September 29, 2010 - The Constantine Report    
March 5th 2020 12

Are you using the best credit card when ordering food for delivery?

The key to more success is to have a lot of pillows. Always remember in the jungle there’s a lot of they in there, after you will make it to paradise. Egg whites, turkey sausage, wheat toast, water.

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March 5th 2020 12

Are you using the best credit card when ordering food for delivery?

The key to more success is to have a lot of pillows. Always remember in the jungle there’s a lot of they in there, after you will make it to paradise. Egg whites, turkey sausage, wheat toast, water.

Continue reading
March 5th 2020 12

Are you using the best credit card when ordering food for delivery?

The key to more success is to have a lot of pillows. Always remember in the jungle there’s a lot of they in there, after you will make it to paradise. Egg whites, turkey sausage, wheat toast, water.

Continue reading
March 5th 2020 12

Are you using the best credit card when ordering food for delivery?

The key to more success is to have a lot of pillows. Always remember in the jungle there’s a lot of they in there, after you will make it to paradise. Egg whites, turkey sausage, wheat toast, water.

Continue reading
March 5th 2020 12

Are you using the best credit card when ordering food for delivery?

The key to more success is to have a lot of pillows. Always remember in the jungle there’s a lot of they in there, after you will make it to paradise. Egg whites, turkey sausage, wheat toast, water.

Continue reading
March 5th 2020 12

Are you using the best credit card when ordering food for delivery?

The key to more success is to have a lot of pillows. Always remember in the jungle there’s a lot of they in there, after you will make it to paradise. Egg whites, turkey sausage, wheat toast, water.

Continue reading

The Pentagon’s Pedophile Problem

This is a modified py-6 that occupies the entire horizontal space of its parent.

Among cleared Defense Dept workers, shocking number of child porn suspects

By Alex Salta
Oh My Gov! | Sep 15 2010

UPDATE: In a statement given exclusively to Yahoo! News today, the DCIS says it will review 264 cases of DoD employees downloading child pornography. They will consider criminal prosecutions when appropriate, and will refer all information to the appropriate DoD leadership for further action.  The reopening of this investigation is in direct response to an earlier investigation and story by John Cook of Yahoo! News. 

“I have tasked Defense Criminal Investigative Service representatives with reviewing each and every Project Flicker and related referral DCIS received so as to ensure action was taken regarding these allegations involving employees of the Department of Defense,” Deputy Inspector General for Investigations James Burch said in a statement.

The Department of Defense is no stranger to allegations of cover-ups. Whether it be the true motivation to invade Iraq or the many follies of the Vietnam era, the Pentagon is perhaps the most scrutinized edifice in the entire federal government (well, outside of Hillary’s new haircut). What the Pentagon has not traditionally been seen as, however, is a place where a certain kind of moral depravity (the in-the-bedroom kind) is tolerated.

But a disturbing new report is raising questions about the state of affairs in Northern Virginia that may not be so easily answered.

Last week, Yahoo News reported that “A 2006 Immigration and Customs Enforcement investigation into the purchase of child pornography online turned up more than 250 civilian and military employees of the Defense Department — including some with the highest available security clearance — who used credit cards or PayPal to purchase images of children in sexual situations.”

The story of ICE’s so-called “Project Flicker” was first broken by the Boston Globe in July. What the Globe did not report however, was the DOD’s decision to seemingly sweep an undeniable problem under the proverbial rug.

The Yahoo report, by John Cook of The Upshot blog, went on to allege that the Pentagon’s Defense Criminal Investigative Service (DCIS) chose to investigate only 20% of the individuals outed as potential pedophiles by the ICE investigation. According to ICE’s investigation, 9 of the 264 individuals identified by Project Flicker had achieved “Top Secret Sensitive Compartmentalized Information” clearance, the highest possible security clearance granted by the federal government. Seventy-six of the suspected pedophiles had obtained “Secret” or higher security clearance. Yet, it appears that DCIS investigated only 52 suspects in total, with only 10 ever being formally charged with viewing or purchasing child pornography.

