Wednesday, December 22, 2010






12 men arrested over suspected terrorism plot in United Kingdom

ABC2 News - ‎Dec 20, 2010‎
The Associated Press LONDON - British authorities arrested 12 men on Monday, accusing them of plotting a terror attack in the United Kingdom. ...

Police In UK Arrest 12 In Probe Of Terror

Wall Street Journal - ‎21 hours ago‎
By CASSELL BRYAN-LOW LONDON—UK police arrested 12 men in a large-scale counterterrorism operation described as "absolutely necessary" for public safety, ...



Starting with every rape survivor's 'friend' Naomi Wolf. For those who are late to the party, Naomi continues to attack two women who may have been raped by Julian Assange of WikiLeaks. She insists that she's a big friend to rape survivors -- apparently when not implying they're liars or CIA agents or whatever else. Naomi, when did you cover Abeer Qassim Hamza al-Janabi? That's right, you didn't. You had 'other things to do,' important ones. For example, when the final trial was taking place in Kentucky, you had a 'pressing' issue to cover instead as Cedric's "Naomi Wolf wins Dumbest on the Face of the Planet" and Wally's "THIS JUST IN! BACKLASH NAOMI WOLF!" noted May 4, 2009:
Robin Morgan was able to write about it, Naomi. Video here of Jane Fonda speaking on the War Crimes. See, Naomi, most of us feminists were tackling this story. Where the hell were you? You couldn't be bothered, now could you? But now you want to boast about your expertise and commitment to the issue?
Late to the party like Naomi? Fortunately the ring-leader is trying to get sympathy so we can provide the catch up. May 7, 2009 Steven D. Green was convicted for his crimes in March 12, 2006 gang-rape and murder of Abeer Qassim Hamza al-Janabi, the murder of her parents Kassem and Fakhriya and the murder of her five-year-old sister Hadeel while Green was serving in Iraq. Green was found to have killed all four, to have participated in the gang-rape of Abeer and to have been the ringleader of the conspiracy to commit the crimes and the conspiracy to cover them up. May 21, 2009, the federal jury deadlocked on the death penalty and instead kicking in sentence to life in prison. September 4, 2009, he was sentenced. Throughout it all, he failed to take accountability, instead whining and playing the victim. AP's Brett Barrouquere was one of the first reporters to cover Green's crimes ad he continues to cover the case. Sunday he was reporting on an interview he's done with Green.

During the interview, Green whines about himself a lot and -- as with his court appearance -- demonstrates no remorse or real accountability for his actions. At one point, he tells Barrouquere, "If I hadn't ever been in Iraq, I wouldn't be in the kind of trouble I'm in now. I'm not happy about that." Well he could have gotten the death penalty, maybe he should be happy. Death is what he sentenced two young Iraqi girls and their parents to. Abeer's surviving family was very upset that he was going to prison and not getting the death penalty.

Green killed four people, in cold blood. While he likes to lessen the rape, it was gang-rape and he went last. Plenty of time to 'cool off' (he's claiming he couldn't think more than 10 minutes into the future). He took part in the gang-rape and he killed Abeer. And before he killed her, he'd already killed her sister and her two parents.

He killed four people. He gang-raped a 14-year-old girl. A 14-year-old girl he'd already been stalking. He'd stopped her at the neighborhood checkpoint, made unwanted advances and comments, her parents were getting her out of town, she would have been gone the next morning. But he and his friends broke into the family's home and gang-raped Abeer while she could hear Green killing her parents and her sister in the next room, then Green raped her, killing her after he got off and then attempting to set her corpse on fire.

He tries to claim in his latest revision of history that he was despondent over deaths in Iraq but, as the jury was informed during the trial, "screwing Iraqi chicks" was what they'd been talking about as they began plotting, not about any deaths.

