to Mark Shapiro, who sent this in.]
"I Pulled The Spec-4
Through The Window And Threw Him On The Floor"
"When The Pain Got So Bad It Was Intolerable, I Went
To The Health Clinic"
"They Said 'You Need To Make An
"I Was Like, 'I’m Bleeding
In Your Clinic Here’"
"Newland Informed His Command He Planned To Blow Up The Clinic"
"I Loved The Army.
But After The Way I Was Treated, I Was Done"
[J]ust two days later, Dec. 6, 2006, the hospital sent Newland
home — doped up on morphine, his left hand a useless claw, and nerve damage so
bad to his left leg he could barely walk.
"They told me they needed the bed,"
He was not
told when he was discharged that a scan showed he also had suffered traumatic
brain injury, and so did not understand why he stuttered, had blurry vision and
experienced short-term memory loss.
December 03, 2007 Army Times [Excerpts]
The grenade clanked off the
Humvee turret and then dropped inside. The explosion drove shrapnel into every
limb of Staff Sgt. Ian Newland’s body. Hours after the incident, he arrived at
Landstuhl Regional Medical Center in Germany.
Every soldier believes that if
he makes it to an Army hospital, he’s going to be treated to the best care.
But just two days later, Dec.
6, 2006, the hospital sent Newland home — doped up on morphine, his left hand a
useless claw, and nerve damage so bad to his left leg he could barely walk.
"They told me they needed the
bed," said Newland, who then lived in Schweinfurt, headquarters of 1st Infantry
He was not told when he was
discharged that a scan showed he also had suffered traumatic brain injury, and
so did not understand why he stuttered, had blurry vision and experienced
short-term memory loss.
There was no homecoming for this wounded
soldier, who arrived from Iraq with a Purple Heart pinned to his blanket.
He had no key to his house, so the fire
department broke in for him — and later sent a bill for the job.
And when he finally got inside his house, it
was empty — his wife, Erin, was in the States for Thanksgiving, unaware that
her husband had been seriously wounded in combat.
"I didn’t even get a call from the unit,"
Erin Newland said. "Before I left, I gave the unit all my phone numbers, but
they didn’t call."
She was shopping in a Wal-Mart in Minnesota
when Ian’s aunt called her: "He’s been in an accident. You need to call his
She immediately tried to get back to Germany.
But tickets for her and her two
toddlers would cost $6,000. She contacted the Army and requested to be put on
the priority list for a space-available flight.
"They told me I had to have a
commander’s note," she said. She would spend days getting back to Germany — the
unit never did send the paperwork she needed for the priority list.
At home, Ian dug through a bag
the nurses had sent with him, hoping for a prescription for pain medicine and
directions for care. He found a shaving
kit and no further information.
"When the pain got so bad it
was intolerable, I went to the health clinic," he said. "They said, 'There’s a
phone right there. You need to make an
It would be a week before
anyone could see him at the clinic in Schweinfurt.
"I pulled the Spec-4 through
the window and threw him on the floor," Newland said.
"They told me I had mental health issues. But
there was no psychiatrist (in Schweinfurt).
I was like, 'I’m bleeding in
your clinic here.’"
Newland informed his command he
planned to blow up the health clinic. That
got an ear.
"I went straight to the Schweinfurt
commander," he said, describing all the shortcomings he and fellow wounded had
endured in trying to get proper medical care.
"I told them, 'You know my guys are in a
high-conflict area. You’ve got guys living in the barracks in wheelchairs,’" he
"I skipped every chain of
command possible." Still, he said, "nothing was done."
Newland took it upon himself to care for the
wounded at Conn Barracks in Schweinfurt, keeping
their appointments marked on a dry-erase board.
But his own issues
soon took over. He went to Washington,
D.C., for the funeral of Spc. Ross McGinnis, at Arlington National Cemetery.
McGinnis, a fellow member of Charlie Company, 1st Battalion, 26th Infantry
Regiment, had thrown himself on a grenade, saving Newland and three others in
the Humvee. For that, McGinnis has been
nominated for a Medal of Honor.
