Monday, May 28, 2007

Appeal for Redress Memorial Day Weekend Columbus Ohio

Dearest Readers, the Appeal for Redress which took place in Columbus Ohio was a great success.

Note the short prayer read by active duty Army wife Tiffany Wanzer was written by a Jew, a Christian and a Muslim in 1990. See the five minute clip below:

Hot Links Updated

Thanks to our cousins up North for this series. The Fifth Estate-the Lies that brought the war in Iraq series Fifth Estate

Since the US-led invasion four years ago, the fifth estate has covered Iraq and the war on terror from virtually every angle--the military, media, intelligence, politics--revealing aspects of the story that you didn't find anywhere else. Now, as the White House warns about the latest threat in the region, this time from Iran, it's worthwhile looking back to examine the deception, suspect intelligence, even lies, that convinced the world of the rightness of targeting Saddam Hussein.

Reuters Bush concerned at activists' arrest in Vietnam

Bush had hailed Vietnam's vibrant economy on a goodwill visit to Hanoi last November, but an air of disenchantment has set in at the White House.

A Vietnam court on May 11 sentenced two activist lawyers to up five years in jail in the latest trial of political dissidents in the communist-run state.

Hanoi rejects accusations by Western human rights groups that it has cracked down on activists after Vietnam successfully hosted an Asia-Pacific summit, won World Trade Organization membership and was removed from a U.S. religious rights blacklist in 2006.

Save the Internet and sites like this from becoming so slow you can't load the page! Save the Open Internet

The FCC is on the verge of turning over a large chunk of the public airwaves to the same giant phone and cable companies that control high-speed Internet access for 96 percent of American home users.

Guess Dubya forgot he had dissenters arrested in this country too. Vietnam doesn't claim to be a democracy.

CNN - why Senator Clinton should not be president. Haven't we had enough presidents who fail to do their homework? Records: Senators who OK'd war didn't read key report

A new biography of Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton has once again raised the issue of whether members of Congress read a key intelligence report before the 2002 vote to authorize war in Iraq.

Clinton did not read the 90-page, classified National Intelligence Estimate on Iraq, according to "Her Way: The Hopes and Ambitions of Hillary Rodham Clinton."

For members of Congress to read the report, they had to go to a secure location on Capitol Hill. The Washington Post reported in 2004 that no more than six senators and a handful of House members were logged as reading the document.

The Clinton biography, written by New York Times reporters Jeff Gerth and Don Van Natta Jr., summarizes the intelligence estimate, which combined reports of U.S. intelligence agencies about Iraq.

As it turns out, most who voted for this war never read the full report. Go figure.

They were briefed, much like Dubya and his August 6, 2001 memo...911 then happened on his lazy watch-despite as many as nine intelligence warnings, coming from allies as early as January 2001.

Seattle Times 10 more Americans die in Iraq, making May bloodiest month

Ten American soldiers were killed in roadside bombings and a helicopter crash on Memorial Day, the military reported today, making May the deadliest month of the year for U.S. troops in Iraq.

In other violence, five Britons were kidnapped today from an Iraqi Finance Ministry office in Baghdad, according to Britain's Foreign Office, and two car bombings killed 40 people and destroyed a Shiite mosque in the capital, police said.

More blood on war supporters hands. Cindy may be right, they do not appear to care about our soldiers or they would not have abandoned them to an endless war.

Haaretz Justice Minister, citing Torah: We must take in Darfur refugees

According to Friedmann, "There are instructions in the Torah which teach about compassion, and in dimensions which we do not see in the law of other peoples. The emphasis is on why there is a need for compassion, the source of this biblical compassion."

"The question that Israel must ask itself is, to what extent is it within that pathway of compassion?"

