Friday, September 23, 2005

Other Items

But on the second day of Private England's court-martial, witnesses disagreed about whether Private Graner directed her to pose with naked detainees in pictures that, when they became public last year, led to the scandal over American mistreatment of Iraqi prisoners at Abu Ghraib and elsewhere.
[. . .]
Asked if he was the father of Private England's baby, as she has said, Private Graner said he did not know. At this, she scoffed, one of her few visible reactions in two days of testimony.

The above is from David S. Cloud's "At Abuse Trial, 2 Accounts of Why G.I. Was in Photos" in this morning's New York Times. Interesting the "two accounts" aren't really two accounts. They're one account that differs over how and why. The second account, the one that would go to higher ups doesn't get a mention in the paper. Was it mentioned at the trial? It's not in the article.

Laurie Goodstein files her third report that we've noted on the shift by the Church (by the Pope) to purging the priesthood of gay men. It's entitled "Gay Men Ponder Impact of Vatican Policy."
A number of members e-mailed about it and I'll turn this section over to Elaine since she is a psychologist.

Elaine: The same problem noted here yesterday is present again. The correlation, one that doesn't exist, between pedophilia and homosexuality is presented as a given. Ms. Goodstein originally made that point. With subsequent stories, the point's been dropped. This is a newspaper. This isn't a radio call in show. To allow the non-existant correlation to be presented and not include what studies have demonstrated is irresponsible journalism. The paper needs to be taken to the woodshed for doing this twice in a row. How do we scapegoat? By presenting "facts" as facts. Goodstein deserves a lot of blame for this article. She has now twice taken part in an article that has allowed pedophilia and homosexuality to be tied together despite scientific studies that demonstrate there is no correlation. The fact that she once noted that clearly in an article but no longer does only makes her reporting more embarrassing. People need facts and the paper's not supplying them with those facts. I'd also be curious as to how an article that states up front it will be exploring the reactions of gay priests to the purge suddenly shifts to a right wing, presumably straight (but who can tell?) priest and then goes on to offer "a retired teacher," "an immigrant from Columbia" and various others who aren't priests, who aren't gay and who aren't part of the focus of the article according to the first paragraph.
The "retired teacher," one Helen Dunn, is the one who's allowed to make comments such as "because that's where the problem starts." The problem with this article starts when its decided that feelings checks trump actual facts. Having allowed a non-existant correlation to yet again be drawn, Goodstein owes it to readers to inform them that there is no correlation. She fails at that today, she fails as a reporter. If basic psychology is beyond her and she has no one in her rolodex that can inform her, she needs to omit passages that she can't verify.
This is shameful reporting. She's done it twice now. The Times should have stopped it a long time ago.

Brandon e-mails to note Douglas Jehl's "After a Year Leading C.I.A., Goss Is Struggling, Some Say" and to note that the issue is "as pointed out here, is Goss up to the job. He had no experience managing an agency and he was put in charge. It's hardly surprising that he's still 'struggling.'" From Jehl's article:

A year after taking charge of the Central Intelligence Agency, Porter J. Goss is still struggling to rebuild morale and assert leadership within an institution shaken by recent failures and buffetted by change, current and former intelligence officials and members of Congress say.

And will continue to struggle. Brandon's referring to a critique here (Janurary? December?)
that Goss was not qualifed and that should have been the issue. Goss was given the job when we heard talk of "massive intelligence failures" which would indicate that you needed someone with experience in running a "massive agency." Instead, we got speculation of whether or not he'd politicize the agency. (Which happened under Reagan, to name one instance, and isn't uncommon.) With Republicans controlling the process, charges of "partisanship" were unlikely to kill the nomination. Arguing that someone with no experience was the wrong person at the wrong time might have. Whether Goss is partisan or not, good or evil, whatever, really doesn't change the fact that he's in over his head. His lack of experience makes this "struggling" hardly surprising.

From "National Briefing," Don e-mails to note:

GEORGIA: CORETTA KING RETURNS HOME More than five weeks after suffering a stroke and a heart attack, Coretta Scott King, 78, widow of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., went home from the hospital. Mrs. King will continue to work with a physical therapist for three hours a day, six days a week, as she tries to regain her speech and the use of her right arm, her doctor said. After her stroke on Aug. 16, Mrs. King lost most of the motor functions on her right side.

