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 America's Oldest Journal Covering the Newspaper Industry Wednesday, November 1, 2006    
Revealed: U.S. Soldier Killed Herself After Objecting to Interrogation Techniques
The true stories of how American troops, killed in Iraq, actually died keep spilling out this week.   Now we learn, thanks to a reporter's FOIA request, that one of the first women to die in Iraq shot and killed herself after objecting to harsh "interrogation techniques."
By Greg Mitchell
(November 01, 2006)    The true stories of how American troops, killed in Iraq, actually died keep spilling out this week.   On Tuesday, we explored the case of Kenny Stanton, Jr., murdered last month by our allies, the Iraqi police, though the military didn't make that known at the time.
Now we learn that one of the first female soldiers killed in Iraq died by her own hand after objecting to interrogation techniques used on prisoners.
She was Army specialist Alyssa Peterson, 27, a Flagstaff, Az., native serving with C Company, 311th Military Intelligence BN, 101st Airborne.   Peterson was an Arabic-speaking interrogator assigned to the prison at our air base in troubled Tal-Afar in northwestern Iraq.   According to official records, she died on Sept. 15, 2003, from a “non-hostile weapons discharge.”
Alyssa Peterson
Image inserted by
She was only the third American woman killed in Iraq so her death drew wide press attention.   A “non-hostile weapons discharge” leading to death is not unusual in Iraq, often quite accidental, so this one apparently raised few eyebrows.   The Arizona Republic, three days after her death, reported that Army officials “said that a number of possible scenarios are being considered, including Peterson's own weapon discharging, the weapon of another soldier discharging or the accidental shooting of Peterson by an Iraqi civilian.”
But in this case, a longtime radio and newspaper reporter named Kevin Elston, unsatisfied with the public story, decided to probe deeper in 2005, "just on a hunch," he told E&P today.   He made "hundreds of phone calls" to the military and couldn't get anywhere, so he filed a Freedom of Information Act request.
When the documents of the official investigation of her death arrived, they contained bombshell revelations.   Here’s what the Flagstaff public radio station, KNAU, where Elston now works, reported yesterday:
“Peterson objected to the interrogation techniques used on prisoners.   She refused to participate after only two nights working in the unit known as the cage.   Army spokespersons for her unit have refused to describe the interrogation techniques Alyssa objected to.   They say all records of those techniques have now been destroyed....”
She was was then assigned to the base gate, where she monitored Iraqi guards, and sent to suicide prevention training. “But on the night of September 15th, 2003, Army investigators concluded she shot and killed herself with her service rifle,” the documents disclose.
The Army talked to some of Peterson's colleagues.   Asked to summarize their comments, Elston told E&P: "The reactions to the suicide were that she was having a difficult time separating her personal feelings from her professional duties.   That was the consistent point in the testimonies, that she objected to the interrogation techniques, without describing what those techniques were."
Elston said that the documents also refer to a suicide note found on her body, revealing that she found it ironic that suicide prevention training had taught her how to commit suicide.   He has now filed another FOIA request for a copy of the actual note.
Peterson's father, Rich Peterson, has said: “Alyssa volunteered to change assignments with someone who did not want to go to Iraq.”
Alyssa Peterson, a devout Mormon, had graduated from Flagstaff High School and earned a psychology degree from Northern Arizona University on a military scholarship.   She was trained in interrogation techniques at Fort Huachuca in Arizona, and then sent to the Middle East in 2003.
The Arizona Republic article had opened: “Friends say Army Spc. Alyssa R. Peterson of Flagstaff always had an amazing ability to learn foreign languages.
“Peterson became fluent in Dutch even before she went on an 18-month Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints mission to the Netherlands in the late 1990s.   Then, she cruised through her Arabic courses at the military's Defense Language Institute in Monterey, Calif., shortly after enlisting in July 2001.
“With that under her belt, she was off to Iraq to conduct interrogations and translate enemy documents.”
On a “fallen heroes” message board on the Web, Mary W. Black of Flagstaff wrote, "The very day Alyssa died, her Father was talking to me at the Post Office where we both work, in Flagstaff, Az., telling me he had a premonition and was very worried about his daughter who was in the military on the other side of the world.   The next day he was notified while on the job by two army officers.   Never has a daughter been so missed or so loved than she was and has been by her Father since that fateful September day in 2003.   He has been the most broken man I have ever seen.”
An A.W. from Los Angeles wrote: "I met Alyssa only once during a weekend surfing trip while she was at DLI.   Although our encounter was brief, she made a lasting impression.   We did not know each other well, but I was blown away by her genuine, sincere, sweet nature.   I don’t know how else to put it — she was just nice....  I was devastated to here of her death.   I couldn’t understand why it had to happen to such a wonderful person.”
Finally, Daryl K. Tabor of Ashland City, Tenn., who had met her as a journalist in Iraq for the Kentucky New Era paper in Hopkinsville: "Since learning of her death, I cannot get the image of the last time I saw her out of my mind.   We were walking out of the tent in Kuwait to be briefed on our flights into Iraq as I stepped aside to let her out first.   Her smile was brighter than the hot desert sun.   Peterson was the only soldier I interacted with that I know died in Iraq.   I am truly sorry I had to know any."
Related Pressing Issues column by E&P editor Greg Mitchell:
U.S. Soldier Murdered By Iraqi Police — And Then the Cover-Up

Greg Mitchell is editor of E&P.
© 2006 VNU eMedia Inc.   All rights reserved.
Friday, 1 October, 2004
Family's plea after soldier's suicide
Gary Boswell was taking anti-depressants after serving in Iraq
Gary Boswell was taking anti-depressants after serving in Iraq
The parents of a soldier who killed himself while on leave from Iraq have called for more support for servicemen returning from duty.
Private Gary Boswell, 20, from Milford Haven, Pembrokeshire, was found hanging in a playground in July.
John and Sarah Boswell said army personnel should be offered counselling when they return from active service.
An MoD spokesman said there were mechanisms within the armed forces which gave "support" to soldiers.
Mr Boswell joined the Royal Welch Fusiliers two and a half years ago.
He had been on a mechanics course at Pembrokeshire College but, seeing the financial problems faced by his family because his father was out of work, he abandoned that course and joined up.
At first he was trained in Britain, then Germany and for a time in Canada but for the last six months he had been serving in Basra in southern Iraq.
Mr and Mrs Boswell, who have three daughters, said their son had suffered depression on returning home but had never spoken of his experiences.
They said he had been on anti-depressants and had received counselling but that they still had no idea what drove him to take his life, but feel that it may have been because he felt unable to talk about Iraq.
All young soldiers in Iraq should have counselling so they can speak more freely about it
Sarah Boswell
Mrs Boswell said: "I have to say, he did not get counselling from the army, not that we're aware of, unless he had it before he came home - this is something we don't really know much about.
"I do believe soldiers, particularly young ones like my son, should get counselling as a matter of course when they return to Britain on leave.
