Saturday, May 10, 2008
U.S. soldier fulfills his mission of getting Iraqi girl new legs
By Leila Fadel McClatchy Newspapers
BAGHDAD — Staff Sgt. Luis Falcon, 38, was patrolling the streets of Baqouba, north of Baghdad, when he saw Shahad Abbas. The 11-year-old girl was in a large decrepit wheelchair, and the stumps of her legs where her calves should have been were crusted with dried blood.
Falcon couldn't just walk on, so he stopped to talk. He came back the next day and the day after that, then every day for six months, bringing her toys, gauze for her legs, a new wheelchair. Anything she asked for he would bring.
In a war that Falcon no longer really understood, Shahad became his mission. So when she asked for legs, that became his mission, too.
On Friday his dream and hers came true, just three weeks before he's scheduled to leave Iraq. Shahad was fitted with prosthetic limbs in a U.S. military-funded clinic in Baghdad that normally provides artificial limbs for wounded members of the Iraqi security forces.
"We created a bond, and I didn't need a translator to interpret the bond we had," Falcon said.
With no little girls of his own, he thought of Shahad as his daughter and carried a picture of her smiling in the shoulder pocket of his uniform.
Iraq has one of the largest populations of amputees in the world, though a precise count isn't available.........
(hey peeps if this isn't enough for you, WHAT THE EFF WILL IT TAKE?)
Recession? Cheney says America's economy is the 'envy of the world'
Vice President Dick Cheney, who declared $2.5 million in taxable income last year and $8.8 million in 2006, says America's economy is strong as ever.
The VP who said Iraq's insurgency was in it's "last throes" in 2005 and the economy is currently in a "rough patch" gave the financial health of the United States a ringing endorsement in Northeast Philadelphia Thursday morning.
Cheney said that the US economy “remains the envy of the world,” and that the recent “slowdown” might have been worse had Bush not enacted tax cuts in 2001 and 2003.
Because of this, he said, “the slowdown that did come was a fairly mild one.”
“For the better part of six years now, this nation's economy grew without pause,” Cheney added.........
Top McCain Aide Sponsors Ritual To Attack Christianity
By: Cliff Schecter
Progressive author John Gorenfeld recently released a book exposing the unsavory ties between the GOP and billionaire, Washington Times Publisher (and convicted tax cheat) Reverend Sun Myung Moon. In his book, Bad Moon Rising, Gorenfeld shows the relationship between many in the Republican hierarchy, including the Bush clan, and a man who has often been charged with being a leader of a cult.
What is beyond question, however, is that a high-ranking McCain Campaign official, Charlie Black, has planned ceremonies for Moon to be crowned "King Of America," and Moon has had damning things to say about the Christian faith.
First from an email chain between Gorenfeld and Black:
From: John Gorenfeld
To:"CHARLIE BLACK"cc:Subject: Re: Moon event at Dirksen Senate Office Building, 3/23
05/06/2004 09:31 PM
Dear Mr. Black,
Thanks for your reply.
It's kind of an amazing event, with Moon being coronated as the king and declaring himself the Messiah at a federal building. Can you tell me how you got involved with inviting people? Is this an annual event, or just a one-time thing?
On Apr 28, 2004, at 10:34 AM, CHARLIE BLACK wrote:
I lent my name and sent invitations to a few friends. Unfortunately, I had a conflict and couldn't go to the event.
So what is clear from this email is that top Mccain advisor Charlie Black is admitting that he helped plan, and would have attended, an event where a convicted tax fraud would have been crowned King Of America and declared himself the Messiah--all on U.S. Government federal property (on March 23, 2004)...............
Senior McCain adviser helped arrange Rev. Moon coronation
A bizarre Capitol Hill ceremony a few years ago in which the eccentric conservative publisher the Rev. Sun Myung Moon declared himself the Second Coming was organized with help from a senior adviser to John McCain's presidential campaign.
Charlie Black, a Washington lobbyist and McCain confidant, lent his name to the coronation ceremony and invited a few friends, according to newly disclosed e-mails.
