Reader Joanie e-mailed something and said I wouldn't highlight it. It's the Taliban evaluating Barack's speech. Of course I'll highlight it. What did C.I. call it? Barry O Goes To Cairo? It was not a hit outside of the media fluffers. The same crew that fluffed Bully Boy Bush as the best thing ever now do the same with Barry O.
"Afghan Taliban Responds To Obama`s Cairo Speech" (Information Clearing House):
1. Barack Obama claims good-will and tolerance towards Muslims at a time when their occupation forces are committing mass murder and disturbing and imprisoning Muslims in Afghanistan and Iraq. They violate their legal rights and mercilessly martyr them to defend their rights. They put them in the most hateful prisons of the world. Given these wild and illegal actions by Americans, Obama`s baseless speech has no importance.
2. As a groundless claimant, Barack Obama justified the occupation of Afghanistan and Iraq by Americans in his meaningless speech. He said the ongoing efforts of their crusader forces against the Muslim nations of these countries were a legitimate struggle to secure US interests. According to national and international laws, the occupation of independent countries and hostile war against their free nations cannot be called a legitimate war.
3. Barack Obama wants to create divisions among Muslims and the Muslim world and to separate Muslims from their real protectors and defence force (mojaheddin) (as published) in line with his hostile policy through such speeches. These Muslim nations have willingly trained and strengthened them (mojaheddin) with their support. He is trying to create divisions among Muslims and to exploit the divisions among them. However, the religious beliefs and relations of Muslims are not so weak that they can be broken by a few words of the supreme commander of the occupation forces like Obama. Today, all vigilant Muslims are engaged in jihad in one way or the other. Therefore, the US war against the mojaheddin is considered a war against all Muslim nations and Islam.
4. He claimed that Americans were not trying to permanently remain and establish military bases inside Afghanistan in Islamic countries like Iraq and Afghanistan and that it did not want to betray the nations of the world. This claim runs counter to the current facts and realities in the region because Americans are currently busy establishing major military bases and airports. They have established 12 new military airports. Some of them are very large where any kind of large military planes can land. This large number of airports and countless number of military bases are established at a time when they do not need even half of them given the number of their forces and daily military flights. This shows that Americans are intending to permanently remain in and occupy the region. Therefore, it is sending additional forces to the region. The countries and nations of the world, particularly the region should stay vigilant to foil their destructive plans in a timely fashion.
I loathe the Taliban and I loathe Barry O's efforts to make nice with them. (The US should leave Afghanistan immediately. They should not try to 'fix' things by setting back up the Taliban on the way out the door.) The Taliban piece has a link if you want to read it in full. I included the sections on Iraq.
I would further add that you really are doing yourself a disservice if you're not aware of what they're saying. Being aware doesn't mean you support them. It means you are informed. I think many Americans, if asked who was the worst enemy the US ever faced, would respond, "The Nazis!" Certainly Americans in the lead up to and during WWII would have been better informed if they'd studied what the Nazi Party stood for (as opposed to believing the white wash so many US industrialists wanted to provide in order to make big money in Germany).
Sunny goes through my e-mails. I don't know how often I have to state that. She will respond to you or not as she sees fit. If she didn't go through them, they'd just sit and wait. I do not have the time. She reads them on her own inititive and my e-mails for this site are not part of her job duties. So if you're unhappy with what she writes or that she didn't write you back, get over yourself.
I also have no desire to meet up for coffee with anyone.
My days are filled with work and that often tapers into the night even when I'm not at the office just because there are days where it's very hard to just shake it off. I am in a relationship. I have my own circle of friends.
My time is very limited. As a result, I do not have time to meet up with people for coffee and, to be honest, I find such a request rather strange.
Whatever you know about me or think you know about me is probably far more interesting in your head than I could be in person. I've told Sunny not to even bother replying to those e-mails in the future. My time's limited (so is Sunny's). I would have loved to have stopped blogging last November as we'd all planned. I really have no time to spare these days.
"Response to Obama’s speech at Notre Dame on common ground and abortion" (Sunsara Taylor, Revolution):
In the weeks leading up to Barack Obama’s delivery of the commencement address at the University of Notre Dame, the national eye was drawn once again to the question of women’s right to abortion. Anti-abortion Catholics and Christian fundamentalists, many of whom have been at the heart of some of the most violent tactics against doctors, women and clinics, descended on the campus. They trespassed. They got arrested. They put up billboards. More than 70 bishops condemned Notre Dame’s decision.
