Friday, July 16, 2010

Amy Winehouse

It's a little hard to believe, but a full four years has elapsed since Amy Winehouse briefly took over the music community and turned the whole business on its ear with her sophomore album Back to Black. Since then, she has had a handful of highs and a big bushel's worth of lows. After running into legal trouble, health problems and the strangeness that is her personal life, it's possible that one of the most distinct voices in pop music will be back around soon. While at a film premiere, Winhouse told a London newspaper that her new album would be out by early next year. The album will be six months at the most," she told London's Metro. "It's going to be very much the same as my second album, where there's a lot of jukebox stuff and the songs that are ... just jukebox, really."

That's from MTV. So what do you think?

Can she return and still hold the interest?

I don't know.

Back to Black was a solid album but now she carries so much baggage. Her drug addiction, her husband (are they still married?). She's not the fresh face. She's also going to be judged repeatedly and that will include whether or not she's reliable.

A missed gig and all the talk will be, "She's back on the hard stuff."

All of that's commercial talk. In terms of artistry, I think she can pull it off. I'm just not sure she can sell it.

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

Friday, July 16, 2010. Chaos and violence continue, the political stalemate continues, a US conference to end the war is on the horizon, corpses are again found in Baghdad (is it 2007 all over again?), and more.

David Vine: Counterinsurgency, just quickly, because it features in the title, it features in the title of the book that we're going to disccus today The Counter-Counterinsurgency Manual: Notes on Demilitarizing American Society. Counterinsurgency, just quickly, is a term that dates to about 1960, the Vietnam era, came to mean the elimination of an uprising against the govenrment. Although the tactics of course are much older. Dating centuries, most likely the United States so-called "Indian Wars," the occupation of the Philipines and certainly the tactics employed by the people inside the British and French empire.

David Vines is with the American Anthropological Association and he was speaking as moderator of the December 5, 2009 discusion by Network of Concern Anthropologists in Philadelphia for the AAA's annual meeting.

You won't hear these voices on NPR very often (David Price was on The Diane Rehm Show addressing this topic -- see the October 11, 2007 snapshot for an excerpt of the October 10th broadcast of Diane's show). You will, however, hear the 'insight' of David Kilcullen on Morning Edition and you won't hear it or him questioned. Is Morning Edition unaware of what took place in Philadelphia last year?

From the December 3rd snapshot:

The American Anthropological Association's annual meeting started yesterday in Philadelphia and continues through Sunday. Today the association's Commission on the Engagement of Anthropology with the US Security and Intelligence Communities issued their [PDF format] "Final Report on The Army's Human Terrain System Proof of Concept Program." The 74-page report is a blow to War Criminals and their cheerleaders who have long thought that the social science could be abused or that the social sciences were psuedo sciences. It was in December 2006 when Dumb Ass George Packer raved over Dumb Ass Montgomery McFate and her highly imaginative and fictional retelling of both her childhood and her current work which Packer identified as "Pentagon consultant" working on Cultural Operations Research Human Terrain. Packer was jizzing in his shorts and not even warnings from other anthropologists ("I do not want to get anybody killed") could sway him.

In May the US House of Representatives made an unusual move. Noah Shachtman (Wired) reported in May that the House Armed Service Committtee announced it would be limiting funding for the program.

If you click here, you will be taken to the AAA website and to a podcast (where I grabbed David Vine's statement from) of the Network of Concern Anthropologists' symposium featuring Roberto Gonzalez, David Price, Andrew Bickford, Gregory Feldman, Dylan Kerrigan, Cahterine Besteman, Catherine Lutz and Nancy Scheper-Hughes.

Counterinsurgency is war on a native people. In its current usage by the US government, anthropologists are embedded with the military in Afghanistan and Iraq and they give the guise of "social science," the appearance of it. The cover to allow what really are War Crimes to take place. It turns social scientists into spies, spying on a native people so they can run back and fine tune the US policies and goals of war and occupation. It is not social science by any means. At its most basic, social science, when studying a people, requires informed consent. Counterinsurgency dismisses it. Those interviewed do not know who is interviewing them. They often think it's the military (because the 'social scientists' are dressed in military garb) and that they have no choice but to answer the questions. That is not informed consent.

Information is not gathered to illuminate the human condition, it's gathered to advance military goals. That is not social science, it's so far beyond a bastardization of social science that it is, in fact, a War Crime.

When he thinks no one is watching, David Kilcullen can be very illuminating and drop all pretense that he's attempting to help anyone other than a military. Speaking this month to Byron Sibree (New Zealand Herald), Kilcullen described counterinsurgency as "a form of what the French call counter-warfare which kind of morphs in response to whatever we're dealing with." Michael Hastings' article on Gen Stanley McCrystal was about McCrystal's objections to counter-insurgency (portrayed in the article as McCrystal thinking they were a waste of resources). McCrystal is now out as the US' top commander in Afghanistan. Gen David Petraeus is now the top US commander in Afghanistan. Petraeus is a close friend of Kilcullen's (he even attend Kilcullen's wedding -- no word on whether he was the ring-bearer or flower girl). And all the War Criminals hang out together. The civilian side (which Kilcullen is on now, having left the Australian military) is represented by War Whores such as Samantha Power and Sarah Sewall -- America's very own Josef Mengele and Kurt Lischka. If you're late to the party, Ava and I covered the group in 2007 when two little War Criminals -- Sarah Sewer and Monty McFate -- went on Charlie Rose -- that's the episode where Sarah Sewer brags she can get Barack to say whatever she wants. Where were you brave journalists of the left? Oh, that's right. You were all up Barack's crack or else playing the quiet game. And if you're trying to lose weight, click here and see the War Criminals Monty McFate, Sarah Sewer and Michele Flournoy (I'm sure Susan Brownmiller could analyze that photo at great length). It may be days before you regain your appetite. These women are liars and include Samantha Power who is a blood thirsty War Hawk who blurbed the counterinsurgency manual Sarah and Monty 'wrote.' (Monty's academic 'writing' appears doomed to the same fate as her juvenile 'writing' -- massive charges of plagiarism. For those late to the party, I knew Monty McFate when she was an ugly, little girl and, if nothing else, her life has demonstrated that the old wives tale of "Ugly in the cradle, pretty at the table" was wrong. Sometimes it really is ugly in the cradle and ugly at the table.) You can also click here for Noam Chomsky's thoughts on the War Criminals (Monthly Review, 2008). Though women often lead on this (at least publicly -- and Ms. magazine and Feminist Majority Foundation were stupid enough to promote these War Hawks in a so-called 'feminist' confrence), Michael Ignatieff and many other men are also part of it. (One-time journalist Thomas E. Ricks, John Nagl and many others.) One of the few journalists to tackle counterinsurgency is Kelley B. Vlahos ( Most recently (June 15th), she took on the counterinsurgency 'brains' big Center for a New American Security conference:

But a year later, "victory" in Afghanistan is more elusive than ever and the "COINdinistas" are either disappearing to other realms of pop doctrine or standing around defensively, trying to backtrack and redefine tactics to accommodate the negative reality on the ground. So, as last year's event mimicked the preening confidence of a new sheriff in town, this year it amounted to a lot of whistling past the graveyard.
Whistling past the graveyard seems to be the only way to describe the sense that no one really wanted to talk about the 800-pound gorilla in the room: how their venerated COIN formula -- you know, the one that would have worked in Vietnam if spineless bureaucrats and long-haired hippies hadn't gotten in the way -- is actually playing out in Afghanistan today.
This was the largest congregation of the uniformed and civilian defense policy establishment all year. CNAS (pronounced see-nass) had been writing non-stop about Afghanistan in some capacity since its inception in 2007 -- including a recent study by fellow Andrew Exum, "Leverage: Designing a Political Campaign for Afghanistan." The fact that on June 10, the morning of the conference, one of the major front-page headlines in the Washington Post blared "Commanders Fear Time Is Running Out in Marja" should have been the perfect launching point for a stimulating discussion.
Instead, you had panel after panel nibbling around the edges and a keynote speech that managed, gratingly, to avoid talking about current operations altogether. Indirectly, the day provided a few tiny glimpses into how the COIN community and all of its defense industry hangers-on are feeling about the state of things. And it is not good. Unfortunately for them, the lack of public candor just added to the growing sense of doom.

But a year later, "victory" in Afghanistan is more elusive than ever and the "COINdinistas" are either disappearing to other realms of pop doctrine or standing around defensively, trying to backtrack and redefine tactics to accommodate the negative reality on the ground. So, as last year's event mimicked the preening confidence of a new sheriff in town, this year it amounted to a lot of whistling past the graveyard.
Whistling past the graveyard seems to be the only way to describe the sense that no one really wanted to talk about the 800-pound gorilla in the room: how their venerated COIN formula -- you know, the one that would have worked in Vietnam if spineless bureaucrats and long-haired hippies hadn't gotten in the way -- is actually playing out in Afghanistan today.
This was the largest congregation of the uniformed and civilian defense policy establishment all year. CNAS (pronounced see-nass) had been writing non-stop about Afghanistan in some capacity since its inception in 2007 -- including a recent study by fellow Andrew Exum, "Leverage: Designing a Political Campaign for Afghanistan." The fact that on June 10, the morning of the conference, one of the major front-page headlines in the Washington Post blared "Commanders Fear Time Is Running Out in Marja" should have been the perfect launching point for a stimulating discussion.
Instead, you had panel after panel nibbling around the edges and a keynote speech that managed, gratingly, to avoid talking about current operations altogether. Indirectly, the day provided a few tiny glimpses into how the COIN community and all of its defense industry hangers-on are feeling about the state of things. And it is not good. Unfortunately for them, the lack of public candor just added to the growing sense of doom.