Green was tried in civilian court because he had already been discharged when the crimes came to light. His co-conspirators were tried in military court (and were found guilty or admitted their guilt). On the military side, it started with an August 2006 Article 32 hearing held in Iraq in which US Army Capt Alex Pickands pointed out:

Green's been playing the victim for some time. In his interview today, he's claiming he enlisted out of 'duty to country.' Really? Because it's already on record that he enlisted because he'd been arrested (again) and exhausted all other avenues. (He's also very lucky his juvenile records remain sealed.) At 19, with his record, he was looking at doing time. It was jail or the military and he made his choice. From day one, he's been convinced (and his attorneys believe it as well) that he doesn't belong behind bars for life and that's how he's acted all along (it's why he wasn't able to pull off a plea bargain, Marisa Ford wasn't going to go along with a slap on the wrist for a gang-rape and four murders). He killed four people in cold blood.

To this day, there has been no effort on his part to acknowledge what his actions did -- that's why Abeer's family was outraged in the courtroom with her aunt having to leave the courtroom so enraged was she by his cavalier remarks. Green needs to take responsible for his actions. He wants to blame the military. The killers of Pfc Joseph John Anzack, Sgt 1st Class James D. Connell, Spc Daniel W. Courneya, Pfc Byron Wayne Fouty, Spc Alex Ramon Jimenez, Cpl Christopher E. Murphy and Sgt Anthony J. Schober are responsible for their actions as well. But it is something that Green has still never mentioned the 7 dead US soldiers whose killers claimed that they attacked because of the War Crimes carried out in Abeer's home -- they named. And this was before the US military was aware of what took place, they made their claim of retaliation for the murder and rape before the US military knew about what really happened at Abeer's home (it had been done by 'insurgents' was the finding at that time). After the assault on the seven soldiers (three of whom were in kidnapped status at the time and would later be found to be dead), Pfc Justin Watt came forward with what he'd heard the co-consipirators say and do (he came forward at the end of June 2006, a month after the assault on US soldiers). Green has never publicly acknowledged the deaths of those 7 soldiers. But he wants to repeatedly claim his actions were forced on him.
Hey, maybe Naomi Wolf can take up his case next? Maybe, when he was killing the five-year-old girl, she didn't scream, "NO!" Maybe she just cried and so it wasn't -- in Naomi Wolf's mind -- Green's fault? Maybe when Green became the third man in a row to rape Abeer, she just sobbed and didn't get out the words "NO!" which made it okay with Naomi? Irin Carmon (Jezebel) takes on the 'logic' Naomi offered yesterday on Democracy Now!:

She added, "If you're going to treat women as moral adults, and if you're going to take the issue of rape seriously, the person who's engaging in what he thinks is consensual sex, has to be told, 'I don't want this,' and again and again and again, these women did not say, this was not consensual."

Friedman replied that if the women had been consenting, Assange wouldn't have needed to pin one down with his arms, or penetrate the other while she was sleeping, without a condom, contrary to her stated demand to use one. "Taking your clothes off with someone does not mean you consented to all sexual activity," she reminded Wolf.

Wolf claimed Assange "consulted with the women" and that they had told him "yes, yes, yes," which isn't in the police report leaks that I read. "You're not respecting women by casting them as unable to assert what they want, or unwilling to speak about what they wish," she said.

In a perfect world, every rape would be clear-cut and involve someone shouting no so as to make legal enforcement easy. Oh wait, in a perfect world, all sex would be consensual and no one would be woken up with an unwelcome, unsheathed penis inside of them.

