Despite the highly successful corporate media blackout, news pertaining to war atrocities (and their cover-ups) committed by U.S. forces overseas continue to trickle out. The military/intelligence propagandists, even with their dutiful “mighty wurlitzer” media minions, have had a string of embarrassing public relations disasters since the War of Terror™ began in 2001 (most notably the Abu Ghraib prison abuse photos fiasco).
Recent reports portray a far more horrific scene than what has been previously reported about Abu Ghraib. These newly revealed atrocities include brutal systemic rapes of women and girls by U.S. soldiers. Many of these women left the the prison pregnant, while others were honor killed by their families due to the shame. According to journalist Seymour Hersh, the U.S. government has videotape of underage boys being sodomized. These reports point to the real reason why the Obama administration is blocking the release of the remaining Abu Ghraib photos (despite Obama’s campaign promise to make his administration the “most open and transparent in history”).
There have been other pathetic attempts by the military/intelligence/corporate-controlled media to protect the rubes who “can’t handle the truth.” The Pat Tillman political assassination was a particularly egregious example, as was the botched conspiracy to conceal the crime from Tillman’s family and the American public. The completely fabricated tale surrounding Jessica “little girl Rambo” Lynch’s battlefield heroism was another miserable attempt at perception management (otherwise known as disinformation).
One especially disturbing example of the war pigs’ propaganda chicanery has crept back into the alternative news headlines. Spc. Alyssa Peterson, an Arabic-speaking interrogator, committed suicide (supposedly) in Tal Afar, Iraq in 2003 soon after objecting to the torture methods that were being used on prisoners (her story can be read here and is the source for the below quotes). According to Flagstaff public radio station, KNAU:
“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.”
The “official” probe of her death revealed that Spc. Alyssa Peterson had a severe character defect, she had compassion for her fellow human beings. Her mother, Bobbi, claims that she always stuck up for “the underdog”. According to Peterson’s brother, “she was extremely sensitive and empathetic to others, and cared a lot more about the welfare and well-being of the people around her than she cared about herself.” From the “official” military probe:
She had been ‘reprimanded’ for showing ’empathy’ for the prisoners. One of the most moving parts of the report, in fact, is this: ‘She said that she did not know how to be two people; she… could not be one person in the cage and another outside the wire.’
After refusing to be a party to blatant Geneva Convention violations, Peterson was reassigned to the base gate to monitor Iraqi guards. Ironically, she was also placed in suicide prevention training (the military has trouble with those pesky Muslims trying to take their own lives after the repeated torture, sexual abuse, and humiliation doled out by their heroic democracy-building captors).
The military, out of necessity, must be populated with large numbers of psychopaths who will obey any order (lawful or otherwise). When your primary goals are to kill people, blow things up, and torture and rape brown people, individuals displaying empathy for their fellow Earthly inhabitants cannot be tolerated. Peterson, unable to adopt the military’s psychopath game rules due to her “empathy defect”, received a bullet in her head from her service rifle.
Like Pat Tillman’s family, Peterson’s parents were also given the standard hush-hush treatment relating to the events surrounding her death. “Spc. Peterson’s mother said that neither she nor her husband Richard had received any official documents that contained information outlined in reports” obtained by a KNAU journalist. “In other words: Like the press and the public, even the parents had been kept in the dark”.
Kayla Williams, an Army sergeant and Signals intelligence (SIGINT) operations specialist who served with Alyssa, talked to her about her problems shortly before she killed herself. Williams, like Alyssa, was an Arabic linguist/interpreter who was forced to take part in torture interrogations. While doing so, she saw detainees being punched and sexually humiliated. She wrote the book below detailing her experiences as a soldier in Iraq.
Here is what Kayla Williams told Soledad O’Brien on CNN:
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.
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…