As Trina ("Sometimes WSWS irritates me") and Stan ("Lee Daniels confesses he's sexist trash") both noted, this is not a society that values women. If you ever doubt it, just listen to John Burnett's ridiculous MORNING EDITION (NPR) report about 'poor' Edgar Baltazar Garcia. Oh, poor Edgar. He's not an American citizen. And he served so we all owe him everything. We don't owe him s**t, hold on for that reality. Poor Edgar went to Mexico to visit family. On his way back, stopped at the border and he's going to be deported. Poor Edgar. Convicted of a felony. Poor Edgar. From the report:
Rep. Vicente Gonzalez, in whose South Texas district Baltazar lives, has introduced a bill called the Repatriate Our Patriots Act. It would prohibit the deportation of any honorably discharged veteran unless the veteran is convicted of homicide, rape, terrorism or child sex crimes.
If you're wondering, the idiot Vincente is a Democrat. Not a great day for our party.
The 38-year-old Edar? From the same report:
In one incident last year, he pointed a handgun at his domestic partner; in a second incident, he punched her. She filed charges. Baltazar was found guilty of "aggravated assault on a family member with a deadly weapon."
He just pulled a gun on a woman. And then after that, in a second incident, he physically attacked her.
In what world is that acceptable? Let's be really clear that a number of so-called 'honor' crimes have been carried out in the US in the last 15 years and they've gotten very little attention. Certainly, no member of Congress has felt the need to speak out for those victims.
From Amnesty International:
Noor Almaleki was 20 years old and living in Pheonix when she and her friend, 43-year-old Amal Khalaf, were struck by a car driven by Noor’s father. While Amal survived, Noor later died, and her father, Faleh al-Maleki, was later convicted of killing his daughter.
The case of Noor Almaleki has drawn attention, most recently last weekend on CBS’s “48 Hours: Mystery” program, as a suspected case of a so-called “Honor Killing”—one committed here in the United States.
And yet, while the case of Noor Almaleki has made national headlines because it happened in Arizona, so-called “honor killings” happen around the world at an alarming rate, often with little press and no justice for the victim.
Women around the world suffer so-called “honor violence” at the hands of relatives, usually male, in an effort to reclaim family “honor.” If a woman or girl is accused or suspected of engaging in behavior that could taint her family’s status, she may face brutal retaliation from her relatives that often results in violent death.
So-called “honor” crime is rooted in a global culture of discrimination against women, and the deeply rooted belief that women are objects and commodities, not human beings entitled to dignity and rights equal to those of men. Women’s bodies, particularly, are considered the repositories of family honor, and under the control and responsibility of her family (especially her male relatives). And large sections of society share traditional conceptions of family honor and approve of “honor” killings to preserve that honor.
That’s the narrative that is used to justify these brutal attacks on women and girls, but here are the facts:
- The UN estimates that around 5,000 women and girls are murdered each year in so-called “honor killings” by members of their families
- “Honor” killings are widely reported in regions throughout the Middle East and South Asia, but these crimes against women occur in countries as varied as Bangladesh, Brazil, Canada, Ecuador, Egypt, India, Iran, Iraq, Israel, Italy, Jordan, Morocco, Pakistan, Sweden, Syria, Turkey, Uganda, United Kingdom, and the United States.
- Like other forms of violence against women, “honor” violence against women may be considered a form of torture, whether enacted by the state or by an individual.
- While “honor” crime is committed predominantly against women and girls, “honor” crime is also on the rise against LGBT people, particularly gay men
- In many countries, the punishment for “honor” crimes are inadequate or non-existent—laws either do not recognize “honor” crime or have insufficient sentencing for such crime. And in countries where laws have been passed to curb “honor” crime (for example, in Jordan), such laws often go un-enforced.
- According to the Iranian and Kurdish Rights Organization, “Honor Killings are on the rise”, especially in Europe and the US.
Make no mistake: there is no honor in violence against women, and no cultural, social, or religious belief is ever a valid reason to commit violence against women, or deprive anyone of their fundamental human rights.The murder of women in the name of “honor” is a gender-specific form of discrimination and violence and should be regarded as part of a larger spectrum of violence against women, as well as a serious human rights violation. Violence against women in a global epidemic, and it effects women in every country, at every level of society.
