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GI SPECIAL 4D9: 9/4/06

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WANTED FOR TREASON:
THE ENEMY DOMESTIC


REUTERS/Larry Downing

“It Is Treason”

SEC. 601. (50 U.S.C. 421) (a) Whoever, having or having had authorized access to classified information that identifies a covert agent, intentionally discloses any information identifying such covert agent to any individual not authorized to receive classified information, knowing that the information disclosed so identifies such covert agent and that the United States is taking affirmative measures to conceal such covert agent’s intelligence relationship to the United States, shall be fined under title 18, United States Code, or imprisoned not more than ten years, or both.

07 April 2006 By William Rivers Pitt, Truthout Perspective [Excerpt]

Is there not some chosen curse,
Some hidden thunder in the stores of heaven,
Red with uncommon wrath, to blast the man
Who owes his greatness to his country’s ruin?
Joseph Addison

“I don’t know of anybody in my administration who leaked classified information,” said George W. Bush on September 30, 2003. “If somebody did leak classified information, I’d like to know it, and we’ll take the appropriate action.”

“If someone leaked classified information,” said White House Press Secretary Scott McClellan on October 7, 2003, “the President wants to know. If someone in this administration leaked classified information, they will no longer be a part of this administration, because that’s not the way this White House operates, that’s not the way this President expects people in his administration to conduct their business.”

“I’d like to know if somebody in my White House did leak sensitive information,” said Bush on October 28, 2003.

On this same day, Bush said, “I have no idea whether we’ll find out who the leaker is, partially because, in all due respect to your profession, you do a very good job of protecting the leakers.”

On Thursday, we found out who the leaker is.

TruthOut investigative reporter Jason Leopold wrote in the first of two reports that, “Attorneys and current and former White House officials close to the investigation into the leak of covert CIA operative Valerie Plame Wilson said Thursday that President Bush gave Vice President Dick Cheney the authorization in mid-June 2003 to disclose a portion of the highly sensitive National Intelligence Estimate to Washington Post reporter Bob Woodward and former New York Times reporter Judith Miller.”

In the second of Leopold’s reports, he writes, “Special Prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald stated in a court filing late Wednesday in the CIA leak case that his investigators have obtained evidence during the course of the two-year-old probe that proves several White House officials conspired to discredit former Ambassador Joseph Wilson, a critic of the administration’s pre-war Iraq intelligence. This is the first time the special counsel has acknowledged that White House officials are alleged to have engaged in a coordinated effort to undercut the former ambassador’s credibility by disseminating classified intelligence information that would have contradicted Wilson’s public statements.”

So there it is.

We have Bush authorizing the disclosure of classified information, and we have that disclosure taking place for no other reason than to discredit an administration critic.

Bush is often fond of defending his wildly inappropriate and often illegal activities by claiming that he has every right to do whatever he wants because America is “at war.”

Never mind that no war has actually been declared.

If we take his premise that we are in fact at war, than the disclosure of classified information for political gain must be defined simply and directly.

It is treason.

We can even take this a step further.

The name of covert CIA operative Valerie Plame was all over the classified National Intelligence Estimate Bush ordered to be leaked.

The pertinent text of the 1947 National Security Act reads as follows:

SEC. 601. (50 U.S.C. 421) (a) Whoever, having or having had authorized access to classified information that identifies a covert agent, intentionally discloses any information identifying such covert agent to any individual not authorized to receive classified information, knowing that the information disclosed so identifies such covert agent and that the United States is taking affirmative measures to conceal such covert agent’s intelligence relationship to the United States, shall be fined under title 18, United States Code, or imprisoned not more than ten years, or both.

(b) Whoever, as a result of having authorized access to classified information, learns the identity of a covert agent and intentionally discloses any information identifying such covert agent to any individual not authorized to receive classified information, knowing that the information disclosed so identifies such covert agent and that the United States is taking affirmative measures to conceal such covert agent’s intelligence relationship to the United States, shall be fined under title 18, United States Code, or imprisoned not more than five years, or both.

(c) Whoever, in the course of a pattern of activities intended to identify and expose covert agents and with reason to believe that such activities would impair or impede the foreign intelligence activities of the United States, discloses any information that identifies an individual as a covert agent to any individual not authorized to receive classified information, knowing that the information disclosed so identifies such individual and that the United States is taking affirmative measures to conceal such individual’s classified intelligence relationship to the United States, shall be fined under title 18, United States Code, or imprisoned not more than three years or both.

What do you think? Comments from service men and women, and veterans, are especially welcome. Send to thomasfbarton@earthlink.net. Name, I.D., address withheld unless publication requested. Replies confidential.

IRAQ WAR REPORTS

MILFORD MARINE KILLED


4.7.06: Bryan Taylor, 20, shown in this yearbook photo provided by Milford High School, a graduate of Milford and Live Oaks Class of 2004 was killed in Iraq, while serving with the U.S. Marine Corps. (AP Photo/Courtesy of Milford High School)

MAINE SOLDIER KILLED


Spc. Dustin James Harris, of Patten, Maine, a member of the 172nd Brigade Support Battalion in Fort Wainwright, Alaska. Harris, 21, died April 6, 2006, when he was on foot patrol with elements of the 101st Airborne Division in Beiji, when an improvised explosive device detonated nearby, the Army said. (AP Photo/United States Army)

Ass-Kissing Imperial Press Gives “The Largest Attack By Insurgents In Weeks” Four Lines Of Coverage

[A perfect example of how the Imperial press kisses Bush regime ass: the “biggest attack in weeks” gets exactly four lines of coverage.]