Good. And good for Kelley for continuing to call out the counterinsurgency 'gurus' at a time when most others take a pass and in spite of the fact that Thomas E. Ricks launches personal and sexist attacks on her for doing so.

In Iraq, the Sahwa movement was part of the counterinsurgency effort. The main part, according to Petraeus (who is now trying to replicate it in Afghanistan even though for two years now it's been noted that it probably can't be done in Afghanistan). Sunni fighters (and, according to Petraeus' April 2008 Congressional testimony, some Shi'ites) were put on the American tax payer's dime. A little over 90,000 of them were paid not to attack US miltary equipment or military personnel. It was like paying a school bully off not to beat you up in the playground. And how did it work out? Shor-term it may have helped somewhat. (The large refugee crisis did more to end the bloody ethnic cleansing than paying off Sahwa -- by Petraues' own testimony and that of then-US Ambassador Ryan Crocker -- Sahwa was only paid to stop targeting the US.) But there was never a diplomatic push (which the Sahwa and the escalation -- "surge" -- were sold on) and what we really see today is that the Sahwa is not, has not and will not be integrated into Iraqi society as long as Nouri al-Maliki is prime minister.

And how long might that be? Trend News Agency reports Iraq's Sunni Vice President Tariq al-Hashimi's adviser Khalil Azraa is stating the US has not done enough to resolve the political stalemate in Iraq and quotes him stating, "The U.S. can exert political pressure on the formation of the government, because it is responsible for building democracy in Iraq." Tariq al-Hashimi is a member of Iraqiya, in fact, he is, after Ayad Allawi, probably the most prominent member of Iraqiya (especially post-purge by Ahmed Chalabi and Ali al-Lami).

March 7th, Iraq concluded Parliamentary elections. Three months and two days later, still no government. 163 seats are needed to form the executive government (prime minister and council of ministers). When no single slate wins 163 seats (or possibly higher -- 163 is the number today but the Parliament added seats this election and, in four more years, they may add more which could increase the number of seats needed to form the executive government), power-sharing coalitions must be formed with other slates, parties and/or individual candidates. (Eight Parliament seats were awarded, for example, to minority candidates who represent various religious minorities in Iraq.) Ayad Allawi is the head of Iraqiya which won 91 seats in the Parliament making it the biggest seat holder. Second place went to State Of Law which Nouri al-Maliki, the current prime minister, heads. They won 89 seats. Nouri made a big show of lodging complaints and issuing allegations to distract and delay the certification of the initial results while he formed a power-sharing coalition with third place winner Iraqi National Alliance -- this coalition still does not give them 163 seats. They are claiming they have the right to form the government. It's four months and five days and, in 2005, Iraq took four months and seven days to pick a prime minister. Today makes it four months and nine days without any government being established. Salah Hemeid (Al-Ahram Weekly) notes the lengthy delay:

With many Iraqis describing this new postponement as unconstitutional, there are widespread fears that the ongoing political crisis over who will lead the country will now escalate further.
The parliament had previously convened on 13 June, the country's constitution stating that the president should be selected within 30 days of its convocation. The possibility of further delay raises the question of whether inaction is flouting a constitution that many Iraqis believe has already been violated by politicians.
Iraqi voters went to the polls on 7 March to elect a new 325-member parliament, but an indecisive result, and bickering over who should be the country's next prime minister, has delayed the formation of a new government and plunged the country into political stalemate.
Under the country's constitution the Iraqi parliament should have convened 15 days after the results were announced in order to elect a speaker, and a new president should have been elected within 30 days of the parliament's first session. The president should then have nominated the new prime minister, who should have submitted his cabinet within 30 days for ratification.
According to an understanding that emerged after Iraq's first post-Saddam elections in 2005, a Shia Arab would be prime minister, a Kurd president, and a Sunni Arab speaker of the parliament. This quota system also covers top jobs, such as ambassadors and senior government and army posts, and the country's Shias and Kurds have been insisting on the quota system despite strong Sunni opposition.

Tim Arango (New York Times) reports 29 dead in Sulaimaniya hotel fire. Gabriel Gatehouse (BBC News -- link has text and video) reports forty were also injured and that some of the dead "died jumping from their windows to escape the flames". Zhang Xiang (Xinhua) reports the death toll is up to 43 and "many of the dead were from Bangladesh, Phillipine and Thailand, said the [local police] source, adding four Americans were among the dead." Zhang Xiang then noted that the death toll had been lowered yet again. Al Jazeera notes that the death toll flucuates based on the governmental source and quotes their correspondent Rawya Rageh stating, "There is still confusion over the exact death toll -- but we know that the dead include Americans, Europeans, Koreans, Bangladeshis, Arab nationals and various other nationalities." Caroline Alexander (Bloomberg News) reports that the KRG e-mailed an official death toll of 28 with twenty-two wounded. UK Today News notes that the fire took at least seven hours for fire fighters to put it out.

Mohammed Tawfeeq (CNN) reports, "Jabbar Yawer, spokesman of the local security forces, told CNN that three Asians who work for a local cell phone company were among those killed." ABS-CBN reports that a female, Filipina engineer was among the dead according to the Phillppine Embassy in Iraq. The Inquirer notes that two Filipinos were wounded in the fire. AFP reports 4 US citizens were among the dead. Sam Dagher (New York Times) notes "two babies and a pregnant woman" were also killed in the fire and states that the Kurdistan hotel was "lacking basic safety precautions such as smoke detectors and fire extinguishers". BBC News offers a photo essay on the fire.

In other violence . . .


Sahar Issa (McClatchy Newspapers) reports a Baghdad roadside bombing injured four people, another claimed 3 lives, a Baghdad motorcyle bombing claimed 2 lives and left ten people wounded, a Baghdad roadside bombing wounded two more people, and, dropping back to Thursday, a Tikrit car bobming claimed six live and left fourteen people wounded.


Sahar Issa (McClatchy Newspapers) reports 1 teacher was shot dead last night in Baquba and that the teacher had been a Sawha.


Sahar Issa (McClatchy Newspapers) reports 2 corpses were discovered yesterday in Baghdad

Meanwhile Turkey is forming new relationships to tackle the PKK (a Kurdish group which is in a battle for self-autonomy and resorts to violence leading it to be labeled a terrorist organization by many governments including Turkey, the US and Iraq). As noted in yesterday's snapshot, they want to pull together a 'professional military' with neighbors Syria and Iran (even floating the thought of that sent panic through the US White House) to combat the PKK. Xinhua notes (link has text and video) that Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip "Erdogan said Turkey had mobilized all resources to fight terrorism, and was holding talks with executives of the European Union (EU), Iraq, Iran, Syria, Russia and the United States. Erdogan also said around 150 mini unmanned aircraft, manufactured by local resources, were joining the fight against terrorism, adding that a ceremony would be held later on Friday to launch the first local-manufactured unmanned aircraft."

On this week's Law & Disorder (began airing on WBAI Monday and on other stations around the country throughout the week), Michael Smith spoke with Jim Lafferty about the July 23 through 25 end the wars conference in Albany. Lafferty recommended two websites, we'll note National Assembly (because I don't think the other web address was correct, I may be wrong) and their explanation of the conference:

The purpose of this conference is to bring together antiwar and social justice activists from across the country to discuss and decide what we can do together to end the wars, occupations, bombing attacks, threats and interventions that are taking place in the Middle East and beyond, which the U.S. government is conducting and promoting. Attend and voice your opinion on where the antiwar movement is today and where we go from here.
In these deeply troubled times, Washington's two wars and occupations rage on, resulting in an ever increasing number of dead and wounded; more and more civilians killed in drone bombing attacks; misery, deprivation, dislocation and shattered lives for millions; and a suicide rate for U.S. service members soaring to unprecedented heights. At the same time, trillions are spent on these seemingly endless Pentagon conflicts waged in pursuit of profits and global domination while trillions more are lost by working people in the value of their homes, in the loss of their jobs, pensions and health care, and in cuts for public services and vitally needed social programs.

That was a brief segment. A longer one was with a discussion with Clifton Hicks.

Michael Smith: Why did you go? Did you think that Iraq had something to do with 9-11?

Clifton Hicks: Yeah, I sure did. Yeah. I didn't -- you know, I didn't think about it. Looking back, it's hard to sort out the thoughts that were going through my mind or the lack of thoughts that were going through my mind. But I definitely -- I was just a typical, Whitekid or just a typical kid in general. And I saw Arabic people, Muslim people, and sort of figured that they were all in cahoots and that they were all out to get us kind of thing really.

Michael Smith: Newspaper reports or TV reports that led you to believe? Because it was quite conscious on the part of the Bush-Cheney administration to mislead people into thinking that Iraq had something to do with 9-11. Was it the mass media that influenced you?

Clifton Hicks: There - there was probably an influence from mass media. I listened to a lot of AM radio, a lot of daytime, right wing radio. Both my parents and my two sisters and my whole family is a bunch of -- they're all sort of very open-minded, liberal, nice folks. And I was, I was real rebellious and black sheep as a kid and I was real, real heavily right wing and conservative in a lot of ways -- or so I thought.

