Monthly Archives: May 2007
Of course not, don’t be silly! But this article does have a rich quote from Maliki:
“I cannot answer on behalf of the U.S. administration but I can tell you that from our side our forces will be ready by June 2007,” Maliki told ABC television after meeting President Bush on Thursday in Jordan.
Alrighty then!! We can pack up the Hummers and leave right? Wait..Bush’s response at the same press conference was:
Bush said he wanted to begin troop withdrawals “as soon as possible. But I’m a realist because I understand how tough it is inside of Iraq.”
Oh My God..he is a realist? Give me an F’n break!!!!!! Lying sack of bat shit that he is. Another interesting remark was when Maliki stated to Condo that the Shite militias are really no “big deal”..I almost shat myself when I read that one.
The whole article is full of bullshit and bravado my dear reader…nothing new really, other than Maliki’s announcement that as soon as the US gives him lots and lots of ‘fire power’ the Iraqi Army will be ready to start their ethic cleansing…I mean start taking care of their own country.
Crossposted at Bring it On!
SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico – A Saudi Arabian detainee died Wednesday at Guantanamo Bay prison and the U.S. military said he apparently committed suicide. Critics of the detention center said the death showed the level of desperation among prisoners.
Also Wednesday, a Canadian detainee fired his American attorneys, leaving him without defense counsel ahead of his trial, his former U.S. military attorney told The Associated Press. The detainee, Omar Khadr, is still to be arraigned and is one of only three of the roughly 380 Guantanamo prisoners to be charged with a crime.
The military did not identify the detainee who died or describe the manner of death. There are about 80 detainees from Saudi Arabia held at Guantanamo.
Guards at the U.S. Naval Base in southeast Cuba found the detainee unresponsive and not breathing in his cell Wednesday afternoon, the U.S. military’s Southern Command said in a statement.
“They tried to save his life but he was pronounced dead,” said Mario Alvarez, a Miami-based spokesman for the command.
Lawyer Julia Tarver Mason, whose firm represents eight Saudi detainees at Guantanamo, said she has tried so far without success to learn from the government if the apparent suicide was by one of her clients.
“They are in the care of the United States government and that should mean that deaths should not occur,” Mason said.
It would be the fourth suicide at Guantanamo since the prison camp opened in January 2002. On June 10, 2006, two Saudi detainees and one Yemeni hanged themselves with sheets.
A spokesman for detention operations, Navy Cmdr. Rick Haupt, declined to comment, referring questions to the Miami-based Southern Command, which oversees U.S. military operations in the Caribbean and Latin America.
Defense attorneys said the death was likely an act of desperation at a prison camp where detainees are denied access to U.S. civilian courts and isolated in their cells for up to 22 hours a day.
“You have five and a half years of desperation there with no legal way out,” said Michael Ratner, president of the New York-based Center for Constitutional Rights. “Sadly, it leads to people being so desperate they take their own lives.”
Marc Falkoff, who is part of a team of attorneys representing 17 men from Yemen, said the suicide should be expected given the conditions at Guantanamo.
“We’ve said all along that the guys are going to try to take their lives and that appears to be what happened here,” Falkoff said. “It’s just incredibly sad and it wouldn’t happen if these guys were just given their day in court.”
A cultural adviser was helping the military handle the remains. “The remains of the deceased detainee are being treated with the utmost respect,” the military said.
The death came as the U.S. military prepared to try Khadr and Salim Ahmed Hamdan, a Yemeni, in military tribunals set up by Congress after the U.S. Supreme Court rejected a previous military trial system, calling it unconstitutional.
Their arraignment is scheduled to proceed Monday at Guantanamo as planned, Navy Cmdr. Jeffrey Gordon, a Pentagon spokesman, said late Wednesday.
Khadr was 15 when he was captured in a firefight with U.S. troops in
Afghanistan during which he allegedly killed a U.S. Army special forces soldier with a grenade.
“He doesn’t trust American lawyers, and I don’t particularly blame him,” said U.S. Marine Lt. Col. Colby Vokey, who was taken off the case Wednesday. “The United States is responsible for his interrogation, and his treatment under a process that is patently unfair.”
Vokey was excused as defense counsel by Col. Dwight Sullivan, chief defense counsel.
