• IntelliVid AI Studio Review - World’s First AI Tech Creates Stunning Faceless Videos From One Central Dashboard


    More than 68% Fortune 500 companies use attention grabbing Faceless videos to attract audience attention.
    So, its clear that Faceless videos are the NEXT BIG thing in the digital marketing arena,
    & business owners across the globe are leaving no stone unturned to use them in their marketing arsenal.


    Read More:
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    IntelliVid AI Studio Review - World’s First AI Tech Creates Stunning Faceless Videos From One Central Dashboard More than 68% Fortune 500 companies use attention grabbing Faceless videos to attract audience attention. So, its clear that Faceless videos are the NEXT BIG thing in the digital marketing arena, & business owners across the globe are leaving no stone unturned to use them in their marketing arsenal. Read More: https://dilip-review.com/intellivid-ai-studio-review/ #HowtoMakeMoneywithIntelliVidAIStudio #IntelliVidAIStudiobyLoveneetRajora #MakeMoneywithIntelliVidAIStudio #HowDoesIntelliVidAIStudioWork #IntelliVidAIStudioHonestReview #IntelliVidAIStudioScamorLegit #HowtoBuyIntelliVidAIStudio #IntelliVidAIStudioLiveDemo #IntelliVidAIStudioDownload #IntelliVidAIStudioUpgrades #IntelliVidAIStudioSoftware #IntelliVidAIStudioBonuses #IntelliVidAIStudioReviews #IntelliVidAIStudioPreview #IntelliVidAIStudioUpsells #IntelliVidAIStudioReview #IntelliVidAIStudioBonus #IntelliVidAIStudioDemo #IntelliVidAIStudioScam #IntelliVidAIStudioLegit #IntelliVidAIStudioOTO #IntelliVidAIStudioApp
    DILIP-REVIEW.COM
    IntelliVid AI Studio Review - World’s First AI Tech Creates Stunning Faceless Videos From One Central Dashboard
    IntelliVid AI Studio Review - IntelliVid AI Studio is a state-of-the-art AI-powered application that will change the way you create video
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  • Having an amazing in #Slovenia seeing #family & #friends. Took an overnight trip to #Pula in #Croatia to see some ancient #Roman ruins and made a return trip through #Koper. Simply stunning!!!

    - Koper - Koper, Slovenia - 2024
    https://youtube.com/shorts/q2t4sLlsIzw?feature=share

    - Pula - Pula, #Croatia
    https://youtube.com/shorts/wZPo3FPJcZs?feature=share

    Just a couple #shorts I put together - hope you enjoy!!!
    Having an amazing in #Slovenia seeing #family & #friends. Took an overnight trip to #Pula in #Croatia to see some ancient #Roman ruins and made a return trip through #Koper. Simply stunning!!! - Koper - Koper, Slovenia - 2024 https://youtube.com/shorts/q2t4sLlsIzw?feature=share - Pula - Pula, #Croatia https://youtube.com/shorts/wZPo3FPJcZs?feature=share Just a couple #shorts I put together - hope you enjoy!!!
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  • Having an amazing in #Slovenia seeing #family & #friends. Took an overnight trip to #Pula in #Croatia to see some ancient #Roman ruins and made a return trip through #Koper. Simply stunning!!!

    - Koper - Koper, Slovenia - 2024
    https://youtube.com/shorts/q2t4sLlsIzw?feature=share

    - Pula - Pula, #Croatia
    https://youtube.com/shorts/wZPo3FPJcZs?feature=share

    Just a couple #shorts I put together - hope you enjoy!!!
    Having an amazing in #Slovenia seeing #family & #friends. Took an overnight trip to #Pula in #Croatia to see some ancient #Roman ruins and made a return trip through #Koper. Simply stunning!!! - Koper - Koper, Slovenia - 2024 https://youtube.com/shorts/q2t4sLlsIzw?feature=share - Pula - Pula, #Croatia https://youtube.com/shorts/wZPo3FPJcZs?feature=share Just a couple #shorts I put together - hope you enjoy!!!
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  • Ninja Short Review
    Unlock the Power of AI in YouTube Content Creation!

    Are you struggling to create engaging videos for YouTube without the time or patience to learn video editing skills? Say hello to AI-powered content creation with Ninja Short!
    Our AI platform makes it fail-proof to add hundreds of profitable videos to your channel in no time. With no voiceover, scriptwriting, or extensive video editing skills required, you can create stunning videos that generate profit every single day.

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    Ninja Short Review Unlock the Power of AI in YouTube Content Creation! Are you struggling to create engaging videos for YouTube without the time or patience to learn video editing skills? Say hello to AI-powered content creation with Ninja Short! Our AI platform makes it fail-proof to add hundreds of profitable videos to your channel in no time. With no voiceover, scriptwriting, or extensive video editing skills required, you can create stunning videos that generate profit every single day. Read More >> https://dilip-review.com/ninja-short-review/ #HowtoMakeMoneywithNinjaShort #NinjaShortReviewbyLiamDavis #MakeMoneywithNinjaShort #HowDoesNinjaShortWork #NinjaShortHonestReview #NinjaShortScamorLegit #HowtoBuyNinjaShort #NinjaShortLiveDemo #NinjaShortDownload #NinjaShortUpgrades #NinjaShortSoftware #NinjaShortBonuses #NinjaShortReviews #NinjaShortPreview #NinjaShortUpsells #NinjaShortReview #NinjaShortBonus #NinjaShortDemo #NinjaShortScam #NinjaShortLegit #NinjaShortOTO #NinjaShortApp
    DILIP-REVIEW.COM
    Ninja Short Review | The Ultimate Shortcut to YouTube Success - Dilip-Review
    Ninja Short Review - Learn how to make money on YouTube without having to pay a lot of money for freelance work.
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  • JPMorgan Chase, BlackRock drop out of massive UN climate alliance in stunning move
    https://www.foxbusiness.com/politics/jpmorgan-chase-drops-out-of-massive-un-climate-alliance-in-stunning-move
    JPMorgan Chase, BlackRock drop out of massive UN climate alliance in stunning move https://www.foxbusiness.com/politics/jpmorgan-chase-drops-out-of-massive-un-climate-alliance-in-stunning-move
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  • Discovering Paradise: The Best Hotels in Diu

    Experience luxury and comfort at the best hotel in Diu. Discover exquisite accommodations, impeccable service, and stunning ocean views. Book your stay at the finest hotel in Diu for an unforgettable coastal getaway.

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  • https://allnewsadvertisment-website.blogspot.com/2024/02/yolanda-saldivar-makes-stunning-cases.html
    https://allnewsadvertisment-website.blogspot.com/2024/02/yolanda-saldivar-makes-stunning-cases.html
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  • Are You an Anti-Paxxer?

    As doctors drop Paxlovid because of drug interactions and research shows it causes Covid rebounds and virus shedding, Pfizer and MSM crank the PR machine to hide the facts and shame "anti-paxxers."

    Don't fall for it!


    Are You an Anti-Paxxer?
    As doctors drop Paxlovid because of drug interactions and research shows it causes Covid rebounds and virus shedding, Pfizer and MSM crank the PR machine to hide the facts and shame "anti-paxxers."

    Linda Bonvie

    Pfizer has a big public relations push on for its controversial drug Paxlovid. There’s even a name being bandied about for those who question the drug: “Anti-Paxxers.”
    When an article by Los Angeles Times metro reporter Rong-Gong Lin II recommended last month that practically everyone who tests positive for Covid takes Pfizer’s Paxlovid, some media veterans may have wondered what had become of the traditional wall between news reporting and advertising.

    The story, which appeared on January 28, swept away almost all of the reservations that have been raised about the safety and effectiveness of this patent medicine, assuring us that “Paxlovid rebound” is a non-issue and fear of serious side effects is “erroneous.” It even went so far as to suggest that if your doctor won’t prescribe this “highly effective” medication, it’s time to go doctor shopping.

    So why is this LA Times writer so desperately trying to sell us this fast-tracked antiviral that comes with a black box warning?

    The article appeared at a particularly critical time for Pfizer just as it transitions from Emergency Use Authorization, or EUA Paxlovid, to FDA-approved Paxlovid. Originally free to patients, the medication was stockpiled by the U.S. government to the tune of 24 million treatment courses at a cost to taxpayers of $530 a box. Now, the FDA-approved version (same drug, different box) sells for a list price of up to $1,500. (According to an analysis by researchers at Harvard University, the actual cost to Pfizer for a five-day Paxlovid course is $13).

    But to Pfizer’s chagrin, it now doesn’t seem to be able to even give the stuff away, let alone sell it at a premium price. Last fall Pfizer accepted a return of nearly 8 million boxes sent back by the U.S. government.

    What’s a drugmaker to do when both patients and doctors shun a product that was anticipated to be the better half of Pfizer’s post-Covid “multibillion-dollar franchise?

    Flush with all that Covid cash and new Paxlovid FDA approval last May, Pfizer went shopping for partners to help promote its products.

    No stranger to top-tier PR firms such as Edelman and Ogilvy, the drugmaker tagged two of the biggest names in contemporary communications companies, Publicis Groupe, a Paris-based giant PR and ad agency, and the humongous Interpublic Group. These high-level agencies come at a big price tag, but what they can offer is priceless—a way to get your story told by respected media outlets.

    That’s right, if you have enough money to hire the folks with all the right contacts, you too can create your own “news!” And these special contacts are something that PR firms, such as Edelman, are very proud of. Many agency hires, in fact, are recruited directly from major media outlets, such as Edelman NYC Brand Director Nancy Jeffrey, who spent a decade at the Wall Street Journal.

    As quoted in an Edelman website blog, Jeffrey recalls how Richard Edelman (son of founder Dan) would call her during her time working at the paper “to meet a client with a story to tell.” As Jeffrey says, “No one at Edelman ever rises too high to pitch a reporter.”

    So was our LA Times reporter “pitched,” or does he just have an evangelical connection with Paxlovid?

    Let’s take a close look at his story and see what we find.

    Side effects be gone!

    First, there’s the article’s headline, which began: “If it’s COVID, Paxlovid”? Getting your oft-advertised product’s rhyming tagline in a headline—now that’s branding! And we don’t have to tell any of the side effects in this venue. The LA Times piece was off to a great start.

    Why aren’t more people being given Paxlovid, the reporter wanted to know. It’s “cheap or even free for many,” he said. And then he delivered his first rave review, calling it “highly effective.”

    By paragraph four, however, our intrepid reporter had uncovered the bad news that “a number of doctors are still declining to prescribe it.” But why? It must be those pesky “outdated arguments” about “Paxlovid rebound.” Anyone who gets Covid “has a similar rare chance of rebound,” he told us. For extra punch, he called on Dr. Peter Chin-Hong, professor of medicine at UCSF, to back up that statement. Rebound is “like, bogus” and “just dumb,” Chin-Hong said.

    What Lin didn’t report is that a study published in the Annals of Internal Medicine in November 2023, by researchers from Mass General Brigham, found that in Covid patients taking Paxlovid, rebound was “much more common” and often without symptoms. Nearly 21 percent had virologic rebound versus under 2 percent not on the drug. Of perhaps even more significance, prolonged viral shedding for an average of fourteen days was noted in those who rebounded, indicating that they “were potentially still contagious for much longer.” The virologic rebound “phenomenon,” in Paxlovid patients, the authors noted, “has implications for post-N-R (Paxlovid) monitoring and isolation recommendations.” This study closely monitored patients with follow-ups three times a week “sometimes for months.”

    After quoting from several Paxlovid-positive FDA and CDC statements and referencing a California Public Health commercial where people dance to an upbeat tune singing “Test it, treat it, beat it, California you know you need it,” Lin got around to some serious stuff—side effects.

    Not mentioned by Lin, but good to know anyway, Paxlovid bears an FDA-required black-box warning about drug interactions, cautioning of “potentially severe, life-threatening, or fatal events.” But the article carefully danced around this inconvenient issue, simply mentioning that some Paxlovid takers may need to have their medications adjusted. The fear of “serious side effects . . . is largely erroneous,” it claimed.

    Really?

    “There are 125 drug interactions (for Paxlovid) across twenty-five different classes of medicines,” author and FLCCC President Dr. Pierre Kory said in a phone interview. “I’ve never used any medicine that had that number and degree of drug interactions, and I find it absurd,” added Kory, who is an expert in early Covid treatment.

    And this is no secret. The Paxlovid package insert lists thirty-nine specific drugs that interact with this anti-viral (which is not a complete list, we’re warned) including medications that treat conditions such as an enlarged prostate, gout, migraines, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, arrhythmias, and angina.

    With side effects out of the way, our reporter moved on to an interesting idea—doctor shopping.

    If your doctor turns you down for Paxlovid, “what other options are there?” How about “reaching out to another healthcare provider” we’re advised, one “who might be more knowledgeable about Paxlovid . . .”

    Don’t be an ‘Anti-Paxxer!’

