Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Baghdad Torture Disinfo

On edit: Originally published over on stevenwarran.blogspot.com on 11/25/07, I've moved it over here in order to gain some focus over there. It really doesn't fit into any categories.

thesmokinggun.com posts a series of illustrations they say came from an al-Qaeda torture manual seized by U.S. military officials in a recent raid on a safe house in Baghdad, Iraq. How this cache, datelined May 30, 2007, came to be in the blog's possession remains unexplained. Recovered, among other material, is "an assortment of crude drawings depicting torture methods like "blowtorch to the skin" and "eye removal." The colored illustrations are bluntly labeled in English, and mounted in pairs under a heading, "Al-Qaeda Torture Methods."

This crude effort at labeled representational art has the fingerprints of American-made DINFOS all over it. It is part of an increasingly hysterical rear-guard action in failed psychological warfare waged by the real perpetrators of worldwide violence, the ones who attempt to cover up American complicity in war crimes like torture by pointing the finger.

No one needs to be reminded of the gruesome ongoing Iraqi on Iraqi violence, so why were they created? Without understanding the creative impulse that led to the making of these images--were they meant to serve as primers, trophies, or talisman?--we must ask if they were created to be declassified.

Although labeled "Al-Qaeda Torture Methods," these examples carry clear cultural references to an objective American experience, like the following pair of pustular gouaches, which unwittingly reference the Texas dragging death of James Byrd by three white, good-old-boys, and the torturous force-feeding of chair-strapped prisoners in Guantanamo Bay detention camps.
That this false-flag public relations scam issued out from the twisted mentality of a segment of the American military, I was able to infer from an obscure reference in the work of a Marine cartoonist, www.sempertoons.com, where mock exercises are given a whiff of hard-body reality with the consequence of a clothes iron burn to the skin of the vanquished!
The threat of a branding with a clothes iron would be motivational to a force which trains with war games and mock exercises. Like similar fraternity branding rituals, it remains safely inside the ethos of tough-guy male bonding. But as a source of heat in a city without electricity for much of the day, a clothes iron seems an unlikely choice for torture. The artist seems to understand this in his choice of plug outlet. Like the S.E.R.E. trainees who undergo waterboarding in anticipation of some real-world eventuality, America's fighting force must accept responsibility for being the cause and not the correction of the violence and moral horror engulfing the planet today.

The web site also posts shots of torture tools neatly set up in the safe house--set dressing, apparently, for a Bahgdad torture chamber, but the tightly focuses images of tidy tool collections don't reconcile with the one shot of a disheveled and filthy "torture chamber,"


the smoking gun writes, "In a raid earlier this week, Coalition Forces freed five Iraqis who were found in a padlocked room in Karmah. The group, which included a boy, were reportedly beaten with chains, cables, and hoses. Photos showing injuries sustained by those captives can be found here."

However the Karmah photographs, (you can't make this stuff up,) dated May 21, are anonymous shots of men with fading bruises and scabbed-over wounds, indicating torture that had taken place sometime previously. Why the men continued to be held without fresh abuse is unclear, since we are told a man freed from the Baghdad house underwent daily beatings.The American evil revealed in the losing Iraqi war is now generating such dismally substandard results. Seeing the pattern where we blame the victim for our own violent crimes more clearly will be an excruciatingly painful experience.

I stumbled upon a fascinating web site, La Voz de Aztlan, with two article by Hector Carreon, Berg decapitation video was filmed inside the Abu Ghraib prison, and "Nick Berg decapitation video declared a fraud by medical doctor" Based on the very simple evidence, I believed the shocking truth when I read it, and its veracity increases when seen in light of the cultural anachronisms and falsity of thesmokinggun posting.

But a more final verification came when I found an assemblage NICK BERG EXECUTION COVERAGE, which documents the way the worldwide media played the Berg story, confirming that what we were told to believe was a myth and a lie to raise our passions against the Arab world. To see, one after another, the 186 U.S. newspapers which ran large photographs on their front-pages, was to realize we were being force fed as surely as any Guantanamo hunger striker.