According to Project Flicker documents, provided to The Upshot via a FOIA request, many of the investigations initiated as a result of the report eventually ended with the following summation: “Due to DCIS headquarters’ direction and other DCIS investigative priorities, this investigation is cancelled.” In other words, DCIS had more pressing issues to devote its resources to. A DCIS source told The Upshot that while the information provided via Flicker was “great,” the office simply “didn’t have the resources” to pursue the matter.

DCIS is traditionally tasked with rooting out contractor fraud, no small task when you’re talking about a department as vast as DOD. Yet it still seems difficult to accept that no one could have seen to it to make the truly unsettling findings of ICE’s report a priority.

The findings of Project Flicker are disturbing on a variety of levels. First, the idea that a substantial number of the people entrusted with the protection of the nation harbor a willingness to harm that nation’s most innocent and vulnerable citizens is upsetting enough on its own. Yet when one stops and realizes the fact that at least 76 people who possess some of the most vital national security information in existence had opened themselves up to all manner of extortion or blackmail by someone who happened to stumble across their dirty little secret, this story takes on a whole new dimension of uncomfortable.

Ultimately the Pentagon of Robert Gates, and before him Donald Rumsfeld, will be judged on the outcomes of situations much more pressing to the world than the existence of a few perverts in the ranks of a single department. However, just the fact that such a situation could even be allowed to foment in what should be one of the most tightly controlled environments in all of government raises serious, and perhaps unanswerable, questions.

By David Levy
The Energy Collective | September 8, 2010

We are at a critical juncture, as a backlash appears to be derailing action on climate change. If progressive groups want to address this threat, we need to understand the interests, strategies, and cultural politics at play.

Brian Flannery, chief climate strategist for ExxonMobil, recently circulated his rather depressing report from the UN climate August negotiations in Bonn regarding the future of the Kyoto Protocol. After the failure to reach agreement last December at Copenhagen, the plan was to encourage countries to sign up to the bare-bones Copenhagen Accord and build momentum for a treaty this December in Cancun, Mexico. But according to Flannery, “Governments and the Secretariat have been lowering expectations for a legally binding agreement, or even substantive progress, at CoP 16 in Cancun. Attendees were well aware of setbacks to climate legislation in Australia, Japan and the USA. The Bonn meeting continued to dampen expectations.” Flannery observed that the discussions continue to be deadlocked over fundamental issues, and that the consensus is that “Cancun at most will produce CoP decisions, not a legally binding treaty”. There even seems to have been some backsliding regarding REDD (forests) and the Technology Mechanism, while “the status of CDM going forward may be questionable”.

This news comes at the end of a summer that has seen record temperatures in the Eastern US and Europe, floods in Pakistan, and an iceberg four times the size of Manhattan breaking away from the Petermann ice shelf on Greenland. Global average temperatures in 2010 are on track to be the highest ever, and the Arctic is melting at an unprecedented pace, stirring fears of major shifts in the jet stream and global weather patterns. How can we square the ever-mounting evidence of climate change with national and global policy paralysis?

During the 1990s, it was easy to blame business lobbying and public misinformation campaigns for US inaction. But this explanation seemed less tenable after the Global Climate Coalition (GCC) collapsed in early 2000 (see my earlier post). Some former GCC companies have since joined more progressive organizations that espouse sustainability and support action on climate, such as the Pew Center Business Environmental Leadership Council and the US Climate Action Partnership (though there have also been some recent high level defections). I suggested that business had called a ceasefire in the carbon wars and was joining the grand “Carbon Compromise”. A weak carbon regime would not threaten core business operations in the short-to-medium term, leaving adequate time and resources for longer-term strategic repositioning as the climate issue plays out.

