music row wants to weigh in (it's called free speech)

Country stations stopped playing the group's songs. Talk-radio hosts urged listeners to complain about Ms. Maines’s remarks. And a Nashville audience of 18,000 booed the host of a music awards show who urged forgiveness.
None of that was lost on Music Row. Democratic songwriters say that they have since hesitated to express political views, for fear of being "Dixie Chicked."

give credit to theo emery for getting the above right in his article about an effort by non-right wingers to write about the world around them in country music form.

though it's rather obvious, you'll remember (i do) that while various journalists of various ilks weighed in on the dixie chicks latest cd (get it, it's worth having) they kept repeating the lie that disc jockeys wouldn't play the group's records. they're all an old, tired and uninformed bunch. c.i. refused to note a program friends were asking to have a heads up for (tv program) due to the fact that it repeated that lie. it was as though every 1 thought it was 1950.

when ralph nader bought into the lie (a lifelong consumer advocate), c.i. did weigh in and point out the obvious: disc jockeys do not pick what they play. the playlist comes from corporate's programming director. your average dee jay on a commercial station has no say in whether the dixie chicks get played or not. (and a number wrote into the common ills to thank c.i. for noting that basic fact - 1 that 'journalists' failed to grasp as they repeated the lie that the disc jockeys were preventing the dixie chicks from getting played.)

so maybe we've all gotten a little smarter?

let's hope.

but then in the article we get an entertainment weekly 'writer' which is such a poor term. ew started when the coup at tv guide led to an exodus. for many years, they provided reporting, commentary and actual writing. now they just offer vague scribbles with lots of photos. the 'writer' also disgraced himself on a radio program where he went on and on about the politics of the dixie chicks without a) ever understanding what he was talking about and b) being patronizing to the 'little ladies.'

where is the lively, engaged coverage of the arts? not in ew and not in rolling stone. (kat and i have howled over the portrait of 'lefty' bill maher in the current issue.) crawdaddy, cream, jazz & pop and others used to add to the dialogue and they also made rolling stone take itself more seriously. with them gone, you get the nonsense of the most current issue of rolling stone where pip-squeak justy timberlake abounds in the pages (fawning passages) and his laughable 'sexy back' is praised by a magazine that should be ripping it apart. (and, in the past, would).

it's probably why tired, old and useless opinions of dylan continue to corner what passes for free exchange of ideas in today's public square. and low to the ones who refuse to toe the line. that's how sorry the music coverage is today. the thought of questioning the apparent god bob dylan is now an extreme opinion. that's because we've lost critical coverage with each publication that's died over the years. (and crap like tracks - quickly gone - only compounded the problem with sorry ass writing.) that's part of the problem with music today and part of the problem that the music people in theo's article are addressing. (i don't know the writer but i've always loved the name 'theo' and felt it should be as popular as 'john' or 'michael' so i'll just call him theo throughout. i also love 'nikolai' as a boy's name. and for those needing personal info, yes, fly boy and i are on adoption list.)

as theo's article points out (without naming names) not every 1 in country music is on the bully boy bandwagon and applauding the illegal war.

there's a laughable section (a quote, not theo) where it's offered that musicians shouldn't inject policits. theo goes to a war supporter to reject that argument. but it's really sad that it has to be rejected by a war supporter.

country music is the big long whine. truly. pop is about wishing you could get laid. (rock used to be about many things but, when it came to sex, it was about getting laid.) country, like the blues, was about the state of the world around you. some 1 cheated, some 1 died. it was headline news set to a beat. yes, there were joyous country songs but the classics most think of are the laments.

since when did lamenting a war become controversial?

since the bully boy. you can be damn sure if bill clinton were president there would be no fear of objecting to war. but with the bully boy and his corporate friends (cox, clear channel, go down the list) what's 'playable' is narrowed down. it's not just a question of 'commercial' in the sense of will people relate, it's now 'is it going to upset the conventional wisdom of the bully boy'?

if you doubt that considered clear channels 'suggestions' for songs to stop playing after 9-11 which included john lennon's massively popular 'imagine.' what's the objection there? that every 1 won't lust for 'war'?

in that climate, every 1 who believed in bully boy (or wanted to cash in - hello, toby keith!) rushed to weigh in. and the others silenced themselves or made quiot statements. so we arrive at the point where country music has to struggle to say maybe sending american troops to die in a foreign land for reasons that never panned out.

'die for lies.' that should be toby keith's next single. 'thank god i can die for lies, thank god you can die too!, gonna get me a gun, gonna go die for lies, cause i'm country, country red-white-and-blue!'

this is from aaron glantz' 'Bush Must Negotiate to Make America Safer, Say Former Generals:'

Twenty-one former generals and high ranking national security officials have called on United States President George W. Bush to reverse course and embrace a new area of negotiation with Iran, Iraq, and North Korea. In a letter released Thursday, the group told reporters Bush's 'hard line' policies have undermined national security and made America less safe.
Of particular concern for the generals was increased saber rattling between Washington and Tehran over the development of an Iranian nuclear program.

former generals can raise issues that music is scared to. that shows how dixie chicked the nation still is. it won't stop until we all get some of the dixie chicks' spirit and decide 'i'm not ready to make nice.' these aren't nice times. the war won't end via niceties of: 'well i see your point, however, when i reflect upon ...' people need to speak clearly and with bravery. mike points out that john edwards appears to be finding his voice.

so maybe nashville will as well? probably not any time soon. they've still got a lot of fake posers as 'stars' including one non-southern boy who speaks in the most obviously fake accent but we're all supposed to pretend not to notice.

it'll be struggle.

theo mentions that music row democrats have a 20 song compilation. he doesn't give the title and i don't see a title to the compilation online. you can get the 20 songs for 20 bucks (or just find out more info) by clicking here. probably a big mistake not to give it a title. kind of hard to build word of mouth with: 'yeah, i'm listening to this new thing. it's got 20 songs and it's incredible.' 'what's it called?' 'huh? don't know.' 'use your voice' is the organization's slogan. to get the slogan out and to market the compilation, they should probably consider calling it 'use your voice.'

question to ponder this weekend

so yesterday i gave a failing grade to independent media. chuck e-mailed with a few thoughts. his main thought 'i was thinking, "that's too harsh" and then i watched democracy now, today, and i saw, really nothing on ehren watada. not even a headline. nothing so i think i'll join you in giving independent media a failing grade. lousy coverage that should cause them to hang their heads in shame.'

chuck also wanted to weigh in on the jill carroll series. he noted that it's apparently hugely popular but he's waiting for an installment that's 'something more than penelope pitstop.' it's got everything but the apple dumpling gang - and journalism.

as chuck pointed out, democracy now managed to broadcast for an hour today and if you thought amy goodman was suddenly going to become interested in the article 32 hearing of ehren watada, you were wrong.

iraq is off the rader. gone. and though a jimmy breslin can call out big media, we don't see any 1 making the same point about independent media.

which is too bad because if it's not worthy of criticism then it's really not worthy of your time.

if it can't be held accountable then it is nothing more than a series of fanzines.

mike, wally, cedric, ty, dona, jim, fly boy and i went out this evening. it was a blast but it meant having to turn down an invite to a dialogue that elaine, betty and kat had. it's posted at all of their sites. make time to read it. it's wonderful.

know what else is wonderful? being missed. i was floored to discover today that my absence mattered to any 1. i was 'basement'ed to learn that c.i. missed me. now c.i. and i go back years. i never doubt our friendship. and c.i. always says encouraging things about my site. but i had no idea that my work mattered. trust me, the common ills matters. it matters to me and it matters to the community. so i was really shocked to learn from mike that my vacation impacted c.i. in any way. i checked and c.i. said, 'of course it did.' and went on to list all the reasons as to why.

while i was on vacation, before the honeymoon, i would hear from other members and they'd say, 'i wish you were back already.' but i never heard that from c.i. and i just assumed that it wasn't a big deal. i had no idea until mike was explaining to me that i was missed.

i figure i'm doing my thing here and i know it pleases a number of readers but i guess i didn't take compliments from c.i. seriously. when it's friends, you tend to think they have to say it.
but c.i. went down a long list of all the reasons i was missed (by c.i.) during my vacation.

at the end of it, i said, 'well why didn't you say that when i was on vacation?' because i was on vacation. i was sincerely missed here and i knew readers missed me (even though they loved betty's writings) but i was just really pleased to know that a friend missed me.

so i've been on a high all day. i really dig what c.i. does. online and offline. and it's hard work and time consuming. i always assume that when that's factored in and c.i.'s looking at my chicken scratches there has to be some sort of 'well, it's nice for what it is' kind of evaluation. so it was just a really pleasant surprise to learn how much i was appreciated.

so here's your question to ponder this weekend: if independent media (including democracy now) can't cover ehren watada's hearing, why does it exist? for book discussions? don't we already have c-span's booknotes?

here's c.i.'s jam-packed, information overflowing 'Iraq snapshot' that gives you the news you need:

