Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Fouty and Jimenez families; bitter Ted

Tuesday! Hope everyone's having a good week. I got to take care of some household cleaning first up. My dad asked me to note something last week and I never did. It was in last Wednesday's paper. Dad even gave me the paper and I still forgot. He called me today and asked, "Are you ever going to mention it?"

Yes, I just kept forgetting. Here's the article online and it has 17th on it but it's the front page of the Boston Globe on the 18th, center story at the top. It runs with a photo credited to "ASSOCIATED PRESS/FILE" and the caption reads, "President Carter had to pursue Senator Edward M. Kennedy for a handshake in the 1980 convention."

The photo may be somewhere at the paper online but it is the front page photo for the 18th edition. (I recognize Walter Mondale clapping off to the side and watching a grim Carter shake hands with Kennedy but we can't see Kennedy's face.)

Why did my father want me to note that? Because of all the b.s. about Hillary needing to drop out and all the b.s. about how she was making a rough campaign and blah, blah, blah.

Ted Kennedy was bitter. He ran a bitter campaign against Jimmy Carter (who was the sitting president) and he was not at all gracious. Nor did he end his fight for the nomination before the convention.

So it sure is funny that Teddy and others wanted to say Hillary needed to drop out.

Dad says that with such a big story on Ted (and this was one of several) his health remarks are just denying reality. He says the paper wouldn't be covering him this much if the end weren't near. I don't know.

What I do know is that under this story is one I missed until right now. This is still the 18th. On the front page, below the Ted story, Dina Rudick has a photo of a funeral at Arlington National Cemetary. The articles on B1. It's this online. But I don't see her photos. She had five really strong photos including one (this is the caption) of "Maria Del Rosario Duran (left), mother of Jimenez, and Hillary Meunier-San Marcos, mother of Fouty, at the wake." Byron Fouty and Alex Jiminez were two soldiers who died in Iraq. They were attacked May 12, 2007. Others were as well but I don't see that in the story, not even the third guy who was kidnapped. Let me go to C.I.'s snapshot on this.

Okay, that day was a Saturday. So the first snapshot is Monday May 14, 2007:

On Saturday an attack took place outside Mahmudiya. Damien Cave (New York Times) reported: "A cooridnated attack on seven American soldiers an Iraqi Army interpreter Saturday morning south of Baghdad left five of them dead and three missing". Initial reports, based on what the US military was saying, included that five US service members were killed. The US military corrected this on Sunday: 4 US soldiers died as did 1 Iraqi translator. Three US soldiers are still missing. Scott Canon (McClatchy Newspapers) reported that approximately 4,000 US service members were searching for the 3 missing soldiers on Sunday. Tina Susman (Los Angeles Times) reports that at least one of the five dead had "gunshot woundes, though it was unclear whether he was shot before or after blasts enveloped the soldiers' two vehicles in flames, said U.S. Army Lt. Col. Christopher Garver, a military spokesman." Joshua Partlow (Washington Post) notes that the group was "parked in two Humvees in an area 12 miles west of Mahmudiyah" when the attack took place with "a roadside bomb . . . followed by gunfire, officials said. The two vehicles went up in flames and were spotted 15 minutes later by a surveillance drone, after a nearby unit that heard explosions could not make contact with the Humvees. The extent of the damage made it difficult to identify the slain soldiers." Stephen Farrell and Tom Baldwin (Times of London) note that the Islamic State in Iraq has claimed, via a website, responsibility for the raid and that they have the three missing US soldiers. Scott Canon (McClatchy Newspapers) noted that the grop has "offered no proof". CBS and AP report that the group claiming to have the three American soldiers issued a warning: "'If you want their safety do not look for them,' the Islamic State of Iraq said on a militant web site. 'You should remember what you have done to our sister Abeer in the same area,' the statement said, referring to five American soldiers who were charged in the rape and killing of 14-year-old Abeer Qassim al-Janabi and the killings of her parents and her younger sister last year. Three soldiers have pleaded guilty in the case." AFP notes that, in June of last year, two US soldiers were captured and their "bodies . . . were later found outside a power station south of Baghdad, mutilated and bearing signs of torture." That attack was also seen as resulting from the gang-rape and murder of Abeer in Mahmoudiyah on March 12, 2006 and, as Gregg Zoroya (USA Today) reported last September, Justin Watt came forward with what he was hearing about Abeer and her family when the June attack on US soldiers took place. Though the statement put up by the group claiming to have the 3 missing US soldiers is cited often in part, most outlets have avoided noting the mention of Abeer. (But then many avodied reporting on the Article 32 hearing last August or much that has happened since. As CBS and AP noted, 3 US soldiers have confessed to their part. Steven D. Green, who has been portrayed as the ringleader in press accounts as well as the testimonies of those who have pleaded guilty, maintains he is innocent.) Julie Rawe and Aparisim Ghosh (Time) reported last June, "Abeer's brother Mohammed, 13, told TIME he once watched his sister, frozen in fear, as a U.S. soldier ran his index finger down her cheek. Mohammed has since learned that soldier's name: Steven Green."

