Wednesday, December 02, 2009

Xinhua shows up CNN

CNN and Joman Karadsheh revealed yesterday afternoon that they are nothing but War Hawks happy to spin the latest wave of Operation Happy Talk but not at all interested in the US service members whose lives are sacrificed in the illegal war. They demonstrated that by repeating -- without skepticism -- the ministries death numbers of Iraqi civilians killed in November. They demonstrated that by refusing to repeat the death toll for US service members in the month of November. At approximately the same time CNN was publishing their crap-fest, Xiong Tong (Xinhua) was able to do what CNN refused to do, include this fact -- the only verifiable fact, "On the other hand, the U.S. military announced that 11 of its soldiers were killed during November, the highest since June when 15 U.S. soldiers died."

Now we were able to note that yesterday morning and in Monday's snapshot but somehow it was too much for CNN. Please note, "CNN managed to tell you 12 Iraqi soldiers were killed," they just didn't give a damn about noting the deaths of US soldiers -- which, again, is the only verifiable number in all the numbers being tossed around. We're going to drop back to Monday's snapshot for this:

Excluding foreign forces and foreign contractors, how many people died in Iraq during the month of November thus far? November 1st through 7th saw at least 51 reported dead and 97 reported injured ("Sunday saw 25 Iraqis reported deaths and 97 injured. Monday saw 4 reported dead and 3 reported wounded. Tuesday saw 3 reported dead and 10 reported injured. Wednesday saw 7 reported dead and 25 reported wounded. Thursday saw 5 person reported dead and 15 reported injured. Friday saw 4 people reported dead and six people reported injured. Saturday saw 3 reported dead and 3 reported injured."). November 8th through 14th saw at least 29 reported dead and at least 44 reported wounded ("Sunday were reported 8 dead and 6 were reported wounded, Monday it was 2 dead and 15 wounded, Tuesday it was 4 dead and 2 wounded, Wednesday found 3 dead and 5 wounded, Thursday it was 6 dead and 10 wounded, Friday there were reported 3 dead and on Saturday the number killed was 3 and the number injured was 6. [Saturday's number may be 4 -- we are going with 3, use links and you'll see why.]"). November 15th through 22nd saw at least 44 reported dead and at least 93 reported injured ("Last Sunday 1 person was reported dead in Iraq and 8 were reported injured, Monday's numbers were 28 dead and 36 wounded, Tuesday's were 4 dead and 14 wounded, Wednesday's numbers were 2 dead and 5 wounded, Thursday's numbers were 4 dead and 6 wounded, Friday's numbers were 2 dead and 10 wounded and Saturday's numbers were 3 dead and 14 wounded."). November 23 through November 28th saw 34 reported dead and 120 reported wounded ("Sunday 11 Iraqis were reported dead and 22 wounded, Monday the numbers were 2 dead and 18 wounded, Tuesday the death total was 3 and the number wounded was 16, Wednesday the death toll was 13 and the injured numbered 38, Thursday were 5 dead and 43 wounded"). Yesterday the press reported 3 dead and 5 injured. That's a total of at least 161 reported dead and at least 359 reported injured. There's very little follow up reporting out of Iraq so those in the injured column who didn't recover, who died? There's no way of knowing.

That's reported deaths. 161 -- with the press refusing to report on deaths for the final days of November. (Reuters would suddenly discovered deaths on Monday in their Tuesday reporting, for example -- this after refusing to report any deaths starting on Thanksgiving and continuing through the end of the month.) The corrupt ministries issued a total of 122 -- civilian and noncivilian -- killed in the month. The press reported at least, AT LEAST, 166 and no one bats an eye. Everyone just runs with it. Actually, they run with "88" -- they run with the lowest possible number and want to be seen as 'independent' when they're about as 'independent' as a fluffer on the set of porn film.

