Friday, April 17, 2009

US military announces another death

Today the US military announced: "AL ANBAR PROVINCE, Iraq – A Multi National Force – West Marine died as the result of a non-combat related incident here April 16. The Marine’s name is being withheld pending next-of-kin notification and release by the Department of Defense. The incident is under investigation." This brings the number of US service members killed in Iraq since the start of the illegal war to 4274.

Turning to yesterday's attack in Anbar Province on the Tamouz Air Base, Liz Sly and
Usama Redha (Los Angeles Times) observe

It is common in Iraq to receive contradictory information about casualties in the initial hours after an attack, though such a major discrepancy is unusual. A spokesman for U.S. Marines in Anbar declined to comment.
An Iraqi soldier who said he witnessed the attack said at least 16 of his comrades were killed and many more injured about noon in the packed cafeteria of the Taqaddum base near the town of Habbaniya, 40 miles west of Baghdad.
The soldier, who refused to be named, accused high-level officers of "trying to cover this up in order to avoid giving an image of underachievement."

"Confusion often clouds accounts of attacks here, but rarely have senior officials offered such divergent reports about a death toll," explains Steven Lee Myers in this morning's New York Times. But the key note by Myers is this one: "Journalists were prohibited from entering the base and the hospital, which Iraqi and American officers visited after the wounded arrived." That's what this is, an attack on a free press. A bombing took place. A death toll is known and should not be in dispute. The puppet government (and possibly the US as well) is worried about 'embarrassment' and that apparently trumps facts and the right-to-know. This is appalling and would be similar to the US hiding an attack (example, 9-11) and barring the press from the area and from hospitals. It is an attack on the press and it is an attack on the historical record.

Iraq's puppet government has been staging Operation Happy Talk events for some time. In "Taken for a ride in Baghdad...," Deborah Haynes (Times of London) blew the lid off the attempts to trick reporters into believing Baghdad had a commuter class taking the train:

Sceptical but playing along, I board one of the carriages with my interpreter and start asking the well turned out passengers about their journey.

Me to passenger 1: Hello there. I am a journalist from England, do you mind if I ask you a couple of questions?
Passenger 1 (looking a bit flustered): Um, no.
Me: Why are you on this train?
Passenger 1: Because I want to go to Basra.
Me: But this is a commuter train to Dora.
Passenger 1 (turning red): Um, er, sorry yes, I meant Dora…

I move on to another group and try again.

Me to passenger 2: Why are you on this train?
Passenger 2: I catch this service every day. It is much cheaper than a taxi.
Me: But why are you travelling out of the centre to Dora?
Passenger 2: Er because I need to go home.
Me: Come on, admit it. You work for the station.
Passenger 2 (looking embarrassed): Yes.

Adding to the snazzy show, a food and drinks trolley is on display, while a video about the Transport Ministry plays from a brand new television set hanging off one of the walls.

Add the above to a large number of reports the Times of London can be proud of coming out of Iraq and, as noted before, when Haynes leaves Iraq, her skill and talent will be sorely missed.
TV notes. NOW on PBS begins airing Fridays on most PBS stations (check local listings) and this week:

Americans are addicted to coal--it powers half of all our electricity, and is both plentiful and cheap. In fact, some call America the "Saudi Arabia of Coal." But are we paying too high an environmental price for all this cheap energy?
With carbon emissions caps high on the Obama Administration's agenda, coal is in the crosshairs of the energy debate. This week, NOW Senior Correspondent Maria Hinojosa travels to Wyoming to take a hard look at the coal industry there and its case that it can produce "clean coal"--coal that can be burned without releasing carbon into the atmosphere. President Obama has been outspoken in his support for "clean coal" technology, but some say the whole concept is more of a public relations campaign than an energy solution.
As part of the report, Hinojosa talks with Wyoming Governor Dave Freudenthal and Jeff Goodell, the author of "Big Coal," who says that carbon dioxide emissions generated from coal contribute to global warming.
Our investigation is part of a PBS-wide series on the country's infrastructure called "Blueprint America."

