Monday, November 01, 2010

The fallen and WikiLeaks

Emily Younker (Joplin Globe) reports 24-year-old Pfc Dylan T. Reid's funeral was Saturday and approximately 400 people attended. Meanwhile David Tarrant (Dallas Morning News) reports on Jessica Hansen who was texting with her boyfriend Patrick Zeigler shortly before he got shot:

Patrick's father told Jessica that Patrick was "currently alive," but in critical condition. He had been shot four times, with wounds in his arm, shoulder and hip. But the bullet that struck the right front side of his skull – that was the worst.
In fact, Patrick, now 29, was one of the most seriously wounded in the slaughter at Fort Hood where 12 soldiers and one civilian died and 32 others were wounded. The shooting took place one year ago this week at the Soldier Readiness Processing Center, where soldiers prepare to deploy for war in Afghanistan and Iraq. Police wounded the alleged shooter, Army Maj. Nidal Hasan, and took him into custody.
They took Patrick 30 miles to Temple's Scott & White Memorial Hospital, the closest Level 1 trauma center in Central Texas. But Patrick's father, whose name is the same as his son, warned Jessica to expect the worst.

November 5, 2009 there was an attack on Fort Hood in Texas. US Army Major Nidal M. Hasan, a 39-year-old psychiatrist, was the suspected gun man who opened fire killing 13 people. Patrick Ziegler was one of the people injured in the shooting. An Article 32 hearing was held last month.

In other news, Friday October 22nd, WikiLeaks released 391,832 US military documents on the Iraq War. The documents -- US military field reports -- reveal torture and abuse and the ignoring of both. They reveal ongoing policies passed from the Bush administration onto the Obama one. They reveal that both administrations ignored and ignore international laws and conventions on torture. They reveal a much higher civilian death toll than was ever admitted to. James Cogan (WSWS) reports:

It is estimated that 600,000 people fled their homes during 2006 to escape the carnage. Many have never returned. Overall, it is estimated that up to two million people were displaced by the sectarian violence.
The reign of terror presided over by Maliki achieved its intended purpose. It broke the back of the Sunni-based insurgency by mid-2007—just as the thousands of additional US troops sent as part of the Bush administration’s “surge” were deploying into the country. By the end of 2007, the majority of Sunni guerrilla fighters had accepted US offers of amnesty on the condition that they ceased insurgent activity and joined the “Sons of Iraq”. While the formation of these US-backed Sunni militias was portrayed as an uprising against “Al Qaeda” and extremism, the Sons of Iraq primarily saw their role as protecting Sunni communities from the Iraqi security forces.
The response to the Wikileaks documents underscores how politically fragile Iraq actually is.

On WikiLeaks, Monday Morning adds:

Iraqi schoolteacher Fatima Razak does not need the WikiLeaks revelations to appreciate the scars of the American occupation, which she wears on her disfigured face.
Every morning she looks in the mirror and relives the horror of 2007, when she says a bullet fired by a American soldier sliced through her cheek.
Fatima was caught in a bottleneck at one of the numerous checkpoints the Americans set up throughout Baghdad after the 2003 US-led invasion.
She waited nervously with hundreds of other cars, conscious that a suicide bomber could be lurking.
At the checkpoints were jittery US troops unknowing of Iraqi culture and notorious for being ready to fire at anything that looked suspect.
“An American Humvee with mounted guns drove toward the checkpoint”, Fatima recalls, almost in a whisper.
“It fired for no apparent reason and a bullet went through my face”, she told reporters, her finger tracing a deep scar from mouth to ear.
“How can I look in the mirror every morning?” asked the 42-year-old English teacher who is awaiting a seventh round of plastic surgery. “I am a woman. I have a husband. I have a child”.
Graphic accounts of torture and civilian killings are detailed among nearly 400,000 US military documents made public on October 22 on the whistleblower website WikiLeaks.
Al-Jazeera television said the main findings included revelations of “hundreds” of civilian deaths at manned American checkpoints.
“When the Americans came, the people welcomed them with open arms and flowers”, says Sheikh Najeh al-Fatlawi, a Shiite cleric and school headmaster.
“But later, people saw how the Americans behaved and they turned against them”.

