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Monday, July 28, 2008


From Oakland to Baghdad, the killing (and the lying) continue

In today's news:

From Baghdad:

The U.S. military said an investigation into an incident in which American troops killed three Iraqis near Baghdad airport last month showed the victims were not criminals but innocent civilians.

In a statement released at the time of the June 25 incident, the military said troops fired at a car near the airport after coming under attack. It called the three people inside the vehicle "criminals," adding a weapon had been found in the car.

"A thorough investigation determined that the driver and passengers were law abiding citizens of Iraq," the military said in a statement released late on Sunday.

No weapon was found in the vehicle, it added.
Note that carefully. No weapon was found, but the military had previously released a statement not only claiming that a weapon had been found, but that the troops had "come under attack." A complete and utter fabrication. But despite those facts, here's the conclusion:
The statement also said troops involved in the incident were not at fault.
Really? Who was at fault? The Iraqis for...living in Iraq? Shades of "she deserved to be raped because she was dressed provocatively, therefore the rapist wasn't at fault."

Well, on the one hand, it's true the soldiers who did the shooting weren't the only ones at fault, or perhaps even the main ones. It's the Administration and Congress who sent them there in the first place who bear ultimate responsibility. The invasion is the original sin, the original crime from which all others flow.

Then on the other side of the world, in Oakland, more killing, more official lying:

An attorney representing the family of a man killed by Oakland police said Sunday he will seek criminal charges, including homicide, against the officer who fired the shots.

Oakland attorney John Burris said the police shooting of Mack "Jody" Woodfox after a traffic stop Friday was an illegal use of deadly force. Burris said it was Officer Hector Jimenez's second fatal shooting in seven months after he shot and killed another suspect on Dec. 31, 2007 [and the fifth in Oakland this year].

Woodfox "was unarmed, police had no indication a serious crime had been committed, and he posed no immediate bodily danger to anybody," Burris said. "We have interviewed (four) witnesses to the shooting and all evidence clearly indicates the officer wrongfully, deliberately and egregiously killed him."
Do I even need to mention the official lie in this case? All together now: "He was reaching for a gun." Unfortunately for the police, just as in Baghdad, there was no gun. Not in the hands of the victim, anyway. Just in the hands of someone drunk with power who had been taught to consider the victim as less than human.

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