All gave some. Some gave all. On Fame's eternal camping-ground Their silent tents are spread, And Glory guards, with solemn round, The bivouac of the dead.
Nor shall your glory be forgot While Fame her record keeps, Or Honor points the hallowed spot Where Valor proudly sleeps. People wander amongst the crosses at the Arlington West Iraq war memorial display on beach next to the Santa Monica Pier. (Stefano Paltera / AP)
if you knew anything about the morning after pill, you would know that
it doesn't cause an already implanted embryo to be aborted, rather it
prevents implantation at all if there even is an fertilized egg to
begin with. ergo, no abortion & no "murder", by your standards.
Rep. Jack Murtha speaking on the massacre in Haditha, including footage
from Iraq with an interview of a 9 year old child who was the lone
survivor of one of the murdered Iraqi families. The video then ends
with Murtha's appearance on Hardball.
Rep. Murtha touches
on many of the problems with the war, and for the troops. I think it's
also worth noting that before this war, the Marines were never used for
long-term fighting the frontlines of battle.
The chilling aspect of this story is that it happened over a period
of several hours, so some of the killing wasn't in the heat of the
It is an example ( I hope! I assume!) of aberrant behavior, but the
aberrant behavior is what people notice, not the routine stuff.
Murtha linked it to stress over extended tours and inadequate
troops. I don't know if this particular incident is related to those
factors or not. There is another pattern which, while less publicized ,
is probably worse in terms of the success of our involvement in Iraq:
the lack of routine positive contact between Americans and Iraqis. In
Assassin's Gate the writer describes the extraordinary, noble efforts
of American service people to rebuild basic services in neighborhoods
and the way that kind of interaction with Iraqis forged the kind of
links which could have contributed to the successful development of a
pro-American government in that country.
Unfortunately he also
describes how those efforts where underfunded and unsupported by the
Bush administration and how lack of troops, money, and support
eventually undercut those sorts of efforts. As time when on and the
troops got more stressed and more isolated, the routine, ordinary
interactions between troops and Iraqis became more fear based and
hostile. The policy now is to pull troops back to bases, leaving the
Iraqis to literally fight things out themselves. This policy, it seems
to me, will guarantee that further encounters between Americans and
Iraqis will be hostile and fearful and quite likely more trgedies will
occur.. It is a de facto admission of failure. We can't help in a
situation where our peple and theirs can't interact cooperatively.
I wanted to share this video with you. It was made by a woman Lisa and she posted it on the C&L's Late Night Music Club, which has a great video up by Peter Gabriel. The music in this video is also by Peter Gabriel and the title is "Here Comes the Flood."
Waiting your time, dreaming of a better life...
I wonder about the death toll in New Orleans. Will we ever know the
accurate death toll? After the great fires and earthquake of San
Francisco in 1906 the government and big business intentionally lied
about the death toll because they wanted investors and people to stay
in the city.
Norwegian Special forces are actually one of the absolute elite top
special forces in the world. They have a very good reputation on their
skills, knowledge and experience.
However, these on this video are not special forces. These are soliders
from the Telemark Bataljon. But they are skilled soliders. By far.
Insurgents, body armor, and even Jello. It's all included in a new rap song by two U.S. soldiers.
The songs lyrics include
"The cowboy sensation as I stifle a yawn," "We ain't got time for that, better get your gear on." "Cause out in the city, IBA's are required." "We check out our soldiers before we leave the wires."
Staff sergeants Matt Wright and
Josh Dobbs, both Indiana natives, put together the Middle East 'rap'
response to Saturday Night Live’s "Lazy Sunday."
Monday, May 22, 2006
Spying On Americans Using Statistics
If indeed "freedom" is just another word for 'nothing left to
lose'...then we're not exactly free yet. We're at the precipice of
having nothing left to lose - Losing the freedom from warrantless
searches, freedom of association, freedom to express ourselves, freedom
to demand probably cause prior to having warrants issued, freedom to
visit "questionable" websites or check out certain periodicals/books
from our public libraries, etc.
The NSA spying program raises plenty of sensitive issues, but at
least one of them hasn't received the close scrutiny it deserves: it's
fundamentally a system for identifying criminals by statistical
analysis. Americans need to come to grips with whether they approve of
Take a different, but equally incendiary example. Suppose that we
could semi-reliably create a statistical portrait of child molesters:
their age, geographical location, gender, and calling and buying
patterns. Suppose they tend to rent certain kinds of videos, make phone
calls to certain kinds of chat lines, and call up other known child
Needless to say, the FBI could track these patterns using the same
methods as the NSA and then exploit the results to create lists of
"possible child molesters." And it might work. But would we be OK with
the FBI tapping someone's phone just because they fit a statistical
profile? Or staking out their house? Or investigating their friends?