"We cannot know what they see and experience in Iraq and we never suspected how deeply he had been touched."
She added: "All young soldiers in Iraq should have counselling so they can speak more freely about it.
"I think they are not able to speak about things, there are probably a lot of young men out there now who are feeling like Gary did."
Suicide verdict
An inquest in Milford Haven last week recorded a verdict of suicide .
A MoD said: "We realise Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is a very serious condition and we have robust systems in place to deal with mental health conditions.
Sarah Boswell does not know what counselling the army gave her son
Sarah Boswell does not know what counselling the army gave her son
"Prior to deployment all UK service personnel are fully briefed regarding all operational matters.
"Whilst in the theatre, they have access to a range of services which includes access to medical staff and welfare officers.
"They can speak to psychiatric staff, people in their unit and there are also chaplains."
A spokeswoman added that all service personnel returning from Iraq spend one week among colleagues in the UK where they are scrutinised for signs of PTSD.
She said that family members are given leaflets on how to spot signs of PTSD and that there are also post-deployment briefings on how to deal with friends and family.
Published on Friday, October 20, 2006 by Reuters
United States Numb to Iraq Troop Deaths: Experts
by Michelle Nichols
NEW YORK — In a small box titled "Names of the Dead" on page 10, The New York Times recorded the passing of Cpt. Mark Paine this week, who died after a roadside bomb exploded near his vehicle in Iraq.
Whether we are talking about the U.S. casualties, Iraqi casualties, or Afghanis, we are not thinking of them, whoever they are, as people.
They are faceless.
They are just simply numbers.

Yahya Kamalipour, head of the communications department at Purdue University/td>
His local California newspaper, the Contra Costa Times, ran more than 700 words on Paine's death, including interviews with his mother, father and even his old Scoutmaster, while the San Francisco Chronicle ran a 500-word obituary.
This local coverage of U.S. military deaths "actually has a bigger affect on public opinion than the overall trends," said Matt Baum, an associate professor of politics at University of California, Los Angeles.
But with the U.S. military death toll hitting 2,787 Friday, and with 73 deaths so far in October, it is shaping up to be the deadliest month for U.S. forces since the Falluja offensive two years ago.
Analysts said even local media coverage struggles to overcome the numbing affect of the steady flow of deaths.
"In Iraq, certainly while we were losing relatively small numbers of soldiers early on, I think that was a huge shock," said Max Boot, a senior fellow of national security studies at the New York-based Council on Foreign Relations.
"But now that it's kind of accumulated it doesn't have as much of a shock value. This is reminiscent of (Soviet dictator Joseph) Stalin's phrase about how 'one death is a tragedy, a million deaths is a statistic.' There's some truth to that."
Boot and Baum both said threshold moments — like the U.S. death toll reaching a key figure — garner the greatest media coverage, but the spotlight on Iraq was likely to burn a little brighter now because of the impending U.S. congressional elections on November 7.
"You have got a heated election campaign underway and you are going to have lots of candidates highlighting it again and again and again," Baum said. "You are going to have a huge echo chamber effect that you wouldn't have in other months."
The U.S. military said 10 U.S. soldiers were killed on Tuesday in one of the sharpest spikes of attacks on U.S. forces battling sectarian violence.
"I think it is true that when the numbers rise then it becomes less of a special case, we do become somewhat numb to it," said Paul Levinson, chair of the Fordham University Department of Communication and Media Studies.
"That said, I think the media have been reporting all that has been going on in Iraq so aggressively that by and large I think that people are still very tuned in to what's going on."
Boot said the U.S. deaths in Iraq were not having the same impact on society as the Vietnam War casualties because the U.S. forces in Iraq are all volunteers, unlike many of the troops in Vietnam who were drafted.
"So it had more of an impact across all of society, whereas the impact here is more isolated because so many of the soldiers come from military communities which are clustered in a handful of states," he said.
The number of U.S. forces killed in Vietnam and Korea were also much higher. The Pentagon puts the number killed in from 1964-1973 at over 58,000, and in the Korea War from 1950-1953, at over 36,000.
Yahya Kamalipour, head of the communications department at Purdue University in West Lafayette, Indiana, said that if the media showed footage of the actual U.S. military deaths in Iraq then it would reduce some of the public numbness.
"Whether we are talking about the U.S. casualties, Iraqi casualties, or Afghanis. We are not thinking of them, whoever they are, as people — they are faceless, they are just simply numbers and that is troublesome," he said.
© Copyright 2006 Reuters Ltd
Common Dreams © 1997-2006
 America's Oldest Journal Covering the Newspaper Industry Monday, November 13, 2006     
She Survived Iraq — Then Shot Herself at Home
By Greg Mitchell
NEW YORK   Her name doesn't show on any official list of American military deaths in the Iraq war, by hostile or non-hostile fire, who died in that country or in hospitals in Europe or back home in the USA.   But Iraq killed her just as certainly.
She is Jeanne "Linda" Michel, a Navy medic.   She came home last month to her husband and three kids (ages 11, 5, and 4), delighted to be back in her suburban home of Clifton Park in upstate New York.   Michel, 33, would be discharged from the Navy in a few weeks, finishing her five years of duty.
Two weeks after she got home, she shot and killed herself.
"She had come through a lot and she had always risen to challenges," her husband, Frantz Michel, who has also served in Iraq, lamented last week.   Now he asks why the Navy didn't do more to help her.
Michel's story has now been probed by reporter Kate Gurnett in today's Albany Times-Union.   It's headlined, "A casualty far from the battlefield."
And yet, in many ways, not far at all.
Why did it happen? "Like thousands of others returning from Iraq, her mental state was fractured," Gurnett explains.   "And it went untreated.   Within two weeks, Linda Michel would become a private casualty of war.   Re-entry into the world of peace can be harder than deployment, experts say.   Picking up where you left off doesn't just happen. ...
"Women experience stronger forms of post-traumatic stress disorder and have higher PTSD rates, experts say.   In response, the Veterans Affairs Department launched a $6 million study of female veterans.   Seeking treatment — seen by some as a weakness — may be even tougher for women, who still feel the need to prove themselves to men in military service."
In fact, this past August, three veterans in New York's Adirondack region committed suicide within three weeks, according to Helena Davis, deputy director of the Mental Health Association in New York.
Michel has served under extremely stressful conditions at Camp Bucca in southern Iraq, a U.S-run prison where guards shot four inmates dead in a 2005 riot — and an episode of female mudwrestling drew headlines.   Michel was treated for depression and prescribed Paxil, but they took her off that medicine when she returned home.   Her husband was not informed.
"I just wish the Navy would have done some more follow-up, instead of just letting her come home," Frantz, who is on the division staff of the Army National Guard, told the reporter.   "If somebody needs Paxil in a combat zone, then that's not the place for them to be.   You either send them to a hospital or you send them home and then make sure that the family members know and that they get follow-up care."
