Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Democracy Now: Falluja; Mark Karlin on OStroy/DeLaite Report; David Lindorff

US Blocks Indigenous Bolivian Scholar From Entry
In education news, the U.S. government is blocking an indigenous Bolivian professor from entering the country to teach at the University of Nebraska for what it’s calling security reasons. The professor, Waskar Ari Chachaki, is a member of the Aymara indigenous people in Bolivia and is a leading authority on religious beliefs and political activism in Bolivia. The American Historical Society has called on the U.S. government to reconsider. The group's president-elect Barbara Weinstein called the situation "very disturbing." Weinstein said "It would have to be unimaginable circumstances for someone from Bolivia to be classified as a security risk." A State Department official told the Chronicle of Higher Education that the government has "derogatory information " about Ari that renders him ineligible for the visa. But the government has not shared that information with Ari or the university. Ari is considered to be a moderate voice within the Aymaran community and some of his critics have accused of being too "pro-U.S." He received his doctorate from Georgetown. Two years ago, another foreign-born professor, Tariq Ramadan, one of the leading Muslim scholars in Europe, was denied a visa to teach at the University of Notre Dame.
The above item is from today's Democracy Now! Headlines and was selected by Tori.  Why only one?  Everyone else is e-mailing about the story Amy Goodman mentions at the end of the broadcast.
Associated Press
Marion, Ark. -- Downtown Fallujah is coming to Arkansas, minus the Iraq war but replicating it to train soldiers for the real thing.
Nine blocks modeled off the war-ravaged city's bazaar, traffic circle, office buildings and schools are being built among cotton, rice and soybean fields.  Olive Group, a British firm, that supplies personnel and combat training for armies and corporations, plans to open three blocks this summer.
The article is AP but notes it's based on reporting that appeared in the Arkansas Democratic GazetteDemocracy Now! ("always informing you," as Marcia says):
Headlines for February 22, 2006

- California Execution Postponed Over Lethal Injection Concerns
- Shiite Shrine Attacked in Sammara; 22 Killed in Baghdad
- Aristide Says He Intends to Return to Haiti
- Three Ohioans Charged With Conspiracy To Attack US Troops
- US Blocks Indigenous Bolivian Scholar From Entry
- Supreme Court To Reconsider Banning Late-Term Abortion
EXCLUSIVE: Al Jazeera Reporters Give Bloody First Hand Account of April ’04 U.S. Siege of Fallujah

In April 2004, the United States launched its first assault on Fallujah, the Sunni town west of Baghdad that had come to symbolize Iraqi resistance to the U.S. occupation. The offensive came a few days after four American military contractors from the private security firm Blackwater were brutally killed in the city.
The siege was one of the bloodiest assaults of the US occupation. In two weeks that April, thirty marines were killed as local guerillas resisted U.S. attempts to capture the city. Some 600 Iraqis died and over 1,000 were wounded. While the U.S. military claimed at the time that the vast majority of those killed were members of the resistance, media reports from within Fallujah indicated a large number of civilians were among the dead.
Al Jazeera was one of the few news outlets broadcasting from inside the besieged city, and its exclusive footage was being broadcast by every network from CNN to the BBC. Al Jazeera’s Ahmed Mansur and his cameraman Laith Mushtaq were inside Fallujah, reporting unembedded from the streets for the entire siege. In this Democracy Now! exclusive, they speak about their experience for the first time in an in-depth interview. [includes rush transcript - partial]
ANNOUNCEMENT: Today at 6:30 EST, 5:30 CT and 4:30 PT, BuzzFlash's Mark Karlin will be on The Ostroy/DeLaite Report.  The program airs in NYC on TimeWarner channel 67 or can be watched online (click here and then choose "ch. 67").
A visitor advises that Michelle Cottle thinks the coverage of Cheney's shooting a man was "overkill."  To which I'll reply (speaking for the community): And we care because?
Seriously, we care because? 
As I remember it, Cottle "covered" the 2000 election.  (Check out The Daily Howler and start here for Cottle.)  It's good to know that the rag -- The New Republican -- has its fan, they need all they can get -- check the circulation figures -- but the rag that cheerled the war from the "left" and thought it was "funny" to slime and threaten Arundhati Roy isn't really a rag we focus on here.  We don't link to it. 
In the real world, far from The New Republican, you'll find David Lindorff and Marci notes his latest "Sloshed: Journalist Says Secret Service Report Claims Cheney was Drunk" (This Can't Be Happening!):
The vice president was tanked when he confused his hunting companion, Texas Republican stalwart Harry Whittington, for a quail, according to Capital Hill Blue reporter and editor Doug Thompson.
In an article in Capital Hill Blue, Thompson, who worked for several key Republican members of Congress before going back into journalism and who appears to have excellent contacts on the Hill and in the White House, says the Secret Service agents who travel with and guard Cheney filed a written report saying the vice president was "clearly inebriated" at the time of the shooting.
The Secret Service report, according to Thompson, who says he spoke with people who've seen it, states that Cheney showed "visible signs" of impairment, such as slurred speech and erratic behavior.
This would put Cheney's inexcusable delay of a day in making the shooting public and also the even more inexcusable effort made by the owners of the ranch and the Cheney entourage to bar local sheriff's deputies from interviewing anyone, including the shooter himself, until the following day, in a different light.
All the nonsense about "needing to know what Whittington's condition was" before going public, or "wanting the ranch owners to be the ones" to tell the story, or about Cheney being too upset to talk about it are just so much bull. This was a case of ducking the law.
Hunting while drunk and shooting someone is a felony in Texas, and the vice president is escaping prosecution because he has the power to hide his crime and his reckless poor judgement.
And that's it.  "For real?"  For real.  Why?  I'm still sick and I also want to be sure that anyone who might want to check out Mark Karlson's appearance later today has the heads up.
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