    The LA Times isn’t alone in this timely pushing of Paxlovid. The New York Times also ran a glowing Paxlovid piece at the beginning of January. The black-box warning was glossed over by simply saying that some “doctors balk” over the “long list of medications not to be mixed with Paxlovid,” referring to the drug as being “stunningly effective.” The NYT reporter also added five mentions of a study—actually a preprint (not yet peer reviewed or published)—which through the use of statistical magic concluded that during the course of the research had only half of the eligible Covid patients in the U.S. taken Paxlovid, 48,000 lives would have been saved.

    The server where the research was posted warns journalists and others when discussing preprints to “emphasize it has yet to be evaluated by the medical community and information presented may be erroneous.”

    Paxlovid is not the only drug that gets special treatment by the media. Last January, a 60 Minutes segment was called out by the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine as “an unlawful weight loss drug ad” for the med Wegovy. The piece, it noted, “looked like a news story, but it was effectively a drug ad,” the group said in a press release. PCRM also stated that Novo Nordisk, which makes Wegovy, paid over $100,000 to the doctors CBS interviewed for the segment.

    With this new frenzy to sell Paxlovid, one can’t help but compare it to the campaign against ivermectin. Kicked off by the FDA in August 2021, it successfully branded this Nobel Prize-winning, FDA-approved drug as nothing more than a horse dewormer endorsed by fanatical outlier doctors and accepted by gullible patients. Despite being found to be an extremely safe treatment as well as an effective one for Covid, the FDA, CDC, and its media “partners” made ivermectin the subject of false accusations and warnings about the supposed risks of using it.

    But early on in the game it was decided, as Dr. Kory pointed out, “to keep the market open for their novel pricey Paxlovid pill.” And to that effect, nothing was going to stand in the way. In an interview last summer with the head of the UCSF Department of Medicine, FDA Commissioner Dr. Robert Califf admitted that he helped promote Paxlovid—something he acknowledged is explicitly against the rules.

    “In normal times, the FDA should not be a cheerleader . . .” Califf said. But since back then EUA drugs could not be advertised (a policy that changed in the fall of 2022) he went ahead and pitched it himself.

    The Paxlovid campaign is far from over. In fact, it may now be revving up to full throttle. There’s even a name being bandied about for those who question the drug: “Anti-Paxxers.”

    And if we can take any insight from the new Pfizer tagline (just filed for protection with the US Patent and Trademark Office), “Outdo Yesterday,” there are even more spurious strategies in its pharmaceutical pipeline.

    Full story:
    https://rescue.substack.com/p/are-you-an-anti-paxxer

    Join @ShankaraChetty


    https://donshafi911.blogspot.com/2024/02/are-you-anti-paxxer-as-doctors-drop.html
    Are You an Anti-Paxxer? πŸ‡ΊπŸ‡ΈπŸ’ŠAs doctors drop Paxlovid because of drug interactions and research shows it causes Covid rebounds and virus shedding, Pfizer and MSM crank the PR machine to hide the facts and shame "anti-paxxers." Don't fall for it! Are You an Anti-Paxxer? As doctors drop Paxlovid because of drug interactions and research shows it causes Covid rebounds and virus shedding, Pfizer and MSM crank the PR machine to hide the facts and shame "anti-paxxers." Linda Bonvie Pfizer has a big public relations push on for its controversial drug Paxlovid. There’s even a name being bandied about for those who question the drug: “Anti-Paxxers.” When an article by Los Angeles Times metro reporter Rong-Gong Lin II recommended last month that practically everyone who tests positive for Covid takes Pfizer’s Paxlovid, some media veterans may have wondered what had become of the traditional wall between news reporting and advertising. The story, which appeared on January 28, swept away almost all of the reservations that have been raised about the safety and effectiveness of this patent medicine, assuring us that “Paxlovid rebound” is a non-issue and fear of serious side effects is “erroneous.” It even went so far as to suggest that if your doctor won’t prescribe this “highly effective” medication, it’s time to go doctor shopping. So why is this LA Times writer so desperately trying to sell us this fast-tracked antiviral that comes with a black box warning? The article appeared at a particularly critical time for Pfizer just as it transitions from Emergency Use Authorization, or EUA Paxlovid, to FDA-approved Paxlovid. Originally free to patients, the medication was stockpiled by the U.S. government to the tune of 24 million treatment courses at a cost to taxpayers of $530 a box. Now, the FDA-approved version (same drug, different box) sells for a list price of up to $1,500. (According to an analysis by researchers at Harvard University, the actual cost to Pfizer for a five-day Paxlovid course is $13). But to Pfizer’s chagrin, it now doesn’t seem to be able to even give the stuff away, let alone sell it at a premium price. Last fall Pfizer accepted a return of nearly 8 million boxes sent back by the U.S. government. What’s a drugmaker to do when both patients and doctors shun a product that was anticipated to be the better half of Pfizer’s post-Covid “multibillion-dollar franchise? Flush with all that Covid cash and new Paxlovid FDA approval last May, Pfizer went shopping for partners to help promote its products. No stranger to top-tier PR firms such as Edelman and Ogilvy, the drugmaker tagged two of the biggest names in contemporary communications companies, Publicis Groupe, a Paris-based giant PR and ad agency, and the humongous Interpublic Group. These high-level agencies come at a big price tag, but what they can offer is priceless—a way to get your story told by respected media outlets. That’s right, if you have enough money to hire the folks with all the right contacts, you too can create your own “news!” And these special contacts are something that PR firms, such as Edelman, are very proud of. Many agency hires, in fact, are recruited directly from major media outlets, such as Edelman NYC Brand Director Nancy Jeffrey, who spent a decade at the Wall Street Journal. As quoted in an Edelman website blog, Jeffrey recalls how Richard Edelman (son of founder Dan) would call her during her time working at the paper “to meet a client with a story to tell.” As Jeffrey says, “No one at Edelman ever rises too high to pitch a reporter.” So was our LA Times reporter “pitched,” or does he just have an evangelical connection with Paxlovid? Let’s take a close look at his story and see what we find. Side effects be gone! First, there’s the article’s headline, which began: “If it’s COVID, Paxlovid”? Getting your oft-advertised product’s rhyming tagline in a headline—now that’s branding! And we don’t have to tell any of the side effects in this venue. The LA Times piece was off to a great start. Why aren’t more people being given Paxlovid, the reporter wanted to know. It’s “cheap or even free for many,” he said. And then he delivered his first rave review, calling it “highly effective.” By paragraph four, however, our intrepid reporter had uncovered the bad news that “a number of doctors are still declining to prescribe it.” But why? It must be those pesky “outdated arguments” about “Paxlovid rebound.” Anyone who gets Covid “has a similar rare chance of rebound,” he told us. For extra punch, he called on Dr. Peter Chin-Hong, professor of medicine at UCSF, to back up that statement. Rebound is “like, bogus” and “just dumb,” Chin-Hong said. What Lin didn’t report is that a study published in the Annals of Internal Medicine in November 2023, by researchers from Mass General Brigham, found that in Covid patients taking Paxlovid, rebound was “much more common” and often without symptoms. Nearly 21 percent had virologic rebound versus under 2 percent not on the drug. Of perhaps even more significance, prolonged viral shedding for an average of fourteen days was noted in those who rebounded, indicating that they “were potentially still contagious for much longer.” The virologic rebound “phenomenon,” in Paxlovid patients, the authors noted, “has implications for post-N-R (Paxlovid) monitoring and isolation recommendations.” This study closely monitored patients with follow-ups three times a week “sometimes for months.” After quoting from several Paxlovid-positive FDA and CDC statements and referencing a California Public Health commercial where people dance to an upbeat tune singing “Test it, treat it, beat it, California you know you need it,” Lin got around to some serious stuff—side effects. Not mentioned by Lin, but good to know anyway, Paxlovid bears an FDA-required black-box warning about drug interactions, cautioning of “potentially severe, life-threatening, or fatal events.” But the article carefully danced around this inconvenient issue, simply mentioning that some Paxlovid takers may need to have their medications adjusted. The fear of “serious side effects . . . is largely erroneous,” it claimed. Really? “There are 125 drug interactions (for Paxlovid) across twenty-five different classes of medicines,” author and FLCCC President Dr. Pierre Kory said in a phone interview. “I’ve never used any medicine that had that number and degree of drug interactions, and I find it absurd,” added Kory, who is an expert in early Covid treatment. And this is no secret. The Paxlovid package insert lists thirty-nine specific drugs that interact with this anti-viral (which is not a complete list, we’re warned) including medications that treat conditions such as an enlarged prostate, gout, migraines, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, arrhythmias, and angina. With side effects out of the way, our reporter moved on to an interesting idea—doctor shopping. If your doctor turns you down for Paxlovid, “what other options are there?” How about “reaching out to another healthcare provider” we’re advised, one “who might be more knowledgeable about Paxlovid . . .” Don’t be an ‘Anti-Paxxer!’ The LA Times isn’t alone in this timely pushing of Paxlovid. The New York Times also ran a glowing Paxlovid piece at the beginning of January. The black-box warning was glossed over by simply saying that some “doctors balk” over the “long list of medications not to be mixed with Paxlovid,” referring to the drug as being “stunningly effective.” The NYT reporter also added five mentions of a study—actually a preprint (not yet peer reviewed or published)—which through the use of statistical magic concluded that during the course of the research had only half of the eligible Covid patients in the U.S. taken Paxlovid, 48,000 lives would have been saved. The server where the research was posted warns journalists and others when discussing preprints to “emphasize it has yet to be evaluated by the medical community and information presented may be erroneous.” Paxlovid is not the only drug that gets special treatment by the media. Last January, a 60 Minutes segment was called out by the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine as “an unlawful weight loss drug ad” for the med Wegovy. The piece, it noted, “looked like a news story, but it was effectively a drug ad,” the group said in a press release. PCRM also stated that Novo Nordisk, which makes Wegovy, paid over $100,000 to the doctors CBS interviewed for the segment. With this new frenzy to sell Paxlovid, one can’t help but compare it to the campaign against ivermectin. Kicked off by the FDA in August 2021, it successfully branded this Nobel Prize-winning, FDA-approved drug as nothing more than a horse dewormer endorsed by fanatical outlier doctors and accepted by gullible patients. Despite being found to be an extremely safe treatment as well as an effective one for Covid, the FDA, CDC, and its media “partners” made ivermectin the subject of false accusations and warnings about the supposed risks of using it. But early on in the game it was decided, as Dr. Kory pointed out, “to keep the market open for their novel pricey Paxlovid pill.” And to that effect, nothing was going to stand in the way. In an interview last summer with the head of the UCSF Department of Medicine, FDA Commissioner Dr. Robert Califf admitted that he helped promote Paxlovid—something he acknowledged is explicitly against the rules. “In normal times, the FDA should not be a cheerleader . . .” Califf said. But since back then EUA drugs could not be advertised (a policy that changed in the fall of 2022) he went ahead and pitched it himself. The Paxlovid campaign is far from over. In fact, it may now be revving up to full throttle. There’s even a name being bandied about for those who question the drug: “Anti-Paxxers.” And if we can take any insight from the new Pfizer tagline (just filed for protection with the US Patent and Trademark Office), “Outdo Yesterday,” there are even more spurious strategies in its pharmaceutical pipeline. Full story:πŸ‘‡ https://rescue.substack.com/p/are-you-an-anti-paxxer Join ➑️ @ShankaraChetty https://donshafi911.blogspot.com/2024/02/are-you-anti-paxxer-as-doctors-drop.html
    RESCUE.SUBSTACK.COM
    Are You an Anti-Paxxer?
    As doctors drop Paxlovid because of drug interactions and research shows it causes Covid rebounds and virus shedding, Pfizer and MSM crank the PR machine to hide the facts and shame "anti-paxxers."
    Like
    1
    0 Comments 1 Shares 19433 Views
  • Immerse yourself in a realm where creativity knows no bounds, as stunning animation brings characters to life and transports you to enchanting landscapes. Get ready for a cinematic experience that will leave you awe-inspired and entertained. Don't miss out on the magic – watch and enjoy as the boundaries of imagination are pushed to new heights in this mesmerizing animated adventure. https://teraboxapp.com/s/1lh9q9_HnkaY3ji5tC51Ibw
    Immerse yourself in a realm where creativity knows no bounds, as stunning animation brings characters to life and transports you to enchanting landscapes. Get ready for a cinematic experience that will leave you awe-inspired and entertained. Don't miss out on the magic – watch and enjoy as the boundaries of imagination are pushed to new heights in this mesmerizing animated adventure. https://teraboxapp.com/s/1lh9q9_HnkaY3ji5tC51Ibw
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    Shaun the Sheep Movie - Dog Doctor _ Fandango Family.mp4 - Shared via TeraBox
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  • Synopsis of ICJ’s decision on Israeli genocide, reactions, and take-aways
    [email protected] January 27, 2024 genocide, icj, international court of justice
    Synopsis of ICJ’s decision on Israeli genocide, reactions, and take-aways
    World Court rules on Gaza emergency measures in Israel genocide case, in The Hague (photo)
    Get a handle on the ICJ ruling, the dissenting judges, the binding nature of the decision, take-aways from several important voices, and reactions from stakeholding parties.

