Revealed: Pentagon’s link to Iraqi torture centres

Exclusive: General David Petraeus and ‘dirty wars’ veteran behind commando units implicated in detainee abuse

The Guardian, Wednesday 6 March 2013

The Guardian investigation was spurred by the 2010 Wikileaks release.  Their initial video report, “The Torture Trail: What did General Petraeus’s special advisor, James Steele, know?”, showed how the newly released US military files reveal an instruction to ignore detainee abuse by Iraqi authorities; what that meant on the ground; and just how far up the chain of command the order went.  That 7-minute  video, from 2010, is shown here:

CLICK ON THIS LINK TO VIEW THE COMPLETE AND FINAL 2013 VIDEO REPORT (51 minutes): James Steele: America’s mystery man in Iraq

The Pentagon sent a US veteran of the “dirty wars” in Central America to oversee sectarian police commando units in Iraq that set up secret detention and torture centres to get information from insurgents. These units conducted some of the worst acts of torture during the US occupation and accelerated the country’s descent into full-scale civil war.

Colonel James Steele was a 58-year-old retired special forces veteran when he was nominated by Donald Rumsfeld to help organise the paramilitaries in an attempt to quell a Sunni insurgency, an investigation by the Guardian and BBC Arabic shows. Continue reading

Israel’s Role in Determining US Foreign Policy

[The Israeli Lobby is a particularly powerful and pernicious force, and it’s been more effective than all other political lobbies in recent times. It functions as a well-oiled political and media hit-squad with lots of money and a few thousand mindless drones.  It pretends to be a group of concerned Americans, but it is totally an agency of the Israeli state, though one that nearly all US politicians have been brought to worship or submit to.

The following article argues that forcing the Israeli Lobby to register as a foreign agent would begin to end their “American” pretense and their powerful role.  We don’t know that making them register would have such an effect on their nefarious ways, but we support all efforts, however successful, to force the Lobby to tell all, and wear a badge saying who they work for.

We do not believe that the Israeli Lobby is the singular ultimate power in US foreign policy.  It IS a powerful force, but it does not singlehandedly rule the roost over US Imperialism, Wall Street, Christian fundamentalists, the World Bank, the military industrial complex, the mercenary armies, the intelligence/counterintelligence apparatus, and the monstrous media.  US power is exerted by an alliance and interplay between these and other forces, and the Israeli Lobby influences and enforces (with well-organized threats and bribes) the acceptable boundaries of all these forces.  However, it is not the only force in play.

Additionally, “American interests” is a dubious–no, flat-out wrong–concept.  The idea that Bill Gates, Karl Rove, immigrant farmworkers, Obama, Sarah Palin, the Jena 6, the Angola 3 and the millions of homeless and jobless have a set of common interests which are collectively damaged by the Israeli Lobby is not a compelling argument.  And the notion that there should be some kind of “American liberation movement” against the Israeli Lobby is badly conceived and a dangerous notion.

But it must be said:  Oppressed and exploited people in the US and around the world have much in common, including the need to break the influence and power of the Israeli Lobby as part of the struggle against imperialism.  The positive thing about this article is that it pushes the struggle against the Lobby to prominence–when all too many treat it as the elephant in the living room which must be ignored.–Frontlines ed.]

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The Truth Will Set U.S. Free: Breaking Israel ‘s Stranglehold Over American Foreign Policy

President Obama at the Israeli Lobby

27 September, 2010

Countercurrents

If Israel ‘s stranglehold over U.S. foreign policy is to be broken, Americans will need to be informed about the harm that Washington ‘s unconditional support for the Jewish state is doing to American interests, say leading analysts of U.S.-Israeli relations.

According to John J. Mearsheimer , co-author of The Israel Lobby and US Foreign Policy , “The only plausible way to weaken the lobby’s influence on U.S. foreign policy is for prominent policymakers and opinion-makers to speak openly about the damage the special relationship is doing to the American national interest.”

“Plenty of people in the United States , especially inside the Beltway, know that Israel is an albatross around America ‘s neck,” says Mearsheimer, the R. Wendell Harrison Distinguished Service Professor of Political Science at the University of Chicago . “But they are afraid to stand up and say that for fear that the lobby will attack them and damage their careers.”  “Hopefully, some of them will develop a backbone,” he adds.

Philip Giraldi , executive director of the Council for the National Interest , believes that Tel Aviv’s stranglehold over Washington can be broken “only by directly challenging the power of the Israel lobby and the false narrative about how it is of value to the United States .” Continue reading