Thursday, December 28, 2017

America Has Committed Horrible War Crimes!

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The US may be aiding war crimes in Yemen
Vox
Published on Dec 12, 2016
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Top 10 American War Crimes

TopTenz
Published on Aug 3, 2014
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Warcrimes - US soldiers speak - I killed innocent civilians (full documentary)
om786swastik
Published on Jan 2, 2012
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Former Presidents Come Together for Photo-Op As Internet Forgets They’re All War Criminals
By Rachel Blevins     
December 28, 2017
Five former presidents of the United States came together for a hurricane relief benefit, and their photo-op with musician Lady Gaga led to a surprising reaction—the Internet loved it! Not only did the public put politics aside, it also seems to have forgotten about all of the things these men have done to give them a very different title: War Criminal.
“Nothing more beautiful than everyone putting their differences aside to help humanity in the face of catastrophe. #OneAmericaAppeal,” Gaga wrote on Twitter.
Here are a few of the highlights from each presidency:
Jimmy Carter (1977-1981)
After the CIA-sponsored assassination of the first democratically-elected prime minister of Congo in 1961, the brand new Carter administration stepped aside and said nothing as its allies provided the country’s new puppet dictator with military equipment to crush a dissenting movement that broke out in 1977.
Guatemala was also dealing with the effects of U.S. military intervention in 1977, and the horrific conditions included the presence of military death squads that tortured innocent civilians. While Carter claimed to cut off aid to the military government, some reports have argued that this was “little more than a PR stunt while tangible support continued.”
When the South African Defense Forces dropped bombs on innocent civilians in Cassinga, Angola, in 1978, more than 600 Namibians in sovereign Angolan territory were murdered as a result. Carter defended 
the apartheid government before the UN Security Council to ensure that it would not face sanctions.
George H. W. Bush (1989-1993)
Before the Carter Administration was dealing with the aftermath of CIA-sponsored intervention around the world, George H. W. Bush was serving as the Director of Central Intelligence beginning in 1976. His term lasted for just 355 days.
Bush then went on to become president in 1989, and he launched Operation Desert Storm in 1990. The argument was that Iraq had amassed 250,000 troops and 1,500 tanks on the border with Saudi Arabia, according to “top-secret satellite images.”
However, St. Petersburg Times journalist Jean Heller 
reported that according to “two commercial Soviet satellite images of the same area, taken at the same time, no Iraqi troops were visible near the Saudi border—just empty desert.” This means that the first Bush Administration convinced the public that it should invade a sovereign nation based on claims that it was threatening a U.S. ally—but there is no proof that those claims were true.
Bill Clinton (1993-2001)
When Clinton took office in 1993, the U.S. continued its war with Iraq through sanctions. While numbers from the United Nations suggested that thousands of children were dying each month because of the sanctions, Clinton defended his administration’s actions, and blamed Saddam Hussein.
In addition to denying humanitarian aid to the country, Clinton bombed Iraq in 1998. He sought no approval from Congress, and it was argued that he used the bombing to distract from his impeachment proceedings.
Clinton also bombed Afghanistan and Sudan in 1998, launching dozens of cruise missiles and claiming it was “an act of self-defense against imminent terrorist plots.” He insisted that the targeted area in Sudan was producing chemical weapons and had ties to Osama bin Laden, but no evidence of that was ever produced.
George W. Bush (2001-2009)
The propaganda against both Saddam Hussein and Osama bin Laden reached new heights when the second Bush took office. Before the death toll from the 9/11 attacks was confirmed, the Bush Administration had announced, and the mainstream media had spread the claim far and wide, that bin Laden and al-Qaeda were to blame.
Bush is credited with officially starting the “War on Terror,” which led to the illegal invasions of 
Afghanistan in 2001 and Iraq in 2003. In addition to killing hundreds of thousands of innocent civilians over the years, U.S. military intervention in Iraq and Afghanistan is still ongoing today, and it shows no signs of slowing down.
Barack Obama (2009-2017)
Despite running on a platform of peace, and even winning the Nobel Peace Prize in 2009, Barack Obama has a record of spending more time at war 
than any other U.S. president. His administration fueled the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and created new conflicts in Syria by arming so-called “moderate rebels,” and then dealing with the consequences.
Obama also earned the nickname of “Drone King,” as he took U.S. Air Wars to a new level by launching 
unprecedented drone strikes in Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria, Libya, Pakistan, Somalia and Yemen.
Now, as Donald Trump’s first year in office come to an end, it is clear that he is only continuing the battles that were started and prolonged by his predecessors—and the first 9 months of his administration have already resulted in a horrific number of civilian causalities.
“The war is not meant to be won. It is meant to be continuous.” — George Orwell
Rachel Blevins is a Texas-based journalist who aspires to break the left/right paradigm in media and politics by pursuing truth and questioning existing narratives. Follow Rachel on FacebookTwitter and 

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Jimmy Carter’s Blood-Drenched Legacy
by Matt Peppe
August 18, 2015
A few days ago former President Jimmy Carter announced that he has cancer and it is spreading. While it would be premature to assume this spells the end for the 90-year-old, it does present an opportunity to take stock of the tenure of a President who, like the current occupant of the White House, entered office with a promise to respect human rights, but failed miserably when given the opportunity to do so.
Carter just last month published a memoir about his “Full Life.” Others have begun to look back at his four years as President. David Macaray, writing in 
CounterPunch on 8/14/15, noted that despite his reputation as a President so hapless his fellow Democrats tried to knock him off in a primary, “a closer look shows that Carter accomplished some fairly important things during his single term in office – things that, given the near-paralytic gridlock that defines today’s politics, seem all the more impressive in hindsight.”
Macaray lists 10 accomplishments which were, indeed, impressive. Among them were supporting SALT II (Strategic Arms Limitations Talks); brokering the Israel-Egypt Peace Treaty through diplomacy at the Camp David Accords; granting amnesty to Vietnam draft-dodgers, and presenting a plan for universal health care.
However, the self-professed advocate for human rights demonstrated quite the penchant for bloodshed. While he didn’t initiate any aggressive invasions of foreign nations the way his predecessors and successors did in Vietnam, Grenada, Panama, Iraq, Afghanistan and many other countries, Carter proved remarkably generous at providing financial, military, diplomatic and ideological support for fascist dictatorships that tortured and killed millions of members of their domestic populations in an effort to crush popular movements for social justice. Some of the regimes he backed carried out mass slaughter that amounted to genocide.
