31 March 2005

Gang-beaten by a group of fellow employees at the Baghdad airport where he works as a security coordinator for KBR

As his son Ronald Lee Chavez lies in serious condition, father Eli has fired off a letter to the U.S. Justice Department and plans to file a criminal complaint against anyone involved in his son's beating. A case where Americans badly beat another American in a foreign land.
While Ronald was in Albuquerque on R & R, he advised me that his Boss did not like him because Ronald is Hispanic; and that the "Red Neck Mafia" ran the operation for Halliburton at Baghdad Airport. Ronald further advised me that he had reported by Memorandum to higher authority within the Halliburton Chain of Command the vulnerabilities at Baghdad Airport regarding to terrorist attacks. Ronald further stated that higher authority was upset at his recommendations.

According to Patti, Halliburton advised her that they had sent 3 of the "Redneck Mafia" members back to the USA; and that Halliburton was not going to file criminal charges against them.

It has been mentioned that this might be a whistleblower type case, where retribution may have been dealt out to Mr. Chavez for a written memo he sent to his higher-ups.

This scenario is not surprising to me, given an occupation environment in the wake of a illegal, immoral invasion of a sovereign nation that did not threaten the United States.


"occupation environment in the wake of a illegal, immoral invasion of a sovereign nation that did not threaten the United States. "


"A war of words

We should not ask whether the Iraq invasion was 'legal' - we should ask whether it was 'good'

David Aaronovitch
Sunday March 6, 2005
The Observer"

" I see the advantages of greater legal protection for the individual and I also see the problems. And one of the dangers is that we may become reliant on legal processes to settle for us the question of what is right and what is wrong when, in reality, morality can neither begin nor end with the law. "

"One is that, at important moments in his arguments about the law, I find that I have ceased to care as much as he wants me to about whether this or that action is, strictly speaking, legal. Instead, I find myself more concerned about whether the action is right. I'm not alone; many of those who routinely use the word 'illegal' about the war don't do so because of a detailed appreciation of Sands's judgment on UN Resolution 1,441 versus that of, say, Professor Greenwood of the LSE, but merely as meaning 'very bad'."

"Before the war, a group of international lawyers, including Sands, wrote to newspapers, pointing out that an invasion of Iraq without a specific resolution of the UN Security Council would undermine the rule of law. The final paragraph added: 'Of course, even with that authorisation, serious questions would remain. A lawful war is not necessarily a just, prudent or humanitarian war.' This caveat would, presumably, have left some of the authors free to campaign against military action, even if it had been mandated by the Security Council. But it inevitably implied that an illegal war, or a non-legal war, might quite possibly be a just, prudent or humanitarian one."

"a humanitarian justification of the war might have been available in the 1980s (or, one supposes, in 1991/2) when Saddam was at his most murderous. This is a position shared, I think, by Human Rights Watch. And, in giving evidence last year to the Commons Foreign Affairs Committee, Sands even seemed to recognise that under such circumstances, no authorisation by the Security Council, explicit or implicit, might be necessary."

"This is the problem. In 1972, a neo-genocide by Pakistan in what is now Bangladesh was stopped by the unilateral intervention of India. Pol Pot was ousted by the Vietnamese in 1979, though the UN continued to recognise the Khmer Rouge leadership. Idi Amin's rule in Uganda was brought to an end by Tanzanian intervention. None of these appalling situations was resolved by the UN or the international legal system. Nor were what Sands admits were the 'gross failures to intervene to prevent genocide and other atrocities' in Yugoslavia and Rwanda in the 1990s the product of disregarding international law. "

"'There is little evidence that the world is a safer place, and a great deal more evidence that the Iraq war has provided a major distraction to the challenge posed by global terrorism and al-Qaeda. Neither can it be said that the Middle East is more stable or peaceful.' In the book, he describes the invasion as 'a dangerous fiasco'. Meanwhile, the silly, nasty, hubristic old neocons were in disgrace having predicted the spread of democracy.

This analysis looked a safer bet six months ago than it does now. Libya had already got rid of WMD capacity that it admitted possessing, but since then there have been the elections in Iraq, demonstrations against Syrian occupation in Lebanon, elections in Palestine, and suggestions of liberalisation in Saudi Arabia and Egypt. Even sceptics are wondering whether something isn't afoot, something caused, in part, by the removal of Saddam.

In these circumstances, it is an act of epic solipsism to argue this outcome is negated by the affront the action posed to the international legal system, a system that seemed to permit ill-doing and penalise its prevention. And if the law prevents good actions and objectively protects bad ones, it needs to be changed. Any non-lawyer could tell you that."