Almost the weekend!!!! :D (Tomorrow's my Friday.) Tonight, Elaine and I went to a sushi bar. So you know I had the time of my life. Sushi. Every time I have it, I just feel like I'm walking on clouds for hours after. Sushi is just the greatest.
When I was 10, I was that way about M&Ms. Now I'm that way about sushi. I'm a sushi addict, to be honest. Dragon roll and California roll. That's what I had. On top of a plate order that had beef and a sushi roll and some other things.
I am one of eight kids my parents had. I've got three brothers and four sisters. So if I see an article about siblings, I always pay attention. This is from Jessica Ramirez' "Brothers in Arms" at Newsweek:
Five years after the end of Bill Hyde's deployment in Iraq, the place still weighs on him. Nothing seems able to resolve his sense of disillusionment—not even his younger brother's best efforts to persuade him that the war wasn't all a huge mistake. "I think Patrick wants me to be able to walk away from it, to let go," says Bill, who's now a reservist working for his M.A. in East Asian studies at Stanford. "But I don't think there's anything that would give me a sense of closure—except maybe going back to Mosul one day and finding out what happened to some of those people I met."
Patrick Hyde is sorry to hear that. He says he understands, but there's hesitation in his voice. Ever since his own Iraq deployment began last fall, he's offered Bill a steady stream of e-mails and phone calls, trying to tell him about all the positive signs he's seen. But the reality is that the visit Bill describes is not even possible. The northern city of Mosul remains one of the deadliest places in the country. Bill probably couldn't get there even if he returned to active duty, now that U.S. forces have been pulled out of the urban centers. Still, Patrick holds out hope that his big brother might see how Iraq has changed.
And I'll note Debra Sweet's latest at World Can't Wait:
Glenn Greenwald made a point last week that people living in this country "should be made to know" the details of what the CIA was directed to do toward detainees. I agree with him. See the still heavily redacted report.
One excerpt: "...debriefer, according to a [redacted] who was present, threatened Al-Nashiri by saying that if he did not talk, 'We could get your mother in here,' and, 'We can bring your family in here.' The [redacted] debriefer reported wanted Al-Nashiri to infer, for psychological reasons, that the debriefer might be [redacted] intelligence office based on his Arabic dialect, and that Al-Nashiri was in [redacted] custody because it was widely believed in Middle East circles that [redacted] interrogation technique involves sexually abusing female relatives in front of the detainee."
Last Monday, Attorney General Eric Holder appointed a prosecutor to look into whether there should be further investigation of the CIA. What does that mean?
C.I. didn't have space to do an excerpt in the snapshot today so I thought I'd be nice and toss in an excerpt. Tomorrow, I'm probably going to highlight some of C.I.'s entries. I'm highlighting some community posts from last night tonight. And grabbing it from C.I.'s entry this morning.
Cedric's Big Mix
He shouldn't try to read
10 hours ago
The Daily Jot
THIS JUST IN! HE'S CONFUSED!
10 hours ago
-- Cedric and Wally do joint-posts. It's always interesting to see what they go with and a lot of times they're highlighting something that two days later will be some big story in the news.
Thomas Friedman is a Great Man
10 hours ago -- Betty and Stan are both highlighting Somerby a lot lately. Last night, Betty explained why.
Sex and Politics and Screeds and Attitude
josh, sarah and shane
10 hours ago -- Rebecca's covering the three Americans who are being held by Iran.
10 hours ago -- Marcia wrote about discrimination and why people may discriminate and bully.
To sell a plan, you need to have one
10 hours ago -- My mother wrote a really great post (which is what had me thinking about needing to highlight the community).
Bullies bully and steal the attention
10 hours ago -- Ruth is writing about discrimination as well and she and Marcia were doing a theme. So be sure to read both posts.
Oh Boy It Never Ends
One groups lies well, the other can't even message
10 hours ago -- Betty explained why she and Stan were highlighting Bob Somerby and Stan explains where Betty and he think Bob Somerby's going next.
