Wiki Actu en

December 8, 2004

Veteran sergeant accounts US torture coverup

Veteran sergeant accounts US torture coverup

From Wikinews, the free news source you can write!
Jump to: navigation, search

Wednesday, December 8, 2004

Sacramento, CA – A US veteran sergeant reports witnessing torture in Iraq and the cover-up activities of his commanding officers.

Honorably discharged US veteran, Sergeant Frank “Greg” Ford reports that he witnessed war crimes in Samarra, Iraq.

Democracy Now! interviewed David DeBatto on it’s December 12, 2004 show. David wrote Whitewashing torture?, which is an account of Sergeant Frank “Greg” Ford’s report on Iraqi prisoner abuse at his base in Samarra, Iraq. DeBatto, a former counterintelligence officer in Iraq, is currently authoring a four-part fiction series, as well as working as a journalist.

In Whitewashing torture?, DeBatto explains that Sergeant Ford witnessed the torture and abuse of Iraqi detainees over a two to three week period in the spring of 2003 by his fellow intelligence operatives. Ford attempted to confront his team leader several times without success, and eventually went to his commanding officer Captain Victor Artiga in order to file a formal complaint. According to Ford, instead of an investigation being conducted, he was given thirty seconds by Captain Artiga to retract his complaint. When Ford didn’t comply, he was immediately stripped of his weapon and assigned a 24-hour escort. Shortly after he was told to report to an army psychiatrist for a “combat stress evaluation”. The psychiatrist deemed Ford to be “completely normal” and filed her report with Captain Artiga.

According to a witness, Sergeant First Class Michael Marciello, when Artiga saw the psychiatrist’s report, Artiga was, “livid”. He “stormed” back to the psychiatrist and “browbeat” her to change her report to read that Ford was mentally unstable, and ordered her to have Ford shipped out of the country. Ford was later strapped to a medical gurney and medvac’d out of Iraq. He was initially sent to Kuwait and eventually to Landstuhl, Germany. Ford then underwent psychological evaluation in Germany and also two bases in the United States for approximately 8 months.

David DeBatto indicated he reviewed hundreds of documents regarding Ford’s case and couldn’t find any of the required documents that should be filed when a soldier is medvac’d from one area to another. David also stated that every doctor that evaluated Ford found him to be completely normal, with absolutely no psychological or mental health issues.

DeBatto reported that Ford was not the only soldier to have this happen to him. According to Col. C. Tsai, a military psychiatrist who examined Ford at the Army Regional Medical Center in Landstuhl, Germany, there had been three or four other soldiers who had been sent there under very similar circumstances. Specifically, the soldiers had made allegations of abuse or mistreatment of Iraqi prisoners. DeBatto indicated he had even came across a decorated veteran from the first Gulf War who made allegations and has committed to a mental ward in Kentucky. According to DeBatto, that officer is still fighting his committal. Tsai had found nothing at all unstable about Ford.

DeBatto reported that Ford was eventually given an honorable discharge in February, 2004. He is currently looking into filing civil and criminal charges against the officers involved. He has contacted the FBI, the Department of the Army’s Office of the Inspector General, as well as the Army’s Criminal Investigation Division. All three agencies have initiated criminal and administrative investigations into the incident.

Related news

  • “SEALs say US officer’s cover-up was reported by fake SEAL” — Wikinews, December 8, 2006

Sources


This text comes from Wikinews. Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 2.5 licence. For a complete list of contributors for this article, visit the corresponding history entry on Wikinews.

U.S. negotiator calls Kyoto Treaty \”not based on science\”

U.S. negotiator calls Kyoto Treaty “not based on science”

From Wikinews, the free news source you can write!
Jump to: navigation, search
The Earth seen from Apollo 17.jpg

Wednesday, December 8, 2004

Buenos Aires – The 10th session of the Conference of Parties (COP 10) is being held in the Argentine capital of Buenos Aires; signatories of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change have gathered to discuss issues involving global warming. Senior U.S. negotiator Dr. Harlan Watson came under fire for the United States’ refusal to ratify the almost 10 year old Kyoto Treaty (AKA: Kyoto Protocol) which aims to reduce the emission of 6 greenhouse gases in the 55+ signatory nations and requires participating industrialized countries to give money and technology to developing countries.

