Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Democracy Now: Janice Karpsinski; Cindy Sheehan, Karen E. Pride

The only person that I spoke to individually after General Miller's visit, or his briefing, his in brief, that initial briefing, I went to find the JAG officer, the legal officer, lawyer, who was with General Miller, and she was, I believe she was a major and she had been working down at Guantanamo Bay. So I asked her, I said, "What are you doing about releasing the prisoners down at Guantanamo Bay?" And she said, "Ma'am, we're not releasing prisoners. Most of those prisoners are going to spend every last day of their lives down at Guantanamo Bay. They're terrorists, we're not releasing them." And I said, "Well what are you going to do? Fly their family members over to visit them?" And she said, "No, these are, these are terrorists, ma'am.
They don't get visits from home." And that was, that was absolutely shocking. Thinking about the fate of these, what we believed were several hundred prisoners down there, 680 prisoners, spending every last day of their lives at Guantanamo Bay. And particularly important because that meant that military police would be guarding them for, for the forseeable future.

The above is what Janice Karpinski told to Amy Goodman in "Col. Janis Karpinski, the Former Head of Abu Ghraib, Admits She Broke the Geneva Conventions But Says the Blame 'Goes All the Way to The Top'" today. There is a partial transcript. The quote above isn't included and comes around the fifty-second minute of the broadcast.

Now four of Democracy Now!'s Headlines which were selected by Julie, West, Francisco and Krista (who says, "Wally, we hope you get power soon!"):

Bush Official Met With Italians Shortly Before Fake Niger Docs Appeared
In related news, the Italian newspaper La Repubblica has revealed new information on the background behind the forged documents that indicated Iraq was trying purchase uranium from Niger. According to the paper President Bush’s then Deputy National Security Adviser Stephen Hadley met with Italian intelligence chief Nicolo Pollari in September 2002. This came just weeks before the Bush administration began claiming Italian intelligence had obtained documents proving Iraqi attempts to buy the uranium from Niger. The claim played a key role in the White House's massive effort to convince the public of the need for war on Iraq. The documents turned out to be fakes. The paper notes further the meeting took place three days before a story in a weekly owned by Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi, claimed Iraq had purchased 500 tons of uranium from Nigeria. A month later, the forged documents used by the Bush administration - also first obtained by the same paper - made the same claim, but about Niger.

Wal Mart Memo Proposes Health, Benefit Cuts
An internal Wal Mart memo obtained by the New York Times proposes the company curtail spending on employee benefits while minimizing damage to its public image. The Times reports the recommendations include hiring more part-time workers, reducing retirement contributions and discouraging unhealthy people from applying for positions. To discourage unhealthy applicants, the memo proposes Wal-Mart arrange for: "all jobs to include some physical activity (e.g., all cashiers do some cart-gathering)." The memo also acknowledged the company is already in a delicate position because 46 percent of the children of 1.3 million employees are uninsured on or Medicaid.

Former Congressman Edward Roybal dead at 89
And former Congressman Edward Roybal has died in Los Angeles at the age of 89. He was a pioneering Mexican-American politician who served in Congress for 30 years. He started his political career in 1949 when be became the first Latino to sit on the Los Angeles City Council since 1881. Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa said QUOTE "A champion for civil rights and social justice like him does not come around every day."

3 million Without Electricity in Wilma Aftermath
In Florida, over 3 million people are without electricity as the recovery effort begins in the aftermath of Hurricane Wilma. State officials are saying it could take weeks for the Miami, Fort Lauderdale and West Palm Beach area to return to normal. Damage is estimated to be at over $10 billion dollars.

Democracy Now! ("always worth watching," as Marcia says):

Headlines for October 26, 2005
- National Day of Action Marks 2,000th U.S. Death in Iraq
- Military: 2,000 Figure "Not a Milestone"
- Investigators Focus on Rove in CIA Leak Case
- Bush Official Met With Italians Shortly Before Fake Niger Docs Appeared
- US, France, Britain Submit UN Resolution on Syria
- Bush Admin. Drops Nuclear "Bunker-Buster" Plans
- 3 million Without Electricity in Wilma Aftermath
- Wal Mart Memo Proposes Health, Benefit Cuts
- Former Congressman Edward Roybal dead at 89

Los Titulares de Hoy: Democracy Now!'s daily news summary translated into Spanish

Col. Janis Karpinski, the Former Head of Abu Ghraib, Admits She Broke the Geneva Conventions But Says the Blame "Goes All the Way to The Top"
Karpinski, the highest-ranking officer demoted in connection with the torture scandal, speaks out about what happened at the Abu Ghraib prison. She discusses:
How the military hid "ghost detainees" from the International Red Cross in violation of international law;
Maj. Gen. Geoffrey Miller calling for the Gitmoization of Abu Ghraib and for prisoners to be "treated like dogs";
Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld's secret memos on interrogation policies that hung on the prison’s walls;
The military’s use of private (and possibly Israeli) interrogators;
Her dealings with the International Red Cross;
Why she feels, as a female general, she has been scapegoated for a scandal that has left the military and political leadership unscathed; and
Calls for Donald Rumsfeld, Lt. Gen. Ricardo Sanchez, Alberto Gonzalez and Maj. Gen. Geoffrey Miller to be held accountable for what happened. [includes rush transcript - partial]

