Saturday, October 07, 2006
WAR NEWS FOR SATURDAY, OCTOBER 07, 2006
Gunmen stormed into a bakery, killing two workers and wounding one in the Mansour district of western
Two bodies were fished out of the
One civilian was killed and eight wounded when a mortar round landed on the main bus station in Baquba.
Gunmen killed four people in different incidents in Baquba, according to police sources.
A group of gunmen attacked an Iraqi army checkpoint wounding four soldiers near the small town of
Mortar rounds killed two and wounded four members of the same family as they slept in their home in the small town of
Gunmen killed two people, including a woman, in two different incidents in
Gunmen killed two labourers and wounded two others near the small northern Iraqi town of
A roadside bomb hit a fuel tanker being escorted by American troops early in the morning near
A suicide bomber rammed a police checkpoint in northern
New offensive in
"This operation is an attempt to control the deterioration of the security situation in the city. We will continue it until we clean up the city and end insurgent activity," he said.
A day in
Imagine being too afraid to go look for a loved one’s body: An assembly line of rotting corpses lined up for burial at
The bodies are only a fraction of the unidentified bodies sent from
Another record broken: There have been 75 media employees killed worldwide in 2006, more than in any year since records have been kept and more than were killed in the entire Second World War, according to the World Association of Newspapers.
The gruesome milestone was passed in September with the year not yet over, said WAN, which advocates for press freedom.
The country with the highest death toll was
The Freedom Forum, a press advocacy group, says
Death of a reporter: ITN reporter Terry Lloyd was shot in the head by American troops as he was being driven to hospital, the inquest into his death was told today.
An account by an Iraqi witness that was read out at the inquest in
The unnamed driver's account, which was read out by the deputy assistant coroner for Oxfordshire, Andrew Walker, gave new details of the last moments of Lloyd's life.
The witness's account was described as "very credible" by ITN's Nicholas Walshe, who led the news broadcaster's investigation into the journalist's death.
Condi makes a funny: Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice urged restless Iraqi Kurds to seek their future in a closer alliance with other Iraqis, as she visited the country's relatively peaceful
Rice declared that
Protections enshrined in a Constitution? God, I wonder how she kept a straight face…-m
Drifting Sideways Over
But hey, he’s on the right track: The Republican chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, a Bush loyalist offered his darkest assessment of
Returning from a recent trip to the region, Sen. John Warner said the military had done what it could, and if after three months the Iraqis have made no progress to calm ethnic violence and hasten reconstruction, then Congress will have to make some “bold decisions.”
Warner did not say what he thinks Congress should do but said all options will be considered. Lawmakers have suggested various remedies, including a timetable to pull out
More mealy-mouthed bullshit: The White House, caught off guard by a leading Republican senator who said the situation in
“I don’t believe that the president thinks that way,” Dana Perino, the deputy White House press secretary, said when asked whether the president agreed with the senator, John Warner of Virginia. “I think that he believes that while it is tough going in
Ms. Perino’s carefully worded response underscores the delicate situation that Mr. Warner, chairman of the Armed Services Committee, has created for the White House just one month before an election in which Mr. Bush has been trying to shift the national debate from the war in Iraq to the broader war on terror.
The cowards know how bad it is but play politics with the information: Rep. Jane Harman (D-CA), the top Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, sent a letter to Michael V. Hayden, Director of the CIA, demanding the release of a classified National Intelligence Estimate (NIE) that "paints a 'grim' picture of the situation in
Harman requested the report's release, "charging that the agency was withholding the information out of political considerations," writes Greg Miller in the Times.
"I believe that the intelligence community has produced an in-depth intelligence review of Iraq," Harman said in the letter, "but that the material has been stamped 'draft' and will not be finalized" until after the elections.
Breaking Our Armed Forces
“Some sort of crisis”: Five years of warfare in
The U.S.-led invasion of
Senior military officers, including Army Chief of Staff Gen. Peter Schoomaker, have warned of falling combat readiness of some units and mounting equipment shortfalls, with Abrams tanks, Bradley Fighting Vehicles and other equipment battered from extended use on the battlefield.