However, on March 17, when graduation day finally arrived, Obama received a standing ovation upon entrance, a glowing introduction from the Catholic president of the university, and repeated cheers as he spoke.
In his speech, Obama called for “fair-minded words” on both sides of the abortion issue. He called on people to express their differences but not to demonize those who think differently than themselves. He called for “common ground” and pointed to where he felt this could be found, as well as some of the challenges he sees in achieving it.
To many, these were reasonable words. To many, the response to him by the overwhelming majority of the student body—together with a significant number of prominent Catholic figures—represents motion in a positive direction.
But, when Obama speaks of “common ground” on abortion, he is not standing on some neutral “middle ground”—he is accepting the terms of the anti-abortion movement and adapting aspects of a pro-choice position into that framework while gutting the heart of the abortion-rights position. In so doing, he is legitimizing and strengthening a viciously anti-woman program while both abandoning the much needed fight to expand access to abortion and birth control and giving up the moral and ideological basis on which the pro-choice position stands.
If you missed it, the assassin of Dr. Tiller was on CNN bragging about the fact that a decision has been made not to reopen the clinic that Dr. Tiller operated. The assassin hailed it as a victory. I had to wonder where the people were stepping forward and saying, "We have to because we cannot give into terrorism." Those people did not emerge. I guess they only exist when a flag's waving in the background and a camera crew is setting up.
"TV: State propaganda" (Ava and C.I., The Third Estate Sunday Review):
NBC aired two consecutive nights of propaganda last week and MSNBC graduate Brian Williams hosted. Though the network dubbed it Inside The Obama White House (DVD copies to be on sale, no doubt, Monday at 7-11s and Starbucks across the nation) we thought it should have stolen the title of Jean Fritz's The Good Giants and The Bad Pukwudgies.
We felt that way for numerous reasons including that the 'news' team produced a fable and, yes, a fairy tale. To watch it for news was to be grossly disappointed. As a humor special and/or an attempt at sociological study, it had a great deal to offer.
It was so bad that even Jon Stewart had to mock the special. Mock the special, you understand, not Barack. Stewart's still too much of a scared bunny to peal off a few jokes at Barack. That would, after all, be comedy and Comedy Central hasn't offered comedy in some time. But Jon did take pot shots at how Brian Williams repeatedly plugged NBC programming and then noted that it appeared Brian "has the hots" for Barack. It was about as hard hitting as anything Mark Russell could deliver.
It's sad but it is true: Jon Stewart shows about as much courage and humor as Mark Russell. (If you don't know who Mark Russell is, he's the elderly man who pops up on PBS from time to time to sing and play his piano and 'entertain' the country with 'songs' about politics.)
"Iraq snapshot" (The Common Ills):
Tuesday, June 9, 2009. Chaos and violence continue, Iraqi children get some attention, the House hears about VA plans, the US trades an Iraqi prisoner for the hope (cross your fingers!) that five British hostages will be released, KBR faces a new lawsuit, Barack supports Don't Ask, Don't Tell, and more.
At the United Nations Human Rights Council's General Debate yesterday, the General Federation of Iraqi Women's Entesar Araibai stated "that since the American occupation of 2003, the Iraqi people had been deprived of their basic civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights. Civil infra-structure was completely destroyed and the Iraqi people faced losing their basic right to remain alive as disease spread due to the breakdown of the medical and basic clean drinking water system. Furthermore, there was the premeditated obliviousness by the Government which had nothing to do better than pilfering the immense wealth of Iraq into private accounts in countries that lectured about human rights. Recent United Nations statistics told of more that five million Iraqi refugees, dispersed either inside Iraq or somewhere else in the world, deprived of medical assistance and suffering extremely dangerous perils." During the General Debate, Iraqi government flack Faris al-Alani declared that lies, lies, were harming Iraq. He then went on to insist that Iraqi women had freedoms across Iraq, the education was solid in Iraq, that the press was free and that the number of orphans was inflated. It was all, you understand, a conspiracy against Iraq, a conspiracy against the truth. No word on whether or not, al-Alani next attempted to flap his arms and fly back to Iraq but, in the real world, Hoda Abdel-Hamid files a report (video only) for Aljazeera:
Hoda Abdel-Hamid: It's a miracle he's alive today. Four years ago Seif was traveling with his parents from Diyala to Baghdad. Their car was destroyed by a roadside bomb. His mother and father killed on the spot.
