Hi there, !
Today Sun 05/30/2004 Sat 05/29/2004 Fri 05/28/2004 Thu 05/27/2004 Wed 05/26/2004 Tue 05/25/2004 Mon 05/24/2004 Archives
511928 articles and 1797265 comments are archived on Rantburg.

Today: 75 articles and 475 comments as of 8:45.
Post a news link    Post your own article   
Area: WoT Background                   
Captain Hook Jugged!
Today's Headlines
Headline Comments [Views]
Page 1: WoT Operations
2 00:00 Mark Espinola [336066] 
3 00:00 Frank G [336063] 
5 00:00 Tibor [336068] 
0 [336065] 
3 00:00 Tibor [336069] 
10 00:00 Long Hair Republican [336065] 
1 00:00 Bomb-a-rama [336064] 
5 00:00 badanov [336063] 
1 00:00 Frank G [336070] 
14 00:00 Dog Bites Trolls [336069] 
3 00:00 Bomb-a-rama [336064] 
0 [336066] 
1 00:00 Super Hose [336070] 
6 00:00 Super Hose [336068] 
12 00:00 RWV [336066] 
7 00:00 rex [336066] 
1 00:00 Brett_the_Quarkian [336065] 
0 [336065] 
3 00:00 Phil Fraering [336062] 
1 00:00 mojo [336064] 
2 00:00 The Doctor [336067] 
0 [336065] 
0 [336068] 
0 [336064] 
6 00:00 Robert Crawford [336063] 
3 00:00 Jen [336068] 
0 [336063] 
2 00:00 Anon1 [336065] 
2 00:00 Seafarious [336067] 
1 00:00 Steve [336063] 
4 00:00 Bomb-a-rama [336068] 
6 00:00 Frank G [336064] 
5 00:00 Frank G [336067] 
3 00:00 Jen [336067] 
12 00:00 Angie Schultz [336067] 
0 [336066] 
3 00:00 Cynic [336064] 
12 00:00 CrazyFool [336064] 
3 00:00 Jen [336064] 
30 00:00 ex-lib [336063] 
9 00:00 BigEd [336063] 
8 00:00 Dog Bites Trolls [336067] 
5 00:00 Anonymous5031 [336074] 
6 00:00 Deacon Blues [336063] 
17 00:00 tu3031 [336066] 
11 00:00 BigEd [336063] 
15 00:00 Dog Bites Trolls [336065] 
2 00:00 Bomb-a-rama [336066] 
0 [336065] 
6 00:00 Alaska Paul [336067] 
3 00:00 Howard UK [336070] 
5 00:00 RWV [336072] 
51 00:00 Dog Bites Trolls [336085] 
1 00:00 Mike [336067] 
Page 2: WoT Background
0 [336062]
4 00:00 Mark Espinola [336064]
7 00:00 Barbara Skolaut [336070]
1 00:00 BigEd [336062]
12 00:00 Pappy [336063]
0 [336063]
14 00:00 ed [336070]
2 00:00 Fred [336064]
13 00:00 Pappy [336064]
2 00:00 BigEd [336065]
12 00:00 Raj [336062]
6 00:00 Chuck Simmins [336063]
27 00:00 Deacon Blues [336063]
2 00:00 Anonymous4021 [336064]
4 00:00 Mark Espinola [336064]
4 00:00 Dog Bites Trolls [336067]
3 00:00 N Guard [336062]
8 00:00 BigEd [336063]
12 00:00 JFM [336067]
2 00:00 BH [336064]
23 00:00 Dog Bites Trolls [336069]
Captain Hook faces 11 terrorism charges in US
Abu Hamza al-Masri, a British cleric detained in London, faces 11 terrorism charges in the United States, including hostage taking, for which he could get a possible death sentence or life in prison, US authorities said. Hamza is also accused of helping Osama bin Laden's al-Qaeda group and the former Taliban regime in Afghanistan. Hamza, who is known for his fiery sermons in a London mosque, was detained by London police acting on a US extradition request.

US Attorney General John Ashcroft said Thursday there was an 11-count indictment against Hamza which includes charges of hostage taking and conspiracy to take hostages in connection with an attack in Yemen in December 1998 that resulted in the death of four hostages. Ashcroft said that militants in Yemen had stormed vehicles carrying 16 tourists, including two Americans, on December 28, 1998. Hamza provided a satellite telephone to a faction of the Islamic Army of Aden group which carried out the hostage taking, the indictment alleges. He received three calls from the satellite phone at his home on December 27. The Yemen military tried to rescue the hostages on December 29, but Ashcroft said the militants used the tourists as shields and four were killed and others wounded.

Hamza, whose real name is Mustafa Kamel Mustafa, is also accused of providing material support to terrorists, specifically to al-Qaeda, and attempting to set up a terrorist training camp in Bly, Oregon from October 1999 to early 2000. The indictment also charges Hamza "with material support violations for facilitating violent jihad in Afghanistan" and conspiring to supply goods and services to the Taliban. It said that in 2000, Hamza posted messages on a militant website urging followers to donate money and other help to Taliban programmes in Afghanistan. Ashcroft said the maximum sentence for hostage taking was the death penalty or life in prison. The maximum sentence for the additional charges was 100 years in jail.
Posted by: Fred || 05/27/2004 1:50:38 PM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [336062 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Heh - He apparently appeared in court today and stated that he did not with to come to America. Imagine that!
Posted by: AzCat || 05/27/2004 15:29 Comments || Top||


Yo-ho, yo-ho,
A pirate's life for me. . .
Posted by: BigEd || 05/27/2004 17:45 Comments || Top||

#3  Fred, why is this guy using an alias if everyone knows both it and his real name?

Is the name "Hamza" significant? Is there something wrong with "Mustafa Kamel Mustafa?"

(And now that I think about it, that name sounds familiar).
Posted by: Phil Fraering || 05/27/2004 18:50 Comments || Top||

Captain Hook Arrested in London!
About bloody time:
Controversial cleric Abu Hamza al-Masri has been arrested in London on an extradition warrant issued by the US government. The cleric still preaches outside the Finsbury Park mosque in north London, from which he is banned.
(emphasis added)
He has sparked outrage with his sermons castigating the UK and the invasion of Iraq as a "war against Islam". A spokesman for Scotland Yard said a 47-year-old man had been arrested at 0300 BST on Thursday.
Posted by: Atomic Conspiracy || 05/27/2004 1:47:34 AM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [336085 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Ooooh my surprize meter just imploded. Cue seething, whining, and full employment for barristers in 3,2,1....
Posted by: Seafarious || 05/27/2004 1:51 Comments || Top||

#2  War against islam ya say? That would be the social/politico aspects of islam. Yep!
Posted by: Lucky || 05/27/2004 1:52 Comments || Top||

#3  ooo an extradition warrant from the US? Thats definitely a surprise. I say we send him to gitmo.
Posted by: Valentine || 05/27/2004 2:03 Comments || Top||

#4  Bravo! One of London's biggest Islamic instigators down for the count! Let's hope this rat and many others are rounded up and soon!
Posted by: Mark Espinola || 05/27/2004 2:06 Comments || Top||

#5  best news for days.i'm delighted :)
Posted by: Shep UK || 05/27/2004 2:26 Comments || Top||

#6  Can I get a HAAAARRRRRRR!!!!!!!!!
Posted by: Anon4021 || 05/27/2004 2:29 Comments || Top||

#7  Hooah! Woohoo! And Hurray!
(The bad news is he's going to be going on trial in the US and that means he'll be over here. But we can fry him! Hooah! Woohoo! Hurray!)
Posted by: Jen || 05/27/2004 2:34 Comments || Top||

#8  Anybody know what the US warrant is based on?
Posted by: mojo || 05/27/2004 2:41 Comments || Top||

#9  Abu Hamza has been an extremist preacher for years.

I think they left him alone long enough to map his contacts and thwart planned attacks, but perhaps his usefulness is now over?

Deport him!!!!
Posted by: Anon1 || 05/27/2004 3:08 Comments || Top||

#10  [Off-topic or abusive comments deleted]
Posted by: Dog Bites Trolls TROLL || 05/27/2004 3:12 Comments || Top||

#11  Good, good ... but I want to see where we go with this ... what can the US charge him?
Posted by: Edward Yee || 05/27/2004 3:19 Comments || Top||

#12  Burn the flag and suffer the consequences shithead. Looks like his usefulness to MI5 has expired. However, word of warning - this guy's more slippery than a box of frogs. I should imagine there's some way our farcial judiciary will release him in time for tomorrow's Friday prayers. Jen -Pleeeaze fry him, Pleeeaze...

Posted by: Howard UK || 05/27/2004 4:00 Comments || Top||

#13  Too funny, Howard!
(We'll give it that good old Yank "Can do!" spirit!)
We *must* have the goods on him or Tony (and Jack Straw, the wussie) wouldn't let us have him!
Posted by: Jen || 05/27/2004 4:08 Comments || Top||

#14  I believe he's implicated in the murder of two British/American(?) tourists in Yemen a few years back - I think he was negociating between the hostage-takers and the respective government but actually gave the orders for them to be killed. MI5 have a lot on this guy and must have been using him to some degree. Hi ho it's off to Gitmo we go - I think he'll look simply stunning in an orange boiler suit.
Posted by: Howard UK || 05/27/2004 4:34 Comments || Top||

#15  The British Gavernment has stated they want a guarentee from the U. S. that we won't fry him if he is found guilty, since the death penalty has been outlawed in Britain. If we get him, can we strap him to an electric chair and just put it on "trickle charge"?
Posted by: Deacon Blues || 05/27/2004 9:34 Comments || Top||

#16  DBT, that quote's spot-on, I fear.

By the way, is Non-Expert still hanging around at all? I was wondering if there were any good books he could recommend on the Arabs.
Posted by: The Doctor || 05/27/2004 9:42 Comments || Top||

#17  Let the Yemenis have what's left of him....sharpen his hooks so he can't wipe his ass without bleeding to death
Posted by: Frank G || 05/27/2004 9:56 Comments || Top||

#18  Not sure why everyone's so excited about this. This clown's going to have the best lawyers in the country falling over themselves to defend him. Good luck on getting a conviction. Meanwhile, the press will portray him as some kind of ROP martyr.
Posted by: Infidel Bob || 05/27/2004 10:16 Comments || Top||

#19  apparently james Ujamaa, the oregon guy, ratted Capt Hook out for a reduced sentence. Just good stead law enforcement work. (yes, a plus for Mr. Ashcroft, I must admit)

Not sure if the extradition will allow for the death penalty. Hopefully Capt Hook will squeal, but I wouldnt count on it. At least hes out of circulation - and yeah, Id assume hes no longer of use to MI5.
Posted by: Liberalhawk || 05/27/2004 11:12 Comments || Top||

#20  from Bloomberg news:

...indicted for hostage taking and conspiracy in New York, [bad grammar here. he was indicted in New York, not taking hostages and conspiring in New York]following his arrest and extradition from the United Kingdom, prosecutors said.

Al-Masri, 47, was also charged by the U.S. government with setting up a terror training camp in Bly, Oregon, from October 1999 to early 2000, according to a Department of Justice statement issued in New York. Al-Masri also was charged with providing material support to the terrorist group al-Qaeda and the Taliban for ``facilitating violent jihad in Afghanistan,'' according to an indictment announced by U.S. Attorney General John Ashcroft today.

The charges relate to hostages who were taken in connection with a terrorist attack in Yemen in December 1998, Ashcroft said. Four hostages died. Penalties for hostage taking include life imprisonment or the death penalty.

Posted by: growler || 05/27/2004 11:26 Comments || Top||

#21  We don't need no stinking death penalty. Just put in the weight room for some exercise and the other inmates will do the rest.
Posted by: ed || 05/27/2004 11:33 Comments || Top||

#22  Busted! Score one for the good guys!

Posted by: Chris W. || 05/27/2004 11:35 Comments || Top||

#23  I'm with ed.
I'm sure they'll have a warm welcome for him at whatever penitentiary he goes to!
One of my memories from 9/11 was hearing on TV of the prisoners at Angola Prison in Louisiana--which is supposed to be one of the toughest-- being so moved to do something (just like the rest of us), that they gave several thousand dollars to help the 9/11 victims' families.
Posted by: Jen || 05/27/2004 11:36 Comments || Top||

#24  Put him in with 'The Sisters'
Posted by: Howard UK || 05/27/2004 11:40 Comments || Top||

#25  The Brits would not extradite Hook Boy to Yemen because of the possibility of them executing him. I cannot see how he could go to Gitmo because it has become an international criminal matter, so be prepared for a lefty lawyer media circus, IMHO.
Posted by: Alaska Paul || 05/27/2004 11:41 Comments || Top||


Bin Laden:

Is that walkman headphones you have?

Listening to music? Tsk Tsk my son.

Guards! Make him deaf!

Posted by: BigEd || 05/27/2004 12:39 Comments || Top||

#27  Mobile phone BigEd. It's a photo of the Hook talking to Khalid Sheikh Mohamed on the secure Al Qaeda phone.
Posted by: Classical_Liberal || 05/27/2004 12:57 Comments || Top||

#28  Direct line to Allah
Posted by: Nude Motorcycle Girl || 05/27/2004 13:07 Comments || Top||

#29  I would love to put a bullet between the eyes of that little prick with the wrapped face standing behind Capt. Hook.
Posted by: Bomb-a-rama || 05/27/2004 13:11 Comments || Top||

#30  #s 27, 28 1-888-CALL-OBL (225-5625)
Posted by: BigEd || 05/27/2004 13:20 Comments || Top||

#31  Is that walkman headphones you have?

Listening to music? Tsk Tsk my son.

Anyone want to bet this maggot is so decadent that he even consumes beverages with ice?

He [bin Laden] was against any American products and I can tell you this. He was against using ice and he actually forbidded [sic] it on the people that lived around him. Anyhow the people smuggled it in but he had forbidded it.

He had forbidded electricity even if he knew they needed it, but he didn't want them in any way to be spoiled because with some thing that's how it starts, he says. It starts with ice and then something a little more and then a more and more and more and so he restricted. … Lots of the people around him wanted stuff that, you know, were not American, but just pleasures of life that you need every day. But he was trying to keep them as close to him and as close to his way of living as he can.

Osama sounds like the life of the party ... NOT!

It is likely to be several months before a formal committal hearing at which a district judge will look at the evidence and decide whether it is strong enough for extradition.

The Egyptian-born preacher is already at the centre of a deportation battle with the Home Office, which wants to remove his citizenship, gained through marriage in 1981.

It would seem that Hamza is now side-lined for at least quite a while as his legal battle consumes him entirely. In view of the massive Islamic prison recruiting that goes on in America, I'd rather see this maggot in Gitmo.
Posted by: Zenster || 05/27/2004 13:22 Comments || Top||

#32  BigEd,
You sure it's not a phone sex line? With a face like that, I would think the only way he could get some is via long distance.
Posted by: ed || 05/27/2004 13:22 Comments || Top||

#33  Hey, Zenster, how do you know he's NOT going to Gitmo?
(Betcha he does.)
Posted by: Jen || 05/27/2004 13:31 Comments || Top||

#34  Hmmm, this makes me wonder if Capn Hook is a trade for those British prisoners released from Gitmo several months ago.
Posted by: Charles || 05/27/2004 13:49 Comments || Top||

#35  He won't go to Gitmo. Blair has enough political problems as it is, and sending the Hookmeister to Gitmo would enrage the left wing of Labour.

I like the idea of holding Hookie for several months waiting for a hearing on deportation. That will be inconclusive, and he'll wait several months for another hearing. Then several more months. He'll finally get here and it will take two years to be ready for a trial. All that time he's in stir and in our hands. Works for me.
Posted by: Steve White || 05/27/2004 13:57 Comments || Top||

#36  Hold him a few months, then release him, with effusive thanks for "all his cooperation"...
Posted by: mojo || 05/27/2004 14:38 Comments || Top||

#37  Fine then we dont send him to gitmo, we send him to an 'undisclosed location for detention'. We have LOTS of those ;)
Posted by: Valentine || 05/27/2004 14:44 Comments || Top||

#38  Hold him a few months, then release him, with effusive thanks for "all his cooperation"...

Ding, ding, ding ... We have a winner!
Posted by: Zenster || 05/27/2004 15:05 Comments || Top||

#39  ...fix him up with a surgically-attached new hand (gold plated, with a nice "Courtesy of... [Her Majesty's Prison Service logo]" on the back), and a proper glass eye (with a working iris aperture, independent roaming function, the occasional shutter-click sound effect, a zoom lens and a particular penchant for faces).
Posted by: Bulldog || 05/27/2004 15:12 Comments || Top||

#40  Robo-imam!
Posted by: Seafarious || 05/27/2004 15:19 Comments || Top||

#41  make him walk the plank in the middle of the Atlantic ocean
Posted by: Shep UK || 05/27/2004 15:31 Comments || Top||

#42  Bad pun by newsman on Hannity's radio station. "A man with an eye towards terror has been arrestred. . ."

I guess he lost the eye looking at terror?
Posted by: BigEd || 05/27/2004 16:05 Comments || Top||

Looks like Britain gave him just enough rope for him to hang himself.
Posted by: Anonymous5023 || 05/27/2004 17:20 Comments || Top||

#41 make him walk the plank in the middle of the Atlantic ocean

Yo ho ho, and a bottle of rum!
Posted by: Liberalhawk || 05/27/2004 17:25 Comments || Top||


Yo-ho, yo-ho,
A pirate's life for me. . .
Posted by: BigEd || 05/27/2004 17:46 Comments || Top||

#46  He looks like Captian Hook el-Jihad
Posted by: Mark Espinola || 05/27/2004 17:50 Comments || Top||

#47  Captain Hook's videos:
Posted by: TS(vice girl) || 05/27/2004 18:04 Comments || Top||

#48  Why don't we just drop him into the middle of a standard issue British "football" riot. Squish, squish, squish...
Posted by: Zpaz || 05/27/2004 19:01 Comments || Top||

#49  Flag stop at FL310 on the trip across the pond.
Posted by: Alaska Paul || 05/27/2004 20:05 Comments || Top||

#50  The detention center at Guantanamo Bay is for enemy combatants, not criminals. Since Cap'n Hook wasn't captured in combat, he won't go there. DUUUUH.
Posted by: Gromky || 05/27/2004 21:49 Comments || Top||

#51  NRO sez: WoT hampered by Arab rejection of liberalism. Hence, Islamofascist garbage like Hamza are Arab celebrities.

'We have spent a decade demonstrating our good will. And yet, we still find that the Arab world holds us in so much contempt and hatred that even after devastating, unprovoked attacks in New York and Washington that claimed thousands of innocents, Arab elites can — without a moment of introspection, remorse, or humility — blame us and our policies as the legitimizing "root cause." Instead of a welling-up of popular indignation at the barbarities committed in their name, we hear excuses from most quarters of Arab society.'
If you want an Arab's respect, then spit in his face. Bring back the Ottomans!
Posted by: Dog Bites Trolls || 05/27/2004 3:12 Comments || Top||

Caribbean-Latin America
Venezuela: U.S. Pushing Harder for Recall Referendum
Posted by: Mark Espinola || 05/27/2004 23:55 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [336066 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Mark,
Could you please copy and paste the whole article? Thanks!
Personal question: Are you Venezuelan? I have noticed that you are the only one who post articles on the country.
Posted by: Anonymous4617 || 05/28/2004 3:48 Comments || Top||


That was the main content of the that news item. I shall be posting other updates over the next few days.

I am not Venezuelan but do indeed consider that nation of paramount importance, since the oil rich South American nation is after all a key member of OPEC. and currently tinkering on renewed major civil disorder, American crude oil imports could quickly become threatened again.

With oil prices hovering at about $40 per barrel another major jolt endangering the flow of U.S. energy supplies thus triggering another $5 to $7 increase at the world-wide commodity exchange price level, leaving motorists paying even more than the present.

Here is another news item via the BBC concerning the Venezuelan situation:

Chavez bristles amid fresh attack

In Venezuela there has been a fresh bout of sparring with the US as the latest stage of the battle over Hugo Chavez's presidency gets under way.

While Mr Chavez rubbished the US' role as the "world's referee", his vice-president slammed the Bush administration as "a bunch of madmen".

They were reacting to US comments on opposition efforts to oust Mr Chavez.

On Friday, the president's foes will continue efforts to force a referendum to be held on his rule.

They have three days to make sure at least 500,000 people verify the signatures which the opposition say have been put to a petition for such a referendum, but which have been queried by the electoral council.

'Fair and credible'

In previous days the US has indicated it is watching events in Venezuela closely.

In Washington, Secretary of State Colin Powell called the petition a "defining moment" for Venezuelan democracy.

Who gave the United States a whistle to be the world's referee?

Hugo Chavez
"I urge the Venezuelan government to honour the wishes of its people by supporting a fair and credible process that produces prompt results in an atmosphere free of fear and intimidation," he said.

The State Department's point man for Latin America, Roger Noriega, cast doubt on the electoral council's rejection of signatures, telling the Washington Times newspaper it was clear sufficient people had supported the petition.

He warned of "dire consequences" if the process again failed.

His remarks infuriated Mr Chavez.

"Who gave the United States a whistle to be the world's referee?" he said in remarks to students in Mexico, where he was to attend a European-Latin summit in Guadalajara, according to news agency AFP.

Venezuela, said Chavez, was fully prepared to "defend its sovereignty against the empire."
His deputy, Jose Vicente Rangel, painted the Bush administration as "a bunch of madmen".

The Venezuelan government has repeatedly accused Washington of trying to interfere in its internal affairs, most notably when the US failed to protest the short-lived overthrow of Mr Chavez in 2002.


Meanwhile, Mr Chavez's opponents geared up for the next stage of their dogged campaign to turn him out of the presidency.

Venezuela's constitution allows any elected official to be recalled at any time more than halfway through their term if more than 20% of the electoral roll - 2.4 million voters - support a referendum.

Mr Chavez's opponents claim they gathered 3.4 million signatures, but only 1.9 million have been accepted by the national electoral council (CNE), which says many signatures are suspicious.

At least half a million signatories, therefore, must confirm their support of the petition in the next three days.

The process could be complicated by demands from the Venezuelan government that Fernando Jaramillo - an electoral observer with the Organisation of American States - be withdrawn for his alleged bias toward Chavez opponents.

Reconciliation far off

Some 45,000 soldiers have been deployed throughout Venezuela to try to quell any of the violence that marked recent confrontations over the petition.

The referendum mechanism is meant to offer Venezuelans a democratic solution to the stand-off, says the BBC correspondent in Caracas, James Menendez.

But with each side accusing the other of trying to sabotage the process, reconciliation seems a long way off, he says.

Story from BBC NEWS:

Published: 2004/05/28 05:06:30 GMT


Posted by: Mark Espinola || 05/28/2004 4:13 Comments || Top||

Terror suspect ran shop outside US base in Japan
A Bangladeshi, suspected of being part of an Al-Qaeda-linked network, ran a cellphone shop directly outside a huge United States naval base at Yokosuka, south of Tokyo, and may have used the perch to track US military movements. Islam Mohamed Himu, 33, was also found to have some 1 billion yen (S$15.3 million) in his company’s bank accounts and may have operated an underground bank.

Himu’s company was located in a six-storey building which offered a good view of the Yokosuka base, the largest American naval facility outside the US. Japanese security authorities were said to have marked Himu ever since he set up shop there. There were also reports that he frequently surveyed the base from his fourth-floor office using binoculars. He has also been into the base several times.
Posted by: TS(vice girl) || 05/27/2004 6:31:42 PM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [336063 views] Top|| File under:

#1  well, at least we won't have to pay for his incarceration, beatings, and nekkid pyramids. He's got plenty o' cash
Posted by: Frank G || 05/27/2004 19:48 Comments || Top||

#2  Himu’s company was located in a six-storey building which offered a good view of the Yokosuka base, the largest American naval facility outside the US.