“Carter was the least violent of American presidents but he did things which I think would certainly fall under Nuremberg provisions,” said Noam Chomsky. Much like Nobel Peace-prize winner Barack Obama 30 years later, Carter was an advocate of human rights in the abstract, but of repression and imposition of power through violence in practice.
Below are some of Carter’s most shameful and indefensible foreign policy positions that caused monumental levels of death, destruction and suffering for poor, socially disenfranchised people from Asia to Latin America to Africa.
Zaire, 1977
After the CIA-sponsored assassination of Patrice Lumumba in 1961, Mobutu Sese Seko ruled as dictator for 16 years – changing the name of the Congo in 1971 to Zaire. In early 1977, rebels fighting with the revolutionary MPLA popular movement in Angola re-entered Zaire to resume their civil war and oust the military strongman. Mobutu sought help from his American and European allies to crush the movement.
William Blum writes in Killing Hope: U.S. Military and CIA Interventions Since World War II that Carter, who had been in office for only two months, was reluctant to involve his administration in a far-reaching intervention whose scope and length could not be easily anticipated.
However, Carter did provide “non-lethal” aid, while he did not protest as European countries offered military aid, and Morocco sent several thousand of its US-trained military forces to aid Mobutu.
“President Carter asserted on more than one occasion that the Zaire crisis was an African problem, best solved by Africans, yet he apparently saw no contradiction to this thesis in his own policy, nor did he offer any criticism of France or Belgium, or of China, which sent Mobutu a substantial amount of military equipment,” writes Blum. [1]
Guatemala, 1977
The Carter administration issued a report critical of the human rights records of the military government and officially cut off aid. However, Blum argues that this was little more than a public relations stunt while tangible support continued: “the embargoes were never meant to be more than partial, and Guatemala also received weapons and military equipment from Israel, at least part of which was covertly underwritten by Washington. As further camouflage, some of the training of Guatemala’s security forces was reportedly maintained by transferring it to clandestine sites in Chile and Argentina.” [2]
Meanwhile, the horrors of a genocidal campaign against the indigenous population continued unabated on Carter’s watch. Death squads were eliminating peasants, labor leaders, human rights activists and clergy. In the countryside, the military would torture and burn alive “subversives,” such as Nobel Prize winner Rigoberta MenchĂș’s own brother.
East Timor, 1977
After the democratically-elected President Sukarno of Indonesia was overthrown with the assistance of the CIA in 1967, mass-murderer Suharto assumed power as military dictator and a strong ally of the US government.
In late 1975, Henry Kissinger and Gerald Ford gave the green light to Suharto to invade neighboring East Timor. After occupying the capital city Dili, Indonesian troops systematically rooted out resistance by the Revolutionary Front for an Independent East Timor (FRETILIN) and the civilian population across the island. Residents of occupied areas were subjected to massive re-education brainwashing campaigns. The death toll from violence by Indonesian forces, malnutrition and disease quickly climbed into the tens of thousands.
The genocidal slaughter reached its peak in 1977, On March 1, 95 members of the Australian Parliament sent a letter to Carter claiming the Indonesian troops were carrying out “atrocities” and asking the American President “to comment publicly on the situation in East Timor.” [3]
The response was crickets. Carter ramped up aid with funding and weapons to the murderous Indonesian regime, brazenly flaunting the human rights requirements imposed on American aid.
As journalist Richard Dudman reported at the time: “amid all the talks about human rights, the country with perhaps the worst record has been getting increased amounts of economic and military aid from the Carter administration,” which is attributed to the “bonanza enjoyed by American oil companies and multi-national corporations since the present military regime came to power.” [4]
Precise statistics on the death toll of East Timorese at the hands of the Indonesian forces – who enjoyed the unconditional support of the US government – are hard to come by, but FAIR noted in a 1994 article that “by the time Carter left office, about 200,000 people had been slaughtered.”
Angola, 1978
In 1978, the South African Defence Forces (SADF) carried out a massacre against a refugee camp in Cassinga, Angola. SADF bombers dropped bombs over sovereign Angolan territory that killed more than 600 Namibians.
When details of the attack came to light, the U.S. made sure that the racist regime would not face sanctions in the UN Security Council.
Carter took the excuses of the apartheid government at face value: “They’ve claimed to have withdrawn and have not left any South African troops in Angola. So we hope it’s just a transient strike in retaliation, and we hope it’s all over.”
Granting the racist South Africans a blanket diplomatic shield at the UN and allowing them free reign to terrorize their neighboring Southwest African countries at will, while subjecting their own domestic population to the crime against humanity of apartheid, would prolong the suffering of millions of Africans for another 15 years.
Meanwhile, Carter and his administration would continue demanding the immediate exit of the Cuban military from Angola. As many as 30,000 Cuban troops had been stationed in Angola since 1975 to prevent South Africa from toppling the nascent revolutionary MPLA government and installing a puppet regime that, according to historian Piero Gleijeses, “would be the centerpiece of the Constellation of Southern African States that [South Africa] sought to create.” The constellation would be “anticommunist, tolerant of apartheid, and eager to persecute [Nelson Mandela’s] ANC and [Namibian liberation movement] SWAPO.” [5]
Afghanistan, 1979
When the Communist government came to power in 1978, they brought health care and education to a wide segment of the Afghan population. In cities such as Kabul, women enjoyed significant freedom. But this state of affairs was impermissible to the U.S. government, who sought to empower a local opposition and recruit foreign fundamentalist jihadists to join the struggle to topple the Communist regime.
“US foreign service officers had been meeting with Moujahedeen leaders to determine their needs at least as early as April 1979,” writes Blum. “And in July, President Carter had signed a ‘finding’ to aid the rebels covertly, which led to the United States providing them with cash, weapons, equipment and supplies, and engaging in propaganda and other psychological operations in Afghanistan on their behalf.” [6]
Blum says that intervention by the US and other countries worried Russia about what kind of government would end up on their borders. The Russians, Blum writes, “consistently cited these ‘aggressive imperialist forces’ to rationalize their own intervention in Afghanistan, which was the first time Soviet ground troops had engaged in military action anywhere in the world outside its post-World War II Eastern European borders.” [7]
Soviet troops would enter Afghanistan on Christmas Eve, 1979. By the time they left in disgrace ten years later, the country was largely reduced to rubble. The devastation was so severe that the Taliban, who managed to displace the barbaric Moujahedeen, were seen by many as liberators.