Many troops are facing second and third long combat tours and less time between overseas deployments. At the same time, the
"We're in the early stages of some sort of crisis that, if not addressed, will result in breaking the force," said retired Army Col. Andrew Bacevich, a military expert at
One soldier's view: Langlais "has lost a few friends" in
It haunts her.
"Every Marine, every sailor, every soldier who dies, I ask: 'Is it my fault? Could I have taken more time on something? Could I have been better?'"
Deployment demands are taking their toll. Half the corps -- 30,000 Marines -- is in
"I feel for the Iraqi people," Langlais said, "but it is going to come down to them solving this themselves."
She said it is strange to be home. She feels detached. "Just little things aggravate me. I have a short temper," she said.
Few can relate to her; many display no interest in the war or of those fighting it. "I get sent to
"Barstool patriots" anger her most.
"They have no idea what they are talking about, but they know it all," Langlais said. "They know nothing about nothing."
Meanwhile, In La La Land
Five Draft Deferments Dick rallies the troops: Vice President Dick Cheney thanked thousands of troops at
"If we can learn anything from modern experience it is this: The only way to protect this country from terrorism is to stay on the offensive," Cheney told the flag-waving soldiers, many of whom are on the verge of leaving for a year in
Yeah, Dick, unless you’re the one doing the hiding while others fight in your place. Easy to talk tough from your swivel chair in your plush office, you cowardly douchebag. -m
I feel sorry for the father but he's lending his son's good name to a lie: A conservative group is blending ads, e-mails and the feature film "United 93" in an innovative campaign to convince voters that the war in
At the same time, the group is sending hundreds of thousands of e-mails across the country with an offer from Beamer to give away free copies of "United 93," the feature film about the passengers who joined Todd Beamer in thwarting the hijackers' plans to reach their
"Todd and United 93 fought back on 9-11," Beamer says on the 30-second ad. "We continue this fight in
What Are Our Soldiers Dying For?
To help al-Qaeda: A newly disclosed internal al-Qaeda communiqué reveals a divided organization with only a fragile foothold in Iraq, hoping U.S. troops will stay long enough to give it time to build alliances with often-antagonistic Iraqi insurgents and other Sunni leaders.
The letter, dated Dec. 11, 2005, amounted to a warning from a senior al-Qaeda operative known as “Atiyah” to the then-leader of al-Qaeda in
Atiyah told Zarqawi that “the most important thing is that the jihad continues with steadfastness and firm rooting, and that it grows in terms of supporters, strength, clarity of justification, and visible proof each day. Indeed, prolonging the war is in our interest.” [Emphasis added.]
Atiyah’s assessment that “prolonging the war is in our interest” flies in the face of President George W. Bush’s argument that a prompt
Indeed, the “Atiyah letter” – like a previously intercepted message attributed to al-Qaeda’s second-in-command Ayman Zawahiri – suggests that a U.S. military pullout in 2005 or earlier could have been disastrous for al-Qaeda’s terrorist bands, which are estimated at only about 5 to 10 percent of the anti-U.S. fighters in Iraq.
The Terrorists Are Winning
Bush’s policies make our soldiers lose their humanity: A U.S. medic who helped kidnap an Iraqi grandfather later killed execution-style by an American squad was sentenced to 10 years in prison on Friday, but will end up serving a year under a plea deal.
Military Judge Col. Steven Folsom gave the sentence after Petty Officer Melson Bacos, 21, said his patrol leader's anger at the release of a suspected "terrorist" from
Bacos agreed to a plea deal earlier on Friday in which he agreed to testify in exchange for a lesser sentence.
From casual brutality: The Pentagon said Friday that it will investigate a Marine's sworn statement that guards at Guantanamo Bay bragged about beating detainees and described it as a common practice.
The Marine, a paralegal who was at the U.S. Navy station in
"From the whole conversation, I understood that striking detainees was a common practice," the sergeant wrote. "Everyone in the group laughed at the others' stories of beating detainees."
