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Casualties


Casualties

The Budgies are Listless

 

By Charles M. Young

 

On Thursday, January 5, I was waiting for the elevator in the lobby of my building when I was joined by a woman who lives up the hall from me. She was carrying a grocery bag with The New York Times poking out the top. “Why did you buy it?” I asked. “They just raised the price to $2.50. Who can afford that for a daily newspaper?”

“I have a very large birdcage,” she said. “It’s the only newspaper that fits the bottom of my birdcage.”

My neighbor is a classical musician who makes a living at it. She pays attention to politics and votes. She buys things. She’s a little older than the actors playing obedient yuppies in the NYT commercials that beg for subscriptions, but is otherwise their ideal reader.

Killer Cops Aren't Heroes: We Need Police Who Think Like Firefighters, Not Like Soldiers in a War Zone

By Dave Lindorff

 

The sad slaying of troubled eighth-grader Jaime Gonzalez in Brownsville by trigger-happy local police illustrates the sad an dangerous state we have arrived at as we turn our local police forces into SWAT team soldiers up-armed with assault rifles, black facemasks and stun grenades.

The reason Gonzalez, who had no hostages and was just armed with a pellet gun, was killed by police bullets was because the primary concern of the officers confronting him was to eliminate the threat to themselves, not to rescue a troubled kid.

Killing Kids is So American

 

By Dave Lindorff

 

According to news reports, 15-year-old  eighth-grader Jaime Gonzalez, who was shot and killed yesterday by police in his middle school in Brownsville, TX, was hit three times: twice in the chest and once “from the back of the head.” 

 

Police say they were called by school authorities because Gonzalez was carrying a gun, which turned out to be a realistic-looking pellet gun, a weapon that uses compressed air to fire a metal pellet which, while perhaps a threat to the eye, does not pose a serious threat to life.

 

Iran and Historical Forgetting

 

By John Grant

 

Ever since George W. Bush lost the popular vote by 500,000 souls and was selected President by a right-leaning Supreme Court, the United States has seemed to me devoted to a twisted fate of slow-motion Armageddon.

What seems to guarantee this is one of our most characteristic American traits: We don’t learn from the past; instead, we choose to officially forget embarrassing history so we can move on from our debacles without losing an ounce of glory. We all know how it goes: Sure, mistakes were made, but we need to keep our eye on the ball and move forward. The costs are paid in slow motion and out of sight.

Selective Sympathy: War’s Mayhem and Murder is Somehow Less Hard to Bear than the Humane Termination of an Injured Animal

 

By Dave Lindorff

 

The officer rested his arm holding the stock of the assault rifle on the top of a log pile, and aimed directly between the target’s eyes. She was looking directly at him, unblinking, from 30 feet away, and exhibited no fear. “I hate doing this,” he muttered, before finally pulling the trigger.

 

A sharp “bang!” rang out, her head jerked up and then her whole body sagged to the ground, followed by some muscle jerks, and it was over.

 

The officer went over and checked the body, decided no second shot was needed to finish the job, and then walked back to his squad car, took out his phone, and called in the serial number of his rifle, reporting his firing of one round, as required by regulations.

 

Better than Obama: Why the Establishment is Terrified of Ron Paul

 

By Dave Lindorff

 

 

It’s fascinating to watch the long knives coming out for Texas Republican Rep. Ron Paul, now that according to some mainstream polls he has become the front-running candidate in the Jan. 3 GOP caucus race in Iowa, and perhaps also in the first primary campaign in New Hampshire.

 

European Fail: Extraordinary Rendition Flights

Europeans accused over CIA rendition data

19 December 2011 - Almost two-thirds of countries asked by human rights groups about their involvement in extraordinary rendition flights have failed to comply with freedom of information requests – with European nations in particular accused of withholding evidence of the controversial CIA programme.

Legal action charity Reprieve and open government pressure group Access Info Europe made a total of 67 requests for flight data relating to the years 2002 through to 2006.

Was the Attack on Pakistani Outposts Deliberate?: How Far Will the US Go to Target Pakistan's Military?

 

By Shaukat Qadir


This past June I posted an article by Anatol Lieven on Facebook. For those who are not familiar with his name, Anatol is from the UK and numbers among the few journalists whom I always enjoy reading. I have met Anatol a few times and he is the kind of person who likes to get acquainted with the psycho-social environment of the people he writes about. Written in the wake of Osama bin Laden’s execution, Anatol’s article was critical of the US approach to the region, particularly Pakistan.

Supporters Give Bradley Manning a Hero’s Tribute Outside Fort Meade

 

By John Grant


Ft. Meade -- Saturday, December 17th was Bradley Manning’s 24th birthday, and at least 300 supporters gathered outside Fort Meade, Maryland, where the military was in its second day of a preliminary hearing process that’s expected to take about a week. Manning worked in military intelligence and is alleged to have released military secrets to WikiLeaks, which released the material publicly.

Transcripts of Haditha Massacre in Junkyard in Baghdad

Junkyard Gives Up Secret Accounts of Massacre in Iraq

December 14, 2011 - One by one, the Marines sat down, swore to tell the truth and began to give secret interviews discussing one of the most horrific episodes of America’s time in Iraq: the 2005 massacre by Marines of Iraqi civilians in the town of Haditha.

