Monday, August 13, 2007

Kyle Snyder, NYT tries to create another wave of Operation Happy Talk

Abbotsford Police are heading up an investigation into a series of complaints against the Nelson City Police Department and its chief, but some complainants are skeptical about a process that sees police investigating police.
Nelson Police Chief Dan Maluta asked Abbotsford Police to do an external investigation into complaints filed around the arrest of military deserter Kyle Snyder.
Snyder -- who fled to Canada after deserting his Army unit on mid-tour while on leave from Iraq in 2005 -- was arrested without a warrant by Nelson Police in February.
He was released when Immigration Canada informed police they had no legal basis for arresting him.
It's still unclear as to why and under what authority Snyder was arrested. Maluta has refused to reveal the source of the allegations against Snyder which led to his arrest.
Snyder has alleged the US Army initiated the arrest.

The above, noted by Vic, is from Rochelle Baker's "APD investigates Nelson deserter issue" (The Abbotsford News). Kyle Snyder has alleged that? I believe that charge came from Citizenship and Immigration Canada. If we're going to talk allegations, we might talk about all the allegations Dan Maluta has made which have been exposed as lies such as when he claimed the order came from the Canada Border Service Agency and that agency made very clear that not only did they not give any such order, Maluta called them (after Snyder had been arrested).

They had no right to arrest him. The orders came from somewhere. Snyder turned himself in October of 2006 and the US military went back on their agreement. Snyder checked himself back out. He then went around the US publicly speaking (and doing some volunteer construction work in New Orleans. He spoke out at Fort Benning and you know that really ticked the military off. As he continued speaking out, the military began phoning in tips to local police. Snyder went back to Canada when he was done speaking in the US. The police show up to arrest him when he's about to marry Maleah Friesen, a Canadian citizen. You can be sure the 'tipsters' were especially troubled by that since, once married to Friesen, Snyder didn't need the (non-existant) refugee status from the Canadian government.

They were probably high fiving over that. Thrilled that the US military has issued orders to the Canadian police and that the Canadian police had obeyed despite the fact that there was no jurisdicition and despite the fact that it is not a crime in Canada to leave the US military.

The US military would follow their Snyder 'sweep' by sending two members into Canada to pose as Canadian police and look for war resister Joshua Key. They would be accompanied on their rounds by a Canadian police officer. They would LIE to Winnie Ng that they were all Canadian police and they would ask of Key's where abouts. The Canadian police officer in question stayed silent when Ng was called a liar. He stayed silent for a reason, he had no reason to accompany two US military members on a search for Joshua Key. In fact, the real question, if anyone wants to dig too deep, is whether or not he was on duty or not. If he was on duty, then he had orders from high up. Winnie Ng told the truth and eventually the Canadian police was forced to admit that one of their officers did take two US military members to her house. They want to insist that there was no effort to pass the two off as Canadian police.

Winnie Ng has consistently maintained otherwise. While the Canadian police has altered their story at least three times, Ng has remained consistent. Ng is telling the truth.

This is a big issue in Canada (and should be in the US as well) because it goes to issues of borders and to issues of who is in charge in Canada.

Over at the New York Times this morning, they're in happy mode because they've got an
illegal war to sell (the whole point of the domestic story that ran on the front page of yesterday's paper). Stephen Farrell offers Operation Happy Talk, if not reporting, in "Troops Shelter an Unlikely Survivor in Baghdad:"

Nine months old, underweight, malnourished, fatherless and half Sunni, half Shiite, she already had enough deadly handicaps growing up in Saydia, a battlefield suburb that has become one of the worst sectarian killing zones in Baghdad.
On July 25, a death squad shot her mother and uncle -- each three times in the head -- in their dilapidated half-finished squat. E.J.K.'s, in American military shorthand: extrajudicial killings.
Fatima’s 7-year-old brother fled and flagged down a joint patrol of the Iraqi National Police and American soldiers. The Iraqis found the bodies and collected up Fatima’s siblings from neighboring houses. But the 7-year-old kept asking, "What about my sister?"

First off, there's no point in the "E.J.K." being in the article except to show that Farrell can hang with the US military. Second of all the death squads didn't exist until after the illegal war. The Salvadoran option as the US administration termed it. Third of all, who armed them? Credit to the US, cries Farrell, forgetting that's a bit like congratulating an arsonist who rescues one victim of a burning building.

And here's the thing. Fatima, the child, is not a dog. She's a human being. She is not a pet for the US military. Farrell's so kind that he repeats the claim by the US military that in the past, when 'insurgents' (Major Andy Yerkes uses that term) were turned over to the hospitals, they were killed. How he, Yerkes, knows that isn't in the story or why, if he knows people are being killed, no one was brought up on charges, isn't in the story. What is in the story is Yerkes' claim that 'insurgents' turned over to Iraqi hospitals have been killed.

Are we supposed to believe 9-month-old Fatima would be seen as 'insurgent' by Iraqi hospital workers? It's as though the Times decided today to print the racist lyrics to Disney's Pocahontes (FYI, Disney has increased the insult and offense by allowing "Savages" to be made available as a "ring tone").

There are aid agenices within Iraq and outside of Iraq. There are also probably members of Fatima's family who could step forward were an illegal war not going on. A child is not a pet and a home is not a military base in the midst of a war zone. It shows a tremendous breakdown in leadership that the US military has been allowed to 'keep' a child as a pet.

This isn't a 'happy' story and only a foolish scribe would attempt to sell it as such. The US will be leaving. Do those serving on the base intend to take Fatima with them and raise her under some extended, multi-partied, joint custody agreement?

Fatima is a child, not a pet. She's not there to look cute or to play with. The chain of command has completely broken down and, it needs to be noted, in many outfits they wouldn't even be allowed to have a dog. That the superiors are fine with denying a child a life goes to either their own stupidity or their desire to get another wave of Operation Happy Talk going.

If the US leaves in two years or five, Fatima "pet of the US military base" is not going to be welcomed in Iraq. The longer they are allowed to 'keep' her, the more damage they do to her life. Relief agencies exist and should have been contacted some time ago. It's not a cute story, it is a story of the willful pride and arrogance of the US military. And the stupidity of leadership. You could add in, it's also the tale of really bad reporting since none of these issues were raised by Farrell though he did have time to toss around some military lingo. Macho head butt for Farrell, all the way home . . . from his extended childhood. Are there no American adults in the Green Zone?

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