For background on Hicks, from the June 11, 2007 snapshot:

Clifton Hicks is now discharged and some may remember his story from Peter Laufer's Mission Rejected: U.S. Soldiers Who Say No to Iraq. In the book Laufer recounts how Hicks father posted one his son's letters home (from Iraq) online and the military's response was "a Field Grade Article 15" (p. 185) which Hicks learned after his woke him up one morning kicking his cot and, pay attention easily shocked Heather Hollingsworth-types, cursing at him. "They were going to throw me in jail for treason." After he was demoted to private and fined $800, Hicks applied for CO status. Hicks told Laufer, "If I don't get it? I have other avenues of approach to get home. I've told them I am not going back to Iraq" and would rather go to prison but "[i]t won't come to that, though, because I think I'm too smart for that to happen to me. Civil disobedience is an option -- just refuse to put the uniform on. Maybe a hunger strike. There's all kinds of things you can do. It's looking like they'll approve it. But if they don't, I have Plan B, Plan C, all the way up to desertion" (p. 187). Laufer's chapter on Hicks ends with Hicks being told he will receive CO status and a discharge.

Back to the interview.

Michael Smith: How did your attitude change? Not just about the war but about the Iraqi people?

Clifton Hicks: Yeah, when I first got there, I had this whole opinion that -- I was toeing the party line just like everybody was. We didn't think we were going to be there long and actually my biggest disappointment was that I had missed the invasion. I'd felt like the war was over, I'd missed it and we'd won and I was just going to do just like police duty basically -- which is mostly what I did. I felt like a liberator, like I had helped these folks out and wanted to continue helping them. And really I've always been a pretty good kid, even back then, and I had pretty positive feelings about it and I was very nice to people and very polite and all that I could but it started to wear on me and then my buddies had already been there for six months before I got there. They were pretty nasty set. I mean, these were great guys, wonderful every one of them but they had got pretty nasty being over there.

Michael Smith: Nasty not to each other but nasty to the civilians whose country they were occupying.

Clifton Hicks: Yeah. Well. Just, you know, and there's a reason for that. Guys get nasty because their friends get killed and you realize that you really can't trust anybody and that nobody wants you to be there but you're stuck there and you're sort of like the grit between the sole of the boot and the ground. I mean, you're just getting ground up in the middle of it. It's them or you in many, many cases. And so the way that you get over that is by becoming a very callous, young man. And so I wasn't like that when I first got there but, after a few months, it wore on me. I saw a couple of people get killed and stuff and nasty things happen and I just got to where I just hated, hated every last one of them to death.

Lastly, political prisoner Lynne Stewart last week. Today on Democracy Now!, Juan Gonzalez and Amy Goodman and Petra Bartosiewicz discuss yesterday's travesty of justice.

PETRA BARTOSIEWICZ: Well, there are a lot of extraordinary things about this case. The appellate court was very harsh in its language and in its instruction to the district judge who initially heard the case. And they called the sentence "breathtakingly low," which, you know, the judge could have done anything. He didn't have to increase the sentence, but he would have really had to justify very carefully what he was doing, because if the government could have come back with another appeal and said, "We want this reviewed again," there might be other legal options, as well, on the appellate side. So it seemed inevitable that some increase would happen. The question was how much?
What is really amazing about this case is that it has spanned now three presidents and five attorneys general. It has gone on for year after year after year. And at the heart of the charges against Lynne is that she violated special administrative measures, and she spoke about that in the comments she made earlier, this morning in the clip we heard. But what is not really talked about a lot is that was a pre-9/11 offense that has occured in a post-9/11 world, and it makes a huge difference in terms of the context in which this has all played out, because at the time that the SAMs were imposed in 1996, Rahman was one of the first individuals who had these SAMs applied to him. It was a very new legal tool. It was evolving. There were several versions of the SAMs that came out. It's interesting to note that Patrick Fitzgerald, the assistant US attorney who was in charge of that process, when Lynne initially violated the SAMs, his reaction was not to seek an indictment. It was simply to give her a call and say, "Hey, you violated the SAMs. You're not going to be able to see your client anymore," which is kind of what she was expecting. And it's true, she was gaming the system to a certain degree. I think that there are a lot of judgment calls that maybe -- certainly she -- I'm sure she regrets at this point and that were probably the wrong decision to make at the time. But she was not barred from seeing him -- well, she was for a while. And then she re-signed a new version of the SAMs, so --

AMY GOODMAN: The special administrative measures.

PETRA BARTOSIEWICZ: Yeah, the special administrative measures, which essentially are a series of security requirements. They're designed kind of to prevent the defendant from communicating with the outside world. That was what she violated, in a sense. But they have other aspects to them which essentially keep defendants in total isolation, which is one of the reasons that she breached the agreement, because she saw how isolated he was.

And click here for Petra's column on Lynne published before the judge ruled yesterday. Also see Ruth's "No justice" and Marcia's "Lynne" from last night. At World Can't Wait, Elaine Brower reports:

I sat in the elaborate overflow room, with all of Lynne's supporters. She pleaded for the court's mercy by presenting her statement to the judge. In it, she declared that she no longer had a relationship with her grandson, who could not visit her any longer in the horrible prison. She said she felt alone, and withdrawn. Only when her friends and family came to visit for one hour a week did she rejuvenate for a short period, but then would retreat back into somberness and sadness.
At one point she choked up when saying that if the court decided to sentence her to anytime longer than the original 28 months, it would be a like imposing the "death sentence". She reiterated that many times, in so many different ways. She threw herself at the "mercy" of the judge.
Then the US Attorney stood up and for 30 minutes recounted the details of the entire trial, repeating hundreds of times "we were attacked on 9/11", and "Ms. Stewart gave comfort to Islamic terrorists." These references were the cornerstone of the prosecution's argument, and he couldn't say it enough. In every way, he connected Lynn with the terrorist "murder groups", and in reality tried to paint her as a terrorist. He said "the government trusted her as a lawyer, and she shouldn't have been trusted." He referred endless times to the DVD of her press conference prior to her remand to prison in 2009, and referenced her statements that she had "no remorse."
Lucky for me I was in an overflow room. I commented, loudly, how I hoped this guy would get the pox, and I wasn't alone. People booed, and said he better not come into their neighborhoods. How could he sleep at night? I would be embarrassed to be in his shoes. Is there no dignity?

TV notes. On PBS' Washington Week, Dan Baltz (Washington Post), Eamon Javers (CNBC), Doyle McManus (Los Angeles Times) and Martha Raddatz (ABC News) join Gwen around the table. Gwen now has a weekly column at Washington Week and the current one is "Entering the 'Twitterverse'." This week, Bonnie Erbe will sit down with Karen Czarnecki, Avis Jones-DeWeever, Nicole Kurokawa and Patricia Sosa on the latest broadcast of PBS' To The Contrary to discuss the week's events. And at the website each week, there's an extra just for the web from the previous week's show and this week's online bonus is a discussion onf 'Facebook fanatics.' Need To Know is PBS' new program covering current events. This week's hour long broadcast (Fridays on most PBS stations -- but check local listings) will feature "Congressional Oversight Panel chairwoman Elizabeth Warren on the possibility that a national commercial real-estate foreclosure crisis may occur, and the creation of the Consumer Financial Protection Agency." And turning to broadcast TV, Sunday CBS' 60 Minutes offers:

Golf Company
Scott Pelley spends time with a U.S. Marine company battling the enemy in Helmand Province, sent there as part of President Obama's troop buildup in Afghanistan. Watch Video

Penelope Cruz
In a rare interview, the Spanish starlet opens up about her life, career and childhood. Charlie Rose reports.

Guiding Light
Morley Safer interviews the actors and writers behind broadcasting's longest running drama, "Guiding Light," as they celebrate the soap opera's incredible run and discuss its cancellation after 72 years. Watch Video

60 Minutes, Sunday, July 18, at 7 p.m. ET/PT.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Joni and Laura

At Summer And Music (SAM) 2010's collaborative showcase, Church of Rock & Roll, Long Beach musicians will pay tribute to California sound of the Los Angeles canyons from the 1970s by playing the music of Neil Young, Joni Mitchell, Bob Dylan, The Band, Jackson Browne and The Byrds.

The above is from Lilledeshan Bose's "Joni Mitchell, The Band and Neil Young Tribute in Long Beach This Saturday" (OC Weekly). I'm a big Joni fan and a big Neil Young fan so, to me, that sounds like a lot of fun. It's this Saturday and it's a free event. Starts at five p.m. and is scheduled to end at nine. Use the link for more info.

Over at the Guardian, Angus Batey, Bob Stanley, Dave Simpson, Paul Lester and Jude Rogers are writing about unsung heroes:

Laura Nyro
When? 1966-1997
Claim to greatness: The first non-folk female singer-songwriter
She defied all categories in the late 60s, and Laura Nyro's music makes more sense now, after four decades of her influence trickling down. A pop-loving teenage beatnik, after school she would head for the stairwells of subway stations to sing doo-wop; she also loved Broadway musicals, jazz and Debussy. All of those strands mingled on her 1967 debut More Than a New Discovery, released when she was just 18, and older artists such as the 5th Dimension (Wedding Bell Blues), Blood Sweat & Tears (And When I Die) and Barbra Streisand (Stoney End) plundered it for Top 10 hits. At the Monterey Pop Festival the same year she had appeared in a long black gown with a single batwing and no flowers in her hair; the hippies were confused and unappreciative, and she left the stage in tears. Nyro always wrapped her zaftig figure in black, and songs such as Captain for Dark Mornings have a ripe sensuality not heard again until Kate Bush almost a decade later: "If I could, I'd live inside a Gauguin," she told reporters. Up until her death, she was still flying the flag for womankind – on her last album, 1993's Walk the Dog and Light the Light, was a song called The Descent of Luna Rose, dedicated to her period. If Joni Mitchell provided the literary aesthetic, Laura Nyro was all about the body: hers was passionate, physical music. Bob Stanley
Hear her:
Without her there's no … Kate Bush, Stevie Nicks, Björk

I love Laura as well. If she were around, I bet she'd be singing and writing about the wars, call them out.