Even Exxon, historically the strongest opponent of mandatory carbon controls, has shifted its stance, and now calls for a carbon tax (instead of a cap-and-trade system) while investing heavily in biofuels. Flannery’s report from Bonn was not celebrating the political quagmire; at this stage, big business is looking some regulatory predictability, so that it can plan investments. Flannery commented that:

By and large business groups would like to see focus on some issues, such as the Technology Mechanism and Finance, if only to build trust and create some tangible progress.  Business is also involved in a dialog session… to explore establishing a recognized process for formal business input to the UNFCCC.

Conventional wisdom holds that the political stalemate over climate stems in large part  from the dramatic rise in populist climate denial and opposition to any policy measures that would raise fuel prices during a tough recession. Public opinion polls in the US and the UK show a dramatic jump in the last year in the percentage of people who don’t think that climate change is a priority issue. Climategate and last year’s unusually cold winter in Europe and the eastern US fired up the rhetoric of climate deniers, and their voices have been channeled to mass audiences through the tabloid press and talk radio.

The populist climate backlash is not, however, a purely organic movement driven from the grassroots. Rather, it’s been organized and nurtured through a carefully crafted and well funded strategy. This second wave of corporate opposition emanates more narrowly from the oil industry. As I discussed in Carbon Wars II: The Sequel, last year the industry front-group Energy Citizens contracted with a professional events management company to plan about 20 large rallies against carbon regulation during August 2009, with a focus on energy producing southern states such as Texas and Louisiana. Member companies encouraged their employees to join in. Energy Citizens’ website proclaims that it is “a nationwide alliance of organizations and individuals formed to bring together people across America to remind Congress that energy is the backbone of our nation’s economy and our way of life.” In fact, Energy Citizens was set up and financed primarily by the American Petroleum Institute (API), with support from the National Association of Manufacturers and other groups. This project complements a massive increase in lobbying efforts by the fossil fuel industry in the last six months.

The groundwork for the climate backlash had been well prepared. Jane Mayer describes  in the New Yorker how the billionaire brothers David and Charles Koch (pronounced ‘Coke’) have for decades funded organizations fighting regulation and taxes. Mayer’s article has caused quite a stir (see here and here), and anyone who wants to understand the flows and contours of power in the US and the rise of tea party politics should read the full version. Particularly remarkable is the Koch brothers’ focus on environmental regulation and climate change, and the way they have stitched this campaign into the broader right-wing agenda to attack the Obama administration.

The Koch brothers own Koch Industries, a Wichita, Kansas based private conglomerate  with annual revenues of around $100 billion, including a number of oil refineries and thousands of miles of pipelines. The brothers have a combined personal fortune of about $35 billion, a little behind Bill Gates and Warren Buffett, but more than enough to support a range of right-wing libertarian organizations. It was the Kochs who funded the 1977 launch of the Cato Institute, a think tank that has risen to prominence in the media as a source of anti-regulatory comment. According to Mayer, since 1980:

they poured more than a hundred million dollars into dozens of seemingly independent organizations. Tax records indicate that in 2008 the three main Koch family foundations gave money to thirty-four political and policy organizations, three of which they founded, and several of which they direct. The Kochs and their company have given additional millions to political campaigns, advocacy groups, and lobbyists….. So far in 2010, Koch Industries leads all other energy companies in political contributions, as it has since 2006.

The focus on the environment isn’t surprising, as a report earlier this year from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst’s Political Economy Research Institute named Koch Industries one of the top ten air polluters in the United States. A Greenpeace report from this spring provides details on the Kochs’ funding of climate denial organizations, and “showed that, from 2005 to 2008, the Kochs vastly outdid ExxonMobil in giving money to organizations fighting legislation related to climate change, underwriting a huge network of foundations, think tanks, and political front groups.” In addition to high profile think tanks such as Cato and Heritage, The Kochs have funded more obscure organizations, such as the Independent Women’s Forum, which Mayer states, “opposes the presentation of global warming as a scientific fact in American public schools.” Some of these groups have played a key role in hyping the “climategate” affair regarding leaked emails from climate researchers.

