Tuesday. And it seems hotter than it was yesterday. I don't think I can remember a hotter summer. Thanks for Global Warming, Big Business. A lot going on today, so let's get started.
First off, as noted in the snapshot, Alberto Gonzales is in Iraq to teach Iraqis about the law. Are you done laughing yet? Good. This is from the Center for Constitutional Rights' "FEDERAL JUDGE REJECTS BUSH ADMINISTRATION'S EFFORT TO CONFISCATE LAWYER'S PRIVILEGED COMMUNICATIONS WITH GITMO DETAINEES:"
On August 28, 2006, the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia denied the government's request for a 'filter team' to review papers seized from detainees at Guantánamo late yesterday. The Administration had requested that the court authorize the seizure and establish procedures for their review. Judge Richard Leon rejected the government's motion. In strong language, the court stated that any further review of potentially privileged material by the government comes "at their own legal peril."
If the Administration continues to deny full protection for the privileged communications between detainees and their counsel, the Center for Constitutional Rights believes "legal peril" could include contempt and disciplinary actions against government lawyers. CCR attorney Gitanjali Gutierrez, who coordinates CCR's defense of the Guantánamo detainees, hailed the decision: "With its ruling, the Court has thoroughly rejected the Administration's attempt to confiscate all of the papers of those detained at Guantánamo without judicial authorization. The court turned back an unprecedented invasion of attorney-client privilege."
After three detainees committed suicide in June 2006, the government confiscated 1100 pounds of papers belonging to those detained at Guantánamo. These documents included privileged attorney-client communications. Despite this blatant invasion of privileged attorney client-communications, neither the Court nor counsel was given advance notice of the seizure. Attorneys only learned of the seizure through their clients, and it was only confirmed nearly a month later in papers filed by the government. While the Bush Administration initially claimed it had reviewed the papers of only 11 detainees, it later acknowledged reviewing the papers of 155 prisoners prior to notifying the court.
In reaction to the decision, CCR Legal Director Bill Goodman said: "Again and again, the Executive has sought to evade judicial scrutiny of its unlawful conduct. This is only the most recent reminder that it can not continually ignore the rule of law."
Alberto Gonzales who wants to pry into lawyer-client communication is in Iraq trying to teach them about the rule of law. I'll stop a minute and wait for you to stop laughing.
This morning, C.I. noted the American military fatality count in Iraq in "Chaos and violence continue in Iraq" and it stood 53. Guess what it's at now? 60. Now let's drop back to Thursday when C.I. did "And the war drags on" -- 2619 since the illegal invasion. Right now? 2637. Where the hell is the damn coverage? Not on Democracy When. Never on Democracy When. Democracy When took a look at Iraq, shrugged and had to go chase down something else.
Where is the coverage? How many Iraqis have to die (69 on Sunday) and how many Americans before independent media decides, "Hey, we're interested again?"
This is the war the US administration started. Must be great to be the vacationing Bully Boy and not have your feet to the fire over all the fatalities. Must be great to just coast around from photo-op to photo-op. Well they're all focused on Katrina this week, the anniversary. You know independent media can only juggle one damn story at a time. So maybe in March, on the anniversary, we can get some indy coverage. Of course all the millions turning out for that will have to share with the Send the Marines to Darfur Nuts, like they did last year when Amy Goodman reduced citizen protests to headlines and treated the millions protestsing the war as equivalent to the hundreds showing up (after they met with Bully Boy) to plea for the US military to go into Darfur.
How many days do they think we'll put up with of their nonsense, of their bullshit, of their ignoring Iraq?
They should all be ashamed. They're worse than big media. Big media's pushed it to the back of the papers but they've still got it covered. They don't even want to talk about the war in Iraq anymore.
They are the JUDY MILLERS now. That's who they are. They're the Judy Millers. They slammed her, they made fun of her and they were so POMPOUS and FULL OF THEMSELVES about how they would have done it differently and just give every dime and dollar you can scrape together and build their media, build it up, and you'll never again have to suffer through the media that runs from story to story.
What a joke. Independent media is a joke. It's a sick little joke, but it's a joke.
Shame on them all. Shame on Amy Goodman most of all. She had a lot to say about Judy Miller. But what's Amy Goodman done in the last few months? Shoved Iraq aside. Stopped addressing it. Her, "Here are 20 headlines and five or four are about Iraq" doesn't cut it. That's not coverage. She's a joke. Ha-ha. She should be ashamed. I hope her new book flops. I really do. I belived what she put in the last one. I thought it was for real. That someone really cared about ending the war but 2006 showed that wasn't the case.
