A Guardian (newspaper)/BBC Arabic documentary film is opening this week in 14 European countries, marking the 10th anniversary of the US Iraqi invasion and overthrow of Saddam Hussein. No big American media company has taken an option to show the film here.
“Searching for Steele” documents the US role in setting up death squads and carrying out torture in Iraq. In general, Shiites were trained to torture and kill Sunnis, culminating in 3000 bodies a month being dumped on the streets. This has left a great deal of ill-will between Shiite and Sunni groups.
Responsibility is traced through Col. James Coughman to James Steel and David Petreus. Documentary evidence of government cables to Donald Rumsfeld describing the creation of death and torture squads is contrasted to Mr. Rumsfeld’s dismissal of a reporter’s questions in public.
You can get a general idea of the documentary from the companion newspaper article:
“Revealed: Pentagon’s link to Iraqi torture centres –Exclusive: General David Petraeus and [another] ‘dirty wars’ veteran [James Steele, are] behind commando units implicated in detainee abuse
The 51 minute film is here:
“A 15-month investigation by the Guardian and BBC Arabic reveals how retired US colonel James Steele, a veteran of American proxy wars in El Salvador and Nicaragua, played a key role in training and overseeing US-funded special police commandos who ran a network of torture centres in Iraq. Another special forces veteran, Colonel James Coffman, worked with Steele and reported directly to General David Petraeus, who had been sent into Iraq to organise the Iraqi security services.”
This film gives new meaning to “training Iraqi/Afghanistan/Country-X forces to take over their own security”.
Here are edited-down highlights that may cut too fast to tell the story: (5 min)
Both videos begin with ads.
The investigative reporting was launched by the low-level operational reports released by Bradley Manning and Wikileaks.
The 391,832 “SIGACTs”, or soldier’s “Significant Action” reports upon returning to base were released on 22 October 2010 and are databased and available for easy searching at http://wikileaks.org/irq/
Contributions to Wikileaks to run these servers and resources can be made through the newly-launched Freedom of the Press Foundation https://pressfreedomfoundation.org/
Bradley Manning himself read a 70 page statement of why he made this disclosure of SIGACTs, cables, and the Collateral Murder video, but the government refused to release it to the public. The government also refused to permit media coverage of the trial. When a secret recording of the trial was smuggled out of the hearings, many members of the Freedom of the Press Foundation contributed to the production of this short documentary film, using the Bradley Manning recording for voice-over:
Did you hear Bradley Manning’s statement?
Did you see the film showing in 14 countries across Europe?
COLLATERAL MURDER – released 5April2010
A year later, how many times have some world-leading newspapers mention the phrase “Collateral Murder”?
(as of March 2011)
www.hindustan.times (Mumbai) “collateral murder” 2,830 times mentioned
circulation 3.9M 2012
site:www.elpais.com (Madrid) “Collateral Murder” 574 times
site:www.nytimes.com “Collateral Murder” 17 times
circulation nearly 1M
site:online.wsj.com (Wall St. Jl) “Collateral Murder” 9 times
“Mr. Assange’s real mission is revealed by the
deceptively edited video he released … “ti
Your search – site:www.washingtonpost.com
“Collateral Murder” – did not match any documents.
(A policy to call the film something else was enforced editorially, without exception.)
Number of views of “Collateral Murder” movie on Sunshine Press site, March 2011: 11,136,467
With kind regards,
To download the whole film: http://www.journeyman.tv/65026/documentaries/searching-for-steele-hd.html