Friday, July 01, 2005

Four stories from Indymedia

"It is a story of espionage, murder and environmental activism ... the Bombing of the Rainbow Warrior by agents of the France's secret service is a compelling story and a stark warning about the dangers of nuclear weapons and the lengths Governments will go to protect their ability to blow us all to pieces. To commemorate the 20th anniversary of the July 10 1985, bombing of the Rainbow Warrior and murder of Greenpeace photographer Fernando Pereira, we have put together 3 radio packages (30 min, 15 min and 5 min) which include interviews with members of the Warrior crew, the NZ police, the French media etc.

The above is from Marco's "20 Years. Memorializing Greenpeace photographer Fernando Pereira" (Milwaukee Indymedia). I'm very late in getting done with the work related event and we're going to be rushing through and only noting a few things. If I've missed something in the e-mails (and I know I have), I'll note them this weekend. Marco's article provides a link to audio on this story.

William Hughes' "Ann Wright on the Follies of Bush’s War" (Baltimore Indymedia) is a profile worth reading (and Carole e-mailed to highlight this):

One of the unsung heroes of the opposition to the Iraqi War is Ann Wright. Rather than support the war, she resigned her position with the State Dept. on March 19, 2003. Ms. Wright, a career diplomat for over 16 years, who had also served in the military, believes the Downing Street Memos have plenty of ammunition in them to support impeachment proceeding against President George W. Bush and criminal charges against others in his administration.
[. . .]
I caught up with Ms. Wright, at the historic hearing, that was called by Rep. John Conyers (D-MI), on June 16, 2005, to look into the leaked British documents, the “Downing St. Minutes,” a/k/a, the “Downing St. Memos.” That “smoking gun” shows that the Bush-Cheney Gang “fixed the intelligence” in order to justify its invasion of Iraq. While the hearing was proceeding, in room “HC-9,” in the basement of the U.S. Capitol, I sat down and chatted with the soft-spoken Ms. Wright in an adjoining office.

Also worth noting (Tim e-mailed on this) is Fenny Drayton's "WASHINGTON POST PROTESTED FOR FAILED WAR COVERAGE" (DC Indymedia):

2 protestors emerged with the telephone number for Dana Milbank, columnist for the Washington Post who labeled those concerned about the Downing Street Memo, "wing nuts". After several calls by other activists with cell phones, Milbank returned a phone call saying, "Everyone knows they lied..." .
JUNE 29 The Washington Post was protested this evening by area activists for the newspaper's failure to properly cover the leaked documents commonly known as The Downing Street Memos. More than 30 activists gathered in front of the offices of The Washington Post in a protest called and endorsed by Northern Virginians For Peace and Justice, the DC Anti-War Network/DAWN, and DC area ad hoc groups concerned about the failure of the mainstream press to cover what they believe is the "smoking gun" in the Bush Administration's plan for war with Iraq.
"Dana Milbank of The Post did a messed up hatchet job on this memo thing." said Arthur Sales of Silver Spring. The Post has a lot to answer for in my opinion" he said. "This protest is just one example of what is happening across the country right now on this issue. People are organizing and holding the press and their congressional representatives accountable because of what is in The Downing Street Memo's. It's about the lies that led to war and occupation" said Malachy Kilbride of the DC Anti-War Network.
"I am thoroughly disgusted that The Washington Post failed failed failed to cover this story!" said Margaret Lemming of Fairfax, Virginia.
The protesters marched in front of the offices of the newspaper as employees left for the day.

Lastly, Maria steers us to Mara Ortenburger's "Being a Military Recruiter Must Suck" (Santa Cruz Indymedia):

Protesters on April 5th had many other reasons to rally against recruiters. The military is a supremely threatening place for women, people of color, and anybody who dares to question the logic of war. In surveys conducted by the Veterans Administration, 90% of women in the military reported harassment and 30% reported being raped. 75% of African Americans and 67% of Latinos reported racially offensive behavior. Conscientious objectors face abuse and prison time.
Furthermore, recruiters prey on society’s most disadvantaged groups, making wild promises of travel, money for school, job training, and adventure. This is bogus. Only 15% of enlistees get the full amount of funding promised by the GI bill and 57% get no money at all.As far as job training, only 12% of male veterans and 6% of female veterans are able to apply skills they learned in the military to their civilian jobs. In addition, the unemployment rate is 35% higher among young veterans than for their non-veteran peers.
As the truth behind these promises is uncovered, recruiters have had to scramble even harder to lure young people into the military. And apparently, some recruiters have been willing to commit illegal acts in order to do so.
Earlier this month, the military called for a one-day suspension of recruiting activities in order to retrain recruiters on the ethics involved in their job. This action came as a response to several reports of misconduct by recruiters including encouraging teenagers to lie to their parents, forge documents, and fake drug-tests. One recruiter was even caught on tape telling a potential recruit that he would be arrested for missing an appointment they had arranged. And these were only the reported cases of abuse. It is a pretty safe bet that the one-day retraining has done s**t to fix things…these problems are inherent in the culture and structure of the military itself.

Again, my apologies that this is so brief. I'll go through the e-mails and we'll note more from Indymedia during the weekend.

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