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"Little white lies" when our prisoner dies

Eight years ago Australia participated in the invasion of Iraq.  We're only learning, this very day, that political weasel words were used to absolve Australia of any blame for the death of a Prisoner of War our SAS troops had taken into custody.  In an act that can only be described as barbarism, the prisoner was allegedly kicked to death by British troops while been transported to a new place of imprisonment.

The story that was used to cover up for the Australian troops (according to a report in today's SMH that is already bouncing along the ABC airwaves) was that the sole US soldier embedded with our troops was the one who made the capture.  On the strength of that lie our then Defence Minister Robert Hlll was later able to tell the Australian public that no Prisoners Of War were captured by Australian troops in Iraq.

The gist of the SMH story is that while 20 SAS troops removed a busload of "enemy" from their vehicle, searched them and recorded their details, it was the lone American soldier who formally took them prisoner.


On May 12, a secret AUSTEO brief prepared for then chief of the Defence Force, General Peter Cosgrove, noted that ''Defence media statements have been interpreted by the media as a claim that the Australian special forces was the capturing force in relation to the detainees.

''However, the particular policy adopted at the tactical level indicates that the US, not Australia, formally fulfilled this role for the purpose of the Geneva Conventions,'' the memo stated.

''The media may feel misled and suggestions may emerge that Australia has not fulfilled its legal obligations.''

One implication of all this is that Australia, in deed if not words, has violated its obligations under the Geneva Convention.  Ahnother is that there may be yet many other tales of brutality that have been concealed from our eyes and ears by semantic skulldugger at the highest levels of Australian office.

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Selective context

It struck me particularly in connection with the NATO action in Libya.  The ongoing bloodshed there has been motivated by a dubious campaign against Gaddafi.  He is no doubt a murderer (I presume).  There would no doubt have been bloodshed if he had been left unimpeded to put down the rebellion that is passing itself off as pro-democracy, but it would have been less, there would not have been a deliberately-engineered civil war, so the loss of life would have been relatively slight.

One thing that stuck me was the fury of the press campaign against Gaddafi at the beginning, totally, exaggeratedly enraged, the demands supposedly directed at governments to impose a no-fly zone, based on government information, really engineered by the governments themselves, and the fact that no evidence was ever published.  A large proportion of it related to supposed artillery attacks against civilians, which were intrinsically senseless, although Gaddafi throughout seems to have pursued militarily sound strategies.  The need to protect civilians supposedly underlying it all.  And the only time I saw any actual detail on the artillery targets they were a city's water storage and suchlike, arguably military targets in a siege, and not gratuitous attacks on people at all.  That was just the story, the lies.

And, of course, the usual insinuations of madness, and unverifiable commentary on the insanity of his public addresses, no translations, ever, no verification, ever.  Yet his version of madness continued to tactically outsmart his opponents, so we have continuing demands for yet more overwhelming force by the vastly more powerful Europeans. 

And the selectivity of it.  Why no no-fly zone over Tibet, where I have no doubt more have been kiiled by the Chinese than Gaddafi has ever laid eyes on?

Lying by governments?  Oh, no!  You're not suggesting that, surely!


In the context of..

Well, that's the thinking, that's why they invented renditions and privatised the detention and other functons,so as to be at arms length. They kept at arms length with the AWB scandal, so even when it came unstuck no one really important went to jail.

We finally had it it bought home to us with the local security laws and Haneef, that the rule of law was gutted in so-called civilised parts of the world. 

More to it than that, Marilyn

Something like this casts a disingenuous shadow over so many things we've questioned on Webdiary?  If our Government and war-leaders lied to us on this occassion, and I'm assuming they've done so to ensure our ongoing support of the Iraq invasion and occupation, what else have they done.  Was David Hicks as much as a stageplay as we've guessed?  And speaking of stageplays, what about the Doug Wood saga?  Halliburton protester Scott Parkin's deportation?  And what about the Saddam Toppling scene on telly..  What if one of the filmcrew arranged the scenario using Ak-47 rounds as currency.

If Defence Minister Hill was lying, then you have to also wonder what  Foreign Minister Downer might have been concealing.. 

But we don't care about Geneva

Which is why we can breach the refugee convention and support Israel no matter what.

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