Abu Ghraib Blog

Who is Guilty of Prison Torture?
Dale Allen Pfeiffer

Certainly the United States possesses formidable economic and military power. But the rhetoric of "sole surviving superpower" is inflated and a bit desperate. Our military is overextended and poorly run. The hard power of its amazing machinery is used to squander the soft power of our global prestige - we shoot civilians and they hate us. We attack only the most defenseless opponents and have little tolerance for casualties...

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Abu Ghraib Means Impunity

Informant: tworevs


Continuing the Cover-Up?

Military Takes Action Against Key Witness in Abu Ghraib Abuse Scandal

By Brian Ross and Alexandra Salomon

May 21, 2004 — A witness who told ABCNEWS he believed the military was covering up the extent of abuse at Iraq's Abu Ghraib prison was today stripped of his security clearance and told he may face prosecution because his comments were "not in the national interest."

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Informant: Michael Novick


What have we done?

The horrific images from Abu Ghraib have come to define the ill-starred occupation of Iraq, but what do they really tell us about America? Are they simply the work of a few rogue soldiers, or the result of the new foreign and domestic policies of the Bush administration, which find ready approval in an increasingly brutalised society? Susan Sontag on the ugly face of the war on terror...read under:


Iraqi Prisoner Abuse Reflects America's Hatred

Informant: Walter Lippmann


US Tries to Get Off the Hook on War Crimes

New Details of Prison Abuse Emerge

Sworn Statements by Abu Ghraib Detainees

New Details of Prison Abuse Emerge

Soldier: Abu Ghraib Prison Abuse "Normal"

Shocking Details on Abuse of Reuters Staffers in Iraq

The Religious Warrior of Abu Ghraib


Those Missing Taguba Pages: More Dirty Tricks on the Road

Double Standards?

Professor Denounced for POW Memo for Bush

Top General Witnessed Prison Abuse

New allegations of systematic abuse of Iraqis by British troops

Video From Abu Ghraib Prison

Videos Amplify Picture of Violence

Photo Gallery

New Details of Prison Abuse Emerge

Sworn Statements by Abu Ghraib Detainees

New front in Iraq detainee abuse scandal?

Trail of blood

Iraqis lose right to sue troops over war crimes

How fascism starts

GI: Boy mistreated to get dad to talk

A world watches our shame

From Information Clearing House


The word you're looking for is "lies"

by Erica Verrillo,

Letter to the editor, The Boston Globe

May 12, 2004

The Bush administration seems to have a serious problem with reality.

The most recent reality challenge is the policy of torture in both Iraq and Afghanistan, which the administration is frantically redefining as "abuse," "excesses," and "humiliation." We even have Secretary Rumsfeld describing footage of several American soldiers "having sex" with a female Iraqi prisoner.

Let's have a little plain English here. "Having sex" with a prisoner is known as "rape." Systematic beatings are called "torture." Excesses that lead to death are called "murder." The hundreds of women and children in mass graves in Fallujah are the product of a "massacre." Taken together, all of these add up to "atrocities."

The dissemination of "incomplete information" from "imperfect intelligence" is called "lies."

The billions of dollars that Halliburton and Bechtel have reaped in profits are called "war profiteering."

The invasion of Iraq is called "illegal."

The destruction of America's international standing is called "permanent."

And Texaco/Phillips's high bid for Iraqi oil is called "why we are in Iraq."

Log of lies from the Bush Administration


Informant: vInCe-BrAdLeY


More Photos Of US Brutality


Informant: Harry Mobley


Amazonia Deforestation to Escalate Due to Infrastructure Plans

Forest Networking a Project of Forests.org, Inc.

http://forests.org/ -- Forest Conservation Portal
http://www.EnvironmentalSustainability.info/ -- Eco-Portal
http://www.ClimateArk.org/ -- Climate Change Portal
http://www.WaterConserve.info/ -- Water Conservation Portal

May 21, 2004
OVERVIEW & COMMENTARY by Glen Barry, Ph.D., Forests.org

The future of the Amazon rainforest is critically threatened by expanded infrastructure development that dramatically increases physical access to the Amazonian frontier. Rainforest loss and diminishment in the Amazon impacts the well-being and ecological sustainability of local peoples, Brazilians and all citizens of the World. Below is an update from Science magazine regarding the threats posed by new roads and other infrastructure development plans in the heart of the Amazon. Forests.org has been instrumental in bringing these scientific findings to a wider audience, and advocating for cancellation of the ill-conceived development plans.