It would be another 22 years before the U.S. experienced blowback on its home soil, when one of the “Anti-Soviet warriors” they had courted and helped train from Saudi Arabia would mastermind a plot to turn civilian airliners into missiles that were flown into the World Trade Center and the Pentagon.
El Salvador, 1980
On February 19, 1980, Archbishop Oscar Romero, hugely popular among Salvadorans for his embrace of liberation theology, which sought to improve the socioeconomic conditions of oppressed people, sent a letter to Jimmy Carter that is worth quoting at length:
In the last few days news has appeared in the national press that worries me greatly: according to the reports your government is studying the possibility of economic and military support and assistance to the present junta government.Because you are a Christian and because you have shown that you want to defend human rights I venture to set forth for you my pastoral point of view concerning this news and to make a request.I am very worried by the news that the government of the United States is studying a form of abetting the arming of El Salvador by sending military teams and advisors to ‘train three Salvadoran batallions in logistics, communications, and intelligence.’ If this information is correct, the contribution of your government instead of promoting greater justice and peace in El Salvador will without doubt sharpen the injustice and repression against the organizations of the people which repeatedly have been struggling to gain respect for their most fundamental human rights.Romero went on to say that the junta had “reverted to repressive violence producing a total of deaths and injuries much greater than in the recent military regimes whose systematic violation of human rights was denounced by the International Committee on Human Rights.”
“I hope that your religious sentiments and your feelings for the defense of human rights will move you to accept my petition, avoiding by this action worse bloodshed in this suffering country,” Romero pleaded.
Romero’s letter to the President went unanswered. Nine days later, the Archbishop was gunned down at the altar by a death squad assassin while holding the Eucharist above his head. At his funeral, snipers opened fire on defenseless mourners, killing at least 30 people.
Carter responded by sending $5 million in aid to the junta. They would use it to escalate their bloody counterinsurgency campaign. Fueled by American money and arms, the Civil War in El Salvador would rage on for another 12 years. It would reach its horrific culmination with massacre of six Jesuit scholars, their housekeeper, and her teenage daughter in 1989.
Post-Presidency and Legacy
It should be noted that Carter’s actions after leaving the White House have been, by far, the most impressive of any ex-President. Most importantly, he was the first mainstream political figure to call Israel’s policies in the occupied territories Apartheid. This major paradigm shift has paved the way for the mainstream legitimacy of international Palestinian solidarity movements such as BDS to challenge the state of Israel’s crimes.
His Carter Center also has done extensive work studying voting systems and certifying the validity of electoral processes. In 2013, Carter debunked Secretary of State John Kerry’s description of the Venezuelan election of Nicolas Maduro as questionable by stating that that the voting was “free and fair.” This was an strong counterweight to American state propaganda, which sought to empower the losing Venezuelan opposition by refusing to grant legitimacy to the socialist, democratically-elected government.
But Carter’s post-Presidency activism cannot bring back to life the millions of people whose lives he was complicit in extinguishing. Carter leaves behind a blood-soaked legacy strongly at odds with the view he evidently held of himself as a human rights champion. The fact that he is probably the least violent of American Presidents is as much an indictment of the American public – among whom he is still perceived as a pacifist – as it is on his murderous presidential peers.
References
[1] Blum, William. Killing Hope: U.S. Military and C.I.A. Interventions Since World War II – Updated Through 2003. Common Courage Press, 2008. Kindle edition.
[2] Ibid.
[3] as quoted in Chomsky, Noam and Edward S. Herman. The Washington Connection and Third World Fascism: The Political Economy of Human Rights: Volume 1. Boston: South End Press, 1979, pg. 171
[4] Ibid, pg. 173
[5] Gleijeses, Piero. Visions of Freedom: Havana, Washington, Pretoria, and the Struggle for Southern Africa, 1976-1991. The University of North Carolina Press, 2013. Kindle edition.
[6] Blum, op. cit.
[7] Blum, op. cit.
More articles by: MATT PEPPE
Matt Peppe writes about politics, U.S. foreign policy and Latin America on his blog. You can follow him on twitter.
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The forgotten war crimes of Presidents Bush 41 & 43 now haunt us
Wednesday Mar 20, 2013
With the Republican National Convention now in the history books, it behooves us to cast our minds back to previous administrations. Did you notice that no previous Republican president spoke at the RNC? They had a couple of Georges to choose from, both H.W. Bush and W. If the Repubs were so proud of what they had “built” during their heroes' administrations, why not bring one of them forward to tout how great they were?
I mean, there were videos of George 1 and George 2, although #1 did most of the talking. And, their fair ladies also made video appearances. But, no talk of all they had accomplished from 1988 to 1992, and from 2000 to 2008. Why?
Perhaps because both Georges are war criminals. Do you think that might be why? On Sept. 2, 2012, South African Nobel Prize winner Archbishop Desmond Tutu called for George W. Bush and his British counterpart ex-prime minister Tony Blair to be tried for war crimes at the International Criminal Court in The Hague.
War criminals Bush and Blair
"The immorality of the United States and Great Britain's decision to invade Iraq in 2003," Tutu wrote in an exclusive for the Observer this weekend, was "premised on the lie that Iraq possessed weapons of mass destruction [WMDs]," and instead of bringing peace, democracy, or harmony to the region, "has destabilised and polarised the world to a greater extent than any other conflict in history." [1] [2]
The second Iraq war
People forget that the second Iraq war was premised on a lie, namely that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction and was planning to use them. On December 5, 2002 the White House issued this statement: "The president of the United States and the secretary of defense would not assert as plainly and vocally as they have that Iraq has weapons of mass destruction if it was not true and if they did not have a solid basis for saying it," spokesman Ari Fleischer said.
There were claims that Iraq had chemical and biological weapons, and had purchased special aluminum tubing that could only be used in centrifuges to enrich uranium. In the long run, the only thing that was provable at all was that Iraq at some point in the past had poison gas that the U.S. had given to them for use in its war against Iran. Then, America pulled out the United Nations weapons inspectors before they could finish the job of not finding any other WMDs.
