Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Ms. J

"Mailbag," as C.I. feared, has resulted in some really pointed e-mails. Ty was showing me those last night and I was going to address it before the latest bit of nonsense (another 'grown up' whining to C.I. about how mean we all are) happened.

One e-mail that came in on "Mailbag" has already called C.I. a "rich bitch." I hope they didn't strain themselves with that rhyme.

Here's the deal. C.I. has a great woman who is the housekeeper. I interviewed her in May (I think it was May) for a post here. I ended up pulling it when C.I. found out. C.I. agreed it could go into one of the newsletters (it ran in the gina & krista round-robin) but didn't think it was fair it went up here. If it had trashed C.I. or had points noting flaws, C.I. wouldn't have cared.

But it was a nice post. C.I. said it wasn't fair to put that up. For a number of reasons all of which I understood and respected.

But I read six of the e-mails Ty printed up to the housekeeper today and she weighed in (for this site) and it's going up here.

Someone, not C.I. who didn't comment, made the point about house sitting. Several e-mails found that 'classicst' noting that only someone who thought they were better than the live in staff would need someone else to watch a home.

No one lives in the home except C.I. and guests. The housekeeper and her sister (who is also on staff) live in the guest house. With her permission, I'll call her Ms. J because C.I. would freak out over me putting a private person's name (even just first) up online, Ms. J had four kids and a husband who left her for a woman with no kids and several years younger. Ms. J approached C.I. for advance because the husband left her after he cleared out their bank account. C.I. said there was no problem with an advance but she could live in the guest house if she wanted. Others had lived on property (in the house) before. Because Ms. J was married with kids before she started, there was never an issue of her living on premise. She lives in the guest house now and has for a long, long time.

She said to put in about the "great purge" because that might make C.I. feel better. She'd been there only a few weeks when everyone got fired. C.I. fired them all. The reason was someone was coming by with a job and C.I. wasn't interested. Some of the staff got it into their heads that it was okay to share their thoughts of how to play up the offer to C.I. and to share personal details. C.I. had been very clear, to all, before each of the three visits, be nice to him but do not get personal with him.

One by one, each of them got called in and left fired. It was almost five o'clock and C.I. came into the kitchen and told Ms. J they needed to talk tomorrow. She was in a panic because she needed the job and hadn't said anything. She said, "If I'm fired, tell me now."

C.I. was surprised and said she wasn't fired, that she hadn't plotted with the man and C.I. knew that. What they would be talking about tomorrow was whether she wanted to continue in her current job or become the house keeper over everyone?

She's been the house keeper ever since. Her sister had applied before and been turned down by the then house keeper. She had raised that with C.I. and C.I. said it might be a concern about the two of them working together but if she was saying there would be no problem, C.I. would make it clear that the next slot open needed to seriously consider Ms. J's sister. When Ms. J became the house keeper, she and C.I. sat up interviews and Ms. J asked if she could interview her sister and hire her? C.I. said she could do whatever she wanted provided she was comfortable with it.

Ms. J did not like working there before the "great purge." She found other people who worked there to be cliquish and really went out of their way to try to treat new employees rudely. So she made sure that wouldn't be a problem. That was her key thing in her first interviews. At the end of the first round there was one woman who was really qualified but had a real attitude. Ms. J went to C.I. saying the woman's history said she was perfect but Ms. J didn't think so. C.I. told her, "It's your judgement. You're the one responsible."

She's never had her judgement questioned in all these years.

She is off work at five p.m. That is stressed for everyone. At five, they are off. That didn't mean, get out. The phone in the kitchen is really for Ms. J and anyone she wants to let use it. If she or someone is on it after five, they are on their time. If they are sitting around somewhere, because they need to think about something, they're tired or they're waiting on someone to get there, they are doing that on their time. That was made clear not just to them, it was made clear to everyone.

The only bad experience she ever had with anyone other than staff was 6 weeks after she first started, this is before she was the housekeeper, and a necklace went missing. She was questioned. She was questioned in the kitchen and C.I. happened to walk in and hit the roof.
"She is doing her job and she's not about to steal, how dare you accuse her!" She remembers that moment very well. C.I. demanded an apology to Ms. J. Weeks later, the necklace showed up, a friend had borrowed without asking. Ms. J got an apology and an admission that the question was an accusation. She was told that C.I. had said all along it wasn't Ms. J and that it probably wasn't any of the employees. Ms. J was the newest so she became a suspect despite C.I. vouching.

