Saturday, September 29, 2007
for the record, i believed anita hill THEN and i believe her NOW
Justice Thomas Lashes Out in Memoir
Book Attacks Liberals and the Media, Breaks Near-Silence on Anita Hill
By Robert Barnes, Michael A. Fletcher and Kevin Merida Washington Post Staff Writers
Justice Clarence Thomas settles scores in an angry and vivid forthcoming memoir, scathingly condemning the media, the Democratic senators who opposed his nomination to the Supreme Court, and the "mob" of liberal elites and activist groups that he says desecrated his life.
"My Grandfather's Son," for which Thomas has received a reported $1.5 million, is a 289-page memoir of his life in rural Georgia, his reliance on religious faith and his rise to the high court. His book ends with the day he was sworn in and contains only fleeting mentions of his time on the bench. ..........
..............They are the most extensive comments Thomas has made about Hill since his confirmation. Though he has given numerous speeches since he has been on the court, he has rarely mentioned Hill or spoken in detail about the nomination fight. In the book, Thomas writes that Hill was the tool of liberal activist groups "obsessed" with abortion and outraged because he did not fit their idea of what an African American should believe.
"The mob I now faced carried no ropes or guns," Thomas writes of his hearings. "Its weapons were smooth-tongued lies spoken into microphones and printed on the front pages of America's newspapers. . . . But it was a mob all the same, and its purpose -- to keep the black man in his place -- was unchanged." ........
a few new twists and turns. and you can't tell me the army didn't know who maj welborn was even if spc. hall had the wrong first name. they HAD to know there was a maj welborn. look at what he has on his myspace page: (which i think is one of THE most frightening things i have ever read)
............Welborn, 44, who appears on his MySpace page in his Army uniform, wrote on his MySpace page that he is a devout Christian who received a bachelor's degree in "personal evangelism" and a minor in "Biblical world view" from Temple Tennessee University. He wrote that he is pursuing a second bachelor's degree in Christian studies from Calvary Bible College And Theological Seminary in Kansas City, Missouri. He lists his occupation as "Bible Study--Operation Iraqi Freedom" and wrote that his interest is evangelism and preaching the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
"Currently serving w/3rd Inf Div [3rd Infantry Division] Civil Military Operations (Governance) in Baghdad Iraq," Welborn wrote on his MySpace page. He describes himself as a ""Warrior for the Lord Jesus Christ." He wrote that he and his wife Carla "place all our Faith & Trust in our Savior the Lord Jesus - who provides eternal life to anyone that believes that he is the Son of God, that he was born of a virgin, lived as God in the flesh (as man) was crucified, died, and was buried then rose from the grave the third day, then acended [sic] to the right hand of the Father - True repentance (turning away from Sin to God) Being born again, Forgivness [sic] & Justification occure [sic] to the True Believer in Christ when Baptized w/God's Holy Spirit."............
Charges in Religious Lawsuit Against Army Detailed
By Jason Leopold
An Army major who was sued last week for allegedly threatening to retaliate against a soldier, and whom Pentagon officials said could not be located, has been tracked down through his MySpace page.
Freddy J. Welborn was identified in a federal lawsuit filed last week by Army Spc. Jeremy Hall, 22, and the Military Religious Freedom Foundation, a watchdog organization. Because his name was mistakenly listed in the complaint as Paul Welborne, the Army said it was unable to locate him.
However, Mikey Weinstein, the founder and president of the Military Religious Freedom Foundation, said researchers working for his group discovered Welborn's MySpace page on Sunday morning. Weinstein said the complaint his organization and Hall filed against Welborn, and Defense Secretary Robert Gates, will be amended and refiled in US District Court in Kansas City, Kansas on Tuesday to reflect Welborn's proper identity.
On Saturday, Lt. Col. James Hutton, a spokesman for multinational forces in Iraq, told an Associated Press reporter "several media reports list a person named Maj. Paul Welborne as having been involved in this situation."
"To date, we have not located any soldier by that name," Hutton told The Associated Press, in response to the story first reported by Truthout about the lawsuit filed against Welborn and the Pentagon.
The issue appeared to be an attempt to cast doubt on the validity of Hall's claims of widespread constitutional violations. However, hours after The Associated Press report was published, Weinstein's researchers and Hall were both able to locate Welborn, albeit under a different first name, at Combat Operations Base Speicher, Iraq, where Hall is serving his second tour of duty............
will there be justice for spc hall? i think we all know the answer
Friday, September 28, 2007
Blackwater's Man in Washington
By Bruce Falconer
Washington Dispatch: Meet Doug Brooks, whose trade group represents the private military industry's biggest players. He makes hired guns sound like U.N. peacekeepers.