    Summary of ICJ’s ruling

    reposted from Al Jazeera

    The World Court ordered Israel to take action to prevent acts of genocide as it wages war against the Hamas group in the Gaza Strip. (15-2)

    (vote 15-2) The State of Israel shall, in accordance with its obligations under the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide, in relation to Palestinians in Gaza, take all measures within its power to prevent the commission of all acts within the scope of Article II of this Convention, in particular:

    (a) killing members of the group
    (b) causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group
    (c) deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part
    (d) imposing measures intended to prevent births within the group

    (vote 15-2) The State of Israel shall ensure with immediate effect that its military does not commit any acts described in point 1 above

    (vote 16-1) The State of Israel shall take all measures within its power to prevent and punish the direct and public incitement to commit genocide in relation to members of the Palestinian group in the Gaza Strip

    (vote 16-1) The State of Israel shall take immediate and effective measures to enable the provision of urgently needed basic services and humanitarian assistance to address the adverse conditions of life faced by Palestinians in the Gaza Strip

    (vote 15-2) The State of Israel shall take effective measures to prevent the destruction and ensure the preservation of evidence related to allegations of acts within the scope of Article II and Article III of the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide against members of the Palestinian group in the Gaza Strip

    (vote 15-2) The State of Israel shall submit a report to the Court on all measures taken to give effect to this order within one month as from the date of this Order.

    The court stopped short of calling for an immediate ceasefire.



    Who are the ICJ judges that voted against motions?

    Julia Sebutinde – voted against all motions

    In 1996, Sebutinde was appointed as one of the judges of the High Court of Uganda. In 2012, she became the first African woman to be appointed to the International Court of Justice (ICJ), also known as the world court. She has broken barriers and paved the way for countless other African women in the field of law.

    Sebutinde got her undergraduate degree in Uganda, and Master’s and Doctorate of Law at the University of Edinburgh. She has contributed immensely to international law jurisprudence through the cases she has heard, often with dissenting opinions.

    Regarding her voting record in this case, Ambassador and Permanent Representative of Uganda to the United Nations stated,

    Justice Sebutinde ruling at the International Court of Justice does not represent the Government of Uganda’s position on the situation in Palestine. She has previously voted against Uganda’s case on DRC. Uganda’s support for the plight of the Palestinian people has been expressed through Uganda ‘s voting pattern at the United Nations.

    Aharon Barak – voted against most motions

    Barak is an Israeli lawyer who was appointed to the 15-judge panel of the ICJ ahead of South Africa’s case against Israel. Under the ICJ’s rules, a country that does not have a judge to represent its own on the bench can choose an ad hoc judge.

    The 87-year-old is a retired judge from the Israeli Supreme Court and a recipient of the Israel Prize for Legal Studies. Barak was born in Lithuania and, studied law in Hebrew University.

    He was appointed to the Israeli Supreme Court in 1978, where he went on to serve for 28 years.

    The ICJ full panel is led by President Joan E. Donoghue from the US and Vice-President Kirill Gevorgian from Russia. They head a diverse bench with judges from 13 other countries including Slovakia, France, Morocco, Somalia, China, Uganda, India, Jamaica, Lebanon, Japan, Germany, Australia, and Brazil. Two ad hoc judges appointed to the panel for this case were from Israel and South Africa.

    FAQ: Are decisions of the Court binding?

    reposted from the ICJ website

    Judgments delivered by the Court (or by one of its Chambers) in disputes between States are binding upon the parties concerned. Article 94 of the United Nations Charter provides that “[e]ach Member of the United Nations undertakes to comply with the decision of [the Court] in any case to which it is a party”.

    Judgments are final and without appeal. If there is a dispute about the meaning or scope of a judgment, the only possibility is for one of the parties to make a request to the Court for an interpretation. In the event of the discovery of a fact hitherto unknown to the Court which might be a decisive factor, either party may apply for revision of the judgment.

    As regards advisory opinions, it is usually for the United Nations organs and specialized agencies requesting them to give effect to them or not, by whichever means they see fit.

    The ICJ ruling is a repudiation of Israel and its western backers

    by Kenneth Roth, reposted from the Guardian

    The international court of justice’s (ICJ) ruling in South Africa’s genocide case was a powerful repudiation of Israel’s denialism. By an overwhelming majority, the court found a “plausible” case that provisional measures were needed to avoid “irreparable prejudice” from further Israeli acts in Gaza that could jeopardize Palestinian rights under the genocide convention.

    The public posture of various Israeli officials was, in essence: how dare anyone accuse us of genocide. After all, they pointed out, Israel was founded after the Holocaust to protect the Jewish people from genocide, Hamas attacked Israel on 7 October, and many of Hamas’s statements seem genocidal in intent.

    Yet none of that is a defense to the charge of genocide. Regardless of Israel’s history, regardless of its claim of self-defense, the means chosen to fight Hamas can still be genocidal. The court found enough merit in that claim to recognize that Palestinian civilians need the court’s protection.

    The court’s ruling was also a repudiation of Israel’s western backers. The Biden administration had called the suit “meritless”. The British government said it was “nonsense”. By a vote of 15 to 2, the ICJ judges found otherwise.

    On the need to allow humanitarian aid to a starving population in Gaza and to prevent and punish the incitement of genocide, even the respected Israeli judge, Aharon Barak, joined the majority, making the vote 16 to 1 – a powerful repudiation of those who try to chalk up challenges to Israel’s conduct in Gaza as an unfair double standard or antisemitism.

    The current proceedings were not about the ultimate merits of the case. It could take years to determine whether Israel has committed genocide in Gaza. But the provisional measures ordered by the court could make an enormous difference in curbing the death and suffering of Palestinian civilians now.

    What now?

    The key will be enforcement. The ICJ ruling is “binding”, as the court stressed, but the ICJ has no military or police force at its disposal. For coercive measures, it would need a resolution of the UN security council, which requires contending with the US government’s veto, so often deployed to protect Israel.

    But the political pressure to comply with the ruling will be enormous. Having trusted the court to send its lawyers to The Hague to present its case, Israel would look horrible to reject the court just because it lost. In calling the underlying genocide charges “outrageous” – a finding that, as mentioned, the court did not yet address – the Israeli prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, notably did not say he would refuse to comply with the court’s provisional measures. Let’s hope he will.

    Some were disappointed that the ICJ did not order a ceasefire, a step that was unlikely because the court addresses only disputes between states, so Hamas was not a party. A ceasefire imposed on only one side to an ongoing armed conflict is not plausible.

    The court did order Israel to “take all measures within its power” to halt acts that contribute to genocide, to allow sufficient humanitarian aid into Gaza to end the suffering among Palestinian civilians, and to prevent and punish the public statements of incitement made by senior Israeli officials. Israel must report back to the court in a month on the steps it has taken.

    Yet there is a lot of wiggle room in those orders. That’s where Israel’s supporters come in. Will they move past their earlier skepticism toward the case and now urge Israel to comply? Western governments backed the ICJ in similar rulings against Myanmar, Russia and Syria. It would do enormous damage to the “rules-based order” that Western governments claim to uphold if they were to make an exception for Israel.

    Joe Biden holds the most powerful leverage. The US government provides $3.8bn in annual military aid to Israel and is its principal arms supplier. That support should stop if the Israeli government ignores the court’s ruling. The US president should no longer put his fear of domestic political consequences, or his personal identification with Israel, before the lives of so many Palestinian civilians.

    Other pressure for compliance could come from the international criminal court. Unlike the ICJ, which resolves disputes between states, the ICC prosecutes individuals for such crimes as genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity. Better behavior now is no defense for crimes already committed, but if Israel were to ignore the ICJ ruling, that would be an added spur for the ICC prosecutor, Karim Khan, to act.

    Much is still unresolved, but today is a win for the rule of law. South Africa, a nation of the global south, was able to transcend power politics by invoking the world’s leading judicial institution. The court’s ruling shows that even governments with powerful friends can be held to account. That provides hope for the profoundly suffering Palestinian civilians of Gaza. It is also a small but important step toward a more lawful, rights-respecting world.

    Kenneth Roth, former executive director of Human Rights Watch (1993-2022), is a visiting professor at Princeton’s School of Public and International Affairs

    Nine take-aways from the ICJ ruling

    by Huwaida Arraf, reposted from X

    While many are disappointed that the ICJ did not explicitly order a ceasefire, the ruling was historic and a huge defeat for Israel. Here’s what we need to take away and what we need to do:

    The Court found that RSA made a plausible case that Israel is committing genocide in Gaza and October 7 is no justification for Israel’s conduct. This is huge.
    The Court found that immediate protective measures are necessary to protect the Palestinian people from irreparable harm caused by Israel’s genocidal conduct and ordered such measures.
    In order for Israel to abide by the measures, including the provision of basic services (turning on water, electricity and allowing the entry of fuel) and humanitarian aid, it would need to cease its military assault. Aid organizations have said that one of the main reasons they are unable to deliver aid, besides Israel’s restrictions on entry of aid, is Israel’s military aggression which makes it too dangerous for them to reach many areas.
    The Court has also instituted a monitoring mechanism and Israel must report on everything it’s doing to abide by the Order of the Court within a month (should have been shorter).
    ALL countries signatory to the Genocide Convention have an obligation to prevent genocide. This means that, when there is reason to believe that there is a threat of genocide, states MUST act to prevent it. All countries are now on notice that there is a plausible threat of genocide.
    This means that, continuing to supply Israel with weapons and vetoing UNSC resolutions will amount to violations of that responsibility and also a potential violation of Art III of the Convention, prohibiting complicity in genocide.
    If Israel does not comply with the ICJ Order, the matter should be brought before the UNSC. If the US vetoes, this will be an indictment of the US, but not the end.
    States must then use UNGA 377 – Uniting for Peace – to not only bring the matter before the UNGA, but to make sure that the UNGA resolution includes implementation measures (without an agreement on such measures, the resolution will be ineffective). Such measures can include international sanctions on Israel and suspending Israel’s membership in the UN.
    Alongside all of this, we must continue our work in the streets and in national courts to hold Israel and enablers accountable. This includes:
    continuing to demand that our governments sanction Israel;
    demanding Israel’s suspension from international fora such as Eurovision and international sporting arenas;
    using the principle of universal jurisdiction to prosecute Israeli war criminals in national courts, which is already being pursued.
    The World Court has found that Israel may be committing genocide — the mother of all crimes. This is an indictment, not only on Israel, but on all who have been enabling Israel and using October 7, as justification.

    It must also be a wakeup call to all who have been silent. There’s no excuse.

    Huwaida Arraf is a Palestinian American activist and lawyer who co-founded the International Solidarity Movement, a Palestinian-led organization using non-violent protests and international pressure to support Palestinians.

    ICJ lands stunning blow on Israel over Gaza genocide charge

    A different Biden approach could have shaped war efforts and prevented this from happening in the first place.

    by Trita Parsi, reposted from Responsible Statecraft, January 26, 2024

    The International Court of Justice (ICJ) just ruled against Israel and determined that South Africa successfully argued that Israel’s conduct plausibly could constitute genocide. The Court imposes several injunctions against Israel and reminds Israel that its rulings are binding, according to international law.

    In its order, the court fell short of South Africa’s request for a ceasefire, but this ruling, however, is overwhelmingly in favor of South Africa’s case and will likely increase international pressure for a ceasefire as a result.

    On the question of whether Israel’s war in Gaza is genocide, that will still take more time, but today’s news will have significant political repercussions. Here are a few thoughts.

    This is a devastating blow to Israel’s global standing. To put it in context, Israel has worked ferociously for the last two decades to defeat the BDS movement — Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions — not because it will have a significant economic impact on Israel, but because of how it could delegitimize Israel internationally. However, the ruling of the ICJ that Israel is plausibly engaged in genocide is far more devastating to Israel’s legitimacy than anything BDS could have achieved.

    Just as much as Israel’s political system has been increasingly — and publicly — associated with apartheid in the past few years, Israel will now be similarly associated with the charge of genocide. As a result, those countries that have supported Israel and its military campaign in Gaza, such as the U.S. under President Biden, will be associated with that charge, too.

    The implications for the United States are significant. First because the court does not have the ability to implement its ruling. Instead, the matter will go to the United Nations Security Council, where the Biden administration will once again face the choice of protecting Israel politically by casting a veto, and by that, further isolate the United States, or allowing the Security Council to act and pay a domestic political cost for “not standing by Israel.”

    So far, the Biden administration has refused to say if it will respect ICJ’s decision. Of course, in previous cases in front of the ICJ, such as Myanmar, Ukraine and Syria, the U.S. and Western states stressed that ICJ provisional measures are binding and must be fully implemented.

    The double standards of U.S. foreign policy will hit a new low if, in this case, Biden not only argues against the ICJ, but actively acts to prevent and block the implementation of its ruling. It is perhaps not surprising that senior Biden administration officials have largely ceased using the term “rules-based order” since October 7.

    It also raises questions about how Biden’s policy of bear-hugging Israel may have contributed to Israel’s conduct. Biden could have offered more measured support and pushed back hard against Israeli excesses — and by that, prevented Israel from engaging in actions that could potentially fall under the category of genocide. But he didn’t.

    Instead, Biden offered unconditional support combined with zero public criticism of Israel’s conduct and only limited push-back behind the scenes. A different American approach could have shaped Israel’s war efforts in a manner that arguably would not have been preliminarily ruled by the ICJ as plausibly meeting the standards of genocide.