Like Maria Said Paz
Howard the Coward Zinn
10 hours ago -- an amazing post by Elaine. I love this post.
Ann's Mega Dub
10 hours ago -- Ann's writing about the illustration Betty's kids did.
Kat's Korner (of The Common Ills)
Music (Carly Simon, etc.)
10 hours ago -- And Kat's covering music and explaining that she will be doing a review this weekend. Yea!!!! I love her reviews.
So that's my community highlights. Here's C.I.'s "Iraq snapshot:"
Wednesday, September 2, 2009. Chaos and violence continue, reporter Ibrahim Jassim remains a prisoner of the US military, the US ambassador to Iraq makes a radio appearence, a corpse is turned over to the British embassy in Iraq, Cindy Sheehan speaks about the need for accountability, and more.
Chris Hill is the US Ambassador to Iraq. Yesterday he appeared on WBUR's On Point with Tom Ashbrook. Jacki Lyden filled in for Ashbrook. Hill, as usual, showed up late ("shaking into town with the brakes complain" -- Joni Mitchell "Just Like This Train"). We'll start our excerpt moments after he joins the show in progress.
Jacki Lyden: I would like to point out what the most recent caller said: What makes us think that the millions of people who've been driven from their homes in Iraq will ever forgive us because we've made enemies with our bad foreign policy? And I do think it is a question that bears putting to you.
Chris Hill: Well, first of all, I agree with your sort of interim answer that uh there are a lot of nuances to this but uh in a way I also understand what the caller is saying. I mean this has been a very tough six years. I mean we're-we're into the seventh year of this very difficult period and to be sure I think a lot of Iraqis thought that it would go a lot better, thought that uh we would essentially bring America to them and that hasn't been the case. It's been -- it's been very tough. It's been very tough politically. It's been very tough to reconcile various sectarian communities. You know there are many Sunnis who feel that they are the big losers with the demise of Saddam Hussein -- even though they didn't like him he was a Sunni. And then frankly there are Shia who feel that they are winners but they always worry about what comes next. So it's a very nuanced picture but with respect to the view of the United States, that's also very complex there are a lot of Iraqis who feel that it has been such a tough time that, you know, why hasn't the US completely rebuilt this country? Well we have, as you suggested, spent billions of dollars but to just rebuild Iraq or to somehow turn it into something it never was would be costing trillions. So we have really tried to work with the Iraqi authorities, tried to stand up a uh market economy, try to get them to uh have uh a proper use of some their natural resources so they can bring in foreign investors and that sort of thing. So there's no question that progress is being made but it's very slow and it's very frustrating to a lot of people.
Jacki Lyden: I find that in Iraq and Iran too there's always and Steven I would be interested to see what you and David have to say about all of this, there is always that presence of people that you speak to that say I didn't know my own country we didn't know each other. But sometimes after a huge shift in leadership, however it comes about, whether it's deposing Saddam Hussein or revolution, that actors start to jockey for power and to even speak of the Iraqis can be tough because after all 66 million people there isn't monolithic opinion obviously. David?
David Ignatius: Well I-I-I would just like to take the moment to-to ask Ambassador Hill in these remaining months in which the US still has a significant troop presence in Iraq although not in the cities, how do you think we can use that leverage so as to leave behind solid political situation as possible? The hope at the time of the surge was that there would be a political reconciliation and yet I think many observers -- most observers would say that really hasn't happened. Ambassador, what tools can use in this remaining period when we're still there to try to make the outcome as good as possible?