By Bruce Falconer
...............The latter had consumed most of Brooks' time over the past week as he gave close to 40 interviews in three days to reporters seeking comment on Blackwater's Baghdad shoot-out. Wasn't he uncomfortable being the private military industry's unofficial spokesman when one of its most prominent players stood accused of murdering civilians? "No, not at all," Brooks said. "What it's given us the chance to do is get out the point of what IPOA is about, to paint a larger picture, put it in context. Yes, we do have contractors working around the world, doing stuff that's dangerous. Sometimes they're armed, and sometimes innocent people get killed." .............
he makes innocents getting killed sound like just another day at the beach. one thing i WILL say about mr brooks, he is GOOD at his job
does anyone else get the creeps at how often the word PEACE is used in relation to these armed goons? (is goons too strong a word? should i use thugs instead? what about sanguinarious cutthroats?
..........UPDATE: Here's the complete list of 39 Senators who voted against the hate crimes bill. You might notice they all appear to have something in common.
Monsieur Maveriqué McCain abstained, naturally. Once again, I am pleasantly surprised by the vote of my Republican Senator Dick Lugar, who was one of only 8 Republicans to vote in favor of the legislation. ...............
Senate Passes Hate Crime Bill, Larry Craig Opposes
i must wonder, why one would vote against The Matthew Shepard Local Law Enforcement Enhancement Act
protecting people is NOT a SPECIAL right, it is an EQUAL right you bunch of steamin' hunks o' scheist
(as an aside, i'm not sure if anyone can make my skin crawl as much as flush can)
Iraq War Vet to Limbaugh: You're the Phony
Posted by Jon Soltz
As Media Matters reported today, Rush Limbaugh, on his show said that those troops who come home and want to get America out of the middle of the religious civil war in Iraq are "phony soldiers." I'd love for you, Rush, to have me on your show and tell that to me to my face.
Where to begin?
First, in what universe is a guy who never served even close to being qualified to judge those who have worn the uniform? Rush Limbaugh has never worn a uniform in his life -- not even one at Mickey D's -- and somehow he's got the moral standing to pass judgment on the men and women who risked their lives for this nation, and his right to blather smears on the airwaves?
Second, maybe Rush doesn't much care, but the majority of troops on the ground in Iraq, and those who have returned, do not back the President's failed policy. If you go to our "Did You Get the Memo" page at VoteVets.org, there's a good collection of stories, polls, and surveys, which all show American's troops believe we are on the wrong track, not the right one, in Iraq.
Does Rush believe, then, that the majority of the US Armed Forces are "phony?"..........
click on the link above for a slideshow.
By Nina Berman, AlterNet
Andrew Lichtenstein's new book, Never Coming Home, shows the faces behind the Iraq War casualty statistics. This photo essay launches AlterNet's new multimedia series.
Andrew Lichtenstein's new book, Never Coming Home, shows the faces behind the daily casualty statistics in the Iraq war. Each week, these men and women killed in Iraq are buried and mourned, privately and publicly, in deeply personal scenes of love, loss and remembrance..............
why the f**k would they vote to spend BILLIONS in and for iraq (i am NOT including any monies that would be used for care of our veterans) when our children are going without proper medical and dental care?
WTF is wrong with them?
Following Bush Over a Cliff
By David S. Broder
The spectacle Tuesday of 151 House Republicans voting in lock step with the White House against expansion of the State Children's Health Insurance Program (SCHIP) was one of the more remarkable sights of the year. Rarely do you see so many politicians putting their careers in jeopardy.
The bill they opposed, at the urging of President Bush, commands healthy majorities in both the House and Senate but is headed for a veto because Bush objects to expanding this form of safety net for the children of the working poor. He has staked out that ground on his own, ignoring or rejecting the pleas of conservative senators such as Chuck Grassley and Orrin Hatch, who helped shape the compromise that the House approved and that the Senate endorsed. SCHIP has been one of the most successful health-care measures created in the past decade. It was started in 1997 with support from both parties, in order to insure children in families with incomes too high to receive Medicaid but who could not afford private insurance.
The $40 billion spent on SCHIP in the past 10 years financed insurance for roughly 6.6 million youngsters a year. The money was distributed through the states, which were given considerable flexibility in designing their programs. The insurance came from private companies, at rates negotiated by the states. ..............
