Tuesday, July 11, 2006

DAILY WAR NEWS FOR TUESDAY, July 11, 2006 Photo: Citizenship paper showing Abeer Qasim Hamza al Janabi was 14. (Thanks Gorilla’s Guides) Quote Of The Day: "There has been a spike ... in sectarian violence, but I certainly wouldn't use the term 'out of control.'" - US National Intelligence Director John Negroponte Today's Spike A bomb planted under a fuel tanker exploded between a market and a medical center in the southeastern Baghdad suburb of Nahrawan, killing two people and wounding 18. Gunmen in three cars attacked a Saudi Arabian import/export company in the upscale Mansour neighborhood in western Baghdad, killing five Iraqi employees before fleeing. Gunmen killed at least 10 people in Baghdad Tuesday in an ambush attack on a vehicle carrying a coffin for burial in the Shi'ite holy city of Najaf. The attack took place in Dura, a predominantly Sunni Arab southern district of the capital. Iraq's consul to the Iranian city of Karmenshah - Wissam Jabr al-Awadi - was abducted near his home in Baghdad's mostly Shi'ite district of Amil. At least five people were killed and 10 others wounded when a suicide bomber blew himself up outside Baghdad's heavily fortified Green Zone. Gunmen stormed the Baghdad offices of an Iraqi contracting company and sprayed its employees with bullets, killing eight and wounding one on Tuesday. The attack took place in the western district of Mansur. A car bomb killed three people and wounded seven in Baghdad's central Karrada district on Tuesday. Gunmen blocked streets in the mostly Sunni area of Ghazaliyah in Baghdad and opened fire on a Sunni mosque Monday, no casualties reported. Nine Iraqi soldiers were killed and four wounded on Monday when gunmen attacked them in al-Shirqat, 300 km north of Baghdad. A civilian was wounded in the attack. Gunmen killed an engineer working for the North Oil Company, along with his driver, while he was heading to work in the northern oil city of Kirkuk. Kirkuk police arrested six suspected insurgents during a search and raid operation. An IED killed two insurgents as they were planting it on a Tikrit-Kirkuk road. In Irbil an engineer and an acquaintance in Kirkuk's agriculture authority were killed in a drive-by shooting by militant. Police recovered the body of Serwan Abdulsamad, a military officer who was kidnapped yesterday in Irbil. Three police officers and three civilians were injured when an improvised explosive device (IED) blasted in a police patrol, location uncertain, possibly Irbil. Gunmen in a speeding car fired randomly at textile shops in Baqouba, killing two shop owners and wounding four others. Clashes between Iraqi forces and insurgents broke out near the northwestern city of Mosul. Brig. Khalaf al-Jubour said 10 policemen who were part of an oil-protection force were killed in the fighting near Sharqat, 45 miles south of Mosul. Gunmen opened fire on an Iraqi army convoy near Sharqat on Monday evening, killing nine soldiers and wounding three. Gunmen ambushed a minivan in Taji, 12 miles north of the capital, killing one passenger and wounding five. Inevitable bloodshed: While condemning in public the sectarian death squads that gunned down 40 people on Sunday in a Sunni part of Baghdad, some Iraqi Shi'ite leaders say in private retaliation for Sunni insurgent bomb attacks is understandable. The bloodiest such violence yet in the capital has rekindled fears of all-out civil war and posed serious questions over Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki's ability to keep a promise to curb violence by fellow Shi'ites. Shi'ite leaders, talking privately on Monday, spoke with resignation, saying more bloodshed is inevitable in Iraq's culture of vendetta and that clerical restraint on Shi'ites is flagging in the face of repeated Sunni bombings. A bloody portrait: Visiting the Yarmuk Hospital in central Baghdad has long been a routine part of covering the violent events in Iraq. But on Sunday, following an outbreak of fighting between rival Sunni and Shiite gangs in the Jihad area, there were no wounded witnesses to interview, no details to glean about the fighting. Instead the hospital resembled a bleak, bloody and confusing portrait of what will probably be called the Iraqi civil war unfolding throughout the city: dead men systematically shot in the head lay in freezers unable to tell their tales; mute wounded children from all over the city carried burnt metal in their flesh; grieving relatives cried to the heavens for answers. By mid-afternoon, the dozens of victims in the Jihad violence were locked up in the refrigerated morgue, or clinging to life at another hospital with better equipment to treat point-blank gun wounds to the head. Or they were still lying dead on the streets of western Baghdad, cordoned off by US and Iraqi forces. Waiting for Randall Terry: NGOs devoted to health issues in southern Iraq say that dozens of children have died of relatively common diseases since January due to a lack of medicine. "There are no official statistics about the number of children who have died in Basra since January," said Hassan Abdullah, a