Chris Hill: Well let me say, David, this issue of reconciliation is probably the name of the game. I mean if we can uh get some things uh squared away here politically I think Iraq can have a better future you know. Ironically it's the security situation that hits the headlines, the various hideous bombings that one sees but it's the it's the political situation that I think worries a lot of people because this idea of working together and trying to have some rules of the road for the political process is a bit of an elusive concept here. So to answer your question there are a couple of areas where I think the US can be very active and we are active One is on the internal boundaries the disputed internal boundaries and that's between the Kurdish areas in the sort of north and eastern part of the country and the rest of the country the more Arab parts and there are some really serious is agreements in some very key areas. A place called Kirkuk that actually has a lot of oil but there are 14 other features along that boundary. So we have been working really on a retail basis talking to the communities there but also talking to the Kurdish leadership up in Erbil and the leadership up here in uh Baghdad as well to see if we can find solutions. Now there are thoughts that somehow you can get some grand bargain in the process, you can you know sort out the oil, sort out all of these things and have it all come together. Unfortunately I think it's going to be a more retail business because it's local. Now the US forces have been very active here and I think this is where it's very important in the coming year. As you know, General [Ray] Odierno has been working with the Iraq National Police the Iraqi armed forces along with Kurdish counterparts to see if we can work out some joint-patrol and this sort of thing which I think could be extremely helpful. So I think we are trying to make use of this time during the last year. But I want to emphasize, you know, we have elections coming up and while uh Iraqis may have -- may have not totally embraced democracy they sure have embraced politics and so you know a lot of what is going on right now is various politicians are reaching out into other communities to try to put together a coalition they think can win for them in the parliamentary elections. That's kind of heartening stuff. So recently you had a sort of Shia -- Shia grouping put together. Those are mainly people mainly in the south but interestingly the Shia Prime Minister Maliki put a condition in there that he knew the others would not accept and so he's out there playing a sort of Dating Game with Kurdish partners and Sunni tribal partners so there's a lot of politics going on. That's the good news, the bad news is they sometimes you know don't get to the real homework of uh reconciliation in working some of these problems.
Jacki Lyden: Steven, you had, I think it was you. I saw a quote by I wish I could remember which Iraqi politicians said -- speaking to what the ambassador just said -- that sectarian politics are appealing, sectarian governments fail. Are people discussing that?
Steven Lee Myers: That was Ahmed Chalabi who many people will remember from his role supporting the invasion as part of the Iraqi National Congress. Uh, I-I think he's right and that this touches on what the ambassador just said, they need to translate the political process into governance. And I think that's one of the things we haven't seen very much of I mean there are pockets of stability, as I said before, but you don't really see on a national level the basics being done in terms of electricity or water or cleaning the streets and so forth. Going back to your previous question, I compare it to my previous time covering Russia, and the ambassador has seen this as well I assume in the Balkans, but what you have here is a country that's not just been through war but has been through a transformational period of moving from a dictatorship as Russia did after the Soviet Union collapsed to a new society and I think the violence here has prevented a lot of that still arduous transition from happening in terms of social values the economy the legal system. There's a lot that's involved in moving from dictatorship to democracy beyond just the elections themselves.
Jacki Lyden: We are going to take a few calls here in just a moment but Ambassador, I would like to ask you, based on your intelligence, who do you think is responsible for the August 19th bombings which was the worst in a very long time?
Chris Hill: Well I you know the investigations are very much continuing I'm not sure I want to sort of give you a running tab of an ongoing investigation but there are certain usual suspects here that we are obviously looking at very closely and one of course is this al Qaeda in Iraq -- so-called AQI. Now the government has some theories that it's more complex that you have possible ex-Ba'athist elements You know these are also Sunni who feel disenfranchised from the system but they're not sort of these extreme Wahhabists Sunnis that al Qaeda draws its ranks from. Yet there is you know talk in the analytical community whether they're Ba'athist in al Qaeda or AQI -- I want to stress this is al Qaeda in Iraq, a sort of franchised operation. And there's a lot of you know talk that perhaps they have some know -- tactical putting, you know, putting this thing together. It's really hard to say. What is clear though is that for many people in this country when those terrible bombings took place out came the fingers and pointing at each other. And to be sure there's a time for finger pointing, there's certainly a time to investigate and see what failures there were in the system. But there's also a times, as the United States, as we know very well in the wake of 9-11. There is a time to come together and one hope that that call will be better heard in Iraq. Because, uh, it's a very rough political climate here.