Most likely the shopping mall built on the site of an old shipyard next to the base.
Posted by: Pappy || 05/27/2004 21:25 Comments || Top||

#3  15.3 mil? I'd love to see some of those cellphone bills.
Might he be another Saudi charity case?
Posted by: tu3031 || 05/27/2004 21:33 Comments || Top||

#4  Muslim cell phone store owner in a foreign country ≡ terrorist.
Posted by: ed || 05/27/2004 22:07 Comments || Top||

#5  That's some scary news, folks.

Al Qaeda interested in naval movements? Sounds like they are taking money from a foreign government to me
Posted by: badanov || 05/27/2004 22:19 Comments || Top||

South Koreans to US Military: Get the Hell Out!! . . . WAIT, where are you going?
A banner draped over the city council building in Tongduchon, a featureless military town 40km north of Seoul and near the border with North Korea, proclaims: "We are strongly against redeployment with no back-up plan."
Could they be more specific?
The redeployment is twofold: the US decision to move troops away from the border and base them farther south and last week’s announcement that 10 per cent of its 37,000 soldiers in South Korea are to be shifted to Iraq, probably permanently. Park Su Ho, chairman of the council, is preparing for a demonstration today outside the US base. He said: "At the moment the people are peaceful. But the rage is huge and it is a very unpredictable situation."
Somehow Asian seething just doesn’t measure up to the Arab standard.
The anger is one of the most discernible expressions of a broader anxiety in South Korea. News of the plans for US troops has sparked a national debate about the state of South Korea’s 50-year military relationship with the US. The contradictions inherent in that relationship are writ large in Tongduchon. On the one hand, Mr Park said, people are delighted that the town will no longer suffer the constant buzz of helicopters, the shock of weapons tests and military exercises. On the other hand the withdrawals spell disaster for the town’s economy. Tongduchon has been a US army base for 50 years and has developed the infrastructure typical of many military towns: restaurants, bars and prostitution.
Mr Park said: "When the US goes 3,200 people who work at the base will lose their jobs and the total cost, which includes more than 500 bars and restaurants, will be between Won130bn ($110m) and Won140bn - 20 per cent of our economy. It will be the end of the town."
Some towns in Western Europe ought to be considering this as well.
As a result, today’s demonstrators are expected to demand money from the South Korean government. Mr Park said they deserve compensation because during five decades as an enforced US garrison the town’s residents have been prevented from developing land around the base.
Yasss, hit Uncle Sugar for mo' money.
. . .
One of Mr Roh’s most popular campaign pledges was to reduce the presence of US troops. But since then he has sent South Korean troops to Iraq, prompting criticism from supporters that he has become a US lackey. Now that his campaign pledge is being fulfilled, conservatives in the opposition Grand National party say his left-leaning politics are undermining security. With passions running high, the US army has stepped in, saying the alliance remains stronger than ever and that the changing nature of warfare means the key factor is technology, not the number of troops on the ground. Lt Gen Charles Campbell, Combined Forces Command chief of staff, said: "Think about capabilities, not just about the numbers." The US has pledged to spend $11bn to upgrade South Korea’s technological defensive capabilities. But in Tongduchon global geopolitics and the antagonism between Mr Roh and the GNP are of little importance to Mr Park. "People are suffering. It doesn’t matter if the administration is left-leaning or not - surely they have to care about people?"
What planet is this guy from?
Posted by: Sludj || 05/27/2004 2:52:22 AM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [336066 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Make up your f*&^%$# minds already! Geesh, you tell us to get out, and we say okay. Now you change your mind and say stay.

The military is not a welfare make work program. We don't send troops to Korea to keep prostitutes and barkeeps happy. We send them there to keep them alive. If they don't need us, we should leave. And find some other form of employment.
Posted by: Anon || 05/27/2004 5:05 Comments || Top||

#2  ...You'll notice tho:

...today's demonstrators are expected to demand money from the South Korean government.

Apparently, they know better than to hit US up for it...

Posted by: Mike Kozlowski || 05/27/2004 9:27 Comments || Top||

#3  Jeeze.... You think they would get some sort of hint from what happened Purto Rico with Roosevelt Road....
Posted by: CrazyFool || 05/27/2004 9:57 Comments || Top||

#4  This town's story is the same as those in the US that have had military bases closed recently. Some towns have had a tough time redeveloping the old bases, while others have reaped a windfall. As ever in real estate it's location, location, location.
Posted by: Spot || 05/27/2004 9:57 Comments || Top||

#5  In this area, Korea is not that different from California. Witness the performance of Barbara Boxer and Dianne Feinstein, senators from the golden state whenever the military attempts to close a military installation in California. The military's two harshest critics become instant experts in matters military to fight tooth and nail to keep the dollars flowing to their constituents. In democracies, the left assumes that the military will always protect them and guarantee their rights no matter what they do or say. Therefore they feel empowered to attack the military on all levels by questioning the motives, morality, intelligence, and actions of the men and women who serve, by voting to continually reduce funding, by restricting activities for "environmental" reasons (Large sections of a major training certer are off limits to protect the red cockaded woodpecker), and just in general making their lives miserable so they can posture politically. However, if the military calls their bluff and leaves, then all hell breaks loose. Ask the folks that used to work at Roosevelt Roads about the law of unintended consequences.
Posted by: RWV || 05/27/2004 10:30 Comments || Top||

#6  These people must be Clash fans. “Should I stay or should I go now?”

Besides, don't they know what the sound of freedom is?
Posted by: Eric Jablow || 05/27/2004 10:42 Comments || Top||

#7  South Korea has 10 times the economy of her neighbor and competitor North Korea. It's not like the 50s. They should want to defend themselves. Have they no pride?
Posted by: ruprecht || 05/27/2004 11:12 Comments || Top||

#8  Hey, don't slight the South Korean capacity for street rioting. Those guys make a Roman legion look like a class of unruly third-graders.
Posted by: Mitch H. || 05/27/2004 11:14 Comments || Top||

#9  We have helped SKor for 50 years and have sacrificed many of our troops so that they would be free and our country would be secure. It is time for SKor to grow up. Rummy's remarks a while ago were right on about reducing our troop presence. SKor has all the tools to defend herself, and she still has a massive US airpower backup. SKor better have the will. Enabling NORK behavior does not help.

BTW the Darth Vader outfits on the riot police are pretty cool. Heh heh.
Posted by: Alaska Paul || 05/27/2004 11:50 Comments || Top||

#10  Perhaps it's time for Colin to make a speech leaving South Korea out of our defensive perimeter in Asia.
Posted by: Mr. Davis || 05/27/2004 12:48 Comments || Top||

#11  You think they would get some sort of hint from what happened Purto Rico with Roosevelt Road....

The Puerto Rican model is the first thing that sprang to mind upon reading the title. Thank you for beating me to it, CrazyFool. As the old saying goes:

"Be very careful about what you wish for ..."

Although, it's really tempting to quote Oscar Wilde at this point:

"When the gods wish to punish us they answer our prayers."
Posted by: Zenster || 05/27/2004 13:02 Comments || Top||

#12  alliance remains stronger than ever and that the changing nature of warfare means the key factor is technology, not the number of troops on the ground.

Does anyone believe this? A heavy mech division with M1s and Bradleys is being replaced with wheeled Stryker APCs armed with .50 caliber machine guns. In addition to the brigade going to Iraq, I read somewhere that another brigade will come home, leaving only one brigade in S. Korea. Does anyone know if the tracked artilley and MLRS systems are leaving with the tanks?

If the younger generation, who grew up under US protection in an increasingly prosperous country, wants to blame us for the bad relations with their insane northern neighbor, then I have no desire to see Americans die defending them.
Posted by: ed || 05/27/2004 13:05 Comments || Top||

#13  If the younger generation, who grew up under US protection in an increasingly prosperous country, wants to blame us for the bad relations with their insane northern neighbor, then I have no desire to see Americans die defending them.

We should insert a PsyOps team to obtain detailed video of children getting cannibalized and North Korea's elderly being intentionally starved to death during winter. Then beam that material all over South Korea's television broadcasts and Internet. These stupid idjits would STFU in a New York minute.
Posted by: Zenster || 05/27/2004 13:47 Comments || Top||

#14  "On the one hand, Mr Park said, people are delighted that the town will no longer suffer the constant buzz of helicopters, the shock of weapons tests and military exercises."

In fact, in just a few months after a complete US pull-out, there will be no more need to protect the DMZ with the North. The threat of war will be over for Korea. There are so many benefits to a US withdraw and a complete surrender to the North! [Irony added.]
Look at the primary worry about the base closure -- money. What good will money be when you're starving to death (as noted by Zenster).
Posted by: No Military Experience || 05/27/2004 14:19 Comments || Top||

#15  Oscar Wilde, if we're gonna quote Oscar Wilde a more appropriate quote would be "A true friend stabs you in the front." Clearly South Korea is a true friend.
Posted by: ruprecht || 05/27/2004 15:47 Comments || Top||

#16  oh yeah true. But I think you may be going overboard here. Yeah, some people in SK say they want the US out, some say they want them to stay. It's a democracy (since the revolution in 1988 at least). In a town where the main business is staffing bars for the US troops, obviously they want them to stay or to get someone to pay them compensation. Hard to make too big an issue of.
Posted by: Anonymous5022 || 05/27/2004 16:33 Comments || Top||

#17  Maybe we could just station big piles of money over there. Would that make them happy?
Posted by: tu3031 || 05/27/2004 16:48 Comments || Top||

Down Under
Australian says he worked with Al-Qaeda out of fear
A British-born Islamic convert accused of plotting to blow up the Israeli embassy in Canberra told his trial here he agreed to follow Al-Qaeda orders to avoid being killed. Jack Roche, 50, earlier admitted meeting with Al-Qaeda leaders during a trip to Afghanistan in 2000 and said he carried out surveillance and tried unsuccessfully to recruit militants to carry out attacks in Australia. But in his second day of testimony Thursday, Roche said he had later been shocked to learn the identities of some of the people he had met in Afghanistan when he logged onto a website showing the US FBI's most wanted fugitives. "I was shocked. I was really taken aback," he said, saying he recognised five or six people he had met with in Afghanistan. "I was thinking 'this is too much -- this is very, very deep'."

During his trip to Afghanistan, Roche -- who has admitted being a member of the Southeast Asian Islamic group Jemaah Islamiah (JI) -- briefly met Al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden. He then talked at length with other senior Al-Qaeda members he named as Abu Hafs and Saif, saying they quizzed him about Israeli government interests in Australia, as well as prominent Melbourne Jewish businessman Joe Gutnick. "I really had no idea where they were going with this but the cogs were starting to turn," he said.

Roche told the court a man who had acted as an interpreter later told him another man had been taken into the desert and shot after attempting to contact the US Central Intelligence Agency. "I thought he was warning me, or trying to scare me, and it worked," Roche said. Roche said neither Abu Hafs or Saif ever mentioned a bomb, and he "certainly" did not agree to bomb the Israeli embassy.
"No, no! Certainly not!"
"I had agreed to surveil the Israeli embassy and gather information about Joe Gutnick," he said. "I did this because of the situation I was in. It's not a place you can get up and walk out of." Roche said he feared that if he tried to back out, "I suspected that they would kill me, whether it was someone from Al-Qaeda or JI." The court heard on Wednesday that the alleged leader of JI, Indonesian cleric Abu Bakar Bashir, eventually told him to halt all his activities in Australia following infighting between local JI militants and the group's regional operations chief, Hambali.
Posted by: Fred || 05/27/2004 5:16:18 PM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [336064 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Abu Hafs is probably Mohammed Atef and Saif is his deputy, Saif al-Adel.
Posted by: Dan Darling || 05/27/2004 17:32 Comments || Top||

#2  Roche said he had later been shocked to learn the identities of some of the people he had met in Afghanistan...

Shocked! Shocked I tell you!!
Another brave jihadi chokes under the pressure.
Posted by: tu3031 || 05/27/2004 21:37 Comments || Top||

#3  "I was shocked. I was really taken aback," he said, saying he recognised five or six people he had met with in Afghanistan. "I was thinking 'this is too much -- this is very, very deep'."

Totally full of shit? Or terribly, terribly naive? You be the judge.
Posted by: Bomb-a-rama || 05/27/2004 21:55 Comments || Top||

Greece conducts surveillance of Muslim community in walkup to Olympics
From Geostrategy-Direct, subscription required.
Greece has significantly increased monitoring over its Muslim community as part of security preparations for the summer Olympic games.
Holy racial profiling, Batman!
Greek officials said the effort has focused on the Muslim community in Athens. The surveillance is being conducted by Greece as well as Western intelligence agencies from countries advising Athens on Olympic security. These nations include the United States, Australia, Britain and Israel.
That is good that Israel is involved in this one. There is some hope.
The increased monitoring reflects concern by Athens and its allies that Al Qaida or related groups have planted sleepers in the Muslim community in Greece to facilitate a major insurgency attack during the Olympic games in August. Athens hosts some 15,000 Muslims.
That is alot of Muslims to keep tabs on.
Over the last two months, Greece’s military and security forces have conducted a series of exercises to test their readiness during the Olympics. The exercises included such scenarios as bus and airplane hijackings, sniper attacks and helicopter strikes. Officials said that so far authorities have not received any credible threats of pending insurgency attacks.
They won’t, either. Big surprise show for this one.
"If Al Qaida plans on striking during the Olympic games, then they are already here," Greek police chief Lt. Gen. Fotis Nasiakos said.
Understatement of the day.
Human rights groups said the surveillance has focused on Greek mosques, most of them operated by Pakistani nationals. They said Greek authorities have employed operatives in mosques and routinely searched worshippers, particularly Arab nationals. Athens, unlike other capitals in European Union member states, has never granted official approval for establishing mosques. But the government has already approved a Saudi-financed project for constructing a mosque and Islamic school complex.
Chicken coop---meet Wahabi fox den.
"There are Muslims who feel that they are being over-monitored and that their places of worship have been infringed upon," said Panayotis Dimitras, head of the Athens-based Greek Helsinki Monitor. "At the same time, we have a police force which usually finds it difficult to limit themselves to legal means."
Humiliation alert!
Authorities have also questioned Arab nationals who have come to Greece to give sermons in mosques. A leading mosque preacher has been identified as a Sudanese national. Greece has not acknowledged the presence of foreign intelligence agents to help monitor the Muslim community. But Muslim sources in Athens said the community has been concerned that NATO members could send intelligence agents to track and detain thousands of Muslims before and during the Olympic games.
If you don’t police and clean up your act, others will do it for you in a way that may not be to your liking. Tango Sierra.
Posted by: Alaska Paul || 05/27/2004 8:17:06 PM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [336064 views] Top|| File under:

Posted by: Bomb-a-rama || 05/27/2004 21:52 Comments || Top||

Turkish Police Detain 23
Police detained 23 people in an operation in Istanbul on charges of ''being members of radical Islamic terrorist organization''. The suspects who were captured by the police four days ago on charges of ''being members of radical Islamic terrorist organization that defends Vahabism and Selefism'' were transferred to the Istanbul State Security Court (DGM) Chief Prosecutor's Office following their interrogation and procedures at police department.
Six of the suspects are claimed to have ties to persons who staged bomb attacks on November 15 and 20, 2003 in Istanbul and named in testimony of several defendants.
Still working this case, well done
Istanbul suffered a series of devastating suicide truck bomb attacks targeting Neve Shalom Synagogue and Beth Israel Synagogue on November 15, 2003 and on HSBC Bank headquarters and British Consulate General in Istanbul on November 20, 2003 in which 61 people were killed and more than 700 people were injured. Al Qaeda claimed responsibility for those attacks. Turkish police captured 69 people in connection with the suicide attacks. Istanbul DGM will start hearing trial of the 69 suspects in Istanbul on May 31, 2004.
Posted by: Steve || 05/27/2004 2:05:23 PM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [336065 views] Top|| File under:

#1  I can hear Zsa Zsa saying it now: "Vahabism, zat zoddi sthingy, Dahlink"

Or wahabi's in a volkswagen = vahabi?
Posted by: Brett_the_Quarkian || 05/27/2004 14:27 Comments || Top||

Explosives found in Slovakia ahead of NATO meeting
Two bags filled with explosives were found by Slovak police near a building in the capital Bratislava where 300 NATO officials were to meet Friday. The two plastic bags, containing a total of almost one and a half kilos (about three pounds) of industrial explosives and charges were discovered under a rubbish bin, interior ministry spokesman Boris Azaltovic said. Around 300 representatives from 39 countries -- 26 members of the recently-expanded NATO and 13 associate members -- are due to gather for a five-day meeting of the transatlantic alliance's parliamentary assembly starting Friday in the city's concert hall. Assembly spokesman Keith Williams described the discovery as "disturbing" but played down its significance and said that no changes to the meeting or extra security arrangements were planned. "Given that the explosives were pretty old, the detonators were not linked up and no one has claimed responsibility this does not seem to be a serious threat. But it is possible that the intention was to activate the detonators later," Williams told AFP. "It looks as if this was more a protest rather than a serious threat."
Keith? Explosives are always a serious threat.
Posted by: Fred || 05/27/2004 2:00:22 PM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [336065 views] Top|| File under:

Police hunt 'Caliph of Cologne'
German police have launched a manhunt for the suspected extremist known as the Caliph of Cologne, a day after his extradition to Turkey was ordered. Metin Kaplan had vanished from his home in Cologne when police went to detain him after Wednesday's court decision to send him to Turkey. At least 100 German officers are taking part in the search for Mr Kaplan, who is wanted in Turkey on treason charges.
Tisk, tisk, Germans used to be much more "efficent" at this sort of thing.
His Caliphate State group wants an end to Turkey's secular government. The group was banned by the German government in the wake of the 11 September attacks on the US. The allegations against Mr Kaplan include claims that he planned to fly a plane into the mausoleum of Kemal Ataturk, founder of modern, secular Turkey.
Well, not him personally, he's much too holy for that.
The court decision for him to be extradited was taken on Wednesday in Muenster, near Cologne. The decision reversed earlier rulings that Mr Kaplan could stay in Germany as he would not receive a fair trial in Turkey. An arrest warrant was issued and police went to detain him, but he had already vanished. "Kaplan has disappeared. He is being searched for," a police spokesman in Cologne said. Mr Kaplan has served a four-year prison sentence in Germany for inciting members of his group to murder a rival Islamic leader. He was freed in March last year. Reports in Germany suggest he may have fled to the Netherlands, where he is believed to have a number of supporters.
And now, if caught in the Netherlands, I expect another long round of court hearings on extraditing back to Germany.
At which point he'll scoot to Belgium...
Can't wait for a Belgian court to indict him for crimes against humanity ...

Never mind...
German police call off hunt for suspected Turkish extremist
German police called off a Europe-wide manhunt for a suspected Turkish extremist leader after a court granted him a two-month reprieve as a final ruling is sought on his deportation order.
Why? It doesn't matter where he is?
Metin Kaplan, known as the Caliph of Cologne, was reported missing late Wednesday after police went to his home in the western German city to act on an arrest warrant issued after a court gave its approval for him to be deported. But Cologne's administrative court on Thursday handed Kaplan a two-month reprieve to await a final verdict. The Turk cannot be deported within that period. "Consequently, our search operations have stopped," said a spokesman for Cologne police, which had widened their hunt to Europe.
"We'll start hunting for him when the two months are up...
The 51-year-old Islamic fundamentalist ended a four-year prison term in Germany in March 2003 for inciting members of the Hilafet Devleti group or "Caliphate" to murder a rival Islamic leader. Cologne authorities had placed restrictions on Kaplan's movements about a year ago ordering him to report regularly to police, and opposition politicians demanded that an investigation be launched into how he escaped surveillance. "The authorities were watching, observing," lamented Bavarian state interior minister Guenther Beckstein "but that was just not the case."
Posted by: Steve || 05/27/2004 9:34:01 AM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [336067 views] Top|| File under:

#1  The allegations against Mr Kaplan include claims that he planned to fly a plane into the mausoleum of Kemal Ataturk, founder of modern, secular Turkey.

A young zealot asks why he was chosen to fly the plane into the mausoleum of Attaturk, and why "Caliph" Kaplan is not flying the plane:

Noo noo nooooo - That's OK. I have to stay here on Earth and organize more good works. You go ahead and proceed. You can have the virgins first.
Posted by: BigEd || 05/27/2004 11:38 Comments || Top||

#2  Watch for the name Victor Koppe...his name always pops up when jihadis are in trouble in Holland.
Posted by: Seafarious || 05/27/2004 12:19 Comments || Top||

#3  "...mostly, we just wish he'd USE some cologne." a source said.
Posted by: mojo || 05/27/2004 16:31 Comments || Top||

#4  It's rumored this dude went to The Netherlands. The liberal laws and regulations make The Netherlands a favorite hang- out for these guys.
Posted by: Dutchgeek || 05/27/2004 18:02 Comments || Top||

#5  jeebus it sounds like the 9th district court of silly appeals has spread to Germany as well
Posted by: Frank G || 05/27/2004 18:48 Comments || Top||

Turk Sentenced to Two Years for Inciting Attacks on Christians
The producer and host of a Turkish TV news show was sentenced to nearly two years in jail last week for airing false provocations against Turkish Protestants. On April 5, a panel of judges ruled that Kerim Akbas’ programs on Baskent TV had incited violent attacks last year against Christian citizens and their places of worship in Ankara. In video clips from Akbas’ “Haber Dosyasi” (News File) shows, he accuses local Protestant groups of creating “ethnic, radical division to disturb the peace,” claiming that Protestants were maintaining secret links with foreign intelligence organizations, and paying Muslim young people to become Christians. Ten days after Akbas’ first “expose,” a local church was attacked. Another local church received bomb threats. “This may be the first such legal ruling here in favor of non-Muslims,” the plaintiffs’ attorney said. Despite Turkey’s secular identity, Muslims who convert to Christianity have been repeatedly slandered with impunity by the Turkish media.
Posted by: Mike Sylwester || 05/27/2004 3:19:51 AM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [336065 views] Top|| File under:

Turkey Acquits Christian of Crime of Establishing a Church
In what the Hurriyet newspaper called a “jet acquittal,” a criminal court in southeastern Turkey dropped all charges yesterday against a Protestant pastor accused of opening an “illegal” church. Pastor Ahmet Guvener was fully acquitted in the opening hearing of his case before Diyarbakir’s Third Criminal Court. The quick resolution of the case surprised both Guvener and his lawyer, Abdul Kadir Pekdemir, who said a criminal case typically extends for a year or more before a verdict is issued. But when Judge Necla Ipek asked State Prosecutor Vahdettin Taskiran to present the government’s case against Guvener, Taskiran declared that no sufficient grounds existed to bring charges. Instead, Taskiran stressed that under recent reforms passed in Parliament, international agreements now take precedence over national laws, granting Turkish citizens the right both individually and in community to conduct worship, as well as to teach and propagate their faith. Moments later, Ipek declared Guvener acquitted and the case closed. “It’s a great step forward for Turkey,” Guvener told Compass afterward, “for Christians here, for religious freedom, for democracy.”
Posted by: Mike Sylwester || 05/27/2004 3:17:43 AM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [336067 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Now, try to build a synagogue...
Posted by: someone || 05/27/2004 4:11 Comments || Top||

#2  Damn, now my new surprise meter is broken too!
Posted by: Spot || 05/27/2004 10:02 Comments || Top||

#3  Hey spot--
try this AN/WTF-5 Military surprise meter.
it hasn't burned out yet. If it exceeds its range, it goes into the emegency Numb Apathy Mode(tm). Reset and you're good to go.
Posted by: N Guard || 05/27/2004 10:28 Comments || Top||

#4  Yeah, I've had an early model of the AN/WTF-5 for years, and it's been giving sterling service. Just remember to cycle from the N-A-M setting through the W-S-T! (Well, Screw That!)routine before resetting for Surprise. Adds a decade or two to the life of the unit.
Posted by: Sgt. Mom || 05/27/2004 11:51 Comments || Top||

#5  They REALLY, REALLY want EU membership, folks.

My SM didn't budge one iota.