    This shows that America undermines its own interest as well as that of its partners when it offers them blank checks and complete and unquestionable protection. The absence of checks and balances that such protection offers fuels reckless behavior all around.

    As such, Biden’s unconditional support may have undermined Israel, in the final analysis.

    This ruling may also boost those arguing that all states that are party to the Genocide Convention have a positive obligation to prevent genocide. The Houthis, for instance, have justified their attacks against ships heading to Israeli ports in the Red Sea, citing this positive obligation. What legal implications will the court’s ruling have as a result on the U.S. and UK’s military action against the Houthis?

    The implications for Europe will also be considerable. The U.S. is rather accustomed to and comfortable with setting aside international law and ignoring international institutions. Europe is not.

    International law and institutions play a much more central role in European security thinking. The decision will continue to split Europe. But the fact that some key EU states will reject the ICJ’s ruling will profoundly contradict and undermine Europe’s broader security paradigm.

    One final point: The mere existence of South Africa’s application to the ICJ appears to have moderated Israel’s war conduct.* Any plans to ethnically cleanse Gaza and send its residents to third countries appear to have been somewhat paused, presumably because of how such actions would boost South Africa’s application. If so, it shows that the Court, in an era where the force of international law is increasingly questioned, has had a greater impact in terms of deterring unlawful Israeli actions than anything the Biden administration has done.

    * EDITOR’S NOTE: Israel appears to have done little, if anything, to moderate its war conduct since South Africa submitted its genocide accusation on December 29th. The numbers of Palestinians killed in Gaza and the West Bank has continued to climb steadily; while there has been a slight improvement in number of humanitarian aid trucks, it is not impressive, and not reaching the north where hundreds of thousands are starving. There is still no electricity, no water, almost no medical services, and no safety.

    Trita Parsi is the co-founder and Executive Vice president of the Quincy Institute for Responsible Statecraft.

    Some reactions to ICJ ruling on South Africa’s genocide case against Israel

    reposted from Al Jazeera

    Palestinians in Gaza

    Palestinians in Gaza said they are devastated by the ICJ decision not to order Israel to cease its near-four-month bombardment and ground invasion of the strip.

    Ahmed al-Naffar, 54, who was intently following the court’s announcement in central Gaza’s Deir el-Balah, told Al Jazeera: “Although I don’t trust the international community, I had a small glimmer of hope that the court would rule on a ceasefire in Gaza,” later adding that “The court is a failure.”

    Palestinians in the occupied West Bank

    Lubna Farhat, a member of the Ramallah city council, told Al Jazeera she was somewhat disappointed by the ICJ decision but acknowledged it was a historic moment.

    “We are very grateful and thankful for South Africa for filing this case, but what Palestinians aspired for was an immediate ceasefire,” Farhat said, adding that it was disheartening that the court did not call for an end to Israel’s military operations so humanitarian aid could be allowed into Gaza.

    She said the ruling would only “escalate” settler attacks in the occupied West Bank and increase the attackers’ sense of impunity.

    Palestine

    Palestine’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Expatriates welcomed the ICJ’s ruling, saying in a statement it is an “important reminder” that no state is above the law.

    Foreign Minister Riyadh Maliki noted that Israel failed to persuade the court that it is not violating the 1948 Genocide Convention.

    In a statement he said: “The ICJ judges saw through Israel’s politicization, deflection, and outright lies. They assessed the facts and the law and ordered provisional measures that recognized the gravity of the situation on the ground and the veracity of South Africa’s application. … Palestine calls on all states to ensure respect for the order of the International Court of Justice, including by Israel.”

    Israel

    Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu slammed the ruling as “outrageous”.

    In a video message shortly after the court order, he said Israel is fighting a “just war like no other”. He added that Israel will continue to defend itself and its citizens while adhering to international law.

    Far-right National Security Minister Itamar Ben-Gvir mocked the ICJ after the court issued its interim ruling. “Hague shmague,” the minister wrote on the social media platform X.

    South Africa

    The South African government called the ICJ ruling a “decisive victory” for international law.

    “How do you provide aid and water without a ceasefire?” Pandor asked. “If you read the order, by implication, a ceasefire must happen.”

    United States

    The United States said the ruling of the ICJ was consistent with Washington’s view that Israel has the right to take action, in accordance with international law, to ensure the October 7 attack cannot be repeated.

    “We continue to believe that allegations of genocide are unfounded and note the court did not make a finding about genocide or call for a ceasefire in its ruling and that it called for the unconditional, immediate release of all hostages being held by Hamas,” a State Department spokesperson said.

    European Union

    “Orders of the International Court of Justice are binding on the parties and they must comply with them. The European Union expects their full, immediate and effective implementation,” the European Commission said in a statement.

    RELATED READING:

    The ICJ presentations on Israeli genocide against Palestinians
    Israel has repeatedly rejected Hamas truce offers
    John Mearsheimer: Genocide in Gaza
    Is the United Nations anti-Israel? – a survey of UN resolutions
    Essential facts and stats about the Hamas-Gaza-Israel war