Watson countered these complaints by arguing that, “Kyoto is a political agreement, it’s not based on science.” He also stated that the United States remains steadfast to its current position on global climate change. Supporters of the Kyoto Treaty state the protocol’s required actions are not sufficient to effect their claimed warming effects.

See also

References

  1. Headlines for December 8, 2004” — Democracy Now!, December 8, 2004
  2. U.S. says it won’t budge on approach to climate change” — AFP, December 7, 2004


This text comes from Wikinews. Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 2.5 licence. For a complete list of contributors for this article, visit the corresponding history entry on Wikinews.

Soldiers question U.S. Defense Secretary on issues during Kuwait visit

Soldiers question U.S. Defense Secretary on issues during Kuwait visit

From Wikinews, the free news source you can write!
Jump to: navigation, search

Wednesday, December 8, 2004

Camp Buehring, Kuwait – U.S. Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld, after a speech to U.S. soldiers at an American military base in Kuwait, was confronted by Iraq-bound soldiers raising their concerns over a variety of issues.

During a question-and-answer session of unscreened questions following his speech at Camp Buehring, Rumsfeld replied to soldier’s concerns over aging equipment and a lack of armor for military vehicles. One soldier, Spc. Thomas Wilson, received applause from the gathered troops after asking the defense secretary, “Why do we soldiers have to dig through local landfills for pieces of scrap metal and compromised ballistic glass to up-armor our vehicles?” [1] Rumsfeld hesitated, then replied, “You go to war with the Army you have, not the Army you might want or wish to have.” Rumsfeld further clarified that the Pentagon was making all possible effort to provide the materials required as quickly as possible, but that it has been difficult to keep up with demand.

“It’s not a matter of money or desire,” Lt. Gen. R. Steven Whitcomb, the commander of Army forces in the Persian Gulf, told the troops after Mr. Rumsfeld asked him to address Specialist Wilson’s question. “It’s a matter of the logistics of being able to produce it” [2].

However, a recent claim by a company producing such armor for the Pentagon has contradicted this assertion. “We’ve been telling the Pentagon for months that we have the capacity to double our production,” [3] said Matt Salmon, a consultant for ArmorWorks of Tempe, AZ. ArmorWorks, which has a $30 million contract with the Pentagon to supply armor kits to be fitted on Humvee vehicles, claims to be operating at only half-capacity, with little to no interest shown by the Pentagon in increasing their output.

Rumsfeld also addressed an expressed concern regarding aging equipment by asserting that, although all units have equipment of various vintage, troops headed into a combat situation in Iraq are equipped with the newest and best equipment the military can provide [4].

Maj. Gen. Gary Speer, the deputy commanding general of U.S. forces in Kuwait, stated that every vehicle deploying to Iraq from Kuwait has at least “Level 3” armor protection. According to Speer, this means the vehicle has locally fabricated armor for its side panels, but not bulletproof windows or reinforced floorboards. He was not aware of soldiers retrieving used bulletproof glass or scrap metal from landfills.

It is difficult to estimate the seriousness of the problems cited by the soldiers, and the Army claims to be unaware of widespread shortages in necessary equipment. However, enough soldiers have expressed concern ([5][6][7]) since the start of combat in Iraq to have provoked a reevalution within the military on the amount and type of protection U.S. forces require in Iraq [8].

Rumsfeld also faced questions from the soldiers regarding the army’s ‘stop-loss’ policy and dismissed concerns over the allegation that Army troops receive better equipment than National Guard troops. “No way I can prove it, but I’m told that the army is breaking its neck to see that there is not a differentiation” in the quality of equipment[9].

Shortly after the speech, Rumsfeld continued on his way to Kabul to watch President Karzai be sworn in.

References

Reviewed article

This article has passed through community review. The users who have reviewed it believe it to be factually accurate, neutral and free of legal problems. Please comment on the discussion page if you find any issues with this article, and please clearly denote any updates you make at the bottom.


This text comes from Wikinews. Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 2.5 licence. For a complete list of contributors for this article, visit the corresponding history entry on Wikinews.