Thursday, September 27, 2007
why i ask myself, WHY WOULD ANYONE currently join the armed forces? if i KNEW there was an almost 100% probability i would be sent to iraq, i would most likely be at the very LEAST wounded and i would NOT (again, if i made it back alive) receive the care i NOT ONLY NEEDED BUT WAS ENTITLED TO AND DESERVED. why would i join?
oh and why is king george taking ANY days off when our men and women are suffering? why isn't anyone asking him that? that's the FIRST thing i'd ask him. hey king george, it's kinda ballsy to take vacation time when our troops lives are on the line, no? why are you taking ANY
time off then?
instead of everyone running around and taking votes on or over an ad moveon.org put in the newspaper, shouldn't our congress and senate be CONCERNED WITH THE WELL BEING OF OUR TROOPS? SOMETHING TANGIBLE? asswipes
and a special shout out to tim ngo
By Hope Yen, The Associated Press
WASHINGTON Months after pledging to improve veterans care, the Bush administration has yet to find clear answers to some of the worst problems afflicting wounded warriors, such as delays in disability payments and providing personalized care, investigators say.A report by the Government Accountability Office, released Wednesday, offers the first preliminary assessment of improvement efforts initiated by the Pentagon and Veterans Affairs Department after revelations in February of shoddy outpatient treatment at Walter Reed Army Medical Center.The report found that even though the Army has touted creation of more personalized medical care units so that wounded veterans don't slip through the cracks, nearly half -- or 46 percent -- of returning service members who were eligible did not get the service due to staffing shortages.The report said after 10 years of review, the Pentagon and VA still remain far away from having a comprehensive system for sharing medical records as injured veterans move from facility to facility.And despite months of review by no less than eight congressional committees, a presidential task force, a presidential commission and the Pentagon and VA itself, the government has no apparent solution for reducing severe delays of 177 days, on average, in providing disability payments.....
Calling homosexuality immoral, general draws chants of 'Thou Shalt Not Kill'
Protesters shouting "Thou Shalt Not Kill!" disrupted a congressional hearing Wednesday after the top US military officer defended his view that homosexuality is immoral.
The confrontation began when Senator Tom Harkin, a Democrat, chided General Peter Pace for his "very hurtful remarks" in May that it was wrong to "condone immoral acts" by allowing gays to serve openly in the military.
Pace, who steps down next week as chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, responded that he supported the military's "don't ask, don't tell" policy on gays in the military because it allowed homosexuals to serve their country.
"And we need to be very precise then, about what I said wearing my stars and being very conscious of it," the general said.
"And that is, very simply, that we should respect those who want to serve the nation but not through the law of the land, condone activity that, in my upbringing, is counter to God's law," he said.
Anti-war protesters then started shouting, but Pace went on to say his responsibility was "to obey the law of the land and to object if something is either illegal or immoral.".........
"Childrens do learn," he said Wednesday.
how PROUD he makes us all!!!
An Extra 'S' on the Report Card
Hailing a Singular Achievement, President Gets Pluralistic
By Peter Baker
Washington Post Staff Writer
NEW YORK, Sept. 26 -- As a candidate, George W. Bush once asked, "Is our children learning?"
Now he has an answer.
"Childrens do learn," he said Wednesday.
The setting was, yes, an education event where the president was taking credit for rising test scores and promoting congressional renewal of his signature education law. To create the right image, the White House summoned the city's chancellor of schools, a principal, some teachers and about 20 eager students from P.S. 76.
The visual worked fine. The oral? Not so much. For Bush, it was a classic malapropism, the sort of verbal miscue that occasionally bedevils him in public speaking and provides critics and the media easy fodder for ridicule. Subject-verb agreement actually is taught at Andover, Yale and Harvard, the president's alma maters, but in an unforgiving job that requires him to speak hundreds of thousands of words with cameras rolling, the tongue sometimes veers off in mysterious ways -- and someone always seems to notice. ..................
$42 Billion Boost Would Raise 2008 Total to $190 Billion
children's health insurance
care for the elderly
funds for natural disasters
Wednesday, September 26, 2007
Alleged Iranian 'Front' Represented by Mukasey Law Firm
Brian Ross and Richard Esposito Report:
For more than 25 years, U.S. intelligence and law enforcement authorities say they have suspected the New York-based Alavi Foundation is a "front" for Iranian espionage and anti-American activities.