And if we can do it for suspected terrorists and child molesters,
how about tax evaders and unlicensed gun owners? Can we tap their
phones too because they're the "kind of person" who might be breaking
the law? Should a court grant a search warrant based on a statistical
pattern rather than a showing of specific fact?
And if not, why not? After all, if you're not doing anything wrong,
why would you object to being investigated? And if the statistical
patterns just happen to target lots of wealthy Republicans or rural
white gun collectors — well, that's how the cookie crumbles. If that's
what the profiling turns up, then that's what the profiling turns up.
Any problems with that?
BTW, its hardly speculation that this might be extended beyond just
"terrorism" when the Attorney General has already said this same
technique is being used to look to identify leakers of classified
information to the media, and to gather evidence for potential
prosecution of the leakers and the reporters.
Its not something that could happen, or even that will certainly happen in the future, its something that has already, openly happening.
There are lies, damn lies, and statistics. When the government starts using stats to determine who is a terrorist, criminal, or political donor, we're all in trouble. Remember, statistically the average American has one testicle and one boob.
And who decides what "patterns" are authentic indicators of criminal behavior or intent? The Decider, of course
"After all, if you're not doing anything wrong, why would you object to being investigated?"
On the other hand, why did your parents tell you not to give information about the household to strangers?
Where's the guarantee that your personal information will not be
used by/sold to child molesters, identity traffickers, thieves
(personal and corporate), kidnappers, conmen, etc. Remember that guy, 3
or 4 at the Dept of Homeland Security, who was making dates with 14 year-olds. Who is watching the
After all, if you're not doing anything wrong, why would you object to being investigated? If I'm not doing anything wrong, then why do you want to investigate me?
Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety. BENJAMIN FRANKLIN, Pennsylvania Assembly:
The most common retort against privacy advocates -- by those in
favor of ID checks, cameras, databases, data mining and other wholesale
surveillance measures -- is this line: "If you aren't doing anything
wrong, what do you have to hide?"
Some clever answers: "If I'm not doing anything wrong, then you have
no cause to watch me." "Because the government gets to define what's
wrong, and they keep changing the definition." "Because you might do
something wrong with my information." My problem with quips like these
-- as right as they are -- is that they accept the premise that privacy
is about hiding a wrong. It's not. Privacy is an inherent human right,
and a requirement for maintaining the human condition with dignity and
Two proverbs say it best:Quis custodiet custodes ipsos? ("Who watches the watchers?") and "Absolute power corrupts absolutely."
Cardinal Richelieu understood the value of surveillance when he
famously said, "If one would give me six lines written by the hand of
the most honest man, I would find something in them to have him
hanged." Watch someone long enough, and you'll find something to arrest
-- or just blackmail -- with. Privacy is important because without it,
surveillance information will be abused: to peep, to sell to marketers
and to spy on political enemies -- whoever they happen to be at the
Privacy protects us from abuses by those in power, even if we're doing nothing wrong at the time of surveillance. We do nothing wrong when we make love or go to the bathroom. We are
not deliberately hiding anything when we seek out private places for
reflection or conversation. We keep private journals, sing in the
privacy of the shower, and write letters to secret lovers and then burn
them. Privacy is a basic human need.
A future in which privacy would face constant assault was so alien
to the framers of the Constitution that it never occurred to them to
call out privacy as an explicit right. Privacy was inherent to the
nobility of their being and their cause. Of course being
watched in your own home was unreasonable. Watching at all was an act
so unseemly as to be inconceivable among gentlemen in their day. You
watched convicted criminals, not free citizens. You ruled your own
home. It's intrinsic to the concept of liberty. For if we are observed in all matters, we are constantly under
threat of correction, judgment, criticism, even plagiarism of our own
uniqueness. We become children, fettered under watchful eyes,
constantly fearful that -- either now or in the uncertain future --
patterns we leave behind will be brought back to implicate us, by
whatever authority has now become focused upon our once-private and
innocent acts. We lose our individuality, because everything we do is
observable and recordable.
How many of us have paused during conversation in the past
four-and-a-half years, suddenly aware that we might be eavesdropped on?
Probably it was a phone conversation, although maybe it was an e-mail
or instant-message exchange or a conversation in a public place. Maybe
the topic was terrorism, or politics, or Islam. We stop suddenly,
momentarily afraid that our words might be taken out of context, then
we laugh at our paranoia and go on. But our demeanor has changed, and
our words are subtly altered. This is the loss of freedom we face when our privacy is taken from
us. This is life in former East Germany, or life in Saddam Hussein's
Iraq. And it's our future as we allow an ever-intrusive eye into our
personal, private lives.
Too many wrongly characterize the debate as "security versus
privacy." The real choice is liberty versus control. Tyranny, whether
it arises under threat of foreign physical attack or under constant
domestic authoritative scrutiny, is still tyranny. Liberty requires
security without intrusion, security plus privacy. Widespread police
surveillance is the very definition of a police state. And that's why
we should champion privacy even when we have nothing to hide.