“I’m definitely disappointed,” Vokey said in a telephone interview with The Associated Press. “I wanted to go the distance for Omar.”
Khadr is now represented by only two Canadian lawyers, who are known as foreign attorney consultants because they have not been cleared to be full-level attorneys, Vokey said. Under new rules for military tribunals adopted last year, the detainee is permitted to represent himself.
The apparent suicide Wednesday came despite the military’s best efforts.
The military tightened security at the prison camp following the previous suicides and an uprising last spring, removing access to light fixtures and other possible makeshift weapons and taking away bed sheets in the daytime.
About 380 men are held at the isolated prison camp on suspicion of links to al-Qaida or the Taliban. Many have been held for five years.
The Naval Criminal Investigative Service is conducting an ongoing investigation into the three previous suicides.
The former commander of the detention facilities, Navy Rear Adm. Harry Harris, described those suicides as acts of “asymmetric warfare” — an effort to increase condemnation of the prison.
Oh yeah Harry..they commit suicide for fun and profit. Isn’t it possible its also to show the world what rotten son’s of bitches you torture-loving fools are or perhaps he just could not take anymore after GOD knows how long? Just a thought there Rear Admiral…
Watch the video of the interview here.
By Jason Leopold
t r u t h o u t | Report
Wednesday 30 May 2007
Last week, a day after Monica Goodling testified before Congress about her role in the US attorney scandal, I sat down for an exclusive, wide-ranging interview with David Iglesias to discuss the implications of that testimony.
Iglesias, the former US attorney for New Mexico, was one of eight US attorneys fired in December for reasons that appear to have been motivated by partisan politics. Goodling is the former White House liaison for the Justice Department.
Iglesias discussed Goodling’s testimony before the House Judiciary Committee, and how what she told lawmakers about the scandal may lead to a criminal investigation against Attorney General Alberto Gonzales and Deputy Attorney General Paul McNulty. Goodling accused both men of misleading Congress during their testimonies earlier this year. Iglesias told me the Congressional investigations may lead to a criminal probe that could net Gonzales and McNulty on perjury and/or obstruction of justice charges.
McNulty has announced that he will resign later this summer.
Iglesias told me that, while we still do not know how he and his colleagues were placed on the termination list, he does believe a “smoking gun” exists that will lead directly to Karl Rove and blow the scandal wide open.
“I believe somewhere on an RNC computer – on some server somewhere – there’s an email from Karl Rove stating why we need to be axed,” Iglesias told me in an hour-long interview.
Iglesias said Rove, former White House Counsel Harriet Miers and perhaps other officials are likely responsible for placing his name and the names of his colleagues on a list of US attorneys to be fired, because he refused to launch federal investigations and prosecute individuals purely for partisan reasons.
“If the Justice Department didn’t have anything to do with placing presidential appointees such as me and my colleagues on a list to be terminated, the only other possible place would be the White House,” Iglesias said. “Harriet Miers, Karl Rove or some of their underlings.”
Iglesias also told me that, beginning in 2005, his office came under pressure when a close confidant of Karl Rove alleged there was widespread voter fraud in New Mexico. Iglesias said he investigated those allegations tirelessly and found zero evidence to back them up. He added that, based on evidence that has surfaced thus far and “Karl Rove’s obsession with voter fraud issues throughout the country,” he now believes GOP operatives wanted him to go after Democratic-funded organizations in an attempt to swing the 2006 midterm elections to Republicans.
As we all know, the war isn’t going so well to put it mildly. We keep telling ourselves that somehow this nightmare will come to a screeching halt sooner or later. The odds are this war won’t end until a new President is sworn into office, but in the mean time…
What about the soldiers that are there now? What about those in the midst of being sent back or training for their first trip into the bowels of hell?
There was an IHT article I read late Sunday evening when my spine was screaming at me to take a pill and lay down. The article was from the soldier’s perspective; soldiers that are there now and are on deployment number two or three. It broke my heart. They are now losing patience and faith in the “mission” and not because of anything our dear leaders are or are not doing. They are losing faith in the Iraqi’s that are supposed to have their backs..the ones they have been training and arming. The Iraqi army is trying to kill them. I am sure this isn’t news to some, but when you actually hear it from the mouth of one of our own…it takes your breath away.
