Monday, October 25, 2004

War News for Monday, October 25, 2004 Bring ‘em on: Two Iraqis killed, three Australian soldiers wounded in car bomb ambush in Baghdad. Bring ‘em on: One Bulgarian soldier killed, three wounded in car bomb ambush near Karbala. Bring ‘em on: US convoy attacked by car bomb near Khaldiyah. Bring ‘em on: One Iraqi killed, two wounded in two car bombings in Mosul. Bring ‘em on: Iraqi police station near Kirkuk attacked by 20 insurgents. Bring ‘em on: One Iraqi policeman kidnapped, one killed by insurgents near Ramadi. Bring ‘em on: Two US convoys attacked by roadside bombs in Baghdad. Bring ‘em on: Renovated Iraqi medical clinic damaged by mortar fire in Baghdad. Bring ‘em on: Five Iraqis killed in fighting with US troops in Ramadi. Bring ‘em on: Tribal leader assassinated bu bomb in Mosul. Bring ‘em on: One US soldier killed, five wounded in roadside bomb ambush in Baghdad. Bring ‘em on: One Iraqi killed, one wounded in mortar attack near Beiji. Bungling George. “A European diplomat reported that Jacques Baute, head of the arms agency's Iraq nuclear inspection team, warned officials at the United States mission in Vienna about the danger of the nuclear sites and materials once under I.A.E.A. supervision, including Al Qaqaa. But apparently, little was done. A senior Bush administration official said that during the initial race to Baghdad, American forces ‘went through the bunkers, but saw no materials bearing the I.A.E.A. seal.’ It is unclear whether troops ever returned. By late 2003, diplomats said, arms agency experts had obtained commercial satellite photos of Al Qaqaa showing that two of roughly 10 bunkers that contained HMX appeared to have been leveled by titanic blasts, apparently during the war. They presumed some of the HMX had exploded, but that is unclear….But the Bush administration would not allow the agency back into the country to verify the status of the stockpile. In May 2004, Iraqi officials say in interviews, they warned L. Paul Bremer III, the American head of the occupation authority, that Al Qaqaa had probably been looted. It is unclear if that warning was passed anywhere. Efforts to reach Mr. Bremer by telephone were unsuccessful. But by the spring of 2004, the Americans were preoccupied with the transfer of authority to Iraq, and the insurgency was gaining strength. ‘It's not an excuse,’ said one senior administration official. ‘But a lot of things went by the boards.’” Report from Baghdad. “There are indeed reasons for all this chaos, murder and mayhem. Those reasons lie in the nature of invasion, war and, most crucially of all, occupation. The US-led occupation forces presented themselves as champions of liberation, freedom and democracy. What they have achieved is chaos, collective punishment, assassinations, abuse and torture of prisoners, and destruction of the country's infrastructure.” Lieutenant AWOL as CINC. “Bush has failed the military on almost every level. While Halliburton and Boeing went to the bank this year with about $10 billion each, undermanned U.S. forces went into Iraq without armored vests and driving unarmored vehicles. The fatal results were hidden from public view as the dead were secreted home and the Department of Defense (DOD) obscured and juggled the numbers of maimed and wounded. Once back in the United States, veterans found no federal welcome mat laid out for them. By April this year, one in six veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan had filed benefits claims with the Veterans Administration for service-related disabilities. These figures do not include those troops still serving and are twice the number the DOD Web site says suffered ‘Non-Mortal Wounds’ in those conflicts. Today, one-third of those claims, almost 10,000, have yet to be processed. Further, Bush’s 2005 budget will cut 540 staff members of the Veterans Benefit Administration, which is the office that handles the claims. The outreach department that lets vets know of available services also was instructed in a 2002 memo by a deputy undersecretary in the Veterans Health Administration to run in silent mode to flush out people who had not made claims out of ignorance. Even if the war wounded succeed in getting disability pay, in 2003 Bush threatened to veto a bill that allowed veterans to collect disability pay and pensions simultaneously. In 2003, his administration also tried to cut combat pay” Cheneyburton. “In an Oct. 21 letter to the acting Army secretary, Ms. Greenhouse said that after her repeated questions about the Halliburton contracts, she was excluded from major decisions to award money and that her job status was threatened. In response, Army officials referred her accusations to the Pentagon's investigations bureau for review and promised to protect her position in the meantime.” “Coalition of the Willing” information scrubbed from White House website. 86-43-04. Pass it on.


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