Of course, ALLOWING Christian worship will be held against them by the EUrocratic elite, so this will fail as well.
Posted by: Ernest Brown || 05/27/2004 13:25 Comments || Top||

#6  N Guard --- LOL! My surprise meter is one that is converted from a refrigeration pressure gauge with the high end retard feature. Works both literally and figuratively on middle east information and news that defies the mind!!!!!
Posted by: Alaska Paul || 05/27/2004 13:45 Comments || Top||

Secret talks to persuade ETA to call truce
Negotiations have been going on behind the scenes for months to try to secure a truce with Basque terror group ETA, it was reported Monday. The Basque Nationalist Party and Eusko Alkartasuna, two Basque regional political parties, have been secretly talking to representatives of the banned Batasuna party, which has links to ETA. Spanish daily El Mundo claimed the talks have been going on since January. The regional politicians tried to convince ETA to accept the so-called ’Plan Ibarretxe’, a radical scheme to give the Basque Country more power from Madrid. The controversial plan put forward by the Basque prime minister, Juan Jose Ibarretxe, would strengthen the powers of the region, giving it direct representation to the European Union and its own courts. Madrid would still be in charge of defence. But the Spanish government and main parties have opposed the Basque plan. ETA leaders were said to have initially said they would not give up the armed struggle and abandon ETA prisoners. But they were said to have started a series of meetings among members of the banned terrorist organisation to discuss the issue – an historic move.
What's the Basque word for 'hudna'?
Security sources in Spain and France were quoted as saying phone taps revealed that some members of ETA were in favour of backing the separatist plan and calling a truce. Speculation has been rife in Spain since the 11 March terrorist atrocity and a series of significant arrests of ETA members, that the group was on the point of calling a truce.
Posted by: Seafarious || 05/27/2004 1:44:11 AM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [336067 views] Top|| File under:

#1  All the ETA needs to do--unfortunately--is blow up a few dozen people, and Zapatero will cave.

Poor Spain!
Posted by: Mike || 05/27/2004 9:20 Comments || Top||

Fifth Column
Moore interviewed Berg for "Fahrenheit"
From Salon. Don’t bother checking the link. You’ll have to suffer through a commercial first. All the improtant bits posted here.

Filmmaker Michael Moore filmed an interview with American Nicholas Berg in the course of producing his documentary film "Fahrenheit 9/11" before Berg left for Iraq, where he was taken hostage and killed, Moore confirmed to Salon in a statement Thursday. The 20 minutes of footage does not appear in the final version of "Fahrenheit 911," according to the statement.

Word of the footage reached Salon through a source unaffiliated with Moore or his film "Fahrenheit 9/11," which is reported to feature stark images of U.S. civilians and soldiers grappling with conditions in war-torn Iraq, as well as examining the relationship between President George W. Bush and the bin Laden family. It received the Palme d’Or, the Cannes Film Festival’s highest honor, on Saturday.

In a statement widely circulated by Moore’s people after an initial request for comment by Salon, Moore said, "We have an interview with Nick Berg. It was approximately 20 minutes long. We are not releasing it to the media. It is not in the film. We are dealing privately with the family." Moore’s camp declined to comment further on any aspect of the interview. Because the footage is not in the film, a spokeswoman for Miramax Films, the production company behind "Fahrenheit 9/11," said the company had no comment.

I am so betting Fatty finds a way to work some of this footage into the final cut of his "documentary." I mean, a young American killed "thanks to Bush’s fictitious war"? It’s too rich for him to resist. Ya know, like that last jelly donut. (And I don’t mean to belittle Berg’s murder; I mean to belittle Moore’s lust for Bush-bashing.)
Posted by: growler || 05/27/2004 6:06:05 PM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [336069 views] Top|| File under:

#1  (Posted story the same exact time Charles did over at LGF. Weird.)
Posted by: growler || 05/27/2004 18:27 Comments || Top||

#2  Or maybe Moore is embarrassed to release the video because it would highlight how shameful a person he is. Think about it: Berg apparently was a supporter of Bush and the Iraq war. Moore's strategy in interviewing such a person would be to make them look stupid. If that is what the video shows, anyone who watched Moore condescending to and snidely belittling a person who got his head sawed off would be revulsed by Moore. This is just my immediate reaction. The Berg story is truly bizarre.
Posted by: Sludj || 05/27/2004 18:36 Comments || Top||

#3  Odd. I thought Nicholas's father said his son was a Republican who was pro-Bush and in favor of the Iraq War...why would a pro-Bush person have anything to do with Moore, especially when he knows Moore is in the process of filming an anti-Bush documentary? Nicholas Berg's "mission" in Iraq seems to get fuzzier as more information is revealed about him.
Posted by: rex || 05/27/2004 18:37 Comments || Top||

#4  Hmm... This may actually lend credence to the theory that Berg was anti-war, anti-Bush and quite possibly over there to wage jihad against the americans.

Of course, it could just be any old interview where Moore takes everything out of context and spins it against the Pres.& Administration.
Posted by: Anonymous4021 || 05/27/2004 18:37 Comments || Top||

#5  [Off-topic or abusive comments deleted]
Posted by: Dog Bites Trolls TROLL || 05/27/2004 18:42 Comments || Top||

#6  I've only seen snippets of Moore's movies, but he doesn't only interview people who agree with him. He seeks out people who take the opposite view (and who aren't especially bright), doesn't disclose what he is doing, and essentially tricks them into looking stupid in defending their views. Maybe that is what was going on here.
Posted by: Sludj || 05/27/2004 18:45 Comments || Top||

#7  DBT, at least you didn't try to link to anything this time... :-)
Posted by: Raj || 05/27/2004 19:20 Comments || Top||

#8  Too many weird 'coincidences' with the Berg case. Direct link with a 9/11 plotter and now MM. I don't normally go in for conspiracy theories, but this smells like one.
Posted by: Phil B || 05/27/2004 19:49 Comments || Top||

#9  If he met Oliver Stone too I'm gonna explode!
Posted by: Frank G || 05/27/2004 19:50 Comments || Top||

#10  I've got it! Michael Moore and Moussaui were gay lovers. Moore accidently contacted Berg when trying to e-mail operational instructions to Moussaui. Fill in the rest.
Posted by: Sludj || 05/27/2004 20:04 Comments || Top||

#11  gee thanks, Sludj - now I've gotta drink that visual outta my head
Posted by: Frank G || 05/27/2004 20:08 Comments || Top||

#12  MM sent cameramen to Iraq who didn't reveal who they were working for.Berg may not have known he was dealing w/MM.Also possible,Berg came across as a very articulate good-guy defender of Bush and enthusiastic about how his work would actually help ordinary Iraqis,which is reason MM wouldn't put footage into his anti-Bush film.

If Berg had come across as greedy or stupid or anti-Bush,he would have made the film.After all,the film was finished long before Berg was killed.
Posted by: Stephen || 05/27/2004 22:09 Comments || Top||

#13  If Michael Moore is involved, I think we can definitely rule out discretion and human decency.
Posted by: Super Hose || 05/27/2004 22:47 Comments || Top||

#14  Hey! No Premium Content allowed here. Apologize for your theft.
Posted by: Dog Bites Trolls || 05/27/2004 18:42 Comments || Top||

Home Front: WoT
Saudi with suspected 9/11 ties arrested in California
A Saudi Arabia-born man believed to have ties to two of the September 11 hijackers was arrested on Thursday near San Diego, federal officials said. Hasan Saddiq Faseh Alddin, 34, was picked up near his home in Vista, California, on immigration violations stemming from two previous domestic violence convictions, a spokesman for the U.S. Bureau of Immigrations and Customs Enforcement said. Officials did not specify what relationship Alddin, a legal U.S. permanent resident, had with the hijackers who perished in attacks on New York’s World Trade Center and the Pentagon near Washington, D.C. on September 11, 2001. "We’re committed to taking immediate action on intelligence we obtain to prevent another terrorist attack on American soil," said Mike Unzueta, deputy special agent-in-charge for Immigration and Customs Enforcement investigations in San Diego.
I guess we should be grateful that these morons don’t seem to realize that being in a secret terrorist organizations means you should avoid any actions that might bring attention to yourself.
Posted by: Phil B || 05/27/2004 8:36:11 PM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [336063 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Let's see -- ties to al'Qaeda, and domestic violence convictions. How the hell did he stand out from any other Saudi?
Posted by: Robert Crawford || 05/27/2004 20:49 Comments || Top||

#2  For over 20 years what evolved as Terrorist Inc International(al-Qa'ida-Jihad Network) has moled its way into every fiber of American and global life.

Like insects, rodents creeping about, waiting, lurking in the wings, waiting for the right timeframe.

What we need is a gigantic can of RAID!
Posted by: Mark Espinola || 05/27/2004 20:57 Comments || Top||

#3  there's been a cell here in SD for a while - I suspect proximity to the border helps, but ..... nice to see it's rolling-up time
Posted by: Frank G || 05/27/2004 21:46 Comments || Top||

Seven Sought By FBI For Links to Al-Qaeda

Washington -- U.S. officials issued their most severe warning in months on Wednesday that a terrorist attack is imminent, saying that intelligence gathered by law enforcement and public statements by al Qaeda indicate the terrorist network plans to "hit the United States hard" this summer.

Attorney General John Ashcroft and FBI Director Robert Mueller also made an unusual plea for public help at a news conference in Washington, releasing photos and the names of seven suspects wanted for questioning in terrorism investigations.

Nearly all the suspects had been named previously, and their photos have appeared on the FBI’s Web site, except one: a 25-year-old U.S. citizen named Adam Yahiye Gadahn, who grew up in Southern California, converted to Islam as a teenager and allegedly attended al Qaeda training camps in Afghanistan and served as a translator for the group.

Ashcroft said the names and faces were released again in hopes that an alert public could help find the suspects and disrupt or at least delay the terrorists’ plot. . .

The story is eerie in that I know a Moslem that attended what I believe is the same mosque in Garden Grove, CA, as "Adam Yahiye Gadahn". This fellow I knew was a naturalized citizen from Egypt. He thought Saddahm and Osama should be "gotten rid of" because they were besmirching Islam with their "inhumanity and violence". My Egyptian acquaintance taught computer programming courses I attended. During Ramadan, he took us to an Egyptian restaurant for lamb kebabs at the "break-fast" after sundown. He was trying to show us non-Moslems that 9/11 was perpitrated by a few nut cases. But, it seems that there is an endemic percentage of nut cases that permeate every mosque.
Posted by: BigEd || 05/27/2004 12:16:34 PM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [336063 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Corrected Link
Posted by: BigEd || 05/27/2004 12:18 Comments || Top||

#2  Finally they give us a face to look for. I was growing tired of randomly slapping around the nearest Muslim when we changed terror alerts. I bet we find one or two of these people by next week.
Posted by: Cyber Sarge (VRWC CA Chapter) || 05/27/2004 12:37 Comments || Top||

#3  They put Ashcroft's face in the lineup.
Posted by: Shan || 05/27/2004 13:04 Comments || Top||

#4  Yes they did. What the F are they thinking?! They are on the side of the terrorists. For all I care, Ashcroft can just line up these SF Chronicle traitors against the wall and shoot them.
Posted by: ed || 05/27/2004 13:11 Comments || Top||

#5  #s 3,4 -The Comical Chronicle has Phil Bronstein, as its editor, the ex-husband, of Sharon Stone, and well known lizard dinner. . . (Remember he was attacked by a Komodo Dragon at the L A Zoo)

It is in a city where Ralph Nader ran second in some precincts behind loony Al.

Consider the source.
Posted by: BigEd || 05/27/2004 13:32 Comments || Top||

#6  (Remember he was attacked by a Komodo Dragon at the L A Zoo)

Yep. He was told (as I remember the story) not to wear white shoes because the nearly brainless Komodo dragons can't tell the difference between a white shoe and the white bunnies they're fed. So he shows up in white shoes, and gets munched.

What a pity he didn't get a massive infection and die.
Posted by: Robert Crawford || 05/27/2004 14:43 Comments || Top||

Captain Hook Tried to Establish Oregon Terror Training Camp
A radical Muslim cleric was arrested Thursday in London, accused in a U.S. indictment of trying to establish a terrorist training camp in Oregon while providing aid to both al-Qaida and the Taliban, officials said. Mustafa Kamel Mustafa, also known as Abu Hamza al-Masri, also is charged in the 11-count indictment with hostage-taking and conspiracy in connection with a December 1998 incident that left four tourists dead in Yemen. "Those who support our terrorist enemies anywhere in the world must know that we will not rest until the threat they pose is eradicated," U.S. Attorney General John Ashcroft said in announcing the arrest Thursday. Al-Masri, who heads the Finsbury Park Mosque in London, was arrested at the his London home, British authorities said. Ashcroft said U.S. authorities were seeking his extradition. According to the indictment, Mustafa tried to establish the terrorist camp in Bly, Ore., between October 1999 and early 2000. He was also charged with specifically providing material support to al-Qaida and the Taliban to foment jihad, or holy war, in Afghanistan.
Lot's of stuff going on up in the Pacific Northwest.
The indictment said Mustafa acted as an intermediary with the terrorists who took 16 tourists hostage in Yemen six years ago, and spoke with the terrorists before and after the incident. Three British tourists and one Australian visitor were killed when Yemen rescuers were involved in a shootout with the Islamic extremist captors.
Al-Masri - who has one eye and hooks for hands, which he says were lost fighting Soviet troops in Afghanistan in the 1980s - has been the focus of terror suspicions for years in Britain. He formerly preached at a London mosque linked to several terrorist suspects, including Sept. 11 suspect Zacarias Moussaoui and "shoe bomber" Richard Reid. The British government has also accused him of providing "advice and support" to al-Qaida and the Islamic Army of Aden, the organization that claimed responsibility for the attack on the USS Cole that killed 17 sailors off the coast of Yemen.

In February in Seattle, a Muslim convert with ties to Hamza, James Ujaama, was sentenced to two years in prison. He had pleaded guilty last year to aiding the Taliban. Ujaama, 38, was arrested in July 2002 and was indicted on two charges: conspiring to set up a terrorist training camp in Bly, Ore., and using a firearm to further the conspiracy. In April 2003, the government dropped those charges and filed a superseding complaint alleging that Ujaama brought money, computer equipment and a recruit to Taliban officials in Afghanistan. Prosecutors let him plead guilty in exchange for his cooperation in terrorism investigations. In particular, they wanted to hear what he knew about Hamza, whose Web site Ujaama once ran.
Guess he earned his keep.
Posted by: Steve || 05/27/2004 10:57:33 AM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [336065 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Aha! The sourse of the above warrant. Conspiracy to commit murder, and accessory before and after the fact. Nice, juicy charges.
Posted by: mojo || 05/27/2004 11:12 Comments || Top||

#2  love how the captain hook name stuck. that was my pet name for him!
Posted by: Anon1 || 05/27/2004 12:28 Comments || Top||

Richard Clarke admits authorizing departure of bin Laden flight
by Alexander Bolton, The Hill
EFL. Hat tip: Brothers Judd.
Richard Clarke, who served as President Bush’s chief of counterterrorism, has claimed sole responsibility for approving flights of Saudi Arabian citizens, including members of Osama bin Laden’s family, from the United States immediately after the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. In an interview with The Hill yesterday, Clarke said, “I take responsibility for it. I don’t think it was a mistake, and I’d do it again.”
Not that the moonbats who think President Bush is a Saudi dupe who was paid to let them out (*cough* Michael Moore *cough*) will change their tune.
Clarke’s claim of responsibility is likely to put an end to a brewing political controversy on Capitol Hill over who approved the controversial flights of members of the Saudi elite at a time when the administration was preparing to detain dozens of Muslim-Americans and people with Muslim backgrounds as material witnesses to the attacks. . . .
When has the truth ever mattered to a good political controversy?
This new account of the events seemed to contradict Clarke’s sworn testimony before the Sept. 11 commission at the end of March about who approved the flights. “The request came to me, and I refused to approve it,” Clarke testified. “I suggested that it be routed to the FBI and that the FBI look at the names of the individuals who were going to be on the passenger manifest and that they approve it or not. I spoke with the — at the time — No. 2 person in the FBI, Dale Watson, and asked him to deal with this issue. The FBI then approved 
 the flight.”
It's only a bit of perjury. Everybody does that, don't they?
“That’s a little different than saying, ‘I claim sole responsibility for it now,’” [commission member and former Rep. Tim] Roemer [(D-Ind.)] said yesterday. . . .
More like lying under oath
Clarke said yesterday that the furor over the flights of Saudi citizens is much ado about nothing.
Finally! he says something we can all agree with.
“This is a tempest in a teapot,” he said, adding that, since the attacks, the FBI has never said that any of the passengers aboard the flight shouldn’t have been allowed to leave or were wanted for further investigation. He said that many members of the bin Laden family had been subjects of FBI surveillance for years before the attacks and were well-known to law-enforcement officials. “It’s very funny that people on the Hill are now trying to second-guess the FBI investigation.”
Pot --> Kettle --> Black.
Posted by: Mike || 05/27/2004 9:29:35 AM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [336067 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Scum-sucking Lying WEASEL. Think the press and Hardball will note this F**king Liar's lies? Not if it helps W in November. What liberal media?
Posted by: Frank G || 05/27/2004 9:39 Comments || Top||

#2  Uh, he just admitted he committed perjury before the 911 Commission. I wonder if commission members will demand prosecution?
Posted by: ed || 05/27/2004 9:47 Comments || Top||

#3  Ed, do you think they'll even be able to figure it out?
Posted by: The Doctor || 05/27/2004 9:47 Comments || Top||

#4  Try finding this on the front page of any major newspaper. Hold your breath waiting for Brokaw/Jennings/Rather to mention it.
Posted by: Infidel Bob || 05/27/2004 11:13 Comments || Top||

#5  This should be above-the-fold, front page news after all the lies and deceit this asswipe spewed during his week and a half of fame.

Richard Clarke is an worthless piece of shit and so is the partisan media if they don't give this story it's due.
Posted by: Chris W. || 05/27/2004 11:41 Comments || Top||

#6  I believe this runs exactly counter to a statement made in M. Moore's most recent "documentary." I think this should be passed around to the Academy voters, too.

Speaking of Hardball, you can email the show.

Posted by: eLarson || 05/27/2004 11:45 Comments || Top||

#7  “I take responsibility for it..."

“The request came to me, and I refused to approve it.”

It's very simple, guys: he voted against it before he voted for it.

Seriously, it sounds as if he didn't want to approve it before he'd heard from the FBI. Once the FBI was satisfied, he approved it. Nothing inherently contradictory there, just weaseling before the Commission. (Of course, the FBI says they had nuttin' to do with it.)

What's more striking to me is that I've heard people (like Moore) say that the Bin Ladens were taken out of the country before flights were allowed to resume again on the 14th (13th?) This says the flight didn't take place until the 20th. That's forever, on the timescale we're talking here. The article has Clarke going on and on about how he was calling the shots in those first few hours. The flight was more than a week later.
Posted by: Angie Schultz || 05/27/2004 11:47 Comments || Top||

#8  thanks elarson, I did my email to them...we'll see an entire one-hour show about Clarke's lies, I'm sure....

****crickets chirping****
Posted by: Frank G || 05/27/2004 11:55 Comments || Top||

#9  I cannot find the source, but I remember reading after 9-11 that FBI agents wanted to question members of the Bin Laden family in Boston, but they were spirited out of the country and the FBI agents were furious. That is my recollection of the article.
Posted by: Alaska Paul || 05/27/2004 11:59 Comments || Top||

#10  I sent the link, too, just for fun. At least some producer will have to trip over them as they read all their invitations for pr0n and vmagra. :)
Posted by: eLarson || 05/27/2004 12:04 Comments || Top||

#11  I suspect the only reason Clark didn't immediately approve the exit visas was to up the bidding. That's what Signor Ferrari would have done.
Posted by: Mr. Davis || 05/27/2004 12:19 Comments || Top||

#12  Alaska Paul --- Michael Moore was one of those who spread this around. There's a summary of the rumors here. It's still pretty confusing, though. Richard Clarke is mentioned toward the end.
Posted by: Angie Schultz || 05/27/2004 14:09 Comments || Top||

J. M. Berger About the Nichols Trial
.... The Oklahoma state murder trial was more notable for what was left out than for what it revealed. If anything, the state trial was far less complex and detailed than the federal proceeding that netted Nichols life in prison. And despite early indications from the defense team regarding its strategy, in the end, the trial broke very little new ground. Nichols’ attorneys attempted to introduce evidence of a broader conspiracy to bomb the Alfred E. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City on April 19, 1995, but the defense was thwarted by the trial judge.

In the end, the case came down to a simplistic argument in which both defense and prosecution took opposite extremes. The prosecution argued that Nichols was not only involved in the bombing but suggested he was its mastermind, a conclusion that came off as a significant stretch, based on the known evidence.

The defense argued, conversely, that Nichols had nothing at all to do with the bombing, an equally dubious argument. "He’s not involved. He’s never been involved," attorney Brian Hermanson said in his closing arguments. ....

Some of those following the case had hoped that the trial would shed light on longstanding claims that Middle Eastern terrorists were involved in the Oklahoma City bombing. However, there was no motivation for either side to raise such allegations. ....

The latest prosecution of Nichols had only one purpose, winning a death sentence against Nichols to satisfy a perceived anger among the state’s population and victims of the bombing. The state had no motivation to cut a plea deal with Nichols, which would only have created additional defendants and an even more difficult criminal prosecution. Furthermore, any cooperation with al Qaeda or other foreign terrorists would open a can of worms that would expose Nichols to possible incarceration and interrogation as an enemy combatant, and possibly set up new federal criminal charges, incurring further risk of a death penalty. ....
Posted by: Mike Sylwester || 05/27/2004 6:11:00 AM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [336066 views] Top|| File under:

Ashcroft: al-Qaida Close to New Attack
WASHINGTON (AP) - Al-Qaida is close to completing its avowed plan to strike America again with a major attack, according to top U.S. law enforcement officials who want the public's help in locating seven terror operatives labeled a "clear and present danger" by Attorney General John Ashcroft.

Ashcroft said a steady stream of "disturbing" intelligence, collected for months, indicates that could mean terrorists already are in the United States to execute the plan, though he acknowledged there is no new information indicating when, where or how an attack might happen. "We do believe that al-Qaida plans to attack the United States, and that is a result of intelligence that is corroborated at a variety of levels," Ashcroft said at a news conference Wednesday with FBI Director Robert Mueller. There was no immediate plan to raise the nation's terror threat level, now at yellow, the midpoint of the five-level warning system.

Six of the al-Qaida operatives, including two Canadian citizens, whose photos and backgrounds were highlighted Wednesday have been the subject of FBI pursuit for months. The seventh, Adam Yahiye Gadahn, 25, is a U.S. citizen who grew up on a California goat farm and converted to Islam as a teenager. He was described by Mueller as having attended al-Qaida training camps in Afghanistan and served as an al-Qaida translator.
Goat farmer, ya say?
Each of the suspects, Ashcroft said, presents "a clear and present danger" to the United States because of their language skills, familiarity with U.S. culture and ability to travel under multiple aliases and use forged documents. Ashcroft said al-Qaida has made adjustments to its tactics to escape easy detection, such as having operatives travel with their families to lower their profiles and recruiting people who can pass for having European ethnicity rather than Middle Eastern backgrounds. Ashcroft acknowledged there is no new intelligence about the suspects indicating they are in the United States or part of a specific al-Qaida plot.
Posted by: Steve White || 05/27/2004 3:54:06 AM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [336074 views] Top|| File under:

#1  My bet: five seconds after we're hit again, the same liberals who blame Bush for curtailing their rights will complain that he didn't do enough to protect them . . .
Posted by: The Doctor || 05/27/2004 9:53 Comments || Top||

#2  Doc, that's exactly the case. To the left Bush can do no right.
Posted by: JerseyMike || 05/27/2004 11:38 Comments || Top||

#3  Doc and JerseyMike---Even if we are hit, the LLL will use it as a tool to attack Bush, rather than rally behind our leader. It's bloody suicidal.
Posted by: Alaska Paul || 05/27/2004 12:03 Comments || Top||

#4  Come on, guys--SCREW THEM!
If Bush fed the 5,000 and walked on water, they'd still say it was "no big deal."
President Bush can handle it and so can we.
And we know what the LLL and the Dims have to offer, how do you think we got 9/11, the Cole, the first WTC bombing, the African embassy bombings, the attempt on GWB's dad, and the Khobar Towers attack?
All happened under the Clintoon Administration with the help of Billary's enablers in the partisan media.
Posted by: Jen || 05/27/2004 12:07 Comments || Top||

#5  Re #4:

But Dear Leader Bill and Great Leader Hillary were Gods Come in the Flesh (all genuflect and burn the pinch of incense before their divine images) and Gods Can Do No Wrong!