"When I got back from Arlington, I was
suicidal," Newland said, explaining he felt guilty about McGinnis’ loss. "I called the health clinic and asked if I
could check myself in. They told me to go to the German emergency room."
Finally, he said, the Army medical system
hooked him up with a civilian social worker — who specialized in families and
"I told her about the bodies we found in
Adhamiya, and she started crying," Newland said. "I called the mental health commander and I
went nuts. 'When 1-26 gets back, if you don’t have a plethora of mental health
options, you’re going to have problems.’"
Newland said the Army then sent
him to group therapy. It consisted of him and one other person. The other guy, not a combat veteran, said he
couldn’t relate at all and stopped going. So did Newland.
Then, he said, he went to the 5th Corps
commander at the time, Lt. Gen. James Thurman. Newland’s concerns were
forwarded to the Schweinfurt health clinic, but this time under authority of
"The context of Ian’s
complaints were very appropriate," said Maj. Daniel Ducker, health
clinic commander. "We thought, 'Let’s take action.’"
But for Newland, it was too
late. With his wounds, he could have reclassified into a desk job and stayed in
He left the Army and now lives
in Colorado, where he plans to go to school.
"I was just so down," he said. "I
loved the Army. But after the way I was
treated, I was done."
IRAQ WAR REPORTS
U.S. Soldier Killed In Salah Ad Din;
Two More Wounded
December 11, 2007 Public Affairs Office, Camp
Victory RELEASE No. 20071211-01 & AP
TIKRIT, Iraq – A Task Force Iron Soldier was
killed from injuries sustained as a result of a vehicle improvised explosive
device explosion in Salah ad Din Province Dec. 10.
Two Soldiers were also wounded as a result of
the attack near their vehicle.
The wounded were transported to the closest
military medical facility for treatment.
Three Mercenaries Killed
December 10, 2007 HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (AP)
Three men -- including on Texan -- working in
Iraq as contractors for an Alabama-based military operation have died in a
Authorities say an improvised explosive
struck their vehicle yesterday.
The men worked as security specialists for
Tetra Tech EC of Morris Plains, New Jerse
A fourth contractor is listed in serious but
stable condition, but officials didn’t immediately release his name.
GUESS WHO’S WORRIED
GUESS WHO ISN’T
BRING THEM ALL HOME NOW
US soldier patrols a market in west Baquba. (AFP/Gianluigi
AFGHANISTAN WAR REPORTS
Foreign Occupation Soldier Killed, Another Wounded At Musa Qala
December 10, 2007 The
A SECOND NATO soldier was killed overnight as
Afghan and international troops advanced on the southern town of Musa Qala,
which the Taliban has controlled for the past 10 months, defence forces said.
An International Security Assistance Force
soldier involved in the campaign to take back the town was killed and another
injured when their vehicle hit a mine in the area, ISAF said.
Clashes also erupted overnight outside the
town, a resident who gave his name as Mahmood said by
"The Taliban resisted and there is no
fighting at this time," he said.
That Could Be A Problem
"The Taliban seem to have a
nearly limitless supply of troops, unfortunately." Murray Oliver, CTV, Dec.
9 2007, Kandahar, Afghanistan
JCS Chief Admits Afghanistan Not Priority;
SecDef Says "It’s Gotten Worse"
Dec 11 By ROBERT
BURNS, AP Military Writer [Excerpts]
The U.S. military’s top officer acknowledged
on Tuesday that for all the importance of preventing Afghanistan from again
harboring al-Qaida terrorists, Washington’s first priority is Iraq.
"In Afghanistan, we do what we can," said
Adm. Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. "In Iraq, we do what
Mullen, testifying with Defense Secretary
Robert Gates on the effort to stabilize Afghanistan, said that war is "by
design and necessity, an economy-of-force operation. There is no getting around
that. Our main focus, militarily, in the region and in the world right now is
rightly and firmly in Iraq."
Gates acknowledged, during questioning by
committee members, that opinion polls show resurgent support for the radical
Taliban, who were overthrown in the U.S. invasion following the Sept. 11
"Admittedly, it’s gotten worse," Gates said,
adding that this appeared to be due to inadequate provision of basic government
services and corruption among local Afghan police.