He has pressed the Navy for answers: "Why wasn't she sent to a facility to resolve the issues? Not keep her in Iraq and give her some antidepressant medication and then just send her home.   So those are the answers that I don't have.   Which makes me a little angry because I know what is supposed to occur."
The Times Union carried another lengthy story on Sunday, by Dennis Yusko, on post-traumatic stress syndome (PTSD) and Iraq veterans.   "The number of Iraq and Afghanistan veterans getting treatment for PTSD at VA hospitals and counseling centers increased 87 percent from September 2005 to June 2006 — to 38,144, according to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs," Yusko revealed.
"At least 30 percent of those who fought in Iraq or Afghanistan are now diagnosed with PTSD, up from 16 percent to 18 percent in 2004, said Charlie Kennedy, PTSD program director and lead psychologist at the Stratton Veterans Affairs Medical Center.   Of the 400 Capital Region vets in the program, 81 served in Iraq or Afghanistan, Kennedy said, and that number is growing.   'This kind of warfare is devastating,' Kennedy said.   'You don't know who is your friend and who is your enemy.'"

Greg Mitchell is editor of E&P.
© 2006 VNU eMedia Inc.   All rights reserved.
Lies cost lives in Iraq.
Remember the reasons given by the US military and puppet interim Iraqi government for Operation Phantom Fury against Fallujah?
Just prior to the November, 2004 assault on that city, the primary reasons given for the massacre in Fallujah were: to provide “security and stability” for the upcoming January 30 “elections” and to rid Fallujah of Abu Musab Al-Zarqawi.
Let us judge the success or failure of this massacre by their own yardstick.
The “security and stability” generated for the elections on January 30, 2005 by the siege of Fallujah looked like roughly 40 dead Iraqi bodies and 200 wounded, on that day alone.
As for Zarqawi, since not one resident of Fallujah has seen or reported evidence of this individual in their city before, during or after said siege, his existence at all in Iraq remains in question…aside from living large in US military propaganda which is happily trumpeted by corporate media outlets in the US.
Yesterday morning on NPR (National Pentagon Radio) their reporter in Baghdad was asked if he felt what Mr. Bush said in a recent speech was true-was the US military strategy in Iraq working?
He replied that he felt what Mr. Bush said was true in some cases, like in Fallujah.
The NPR reporter referred to Fallujah as “pacified.”
“Pacified” Fallujah looks like a dead six year-old child in that city, shot by a US sniper in the Al-Dubbat neighborhood on December 1st, according to Al-Sharqiyah.
“Pacified” Fallujah looks like:
“Two US soldiers were killed by sniper fire on Wednesday [30 November] in the city of Al-Fallujah, [60 kilometers] west of Baghdad, according to eyewitnesses.
A tense atmosphere prevailed in the city after the US forces besieged some of its quarters and blocked the main street, while National Guard forces closed shops and asked the residents to stay in their homes.”
“Pacified” Fallujah looks like 10 Marines killed and 11 wounded by a roadside bomb while on a “foot patrol near Fallujah” on Thursday December 1st, which was the deadliest attack on American troops in nearly four months.
So if you want to keep thinking there is peace in Fallujah, you’d better ignore the facts on the ground and keep listening to NPR “presstitutes” talking on the radio from their hotel rooms in Baghdad.
Surprised to hear this about NPR?   Don’t be.
According to Robert McChesney, president of Free Press, a national, non-profit, media reform group in the US which works to support a diverse and independent media, our public broadcasting outlets are already infiltrated by Bush Administration ideologues.
“White House loyalists inside the Corporation for Public Broadcasting have launched a crusade to remake PBS, NPR and other public media into official mouthpieces.
Kenneth Tomlinson’s tenure at the CPB was characterized by targeting journalists like Bill Moyers who dared to air dissenting voices or prepare investigative reports on the administration.
Tomlinson’s goal was clearly to fire a shot across the bow of all public stations so managers would shy away from the sort of investigative journalism that might expose Bush administration malfeasance.
Tomlinson resigned in disgrace but left behind a cast of cronies to carry out his partisan crusade.
And we still don’t know the extent to which Karl Rove and others at the White House orchestrated his efforts.”
Free Press also accuses the Bush Administration of bribing journalists, lying about the Iraq War, eliminating dissent in the mainstream media, gutting the Freedom of Information Act, consolidating media control, and manufacturing fake news.
We’ve recently had a nice example of a bright and shining lie with regards to manufacturing fake news in Iraq. A secret military campaign to plant paid propaganda in the Iraqi news media has been uncovered. Exposed is Washington-based Lincoln Group, which has contracts with the military to “provide media and public relations services.”
Meanwhile, failed US propaganda campaigns are not hiding the fact that military planners in Iraq estimate that there are as many as 100 resistance groups now fighting against the Anglo-American occupiers of their country.
Nor have the propagandists managed to hide the fact that two more members of the so-called Coalition of the Willing, Bulgaria and Ukraine, have announced they will begin withdrawing their combined 1,250 troops by the middle of this month.
Most likely, Bulgaria and Ukraine want to get their folks out of Iraq before more of the country becomes “pacified” like Fallujah.
Posted by Dahr_Jamail at December 2, 2005
US soldiers committing suicide Afghanistan Iraq — I
Psychologist Pete Linnerooth was one of three who were part of a mental health crew in charge of the US 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Infantry Division in the Baghdad area of Iraq.   Pete Linnerooth committed suicide by turning a gun upon himself in January of 2013
Veterans kill themselves at a rate of one every 80 minutes.   More than 6,500 veteran suicides are logged every year — more than the total number of soldiers killed in Afghanistan and Iraq combined since those wars began.
Mary Coghill Kirkland said she asked her son, 21-year-old Army Spc. Derrick Kirkland, what was wrong as soon as he came back from his first deployment to Iraq in 2008.   He had a ready answer: "Mom, I'm a murderer."
A military base on the brink
As police agents watched he shot himself in the head
Murders, fights, robberies, domestic violence, drunk driving, drug overdoses
Death in Iraq
 America's Oldest Journal Covering the Newspaper Industry Tuesday, November 7, 2006     
A Suicide in Iraq — Part II
Alyssa Peterson, 27, killed herself in Iraq after protesting "interrogation techniques."
Now another female soldier who met her a week before she died — and who also objected to certain interrogations in Iraq — comments.
By Greg Mitchell
(November 07, 2006) — They served in the same battalion in Iraq at the same time.   Kayla Williams spoke with Alyssa Peterson about the young woman's troubles a week before she died — and afterward, attended her memorial service.   Williams even has her own interrogation horror story to tell.   So what, in Williams ' view, caused Alyssa Peterson to put a bullet in her head in September 2003 after just a few weeks in Iraq?
The death of Alyssa Peterson, 28 – a former Mormon missionary — is first and foremost unspeakably sad, and what was fully in her mind will never be known, especially since her parents apparently knew little about her death until four days ago.   But this tragic incident, which I explored in my previous column, also begs the question: What interrogation techniques drew her ire?