In the end, we invaded Iraq just because there was a dictator in place that the United States CIA had staged two coup attempts to put there. Saddam was our boy, but we now turned against him and used him as a reason to go into Iraq for a war that lasted until this very year, 2012. It has turned out to be the second costliest war in America's history, second only to World War 2.
The Bangor, Maine Daily News wrote this in January, 2012: “Even though the last U.S. combat troops have left Iraq, American taxpayers will face decades of additional expenses, from veterans’ health care and disability benefits to interest on the debt accumulated to finance the war. [3]
The Washington Post has calculated that the cost of the second Iraq war will top $3 trillion dollars. But you will hear no talk of this when Republicans insist on cutting Medicare, Medicaid, Food Stamps, Fuel Assistance and other social safety net programs. [4]
And what about the first Iraq war, that little excursion into the land of war crimes by George H. W. Bush? The first Iraqi war was also premised on a lie. There was no reason at all to go in and destroy the entire country's infrastructure (except so Cheney's company, Halliburton, could make hundreds of billions of dollars rebuilding what we destroyed). Here's the story on that.
The first Iraq war
You may not remember, but in the Carter Administration days, our enemy was Iran, not Iraq. Here we go with the history lesson.
Back in 1953, after World War 2, the Iranian people elected a popular president named Mohammad Mosadeck [spellings vary]. He knew Iran had lots of oil, and decided to claim their oil for themselves, so they could sell it and enrich the people with schools, water supplies, hospitals and so on. This pissed off the American oil companies. So, we overthrew that government and put in a dictator called the Shah, a.k.a. Mohammad Reza Pahlavi. He ruled there with an iron hand, our puppet, glad to sell all of his oil to Standard Oil and their buddies.
In 1979, the people of that country got tired of the torture and dictatorial rule of the Shah. So they had a revolution, overthrew him, and took a bunch of hostages. Remember the hostage crisis? The Oil companies had a guy waiting in the wings next door in Iraq. You guessed it. It was Saddam Hussein. He was another dictator that we had installed, just like the Saudi royal family. [look them up if you want a real lesson in dictatorship]. It took two CIA coups to put him in power.
We had already armed Iraq, so it was easy to send them to war with Iran. Got it so far? Saddam Hussein was our big buddy. We had even given him poison gas. Sound familiar? He used it against Kurdish population in the town of Halabja in 1988. It doesn't matter that doing that is illegal under international law.
He carried on the war against Iran from 1980 to 1988. America was a supporter of his activities the whole time. By gassing Kurds and unleashing his military on other northern Iraqi tribes, Hussein was responsible for over 200,000 civilian casualties in his own country. On the same day as the gassing, our defense secretary, Donald Rumsfeld was meeting with Saddam Hussein, shaking his hand for the cameras. Meanwhile, American oil companies enjoyed total access to and control of Iraq's oil.
That lengthy war cost Iraq a lot of money in several ways. Hussein had to borrow money from other countries, including Kuwait. Also, the over production of oil from Iraq created a glut in the market, sending price per barrel down. By 1988, when the Iran/Iraq war came to a stalemate, Iraq was unable to meet its debts to Kuwait. So, Hussein trumped up charges against the tiny emirate, saying that Kuwait was slant drilling under its border with Iraq and stealing the bigger country's oil. And, he said that Kuwait's refusal to reduce its oil production was depressing the price per barrel, which further sent Iraq into debt.
Since Iraq was all geared up for war, but had stopped fighting Iran, Hussein decided to put the troops to work with an invasion of Kuwait. Now, this is where a critical thing happened. It is absolutely documented in the American Congressional Record that on July 25, 1990 Hussein met with the U.S. Ambassador to Iraq, April Glaspie. He told her of his plans to invade Kuwait. She admitted in open testimony to Congress that she gave him the green light. She said to him,”Your dispute with Kuwait is an inter-Arab matter of no concern to the U.S.A.” Ambassadors don't do things on their own. They are official voices of the countries they represent.
Eight days later, on August 2, he proceeded to invade Kuwait. Under the George H. W. Bush Administration, America reacted by invading Iraq in a war of aggression called “Desert Storm” or “Gulf War 1”. It was a minor war, compared to the protracted conflict known as “Operation Iraqi Freedom” or “Gulf War 2”. It began on January 17, 1991 and ended two months later. We had during that time officially killed 50,000 Iraqi civilians.
A hallmark of the first Gulf War was the aerial bombardment of the entire country's
infrastructure, including hospitals, schools, water and sewage treatment plants, bridges, dams, electrical generating plants, cement making factories, radio and television stations, refineries, and factories that made medicines, textiles and basic materials like electrical wire.
BAGHDAD  BURNING
No violence short of a nuclear explosion has been as intense as the air onslaught then unleashed upon Iraq. In the first 24 hours, for example, over 1,300 combat sorties were flown by Coalition air forces. Called a “hyperwar” it was much like the “Blitzkreig” carried out over London by the Nazi air force. There was no excuse for the damage done to the civilian infrastructure.
Immediately following the war, Iraq was producing only 4 percent of its pre-war electrical capacity. This completely shut down all hospitals. Civilian deaths resulted in large numbers, followed by starvation and disease from lack of drinkable water and from the complete end of sewage treatment for the entire country. This is the moral equivalent of biological warfare.
We also pioneered our use of depleted uranium tank busting ordnance during Desert Storm. There is common belief that depleted uranium isn't radioactive. Not true. It is highly radioactive. Depleted means that we have taken the U235 out of it for use in our reactors and hydrogen bombs. There is a huge amount of U238 left in it, which is just as radioactive!
In areas where depleted uranium use was the highest, Iraqi doctors have reported a massive rise in the number of babies born with birth defects and they have seen the number of cancer cases among Iraqi citizens absolutely skyrocket. In September this year, say campaigners, 170 children were born at Fallujah General Hospital, 24 per cent of whom died within seven days. Three-quarters of these exhibited deformities, including "children born with two heads, no heads, a single eye in their foreheads, or missing limbs". The comparable data for August 2002 – before the invasion – records 530 births, of whom six died and only one of whom was deformed.