"I Was Brought To My Position By
Asking Why I Was Really Sent To Iraq"
"We Didn’t Find Any Weapons Of
Mass Destruction, And We Didn’t Help The Iraqi People"
12/11/07 By: Jackie Hai, Collegian Staff, The Massachusetts Daily Collegian
President of the Boston chapter of Iraq
Veterans Against the War (IVAW) and a member of its
national board of directors, Sergeant Liam Madden will speak at Earthfoods Café in the Student Union tonight at 6:00 p.m.
about his experiences in Iraq and his involvement in the anti-war movement at
It was in his last year of a four-year tour
of duty with the Marine Corps that Madden began voicing his opposition to the
Iraq War. He co-founded the Appeal for
Redress, a petition to Congress by thousands of service members to end the conflict.
After returning to the United States, he connected with IVAW and has been
championing the organization’s cause ever since.
Madden served for seven months
in Iraq as a Communications Electronics Specialist, supporting infantry patrol
units on the ground.
"I was brought to my position
by asking why I was really sent to Iraq," he says. "Basically having been
thrown into the middle of it and having my life committed to it, I started
It wasn’t what happened in Iraq
so much as what didn’t happen that turned him against the war.
"We didn’t find any weapons of
mass destruction, and we didn’t help the Iraqi people," says Madden.
"Being there completely
validated to me that Iraq was not a threat to the United States and that the
United States was in fact a part of the problem in Iraq."
IVAW was founded in July 2004 by Iraq War
veterans determined to "give a voice to the large number of active duty service
people and veterans who are against this war, but are under various pressures to
remain silent," according to the organization’s website, Ivaw.org.
Their demands of the US government include
immediate withdrawal of all occupying forces in Iraq, reparations for the
damages done to Iraqi livelihoods, and full benefits and adequate health care
for returning servicemen and women.
HAVE A FRIEND OR RELATIVE IN THE SERVICE?
Forward GI Special 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, inside the armed services and at home.
Send email requests to address up top or write to: The Military Project,
2576 Broadway, New York, N.Y. 10025-5657
IRAQ RESISTANCE ROUNDUP
WE GOT OUR OWN SURGE GOING!
Members of the anti-occupation al-Mujahedeen
army celebrate victory after fighting with Iraqi policemen in the town of
Buhriz about 60 kilometers (35 miles) north of Baghdad, Iraq, Sunday, Dec. 9,
2007. (AP Photo)
Rocket Attacks Hit Doura Refinery & Green Zone
Doura refinery burning after a rocket attack in Baghdad December 10, 2007. (Mahmoud Raouf Mahmoud/Reuters)
Dec 10 (Reuters)
A rocket attack sparked a big fire at a
domestic oil refinery in southern Baghdad on Monday but the plant was still
operating, Iraqi police and officials said.
Firemen were fighting the blaze, which broke
out in a storage tank for refined crude at the Doura refinery, sending a large
plume of smoke into the sky.
Police said the blaze was set off when a
Katyusha rocket hit the facility at about 6.00 a.m. (2200 EST).
Rockets also hit the Karrada
district in central Baghdad and the heavily fortified Green Zone, which houses
the Iraqi parliament, the U.S. embassy and many government buildings, police
"It is believed a rocket landed on one of the
storage tanks for refined crude in the Doura refinery," said Oil Ministry
spokesman Assim Jihad.
The Doura refinery receives crude from Iraq’s
north and south to supply refined oil products to Baghdad.
Iraqi Police Chief, Key Occupation Ally, Killed
Dead By Five IEDs;
Attack In Babil Came Minutes After A U.S. Commander Praised His
Assassination: Brig. Gen. Qais
al-Maamouri (r), looks on as
US Lt. Gen. David Petraeus (c.), attends the Iraqi police graduation ceremony
in this August 2005 file photo. On Sunday, a roadside bomb exploded on the
convoy on the chief of Babil province police, al-Maamouri. The General was killed along with his two
bodyguards in the attack. Alaa al-Marjani/AP/file
[Thanks to Mark Shapiro, who sent this in.]