Steven Lee Myers is with the New York Times, David Ignatius with the Washington Post and Post Global. Hill gets credit for alluding to the lack of sense made in al-Maliki's charges of (secular) Ba'athists working with the religious zealots of al Qaeda in Iraq. But it's amazing to listen to him and compare his remarks to those made on Inside Iraq on Al Jazeera (see yesterday's snapshot) where the audience last Friday was informed of charges that Iran was possibly involved. The bombs or the materials are said to have come from Iran (true or not, who knows). And the broadcast did cover it. But Al Jazeera covered Mohammed Abdullah al-Shehwani who handled the intelligence and who quit his post after declaring that Iran was responsible for the Black Wednesday bombings and being greeted with Nouri al-Maliki's rage. (al-Shehwani has now left Iraq.) That's not really going to be addressed by Hill apparently. Even though all of it -- the charges and the counter-charges -- are nothing but speculation. The Washington Post has covered the charges in their reporting and David Ignatius addressed it last week in his column for the paper which included this: "But forensic evidence points to a possible Iranian role, according to an Iraqi intelligence source who is close to Shahwani. He said that signatures of the C-4 explosive residues that have been found at the bomb sites are similar to those of Iranian-made explosives that have been captured in Kut, Nasiriyah, Basra and other Iraqi cities since 2006."
The previous administration wanted war with Iran very badly (as opposed to the current administration which just wants it badly at this point). That doesn't mean that, year after year, Iran gets a pass. Syria's being raked over the coals currently for -- key point often left out -- sticking to the law. When the government of one country wants to extradite someone, they present evidence to the government the person is in. That's how it works. That may be confusing to some since Colin Powell and the Bush administration demanded Afghanistan turn over Osama bin Laden and stated that, at some point after he was turned over, the US would present evidence. That's not how the law works. But the Syrian government is being raked over the coals as Nouri creates an international incident and finger pointing at Saudia Arabia has taken place at well (and made it into US outlets) so the idea that Iran is off limits? No. It's not. And it also needs to be stated that even if there is Iranian involvement, if, that doesn't mean involvement of the Iranian government.
When you declare this country or that country off limits (out of fear that the US wants to go to war with it), it becomes very difficult to have an honest conversation about what is taking place in the world. The broadcast featured Jackie Lyden, Steven Lee Myers and David Ignatius discussing possible Shi'ite on Shi'ite violence and that should have raised more issues. Such as: Is al Qaeda in Iraq going to be the scapegoat forever? Weren't we repeatedly told that al Qaeda in Iraq had been diminished and was a tiny element? (Yes, we were told that, repeatedly in Senate hearings from various military brass.) And haven't we repeatedly been told that al Qaeda in Iraq operates in one region? Remember which region that is? Hint, it's not the centeral region or the northern region and it's not a region Baghdad's in.
To buy the 'conventional' theory being proposed by Nouri and worked by too many in the US press requires that you also declare al Qaeda in Iraq has increased its presence, has added tremendously to its membership and has now expanded into other regions of the country. Of course, how al Qaeda in Iraq would be waived through checkpoints is the stumper. If you've seen the security camera footage of the trucks, there's no way anyone remotely doing their job waived those two trucks through by accident. So the catch all scapegoat of al Qaeda in Iraq really doesn't fit the way Nouri would like it too. Nor is there a reason Shi'ite dominated security forces in Baghdad would waive through Sunnis even for cash.
