Too Many things the Military aren’t Telling Us

Page by page the horrors of Iraq, Afghanistan and other such places are coming to light. Not just the Americans, but the British and Australians as well, in fact, almost everybody has dirty laundry just waiting to be washed in public, because that’s where it needs to be washed.

That’s the reason everybody is so angry with Wikileaks, it was washing their dirty laundry where all could see.

This time, The Guardian newspaper brings another pile of dirty laundry to wash.

RAF helicopter death revelation leads to secret Iraq detention camp

Death in RAF helicopter and secret prison camp in Iraq desert raises questions about legality of British and US operations

An RAF helicopter in Iraq. Photograph: Matt Cardy/Getty Images

On the evening of 11 April 2003, a pair of RAF CH47 Chinook helicopters swept over Iraq‘s western desert towards a remote rendezvous point beside Route 10, the highway that begins life on the outskirts of Baghdad before running for mile after mile towards the border with Jordan.

As they approached their destination, the crews assumed they were on an operation that would be uneventful. Two days earlier Saddam Hussein’s statue had been toppled after American tanks rolled into the Iraqi capital; three weeks later George Bush would stand in front of a banner saying “mission accomplished”.

The helicopter crews had been told that a number of detainees were under armed guard at the side of the highway. They were to pick them up after dark and take them to a prison camp. What followed was far from routine: before the night was out, one man had died on board one of the helicopters, allegedly beaten to death by RAF personnel.

The incident was immediately shrouded in secrecy. When the Guardian heard about it and began to ask questions, the Ministry of Defence responded with an extraordinary degree of obstruction and obfuscation, evading questions not just for days but for weeks and months. The RAF’s own police examined the death in an investigation codenamed Operation Raker, but this ended with some of the most salient facts remaining deeply buried. The alleged culprits faced no charges.

Asked where the men were being taken, the MoD had initially indicated that they were en route to a prisoner of war camp, one inspected regularly by the Red Cross.

Later it became clear that this was not correct: they were being transported to an altogether more secret location. The truth about the mission raises some searching questions about the legality of some of the British forces’ operations carried out in close co-operation with US allies.

One of the first hints that something untoward had happened aboard one of the RAF Chinooks came six years later when Lieutenant Colonel Nicholas Mercer was giving evidence at the public inquiry into the death of Baha Mousa, the hotel receptionist tortured to death by British troops in September that year.

Source: The Guardian Read more

Opinion:

This is a plain example of the complicity of the British and Australians involved in illegal captures, taking and transporting prisoners in Iraq. It is another example of the dirty side of operations that has been hidden from public view.

The story indicates that more than a few sphincters were quivering nervously if this information got out and was made known.

Mysterious deaths, illegal transport, questions never answered or the answers inexplicably delayed, secret prisons, black sites, passing the buck, lies and complicity.

The horrors that the military forces are perpetrating on these countries and people are beyond belief. It’s just plain scary.

How much more is there to know, how much more has been buried with the hopes that it will never surface, how much more are we to learn about the suffering of these people at the hands of the military; and these military are supposed to be the ‘good guys’! If these are the good guys, I sure hate to meet the bad ones.

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