Wednesday, April 29, 2009

The silence on Abeer

Three previous trials have established this much: on March 12, 2006, a small group of junior soldiers slipped away unnoticed from a lightly defended traffic checkpoint just outside the insurgent-infested town of Yusufiyah 20 miles south of Baghdad. Nursing a hatred of Iraqis stemming from heavy losses their unit had suffered, and fueled by several bottles of Iraqi whisky, they embarked upon a premeditated crime of gruesome barbarity. Donning black long underwear outfits as disguises, even though it was the middle of the day, they traveled a few hundred meters to an isolated farmhouse where they gang raped Abeer Qassim Hamza al-Janabi, a 14-year old Iraqi girl and murdered her, her parents, and her six-year old sister. The men returned to their checkpoint unnoticed and for months afterwards, the massacre was considered by the Army and locals alike to be just another outburst of the frequent Iraqi-on-Iraqi violence that plagued the area.
Three soldiers from that murderous expedition have already been tried by court martial for their roles in the crime. All were found guilty and all were sentenced to jail terms of 90 years or longer. But because Green, whom the three other soldiers have described as both the plot's mastermind and trigger man, was discharged before the full extent of the crime was discovered, he is being tried in a civilian court, where federal prosecutors are seeking the death penalty. He faces 17 counts of conspiracy, rape, murder, unlawful use of a weapon and obstruction of justice. (See TIME's story on the killings in Haditha.)

The above is from Jim Frederick's "Civilian Trial Begins for Ex-Soldier Accused of Iraq Atrocities" (Time magazine) and note this at the end of the article: "Jim Frederick, a former editor at TIME, is writing a book about Green's unit, entitled Black Hearts: One Platoon's Disintegration in the Triangle of Death and the American Ordeal in Iraq, which will be published in Spring, 2010 by Harmony Books." Yeah, this story's not going away and it's going to be really interesting ten, fifteen, twenty years from now as various researchers (student and professional) start combing the archives of various news outlets attempting to get information on the trial. "Let's try the New York Times! Surely the paper of record has something on it, someone covering it." Nope. No one. They could cover it in August 2006 and did try to (with Robert Worth and Carolyn Marshall's embarrassing story fed to them by the defense attorneys -- a detail the 'reporters' left out of the article) but they can't cover the trial. They've never, pay attention to this, mentioned Abeer's name in print. Never. They have rendered her invisible and nameless. The worst known War Crime of the Iraq War and why do you think it is the New York Times refuses to cover it? I sure am glad I didn't make a name co-writing a book about sexual harassment and go on to work in management at the New York Times because apparently that requires that you turn in to a trashy sell-out who can't defend women. Now you're still happy to take your bows for what you did over two decades ago, but you refuse to use your own power at the paper to demand that the gang-rape and murder of a 14-year-old girl by US soldiers get covered in the 'paper of record.' Time magazine covers it.

Years from now, researchers may stumble across the Washington Observer-Reporter's
"No excuses for this" which concludes, "But there are no hardships, military or otherwise, that could excuse an atrocity like this and you can't blame it on a 'lack of leadership'." They'll note that the AP kept Brett Barrouquere on this story for nearly three years and they should note the strong record he's done on it. His most recent article is entitled "Ex-soldier said he wanted to shoot civilians, jury told" which addresses Col Todd Ebel's testimony yesterday that, in December 2005, Green told Ebel that he wanted to shoot civilians because "the enemy could be dressed as civilians" and that Lt Col Thomas Kunk began testifying today (continues this morning) "about the investigation into the deaths."

Though the US based staff of the Times ignore the trial and anything to do with Iraq, Sam Dagher and Atheer Kakan file "Iraqi Premier Says Leader in Insurgency Is in Custody" from Iraq and we'll note this from it:

Mr. Maliki, who spoke out Tuesday on the arrest for the first time, has increased his anti-Baathist language in recent weeks and has resisted American pressure to reconcile with more approachable members of the party. Many analysts say they believe that he is under pressure from his Shiite partners in the government, some of them allied with Iran.
"This terrorist had deep ties with the former regime and created with its followers a devil's pact reflected in bloody scenes of carnage involving innocent children and women and the elderly," Mr. Maliki said.
His statement coincided with the birthday of Mr. Hussein, who would have turned 72 and was executed in 2006.

The reports note his interview Monday with the BBC where crazed al-Maliki continued his anti-Baathist rants. (Pair this article with Dagher's Sunday report "Iraq Resists Please by U.S. To Placate Hussein's Party.") The reporters omit al-Maliki's absurd claim in the interview that the female bombers are all mental patients. The article notes al-Maliki's claims that Abu Omar al Baghdadi was captured last Thursday. Corinne Reilly also covers this in "Iraqi government says it captured al Qaida leader" (McClatchy Newspapers):

Iraqi officials claim that Baghdadi is responsible for countless attacks that helped fuel the country's sectarian war. They said he uses a fake name and that he's an Iraqi.
Even if he's who the Iraqis say he is, he may be easily replaced, however, as a long line of alleged al Qaida in Iraq leaders appear to have been.
In an interview with al Arabiya television, Iraq's top government spokesman, Ali al Dabbagh, said he expects al Qaida to step up attacks in retaliation for Baghdadi's arrest. At the same time, Dabbagh said, his capture has severely diminished the group's strength.

As if the paper's 'feminist' in management doesn't disgrace the label enough, guess what whack job shows up writing this garbage:

And may we please look in the mirror, for the sake of our own moral health? How many Americans spoke up when it was chic to thrill to the sadistic soundbite of "take the gloves off"? How many watched 24 without a murmur when the mass consensus was that it was OK - no, patriotic - to waterboard a bit? How many of us (as in civilised societies every­where when a wind of barbarism is set free) actually thrilled to the sadistic (and sometimes sexually sadistic) soundbites that came out of the Bush communications office: the "special sauce", the "belly slap", the phrase "we have our methods"?

Did you guess porn-feminist Naomi Wolf? You were correct. Naomi, if you could stop admiring yourself in the mirror, you might want to take accountability. Not just for who you pimped and lied for in the presidential race but for what he's done since becoming president. It's real cute to watch Naomi blame various people (including the entire US Congress) but never remembers to blame Barack. She works in Bush, Cheney and Nancy Pelosi and Hillary Clinton by name but 'feminist' Naomi can't call out her Dream Lover Barry Obama. 'Feminist' Naomi also can't cover Abeer. Silence is all she can manage unless someone wants to talk porn and then she's all excited. Go back to the Crazy Farm, Naomi Wolf, Naomi Wolf.

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