Saturday, May 05, 2007

U.S. Military Betrays Humanitarian Lt. Colonel Steele

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It is not Lt. Colonel William Steele who is a traitor. It is the U.S. Military. The U.S. Military has betrayed Lt. Colonel Steele.

Lt. Colonel Steele is being Set Up. The Preliminary Investigation is over. A judge will decide on Tuesday if Lt. Colonel William Steele should be tried for Aiding the Enemy and then possibly given a death sentence (for letting child prisoners call their parents with his cell phone to let them know they had been arrested)…Read on…..

The charges if read carefully really amount to this:
1). He let some children who were arrested by the occupation forces and who were being detained and imprisoned at Camp Cropper use his cell phone to call their parents to tell them where they were. He did not monitor the children's phone call.

Under questioning from the defense, Nocella said he did not record his initial conversation with Steele and that the only people Steele identified as having used his cell phone were three juvenile detainees. Nocella said as far as he knew, the juveniles phoned their families.

2). He had a number of CD's in his office. Some apparently contained classified information. They were not all labeled.

Another witness, Special Agent Thomas Barnes, said Steele was found with "extremely sensitive" classified information regarding the Army's mission in Iraq.

"I was shocked by the classified material we found" during a U.S. military search of the defendant's living quarters in Iraq, Barnes said. "I'd never seen that amount of classified material not properly stored, not properly labeled and not properly protected."

3). He sympathized with the plight of the detainees, many of whom were in fact children separated from their parents.

He testified Steele empathized with high-value detainees, including Hussein and other key figures from his regime.

"Did he tell you he was a humanitarian and he felt compelled to make their lives better?" asked prosecutor Capt. Michael Rizzotti.

"Yes, he did," Nocella replied.

4). There is no allegation that he had sex with any Iraqi. Only that his relationship with a female related to a detainee and a translator was "improper". He allegedly gave one or both a gift…. Was it a Norah Jones or Motor Head CD?

5). Detainees and The Red Cross upon examination of Camp Cropper had positive comments about Lt. Colonel Steele.

Earlier, Army Maj. Gen. John D. Gardner, who was deputy commanding general for detainee operations when Steele oversaw Camp Cropper, said that based on what he knew at the time, Steele's performance was worthy of a top job evaluation. Gardner told Capt. Yolanda McCray, one of the defense attorneys, that Steele received "positive comments" from detainees as well as from Red Cross officials who came to Camp Cropper to check detainee conditions.

He is also accused of giving Sadaam Hussein some Cuban Cigars.

Not mentioned in almost all American news articles is the fact that Sadaam Hussein was being given Cuban Cigars before Steele came to Camp Cropper and after Steele left Camp Cropper to go to a new assignment at Camp Victory. I found this only in the LA Times. Also there is almost no mention that the Cell phone use by detainees was for children to call their parents. So the impression given by the disgusting American press is something different from what actually occurred. Even left wing blogs are poking fun at Steele, assuming that he is guilty.

The real story behind this may be that of Vance and Ertel. Two American men who were arrested by the U.S. Military for aiding the enemy and brought to Camp Cropper where they were held for months. Lt. Steele worked at Camp Cropper during this time. Vance and Ertel both worked for an Iraqi Security Company called Shield Security. (Is this one of the companies that Seymour Hersh alleges to have been selling arms to Sunni Insurgents with U.S. military approval?) One of the men Vance blew the whistle on Shield Securtiy and worked for the FBI upon their request after he informed them Shield Security was receiving weapons from the U.S. Military personnel in exchange for alchohol. The FBI was investigating the heavily funded (U.S. tax dollars) Shield Security and by implication, the U.S military. The U.S. military may not have liked being investigated.

In a lawsuit now pending against former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld and "other unidentified agents," Vance and Ertel both accuse their US government captors of subjecting them to psychological torture day and night. Lights were kept on in their cell around the clock. They endured solitary confinement. They had only thin plastic mattresses on concrete for sleeping. Meals were of powdered milk and bread or rice and chicken, but interrupted by selective deprivation of food and water. Ceaseless heavy metal and country music screamed in their ears for hours on end, their legal complaint alleges.

They lived through "conditions of confinement and interrogation tantamount to torture," says the lawsuit filed in northern Illinois US District Court. "There interrogators utilized the types of physically and mentally coercive tactics that are supposedly reserved for terrorists and so-called enemy combatants."

One company employee (Of Shield Security) regularly bartered of alcohol with US military personnel in exchange for ammunition they delivered, Vance said.

"He called it the bullets for beer program," Vance claimed while relating the incident during an interview this week at a cigar bar just walking distance from the White House.

But his interrogators at Camp Cropper weren't impressed. Instead, his jailers insisted that Vance and Ertel had been detained and imprisoned because the two worked for Shield Group Security where large caches of weapons have been found -- weapons that may have been intended for the possible distribution to insurgents and terrorist groups, Vance said.

