How Rape and Murder In Iraq Led to Curtailment of American Liberties

On a warm early morning near Baghdad in May 2007, fifteen Iraqi insurgents surprised two four-man humvee crews of American soldiers. Five of the Americans were killed. Three were captured. As a result of the captures, the Bush Administration and the U.S. National Security Agency sought for and received drastic strengthening of surveillance powers. Ironically, the attacks on the Americans were only in direct retaliation for a brutal rape and several grizzly murders committed by other Americans a few months prior. To add insult to the irony, the draconian new powers requested by the Executive Branch were not needed to find the missing soldiers, and they were granted after the bodies of the three missing soldiers were found.

Private Steven D. Green was granted a "moral waiver" to join the U.S. Army. In 2006 he deployed to Iraq, "because I wanted to kill people." Green worked with his squad members at a checkpoint in Mahmudiyah,

The worst part about the Global War on Terror is that, more and more, you are being treated like a terrorist.

near a farmhouse where a beautiful young Iraqi girl, Abeer Qasim Hazma al-Janabi, lived with her family. In lust over her beauty, Green and his squad mates concocted a plan wherein they murdered Abeer's father, mother, and sister in the farmhouse, then took turns violating Abeer until they had satisfied their filthy carnality. Before heading back to the checkpoint, Green put a bullet in Abeer's head as well.

Green's army chain of command attempted to cover up the incident, further inflaming the hatred of Americans by the local Iraqi populace. Sensing no satisfaction after a year for the vulgar crimes, fifteen Iraqi men, many of whom had never before engaged in insurgency against Coalition forces, attacked another group of unsuspecting and probably sleeping American soldiers at an observation post along a road nearby where the rape and murders had occurred, killing five and capturing three.

Immediately on learning of the three missing soldiers,

The pattern has a now familiar ring to it. The United States gets itself neck deep in abysmal foreign policy, and then when something bad happens, our representatives give themselves greater powers, on the pretext of fighting the terrorism that they incited, over you.

the Bush Administration and the NSA jumped into action. Avoiding mention of the of the clear link of the rape and murders the prior year with the insurgent attack and the missing soldiers, the NSA claimed only that it could not help find the captured men if it could not listen in on communications in the Mahmudiyah area.

In his sales pitch to Congress for all-out warrantless wiretapping, NSA chief Mike McConnell warned that, unless U.S. surveillance abilities were strengthened, more "Americans are going to die." Republicans in Congress added fuel to the passion by claiming that the U.S. had had to "abandon our soldiers because of the law".

Interestingly, in an apparent attempt to use the captured soldiers to the Bush administration's advantage, the NSA waited three days after the captures in Mahmudiyah to file paperwork that would already, under existing FISA law, have allowed them to surveill communication traffic in that region.

The strategy worked. Congress enacted draconian new eavesdropping powers, including the ability of the NSA to listen in without a warrant on Americans communicating overseas, and turning responsibilities that once belonged to the FISA court over to the Attorney General's office.

Since then, it's gotten even worse.

That's how the rape and murders that occurred in Mahmudiyah, Iraq--a place we should never have been in the first place--resulted in the loss of your liberties. How's that for a shell game?

The main selling point to Congress for the increase in these surveillance powers turned out to be a ruse. Writes James Bamford, in his book The Shadow Factory:
Ironically...the changes in FISA...had nothing to do with the search for the missing soldiers. The kidnapping took place on May 12 and the new interpretation of the law didn't go into effect until June 1.
It turns out the U.S. Military not only didn't need the NSA's help, but that NSA's initial (illegal) lead turned out to be incorrect. Bamford says:
...according to Colonel Michael Kershaw, one of the regional commanders in Iraq who helped lead the search, the key suspect involved in the initial target of the NSA's search, Abu Rus, was quickly captured, and it turned out that he had nothing to do with the kidnapping.

The Shadow Factory: The Ultra-Secret NSA from 9/11 to the Eavesdropping on America, pp. 294-303
The pattern has a now familiar ring to it. The United States gets itself neck deep in abysmal foreign policy, and then when something bad happens, our representatives give themselves greater powers, on the pretext of fighting the terrorism that they incited, over you.

The worst part about the Global War on Terror is that, more and more, you are being treated like a terrorist.

P.S. Senator and President-elect Barack Obama voted twice to strengthen U.S. surveillance powers and curtail your liberties--once after the the Mahmudiyah captures and once again in spring 2008.




Comments

  1. I feel safer already...not.

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  2. "Grizzly" murders? Paging Stephen Colbert...

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  3. On a more appropriate serious note, I fail to see how FISA applies to NSA or any government surveillance outside the USA-- unless they were proposing to eavesdrop on the communications of U.S. citizens living in this country.

    In that case, the law allowed immediate surveillance to be initiated while a FISA warrant was applied for.

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  4. A shell game - that's exactly what this is.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Why waste taxpayer money on Steven D. Green, they should have let the Iraq's have him, they would have taken care of his crimbs. And we would not have had to pay for his food, shelter, which in Prison here in America. And it would have done much to assure the Iraq's that American is fair and does not allow, Rape/Murder by it's soldiers.

    ReplyDelete

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