Seif Saleh: After the death of my parents, I was taken to an orphanage and then brought here. I have relatives but I don't want to stay with them. Everything is good here, I have many friends, they are like me, they lost their parents.
Hoda Abdel-Hamid: House of Safety is an orphanage in north Baghdad, home to 32 children, victims of the carnage that swept Iraq in the last six years. It's a safe where Seif can try to forget those horrific moments in which he lost his parents. Children here are given a second chance in life. Iraq has become a land populated by orphans. According to the Iraqi Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs, there are nearly five million orphans -- that's about 15% of the population who's lost at least either one or both parents. More than half-a-million children live on the streets. Seif and his friends are relatively lucky. They are among just 500 children to find a home in one of Iraq's 15 orphanages. Ahmad is not so lucky. At only 11, he has four sisters and a grandmother to take care of and feed. Faced with the burdens of an adult, he dropped out of school and is now making a living out of garbage collection. It earns him five dollars per day.
Ahmad Riyadh: It's not enough but I don't have any other alternatives. The work is not guaranteed and it's always risky. I don't have expectations for the future. I just live day by day.
Hoda Abdel-Hamid: Child experts say the situation has far more reaching consequences, ones that will effect Iraq's society for decades to come.
Dr. Haidar al Maliki: Those children have many problems like sleep disorder, educational problems, social problems with their peers. 70% of our children have what we call Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. 20% of them have psychological problems like depression and excited disorder, social phobia. Some of our children have neurosis, especially nocturnal neurosis, about 3 to 4%, and we have an increasing percentage of abuse.
Hoda Abdel-Hamid: Back at the House of Safety, Seif and his friends are facing an uncertain future. The government allocates $12 per child per month and the volunteers here have a hard time making ends meet. Now the owner of the house wants to evict them. With no where else to go, these children could end up on the streets.
Hisham Thahabi (Director of House of Safety): We need to take care of them. Otherwise they fall into terrorism, militias or organized gangs. They are vulnerable and could easily fall into the trap. They are the easy prey.
Hoda Abdel-Hamid: The US military has several times accused al Qaeda in Iraq of recruiting and training children. Many of these youngsters feel abandoned and belonging to a group -- any group -- is very attractive to them. In many ways, Iraq's orphans are the forgotten collateral damage of six years of war. Hoda Abdel-Hamid, Al Jazeera.
The Iraqi government -- which sits on billions -- allocates only $12 per month. That's shameful. So is the US contribution. Today the Public Library of Science released a study entitled "Tracking Official Development Assistance for Reproductive Health in Conflict-Affected Countries." Tan Ee Lyn and Sanjeer Miglani (Reuters) explain the report found: "Countries that are at war such as Afghanistan, Sudan and Iraq get only US $1.30 a person a year in aid to help prevent mothers dying from childbirth and children dying before they are five, a study has found."
As last month drew to an end, Ghassan Awad and Gao Shan (Xinhua) reported on Iraqi children such as six-year-old Jasim who becomes upset when he sees Iraqi or US troops having seen a US and Iraqi patrol kill someone outside of Baghdad and seven-year-old Kholood who saw her father shot dead in front of her, six-year-old Khalil Muhiee who saw his father saw a militia storm the family home and then discovered "his father beheaded".
These are among the realities missing from the speech at the center of Barry O Goes To Cairo. Ali Abunimah (Guardian) observes, "He dwelled on the 'enormous trauma' done to the US when almost 3,000 people were killed that day, but spoke not one word about the hundreds of thousands of orphans and widows left in Iraq -- those whom Muntazer al-Zaidi's flying shoe forced Americans to remember only for a few seconds last year. He ignored the dozens of civilians who die each week in the 'necessary' war in Afghanistan, or the millions of refugees fleeing the US-invoked escalation in Pakistan." Iraqi journalist Ahmed Habib (bigHead) offers:
We were mostly disappointed that we couldn't show the new president around. In the Kadhimiya Hospital, in the northern end of Baghdad, cancer patients withering away from depleted uranium crowning the tip of American munitions, couldn't wait to kiss Obama's feet before they left this god forsaken world. Students at decrepit schools throughout Iraq, part of an education system sold out to the World Bank, were planning to anxiously await the arrival of the new emperor and beg and plea for chalk, pencils, desks, and dignity. Widows and internally displaced refugees had a really cute event planned for Obama, and Ms. Clinton. They had organized a mass burn-in for the new eloquent Commander in Chief. Overpriced and scarce gasoline was going to be used to set millions of bodies alight in homage to the new emperor. The theme of the soiree was, "With nothing left, why bother to live?" Thousands of different sectors from our destroyed society were waiting in anticipation for the Barack Show. From persons disabled by war to millions of youth scouring the streets for crumbs, we had some pretty nifty ideas that we couldn't wait to put into action. One of my personal favorites was the planned "Thank you for Democracy" festival. Millions of Iraqis were planning to line the streets of Baghdad, with empty bags in hand, and ask Barack to bless them with the vomit of himself, and his entourage.