In 2002 and 2003, the rate of deforestation in the Brazilian Amazon climbed to nearly 2.4 million hectares per year, driven by land speculation along the routes of new roads, cattle ranching, and soybean farming. This equals 11 football fields a minute. While the Brazilian government has stepped up satellite monitoring and involved additional ministries to address deforestation, they have steadfastly refused to cancel or significantly revise the large-scale infrastructure development plans predicted to eliminate the Amazon's large, intact and unfragmented rainforest expanses.

All governments have a profound responsibility to protect, conserve and restore natural habitats sufficient to maintain ecosystems and their species. No ecology, no economy or anything else. Given its jurisdiction over the Amazon, the Brazilian government and people are sacredly obligated to safeguard this global ecological engine - stewardship they are failing to provide. I concur with the leading rainforest scientists below, that by failing to "curtail its aggressive plans for infrastructure expansion, Brazil will fail to address one of the most critical root causes of Amazonian deforestation." Loss of the Amazon as an operable, non-fragmented whole will severely biologically impoverish the Earth - and contribute significantly to the possibility of global ecological Armageddon. Brazil and the World need an intact Amazon to live well and prosper. g.b.

Deforestation in Amazonia
Source: Copyright 2004, Science, Vol 304, Issue 5674, 1109-1111 Date: May 21, 2004

In recent years, we and others have identified critical threats posed to the forests of Amazonia by the Brazilian government's plans to
dramatically expand highways and other major infrastructure projects in the region (1-6). Our conclusions have been disputed by elements of the Brazilian government (7-10), which assert that a key assumption of our spatial models--that new roads and highways will continue to promote large-scale Amazonian deforestation, as they have done in the past--no longer applies. This is so, they argue, because of improvements in frontier governance and environmental-law enforcement, as well as changes in Brazilian public attitudes toward forests (7-10). As a consequence, the Brazilian government is proceeding with the largest expansion of highways, roads, power lines, gas lines, hydroelectric reservoirs, railroads, and river-channelization projects in the history of the Amazon (1-6).

In 2002 and 2003, the rate of deforestation in Brazilian Amazonia climbed to nearly 2.4 million hectares per year (see figure)--equivalent to 11 football fields a minute. This increase mostly resulted from rapid destruction of seasonal forest types in the southern and eastern parts of the basin; relative to preceding years (1990-2001), forest loss shot up by 48% in the states of Pará, Rondônia, Mato Grosso, and Acre (11). The increase was evidently driven by rising deforestation and land speculation along new highways and planned highway routes (12), and the dramatic growth of Amazonian cattle ranching (13) and industrial soybean farming (6, 14). Soybean farms promote some forest clearing directly, but have a much greater impact on deforestation by consuming cleared land, savanna, and ecotonal forests, thereby pushing ranchers and slash-and-burn farmers ever deeper into the forest frontier. Equally important, soybean farming provides a key economic and political impetus for massive infrastructure projects, which accelerate deforestation by other actors (6, 14).

Anticipating public alarm about the new deforestation figures, the Brazilian government recently announced new measures designed to slow Amazon forest loss. These measures include increased satellite monitoring of deforestation and the involvement of additional ministries--not just the Ministry of Environment--in efforts to reduce illegal deforestation and forest burning (12). These measures, in concert with the establishment of new protected or multiple-use areas in Amapa, Amazonas, and Acre, are a move in the right direction.

The new measures do not go far enough, however. They fail to address one of the most critical drivers of forest destruction: the rapid proliferation of new highways and other infrastructure, which greatly increases physical access to the Amazonian frontier. The Brazilian government plans to create interministerial working groups to recommend ways to reduce or mitigate project impacts, but is not considering the cancellation or significant delay of any major project. Indeed, just days after announcing the new anti-deforestation package, Brazilian President Lula demanded that his federal ministers find ways to circumvent environmental and other impediments to stalled infrastructure projects throughout the country, including 18 hydroelectric dams and 10,000 km of highways (15).