Carmon also tackles Michael Moore and Keith Olbermann. Moore we've called out here multiple times over the years. We were never, ever stupid enough to quote Olbermann here because his reputation with women is so vile that even the dark days of the Bush era, we knew to stay away from him. Bob Somerby has long documented Olbermann's sexism so you can refer to The Daily Howler. I don't excuse the behavior of either man but, as Ava and I have argued, they couldn't get away with it today if a woman wasn't waiving them through and providing them with cover so they could hide behind her and claim, "Hey, even 'feminist' Naomi Wolf . . ." Jessica Valentie offers a roundup of links on the topic here.
On Democracy Now!, Naomi claimed that she'd heard from tons and tons of women which is surprising since her Facebook page is largely all male. When a woman does comment, she's either a right-winger supporting Naomi or someone calling her out like Rachel Casebolt:
Rachel Casebolt Naomi: "So... if you're going to take the issue of rape seriously, the person who's engaging in what he thinks is consensual sex has to be told, "I don't want this." And again and again and again, these women did not say, "This is not consensual."
This is some repugnant, anti-feminist trash.
No one has a right to someone...
else's body without affirmative consent. Unless you get a "yes," you do not have consent. Lack of "no" is not consent. This is Feminism 101 stuff. What were you thinking?
As Harriet J posted today, "With friends like these, who needs rape culture?"

I wonder if those 'women' Naomi claims to 'hear from' exist only in her head? At Girlfriend Junction, Jenn writes in the comments, "Also, I am still confused as to why Naomi Wolf gets to be some sort of 'feminist spokesperson' on this, after repeatedly putting her foot in ther mouth. And repeatedly being hell privileg-y." Naomi Wolf is not a spokesperson nor is she an expert on rape and if anyone bothered to read her bad books, they'd know that. Since January 2009, Ava and I have been calling her out on the gang-rape she enabled in college, refusing to call out the rapists (her friends) because she didn't want to be called a (her term) "lesbo." Realizing how few people read (and how few readers bother to read Naomi Wolf in the first place), Elaine posted that section from Promiscuities last night (it pages 177 - 178, by the way) so you can refer to that if you're just now discovering that Naomi repeatedly spits on women and stands with male sexual assailants. Yesterday on Democracy Now!, Naomi wanted to brag and get credit for "my 23 years of supporting rape victims" which would be after the gang-rape she helped cover up and for "working in rape crisis centers". Really? She thinks she can claim credit for the latter. Has she not read her own writing? Check out chapter eleven of her second book, Fire With Fire ("Case Studies" is chapter eleven), which is nothing but a rant about the rape center and the women at it. Here are some of her written complaints in her own words:
* my spirits collapsed the instant I walked in the door
* deadening atmoshpehere
* [trapped in the beauty myth of her own making] people's skin look[ed] dead white or liverish gray-brown
* a phone bank that was always too busy
* dried-whey powdered coffee creamer, bulk freeze-dried coffee
And that's just her opening. If only the workers at the center valued flowers as much as Naomi and physical appearance as much as she did. She confesses to treating "myself to a nice long drink of self-righteousness" thereby establishing where her current bad habits started. She whines that her work at the rape center (pay attention to this) would leave her "prompted to pick a fight with my perfectly friendly, nonabusive, housework-sharing boyfriend" (the one who dry humped the unwilling woman?). She whines that volunteering at the rape center meant "You were not allowed to laugh too much" and "You were never supposed to talk affectionately about your boyfriend". And, she whines, "The rape crisis center starved for lack of fun." Guess the Peace Corps must be thrilled right now that they didn't get college-era Naomi.
Reflecting on Fire With Fire today, you quickly grasp that Naomi was actually charting how to succeed via sexism. She pretended otherwise but how else is page 95 to be read, for example? It's there that she confesses that declaring "Rape is bad" "can position a woman as a peculiar outsider." That sort of explains why she now attacks women who may have been raped, doesn't it? And certainly pages 97 through 99 (semi-charting her self-embarrassing encounters with an anti-feminist who publicly referred to her as an "air head") read as though they're not only describing that woman, they're describing herself. Choosing one sentence at random from page 97: "A writer who defines herself as a feminist while she generates some traditionally antifeminist opinions, ___ was feted in the very press that had assiduously neglected over the course of a decade to present to the public the currents of thought she indicted." Reads like Wolf's autobiography today.
