Saturday, January 15, 2011

3 US soldiers killed in Iraq, a fourth wounded

The ongoing Iraq War has claimed at least three more US lives. Ned Parker and Salar Jaff (Los Angeles Times) report 2 US soldiers were shot dead on a base outside Mosul, shot dead by "one or two Iraqi soldiers" who were, according to the US military, intentionally using real ammo in what was supposed to be a drill and that a third US soldier was injured. In addition, they note the US military says another US soldier was killed "in central Iraq." John Leland (New York Times) adds, "Training is the central focus of the remaining American mission in Iraq. Troops sometimes find themselves training the same fighters who previously attacked them, but such assaults have been rare." BBC News notes, "The Iraqi soldier who opened fire was arrested, US military officials said." In addition, UPI reports other violence and arrest, "Another Iraqi officer said six people, four of them members of the Iraqi police, were arrested after a bomb hit Forward Operating Base Warhorse in central Iraq." Reuters notes a Baghdad roadside bombing injured four people and that another Baghdad bombing injured two people.

Good thing Barack ended that pesky Iraq War, right? Oh, wait, he didn't end it. And the war drags on, and the war drags on, drums keep pounding rhythm to the brain, and the war drags on . . .

Turning to the topic of Iraq War veteran 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."

The Law Office of David E. Coombs (Bradley's attorney) offers:

The defense has raised its objection to the documented confinement conditions of PFC Bradley Manning on multiple occasions with the Quantico confinement facility and the Staff Judge Advocate’s (SJA) Office. On 5 January 2011, the defense filed a formal complaint with the commander of the Quantico Brig. On the same day, PFC Manning also filed a formal complaint through the confinement grievance process. Both complaints requested that the confinement facility remove PFC Manning from Prevention of Injury (POI) watch and that his classification level be reduced from "Maximum" to "Medium Detention In." The confinement facility did not respond to either complaint.
Due to the lack of response from the confinement facility, the defense, pursuant to the provisions of Rule for Courts-Martial (R.C.M.) 305(g), filed a request earlier today with the Garrison Commander to direct the release of PFC Bradley Manning from pretrial confinement. This request is based upon the fact that the confinement conditions currently being endured by PFC Manning are more rigorous than necessary to guarantee his presence at trial, and that the concerns raised by the government at the time of pretrial confinement are no longer applicable. Further steps to address PFC Manning's confinement conditions will be taken, if necessary.

War Is A Crime's David Swanson passes on:

Founded in 1960 as the National Committee to Abolish the House Un-American Activities Committee
CONTACT: Sue Udry, 301-325-1201

Martin Luther King Day is Monday, January 17, 2011

Invoking the spirit of Dr. Martin Luther King, peace and justice activists to descend on Quantico prison to protest torture of Bradley Manning

MLK Day plans call for noon demonstration at FBI headquarters in Washington followed by caravan to Quantico Marine Base

"Some of us who have already begun to break the silence of the night have found that the calling to speak is often a vocation of agony, but we must speak."
- Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

We'll celebrate Martin Luther King Jr. Day in a way that would make the great man proud. We embrace his legacy. Martin will be with us in the streets.

Noon: Protest at FBI Headquarters - 935 Pennsylvania Ave, NW, Washington, DC, to demonstrate our outrage and indignation against police state surveillance, infiltration, and attempts to entrap peace, environmental, animal rights, civil rights, and solidarity activists.
Renowned "whistleblower" Coleen Rowley, a FBI special agent for almost 24 years, who testified to the Senate Judiciary on FBI's pre 9-11 failures, will address the crowd at the FBI headquarters. Ms. Rowley describes FBI abuses, "Instead of safeguarding our freedom and security, the FBI has become a growing danger to those trying to exercise our Constitutional rights. It is alarming to see the FBI revert to the abuses of the Vietnam era."

1 pm: Convoy to Quantico - We'll take off from the center of the American police state in a caravan to Marine Corps Base Quantico where military authorities are holding our brother Bradley Manning in an inhumane condition of solitary confinement. (Quantico is 45 minutes south of DC.)

2 pm: Rally at the Iwo Jima statue, Quantico Marine Base -
The statue is at the southwest corner of Rt. 1 (Jefferson Davis Hwy) and Rt. 619 (Fuller Rd.) From I-95: Take exit 150, Quantico/Triangle. Take route 619 east to the entrance of the base.