The article started out with the story of an insurgent who was killed as he attempted to plant a roadside bomb. As they went through his clothing, looking for identification, they came across a badge…a badge that identified him as sergeant in the Iraqi Army. As one soldier put it:’
“We’re helping guys that are trying to kill us. We help them in the day. They turn around at night and try to kill us.” “If we stayed here for 5, even 10 more years, the day we leave here these guys will go crazy,” he said. “It would go straight into a civil war. That’s how it feels, like we’re putting a Band-Aid on this country until we leave here.”
This soldier is in Delta Company. I have heard many times how Delta Company is the cream of the crop, the A-team so to speak. The article goes on to state that of the soldiers they interviewed for the story, they gleaned this pov from the majority of them:
“But in interviews with more than a dozen soldiers over a one-week period, most said they were disillusioned by repeated deployments, by what they saw as the abysmal performance of Iraqi security forces and by a conflict that they considered a civil war, one they had no ability to stop.”
The Iraqi security forces are militias beholden to local leaders, not the Iraqi government. They most likely signed up to get a paycheck to feed their families and possibly to provide Intelligence to the insurgents leadership. One soldier was quoted, as saying he thinks over half the Iraq army personnel are insurgents in his estimation.
The rightwingers will tell you that the soldiers are proud of the job they are doing, they care about upholding our government’s goals, and they care about the ‘mission’. The sad truth, which we won’t hear about on the evening news, is that the soldiers are only beholden to their brethren. They just want to keep each American soldier safe until his or her tour is over and they can go back to their lives as Americans. They have “each other’s back”. They no longer believe in the mission or trust the Iraqi that is standing at their side. In the words of one soldier interviewed for the story:
“I don’t want any more of my guys to get hurt or die. If it was something I felt righteous about, maybe. But for this country and this conflict, no, it’s not worth it.”
This is the unkindest cut of all. That they know their mission is futile. It makes the horror all the more intolerable for me. I have really, in some twisted inner vision, wanted them to believe they were making a difference. I want them to believe in what they did when they were blown to hell, that it was worth it. I would rather have them be at peace with all they had done and seen when they died in the sand so friggin far away. The thought that one of these soldiers will die knowing full well he is a piñata in a civil war makes me wild with anger. Simultaneously I want to cry…. a long, low wailing cry that helps all the pent up mental anguish I feel about this shit escape into the darkness of the night.
With my niece in harms way in Afghanistan, I have the right to feel this way about George Bush’s War on Terror and what it is doing to every man and woman that is fighting it. Their only goal is to keep their friends alive. They have the noblest of intentions.
And Bush shits on them daily, every time he opens his piehole and talks about supporting the troops. What balls this man has. How can one man and his cadre of chickenhawks be so ruthless with so many lives and lie to them? Lying to me is one thing but sweet Jesus, lying to them is criminal.
And no matter how you feel about her personally, we all are worse off in our fight to end this miserable warmongering. Below are her finals words to us. I hope she finds peace within herself now that she isn’t giving her heart and soul to the anti-war movement. My dear friend Robert who has spent time with Cindy at the Crawford “Camp Casey” compound has a moving tribute to her here. Bless you Cindy for giving up your comfortable life to make us all aware. I will treasure your words dear lady..and pray I never have to suffer the loss of my niece who is fighting in Afghanistan as I type this.
“Good Riddance Attention Whore”
Mon May 28, 2007 at 09:57:01 AM PDT
I have endured a lot of smear and hatred since Casey was killed and especially since I became the so-called “Face” of the American anti-war movement. Especially since I renounced any tie I have remaining with the Democratic Party, I have been further trashed on such “liberal blogs” as the Democratic Underground. Being called an “attention whore” and being told “good riddance” are some of the more milder rebukes.
* CindySheehan’s diary :: ::
I have come to some heartbreaking conclusions this Memorial Day Morning. These are not spur of the moment reflections, but things I have been meditating on for about a year now. The conclusions that I have slowly and very reluctantly come to are very heartbreaking to me.
The first conclusion is that I was the darling of the so-called left as long as I limited my protests to George Bush and the Republican Party. Of course, I was slandered and libeled by the right as a “tool” of the Democratic Party. This label was to marginalize me and my message. How could a woman have an original thought, or be working outside of our “two-party” system?
