Thursday, October 16, 2008

Abeer and other items

Nader to Protest on Wall Street

Thursday, October 16, 2008 at 12:00:00 AM


Press Advisory
Contact: Toby Heaps, 202-441-6795, or Ryan Mehta, 408-348-0681

Attn: Politics Editor, Business Editors, Photo Editors


What: Ralph Nader Wall Street Rally to Protest the Bailout + Photo Opportunity with 25-foot tall inflatable pig

When: Thursday, October 16, 12 Noon

Where: Federal Hall, next to the NYSE, 26 Wall Street, New York City

Who: Ralph Nader, Matt Gonzalez, and local community leaders

Note: Event is on rain or no rain. In the event of rain, tent cover provided.

Note to TV crews: Mult box on premise. Media riser provided. Please arrive at least one hour early to set up. For satellites trucks, please arrive by 10:30 a.m.



Tori asked if that press release from Nader-Gonzalez could go at the top. I've already written this entry but I can put the press release at the top. The event takes place today. Now pretend this entry starts . . .

U.S. and Iraqi authorities have gathered physical evidence and eyewitness statements linking three alleged al Qaida in Iraq members to the 2006 kidnapping, torture and execution of two American soldiers, American officials close to the case said Wednesday.
Pfc. Kristian Menchaca, 23, of Houston and Pfc. Thomas Tucker, 25, of Madras, Ore., were captured after a firefight near Baghdad on June 16, 2006. Searchers found their badly mutilated bodies three days later. A third soldier, Spc. David Babineau, 25, of Springfield, Mass., died during the gun battle.

The above is from Corinne Reilly's "3 Iraqis charged in torture and killing of 2 U.S. soldiers" (McClatchy Newspapers) and let's drop back to yesterday's snapshot:

When did it come to light? In June of 2006. Prior to that the crimes were committed by 'insurgents'. Gregg Zoroya (USA Today) reported on how Justin Watt (who was not part of the conspiracy) came forward with what he had been hearing. This was while US soldiers Kristian Menchaca and Thomas Tucker were missing and, though the two were not involved in the war crimes, they were the ones chosen for 'punishment' as The Sunday Telegraph revealed in December 2006. Mechaca and Tucker get no special requests to the court. Like Abeer, they're dead. Like Abeer, they were guilty of no crime. Green has certainly managed to elude his day in court while a number of deaths have piled up. November 8th, 2006, Green entered a not guilty plea in a federal court in Kentucky.

Let's go to that Telegraph of London article. From Akeel Hussein and Colin Freeman's "Two dead soldiers, eight more to go, vow avengers of Iraqi girl's rape" (July 10, 2006):

The American soldiers accused of raping an Iraqi girl and then murdering her and her family may have provoked an insurgent revenge plot in which two of their comrades were abducted and beheaded last month, it has been claimed.
Pte Kristian Menchaca, 23, and Pte Thomas Tucker, 25, were snatched from a checkpoint near the town of Yusufiyah on June 16 in what was thought at the time to be random terrorist retaliation for the killing of the al-Qaeda leader Abu Musab al-Zarqawi in an American air strike two days earlier.
Now, however, residents of the neighbouring town of Mahmoudiyah have told The Sunday Telegraph that their kidnap was carried out to avenge the attack on a local girl Abeer Qassim Hamza, 15, and her family. They claim that insurgents have vowed to kidnap and kill another eight American troops to exact a 10-to-one revenge for the rape and murder of the girl.
Last Monday Steven Green, 21, a former private recently discharged from the US Army, appeared in an American federal court on murder and rape charges relating to her death. At least four other soldiers still based in Iraq are also under investigation.
[. . .]
Saba Shukr, 44, a Sunni sheikh at al-Aziz mosque in Mahmoudiyah, said: "We knew about this crime but the mujahideen brought revenge when they kidnapped two American soldiers in Yusufiyah. They are still waiting to kidnap and kill another eight soldiers, as the price of the death of the girl should be the death of 10 Americans. "I am sure about this. The mujahideen promised us revenge."
One of the family's neighbours, Abu Hazem, 51, said: "We went to visit the cousin of the family who lived about half a mile away to tell them the news. He said, 'Please keep it secret and we will take revenge on the Americans the quiet way'."
Military officials initially thought the abduction of the soldiers in Yusufiyah, about five miles from Mahmoudiyah, was an opportunist strike carried out when the troops became separated from their unit during an insurgents' ambush. Their bodies were found dumped three days later, showing signs of torture. However, the complexity of the ambush - and the level of preparedness required to have manpower to take them away alive - suggests that the kidnap was planned.

Also in July 2006, AP offered "Group: Soldiers killed over rape-slaying" (and video link in excerpt is a USA Today report):

An al-Qaeda-linked group posted a Web video Tuesday purporting to show the mutilated bodies of two U.S. soldiers, claiming it killed them in revenge for the rape-slaying of a young Iraqi woman by American troops from the same unit.

