GetEQUAL didn't boo Mullen -- which to Bridgette means they're racists since they booed Barack. Barack promised he was a "fierce advocate" for LGBT rights and promised ont he campaign trail he would repeal Don't Ask, Don't Tell. He followed that with repeated inaction and Congress only began the push for what they're offering recently because the White House wouldn't lead. Credit Nancy Pelosi with whatever's coming down the pike and Carl Levin and a few others but don't pretend the White House offered leadership or pressure. (And many point out that Nancy only got active when she realized how much it would hurt Dems in the upcoming midterms -- in terms of votes and in terms of donations -- if Congress wasn't working on this issue.)
Mullen and US Secretay of Defense Robert Gates appeared before the Senate Armed Services Committee February 2nd. Gates and Mullen offered -- as they have to -- support for repeal. But, as Trina noted, Mullen did go further:
Mr. Chairman, speaking for myself only, it is my personal belief that allowing gays and lesbians to serve openly is the right thing to do. No matter how I look at this issue, I cannot escape being troubled by the fact that we have in place a policy that forces young men and women to lie about who they are in order to defend their fellow citizens. For me, personally, it comes down to integrity -- their's as individuals and our's as an institution. I also believe that the great young men and women of our military can and would accomodate such a change. I never understimate their ability to adapt. But I do not know this for a fact. Nor do I know for a fact how we would best implement a major policy change in a time of two wars. That there will be some disruption in the force, I cannot deny. That there will be legal, social and perhaps even infrastructure changes to be made, certainly seem plausible. We'd all like to have a better handle on these concerns and this is what our review will offer. We would also do well to remember that this is not an issue for the military leadership to decide. The American people have spoken on this subject through you, their elected officials and the result is the law and the policy that we currently have. We will continue to obey that law and we will obey whatever legislative and executive decisions come out of this debate. The American people may yet have a different view, you may have a different view. I think that's important and it's important to have that discussion.
Gates offered no personal opinion and anyone attending the hearing (we did) could tell he appeared under duress. Mullen, by contrast, not only did what he had to, he went beyond that. There's no need for GetEQUAL to protest Mullen. He's done more than any Chair of the Joint Chiefs has ever done -- far more than Colin Powell who was in that position when Bill Clinton attempted to allows gays and lesbians to serve openly in the media and Collie went out of his way to not only object but to sew dissent.
Those are facts and they're too damn much for angry little girls who hate gay men and have pathetic lives. Pathetic lives, for example, lead to hero worship. Adults who can't deal with their own lives go looking for heroes to worship. The angry and, yes, homophobic little girl throws yet another hissy online and huffs, "Stating that they are unwilling to heckle Admiral Mullen, who is only in his job at the grace and favor of President Obama while being willing to heckle President Obama sounds either hypocritical or racist." Worship your false god, Bridgette. But at some point, please explain why, if you believe Mullen only serves "at the grace and favor" of your beloved Barry O, that he should be booed? If he has no power, in your mind, why should they boo him?
Oh, that's right, because you attack the powerless, you attack the people, you defend the powerful, so you assume everyone else should as well. Lez Get Real used to have a lot of things to offer. These days anything they might offer is rendered obsolete by Bridgette P. LaVictoire's tired Tammy Bruce impression. There's something very strange about a lesbian with a penis fixation but it takes all kinds . . . to hold the people back.
And to continue the illegal war and, make no mistake, hero worshippers like Bridgette who equate criticism of their War Hawk Christ-child with racism ensure that the Iraq War drags on.
They're just there to try and make the people free,
But the way that they're doing it, it don't seem like that to me.
Just more blood-letting and misery and tears
That this poor country's known for the last twenty years,
And the war drags on.
-- words and lyrics by Mick Softly (available on Donovan's Fairytale)
Last Sunday, ICCC's number of US troops killed in Iraq since the start of the illegal war was 4402. Tonight? 4405.
Tomorrow Iraq's Parliament is supposed to sit. This will be the members elected in March. Suadad al-Salhy and Muhanad Mohammed (Reuters) observe that "Monday's parliamentary session will be largely protocol, and could drag on for weeks as the factions haggle over the posts of president, prime minister and speaker of parliament, as well as more than 30 cabinet posts." Meanwhile Martin Chulov (Guardian) reports, "Militants wearing Iraqi military uniforms stormed Baghdad's Central Bank today after using a suicide bomber and at least four other bombs to blast their way into one of the city's most heavily-fortified buildings." Counting 15 dead and "dozens wounded," Suadad al-Salhy and Muhanad Mohammed (Reuters) explain, "The attack occurred as bank employees were leaving work, sending a thick plume of smoke over Baghdad after the bank's generator was set ablaze." Anthony Shadid (New York Times) reports more specifics of the scene of the attack:
The scene itself was reminiscent of the strife that the country experienced during the worst sectarian bloodshed in 2006 and 2007, when Iraq teetered on the edge of anarchy.
In the pandemonium, bystanders, employees and shoppers ran for cover. Witnesses said many were killed or wounded in the crossfire between attackers and the police. For hours, ambulances ferried the wounded from the neighborhood.
Liz Sly and Nadeem Hamid (Los Angeles Times) count 24 dead and add, "According to Maj. Gen. Qassim Atta Moussawi, spokesman for security forces in Baghdad, no apparent attempt was made to steal money, but several floors of the building were set ablaze after the gunmen entered." Before Sly and Hamid filed, Jinan Hussein and Leila Fadel (Washington Post) were already noting, "Despite his assertion, it was unclear whether al-Qaeda in Iraq was responsible or whether the robbery was simply a criminal attack. The Central Bank houses sensitive documents. "
In other violence, Reuters notes 2 police officers shot dead in Mosul, 1 woman shot dead in Mosul and a Kirku roadside bombing which injured a military officer.
New content at Third:
- Truest statement of the week
- Truest statement of the week II
- A note to our readers
- Editorial: Magical August
- Media: Let's Kill Helen!
- National treasure
- Odds & Ends Roundtable
Isaiah's latest goes up after this. Pru notes "Baha Mousa: Minister 'forgot' torture memo" (Great Britian's Socialist Worker):
A former Labour minister “failed to recollect” a memo confirming that British soldiers tortured Iraqi hotel worker Baha Mousa.
In 2004 Adam Ingram, armed forces minister at the time, claimed he was “not aware of any incidents in which UK interrogators are alleged to have used hooding as an interrogation technique”.
But a public inquiry was told last week that Ingram was sent a memo marked “Secret: UK Eyes Only”.
It showed that Mousa was in custody for 36 hours and “spent 23 hours and 40 minutes of this hooded, albeit not continually”.
Baha was beaten to death by British soldiers. He had 93 separate injuries, including a broken nose and fractured ribs, and died from asphyxia.
Ingram claimed, “It certainly would not have been within my power to remember everything that I had been informed in writing or verbally.”
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A few quick things. Dave Lindorff covers the hunt for WikiLeaks here, Politico covers the gender imablance on the Sunday morning chat & chews here and congratulations to Vanessa Vadim and Paul Van Waggoner on their marriage and to the proud mother of the bride Jane Fonda who blogs about it here. The e-mail address for this site is firstname.lastname@example.org.
and the war drags on
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