Saturday, October 07, 2006

Image from Sic Semper Tyrannis 2006, via Buzzflash.


A U.S. military spokesman said the past week had the most car bombs and roadside bombs in Baghdad of the year. At least 24 U.S. troops had been killed in Iraq since Sept. 30, one of the deadliest periods since the formal end of combat operations. The total death count Wednesday was at least 2,727 U.S. troops since the beginning of the war in March 2003, according to the Defense Department.


Gunmen stormed into a bakery, killing two workers and wounding one in the Mansour district of western Baghdad.

Two bodies were fished out of the Tigris River in downtown Baghdad on Saturday. Both had their hands and legs bound and showed signs of torture — hallmarks of the sectarian death squads that roam the capital. Later in the southeastern suburbs of the capital, the bodies of five more people who had been shot and handcuffed were discovered.


A U.S. soldier was killed by insurgents on Friday near the town of Baiji, the U.S. military said in a statement.


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 Ishaqi, 80 km north of Baghdad on Friday. A security source said one gunman was killed in the attack.


Mortar rounds killed two and wounded four members of the same family as they slept in their home in the small town of Iskandariya, 40 km south of Baghdad.


Gunmen killed two people, including a woman, in two different incidents in Mosul.


Gunmen killed two labourers and wounded two others near the small northern Iraqi town of Sinjar, close to the Syrian border. The labourers were all minority Yezidis and worked for a contractor.


A roadside bomb hit a fuel tanker being escorted by American troops early in the morning near Samarra, sending plumes of black smoke into the air. There were no reports of casualties.

Tal Afar

A suicide bomber rammed a police checkpoint in northern Iraq with an explosives-laden vehicle Saturday, killing 14 people, including some who died when their homes collapsed in the blast. The suicide bombing in Tal Afar — a city cited by President Bush earlier this year as an example of improving security in Iraq — was the deadliest attack on a day when more than two dozen people died in violence around the country. Four policemen and 10 civilians were killed when the vehicle detonated after speeding into the checkpoint.

New offensive in Kirkuk: Thousands of Iraqi police and soldiers launched a major security crackdown in the restive Iraqi oil city of Kirkuk on Saturday, searching homes for weapons after all residents were ordered off the streets.

Kirkuk, 250 km (155 miles) north of Baghdad, is an ethnically mixed city claimed by Arabs, Kurds and Turkmen which has seen an upsurge of violence. A spate of near simultaneous car bombs in the city killed 20 people on Sept. 17 alone.

Kirkuk police chief Major General Shirko Shakir said cars and pedestrians had been cleared from the city's streets after an indefinite curfew was imposed on Friday night and Iraqi security forces began sweeping through neighbourhoods.

"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 Iraq: Consider a recent day — an average 24 hours in Iraq. Here in the capital, the bodies of eight young men were found chained together, stripped of identification papers, shot and dumped in a parking lot, the first of 20 corpses found in the city that day.

In northern Iraq, a man detonated a bomb vest amid a group of women, children and men lining up for cooking oil, killing himself and 21 others. In the south, police found the bullet-torn body of a senior anti-terrorism official. And in Al Anbar province, in the west, a car smashed into a line of police recruits and exploded, killing 13 by fire and shrapnel. In all, at least 57 people died and 17 were injured in the violence that day, Sept. 18. They were all killed in the same country, but not in the same war. The fighting in Iraq is not a single conflict, but an overlapping set of conflicts, fought on multiple battlegrounds, with different combatants. Increasingly, American troops are caught between the competing forces. In western Iraq's deserts, Sunni Arab insurgent groups, some homegrown and others dominated by foreign fighters, attack Iraqi government forces and the U.S. troops who back them up. In Baghdad and surrounding provinces, Sunni and Shiite fighters attack each other and their rivals' civilians in a burgeoning civil war that U.S. troops have tried to quell. In southern Iraq, the Shiites dominate. But they are divided, with rival militias fighting over oil and commerce. And in the north of the country, Arabs and Kurds battle for control. Often during the last three years, the U.S. military has shifted troops to try to tamp down one of these conflicts, only to see another escalate. Now, many American officials worry that with the proliferation of armed actors in Iraq's multiple conflicts, the original U.S. counterinsurgency mission has become something else — an operation aimed at quelling civil war, which is a much more ambiguous and politically fraught objective.

Imagine being too afraid to go look for a loved one’s body: An assembly line of rotting corpses lined up for burial at Sandy Desert Cemetery is what civil war in Iraq looks like close up.