I was a huge believer and a huge fan. Bet Judy Miller had some believers and fans once too.
So again, the lesson is you can't trust the media. They'll talk a good game, especially if they're begging for money, but they won't do shit. First chance they get, all the money they begged you for while telling you that only from them could you get unembedded coverage and discussions of Iraq, they'll take your money. Then they'll turn their programs into Look What Israel's Done Now! and have you scratching your head? You'll be saying, "I thought I was in Boston, but I guess I'm in Beruit. I must be since that's the only story independent media cares about."
Guess they'll have to push that when they start their next round of fundraising. "If you care about what your government is doing in Iraq . . . go to NPR. But if you want to know every detail, day after day, about Israel, then give $20, give $30, give $150! Support indymedia because there are many stories that we want to give you wall to wall coverage on and we're not interested in covering the US government at all. If you want to know about the war in Iraq, go to mainstream media. But we are independent media . . . Your last chance of getting every detail about Israel. Give, give generously. Support indymedia. Support free speech. Our free speech, not yours. Because you're interested in Iraq and we're not. We're bored with it. It's lasted too long and we're busy with other things. We're full of shit. Give us all your money. Draw up a will so we can benefit when you die. We treat you like your dead already by ignoring the war that your government started, the war the continues, the war that is killing Iraqis. Give us your money. Give us your money and buy my book and get the word out on my show because it's not about Iraq, it's all about me, me, me!"
I'm with Rebecca, don't give them another dime. They don't deserve it. They lied. That's the reality. They showed up during the pledge drive promising coverage of Iraq. People gave the money and they didn't follow up. They are LIARS. Don't give a damn dime.
After the pledge cycle, they'll probably wall to wall it on Darfur. They're not telling you any truths, they're just booking their friends on their shows to talk about the pet topics like Israel and Darfur. In fact, Dad pointed out that it was awfully funny that when Sammy Power wrote her article for The Nation, she plugged some students without noting her own relationship to them. That's called free advertising. It's not called disclosure. It's not called honesty.
So stop supporting the LIARS. Use your money, your hard earned money, to support your own activities. We spend on our get togethers on Friday where we discuss Iraq. That makes more sense than giving it to Amy Goodman who doesn't even know Iraq exists anymore. If you're happy with the way they ignored Cindy Sheehan and Ehren Watada, week after week, by all means open your wallets. If you think they should be taken to the woodshed for that, don't give them anything.
Don't give them a damn dime. None of 'em. They promised Iraq coverage and then they dropped it. They wanted to push Mexico, remember that, the election? They were going to change the world. Then they wanted to change the world on Israel as though Bully Boy or Israel was going to listen to anyone. And you can be damn sure they'll be pushing Darfur.
A little less changing the world and a little more informing would have helped America.
They're not reporting. They're not even having an open discussion. They bring on the Sammy Power crowd to talk about Darfur and act like you got informed. As though everyone on the left agrees with Sammy Power. They don't. Keith Harmon Snow doesn't, Joshua Frank doesn't, Sara Flounders doesn't. Lots of people aren't screaming for the US military to be sent into Darfur. But you wouldn't know that from who Amy Goodman brings on to give that one-sided discussion and act like she's informed an audience.
Sammy Power slimed Noam Chomsky. It's surprising that, after that, Amy Goodman wants to hop on board the Sammy Power Military Express.
But I'm getting beyond my ability to be surprised by Amy Goodman. It's just a consistent strain of digust now. (And this responds to Rebecca's question in "call it like you see it" last night.)
You know where you're going after the snapshot, right? Over to Like Maria Said Paz to read Elaine! And you should also check out Cedric's "Noel, who's not in the US military, wants to send them to fight his war"
Now C.I.'s covering a lot but mainly trying to walk through Jake Kovco because there were big developments today. And I had to ask Dad, "What's a hard-on with a briefcase?" :D He said it's mob talk for a lawyer. So I just explained a joke to you. Here's C.I.'s "Iraq snapshot:"
August 29, 2006, chaos and violence continue in Iraq -- and Alberto Gonzales only just got there, the AFP is reporting a peace deal with one militia group, Camp Democracy gears up for the September 5th opening, and, in Australia, Soldier 14 is asked if he shot Jake Kovco.
Starting in Iraq, the AFP reports that the Madhi Army forces have agreed to some sort of peace deal (that's one out of countless groups) and that "a few hours after a peace deal was reached" 74 were dead from a pipeline explosion. The explosion was not caused by Alberto Gonzales (at least not as far as anyone knows), however he is in Iraq and, CNN reports, he intends to impart the importance of "rule of law" to Iraqis who, hopefully, will turn around and teach him a few things about "rule of law" since his actions as US Attorney General and, earlier, as Bully Boy's "hard-on with a suitcase," would indicate the concept confuses him greatly.