Other foundations such Olin and Richard Mellon Scaife, have been funding right-wing think tanks for years, helping to seed and legitimize these ideas in policy circles and the media. The Koch brothers were pioneers, however, in grassroots organizing, or at least the appearance of it. In 1984, they created Citizens for a Sound Economy, in 1990 Citizens for the Environment (which claimed that most environmental problems are myths), and in 2004 Americans for Prosperity Foundation, which has played a key role in the rise of tea party politics. To some degree, these organizations are astroturf front groups, run by lawyers and PR companies, with very few real citizens. But increasingly they are engaged in “grasstops” organizing as well, which involves recruiting and training thousands of people at the local level who are or can become leaders in their churches and communities. Mayer interviewed Matt Kibbe, the president of FreedomWorks, a Tea Party advocacy group, who said the mission:

was to take these heavy ideas and translate them for mass America. . . . We read the same literature Obama did about nonviolent revolutions—Saul Alinsky, Gandhi, Martin Luther King. We studied the idea of the Boston Tea Party as an example of nonviolent social change. We learned we needed boots on the ground to sell ideas, not candidates.

The Americans for Prosperity Foundation has held more than eighty events targeting climate legislation, complementing the work of Energy Citizens, and similar actions against health care reform. According to Grover Norquist, also interviewed by Mayer, these events have had a cascading impact:

last summer’s raucous rallies were pivotal in undermining Obama’s agenda. The Republican leadership in Congress, he said, “couldn’t have done it without August [2009], when people went out on the streets. It discouraged deal-makers”—Republicans who might otherwise have worked constructively with Obama. Moreover, the appearance of growing public opposition to Obama affected corporate donors on K Street. “K Street is a three-billion-dollar weathervane,” Norquist said. “When Obama was strong, the Chamber of Commerce said, ‘We can work with the Obama Administration.’ But that changed when thousands of people went into the street and ‘terrorized’ congressmen. August is what changed it. Now that Obama is weak, people are getting tough.”

Tea party activism has elevated climate change to the status of a litmus test of cultural politics in the US, up there with abortion, guns, god, gays, immigration and taxes. A local Tea Party Group in Erie County, Ohio, recently sent candidates for this November’s elections a 15-point questionnaire to help identify the true believers, on which question 2 reads: “The regulation of Carbon Dioxide in our atmosphere should be left to God and not government and I oppose all measures of Cap and Trade as well as the teaching of global warming theory in our schools.”

The success of anti-climate politics illustrates the dynamic complexities of power in our society. Money is important, of course, but so is the effective molding of ideas. Crucial as well is building organizations and alliances that can mobilize people’s energies, generate resources, and influence policy. In my academic work, I’ve built on the work of Niccolò Machiavelli and Antonio Gramsci and developed the concept of ‘strategic power’, the ability to study a political arena and deploy resources in a way that integrates economic, cultural, and political forces to create real change. For Gramsci, political struggle takes place largely in the realm of ideas and culture, which in turn are rooted in the mass media, people’s daily lives at work and play, and civil society organizations such as the church and community groups. Ideas become powerful when they become part of “common sense”, when they are linked together in a way that appears coherent and to carry moral and intellectual authority. This linking together of ideas as part of a broader ideology also helps to glue political alliances together.

The Koch brothers obtain their legitimacy, in part, through their generosity to cultural and medical causes, particularly in New York. David Koch recently donated $2.5 million toward the upcoming season of the American Ballet Theatre, and in 2008 gave $100 million to modernize and rename Lincoln Center’s New York State Theatre building. Illustrating Gramsci’s point that culture and politics are inseparable, David Koch has given $20 million to the American Museum of Natural History, on which he also serves as a trustee. According to Joe Romm, the David Koch Hall of Human Origins spins climate change as a purely natural phenomenon that has stimulated the evolution of humans into the smart, adaptable strategists we are. This might be amusing were the human race not displaying such collective inertia in the face of potentially catastrophic climate change.

