WikiLeaks Release: Classified US Military Video Depicts The Indiscriminate Slaying of Over a Dozen People in Iraq – Incl. Two Reuters News Staff

Collateral Murder

Overview

5th April 2010 10:44 EST WikiLeaks has released a classified US military video depicting the indiscriminate slaying of over a dozen people in the Iraqi suburb of New Baghdad — including two Reuters news staff.

Reuters has been trying to obtain the video through the Freedom of Information Act, without success since the time of the attack. The video, shot from an Apache helicopter gun-site, clearly shows the unprovoked slaying of a wounded Reuters employee and his rescuers. Two young children involved in the rescue were also seriously wounded.

The military did not reveal how the Reuters staff were killed, and stated that they did not know how the children were injured.

After demands by Reuters, the incident was investigated and the U.S. military concluded that the actions of the soldiers were in accordance with the law of armed conflict and its own “Rules of Engagement”.

Read moreWikiLeaks Release: Classified US Military Video Depicts The Indiscriminate Slaying of Over a Dozen People in Iraq – Incl. Two Reuters News Staff

Pope John Paul II Blocked Inquiry of Paedophile Cardinal Friend Who Abused 2,000 boys

John Paul ‘ignored abuse of 2,000 boys’

Cardinal Hans Hermann Groer
Cardinal Hans Hermann Groer abused an estimated 2,000 boys for decades without sanction

When John Paul II died five years ago the crowd that packed St Peter’s Square for his funeral clamoured “Santo subito (Saint now)!” in a spontaneous tribute to the charisma of the Polish pontiff.

As the faithful marked the anniversary of John Paul’s death on Good Friday, however, he was being drawn into the scandal over child abuse in the Catholic church that has confronted his successor, Benedict XVI, with the worst crisis of his reign.

Allegations that the late pontiff blocked an inquiry into a paedophile cardinal, promoted senior church figures despite accusations that they had molested boys and covered up innumerable cases of abuse during his 26-year papacy have cast a cloud over his path to sainthood.

The most serious claims related to Cardinal Hans Hermann Groer, an Austrian friend of John Paul’s who abused an estimated 2,000 boys over decades but never faced any sanction from Rome.

Cardinal Christoph Schönborn, Groer’s successor, criticised the handling of that scandal and other abuse cases last week after holding a special service in St Stephen’s cathedral, Vienna, entitled “Admitting our guilt”.

Schönborn condemned the “sinful structures” within the church and the patterns of “silencing” victims and “looking away”.

Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger – who became Pope Benedict – had tried to investigate the abuses as head of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, according to Schönborn. But his efforts had been blocked by “the Vatican”, an apparent reference to John Paul.

Read morePope John Paul II Blocked Inquiry of Paedophile Cardinal Friend Who Abused 2,000 boys

7-year-old girl gang-raped by two adults and three juveniles after 15-year-old stepsister sold her during a party

TRENTON, N.J. (AP) — Two adults and three juveniles have been charged with gang-raping a 7-year-old girl who police say was sold by her 15-year-old stepsister during a party at a crime-ridden New Jersey apartment building.

Details on the arrests were announced at a Saturday night news conference at police headquarters in Trenton, the state’s capital city.

The arrested people include a 20-year-old man who already had been charged Friday with having sex with the 15-year-old. The other four are a 19-year-old Trenton man and three boys ages 13, 14 and 17. Each is charged with aggravated sexual assault and child endangerment.

Police say further arrests may be made.

THIS IS A BREAKING NEWS UPDATE. AP’s earlier story is below.

Read more7-year-old girl gang-raped by two adults and three juveniles after 15-year-old stepsister sold her during a party

Delay in UN Report on Benazir Bhutto Assassination on Request of President Asif Ali Zardari

UN to shut Pakistan offices over Bhutto report (Hindustan Times)

Bhutto commission report is complete (AP)


Delay in UN report on Bhutto murder bemuses people in Pakistan

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Benazir Bhutto

ISLAMABAD, April 1 (Xinhua) — Criticism and confusion seemed to be rising among the Pakistani people as the United Nations investigation report on slain former Pakistani Premier Benazir Bhutto has been halted Tuesday at the request of her husband, President Asif Ali Zardari.