Legal Times DOJ Made Immigration Judgeships Political

Few people in El Paso know more about immigration law than Guadalupe Gonzalez, a lawyer who has prosecuted illegal immigration cases along the Texas border for nearly 25 years. In 2002, after seeing an advertisement, she applied — and was passed over — for an opening on the local bench of one of the nation’s 54 immigration courts. But when two more vacancies arose in 2004, nobody bothered to tell Gonzalez. In fact, the positions were never advertised.

Instead, the Justice Department’s leadership, which oversees the immigration courts, used a little-known power to appoint two lower-level attorneys — both of whom Gonzalez had supervised at the Immigration and Customs Enforcement office in El Paso — to the $115,000-a-year positions.

The authority used to bypass the competitive hiring process would be employed again and again during the last year of Attorney General John Ashcroft’s tenure and continue when Alberto Gonzales succeeded him in 2005. And according to the immigration court’s former administrator, it also allowed top political aides at Justice, including former Gonzales chief of staff D. Kyle Sampson and former White House liaison Monica Goodling, to fast-track candidates of their choosing — including a number of lawyers with no immigration law experience but strong ties to the Republican Party or President George W. Bush’s election campaigns

KOS via RAW, so is the July 4th in Phili off? "Good Riddance Attention Whore" by Cindy Sheehan

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.

She's right about the peace groups that can't work with this or that group-they just won't walk in lock step like the neorepublicans do. Some very left peace groups think Military Families Speak Out is not peacey enough; yet the right calls MFSO (erroneously) an "anti-war" group.

Counterpunch Cindy Sheehan Why I Am Leaving the Democratic Party

It used to be George Bush's war. You could have ended it honorably. Now it is yours and you all will descend into calumnious history with BushCo.

The Camp Casey Peace Institute is calling all citizens who are as disgusted as we are with you all to join us in Philadelphia on July 4th to try and figure a way out of this "two" party system that is bought and paid for by the war machine which has a stranglehold on every aspect of our lives. As for myself, I am leaving the Democratic Party. You have completely failed those who put you in power to change the direction our country is heading. We did not elect you to help sink our ship of state but to guide it to safe harbor.

We do not condone our government's violent meddling in sovereign countries and we condemn the continued murderous occupation of Iraq .

We gave you a chance, you betrayed us.

The Columbus Dispatch, doing right by military families. Let's hope this trend continues...Veterans join in Soldier's Walk to urge quick end to war in Iraq

The Soldier's Walk for Soldiers and the Appeal for Redress are part of a national effort spearheaded by active-duty members of the military. Locally, the event was sponsored by groups that included Military Families Speak Out of Central Ohio, Progress Ohio, Veterans for Peace, Iraq Veterans Against the War and Artists for Political Reform.

Seth Wolfe, 63, of Upper Arlington, said he thinks that the war was lost before it started.

Wolfe, who wore the Purple Heart he received for his naval service in Vietnam in 1968-69, said too many members of the military are being forced to remain apolitical while "America's standing on its head."

Dearest Readers, there were 12 veterans who read the Appeal. What is interesting is that there were soldiers/sailors/airman there, representing every war since WW II. The youngest soldier was 22, the oldest 79.

These kinds of events are why the DOD has a new order that soldiers out of uniform cannot identify themselves as soldiers to the media. Another way to prevent them from telling what is really going on within the ranks regarding the war in Iraq.

Zogby polls indicated the soldiers discontent with the fake mission nearly two years ago, stating 75% thought the war should be wrapped up within a years time.

It wasn't and does anyone have a good reason for thinking they are happier now? The public certainly isn't...

"Empty Boots" display

Election law blog Monica Goodling, Timothy Griffin, and "Caging" Voters

According to this report in Legal Times: Goodling said that McNulty, during testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee in February, "was not fully candid about his knowledge of White House involvement" in the decision to fire the U.S. Attorneys. She also said that McNulty was not forthright about his knowledge of the White House's interest in the appointment of Timothy Griffin, a former aide to White House political adviser Karl Rove and Republican National Committee opposition researcher, to become U.S. Attorney in the Eastern District of Arkansas.

