Within hours of the ruling, Mr Bush signalled his intention to highlight the issue during a campaign visit to Iowa. Bringing up the subject unprompted by anyone, he declared: "Yesterday in New Jersey, we had another activist court issue a ruling that raises doubts about the institution of marriage." Reminding voters of his position that marriage can only be between a man and a woman, President Bush added: "I believe it's a sacred institution that is critical to the health of our society and the well-being of families and it must be defended."
that's from david usborne's 'Bush seizes on gay marriage' (independent of london). they'll say anything. his position?
his position when he needs to scare up voters. from lou chibbaro jr.'s 'Laura Bush attends swearing-in of gay Global AIDS Coordinator (Gay): Rice recognizes domestic partner, "mother-in-law" during ceremony' (washington blade):
As First Lady Laura Bush stood behind her, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice administered the oath of office on Oct. 10 to gay physician Mark Dybul as U.S. Global AIDS Coordinator, a post that has the rank of ambassador.
In a ceremony held at the State Department's historic Benjamin Franklin Room, Dybul placed his hand on a Bible held by his domestic partner, Jason Claire. Dybul's parents and Claire’s mother stood nearby as Dybul became the nation's third openly gay ambassador.
"I am truly honored and delighted to have the opportunity to swear in Mark Dybul as our next Global AIDS Coordinator," Rice said. "I am pleased to do that in the presence of Mark’s parents, Claire and Richard, his partner, Jason, and his mother-in-law, Marilyn," she said.
"You have a wonderful family to support you, Mark, and I know that's always important to us. Welcome," Rice said.
In remarks following the swearing-in, Laura Bush noted that Dybul will oversee President Bush’s $15 billion Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief, or PEPFAR, a widely acclaimed program backed by AIDS activists and approved by Congress as part of an aggressive U.S. effort to fight AIDS in developing countries.
he needs votes so he uses gays as a scapegoat. and homophobes are stupid enough to fall for it. they think that bully boy's going to be just like them but there's condi rice calling a gay man's spouse his 'mother-in-law.'
i don't like condi rice, i think she's a liar and inept in her job(s). if there's 1 moment in the last 6 years she can be proud of, i think it was in the swearing-in when she proved she had some humanity. i think, however, that she's full of shit if she's silent while gays are scapegoated.
i think it's ridiculous that dick cheney has a lesbian daughter and this white house continues to preach hatred towards gays and lesbians whenever they need a goose in the numbers.
i think lynn cheney is a disgrace as a person, as an administrator, as a novelist and as a mother.
i think the press was an idiot for allowing a 'scandal' to erupt in the 2004 debates over the fact that john kerry made the obvious point that the cheneys had an openly gay daughter. i guess they were all sleeping during the 2000 debates when a similar point was made?
or maybe they think that gay is so 'shameful' that to even note some 1 is gay, some 1 out of the closet, is just too much?
i'm sick of it. i'm sick of the fact that we live under a backlash where women are targeted, gays and lesbians are targeted, people of any race other than white-anglo are targeted and it's all 'funny'. it's 'funny' when stephen colbert makes 'fun' of asians. and i'm sick of the fact that the supposed left doesn't want to deal with that. much better for them to provide links to him and be his guest. despite the fact that there have been protests from asian-americans.
so we're supposed to ignore the racism involved and then we're supposed to ignore the protests as well?
that's how a backlash gets traction.
'oh, come on, it's just a joke, it's just people being silly.'
and we're all supposed to go along.
it happens all the time and every time we go along with it, every time we act like it's 'funny' and laugh, we perpetuate it and we degrade others and we degrade ourselves.
that's not 'can't we all just get along?'
i don't want to get along with racists, sexists, homophobes or war mongers.
and it is really appalling that the bully boy has ushered in a climate where they're all free to proudly proclaim their hate at groups of people and no 1 calls them on it.
yesterday's post got a lot of e-mails (all but 1 was favorable). a lot of the women (the whiner was a white male who felt i needed to 'realize that women had their day and now it's back to the kitchen.' just for him, i'll avoid the kitchen for the rest of this month and next.) wrote in, women of all ages, who did wonder why we were so eager - female or male - to look the other way when alterpunks work so hard to eliminate women from the equation?
i wonder that too.
but i saw so much passion in the e-mails and i'm a lot more hopeful tonight.
women of all ages, at least the 1s who e-mailed, aren't going to put up with it. they're tired of men giving marching orders and designating other men to be the 1s in charge.
i think there's a real awareness forming out there that i honestly wasn't aware of.
that gives me hope.
