Sunday, July 01, 2007

NYT, guess who they don't name (again) today

Two American soldiers have been charged with premeditated murder and planting weapons on dead Iraqis, the United States military said Saturday.
The soldiers, Staff Sgt. Michael A. Hensley and Specialist Jorge G. Sandoval Jr., were detained after fellow soldiers reported they had been involved in the deaths of three Iraqis near Iskandariya, a stronghold of the Sunni Arab insurgency south of Baghdad, in separate events between April and June this year.

The above is from Stephen Farrell's "2 U.S. Soldiers Charged With Murder of 3 Iraqis" in this morning's New York Times. Farrell also notes a 'raid' by US forces in the Sadr City section of the capital which locals say killed innocent civilians. And Farrell demonstrates later in the article that he's a New York Times-er through and through: "Two American soldiers have admitted to raping a 14-year-old and killing her and her family in Mahmudiya, a town near Iskandairya, in March 2006, and others also face trial, in the killings."

Abeer. That's her name. But apparently the Times will never mention her name. She will always be rendered nameless. Did you catch the factual error. "Others also face trial, in the killings." Steven D. Green denies his guilt (James P. Barker and Paul Cortez, the two -- unnamed in the article -- who have confessed also testified to Green's involvement). Green is accused not just of killing. Barker and Cortez maintained in their testimony that Green did all the killing -- Abeer, her sister and her two parents or, as the Times puts it "her family" -- her entire family isn't dead and USA Today, which could mention her name, managed to speak with her brother. Green is also accused of being the ringleader and, pay attention here, also raping Abeer. It was a gang-rape but the Times, happy to offer 'novel' defense for the accused before the Article 32 hearing began last August, can't say her name and can't say what was done to her.
If you're new the story (not surprising, All Things Media Big and Small -- with few exceptions -- spent August 2007 avoiding this story), Abeer's parents and her five-year-old sister were taken to another room where Steven D. Green (according to Cortez and Barker) shot and killed all three while Cortez and Barker began the gang-rape of Abeer. When Green rejoined them (get, please, that Abeer could hear the gunshots while she was being raped, know that her sister and her parents were being killed. After Green rejoined him, it was his 'turn' in the gang-rape and then, according to Cortez and Barker, Green shot and killed Abeer. After which her body was set on fire to destroy evidence.

Now Green was stationed in her neighborhood (all the US troops involved were) and he leered at her, this 14-year-old girl, and he touched her and she went to her parents and they arranged for her to go stay elsewhere. Had Cortez and company not gotten drunk that night, had they waited one more night, they wouldn't have found Abeer because she was due to leave the next morning to get away from the pervert who thought it was acceptable to leer and touch her. As was pointed out in the Article 32, the soldiers then returned to base, got rid of their civies (stained with blood) and went back to drinking and grilling chicken.

That is part of the Abeer story, only part of it, and since the Article 32 hearing -- which should have been huge news but wasn't, very few in the media have felt it was a story worth telling. Not when Barker confessed in court. Not when Cortez did. Maybe they're resting for Green's day in court? (He'll be tried in a civilian court due to the fact that he was discharged before the War Crimes were uncovered -- he was discharged for 'anti-social' behavior and he joined up on a moral waiver.)

So the only Iraq story is relegated to A8 and on the front page we get? More China (see yesterday's paper), Linda Greenhouse's "A 5-4 Dynamic With Kennedy as Linchpin" which does qualify as a front page news, more on the London de-bombing that rushes to tie in the Glasgow airport incident which is a bit like the breathless 'reporting' one usually gets from Matt Lauer, Elizabeth Edwards as candidate's wife (that's not front page -- nor was John McCain's wife last week) and, worst of all, Baseball Wives. "Home in the Cages, Mom Cooks, The Baby Sleeps, and Dad Bats." Lee Jenkins should be embarrassed to have the byline, the paper should embarrassed to have front paged it. Howell Raines got called out for front paging Britty Spears but we're all supposed to pretend anything remotely 'sports related' is real news. It isn't.

Here's what's up at The Third Estate Sunday Review:

Truest statement of the week
A Note to Our Readers
Editorial: War Resistance Is All Around
TV: Ugly Husband, Skinny Wife RIP
Let Laura Be Laura
Realities about how we got to the Roberts Court
Am I Coward? Yes, I Am!
The Nation Stats
They Were Turned Into Shoplifters!
Don't Nobody Bring Me No Blonde News

The e-mail address for this site is