counterf**k and not in the good way

counterf**k has a lot of nerve talking about cherry picking today. i'm so tired of the crap ass show. i'm telling myself 'fair is not counterf**k, fair is not counterf**k' to avoid pulling the link to fair on my blogroll.

but i'm sick of that smarmy little show. and more so after a party tonight where i heard 1 complaint after another about it and how it was hurting the organization (fair).

today, steve rendell does the usual b.s. which is to note dexy's comments (c.i. covered it last friday in 'Post-Gazette editorializes it's time to leave, Dexy Rats Out') and rendell offers no criticism, NONE, of flikins. counterf**k is such a joke that we should all embrace janeane jackson's cackle and send it right back at the show.

if any 1's wondering, no counterf**k did not run any kind of clarification that their smarmy little crap about the cbs evening news last week was wrong. if you missed it (read the third estate sunday's review's 'Yapping Watchdogs Miss The Point'), counterf**k pondered of katie couric's alleged increase in soft news, 'could this have anything to do with the program's post-hype third place finish?'

but katie couric didn't come in 3rd for the week, she came in 3rd on monday, september 11th and though counterf**k couldn't tell you last week and wouldn't tell you today, almost a million people vanished from the overnights - almost a million viewers decided not to watch the network news monday, september 11th.

jeff cohen, in an interview, makes the point that fair goes after the new york times more than anything. not on counterf**k. no, on that show it's one pass after another. it's a pass today for dexy who's quoted but not critiqued, leaving listeners with the impression that dexy is a reporter that there's not reason to criticize (despite being identified by the washington post as the reporter the military went to when they needed to plant a story).

counterf**k is a joke and it's made itself a joke.

one friend c.i.'s brought it up in the roundtable we did doing tonight (for saturday's gina & krista round-robin) let it rip on counterf**k and if counterf**k can't get its act together, it is going to drag fair under.

jeff cohen notes how important fair is and i agree with that. but fair needs to grasp that counterf**k is listened to by the mainstream media and that the lack of facts on counterf**k is hurting fair's ability to be heard because it (a) plays favorites (such as when janine jackson interviews a mother jones reporter about a false link between 9-11 and iraq that was published in the new york times and the reporter identifies 1 of chris hedges 2 sources but jackson can't be bothered with asking, 'was hedges willing to tell you the name of the 2nd source who burned him?') and (b) appears grossly uninformed.

if counterf**k doesn't grasp the problems with dexter filkins' 'reporting' - not limited to his disney-fied version of the november 2004 slaughter of falluja - then that's a problem. if they grasp it but can't or won't comment on it, they need to realize doing that drags down not just their reputation but fair's as well.

i heard about that tonight at a party we attended, a party crowded with mainstream journalists. i finally asked, 'did every 1 hear listen to the show?' no. it was probably 3 out of 15 and the 3 had e-mailed and called the others throughout the day. but counterf**k is getting a bad reputation. not as a brave watchdog that calls out the mainstream, but as a program that looks the other way.

if fair wants to have any pull with their action alerts they better get it together on counterf**k. the 3 at the party that did listen to the latest show have listened to it enough to list all these examples - many of which i either missed or didn't notice if i heard that broadcast.

i don't mind the cackle (and the 1 who had called c.i. to complain about it identified himself, i thought it was some 1 else actually) but i do mind it when it comes when the work's not done. and that's the general attitude of the 14 who cornered me after a reporter identified me as the 1 who's not that crazy about counterf**k.

i'm not. i've noted that i think the program covers too many silly things (like playing a comedian's speech), but i believe i said then (this was at the time i was miscarrying and i'm not going to go back and read that post) that if it did it for you, listen. it wasn't for me.

but that attitude was before i heard tonight, in great detail, how much the show defeats the aims of fair by not doing its job and that's how the mainstream sees it.

if you've been called out by the show (for the record, no 1 was from fox 'news'), you probably do pay greater attention to see who else gets called out and, as 1 who had been called out noted tonight, 'i never acted as a plant for the government' (referring to dexy's being a go-to-guy for the u.s. military when they wanted to plant stories in the press).

and he had a solid point. there was no criticism of dexy. i've complained about that before. but tonight, hearing 15 reporters get very loud and vocal about how the so-called watchdog calls out this person or that but takes a damn pass on the propaganda guy for the military, i can tell you that the program is blowing fair's credibility. this included a reporter who leans left personally though not in print and felt like his mistake being noted was, indeed, fair until he noticed the things that were avoided. with dexy being noted and not criticized today, he was especially offended over what was a minor error (that the paper ran a correction on) leaving him targeted while i-sell-it-for-the-military dexy gets pass after pass.

they're blowing their credibility. i asked about media matters because i knew c.i.'s take on it and wasn't surprised that it was the same. (c.i.'s take on the way the media feels about the 2 - which is based on what friends in the press tell c.i.) media matters is more 'in your face' and doing much more work on any given day. that's allowed fair to take on a sort of 'prestige' as the older (i'd argue gentler) watchdog. but when that radio program does what it did today, it destroys fair's credibility.

and here's the thing, it shouldn't take reporters pointing that out. the fact that they refuse to criticize dexter filkins and his 'reporting' is enough to harm their credibility. there were others among the 15 who'd been called out by fair or the radio program and there wasn't a 1 who had done anything as non-journalistic as dexy.

if their purpose is to provide easy criticism and giggles, counterf**k should be quite proud. but if they want to have any real impact on the press, they need to start doing some work and showing some fairness because there is a huge backlash against what is seen as they're playing favorites and their refusal to hold every 1 in the mainstream media accountable by the same standards.

if any 1's offended by the comments above, they need to listen to counterf**k and take a good hard look at the content. fair's too important for the program to undermine the organization.

i heard about that for over a half hour. at which point, i needed a smoke. i dragged kat off with me to act as a buffer in case any 1 followed. (kat ended up taking a few drags off my cigarette so i guess i'm now the playground pusher of the cancer-stick set.)

by the way, her latest cd review is up today: "Kat's Korner: 'Mommy, May I Pet With Danger?'"
so read it already, you'll be rolling.

as always, addressing iraq, here's c.i.'s 'Iraq snapshot:'