NASA van rolls off California mountain

Filed under: Archived,Disasters and accidents,United States — admin @ 5:00 am

NASA van rolls off California mountain – Wikinews, the free news source

NASA van rolls off California mountain

From Wikinews, the free news source you can write!
Jump to: navigation, search

Wednesday, December 8, 2004

LOS ANGELES – A commuter van (Van Pool No. 36) from the National Aeronautics and Space Administration’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) plunged 200 feet into a ravine in the Angeles National Forest this morning. The van was carrying ten people: six JPL employees, two NASA employees, and two private contractors. They are identified as:

  • Javier Bautista: Regular Substitute Driver
  • Cheryl Lynn Allworth: Executive Secretary in JPL’s Space Experiments Systems Section
  • Dorothy M. Forks: JPL Human Resources
  • Peter Robles
  • Helga Maria Wurm
  • Jane F. Galloway: JPL Business Manager
  • Kerri Lynn Agey: Contractor for JPL Security Services
  • Christopher Butts
  • Jim Kitahara
  • David Myers

Three of the passengers — Forks, Galloway, and Agey — lost their lives; the remaining seven sustained various levels of injury, including one passenger suffering critical injury, according to authorities. All victims were airlifted to local area hospitals.

According to witnesses who reported the crash, the van simply drove off the side of Angeles Forest Highway. Despite the presence of fog during the accident, the California Highway Patrol believes that this was not a factor. The CHP has said that the investigation into the crash may take two to three days before the cause is known.

JPL spokesperson D.C. Agle confirmed that the van was from the facility. Initially, JPL refrained from commenting, but JPL security was spotted at the site shortly after the incident occurred.

The Angeles Forest Highway is a two-lane mountain road considered a commuter route for many residents of the Antelope Valley including Palmdale and Lancaster residents. It is an alternative to get to Interstate 210, rather than taking the heavily traveled Antelope Valley Freeway (California State Route 14).

References

  1. Three Dead in JPL Commuter Van Crash” — Associated Press, December 8, 2004
  2. KABC-TV Los Angeles. “Deadly Van Crash” — ABC7 Eyewitness News, December 8, 2004
  3. Jason Felch. “‘I Saw Us Going Over the Edge’” — Los Angeles Times, December 10, 2004 (subscription only)
  4. Sean O’Keefe. “[http://www.nasa.gov/about/highlights/administrators_corner_120904_jpl_employees

.html Administrator O’Keefe’s Corner: Tragic Accident Involving JPL Employees]” — NASA, December 9, 2004


This text comes from Wikinews. Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 2.5 licence. For a complete list of contributors for this article, visit the corresponding history entry on Wikinews.

Criminal charges filed in Nov. 19 NBA brawl

Filed under: Archived,Basketball,Crime and law,Indiana,United States — admin @ 5:00 am

Criminal charges filed in Nov. 19 NBA brawl

From Wikinews, the free news source you can write!
Jump to: navigation, search

Wednesday, December 8, 2004

PONTIAC, Michigan – After spending weeks going over written statements, TV video and even fan shot video, Oakland County Prosecutor David Gorcyca announced criminal charges against five Indiana Pacer players and seven fans stemming from the November 19th brawl at The Palace Of Auburn Hills.

Stephen Jackson, David Harison, Ron Artest and Anthony Johnson were all charged with one count of assault and battery. Three time NBA All-Star Jermaine O’Neal was charged with two counts of assault and battery. Each charge is a misdemeanor that carries a maximum penalty of 3 months in jail and a fine up to $500.

Gorcyca also filed charges against seven fans. John Green, John Ackerman, William Paulson, Bryant Jackson and David Wallace were all charged with assault and battery. David Wallace is the brother of Detroit Piston star, Ben Wallace.

John Green was charged with two counts of assault and battery. The first one for tossing the cup that started the brawl and another count for punching Artest from behind when Artest went into the stands.

Bryant Jackson also faces a felony assault charge for throwing a chair. That is punishable by up to four years in jail, but Gorcyca said Jackson may serve more time based on his prior convictions.

Two other fans, Charlie Haddad and Alvin Shackleford, were also charged with a local ordinance that prevents fans from walking onto the floor. All seven fans have been banned from The Palace.


This text comes from Wikinews. Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 2.5 licence. For a complete list of contributors for this article, visit the corresponding history entry on Wikinews.

Powered by WordPress