Saturday, June 17, 2006

NYT: 'Crackdown' exploding

Two American soldiers were missing and another was killed Friday after they came under attack at a traffic point southwest of Baghdad [. . .]
The military did not say whether the missing men had been captured, although a military spokeswoman acknowledged in an e-mail message that capture was possible.
It was a particularly violent day in Baghdad, where a suicide bomber who had hidden explosives in his shoes blew himself up in a crowd of Shiite worshipers in a mosque, killing 11 and wounding 25.

The above is from Sabrina Tavernise's "G.I. Dies and 2 Are Missing; Bombing Kills 11 in Mosque" in today's New York Times. On the two missing, divers were searching for them on Saturday. (With no luck reported as I type this.) Baghdad was nothing but bombings on Saturday. There were at least seven. That's not "near Baghdad" or "southwest of Baghdad." That's Baghdad. At least 25 died in Baghdad from the bombings.

That's counting from various wire reports. The AP is going with 23 for a total. They need to redo their math in this instance because I've checked mine three times now. We are in agreement on at least seven blasts. But if you go through the reports on the seven bombings noted, you see that the number is 25. AP has also been slow in noting the divers searching for the two missing American soldiers near Yusufiya. Watch for the 'award winning' Dexy to try to grab this, probably will, for the paper.) Over fifty were wounded. In addition at least two people were killed and at least 14 wounded in a mortar attack on a market in Baghdad.

There was violence outside of Baghdad (and most of it probably not even making the various wire services) but the point is, this is during the "crackdown." The House (and Senate) can play all they want. They did yesterday and only looked like idiots passing that foolish "stay the course! we shall win!" nonsense. Especially since it was taking place against the backdrop of the vice president of Iraq (with the blessing of the president of Iraq) asking the US to set a timetable for withdrawal.

In various ways a number of Congress members stated, "They need us!" on Thursday and Friday. They need the US to get out. But that's not the front page story on any day. That's often not even reported. So let's repeat: the vice president of Iraq has asked the US to set a timetable for withdrawal. In fact, let's note this from Friday's Democracy Now!:

Iraq VP Asks Bush For Withdrawal Timetable
Meanwhile, a leading Iraqi official has asked the US for a timeline for the withdrawal of foreign troops. The government says Vice President Tariq al-Hashimi made the request during a meeting with President Bush Tuesday. In a statement, President Jalal Talabani said he supported Hashimi's demand. The Bush administration has firmly rejected calls for a timetable for withdrawal.

Apparently that's not clear enough for the War Hawks of Congress. You're being asked to leave the party so you hole up to the side and take a vote to stay?

Credit to Jacques Steinberg for getting it correct that Dan Rather's reporting on the Bully Boy's lack of service aired on 60 Minutes II. It may seem a minor detail but it's not to 60 Minutes. At this late date, so many have gone with the revisions, however, that it's already seeped in that it aired on 60 Minutes. (NPR's The World disagrees, they think it is "service," just FYI, another reason not to rally behind the nonsense of "Save NPR!" -- excuse me, they think not only is it "service," that it's the equivalent of anyone who served on the ground in Vietnam. Hence their 2004 report of "both served!" on Kerry and Bully Boy and the laughable e-mails sent out in response to people objecting to that report.) No link -- the article's more than it seems, Rather hasn't accepted an outside deal because he's hoping to force CBS to renew, that's why he's noting 'offers' which Steinberg notes appears to be only one -- but we'll note that Steinberg got it right at a time when so many get it wrong.

Eric Schmitt's "Pentagon Study Describes Abuse By Units In Iraq" describes a disappointing study. Schmitt notes that the report covers the period after abuses at Abu Ghraib were made public. Somehow, however, the report (not the article) allows excuses for that. Read the report -- it will be posted online at the ACLU. (The report was released due to the ACLU's lawsuit -- made necessary because, despite Rumsfeld's promise that all reports would be made public, this twenty-month old report wasn't made public.)

The gist of the article is that a number of things happened. The What the report (not Schmitt's, "General Formica" is the author of report because "General Linoluem" was already covering, or covering up, something else) does is provide cover. Not just for the various examples of torture and abuse, but for future torture and abuse since Formica finds that, basically, stuff happens (was Rummy the uncredited co-author?) and you shouldn't have accountability because it wasn't "deliberate." There was a time when torture was torture and all human beings were expected to grasp that it was wrong. Now 'motive' is apparently needed. Formica's taking a page from the book of Gonzales who drafted so much of the nonsense that encouraged abuse and gave the 'intent' excuse as a viable option. "Did you intend to do something that caused long term damage? No? Okay, then you're covered."

It's disgusting.

[Schmitt's addressing a report that came out yesterday and making it into print, on the front page, this morning. If it seems like I'm biting my tongue on the reporting that is one of the main reasons.]

Otherwise? I'm not seeing anything worth noting except for two things we may note at The Third Estate Sunday Review.

Rebecca has "extra" posted this morning, so check that out. Elaine's got a lengthy post entitled "The American peopla are demanding answers" (Barbara Lee)." (Addressing a number of issues.) Mike's trying to post (he's had the worst problems this morning) and I'm holding off posting this while I wait to see if he's had any luck getting his post posted. (He lost one he had saved and has lost the current one three times this morning.) And he's posting now. Okay, it's "Saturday post."

The e-mail address for this site is RadioNation with Laura Flanders features, among others, David Lindorff today.