The continued coverage of the case of Noor Almaleki reminds us that women across the world—including our own country—are at risk of such types of gender-specific violence. But so, too, should countless attacks on women’s rights that are part of a culture of discrimination against women.
Any attack on women’s human rights threatens to reduce women to objects or devalue them as less than fully human, and as such, aids and abets in a global culture in which such horrific violence, as happened to Noor and as happens to countless women, is not only possible, but is all too common.
Learn more about violence against women as a human rights issue and take action on behalf of women around the world.
Shame on US House Rep Vicente Gonzalez or any other person who normalizes violence. No, if you're a non-US citizen assaulting 'loved ones', you don't need to be in the US. You've already demonstrated you are a threat to others.
Edgar is not a US citizen and he's twice been violent with a woman. Since it was a woman it doesn't matter? Or since it was a woman he was involved with (the confusing 'report' also mentions -- in a photo caption, a woman who is identified as his "wife"), it's not big deal. It's just the way love goes? Don't think that's what Janet Jackson meant in that song.
If you are a woman someone's waiving a gun at, if you're a woman someone's punching, hate to break it to the ridiculous US House Rep Vicente Gonzalez, those actions are terrorism. And you don't get a pass because, over a decade ago, you served in Iraq.
From the report:
Baltazar says on the phone from inside the razor-wire detention center, "U.S. citizens can go out and commit a crime — they never fought for their country —and they're not deported. I make one mistake, and I have to pay the price by leaving the country."
US citizens can do a lot of things in the US. That's a true of a citizen -- any citizen -- in their own country. "I make one mistake . . ." No, you made at least two. In one incident, you pulled a gun on a woman. In a second one, you beat her.
I don't have any sympathy for you.
From your whining, it's clear that you haven't learned a damn thing. Not only are you lying and trying to act like you only did one thing wrong, you're minimizing it.
US citizens don't get stripped of their citizenship for committing a crime.
Edgar is not a US citizen. At the end of the day, that's no one's fault but his own. I'm not calling him "lazy" -- the veterans advocate (Richard Pena) in the report does that. But I am saying, there were avenues he had for citizenship that the average immigrant entering this country did not have. He served in Iraq under Bully Boy Bush and there were repeated efforts to bring non-citizens into citizen status under Bully Boy Bush and that continued under President Barack Obama.
It wasn't an issue for him until this happened. Apparently, he thought he could terrorize a woman and suffer no consequences.
If he'd pulled that gun on a man and then later assaulted the man, we'd see it as a serious crime. But it's a woman so let's all look the other way.
Maybe she had it coming?
Is that what passes for 'logic'?
A man who thinks it's okay to assault women? If he's not a citizen of this country and he's assaulted a woman, get him out of here. That's a crime of violence and it's a felony. You don't deserve to become an American citizen.
I know this is hard for some to grasp. I remember when Rachel Maddow brought on a veteran who clearly was no longer there and she coddled him and treated him like he was Forest Gump. It annoyed the listeners of UNFILTERED and they did just a little web surfing and found out that he had beaten his wife several times -- including before he was in the military. (He may have been one of those -- like the late Steven Green who chose the military over prison.) So as they tried to use the UNFILTERED message board to explain nicely (they were Rachel fans -- goodness knows why) how offensive it was for her to coddle and glorify a man who had repeatedly beaten a woman, her 'answer' was to bring him back on Friday for the 'party show' and let him pick the tunes to play.
Rachel has a vagina, that doesn't make her a feminist. Any woman who responds to serious concerns by doing that is not a feminist.
And for those who don't know or remember Steven Green, from 2014's "War Criminal Steven D. Green dies in prison:"
War Criminal Steven D. Green is dead. AP's Brett Barrouquere, who has long covered Green, reports the 28-year-old Green was found dead in his Arizona prison cell on Saturday and that, currently, the operating belief is that it was a case of suicide.