And were they of such a nature that this might explain why this young woman of faith and, reportedly, good nature, would suddenly turn a gun on herself?
The official Army investigation, we’re told by the radio reporter in Arizona who received the documents after an FOIA request, notes that all papers relating to the interrogations have been destroyed.   But what do we know about what was going on in Iraq 2003, beyond credible claims that treatment of prisoners was being "Gitmo-ized”?
Perhaps the most specific testimony that may relate to Alyssa Peterson comes from another Arabic-speaking female U.S. soldier who also served in the 101st Airborne at that time in the same region of Iraq.   She even wrote a book partly about it.
She is former Army sergeant Kayla Williams, author of the 2005 memoir, “Love My Rifle More Than You.”   Much of the publicity about the book focused on her accounts of sexual tension or harassment in Iraq, but it also holds several key passages about interrogations.
In the book and in interviews at that time, Williams, now 29 and out of the Army, described how she had been recruited to briefly take part in over-the-line interrogations.   Like Peterson, she protested torture techniques — such as throwing lit cigarettes at prisoners — and was quickly shifted away, but in her case, she survived.   But she told me Friday that she is still haunted by the experience and wonders if she objected strongly enough.   She also wonders if she could have done more to help Alyssa Peterson after their brief chat just before she died.
But what was Alyssa asked to do in the interrogation "cage" and why did she protest?
Williams and Peterson were both interpreters but only the latter was in "human intelligence," that is, trained to take part in interogations.   They met by chance when Williams, who had been on a mission, came back to the base in Tal Afar in September 2003 before heading off again.   A civilian interpreter asked her to speak to Peterson, who seemed troubled.
Like others, Williams found her to be a "sweet girl."   Williams asked if she wanted to go to dinner, but Peterson was not free — maybe next time, but of course, time ran out.
Their one conversation, Williams told me, centered on personal, not military problems, and it's hard to tell where it fit in the suicide timeline.   According to records of an Army probe that were obtained by the radio reporter, Kevin Elston, Peterson had protested, and then asked out of, interrogations after just two days in what was known as "the cage" — and killed herself shortly after that.
This might have all transpired just after her encounter with Williams, or it might have happened before and she did not mention it — Williams was not then involved in interrogations and they did not really know each other.
Peterson's suicide on Sept. 15 — reported to the press and public (to this day) in the usual vague way as death by "non-hostile gunshot" — was the only fatality suffered by the battalion during their entire time in Iraq, Williams reports.   At the memorial service everyone knew the cause of her death.   They were surprised and "frustrated," she comments, since Peterson had only been in a Iraq a few weeks and many of them had been there six months, going back to the U.S. invasion, and had not cracked.
Shortly after that, Williams (a three-year Army vet at the time) was sent to the 2nd Brigade's Support Area in Mosul, and she described what happened next in her book.   Brought into the "cage" there one day on a special mission, she saw fellow soldiers hitting a naked prisoner in the face.   "It's one thing to make fun of someone and attempt to humiliate him.   With words.   That's one thing.   But flicking lit cigarettes at somebody — like burning him — that's illegal," Williams writes in he book.   Soldiers later told her that "the old rules no longer applied because this was a different world.   This was a new kind of war."
Here's what she told Soledad O'Brien of CNN on Sept. 26 of this year:
"Actually, my job was not as an interrogator.   So, I didn't know what their usual rules were.   I was asked to assist.   And what I saw was that individuals who were doing interrogations had slipped over a line and were really doing things that were inappropriate.   There were prisoners that were burned with lit cigarettes. ….
"They stripped prisoners naked and then removed their blindfolds, so that I was the first thing they saw.   And, then, we were supposed to mock them and degrade their manhood.   And it really didn't seem to make a lot of sense to me.   I didn't know if this was standard.   But it did not seem to work.   And it really made me feel like we were losing that crucial moral higher ground, and we weren't behaving in the way that Americans are supposed to behave."
As soon as that day ended, after a couple of these sessions, she told a superior she would never do it again.
In another CNN interview, on Oct. 8, 2005, she explained: "I sat through it at the time.   But after it was over I did approach the non-commissioned officer in charge and told him I think you may be violating the Geneva Conventions. ... He said he knew and I said I wouldn't participate again and he respected that, but I was really, really stunned and struggled a lot with whether or not I should do anything about it because I don't know whether or not it's appropriate technique."
So, given all this, what does Williams think pushed Alyssa Peterson to shoot herself one week after their only meeting?   The great unknown, of course, is what Peterson was asked to witness or do in interrogations.   We do know that she refused to have anything more to do with that after two days — or one day longer than it took for Williams to reach her breaking point.
Properly, Williams points out that it's rarely one factor that leads to suicide, and Peterson had some personal problems, to be sure.   "It's always a bunch of things coming together to the point you feel so overwhelmed that there's no way out," Williams says.   "I witnessed abuse, I felt uncomfortable with it, but I didn't kill myself, because I could see the bigger context.
"I felt a lot of angst about whether I had an obligation to report it, and had any way to report it.   Was it classified?   Who should I turn to?"   Perhaps Alyssa Peterson felt in the same box.
"It also made me think," Williams says, "what are we as humans that we do this to each other?   It made me question my humanity and the humanity of all Americans.   It was difficult and to this day, I can no longer think I am a really good person and will do the right thing in the right situation."   Such an experience might have been truly shattering to the deeply religious Peterson.
Referring to that day in Mosul, Williams says, "I realize when it came down to it, I did not have the moral fiber.   I did protest but only to the person in charge and I did not file a report up the chain of command."
Yet, after recounting her experience In Mosul, she asks: "Can that lead to suicide?   That's such an act of desperation, helplessness, it has to be more than that."   She concludes, "In general, interrogation is not fun, even if you follow the rules.   And I didn't see any good intelligence being gained.   The other problem is that, in situations like that, you have people that are not terrorists being picked up, and being questioned.   And, if you treat an innocent person like that, they walk out a terrorist."
Or, maybe in this case, if an innocent person witnesses such a thing, some may walk out as a likely suicide.
Kevin Elston, the Flagstaff, Arizona, radio journalist who broke the Peterson story — based on military documetns received after FOIA requests — did a report for his station KNAU this week.   It contained the following passages.
"The investigative report states that a sergeant and team leader both 'detailed the aversion she had towards applying the interrogation methods to detainees.'   Peterson's first sergeant, identified as James D. Hamilton, told investigators, 'It was hard for her to be aggressive to prisoners/detainees, as she felt that we were cruel to them,' the report states....
"She avoided eating with her interrogation team and spent time reading at her desk when she did not have other assignments.   No one in the unit reported signs of impending suicide.
"On the evening of Sept. 15, 2003, she got off work at about 9 p.m. and was not seen again that night.   According to the documents, the company executive officer heard two gunshots at about 9:30 p.m. but did not investigate.