Of all the press coverage of the WikiLeaks revelations, the strongest has been from The Bureau of Investigative Journalism and the most important individual article is Angus Stickler's "Obama administration handed over detainees despite reports of torture." It's the topic so many want to avoid. The Bureau of Investigative Journalism has an article about reactions to their coverage:

Laura Oliver, writing for, discusses the Bureau, the whistleblower and the data journalist: how Wikileak’s Iraq War Logs made the news.

When whistleblowing website WikiLeaks released 400,000 classified US military documents relating to the Iraq war on its website late Friday night, it was a collaborative effort by news organisations, journalists and the site hosting the information to communicate its impact to the public.

WikiLeaks stressed that this release, which follows the disclosure of 92,000 documents relating to the Afghanistan war back in July, should maximise media coverage and reach as many readers as possible for those sources risking their lives and possible incarceration by leaking the information.

David Bacon's latest book is Illegal People -- How Globalization Creates Migration and Criminalizes Immigrants (Beacon Press) which won the CLR James Award. Bacon can be heard on KPFA's The Morning Show (over the airwaves in the Bay Area, streaming online) each Wednesday morning (begins airing at 7:00 am PST). And this is from Bacon's "The People of the Central Valley - 2 A Photographic Look at the Diverse Communities of California's Central Valley -- Toolville and its Bad Water" (ImmigrationProf Blog):

Toolville is a tiny colonia, or unincorporated and informal settlement of about a hundred families, in California's rural San Joaquin Valley just a couple of miles outside the small town of Exeter. Over recent years, Toolville residents have discovered dangerous concentrations of nitrates in their water supply, which is pumped from the aquifer below the homes. As in many San Joaquin Valley communities, overuse of the water table, especially by giant industrial farms, has led to a growing concentration of fertilizer and other ag chemicals in the water that remains.
Toolville's residents are all working-class people, many of them farm workers. They can use the water from their taps for washing dishes and clothes, but have to buy bottled water for drinking and cooking.
Eunice Martinez, a leader of the community's effort to gain safe drinking water, looks warily at a jar of water drawn from the tap. Her mother, Margaret, holds their pet Chihuahua at a table where they keep a case of small bottles of drinking water. Across the street from the Martinez house, Natalie and Paco Rojas play in their yard. The health and development of children especially can be harmed by Toolville's contaminated water.

Bonnie notes that Isaiah's The World Today Just Nuts "Presidential Dress Up" and we'll close with this from the Michigan Green Party:

Ecological Wisdom * Social Justice
Grassroots Democracy * Non-Violence

Green Party of Michigan

** Media Advisory **
** -------------- **
October 31, 2010

For More Information, Contact:
Fred Vitale co-chair, Green Party of Michigan

John Anthony La Pietra, Elections Co-ordinator/GPMI

Green Party of Michigan Election Night Party
at Phoenix Café (24918 John R Road; Hazel Park)
Hosted by 12th District Congressional Candidate Julia Williams

A number of Green Party of Michigan (GPMI) candidates, campaign workers, and supporters will be gathering at Hazel Park's Phoenix Café (24918 John R Road; 248-667-8817) starting at 8pm on Tuesday, November 2 -- Election Day.

Hosting the party will be Julia Williams -- GPMI's candidate for US House in the 12th Congressional District. The party will be BYOB -- but keg beer and wine will be available,

After all of the energy we have expended -- intellectual, emotional, and physical -- to get to where we are now, we need a party! Come one, come all to the Phoenix Café in Hazel Park, for a Green Election Night celebration! Keg beer, pizza, stimulating conversation, and a projection TV to watch the returns are provided free of charge! (A donation jar for the Café will be available, and any amount is welcome!)

Please come and enjoy an evening of well-deserved celebration, and a chance to thank each other for our efforts!

Contact information for GPMI candidates before the party -- and for Greens who are not at the party -- is also shown in the attached list.

Who: Green Party of Michigan candidates and supporters.

What: Election Night party.

When: Tuesday, November 2, 2010 -- starting at 8pm.