Some broad surveillance, in limited circumstances, might be warranted
as a temporary measure. But we need to be careful that it remain
temporary, and that we do not design surveillance into our electronic
infrastructure. Thomas Jefferson once said: "Eternal vigilance is the
price of liberty." Historically, liberties have always been a casualty
of war, but a temporary casualty. This war -- a war without a clear
enemy or end condition -- has the potential to turn into a permanent
state of society. We need to design our security accordingly.
The city of Black Jack is playing with semantics in order to discriminate. 3 kids 2 adults and 5 bedrooms. I don't see a problem, even if it would be a persons per square foot issue. Black Jack can spout all the ordinances they want, but judging by the "Why didn't you marry him when you had the chance" remark smells like
someone didn't like their lifestyle, which is really no one else's
When Olivia Shelltrack saw the yellow house
with green shutters, she loved it right away. It had a yard, a deck, a
finished basement and five bedrooms — plenty of space for Shelltrack,
her partner of 13 years, Fondray Loving, and their three children. It
was in their price range.
But the house is in Black Jack, Mo., where
anyone moving into a house must get a permit of occupancy. When
Shelltrack and Loving went to get theirs, the city said no.
Black Jack prohibits more than three unrelated
people from living together. City officials ruled that Shelltrack and
Loving, who are not married, and the three kids, one of them
Shelltrack's from a previous relationship, fit that description.
"This ordinance is outdated. We are a family,"
says Shelltrack, 31. "There's a mom, there's a dad, there's three
children. We are a family." Whether Shelltrack, a stay-at-home mom, and
Loving, 33, who works for a payroll-administration company, are married
"should not be anybody's business, if I pay my taxes, if I'm able to
buy the house," she says.
Now, under threat of a lawsuit from the American
Civil Liberties Union and an investigation by the federal Department of
Housing and Urban Development, the city is set to vote today to broaden
the law just enough to allow the Shelltrack-Loving household to live in
"It's nothing unusual to have these particular
type of laws. Basically it's to prevent overcrowding," Mayor Norman
McCourt says. Legislating morality, he says, "was never the intention."
Nationally, definitions of "family" in zoning
laws are widespread and are generally designed to prevent fraternity
houses and boarding houses in single-family neighborhoods. Black Jack
city attorney Sheldon Stock says more than 80 of the 91 municipalities
in St. Louis County, which surrounds the city of St. Louis, have
Few enforce them, however, says Tony Rothert,
legal director of the ACLU of Eastern Missouri. "We're not aware of any
other city that has recently tried to deny an occupancy permit to a
family," he says. "It's been happening in Black Jack a couple times a
In 1999, an unmarried couple with 3-year-old
triplets, Duane Carpenter and Doris McKinney, were denied an occupancy
permit in the town. "The easiest resolution to cure the situation would
be for them to get married," McCourt wrote to the ACLU at the time.
"Our community believes this is the appropriate way to raise a family."
In 1986, a Missouri appeals court upheld a
similar law in Ladue, an affluent St. Louis suburb, after it was
challenged by Joan Kelly Horn and partner Terrence Jones, who lived
there two years with seven children from previous marriages before the
city ordered them out.
"It was, 'Get married or move out,' " says Horn,
who later served in Congress in 1991 and 1992. "We were both pretty
appalled." The couple married in 1987 — on their own timetable, Horn
says. They divorced in 1999.
Missouri housing laws, like those of at least 18 other states, do not prohibit discrimination based on marital status.
Manassas, Va., adopted a law in December
defining family as immediate family members only — not nieces, nephews,
aunts, uncles and cousins. Enforcement was suspended after public
protest and objections from the ACLU.
The Provo, Utah, City Council is debating
whether to define a family as people related by blood, marriage,
adoption or other legal ties.
In Black Jack, the proposed new law would
include in its definition "two unrelated persons" with children
belonging to either or both.
Black Jack residents who oppose changing the law
say Shelltrack and Loving should have done their homework before buying
"They've gotten into a situation and it doesn't
fit them," longtime resident Corliss Bonner says. "So their solution
is, change the situation. That's not an adult approach."
Larry Hensley says Shelltrack and Loving should
conform or move. He says that's what he did 20 years ago when he moved
from neighboring Florissant, which barred him from keeping bees in his
"Any law that can prevent the morality of the
towns from going down is good. You might have a house with 10 or 15
people living in it. Two or three different so-called families in one
house," he says. "I don't know what the big deal is about getting
The topic of marriage has come up between
Shelltrack and Loving. About three years ago, he proposed, and she said
yes. But the couple has set no date for the wedding. Instead, they
saved for a bigger house.
"We're happy with the way our lives are,"
Shelltrack says. "We don't feel that a piece of paper is going to
change it. It's not going to make us better parents. It's not going to
make us better neighbors."
UPDATE: The town's planning and zoning commission
proposed a change in the law, but the measure was rejected Tuesday by
the city council in a 5-3 vote.