“Common Pakistanis especially workers of the ruling Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) are much worried and confused over current situation because their party first called for the UN probe but now has requested not to release the report,” said Muhammad Yusuf, a bookshop owner.

“Everyone of us is thinking why Pakistani government asked UN for delay, what they got must be publicized urgently,” Yusuf told Xinhua.

“The UN Commission that investigated the assassination will not reopen its probe in response to the Pakistani government’s request to delay the report for two weeks and its claim that two heads of state may have new information on Wednesday,” UN spokesman Martin Nesirky told media on Wednesday in New York.

“The investigation report is complete and now will be released publicly on April 15,” said Nesirky.

Read moreDelay in UN Report on Benazir Bhutto Assassination on Request of President Asif Ali Zardari

The ‘Pedophile’s Paradise’: Alaska Natives are accusing the Catholic Church of using their remote villages as a ‘dumping ground’ for child-molesting priests (Flashback)

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Rachel Mike, who won a settlement in a case involving Father Poole, at her confirmation in the summer of 1975. Behind her is Father George Endal, accused of raping or molesting several boys and allegedly walking in on another priest performing oral sex on a 6-year-old boy and doing nothing to stop it.

One spring afternoon in 1977, 15-year-old Rachel Mike tried to kill herself for the third time. An Alaska Native, Rachel was living in a tiny town called Stebbins on a remote island called St. Michael. She lived in a house with three bedrooms and nine siblings. Rachel was a drinker, depressed, and starving. “When my parents were drinking, we didn’t eat right,” she says. “I just wanted to get away from the drinking.”

Rachel walked to the bathroom to fetch the family rifle, propped in the bathtub with the dirty laundry (the house didn’t have running water). To make sure the gun worked, Rachel loaded a shell and blew a hole in her bedroom wall. Her father, passed out on his bed, didn’t hear the shot. Rachel walked behind their small house. Her arms were too short to put the rifle to her head, so she shot herself in her right leg instead.

Rachel was found screaming in a pool of blood by her Auntie Emily and flown 229 miles to a hospital in Nome. The doctor asked if she wanted to see a priest. She said yes. In walked Father James Poole-a popular priest, radio personality on KNOM, and, according to allegations in at least five lawsuits, serial child rapist. Father Poole has never been convicted of a crime, but the Jesuits have settled numerous sex-abuse claims against him since 2005, in excess of $5 million, according to an attorney involved in four of those five lawsuits. Exact figures aren’t available because some of the settlements involve confidentiality agreements. The Jesuits have never let a single case against Father Poole go to trial.

In a 2005 deposition, Rachel testified that she had been molested by Father Poole in 1975, while in Nome for her second suicide attempt, an attempted overdose of alcohol and pills. He’d come sit by her bed, put his hand under the hospital blanket, and fondle her, she said.

She traveled between Stebbins and Nome several times in the late 1970s, spending time in hospitals and receiving homes. By 1977, Rachel testified, Poole had given her gonorrhea, and by 1978 she was pregnant with his child. In an interview with The Stranger, she said Poole encouraged her to get an abortion and tell the doctors she had been raped by her father. She followed his advice. “He brainwashed me,” she said. “He messed up my head, man.”

Rachel Mike’s father died in 2004. A year later, she heard Elsie Boudreau, another survivor of Poole’s abuse, being interviewed on the radio. Listening to Boudreau, Rachel was moved to finally tell the truth.

Read moreThe ‘Pedophile’s Paradise’: Alaska Natives are accusing the Catholic Church of using their remote villages as a ‘dumping ground’ for child-molesting priests (Flashback)

Deaf Boys Tried to Tell of Priest’s Abuse FOR YEARS

They were deaf, but they were not silent. For decades, a group of men who were sexually abused as children by the Rev. Lawrence C. Murphy at a school for the deaf in Wisconsin reported to every type of official they could think of that he was a danger, according to the victims and church documents.