1 e-mail was from a woman who said i could share her story but not to use her name so we'll call her 'may'. may is fearing thanksgiving because she'll be with her father and uncle who will once again crack their 'jokes' about african-americans, mexican-americans, mexicans, any 1 who speaks spanish, gays and lesbians and 'femin-nazis.' she says she can't imagine the jokes are any funnier on rush limbaugh (which both men listen to) but at least she doesn't have to listen to rush.
what makes it especially hard for her is that she's objected for years and this year she'll be there with her kid sister who just came out to her last month. the 'jokes' have always offended may and she's always spoken out. now she's not just going to be speaking up for the friends she has who aren't present, she's going to know that her sister is gay and have to hear 1 'joke' after another about gays and lesbians.
her kid sister is going to continue to come out, that's what i wrote back in my e-mail. and as she does, others will know. it may take a year or more. but the 'jokes' will be far less funny to many. i'm sure they are now. but when it's some 1 in your family, from what i've seen, you are more likely to speak out.
the father and the uncle may never learn that the kid sister's gay. were i her, since her father's paying for her college, i wouldn't come out until after i had the degree. not to 'hide' but to make sure this man who hates everything had to pay for the degree. in fact, i would make my coming out happen at the dinner after college graduation. i would choose that moment to announce it.
may was thinking that this year she would just say nothing. this summer, she'd been thinking about it and thought maybe the whole day would go quicker if she didn't say anything, just ignored it the whole time. then her sister came out to her last month. now she knows she can't be silent.
and she can't be.
it would be really easy for me to be silent on the issue of sexuality. but it wouldn't be fair. t is 1 of my best friends and she has to live with this sort of crap aimed at her from jerks. i think i can 'suffer' through speaking out.
but here's a reality for any 1 who thinks 'i'll just be quiet.' it is about you.
the same person telling 'jokes' about gays and lesbians is going to start calling me a 'slut' as soon as i'm out of the room. i don't have a get-out-of-jail-free card because i'm straight.
to these people, we are all the enemy.
so you can object because it's the right thing to do, you can object because of some 1 you love or you can object for yourself because any 1 preaching hate to you when you don't preach hate is obviously censoring themselves around you and letting loose as soon as you are out of the room.
grab whatever reason you need, but start speaking out.
we need to confront this, not stay silent.
it's so bad for may that she only sees her father at thanksgiving. that's the 1 time a year she visits. she makes up an excuse about how she can't come to christmas due to work. each year she does that.
so you can also realize that people thinking this sort of behavior is acceptable pushes families apart.
so there's another reason to speak out.
however and why ever you find the reason to speak out, speak out. it's not the 90s anymore. the hope that we're progressing can't be maintained. we aren't. bully boy has drug us all back about 10 to 20 years. the haters were out there, broadcasting on a.m. radio, all along but now they get invited to the white hosue, the administration gives them face time, and it sets a tone.
last night, c.i. wrote about the importance of not going-along-to-get-along after this war is over. we need to be brave and discuss reality. that didn't happen with vietnam. that's how the revisionism took place. 'And the war drags on' is the thing i'm talking about, by the way. that was just amazing. a mutual friend of c.i.'s and mine at a network called today and asked me if i realized how much 'copy' c.i. is generating? i really hadn't. not in those terms. we laughed about that. i think kat was getting at that (and i missed it) back in september. she was talking about how sometimes she doesn't have anything in here (when we were all in d.c.) and she has no idea how she's going to write anything. but how c.i. just seems to open a vein and let it all pour out. it is a lot of writing, just at the common ills. that's before you weigh in ava and c.i.'s weekly tv review or working with every 1 for the third estate sunday review, or doing 2 weekly columns (1 in the gina & krista round-robin, 1 in polly's brew). that is a lot of copy.
