Thursday, April 05, 2007

Law and Disorder

Thursday! Almost the weekend and Leigh Ann and Beau both wrote to say that time moved so fast for them too. Leigh Ann's got a cousin she's close to who always complains about how slow everything's going and he doesn't follow the war (she does drag him to protests and started that this year -- her resolution for the year was show up with more than just herself). So she said she thinks my grandfather's right. (He'll love hearing that and he may read it here before I get time to tell him.)

Okay, it's time to talk Classic Disco like I try to do once a week.

Classic Disco?

Mike, you've never talked Classic Disco! Bump bump bump, do the hustle!


"Classic Disco" is the name of WBAI's Law and Disorder.

I thought that was a one time thing and it keeps happening. I asked C.I.'s friend (who burns each week's episode for me) if he was putting it on there. He said he wasn't. But when I put it in my computer drive and the player matches the CD with information, it shows up as Classic Disco. :D That always cracks me up. Dalia Hashad, Michael Ratner, Heidi Boghosian and Michael Smith are the hosts. Did I spell Dalia's name wrong recently? If so, my bad. I was probably copying that from a snapshot C.I. dictated to a friend who spelled it that way.

So the show opened with Dalia and Michael Ratner discussing the first military tribunal for a Guantanamo prisoner. Dalia said that it was "nothing short of horrorifying" and talked about how David Hicks' hair was "halfway down his back" to cover his eyes so he could sleep bcause "they keep the lights on his cell 24 -7 so he can't sleep." Now Rumsfeld was supposed to write up the rules and never did, remember that.

Hicks goes in with three lawyers and he points out all the lawyers the prosecution has and says his are going to need some help. The judge disagrees and strips him of one lawyer right there claiming that she's in the reserves and not on active duty (Michael called that crap -- in nicer words). Now remember the rules aren't written. Another lawyer brings that up and the Judge is all 'Oh, I know about this, I'll write the rules.' He just needs the lawyer to sign on to them and the lawyer says, besides the fact that Rumsfeld was supposed to write the rules, he can't agree to something that's not even written yet. The judge has now gotten rid of two attorneys. So Hicks is left with one lawyer (Morey) and that's among the things he was thinking about when he decided to plea. Michael Ratner pointed out that Hicks has been held since January 11, 2002. Five years and counting he has been a prisoner. He's Australian and he's got kids in Australia so if he hadn't pleaded and had been convicted, he could have gotten 20 or more years in prison and never seen them before. Michael thinks he'll serve a little time in Australia (it's supposed to be 9 months, I think) and get some credit for time served and then be set free.

Dalia pointed out that Hicks was being charged for his actions from December 2000 to December 2001 and that "the armed conflict did not begin . . . until October 2001. What is interesting about the military commissions is that they backdate the war on terror . . . so that offenses committed before October 1" can become charges.

She also wondered, "When did the CIA stop giving aid to the Taliban? . . . Can we backdate it to some of the" US officials who gave support to the Taliban?

Now I agree with Dalia but I should note that if The Nation was reviewing that statement they would call her 'emotional' as they did with the two women who wrote books about Afghanistan that dealt with the realities. The male reviewer loved the book by the guy who saw the fun and madness in the journey but the women were "emotional". The reviewer also bragged about going to a whorehouse in Afghanistan. That's the kind of crap you get in The Nation. And when that review ran this year, you need to remember that the editor and publisher was Katrina vanden Heuvel who apparently has no problem with a man doing that to two women (one was the NPR reporter who left NPR to try to help out in Afghanistan, the other was a writer The Nation often publishes and I forget both their names).

Dalia's right and I agree with her but I'm just offering that because maybe you're sick of The Nation (who isn't?) and if you are, you can listen to Law and Disorder and hear the stuff The Nation tries to cover up. Yes, the rag let the reviewer deny the CIA connection. Ava and C.I. steered the Christmas weekend edition of The Third Estate Sunday Review (and that was a strong edition) and led on "The Nation's Slap In The Face to women." Those of us who were working on the edition were talking about providing research and all on how this was a lie (that the CIA didn't fund the Taliban) but C.I. and Ava came up with using Gore Vidal because his two books that mention this were published by . . . Nation Books (the magazine's book imprint) and they remain the ONLY BESTSELLERS the imprint has had. Here's a taste of that piece:

Now we could go to Greg Palast or the BBC to show what a fool Peter Bergen is. But this garbage appears in The Nation. So maybe the better question is why did The Nation publish Gore Vidal's Dreaming War in 2002 (it remains one of the few bestsellers the imprint Nation Books has ever seen -- gag books and joke books don't generally have long shelf lives)?
If Bergen's correct then Gore Vidal's entire book is wrong. Not only did The Nation publish Vidal's book, it continues to sell the book -- without corrections.
So which is it? Is centrist and hack Bergen correct or is Gore Vidal? Is The Nation going to stand with a writer of merit (Vidal) or the personal friend of someone at the magazine?
The tawdry crap Bergen churns out doesn't belong in The Nation.
The long-winded, non-review also contains a familiar subtext: women's rights don't matter. Feminists engaged in the Afghanistan issue in the 90s, trying to get a non-responsive Congress and administration to pay attention, will remember that message. It's back today and Bergen's selling it. For some strange reason, Bergen's selected to review three books on Afghanistan.
Apparently, The Nation knows of no women qualified to address the topic of Afghanistan so they had to go with a self-proclaimed 'terror expert.' (Strange, in and of itself, when you consider that The Nation regularly tells readers the so-called war on terror is bunk.) For future reference, here's three women who can address the topic quite well (and much better than 'centrist' Bergen): Weeda Mansoor, Sunita Mehta and Fariba Nawa. That's just three, there are many others.

I love that feature. Same edition, Ava and C.I. started "The Nation Stats" which is a feature whenever an issue arrives that covers the fact that the left magazine (or "left") headed by a woman (Katrina vanden Heuvel) barely publishes women. (It's currently 3.8 men for every woman so you can round that up to 4 men for every woman.) Ava and C.I. get credit on that because they were in charge that issue (Jim, Dona, Jess and Ty took Christmas off), because a number of feminists started raising the issue of lack of representation for women at The Nation in the fall of 2006 and C.I. did a really hard hitting piece (for the gina & krista round-robin) covering the lack of women in 2006, and because everyone at Third (Jim, Dona, Ty, Jess, Ava and C.I.) were in agreement that they needed to do this and follow it through the year so that we would have totals for the full year. Which is what we have going on now. By the way, I mentioned yesterday that we'd be addressing the crappy Nation article on the SDS at Third. We still will in some way but C.I. links to a great article in the snapshot (it'll be at the end of my post) and let me give credit that won't get credited otherwise. C.I. outlined a piece and the points Bernadine Dohrn makes were pretty much the same. That's not a surprise because Dohrn was in the Weather Underground and SDS (and she's written a great article). But now we're scrambling to figure out how to address it. But we will. That article was crap.

So back to Law and Disorder. Donna Lieberman was a guest and she is with the NYCLU. She was on discussing the 2004 police harassment, spying of peaceful protestors for the RNC convention in NYC. They even went out and interviewed/spied on people months before the convention. They were spying on Billionaires for Bush (which is a parody group) and on musicians who were taking part in concerts. And claiming that they weren't spying and if they did it was just on people who were 'dangerous types'. So that got exposed and she was on to discuss it. I like her as a guest. She's been on before. And they didn't just spy in this country, they went to Canada and more. This is the NYC police department. If Bloomberg wasn't a Republican, do you think they would have gotten away with it? I don't. They bent all the rules leading up to 2004 and by then they were willing to just break them. And they didn't just go around as police trying to intimidate people, they posed as activists and stuff. (If you're a community member, remember the two columns C.I. wrote on this. If you're not a member, somewhere at The Third Estate Sunday Review, we used one of those experiences for half a short story -- probably in the 2006 fiction edition which was probably in June. We're already gearing up for the fiction edition this week. And wait, it's the week after the fiction edition. Cedric had a great idea for a short story and nobody used it. So the week after, C.I. and Cedric roughed it out and the rest of us wrote it and it combined that and C.I.'s thing. But we are working on the edition some. Thinking about it to be ready. C.I.'s got an opening line for a short story and Ty had something happen, something he and C.I. observed, and that's going to be another short story. What happened in 2005, the first year they did a fiction edition, was that it was a last minute thing but they grabbed stuff they'd all done. They pulled stuff from old journals of C.I.'s and Dona's and stuff they'd written for other stuff and just expanded on it and had a great fiction issue. They did not like the 2006 fiction issue and that's why we're already supposed to be thinking about it so we're not struggling -- like we were -- on a Saturday night to suddenly come up with all these ideas.)