"At 9 the next morning, an aircraft passing over the nearby landing zone reported seeing Peterson's body in a grassy field next to her service rifle.   Documents disclosed that she had two gunshot wounds — her weapon apparently had been set on burst — beneath her chin."
Elston was then interviewed by Amy Goodman of the national radio/TV program "Democracy Now."   An excerpt:
AMY GOODMAN:    Tell us about Alyssa’s story, how she came to be in the military.
KEVIN ELSTON:    Yeah, she got a psychology degree from Northern Arizona University on an ROTC scholarship and then fulfilled her obligation by attending the interrogation school at Fort Huachuca in Southern Arizona.   She spent a year at, I think it was, Fort Campbell, Kentucky, in Arabic language school, before they sent her over there.   She was in country for three weeks before she killed herself.
AMY GOODMAN:    And talk about the documents that you were able to get.
KEVIN ELSTON:    I got a copy of the death investigation.   I got a copy of the criminal investigation and some excerpts from the autopsy.   I didn't get the full autopsy.
AMY GOODMAN:    Can you talk about her family and what her family understood?
KEVIN ELSTON:    Her family didn't really want to know how she died, for their own reasons.   I think they suspected that it was a suicide.   I talked to her brother the other day, and he said that he suspected it was a suicide, but they all decided that they didn't want to know the details.
AMY GOODMAN:    She was an Arabic-speaking interrogator who was trained at Fort Huachuca?
AMY GOODMAN:    And what further information do you have about how she went from there to Iraq, and then exactly what she was doing in Iraq?
KEVIN ELSTON:    She was in the — I think it was called the 110th Intelligence Battalion.   It's part of the 101st Airborne Division.   Like I say, she did train in Arabic in Kentucky, and then they sent her over there.   She was in country for two days before she did her first interrogation.   Her second interrogation was the day after that.   The day after that, she attended suicide prevention training and requested to be transferred.   She said that she could not carry out the interrogation techniques that they were using in the cage, which is what they called the interrogation unit at the Tal Afar Air Base, where she was assigned, and then she was reassigned to the gate, where she interviewed Iraqi workers and monitored Iraqi guards for what they thought might be duplicitous behavior.
AMY GOODMAN:    And is there any suggestion that she might have been killed by anyone else, or is it quite clear that she committed suicide at this point?
KEVIN ELSTON:    The military investigation concluded that she committed suicide.   My understanding is that there was a suicide note found on her body, but I was unable to obtain a copy of that.

Greg Mitchell is editor of E&P.
© 2006 VNU eMedia Inc.   All rights reserved.
When you stripped naked my friend — a woman with more qualifications than the whole of your army put together, 45 years old, old enough to be your own mother.
You said you wanted to make sure she is not "hiding something down there" in her undies.
Remember that one?
You did that in front of 30 of your male buddies in your "special" camp.
Then you offered her a coke so she can relax and "chill out".
An Arab Woman Blues — Reflections in a sealed bottle...
Layla Anwar
December 17, 2006
A letter to an American G.I.
Painting: Iraqi Artist Mohammed Al Shammarey
When I watch pictures of your dead buddies on and I read some of your naive childlike poems, I feel sorry for you.   I honestly do.
I feel sorry for you yet at the same time I feel anger.
It is a very confusing mix of ambivalent, contradictory emotions.
On the one hand,I would love to strike you and on the other hand I say to myself, it is not really your fault.   You chose it yet you did not choose it.
From your perspective you are only "executing orders".   Yet hard facts on the battle ground tell me that you also enjoy the humiliation you inflict on these "alien" "evil" people — the Iraqis.
Despite your own neediness and your being in "it" because "it" will give you a grant, a green card and maybe the famous passport with an embossed striped eagle, you still believe you are superior, a better race, a more advanced one, a purer one.
I see the pictures of your dead buddies and I think of their mothers and fathers and the bitterness and grief they may feel.   You all look so young and in many ways so innocent.
Yet when I see you kicking young Iraqis around and beating them to death, when I see you raping little girls and burning them, when I see you making Iraqi children run miles after a plastic bottle of water or when you teach those poor little souls to say "Fuck you Iraq", just for the fun of it — I can't but have hate for you.
(I will not even mention the torture, nor the pillaging — you know all of that already)
When I see you urinating in and on sacred places and when I see you writing your degenerate graffitis on 7,000 years old archeological sites, with absolutely no respect or regard for other people's Faith, Culture and History — I can't but have contempt for you.
When I hear innombrable stories like this one:   When you stripped naked my friend — a woman with more qualifications than the whole of your army put together, 45 years old, old enough to be your own mother.   You said you wanted to make sure she is not "hiding something down there" in her undies.   Remember that one?   You did that in front of 30 of your male buddies in your "special" camp.   Then you offered her a coke so she can relax and"chill out".
She would not tell me the rest of the story, she said:   "Let sleeping dogs lie".
I want you to know that she left Iraq and everything she owned after that incident because of you.   She said to me: "I do not want to take anything with me, not even another pair of underwear.   Let them have it all."   This is how much you disgusted her with your acts.
Yes, when I hear yet another story like this one — I can't but despise you.
I admit, at times, I have empathy for you and for the life you left behind — a life you may never return to.
And sometimes I sit and wonder if you realize the amount of pain and suffering you are inflicting on an innocent people who have done NOTHING to you.
Do you actually realize the enormity and severity of your actions? Do you realize how many deep wounds and scars that may never heal, you are leaving behind you ?
And sometimes, I sit and wonder what happens when you go to sleep at night.   Can you sleep in peace? Can you close your eyes with a clean conscience ?
And sometimes, I sit and wonder when you finish your round of harassing and killing Iraqis and you deliberately leave them bloated by Death on the streets for days on end — can you still fool yourself and pretend to send "Love" letters to your family, wife or girlfriend?
I have a lot more to say to you but I feel I have said enough.   After all , I am not supposed to be engaging you.
But before I end this letter and go back to my daily angst of "living" under your occupation, I want you to know that somewhere deep down, I do care about your sorry little ass.
I care enough not because I like you or enjoy your presence — far from it — but simply because of the mere fact that we happen to belong to the same "race".   The human one.   And I still have a little faith left on that "front".   I care enough to want you to save your own Self, that Self that will undoubtedly come back to haunt you one of those days.   And by doing so, you are also saving your own Life.
You owe it to "yourself" and you can do it with one simple word:   REFUSE.
Just do it, do it NOW, do it before it's too late.
Painting : Iraqi Artist Mohammed Al Shammarey.
Times corrects a minor error, ignores the big one
A report by Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting, June 6, 2007
Reviewing the London-based anti-Iraq War play Fallujah, New York Times reporter Jane Perlez wrote (5/29/07),
"The denunciations of the United States are severe, particularly in the scenes that deal with the use of napalm in Fallujah, an allegation made by left-wing critics of the war but never substantiated."
