Sunday, March 04, 2007

And the war drags on . . .

Meanwhile, Seitz insists that double jeopardy protection should prevent the Army from reopening the case.
"If it's going badly for the prosecutor, the prosecutor can't abort the case and then start over," he says. "Nor can a judge abort the case for the prosecutor because the judge thinks it's going badly. When you have a mistrial in a criminal case, you always have a double jeopardy issue because jeopardy has attached as soon as the jury has been sworn in or the first witness testifies. And then you try and figure out whether by conduct or by some statement the defendant has caused the mistrial."
But it was the prosecutors who requested a mistrial when confusion arose over what facts had been agreed to.
"I'm thinking to myself, 'My God, this is a defense's lawyer's dream!'" Seitz remembers. "We didn't create this mistrial, we didn't agree to it, we didn't approve it. Jeopardy is attached. And I don't think either the judge or the military lawyers had any inkling that that was going to be the bottom line."
If Seitz is right, the other ruminations are moot.

The above, noted by Lyle, is from Jim Borg's "Watada's attorney likes the spotlight" (Honolulu Star-Bulletin), that Joan noted earlier today, which is a profile of Ehren Watada's civilian attorney Eric Seitz. Watada was the first officer to publicly refuse to deploy to Iraq (June 2006). His court-martial ended in a mistrial last month -- over the objection of the defense.

We're going to make this a talking entry. Partly because I'm tired and partly due to the Cindy Brady of the Faux Left's slam on the personal. A visitor e-mailed about The Third Estate Sunday Review's "Last Senator Standing" which he says he enjoyed but which he wondered about in terms of endorsements since I'm not endorsing. The pieces there are group writing. If there's something I'm uncomfortable with taking part in, I will walk away from that and it will be noted. But there's no endorsement in that piece of anyone running. Russ Feingold does win praise for his statement last week re: the Senate's attempts on Iraq, but he's not running for president and those statements were noted in a snapshot here last week. The "Piss off" remark by Hillary Clinton appeared here first (and is credited as such in The Third Estate Sunday Review's piece) and it's not an endorsement or a non-endorsement (there are members of the community who are leaning towards her or will be supporting her). It's calling out crap and the guidelines of what were allowed on that were worked out some time ago via the gina & krista round-robin. If someone makes an idiotic comment regarding Iraq and they're running for president (or not), time permitting they'll be called out here. Now until HRC made those comments, Betty was supporting her run. That was obvious to most readers of The Third Estate Sunday Review from various roundtables. She hadn't done an official "endorsement" at her site but it's really not set up for that (it's an ongoing comedic novel about Betinna). She explained when that support changed and noted that she was now exploring the campaigns of
Dennis Kucinich and John Edwards. Her comments on HRC or the latter two may be read by some as an endorsement but she can do that. Anyone who wants to can. That includes members of this community and we handled that during the 2006 elections. I didn't make any endorsements but members who were supporting a candidate were free to note that support and, if they noted it to go up here, it did. The feature the visitor's writing about notes which candidates are the topics of e-mails to The Third Estate Sunday Review. I didn't see anything in that piece (and don't now) that can be seen as a collective endorsement. In terms of Betty exploring the campaigns of Dennis Kucinich and John Edwards -- and readers of Third doing the same -- that's their right and people should be exploring campaigns. The only thing that I see which bothers me is that we forgot to provide a link for Ralph Nader (we intended to and Jess is fixing that right now). He was noted by readers and, although he hasn't declared, a link was supposed to go in (and it is in now) but we overlooked it in our rush to get done.

Sidebar sort of on Nader, An Unreasonable Man (documentary on Nader) was the topic of the second hour of Sunday Salon and, also on the program, Larry Bensky announced that he will be leaving KPFA next month (April 29th is his last broadcast). His statement on his departure can be found here.

Back to topic, "Al Gore" has also not declared but the link in parenthesis (included in the feature) goes to a draft Gore site. The visitor stressed that he wasn't trying to offend by asking the question. He didn't. I took the e-mail seriously and immediately pulled up the feature to see if there was anything in it that should have led me to say, "I can't be a part of this." There wasn't. And if, in roundtables, others bring up their own endorsements, I don't have to disqualify myself. They can endorse if they want. Our focus here is Iraq.