Friday, September 22, 2006. Chaos and violence continue in Iraq, the 2700 mark for US military fatalities in Iraq looms ever closer (2697), the Defense Department learns (again) that the press makes the best lobbyist, and, as Democrats continue to run from Iraq, activists continue to speak out and organize.
Starting with peace news, Mima Mohammed (Los Angelse Times) reports on Helga Aguayo's statements regarding her husband, war resister Agustin Aguayo, who decided to self-check out September 2, 2006: "My husband has never broken a law and I am proud of him. He doesn't want to support the war -- he cannot do so conscientiously. He is a conscientious objector, but the Army forced him to become a resister." Helga Aguayo was speaking Wednesday at Camp Democracy (which continues free and open to the public through October 1st) in Washington, DC. and stated that her husband will turn himself in but he will not go to Iraq.
Also reporting on war resistance and Camp Democracy, Tim Wheeler (People's World Weekly) covers war resister Ricky Clousing's speech from this past weekend where Clousing noted what he saw "an innocent Iraqi killed before my eyes by U.S. troops. I saw the abuse of power that goes without accountability" and notes some of the torture techniques he observed and how Bully Boy "is seeking legal cover. . . . He is seeking another loophole to continue what they have been doing." Ricky Clousing announced at the Seattle Veterans for Peace conference in August that he would be turning himself in after self-checking out. He did so and that military has charged him with desertion and the war drags on . . .
While the military gets all the money they can grab (that's at the top, it never flows down to the enlisted). AP reports that today $70 billion more for quagmires in Iraq and Afghanistan were added to the trough "as they wrapped up talks on a $447 billion Pentagon funding bill. The additional war frunds would bring the total approved by Congress for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan [. . .*] to more than $500 billion, with another installment likely to come next spring."
The bumper sticker reads: "Bully Boy illegal invaded Iraq and all I got was a mountain of debt."
"*"? AP feels the need to insert "since September 11, 2001" into the sentence for some unknown reason. Are they attempting to repeat the discredited "link" between Iraq and 9-11? Clearly Congress approved no war spending measures on September 11th. AP also notes that the Defense Department got what it wanted and AP ties it to those reports of an overstretched (economically) military. Again we ask the question of Thom Shanker and Michael R. Gordon's report (New York Times) today:"Is it news or is it fundraising?"AP also editorializes with this: "Even opponents of the war tend to support the measure because it supports U.S. troops in harm's way." Actually, cutting off the spending would cut the war. But don't rock the conventional 'wisdom' boat, don't tip the boat over. Which is apparently the m.o. for Dems when it comes to the November elections. Arianna Huffington (The Huffington Post) reports that the big plan revolves around stressing the economy and ignoring Iraq: "In poll after poll, voters place Iraq well above the economy when asked which issue will most affect their vote this year. And when you combine concerns about the war with concerns about terrorism/national security, it's the economy that is 'a distant reality.' Yet Democrats keep returning to the same domestic-issues-uber-alles thinking that cost them the elections in 2002 and 2004. They can't really believe that people are more interested in raising the minimum wage, middle class tax relief, and college affordability than they are in who's going to keep them from being blown up, can they? The Dems are like a bunch of crack addicts who know that the stuff is killing them, but keep reaching for the pipe."
This as Lolita C. Baldor (AP) reports that James Thurman (US "Maj. Gen.") loosens his grip on reality (further?) and claims that attacks on civilians in Iraq are down. Well pay it forward, Thurman. America can't afford universal health care but can pay $500 billion (and counting) for wars? Turman also stated that, "As we clean up the streets, we find a city capable of starting to function properly." Street cleaners? That's what US troops are being kept in Iraq for? No, they aren't street cleaners and Thurman needs to work a little harder at his illustrations (working harder at capturing reality might cause a blood vessel to explode so we'll accept the fact that he's an Operation Happy Talker and move on.)
In the real world (which Thurman is welcome to visit), Patrick Cockburn (Independent of London) reminds: "The pervasive use of torture is only one aspect of the utter breakdown of government across Iraq outside the three Kurdish provinces in the north. In July and August alone, 6,599 civilians were killed, the UN says." The torture, the UN has stated, is being committed by a variety of groups including 'government forces.' Tim Reid (Times of London) reports that the White House takes offense to the UN report and denies it. We all await Condi Rice trotting out her "No one could have guessed" line yet again.
AFP reports, that in Baghdad, two bomb detector/defusers were killed when a bomb they were attempting to defuse exploded. Reuters reports a civilian dead from a roadside bomb in Latifiyaand sixteen wounded from bombs in Baghdad.
AFP reports that four Iraqi police officers were shot dead in Baquba. AP reports that attacks on mosques and homes resulted in four shooting deaths in Baghdad. China's People's Daily notes that four houses were set on fire in the attacks. Reuters reports one civilian shot dead in Kirkuk and that Nomass Atout shot dead "near his house in Diwaniya".
KUNA reports that 48 corpses were discovered in Baghdad today. AP reports a corpse ("blindfolded . . . bound") was discovered in Musayyib. Reuters reports two corpses discovered in Mosul and a woman's corpse found in Kirkuk. That should be 64 deaths reported, counting corpses, thus far today.
Returning to peace news, Paul Hogarth (Beyond Chron) reports, " About 25 activists gathered at the Office of Supervisor Chris Daly yesterday to display the Code Pink Peace Ribbon Quilt, and to kick off the Declaration of Peace Week of Action. The Declaration, which has been endorsed by over 180 peace and justice organizations throughout the country has three basic platforms: (1) bring our troops home now, (2) establish a plan to end the war in Iraq, and (3) prevent future U.S. invasions such as Iran, Syria or North Korea."


woody, peace and iraq

okay, so after 1 hour of trying to log in, i'm finally in.

strange how the problems always tend to come at the same time. i don't know who's blogging tonight and who isn't. i know everyone's tried to log in and we're all having the same problems. (if we try to access internet explorer on any computer - laptop or tower - the browser closes. i have alternate browsers installed on my laptop (in addition to mozilla which we all use) and

if you read lloyd grove today, you know that there was a benefit reading of all the president's men and that (a) sam seder felt the need to voice his opinions on bob woodward which led to (b) carl bernstein (who cowrote the book with woody and was reading at the benefit) sharing his opinions.

i think everyone knows i detest, loathe and pretty much everything else sam sader. but when seder is right, he is right. and he was right. lloyd grove quotes bob woodward saying this, "I appreciate Carl's remarks, but I also understand the passions that blind people, quite frankly, when they want certain political outcomes. And reporters have to stick to what happens and what they can find out." yes, reporters do have to do that. but bob woodward isn't a reporter. he's a book author. a reporter wouldn't be stockpiling news for his books. a reporter wouldn't be caught in the valerie plame outing after the fact (after scooter libby was indicted, bob woody - who couldn't stop dismissing the outing on cable and npr - suddenly realized plame had been outed to him by richard armitage, then 2nd at the state department).

carl bernstien's a good friend to bob woodward, but he's dead wrong. woody doesn't do reporting anymore and the washington post should have sent him packing a long time ago.

again, i'm no fan of sam seder but seder was correct.

who else is correct? codepink:

The Declaration of Peace is a nationwide campaign to establish a concrete and rapid plan for peace in Iraq. From September 21-28, we will take part in nonviolent action, marches, rallies, demonstrations, interfaith services, candlelight vigils and other inspired ways to declare peace at the US Capitol and in cities and towns across the US. Join CODEPINK for a week of creative and outrageous action in Washington DC, including an Arms are for Hugging "Hug In" at Congress.
Local CODEPINK groups are also taking action in communities from New York City to Ft. Lauderdale to San Francisco to Boulder. To join an action in your area, or to get info about planning one,
click here.
This week, Yoko Ono, Kate Hudson and Samuel L. Jackson signed on to our Give Peace a Vote campaign.
Have you? Consider becoming one of our 1000 Peacemakers who are getting 100 others to vote for peace. And pass on John Stauber's flash video from his new book, The Best War Ever, to encourage voters for peace.
As John Lennon and Yoko Ono said so beautifully, "WAR IS OVER, if we want it."
Declaring peace and gratitude,

Andrea, Anedra, Dana, Farida, Gael, Gayle, Jodie, Laura, Liz, Medea, Nancy, Patricia, Rae, Samantha, and Sonia

so what are you going to do for peace? leonard read yesterday's 'frank, films, iraq' and decided to go with sir! no sir! but couldn't find it at a rental store. i'm sure it's available on netflix for those who can't afford to purchase it but you can also do what leonard did and check with friends. he was able to locate a copy and he'll be showing it saturday to his friends. this is his 1st attempt at, as he put it, 'doing more than saying "man, the war is wrong" to my buds.' so he's stepping up. you can too. (i just checked netflix, they do have sir! no sir! and it's got a 3 & 3/5 rating. i would rate it far higher but you know the war hawks have been in there rating it low.)

