Thursday, May 14, 2009

Paranoia strikes deep

Yesterday's snapshot includes the following:

Meanwhile Ernesto Londono (Washington Post) identified two of those killed on Monday: Charles K. Springle and Michael Edward Yates. Luis Martinez, Martha Raddatz and Kate Barrett (ABC News) speak with Yates' stepfather, Richard Van Blarga Jr., who states, he thinks Yates mentioned Russell in a call on Sunday: "On the conversation with my wife on Mother's Day, he said that he had met a sergeant, that he was, in his words, he was a very nice guy, he could deal with him, but he had some major issues. He was out there on the branch hoping for somebody to help him." Stephanie Gaskell (New York Daily News) reports Christian Bueno-Galdos, Matthew Houseal and Jacob Barton are the other three who were shot dead on Monday. She also notes the phone call Yates made to his mother on Sunday and quotes Shawna Machlinski (his mother) stating, "I do have some sympathy and I do know that I can forgive him [Russell]."

The ABC link didn't work. Click here for it. In today's New York Times, Anahad O'Connor's "Killings Away From Combat Deal Sharper Blow to Families of Five Military Men" addresses the topic.

Paranoia strikes deep
Into your life it will creep
It starts when you're always afraid
You step out of line, the man come and take you away

-- Buffalo Springfield's "For What It's Worth," written by Stephen Stills

Meanwhile Alsumaria reports Nouri al-Maliki is again speaking publicly of conspiracies against him. The puppet of the occupation declared "he fears the return of" Ba'athis "conspiracies and dictatorship while he stressed that the Constitution bans reconciliation with Baathists as a party." While he frets over imaginary plots by 'Ba'athists,' Nouri announced he wasn't at all alarmed by the increase in bombings.

Alsumaria explains Nouri's not the only one floating conspiracy theories. Ahmad Al Jalabi ("head of Iraqi National Congress Party") has declared Iraq's intelligence community has been "infiltrated by Al Qaeda and defunct Baath Party" and how does he know that breaking news? He just now read it. In George Tenet's book. At the Center of the Storm: My Years at the CIA was published in April. Of 2007. Fresh intel for Iraq? Alsumaria notes the book "points out that Iraqi intelligence chief Mohammed Al Shahwan is an employee of US Intelligence since 1991." That would mean that the intel community was infiltrated by the US. If the names seems familiar, it's Ahmad Chalabi. Ahmad Al Jalabi is another name he's known by. And of course, Chalibi was a CIA asset for many, many years.

In other insanity, April 23rd, al-Maliki's government announced they'd captured Abu Omar Baghdadi. Liz Sly (Los Angeles Times' Babylon and Beyond) reports they continue to claim that they've captured al-Baghdadi, "There is already widespread skepticism whether the man in custody is really Baghdadi -- which is itself a nom-de-guerre indicating only that the man is from Baghdad." Sly notes the US still has not been allowed to examine the alleged al-Baghdadi.

In this morning's Washington Post, Anthony Shadid reports on cleric Nadhim Khalil. Let's drop back to January 13th when Shadid was noting Khalil:

Imbued with the swagger of youth, lording over this oasis-like town on a bend of the Tigris River, Khalil has power, the fruits of a singularly Iraqi odyssey that has taken this scion of a religious family from the leadership of the local branch of al-Qaeda in Iraq, responsible for a reign that saw residents executed in the streets, into the generous arms of the American military and Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, his erstwhile foes.
Khalil's analysis is blunt: He used to be on the losing side.
His formula is simple: With God, guns and money, he is now the authority in town.
"I'm sure the Americans will leave after a little while, and there's nothing I achieve by killing them now. I could kill them anytime, anywhere, and so what?" he asked. "In the beginning, the thought was that you could achieve your goal with weapons, but honestly? That investment has shown no return. That company has shown no profit."

Times have changed. Khalil's under arrest, under suspicion of masterminding the 2006 kidnapping of Muthanna Youssef Hammoud. From Shadid's report today:

"Unbelievable," Khalil called the charges in Hammoud's kidnapping and another case that accuses him of ordering the execution with a bullet to the back of the head of 14 Shiite Muslim workers. But, he promised his opponents in a telephone interview conducted from detention through his brother, "I'll be back."
"Justice," said Hammoud, whose captors had handed him a green Koran as a parting gift when they freed him in the town's cemetery. "In my opinion, it's justice."
A cautionary tale in a fickle Iraq, the rivals of Khalil described it. "He was flying high, but he eventually came to the ground," said Abdullah al-Jabbouri, a gruff and bearish tribal leader. "Take this as a rule. Has he fallen or not?"

