Thursday, August 31, 2006

Lotta Links pushes Voice of America -- the war crimes of indymedia

Oh. My. God. Lotta Links continues to prove it's stupidy and worthlessness. "Critics: Bush Administration Too Soft on Sudan's Darfur Crisis 9/1" reads a link. Lotta Links is supposed to be a site for the left. The idea that Bully Boy is "too soft" is laughable and only an idiot who hasn't been following John Bolton's thundering in the last few days or doesn't know that the Sammy Powers met with Bully Boy before their staged protest in March would make that claim. Only an idiot or government propaganda. Lotta Links, the supposed site for the left is linking you to the Voice of America. The US propaganda network that's forbidden to broadcast over the airwaves in the United States by law. But here's Lotta Links rushing in with a link of "news" from Voice of America.

It's bad enough that the propaganda is available in the US (they didn't have the internet when Congress banned it from directing its population at Americans), but the left has to give it shout outs? It's got my vote for dumbest headline online all week. Call it a war crime because "mistake" is way too mild.

Let's talk about one of the best things this week, the trailer to Michelle Mason's Breaking Ranks about American war resisters in Canada. Jeremy Hinzman spoke about not wanting to ""All it does is perpetuate and endless cycle of violence" and "I did apply for conscience objector o status, my application was unfairly handled. I had no choice but to come here."

Brandon Hughey: "We'll pay for all of your college, you'll get these great benefits. Depending upon what job you select, we can offer you a big signing bonus."

Kyle Snyder : "I had just recieved my high school diploma. I get off of the stage and here's another recruiter right outside the door -- waiting for me. I look back at it now and everything that I'm going through, everything that I've worked through I can retrace down to that moment that I signed that fucking contract."

Joshua Key talks about why he joined up and an experience he had in Iraq: "As we got down the Euphrates River and we took a sharp right turn , all we seen was heads and bodies. And American troops in the middle of them saying 'we lost it' As soon as I stepped and I walked out the back of my APC, I seen two American soldier kicking the head around like a soccer ball.
I stepped right back inside the tank and I told my squad leader . . . 'I won't have no part of this'."

Kyle Snyder talked about leading a blindfolded Iraqi "into the building into city hall and within five minutes of him being in city hall I heard a BANG."

So go watch the trailer for Breaking Ranks.

Tony passed on this: "Democracy When had a war resister on today. They saved it for the last segment. They didn't tie it into anything other than a self-plug and it was him reading a press statement. Since C.I. covered it in the snapshot and since the AP had a long story on it, I give them no credit for it. It was a statement he taped at Camp Casey so I guess they feel good that they can say, 'We did one story kind of on Camp Casey this year.' Amy Goodman must have been so bummed about having an Iraq story that she felt there was no need to even note that 77 Iraqis died yesterday. It wasn't even a headline. The only headline about Iraq was the thing about the attempts to get propaganda in the media and that was a headline as well. Oh, they covered the Haiti story and it was good when Dennis did it last night."

Tony called me up today and was talking a mile a minute and I go, "Tone, write it down and I'll put it up." There was no way I could take notes while he was talking that fast. :D

Dennis is Dennis Bernstein, the host of Flashpoints and Rebecca mentioned the story last night.
Rachel e-mailed to complain about a show on WBAI but she didn't put the name in. Her complaint was that "in a supposed show about women's issues, a guest started talking about how even though a woman might not want 'to be over a hot stove,' that's what men like and so women should. The host just laughed away, making jokes about how her boyfriend must have called the guest. It was embarrassing and it was idiotic. Save that shit for Good Housekeeping."
Rachel was hoping it could be noted here because a) it's not about Iraq and b) she knows C.I. usually has to get several days of complaints about indymedia before weighing in with a comment. "C.I.'s busy, I'm sure you are too, but if you could note this, it would be appreciated."
No problem at all. Glad to. And actually Beau had a complaint about KPFA's The Morning Show. He said he turned it off today as soon as the male host announced what was on the two hour show. Two half-hour segments related to Israel. "Not one damn thing on Iraq," Beau wrote.

No, there's no time for Iraq. If they took time for Iraq, how would they be able to instruct women to get to the stoves? That reactionary bullshit is more needed on the airwaves of independent media than reality, right? Rachel says she can't believe that "shit" made it over the airwaves of WBAI and that it was "about as helpful as a diagram telling me how to apply blush and had nothing to do with feminism. Get real or get off the airwaves."

They're going to be hitting you up for money soon. Remember that. Remember that 77 Iraqis died in one day and it wasn't news on their daily program Democracy When. Remember that a supposed show about women on an independent radio station told women they needed to come home from work, stand over a hot stove and cook a meal to "keep their man happy" (Rachel). Is that what you're paying for? Is that listener supported community radio?

