Monday, January 24, 2011

The fallen, the questions, the continued deployments

Maj Michael S. Evarts died while serving in Iraq this month. Elizabeth Mission (NewsNet5) reports his body arrives home today, "A military procession will escort Evarts from Cleveland Hopkins International Airport after his scheduled arrival at 9:55 a.m." Lindsay Buckingham (Fox 8) adds, "The Evarts family will receive friends from 3-8 p.m. Thursday and 3-8 p.m. Friday at the Brunner Funeral Home & Cremation Service. An interment will follow at the Mentor Cemetery. Funeral services have been planned for Saturday at St. Gabriel Catholic Church at 10:00 a.m., located at 9925 Johnnycake Ridge Rd. in Concord Twp., Ohio. According to the Brunner Funeral Home, the family asks that in lieu of flowers and other heartfelt offerings, contributions may be made to the Major Michael S. Evarts Memorial & Boys Trust 60 W. Southington Ave. Worthington, Ohio 43085." Meanwhile James Gordon Meek (New York Daily News) reports that the family of Iraq War veteran David Sharrett has been informed that "a new investigation" into their loved one's death may be forthcoming after the New York Daily News has unearthed more details including "Col. David Bishop found the original probe failed to discover what commanders had kept secret: [1st Lt Timothy] Hanson did not aid his wounded men in the air or at a hospital, where a pilot reported the lieutenant 'refused to get off' the chopper. The Army has never disclosed the results of last year's probe."

More US soldiers continuing deploying to Iraq. Becky Purser (Macon Telegraph) reports that "soldiers from the Macon-based 352nd Combat Sustainment Support Battalion" are deploying to Iraq, "The soldiers agreed that being remembered by folks back at home strengthens them while stationed overseas. 1st Lt. Jonathan Castillo, 26, of Orlando, Fla., has support from his parents, a 7-year-old sister and five brothers. He recalled what it meant to him and others deployed to Iraq at Christmas in 2007 to receive Christmas stockings with each of their names as well as letters of encouragement from people they didn’t even know. Sgt. Kenisha Neal, 23, recalled the Girl Scouts sending cookies during her deployment in southern Iraq 2007-2008 and the letters from second-graders that 'told us how much they loved us'." Candace Hollingshed and Bofta Yiman (WMAZ) add, "Family and friends said goodbye to their loved ones after a deployment ceremony that took place at Macon State College on Sunday."

Bonnie notes that Isaiah's The World Today Just Nuts "State of the Union" went up last night and on this week's Law and Disorder Radio (airs this morning on WBAI at 9:00 am EST and around the country throughout the week), Michael S. Smith, Heidi Boghosian and Michael Ratner speak with Lizzy Ratner and others about a new report on the assault on Gaza two years ago (also includes an update on Mumia Abu-Jamal). We'll close with the opening of "Debra Sweet: Why I Oppose a Grand Jury Investigation of Anti-War Activists" (World Can't Wait):

A contradiction to ponder:

  1. A three-year investigation by the Department of Justice into the CIA operatives who carried out waterboarding, filmed the acts on 2 men, and then destroyed the tapes, ended this past November – with the government deciding not to prosecute anyone. Jason Leopold, in Special Prosecutor Declines to File Criminal Charges Over Destruction of CIA Torture Tapes wrote:It is widely believed that the videotapes were destroyed to cover up torture. It is also believed that the tapes were destroyed because Democratic members of Congress who were briefed about the tapes began asking questions about whether the interrogations were illegal, according to Jane Mayer, author of the book, “The Dark Side” and a reporter for The New Yorker magazine.
  2. A two-year secret federal investigation of the U.S. anti-war movement has been conducted by the Obama administration, apparently with a federal grand jury in Chicago hearing evidence from Prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald, looking into “possible links between U.S. anti-war groups and foreign terrorist organizations,” according to the Chicago Tribune. Fitzgerald issued subpoenas beginning in September 2010, delivered via FBI raids to their homes, for activists to appear before the grand jury. With all the records sealed by court order, it is impossible to know about the scope and intent of the probe.

But knowing what we know about how the “war on terror” has been conducted, one can be suspicious that the aim of the first investigation was to find no crimes, while the aim of the second is to manufacture crimes.

23 anti-war activists have now been targeted by the FBI, many through September raids that confiscated a wide range of personal material.

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