December 10, 2007 By
SAM DAGHER, Correspondent of The Christian Science
Monitor & By KIM GAMEL, Associated Press Writer
BAGHDAD - In a sign of how fragile the Iraq
security situation remains despite recent gains, a key US ally – the police
chief of Babil Province, south of the capital – was killed in an attack Sunday.
Brig. Gen. Qais
al-Mamouri was killed and two of his companions
severely wounded when five successive roadside bombs exploded, hitting his
armored SUV, provided by the US military.
The attack occurred at the northern entrance
of the provincial capital, Hilla, says police spokesman Capt. Muthana Khalid.
"It was a very precise attack; he died on the
way to the hospital, he was a hero," says Captain Khalid.
He traveled to New Orleans this year for an
international police conference.
The attack occurred at about 1:45 p.m. local
time, 45 minutes after Maj. Gen. Rick Lynch commander of Task Force Marne, a
combined US-Iraqi force responsible for Babil and several other areas south of
Baghdad, finished a press conference in Baghdad praising General Mamouri. [Lesson learned: If you want to live, beg Gen. Lynch to keep his
fucking mouth shut about how wonderfully you’re helping betray your country to
a foreign occupation run by George W. Bush and his assorted surrogates.]
"I see amazing momentum on the local
level. Let’s focus in on General Qais of the Babil police," General Lynch told a group of
reporters gathered for a luncheon at the Green Zone. [Looks like he got very
precisely focused on for sure.]
A member of a major Shiite party told the
Monitor that it may have been a result of rivalry between the governor, Saleh al-Muslimawi, who belongs
to the Islamic Supreme Council in Iraq party, and the police chief, who was
more of an independent.
"The police chief had a very
strong relationship with the Americans and he often clashed with the governor;
they hated each other," he said on condition of anonymity because he was not
authorized to speak on the record to media.
The governor was trying to squeeze out Mamouri,
Bomb Targets Iraqi Politicians’ Offices
December 11, 2007 By
LORI HINNANT, Associated Press Writer & Reuters
A bomber driving an explosive-laden blew it
up near the homes and offices of Iraqi politicians allied to the United States.
The attack resulted in the
killing of two policemen and wounding 12 others, most of them policemen who
were part of a security force guarding the politicians outside the heavily
fortified Green Zone, the source said.
Tuesday’s bombing took place in western
Baghdad, less than a quarter-mile from a series of buildings that included
offices of Ayad Allawi, Iraq’s first post-Saddam
Hussein prime minister and a secular Shiite, and those of Saleh
al-Mutlaq, the head of the Iraqi National Dialogue
Front, a Sunni bloc.
from neighboring Jordan, said when the suicide bomber reached the first
checkpoint "he claimed that he was an employee and had access.’’
The offices are in a residential neighborhood,
but many of the homes were converted to work spaces because it is convenient to
the Green Zone, where the Iraqi government has its headquarters.
al-Azawi, a member of Allawi’s
bloc, said there were indications of an assassination plot ahead of the suicide
"The threats and plots came from a foreign
country,’’ al-Azawi told The Associated Press,
without naming the country. "We received intelligence about this and informed
the government and the Americans to reinforce the guards at our headquarters.’’
The car bomber turned off the main road and
accelerated toward the checkpoint where the morning shift guards were gathered,
police said. Al-Mutlaq confirmed reports by police
and hospital officials that two guards were killed.
"Everyone is vulnerable,’’ he told Al-Arabiya television. "We have been targeted by three groups
- the Americans, Iraqi forces and a suicide bomber. Everyone should wake up and
do something to change this situation.’’
Police vehicles are set ablaze by insurents in the town of Buhriz near Baquba, northeast of
Baghdad, December 9, 2007.
Dec. 9, 2007 By
SAMEER N. YACOUB, The Associated Press & Reuters & Dec. 11 (Xinhua)
& By LORI HINNANT, Associated Press Writer
An Iraqi security member was
killed and seven others were wounded in a booby-trapped body explosion in
southern Baghdad on Tuesday, an Interior Ministry source said.