To really get educated about this, go to the following site: http://gulfwarvets.com/.... We have used uranium armaments in both Iraq and Afghanistan. At last count, more than 1,000 tons have been used in Afghanistan and more than 3,000 tons in Iraq. Our own soldiers are sick with radiation poisoning, which is why the site I told you about was created by Gulf War Vets.
So, America is the only country in the world to have used weapons of mass destruction both in the old days (Japan atom bombed) and in modern times. Notice something here? You have never been told about this. No news organization reports on this stuff, especially Fox News. No one knows about this unless they are active in the peace movement.
What do you think of America now? We have literally killed over a million people in Iraq and Afghanistan. And, because of the lingering effects of our war tactics, people will continue to suffer and die there for a hundred years.
Now you know why neither President Bush 1 nor 2 spoke at the Republican National Convention.
Originally posted in Namekagon Notebook on Sept. 4, 2012, a reminder of the history we tend to forget: how we have devastated Iraq twice.
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Clinton Is The WorId's Leading Active War Criminal
Clinton's crimes, after just seven years in office, are competitive with Suharto's
by Edward S. Herman, Z magazine
December 1999
I use war crimes to encompass the commission of all acts declared illegal under international rules of war as enumerated in the various Hague and Geneva agreements and conventions and pronounced in the Nuremberg and Tokyo tribunals. Among these acts are the carrying out of wars of aggression, the use of poison gases and other inhumane weapons, deliberately killing and starving civilian populations, and the use of force beyond military necessity. War crimes can be carried out directly or through proxy forces that are funded, encouraged, and protected in their own war criminality. This means that inaction-failure to discourage or prevent the carrying out of war crimes known to be going on, planned for enlargement, and preventable-is itself a form of war criminality. Thus, if the Clinton administration knew that Indonesia was killing large numbers of East Timorese and planned to ravage East Timor on a larger scale if it lost an independence referendum, and did nothing to prevent the crimes, Clinton and associates were guilty of war crimes by inaction.
Clinton and Suharto
I put the adjective "active" in the title to this article because Indonesia's now retired president Suharto probably holds the overall top place today, as the person responsible for three genocides (Indonesia, East Timor, and West Papua). But Suharto had 33 years to carry out his crimes whereas Clinton has become competitive within 7 years. Who can doubt that if Clinton had more time to add to his mark in history he would easily top Suharto?
There are links between Suharto and Clinton. When Suharto visited Washington in 1995 a Clinton administration official was quoted in the New York Times as saying that Suharto was "our kind of guy." But it would be wrong to infer from this that the Clinton official was expressing approval of Suharto's mass murders; rather, he was saying that Suharto was easy to do business with in arranging trade deals and joint public relations statements. Still, it was quite clear that Suharto's murders and dictatorial rule were of little consequence to the Clinton leadership, not detracting significantly enough to make Suharto a "bad guy."
This brings us to the deeper connection between Clinton and the U.S. economic and political establishment to Suharto's crimes: because Suharto has been "our kind of guy" since 1965 when he took power during his first genocidal outburst, he has been protected and given positive support by the U.S. establishment, which therefore has a shared responsibility for his crimes. This was clearly evident in the U.S. provision of arms and diplomatic support during the first round of Indonesian genocide in East Timor, and has now been followed up with U.S. support for the second round where this country, with the closest links to the Indonesian military, took no action to curb its client's behavior.
This form of war crime-by the provision of military support and follow-up inaction as the proxy army kills-is a longstanding U.S. mode of operation. These U.S.-organized and/or supported proxy armies have mainly killed people the U . S. wants killed, although sometimes they have "gone too far" and their excesses may be deplored, though not stopped. This purposefulness was most obvious and notorious in the rise of the National Security State in Latin America in the 1950s and thereafter. Internal documents make clear the official worry over Castroism, the hostility to popular movements seeking "an immediate improvement in the low living standard of the masses" (NSC, 1954), and the determination to combat them. This was done through U. S. military aid, training, arms supply, and the anti-populist politicization of the Latin military, who served as U. S. gendarmes. The triumph of these U.S. proxies was closely correlated with the ending of democracy-11 constitutional regimes were overthrown by our Latin American gendarmes in the 1960s-along with the rise of death squads, disappearances, and systems of torture.
With the help and genius of the U.S. media, however, the U.S. connection to and responsibility for this continent wide regression was not acknowledged-it was all a remarkable happenstance that we regretted but apparently couldn't do anything about. On the other hand, in the phony campaign of the 1980s to blame the Soviet Union for the world's terrorism, it was enough to find any link of the terrorists to the Soviets for the latter to be responsible. As the London Economist said, "The Soviet Union, as it were, merely puts the gun on the table and leaves others to wage a global war by proxy." But although the United States did far more than "leave guns on the table," the actions of its proxies were never its responsibility.
Power, Arrogance, and Criminality
Clinton follows in a great tradition, although the special characteristics of the man and his Administration, along with the end of the limited Soviet containment of U. S. anti-populist interventionism, have helped make a long-standing global rogue into a super-rogue. The U.S. has long considered that it has the right to intervene at will among the "savages" occupying its own backyard in Latin America, but especially after World War II when its predominance was overwhelming and its global interests were growing rapidly its managers felt it could straighten things out everywhere. Because of U.S. power and the longstanding racist arrogance of its leaders, they have never felt that laws apply to themselves-they only apply to others. And what for the Soviet Union would be described as "aggression" or "subversion" was felt to be perfectly reasonable when done by us. The Soviet Union was declared to be engaging in subversion and even aggression in Central America when Czechoslovakia shipped one boatload of arms to Guatemala in May 1954 as that virtually disarmed country, under relentless U. S. subversive attack, was within a month of being subjected to a U.S.-organized proxy invasion. The U.S. could deliberately subvert a dozen countries in Latin America via arms, military training, and support of coups (most notably Brazil and Chile) and not be guilty of any misbehavior at all.
It could also invade and bomb other countries at its discretion and be free from international sanction. In the case of Indochina, the U.S. and its supportive media accomplished another propaganda miracle. It committed blatant aggression, overturned the Geneva Accords of 1954, installed its puppet in "South Vietnam," and in the process of trying to keep that puppet in power, killed as many as 4 million people and virtually destroyed all of Vietnam, Cambodia, and Laos. It did this using the most fearsome technology-including the largest quantity of chemical weapons ever employed-against virtually defenseless peasant societies. The racism underpinning this mass killing was strong: "In Vietnam racism became a patriotic virtue. All Vietnamese became 'dinks,' 'slopes,' 'slants,' or 'gooks' and the only good one was a dead one." And there was great enthusiasm for "skunk hunts" and "turkey shoots" that killed innumerable farmers and their wives and children. (Philip Knightley, The First Casualty).
