On the front page of today's New York Times, Ginger Thompson and James Risen report on an upcoming indictment. Or alleged indictment. Let's not all be TruthOut and embarrass ourselves. (Reference to "The Grand Jury Has Indicted Karl Rove!!!!" coverage of TruthOut -- an indictment that never saw the light of day if it ever existed.) "5 Guards Face U.S. Charges In Iraq Deaths" is the headline and they're referring to the Baghdad slaughter by mercenaries for Blackwater Worldwide. You can tell the reporters believe an indictment is coming down because they note that "at least 17 Iraqi civilians" were killed September 16, 2007 -- and those of us who remember the paper's real-time coverage damn well remember how many days it took them to own up to 17 dead. (They minimized it for an entire week. They were not the worst. If indictments are made on Monday, that day's snapshot will note the two worst. At length.) The alleged indictments are supposedly sealed and were made on Thursday.
Inside the paper, Alissa J. Rubin's "Troop Pullout To Leave U.S. and Britain As Iraq Force" runs. From that article (noted in yesterday's snapshot) we'll note the following:
A diplomat at the British Embassy in Baghdad, who spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak to the news media, said that the negotiations were continuing, but that the mission of British forces would be significantly reduced by early next year. By then, the British military will be involved almost exclusively in training Iraqi troops, according to Iraqi officials.
"There's an end-of-year deadline, but we hope to be able to make an announcement soon," the British diplomat said. "We expect that our forces will complete most of their tasks in Iraq in the early months of 2009, and following that there will be a fundamental change in the nature of our mission in Iraq."
In contrast to the charged debate over approving the security agreement with the United States, lawmakers appeared to think that if a similar agreement was reached with Britain, it would readily win approval in Parliament. Because of the small number of British soldiers that will remain in the country, a formal agreement might not even be necessary.
"There won't be more than 500 British soldiers in Iraq after Jan. 1, 2009," said Abbas al-Bayati, a member of Parliament’s security committee. "With such low numbers, we won't need more than a temporary protocol between the British and Iraqi Ministries of Defense to authorize their presence."
Since yesterday morning, Marcia has posted the following at her site:
Jenny Matsui leaves a comment
Stupid Dissident Voice and Jenny Matsui
Friday Google and Tonga
Everyone will be noted in the next entry (as usual) but with four posts in less than 24 hours, I thought Marcia needed to be noted on her own.
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the new york times
alissa j. rubin