Activists will descend on Quantico to protest the isolation and torture of Bradley Manning at Marine Corps Brig Quantico. This treatment is designed to break Manning's mind and reduce his ability to defend himself. Manning has been kept in 23 out of 24 hour solitary confinement for 7 months in a 6 foot by 12 foot cell. He is not allowed any meaningful exercise, has his sleep and day-night cycles disrupted by constant light, and is harassed by what the military calls "prevention of injury" measures. These require a guard to ask him every 5 minutes "are you ok?" which requires an affirmative response.

We call on Adm. Mike Mullen, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Gen. George W. Casey Jr., Army Chief of Staff, Gen. James F. Amos, Commandant of the Marine Corps, and Colonel Daniel J. Choike, Base Commander, Marine Corps Base Quantico, to end the inhumane, degrading conditions of pre-trial confinement and respect Bradley's human rights. Specifically, we are calling on Pentagon officials to lift the "prevention of injury" watch. This would allow Bradley meaningful physical exercise, uninterrupted sleep during the night, and a release from isolation.

See the Letter from Psychologists for Social Responsibility to Defense Secretary Gates

Dan Ellsberg captures our sentiments regarding Bradley, "I spent years [during Vietnam] keeping my mouth shut as presidents lied to us and kept these secrets. I shouldn't have done that. And that's why I admire someone like Bradley Manning, or whoever the source was, for actually risking their own personal freedom in order to tell us the truth. I think they're being better citizens and showing their patriotism in a better way than when they keep their mouths shut."

(See our letter attached hereto.)

"Power at its best is love implementing the demands of justice. Justice at its best is love correcting everything that stands against love."

- Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Endorsed by: Backbone Campaign, Bill of Right Defense Committee, Bradley Manning Support Network, CodePink, Courage to Resist, DC Bill of Rights Coalition, DC National Lawyers Guild, Defending Dissent Foundation,, Friends of Human Rights, Jobs for Afghans, Montgomery County Civil Rights Coalition, National Accountability Action Network, National Campaign for Nonviolent Resistance, Peace Action, Peace of the Action, Progressive Democrats of America, United for Peace and Justice, Voters for Peace,, Washington Physicians for Social Responsibility, Witness Against Torture, World Can't Wait
That's only one action this month. Another is scheduled for Tuesday, January 25th and this is from Stop FBI Repression about the January 25th actions:
In December 2010, under the direction of U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald, the FBI delivered nine new subpoenas in Chicago to anti-war and Palestine solidarity activists. Patrick Fitzgerald's office is ordering the nine to appear at a Grand Jury in Chicago on January 25.
In response we are calling for protests on Jan. 25 across the country and around the world to show our solidarity. Hundreds of organizations and thousands of people will be protesting at Federal Buildings, FBI offices, and other appropriate places, showing solidarity with the nine newly subpoenaed activists, and with all the activists whose homes were raided by the FBI.
Fitzgerald's expanding web of repression already includes the fourteen subpoenaed when the FBI stormed into homes on September 24th, carting away phones, computers, notebooks, diaries, and children's artwork. In October, all fourteen activists from Chicago, Minneapolis, and Michigan each decided to not participate in the secret proceedings of Fitzgerald's Grand Jury. Each signed a letter invoking their Fifth Amendment rights. However, three women from Minneapolis -- Tracy Molm, Anh Pham, and Sarah Martin -- are facing re-activated subpoenas. They are standing strong and we are asking you to stand with them --and with the newly subpoenaed nine activists -- by protesting Patrick Fitzgerald and his use of the Grand Jury and FBI to repress anti-war and international solidarity activists.
Defend free speech! Defend the right to organize! Opposing war and occupation is not a crime!
  • Tell Patrick Fitzgerald to call off the Grand Jury!
  • Stop FBI raids and repression!

Take Action!

Please organize a local protest or picket in your city or on your campus on Tuesday Jan. 25 and e-mail us at to let us know what you have planned.
The Committee to Stop FBI Repression
Please e-mail or call 612-379-3585
Here is a flyer you can use for your local protest (pdf). Just fill in the time and location of your local protest, and local contact information if you want.

The e-mail address for this site is