Washington Week also begins airing tonight on most PBS stations and sitting down with Gwen this week are Tom Gjelten (NPR), Spencer Hsu (Washington Post), Eamon Javers (publication which shall not be named) and Martha Raddatz (ABC News). Also on PBS (and begins airing tonight, check local listings) Bonnie Erbe sits down with Eleanor Holmes Norton, Genevieve Wood, Linda Chavez and Melinda Henneberger to discuss this week's news on To The Contrary. And turning to broadcast TV, Sunday CBS' 60 Minutes offers:

401K Recession
Never created to be a mainstay of workers' retirement funds, 401ks became just that to millions of Americans who are now facing uncertain futures because of the devastating losses in the stock market. Steve Kroft reports.
Cold Fusion Is Hot Again
Presented in 1989 as a revolutionary new source of energy, cold fusion was quickly dismissed as junk science. But today, the buzz among scientists is that these experiments produce a real physical effect that could lead to monumental breakthroughs in energy production. Scott Pelley reports. | Watch Video
Blood Brothers
Matador Cayetano Ordonez nearly dies during this segment when he’s battered by a bull in a Bob Simon report about him and his brother Francisco – Spain's remarkable bullfighting family – who these days are creating just as much drama outside the ring as in it. | Watch Video
60 Minutes, Sunday, April 19, at 7 p.m. ET/PT.

One of those topics will also be touched on at Third so we'll try to provide a heads up to 60 Minutes there as well.

And because an NPR friend pointed out this morning that "after you two ripped Diane [Rehm] apart" ("you two" is Ava and I, click here) "she is making an effort." Meaning, mark the calendars, Diane Rehm's six guests on Friday will actually include three women. Usually it's zero. Sometimes it's one. This week Diane allows women to account for half the guests. Anytime I'm notified of that by NPR friends, we will note it here. On her news roundup today, Diane's panel for the first hour will be Tony Blankey (Heritage Foundation), Eleanor Clift (Newsweek), Margaret Talev (McClatchy Newspapers). Diane's panel for the second hour will be Kevin Whitelaw (US News & World Report), Barbara Slavin (Washington Times) and Warren Strobel (McClatchy Newspapers). The Diane Rehm Show begins airing today at 10:00 am EST. In addition to listening to it on NPR stations, you can listen live at The Diane Rehm Show and, shortly after the second hour is broadcast (live, they take calls, e-mails and you can Twitter them), the program is archived and you can stream it at any point after that.

The same NPR friend asks that we note this:

Live Friday: Tre Williams' Revelations In Concert

Listen Online At Noon ET

Tre Williams of The Revelations 300
courtesy of the artist

Tre Williams of The Revelations.

WXPN, April 16, 2009 -- The work of a six-man collective fusing hip-hop, funk and gritty soul, The Revelations' seven-song Deep Soul EP blends the sounds of the bluesy rural South and gritty urban streets. Led by Tre Williams, the group crafts a sound that's timeless and undeniably energetic. Return to this space at noon ET Friday to hear The Revelations perform live in concert from WXPN and World Cafe Live in Philadelphia.

Styled after a modern-day Otis Redding, Williams has used his church-choir and R&B background -- not to mention his four-octave range -- in high-profile contributions to records by the likes of Petey Pablo and Nas. His band's other five members are similarly experienced, with ties to names such as Mary J. Blige, Kanye West and Raphael Saadiq.

Related NPR Stories

Click here for The Reveleations featuring Tre Williams' MySpace page. This should be a very interesting live broadcast (that's noon EST) and I waiver between "Sorry's Not Enough" and "Stay Free" as my favorite track on their debut. Listen to the broadcast to pick your own favorite performance.

The e-mail address for this site is

the los angeles times
caesar ahmed
liz sly

the new york times
steven lee myers
deborah haynes