Perhaps the greatest success of anti-climate politics has been to weave a discourse that resonates with broader cultural-political themes dominant in the US, such as individualism and consumerism, suspicion of government and foreigners, hostility to taxes, and antagonism toward scientific, political, and financial elites. Especially in the current recession, there is good reason for many people to feel angry about bank bailouts and nervous about higher fuel prices when they are losing jobs, even their homes. But as Thomas Frank has explored in What’s the Matter with Kansas?, the right have been able to reframe blue-collar concerns in ways that support a low-tax, anti-regulation agenda, despite the most glaring contradictions.

Americans for Prosperity has been training tea party activists do the same thing with climate. Mayer describes how a training session for Tea Party activists in Texas was shamelessly cast as a populist uprising against vested corporate power. “Today, the voices of average Americans are being drowned out by lobbyists and special interests,” it said. “But you can do something about it.” Tim Phillips, the head of Americans for Prosperity, went to the UN climate summit at Copenhagen in December 2009 to stage a protest, where he declared: “We’re a grassroots organization. . . . I think it’s unfortunate when wealthy children of wealthy families . . . want to send unemployment rates in the United States up to twenty per cent.” These messages are amplified and endlessly repeated through the Murdoch media empire, from Fox News to the New York Post, Wall Street Journal, and Glenn Beck.

Politics is a complex and uncertain multi-level chess game, and Koch’s money does not assure a victory for groups opposing climate regulation. The tea party is a tiny and extreme movement, though it seems to inspire fear as the vanguard of a much larger populist backlash. The alliance among elements of the oil industry, the tea party, and the religious right on climate change is somewhat tenuous and full of contradictions. The oil sector is largely owned and managed by wealthy elites, relies heavily on science and technology, receives huge governmental subsidies, and depends on open borders for trade and investment.

Environmental and progressive business groups have also been active trying to stitch together their own ideas and coalitions, not without some success, around win-win approaches to sustainability. The appeal to mobilize innovation, entrepreneurship, venture capital and carbon markets as a means to reduce carbon emissions, revitalize the economy and generate ‘green jobs’ has proven attractive, helping to forge a loose alliance of business, regulatory agencies, scientists, and the financial sector. We are now at a critical juncture, as this alliance appears in danger of collapsing. Perhaps the elements of US business that have tentatively embraced the clean energy economy now see a larger opportunity to roll back the regulatory state. It’s now more important than ever to develop a climate strategy that reconnects with the needs and fears of business as well as ordinary people battered by the recession.

” … In the yard are two signs featuring an American flag and the words, ‘God Bless America: We Support the Young Marines.’ The Gibbses also have a teenage son; neighbors said he is a member of the Marine Corps recruiting program. … “

By Craig Whitlock
Washington Post | September 29, 2010

When Army investigators tried to interrogate Staff Sgt. Calvin R. Gibbs in May about the suspected murders of three Afghan civilians, he declined to answer questions. But as he was being fingerprinted, Gibbs lifted up his pant leg to reveal a tattoo.

Engraved on his left calf was a picture of a crossed pair of pistols, framed by six skulls. The tattoo was “his way of keeping count of the kills he had,” according to a report filed by a special agent for the Army’s Criminal Investigations Command. Three of the skulls, colored in red, represented kills in Iraq, Gibbs told the agent; the others, in blue, were from Afghanistan.

Gibbs said he acted in self-defense each time, but Army officials came to a different conclusion. They have charged him with conspiring with other soldiers from the 5th Stryker Combat Brigade of the 2nd Infantry Division to murder three unarmed Afghans, allegedly for sport, and dismembering and photographing the corpses.