"What is clear from this email is that top Mccain advisor Charlie Black is admitting that he helped plan, and would have attended, an event where a convicted tax fraud would have been crowned King Of America and declared himself the Messiah--all on U.S. Government federal property (on March 23, 2004)," writes author Cliff Schecter, who published the e-mails on his blog Friday...........
(oh and for the record, i think ALL fundamentalists, especially those like the two i'm talking about are id-jits)
Countdown: John McCain’s growing pastor problems
By Muriel Kane
Presidential candidate John McCain’s pastor problems are bubbling up again, with Reverend John Hagee, whose support and endorsement McCain has actively sought, reversing last week’s retraction of remarks he made in 2006 blaming the destruction of New Orleans by Hurricane Katrina on a planned gay pride parade.
MSNBC’s Keith Olbermann pointed out Hagee’s reversal and also noted that McCain recently had a photo op at a plaque honoring New York firefighters who died on 9/11. Another McCain supporter, the late Reverend Jerry Falwell, famously blamed 9/11 on “the pagans and the abortionists and the feminists and the gays” and threatened that it could happen again if “God continues to lift the curtain and allow the enemies of America to give us probably what we deserve.”
Olbermann then asked Washington Post columnist Eugene Robinson to comment on how McCain is pulling off “one of the great political magic tricks of all time” by making these questionable connections disappear.
Robinson agreed that Hagee “is a complete lunatic [who] makes Jeremiah Wright sound fairly mainstream, yet McCain seems to get away with this.”
“I don’t see how how McCain … can continue to pretend that Hagee’s not out there,” Robinson continued. “There is a kind of demagoguery gap … Republicans are much better at demogoguing these issues than Democrats are. … Democrats remain tethered to things like objective fact and fairness. But by any standard, there are parallels here that are going to have to be addressed.”.........
Except for Her Anatomical Features, Clinton is No Feminist. But George Wallace Would be Proud of Her Today.BUZZFLASH EDITOR'S BLOG
by Mark Karlin
Editor and Publisher
Maybe we are naive, but we have always thought of progressivism -- in its ideal form -- as gender neutral. Men and women, people of all faiths and colors join together to promote the common good, peace and justice.
BuzzFlash has long championed the equality of people regardless of race, gender or religion.
So, as a male, it has taken me by surprise that so many avowed "Feminists" support Hillary Clinton merely because she has the anatomical features of a woman, when her policies and political style more closely mirror the more detestable side of "male" politics.
Does a true Feminist support "obliterating Iran"? Senator Clinton didn't even discuss the complexities behind the whole notion of Iran hypothetically attacking Israel, an ally with enough nuclear capability to "obliterate" the entire Middle East on its own. In short, wasn't it more Texas macho (think Bush and the Neo-Cons) for Clinton to offer her "obliterate" comment than reassuring Feminist diplomacy?.............................
Wouldn't a Feminist have voted for the banning of cluster bombs in civilian areas, instead of for their continued use in populated communities, where they particularly kill children?
Wouldn't a Feminist be supporting MoveOn.org's anti-war work and party activists for peace instead of denouncing them as extemists?
Would a Feminist have stood by and said nothing during the slaughter in Rwanda?
Would a Feminist have sat back and let the Bush Administration run roughshod through our civil liberties?
Would a Feminist, today, May 8th, channel the ghost of George Wallace and openly run as the candidate of "white" people "who are hard-working" (as compared to those "other" non-white ones -- we are to assume -- who are not)............
listen to him tell you king george has created hell on earth
There is direct evidence that President George W. Bush did not honorably lead this nation, but deliberately misled it into a war he wanted. Bush and his administration knowingly lied to Congress and to the American public — lies that have cost the lives of more than 4,000 young American soldiers and close to $1 trillion.
A Monumental Lie
In his first nationally televised address on the Iraqi crisis on October 7, 2002, six days after receiving the National Intelligence Estimate (NIE), a classified CIA report, President Bush told millions of Americans the exact opposite of what the CIA was telling him -a monumental lie to the nation and the world.