here's c.i.'s 'Iraq snapshot:'

Thursday, September 21st, 2006, International Peace Day established by the United Nations November 30, 1981 and Bully Boy offers 'alternative programming' as the chaos and violence continues in Iraq, as the press learns that 'suicide bomber' is an imprecise term, as those doing the torture includes 'government forces,' as the US military fatality count approaches the 2700 mark and the so-called coalition of the willing continues to shrink with the US forces left to sing,"To be the last to leave, the last to be gone, stolen from the ones who hung on to it" ("Fireflies," written by Stevie Nicks, available on Fleetwood Mac Live).
BBC reports that Manfred Nowak (anti-torture expert for the United Nations and Austrian law professor) has stated that torture is not only on the rise in Iraq but it may be happening more frequently than when Saddam Huseein was in power. Nowak's statements were based on a UN report which found that "Victims come from prisons run by US-led multinational forces as well as by the ministries of interior and defence and private militias".
This as
Reuters notes: "The Sunni religious organisation, the Muslim Scholars Association, accused unnamed militia and government forces of killing five people in the village of al-Intsar, on the northeastern outskirts of Baghdad late on Wednesday. The group said others were kidnapped and houses burned."
Richard A. Oppel Jr. (New York Times) reported today, in Baghdad alone, at least "5,106 people . . . died violent deathd during July and August". Which is no doubt why, as reported by Sudarsan Raghavan's (Washington Post), The Giddiest Gabor in the Green Zone, William Caldwell IV, US military spokesperson, announced the obvious, after the UN had, that there was "a spike in execution-style murders" and "many bodies found had clear signs of being bound, tortured and executed." Way to stay ahead of the curve, but then he wouldn't look like the third guest, the loopy, bra-less one, if he couldn't state the obvious long after it had already been noted, would he?
Reuters reports that at least 38 corpses were discovered in Baghdad with most bearing signs of torture. Bombings? Reuters reports that a rocket attack on a home in Baghdad killed four and left five wounded, while bombs killed eight in Baghdad and left eighteen wounded and, in Diwaniya, a roadside bomb took the lives of two Iraq soldiers. Shootings? Reuters reports 3 shot dead in Kerbala and three police officers in Baquba. In a combination of the two (mortar attack, followed by gunfire) AP reports the deaths of six Iraqi police officers when their Baghdad police station was attacked.
AFP reports that the so-called coalition of the willing continues to suffer from shrinkage as Italy hands over Dhi Qar to Iraqi forces and, low and behold, there are no reports the Italy's actions "embolden" terrorism or that their action prevents "democracy." Quite the contrary, a US military press release credited to Ambassador Zalmay Khalilzad and Gen. George W. Casey Jr.maintains that the handover and Italy's withdrawal predicated on the handover is "another sign of progress." Progress is possible, apparently, for all but the U.S. and England. Reuters identifies Italy as "the last major Western European ally" for England and the US and notes that an Italian soldier died just "hours" before the handover raising the total number of Italian soldiers who died in the war to 32.
The US military fatality count continues to rise and the US military announced today that a US soldier
died in Baghdad Wednesday from a roadside bomb while today a soldier died from wounds received while fighting in al Anbar province. The announcements come as the US military fatality count is at 2,693 (seven away from the 2700 mark) and as the AP reports questions remain in another Wednesday US military death in Baghdad ("Sgt. 1st Class Charles Jason Jones, 29, of Lawrenceburg", Kentucky ) which is currently classified as due to "non combat-related causes".
"Suicide bombers" and "suicide car bombers"? The
AP reports that term is far from precise and that the Iraqi Defense Ministry issued a warning today based upon the fact that people are being kidnapped, released and then used as unknowing bombers via remote control from devices planted on them or their vehicles.
In peace news,
Sue Anne Pressley Montes (Washington Post) reports "A group of ministers, veterans and peace activists attempted to deliver a 'declaration of peace' to the White House today, kicking off a week of vigils and other activities in 350 communities across the country calling for the prompt withdrawal of U.S. troops from Iraq" and "The day's activities also featured vigils for peace in dozens of cities and towns, including Little Rock, Ark.; Tucson, Ariz.; Pasadena, Ca.; Miami, Fla.; Decatur, Ga.; Pittsburgh, Pa.; and Austin, Tex. In San Diego Friday, there will be a Dance Action for Peace; on Saturday in Cincinnati, a Peace Tent City will be erected. San Francisco is hosting a mass bicycle ride to protest the conflict, and Madison, Wisc., is holding community forums on the issue." The Declaration of Peace site contains aVigils Calendar that will help you find events in your area as well as more information.


frank, films, iraq

Tasini not only failed in his bid to take down Hillary (let alone hold her accountable for her unwavering support for the war in Iraq) he is now failing the movement against the war in Iraq by refusing to endorse an antiwar candidate in November's contest. In an interview with Elizabeth Benjamin of the Times Union on September 19, Tasini confirmed that he would not be endorsing the only visible antiwar alternative to Hillary Clinton in the state, Green Party candidate Howie Hawkins.
"I am a Democrat. I ran as a Democrat. I decided not to endorse the incumbent, and to stay out of endorsing anyone else. Between now and November, that could change. Something could happen and she (Sen. Hillary Clinton) could decide the war was really bad and wrong, and then I would reconsider."
That's the kind of garbage you'll hear from a Democrat even if they oppose the war in Iraq. Party loyalty matters far more than any antiwar ethic. Undeniably, Tasini did his job quite well this past summer. By running a losing campaign in the Democratic Primary he drew attention and support away from Howie Hawkins and other independent antiwar candidates. Instead of helping build a viable antiwar campaign that would be on the ballot in November when it will matter most, Tasini played right into Hillary's hands by not challenging her all the way up to November -- even if by proxy through another antiwar campaign.

the above is from joshua frank's 'How Jonathan Tasini Helped Hillary Clinton and Distracted the Antiwar Movement' (counterpunch) and community member third party sent it to me wondering if i would note it? absolutely. i like it when frank does a piece like this calling someone out. (he does that with moveon.org quite often.) i heard him being interviewed, probably on kpfa when i was visiting c.i., and probably by larry bensky, and just thought, who let him come on the air like that. with laura flanders, he was more together. with bensky, he was all over the place and didn't seem to have done any work. i didn't think bensky was asking harder questions than flanders so maybe it's just that he's not a morning person (though it shouldn't have been morning for tasini since he was on the east coast).

third party asked if i would note that when there was all the 'oh my god! they won't let jonathan debate hillary!' stuff going on, no 1 was even noting that there was a green in the race. third party was very upset about that and among the 1s pointing that out to c.i. which is why c.i. did make a point to note that there was a green in the race.

anytime any community member who is a green wants something noted, i'm happy to. but let me warn you, and this is probably true for most of the sites, just raising an issue won't cut it with me. it's not going to leave an impression. i'm not c.i. who can and will read between the lines. i'll assume you're just noting something to talk. if you want it noted up here, you need to be clear about that in your e-mail. if you are, i'll gladly note it.

what do i think should have happened? you endorse the green.

tasini got no support from the dem establishment, was supposed to be opposed to the war and now he's out of the race. he needs to endorse the green. i'm not sure how much that would help because tasini had a lot of negatives (on the east coast and the west coast and that was 1 of the things effecting fundraising). i never heard an anti-war candidate trashed at c.i.'s like i did with him. (not by c.i. c.i.'s remained neutral online about the race and neutral offline. if asked offline, c.i. would note the pluses and minuses of tasini and not offer an opinion either way. which might mean c.i. didn't care for tasini but it also might mean c.i. supported the run. i have no idea. when people doubt that c.i. can do the site once the dem primary starts and not offer 'horse racing' or endorsements, they really need to just wait and see because c.i. really can do that offline and usually does. after presidential primaries, i'll usually find out who c.i. was for, not during.) but tasini had negatives in the entertainment community. if hillary had been spoken of positvely, i would have assumed that's what it was (some sort of lingering clintonista effect). but she wasn't spoken of positively and the people complaining about tasini were saying they wished there was a strong candidate.

