Monday, January 14, 2008

Other Items

CNN reports that Onslow County sheriff's office believes Maria Lauterbach was murdered Dec. 15, 2007 apparently based on forsenic evidence (presumably gathered from the blood inside the house of Ceasar Armando Laurean and from the grave behind it). Lauterbach was and Laurean is a marine in the US military. The autopsy results of the corpse aren't completed yet and they haven't announced that it is Maria Lauterbach (only that they think it is); however, she was eight months pregnant when she disappeared and the corpse buried behind Ceasar Armando Lauren's home was as well. Maria Lauterbach's uncle Peter Steiner maintains, apparently speaking for Maria's family, that Laurean would have been the father of the child and that conception took the form of rape by Laurean. The US military, with a lot more than egg on their face, offer the excuse that the vanished Laurean (who vanished last week) was never "taken into custody after Lauterbach reported the alleged rape because there was information the two carried on 'some sort of friendly relationship'" -- which if the military thinks it's an excuse isn't. If they want to claim that they did nothing -- and they did nothing -- because they thought Lauterbach was bringing false assault charges then they had every duty and obligation to resolve the issue quickly. If they found her statements to be false, they were doing a disservice to Laurean by allowing the charges to stand month after month. She disappeared in the middle of December. She made her criminal charges to the military in April. If the military thinks 'we didn't believe her' is an excuse that'll give them a pass, they're mistaken. For nearly nine months, that would mean, they let what they assumed were false charges stand.

Maria Lauterbach disappeared shortly before she was finally to see a military hearing. There's no excuse for this, it is a shame for the military and had they taken care of it quickly, the question of whether she would have been murdered or not will always be out there.

The sheriff's office got involved when the family of Maria Lauterbach called them to report her missing. To date there has been no indication that prior to the family alerting the sheriff's office the military was doing anything about the missing status of Maria Lauterbach. She was eight-months pregnant when she disappeared (the sheriff's office believes she disappeared on December 15th, her family contacted them on the 19th of December) and was living in military housing and a member of the US military. Four days missing before the sheriff's department was brought in and where was the military? What were they doing?

Their excuse for not taking in Laurean (who "is believed to have left the base at 4 a.m. Friday, that's last Friday -- Thursday's snapshot and Friday's snapshot of last week show that the press was covering this, was attempting to find out what happened and what was developing -- what was the military doing?) is?

They offer none. Just that they never took him into custody on the rape charges because they didn't believe Maria Lauterbach.

The entire matter needs an investigation. The behavior on the part of the military goes to the pattern of refusing to address rape and assault repeatedly and that pattern didn't emerge this year. A rape was reported in April. Do those in charge at Camp Lejune really think that waiting nearly nine months later to hold a hearing is 'addressing' it and doing so in a timely manner? There needs to be an investigation and the investigation also needs to include determining why when the sheriff's office already suspected foul play, the military had not confined the obvious suspect to quarters but instead he was allowed to slip away.

Every time the military refuses to deal with an assault (which happens over and over), they send a message that people can get away with them. Jerry Allegood (McClatchy Newspapers) reports, "Lauterbach's family has said authorities did not aggressively investigate her rape allegation against Laurean." They also provide more details on the grave which is characterized as a "burn pit" (yes, her corpse was burned after she was murdered and there are gruesome details about the fetus).

At McClatchy's blog Inside Iraq, an Iraqi correspondent has posted "an old new tale" which opens with a tale of how a lion and three bulls (one white, one brown, one black) live in the jungle and how the lion, hungry, hides his own interest and picks the bulls off one at a time by explaining that it's in all of their interest, for instance, that the white bull be killed. The other two don't object -- due to their own interests -- and it continues. Because we don't say "fair use" and re-post something in full, we can't post the story and post how it's being related to currently in Iraq. It's a short post but you can use the link to read in full and after telling that story, this comes next:

I have noticed just like everyone in Iraq that the Kurdish parties are working hard to achieve their political goals especially the dream of having an independent Kurdish state. They use the Arabic political parties in a very clever way to achieve their goals. They break these parties into pieces by spreading them. Lately, they made an agreement with the Islamic party (the main Arabic Sunni party) and they work hard to win the hearts of al Fadhila party (Shiite party and a part of the United Iraqi Alliance, the main Shiite bloc in the parliament. Everyone knows that the Kurdish parties are working so hard to obtain Kirkuk, the oil city because it's the key of announcing their Kurdish state which the Kurdish politicians talked about thousands time. The Arabic political parties (Sunni and Shiite parties) are playing the role of the bulls and while the lion role is played by the Kurdish parties.

Reuters is already reporting this morning that the attacks on officials continue and Appeals Court Judge Amir Jawdat al-Naeib was shot dead today (as was his driver) in Baghdad while in Basra "a senior official in Shi'ite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr office" was shot dead during "a religious ceremony in the town of Zubair" and a Baghdad car bombing has left six people injured. In addition, a home bombing in Bhriz (Diyala province) has claimed the lives of 7 Iraqi police officers who had "entered the house to conduct a search."

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