Wednesday, November 09, 2005
War News for Wednesday, November 09, 2005
Bring ‘em on: Imad Awadhallah, a local photographer with Egyptian nationality, found shot dead in Baiji. Two civilians killed and another wounded when gunmen attacked their car on a road near Balad. A member of the Iraqi Islamic Party was found shot dead in the city of
Bring ‘em on: An employee of the Sudanese embassy in
Bring ‘em on: Air Force jets destroyed a building near the Syrian border Wednesday which the
Bring ‘em on: A US Marine assigned to Regimental Combat Team 2, 2nd Marine Division, 2nd Marine Expeditionary Force (Forward), died Nov. 8 of wounds suffered when his vehicle was hit with an improvised explosive device near Camp Korean Village, Iraq, on Nov. 7. Coalition and Iraqi forces captured three suspected terrorists and killed two in recent operations in
Steel Curtain down: The U.S. military in
The military said Wednesday that patrols and raids would continue to root out remaining insurgents in the town near the Syrian border.
Legal chemicals: RAI says the use of white phosphorus in built-up areas amounts to the illegal use of chemical weapons, although the BBC notes that such bombs are considered incendiary devices. The
La Repubblica, the Italian newspaper which recently broke the story on the Italian government's involvement with the forged Niger-Iraq uranium documents, reports the documentary also broadcast what it claimed is proof of the use in Iraq of a new napalm formula called MK77. The use of the incendiary substance on civilians is forbidden by a 1980 UN treaty. The use of chemical weapons is forbidden by a treaty that the
The trial: Saddam Hussein's lawyer said Wednesday that U.S.-led ``occupation forces'' bear some of the responsibility for the slaying of a second colleague in the trial, and the defense team signaled it may not show up for the next session without international security guarantees.
The attack followed the slaying last month of another defense lawyer, Saadoun al-Janabi, who was found shot to death the day after the trial began Oct. 19. The killings raise doubts about
The council voted 15-0 "to extend the mandate of the multinational force, as set forth in Resolution 1546 (in 2004), until December 2006".
"The unanimous adoption of this resolution is a vivid demonstration of broad international support for a federal, democratic, pluralistic and unified
Sure thing, John. Or maybe
National reconciliation effort: Iraqi politicians from different factions will be invited to visit
An Arab League delegation has been visiting
Billed as a way to heal deep sectarian rifts in post-Saddam
Payback: A UN auditing board has recommended that the
The International Advisory and Monitoring Board of the Development Fund for
Professional life: Ali Bashir, a lecturer at
"I may die, but I'll be happy to die serving my people," said the 52-year-old Bashir passionately. "I love
According to officials and media reports, hundreds of
Generally receiving monthly salaries of between $200 and $400, members of the professional class have become prime targets – both for organised kidnappers after big ransoms and insurgents with no sympathy for anyone perceived to be working for the US-backed government.
Breaking The Army
Scraping bottom: The number of new recruits who scored at the bottom of the Army's aptitude test tripled last month, Pentagon officials said, helping the nation's largest armed service meet its October recruiting goal but raising concerns about the quality of the force. Former Army Secretary Thomas E. White said the service was making a mistake by lowering its standards. "I think it's disastrous. You are throwing the towel in on recruiting quality," said White, a retired general whom Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld fired in 2003 over other policy differences.
Immigrant soldiers: The news that over 2,000
The exact number of Caribbean immigrants in
Recent newspaper reports suggest that some of those who enlist for service in the military are Caribbean immigrants attracted by the offer of citizenship, and that a number of them are being killed while on active service in Iraq.
The best cure: When a
The Brits aren’t doing so hot either: Nearly 1,500 British service personnel on duty in Iraq have had to be flown home for treatment in British hospitals since the war began in March 2003, according to new figures released to The Times.
The total number of soldiers, regular and reserves, officially registered as “wounded in action” is now 189 — compared with 64 killed by enemy action.
However, the casualty toll from service in
The overall figure, battle and non-battle casualties, now stands at 5,833, of whom 1,468 had to be brought back to Britain for hospital treatment, according to the latest casualty toll released by the Ministry of Defence under the Freedom of Information Act.