May 7, 2009 Steven D. Green (pictured above) was convicted for his crimes in the March 12, 2006 gang-rape and murder of Abeer Qassim Hamza al-Janabi, the murder of her parents and the murder of her five-year-old sister while Green was serving in Iraq. Green was found to have killed all four, to have participated in the gang-rape of Abeer and to have been the ringleader of the conspiracy to commit the crimes and the conspiracy to cover them up. May 21, 2009, the federal jury deadlocked on the death penalty.
Alsumaria explained, "An ex-US soldier was found guilty for raping an Iraqi girl and killing her family in 2006 while he might face death sentence. . . . Eye witnesses have reported that Green shot dead the girl’s family in a bedroom while two other soldiers were raping her. Then, Green raped her in his turn and put a pillow on her face before shooting her. The soldiers set the body afire to cover their crime traces."
Evan Bright reported on the verdict:
As the jury entered the court room, Green(red sweater vest) let out a large sigh, not of relief, but seemingly of anxiety, knowing the weight of the words to come. As Judge Thomas Russell stated "The court will now publish the verdict," Green interlaced his fingers and clasped them over his chin. Russell read the verdict flatly and absolutely. Green went from looking down at each "guilty" to eyeing the jury. His shoulders dropped as he was convicted of count #11, aggravated sexual abuse, realizing what this means. A paralegal at the defense table consoled Green by patting him on his back, even herself breaking down crying at the end of the verdicts.
After Russell finished reading the verdicts, he begged questions of the respective attorneys. Wendelsdorf, intending to ensure the absolution of the verdict, requested the jury be polled. Honorable Judge Russell asked each juror if they agreed with these verdicts, receiving a simple-but-sufficient yes from all jurors. Green watched the jury flatly.
From the September 4th, 2009 snapshot:
Turning to the United States and what may be the only accountability for the crimes in Iraq. May 7th Steven D. Green (pictured above) was convicted for his crimes in March 12, 2006 gang-rape and murder of Abeer Qassim Hamza al-Janabi, the murder of her parents and the murder of her five-year-old sister while Green was serving in Iraq. Green was found to have killed all four, to have participated in the gang-rape of Abeer and to have been the ringleader of the conspiracy to commit the crimes and the conspiracy to cover them up. May 21st, the federal jury deadlocked on the death penalty and instead kicking in sentence to life in prison. Today, Green stood before US District Judge Thomas B. Russell for sentencing. Kim Landers (Australia's ABC) quotes Judge Russell telling Green his actions were "horrifying and inexcusable." Not noted in any of the links in this snapshot (it comes from a friend present in the court), Steven Dale Green has dropped his efforts to appear waif-ish in a coltish Julia Roberts circa the 1990s manner. Green showed up a good twenty pounds heavier than he appeared when on trial, back when the defense emphasized his 'lanky' image by dressing him in oversized clothes. Having been found guilty last spring, there was apparently no concern that he appear frail anymore.
Italy's AGI reports, "Green was recognised as the leader of a group of five soldiers who committed the massacre on September 12 2006 at the Mahmudiyah check point in the south of Baghdad. The story inspired the 2007 masterpiece by Brian De Palma 'Redacted'." BBC adds, "Judge Thomas Russell confirmed Green would serve five consecutive life sentences with no chance of parole." Deborah Yetter (Courier-Journal) explains, "Friday's federal court hearing was devoted mostly to discussion of technical issues related to Green's sentencing report, although it did not change Green's sentence. He was convicted in May of raping and murdering Abeer al-Janabi, 14, and murdering her parents, Kassem and Fakhriya, and her sister, Hadeel, 6, at their home outside Baghdad."