VIDEO: Did rape incident fuel revenge?

The Mujahedeen Shura Council previously claimed responsibility for killing the two soldiers, who were seized in a June 16 attack near the town of Youssifiyah, southwest of Baghdad. A third soldier was killed in the attack.

But the statement was the first time the group linked the slaying to the rape case.

A statement by the group said the video was released as "revenge for our sister who was dishonored by a soldier of the same brigade."

It said that as soon as fighters heard of the rape-slaying, "they kept their anger to themselves and didn't spread the news, but were determined to avenge their sister's honor."

From Tim King's review of Brian De Palma's Redacted, "De Palma's Redacted Sizzles Emotions Over Iraq" (Salem News):

Do you remember when Tommy Tucker of Redmond, Oregon and Kristian Menchaca of Houston, Texas were captured, tortured and beheaded in the summer of '06?
It wasn't standard combat, their deaths were more likely a revenge killing for the rape of the Iraqi girl, 15-year old Abeer Qasim Hamza al-Janabi who lived near Mahmudiyah, south of Baghdad, and the murder of her family. They were attached to the same military unit as the offenders, but they were the ones that were captured, they are the ones who paid with their lives.
Tortured and beheaded, even though they had nothing to do with the rape of the girl and the murders. They were just soldiers, and they died because a group of dirtbags decided that human life is worth less than a night of depraved sex and death.
A group in Iraq released a graphic video in July '06 showing the bodies of PFC Thomas Lowell Tucker and PFC Kristian Menchaca, after they were allegedly kidnapped, tortured and beheaded by insurgents.
A voice at the beginning of the video states that it is being presented as "revenge for our sister who was dishonored by a soldier of the same brigade." The video referred to the Mahmudiyah incident, in which the five U.S. soldiers murdered the Iraqi girl named Abeer Qasim Hamza, after murdering her mother, 34-year old Fakhriyah Taha Muhsin; her father 45-year old Qasim Hamza Raheem; and her sister 7-year old Hadeel Qasim Hamza.
A statement issued along with the video stated that "God Almighty enabled them to capture two soldiers of the same brigade as this dirty crusader."

If you're wondering why we're going over this having just dealt with it yesterday, Reilly's article ends with this:

U.S. officials have rejected speculation that insurgents targeted Babineau, Tucker and Menchaca out of revenge, but soon after the soldiers' deaths, five members of their unit were charged with the March 2006 rape and murder of a 14-year-old Iraqi girl in a village near Yusifiya. The girl's parents and sister also were murdered.

I'm not in the mood for that nonesense. We lived through in 2006 and 2007 and I'm not in the ___ mood. Abeer. Say her damn name. Abeer Qassim al-Janabi.

I'm not in the mood for this nonsense. The bulk of the press has spent the last two-years ignoring Abeer's GANG-RAPE -- not just rape, Reilly, gang-rape -- and MURDER. I'm not in the mood for cowardice or not knowing your facts or any of the garbage excuses of the past two years. Do your damn job. And as for 'speculation', try knowing what was said and when and not just spitting back out what the military whispered in your ear. Try grasping that when you have Iraqis saying this was why it happened and when you have the group saying this was why, you include it in your article.

Two soldiers confessed to their part in gang-rape. All but Steven D. Green have confessed to their part in the conspiracy. It is war crime.

Abeer didn't enlist, she didn't sign up. She was a young girl attempting to live her life. Instead Green, an adult male who damn well knew right from wrong (though he now wants to try for an insanity defense) watched her, touched her, made her uncomfortable. To the point where he parents couldn't let her to go school, couldn't let her go out in the neighborhood. She was being moved to another neighborhood. The day after her murder, she would have left the neighborhood. Her parents had already made the arrangements.

Why did she have to leave the neighborhood? Because one mile from her home was the US military checkpoint. That's where Green observed her. The checkpoint was supposed to make Iraqis safe. It failed.

Most Iraqis who die do so without Americans ever knowing their names. Ever knowing the details of their deaths. Abeer's death was a war crime. I'm not in the mood for reporters who can't say bring themselves to type up her name. Or those who want to minimize the war crime by rendering the victim invisible.

Changing topics. As most Americans know, last night's big event on TV was The New Adventures of Old Christine (yeah, I wanted to work that joke in one more time and also give a plug to Julia's show again as well). And how about Barb? Is Wanda Sykes not a shoe-in for the Emmys this year?