For more than 25 years, court records show the foundation has been publicly defended and represented by the New York law firm where attorney-general nominee Michael Mukasey is a partner: Patterson Belknap Webb & Tyler LLP.
The foundation says the firm continues to represent it........
..............The case handled by Mukasey was settled in 1984, two years after the foundation was described in the New York Times as being controlled by the government of Iran.
More recently, the Alavi Foundation was described four years ago by New York Police Department intelligence chief David Cohen, a former CIA official, as "totally controlled by the government of Iran." .........
hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm so (allegedly in this case and proven in the case of chiquita) it's OK to support terrorists if you are one of king george's court.
i just want to puke. what is WRONG with us for watching and listening to this blowhard id-jit?
O'Reilly surprised "there was no difference" between Harlem restaurant and other New York restaurants
........During the September 19 edition of his nationally syndicated radio program, discussing his recent trip to have dinner with Rev. Al Sharpton at Sylvia's, a famous restaurant in Harlem, Bill O'Reilly reported that he "had a great time, and all the people up there are tremendously respectful," adding: "I couldn't get over the fact that there was no difference between Sylvia's restaurant and any other restaurant in New York City. I mean, it was exactly the same, even though it's run by blacks, primarily black patronship." .............
hey bill, i'll bet SOME (which goes in front of black for the rest of this paragraph) black people drive cars JUST like SOME (which goes in front of white for the rest of this paragraph) white people. they go to the bathroom, JUST like white people, they pay their taxes JUST like white people (as in some are honest and some are not), they jog JUST like white people, they pick their kids up from school JUST like white people, they are doctors JUST like white people, they are mail room clerks JUST like white people, they are criminals JUST like white people, they are saints JUST like white people, they go to a place of worship JUST like white people, they are undereducated JUST like white people, they are overeducated JUST like white people, they buy houses JUST like white people, they rent apartments JUST like white people, they are careless JUST like white people, they are careful JUST like white people, they eat JUST like white people,
THEY HURT JUST LIKE WHITE PEOPLE
With an Arctic grey wolf named Atka at his side, Rep. George Miller, D-Calif., introduced a bill Tuesday that bans wolf hunting from planes or helicopter. The legislation will close a loophole in the 1972 Airborne Hunting Act that has allowed the state of Alaska to issue permits to shoot and kill nearly 700 wolves from airplanes over the past four years, Miller said. ...
White House Drops Choice for CIA Lawyer
By MATTHEW DALY
Associated Press Writer
WASHINGTON (AP) - The White House withdrew its nominee to become the CIA's top lawyer on Tuesday after Democrats raised concerns that the agency's interrogation techniques may be illegal.
The president sent a letter to the Senate Intelligence Committee informing it of the decision to withdraw the nomination of John Rizzo to be the CIA's general counsel. The panel had been expected to consider Rizzo's nomination at a hearing Tuesday afternoon.
Rizzo, currently serving as the CIA's interim general counsel, told a Senate panel in June that he did not object to a 2002 memo authorizing interrogation techniques that stop just short of inflicting pain equal to that accompanying organ failure or even death.
Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., who led the opposition to Rizzo, called him the wrong man for the job. .........
Bush's UN Speech Full of Fone-eh-tick Pronunciations for World Leaders
ABC News' Ann Compton and Jennifer Duck report: Never before has the White House released a draft version of the President's speech to the annual United Nations General Assembly.
But this year, a glimpse of how the President sees his speeches was accidentally placed on the UN website along with the speechwriters' cell phone numbers.
Pronunciations for President Bush's friend French President Sarkozy "[sar-KOzee]" appeared in draft #20 on the UN website. Other pronunciations included the Mugabe "[moo-GAHbee] regime" and pronunciations for countries "Kyrgyzstan [KEYRgeez-stan]" and "Mauritania [moor-EH-tain-ee-a]." Most leaders submit a text in advance, especially to help the many translators who simultaneously turn the speeches into more than half a dozen languages. The teleprompter also needs to be loaded with a copy of the President's words so it will appear on glass screens in front of the lectern.
The Bush White House is unaccustomed to providing advanced texts suitable for reporters to publish before he actually speaks. ...........
US polygamist sect leader guilty of rape charges
The leader of a polygamist sect in Utah was on Tuesday found guilty of rape charges stemming from the marriage of a 14-year-old girl against her will to a cousin.