senior official in the Basra governorate. "But local health department employees and volunteers from some NGOs have collected information suggesting that about 90 children have died as result of the lack of medicine." According to Abdullah, this is worse than the same period last year, when some 40 children died for similar reasons. Peacekeepers wanted: Sunni politicians requested assistance from the United Nations as sectarian tensions have dramatically escalated in Iraq. Ayad al-Samaraie, a member of the largest Sunni block in the parliament, the Iraqi Accordance Front, said that the United Nations should send peacekeepers to Iraq because "the occupation forces cannot protect the people." Survival skills: A bookstore in eastern Baghdad is getting more customers these days, but they aren't looking for something to read. The owner sells fake IDs, a booming business as Iraqis try to hide their identities in hopes of staying alive. Although it's nearly impossible to distinguish between a Sunni and a Shiite by sight, names can be telling. Surnames refer to tribe and clan, while first names are often chosen to honor historical figures revered by one sect but sometimes despised by the other. For about $35, someone with a common Sunni name like Omar could become Abdul-Mahdi, a Shiite name that might provide safe passage through dangerous areas. 29 tries: Mamoon Sami Rashid is the governor with 29 lives. That's the number of assassination attempts he has counted since joining the Anbar provincial government in January 2005. "You see, over there, that is where the suicide bomber tried to kill me," Rashid said with a smile as he drove his armored S.U.V. to work. Across the road, where he was pointing, lay the charred shells of a half-dozen automobiles. "Over here," he said after a time, pointing again, "this is where they tried to shoot me." Car bomb, suicide bomber, mortar, gun; in his car, in his house, in a mosque: insurgents have tried to kill Rashid so many times and in so many different ways that he has nearly lost count. But life being what it is in Ramadi, Anbar Province's tumultuous capital, Rashid probably will need a few more lives to survive until his term expires later this year. “Maintenance”: Iraq's sabotage-prone northern pipeline has been shut down for maintenance, halting crude oil exports from Kirkuk oil fields to Turkey's Ceyhan port, the oil minister said Sunday. Hussein al-Shahristani said the flow is expected to resume in two to three days at an average of 400,000 barrels per day. The pipeline was shut down Friday morning because there was not enough crude at Kirkuk reservoir, an oil official told Dow Jones Newswires on Saturday. Regular insurgent bombings of the crucial northern export pipeline have idled it for all but a few brief periods since the war began. Tensions with Australia: Iraq's trade minister on Sunday repeated his threat to reconsider trade deals with wheat supplier Australia unless it reopened an inquiry into the killing of one of his bodyguards by Australian soldiers. Australia's defence force chief said last week that a military inquiry had cleared the soldiers of any wrongdoing. Two people, including a bodyguard of Iraqi Trade Minister Abdul Falah al-Sudany, were killed and several wounded when Australian security forces in Baghdad shot at their car as it approached their convoy on June 21. Boycott over: Iraq's largest Sunni Arab bloc said it would end on Wednesday a week-long boycott of parliament after it won promises that a woman colleague kidnapped by an armed group would be freed soon. "Starting tomorrow we will resume attending Parliament's sessions," Nooreddine al-Hayali, a lawmaker from the Iraqi Accordance Front, told a news conference in Baghdad. "We received promises she will be released within two days. They (the kidnappers) said she was being held as a guest." The occasional bright spot: The story of how Amara, the capital of a leaf-shaped province called Maysan, came to be relatively safe for its citizens — even as danger increased for the British — is a hopeful tale of small-town camaraderie, fierce independence and, above all, tribal power. It offers an alternative to the grim formula that has applied in the provinces where a poisonous mix of sects, political parties and ethnicities has led to relentless bloodletting that the central government has been powerless to stop. The differences reflect, in part, fundamental splits between rural and urban life in Iraq. Maysan, a province of about 920,000, is the countryside. More than 60 percent of its work force is employed in the private sector, mostly farming; in the wealthier, urban areas, a majority is employed in public service. Because it is rural, it is smaller and easier to control than the bigger, more fractured communities in the cities, like Basra to the south, Iraq's second largest city. There, many political parties and their militias are fighting over control of the province and its oil. Amara has just two militias, both Shiite: the Mahdi Army, loyal to the anti-American cleric Moktada al-Sadr, and the Badr Organization, the armed wing of the