WikiLeaks Video – The Greater Horror

Michael Collins

There they are, the people who brought you every bit of the action in the WikiLeaks video and all of the other horrors flowing from invasion of Iraq. Madeleine Albright (far right, above), former Clinton Secretary of State, is a good place to start. From 60 Minutes:

Lesley Stahl on U.S. sanctions against Iraq: “We have heard that a half million children have died. I mean, that’s more children than died in Hiroshima. And, you know, is the price worth it?”

Secretary of State Madeleine Albright: I think this is a very hard choice, but the price–we think the price is worth it. —60 Minutes (5/12/96)

An exhaustive study found that 227,000 children under five (table 13) died during the George H.W. Bush – Bill Clinton regime of total sanctions against Iraq from 1990 through 2000.

Albright is distinguished as the most direct spokesmodel for senseless death and suffering that’s characterized our engagement with that battered country.

But others carry much greater responsibility. The Bush administration had top secret plans to invade Iraq as early as February 2001. First hand witnesses in the prewar White House were unable to name a point when the decision to invade was made. It was a fait accompli.

Prior to the war authorization from Congress, the various intelligence agencies submitted a report that claimed Iraq had weapons of mass destruction (WMD). Many nations had WMD. The report had to find that Iraq was an imminent danger to the United States. Here’s the finding:

“Iraq probably would attempt clandestine attacks against the U.S. Homeland if Baghdad feared an attack that threatened the survival of the regime were imminent or unavoidable, or possibly for revenge.” Key Judgments, October 2002 National Intelligence Estimate (NIE)

The NIE is clear: invading Iraq was the potential trigger for an attack on the United States by Iraq. The White House made sure that this critical finding was deleted from their report to Congress.

Six thousand U.S. soldiers are dead as a result of the Iraq War. Twenty times that many struggle with serious war injuries. Over one million Iraqi civilians are dead as a result of the chaos unleashed by the invasion (gunshot wounds, car bombings, etc.). This is the true horror of the Iraq War.

“Collateral Murder” in Perspective

To begin with, this provocative tape, one that we as citizens have every right to see, is a moment in time in a much broader attack on Iraq. The U.S. led sanctions after Gulf War I sought to deny Iraq any imports for over a decade. Saddam Hussein continued to build palaces while the millions who hated him struggled, suffered, and died due to the denial of medicine and other necessary goods. The deadly sanctions ran parallel to regular bombings of Iraq.

Those who planned the invasion ignored warnings that Iraq’s rigidly controlled society would collapse without effective post invasion planning. The central piece (of what planning there was) included the Iraq Army as guarantor of order after the invasion. Yet the Army was disbanded.

After the loss of this 400,000 man army, who was left to maintain order?

Was it “murder”?

Photographer Namir Noor-Eldeen with telephoto lens mistaken for
a rocket propelled grenade (RPG). WikiLeaks (01:21)

Viewing the 17 minute or 39 minute version of the video tape leads one to focus on two things as a result of the introductory material provided by WikiLeaks. First, we know that a photographer and his assistant were killed along with the driver of a van who attempted to rescue the assistant. We also know that there were two children traveling in the van with the driver, their father. That’s before the tape even starts. Then we’re drawn to the methodical targeting of the men carrying weapons. The initial identification of a weapon was a mistake since, from the introduction, we know that Noor-Eldeen is carrying a telephoto lens, not a RPG.

The incorrect identification of a camera as an RPG (above image) is the basis for all that follows in this first segment of the tape – the shooting of the men gathered on the street and the destruction of the van.

This is war, a war that was not planned or initiated by the crew of the Apache helicopter. The truly responsible parties for starting the war did so with premeditated intent. They deliberately lied to and deceived the public. They are the very first cause of the war and all of the deaths and suffering.

The helicopter crew was called into action, responded, and made a fatal error at the start that was compounded causing the deaths of the Iraqis on the ground. Was this murder? Without doubt, argued one serious analyst. Another, while critical of the mission, had too many unanswered questions to reach that conclusion.

But why is there a focus on the Apache crew? When you lock, load and deploy the world’s most powerful military machine, many people die. Civilians die in every war. Several hundred thousand civilians were killed by U.S. and British bombing of German and Japanese cities during World War II. When you hear a president say he’s “sending the troops,” civilian deaths are part of the deal.

The most useful questions are the most fundamental. They address the first cause of the war and the means to sustain it.

Which members of the administration were responsible for concocting the lies that were used to take the United States to war?

Which members of Congress voted again and again to fund the war once the facts surfaced about the lies used to start the war (even before the invasion)?

However the dead ended up that way, the premeditated lies used to launch an invasion and occupation and those who enabled this by deliberately ignoring the truth are clearly the responsible parties for “collateral murder.”

Will one of them step forward after all of this and say, “We think the price was worth it”?

Vincent Bugliosi, before the House Judiciary Committee, July 27, 2008 (6:44)


This article may be reproduced in whole or part with attribution of authorship and a link to this article.