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

Thursday, July 15, 2010. Chaos and violence continue, Lt Dan Choi and Capt James Pietrangelo II face no charges, a US service member in Iraq is wounded in a roadside bombing, Turkey wants to put together a private military to fight the PKK and the US government wants to 'contribute' weapons, the political stalemate continues, the US Army releases the most recent suicide data, and more.

Starting in the United States.

Victory for truth today! Government drops case against us.
#DADT #LGBT via Twitterrific
That's Lt Dan Choi yesterday on
his Twitter feed. Yesterday Lt Dan Choi and Capt James Pietrangelo II went on trial for peaceful demonstrations on the sidewalk in front of the White House March 18th and April 20th calling for the White House to end the policy of Don't Ask, Don't Tell and allow gays and lesbians to serve openly in the military. They were charged with failing to obey a lawful order (to disperse). Yusef Najafi (Metro Weekly) reports both men were in the DC court yesterday prepared for the start of the trial only to be told by DC Superior Court Judge Fredrick J. Sullivan, "Your cases are dismissed." South Florida Gay News adds, "Although the prosecution was ready to move forward and the arresting officers were present in courtroom 120 of DC Superior Court this morning, the government decided at the last minute today to drop the charges against Lt. Dan Choi and Cpt. James Pietrangelo II. Apparently, Prosecutor Christine Chang was unaware of the government's decision as she stated, 'I was ready,' and wasn't able to explain the last-minute decision not to prosecute." Eve Conant (Newsweek) reports, "Both men have faced criticism for continued acts of civil disobedience designed to fight the 'don't ask, don't tell' policy, including a short hunger strike, as the Obama administration and Congress have recently begun steps toward repealing the 17-year-old ban. Choi has repeatedly told NEWSWEEK that any movement short of full and immediate repeal is welcome, but that without repeal the 'injustice' remains in force and he will continue to fight it. (Last week many gay-rights groups widely criticized a Pentagon survey on the repeal that they said was biased and could produce skewed results.)" Zachary Wilson (Queer Sighted) offers this evaluation, "Congrats to Choi, now a gay right icon, on his victory for truth. And congrats to the movement." Today he spoke to Neal Broverman (The Advocate) on the charges being dropped and other topics including Don't Ask, Don't Tell, "You've heard the Pentagon spokesperson say some ridiculous thinks about segregation. They're being so careful and 'lawyerly' about the repeal. You get the feeling that they're incompetent as far as showing real leadership." Appearing Tuesday on Patt Morrison's self-titled Soutchern California Public Radio show, Dan addressed the lack of leadership.

Lt Dan Choi: People who serve in the military -- the soldiers, the sailors, the marine, the air men, the people all throughout and any veteran -- knows very clearly education in the military does not start from a survey or a poll. Education starts from a commander laying down the law saying, "This is the right thing to do. Period. You will do this, you will not discriminate under my command." And anybody with any kind of moral or professional authority -- from the newest corporal all the way up to the commander in chief, the president of the United States -- has a moral responsibility to say, "This is the way that we are going" -- clearly, unambiguously. Discrimination of any sort is not only against the military codes and our traditions and our values but it's against America. This survey is absolutely anti-American.

Patt Morrison: So if this had happened, say, when [President Harry] Truman issued his order to [racially] integrate the armed forces?

Lt Dan Choi: Big if because it did not happen when Truman took the courageous step of just saying, "You know whatever the consequences to my political career, I am the commander in chief and the buck stops here with me. And I know the right thing to do so I am steering this ship and if you don't want to fall in line with the way that America has promised we will not discriminate, then go ahead and quit." And when he did that -- and the same thing when women entered West Point and the service acadamies, the same thing that happened when my particular Army National Guard unit allowed [. . .] the integration of Irish Catholics, the same thing that happened with Asians and all throughout our history: The military says, "This is the way we do business. We do not discriminate here." And we don't need polls to educate. It's the job, it's the duty of every commander.

GetEQUAL issued the following statement on the dismissal of charges:

WASHINGTON -- Although the prosecution was ready to move forward and the arresting officers were present in courtroom 120 of DC Superior Court this morning, the government decided at the last minute today to drop the charges against Lt. Dan Choi and Cpt. James Pietrangelo II. Apparently, Prosecutor Christine Chang was unaware of the government's decision as she stated, "I was ready," and wasn't able to explain the last-minute decision not to prosecute.
"Today, truth was the victor against a demeaning, discriminatory law known as 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell,'" said Lt. Dan Choi. "We won't stop pressing for repeal and pressuring those standing in the way until the day comes when not one more gay or lesbian servicemember is fired. And, as of today, the President refuses to tell us when that day will actually come."
"It is clear that the government was embarrassed and we were prepared to make them defend this antiquated and homophobic law. The government is afraid of having to defend this issue," said Cpt. James Pietrangelo II. "The subpoena was an embarrassment for them, 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' is an embarrassment for them and, after three months of discovery and preparation, the government dropped the case because they know it's an embarrassment."
"Civil disobedience won today," said Robin McGehee, co-founder and co-director of GetEQUAL. "We're thrilled today that Dan and Jim's actions have been validated and that non-violent civil disobedience has been proven again to be effective in combating prejudice. We are proud to stand shoulder-to-shoulder with Dan, Jim and other LGBT active-duty servicemembers who are taking action to end this discriminatory policy."
Lt. Choi and Cpt. Pietrangelo were both facing two charges each of Failure to Obey a Lawful Order, pursuant to DC Municipal Regulations (18 DCMR 2000.2 (1995). The charges stemmed from the two men's arrests on March 18th and April 20th when they chained themselves to the White House gate, in an act of non-violent civil disobedience, to protest the President's lack of leadership on repealing "Don't Ask, Don't Tell."
"We were ready to put 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' on trial today, but it was clear the government was embarrassed to defend an indefensible policy," said Mark Goldstone, lawyer for Lt. Choi's and Cpt. Pietrangelo's defense team. "Did the White House make a last-minute call to prevent this embarrassment from continuing? Clearly, someone did."
Goldstone continued, "ll fair-minded people should continue to agitate for actual and immediate repeal of this unjust, unfair policy. This is a big win for non-violent resistance to unjust policies and proves if you speak truth to power, good things can happen."
"They declined to prosecute because the case would embarrass the government," said Ann Wilcox, lawyer for Lt. Choi's and Cpt. Pietrangelo's defense team. "The President said it was important to pressure leaders like himself, and that is exactly what Lt. Choi and Cpt. Pietrangelo did before and intended to do again today."
GetEQUAL is a national, direct action lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender civil rights organization. Emphasizing direct action and people power, the mission of GetEQUAL is to empower the LGBT community and its allies to take action to demand full legal and social equality, and to hold accountable those who stand in the way. For more information on GetEQUAL, please visit
http://www.getequal.org . You can follow GetEQUAL on Twitter at, on Facebook at, or on YouTube at

Chris Geidner (Metro Weekly) reveals that GetEQUAL is already gearing up for a focus on ENDA, "The organization sent an email to its mailing list on Wednesday morning, asking 'Which Democratic leader should we hold accountable next for workplace protections for LGBT people?'"

There is no protection for the people of Iraq and among the groups targeted are LGBT member, presumably straight women, Iraqi Christians and other religious minorities, Sahwa, professors and just about any other group you can think of. Margaret Hassan met several criteria. She was an Irish, British and Iraqi citizen. She worked for CARE International in Iraq. October 19, 2004, Margaret was kidnapped and she was murdered at the start of November.
Peter Cave (Australia's ABC) notes, "Margaret Hassan had lived in Iraq for more than 30 years and had worked there for Care International for 12 years before she was pulled from her car on the way to work in October 2004." Andy Winter (Sky News) reminds, "Her body has never been found and the family have been counting on Jassar al Rawi to reveal where it is so she can be given a proper burial." Only one person has been convicted in the crimes. Michael Jansen (Irish Times) reports, "Hassan's sister Geraldine Fitsimonds Riney said the family had been notified by their Iraqi lawyer that Ali Lutfi Jassar al-Rawi, sentenced to life imprisonment in June 2009, will not appear at his appeal today because he cannot be traced." The Mirror notes, "Ali Lutfi Jassar got life for the 59-year-old's abduction and murder in Iraq 2004." BBC News reports, "An Iraqi court has ordered a search for a man convicted of the 2004 kidnap and murder of British aid worker Margaret Hassan, amid fears he has escaped." Is he in another prison, is he in that prison but 'misfiled' or has he been released? No one's telling the family. Mark Tran (Guardian) quotes another sister of Margaret's, Deirdre Manchanda stating, "Jassar is known to be part of the gang that kidnapped and killed my sister. We have fought for justice for six years only to find that not one member of this gang can be brought to justice.

A poll won't tell you where Margaret Hassan's body is but it can be of some value.
Gary Langer (US" ABC News) notes, "Reports based on a pair of ABC News polls in Afghanistan and Iraq last year were nominated today for an Emmy award for outstanding continuing coverage of a news story." Earlier this week, Stephanie Condon (CBS News) reported on the latest Iraq and Afghanistan Wars poll, "On Iraq, Americans continue to hold more positive views of the war- 55 percent say things are going well for the U.S. there." Are they optimistic because the only one convicted in the murder of Margaret Hassan is nowhere to be found? No, they're 'positive' because the network media abandoned Iraq. And they get crap churned out by bad writers like Dimiter Kenarov.