(and to any tasini supporters, i did not write a thing against him or for him while the race was going on. if i had written during the race, i would have noted the againsts. so don't bother to e-mail saying 'you are trashing him.' i'm not. the race is over and he ran a bad campaign and had high negatives.)

it's a real shame that the attention efforts were spent on him and not on howie hawkins or on both of them. tasini is out of the race now. hawkins could use the attention but it will probably strike some, since hawkins wasn't promoted this summer, as though hawkins is the candidate to 'settle' for. that's a shame because i have heard good things about him.

what else did i hear?

house parties are the big thing this weekend. every 1's picking movies and/or music for gatherings to discuss the war.

liz wondered if that was enough and i understand what she's talking about but the fact of the matter is it's not like we've had the media addressing iraq all summer long. so i think this is a good starting point. (restarting point.) she's showing a film that her parents love called hearts and minds. hold on and i'll ask c.i. who directed it. (we're all together today, tomorrow, through sunday actually, to demonstrate and say no to war.)

okay, hearts & minds is a documentary directed by peter davis. it's about vietnam and it won an oscar for best documentary. there was a great deal more (huge praise) but i told c.i. 'i'm not writing a research paper!' seriously, we're all a little tired tonight. i did ask if this was the film with the wonderful hues and colors. i really love this film. i wasn't able to place it by the title but when c.i. started discussing it, i remembered the pastel look of the film. it's a great film. it's remastered on dvd, c.i. said, so i'm going to make a point to get that 1. it really is a powerful film and it's also an eye catching 1.

so that was the new film. also being shown, listed with the most mentioned going 1st, are:

sir! no sir! (i know that link so i'm putting it in.)
you can't be neutral on a moving train (this is great film about howard zinn)
caught in the crossfire: the untold story of falluja (important documentary about what actually happened in falluja, directed by mark manning)

and with 1 mention a piece:
orwell rolls over in his grave (a documentary)
control room (documentary about the war and al jazeera)
wmd: weapons of mass distraction (danny schecter documentary and you can find out more about that by using the button on my blog roll for the film)
coming home (jane fonda and jon voight won oscars for this film set during vietnam)
platoon (this is an oliver stone film starring charlie sheen and others)
the thin red line (sean penn, george clooney and more)
john & yoko's year of peace (documentary on john lennon and yoko ono)
the dreamers (film directed with bernardo berolucci that's rated nc-17)
bush family fortunes (greg palast documentary about how the bully boy ended up in the oval office)
uncovered: the whole truth about the iraq war (robert greenwald documentary)

so that's some of what people are showing. listening to? there's a real love for green day and their american idiot. in addition there are two 'spontaneous' actions planned for school on friday. 'spontaneous' because both have been told that they will not be allowed to protest or even note the war. if that's happening at your school as well, you might want to consider a 'spontaneous' event.

going to bed. here's c.i.'s 'Iraq snapshot:'

Wednesday, September 20, 2006. Violence and chaos continue in Iraq with the Associated Press estimating at least 45 have died and the United Nations estimating that July and August saw the death of 6.5 thousand Iraqis; a British prosecutor argues an admitted war criminal heard the sounds of torture and compared them to a a choir singing; Camp Democracy continues in Washington DC on Women's Peace day;
and Iraqi vet and war resister Darrell Anderson discusses a planned September 29th return to the United States: "
I just want to put my uniform back on and then tell them no to their face that 'I'm not going to participate in your war. Do whatever you want to me because I'm right and this is how I feel.' I've never had the chance to do that."

AFP reports that the United Nations, noting the increase in reported deaths since the start of July, has estimated that "[a]t least 6,599 civilians were killed across war-torn Iraq in the months of July and August".

And the violence goes on.


AFP notes six dead and thirty-seven wounded in Samarra "when a suicide bomber carried out the bloodiest attack by ramming his car into the house of a tribal leader" and, in Baghdad, three dead from a "suicide bomber driving a truck" in an attack on "a police station near an oil refinery". AP notes that seven were killed in the truck bombing attack on the police headquarters and that a police officer and two civilians were killed in a mortar attack in Baghdad. AP also notes that a roadside bomb claimed one life and left "two more wounded in east Baghdad".


AP reports that "a U.S. soldier was killed Wednesday by small arms fire in northeastern Baghdad" (we'll note US soldiers' death in a moment).


AP notes the "mutilated" corpse of a police officer was discovered in Kut. Reuters notes 35 corpses discovered in Baghdad "in the last 24 hours"

Iraq in microcosm.
Sudarsan Raghavan (Washington Post) looks at the farming of dates in Iraq and speaks to Iraqi farmer Aboud Ahdim Abbas Mohammad ("whose family has grown dates here since the 18th century") and "U.S. Army Maj. Marcus Snow, a member of the State Department Provincial Reconstruction Team in Dayala, . . . stockbroker from Lancaster, PA". Mohammad states his intent to remain in Iraq despite threats on his life and Snow can't stop raving about a desire for "better accounting, production and marketing practices . . . better packaging and transportion systems" and increasing the cost of exported dates by 10 percent. As malnutrition continues throughout Iraq (the alarming increase in malnutrition among children is only one population segment effected), the US occupation sees profit-motive and the people continue to go hungry.

Larger picture?
Dahr Jamail and Ali Al-Fadhily (IPS) report on the continued destruction of Ramadi and "collective punishment of civilians in several cities across the al-Anbar province". They report on those teaching and attending the University of al-Anbar where: "Nearly every week we face raids by the Americans or their Iraqi colleagues" (a professor) and "The infrastructure destruction is huge around the governorate building in downtown Ramadi." They also quote Fayiq al-Dilaimy, an engineer "who was on the rebuilding committee set up after the November 2004 U.S.-led operation which destroyed approximately 75 percent of the city" who states:
"Infrastructure rebuilding is just a joke that nobody laughs at. People of this city could rebuild their city in six months if given a real chance. Now look at it and how sorrowful it looks under the boots of the 'liberators'."

In England, a court martial goes on against seven British soldiers. One, Donald Payne pleaded guilty to war crimes yesterday. The
BBC reports that Payne, while copping to war crimes, "denied a further charge of perverting the course of justice." Devika Bhat (Times of London) notes that the argument made today was that Payne "enjoyed beating his prisoners until they became a 'choir,' of pain". The BBC quotes prosuctor Julian Bevan telling the court martial Payne was the "conducter": "The choir consisted of Cpl Payne systematically assaulting each detainee in turn by, for instance, hitting in their stomachs, kicking them and punching them wherever on their bodies, causing them to shriek out or groan in pain, their various noises constituting the music".