From The Third Estate Sunday Review, we'll note:

"Editorial: Stand Up and Be Counted"
Sat., 9/24

Massive March& Rally
Peace and JusticeFestival
Operation CeasefireConcert
Sun., 9/25
Interfaith Service
Training for Grassroots LobbyDay
Trainingfor Mass Nonviolent Civil Disobedience
NationalMeeting for Counter Recruitment
• Other Activities Mon., 9/26
Grassroots Lobby Day
Mass Nonviolent Civil Disobedience

What are the dates above? Are you kidding us? Are you visiting this site for the very first time?They are the dates (from the United for Peace & Justice website) for activism this coming weekend. Okay, you donated a few bucks to independent media, maybe it made you feel good after donating all the money you did to the Kerry/Edwards campaign only to later learn that the campaign didn't use it all to . . . campaign (hopefully the money was being stored for a recount that pressure from party structure ended up nixing); you took part in an e-mail campaign to stop something or save something; you've been thinking about donating a few bucks to one of the many worthy organizations; but guess what -- that's not how it should end.
Downing St. Memo. Did the press want to cover it? No. They dismissed it.
Voices saying "bring the troops home." Did the press want to cover it? No. Polling repeatedly demonstrated Americans were in favor of this for months. Only now is it an option in newsprint (one that's still dismissed).
What makes the press do their job?
You do.
With your actions.
You make them stand and take notice.
Doesn't mean they won't deride. (Derision is their key quality. See the coverage of the many protests on the inauguration in the Times -- both paragraphs!)
But it sends a message. It sends a message to the Bully Boy and the administration, it sends a message to the press.
It's a chance for you to make your voice heard. To come together with other individuals who are determined to stop the killing on all sides.
Last week the GOP, yet again, shut down any hopes that the Downing Street Memos could be addressed in Congress. But you know about those memos. You know what happened.
How good are you feeling about that illegal war?
This coming weekend is your chance to take action and have your voice heard.
In addition to the above activities that will be taking place in D.C., other areas (such as NYC and San Francisco) are also planning events. Is there an event in your area?
You tell us.
What are you doing to be heard and to seek out information?
People can call their local chapters of NOW to find about activities planned in their area. You could do that.You could throw a STOP THE WAR now party this weekend, if nothing else. Get everyone to take time during the party to call your governor's hotline (provided you're not in one of the disaster areas effected by Hurricane Katrina) so that when the staff arrives the following Monday, they find nonstop messages saying "Bring the troops home now." Can your governor STOP THE WAR? Probably not. But that's an elected official and they should be feeling the heat. They should know where people stand. That goes for your state reps, your county reps and your municipal reps. They should all know that "the voters" are tired of this ongoning invasion/occupation. You can do that this weekend.
Might lead to a city council considering whether to debate a measure on the war. Might lead to a state rep standing in a state house (or outside it) and making a statement against the war. Or a governor. You never know until you try.
But if you can't take part in the scheduled activities, you need to create some of your own.Get contact info for your reps on every level and throw a party. Provide means for the guests to contact those reps (at the party, don't take "Oh sure, I'll do something Monday"). Pass around a collection plate for your local peace group or local chapter of a deserving organization or for the national chapter of the same. Entertainment?
Have Laura Flanders playing in the background or Democracy Now! or Pacifica or any programming that's independent and airing the issues that a timid mainstream press won't. Play music by artists who are making a difference and/or who have made a difference, people who stand up and be counted.
Want a film-fest? You've got Danny Schechter's WMD, many strong films by Robert Greenwood, Michael Moore, The Control Room . . . The list is endless.
Maybe there's truly nothing going on in your area (or maybe you're not "the rally type"), that's no excuse for not starting something yourself on some level that says no to the occupation.
You can make a difference this coming weekend. If you participate.So stand up and be counted. Cindy Sheehan's the spark but only you can keep the flame of truth blazing.
[This editorial was written by The Third Estate Sunday Review's Dona, Ava, Jess, Ty and myself, Elaine of Like Maria Said Paz, Cedric of Cedric's Big Mix, Rebecca of Sex and Politics and Screeds and Attitude, Betty of Thomas Friedman is a Great Man, Kat of Kat's Korner (of The Common Ills), Mike of Mikey Likes It! and C.I. of both The Common Ills and The Third Estate Sunday Review.]

