Wikileaks Afghanistan Stories 25 July – 8 August, 2010

8 August, 2010 — Wikileaks Afghanistan Stories

I have gathered together all the stories Creative-i collected since the release of the Afghanistan emails covering the period 25 July – 8 August, 2010.

8/8/10 – Bradley Manning: An American Hero

6/8/10 – NYT Passes Along Anonymous Denial of Civilian Deaths

6/8/10 – WikiLeaks’ Revelations and their Substance By Aurobinda MAHAPATRA (India)

6/8/10 – WHY IS THE US IN AFGHANISTAN – RUSSIA AND CHINA? Wikileaks: The Pakistan connection Pt.3

6/8/10 – CIA AND ISI NURTURED MUJAHIDEEN AND TALIBAN: Wikileaks: The Pakistan connection Pt.2

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Task Force 373 – Heroes or Villains? Wall of silence fuels talk of “death squads” By Matthew Nasuti

10 August, 2010 – Atlantic Free Press – Hard Truths for Hard Times

Task Force 373 is a secret American special operations unit tasked with killing or capturing more than 2,000 senior Taliban and al-Qaeda figures who are listed in the JPEL (Joint Prioritized Effects List). The concept of the unit is sound and consistent with the strategy previously implemented by General Stanley McChrystal, which is to target the enemy’s leadership through precise, small unit operations, thereby reducing civilian casualties.

While TF-373’s personnel, tactics and operations must remain secret, its excessive secrecy has backfired. Even before the WikiLeaks disclosures about TF-373, reports have been circulating that the unit was a resurrection of the 1980’s CIA-supported Central American death squads. With the refusal of the Pentagon to release any information about TF-373, speculation has taken its place, with people believing the worst.

Part of the reason for the Pentagon’s obsession with secrecy is the preeminence of consensus management by General and Flag rank officers (which discourages initiative) and the staffing of civilian positions with risk adverse officials recycled from prior Administrations. As no one is willing to make any declassification decisions (and risk making a mistake), everything gets classified. This is reminiscent of the situation within U.S. military intelligence units in Iraq leading up to the Abu Ghraib prison scandal. The prison was overcrowded, in part, because Major General Barbara Fast was not willing to order the release any of the Iraqi detainees, even though many had clearly been detained unnecessarily.

The concept of a shadowy organization with a license to kill, with no oversight or accountability, is sinister and un-American. However the picture of a covert military unit, facing extraordinary risks and fighting a secret war, would be popular if the public was convinced that targets were being carefully chosen and that after-action investigations, where there are civilian casualties, were being credibly undertaken. This author, at the present time, has no sense that there are any checks and balances on TF-373.

Secretary of Defense Robert Gates should recognize that some transparency is good for business. This author recommends that the Secretary hold a press conference and explain both the mission of TF-373 and the checks and balances that have been set up to prevent abuses. The Secretary should introduce the ‘internal affairs-type’ officials who are monitoring these operations. Those officials must make the case to the public that there is an independent sheriff overseeing the posse and that public can have confidence in their oversight.

The facts may ultimately transform the members of TF-373 into heroes. Today, however, the continued mania for keeping all black operations completely black abandons the strategic communications field to America’s enemies who are free to portray TF-373 members as villains. It also leaves the rest of the world to speculate that the Pentagon is silent only because the truth will reveal misconduct or even war crimes. Limited transparency is not simply good policy but common sense. One counters accusations with facts and speculation with the truth.

Hidden Intelligence Operation Behind the Wikileaks Release of “Secret” Documents? F. William Engdahl

11 August, 2010 — Global Research

Since the dramatic release of a US military film of a US airborne shooting of unarmed journalists in Iraq, Wiki-Leaks has gained global notoreity and credibility as a daring website that releases sensitive material to the public from whistleblowers within various governments. Their latest ‘coup’ involved alleged leak of thousands of pages of supposedly sensitive documents regarding US informers within the Taliban in Afghanistan and their ties to senior people linked to Pakistan’s ISI military intelligence. The evidence suggests however that far from an honest leak, it is a calculated disinformation to the gain of the US and perhaps Israeli and Indian intelligence and a coverup of the US and Western role in drug trafficking out of Afghanistan.

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Information Clearing House Newsletter 10 August, 2010: Political Prisoners in America

10 August, 2010 — Information Clearing House

Eyes on the Skies Over Bushehr Nuclear Reactor
By Marsha B. Cohen
Once Bushehr’s nuclear fuel arrives from Russia, whatever military options against Iran that may be “on the table” that include Bushehr will have to come off. Israel and the U.S. have only a few weeks to launch an attack on Iran before Bushehr has the means to begin generating electricity.

‘Torture’ Confessions Allowed
By Al Jazeera
The confessions of Omar Khadr, a Canadian citizen charged with terrorism, can be used as evidence in his trial, even though they may have been obtained through torture, a US military judge has ruled.

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VTJP Palestine/Israel Newslinks 10 August, 2010: The “banality of evil” and Israel’s destruction of al-Araqib

10 August, 2010 — VTJP


International Middle East Media Center

WAFA: Hamas security forces harass Palestinian journalist in Gaza
IMEMC – 10 Aug 2010 – Tuesday August 10, 2010 – 15:09, On the other hand, the WAFA news agency said that Hamas security forces in Gaza continue to summon Palestinian journalist to their headquarter and harass him.

3 Palestinians detained by Israeli military and 5 by Palestinian security
IMEMC – 10 Aug 2010 – Tuesday August 10, 2010 – 12:07, Palestinian security forces have detained five Hamas supporters in the occupied West Bank, Palestinian media sources reported on Tuesday.

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The Quiet Revolution: Venezuelans experiment with participatory democracy By Andrew Kennis

10 August, 2010 — In These Times –  Information Clearing House

Selling goods to passersby on the street, Jenny Caraballo describes her local communal council. ‘Some of our members are homemakers who want their community to be pretty,’ Caraballo says while trying to make eye contact with potential clients in 23 de Enero, a barrio popular that is one of many rough areas in Caracas, Venezuela.

The balmy weather southwest of Caracas, in the state of Táchira, does not stop Pedro Hernandez, 77, from playing chess with his retired friends in San Cristobal’s city square. ‘Before, the government didn’t help the people,’ he says. ‘Now they give us benefits. ‘Now there is culture, dance and programs free to the public and organized by our communal council.’ Hernandez does his part by organizing chess tournaments.

And in the picturesque mountain town of Merida, Alidio Sosa says: ‘The councils are a symbol of how the old parties are dead and won’t ever come back—the parties of the past never concerned themselves with the community.’

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Information Clearing House 11 August, 2010: US — Venezuela: The Empire Strikes Back (and Loses)

11 August, 2010 — Information Clearing House

Saving Women and Preventing Genocide:
The Real Reasons We’re in Afghanistan Now
By Bretigne Shaffer

So now the cheerleaders for war would have us believe that they are more concerned for the welfare of Afghan civilians than are those who wish to end the US occupation.

What They Do in Our Name
By Sheldon Richman

Thanks to Wikileaks and heroic leakers inside the military, we now know the U.S. government has killed many more innocent Afghan civilians than we were aware of heretofore. We also know that American military and intelligence personnel roam Afghanistan assassinating suspected bad guys.

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