She said that over the years, with a spouse or a child, C.I. has made it clear that 5:00 pm was the cut off and that you did not accuse anyone of anything without proof.

She gets an annual raise. She gets paid vacation and sick time. All three of her children had their college paid for by C.I. (and her oldest got her doctorate, C.I. paid for it all). She has a pension set up. She has health and dental. She also has a six month heads up should C.I. ever sell the house. Hearing the e-mails I read to her, she asked that all of that be noted.

As for the house sitting, she notes that she and her sister have been told, if you hear a noise at night when no one's in the house, call the police, do not check it out yourself. That has been the policy since she moved into the guest house. She said that's rent free. When she began dating her second husband, she almost cancelled on their first date because her babysitter didn't show. C.I. said leave her kids at the house, it wouldn't be a problem. That happened repeatedly while they dated and, later, on anniversaries. (Her husband passed away a few years ago.)

On Jim, Dona, Ty, Jess and Ava living there now, she notes it is not a problem at all and that she honestly was considering moving in with her oldest daughter (the one with the doctorate) because she felt like she was just taking money because C.I. was gone so much and the days of children living in the home were gone as well.

The only favor she's ever been asked for is that when she's away on the holidays, would it be okay for Elaine to sleep in the guest house. Ms. J had already met Elaine and thought the world of her. Elaine is the only guest who has ever slept there since Ms. J moved into the guest house. Ms. J has offered and offered at other holidays (she spends Christmas and Thanksgiving with her family) but C.I. says Elaine's the only one who won't snoop and won't break anything.

All of the gang is more than polite and she is glad they are there. She and Ty, Jim and myself will play poker very often.

I will add that when anyone compliments how smoothly things run, C.I. always gives full credit to Ms. J. That's not because she's around. She's usually already off for the evening. But C.I. gives full credit to Ms. J.

Her sister once had car problems (before she moved into the guest house) and C.I. found out, said it was nonsense to fix it and they went out and got a new car. Ms. J can offer examples of others who work there but she agreed her sister wouldn't mind that being included so I'll only include that.

She wanted it stressed that no one on staff starts out at minimum wage. They all have insurance, etc. "We are all paid very well and always have been. There is a Christmas bonus as well as a yearly raise. The newest one on staff has been here five years. No one leaves here for another job. They leave to start a family or because they need to go take care of sick family. If they leave to do that, they are always welcomed back."

Ms. J has had to fire people. The first time, she went to C.I. to explain why and C.I. said it was her judgement and only wondered if she needed someone present? Ms. J was determined to prove she could do the job and said she could handle it. She was with the woman for an hour and then went to get C.I. because she couldn't do it. C.I. was not put out by that. They sat down with the woman and C.I. explained Ms. J had instructions that were not followed, that warnings were repeatedly issued and it was not working out so the woman was fired. The woman then started discussing the bills she had. C.I. said she'd receive 6 weeks salary (which is what everyone fired gets). The woman went back to her bills. C.I. said there were six paid weeks where she could expect a check and by then she'd need to figure out what do.

The woman tried to make it personal and C.I. didn't let it go there. Ms. J said she has followed that example whenever she's needed to fire someone. She also says that if she says no good reference to someone and they try to use C.I. instead, C.I. always checks with her first. C.I. has no problem explaining that the person would not be re-employed (not giving details because you are not supposed to do that). C.I. then explains that Ms. J was the employees supervisor and that's who should have been called.

"I have never been undercut or questioned and I've made plenty of mistakes. When I have and realized it, I would go to C.I. and the issue wasn't 'You made a mistake!' It was on how we could fix it."

I really like, no I really love, Ms. J. Reading those e-mails pissed me off not just because of the assumptions being made about C.I. (these were from the right-wingers who e-mail each week, by the way) but also because Ms. J and others were assumed to be things that they are not.

Ms. J said to stress the "great purge." Not for her own job safety, she doubts C.I. will ever bring this up to her. But she said I will catch less flack if I note that one day, C.I. fired the full staff except for her. "And didn't think twice about it."

One right winger compared C.I. to Karen from Will & Grace saying he knew C.I. must do things like say "I can see you!" upon entering a room. Ms. J said that has never happened. C.I. is usually focused on several different things and has always stressed if you have a problem (anyone, not just Ms. J) and you don't feel you are being listened to, you need to say the words, "I have a problem" to be sure C.I. is paying attention.

