THOUGH HE STILL HASN'T SAID A WORD ON THE MONTHS LONG TARGETING OF IRAQI CHRISTIANS, YESTERDAY CELEBRITY IN CHIEF BARRY O CONFUSED A FEW BY WADING INTO THE ANIMAL ABUSE WATERS TO CONGRATULATE MICHAEL VICK.
THOSE CONFUSED SHOULD NOT BE.
LAST WEEK, FOR THE FIRST TIME EVER, BARRY O PUBLICLY ADMITTED TO HIS ONGOING STRUGGLES WITH HOMOSEXUALITY. NO SOONER DID HE BARE HIS SOUL PUBLICLY THAN HE RUSHED OFF TO HAWAII WHERE HE WAS EXPECTED TO SPEND MANY A DAY ON THE BEACH CRUISING YOUNG MEN. HOWEVER, THE WEATHER HAD OTHER PLANS. WHICH IS WHY BARRY O ENDED UP TAKING THE GIRLS BOWLING AND, WHILE THEY CHECKED OUT THE LANES, HE KEPT A STEADY FOCUS ON THE MEN'S ROOM.
THOUGH SOME HAD INITIALLY FELT SORRY FOR SHE-HULK, WHITE HOUSE CONFIDANT AND POCKET PAL VALERIE JARRETT CAUTIONS AGAINST "PITYING MICHELLE. SHE'S GOT ARIANNA [HUFFINGTON] HERE AND YOU KNOW ARIANNA'S FULL OF ADVICE ABOUT HOW TO TURN A GAY HUSBAND INTO A CAREER BUILDER."
FROM THE TCI WIRE:
Though Matthew Rothschild didn't know him, Matthew is correct that John was no fool which is why John wouldn't have written the stupid column that Matthew did -- one that refuses to acknowledge the ongoing Iraq War. The Progressive is published out of Wisconsin. Is Rothschild unaware of the deployments of the Wisconsin National Guard including the most recent at the end of last month? We'll assume Matthew wasn't among those donating to replace the personal gear of 20 Wisconsin service members in the Madison-based (just like The Progressive!) Army Reserves 911th Forward Surgical Team in Iraq. And why is it that AP Deputy Managing Editor for Standards and Production Tom Kent can issue this in September:
To begin with, combat in Iraq is not over, and we should not uncritically repeat suggestions that it is, even if they come from senior officials. The situation on the ground in Iraq is no different today than it has been for some months. Iraqi security forces are still fighting Sunni and al-Qaida insurgents. Many Iraqis remain very concerned for their country's future despite a dramatic improvement in security, the economy and living conditions in many areas.
As for U.S. involvement, it also goes too far to say that the U.S. part in the conflict in Iraq is over. President Obama said Monday night that "the American combat mission in Iraq has ended. Operation Iraqi Freedom is over, and the Iraqi people now have lead responsibility for the security of their country."
However, 50,000 American troops remain in country. Our own reporting on the ground confirms that some of these troops, especially some 4,500 special operations forces, continue to be directly engaged in military operations. These troops are accompanying Iraqi soldiers into battle with militant groups and may well fire and be fired on. In addition, although administration spokesmen say we are now at the tail end of American involvement and all troops will be gone by the end of 2011, there is no guarantee that this will be the case.
Our stories about Iraq should make clear that U.S. troops remain involved in combat operations alongside Iraqi forces, although U.S. officials say the American combat mission has formally ended. We can also say the United States has ended its major combat role in Iraq, or that it has transferred military authority to Iraqi forces. We can add that beyond U.S. boots on the ground, Iraq is expected to need U.S. air power and other military support for years to control its own air space and to deter possible attack from abroad.
March 19 is the 8th anniversary of the invasion and occupation of Iraq. Iraq today remains occupied by 50,000 U.S. soldiers and tens of thousands of foreign mercenaries.
The war in Afghanistan is raging. The U.S. is invading and bombing Pakistan. The U.S. is financing endless atrocities against the people of Palestine, relentlessly threatening Iran and bringing Korea to the brink of a new war.
While the United States will spend $1 trillion for war, occupation and weapons in 2011, 30 million people in the United States remain unemployed or severely underemployed, and cuts in education, housing and healthcare are imposing a huge toll on the people.
Actions of civil resistance are spreading.
On Dec. 16, 2010, a veterans-led civil resistance at the White House played an important role in bringing the anti-war movement from protest to resistance. Enduring hours of heavy snow, 131 veterans and other anti-war activists lined the White House fence and were arrested. Some of those arrested will be going to trial, which will be scheduled soon in Washington, D.C.
Saturday, March 19, 2011, the anniversary of the invasion of Iraq, will be an international day of action against the war machine.
Protest and resistance actions will take place in cities and towns across the United States. Scores of organizations are coming together. Demonstrations are scheduled for San Francisco, Los Angeles, Chicago, Washington, D.C., and more.