4/8/2006 By BUSHRA JUHI, The Associated Press & By MARIAM FAM, Associated Press Writer

In Ramadi, meanwhile, U.S. forces Saturday beat back the largest attack by insurgents in weeks, using laser-guided bombs, anti-tank rockets and machine guns to repel an assault on the main government building, Marine officers said.

There were no U.S. casualties, the U.S. said.

A U.S. Air Force F-18 fighter bombed insurgent positions, unleashing thunderous explosions that shook the city.

Sporadic shooting occurred around the government building after sunset.

FUTILE EXERCISE:
BRING THEM ALL HOME NOW!


U.S. Army Sgt. Scott Rebarchak, left, of Clarion, Pennsylvania and Spc. Jeremy Broadway, of Bowdon, Georgia, construct a checkpoint near the airport in Baghdad, April 4, 2006. (AP Photo/Jacob Silberberg)

TROOP NEWS

THIS IS HOW BUSH BRINGS THE TROOPS HOME;
BRING THEM ALL HOME NOW, ALIVE


Monday, Aug. 15, 2005. One of the 14 Marines from the Brook Park, Ohio, based 3rd Battalion, 25th Marines who were killed in two attacks in Iraq during the first week of August. Schroeder’s parents Rosemary Palmer and Paul Schroeder follow the casket. (AP Photo/Amy Sancetta)

“As A Military Mother, I Know All Too Well Who Supports My Son And Who Just Spouts Fancy Words And Flaunts A Magnetic Ribbon That Says So…How About You?”

April 6, 2006
Letter To The Editor
The Press & Herald, Pine Grove, PA,

By Alycia A. Barr, Pine Grove

As the military mother of a young Iraq veteran, I have listened to our representatives repeatedly deliver speeches focusing on their genuine belief in providing the best for our soldiers, both in combat as well as when they get home.

What confuses me is the contradiction between what they say and how they vote, when the results are very often NOT in support of our troops.

Recently a bill was introduced in the Senate requiring mandatory funding for veteran’s health care. It was overwhelmingly voted down. Most surprising were the Senator’s names on the “nay” list, some who have portrayed themselves as pro-soldier advocates like Santprum, McCain, and Warner, chairman of the Armed Services Committee.

These same senators consistently vote to pass every emergency supplemental put forth by the White House, supposedly to “support the troops,” yet daily reports, from our soldiers in theater, reflect an ongoing shortage in their equipment needed.

Case in Point: Out of about 40,000 Humvees in Iraq/Afghanistan, 13,000 are Level 1 with the most complete armor package. The remaining 27,000 are Level 2, armored but have NO top or bottom armor and NONE over the fuel tank.

Which vehicle would you want your loved one in and who gets to make that decision?

Countless resolutions have been put before the House to protect the health and wellbeing of our soldiers. H.R.2410, H.R.202, H.R.4184 are three such pieces of legislation. All deal with troop exposure to Depleted Uranium (DU), which has proved deadly in this war, as well as the first Gulf War, and has been found to be the cause of death for thousands of our returned vets.

Yet, you will not find Rep. Tim Holden’s signature, as a co-sponsor on any of these bills.

As a matter of fact, Mr. Holden has not even signed on to H.Res. 543, a motion-to-discharge, allowing the House to debate the war, its cost, and Americans’ concerns about it.

Why is this so significant? This would commence a 17 hour discussion, which is sure to be televised, forcing congressmen to state their positions so citizens could make informed decisions in their choices on election day, something our representatives seemed to be rather hesitant to do.

Why wouldn’t you want an informed public voting?

An amendment by Rep. John Salazar, to add $650M to the VA health care budget, was turned down by the house even though Army studies show the money is needed because the VA is treating more vets from the Iraq/Afghan conflicts than projected.

According to the director of National Gulf War Resource Center, several Army doctors are being told (by their commanders) to diagnose combat-stress reaction instead of PTSD, post traumatic stress disorder.

“This does two things,” he said, “it keeps the troops deployable,” referring to soldiers who have already completed one or more tours, “and it makes it hard for them to collect disability claims once they get out of the military.” That brings into question whether our own military officials support our troops, wouldn’t you say?

The increase spending for vets, proposed by the president, gives the appearance of concern.

However, when you realize that $2.8B of the funds will come from 7.7 million vets receiving care, it becomes a burden on those who served, now making a pitiful $27,000 in income per year.

This so called increase adds an enrollment fee of $250 a year, which does not exist now, and almost double the amount per prescription drug, from the current $8.00 to $15.00.

Senator Larry Craig, chairman of Veterans Affairs Committee said, “There is a limit to taxpayer’s funding,” in reference to this proposal.

To my knowledge, no vet in or out of battle has ever claimed a limit to their service to protect taxpayers. Maybe now would be a good time for them to consider it, being as we are allowing our congressmen to put limits on our funding for their sacrifice.

It is relatively easy for anyone to access information on these legislative actions, what they entail, who supports them, and who does not, at: capwiz.com, and through a simple search: yahoo.com.

Isn’t it time we find out which of our Pennsylvania reps. REALLY do support our troops and which ones just say they do, BEFORE we cast our votes to re-instate them for yet another term to disappoint and deprive our men and women in uniform, who do not, and have never, hesitated to put their lives on the line for us?

These congressmen’s actions appear to be contrary to a quote by a renowned American author and publisher, Elbert Hubbard, who said, “Live truth instead of professing it.’