As noted above, a US soldier died from "small arms fire" in Baghdad. This is in addition to ones noted earlier today. Prior to the one who died from "small arms fire," as
David Rising (AP) notes, "the US military [had] announced the deaths of four other soldiers in Iraq. On was killed Tuesday by a suicide car bombing, which also wounded two other soldiers. Antoher two soldiers were killed Sunday -- one by small arms fire and the other by a roadside bomb in Baghdad. A fourth soldier, assigned to a medical task force, died Monday of non-combat related injuries in the capital." Those four, the one who died from "small arms fire" and "an American soldier was killed by a roadside blast northeast of Baghdad on Tuesday." The current total of American fatalities since the beginning of the illegal war is 2691. Proving that he can at least recognize an increase, Giddy in the Greenzone William B. Caldwell IV has noted the obvious --- "Attacks against U.S. troops have increased".

In peace news,
Armina Ligaya (Globe & Mail) spoke with war resister Darrell Anderson who was "one of the first of about 225 U.S. soldiers to flee to Canada since 2004". Courage to Resist has noted that Anderson is planning to return to the United States. Anderson explains to Ligaya that there are options prior to his planned return to the US which could explain Canada granting him refugee status or approving his sponsorship claim (Anderson is married to Canadian citizen Gail Greer.) Anderson doesn't have hopes of either happening by September 29th.

Today is Women's Peace Day and
NOW and CODEPINK are joint-sponsoring events at Camp Democracy which is where the Troops Home Fast ends today on Day 78. An estimated 5,023 people are participating today and people have grabbed one-day only, one-day each week and longterm fasts through the 78 days. In addition, The Feminist Wire notes: "Other activities on Wednesday include a discussion on how to end violence in Iraq, an update on the violence against women in Juarez, a panel discussion by military women, and a history workshop led by Howard Zinn."

Tomorrow (Thursday Sept. 21st) is International Peace Day and
Camp Democracy notes: "We will encourage Camp Democracy participants on this day to engage in activities organized by the Declaration of Peace, including a press conference at 10:30 a.m. or 11 a.m. followed by an action at the White House."

Actions will be going on around the US (
Corvallis Gazette-Times notes a gathering Thursday, Sept. 21st, at the Benton County Courthouse, 120 N.W. Fourth St., Corvallis, OR) and around the world.)

A complete schedule can be found

In California,
Martin Snapp (Contra Costa Times) reports the the Berkeley City Council "unanimously passed a resolution supporting Lt. Ehren Watada, an Army officer who is facing a court martial for refusing to go to Iraq." George Coates (Berkeley Daily Planet) writes of Berkeley mayor Tom Bates: "Now Bates is up for re-election at a time when many high school-age students are learning that the U.S. military is monitoring their MySpace pages and targeting potential recruits. The plight of soldiers like Lt. Erhen Watada, the first commissioned officer to go AWOL from duty in Iraq, has also triggered fears that a national draft could be reinstated if the number of volunteer enlistments continue to decline as the war threatens to widen. Progressive Berkeley City Councilmember Dona Spring's effort to pass a resolution in support of Lt. Watada is important because if it succeeds the city will have deepened its stance against the war and candidates for mayor will have heard the message: Sanctuary for war resisters is a local issue that no serious candidate for mayor can evade."

More information on Watada can be found at
Courage to Resist and ThankYouLt.org.


daniel ellsberg says time to drive out bully boy

1st, read elaine's 'Should The Notion be finger-pointing?' because it's important (and well said). 2nd, activities are taking place and building all week. actions to end the war. so where is the indymedia? liza featherstone offers that a peace rally should be like a candidate's campaign rally. that'll build excitement!

once again, indymedia fails the anti-war movement. big surprsie. you know, i was resistant to this notion. c.i. and elaine have made this point for years. online, for some time, but i've heard it for years. i didn't really get it until indymedia went on 'summer vacation.'

(yes, i took a vacation and a honeymoon this summer, and betty was here substituting for me, talking about iraq and a host of issues.)

is iraq something we respond to only in a voting booth?

because outside of ned lamont, has there been any iraq coverage this summer?

yesterday, i noted a column by robert scheer and said i'd give his book title tonight, playing president. you really should read it. t's reading it right now and she loves it and fly boy and i both loved it. if history text books were written like this, they'd be readable. you'll learn about ronald reagan, jimmy carter, bill clinton, poppy and bully and more and you'll do so without being bored. even if you think you know all about, for instance, tricky dick, you'll find something (usually an illuminating moment) that demonstrates you didn't know it all. i really encourage you to read the book. robert scheer has started up truthdig and it features his writing, molly ivins' writing and much more. including tonight's highlight, daniel ellsberg's 'Time to Drive Out the Bush Regime:'

I keep looking at that date on the calendar -- Oct. 5. I think of 1969 -- I was copying the Pentagon Papers with Tony Russo in that month, starting Oct. 1. My intention, however, at that time was to bring them out in connection with something called the Moratorium on Oct. 15, 1969 ... because on that day ... across the country 2 million people marched. Not in any one place; they were counted up and added up because they all walked out, it was a weekday, out of school, out of businesses on that weekday. They met in rallies, heard many speakers--in those days there was great tolerance (well, there still is to some extent) for a lot of speeches. But it was a weekday and they called it the Moratorium because people thought the word "general strike" was too provocative, but that’s what they had in mind.
It was a walkout; in other words it was not business as usual. The president was watching it in the White House, hour by hour, while pretending that he wasn't. In fact he was in the situation room getting half-hour reports on how many people. They were being counted, in Washington and New York, from a U2 [plane] above.

lesley e-mailed me and asked if i could wait long enough for her to finalize what she's planning this weekend. sure. i've heard from goldie, courtney, and quite a few others but leonard wondered about what to do? i'll go over some of what other people are doing tomorrow but, in the meantime, read daniel ellsberg above. see if that doesn't inspire you.

closing with c.i.'s 'Iraq snapshot:'

Tuesday, September 19, 2006, violence and chaos continue in Iraq, Bully Boy went to the United Nations and so did activists, a soldier pleads guilty to a war crime, Camp Democracy continuesin Washington, DC and, in Australia, Shelley Kovco tells the military inquiry into the Aprtil 21st Baghdad death of her husband, "'Sorry' just doesn't cut it after the first time."

Starting in Australia, on April 21, 2006, Jake Kovco became the first Australian soldier to die in Iraq. For months now, a military inquiry into his death and the problems immediately after (including the destruction of evidence and losing his body) has been ongoing.

Belinda Tasker (Herald-Sun) reports that the head of the inquiry, Group Captain Warren Cook, has stated: "It is the intenion of the board to say . . . Jake Kovco did not committ suicide. . . . I can't make it any plainer than that."

Eleanor Hall (ABC's The World Today) summarized: "It wasn't suicide. In a surprise announcement this morning, the Preisdent of the Board inquiring into the death of Private Jake Kovco in Iraq interrupted an address from one of the Kovco lawyers to say that he had already ruled out that the young soldier deliberately took his own life."
Dan Box (The Australian) reports that Colonel Leslie Young ("representing [Jake] Kovco's interests") declared that the hearing should issue a finding of accidental death or "return an open verdict" due to the destruction and loss of evidence. Box quotes Young: ""Have you ever received direct evidence that Jake was handling his weapon when it discharged? The answer is no."

This follows (see
yesterday's snapshot) the statements made by Judy Kovco, mother of Jake Kovco, to Kerry O'Brien in an interview on ABC's 7:30 Report. Judy Kovco discussed her feelings regarding the inquiry, how "the evidence so far, there is no way known, no, he did not shoot himself" and that she believes the military would cover up "an accidental shooting by somebody else or a murder". Conor Duffy (ABC's The World Today) reported that the announcement of no finding of suicide came as Lieutenant Colonel Holles "was speaking for Jake Kovco's parents, Martin and Judy, and he began addressing the board and tell them why they shouldn't find suicide."