Jonathan Marcus (BBC News) hosts a two-part BBC Radio program entitled "Seeing Iraq, Thinking Vietnam." You can stream it online.

I may have credited the wrong writer for a Times story yesterday. If so, I will correct it this evening. This is dictated and I need to check the paper (print copy). If you're one of the three who've e-mailed on this, it's not being ignored but we go by the print copy, not online, so I need to check the print copy. I wouldn't be surprised if I made a mistake but I'm not going to correct it before I've checked it because I might end up having to correct the correction.

With Aimee Allison (co-host of KPFA's The Morning Show with Philip Maldari), David Solnit authored Army Of None -- a valuable and wonderful book on counter-recruiting and strategies for peace. Dave Solnit notes:


Tell Chevron Executives and Shareholders:

WED, MAY 27, 7am to 10:30am
Demonstration and Subvertisement Theater
Chevron Corporate Headquarters
6001 Bollinger Canyon Road, San Ramon, CA

Bay Area climate justice, environmental justice, solidarity, antiwar, and human rights groups will join together to confront Chevron at its annual shareholder meeting at the gates of Chevron World Corporate Headquarters (please come on time so we can greet the shareholders who arrive by 7:30am) and to release “The True Cost of Chevron: An Alternative Annual Report," detailing the world wide and local abuses behind Chevron's record profits and the communities organized in an unprecedented resistance movement. At the same time, supportive shareholders and impacted community and movement representatives inside the shareholder meeting will confront Chevron executives and urge shareholders to support environmental and human rights resolutions.

Join the “CHEVRON SUBVERTISEMENT TEAM” and be part of our living ad theater, flipping the high-priced hypocritical Chevron “greenwash” ad campaign you may have seen. Will you join us? Send a note to:


We will provide shuttles from Walnut Creek BART to the demonstration.
Or you can take a ½ hour ride on County Connection shuttle to San Ramon Transit Center(95X or 96X commute express on the half hours til 9:15am, see

BIKE or it’s a flat 12-mile bike ride from Walnut Creek BART (Check Bart bike hours/rules).

CARPOOLS: If you have space in your car or need a
ride contact:

SF: Meet @ 6am; Safeway parking lot, Church and
Markets Sts.
EAST BAY: Meet @ MacArthur BART @ 6:15am

A quick 25 miles E. of Oakland.
Take 580 to Hwy 24 E. to I-680 S
Left over Hwy. 1st left on Sunset Dr. into Shopping Center. Park. Walk back to Chevron entrance across Bollinger.

For more information:

World Can't Wait is planning actions to protest the torture of the previous administration and the cover up of the current one (plus, Barack's policies have not ended torture -- in some cases it has farmed torture out). From "Thursday MAY 28 National Day of Resistance to U.S. TORTURE!:"

On or by May 28, the Obama administration is being forced to release 2000 photos of detainee abuse in US facilities from 2001-2006. The Abu Ghraib photos, released in 2004 only because a solider was horrified over the torture, brought an international storm of protest against the US torture state. The new photos, including many from Bagram, where the detention facilities have just been doubled to hold 60,000 Afganis, will show that US torture was widespread, sustained, and systemic, not an “aberration,” but an integral part of the “global war on terror.”

Weeks after 4 more torture memos revealed the detail with which George Bush’s lawyers managed the torture of individual detainees, calls to prosecute those responsible – from the White House principals, to the legal torture team, to the CIA agents who tortured – have met objections from Washington. Cheney and the open advocates of torture scream that they must be able to use “harsh methods” to win the global war on terror. The Obama administration, after deciding to continue indefinite detention, CIA rendition, and Bush’s executive powers, says prosecution would stop them from “moving forward.” Democratic party leader Nancy Pelosi knew about the torture and waterboarding since 2002, saying and doing nothing to stop it..
It’s up to the people to act! World Can’t Wait and other groups are planning non-violent civil resistance protests, programs digging into the substance of the charges, waterboarding and rendition re-enactments, and film showings in communities around the country to demand prosecution of the Bush era war criminals. More information, listings, posters, flyers & background on the war criminals at
Wherever the Bush era war criminals are appearing this month, raise the cry “Torture is a War Crime! Prosecute!”

That notice is from before Barack announced yesterday that he wouldn't release the photos. For more on that, you can read Kenneth J. Theisen's "Killing them Harshly" at World Can't Wait.

The e-mail address for this site is

aimee allison
 philip maldari
david solnit