Friday, August 18, 2006, the so-called 'crackdown' continues (and early childhood experts may note the engaged-in-a-power-struggle nature of it all as well as the increasing futility), Ehren Watada's Article 32 hearing started and concluded Thursday, Ricky Clousing returned to North Carolina and DNA on Jake Kovco's pistol is thought to have been indentified.
Ehren Watada is the first known commissioned officer to refuse to deploy in Bully Boy's illegal war. Yesterday, the military held an Article 32 hearing to determine whether there was reason/cause to take the matter to a court martial. Ehren Watada's attorneys were Eric Seitz and Cap. Mark Kim (of the US Army). While the prosecution called only one witness (to confirm that, as Watada had stated would be the case, Watada did not deploy) and spent the rest of its time showing excerpts o a speech Watada gave this weekend at the Veterans for Peace conference (click here at CounterPunch and here at Truthout and the latter offers video clips of the speech).
Watada's side called three witnesses Francis Boyle, Denis Halliday and retired Amry Colonel Ann Wight. Boyle testified as the nature of the war noting that the lie that Bully Boy pressed (for Congressional and public approval) of a link between Saddam Hussein and 9-11 "
constitutes . . . a conspiracy to defraud the United States government." Ann Wright testified: "I personally believe that the decision of the Bush administration to invade and occupy Iraq without getting the authority of the UN Security Council . . . falls into the category of a war of agrression, which is by international law a war crime. So by a persaon saying 'Yes, I'm gong to Iraq,' one could argue that just by doing that, that is participating in a war crime.'"
As Eric Seitz had expected/predicted, the hearing lasted one day. Watada could find that the hearing determined there were no grounds for proceeding to a court-martial or a court-martial could be the next step. That call will be made by
Lt. Colonel Mark Keith who presided over the hearing. A court-martial could mean as many as seven years imprisonment.
Ehren's father Bob Watada will be in the San Francisco Bay Area on a speaking tour that starts tomorrow and ends August 27th. A full list of scheduled appearances can be
found here. A sample of upcoming events includes:

Saturday 8/19
Vigil for Abeer Hamza (14-year old girl who was raped & killed with her family by 5 US troops) Willard Park (Telegraph & Derby), Berkeley Contact: Not in Our Name 510-601-8000 Sunday 8/20
American Muslim Voice Foundation Convention
12:45-1 pm Bob Watada speaks 5748 Mowry School Rd., Newark Contact: Samina F. Sundas 650-387-1994
http://www.amuslimvoice.org Monday 8/21
Press Conference SF Japantown (Peace Plaza or NJAHS Gallery) Contact: Grace Morizawa
gmorizawa [at] yahoo.com 510-289-1285 Monday 8/21
Reception & Event in SF Japantown Japanese Community & Cultural Center of NC (JCCCNC) 1840 Sutter, San Francisco Contact: Pete Yamamoto 415/921-5007

Tuesday 8/22
1-3 pm brown bag lunch & educational event Peace & Justice Center of Sonoma County 467 Sebastopol Ave., Santa Rosa Contact: Elizabeth 707-575-8902

Wednesday 8/23
UC Berkeley gathering with students and campus organizers Heller Lounge, Student Union Building, UC Berkeley Contact: Nina Falleunbaum 510-812-8026 noon-1:30pm Event at UC Berkeley ­ Sproul Plaza Contact: Wesley Ueunten 510-579-2711

Thursday 8/24
World Can't Wait­Youth & Students Conference San Francisco (site TBA) Contact: Jessalyn Gagui 415-286-3408

Friday 8/25
7-10pm "
Sir! No, Sir!"
Film Screening & Speakers Santa Cruz Veterans Building Contact: Sharon Kufeldt 650-799-1070

Again, a full list can be found by clicking
here (Indybay IMC).
Once again,
Cedric (Cedric's Big Mix) is advising those calling Donald Rumsfeld (703-545-6700) or mailing him (1000 Defense Pentagon, Washington, DC 20301-1000) to say: "Hands off Ehren Watada! Let him go." Billie advises that you can use public@defenselink.mil to e-mail the Pentagon. She suggests "Re: Ehren Watad" or "ATTN: DONALD RUMSFELD." Courage to Resist and ThankYouLt.org. will continue to offer resources, ideas and inspiration. Get the word out.
In addition
Howie Hawkins (Green Party candidate for US Senate from NY) is urging "the peace movement to provide financial support to soldiers who are punished for refusing to participate in the war." And, as many community members have noted, while there's been a "How Can They!" attitude regarding Hillary Clinton's Democratic opponent not being invited to a TV debate, the Green Party candidate is shut out as well -- despite the lack of op-eds, news segments, et al. (The Green Party candidate would be Howie Hawkins.)
Another war resister, Ricky Clousing, is back at Fort Bragg in North Carolina. The
AP reports that he arrived back this morning. Clousing self-checked out of the army in June of last year. Last week, Mike Barber (Seattle Post-Intelligencer) had the scoop that the 24-year-old Clousing would be holding a news conference to announce he was turning himself in. Estes Thompson reports that after turning himself in at Fort Lewis in Washington, he was ordered "to report to a unit at Fort Bragg that handles absent soldiers."
Turning to diplomacy issues, as trade talks went on in Jordan this week, talks
which Petra noted were "co-chaired by Speaker of the Lower House of the [Jordan] Parliament Abdel Hadi Al Majali and his Iraqi counterpart Mahmoud Al Masshadani," Jordan's Ahmed al-Lozi became "the first fully accredited Arab ambassador in Iraq."
Meanwhile in the United States,
Free Speech Radio News reported Thursday that "twenty-one former generals and high ranking national security officials called on President Bush to reverse course . . . and embrace a new area of negotiation with Iraqn, Iraq and North Korea." Speaking with Andrea Lewis on KPFA's The Morning Show today, Medea Benjamin noted that while the US administration makes no efforts to reach out to the Iraqi parliament, "we at the grass roots [level] have." Benjamin was referring to the CODEPINK & Global Exchange sponsored trip to Amman, Jordan where she and others met with Iraqis including the "members of the largest Shia coalition, the largest Sunni block in their parliament, the largest secular coalition, torture victims from Abu Ghraib."
Benjamin observed, "It was quite an amazing coming together of people who, from all different perspectives, wanted to see an end to the US occupation, an end to the violence in Iraq, the reconstruction of their country and we came awy from there, Andrea, with a lot of ideas about how to get the voices of the Iraqi people out in the US so that when we hear that same old excuse here 'We can't leave the Iraqi people now!' we can hear the voice of Iraqis telling us precisely how they want to see an end to the occupation and a broader reconciliation plan."
This comes as
Robert Reid (AP) reports that: "Key U.S. senators complain it's time to tell Iraqis that American troops won't stay indefinitely and to make political compromises to avoid all-out civil war." This as a Dick Cheney stump speech/plea for cash turned into an event. Jesse Harlan Alderman (AP) reports that a Boise, Idaho fund raiser included protestors in "orange [hunting] vests handing out leaflets on hunter safety"; "[p]eace activists silently lining a major downtown arterial with tombstones to mark the mounting death toll in Iraq"; and a "Dick Cheney look-alike contest" with an award of "$22 in free gas and a box of shotgun shells" (and hopefully a list of qualified plastic surgeons).
In Iraq, the chaos and violence continue. Despite 'crackdown' 6.0 which now means that all vehicles are banned for two-days in the capital.
Reuters reports that this ban has been imposed due to the one-year anniversary of the stampeded that killed almost "1,000 Shi'ite pilgrims . . . in a stampede . . . when a crowd . . . was panicked by rumours of a suicide bomber." Al Jazeera notes that the ban is in place until Monday morning. The BBC reports that, in addition to the vehicle ban, there are "[c]heckpoints, [and] body searches". Exactly how vehicle bans, checkpoints or body searches will stop rumors (the stated cause of last year's stampeded) remains unclear.
CBS and the Associated Press report that in Balad Ruz, a roadside bomb claimed killed at least one person. KUNA reports that today it was announced that a "multi-national force (MNF) soldier" died in southern Baghdad on Thursday from a roadside bomb. Deutsche Presse-Agentur reports that the "British military base near Amarah" was under mortar attack "Friday morning." [In the United States, Amy Bartner (Indianapolis Star) reports on a "new 11-bed unit . . . at the Roudebush Veterans Affairs Medical Center where the most seriously wounded soldiers in the Iraq war will be able to recover" and notes that while body armor is credited with saving the lives of American troops, "that protection can't prevent potentially debilitating injuries to arms and legs".] Australia's NEWS.com notes that a mortar attack on a city council member in Baquba wounded "[f]our bodyguards."
Shootings?In Taji, a convoy ("civilian trucks") was attacked leaving one person wounded and a 'guard' dead
the AP reports. Australia's NEWS.com reports that the truck went up in flames and had been carrying "kerosene" while also noting that a grocer was shot dead in Yarmuk. (Other press outlets do not identify what the truck was carrying.) Australia's The Advertiser reports that seven Shi'ite pilgrmins were shot dead by "gunmen" in Baghdad. KUNA reports that "two civilians" were shot dead in Mosul.
AP reports five were discovered in Mahmoudiya ("gunshot wounds"). The Canadian Press notes the five and adds that six more were discovered "in the Tigris River" ("bullet-riddled and tortured").
CBS and AP report that journalist Saif Abdul-Jabbar al-Tamimi was kidnapped Wednesday and that "[t]here has been no claim of responibility". Reporters Without Borders notes that he was kidnapped in Baghdad as were journalists Reem Zeid and Marwan Khazaal who "have been hostages for more than six months" now while journalist Salah Jali al-Gharrawi has not been seen since his April 4th kidnapping. Reporters Without Borders notes: "A total of 49 journalists and media assistants have been kidnapped in Iraq since the start of the war in March 2003. Instead of being afforded a degree of security by the fact that they work for the media, journalists have been singled out as targets."
AFP reports that Father Saad Syrop was kidnapped, also from Baghdad, Tuesday evening after he had finished Mass (at St. James Church) and was heading home.
In Australia, the inquiry into the April 21st death in Baghdad of Jake Kovco resumed. Following Wednesday's hypnosis shocker, an unscheduled day-off was taken due to reported delays with DNA test that might reveal the 'owner' of the DNA found on Kovco's gun. As
Michael Edwards reports on PM (Australia's ABC) Michelle Franco ("DNA expert") testified that the DNA belongs to Soldier 14. Reporting on The World Today (ABC), Edwards noted that "Soldier's 14's DNA was found on the gun's slide, trigger, base plate, and magazine."
Soldier 14 previously testified to the hearing
on August 9th and dropped a bombshell when he testified that the (written) statements provided to the military investigation were not reflective of his (verbal) statements -- specifically, as Peter Charlton (Courier-Mail) noted this included the claim that there was a standard procedure (the so-called 'buddy system') in operation "where a pair of soldiers check each other's weapons to ensure they were unloaded."
Herald-Sun reports that only the DNA "on the pistol's slide" were ruled by expert Franco to be a direct match (DNA on the "trigger, hand grip and magazine" are believed, by Franco, to be Soldier 14's but are "not direct matches.") Tracy Ong (The Australian) reports that Soldier 14 testified, after the DNA results, that he had no memory of handling Jake Kovco's gun and that his attorney ("Lieutenant Colonel Bruce Green") cross-examined Franco who noted that skin celles "could be transferred through a handshake or carried in sweat."
AAP calls the DNA "[s]ensational new evidence," notes that "Soldier 14 has refused to be interviewed by police about the tests" and reports that "Monday . . . Soldier 14 will be cross-examined by lawyers representing Private Kovco's widow, Shelley, and his parents" Judy and Martin Kovco.
Daily Telegraph notes that Soldier 14 believes "that both he and Pte Kovco had probably used the same megaphone at the embassy on the day of the shooting" and that's where any DNA swap would have most likely taken place.
Finally, in peace news,
Camp Casey III is ongoing in Crawford, Texas until September 2nd -- on September 5th it switches locations and becomes Camp DC. AFP reports that it "will be located near the National Mall, the blocks-long expanse of lawn between the US Congress building and the White House". While it's still located in Crawford, upcoming events include the following: August 18th forum on peaceful solutions moderated by Carroll Boone and an August 21st War Crimes Tribunal. Actress and activist Mimi Kennedy, of Progressive Democrats of America, will be there on August 20th along with Carolyn Wonderland who will perform from 7:30 to 9:30 pm.