As a military mother, I know all too well who supports my son and who just spouts fancy words and flaunts a magnetic ribbon that says so…how about you?

Do you have a friend or relative in the service? Forward this E-MAIL along, or send us the address if you wish and we’ll send it regularly. Whether in Iraq or stuck on a base in the USA, this is extra important for your service friend, too often cut off from access to encouraging news of growing resistance to the war, at home and inside the armed services. Send requests to address up top.

Three Marine Officers Relieved Of Command In Massacre Of 15 Iraqi Civilians

April 07, 2006 By Gidget Fuentes and John Hoellwarth, Army Times staff writers

Three officers, including an infantry battalion commander and two of his company commanders, were fired April 7 for “lack of confidence,” a Corps spokesman said.

Relieved were Lt. Col. Jeffrey Chessani, who commanded the Camp Pendleton, Calif.-based 3rd Battalion, 1st Marines; India Company commander Capt. James Kimber; and Kilo Company commander Capt. Luke McConnell, said 2nd Lt. Lawton King, a spokesman for 1st Marine Division at Camp Pendleton.

Officials previously have confirmed that Chessani’s battalion was under investigation for an alleged Nov. 19 rampage by the battalion’s Kilo Company Marines in the Iraqi city of Haditha that left 15 civilians dead, including seven women and three children.

The decision to relieve the three officers was made by Maj. Gen. Richard Natonski, 1st Marine Division commander, “due to lack of confidence in their leadership abilities stemming from their performance during a recent deployment to Iraq,” King said.

Lawton did not explicitly connect the Haditha investigation to the firings but said the “decision was motivated by multiple incidents that occurred throughout the entire deployment.”

The firings came one week after the battalion returned home from Iraq and after the typical four-day liberty pass upon a deployment’s end.

The Marine Corps won’t provide additional details on why the officers were relieved or whether anyone else has been implicated in the investigation.

A March 19 Time magazine article cited reports by local Iraqis that members of Kilo Company, 3/1, rampaged through the village killing civilians as they looked for insurgents responsible for the blast that killed Lance Cpl. Miguel Terrazas, 20, of El Paso, Texas, who was a member of Kilo, 3/1.

Major Says Rumsfeld “Messed Up” Guantanamo Trials

[Thanks to PB who sent this in. He writes: WHAT HASN’T HE “MESSED UP”?]

Apr 7 By Jane Sutton, Reuters

Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld and his appointees set rules that violate President George W. Bush’s order to hold fair trials for prisoners charged with terrorism in the Guantanamo tribunals, a military defense lawyer said on Friday.

“We can’t help it that the secretary of defense and his delegees have messed this thing up, but they have,” military lawyer Army Maj. Tom Fleener told the presiding officer at one of the hearings.

“If the rules don’t provide for a full and fair trial, then they violate the president’s order.”

Fleener was trying to persuade the presiding officer, Col. Peter Brownback, to let a Yemeni defendant act as his own attorney on charges of conspiring to attack civilians and destroy property.

Tribunal rules set by the Pentagon require the defendants to have U.S. military lawyers who are authorized to see secret evidence that the accused may not be allowed to view. Pentagon officials have refused to allow self-representation, which Fleener called a fundamental right in nearly every court on Earth.

Bahlul refuses to cooperate with any lawyer appointed by the U.S. military. He asked to act as his own attorney or to have a Yemeni lawyer, and declared a boycott when the request was denied during an earlier hearing. He did not attend his hearing on Friday at the U.S. naval base in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

Fleener said Bahlul cannot get a fair trial unless the rules change. “As the world looks at this system, it’s going to have no legitimacy whatsoever,” he said.

Two other defendants have also asked to act as their own attorneys. The prosecution agrees they should have that right, said the chief prosecutor, Col. Moe Davis.

“Give him the opportunity. If he screws it up, then he had his opportunity,” Davis said of Bahlul.

Defense lawyers say other Pentagon rules violate Bush’s order, including one that gives only the presiding officer the right to act essentially as judge, rather than all the tribunal members sharing that role.

Anti-Gay Bigots Want Wounded Walter Reed Troops To Die

April 7, 2006 Washington Post

“God Blew Up The Troops”

A Kansas church groups says homosexuality is to blame for troops’ deaths.

Demonstrators from a small, independent Kansas church, Westboro Baptist, gathered at the main gate of Walter Reed Army Medical Center to declare that the injured troops inside the facility will die because this country tolerates homosexuality.

[There is most likely not a jury in the country that would convict one or more outraged citizens who decided to stomp these assholes into the pavement with sufficient force that they would be rendered physically incapable of ever showing up to do this again for the rest of their unnatural lives, which will, hopefully, be very short.]

IRAQ RESISTANCE ROUNDUP

Assorted Resistance Action

NO FLOWERS TODAY:
SORRY ABOUT THAT


Iraqis stare at a passing U.S. Army humvee patrol in the Shula neighborhood of Baghdad April 7, 2006. (AP Photo/Jacob Silberberg)

4.8.06 AFP & (KUNA) & Xinhua

Two Iraqi soldiers were killed and three others wounded in fierce battle between insurgents and Iraqi security forces in western Iraq on Saturday, witnesses said.

“Fierce clashes erupted in the afternoon between Iraqi military forces and insurgents in the Nazzal neighborhood in southern Fallujah and in the center area of the city, killing two soldiers and wounding three others,” local witnesses told Xinhua by telephone.

In Baquba, two police bomb squad members were wounded when a roadside bomb went off after they had defused another similar device.