That decision was made by members. If someone has said something worth noting on Iraq, we'll include it -- whether they're a candidate or not. It may be something really idiotic or it may be something on the money. Some visitors have had problems with Dennis Kucinich being quoted but he does address Iraq seriously. We're not interested in pleasing sound bytes that say nothing which is why most candidates don't get noted.

Analysis of political coverage is important but this site focuses on Iraq. Those interested in analysis on the press coverage of Democratic candidates should follow Bob Somerby's The Daily Howler. (Which is analysis -- you don't have to agree with it, you may or you may not, but it is analysis as opposed to the puff pieces that seem to be showing up independent media -- the same independent media that decries the superficial in big media but seems to think their own cozy little "meet the candidate" pieces -- long on profile, short on issues -- are somehow cutting it.) Somerby reviews from the Democratic side. I have no interest in the right's side. But if someone knows of a site that provides the same coverage for the Green Party, daily analysis, note it and we'll link to it. (On the permanlinks to the left.) We're a site for the left and not all members are Democrats (or Greens or third party members).

The visitor also raised the issue of Wesley Clark who was addressed in two entries on Friday. First off, Clark's not declared so he's not a candidate. Second of all, if you check the archives, you'll find that he's been credited for having the guts not to run from Michael Moore's comments and he's been slammed for his actions involving war fare. (The judgement that he nearly started a third world war, the bombing of civilian targets.) That won't change if he runs. But, if you read those entries, you'll note where the concern was coming from: members. In the first entry, I hadn't even heard his performance on Democracy Now! When I was doing the second entry, DN! had come on the radio so I heard the show while I was working on that and reading the e-mails. I found that interview disgusting and, whether he declares or not, we won't buy into his tired, old talking point (never established outside his own mouth) that the civilians killed in the attack on Serb Radio and Television building, a civilian target, were in the building because they were ordered to be. There's never been any proof of that and he wasn't challenged on it. But most important, it doesn't matter. It was a civilian target and it shouldn't have been targeted.

From pages 286-287 of Amy and David Goodman's Exception to the Rulers, after Richard Holbrooke told the Overseas Press Club announced (to laughter and applause) that the Serb Radio and Television building had been bombed:

Now, what would be the difference if Milosevic had stood up to announce "We just bombed CBS!" and a bunch of Serb journalists had laughed. Radio Television Serbia, whatever its faults as a mouthpiece for Milsoevic, is not a military target. We went back to our offices later that night to see the picture of body prats bieng pulled out of the wrecked TV studios in Belgrade. It wasn't soldiers blown to pieces in the rubble. It was the people who apply makeup, the cameramen, and the journalists who were inside.
People like 27-year-old technician Ksenija Bankovic, whose mother Borka we interviewed on Democracy Now! Borka asked how journalists could laugh at the killing of her daughter, whose only crime was going to work that night. In all, sixteen media workers were killed in the bombing.

Page 183, of the same book, addresses Clark providing cover, during the current illegal war, as a CNN analyst, for the attack on the Palestine Hotel in Baghdad that killed a Reauters camera operator (Taras Protsyuk) and a Telecinco Spanish television camera operator (Jose Couso) -- the attack followed the bombing of Abu Dhabi Television's bureau in Baghdad. "Crazy" was a nice term for his actions. [By the way, AP is lodging a protest over US military actions towards the press in Afghanistan today following a bombing and what has been rumored to be shooting deaths of civilians resulting from US military fire -- the US military is said to have confiscated AP cameras and deleted videos and photos of the incident.]