Denise e-mails to note Cindy Sheehan's "2000, Why? Not One More" (Common Dreams):

Each day we will be passing out black wrist bands and we will have each person who picks one up write a KIA troops' name and number on it. Each wrist band will also stand for 50 innocent Iraqis killed. Everyday at 6 PM we will have a "die-in." We will ask everyone who is present at 6 PM to lie down and represent a dead soldier. At that point, the park police will give us 3 warnings before they arrest us. We are not encouraging people; to get arrested is a very personal decision. I am planning to not get up on the day after the 2000th soldier is killed. I may be arrested. Then when they let me out, I will go back and lie back down. We in America have let this criminal administration get away with murder for too long. Enough is enough. It's time to start practicing non-violent civil disobedience (C.D.) on a large scale.
On Tuesday the 25th we will be fasting for the length of the vigil in solidarity with the hardships that Americans and Iraqis are enduring on a daily basis. We are asking America to fast in solidarity with us.
On Wednesday the 26th at 10:30 AM, we will be going to Arlington Cemetery to lay a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. Then to the White House for our vigil.
On Thursday the 27th at 10:30 AM we will be delivering a wreath and signed sympathy cards to the Iraqi Embassy. We are asking people who come out to our vigil on the Lafayette Park side to bring sympathy cards. Then to the White House for our vigil.
On Friday the 28th at 10:30 AM we will be delivering flowers and get well wishes to Walter Reed Hospital and we are asking people to bring get well cards to our vigil. Then off to the White House for our vigil.

There are huge problems with posting today (hence the delay). E-mails aren't hitting and we'll leave it at that. Thanks to Shirley for posting this directly. There's a long comment that will be in a different entry tonight.

We will, however, note two items that Keesha sent in. Both are by Karen E. Pride and both are from The Chicago Defender.

1) From "Rosa Parks hailed as an American treasure:"

Leaders from around the country and around the state expressed their praise and sorrow on the death of Rosa Parks, the woman many considered the mother of the civil rights movement.
Parks, a seamstress who made history on Dec. 1, 1955 when she refused to give up her seat on a Montgomery, Ala. bus to a white person, died in Detroit Monday at the age of 92.

Her simple but defiant act touched off 381 days of bus boycotting by Blacks in Montgomery and led to the repeal of so-called Jim Crow laws of segregation in the South.
Gov. Rod Blagojevich asked for a moment of silence during the opening session of the Illinois General Assembly as a tribute to Mrs. Parks' legacy.
"Mrs. Parks was among the last of the civil rights icons from an era when our nation was marred by backward traditions and unjust laws that treated some of our citizens less than equal," he said. "Because she was an unknown seamstress when she dared to remain seated on that fateful day, Mrs. Parks is the finest example that one person from humble origins can indeed make a powerful difference in the lives of many."
"I encourage everyone in Illinois to honor her memory by not only learning more about the history of the Civil Rights Movement and her story that began in Montgomery, Alabama, but to also do all they can to help us further eradicate racism and discrimination wherever it exists."
The Reverend Jesse L. Jackson, Sr., learned of her death in South Africa, where he is scheduled to meet today with former President Nelson Mandela.
"She sat down in order that we all might stand up, and the walls of segregation came down," he said in a statement. "Paradoxically, her imprisonment opened the doors to our long journey to freedom. Known as the mother of the civil rights movement, she wove glory with grace.
"History knocked on her door, and with quiet courage she answered with non-negotiable dignity… She embodied the hopes, healing and the longing of three centuries of prayers and the desire for freedom. Her light in darkness illuminated the path for the majestic leadership of Dr. King. Together, they changed the course of American and world history…These three giants; Rosa Parks, Dr. King and Mandela - without bombs, bullets or wealth - have shown the awesome power of right over might in history's long journey toward peace and freedom."

2) From "Tillman: Parks 'changed my life':"

Rosa Parks represented the essence of an 8-year-old girl growing up in Montgomery, Ala. in 1955.
"That's how old I was when the (bus) boycott started," Ald. Dorothy Tillman (3rd) told the Chicago Defender. "Her refusal to give up her seat on that bus in Montgomery on Dec. 1st changed my life forever."

Tillman said when she would always try to sit in the front of the bus when her grandmother took her downtown, but she was always told she couldn't.
"And I never understood why because I saw the little white girls kneeling on the seats, waving out the windows, and I always wanted to do that," Tillman said.
She said she was always clean and well dressed, "all shiny with braids and ribbons in my hair," and still wasn't allowed to do what other children could.
Her pastor, Rev. Uriah J. Fields of Bell Street Baptist Church, "would always talk revolution to us," said Tillman, so when word of Parks' act of defiance got around, it was incendiary.
"We were like, yes!" Tillman said. "My father and grandparents and other family members were supportive of the boycott. That was the best thing that could have happened to me as a little girl."
She said she and her friends were very excited about what was happening, creating songs about boycotting the bus system and demanding respect from whites in Montgomery.
Everyone walked everywhere, said Tillman, and the 381day boycott was so successful "they had to do a whole pr (public relations) campaign to get us to ride the buses again."

My apologies for the bare-bone post and for the delay.

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