Additionally, she alleged, McNulty did not disclose the extent of his knowledge about allegations that Griffin had been involved in "caging" African-American votes during the 2004 elections, and inaccurately described the Justice Department's assessment of a commission that reviewed candidates to become U.S. Attorney in California.

This appears to be the only reference to the "caging" allegation in the mainstream press and there's no further discussion of the issue in the article. Greg Palast, writing at the Brad Blog, sees this as a very big deal. We'll see if it gets picked up by the mainstream press.

It is a big deal. Prissy doesn't think Monica really understood just what those "caging lists" represented...see Greg Palast for explanation on "caging lists."

Photo Gallery-der Spiegel Exodus out of Iraq Refugees leaving the now war torn country.

der Spiegal International SHRINKING SOLIDARITY IN AFGHANISTAN? Debate Flares Anew about German Military Mission

The deaths of 21 German soldiers and a confusing chain of command in Afghanistan will have consequences for the "unlimited solidarity" former Chancellor Gerhard Schröder once assured the United States. Germany may withdraw from Operation Enduring Freedom.

Berlin is mulling over its future role in Afghanistan. The disaster fits neatly into five and a half lines: That's all the military analysts at the Bonn-based military operations headquarters need to paint a realistic picture of the daily violence in their confidential report for the German defense minister. It takes less than six lines of data, facts and figures to sum up the dilemma the West faces in Afghanistan.

Well, if 911 occurred because of someones lazy watch here in the US or because someone let it happen then perhaps it too was a falsified invasion. After all, the French intel have publicly stated that OBL was cornered at Tora Bora and the Americans were ordered NOT to go after him...and the FBI's own website does not list OBL as wanted for 911. Hmm...

The republicans are on the run from Americans demanding an end to this war. The democrats, knowing what losing feels like are unfortunately sympathizing with the sure to lose in 08 republicans. Sounds like we need more than two choices!

NBC News 4AP: Marines Fail to Get Gear to Troops

The system for delivering badly needed gear to Marines in Iraq has failed to meet many urgent requests for equipment from troops in the field, according to an internal document obtained by The Associated Press.

Of more than 100 requests from deployed Marine units between February 2006 and February 2007, less than 10 percent have been fulfilled, the document says. It blamed the bureaucracy and a "risk-averse" approach by acquisition officials.

Among the items held up were a mine resistant vehicle and a hand-held laser system.

"Process worship cripples operating forces," according to the document. "Civilian middle management lacks technical and operational currency."

Attn all Troops: If you intend to show up for your deployment, please bring the following items: Enough MRE's for 12-15 months, bullets, body armor, potable water, tools, and oh-get a gun-we might not have enough for everyone.

If you can't afford to bring your own supplies on your E-4 or below salary; you will have to share? See your commander for further details. Chances are good he's got more questions and less answers than you.

Should you require further supplies, see someone from an "anti-war organization" for care packages and/or life saving equipment.

Prezident Boosh is angry you all need that need that stuff, and that your families keep complaining about it. But he's glad soldiers will give their lives for his war...he'd just like their families to stop dissing him for it. Not a chance, Dubya.

Seattle Times, a happy story, if its true U.S. soldiers rescue 42 kidnapped Iraqis

BAGHDAD -- U.S. and Iraqi forces freed 42 kidnapped Iraqis -- some of whom had been hung from ceilings and tortured for months -- in a raid Sunday on an al-Qaida hideout north of Baghdad, the U.S. military said.

Military officials said the operation, launched on tips from residents, showed that Iraqis in the turbulent Diyala province were turning against Sunni insurgents and beginning to trust U.S. troops.

"This is a sign that the people are fed up with [al-Qaida in Iraq] doing bad things to good people," said Lt. Col. Michael Donnelly, a spokesman for U.S. forces in northern Iraq. "They are communicating a very strong message: We are fed up with this, and we are not going to sit back and do nothing and die."