And Chris Hedges (Information Clearing House) raises the issues too many Americans refused to (and continue to refuse to raise):
Did they play Barack Obama's speech to the Muslim world in the prison corridors of Abu Ghraib, Bagram air base, Guantanamo or the dozens of secret sites where we hold thousands of Muslims around the world? Did it echo off the walls of the crowded morgues filled with the mutilated bodies of the Muslim dead in Baghdad or Kabul? Was it broadcast from the tops of minarets in the villages and towns decimated by U.S. iron fragmentation bombs? Was it heard in the squalid refugee camps of Gaza, where 1.5 million Palestinians live in the world's largest ghetto?What do words of peace and cooperation mean from us when we torture-yes, we still torture-only Muslims? What do these words mean when we sanction Israel's brutal air assaults on Lebanon and Gaza, assaults that demolished thousands of homes and left hundreds dead and injured? How does it look for Obama to call for democracy and human rights from Egypt, where we lavishly fund and support the despotic regime of Hosni Mubarak, one of the longest-reigning dictators in the Middle East? We may thrill to Obama's rhetoric, but very few of the 1.3 billion Muslims in the world are as deluded. They grasp that nothing so far has changed for Muslims in the Middle East under the Obama administration. The wars of occupation go on or have been expanded. Israel continues to flout international law, gobbling up more Palestinian land and carrying out egregious war crimes in Gaza. Calcified, repressive regimes in countries such as Egypt and Saudi Arabia are feted in Washington as allies. The speech at Cairo University, which usually has trucks filled with riot police outside the university gates and a heavy security presence on campus to control the student body, is an example of the facade. Student political groups, as everyone who joined in the standing ovation for the president knew, are prohibited. Faculty deans are chosen by the administration, rather than elected by professors, "as a way to combat Islamist influence on campus," according to the U.S. State Department's latest human rights report. And, as The Washington Post pointed out, students who use the Internet "as an outlet for their political or social views are on notice: One Cairo University student blogger was jailed for two months last summer for 'public agitation,' and another was kicked out of university housing for criticizing the government." The expanding imperial projects and tightening screws of repression lurch forward under Obama. We are not trying to end terror or promote democracy. We are ensuring that our corporate state has a steady supply of the cheap oil to which it is addicted. And the scarcer oil becomes, the more aggressive we become. This is the game playing out in the Muslim world.
With Laila Al-Arian, Chris Hedges co-authored Collateral Damage: America's War Against Iraqi Civilians. The collateral damage is the dead and wounded Iraqis. The US' collateral damage also includes the dead and wounded US forces. This morning the US House Veterans Affairs Health Subcommitee held a hearing entitled "Assessing CARES and the Future of VA's Health Infrastructure." "CARES" is Capital Asset Realignment for Enhanced Services. Subcommittee Chair Michael H. Michaud opened the hearing explaining, "The purpose of this hearing is to assess the VA's implementation of CARES and to investigate the effectiveness of CARES as a capital planning tool. In addition, today's hearing will explore whether CARES should continue in the future or if the VA should adopt an alternate capital planning mechanism."
Michaud added a little to his prepared statement but otherwise stuck to reading it. His and other prepared statements from the hearing can be found here. Ranking Member Henry Brown added that CARES was established following a 1999 Government Accountability Office study which "found that VA was wasting a million dollars a day on the maintenance of outdated and underutilized health care facilities." This hearing was scheduled as part of Congress' ongoing oversight of the VA. As 2008 drew to a close, the GAO found that the Veterans Affairs had not conducted the needed and "meaningful" dicussions when seeking a contractor to construct an ambulatory care center. Today the GAO issued a [PDF format warning] review of the VA's CARES process which "drives VHA's capital planning efforts" and they found that Veterans Affairs is not "centrally tracking" the 34 CARES decisions that they implemented: "Our past work found that, while VA had over 100 performance measures to monitor other agency programs and activities, these measures either did not directly link to the CARES goals or VA did not use them to centrally monitor the implementation and impact of CARES decisions. Without this information, VA could not readily assess the implementation status of CARES decisions, determine the impact of such decisions, or be held accountable for achieving the intended results of CARES." The GAO's Mark L. Goldstein offered it as testimony today as a witness on the second panel. CARES has little oversight and few checks which is why it's important that Congress regularly provide oversight.