Warren Jeffs, 51, the leader of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, which broke from the Mormon Church because of differences over polygamy, was convicted on two charges of acting as an accomplice to rape.
Jeffs, a self-proclaimed prophet whose followers believe he is descended from Jesus Christ, was arrested in August last year outside of Las Vegas after being included on the FBI's "Ten Most Wanted" list.
Prosecutors at his trial in St. George, Utah, 300 miles (480 kilometers) south of Salt Lake City, said Jeffs was guilty because he had ordered the girl to get married and have sex with her cousin despite her objections........
PBS: Weapons of US soldiers in Iraq 'plagued with problems'
David Edwards and Greg Wasserstrom
The M-16, the choice rifle of the United States Armed Forces, turns 50 years old this month and is still plagued by many of the same problems it had half a century ago, putting American troops in Iraq at a severe disadvantage when it comes to small arms combat, the PBS program Newshour reported tonight.
"That AK-74 outhits the M-16 by two to one on full automatic," said Jim Sullivan, referring to the Russian-made assault rifle, now in its third generation. "And the reason there were 100 million AK's made wasn't to equip the Russian army - it was to give [to] our Third World opponents. The United States can't win ground wars anymore."........
House Panel Says Rice Is Hindering Its Work
Blackwater, Corruption in Iraq at Issue
By Karen DeYoungWashington Post Staff Writer
An ongoing battle between Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and a House committee investigating Iraqi government corruption and the activities of the Blackwater security firm erupted into another skirmish yesterday as Rep. Henry A. Waxman (D-Calif.) accused Rice of interfering with the committee's work and preventing administration and Blackwater officials from providing pertinent information.
In the latest of a series of exchanges, Waxman, chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, wrote Rice to urge that she "reconsider the unusual positions you are taking." Congress has a "constitutional prerogative" to look into the issues, he wrote, and she is "wrong to interfere with the Committee's inquiry."
State Department spokesman Tom Casey cited a "misunderstanding" on Waxman's part. "All information requested by the committee has been or is in the process of being provided," he said. ...........
NPR Rebuffs White House On Bush Talk
Radio Network Wanted To Choose Its Interviewer
By Howard Kurtz Post Staff Writer
The White House reached out to National Public Radio over the weekend, offering analyst Juan Williams a presidential interview to mark yesterday's 50th anniversary of school desegregation in Little Rock.
But NPR turned down the interview, and Williams's talk with Bush wound up in a very different media venue: Fox News. Williams said yesterday he was "stunned" by NPR's decision. "It makes no sense to me. President Bush has never given an interview in which he focused on race. . . . I was stunned by the decision to turn their backs on him and to turn their backs on me." ......
Tuesday, September 25, 2007
jeffs and everyone like him need to be locked up for good. taken off of the streets. it hasn't happened yet. whole towns are run by people with these beliefs. mayors and law enforcement and owners of hardware stores.....................
well after all it's ONLY a grrrl child isn't it?
Polygamy and Forced Sex in the Name of God
By Ellen Goodman, Washington Post Writers Group.
............To hear the alleged victim, known only as Jane Doe, describe her marriage is to be as deeply saddened as the jury was. After resisting Jeffs' order to marry her 19-year-old first cousin, she found herself at the altar, head hanging, forcing out the words, "OK, I do." After refusing sex, she went back to Jeffs for counsel and was told to "repent," to "do your duty," and be "obedient." And so the girl who didn't know what sex was or where children came from says she was forced to submit to her husband.
Did this teenager make her own choice? We forget how the rules governing consent have changed. Conflicting state laws now navigate between a girl's sexual maturity and her vulnerability. In many states, including Utah, a girl can marry with her parents' permission at a younger age than she can have sex.
But this case raises a different question about consent. How much power did the religious leader wield over the 14-year-old? If you refused to marry the chosen husband, Doe testified, you would "lose your chance at salvation." How could she refuse to obey the husband who was "my ticket into heaven"?...............
no increase in taxes, no social security cuts (how can the elderly LIVE on what they're getting now especially if there is no pension money involved too????). and the king wants to CUT FUNDS? no no no. i know where we can snip some dollars...........
BRING OUR MEN AND WOMEN HOME FROM IRAQ. STOP SQUANDERING OUR MONEY ON COMPOUNDS IN IRAQ. STOP SQUANDERING OUR MONEY ON NEFARIOUS GROUPS LIKE BLACKWATER AND HALLIBURTON.
