Nina putting this up for Mike. The computer program or server (whatever) wasn't working last night. Mike ended up e-mailing this post to The Common Ills website. Mike will be posting this evening. "Hi" to everybody.
We apologize for the inconvenience, but we are unable to process your request at this time. Our engineers have been notified of this problem and will work to resolve it.
That's the piece of __ message I got when I tried to save a post in progress. I got it when I was almost done with a post this evening. After an hour and ten minutes of work. Since the message is now coming up again, I'm not posting at my site. This is Mike by the way. I called C.I. and asked if I could post at The Common Ills? C.I. said sure but to do two things.
1) Don't post it by going in because the problem might happen there too. Post it by e-mailing it (C.I. gave me the e-mail address, thanks to C.I.).
2) After I e-mail it, check to see if it's up. If it's not, copy and paste my sent e-mail into the backup site.
I'm pretty disgusted with Blogger/Blogspot and all it's nonsense right now.
Elaine lost her first post as well. On her second try, she was putting stuff in, posting, going back in, adding, posting again, etc. But she's done for the night. Her post isn't done but when she got the message AGAIN, she said her time is too important to her to put up with Blogger/Blogspot's nonsense. You can read her post in progress (which she's not finishing) by clicking here. It has no title because she can't get back into Blogger/Blogspot right now. You can read her thoughts on tonight's latest nonsense by reading "Stupid Blogger/Blogspot." Rebecca shares her thoughts in "stupid blogger/blogspot."
Betty's "Thomas Friedman, the Jayne Mansfield of the New York Times" went up early so read it. Kat also managed to get a post up. Wally thought he had a post up until I called him tonight and asked him if he took the night off? He said, "I e-mailed it."
It never hit. It's up now "THIS JUST IN! BULLY BOY'S THE ONE GETTING TURNED DOWN!" Cedric was planning on posting so that we could all have new content tonight but I bet that's out thanks to Blogger/Blogspot.
This is not a problem that happened today. It happened on Monday and it happened yesterday. Then it went out this afternoon. They said they'd fixed it. Obviously they don't know what they're talking about. They have (or had) a scheduled outage for tomorrow that's when C.I.'s DN! post usually goes up so that's your FYI. If you can't find anything here (at The Common Ills) tomorrow, go to the mirror site. It had the post for today before the main site did.
Let's get to Democracy Now! because I'm really not in the mood to spend too much more time on this due to Blogger/Blogspot's nonsense. (If I were at my site, I'd be using stronger words than "nonsense." I'm keeping it clean for C.I. who tries to keep this "work place safe."
Army Lt. Refuses Iraq Deployment
Meanwhile, a US army officer has announced he’s refusing his deployment to Iraq slated for later this month. The officer, First Lt. Ehren Watada, says he first asked for permission to resign his position in January. He says he wrote: "I am whole-heartedly opposed to the continued war in Iraq, the deception used to wage this war, and the lawlessness that has pervaded every aspect of our civilian leadership." Lt. Watada is believed to be the first commissioned officer to refuse deployment to Iraq since the invasion. Simultaneous news conferences by his supporters are expected to be held today in his home state of Hawaii and in Olympia, Washington. Military officials told Watada he cannot attend the news conference because he is barred from speaking publicly about his case while on duty at the base.
WBAI's Wakeup Call had an interview with him this morning. He signed up right before the illegal war on Iraq started. He said that he realized he'd signed a contract but there are two parties to a contract and he talked about how Bully Boy's lied us into war (he used kinder words). He said he can't go because the nature of the war. The military will not allow him to speak during 'duty hours.' So the interview WBAI's Wakeup Call had was okay because it airs so early. He talked about the funerals of the troops and this photo of a little boy who was walking out the funeral for his father and the kid couldn't face the cameras. He feels his duty is to the Constitution. You should check it out if you missed it. You can use the archives at WBAI or at Wakeup Call.
Vermont Peace Activists Disrupt Negroponte Speech
In Vermont, two peace activists were arrested on Monday for disrupting a commencement address given by National Intelligence Director John Negroponte at St Johnsbury Academy. Moments after Negroponte began his address, a protester stood up and yelled: "In the name of democracy I object to this man speaking. He has blood on his hands from his work in Central America and Iraq. He shouldn't be at the podium, he should be in jail. He is a war criminal." As the protester was being escorted away, Negroponte said "Now it's my turn." But before he could continue, another protester stood up and accused Negroponte of overseeing torture, killings and rape in Honduras, where he served as ambassador in the 1980s.