Wolf claims that she's now reaching more and more women. When the reality is -- check out any site with comments -- she's actually reaching men who loathe women and self-hating women and feeding into their hatred of women. She is the woman she criticizes starting on page 97. What a proud moment for her. This crowd ignores an actual feminist -- Susan Faludi, for example, who emerged in the book world at the same time as Naomi and whose books have always outsold Naomi's -- and embraces Naomi and the reason is obvious (even to Naomi): She's selling attacks on women and providing the yes-you-may to attackers. That's why they've embraced her. Caroline May (of the right-wing Daily Caller) files an article on the Naomi versus feminists. In it, Women's Media Center's Yana Walton calls out Michael Moore and Keith Oblermann and states, "When sexual violence and rape is such a huge part of women's lives internationally I don't think it is ever helpful to legitimize it. Rape is rape is rape is rape, and should be prosecuted as such." The New Agenda's Amy Siskind is quoted stating, "[Wolf] trivialized these women and rape generally and if you look online and at the blogosphere, she certainly stands alone. If this is what it is to be a Progressive, that we sublimate women and rape so thatw e can celebrate whatever [Michael Moore] is celebrating with freedom of speech. And I think women on the Progressive side need to reexamine how they are being treated." Angus Johnson (Student Activism) critiques (f-word warning) Naomi's nonsense on Democracy Now here. And Jill (Feministe) notes a campaign to raise awareness in Sweden of sexual assault.
Julian Assange is the public face of WikiLeaks. He may or may not have raped two women. He does seem in danger of losing it these days and WikiLeaks would be wise to find a new public face quickly. Adam Gabbatt (Guardian) documents Assange's rants that the Guardian is out to get him and deliberately attempted to destroy his chances at receiving bill:
The discussion was broadcast as the Times [of London] published its own interview with Assange, in which he said documents had been leaked to the Guardian in an attempt to undermine his final bail hearing, held on 16 December.
However, the documents were not leaked to the Guardian, and details from the documents to which Assange referred were published only after the 16 December hearing.
Assange was granted bail on 14 December, but remained in prison for a further two days after the Swedish authorities challenged the decision.
[. . .]
The Guardian published an article which included some details from the police statements online at 9.30pm on Friday 17 December, and in the Guardian newspaper on Saturday 18 December.
Dan Murphy (Christian Science Monitor) adds, "Assange's falling out with former allies may come as little surprise to many who have worked closely with him. Former WikiLeaks No. 2 Daniel Domscheit-Berg, who formerly went by the pseudonym Daniel Schmitt until breaking with the group earlier this year, has described Assange as "dictatorial" and has said he's creating a rival group dedicated to releasing government secrets in a more open and transparent manner." Nitash Tiku's "The WikiLeaks Sage Is All Working Out According to Assange's Plan" (New York Magazine) explores an essay/manifesto Julian Assange wrote and its meaning in light of his actions today:

Provoking a stronger enemy into an overreaction is a classic strategy for insurgents, and it's not hard to see how some of the U.S. reactions to WikiLeaks have not been in the nation's best interest. Pressuring private companies to cut off websites the government doesn't like, especially without due process, will make it pretty hard for the U.S. to maintain the high ground with authoritarian governments like China or Iran. And prosecuting Assange will set a dangerous precedent that could land just about any newspaper or media outlet in the crosshairs next time, dangerously undermining the First Amendment.
Yesterday the Guardian posted one of the US State Dept cables WikiLeaks had released in which the State Dept detailed a visit by Italian government officials expressing that the death of Nicola Calipari was not something the government is concerned one and that they desire "to put the incident behind us" and to avoid harming "our strong friendship and alliance." If true, that's appalling. Nicola Calipari was an Italian government agent. He was sent to Italy to secure the release of journalist Giuliana Sgrena. After doing so, he was shot dead by US soldier Mario Lozano Jr. and Sgrena was left wounded. Rajeev Syal (Guardian) reports on another cable which John Nagal wrote (January 2010) that "Halliburton's senior executive in Iraq accused private security companies of operating a 'mafia' to artificially inflate their 'outrageous prices'."

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