Sunday, December 05, 2004

First, Kill the Witnesses

"Mr Ambassador, I believe that your government and its Iraqi surrogates are waging two wars in Iraq. One war is against the Iraqi people, and it has claimed an estimated 100,000 lives. The other is a war on witnesses."
The very first act of the U.S. military in storming Fallujeh was to seize the general hospital located across a bridge from the city. Next came the bombing of the clinic inside Fallujeh town. Twenty medical personnel, including almost every doctor inside Fallujeh were killed. Why?

Naomi Klein
Saturday December 4, 2004
The Guardian

David T Johnson,
Acting ambassador,
US Embassy, London

Dear Mr Johnson, On November 26, your press counsellor sent a letter to the Guardian taking strong exception to a sentence in my column of the same day. The sentence read: "In Iraq, US forces and their Iraqi surrogates are no longer bothering to conceal attacks on civilian targets and are openly eliminating anyone - doctors, clerics, journalists - who dares to count the bodies." Of particular concern was the word "eliminating".

The letter suggested that my charge was "baseless" and asked the Guardian either to withdraw it, or provide "evidence of this extremely grave accusation". It is quite rare for US embassy officials to openly involve themselves in the free press of a foreign country, so I took the letter extremely seriously. But while I agree that the accusation is grave, I have no intention of withdrawing it. Here, instead, is the evidence you requested.


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