"I'm just shocked," Shelltrack said. "I really thought this would all be over, and we could go on with our lives."
The current ordinance prohibits more than three
people from living together unless they are related by "blood, marriage
or adoption." The defeated measure would have changed the definition of
a family to include unmarried couples with two or more children.
Mayor Norman McCourt declined to be interviewed
but said in a statement that those who do not meet the town's
definition of family could soon face eviction.
First, I believe that the real estate agent DID contact the city of
Black Jack and asked specifically about the occupancy requirements and
was not told about the definition of family. If you go to Black Jack's
web-site, you'll also see that there is information about occupancy
permits but not a word about their definition of family.
Secondly, I believe that the family meets Black Jack's definition of "Family" since everyone in the household is related by blood. If you
take the youngest child, you'll see that he is related to his
biological father, his biological mother, his biological sister and his
Thirdly, I believe that it's time to change these outdated
ordinances so that we can have more inclusive definitions of "family".
In the coming months, the Equal Housing Opportunity Council hopes to
draft model language for a more inclusive definition of family, and
we'll need help getting ordinances introduced into municipal
Joementum (jō-mĕn’təm) n., 1. neologism coined to indicate momentum
where none was obvious to anyone but the candidate. 2. a portmanteau
referring to the perceived lack of potential for success of a campaign
Like so many men who suffer under the delusion that they are catnip
to chicks, Enrique Suave Lieberman likes to boast what a friend he is
to women. As is often the case, the ladies do not agree.
How many pro-choice groups have come out and endorsed Holy Joe on
the heels of both his Alito vote and his friendly advice to rape
victims about the "short trip" they all ought to be wiling to take to get emergency contraception? Let me get my pencil out, do a bit of quick addition, that would be…none.
Bush's favorite Democrat is that dweeb at the bar who finds himself
irresistible. Which is I suppose a good thing, since it looks like the
ladies seem to be leaving him to enjoy his own company.
Midnight swinger, how can the last living Casanova be home alone. Saturday nights mean a stack of Playboys and a bottle of Ripple.
Its great that Lamont is challenging Joementum. And I hope he gets
the 15% delegate count at the convention and goes on to win the primary.
What's a shame is that there are so few primary challenges to the
DINOs and Dems without courage of conviction and Dems that are willing
to sabotage the party to be seen as "centrist" when they are really
stooges for the big money campaign donors.
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) - Hulking Jim Thome. Rugged
Manny Ramirez. Brawny Adam Dunn. "The thought of these big macho men,
swinging pink bats to help women with breast cancer ... what a novel
idea," Louisville Slugger president John Hillerich said Tuesday.
Major League Baseball granted special permission for players to use the
colorful bats - baby pink, at that - for Mother's Day. They're part of
a weeklong program to raise money for the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer
granted special permission for players to use the colorful bats for
Mother's Day as part of a weeklong program to raise money for the Susan
G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation.
(Brian Bohannon / Associated Press)
Derek Jeter, David Eckstein and Marcus Giles are among dozens of
players who intend to try them Sunday. This is the first time pink has
been approved for bats - dyed at the Louisville Slugger factory,
they're usually black, brown, reddish or white.
Kevin Mench was
among several Texas players who wanted their mother's names burned on
the bats. The Rangers slugger, who homered in seven straight games
earlier this season, also planned to have a bat for his grandmother,
who died from breast cancer.
"My mom is the glue of our family,
and I just want to do something to thank her for all that she has
done," Mench said before Tuesday night's game against Minnesota. "At
the same time, we are raising money for a great cause."
Smith, senior vice president for licensing for MLB, said the idea for
the pink bats struck a chord with commissioner Bud Selig and other
executives. The question was how many players would use the sticks.
"It takes a big man to swing a pink bat in a major league game," Smith said.
than 400 bats were being made for 50-plus players. David Ortiz, Jim
Edmonds, Mark Teixeira, Michael Young and Hank Blalock were also on the
The Louisville Slugger factory started making the bats last
week. Players were still placing orders as of Tuesday, and bats will
probably be made and shipped overnight until Thursday or Friday.
"The response has been phenomenal," Hillerich said.
bats posed something of a logistical problem for Louisville Slugger.
Each player uses a different model and size, so coloring, branding and
shipping them for Sunday's game has been a challenge, company spokesman
Dan Burgess said.
Along with the pink bats, players and all
on-field personnel will wear pink wristbands and a pink ribbon for
breast cancer awareness on their uniforms. The pink ribbon logo will
appear on the bases and on commemorative home plates, and the lineups
will be written on pink cards.
The bats, along with the home
plates and lineup cards, will be autographed by the teams and will be
auctioned off later with the proceeds going to the Breast Cancer
Welcome to the Police State. I had no idea so many Americans were talking to Al Qaeda.
that little canard about making sure a terrorist was on one end of the
line, and making sure it was an international call? Not so much.