So what makes a man a man
In these tough times
As druglords buy up the banks
And warlords radiate the oceans
Ecosystems fail
Snakes and snails and puppy tails
Are wagging in the womb
Beneath the trampled moon
Tire skids and teethmarks
What happened to this place?
Lawyers and loan sharks
Are laying America to waste
-- "No Apologies," written by
Joni Mitchell, first appears on her Taming The Tiger

Having bungled his own country's literature repeatedly (though few catch on -- possibly revealing their own ignorance when it comes to world lit) revealing his weak education and pushing centrist programs (and publications) while writing for The Nation, et al,
Dimiter Kenarov shops his latest b.s. to Esquire and it's crap from the get go. The US military is pulling out of Iraq! They are! And Dmiter 'proves' it by focusing on two . . . Oops, Dumb Ass Dimiter, those aren't US soldiers, they aren't US service members. They are DynCorp employees. CorpWatch describes DynCorp as, "The world's premier rent-a-cop business runs the security show in Afghanistan, Iraq, and the US-Mexico border. They also run the coca crop-dusting business in Columbia, and occasional sex trafficking sorties in Bosnia. But what can you expect from a bunch of mercenaries?" Dumb Ass Dimiter thinks readers can expect 'honesty' from DynCorp. What an idiot and it just against demonstrates what I've long said: The Nation magazine needs real standards because they lower their own brand over and over by publishing these jerk-off neoliberals who then trade on the magazine's names to pass off their non-left programs and ideas. So Esquire readers -- Oh, I'm not in the mood, I'm so not in the mood. Closet cases who've yet to buy their first gay porn magazine (as Esquire internal surveys have demonstrated) will be greeted with the bad article and, when not pleasuring themselves to photos of scantily clad men (Oh, look! The designers are using hairy chested men again!), they can be spun into believing that things are good, good and great in Iraq! (For cheesy X-Treme factor, check out Dimiter's single-sentence paragraph that closes the article. It is too poetry what Bo Derek is to acting.) For those in the real world, violence continues in Iraq.

Sahar Issa (McClatchy Newspapers) reports a Baghdad sticky bombing which claimed one life (three people wounded), a Baghdad mortar attack, a Tikrit suicide bomber who took his own life, dropping back to Wednesday for the next events: a Baghdad grenade attack which wounded two police officers, a Baghdad grenade attack which injured three people (including two Iraqi soldiers), a Bahgdad roadside bombing which claimed 2 lives and left two people injured, a Baghdad sticky bombing which wounded one person, a Baghdad sticky bombing which wounded Sahwa commander Salih Mizhir, a Mosul roadside bombing which wounded four people and a Mosul store bombing which injured three, and a Tuesday Baghdad roadside bombing which claimed the life of Judge Hasen Aziz Abdurahman.


Sahar Issa (McClatchy Newspapers) reports a Wednesday attack on a Baghdad check point in which two police officers and one by-stander were wounded in shootings.

Kevin Lloyd tells Iowa's KTIV that his son, Private First Class Kyle Lloyd, has been injured in a roadside bombing and will "be transferred to a military hospital in Germany."

Still with violence, Saturday
AFP reported that the Turkish government has informed the governments of the US, Iraq and the KRG that it wants it to hand over rebels in nothern Iraq which they number at 248 and one official (unnamed) is quoted stating, "The net is tightening." Press TV added, "The list included senior PKK chiefs such as Murat Karayilan, Cemil Bayik, and Duran Kalkan. The call was made shortly after military and civilian leaders in Turkey voiced growing frustration with Baghdad and the Iraq-based US military over their inaction in confronting the PKK." Umit Enginsoy (Hurriyet Daily News) reported Tuesday that unnamed sources say the US has increased it's "cooperation" with Turkey: "The U.S. and Turkish militaries have been sharing intelligence about the PKK since November 2007, when President George W. Bush agreed to Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan's request in the wake of stepped-up attacks by the outlawed group, which is listed as a terrorist organization by both countries as well as the European Union. Stronger U.S. support for Turkey's fight against the PKK has been reflected in a number of recent developments, sources said Monday, citing increased Turkish access to Iraqi airspace, an agreement to transfer attack helicopters and the ramping up of intelligence sharing." Today's Zayman reports Turkey is attempting to team up with Syria and Iran to fight the PKK: "Preliminary signs of this cooperation have already emerged with Iran capturing and executing 29 PKK members in the past six months. Seventeen PKK militants were extradited to Turkey. Syria launched a military campaign against the group, killing 185 terrorists and arresting 400 others. Some 160 of these will be extradited to Turkey, while Germany returned three PKK members to Turkey very recently in what was a first in that country's history." Today's Zaman also notes a proposal that's meeting with some opposition in Turkey for Turkey to put together a professional army to fight 'terror' [PKK]. That proposed 'professional army' comes just as Aras Coskuntuncel (Hurriyet Daily News) reports that US Ambassador to Turkey (now nominated to be the US Ambassador to Iraq) James Jeffrey has stated that the United States government is looking for "additional ways that we can provide assistance to Turkey, including weapons platforms."

Alsumaria TV reports that Ali Al Dabbagh, apparently speaking on behalf of the State of Law slate of which he is a member, has stated that the next prime minister of Iraq must be a member of the National Alliance (State of Law slate or Iraqi National Alliance). March 7th, Iraq concluded Parliamentary elections. Three months and two days later, still no government. 163 seats are needed to form the executive government (prime minister and council of ministers). When no single slate wins 163 seats (or possibly higher -- 163 is the number today but the Parliament added seats this election and, in four more years, they may add more which could increase the number of seats needed to form the executive government), power-sharing coalitions must be formed with other slates, parties and/or individual candidates. (Eight Parliament seats were awarded, for example, to minority candidates who represent various religious minorities in Iraq.) Ayad Allawi is the head of Iraqiya which won 91 seats in the Parliament making it the biggest seat holder. Second place went to State Of Law which Nouri al-Maliki, the current prime minister, heads. They won 89 seats. Nouri made a big show of lodging complaints and issuing allegations to distract and delay the certification of the initial results while he formed a power-sharing coalition with third place winner Iraqi National Alliance -- this coalition still does not give them 163 seats. They are claiming they have the right to form the government. It's four months and five days and, in 2005, Iraq took four months and seven days to pick a prime minister. Today it is four months and eight days. Progress? They couldn't even meet the 2005 standard. UPI reports that the stalemate finds most participants objecting to "a second term for" Nouri and quotes Iraqi National Alliance member Ali Shubar stating today, "Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki has consumed his full chances in performing his constitutional duties during the last four years and should be replaced by another figure who would be approved by political entities." And Jackson Diehl (Washington Post) reports that Iraq's Foreign Minister Hoshyar Zebari met with the Washington Post editorial board yesterday and took questions from them and Post reporters. On the White House, he declared, "Their role has not been active, to be honest wit you."

Turning to England,
BBC News reports that Paul Boateng is stating that the Blair cabinet (he was a member of it) "should have seen all the arguments on the legality of the Iraq war." As the Iraq Inquiry has already established then-British Attorney General Peter Goldsmith was of the opinion that -- without a second UN resolution -- a war with Iraq would be illegal. Goldsmith repeatedly advised Blair of that (leading Blair to scribble on one memo, "I just don't understand this"; while his underling scribbled that Blair had "specifically said we did not need further advis [on] this matter"). Days before the illegal war started, Goldsmith was finally pressured into changing his legal opinion. Goldsmith denied being pressured. He said it was more a case of choosing whether or not you wanted to be on the winning side. I believe that's peer pressure when we're speaking of youths. I think it falls under (politely) group-think when you're an adult or (truthfully) cowardice. The cabinet was not informed of any doubts and were only informed that Goldsmith was stating that the Iraq War would be legal. BBC News also notes:Separately, the inquiry published a newly declassified document showing that Treasury officials urged ministers to "step back" from taking a leading military role in post-invasion Iraq.An internal paper - written by senior Treasury official John Dodds - warned that Britain could be "sucked into" costly wider responsibilities if it took on security duties after the overthrow of Saddam Hussein.But the briefing note, sent to then Chancellor Gordon Brown, observed it was unlikely Prime Minister Tony Blair and other ministers would want to "walk away" from a leadership role in Iraq.Peter Mandelson was in Blair's cabinet -- in and out of the cabinet. He resigned twice. His memoirs are due out shortly and sections are being serialized in the Times of London. One section is especially gathering attention. Nicholas Watt (Guardian) reports on Mandelson's assertion that he challenged Blair on going to war with Iraq and Blair replied, "For God's sake, have you been spending all your time with George Galloway?" Mehdi Hasan (New Statesman) adds of that quote:Amazing. Is any more insight needed into what Mandelson refers to as Blair's "tunnel vision" on Iraq? Is any more proof needed that our former prime minister had no intention of debating the rights or wrongs of invading Iraq, not even with close colleagues and friends like Mandelson, but had instead made up his mind long before the March 2003 invasion and refused to seek out alternatives? "As military preparations intensified. those who had reservations of the sort I had raised were lumped together in his mind with anyone who felt he wasn't 100% on board," writes Mandelson. "The distinction between the two became blurred in Tony's mind."On the Iraq Inquiry, Carne Ross testified Monday (see that day's snapshot) and Colum Lynch (Foreign Policy) reports on the testimony including zooming in on Ross' testimony about leaking to Lynch.