From Danny Schechter's latest News Dissector:

As hundreds of thousands rally in Washington tomorrow for US troops to leave Iraq, Michael Schwartz explains why there is no exit strategy on
"It is now a common place in Washington to point out that the Bush administration had no exit strategy from Iraq, but to this day few bother to say the obvious: It had no exit strategy because its top officials never planned on or expected to leave that country. That this was so is easy enough to chart via one of the least well-covered subjects of the period, the Pentagon's determination to build huge, and hugely impressive, permanent military bases" ….
And oh yes, the 'we can't, fail kick butt" arrogance is receding, the talk of the "cakewalk" all gone. CNN now reports FEWER than half of all Americans now believe we can "win" in Iraq. "Fewer than half."
Alternet reports: "Tomorrow, thousands of people will mobilize in DC and scores of other cities nationwide to voice opposition to the war in Iraq. Here's where to go if you're not in Washington:"

Rebecca got a post up early this morning while we (Elaine & I) were already going through e-mails to this site. Kat's just read it and says we need to note it (we agree). It's entitled "use your powerthis weekend:"

i have a lot of readers in high school. i realize that not everyone will be able to visit d.c. this weekend. (i'm glad that 3 will. hope we are able to meet up saturday afternoon.) but there are things going on in many communities so you may be able to participate locally even if you are unable to come to d.c. you can check with your local chapter of now (national organization of women) or with your local peace organization.
but here's what i want from my high school readers most of all. today is friday (i'm posting late) and i want you to speak out at school. i want you to sit down at the lunch table and talk about the protests in d.c. and why they're happening. i want you to pass notes in study hall. i want you to talk about it during the breaks. if you're able to, i want you to talk about it in class. (i had some real pr**ks and assholes for teachers so i know you'll have to find the teacher who, regardless of whether they agree with you or not, will support free speech in order to have a real discussion on this topic. but you can bring it up even in classes taught by assholes and pr**ks.)
i do not want to read 1 e-mail that says 'wish i could have been there, rebecca, but i couldn't so i didn't do anything.'
we're here to participate in a mass protest. but the message isn't 'okay when you have something to say, you go to d.c. and the rest of the time you shut up.'
what you can do in your own community is as important, maybe more important, than the protests in d.c.
while i was on vacation a number of you wrote in about the wedding crashers. it was funny, you thought. it was hysterical. you hoped i'd see it.
i'll try to see it on dvd. vince vaughn needs to lose some weight and i'm not real sure about his politics so i'll be slow on the drool there.
but why was that movie a hit?
critics hated it.
who made it a hit?
you did. telling people you knew about it. sending e-mails to people about it. you got the word out on that movie.
so here's the thing. are we going to let the new york times be the critic of the peace movement?are we going to let those outside the anti-war movement give us 2 thumbs down?
not all of my readers are high school age. but i do have a huge number who are. to you guys and gals i say, week after week you defy conventional wisdom and make a movie, a cd, a tv show, a game a hit. mainstream media and advertising try to get ahead of you week after week and tell you what is a hit. you decide what is a hit and you get the word out on it.
you can do that with anything. you have that power.
so this weekend, i want you to get the word out.
most of you are already talking about the war and that's great but i want to hear that you talked even more this weekend. i want to hear that the friend you thought wouldn't be interested is someone you tried to reach. i'd love to hear that saturday you organized your own party or get together and you all sat around talking about the war. (or danced around talking about it. music is important to a good gathering.)
so if you've got a group of friends or only 1 good friend, i want you to be connecting. if you're someone who goes into chat rooms, i want to hear that you brought up the issue in your favorite chat rooms.
i want you to be able, come monday, to say 'well d.c. or not, i made myself heard.'
if past coverage is any indication, we're not going to be able to count on the mainstream press to talk about the mobilizations as anything serious or important to our country. we're going to need to count on each other.