"Crazy" is a nice term for the illegal war and US elected officials (with few exceptions) refusal to address it. Mia notes Sunsara Taylor's "Four Years of an Unjust War" (CounterPunch):

In four years the Bush Administrations has, in our names, waged an unimaginably destructive and cruel war on Iraq that has claimed more than half a million lives, is now driving more than 100,000 people out of Iraq each month, and is pushing the whole Middle East towards balkanization.
Now, as Iraq spins out of their control -- with the strategic interests of an empire at stake -- Bush's logic is to double down, escape forward, and to fight this out in a larger (regional) theater. Preparations are under way for a massive assault on Iran. Seymour Hersch recently revealed that plans have been drawn up to begin a bombing campaign within 24 hours of Bush's say-so and Craig Unger wrote that, "Bush can count on the military to carry out [a really punishing air-force and naval attack] even without congressional authorization."
A war on Iran would not only mean vastly expanded bloodshed, but would escalate the situation where increasingly humanity is being confronted with two intolerable choices: Bush's crusade for empire or a reactionary Islamic fundamentalist response. The Bush regime has committed crimes on a far greater scale and is the greater danger to humanity, but both are complete nightmares. Both reinforce and feed off each other and as they grow they suck up the air to breath for secular and progressive forces in this country and around the world.
Anyone who whistles past the great and unprecedented dangers this poses for humanity does so at the peril of all of our futures!
People in their hundreds of millions -- in this country and around the world - must be presented with a third option, an option that refuses to choose between crusading McWorld or reactionary Jihad, but instead manifests our determination to bring this to a halt!
On March 17th everyone with a conscience needs to mark the four year anniversary of the invasion of Iraq with their presence at the Pentagon demanding: Stop the war now! Prevent the next one! Impeach George Bush and Dick Cheney for war crimes and crimes against humanity!
The Democrats, including John Conyers, say that impeachment is a distraction from ending the war. But George Bush has made it abundantly and redundantly clear that this war will not end on his watch so ending the war is completely bound up with ending his watch.
The Democrats also argue that impeachment is unnecessary since Bush is only in office for two more years and that instead we should focus on getting a Democrat elected in '08. But the idea that Iran will be plunged into the same nightmare as Iraq and that innocent people around the world will continue to be rendered and tortured -- chained to ceilings, beaten for days, water boarded and religiously and sexually persecuted -- for two more years so that a Democrat can rise to the helm of a new Rome is unconscionable.
Besides, if the Bush regime is not driven from office before '08, then everything they have done -- the doctrine of preemptive war, the legalization of torture, the stripping of habeas corpus, the abandonment of people of New Orleans, the stripping away of women's right to birth control and abortion, the construction of theocracy -- is legitimated and codified no matter who becomes the next president.
If you doubt this, take a look at the democratic front-runners: Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama, and John Edwards.
The Republicans have shamelessly thrown down over everything for six years: passing midnight laws to keep Terri Schiavo alive, threatening a "nuclear option" to force through Supreme Court Justices, even filibustering the symbolic, non-binding Senate resolution against Bush's troop "surge." Which of these Democratic candidates is raising a hue and cry against torture? Which of them filibustered the Military Commissions Act? Which of them shut down the Senate to prevent the troop surge? Instead of doing this, they -- and their party as a whole -- have spent their legislative power capitulating and conceding to fascist laws and war crimes. And all three, Edwards, Obama and Clinton, have insisted that all options - including nuclear options - remain on the table in dealing with Iran!!

Taylor is with the World Can't Wait and the organization we'll be part of special coverage coming up Monday evening on WBAI (which you can listen to over the airwaves in the NYC area and beyond and which can be streamed online as well):

Monday, March 5, 9-11pm [EST]
World Can't Wait/Drive Out the Bush Regime Director Debra Sweet hosts this panel with Daniel Ellsberg; activist professor Father Luis Barrios; Hip Hop Caucus leader Rev. Lennox Yearwood; recent college grad Anastasia Gomes and others. With listener call-ins.