A bullet-riddled body packed with explosives
detonated when a joint U.S. and Iraqi security patrol approached to pick it up
in the Saidiyah neighborhood, the source told Xinhua
on condition of anonymity. The blast
killed an Iraqi soldier and wounded seven others, including two policemen, the
In separate incident, a roadside bomb went
off near an Iraqi Army patrol in the Palestine
Street in eastern Baghdad in the morning, damaging
a military vehicle and wounding a soldier aboard, the source added.
Iraqi soldiers fired on a car bomber in Beiji
as he sped toward their checkpoint in a northern oil hub Sunday, and two of the
troops died when the vehicle exploded, police said. The soldiers opened fire after the driver
refused to slow down. The explosion
wounded seven, the officer said.
The head of the Ninevah
provincial committee survived an assassination attempt in Mosul. A roadside
bomb exploded near a car carrying Hisham al-Hamdani, police said.
Guerrillas killed Iraqi army colonel Omran Mousa in a drive
by-shooting north of Kut, 170 km (100 miles) southeast of Baghdad, police said.
Insurgents blew up the house of a member of a
U.S.-allied patrol, wounding three members of his family in the town of
Shirqat, 300 km (190 miles) north of Baghdad, police said.
Insurgents on motorcycles
fatally shot the head of Iraq’s largest government psychiatric prison as he was
returning home from work late Monday.
Dr. Ibrahim Mohammed Ajil was the head of al-Rashad hospital, which lies on the outskirts of the
sprawling Sadr City district of Baghdad.
A roadside bombing targeting a police patrol
in eastern Baghdad killed one policeman and wounded five other people on
Monday, police and hospital officials said.
Two Iraqi soldiers were wounded by a roadside
bomb targeting their patrol in Palestine
Street, northeastern Baghdad, police said.
A policeman was killed by a sniper in western
Samarra, 100 km (68 miles) north of Baghdad, police said.
army checkpoint in western Baiji, north of Baghdad December 9, 2007.
A car bomb targeted the checkpoint, killing two soldiers and wounding seven
DON’T LIKE THE RESISTANCE
"I Tell The Evil Bush,
Leave Our Land, We Do Not Need You Or Your Armies"
December 11, 2007 By
Sam Dagher, Correspondent of The Christian Science
Karbala, Iraq - For more than three months,
the Mahdi Army has been largely silent. The potent, black-clad Iraqi Shiite
force put down its guns in late August at the behest of Moqtada al-Sadr.
"He is now in the process of reconstituting
the Army and removing all the bad people that committed mistakes and those that
sullied its reputation. There will be a whole new structure and dozens of
conditions for membership," says Sheikh Abdul-Hadi
al-Mahamadawi, a turbaned cleric who commands Sadr’s
operation in Karbala.
As for Sadr’s intent, his spokesman in Najaf,
Salah al-Obeidi, says: "We have new visions for what
the Mahdi Army will do in the next phase."
Mr. Obeidi explains
that most Shiite parties have embraced the political process wholeheartedly and
accept the presence of US forces, while the Sadrists, who continue to oppose
it, need to keep their Army as a "national resistance force."
In his latest statement last week, Sadr said:
"I tell the evil Bush, leave our land, we do not need
you or your armies.… I tell the occupiers … you have your democracy and we have
our Islam; get out of our land."
The cleric warned the government of Prime
Minister Nouri al-Maliki against extending the mandate of US-led multinational
forces. He blasted Mr. Maliki’s Dawa Party and its allies, the Islamic Supreme
Council in Iraq (ISCI) and the Badr Organization, for
targeting Sadrists. And he chided Iraqi security forces, many of them beholden
to ISCI and Badr, for taking part in those
The Sadrists have long distanced themselves
from Iran publicly and sought to portray themselves more as Arab nationalists.
Sadr’s spokesman Obeidi
says while the movement admires Iranian-backed Hizbullah, the Mahdi Army is
He says the US military and the Mahdi Army’s
Shiite rivals are trying hard to force the dismantling of Sadr’s militia
forming tribal councils across the Shiite south, much
like the Americans did in Sunni parts of the country to combat Al Qaeda.