  It appears the Pentagon did not like the FBI snooping on its turf. _THE TWO MEN MET WITH STEELE BEFORE THEY WERE RELEASED. So it is possible to speculate that Lt. Colonel Steele may have given them information or statements (either intentionally or unintentionally) which could be used in their suit against Rumsfeld.

But darker allegations also are included in the complaint over false imprisonment. By working with the FBI, Vance contends that U.S. government officials in Iraq decided to retaliate against him and Ertel. These officials conspired to jail the two not because they worked for a suspicious security company they suspected of selling weapons to insurgents, but because they were sharing information with law enforcement agents outside the control of US officials in Baghdad.

"In other words," claims the lawsuit, "United States officials in Iraq were concerned and wanted to find out about what intelligence agents in the United States knew about their territory and their operations. The unconstitutional policies that Rumsfeld and other Unidentified Agents had implemented for `enemies' provided ample cover to detain Plaintiffs and interrogate them toward that end." It may take some time to sort out the allegations as the legal process grinds forward, but, in the meantime, Vance is raising new questions about his detention. He still wonders why his jailers didn't just call the FBI and have him cleared. They had access to his computer and cell phone to determine if his claims were true. "When I told them to do that, they just got angry and told me to stop answering questions I wasn't being asked," Vance said.

It seems clear that in a war that is in itself illegal and in which rapes and mass murder of innocent civilians are covered up regularly that these allegations are a smokescreen. Lt. Colonel Steele will make a plea deal whereby in exchange for having no charges brought against him he will make a statement that will nullify whatever actions or statements he has made in the past. He will be neutralized. He will be unable to speak or testify. He's being pressured.

I predict a plea deal, a reprimand and no charges against him.

Unless of course, Lt. Colonel Steele is an unsually, perhaps unreasonalby,  principled person. Then he will go to trial.

In an era when no one is speaking out against the madness, this seems unlikely.


Vance and Ertel


RoseCovered Glasses said...

Your post has some excellent points. I am a 2 tour Vietnam Veteran who recently retired after 36 years of working in the Defense Industrial Complex on many of the weapons systems being used by our forces as we speak. Here's some additional data:

The U.S. Department of Defense, headquartered in the Pentagon, is one of the most massive organizations on the planet, with net annual operating costs of $635 billion, assets worth $1.3 trillion, liabilities of $1.9 trillion and more that 2.9 million military and civilian personnel as of fiscal year 2005.

It is difficult to convey the complexity of the way DOD works to someone who has not experienced it. This is a massive machine with so many departments and so much beaurocracy that no president, including Bush totally understands it.

Presidents, Congressmen, Cabinet Members and Appointees project a knowledgeable demeanor but they are spouting what they are told by career people who never go away and who train their replacements carefully. These are military and civil servants with enormous collective power, armed with the Federal Acquisition Regulation, Defense Industrial Security Manuals, compartmentalized classification structures and "Rice Bowls" which are never mixed.

Our society has slowly given this power structure its momentum which is constant and extraordinarily tough to bend. The cost to the average American is exhorbitant in terms of real dollars and bad decisions. Every major power structure member in the Pentagon's many Washington Offices and Field locations in the US and Overseas has a counterpart in Defense Industry Corporate America. That collective body has undergone major consolidation in the last 10 years.

What used to be a broad base of competitive firms is now a few huge monoliths, such as Lockheed Martin, General Dynamics, Northrop Grumman, Raytheon and Boeing and SAIC. If you would like to read how they control our government, please see:

Government oversight committees are carefully stroked. Sam Nunn and others who were around for years in military and policy oversight roles have been cajoled, given into on occasion but kept in the dark about the real status of things until it is too late to do anything but what the establishment wants. This still continues - with increasing high technology and potential for abuse.

Please examine the following link to testimony given by Franklin C. Spinney before Congress in 2002. It provides very specific information from a whistle blower who is still blowing his whistle (Look him up in your browser and you get lots of feedback) Frank spent the same amount of time as I did in the Military Industrial Complex (MIC) but in government quarters. His job in government was a similar role to mine in defense companies. Frank's emphasis in this testimony is on the money the machine costs us. It is compelling and it is noteworthy that he was still a staff analyst at the Pentagon when he gave this speech. I still can't figure out how he got his superior's permission to say such blunt things. He was extremely highly respected and is now retired.

The brick wall I often refer to is the Pentagon's own arrogance. It will implode by it's own volition, go broke, or so drastically let down the American people that it will fall in shambles. Rest assured the day of the implosion is coming. The machine is out of control.

If you are interested in a view of the inside of the Pentagon procurement process from Vietnam to Iraq please check the posting on this blog entitled, "Odyssey of Armaments"

On the same subject, you may also be interested in the following sites from the "Project On Government Oversight", observing it's 25th Anniversary and from "Defense In the National Interest", inspired by Franklin Spinney and contributed to by active/reserve, former, or retired military personnel.

Stu Piddy said...

Thank you...I will especially be interested in the Odyssey of Armaments