In the US,
the Army today released the latest month of suicide data:

The Army released suicide data today for the month of June. Among active duty soldiers, there were 21 potential suicides: one was confirmed as a suicide, and 20 remain under investigation. For May, the Army reported 10 potential suicides among active duty soldiers. Since the release of that report, four have been confirmed as suicides, and six remain under investigation.
During June 2010, among reserve component soldiers who were not on active duty, there were 11 potential suicides: one was confirmed as suicide, and 10 remain under investigation. For May, among that same group, there were 13 total suicides. Of those, two were confirmed as suicides and 11 are pending determination of the manner of death.
For reference, the Army's total for the first half of calendar year 2009 was 88 for active duty and 42 for reserve component soldiers who were not on active duty. For the first half of 2010, the totals were 80 for active duty and 65 for reserve component soldiers who were not on active duty.
"Our suicide prevention efforts must continue to be directed at all members of the Army family -- our soldiers, Department of the Army civilians and families -- during the busy summertime transition period," said Col. Chris Philbrick, director, Army Suicide Prevention Task Force. "The crucial elements are still caring, concern and decisive leadership. There will never be a substitute for a noncommissioned officer, first-line supervisor or friend who knows when a person is suffering and has the moral courage to act and get that individual the help they need. That ability to make a positive difference is the best method to render effective suicide prevention in the Army," Philbrick said.
Soldiers and families in need of crisis assistance can contact Military OneSource or the Defense Center of Excellence (DCoE) for Psychological Health and Traumatic Brain Injury Outreach Center. Trained consultants are available from both organizations 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and 365 days a year.
The Military OneSource toll-free number for those residing in the continental United States. is 1-800-342-9647; their Web site address is . Overseas personnel should refer to the Military OneSource Web site for dialing instructions for their specific location.
The Army's comprehensive list of Suicide Prevention Program information is located at .
Army leaders can access current health promotion guidance in newly revised Army Regulation 600-63 (Health Promotion) at: and Army Pamphlet 600-24 (Health Promotion, Risk Reduction and Suicide Prevention) at .
Suicide prevention training resources for Army families can be accessed at (requires Army Knowledge Online access to download materials).
The DCoE Outreach Center can be contacted at 1-866-966-1020, via electronic mail at and at .
Information about the Army's Comprehensive Soldier Fitness Program is located at .
American Foundation for Suicide Prevention:
Suicide Prevention Resource Council:

Yesterday, the US House Veterans Affairs Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations held a hearing on preventing suicides. In addition to
yesterday's snapshot, Marcia reported on it in "House Veterans Affairs suicide hearing," Ann in "Dr. Robert Jesse," and Trina in "It's about respect and self-respect" (Trina's covering the Republican committee member in the hearing who came off looking like a real ass) and yesterday also noted the Senate Veterans Affairs Committee's hearing on claims processing which Mike also reported on in "Senate Veterans Affairs Committee."

Meanwhile US House Rep Loretta Sanchez
weighs in at Politico on the issue of women in the military. This is the opening, use the link:

Imagine you have enlisted in the U.S. armed forces. You've gone through basic training, overcoming the same challenges as your peers. You have proved you have the strength and determination to defend our country, at whatever cost.
You're deployed to Afghanistan, where your first assignment is providing technical support for a combat unit. You are exposed regularly to enemy fire, roadside bombs and other threats. You may even be injured while fulfilling your duties. In and out of combat, you perform bravely and capably.
Unfortunately, your combat service means little -- because you are a woman.
More than 29,000 women are now serving in Iraq and Afghanistan. But official policy prevents them from joining ground units engaged in direct combat or support units that travel to the front lines.

iraqdan choiyusef najafisouth florida gay newsnewsweekeve conantqueer sightedzachary wilsonchris geidner
bbc newsthe guardiannicholas wattthe new statesmanmehdi hasanforeign policycolumn lynchthe irish timesmichael jansenthe mirrorthe washington postjackson diehl

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Bonnie Raitt and Graham Nash

Have you seen this?

Message from Bonnie Raitt, Jackson Browne and Graham Nash

Dear Nuke Free friends,

This is nuclear power's summer of desperation. It has just a few short weeks to grab billions in taxpayer funding for new nuclear plants.

Last time we wrote, a $9 billion package was being slipped into an "emergency" war appropriations bill. Amidst a wave of your letters, the vote did not happen.
The issue is now in the Senate, and has been greatly complicated by our efforts.

Now the industry is demanding $25 billion for unspecified projects. Again, your voice can make a difference.

Please join us (Bonnie, Jackson, Graham and the NukeFree team) in writing and calling the members of the House, and especially in calling members of the House Appropriations Committee, per the below alert from NIRS, and ask them to oppose this latest industry boondoggle. A key vote may come up as soon as Thursday afternoon.

Your voice HAS made a difference. But we need to keep shouting. Please contact Congress ASAP.

Thank you!!!

~ Bonnie Raitt, Jackson Browne and Graham Nash


Dear Friends,

We have to act again, and we have to act now.

A House Appropriations Subcommittee plans to hold another meeting to try to pass an energy budget for Fiscal Year 2011 on Thursday (July 15) afternoon.

As you may remember, the subcommittee had scheduled a meeting in June but cancelled it when some pro-nuclear Democrats (especially Chet Edwards (Tex.) and Chaka Fattah (Penn.) complained that the bill did not include the Obama Administration's request for $36 Billion to loan to wealthy nuclear utilities to build new nuclear reactors.

Since then, the House has passed $9 billion in new nuclear loans through the emergency supplemental funding bill (the Senate has not yet taken up that bill). Not satisfied with that, the pro-nuclear faction has succeeded in getting the rest--$25 Billion--on the energy appropriations bill that will be considered on Thursday.

Now we have to get this money removed from the bill. And your actions can make the difference.

Please send a message to your Representative now here. And please help us spread the word to your networks, friends and relatives: there isn't much time. Here is the link to the action page:

And if your Representative is on the list below, he/she is on the Appropriations Subcommittee on Energy. Please call his/her office today with the simple message: Vote against all loans for new nuclear reactors. You can reach every member of Congress at 202-224-3121.

We don't need more radioactive waste, more radiation leaks, and higher electric bills--all the things more nuclear power would bring.

We had hoped to begin moving our attention to the Senate this week, which soon will be taking up energy/climate bills--with potentially disastrous nuclear provisions.

But first we have to stop $25 billion in new nuclear loans. So we all need to act, and act fast. Please send your letter here; if your Representative is listed below, please call him/her today.

And, last and probably least, if you can support this ongoing (and seemingly never-ending) campaign, please make a tax-deductible contribution here. Your support enables us to do this essential work.

Thanks for all you do,

Michael Mariotte
Executive Director
Nuclear Information and Resource Service

House Appropriations Subcommittee on Energy and Water


  • Chair: Peter J. Visclosky (IN)
  • Chet Edwards (TX)
  • Ed Pastor (AZ)
  • Marion Berry (AR)
  • Chaka Fattah (PA)
  • Steve Israel (NY)
  • John W. Olver (MA)
  • Lincoln Davis (TN)
  • John T. Salazar (CO)
  • Patrick Murphy (PA)
  • David R. Obey (WI), Ex Officio


  • Ranking Member: Rodney P. Frelinghuysen (NJ)
  • Zach Wamp (TN)
  • Michael K. Simpson (ID)
  • Dennis R. Rehberg (MT)
  • Ken Calvert (CA)
  • Rodney Alexander (LA)
  • Jerry Lewis (CA), Ex Officio
I like Graham Nash and Bonnie Raitt. I once liked Jackson Browne. But the man who sang he never would have done coke, not even for a day, if you could have shown him how he was making a profit for the CIA can't call out Barry O.

Barack Obama wants nukes.

That's why people are having to push back against it.

But we must never call out Barack, apparently.

How disgusting.

We better find our voices and learn to speak out. It's getting late.

Find out more info at

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

Wednesday, July 14, 2010. Chaos and violence continue, the US House explores the issue of veterans' suicides, the US Senate addresses claims issues, Bradley Manning needs support, and more.

Linda Bean: I think what -- There are families like mine who have experienced the home coming of a much loved child who is now out of harm's way and you are so grateful that they are back with you that you may overlook the fact that they are drinking too much or that they are irritated or that they insist upon being isolated. And you're not empowered as a mother or a sister or a wife to go to the VA and say, "My veteran is in trouble." I don't even know that I would have known how to do that. I think in the way that Mr. Cintron described we need to make sure that people know there are places to go before you hit the suicide hotline. There are veterans who are not -- who may, in the end, be alone in a room with a gun to their heads but the day before would not describe themselves to you as suicidal. So I -- I guess I would go back to my very strong feeling that as part of that, in addition to the messaging, we need to make sure that there are community based programs that are easily accessible. And we need to make sure that the information the VA has is geared to family and friends in a friendly and accessible way, made easily available so people can find it. And that the VA is willing to say, "Look, if you won't come here, it's okay. We'll help you find help somewhere else."

Linda Bean is the mother of Coleman Bean and the above is from her replies to questions from Committee Members today. Coleman Bean served two deployments in the Iraq War and was an army Sergeant. He returned home and struggled, taking his own life September 6, 2008. His mother was testifying this morning to the House Veterans Affairs Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations which is chaired by US House Rep Harry Mitchell. We'll note this from Mitchell's opening remarks.