The first panel was composed of the American Legion's Joseph L. Wilson, Paralyzed Veterans of America's Carl Blake, Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States' Dennis M. Cullian, Vietnam Veterans of America's Richard F. Weidman and Disabled American Veterans' Joy J. Ilem. Ilem walked through the CARES process and explained the problems being faced:
For nearly a decade, the IBVSOs have argued that the VA must be protected from deterioration of its health infrastructure and the consequent decline in VA's capital asset value. Year after year, we have urged Congress and the administration to ensure that appropriated funding is adequate in VA's capital budget so that VA can properly invest in its physical assets, proect their value and ensure health care in safe and functional facilities long into the future. Likewise, we have stressed that VA's facilities have an average age of more than 55 years, therefore, it is essential that funding be routinely dedicated to renovate, repair and replace VA's aging structures, capital and plant equipment system as needed. Mr. Chairman, unfortunately, the past decade of deferred and underfunded construction budgets has meant that VA has not adequately recapitalized its facilities -- now leaving the health care system with a large backlog of major contruction projects totaling between $6.5 billion to $10 billion with an accomanying urgency to deal with this growing dilemma.
When asked by Michaud, Richard Weidman stated he felt the process itself was the problem, "Unfortunately, good ideas are often given to the VA and they're like an 18-year-old who gets a hold of a bottle of whiskey and they run amuk. And the example would be so-called Project Hero where the Congress instructed VA to rationalize the contracting out and instead VA tried to turn it into a firesale of contracting out as opposed to increasing and strengthening the organizational capacity within the hospitals themselves."
"We believe it has to be more transparent," Joseph L. Wilson explained to the committee noting that a question recieves a supposed complete answer from the VA but it's really a general response and then the American Legion has to go through the process of tracking down the details that they were seeking from the beginning. "The bottom line," Wilson stated, "is the veteran's going to suffer if they're [the VA] trying to make the system look perfect." Richard Weidman agreed and stated that they have consistently "been able to find out a great deal more of what is going on by talking to union members around the country than we can find out by meeting with the Under Secrectary for Health. And this is not the kind of partnership that certainly the veterans' services organizations envisioned, nor the Hill, nor people that want to make this system work." Dennis Cullinan voiced the opinion that the process is not clear, referred to VFW being snowed under with CARES paperwork which seemed intentionally confusing and obsevered of proposed facilities that "something's going to be one thing, then it's going to be another and then it changes back again."
US House Rep Deborah Halvorson: Mrs. Ilem you mentioned in your testimony that some of the facilities are out dated. One of them you mentioned is near my district -- [Edward] Hines [Jr. VA Hospital] -- in Chicago. With the need and probably too much need basically to get it up to the 21st century needs, do you think that it might be better to put the money and the needs to expand more the CBOCs because as Mr. [US House Rep John] Boozman said we need to adapt to change and now people aren't spending as much time in hospitals and maybe we need to do more to the out patient clinics?
Ms. Ilem responded that what she gets told is that "it costs more to renovate a place than to build a new facility and because of the new types of equipment that are available today, the rewiring, the ceiling heights, I just mean there's a number of issues like that that come into play." Carl Blake noted that there's a spinal cord injury center at Hines and if it's work is distributed to various clinics it dilutes the work that can be done. And he and Weidman
US House Rep Deborah Halvorson: Well I have a tendancy to agree with that however and that's why I'm asking all of you is the future and where is it that we need to go? I have people calling me all day that are tired of going there and sitting there all day just to be turned away and what are we going to do about that? So we need to do something. Our veterans deserve the best care possible. So if we need to build them a new hospital then we need to do that. There's all kinds of things we can be doingfor them.
We're mainly noting the exchange because it was Halvorson's strongest performance on a VA committee or subcommittee since being sworn in at the start of the year. I'll make Little Debbie jokes as needed but none were needed today. Halvorson did a good job on the subcommittee today. Kat's grabbing 49% tonight. 49%? Read her later tonight.