Bush administration urges Social Security cuts
Treasury: Fix requires benefit changes, tax increases, which Bush opposes
WASHINGTON - The Bush administration said in a new report Monday that Social Security is facing a $13.6 trillion shortfall and that delaying needed reforms is not fair to younger workers.
A report issued by the Treasury Department said that some combination of benefit cuts and tax increases will need to be considered to permanently fix the funding shortfall. But White House officials stressed that President Bush remains opposed to raising taxes.
The Treasury report put the cost of the gap between what Social Security is expected to need to pay out in benefits and what it will raise in payroll taxes in coming years at $13...............
What Is Iraq Costing You?
By Larry Beinhart, AlterNet
The War in Iraq has cost about $453 billion to date. That's pretty hard to grasp. Especially on my income and probably on yours. Let's bring that home and make it a little more understandable.
The War in Iraq has cost about $453,000,000,000 (four hundred and fifty-three billion dollars) to date.
That's pretty hard to grasp. Especially on my income and probably on yours. Let's bring that home and make it a little more understandable.
I live in Ulster County, New York. Our share of that is $372,000,000 (three hundred and seventy-two million dollars).
If you live in Los Angeles, your bill is $4,823,000,000 (four billion, eight hundred twenty-three million). Savannah, Georgia, $144,000,000. Little Rock, Arkansas, $339,000,000. That's how much you're putting in so far. It keeps ticking away at two billion dollars a week. If you live somewhere else and want to know how much it's costing your city or county, go to costofwar.com.
You might also want to do what they suggest. Imagine what could have been done with that much money. The schools, bridges, medical care, playgrounds.
What did we get for our money?........
Vitter secures $100K for Louisiana anti-evolution group
Religous conservatives receiving funds have political ties to embattled senator
In a move ostensibly aimed at providing "better science education" in Louisiana schools, Sen. David Vitter has secured $100,000 in taxpayer dollars to fund an anti-evolution effort spearheaded by a religious group politically connected to the alleged prostitute-soliciting Republican.
Vitter secured an earmark in an upcoming labor, health and education financing bill for the Louisiana Family Forum, which The New Orleans Times Picayune reports has "taken the lead in promoting 'origins science,' which includes the possibility of divine intervention in the creation of the universe.".......
why was THIS dude allowed into our country when innocents cannot come here?
Live From New York, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's Unreality Show
By Dana Milbank
"For hundreds of years, we've lived in friendship and brotherhood with the people of Iraq," Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad told the National Press Club yesterday.
That's true -- as long as you don't count the little unpleasantness of the Iran-Iraq war of the 1980s, when a million people died, some by poison gas. And you'd also have to overlook 500 years of fighting during the Ottoman Empire. But never mind that: Ahmadinejad was on a roll.
"Our people are the freest people in the world," said the man whose government executes dissidents, jails academics and stones people to death.
"The freest women in the world are women in Iran," he continued, neglecting to mention that Iranian law treats a woman as half of a man. ..........
a MANUAL telling us what KIND of dead someone is? NO NO AND NO
What Defines a Killing as Sectarian?
U.S. Military Teams Analyze and Tally Each Civilian Death
By Karen DeYoung Washington Post Staff Writer
On Sept. 1, the bullet-riddled bodies of four Iraqi men were found on a Baghdad street. Two days later, a single dead man, with one bullet in his head, was found on a different street. According to the U.S. military in Iraq, the solitary man was a victim of sectarian violence. The first four were not.
Such determinations are the building blocks for what the Bush administration has declared a downward trend in sectarian deaths and a sign that its war strategy is working. They are made by a specialized team of soldiers who spend their nights at computer terminals, sifting through data on the day's civilian victims for clues to the motivations of killers. The soldiers have a manual telling them what to look for. Signs of torture or a single shot to the head, corpses left in a "known body dump" -- as the body of the Sunni man found on Sept. 3 was -- spell sectarian violence, said Chief Warrant Officer 3 Dan Macomber, the team leader. Macomber, who has been at his job in Baghdad since February, rarely has to look it up anymore. .............
please note: the following is from may/june 2006 mother jones......
Dead Reckoning: Counting Iraq's Civilian Dead
News: Meet the men behind the Iraqi casualty numbers.
By Adam Shemper
When Hamit Dardagan leaves his flat in central London, he often feels that the people he sees around him aren’t living in the real world. “It is very strange that we are involved in a war, and things go on as if everything were normal,” he said recently. For Dardagan, a normal day is spent in a tiny home office in front of a computer screen, counting dead Iraqi civilians.