Individuals believed to have been guarding the facility were seen fleeing the scene, but none was apprehended, Donnelly said.

But "none was apprehended"- ya don't say...

The Globe and Mail Troops seize equipment of anti-government TV station

CARACAS — Venezuelan troops have seized the anti-government television channel's broadcast equipment, the station said on Sunday, ahead of a controversial midnight takeover by President Hugo Chavez that will take the broadcaster off the air.

Mr. Chavez sparked international criticism with his decision to not renew RCTV's license and to replace Venezuela's most-watched channel with a state-backed network that will promote the values of his self-styled socialist revolution.

RCTV representatives said troops had taken over relay stations across the country amid a show of military force meant to deter possible violence by opposition demonstrators.

"They have taken over the transmission stations," said Edgardo Mosca, vice-president of engineering operations at RCTV.

Dubya didn't use troops when he took over the media.

NYT Bush Pays Tribute to Fallen U.S. Troops

“Nothing said today will ease your pain,” Mr. Bush said. “But each of you need to know that your country thanks you, and we embrace you, and we will never forget the terrible loss you have suffered. I hope you find comfort in knowing that your loved ones rest in a place even more peaceful than the fields that surround us here.”

“Those who serve are not fatalists of cynics,” Mr. Bush said. “They know that one day this war will end — as all wars do. Our duty is to ensure that its outcome justifies the sacrifices made by those who fought and died in it. From their deaths must come a world where the cruel dreams of tyrants and terrorists are frustrated and foiled.”

No Prezident Boosh, most soldiers aren't cynics or fatalists, they are realists. Dubya and the neocons, they would be the "fatalists."

That Dubya, still not realizing the best tribute he could give to most military families is for him to shut-up for a day...and end the war.

Brasscheck TV Iraq for Sale Excerpt from the documentary.

Why does the war in Iraq go on and on? One reason is that it is immensely profitable for the Bush family and its friends.

These four minutes from the documentary "Iraq for Sale" were specifically banned by from being shown during a Congressional hearing by concerted action from Republican politicians.

Democracy NOW "Somebody Had to Speak Out. If Not Me, Who?" - Maj. Gen. John Batiste Fired by CBS News for Anti-Iraq War 'Advocacy'

Major General John Batiste was offered a promotion to become a three-star general, the second-highest-ranking military officer in Iraq. Instead, he quit over the war. After he appeared in a commercial for, CBS News fired him as a paid news consultant. collected 230,000 signatures on a petition demanding he be rehired. In a wide-ranging interview, Maj. Gen. Batiste discusses the Iraq war, calls for the closing of the US prison camp at Guantanamo Bay, says private security firms like Blackwater USA should be investigated and says President Bush has failed by surrounding himself with "like-minded, compliant subordinates."

TX Statesman Traveling Vietnam wall stirs emotions around Austin

Jerry Sharp, a team leader for the Austin Vet Center, helps lead group discussions with Vietnam veterans about their war experiences. Before the wall's arrival, Sharp asked some veterans last week whether they wanted to see it. Reactions were mixed, he said.

Sharp said going to the wall can give veterans the chance to grieve and pay respects to friends who were killed.

"It's about those names, and what makes it so difficult is the impact of it," he said. "There are so many."

There are more than 58,200 names on the wall, according the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund in Washington.

Quotes of the Day

With the tears a Land hath shed,Their graves should ever be green.~Thomas Bailey Aldrich

Are they dead that yet speak louder than we can speak, and a more universal language? Are they dead that yet act? Are they dead that yet move upon society and inspire the people with nobler motives and more heroic patriotism? ~Henry Ward Beecher

Death leaves a heartache no one can heal, love leaves a memory no one can steal. ~From a headstone in Ireland

All we have of freedom, all we use or know -This our fathers bought for us long and long ago.~Rudyard Kipling, The Old Issue, 1899

For your congress person-click to enlarge