failing grade

if you were giving indymedia a grade, what grade would you give it?

would you pass them?

i wouldn't. i think indymedia has earned a failing grade as a group.

ehren watada's article 32 hearing began today and you know who covered it and who didn't. you know, probably, that amy goodman covered aids today. you know that we were all supposed to give snaps for the ricky cousling interview last friday but you're probably aware that, just as the mainstream broke that story, it's the mainstream that's covered ehren watada this week.

when did democracy now go to camp casey? last year. they didn't go this year. it wasn't important this year. ehren watada's hearing isn't important.

i wouldn't write on goodman's report 'needs improvement,' i'd give her a flat out F. she's earned it.

tomorrow ehren watada isn't even on the schedule. why is that?

ann wright will be testifying. james yee was present today. where the hell is indymedia?

they're off on this and that and a little bit of whatever.

the indymedia that promoted itself as the only true voice on the war has moved on.

did we get a roundtable featuring tom hayden, cindy sheehan, medea benjamin and others discussing what points were raised at the peace meeting in jordan? no, we didn't.

did we get coverage of camp casey? no, we didn't.

are we getting coverage of ehren watada? no, we're not.

so spare us the speeches on how damn important independent media is.

a lot of people spent a lot of time building it up and getting the word out on it. and now? it's basically larry king live with left voices. it's the same sort of easy topics (and easy discussions) we get from larry. larry's pure corn, he's always been, he always will be.

i don't believe he presents himself as the last voice of truth.

maybe some in indymedia who've presented themselves as the last voice of truth need to find a new selling point?

what's the deal here?

we heard firey speeches about judith miller stenography, about how the voices of peace were shut out of the discussion, about how iraq wasn't treated seriously, about how the focus was on the bombs and rockets going off and not where they landed.

wonderful speeches. but where's the effort to apply that critique?

no where to be found. because the coverage of iraq is non-existant.

matter of emphasis? sins of omission? do those phrases sound familiar?

is independent media not guilty of the same thing now with iraq?

yes, they are. they've made themselves a joke.

the nation has another laughable 'ACT NOW!'this one on global warming. no 'ACT NOW!' on ehren watada. as some 1 who takes the environment very seriously, i honestly find that and the nonsense of 'save the world in 1 e-mail' laughable. those are long term problems and an e-mail alert is useless. there are issues where it can matter. those are short-term issues (such as stopping the drilling somehwere).

ehren watada? what would the pentagon do if an action alert went out on watada?

i guess we'll never know.

and those counting on the nation to tell them what's happening right now that they can make a difference on probably won't know either because there's no interest in watada.

does any 1 think this is cutting it?

some 1 must because we keep hearing about elections over and over. 'quick, get behind this candidate or that candidate and they will save you!' the only fucking that saves any of us is using our voices and standing up. politicians don't save us. they only act, as howard zinn has written over and over, when there is pressure on them to act.

but sometime after the 2006 election, we'll hear about other topics. for now, it's all about this heor and that hero.

be your own damn hero. get your ass to a bookstore or public library and check out some books by howard zinn (elaine's favorite writer). (her all time best birthday, according to her, was when c.i. and i took her to hear howard zinn speak. we also took her out to eat which she can't remember now but she remembers, all these years later, hearing howard zinn speak. why? because zinn knows the power is yours.)

ehren watada's a hero. he's standing up. and i bet he won't be on whatever the dumb ass time/warner channel is. but that won't be addressed this week.

does ehren watada matter to you? (i know he does.) he doesn't matter to our independent media.

you let viewers, listeners and readers know what matters by what you choose to emphasize. you can count on 1 hand the outlets emphasing ehren watada. (i'm using 'indymedia' in this entry but, to be clear, i'm not referring to the indymedia/imc websites which do cover things that matter.)

i was very happy going through today's e-mails. apparently a number of you were feeling that there wasn't anything in your area so that meant you didn't have anything to do. (i'd argue that the lack of coverage of watada also added into that sense of helplessness - 1 of the things independent media should have to answer to.)

independent media has made themselves a joke in the last few weeks. they have no 1 to blame for that but themselves. 1st they decided that, like cnn, they must offer round-the-clock, wall-to-wall coverage of 1 topic and 1 topic only. then they seemed to be lost because of the supposed cease fire. (the cease fire never applied to gaza, never does.) so now they chase after aids, the environment, recently released books, bully boy's terror nonsense (they're working real hard to show you how it was a lie - a point most grasped last week, if they go beyond the mainstream news sources) and just about any other issue they can revisit without doing too much work.

well it's the summer, maybe every 1 thinks they've earned a break?

they haven't. and there message of savior through elections is a false 1.

if the democrats end up in control of both houses after the november election, nothing's changing because of that. the only thing that will change it is the pressure from you and me on our elected officials. so it's more than upsetting to read these 'hero of the week' pieces on ned lamont.

i've noted already that fly boy and i asked, as our wedding gift, that his family vote for ned lamont. i've noted that we cut our honeymoon short so he could be there to vote for lamont.

i obviously support ned lamont.

i don't kid myself that he wins the general election and all the problems are over. but i read some of the commentaries and wonder about the intelligence/awareness of the people writing the commentaries?

if independent media were graded just on whether they were the voice of the people (as opposed to the voice of corporations as big media is), just on that they'd get a failing grade.

the fawning over ned lamont doesn't empower any 1 and, especially when it comes from people who weren't even in the position to vote for him, it's really embarrassing.

a lot of people seem to think they've covered iraq if they've lined up to weigh in on ned lamont.

they've done no such thing. and independent media needs to get serious and quit trying to be 1 more gas bag 'but from the left!'

laura flanders has a very basic message that boils it down beautifully: don't leave politics to the politicians. how often in the coverage from indymedia lately have you heard that message reinforced?

you can argue, 'well that's laura flander's message.' it is her message and we've seen many steal it. we saw it pop up most recently in the nation, in a really bad article, by an atlantic monthly/new yorker refugee who was happy to use it (to advance her war cause) while failing to credit flanders for it.

how do you do that? how do you steal some 1's catch phrase, not credit them for it, and be proud of what you've written?

probably the same way that, as iraq has turned into an even greater tragedy, you kid yourself that being the millionth person to weigh in on the ned lamont victory some how means you covered iraq.

in these times appears to think it's tv guide juding from it's main page. want to know who's on comedy central tonight? well just go to in these times. you can slo read about 'chick lit' being hemingway. such deep thoughts but then they've added the woman who doesn't think we should leave iraq. they stabbed david lindorff in the back when he wrote about reality (depleted urainium) used in iraq. so they're useless all around. apparently the founder's death has allowed them to become about as meaningful as aaron spelling tv drama.

as it's gone from biweekly to triweekly to monthly it becomes more and more obvious that the best thing it can do at this point is cease publication. (give it time.) today it is home to the thinly superficial - tackling the hard hitting issues of today - whether hemmingway is chick lit and how f. scott fitzgeral applies today between shout outs to comedy central.

it's amazing when you think of how iraq woke up the nation to the importance of indymedia. it drove readers and listeners and viewers to indymedia. and now they're being fed dopey thoughts from a dopey woman who appears to believe that research and writing do not go hand in hand.

last weekend, chuck asked me in an e-mail if i thought i might be being too hard on indymedia?

that's a fair question. and as i've watched, listened and read this week, i've returned to chuck's question repeatedly.

but as i've read commentary that reads like some 1 picked up the times about 20 seconds before writing their lamont pieces or noticed who did and who did not cover ehren watada, noted that nancy a. youssef's should-have-been groundbreaking article that the u.s. was indeed keeping count of iraqi civilians who died, i've had to ask myself, what am i being encouraged to consume?