Now after that, they had a bit of comedy before the last segment. I liked it. Dad did too but my sister said, "Tell the joke!" :D What was going on was Michael Ratner was reading funny court moments from a book that is called Disorder in the Court. And he would get to laughing so hard that he would need a laughing break to get it out. I thought that made it funnier. Dad did too. But Ratner should watch out for the angry teenager who is pissed because she is semi-grounded demographic! :D My sister's lost phone and other privl. She did something stupid (but not criminal) and Ma and Dad grounded her. Her whole attitude is "I'm too old for this!" My attitude is, "You are too old to do something that stupid!" :D So this week (she's ungrounded Friday night if she doesn't screw up before then) is all about her storming room to room and nothing's ever good enough for Goldilocks. :D That music isn't good. That TV show is lame. This doesn't taste right. People are making too much noise outside. She's got one complaint after another. She heard Dad and me laughing as we listened to the CD and stormed in determined to to make everyone as miserable as she is. (She hates it when I write about her but she wouldn't shut up while we were trying to listen and I go, "You know I blog about this, so you better be quiet or you're going to be in my post." She stomped out of the room screaming, "I DON'T CARE!" :D) So if Michael Ratner wants to win over that demographic he'll need to (a) laugh less and (b) agree to represent her in family court so she can fight her grounding sentence. :D

It really was funny, that segment. I hope they find a way to do something like that again and I would say they should do it just like it was this time. It's hard to tell you and make you laugh, probably. But it was questions asked in court during cross examination and like one thing was if the doctor was sure the victim was dead before the autopsy was performed? The lawyer was asking stuff like did you take a pulse and these other questions and the answer was always "no" and then at the end the lawyer asks how the doctor knew the victim was dead and the doctor says because the victim's brain was in a jar on a shelf. :D (That one resulted in my sister screaming, from the other room, "That is not funny! That person is dead! They do not have a brain!" :D)

Donna Lieberman was back for the last segment and Deborah Small of Break the Chain joined them. They were discussing the fact that people are being stopped on the streets of NYC. It's targeting minorities (Latinos and African-Americans) and increasing the number of arrests for minor things. Now not only is that wrong but they then put all this information in the NYC police database and it doesn't end there because then it's accessible all over the country by all these people in the government. So they're profiling (bad enough) and then creating these secret files. This is like the files that Hoover kept on "enemies" like John Lennon and other people and it also reminded me of their story they did a few weeks back (maybe last week) on the phone companies and how these files were being kept on people.

Now if it seems like the first segment got the most attention from me, that's because I was all eager to type! :D I loved all the segments but that was a strong one and, most importantly, I was writing about it first! So that's Law and Disorder and it airs on many stations but you can hear it Mondays at 10:00 a.m. on WBAI. Anytime at the Law and Disorder website. C.I.'s friend gets a big thank you from me for burning each week's episode for me. I was talking to C.I. about it and going on about how I would have my own Law and Disorder library! :D C.I. said, "If you don't loan them out." C.I. does (which is fine with C.I. -- attitude is, "If someone can use it in a paper or just for their own enjoyment and knowledge, great.") and there are probably 5 that C.I. has now from 2006. The others have gone off on their own life. That's why C.I.'s friend uses the discs that you can write over. :D He says that's great if someone's listening but if they're going to end up recording over it, forget it. :D

Three people e-mailed to say "Who Knows Where The Time Goes?" by Judy Collins is a great recording. Susan also e-mailed about that. She's a big music lover in the community and she gave me her suggestion for CD to get but said if C.I. had a different suggestion, go with that "because C.I. knows you better than I do." True, but Susan and C.I. both suggested the same thing, Judy Collins' Forever. It's a double disc anthology and it has that on it and the Marat/Sade thing I love and Susan said "So Early, Early In The Spring" (which I did know because of Dad, but didn't know it was on that collection). C.I. said I had to hear "Pirate Jenny and "Bird On A Wire." And as soon as I post this, I'll be listening to that. I gave Tony money for it because he was running around doing errands and he's here now, we're going to eat a pizza and prepare for an into we have to do for tomorrow's class.

