Monday, December 27, 2010

Ramadi slammed by bombings

Wednesday's snapshot included, "John Leland (New York Times) writes about the reactions of Iraqis and we'll note Anbar Province because the State Dept thinks/fears it's the new hot spot in Iraq: [. . .]" Give it up for the State Dept, they got one right. Today Ramadi is slammed with bombings. (Ramadi is in Anbar.) AP reports there are said to have been two suicide bombers -- one in a minibus and one on foot. Citing police sources, RTT News says the bombs were car bombs -- they count 17 dead and over forty injured. Hamid Ahmed (AP) reports that the bombings came one after the other, with people gathering after the minibus bombing to survey the destruction and then the suicide bomber on foot detonating. Al Sumaria TV estimates there were 15 minutes between the two bombings. Reuters tries to play catch up with a badly written article that's all over the place and filled with conflicting data not noted as conflicting. (A better Reuters report can be found here.) BBC World Service noted in their half-hour headlines that the target appeared to be the government compound in Ramadi. BBC News reminds, "On 12 December, 11 people were killed when a suicide car bomber targeted the same government office in Ramadi."

Ramadi is predominately (some argue universally) Sunni and the capital of Al Anbar Province which borders Jordan, Saudi Arabia and Syria. Aqsim Abid Muhammad Hammadi al-Fahadawi is the governor. He wasn't elected to that post by the citizens, he was handed it by Saleh al-Mutlaq and Ahmed Abu Risha (he'd left the country over two years prior to being named governor).

Meanwhile Bloomberg News notes, "Revenue from Iraq's crude oil exports rose to $4.62 billion (Dh 16.9 billion) in November, the highest level this year, the State Oil Marketing Organisation said." Covering this news, Al Jazeera TV this morning announced, "It is the first time that Iraq haas reached this level of production in twenty years." That apparently passes for news that matters. This despite that fact that the entire hour, Al Jazeera never even noted the Ramadi bombing.

On this week's Law and Disorder Radio (begins airing this morning on WBAI at 9:00 a.m. EST and around the country thorughout the rest of the week), hosts Michael S. Smith, Michael Ratner and Heidi Boghosian, there's an update on Lynne Stewart and they speak with Ricahard D. Wolff and Nellie Hester Bailey.

Turning to the topic of Bradley Manning. Monday April 5th, WikiLeaks released US military video of a July 12, 2007 assault in Iraq. 12 people were killed in the assault including two Reuters journalists Namie Noor-Eldeen and Saeed Chmagh. Monday June 7th, the US military announced that they had arrested Bradley Manning and he stood accused of being the leaker of the video. Leila Fadel (Washington Post) reported in August that Manning had been charged -- "two charges under the Uniform Code of Military Justice. The first encompasses four counts of violating Army regulations by transferring classified information to his personal computer between November and May and adding unauthorized software to a classified computer system. The second comprises eight counts of violating federal laws governing the handling of classified information." Manning has been convicted in the public square despite the fact that he's been convicted in no state and has made no public statements -- despite any claims otherwise, he has made no public statements. Manning is now at Quantico in Virginia, under military lock and key and still not allowed to speak to the press. Paul Courson (CNN) notes Bradley is a suspect and, "He has not admitted guilt in either incident, his supporters say."

David E. Coombs is Bradley's attorney and we'll note this from Coombs' "A Typical Day for PFC Bradley Manning:"

PFC Manning is currently being held in maximum custody. Since arriving at the Quantico Confinement Facility in July of 2010, he has been held under Prevention of Injury (POI) watch.

His cell is approximately six feet wide and twelve feet in length.

The cell has a bed, a drinking fountain, and a toilet.

The guards at the confinement facility are professional. At no time have they tried to bully, harass, or embarrass PFC Manning. Given the nature of their job, however, they do not engage in conversation with PFC Manning.

At 5:00 a.m. he is woken up (on weekends, he is allowed to sleep until 7:00 a.m.). Under the rules for the confinement facility, he is not allowed to sleep at anytime between 5:00 a.m. and 8:00 p.m. If he attempts to sleep during those hours, he will be made to sit up or stand by the guards.

He is allowed to watch television during the day. The television stations are limited to the basic local stations. His access to the television ranges from 1 to 3 hours on weekdays to 3 to 6 hours on weekends.

He cannot see other inmates from his cell. He can occasionally hear other inmates talk. Due to being a pretrial confinement facility, inmates rarely stay at the facility for any length of time. Currently, there are no other inmates near his cell.

From 7:00 p.m. to 9:20 p.m., he is given correspondence time. He is given access to a pen and paper. He is allowed to write letters to family, friends, and his attorneys.

Each night, during his correspondence time, he is allowed to take a 15 to 20 minute shower.

On weekends and holidays, he is allowed to have approved visitors see him from 12:00 to 3:00 p.m.

He is allowed to receive letters from those on his approved list and from his legal counsel. If he receives a letter from someone not on his approved list, he must sign a rejection form. The letter is then either returned to the sender or destroyed.

He is allowed to have any combination of up to 15 books or magazines. He must request the book or magazine by name. Once the book or magazine has been reviewed by the literary board at the confinement facility, and approved, he is allowed to have someone on his approved list send it to him. The person sending the book or magazine to him must do so through a publisher or an approved distributor such as Amazon. They are not allowed to mail the book or magazine directly to PFC Manning.

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