“It’s a bit like the movie Groundhog Day,” he said, his voice weary. “It just keeps repeating over and over and over. There might be new governments, new parliaments, new democracy in Iraq, but the violence just continues.” Three years ago, Dardagan, now 45, quit his job teaching computing and dedicated his nights and weekends to sifting through reports from more than 150 news sources, from Fox News to Al Jazeera, trying to determine how many innocent Iraqis were dying in the American invasion of Iraq and its aftermath. By his most current count, more than 37,000 Iraqi civilians have died since March 2003........
Monday, September 24, 2007
Gainesville Middle School art students spent this week learning about peace, love and understanding.They participated in an international art and literacy project, “Pinwheels for Peace,” that featured them making, then planting the windmill-like paper crafts at a fence near a school parking lot
Students in sixth through eighth grades took part in the project, which culminated with International Day of Peace on Friday.
The students planted the pinwheels Tuesday and Wednesday, as Noah was concerned about a rainy forecast toward the end of the week.
Eighth-graders in her Visual Arts I class spent Friday morning plucking rain-splashed pinwheels out of the ground and shrubbery and off a chain-link fence.......
A Challenge to the U.S. Senate: If the troops must forego R and R, so should you.
by Mary Shaw
Last November, the American people voted for change. We were fed up. So we sent more Democrats to Washington with the expectation that we would finally see some positive change, some real efforts to reverse the direction in which this country has been led (and misled) over the past six years.No such luck
And now they've outdone themselves.All along, Congress has been rubberstamping Bush's misguided Iraq war policy. They fear that if they don't, they'll be accused of not supporting our troops.So now what do they do? They block legislation that would support .....
and i don't undestand why
Wash. Post's Murray cited flawed poll, repeated GOP claim that "the public has grown more patient on Iraq"
Summary: In a Washington Post article, Shailagh Murray wrote: "GOP Senate offices circulated the results of a Gallup poll released this week that showed 54 percent of those surveyed think [Gen. David] Petraeus's plan for removing troops is the right pace, or even too quick." However, this poll question did not explain to respondents how many troops Petraeus' plan called for removing or over what period of time this withdrawal would take place. Other polling shows that when respondents are told specifically what Petraeus recommended, the results are dramatically different.
In a September 22 Washington Post article, staff writer Shailagh Murray asserted that "Republicans sounded emboldened" during the September 21 Senate debate on the Iraq war and that they argued "[t]he public has grown more patient on Iraq ... after a report last week from Army Gen. David H. Petraeus."...........
Iraq Oil Deal Gets Everybody's Attention
By Michael A. Fletcher
The oil deal signed between Hunt Oil and the government in Iraq's Kurdish region earlier this month has raised eyebrows, in no small part because it appears to undercut President Bush's hope that Iraq could draft national legislation to share revenue from the country's vast oil reserves. Making the deal more curious is that it was crafted by one of the administration's staunchest supporters, Ray Hunt.
Hunt, chief executive of the Dallas-based company, has been a major fundraiser and contributor to Bush's presidential campaigns. He also serves on the president's Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board, putting him close to the latest information developed by the nation's intelligence agencies. If Hunt is signing regional oil deals in Iraq, critics ask, what does he know about the prospects for a long-stalled national oil law that others don't?
Since the deal was made public, it has drawn the ire of the Iraqi national government, which has called the agreement illegal. ......
V E R Y
do we want these sorts of actions committed? what if a child or an innocent picked up the bait? it's MORE than possible.
what are we turning into? the longer this goes on and the more we find out the more disturbed i become.
the more angry i become no one is stopping this shite
U.S. Aims To Lure Insurgents With 'Bait'
Snipers Describe Classified Program
By Josh White and Joshua Partlow Washington Post Staff Writers
A Pentagon group has encouraged some U.S. military snipers in Iraq to target suspected insurgents by scattering pieces of "bait," such as detonation cords, plastic explosives and ammunition, and then killing Iraqis who pick up the items, according to military court documents.
The classified program was described in investigative documents related to recently filed murder charges against three snipers who are accused of planting evidence on Iraqis they killed.
"Baiting is putting an object out there that we know they will use, with the intention of destroying the enemy," Capt. Matthew P. Didier, the leader of an elite sniper scout platoon attached to the 1st Battalion of the 501st Infantry Regiment, said in a sworn statement. "Basically, we would put an item out there and watch it. If someone found the item, picked it up and attempted to leave with the item, we would engage the individual as I saw this as a sign they would use the item against U.S. Forces." ..........
