Wikileaks Revelations Vindicate Three Reporters Who Tried to Exposure Torture — And Were Murdered

October 26th, 2010 - by admin

Henry Porter / OpEd News – 2010-10-26 22:36:42

Wikileaks Documents Confirm Tom Fox Died for Our Sins

(October 23, 2010) — The latest Wikileaks documents reveal that over a thousand Iraqis were tortured and America turned a blind eye. We knew this years ago and turned a blind eye. Now we are reminded, and again America turns a blind eye. I wish I could say I was shocked. But I’m not.

Almost five years ago I wrote “Christian Hostages, Death Squads, and Deja Vu”.

In December, 2005, I wrote

Christian Peacemaker members, including some of those who have been taken captive, had been investigating abuses at the hands of special police and military groups months before the Nov. 15 discovery of 173 detainees in the basement of an Interior Ministry building. American soldiers who liberated the prisoners said some appeared to have been tortured by their Iraqi government captors.

At the time, I knew the quote was too kind. At the time I knew US-trained Death Squads were active in Iraq. The 173 liberated hostages did not “appear to have been tortured” as the American press so delicately put it. The BBC was much more honest:

When I wrote “Tom Fox, Death Squads and the Dogs of War” and named names… again the call fell on deaf ears.

By 2006, Tom Fox was murdered and the crime scenes were sanitized. At that point it was safe to let the media report on this. Even then, they buried the story. I wrote We found one of the death squads. They’re part of the police force.

and opened that piece by saying:

That quote used in the title is not some lefty peacenik talking. That is Major General Joseph Peterson. He heads the training of Iraqi police forces for the US Army.

I then went on to note this was important for the following reasons:

+ This is the first official confirmation by the US of Death Squad activity in Iraq.

+ Death Squad activity has been alleged for over a year now.

+ The “Police Commando Units” you read about are Death Squads.

+ Those “Police Commando Units” were trained by US and UK contractors with the full knowledge of John Negroponte and the Pentagon.

+ The policy is colloquially known as “The Salvador Option.”

+ This story has been reported before, but every one of the reporters covering it was killed.(UPDATED LINKS BELOW)

+ This is why the Christian Peacemaker Team went to Iraq.

+ This represents proof positive that the insurgents are not the only ones with competing factions.

+ This marks a shift in US military strategy.

+ The men who built these operations need to be brought to justice.

The last point was the most important. It never happened. America turned a blind eye. A few years later, David Petraeus, like Brutus, was labeled an honorable man. The truth was otherwise, but even Ted Westhusing’s suicide note was not enough to convince a wilfully blind America.

Now the bodies and the stories behind the bodies are buried. The Wikileaks documents have surfaced belatedly, like the bones of victims in a mass grave silently clawing their way towards the light. But even now America still turns a blind eye.

Tom Fox may have died for our sins, but his death didn’t absolve us of anything.

Most of the links in my original pieces have been wiped away and all of this criminal activity — done in our name, with our money, by our government, enabled by our silence, and pardoned by our indifference — is washed down the memory hole like blood from a crime scene after they hose down the sidewalk.

Even President Obama enables this whitewash when he plays the role of America’s Lot and tells us “…we need to look forward as opposed to looking backwards.” I’m sorry Mr. President, but I can’t take that journey with you. I have not mastered Umberto Eco’s Ars Oblivionalis, the Dark Art of Forgetting. I cannot ignore the bitter taste memory leaves in my mouth. I know it will never go away as long as we shut our eyes to the fact we are covered in blood.

Some may find this claim hard to swallow. When these stories were hot topics in 2005, all three of the reporters who covered it were murdered.

Steve Vincent (New York Times), Yasser Salihee (Knight Ridder) and Fakher Haider (New York Times).

All three journalists have this in common: That was the last story these journalists covered before they were shot to death in Iraq in 2005.

All the links have been wiped clean. In response to a comment questioning this claim, I used the Way Back Machine to find the original stories and offer them to anyone else who doubts the veracity of this claim. Here they are:

Steve Vincent’s story.

Yasser Salihee’s story.

Fakher Haider’s story

Author’s Bio: I am not the Henry Porter who writes for the Observer in Britain. I’m a native New Yorker living in Maryland. I used to believe knowledge was power. Now I know knowledge translated into action is power.

Posted in accordance with Title 17, Section 107, US Code, for noncommercial, educational purposes.