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Posted on Friday, March 18, 2011
Rep. Walter Jones pushes for Afghanistan exit
By Barbara Barrett | McClatchy Newspapers
WASHINGTON — Again last Saturday, U.S. Rep. Walter Jones slipped into his office for the penance he has served nearly each weekend since 2005.
Again on Thursday, the House of Representatives turned its attention to the conflict in Afghanistan, and whether it is the time for U.S. troops to leave.
On Saturday, Jones, a Republican representing one of the nation's most military-heavy congressional districts, signed two dozen letters of condolences. He has signed 9,505 in all, not only for the deceased Marines from Camp Lejeune in his district, but for the fallen throughout the country who died in Iraq and Afghanistan. He pledged to do this in 2005, after deciding that he had been wrong to support the war in Iraq.
For two hours Thursday, more than 30 members debated a resolution that would invoke the War Powers Resolution of 1973 and would require President Barack Obama to leave Afghanistan entirely by the end of this year.
The resolution was sponsored by U.S. Rep. Dennis Kucinich, an Ohio Democrat. Jones was the lead co-sponsor.
Gadhafi's LatAm allies criticize military strikes
By IAN JAMES, Associated Press Ian James, Associated Press
CARACAS, Venezuela – Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez condemned military strikes against Libya on Saturday, accusing the United States and its European allies of attacking the country to seize its oil.
Chavez's ally and mentor Fidel Castro raised similar concerns in a column written before the first strikes, while Bolivian President Evo Morales also accused world powers of intervening with an eye to the North African country's oil.
Chavez, who has long-standing ties to Moammar Gadhafi, has urged mediation and called it "disgusting" that the U.S., France and other countries are taking military action.
"More death, more war. They are the masters of war," Chavez said. "What irresponsibility. And behind that is the hand of the United States and its European allies."
"They want to seize Libya's oil. The lives of Libya's people don't matter to them at all," Chavez said. "It is deplorable that once again the warmongering policy of the Yankee empire and its allies is being imposed, and it is deplorable that the United Nations lends itself to supporting war, infringing on its fundamental principles instead of urgently forming a commission to go to Libya."
Anti-war protesters arrested near White House
By ERIC TUCKER, Associated Press Eric Tucker, Associated Press – 59 mins ago
WASHINGTON – More than 100 anti-war protesters, including the man who leaked the Pentagon Papers, were arrested outside the White House on Saturday in demonstrations marking the eighth anniversary of the U.S.-led war in Iraq.
The protesters, some shouting anti-war slogans and singing "We Shall Not Be Moved," were arrested after ignoring orders to move away from the gates of the White House. The demonstrators cheered loudly as Daniel Ellsberg, the former military analyst who in 1971 leaked the Pentagon's secret history of the Vietnam War that was later published in major newspapers, was arrested and led away by police.
In New York City, about 80 protesters gathered near the U.S. military recruiting center in Times Square, chanting "No to war" and carrying banners that read, "I am not paying for war" and "Butter not guns."
Similar protests marking the start of the Iraq war were also planned Saturday in Chicago, San Francisco and other cities.
The demonstration in Washington on Saturday merged varied causes, including protesters demanding a U.S. military withdrawal from Iraq and Afghanistan as well as those supporting Bradley Manning, the jailed Army private suspected of giving classified documents to the website Wikileaks.
One chant that was repeated was: "Stop the War! Expose the Lies! Free Bradley Manning!"
Hundreds protest in support of crusading Spanish judge
MADRID (AFP) – Spanish actors, writers and union leaders joined a protest in Madrid by hundreds of people on Saturday in support of embattled Judge Baltasar Garzon, who was suspended last year pending a trial for abuse of power.
Behind a placard reading "Truth, Justice and Redress" and a picture of Garzon, speakers called for an end to the "persecution" of the judge, best known for his attempt to extradite former Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet from Britain for human rights abuses in 1998.
"The quality of Spanish democracy will not be complete until this situation is resolved," the head of the CCOO union, Ignacio Fernandez Toxo, told the crowd in the Plaza Mayor, in Madrid's historic centre. Others addressing the gathering included actress Pilar Bardem, the mother of Oscar-winning actor Javier Bardem, and the poet Marcos Ana, who was imprisoned under the Franco dictatorship.
A statement by the umbrella group "In Solidarity with Garzon" which organised the demonstration called for an end to "the attempt to criminalise the actions of the judge" and condemned the "unacceptable inaction" of the Spanish government and judiciary in the case.
Campaign for GI and Veteran Rights - First sector: Right to Heal
Operation Recovery: A Campaign to Stop the Deployment of Traumatized Troops
On October 7, the 9th anniversary of the Afghanistan invasion, Iraq Veterans Against the War will announce our first-ever strategic campaign, *Operation Recovery: Stop the Deployment of Traumatized Troops. We recognize that we must stop the deployment of all soldiers in order to end the occupations in Iraq and Afghanistan. However, we see the deployment of soldiers with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, Traumatic Brain Injuries, and Military Sexual Trauma as particularly cruel, inhumane, and dangerous. *Further more, we know that without the repeated use of traumatized soldiers on the battlefield, the occupations in Iraq and Afghanistan could not continue. This is how we will end these wars, by winning our right to heal.*
Do you want to help IVAW end the occupations? Sign the pledge of support for Operation Recovery.