In the Amazon, new transportation projects frequently lead to a dramatic rise in illegal deforestation, logging, mining, and hunting activities (1-6). If Brazil criss-crosses the basin with thousands of kilometers of such projects, the net result, our models suggest, will be not only further increases in forest destruction, but fragmentation of surviving forests on an unprecedented spatial scale (1, 5). Many of the government's recently announced measures to slow forest loss are positive steps, but if it does not curtail its aggressive plans for infrastructure expansion, Brazil will fail to address one of the most critical root causes of Amazonian deforestation.

William F. Laurance,*
Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute,
Apartado 2072,

Ana K. M. Albernaz,
Museu Paraense Emílio Goeldi,
Avenida Perimetral 190,
Belém, PA 66077-530,

Philip M. Fearnside,
Departamento de Ecologia,
Instituto Nacional de Pesquisas da Amazônia,
C.P. 478,
AM 69011-970,

Heraldo L. Vasconcelos,
Instituto de Biologia,
Universidade Federal de Uberlândia,
C.P. 593, Uberlândia,
MG 38400-902,

Leandro V. Ferreira
Museu Paraense Emílio Goeldi,
Avenida Perimetral 190,
Belém, PA 66077-530,

*To whom correspondence should be addressed.
E-mail: laurancew@tivoli.si.edu

References and Notes

1. W. F. Laurance et al., Science 291, 438 (2001).

2. W. F. Laurance, A. K. M. Albernaz, C. Da Costa, Environ. Conserv. 28, 305 (2001).

3. G. Carvalho, A. C. Barros, P. Moutinho, D. C. Nepstad, Nature 409, 131(2001).

4. D. C. Nepstad et al., Forest Ecol. Manage. 154, 295 (2001).

5. W. F. Laurance et al., J. Biogeogr. 29, 737 (2002).

6. P. M. Fearnside, Environ. Manage. 30, 748 (2002).

7. D. Weber, "Ministério contesta estudo sobre devastação," O Estado de S. Paulo, 21 January 2001.

8. S. S. do Amaral, "Threat to the Amazon," The Independent, 26 January 2001.

9. R. Goidanich, Science dEbates, 26 January 2001
( http://www.sciencemag.org/cgi/eletters/291/5503/438 ).

10. J. P. Silveira et al., Science 292, 1651 (2001).

11. The net deforestation rate in these four states increased from 1.43 million ha year-1 from 1990-2001 to 2.12 million ha year-1 in 2002-2003, based on data from the Brazilian National Space Agency
( http://www.inpe.br ). Deforestation data for 2003 are a preliminary estimate.

12. Grupo Permanente de Trabalho Interministerial para a Redução dos Índices de Desmatamento da Amazônia Legal, Plano de Ação para a Prevenção e Controle do Desmatamento da Amazônia Legal (Presidência da República, Casa Civil, Brasília, 2004).

13. D. Kaimowitz, B. Mertens, S. Wunder, P. Pacheco, Hamburger Connection Fuels Amazon Destruction (Tech. Rep., Center for International Forest Research, Bogor, Indonesia, 2004).

14. P. M. Fearnside, Environ. Conserv. 28, 23 (2001).

15. "Lula quer a retomada de obras paralisadas," Amazonas em Tempo (Manaus, Brazil), 21 March 2004.




May 19, 2004


PARIS - Climate change will have a disastrous effect on the flow of rivers which provide water for most of Earth's cities, it was reported.

Rising levels of carbon dioxide pollution, caused by the unbridled burning of oil, coal and gas, will warm the troposphere, the lowest layer of the world's atmosphere, in addition to the land and seas, New Scientist says.

Warmer air temperatures will affect water vapour, cloud cover, solar
radiation and ozone, which in turn will have an impact on evaporation and rainfall.