So that's a two hour live special (9 to 11 pm EST) on WBAI Monday. I probably won't have time to note it again (although I will try -- try -- to include it in Monday's snapshot). On the subject of impeachment, a visitor notes the Green Party's "Iraq War is Impeachable, Not Just a 'Strategic Blunder':"

Green Party of the United States
Tuesday, February 20, 2007Originally released February 15, 2007
Contacts:Scott McLarty, Media Coordinator, 202-518-5624,
mclarty@greens.orgStarlene Rankin, Media Coordinator, 916-995-3805,
Greens to Congress: Debate over Iraq must address the war as an impeachable crime, not as a strategic blunder requiring more U.S. troops to correct
Congress must cut off funding for all U.S. military actions in Iraq, compelling President Bush to call the troops home, say Greens, citing Vietnam War precedent
WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Green Party leaders urged Congress, as it debates a nonbinding resolution on President Bush's proposal to send 21,500 more U.S. troops to Iraq, to reject a discussion of the war on strategic grounds, and instead address the war as a criminal act of military aggression.
Greens called on Democrats and Republicans in Congress who claim to oppose the war to interrupt President Bush's agenda in Iraq by cutting off funding for the U.S. occupation.
"If antiwar Democrats and Republicans limit their discussion to whether the U.S. should commit more troops, then President Bush will have won the debate," said Liz Arnone, co-chair of the Green Party of the United States. "The question Congress should ask isn't how many U.S. service members should be sent to Iraq, it's how to end the Iraq disaster as quickly as possible, how to hold the Bush Administration accountable for its abuses of power and the deaths of over 3,000 U.S. troops and hundreds of thousands of Iraqi civilians, and how to prevent such abuses in the future."
Congress must address the following points in its current discussion, said Greens: The Iraq War didn't fail because the White House and Pentagon botched it strategically, although it's evident that the invasion was undertaken without regard for the protection of many U.S. service personnel (e.g., inadequate body armor; illegal use of depleted uranium and white phosphorus, which also harm civilians), the need to secure Iraq's borders, and other basic military necessities. The Iraq War was an inevitable disaster, said Green Party leaders, because it was a preemptive invasion of one nation by another, justified before the public by manipulated intelligence estimates and a disinformation campaign (false claims about WMDs; Saddam Hussein's collusion with al-Qaeda; Saddam's purported threat to neighboring countries and the U.S.), with minimal consideration of the outcome (mass Iraqi civilian deaths; probably civil war; international outrage, especially among Muslim and Arab nations; empowerment of radical religious and terrorist groups in the region).
"Preemptive invasion is illegal under international law. Congress must treat the Iraq invasion as a criminal atrocity, requiring impeachment of President Bush and Vice President Cheney, and investigation and criminal prosecution of those responsible for the war," said Rebecca Rotzler, co-chair of the Green Party and Deputy Mayor of New Paltz, New York. Ms. Rotzler will participate in the Emergency Summit to Impeach Bush for War Crimes, February 17-18 in New York City (more information at <>).
Congress must cancel all future funding for the Iraq War, compelling the White House to withdraw U.S. troops and return them home safe and sound.
"It's obvious by now that the continued presence of U.S. forces in Iraq will not improve the situation for the Iraqi people or lead to peace, stability, or democracy," said Gretchen Dutschke of the Green Party's International Committee. "If Congress members merely address President Bush's strategic plan to send more troops, then Congress is debating according to the White House's own terms, with a false choice between victory and defeat for the U.S. Congress must reject the Bush Administration's frame of the debate, and instead demand immediate withdrawal. As in the 1970 Cooper-Church amendment, which prohibited further funding for military action in Cambodia and Laos, Congress can force a withdrawal from Iraq by preventing the White House from spending another dime on the occupation."
Congress must address the Bush Administration's numerous abuses of power in connection with the Iraq War: Defense Department policy that clearly encouraged torture and abuse at Abu Ghraib, as well as sites in Afghanistan, Guantanamo Bay, and secret sites in Europe; 'extraordinary rendition' of prisoners to countries that allow torture to extract information; favoritism for profiteering corporations and privatized military operations like Halliburton and Blackwater USA, as well as for U.S. and U.K. oil companies that are about to profit from the new Iraqi 'Hydrocarbon Law' ("Shock and oil: Iraq's billions & the White House connection," The Independent, January 14, 2007 <>).
Congress must address its own complicity in President Bush's decision to wage war on Iraq, through October 2002 legislation that transferred war power to President Bush.
"The Iraq Resolution gave President Bush a blank check to launch the invasion of Iraq -- contrary to the U.S. Constitution, which limits war power to Congress itself, a necessary check on executive power," said Katey Culver, co-chair of the Green Party of the United States and co-chair of the Green Party of Tennessee. "We ask Congress to repudiate the Bush-Cheney doctrines of unitary executive power and perpetual warfare, and restore the Constitution's checks and balances."
In order to achieve stability in Iraq and the surrounding region and security for the U.S. and the world, Congress must support an integrated policy based on negotiation, diplomacy, and respect for human rights instead of military force.
"Withdrawal from Iraq, diplomacy with Iran in combination with global nuclear disarmament, and pressure on Israel to end its illegal occupation of Palestinian lands and observe human rights and equality are the necessary starting points for peace in the Middle East and western Asia," said Green Party co-chair Jim Coplen. "Anything else ill only encourage future war and violence, including terrorism against the U.S."
Green Party of the United States
1700 Connecticut Avenue NW, Suite 404
Washington, DC 20009.
202-319-7191, 866-41
Fax 202-319-7193
Green Party News Center
"How Congress Helped End the Vietnam War"By Julian E. Zelizer, The American Prospect, February 6, 2007