When there were young children living in the house, C.I. would be clear even with them that, after 5:00 pm, you didn't ask for something. So much so that the children would often ask C.I., "Is it too late?" before approaching Ms. J. (Ms. J is in charge of the house and if you have any question or need, you go through her. That's the second rule. Dona mentioned the 3:00 pm rule on meal requests. They have to be in by 3 because no one needs to be breaking their neck to meet your last minute demands. There is a second rule and it's if you need something, you go through Ms. J.) That's because she's in charge. She knows if something can be done or not. She knows what she's assigned others. If you stop someone under her, they may feel pressure to do what you're asking. Ms. J will tell you if something isn't possible. It also undercuts her authority if the instructions aren't coming from her. That was true even when C.I. was married.
C.I. would say, "Don't you do that, don't you ever go around her."

Ms. J said she took the job originally to pay bills and it was hell. Because she was new, everything got delegated to her. At one point, she mentioned that to C.I. and C.I. listened but didn't make any promises. She realized after, C.I. went to the then house keeper to find out what was going on. Ms. J is very proud that that's never had to happen with her. Anyone could if they had a complaint but she remembers what it was like when she was stuck with the wash, the cleaning, etc. while all the others were snacking in the kitchen or whatever. She's made very sure that the tasks are divided up fairly. She said she's been able to put money away, her kids all have college degrees and she's got a nice pension waiting for her so this is "not a case of exploitation."

To the repeated charge that they had to kiss C.I.'s ass she said the surest way to tick C.I. off is to play kiss ass. You realize really quick that comments (compliments) on appearance are not expected nor are they wanted. (That's true across the board with C.I. If there's something wrong, point it out, but C.I. rolls the eyes if you offer a compliment.) If C.I. asks an opinion, an honest reply is expected. That hasn't happened very often and not since the kids got older and moved out on their own. But anytime it did, an honest answer was sought and if Ms. J thought C.I. was in the wrong, she was never greeted with anger. She was asked to explain, but it was never a problem.

There are at least 36 e-mails from fright wingers that have come in. This will be sent out to them. Ms. J said C.I.'s attitude will be, "Who cares what anyone thinks of me?" She's right. But in terms of some of the insults and assumptions being made about Ms. J and others who work for C.I., it will matter to C.I. That's why the mailbag was a question about going up. That was C.I.'s only concern.

I've crossed about a dozen lines with this post but the reason for it is Ms. J. I don't think I'll hear a word from C.I. about this (it will never be mentioned, trust me, it will be ignored). But I do consider Ms. J a friend and the e-mails coming in are exactly what C.I. feared. Mike and Ms. J (on her own time -- which we both do not believe is a violation of the 5:00 pm rule) have read over this and thank you to them for that. I was going to close with her first comment when we went over the six e-mails Ty printed up, "These people think I'm a fool. I don't play anybody's fool, not for anyone." She wanted me to instead note that no one's claimed C.I. is perfect and that C.I.'s not only the last to claim that, the first to list faults. Ms. J has a job she does very well and is proud of the fact that she does it well. She finds the e-mails she read insulting. She's been doing her job for many years, has many responsibilities and knows what's needed. For Jim, who always worries about the food bill, I'll also add that if you're on the property, you're fed. Whether you work there or not and the only food issue ever, according to Ms. J, is that food not go to waste. The bill's never been an issue.

Closing with C.I.'s "Iraq snapshot:"

Tuesday, July 3, 2007. Chaos and violence continue, Cindy Sheehan weighs in, Iraq Veterans Against the War stand up, Steven D. Green faces the death penalty, and more.

Starting with war resistance. Joshua Key's
The Deserter's Tale continues to garner strong reviews. The latest is Hannah Morong's "How one soldier got out of Iraq" (ISR) which concludes: "The book's strength is its simplicity. It tells the story of an ordinary soldier, and by doing so, tells us more than we can ever learn from broad statistics. Because Josha Key's experiences are so typical of soldiers, the book shows how ordinary soldiers view life in Iraq, and the potential for those soldiers to turn against the war." To set the tone for later in the snapshot, we'll note this from Key's book, The Deserter's Tale (pp. 209-210):

A Canadian psychiatrist told me that you never truly emerge from post-traumatic stress disorder, that you simply learn to live with it.There are certain things that I avoid these days, such as alcohol and crowds, because I fear they will trigger more of my own blackouts. I know that thousands of American soldiers have abused drugs or committed suicide after returning home from war. It would be easy to follow in the steps of many in my own family and drown my shame and my sorrows in alcohol. Alcohol, however, could lead to the very problem of suicidal depression that have plagued vets for generations.