on the phone we were laughing because we both know the pressure on c.i. to go into the family business and how c.i. rejected it. we laughed and called it 'karma.' but it really does amaze me because i work with the third estate sunday review most weekends and i do 5 entries here a week and i am worn out.
i couldn't imagine doing any more online. so it really is amazing to think about how much copy c.i. generates now.
on the phone, we played around with the nature or nurture issues behind all this copy and then both agreed it's the war. c.i.'s always been political but only the war could be behind this. it's also true, and i had forgotten this as well, that it's really written as a conversation. i think that makes a difference. prior to the website, most of us were used to conversational letters. i'd probably get a letter from c.i. at least every other week and 7 pages would be brief. i miss those.
they really are the website now. not just because there's only so much time in a day but also in terms of what goes up there.
whatever it is, we both agreed it was a lot of copy. and it really is. so i was asked to note that and i'm glad to. i'm really proud of c.i. and all the time that's been put into this. i think it's made a difference and made as much of a difference as c.i.'s going around the country speaking to groups. i think every 1 who has done their part is making a difference and i think it's taken every 1 doing every thing they have to wake the country up.
so when you think about where we are right now with an administration friendly to hate, that can be circumvented. we can get the country back on track.
now i'm doing the 3 highlights. 1st up, robert parry's 'Original October Surprise (Part 2)' from consortium news:
Editor's Note: Part 2 of our series about the "Original October Surprise" of 1980 focuses on the role of banker David Rockefeller and his collaboration with Republicans during the Iranian hostage crisis, which doomed Jimmy Carter's presidency and helped open the door to the modern era of GOP dominance.
To read the first part of the series, dealing with the inept investigative work of Indiana Democrat Lee Hamilton, click here. The series is adapted from Robert Parry's Secrecy & Privilege: Rise of the Bush Dynasty from Watergate to Iraq:
On March 23, 1979, late on a Friday afternoon, Chase Manhattan Bank Chairman David Rockefeller and his longtime aide Joseph Verner Reed arrived at a town house in the exclusive Beekham Place neighborhood on New York’s East Side. They were met inside by a small, intense and deeply worried woman who had seen her life turned upside down in the last two months.
Iran's Princess Ashraf, the strong-willed twin sister of the Iran’s long-time ruler, had gone from wielding immense behind-the-scenes clout in the ancient nation of Persia to living in exile -- albeit a luxurious one. With hostile Islamic fundamentalists running her homeland, Ashraf also was troubled by the plight of her ailing brother, the ousted Shah of Iran, who had fled into exile, first to Egypt and then Morocco.
Now, she was turning for help to the man who ran one of the leading U.S. banks, one which had made a fortune serving as the Shah's banker for a quarter century and handling billions of dollars in Iran's assets. Ashraf's message was straightforward. She wanted Rockefeller to intercede with Jimmy Carter and ask the President to relent on his decision against granting the Shah refuge in the United States.
A distressed Ashraf said her brother had been given a one-week deadline to leave his current place of refuge, Morocco. "My brother has nowhere to go," Ashraf pleaded, "and no one else to turn to." [See David Rockefeller, Memoirs]
Carter had been resisting appeals to let the Shah enter the United States, fearing that admitting him would endanger the personnel at the U.S. Embassy in Teheran and other U.S. interests. In mid-February 1979, Iranian radicals had overrun the embassy and briefly held the staff hostage before the Iranian government intervened to secure release of the Americans.
Carter feared a repeat of the crisis. Already the United States was deeply unpopular with the Islamic revolution because of the CIA’s history of meddling in Iranian affairs. The U.S. spy agency had helped organize the overthrow of an elected nationalist government in 1953 and arranged the restoration of the Shah and the Pahlavi family to the Peacock Throne. In the quarter century that followed, the Shah kept his opponents at bay through the coercive powers of his secret police, known as the SAVAK.
As the Islamic Revolution gained strength in January 1979, however, the Shah’s security forces could no longer keep order. The Shah – suffering from terminal cancer – scooped up a small pile of Iranian soil, boarded his jet, sat down at the controls and flew the plane out of Iran to Egypt.