In San Francisco, the theme of the March 19 march and rally will be "No to War & Colonial Occupation – Fund Jobs, Healthcare & Education – Solidarity with SF Hotel Workers!" 12,000 SF hotel workers, members of UNITE-HERE Local 2, have been fighting for a new contract that protects their healthcare, wages and working conditions. The SF action will include a march to boycotted hotels in solidarity with the Lo. 2 workers. The first organizing meeting for the SF March 19 march and rally will be on Sunday, Jan. 16 at 2pm at the Local 2 union hall, 209 Golden Gate Ave.
In Los Angeles, the March 19 rally and march will gather at 12 noon at Hollywood and Vine.
Let us know if you are going to be protesting locally. Events taking place around the country will be listed at www.AnswerCoalition.org.
Cities around the country will be printing flyers, posters and stickers to spread the word about March 19 events. Funds are urgently needed to help in this effort. Please make a generous financial contribution today. Click this link to donate online with a credit or debit card, and to find out how to contribute by check.
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Turning to the topic of 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." On this week's Law and Disorder Radio (began airing this morning on WBAI and around the country thorughout the rest of the week), hosts Michael S. Smith and Michael Ratner noted Bradley.
Michael Ratner: He is 22-years-old. He is actually, if you add up his time that he spent overseas -- which was two months of solitary which was in Kuwait -- and now five months at Quantico Virginia, we're talking about leaving someone in a deep, dark hole for seven months. And the most important article was written by Glenn Greenwald in Salon. It's called the "Inhumane Conditions of Bradley Manning's Detention." And I just recommend it because if you think that we turned a leaf, or turned a page, after we took the people at Guantanamo out of the hellhole of punative isolation and detention, you'd be wrong. Bradley Manning is in a situation that is certainly cruel and abusive and that many of us think amounts to torture. Bradley Manning is in sensory deprivation, he's getting sleep deprived. He doesn't even have a sheet or a pillow to sleep on. And what they're doing, they're trying -- I presume -- they're trying to break this guy's will. They're trying to do what we've discussed on this program time and again of the old -- what Al McCoy called the techniques that the US has been using to break people for scores of years including at Guantanamo an it's a form of torture and people ought to object. This is outrageous. Right in Quantico, in this country, Bradley Manning is in a hellhole.
David E. Coombs is Bradley's attorney and we'll note this from Coombs' "A Typical Day for PFC Bradley Manning:"
PFC Manning is currently being held in maximum custody. Since arriving at the Quantico Confinement Facility in July of 2010, he has been held under Prevention of Injury (POI) watch.
His cell is approximately six feet wide and twelve feet in length.
The cell has a bed, a drinking fountain, and a toilet.
The guards at the confinement facility are professional. At no time have they tried to bully, harass, or embarrass PFC Manning. Given the nature of their job, however, they do not engage in conversation with PFC Manning.
At 5:00 a.m. he is woken up (on weekends, he is allowed to sleep until 7:00 a.m.). Under the rules for the confinement facility, he is not allowed to sleep at anytime between 5:00 a.m. and 8:00 p.m. If he attempts to sleep during those hours, he will be made to sit up or stand by the guards.
He is allowed to watch television during the day. The television stations are limited to the basic local stations. His access to the television ranges from 1 to 3 hours on weekdays to 3 to 6 hours on weekends.
He cannot see other inmates from his cell. He can occasionally hear other inmates talk. Due to being a pretrial confinement facility, inmates rarely stay at the facility for any length of time. Currently, there are no other inmates near his cell.
From 7:00 p.m. to 9:20 p.m., he is given correspondence time. He is given access to a pen and paper. He is allowed to write letters to family, friends, and his attorneys.
Each night, during his correspondence time, he is allowed to take a 15 to 20 minute shower.
On weekends and holidays, he is allowed to have approved visitors see him from 12:00 to 3:00 p.m.
He is allowed to receive letters from those on his approved list and from his legal counsel. If he receives a letter from someone not on his approved list, he must sign a rejection form. The letter is then either returned to the sender or destroyed.
He is allowed to have any combination of up to 15 books or magazines. He must request the book or magazine by name. Once the book or magazine has been reviewed by the literary board at the confinement facility, and approved, he is allowed to have someone on his approved list send it to him. The person sending the book or magazine to him must do so through a publisher or an approved distributor such as Amazon. They are not allowed to mail the book or magazine directly to PFC Manning.
RECOMMENDED: "Iraq snapshot"
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"Ongoing wars, ongoing veterans issues"
"And the war drags on . . ."
"The buried realities"
"The continued suffering of Iraqi Christians"
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- Truest statement of the week II
- A note to our readers
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- Fashion and Natural disasters
- They can't silence her, so they try and hide her
- Ground the Drones (San Fran, January 4th)
"THIS JUST IN! FADED CELEBRITY!"
"Oh that faded brand"