“I mean, whether it’s a result of our action or other action, you know, discovering 20 bodies, throats slit, 20 bodies, you know, beheaded, 20 bodies here, 20 bodies there,” Col. Thomas Cariker, a commander in Anbar Province at the time, told investigators as he described the chaos of Iraq.

Thoughts on Mark Twain's 'The War Prayer'

 

By David Lindorff Sr.

 

Balancing the Black Energy in Our Culture

 

By John Grant

 

Following a decade of military invasion and occupation in the Middle East and Southwest Asia, the United States is becoming the Rodney Dangerfield of empires: “We get no respect!”

The undisputed post-World War Two top dog in the world, on virtually every front the United States is more and more playing catch-up with two-faced, Clintonian shuttle diplomacy around the world and a  well-entrenched regime of secrecy and sophisticated public relations aimed at keeping the dismal story of decline out of the domestic mind-space.

Which Side are You On? Time for Obama to Act to End Police-State Violence Against the Occupiers

 

By Dave Lindorff

 

 

The growing number of video clips and photos showing police in Darth Vader-like riot gear assaulting peaceful demonstrators with everything from tear gas and mace to truncheons, point-blank shots with beanbags and rubber bullets, and of course the ubiquitous fist and club, have made a bad joke out of claims that America is either the land of the free or the home of the brave.

Homefront 911 and the Emergency in Military Kids

The risk of suicide in military children nearly doubles during a parent's deployment.  Daniel killed himself during his father's last tour.  He was 12 years old. 


He hung himself from the bunkbed he shared with his brother.  


His mom, Tricia, is wondering how Daniel's brother will cope with his father's upcoming deployment. 


So is another military spouse whose boy tried to kill himself during his dad's last tour - who also learned that her soldier will be deployed again in 2012. 


Isolated incidents?  Not if you're a military family member. 


These two moms will join other military family members on November 17 in this nation's Capitol to present Homefront 911: Military Family Monologues. True stories about how 10 years of war is really coming home.


12:00 noon at the US Capitol Visitor Center Congressional Auditorium free & open to the public.

Fatalities All Too Common: British Prime Minister Ignores Problem of Rampant Police Brutality

 

By Linn Washington Jr.

 

London -- For a dozen years they had marched peacefully to the street containing the residence of Britain’s prime minister, asking the current occupant of #10 Downing Street to investigate the scourge ripping at the soul of this nation.

That scourge is the thousands of suspicious deaths occurring while in the custody of British police, in British prisons and in British mental health facilities.

Eight persons died in police custody just during the first nine months of 2011, according to official British government statistics. That’s more than double the custody deaths last year.

Abu Zubaydah v Lithuania: CIA Prison Program

Lithuania in the dock for role in CIA rendition program

28 October, 2011 - A human rights group has filed a lawsuit against Lithuania for its role in a CIA rendition program which allegedly involved the illegal detention and torture of “high-value detainee” Abu Zubaydah.

Zubaydah, who was initially captured by American and Pakistani special services in a raid in Pakistan in 2002, spent some of his time in custody in a secret detention center in Lithuania, according to the Interights group. The European country allegedly collaborated with the CIA on its program of secret prisons, which allowed suspects to be incarcerated and tortured outside American territory.

On War: AMEN, Rachel, AF'inMEN!!!

Quite enough from Mr. Wolfowitz and the Cabal
Oct. 28: Rachel Maddow expresses exasperation that Paul Wolfowitz is still treated by the media as if he has credibility on foreign policy matters despite his infamous history of disastrously poor judgment.

 

Never More Proud to Be in a Courtroom

Never More Proud to Be in a Courtroom

by Kathleen Kirwin

October 28, 2011

“AS THE FATHER OF A YOUNG SON, I WENT TO THE WHITE HOUSE ON MARCH 19TH TO BE A VOICE FOR SHAHIDULLAH.” From the closing argument of Defendant Art Laffin in DC Superior Court.

 

Iraq: Just Another War Without an End

 


 


by WALTER BRASCH


  


We know the names of every one of the 4,479 Americans who were killed and the 32,200 who were wounded, both civilian and military, between March 20, 2003 and Oct. 21, 2011, the day President Barack Obama, fulfilling a campaign promise, declared the last American soldier would leave Iraq before the end of the year.


We know Second Lieutenant Therrel Shane Childers was the first American soldier killed by hostile fire in Operation Iraqi Freedom.


On March 21, 2003, less than a day after the U.S.-led invasion, Childers was shot in the stomach by hostile forces while leading a Marine platoon to secure an oil field in southern Iraq.  His father, Joseph, told NPR that it was his dream to lead Marines into combat.

Free Mumia Abu-Jamal Now: 30 Unconstitutional Years on Death Row are Enough!

 

By Dave Lindorff and Linn Washington, Jr.