Supreme Council for Islamic Revolution in Iraq. But the most important factor is the network of tribes. Interview: FOREIGN POLICY: Are Americans getting an accurate picture of what’s going on in Iraq? Rod Nordland: It’s a lot worse over here [in Iraq] than is reported. The administration does a great job of managing the news. Just an example: There was a press conference here about [Abu Musab al] Zarqawi’s death, and somebody asked what role [U.S.] Special Forces played in finding Zarqawi. [The official] either denied any role or didn’t answer the question. Somebody pointed out that the president, half an hour earlier, had already acknowledged and thanked the Special Forces for their involvement. They are just not giving very much information here. FP: The Bush administration often complains that the reporting out of Iraq is too negative, yet you say they are managing the news. What’s the real story? RN: You can only manage the news to a certain degree. It is certainly hard to hide the fact that in the third year of this war, Iraqis are only getting electricity for about 5 to 10 percent of the day. Living conditions have gotten so much worse, violence is at an even higher tempo, and the country is on the verge of civil war. The administration has been successful to the extent that most Americans are not aware of just how dire it is and how little progress has been made. They keep talking about how the Iraqi army is doing much better and taking over responsibilities, but for the most part that’s not true. Rape And Murder Revenge: An al-Qaeda-linked group claims it killed three U.S. soldiers last month and mutilated two of their bodies to avenge the rape-slaying of a young Iraqi woman (14 year old CHILD!) by troops of the same unit, an institute which monitors extremists websites said Tuesday. The Mujahedeen Shura Council made the claim in a 4:39 minute video posted on the Internet which included the mutilated bodies of two of the soldiers attacked June 19 near Youssifiyah southwest of Baghdad, according to a statement by the SITE Institute. The institute released still pictures from the video showing two of the American dead, one of whom had been decapitated. Accused: The US military on Monday released the identities of five Army soldiers charged in connection with the rape and murder of an Iraqi woman (14 year old CHILD!) and the murders of several of her relatives in March at Mahmudiya, 20 miles south of Baghdad. The soldiers and the charges against them are: Spc. James P. Barker - conspiracy to commit rape and premeditated murder, conspiracy to obstruct justice, premeditated murder, rape, arson, housebreaking Sgt. Paul E. Cortez - conspiracy to commit rape and premeditated murder, conspiracy to obstruct justice, premeditated murder, rape, arson, housebreaking Pfc. Bryan L. Howard - conspiracy to commit rape and premeditated murder, conspiracy to obstruct justice, premeditated murder, rape Pfc. Jesse V. Spielman - conspiracy to commit rape and premeditated murder, conspiracy to obstruct justice, violation of a lawful general order, premeditated murder, rape, arson, housebreaking, indecent acts, obstruction of justice Sgt. Anthony W. Yribe - dereliction of duty and false official statement The soldiers, all members of the 101st Airborne Division, face Article 32 hearings to determine whether they will face court-martial. All except Yribe, who was not present during the attack itself but had what the military called "tacit knowledge" of it, could be sentenced to death if convicted. Two Kinds of Problems Red Cross problems: In Al-Anbar province, west of Iraq, access to Ramadi is very restricted. As a result, food and medical supplies are running low, public services have almost ground to a halt and residents are reportedly trying to flee the area. Most of the city has been without power since 22 May and, owing to the shortage of fuel, back-up generators can only function for one or two hours a day. Consequently, water stations are unable to supply the city's 300,000 inhabitants or its medical facilities with clean water. The crisis is particularly acute owing to the current dry and hot weather. The city of Fallujah, southeast of Ramadi, where access has been strictly controlled for months, is also experiencing acute fuel and power shortages Sadr City, in Baghdad, has been suffering a chronic water shortage caused by the deficient water network and soaring temperatures. KBR problems: QUESTION: SPC R.: Asked if the dining facility could provide Belgium waffles, waffle cones, and more variety of ice-cream flavors. RESPONSE: MR. L.: Explained that KBR is restricted by what they can order from the vendor’s catalog, but stated that they do strive to provide a constant variety. These changes do take time to implement. We must take into consideration, the ordering/delivering time. QUESTIONS: LTC M.: Compliments the facility as one of the best he has ever seen. He expressed that when he and his soldiers have requested changes, they have been met: larger cups, onion and pineapples on the stir fry bar. He requested better Pita bread for the Gyros; the current ones