A few days later, Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, an ascetic religious leader who had been forced into exile by the Shah, returned to a tumultuous welcome from crowds estimated at a million strong, shouting "Death to the Shah." The new Iranian government began demanding that the Shah be returned to stand trial for human rights crimes and that he surrender his fortune, salted away in overseas accounts.
The new Iranian government also wanted Chase Manhattan to return Iranian assets, which Rockefeller put at more than $1 billion in 1978, although some estimates ran much higher. The withdrawal might have created a liquidity crisis for the bank which already was coping with financial troubles.
Ashraf's personal appeal put Rockefeller in what he described, with understatement, as "an awkward position," according to his autobiography Memoirs.
"There was nothing in my previous relationship with the Shah that made me feel a strong obligation to him," wrote the scion of the Rockefeller oil and banking fortune who had long prided himself in straddling the worlds of high finance and public policy. "He had never been a friend to whom I owed a personal debt, and neither was his relationship with the bank one that would justify my taking personal risks on his behalf. Indeed, there might be severe repercussions for Chase if the Iranian authorities determined that I was being too helpful to the Shah and his family."
Later on March 23, after leaving Ashraf's residence, Rockefeller attended a dinner with Happy Rockefeller, the widow of his brother Nelson who had died two months earlier. Also at the dinner was former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, a long-time associate of the Rockefeller family.
Discussing the Shah's plight, Happy Rockefeller described her late husband’s close friendship with the Shah, which had included a weekend stay with the Shah and his wife in Teheran in 1977. Happy said that when Nelson learned that the Shah would be forced to leave Iran, Nelson offered to pick out a new home for the Shah in the United States.
The dinner conversation also turned to what the participants saw as the dangerous precedent that President Carter was setting by turning his back on a prominent U.S. ally. What message of American timidity was being sent to other pro-U.S. leaders in the Middle East?
it's important to know our history. i hope you'll check out the other installments as well. it's also important to note our strong voices. this is john dear writing about joan baez in 'Joan Baez, After All These Years' (common dreams):
Joan herself has kept at it a long time. She walked for civil rights in the South, befriended Dr. King, sang at the 1963 March on Washington, read poetry with Thomas Merton in his hermitage, sang to Dorothy Day as she sat behind bars with the United Farmworkers, and supported dozens of movements for social change, from Poland to Chile to Nicaragua. In the 70s she ventured on a perilous trip to Vietnam, and like Daniel Berrigan and Howard Zinn, suffered under an interminable U.S. bombing raid.
Joan, like Dan, King, Merton and Day, has a rare commitment to nonviolence. Armed only with her guitar and her voice, she helps us envision a world without war or injustice. And to make her songs authentic, she practices what she sings. She marches, organizes, gets arrested, has refused to pay part of her taxes, and has joined countless demonstrations. Last month, for example, she was the featured guest in Prague at the national birthday party in honor of Vaclav Havel, the heroic former president of the Czech Republic.
We can create a new world of nonviolence, she teaches, "by studying, experimenting with every possible alternative to violence on every level. By learning how to say 'No' to the nation-state, 'No' to war taxes, 'No' to military conscription, 'No' to killing in general, and 'Yes' to cooperation, to building new institutions based on the assumption that murder in any form is ruled out, by making and keeping in touch with nonviolent contacts all over the world, by engaging ourselves at every possible chance in dialogue with people to try to change the consensus that it's okay to kill."
In her famous essay, "What Would You Do If?" she concluded, "The only thing that’s been a worse flop than the organization of nonviolence has been the organization of violence."
finally, here's c.i.'s 'Iraq snapshot:'
Friday, October 27, 2006. Chaos and violence continue in Iraq, US war resister Kyle Snyder prepares to return to the US; a G.I. coffeehouse opens in Watertown, NY; Gerhard Schroder weighs in on the special relationship between Tony Blair and Bully Boy; and the barking puppet of the occupation gets his leash yanked.
