Friday, March 10, 2006
Tuesday, March 07, 2006
Jamal al-Ghurairy was a fake
In November 2001, just two months after the terrorist attacks on New York and Washington, two high-profile U.S. journalists Chris Hedges of the New York Times and Christopher Buchanan of PBS' "Frontline" were ushered to a meeting in a Beirut hotel with a man identified as Jamal al-Ghurairy, an Iraqi lieutenant general who had fled Saddam Hussein.
The high-ranking Iraqi military officer claimed he had witnessed terrorist training camps in Iraq where Islamic militants learned how to hijack airplanes. About 40 foreign nationals were based there at any given time, he said.
"We were training these people to attack installations important to the United States," he told the journalists at the meeting arranged by the Iraqi National Congress.
Reporter Hedges and producer Buchanan found Ghurairy to be very convincing, worried for his life and very insistent that his face couldn't be shown on camera. He was accompanied by a well-organized entourage.
A story appeared a couple of days later on the front page of the Times and then "Frontline" followed with a report on public television. The stories generated numerous editorials and op-ed pieces and, of course, became the topic of the week on cable talk shows.
Now, the liberal investigative magazine Mother Jones has exposed the "general" as a fake.
"The story of Saddam training foreign fighters to hijack airplanes was instrumental in building the case to invade Iraq," a detailed report in the March-April issue says. "But it turns out that the Iraqi general who told the story to the New York Times and 'Frontline' was a complete fake a low-ranking former soldier whom Ahmed Chalabi's aides had coached to deceive the media."
Unbelievable. Lies all around.
Yes, unfortunately the US media whores lapped up the lies, war sells you know.
Freedom = Detained Without Trial
US and UK forces in Iraq have detained thousands of people without charge or trial for long periods and there is growing evidence of Iraqi security forces torturing detainees, Amnesty International said today.
In a new report published today, the human rights group criticised the US-led multinational force for interning some 14,000 people.
Around 3,800 people have been held for over a year, while another 200 have been detained for more than two years, the report - Beyond Abu Ghraib: detention and torture in Iraq - said.
"It is a dangerous precedent for the world that the US and UK think it completely defensible to hold thousands of people without charge or trial," Amnesty spokesman Neil Durkin said.
The detainee situation in Iraq was comparable to Guantánamo Bay, he added, but on a much larger scale, and the detentions appeared to be "arbitrary and indefinite".
"It sends a very worrying message to the people of Iraq that the multinational force does not think normal human rights standards apply," he said.
Amnesty said there was no fresh evidence of US-led troops abusing detainees in ways similar to Abu Ghraib prison, but it warned that the US practice of denying detainees access to lawyers or visits by relatives for their first 60 days in custody left the door open to mistreatment.
In a few weeks, I'll be stopping in Dallas on a flight to Canada. I certainly hope that the U.S. government does not "liberate" me like they did my countryman Maher Arar.