Green was tried in civilian court because he had already been discharged before the War Crimes were discovered. Following the gang-rape and murders, US soldiers attempted to set fire to Abeer's body to destroy the evidence and attempted to blame the crimes on "insurgents." In real time, when the bodies were discovered, the New York Times was among the outlets that ran with "insurgents." Green didn't decide he wanted to be in the military on his own. It was only after his most recent arrest -- after a long string of juvenile arrests -- while sitting in jail and fearing what sentence he would face, that Green decided the US Army was just the place he wanted to be. Had he been imprisoned instead or had the US military followed rules and guidelines, Green wouldn't have gotten in on a waiver. Somehow his history was supposed to translate into "He's the victim!!!!" As if he (and the others) didn't know rape was a crime, as if he (and the others) didn't know that murder was considered wrong. Green attempted to climb up on the cross again today. AP's Brett Barrouguere quotes the 'victim' Green insisting at today's hearing, "You can act like I'm a sociopath. You can act like I'm a sex offender or whatever. If I had not joined the Army, if I had not gone to Iraq, I would not have got caught up in anything." Climb down the cross, drama queen. Your entire life was about leading up to a moment like that. You are a sociopath. You stalked a 14-year-old Iraqi girl while you were stationed at a checkpoint in her neighborhood. You made her uncomfortable and nervous, you stroked her face. She ran to her parents who made arrangements for her to go live with others just to get her away from you, the man the army put there to protect her and the rest of the neighborhood. You are one sick f**k and you deserve what you got. Green play drama queen and insist "you can act like I'm a sex offender" -- he took part in and organized a gang-rape of a 14-year-old girl. That's a sex offender. In fact, "sex offender" is a mild term for what Green is.
Steven D. Green made the decision to sign up for the US military. He was facing criminal punishment for his latest crimes, but he made the decision. Once in the military, despite his long history of arrests, he didn't see it as a chance to get a fresh start. He saw it as a passport for even more crimes. What he did was disgusting and vile and it is War Crimes and by doing that he disgraced himself and the US military. His refusal to take accountability today just demonstrates the realities all along which was Green did what he wanted and Green has no remorse. He sullied the name of the US military, he sullied the name of the US. As a member of the army, it was his job to follow the rules and the laws and he didn't do so. And, as a result, a retaliation kidnapping of US soldiers took place in the spring of 2006 and those soldiers were strung up and gutted. That should weigh heavily on Steven D. Green but there's no appearance that he's ever thought of anyone but himself. He wants to act as if the problem was the US military which requires that you then argue that anyone serving in Iraq could have and would have done what he did. That is not reality. He does not represent the average soldier and he needs to step down from the cross already.
AFP notes, "During closing arguments at his sentencing, Green was described alternately as 'criminal and perverse' and deserving of the death penalty, and as a 'broken warrior" whose life should be spared'." Brett Barrouquere (AP) has been covering the story for years now. He notes that Patrick Bouldin (defense) attempted to paint Green as the victim as well by annoucing that Green wanted to take responsibility "twice" before but that Assistant US Attorney Marisa Ford explained that was right before jury selection began and in the midst of jury selection. In other words, when confronted with the reality that he would be going to trial, Steven D. Green had a panic moment and attempted to make a deal with the prosecution. (The offer was twice rejected because the 'life in prison' offer included the defense wanting Green to have possible parole.) Steve Robrahn, Andrew Stern and Paul Simao (Reuters) quote US Brig Gen Rodney Johnson ("Commanding General of the U.S. Army Criminal Investigation Command") stating, "We sincerely hope that today's sentencing helps to bring the loved ones of this Iraqi family some semblance of closure and comfort after this horrific and senseless act."
Green went into the military to avoid criminal charges on another issue. He was one of many that the military lowered the standards for.
May 28, 2009, the family of Abeer gave their statements to the court before leaving to return to Iraq. WHAS11 (text and video) reported on the court proceedings:
Gary Roedemeier: Crimes were horrific. A band of soldiers convicted of planning an attack against an Iraqi girl and her family.
Melissa Swan: The only soldier tried in civilian court is Steven Green. The Fort Campbell soldier was in federal court in Louisville this morning, facing the victims' family and WHAS's Renee Murphy was in that courtroom this morning. She joins us live with the information and also more on that heart wrenching scene of when these family members faced the man who killed their family.