The bodies are only a fraction of the unidentified bodies sent from Baghdad every few days for mass burial in the southern Shiite city of Kerbala, CBS News chief foreign correspondent Lara Logan reports. They come from the main morgue that's overflowing, relatives too terrified to claim their dead because most are from Iraq's Sunni minority, murdered by Shiite death squads. And the morgue itself is believed to be controlled by the same Shiite militia blamed for many of the killings: the Mahdi Army, founded and led by anti-American cleric Moqtada al-Sadr. The takeover began after the last election in December when Sadr's political faction was given control of the Ministry of Health. The U.S. military has documented how Sadr's Mahdi Army has turned morgues and hospitals into places where death squads operate freely.

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 Iraq, where 26 media people have died, including four in September alone.

The Freedom Forum, a press advocacy group, says Iraq has been more deadly to journalists that any war so far.

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 Oxford claimed Lloyd was still alive after the original attack on his car but was killed by US troops as he was driven from the scene.

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 Kurdistan region Friday for talks with regional President Massoud Barzani. Meanwhile, political and sectarian violence continued to afflict the rest of the nation. Kurds condemned Thursday's abduction and slaying of a Kurdish lawmaker in Baghdad, a probable sectarian attack, and a Danish soldier was killed in southern Iraq. At least 20 Iraqi civilians were reported killed in bombings and shootings around the country, Iraqi officials said.

Rice declared that Iraq's minority Kurds, who suffered greatly under the rule of Saddam Hussein, can find their best security guarantee not from their powerful ally, the Americans, but from the Iraqi Constitution.

Protections enshrined in a Constitution? God, I wonder how she kept a straight face…-m

Drifting Sideways Over Niagara Falls In A Leaky Boat Full Of Lit Dynamite Might Describe It Better, John

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 Iraq yet on Thursday, suggesting the war there was “drifting sideways” without a firm commitment from its government to disarm militias and rebuild the country.

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 U.S. troops and dividing the country into smaller, independent ethnic states.

More mealy-mouthed bullshit: The White House, caught off guard by a leading Republican senator who said the situation in Iraq was “drifting sideways,” responded cautiously on Friday, with a spokeswoman for President Bush stopping short of saying outright that Mr. Bush disagreed with the assessment.

“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 Iraq, that slow progress is being made.”

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 Iraq," the Los Angeles Times is reporting.

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 Iraq and Afghanistan have left signs of wear and tear on the U.S. military, raising questions about its ability to sustain its current level of operations and confront potential new crises.

The U.S.-led invasion of Afghanistan, ordered following the September 11 attacks, began on October 7, 2001, thrusting the all-volunteer U.S. military into combat that has continued unabated there and, since March 2003, in Iraq.

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 U.S. death toll mounts, with more than 2,730 troops killed in Iraq and about 280 more in Afghanistan.

"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 Boston University. "You'd have to be remarkably naive to think that we're going to be able to continue to place this level of stress on the force for all that much longer."

One soldier's view: Langlais "has lost a few friends" in Iraq: one "blown to bits," another killed by a sniper, a staff sergeant paralyzed.

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 Iraq. And there still aren't enough to quell the insurgency.

"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 Iraq every five months and nobody cares," she said.

"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 Fort Hood during a short rally Wednesday, saying their service is helping prevent terrorist attacks against the United States.

"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 Iraq. "Pursue the enemy until there's no place left to hide. Stay in the fight until the fight is won."

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 Iraq is a crucial component in the struggle against terrorism.

Progress for America began airing a new ad in the political battlegrounds of Missouri and Ohio and on national cable featuring David Beamer, whose son Todd was killed when United Flight 93 crashed on Sept. 11, 2001, in a field in southwestern Pennsylvania.

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 Washington targets.

"Todd and United 93 fought back on 9-11," Beamer says on the 30-second ad. "We continue this fight in Iraq today."

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 Iraq, Jordanian terrorist Abu Musab al-Zarqawi. The letter faulted Zarqawi for attacks on fellow Muslims that had alienated key elements of the Sunni-led opposition to the U.S. occupation.

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 U.S. military withdrawal would amount to a major victory for al-Qaeda.

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 Baghdad's Abu Ghraib prison prompted the murder of the man's neighbor.

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 Cuba last month, alleges that several guards she talked to at the base club said they routinely hit detainees.

