"WHEN THEY TOLD ME THAT I COULDN'T MAKE MONEY OFF EXPLOITING UNDERAGE GIRLS," SHE SAYS, "I DIDN'T LISTEN AND LOOK HOW MUCH MONEY I MADE. WHEN THEY TOLD ME THAT I COULDN'T GET AWAY WITH IT? WELL FOR DECADES I DID JUST THAT. BLACKMAIL AND EXTORTION NEVER FAILED ME BEFORE."
TOLD THAT SHE DIDN'T MAKE FOR A SYMPATHETIC PERSON, MAXWELL DEAD-PANNED, "SO I SHOULD WHAT? TOSS A FEW QUARTERS INTO A JAR FOR CHILDREN'S MIRACLE NETWORK?''
Somehow this news is not being reported in the west. A lot isn't. You've got pretend outrage over pardons by Donald Trump that people try to pass off as Iraq coverage. It's not. It's a lot of junk and a lot of garbage. Nothing will change the pardons. And at least they served some time. The people -- US military -- that attacked the REUTERS journalists and the family -- exposed in the WIKILEAKS video -- served no time. The US military that attacked journalists on April 8, 2003 resulted in no prison sentences. They fired on the Palestine Hotel in Baghdad, they fired on ALJAZEERA's Baghdad office and they fired on ABU DHABI's Baghdad office. These are War Crimes. Three people were killed, four more seriously injured.
Why the Trump pardons? Why are they cluttering up the media landscape?
A) It's Donald Trump. B) It's easy coverage. No one has to learn anything to cover a story reported over a decade ago. C) It's so damn easy.
They call out the mercenaries and they feel good about themselves. They're too impotent to call out War Crimes. They hide behind 'patriotism.' So they go to town on these mercenaries and get to feel good about themselves because they 'support' veterans. They do grasp that most mercenaries -- in any war -- are veterans, right? Oh, they didn't think about that, did they? Aren't they all, the pardoned, former US Marines? Oh, let's ignore that, right?
Blackwater's actions in Iraq are appalling. Many of us found the actions appalling in real time -- which means long before that Bahgdad drive-by. Many of us called them out long before that. Anyone want to explain how standard operating behavior -- which is what that drive-by was -- results in the demonization of the worker drones but not the head of the company Erik Prince?
I'm really tired of all the garbage that wants to pretend that the drive-by was some shocking event when, sadly, it was your average day in Iraq thanks to the US government.
Not hearing anything about the US arming and egging on death squads but then that might require a backbone and a sense of ethics and those still whining over the Trump pardons lack both. From March 6, 2013, Mona Mahmood, Maggie O'Kane, Chavala Madlena, Teresa Smith, Ben Ferguson, Patrick Farrelly, Guy Grandjean, Josh Strauss, Roisin Glynn, Irene Baqué, Marcus Morgan, Jake Zervudachi and Joshua Boswell (GUARDIAN) reported:
Retired Colonel Jim Steele, whose military decorations include the Silver Star, the Defence Distinguished Service Medal, four Legions of Merit, three Bronze Stars and the Purple Heart, is not at home. Nor is he at his office headquarters in Geneva, where he is listed as the chief executive officer of Buchanan Renewables, an energy company. Similar efforts to track him down at his company's office in Monrovia are futile. Messages are left. He doesn't call back.
For over a year the Guardian has been trying to contact Steele, 68, to ask him about his role during the Iraq war as US defence secretary Donald Rumsfeld's personal envoy to Iraq's Special Police Commandos: a fearsome paramilitary force that ran a secret network of detention centres across the country – where those suspected of rebelling against the US-led invasion were tortured for information.
On the 10th anniversary of the Iraq invasion the allegations of American links to the units that eventually accelerated Iraq's descent into civil war cast the US occupation in a new and even more controversial light. The investigation was sparked over a year ago by millions of classified US military documents dumped onto the internet and their mysterious references to US soldiers ordered to ignore torture. Private Bradley Manning, 25, is facing a 20-year sentence, accused of leaking military secrets.
Steele's contribution was pivotal. He was the covert US figure behind the intelligence gathering of the new commando units. The aim: to halt a nascent Sunni insurgency in its tracks by extracting information from detainees.
It was a role made for Steele. The veteran had made his name in El Salvador almost 20 years earlier as head of a US group of special forces advisers who were training and funding the Salvadoran military to fight the FNLM guerrilla insurgency. These government units developed a fearsome international reputation for their death squad activities. Steele's own biography describes his work there as the "training of the best counterinsurgency force" in El Salvador.
Of his El Salvador experience in 1986, Steele told Dr Max Manwaring, the author of El Salvador at War: An Oral History: "When I arrived here there was a tendency to focus on technical indicators … but in an insurgency the focus has to be on human aspects. That means getting people to talk to you."
But the arming of one side of the conflict by the US hastened the country's descent into a civil war in which 75,000 people died and 1 million out of a population of 6 million became refugees.
Celerino Castillo, a Senior Drug Enforcement Administration special agent who worked alongside Steele in El Salvador, says: "I first heard about Colonel James Steele going to Iraq and I said they're going to implement what is known as the Salvadoran Option in Iraq and that's exactly what happened. And I was devastated because I knew the atrocities that were going to occur in Iraq which we knew had occurred in El Salvador."
It was in El Salvador that Steele first came in to close contact with the man who would eventually command US operations in Iraq: David Petraeus. Then a young major, Petraeus visited El Salvador in 1986 and reportedly even stayed with Steele at his house.
I'm sorry, COMMON DREAMS, COURAGE TO RESIST and all the rest of you cowards, when are you going to call for Jim Steele to be held accountable? Oh, that's right, never.
But you know what you accomplish as you cower in fear, you pathetic idiots? Not a damn thing except to help Jim Steele. He's terrorized multiple countries and he hasn't gone into hiding. No, he hasn't gone into hiding. What he's done instead, thanks to the useless like yourselves, is to set up his own security company -- in the US, no less. It's called Steele -- that's the company name and it boasts of it's "real world training" with active shooters. Yeah, he's terrorizing now in the US just like he did overseas but, hey, Gerry Condon, keep pretending your life hasn't been a complete waste.
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