Renee Murphy: I mean, they came face to face with the killer. Once again, the only thing different about this time was that they were able to speak with him and they had an exchange of dialogue and the family is here from Iraq and they got to ask Steven Green all the questions they wanted answered. They looked each other in the eye. Green appeared calm and casual in court. The victims' family, though, outraged, emotional and distraught. Now cameras were not allowed in the courtroom so we can't show video of today's hearing but here's an account of what happened. (Video begins] This is a cousin of a 14-year-old Iraqi girl raped and killed by Steven Green. He and other family members in this SUV were able to confront Green in federal court this morning. Their words were stinging and came from sheer grief. Former Fort Campbell soldier Steven Green was convicted of killing an Iraqi mother, father and their young daughter. He then raped their 14-year-old daughter, shot her in the head and set her body on fire. Today the victim's family was able to give an impact statement at the federal court house the young sons of the victims asked Green why he killed their father. an aunt told the court that "wounds are still eating at our heart" and probably the most compelling statements were from the girls' grandmother who sobbed from the stand and demanded an explanation from Green. Green apologized to the family saying that he did evil things but he is not an evil person. He says that he was drunk the night of the crimes in 2006 and he was following the orders of his commanding officers. In his statement, Green said if it would bring these people back to life I would do everything I could to make them execute me. His statement goes on to say, "Before I went to Iraq, I never thought I would intentionally kill a civilian. When I was in Iraq, something happened to me that I can only explain by saying I lost my mind. I stopped seeing Iraqis as good and bad, as men, women and children. I started seeing them all as one, and evil, and less than human." Green didn't act alone. His codefendants were court-martialed and received lesser sentences. Green will be formally sentenced to life in prison in September. [End of videotape.] The answers that Green gave were not good enough for some of the family members. at one point today, the grandmother of the young girls who were killed left the podium and started walking towards Green as he sat at the defendant's table shouting "Why!" She was forcibly then escorted to the back of the court room by US Marshalls. She then fell to the ground and buried her face in her hands and began to cry again. The family pleaded with the court for the death sentence for Green. but you can see Green's entire statement to the court on our website whas11.com and coming up tonight at six o'clock, we're going to hear from Green's attorneys.
Steven D. Green was convicted of War Crimes.
Others should have been as well. The fact that others were not does not make Green any less of a War Criminal.
He killed an entire family and Abeer could hear her parents and sister being killed in the other room as she was gang-raped. Then Green came in and took his turn in the gang-rape before killing her. 14-years-old and she's gang-raped as she hears her family killed and then she's killed herself at the end of it.
At which point, Green attempted to set Abeer's body on fire to destroy the evidence.
It was originally reported as an act of 'terrorism' and blamed on Iraqis.
That's a long excerpt but War Crimes need to be noted. The US press largely turned its head on Green. AP covered it. But this was a War Crime and so many outlets ignored it. To this day, on campuses, if Abeer comes up, you will find that easily two-thirds of those present have never heard of her. That's a reflection on our media and the stories it chooses to pursue and present.
Saturday brought news of another US service member who died in Iraq. WLKY reports today, "The body of Spc. Ryan Riley, 22, of Richmond, arrived at Dover Air Force Base in Delaware early Tuesday morning."
He died on his first deployment to Iraq. And, yes, Donald Trump is continuing the Iraq War. It's never ended. And the bulk of the candidates for the Democratic Party's presidential nomination seem unaware of that and certainly feel no pressure to speak of the wars publicly.
US House Rep Tulsi Gabbagd says the wars have to be ended. She's also the only one of those running who has spoken out against the persecution of Julian Assange.
Earlier this month, the founder and publisher of WIKILEAKS, Julian Assange, was arrested in London. Legal scholar Jonathan Turley (USA TODAY) has pointed out:
He disclosed a massive and arguably unconstitutional surveillance program by the United States impacting virtually every citizen. He later published emails that showed that the Democratic National Committee and the campaign of Hillary Clinton lied in various statements to the public, including the rigging of the primary for her nomination. No one has argued that any of these emails were false. They were embarrassing. Of course, there is not crime of embarrassing the establishment but that is merely a technicality.
For the US government, the first extreme bit of embarrassment came on Monday April 5, 2010, when WIKILEAKS released military video of a July 12, 2007 assault in Iraq. 12 people were killed in the assault including two REUTERS journalists Namie Noor-Eldeen and Saeed Chmagh. Not only was the US government responsible for that attack, they were responsible for the lies and the coverup that followed. When WIKILEAKS published the video, the truth was known.
I'm not pleased with WSWS' dismissal of women's rights -- see Trina's post -- so you can use that as your cop out if you don't like what I'm about to say. Oscar Greenfell has written a really stupid article for WSWS entiled "Legal experts: Assange likely faces espionage charges if extradited to US."