She followed that complaint by reporting that the play's writer and director, Jonathan Holmes, "makes no pretense of objectivity," paraphrasing him as saying that he "strove for authority more than authenticity."
Unfortunately for the Times, which does make a pretense of objectivity, the U.S. government did use the modern equivalent of napalm in Iraq.   In a 2003 interview in the
San Diego Union-Tribune (8/5/03), Marine Col. James Alles described the use of Mark 77 firebombs on targets in Iraq, saying, "We napalmed both those approaches."
While the Pentagon makes a distinction between the Mark 77 and napalm — the chemical formulation is slightly different, being based on kerosene rather than gasoline — it acknowledged to the Union-Tribune that the new weapon is routinely referred to as napalm because "its effect upon the target is remarkably similar."
"You can call it something other than napalm, but it's napalm," military analyst John Pike told the paper.
In a column that appeared before his play premiered (
London Guardian, 4/4/07), Fallujah playwright and director Jonathan Holmes referred to it as a "napalm derivative."
But the major controversy over the use of incendiary weapons in Fallujah involved not napalm but white phosphorus.
As with napalm, U.S. officials initially denied that white phosphorus had been used as a weapon there.
In London, U.S. Ambassador Robert Tuttle told the Independent (11/15/05) that "U.S. forces do not use napalm or white phosphorus as weapons," only "as obscurants or smoke screens and for target marking."
After it was discovered that the military journal Field Artillery (3-4/05) had quoted veterans of the Fallujah campaign boasting that white phosphorus was such "an effective and versatile munition" that they "saved our WP for lethal missions," however, the U.S. government was forced to backtrack.
"Yes, it was used as an incendiary weapon against enemy combatants," Col. Barry Venable told the BBC (11/15/05).
As Seth Ackerman documented (
Extra!, 3-4/06), the New York Times had accepted the initial denials of the use of white phosphorus as a weapon.
An article about U.S. intelligence monitoring the foreign press (11/13/05) cited such claims as examples of the flimsy anti-American charges in the overseas media, noting that "the mainstream American news media" had "largely ignored the claim," since its "reporters had witnessed the fighting [in Fallujah] and apparently seen no evidence” of white phosphorus weaponry.
After the Pentagon admitted using white phosphorus, however, the Times ran a strong editorial (
11/29/05) calling for a ban on its use.   "All of us, including Americans, are safer in a world in which certain forms of conduct are regarded as too inhumane even for war.   That is why...the United States should stop using white phosphorus."
Independent correspondent Dahr Jamail, whose reporting from Fallujah inspired one of the play's characters, wrote to the New York Times to take issue with Perlez's dismissal of the play's references to napalm.   Jamail pointed out that the use of white phosphorus in Fallujah was an "'allegation'...confirmed by the Pentagon itself nearly one year after it was initially reported by myself, as well as other outlets in the Middle East."
Jamail also noted out that Perlez had incorrectly described him as Canadian, when he is actually a U.S. citizen.   The Times ran a correction (6/7/07) on the nationality mistake, but declined to correct the more serious error of dismissing the U.S.'s incendiary weapons attacks as an "allegation" that was "never substantiated."
If Perlez meant to say that the U.S. military had only confirmed the use of a napalm-like weapon elsewhere in Iraq, not in Fallujah, while the only incendiary weapon admitted to have been used in Fallujah was white phosphorus, then that's a very slender technicality with which to call into question the "objectivity" and "authenticity" of a playwright.  
It was good of the Times, in its November 2005 editorial, to condemn the use of inhumane weapons that burn their victims alive.   But it's too bad that its reporter didn't recall that editorial when presenting the use of similar weaponry as an unsubstantiated left-wing charge.
And it's especially unfortunate that, even when this lapse was pointed out to the paper, it couldn't bring itself to correct the record, choosing to be fastidious only when it comes to secondary details like nationality.
If you feel compelled to take action regarding this issue,
click here
Posted by Dahr_Jamail at June 11, 2007 10:44 PM
Ron Paul: After ‘CIA coup,’ agency ‘runs military’
By Raw Story
Wednesday, January 20th, 2010
US House Rep. Ron Paul says the CIA has in effect carried out a "coup" against the US government, and the intelligence agency needs to be "taken out."
Speaking to an audience of like-minded libertarians at a Campaign for Liberty regional conference in Atlanta this past weekend, the Texas Republican said:
There's been a coup, have you heard?
It's the CIA coup.
The CIA runs everything, they run the military.
They're the ones who are over there lobbing missiles and bombs on countries. ...
And of course the CIA is every bit as secretive as the Federal Reserve. ...
And yet think of the harm they have done since they were established [after] World War II.
They are a government unto themselves.
They're in businesses, in drug businesses, they take out dictators ...
We need to take out the CIA.
Paul's comments, made last weekend, were met with a loud round of applause, but they didn't gather attention until bloggers noticed a clip of the event at YouTube.
Paul appeared to be referring to news reports that the CIA is deeply involved in air strikes against Al Qaeda targets in Afghanistan and Pakistan.
suicide bombing late last year against Forward Operating Base Chapman in Afghanistan took the lives of seven of CIA operatives, including two contracted from Blackwater.
The event highlighted the CIA's deep involvement in the war effort.
Paul's reference to the CIA being "in the drug business" refers to long-running allegations that the CIA has funded some of its covert operations with proceeds from drug-running.
That claim was most famously made in
a 1996 investigative report from the San Jose Mercury-News, which alleged that cocaine from the Contra-Sandinista civil war in Nicaragua was making its way to the streets of L.A. via the CIA.
YouTube video
CIA et al
Perhaps Ron you should also have mentioned the CIA's superior agency, the NSA — the National 'Security' Agency
And all the
cocain-funded, opium-funded, US tax-payer-funded black budget operations.
Taxpayer funded once payment to the private 'US Federal Reserve' is made and new borrowing taken to take care of the trillions of dollars needed for black budget and military agency use.
A system of intrigue and corruption that this very year is on track to bring great turmoil — ORDO AB CHAO — to billions of people in the crumbling of the US and major world economic system!
All part of the grand scheme to bring about 'World Government' — via banks and politicians — 'rescue' but really ever greater consolidation for the elite grouping who now run the planet!
February 22nd, 2007
Walter Reed Ex-Patient, Wife Speak Out on Poor Conditions at Army’s Top Medical Facility — Click Here
The Army's Vice Chief of Staff General Richard Cody admitted on Wednesday there has been a “breakdown in leadership” at the Walter Reed Army Medical Center.
His comments came three days after the Washington Post revealed that hospital rooms at Walter Reed were infested with mouse droppings, cockroaches, stained carpets, rodents and black mold.
We speak with a former Walter Reed patient; the wife of another patient, and a reporter who documented the problems at Walter Reed two years ago.