The three soldiers bring the total who are missing in Iraq to 5. In April 23, 2004 Keith Matt Maupin went from "
whereabouts unknown to captured." Maupin (who answered to Matt) went missing on April 9, 2004. Ahmed Qusai al-Taie went missing in October of 2006 when he left the Green Zone to visit Israa Abdul-Satar (whom he'd married three months prior).

Fouty and Jimenez were two of the missing soldiers. And this is from May 16, 2007 snapshot:

And while they do that, 3 US soldiers remain missing. On Saturday, an attack in Al-Taqa, outside Mahmudiya, a "stationary observation post" that was apprently left unaided and left out in the open for too long, came under attack. 4 US soldiers and 1 Iraqi translator were killed. 3 other US soldiers were missing and are assumed captured by an organization that the US military assumes has ties to al Qaeda. Sudarsan Raghavan and Ann Scott Tyson (Washington Post) noted the US military's identification thus far: James David Connell Jr., Daniel W. Courneya and Christopher E. Murphy are dead while Anthony J. Schober, Alex R. Jimenez, Joseph J. Anzack Jr., Byron W. Fouty are identified as missing -- one listed as missing is dead but the miltary has yet to be able to determine which one. For Joe Anzack's moter this is a replay. Louis Sahagun and Ashraf Khalil (Los Angeles Times) spoke with Theresa Anzack who explained that only three weeks prior, she had been infored that her son was dead. Joseph Aznack, Joe's father, spoke on NBC's Today this morningthat "his son was not the soldier who was killed." One family member who does know the fate of her loved one is Jennifer Courneya whose husband Daniel Courneya who is among the three declared dead thus far. Speaking to Joe Mahoney and Rich Schapiro (New York Daily News), Jennifer Courneya, while turning her late husband's fatigues in to a military supply store, noted of her husband, "He was so funny, very loving. He was talking about starting a family." She also shared her feelings "that we don't need to be [in Iraq] anyway" and that her husband "told me in a letter I just got yesterday if he had met me before he went in the service, he would have never gone. He really didn't want to be there." If you wonder why the widow is left out of the press you see, consider that the outlets can't deal with what she has to say. (Jennifer Courneya is being left out of a lot of coverage on the death of her husband -- even coverage that finds the time to interview students at a high school he went to.)
CNN reports that the hunt for the missing includes dropping 150,000 leaflets and "offering a $200,000 reward for any information about the location of three missing American soldiers, or the identity of their kidnappers". The Giddiest Gabor in the Green Zone, Little Willie Caldwell, insists to CNN that the soldiers attacked Saturday had support and maintains that the support was only 1640 feet away. For that to be true, they'll need to explain why 'support' came in the form of the "unmanned aerial vehicle" which, for the record, apparently got there much to late to deteact the missing soldiers or where they might have gone. Little Willie does admit that "the patrol was 'static throughout th enight with concertina wire somewhat around their position'." Somewhat? And a commander rushes in to say Little Willie was wrong, it didn't take an hour to get to the burning wreckage, it took only 30 minutes. Only 30 minutes? Did they travel by tricycle? "500 meters" is 1640 feet. "500 meters" is less than 1 mile (it's .31 miles). They're scrubbing the store to change the one hour to 30 minutes and that might fool some but it's not fooling all the rank and file serving in Iraq -- some grasp this was something that could have and should have been avoided. Not a screw up by the ones who were stationed, but by the ones who stationed them there and the real question is how far up does the screw up go? Little Willie says the military is "looking very carefully at the whole tactical situation to see if there's something they need to do better."