"Morals are for Men... Not... GODS!"
-- Second pilot for Original Star Trek

-- from an episode of Stargate SG-1
Posted by: Anonymous5031 || 05/28/2004 13:00 Comments || Top||

US Soldier Claims Excessive Beating in Gitmo Training Exercise
A Georgetown [Kentucky] resident and former Kentucky National Guardsman is angry that the military is denying his claims that he suffered brain injury while being severely beaten by U.S. soldiers during a training exercise at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, in January 2003. .... Sean Baker says that while serving as a member of the 438th Military Police company in Guantanamo Bay during Operation Iraqi Freedom, he was ordered to pose as the enemy for a training exercise. Baker said he received a severe brain injury because of the subsequent beating he received. ...

Baker says an officer in charge issued the order because he wanted the training to be as real as possible. Baker says what took place next happened at the hands of four U.S. soldiers - soldiers he believes didn’t know he was one of them - has changed his life forever.

"They grabbed my arms, my legs, twisted me up and unfortunately one of the individuals got up on my back from behind and put pressure down on me while I was face down," said Baker. "Then he - the same individual - reached around and began to choke me and press my head down against the steel floor. After several seconds, 20 to 30 seconds, it seemed like an eternity because I couldn’t breath. When I couldn’t breath, I began to panic and I gave the code word I was supposed to give to stop the exercise, which was ’red.’ .... That individual slammed my head against the floor and continued to choke me ... Somehow I got enough air, I muttered out, ’I’m a U.S. soldier, I’m a U.S. soldier.’" ...

Nearly 15 months after that day, and countless medical treatments at Walter Reed Hospital, Baker is now medically retired from the military, but still suffers. On Wednesday, the U.S.military, while acknowledging an injury to Baker took place during the exercise, is disputing some of Baker’s claims, saying he left for "unrelated reasons." ....

Speaking from his Scott County home Wednesday morning, Baker once again reiterated his claims, and is angry that the Army won’t admit what happened. "How can they say I was released from there for other reasons?" said Baker. "If there are other reasons, please bring forth the evidence. I"d like to see it. ... I wish they would bring forth something to substantiate their claims that I was released for ’unrelated reasons’ because the documents I have from the Medical Evaluation Board clearly state the traumatic brain injury was due to me role playing as a detainee, an uncooperative detainee." ...

Baker was a member of the Kentucky National Guard from 1989 to 1997. During that time, he served in the Gulf War. In the late 90’s, he got out of the Guard, but re-enlisted after September 11th.
Posted by: Mike Sylwester || 05/27/2004 4:09:19 AM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [336063 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Gee, Mike, how many hours a day do you search for stories like this?
Posted by: Robert Crawford || 05/27/2004 10:24 Comments || Top||

#2  I'm on a two-week vacation in Lithuania and so have more free time than usual. That's also why I'm posting at hours that are very early for you.
Posted by: Mike Sylwester || 05/27/2004 11:10 Comments || Top||

#3  Careful, Mike. Your bias is showing.
Posted by: eLarson || 05/27/2004 12:05 Comments || Top||

#4  Mike,

Give us a trip report one day! I always wanted to visit the 3 Baltic countries.
Posted by: ed || 05/27/2004 12:23 Comments || Top||

#5  "Col. Jessup, did you or did you not order the code red?"
Posted by: Raj || 05/27/2004 12:33 Comments || Top||

#6  Hell, I'd just like to have time to visit the beach!
Posted by: Deacon Blues || 05/27/2004 12:36 Comments || Top||

How to Defeat Jihad in America
Posted by: rex || 05/27/2004 2:52:22 AM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [336065 views] Top|| File under:

#1  [Off-topic or abusive comments deleted]
Posted by: Dog Bites Trolls TROLL || 05/27/2004 4:18 Comments || Top||

#2  DBT,
A. SecState Powell is anything BUT a member or a leader of the "Rainbow Coalition."
(He had his chance with Bill Clinton, too. Bubba begged him to come on board.)
B. Vlad tried to get plenty tough with the Chechens, but so far, whatever he's doing hasn't worked very well.
He flattened Chechnya and still the terror attacks come in Russia.
Posted by: Jen || 05/27/2004 4:22 Comments || Top||

#3  [Off-topic or abusive comments deleted]
Posted by: Dog Bites Trolls TROLL || 05/27/2004 5:04 Comments || Top||

#4  Your link doesn't go anywhere, DBT.
(You're not Zenster under a more aggressive name, are you?
Mr. Kill-them-all-and-let-Allan-sort-them-out.)
Posted by: Jen || 05/27/2004 5:59 Comments || Top||

#5  DBT... Too funny, a thought just hit me, how about "Don't get Mad, Get Vlad"
Posted by: Don || 05/27/2004 9:37 Comments || Top||

#6  The multi-cultural defeatest left is going to *love* this. I can hear the calls of Racism now even if Islam is not a race.
Posted by: CrazyFool || 05/27/2004 9:40 Comments || Top||

#7  Would Vlad the Impaler be more appropriate?
Posted by: TomAnon || 05/27/2004 10:20 Comments || Top||

#8  This author gets it!! No matter where they are born or raised they are muslims first!
Hopefully, Americans will wake up and follow the strategy suggested by the author. And if you do, after you get rid or subdue them in the US, can you clean up Venezuela, please?
Posted by: Anonymous4617 || 05/27/2004 11:08 Comments || Top||

#9  Yes, #8, the author not only gets it by articulating a painfully obvious problem but he gives a laundry list of possible solutions, a 5 point plan. Unfortunately, it will take several Al Queda 9/11 sequels to get our bleeding heart liberals and compassionate conservatives to consider implementing any of them.

The problem: "...Of course, tough-minded conservatives like to opine that we're in a war with "militant Islam,"not just with "terror,"... But the successful assimilation of all U.S. Moslems is a pipe dream, and our vaunted security measures only add up to managing the intolerable threat of domestic terrorism, not ending it. The simple fact we must face is that we will continue living under the ever-present fear and reality of domestic terrorism as long as Wahhabi and fundamentalist Moslems continue to reside and move around freely in the United States and other Western countries. Therefore, if we want to eliminate the threat of domestic terrorism, and not just keep dancing around the problem, we must stop talking about assimilating Moslems and start talking about excluding and deporting them instead..."

5 point solution:
1. End all mass immigration of Moslems into the United States, whether from Moslem countries or elsewhere.
2.Deport all Moslem illegal aliens.
3.Deport all legal resident aliens with ties or loyalties to radical Islam.
4. Remove the citizenship of and deport all naturalized and native-born citizens who are supporters of jihad.
5. Publicly renounce and abjure multiculturalism as a societal philosophy.

This article is a must read.
Posted by: rex || 05/27/2004 11:49 Comments || Top||

#10  Great article. Added to my bookmarks.


I think Chavez time is running out. If he dismisses the recall referendum or rigs the election, the US will have to set in motion plans to overthrow him with the cooperation of the Venezuelans.
Posted by: ed || 05/27/2004 11:58 Comments || Top||

#11  The article makes since, but it should be applied to all immigrants not just Moslems. We are at war and having undocumented folks sneaking in and running around may not be the wisest course of action. This can all be debated when the war is over.

1. End all mass immigration into the USA.
2.Deport all illegal aliens.
3.Deport all legal resident aliens with ties or loyalties to radical Islam.
4. Remove the citizenship of and deport all naturalized and native-born citizens who are supporters of jihad.
5. Publicly renounce and abjure multiculturalism as a societal philosophy.
Posted by: ruprecht || 05/27/2004 15:43 Comments || Top||

#12  6) Arrest and imprison (for 5-10Yrs) any public official who refuses to enforce or comply with existing Federal Laws (esp. Immigration Laws).

7) End the 'Visa Wavier' progam. Kill Ted's 'Diversity Lotto' (or drive it over a bridge). Stronger checks on the Technical, Religious, and other Visas.

8) Severely restrict the Asylam (sp?) visa's and keep very strict watch on those who visa's are 'pending'.

9) Cut all federal funds to states and local goverments who 1) accept non-FEDERAL (U.S.) identification to obtain a drivers license or 2) does not require a Social Security Number to obtain an Drivers license or ID card. or 3) have laws barring local officals, law enforcement, fire, etc... from working with the approprate federal agencies for the INS.

Posted by: CrazyFool || 05/27/2004 17:34 Comments || Top||

#13  One way is to remove the federal 5O1C-3 status from all Muslim mosques which have been involved in any way, what-so-ever with the international jihadic movement.

The terrorists require lots of cold cash to function & plot further grand scale acts of terrorism such as 9-11 and Spain. At least we can halt their ability to plan and fund jihad right under our noses, correct?

Why should the United States tax payers fund our own deaths at the hands of Islamic killers, falsely raising millions of dollar in America, and doing it all tax free? There is something very wrong here.
Posted by: Mark Espinola || 05/27/2004 17:49 Comments || Top||

#14  How to crush WoT in America:
First, tell Colin Powell's Rainbow Coalition to cease the paid subsidy to the Islamic Society of North America. ISNA members are jihadis, pure and simple.
Second, get tough like Vlad.
Posted by: Dog Bites Trolls || 05/27/2004 4:18 Comments || Top||

#15  See Jen Malarky's "Rainbow Coalition" in action:


Death to all WoT-whimp trolls!
Posted by: Dog Bites Trolls || 05/27/2004 5:04 Comments || Top||

Arab Writer Criticises International Conference on Islamic Tolerance
In late April 2004, representatives of 65 countries convened in Cairo, Egypt for the 16th International Islamic Conference, which was dedicated to "Tolerance in the Islamic Culture." .... Writing on the liberal website Elaph, Dr. Kamel Al-Najjar ... added his own harsh criticism of the conference. The following are excerpts from his article:

In looking at the first resolution regarding the condemnation of violence, we find that the conference did not address the violence recommended by the writings of our Muslim forefathers, which we consider an important part of Islam: violence and blows for 10-year-olds who are not punctilious about praying, beating women suspected of misconduct, ... and beating people with a rod on Fridays to urge them to hasten to the mosque. ...

The conference also condemned all kinds of terror, particularly the bombings in Saudi Arabia. But we heard no such condemnation when Muslim terrorists bombed the Bali nightclub, in which hundreds of young Westerners who had nothing to do with politics and what is happening in Palestine were killed. We heard no such condemnation when Islamists bombed a Jewish synagogue and the British Consulate in Turkey. And we also hear no condemnation of any kind when a Palestinian blows himself up in an Israeli nightclub or bus, killing himself along with dozens of innocent civilians. ....we heard no condemnation by Muslims of the terrorism being committed by the Al-Janjawidgangs, that are supported by the Sudanese government [to act against] the non-Muslim natives of Western Sudan. ...

Nothing is new with regard to the fog that envelops the conference recommendations on the status of women. .... However, the participants did not specify the rights they seek to protect. Do they mean polygamy, or [the ban on] a woman’s giving testimony in cases where a Koranic punishment is indicated, or [the ban on] a woman’s being a leader .... Or do they mean compelling women to agree to mutilation of their sex organs, by means of what is claimed to be circumcision [according to] religious law ..... Why haven’t we heard the Islamic conference call for a boycott of this reprehensible custom that has nothing to do with Islam?

... the conference participants resorted to conspiracy theories
 They urged the Sudanese to stand together against the plotting against them. As if the world had nothing better to do than to conspire to fragment Sudan! Sudan has been fragmented since its founding, and ... the policy of [Sudan’s] Islamic government has ignited tribal extremism among the citizens. ...

We did not hear the Islamic conference criticize some of the sheikhs who sow hatred and hostility among the citizens, contradicting the tolerance in whose name they speak. When the late Sheikh Suleiman Al-Madani was asked during a lecture in Bahrain about involving all national factions [including Shiites and possibly non-Muslims] in [government] decision-making, he answered: "I don’t know what ’national factions’ are. As far as I am concerned, only a Muslim can be a citizen. Anyone born to Muslim parents who has stopped believing in Islam is sentenced to death according to religious law, and according to the consensus of the clerics. If he declares that he has repented, we give him a chance to complete the prayers and fasting that he missed [during his apostasy], and then we kill him, in accordance with the divine punishment set out in the Koran...."

Is this the kind of tolerance called for by the conference participants? And if it is not, why didn’t the Islamic conference refute these statements, which are absorbed by a large segment of our youth – particularly since the sheikh argued that all the clerics agree with him.
Posted by: Mike Sylwester || 05/27/2004 5:48:11 AM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [336064 views] Top|| File under:

#1  I think 'Islamic tolerance' is an oxymoron.
Posted by: The Doctor || 05/27/2004 9:46 Comments || Top||

#2  Dr. al-Najjar is clearly no moderate.

Due to the fuzziness brought to that term, I reckon this is what people have been looking for in terms of a "moderate Moslem".
Posted by: eLarson || 05/27/2004 13:05 Comments || Top||

#3  #1 The Doctor

Amazing how things change. When I was learning English at school, many years ago, I found it hard to come up with examples of 'oxymoron'.
Nowadays it as easy as identifying moonbats :-))
Posted by: Cynic || 05/27/2004 13:59 Comments || Top||

Southeast Asia
Malaysia offers to host Thai conflict talks
Malaysia's defence minister Najib Razak has offered to host talks between the Thai government and Muslim separatists in three southern Thai provinces torn recently by violence. Plans for talks on Thursday between a Thai general and an autonomy advocate Wan Kadir Che Man have fallen through. The general commissioned by the Thai government, Pisarn Wattanawongkhiri, said his bid to meet Wan had run into broad criticism. Since January, clashes have claimed 200 lives in three southern provinces of predominantly Buddhist Thailand. Southern Muslims have long complained of discrimination.
Posted by: Fred || 05/27/2004 4:49:55 PM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [336066 views] Top|| File under:

Terror Networks
Is Al-Qaeda winning the war?
Posted by: Dutchgeek || 05/27/2004 18:06 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [336068 views] Top|| File under:

#1  There is mounting concern that Al-Qaeda and its international affiliates are actually stronger now than they were in 2001. I think this is probably true. I also think the difficulty of mounting big 9/11 type operations has gone way (at least in some countries) and may well be beyond AQ's capabilities. They will increasingly strike soft targets, which despite the Greek governments posturing, includes the Athens Olympics.
Posted by: Phil B || 05/27/2004 20:42 Comments || Top||

#2  No.
Posted by: Tibor || 05/27/2004 22:48 Comments || Top||

#3  The propaganda war, anyway - with the asshole leftist Western media's help.
Posted by: Barbara Skolaut || 05/28/2004 0:33 Comments || Top||

#4  I think winning and losing are meaningless concepts in this kind of war
We may have to reach back and adopt some of the ways of our forefathers (in my case Vikings, Huns and Visigoths). Civil society as we know it is going to have to change, with it's inbuilt tolerence of the "underdog", otherwise we may as well start lining up at the mosque( the house of prostration) for our lessons in Islam.
Posted by: tipper || 05/28/2004 1:09 Comments || Top||

#5  This is all B.S. IMHO. The story about 18,000 al Qaeda members and thousands of new recruits and this story are out for one reason -- to harm W's election chances. If, God forbid, John F*cking Kerry wins, the "US Winning War on Terrorism" stories will start appearing in the NY Times and LA Times beginning on February 1, 2005.
Posted by: Tibor || 05/28/2004 1:24 Comments || Top||

Possible Link Between the Saddam Regime and Al Qaeda
From The Wall Street Journal
One striking bit of new evidence is that the name Ahmed Hikmat Shakir appears on three captured rosters of officers in Saddam Fedayeen, the elite paramilitary group run by Saddam’s son Uday and entrusted with doing much of the regime’s dirty work. Our government sources, who have seen translations of the documents, say Shakir is listed with the rank of Lieutenant-Colonel.

This matters because if Shakir was an officer in the Fedayeen, it would establish a direct link between Iraq and the al Qaeda operatives who planned 9/11. Shakir was present at the January 2000 al Qaeda "summit" in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, at which the 9/11 attacks were planned. The U.S. has never been sure whether he was there on behalf of the Iraqi regime or whether he was an Iraqi Islamicist who hooked up with al Qaeda on his own.

It is possible that the Ahmed Hikmat Shakir listed on the Fedayeen rosters is a different man from the Iraqi of the same name with the proven al Qaeda connections. His identity awaits confirmation by al Qaeda operatives in U.S. custody or perhaps by other captured documents. But our sources tell us there is no questioning the authenticity of the three Fedayeen rosters. The chain of control is impeccable. The documents were captured by the U.S. military and have been in U.S. hands ever since.

As others have reported, at the time of the summit Shakir was working at the Kuala Lumpur airport, having obtained the job through an Iraqi intelligence agent at the Iraqi embassy. The four-day al Qaeda meeting was attended by Khalid al Midhar and Nawaz al Hamzi, who were at the controls of American Airlines Flight 77 when it crashed into the Pentagon. Also on hand were Ramzi bin al Shibh, the operational planner of the 9/11 attacks, and Tawfiz al Atash, a high-ranking Osama bin Laden lieutenant and mastermind of the USS Cole bombing. Shakir left Malaysia on January 13, four days after the summit concluded.

That’s not the only connection between Shakir and al Qaeda. The Iraqi next turned up in Qatar, where he was arrested on September 17, 2001, four days after the attacks in the U.S. A search of his pockets and apartment uncovered such information as the phone numbers of the 1993 World Trade Center bombers’ safe houses and contacts. Also found was information pertaining to a 1995 al Qaeda plot to blow up a dozen commercial airliners over the Pacific.

After a brief detention, our friends the Qataris inexplicably released Shakir, and on October 21 he flew to Amman, Jordan. The Jordanians promptly arrested him, but under pressure from the Iraqis (and Amnesty International, which questioned his detention) and with the acquiescence of the CIA, they let him go after three months. He was last seen heading home to Baghdad.
Posted by: Mike Sylwester || 05/27/2004 9:57:50 AM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [336064 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Of course, this Iraq/Al-Qaeda link will be the lead item on Dan Rather's CBS tonight right?
Posted by: Frank G || 05/27/2004 11:12 Comments || Top||

#2  I'd settle for it being mentioned on FoxNews and bounced around the blogosphere.
Posted by: eLarson || 05/27/2004 12:14 Comments || Top||

#3  it wont be on CBS based on a WSJ report attributed to anonymous sources. If the admin isnt going public with it, the networks and NYT wont go for it. WaPo might mention it, but not on the front page, for sure.

Look, when the admin is ready to make their case, let them make it. Maybe the case isnt as strong as I think it is. Maybe its an internal/external political problem - implicating Iraq in AQ also implicates others, like the Saudis, that State isnt comfortably implicating. Maybe its still a sources and methods question. Or maybe theyre still gathering pieces and dont want to release anything yet. Or maybe they have an October surprise up their sleeve. I dont know. But you can hardly blame the press for not focusing on what the admin isnt willing to support, yet.
Posted by: Liberalhawk || 05/27/2004 12:20 Comments || Top||

#4  Heh, good one, Frank!
Posted by: Raj || 05/27/2004 12:56 Comments || Top||

#5  I have always been amazed how so many "intelligent" people refuse to even consider a link between Sammy and the Islamofascists. It is obviously true because it was in his (Sammy) interest to have a link.

1. Sammy wasn't really Secular as he used Islam almost from the moment he gained power. True, the 'Baath Party' was a Pan-'Arab Unity' party and not overly based on Islam, but Islam is THE central aspect of arab lives. Sammy used it to his advantage, when it was to his advantage.

2.Sammy is a meglomaniac and believed he was the next Saladin (Salah al-Din) to unite the arab world. You think he wouldn't use Islam to do that? Sammy the Caliph.

3. Sammy understood that some actions were too provacative for him to do. Why wouldn't he create a back-channel hook-up to a Sunni jihadi group to do some 'wet work' without attribution? We know he hosted the most notorious paleo terrorist, Abu Nidal for years. One must assume that this happened because it was to Sammy benefit.

4. Even worse, Sammy had close links to the phrench, those back-stabbing cowards of the continent.

In any case, even if there were no known links, post-9/11, the USA can't risk it. As they say, Simplisme.
Posted by: Brett_the_Quarkian || 05/27/2004 19:19 Comments || Top||

#6  oh, LH - CBS is above using anonymous sources- ROFLMAO - at least my comment was sarcasm!
Posted by: Frank G || 05/27/2004 19:38 Comments || Top||

Anti-Israel Terrorism Gets Money From Money Laundering
Posted by: Mark Espinola || 05/27/2004 17:54 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [336065 views] Top|| File under:

Think tank: Iraq diverted U.S. from major strategic threats
Posted by: Mark Espinola || 05/27/2004 17:56 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [336069 views] Top|| File under:

#1  After we defeated Sammy, the jihadis, AoE chaps, and every other bad guy on the planet realized that a secular and independent Iraq would spell the beginning of the end for every existing thugocracy in the ME and other places. Thus Iraq became the focus of a tremendous effort by the bad guys to defeat the occupation of Iraq.

As a consequence, we have been a bit preoccupied. Europe has not really helped except for members of the coalition of the willing, while France has been actively sandbagging our effort in the finest form of an enemy.

The NORKS rattle their cage because they see us in a bind, and Iran and Syria are doing the same.

The difficult takes a little time, the impossible takes a little longer. We Americans are problem solvers, except for the media. We make things happen when everybody throws up their hands and shouts Quagmire™.
Posted by: Alaska Paul || 05/27/2004 20:47 Comments || Top||

#2  As a result, the Bush administration is deeply divided over a strategy to contain the weapons of mass destruction arsenals of Iran and North Korea, the leading think tank concluded in an analysis..

So WTF do these idiots in this think tank want us to do? Tackle everything right NOW???? Please.

When confronted with multiple problems, typically, the least messiest course of action is to take them on one at a time.
Posted by: Bomb-a-rama || 05/27/2004 21:49 Comments || Top||

#3  In time, I think it will come out that Iraq was more urgent a priority than people realize. I think there are a lot of WMD disclosures to come (October surprises).
Posted by: Tibor || 05/27/2004 22:50 Comments || Top||

Spin: 'Americans fail to win battle, retreat in shame.'
Posted by: Anonymous4021 || 05/27/2004 18:43 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [336065 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Lefties constantly advocate compromise and negotiation as an enlightened alternative to brute force, then distort it as an American defeat and gloat about it when it does happen.

If this strategy of Goebbels-style hypocrisy is really successful in swaying opinion, or is finally perceived in the White House as an enemy propaganda success, Al Independent and the other fifth column outlets can count on the next batch of jihadis being exterminated to the last man.
Posted by: Atomic Conspiracy || 05/27/2004 20:33 Comments || Top||

#2  Hmmm. That article says that al-Sadr will be allowed to go free, and the Mehdi army will not disband.

This CNN article says that the US is just withdrawing from Najaf (as are Sadr's forces), and that the demands for Sadr to turn himself in and disband his army haven't changed. The BBC says the same. One of those articles says that Coalition (not necessarily US, I suppose) troops will still carry out "presence patrols".

Spin is fun!
Posted by: Angie Schultz || 05/27/2004 20:41 Comments || Top||

#3  It was Tater who offered to withdraw first and even to disband his militia, having achieved none of his goals.
To everyone except the hate-blinded anti-American bigots of the dhimmi media, this would be seen as an abject surrender.
We achieved a great deal more than he did, and this Iraqi-negotiated agreement has brought us closer to our actual goals, as opposed to the strawmen Al Independent uses to justify its tediously predictable distortion of these events.