But, the spokesman says, this strategy isn’t
going to work in the south, where many of the tribesmen’s sons are Mahdi
Guns Guns Guns
Day parade in Albany, Oregon 1991
From: Mike Hastie
To: GI Special
Sent: December 06, 2007
Subject: Guns Guns Guns
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: (firstname.lastname@example.org) T)
U.S. OCCUPATION RECRUITING DRIVE IN HIGH GEAR;
RECRUITING FOR THE ARMED RESISTANCE THAT IS
Foreign occupation soldiers from the US
soldiers invade and search a bedroom in an Iraqi citizen’s home during a patrol
in Baghdad November 10, 2007.
[There’s nothing quite like
invading somebody else’s country and busting into their houses by force to
arouse an intense desire to kill you in the patriotic, self-respecting
civilians who live there.
commanders know that, don’t they? Don’t
States, if police burst into your house, kicking down doors and swearing at
you, you would call your lawyer and file a lawsuit," said Wood, 42, from Iowa,
who did not accompany Halladay’s Charlie Company, from his battalion, on
Thursday’s raid. "Here, there are no
lawyers. Their resources are limited, so
they plant IEDs (improvised explosive devices) instead."
and children were moved into a room, where they huddled together in
silence. The men had been forced down
onto their knees wherever they were apprehended, their hands secured behind
their backs with plastic handcuffs and their eyes covered by makeshift
J. DREAZEN, Wall St.
OCCUPATION ISN’T LIBERATION
BRING ALL THE TROOPS HOME NOW!
Iraq Gang-Rape Cover-Up By
U.S. Government, Halliburton/KBR:
"The Company Put Her Under Guard In A Shipping
Container With A Bed And Warned Her That If She Left Iraq For Medical
Treatment, She’d Be Out Of A Job"
"The Rape Kit Disappeared After It Was Handed Over To KBR Security Officers"
[Thanks to Pham Binh, Traveling Soldier &
Phil G, who sent this in.]
she was held in the shipping container for at least 24 hours without food or
water by KBR, which posted armed security guards outside her door, who would
not let her leave.
Dec. 10, 2007 By
BRIAN ROSS, MADDY SAUER & JUSTIN ROOD; ABC News
A Houston, Texas woman says she
was gang-raped by Halliburton/KBR coworkers in Baghdad, and the company and the
U.S. government are covering up the incident.
Jamie Leigh Jones, now 22, says
that after she was raped by multiple men at a KBR camp in the Green Zone, the
company put her under guard in a shipping container with a bed and warned her
that if she left Iraq for medical treatment, she’d be out of a job.
"Don’t plan on working back in
Iraq. There won’t be a position here, and there won’t
be a position in Houston," Jones says she was told.
In a lawsuit filed in federal
court against Halliburton and its then-subsidiary KBR, Jones says she was held
in the shipping container for at least 24 hours without food or water by KBR,
which posted armed security guards outside her door, who would not let her
"It felt like prison," says Jones, who told
her story to ABC News as part of an upcoming "20/20" investigation. "I was
upset; I was curled up in a ball on the bed; I just could not believe what had
Finally, Jones says, she
convinced a sympathetic guard to loan her a cell phone so she could call her
father in Texas.
"I said, 'Dad, I’ve been raped.
I don’t know what to do. I’m in this container, and I’m not able to
leave,’" she said. Her father called
their congressman, Rep. Ted Poe, R-Texas.
"We contacted the State Department first,"
Poe told ABCNews.com, "and told them of the urgency of rescuing an American
citizen" -- from her American employer.
Poe says his office contacted
the State Department, which quickly dispatched agents from the U.S. Embassy in
Baghdad to Jones’ camp, where they rescued her from the container.
According to her lawsuit, Jones was raped by "several
attackers who first drugged her, then repeatedly raped and injured her, both
physically and emotionally."
Jones told ABCNews.com that an
examination by Army doctors showed she had been raped "both vaginally and
anally," but that the rape kit disappeared after it was handed over to KBR
Over two years later, the Justice Department
has brought no criminal charges in the matter. In fact, ABC News could not
confirm any federal agency was investigating the case.
