Friday, March 21, 2008

What are IVAW and Dahr Jamail Hiding?

On March 12, the day before the Iraq Veterans Against the War launched their Winter Soldier Investigation (WSI) I posted IVAW: Time To Put Up – Or Retract.

At this point, they have not put up! I have just gone through the entire listing of Winter Soldier testifiers and that list is very notable for who is not there!

The people of this country and also those abroad, owing to the far reaching efforts of Jesse MacBeth's former de facto publicity agent, Dahr Jamail, are owed an explanation by both the IVAW and Jamail.

Speaking with a half dozen IVAW members identified by name in one of his dispatches ("What Have We done?") in August 2005, Dahr Jamail wrote:
"I type furiously for three hours, trying to keep up with the stories each of the men shared….about the atrocities of what they saw, and committed, while in Iraq."
According to Jamail his site, on which he posts his dispatches, was receiving over one million hits a day well before August 2005. The IVAW members present for those hours of atrocity "testimony" were Abdul Henderson, Alex Ryabov, Camilo Mejia, Harvey Tharp, Michael Hoffman and Charlie Anderson.

Now, with the Winter Soldier testimony having been given - what happened to those atrocity stories???

In that interview Jamail quoted Mejia as saying:
"I tortured guys...and I’m ashamed of that."
Yet Mejia has said otherwise at other times, and didn't make that claim even when it was in his interest to do so. See the previous post on Camilo Mejia.

Jamail quoted Harvey Tharp as saying:
“Most of what we’re talking about is war crimes…war crimes because they are directed by our government for power projection.”
But just last month Tharp was quoted in the Yemen Times as saying he had never personally witnessed any American atrocities in Iraq, but he had come to “know about certain cases”. He also stated he would not be testifying at WSI.

The other four, Abdul Henderson, Alex Ryabov, Michael Hoffman (IVAW co-founder) and Charlie Anderson, as far as I can find, also did not testify! The audios and transcripts have been going up since March 14, a week ago. None of those show up. If they did testify, I will correct that when I read or hear that testimony.

In any event, what happened to the three hours of atrocity stories Dahr Jamail claims to have been told by IVAW members who committed or witnessed them, and that he told the world about? Was someone lying? There was no three hours of first hand accounts of atrocity stories in all of Winter Soldier! For two and a half years the IVAW and Dahr Jamail have led people to believe, without correction, that those six veterans alone could tell hours of American atrocities that they had first hand knowledge of!

The public is owed an explanation. If the answer is that these IVAW members did not testify at WSI about these atrocities they committed or witnessed for fear of getting themselves or others in legal jeopardy, the question then is: why did you then tell them to a supposed journalist, without anonymity?

Smell test grade well below passing.

And of course, as IVAW has been broadcasting its extensive vetting of their members and their stories in preparation for WSI, did the claims by those members maybe not pass that vetting? If so, shouldn't that be made just as public as the claims that these men had enough first hand knowledge of atrocities to keep a journalist typing furiously for hours?

Perhaps Jamail will release, in the interest of full disclosure and journalistic ethics, those things he typed furiously for those three hours.

13 comments:

Dissenting Patriot said...

Denis,

The occupation itself is a war crime.

See my comments and sources here:

http://keohane.blogspot.com/2008/03/ivaws-geoff-millard-uber-narcissist.html

Denis Keohane said...

Saw them already and once was enough.

But thanks.

Dissenting Patriot said...

And...you have no response? Are you going to ignore those inconvenient details?

Denis Keohane said...

"And...you have no response? Are you going to ignore those inconvenient details?"

Yup! Though I don't consider them inconvenient details. More like patent nonsense.

The point here and for quite some time has been narrowly focused on IVAW and WSI, and their claims and charges.

Go figure!

Dissenting Patriot said...

I thought the point was to win the war. How is that going to happen when our government's foreign policy is fundamentally at odds with our nation's founding principles? You're battling a symptom here Denis. IVAW is merely a symptom of a larger problem, and that problem is not Communism. It is a self-contradictory and hypocritical foreign policy which has pitted American troops against the people of another nation for the purpose of geopolitical gain. The occupation fuels the resistance.