The second bomb went off as they were approaching it to defuse it, police said.

In the southern city of Karbala, five bullet-riddled bodies of men in Iraqi army uniforms were received by the local hospital on Saturday.

Iraqi Police of Kirkuk said Saturday morning that two Police personnel were injured when an explosive device blew up on the Kirkuk-Mosul road.

A police major and his two sons were wounded when a bomb exploded near his house in Kirkuk on Friday, police said on Saturday.

Six policemen were wounded when a roadside bomb detonated near their patrol in Riyad, 60 km (40 miles) southwest of Kirkuk, police said.

Four policemen were wounded when guerrillas ambushed a police patrol in Baquba.

Freedom fighters ambushed and killed Iraqi army Lieutenant- Colonel Mohammed Abdullah Jasim with his bodyguard in Baquba.

An Iraqi contractor working for the U.S. military was abducted from the town of Tuz Khurmatu 70 km (40 miles) south of Kirkuk, police said.

Police found the bodies of four Iraqi soldiers shot in the head dumped at the side of a road near the Himreen mountains 120 km (75 miles) south of the northern oil city of Kirkuk, police said. The soldiers were captured in Tikrit on Thursday.

Clashes also occurred between Iraqi troops and insurgents in Karmah.

An Iraqi soldier was killed Saturday in a fight in Ramadi, U.S. officials said.

Three Iraqi soldiers were wounded in a clash with insurgents in Fallujah, about 30 miles east of Ramadi, police said.

IF YOU DON’T LIKE THE RESISTANCE
END THE OCCUPATION

“The Iraqis Will Defeat Them, And Push Them Out”
“The True Iraqis Will Prevail”
“I Believe Completely In This”
“It Is Only A Matter Of Time”


(Graphic: London Financial Times)

All this pushed people to hate the Americans, feeling anger against them, which pushed men to resist them. These are called Insurgents. Meaning; everyone who does not love them, and does not want them to remain in Iraq is an insurgent “terrorist.”

March 23rd, 2006 By Faiza Al-Arji, afamilyinbaghdad.blogspot.com. Translated by May/Baghdad [Excerpts]

Who are the insurgents? Everyone asked me?

I tell them: If an American convoy moved in a region like Al-Ramadi, Sammara’a, Baquba, or any other, and it was subjected to a shooting or a roadside bomb incident, they stop, turn around to the town nearby and close it, besieging it.

Sometimes that town would be air raided, like what happened in Al-Qaim, Fallujah, and currently Sammara’a, then all the houses would be stormed, all the men would be detained, insulted, and abused, the women and children would be terrorized.

Sometimes families would be killed, like in the latest stories we read about in the newspapers, and when these crimes are uncovered, the comments would be: These are individual transgressions, like what they said about the Abu Ghareeb pictures, and that they were individual behaviors, while in truth they were the normal, daily actions committed against the Iraqis.

All this pushed people to hate the Americans, feeling anger against them, which pushed men to resist them.

These are called Insurgents. Meaning; everyone who does not love them, and does not want them to remain in Iraq is an insurgent “terrorist.”

And whenever they detained new people, they created anger in the hearts of their relatives, neighbors, and friends, and thus creating a new group that hates them, welcoming any violent acts against them.

This is the actual reality in the Iraqi towns; anger is increasing in the hearts of men and women in all towns, these who were besieged, bombed, and its people dislodged, or those who heard the stories, and so, there is hatred increasing, and anger.

A will growing in the hearts of the Iraqis towards the occupation forces: Get out of our country!

Rumsfeld says, for example: Those who want to stop the war in Iraq are those who think like Al-Zarqawi, who do not want democracy or freedom for the Iraqis.

He says: The Iraqis went on and voted for the new constitution, which they wrote by their hands, and the Iraqi security forces are now capable of rounding up the foreign terrorists in Iraq.

And my comments to that are:

Those who want to stop the war want to save millions of innocent civilian souls, whose lives were destroyed by this war, and who were the true victims since the blockade till now: towns are besieged, houses bombed, and civilians die.

Men, most of whom are innocent, get arrested; they are imprisoned, insulted, and tortured, their crime is that they do not like their country to be occupied. This is their only crime.

Then again- the new constitution was not written by Iraqis, but Bremmer, the American governor, wrote its draft, then told the Iraqis to write it, then vote for it. What is this phony, deformed democracy?

Is this the democracy for which they bombed Iraq, and destroyed it, people and land, in order to apply?

And then again; the new Iraqi security forces work with the occupation forces in storming houses, terrorizing families, and insulting Iraqi men (not the foreigners) and arresting them.

People hate the Iraqi security men, saying they were mercenaries who agree to work with the occupation forces in raiding houses and arresting citizens, these who think only of their paychecks, (around $400).

People are dying of hunger, and these are just mercenaries or fools who were told: you are building the new Iraq, and they believed this story.

Like most American soldiers who were told: you are going in a noble mission to liberate Iraq, and when they got there, some of them discovered the truth of that mission, and some remained dumb fools, who think that every Iraqi in front of them is a terrorist who deserves arrest, imprisonment, or death.

Who “created” Bin Laden and provided him with weapons and money to fight the Soviets in Afghanistan? He was their striking hand and their favorite man, and when his role was over, they turned against him, and he became their enemy, and so they waged their campaign on terrorism, raided Afghanistan, and destroyed it?

Well then; who “created” Saddam Hussein, put him on to rule, encouraged him, provided him with weapons to fight Iran for 8 years, and destroy Iraq’s economy? Who gave him the chemical weapons, which he threw over the poor Kurds?