Chair Harry Mitchell: As Chairman of this Subcommittee, I have repeatedly called upon the VA to increase outreach to veterans who need mental health services and are at risk of suicide -- and members on both side of the aisle have urged the same. In 2008, the VA finally reversed its long-standing self-imposed ban on television and their families about where they can turn for help. As part of the campaign, the VA produced a public service announcement featuring Gary Sinise, and distributed it to 222 stations around the country that aired it more than 17,000 times. The VA also placed print ads on buses and subway trains. According to the VA's own statistics, the effort proved successful. As of April 2010, the VA has reported nearly 7,000 rescues of actively suicidal veterans, which were attributed to seeing the ads, PSAs, or promotional products. Additionally, referrals to VA mental health services increased.

We're going to jump to US House Rep John Hall's questions because PSAs -- and when they air -- come up during that.

US House Rep John Hall: It's been obvious to many of us that when a person joins the military, they should also be automatically enrolled in the VA. And that members of the armed forces and their families should have access to their information and education about assimilating back into civilian life, into their communities before, during and after deployment. One of the problems as I see it here is that the Veterans Affairs Committee has one piece of jurisdiction and the Armed Services Committee has another one, on the executive side, there is one piece and the VA has another piece and there's not that overlap and seamless transition that we've talked about in so many ways -- not just medical records but health follow up. So perhaps, Ms. Bean, you could talk a little bit about what kind of information or resources were available to you and to your son before he took his life? What kind of outreach was there? You've told us a little bit about what you'd like to see available but was there any of substance?

Linda Bean: We have -- we have a strong VA system in New Jersey. When Coleman came home from his second tour of duty, the VA services were certainly available to him. Mental health care is at a premium and it's difficult to get an appointment in a timely fashion. I don't know when or how Coleman called the VA to seek mental health assistance. That's something that we learned only after Coleman had died. I didn't know -- this is a gap in my own understanding as much as anything else -- I didn't know what else was available. I didn't go looking for something else to be available and it wasn't until Coleman had died that I learned that there were many other programs that could have been available. I keep going back to the idea that, you know, our local newspaper run Little League box scores, we run the Butterball turkey hotline at Thanksgiving, we put out notices about bowling leagues. I think our local newspapers and radio stations could run a little box of resources. If you're a vet, if you're a soldier, if you're a family, you can go to these places for help. And that list could include the VA hospital and the vet centers. But it needs to go beyond that to include civilian resources, localized civilian resources. I'm not sure I'm answering the question.

US House Rep John Hall: No, that's helpful. Thank you. Mr. Cintron, would you discuss the kind of prevention that might help a veteran from reaching the point where they take their own life? We've heard about how Coleman and other veterans have -- have no exhibited or used the word suicide and then not exhibit those tendencies until it was too late. So what kind of outreach would you suggest could reach a veteran before they get to that point?

Warrant Officer Melvin Cintron: I think there are a few outreach efforts that can be done. But the first step would have to be to have the people to reach out to and that can reach out to the folks. And they have to have some minimal training. Not a lot. All it takes, often times, like I said, I've encountered many veterans and they start talking to me and share their experience. And it's like, "Wow, you don't the weight that was on me." And it just lingers with them. And al they wanted to do was get it out at least once with someone that can understand -- not to judge, but just listen to them. That? That's what needed. Those outreaches, I think, you know when you get with some of the groups that are available to us, if there's a combined effort with the groups, find the synergy with them and with the government organization so that we all own part of the solution and it's not just a VA solution, not just a DoD solution, not just the solution of any individual program. It is a combined solution we all own part of it. So the outreach would be retraining and identifying personnel who are willing to take the call -- at any [time]. Anybody -- I give my phone to friends and veterans that I need and I say, "Hey, if you ever have an issue, call." And I have actually received calls in the middle of the night. I was just thinking about this. And we talked through and we're done. But having that outreach -- the ability to call somebody -- doesn't have to be somebody that they know but it has to be somebody that knows what it is that they're going through.

US House Rep John Hall: Thank you. I know I'm over my time. But I would just mention that this committee has -- the full Veterans Affairs Committee on the House side has voted to give funding not just for PSA, as Ranking Member Roe mentioned, but for paid advertising. And IAVA who will hear from shortly partnered with the Ad Council in one effort to put together an ad that was more powerful than the average PSA -- Public Service Announcement -- shown in the middle of the night because that's when the time's the cheapest and the TV station will give it up to do there public service whereas what we really need is advertising during the Superbowl, during American Idol, during the highest rated shows, during prime time where the half-hours -- I mean, the thirty-second spot costs the most money. But we're willing to do that to advertise "Be All That You Can Be" [Army recruitment ad], or "The Few, The Proud, The Marines" -- you know, the lightening bolt coming down onto the sword. And if we want to recruit and attract people to go into the armed services and to go fight for our country, we'll spend the money for prime time advertising but when it comes time to help them find the resources that they need to stay healthy after they come home, we want to do it on the cheap. And just do it at 3:00 a.m. in the morning on a PSA. And I think that needs to change, something we in Congress should fund so that the outreach is just as strong afterwards as it is before they were recruited.

Linda Bean and Warrant Officer Melvin Cintron were the witnesses on the first panel. Melvin Cintron served in both the first Gulf War and in the current Iraq War. From Cintron's opening remarks, there's something that has to be noted because VA and military officials repeatedly deny that it happens but it does happen and it's not by accident.

Warrant Officer Melvin Cintron: As an example, when returning from Iraq, as we out processed in Fort Dix, New Jersey, in an auditorium, a sergeant asked, "Is there anybody here who feels they need to talk to someone about anything they saw or did?" Nobody raised their hand. He then stated, "If you want to do it confidentially, please sign the roster that will be in the adjoining room." On the day prior to our leaving the out processing center the sergeant again addressed the crowd of soldier and, with the pad in his hand, he read out the names of those soldiers that had signed up confidentially for the offer made the previous day and asked, "Do you still need to see somebody?" Needles to say, nobody responded with a "yes." I was one of those soldiers.

It happens, it's not an accident. And it would end tomorrow if the brass took it (and the need for mental health) seriously. This is not the first time Cintron has publicly shared that story. He's never had anyone call him up and say, "This sergeant that you're talking about. Not to get him in trouble, but just to talk to him and correct this behavior, could you tell me what his name is?" There's never been a follow-up and there probably never will be. Until there is, the commanders can pretend that they're 'changing' the attitudes but they're not doing a damn thing.

PSAs? When someone's despondent, it's most likely going to be during the middle of the night. That is usually why, in fact, you're not asleep like many people. (You can also be up because you work nights or because you're an insomniac or you had too much caffeine.) So it's good that they're available then. They should, as Rep Hall noted, be available at other times as well. But, to be clear, he wasn't just talking about the standard PSAs. He was talking about the ones that could reach those struggling before suicidal thoughts became the norm. Before he questioned Linda Beam, she'd already been asked what type of PSA she thought was needed.

Linda Bean: I think it would be the Public Service Announcement that said, "You're home, you're drinking too much, you're fighting with your wife, you can't get along with your boss, you need help." That's a message that resonates with people who are in that position. The message that says, "You're home and you're suicidal"? Not so much.

And this was why he was referring to Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America's ad they made with the Ad Council which went far beyond the standard PSA of "Here's a number to call." I'm not mentioning Republicans, I'm not mentioning them for a reason. I didn't enjoy the crap that went down at one point. Others at the hearing may report on it at their sites. If so, we'll link to them in tomorrow's snapshot and note the issues. Today, I'll just give all the Republicans a demerit and ignore them and hope they can bring one of their own in to order. (Hint, it's not about you. What a witness went through, their pain, is not about you. Nor is it a competition. You're a member of Congress and should show a little dignity.) I was at the hearing of the House Subcommittee for the start through the first two panels. I then went to Senate Veterans Affairs Committee hearing on veterans' claims processing. I had missed the first portion where Chair Daniel Akaka and other Committee Members had heard from and questioned VA's Acting Under Secretary For Benefits Michael Walcoff. From Senator Akaka's office, we'll note this:

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact: Kawika Riley (Veterans' Affairs)
July 14, 2010 (202) 224-9126

Chairman preparing to move legislation, urges parties to offer suggestions

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Following a hearing today on how the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) processes claims from veterans seeking benefits, U.S. Senator Daniel K. Akaka (D-Hawaii), Chairman of the Veterans' Affairs Committee, urged interested parties to continue offering suggestions on how to improve the timeliness and accuracy of VA's claims adjudication.

"Compensating disabled veterans is among VA's most solemn obligations, and fixing the current system demands our best ideas. I am pleased that the Claims Processing Improvement Act is moving the discussion - from whether to change the status quo - to how to change it. I intend to move a claims processing improvement bill forward, and I ask those with an interest in this issue to continue to share their ideas," said Akaka.

Last month, Senator Akaka
introduced S. 3517, the Claims Processing Improvement Act of 2010, to improve VA's disability claims processing. The bill would make various changes to the way VA processes disability compensation claims, including provisions to:
• Set up a process to fast-track claims that have been fully developed;
• Help veterans with multiple disability claims by allowing VA to provide partial disability ratings; and
• Require that the Department give equal deference to the medical opinions of a veteran's non-VA doctor.

