Thursday, February 11, 2010

US military announces another death

AP reports 1 US soldier died in Iraq yesterday, that the death is under investigation and that it brings to 4376 the number of US service members killed in Iraq since the start of the Iraq War.

Meanwhile Anthony Weishar writes the Cleveland Plain Dealer to ask, "How long will the media continue to censor reports on radiation and toxins in Iraq? The Radiation and Protection Center in Iraq released a report on Jan. 23 identifying 42 severely contaminated sites and cities."

Turning to contractor news, the Honolulu Advertiser reports that, next Tuesday, an Article 32 hearing will start against Spc Beyshee O. Velez who is accused in the Tikrit killing of of KBR contractor Lucas "Trent" Vinson. Meanwhile Xe, formely known as Blackwater, Mark Mazzetti (New York Times) reports Melan and Brad Davis -- spouses and former Blackwater employees -- are alleging in court papers that Xe fraudulently billed the US government for services already paid for and for illegal services such as prostitution. Carol D. Leonnig (Washington Post) adds the allegations of fraudulent billing also includes "alcohol and spa trips." Leonnig reports:

Brad and Melan Davis worked in various Blackwater locations. Brad Davis, a former Marine, served as a team leader and security guard, including in Iraq. His wife, Melan Davis, worked as a finance and payroll employee, starting in Louisiana. They have filed their allegations that Blackwater defrauded the government as part of a false claims lawsuit, which allows the whistleblowers to win a portion of any public money that the government recovers as a result of the information. However, the Justice Department has chosen not to join them in pursuing their civil suit, a decision that led to the Davises' claims being unsealed this week in a Virginia federal court.

Ryan Crocker is the former US Ambassador to Iraq. Clayton M. McClesky (Dallas Morning News) has video of Crocker making some brief remarks in Munich in a lead up to an upcoming (print) interview.

The following community websites updated last night:

Mia notes this from Cynthia McKinney's "My Country Has Been Hijacked" (Information Clearing House, link has text and video):

President Obama is expanding U.S. troop presence in Colombia, threatening the people's gains in Venezuela, Bolivia, Ecuador, Cuba, and Nicaragua.
President Obama has drones killing innocent people in Pakistan, Afghanistan, Yemen, and Somalia. And Administration lawyers are trying to figure out how to legally kill U.S. citizens. You even have U.S. assassination teams on German soil!
Sadly, President Obama is guilty of every item I cited in my Articles of Impeachment against President Bush.

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thomas friedman is a great man

oh boy it never ends