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Wednesday, May 14

Hotel Palestine was a US Target

Amy Goodman of Democracy Now interviewed Adrienne Kinne, a f0rmer Army sergeant in military intelligence, about the anniversary of the US shelling of the Palestine Hotel in Baghdad and more about Shock and Awe. To be honest with you, I'm a bit shocked and awed after listening to the show and then reading the transcript at Democracy Now! This IS information we should know about. Oh and they're listening to journalists. Fat chance you'll ever get real news from anyone in Iraq.

Here are a couple of parts of the interview, but I think you ought to read the whole thing. I don't like being outraged alone you know.
AMY GOODMAN: The Pentagon has defended the attack on the Palestine Hotel, calling the killings accidental. The soldiers involved claim they were targeting insurgents who had fired rocket-propelled grenades.

But several holes have emerged in the US account. The Palestine Hotel was a well-known place for journalists covering the Iraq war. The US tanks were at too far a distance to be hit by rocket-propelled grenades from the hotel. Witnesses reported hearing almost no gunfire from the area around the hotel in the hours leading up to the US attack. And earlier that day, two other media outlets had also been hit by US strikes: the Abu Dhabi television network, and the satellite network Al Jazeera, killing correspondent Tareq Ayoub.

In a few moments, I’ll be joined by an Iraq war veteran who says she has new information that could point to a deliberate US attack on the Palestine Hotel.
ADRIENNE KINNE: ... I never talked about my experiences with my friends or family. But there were certain things that happened over the course of our mobilization that struck me as being very wrong, and I remember them very specifically.
One of the instances was the fact that we were listening to journalists who were staying in the Palestine Hotel. And I remember that, specifically because during the buildup to Shock and Awe, which people in my unit were really disturbingly excited about, we were given a list of potential targets in Baghdad, and the Palestine Hotel was listed as a potential target...
ADRIENNE KINNE: ...During that one conversation between a British aid worker and the American aid worker that I was talking about previously, the British aid worker basically told the American, “Be careful what you say, because the Americans are listening to us.” And they weren’t talking about anything that would have warranted their concern. There was—it was just kind of mundane office goings-on. And so, the American actually responded and said, “They can’t listen to me. I’m an American citizen. I’m protected by USSID 18.” And USSID 18 is basically a directive which is given out to military intelligence which bars the collection on American citizens, to include allies of other countries who we’ve signed binding agreements with. And when I heard that transmission and that conversation, I—kind of it caused me to raise my eyebrow, because here we were, we were listening to Americans, and we were collecting on them.
ADRIENNE KINNE: ... During the course of our mobilization—I think it might have been right after Shock and Awe—we received a fax. It was a multi-page fax, which, as we began to translate it, we realized that it basically laid out the location of all of the weapons of mass destruction in Iraq... I started thinking about the source of the fax and realizing that just because something is transmitted on a piece of paper does not mean it’s true. And when I basically shared my concern to our officer in charge, again I was told that “your job is to collect, you are not an analyst,” that other people will analyze the information. “You just collect and pass on, collect and pass on.” And that was always the guidance we were given.

Shortly after I was demobilized, I was reading a news magazine, and I saw a little blurb where it is said that the—we newly discovered that the Iraqi National Congress was actually feeding us misinformation. And I immediately, when I read that, thought to that fax and that critic report and really wondered to what level that intercept had been used to further justify the invasion of Iraq. And doing research about the Iraqi National Congress since then, I found out that senior military advisers and analysts were actually trying to make the case since December of 2002, or previously, that the Iraqi National Congress was not reliable and was not a reliable source of information.

I guess the rest is history.

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