The media are the enemy. If every Islamofascist fell over dead tomorrow, the diseased minds at the heart of the mass media culture would find some other vehicle for their depraved agenda.
Posted by: Atomic Conspiracy || 05/27/2004 20:44 Comments || Top||

#4  He's not Tater! He's just a flat, old chip :).
Posted by: Ol_Dirty_American || 05/27/2004 21:34 Comments || Top||

#5  Many in the media are as much an enemy as the terrorists and Jihadi supporters. In this war, words kill as effectively as bullets and bombs. Enemy reporters and news organizations need to be hit.
Posted by: ed || 05/27/2004 22:02 Comments || Top||

#6  And if we had wasted this prick, like we should've, it'd be "Barbarian Americans Kill Holy Man".
I coulda lived with it.
Posted by: tu3031 || 05/27/2004 22:08 Comments || Top||

#7  Al Independent, of course, is home-base for the legendary uber-idiotarian Robert Fisk.
Posted by atomic conspiracy to HarryCaul
On News/Activism 03/29/2003 4:18:49 AM CST #784 of 2,549

Fisk is due for another American tour pretty soon. We should all attend one of his speaking engagements, listen politely to his speech, ask polite questions, show him all the consideration and hospitality our society traditionally affords to those who offer alternate points of view; praise his style, wit, and courage, and the other admirable qualities of his media image; then beat him up.
Posted by: Atomic Conspiracy || 05/27/2004 23:17 Comments || Top||

#8  AC - And the great thing is that he'll understand why we're beating him up. In fact, if he was one of us, he'd be beating himself up.
So it's all good!
Posted by: Darth VAda || 05/27/2004 23:21 Comments || Top||

#9  If I was a billionaire, I would just for the hell of it start an anti-European newspaper. Instead of articles and editorials about issues in the USA, I'd feature nothing but Europe-bashing content. Every day I read Merde in France and No Pasaran and everyday I am floored by the amount of anti-American crap published every single day. Then there are English language cesspools like the Toronto Star, the Independent, and the Guardian. I can't even guess what the Greek press is like. Maybe Aris could enlighten us. Hell, maybe Aris is right. Maybe the EU will be a good thing... if it gets the rest of the world to stop obsessing over the US and start worrying about their own problems.
Posted by: 11A5S || 05/27/2004 23:32 Comments || Top||

#10  Here is an URL that will drive you nuts!
Posted by: Long Hair Republican || 05/27/2004 23:39 Comments || Top||

Afghanistan/South Asia
Two children killed in bomb blast in south Afghanistan
Two children were killed by a roadside bomb in southern Afghanistan on Thursday, one day after a major operation to hunt and kill Taliban in the region, an official said. The bomb exploded about three kilometres south of Kandahar’s gate on a rough road leading to the airport, the southern region’s top military official General Khan Mohammed told AFP. "A landmine planted on the main road outside Kandahar city, not far from the airport in Sarandam area killed two children," he said. "It was a newly-planted mine," he said, adding that the road is mainly used by foreigners and coalition forces as it is the primary access route to the airport.
Posted by: TS(vice girl) || 05/27/2004 6:21:33 PM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [336070 views] Top|| File under:

#1  another successful operation by Islamic Heroes™
Posted by: Frank G || 05/27/2004 19:53 Comments || Top||

Al-Khafaji's Convoy Ambushed
Iraqi Governing Council member Salama al-Khafaji's convoy was ambushed in the capital Baghdad today. No information was available on injuries, AP said. The aide said he found out about the ambush from a guard traveling ahead of al-Kafaji's, and that the guard drove away without finding out what had happened to the others. Al-Khafaji, one of three women on the 25-member council that was set up by the U.S. as a first step toward self-government for Iraq, replaced another Shiite Muslim woman council member, Akila al-Hashimi, AP said. Al-Hashimi died of gunshot wounds after being attacked last September outside her home in Baghdad.
Posted by: Fred || 05/27/2004 4:00:12 PM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [336070 views] Top|| File under:

#1  I heard on Fox that she survived but several of her body guards died and her son is missing. She must have used a more effective security firm than al-Hashimi did.
Posted by: Super Hose || 05/27/2004 22:50 Comments || Top||

NYT: Abu Ghraib MPs Chronic Discipline Problems
Captain Ed over at Captain’s Quarters takes a look at a NYT report on the Abu Ghraib abusers and notices something:

I have repeatedly asserted that the Abu Ghraib prisoner abuses resulted from a lack of discipline in the unit and the command, not from some sort of insidious conspiracy to humiliate Iraqis. Now the New York Times reports this morning that three of the seven soldiers involved in the abuse scandal had long histories of poor discipline, including Spec. Charles Graner, considered to be the ringleader:

In the six months leading up to the investigation of prison abuses at Abu Ghraib, three of the seven soldiers now charged with abuse repeatedly committed infractions and disobeyed orders but received only the mildest of punishments.


People laugh at military discipline, or worse, consider it some sort of fascistic spectacle which undermines democracy. Abu Ghraib, hopefully, will put that fantasy to rest. The military (regardless of nationality) controls great force and when applied in battle condition can hold the power of life and death, not only against the enemy but with anyone in its vicinity and with each other. In order to effectively control that power so that it is used properly and as intended by political and military command, military units must remained highly disciplined and trained to respond without hesitation.

When a "Casual Fridays" mentality is allowed to seep into fighting units, you inevitably see breakdowns such as this, with usually disastrous results. (See France, 1939-40, for one example of what happens when discipline breaks down.) Military command must, as Job 1, maintain proper discipline in order to keep people from perverting their authority into disgusting spectacles like we have seen at Abu Ghraib. Without a doubt, this embarrassment started with a lackadaisacal approach to order which seems to have started at the command level of Abu Ghraib, where offences were lightly punished, if at all, and the crispness of military decorum was discarded in favor of putting one’s feet up and taking it easy.

Another nail in coffin of all the theories about policy leading to the abuse, IMHO.
Posted by: Robert Crawford || 05/27/2004 3:20:16 PM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [336068 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Another nail in coffin of all the theories about policy leading to the abuse, IMHO.

Any particular reason why the NYT felt it had to print up another Abu Ghraib piece?
Posted by: Bomb-a-rama || 05/27/2004 17:01 Comments || Top||

#2  Most interesting Dept: That a known "requires constant supervision" crowd wasn't being supervised. I still remember my first reaction when this story broke. "Where was the adult supervision?"
Posted by: Anonymous4904 || 05/27/2004 17:40 Comments || Top||

#3  Well, once again the idiots at the NYT a beating a dead story to a pulp.
Way to go NYT!
Best. Birdcage Liner. Ever.
Posted by: JerseyMike || 05/27/2004 18:05 Comments || Top||

#4  Guys, please, don't complain about this. After about a month of hand-wringing about the situation, they actually saw fit to publish actual details about the recent record of the unit under investigation.

(And if y'all will remember, I was pointing out stuff like this here last week. Or was it the week before? I forget... but you get the point.)
Posted by: Phil Fraering || 05/27/2004 18:09 Comments || Top||

#5  Captain's Quarters' analysis is dead on. The picture developing is of a few miscreants whose immediate superiors were too lazy or weak to discipline them. Graner et al. found themselves in a situation where they had absolute power, and inadequate supervision. The result isn't that surprising. Graner especially sounds like a loose cannon. His ex had to get a restraining order (or something?).
Posted by: Sludj || 05/27/2004 18:42 Comments || Top||

#6  Normally, a poor discipline record will disqualify you from some types of duty. It would be good to add a guard qualification process that includes psychological testing. There certainly exists a group of twisted juveniles in America that consider feces and sodomy to be acceptable forms of hazing - we've seen plenty of incidents with regard to high school sports in the last several years. It would be an excellent idea to exclude them from military service altogether, but they should especially be excluded from supervision of detainees, who have little defense against guards.
Posted by: Super Hose || 05/27/2004 23:00 Comments || Top||

Israel lays claim to Palestine’s water

10:15 27 May 04

Israel has drawn up a secret plan for a giant desalination plant to supply drinking water to the Palestinian territory on the West Bank. It hopes the project will diminish pressure for it to grant any future Palestinian state greater access to the region’s scarce supplies of fresh water. Under an agreement signed a decade ago as part of the Oslo accord, four-fifths of the West Bank’s water is allocated to Israel, though the aquifers that supply it are largely replenished by water falling onto Palestinian territory.

The new plans call for seawater to be desalinated at Caesaria on the Mediterranean coast, and then pumped into the West Bank, where a network of pipes will deliver it to large towns and many of the 250 villages that currently rely on local springs and small wells for their water. Israel, which wants the US to fund the project, would guarantee safe passage of the water across its territory in return for an agreement that Israel can continue to take the lion’s share of the waters of the West Bank. These mainly comprise underground reserves such as the western aquifer, the region’s largest, cleanest and most reliable water source. For Israelis, agreement on the future joint management of this aquifer is a prerequisite for granting Palestine statehood.

Global funding

The first public hint of the plan emerged earlier in May in Washington DC. Uri Shamir, director of water research at the Technion, the Israel Institute of Technology in Haifa, told the House of Representatives Committee on International Relations that the desalination project was "the only viable long-term solution" for supplying drinking water to the West Bank. Shamir told New Scientist this week that the project could be complete in five to seven years. "The plant will be funded by the world for the Palestinians. Israel will not be willing to carry this burden, and the Palestinians are not able to." But other leading hydrologists contacted by New Scientist point out that desalinating seawater and pumping it to the West Bank, parts of which lie 1000 metres above sea level, would cost around $1 per cubic metre.

"The question is whether an average Palestinian family can afford it," says Arie Issar, a water expert at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev in Sede Boker, Israel, who helped green the Israeli desert a generation ago by finding new water sources in the region. "It would be foolish to desalinate water on the coast and push it up the mountains when there are underground water resources up there, which cost only a third as much." Tony Allan of King’s College London, a leading authority on Middle East water, agrees: "Pumping desalinated water to the West Bank is not the best technical or economic option." But the project is being supported by Alvin Newman, head of water resources at the Tel Aviv office of USAID, the US international development agency, which would fund the desalination project. "Ultimately it’s the only solution," he said in an interview with New Scientist.

Unusual cooperation

Water supply is one of the few areas where cooperation between Israel and Palestine has survived the current intifada. Every day on the West Bank, Palestinian engineers help repair and maintain Israeli water pipes, and vice versa. But Palestinian water negotiators are deeply uneasy about the plans being drawn up on their behalf, especially if they involve abandoning claims to the water beneath their feet. "We cannot do that. We don’t have the money or the expertise for desalination," Ihab Barghothi, head of water projects for the Palestinian Water Authority, told New Scientist.
No "money or expertise." A common refrain throughout the region. Yet, no one thinks it unwise to continue attacks against those who provide it on a regular basis. Might be time to withdraw some "expertise" and see how long it takes for dehydration to set in.
Palestinians badly need more water. Under the Oslo agreement they have access to 57 cubic metres of water per person per year from all sources. Israel gets 246 cubic metres per head per year. And in the nearly 40 years that Israel has controlled the West Bank, Palestinians have been largely forbidden from drilling new wells or rehabilitating old ones. The region’s sources of water are the West Bank aquifers; the river Jordan, which rises in the Golan Heights and flows into the Sea of Galilee, where it is largely tapped by Israel; and the coastal aquifer, an increasingly polluted reserve of underground water that extends south to the Palestinian territory of the Gaza Strip.
It’s a well! ... It’s a tunnel! ... Tastes great! ... Less filling!

Sewage effluent

Over the years, Israel has developed a good reputation for using water efficiently, and in the 1980s it began recycling sewage effluent for irrigation. In 2004, Israel signed a deal to buy water shipped by tanker from Turkey. Meanwhile, Palestinians in the Gaza Strip depend almost exclusively on small wells tapping the coastal aquifer. As the water table falls, the aquifer is becoming increasingly polluted by salt water from the sea. UN scientists say Gaza will have no drinkable water within 15 years.
Too bad it’s 15 years. A shorter time table might improve their attitude.
Despite earlier efforts to develop desalination, the Israel government only decided to invest heavily in the technology in the past four years. Some, including Israeli liberals and Palestinian optimists such as Barghothi, believed that once Israel began desalinating seawater for its own use it would be prepared to relax its grip on the West Bank aquifers. But now it appears that Israeli water planners see desalination as a means of retaining control of those aquifers.
Resource control, a concept entirely lost upon the Palestinians as they squabble about olive groves. Inability to examine the big picture can really damage your long term viability.
The desalination plant to supply the West Bank would parallel a similar US-funded reverse osmosis plant to fill taps on the hard-pressed Gaza Strip. The scheme has already been approved and funded, but is currently on hold because of continuing conflict in Gaza. Taken together, the two schemes would leave an independent Palestine more dependent on desalination than almost any other nation in the world.
MEMO TO PALESTINIANS: Keep up with the terror attacks and you will find yourselves in possession of a resource-free zone (i.e., homeland), if you ever even get one.
Posted by: Zenster || 05/27/2004 2:37:20 PM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [336066 views] Top|| File under:

#1  How about, you build a wall and the paleos can find their own g*ddamn water. Assuming you can build a well with dynamite, of course.
Posted by: BH || 05/27/2004 15:07 Comments || Top||

#2  There was a Palestinian woman who came to my college last semester to talk about this. Half of her presentation was on how it was all Israel's fault; took half an hour before she even got to the technical stuff. She kept referring to the "second intifada" getting in the way, and when I asked whether the Palestinians were causing their own problems, she mumbled something and quickly moved on.

Maybe Israel's worried about their water being poisoned?
Posted by: The Doctor || 05/27/2004 15:44 Comments || Top||

#3  At first I wondered why Israel didn't just build the desalnization plants for their own water needs and let the Pals have the Jordan river. Then I realized the desalinization plants would be targets in that scenerio but if they provided water for the Pals the Islamofascists would be less likely to blow them up (less likely, not unlikely).
Posted by: ruprecht || 05/27/2004 16:03 Comments || Top||

#4  Californians understand very well that water is life. The availability of water is the primary constraint on the number of inhabitants. Managing water resources in a desert requires careful planning, high technology, and self-restraint, none of which are the Palestinians capable of providing. Even if the Israelis magically disappeared and the Palestinians were able to confiscate everything the Israelis had built. Within a few years Palestine would look like Zimbabwe.

The Palestinians are artificially supported by UN provided food and money. If they had to support themselves, famine would quickly reduce their population to a level that could be supported by subsistence farming and the ever-present seething Palestinian mobs in the UN supported towns would starve. The Arab tendency to reproduce as rapidly as possible without any thought of how they can support their children is going to smash into a combination of donor fatigue and their total inability to organize anything more sophisticated than death squads. They won't be able to blow themselves up fast enough to keep the population within sustainable limits. Lack of water and lack of food just might do what the IDF chooses not to.
Posted by: RWV || 05/27/2004 16:17 Comments || Top||

#5  I do not like it. Here is the money quote:

"The plant will be funded by the world for the Palestinians. Israel will not be willing to carry this burden, and the Palestinians are not able to." But other leading hydrologists contacted by New Scientist point out that desalinating seawater and pumping it to the West Bank, parts of which lie 1000 metres above sea level, would cost around $1 per cubic metre.

1. The world funding this means the US. The hell with that. We have enough obligations and burdens. The answer is NO.

2. According to the New Scientist figure of $1/cu metre, he cost of water is about $0.0038/gallon, delivered. I cannot believe this figure. The Municipality of Anchorage, Alaska has a residential rate that comes out to about $0.005/gallon delivered, or about $0.009 for water and sewer. I cannot believe that reverse osmosis treatment will be that cheap. Where will they get the cheap energy to run the plant and the pumps.

The real cost of this will be from 2 to 10 times the "advertized" cost. And dealing with the Paleos and how well they keep their word is another part of the equation. I would not touch this with a 10 ft pole, and I certainly would not want our government involved with our tax money. We better watch appropriation bills in congress so we do not wake up some day with a sore fiscal behind, so to speak.

Frank G., fellow CE, what is the cost of water for a residence in San Diego?
Posted by: Alaska Paul || 05/27/2004 16:48 Comments || Top||

#6  I attended the same seminar with the Doctor- he came in prejudiced from the get-go and was too busy point out the flaws in a couple sentences to grasp her whole picture. The information here is solid- however, I interpret it differently. Some things that are wrong have been done to the Palestinians, such as a reduction of their water supply below recommended international water consumption levels, and the dumping of toxic waste on the "Palestinian" soil (ie, the little corner of Israel the Palestinians have been shoved into).
Something should be done to allow the Palestinians a decent water supply, regardless of their terrorist actions. A lot of you who post on this website feel that terrorists have forfeited their human rights as a result of their homicidal, genocidal, and indecent actions. They, likewise, believe that you have forfeited your human rights by not converting to Islam.
It's easy to wish death on a whole culture because (whether or not it is a majority)-some wish to kill you and your children. Wishing to kill them, their children, and their entire culture serves no purpose. Combat evil- but you don't have to make your hatred twist you the same way that it has twisted them.
Posted by: Curious || 05/27/2004 19:05 Comments || Top||

#7  about $60 a month in San Diego, which gets our supply imported from the Colorado River (heavy on dissolved solids BTW - I invest in LimeAway for the faucet heads)
Posted by: Frank G || 05/27/2004 19:34 Comments || Top||

#8  The money quote seems to be - Under the Oslo agreement they have access to 57 cubic metres of water per person per year from all sources.

So Israel is sticking to an agreement and the Paleos don't want to. Hardly news! BTW, the New Scientist has pulled the article. I assume becuase this is just a politicized hatchet job.
Posted by: Phil B || 05/27/2004 20:04 Comments || Top||

#9  The USD1 per cubic meter delivered seems about right.

Tampa Bay is building the world's largest membrane-based desalination plant, to be ready by the end of this year. It promises water costing just US$1.75 per thousand gallons, or 39 US cents per cubic metre.
Posted by: Phil B || 05/27/2004 20:29 Comments || Top||

#10  A lot of you who post on this website feel that terrorists have forfeited their human rights as a result of their homicidal, genocidal, and indecent actions.
Uh, yeah, they have. That, and the creed that they live by, that we will convert or die. They've made it into a life-or-death struggle: freedom and reason and science versus the cruel, stagnant, twisted legacy of a seventh-century madman. We don't wish the Palestinians themselves any harm, just the bastards who do the killing. And yet, there seem to be an awful lot of them who want to kill us. It's hard sometimes to figure out which ones are the enemy, you know?

As for that lecture, if you remember it the same way I do, then you will recall that I did make the effort to put that aside - but then she talked for half an hour about how the entire thing was Israel's fault. The information itself is solid, yes, but it's the way they interpret it that's the problem. They're not talking about working with Israel - they're just staying the whole thing is the Jews's fault. Fact is, that intifada has devastated the land that would have been given to a Palestinian state. The Palestinians started it. Yes, the Israelis have done a lot of well-known demolitions, but that's a far cry from the bombing campaigns we saw in, for example, World War II. Israel could be doing a lot worse. And while we're on the subject, no doubt the Germans complained when Berlin was bombed - but then again, they'd started the war, hadn't they? As horrible as that may have been, they brought it on themselves, and the world didn't have much sympathy for the men who did it - though in the case of the Palestinians, those leaders are called "martyrs," and their deaths are mourned and the assassinations themselves condemned. Yet these men are, if anything, more perverted and twisted than Hitler ever was. But I digress. Remember that after WWII was over, we helped Germany rebuild. I don't doubt that we'd be happy to do the same thing here - but only if they let us.

And it was said here perfectly the other day - by Virginian, I think, that there is no moral equivalence in the case of us judging their actions versus them judging us for not converting. He said apostasy is not a threat to life, it is a threat only to belief. A set of beliefs of itself cannot kill anyone. I'm taking it a bit out of context here, but it still works. Theirs is a threat to life. Ours is simply a choice that they don't agree with. The two situations simply cannot be compared.
Posted by: The Doctor || 05/27/2004 21:47 Comments || Top||

#11  Combat evil- but you don't have to make your hatred twist you the same way that it has twisted them.

Curious, one of my pet dislikes is people who ascribe their motivations to me and the Left is particularly prone to this. When I advocate killing Arabs which I occasionally do, it is not because I hate them - as some of you realize I find their irrational lunacy hilariously funny a lot of the time - it is an entirely rational solution to a problem. To me it's like culling crows when they become to much of a nuisance.
Posted by: Phil B || 05/27/2004 22:08 Comments || Top||

#12  The Palestinians are a ruined people. Rather than coexist with the Israelis, they fled. The Israelis have paid for their land both in dollars and in blood, wars in 48, 56, 67, and 73. The Palestinians have no more right to Israel than Christians do to Constantinople and all the other lands conquered during the flood tide of Islam. They have been kept in camps for over 50 years because none of their arab brothers will take them in. Generations of enforced idleness, subsidized by the UN, have rendered them incapable of supporting themselves. Education built around the Koran has rendered them incapable of bettering themselves. Right now they exist dependent upon the kindness of strangers. Beggars should be more polite.
Posted by: RWV || 05/27/2004 23:37 Comments || Top||

Afghanistan/South Asia
India to withdraw 'mercenaries' from Iraq
India 's new ruling coalition has said it will take steps to withdraw "Indian mercenaries" from Iraq while reiterating the country's "decades old commitment" to the Palestinian cause. "Steps will be taken to withdraw Indian mercenaries from Iraq while further recruitment for this purpose will be barred," said the Common Minimum Programme (CMP) for governance of the Congress-led coalition, backed by the left parties. The CMP was released Thursday by the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) chairperson and Congress party president Sonia Gandhi at a crowded press conference at Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's 7, Race Course Road office. The reference to "Indian mercenaries" comes in the wake of news reports that hundreds of retired Indian Army and paramilitary personnel had enlisted themselves with US troops in Iraq without the knowledge of the Indian government.
Mercenaries = private security contractors
On Palestine , the CMP said: "The UPA government reiterates India 's decades old commitment to the cause of the Palestinian people for a homeland of their own." Doubts about India 's historic support for the Palestinian cause had arisen following the burgeoning relationship with Israel and what was seen by the opposition parties as a reluctance on the part of the previous National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government to condemn Israeli highhandedness against Palestinians.
Wonder if they mean it or it's just political window dressing? We'll see if they cancel any of the weapons contracts such as the radar planes.
Posted by: Steve || 05/27/2004 2:08:55 PM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [336066 views] Top|| File under:

#1  I wonder how they can do that if these people are there as private employees.
This sounds like empty posturing.
Posted by: buwaya || 05/27/2004 14:46 Comments || Top||

#2  They're talking about Ghurkas. I've read that many have taken jobs as private security. When they're not scaring Argentinians, that is.
Posted by: Chuck Simmins || 05/27/2004 15:07 Comments || Top||

#3  But the Gurkhas aren't Indians. They are Nepalese. I suppose that many of them would be Indian army retirees, but I doubt very much that the prospect of losing Indian-army-scale retirement pay (even if it comes to that) would be much of a disincentive.
Posted by: buwaya || 05/27/2004 15:49 Comments || Top||

#4  Interesting what an about face India did. Under the Hindu Nationalist Party they got the economy going and scared the Pakistani's enough that there was some discussion on Kashmir. So the Indians voted them out of power and we hear the march of the Islamic appeasers again.