Sunday, September 23, 2007
Exclusive: Petraeus' Sectarian Death Count Methodology
By Spencer Ackerman
In the debate over the surge, there have been a number of questions raised within the government about an important metric for understanding whether the U.S. military's strategy is succeeding -- how Multinational Force-Iraq calculates sectarian violence.
Earlier this month, David Walker of the Government Accountability Office testified that he could not "get comfortable" with General David Petraeus' methodology for determining sectarianism, considering it too inferential to be reliable. His report, echoing objections from senior intelligence officials, instead tabulated the pace of attacks on civilians and found the surge didn't appear to have a significant effect on civilian-targeted violence. However, relying on data interpreted through the MNF-I methodology, Petraeus testified that sectarian violence had fallen in Iraq to mid-2006 levels.
The actual methodology MNF-I employs has remained unknown. Until now.
In response to a Freedom of Information Act request I filed two weeks ago, MNF-I has provided TPMmuckraker with its criteria for identifying ethnic and sectarian violence. We've added the methodology to our Document Collection, and you can read it here. ........
Some Questions for Our Democratic Leaders
by Steven DSun Sep 23rd, 2007 at 07:21:45 AM EST
I don't mean to be rude, but what the hell is going on? No impeachment proceedings, despite the Kucinich Impeachment Articles languishing in the House? A refusal to make the Republican Senators filibuster the Webb amendment that would have required a mandatory year’s rest between deployments to Iraq or Afghanistan (which wasn’t even an antiwar bill, but one crafted specifically to support the troops)? Twenty two Democratic Senators voting to condemn Moveon.org for exercising their right to free speech? No strategy for ending this war other than a vain hope to “peel away” a few “moderate” Republicans? Mealy mouthed explanations for why nothing gets done?
I'd like to support the Democratic leadership in the Senate and the House, I really would, but so far I see nothing that I can in all honesty point to as a significant action by our leadership in support of a progressive agenda. Indeed, I see the tacit acquiescence by Democrats in the suppression of voices of dissent. For example, we watched the other day as a nonviolent black peace activist (Rev. Yearwood) was brutalized by Capitol Hill Police and arrested ( and other peace activists arrested with him) merely for trying to attend an open hearing on General Petraeus' testimony without any cause or justification, and I find it hard to believe that Dem leadership could not have done something to prevent that abuse by law enforcement. We have the spectacle of House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer calling out Rep. Moran and demanding he apologize for merely stating, in an interview granted to a the Jewish publication Tikkun Magazine, that AIPAC has far to much influence and power over Democratic Congressional members, influence it exercises through raw intimidation.............
her family is suffering and his family (while suffering too i'm sure), contributes to a memorial plaque for HIM
where is morality?
Paper Runs Photo of Plaque Honoring Murderer -- Protest Erupts
ERSKINE, Minn. -- Family members of a woman shot to death in 2005 by her ex-fiancee, who then killed himself, were upset to learn that he's been honored with a plaque in a city softball park.The plaque reads, "In loving memory of David DeFrang, whose love and devotion to our children is greatly appreciated." It was placed in Erskine's Athletic Park about two weeks ago.DeFrang was a coach of youth basketball and baseball teams in this northwestern Minnesota town, and a longtime supporter of and worker at the city softball park, said Patty Morrison, who coordinated the effort to put up the plaque.But, according to the Polk County Sheriff's Office, on Jan. 23, 2005, DeFrang, 44, shot 39-year-old Tina Gerving to death with a small-caliber handgun, then turned it on himself. Gerving had broken off their engagement about two weeks earlier.Gerving's aunt, Linda Emerson, who lives in Waubun, wasn't happy to learn about the plaque."Yeah? Why don't they make one for Charles Manson, too?" she told the Grand Forks Herald.........
1 day ago
HELSINKI, Finland (AP) — An American family with three small children has applied for political asylum in Finland, immigration officials said Friday.
The five family members came to Finland on Tuesday from Germany, said Minna Serradj from the Directorate of Immigration.
"It's very unusual for a U.S. citizen to apply for asylum," Serradj said, declining to give details in line with a policy to protect asylum seekers. "I don't remember when we last had Americans applying."
Serradj declined to comment on local media speculation that the parents possibly were seeking to escape serving in the U.S. armed forces in Iraq..............