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America on Human Rights (3)

15 June 2010

But here we have another example illustrating how Iran fails to uphold all of its international commitments and to account honestly for its human rights record:

Shining light on what our government and military do is so critical precisely because it forces people to see what is really being done and prevents myth and propaganda from distorting those realities. That's why the administration fights so hard to keep torture photos suppressed, why the military fought so hard here to keep this video concealed (and why they did the same with regard to the Afghan massacre), and why whistle-blowers, real journalists, and sites like WikiLeaks are the declared enemy of the government. The discussions many people are having today -- about the brutal reality of what the U.S. does when it engages in war, invasions and occupation -- is exactly the discussion which they most want to avoid.


But there's a serious danger when incidents like this Iraq slaughter are exposed in a piecemeal and unusual fashion: namely, the tendency to talk about it as though it is an aberration. It isn't. It's the opposite: it's par for the course, standard operating procedure, what we do in wars, invasions, and occupation. The only thing that's rare about the Apache helicopter killings is that we know about it and are seeing what happened on video. And we're seeing it on video not because it's rare, but because it just so happened (a) to result in the deaths of two Reuters employees, and thus received more attention than the thousands of other similar incidents where nameless Iraqi civilians are killed, and (b) to end up in the hands of WikiLeaks, which then published it. But what is shown is completely common. That includes not only the initial killing of a group of men, the vast majority of whom are clearly unarmed, but also the plainly unjustified killing of a group of unarmed men (with their children) carrying away an unarmed, seriously wounded man to safety -- as though there's something nefarious about human beings in an urban area trying to take an unarmed, wounded photographer to a hospital.


A major reason there are hundreds of thousands of dead innocent civilians in Iraq, and thousands more in Afghanistan, is because this is what we do. This is why so many of those civilians are dead. What one sees on that video is how we conduct our wars. That's why it's repulsive to watch people -- including some "liberals" -- attack WikiLeaks for slandering The Troops, or complain that objections to these actions unfairly disparage the military because "our guys are the good guys" and they act differently "99.99999999% of the time。Just as was true of the deceitful attempt to depict the Abu Ghraib abusers as rogue "bad apples" once their conduct was exposed with photographs (when the reality was they were acting in complete consistency with authorized government policy), the claim that what was shown on that video is some sort of outrageous departure from U.S. policy is demonstrably false.


As the video demonstrates, the soldiers in the Apache did not take a single step -- including killing those unarmed men who tried to rescue the wounded -- without first receiving formal permission from their superiors. Beyond that, the Pentagon yesterday -- once the video was released -- suddenly embraced the wisdom of transparency by posting online the reports of the so-called "investigations" it undertook into this incident (as a result of pressure from Reuters). Those formal investigations not only found that every action taken by those soldiers was completely justified -- including the firing on the unarmed civilian rescuers -- but also found that there's no need for any remedial steps to be taken to prevent future re-occurence. What we see on that video is what the U.S. does on a constant and regular basis in these countries, and it's what we've been doing for years. It's obviously consistent with our policies and practices for how we fight in these countries, which is exactly what those investigative reports concluded.


All of this is usually kept from us. We stay blissfully insulated from it, so that in those rare instances when we're graphically exposed to it, we can tell ourselves that it's all very unusual and rare. That's how we collectively dismissed the Abu Ghraib photos, and it's why the Obama administration took such extraordinary steps to suppress all the rest of the torture photos: because further disclosure would have revealed that behavior to be standard and common, not at all unusual or extraordinary.

但是我们都被蒙在了鼓里,以致当我们看到那些图像时,我们想当然的认为这些都是些偶然的越轨行为。这也是奥巴马政府用尽手段阻止更多的虐俘照片在媒体上发表的原因 – 那些照片会让公众醒悟到虐俘并非异常,而恰恰是一种常态。

The full story narrated by Glenn Greenwald can be read from the following link:


Military Fought Hard to Keep Killing Video Concealed:

The Afghan Massacre:

The Enemy of the Government:

Attack on WikiLeaks:

U.S. Military Investigation on the Shooting incident: Regulation CCR 25210/Death of Reuters Journalists/6--2nd Brigade Combat Team 15-6 Investigation.pdf

Obama Administration Suppress the Torture Photos:

But again we apologize for providing a wrong example as this human rights abuse incident also occurred in the United States.

But here we have more examples, more ...

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Nobel Pianzi Prize!

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