That same administration, especially Rumsfeld.

Then, they disagreed with Saddam, and came on to destroy Iraq, occupy it, and build military bases in it.

If their enemy was only Saddam Hussein, they were supposed to oust him, and leave the Iraqis to build their state they way they see fit, and retain their army and police force, because the loyalty of those is to the new Iraqi National government, and there’s no fear from them.

But the occupation forces interfered, by disbanding the Iraqi Army and Police Force, installing pro-American leaderships, and forming a sectarian army, police force, and a sectarian constitution.

This is what happened; this is the compulsory intervention to change Iraq’s fate, and draw its future by foreign hands.

This was the deadly, mistaken point that evoked the anger of the Iraqis, the Arabs, and the Muslims, and made Iraq fall a victim to violence, turbulence, and on going fighting, till now.

The Iraqis reject the idea of a foreign occupation forces, or a pro-Bush administration government.

The Iraqis want to build their country and future in a way of their choice, they want to invest the fortunes of their country in a way that would provide happiness and justice to their people, not to foreign investing companies that would plunder the wealth, putting the dollars into the hands of a few, and deny the rest of the people the good life.

The Iraqis are brave, intelligent people, ready to fight till death in defense of right and justice, they do not like injustice, lying, or to be humiliated by anyone.

Iraq will remain in fire, until the Iraqi’s wishes come true: The departure of the occupation forces, stopping the building of foreign military bases, forming a National Unity Government, one that is honest to its people: not a bunch of monkeys and mercenaries aided by the occupation army.

It is only a matter of time.

The Iraqi’s wishes will come true, sooner or later.

And we will all remember who stood up, and spoke words of truth, in the times of darkness and injustice.

And who stood up to speak untrue words, and falsehood.

We will remember all this, when we liberate Iraq, and build it anew.

The true Iraqi is that who lived inside, who suffered from the wars of Saddam Hussein, and lost his loved ones in those wars, the true Iraqi suffered from the blockade, hunger, and poverty, lived through the last war, witnessed the devastation, ruin, and killing, and remained independent, far away from politics, sad, dazed because of what is happening around him.

One who is trying laboriously to remain alive with his family, away from violence and murder, one who did not join with Saddam Hussein or the occupation forces in hurting his neighbors and his people, who wasn’t persuaded by all the poisons that were broadcasted by the occupation, when they divided the people, and planted in their minds the love of revenge, and the acceptance of sectarianism and racism.

These are the true Iraqis, whom I am proud of being one of them, sensing them, talking about their sufferings, and they are the poor, crushed, overwhelmed millions.

From among them the leaders of the new Iraq shall emerge, demanded by the people to save Iraq from what he is suffering now; from the destruction, ruin, hate, and the violence planted by the occupation.

The occupation must get out of Iraq, and with it will go all those who supported its evil notions in dividing and shredding Iraq.

They will get out.

The Iraqis will defeat them, and push them out.

The brave, smart Iraqis, who do not accept lies, deception, and injustice.

The true Iraqis will prevail.

I believe completely in this.

The true Iraqis will prevail.

It is only a matter of time.

FORWARD OBSERVATIONS

“Honor Surfaces When You Least Expect It”

“The Truth Is Never Afraid Of Questions”

Iraq Veterans Against The War and Cindy Sheehan prepare for a press conference, Crawford, Texas 2005

From: Mike Hastie
Sent: April 06, 2006
Subject: Honor, surfaces when you least expect it.

To G.I. Special:

The most re-occurring dream I have as a result of being in Vietnam, is going back to Vietnam.

In my dream, I realize I can’t go back, because I now know that the Vietnam War is a lie.

The conflict I have to live with, is the self-inflicted guilt I feel, because I cannot join the soldiers I was with, who are still in Vietnam.

Recognizing the dream as a conflict, and not me betraying my fellow soldiers, was liberating, because I could no longer be a part of the lie.

In the end, it became a moral sense of duty. Honor, surfaces when you least expect it.

Mike Hastie
U.S. Army Medic
Vietnam 1970-71

Photo and caption from the I-R-A-Q (I Remember Another Quagmire) portfolio of Mike Hastie, US Army Medic, Vietnam 1970-71. (For more of his outstanding work, contact at: (hastiemike@earthlink.net) T)

Visitor From Iraq Surprised That U.S. Politicians Do Not “Do What The People Want”

IRAQI WOMEN’S US TOUR, Women Say No To War.org [Excerpt]

Dr. Rashad Zidan: “I was astonished to find that the majority Americans don’t agree with Bush’s war and I am pleased to tell my fellow Iraqis about the many Americans I met who are struggling to stop the war and put an end to the occupation.

“We Iraqis believe that in a democracy, such as in the US, the politicians do what the people want, so most of us believed that the majority of Americans want to occupation to continue.

“I was surprised to find that in the US the politicians are not listening to the people. This is not the kind of democracy Iraqis want to see in Iraq.”

[But the U.S. is indeed a democracy, of money. Those with the money get to choose the government, and of course are for Empire and wars to perpetuate it. Those without the money have no say in who is nominated for President, Senate, the House of Representatives, allowed only the choice of candidates offered them by the Imperial Democrats and Republicans. Third party candidates have so little money they have no hope of changing policy.

[The only thing the Imperial politicians fear, and sometimes respond to, are mass movements from below threatening revolutionary change. The silly “leaders” on the left who fail to make this clear merely serve the Empire, despite all their empty rhetoric and even sillier submersion in reformist electoral politics.