Here's C.I.'s "Iraq snapshot" and read Bernadine Dorhn's article, it's great:

Thursday, April 5, 2007. Chaos and vionce continue in Iraq,the 15 British soldiers are returned to England but the Iranian diplomats remain held by the US military, a US helicopter is shot down, both the British and the US military announce the latest death tolls, and can a moment be seized?

BBC reports on the return to England of the 15 British soldiers who were captured by Iranian's when the British were in disputed waters off the coast of Iraq. Released after nearly two weeks, the five Iranian diplomats that the US kidnapped in a January raid on a diplomatic consulate (recognized as such by the Kurdish government -- and still recognized as diplomats by the Iraqi government) are still being held. Edward Wong (New York Times) reports that Iraq's Foreign Minister, Hoshyar Zebari, stated, "It was not a clanestine operation. . . . They operated with the approval of the regional government and with the knowledge of the Iraqi government. We were in the process of formalizing that liaison office into a consulate." Wong also notes that 200 Kurdish soldiers attempted to prevent the five diplomats from being taken off by the US military back in January.

Turning to news of war resistance,
Ehren Watada has new legal representation. Watada, the first officer to publicly refuse to deploy to Iraq and the first to be court-martialed (in a court-martial Judge Toilet ruled a mistrial over the objection of the defense) is no longer represented by Eric Seitz. William Cole (Honolulu Advertiser) quotes Seitz stating, "I think the way to put it is I'm not representing him anymore and he's found another firm" and Bob Watada (Ehren's father) stating, "I have the highest opinion of Eric Seitz. But it's Ehren's decision." Hawaii's KNDO notes that Watada's next court-martial is scheduled for July 16th. Whether it will go foward or not is up in the air because double-jeporady should have attached when Judge Toilet (Lt. Col. Head) declared a mistrial, over defense objection, in the midst of the trial. Cole notes Watada is now represented by Carney Badley Spellman in Seattle. Fort Lewis is in Seattle so that is one plus (Seitz resides in Hawaii). Another is the strong lawyers working for the firm such as Jim Lobsenz. AP notes "Watada is currently assigned to an administrative position at Fort Lewis." Earlier this week, Paul Rockwell (Berkeley Daily Planet) summarzies Watada's case thus far and notes that "Watada never volunteered -- no soldier volunteers -- to violate human rights, to violate American treaties, to destroy the sovereignty of nations, to participate in aggression. A contract to break the law has no legal standing."

Ehren Watada is a part of a movement of resistance within the military that also includes Robert Zabala, Darrell Anderson, Kyle Snyder , Joshua Key, Corey Glass, Ricky Clousing, Mark Wilkerson, Agustin Aguayo, Camilo Mejia, Dean Walcott, Patrick Hart, Ivan Brobeck, Aidan Delgado, Pablo Paredes, Carl Webb, Jeremy Hinzman, Stephen Funk, David Sanders, Dan Felushko, Brandon Hughey, Clifford Cornell, Joshua Despain, Katherine Jashinski, Chris Teske, Matt Lowell, Jimmy Massey, Tim Richard, Hart Viges, Michael Blake and Kevin Benderman. In total, thirty-eight US war resisters in Canada have applied for asylum.Information on war resistance within the military can be found at Center on Conscience & War, The Objector, The G.I. Rights Hotline, and the War Resisters Support Campaign. Courage to Resist offers information on all public war resisters.

In Iraq today, another helicopter has gone down.
The Times of London reports that the downing took place "this morning after coming under fire in a Sunni militrant stonghold south of baghdad, an Iraqi army officials said. AFP reports that "four personnel on board a US army helicopter were wounded and 'evacuated' when it crashed south of Baghdad. Five others on board were safe". CNN reports that an unnamed US military official has stated that the helicopter "appeared to be damaged by small-arms fire" and notes that 8 helicopters "have been shot down or forced to make hard landings" since January 20, 2007. Hard landings? Sweeter word for "crash." AP provides a list of 9 helicopter incidents (beginning on January 20th) leading up to today's which, they note, resulted from "an anti-aircraft heavy machine gun" according to an "Iraqi official."