In fact, the government's goal is to get every phone record in the
country - we're talking a record of every phone call you ever make or
I'm going to say it again. Encrypt your emails NOW:
THE NSA AND YOU....USA Today's
Leslie Cauley has a major story today about the NSA's program to
collect data not just on international calls, but on purely domestic
calls as well.It started right after 9/11:
the largest database ever assembled in the world," said one person,
who, like the others who agreed to talk about the NSA's activities,
declined to be identified by name or affiliation. The agency's goal is
"to create a database of every call ever made" within the nation's
borders, this person added.
....Last year...Bush insisted that the NSA was focused exclusively
on international calls. "In other words," Bush explained, "one end of
the communication must be outside the United States."
....Sources, however, say that is not the case. With access to
records of billions of domestic calls, the NSA has gained a secret
window into the communications habits of millions of Americans.
Customers' names, street addresses and other personal information are
not being handed over as part of NSA's domestic program, the sources
said. But the phone numbers the NSA collects can easily be
cross-checked with other databases to obtain that information.
The rules for collecting data about phone calls are different from the rules about listening in
on the content of phone calls, so I don't know what the legal situation
here is. However, although most domestic carriers cooperated with the
NSA, one of them didn't: Qwest.
According to sources
familiar with the events, Qwest's CEO at the time, Joe Nacchio, was
deeply troubled by the NSA's assertion that Qwest didn't need a court
order — or approval under FISA — to proceed. Adding to the tension,
Qwest was unclear about who, exactly, would have access to its
customers' information and how that information might be used.
....The NSA told Qwest that other government agencies, including the
FBI, CIA and DEA, also might have access to the database, the sources
said. As a matter of practice, the NSA regularly shares its information
— known as "product" in intelligence circles — with other intelligence
groups. Even so, Qwest's lawyers were troubled by the expansiveness of
the NSA request, the sources said.
....Unable to get comfortable with what NSA was proposing, Qwest's
lawyers asked NSA to take its proposal to the FISA court. According to
the sources, the agency refused.
This should add even more excitement to Michael Hayden's confirmation hearings to run the CIA, shouldn't it?
There is a simple solution. If the White House will allow all of us
to listen to all of their calls, then they can listen to ours.
Seems fair and balanced to me.
Above the Law: Security Issue Kills Domestic Spying Inquiry NSA won’t grant Justice Department lawyers required security clearance
The government has abruptly ended an inquiry into the warrantless
eavesdropping program because the National Security Agency refused to
grant Justice Department lawyers the necessary security clearance to
probe the matter.
The inquiry headed by the Justice Department’s
Office of Professional Responsibility, or OPR, sent a fax to Rep.
Maurice Hinchey, D-N.Y., on Wednesday saying they were closing their
inquiry because without clearance their lawyers cannot examine Justice
lawyers’ role in the program...
Great. We're going to need voice scramblers in BushWorld. Fantastic. "Hello", "Yeah, Delivery", "I wanna large pepperoni"
Recruiting Abuses Mount as Army Tries to Meet Goals
Jared Guinther is 18. Tall and lanky, he will
graduate from high school in June. Girls think he's cute, until they
try to talk to him and he stammers or just stands there -- silent.
Diagnosed with autism at age 3, Jared is polite but won't talk to
people unless they address him first. It's hard for him to make
friends. He lives in his own private world.
Jared didn't know there was a war raging in Iraq until his parents told
him last fall -- shortly after a military recruiter stopped him outside
a Portland strip mall and complimented his black Converse All-Stars.
"When Jared first started talking about joining the Army, I thought,
`Well, that isn't going to happen,"' said Paul Guinther, Jared's
father. "I told my wife not to worry about it. They're not going to
take anybody in the service who's autistic."
But they did. Last month, Jared came home with papers showing that he
had not only enlisted, but signed up for the Army's most dangerous job:
cavalry scout. He is scheduled to leave for basic training Aug. 16.
Officials are now investigating whether recruiters at the U.S. Army
Recruiting Station in southeast Portland improperly concealed Jared's
disability, which should have made him ineligible for service.
What happened to Jared is a growing national problem as the military
faces increasing pressure to hit recruiting targets during an unpopular
war. Tracking by the Pentagon shows that complaints about recruiting
improprieties are on pace to again reach record highs set in 2003 and
2004. Both the active Army and Reserve missed recruiting targets last
year, and reports of recruiting abuses continue from across the country.
A family in Ohio reported that its mentally ill son was signed up,
despite rules banning such enlistments and the fact that records about
his illness were readily available.
In Houston, a recruiter warned a potential enlistee that if he backed out of a meeting he'd be arrested.
And in Colorado, a high school student working undercover told
recruiters he'd dropped out and had a drug problem. The recruiter told
the boy to fake a diploma and buy a product to help him beat a drug
Violations such as these forced the Army to halt recruiting for a day
last May so recruiters could be retrained and reminded of the job's
The Portland Army Recruiting Battalion Headquarters opened its
investigation into Jared's case last week after his parents called The
Oregonian and the newspaper began asking questions about his enlistment.