[Ignore them, do what works, build the movements in the streets and in the barracks.]

MORE:

“Congress Belongs To The Highest Bidder”

01 April 2006 By Bill Moyers, The Washington Spectator [Excerpt]

Money is choking our democracy to death.

Our elections are bought out from under us and our public officials are doing the bidding of mercenaries.

So powerful is the hold of wealth on politics that we cannot say America is working for all Americans.

The majority may support such broad social goals as affordable medical coverage for all, decent wages for working people, safe working conditions, a secure retirement, and clean air and water, but there is no government “of, by, and for the people” to deliver on those aspirations.

Our system of privately financed campaigns has shut regular people out of any meaningful participation in democracy.

Less than one-half of one percent of all Americans made a political contribution of $200 or more to a federal candidate in 2004.

When the average cost of winning a seat in the House of Representatives has topped $1 million, we can no longer refer to that chamber as “The People’s House.” Congress belongs to the highest bidder.

MORE:

Visitor From Iraq Finds:
“This Is The Reality Of Things In America…”

April 06, 2006 By Faiza Al-Arji, A Family In Baghdad.blogspot.com [Excerpt]

I am still in America, for about a month now, very tired of traveling around, moving from state to state, carrying bags, the uncomfortable sleep during journeys, and the time-lag between the farther eastern states and the farther western.

My body is very exhausted, but the blood stained, sad news from Iraq makes me forget my aches, and strengthen my resolve to move from city to city, to talk about the pain and suffering of the Iraqis, for three years now…

The decision in this country is in the hands of the wealthy, who own the money, the banks, and the giant companies…………

Even the election system is controlled by money; the Candidate needs millions of dollars for the election campaign, meaning- who would care for a Candidate of principals, humanity, justice, and peace, who shall take care of him, or finance his campaign?

But that who is ready to market the ideas of the rich class, the class that loves wars and investments, will find someone to spend millions on his campaign, will tell people all the nice promises and glamorous slogans.

They will elect him, and when he gets to the chair, and sits in the position of decision- making, he will carry out the instructions of the major companies that financed his campaign, not the poor Americans who elected him…

And so, people would live in one realm, and the decision maker, having abandoned them, would live in another…

This is the reality of things in America…

And the Iraq war is the most evident example…

OCCUPATION REPORT

This Isn’t A Satire:
Command Orders Marines To Call On Wives When Husbands Aren’t Home To Gather Intelligence Data:
“Some Marines Weren’t Convinced The Effort Was Worthwhile”

Census-taking by a foreign authority in Iraq has a long precedent. [So does killing foreign occupiers. There’s about 3000 years of precedent for that.] The British, famously adept record keepers, were known to take a census soon after they took control of new foreign territory, which included Iraq until the middle of last century.

April 9, 2006 By Antonio Castaneda, The Associated Press

KHANDARI, Iraq: After a nearly 10-year hiatus, census takers finally returned to this small town just west of Baghdad.

But these men hardly resembled their predecessors; instead, behind the clipboard at each doorstep was a smiling interpreter and over a dozen heavily armed US Marines.

For the Marines slipping through muddy streets during a steady morning drizzle, their mission was not part of a nationwide survey but instead a local attempt to gain basic information about residents in about 200 homes in a newly assigned neighbourhood.

As in most parts of Iraq, the Americans here lack basic information about the population. Nothing resembling a phonebook is available, street addresses are incomprehensible, and purported demographic data is nothing more than anyone’s best guess. Worthwhile tips are scarce.

“If we know who lives where, we can start connecting the dots,” said 2nd Lt. David Samuel of New York, assigned to the 1st Battalion, 1st Regiment.

The nine-question census form was meant to help build a neighbourhood profile by answering basic questions such as the number of people who live in each home and which mosque the residents worshipped in.

An Iraqi-American translator asked the questions, often to wives whose husbands were away at work.

The Marines, sidestepping piles of trash in the streets, walked door-to-door, followed by wild dogs and bands of neighbourhood children asking for candies. They periodically looked up to catch glimpses of Apache attack helicopters streaking through the gray sky.

GPS coordinates were taken outside each home, an attempt to make up for a dearth of street signs in most parts of Iraq, including this town. US raids on suspect targets often mistakenly lead to neighbour’s homes and sometimes result in full searches of neighbourhood blocks.

Some Marines weren’t convinced the effort was worthwhile. [Some Marines don’t have their head up their ass, like whatever genius thought this useless bullshit up. And there are a whole lot of Marines who don’t think being in Iraq for one minute is “worthwhile.”]

“The way Iraqis travel about, (the census) is just a roundabout number,” said Staff Sgt. Tommy Vaughn of Ceres, California, referring to the local Iraqi custom of visiting extended family for weeks at a time. “My hopes aren’t too bright.”

US troops have also started regularly distributing surveys to Iraqis across the country asking for their opinions on the state of the country. Marines said the responses had help them understand how tactics could be altered to improve relations. [The responses are called IEDs, and they do not require filling in a survey. Their message about how to “improve relations” is simple: get the fuck out of our country and go home. Duh.]

Census-taking by a foreign authority in Iraq has a long precedent. [So does killing foreign occupiers. There’s about 3000 years of precedent for that.]

The British, famously adept record keepers, were known to take a census soon after they took control of new foreign territory, which included Iraq until the middle of last century.