A Shi'ite 'gang' would be the League of the Rightous which has claimed credit for the slaughter of 5 US service members. Their leader and his brother were in custody but were set free by the US military in June. They were turned over to Nouri who then set them free and started claiming that they were ready to take part in the political process. The group was ready, Nouri insisted through his spokesmodels. Of course, the group also claimed responsibility for the May 29, 2007 kidnappings in Baghdad of British citizens. Five of the two are known to be dead (Jason Swindlehurts and Jason Creswell). Two were assumed dead (Alec Maclachlan and Alan McMenemy) and a fifth (Peter Moore) was hoped to be alive throughout the summer. Today there's a development in that long running story. Apparently to demonstrate that they now want to just be 'political,' the group has turned over another corpse to the Iraqi government. (When the US released the two brothers from custody in June, the group handed over the corpses of Jason Creswell and Jason Swindlehurst.) CNN goes with caution saying it may be the corpse of a former British hostage. Catherine Philip (Times of London) reports the corpse is now in British custody, that UK Foreign Secretary David Miliband does not believe it is Peter Moore's body and quotes him stating, "We cannot yet definitievely confirm either that this is the remains of one of the hostages, or which one." Ben Livesey (Bloomberg News) notes that British Prime Minister Gordon Brown issued a statement through his spokesperson that he was "deeply saddened" and that there would be "no stone unturned in the Government's efforts to secure the release of the remaining hostages." Not stated is that Brown is on vacation (still) and apparently is not willing to actually interrupt his vacation to make a statement directly. No stone unturned? BBC News adds, "BBC security correspondent Frank Gardner said it was believed the body belonged to one of the two men [Alec Maclachlan and Alan McMenemy] and, in that sense, the news would not come as a big surprise. Diplomats say the identity could be established within 24 hours, our correspondent added, and the body is expected to be flown back to the UK by the end of the week." Colin Freeman (Telegraph of London) explains, "The men were abducted by gunmen posing as policemen by a group calling itself League of the Righteous, a group of Shia militants. They were recently understood to have been seeking to enter mainstream politics in Iraq, but attempts to release the hostages through dialogue have proved fruitless." The Daily Mail notes that the League of the Righteous had earlier attempted to use the five hostages to broker a release of "nine Iraqi militants" at Camp Cropper (the leader and his brother were two and, again, they were released in June) and that this "is Britain's longest running hostage crisis since Terry Waite and John McCarthy who were held for nearly five years in Lebanon in the 1980s." Nouri is very close with the League and last week Eli Lake (Washington Times) reported that Ahmed Chalabi was as well.
While the League of the Righteous can see their members (and their leader) released by the US military -- even after they have taken credit for the kidnapping of the 5 British citizens and the slaughter of five US service members, others aren't so lucky. Michael Christie (Reuters) reports that a year ago today, "U.S. and Iraqi troops smashed in the doors of Iraqi journalist Ibrahim Jassam's home, shouting 'freeze' and holding back snarling dogs before they hauled him off into the night in his underwear." Ibrahim is still imprisoned despite the fact that Iraq's 'judicial' system found that he should be released. From the December 1, 2008 snapshot:
In other news, Reuters photographer Ibrahim Jassam has been a prisoner in Iraq since Sept. 1, 2008 when US and Iraqi military forces drug him from his Mahmudiyah home. He has been held a prisoner since then at Camp Cropper. Reporters Without Borders and Journalistic Freedom Observatory have been calling for his release. Reuters reported yesterday that Iraq's Central Criminal Court has ordered that Ibrahim be released because "there was no evidence against" him; however, "There was no immediate response from the U.S. military to the ruling." Daryl Lang (Photo District News) adds, "Jassam's case resembles those of several other Iraqi photographers and cameramen working for Western news organizations, all of whom were eventually freed. And the decision comes as the U.S. is releasing thousands of security detainees and preparing to turn its much-maligned detainee system over to the Iraqi government."