chick lit? the same 'brain' who couldn't make a call to find out if a tv show (1 she chose to write about) had a promotional budget (it did, contrary to her assertion) now wants to feed me chick lit. well, we know where she stands on the war, right next to thomas friedman basically.

i've read a supposed 'progressive' demonize hugo chavez. i've read a lot of thoughts on the lamont victory from people who don't appear to have ever set foot in conn. (maybe they flew over or drove through?) i've been left with the impression that the cure for all that ills the nation can be found by vegging out on the couch during comedy central and that our leaders just need our votes, not to be held accountable. i've learned that the biggest blow to our democracy is the possible cancellation of a really bad radio show (and was encouraged to let the company know how much i enjoy a show that is boring beyond belief and only causes headaches since the now solo host can't stop yelling in a whiny voice that most men grow out of by the time they hit puberty).

i haven't seen much that really did matter. 1 e-mail, which i'll post below in full, seemed to come from a thinking adult which may be the rarest of species as we gear up for non-stop election coverage:

The chaos and violence sweeping the Middle East make clear that the region is farther from peace than ever, and that real dangers continue to grow. The longer this Administration fails to lead, the more dangerous the world becomes for all of us.
It's essential for President Bush to lay out a timetable as to how long our troops will be tied down in his misguided war in Iraq, and when they will be withdrawn.
The truth is as painful as it is simple: American troops in Iraq are trapped in an increasingly bloody civil war between Sunni and Shiite sectarian groups, with no end in sight. Even as the massacres increase in intensity and ferocity, the Bush Administration and Republican Congress continue to ignore the needless danger our troops now face.
As I've said all along, this is a fraudulent and unnecessary war -- a reckless decision by a President whose failed leadership has put our nation's brave sons and daughters in peril.
It's obvious from recent right wing "red-meat" legislation in Congress that the only timetable the Bush Administration and his Rubber-Stamp Republican Congress care about is the November election -- and that's not acceptable. It's time for the President to face up to his failed policy and explain his plan for withdrawing American troops from Iraq.
Will you join me in the call for a new direction in Iraq? Please answer with your name:
The situation in Iraq demands an exit strategy, and it's essential for the President to explain to the nation what his exit strategy is.
No one should fall into the Republican trap of saying disengagement is defeat. The truth is the opposite: disengagement is part of the solution in Iraq. Our overwhelming military presence and our open-ended military commitment are part of the problem. They fuel the insurgency, offer a false crutch for the Iraqi government, undermine our respect in the world, and make the war on terrorism harder to win.
Yet President Bush is preparing to spend the month of August traveling throughout the United States, defending the war in cities and towns across the country. Despite what he'll say to handpicked GOP crowds at his "events," two simple facts remain: there were no WMD's in Iraq, and Saddam Hussein was not part of 9/11.
Enough is enough. The American people don't want our troops bogged down endlessly in Iraq, defending the same failed strategy. Help me send a clear message to President Bush: the Iraqi people have elected a democratic government, and it's time for American troops to begin to come home.
Congress as the elected representatives of the people should be forcing this administration to justify its decisions and holding it accountable for them.
But this Rubber-Stamp Republican Congress won't do that. It can't be trusted to keep us safe.
We need better leadership in Congress, and fortunately, the American people can give us that in November.
We need to speak out loudly and clearly today and every day that action is needed now to refocus our priorities on the real threats to America. If the Republican leadership won't hold the White House accountable for its failed leadership, the American people must hold the Republican Party accountable in November. Join me and send that message:
The best hope for the success of the new Iraqi government is for us to begin disengaging from Iraq, and it from us. The Iraqi government must begin to make its own decisions, make the necessary compromises to avoid full-scale civil war, and take responsibility for its own future.
Ted Kennedy

i'm not saying 'praise be ted.' he is the senator i've voted for (repeatedly) but what i'm saying is that compared to the coverage i've gotten from indymedia, ted is a giant surrounded by ants.
independent media has written nothing as grown up or powerful (or spoken) in months.

if indymedia wants support, it needs to do its job. it hasn't (with few exceptions - community members know the exceptions). i give it a failing grade.

chuck's question? no, i don't think i'm being too hard on indymedia. i think every 1 else is being far too soft on it.

i'd noted, in what chuck was responding to, the partisanship. he was confused that and i'll take full responsibilty for that confusion. i'm a lefty. independent media that is the voice of the democratic party (the party i always vote for) isn't independent. i'm not seeing a lot of feet to the fire. i am seeing the usual here-comes-the-elections-let's-all-hop-on-board coverage.

i'm sure naomi klein's book that she's working on will be wonderful. i'll snap it up as soon as it comes out. but a voice like klein or howard zinn or take your pick (it's a short list) isn't that common. instead we get party hacks trying to pass themselves off as independent writers. that's what i met by 'partisanship.' it's time once again to put issues on hold as we rally around the party. the damage, as naomi klein has noted, done to the peace movement as we were instructed to table iraq and get behind john kerry was huge.

the peace movement is damaged yet again in this election cycle.

that's what i met by 'partisanship.' when issues disappear to be substituted with talking points and hero worshipping of candidates. neither of which will save the country but, election cycle after election cycle, we all are supposed to pretend it will. just like we were supposed to pretend last week and nod in agreement as judith miller was scapegoated for linking 9-11 to iraq when, in fact, that linkage was made chris hedges. just as we're supposed to pretend that his outing a source who burned him on that story cleaned the slate when, in fact, his article (look it up online at the new york times) cites 2 sources, 2 defectors he spoke to and he's only outed 1.

no matter what the outlet, we're not supposed to ask, 'who was your 2nd source?' and, most importantly, we're supposed to pretend that judith miller, and not chris hedges, wrote that saddam hussein had training camps for hijacking planes. that wasn't judith miller's story.

i didn't defend miller when she was in jail here. i was very clear that it wasn't my issue. i think she's a liar and i think she got what she deserved (both in terms of jail - karmically) and in terms of losing her position at the paper. but i do draw the line at inventing things she supposedly did or pinning the blame on her for an article some 1 else wrote for the new york times.

and speaking of the paper, i'm not impressed with b.s. of how 'we are the times!' uh, no, we're not. we're not a multi-billion corporation that sits on stories, some of which it will print and some of which it kills forever. i'm not impressed that the hardest hitting criticism comes from c.i. and not 1 of the supposed watchdogs.

recently, you probably saw it, there was an action alert from a watchdog imploring you to hold the paper of no record accountable for their pushing nuclear energy as safe and good for the environment. i believe it was c.i. who covered that in 2005. in fact i know it was because c.i. held felicity barringer's feet to the fire on that crap article she wrote which was the new position of the paper. and, as community members know, felicity complained in an e-mail that she wanted shared at the site (it was). so to discover this summer that the paper of no record was pushing nuclear energy as safe and environmental is just a little late in the fucking game.

and where have the watchdogs been on rita katz? who made the difference there? not any of the watchdogs.

i'm sick of cowards who can't do their job. cowards who have an article on how the military fed dexy filkins propaganda that he ran with and the new york times printed and they want to talk about fox news? get real.

that's why monies go to charities and not indymedia. and on the issue of iraq this summer has been the summer when indymedia proved just how useless they were. failing grade. they earned it. chuck can offer his own grade (and if he wants it noted or his comments, i'll be happy to do so - he is a regular reader). but i'm not seeing anything worth applauding. i'm seeing a lot of cowardice, i'm seeing a lack of focus and i'm seeing, most of all, a message of helplessness - 'save me politician! save me!'

while other's play, c.i. is left to do the heavy lifting for yet another day. here's the 'Iraq snapshot'
because the war's not over even though the interestin it is gone from indymedia:

Thursday, August 17, 2006 -- the first day of Ehren Watada's Article 32 hearing which will determine whether or not to start a court martial inquiry over his refusal to deploy to Iraq and fight in an illegal war, chaos and violence continue in Iraq with the seat of the 'crackdown' being rocked with bombs, in Australia, the Jake Kovco inquiry follows up yesterday's hypnosis shocker by grabbing an unscheduled day off, a new studay finds that Iraqis opinions of Americans have dropped further as the war has dragged on, and the political 'death' of Mahmoud al-Mashhadani still seems premature.
Today, the Article 32 hearing began and
Melanthia Mitchell (AP) reports that the military is showing video from last weekend's Veterans for Peace conference as part of their 'evidence.' AP also reports that "The prosecution played a total of three video clips with comments Watada made over the weekend as well as on June 7, when he publicly announced his decision to refuse deployment." The speech Watada gave is here at CounterPunch and here at Truthout which also includes the video option (QuickTime and Windows Media). In addition KPFA's Flashpoints played one part of the speech yesterday night and, presumably, will air the second part today or later this week (Flashpoints airs at 5:00 pm PST, 7:00 pm Central and 8:00 pm EST -- can be heard archived at the show's website, archived at KPFA or live while the show broadcasts).
What did Watada actually say as opposed to what did the military argue? If your indymedia choices have been following this, you know this already. If they've not made time or space for Watada this week, that may say something about the quality of your go-to indynews outlet.
Cedric (Cedric's Big Mix) is advising those calling to leave a message for Donald Rumsfeld (703-545-6700) or mailing him (1000 Defense Pentagon, Washington, DC 20301-1000) to say: "Hands off Ehren Watada! Let him go." Billie advises that you can use public@defenselink.mil to e-mail the Pentagon. She suggests "Re: Ehren Watad" or "ATTN: DONALD RUMSFELD." You can also check Courage to Resist and ThankYouLt.org. for the latest developments.
On his decision to say "no" to the illegal war,
Watada told Melanthia Mitchell (AP): "You don't join the military just to blindly follow whatever orders you're given. An order to go to an unlawful and immoral war based on false pretenses is no different than to kill innocent civilians."
Writing at The Huffington Post,
Peter Laufer notes the stands of Watada, Ricky Clousing and others. Peter Laufer observers: "With polls showing an increasing majority of Americans now opposed to the war, the question hangs in the air: When will our society honor and appreciate those soldiers who refuse to follow orders to fight in Iraq?"
Moving to an item a friend's wanted noted for the last two days: Where is Mahmoud al-Mashhadani? On Tuesday, Mahmoud al-Mashhadani was
'the' news in many Iraq reports. Was he on his way out? One report noted that al-Mashhadani didn't return a phone call -- why was that? Marie Cocco (Truthdig) offers today that he's "openly toying with relinquishing his post". From where? From where is he openly toying with the idea? Juan Cole (Salon) offers that "when the Iraqi parliament reconvenes next month, the first item on the agenda will be firing Mashhadani." Cole feels that al-Mashhadani "has put his foot in his mouth too many times." al-Masshadani may very well be on the way out next month but right now he is in Jordan working on a trade agreement. It's an interesting part of the story left out of the mainstream media's he's-so-out-of-here narrative. Whether or not he remains speaker after the parliament reconvenes may be influenced by what's going on in Jordan.
While that may (or may not) influence how he is seen upon return, other observations were noted today.
The World Values Surveys ("collaborative project between the Univeristy of Michigan Institute for Social Research and Eastern Michigan University) has relased their survey results which found (a) from 2004 to 2006, the percentage of Iraqis (surveyed) stating they did not want Americans as neighbors went from 87% to 90%; (b) 76% surveyed feel the US invaded "to control Iraqi oil"; (c) while 27% of respondents in 2004 felt that religion and politics should be separate, that figure is up to 41% for 2006; and (d) in 2004, 46% of Iraqis surveyed agreed that "In Iraq these days life is unpredictable and dangerous" -- the 2006 figures finds the percentage in agreement has climbed to 59%.
And on the ground in Iraq today? The usual drill.
Michael R. Gordon, Mark Mazzetti and Thom Shanker (New York Times) reported that 1,666 bombs exploded in Iraq during the month of July (presumably this only covers bombings not called in by US forces). Bombings have continued in August. The BBC reports that a car bomb in Baghdad ("Sadr City district") took the lives of at least seven people and wounded an additional 25. The two month old 'crackdown' has not had any noticeable impact on safety in the region. AFP reports on two car bombs ("went off in rapid succession"), also in Baghdad, that left at least 65 wounded and at least 14 dead. Alister Bull (Scotsman) observes that the violence in the capital underscores "the precarious security situation as US and Iraqi forces try to stem sectarian violence." Reuters notes that a car bomb wounded three police officers in "west-central Baghdad". AFP characterizes it as "a sucide bomber" and notes that two civilians were also injured.
Outside of Baghdad,
Reuters notes a roadside bomb in Daquq leaving two dead and a third wounded; mortar rounds wounded 21 in Muqdadiya in Sinjar, nine were wounded by "a suicide car bomber". Al Jazeera notes that the mortar attack in Muqdadiya took place in a market and that three police officers were among the wounded.
Reuters notes that a police officer (Lieutenant Colonel Abdul-llah Abdul-Kareem) was shot dead in Mosul while an unidentified police officer was shot in Falluja. AFP reports that "[a]nother six people were killed in a string of shootings in and around Baquba" and notes three brothers who owned a store together, "a salesman," a man whose car was stolen by assailants who then killed him, and a "civilian . . . shot dead in a coffee shop."
BBC reports that five corpses were discovered "near . . . Suwayra". Al Jazeera reports it was six and notes they were "mutilated." Reuters goes with six and notes that
the corpses were discovered "blindfolded . . . hands bound . . . multiple gunshot wounds" while the
AFP notes five being discovered and adds that two more corpses were discovered "near Muqdadiyah". Reuters also notes that an Iraqi soldier was discovered shot to death (thirteen shots to the head) in Balad "a day after he was kidnapped."
In peace news,
Matthew D. LaPlante and Rebecca Walsh (Salt Lake Tribune) report that Cindy Sheehan will visit Salt Lake City to protest Bully Boy who will be speaking to the American Legion August 31st. Kelly Patterson of Brigham Young University states that the protest may be larger than when Bully Boy spoke in Salt Lake City the year prior: "What's changed over the last year is public opinion about the war itself. Those kinds of shifts provide energy to people who feel very strongly about the war and its conduct. That makes this a more divisive environment -- even in Utah." KSL radio reports that "Sheehan indicated that Mayor [Rocky] Anderson had extended an invitation for her [to] come to Salt Lake and participate in the planned protest. Sheehan will give a speech during the protest at the city-county building downtown".
Camp Casey III continues through September 2nd and Camp DC opens September 5th and runs through the 21st to coincide with a week's worth of events lasting from September 21st to September 28th.
Writing on Sheehan's hospitalization last week,
Missy Comley Beattie (CounterPunch) notes that a transfusion of five-pints of blood were required and compares that need to needs within this country. Comley Beattie concludes: "We are bleeding as a result of the president's insatiable lust for power." Noting Sheehan's return to Camp Casey III this summer, Cynthia Hall Clements (MinutemanMedia.org) observers: "The question should not be why Sheehan is the lone voice in the wilderness protesting for peace. The question should be why more of us aren't doing the same."
In Australia, the inquiry into the April 21st death of soldier Jake Kovco in Baghdad took an unscheduled day off.
AAP reports that DNA tests were to be covered and whether or not "they had identified the source of DNA on the gun that killed Pte Kovco in his Iraq barracks." The inquiry is expected to resume on Friday.


get the word out on ehren watada - don't count on the desk jockeys

tomorrow ehren watada's article 32 hearing begins. did you do your part today? did you do anything?

i've got a lot of e-mails today and i see the usual 1s who do have done again - courtney and goldie (and goldie's mother marlene) for instance and stevie surprised me with her e-mail. so you 3 worked that run way. the rest of you? either you're awfully shy or you didn't do anything.

now i've got 1 from anna and i've got no problem with her. she's up front that she's not sure what to do. she said she's calling the pentagon tomorrow (703-545-6700) but she feels unsure what else to do? she did try to find something in her area and there was nothing. so what can she do besides call and say she support ehren watada?

now that's a good question. and maybe that's why the usual group that writes to tell me of their activism didn't today. (or maybe every 1 is still being active? i'm writing earlier than usual.) okay so nothing's going on in your area, what do you do?

do your own thing. that was the message of goldie and marlene's house party. you don't need to wait. you do your thing. now sometimes i see an e-mail from somebody who says they're not big on group activities. that's fine. i know friends like that (t's like that). you don't want to march with some 1 else's drum, march to your own.

but make some noise.

bang your own drum to your own tune but make some noise.

how many people did you see today? how many times did you bring up ehren watada?

hey, amy goodman didn't mention him. i don't see any of our print magazines writing about him on their web sites not even in an 'ACT NOW' kind of way. i see that every 1 and their dog is still weighing in on the ned lamont race.

way to go to the well and draw another pail.

not much of a way to provide support or help the movement.

i read this 1 laughable piece about lamont. from a wanna-be-beltway insider (can you guess who?) and it was all about stop slamming the net roots and blah blah blah.

i read that and thought, 'she has no idea what she's talking about.'

i read the lamont coverage and groan. that's my in-laws' state, that's the race my husband voted in. ralph nader is the only 1 who's gotten it right about that race. (1 more got it right and before nader, community member brady who wrote about it in the round-robin before nader wrote about it.)

and didn't c.i. call it this morning?

And the issue is will you be silent? You can count on a lot of people being silent, it's a given. Probably something happened on cable last night (with all the channels, something had to happen). Or there will be some other event to talk about or comment on. This is what we need to spend some of our time focusing on today (and we can do that -- while all things media big and small lost interest in Iraq, we continued to focus).

so when we got done, i made a point to check out some of the website and see who'd bothered to note it today. i didn't see any of websites to mags and online mags noting it.

i did see an idiot (another woman and i do try to be supportive of women but when you're an idiot, you're an idiot) explain - from her desk - what the movement was today and how it's not like vietnam and how bully boy is so different because in vietnam you had a policy that predated and blah blah blah.

how stupid are you? are you stupid as you write?

bully boy's continuing bill clinton's policies (just as clinton continued poppy bush's policy). now bully boy's ramped it up like when nixon bombed cambodia and ramped up lbj's plan but quit kidding your readers, step away from the beltway and trying telling the damn truth. jeremy scahill and dahr jamail tell the truth.

why do you think hillary didn't oppose the iraq war? because it continued her husband's policies.

we've been in a low-grade war with iraq for years.

so save your little speeches about how different it is.

you sound like an uninformed idiot.

why can bill clinton still not say the war is wrong? why does he play dumb when david letterman brings up the downing street memos? because the policies got juiced up under the bully boy but they were in place. they were continued under the bully boy in an extreme form.

so the desk jockey tells us what the movement's like today and she's got nothing to say about ehren watada, nothing to say about ricky clousing and nothing to say about anything.

for some 1 so damn determined to swear it's nothing like vietnam, she can't seem to leave vietnam behind her as she plays compare & contrast.

maybe if she, i don't know, followed what was happening, she could have made a case for how today is different?

it's not that different. what is it with all the 'it's so different' talk? it's a bunch of people who probably did a little, tiny bit of activism in their younger years and now live in fear of that sort of activism returning (let alone being amplified).

so you get a woman, with hair like a bag lady, telling you that it's nothing like the 60s but unable to talk about today. what rallies has she been at? i'm sure it looks quite different in snippets on tv then it does up close.

in this country activism is rising and all the scared little 60s types who want to keep playing like it's not going on aren't all that different from the 1s warming their seats in the 60s.

so get the word out on ehren watada. you saw a lot people with platforms today who didn't use them. they talked about old news, maybe a week old, maybe 2 weeks or more old, or they played the role of clampdown - telling you that it's not like it was then.

there's an energy in the country, in the world. from france, to mexico, from england to america, throughout latin america, that is taking root and the desk jockies can tell you it's not there but you know better.

like elaine said, use your power. own it. you can make a difference. need a starting point to talk about ehren watada tomorrow? wally's 'THIS JUST IN! BULLY BOY HAS SOME TIPS FOR EHREN WATADA!' and cedric's 'Bully Boy offers Ehren Watada some tips (humor)' (joint post) put ehren watada's actions (standing openly) into context with bully boy's weaseling out of the national guard with daddy's help.

