Monday, October 03, 2011

Iraqi police station held hostage

This morning attention was focused on Ramadi where the protectors became the hostages. Deng Shasha (Xinhua) reports that the Ramadi police station was stormed by "gunmen and suicide bombers" who were "wearing military uniforms" and who went on to hold "14 policemen and officials" hostage, according to a police source. AKI also notes that the assailants wore police uniforms. Police uniforms and military uniforms have long been used in attacks. As late as 2006, there was a pretense that some mythical warehouses throughout Iraq were being raided. Now, at least when the violence is within Baghdad, reports are more likely to acknowledge that it could be Iraqi security officers -- like the forces working for the Ministry of the Interior which terroized and killed Sunnis in Baghdad during the ethnic cleansing phase of 2006 and 2007. RTT explains, "Local news reports quoted police officials as saying that the hostages include the Mayor of al-Baghdadi as well as several police officers and government employees." AFP adds, "At least two explosions preceded the attack on the Al-Baghdadi police headquarters, which is in a compound that also houses the office of the town’s mayor, according to the officials." The Palestine Telegraph reports that Anbar's Deputy Governor, Dhari Arkan, "said the army was surrounding the police station in the town of al-Baghdadi."

What followed, according to Naharnet Newsdesk, was a seige that lasted approximately two hours.
BBC News states that security officials then announced that all the assailants were killed . . . as were three hostages. Citing Iraqi military's Brig Mohammed al-Fahdawi, AP also notes 3 hostages were killed. Reuters counts 13 dead. DPA states 25 hostages were freed which is strange since Press TV reports that the assailants had taken "15 senior officials and policemen hostage". In addition to assailants killed, Naharnet Newsdesk adds, "Anbar provincial council deputy chairman Saadun Obeid Shaalan said four people were killed including Obeidi, an official in the town mayor's office and two policemen" while Maj Gen Mohammed al-Askari states, "We killed the four gunmen. The police chief and one civilian were killed."

Staying with violence, AFP also reports that Sunday saw a Mashaada roadside bombing which claimed the lives of 2 Sahwa and that 2 more Sahwa attempted to rush to the scene only to be struck by another roadside bomb which claimed those two (total of 4 Sahwa) and two bystanders also died. AFP then notes the Christian shot dead in Mosul which was the only Sunday violence reported Sunday.

Meanwhile Raheem Salman (Los Angeles Times) reports on Judge Suad Dabbagn who, in 1979, became one of Iraq's first female judges:

By the mid-1980s, when Hussein's government once again stopped accepting women in its judicial study program, there were only six female judges.
These days, after eight wrenching years of invasion, occupation and rebuilding, the outlook is different: There are 72 female judges working in Iraqi courts.
Yet the job itself has barely changed, said Dabbagh, 61, who serves as a chief judge of Baghdad's Juvenile Court. And the greater number, she says, has little to do with the influence of Western values on Iraqi culture.

Bonnie notes Isaiah's The World Today Just Nuts "La Femme Barack" went up last night. On this week's Law and Disorder Radio -- a weekly hour long program that airs Monday mornings on WBAI and around the country throughout the week and is hosted by attorneys Heidi Boghosian, Michael S. Smith and Michael Ratner (Center for Constitutional Rights), topics explored include the Irvine 11 (student protesters) with attorneys Lisa Holder and Dan Stormer, and Joe Allen on his new book People Wasn't Made To Burn about a share cropping family and the obstacles they faced.
We'll close with this from Sherwood Ross' "ASSASSINATIONS OF AL QAEDA LEADERS DESIGNED TO KEEP AMERICANS IN DARK" (Veterans Today):

It is hardly surprising that President Obama ordered the assassinations of Osama bin Laden and Anwar al-Awlaki since the last thing he wants is to bring any leader of al-Qaeda to trial. If the U.S. wanted bin Laden to have his day in court it might have had the Navy Seals go against his lightly defended hideout with stun grenades or tear gas instead of launching a shoot-to-kill attack.

As The New Yorker article "Getting bin Laden" of August 8 by reporter Nicholas Schmidle makes clear, the bin Laden slaying was a shoot-and-kill operation from the get-go and "all along, the SEALs had planned to dump bin Laden's corpse into the sea." Schmidle writes that when the SEALs came upon Osama in his three-story compound in Abbottabad that he was unarmed and that those guarding him had already been killed. It would have been the easiest thing in the world to capture him and put him on trial. Instead, by having the SEALs execute him, Obama made good on his 2008 campaign pledge, "We will kill bin Laden" and spared the American public the story of how the U.S. created al-Qaeda in the first place and why and how the terrorist band turned against Washington.

Reporter Schmidle writes the bin Laden slaying was a CIA covert operation, so it was a natural fit for the President. For years a CIA employee, Obama shares the Agency's criminal outlook, which has long been the expropriation of the energy resources of the Middle East. To further this goal, Obama vastly increased the number of drone assassination terror strikes by the CIA over those ordered by his predecessor George W. Bush, and this escalation has also led, reliable sources inform us, to the killing of hundreds of innocent civilians---a figure that now may well number a thousand or more. I underscore: innocent civilians. Ask yourself, how any civilized man can purchase the destruction of an accused enemy at the price of the murders of so many innocent bystanders, including women and children?

And why no trials? Well, it is hard to think of any aggressorin history who sought to put his foreign captives on trial. As a rule, invaders don't do that. The U.S. surely hasn't done this in the Middle East. Of the thousands of "terrorist" captives (and I put the term in quotes because in my book a man is still innocent until proved guilty in court) arrested and held for years in Iraq, Afghanistan, Guantanamo, and other hell holes, how many have been put on trial? How many have had lawyers? How many have had anything resembling due process? How many have been allowed to contact their families? The late entertainer Michael Jackson's physician currently is on trial in a procedure exposed on nation-wide television---but which captive of the Pentagon allegedly guilty of the grave crime of seeking to destroy America by force and violence has been afforded a like opportunity to defend himself in a public trial?

If there was the slightest shred of justice in the CIA's renditions, it has been obliterated by the burdens the U.S. has heaped on the several lawyers allowed to represent a handful of the accused, making it difficult for them to visit their clients, to speak to their clients, and to represent them fairly. Worse, the Pentagon has dressed military personnel in civilian suits and sent them to tell captives they are their court-appointed lawyers and can speak to them freely when, in fact, they are spies! And nothing points to American culpability so much as the widespread torture of captives. When, in the annals of human history, has a nation using such foul methods ever been in the right? When has any nation that closets men in secret prisons to deny access to them by the International Red Cross not had something ghastly to hide? When, in all of human history, has any nation that ever outspent all the other nations on the planet combined on armaments not been an aggressor state?

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