Tomorrow Kyle Snyder will return to the United States, Mike Howell reports for the Toronto Star noting that Snyder notes war resister Darrell Anderson's decision to return to the US (Anderson returned September 30th). Like Anderson, Snyder elected to self-check out of the military. For Snyder, that happened in April 2005. As Snyder explains in Michelle Mason's Breaking Ranks, military recruiters were circling throughout high school: "I had just received my high school diploma. I get off of the stage and here's another recruiter right outside the door -- waiting for me. I look back at i now and everything that I'm going through, everything that I've worked through I can retrace down to that moment that I signed the f**king contract." Snyder has addressed how the military broke its contract with him -- such as by refusing to investigate incidents of violence targeting Iraqis.
In August, Synder explained his decision to self-check out of the US military and go to Canada to Karen Button noting, "You know, if they want to help people in Iraq . . . imagine a 15 year-old kid, for the last . . . years all he's seen is [US] military personnel with weapons going through his city. How is that child supposed to believe that the man, in that uniform is helping him? Now, if that child saw a convoy of logs being brought to his city, or a convory of water being brought to his city, still guarded, it would be a completely different situation. That's where the American military messed up. Because they forgot about the perception of civilisation. They forgot about the perception of the Iraqi people."
Kyle Snyder intends to return to the US Saturday and turn himself in. Michelle Mason's documentary Breaking Ranks takes a look at US war resisters who have gone to Canada seeking asylum. In addition to Mason's film, more information on war resisters hoping to be granted refugee status (which the Canadian government has thus far refused to do, unlike during the Vietnam era) can be found at War Resisters Support Campaign.
Kyle Snyder, Darrell Anderson, Ricky Clousing, Mark Wilkerson, Agustin Aguayo, Corey Glass, Patrick Hart, Jeremy Hinzman, Brandon Hughey, Carl Webb, Camilo Mejia, Pablo Paredes, Aidan Delgado, Ryan Johnson, Joshua Key, Katherine Jashinski, Ivan Brobeck, Robin Long, Kevin Benderman and Clifford Cornell are among those war resisters who have gone public. And that's only the names of those who have gone public. The war resistance within the military is a movement.
Earlier this week, US service members created a website, Appeal for Redress, and are attempting to collect 2000 signatures for their petition to Congress to end the illegal war. From Appeal for Redress:
An Appeal for Redress from the War in Iraq
Many active duty, reserve, and guard service members are concerned about the war in Iraq and support the withdrawal of U.S. troops. The Appeal for Redress provides a way in which individual service members can appeal to their Congressional Representative and US Senators to urge an end to the U.S. military occupation. The Appeal messages will be delivered to members of Congress at the time of the Martin Luther King, Jr. Day in January 2007.
The wording of the Appeal for Redress is short and simple. It is patriotic and respectful in tone.
As a patriotic American proud to serve the nation in uniform, I respectfully urge my political leaders in Congress to support the prompt withdrawal of all American military forces and bases from Iraq . Staying in Iraq will not work and is not worth the price. It is time for U.S. troops to come home.
If you agree with this message, click here.
The Appeal for Redress is sponsored by active duty service members based in the Norfolk area and by a sponsoring committee of veterans and military family members. The Sponsoring committee consists of Iraq Veterans Against the War, Veterans For Peace, and Military Families Speak Out.
Members of the military have a legal right to communicate with their member of Congress. To learn more about the rights and restrictions that apply to service members click here.
Attorneys and counselors experienced in military law are available to help service members who need assistance in countering any attempts to suppress this communication with members of Congress.
Several members of Congress have expressed interest in receiving the Appeal for Redress.
Click here to send the Appeal to your elected representatives.
Meanwhile, Citizen Soldier announces the opening, today, of "the first soldiers' coffeehouse of the current Iraq war in Watertown, NY." More information can be found at Citizen Soldier and at Different Drummer, the name of the coffeehouse. It is a movement and for those wanting more information on the importance of the GI coffeehouse to a peace movement should view David Zeiger's Sir! No Sir! documentary.
As resistance and opposition to the illegal war spreads throughout the world spreads, Bully Boy & Friends attempts to remarket/re-brand all week. At the start, the US State Department's Alberto Fernandez was having to eat his own words ("arrogance" and "stupidity" used to describe the war) after the White House first attempted to claim that Fernandez had suffered from mistranslation. We also heard the announcement by Tony Snow, White House flack, that the phrase "stay the course" was being stricken from the official White House language. Wednesday, the Bully Boy attempted to show how involved and concerned he was with the war Wednesday by noting the "93" US troops who had died in Iraq this month when, in fact, the US military's official count before the speech, during the speech and until Thursday morning was "91." While the White House removed one phrase from the official lexicon, Donald Rumsfeld added a new one on Thursday, "Just back off."
