Thursday, June 16, 2011

Modell's Sporting Goods backs Troy Yocum and other veterans

6 US soldiers died in Iraq last week, two this week. The Defense Dept issued the following yesterday:

The Department of Defense announced today the deaths of two soldiers who were supporting Operation New Dawn.
They died June 13 in Wasit province, Iraq, of wounds suffered when enemy forces attacked their unit with an improvised explosive device. They were assigned to the 6th Squadron, 9th Cavalry Regiment, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division, Fort Hood, Texas.

Killed were:

Staff Sgt. Nicholas P. Bellard, 26, of El Paso, Texas; and

Sgt. Glenn M. Sewell, 23, of Live Oak, Texas.

For more information, the media may go to

Sig Christenson (San Antonio Express-News) reports
on the late Glenn Sewall and quotes his father Mike Sewell who states, "He was a great man; he was a warrior. He was a man among men, fearless." Christenson notes, "A guitarist and member of the Judson High band, he was known for yarns and a sense of humor. It showed in a Christmas message from Kabul in 2008 when he told his mom, 'I know the mustache looks terrible, but it will be gone by the time I get home'."


(Troy Yocum photo taken by John Crosby)

Hike for our Heroes is a non-profit started by Iraq War veteran Troy Yocum who is hiking across the country to raise awareness and money for veterans issues. He began the walk last April with the plan of 7,000 miles.

Frank Lombardi (New York Daily News) reports Troy Yocum was hiking through NYC yesterday and that a Time Square press conference at Modell's Sporting Goods found the company's CEO Mitchell Modell announcing that in addition to the $200,000 Troy has raised, Modell had raised $260,000 for Troy's cause and "that his 147 stores - and an alliance of other big-name retailers with another 653 stores - will ask their customers at checkout time if they would like to donate $1 to help military families." Maria Diamond (WCBS -- link is text and audio) notes the hike has resulted in Troy going through "eight pairs of hiking boots" and that he's "suffered kidney stones, a neck strain, countless blisters and had his car broken into." Chris Harris (The Record) adds, "Yocum has traveled more than 6,300 miles so far, and still has several months to go before his mission ends in September in Kentucky."

The following community sites -- plus Great Britian's Socialist Worker, and Jane Fonda -- updated last night and this morning:

And Betty's "Embarrassment" which is not currently showing up on the list to the right. We'll close with this from David Swanson's "Obama's Libya Defense Makes Bush's Lawyers Look Smart" (War Is A Crime):

The arguments made to "legalize" war, torture, warrantless spying, and other crimes by John Yoo and Jay Bybee and their gang are looking rational, well-reasoned, and impeccably researched in comparison with Obama's latest "legalization" of the Libya War.

Here's the key section from Wednesday's report to Congress:

"Given the important U.S. interests served by U.S. military operations in Libya and the limited nature, scope and duration of the anticipated actions, the President had constitutional authority, as Commander in Chief and Chief Executive and pursuant to his foreign affairs powers, to direct such limited military operations abroad. The President is of the view that the current U.S. military operations in Libya are consistent with the War Powers Resolution and do not under that law require further congressional authorization, because U.S. military operations are distinct from the kind of 'hostilities' contemplated by the Resolution's 60 day termination provision. U.S. forces are playing a constrained and supporting role in a multinational coalition, whose operations are both legitimated by and limited to the terms of a United Nations Security Council Resolution that authorizes the use of force solely to protect civilians and civilian populated areas under attack or threat of attack and to enforce a no-fly zone and an arms embargo. U.S. operations do not involve sustained fighting or active exchanges of fire with hostile forces, nor do they involve the presence of U.S. ground troops, U.S. casualties or a serious threat thereof, or any significant chance of escalation into a conflict characterized by those factors."

Whatever the president's "foreign affairs powers" may be, they do not, under the U.S. Constitution, include the power to launch "military operations" or "hostilities" or "wars." Nor has the distinction between "military operations" that involve what ordinary humans call warfare (blowing up buildings with missiles) and "hostilities" that qualify for regulation under the War Powers Resolution been previously established. This distinction is as crazy as any that have come out of U.S. government lawyers in the past.

The War Powers Resolution forbids unconstitutional wars unless the United States is attacked.

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