Saturday, July 24, 2010

The fallen

Friday the DoD issued the following: "The Department of Defense announced today the death of a soldier who was supporting Operation Iraqi Freedom. 1st Lt. Michael L. Runyan, 24, of Newark, Ohio, died July 21 in Balad, Iraq, of injuries sustained when insurgents attacked his convoy vehicle with an improvised explosive device in Muqdadiyah, Iraq. He was assigned to the 52nd Infantry, 2nd Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division, Schofield Barracks, Hawaii. For more information the media may contact the 25th Infantry Division public affairs office at 808-655-6341." Holly Zachariah (Columbus Dispatch)reports, "His family, including parents Jeff and Renee Runyan of Newark, left last night for Dover Air Force Base in Delaware to await the arrival of his body. Mr. and Mrs. Runyan were en route from Newark to the San Diego area to visit their other son and his wife, Alex and Brittany Runyan, when they received word." Anna Sudar (Newark Advocate) adds, "In high school, Michael swam on the swim team, played tennis and was captain of the golf team his senior year. He qualified for the state golf tournament during his senior year, said his former coach, Pam Leonard." Leonard is quoting, "He was the sweetest kid and the toughest kid at the same time. He was so special."

Meanwhile, in England, the editorial board of the Guardian notes cries for testimony from Jack Straw on the Lockerbie bomber and ponders: "But surely this principle works both ways: are not George Bush, Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld in a similarly unique position to help the Chilcot inquiry explain a few of those lingering questions about the decision to invade Iraq? The inquiry has already met people like Paul Bremer, the US administrator of Iraq in the aftermath of invasion, and David Kay, the head of the Iraq Survey Group, on a visit to both Washington and Boston in May. "

The following community sites update last night:

We'll close with this from Sherwood Ross' "THE CIA: BEYOND REDEMPTION AND SHOULD BE TERMINATED" (Veterans Today):

The Central Intelligence Agency(CIA) has confirmed the worst fears of its creator President Harry Truman that it might degenerate into “an American Gestapo.” It has been just that for so long it is beyond redemption. It represents 60 years of failure and fascism utterly at odds with the spirit of a democracy and needs to be closed, permanently.
Over the years “the Agency” as it is known, has given U.S. presidents so much wrong information on so many critical issues, broken so many laws, subverted so many elections, overthrown so many governments, funded so many dictators, and killed and tortured so many innocent human beings that the pages of its official history could be written in blood, not ink. People the world over regard it as infamous, and that evaluation, sadly for the reputation of America, is largely accurate. Besides, since President Obama has half a dozen other major intelligence agencies to rely on for guidance, why does he need the CIA? In one swoop he could lop an estimated 27,000 employees off the Federal payroll, save taxpayers umpteen billions, and wipe the CIA stain from the American flag.
If you think this is a “radical” idea, think again. What is “radical” is to empower a mob of covert operatives to roam the planet, wreaking havoc as they go with not a care for morality or, for that matter, the tenets of mercy implicit in any of the great faiths. The idea of not prosecuting CIA interrogators (i.e., torturers), as President Obama has said, is chilling. These crimes have to be stopped somewhere, sometime, or they will occur again.
“The CIA had run secret interrogation centers before---beginning in 1950, in Germany, Japan, and Panama,” writes New York Times reporter Tim Weiner in his book “Legacy of Ashes, The History of The CIA”(Random House). Weiner has won a Pulitzer Prize for his coverage of the intelligence community. “It had participated in the torture of captured enemy combatants before---beginning in 1967, under the Phoenix program in Vietnam. It had kidnapped suspected terrorists and assassins before…”

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