"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 U.S. air base in Germany after they were captured, a British human rights group said Friday. Germany denied the claim.

The human rights group Reprieve cited information from three detainees in U.S. custody in its report. The organization said it believed Ramstein Air Base was the place used, though it added that it could have been another U.S. base in Germany.

"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 Detroit rejected the government's request to dismiss an ACLU lawsuit challenging the constitutionally of the controversial USA Patriot Act, an anti-terrorism measure Congress enacted after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks.

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 U.S. adults say President George W. Bush has deliberately misled the public about progress in Iraq and opposition to the war matches an all- time high, according to a poll conducted for CNN.

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 U.S. less safe from terrorism, indicating that Bush's central argument in defense of his policy isn't gaining traction with voters.

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 Iraq. Sixty-six percent said they disapprove of the way Bush is handling the situation in Iraq, up from 62 percent at the beginning of August.

Totally OT

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


Washington Post Editorial: The Bush administration has pushed aggressively for expanded surveillance powers, military commissions and rough interrogation techniques. When it comes to fighting the war on terrorism, just about anything goes. Except, that is, those routine steps with no civil liberties implications at all that might significantly interrupt terrorism -- such as, say, reading the mail of convicted terrorists housed in American prisons. The federal Bureau of Prisons, Justice Department Inspector General Glenn Fine wrote, "does not read all the mail for terrorist and other high-risk inmates on its mail monitoring lists." It is also "unable to effectively monitor high-risk inmates' verbal communications," including phone calls. So while the administration won't reveal the circumstances under which it spies on innocent Americans, the communications of imprisoned terrorists, at least, appear sadly secure.

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 World Trade Center bombing, while housed at the federal government's highest-security prison, managed to exchange around 90 letters with Islamist extremists between 2002 and 2004, including with terrorists in Spain who were planning attacks there. Just last month, federal prosecutors accused a drug lord at the same facility of running a huge distribution network in Los Angeles using coded conversations and messages. Imprisoned people can direct major crimes from behind bars.

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 United States will lose.

America will bleed itself dry of available troops; it will spend itself into bankruptcy; it will transform itself into a grotesque caricature of what the United States once was. It will strip its citizens of their constitutional rights; it will imprison suspected “terrorists” and “sympathizers” without trial; it will spread death and destruction around the globe.

Yet even after sacrificing the very freedoms and respect for human rights that Bush claims are despised by al-Qaeda terrorists, the deformed United States will still lose the war. Bush’s strategy of “kill, kill, kill” will even accelerate the process, much as the Iraq War ignited more Islamic militancy.

Casualty Reports

A Francestown native was severely injured in Iraq when an improvised explosive device was detonated while he was on a patrol with the Army platoon he led. Lt. Scott Quilty’s right arm had to be amputated below the elbow and his right leg below the knee as a result of the injuries, according to his father, R. Scott Quilty, who said he had not been told where in Iraq the attack had occurred. It happened Sunday night. “He had only been there six weeks, and they have been moving him around,” Quilty said yesterday in an interview. “He didn’t have any permanent station at the time.”

On Sept. 24, just 10 days after being deployed to Iraq, Jefferson native Lance Cpl. Dale Dunford II, of the U.S. Marine Corps, was wounded in action by a sniper's bullet. Dunford, 19, is expected to make a full recovery. He's recuperating from his wounds in Kaneohe Bay, Hawaii.

Benjamin Salgado Rosales, 20, died Wednesday when a roadside bomb detonated in Iraq's Al Anbar province. Assigned to the 2nd Light Armored Reconnaissance Battalion, 2nd Marine Division, II Marine Expeditionary Force based at Camp Lejeune, N.C., he is the 53rd Houston-area serviceman to die in combat in Iraq.

How much more can one community be expected to suffer? Highland, a quiet hamlet just across the Hudson River in Ulster County, has lost a third native son to the war in Iraq. Pfc. Michael Oremus' death underscores the point that while most Americans go on about their business, hundreds of thousands of brave young men and women are fighting for their lives each day on foreign soil. Oremus, 21, fell victim to a sniper in Baghdad on Oct. 2. He was about three months into a yearlong deployment.

U.S. Army Spc. Timothy Burke was killed Wednesday in an attack in Taji, Iraq, said his mother, Sharon Paulette.Lean and muscular, Burke was the youngest of three sons. He was deployed to Iraq in December with B Troop, 7th Squadron, 10th Cavalry. He turned 24 on Sept. 30.


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