The War For America
Of all the enemies to public liberty war is, perhaps, the most to be dreaded, because it comprises and develops the germ of every other. War is the parent of armies; from these proceed debts and taxes; and armies, and debts, and taxes are the known instruments for bringing the many under the domination of the few. In war, too, the discretionary power of the Executive is extended; its influence in dealing out offices, honors, and emoluments is multiplied; and all the means of seducing the minds, are added to those of subduing the force, of the people. . . . [There is also an] inequality of fortunes, and the opportunities of fraud, growing out of a state of war, and . . . degeneracy of manners and of morals. . . . No nation could preserve its freedom in the midst of continual warfare. . . .
- James Madison
Secret prisons: The US-based NGO Human Rights Watch said that, based on flight records and other evidence, it believed
Flight records and other evidence points to Poland and Romania as countries that allowed their territory to be used by the the United States' Central Intelligence Agency to hold top al Qaeda suspects captives, a Human Rights Watch director said.
A serious issue: Any use of secret prisons by the
Manfred Nowak said he was surprised to learn of allegations that the
And he said if the allegations proved to be true, then they would amount to inhuman treatment of both the prisoners and their families.
The ‘disappeareds’: "Brother, what is your name, what village are you from?" It was distinctive Yemeni Arabic that greeted Muhammad al-Assad as he stumbled, still hooded and shackled, from the plane at Sana’a. For the first time in nearly 18 months he knew what country he was in. He heard the question repeated twice more, as Salah
Tragedy becoming a farce: Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist and House Speaker Dennis Hastert called Tuesday for a congressional investigation into the disclosure of alleged secret
The Washington Post reported Nov. 2 on the existence of secret
Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice sidestepped questions on secret prisons Tuesday, saying the
If the Post story is accurate, "such an egregious disclosure could have long-term and far-reaching damaging and dangerous consequences, and will imperil our efforts to protect the American people and our homeland from terrorist attacks," wrote Frist, R-Tenn., and Hastert, R-Ill., asking for a joint leak probe by the Senate and House intelligence committees. The Post declined to comment.
The newspaper's story of a week ago said the CIA has been hiding and interrogating some of its most important al-Qaida captives at a Soviet-era compound in Eastern Europe, part of a covert prison system set up by the agency four years ago that at various times has included sites in eight countries. Those countries, said the story, include several democracies.
Just like the Plame affair, eh?: At the CIA's request, the Justice Department is weighing whether to open a criminal investigation into the leak of possibly classified information on secret prisons to The Washington Post.
A story the newspaper published on Nov. 2 touched on a number of sensitive national security issues, including the existence of secret CIA detention centers for suspected terrorists in Eastern European democracies.
The department will decide whether to initiate a criminal investigation. The leak investigation into the disclosure of covert CIA officer Valerie Plame's identity came about through the same referral procedure and led to a five-count indictment against the vice president's now former chief of staff, I. Lewis Libby.
The farce full blown: Too funny! Hastert and Frist make a big show of calling for an investigation into a leak allegedly affecting national security -- the locations of secret "black site" torture prisons. And then -- BOOM!!! Lott just said, Tuesday afternoon, that he thinks it was a GOP Senator who leaked the info to the Washington Post last week. He says the details had been discussed at a GOP Senators-only meeting last week, and that many of those details made it into the WaPo story.
Money quote from Lott; "We can not remain silent. We have met the enemy, and it is us."
If it’s too sleazy for Negroponte, it is sleazy indeed:
"It's above my pay grade," he told a secret briefing for Senators last month, Time Magazine reported Sunday, adding that Negroponte then "artfully dodged another question about whether the harsher interrogation tactics Cheney wants the agency to be free to use actually produce valuable intelligence."
With a wink and a nod?: Thrown on the defensive by abuse of prisoners in Iraq and Guantanamo Bay, the Pentagon has issued a broad new directive mandating that detainees be treated humanely and has banned the use of dogs to intimidate or harass suspects.
The directive pulls together for the first time all of the Defense Department's existing policies and memos covering the interrogation of detainees captured in the war against terrorism. It comes as Congress is considering a ban on inhumane treatment of
While the policy maps out broad requirements for humane treatment and for reporting violations, it is just the first step in the development of a new Army manual that would detail more precisely which interrogation techniques are acceptable and which are not.
