn 2011 the Commission on Wartime Contracting found that between 31 and 60 billion... more
A 22-year-old anti-war activist from Evergreen State College will get $169,000 as part of a settlement with the WState Patrol and two other law-enforcement agencies over allegations that their officers engaged in political spying and harassment on behalf of the U.S. military.A 22-year-old anti-war activist from Evergreen State College will get $169,000 as part... more
After $1.3 billion in government contracts and controversy over the killing of innocent Iraqi civilians, Blackwater Worldwide is moving on. The Washington Post reported this week that Blackwater, the for-profit military company contracted by the Bush government to provide securities services in Iraq, will not have it’s Iraq contract renewed. But the powerful military corporation has no plans to slow down after what has been an extraordinarily profitable decade.
Nation contributor Jeremy Scahill, author of Blackwater: The Rise of the World’s Most Powerful Mercenary Army, discusses the legacy and future of Blackwater Worldwide, including its expansion into hot new markets: Chasing Somalian pirates, and total intelligence gathering.After $1.3 billion in government contracts and controversy over the killing of... more
Reporting from Baghdad -- President Bush looked slightly bemused after he ducked to avoid a shoe hurled at him. Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri Maliki looked mortified, and as the assailant's second shoe came flying Sunday, he did what any gracious host would do: reached out and tried to catch it before it hit his American guest.
Maliki missed, but so did the shoe, landing like the first one with a loud thud against the wall behind the two leaders, who held their ground as other journalists and security officials at a news conference wrestled the shoe-thrower to the ground. Later, Iraqi journalists identified him as Muntather Zaidi, a correspondent for Baghdadiya, a satellite TV channel that broadcasts from Cairo.
Colleagues said Zaidi has done extensive reporting from Baghdad's Sadr City district, the stronghold of anti-U.S. cleric Muqtada Sadr, and was rescued by Sadr's Mahdi Army militia after being abducted by an unidentified group in November 2007.
Zaidi was one of several Iraqi journalists attending the Sunday evening news conference in Baghdad's heavily secured Green Zone. His outburst came without warning as Bush and Maliki prepared to answer questions. The first shoe flew over the heads of other journalists and might have hit Bush square in the face had he not ducked.
"This is a gift from the Iraqis. This is the farewell kiss, you dog," the man said, according to a pool translation.
Seconds later, the journalist hurled his other shoe with similar precision as another Iraqi journalist reached over in an attempt to stop him. "This is from the widows, the orphans and those who were killed in Iraq," he said.
Maliki flung his arm in front of Bush's face, his hand outstretched like a baseball player reaching for a line drive in an attempt to block the flying objectas it sailed over Bush's head.
After being pinned to the ground, the shoe-thrower was dragged out by security guards. Officials from Baghdadiya refused to comment. White House Press Secretary Dana Perino reported suffering a minor eye injury during the melee.
Bush played down the incident.
"All I can report is it is a size 10," he said jokingly.
"So what if a guy threw his shoe at me," the president added, dismissing it as "one way to gain attention."Reporting from Baghdad -- President Bush looked slightly bemused after he ducked to... more
Five Blackwater Worldwide security guards indicted in Washington for the 2007 shooting of Iraqi civilians plan to surrender to the federal authorities Monday in Utah, people close to the case said, setting up a court fight over the trial site.
The case already is shaping up to be a series of contentious legal battles before the guards can even go to trial. By surrendering in Utah, the home state of one of the guards, the men could argue the case should be heard in a far more conservative, pro-gun venue than Washington, some 2,000 miles away.
The five guards, all military veterans, were indicted on manslaughter charges Thursday for their roles in a 2007 shooting in Baghdad that left 17 Iraqi civilians dead. A sixth guard reached a plea deal with prosecutors to avoid a mandatory 30-year prison sentence.
All the people who discussed details of the case spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because the indictment and plea documents remain sealed. They are expected to be made public Monday.
The shooting strained U.S. diplomacy and fueled anti-American sentiment abroad. The Iraqi government has urged the U.S. to prosecute the guards and cheered news of the indictments.
Steven McCool, a lawyer for Blackwater guard and former Marine Donald Ball, confirmed Sunday that his client would surrender in Utah. Ball, a veteran of three tours in Iraq before joining Blackwater, is from West Valley, Utah.
"Donald Ball committed no crime," McCool said. "We are confident that any jury will see this for what it is: a politically motivated prosecution to appease the Iraqi government."
The other guards indicted are Dustin Heard, a former Marine from Knoxville, Tenn.; Evan Liberty, a former Marine from Rochester, N.H.; Nick Slatten, a former Army sergeant from Sparta, Tenn.; and Paul Slough, an Army veteran from Keller, Texas.