I don't think any self-respecting woman should give a damn dime to WBAI after that bullshit of 'cook to please your man.' That sounds like the dopey speech Jane Fonda's mother gives her in Barefoot in the Park and that's a big Hollywood film from the sixties. What the hell is WBAI doing broadcasting that bullshit?

Is that community radio: How to Get a Man! Is that what we pay to support? I don't think so.
But as long as that crap is aired, don't expect to hear about Iraq.

And before someone wonders, like yesterday about Rebecca, I love C.I. I'm not insulting C.I., Rachel's not either. C.I. supports indymedia, even listens to Democracy When -- still listens. And maybe I can get to that point at some point but right now, I'm just sick of so called community radio that can't talk about Iraq but wants to offer bull shit of How to Get and Keep Your Man!

Answer's real easy. They want to do that crap, give us one program that focuses on Iraq every episode. Weekly or daily. Until then, don't pretend that the bullshit filling the airwaves is doing anything but offering retro b.s.

Here's C.I.'s "Iraq snapshot:"

Thursday, August 31, 2006. Chaos and violence continue, another war resister goes public and Dr. John Gee accuses the CIA of interfering with the work of the Iraqi Survey Group and points fingers at others who couldn't grasp that "there was no WMD in Iraq."
Starting in Australia. Dr. John Gee is considered "
an expert on chemical weapons" and was part of the Iraq Survey group (a group of scientists made of British, Australian and American scientists sent into Iraq to attempt to find the WMDs). Gee and other Australians have been truth telling with little attention from the US domestic press. Rod Barton, who resigned in March 2004 from the Iraq Survey Group at the same time as Gee, has published The Weapons Detective which, UPI reported, maintained that: "British Prime Minister Tony Blair and Australian Prime Minister John Howard both knew before the invasion that the intelligence on Iraqi WMDs was false. . . . When shown the pre-war Iraqi WMD Australian intelligence assessment, Howard even asked, 'Is that all there is?'" Peggy Lee remix: "Is That All There Is To A War?"
Apparently so. Lies and more lies.
Speaking to Samantha Hawley on PM, Gee stated: "There were no WMD in Iraq and we were all wasting our time pursuing the illusion that there was something there." Australia's ABC reports that Gee "says he quit his job in 2004 because the group was focusing on trying to justify pre-war judgements rather than establish facts." Appearing on the 7:30 Report, Gee discussed his interaction with Australia's Foreign Affairs Minister Alexander Downer which was dismissive. Appearing on the show, Rod Barton backed up Gee's account. Alexander Downer states that Gee is "a scientist and we took his advice very seriously."
That's one issue.
Samantha Hawley (PM) noted another: "At the time of his resignation, Doctor Gee was serving under a contract with the Defence Department. He claims his resignation letter never even made it to his superiors there, because it was stopped by the Foreign Affairs Minister Alexander Downer." Downer denies blocking the resignation letter, which included references to CIA interference, and states that he "raised it [the issue] with Mr. [Charles] Duelfer himself."
Australia's Shadow Minister for Foreign Affairs and International Security, Kevin Rudd states, "The Australian weapons expert sent in to help came back and told Mr Downer to his face that there were no WMD there at all. What did Mr Downer do? He covered it up. He didn't want that message to get out to the Australian public before the 2004 Federal elections. That's where this thing stinks." Rudd is also calling on Downer to release the six-page resignation letter Gee wrote.
On the letter that Downer denies suppressing,
Marian Wilkinson (Sydney Morning Herald) reports that it "outlines in detail interference by the CIA and the Bush Administration in first reports abou tthe weapons hunt to avoid finding that Iraq did not possess weapons of mass destruction."
The Scotsman notes: "The CIA analysts in teams searching for chemical and biological weapons were the same ones who concluded before the invasion -- officially called Operation Iraqi Freedmon -- that they must exist, Gee wrote in his resignation letter. 'Much of the two teams' work is geared to trying to justify pre-OIF judgements rather than any attempt to establish the facts surrounding Iraq's WMD programs,' Gee wrote in March 2004."
Gee and Barton resigned in March of 2004. In the United States, members may be more aware of David Kay who resigned January 23, 2004 and stated that he didn't believe WMD "existed." Kay headed the Iraq Survey Group. When he resigned, Charles Duelfer took over after being appointed by the then-CIA director George Tenet.
The Duelfer Report would come out in September 2004 and an 'epilogue' in March of 2005. No WMD were ever found. However, despite admitting that Gee informed of the fact that there were no WMDs in Iraq, Downer still stood side by side at a press conference with Charles Duelfer in April of 2004 and called the search "
a work in progress."
Possibly, instead of scientists, they should have sent Donald Rumsfeld who claimed, to George Stephanopoulus on ABC's This Week, "We know where they are. They're in Tikrit and Baghdad and East, West, South and North somewhat." (March 30, 2003.)?