The directive says that "acts of physical or mental torture are prohibited" and directs that any violations be reported, investigated, and punished when appropriate.
Is this the America our soldiers are fighting for?: "National security letters," created in the 1970s for espionage and terrorism investigations, originated as narrow exceptions in consumer privacy law, enabling the FBI to review in secret the customer records of suspected foreign agents. The Patriot Act, and Bush administration guidelines for its use, transformed those letters by permitting clandestine scrutiny of
The FBI now issues more than 30,000 national security letters a year, according to government sources, a hundredfold increase over historic norms. The letters -- one of which can be used to sweep up the records of many people -- are extending the bureau's reach as never before into the telephone calls, correspondence and financial lives of ordinary Americans.
Issued by FBI field supervisors, national security letters do not need the imprimatur of a prosecutor, grand jury or judge. They receive no review after the fact by the Justice Department or Congress. The executive branch maintains only statistics, which are incomplete and confined to classified reports. The Bush administration defeated legislation and a lawsuit to require a public accounting, and has offered no example in which the use of a national security letter helped disrupt a terrorist plot.
The burgeoning use of national security letters coincides with an unannounced decision to deposit all the information they yield into government data banks -- and to share those private records widely, in the federal government and beyond. In late 2003, the Bush administration reversed a long-standing policy requiring agents to destroy their files on innocent American citizens, companies and residents when investigations closed. Late last month, President Bush signed Executive Order 13388, expanding access to those files for "state, local and tribal" governments and for "appropriate private sector entities," which are not defined.
Not All Are Corrupted By This War
Worthy cause: Powers spent 14 months in
Public opinion has turned against the war somewhat, but the fight goes on for Powers.
"It doesn't matter how you feel about the war, there are thousands of kids in
"These kids are innocent victims and they are the future of
Georgie Anne Geyer: There was always a brooding, Hobbesian Cheney just beneath the misleading openness he learned in his native
The Washington Post titled its devastating editorial "Vice President for Torture." I would say that the deceptive man from sunny
In both the Afghan and the
These acts were the direct outcome of the president's, Cheney's and Donald Rumsfeld's errant dismissal of the Geneva Accords, to which we are a signatory, of an international treaty against torture negotiated and ratified by the Reagan administration and, not least, of the Eighth Amendment to the Constitution, which forbids "cruel and unusual punishment."
Jeffrey H. Smith: If the administration's proposal passed, what would be the consequences? Why should we adhere to the Geneva Conventions when our terrorist enemies do not?
The answers are simple. First, we have long championed the Geneva Conventions because we want our citizens treated humanely when they are captured. Second, morally it is the right thing to do. If this amendment passes, what weight will our complaints have when other governments use their intelligence services to torture Americans?
There are also practical considerations that argue against the administration's proposal. It would sow even further confusion in the field, where decisions must be made by young officers who act under enormous stress and often in fear for their lives. Those officers demand, and we must provide, clear guidance with respect to what they may and may not do. The CIA and the military operate cheek-by-jowl, often in small teams far from command structures and lawyers. If those teams operate with two sets of rules, confusion will reign and abuses will occur.
Senator Dick Durbin: Mr. President, I also would like to note that something curious is happening in
Mr. Chalabi is under active investigation. He is under investigation for the charge that he leaked intelligence, including the fact that the
Of course if that happened, Mr. Chalabi endangered American troops and American security. As a result of this charge against Mr. Chalabi, on May 20 of last year, his residence was searched by the Iraqis with the cooperation of American forces in
Now, that's a serious charge -- that we would somehow jeopardize the security of
So where can we find Deputy Prime Minister Ahmed Chalabi this week? Well, we'll find him in
Does this sound like a man under active investigation or a man who is being actively lauded by this administration?
I don't understand this. While the Department of Justice is actively investigating this man for wrongdoing that could have endangered American troops and American lives, the Department of State and the Department of the Treasury are hosting him like some dignitary.
So don't be surprised if you watch the Chalabi motorcade speed up when they pass the Department of Justice. I guess they're concerned whether an F.B.I. agent will come out and pursue this so-called active investigation.