It's not uncommon for lawyers to try to get their cases in front of favorable juries, but often it is difficult in criminal cases. GOP Sen. Ted Stevens unsuccessfully tried to move his recent corruption trial to his home state Alaska from the District of Columbia.
The five men were scheduled to surrender to federal marshals in Utah, where they were expected to ask a federal judge to keep the case from moving to Washington.
Prosecutors are expected to argue that crimes committed overseas are normally charged in Washington. They can also argue that documents related to the sixth guard's plea deal have already been filed in Washington.
The Justice Department has not commented on the case.
In addition to manslaughter charges, prosecutors also plan to use an aggressive law calling for mandatory 30-year prison terms for using machine guns to commit violent crimes.
"It would be outrageous to charge Mr. Ball with firearms offenses relating to guns issued by the State Department," McCool said.
The Blackwater guards, hired by the U.S. to guard State Department diplomats in Iraq, carry automatic weapons and drive heavily armored vehicles equipped with turret guns.
The shooting at the heart of the case involved a convoy of those vehicles responding to a car bombing in downtown Baghdad. Entering a busy traffic circle, the convoy opened fire. Witnesses said Blackwater was unprovoked. The company says its guards were ambushed.Five Blackwater Worldwide security guards indicted in Washington for the 2007 shooting... more
By Jeremy Scahill
After more than five years of rampant violence and misconduct carried out by the massive army of private corporate contractors in Iraq--actions that have gone totally unpunished under any system of law--the US Justice Department appears to be on the verge of handing down the first indictments against armed private forces for crimes committed in Iraq. The reported targets of the "draft" indictments: six Blackwater operatives involved in the September 16, 2007, killing of seventeen Iraqi civilians in Baghdad's Nisour Square.
If the Justice Department pursues a criminal prosecution, it would be the first time armed private contractors from the United States face justice.
But that is a very big "if."By Jeremy Scahill
After more than five years of rampant violence and misconduct... more
Ten antiwar Iraq veterans, along with five civilians, pleaded not guilty to charges of disorderly conduct this week in Hempstead, New York. The Hempstead 15, as they've come to be known, were arrested on October 15 for for leading a peaceful protest outside the final presidential debate at Hofstra University . One of the charged veterans, Sgt. Nick Morgan, suffered severe injuries after being forced to the ground and having his face crushed by a police horse. Morgan, visibly shaken after the arraignment, said police officers had violated a number of his constitutional rights in the course of the action. The 24-year-old veteran of the US war in Iraq was among a delegation of Iraq Veterans Against the War (IVAW) who had come to the Presidential debates in Long Island demanding that veterans' concerns be heard during the nationally televised event.Ten antiwar Iraq veterans, along with five civilians, pleaded not guilty to charges of... more
As we approach the fifth anniversary of the invasion of Iraq, hundreds of US veterans of the war say the American military has been covering up widespread civilian killings in that country. As we approach the fifth anniversary of the invasion of Iraq, hundreds of US veterans... more
Army officials and executives of the three companies are planning to meet in the next few weeks to start the complex process of breaking up KBR’s sprawling operations in Iraq.
KBR, previously a subsidiary of Halliburton, once headed by Mr. Cheney, has collected more than $24 billion since the war began. It has 40,000 employees in Iraq and 28,000 more in Afghanistan and Kuwait.
But KBR has come under fire from Congress and Pentagon auditors for complaints ranging from making more than $200 million in excessive charges, including meals never served to soldiers, to delivering unsafe water to American troops to doing little to prevent sexual assaults of its female employees, often by their KBR co-workers.
Army officials acknowledge that they were under intense pressure from Capitol Hill to give KBR some competition, yet leading Democratic lawmakers and other critics say the new contract will merely paper over the fundamental problems that stem from the Pentagon’s heavy dependence on outside contractors in Iraq.
Five companies submitted bids (primarily covering work in Iraq, Kuwait and Afghanistan), and the Army initially awarded contracts to KBR, Fluor and DynCorp last June. But the two losing companies protested, and the Government Accountability Office upheld their protests in October, ruling that the Army had given preferential treatment to the winning companies. The Army then made some adjustments in the contract and announced in April that the same three companies had won again.
Like KBR, DynCorp, based in Falls Church, Va., has had serious problems in past contracting work, including allegations that its employees engaged in sex trafficking in Bosnia while working on a police training contract there in the late 1990s. In addition, government auditors concluded last year that the State Department’s $1.2 billion contract with DynCorp for police training in Iraq was so badly managed that they could not determine exactly what was done for the money.Army officials and executives of the three companies are planning to meet in the next... more