Brian MacQuarrie writes about it for the Boston Globe and I'm looking at the story now and not seeing much worth noting. I'm talking about reporting wise. Okay, flip the page and go to B4 and finally there's a paragraph worth noting. In fact, this is how the story should have opened:

One stone will mark the resting place for Jimenez, 25, and Fouty, 19.
Rest, also, could come for two families who endured nearly 14 months of agony until, after a massive manhunt involving 4,000 troops, the bodies of the soldiers were discovered at last on July 8, 2008. A native of Pembroke, Mass., Private Matthew Bean, died after being shot by a sniper during the search.
The remains that could be identified had already been buried: Jimenez's in Farmingdale, N.Y., near his mother's home; Fouty's in Fort Sam Houston, Texas.
A second funeral, however, proved no easier for parents and loved ones living with recurring, excruciating thoughts of the suffering that their soldiers probably endured.
"It's very difficult, because we know that part of him is in there," said Jimenez's mother, Maria Duran of Queens, N.Y., as she nodded toward the casket during a wake the previous night.

They waited and waited for word. And that's got to have been so awful. I can remember one of the parents (or step-parents? -- probably Fouty's step-father because Texas seemed like the location) talking about how they were being positive and waiting. And this was months after. They really kept up the hope and it was so hard to read the news when it finally came out. (One of the parents, again, I think it was the step-father in Texas, explained to the press that some remains had been found.)

If that makes you sad, it does me too and, guess what, it really makes the families sad. Part of being an adult is being sad. That's life. We're all going to be a lot sadder, a lot more often if we don't end the illegal war.

Okay, yesterday it was music history theme and I wanted to note last night's posts:

Cedric's Big Mix
Barack says tomorrow will come
10 hours ago

The Daily Jot
10 hours ago

Thomas Friedman is a Great Man
Stevie Nicks
11 hours ago

Sex and Politics and Screeds and Attitude
folk rock
11 hours ago

Aretha Franklin
11 hours ago

Trina's Kitchen
Jefferson Airplane
11 hours ago

Ruth's Report
Laura Nyro
11 hours ago

Oh Boy It Never Ends
Carly Simon
11 hours ago

Like Maria Said Paz
Janis Joplin
11 hours ago

Kat's Korner (of The Common Ills)
Sly and the Family Stone
11 hours ago

Mikey Likes It!
The Doors
11 hours ago

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

Tuesday, February 24, 2009. Chaos and violence continue, another US service member is reported dead, Barack prepares to speak to the nation and the chatter is Iraq may actually be a topic, Jack Straw says no to an informed citizenry (and yes to covering up the illegal war), measles hit Iraq, and more.