While the US administration played word games and offered faulty numbers, chaos and violence continued in Iraq. Despite this, Zalmay Khalilzad (US ambassador to Iraq) and George Casey ("top US general" in Iraq) held a joint press conference where they declared that success was yet again just around that ever elusive corner and it will only take a year to a year-and-a-half for it to show up. (For those who've forgotten, the illegal war began in March 2003.)
Meanwhile a US & Iraqi raid in the Sadr City section of Baghdad, led to a barking puppet of the occupation. Nouri al-Maliki rejected the raid, rejected the notion that he (who holds the position of commander-in-chief of the Iraqi military) had been involved in the planning of the raid, and rejected the "timelines" and "timetable" speak that Khalilzad and Casey had told reporters of the day before.
In his laughable Wednesday press conference, Bully Boy was asked why al-Maliki hadn't been included in the Tuesday press conference held by Khalilzad and Casey?
His response? "I have no idea why he wasn't there," said Bully Boy the 'decider' but not the planner. He added, "I have no idea. I'm not -- I'm not the scheduler of news conferences." Once again, out of the loop.
In Iraq today, Alastair Macdonald (Reuters) reports that Nouri al-Maliki issued "a joint statement with the U.S. ambassador [that] his government had 'timelines' for the resolution of the country's problems". The strings get pulled, the puppet plays along.
Macdonald notes: "The statement appeared aimed at dispelling the impression of mounting friction between Washington and its Iraqi allies". If the 'friction' is gone, does that leave only fiction? Bronwen Maddox (Times of London) labels the whole thing "Operation Cross Fingers" -- surely a 'strategy.'
Monday night in Baghdad, a US soldier went missing and is believed to have been kidnapped. AFP reports that the US military continues searching Baghdad "with armoured vehicles and backed by helicopter gunships" but the soldier has still not been located. AP reports that the soldier has been identified as Ahmed Qusai al-Taei.
The US press had trouble locating the 2800 mark for US troops who have died in Iraq -- a milestone passed this week. (In October 2005, passing the 2000 mark was news. Possibly the press is saving their energies for the 3,000 mark?) 2809 is the current toll since the start of the illegal war with 96 for the month. Or was until the US military announced: "A Task Force Lightning Soldier assigned to 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division, was injured Thursday as a result of enemy action in Diyala province. The Soldier was transported to a coalition forces medical treatment facility and later died of wounds." That brought the monthly toll to 97 and the number who have died since the start of the illegal war to 2810. October has been the deadliest month for US troops serving in Iraq this year.
Meanwhile a British soldier died today near Basra due to "road traffic" according to the British Ministry of Defense. This brings the total British soldiers who've died this month in Iraq to two and the total since the start of the illegal war to 120.
Among the violence reported so far today in Iraq, is the death toll in Baquba where fighting broke out Thursday. CBS and AP report that 43 people died ("including 24 officers" -- police officers).
CBS and AP report that, in the Diyala province, a group of nine mourners returning from a funeral in Najaf were attacked with four being shot to death and the other five being injured.
The BBC notes five corpses were discovered in Mosul Thursday and that the city is now under a curfew and vehicle ban. Reuters notes that number of corpses discovered in Mosul rose to 12. AFP notes that, "Thursday and overnight," eleven corpses were discovered in Baghdad.
Reuters reports the death of one woman "when two rounds slammed into the house of a Sunni Arab member of parliament, Abdul Nasir al-Janabi, in the town of Mussayab".
The woman's death comes at a time when, as Edith M. Lederer (AP) reports, the UN's executive director of the Development Fund for Women speaks out. Noeleen Heyzer states: "What UNIFEM is seeing on the ground -- in Iraq, Afghanistan, Somalia -- is that public space for women in these situations is shrinking. Women are becoming assassination targets when they dare dfend women's right in public decision-making."