Despite the finding that Ibrahim should be released, on December 9, 2009 Reuters reported that US Maj Neal Fisher disagreed with/disregarded the court finding and stated all the Iraqi court order meant was that when he is released Ibrahim "will be able to out-process without having to go through the courts as other detainees in his threat classification will have to do." Why is that? Because the court has found no reason to hold Ibrahim. So while others will go on to have their day in court, Fisher is admitting that Ibrahim's had his but the US military just doesn't want to release him. In June of this year, the Committee to Protect Journalists sent a letter to Nouri al-Maliki and they noted Ibrahim and requested, "Press the U.S. military to respect the decision of the Iraqi courts and immediately release Ibrahim Jassam." Last September, Reporters Without Borders pointed out that over "20 journalists have been arrested in Iraq in similar circumstances since 1st January 2008, all of whom have been released after spending days or even months in custody without any charges being made against them." CPJ notes him here (note that Adel Hussein, whose profile follows, has been released and shouldn't even be on the current list of journalists imprisoned). Reporters Without Borders notes that three journalists are currently detained in Iraq, there's Ibrahim starting September 1, 2008; Mountazer al-Zaidi starting December 14, 2008 (he's the one who threw his shoes at Bully Boy Bush and Nouri's joint-press conference in December) and Jassem Mohamed who has been imprisoned since February 2009.When Ibrahim was taken away, Iman Jassam, Ibrahim's sister, told NPR's Quil Lawrence in July, "One of the Iraqi soldiers said, 'Why are you still talking? If you only knew what we are going to do to your brother, you would be crying.' These words are still echoing in my ears." Those who can't stream audio or for whom streaming audio is of no use due to hearing issues can click here for a trasncript of the Morning Edition report in the July 21st snapshot. Ibrahim is supposed to be released. The US maintains he's a security release but will not present evidence to support that allegation and the Iraqi court looked into the arrest and found no cause for Ibrahim to be held. Yet he's still held and don't think the hypocrisy isn't being noted around the world. Daya Gamage's "Iraqi journalist under U.S. custody without trial but, Us critical of Tissanayagam jail sentence in Sri Lanka" (Asian Tribune):The United States criticized Sri Lanka Monday, August 31 for sentencing to 20 years in prison an ethnic Tamil journalist by Sri Lanka's judiciary after an open trial. "We were disappointed to learn of the verdict and the severity of the sentence," State Department deputy spokesman Robert Wood said at the daily media briefing after a Sri Lankan court handed down the sentence against J.S. Tissainayagam. The United States' criticism of Sri Lanka which gave due process of the law to Tissanayagam came at a time when an Iraqi photo-journalist Ibrahim Jassam lies in U.S. military custody in Iraq since 02 September 2008 without trial and denying him the due process of the law.
In other Iraq news, Natalia Antelava (BBC News) reports that the abandoned Nigerian embassy in Baghdad has been turned into "the Academy of Peace through Art, a school created under the umbrella of Iraq's national Symphony Orchestra." She quotes the director Karim Wasfi stating, "We offer space, teachers, the instruments and a chance to be exposed to a bit of civilisation, something that everyone in Iraq deserves. Straight away I tell students: you have a choice in life. You can choose a weapon, a Kalashnikov, or you can try a musical instrument." Also in Baghdad, Anne Barker (Australia's ABC News) reports that "four security officers have been sentenced to death for their part in a multi-million dollar banks robbery in Baghdad." She's referring to the July 28th bank robbery in which 8 security guards were killed and millions were stolen as US Secretary of Defense Robert Gates was visiting Iraq. (The two are not unconnected. When US dignitaries visit, security is channeled towards that and you often see a spike in store and bank robberies.) BBC adds, "The judges gave the condemned men one month to appeal the sentence. They all proclaimed their innocence during the proceedings. Correspondents say the case has potential for major political fallout despite Mr Abdel Mahdi's denials of any involvement of the Supreme Islamic Iraqi Council to which he belongs." And Kirit Radia (ABC News) reports Blackwater's contract to guard the US State Dept in Iraq has been extended (it "was due to expire this month").
Mohammed Al Dulaimy (McClatchy Newspapers) reports a Baghdad roadside bombing which left four police officers wounded, a Mosul roadside bombing which wounded two Iraqi soldiers and another one which injured a civilian. Reuters notes a Kirkuk roadside bombing claimed the life of 1 Iraqi soldier and left another injured and they drop back to Tuesday night to note a Baghdad car bombing which left two people injured.