See The Prosecution of George W. Bush for Murder by Vincent Bugliosi

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Michael Collins

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  • … was challenged again by the very brave Stephen Kohn (head of the National Whistleblower’s Center)today on Amy Goodman’s “Democracy Now”. Connect the dots. At least Three to Five TRILLION (with a “T” , please) in off-shore, “Secrecy Jurisdictions”. If possible, PLEASE watch this segment! If Stephen Kohn doesn’t get you enraged, please check your pulse.

    These are the friends & vital supporters of the above-mentioned Rogue’s Gallery. A “positive feed-back loop” for the above Incompetents; a Plague on the rest of us. These subsets of the Overclass depend on the other’s corruption in order to thrive.

  • about it:

    I should have answered the question by reframing it and pointing out the inherent flaws in the premise behind it. Saddam Hussein could have prevented any child from suffering simply by meeting his obligations. … I had fallen into a trap and said something that I simply did not mean. That is no one’s fault but my own.

    Madam Secretary, Volume 2003, Part 2
    By Madeleine Korbel Albright

    “I despise ideologues masquerading as objective journalists.” – Bill O’Reilly, March 30, 2007

  • Since you will not find out from out government we are left to make our own list:
    1) Only ac cept dollars for oil; Hussein was known for accepting other currencies and threatening not to accept dollars.
    2) Open undeveloped oil reserves to Western Oil Companies
    3) Return the Petroleum company that you nationalized back to private western ownership and agree to the terms of payment that you disagreed with when you nationalized it.
    4) Accept a deal to build a new pipeline through Syria to the Mediterranean (Syria will agree once we are done bullying them too)

    Or do we still believe in WMD’s?

  • Saddam Hussein could have prevented any child from suffering simply by meeting his obligations.

    “I wouldn’t beat my wife if she’d just shut up.”

    “If you don’t pay the ransom we demand, you will be killing your child”.

    Sorry, Madeleine – that explanation is even worse. I don’t accept the odious implication that you were some sort of morally inert, passive “agent of destiny” in this equation. America chose and executed the policy. Nothing compelled them to pursue that option over another.

    Public speaking is hard, and I usually cut people slack for obvious missteps. There’s not a hint of this being one of them – she makes no attempt to call it that. She simply said exactly what was on her mind. Later, when a storm broke over what she’d inadvertently revealed about her thought processes, she cast around for ways to portray it as something other than the unbelievable callousness it actually was – and that explanation is utterly lame.

    The trap she fell into was just “being forced to tell the truth”.

    “The best-informed man is not necessarily the wisest. Indeed there is a danger that precisely in the multiplicity of his knowledge he will lose sight of what is essential.”

    – Dietrich Bonhoeffer

  • I just posted the quote to show what she wrote about what she said in the interview.

    “I despise ideologues masquerading as objective journalists.” – Bill O’Reilly, March 30, 2007

  • Here we should all be ashamed of this whole thing. Unbelievable, WMD, what bull shit. This entire Iraq war has been to get back ill-gotten possessions of western oil companies that were nationalized by Sadam Hussein in 1972 because US oil companies were unable to share any of their profits with the Iraqis; its just stealing. Those children died for this, the civilians soldiers…

  • -Gulf War was in 1990? Bush 41?
    -UN Laid the mandates on Iraq, something about invading Iraq’s neighbor, Kuwait? Correct? Was popular everywhere.
    -Clinton Elected ’92, Inaugurated ’93? Madelene can when, duriing Clinton’s watch?
    -Irag evaded and did not meet its obligation under the UM mandates imposed after Gulf War I – mostly about WMDs and Chemical weapons, because the UN ran the inspections, all Saddam had to do was be a better loser.

    You appear to be conflating Gulf War I with Gulf War II.

  • Both wars were about the same thing. Repossessing an oil company that was nationalized and a few related issues. That list of stuff you mentioned is the excuse including the invasion of Kuwait. Saddam was obviously a scoundrel and murderer but was probably tricked into invading Kuwait. He was nothing like the murderous group of people depicted.

  • With Kohn Its here!

    About the travesty of the UBS offshore crime syndicate DOJ coverup

    Jailed UBS Whistleblower Bradley Birkenfeld Makes Tax Day Clemency Request to President Obama
    A former banker for the Swiss giant UBS who blew the whistle on the biggest tax evasion scheme in US history is asking President Obama today for clemency to coincide with Tax Day, the day US income tax returns are due for most people. In January, Bradley Birkenfeld began serving a forty-month sentence despite playing a key role in uncovering the bank scandal. He first came forward to US authorities in 2007 and began providing inside information on how UBS was helping thousands of Americans evade taxes by hiding billions of dollars in secret Swiss accounts. [includes rush transcript]

  • shrek at least put on a funny voice. albright, as michael collins points out, is completely serious. how sad that she regrets her failure in rhetoric rather than morality.

    obama and his chain of command now hold the authority to get us out of iraq and afghanistan. let us place pressure today where it can make a difference.

    Bring the troops home now!

  • But in Shrek, humorous or not, Lord F. said it in a way that revealed the intent in contrast to Albright who hid behind the idea that it was up to Hussein to end it.

  • Style over substance is a neocon thing. We wouldn’t understand.