Following the announcement that the inquiry would not issue a finding of suicide, Shelly Kovco, Jake Kovco's widow, addressed the inquiry.

PM provides a recreation of some of her statements including: "I had explained to Tyie that Daddy's mates were bringing him home so that we could say goodbye. I then had to explain to my son why we weren't picking Daddy up. No mother ever wants to tell their children their Daddy has died and they won't see him again. But out on top of that, they didn't bring Daddy home, it was another man, we have to go get Daddy in a couple of days, is pretty hard and confusing on him and me."

Tyrie is the young son of Shelley and Jake Kovco (under five-years-old) and the couple also has a younger daughter, Alana (a one-year-old).

Conor Duffy reported on the statements to Eleanor Hall (ABC's The World Today), "Eleanor, so far Shelley Kovco has remained silent throught the entire three months of the inquiry, and today she was dressed in black and she gave an emotional address, and it really revealed the extent of her anger and the sense of betrayal she feels towards the Defence Force and to the Government."

Belinda Tasker (Herald-Sun) reports that it was a five-page statement and that Shelley Kovco was "[s]obbing as she read" it. The statement directly addressed Brendan Nelson's actions. Nelson is the Defense Minister and his breathless, uninformed gushing to the media helped no one (and may have tarnished his own 'rising star'). Dan Box (The Australian) reports her stating, "Brendan Nelson has said Jake was cleaning his pistol, and then he changed his story . . . These things shouldn't have been said to the media until the truth was known."

Shelley Kovco also addressed the pain caused by some of the rumors that were circulated. (We didn't note them here when they were circulating as gospel, we won't note them now but we will note that she addressed them, and the pain they caused, in her statement.)
Belinda Tasker reports that Shelley Kovco stated "she did not hold either of her husband's roommates, Pt Ray Johnson and Pte Rob Shore, repsonsible for his death . . . Likewise, she said she did not believe another soldier, Pte Steve Carr, whose DNA was found on Pte Kovco's pistol, was to blame."

Also speaking was David Small, Shelley Kovco's father.
Dan Box (The Australian) reports he spoke "outside the inquiry" to reporters and "said the family held Alastar Adams, the Australian consular official in Kuwait City who sealed Kovco's casket, responsible for the confusion over the body's transport." And what did Small say to the inquiry? Conor Duffy, on ABC's PM, reported: "Shelley Kovco was followed onto the stand by her father David Small, a former military man who also attacked the Defence force, saying the bungled repatriation had almost caused him to return his medals. . . He also attacked the facilities used to return Private Kovco's remains to Autralia, saying staff at the Kuwaiti morgue was illiterate and little more than fridge mechanics and cleaners." Small is quoted stating: "We have no reason to believe that Jake's death is anything but a tragic accident. However, we think that something has been withheld, perhaps with misquided good intentions. For Shelley and the kids' sake, if anyone knows anything that hasn't been said please come forward now and not in some years time as it will only increase the pain."

According to Dan Box (The Australian), it will be "about six weeks" before the board of the inquiry turns "a final report . . . [over] to the chief of the defence force, Air Chief Marshal Angus Houston".

Meanwhile, as noted by Aileen Alfandary on
KPFA's The Morning Show, today, Bully Boy went to the United Nations (and spoke to French president Jacques Chirac, before speech making). Bully Boy went to the United Nations and so did activists "calling for an immediate end to the war in Iraq" (Alfandary). Alfandary spoke to Leslie Cagan (United for Peace and Justice) moments before the protests were to begin. Cagan: "We are out on the streets of New York because President Bush is addressing the UN General Assembly and we're here to say no to his war, it's time to end the war, bring all the troops home and no new wars."

CBS and AP note, Bully Boy's speech included the cry "Stand up for peace." No word on whether that was greeted by UN delegates with snorts of derision or boos and hisses.

Gertrue Chavez-Dreyfuss (Reuters) reports on what took place outside with
"[t]housands of protesters including former American soldiers rallied . . . urging the U.S. government to end the war in Iraq and bring the troops home." The article quotes
Raed Jarrar, "People in Iraq also want to end the war. We want our country back."

From the Bully Boy to another war war criminal -- in England, Corporal Donald Payne pleaded guilty "
to inhumanely treating civilians detained in Iraq between Sept 13 and Sept 16 2003 in Basra, Iraq" (Telegraph of London). The Guardian notes that Payne ("one of seven British troops who went on trial today facing charges linked to the death of an Iraqi civilian") was pleading guilty to chrages that "relate to the death of Baha Musa, 26, an Iraqi civilian in Basra". Jeremey Lovell (Reuters) reports that Musa is said to have had "93 injuries on his body, including a broken nose and ribs" and that "another detainee was so badly beaten that he nearly died of kidney failure."

This as
Reuters reports British military has announced that two British soldiers died in Iraq on Monday (British Iraq fatalities now stand at 118) and the BBC reports that the Secretary General of the UN, Kofi Annan, is calling "for urgent actions from Iraqi leaders and the international community to bring Iraq back from the brink." The brink? As AFP notes, "Violence continued unabated Tuesday" in Iraq.


CBS and AP report, in Baghdad, 10 people are dead and 19 wounded as a result of a "rocket attack". A car bomb, AFP reports, claimed the lives of two more people in Baghdad. Outside Baghdad, Reuters reports one dead (two wounded) from a car bomb al-Rasheed; two dead (seven wounded) in Mahmudiya from mortar attacks; and, in Baquba, two dead from a roadside bomb

AFP notes a police officer was shot dead in Baquba. Reuters notes that eleven people were shot dead today "across Baquba" and that two people were killed in Najaf.


Reuters reports that 11 corpses were discovered in Mahmudiya.

AFP reports that John Abizaid ("US Central Command chief") told Congress that he thinks "this level probably will have to be sustained through the spring and then we'll re-evaluate". He was speaking of the fact that 140,000 US troops are currently in Iraq. Lolita C. Baldor (AP) reports that Abizaid also spoke of the option of adding more troops "or extending the Iraq deployments of other units if needed." Apparently no one's supposed to remember the talk at the end of 2005 -- about drawing down the numbers. In June, the number was 127,000. It's now 140,000 -- like everything else the Bully Boy attempts, it goes the wrong way.

In peace news,
Camp Democracy continues its activities in Washington DC -- free and open to the public and open through October 1st. Camp Democracy's activities today revolved around media activism and tomorrow's activities focus around Women's Peace Day and is joint-sponsored by NOW and CODEPINK (among those scheduled to participate is Howard Zinn). . A complete schedule can be found here.

