Saturday, May 23, 2009

Anger over Green's sentence

Iraqi tribal and political leaders complained bitterly on Friday after an American court spared the life of a United States soldier convicted of raping a 14-year-old Iraqi girl and then murdering her and members of her family in 2006.
The soldier, Steven D. Green, 24, was sentenced to life in prison without parole on Thursday after a jury failed to reach a consensus on whether he should be executed.
"There is no comparison between the crimes and the sentence," said Sheik Fadhil al-Janabi, a Sunni tribal leader in Anbar Province. "That soldier entered an Iraqi house, raped their under-age daughter and burned her with her family, so this sentence is not enough, and it is insulting for Iraqis' honor."
On Iraq's state-run television station, where the case received extensive coverage, the soldier was branded "the killer of innocence."

The above is from Marc Santora and Suadad al-Salhy's "Iraq Tribes Are Upset by Sentence Given to G.I." in today's New York Times. Steven D. Green was convicted three Thursdays ago on all counts in the War Crimes of gang-raping 14-year-old Iraqi Abeer Qassim Hamza al-Janabi, of her murder, the murder of her five-year-old sister and the murders of both of her parents. Thursday the jury announced they were unable to sentence Green to the death penalty so he will now be sentenced to life in prison. He is next scheduled to appear before Judget Thomas B. Russell on September 4th. Iraqis began voicing their displeasure as soon as the verdict was known. Raheem Salman's "Iraqis angered by ex-GI's sentence" (Los Angeles Times) continues the news of Iraqi reaction:

"This sentence is unjust, and we in our tribe feel displeasure, dissatisfaction and disappointment indeed," said Mahdi Obaid Janabi, 56, an elder of the Janabi tribe, to which the family belonged.He said tribal leaders planned to demand that Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri Maliki put pressure on the U.S. government to somehow impose the death penalty on Green, who was tried by a civilian court in Paducah because he had been discharged from the Army by the time charges were brought."The government must move. . . . They must claim back the honor of the family," he said.
As much as any of the abuses known to have been committed by U.S. troops in Iraq, this crime has resonated in the national consciousness for its brutality and callousness.

Abeer remains the number one topic in e-mails. Kayla wonders about McClatchy Newspapers? They've ignored the story. Always. They just don't give a damn. They never really did. This "McClatchy [Knight-Ridder back then] could have saved us!" is just b.s. McClatchy didn't bother to cover it. They haven't covered Iraqi reaction to the trial and they haven't covered the trial. Now, for those who don't know, McClatchy is a chain. And the federal trial was held in Kentucky and McClatchy's owns the Lexington Herald-Leader. Had the Lexington Herald-Leader covered the trial daily, McClatchy could have carried it at its website and in the various papers it owns. In California, that would have included the Sacremento Bee. For Florida, that would have meant papers including the Miami Herald. In Texas it would have been limited to the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. In the state of Washington, it would have included The Olympian. In Kansas, it would have been the Wichita Eagle. In North Carolina, it would have included the Charlotte Observer. In South Carolina, it would have included The State. They have papers in Idaho, in Illinois, in Georgia, Missouri, Mississippi and Pennsylvania. They could have covered it. They have chosen not to.

McClatchy as the savior of us all is, and always has been, nonsense. The Lexington Herald-Leader, a Kentucky paper owned by McClatchy, 'covered' the case by . . . running AP stories. Click here for Brett Barrouquere and here for Kristen M. Hall (both AP journalists). Obviously the paper doesn't 'lead' nor 'herald' much. It's an embarrassment that McClatchy has a paper that close to Paducah (you can make it from Lexington to Paducah in a roughly four hour drive) and they produce nothing. But they've got US and Iraqi reporters based in Iraq and they can't file on the reaction to the verdict. It's obvious that they don't give a damn. There's nothing to suss out there. Their actions have made it very clear. Repeatedly so. Not just with Green's trial. The myth of McClatchy is only repeated by the vastly uninformed. But it's repeated less and less because with any event, with any topic, it's back down to earth for McClatchy if you even half-way pay attention.

Gail McGowan Mellor or one of her defenders e-mails to note this photo, "See! That's Abeer as a teenager!" I've never laughed so hard. That's Abeer probably at the age of five or six. Unless she's severly malnutritioned (which she might have been, sanctions were being imposed), there's no way in the world she's over seven. You can tell that by the thickness of the sides of her lower face and the face size in relation to the size of her ears. I could go off on that photo but we're already taking that to Third. I will just say that the copyright that has been slapped on it? Not the best thing to do at a time when you're accusing others of violating your own copyright. AP didn't photograph that picture. They got a copy from the court.

The following community sites updated since Friday morning:

Cedric's Big Mix
Barack's lover on the down low
36 minutes ago

The Daily Jot
36 minutes ago

Like Maria Said Paz
Barry will detain you
3 hours ago

Trina's Kitchen
Tomatoes and Bean Salad in the Kitchen
15 hours ago

Thomas Friedman is a Great Man
19 hours ago

Mikey Likes It!
Memorial day brief post
19 hours ago

Sex and Politics and Screeds and Attitude
jassy ramsey, no 1 asked you
20 hours ago

This and that
20 hours ago

Ruth's Report
More of the same
20 hours ago

Oh Boy It Never Ends
The embarrassing Jerry Lewis
20 hours ago

Kat's Korner (of The Common Ills)
Barack's detention policies
20 hours ago

Kat plans to do two music reviews here over the weekend, FYI. The e-mail address for this site is

the new york times
marc santora
sudad al-salhy
the los angeles times
raheem salman
steven d. green
brett barrouquere

thomas friedman is a great man

oh boy it never ends