    The sanctions are a far greater crime than anything WikiLeaks has produced. A quarter of a million CHILDREN UNDER FIVE died because Bill Clinton and the Congress didn’t want to let medicine in to Iraq. What a vile bunch they are.

  • I just sent my uncle a check due by midnight. So I’m glad to hear that half of the government’s deficit is stashed overseas. I’ve got an idea though. Simple, straight forward, and legal

  • to exonerate the bloodthirsty bastards who murdered those civilians from the comfort of their armored attack helicopters. They may not have chosen the war, but they chose to kill those noncombatants (AKA normal people) on very specious grounds, even by imperial goon standards.

    I think the hotshot flyboy cowards should be turned over to the Iraqis and tried in Iraqi courts for murder. That’s a matter entirely apart from Cheney, Rove, Bush, Rumsfeld, Rice, Albright et al deserving to be flayed and salted and their remains disposed of in pit toilets.

  • to the sanctions regime imposed after Gulf War 1.

    Denis Halliday was appointed United Nations Humanitarian Coordinator in Baghdad, Iraq as of 1 September 1997, at the Assistant Secretary-General level. In October 1998 he resigned after a 34 year career with the UN in order to have the freedom to criticise the sanctions regime, saying “I don’t want to administer a programme that satisfies the definition of genocide”[27]

    As to Clinton and Albright, regime change isn’t some new horror that neocons dreamed up.

    A non-express goal of the sanctions held by some was the removal of Saddam Hussein. It was openly stated in the Iraq Liberation Act of 1998, expressing a sense of the U.S. Congress and signed by President Bill Clinton,[12] that U.S. policy was to “replace that regime” in Iraq,[13] to force Hussein from power, an outcome not referenced in the resolutions. And in 1991, Paul Lewis wrote in the New York Times: “Ever since the trade embargo was imposed on Aug. 6, after the invasion of Kuwait, the United States has argued against any premature relaxation in the belief that by making life uncomfortable for the Iraqi people it will eventually encourage them to remove President Saddam Hussein from power.”[14] The economic sanctions failed to topple Saddam, and may have helped further entrench his rule.[15]

    Although, as we all know, when Iraqis actually did rise up and revolt against Saddam as America had encouraged them to do, America had refused to support them and let them be slaughtered.

    The United States, which had urged Iraqis to rise up against Saddam, did nothing to assist the rebellions.

    Oh look – as it turned out, both choices were wrong. How tragic for the Iraqis. Oh well – can’t see it from my kid’s yard; how about another martini?

    I’d agree that it would be unfair to blame America or the Clinton administration exclusively for the scale and scope of this grotesquerie – there’s lots of blame to go around. But it’s Madeleine Albright’s dismal quote, and her belated attempts to justify it, that I’m responding to, and my statement stands.

    “The best-informed man is not necessarily the wisest. Indeed there is a danger that precisely in the multiplicity of his knowledge he will lose sight of what is essential.”

    – Dietrich Bonhoeffer

  • From the link in my above post:

    On 1st June, 1972 the Iraqi Petroleum Corporation was nationalized. The nationalization of the IPC was the result of a long-running battle for control between the government and the IPC.

    What happenned in 1952 (according to Wikipedia) was this:

    In 1952, terms that were more generous to the Iraqi government were negotiated. These terms were largely based on the far more lucrative terms of the Aramco-Saudi agreement of December 1950.

  • The United States and UK enforced sanctions on Iraq bombing it several times. The US and NATO bombed several countries in the Balkins and invaded Kosovo in an effort to prevent the formation of a greater Serbia and thereby strengthen the strategic positions of several new NATO countries uhr … oh I forgot, to rescue Muslims from Serbs. Kosovo is still occupied by NATO (KFOR) under UN mandate because (fill in the blank)___________________.

  • Oil profits. Weapons profits. Contractor profits. Kickbacks.Campaign contributions.Stock dividends.



    Those people look sick in that picture up there. Not the kind of people your want your children exposed to, for sure.

    They are awful people. And what does it say for our country that we gave them the keys to the kingdom for eight years straight?

    This is evidence for my belief that humans are NOT an intelligent species. We have brains and we can think, but I don’t see us, as a species, making intelligent decisions.

    We are fixing to get knocked back down and try it again.

    There have been other extinction events that decimated the human population – several of them in fact, since we left Africa. The latest was about 12,000 years ago when sudden climate disruption wiped out the Clovis culture. Fewer than 10 percent of all humans on the North American continent were thought to have survived that one.

    So, yes, it can, and it has happened.

  • Steven Lee Myers | Baghdad | July 6
    NYT – An Army soldier in Iraq who was arrested for leaking a video of a deadly American helicopter attack here in 2007 has also been charged with downloading more than 150,000 highly classified diplomatic cables that could, if made public, reveal the inner workings of American embassies around the world, the military here announced on Tuesday.

    The full contents of the cables remain unclear but according to formal charges filed on Monday, it appeared that a disgruntled soldier working at a remote base east of Baghdad gathered some of the most guarded, if not always scandalous secrets of American diplomacy. He disclosed at least 50 of the cables “to a person not entitled to receive them.

    This post is brought to you by a “Planted government disinformation agent.”

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