At today's hearing, top VA officials, veterans organizations and advocates testified about the current status of VA's claims processing system and made suggestions for changes to S. 3517.
Today's hearing and the current legislation are a continuation of Senator Akaka's ongoing effort to improve the claims processing system. Akaka sponsored many of the provisions of the Veterans' Benefits Improvement Act of 2008, enacted as Public Law
110-389. This and other bills have improved claims processing and enhanced compensation and other benefits for veterans. During Akaka's chairmanship, Congress has funded the hiring of thousands of Veterans Benefits Administration employees to respond to the rising number and increasing complexity of claims for disability compensation and other benefits.
More information about the hearing including statements, testimony and the webcast is available here:

Kawika Riley
Communications Director
U.S. Senate Committee on Veterans' Affairs
Senator Daniel K. Akaka (D-Hawaii), Chairman

Because there was a lengthy break between the first and second panel, I was able to catch the second panel. The second panel was composed of the
American Federation of Government Employees' Linda Jan Avant, the National Organization of Veterans' Advocates Inc.' Richard Paul Cohen, VA's former Under Secretary for Benefits' Joseph Thompson and Disabled American Veterans' Joseph A. Violante. It was Linda Jan Avant's birthday and Chair Akaka wished her a happy birthday and noted her mother was present for the testimony. Thompson felt that the system was out of date and cautioned on the reading of pilot programs. The system being out of date provided a new "challenge" ("challenge" was his most used term). He saw each challenge as an opportunity. Avant went over the work requirements and duties. And, guess what? Under-staffed and the new staff -- permanent staff brought on by the economic stimulus -- will require at least two years to be fully trained. (These days? They busy themselves with photo copying.) Joseph Violante noted the VA's desire to get rid of the backlog, "Mr. Chairman, the backlog is not the problem, nor even the cause of the problem, rather it is just one symptom, albeit a very severe symptom, of a very large problem: too many veterans waiting too long to get decisions on claims for benefits that are too often wrong."

S 3517 was the heart of the hearing and it is a bill proposed by Senator Akaka entitled "Claims Processing Improvement Act of 2010." Summary of the bill, "To amend title 38, United States Code, to improve the processing of claims for disability compensation filed with the Department of Veterans Affairs, and for other purposes."

Chair Daniel Akaka: While my legislation [
S 3517] is largely a claims processing bill, I included a pilot program to test an alternative to the current rating schedule. I did this because I'm concerned that progress on claims processing will be limited until the rating schedule is reformed. Do you agree that status quo on the rating schedule is unacceptable? Do you have suggestions for specific changes?

Joseph Violante: Mr. Chairman.

Chair Daniel Akaka: Aloha.

Joseph Violante: Certainly DAV believes IB believe that changes are necessary; however, we have some concerns about the proposal and the legislation. As has been pointed out previously, we believe that there could be a great inequity in veterans similarly situated, the same disability being rated differently. In addition to the act, the VA will have to learn two different systems because not everyone will come under this new pilot program. If these two veterans -- one who is rated under the current system, one who is under the new pilot -- appeal those decisions, then the Board of Veterans Affairs and ultimately the court also have to make a determination based on two different sets of criteria. And we believe there have been other proposals out there again by the Veterans Disability Benefits Commission and the ongoing advisory committee that have made recommendations that should be looked at also and not just focused on this one change.

Chair Daniel Akaka: Mr. Cohen?

Richard Cohen: Thank you, Mr. Chairman, NOVA believes that you're on the right track on this proposal. As you suggested, the status quo is unacceptable. The present schedule is too difficult for rating teams to work with consistently. This is uh a well thought out system. Uh, the problems that were perceived by some -- and Mr. Violante had mentioned about the disparate treatment -- could be resolved by taking files that had already been rated into the pilot to see what the result would be had they been rated under the pilot program and not changing the particular rating that it had but just seeing how it would be rated under the new program. That's a way that the program could be tested on a pilot basis and then compare the results. And actually, the rating team could be requested to provide input on the difficulty or ease of using both systems. But the proposal that you've come up with is something that it time honored. It's been used consistently in the workers' compensation system and doctors know how to deal with frequency of symptoms and severity of symptoms so it should work.

Chair Daniel Akaka: Thank you. Any other comments?

Linda Jan Avant: Yes.

Chair Daniel Akaka: Ms. Avant.

Linda Jan Avant: AFG also agrees that the rating schedule does need to be updated. I understand VBA has been working on that. There are some sections that have not been updated since 1945. And as a rating specialist, viewing actual medical evidence, it's very apparent that there hasn't been a lot of changes in the information requested on the VA template, that what the rater gets and when they try to apply to the schedule, many terminologies and diagnosis have changed over the years. Also many items seem to be under-evaluated, musculoskeletal are very difficult. If you have a knee condition, it is easily -- does not reflect what the symptons are in the VA exam and some of the mental disabilities are also the same way. And we think it would be beneficial if there are changes. The changes to the ICB Code? It will take some adjustment if VA does change from our diagnostic code to the ICB Code but it is something that is used nationally and with all physicians so it is something that would be easily adaptable.

And we'll skip Thompson because the answer wasn't that in depth and we're short on space.

Chris Vallance (BBC News) reports that US State Dept spokesperson Megan Mattson has stated that State Dept cables may have been stolen as a result of "greater information sharing" among government departments following 9-11. The BBC argues this is how Bradley Manning could have accessed documents if, indeed, he did. (They state she argues that but they don't quote Mattson actually doing that.) And on this topic, dropping back to yesterday's snapshot, these three paragraphs confused some:

Monday April 5th, WikiLeaks released US military video of a July 12, 2007 assault in Iraq. 12 people were killed in the assault including two Reuters journalists Namie Noor-Eldeen and Saeed Chmagh. Monday June 7th, the US military announced that they had arrested Bradley Manning and he stood accused of being the leaker of the video. Philip Shenon (Daily Beast) reported last month that the US government is attempting to track down WikiLeaks' Julian Assange. Last Tuesday, the military charged Manning. Leila Fadel (Washington Post) reported he had been charged -- "two charges under the Uniform Code of Military Justice. The first encompasses four counts of violating Army regulations by transferring classified information to his personal computer between November and May and adding unauthorized software to a classified computer system. The second comprises eight counts of violating federal laws governing the handling of classified information." Today on Antiwar Radio, Scott Horton discussed the issues with Glenn Greenwald. Strangely, Glenn Greenwald was able to talk about what Bradley was charged with, what he was alleged to have done. Example below.

Glenn Greenwald: Well one of the interesting parts of the charging document is how different it is than the chat logs that were released by Wired magazine in which he allegedly confessed to this hacker Adrian Lamo which is what started this case in the first place. There's a lot of facts that are very different if you look at what the charging documents said he did versus what he allegedly said in those chats.

In the final moments, Scott would point out that Wired refused and refuses to release the alleged transcripts in full (unexpurgated) and Glenn would talk about how, based on his legal experience, when someone refuses to do that, they generally are attempting to conceal something that doesn't jibe so easily with the rest of the narrative. This was a very brief segment.

There were five paragraphs. The confusion isn't the fault of anyone trying to follow along. The snapshot was too long and that's one of the dangers of editing in your head without looking over it. I said, "Pull __ and pull ___" and two of the paragraphs pulled (there was more pulled but that was largely a commentary about the State Dept event with Hoshyar Zebari and Hillary Clinton) were after "a very brief segment." I wrongly thought the comparison had been made in the above paragraphs. If you drop back to
Friday's snapshot, you'll note it opens with Nancy Youssef's garbage -- broadcast over NPR's The Diane Rehm Show -- about Bradley. In Nancy's world, if you're charged with something, you are guilty. In Nancy's world, if a convicted felon insists you said something, even though you've never publicly stated anything, you said it. The term "allegations" is as foreign to Nancy as is "innocent until proven guilty." To show your support for Bradley -- who's been found guilty of nothing at this point -- you can click here:

We Stand With Bradley Manning
This statement was signed by almost all attendees at the IVAW conference this past weekend.
For more background information, see
Wikileaks reveals video showing US air crew shooting down Iraqi civilians and Army Intelligence Analyst Charged for Releasing Wikileaks Video: Killers Remain Free
Also see:
Join the Save Bradley group on Facebook
Write to Bradley with your support:
Inmate: Bradley Manning TFCF (Theater Field Confinement Facility) APO AE 09366 USA


Sahar Issa (McClatchy Newspapers) reports a Baghdad sticky bombing wounded two people and, dropping back to Tuesday, a Mosul bombing in which eight children and one police officer were wounded, 2 Baghdad roadside bombings which claimed the lives of 2 police officers (and wounded five more people), and a Baghdad sticky bombing which injured two people. Reuters notes a Mosul roadside bombing which injured one Iraqi soldier, a a Baghdad sticky bombing which assassinated 1 "senior appeal court judge," 2 Baghdad grenade attacks in which four police officers and three civilians were injured, a Baghdad sticky bombing which injured a Sahwa member, a Mosul bombing which left two people injured, a Kirkuk roadside bombing which injured four police officers, and an Abu Ghraib home bombing (home was base for Abu Ghraib military) in which 2 Iraqi soldiers were killed.


Sahar Issa (McClatchy Newspapers) reports a Yousifiyah home invasion ("around dawn") on the home of Sahwa leader Khudhair Ouda in which his wife and 3 sons, a Falluja home invasion on "the home of a candidate of the National Unity Coalition" in which "his wife, daughter and son" were killed (the politician was not at home) and, dropping back to Tuesday a Baghdad home invasion in which university professor Adnan Mekki Abdullah was shot dead. Reuters notes an armed attack on a Baghdad checkpoint which resulted in three people being injured, 1 man shot dead in Mosul, a Mosul military raid which claimed the lives of 3 'militants.'

xxiraqbbc newschris vallance
antiwar radioscott hortonglenn greenwald