On the evening of October 7, 2002, the very latest CIA intelligence was that Hussein was not an imminent threat to the U.S. This same information was delivered to the Bush administration as early as October 1, 2002, in the NIE, including input from the CIA and 15 other U.S. intelligence agencies. In addition, CIA director George Tenet briefed Bush in the Oval Office on the morning of October 7th.
According to the October 1, 2002 NIE, “Baghdad for now appears to be drawing a line short of conducting terrorist attacks with conventional or CBW [chemical and biological warfare] against the United States, fearing that exposure of Iraqi involvement would provide Washington a stronger case for making war.” The report concluded that Hussein was not planning to use any weapons of mass destruction; further, Hussein would only use weapons of mass destruction he was believed to have if he were first attacked, that is, he would only use them in self-defense.
Preparing its declassified version of the NIE for Congress, which became known as the White Paper, the Bush administration edited the classified NIE document in ways that significantly changed its inference and meaning, making the threat seem imminent and ominous...........
Friday, May 09, 2008
Discussing Cindy McCains's tax returns, NBC's Curry did not note effect on John McCain of wife's fortune or benefit to Cindy of tax cuts her husband now supports
On the May 8 edition of NBC's Today, co-host Ann Curry interviewed Cindy Hensley McCain, Sen. John McCain's wife, who said in response to calls for her to release her tax returns: "[M]y husband and I have been married 28 years, and we have filed separate tax returns for 28 years. This is a privacy issue. My husband is the candidate." Curry responded by asking, "So you'll never release, you're saying? ... Even if you're first lady?" After McCain said, "No," Curry added, "Because that is -- even though not an elected position, you would be in a very public role." McCain replied, "I'm not the candidate." Beyond noting Cindy McCain's "very public role" if she became first lady, Curry did not challenge her with any other reason why her tax returns are relevant to the presidential campaign. Among those reasons: John McCain, and therefore John McCain's campaign, benefits from his wife's wealth, and the tax returns would indicate the extent to which Cindy McCain -- and presumably therefore John McCain -- has benefited from President Bush's tax cuts, which McCain supports permanently extending.............
An Atheist Goes Undercover to Join the Flock of Mad Pastor John Hagee
By Matt Taibbi, RollingStone.com.
The following is an excerpt from Matt Taibbi's new book, The Great Derangement" (Spiegel and Grau, 2008). Update: Matt Taibbi has responded to readers concerns about a passage in this excerpt. Response pasted at the bottom.
I pulled into the church parking lot a little after 6:00 p.m., at more or less the last possible minute. The previous half hour or so I'd spent dawdling in my car outside a Goodwill department store off Route 410 in San Antonio, clinging to some inane sports talk show piping over my car radio -- anything to hold off my plunge into Religion.
There was an old-fashioned white school bus in front of the church entrance, with a puddle of heavyset people milling around its swinging door. Some of these were carrying blankets and sleeping bags. My heart, already pounding, skipped a few extra beats. The church circulars had said nothing about bringing bedding. Why did I need bedding? What else had I missed?
"Excuse me," I said, walking up to an in-charge-looking man with a name tag who was standing near the front of the bus. "I see everyone has blankets. I didn't bring any. Is this going to be a problem?"
The man was about five feet one and had glassy eyes. He looked up at me and smiled queerly.
"Name?" he said.
"Collins," I said. "Matthew Collins."
He scanned his clipboard, found my name on the appropriate sheet of paper, and X-ed me out with a highlighter. "Don't worry, Matthew," he said, resting his hand on my shoulder. "A wonderful woman named Martha is going to take care of you at the ranch. You just tell her what you need when you get there."
I nodded, glancing at his hand, which was still on my shoulder. He waved me into the bus..........
Actor, writer, director John Cusack has a lot to say about the Iraq war and the current state of US politics. Although he frequently uses such forums as the Huffington Post to express his criticism of the Bush administration, in his new film, War Inc., he really pulls out all the stops to shine a damningly aggressive light on the privatization of war.