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

Today, Wednesday, August 16, 2006, it's one day before Ehren Watada's Article 32 begins, a military inquiry learns that hypnosis was weighed as an option, chaos and violence continue in Iraq and curfews became the measure to address everything as the whack-a-mole 'strategy' grows more ludicrous. If news of Karbala, Mosul and Basra don't drive that point home, Ann Scott Tyson (Washington Post) reporting on the violence spreading outward from Baghdad should.
the Bully Boy reportedly frets about who's got his back and allegedly peruses Camus and attempts to market "Adapt & Win" (on the grave yard markers of "Adapt or Die"). And the war drags on.
Today is the day that the New York Times editorial board offered "
Meanwhile, in Baghdad . . ." which includes the following: "As Americans debate where to go from here on Iraq, one thing should be clear. Staying the course until President Bush leaves office 29 months from now is not an option. It is no longer even clear just what course America is on. Most of what Washington now claims to be doing cannot withstand the most elementary reality test." It's a day where the American military fatality count since the illegal invastion stands at 2604, a day where the wounded count since the beginning of Bully Boy's war of choice now numbers 19323. A day when Edward Wong and Damien Cave (New York Times) report that the July death toll for Iraqis at 3,438.
Tomorrow? Ehren Watada's Article 32 hearing begins over his refusal to deploy to Iraq and his attorney, Eric Seitz, "
expects the hearing to be over in one day." Which is why it's important to get the word out. Speaking to Hal Bernton (Seattle Times) in June, Watada spoke of how speaking out publicly could result in retaliation: "I think they will do their best to make an example of me." And, as Gregg K. Kakesako (Honolulu Star-Bulletin) reported last week, the Army has now three times rejected Watada's offer of resignation leading attorney Seitz to offer that the military appears "To want to make a martyr out of him. If that is the case, then we are certainly eager to join issue with them because I think this whole episode is going to be much more embarrassing to the Army than it is going to be detrimental in the long run to Lt. Watada."
Cedric Moon (KGMB9) notes the hearing is to determine whether "Ehren Watada will stand trial over his refusal to fight in Iraq". Robert Shikina (The Honolulu Advertiser) reports that the hearing is expected to include only four witness: one called by the Army, three called by Seitz. Nina Shaprio (Seattle Weekly) has reported the three witnesses for Watada: "Francis Boyle, a University of Illinois international law professor, who will testify about the legality of the war; Denis Haliday, a former United Nations assistant secretary general, presenting evidence on the same subject; and retired Army Col. Ann Wright, who will talk about how she used to train soldiers to decline orders if they appeared illegal." Seitz told Gregg K. Kakesako (Honolulu Star-Bulletin) that Army's witness will affirm that Watada did not board the buses with others in his regiment on June 22nd and that "the Army also plans to use news clippings and video news reports".
Why would the military have a need to make an example of Ehren Watada? As
Susan Van Haitsma (Austin-American Statesman) points out: "Watada joins a growing number of soldiers whose moral convictions are leading to punitive convictions in military courts. Many soldiers who have sought conscientious objector status have been denied it. Thousands of soldiers have gone AWOL as a result of the formidable legal blcks to establishing moral objections to the Iraq war. Many have sought refuge in Canada, though political asylum for U.S. military war resisters is not official there."
More information can be found at
Courage to Resist and ThankYouLt.org.
Cedric (Cedric's Big Mix) is advising those calling to leave a message for Donald Rumsfeld (703-545-6700) or mailing him (1000 Defense Pentagon, Washington, DC 20301-1000) to say: "Hands off Ehren Watada! Let him go." Billie advises that you can use public@defenselink.mil to e-mail the Pentagon. She suggests "Re: Ehren Watad" or "ATTN: DONALD RUMSFELD."
Some rallies going on today:

Seattle, 4:00 pm to 6:00 pm, Intersate 5, at the entrance to Fort Lewis
*Portland holds the second of its rush hour bannerings today at 4:30 pm on I5's pedistrian overpass
*Kahului. Two events. Sign-holding at 4 pm on Kaahumanu Avenue. Teach-in at 6:00 pm, Maui Community College's Ka Lama Building Room 104A and Bob Watada, Ehren's father, will be at that event.

"On the one hand I had my duty as I knew it, to obey every order without question, to do what I was told, what everyone else was doing, goving over to Iraq and fight. On the other hand I knew that we were not fighting for Democracy, we were not fighting just terrorist, we were fighting an indigenouse insurgency who was resisting our occupation. And many lives were being sacrificed for what I thought was nothing. I came to the point where I could no longer look at the pain and suffering of so many members of the armed forces, os many families being devastated by these loses, and the grief and suffering of Iraqi citizens and all for what I felt was an intentional deception, to wage a war without any purpose, without any noble purpose."
Ehren Watada to Courtney Scott via Rougue Valley IMC
And today in Iraq?
BBC reports that eight died and 28 were wounded when a bomb went off in Baghdad. The Associated Press notes a roadside bomb in Hillah that killed three Iraqi soldiers (and wounded four more) and states that "[b]ombs killed at least 19 people in the Iraqi captial Wednesday". CBS and AP report that in addition to the bomb that killed eight in Baghdad, eleven more died (for the 19 total) via "[t]wo other bombs . . . in central Baghdad". [Reuters has just upped the total to 21 killed in Baghdad from bombings today.] Reuters notes that, in Basra, Yusif al-Mousawi ("general secretary of Tharalla Islamic Party") was targeted with two roadside bombs (he survived); in Kut, a roadside bomb wounded two police officers; in Jbala, a roadside bomb left three Iraqi soldiers dead while four were wounded; and, in Baquba, a police officer was killed by a roadside bomb that wounded three others. In addition, Damien Cave (New York Times) reports on the bombing of a memorial dedicated to children killed last summer by a car bomber (and, I believe one American soldier was killed in the bombing as well). Cave speaks with Muhammad Khaitan, whose his 14-year-old son Saif Muhammad died in last year's bombing, who declares, "All they left was the foundation. They don't want the next generation to remember how we suffered."
Meanwhile, as Sandra Lupien noted on
KPFA's The Morning Show noted, Basra is under curfew after the storming of a governor's office. Reuters reports that during the attacks on the city council and governor's office, one police officer was killed and five were wounded. The hour long fighting ending, AP notes, when British troops arrived. Reuters is a little more specific: "up to 180 British soldiers and 16 Warrior armored personnel carriers". By the way, in Basra fighting, rockets were used, the AFP reports. (We'll get back to rockets shortly.) And the answer to the violence? Curfew! curfew! curfew! as CNN reports. As the AFP notes, curfew's the sure cure for Karbala today as well -- in fact, forget 'crackdown' -- it's under "lockdown" -- consider it a lid tossed on a pot of boiling water. In Mosul, the armed fighting continued. AP places the death toll from the fighting at five. Reuters notes that these two cities follow the violence in Kerbala yesterday which Iraq's Defense Ministry says claimed the lives of 12 people yesterday. Finally, CBS and AP report that a "Danish soldier was shot in the back . . . in southern Iraq."
AP reports that three corpses were discovered in Kut ("bound, blindfolded . . . signs of torture").
Rockets? Poor William Caldwell IV, he was probably almost over Tuesday's sour stomach following his assurances that Sunday's most violent act in Baghdad was the result of a gas explosion. Well, someone pass him the Mylanta,
CBS and the AP are reporting that the group claiming responsibility for the attack has now released a video of "showing a Katyusha rocket purportedly fired at the U.S.-controlled Green Zone." Because it was four Australian troops and not four American troops wounded in the Green Zone Sunday from a rocket attack, it appears that a number of people are unaware of the incident. That's allowed Caldwell to deny rockets and bombs on the Baghdad neighborhood and, then Tuesday, allowed the military to play the split-the-difference wherein they allowed that okay-bombs-were-used-but-that's-it! Eye witness testimony cites rockets. Caldwell better chug that Mylanta and hope those using rockets on residential buildings Sunday didn't tape their attack as well.
Of the four Australian soldiers wounded in Sunday's rocket attack on the Green Zone, three were released and able to return to duty, the fourth remains in a hospital in Baghdad.
Her name is Sarah Webster and Ian McPhedran (Australia's Advertiser) reports the injuries are minor but include "bruising and lacerations."
In Australia, the inquiry into the April 21st death in Baghdad of Jake Kovco continues and . . . Well, what do you say after the Major Michael Pemberton ("
head of the military police's special investigations branch") testifies to discussions of hypnotizing one of Jake Kovco's roommates? It's the headline, it's the lede where ever you look -- not surprising. But if we can move on that attempt (not implemented) to jog memory,
here's how Pemberton characterized his relationship with the army chiefs while conducting his investigation: "
I would use the term interference" (AAP). Australia's ABC reports: "Backing up evidence given to the inquiry by another witness yesterday, Major Pemberton said senior military officials in Baghdad ignored his instructions that the body was not to be moved, potentially destroying vital forensic evidence before his investigators arrived." "Backing up evidence given to the inquiry by another witness yesterday"? That was addressed in yesterday's snapshot when Soldier 46's testimony directly contradicted the claims of others that they hadn't been instructed to secure the death/crime scene.


question on carroll and more

i had a question from 1 of my long time readers. he wondered what i thought of the jill carroll story?


is she a reporter? i don't see how this helps her cause.

this is the sort of thing you go on oprah and talk about it. it's not really what a reporter who wants to be known as a reporter writes about. when you are the story, you become a personality.

i feel for her and she had a horrible ordeal. i'm glad she made it out alive. but i think it was a mistake to write about it in the manner it's written in.

it could lead to a talk show gig but it's not the sort of thing that i see leading to other reporting gigs.

what's next? really, what's next?