Maj. Curt Steinagel, commander of the Military Entrance Processing
Station in Portland, said the papers filled out by Jared's recruiters
contained no indication of his disability. Steinagel acknowledged that
the current climate is tough on recruiters.
"I can't speak for Army," he said, "but it's no secret that recruiters
stretch and bend the rules because of all the pressure they're under.
The problem exists, and we all know it exists."
Military rules prohibit enlisting anyone with a mental disorder that
interferes with school or employment, unless a recruit can show he or
she hasn't required special academic or job accommodations for 12
Jared has been in special education classes since preschool. Through a
special program for disabled workers, he has a part-time job scrubbing
toilets and dumping trash.
Jared scored 43 out of 99 on the Army's basic entrance exam -- 31 is
lowest grade the Army allows for enlistment, military officials said.
After learning Jared had cleared this first hurdle toward enlistment,
Brenda said she called and asked for Ansley's supervisor and got Sgt.
She said she begged Velasco to review Jared's medical and school
records. Brenda said Velasco declined, asserting that he didn't need
any paperwork. Under military rules, recruiters are required to gather
all available information about a recruit and fill out a medical
"He was real cocky and he says, `Well, Jared's an 18-year-old man. He doesn't need his mommy to make his decisions for him."'
When they asked Jared how long he would be in the Army, he said he
didn't know. His enlistment papers show it's just over four years.
Jared also was disappointed to learn that he wouldn't be paid the
$4,000 signing bonus until after basic training.
During a recent family gathering, a relative asked Jared what he would
do if an enemy was shooting at him. Jared ran to his video game
console, killed a digital Xbox soldier and announced, "See! I can do
"My concern is that if he got into a combat situation he really
couldn't take someone's back," said Mary Lou Perry, 51, longtime friend
of the Guinthers. "He wouldn't really know a dangerous thing. This job
they have him doing, it's like send him in and if he doesn't get blown
up, it's safe for the rest of us."
Steinagel, the processing station commander, told The Oregonian that
Jared showed up after passing his written exam. None of his paperwork
indicated that he was autistic, but if it had, Jared almost certainly
would have been disqualified, he said.
On Tuesday, a reporter visited the U.S. Army Recruiting Station at the
Eastport Plaza Shopping Center, where Velasco said he had not been told
about Jared's autism.
"Cpl. Ansley is Guinther's recruiter," he said. "I was unaware of any type of autism or anything like that."
Velasco initially denied knowing Jared, but later said he'd spent a lot
of time mentoring him because Jared was going to become a cavalry
scout. The job entails "engaging the enemy with anti-armor weapons and
scout vehicles," according to an Army recruiting Web site.
After he'd spoken for a few moments, Velasco suddenly grabbed the
reporter's tape recorder and tried to tear out the tape, stopping only
after the reporter threatened to call the police.
The Guinthers said that on Tuesday evening, Cpl. Ansley showed up at
their door. They said Ansley stated that he would probably lose his job
and face dishonorable discharge unless they could stop the newspaper's
Ansley, reached at his recruiting office Thursday, declined to comment for this story. S. Douglas Smith, spokesman for the U.S. Army Recruiting Command, in
Fort Knox, Ky., said he could not comment on specifics of the
investigation in Portland. But he defended the 8,200 recruiters working
for the active Army and Army Reserve.
Last year, the Army relieved 44 recruiters from duty and admonished 369.
Each month, the Contagious Festival features original work by talented
designers, activists, filmmakers and comics. You determine who wins the
contest by deciding which entries to forward to your friends and which
ones to ignore. Then the most popular sites rise to the top of our live
rankings and get the attention of our panel of esteemed judges.
Moussouai Gets Life Sentence For Small Part In 9/11
Punishing wrongdoers is a neccessary function of government. However,
this is America, and here the punishment must be proportional to the
crime. He is a lunatic and a fool and an attention whore, who can now waste away the rest of his life in obscurity. Zacarias Moussaoui, the only person prosecuted in connection with the
worst terrorist attack in American history, did not get the death
penalty because some jurors concluded that he had little to do with
Yet two presumed key planners of the Al Qaeda plot, Khalid Shaikh
Mohammed and Ramzi Binalshibh, have not been charged, though they have
been in U.S. custody for more than three years.
A central contradiction in the Bush administration's fight against
terrorism is that bit players often have been put on trial, while those
thought to have orchestrated the plots have been held in secret for
The difference in treatment, government officials say, stems from the
view that gathering intelligence from suspected terrorists is more
important than publicly punishing them.
Though the Moussaoui jury seemed to indicate that he had not been
directly responsible for the Sept. 11 attacks, Mohammed has told
investigators about the plot in great detail.
