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General News

September 2012

By       Message Susan Oehler     Permalink
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-A Canadian was released from Guantanamo and sent to prison in Canada.   He was captured on the battlefield in Afghanistan at the age of 15.   He reportedly was fighting US troops there.   He was tortured for years by the US military and US forces.   He is the only child on the planet who was imprisoned and tortured for being forced to be a child soldier. Only the US government has prosecuted children for participating in war (on the wrong side, of course).   

The rest of the world sees child soldiers as victims.   There is credible evidence that this Canadian teenager was sexually assaulted by the Afghans prior to being captured by US troops.

-This month we found out that, contrary to official denials, prisoners in Guantanamo were given injections of scopolamine, the so-called "truth drug".   This was on top of the forced ingestion of anti-malaria drugs known to cause psychosis.

-The UN Committee on the Rights of the Child is asking for answers from the US government concerning its military activities with US children.   This is in regard to provisions around No Child Left Behind, JROTC, and the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery.

-Seventy-eight percent of all global weapons sales come from the USA in 2011. Second place was Russia, who sold less than 6% of all global weapons.   We arm the world.   We are selling drones too, including six weaponized drones to Italy (in spite of the fact that our CIA agents have been sentenced to prison by Italy).   Over 50 countries are now building their own drones.   And, what goes around - comes around.

-Bombs went off in at least five Iraqi cities the last day of September.    Over 35 were killed, hundreds injured.   This was blamed on Sunni extremists (al Qaeda).

-People in Iraq, especially children, are still suffering horribly from our war of aggression and occupation of their country.  Cancers and birth defects are exploding.  An Iraq War Veteran recently said this:  "I have a certain sense of relief that I get to share in the sufferings of the Iraqis. We were conducting those burn pits in agricultural fields.... Americans are gaining awareness of the impacts of burn pits on soldiers, but not the impact they will have on Iraqi civilians."  

This veteran died of cancer last month, which he thinks came from his time in Iraq in 2004.  His name was Joshua Casteel.  Yes, we bring the freedom of the grave even to our own.  He was wrong that Americans are gaining awareness of what is happening to our veterans.  No one is noticing or caring, as far as I can tell.

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-September saw a total of 2,000 US troops killed in Afghanistan.   Over 17,000 US troops were reported injured in this war.   This does not include US citizens who were working as contractors in Afghanistan.   The one that pushed the number of fatalities to 2,000 was likely an insider attack.

-We have no idea how many Afghans have been killed since our war began.   The US government makes no attempt to find out, putting to lie the claim that we are there to help the Afghan people.   But a child was killed the same day as the 2,000 US troop was killed.   The child was run over by an ISAF tank.

-Taliban release video of attack on NATO base.

-A congressional investigation has revealed (this month!) that a top US general in Afghanistan sought to stall an investigation into abuse at a US-funded hospital in Kabul that kept patients in "Auschwitz-like" conditions. Army whistleblowers revealed photographs taken in 2010 that show severely neglected, starving patients at Dawood Hospital, considered the crown jewel of the Afghan medical system, where the country's military personnel are treated.   This was buried and denied.

-Non-violent protest continues against the building of a huge naval base on an island belonging to South Korea.   The island is a UNESCO designed Biosphere Reserve.   And guess who is behind destroying this island and the people who live there - that's right, the US government.

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-The ACLU has released documents that show that in the last two years the US Department of Justice has conducted more warrantless electronic surveillance, involving spying on telephones, email and Facebook accounts, than in the preceding decade.   Here in the USA, of course.

-Obama claims he would never use the provisions of the NDAA, which include indefinite detention of US citizens by the US military with no habeas corpus rights. There are few limits any more on executive power in the US, and this privilege will transfer to future presidents.

-After losing the right to have the military detain US citizens in a lawsuit over NDAA by Chris Hedges and others (including a member of Iceland's Parliament, who angered the Obama administration by supporting Bradley Manning), the Obama administration filed an immediate appeal.   It is suspected that this immediate appeal was due to that fact that there are American citizens already detained under the NDAA.   We just don't know about them yet.

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I live and work in Asheville NC.

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September 2012