Okay, so the third and final Democratic Loves Republican Presidential Debate took place and if you were expecting a happy ending where Scott Baio and Erin Moran exchanged vows, you were disappointed. But, as Rachel pointed out in the first episode of Friends, "See, but Joanie loved Chachi! That's the difference!" Indeed. So with Ralph Nader, Cynthia McKinney, Bob Barr and Chuck Baldwin shut out, Barack Obama and John McCain exchanged ideas last night. Becky notes this from McCain-Palin '08:

What They're Saying About John McCain at the Hofstra Debate

"This Was His Best Debate So Far. He Was Able To Set The Agenda On A Lot Of Issues Like Taxes, Especially With Joe Wurzelbacher."

ABC News' George Stephanopoulos: "I think the fact that John McCain was able to make Joe Wurzelbacher a character in this campaign, I'll bet you we're going to see him in campaign ads starting tomorrow, shows that, why this was his best debate so far. He was able to set the agenda on a lot of issues like taxes, especially with Joe Wurzelbacher." (ABC News' "Vote 08: The Final Debate," 10/15/08)

"HUGE Moment For McCain. Slams Obama For Comparing Him To Bush. VERY Savvy. AND, He Looked Directly At Obama."

The Washington Post's Chris Cillizza: "HUGE moment for McCain. Slams Obama for comparing him to Bush. VERY savvy. AND, he looked directly at Obama." (Chris Cillizza, "The Fix Twitters The Final Debate!", 10/15/08)

Cillizza: "McCain with a break from Bush Administration -- 'disappointed' with Paulson's approach on financial crisis." (Chris Cillizza, "The Fix Twitters The Final Debate!", 10/15/08)

Cillizza: "McCain has done well for himself so far -- kept Obama on defense." (Chris Cillizza, "The Fix Twitters The Final Debate!", 10/15/08)

The Politico's Jonathan Martin: "John McCain creates an instant headline with some of his firmest language yet to distance himself from President Bush. 'Sen. Obama, I am not President Bush,' McCain said, in a line clearly in his pocket. 'If you wanted to run against President Bush you should have run four years ago. I will take this country in a new direction.'" (Jonathan Martin, "Your Morning Lede (So Far)", 10/15/08)

National Review's Jim Geraghty: "McCain's best line so far: 'Senator Obama, I am not President Bush. If you wanted to run against President Bush, you should have run four years ago.'" (Jim Geraghty, "If You Wanted To Run Against President Bush, You Should Have Run Four Years Ago,", 10/15/08)

"I Think He Clearly Won It ... It Was His Best Performance"

MSNBC's Pat Buchanan: "I do believe that this was John McCain's best campaign. I think he clearly won it on points. It was his best performance. He was intense and ideological and he's appealing to the base, clearly."(MSNBC's "Post Debate Analysis," 10/15/08)

Buchanan: "Joe the plumber gives round one to McCain on points!" (Pat Buchanan, "Buchanan And Maddow: Live Debate Commentary,", 10/15/08)

Buchanan: "McCain much more aggressive and specific, and more compassionate on John Lewis, issues of ACORN and Ayer." (Pat Buchanan, "Buchanan And Maddow: Live Debate Commentary,", 10/15/08)

Los Angeles Times: "McCain again shows that he came into this debate more focused and more disciplined than in the past ones." (Don Frederick and Kate Linthicum, "Live Blogging The Final Barack Obama And John McCain Debate,", 10/15/08)

The Atlantic's Marc Ambinder: "McCain's doing well on the issues..." (Marc Ambinder, "Live Blogging The Final Debate," The Atlantic's "Marc Ambinder" Blog,, 10/15/08)

Commentary's John Podhoretz: "Good zinger from McCain; Obama mentions he wants Warren Buffett to pay more taxes and McCain says we're talking about Joe the Plumber, not Warren Buffett." (John Podhoretz, "Warren Buffett Vs. Joe The Plumber," Commentary's "Contentions" Blog,, 10/15/08)

Commentary's Jennifer Rubin: "McCain says sure he's qualified but then points out his record of bad ideas. Digs at his 'cockamamie' idea about dividing Iraq. Maybe his best answer." (Jennifer Rubin, "Joe Biden," Commentary's "Contentions" Blog,, 10/15/08)

National Review's Mark R. Levin: "I am impressed with McCain tonight. Obama is off his game, as they say." (Mark R. Levin, "A Different Debate," National Review's "The Corner" Blog,, 10/15/08)

Levin: "McCain came ready tonight, he has Obama resorting to his stump speech answers and a bit unnerved, IMHO. And for the most part, he is not letting Obama get away with his endless dissembling." (Mark R. Levin, "Ready. Set...," National Review's "The Corner" Blog,, 10/15/08)

Mike and Rebecca both called it for John McCain, Ruth points out one of Barack's lies, Kat points out that Barack refused to call out the t-shirt, Elaine focused on Barack's refusal to answer the question regarding mandates, Marcia offered a cautionary note to 'helpful' Whites and (joint-post) Cedric and Wally focused on the t-shirt as well. At the New York Times, Katharine Q. Seelye live blogged the debate and CNN has a transcript of the debate here.

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