However, when I started to hold the Democratic Party to the same standards that I held the Republican Party, support for my cause started to erode and the “left” started labeling me with the same slurs that the right used. I guess no one paid attention to me when I said that the issue of peace and people dying for no reason is not a matter of “right or left”, but “right and wrong.”
I am deemed a radical because I believe that partisan politics should be left to the wayside when hundreds of thousands of people are dying for a war based on lies that is supported by Democrats and Republican alike. It amazes me that people who are sharp on the issues and can zero in like a laser beam on lies, misrepresentations, and political expediency when it comes to one party refuse to recognize it in their own party. Blind party loyalty is dangerous whatever side it occurs on. People of the world look on us Americans as jokes because we allow our political leaders so much murderous latitude and if we don’t find alternatives to this corrupt “two” party system our Representative Republic will die and be replaced with what we are rapidly descending into with nary a check or balance: a fascist corporate wasteland. I am demonized because I don’t see party affiliation or nationality when I look at a person, I see that person’s heart. If someone looks, dresses, acts, talks and votes like a Republican, then why do they deserve support just because he/she calls him/herself a Democrat?
I have also reached the conclusion that if I am doing what I am doing because I am an “attention whore” then I really need to be committed. I have invested everything I have into trying to bring peace with justice to a country that wants neither. If an individual wants both, then normally he/she is not willing to do more than walk in a protest march or sit behind his/her computer criticizing others. I have spent every available cent I got from the money a “grateful” country gave me when they killed my son and every penny that I have received in speaking or book fees since then. I have sacrificed a 29 year marriage and have traveled for extended periods of time away from Casey’s brother and sisters and my health has suffered and my hospital bills from last summer (when I almost died) are in collection because I have used all my energy trying to stop this country from slaughtering innocent human beings. I have been called every despicable name that small minds can think of and have had my life threatened many times.
The most devastating conclusion that I reached this morning, however, was that Casey did indeed die for nothing. His precious lifeblood drained out in a country far away from his family who loves him, killed by his own country which is beholden to and run by a war machine that even controls what we think. I have tried every since he died to make his sacrifice meaningful. Casey died for a country which cares more about who will be the next American Idol than how many people will be killed in the next few months while Democrats and Republicans play politics with human lives. It is so painful to me to know that I bought into this system for so many years and Casey paid the price for that allegiance. I failed my boy and that hurts the most.
I have also tried to work within a peace movement that often puts personal egos above peace and human life. This group won’t work with that group; he won’t attend an event if she is going to be there; and why does Cindy Sheehan get all the attention anyway? It is hard to work for peace when the very movement that is named after it has so many divisions.
Our brave young men and women in Iraq have been abandoned there indefinitely by their cowardly leaders who move them around like pawns on a chessboard of destruction and the people of Iraq have been doomed to death and fates worse than death by people worried more about elections than people. However, in five, ten, or fifteen years, our troops will come limping home in another abject defeat and ten or twenty years from then, our children’s children will be seeing their loved ones die for no reason, because their grandparents also bought into this corrupt system. George Bush will never be impeached because if the Democrats dig too deeply, they may unearth a few skeletons in their own graves and the system will perpetuate itself in perpetuity.
I am going to take whatever I have left and go home. I am going to go home and be a mother to my surviving children and try to regain some of what I have lost. I will try to maintain and nurture some very positive relationships that I have found in the journey that I was forced into when Casey died and try to repair some of the ones that have fallen apart since I began this single-minded crusade to try and change a paradigm that is now, I am afraid, carved in immovable, unbendable and rigidly mendacious marble.
Camp Casey has served its purpose. It’s for sale. Anyone want to buy five beautiful acres in Crawford , Texas ? I will consider any reasonable offer. I hear George Bush will be moving out soon, too…which makes the property even more valuable.
This is my resignation letter as the “face” of the American anti-war movement. This is not my “Checkers” moment, because I will never give up trying to help people in the world who are harmed by the empire of the good old US of A, but I am finished working in, or outside of this system. This system forcefully resists being helped and eats up the people who try to help it. I am getting out before it totally consumes me or anymore people that I love and the rest of my resources.
Good-bye America …you are not the country that I love and I finally realized no matter how much I sacrifice, I can’t make you be that country unless you want it.
It’s up to you now.