Meanwhile a new book, Decisions: My Life in Politics, takes a look at the special relationship between Bully Boy of the US and Tony Blair of England. The book's author? Gerhard Schroder, the previous chancellor of Germany. Jess Smee (Guardian of London) writes that the book takes a look at Blair's rush to please Bully Boy, that Blair now pays for the price for his role in the illegal war, and notes that Blair had no interest in Europe -- Gerhard writes: "Quite the opposite, the country will continue to protect its role as a translantic mediator, even if that is to the cost of the European decision-making process."
In abuse news, Anne Plummer Flaherty (AP) reports: "The Halliburton susidary that provides food, shelter and other logistics to U.S. troops in Iraq and Afghanistan exploited federal regulations to hide details on its contract performance, according to a report released Friday."
In England, Michael Evans (Times of London) reports the latest on the seven British soldiers accused of abused prisoners in a Basra prison -- RAF soldier Scott Hughes has testified that he saw eye gouging of a prisoner and the prisoner being kicked "in the lower back". Donald Payne, one of the seven accused soldiers, has already pleaded guilty to war-crimes. In the United States, as Linda Deutsch (AP) reports, US marine John Jodka "pleaded guilty Thursday to charges of assault and conspiracy to obstruct justice in the death of" Hashim Ibrahim Awad, 52-years-old, in Al-Hamdaniyah.
In music news, Lydia Howell (Pulse of the Twin Cities) interviews singer, musician, songwriter and activist Michael Franti who says of his trip to Iraq, "I got tired of watching the news every night with generals and politicians talking about the economic costs of war WITHOUT mentioning the human crisis there. Rather than sit around frustrated, I picked up a guitar and a camera, flew to Baghdad and played music on the street." Michael Franti & Spearhead's latest CD is Yell Fire!
Finally, Bob Watada began his latest speaking tour yesterday. He is the father of Ehren Watada who is the first commissioned US officer to publicly refuse to deploy to Iraq. Below are dates through Monday:
Oct 27, 7PM
Location: Albuquerque Center for Peace and Justice202 Harvard Dr SE
Sponsor: Veterans for Peace Chapter 63
Contact: Sally-Alice Thompson, 505-268-5073, 512-463-2014, email@example.com
Oct 28, 1 -- 4:30PM
Sponsor: Military Families Speak Out, Veterans for Peace Chapter 12, Iraq Veterans Against the War , Cy-Fair Democratic Club
Location: Live Oak Friends House, 1318 West 26th Street
Entertainment by Bill Passalacqua and Hank Woji, "Sir, No Sir"
Oct 28, 6:15PM
Location: Dan Electro's Guitar Bar, 1031 East 24th Street. "Celebration of Resistance"
Sponsors: Military Families Speak Out, Veterans for Peace Chapter 12, Iraq Veterans Against the War
Contact: Sherry Glover, firstname.lastname@example.org,(H) 832-363-1741, (C) 713-929-1132-Bob Watada, ---- David Rovics
Oct 29, 1PM
Sponsor: Code Pink/Austin, Veterans for Peace Chapter 66
Contact: Fran Hanlon, 512-454-6572, email@example.com
Peter Ravella, 512-220-1740Heidi Turpin, (C)512-565-2242, firstname.lastname@example.org
Oct 29, 5:30PM
Café Caffeine -- 206 West MarySponsors: Code Pink, Veterans for Peace Chapter 66, Iraq Veterans Against the War
Contact: Doug Zachary, email@example.com, (C) 512-791-9824Heidi Turpin, (C) 512-565-2242, firstname.lastname@example.org
Fran Hanlon (H) 512-454-6572, , email@example.com
Oct 30Austin High Schools
Oct 31, 7-9PM
Norman, OKLocation: Cleveland County Fairgrounds - Lobby615 E. Robinson
Sponsor: Veterans for Peace, Iraq Veterans Against the War
Contact: Jeri Reed, 405-307-0352, cell 405-606-9598, firstname.lastname@example.org
A full schedule can be found at Veterans for Peace and those interested in hosting a Bob Watada speaking engagement in their area are urged to contact Doug Zachary.
More information on Watada and other war resisters can be found at Courage to Resist.