In a computer model that factors in these changes, Princeton University researchers found that precipitation over the next three centuries will increase, boosting the discharge of fresh water around the world by nearly 15 percent.

But the regions that will be benefit are those that are already abundant in water or are sparsely populated, such as the tropics, the far north of Canada and northern Russia.

By contrast, there will be lower flows in many mid-latitude rivers which run through heavily populated regions.

"Those that will start to decline include the Mississippi, Mekong and especially the Nile, one of the world's most heavily used and politically contested rivers, where (the) model predicts an 18 percent fall in flow," the report says.

The scenario, which is published in full in the journal Climate Change, is based on the likely effect from a quadrupling of levels of atmospheric carbon dioxide from levels of this greenhouse gas before the Industrial Revolution.

The predictions are based on what would happen over the next 300 years.

However, research published by experts at France's National Centre for Scientific Research (CNRS) suggests that rivers have already started to be affected by climate change.

They simulated runoff from 200 of the world's largest rivers since 1875 and found that in the past few decades alone, rivers in North and South America and Asia saw an increase in volume, while runoff in Europe was stable, and the flow of water from African rivers had fallen.

The time scale is significant, because records say that global warming moved up a gear in the 1970s. It was at that time that surface temperatures rose quickly in response to the greenhouse effect, New Scientist says.

Informant: NHNE

Omega-News Collection 21. May 2004

In some US prisons, echoes of Abu Ghraib

Informant: Walter Lippmann


The Abu Ghraib Prison Photos

Informant: Mark Vallen


When Bonesmen Fight: by Tom Hayden
A Reflection on Democracy in America

Informant: David Crockett Williams




Army, CIA Want Torture Truths Exposed

Informant: NHNE


Where Will You Be Tomorrow?

Informant: Planttrees


Donald Rumsfeld in the eye of the storm


Hostilities force Bush into deep hole

Informant: kevcross5


Link TV: Mosaic: World News From The Middle East
Quick Time Video Report

‘US troops allowed to mistreat Afghan POWs’

Accused US Army deserter says he saw Iraqi prisoner mistreatment

Torture 101

Torture Photos, Videos a Time-Honored CIA Tradition

‘Definitely a Cover-Up’

Planners And Abusers Should Be Accountable

Army, CIA want torture truths exposed

Abu Ghraib meets Guantanamo Bay

The Stanford Prison Experiment revisited

In Pictures

Shamed: A Panorama Special reports on the scale of the abuse and torture of prisoners in Iraq and elsewhere.

U.S. Faces Growing Fears of Failure

We must withdraw

Killing people for their own good

Where Have We Come To?

Powell Distances Himself From President

U.S. Cardinal Accuses Bush of Moral Failure in Iraq

Fake Iraqi Sovereignty

Iraq isn't another Vietnam - it's much worse

To the president from a father: Shame on us

More Photos Surface


Brutal interrogation in Iraq

Shocking Details on Abuse of Reuters Staffers in Iraq

Amnesty: International Criminal Court

U.S. Charged With War Crimes: The Evidence File

Sidney Blumenthal: The religious warrior of Abu Ghraib

Poll: US are occupiers, not liberators

Apocalypse Now in the White House

The diseases of a troubled nation

From: Information Clearing House


Army may call up inactive reservists

Iraq violence will worsen

The day after Rupert Murdoch takes over America

US to fight terror with terror

Doing bad things far away from home

Don't bring slavery back to America

Out of Iraq and Plato's cave

Even the word "democracy" now repels Mideast reformers

Informant: Thomas L. Knapp


Zombie RFID tags may never die

HAARP: Patent # 4,686,605 - AgriTerrorism, Atmospheric Engineering

Omega-Environment Collection 20. May 2004

Bush Officials Weaken Organic Food Standards: Public Shut Out

Mystery Illness/Parasite Said To Be Afflicting Idahoans Getting Attention

Activists and MPs renew call for British hunt ban

Bush Officials Weaken Organic Food Standards: Public Shut Out

May 21, 2004

The Bush Administration is giving Americans new reason to watch what they eat. Over the course of 10 days last month, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) issued three "guidances" and one directive -- all legally binding interpretations of law -- that threaten to seriously dilute the meaning of the word organic and discredit the department's National Organic Program.