And in the meantime, the war drags on.

They're just there to try and make the people free,
But the way that they're doing it, it don't seem like that to me.
Just more blood-letting and misery and tears
That this poor country's known for the last twenty years,
And the war drags on.

-- words and lyrics by Mick Softly (available on Donovan's Fairytale)

Last Sunday (when Rebecca filled in, thank you, Rebecca), the American military fatality count in Iraq stood at 3156 (ICCC). Tonight? AP notes 3173. That includes the latest three known deaths. Today the US military announced: "One Marine and one Sailor assigned to Multi National Force-West were killed March 2 while conducting combat operations in Al Anbar Province." And they announced: "A Marine assigned to Multi National Force-West was killed March 3 while conducting combat operations in Al Anbar Province."

Amanda notes Michael Blake's "Eulogy for IVAW Member Tim Swanson" (Iraq Veterans Against the War):

A Eulogy
On Saturday, January 27, Cpl. Timothy Swanson was killed by an IED in Taji, Iraq. His tragic death is a blow to us all; not only because he is numbered among the over three thousand American soldiers who died for a lie, but because he was a member of Iraq Veterans Against the War. Tim was not the first member of IVAW who we've lost (Spc. Douglas Barber took his own life after a long battle with the VA) but he is the first member to be killed in action, and I’m sorry to say he will not be the last.

[. . .]
Tim is gone now, he was my little brother; but he died in Iraq last Saturday and he's never coming back. Little by little I am coming to understand the utter finality of his death, and the frustrations of his life. He hated the government, he hated the Army, and he hated this war. Tim hated a lot of things, even unto his death.
The government owned his body, but it never owned his mind. And now that he's gone, I will make sure they never own his memory. They will never steal his soul or the essence of who he was. Tim was a rebel, he was all about "sticking it to the man"; and I know the best way to honor his memory - to bring all the soldiers home, and to end this senseless war!
I love you man, I'll miss you. But I’ll rest easy knowing that you’ve finally reached your "sweet release". . .

Amanda notes that the entire thing is worth reading (I'll second that) but she picked from the start and the end of the piece to try to give a sense of the eulogy.

Returning to the current violence in Iraq, Tina Susman (Los Angeles Times) notes that 20 corpses were discovered in Baghdad ("since Saturday"), that three Iraqis died from bombings in Baghdad and that, to the south of Baghdad, a child and three women were killed by a bombing. Reuters notes 10 corpses were discovered in Mosul (nine were discovered in Mosul on Saturday) and that two corpses were discovered near Tikrit while, in Baghdad, journalist Mohan al-Dhaher, with the newspaper al-Mashriq, "was shot dead outside his his home". On the subject of journalists in Iraq, Susan notes Patrick Cockburn's "War Reporting in Iraq: Only Locals Need Apply" (CounterPunch):