Gangsta' Gonzales should feel right at home in Iraq amidst the chaos and violence.
Reuters notes that five people were wounded by mortar rounds in Baghdad and that, in Kirkuk, a roadside bomb claimed the life of a police officer and wounded nine people.
Reuters reports that, in Baquba, "[f]ifteen people were gunned down"; a bakery worker was shot to death in Baiji with another one wounded; a civilian was shot in Mosul; and an attack (by "gunmen") an office of Moqtada al-Sadr left two bodyguards dead and five wounded. AP notes that the office was attacked with more than guns ("three mortar shells, two rocket-propelled grenades and a bomb") and that the building was demolished.
Reuters reports 20 corpses ("gunshot wounds") were discovered in Baghdad, a corpse ("gunshot wounds" as well) was discovered in Balad, and four corpses were discovered ("handcuffed and blindfolded") near Baquba. CBS and AP note the 20 corpses in Baghdad rose to 24.
In the United States, Cindy Sheehan remains at Camp Casey III in Crawford, Texas. On Wednesday, August 30th, she plans to join Salt Lake City mayor Rocky Anderson for a demonstration against the Bully Boy in Salt Lake City. WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 30th, not Thursday 31st, as noted here before. More information at Utah Voices. The prospects so overjoy the Repubes that they've launched an ad, as John Daley (KSL) points out, that includes: "Now Rocky Anderson has invited her to Utah." Don't make the Repubes do all the work getting the word out.
Sheehan's attendance may depend upon her health (she recently had surgery). Responding to the charge of 'irrelevancy' (by the Waco Tribune), Sheehan (Truthout) notes: "Peace will never be irrelevant as long as war is used as a diplomatic tool" and discusses her plans for The Camp Casey Peace Institute as "a force for real peace."
Sheehan will be moving Camp Casey to DC for Camp Democracy. Kevin Zeese (American Chronicle) interviewed David Swanson about the upcoming Camp Democracy which Swanson states "will bring together movements for peace, Katrina recovery, immigrants rights, labor rights, electoral reform, women's rights, environmental sanity, accountability and impeachment. We'll open the camp in Washington D.C., on September 5th and run at least until September 21, the International Day of Peace, when a movement called Declaration of Peace has planned massive civil disobedience."
Turning to the topic of Ehren Watada, Charles Burress (San Francisco Chronicle) reports that Sarah Olson will not assist the military investigation of Watada: "I declined because I don't think that it's right for the Army to be asking me to help them prosecute Lt. Watada" Olson has reported on Watada at Truthout and on Free Speech Radio News (among other outlets). Ehren Watada was the first officer to publicly refuse to deploy to Iraq. More information can be found at Courage to Resist and ThankYouLt.org.
Meanwhile, in Australia, the military inquiry into the April 21st Baghdad death of Jake Kovco continues. Today Soldier 14 took the stand. On Monday, Michelle Franco (forensic expert with the NSW Department of Health's Analytical Laboratories) refuted Soldier 14's previous claims that his DNA ended up on the slide of Jake Kovco's gun as a result of their shared use of a radio, megaphone, etc., from when they were both on duty the day of Kovco's death. Noting the concentration of Soldier 14's DNA on the pistol's slide and the fact that, were DNA transferred by such means, "after 30 minutes it would be virturally all gone." When asked point blank if she was saying that the Soldier 14 would have had to handle Jake Kovco's pistol to have left the DNA that was found on the slide, Franco testified, "It is consistent with that."
Soldier 14 had previous testified August 25th, August 21st and as he did on August 18th that he did not touch Jake Kovco's gun. Soldier 14 has been in Australia and complained that he wanted to return to Baghdad (also testified that 'many people' told him Shelley Kovco, widow of Jake Kovco and mother of their two children, was out to get him). Michael Edwards reported on PM that in testimony on Tuesday, Soldier 14 stated: "We've had discussions on a numerous occassions trying to work out what happened." He's speaking of Soldiers 17 and 19 who were Jake Kovco's roommates.