Hamid Ahmed (AP) reported this morning, "Two policemen opened fire on U.S. troops visiting an Iraqi police station in the northern city of Mosul on Tuesday, killing a U.S. soldier and an Iraqi interpreter and wounding three other Americans, officials said." Missy Ryan and Kevin Liffey (Reuters) add, "Lieutenant Colonel David Doherty, a U.S. military spokesman, said four U.S. soldiers and one interpreter were injured, and another interpreter was killed." (A US military statement can be found here on the death of the interpreter.) This brings the total number of US service members killed in Iraq since the start of the illegal war to 4251. Today's death follows yesterday's announcement of three deaths. "Three US soldiers and their interpreter were killed in Iraq. The US military reported they died in combat in Diyala Province, north of Baghdad. For the month of February, 13 Americans have died in Iraq," Gwen Ifill informed viewers last night on The NewsHour. In informing her viewers of that news, Gwen became the only US evening anchor on broadcast TV to bother doing so (though they all had time to bore their audiences with Slumlord Milionaire). AP's Kim Gamel covered the news for papers because no newspaper with their own Iraq division or US staff could be bothered writing about yesterday's deaths apparently. There are now 14 US military deaths in Iraq announced for the month thus far -- 6 of those have been announced since Saturday. Six US military deaths in Iraq announced in four days.

And where's the coverage? CBS and the New York Times are hyping a poll of the great uninformed American electorate who can sob "It's not our fault!" but that excuse got old long ago. You get the democracy you deserve and Americans chose what passes for democracy currently. Look around, all the things so offensive under the Bully Boy are suddenly manna squeezed out of Barack's ass.
CBS breathlessly gushes, "Americans are more optimistic about the situation in Iraq than they have been since 2003 [!] . . . with 63 percent saying that things are going well for the United States in the country." Don't wake them from their slumber, it might require helping them wipe away their drool or, worse, changing their 'nighttime sticky' sheets. The foolish think "it is important that troops leave the country within President Obama's timeline of 16 months". What timeline? The one he was supposed to have begun upon being sworn in? That was the promise. February will be over shortly. Still no announcement on what he 'intends' to do. A working media would damn well be demanding answers on that issue. But you don't get a working news media with a compliant, overstuffed, lazy ass public drugged out on (and hooked on) hopium. It's February, he was sworn in back in January -- he might be able to make it to November without ever addressing that campaign promise that was supposed to start on day one. That would certainly allow more Americans to make fools of themselves by refusing to grasp (at this point, it's refusing, even for the uneducated) that "combat" troops does not mean all troops. Cristin Flanagan (Bloomberg News) reports on rumors that tonight, while speaking to the nation (most PBS stations will not only carry it live but also offer analysis afterwards), he will announce his 'withdrawal' plan is beginning . . . 19-months for the withdrawal of some -- not all -- troops. Meanwhile Steven Lee Myers (New York Times' Baghdad Bureau Blog) reports that Iraqis have more questions about Barack Obama than might be known (or might be reported?): "Sheik Moyad Fadhel Hussein al-Ameri, one of three brothers who were the hosts, said he was worried. A former mayor of Mahmudiya, he has a politician's acuity. And with it, he has closely tracked President Barack Obama's early statements on Iraq. 'President Obama is always talking about change,' he said, dressed in traditional robes and headdress and seated in one of the plush arm chairs that ringed the long greeting hall. 'We would like to know what change'."

Those who would like to the live in the reality-based world should know that next month, many people will be standing against the war and organizations participating include
The National Assembly to End the Wars, the ANSWER coalition, World Can't Wait and Iraq Veterans Against the War. Here's IVAW's announcement of the March action:
IVAW's Afghanistan Resolution and National Mobilization March 21stAs an organization of service men and women who have served in Iraq, Afghanistan, stateside, and around the world, members of Iraq Veterans Against the War have seen the impact that the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have had on the people of these occupied countries and our fellow service members and veterans, as well as the cost of the wars at home and abroad. In recognition that our struggle to withdraw troops from Iraq and demand reparations for the Iraqi people is only part of the struggle to right the wrongs being committed in our name, Iraq Veterans Against the War has voted to adopt an official resolution calling for the immediate withdrawal of troops from Afghanistan and reparations for the Afghan people. (To read the full resolution,
click here.) To that end, Iraq Veterans Against the War will be joining a national coalition which is being mobilized to march on the Pentagon, March 21st, to demand the immediate withdrawal of troops from Iraq and Afghanistan and further our mission and goals in solidarity with the national anti-war movement. This demonstration will be the first opportunity to show President Obama and the new administration that our struggle was not only against the Bush administration - and that we will not sit around and hope that troops are removed under his rule, but that we will demand they be removed immediately.For more information on the March 21st March on the Pentagon, and additional events being organized in San Francisco, Los Angeles, and Orlando, to include transportation, meetings, and how you can get involved, please visit: www.pentagonmarch.org or www.answercoalition.org.