tasted bad and fall apart too easily. LTC M. also requested chicken liver and asked if we could discontinue the live band performances. He considered the band to be too loud, and suggested that this may be the wrong forum for it. RESPONSE: SFC W.: We thank you for your comment and we will do our best to accommodate your requests. QUESTION: Requests Rye bread, bigger taco shells, and Jell-O without fruit or anything in it. He also stated that the salt and pepper shakers did not dispense enough salt and pepper and many soldiers would need to unscrew the top off to get enough. RESPONSE: SFC W.: explains that the shakers have just recently been purchased and that in order to get better ones, the military would have to provide funds to replace the existing salt and pepper shakers. SUPPORT LT. WATADA! Write, call, protest! And say Thank You! : On July 5 the US Army brought charges against First Lt. Ehren Watada, an infantry officer stationed at Fort Lewis, Washington, who has refused to deploy to Iraq with his unit because he believes the war there is illegal. Watada faces up to eight years in jail and a dishonorable discharge. First Lt. Ehren K. Watada was formally charged with three articles of the Uniform Code of Military Justice: two counts of contempt towards officials (Article 88) - specifically President G. W. Bush, three counts of conduct unbecoming an officer and a gentleman (Article 133), and one count of missing movement (Article 87). If convicted of all six charges by a general court-martial, Lt. Watada could be sentenced to over seven years in a military prison. Commentary Glen Greenwald: There seems to be a common perception among many Bush critics -- one which is a not-very-distant relative of all-out defeatism -- that something as weak and unmuscular as a lofty Supreme Court ruling isn't going to have any effect on the Bush administration, and that they are just laughing at the idea that what the Supreme Court says matters. But that is simply not what senior Justice Department lawyers and senior administration officials are doing in the wake of Hamdan. The Supreme Court unquestionably rejected the very theories which the Bush administration has been using to defend themselves from accusations of criminal conduct. The ruling in Hamdan stripped those defenses away and the lawbreakers in the administration are left standing exposed. There is simply no question that the five-Justice majority in Hamdan would reject with equal vigor, at least, the administration's claim that the AUMF authorized them to eavesdrop in violation of FISA and/or that the President has the inherent authority to violate Congressional law in the area of national security. That means that the administration has no defenses to fend off charges that they deliberately violated the criminal law -- and continue to do so -- by eavesdropping on Americans without warrants, or torturing people in violation of the Geneva Conventions and/or the McCain Amendment, or violating the National Security Act of 1947 by concealing major intelligence activities from Congress. Those are criminal offenses. And the Supreme Court just expressed unbridled hostility towards their only defenses they have to those crimes. Anyone who suggests that that is a meaningless development and that Bush officials are unaffected by them has embraced a cartoon super-villain version of the administration which is just not real. Isikoff and Taylor: Administration officials and Washington lawyers are still digesting the text of the ruling, but it is already becoming clear that it could have ripple effects that extend far beyond the trial of Hamdan and other Guantánamo prisoners. The president has long argued that Congress granted him wide-reaching powers in the days after 9/11, when it passed a resolution authorizing him to use military force against the perpetrators of the attacks. But in his ruling, Justice Stevens took a much narrower view of the president's wartime powers, rejecting the administration's argument that military commissions of the kind Bush had created were covered by the resolution. Now other antiterror programs that the president has justified by invoking the same congressional resolution might be vulnerable to serious legal challenge. Some legal scholars and current and former administration officials believe the case could undermine the secret foreign detention centers and the NSA eavesdropping program, two cornerstones of the terror war. "This is an extremely damaging decision for presidential power," says a former senior administration lawyer, who asked for anonymity owing to his intimate involvement in the legal wrangling over prisoner treatment. "And it was largely a self-inflicted wound." The bitter irony: an administration determined to expand executive power may have caused a serious contraction. Another possible side effect is that other countries, emboldened by the ruling, could use the case to justify efforts to bring war-crimes charges against CIA officers, U.S. service members and traveling government officials who had a hand in authorizing or carrying out harsh treatment of