Key is not the only war resister who has told their story in book form. Another is Camilo Mejia whose
Road from Ar Ramaid: The Private Rebellion of Staff Sergeant Mejia came out in May. Writing for The Progressive Media Project (part of The Progressive), Camilo reflects on this time of year, July 4th, and wonders:

Is it patriotic to support a war that our president launched on false premises and that has turned into a disaster?
Or is it patriotic to oppose that war?
I had to face this question while in uniform.
Back in 2003, when I fought in Iarq, my infantry unit was going out on combat missions without bulletproof vests and without basic radio equipment. For a while, we even had to suspend patrols because we didn't have enough water to hydrate ourselves. After 10 months of deployment and five months of combat without a purpose, I made the agonizing decision not to return to the war. A few months later, I publicly denounced the war and vowed that I would no longer fight in it. That got me a 12-month sentence in a U.S. Army jail, demotion to the lowest rank and a bad-conduct discharge from the service. I have no regrets. Today, our young men and women in the military still find themselves in the role of occupiers, in a war that to this very day remains unjustified, a war that seems to be helping only U.S. companies like Halliburton that have profited from it.

Saying "no" to the illegal war is not something done or being done just by one or two people. There is a growing movement of resistance within the US military which includes Jared Hood and James Burmeister, Eli Israel, Joshua Key,
Ehren Watada, Terri Johnson, Luke Kamunen, Leif Kamunen, Leo Kamunen, Camilo Mejia, Kimberly Rivera, Dean Walcott, Linjamin Mull, Augstin Aguayo, Justin Colby, Marc Train, Robert Zabala, Darrell Anderson, Kyle Snyder , Corey Glass, Jeremy Hinzman, Kevin Lee, Joshua Key, Mark Wilkerson, Patrick Hart, Ricky Clousing, Ivan Brobeck, Aidan Delgado, Pablo Paredes, Carl Webb, Jeremy Hinzman, Stephen Funk, Clifton Hicks, David Sanders, Dan Felushko, Brandon Hughey, Clifford Cornell, Joshua Despain, Joshua Casteel, Katherine Jashinski, Chris Teske, Matt Lowell, Jimmy Massey, Chris Capps, Tim Richard, Hart Viges, Michael Blake, Christopher Mogwai, Christian Care, Kyle Huwer, Vincent La Volpa, DeShawn Reed and Kevin Benderman. In total, forty-one US war resisters in Canada have applied for asylum.Information on war resistance within the military can be found at Center on Conscience & War, The Objector, The G.I. Rights Hotline, Iraq Veterans Against the War and the War Resisters Support Campaign. Courage to Resist offers information on all public war resisters.

Also resisting are
Iraq Veterans Against the War who have used their summer base tour to get the message out. Taylor Harwin (Port Folio Weekly) reports on the bus tour and notes that another message they are getting out is "a military member's right to speak out against a war they don't support." Harwin notes Jonathan Hutto is currently promoting his to-be-released book on this topic entitled Antiwar Soldier: How to Dissent within the Ranks of the Military. Harwin writes, "There was no counter-protest Sunday, and event organizer Liam Madden said he'd be surprised if the IVAW encountered one on any stage of the trip down the east coast."

Amy Goodman (Democracy Now!) observed today, there have been two arrests during the two. Since there's confusion, let's review what was already noted yesterday. Sunday's trumped up incident saw Madden, Nate Lewis and Adam Kokesh at Fort Benning. Friday, at Fort Jackson, Kokesh, Nate Lewis, Mike Black, Sholom Keller and Steve Mortillo were the five arrested. Lewis and Kokesh were arrested in both incidents, Madden was only arrested Sunday.

South Carolina's Columia City Paper notes the Fort Jackson arrest and reports: "The bus could be spotted last Friday riding throughout downtown Columbia and turned heads with large 'Impeach Bush' and 'Bring Them Home Now' slogans painted on its sides. There was a warm receptioon for the group at Sesquicentennial Park at the free barbecue the group threw for the public. One member of IVAW said he was particularly inspired by a couple that drove all the way from Spartanburg to show their support. The couple, who gave their names as Chris and Kim, both served in the Air Force during the first gulf war and said they were considering joining a war protest group when they saw the IVAW Columbia event listed on the Veterans for Peace Web site. Instead of just putting a charcoal burger to their mouths, the couple presented a $500 check to the group."