If you don't already, start reading Robert Parry. He's got a website and lots of books. Working for the Associated Press, he broke some of the early stories on Iran-Contra. Then he moved to Newsweek and tried to break more. Most of the time he ended up not being able to break them because Newsweek wasn't in the news business. It was in the business of having fun in DC and one of the higher ups at Newsweek got all bent out of shape because someone questioned him, someone in the administration then, about how dare Robert Parry write the truth. So now he's got his own news outlet, Consortium News and he writes there and so do others. I think Sam Parry is his son. But if, like me, you weren't old enough to follow or even know about Iran-Contra when it was going down, check out his site because it explains it really clearly. You can follow it (if I did, you can) and Parry's got a cool way of writing that makes it seems like he's in the room talking to you.
If you follow up on this, you'll discover that a lot of the people who show up now in this administration and a lot of the policies were around before. They should all be in prison.
Closing with C.I.'s "Iraq snapshot" (which is already up here, yes, but I always note this because it needs to be noted, this gives you a good look at the day in Baghdad):
Chaos and violence continue.
Though most press reports lead with "nearly 600" reporting on the prison release program or note that 13 kidnapped victims have been found alive (out of the over fifty kindapped), it's not all the Operation Limited Happy Talk some reports might convince you of.
The AFP reports on one of the released prisoners, Raed Jamil, who says of the amount of people released, "It's nothing, because on an average they are arresting 1,000 people daily." The same AFP report also breaks from the pack regardding the kidnapping news. The kidnappers released seventeen hostages. The police found eight "wandering aimlessly together late at night on Canal street" and then began searching for others (a group of seven and a group of three were found).
CNN reports that "Iraq's Interior Ministry . . . launched an investigation into whether Iraqi police, or insurgents posing as police, were responsible for the kidnappings." CNN notes that Sunni politicians have accused "the government of involvement in the abduction" and noted that along with the 'commando uniforms' the kidnappers drove "at least 13 vehicles with Iraqi police markings." The Associated Press notes: "Suspicion has fallen on militias, which are believed to have infiltrated police forces and have killed hundreds in sectarian violence, personal vendettas and kidnappings for ransom."
That's reality. Howard LaFranchi (Christian Science Monitor) explores possibilities regarding what is being seen as occupation puppet and Iraqi prime minister Nouri al-Maliki "tougher stance" towards the United States. Former State Department analyst Henri Barkey tells LaFranchi, "The trick for the US is to boost this guy, because there may not be another one after him."
Meanwhile, KUNA reports that Tony Blair has "welcomed news of the innocence of three UK servicemen suspected of killing an Iraqi young man." Less welcoming may be the ongoing talks in the British House of Commons regarding the situation in Basra? Especially considering the dueling reports on a shooting in Basra today. The Associated Press reports that British soldiers fired on civilians and did so because 100 people (presumably adults) were stoning them, Iraqi police say that the "people" were children and that a thirteen-year-old boy was killed and a twelve-year-old girl was wounded.
Certainly less welcoming news for Tony Blair (and the Bully Boy as well) is the confirmation by the "new Italian administration .. . [that] all Italian troops would withdraw from Iraq by the end of the year" (Guardian of London).
In the United States, Dan Whitcomb (Reuters) reports that the defense of marines accused of murdering 24 Iraqis will be "chaotic battle conditions . . . if they are charged with murder." Reuters' source states that the coverage has been limited with no one pointing out that the slaughter could have been "an accident or collateral damage." Certainly 24 Iraqis can't point that out -- they're dead.
The BBC reports that, in Hawija, a "Sunni mosque preacher" was shot to death. The AFP notes that he was first dragged from his home. The Associated Press reports "three rockets landed on a house" killing a man inside and "wounding his two brothers." China's People's Daily notes the death of six police officers -- four were killed when they were attacked in Baghdad, two more died from a roadside bomb in Baghdad. Reuters notes that two police officers were also wounded in that roadside bombing. In Mosul, the AFP notes three college students were killed (gunfire) as they waited at a bus stop. Also in Mosul, Reuters reports that a police officer and two other people were killed in a drive by shooting. The AFP esitmates that "at least 20 people" died today from violence in Iraq.
Two other events that seem to mark life in Iraq also took place. Kidnappings? Reuters reports that "[f]our Iraqi oil employees" were kidnapped yesterday and the police acknowledged the kidnappings today. The other regular event? The discovery of corpses. CNN notes that five were found on Wednesday, the AFP identifies the gender of the corpses, three male, two female ("all of them were shot to death").
Meanwhile, Ferry Biedermann (Financial Times of London) interviews Ali Baban (Iraq's minister of planning) who feels that foreign donors "spend too much of their aid to Iraq outside the country and ordinary Iraqis do not feel they are behing helped by the international community." And the Associated Press reports that the US army's 2nd Brigade of the 1st Infantry Division is being readied for deployment to Iraq "leaving unclear when and if a sizable reduction in U.S. troops levels will begin this year."
Finally, CBS and the AP report that CBS reporter Kimberly Dozier is returning to the United States "where she will be admitted to Bethesda Naval Hospital near Washington."
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