To deliberate torment of the kind we imprisoned others for in earlier wars: Key senators say Congress has outlawed one of the most notorious detainee interrogation techniques -- "waterboarding," in which a prisoner feels near drowning. But the White House will not go that far, saying it would be wrong to tell terrorists which practices they might face.
Inside the CIA, waterboarding is cited as the technique that got Khalid Sheik Mohammed, the prime plotter of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, to begin to talk and provide information -- though "not all of it reliable," a former senior intelligence official said.
Waterboarding is variously characterized as a powerful tool and a symbol of excess in the nation's fight against terrorists. But just what is waterboarding, and where does it fit in the arsenal of coercive interrogation techniques?
This administration disregards the laws of our allies: The alleged mastermind of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks and other detainees may have been held and interrogated at a
The human rights group Reprieve cited information from three detainees in
"We call upon the German government to order an independent investigation," said Clive Stafford Smith, legal director for Reprieve.
And they trample on the rule of law at home: President Bush's frequent use of signing statements to assert that he has the power to disobey newly enacted laws is ``an integral part" of his ``comprehensive strategy to strengthen and expand executive power" at the expense of the legislative branch, according to a report by the non partisan Congressional Research Service.
In a 27-page report written for lawmakers, the research service said the Bush administration is using signing statements as a means to slowly condition Congress into accepting the White House's broad conception of presidential power, which includes a presidential right to ignore laws he believes are unconstitutional.
The ``broad and persistent nature of the claims of executive authority forwarded by President Bush appear designed to inure Congress, as well as others, to the belief that the president in fact possesses expansive and exclusive powers upon which the other branches may not intrude," the report said.
Under most interpretations of the Constitution, the report said, some of the legal assertions in Bush's signing statements are dubious. For example, it said, the administration has suggested repeatedly that the president has exclusive authority over foreign affairs and has an absolute right to withhold information from Congress. Such assertions are ``generally unsupported by established legal principles," the report said.
The victories of those who fight to restore our freedoms seem so few and far between: A federal judge in
U.S. District Judge Denise Hood issued the ruling without fanfare Friday, nearly three years after promising a speedy decision in the case. Congress amended the act in March, well after the hearing before Hood in December 2003.
Hood said in a 15-page decision that the American Civil Liberties Union's clients -- six Muslim groups that provide religious, medical, social and educational services to Muslims and people of Arab descent -- established that they have been harmed or threatened by Section 215 of the law.
The U.S. Justice Department said it was studying the decision and had no comment Tuesday. Michigan ACLU Executive Director Kary Moss said she was satisfied with the decision.
But hope survives - the people are beginning to awake!: A majority of
In the Sept. 29-Oct. 2 poll, 58 percent said the administration misled the public about how the war is going. In addition, 57 percent said the conflict has made the
Sixty-one percent said they oppose the war, up from 58 percent at the beginning of September. It matches the high mark for opposition hit in mid-August, following a spike of insurgent and sectarian violence in
This article has nothing to do with Bush’s War. I’m including it for two reasons. First, I think that this incident is very significant – the corruption is clearly in the White House, the trail of slime leads right to Karl Rove’s office. And second, the statement by the official White House spokesperson in the last posted paragraph is as nice a summary as I’ve ever heard of the attitude of these criminals toward the American people. -m
Susan B. Ralston, a former aide to the disgraced lobbyist Jack Abramoff who went on to work for the presidential adviser Karl Rove, has resigned from the White House in the wake of a report that she served as a conduit between the two men.
Ms. Ralston submitted her resignation to President Bush on Thursday night, saying the time had come “to pursue other opportunities.”
But administration officials acknowledged that she quit as a result of a Congressional report, released last week, that documented hundreds of contacts between Mr. Abramoff and the White House.
“A protracted discussion of the report was not in anyone’s best interest, and when she chose to step down, we supported her decision,” a White House spokeswoman, Dana Perino, said today.