And, in Berkeley,
Judith Scherr (Berkeley Daily Planet) reports on the agenda for this evening's city council meeting which includes a vote on the "resolution to support Lt. Ehren Watada". Ehren Watada is the first commissioned officer to publicly refuse to deploy to Iraq. In August, an Article 32 hearing was held. Last Friday, the military tried to sneak in a new charge ("conduct unbecoming an officer" for statements made at at the Veterans for Peace conference held in Seattle -- here at CounterPunch and here at Truthout). More information on Watada can be found at Courage to Resist and ThankYouLt.org.


robert scheer has a must read column

c.i. is hoping to do some sort of an entry tonight but not sure there will be time. this was something that got passed me to if i was interested. am i interested? yes, i am. i think it's an amazing column by robert scheer. the adminstration created the environment for questioning with their lies, half-truths (i may be feeling generous tonight), evasions and stone walling. that's on any topic. that's on every topic. and robert scheer was 1 of the first to call out the taliban. even back when they were 'friends' of the u.s. (90s.) c.i. gifted me with scheer's book, which i enjoy and recommend. and i'll name it tomorrow. fly boy's been looking for it and i just remembered i'd loaned it to t. i'm tired tonight and we spent most of the day deciding on carpet.
that may be a simple decision but since we're attempting to factor in a child as well, fly boy and i are trying to be sure about every detail. there's a lot of guessing, 2nd guessing, 3rd guessing and then we discuss. it was so much easier when i just picked out what i wanted. (i'm joking. in between our 2 marriages, i didn't do anything to the inside of the house. i did have the outside repainted, the same color, due to weathering but that was pretty much it.)

so we looked at colors, at length (no, we're not getting shag carpeting - the 70s have not come back), at fibers, thought in terms of stains, softness and you name it.

anyway, this is from robert scheer's 'Gaping Holes in the 9/11 Narrative' (truthdig) and i recommend you read the whole thing and not just the excerpt but if you only read the excerpt, you will still be ahead of the game:

What we still don't know about 9/11 could kill us. By "we" I mean the public that has been kept in the dark for five years by a president who may know the truth but has chosen to ignore it. Instead of grappling with the thorny origins of that disaster, George Bush willfully turned the nation’s attention and resources to a totally unrelated and disastrous imperial adventure in Iraq. Just how unrelated was definitively established last Friday with the belated release of the Senate Intelligence Committee's second report, which concluded that there not only was zero connection between Saddam Hussein and Al Qaeda, but that Iraq was the one country in the region where Osama bin Laden could not operate.
The story was much different in Pakistan and Saudi Arabia, the two countries that had recognized and otherwise supported the Taliban government that hosted bin Laden during the run-up to 9/11.
Fifteen of the 19 hijackers were from Saudi Arabia, and yet there has been no serious investigation of the extended royal family's role in the recruitment of bin Laden's "soldiers" and the ease with which they secured legal visas to enter the United States. While funds for Al Qaeda emanated from the Saudi kingdom, the essential logistical support for Al Qaeda came from Pakistan. Now, five years later, bin Laden and the remnants of his organization are assumed by the United States to have found refuge in Pakistan’s unruly tribal region, where the Pakistan government recently has reduced its forces, conceding that it could not defeat local tribesmen sympathetic to the Taliban.
Nor has there been any credible accounting of the role of Pakistan's intelligence community, then and now, in support of Islamic terrorists on both sides of the Pakistan-Afghan border. Or in the passage of Pakistan's nuclear secrets to what Bush refers to as "rogue nations."
Recall that the predominant excuse for invading Iraq was the claim that Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction and would be willing to pass them on to rogue regimes and terrorists. Not only were such weapons not found, but the evidence from the accounts of former administration insiders and the Senate Intelligence Committee makes clear that the administration was consciously cherry-picking the evidence to shore up its fraudulent case.
There were weapons of mass destruction being shipped to "rogue nations," but they were coming from Pakistan in an extensive program headed by
Abdul Qadeer (A.Q.) Khan, the father of the "Islamic bomb." The Pakistan government has admitted that Khan passed on to North Korea, Libya and Iran technical know-how and vital materials for the creation of nuclear weapons. But Khan was pardoned of any crimes by Pakistan’s dictator general, President Gen. Pervez Musharraf. Khan is restricted only by a loose form of house arrest and has never been made available to U.S. investigators. Yet the Bush administration dropped the sanctions originally imposed on Pakistan in reprisal for its development of nuclear weapons in return for Pakistan’s support in the "war on terror."

tomorrow, i'm going to note some of the stuff that you are planning to raise the issue of ending the war this week. if you haven't already and want to share, feel free to drop a line. i really am exhausted, but please read kat's 'Spinach and how the FDA failed you' which should make you think (and wonder where the oversight of the fda is?). i'm not sure if i know betty's 'The Colleague Heist' already. it's her latest chapter and worth noting a 2nd time if i've already noted it. check out ava and c.i.'s 'TV: Call the coroner' and elaine asked me what my blogging schedule was going to be this week? we're all getting together midweek for demonstrations against the war. i intend to post m-f each night. i may end up with only a few sentences, but something will be up here.

now here's c.i.'s 'Iraq snapshot:'

Monday, September 18, 2006, chaos and violence continue in Iraq with the AFP counting "[a]t least 62 people" dead, Camp Democracy continues (and extends) in Washington, D.C., in Germany: "Wife of War Profiteer Down!" and Judy Kovco, the mother of Jake Kovco, registers her opinion of the inept hearing into her son's death.

Starting in Australia, photos taken by Australian soldiers serving in Iraq have turned up online.
Rory Callinan (Time) interviewed Angus Houston ("head of the ADF, Air Chief Marshal") about the photos who stated he first learned of the photos from Callinan and that "The way people have mishandled those weapons, that offends me." The Townsville Bulletin deems the photos "offensive and unprofessionl" and states that they feature "mostly from the Darwin-based 2nd Cavalry Regiment and the Brisbane-based 5/7 infantry battalion". [Houston is the witness in the Jake Kovco inquiry who strongly disagreed with Defence Minister Brendan Nelson's 'explanation' for the various reports Nelson gave the press as to Kovco's death. Houston stated Nelson was warned that nothing was known and Nelson was warned of that from the start.]

Though there's no indication that the photos feature Jake Kovco, the prospect that they might is speculated everywhere. Jake Kovco died in Baghdad on April 21st and issues surrounding his death and what happened after have been the subject of an ongoing military inquiry.
Dan Box (The Australian) reports that the "inquiry . . . has warned it may find that the soldier [Jake Kovco] broke army regulations and should bear some responsibility for the circustances of his own shooting." And the inquiry, the Herald-Sun reports, has "requested the pictures and video footage showing soldiers waving the pistols."

Leigh Sales walked viewers through the latest on The 7:30 Report (Australia's ABC) and got reactions from Dan Box ("I don't think the board can deliver any other finding except for an open finding") and a criminologist at Sydney University, Mark Findlay. Findlay told Sales: "This is not just one example of incompetence, this is an example of the conscious interference with relevant evidence and in some situations that interference is almost inexplicable. . . . This wasn't a situation where one piece of evidence was lost or perhaps a minor piece of evidence had been despolied. There are many, many examples of where the evidence hs either been ruined or been put into a situation where, in fact, it's no longer useful to an investigation." Box tells Sales, "There is evidence to support the theory that it was murder. There is evidence to support the theory that it was suicide and there is evidence to support the theory that it was an accident. From what I've seen, there isn't evidence to say conclusively it was any one of those."

Dan Box reports in print (The Australian): "Any adverse finding is expected to rely largely on the evidence from Private Steve Carr, a soldier who served with Kovco in Baghdad." Carr is "Soldier 14," the person whose DNA was found on Jake Kovco's gun, the person who offered his theories to the inquiry on how his DNA ended up on Kovco's gun, and the person whose guesses on DNA transfer were refuted by expert witness (Michelle Franco of the NSW Department of Health's Analytical Laboratories).
Belinda Tasker (The Age) reported: "The lawyer representing Private Kovco's parents, Lieutenant-Colonel Frank Holles, asked Ms Franco whethere the fact that Soldier 14's DNA was found on the gun indicated he had touched it. Ms Franco replied: 'It is consistent with that.'"