In the real world, Lt Col Jim Gentry was buried yesterday after dying of cancer which was most likely the result of his exposure to toxins in Iraq. Melissa Swan (WHAS11 -- link has text and video) reports on the funeral and notes, "Veterans from several wars held the stars and stripes as members of Jim Gentry's family, both by blood and by military arrived for a final, formal goodbye." Eric Bradner (Evansivlle Courier & Press) reports: "Gentry, a nonsmoker, was diagnosed in 2006 with a rare form of lung cancer. Military doctors say it most likely was caused by exposure to sodium dichromate, which contains hexavalent chromium, a known carcinogen. The dustlike toxin littered the desert facility. It was yellow in some places, orange in others. It stuck to soldiers' boots and blew into their faces during Iraq's many windstorms. For months, no one wore protective gear. They were told they didn't need it." In yesterday's snapshot, we noted Senator Evan Bayh's bill to create a federal registry for US service members exposed to toxins. Brander quotes Bayh stating, "The circumstances of his death are tragic, but the quiet courage with which he lived his life, served his country and advocated for justice for those exposed at Qarmat Ali inspired everyone who knew him. I will continue to do everything in my power in the United States Senate to honor his life and improve the medical care of those who served at his side." As noted in yesterday's snapshot, that bill is currently buried in the Senate Veterans Affairs Committee which has no hearings (not even mark-ups) scheduled for this month. January starts a new year meaning the bill would have to be reintroduced then. None of that is meant as a criticisim of Bayh (who introduced the bill in October) but it is a criticism of the Senate Veterans Affairs Committee which desperately needs a new and healthy chair -- something it does not have at present.

Randy Moomaw(Tennessean) reports on the 278th Armored Cavalry Regiment's upcoming depature (Sunday) for Camp Shelby where they will train before deploying February 5th for Iraq. Meanwhile the Rapid City Journal reports, "The South Dakota Army National Guard’s Detachment 3, Company A, 641st Aviation Regiment of Rapid City, has received an alert notification for possible mobilization and deployment in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom."

MND Newswire issued the following press release yesterday:

U.S. soldier confesses to organized crime in Iraq
New Orleans, Louisiana (MMD Newswire) December 1, 2009 -- Author of 2009 memoir Desert Don : The Truth Behind the Group of Young Soldiers who turned Iraq from Chaos to Cartel confesses to his part in a drug and alcohol black market which he claims runs rampart on U.S. bases in Iraq today. Beau LeJeune, a 26-year-old New Orleans native, claims he was included in a handful of soldiers who profited from drug and alcohol distribution in the war torn country, not to include prostitution, which he claims was prevalent, but which he never profited from.

In an October interview LeJeune states "...we started by just drinking the liquor that our families or our girlfriends would send. Six months later the demand became so high we were smuggling liquor from Baghdad and bringing in drugs using Iraqi translators. Before my apprehension we were using two Blackhawk's weekly as rumrunners and pushing our translators so hard that they had to outsource. Even then I didn't think it would end with my being imprisoned."

In October of 2004 LeJeune and a small contingency of men were arrested for the theft of weapons from a U.S. armory on Balad airbase deep inside the Sunni Triangle. Although LeJeune claims he had no intentions of stealing U.S. weapons to trade to the enemy he does admit it can be easily construed as just that. "I'm not sure why the weapons were brought to me after they were stolen, but at the time I was in the middle of a lucrative alcohol and drug trade with the Iraqi locals. As soon as the command put two and two together their initial thought was high treason."

While three of LeJeune's comrades were finally charged with lesser crimes and sentenced to unknown years in prison, LeJeune himself was released without being charged after being in military police custody for five months. Though LeJeune was thankful to be freed he says he has no illusion of what the release of his memoirs will bring. "I never helped with the investigation, never made a statement, so the book will be a revelation for everyone, even my prosecutors. Once they have all the details, I assume they're going to come back after me."

Contact Info:
Valerie Poole
Phone: 504-202-6640
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The following community sites updated last night:

That includes Isaiah's The World Today Just Nuts "I Am The War Hawk You Have Been Waiting For" went up last night. It doesn't include some that it was yesterday. That's not my fault. That's not Stan's fault (I grab it from his site). It's a Blogger/Blogspot issue which has been going on for over a month. They're supposed to 'read' a new post and automatically feed it and that's not what is happening. (We've explained that before. Since the ones being 'read' have changed, I thought we'd explain it again though I know e-mails will still come in on this topic.) In addition, Betty's "My daughter calls it," Mike's "Barack's awful speech," Trina's "Thomas E. Ricks is an ass and a War Criminal" and Stan's "Will premiums go up?" went up.

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