    https://israelpalestinenews.org/synopsis-of-icjs-decision-on-israeli-genocide-reactions-and-take-aways/
    Synopsis of ICJ’s decision on Israeli genocide, reactions, and take-aways [email protected] January 27, 2024 genocide, icj, international court of justice Synopsis of ICJ’s decision on Israeli genocide, reactions, and take-aways World Court rules on Gaza emergency measures in Israel genocide case, in The Hague (photo) Get a handle on the ICJ ruling, the dissenting judges, the binding nature of the decision, take-aways from several important voices, and reactions from stakeholding parties. Summary of ICJ’s ruling reposted from Al Jazeera The World Court ordered Israel to take action to prevent acts of genocide as it wages war against the Hamas group in the Gaza Strip. (15-2) (vote 15-2) The State of Israel shall, in accordance with its obligations under the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide, in relation to Palestinians in Gaza, take all measures within its power to prevent the commission of all acts within the scope of Article II of this Convention, in particular: (a) killing members of the group (b) causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group (c) deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part (d) imposing measures intended to prevent births within the group (vote 15-2) The State of Israel shall ensure with immediate effect that its military does not commit any acts described in point 1 above (vote 16-1) The State of Israel shall take all measures within its power to prevent and punish the direct and public incitement to commit genocide in relation to members of the Palestinian group in the Gaza Strip (vote 16-1) The State of Israel shall take immediate and effective measures to enable the provision of urgently needed basic services and humanitarian assistance to address the adverse conditions of life faced by Palestinians in the Gaza Strip (vote 15-2) The State of Israel shall take effective measures to prevent the destruction and ensure the preservation of evidence related to allegations of acts within the scope of Article II and Article III of the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide against members of the Palestinian group in the Gaza Strip (vote 15-2) The State of Israel shall submit a report to the Court on all measures taken to give effect to this order within one month as from the date of this Order. The court stopped short of calling for an immediate ceasefire. Who are the ICJ judges that voted against motions? Julia Sebutinde – voted against all motions In 1996, Sebutinde was appointed as one of the judges of the High Court of Uganda. In 2012, she became the first African woman to be appointed to the International Court of Justice (ICJ), also known as the world court. She has broken barriers and paved the way for countless other African women in the field of law. Sebutinde got her undergraduate degree in Uganda, and Master’s and Doctorate of Law at the University of Edinburgh. She has contributed immensely to international law jurisprudence through the cases she has heard, often with dissenting opinions. Regarding her voting record in this case, Ambassador and Permanent Representative of Uganda to the United Nations stated, Justice Sebutinde ruling at the International Court of Justice does not represent the Government of Uganda’s position on the situation in Palestine. She has previously voted against Uganda’s case on DRC. Uganda’s support for the plight of the Palestinian people has been expressed through Uganda ‘s voting pattern at the United Nations. Aharon Barak – voted against most motions Barak is an Israeli lawyer who was appointed to the 15-judge panel of the ICJ ahead of South Africa’s case against Israel. Under the ICJ’s rules, a country that does not have a judge to represent its own on the bench can choose an ad hoc judge. The 87-year-old is a retired judge from the Israeli Supreme Court and a recipient of the Israel Prize for Legal Studies. Barak was born in Lithuania and, studied law in Hebrew University. He was appointed to the Israeli Supreme Court in 1978, where he went on to serve for 28 years. The ICJ full panel is led by President Joan E. Donoghue from the US and Vice-President Kirill Gevorgian from Russia. They head a diverse bench with judges from 13 other countries including Slovakia, France, Morocco, Somalia, China, Uganda, India, Jamaica, Lebanon, Japan, Germany, Australia, and Brazil. Two ad hoc judges appointed to the panel for this case were from Israel and South Africa. FAQ: Are decisions of the Court binding? reposted from the ICJ website Judgments delivered by the Court (or by one of its Chambers) in disputes between States are binding upon the parties concerned. Article 94 of the United Nations Charter provides that “[e]ach Member of the United Nations undertakes to comply with the decision of [the Court] in any case to which it is a party”. Judgments are final and without appeal. If there is a dispute about the meaning or scope of a judgment, the only possibility is for one of the parties to make a request to the Court for an interpretation. In the event of the discovery of a fact hitherto unknown to the Court which might be a decisive factor, either party may apply for revision of the judgment. As regards advisory opinions, it is usually for the United Nations organs and specialized agencies requesting them to give effect to them or not, by whichever means they see fit. The ICJ ruling is a repudiation of Israel and its western backers by Kenneth Roth, reposted from the Guardian The international court of justice’s (ICJ) ruling in South Africa’s genocide case was a powerful repudiation of Israel’s denialism. By an overwhelming majority, the court found a “plausible” case that provisional measures were needed to avoid “irreparable prejudice” from further Israeli acts in Gaza that could jeopardize Palestinian rights under the genocide convention. The public posture of various Israeli officials was, in essence: how dare anyone accuse us of genocide. After all, they pointed out, Israel was founded after the Holocaust to protect the Jewish people from genocide, Hamas attacked Israel on 7 October, and many of Hamas’s statements seem genocidal in intent. Yet none of that is a defense to the charge of genocide. Regardless of Israel’s history, regardless of its claim of self-defense, the means chosen to fight Hamas can still be genocidal. The court found enough merit in that claim to recognize that Palestinian civilians need the court’s protection. The court’s ruling was also a repudiation of Israel’s western backers. The Biden administration had called the suit “meritless”. The British government said it was “nonsense”. By a vote of 15 to 2, the ICJ judges found otherwise. On the need to allow humanitarian aid to a starving population in Gaza and to prevent and punish the incitement of genocide, even the respected Israeli judge, Aharon Barak, joined the majority, making the vote 16 to 1 – a powerful repudiation of those who try to chalk up challenges to Israel’s conduct in Gaza as an unfair double standard or antisemitism. The current proceedings were not about the ultimate merits of the case. It could take years to determine whether Israel has committed genocide in Gaza. But the provisional measures ordered by the court could make an enormous difference in curbing the death and suffering of Palestinian civilians now. What now? The key will be enforcement. The ICJ ruling is “binding”, as the court stressed, but the ICJ has no military or police force at its disposal. For coercive measures, it would need a resolution of the UN security council, which requires contending with the US government’s veto, so often deployed to protect Israel. But the political pressure to comply with the ruling will be enormous. Having trusted the court to send its lawyers to The Hague to present its case, Israel would look horrible to reject the court just because it lost. In calling the underlying genocide charges “outrageous” – a finding that, as mentioned, the court did not yet address – the Israeli prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, notably did not say he would refuse to comply with the court’s provisional measures. Let’s hope he will. Some were disappointed that the ICJ did not order a ceasefire, a step that was unlikely because the court addresses only disputes between states, so Hamas was not a party. A ceasefire imposed on only one side to an ongoing armed conflict is not plausible. The court did order Israel to “take all measures within its power” to halt acts that contribute to genocide, to allow sufficient humanitarian aid into Gaza to end the suffering among Palestinian civilians, and to prevent and punish the public statements of incitement made by senior Israeli officials. Israel must report back to the court in a month on the steps it has taken. Yet there is a lot of wiggle room in those orders. That’s where Israel’s supporters come in. Will they move past their earlier skepticism toward the case and now urge Israel to comply? Western governments backed the ICJ in similar rulings against Myanmar, Russia and Syria. It would do enormous damage to the “rules-based order” that Western governments claim to uphold if they were to make an exception for Israel. Joe Biden holds the most powerful leverage. The US government provides $3.8bn in annual military aid to Israel and is its principal arms supplier. That support should stop if the Israeli government ignores the court’s ruling. The US president should no longer put his fear of domestic political consequences, or his personal identification with Israel, before the lives of so many Palestinian civilians. Other pressure for compliance could come from the international criminal court. Unlike the ICJ, which resolves disputes between states, the ICC prosecutes individuals for such crimes as genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity. Better behavior now is no defense for crimes already committed, but if Israel were to ignore the ICJ ruling, that would be an added spur for the ICC prosecutor, Karim Khan, to act. Much is still unresolved, but today is a win for the rule of law. South Africa, a nation of the global south, was able to transcend power politics by invoking the world’s leading judicial institution. The court’s ruling shows that even governments with powerful friends can be held to account. That provides hope for the profoundly suffering Palestinian civilians of Gaza. It is also a small but important step toward a more lawful, rights-respecting world. Kenneth Roth, former executive director of Human Rights Watch (1993-2022), is a visiting professor at Princeton’s School of Public and International Affairs Nine take-aways from the ICJ ruling by Huwaida Arraf, reposted from X While many are disappointed that the ICJ did not explicitly order a ceasefire, the ruling was historic and a huge defeat for Israel. Here’s what we need to take away and what we need to do: The Court found that RSA made a plausible case that Israel is committing genocide in Gaza and October 7 is no justification for Israel’s conduct. This is huge. The Court found that immediate protective measures are necessary to protect the Palestinian people from irreparable harm caused by Israel’s genocidal conduct and ordered such measures. In order for Israel to abide by the measures, including the provision of basic services (turning on water, electricity and allowing the entry of fuel) and humanitarian aid, it would need to cease its military assault. Aid organizations have said that one of the main reasons they are unable to deliver aid, besides Israel’s restrictions on entry of aid, is Israel’s military aggression which makes it too dangerous for them to reach many areas. The Court has also instituted a monitoring mechanism and Israel must report on everything it’s doing to abide by the Order of the Court within a month (should have been shorter). ALL countries signatory to the Genocide Convention have an obligation to prevent genocide. This means that, when there is reason to believe that there is a threat of genocide, states MUST act to prevent it. All countries are now on notice that there is a plausible threat of genocide. This means that, continuing to supply Israel with weapons and vetoing UNSC resolutions will amount to violations of that responsibility and also a potential violation of Art III of the Convention, prohibiting complicity in genocide. If Israel does not comply with the ICJ Order, the matter should be brought before the UNSC. If the US vetoes, this will be an indictment of the US, but not the end. States must then use UNGA 377 – Uniting for Peace – to not only bring the matter before the UNGA, but to make sure that the UNGA resolution includes implementation measures (without an agreement on such measures, the resolution will be ineffective). Such measures can include international sanctions on Israel and suspending Israel’s membership in the UN. Alongside all of this, we must continue our work in the streets and in national courts to hold Israel and enablers accountable. This includes: continuing to demand that our governments sanction Israel; demanding Israel’s suspension from international fora such as Eurovision and international sporting arenas; using the principle of universal jurisdiction to prosecute Israeli war criminals in national courts, which is already being pursued. The World Court has found that Israel may be committing genocide — the mother of all crimes. This is an indictment, not only on Israel, but on all who have been enabling Israel and using October 7, as justification. It must also be a wakeup call to all who have been silent. There’s no excuse. Huwaida Arraf is a Palestinian American activist and lawyer who co-founded the International Solidarity Movement, a Palestinian-led organization using non-violent protests and international pressure to support Palestinians. ICJ lands stunning blow on Israel over Gaza genocide charge A different Biden approach could have shaped war efforts and prevented this from happening in the first place. by Trita Parsi, reposted from Responsible Statecraft, January 26, 2024 The International Court of Justice (ICJ) just ruled against Israel and determined that South Africa successfully argued that Israel’s conduct plausibly could constitute genocide. The Court imposes several injunctions against Israel and reminds Israel that its rulings are binding, according to international law. In its order, the court fell short of South Africa’s request for a ceasefire, but this ruling, however, is overwhelmingly in favor of South Africa’s case and will likely increase international pressure for a ceasefire as a result. On the question of whether Israel’s war in Gaza is genocide, that will still take more time, but today’s news will have significant political repercussions. Here are a few thoughts. This is a devastating blow to Israel’s global standing. To put it in context, Israel has worked ferociously for the last two decades to defeat the BDS movement — Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions — not because it will have a significant economic impact on Israel, but because of how it could delegitimize Israel internationally. However, the ruling of the ICJ that Israel is plausibly engaged in genocide is far more devastating to Israel’s legitimacy than anything BDS could have achieved. Just as much as Israel’s political system has been increasingly — and publicly — associated with apartheid in the past few years, Israel will now be similarly associated with the charge of genocide. As a result, those countries that have supported Israel and its military campaign in Gaza, such as the U.S. under President Biden, will be associated with that charge, too. The implications for the United States are significant. First because the court does not have the ability to implement its ruling. Instead, the matter will go to the United Nations Security Council, where the Biden administration will once again face the choice of protecting Israel politically by casting a veto, and by that, further isolate the United States, or allowing the Security Council to act and pay a domestic political cost for “not standing by Israel.” So far, the Biden administration has refused to say if it will respect ICJ’s decision. Of course, in previous cases in front of the ICJ, such as Myanmar, Ukraine and Syria, the U.S. and Western states stressed that ICJ provisional measures are binding and must be fully implemented. The double standards of U.S. foreign policy will hit a new low if, in this case, Biden not only argues against the ICJ, but actively acts to prevent and block the implementation of its ruling. It is perhaps not surprising that senior Biden administration officials have largely ceased using the term “rules-based order” since October 7. It also raises questions about how Biden’s policy of bear-hugging Israel may have contributed to Israel’s conduct. Biden could have offered more measured support and pushed back hard against Israeli excesses — and by that, prevented Israel from engaging in actions that could potentially fall under the category of genocide. But he didn’t. Instead, Biden offered unconditional support combined with zero public criticism of Israel’s conduct and only limited push-back behind the scenes. A different American approach could have shaped Israel’s war efforts in a manner that arguably would not have been preliminarily ruled by the ICJ as plausibly meeting the standards of genocide. This shows that America undermines its own interest as well as that of its partners when it offers them blank checks and complete and unquestionable protection. The absence of checks and balances that such protection offers fuels reckless behavior all around. As such, Biden’s unconditional support may have undermined Israel, in the final analysis. This ruling may also boost those arguing that all states that are party to the Genocide Convention have a positive obligation to prevent genocide. The Houthis, for instance, have justified their attacks against ships heading to Israeli ports in the Red Sea, citing this positive obligation. What legal implications will the court’s ruling have as a result on the U.S. and UK’s military action against the Houthis? The implications for Europe will also be considerable. The U.S. is rather accustomed to and comfortable with setting aside international law and ignoring international institutions. Europe is not. International law and institutions play a much more central role in European security thinking. The decision will continue to split Europe. But the fact that some key EU states will reject the ICJ’s ruling will profoundly contradict and undermine Europe’s broader security paradigm. One final point: The mere existence of South Africa’s application to the ICJ appears to have moderated Israel’s war conduct.* Any plans to ethnically cleanse Gaza and send its residents to third countries appear to have been somewhat paused, presumably because of how such actions would boost South Africa’s application. If so, it shows that the Court, in an era where the force of international law is increasingly questioned, has had a greater impact in terms of deterring unlawful Israeli actions than anything the Biden administration has done. * EDITOR’S NOTE: Israel appears to have done little, if anything, to moderate its war conduct since South Africa submitted its genocide accusation on December 29th. The numbers of Palestinians killed in Gaza and the West Bank has continued to climb steadily; while there has been a slight improvement in number of humanitarian aid trucks, it is not impressive, and not reaching the north where hundreds of thousands are starving. There is still no electricity, no water, almost no medical services, and no safety. Trita Parsi is the co-founder and Executive Vice president of the Quincy Institute for Responsible Statecraft. Some reactions to ICJ ruling on South Africa’s genocide case against Israel reposted from Al Jazeera Palestinians in Gaza Palestinians in Gaza said they are devastated by the ICJ decision not to order Israel to cease its near-four-month bombardment and ground invasion of the strip. Ahmed al-Naffar, 54, who was intently following the court’s announcement in central Gaza’s Deir el-Balah, told Al Jazeera: “Although I don’t trust the international community, I had a small glimmer of hope that the court would rule on a ceasefire in Gaza,” later adding that “The court is a failure.” Palestinians in the occupied West Bank Lubna Farhat, a member of the Ramallah city council, told Al Jazeera she was somewhat disappointed by the ICJ decision but acknowledged it was a historic moment. “We are very grateful and thankful for South Africa for filing this case, but what Palestinians aspired for was an immediate ceasefire,” Farhat said, adding that it was disheartening that the court did not call for an end to Israel’s military operations so humanitarian aid could be allowed into Gaza. She said the ruling would only “escalate” settler attacks in the occupied West Bank and increase the attackers’ sense of impunity. Palestine Palestine’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Expatriates welcomed the ICJ’s ruling, saying in a statement it is an “important reminder” that no state is above the law. Foreign Minister Riyadh Maliki noted that Israel failed to persuade the court that it is not violating the 1948 Genocide Convention. In a statement he said: “The ICJ judges saw through Israel’s politicization, deflection, and outright lies. They assessed the facts and the law and ordered provisional measures that recognized the gravity of the situation on the ground and the veracity of South Africa’s application. … Palestine calls on all states to ensure respect for the order of the International Court of Justice, including by Israel.” Israel Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu slammed the ruling as “outrageous”. In a video message shortly after the court order, he said Israel is fighting a “just war like no other”. He added that Israel will continue to defend itself and its citizens while adhering to international law. Far-right National Security Minister Itamar Ben-Gvir mocked the ICJ after the court issued its interim ruling. “Hague shmague,” the minister wrote on the social media platform X. South Africa The South African government called the ICJ ruling a “decisive victory” for international law. “How do you provide aid and water without a ceasefire?” Pandor asked. “If you read the order, by implication, a ceasefire must happen.” United States The United States said the ruling of the ICJ was consistent with Washington’s view that Israel has the right to take action, in accordance with international law, to ensure the October 7 attack cannot be repeated. “We continue to believe that allegations of genocide are unfounded and note the court did not make a finding about genocide or call for a ceasefire in its ruling and that it called for the unconditional, immediate release of all hostages being held by Hamas,” a State Department spokesperson said. European Union “Orders of the International Court of Justice are binding on the parties and they must comply with them. The European Union expects their full, immediate and effective implementation,” the European Commission said in a statement. RELATED READING: The ICJ presentations on Israeli genocide against Palestinians Israel has repeatedly rejected Hamas truce offers John Mearsheimer: Genocide in Gaza Is the United Nations anti-Israel? – a survey of UN resolutions Essential facts and stats about the Hamas-Gaza-Israel war https://israelpalestinenews.org/synopsis-of-icjs-decision-on-israeli-genocide-reactions-and-take-aways/
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  • TORTURE AT ABU GHRAIB
    From the archive

    Seymour Hersh

    An Iraqi who was told he would be electrocuted if he fell off the box.
    I am on vacation this week but thought it would be useful to republish a painful story I did two decades ago for the New Yorker about a group of US army soldiers who went out of control amid a war in Iraq that, so they were told, was being waged against the terrorism that struck America on 9/11. What the GIs did then are what any army does in war when hating and fearing the enemy is encouraged and runs through the ranks, from the lowest level grunts to the senior generals. It takes a special leader, as you will read about below, who confounds his superiors by not covering up the crimes of his soldiers and their most senior officers, and does so knowing that his career is over. Would that there were such fearless leaders in the Middle East today.

    In the era of Saddam Hussein, Abu Ghraib, twenty miles west of Baghdad, was one of the world’s most notorious prisons, with torture, weekly executions, and vile living conditions. As many as fifty thousand men and women—no accurate count is possible—were jammed into Abu Ghraib at one time, in twelve-by-twelve-foot cells that were little more than human holding pits.

    In the looting that followed the regime’s collapse, last April, the huge prison complex, by then deserted, was stripped of everything that could be removed, including doors, windows, and bricks. The coalition authorities had the floors tiled, cells cleaned and repaired, and toilets, showers, and a new medical center added. Abu Ghraib was now a U.S. military prison. Most of the prisoners, however—by the fall there were several thousand, including women and teen-agers—were civilians, many of whom had been picked up in random military sweeps and at highway checkpoints. They fell into three loosely defined categories: common criminals; security detainees suspected of “crimes against the coalition”; and a small number of suspected “high-value” leaders of the insurgency against the coalition forces.

    Last June, Janis Karpinski, an Army reserve brigadier general, was named commander of the 800th Military Police Brigade and put in charge of military prisons in Iraq. General Karpinski, the only female commander in the war zone, was an experienced operations and intelligence officer who had served with the Special Forces and in the 1991 Gulf War, but she had never run a prison system. Now she was in charge of three large jails, eight battalions, and thirty-four hundred Army reservists, most of whom, like her, had no training in handling prisoners.

    General Karpinski, who had wanted to be a soldier since she was five, is a business consultant in civilian life, and was enthusiastic about her new job. In an interview last December with the St. Petersburg Times, she said that, for many of the Iraqi inmates at Abu Ghraib, “living conditions now are better in prison than at home. At one point we were concerned that they wouldn’t want to leave.”