Ron Jacobs (Dissident Voice) observed this weekend:

As Barack Obama's troop escalation begins in Afghanistan and talking heads debate how many more troops the US should send, the leadership of what was once the largest antiwar organization (UFPJ) in the United States rejected a call for a unified antiwar protest on March 21st, 2009. Instead, they issued a call to go to Wall Street on April 4th, 2009 and encourage the war profiteers to move "beyond a war economy," while toning down the demand to end the wars and occupations now to a demand to merely end them. Like antiwar organizer Ashley Smith told me in an email: "(That is) something Dick Cheney could support." The implication of this call by UFPJ is that now that Barack Obama and the Democrats are in power, there is no longer any need to protest against war. Not only is this incredibly naive, it is downright dangerous for the future of the world. As anybody who has paid the least bit of attention to the nature of the US economy over the past century, its very foundations rest on the production of war and materials for war. Also apparent to those of us who have been paying attention is that the Democrats are just as responsible for this reality as the Republicans are. Just because George Bush and his administration were personally reprehensible and their arrogance and disregard for principles most Americans hold dear was as obvious as the nose on Pinocchio's wooden face doesn't mean that the policies of the Democrats are substantially different.Consequently, the antiwar movement would be foolish to think they have a government of allies in Washington, DC now. There may be a more personable bunch of folks ruling the country now, but the odds of those folks pulling out of Afghanistan or Iraq now instead of later without a major push from the American people insisting that they do so are about as poor as they were under the Bush administration. The time for the antiwar movement to demand that the Obama administration end the occupations of Iraq and Afghanistan is now, before its political ego becomes entangled in a military exercise that is ill-advised, poorly done, and just plain wrong.

Ashley Smith, mentioned above, has covered the 'peace' movement for sometime.
Smith and Eric Ruder wrote about United for Pathetic and Juvenile decision to be inactive for the next four years in the Socialist Worker back in December.

Yesterday's snapshot noted IVAW member
Suzanne Swift and there should have been a link to her website. There wasn't, my apologies.

28-year-old Iraq War veteran Kristoffer Walker was noted in yesterday's snapshot as well. He is the Army Reservist who is in the news for refusing to return to Iraq.
WISC reports, "Walker said Monday night his beliefs haven't changed but he's considering all his options." The Green Bay Press-Gazette editorial board doesn't want Walker to consider his options, they just want him to go back to Iraq. They want that so badly, that they fail at their job. An editorial has 'weight' because it is informed. When you don't know the basics, no one mistakes you for informed. The editorial board hides behind the words of the publicity hack (what a proud moment, "Mom, Dad, I'm in the army! What's that? I fight the word war!") Nathan Banks who insists that you get 30 days and after 30 days you will be charged with desertion. Lie, lie, lie. Hacks are worse than recruiters. Agustin Aguayo turned himself in after being gone less than 30 days. Agustin was still court-martialed for desertion. By contrast, many who have been court-martialed for going AWOL? Gone over 30 days. It is a 'rule of thumb,' it is not an actual rule. Walker could turn himself in tomorrow and face a court-martial. Something allegedly educated and informed people who sit on an editorial board damn well should have known before they wasted everyone's time in order to flaunt their ignorance.


Laith Hammoudi (McClatchy Newspapers) reports two Baghdad roadside bombings that left 8 injured, a Mosul grenade attack on the PUK Party headquarters that left two people injured and, dropping back to Monday, a Mosul roadside bombing that left three police officers wounded.