Current and former intelligence officials have said that the CIA has
used aggressive interrogation techniques — including "waterboarding,"
which makes a suspect feel as if he is drowning — on captured Al Qaeda
leaders. As a result, many legal experts say it may be too late to try
Mohammed and Binalshibh in a regular court of law.
"They cannot be prosecuted because of the way they have been
interrogated," said University of Maryland law professor Michael
Greenberger, a terrorism expert who served in the Clinton
administration. "They have been subjected to very aggressive
questioning, and any statements they made now can't be used against
An open trial for the Al Qaeda leaders could reveal that U.S. agents
used harsh methods, even torture, to extract information, he added.
"That has been the irony of the Moussaoui case from the beginning. We
have prosecuted a marginal character who appeared unmoored from
reality, while the real planners of the crime will not be brought
before justice in the United States," Greenberger said.
Deborah Pearlstein, a lawyer for Human Rights First, said: "After the
World Trade Center attack in 1993, there was a successful prosecution.
We got information, and we got justice. Now, in this case, I fear we
have lost the opportunity to bring the real terrorists to justice."
It is time that the government proves to America that they have been protecting us by producing those alledged criminals and putting them on trail immediately.
It MUST be a Real Old Fashioned Public American Trial, where we all get to see the evidence.
I was inspired to write this in part because of what I saw many of the 9/11
family members say today after the Moussaoui verdict. Pretty much all
of them were happy that this trial was over; expressed gratitude to the
jurors even when some wanted the death penalty; and most went on to
talk about how little has really been done including trials for the
real 9/11 planners.
None seemed to want revenge. They seemed to simply want truth and
the corrections that that truth could possibly bring to making America
stronger and safer. They all referenced the secrecy surrounding that day that the government continues to protect so intensely.
It is time to let the sun shine in on the facts and it is high time
that if we have wrongly imprisoned anyone that we let them go free.
UPDATE: Michael Isikoff is a reporter I have had many problems with, but he did make some sense on Hardball yesterday.
Isikoff: This entire Moussaoui trial was a side show.
The Justice Department indicted him at the time, they thought he might
have been the 20th hijacker. They later learned he was not. But there
was a feeling, that for altogether understandable reasons, that the country needed a trial,
the cathartic effect of a trial to deal with the most horrific crime in
American history. What this trial ought to do at this point provoke a
debate and discussion and concentration on why we haven`t tried the
people who were responsible for 9/11. But
there was a feeling, that for altogether understandable reasons, that
the country needed a trial, the cathartic effect of a trial to deal
with the most horrific crime in American history.
But the point is that after the
time that they indicted Moussaoui, we came to get into custody the
people who were directly responsible for that crime, the architect,
Khalid Shaikh Mohammed (pictured here at top), Ramzi bin al-Shibh, who
was Mohammed Atta`s collaborator at every step of the way -- twice in
2001, Atta leaves the country to consult with Ramzi bin al-Shibh about
the for the attack -- the financier who was also in custody, Qualli bin
Atassh (phonetic) who helped planned it at the Malaysia meeting.
But the government has been
completely stymied about what do to with these people. Why -- and this
is the one where it is really worth connecting the dots. It goes
straight into the White House, the Oval Office and the vice president`s
office because key decisions were made about aggressive interrogation
techniques that were going to be used on these people.
Kristen Breitweiser was poignantly on target as to why we can't
prosecute the other three--something that I don't think the public in
general wants to realize. Our rendition and torture policies have made
it impossible to prosecute them. So while Bush decides that he doesn't
need to follow laws, his extra-legal activities prevent us from justice
for this tragedy. Thanks Kristen.
Women Against Bush's Favorite Democrat "I doubt that anybody will call me 'George Bush's favorite Democrat.'" -- Ned Lamont, www.nedlamont.com
We do not want a pro-war senator representing Connecticut. Joe
Lieberman’s insistence that the war in Iraq is worth all the lives lost
and our national resources drained is out of step with the majority.
Remember when Joe Lieberman wanted rape victims to climb off the gurney
and go some place where their unreasonable demand for emergency
contraception would be honored? (Providing, that is, that they knew
about the existence of emergency contraception — Catholic hospitals may
receive public funding, but they won't tell you that you might need it
because you might wind up in hell and all.)
Anyway, leaders within the Connecticut pro-choice and GLTB community
— equally disgusted with both Lieberman and with NARAL and Planned
Parenthood's refusal to call bullshit on his claims to be "pro choice"
— have banded together to form Connecticut Choice Voice, "a website sponsored by Connecticut Women Standing Up for Choice and Equality."
Their number one agenda: the election of Ned Lamont to the US Senate to replace Joe Lieberman.
2)Joe Lieberman is on record as opposing the proposed legislation in
Connecticut that would require all Connecticut hospitals to offer
emergency contraceptives to rape victims.