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Steven Geier said the priest who molested him as a boy told him he had to keep it a secret. Mr. Geier reported the abuse to three priests, including the Rev. Tom Schroeder

They told other priests. They told three archbishops of Milwaukee. They told two police departments and the district attorney. They used sign language, written affidavits and graphic gestures to show what exactly Father Murphy had done to them. But their reports fell on the deaf ears of hearing people.

This week, they learned that Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, now Pope Benedict XVI, received letters about Father Murphy in 1996 from Archbishop Rembert G. Weakland of Milwaukee, who said that the deaf community needed “a healing response from the Church.” The Vatican sat on the case, then equivocated, and when Father Murphy died in 1998, he died a priest.

Read moreDeaf Boys Tried to Tell of Priest’s Abuse FOR YEARS

Christopher Hitchens Slams Vatican, Pope Over Sex Abuse Scandal

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Christopher Hitchens, whose antagonism towards religion is well-established, had harsh words for the Catholic Church, and the Pope in particular, during an appearance on “Morning Joe” today.

The most recent scandal that has erupted over the priest who molested over 200 deaf boys, Hitchens said, proves that “the fatal taint” goes all the way to the top:

A school for children who can only use sign language. 200 of them have their childhoods completely wrecked by this priest, and entreaties are addressed to the man who is now Pope, Cardinal Ratzinger, the man who was saying at the time that the only problem with the scandal was there was a press campaign against the church. The abuse was not the problem, the torture the rape; only the revelation of it. Nothing happens except that he forgives the priest who asked for forgiveness before he dies.
I wrote then and I believe now that the fatal taint went straight to the top at that point, and now we have as head of the church someone who’s personally as well institutionally responsible for knowing of this, covering it up and protecting, not the children, but the predators.

Asked by host Willie Geist when the Catholic Church will reach a breaking point, considering how many of these scandals it has weathered in the past, Hitchens replied that the breaking point has indeed arrived:

The breaking point just came, when it became obvious from reports from Munich, and reports from Wisconsin, and reports now from Verona, in Italy, that the man who is now calling himself the Pope was the person individually responsible for the coverup.

Read moreChristopher Hitchens Slams Vatican, Pope Over Sex Abuse Scandal

The Pope Is Not Above the Law

The crimes within the Catholic Church demand justice.

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Pope Benedict XVI

One by one, as I predicted, the pathetic excuses of Joseph Ratzinger’s apologists evaporate before our eyes. It was said until recently that when the Rev. Peter Hullermann was found to be a vicious pederast in 1980, the man who is now pope had no personal involvement in his subsequent transfer to his own diocese or in his later unimpeded career as a rapist and a molester. But now we find that the psychiatrist to whom the church turned for “therapy” was adamant that Hullermann never be allowed to go near children ever again. We also find that Ratzinger was one of those to whom the memo about Hullermann’s transfer was actually addressed. All attempts to place the blame on a loyal subordinate, Ratzinger’s vicar general, the Rev. Gerhard Gruber, have predictably failed. According to a recent report, “the transfer of Father Hullermann from Essen would not have been a routine matter, experts said.” Either that-damning enough in itself-or it perhaps would have been a routine matter, which is even worse. Certainly the pattern-of finding another parish with fresh children for the priest to assault-is the one that has become horribly “routine” ever since and became standard practice when Ratzinger became a cardinal and was placed in charge of the church’s global response to clerical pederasty.