Laith Hammoudi (McClatchy Newspapers) reports an armed clash in Diyala Province "between a joint American and Iraqi forces and insurgents" that left 3 suspected 'insurgents' dead.

As spin continues,
Tim King (Salem-News) does not agree with the latest wave of Operation Happy Talk: ". . . in spite of this rosy article from the UK, people are still dying in Iraq, and the war is anything but successful. In fact, according to recent reports, Iraq is still very dangerous. I was there over the summer just in time to see the beginning of the elimination/reduction of the 'Sons of Iraq' program which is one of the few elements of the 'Surge' that actually brought peace and stability to this country. (see: Could Removal of U.S. Support Shift Iraq's Peaceful Balance? (VIDEO)). Iraqi people told me that as soon as the U.S. pulls out, a civil war will reignite between Shiite and Sunni Muslims." He goes on to explain that, while in Iraq, the only ones he encountered who supported the US remaining there were people on the US payroll.

Independent journalist
Dahr Jamail is back in Iraq. This week, he reports on the medical situation in the country:

Seventy percent of Iraq's doctors are reported to have fled the war-torn country in the face of death threats and kidnappings. Those who remain live in fear, often in conditions close to house arrest.
"I was threatened I would be killed because I was working for the Iraqi government at the Medical City," Dr. Thana Hekmaytar told IPS. Baghdad Medical City is the largest medical complex in the country.
Dr. Hekmaytar, a head and neck surgeon, has now been practising at the Saint Raphael Hospital in Baghdad for the last five years.
It is difficult now both as woman and as doctor, she says. Most women are now living in repressive conditions because the government is less secular. And that is besides the chaotic conditions around Iraq.
"It is particularly difficult for female doctors," Dr. Hekmaytar says. "Large groups in Iraq only want us to stay at home, and certainly not be professionals."
"We've had doctors kidnapped, and so many others have fled," said Khaleb, a senior manager at the hospital who requested that his last name not be used. He named several doctors who had been kidnapped. This IPS correspondent, he said, was the first media person allowed into the hospital since the U.S. invasion of March 2003.
Dahr's examination of the medical situation (he filed on the 21st) anticipates
today's news from IRIN: Measle outbreaks are taking place in many provinces in Iraq "where health services had collapsed".

Turning to England where
ITV reports Jack Straw, alleged 'Justice' Secretary, has blocked the release of the minutes where War Criminal Tony Blair and his cronies made the decision to break international law and go to war on Iraq. Philip Johnston (Telegraph of London) points out he predicted Straw would block the release "exactly a year ago after Richard Thomas, took the courageous decision to demand their release. Mr Thomas's opinion was subsequently upheld by the Information Tribunal to which the Government unsuccessfully appealed. Mr Straw, the artchitect of the FoI [Freedom of Information] Act, has now been forced to demolish his own edifice by exposing both the lack of teeth of the Information Commissioner and Labour's skin deep commitment to true openess." James Chapman (Daily Mail) explains, "The meetings considered the hugely controversial issue of whether the invasion was allowed under international law. In his diary, the late Foreign Secretary and leader of the Commons Robin Cook recorded details of the Cabinet discussions at which several ministers raised serious concerns about the legality of the looming conflict. But Mr Cook claimed that Mr Brown, previously sceptical about the war, delivered a 'long and passionate statement of support' of then Prime Minister Tony Blair's strategy in the days before the war." The Scottish National Party has issued a statement where they quote SNP Westminster leader and Defence spokesperson Angus Robertson stating, "The public feels it was lied to about the reasons for going to war in Iraq, and those responsible must not be allowed to hide from an inquiry. This Cabinet cover up is typical of the Labour government's attitude to freedom of information. We must learn the lessons from the worst UK Foreign policy decision in living memory. Our brave troops have had to pay the price of an illegal conflict forced by Tony Blair, paid for by Gordon Brown and supported by the Tories. Those responsible have never answered the most fundamental questions about why we were led into this war. The claim that the war was about weapons of mass destruction was a lie, a mere cover story unsupported by the facts, which has cost the lives of thousands of civilians and hundreds of our brave soldiers." The Liberal Democrats have also issued a statement where they quote Liberal Democrat Shadow Justice Secretary David Howarth, "The decision to go to war in Iraq was momentous, controversial and disastrous, especially for this country's repuation as an upholder of international law. There never has been a full and comprehensive public inquiry into the decision to go to war in Iraq. Jack Straw must now give his support for such an inquiry. We need to learn the lessons, and we need to learn them as quickly as possible. That is why there Cabinet minutes should be released much earlier than would normally be the case. We already know the names of the dissenters from their memoirs. All we need to know is whether there was any discussion and any challenge of any sort. That is a matter of great public importance and goes to the heart of accountability." Straw read a prepared speech to the House of Commons today and, upon arriving at his announcement not to release the minutes, cries of "disgraceful" and "that's disgraceful" could be heard from members of the House of Commons. Straw ignored the cries, refused to look up and continued reading his statement. As the outrage continues to grow, Jack Straw remains silent as his own blog or maybe he's just so proud of that post about his "Fleece-lined, steel toe-caps" boots that he wore earlier this month in London and wants to be sure everyone has a chance to catch that?