As with the Downing Street Memos, this story may have trouble getting traction in the United States. Two dailies are apparently having a real struggle dotting their "I"s and crossing their "T"s which would explain why, though they were made aware of this story on Tuesday evening, there's still been no report of it.
Turning to Iraq, where the chaos and violence continues.
CNN reports a car bombing "in a southeastern Baghdad neighborhood" ("near a gas station") that took the lives of two and left at least thirteen wounded, one in the eastern section of the capital ("near a restaurant") that wounded three and a car bomb in Harthiya that left two civilians and two police officers injured. On the bomb near a gas station, Reuters notes that "four police commandos" were killed and 11 other people were injured. (Which may mean two of the injured in the CNN report may have died.) Also in Baghdad, AFP notes that six children were wounded by mortar rounds and roadside bomb injured eight "travelling in a minibus." Baghdad. The site of the 'crackdown.' Is it time for another of US spinmeister William Caldwell IV's "three-day 'quick look'"s? Reuters reports: "A convoy of British diplomats and guards was blasted by a roadside bomb in western Baghdad on Thursday but the British embassy said no one was injured." Rebecca Santana (AP) reports on a bomb "at a popular market" in Baghdad, that combined with two other bombings in the capital, has led to at least 20 people dead and at least 75 wounded.
Rebecca Santana (AP) reports that, in Mosul, "[a]n Iraqi soldier wearing civilian clothing was shot and killed while walking". Reuters notes that in Samawa four people were wounded by gunfire; in Ramadi, "[a] former Iraqi Air Force commander" was shot dead; and, in Mosul, two police officers were killed by gun fire and two more were wounded. AFP reports: "Police from the Diyala province, of which Baquba is the capital, said that at least nine people were killed in the province on Thursday" including two borthers when a store was attacked. AP identifies the store as "a cotton shop" and notes that, in Baghdad, a security guard for the oil ministry was shot dead and another was wounded.
AP reports that a woman's corpses ("riddled with bullets") was discovered "dumped on a main road." Retuers reports that, after four days missing, Turkey al-Duleimi ("a civilian judge") was discovered in Samarra.
In the most recent report,
Rebecca Santana (AP) reports: "A series of attacks killed at least 46 people across Iraq Thursday, including 39 within a half hour in a Shiite section of Baghdad, officials said. At least 118 people were wounded."
In peace news, following Ricky Clousing's lead, another AWOL soldier has come forward. Speaking at
Camp Casey III, Angela K. Brown (AP) reports, Mark Wilkerson announced that, after "a year and a half" of being AWOL, he would be turning himself in. Brown reports: "Wilkerson said his views of the war changed and he realized he could no longer stay in the military, so he applied for conscientious objector status. But his request was denied a month before his unit was to return to Iraq. He said he was told his appeal would not be considered until after he came back. So Wilkerson then decided not to return from the two weeks of approved leave before the January 2005 deployment."
On August 11,
Mike Barber (Seattle Post-Intelligencer) broke the news that Ricky Clousing, who also checked himself out after returning from Iraq, would be turning himself in. As the war drags on, the resistance grows with the Pentagon estimating that 40,000 have deserted or checked themselves out of the military since 2000.
Michelle Mason's documentary
Breaking Ranks covers the stories of some war resisters, including Jeremy Hinzman and Kyle Snyder, who've gone to Canada and it will air on Global TV October 7th.
Meanwhile in the United States,
Ehren Watada awaits the military determining what they will do (the recommendation has been court-martial). Watada is the first officer to publicly refuse to deploy to Iraq. Like Clousing and Wilkerson, Watada sees the war as illegal.
Speaking to Caroline Aoyai-Stom (Pacific Citizen), Watada explains his duty: "Despite conflicting loyalties, I am fighting for the allegiance to which I swore an oath to uphold and defend -- the Constitutional laws and principles of democracy. My decision brings honor to veteran JAs. Instead of perpetuating war crimes and a war of aggression, I am actively trying to put a stop to it. Instead of being the 'quiet, obedient Japanese,' I am fulfilling my oath to protect my soldiers and this country from our government. This is all at great expense -- when the easier, safer path would have been to do my tour in Iraq."
Susan Palmer (The Register-Guard) reports that Ehren Watada's father Bob Watada "spoke at a Eugene [Oregon] peace rally on Tuesday in support of his son and called for change in Washington, D.C." Bob Watada tells Palmer, "My son has taken a stand for a very good reason and he is willing to suffer the consequences that the military wants to mete out."
More information can be found at
Courage to Resist and and 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 to e-mail the Pentagon. She suggests "Re: Ehren Watad" or "ATTN: DONALD RUMSFELD."
In Australia, the military inquiry into the April 21st Baghdad death of Jake Kovco is on hold as the attorneys and those on sitting on the board of inquiry practice shooting guns.
Luke McIIveen and Gemma Jones (PerthNow) recap some of the hearing's moments of this week. They also note that Soldier 14 has claimed to be in the room after hearing a shot -- strange since the unit's commander didn't testify to that.