The changes -- which would allow the use of antibiotics on organic dairy cows, as well as synthetic pesticides on organic farms, and more -- were made with zero input from the public or the National Organic Standards Board (NOSB), the advisory group that worked for more than a decade to help craft the first federal organic standards, put in place in October 2002.

The USDA insists the changes are harmless: "The directives have not changed anything. They are just clarifications of what is in the regulations that were written by the National Organic Standards Board," stated USDA spokesperson Joan Shaffer. "They just explain what's enforceable. There is no difference [between the clarifications and the original regulations] -- it's just another way of explaining it."

But Jim Riddle, vice chair of the NOSB and endowed chair in agricultural systems at the University of Minnesota, argues that what the USDA is trying to pass off as a clarification of regulations is in fact a substantial change: "These are the sorts of changes for which the department is supposed to do a formal new rulemaking process, with posting in the federal register, feedback from our advisory board, and a public-comment period. And yet there is no such process denoted anywhere."

Organic activists suspect that industry pressure drove the policy shifts. They point out that the USDA leadership has long-standing industry sympathies: Agriculture Secretary Ann Veneman served on the board of directors of a biotech company; both her chief of staff and her director of communications were plucked right out of the National Cattlemen's Beef Association.

One practice favored by large agribusiness is the use of antibiotics on cows. A USDA guidance issued on April 14 will allow just that on organic dairy farms -- a dramatic reversal of 2002 rules. [1] Under the new guidelines, sickly dairy cows can be treated not just with antibiotics but with numerous others drugs and still have their milk qualify as organic, so long as 12 months pass between the time the treatments are administered and the time the milk is sold.

"This new directive makes a mockery of organic standards," said Richard Wood, a recent member of the FDA's Veterinary Medicine Advisory Committee and executive director of Food Animal Concerns Trust.

Another new guidance put out on the same day would allow cattle farmers to feed their heifers non-organic fishmeal that could be riddled with synthetic preservatives, mercury, and PCBs, and still sell their beef as organic.

And the following week, on April 23, the USDA took the startling step of issuing a legal directive that opens the door for use of some synthetic pesticides on organic farms.

Last but certainly not least, another guidance released on April 14 narrows the scope of the federal organic certification program to crops, livestock, and the products derived from them, meaning that national organic standards will not be developed for fish, nutritional supplements, pet food, fertilizers, cosmetics, or personal-care products.

Despite the USDA's demurrals, activists view the department's changes as a serious threat to hard-won standards for organic products. The National Campaign for Sustainable Agriculture and other groups are investigating possible industry influence into the USDA's process, and some environmental groups are preparing to take legal action.

This story was jointly produced by BushGreenwatch http://www.bushgreenwatch.org and Grist Magazine http://www.gristmagazine.com/. For more on this story, visit Grist Magazine http://www.gristmagazine.com/muck/muck051804.asp.

[1] Antibiotic Guidance Statement, USDA, Apr. 14, 2004.
[2] Fishmeal Guidance Statement, USDA, Apr. 14, 2004.
[3] Pesticide Compliance, USDA, Apr. 23, 2004.
[4] Scope Guidance Statement, USDA, Apr. 14, 2004.

Source: http://www.bushgreenwatch.org/mt_archives/000123.php

Scharfe Kritik an Zulassung von Gen-Mais durch EU

Weltweite Signalwirkung befürchtet


Die EU-Kommission hat nach sechs Jahren erstmals wieder gentechnisch veränderte Organismen zugelassen. Diese mit Spannung erwartete Entscheidung betrifft den vor allem in den USA kultivierten Süßmais Bt11, der ab sofort in der Europäischen Union verkauft werden kann. Bereits seit 1998 besteht für Bt-11-Mais-Produkte eine Importgenehmigung in die Europäische Union. Ein Anbaugenehmigung für die EU ist mit der Entscheidung vom Mittwoch nicht verbunden. Verschiedene Organisationen kritisierten die Entscheidung scharf.

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