Cusack sat down with Raw Story's Larisa Alexandrovna to discuss the film, his political views and his take on the state of mainstream media, which he feels has failed in its role as the public watchdog.
"I think in a way you can almost respect the criminals more than the enablers in some sick way -- I mean, I think what the Bush administration has done is criminal, should be treated as a crime, but the idea that people who call themselves journalists let these lies go on unchecked and endorsed them time and time again is [unpardonable]," Cusack said. "Don't get me wrong, I think great journalism is heroic, I am in awe of great journalists."...................
Leading Newspapers Perpetuated Obama-Muslim Myth on Day of IN Primary
Posted by Brad Jacobson
Media Matters posted a piece yesterday afternoon about how the right-wing Washington Times earlier in the day "quoted [an] Indiana man saying Obama is 'a Muslim' without noting the assertion is false."
A fine catch.
Media Matters also smartly showed how a responsible journalist reports such incidents:
By contrast, after quoting the same man in its own article, the Chicago Sun-Times wrote that "Obama has never been a Muslim, but bogus e-mails accuse him of being a Muslim who put his hand on a copy of the Quran to be sworn into the U.S. Senate and refusing to say the Pledge of Allegiance."................
*one of my favorites by the way, as far as theorems go
(read the whole column/story from the link below. it's not that long)
Republicans Vote Against Moms; No Word Yet on Puppies, Kittens
By Dana Milbank
It was already shaping up to be a difficult year for congressional Republicans. Now, on the cusp of Mother's Day, comes this: A majority of the House GOP has voted against motherhood. .............
.............."The majority has taken, once again, their go-it-alone policy," Boehner lamented yesterday. "It's time for Democrats and Republicans to work together."
To induce this working together, Boehner decided to stop the House from working at all. As House Democrats tried to pass legislation to ease the mortgage crisis on Wednesday, Republicans served up hours of procedural delays, demanding a score of roll call votes: 10 motions to adjourn, half a dozen motions to reconsider, various and sundry amendments, a motion to approve the daily journal, a motion to instruct and a "motion to rise." ..........
Thursday, May 08, 2008
king george and his court continue not only to spit on our constitution BUT spit on our service men and women as well
Pentagon’s Spin On GI Bill Is ‘Offensive Nonsense’
Posted by Jon Soltz, Think Progress
Yesterday, ThinkProgress highlighted the latest reason from the Bush administration to oppose a real GI Bill for troops, offered by Senators Webb and Hagel. The Pentagon spokesperson said, in part:
[W]e are certainly concerned that this would be eligible to them after only two years of service. We think pegging it to a longer period of service — the number we have in mind, at this point, is six years of service — that the longer you stay in, the sweeter the benefits are to you. Six years would show a commitment to service. … The last thing we want to do is provide a benefit — or the last thing we want to do is create a situation in which we are losing our men and women who we have worked so hard to train.
Wow. There are a few very serious flaws in this logic:
First, the time of service isn’t a measure of commitment to service. What about the troops who served under six years, did a few tours in Iraq, and came back without a limb, and could no longer serve? Have they shown less of a commitment to America? I would love for this spokesperson to go to Walter Reed and tell anyone there who served three years, but now cannot continue their service, that they haven’t shown a commitment.
Second, no one is leaving the military after two years. I’d note that when you sign up, it’s for an eight year contract, most for four years active..........................
if one is a half way decent human being, i cannot understand why one wouldn't INSIST upon humane treatment of animals. for food, for work, for companionship, for whatever.
Humane Society releases new video of mistreated livestock
By NATASHA T. METZLER
WASHINGTON — The Humane Society of the United States released video footage Wednesday of sick and injured livestock the group says were mistreated at auction sites and stockyards where cattle are sold for slaughter.
The group released videos shot during April and May showing downed cows abandoned for hours at facilities in Maryland, New Mexico, Pennsylvania and Texas. A video was posted on the group's Web site.