prisoners. Conceivably, those who violate provisions of Article 3—which mandate humane treatment for all captured prisoners—could also be criminally prosecuted by future administrations under a U.S. law known as the War Crimes Act. Stranger: DK over at Josh Marshall's place is absolutely right - this latest 'shift' in American foreign policy is by no means a choice that Bush has made on his own. The plain truth is that he's fucked everything up - Afghanistan, Iraq, Iran, North Korea, everything - and the only option he's got left is to bleat meekly about 'letting diplomacy work.' This 'policy makeover' is the last refuge of a foreign policy that was fatally flawed to begin with, and it is proof that Bush has forced the United States into a position of complete impotence in world affairs. To let them get away with spinning this as a 'policy shift' is giving a team of incompetents far too much credit, and it must be met with derision and rueful laughter. That's exactly what this meme deserves. Josh Marshall: Put simply, do we not detect a pattern in which the foreign policy neoconservatives strike out boldly on some foreign policy adventure, flop right down on their faces and then present the cause of their undoing as a novel insight wrestled from the maw of history when in fact, to everyone else except for them, this 'insight' was completely obvious and predictable from the start? Kaplan says that America can't contain the Iraqi's "sectarian rage" nor "reprogram [the Iraqi's] coarsened and brittle cultures." As Louis Menand put it in The New Yorker, quite relatedly, when reviewing Francis Fukuyama's richly articulated discovery that regime change and preemption might not have been such a royal road to peace and democracy, "No duh!" A. Alexander: Remember 2005? That was the year anchored between election 2004 and election 2006. It was also a year lacking in a weekly dose of "terror threats". Interesting indeed that 2005, a year free of elections was also more-or-less lacking in terrorist threats aimed at America's tall buildings and mass transit systems. Too, 2005 was the year that witnessed both Bush and Republicans' polling numbers decline as it related to whether they or Democrats were better at protecting the people from terrorism. Interesting too, that Karl Rove said in election year 2006, Republicans would engage in "culture war" issues like gay marriage and flag-burning - and they did. Rove also said Republicans would use the Iraq War against Democrats - and they did. Too, Rove said Republicans would highlight terrorism in 2006 - and suddenly America is awash in terror threats and plots. Let's see: Election years 2004 and 2006, full of terror threats but non-election-year 2005, few terror threats. Hmmm...wonder if there is any correlation? Election years: lots of terror threats. Non-election-years: few terror threats. What to make of that? David R. Irvine: The common thread which runs from Tiger Force through My Lai, to Guantanamo, Bagram and Abu Ghraib, to a hundred episodes of sadistic brutality inflicted by U.S. soldiers in Iraq, is the remarkable fact that the official responsibility for all these tragedies never runs higher than the lowest-level trigger-pullers or body-stackers. But suppose in 1975 that Mr. Rumsfeld and Mr. Cheney had made a different decision. Suppose the CID Tiger Force investigation had been permitted to charge the perpetrators and their superior officers with war crimes. Suppose a court-martial inquiry had asked why no battalion commanders bothered to check out the reports of Tiger Force ear collections? What if a colonel or two had been found guilty of failing to adequately control the troops under their command? For starters, those cases and leadership lessons would have been part of today's core curriculum in ROTC and at West Point. This administration never holds anyone in senior positions accountable for derelict performance. However, unless there is full accountability for the war crimes of Iraq - wherever the evidence leads - there is a high probability that the lessons today's lieutenants and captains need to learn about the law of war and command leadership will never be sufficiently absorbed to make the crucial difference when those men and women become colonels and generals. Andrew J. Bacevich: In the early days of the insurgency, some U.S. commanders appeared oblivious to the possibility that excessive force might produce a backlash. They counted on the iron fist to create an atmosphere conducive to good behavior. The idea was not to distinguish between "good" and "bad" Iraqis, but to induce compliance through intimidation. "You have to understand the Arab mind," one company commander told the New York Times, displaying all the self-assurance of Douglas MacArthur discoursing on Orientals in 1945. "The only thing they understand is force -- force, pride and saving face." Far from representing the views of a few underlings, such notions penetrated into the upper echelons of the American command. In their book "Cobra II," Michael R. Gordon and Gen. Bernard E. Trainor offer this ugly comment from a senior officer: "The