The war-crimes investigation is the gravest to confront the Army in Afghanistan since the U.S.-led invasion in 2001. In echoes of the Abu Ghraib scandal that unfolded from Iraq in 2004, the Army is scrambling to locate dozens of digital photographs that soldiers allegedly took of one another posing alongside the corpses of their victims. Military officials worry disclosure of the images could inflame public opinion against the war, both at home and abroad.

In addition to Gibbs, 25, the Army has charged four other soldiers with involvement in the killings, which occurred between January and May in Kandahar province. So far, the Army has released limited information about the case, although a pretrial hearing for one of the accused soldiers began this week at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Wash., home of the Stryker Brigade.

Summaries of Army investigative reports obtained by The Washington Post provide previously undisclosed details about how the murders were allegedly committed and covered up. The reports also indicate that a fourth unarmed Afghan was killed. And they show that soldiers in Gibbs’s unit – 3rd Platoon, Bravo Company, 2nd Battalion, 1st Infantry Regiment – have given sworn statements in which they assert that he was the one who came up with the idea of targeting Afghan civilians at random and developing cover stories.

Gibbs’s civilian defense attorney, Phillip Stackhouse, did not return phone messages seeking comment. He has previously told reporters that the killings Gibbs has been charged with were combat-related and therefore justified. Lawyers for the other accused soldiers have also denied wrongdoing.

Conflicting reports

According to Army investigative reports, Gibbs and other members from his unit shot and killed the fourth unarmed Afghan on Jan. 28. Afterward, some soldiers told investigators, platoon members planted ammunition next to the body so their superiors would rule the shooting justifiable.

Two soldiers told Army special agents that their patrol came upon the Afghan as he was sitting along Highway 1 in Kandahar. According to the statements, Gibbs and another soldier fired warning shots at the man’s feet; other soldiers then opened fire as well, killing the Afghan.

Army criminal investigators later decided not to press murder charges, citing soldiers’ stated fears that the Afghan may have been a suicide bomber and determining that they had given appropriate warnings before using deadly force.

According to the two soldiers’ statements, however, the Afghan hadn’t made any aggressive movements and there was no sign he was armed. Some unit members admitted they placed a magazine from an AK-47 rifle next to the corpse “to give the appearance the Afghan was an insurgent,” according to an investigators’ reports.

Officials at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, near Tacoma, Wash., declined to explain why the Army did not file charges related to the Jan. 28 killing. They also declined to comment on the fresh disclosures in the criminal investigative reports.

“That’s all part of the ongoing investigation,” said Maj. Kathleen Turner, a base spokeswoman. “Nothing is closed.”

In fact, the investigative reports indicate that Army is now scrutinizing Gibbs’s previous deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan. (He has served two tours of duty in Afghanistan and one in Iraq.) In particular, they are reexamining a 2004 incident in which Gibbs and other soldiers are alleged to have fired on an unarmed Iraqi family riding in a car, killing two adults and a child.

Several soldiers who served with Gibbs in Afghanistan told investigators that he repeatedly tried to persuade other soldiers to carve fingers off Afghan corpses and that he kept at least two fingers for himself, which he wrapped in cloth and hid in an empty water bottle. They said he would display the digits when he wanted to intimidate other unit members into maintaining their silence; one soldier said Gibbs claimed he was collecting the fingers to make a necklace.

According to a statement to investigators by Cpl. Emmit R. Quintal, a member of Gibbs’s unit, Gibbs once produced a black pair of shears after viewing the badly mangled corpse of a suspected insurgent.

“I wonder if these can cut off a finger?” Gibbs said, according to Quintal.

Quintal said Gibbs and another soldier sliced off one finger, and that Gibbs kept it. (Quintal has been charged with drug use, attempting to impede the investigation and other offenses, but not with murder.)

Later, as the body was taken to an Army base for processing, Gibbs helped a soldier from a different unit, Sgt. Eric J. Skinner, record the corpse’s fingerprints and other biometric data. According to a statement from Skinner, Gibbs asked him whether he wanted to cut off a finger from the corpse. When a shocked Skinner asked why, Gibbs replied: “Because it would be fun messing with people, like sticking a finger on a care package.”