"We found downed cows in a state of ill health, with no relief provided to the animals," said Wayne Pacelle, the organization's president and chief executive.
Downed cattle may pose a higher risk of contamination from E. coli, salmonella or mad cow disease because they typically wallow in feces and their immune systems are often weak.........
Spurns Calls to Quit Race
Odds and Allegiances Shift Further to Obama
Now facing almost insurmountable odds, Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (N.Y.) came under fresh pressure yesterday to end her campaign for the Democratic presidential nomination against Sen. Barack Obama (Ill.), but she vowed to remain in the race "until there is a nominee."
Clinton's narrow win in Indiana late Tuesday provided none of the boost that her campaign advisers had anticipated. Her small margin, coupled with Obama's runaway victory in the North Carolina primary, shifted the dynamics of the Democratic race dramatically and sharply against her overnight.
In a conference call with reporters, campaign officials offered as upbeat an assessment of the contest as they could muster. Asked whether Clinton had discussed dropping out, senior adviser Howard Wolfson flatly told reporters: "No.".......
Wednesday, May 07, 2008
From Christina Page at RH Reality Check:
On June 7th, the anniversary of the Supreme Court decision that gave married people the right to use contraception, the American Life League, along with Pro-Life Wisconsin and Pharmacists for Life International Associate groups want you to join them in protesting in front of facilities that distribute birth control products. The national day against contraception, Protest the Pill Day '08: The Pill Kills Babies, was started to convince the American people of a simple and imaginative idea: attempting to prevent abortion is abortion too.
The campaign basically says that birth control pills kill babies (yes, seriously) and that pro-choice groups and health care centers like Planned Parenthood are only touting birth control to make lots and lots of money. (Because as we all know, there's nothing more lucrative than offering low-to-no cost reproductive health care.).............
Posted by Brad Jacobson
Today in Indiana, a roaming pack of octogenarian and nonagenarian hooligans attempted to exercise their right to vote. Apparently, they didn't realize this was America:
About 12 Indiana nuns were turned away Tuesday from a polling place by a fellow bride of Christ because they didn't have state or federal identification bearing a photograph.
Sister Julie McGuire said she was forced to turn away her fellow sisters at Saint Mary's Convent in South Bend, across the street from the University of Notre Dame, because they had been told earlier that they would need such an ID to vote.
The nuns, all in their 80s or 90s, didn't get one but came to the precinct anyway.
"One came down this morning, and she was 98, and she said, 'I don't want to go do that,'" Sister McGuire said. Some showed up with outdated passports. None of them drives.
They weren't given provisional ballots because it would be impossible to get them to a motor vehicle branch and back in the 10-day time frame allotted by the law, Sister McGuire said. "You have to remember that some of these ladies don't walk well. They're in wheelchairs or on walkers or electric carts."
Take a walk, grannies! Oh...you can't walk. Well, just move it along, then. Nothing to see here, sisters!...........
Tuesday, May 06, 2008
Meet Pam Stenzel, she's lying to your kids
There's no doubt that abstinence-only educators do harm. But some do more harm than others. Unlike the Leslee Unruhs of the world - who wear their crazy on their sleeve - abstinence "educator" Pam Stenzel is an engaging, convincing, fun speaker. A speaker who tells kids that birth control could kill them and that abortion makes girls anorexic, depressed and suicidal. And she does it with aplomb.........
Department of What. The. Fuck.
By Kathy G.
Washington University, the highly respected research university located in St. Louis, Missouri, is planning to award Phyllis Schlafly with an honorary doctorate.
Dude, I am so not kidding. See here.
Excuse me, but I'm gonna lose my lunch. While I'm retching away in the toilet, you can read the message below, which is from the Facebook group, No honorary doctorate for anti-feminist Phyllis Schlafly:
Wash. U. will honor anti-feminist Phyllis Schlafly at commencement. WHAT?
This is the woman who lives the hypocrisy of having a career that takes her around the country lecturing "family values" groups on how women should stay home.
This is the woman who said of husband-wife rape, "By getting married, the woman has consented to sex, and I don't think you can call it rape [sic]."