On Sunday's arrest (Madden, Lewis and Kokesh) at Fort Benning,
The Brattleboro Reformer notes that Madden "and Lewis were not protesting at the gate and were simply asking what the entrance policy was when they were handcuffed and escorted to jail" -- link also includes audio, FYI. AP reports on the arrests here and, WRONGLY, maintains that the Fort Jackson arrest took place "Saturday morning". Friday is when the arrest took place (which is why we noted it here on Friday -- that was not a crystal vision). The fact that there is so much confusion over what did and did not take place and when is a sure sign that independent media should have given extensive coverage to the tour but, reality, they mainly elected to ignore it. Apparantly getting the word out on things actually happening is far less important than promoting counter-narratives on the daily "hot topics" at the Water Cooler.

Iraq Veterans Against the War's summer base tour continues -- and though small media went AWOL on the topic, big media covered it and a documentary is being made for Showtime -- and their next stop is a fundraiser in Philadelphia on July 3rd at 6:00 pm; a fundraiser in NYC on July 5th at 7:00 pm; the Naval Sub Marine Base in Groton, CT on July 6th at 7:00 pm; and concluding at Fort Drum in NY on July 8th at 4:00 pm. They continue speaking their truth and they're not going to be silenced or make themselves useless. In Denver, Colorado tomorrow IVAW will stage Operation First Casualty from 11:00 am to 6:00 pm in the area between Market Street station and the Civic Center.

Kat noted Friday, about Adam Kokesh's post describing the ups and downs of the bus tour thus far, "Which is probably why the kooks have the reaction to the bus tour that they do. It's not the TV that they can flip off or the newspaper they can toss in the trash. It's right there, the bus, in front of them, with 'Iraq Veterans Against the War' on it. The reality they [the kooks] run from is staring them in the face and in their own home towns. Adam writes about honks and thumbs up too and you better believe that for people seeing it [the bus] that are giving the warm response, it really means something." And it would mean even more if the independent media had worked to get the word out.

Another IVAW members is
addressed by Kevin Zeese (Democracy Rising), Rev. Lennnox Yearwood, who is facing the same trumped up nonsense that Adam Kokesh, Liam Madden and Cloy Richards have already had to deal with from the US military brass. Zeese reports that the Chair of the Hip Hop Caucus, Rev. Yearwood, is the target for intimidation by the military. Rev. Yearwood (writing at Democracy Rising) notes that he's in the Air Force Reserve Individual Reserve and, "On March 26th of this year I received notification from the Air Force that they are taking action to honorably discharge me on the basis of 'behavior clearly inconsistent with the interest of national security'. Ironically, this letter arrived six days after I announced the launching of a national 'Make Hip Hop Not War' Tour at a press conference on Capitol Hill." Like Kokesh, he is scheduled to face a kanagroo 'hearing.' Rev. Lennox Yearwood's hearing is scheduled for July 12th, in Georgia, at Robins Air Force Base. He notes that Cindy Sheehan will be showing her support by attending and reminds, "This is our lunch-counter moment."

Cindy Sheehan. The Peace Mom.
Sheehan stepped down at the end of May to recharge and regroup. Joe Allen (ISR) has written the best piece on that ("Shakeup in the antiwar movement," July - August 2007, International Socialist Review, pp. 5-6, for print readers) where he concludes:

All the factors are there for a vibrant antiwar movement in this country, as has been true for many years now; the major roadblock holding things back is the subordination of our movement to the Democrats. This must be broken in the course of building a vibrant and independent antiwar movement.
Sheehan's decision to leave the Democratic Party should be supported by all of us committed to building an antiwar movement that is for immediate withdrawal of all U.S. forces from Iraq. And, as socialists we support her call for an alternative to the two-party system.
Thankfully, Sheehan is only taking a break in order to regroup. As she told Democracy Now's Amy Goodman, "We're closing down the factory, we're going to retool, and we're going to open up, and it will be a new and improved version of it. But we are definitely going to come at it from a totally different direction." We can only hope that she will return to political activity soon so that we can together get on with the tasks of ending of this criminal war.