That was only one incident of violence reported today.


Sahar Issa (McClatchy Newspapers) reports five IED explosions throughout Baghdad that killed 3 people and left 7 injured, and two Baghdad mortar attacks left 4 people dead and 10 wounded. CBS and AP report a car bombing in western Baghdad that left "at least six guards" of "a Sunni Muslim television station" injured. This comes as Reporters Without Borders issues their statement condeming the kidnapping and beating of journalist Nabaz Goran who was kidnapped and assaulted by "five men in military uniforms" in the city of Ebril. On the attack on the Baghdad TV station, Reuters notes one person was killed and a total of 10 were wounded.Shootings?

Sahar Issa (McClatchy Newspapers) reports that "a young man" was shot dead and another wounded in Muqdadiya "near one of the internet cafes and playing centers" while an attempted kidnapping of a student in Baghdad left one security guard at Mustansiriyah University dead and 4 more injured. Alexandra Zavis (Los Angeles Times) reports: "A three-year-old child was felled by a sniper's bullet as he sat in his grandather's lap in a car at a south Baghdad intersection, police said. A security guard at Yarmouk Hospital, which receives a steady stream of bloodied victims, said he broke down in tears when he saw the tiny body." AFP reports that seven Iraqi soldiers were shot dead in Mosul. Dean Yates and Ross Colvin (Reuters) cite an "army source" (presumably Iraqi army) who says that the soldiers had been surprised in their sleep. Alexandra Zavis (Los Angeles Times) also notes a rocket attack "near a high school and police station in Kanan" which left 4 children wounded.


AFP reports that Khamael Muhsin's corpse was found today. Alexandra Zavis (Los Angeles Times) reports Khamel Muhsin was an "Iraqi radio announcer" who had last been seen "Wedensday in west Baghdad." Reuters reports five corpses were discovered in Baquba and the corpses of two women were discovered "on the main road between Diyala and Wasit province". Sahar Issa (McClatchy Newspapers) reports eleven corpses discovered in Baghdad and that a total of 22 corpses were discovered in Baquba.

Now let's stop for a moment to note that Khamael Muhsin was found dead and two other women were found dead.
Sahar Issa (McClatchy Newspapers) adds to the body of reported violence against women by noting that two teachers (women) and their driver disappeared "three days ago" and Badra police were attempting to determine whether the two missing women were the corpses (heads only, according to Issa) discovered between Diyala and Wasit province. Issa also notes that "a principle of a primary school and her assistant were kidnapped by insurgents near one of the banks in Baquba before the eyes of a combined security patrol." Team all of that up with the three explosions Issa reports "in front of the Institute of Teachers for Girls" in Kirkuk. But let's all pretend that women aren't targeted simply due to their gender.

Today, the
US military announced: "A MND-B Soldier died when the patrol was attacked by small arms fire in the southern outskirts of Baghdad April 3. The unit was conducting a dismounted patrol when the attack occurred. One other Soldier was wounded in the attack."And they announced: "An MND-B Soldier died April 3 when a patrol was attacked with small arms fire in an eastern section of the Iraqi capital. The unit was conducting a presence patrol in the area when the attack occurred." And they announced: "While conducting a combat security patrol, two MND-B Soldiers died and three others were wounded when an improvised explosive device detonated in a southern section of the Iraqi capital April 4." And they announced: "While providing escort security for another unit, two MND-B Soldiers died and another was wounded when an improvised explosive device detonated north of the Iraqi capital April 4. In recent weeks, this unit has successfully found numerous weapons caches and detained several targeted insurgents within their area of responsibility. In a separate incident, an MND-B Soldier died when a patrol was attacked with small arms fire in an eastern section of the Iraqi capital. The unit was conducting an area reconnaissance mission when the attack occurred. No other Soldiers were wounded during the attack."
AFP puts the count of US service members killed in Iraq since the start of the illegal war at 3261, Reuters puts it at 3,264 and ICCC puts it at 3265.

