Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Petraeus apologizes for the wrong crime

US media today is dutifully reporting the first volley of the public campaign to rehabilitate the stinking reputation of David Petraeus, who resigned as head of the CIA in November 2012 after his extramarital affair hit the news. Petraeus took the penitent tone at his first public appearance at a ROTC dinner in Los Angeles. Since his resignation, he’s been in seclusion but received a standing ovation & a pair of silver cuff links at the dinner of hopeful military officers. He should have been carted off in handcuffs & placed in solitary confinement for his crimes against the peoples of Iraq & Afghanistan.

The stench coming off Petraeus has nothing to do with sex & marriage; it has to do with violence & war crimes of the most unspeakable kind. It has to do with his orchestrating & overseeing torture, death squads, & human rights crimes as counterinsurgency strategy in Iraq that fostered civil conflict between Sunni & Shia.

There’s a whole list of war criminals who should be prosecuted along with Petraeus, from the White House to the Pentagon to the CIA beginning with Bush, Rumsfeld, Cheney, Albright, Clinton, & including Obama who offered absolution for war crimes & indicated his collusion when he said: “We have been through a dark & painful chapter in our history. Nothing will be gained by spending our time & energy laying blame for the past.” Obama is dead wrong! This "dark & painful chapter" won't be over until the Iraqi people who have suffered so much have a chance to testify against these criminals in a court of law & expose their crimes for all the world to see.

The linked video reports a Guardian-UK & BBC investigation of the US military counterinsurgency program in Iraq. It directly indicts Petraeus as the general in charge of operations. It also shows US soldiers were aware of the special ops torture of prisoners & were troubled by it. Witnessing torture is most certainly implicated in soldier & veteran suicides & PTSD--but it makes the testimony of antiwar veterans that much more compelling to building the movement against these wars.

Petraeus will likely be trolling the country for honoraria as part of his rehabilitation program. He should be met at every stop with activists & banners demanding “US out of Iraq!” & “US out of Afghanistan!”

(Photo is of Iraqi men "detained for questioning" in 2004 in Kufa, Iraq. Many will not survive the questioning. Photo taken by Carolyn Cole/LA Times)

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