Legal experts say Jones’ alleged assailants
will likely never face a judge and jury, due to an enormous loophole that has
effectively left contractors in Iraq beyond the reach of United States law. "It’s very troubling," said Dean John Hutson of the Franklin Pierce Law Center. "The way the law
presently stands, I would say that they don’t have, at least in the criminal
system, the opportunity for justice."
Congressman Poe says neither the departments
of State nor Justice will give him answers on the status of the Jones
investigation. Asked what reasons the
departments gave for the apparent slowness of the probes, Poe sounded frustrated.
"There are several, I think, their excuses,
why the perpetrators haven’t been prosecuted," Poe told ABC News.
Since no criminal charges have
been filed, the only other option, according to Hutson,
is the civil system, which is the approach that Jones is trying now.
But Jones’ former employer
doesn’t want this case to see the inside of a civil courtroom.
KBR has moved for Jones’ claim
to be heard in private arbitration, instead of a public courtroom. It says her
employment contract requires it.
In arbitration, there is no public record nor transcript of the proceedings, meaning
that Jones’ claims would not be heard before a judge and jury.
Rather, a private arbitrator would decide
Jones’ case. In recent testimony before Congress, employment lawyer Cathy Ventrell-Monsees said that Halliburton won more than 80
percent of arbitration proceedings brought against it.
In his interview with ABC News, Rep. Poe said
he sided with Jones.
"Air things out in a public forum of a
courtroom," said Rep. Poe. "That’s why we have courts in the United States."
In her lawsuit, Jones’ lawyer, Todd Kelly,
says KBR and Halliburton created a "boys will be boys" atmosphere at the
company barracks which put her and other female employees at great risk.
"I think that men who are there believe that
they live without laws," said Kelly. "The last thing she should have expected
was for her own people to turn on her."
Since the attacks, Jones has started a
nonprofit foundation called the Jamie Leigh Foundation, which is dedicated to
helping victims who were raped or sexually assaulted overseas while working for
government contractors or other corporations.
"I want other women to know that it’s not
their fault," said Jones. "They can go against corporations that have treated
them this way." Jones said that any proceeds from the civil suit will go to her
"There needs to be a voice out there that
really pushed for change," she said. "I’d like to be that voice."
Another Stupid Occupation Command Lie Exposed: "Security"
They Build A Prison, And
Call It Baghdad
"We Must Live In A
Situation That The World Knows Is Occupation"
"We Feel Like Prisoners In
Our Own Country"
Dec 10 By Sam Dagher, Christian Science Monitor [Excerpts]
BAGHDAD - Abu Nawas,
Baghdad’s storied riverbank thoroughfare, reopened amid much official fanfare
two weeks ago.
But three years since they last saw business,
merchants on the street are facing a new challenge, say some local merchants:
Abu Nawas – once witness
to frequent suicide car bombs and mortar attacks – now hums with activity of a
different sort. The newly fortified area is patrolled by Humvees and guarded by
US-funded private security companies that search every entering vehicle and
scrupulously monitor shopkeepers and residents – and occasional intrepid
For Hassan Abdullah, a cabinetmaker, that
spells bad business.
"It’s worse than the Green
Zone," he exclaims. No customers come
in. He can’t even deliver orders, he
While many here are grateful
for the newfound calm, they say the price is an increasingly segregated city
that is starting to feel like a collective cage.
In many cases, the US military
is keeping tabs on male residents by collecting fingerprints and retinal scans.
"One road in and one road out,
that’s it," says Ghazaliya resident Muhammad Rajab. "Iraq
is a prison, and now I live in my own little prison," he adds wryly.
In northeast Baghdad and down the Canal Street
expressway, miles of 6-foot-high walls ring neighborhoods like Jamila, Jazayer, and Ur on the
edge of the predominantly Shiite slum of Sadr City.
"Rafah crossing" is scrawled on
a concrete wall near an Iraqi Army-manned entry point – a sarcastic reference
to the border between Egypt and the Gaza Strip.
