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practices do not reflect our values." G.W. Bush
After the guilty
plea of U.S. Specialist, Jeremy Sivits, to charges arising from
the torture scandal at Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq, the shaping of
the whitewash is almost clear.
apparently made a deal that both he, and his bosses can live with:
the tortures, both physical and mental, of Iraqi detainees, took
place because of the actions of the 'little guys', not the brass,
for, in his words, "If they saw what was going on, there would
be hell to pay." Sivits thus clears the higher-ups, and gets
a break by way of a "special" court martial, as opposed
to a "general" one, which dramatically lessens his possible
In fact, as
we've learned from the International Committee of the Red Cross
(ICRC), torture has been documented in U.S.-controlled prison camps
in Iraq, since at least March *of 2003!* Over a year ago,the
ICRC president met with US Secretary of State, Colin Powell, and
National Security Adviser Condoleeza Rice, as well as deputy Defense
Secretary Paul Wolfowitz, to insist that the U.S. government cease
the systematic torture of people in their Iraqi prisons. According
to the *Baltimore Sun*, Powell said he fully briefed President Bush
about these ICRC reports.
*after the ICRC* findings, announced, through US Defense Secretary
Donald Rumsfeld, that the United States would not be bound by Geneva
Conventions, as it was involved in a war against terror, and the
regular rules need not apply.
selected a man named Lane McCotter, a private prison company executive,
to run the now notorious Abu Ghraib gulag on the outskirts of Baghdad.
The U.S. chose a man who worked for a company that was under investigation
by the U.S. Justice Dept. following brutality charges against Management
& Training Corporation.
career at M & T took off, McCotter headed the Utah state prison
system, until a scandal forced him to resign from his post in 1997.
A naked prisoner was shackled to a chair in one of his prisons for
16 hours, until he died. Working for
their prison was a psychiatrist who wrote prescriptions for drug
addicts, and whose medical license was on probation. When McCotter
joined M & T, it was the nation's third largest private prison
company, with 13 prisons online, and an unenviable record of brutality.
Whatever can be said of McCotter, it can't be said that he wasn't
qualified for the violence and depredations that would emerge at
Abu Ghraib. Who better to run this colonial outpost of barbarity,
than one who ran internal gulags, both for the State
and for the Dollar?
2004, McCotter, in an interview, announced that Abu Ghraib "is
the only place we agreed as a team was truly closest to an American
prison." [*The Spark*, 5/176/6/04, p. 4]. And so it was,
with violence, brutality, beatings, torture, and state-sanctioned
sadism. It is, preeminently, America's cultural gift to the people
of Iraq. It
demonstrates US domination, US repression, US violence, and US contempt.
2003, an American Lt. Colonel, Nathan Sassman, gave the *New York
Times* a unique insight into the mindset of U.S. occupation forces,
when he said: "With a heavy dose of fear and violence... I
think we can convince these people that we are here to help them."
from Abu Ghraib (those Americans have been allowed to view, that
have certainly shown the 'heavy dose of fear and violence.' [*The
Spark*, p. 5]
The US has
launched this mad, imperial exercise to gain a beachhead on the
of Darul Islam (the realm of Islam) from which to pluck the dark,
ripe fruits of oil wealth from the earth.
In the name
of 'freedom', Americans have supported dictators, only to discard
when they outlived their usefulness (think Noriega, the Shah, etc.).
They, like every
empire before them, are bound by the chains of avarice and economic
This is what a petro-war looks like.
2004 Mumia Abu-Jamal
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© copyright 2003 by Mumia Abu-Jamal.
All rights reserved.
Reprinted by permission of the author.