Friday, December 05, 2008

"He slaughtered our husbands, and that's it?"

Barbara Allen, the widow of 1st. Lt. Louis Allen, screamed: "He slaughtered our husbands, and that's it."
She also cursed at Martinez and yelled, "You murdered my husband."
Martinez was accused of killing Allen and Capt. Philip Esposito, who was the commander of his N.Y. National Guard company.

The above is from the Fayetteville Observer's "Martinez acquitted of first-degree murder charges" and Martinez is Alberto B. Martinez. Jim Kambrich (WNYT -- link has text and video) reports on the verdict in the case of the double murders June 7, 2005 and highlights Philip Esposito's widow Siobhan stating in October, "We would rather be back with our children than be here in the court room but we're here seeking justice for our husbands." Hema Easley's "Military jury delivers not-guilty verdict" (Lower Hudson Journal) provides some basics on the trial itself:

The 14-member jury deliberated for more than two days after a six-week trial in which Martinez did not testify. He could have received the death sentence if found guilty.
"We are pleased that the military justice system worked and we are grateful for the representation and support of the defense team," the Martinez family said in a statement released by the Fort Bragg public affairs office. "Our sympathies go out to the families of the victims. This has been a very difficult process for everyone involved and we are happy to be back together as a family."
Martinez, 41, of Troy was the first U.S. soldier to be tried for fragging since the beginning of the war in Iraq. Fragging is military slang for the intentional killing of an officer, especially by hand grenade.
The trial brought more than 150 witnesses to the stand, many of them currently serving overseas in the military.
Many testified hearing Martinez openly make threats against Esposito, saying that he would kill or frag him. It was alleged he was angry with Esposito because the commander wanted to replace him for his poor job performance as the unit's supply sergeant.

To that John Sullivan (Times Herald Record) adds:

Someone else shouted out that Martinez was a "murdering son of a bitch" before the judge quickly ordered the courtroom to be c
Much of the case against the defendant turned out to be circumstantial, leaving room for doubt about the thoroughness of the forensic investigation into the murders. "It's not clear who actually did it, that's the bottom line," commented one of Allen's aunts, Kathleen Kraus, just before watching the verdict read through a video feed from Fort Bragg, N.C., where the trial was held.

Robert Gavin (Albany Times Union) notes a witness in the trial:

Staff Sgt. Amy Harlan of Ohio, who also worked in supplies at the base, testified she provided Martinez with the mines in May, unaware of what would transpire. The jury Thursday asked to listen to her testimony, in which she said the soldier's ire toward Esposito was increasing.
He had told her the ammunition would be put to "good use," she testified.
But she acknowledged that when she spoke to military investigators later that month, she never mentioned anything about the mines.

And we'll close it out as we opened with the Fayetteville Observer and the reaction to the verdict, from Paul Woolverton and Corey G. Johnson's "Jury acquits Martinez of murder charges:"

Members of Allen and Esposito's families, wailing in the courtroom, remained convinced he is guilty.
"This is the United States of America!" a disbelieving woman cried.
The judge, Col. Stephen Henley, excused the jury while the family members continued to cry. Esposito's father, Thomas, tried to keep them calm. "Easy, easy, easy," he said, trying to console his wife, Joan, and the other women around him. "Easy, easy, easy."
Barbara Allen, Lt. Allen's widow, lashed out from the front row of the spectator area. She and Esposito’s widow, Siobhan, have attended 3 years of courtroom proceedings at Fort Bragg and overseas.
"He slaughtered our husbands and that's it!" she shouted as the 14 jurors walked out.
She turned toward Martinez and cursed him. "You murdered my husband!" she cried.

Public broadcasting notes. PBS programs begin airing tonight in some markets, check local listings for time and date. NOW on PBS offers:

How should President-elect Barack Obama handle our tricky relations with Pakistan? This week, David Brancaccio sits down with author and journalist Tariq Ali, who grew up in Pakistan, to discuss what he thinks team Obama should do to improve its standing in Pakistan in particular and the region as a whole.
"I think it should back off militarily. That's the key," Ali tells NOW. Ali says the U.S.'s roughly 20 reported attacks against Al Qaeda inside Pakistan's borders since late August are doing more harm than good because they "mainly have hit civilian targets."
The question of how to handle nuclear-armed Pakistan has become especially difficult amidst Indian claims of Pakistani links to the recent terrorist attacks in Mumbai, which left at least 170 people dead.
What's the best strategy for the U.S. in Pakistan and how will it impact the war in Afghanistan, where Obama has said he plans to send more troops? Watch for an insider's view of how the president-elect should proceed.