Mohammed Al Dulaimy (McClatchy Newspapers) reports 1 man shot dead at his home in Mosul and a Mosul home invasion in which 1 young woman was shot dead and her mother was wounded. Reuters drops back to last night to note 2 men shot dead in a Mosul mosque by unknown assailants.
Reuters notes 1 corpse was discovered in Mosul ("gunshot wounds to the head").
Peace Mom Cindy Sheehan continues attempting to end the wars and was interviewed by Anastasia Churkina (RT, video link via Information Clearning House).
Anastasia Churkina: Through your eyes, what mistakes is Barack Obama making in his policies?
Cindy Sheehan: (Laughing) Am I supposed to limit my answer to two minutes? Well, you know, I think the-the administration made a bad mistake going after health care reform and staking the 2010 elections on that. And our health care system in America doesn't need to be reformed, it needs to be overthrown and replaced with a single-payer system. And not to -- and to let -- this is the biggest, I don't know if it's a mistake, I don't know if it's on purpose, I don't know what's happening but why do the Republicans in the House of Representatives and in the Senate have any say in what's going on? They're a minority. They have no power. We have a Democratic, a large Democratic lead in the House, in the Senate and we have a Democratic president. Every progressive agenda item should be able to be pushed through right now. As I see it, with them, Obama, using the Republicans to say "Well I can't do this because the Republicans say no," when it's actually the corporations like the health care, you know, the health insurance companies, Big Pharma and HMOs telling him "No, we can't have health care reform." He's exploiting the Republicans to say, "Well the Republicans say 'no'." And so they're going to lose seats in 2010. The Democrats are very vulnerable right now.
Anastasia Churkina: Barack Obama, on a number of occasions, has spoken about looking forward. You have compared this to putting blinders on. Why?
Cindy Sheehan: No American president has had to be held accountable for War Crimes, for crimes against humanity, for international crimes against humanity and, to me, that's a tragedy because we have had presidents that have committed War Crimes and international crimes against humanity. Specifically the Bush administration. And so they're not putting the full force of our law, of our Constitution and basic common law to -- and international law -- to investigate and prosecute the crimes of the Bush administration. And I think it's because the Obama administration is carrying on what the Bush administration did. So how can you prosecute somebody for -- for what you want to do and what are you doing because that would implicate you. And there can't be any healing in this country, there can't be any true change without accountability and I'm a firm believer in that. I don't think any one of us could break a law here and say I get pulled over for running a stop sign? And I can't say, "Well, officer, haven't you heard we're looking forward now? That-that crime was in the past. You can't ticket me." And so crimes happen in the past and they have to be investigated in the present. So I think that it is putting blinders on and it's ignoring the fact that millions of people are dead, wounded, displaced from their homes because of the crimes of the Bush administration.
There's not room for a highlight in the snapshot today but Debra Sweet (World Can't Wait) covers the need for accountability here (that went up yesterday). Related, NOW on PBS has an online exclusive: US Lt Col Stuart Couch was tasked with prosecuting Mohamedou Ould Slahi for alleged involvement in the 9/11 attacks but then learned that Slahi had been tortured while in custody. He tells David Brancaccio, "I felt like what had been done to Slahi just reprehensible. For that reason alone, I refused to have any further participation in this case." In other TV news, this January Diane Sawyer becomes the anchor of ABC World News Tonight. ABC News posts Charlie Gibson's "Goodbye Cruel World" e-mail here. Still on TV, American Dad and Family Guy genius Seth MacFarlane wanted his Mallory. Mallory is the Family Ties character Justine Bateman made famous. He declares he wanted his Mallory while speaking with Kevin Pollack on Kevin Pollack's Chat Show (click here for the actual episode).