One of the infuriating aspects of covering Iraq in the past three years has been to hear the US and British governments claim that there are large parts of Iraq that are at peace and know it is untrue, but to prove that they are lying would mean getting killed oneself.
Iraq has become almost impossible to cover adequately by the old system of foreign correspondents, cameraman or woman, and crew. It is simply too dangerous for a foreigner to move freely around Baghdad and the rest of the country. It is bad enough for print journalists like myself but cameramen, by the nature of their trade, have to stand in the open and
make themselves visible.
The list of journalists I knew who have been killed covering wars has grown horribly long. My best friend, David Blundy, was shot dead by a sniper in El Salvador in 1989. Mazen Dana, a cheerful, skilful Palestinian cameraman from Hebron, was killed by US soldiers when filming outside Abu Ghraib prison in 2004. Martin Adler, the brave freelance Swedish cameraman, whom I had last seen in the gloomy lobby of the Flowerland Hotel in Baghdad six months earlier, was shot in the back by a man in a crowd in Mogadishu on June 23 last year.
There are all too many more. I remember the al-Arabiya television correspondent killed on camera by a US rocket in Haifa Street in Baghdad. The lens of the camera covering his last moments of life was smeared with blood.

As noted on today's The KPFA Evening News, US and Iraqi forces advanced into Sadr City (the neighborhood of Baghdad today and to provide context, they spoke with two commentators

Rahul Mahajan: It's a tremendous non-event. We have known for weeks now that the Sadrist . . . Army has decided to lay low and not to confront the American troops during this so-called security crackdown. This is completely consistent with their behavior before now and not a surprise at all. The Mahdi army has basically clashed with American forces on only two occassions -- in April and August of 2004.

More commentary by Mahajan can be found at Why War? Edward Peck also weighed in. Peck, from 1977 to 1980, was the US mission chief in Baghdad, he's also served as Deputy Director of Covert Intellingce Programs and other posts in the State Department and was deputy director of the task force for terrorism during the Reagan administration. Peck stated, "The Sadr City thing is just one more little piece of something that's gone past or is going past or will go past. You know it doesn't do anything for anybody who is really concerned about what it is that's supposed to happen there because the basic problems will continue when the troops whatever troops they are, when they leave, you go right back to where you were. And they have to leave at some point. They're not going to stay there forever. Two days, three days, a week, less, more? My outlook is I'm afraid grimly realistic . . . We have taught the rest of the world and we have relearned ourselves the meaning of that terrible word "quagmire."

Also noted was a raid on a Basra detention center by British and Iraqi forces which Nouri al-Maliki, puppet of the occupation, is objecting to.

Rahul Mahajan: "The Iraqi army which is supposedly under the Iraqi government going in and doing this raid, the leader of the Iraqi government, al-Maliki who is heavily beholden to Moqtada al-Sard is criticizing the raid it's a raid by one agency of the government on another. It's completely cofused, messy pictures, there's no underlying logical coherence to it and somehow the US military, the Bush administration, keep on insisting that there is some logic, there is some thing called an Iraqi government which is a unitary body that we are trying to defend when actually every force you can think of in Iraq including the insurgency is in the Iraqi government because we had, there were actually elections and they don't, half the time, it's not enough, the United States has figured out who they are supposed to be fighting and for what reason.

Aref Mohammed (Reuters) reports that al-Maliki is calling for an investigation into the raid, not into the charges that prisoners were being abused, just into the raid. With more on Sadr City, we'll note Tina Susman's "U.S. gingerly enters sensitive Iraq neighborhood" (Los Angeles Times):

Just after 8 a.m. Sunday, U.S. and Iraqi troops tapped on Saif Mirwan's front gate in the Shiite stronghold of Sadr City and politely asked to search his house. They looked in each room, asked how his family was doing, checked out the pigeons he keeps on his roof, and then left with handshakes and a thank you.With that, Sadr City, whose fearsome reputation and political clout had rendered it largely off-limits to U.S. and Iraqi government troops for nearly three years, became an official part of the latest U.S.-Iraqi security crackdown.In the first daylight door-to-door weapons searches here since the crackdown began, there was none of the bloodshed that greeted American troops the last time they tried to police the district in the spring of 2004.But the limited raid, in the Jamila section of the sprawling slum, also raised the question of how long things will stay quiet, given the opposition to foreign troops of anti-U.S. Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr, whose Mahdi Army militia took control of Sadr City's streets after the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq in 2003.