The Iraq Effect: New Study Finds 600% Rise in Terrorism Since US Invasion of Iraq — Click Here
As the fourth anniversary of the Iraq approaches, a new study by Mother Jones magazine has found that the number of fatal terrorist attacks has increased by over 600 percent since the U.S. invasion.
We speak with the study’s co-author, Paul Cruickshank.
Is Torture on Hit Fox TV Show “24” Encouraging US Soldiers to Abuse Detainees? — Click Here
This past fall, the Dean of West Point, Brigadier General Patrick Finnegan, along with experienced military and FBI interrogators and representatives of Human Rights First, met with the creative team behind the hit Fox Television show “24” and tell them to stop using torture because American soldiers were copying the show’s tactics.
We speak with two of the delegation’s members — former Army interrogator Tony Lagouranis, who served one year in Iraq and David Danzig, director of the Prime Time Torture Project for Human Rights First.
US soldiers committing suicide Afghanistan Iraq — I
Psychologist Pete Linnerooth was one of three who were part of a mental health crew in charge of the US 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Infantry Division in the Baghdad area of Iraq.   Pete Linnerooth committed suicide by turning a gun upon himself in January of 2013
Veterans kill themselves at a rate of one every 80 minutes.   More than 6,500 veteran suicides are logged every year — more than the total number of soldiers killed in Afghanistan and Iraq combined since those wars began.
Mary Coghill Kirkland said she asked her son, 21-year-old Army Spc. Derrick Kirkland, what was wrong as soon as he came back from his first deployment to Iraq in 2008.   He had a ready answer: "Mom, I'm a murderer."
A military base on the brink
As police agents watched he shot himself in the head
Murders, fights, robberies, domestic violence, drunk driving, drug overdoses
There was, of course, no admission that any change had taken place.
Merely it became known, with extreme suddenness and everywhere at once, that Eastasia and not Eurasia was the enemy.
George Orwell 1984
The law of unintended consequences:
Zbigniew Brzezinski, National Security Advisor under Carter, acknowledged in a 1998 interview with Le Nouvel Observateur that the Carter administration began funding the Mujahadeen in Afghanistan six months before the Soviets invaded (a statement corroborated by former CIA director Robert Gates).
Brzezinski: According to the official version of history, CIA aid to the Mujahadeen began during 1980, that is to say, after the Soviet army invaded Afghanistan, 24 Dec 1979.
But the reality, secretly guarded until now, is completely otherwise:
Indeed, it was July 3, 1979 that President Carter signed the first directive for secret aid to the opponents of the pro-Soviet regime in Kabul.
And that very day, I wrote a note to the president in which I explained to him that in my opinion this aid was going to induce a Soviet military intervention.
Question: When the Soviets justified their intervention by asserting that they intended to fight against a secret involvement of the United States in Afghanistan, people didn't believe them.
However, there was a basis of truth.
You don't regret anything today?
Brzezinski: Regret what?
That secret operation was an excellent idea.
It had the effect of drawing the Russians into the Afghan trap and you want me to regret it?
The day that the Soviets officially crossed the border, I wrote to President Carter:
We now have the opportunity of giving to the USSR its Vietnam war."
At this point in history, one need hardly elaborate on the short-sightedness of a policy which sought to give the Soviets their own Vietnam at the small cost of a few "stirred up Muslims".
But for the rare, obtuse reader, let's state it flat out: there's a direct line leading from this ill-conceived decision to the events of September 11, 2001.
Tom Tomorrow   June 26, 2005   
'We are walking with our coffins in our hands.'

Mohammand al-Hayawi

Owner of the Renaissance book store on Mutanabi Street in Baghdad

September 2006

Words and photo: Mike Hastie
Vietnam Veteran
September 18, 2006
'We are walking with our coffins in our hands.'
Mohammand al-Hayawi
Owner of the Renaissance book store on Mutanabi Street in Baghdad
September 2006
Words and photo:
Mike Hastie Vietnam Veteran
September 18, 2006
The connection between Vietnam and Iraq.
One of the most effective ways I found was to follow the bulldozers and construction machinery.
I was in Iraq to research the so-called reconstruction.
And what struck me most was the absence of reconstruction machinery, of cranes and bulldozers, in downtown Baghdad.
I expected to see reconstruction all over the place.
I saw bulldozers in military bases.
I saw bulldozers in the Green Zone, where a huge amount of construction was going on, building up Bechtel's headquarters and getting the new U.S. embassy ready.
There was also a ton of construction going on at all of the U.S. military bases.
But, on the streets of Baghdad, the former ministry buildings are absolutely untouched.
They hadn't even cleared away the rubble, let alone started the reconstruction process.
The one crane I saw in the streets of Baghdad was hoisting an advertising billboard.
One of the surreal things about Baghdad is that the old city lies in ruins, yet there are these shiny new billboards advertising the glories of the global economy.
Baghdad occupation
In Baghdad, at least 26 people were killed and 90 wounded in fighting pitting US troops against Mahdi Army resistance fighters in Sadr City.
One mortar round landed near the Ashtar Sheraton and Palestine Meridien hotels.
The Sadr General Hospital said 18 bodies had been brought in and in addition to 73 injured people, including two women and four children.
In the Al-Shuader hospital, eight people were reported killed and 17 wounded.
Two other hospitals reported 10 wounded.
Thursday 5th May 2005
In the face of a full-scale civil war in Iraq, says a source close to the U.S. military, Bush intends to go it alone.
"Our policy is to make Iraq a colony," he says.  "We won't let go."
According to U.S. officials, the resistance attacks are being aided by an extensive network of informers.
Insurgents, apparently making use of engineers and former insiders, have been able to hit oil installations and power plants expertly, foiling U.S. efforts to sustain Iraqi oil exports and to provide electricity and water to Iraqi cities.
"They have tentacles that reach all through the new government and the new military," Lt. Gen. Walter Buchanan, who commands U.S. air forces in the Persian Gulf, admitted recently.
The new government is not only powerless to stop the attacks by insurgents, it is dominated by the same clique of warlords and exiles who lobbied the Pentagon to go to war in the first place, many of whom have close ties to the warring camps that control vast parts of the country.
"In the Arab world, Iraq is seen as a zone of chaos in a pre-civil-war situation, held together only by the U.S. occupation," says Chas Freeman, who served as U.S. ambassador to Saudi Arabia under Bush's father.
A brief survey of the three major forces in Iraq — Shiites in the south, Sunnis in the center and Kurds in the north — makes clear the sharp divisions that threaten to blow the country apart:
The Shiites: The Bush administration's plan for reconstruction envisioned the Shiites — the majority population long oppressed by Saddam Hussein — as the chief power in a democratic Iraq.
The United Iraqi Alliance, a Shiite party backed by Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani, won a majority in the new national assembly.
But a militant bloc of fundamentalist Shiites has been using its newfound strength — and its street thugs — to forcibly impose Islamic law throughout the southern half of Iraq.