The Simpsons came along and made it actually funny. If you watch The Flintstones, if you see a slapstick gag, it's not, you know, there's the camera shake and there's the big effect of the Starburst that goes out beneath them . . . [But on The Simpsons,] these characters were being treated like three dimensional objects. When somebody would fall through a table, it played, you know, real. It played like you were watching the gas station scene from Mad, Mad World.
Along with It's A Mad Mad Mad World, Seth references Mel Brooks, Woody Allen, Albert Brooks' Modern Romance and he reveals a security guard at his college was the inspiration for Peter Griffith's voice on Family Guy. Kevin Pollak does the weekly broadcast (live) each Sunday. He is a stand up performer and an actor and his many, many acting credits include A Few Good Men, Grumpy Old Men (and the sequel), and Miami Rhapsody.
Lastly David Bacon's latest book is Illegal People -- How Globalization Creates Migration and Criminalizes Immigrants (Beacon Press) which just won the CLR James Award. He is an independent journalist and a photographer with tremendous gifts and an exhibit of his work is currently running in Santa Rosa through October 10th.
LIVING UNDER THE TREES
VIVIENDO BAJO LOS ÁRBOLES
Journalist and documentary photographer David Bacon highlights the difficult issues that are critical to California's indigenous farm workers. He explores the unique challenges that indigenous communities face, while celebrating the culture and community spirit that sustains them.
For the first time, this exhibition includes both color images from the Living Under the Trees traveling show, and black-and-white prints from the earlier photodocumentary project,
COMMUNITIES WITHOUT BORDERS
COMUNIDADES SIN FRONTERAS
SRJC ART GALLERY
SANTA ROSA JUNIOR COLLEGE 1501 Mendocino Ave. Santa Rosa, CA 95401
SEPTEMBER 3 - OCTOBER 10, 2009 MONDAY - THURSDAY · 10 AM TO 4 PM SATURDAY · NOON TO 4 PM EVENT PROGRAM THURSDAY · SEPTEMBER 3, 4 - 7 PM · DOYLE LIBRARY 4201 Opening Reception with Danza Mexica Coyolxauhqui TUESDAY · SEPTEMBER 8, 4 - 6 PM · ART GALLERY Panel Presentation - "Immigrant Workers Speak" SATURDAY · SEPTEMBER 12, 4 - 7 PM · ART GALLERYCommunity Forum and Cultural Program "Living in Sonoma County: Housing for the Immigrant and Farm Workers Communities" MONDAY · SEPTEMBER 14, NOON - 1:30 PM · NEWMAN AUDITORIUM Guest Lecture · David Bacon "Living Under the Trees" TUESDAY · SEPTEMBER 15, NOON - 2 PM · ART GALLERY Cultural Presentation and Poetry Reading Ballet Sonatlan and Armando Garcia-Davila WEDNESDAY · SEPTEMBER 16, NOON - 2 PM Mexican Independence Celebration with MeChA Quad in front of the Frank P. Doyle library, SRJC THURSDAY · OCTOBER 1, 4 - 6 PM · ART GALLERY Panel Presentation "Immigration and California Farm Workers" MONDAY · OCTOBER 5, NOON - 1:30 PM · NEWMAN AUDITORIUM Guest Lecture · Dr. David Montejano "The Border as History: Immigration Debates, Past and Present" THURSDAY · OCTOBER 8, NOON - 1:30 PM · 1:30 - 4 PM · ART GALLERYStudent Presentations
"Immigration Policy Proposal
Living Under the Trees is a cooperative project with California Rural Legal Assistance and the Frente Indigena de Organizaciones Binacionales.
For more articles and images on immigration, see http://dbacon.igc.org/Imgrants/imgrants.htm
See also Illegal People -- How Globalization Creates Migration and Criminalizes Immigrants (Beacon Press, 2008)
Recipient: C.L.R. James Award, best book of 2007-2008
See also the photodocumentary on indigenous migration to the US
Communities Without Borders (Cornell University/ILR Press, 2006)
See also The Children of NAFTA, Labor Wars on the U.S./Mexico Border (University of California, 2004)
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