But the only "crimes" the world now recognizes in connection with this holocaust are those of Pol Pot, whose criminality was real, but less far reaching than that of the U.S., in an important sense a derivative of the larger U.S. assault, disruption, and mass killing. In the United States, however, this country is seen as having "lost" the war because of an adversarial media and the insufficient use of force (the conservative view); or as a result of a "tragic error" carried out with the "best intentions" (the liberal view); or in a noble failed effort that was a "necessary" part of the struggle of good against evil (the latest revisionism, harking back to old Cold War and neocon ideology).
The propaganda system allows the U.S. Ieadership to commit crimes without limit and with no suggestion of misbehavior or criminality; in fact, major war criminals like Henry Kissinger appear regularly on TV to comment on the crimes of the derivative butchers. The loyal U. S. allies neither contest this vision of criminality nor seriously impede the global rogue's behavior.
From Truman to Bush
Because of its power and global interests U.S. leaders have committed crimes as a matter of course and structural necessity. A strict application of international law would,( I believe,) have given every U.S. president of the past 50 years Nuremberg treatment. The sainted Harry Truman, for example, not only dropped atom bombs on two Japanese cities, in clear violation of the rules against the use of inhumane weapons and targeting civilians, he was also the engineer of the vicious U.S. counterinsurgency war in Greece in 1947-1949 that reestablished the rule of fascists who had sided with the Nazis. In Korea also, although others too were guilty of serious crimes, Truman's ferocious use of air power in which "we burned down every town in North Korea and South Korea, too" (General Curtis LeMay), made him principally responsible for the devastation of Korea, the killing of perhaps four million Koreans, and the firming up of the power of the murderous dictator Syngman Rhee. In its heavy use of napalm in all these victim countries, the sponsorship of torture and concentration camps in Greece during that war, the ruthless use of air-power against civilian targets and a food deprivation strategy in Korea, the Truman administration gave advance notice of the kind of merciless anti-people war the U.S. would bring to its culmination in Indochina.
Jumping to Clinton's immediate predecessor George Bush, war crimes were committed in his invasion of Panama in 1989, arguably a war of aggression in clear violation of the OAS agreement and the UN Charter. It was done to capture a leader who was involved in the drug trade, although the U.S. had backed him for many years with full knowledge of and no objection to his drug connections-until he ceased to be cooperative in support of the U.S. war on Nicaragua. Several thousand Panamanian civilians were killed and scores of thousands injured in the U.S. invasion, many in bombing raids on civilian areas in Panama City.
Bush's criminality escalated in his war against Iraq. Although the U.S. was able to obtain Security Council agreement to this assault, it evaded efforts at a peaceable settlement in violation of the UN Charter, so that even this UN sanctioned war can be called a war of aggression. The war was also fought with the use of weapons that would be condemned in a hypothetical Bush-Iraq War Crimes Tribunal, including enhanced uranium shells and fuel air bombs. Thousands of helpless Iraqi conscripts and fleeing refugees were butchered in cold blood in the "turkey shoot" on the "Highway of Death," and hundreds of Iraqis were deliberately buried alive in the sand and large numbers were dumped in unmarked burial sites in violation of the rules of war. The civil society infrastructure of Iraq was shattered far beyond any military justification. In the aftermath, Bush insisted on the continuation of sanctions that prevented recovery of the civil society and was responsible for many thousands of civilian deaths from disease and starvation. This was first class criminality.
Clinton: Postmodern War Criminality
This brings us to Bill Clinton, who has gone beyond the Bush record of criminality, and has brought to the commission of war crimes a new eclectic reach and postmodern style. A skilled public relations person, he has refined the rhetoric of humanistic and ethical concern and can apologize with seeming great sincerity for our earlier regrettable sponsorship and support of mass murder in Guatemala while carrying out similar or even more vicious policies in Colombia and Iraq at the same moment.
Clinton's military and other aggressive forays abroad have been partly a result of his political weakness, the need to divert attention from his domestic policy failures, and the longstanding need of Democrats to prove their anti-Communist and militaristic credentials. It will be recalled that Truman could not end the Korean War; its termination had to await the arrival of the Republican Eisenhower. Kennedy and Johnson could not get us out of the Vietnam War; it took Nixon, although with a horrendous time lag.
Clinton's crimes range from ad hoc bombings to boycotts and sanctions designed to starve into submission, to support of ethnic cleansing in brutal counterinsurgency warfare, and to aggression and devastation by bombing designed to return rogues to the stone age and keep them there.
On June 26, 1993, Clinton bombed Baghdad in retaliation for an alleged but unproven Iraq plot to assassinate former President George Bush. Eight Iraqi civilians, including the distinguished Iraqi artist Layla al-Attar were killed in the raid, and 12 more were wounded. This kind of unilateral action in response to an unproven charge is a violation of international law. The legal excuse given by U.S. officials, which they relied on in justification of the bombing of Libya in 1986, is the right to self defense under Article 51 of the UN Charter. But that Article requires that the response be to an immediate threat to the retaliating party, clearly not the case, and therefore a legal fraud. This was a crime-petty by the usual U.S. standard-but still a crime. And it had the further repellent feature that it was done almost surely for purely internal political reasons-to show Clinton's toughness, despite his Vietnam War record, and to countervail right-wing attacks on his lack of militancy.
The same point can be made as regards his 1998 bombing of Afghanistan and the Sudan. Unknown numbers were killed in Afghanistan (and by the missiles that accidentally landed in Pakistan), and the pharmaceutical factory destroyed in the Sudan was the major source of medical drugs in that poor country. All evidence points to the fact that the Sudan factory destroyed had no connection whatever to chemical weapons or Bin Laden, and was bombed on the basis of insufficient and poorly evaluated data. But following the attacks on U.S. embassies in Africa, Clinton felt compelled to act for internal political reasons once again, and there are no international constraints or costs to him or his country if he chooses to bomb small and weak countries to score political points at home. This was rogue and criminal behavior.