This morning the New York Times' Alissa J. Rubin and Michael Gordon offered "U.S. Frees Suspect in Killing of 5 G.I.'s." Martin Chulov (Guardian) covered the same story, Kim Gamel (AP) reported on it, BBC offered "Kidnap hope after Shia's handover" and Deborah Haynes contributed "Hope for British hostages in Iraq after release of Shia militant" (Times of London). The basics of the story are this. 5 British citizens have been hostages since May 29, 2007. The US military had in their custody Laith al-Khazali. He is a member of Asa'ib al-Haq. He is also accused of murdering five US troops. The US military released him and allegedly did so because his organization was not going to release any of the five British hostages until he was released. This is a big story and the US military is attempting to state this is just diplomacy, has nothing to do with the British hostages and, besides, they just released him to Iraq. Sami al-askari told the New York Times, "This is a very sensitive topic because you know the position that the Iraqi government, the U.S. and British governments, and all the governments do not accept the idea of exchanging hostages for prisoners. So we put it in another format, and we told them that if they want to participate in the political process they cannot do so while they are holding hostages. And we mentioned to the American side that they cannot join the political process and release their hostages while their leaders are behind bars or imprisoned." In other words, a prisoner was traded for hostages and they attempted to not only make the trade but to lie to people about it. At the US State Dept, the tired and bored reporters were unable to even broach the subject. Poor declawed tabbies. Pentagon reporters did press the issue and got the standard line from the department's spokesperson, Bryan Whitman, that the US handed the prisoner to Iraq, the US didn't hand him over to any organization -- terrorist or otherwise. What Iraq did, Whitman wanted the press to know, was what Iraq did. A complete lie that really insults the intelligence of the American people. CNN reminds the five US soldiers killed "were: Capt. Brian S. Freeman, 31, of Temecula, California; 1st Lt. Jacob N. Fritz, 25, of Verdon, Nebraska; Spc. Johnathan B. Chism, 22, of Gonzales, Louisiana; Pfc. Shawn P. Falter, 25, of Cortland, New York; and Pfc. Johnathon M. Millican, 20, of Trafford, Alabama." Those are the five from January 2007 that al-Khazali and his brother Qais al-Khazali are supposed to be responsible for the deaths of. Qassim Abdul-Zahra and Robert H. Reid (AP) states that Jonathan B. Chism's father Danny Chism is outraged over the release and has declared, "They freed them? The American military did? Somebody needs to answer for it."
Today Campbell Robertson (New York Times) provided an update on the arrests of US contractors in Baghdad for the death of Jim Kitterman and the only names known at this point are still the father and son Donald Feeney Jr. and Donald Feeney III. Robertson speaks with John Feeney: "He said that his father was in the Philippines, where the company has an office, when the murder took place. He flew to Iraq shortly after the murder because one of his employees was killed in a mortar attack in the Green Zone on the day Mr. Kitternman's body was found. Donald Feeney Jr. and Mr. Kitterman had known each other well, John Feeney said." CBS and AP note, "Although Americans and others have been killed in rocket or mortar attacks in the Green Zone, Kitterman was believed to be the first American ever slain in a criminal act since the protected area was established after the city fell to U.S. forces in April 2003. "
Turning to some of today's reported violence . . .
Sahar Issa and Hussein Kadhim (McClatchy Newspapers) report a Baghdad mortar attack which left three people wounded, a Mosul roadside bombing which left two people wounded and another Mosul roadside bombing which left a mother and daughter injured, a Fulluja motor cycle bombing which left nine people injured (four were police officers) and a Falluja roadside bombing targeting the city's police chief which left three of his guards injured.
Sahar Issa and Hussein Kadhim (McClatchy Newspapers) report 1 high school student was shot dead in Mosul yesterday.
Turning to the US, Friday's snapshot noted, "Guillermo Contreras (San Antonio Express-News) reports that "Robert Cain of San Marcos; Craig Henry of San Antonio; Francis Jaeger of Haltom City; David McMenomy of Lampasas; Mark Posz of San Antonio; and El Kevin Sar of Houston" have filed charges against Halliburton stating that 'they were poisoned by toxins and emissions from burn pits at U.S. camps in Iraq and Afghanistan'." In related news, last night Julie Sullivan (The Oregonian) reports Larry Roberta, Scott Ashby, Rocky Bixby, Matthew Hadley and Charles Ellis have filed suit against KBR stating the company "knew before the Oregon Guard arrived at the Qarmat Ali water treatment plant in May 2003 that the site was contaminated by hexavalent chromium, a highly toxic and long-identified carcinogen."