U.S. OCCUPATION RECRUITING DRIVE IN HIGH GEAR;
RECRUITING FOR THE ARMED RESISTANCE THAT IS


Foreign fighters from the U.S. army of occupation search Iraqi citizens in Baghdad April 4, 2006. REUTERS/Ceerwan Aziz

[Fair is fair. Let’s bring 150,000 Iraqis over here to the USA. They can kill people at checkpoints, bust into their houses with force and violence, overthrow the government, put a new one in office they like better and call it “sovereign,” and “detain” anybody who doesn’t like it in some prison without any charges being filed against them, or any trial.]

[Those Iraqis are sure a bunch of backward primitives. They actually resent this help, have the absurd notion that it’s bad their country is occupied by a foreign military dictatorship, and consider it their patriotic duty to fight and kill the soldiers sent to grab their country. What a bunch of silly people. How fortunate they are to live under a military dictatorship run by George Bush. Why, how could anybody not love that? You’d want that in your home town, right?]

NEED SOME TRUTH? CHECK OUT TRAVELING SOLDIER
Telling the truth – about the occupation or the criminals running the government in Washington – is the first reason for Traveling Soldier. But we want to do more than tell the truth; we want to report on the resistance – whether it’s in the streets of Baghdad, New York, or inside the armed forces. Our goal is for Traveling Soldier to become the thread that ties working-class people inside the armed services together. We want this newsletter to be a weapon to help you organize resistance within the armed forces. If you like what you’ve read, we hope that you’ll join with us in building a network of active duty organizers. www.traveling-soldier.org/ And join with Iraq War vets in the call to end the occupation and bring our troops home now! (www.ivaw.net)

Petrol Pumps Run Dry In A City That Stinks Of Oil

April 7, 2006 London Times

Iraqi motorists in Kirkuk are forced to join queues hundreds of cars long and prepare for a 20-hour wait before reaching gasoline pumps.

“Those Ungrateful Iraqis!”

04/07/06 By Rosa Brooks, Los Angeles Times [Excerpt]

AT LAST, there’s consensus on who’s to blame for the mess in Iraq: the Iraqis!

From the beginning, there were ominous signs that the Iraqis weren’t going to play the game right. More than a few neocon hearts were broken by the Iraqi refusal to greet us with flowers and champagne as we marched into Baghdad, and the snub still hurts.

Just this week, Daniel Pipes, president of the Middle East Forum and an unrepentant hawk, complained about “the ingratitude of the Iraqis for the extraordinary favor we gave them: to release them from the bondage of Saddam Hussein’s tyranny.”

What really rankles most politicos these days is the Iraqis’ refusal to get cracking on the formation of a multiethnic government. Four months after the elections, Iraqi factions still haven’t come up with a power-sharing arrangement that satisfies all constituencies.

In Baghdad on Monday for a joint appearance with British Foreign Secretary Jack Straw, Condoleezza Rice suggested that we’ve now given the Iraqis all the help a liberated people can reasonably expect: We “have forces on the ground and have sacrificed here,” she told reporters, so we have “a right to expect that this process will keep moving forward.”

Chiming in, Straw called on the Iraqis to shape up and select a prime minister, pronto: “The Americans have lost over 2,000 people. We’ve lost over 100.. And billions – billions – of United States dollars, hundreds of millions of British pound sterlings have come into this country. We do have, I think, a right to say that we’ve got to be able to deal with Mr. A or Mr. B or Mr. C. We can’t deal with Mr. Nobody.”

The “after all we’ve done for you!” theme is more than a little jarring, coming as it does from the architects of the war.

The Iraqis didn’t beg us to invade their country. We invaded Iraq for reasons quite unrelated to the welfare of the Iraqi people (and, it turned out, for reasons unrelated to the welfare of the American people as well).

[Cute spin, but she’s 100% wrong. The Iraqi politicians doing the stalling are the collaborator traitors who came to political power thanks to the occupation. And live on occupation money. Without the U.S. occupation force to prop them up and keep the little pets safe in the Green Zone, they’d be dog meat in 24 hours. So they are indeed ungrateful.]

MORE:

The Occupation Government:
“A Collection Of Charlatans And Quislings”

What still holds them all together and remains the only glue preventing Iraq from splitting into three separate states, is the self-interested greed of the warlords who have been installed by the American forces. None of them want to kill the golden goose that allows them to cash in on billions of dollars in Iraqi oil revenues and U.S. aid.

April 6, 2006 By Robert Dreyfuss, Tomdispatch.com [Excerpt]

Led by Khalilzad, the United States has definitively broken with Prime Minister Ibrahim al-Jaafari, the hopelessly incompetent religious fanatic that Washington helped bring back to Iraq in the first place, installing him as puppet prime minister of the interim government created (after months of back-stabbing and deal-making) in the aftermath of the January 2005 elections.

The full-court press by the Americans is showing signs of having an effect, and Jaafari will eventually probably accede to U.S. pressure and step down.

But whoever takes over, the government of Iraq will remain weak, divided, and isolated inside Baghdad’s well-fortified Green Zone.

It is and, until the U.S. withdrawal from Iraq, will remain a collection of charlatans and quislings, leavened with separatist warlords such as the Barzanis and Talabanis of Kurdistan and Abdel Aziz al-Hakim of the Supreme Council for the Islamic Revolution in Iraq (SCIRI).

What still holds them all together and remains the only glue preventing Iraq from splitting into three separate states, is the self-interested greed of the warlords who have been installed by the American forces. None of them want to kill the golden goose that allows them to cash in on billions of dollars in Iraqi oil revenues and U.S. aid.