By way of a comparison, 125 foreign press newspapers ran front-page articles about the Berg beheading, but only 28 of them included a photograph.

That his beheading unleashed such a coordinated and comprehensive media swell of slick and powerful narrative at the best possible moment to deflect attention away from the Abu Gharib scandal, speaks to its synthetic and professional source, and begs the question as to who benefited? Where once we were hated for our freedoms, now we were hated for our abuses.

That that effort worked then, contrasted with the thin propaganda gruel we see now on the the smoking gun, let's me know who will ultimately win. The Smoking Gun is a strange site that apparently caters to law enforcement professionals, consisting mostly of "amusing" mug shots. The images and the hosting site sully one another equally--I can barely tolerate having this post up here but I must be sure and never take it down.
























We all must decide for ourselves who beheaded Nicholas Berg, although, I must say, we've been given enough clues. It remains the most controversial and disruptive issue I've ever attempted to speak to. If it is any solace, the unavoidable pain that awareness of the truth will entail is a pain that must be borne equally by all Americans.

The video itself can be found here.

And an Abu Gharib rape video here

A collection of links from the sweetest seemslikeadream:

The Nick Berg story always had my attention


Family of Beheaded U.S. Man Releases Statement
http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.ph...

Body found on Baghdad overpass identified as that of
http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.ph...

CNN Transcript On Nick Berg Murder
http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.ph...

FBI Saw Berg During Iraq Police Detention
http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.ph...

Pa. family angry with American government over son's brutal death
http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.ph...

Parents blame Bush for son's execution
http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.ph...

Body found on Baghdad overpass identified as that of American
http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.ph...

Arab media disagree on story of beheading
http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.ph...

Reporter says Berg held in custody entire time by US authorities
http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.ph...

http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.ph...

Bush Condemns Execution of Berg in Iraq
http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.ph...

Beheaded hostage 'had been warned to leave Iraq'
http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.ph...

FBI Saw Berg Before Beheading
http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.ph...

Berg worked at night on a Abu Ghraib tower
http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.ph...

CBS: Bizarre New Link in Berg Murder (Berg and Moussaoui)
http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.ph...

CNN: Was Berg in U.S. custody? Answers conflict
http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.ph...

Diplomat's E-Mails Show Berg in Custody
http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.ph...

E-mails from U.S. consulate to Bergs
http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.ph...

Spokesman Says Berg Never Held by Forces
http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.ph...

The victim: More than work drew him to Iraq
http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.ph...

Diplomat's e-mails show Berg in custody
http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.ph...

Berg died for Bush, Rumsfeld 'sins' - father
http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.ph...

U.S.Iraq Consular Officer Payne)Diplomat's E-Mails Show Berg in US custody
http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.ph...

Al-Zarqawi Murdered Berg, CIA Concludes
http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.ph...

FBI told police to hold Berg
http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.ph...

Beheading not linked to Iraq prison scandal: White House
http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.ph...

Berg beheading: No way, say more medical experts
http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.ph...

CNN Breaking: 4 arrested in the Berg Murder (2 released)...
http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.ph...

Beheaded man named on Free Republic's "Enemies List"
http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.ph...

Bush: Berg's killers must be found
http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.ph...

Last days of Nick Berg a mystery
http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.ph...

US Gov't Disavows E-Mails About Berg's Detention
http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.ph...

EXECUTION: FOUR ARRESTED
http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.ph...

BERG MET WITH SHADY IRAQI (Berg's business partner was a Chalabi wannabe)
http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.ph...

3 comments:

bernard n. shull said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

The Smoking Gun is not meant for law enforcement. It generally uncovers scandals, dirt about celebrities, and crimes that are particularly absurd for the entertainment of the public.

You have not given anyone any reasons to believe that the torture drawings and photographs are less than genuine. The methods of torture depicted are hardly specifically American. Nor would it take a prohibitive amount of power to run an iron for a few minutes. Iraq has sporadic blackouts, not no electricity. The individuals photographed were clearly tortured. That some of their wounds were old rather than fresh does not prove anything.

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