Contributing at David Swanson's AfterDowningStreet,
Cindy Sheehan writes today, "I have sat quietly back these past five weeks as the slaughter in Iraq sorrowfully surges along with George's bloody escalation -- and as the philosophical opposition to the war has soared to almost four out of every five Americans. . . . It has been recently reported that Nancy Pelosi said that impeachment is not 'worth it.' Her faulty reasoning is that impeachment would take too much time because they don't have the votes. If they could 'whip' their own Democratic caucus into shape to defend and protect our Constitution and the people of Iraq and our soldiers as they whupped, cajoled, threatened and browbeat the caucus into attaching 'non-binding' time lines onto the last war funding bill, then impeachment would not only be possible, but likely." Sheehan notes Rev. Yearwood's hearing and that he will be launching a march after the July 12th hearing which she is taking part in that will end in DC on July 23rd.

And while some stand and continue to stand, the violence continues.


Reuters reports 18 dead (thrity-five injured) from a Baghdad car bombing, a Kirkuk car bombing that claimed 2 lives (nineteen injured), three police officers wounded in Hawija by a grenade, a Kirkuk car bombing claimed 2 lives (nine wounded), and a car bombing outside Falluja resulted in at least 4 people dead (ten wounded).


CBS and AP report "an Iraqi army lieutenant colonel and an Interior Ministry intelligence officer were killed in separate drive-by shootings" today in Baghdad. Reuters notes 2 people killed in Samarra during a clash between two other groups (police and "gunmen"), a woman wounded in Kirkuk by Iraqi soldiers,


Reuters reports 18 corpses discovered in the capital.

Also today, the
US military announced: "Two Marines assigned to Multi National Force-West died July 1 in a non-hostile related accident while conducting combat operations in Al Anbar Province." The two deaths bring the ICCC total number of US service members killed in the illegal war to 3586. The announcements also meant that at least 7 US service members died July 1st -- though the military elected to spoon that reality out slowly.

While the US military played 'cute' with the numbers, recent attention from the press eliminated that option with regards to an event that took place today. The
US military announced: "An AH-64 Apache helicopter rescued two Task Force Marne pilots after enemy fire brought down their OH-58D Kiowa Attack helicopter south of Baghdad July 2. The OH-58 pilots received minor injuries. An Air Force Thunderbolt II destroyed the downed helicopter with two 500-pound laser-guided bombs after the pilots were evacuated from the area. The incident is under investigation." Throughout 2006 and at the start of 2007, the US military was happy to spin those incidents as 'hard landings' and other nonsense while denying that anyone in Iraq (other than the US) had the capabilities to bring down aircraft.

Turning to the issue of the oil grab,
Tina Susman (Los Angeles Times) reports that, after much arm twisting and over a year of pressure, the oil law -- that will allow foreign corporations (including the US) to steal up to 70% of the proceeds -- has been pushed through Nouri al-Maliki's cabinet and onto the Iraqi Parliament; however, "it was unclear whether the measure would overcome the political hurdles that have stalled it for months."
Andy Rowell (Oil for Change) observes that the stories being reported only cause confusion and steeers to an article by Ben Lado (UPI) which has Ashti Hawrami (Kurdistan Regional Goverment Natural Resources Minister) declaring, "We are not aware of anything being pass by the Cabinet." Rowell concludes, "Our guess here is that there is confusion between the revenue sharing law and the foreign investment/oil law. This confusion has been deliberately sown by the Bush administration and the Iraqi government, who have consistently sought to portray the foreign investment/oil law as a revenue sharing law -- when in fact revenue sharing is a separate piece of legislation."

We most recently noted
Abeer in last Thursday's snapshot. Developments in that case today mean another planned ending will be postponed until Thursday. Abeer Qassim Hamza was gang-raped and murdered by US soldiers on March 12, 2006 in Mahmoudiyah. Her parents, Qassim Hamza Raheem and Fakhriya Taha Muhasen, and her five-year-old sister Hadeel Qassim Hamza, were murdered while she was gang-raped. One of the US soldiers involved was Steven D. Green who was to be tried in a civilian court due to the fact that he was discharged from the military before the events came to light. Reuters reports that US prosecutors have announced they will seek the death penalty. AP reports, "The notice, filed in U.S. District Court, cites 12 alleged offenses related to the slayings, including that the deaths were premeditated, involved sexual abuse and were committed with a firearm." Those were breaking so another topic got set aside for Thursday. Let's hope both reports fail to include Abeer's name because of the fact that it's breaking. This nonsense of referring to Abeer as "14-year-old girl" to render her (and all Iraqis?) faceless got old back in August.