Join our campaign now by making a Pledge of Support
We are reaching out to you, our loyal supporters, before we make the campaign announcement public. In building up to the announcement we need you to help us inform others about this issue and get them to pledge their support for the campaign.
Thousands of troops are being sent to war despite suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI), and Military Sexual Trauma (MST). Many of us within IVAW have faced or are currently facing deployment as we try to recover from the severe trauma we have already experienced.
While we recognize that we must stop the deployment of all soldiers in order to end the occupations in Iraq and Afghanistan, we see the deployment of soldiers with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, Traumatic Brain Injuries, and Military Sexual Trauma as particularly cruel, inhumane, and dangerous. Military commanders across all branches are pushing service members far past human limits for the sake of 'combat readiness.' We cannot allow those commanders to continue to ignore the welfare of their troops who are, after all, human beings.
There is a problem, a basic right is being denied, and we will organize to get it back.
This issue affects all of us. Everyone needs to recognize that the improper standards of care in the military and VA are harming our brothers and sisters, our nation, and only furthers the cycle of dehumanization and destruction of these wars.
Spread the word about the campaign here: https://org2.democracyinaction.org/o/5966/tell_a_friend/operationrecovery ...
Tapes describe U.S. servicemen killing for sport in Afghanistan
From Drew Griffin, CNN Correspondent
September 27, 2010 6:26 p.m. EDT
Atlanta, Georgia (CNN) -- Tapes obtained by CNN of interrogations of a group of U.S. servicemen charged with unprovoked killings of Afghan civilians describe gruesome scenes of cold-blooded murder.
"So we met this guy by his compound, so Gibbs walked him out, set him in place, was like standing here," says Cpl. Jeremy Morlock, detailing how, on patrol earlier this year and under the command of his sergeant, Calvin R. Gibbs, he and others took an Afghan man from his home and killed him.
"So, he was fully cooperating?" the military investigator asks on the tapes in a May 2010 interview.
"Yeah," Morlock responds.
Investigator: "Was he armed?"
Morlock: "No, not that we were aware of."
Investigator: "So, you pulled him out of his place?"
Morlock: "I don't think he was inside. He was by his little hut area ... and Gibbs sent in a couple of people."
Investigator: "Where did they stand him, next to a wall?"
Morlock: "Yeah, he was kinda next to a wall ... where Gibbs could get behind a wall when the grenade went off. And then he kind of placed me and [Spc. Adam] Winfield off over here so we had a clean line of sight for this guy and, you know, he pulled out one of his grenades, an American grenade, popped it, throws the grenade and tells me and Winfield, 'Alright, wax this guy. Kill this guy, kill this guy.' "
Investigator: "Did you see him present any weapons? Was he aggressive toward you at all?"
Morlock: "No, not at all. Nothing, he wasn't a threat."....
Minneapolis activists to rally against FBI on Monday
Minneapolis, September 24, 2010. The many faceted local peace community rallied quickly to protest and to act against the FBI search and seizure of 6 homes of peace activists and a local peace office. Computers, cell phones, files and records, passports were among items swept up in the early morning raid. This action came a few days after the FBI's Inspector General criticized the FBI for lying to Justice Department about raids and surveillance of peace groups after 9/11. see - Washington Post The 5:30 rally turned out several hundred concerned citizens who heard the first-person stories of the searches...
No more PSYOPS for you kiddies, from now on its "Military Information Support Operations..."
Army drops 'psy ops' name for influence operations
By KEVIN MAURER, Associated Press Writer Kevin Maurer, Associated Press Writer – Fri Jul 2, 5:54 pm ET
WILMINGTON, N.C. – The Army has dropped the Vietnam-era name "psychological operations" for its branch in charge of trying to change minds behind enemy lines, acknowledging the term can sound ominous.
The Defense Department picked a more neutral moniker: "Military Information Support Operations," or MISO.
U.S. Special Operations Command spokesman Ken McGraw said Thursday the new name, adopted last month, more accurately reflects the unit's job of producing leaflets, radio broadcasts and loudspeaker messages to influence enemy soldiers and civilians.
"One of the catalysts for the transition is foreign and domestic sensitivities to the term 'psychological operations' that often lead to a misunderstanding of the mission," McGraw said.
Fort Bragg is home to the 4th Psychological Operations Group, the Army's only active duty psychological operations unit. Psychological operations soldiers are trained at the post.
The name change is expected to extend to all military services, a senior defense official said in Washington. The official, who has direct knowledge of the change, spoke on condition of anonymity because not all services have announced how they will revamp or rename their psychological operations offices. Read more.