As I said, to 'win' as you define it would require us to be brutal, and we are well on our way. The racism directed against the Iraqi people is a prerequisite for this. We must first dehumanize. This should come as no surprise because it is a historical constant. The same thing can be observed in the Israeli occupation of Palestinian territory, the French colonization of Algeria and Vietnam, the U.S. occupation of Vietnam, etc. Exploitation requires dehumanization and brutality. And it engenders the same brutal impulses in its subjects. The most disciplined and well-trained military will eventually break down after prolonged exposure to such a fundamentally corrupted moral environment.

This War on Terror, if nothing else, would make good Joseph Heller material.

Dissenting Patriot said...

You should qualify "patent nonsense". Patent nonsense because you just decided to categorically dismiss it, or because you have some contradictory evidence which I do not? Let's at least be intellectually honest here.

NAMedic said...

DP
"Let's at least be intellectually honest here."

Yeah, right.

The consistent subject of this blog has been the lies and deceptions of IVAW before, at, and after the WS2 event.

If you want to change the subject to your pedantic preachings on world affairs and American foreign policy, you are probably in the wrong place. No one is interested in changing the subject or in pandering to your pretentions.

You should also ask yourself how much honesty you can claim while tethereed to a fraudulent propaganda operation like IVAW. And you accuse people who call you on the deatils of this charade "intellectually dishonest" while you evade all of the questions about credibility raised here.

Dissenting Patriot said...

NAMedic: "If you want to change the subject to your pedantic preachings on world affairs and American foreign policy, you are probably in the wrong place. No one is interested in changing the subject or in pandering to your pretentions."

American foreign policy is at the heart of the matter. As I said, you are attacking a symptom here. Worse, you are attacking a group of people who are attempting to remedy the problem using what means are left available to them after recognizing the demonstrated complicity of their elected representatives in Congress. This government has failed us. It has failed to hold itself accountable, and therefore it is the duty of the American people to denounce it and to demand accountability.

NAMedic: "You should also ask yourself how much honesty you can claim while tethereed to a fraudulent propaganda operation like IVAW. And you accuse people who call you on the deatils of this charade "intellectually dishonest" while you evade all of the questions about credibility raised here."

I haven't evaded anything. I don't have the time or the inside knowledge to address every single accusation or insinuation Mr. Keohane makes here. While he has made a number of valid points, he is also clearly predisposed to seek to discredit IVAW through accusation, insinuation, and innuendo. I would hardly consider that objective.

Talon said...
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Talon said...
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Talon said...

Pardon me - is this Denis Keohane's "Obiter Dictum" or Noam Chomsky's "Sock-Puppet Show"??

Dissenting Patriot said...

It works both ways Talon. Don't think you can get away with talking shit about IVAW in the blogosphere without getting checked when you make baseless insinuations about individuals and the motives of the organization. We're taking notes too. It's alright though, because you keep us sharp.

Regarding your comments on Noam Chomsky, I don't believe I've ever read anything by him. Which brings up an important question. If you automatically dismiss everything you're uncomfortable with as the work of Chomsky et al, how does that make you a credible voice? I don't need to read Noam Chomsky to know that the relationship between our government and the Iraqi government is a coercive and paternalistic one- one that will ultimately retard the social, economic, and political progress of the Iraqi people and that will incite more acts of terrorism against the United States. Historical precedent tells me that.

I think you're in uncharted territory here. You seem to assume that our government makes decisions based on the most altruistic of motives because that's probably what you've been fed since kindergarten, just like the rest of us. The hard truth is that these people have interests just like any one else. The name of the game for the people currently running our executive branch is America uber alles, and if they continue unopposed they will drag us down with them. I say fuck their gospel, because not only is it wrong, its going to hurt us in the long run. It already has. The expansion of empire abroad leads inevitably to the erosion of democracy at home.

Talon said...

It's a free country and an open blogsite, DP. As you well know, the leaders and members of IVAW have always been welcome to contest and debate the contents of this blog, including the information and opinions posted in the Comments sections. As far as the questions and issues surrounding IVAW's credibility and motives are concerned, it has always been sufficient to let the facts and IVAW's record speak for themselves.

As far as the "Chomskyite" sock-puppetry (paradigm and narrative) that you are peddling is concerned, it is what it is - a sophistic soup sandwich on a pseudo-intellectual stick. Pardon you for not making me uncomfortable, but I'm too busy laughing at your demogoguery to pick up a fork.