In other legal news, charges "of conspiracy to commit murder" have been dropped against US Sgt Charles Quigley regarding a 2007 death in Baghdad.
Madeline Chambers and Tim Pearce (Reuters) explain, "Three soldiers have already been convicted of crimes linked to their involvement in the incident and two more -- Sergeant First Class Joseph P. Mayo and Master Sergeant John E. Hatley -- face trial in the coming months at the Rose Barracks Courthouse in Vilseck in southern Germany, the army said."

And, on politics, the Independent of London (via Information Clearing House) asks, "
Obama, Tell Us The Whole Truth:"

This newspaper was not so naive as to imagine that President Obama would immediately conform to the most scrupulous interpretation of US and international law. We are pleased that he has ordered the closure within a year of Guantanamo Bay, halted military trials and restricted CIA interrogators to Army Field Manual techniques. But the refusal to grant legal rights to detainees at Bagram is disappointing. The US Supreme Court ruling in 2004 that prisoners in Guantanamo had the right to take their cases to US courts ended the anomalous status of the prison camp in Cuba. President Bush's attempt to create a legal limbo outside the American and international legal systems had failed. But he continued to try to deny legal rights to prisoners not just in Guantanamo but in Iraq and Bagram, too. Mr Obama's closure of Guantanamo therefore smacks more of fulfilling a symbolic pledge than following it through. The Bush administration's legal case was transparently unconvincing. It argued that detainees were "enemy combatants" being held until hostilities ceased. If so, they should have been entitled to the protections of the Geneva Conventions on the rights of prisoners of war. Yet President Bush resisted even that, and now President Obama represents continuity with that policy. Indeed, Elena Kagan, Mr Obama's nominee for Solicitor General, said during her confirmation hearing that someone suspected of helping to finance al-Qa'ida should be subject to battlefield law -- indefinite detention without trial -- even if captured in the Philippines, say, rather than a battle zone. Nor is this the first disappointment of Obama's presidency. Earlier this month, a government lawyer stuck to the Bush line in a case brought by Binyam Mohamed, the British resident expected home from Guantanamo tomorrow -- about whom Clive Stafford Smith writes today. Mohamed and others are suing a subsidiary of Boeing for arranging "extraordinary rendition" flights, by which they were taken secretly to other countries where they say they were tortured.

the common illsthe third estate sunday reviewlike maria said pazkats kornersex and politics and screeds and attitudetrinas kitchenthe daily jotcedrics big mixmikey likes itthomas friedman is a great manruths reportsickofitradlzoh boy it never ends
iraqkim gamel
pbsthe newshourgwen ifill
iraq veterans against the wara.n.s.w.e.r.world can't wait
suzanne swift

ron jacobsashley smitheric ruder

dahr jamail

the new york times
steven lee myers