Second, the imperial treatment of Jaafari by the ambassador has shocked and stunned Iraqis, opponents and supporters alike.

His public humiliation has been a blatant exercise of sheer American muscle, and it happened on the front pages of Iraq’s newspapers. It makes a mockery of President Bush’s alleged commitment to democracy.

Paradoxically, since Jaafari — whose alliance with rebel cleric and warlord Muqtada al-Sadr remains strong — can now claim to have resisted American pressure, it will ultimately strengthen his political standing, since any Iraqi politician who opposes the United States becomes instantly popular.

By the same token, whoever might now accept the job of prime minister, as Jaafari’s replacement, will take office under the shadow of the U.S. occupation that installed him, giving that new leader zero credibility.

Power in Iraq comes not from acquiescing to American might, but from resisting it.

OCCUPATION ISN’T LIBERATION
BRING ALL THE TROOPS HOME NOW!

DANGER: POLITICIANS AT WORK

Bush, GOP Hit New Lows in Public Opinion;
Only 35% Approve Iraq Policy

07 April 2006 The Associated Press & 08 April 2006 By Tom Raum, The Associated Press

A new AP-Ipsos poll showed just 36 percent of the public approve of Bush’s job performance, a low-water mark for his presidency.

Just 35 percent of the public approves of Bush’s handling of Iraq, his lowest in AP-Ipsos polling.

Just 30 percent of the public approves of the GOP-led Congress’ job performance, and Republicans seem to be shouldering the blame.

69 percent of Americans believes the nation is headed in the wrong direction – the largest percentage during the Bush presidency and up 13 points from a year ago.

Bush’s approval rating is down 12 points among Republicans since a year ago. Six-in-10 Republicans said they disapproved of the GOP-led Congress.

“I’d just as soon they shut (Congress) down for a few years,” said Robert Hirsch, 72, a Republican-leaning voter in Chicago. “All they do is keep passing laws and figuring out ways to spend our money.”

Another AP-Ipsos poll showed that, while 53 percent of those surveyed said they considered Bush to be “honest” in October 2004, that number had dropped to just 44 percent last month.


[Thanks to Phil G, who sent this in.]

Republican Leader Accuses Bush’s Underboss Gonzalez Of “Stonewalling” Congress

Consigliore

06 April 2006 The Associated Press

Washington – The Republican chairman of the House Judiciary Committee pointedly criticized Attorney General Alberto Gonzales Thursday for “stonewalling” by refusing to answer questions about the Bush administration’s warrantless eavesdropping program.

Rep. James Sensenbrenner, R-Wis., said Gonzales was frustrating his panel’s oversight of the Justice Department and the controversial surveillance by declining to provide information about how the program is reviewed inside the administration and by whom.

“How can we discharge our oversight if, every time we ask a pointed question, we’re told the program is classified?” Sensenbrenner asked Gonzales near the start of a lengthy hearing on the department’s activities. “I think that … is stonewalling.”

CLASS WAR REPORTS

THIS IS NOT A SATIRE EITHER:
U.S. Ambassadors Car Pelted With Fruit & Vegetables:
Bush Regime Idiots Say It’s A Venezuelan Government Conspiracy:
They Were [GASP] “Handing Out Snacks To The Perpetrators”

[Thanks to PB who sent this in. He writes HA HA.]

4.8.06 By GEORGE GEDDA, Associated Press Writer

Undersecretary of State Nicholas Burns summoned Venezuelan Ambassador Bernardo Alvarez to the State Department and told him that Venezuela was in violation of an international treaty that requires the host countries to ensure the safety of foreign diplomats, department spokesman Sean McCormack said.

The incident “clearly was condoned by the local government,” McCormack said.

Pro-government activists bombarded Brownfield’s car with fruit and vegetables and a group of motorcyclists chased the convoy, at times pummeling the vehicles with their fists.

McCormack said local government officials were handing out snacks to the perpetrators as Brownfield was participating in a ceremony at a Caracas stadium.

McCormack said it was the fourth government-sponsored attempt to intimidate U.S. diplomats in Venezuela, three having occurred in the past three weeks.

“We will not be intimidated,” McCormack said. [Here is a brave Bush representative, who knows how to stand up to fruit and vegetables!]

Received:

An Invitation To U.S. GIs On Leave In Germany

From: Gasser Edward
To: GI Special
Sent: April 08, 2006

For some time I’ve been trying to make contacts in Germany, unsuccessfully so far. I would like to invite US GIs on leave in Germany from Iraq for weekends with me in Switzerland.

I’m a Vietnam Vet Against the War.

Edward Gasser
Gotthardstr. 193
CH-6423 Seewen
Switzerland
edwardgasser@hotmail.com

OCCUPATION ISN’T LIBERATION
BRING ALL THE TROOPS HOME NOW!

NEED SOME TRUTH? CHECK OUT TRAVELING SOLDIER

Telling the truth – about the occupation or the criminals running the government in Washington – is the first reason for Traveling Soldier. But we want to do more than tell the truth; we want to report on the resistance – whether it’s in the streets of Baghdad, New York, or inside the armed forces. Our goal is for Traveling Soldier to become the thread that ties working-class people inside the armed services together. We want this newsletter to be a weapon to help you organize resistance within the armed forces. If you like what you’ve read, we hope that you’ll join with us in building a network of active duty organizers.  www.traveling-soldier.org/  And join with Iraq War vets in the call to end the occupation and bring our troops home now! www.ivaw.net

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www.albasrah.net/maqalat/english/gi-special.htm
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