And the
UK Military annonced, ""It is with deep regret that the Ministry of Defence must confirm that four British soldiers and a civilian interpreter have been killed in Iraq today, 5 April 2007. The five were killed in a roadside bomb attack against a Warrior patrol west of Basra this morning. Next of kin are being informed and no further details will be released until this process is complete. " Why the British government begins sentence number two with "The five were killed . . ."? Typo? One more they haven't reported yet? Who knows?
AFP count for British soldiers who have died in Iraq since the start of the illegal war is 140, Reuters also goes with 140, as does ICCC.

Al Jazeera reports that the attack also claimed the life of "a civilian translator". Joshua Partlow (Washington Post) reports, "British authorities were trying to determine the nationality of the interpreter who was killed. He was not an Iraqi, and contrary to news service news reports he did not appear to be from Kuwait".

Turning to the US Congress, Tuesday on
Free Speech Radio News, Leigh Ann Caldwell reported on the latest talk of a new Senate bill regarding the war: "Responding to Bush's veto threats to the $124 billion war supplemental, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and Senator Russ Feingold have come up with a backup plan, a plan that goes further. It would stop funding US combat missions on March 31st of next year. It's important to note though that troops would remain for security reasons and to fight al Qaeda in Iraq." (Thank you to Micah and another member who both transcribed Caldwell.) On the measures passed by the House and Senate previously, Alexander Cockburn and Jeffrey St. Clair (CounterPunch) observe, "Although nothing of any significance actually happened on March 32, to read liberal commentators one would think we'd witnessed some profound upheaval, courtsey of Nancy Pelosi's skillful uniting of the various Democratic factions. What she accomplished in practice was the neutering of the antiwar faction. . . . Will Congressional opposition to the war now get stronger, anchored by Pelosi's bill? Not likely. The window of opportunity for that flew open right after the election when antiwar forces roared in outrage after being snubbed by Pelosi and Reid, who omitted the war and the Patriot Act from their must-do agenda. Instead, the Democratic leadership chose merely to appear to oppose the war while continuing to fund it. This they have now achieved, amid the satisfied cheers of the progressive sector."

United for Peace and Justice is advising "We Must Seize the Moment:"

As people of the United States, taking action to right these terrible wrongs is our greatest responsibility. Join us in letting our elected representatives know that we want the war to end and the troops to come home now!
Congress is now on recess, giving us an opportunity to take our message directly to them in their homes offices: Start bringing the troops home from Iraq now, bring all the troops home in 2007, and no war in Iran! The House of Representatives will be on recess March 31-April 15, and the Senate from March 31-April 9. Now is the time to make our voices heard.
Click here for ways to take action.
Scheduled a meeting with your reps?
Please post it on our events calendar.
Suggested reading on the supplemental:
Are We Politicians or Citizens? by Howard Zinn
UFPJ Talking Points: Opposing the Iraq Supplemental & Iran Threats by Phyllis Bennis
CODEPINK is asking that we stop the purchase:

Don't Buy Bush's War! "CODEPINK believes that not one more dollar should be appropriated for continued war and occupation, and will continue to push the position that Congress should only fund the safe, orderly and rapid withdrawal of all troops by the end of this year." Read more of CODEPINK's response to the passing of the supplemental bill. We will continue our broad and exciting Don't Buy Bush's War Campaign. We need to flood the offices, halls, sidewalks and streets of Congress with people opposed to the war from now through this Fall. We're asking for your help to get people to Washington DC and to do similar actions locally. CALL CONGRESS: we're also asking you to call and email your member of Congress telling him or her to stop buying Bush's war. Watch the Washington Post's film about this campaign.

Those who don't see the urgency in ending the war quickly should read
Deborah Sontag's (New York Times) article on Iraq veteran Sam Ross who returned from Iraq blind and missing a portion of his left leg and was left to address mental and emotional issues arises from his time in Iraq and his injuries with no help or assistance from the government that so gladly sent him into an illegal war.

Finally, though the plan is still to address the idiotic article in The Nation (
noted last Friday), Bernadine Dohrn (writing at CounterPunch) has already done so: "Christopher Phelps has written a timely but ultimately disappointing article in The Nation about the vibrant and growing student movement. He transforms the tough challenges of movement-building into a set of tepid forumulas about what not to do. The new wave of student activism in American and around the world is a hopeful development worthy of our active participation and respect." As noted last week, for those not interested in musings from the faux set, check out Doug Viehmeyer's article "Steppin It Up: The New SDS" (LeftTurn) about the SDS.