Hey Hindus, I have news for you. The Islamofascists hate you more than they hate America. You can't buy them off with empty talk of supporting the Palestinians. Just hope the Muslim masses in the Indian slums don't smell blood in the water.
Posted by: ruprecht || 05/27/2004 16:00 Comments || Top||

#5  Maybe the Israelis should cancel the sale of the Phalcon AEW to India and offer the deal to Pakistan. Israel supporting Pakistan makes as much sense as India supporting Arafat.
Posted by: RWV || 05/27/2004 17:18 Comments || Top||

#6  Jeeze, guys, I feel like I just went through political vertigo, esp with RWV's post #5. Why should India give a rat's behind about the Paleos? Who are they trying to impress? Makes as much sense as a hatrack for a moose....
Posted by: Alaska Paul || 05/27/2004 17:57 Comments || Top||

#7  Maybe this article will lend clarity, #6. The new PM of India is a Sikh[first time in India's history that a Hindu is not PM] and the head of state is a Muslim. The communist and socialist fringe parties support the new "left leaning" UPA gov't and Pakistan was the first nation to extend its congratulations. As Drudge would say: Developing....
"Singh takes over as India's PM"
Posted by: rex || 05/27/2004 21:13 Comments || Top||

Pakistan suspects Islamic extremists behind double car bombing
Comes as a surprise, huh?
Pakistani authorities said they suspected a network of Islamic militants, possibly aided by Al-Qaeda, were behind a double car bomb attack near a US consul's residence in which a policeman was killed and 32 people injured. Two bombs exploded less than half an hour apart Wednesday afternoon in front of the Pakistan American Cultural Center, a private English school, and some 100 meters (yards) from the US Consul General's residence in the southern port city of Karachi. No one has been arrested so far. "Al-Qaeda maybe had a role," Pakistani Information Minister Sheikh Rashid told AFP Thursday.
"Such an organised attack cannot be just by local people. The attackers were real experts and operated in a very technical way." Shrapnel from the powerful second blast sprayed police and journalists who had been drawn by the first blast. A policeman died in hospital late Wednesday and a second officer was still in a critical condition. The cultural center is not affiliated to the US consulate but the attackers may have mistakenly thought it was, a US official in Washington said. Police cast suspicion on supporters of Harkatul Mujahedin al-Alaami, a gang of militants who unsuccessfully tried to blow up President Pervez Musharraf's motorcade in Karachi in April 2002 and detonated a car bomb outside the US consulate two months later, killing 12 Pakistanis. Followers may have retaliated for the arrests, days before the attack, of seven members, including suspected key terror operative Kamran Atif. On Monday, police had boasted of nearly smashing the network after arresting seven of its followers, but warned that a few members were still at large.
I'd guess they were...
Posted by: Fred || 05/27/2004 1:42:51 PM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [336064 views] Top|| File under:

#1  A "no shit, Sherlock" moment...
Posted by: mojo || 05/27/2004 14:35 Comments || Top||

Seminar rejects changes in syllabus
Posted by: Fred || 05/27/2004 13:44 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [336067 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Anyone have an idea as to what the changes are?

"... formulate a curriculum which produces good Muslims besides good doctors and engineers...".
I wonder if this is possible in the context of Muslim fundamentalism? Who needs engineers that say a bridge feel down because is was the Will of Alan or that blame it on the Joos?
Posted by: SteveS || 05/27/2004 13:54 Comments || Top||

#2  They've got more good Muslims than they know what to do with. They don't need any more of that! You don't get mullahs and imams to design buildings and research new technologies! There's the root of the problem right there. They don't need more religious education, they need to get with the rest of the world.
Posted by: The Doctor || 05/27/2004 15:52 Comments || Top||

MMA urges Fazl not join NSC
LAHORE: The Muttahida Majlis-e-Amal’s Punjab chapter on Wednesday rejected PML President Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain’s statement saying that MMA Secretary General Maulana Fazlur Rehman would join the National Security Council (NSC). Punjab MMA President Hafiz Muhammad Idrees told the six-party religious alliance’s provincial parliamentary that the MMA had always opposed the NSC. “Qazi and Fazl have said the issue will be discussed in the alliance’s Supreme Council meeting and the final decision will be made after taking party leaders in confidence,” he added.
Posted by: Fred || 05/27/2004 1:42:21 PM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [336065 views] Top|| File under:

Two injured as rockets fired at Sui airfield
QUETTA: Two civilians were wounded on Wednesday when Bugtis tribesmen fired rockets and exchanged gunfire with paramilitary troops at a small airfield in Sui, officials said. The attackers fired about a dozen rockets in Sui. A local official said the attack caused no damage to the gas facility, but one rocket fell on the airfield runway, forcing authorities to close the airport for the day.
Must have contracted repair to an Iranian work crew.
Two local people, a man and a woman, were wounded in the crossfire. The tribesmen also fired automatic weapons at several posts of paramilitary troops who returned the fire. The blast disrupted gas supplies, but there were no reports of any casualties.
Posted by: Fred || 05/27/2004 1:37:34 PM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [336068 views] Top|| File under:

Look for Osama in Karachi and Quetta, suggests Afghan diplomat
Posted by: Fred || 05/27/2004 13:38 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [336064 views] Top|| File under:

1st Marine Division: Taking Care of Business
Posted by: Dragon Fly || 05/27/2004 12:05 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [336068 views] Top|| File under:

#1  I don't know where to put this. And I don't mean to hijack your most excellent thread...

but I thought this was funny.
And a prime example of why we will win in Iraq.

Posted by: Anonymous4021 || 05/27/2004 12:13 Comments || Top||

#2  I like this part: War is inherently ugly and dramatic. I don't blame reporters for focusing on the burning vehicles, the mutilated bodies or the personal tragedies. The editors have little choice but to print the photos from the Abu Ghraib prison and the tales of the insurgency in Fallujah. These things sell news and remind us of the sober reality of our commitment to the Iraqi people. The actions of our armed forces are rightfully subject to scrutiny.

I am not ignorant of the political issues, either. But as a professional, I have the luxury of putting politics aside and focusing on the task at hand. Protecting people from terrorists and criminals while building schools and lasting friendships is a good mission, no matter what brush it's tarred with.

Nothing any talking head will say can deter me or my fellow Marines from caring about the people of Iraq, or take away from the sacrifices of our comrades. Fear in the face of adversity is human nature, and many people who take the counsel of their fears speak today. We are not deaf to their cries; neither do we take heed. All we ask is that Americans stand by us by supporting not just the troops, but also the mission.

We'll take care of the rest.
Posted by: Super Hose || 05/27/2004 23:11 Comments || Top||

#3  Anon4021, you gotta get yourself a handle!
Posted by: Jen || 05/28/2004 0:19 Comments || Top||

Africa: Subsaharan
SA Al-Qaeda report 'far-fetched'
The director of the Institute for Security Studies at the University of Pretoria in South Africa, Mike Hough, said on Thursday it was highly unlikely that al-Qaeda would have wanted to disrupt elections in South Africa. National police commissioner Jackie Selebi revealed on Wednesday that police had nabbed suspected al-Qaeda operatives ahead of last month's elections and that these arrests had led to similar arrests in Britain, Syria and Jordan, a Johannesburg daily reported on Thursday. Hough said: "If you think of the government's fierce resistance against a war in Iraq and its sympathy with the Palestinians ... then an al-Qaeda plot against elections in South Africa sounds a bit far-fetched."
That's what I thought as well.
However, it was likely that some al-Qaeda members were based here. "Al-Qaeda has decentralised tremendously since its headquarters in Afghanistan were attacked. There have been fears from the United States that al-Qaeda cells might re-establish themselves in Africa. In terms of the global threat of terror the Americans did ask South Africa to be on the look-out for al-Qaeda," Hough said. But if the government had real evidence against the suspects it would probably have arrested and tried them in South Africa before extraditing them. "It sounds like there was not enough evidence against them and that is why they were deported immediately."
Sounds reasonable.
South Africa held peaceful elections on April 14 which returned the ruling African National Congress to power and saw President Thabo Mbeki elected to a second five-year term.
Posted by: Steve || 05/27/2004 11:30:05 AM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [336063 views] Top|| File under:

Afghanistan/South Asia
Musharraf: Assassination Suspects Arrested
Pakistan's president said junior army and air force personnel were involved in an assassination attempt against him in December and that the suspects have been captured. Gen. Pervez Musharraf made the comments in an interview aired Thursday on Pakistan's private Geo television network. He did not elaborate on the men's role or say when they were caught, but said they will face a trial soon in a military court. "Some of them are not even for any religious motivation. Some of them are for money," Musharraf said. Musharraf, who has angered hardliners for supporting the U.S.-led war on terrorism, was the target of a Dec. 14 attack when a powerful bomb exploded moments after his motorcade passed over a bridge near the capital. No one was killed or injured. Eleven days later, two suicide bombers tried to kill Musharraf again on the same road by ramming his motorcade with explosive-laden vehicles. The president was unhurt but 16 people, mostly policemen, were killed. Asked if the suspects were directly involved in the assassination attempts, Musharraf said: "For the bridge incident, yes."
So the jihadi types they busted last week were involved with the suicide bombing. Makes sense, the bridge bomb had "professional" written all over it, I thought the military was behind that one.
He said he was "200 percent sure" that no senior-ranking officers were involved. "We know exactly who is involved. We know (the) entire picture of both the actions," he said.
Sounds like somebody screamed talked.
In March, Musharraf said a Libyan member of al-Qaida was behind the attacks. But in the Thursday interview he said the mastermind was Pakistani and the only suspect still at large. "The only person not there is this mastermind ... who planned it. That man is still at large. We will get him," the president said. "We know exactly who he is." Army spokesman Maj. Gen. Shaukat Sultan confirmed the arrests but offered few details. "They were junior ranking people, and none among them was an officer," he told The Associated Press.
That, I don't believe.
Sultan said the number of detainees was in single figures. "These people are still being interrogated, and I cannot share other details with the media at this stage," he said.
Sounds painful
Pakistani authorities have previously said that security agencies have arrested some men from other Islamic militant groups for the December attacks against Musharraf, although none so far has been charged or produced before a court.
That would be the car boomers
Musharraf said that although the suspects in the attacks would be tried in a military court, the proceedings would be open. "It will be open, but it will be in a military court and the whole nation will see it," he said.
Show trial, the verdict is already written.
Musharraf enraged hardliners - including elements in the military and intelligence services - by ending Pakistan's support of the fundamentalist Taliban regime in neighboring Afghanistan after the Sept. 11, 2001, attack on America. He then backed the U.S.-led war on terrorism that ousted the Taliban for harboring al-Qaida in late 2001.
Posted by: Steve || 05/27/2004 10:33:34 AM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [336067 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Someone high up in PakLand wants Perv dead and got some juniors to attempt to do the deed. Problem is, the list of suspects is very large. Whom can Perv trust when his leadership is riddled with traitors? Get rid of one and the rest pop up like daisies.
Posted by: Alaska Paul || 05/27/2004 11:32 Comments || Top||

#2  These people are still being interrogated, and I cannot share other details with the media at this stage, he said.

"Lynndie England, call your office."
Posted by: Seafarious || 05/27/2004 13:59 Comments || Top||

Africa: Subsaharan
SA police 'foiled terrorist plot'
South Africa's police chief has said his officers revealed a plot linked to al-Qaeda to disrupt April's elections. National Police Commissioner Jackie Selebi said a number of people from outside South Africa had been arrested on 9 April, five days before the poll.
Most likely they wanted to elect a new government that would pull all those South African troops out of Iraq.......oh wait..
He told parliament's security and safety committee that those detained had had "evil intentions" against South Africa - though he gave few details.
"I can say no more."
Mr Selebi said the police operation had led to arrests in Jordan and Syria. Reports from Jordan in April said police had foiled a chemical plot, arresting six people and killing another four. Officials said the plot involved attacking the intelligence department in Amman, using trucks loaded with 20 metric tons of chemicals and possibly causing the deaths of thousands of people.
Hummm, we haven't heard much more about that, have we?
Mr Selebi said police kept quiet about the arrests over the election period. "We arrested some people who had evil intentions towards this country," he said. "We did not tell anybody. he result is that you saw in Jordan, in and around those days, a number of people arrested who were called al-Qaeda. A number of people were also arrested in Syria as a result of our operation."
He added that as part of the operation British police had found "boxes and boxes" of South African passports at a London home, but refused to elaborate.
We've heard rumors al-Qaeda was using SA as a support base, looks like the SA police took them seriously. Wonder what was going on?
Posted by: Steve || 05/27/2004 10:01:47 AM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [336063 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Additional: Police Commissioner Jackie Selebi told Parliament South Africa had arrested and deported several people linked to the al-Qaida terror network, a newspaper reported Thursday.
The Star, a Johannesburg daily, said Selebi told the National Assembly's safety and security committe on Wednesday that the arrest days before the April 14 general elections here also prompted arrests of other al-Qaida suspects in Jordan, Syria and Britain. "We arrested some people who had evil intentions against this country - we did not tell anybody - five days before the election. We got these people to leave," the newspaper quoted Selebie as telling the committee. "In part of this operation, in London, the British police found boxes and boxes of South African passports in the home of one of these people," Selebi said.
The commissioner did not give any specifics on what action the al-Qaida suspects planned in South Africa nor did he explain why the government did not disclose the arrests until now. Selebi told the committee he was disclosing the arrests as an example of the battle faced by government in stamping out corruption in the Department of Home Affairs, which issues passports.

So it was just a catch and release program. Damm.
Posted by: Steve || 05/27/2004 10:55 Comments || Top||

US Army Doing Public Works Projects to Win Over Iraqi Population
From The Washington Post
Maj. Gen. Peter Chiarelli, an earnest tank officer who recalled that he once dreamed of commanding "large mechanized formations across vast open deserts," is instead knee-deep in a very different fight. The recently arrived commander of the Army’s 1st Cavalry Division pulled up Wednesday to a trash-strewn lot in Al-Rashid, a treacherous southern suburb of Baghdad. 
. A career tank officer who once taught political science at West Point, Chiarelli contends that public works projects may be more effective than guns in deciding the future of Iraq. He said he fears that time might be running out for the U.S. occupation after a year of enduring war and sluggish reconstruction that has left many Iraqis not knowing where to turn. 

Chiarelli described the next five weeks as the equivalent of an election campaign, and he said he intends to win it by drawing on lessons he once imparted to students: Understand your constituency and deliver on promises. He is targeting Iraq’s "fence-sitters," his term for the mostly poor or barely middle-class Iraqis who he estimates account for 40 percent of the population. hey are deciding now, as the handover date approaches, whether to back the next government or an insurgency working in such neighborhoods as Al-Rashid to undermine it. 

Chiarelli kicked off two sewer projects that will cost $31 million, part of a $240 million pot of money he has to spend on public works construction and power generation. Instead of hiring private contractors, Chiarelli intends to turn senior military officers into project managers, saving the high security costs that have become a part of doing business in Iraq. To prepare for the rebuilding, Chiarelli sent his brigade commanders to four months of civil affairs training, including a three-day seminar with the city planning department of Austin. From headquarters on the Baghdad International Airport grounds, the division peppers Austin planners daily with questions over a direct Internet link. But those early perceptions of a nation-building operation vanished in the first days after the division’s arrival. Intense street fighting in the concrete mazes of Al-Rashid, Sadr City and the town of Abu Ghraib during the first weeks of April stunned Chiarelli and his senior officers at a time when they expected to be dealing with the conflicting interests of Iraqi civil society. 

The people in the surrounding neighborhood, many of whom Chiarelli places among the fence-sitters, remain skeptical of the project. 
. Chiarelli said U.S. civilian officials have moved too slowly to free up public works money and failed to ask the Iraqis to draw up their own wish lists 
. He said he believes U.S. civilian officials focused too intently on satisfying the Iraqis who already support them -- a group he estimates at 55 percent of the population -- rather than reaching out to those who still might. 

Chiarelli’s intelligence officers have shown him a map of Sadr City that reinforces his belief that public services are key to defeating the insurgency. The map transposes information on unemployment, sewer capacity and electrical service with the number of guerrilla cells and attacks on U.S. troops. The areas where unemployment is highest and public services most feeble are the same areas where the insurgents are most active recruiting in mosques and schools, and attacking his soldiers. ...
Posted by: Mike Sylwester || 05/27/2004 10:01:15 AM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [336068 views] Top|| File under:

#1  The areas where unemployment is highest and public services most feeble are the same areas where the insurgents are most active recruiting in mosques and schools, and attacking his soldiers.

Clearly this is a warm fuzzy for the "root cause seekers" at places such as The Washing Post. I'll make no wagers as to whether it will work in terms of winning people over, but it is an act of kindness. As such, it is the Right Thing To Do.
Posted by: eLarson || 05/27/2004 13:08 Comments || Top||

#2  As such, it is the Right Thing To Do.

Given our experiences in the Middle East, I'd be more inclined to leaning away from that and going more towards an attitude of What Do We Get In Return For Doing This? After all, it's largely going to be our money that would be financing these projects, and while the typical Westerner might understand what such a gesture might mean, the people we are dealing with are NOT typical Westerners.
Posted by: Bomb-a-rama || 05/27/2004 14:25 Comments || Top||

#3  I agree with you, #2. Mispent kindness with a culture who will hate us when all is said and done. The faster we get our butts out of Iraq, the happier they will be with us. Forget about the warm and fuzzy-it's time consuming and costly. Get the elctions done, and move our kisters to Kurdistan.

P.S. Kurdistan represents one third of Iraq territory. Since the beginning of Iraq "occupation" we have only needed 300 GI's to help the Kurds patrol Kurdistan. As I recall there's been ZERO GI deaths at the hands of Kurds.

How much sewer repair and mosque building and air conditioning have our GI's and contractors been forced to putz with in Kurdistan? I'll bet anything Kurds are handling it themselves along with contractors they have hired.

On Monday I almost gagged listening to President Bush talking about what he's planning for the "Iraqi people." His speech was like a eulogy to Iraqi people. "Iraqi people" got mentioned 10X to every time he mentioned America. I'm sick and tired of coddling these losers. It is no random accident of history that Iraqis have never known democracy in all the time they've been hanging out in the desert.

You're right #2. It's time that President Bush gets his head out of the neocon clouds and starts tallying the bill to give the Iraqi new government re: all the perks we taxpayers have been giving "Iraqi people" since we generously kicked Saddam out of his palace.

When is all this American taxpayer supported generosity to the Iraqi people going to end? Are we to believe that it will go on indefinitely? Does staying the course in Iraq mean bottomless US money bags for "Iraqi people" to use and enjoy?

Go to the website www.stoppowtorture.org" put together by American Gulf War I vets. The US Justice Department is holding back $ these men won in a recent court case against the Iraqi government for abuse that Iraqis perpetuated against them in the first Gulf War. The Bush Administration has told our vets the "Iraqi people" need the court judgment $ more now than our vets. Say what?
Posted by: rex || 05/27/2004 19:06 Comments || Top||

#4  The faster we get our butts out of Iraq, the happier they will be with us.

I just thought of something; go ahead with these public works projects anyway and then at some point in time after the improvements have been made, take a good long look at the situation. Is the frequency of attacks against coalition forces dwindling due to people turning in insurgents? Is there a general rising tide of goodwill and trust developing between the general Iraqi public and American soldiers and officials? If so, then we keep on going. If there is no improvement in the situation on the main fronts, we stop these projects dead in their tracks and go no further. No use wasting our money giving them something that they're not going to have any appreciation for.
Posted by: Bomb-a-rama || 05/27/2004 22:29 Comments || Top||

Fallujah Emerging As Islamic Mini-State
To commemmorate Hook’s incarceration in HMP Belmarsh I thought I’d include a piece by Al-Muhajiroun...

The departure of the Marines under an agreement that ended the three-week siege last month has enabled hard-line Islamic leaders to assert their power in this once-restive city 30 miles west of Baghdad. Some were active in defending the city against the Marines and have profited by a perception — both here and elsewhere in Iraq — that the mujahedeen, or Islamic holy warriors, defeated a superpower.

Under the agreement, the Marines handed security in the city to a new Fallujah Brigade made up largely of local residents and commanded by officers of Saddam Hussein’s former army. With the departure of the Marines, the position of the U.S.-appointed civil administration has been weakened in favor of the clerics and the mujahedeen who resisted the U.S. occupation. That is a pattern that could be repeated elsewhere in Iraq after the occupation ends June 30, unless other legitimate leaders come forward to replace those tainted by association with the occupation.

Fallujah, which calls itself the "City of Mosques," provides the religious fundamentalists with fertile ground for wielding power. The city’s estimated 300,000 residents are known for their religious piety. Women rarely appear in public and when they do, they are covered from head to toe in accordance with Islam’s strict dress code for women. The lives of men revolve around Islam’s tradition of praying five times a day. Unlike other Iraqi cities, Fallujah has never allowed liquor stores. Its famous kebab restaurants have prayer rooms, an unusual feature in most Muslim nations. Many of its adult male population wear beards, a hallmark of religious piety.

However, steps taken by the mujahedeen over the past month have gone beyond simply encouraging piety. On Sunday, for example, scores of masked mujahedeen, shouting "Allahu Akbar," or "God is Great," paraded four men stripped down to their underpants atop the back of a pickup truck that drove through the city. Their bare backs were bleeding from 80 lashes they had received as punishment for selling alcohol. They were taken to a hospital where they were treated and released. Residents said a man found intoxicated last week was flogged, held overnight and released the next day. Fallujah’s women hair stylists shut down their shops several months ago after repeated attacks blamed on Muslim militants.

On Tuesday, the mujahedeen expanded their "clean up" campaign. About 80 masked, armed men, accompanied by local police, forced hundreds of street hawkers at gun point to clear out from the streets and confine their businesses to designated areas. The masked men later moved to the city’s used car market and "persuaded" dealers to move away from the city center because they were blocking traffic. In both cases, the police stood by without intervening. According to residents, barbers have been instructed not to give "Western" haircuts — short on the back and sides and full on top — or to remove facial hair. Four youths with long hair were stopped at a market by mujahedeen on Sunday and marched to a public market where they were shorn.

"Are we Muslims, or not?" asked Abdul-Rahman Mahmoud, a 40-year-old father of three. "We are. So, we must apply God’s laws. The mujahedeen’s word is heard and respected, and the same goes for our clerics." There is little sign of opposition to the mujahedeen, though it could be that some people are simply afraid of confronting armed men. Sheik Omar Said of the Fallujah branch of the Association of Muslim Scholars, a Baghdad-based organization created last year to defend the rights of the Sunni Arab minority, insists that nearly everyone in Fallujah really wants Islamic law. However, he hinted that perhaps in some cases, the mujahedeen have gone too far. "This will only come after educating society in religious matters first and then moving on to applying Islamic punishments," he said. However, the mujahedeen are clearly profiting from the hero status they acquired during the April battles against the Marines. There is even talk of building a museum dedicated to the "struggle" against the American occupation. Money has been collected in recent weeks to help the families of those who died in the fighting, said by the locals to number 1,000 "martyrs."
No beers on the verrandah of an evening, no Debbie Does Dallas, No grade II shaves. No fun but ZZ Top beards a plenty. I’ll leave the pleasure of commenting the text to someone far more well versed in such affairs
Posted by: Howard UK || 05/27/2004 9:39:55 AM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [336067 views] Top|| File under:

#1  So we are punishing Fallujah again. They didn't like King Log, so we are letting them enjoy King Stork (Aesop fable.)
I wonder how much those arrogant, but secular Baathists are going to appreciate being ruled over by Taliban?
Posted by: Anonymoose || 05/27/2004 10:33 Comments || Top||

#2  This is an Associated Press article by HAMZA HENDAWI:
yesterdays's link

Isn't it interesting that a Kill-All-The-Non-Muslims Fifth Column Jihadi group feels comfortable enough to post this article verbatim? It's as if Lord Haw Haw was the BBC war correspondent during WW2 or Americans got their war news direct from Tokyo.

Why do Western news organizations employ people who have a vested interest in furthering the Jihadi cause? How many times, before the West wises up, must these "reporters" distort the news passed to us, pass intelligence to the enemy, and set up our people for attack?

Are news organizations so lazy or frightened that they cannot provide the reporters and the level of effort they do at home? After all, this is a bit more important for our civilization than gay weddings or the latest Michael Jackson antics.