only thing these sand niggers understand is force and I'm about to introduce them to it." Such crass language, redolent with racist, ethnocentric connotations, speaks volumes. These characterizations, like the use of "gooks" during the Vietnam War, dehumanize the Iraqis and in doing so tacitly permit the otherwise impermissible. Thus, Abu Ghraib and Haditha -- and too many regretted deaths, such as that of Nahiba Husayif Jassim. As the war enters its fourth year, how many innocent Iraqis have died at American hands, not as a result of Haditha-like massacres but because of accidents and errors? The military doesn't know and, until recently, has publicly professed no interest in knowing. Estimates range considerably, but the number almost certainly runs in the tens of thousands. Even granting the common antiwar bias of those who track the Iraqi death toll -- and granting, too, that the insurgents have far more blood on their hands -- there is no question that the number of Iraqi noncombatants killed by U.S. forces exceeds by an order of magnitude the number of U.S. troops killed in hostile action, which is now more than 2,000. Paul Carpenter: Now we have the Bush administration's admirers on a crusade to destroy the reputation of any critics, including a genuine patriot like Murtha. It's an administration headed by someone who dodged service in Vietnam by pretending to serve in the National Guard, and whose veep had a politically powerful daddy wangle him a deferment. His chief adviser, Karl Rove, also got a deferment, and his chief cheerleader, Rush Limbaugh, also had a politically powerful daddy get him one — based on a big pimple on his fanny. There is a disgrace, all right, and you can find it if you look hard enough. Robyn Blumner: For any form of tyranny to succeed, there have to be people who roll up their sleeves and get the job done. Repression doesn't just happen. It has to be organized, arranged, justified and marketed to a willing populace. In other words, it takes a team. Most tyrannies aren't the epic variety involving a Stalin or a Hussein. They are more subtly subversive, sapping freedom from a fragile system that precariously depends on the integrity of those in charge. It doesn't take much more than a corrupt sheriff, a mayor who helps a developer grab private property with eminent domain or a president who claims that terror suspects have no rights to negate our foundation of liberty and fairness. And aides to petty and great tyrants alike have a central role in this. Their job is to dispense with the rules that protect the vulnerable from the strong, and make the strong stronger. In a nation of laws like the United States, it is the lawyers who are the most helpful in this regard, and the Bush administration has had two standouts: David Addington, Vice President Dick Cheney's current chief of staff, former counsel and longtime associate; and John Yoo, a law professor at UC Berkeley who worked in the Justice Department's Office of Legal Counsel, a small office that advises the executive branch on the constitutionality of policy. These men successfully embroidered the legal justifications for a kinglike presidency that may disregard federal law, constitutional rights and the express terms of ratified treaties if the president believes it furthers national security. Emanating from this one tyrannical idea has come an entire legal regime giving the president the power to approve torture, secret prisons, indefinite detention, kangaroo military commissions and warrantless domestic surveillance. These are all programs contrary to law and, not irrelevantly, our moral code. Casualty Reports A Detroit Lakes area soldier was killed in Iraq when a roadside bomb went off near the Humvee he was driving, relatives said Sunday. Army Spec. Troy Carlin Linden, 22, of Rochert, was killed in Anbar province on Saturday, his siblings said. He had been home on leave just six months earlier, when his family threw him a surprise welcome home party. Rebecca Rowe never expected her husband to be in the delivery room with her. And when she gave birth Sunday to their baby girl, he wasn’t — but for a different reason than the couple had imagined. Sgt. Michael Rowe was serving in Iraq, and didn’t know when he’d be able to come home. Then, on March 28 — the day before his birthday — he was killed while leading an Army convoy in Rutbah, Iraq. A 22-year-old from Michigan's Upper Peninsula was among three soldiers killed by an explosion in Iraq over the weekend, the Department of Defense said Monday. Army Spc. Joseph P. Micks, 22, of Rapid River, died Saturday in Ar Ramadi, Iraq, when a makeshift bomb detonated near his vehicle during combat operations, the Pentagon said. Micks was just months away from finishing his tour of Iraq and had plans to build a family with his wife in Germany, his mother, Amy Micks, said in a telephone interview. Note to Readers: Major thank you's to Whisker, Cervantes, and especially Zig for all the hard hard work they've put into keeping this site alive. Tell 'em you appreciate 'em!


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