Wednesday, May 18, 2005

NYT: Uzbekistan, Bullying Newsweek, Luis Posada Carriles arrested, Emmett Till, Darfur . . .

Uzbekistan acknowledged Tuesday that its crackdown last week on an antigovernment demonstration and a prison break had been far more violent than it previously described, saying 169 people had been killed, including 32 government troops.
President Islam A. Karimov said Saturday that only 10 soldiers and a larger but unspecified number of "rebels" had been killed.
Despite the big increase in the casualty figures, announced at a news conference in Tashkent by Mr. Karimov and Prosecutor General Rashid Kadyrov, the government's total still was far below the estimates of survivors and witnesses, who have put the death toll in the hundreds.

The above is from C.J. Chivers' "Under Pressure, Uzbek President Raises Death Toll From Clashes" in this morning's New York Times.

Elisabeth Bumiller has an article in today's paper (not a "White House Letter" op-ed). We have one e-mail noting frivolity in the paper today.

Kara: Thank God the paper continues to set aside so much valuable space to the very pressing issue of steroid abuse in professional sports. I hope they'll next launch into a detailed examination of recreational drug use among rock stars.

That's right. Bumiller appears and for a change reigns in some of the fluffing. (Bumiller didn't write the steroid article.)

From her article "White House Presses Newsweek in Wake of Koran Report:"

Republicans close to the White House said that although President Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney were genuinely angered by the Newsweek article, West Wing officials were also exploiting it in an effort to put a check on the press.
"There's no expectation that they're going to bring down Newsweek, but there is a feeling that there is no check on what you guys do," said one outside Bush adviser, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because he did not want to be identified as talking about possible motives of the White House.

Franciso notes Abby Goodnough's "U.S. Arrests Cuban Exile Accused in Deadly '76 Airline Bombing:"

Immigration officials arrested Luis Posada Carriles, a Cuban exile suspected in a deadly airplane bombing and other attacks, on Tuesday, weeks after he slipped into the United States and shortly after he withdrew an application for political asylum.
The Bush administration, which had been mostly silent about Mr. Posada's presence and until Tuesday denied knowing if he was even in the country, faced growing pressure from Cuba and its ally Venezuela to extradite him. Critics had questioned why the United States would not root out a suspected terrorist, even one hailed by Cuban exiles as a freedom fighter against Fidel Castro.
As the Department of Homeland Security detained the 77-year-old Mr. Posada, hundreds of thousands of Cubans in Havana participated in a protest march against him, which Mr. Castro described as "against terrorism and in favor of our people's life and peace." Mr. Castro had furiously accused Mr. Bush of sheltering Mr. Posada, a former Central Intelligence Agency operative, in recent weeks.

Gina e-mails to note Shaila Dewan and Ariel Hart's "F.B.I. Discovers Trial Transcript in Emmett Till Case:"

The copy, described as faint and barely legible, is the only publicly known record of the trial, in which an all-white jury in Tallahatchie County, Miss., acquitted the defendants. Both men, who later confessed the crime to Look magazine, are now dead. The investigation seeks to determine whether anyone still living may also have been involved.
Emmett was a 14-year-old Chicagoan who was visiting relatives in the town of Money when, accused of whistling at a white woman, he was dragged from his bed, beaten beyond recognition and shot, his body dumped into the Tallahatchie River. A photograph of his grotesquely misshapen face at his funeral became emblematic of Jim Crow horror.
Robert J. Garrity Jr., the F.B.I.'s special agent in charge in Mississippi, said in an interview yesterday that the newly found transcript would allow investigators to review the testimony of witnesses who are now dead and also compare living witnesses' accounts today with what they said in court 50 years ago.

Rob e-mails Marc Lacey's "The Mournful Math of Darfur: The Dead Don't Add Up:"

Darfur's dead have been tossed into the bottoms of wells, dumped into mass graves, interred in sandy cemeteries and crudely cremated. Children have been snatched from the arms of their mothers and thrown into fires, villagers dragged on the ground behind horses and camels by ropes strung around their necks.
[. . .]
Is the death toll between 60,000 and 160,000, as Deputy Secretary of State Robert B. Zoellick told reporters during a recent trip to the region?
Or is it closer to the roughly 400,000 dead reported recently by the Coalition for International Justice, a Washington-based nongovernmental organization that was hired by the United States Agency for International Development to try to determine whether the killing amounts to genocide. (Former Secretary of State Colin L. Powell called the Darfur killing genocide last year, but Mr. Zoellick has studiously avoided the issue.) The State Department has said the higher mortality figures offered by some groups are "skewed" by overestimates of the number of deaths from violence in Darfur, rather than from disease and other causes.

Liang e-mails to note Joseph Kahn's "China Calls Off Rights Conference:"

China canceled an international conference on human rights, the rule of law and democracy days before it was scheduled to convene in Beijing this week, disappointing scholars who had hoped the event would help spur political openness in the one-party state.
The three-day conference had been scheduled to begin Thursday, but several participants said they were notified in the past two days that the event would not be held. Many had planned to board flights for China on Wednesday.
No reason was cited, these participants said, and there was no word on whether the event would be rescheduled.

Chrissy e-mails to note a Reuters' article "Reservist Gets Six-Month Sentence for Abusing Iraqis at Abu Ghraib:"

A United States Army reservist convicted of attaching wires to an Iraqi prisoner in a photographed scene that brought waves of public outrage was sentenced Tuesday to six months in prison.
A military jury at the nation's largest Army base recommended the prison term for the soldier, Specialist Sabrina Harman, 27. She will also receive a bad conduct discharge. The charges carried a maximum potential sentence of five and a half years; the prosecution had asked for three years. She was credited with 51 days already served.

Chrissy wonders why the Times "with their big pool of reporters has no one covering this trial?"

Good question. Where are the reporters from the Times on the Associated Press story that Hank notes "2 Officers Punished in 2003 for Abusing Iraqi Detainees?" From that article:

Two Army officers staged mock executions of Iraqi prisoners in 2003 and were given career-ending punishments, according to military officials and newly released documents.
Mock executions, in which a prisoner is made to believe that his death is imminent, are prohibited by the Army as a form of torture.
The details of the investigations were described in documents sought by the American Civil Liberties Union under the Freedom of Information Act. The Army provided the documents on Tuesday.

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