Meanwhile Judy Kovco, mother of Jake Kovco, and Ben Kovco, his step-brother,
granted an interview to Kerry O'Brien (7:30 Report). In the interview, Judy Kovco rejects the notion that her son played with guns (a behavior 'heard of' but not seen by anyone testifying in the hearing -- what is known as "hearsay") and notes that her son grew up around guns. Box's conclusion of an the inquiry reaching an opening finding (unable to determine what happened) is something she is prepared for and also prepared that the inquiry might find that her son committed suicide "[b]ut the evidence so far, there is no way known, no, he did not shoot himself. I know what you're saying, but I'm not prepared to go along with that, because there is no way known Jake shot himself purposely."

Kerry O'Brien: That really only leaves two other possibilites, an accidental shooting by somebody else or a murder, both of which it seems to me would involve a major cover-up, a major cover-up. Do you really think that's possible?

Judy Kovco: I certainly do, yes, without a doubt.

Kerry O'Brien: Do you really think that the army would go along with that?

Judy Kovco: They've done it in the past, they have done that in the past.

the interview is getting coverage. Ben Doherty (The Age) has a piece entitled "Someone shot my son: Judy Kovco" which notes that she believes Jake Kovco was either "accidentally shot . . . or murdered". Australia's ABC leads their report with her belief that the military "would go along with a cover-up over her son's death." The Townsville Bulletin closes with Judy Kovco's statements regarding the lack of acountability and emphasizing the fact that as they waited the arrival of Jake Kovco's body, they learned that instead, somehow, Juso Sinanovic had been sent to Australia instead (a problem for Sinanovic's family in Bosnia as well): "The whole thing is just wrong to me, that these are all just acceptable. It is all just acceptable as far as they are concerned."

Box notes that Shelley Kovco (Jake Kovco's widow) is expected to provide provide a statement and that Soldier 14/Steve Carr's "credibility . . . is now expected to come under attack from lawyers representing Kovco and his family." The inquiry was thought to be winding down but, as Conor Duffy reported to Eleanor Hall (The World Today, Australia's ABC), "It's been sitting for three months, and now it seems it's going to have run a little longer. . . . It had been scheduled this week to begin wrapping up."

In Iraq, the talk of the waterless moat (or ditch) continues. The 'crackdown' hasn't worked since it started in June but apparently the moat passes for a new 'toy' or 'gadget' and we're all supposed to be excited. In the real world, the chaos and violence continued.


Al Jazeera reports "a suicide bomber blew himself up at a market in the north-western Iraqi city of Tal Afar".

Al Jazeera also reports that a car bomb "exploded at a police recruitment centre in the western Iraqi city of Ramadi" and killed at least thirteen. CBS and AP note that the Interior Ministry is stating it was two but that al-Arabiya is also noting 13. (Al Jazeera went with what the Ramadi police stated about the Ramadi explosion, not the Ministry back in Baghdad. Reuters also goes with 13.)


AFP notes four women were shot dead in Mosul and four police officers were shot dead near the Syrian border. Reuters notes that four family members were shot dead (with five more wounded) in Baquba while, in Hibhib, two family members were shot dead (two others wounded).


BBC reports that fourteen corpses were discovered in Baghdad, AFP notes three discovered and Babil and two severed heads discovered in Baiji. CBS and AP note that Lt. Col. Fawzi Abdul Karim al-Mousawi was kidnapped Sunday and his corpse was discovered in Basra today.

Turning from the corpses to the morgue,
NBC posts a report by a journalist in Baghdad, whose name is withheld, about reporting and attempting to report from the capital -- the journalist requests permission from the Minister of Health, meets a camera operator at the morgue, have the paperwork checked by an officer and . . . "gunfire erupted all around us."

Lara Logan (CBS) takes a look at life in Baghdad and reports: "This is how it works. Iraqis say: 'If they haven't found the body, then they are probably still alive. Then you can still hope.' That's the only way most people have any idea about the fate of their disapeared loved ones and friends. Sometimes they know immediately. When the lock is broken in the middle of the night and they walk into your home, through the rooms where your children sleep, and drag your sons from their beds and tear your husband out of your arms -- then, even before the bodies are found, you know the men you love most likely are never coming back. Many say the men wear uniforms -- police uniformas. The police say these uniforms are stolen or bought and have nothing to do with them. It doesn't matter anymore. The damage is done."

In Germany,
Melissa Eddy (AP) reports that Jaqueline Battles "has been arrested on suspicion of laundering her husban'd ill-gotten gains after investigators seized about $1 million from her accounts". Eddy notes Battles is a German citizen married to US citizen Mike Battles, of Custer Battles, who, along with partner Scott Custer, was ordered by jury in the United States "to pay $10 million for swindling the U.S. government over Iraqi rebuilding projects in connection with their Middletown, R.I.-based company, Custer Battles LLC."

In peace news,
Camp Democracy continues its activities in Washington DC and has extended the date for the camp to October 1st. Camp Democracy is free and open to the public. John Nichols (The Nation) took part in Sunday events focusing on the issue of impeachment and notes: "Polls and practices suggest that the citizenry well understands the necessity of holding this administration to account -- not to punish Bush or Cheney but to restore the system of checks and balances that has been so warped in this ear of executive whim and lawlessness. And 219 years into this American experiment, as we honor the Constitution that is its foundation, the message from Camp Democracy is clear: It is time to remind politicians and the pundits that: 'This Magistrate is not the King. . . The people are the King.'"

David Lindorff also participated and he notes (Baltimore Chronicle): "It was [Elizabeth] Holtzman who stole the show, with the former member of the House impeachment panel that drew up impeachment articles against Richard Nixon noting that one of those three articles was for spying on American citizens. Holtzman, who has a new book out on impeachment herself -- (The Impeachment of George W. Bush), said that when she and the others on that committee -- Democrats and Republicans alike -- unanimously voted out those articles which led to Nixon's resignation from office, 'I thought we had protected the Constitution for generations to come."

At the start of the year, Elizabeth Holtzman contributed "
The Impeachment of George W. Bush" for The Nation. Lewis Lapham's "The Case for Impeachment" (Harper's) would quickly follow, as would the Center for Constitutional Rights's Articles of Impeachment Against George W. Bush, David Lindorff and Barbara Olshansky's The Case for Impeachment (Olshansky is an attorney with the Center for Constitutional Rights), Holtzman's The Impeachment of George W. Bush and John Nichols The Genius of Impeachment: The Founders' Cure for Royalism will be published next month. (And there are other books and articles, that's only some of the ones that have come out in 2006.)

Today's events have included discussions on Iraq, tomorrow Ray McGovern and Jeff Cohen are among those taking part in Take on the Media Day (And Sherry Glaser will also do some of her standup and hold a workshop on comedy.), Wednesday's activites focus around Women's Peace Day and is joint-sponsored by
NOW and CODEPINK (among those scheduled to participate is Howard Zinn). And, to repeat, the camp has extended their schedule, they will not be ending this week but will continue to October 1st -- free and open to the public. A complete schedule can be found here

Remember Take on the Media Day?
Jeff Cohen reports (Consortium News) that the Washington "Post's inexcusable coverage before the war, and its ongoing pro-war editorial bias" is why he will be taking part in the forum on the media at Camp Democracy and that "[t]here will also be a protest march to the Washington Post headquarters that eveing." A lot of people participating and, though donations are welcome, Camp Democracy is free and open to the public. Olshansky, Lindorff, Cohen, Nichols, Holtzman, Zinn, McGovern, Elizabeth de la Vega . . . And that's just a few of the people participating. If you are in the DC area or are planning to be there, David Swanson's Camp Democracy is something to check out.