My emphasis. Really, what can you add? -m
This is not a hypothetical problem. Jailed terrorists and organized-crime figures try to communicate with confederates outside of prison walls. Three inmates involved in the 1993
Yet somehow, the bureau leaves unread a lot of mail to and from inmates it designates as warranting monitoring. What's more, at some federal institutions, the amount of mail monitored is going down.
Robert Scheer: They are such liars. And no, I am not speaking only of the dissembling GOP House leaders led by Speaker Dennis Hastert who, out of naked political calculation, covered up for one of their own in the sordid teen stalking case of Rep. Mark Foley.
Call me old school, but I am still more concerned with the Republicans molesting Lady Liberty while pretending to be guarding the nation's security, an assignment that they have totally botched. The news about the Foley cover-up, while important as yet another example of extreme hypocrisy on the part of the Republican virtues police, should not be allowed to obscure the latest evidence of administration deceit as to its egregious ineptness in protecting the nation.
On Monday, a State Department spokesman conceded that then-National Security Advisor Condoleezza Rice had indeed been briefed in July 2001 by George Tenet, then-director of the CIA, about the alarming potential for an al-Qaida attack, as Bob Woodward has reported in his aptly named new book, "State of Denial."
"I don't remember a so-called emergency meeting," Rice had said only hours earlier, apparently still suffering from some sort of post-9/11 amnesia that seemed to afflict her during her forced testimony to the 9/11 commission. The omission of this meeting from the final commission report is another example of how the Bush administration undermined the bipartisan investigation that the president had tried to prevent.
Surely lying under oath in what was arguably the most important official investigation in the nation's history should be treated more seriously than the evasiveness in the Paula Jones case that got President Bill Clinton impeached. Nor is it just Rice who should be challenged, for Tenet seems to have provided Woodward with details concerning the administration's indifference to the terrorist threat that he did not share with the 9/11 commission.
Andrew Bard Schmookler: How did we ever get to be a nation of such scaredy cats? What happened to American courage so that a mathematically negligible probability of any single one of us being harmed would send the society as a whole scurrying for safety? And here we are, still running scared in the wake of 9/11. Yes, 9/11 was terrible. But even looking just at the Americans who were flying on that very day, less than one-tenth of one percent of all the people who flew on airliners on 9/11 were killed. In World War II, when American marines stormed onto the beaches of Japanese islands, sometimes a third of those marines would become casualties. But they did their duty. The life-expectancy of a marine landing with a flamethrower mounted on his back was measured in terms of seconds! That's extreme danger. We're a nation of 300 million people who lost 3,000 on one terrible day. An important occurrence. But what happened to our sense of proportion? We are a nation that could fight two mighty and populous fascist powers in World War II, and could confront the possibility of sudden nuclear annihilation during that "long twilight struggle" of the Cold War, without overthrowing our constitutional protections nor enthroning an unchecked power in the president nor legitimating torture. How did we become a nation so ruled by fear?
Robert Parry: But the enduring tragedy of Bush’s “mother of all presidential miscalculations” is that his underlying theory for addressing the problem of Islamic militancy hasn’t changed. It is still a strategy of “kill, kill, kill” – get revenge for 9/11 even against Muslims who had nothing to do it – and that is likely to continue, if not expand, after the Nov. 7 elections.
And, just as the Iraq War debacle was predictable 10 days into the fighting, so too is the end result of Bush’s vision of waging “World War III” against Islamic militants amid the one billion Muslims spread around the globe.
The deeply troubling prospect is this: If Washington follows the “kill, kill, kill” strategy in what Bush’s neoconservative advisers like to call the “clash of civilizations,” the
Yet even after sacrificing the very freedoms and respect for human rights that Bush claims are despised by al-Qaeda terrorists, the deformed
A Francestown native was severely injured in
On Sept. 24, just 10 days after being deployed to
Benjamin Salgado Rosales, 20, died Wednesday when a roadside bomb detonated in
How much more can one community be expected to suffer?
U.S. Army Spc. Timothy Burke was killed Wednesday in an attack in