    A month later, General Karpinski was formally admonished and quietly suspended, and a major investigation into the Army’s prison system, authorized by Lieutenant General Ricardo S. Sanchez, the senior commander in Iraq, was under way. A fifty-three-page report, obtained by The New Yorker, written by Major General Antonio M. Taguba and not meant for public release, was completed in late February. Its conclusions about the institutional failures of the Army prison system were devastating. Specifically, Taguba found that between October and December of 2003 there were numerous instances of “sadistic, blatant, and wanton criminal abuses” at Abu Ghraib. This systematic and illegal abuse of detainees, Taguba reported, was perpetrated by soldiers of the 372nd Military Police Company, and also by members of the American intelligence community. (The 372nd was attached to the 320th M.P. Battalion, which reported to Karpinski’s brigade headquarters.) Taguba’s report listed some of the wrongdoing:

    Breaking chemical lights and pouring the phosphoric liquid on detainees; pouring cold water on naked detainees; beating detainees with a broom handle and a chair; threatening male detainees with rape; allowing a military police guard to stitch the wound of a detainee who was injured after being slammed against the wall in his cell; sodomizing a detainee with a chemical light and perhaps a broom stick, and using military working dogs to frighten and intimidate detainees with threats of attack, and in one instance actually biting a detainee.

    There was stunning evidence to support the allegations, Taguba added—“detailed witness statements and the discovery of extremely graphic photographic evidence.” Photographs and videos taken by the soldiers as the abuses were happening were not included in his report, Taguba said, because of their “extremely sensitive nature.”

    The photographs—several of which were broadcast on CBS’s “60 Minutes 2” last week—show leering G.I.s taunting naked Iraqi prisoners who are forced to assume humiliating poses. Six suspects—Staff Sergeant Ivan L. Frederick II, known as Chip, who was the senior enlisted man; Specialist Charles A. Graner; Sergeant Javal Davis; Specialist Megan Ambuhl; Specialist Sabrina Harman; and Private Jeremy Sivits—are now facing prosecution in Iraq, on charges that include conspiracy, dereliction of duty, cruelty toward prisoners, maltreatment, assault, and indecent acts. A seventh suspect, Private Lynndie England, was reassigned to Fort Bragg, North Carolina, after becoming pregnant.

    The photographs tell it all. In one, Private England, a cigarette dangling from her mouth, is giving a jaunty thumbs-up sign and pointing at the genitals of a young Iraqi, who is naked except for a sandbag over his head, as he masturbates. Three other hooded and naked Iraqi prisoners are shown, hands reflexively crossed over their genitals. A fifth prisoner has his hands at his sides. In another, England stands arm in arm with Specialist Graner; both are grinning and giving the thumbs-up behind a cluster of perhaps seven naked Iraqis, knees bent, piled clumsily on top of each other in a pyramid. There is another photograph of a cluster of naked prisoners, again piled in a pyramid. Near them stands Graner, smiling, his arms crossed; a woman soldier stands in front of him, bending over, and she, too, is smiling. Then, there is another cluster of hooded bodies, with a female soldier standing in front, taking photographs. Yet another photograph shows a kneeling, naked, unhooded male prisoner, head momentarily turned away from the camera, posed to make it appear that he is performing oral sex on another male prisoner, who is naked and hooded.

    Such dehumanization is unacceptable in any culture, but it is especially so in the Arab world. Homosexual acts are against Islamic law and it is humiliating for men to be naked in front of other men, Bernard Haykel, a professor of Middle Eastern studies at New York University, explained. “Being put on top of each other and forced to masturbate, being naked in front of each other—it’s all a form of torture,” Haykel said.

    Two Iraqi faces that do appear in the photographs are those of dead men. There is the battered face of prisoner No. 153399, and the bloodied body of another prisoner, wrapped in cellophane and packed in ice. There is a photograph of an empty room, splattered with blood.

    The 372nd’s abuse of prisoners seemed almost routine—a fact of Army life that the soldiers felt no need to hide. On April 9th, at an Article 32 hearing (the military equivalent of a grand jury) in the case against Sergeant Frederick, at Camp Victory, near Baghdad, one of the witnesses, Specialist Matthew Wisdom, an M.P., told the courtroom what happened when he and other soldiers delivered seven prisoners, hooded and bound, to the so-called “hard site” at Abu Ghraib—seven tiers of cells where the inmates who were considered the most dangerous were housed. The men had been accused of starting a riot in another section of the prison. Wisdom said:

    SFC Snider grabbed my prisoner and threw him into a pile. . . . I do not think it was right to put them in a pile. I saw SSG Frederick, SGT Davis and CPL Graner walking around the pile hitting the prisoners. I remember SSG Frederick hitting one prisoner in the side of its [sic] ribcage. The prisoner was no danger to SSG Frederick. . . . I left after that.

    When he returned later, Wisdom testified:

    I saw two naked detainees, one masturbating to another kneeling with its mouth open. I thought I should just get out of there. I didn’t think it was right . . . I saw SSG Frederick walking towards me, and he said, “Look what these animals do when you leave them alone for two seconds.” I heard PFC England shout out, “He’s getting hard.”

    Wisdom testified that he told his superiors what had happened, and assumed that “the issue was taken care of.” He said, “I just didn’t want to be part of anything that looked criminal.”

    The abuses became public because of the outrage of Specialist Joseph M. Darby, an M.P. whose role emerged during the Article 32 hearing against Chip Frederick. A government witness, Special Agent Scott Bobeck, who is a member of the Army’s Criminal Investigation Division, or C.I.D., told the court, according to an abridged transcript made available to me, “The investigation started after SPC Darby . . . got a CD from CPL Graner. . . . He came across pictures of naked detainees.” Bobeck said that Darby had “initially put an anonymous letter under our door, then he later came forward and gave a sworn statement. He felt very bad about it and thought it was very wrong.”

    Questioned further, the Army investigator said that Frederick and his colleagues had not been given any “training guidelines” that he was aware of. The M.P.s in the 372nd had been assigned to routine traffic and police duties upon their arrival in Iraq, in the spring of 2003. In October of 2003, the 372nd was ordered to prison-guard duty at Abu Ghraib. Frederick, at thirty-seven, was far older than his colleagues, and was a natural leader; he had also worked for six years as a guard for the Virginia Department of Corrections. Bobeck explained:

    What I got is that SSG Frederick and CPL Graner were road M.P.s and were put in charge because they were civilian prison guards and had knowledge of how things were supposed to be run.

    Bobeck also testified that witnesses had said that Frederick, on one occasion, “had punched a detainee in the chest so hard that the detainee almost went into cardiac arrest.”

    At the Article 32 hearing, the Army informed Frederick and his attorneys, Captain Robert Shuck, an Army lawyer, and Gary Myers, a civilian, that two dozen witnesses they had sought, including General Karpinski and all of Frederick’s co-defendants, would not appear. Some had been excused after exercising their Fifth Amendment right; others were deemed to be too far away from the courtroom. “The purpose of an Article 32 hearing is for us to engage witnesses and discover facts,” Gary Myers told me. “We ended up with a C.I.D. agent and no alleged victims to examine.” After the hearing, the presiding investigative officer ruled that there was sufficient evidence to convene a court-martial against Frederick.

    Myers, who was one of the military defense attorneys in the My Lai prosecutions of the nineteen-seventies, told me that his client’s defense will be that he was carrying out the orders of his superiors and, in particular, the directions of military intelligence. He said, “Do you really think a group of kids from rural Virginia decided to do this on their own? Decided that the best way to embarrass Arabs and make them talk was to have them walk around nude?”

    In letters and e-mails to family members, Frederick repeatedly noted that the military-intelligence teams, which included C.I.A. officers and linguists and interrogation specialists from private defense contractors, were the dominant force inside Abu Ghraib. In a letter written in January, he said:

    I questioned some of the things that I saw . . . such things as leaving inmates in their cell with no clothes or in female underpants, handcuffing them to the door of their cell—and the answer I got was, “This is how military intelligence (MI) wants it done.” . . . . MI has also instructed us to place a prisoner in an isolation cell with little or no clothes, no toilet or running water, no ventilation or window, for as much as three days.

    The military-intelligence officers have “encouraged and told us, ‘Great job,’ they were now getting positive results and information,” Frederick wrote. “CID has been present when the military working dogs were used to intimidate prisoners at MI’s request.” At one point, Frederick told his family, he pulled aside his superior officer, Lieutenant Colonel Jerry Phillabaum, the commander of the 320th M.P. Battalion, and asked about the mistreatment of prisoners. “His reply was ‘Don’t worry about it.’ ”

    In November, Frederick wrote, an Iraqi prisoner under the control of what the Abu Ghraib guards called “O.G.A.,” or other government agencies—that is, the C.I.A. and its paramilitary employees—was brought to his unit for questioning. “They stressed him out so bad that the man passed away. They put his body in a body bag and packed him in ice for approximately twenty-four hours in the shower. . . . The next day the medics came and put his body on a stretcher, placed a fake IV in his arm and took him away.” The dead Iraqi was never entered into the prison’s inmate-control system, Frederick recounted, “and therefore never had a number.”

    Frederick’s defense is, of course, highly self-serving. But the complaints in his letters and e-mails home were reinforced by two internal Army reports—Taguba’s and one by the Army’s chief law-enforcement officer, Provost Marshal Donald Ryder, a major general.

    Last fall, General Sanchez ordered Ryder to review the prison system in Iraq and recommend ways to improve it. Ryder’s report, filed on November 5th, concluded that there were potential human-rights, training, and manpower issues, system-wide, that needed immediate attention. It also discussed serious concerns about the tension between the missions of the military police assigned to guard the prisoners and the intelligence teams who wanted to interrogate them. Army regulations limit intelligence activity by the M.P.s to passive collection. But something had gone wrong at Abu Ghraib.

    There was evidence dating back to the Afghanistan war, the Ryder report said, that M.P.s had worked with intelligence operatives to “set favorable conditions for subsequent interviews”—a euphemism for breaking the will of prisoners. “Such actions generally run counter to the smooth operation of a detention facility, attempting to maintain its population in a compliant and docile state.” General Karpinski’s brigade, Ryder reported, “has not been directed to change its facility procedures to set the conditions for MI interrogations, nor participate in those interrogations.” Ryder called for the establishment of procedures to “define the role of military police soldiers . . . clearly separating the actions of the guards from those of the military intelligence personnel.” The officers running the war in Iraq were put on notice.

    Ryder undercut his warning, however, by concluding that the situation had not yet reached a crisis point. Though some procedures were flawed, he said, he found “no military police units purposely applying inappropriate confinement practices.” His investigation was at best a failure and at worst a coverup.

    Taguba, in his report, was polite but direct in refuting his fellow-general. “Unfortunately, many of the systemic problems that surfaced during [Ryder’s] assessment are the very same issues that are the subject of this investigation,” he wrote. “In fact, many of the abuses suffered by detainees occurred during, or near to, the time of that assessment.” The report continued, “Contrary to the findings of MG Ryder’s report, I find that personnel assigned to the 372nd MP Company, 800th MP Brigade were directed to change facility procedures to ‘set the conditions’ for MI interrogations.” Army intelligence officers, C.I.A. agents, and private contractors “actively requested that MP guards set physical and mental conditions for favorable interrogation of witnesses.”

    Taguba backed up his assertion by citing evidence from sworn statements to Army C.I.D. investigators. Specialist Sabrina Harman, one of the accused M.P.s, testified that it was her job to keep detainees awake, including one hooded prisoner who was placed on a box with wires attached to his fingers, toes, and penis. She stated, “MI wanted to get them to talk. It is Graner and Frederick’s job to do things for MI and OGA to get these people to talk.”

    Another witness, Sergeant Javal Davis, who is also one of the accused, told C.I.D. investigators, “I witnessed prisoners in the MI hold section . . . being made to do various things that I would question morally. . . . We were told that they had different rules.” Taguba wrote, “Davis also stated that he had heard MI insinuate to the guards to abuse the inmates. When asked what MI said he stated: ‘Loosen this guy up for us.’ ‘Make sure he has a bad night.’ ‘Make sure he gets the treatment.’ ” Military intelligence made these comments to Graner and Frederick, Davis said. “The MI staffs to my understanding have been giving Graner compliments . . . statements like, ‘Good job, they’re breaking down real fast. They answer every question. They’re giving out good information.’ ”

    When asked why he did not inform his chain of command about the abuse, Sergeant Davis answered, “Because I assumed that if they were doing things out of the ordinary or outside the guidelines, someone would have said something. Also the wing”—where the abuse took place—“belongs to MI and it appeared MI personnel approved of the abuse.”

    Another witness, Specialist Jason Kennel, who was not accused of wrongdoing, said, “I saw them nude, but MI would tell us to take away their mattresses, sheets, and clothes.” (It was his view, he added, that if M.I. wanted him to do this “they needed to give me paperwork.”) Taguba also cited an interview with Adel L. Nakhla, a translator who was an employee of Titan, a civilian contractor. He told of one night when a “bunch of people from MI” watched as a group of handcuffed and shackled inmates were subjected to abuse by Graner and Frederick.

