Thursday, July 05, 2007

Other Items

Nearly five months into a security strategy that involves thousands of additional U.S. and Iraqi troops patrolling Baghdad, the number of unidentified bodies found on the streets of the capital was 41 percent higher in June than in January, according to unofficial Health Ministry statistics.
During the month of June, 453 unidentified corpses, some bound, blindfolded, and bearing signs of torture, were found in Baghdad, according to morgue data provided by a Health Ministry official who spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to release the information.

The above, noted by Lloyd, is from Joshua Partlow's "Body Count In Baghdad Up in June" (Washington Post). We're going to move straight over to Vic's highlight, from a very strong editorial in Canada's Embassy entitled "Proving Canada's U.S. Friendship:"

Optimists may want to believe that the worst in America and the world is almost over. After all, there are only 18 months left of the "incompetent" Bush White House. Aren't many Americans–and Canadians–already counting the days until planning begins on the George W. Bush presidential library? We appreciate their burning desire to relegate this dismal chapter of U.S. politics to the archives. But history doesn't always heal. Sometimes it festers and smolders.
[. . .]
But now that Canada is–in the PM's words–supposed to be back on the world stage, it might be fair to expect that we behave a little less passively. The first problem at hand is what we can do to get through the next 18 months of the Bush regime intact. Canada should make it clear to the U.S. that it will not participate in a military action against Iran. Building bridges–especially at the UN–to diplomatic, political, and economic options for the Middle East may not make for stirring Canada Day speeches. But it is wise, wholesome, in the Canadian tradition and a matter of pressing necessity. The independent Canada that once rejected nuclear missiles on its soil, that recognized and steadfastly maintained relations with Cuba, welcomed U.S. army draft dodgers and deserters from the Vietnam War, and refused to take part in the Iraq catastrophe, is really America's best friend. We and many Americans know that is true. Now we just have to start proving it again.

And while Canada welcomed war resisters during Vietnam, they have consistently refused to grant on resister refugee status thus far. In addition, they have allowed the Canadian police to harass and arrest Kyle Snyder at the request of US military (it is not a crime in Canada to resist a US war) and have allowed Canadian police to pass off two active members of the US military as Canadian police when they went looking for US war resister Joshua Key. Winnie Ng came forward with that incident immediately. Some refused to believe her. With the Canadian police now having admitted that, yes, we did go out with two members of the US military, a lot of people owe Ng an apology.

I am rushing this morning, sorry. Turning to Iraq Veterans Against the War's summer base tour. Showtime is filming the tour for a documentary. The tour (or this leg of it) is winding down. The next scheduled event is today, a fundraiser in NYC on July 5th at 7:00 pm; followed by the Naval Sub Marine Base in Groton, CT on July 6th at 7:00 pm; and concluding at Fort Drum in NY on July 8th at 4:00 pm. They have really given their all and if you are in those areas, you should show your support by attending. IVAW's Adam Kokesh, Liam Madden and Nate Lewis are noted in Bob Audette's "Bellows Falls war veteran arrested in Georgia" (The Brattleboro Reformer):

But Madden said that he and Lewis never walked through the entry gate at Fort Benning, home of the National Infantry Museum. Plus, he said, the public is allowed to access the base to visit the museum.
According to a staffer at the museum, visitors need only arrive at one of two base visitors centers with a drivers license and proof of insurance and they will be given a temporary permit to drive on the base.
"There's no reason we should have been arrested for trespassing," said Madden. "I don't see how it's trespassing to approach a gate on an open post."
The tactics are meant to intimidate the veterans, said Madden, and keep them from talking to active-duty veterans. "We will not let (the arrests) stand in our way."
The day after Madden and Lewis were arrested, five members of the bus tour were handcuffed and escorted off of Fort Jackson in South Carolina for wearing "illegal" T-shirts. None of the five were arrested, but Madden said their detention for wearing Iraq Veterans Against the War T-shirts was "absurd" to the point of being laughable.
Madden had been threatened with a dishonorable discharge from the Individual Ready Reserves, which every Marine is a member of after his or her honorable discharge from active duty. The ready reserves is a pool of discharged Marines who aren't paid, don't drill and have no chain of command. A member of the ready reserves can be called up for duty within a certain amount of time after discharge.

Check out the article today while it's available. The article that we linked to Tuesday is already not available online. We've got two topics to cover but before we get to them, NOW with David Brancaccio recently interviewed Michael Moore about Moore's new documentary Sicko which you can see a clip of on YouTube or can watch via NOW by clicking here. (If there's also a transcript, we will note this again tomorrow morning. I've tossed in links, saved, called a friend and am dictating around the links.) Still on NOW with David Brancaccio, the program's latest episode begins airing in most markets on Friday (on PBS) and will take a look at children's health insurance:

While 45% of all children in the United States are receiving some form of public medical assistance, 9 million children are not covered by either public or private health care. The State Children's Health Insurance Program -- or SCHIP -- is a block grant from the federal government to cover those low-income children, but the fund is running out of money.
On Friday, July 6 at 8:30 pm (check local listings), NOW investigates how SCHIP's future is caught up in a battle between those who think the government insures too many kids, and those who think it's not doing enough.
The NOW website at will provide additional coverage starting Friday morning, July 6. Features include a closer look at the debate and information about your state's healthcare coverage programs for children.

Now to move to other topics.

Tuesday, scroll down, I didn't remember to insert a link and the friend who's kindly taking dictation doesn't know how to do links, members complained about the airhead guest on Democracy Now! brought on to discuss the outing of CIA agent Valerie Plame, the denial of prison time for Scooter Libby. (Joe Wilson will be on DN! today, Wilson is not an airhead.) I didn't listen to that broadcast and noted that I hadn't and didn't plan to. As noted, "airhead" was the kinder term used for the guest by members e-mailing.