Where: Phoenix Café -- 24918 John R Road; Hazel Park, MI 48030.
(248) 667-8817

For more information about the candidates, views, and values of the Green Party of Michigan, please visit

# # #

created/distributed using donated labor

Green Party of Michigan
548 South Main Street
Ann Arbor, MI 48104

GPMI was formed in 1987 to address environmental
issues in Michigan politics. Greens are organized
in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. Each
state Green Party sets its own goals and creates its
own structure, but US Greens agree on Ten Key Values:

Ecological Wisdom
Grassroots Democracy
Social Justice
Community Economics
Respect for Diversity
Personal/Global Responsibility
Future Focus/Sustainability


GPMI Candidates for 2010
Harley G. Mikkelson -- Governor
Harley Mikkelson for Governor
3122 West Caro Road
Caro, MI 48723[-9610]

Lynn Meadows -- Lieutenant Governor
1201 Miller Avenue
Ann Arbor, MI 48103

John Anthony La Pietra -- Secretary of State
John Anthony La Pietra for Fairer, Better Elections
386 Boyer Court
Marshall, MI 49068

Ellis Boal -- US Representative/Congressional District 01
Friends of Ellis Boal
9330 Boyne City Road
Charlevoix, MI 49720

Lloyd Clarke -- US Representative/Congressional District 02
Lloyd Clarke Campaign
5770 McGrandy Road
Bridgeport, MI 48722

Charlie Shick -- US Representative/Congressional District 03
Charlie Shick for Congress
2487 Fox Run Road SW, Suite #5
Wyoming, MI 49519

J. Matthew de Heus -- US Representative/Congressional District 05
Committee to Elect J. Matthew de Heus
1030 Culver Road
Essexville, MI 48732

Pat Foster -- US Representative/Congressional District 06
6079 Mallard Drive
Fennville, MI 49408

Richard Wunsch -- US Representative/Congressional District 07
Wunsch for Congress
8410 Riverside
Brooklyn, MI 49230

Douglas Campbell -- US Representative/Congressional District 09
335 East Lewiston
Ferndale, MI 48220-1356

Candace R. Caveny -- US Representative/Congressional District 10
Friends of Candace Caveny
PO Box 1043
Lapeer, MI 48446

Julia Williams -- US Representative/Congressional District 12
Julia Williams for U.S. Congress
PO Box 26164
Fraser, MI 48026

George Corsetti -- US Representative/Congressional District 13
Corsetti for Congress
3512 Courville
Detroit, MI 48224

Aimee Smith -- US Representative/Congressional District 15
1321 Wisteria Drive
Ann Arbor, MI 48104

Richard Kuszmar -- State Senator/District 09
Committee to Elect Richard Kuszmar
11816 Valley Boulevard
Warren, MI 48093

Karen Shelley -- State Senator/District 14
21811 Carleton
Southfield, MI 48033

Fred Vitale -- State Representative/District 003
Fred D. Vitale for 3rd District State Representative
4190 Kensington
Detroit, MI 48224

Derek M. Grigsby -- State Representative/District 007
15845 Normandy Street
Detroit, MI 48238

Franklin Harden -- State Representative/District 035
Committee To Elect Franklin D. Harden
21880 Daisy Lane
Southfield, MI 48033

Latham Redding -- State Board of Education
Committee to Elect Latham Redding
3520 Kensington
Detroit, MI 48224

Mary T. Wood -- State Board of Education
27533 Santa Ana
Warren, MI 48093

Libby Hunter -- University of Michigan Board of Regents
827 Bruce
Ann Arbor, MI 48103

Diana Demers -- University of Michigan Board of Regents
PO Box 623
Belleville, MI 48112

Surjit Singh Dulai -- Michigan State University Board of Trustees

Margaret Guttshall -- Wayne State University Board of Governors
4190 Kensington
Detroit, MI 48224

James Arnoldi -- Wayne State University Board of Governors
PO Box 623
Belleville, MI 48112

Jason A. Tyrell -- Allegan County Commissioner/District 07
1162 Woodstone
Martin, MI 49070

Neva Tice-Sisson -- Allegan County Commissioner/District 08
989 Oak Hill Drive
Pullman, MI 49450

Steve Westin -- Allegan County Commissioner/District 10
560 Lincoln Rd
Otsego, MI 49078

Tom Mair -- Grand Traverse County Commissioner/District 07
PO Box 2239
Traverse City, MI 49685

Dianne Feeley -- Wayne County Commissioner/District 05
1407 Morrell Street
Detroit, MI 48209

Louis M. Novak -- Wayne County Commissioner/District 06
18662 Fairfield Street
Detroit, MI 48221

David A. McMahon -- Augusta Township Trustee (Washtenaw County)
10890 McCrone Road
Milan, MI 48160

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