Why have we forgotten that information shapes both the battle front and home front? Our enemies have not forgotten this lesson. Go to the Al Jazeera site. There is no mistaking which side they are on.
Posted by: ed || 05/27/2004 10:50 Comments || Top||

#3  ed, great comments (Loved the Lord Haw Haw reference! It describes almost every talking head on TV today, sadly.)
Posted by: Jen || 05/27/2004 10:54 Comments || Top||

A Look Back at the Case of Colonel West
From The New York Times
.... Intent on foiling a reported plot to ambush him and his men, Colonel [Allen] West, a battalion commander, made a calculated decision to intimidate the Iraqi officer with a show of force. An interrogation under way was going nowhere, Colonel West said in an interview, and he chose to take the matter into his own hands. .... Colonel West wanted the Iraqi policeman, Yehiya Kadoori Hamoodi, to think "this was going to be the end" if he did not divulge what he knew. So Colonel West presided over what he considered a time-sensitive interrogation that grew steadily more abusive until he himself fired a pistol beside Mr. Hamoodi’s head. ....

Expressing concern that his behavior could send the signal that abuse was acceptable as a means to an end, the Army relieved Colonel West of his command and contemplated court-martialing him on assault charges. When Colonel West’s case became public last fall, it, too, provoked a debate about appropriate conduct during wartime. But that debate had a far different tenor than the much larger one raging now. ....

Then, however, Colonel West’s many defenders argued that the military should have viewed Colonel West as a hero who did not disobey rules so much as rise above them. .... Ninety-five members of Congress signed a letter to the secretary of the Army supporting the colonel. Senator John W. Warner of Virginia, a Republican and chairman of the Armed Services Committee, who has pressed for accountability in the Abu Ghraib affair, expressed empathy for the colonel in a letter to constituents. ....

But the record of his case is unclear on whether the Iraqi officer provided valuable information, and Mr. Hamoodi said in an interview that he did not, because he knew nothing. .... In an interview in Baghdad, Mr. Hamoodi, a thin, bespectacled 31-year-old, said aides to Colonel West stopped by his police station and asked him to join them on patrol. Mr. Hamoodi climbed into the back of their open Humvee, he said, and the vehicle soon jerked off the road. Soldiers testified later that Mr. Hamoodi appeared to go for his weapon and needed to be subdued. Mr. Hamoodi said that one soldier punched him several times, and that he was handcuffed, shackled and blindfolded.

At the base, he said, they threw him, still bound, off the Humvee, then led him into the jail and eventually into an interrogation room. They pressed him for the details of an assassination plan, about which he knew nothing, he said. During the interrogation, he said, the translator kicked him in the shin and told him he needed to confess before Colonel West showed up to kill him. Mr. Hamoodi said he felt relieved to hear the colonel was expected. He considered Colonel West to be "calm, quiet, clever and sociable." When the colonel first entered the interrogation room, Mr. Hamoodi said, he thought, "Here is the man who will treat me fairly."

Then, he said, Colonel West cocked his gun. Colonel West said that he did not then put a round in the gun’s chamber but that he did place the pistol in his lap. He asked Mr. Hamoodi why he wanted to kill him. Mr. Hamoodi said that he protested, "I’ve worked with you, I like you," but that Colonel West silenced his protest. Colonel West pressed for the names and locations of those involved in the supposed plot, and he got no answers.

Soon, the soldiers began striking and shoving Mr. Hamoodi. They were not instructed to do so by Colonel West but they were not stopped, either, they said. .... Eventually, the colonel and his soldiers moved Mr. Hamoodi outside, and threatened him with death. Colonel West said he fired a warning shot in the air and began counting down from five. He asked his soldiers to put Mr. Hamoodi’s head in a sand-filled barrel usually used for clearing weapons. At the end of his count, Colonel West fired a shot into the barrel, angling his gun away from the Iraqi’s head, he testified.

According to the interpreter, Mr. Hamoodi finally "admitted there would be attacks, and called out names." Mr. Hamoodi said that he was not sure what he told the Americans, but that it was meaningless information induced by fear and pain. At least one man named by Mr. Hamoodi was taken into custody, according to testimony, and his home was searched. No plans for attacks on Americans or weapons were found. ....

When the interrogation was over, a physician’s assistant checked Mr. Hamoodi and found "swelling but no bruises," according to a hearing transcript. He was detained another 45 days and released without being charged, he said.

Mr. Hamoodi said he did not really blame the Americans for "arresting and torturing me." Obviously, someone had informed on him, he said, and they had to act on the information they obtained. Still, he trembles now when he sees a Humvee and he no longer trusts or works with the Americans. ...

Indeed, it is possible that the abusive interrogation might never have come to light if a sergeant in another battalion had not subsequently written a letter of complaint about the "command climate" under Colonel West’s superior officer. In that letter, the sergeant mentioned almost as an aside, according to Mr. Puckett, that Colonel West had interrogated a detainee using a pistol. An investigation was set in motion. .... The military decided against court-martialing Colonel West. He was fined $5,000, and he submitted his resignation, which becomes effective this summer, when he will retire with full benefits. ...
Posted by: Mike Sylwester || 05/27/2004 5:25:33 AM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [336064 views] Top|| File under:

#1  I see this as a robust interogation that resulted in no permanent harm. He was roughed up a bit and an attempt was made to scare him with the pistol. As I have pointed about before such lack of seriousness would get him fired from any Arab police force.
Posted by: Phil B || 05/27/2004 9:51 Comments || Top||

#2  This is from NY Times (that bastion of truch and unbalanced reporting -- now where is my medication?).

Of course they print only Mr. Hamoodi's account and take his statements as gospel. No fact checking with anyone else who might have been there.

I guess with the NY Times anything is ok as long as it smears a honorable U.S. Soldier (Or Bush...).
Posted by: CrazyFool || 05/27/2004 9:54 Comments || Top||

#3  CrazyFool, I cut quite a bit out of the article for this posting. If you read the entire article, you would not characterize it as a smear of Colonel West.
Posted by: Mike Sylwester || 05/27/2004 10:13 Comments || Top||

#4  But wasn't that your intent, Mike? Isn't that why you edited out anything that defends Colonel West?
Posted by: Robert Crawford || 05/27/2004 10:45 Comments || Top||

#5  It's a long article, Robert, and so I cut a lot out. Every deletion is marked by elipses for your convenience. If you think something should be added here, then paste it into a comment.

I did not intend for my selections to present Col West in a bad light. I intended to present information that was new to people already familiar with the story as it was reported back when it was a current event.
Posted by: Mike Sylwester || 05/27/2004 10:55 Comments || Top||

#6  I dunno, Mike...in that you didn't make any comments, what you chose to post serves as the (editorial) commentary really.
(Take it from me, I blog and I do this everyday.)
Posted by: Jen || 05/27/2004 11:00 Comments || Top||

#7  Oddly, Mike, I don't believe you. Maybe because you did the same thing with another story.

Posted by: Robert Crawford || 05/27/2004 11:02 Comments || Top||

#8  Mr. Hamoodi climbed into the back of their open Humvee, he said, and the vehicle soon jerked off the road.

For some reason, I inhaled a tiny bit of coffee when I read this. :)
Posted by: Bomb-a-rama || 05/27/2004 11:12 Comments || Top||

#9  Robert, read my #3.
Posted by: Mike Sylwester || 05/27/2004 11:13 Comments || Top||

#10  I'm glad to see he kept his retirement. He did the right thing and broke the rules. Now he's been punished for it and can get on with his life. More people are going to face choices like this before the War is over.
Posted by: Mr. Davis || 05/27/2004 12:28 Comments || Top||

#11  I get the NYT, mostly for the crosswords. But I have to laugh the other day when I discovered that even the resturant critic, Amanda Hesser, is being replaced by Frank Bruni (he wrote a pretty good book about the Bush presidential campaign) the current bureau chief in Rome. It seems Hesser (stop drinking your coffee and turn suprise meter on) gave a NYC resturant 3 stars in one review but failed to point out it was owned by a guy (chef) who gave her a 5 star reveiw/blurb for her recently published cook book. I mean, when you can't even divulge your bias in resturant reviews, how the hell can you expect anyone with any sense to read your other articles without leaning to the left as you read them?
Posted by: Jack is Back! || 05/27/2004 12:54 Comments || Top||

#12  Mike, I stand corrected and apologize. I should have read the entire (long....) article.
Posted by: CrazyFool || 05/27/2004 13:27 Comments || Top||

Interrogation Unit at Abu Ghraib Obtained Little Valuable Intelligence
From The New York Times
The questioning of hundreds of Iraqi prisoners last fall in the newly established interrogation center at Abu Ghraib prison yielded very little valuable intelligence, according to civilian and military officials. The interrogation center was set up in September to obtain better information about an insurgency in Iraq that was killing American soldiers almost every day by last fall. .... But civilian and military intelligence officials, as well as top commanders with access to intelligence reports, now say they learned little about the insurgency from questioning inmates at the prison. Most of the prisoners held in the special cellblock that became the setting for the worst abuses at Abu Ghraib apparently were not linked to the insurgency, they said. All of the prisoners sent to Abu Ghraib had already been questioned by the troops who captured them for urgent information about roadside bombs, imminent attacks and the like.

The officials could not say whether the harsh interrogation methods used at Abu Ghraib were counterproductive. But they said few if any prisoners there had been able to shed light on questions to which Gen. John P. Abizaid, the top American commander for the Middle East, and his deputies had assigned highest priority, including the whereabouts of Saddam Hussein and the nature of the insurgency’s leadership. ...

The Tier 1 cellblock at Abu Ghraib was set aside from the rest of the prison to house as many as 600 prisoners designated as "security detainees" because of their suspected involvement in or knowledge about attacks on American troops. .... In general, said a senior Army officer who served in Iraq, many of the prisoners held in the isolation wing at Abu Ghraib were kept there long beyond any period of usefulness because "no one wanted to be responsible for releasing the next Osama bin Laden." ...

The Joint Interrogation and Debriefing Center at Abu Ghraib was established in September under the command of Lt. Col. Steve Jordan, and quickly established effective control over the cellblock set aside for the "security prisoners." ....

No one from the interrogation center has been charged with crimes in connection with the abuses, several weeks after an initial Army inquiry suggested that Colonel Jordan, among three other senior officers and civilian contractors, was "directly or indirectly" culpable in the abuses.

General Sanchez and other Army officials have said broader control of Abu Ghraib was not transferred from a military police unit, under Brig. Gen. Janis Karpinski, to an Army intelligence unit, under Col. Thomas M. Pappas, until Nov. 19, when the intelligence unit was put in charge of protecting the prison against attack and of the inmates’ safety. By then, abusive practices had been photographed in the prison for about a month and the International Committee of the Red Cross had already filed an official complaint about the practices. But the documents and interviews suggest that de facto control of the isolation cellblock had been given to the Joint Interrogation and Debriefing Center by mid-October. ...

On occasion, according to some statements collected in the investigations so far, members of the 372nd Military Police Company assigned to guard the isolation cellblock were invited into interrogation rooms and sometimes instructed to yell at or otherwise intimidate Iraqi prisoners being questioned. This is a violation of standard Army rules on the role of the military police. ....

... while Colonel Jordan had been "assigned to" Colonel Pappas’s brigade, he was not under its operational control. In interviews, several Army officers, including General Karpinski, said Colonel Jordan had received broad direction from General Fast, director of intelligence for occupation forces in Baghdad, who had been responsible for setting up the interrogation center.
Posted by: Mike Sylwester || 05/27/2004 5:11:49 AM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [336064 views] Top|| File under:

#1  question: why would anybody who got valuable intel relay that to the NYT? Anybody? Bueller?
Posted by: Frank G || 05/27/2004 10:01 Comments || Top||

#2  I disagree, we did find out how high we can stack terrorists in a pyramid. Next time lets give them a field interrogation and then just shoot them. That is what the Geneva Convention says we should do.
Posted by: Cyber Sarge (VRWC CA Chapter) || 05/27/2004 10:53 Comments || Top||

#3  Frank, exactly!
(But when you're the NYT, you have to eat the whole thing!)
Posted by: Jen || 05/27/2004 10:56 Comments || Top||

Iraq Council Slams Plan to Destroy Prison
President Bush's offer to demolish Abu Ghraib prison found little support among Iraqis, with the head of the Governing Council on Wednesday calling the idea "a waste of resources." "We must not be sentimental," Ghazi Mashal Ajil al-Yawer told reporters. "Torture has taken place in every vault in Iraq. As the Governing Council, we do not agree with demolishing it and the matter will be left for the transitional government" which takes office June 30. He called the idea of destroying the prison "a waste of resources."
A revealing statement.
Bush told an audience Monday night at the Army War College in Carlisle, Pa., that Abu Ghraib, scene of prisoner abuse by U.S. troops and notorious for torture under Saddam Hussein, will be destroyed "as a fitting symbol of Iraq's new beginning." But the offer has found no takers. Some Iraqi leaders and human rights activists criticized Bush's proposal, arguing the country needs prisons - albeit well-run ones - and cannot afford the luxury of tearing down usable structures - even if it means stamping out symbols of past repression. Interior Minister Samir Shaker Mahmoud al-Sumeidi said he understood Bush's desire to "remove the memory and the stain" of the prisoner abuse scandal. Still, he argued it would be better to change the way the prison is managed rather than construct a new building.
Posted by: Steve White || 05/27/2004 4:33:59 AM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [336063 views] Top|| File under:

#1  This is kinda cool. Bush has offered to destroy and rebuild the prison. With the council saying, "nah, we'll keep it." Bush's acceptance of this will show that the new government really does have the power it needs.
Posted by: Anon || 05/27/2004 5:12 Comments || Top||

#2  Bush's proposal is dumb as dirt. What a big waste of money! Let him state the cost, and then we'll see how many Americans support it.
Posted by: Mike Sylwester || 05/27/2004 5:31 Comments || Top||

#3  No, Mike, it's not a dumb proposal.
If I were an Iraqi, it would always represent the torture and murder done by Saddam and I'd want it gone.
Maybe it could be a museum of the horrors of Saddam.
But President Bush did say that it would be done "only with the approval of the Iraqis."
Clearly, "waste of money" is the latest talking point from the DNC.
Posted by: Jen || 05/27/2004 5:57 Comments || Top||

#4  A number of Iraqis whose right hands were amputated there don't agree Mike. One told Bush during a recent visit to the White House that he, "wanted to wield the hammer" when Abu Ghraib was destroyed. It's a powerful symbol to Iraqis and its destruction, particularly its destruction by Iraqis, would be a powerful symbolic act.
Posted by: AzCat || 05/27/2004 9:33 Comments || Top||

#5  Maybe no one spotted it, but what "human rights activists" are for needing prisons? Must be one that's ACTUALLY concerned about human rights, not Amnesty Int'l, eh? This plays well for Bush and I love it!
Posted by: BA || 05/27/2004 9:33 Comments || Top||

#6  Maybe no one spotted it, but what "human rights activists" are for needing prisons? Must be one that's ACTUALLY concerned about human rights, not Amnesty Int'l, eh? This plays well for Bush and I love it!
Posted by: BA || 05/27/2004 9:34 Comments || Top||

#7  Hey, Mike -- just how much would it cost, hmmm? Do you know? Or are you just blowing more smoke out your ass?

Posted by: Robert Crawford || 05/27/2004 10:22 Comments || Top||

#8  I know that a prison of that size would cost a lot of money and time. A prison is a very expensive facility.
Posted by: Mike Sylwester || 05/27/2004 10:45 Comments || Top||

#9  If they took the time to destroy every building in which torture took place in Iraq, they wouldn't have many gov't buildings left. They are going to need a prison. Renovate this one and call it good. The notoriety of the place will dissipate in time, providing they don't continue the use of torture.

As the man said, don't be sentimental. It's still just a building, regardless of what happened in it.
Posted by: BH || 05/27/2004 10:48 Comments || Top||

#10  Bull, Mike. You just wanted to get your slam in.
Posted by: Robert Crawford || 05/27/2004 10:48 Comments || Top||

#11  BH, "sentimental?" I wonder how many thousands of Iraqis died there?
And how would you feel if your relative were killed there?
Let's let the Iraqis decide.
President Bush has already indicated that we can afford to tear it down....(even though John Kerry's family may not get food stamps and unemployment benefits because of it--Have they ever been employed?).
Posted by: Jen || 05/27/2004 10:52 Comments || Top||

#12  If they keep it, they should keep it as a monument to the victims of Saddam's regime. Hell, I wouldn't even be upset if they had a small section about the Graner's idiots.
Posted by: Robert Crawford || 05/27/2004 10:54 Comments || Top||

#13  i must agree with Jen here. It IS up to the Iraqis to decide, but it was right of Pres Bush to suggest it.
Posted by: Liberalhawk || 05/27/2004 11:16 Comments || Top||

#14  Jen: BH, "sentimental?" I wonder how many thousands of Iraqis died there? And how would you feel if your relative were killed there?

sen·ti·men·tal ( P ) Pronunciation Key (snt-mntl)

Characterized or swayed by sentiment.
Affectedly or extravagantly emotional.
Resulting from or colored by emotion rather than reason or realism.
Appealing to the sentiments, especially to romantic feelings: sentimental music.

If you're going to appeal to how I would "feel" about having my relatives killed there, at least spare me the indignation over labelling it a sentimental decision. It is. And I would feel terrible, obviously. But the building didn't kill them - the men inside did. Get rid of them and ensure that those who follow don't use the same methods. I don't believe in haunted houses.
Posted by: BH || 05/27/2004 11:39 Comments || Top||

#15  Up to Iraqi's to decide.. and it already has 10's of millions in improvements and upgrades in it since it came under coalition control.
Posted by: Capsu78 || 05/27/2004 11:43 Comments || Top||

#16  Maybe you don't believe in haunted houses, but the Iraqis are probably more superstititious than we are.
To me, the word "sentimental" evokes feelings and emotions that are fairly trivial, superficial and mostly, nostalgic.
I imagine that what Iraqis feel about the place calls forth something much more profound like rage, fury and hate--is it based on realism to say, "I hate that place because that's where Saddam was free to have us tortured and murdered?"
I think it is.
One man's realism is another man's dead relative.
The only person I can see feeling "sentimental" about the place is Saddam, as in "How I miss having my Palace of Pain!"
Posted by: Jen || 05/27/2004 11:47 Comments || Top||

#17  God DAMN IT.

Posted by: JackAssFestival || 05/27/2004 12:04 Comments || Top||

#18  JAF, I love it! LOL
Posted by: Jen || 05/27/2004 12:08 Comments || Top||

#19  a the difference between what a word denotes, and what it connotes.
Posted by: Liberalhawk || 05/27/2004 12:12 Comments || Top||

#20  Mike Sylwester: I know that a prison of that size would cost a lot of money and time. A prison is a very expensive facility.

I have to agree here. Penitentiaries are expensive to build because of all the things needed to keep inmates in. Everything has to be industrial strength. A medium security state prison facility for 1,600 inmates cost $50m almost a decade ago. We are probably looking at those kinds of numbers for Abu Ghraib's replacement. The only saving grace is that the construction process will employ lots of Iraqis over a couple of years.
Posted by: Zhang Fei || 05/27/2004 12:24 Comments || Top||


JAF - Great Idea!
Then when Wal-Mart goes into Iran, They can attract the customers with window dispalys using the WalMart in Roswell, NM as an example!

Posted by: BigEd || 05/27/2004 12:27 Comments || Top||

#22  Quoted from here:

State Correctional Institution— Houtzdale
Houtzdale, PA

Sq Ft:

November 1993 –
December 1995

Project Cost:

General Contractor

Commonwealth of Pennsylvania
Department of General Services

LDA Company (formerly L.D. Astorino & Associates, Limited)

Construction of a 1,651-bed, 575,000-sf medium-security prison. The institution, situated on approximately 182-acres, includes 19 separate buildings. Six medium-security housing units and one maximum security housing unit are constructed of precast concrete modular cells. Support buildings include a program services building that houses the health services department, a visitation building, intake/segregation, a 17,000-sf laundry, a 20,000-sf facilities administration building, a 40,000-sf dietary services/kitchen cafeteria, and a 40,000-sf prison industries building that includes metal/wood/fabrication shops. A central plant provides power, steam and hot water to the entire facility. Perimeter security consists of two fence lines and above-grade microwave units in conjunction with an underground geonet detection system.
Posted by: Zhang Fei || 05/27/2004 12:27 Comments || Top||

#23  Roswell Walmart Closeup

Also : Zhang Fei: Wasn't Sgt. Grainer, of AbuGharib photo fame, a prison guard in Pennsylvania before his reserve unit was sent to Baghdad?
Posted by: BigEd || 05/27/2004 12:31 Comments || Top||

#24  Good Lord, people.
Maybe they can pay for it themselves with their oil billions!
I'm with JAF, though-G*ddamit! Turn it into a Walmart!
(One of our finest American products...and filled with Chinese stuff, too!)
Posted by: Jen || 05/27/2004 12:32 Comments || Top||

#25  Clearly, "waste of money" is the latest talking point from the DNC.

A friendly reminder: the only times DemocRATS complain about government expenditures being a "waste of money" are a) when it's spent on national defense and / or b) when it's spent by Republicans.
Posted by: Raj || 05/27/2004 12:47 Comments || Top||

#26  Jen,
Maybe you don't believe in haunted houses, but the Iraqis are probably more superstititious than we are.

Careful! This is the kind of rationalization the LLLs make: "The Arab world aren't advanced enough for democracy!" They are people, no less than we, and capable of rational thought. I would point out that it was the head of the IGC who first used the word "sentimental".

To me, the word "sentimental" evokes feelings and emotions that are fairly trivial, superficial and mostly, nostalgic.

Common partial usage doesn't narrow the meaning of the word. I might use 10% of the features in my text editor, but that doesn't mean the other 90% don't work.

I imagine that what Iraqis feel about the place calls forth something much more profound like rage, fury and hate--is it based on realism to say, "I hate that place because that's where Saddam was free to have us tortured and murdered?" I think it is.

Again, LLL-think. Try asking them, instead of deciding on your own how they "feel". And by "asking them", I don't mean we need a referendum from the street to chime in on everything we do -- ask the leaders. The head of the council said NO. If the street doesn't like it, let them field a candidate when the elections start.

One man's realism is another man's dead relative.

WTF?! This is one of those things people say in arguments that sound all deep and poignant, but mean absolutely nothing.

The only person I can see feeling "sentimental" about the place is Saddam, as in "How I miss having my Palace of Pain!"

Except "sentimental" means something other than wistful longing. Hating a building and wishing for its destruction because of the things that took place within is no less sentimental.

I agree with your earlier post saying that the Iraqis should decide, but not if you mean that policy should be dictated by the seething masses doing their faggy arm-waving and chanting. The leaders should decide, and from the article it seems that they have said "no".

Posted by: BH || 05/27/2004 13:02 Comments || Top||

#27  Raj - Gold star, 58 points including triple-word-score there. Spot on.
Posted by: eLarson || 05/27/2004 13:11 Comments || Top||

#28  BH, one of us is using an imprecise vocabulary.
liberalhawk was closer to the linguistic problem when he cited dennotation and connotation.
Posted by: Jen || 05/27/2004 13:18 Comments || Top||

#29  Abu Ghraib WalMart. Wet cleanup on aisle six. And we have ways of dealing with shoplifters.
Posted by: Sludj || 05/27/2004 14:31 Comments || Top||

#30  BH: I don't understand why you don't understand that many Iraqis would love to see the place torched and bulldozed. It would feel (yes, I'm using the "F" word here) pretty good to see it totally G-O-N-E. (Remember the toppling of the statue of SH? Remember the reaction?) OTOH, they might feel better turning it into a restructuring project--cleaning, painting, etc., then use it as a prison run the right way. That also would be pyschologically healthy. They should put it to a vote, at least, so they can debate the merits and decide for themselves as a population, instead of having only a few leaders decide.

Other uses: Gut the interior and turn it into a bowling alley? Paintball palace and video game arcade? Disco?
Posted by: ex-lib || 05/27/2004 17:32 Comments || Top||

Four Nations Seek Iraq Resolution Changes
UNITED NATIONS (AP) - Four key nations proposed major changes Wednesday to the U.S.-British draft resolution on Iraq, moves that would give the new government control over the Iraqi army and police and require the multinational force to consult on military actions except for self-defense.