'i was held hostage in iraq' is topped or followed with what? 'i was held hostage in aghanistan'?

i think she got some bad advice and i think her paper (christian science monitor) felt this was a way to drive up interest. i don't know that it does anything for her as a reporter.

i don't think it can be called reporting in the sense the mainstream lusts for because they always preach 'objective' and how can you be objective about your own kidnapping?

it plays like 'female victim' (who hopefully overcomes) but it doesn't strike me as journalism.

if she were my client (i'm out of the business so i can give free advice), i would've said, 'don't do it.' it takes the spotlight off her as a reporter and puts it solely on 'kidnapped'.

she showed bravery in iraq as an un-embedded reporter.

even with the kidnapping (or especially with the kidnapping), there was a level of respect for her dedication to her profession.

now she's another woman in jeporady, an ashley judd movie waiting to be filmed.

she may need money and, if this ensures she gets some, more power to her.

but i would've explained to her that if she wanted to be a reporter, she needed to come out with a hard hitting piece as her return to journalism. that would establish, 'i'm a reporter.' instead, it's look-what-happens-to-women.

it doesn't matter how well written it is or isn't, the response is 'poor girl.'

unless you're a hollywood starlet in the midst of a messy breakup, you really don't want that image.

women have a very difficult time in the 'hard news' as it is (sexism hasn't vanished) and i just feel this series eliminates her chances at hard news.

a reporter shouldn't be the focus, the work should. her current work makes her the focus and does so in a way that makes the public feel sorry for her. that's not the way to build a serious journalism career.

but then does serious journalism even exist anymore? (mainly it's vanished.)

it's her story and some 1's going to make a buck on it so it might as well be her. but what i would've talked to her about was where does she see herself on down the line? if it's in journalism, is she wanting to do columns or to be a reporter?

i don't see how this helps her as a reporter.

1 thing i would've insisted she do is have the series run earlier or don't do it. it's too close to the new seasons of mad tv and saturday night live.

why is that an issue? the public has low tolerance for victims. they embrace them and they want them to do well but tell your tale (valid or not) once to often and they grow weary of you and begin making sport. (nancy kerrigan went from admired to joke in hours.)

so i would've said, 'if you're going to do this, i urge you to start the series in june. if the paper can't or won't go along with that, you don't need to do it.'

the way the installments are playing out, if a backlash comes along, she's ripe picking for writers trying to pitch new characters and ideas for their skit shows. 'oh, let's do jill carroll, every 1's tired of her whining.'

(i'm not calling carroll a 'whiner.' i am noting that the public turns quickly.)

if a co-writer was necessary, they should have used some other than the 1 they're using. 'oh my god, oh my god' doesn't play out well as a quote. it may be 'drama,' but is it reporting?

'i sobbed' and 'i cried and cried' also beg the question of why this is being written if the woman in question wants a career as a serious journalist?

so those are my jill carroll thoughts (and i wish her the best but some 1 better have talked to her straight and warned her the potential pitfalls that await). (i hope she manages to step over them but i have a feeling we'll see some spoof of her shortly.)

so tomorrow ehren watada is 1 day away from the article 32 hearing. did amy goodman cover it today? nope. she had a discussion with john dean about his new book and she did a thing on evangicals who love israel (enough to destroy it for the rapture they just know is coming - if the rapture came everytime a kook swore it was coming, the world would have ended centuries ago). there was another story. let me try to remember what it was?

i can't. but it wasn't iraq. ehren watada will apparently be remembered after the verdict. his parents aren't shy but they're not asked to be on. (aren't we all still waiting for the taped interview with suzanne swift's grandfather to air?)

headlines? didn't it seem like they were playing catchup today? for all the things they couldn't cover before.

i was listening with c.i. today and meant to ask, 'is this new?' they did a story on the new york times thing that's been everywhere because the public editor got bill keller to admit that the story was held (on nsa spying) since before the 2004 election. (and that public editor column ran in sunday's paper.) c.i.'s always noted that about the story (it could have run before the 2004 election) and i was going to ask if that was because it had been written in the paper (written that they'd sat on since before the election) or just something friends at the paper had passed on? but from the moment that story broke, the common ills has noted that the story could have run before the 2004 election. (fyi, the paper's sitting on a story right now.)

this morning, i thought c.i. was going to lose it. call after call while trying to do the entries. c.i. finally stopped picking up. but william caldwell iv is really hated by the press. he's apparently fooled them 1 too many times and it seemed like every 1 had a story to tell this morning.

i stopped writing for a bit because kat came in and asked if i'd read her thing ('i'm not looking for a link, i was just wondering if i made any sense'). no, she wasn't looking for a link, but she gets 1: 'Rambles' is making a lot of good points. (i don't know the guy i was singing the songs from hair with, by the way. we were talking about favorite plays and i brought up the musical hair -- a group of us were talking. he started singing a song from it and i joined in. we probably sang 4 or 5 songs. kat mentions hearing me singing in her post.) read kat's post, it has a lot to say.

let me do the snapshot and end this post.

here's c.i.'s 'Iraq snapshot' for today that's packed with information:

Today Tuesday, August 15, 2006, violence and chaos continue in Iraq, two days remain before Ehren Watada's Article 32 hearing begins, William Caldwell IV's "gas" explanation yesterday leaves him red faced today (try Tums -- though Bully Boy Pioneers tend to prefer Rolaids), and in the inquiry into the death of Jake Kovco in Australia, Soldier 46 seems to rebut the earlier testimony of Soldier 30.
Well start with US military spinmeister William Caldwell IV. As some will remember, he
asserted yesterday that the Baghdad violence on Sunday was the result of "a major gas explosion" and cited "specialists" and "experts." (Apparently similar to the "grass experts" of the Michael Bloomberg administration that Mara Verheyden-Hilliard noted on yesterday's WBAI's Law & Disorder when explaining the systematic attempts/plot to prevent the 2004 anti-war demonstrations in NYC to coincide with the GOP convention.)
As though Neil Young had hollered "Don't need no more lies! Don't need no more lies!" ("The Restless Consumer" from Young's
Living With War), the US military corrected their version of events today.
Damien Cave (New York Times) notes Lt. Col. Barry Johnson explaining that Caldwell IV "was speaking in good faith, but had incomplete information" which may be the understatement of the week. Cave reports that the US military now says that in addition to Caldwell's 'gas explosion' there were four car bombs. Though Cave doesn't currently note it, Vijay Joshi (AP) does: Iraqi's maintain that rockets and mortars were used. AFP notes that the death toll for Sunday's attacks has now reached 73 and that US military is now "back-pedalling from a previous statement that the deaths were the result of an accidental gas explosion" while "Iraqi officials have insisted from the outset that car bombs and rockets caused the blasts."
In reality news (as opposed to reality-based news) from Iraq . . .
Bloomberg News reports nine dead and 36 injured from "a bomb attack on the Mosul headquarters of Iraqi President Jalal Talabani's Patriotic Union of Kurdistan". The count is up from China's Xinhua's earlier report which identified the source of the bomb as a "suicided bomber [who] detonated his explosive-laden truck near the office". CNN (going with the figure of nine dead, 36 wounded) notes it was a truck bomb. Reuters notes a roadside bomb in Baquba that killed a police officer and left four wounded; a roadside bomb in Huwayder that left three police officers wounded; and three police officers wounded from two roadside bombs in Samarra. Not noted in the above is an Australian contractor who died today in Germany, Australia's ABC reports, "from injuries sustained" in a Baghdad bombing "about two weeks ago."
Associated Press reports: "Fierce gunbattles broke out Tuesday between armed supporters of an anti-U.S. Shiite cleric and Iraqi security forces after a raid on his office" in Karbala. Reuters identifies the cleric as Mahmoud al-Hasani and notes that a vehicle curfew has been imposed upon the city. Australia's Herald Sun identifies the dead as: "[t]wo Iraqi army officers, a soldier and three civilians". CBS and AP place the count of dead from the gunbattles in Karbala at "at least seven".
In Baquba,
Reuters notes that "police lieutenant Fadhil Uthman" was shot dead. Australia's Herald Sun notes the shooting deaths of "two civilian contractors supplying food to the Iraqi army . . . in Muqdadiya" as well as a civilian shot dead "in a Baquba market," a civilian shot dead in Amara, and another civilian shot dead in Khalis. Reuters ups the Muqdadiya toll to three (from "two civilian contractors supplying food . . .") and identifies them the three as "bakers" and also notes five people "wounded when gunmen in a car shot at shoppers in a market in central Samarra."
Corpses? Australia's
Herald Sun reports two corpses were discovered in Kerbala and three in Suweira.
In peace news,
Ehren Watada's Article 32 hearing begins in two days. Jeff Paterson (Indybay Media) writes about the warm reception Watada got as "a keynote speaker" last weekend with those gathered chanting "thank you LT!" As the August 17th hearing approaches, Gregg K. Kakesako (Honolulu Star-Bulletin) reports that Watada's attorney Eric Seitz will call "[t]wo experts on international law" Francis Boyle and Denis Halliday as well as "retired Army Col. Ann Wright". Nina Shapiro (Seattle Weekly) reports that "Francis Boyle, a University of Illinois international law professor, . . . will testify about the legality of the war; Denis Haliday, a former United Nations assistant secretary general, [will be] presenting evidence on the same subject; and retired Army Col. Ann Wright, . . . will talk about how she used to train soldiers to decline orders if they appeared illegal." Shapiro notes that althought the hearing is scheduled for two days, Seitz "expects the hearing to be over in one day."
The hearing will begin Thursday, August 17th and remember that
Courage to Resist and ThankYouLt.org are organizing and trying to get the word out for "a National Day of Education" on August 16th (that's tomorrow). Cedric (Cedric's Big Mix) is advising those calling to leave a message for Donald Rumsfeld (703-545-6700) or mailing him (1000 Defense Pentagon, Washington, DC 20301-1000) to say: "Hands off Ehren Watada! Let him go."
Last weekend's event that Watada got a warm reception at was the
Veterans for Peace conference. Sunday's The KPFA Evening News had a lengthy report on the conference and quoted Gerry Condon explaining how the cases of Jeremy Hinzman, Brandon Hughey, Patrick Hart and others are hampered by the fact that they have to make their arguments on a "case by case [basis]. And it doesn't really resolve the problem for the increasing numbers of war resisters that are coming to Canada. That's why we're calling on the [Canadian] government to create a policy of sanctuary, to make an easy way for war resisters to immigrate to Canada rathter than be deported back to the United States to go to prison for refusing to participate in the illegal war."
During the Vietnam era, war resisters could apply for asylum but today that's not the case. And, as noted in the report, arguments about the legality of the Iraq war have not been allowed in court. Mike's "
KPFA reported on the war resisters in Canada" offers more on Sunday's report. Jeff Paterson (Indybay Media) reports on Sunday's action where "150 U.S. military veterans boarded buses for Peace Arch Park on the US/Canadian border to celebrate resistance to unjust war with U.S. troops currently taking refuge in Canada" and quotes Ann Wright stating, "It is part of military tradition that you can refuse illegal orders. They have the courage to stand up and say . . . 'I'm not going to have this war on my conscience'."
Veterans for Peace conference was where Ricky Clousing announced his decision to turn himself into the US military after being AWOL for a year. Jane Cutter (Party for Socialism and Liberation) quotes Clousing saying: "I witnessed our baseless incarceration of civilians. I saw civilians physically harassed. I saw an innocent Iraqi killed before me by U.S. troops. I saw the abuse of power that goes without accountability" and notes that also at Clousing's news conference were Camilo Mejia, Sharon Pankalla (Ricky Clousing's mother) and "Vietnam war resister Michael Wong".
In other new
Richard Benedetto (Baxter Bulletin) reports on the bust that was Bully Boy's vacation, noting the lack of attention Bully Boy & Condi Rice got for a press conference, the lack of attention the media gave to Cindy Sheehan (who filled out a voter registration Card at the Crawford Post Office Tuesday) and concludes that, for Bully Boy, "it was not a vacation." As the emotion (giggles) subsides, Emily Ingram (Waco Tribune-Herald) reports that Bully Boy's "shortest summer vacation yet" hasn't deterred Camp Casey III supporters who, in the words of Dave Jensen of Tyler, TX, maintain: "Regardless if Bush is here or not, we'll be here. I think all of us feel like he's cut and run." Ingram notes that since being released from the Providence Health Center in Waco, Sheehan's divided her time between the camp, a hotel (for the "wireless internet") and Willie Nelson's home.
Sheehan was
reportedly hospitalized for exhuastion, dehydration and some medical issues (she was hospitalized Thursday, in Seattle where she was taking part in the Veterans for Peace conference, and in Texas on Friday, Saturday and some of Sunday). Per doctors orders, she had to begin eating but the Troops Home Fast continues (through September 21st) and currently 4,549 people around the world are participating in this CODEPINK action.
More information can be found at
Troops Home Fast. Those taking part in the action so far have included Laura Flanders, Howard Zinn, Kim Gandy (president of NOW), Will Durst, Jonathon Tasini, Kevin Zeese, Jim Hightower, Greg Palast, Al Sharpton, Marianne Williamson, Julia Butterfly Hills, Pratap Chatterjee, Fernando Suarez del Solar, Ray McGovern, Bonnie Raitt, Alice Walker, Dolores Huerta, Susan Sarandon, Sean Penn, Michael Franti, Eve Ensler, Ed Asner, Graham Nash. Dick Gregory and Willie Nelson. (That's not a full list.) Those interested can grab a one-day fast, a one-day-a-week fast, or they can try for something longer. Before beginning any multi-day fast, please consult your medical go-to. Brenda Payton (Oakland Tribune) reports that Jane Jackson (70-years-old) "was taken to Highland Hospital's emergency room Sunday after fasting for 41 days as part of the national Troops Home Fast action." (Jane Jackson is reported to be doing okay.)
In other peace news,
nycnion (NYC Indymedia) reports that August 19th will be a non-silent vigil for Abeer Qassim Hamza who would have turned 15-years-old Saturday had she not been murdered (along with three family members) and allegedly raped (alleged by US troops).. Actions will take placefrom 7:30 pm to 9:30 p.m. at the following locations: in NYC at Washington Square Park -- W. 4th STreet & MacDougal; in Los Angeles at MacArthur Park -- 6th and Alvarado St.; and in Berkeley at Willard Park -- Telegraph & Derby St.
Sandy LeonVest (Toward Freedom) notes a number of issues (Steven D. Green -- one of those accused of murdering and raping Abeer Qassim Hamza al-Janabi; Ricky Clousing, etc.) observes: "There was a moment in time, before the media simply turned its back on Iraq -- and before reporters became frustrated and bored by their inability to get out of the 'green zone' and cover the story -- that Pentagon officials allowed them to talk relatively freely with (pre-selected) recruits."
One of the things LeonVest notes is
the 300 members of the 172nd Stryker Brigade Combat Team who made it home to Alaska only to learn they were going straight back to Iraq for at least four more months (after having already served a year in Iraq).
Russ Bynum (Associated Press) reports that the 5th Squadron, 7th Cavalry Regiment will be returning to Iraq "as early as the end of November" and that the 1st Brigade Combat Team "is preparing for a possible third combat tour in Iraq." And the war drags on.
In Australia, the inquiry into the April 21st death of Jake Kovco continues. Today's big talking point: He was a cowboy. Report after report emphasizes that. On
ABC's PM, Mark Douglass told Mark Colvin that a Soldier 3 had reprimanded Kovco for the use of his weapon: "You know you shouldn't be doing that. It's a dangerous weapon and accidents can happen and peopl do get hurt when you play with weapons." A variety of this tale is repeated throughout the reports. Though the Kovco Cowboy has been a popular talking point for the month, Soldier 3 is only the second witness to testify that he observed such behavior. (Go back to August 2nd's snapshot for more on this.) Let's say it's true (it may be), where is the documentation? This is the second to claim he reprimanded Kovco for playing with a gun. Even were this an oral reprimand, this should have been documented. If it's not, that's an issue the hearing needs to look into.
Kovco grew up with guns, was a marksman before he joined the military. Could he have played with his gun? Aboslutely. He could have been so used to it that he took it (and safety) for granted. If that's the case, there should be something more than two people saying they reprimanded him and
a host of others saying "I didn't see it myself but I heard even though I can't say from whom." So let's see some documentation for this behavior. That's two supposed reprimands from superiors. If it didn't make his personnel file than they've got some serious tracking problems (and can add that to the mythical 'buddy system' for unloading a weapon as something the Australian military needs to address).
As they all rush to do the Cowboy Kovco talking point a few miss Soldier 46's damning testimony.
AAP reports that Soldier 46 (a military police captain -- all witness are identified with "Soldier" and a number in the inquiry) "told the inquiry that within hours of the shooting he passed on requests from his bosses to army chiefs in Baghdad about how the investigation should be handled" including securing Jake Kovco's room, preventing the departure of soldiers whose testimony would be needed, etc. Now note: "WITHIN HOURS."
For those who've fogotten, we've heard that the room/crime scene was stipped clean (before investigators arrived four days after Kovco's death) because it was basically bringing everybody down. We've heard that preserving the crime scene never occurred to anyone. Soldier 46 testified that not only did it occur to him but he said the room needed to be secure within hours of Kovco's death. Is he telling the truth? If so, why didn't this advice get noted by previous witnesses?
Courier-Mail reports that Soldier 46 was at the room/crime scene "about one hour after the shooting" and passing on the instructions (from his own superiors) about securing the room. So why is the hearing only now hearing of this and how does one resolve that testimony from the man who earlier stated the room was cleaned because it was bringing the others down and he hadn't thought it was important to preserve the scene?
For any who've forgotten,
August 10th's snapshot covers the testimony of Jake Kovco's "commanding officer." Soldier 30: "The room is right in the middle of where all the other soldiers are accommodated. It was becoming a morale issue." Is Soldier 30 going to testify again (via video-link) as to whether he ignored Soldier 46 or just didn't hear that the room needed to be secure? (If Soldiers 46 and 30 are both telling the truth, then the hearing needs to examine issues of communication.)
Finally, in the United States,
David Ammons (AP) reports that War Hawk Maria Cantwell is having to reposition on Iraq, declaring "that she's anxious to see a transition plan for shifting responsibilities to the Iraqis" (sounds like Rumsfeld, Bully Boy, et al) and quoting her saying: "I certainly want to change the course and get our troops home. The United States has done its duty in helping a new government get formed, and now it is time for that new government to take over." Senator Cantwell is facing re-election and is seen as "one of the Democrats' more vulnerable incumbents".