A bunch of experts and 'experts' are quoted saying Julian might be charged for espionage -- it's a hunch they have. It's not a hunch. And Oscar's context is flat out awful. Neither he nor the experts he quotes seems to know a damn thing about recent history.
Yes, it is very likely that Julian Assange is going to be charged with espionage. No, he shouldn't be but it is very likely he will. And I'm not basing that on the wording of the current charges. I'm basing that on what the US government has already attempted with WIKILEAKS.
The January 26, 2015 snapshot quoted the press release WikiLeaks issued that morning:
Today, WikiLeaks' lawyers have written to Google and the US Department of Justice concerning a serious violation of the privacy and journalistic rights of WikiLeaks' staff. Investigations editor Sarah Harrison, Section Editor Joseph Farrell and senior journalist and spokesperson Kristinn Hrafnsson have received notice that Google had handed over all their emails and metadata to the United States government on the back of alleged 'conspiracy' and 'espionage' warrants carrying up to 45 years in prison.
Importantly, the warrants reveal for the first time a clear list of the alleged offences the US government is trying to apply in its attempts to build a prosecution against Julian Assange and other WikiLeaks staff. The offences add up to a total of 45 years of imprisonment.
The US government is claiming universal jurisdiction to apply the Espionage Act, general Conspiracy statute and the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act to journalists and publishers – a horrifying precedent for press freedoms around the world. Once an offence is alleged in relation to a journalist or their source, the whole media organisation, by the nature of its work flow, can be targeted as alleged 'conspiracy'. Julian Assange, WikiLeaks Editor-in-Chief said: 'WikiLeaks has out endured everything the Obama administration has thrown at us and we will out endure these latest "offences" too.'
The alleged offences are:
- Espionage: 18 U.S.C. § 793(d) - imprisonment up to 10 years
- Conspiracy to commit espionage: 18 U.S.C. § 793(g) - imprisonment up to 10 years
- The theft or conversion of property belonging to the United States government: 18 U.S.C. § 641 - imprisonment up to 10 years
- Violation of the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act: 18 U.S.C. § 1030 - imprisonment up to 10 years
- (general) Conspiracy: 18 U.S.C. § 371 - imprisonment up to 5 years
The US Department of Justice confirmed to US federal court on 19 May 2014 that it was "very clear that the main, multi-subject, criminal investigation of WikiLeaks 'remains open and pending'," but that to release additional information would "harm" the "ongoing Department of Justice (“DoJ”) and FBI criminal investigation and pending future prosecution". In 2012 the US government stated in military court that the target of the DoJ investigation included the "founders, owners and managers of WikiLeaks". The investigation began as early as February 2010 and has involved search warrants and court orders for the records of WikiLeaks' associates.
Assange said: 'I call on president Obama to do the right thing and call off his dogs--for his own sake. President Obama is set to go down in history as the president who brought more bogus "espionage" cases against the press than all previous presidents combined.'
Warrants were already issued charging espionage? There's the detail you keep forgetting or missing. Why do I have to spoon feed? WSWS is leading the coverage on Julian Assange but they're not aware enough to know what happened just four years ago?
Yes, the US is going to try to charge him with espionage. No, it's not a charge that should stick. The persecution needs to end. Julian Assange is an Australian citizen (whose government is too cowardly to support him -- and we though Australia was getting braver after John Howard was forced from office). He is a publisher. He is a journalist. End the persecution.
And WSWS, if you think the charges might be espionage, know the history so you can explain to people that this has already happened. Citing the US government having already used that charge against WIKILEAKS would make your article a lot stronger.
And WSWS, if you think the charges might be espionage, know the history so you can explain to people that this has already happened. Citing the US government having already used that charge against WIKILEAKS would make your article a lot stronger.
New content at THIRD:
- Truest statement of the week
- Truest statement of the week II
- A note to our readers
- Editorial: Who will answer this basic question
- TV: Lower Dullness trumped Higher Love
- Really, Amy?
- Courage today means you're thrown behind bars
- Tweet of the week
- Jake Kovco
- Conversation of the week
- This edition's playlist
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