Militias loyal to rival Shiite factions are blowing up liquor stores and movie theaters, forcing women to wear ultraconservative Islamic dress and assassinating secular officials and other opponents.
...The Mahdi, which battled U.S. forces during two major uprisings last year, is fiercely loyal to the charismatic and fanatical cleric Muqtada al-Sadr, the scion of a leading fundamentalist Shiite family.
Al-Sadr's militia, hammered in last year's clashes, is quickly rebuilding with new recruits armed with machine guns, rocket launchers and rocket-propelled grenades.
It now controls a big chunk of Basra, Iraq's only port and second-largest city, along with Kut, Amarah, Nasariyah and the huge eastern district of Baghdad known as Sadr City.
In April, al-Sadr organized a rally of 300,000 people to demand that U.S. troops leave Iraq.
The Mahdi Army's main rival for power among the Shiites is the Badr Brigade, which has an estimated 20,000 men under arms.
Badr is run by the Supreme Council for the Islamic Revolution in Iraq, which was founded by Ayatollah Khomeini in Iran and trained by his Revolutionary Guards.
SCIRI's leaders still have close ties to Iran, even though many of its officials have been elected to the new Iraqi parliament.
The hard-line group is powerful in Iraq's two holy cities, Najaf and Karbala, and controls another chunk of Basra.
Other Shiite forces include the Dawa Islamic Party, whose chieftain, Ibrahim al-Jaafari, is Iraq's new prime minister. Dawa was an underground terrorist organization in Iraq from the 1960s through the 1980s, and militants linked to the group attacked the U.S. and French embassies in Kuwait in 1983.
While the State Department says it has no evidence to connect al-Jaafari himself to any terrorist acts, those who study the group suspect that Dawa also gets support from Iran.
"They've been spreading money to everyone," says Juan Cole, an expert on Shiism at the University of Michigan.
The Sunnis: In central Iraq, millions of formerly dominant Sunnis opted out of the elections for the new government, which they see as being almost entirely in the hands of southern Shiites and northern Kurds.
There are now several dozen Sunni organizations fighting the U.S. occupation, broadly divided into two camps: mainstream, secular Arab nationalists who served as military officers and Baath Party leaders under Saddam, and Islamist fundamentalists, including extremists associated with Abu Musab Zarqawi.
Most of the attacks on American forces — the roadside IEDs, mortar strikes and full-scale assaults — have been conducted by the mainstream resistance, who are intent on driving out the U.S.
They have brought down helicopters, destroyed at least eighty of the Abrams tanks that are the mainstay of the U.S. occupation, and mounted large-scale actions involving scores of fighters, such as the April attacks on the Abu Ghraib prison and at Al Qaim near the Syrian border.
In one recent incident, car bombs exploded simultaneously in front of and behind a U.S. convoy, which then came under intense fire from automatic weapons wielded by snipers inside abandoned buildings along the route.
To make matters worse, the Kurds have set their sights on Kirkuk, a multi-ethnic city that sits atop Iraq's vast northern oil fields.
Even though the city lies outside of Kurdistan, Talabani calls it "the Jerusalem of Kurdistan," and Barzani says, "We are ready to fight and to sacrifice our souls to preserve its identity."
The Kurds are already engaging in some brutal expulsions of Arabs from the city.
"They're doing their own ethnic cleansing, and it's dirty stuff," says Judith Yaphe, a former CIA analyst on Iraq.
A full-scale Kurdish takeover, however, would be resisted by Arabs and Turks in Kirkuk.
...Even Fallujah, a city of 300,000 that was virtually obliterated in a U.S. blitz last fall, is quietly re-emerging as a center of resistance.
Fallujah's mayor, in the circumspect language of one U.S. official, is "doing some things not positive in nature."
Meanwhile, the city of Mosul has become the newest hotbed of the insurgency.
Last fall, during an attack by insurgents there, thousands of Iraqi police melted away at the first sign of violence.
"I went from 2,000 police to 50," a U.S. commander on the scene told reporters.
Deadly force is authorized
Amputee Jihad Sghaier lost his limb to a US dropped cluster bomb found in a field.

Picture: REUTERS/Zohra Bensemra
Amputee Jihad Sghaier lost his limb to a US dropped cluster bomb found in a field.
Robert Fisk correspondent for London's Independent newspaper.
This article printed in Arab News August 1, 2004
Can't Bush and Blair See Iraq Is About to Explode?
BAGHDAD — The war is a fraud.
I'm not talking about the weapons of mass destruction that didn't exist.
Nor the links between Saddam Hussein and Al-Qaeda which didn't exist.
Nor all the other lies upon which we went to war.
I'm talking about the new lies.
For just as, before the war, our governments warned us of threats that did not exist, now they hide from us the threats that do exist.
Much of Iraq has fallen outside the control of America's puppet government in Baghdad but we are not told.
Hundreds of attacks are made against US troops every month.
But unless an American dies, we are not told.
This month's death toll of Iraqis in Baghdad alone has now reached 700 — the worst month since the invasion ended.
But we are not told.
Don't they always kill those weaker, those poorer, those who in truth only have spirit?
US soldiers committing suicide Afghanistan Iraq — I
Psychologist Pete Linnerooth was one of three who were part of a mental health crew in charge of the US 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Infantry Division in the Baghdad area of Iraq.   Pete Linnerooth committed suicide by turning a gun upon himself in January of 2013
Veterans kill themselves at a rate of one every 80 minutes.   More than 6,500 veteran suicides are logged every year — more than the total number of soldiers killed in Afghanistan and Iraq combined since those wars began.
Mary Coghill Kirkland said she asked her son, 21-year-old Army Spc. Derrick Kirkland, what was wrong as soon as he came back from his first deployment to Iraq in 2008.   He had a ready answer: "Mom, I'm a murderer."
A military base on the brink
As police agents watched he shot himself in the head
Murders, fights, robberies, domestic violence, drunk driving, drug overdoses
US soldiers committing suicide Iraq Vietnam
Unspeakable grief and horror
                        ...and the circus of deception continues...
— 2018
— 2017
— 2016
— 2015
— 2014
— 2013
— 2012
— 2011
— 2010
— 2009
— 2008
— 2007
— 2006
— 2005
— 2004
— 2003
Circus of Torture   2003 — now
He says, "You are quite mad, Kewe"
And of course I am.
Why, I don't believe any of it — not the bloody body, not the bloody mind, not even the bloody Universe, or is it bloody multiverse.
"It's all illusion," I say.   "Don't you know, my lad, my lassie.   The game!   The game, me girl, me boy!   Takes on interest, don't you know.   T'is me sport, till doest find a better!"
Pssssst — but all this stuff is happening down here
Let's change it!
To say hello:     hello[the at marker]
For Kewe's spiritual and metaphysical pages — click here
Kewe archivesHouse of Saud and Bush  AfghanistanNews you might have