From Media Chanel, we'll note the third part of Richard Behar's "Project 'K' Meets Project 'A' -- Part III:"

Despite the success of the Desert Rats, some major publications that didn't join the Arizona Project proceeded to do "knock stories" about the project's work, says Greene, in part by detailing the libel suits that were filed against the reporters and IRE. [Goldwater himself had promised "the biggest libel suit of all time," but didn’t follow through.] "We didn't lose any [suits]," says Greene. "We did a damn good job." As researcher James Aucoin wrote in the Columbia Journalism Review in 1996, the Arizona Project proved that "the people who said that lone wolves could never work together were wrong."
Keeping egos in check was not the problem, but exhaustion and stress were major obstacles. Most of the Project A staffers were working a minimum of 12 hours a day, seven days a week. Greene required the reporters to submit memos of their progress each night, which he would read until midnight. And each morning, the participants would gather for an 8:00 meeting to plan the new day. "Most of the reporters coming in and out were working in a new environment and were constantly looking over their shoulders to avoid being compromised – or worse," Greene says. "They were away from their families for long stretches. My wife came out for a week at Christmas and I put her to work filing. That's the only time I saw her or my kids in that entire nine months. Renner faced the same problem, and developed a series of physical ailments that eventually killed him many years later."
Project A had one key advantage over Project K: Despite a justice system in Arizona that moved at a snail's pace, a judicial infrastructure existed that would ultimately get the job done on tracking down Bolles' killers. Thus, Greene's team could focus primarily on the subjects that Bolles was trying to unravel. There were many twists and turns in the murder case: Numerous trials, convictions set aside, death sentences overturned, with some witnesses and targets eventually dying of natural causes. While some questions remain about the Bolles case, the man who planted the bomb and one of his accomplices have served prison time. Much of the credit for the government's pursuit of the case lies with an Arizona lawman named George Weisz, who wouldn't let the case die. And before joining the AG's office, Weisz was a student volunteer on the Arizona Project.
Project K has yet to find it's own George Weisz. And in Russia, while the team of eight prosecutors assigned full-time to the Klebnikov case are reportedly excellent investigators, there is far less confidence that the government agencies have enough independence and experience to see that justice gets done. Two suspects who were quickly arrested and linked to the murder of Klebnikov were subsequently released -- a situation that remains murky. In June, the Prosecutor General announced that the case was solved and closed, and that Khozh-Akhmed Nukhayev -- a Chechen rebel leader and onetime Moscow gang boss -- was the mastermind. Two new suspects are under arrest, while two more remain fugitives -- including Nukhayev, who some believe died even before Klebnikov was murdered. The Bolles case stretched from 1976 to 1994. The Klebnikov case could last even longer. "In Russia, contract murders have as many as ten layers between the people who order the hit and the men who ultimately pull the trigger," says retired FBI agent William Kinane, who served as Legal Attache at the U.S. Embassy in Moscow from 1994-99. "It can be impossible to untangle. The hit men almost never know who hired them or why."

This is the third part of the story. The other two installments can be found here:

To read Part I please click here.
To read Part II please click here.

Rod e-mails to note today's scheduled topics for Democracy Now!:

We talk with journalist Naomi Klein about how New Orleans could house a large number of the city's poor evacuees without having to build a single new structure. We also talk with Democracy Now correspondent Jeremy Scahill about private security firms patrolling the streets of New Orleans.

Lastly, we'll note the upcoming appearences for the Un-Embed the Media Tour:

* Amy Goodman in Washington, DC:
Fri, Sept 23
*TIME: 5:30 PM
First Annual Unvarnished Truth Awards
Amy Goodman will be a recipient.
Busboys & Poets Restaurant
14th and V St. NW Washington, DC
5:30 Jazz Reception
6:30 Dinner and Awards Ceremony
Attire: Semi-formal
Reservations for the dinner and awards ceremony are $150 per person
(fundraiser for Pacifica Radio's Washington Bureau)
Reservations (no ticket sales) for this event will be taken at (202)588-0999 x 348 beginning Sept. 1

* Amy Goodman in Washington, DC:
Sun, Sept 25
Green Festival
Washington D.C. Convention Center
801 Mount Vernon Place NW
Day of Ticket Prices:
Adults--$15 each day
Kids 12 & Under--Free
Ride Your Bike--$5
For more information, visit

* Amy Goodman in Norfolk, VA:
Fri, Sept 30
Independent Media: A Primer
Keynote Speech
Naro Expanded Cinema
1507 Colley Avenue
Norfolk, VA 23510
Minimum donation $10
Tickets available at Naro Cinema
For more information, visit

If you missed the Indymedia roundup entries from yesterday (early this morning, actually), they are "Binghamton Indymedia covering the St. Patrick Four," "Indymedia roundup" and "Indymedia round focus on Iraq."

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