 

With Mumia Abu-Jamal’s sentence of death now formally vacated, thanks to the Supreme Court’s decision last week not to consider an appeal by the Philadelphia District Attorney of a Third Circuit Court panel’s ruling that that sentence had been unconstitutional thanks to flawed jury instructions from the trial judge and a flawed jury ballot form, many of those who have long called for his execution are now saying, fine, let him rot in prison for the rest of his life.

 

Demanding Bush’s “Arrest” Over War Crimes with Indictment

Canadian protesters demand Bush’s “arrest” over war crimes

October 21, 2011 - Ottawa: Hundreds of protestors have asked the Canadian authorities to arrest former US President George W Bush for war crimes after he reached a Surrey hotel on Thursday.

Bush and his predecessor Bill Clinton were among the keynote speakers attending the annual Surrey Regional Economic Summit at the Sheraton Guildford Hotel. Human-rights groups, including Amnesty International were demanding the arrest of Bush.

Gail Davidson of the Lawyers against the War expressed outrage over the federal government for ignoring its responsibility in not arresting Bush.

Thugs on the Job: The NYPD, Protecting and Serving...Wall Street

 

By John Grant

 

At the end of this chaotic YouTube video, made at the end of a huge victory by the activists occupying Wall Street, and their thousands of supporters, one of many outraged demonstrators is heard hollering: "He ran over his fuckin' leg!"

Well, I've looked at the video three times and that seems a pretty accurate description of what this cop did.

At first, the scooter's front wheel seems to be in front of the young man's leg. The guy, by the way, is a clearly legal observer wearing an official National Lawyers Guild yellow observer hat. He seems to be in serious agony at this point. So it seems likely he has already been run over once.

HOMEFRONT 911: “Truth-telling at its Disturbingly Best” Coming to United States Capitol Visitor Center

 Military Family Monologues about the war at home to be presented on Capitol Hill.


Benefit performance at Shirlington Busboys & Poets Thursday, November 17 at 7:00 pm.


      Struggling with bearing the home front burdens of two wars for ten years, military family member’s rates of mental health issues are approaching  those of service members.  A study released earlier this year found that suicidal ideation in boys with a deployed parent is nearly twice that of civilian boys.  Tricia Radenz, the mother of a 12-year-old boy who killed himself during his dad’s 2nd tour, will be speaking at Homefront 911: Military Family Monologues at the United States Capitol Visitor Center Congressional Auditorium at 12:00 noon on Thursday, November 17. 

A Comment on Occupy Wall Street's First Statement

 

By Dave Lindorff

 

While this statement by Occupy Wall Street is a powerful list of grievances against capitalism, it fails to even once mention the word "war." This is a significant failing, and cannot have been an oversight. The activists in Liberty Park and in cities across the country, if they want to make this a mass movement to confront the corporate domination of American politics and society, must be willing to confront head on the reality that the corporate elite have made the U.S. into the world's greatest war-monger. It is not just "colonialism," an outmoded term, that is the problem. It is a vast web of imperialism, imposed by a war machine that is bigger and costlier than all the rest of the world's armies combined, and it is the single biggest reason that this country is descending into a state of social and economic decay and decline.

Lawless KBR Wanted Shower Deaths to Apply Iraqi Law

Judge says Iraqi law shouldn't govern lawsuit in soldier's shower death

Oct 04, 2011 - Iraqi law should not govern a lawsuit brought by the mother of a Pittsburgh-area soldier electrocuted in a barracks shower at an Army base in Iraq, a federal judge has ruled.

Lawyers for Houston-based military contractor KBR Inc. had asked U.S. District Judge Nora Barry Fischer to apply Iraqi law to the ongoing lawsuit in the January 2008 death of Pittsburgh-area Staff Sgt. Ryan Maseth. But Fischer agreed with lawyers for the soldier's parents who argued that United States law should hold sway because the base was under American control - and could provide for punitive damages and other advantages to the plaintiffs not recognized by Iraqi law.

We Know

They disappeared

caskets of dead

soldiers coming home;

cameras out of

view.

We knew.

They did not count

all they killed;

they did not count

at all.

We knew.

They said the

mission was accomplished.

They said the

mission was through.

Missions made of only lies.

We knew.

Murder and maim,

democracy’s name.

Murder and maim

and use our name.

Death for sale by enterprise.

Devil’s bargains stealing souls.

We know. We know. We know.

CODE ORANGE: Amendments missing!

Description: 1,4,5,8,13               

If you see them,

Call.

Their mother is worried.

Reward for their safe return.

We know.

Supreme Court fire sale:

Half off for

Politicians while they last.

We know.

Dead

Afghan children.

Dead Iraqi

Judge Freeman Joins Rogue's Gallery of Political Killer Jurists

 

By Dave Lindorff

 

 

There is a whole rogues’ gallery of charlatans, cowards, racists and liars involved in the 22-year lynching of Troy Davis, the black man who whose life was summarily terminated by the state of Georgia and by the United States of America last night, but one of them, Chatham County Superior Court Judge Penny Freesmann, will have a special place of honor in the growing pantheon of criminal jurists who have overseen the execution of innocent men in the course of America’s bloody legal history.

 

Some Resonance Please!

By Charles M. Young



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