This is the woman who described sex education classes as "in-home sales parties for abortions." Do her views fit with the future the men and women of Wash U's graduating class see for themselves and their peers? Probably not. Then why honor her with them? Wouldn't having someone like her in the midst of Wash U's female graduates be incongruous at best, offensive at worst?
E-mail Chancellor Wrighton and let him know what you think! Wrighton@wustl.edu..........
this just CANNOT be real, right?
Fla. Teacher Accused Of Wizardry
Man Made Toothpick Vanish In Class
LAND 'O LAKES, Fla. -- A substitute teacher in Pasco County has lost his job after being accused of wizardry.
Teacher Jim Piculas does a magic trick where a toothpick disappears and then reappears.
Piculas recently did the 30-second trick in front of a classroom at Rushe Middle School in Land 'O Lakes.
Piculas said he then got a call from the supervisor of teachers, saying he'd been accused of wizardry.
"I get a call the middle of the day from head of supervisor of substitute teachers. He says, 'Jim, we have a huge issue, you can't take any more assignments you need to come in right away,'" he said.
Soldier suicides could trump war tolls: US health official
Suicides and "psychological mortality" among US soldiers who served in Iraq and Afghanistan could exceed battlefield deaths if their mental scars are left untreated, the head of the US Institute of Mental Health warned Monday.
Of the 1.6 million US soldiers who have been deployed in Iraq and Afghanistan, 18-20 percent -- or around 300,000 -- show symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), depression or both, said Thomas Insel, head of the National Institute of Mental Health.
An estimated 70 percent of those at-risk soldiers do not seek help from the Department of Defense or the Veterans Administration, he told a news conference launching the American Psychiatric Association's 161st annual meeting here.
If "one just does the math", then allowing PTSD or depression to go untreated in such numbers could result in "suicides and psychological mortality trumping combat deaths" in Iraq and Afghanistan, Insel warned.
More than 4,000 US soldiers have died in Iraq since the US invasion of 2003, and more than 400 in Afghanistan since the US led attacks there in 2001, of which some 290 were killed in action and the rest in on-combat deaths.....
she was black. he was white. that was the ONLY reason
they made history. thank you mildred jeter loving and richard loving
Quiet Va. Wife Ended Interracial Marriage Ban
By Patricia Sullivan Washington Post Staff Writer
Mildred Jeter Loving, 68, a black woman whose refusal to accept Virginia's ban on interracial marriage led to a U.S. Supreme Court decision in 1967 that struck down similar laws across the country, died of pneumonia Friday at her home in Milford, Va.
Appreciation: Mildred Loving Followed Her Heart and Made History
Obituaries: Quiet Va. Wife Ended Interracial Marriage Ban
The Loving v. Virginia decision overturned long-standing legal and social prohibitions against miscegenation in the United States. Celebrated at the time, the landmark case sunk to obscurity until a 1996 made-for-television movie and a 2004 book revived interest in how the young, small-town black and white couple changed history.
A modest homemaker, Loving never thought she had done anything extraordinary. "It wasn't my doing," Loving told the Associated Press in a rare interview a year ago. "It was God's work."
Today, according to the Census Bureau, there are 4.3 million interracial couples in the nation. .........
Mildred Loving and her husband, Richard, took their case to the U.S. Supreme Court, which in 1967 struck down bans on interracial marriage. Photo Credit: 1965 Photo By Associated Press Photo
Monday, May 05, 2008
i am not a fan of iran. i AM a fan of the truth. none of this shite would be happening if WE DIDN'T MEDDLE. (of course we did way more than meddle. we've displaced millions, been responsible for the deaths of tens of thousands and worse)
this was in today's wapo: Iraq Says It Has Proof Of Iranian Meddling
Tehran Funneling Weapons, Officials Say
By Amit R. PaleyWashington Post Foreign Service
BAGHDAD, May 4 -- The Iraqi government said Sunday that it has "concrete evidence" Iran is fomenting violence in Iraq and that a high-level panel had been formed to document the proof. The statement came as Iraqi officials find themselves trapped between the United States and Iran, which have each accused the other of wreaking havoc in Iraq. Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki is in a particularly delicate situation because he is close to American and Iranian officials.