Skinner declined. He told Gibbs the idea was “pretty [screwed] up” but told investigators, “nothing else was said about it.”

Breaking the rules

Gibbs grew up in Billings, Mont., where he attended high school and lived in a modest house near downtown with his parents. His mother, Diane Gibbs, declined to speak with a reporter.

In the yard are two signs featuring an American flag and the words, “God Bless America: We Support the Young Marines.” The Gibbses also have a teenage son; neighbors said he is a member of the Marine Corps recruiting program.

Calvin Gibbs is married to another soldier, Pfc. Chelsy M. Gibbs, a member of the 344th Military Intelligence Battalion at Goodfellow Air Force Base, near San Antonio. She told an Army special agent that she had been in limited contact with her spouse and didn’t know anything about the killings in Afghanistan.

She said she did recognize a photograph of her husband’s pistols-and-skulls tattoo but “did not know when he got them or what they meant,” according to the agent’s report.

The 5th Stryker Brigade deployed to Afghanistan in July 2009. Gibbs joined Bravo Company in November, as a replacement for a wounded sergeant. Soon, he began confiding to his new platoon mates that it had been easy for him to get away with “stuff” during his time in Iraq and floated “scenarios” for how they could do it in Afghanistan, according to statements other soldiers have given to investigators.

The 3rd Platoon was a unit accustomed to breaking rules. Many soldiers confessed to investigators that drug use was rampant at Forward Operating Base Ramrod, where they were stationed. Quintal told a special agent that “nearly his entire platoon had been smoking hashish consistently . . . sometimes as often as every day or every other day.”

Other soldiers told investigators that there was no shortage of the drug. They would obtain it from their Afghan interpreters – nicknamed Yama, Crazy Kid and Mad Max – or the numerous Afghan truck drivers who made deliveries to Ramrod.

Gibbs has not been charged with any drug offenses, but he is accused of wrongfully possessing grenades, mortar rounds and other weapons.

One soldier told investigators that Gibbs bartered with Afghan security forces, trying to “trade porn in exchange for AK-47s, RPG rounds [and] mortars.” Others reported that he kept Russian grenades and AK-47 ammunition in a storage bin inside the unit’s Stryker vehicle, an eight-wheeled infantry carrier, in case they needed false evidence to plant.

A non-commissioned officer from a different 5th Stryker Brigade unit told agents he received a box from Gibbs in March. It contained a grenade and a dirty green sock. The officer said in a statement that he kept the grenade but threw away the sock, not bothering to check inside. Gibbs later told him that the sock held a severed finger, according to his statement.

After the final killing on May 2, two soldiers told agents that Gibbs removed a tooth from the corpse and sliced off a finger. In a statement, Quintal said that he told Gibbs “he was a savage” and that Gibbs “got really mad” in response.

Almost two weeks later, investigators reported finding two fingers inside an empty water bottle, wrapped in cloth. The bottle had been hidden on top of a protective barrier at Forward Operating Base Ramrod. They also found two other bone fragments nearby.

Researcher Julie Tate contributed to this report.

New York Times | September 28, 2010

Justice Robert H. Jackson of the Supreme Court, the chief United States prosecutor at the Nuremberg war crimes trials

The Nuremberg war crimes trials began in November 1945, six months after Germany’s defeat, on a continent still strewn with rubble and awash in displaced persons. The American military had commissioned Stuart Schulberg (brother of Budd) to make a documentary of the proceedings, believing that a visual record of Nazi crimes and of the legal process that would bring the perpetrators to justice was a crucial element to the reassertion of law and decency where barbarism had recently governed. The truth of what had been done by the defeated German regime and the fairness with which it was being addressed by the victorious powers needed to be shared with the world.