A three-page proposal by China - which diplomats said was supported in large part by Russia, France and Germany - would give the interim government that takes over on June 30 the right to decide whether foreign forces remain in the country and limit the multinational mandate to January 2005. Both changes would bolster the sovereign powers of the Iraqi interim government and extend far greater authority than the resolution introduced to the U.N. Security Council on Monday by Britain and the United States.

The proposal would require the multinational force to "consult with the interim government in respect of military actions except for self-defense." This issue is not mentioned in the U.S.-British draft. The proposal would also determine "that the interim government of Iraq shall exercise full sovereignty, in the political, economic, security, judicial and diplomatic areas, including the power to control and dispose all the natural and economic resources, sign economic cooperation agreements and contracts, and enjoy judicial independence and the power to administer prisons in Iraq."
That's the key graf: the French still want the oil fields.
The U.S.-British draft reaffirms authorization for the multinational force currently in Iraq to continue to maintain security and stability, under a unified command. It would review the force's mandate in 12 months or at the request of the transitional government which will be elected by early next year. U.S. Ambassador John Negroponte called the U.S.-British draft "a good resolution" that could be "fine-tuned" but doesn't need to be rewritten. But many other council members have called it a good starting point, and the Chinese proposal and comments by the French, German and Russian ambassadors clearly indicate they want substantive changes.
Posted by: Steve White || 05/27/2004 4:29:54 AM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [336063 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Bush should tell them "thanks for the comments, but no thanks". The UN screwed the Iraqi people. The French, Germans and Russians screwed the Iraqi people. Now they play these games. Have they no honor? Have they no shame? If they won't pass it as written the US should threaten to walk away from the UN entirely.
Posted by: ruprecht || 05/27/2004 11:14 Comments || Top||

#2  Unfortunately, but inevitably, when we go to the UN, the same cast of characters will do the same behaviors. Maybe we need James Baker's briefcase opened up and show the world what a bunch of crooks we have here. Once and for all.
Posted by: Alaska Paul || 05/27/2004 12:13 Comments || Top||

#3  We'll end up accepting something in the middle after more negotiations. The People of the U. S. are not prepared to make a long term commitment of troops to Iraq in the face of opposition from the government we create. Six months, twelve months, what's the difference. If they want us, we'll stay and the Phrawnch will have to accept it.. If not, we'll leave and the Phrawnch will restart the bribe machine.

And Bush needs the U. N. resolution for the election.

It is going to take a lot more bad news before the American People are ready to ignore the U. N., unfortuantely.
Posted by: Mr. Davis || 05/27/2004 12:38 Comments || Top||

#4  I respectfully disagree, Mr. Davis.
President Bush hasn't come this far to cave into the UN now and I don't believe he will.
He's making the gesture to make the gesture.
To turn over any control of our troops would be FOLLY in the extreme and no American President with any sense would allow it.
Bush has rolled the dice politically all this time because he does what's right for America.
We spent our blood and treasure to liberate Iraq and we didn't do it by kowtowing to the UN and I doubt very much if we'll start now.
Posted by: Jen || 05/27/2004 12:42 Comments || Top||

#5  A three-page proposal by China - which diplomats said was supported in large part by Russia, France and Germany

That's enough for me to declare this proposal DOA. They're not fooling anyone except for al-Gore.
Posted by: Raj || 05/27/2004 12:50 Comments || Top||

#6  And Bush needs the U. N. resolution for the election.

UN resolutions mean diddly squat. Anyone with half a brain already knows that.
Posted by: Bomb-a-rama || 05/27/2004 13:25 Comments || Top||

#7  now that is funny - honor from france and russia..lololol
Posted by: Dan || 05/27/2004 13:35 Comments || Top||

#8  I agree, Bush doesn't need the UN for the election. The folks that a UN Resolution would make a difference too are already voting for Kerry (or Nader).
Posted by: ruprecht || 05/27/2004 15:50 Comments || Top||

#9  SPECIAL CLAUSE - "And 2% of the proceeds from the sale of petoleum shall be deposited in four accounts in the Cayamn Islands. The accounts will be listed under the names of the leaders of China, Russia, France, and Germany." -

This special clause was removed because the four ambassadors were convinced this approach was too obvious, and 2% each was too low. They were negotiating for 5%.
Posted by: BigEd || 05/27/2004 17:02 Comments || Top||

Cleric Offers to Pull Fighters From Najaf
A radical Shiite cleric agreed to withdraw his militia from Najaf, raising hopes for an end to weeks of fighting in the holy city, but also demanded coalition forces pull back and a murder case against him be postponed. There was no immediate response from the coalition to the Wednesday agreement, which was conveyed in an announcement by National Security Adviser Mouwafak al-Rubaie. Al-Sadr also could not be reached to confirm it directly.
Hard to interview a fleeing man.
An agreement to abandon Najaf would be a major step toward ending an uprising al-Sadr's militia has waged in the south only weeks before a new Iraqi government takes power June 30, formally ending the U.S.-led occupation. The weeks of fighting - which had threatened some of Shia Islam's holiest sites - had posed a major challenge to the jihadis, Fedayeen and theo-nuts U.S. occupation. It wasn't known but one could guess how much al-Sadr was swayed by the pre-dawn raid in which U.S. troops arrested al-Sadr's key lieutenant. Al-Sadr said he was making the offer because he's had his ass handed to him by the Marines of "the tragic condition" in Najaf after weeks of fighting between his militiamen and the Americans and the slight damage suffered by the city's holiest shrine, the Imam Ali mosque. U.S. officials have expressed their desire for a peaceful settlement to the standoff but have insisted that al-Sadr disband his "illegal militia" and submit to "justice before an Iraqi court."
Don't even back down. Not one inch...
"We still are committed to finding a peaceful resolution to this problem," Brig. Gen. Mark Kimmitt, coalition deputy chief of operations, told reporters in Baghdad before word of al-Sadr's offer. "But until that peaceful resolution comes forward ... we will continue to conduct military operations directed against his forces."
The U.S.-led coalition agreed Thursday to suspend offensive operations in Najaf after local leaders struck a deal with radical cleric Moqtada al-Sadr to end a bloody standoff threatening some of Iraq's holiest Shiite shrines. Coalition forces would remain in Najaf until Iraqi security forces can reenter the city and assume control of strategic buildings from al-Sadr's militia, coalition spokesman Dan Senor told reporters in Baghdad.
Sounds good, we hold in place, let Iraqi forces clean out the holy places.
"Until that time, coalition forces will suspend offensive operations but will continue to provide security by carrying out presence patrols," Senor said. Iraqi leaders had urged the Americans to accept the agreement, although it does not require al-Sadr immediately to disband his militia and surrender to authorities to face charges in the April 2003 assassination of a moderate cleric.
In that case we backed down an inch or more. We're either going to have to do the same thing again in a couple months, or we lose entirely. Stupid move. Gosh, I wish Vespasian and Titus were still around...
Posted by: Steve White || 05/27/2004 4:13:44 AM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [336067 views] Top|| File under:

#1  [Off-topic or abusive comments deleted]
Posted by: Dog Bites Trolls TROLL || 05/27/2004 4:57 Comments || Top||

#2  Jen would probably agree with you if it's Hezbollah giving up on al-Sadr.
(Hey! These guys are the Enemy! What is your problem?)
But you can't post a link to save your life, DBT.
Posted by: Jen || 05/27/2004 6:01 Comments || Top||

#3  Any word on whether we're seriously going to negotiate with this clown? Or is this another one of the "I'll retreat right after you do" things he's been pulling in past weeks because he's had his ass kicked and he knows it we're at a stalemate?

By the way, DBT, what do you have against Jen?
Posted by: The Doctor || 05/27/2004 9:51 Comments || Top||

#4  DBT or MBD or whatever his "nom de troll du jour" is, has received Jen's righteous wrath for severely OT slams on Bush and anything our "military-industrial complex" - read Halliburton - does.
Posted by: Frank G || 05/27/2004 10:17 Comments || Top||

#5  word is weve accepted. If we didnt get out, after Sadr did, it would put too much pressure on Sistani to break with us. In any case, with Sadr out of Najaf, and all his hardboyz out, what reason do we have to go in? Less than in Fallujah, surely. And in this case its the regular Iraqi Police who will go back in, NOT some quasi-Baathist militia as in Fallujah.

But the question remains - where do Sadr and his gang go, now that theyre running from Najaf? My guess is Kufa, but I cant see that theyre too safe there either. I hope we're getting close to the day that Tater finally does run for Teheran (or Qom, more likely)
Posted by: Liberalhawk || 05/27/2004 11:21 Comments || Top||

#6  You have to remember that this is a negotiation between religious leader and potato head. The coalition hasn’t agreed to anything except that tater has to be arrested. If the ‘agreement’ falls short of the requirement the coalition would/should not agree to anything. The ‘Mighty Mahdi’ rabble is almost disbanded or dead so tater doesn’t have too many trump cards to through on the pile at this time.
Posted by: Cyber Sarge (VRWC CA Chapter) || 05/27/2004 12:02 Comments || Top||

#7  Think Sadr's movements are being monitored? I'd be pleased beyond words if a stream of bullets from Spooky's minigun cut Sadr in half while he was slithering across the desert someplace.
Posted by: Bomb-a-rama || 05/27/2004 13:35 Comments || Top||

#8  Hmmm. Hizbollah abandons the al-Sadr ship:
Trust the translation folks, no matter what Jen Malarky says.
Posted by: Dog Bites Trolls || 05/27/2004 4:57 Comments || Top||

Gitmo General Allegedly Advised Scaring Iraqi POWs With Dogs
From The Washington Post
A U.S. Army general dispatched by senior Pentagon officials to bolster the collection of intelligence from prisoners in Iraq last fall inspired and promoted the use of guard dogs there to frighten the Iraqis, according to sworn testimony by the top U.S. intelligence officer at the Abu Ghraib prison. According to the officer, Col. Thomas Pappas, the idea came from Maj. Gen. Geoffrey D. Miller, who at the time commanded the U.S. military detention center at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, and was implemented under a policy approved by Lt. Gen. Ricardo S. Sanchez, the top U.S. military official in Iraq.

"It was a technique I had personally discussed with General Miller, when he was here" visiting the prison, testified Pappas, head of the 205th Military Intelligence Brigade and the officer placed in charge of the cellblocks at Abu Ghraib prison where abuses occurred in the wake of Miller’s visit to Baghdad between Aug. 30 and Sept. 9, 2003. "He said that they used military working dogs at Gitmo [the nickname for Guantanamo Bay], and that they were effective in setting the atmosphere for which, you know, you could get information" from the prisoners, Pappas told the Army investigator, Maj. Gen. Antonio M. Taguba, according to a transcript provided to The Washington Post.

Pappas, who was under pressure from Taguba to justify the legality and appropriateness of using guard dogs to frighten detainees, said at two separate points in the Feb. 9 interview that Miller gave him the idea. He also said Miller had indicated the use of the dogs "with or without a muzzle" was "okay" in booths where prisoners were taken for interrogation. But Miller, whom the Bush administration appointed as the new head of Abu Ghraib this month, denied through a spokesman that the conversation took place. ....

Pappas said, among other things, that interrogation plans involving the use of dogs, shackling, "making detainees strip down," or similar aggressive measures followed Sanchez’s policy, but were often approved by Sanchez’s deputy, Maj. Gen. Walter Wojdakowski, or by Pappas himself. ....

Taguba, in a rare classified passage within his generally unclassified report, listed "using military working dogs (without muzzles) to intimidate and frighten detainees" as one of 13 examples of "sadistic, blatant, and wanton criminal abuses" inflicted by U.S. military personnel at Abu Ghraib. ....

Pappas also said he did not have "a program" to inform his civilian employees, including a translator and an interrogator, of what the Geneva Conventions stated, and said he was unaware if anyone else did. He said he did not believe using force to coerce, intimidate or cause fear violated the conventions.

Brig. Gen. Janis L. Karpinski, who commanded the prison guards at Abu Ghraib’s cellblocks 1A and 1B until Nov. 19, when Pappas assumed control, said in an interview that Navy, Army and Air Force dog teams were used there for security purposes. But she said military intelligence officers "were responsible for assigning those dogs and where they would go." ....

Pappas ... said "policies and procedures established by the [Abu Ghraib] Joint Interrogation and Debriefing Center relative to detainee operations were enacted as a specific result of a visit" by Miller, who in turn has acknowledged being dispatched to Baghdad by Undersecretary of Defense Stephen A. Cambone, after a conversation with Secretary of Defense Donald H. Rumsfeld. .... Pappas said the result of Miller’s visit was that "the interrogators and analysts developed a set of rules to guide interrogations" and assigned specific military police soldiers to help interrogators -- an approach Miller had honed in Guantanamo. ....

He [Pappas] said he recalled speaking to one dog handler and telling him "they could be used in interrogations" anytime according to terms spelled out in a Sept. 14, 2003, memo signed by Sanchez. That memo included the use of dogs among techniques that did not require special approval. The policy was changed on Oct. 12 to require Sanchez’s approval on a case-by-case basis for certain techniques, including having "military working dogs" present during interrogations. ....

Taguba also asked if he believed the use of dogs is consistent with the Army’s field manual. Pappas replied that he could not recall, but reiterated that Miller instigated the idea. The Army field manual bars the "exposure to unpleasant and inhumane treatment of any kind." ....

One MP charged with abuses, Spec. Sabrina D. Harman, recalled for Army investigators an episode "when two dogs were brought into [cellblock] 1A to scare an inmate. He was naked against the wall, when they let the dogs corner him. They pulled them back enough, and the prisoner ran ... straight across the floor. ... The prisoner was cornered and the dog bit his leg. A couple seconds later, he started to move again, and the dog bit his other leg."
Posted by: Mike Sylwester || 05/27/2004 3:50:44 AM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [336063 views] Top|| File under:

#1  I fail to see the issue.
Posted by: JerseyMike || 05/27/2004 9:52 Comments || Top||

#2  Sounds like good judgement - he should get a commendation, not condemnation. The press is cutting the throat of their own remaining miniscule credibilty with their obsession. The American people will turn them off....
Posted by: Frank G || 05/27/2004 9:59 Comments || Top||

#3  Mike's being very selective in what he quotes, and is leaving out important information. He left out this entire paragraph:

But Pappas told Taguba that "there would be no way for us to actually monitor whether that happened. We had no formal system in place to do that -- no formal procedure" to check how interrogations were conducted. Moreover, he expressed frustration with a rule that the dogs be muzzled. "It's not very intimidating if they are muzzled," Pappas said. He added that he requested an exemption from the rule at one point, and was turned down.

In other words, the dogs were to be used while muzzled, and when Pappas asked for an exemption, he didn't get it. That kinda puts a different spin on the story, IMHO.

Why did you feel it necessary to omit that paragraph, Mike?
Posted by: Robert Crawford || 05/27/2004 10:32 Comments || Top||

#4  No bite - No foul.
Posted by: RWV || 05/27/2004 10:36 Comments || Top||

#5  Thanks for adding it here, Robert. I agree that it is significant.
Posted by: Mike Sylwester || 05/27/2004 10:47 Comments || Top||

#6  I agree that it is significant.

Then why did you omit it originally?
Posted by: Robert Crawford || 05/27/2004 10:49 Comments || Top||

#7  Because I cut a lot out. Now that you pointed its significance, I agree with you that I should have included it. Four eyes are better than two. Thanks!
Posted by: Mike Sylwester || 05/27/2004 11:15 Comments || Top||

#8  (channeling JerseyMike)

One question about this article, aside from its fifth column intent - so what?
Posted by: Raj || 05/27/2004 12:55 Comments || Top||

#9  Lest the milk of human kindness overwhelm some of you re: the use of dogs, muzzled or unmuzzled, to intimidate Iraqi POW's, here's a little eye opener about how man's best friend has been treated by the Iraqi people for the past kazillion years:

" Dogs do not live happy lives in Iraq. Considered “unclean” by Muslims and rarely kept as pets, most of those that you see are feral curs slinking through the streets late at night.

It's normal practice for Iraqi soldiers to cull the packs with machine guns. But the commandos of Saddam’s fedayeen, terrorist-shock troops organized in the mid-1990s, sometimes tear a dog limb from limb and sink their teeth in its flesh. Repulsive brutality, after all, is a badge of honor for these troops; this particular rite of passage was even captured on a government video..."


Some famous philosopher, whose name escapes me at this moment, opined that civilization is measured by how it treats its animals. Enough said lest I appear too negative/pessimestic about the prospects of Iraq embracing democracy and taking its place with other civilized nations.

From: rex, dog lover extraordinaire
Posted by: rex || 05/27/2004 13:23 Comments || Top||

Posted by: tu3031 || 05/27/2004 16:34 Comments || Top||

#11  But since we have another point of cultural insult for the 'Raqs, then we will have to endure endless hand-wringing.

A Malinois munching on a 'Raq Insurgent who was shooting at our troops.

The problem is?
Posted by: BigEd || 05/27/2004 17:42 Comments || Top||

How a Hamas suicide plot was thwarted
Posted by: Mark Espinola || 05/27/2004 01:40 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [336066 views] Top|| File under:

#1  "Terrorists in Samaria [northern West Bank] have recently begun to transfer the focus of their activities south toward Jerusalem and Judea as a result of the completion of the security fence in Samaria and their concomitant inability to perpetrate attacks inside Israel from there," a government statement said.

Officials said the Hamas cell in Nablus was led by Said Kutub. Kutub was killed in a bombing in Nablus on May 24 as he and his colleagues were preparing explosives, officials said

A doubly-good morning! Finish the fence!
Posted by: Frank G || 05/27/2004 9:54 Comments || Top||

#2  The last line of the article:

Officials said the Hamas cell also contained a Fatah operative.

Anyone care to tell us (with a straight face) that Arafart is interested in peaceful coexistence with Israel?
Posted by: Bomb-a-rama || 05/27/2004 14:51 Comments || Top||

Africa: Horn
Sudan Punishes Christian Woman For Not Wearing Headscarf
Sudan’s Islamic regime in Khartoum lashed and fined a young Christian Sudanese woman on April 14 for not wearing a headscarf in public in the capital city. Cecilia John Holland, 27, was traveling by minibus to her home in the Khartoum suburb of Haj Yousif on the night of April 13 when she was arrested by a group of 10 public-order policemen. The police told Holland that no one in Khartoum, “even a non-Muslim,” was exempt from Islamic bans against wearing improper dress. Earlier this month, the Khartoum government refused to compromise on its insistence that Islamic law govern all Sudanese citizens residing in Khartoum. More than two million non-Muslim southerners live in and around the capital, displaced by the last 20 years of civil war between the African Christian-animist south and the Arab Muslim north.
Posted by: Mike Sylwester || 05/27/2004 3:12:50 AM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [336070 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Yes, yes, I know you're not a Muslim, but an infidel. However, you must wear the hat! I wonder how many "lashes" she recieved and what the fine was (in goats, not dollars). Guess Amnesty Int'l was too busy lashing out at the WoT to notice this one or what's going on in western Sudan where SLAVERY still runs supreme, along with butchering others!
Posted by: BA || 05/27/2004 9:28 Comments || Top||

#2  Well the French do it the other way..... no head scarfs there
Posted by: Spoluth Snurt2166 || 10/20/2004 5:18 Comments || Top||

#3  Hey brainless twat, are French muslim girls lashed if they attempt to wear'em to school? No. Why? Cos they don't live in a savage society.
Posted by: Howard UK || 10/20/2004 6:16 Comments || Top||

Africa: North
Egypt Fails Effort to Prevent Marriage of Christian-Moslem Couple
Thirteen months after Egypt jailed and tortured a Coptic Christian pharmacist for marrying a former Muslim woman, Boulos Farid Rezek-Allah Awad was finally allowed to emigrate from Egypt to Canada in March. A few weeks earlier, his wife Enas Yehya Abdel Aziz had escaped the country to claim refugee status abroad. Egyptian security police officials told Rezek-Allah last November that he was permanently blacklisted from leaving Egypt; they vowed to track down and punish his wife for her “illegal” marriage to a Christian. During his two subsequent attempts to leave for Canada, he was turned back by Egyptian authorities. Rezek-Allah told Compass that he assumed that the Egyptian authorities somehow learned that his wife had managed to slip out of Egypt without being identified and arrested. “So after they lost hope of catching Enas, they allowed me to depart from Egypt,” he said. His wife plans to enter English language classes and he is studying for his final pharmacy-license exams in Canada this coming August.
Posted by: Mike Sylwester || 05/27/2004 3:02:58 AM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [336072 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Seems to me that the $2B-$3B annual bribe that we have been paying since Camp David (1979) to the Egyptians to refrain from attacking Israel could be put to better use. Let Mubarek and Egypt sink into perfect Islamic squalor.
Posted by: RWV || 05/27/2004 10:42 Comments || Top||

#2  RWV, since it's widely assumed that the Israelis have nukes, I don't see that we have to pay the Egyptians not to attack Israel -- the Isrealis have the perfect deterrent already. I think the money is more to keep Mubarek from doing other stoopid stuff, like sucking up to the Russians. And I think we get a fair amount of the money back in military equipment orders.
Posted by: Steve White || 05/27/2004 13:51 Comments || Top||

#3  And it's a good thing that Egypt have more military equipment why?
Posted by: Nero || 05/27/2004 14:00 Comments || Top||

#4  Steve, we do get a reasonable amount of the money back in military orders. However, most of that is in supplying parts for assembly in Egypt. like the M1A1 tanks assembled at Abu Zaabal Tank Repair Factory (Military Factory 200). These are really make work, "prestige" projects - pretty much a waste of taxpayer money. The Egyptians haven't been real good with machinery since the pyramids.
Posted by: RWV || 05/27/2004 22:49 Comments || Top||

#5  Actually, the money was more to buy Jimmy Carter a legacy.
Posted by: RWV || 05/27/2004 22:50 Comments || Top||

Who's in the News

E-Mail Me

The Classics
The O Club
Rantburg Store
The Bloids
The Never-ending Story
Gulf War I
The Way We Were


On Sale now!

A multi-volume chronology and reference guide set detailing three years of the Mexican Drug War between 2010 and 2012.

Rantburg.com and borderlandbeat.com correspondent and author Chris Covert presents his first non-fiction work detailing the drug and gang related violence in Mexico.

Chris gives us Mexican press dispatches of drug and gang war violence over three years, presented in a multi volume set intended to chronicle the death, violence and mayhem which has dominated Mexico for six years.
Click here for more information

Meet the Mods
In no particular order...
Steve White
Bright Pebbles
trailing wife
Frank G

Two weeks of WOT
Thu 2004-05-27
  Captain Hook Jugged!
Wed 2004-05-26
  4 arrested in Japanese al-Qaeda probe
Tue 2004-05-25
  Sarin confirmed!
Mon 2004-05-24
  Toe tag for 32 Mahdi Army members
Sun 2004-05-23
  Qaeda planning hot summer for USA?
Sat 2004-05-22
  Car Bomb Kills 4, Injures Iraqi Minister
Fri 2004-05-21
  Israeli Troops Pulling Out of Rafah Camp
Thu 2004-05-20
  Troops Hold Guns to Chalabi's Head
Wed 2004-05-19
  Nek Muhammad back on the warpath
Tue 2004-05-18
  4 arrested in Berg murder
Mon 2004-05-17
  IGC head murdered
Sun 2004-05-16
  N Korean train accident involved Syrians
Sat 2004-05-15
  Coalition warns Karbala residents to leave
Fri 2004-05-14
  Chad rebels holding el-Para
Thu 2004-05-13
  GSPC's Hassan Hattab was executed

Better than the average link...

Rantburg was assembled from recycled algorithms in the United States of America. No trees were destroyed in the production of this weblog. We did hurt some, though. Sorry.
Help keep the Burg running! Paypal:
WoT Background (21)    (0)    (0)    (0)    (0)