Tuesday, June 20, 2006

NYT: "Murder Charges for 3 G.I.'s in Iraq" (Thom Shanker & Sabrina Tavernise)

Three American soldiers suspected of killing three detainees in Iraq and then threatening a soldier with death if he reported the shootings have been charged with premeditated murder and obstructing justice, Army officials said Monday.
The accused soldiers, two enlisted men and a noncommissioned officer, also face charges of attempted murder, conspiracy and threatening in connection with the deaths of the three detainees on May 9, the Army's documents showed.
One Defense Department official said investigators had evidence that the soldiers had released the detainees deliberately before they were shot, apparently to have a pretext for killing them as they fled.

The above is from Thom Shanker and Sabrina Tavernise's "Murder Charges for 3 G.I.'s in Iraq" in this morning's New York Times. The article lists three charged as Raymond L. Girouard, William B. Hunsaker and Corey R. Clagett. The three Iraqis that were allegedly killed are not named. (The military hasn't named them. Not an oversight by the authors of the article.) Included in the charges against Girouard, Hunsaker and Clagett is threatening another soldier (presumably American, but unnamed) with retaliation if he or she went forward:

"'I will kill you if you tell anyone,' or words to that effect," and " 'You better not talk or I will kill you,' or words to that effect."

Turning to Martha's highlight which covers the two American soldiers who have been missing in Iraq since Friday (the military released their names yesterday: Kristian Menchaca and Thomas L. Tucker). From Jonathan Finer's "Two Missing U.S. Soldiers Found Dead, Iraq Official Says" (Washington Post):

The two U.S. soldiers missing since an attack on a checkpoint last week were found dead near a power plant in Yusifiyah, south of Baghdad, according to an Iraqi defense official.
General Abdul Aziz Muhammed, head of operations at Iraqi Ministry of Defense said in a news conference in Baghdad this afternoon that the soldiers had been "barbarically" killed and that there were traces of torture on their bodies.

He offered no further details. U.S. officials could not immediately be reached for comment or confirmation.

Turning back to the Times, James Glanz offers "Army Cancels Contract for Iraqi Prison:"

The Army Corps of Engineers said Monday that it had canceled a $99.1 million contract with Parsons, one of the largest companies working in Iraq, to build a prison north of Baghdad after the firm fell more than two years behind schedule, threatened to go millions of dollars over budget and essentially abandoned the construction site.
The move is another harsh rebuke for Parsons, only weeks after the corps canceled more than $300 million of the company's contracts to build and refurbish hospitals and clinics across Iraq. A federal oversight office had found that some of the clinics were little more than empty shells and that only 20 of 150 called for in the contract would be completed without new financing.
But the prison, originally scheduled to be completed this month, appears to be the largest single rebuilding project canceled for failing to achieve its goals under the $45 billion American rebuilding program for Iraq.

Though not a dictated post, this is a phoned in one. My mind is elsewhere this morning. The Associated Press notes that a mini-van bomb in Basra today has claimed the lives of at least four and wounded at least sixteen. This as DiFi and others intend to debate (in the Senate) the passage of what is, at best, guidelines for the Bully Boy and, at worst, more of the nonsense we've grown to expect from her. Kat offered her thoughts on the nonsense last night.

Rebecca's "nancy keenan, rick hertzberg (the useless 1s)" covers a number of issues, but I'll highlight this section (it's on the Times):

paul krugman isn't a career pundit. but his column pissed me off. today, he's waxing on about the 50s. oh yeah, he tells you, it wasn't great for every 1 and not every 1 got to be middle class, but we were closer together then and there wasn't bipartisanship (he credits that to wwii).
does he not get how offensive that is?
on today of all days?
if you're blanking, while he's praising the 50s and noting how the policitians could work together in the column that ran today, today is also the day on which, in 1953, ethel and julius rosenberg were executed. that's the 50s he's waxing on about and about the story in time magazine that he read blah-blah-blah.
yeah, there was a bond between a lot of dems and a lot of repubes - it was the desire to launch a witch hunt. ethel and julius were only 2 of the casualities.
krugman should be embarrassed that his paen to the 50s ran today, on the 53rd anniversary of their executions.

The snapshot may run late today, but it will be done at some point. Because you can't have a war without an "other," Kyle suggests we all read Kim Gandy's "Where Is The Love?" (Below the Belt, NOW):

All the meanness, the insults, the war strategy reminds me of a middle-school playground. Should these be the defining characteristics of our democracy?
And it's not much better in the Senate. One exchange on the Senate floor last week still has me shaking my head. Sen. James Inhofe (R-Okla.), equipped with family photos, shared with his Senate colleagues that he is "really proud to say that in the recorded history of our family, we've never had a divorce or any kind of homosexual relationship."
Since when is intolerance something to be proud of?
Two days after Inhofe's "impromptu speech," I attended a dinner for the new president of Chile, Hon. Michelle Bachelet--a strong president and former defense minister who is an avowed feminist. A victim of torture during former dictator Augusto Pinochet's regime, Bachelet has vowed to integrate love and compassion into her presidency.
"Because I was the victim of hatred, I have dedicated my life to reverse that hatred and turn it into understanding, tolerance and--why not say it--into love," she said. "You can love justice and being generous at the same time."
Love and tolerance. Don't bother--no one in the administration seems to know what the words mean. They're too busy trying to pass the
Federal Marriage Amendment, which discriminates against millions of loving families, because they're more worried about appealing to their intolerant "base" than giving LGBT Americans the same rights as everyone else.

And because you can sell a war without silence, we'll note West's highlight, Stephen Smith-Said's "Why Neil Young Is Wrong" (The Progressive):

On Sunday, May 14, the San Francisco Chronicle published my open letter to Neil Young, "Hey, Neil Young, We Young Singers Are Hog-tied, Too." I tried to explain how the corporatized music industry has censored protest music in the past several years. The letter went viral on the Internet, and I was flooded with enthusiastic responses from all kinds of people. Even Neil and his team posted it front and center on his blog for the entire week.
What prompted my letter and the outpouring was Young's comment about why he felt compelled to write his new anti-Bush album, Living with War. "I was waiting for someone to come along, some young singer eighteen-to-twenty-two years old, to write these songs and stand up," he told the Los Angeles Times. "I waited a long time. Then I decided that maybe the generation that has to do this is still the '60s generation. We’re still here."
As the first protest singer to rise from the streets of anti-war and WTO protests and get a major worldwide distribution deal, I felt compelled to explain that today’s Dylans, Ochses, and Neil Youngs are here, but they’re being silenced by an industry that has for years derived its profits from kiddy porn and dreamy boys.
Just two days after my article came out, MTV, which has refused to play anti-war videos even by the biggest stars, published an article addressing the need for political consciousness in mainstream music. In a flourish of Bush-like hubris, one of the country’s chief purveyors of military recruitment ads to youth posted the article, "Where Is the Voice of Protest in Today's Music?" The webpage boasted an Army video game in the bottom right corner. (MTV, by the way, refuses to air anti-war ads produced by organizations like Not In Our Name and Win Without War.)

So to recap, Bully Boy's illegal war of choice today has provided what? More Iraqis killed, more war profiteers (will they be returning the monies? no), more Americans killed and three Americans facing murder charges. And the war drags on.

Remember to listen, watch or read Democracy Now! today. The e-mail address for this site is common_ills@yahoo.com.