A fragment of Mr. Schulberg’s work arrives, belatedly and truncated, with “Nuremberg,” an assemblage of surviving footage that gains some power from its piecemeal state. The United States government never released his documentary (though it did later adapt some of his materials into a film called “Nuremberg: Its Lessons for Today”), and the negative and soundtrack were lost or destroyed. Sandra Schulberg, the filmmaker’s daughter, and Josh Waletzky have now turned the surviving materials into something haunting and vivid — a version of the original that is also, implicitly, a record of its partial vanishing.

This “Nuremberg” does not exactly reveal anything new. Later trials of lesser officials inspired Stanley Kramer’s “Judgment at Nuremberg” (1961), a good, long feature with an all-star cast and a sober respect for history. And the Holocaust has been the subject of countless films of all kinds, especially in recent years, as the first-hand memory of survivors has begun to fade, and the children and grandchildren of both victims and perpetrators take up the burden of interpreting painful history. The shocking revelations that appear in Schulberg’s film are now well known.

But there is a raw immediacy in “Nuremberg” that nearly closes the gap between past and present. You don’t necessarily see images of slaughter and cruelty for the first time, but you grasp some of what it must have been like to do so — to uncover clips showing what most human beings up until then could never have imagined.

You also appreciate the systematic, scrupulous nature of the trials themselves, which combined legalistic punctiliousness with deep moral passion. The guiding spirit of the Nuremberg trials is worth recalling now, in the midst of the continuing argument about how to deal properly with enemies who show nothing but contempt for the norms of liberal society. The Nuremberg answer was to hold onto those norms with a special tenacity, to afford the accused precisely the acknowledgment of humanity that they had denied their victims. That they were allowed to defend themselves also meant that they had, in front of the world, to choose whether to admit their depravity, lie about it or try to justify it.

The roughness of the document takes some getting used to. There are large gaps in the record, and much of the sound is unsynchronized. Narration read by Liev Schreiber gives the film coherence and drama, but most of that comes from the images themselves.

Courtroom scenes — of Hermann Göring, Rudolf Hess, Albert Speer and others in the dock, listening on headphones as their deeds are enumerated and explained; of American, British, French and Soviet prosecutors explicating recent history; of defense lawyers and defendants trying to explain it away — alternate with footage, some taken from Nazi archives, of horrors that still boggle the mind. Emaciated bodies, mass graves, medical experiments — you may think these pictures are familiar, but they arrive with the sickening shock of discovery, and with the anguished question that must have been on many minds in 1945: how did this happen?

The question still awaits an answer, but “Nuremberg” shows that the essential nature of the Nazi regime was never in doubt: the arrogance, the dishonesty, the matter-of-fact embrace of evil. The excuses and second thoughts offered by some of the masterminds of genocide and conquest seem almost grotesquely comical. They wish they had said more, or known more, and they cast blame on the conveniently dead Hitler, Himmler and Goebbels for leading them and the rest of Germany so badly astray.

The verdicts and sentences, read out at the end, are almost anticlimactic, though if your 20th-century history is a little rusty, there is a bit of suspense and surprise. Some of the defendants in the first round of trials were executed, some imprisoned, and a few were acquitted. It may not have been enough — what could have been? — but what this documentary shows, from an unmediated, eyewitness perspective, is how a vital and indispensable principle of humanity was restored.


Opens on Wednesday in Manhattan.

Original 1948 film written and directed by Stuart Schulberg; edited by Joseph Zigman; music by Hans-Otto Borgmann; produced by Mr. Schulberg and Pare Lorentz. The 2009 restoration created by Sandra Schulberg and Josh Waletzky; narrated by Liev Schreiber; music reconstructed by John Califra; released by Schulberg Productions and Metropolis Productions. At Film Forum, 209 West Houston Street, west of Avenue of the Americas, South Village. In English and German, with English subtitles. Running time: 1 hour 18 minutes. This film is not rated.