3)Joe Lieberman believes it was proper for the U.S. government to intervene in the Terry Schiavo case. He claimed it was "justified
to give this woman, more than her parents and husband, the opportunity
for one more chance before her life was terminated," and that government "must honor life."
4)Joe Lieberman has steadfastly supported the war in Iraq. He has been a
vocal, public defender of the Bush-Cheney administration's decision to
continue to wage war and cites the need to "finish the job," going so
far as to suggest that anyone who opposes the war is unpatriotic.
5)Joe Lieberman opposes the right of all women—and men—to marry the
person of their choice. Even though he has stated that he supports
civil and human rights, he does not support marriage for same-sex
"I've spoken to Joe Lieberman and he knows he's out
there alone. I mean, literally alone. Joe is a fine man, he has strong
feelings, but he's just alone. Even Republicans don't agree with Joe."
Now he's letting Joe feel the love. Read and weep.
I write to urge you to support my friend, Joe Lieberman, when you
convene with your fellow delegates on May 20th, and then when you cast
your vote in the August 8th primary.
I know that there's been a lot of discussion among you and your fellow
Democrats about Joe, and I'd like to share my thoughts with you. Let me
be clear: as the leader of the Democratic Party in the United States
Senate, I need Joe to be reelected. We have many battles in the future
and his presence in the United States Senate is essential.
The Difference Between Reid and Lieberman...
...is that Harry Reid can be counted on to support the winner of the Connecticut Primary come the November General Election.
I think it's fabulous that people are stepping forward to challenge
the interest groups who purport to speak for the causes of those they
have abandoned (and in doing so give the public seal of approval to
candidates who don't deserve it). And it's also great that they have
come out and supported Ned, who truly deserves it.
Didn't Bob Woodward say that his "sources" indicated that the Plame
outing was no big deal. That an assessment was done and it wasn't bad.
Woodward is such a tool.
You're telling me that BushCo. outed Valerie Plame to get back at Joe Wilson AND to kill the intelligence about Iran's nuclear capabilities? How better to muddy the waters about the "reasons" for striking Iran? Sounds like treason to me.
Early in the case, Rove admitted to investigators that
he outed Valerie Wilson's identity to columnist Robert Novak -- Novak
was the first journalist to publish Wilson's identity and the first to
talk about it to investigators.
And last week, Karl Rove testified again he may have spoken about the Wilsons with Time Magazine's Matt Cooper.
Rove said he denied that under oath for the first year of the
investigation because of memory problems. A case of bad memory is
Scooter Libby's defense.
But in regards to Karl Rove, lawyers in the case say prosecutor
Fitzgerald is still troubled by the timing of Rove's rolling
disclosures: it seems that Rove's memory perks up with every new
indication someone else will expose him. When Rove finally began to
update his testimony in October 2004, it was just days after Cooper was
first held in contempt for refusing to disclose confidential sources.
And Rove did not give Cooper a clear waiver to testify until after
Cooper's appeals had been exhausted 9 months later.
Intelligence sources say Valerie Wilson was part of an operation
three years ago tracking the proliferation of nuclear weapons material
into Iran. And the sources allege that when Mrs. Wilson's cover was blown,the administration's ability to track Iran's nuclear ambitions was damaged as well.
It was already reported then that Plame specialized in tracking and
securing nuclear materiel from the Soviet bloque and the CIA was livid
that BushCo had ruined such an important CIA cover company - 20+ years,
with all the contacts that longevity entailed - as well as degrading our
ability to fight the GWOT by wrecking an important part of our ability
to track nuclear materials in old Soviet bloque and the -stans.
All to smear the former ambassador to Iraq (who served with real
courage in the first Gulf War) for speaking out and telling the truth.
Do you feel safer with Bush? He's a war president and makes decisions with war on his mind. What war, the war against America or the war against his legacy?
The third anniversary of the U.S.-led war in Iraq drew tens of
thousands of protesters around the globe, from hurricane-ravaged
Louisiana to Australia, with chants of "Stop the War" and calls for the
withdrawal of troops.
More than 7,000 people marched through Chicago
on Saturday in one of the largest U.S. protests, saying the war diverts
money from domestic needs and demanding the U.S. pull out of Iraq. One
sign read "Bush is a category 5 disaster."
"I'm against this war, I'm against the torture," said protester Martha Conrad, 54. "We're doing this for the people of Iraq."
Protesters also gathered in Boston, San
Francisco and Pittsburgh, and more than 1,000 packed into New York's
Times Square on Saturday chanting: "Stop the U.S. war machine, from
Iraq to Korea to the Philippines."
About 200 war veterans, hurricane survivors and
demonstrators gathered Sunday at the Chalmette National Cemetery to
protest how the military conflict overseas had hurt the country's
ability to help the Gulf Coast recover from last year's hurricanes.
"We attacked a country who never did anything to
us," said Philadelphia resident Al Zappala, whose 30-year-old son was
killed in Iraq in April 2004.