Meanwhile Nell Abrams noted yesterday on Free Speech Radio News:
The US Supreme Court announced today that it will not consider a challenge to Don't Ask Don't Tell -- the military policy that bars openly gay individuals from military service. The High Court let stand a decision that holds the current policy is rational. In so doing, the Court has allowed the Justice Department to avoid arguing in support of Don't Ask Don't Tell -- a policy that President Obama said in the past he would move to repeal.
Amy Goodman (Democracy Now!) observed of the case this morning, "The Obama administration had urged the court to throw the case out. In a brief, the Obama administration had said the Don't Ask, Don't Tell policy is 'rationally related to the government's legitimate interest in military discipline and cohesion.' While running for president, Senator Obama campaigned to end the Don't Ask, Don't Tell policy, but he has made no specific move to do so since taking office in January." Mark Thompson (TIME magazine) notes the case was that of James Pietrangelo II and quotes him stating of Barack, "He's a coward, a bigot and a pathological liar. This is a guy who spent more time picking out his dog, Bo, and playing with him on the White House lawn than he has working for equality for gay people." To claims that Barry O is just too busy due to the economy and wars, Pietrangelo replies, "It's a complete lie that he has too much stuff on his plate -- this is the guy who criticized Bush for not being able to multitask. We have an old saying in the military -- the masimum effective range of an excuse is zero meters." James Pietrangelo II served in the Gulf War and in the current Iraq War. Barry O has served as culture ambassador and worldwide celebrity since taking office. Two wars and the economy hasn't prevented two trips to France, Cairo, et al. What lie did Barry O tell while campaigning? Plenty. But specifically this one, "I'm a fierce advocate for gay and lesbian Americans. It's something I've been consistent on." He's been consistently silent including while al-Maliki moves to 'cleanse' Baghdad of Iraq's LGBT community.
Lastly, Bob Somerby (Daily Howler) offers the following in his latest analysis:
Here at THE HOWLER, we've had it with Maddow -- with her mugging, her clowning, her self-adoration, her reliance on a professional dope like "our friend Ana Marie Cox." (For the record, Cox strikes us as very bright -- except when she's doing her own clowning and career-building. As she did yesterday, making the idiotic remarks which Media Matters flagged. Just click here.) We've had it with Maddow playing the fool, treating her progressive audience as if they're nine years old. We've had it with her brilliant jokes (about "newt-tracting," for example) -- even as she hands us rubes the dumbest analyses possible.
[. . .]
Dumb it down! Please the rubes! Be sure to feed their tribal desires! These are the rules of the "corporate news" crowd as they ceaselessly stalk the wild demo. In the next few days, we will return to the silly bills who surround this scholar on her GE-owned gong-show. We'll look at such cable stars as Wolff, Wolffe and Harris-Lacewell -- and of course, at Maddow herself.
The coming attractions appear to suggest The Daily Howler will be a must-see. For those unaware, Melissa Harris-Lacewell is the woman who began campaigning for Barack in 2007 -- by spring 2007, she was traveling to campaign for him in California. (She even bragged about that publicly on PBS airwaves in 2007.) Yet somehow, she'd make her first Democracy Now! appearance in January of 2008 where she'd be allowed to 'analyze' the candidates and neither she nor Amy Goodman would mention that she was part of the Obama campaign. ("She did so! She said so when she was on with Gloria Steinem!" That was one week later. That was her second appearance and Melissa was shreiking and not sure what she was letting slip out and she played nutso.) Melissa would repeat that little act on PBS' Charlie Rose Show in March where, for some strange reason, Charlie invited non-journalist Melissa to a journalistic roundtable on the presidential election. No other Democratic Party candidate had anyone at the table who was part of their campaign. And, of course, Melissa forgot to reveal that she was part of the Barack campaign. She found time to note these attacks on Tavis Smiley . . . but forgot to mention she not only took part in them, she kicked them off online. She lied so well that the writer of bad books and many an astroturf campaign ended up adding her weak and poor writing to The Nation. Threaten violence and blood in the streets (as Melissa did in 2008 on PBS) and you'll be rewarded apparently. Lie Face Melissa remains the story few have explored.
mcclatchy newspaperssahar issahussein kadhim
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