Iraqi government spokesman Ali al-Dabbagh called reporters late Sunday night to clarify remarks he made at a news conference earlier in the day, when he appeared to say that there was no hard evidence that Iran was allowing weapons to come into Iraq. Dabbagh said his comments had been misinterpreted. .....
the nytimes has this: Hezbollah Trains Iraqis in Iran, Officials Say
By MICHAEL R. GORDON
BAGHDAD — Militants from the Lebanese group Hezbollah have been training Iraqi militia fighters at a camp near Tehran, according to American interrogation reports that the United States has supplied to the Iraqi government. An American official said the account of Hezbollah’s role was provided by four Shiite militia members who were captured in Iraq late last year and questioned separately.
The United States has long charged that the Iranians were training Iraqi militia fighters in Iran, which Iran has consistently denied, and there have been previous reports about Hezbollah operatives in Iraq.
But the Americans say the reports of Hezbollah’s role at the Iranian camp offer important details about Iranian assistance to the militias, including efforts Iran appears to be making to train the fighters in unobtrusive ways.
Material from the interrogations was given to the Iraqi government, along with other data about captured Iranian arms, before it sent a delegation to Tehran last week to discuss allegations of Iranian aid to militia groups.
It is not known if the delegation confronted its Iranian hosts with the information, or how the Iranians responded.........
and then in mcclatchy, there's this: Iraq backs off allegations that Iran is behind violence
By Leila Fadel and Shashank Bengali McClatchy Newspapers
BAGHDAD — The Iraqi Government seemed to distance itself from U.S. accusations towards Iran Sunday saying it would not be forced into conflict with its Shiite neighbor. And Prime Minister Nouri al Maliki ordered the formation of a committee to look into foreign intervention in Iraq.
As the government appeared to back down from its hardening stance against Iran, four marines were killed in Anbar in the deadliest attack in the Sunni province in months.
The government spokesman, Ali al Dabbagh, told reporters Sunday that a committee was formed to find "tangible information" about foreign intervention, specifically Iran's role in Iraq rather than "information based on speculation."
"We don't want to be pushed into any conflict with any neighboring countries, especially Iran. What happened before is enough. We paid a lot," Dabbagh said, referring to the eight years war between the two nations in which an estimated 1 million people died.
While the Iraqi government has long said they would not be used for a proxy war between the U.S. and Iran at odds over Iran's nuclear aspirations, the statement came as the Iraqi government had taken tough stances towards Iran in the past week. This included sending a delegation last week to Iran to urge them to stop the flow of weapons and to refrain from funding Shiite militias battling Iraqi Security Forces.
U.S. officials in Baghdad rejected allegations made Saturday by a senior Iranian official who, according to Iranian state media, accused the United States of attacking Iraqi civilians.
U.S. Embassy spokesman Armand Cucciniello said that the remarks by an unnamed Iranian official "align the Iranian government with these very extremists and criminal elements and against the Iraqi government and people.
"The only appropriate response...to the concerns raised by the government of Iraq is for Iran to immediately cease providing funding, training and arms to extremist militias in Iraq."
In Sadr City the battle continued with overnight U.S. air strikes in the northeast Shiite slum and stronghold of Shiite cleric Muqtada al Sadr's Mahdi Army.
While Maliki said he would not stand for enemy "gangs" in Iraq, Sadr officials said they were open to negotiation.
Baha al Araji, a Sadrist lawmaker, condemned attacks on the heavily fortified Green Zone where the U.S. Embassy and Iraqi government offices are located and said that disbanding the Mahdi Army was a legitimate request. The Green Zone has come under heavy rocket fire for over a month.........
Judge orders all references to 'Taser' stricken from medical examiner's reports
A Summit County Common Pleas judge ordered the county medical examiner to delete any reference that Tasers contributed to the deaths of three Ohio men.
