Tuesday, July 14, 2009

The Granai Massacre

This is a somewhat low quality video of a talk by Photojournalist Guy Smallman on the massacre in the village of Granai in the Farah province of Afghanistan on May 4, 2009. (h/t the-sauce.org) A US airstrike killed a 140 villagers, 93 of them children.

Near the end of the video Smallman says "Somebody somewhere gave the order ..." I wonder how much of their humanity is left to them.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Torture Photos

David Swanson reports at AfterDowningStreet (h/t A Tiny Revolution) that he has seen more than 1200 photos and several videos that the Obama administration is keeping "secret," presumably so as not to upset the delicate sensibilities of the American people. Swanson points out that this is only a small proportion of a much larger collection of photos.
The Special Broadcasting Service (SBS) of Australia revealed several of these photographs, video of the head slamming, and video of prisoners forced to masturbate, as part of a news report broadcast in 2006. But the full collection has not been made available to the public or to a special prosecutor, although it was shown to members of Congress in 2004. When these photos are eventually made public, I encourage you to take a good look at them. After you get over feeling ill, it might be appropriate to consider Congress' past 5 years of inaction. You'll be able to feel sick all over again.

The over 1,200 images that I've seen add to some stories we've seen sketched out before. We've seen the body of murdered prisoner Manadel al-Jamadi packed in ice. We've seen Spc. Charles Graner posing with it, and Spc. Sabrina Harman doing the same. But the fuller collection shows the process of cleaning the body up. A giant gash in the top of the man's head is stitched up, his eye patched, etc. Photos, some of which have been made public, show floors covered with the blood of this victim.

We've also seen a few images (one, two, three) of a man attacked and bitten by dogs. But the larger series of photos shows us much more of the wounds on his legs and arms, as well as his identification number: 153863.

Another prisoner with an ID (153399) is shown missing a good portion of his head. This is one of a number of dead bodies shown in the photographs. SBS (the Australian news outlet) found an Army report on his death and concluded that these dead prisoners had likely been shot by guards during a riot or murdered by guards in other circumstances. Others have claimed mortar attacks from outside the prison are to blame.


There are three photos of a little boy, naked, in a robe, and fully dressed. While it is very disturbing to see this little child's photos in the middle of this revolting collection, I have no idea what they are doing there or whether he was mistreated, or whether anyone was threatened with his mistreatment. But I do know that the leading lawyer who facilitated our national torture campaign and famously said that a U.S. president has the right to crush a child's testicles is a professor at a prestigious university, while his boss is sitting as a life-time judge in the Ninth Circuit because Congress refuses to impeach him. The current excuse for delay is that the Justice Department plans to release its internal report (from the Office of Professional Responsibility) very soon, just as it has been promising for many months.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Fed with no oversight

It is late in the financial crisis, do you know where your money is?(h/t A Tiny Revolution)

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Amira Hass

This is one impressive lady (h/t Pulse).