Monday, May 18, 2009

Steven D. Green's sentence hearing continues

Steven D. Green

Steven D. Green was convicted two Thursdays ago in the gang-rape of 14-year-old Iraqi Abeer Qassim Hamza al-Janabi, her murder, the murder of her five-year-old sister and the murders of both of her parents. Since then, the jury has been hearing testimony they will weigh when determining his sentencing. Green could receive the death penalty; however, all 12 jurors would have to vote to sentence him to death. If that does not happen, he is facing life in prison. No testimony was heard on Friday. Evan Bright reported in depth on Thursday's proceedings in which a social worker gave some details of Green's life as did other witnesses including a cousin. The Associated Press' Brett Barrouquere has been covering this story for nearly three years. He and Evan Bright are the only reporters who have covered every day of the ongoing trial. Barrouquere reports that the defense is expected to finish calling witnesses to the stand either today or tomorrow and that the jury will begin determining the sentence on Wednesday.

Dave Alsup's "A day in the trial of ex-soldier convicted of murder in Iraq" (CNN) went up yesterday:

He is a lanky 24-year-old. He looks lean, like he could grow a little more. Not really a man, but too old to be called a boy.
Regardless, he is a convicted murderer, rapist, and conspirator.
The orange prison coveralls make him look a bit taller. The jury never sees Green in the fluorescent jumpsuit. Inside the federal courthouse there is a change of clothes. Usually it's a button-down shirt and a pair of khakis. He keeps his cuffs buttoned.

Bonnie notes Isaiah's The World Today Just Nuts "The Cult of St. Barack Hold Feet to the Fire" went up yesterday.

Democracy Now! is pure garbage today. We're not covering the quotes on a report. It's not a story, it's gossip and if your are going to traffic in it, you need to get your facts straight. Donald Rumsfeld did not put those quotes on the cover sheets. Robert Draper does not argue that Rumsfeld did: "These cover sheets were the brainchild of Major General Glen Shaffer, a director for intelligence serving both the Joint Chiefs of Staff and the secretary of defense." Get your damn facts straight. This isn't a story, it's frivolity. It's a way to distract from larger issues. What went on the cover sheet doesn't matter in the least. The illegal war matters. Abeer can't get any coverage but because Amy Goodman gets to advance her war on Christianity this morning, she makes this gossip tidbit a 'news' brief and either the lead item or the second one. It's not news. The lies of the illegal war are news. This is gossip and, at best, only rounds out a larger story. In addition, Amy needs to explain why she consistently says "women gain" the right to vote -- over and over, this isn't a first today -- but all other groups "won". She needs to explain why that is and she, who's all in a tizzy over words on a cover sheet, needs to explain why a radical journalist repeatedly waters down women's victories.

In other things we're not interested in . . .

Lawrence Wilkerson is a joke, he's not reliable. We have not enshrined John Dean here (and were appalled when Amy Goodman pulled her own Phyllis George moment a few years back suggesting that Daniel Ellsberg and Dean basically hug -- John Dean's a criminal and a liar, he's a convicted criminal, he's a convicted liar). We won't enshrine Lawrence Wilkerson who suddenly cared about the Iraq War . . . after it was too late and after his own hands had blood on them. Exactly like John Dean with Watergate.

In terms of Nancy Pelosi, again, this looks like a distraction and not real news. It looks like an effort to shut down the torture investigation and (most importantly) remove Nancy from leadership. People trafficking in that 'story' better be willing to take the blame if a Steny Hoyer ends up in charge of the House because Steny will slash Social Security and there's been a real effort to dispose of Nancy, an ongoing effort. It's repeatedly come from those interests who want to destroy the safety net. So have at it, if it makes you feel good. You've got no proof but you repeatedly insist that she's done something wrong.

I have donated to Nancy's campaigns and voted for her in election after election. (I voted for Cindy in the last one.) I know Nancy. She is not the best public speaker, which is why Cindy could have trounced her in a debate easily. She could choose her words a little more carefully. But Bob Graham's standing by her story and that says a lot. In addition, this is the Nancy Pelosi who stood up to White House efforts to buy the vote in Iraq. (Seymour Hersh has written of that.) Does that mean she's innocent as she says? No. It means that you have to make a judgment call and her record and Bob's support for her outweigh what is being offered as 'evidence' against her.

Steny Hoyer stabbed her in the back. Steny Hoyer was installed in his post to ensure that the Iraq War continued. Now Cindy Sheehan loathes Nancy for many reasons and I'm not speaking of Cindy when I'm saying people need to be ready to own their blame. Cindy and Nancy are political rivals, their rivalry is their business. But for the rest of us, if you're running with charges and you've got nothing to back them up but gossip, yet you advance these rumors over and over, if Nancy's forced out of her post as Speaker, you better be willing to be held accountable if Social Security is 'shaved' or demolished. Steny would support either.

Last week we noted US House Rep Dennis Kucinich's strong remarks calling out the continued funding of the illegal war. Lori e-mailed saying she was really thinking those remarks (which are now up at Information Clearing House) might have been a truest at Third. I took Tina Richards remarks over. That was my nomination. Kucinich would have been a strong choice, so would Dahr Jamial's remarks from Wednesday on KPFA's Flashpoints. But honestly, no one thought of either. I thought of Dahr's when I was doing last night's entry. But it was a long writing session and everyone just wanted to be done. Lori's made a strong case for Kucinich and his remarks are strong so somehow, someway, his remarks will be noted in full next week at Third. And Mike came up with Dennis Loo (whose remarks were worthy of a truest). Every one was tired. Those were the only two that were nominated, Tina Richard and Dennis Loo.

Also, as Elaine's more than made clear, we have no interest in Coward Zinn.

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