All three men were in an 'agitated' state and 'on drugs' when police officers shot them with Tasers, and the judge ordered their deaths be ruled 'accidental' also that any reference to "homicide or "electrical pulse stimulation" should be deleted from death certificates and autopsy reports."
Five sheriff's deputies had been indicted on charges related to the death of one of the men, who also had a history of mental illness. The judge further ordered that man's death be ruled as "undetermined" and to "delete any references to homicide and the death possibly being caused by asphyxia, beatings or other factors."
The court hearing centered around the "very narrow issue" of whether or not the use of the Taser Model X26 could contributed in any way to the cause of death......
Summit County judge orders Taser references deleted from medical examiner's rulings
Sunday, May 04, 2008
Missiles Strike Sadr City, Damaging Hospital
By ALISSA J. RUBIN
BAGHDAD — The ugly daily fight for ground in the poor Shiite neighborhood of Sadr City unfolded Saturday at a small mosque next door to a hospital, damaging the hospital and a number of its ambulances, and near a group of children who were wounded as they gathered tin cans to sell for salvage. The missiles that hit close to the Sadr General Hospital were American. After a night of clashes in the neighborhood, the Americans fired at least three “precision-guided munitions” at the small building next door to the hospital. Neighbors said the building was used as a place of prayer for pilgrims, hospital employees and neighborhood residents, but the military identified it as a command center for the Shiite militias that it is battling.
Twenty-eight people were wounded in the strikes on the building and surrounding area, said Abdul Hussain Qassim, a hospital official.
Responsibility for the other strike is in dispute. The Americans said claims that they had attacked the children were “preposterous.” The area where the hit occurred is near heavily contested ground. Shiite militias trying to hit nearby Iraqi Army and American forces have sometimes misfired, hitting areas near there in recent fighting. .........
Despite Alert, Flawed Wiring Still Kills G.I.’s
By JAMES RISEN
WASHINGTON — In October 2004, the United States Army issued an urgent bulletin to commanders across Iraq, warning them of a deadly new threat to American soldiers. Because of flawed electrical work by contractors, the bulletin stated, soldiers at American bases in Iraq had received severe electrical shocks, and some had even been electrocuted. The bulletin, with the headline “The Unexpected Killer,” was issued after the horrific deaths of two soldiers who were caught in water — one in a shower, the other in a swimming pool — that was suddenly electrified after poorly grounded wiring short-circuited.
“We’ve had several shocks in showers and near misses here in Baghdad, as well as in other parts of the country,” Frank Trent, an expert with the Army Corps of Engineers, wrote in the bulletin. “As we install temporary and permanent power on our projects, we must ensure that we require contractors to properly ground electrical systems.”
Since that warning, at least two more American soldiers have been electrocuted in similar circumstances. In all, at least a dozen American military personnel have been electrocuted in Iraq, according to the Pentagon and Congressional investigators. ...........
do we attack yemen? nope, we attack iraq. makes sense to me, no? (NO)
Probe of USS Cole Bombing Unravels
Plotters Freed in Yemen; U.S. Efforts Frustrated
By Craig WhitlockWashington Post Foreign Service
ADEN, Yemen -- Almost eight years after al-Qaeda nearly sank the USS Cole with an explosives-stuffed motorboat, killing 17 sailors, all the defendants convicted in the attack have escaped from prison or been freed by Yemeni officials.
Jamal al-Badawi, a Yemeni who helped organize the plot to bomb the Cole as it refueled in this Yemeni port on Oct. 12, 2000, has broken out of prison twice. He was recaptured both times, but then secretly released by the government last fall. Yemeni authorities jailed him again after receiving complaints from Washington. But U.S. officials have so little faith that he's still in his cell that they have demanded the right to perform random inspections.
Two suspects, described as the key organizers, were captured outside Yemen and are being held at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, beyond the jurisdiction of U.S. courts. Many details of their alleged involvement remain classified. It is unclear when -- or if -- they will be tried by the military. ........