A visitor wrote a 16K e-mail defending the guest "who had no reason to even talk about M Cooper. M Cooper had nothing to do with Scooter. The only one who M Cooper talked to was K Rove." "M Cooper" is Matt Cooper and "K Rove" is Karl Rove and, frankly, the e-mailer is uninformed.

As a general rule, we don't have time to spoonfeed the under-informed. But we'll make the time this morning. Michael Kinsley writes his usual idiotic trash on the op-ed pages of the New York Times this morning (no link, you know the drill) where he sets himself as the spokesperson for everyone opposed to the impeachment of Bill Clinton. He sets forward a "perjury trap" argument in his trash column saying that Clinton was put in that because he was forced into a no-win situation regarding personal behaviors. So far, other than the weak writing, little objection. He then carries it over to Scooter. Scooter Lewis and others working in the government outed Valerie Plame, an undercover CIA agent.

Scooter lying about his involvement in that (which he was convicted of, the lying) is not a "perjury trap" -- it's asking someone to testify about a serious crime.

Scooter was not asked about his sex life. He was asked whether he, while serving in the US government, took part in the outing of an undercover CIA agent.

John R. MacArthur stood alone among independent media by not treating this as a national tragedy. The issue of a CIA agent being outed, in and of itself, is not a big deal (except for those attempting to use this for partisan gain and election fodder). The issue here was that the government outed her. That is illegal and Bully Boy's father ensured that.

Patrick Fitzgerald (for whatever reason) chose not to follow up on the actual crimes. He did catch Scooter -- then serving in the administration -- lying under oath about his own actions. This was not about an affair. This was not about a private matter. Fop Michael Kinsley is at Time because they needed another centrist to play "left" and because he needs to try to bolster his tarnished image after the disasters at the Los Angeles Times (not limited to the memo he left on the photo copier -- as humorous as that was, there was so, so much more to that story).

Valerie Plame and her husband Joe Wilson have a lawsuit and will presumably get some justice there (as the *Goldman* family did) when the criminal courts failed them.

Matt Cooper needs to be mentioned in any serious discussion of Scooter Libby. That is not only because Karl Rove outed Valerie Plame to him BEFORE the 2004 election and 'journalist' Cooper sat on that. That information is pretty important. Do we want to vote for someone whose administration is outing CIA agents? Maybe we do, maybe we don't. But that is information that the public should have known. Cooper's a part of the story right there.

There's been rewriting and some just don't know their damn facts. But reality, Scooter spoke to Matt Cooper. Not only did Scooter speak to Cooper, Cooper rolled over on Scooter and did so, to Fitzgerald, long before the 2004 election. That is public record. Know the facts. Reality: Matt Cooper was (briefly) willing to risk jail to avoid naming Karl Rove; however, he had already named Scooter Libby before he (briefly) took his 'brave' stand. That is reality and if someone's unaware of that 'airhead' really isn't a harsh term for them. We've covered this before. The first time, most strongly, in "Editorial on Scooter, Judy, Dexy and Matty" and, as noted in that, I bit my tongue regarding Cooper for months after friends said it would undermine the issue of press freedom.

Judith Miller's involvement in Plamegate revolves around Scooter spilling "Valerie Flame"'s name to her. She attempted to follow up and was shot down by higher ups at the Times (and she was already being moved to the UN beat and had Warren Hoge as a minder). As a reporter, Judith Miller, when compelled to name her source or sources, stated she didn't have a release from Libby. She refused to name him and went to jail.

She then had some form of a release and came forward to name Libby.

That is the public record on Miller.

With regards to Matt Cooper, here is the public record on him.

He spoke with both Rove and Libby. (Cooper then worked for Time.) When the Fitzgerald investigation began, Cooper had no problem fingering Libby and did so before the 2004 election. He refused to name Karl Rove. He would not name Rove until the spring of 2005. Had he named Rove (and spoken about it on campus as he did of his naming of Libby), it could have effected the election. It was information the people had a right to know.

Cooper was willing to roll over on Libby without a second thought; however, for months he stayed silent about Rove and briefly maintained publicly that he would go to jail before he'd name his source (Rove). Of course, when jail time loomed (Miller was sent to jail), suddenly Cooper claimed a new release that wasn't new at all.

That is the public record. Attempting to address Scooter means noting Matt Cooper. Pretending otherwise may allow for some partisan gain but it's not reality.

Lastly, Stacy A. asks that we be sure to note "Are You A Writer For The Nation? If so, chances are you must have a penis" from yesterday. We already have a member who goes by Stacy so new member also named Stacy is Stacy A. Her grandmother is a member of over two years, Lynda. Stacy A. has a number of issues that will be addressed shortly (either in "And the war drags on" tonight or by Saturday morning). I'm already at the airport and need to wrap this up. In addition to "Are You A Writer For The Nation? If so, chances are you must have a penis" being up here, it's also at the top of the following sites:

The Third Estate Sunday Review
Sex and Politics and Screeds and Attitude
Thomas Friedman Is a Great Man
Kat's Korner (of The Common Ills)
Cedric's Big Mix
Trina's Kitchen
Mikey Likes It!
Like Maria Said Paz
The Daily Jot

Stacy A. is angry that general interest (read non-feminist) sites aren't interested in the feature. I won't say she shouldn't be. I will note that it's not a surprise. The issue didn't just pop up Wednesday. The issue didn't just begin being charted on December 24th. This issue didn't just begin the day a number of women writers brought it to our attention. It has been ongoing and many have looked the other way repeatedly. That's it for this entry, I've run out of time.

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