Congressman George Miller: Seventeen months ago, then National Security Adviser Rice promised an FBI inquiry into who leaked information to
Just this week the administration invited this criminal to meet with the Secretary of State and maybe even Vice President Cheney in the West Wing to discuss his candidacy for the
Mr. Chalabi's actions are an insult to every American, especially those serving in our Nation's Armed Forces, and his high-level visit to the
Bob Herbert: The fact that Mr. Bush is struggling in his own political purgatory (for the sin of incompetence) is bad news for the soldiers in
Troops are being sent into
Now the Bush crew, which should be focused like a laser on what to do about the war, is consumed with damage control - pumping up the poll numbers, defending its handling of prewar intelligence, fending off further indictments and staying out of prison.
The war? There's no plan for the war. The architects of this war had no idea what they were getting into, and they are just as clueless now. The war just goes on and on, which is not just tragic - it's criminal.
News release: Four American soldiers killed by a suicide bomber at a checkpoint south of
The soldiers were identified today as 1st Lt. Justin S. Smith, 28, of
The Pentagon said the four were on a foot patrol when a suicide bomber blew up a vehicle. A civilian translator, who has not been identified, was also killed, the military said.
Local story: A
Local story: An Army captain who grew up in Masssachusetts was killed in
Capt. Joel Cahill, 34, died Sunday in Ad Dawr,
Cahill had been assigned to the Army's 1st Battalion, 15th Infantry Regiment in
American soldiers killed between October 25 to 31:
Master Sergeant Thomas A. Wallsmith, 38; Carthage, Missouri | Sergeant 1st Class Ramon A. Acevedoaponte, 51; Watertown, New York | Sergeant Evan S. Parker, 25; Arkansas, Kansas | Staff Sergeant Lewis J. Gentry, 48; Detroit, Michigan | Sergeant James Witkowski, 32; Surprise, Arizona | Colonel William W. Wood, 44; Panama City, Florida | Captain Michael J. Mackinnon, 30; Helena, Montana | Staff Sergeant Daniel R. Lightner, Jr., 28; Hollidaysburg, Pennsylvania | Lance Corporal Robert F. Eckfield Jr., 23; Cleveland, Ohio | Lance Corporal Jared J. Kremm, 24; Hauppage, New York | Private First Class Dillon M. Jutras, 20; Fairfax Station, Virginia | First Lieutenant Debra A. Banaszak, 35; Bloomington, Illinois | Captain Raymond D. Hill II 39; Turlock, California | Sergeant Shakere T. Guy, 23; Pomona, California | Specialist Kenny D. Rojas, 21; Pembroke Pines, Florida | Staff Sergeant Joel P. Dameron, 27; Ellabell, Georgia | Sergeant Michael P. Hodshire, 25; North Adams, Michigan | Sergeant 1st Class Jonathan Tessar, 36; Simi Valley, California | Specialist William J. Byler, 23; Ballinger, Texas | Private First Class David J. Martin, 21; Edmond, Oklahoma | Private First Class Adam R. Johnson, 22; Clayton, Ohio | Staff Sergeant Wilgene T. Lieto, 28; Saipan, Marianas Islands of the Pacific | Specialist Derence W. Jack, 31; Saipan, Marinas Islands of the Pacific | Sergeant 1st Class Matthew R. Kading, 32; Madison, Wisconsin | 1st Lieutenant Robert C. Oneto-Sikorski, 33; Bay St. Louis, Mississippi.
Local story: A Camp Lejeune Marine was killed in Husaybah, an Iraqi town where troops fought for four days before securing the area, officials said.
The Defense Department said Lance Cpl. Ryan J. Sorensen, 26, of
"Ryan wanted to be an officer but wanted to do some tours as an enlisted infantryman first," said Sorensen's father Jim.
Local story: The father of a United States Marine from
Local story: Before he shipped out for his second tour of duty in
On Monday, the longtime Oxnard resident and a man of deep religious faith was killed by an improvised explosive device "while conducting combat operations in the vicinity of Al Ramadi, Iraq," the Department of Defense announced Thursday.