    General Taguba saved his harshest words for the military-intelligence officers and private contractors. He recommended that Colonel Thomas Pappas, the commander of one of the M.I. brigades, be reprimanded and receive non-judicial punishment, and that Lieutenant Colonel Steven Jordan, the former director of the Joint Interrogation and Debriefing Center, be relieved of duty and reprimanded. He further urged that a civilian contractor, Steven Stephanowicz, of CACI International, be fired from his Army job, reprimanded, and denied his security clearances for lying to the investigating team and allowing or ordering military policemen “who were not trained in interrogation techniques to facilitate interrogations by ‘setting conditions’ which were neither authorized” nor in accordance with Army regulations. “He clearly knew his instructions equated to physical abuse,” Taguba wrote. He also recommended disciplinary action against a second CACI employee, John Israel. (A spokeswoman for CACI said that the company had “received no formal communication” from the Army about the matter.)

    “I suspect,” Taguba concluded, that Pappas, Jordan, Stephanowicz, and Israel “were either directly or indirectly responsible for the abuse at Abu Ghraib,” and strongly recommended immediate disciplinary action.

    The problems inside the Army prison system in Iraq were not hidden from senior commanders. During Karpinski’s seven-month tour of duty, Taguba noted, there were at least a dozen officially reported incidents involving escapes, attempted escapes, and other serious security issues that were investigated by officers of the 800th M.P. Brigade. Some of the incidents had led to the killing or wounding of inmates and M.P.s, and resulted in a series of “lessons learned” inquiries within the brigade. Karpinski invariably approved the reports and signed orders calling for changes in day-to-day procedures. But Taguba found that she did not follow up, doing nothing to insure that the orders were carried out. Had she done so, he added, “cases of abuse may have been prevented.”

    General Taguba further found that Abu Ghraib was filled beyond capacity, and that the M.P. guard force was significantly undermanned and short of resources. “This imbalance has contributed to the poor living conditions, escapes, and accountability lapses,” he wrote. There were gross differences, Taguba said, between the actual number of prisoners on hand and the number officially recorded. A lack of proper screening also meant that many innocent Iraqis were wrongly being detained—indefinitely, it seemed, in some cases. The Taguba study noted that more than sixty per cent of the civilian inmates at Abu Ghraib were deemed not to be a threat to society, which should have enabled them to be released. Karpinski’s defense, Taguba said, was that her superior officers “routinely” rejected her recommendations regarding the release of such prisoners.

    Karpinski was rarely seen at the prisons she was supposed to be running, Taguba wrote. He also found a wide range of administrative problems, including some that he considered “without precedent in my military career.” The soldiers, he added, were “poorly prepared and untrained . . . prior to deployment, at the mobilization site, upon arrival in theater, and throughout the mission.”

    General Taguba spent more than four hours interviewing Karpinski, whom he described as extremely emotional: “What I found particularly disturbing in her testimony was her complete unwillingness to either understand or accept that many of the problems inherent in the 800th MP Brigade were caused or exacerbated by poor leadership and the refusal of her command to both establish and enforce basic standards and principles among its soldiers.”

    Taguba recommended that Karpinski and seven brigade military-police officers and enlisted men be relieved of command and formally reprimanded. No criminal proceedings were suggested for Karpinski; apparently, the loss of promotion and the indignity of a public rebuke were seen as enough punishment.

    After the story broke on CBS last week, the Pentagon announced that Major General Geoffrey Miller, the new head of the Iraqi prison system, had arrived in Baghdad and was on the job. He had been the commander of the Guantánamo Bay detention center. General Sanchez also authorized an investigation into possible wrongdoing by military and civilian interrogators.

    As the international furor grew, senior military officers, and President Bush, insisted that the actions of a few did not reflect the conduct of the military as a whole. Taguba’s report, however, amounts to an unsparing study of collective wrongdoing and the failure of Army leadership at the highest levels. The picture he draws of Abu Ghraib is one in which Army regulations and the Geneva conventions were routinely violated, and in which much of the day-to-day management of the prisoners was abdicated to Army military-intelligence units and civilian contract employees. Interrogating prisoners and getting intelligence, including by intimidation and torture, was the priority.

    The mistreatment at Abu Ghraib may have done little to further American intelligence, however. Willie J. Rowell, who served for thirty-six years as a C.I.D. agent, told me that the use of force or humiliation with prisoners is invariably counterproductive. “They’ll tell you what you want to hear, truth or no truth,” Rowell said. “ ‘You can flog me until I tell you what I know you want me to say.’ You don’t get righteous information.”

    Under the fourth Geneva convention, an occupying power can jail civilians who pose an “imperative” security threat, but it must establish a regular procedure for insuring that only civilians who remain a genuine security threat be kept imprisoned. Prisoners have the right to appeal any internment decision and have their cases reviewed. Human Rights Watch complained to Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld that civilians in Iraq remained in custody month after month with no charges brought against them. Abu Ghraib had become, in effect, another Guantánamo.

    As the photographs from Abu Ghraib make clear, these detentions have had enormous consequences: for the imprisoned civilian Iraqis, many of whom had nothing to do with the growing insurgency; for the integrity of the Army; and for the United States’ reputation in the world.

    Captain Robert Shuck, Frederick’s military attorney, closed his defense at the Article 32 hearing last month by saying that the Army was “attempting to have these six soldiers atone for its sins.” Similarly, Gary Myers, Frederick’s civilian attorney, told me that he would argue at the court-martial that culpability in the case extended far beyond his client. “I’m going to drag every involved intelligence officer and civilian contractor I can find into court,” he said. “Do you really believe the Army relieved a general officer because of six soldiers? Not a chance.”