So now a new defense has had to be hastily improvised. It is argued that, during his time as archbishop of Munich and Freising, Germany, Ratzinger was more preoccupied with doctrinal questions than with mere disciplinary ones. Of course, of course: The future pope had his eyes fixed on ethereal and divine matters and could not be expected to concern himself with parish-level atrocities. This cobbled-up apologia actually repays a little bit of study. What exactly were these doctrinal issues? Well, apart from punishing a priest who celebrated a Mass at an anti-war demonstration-which incidentally does seem to argue for a “hands-on” approach to individual clergymen-Ratzinger’s chief concern appears to have been that of first communion and first confession. Over the previous decade, it had become customary in Bavaria to subject small children to their first communion at a tender age but to wait a year until they made their first confession. It was a matter of whether they were old enough to understand. Enough of this liberalism, said Ratzinger, the first confession should come in the same year as the first communion. One priest, the Rev. Wilfried Sussbauer, reports that he wrote to Ratzinger expressing misgivings about this and received “an extremely biting letter” in response.

Read moreThe Pope Is Not Above the Law

Sex Abuse Victims to Sue Vatican

The Pope’s record is “above discussion”!

Pope failed to defrock an American priest who molested hundreds of deaf boys, despite receiving letters from American bishops pleading with him to act (Times)

A church sex scandal where the truth is crucified (Toronto Star)


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The Pope has been accused of protecting Father Lawrence Murphy


NEW revelations about Pope Benedict XVI’s alleged role in covering up accusations of sexual abuse by Catholic clergy have exposed the Vatican to the risk of lawsuits brought by victims around the world.

Mounting anger at the Catholic Church’s failure to act on predatory priests in the US, Europe and Mexico has plunged the papacy into an institutional crisis described by an American Catholic newspaper last week as “the largest in centuries”.

Yesterday the Vatican denounced the “aggressive persistence” of critics who were attempting to “involve the Holy Father personally in the matter of abuse”. A spokesman told Vatican Radio that the Pope’s record was “above discussion”.

Yet the talk in Catholic circles was of little else as the Pope’s former life as Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, archbishop of Munich and senior Vatican administrator, came under intensifying scrutiny.

Last week it was alleged that, as head of the Vatican office monitoring priestly misconduct, Ratzinger failed to punish Father Lawrence Murphy, who abused up to 200 boys at a Wisconsin school for the deaf.

Instead of being defrocked or reported to police, Murphy remained a priest until his death in 1998.

“We are talking about a man who, before he became Pope, knew what Murphy was doing and did nothing about it,” said Donald Marshall, a mechanic who claims Murphy assaulted him in 1977 when he was 13. “The Pope is a fraud and a hypocrite.”

The reports coincided with a burgeoning German row over Father Peter Hullermann, a Bavarian priest who received therapy for paedophilia in Ratzinger’s diocese and was transferred to a new parish, where he continued molesting boys.

Read moreSex Abuse Victims to Sue Vatican

Vatican knew of abuse in Ontario: Victim

Papal embassy officials told in 1993, says man abused by former monsignor

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Former Monsignor Bernard Prince, right, befriended Pope John Paul II.

An Ontario victim of a pedophile priest who later became a top Vatican official says the Vatican knew of allegations against the priest years before he was convicted.

The priest, former Monsignor Bernard Prince, was convicted in 2008 of molesting 13 young boys between 1964 and 1984. Most of the incidents occurred in the Killaloe area, near Pembroke in eastern Ontario. He was defrocked last year.

Prince was appointed to a top Vatican job in Rome in 1991 – the year after the Roman Catholic Diocese of Pembroke learned of sex abuse allegations – says the victim, who can’t be identified because of a court publication ban on identifying him. The victim says in 1993 the Apostolic Nunciature in Ottawa – the Vatican’s embassy – was notified of the allegations.

Yet Prince remained secretary general of the Vatican’s Pontifical Society for the Propagation of the Faith until his retirement in 2004.

“The Apostolic Nuncio in Ottawa was aware of the allegations,” says the victim, referring to the Vatican’s ambassador at the time, Archbishop Carlo Curis.

“They did nothing about it,” the victim alleges, referring to Vatican officials. “In fact, they just continued to cover him up.”

Read moreVatican knew of abuse in Ontario: Victim