That's where things are today. Looking into the lies that led to an illegal war, Billie notes
Margie Burns' "More on that Marseilles 'report': 'barrels' of uranium from Niger" (

The Libby trial has been good for bringing about a little more transparency in government -- however reluctant -- through testimony and also through documents.
Following up on the
recent post in bradblog: it is intriguing that a small office in an outpost of empire could so deftly turn up exactly the 'raw intelligence' our neocon PNAC movers and shakers in Washington desired. Our man in Marseilles . . .
This would be the office that turned in a convenient
report dated November 25, 2002, that "a large quantity of uranium was currently stored in barrels" in the Benin port of Cotonou, "and that Niger's President had sold this material to Iraq." (DX64.7)
(Note 1: those barrels of uranium turned out to be cotton.) (Same link, DX64.9)
(Note 2: a week earlier, someone -- either Cheney or Rumsfeld or, more probably, both -- had received a
report dated November 19, 2002, naming the port of Cotonou as the place from which Niger’s was shipped.) (DX71.9) (My working hypothesis is that this prior Benin report was the gleam in Rummy-Cheney's eye that generated the next one. Questions emailed to the Office of the Vice President have not yet been answered.)
According to the web page of the
US Consulate in Marseille, in the web site of the U.S. Embassy in Paris, under "Supporting the U.S. Navy":
The Naval Criminal Investigative Service (NCIS) has an office in Marseille which is staffed by one special agent and a fully-cleared American assistant. This offices handles security arrangements for all U.S. Navy ship visits to France's Mediterranean coast and Monaco (30 in 2000) and for all of French-speaking Africa. The Consulate General also has an employee who handles protocol and morale aspects of ship visits, including liaison with officials."
So we're looking at a two-man, or two-person, office?
Europe Field Office of the Naval Criminal Investigative Service lists the NCIS Marseille office among 15 or so "subordinate offices" in outposts from Iceland to Greece.
Somehow an office that is subordinate as well as tiny, whose existence depends totally on -- picking a name at random, here -- Donald Rumsfeld when he was SecDef, looks like a good candidate for leaning on, that is leaning the bureaucratic elbow to get the desired "intelligence." This conjecture is not much of a stretch given that they did the same to CIA, an agency not known for lacking support on Capitol Hill.

Billie asks about Ruth? She's planning to do a brief report. The only time she ended up having available was when a number of us were at a concert on Saturday. (Blame me. And that is why we started early on The Third Estate Sunday Review, Saturday, we all wanted to go to the concert.)

Pru gets the last highlight and what she's selected is more of a resource. The protests in London and Glasgow were important and Great Britain's Socialist Worker has assembled their coverage:

This article should be read after: » 100,000 protest against the war
"Reports and video of London Time Troops Out -- No Trident demo, 24 February 2007 online only"
Reports from the 100,000 strong Stop the War Coalition and CND 'Troops Out Now – No Trident Replacement' demonstration across central London and the rally in Trafalgar Square. The demonstration was in London on Saturday 24 February 2007.
Demonstration video
» Marching through London -- scenes from along the route
» George Galloway MP speaking to the final rally
» Lindsey German convenor of Stop the War
» Mark Thomas activist and comedian
» Rose Gentle of Military Families Against the War
» Tony Benn veteran activist
» Noreen Fatima from Lonfdon Met
Demonstration reports
» 100,000 protest against the war
» People's Assembly for democracy planned
» Pictures of 24 February Troops Out demo in London (1)
» Pictures of 24 February Troops Out demo in London (2)
» Pictures of 4,000 strong Glasgow Troops Out demo on 24 February
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