Clinton has given unstinting support to Turkey in its war against its indigenous Kurds. He has also escalated his aid to Colombia. In both of these countries the civilian casualties from counterinsurgency warfare and death squad operations during the Clinton years has exceeded the pre-NATO bombing deaths in Kosovo by a large factor.
In the Clinton years these recurrent U.S. policies have impacted heavily on Cuba and most dramatically on Iraq. The tightening of the embargo on Cuba under the Toricelli-Helms bill, signed into law and enforced by Clinton, which banned the sale of U.S. food and curtailed access to water treatment chemicals and medicines, took a heavy toll. According to a 1997 report of the American Association of World Health, the food sale ban "has contributed to serious nutritional deficits, particularly among pregnant women, leading to an increase in low birth-weight babies. In addition, food shortages were linked to a devastating outbreak of neuropathy numbering in the tens of thousands. By one estimate, daily caloric intake dropped 33 percent between 1989 and 1993." The decisive offsetting consideration, however, was that Clinton was able to preserve some of his political support from the powerful Cuban lobby in Florida.
The most monumental of Clinton's war crimes, however, has been his policy of sanctions on Iraq, supplemented by the maintenance of intense satellite surveillance and regular bombing attacks that have often resulted in civilian casualties. UNICEF reports that in 1999 more than 1 million Iraqi children under 5 were suffering from chronic malnutrition, and some 4,000-5,000 children are dying per month beyond normal death rates from the combination of malnutrition and disease. Death from disease was greatly increased by the shortage of potable water and medicines, that has led to a 20-fold increase in malaria (among other ailments). This vicious sanctions system, causing a creeping extermination of a people, has already caused more than a million excess deaths, and it is claimed by John and Karl Mueller that Clinton's "sanctions of mass destruction" have caused "the deaths of more people in Iraq than have been slain by all so-called weapons of mass destruction [nuclear and chemical] throughout all history" (Foreign Affairs, May/June 1999). U.S. mainstream reporters, who have so eagerly followed the distress of the Kosovo Albanians, somehow never get to Iraq for pictures of the thousands of malnourished children.
One of the notable features of the NATO-U. S. war against Yugoslavia was the gradual extension of targeting to civilian infrastructure and civilian facilities-therefore civilians who would be in houses, hospitals, schools, trains, factories, power stations, and broadcasting facilities. Two months after the war was over, the BBC "revealed" that the attack on Yugoslav television on April 23 was part of an escalation of NATO bombing whereby the target list was extended to non-military objectives; NATO was "taking off the gloves." According to Yugoslav authorities, 60 percent of NATO targets were civilian, including 33 hospitals and 344 schools, as well as 144 major industrial plants and a large petro-chemical plant whose bombing caused a pollution catastrophe. John Pilger noted that the list of civilian targets included "housing estates, hotels, libraries, youth centres, theatres, museums, churches and 14th century monasteries on the World Heritage list. Farms have been bombed and their crops set afire."
This NATO targeting was in open violation of the laws of war, although this was certainly neither publicized nor condemned in the mainstream media; U.S. pundits like Thomas Friedman of the New York Times frequently called for a more aggressive bombing of Serb civilian targets and the commission of more war crimes (Rachel Coen, "Lessons of War: Leading papers call for more attacks on civilian targets next time," EXTRA! Update, August 1999). There can be little doubt that Yugoslavia finally agreed to a military exit from Kosovo mainly because they recognized that, although their forces had not been defeated on the battlefield, the NATO strategy of attacking civilian targets in violation of international law, was subject to no limits.
On May 27, in the midst of this criminal operation by NATO, Louise Arbour, chief prosecutor of International Criminal Tribunal for Former Yugoslavia, issued an indictment of Milosevic for war crimes, thereby implicitly exonerating and facilitating the NATO commission of war crimes. By allowing her Tribunal to be so mobilized in NATO propaganda service, Arbour and her colleagues were arguably guilty of war crimes themselves.
The U.S. played an important role in the "international community's" failure in Rwanda, as it worked hard to prevent any international action to interfere with the gigantic 1994 massacres (Omaar and de Waal, "Genocide in Rwanda: U.S. Complicity By Silence," CovertAction, Spring 1995). Bill Clinton has apologized for this, suggesting that his recognition of the earlier failure spurred him on to his Kosovo policy, which involved his commission of further war crimes under the guise of a "humanitarian intervention" that was devoid of humanitarian intent or effect.
Furthermore, in 1998-1999 Clinton was once more put to the test in East Timor, where he and his Administration knew of the Indonesian plans to interfere with the referendum and eventually to take revenge for any ensuing defeat, but did nothing whatsoever to prevent this criminal performance. This was worse than Rwanda in that Clinton had long advance knowledge of Indonesian intentions and easy access and close links to Indonesian leaders that made prevention relatively easy. But prevention would have been at the cost of disturbing the long and warm relationship of Clinton and his associates with the killers. Clinton once again easily failed the moral test, and is guilty of criminal behavior by inaction.
Conclusion
U.S. Ieaders commit war crimes as a matter of institutional necessity, as their imperial role calls for keeping subordinate peoples in their proper place and assuring a "favorable climate of investment" everywhere. They do this by using their economic power, but also (by means of "bombs bursting in the air" and) by supporting Diem, Mobutu, Pinochet, Suharto, Savimbi, Marcos, Fujimori, Salinas, and scores of similar leaders. War crimes also come easily because U.S. Ieaders consider themselves to be the vehicles of a higher morality and truth and can operate in violation of law without cost. It is also immensely helpful that their mainstream media agree that their country is above the law and will support and rationalize each and every venture and the commission of war crimes.
Thus, Clinton's civilian extermination policy in Iraq, which the Muellers contend has killed more people that all the chemical and nuclear weapons throughout history, is completely normalized in the U.S. and brings no discredit to this country via the elite-dominated global system. The defeat of Milosevic, not on the battlefield, but by an expanding attack on the civil society of Serbia in direct violation of the rules of war, also raises few eyebrows in the West and is not seen as incompatible with the new "humanitarian" foreign policy of this country and NATO. While hostage taking is viewed as a form of terrorism, treating the entire populations of Iraq and Serbia as hostages, and imposing mass suffering and death on them to achieve a political end, is acceptable in the West.