Tehran-born author Hooman Majd talks to NOW's David Brancaccio about America's thorny relationship with Iran and how he thinks Obama should handle the problematic issue of Iran's nuclear program.
"I think the main issue for Americans, and certainly for the [Obama Administration,] is how do we persuade Iran to not take that step? We can't take the knowledge away from them anymore," says Majd, who grew up in American and Britain, but often returns to Iran.
Iran has produced enough nuclear material to produce a nuclear bomb, according to a report released last month from the International Atomic Energy Agency.
Although Iran denies that its nuclear program has military aspirations, it has called for wiping out the state of Israel. What's the best way forward with this unpredictable country in Middle East?

On Washington Week's latest installment, Gwen sits around the table with Karen Tumulty (Time magazine), Peter Baker (New York Times) and David Wessel (Wall St. Journal). Public radio? WBAI on Sunday:

Sunday, December 7, 11am-noon


Documentary filmmaker/psychologist Murray Nossel and psychiatrist Paul
Browde, co-stars of the off-Broadway hit, "Two Men Talking,"
demonstrate their storytelling techniques with members of their
Narativ Workshop. With storytellers Benaifer Bhadha, Marion Stein,
Archimedes Bibiano and Jerome Deroy. Hosted by Janet Coleman

Broadcasting at WBAI/NY 99.5 FM

Streaming live at WBAI
Archived at Cat Radio Cafe

NOTE: CAT RADIO CAFE is pre-empted on December 8 for WBAI fundraising.
Regular programming resumes on December 22. Information on CAT RADIO
CAFE and THE NEXT HOUR fundraising specials to be announced.

Bill Moyers Journal? There's a link to the left if anyone cares. Michael Winship has a new essay and he includes the following regarding Barack's comments about 'the heat of a campaign' (similar to Barack's June remarks re: NAFTA, a topic Winship hasn't felt the need to weigh in on):

So let me get this straight -- we weren't supposed to take seriously anything that was said during "the heat of a campaign?" Doesn't that invalidate the time and effort we spent evaluating the differences between the candidates before we cast our votes? I'm just asking.

I'm just asking, Michael and Bill, who's "we"? Because Bill Moyers Journal DAMN WELL did not "evaluate" a thing during the Democratic Party primary. We got the hour long, weekly informercial for Barack and if The Journal is less than pleased with the results now, they might try running a news program and not a televised fan club meet-up. Moyers and Winship might also attempt answering some questions. Chief among them, why was it possible to celebrate Barack's 'post-racial' status (I didn't use that term, check the transcripts for who did) week after week but Hillary's historic run as a woman wasn't even news or worthy of discussion?

There are a lot of questions that program needs to answer and toss in that 'special moment' when Dr. Kathy and Bill wanted to 'analyze' Hillary's eyes welling up in New Hampshire and what better way to do so than to avoid showing a clip of the moment but providing Jesse Jackson Jr.'s sexist attack on Hillary and not even calling it out -- treating his insanity as if it were valid and factual. If viewers were unaware of the New Hampshire moment, the easiest way to illuminate it for them would have been to played it. Instead, the program 'went another way' with yet another attack on Hillary treated as 'normal.'

For the record, any man who has surgery to lose 50 pounds, as Jesse Jackson Jr. did, is not 'normal' when he turns around and accuses a woman of vanity.

For reality in a hourly news magazine, check out CBS 60 Minutes:

The Oil Kingdom
Despite the pledge of President-elect Barack Obama and others to lessen America's use of foreign oil, Saudi Arabia – the world’s largest oil supplier - isn't worried. That's what Saudi officials told Lesley Stahl when she visited the oil kingdom and toured its vast petroleum facilities, which are gearing up to produce even more. (This is a double length segment.) | Watch Video
His painting took the art world by storm in the 1980s and then Julian Schnabel reinvented himself as a film director to more kudos. Morley Safer profiles this titan of art and film. | Watch Video

Kimberly Wilder (On The Wilder Side) notes this from the Independent Political Report on Malik Rahim. Malik is running for Congress and the vote takes place December 6th.

2008 Campaign Videos

After a century of politicians, it's time to elect a community organizer

After Hurricane Katrina, Malik founded Common Ground, an organization which:
  • opened the first free health clinic in the city of New Orleans
  • helped MLK Elementary and other schools to re-open
  • gutted over 3,000 homes and provided direct services to nearly 200,000 returning residents
Vote Malik on Dec. 6, 2008

And we'll note the following community posts from last night starting with Stan's "All over the place" and then swiping from his site to note the following:

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oh boy it never ends