Attorneys for Judy and Martin Kovco (Jake Kovco's parents) and Shelley Kovco may want the Soldiers 17 and 19 to testify (by video-link or in person). Soldier 17 testified to hearsay on August 2nd, floating the rumor that Jake Kovco was a 'cowboy' with guns." At that time, he based that 'testimony' on what "others" had told him but he wouldn't name the others (and shot off a whiny "I don't have to if I don't want to" type of remark). Frank Holles (Judy and Martin Kovco's attorney) responded then: "I put it to you when it suits you, you will not provide information." No he won't. As Conor Duffy reported that day to Eleanor Hall of Soldier 17's claims, "He said he never saw this . . . He said that he didn't see it . . ." "It" was Soldier's 17's vivid testimony of how Kovco would allegedly play with his gun: "Like quick draw and you spin it around all that sort of s[**t]." His testimony to something he did not see, something he was told of by "others" whom he wouldn't name. Now Soldier 14 has admitted that he and Soldiers 17 and 19 discussed the case prior to their testimony. Soldier 17 should be forced to name the "others" and to testify as to his version of what the three of them discussed.
The "cowboy" claim made all the papers that day (in Australia) based on Soldier 17's vivid testimony . . . based on, admittedly, hearsay. And today Soldier 14 admits that they (he, Soldiers 17 and 19) attempted to 'sort it out'.
On July 24th, Detective Sergeant Phillip Elliott took the stand and noted that the clothes were destroyed, the roomates had showered, Jake Kovco's body had been washed all before he could begin his investigation. Elliott also noted that Soldiers 17 and 19 (Jake Kovco's roommates, in the room when he died) differed on where Soldier 17 was located in the room, on where Jake Kovco "lay after he fell" and that Jake Kovco's body had been turned over after he fell.
Belinda Tasker (The Courier-Mail) reports that Soldier 14 continues to insist that he never touched Jake Kovco's pistol. Dan Box (The Australian) reports that Soldier 14 told the inquiry "he wished his friend [Jake Kovco] was still alive to explain how his [Soldier 14's] DNA came to be on the gun." What a buddy, what a pal, what a mate. He wishes the late Jake Kovco were alive, why? To explain how his [Soldier 14} DNA was found on Jake Kovco's gun. What a selfish (and stupid) remark. Presuming Soldier 14's telling the truth about not touching Jake Kovco's gun, what makes him think Jake Kovco could explain it when (the living) Soldier 14 can't?
As previously noted, Jake Kovco and his two roommates were listening to music before Jake Kovco died (Cranberries) and Soldier 14 has tetified before about being bothered by the volume. AAP reports that Frank Holles asked him if he "had stormed into Pte Kovco's room because he was angry about the loud music he and his two roommates were playing." Michael Edwards reported it to Eleanor Hall (The World Today) like this: "Basically what the lawyer for the Kovco family, Lieutenant Colonel Frank Holles, said was that Private Kovco had been playing loud music in his room, which is adjoining that of Soldier 14 in the barracks in Baghdad, and that Soldier 14 went into Private Kovco's room, took hold of his . . . of Private Kovco's 9mm pistol and then shot him in the head."
Soldier 14 denied that he shot Jake Kovco; however, as Eleanor Hall pointed out, "But Soldier 14 has not denied being in the room, or the possibility that he may have been in the room when Private Kovco was shot?" To which Michael Edwards replied, "What he did today, he didn't deny being in the room. He said . . . it was put to him that hypothetically it wouldn't have taken him long to reach the room. And he agreed that hypothetically, yes, he said his room was adjoining Private Kovco's." It's interesting that it would hypothetically take two seconds for Soldier 14 to get to the room. Soldier Two (the platoon sergeant) testified on July 25th that he heard the shot and went to Kovco's room where he found Soldiers 17 and 19 beside Jake Kovco's body. Where was Soldier 14? Two seconds to get to the room, the platoon sergeant has made it to the room, where was Solider 14?
In other news of the Kovco trial, the AAP reports: "Meanwhile, the chief of staff at joint task force headquarters in Iraq, codenamed Soldier 39, has rejected as 'utter bulls**t" claims by military police that he ignored advice to keep Pte Kovco's body in Baghdad until investigators arrived to examine it." On the subject of the body, Jake Kovco was supposed to arrive in Australia's April 26th. He did not. Juso Sinanovic, a Bosnian carpenter, arrived instead. The company handling the transportation of Jake Kovco and Juso Sinanovic's bodies was Kenyon International. As Brooke Shelby Biggs (CorpWatch) has noted: "Kenyon International Emergency Services is a wholly owned subsidary of Service Corporation International (SCI), a funer services firm based in Texas. SCI is helmed by Robert Waltrip, a close family friend of the Bush clan and a major donor to George W. Bush's gubenatorial and presidential campaigns. SCI has been embroiled in a number of high-profile scandals in recent years, including one in which a subsidiary was discovered to be recycling crypts and dumping bodies in a wooded area behind a Jewish cemetery in Florida."
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