But whatever the success of doublethink in making the commission of war crimes feasible, Clinton has broken new ground as a war criminal, and people with any concern for human rights should recognize him as the true world leader in this sphere.
Edward S. Herman is an economist and media analyst. His latest book is The Myth of the Liberal Media: An Edward Herman Reader (Peter Lang).
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Obama the War Criminal, Butcherer of Women and Children
By Paul Craig Roberts
Jan 11, 2017
Obama the War Criminal, Butcherer of Women and Children
If Trump becomes president, will Washington’s massive crimes against humanity continue?
There is no doubt that US President Barak Obama is a war criminal, as are his military and intelligence officials and most of the House and Senate.
Obama is the first president to keep the US at war for the entirety of his eight-year regime. During 2016 alone, the US dropped 26,171 bombs on wedding parties, funerals, kid’s soccer games, hospitals, schools, people in their homes and walking their streets, and farmers tilling their fields in seven countries: Iraq, Syria, Afghanistan, Libya, Yemen, Somalia and Pakistan.
What does the administration have to show for eight years of illegal military interventions in seven countries, none of which comprised a danger to the US and against none of which the US has declared war? Terrorism was created by US invasions, no wars have been won, and the Middle East has been consumed in chaos and destruction. Worldwide hatred of the United States has risen to a record high. The US is now the most despised country on earth.
The only purposes of these crimes is to enrich the armaments industry and to advance the insane neoconservative ideology of US world hegemony. A tiny handful of despicable people have been able to destroy the reputation of the United States and murder millions of peoples, sending waves of war refugees to the US and Europe.
We call these “wars,” but they are not. They are invasions, largely from the air, but in Afghanistan and Iraq from troops on the ground. The invasions by air and land are entirely based on blatant, transparent lies. The “justifications” for the invasions have changed a dozen times.
The questions are: If Trump becomes president, will Washington’s massive crimes against humanity continue? If so, will the rest of the world continue to tolerate Washington’s extraordinary evil?
Paul Craig Roberts
Dr. Paul Craig Roberts attended four of the finest universities, studied under two Nobel Prize-winners in economics, authored 20 peer-reviewed articles in journals of scholarship, and published four academic press peer-reviewed books, including Harvard and Oxford Universities, and seven commercially published books. His most recent book is The Neoconservative Threat to World Order: Washington's Perilous War for Hegemony.
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Obama’s drone war is a shameful part of his legacy
By James Downie 
May 5, 2016
James Downie is The Post’s digital opinions editor.
A U.S. airman guides a U.S. Air Force MQ-9 Reaper drone as it taxis to the runway at Kandahar Airfield in Afghanistan. (Staff/Reuters)
Father Daniel Berrigan died Saturday at 94. The longtime peace activist gained national attention in 1968 when he and eight others, including his brother Philip (also a priest), burned draft records taken from a Selective Service office in Maryland. Decades later, he remains a powerful example of a man who never wavered in his beliefs, standing up time and again for the poor and oppressed. In his last years, Berrigan no longer had the energy to protest as frequently. But if he had been a few generations younger, can there be any doubt that he would have been at forefront of those protesting the expansion of the drone war under President Obama?
There have long been policy, constitutional and moral questions about the drone program — all made more difficult to answer by the Obama administration’s refusal to even acknowledge the program until 2013. As Obama’s presidency comes to an end, we have stunning new details about how the program works — first released in October on the Intercept website, now updated and collected in the book “The Assassination Complex” by Jeremy Scahill and Intercept staffers. “The Assassination Complex” is in large part built around the revelations of an anonymous whistleblower who leaked documents about U.S. use of drones in Somalia, Libya and Afghanistan from 2011 to 2013. What he or she reveals further confirms the practical, legal and moral failings of Obama’s expanded drone war.
For starters, although drones may be quite good at killing people (even if not always the intended targets), it’s not clear that they are an effective tool in the war on terrorism. Obama’s embrace of drones has led to a preference for killing rather than capturing terrorists. The documents include a study from the Defense Department’s Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance (ISR) Task Force, which concluded that “kill operations significantly reduce the intelligence available from detainees and captured material.” And as retired Gen. Michael Flynn, former head of the Defense Intelligence Agency, said last year, “When you drop a bomb from a drone . . . you are going to cause more damage than you are going to cause good,” including more radicalized terrorists.
Then there are the legal and constitutional questions. The leaked documents show the disturbing ease with which an innocent civilian — American or not — can be added to the U.S. government’s main terrorist database, such as on the basis of a single “uncorroborated” Facebook or Twitter post. In a 2014 court filing, the government admitted that 469,000 people had been nominated in 2013 for inclusion in an additional government database of “known or suspected terrorists.” Only 4,900 were rejected. Presumption of innocence this is not. And although Osama bin Laden’s name was in a terrorist database long before he was killed, so too was the name Abdulrahman al-Awlaki — innocent, 16 years old, an American citizen and killed by a U.S. drone strike.
Furthermore, it’s clear from the documents that the White House has overstated the prudence with which it undertakes strikes. In May 2013, Obama said that strikes would be conducted only against those who were a “continuing and imminent threat to the American people” and only if there were “near certainty” that there would be no civilian casualties. But the documents show that when the president approves a strike on an individual, the Pentagon and CIA (both of which conduct strikes) have a 60-day window to act. You don’t need a dictionary to know that 60 days is not “imminent.” And the ISR study says that the standard for drone strikes is not “no civilian casualties,” only that it must be a “low” collateral damage estimate.
Nearly eight years later, Obama’s decision to expand the drone war has led to the deaths of hundreds of civilians, according to the Bureau of Investigative Journalism, a disturbing expansion of presidential power and harm to the country’s ability to fight terrorism.
What makes Obama’s policy even more disappointing is that whoever succeeds him will likely widen the program further. Obama at least gives the impression of taking the constitutional and moral consequences of the drone program seriously, even if this has been only a small restraint on the program. But Hillary Clinton has stoutly defended the drone program inside the White House as secretary of state, afterward in her memoir and on the campaign trail. Given her hawkishness compared with Obama, it seems likely that the program would only grow under her. And Donald Trump? Well, he has already promised to commit war crimes.
I have little doubt that Obama chose to rapidly expand the drone war under the sincere belief that it was legal, moral and good policy. But that belief was mistaken; the drone war is an indelible legacy — and shame — of his presidency.
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