Saturday, December 27, 2008

The violence

In this morning's New York Times, Timothy Williams and Mohamed Hussein offer "Iraq Jailbreak Leaves 13 Dead as Man Suspected of Being Militant Leader Escapes." Probably the detail to note is: Emad Ahmed Ferhan. That's a detail that should have been in yesterday's reports but Iraqi authorities forgot to pass it on. Someone escapes from prison and you're searching door to door, you release the name of the escapee and a photo. You include what the person was imprisoned for. All the Iraqi authorities offered was"Emad Ahmed Ferhan." And that's one name to the three who broke out. It's amazing the press wasn't able to get a hold of photos since the article tells you that photos of the escapees were displayed by the police as they went door to door.

Reality is the three may or may not be criminals but they were certainly victims being housed 30 to a prison cell.

Kimi Yoshino offers "Iraq prison riot leaves 13 dead" (Los Angeles Times) and I'm not seeing anything that wasn't covered yesterday. Not a slap to Yoshino, it's just that other than the name of one of the prisoners being released, there's nothing beyond what was known when the story broke yesterday.

The press should be demanding the names of all three, photos, when they were arrested, when they were placed in the prison, have any ever had any sort of judicial proceedings, etc.

Meanwhile in the US, Tom Quigley's "Iraq War veteran involved in two-hour standoff with police at his Mansfield Township apartment, police say" (Penn's The Express Times) reports, "A mentally disturbed Iraq War veteran who dialed 911 this morning and falsely reported he shot two people kept police at bay during an ensuing two-hour standoff in Mansfield Township, police said. "

And that might need to be filed with CBS Evening News' "Military Struggles With Response To PTSD" (link has text and video):

The Pentagon says 1 in 5 service members who come home from Iraq or Afghanistan suffer from post-traumatic stress. Some find their experiences too much to bear. There were 115 military suicides last year, and 93 through just August of this year. The biggest obstacle to getting those numbers down may be the military culture itself, reports CBS News correspondent Kimberly Dozier.

Or maybe it needs to be filed with Paloma Esquivel, Christine Hanley and Christopher Goffard's "Veterans of Iraq unit linked to violent crimes: Army plays down connection, but defense lawyers suggest a pattern" (Los Angeles Times via Houston Chronicle):

They nicknamed themselves "the Lethal Warriors," and during two tours in Iraq, the soldiers of the Army's 2nd Battalion, 12th Infantry regiment confronted some of the war's cruelest fighting, hunting insurgents through Baghdad and Tikrit amid roadside bombs, mortar fire and close-quarters firefights.
By June 2007, the unit was losing a soldier a day. Over two tours, 33 of them had died.
On Nov. 30, 2007, Kenneth Eastridge, a survivor of the fighting, found himself at a rough bar not far from the unit's Fort Carson base.
Eastridge, a high school dropout from Louisville, Ky., had joined the Army to escape dead-end prospects of civilian life, only to run repeatedly afoul of Army rules and face a court-martial.
Two days after his discharge, Eastridge was with two other vets from his unit, Louis Bressler and Bruce Bastien.
Police say the trio plotted a robbery in the company of an Army private. Later that night, police say, Bressler -- worried that the private would divulge their plot -- shot him to death.

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