    https://open.substack.com/pub/seymourhersh/p/torture-at-abu-ghraib?r=29hg4d&utm_medium=ios&utm_campaign=post
    TORTURE AT ABU GHRAIB From the archive Seymour Hersh An Iraqi who was told he would be electrocuted if he fell off the box. I am on vacation this week but thought it would be useful to republish a painful story I did two decades ago for the New Yorker about a group of US army soldiers who went out of control amid a war in Iraq that, so they were told, was being waged against the terrorism that struck America on 9/11. What the GIs did then are what any army does in war when hating and fearing the enemy is encouraged and runs through the ranks, from the lowest level grunts to the senior generals. It takes a special leader, as you will read about below, who confounds his superiors by not covering up the crimes of his soldiers and their most senior officers, and does so knowing that his career is over. Would that there were such fearless leaders in the Middle East today. In the era of Saddam Hussein, Abu Ghraib, twenty miles west of Baghdad, was one of the world’s most notorious prisons, with torture, weekly executions, and vile living conditions. As many as fifty thousand men and women—no accurate count is possible—were jammed into Abu Ghraib at one time, in twelve-by-twelve-foot cells that were little more than human holding pits. In the looting that followed the regime’s collapse, last April, the huge prison complex, by then deserted, was stripped of everything that could be removed, including doors, windows, and bricks. The coalition authorities had the floors tiled, cells cleaned and repaired, and toilets, showers, and a new medical center added. Abu Ghraib was now a U.S. military prison. Most of the prisoners, however—by the fall there were several thousand, including women and teen-agers—were civilians, many of whom had been picked up in random military sweeps and at highway checkpoints. They fell into three loosely defined categories: common criminals; security detainees suspected of “crimes against the coalition”; and a small number of suspected “high-value” leaders of the insurgency against the coalition forces. Last June, Janis Karpinski, an Army reserve brigadier general, was named commander of the 800th Military Police Brigade and put in charge of military prisons in Iraq. General Karpinski, the only female commander in the war zone, was an experienced operations and intelligence officer who had served with the Special Forces and in the 1991 Gulf War, but she had never run a prison system. Now she was in charge of three large jails, eight battalions, and thirty-four hundred Army reservists, most of whom, like her, had no training in handling prisoners. General Karpinski, who had wanted to be a soldier since she was five, is a business consultant in civilian life, and was enthusiastic about her new job. In an interview last December with the St. Petersburg Times, she said that, for many of the Iraqi inmates at Abu Ghraib, “living conditions now are better in prison than at home. At one point we were concerned that they wouldn’t want to leave.” A month later, General Karpinski was formally admonished and quietly suspended, and a major investigation into the Army’s prison system, authorized by Lieutenant General Ricardo S. Sanchez, the senior commander in Iraq, was under way. A fifty-three-page report, obtained by The New Yorker, written by Major General Antonio M. Taguba and not meant for public release, was completed in late February. Its conclusions about the institutional failures of the Army prison system were devastating. Specifically, Taguba found that between October and December of 2003 there were numerous instances of “sadistic, blatant, and wanton criminal abuses” at Abu Ghraib. This systematic and illegal abuse of detainees, Taguba reported, was perpetrated by soldiers of the 372nd Military Police Company, and also by members of the American intelligence community. (The 372nd was attached to the 320th M.P. Battalion, which reported to Karpinski’s brigade headquarters.) Taguba’s report listed some of the wrongdoing: Breaking chemical lights and pouring the phosphoric liquid on detainees; pouring cold water on naked detainees; beating detainees with a broom handle and a chair; threatening male detainees with rape; allowing a military police guard to stitch the wound of a detainee who was injured after being slammed against the wall in his cell; sodomizing a detainee with a chemical light and perhaps a broom stick, and using military working dogs to frighten and intimidate detainees with threats of attack, and in one instance actually biting a detainee. There was stunning evidence to support the allegations, Taguba added—“detailed witness statements and the discovery of extremely graphic photographic evidence.” Photographs and videos taken by the soldiers as the abuses were happening were not included in his report, Taguba said, because of their “extremely sensitive nature.” The photographs—several of which were broadcast on CBS’s “60 Minutes 2” last week—show leering G.I.s taunting naked Iraqi prisoners who are forced to assume humiliating poses. Six suspects—Staff Sergeant Ivan L. Frederick II, known as Chip, who was the senior enlisted man; Specialist Charles A. Graner; Sergeant Javal Davis; Specialist Megan Ambuhl; Specialist Sabrina Harman; and Private Jeremy Sivits—are now facing prosecution in Iraq, on charges that include conspiracy, dereliction of duty, cruelty toward prisoners, maltreatment, assault, and indecent acts. A seventh suspect, Private Lynndie England, was reassigned to Fort Bragg, North Carolina, after becoming pregnant. The photographs tell it all. In one, Private England, a cigarette dangling from her mouth, is giving a jaunty thumbs-up sign and pointing at the genitals of a young Iraqi, who is naked except for a sandbag over his head, as he masturbates. Three other hooded and naked Iraqi prisoners are shown, hands reflexively crossed over their genitals. A fifth prisoner has his hands at his sides. In another, England stands arm in arm with Specialist Graner; both are grinning and giving the thumbs-up behind a cluster of perhaps seven naked Iraqis, knees bent, piled clumsily on top of each other in a pyramid. There is another photograph of a cluster of naked prisoners, again piled in a pyramid. Near them stands Graner, smiling, his arms crossed; a woman soldier stands in front of him, bending over, and she, too, is smiling. Then, there is another cluster of hooded bodies, with a female soldier standing in front, taking photographs. Yet another photograph shows a kneeling, naked, unhooded male prisoner, head momentarily turned away from the camera, posed to make it appear that he is performing oral sex on another male prisoner, who is naked and hooded. Such dehumanization is unacceptable in any culture, but it is especially so in the Arab world. Homosexual acts are against Islamic law and it is humiliating for men to be naked in front of other men, Bernard Haykel, a professor of Middle Eastern studies at New York University, explained. “Being put on top of each other and forced to masturbate, being naked in front of each other—it’s all a form of torture,” Haykel said. Two Iraqi faces that do appear in the photographs are those of dead men. There is the battered face of prisoner No. 153399, and the bloodied body of another prisoner, wrapped in cellophane and packed in ice. There is a photograph of an empty room, splattered with blood. The 372nd’s abuse of prisoners seemed almost routine—a fact of Army life that the soldiers felt no need to hide. On April 9th, at an Article 32 hearing (the military equivalent of a grand jury) in the case against Sergeant Frederick, at Camp Victory, near Baghdad, one of the witnesses, Specialist Matthew Wisdom, an M.P., told the courtroom what happened when he and other soldiers delivered seven prisoners, hooded and bound, to the so-called “hard site” at Abu Ghraib—seven tiers of cells where the inmates who were considered the most dangerous were housed. The men had been accused of starting a riot in another section of the prison. Wisdom said: SFC Snider grabbed my prisoner and threw him into a pile. . . . I do not think it was right to put them in a pile. I saw SSG Frederick, SGT Davis and CPL Graner walking around the pile hitting the prisoners. I remember SSG Frederick hitting one prisoner in the side of its [sic] ribcage. The prisoner was no danger to SSG Frederick. . . . I left after that. When he returned later, Wisdom testified: I saw two naked detainees, one masturbating to another kneeling with its mouth open. I thought I should just get out of there. I didn’t think it was right . . . I saw SSG Frederick walking towards me, and he said, “Look what these animals do when you leave them alone for two seconds.” I heard PFC England shout out, “He’s getting hard.” Wisdom testified that he told his superiors what had happened, and assumed that “the issue was taken care of.” He said, “I just didn’t want to be part of anything that looked criminal.” The abuses became public because of the outrage of Specialist Joseph M. Darby, an M.P. whose role emerged during the Article 32 hearing against Chip Frederick. A government witness, Special Agent Scott Bobeck, who is a member of the Army’s Criminal Investigation Division, or C.I.D., told the court, according to an abridged transcript made available to me, “The investigation started after SPC Darby . . . got a CD from CPL Graner. . . . He came across pictures of naked detainees.” Bobeck said that Darby had “initially put an anonymous letter under our door, then he later came forward and gave a sworn statement. He felt very bad about it and thought it was very wrong.” Questioned further, the Army investigator said that Frederick and his colleagues had not been given any “training guidelines” that he was aware of. The M.P.s in the 372nd had been assigned to routine traffic and police duties upon their arrival in Iraq, in the spring of 2003. In October of 2003, the 372nd was ordered to prison-guard duty at Abu Ghraib. Frederick, at thirty-seven, was far older than his colleagues, and was a natural leader; he had also worked for six years as a guard for the Virginia Department of Corrections. Bobeck explained: What I got is that SSG Frederick and CPL Graner were road M.P.s and were put in charge because they were civilian prison guards and had knowledge of how things were supposed to be run. Bobeck also testified that witnesses had said that Frederick, on one occasion, “had punched a detainee in the chest so hard that the detainee almost went into cardiac arrest.” At the Article 32 hearing, the Army informed Frederick and his attorneys, Captain Robert Shuck, an Army lawyer, and Gary Myers, a civilian, that two dozen witnesses they had sought, including General Karpinski and all of Frederick’s co-defendants, would not appear. Some had been excused after exercising their Fifth Amendment right; others were deemed to be too far away from the courtroom. “The purpose of an Article 32 hearing is for us to engage witnesses and discover facts,” Gary Myers told me. “We ended up with a C.I.D. agent and no alleged victims to examine.” After the hearing, the presiding investigative officer ruled that there was sufficient evidence to convene a court-martial against Frederick. Myers, who was one of the military defense attorneys in the My Lai prosecutions of the nineteen-seventies, told me that his client’s defense will be that he was carrying out the orders of his superiors and, in particular, the directions of military intelligence. He said, “Do you really think a group of kids from rural Virginia decided to do this on their own? Decided that the best way to embarrass Arabs and make them talk was to have them walk around nude?” In letters and e-mails to family members, Frederick repeatedly noted that the military-intelligence teams, which included C.I.A. officers and linguists and interrogation specialists from private defense contractors, were the dominant force inside Abu Ghraib. In a letter written in January, he said: I questioned some of the things that I saw . . . such things as leaving inmates in their cell with no clothes or in female underpants, handcuffing them to the door of their cell—and the answer I got was, “This is how military intelligence (MI) wants it done.” . . . . MI has also instructed us to place a prisoner in an isolation cell with little or no clothes, no toilet or running water, no ventilation or window, for as much as three days. The military-intelligence officers have “encouraged and told us, ‘Great job,’ they were now getting positive results and information,” Frederick wrote. “CID has been present when the military working dogs were used to intimidate prisoners at MI’s request.” At one point, Frederick told his family, he pulled aside his superior officer, Lieutenant Colonel Jerry Phillabaum, the commander of the 320th M.P. Battalion, and asked about the mistreatment of prisoners. “His reply was ‘Don’t worry about it.’ ” In November, Frederick wrote, an Iraqi prisoner under the control of what the Abu Ghraib guards called “O.G.A.,” or other government agencies—that is, the C.I.A. and its paramilitary employees—was brought to his unit for questioning. “They stressed him out so bad that the man passed away. They put his body in a body bag and packed him in ice for approximately twenty-four hours in the shower. . . . The next day the medics came and put his body on a stretcher, placed a fake IV in his arm and took him away.” The dead Iraqi was never entered into the prison’s inmate-control system, Frederick recounted, “and therefore never had a number.” Frederick’s defense is, of course, highly self-serving. But the complaints in his letters and e-mails home were reinforced by two internal Army reports—Taguba’s and one by the Army’s chief law-enforcement officer, Provost Marshal Donald Ryder, a major general. Last fall, General Sanchez ordered Ryder to review the prison system in Iraq and recommend ways to improve it. Ryder’s report, filed on November 5th, concluded that there were potential human-rights, training, and manpower issues, system-wide, that needed immediate attention. It also discussed serious concerns about the tension between the missions of the military police assigned to guard the prisoners and the intelligence teams who wanted to interrogate them. Army regulations limit intelligence activity by the M.P.s to passive collection. But something had gone wrong at Abu Ghraib. There was evidence dating back to the Afghanistan war, the Ryder report said, that M.P.s had worked with intelligence operatives to “set favorable conditions for subsequent interviews”—a euphemism for breaking the will of prisoners. “Such actions generally run counter to the smooth operation of a detention facility, attempting to maintain its population in a compliant and docile state.” General Karpinski’s brigade, Ryder reported, “has not been directed to change its facility procedures to set the conditions for MI interrogations, nor participate in those interrogations.” Ryder called for the establishment of procedures to “define the role of military police soldiers . . . clearly separating the actions of the guards from those of the military intelligence personnel.” The officers running the war in Iraq were put on notice. Ryder undercut his warning, however, by concluding that the situation had not yet reached a crisis point. Though some procedures were flawed, he said, he found “no military police units purposely applying inappropriate confinement practices.” His investigation was at best a failure and at worst a coverup. Taguba, in his report, was polite but direct in refuting his fellow-general. “Unfortunately, many of the systemic problems that surfaced during [Ryder’s] assessment are the very same issues that are the subject of this investigation,” he wrote. “In fact, many of the abuses suffered by detainees occurred during, or near to, the time of that assessment.” The report continued, “Contrary to the findings of MG Ryder’s report, I find that personnel assigned to the 372nd MP Company, 800th MP Brigade were directed to change facility procedures to ‘set the conditions’ for MI interrogations.” Army intelligence officers, C.I.A. agents, and private contractors “actively requested that MP guards set physical and mental conditions for favorable interrogation of witnesses.” Taguba backed up his assertion by citing evidence from sworn statements to Army C.I.D. investigators. Specialist Sabrina Harman, one of the accused M.P.s, testified that it was her job to keep detainees awake, including one hooded prisoner who was placed on a box with wires attached to his fingers, toes, and penis. She stated, “MI wanted to get them to talk. It is Graner and Frederick’s job to do things for MI and OGA to get these people to talk.” Another witness, Sergeant Javal Davis, who is also one of the accused, told C.I.D. investigators, “I witnessed prisoners in the MI hold section . . . being made to do various things that I would question morally. . . . We were told that they had different rules.” Taguba wrote, “Davis also stated that he had heard MI insinuate to the guards to abuse the inmates. When asked what MI said he stated: ‘Loosen this guy up for us.’ ‘Make sure he has a bad night.’ ‘Make sure he gets the treatment.’ ” Military intelligence made these comments to Graner and Frederick, Davis said. “The MI staffs to my understanding have been giving Graner compliments . . . statements like, ‘Good job, they’re breaking down real fast. They answer every question. They’re giving out good information.’ ” When asked why he did not inform his chain of command about the abuse, Sergeant Davis answered, “Because I assumed that if they were doing things out of the ordinary or outside the guidelines, someone would have said something. Also the wing”—where the abuse took place—“belongs to MI and it appeared MI personnel approved of the abuse.” Another witness, Specialist Jason Kennel, who was not accused of wrongdoing, said, “I saw them nude, but MI would tell us to take away their mattresses, sheets, and clothes.” (It was his view, he added, that if M.I. wanted him to do this “they needed to give me paperwork.”) Taguba also cited an interview with Adel L. Nakhla, a translator who was an employee of Titan, a civilian contractor. He told of one night when a “bunch of people from MI” watched as a group of handcuffed and shackled inmates were subjected to abuse by Graner and Frederick. General Taguba saved his harshest words for the military-intelligence officers and private contractors. He recommended that Colonel Thomas Pappas, the commander of one of the M.I. brigades, be reprimanded and receive non-judicial punishment, and that Lieutenant Colonel Steven Jordan, the former director of the Joint Interrogation and Debriefing Center, be relieved of duty and reprimanded. He further urged that a civilian contractor, Steven Stephanowicz, of CACI International, be fired from his Army job, reprimanded, and denied his security clearances for lying to the investigating team and allowing or ordering military policemen “who were not trained in interrogation techniques to facilitate interrogations by ‘setting conditions’ which were neither authorized” nor in accordance with Army regulations. “He clearly knew his instructions equated to physical abuse,” Taguba wrote. He also recommended disciplinary action against a second CACI employee, John Israel. (A spokeswoman for CACI said that the company had “received no formal communication” from the Army about the matter.) “I suspect,” Taguba concluded, that Pappas, Jordan, Stephanowicz, and Israel “were either directly or indirectly responsible for the abuse at Abu Ghraib,” and strongly recommended immediate disciplinary action. The problems inside the Army prison system in Iraq were not hidden from senior commanders. During Karpinski’s seven-month tour of duty, Taguba noted, there were at least a dozen officially reported incidents involving escapes, attempted escapes, and other serious security issues that were investigated by officers of the 800th M.P. Brigade. Some of the incidents had led to the killing or wounding of inmates and M.P.s, and resulted in a series of “lessons learned” inquiries within the brigade. Karpinski invariably approved the reports and signed orders calling for changes in day-to-day procedures. But Taguba found that she did not follow up, doing nothing to insure that the orders were carried out. Had she done so, he added, “cases of abuse may have been prevented.” General Taguba further found that Abu Ghraib was filled beyond capacity, and that the M.P. guard force was significantly undermanned and short of resources. “This imbalance has contributed to the poor living conditions, escapes, and accountability lapses,” he wrote. There were gross differences, Taguba said, between the actual number of prisoners on hand and the number officially recorded. A lack of proper screening also meant that many innocent Iraqis were wrongly being detained—indefinitely, it seemed, in some cases. The Taguba study noted that more than sixty per cent of the civilian inmates at Abu Ghraib were deemed not to be a threat to society, which should have enabled them to be released. Karpinski’s defense, Taguba said, was that her superior officers “routinely” rejected her recommendations regarding the release of such prisoners. Karpinski was rarely seen at the prisons she was supposed to be running, Taguba wrote. He also found a wide range of administrative problems, including some that he considered “without precedent in my military career.” The soldiers, he added, were “poorly prepared and untrained . . . prior to deployment, at the mobilization site, upon arrival in theater, and throughout the mission.” General Taguba spent more than four hours interviewing Karpinski, whom he described as extremely emotional: “What I found particularly disturbing in her testimony was her complete unwillingness to either understand or accept that many of the problems inherent in the 800th MP Brigade were caused or exacerbated by poor leadership and the refusal of her command to both establish and enforce basic standards and principles among its soldiers.” Taguba recommended that Karpinski and seven brigade military-police officers and enlisted men be relieved of command and formally reprimanded. No criminal proceedings were suggested for Karpinski; apparently, the loss of promotion and the indignity of a public rebuke were seen as enough punishment. After the story broke on CBS last week, the Pentagon announced that Major General Geoffrey Miller, the new head of the Iraqi prison system, had arrived in Baghdad and was on the job. He had been the commander of the Guantánamo Bay detention center. General Sanchez also authorized an investigation into possible wrongdoing by military and civilian interrogators. As the international furor grew, senior military officers, and President Bush, insisted that the actions of a few did not reflect the conduct of the military as a whole. Taguba’s report, however, amounts to an unsparing study of collective wrongdoing and the failure of Army leadership at the highest levels. The picture he draws of Abu Ghraib is one in which Army regulations and the Geneva conventions were routinely violated, and in which much of the day-to-day management of the prisoners was abdicated to Army military-intelligence units and civilian contract employees. Interrogating prisoners and getting intelligence, including by intimidation and torture, was the priority. The mistreatment at Abu Ghraib may have done little to further American intelligence, however. Willie J. Rowell, who served for thirty-six years as a C.I.D. agent, told me that the use of force or humiliation with prisoners is invariably counterproductive. “They’ll tell you what you want to hear, truth or no truth,” Rowell said. “ ‘You can flog me until I tell you what I know you want me to say.’ You don’t get righteous information.” Under the fourth Geneva convention, an occupying power can jail civilians who pose an “imperative” security threat, but it must establish a regular procedure for insuring that only civilians who remain a genuine security threat be kept imprisoned. Prisoners have the right to appeal any internment decision and have their cases reviewed. Human Rights Watch complained to Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld that civilians in Iraq remained in custody month after month with no charges brought against them. Abu Ghraib had become, in effect, another Guantánamo. As the photographs from Abu Ghraib make clear, these detentions have had enormous consequences: for the imprisoned civilian Iraqis, many of whom had nothing to do with the growing insurgency; for the integrity of the Army; and for the United States’ reputation in the world. Captain Robert Shuck, Frederick’s military attorney, closed his defense at the Article 32 hearing last month by saying that the Army was “attempting to have these six soldiers atone for its sins.” Similarly, Gary Myers, Frederick’s civilian attorney, told me that he would argue at the court-martial that culpability in the case extended far beyond his client. “I’m going to drag every involved intelligence officer and civilian contractor I can find into court,” he said. “Do you really believe the Army relieved a general officer because of six soldiers? Not a chance.” https://open.substack.com/pub/seymourhersh/p/torture-at-abu-ghraib?r=29hg4d&utm_medium=ios&utm_campaign=post
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