"We are not free, our
neighborhood is barricaded … and our officials are over there in the Green
Zone," says Hazem Mahmoud, a retired Iraqi Army
officer out on an afternoon stroll with his wife on Rubaie Street.
Ahmed Abdullah, a Sulaikh resident. "We feel like
prisoners in our own country."
Suddenly, US troops descend and take over the
checkpoint. "It’s policing during the day and soldiering at night," quips one
US soldier, explaining that the Iraqi guards in Sulaikh
are not fully trusted yet.
Mr. Rajab, the Ghazaliya
resident who endured a three-hour, cross-town trip that should take 30 minutes
to visit a friend in Sulaikh, is thoroughly
In a bid to boost besieged
Baghdadis, US and Iraqi military officials held a street party to mark the
reopening of Abu Nawas, named for a 6th-century poet,
following a $5 million US-funded renovation.
US-paid private guards, seen on
a recent visit, were manning a new checkpoint. US soldiers patrol the area.
Scenes of ancient Babylon adorn protective walls; side streets are blocked.
Cars are few, and the only
customers at a street cafe are four undercover Iraqi security agents.
Gallery, two artists commiserate. "We must live in a situation that the world
knows is occupation," says Ali Kamal. Bilal Baher says he misses Adhamiyah’s
famed sites, now off-limits.
"The limits are encroaching on
our souls," he says.
The only ones having fun on Abu
Nawas were boys playing soccer in the park, as the
Green Zone loomed across the Tigris River.
Welcome To Liberated Iraq:
A Secret Court System Only A
Cowardly Tyrant Could Love;
Bush’s Military Dictators Get The
Farce Going In Case Of AP Photographer
December 9, 2007 By
KIM GAMEL, Associated Press Writer [Excerpts]
An Iraqi investigating magistrate
on Sunday convened the first criminal hearing in the case of Associated Press
photographer Bilal Hussein, who has been held by the U.S. military without
charges for nearly 20 months.
Hussein was present for most of
the nearly seven-hour, closed-door proceeding in the Central Criminal Court of
Iraq before magistrate Dhia al-Kinani. It was the first time Hussein or his lawyers
have seen any of the materials gathered by the U.S. military against him since
his arrest in Ramadi on April 12, 2006.
however, issued an order that the proceedings and details of the material
presented remain secret.
Hussein’s defense attorney, Paul Gardephe, said no formal charges were lodged. Gardephe was permitted to see some material during the
proceeding but was forbidden from taking any copies with him to aid in building
"There is still no formal charge against
Bilal, and The Associated Press continues to believe that Bilal Hussein was a
photojournalist working in a war zone and that claims that he is involved with
insurgent activities are false," said AP spokesman Paul Colford
in a statement.
"Because the judge ordered that the
proceedings today be kept secret, we are restricted from saying anything
Colford’s statement noted that "Bilal Hussein and his lawyers have finally had a
chance to learn about the allegations that the U.S. military has withheld from
them since they imprisoned Bilal 20 months ago.
"But, they were not given a
copy of the materials that were presented today, and which they need to prepare
a defense for Bilal. We would hope that we have an opportunity to review the
Gardephe strongly protested the refusal of the U.S. military to allow him to
meet with Hussein privately.
Since the U.S. decided Nov. 19 to send the
case to the criminal court, a U.S. soldier and a military interpreter have been
in the room whenever Gardephe has seen Hussein,
allowing no privacy to plan a defense.
"You cannot prepare a defendant
for a criminal trial with the prosecutor in the room," said Gardephe,
a former federal prosecutor now with the firm Patterson, Belknap, Webb & Tyler.
The New York-based Committee to Protect
Journalists called on authorities to lift the secrecy surrounding the
"After almost 20 months in detention, Bilal
Hussein finally had his day in court," said CPJ
Senior Middle East Program Coordinator Joel Campagna.
"But the proceedings are still shrouded in
secrecy, raising fears that he will not get a fair trial.
"Hussein must have an open hearing, and his
lawyers must be given access to all evidence against him," he added.
"The Number Of Iraqis
Returning To Their Country From Jordan Is Very Small"
Due to the fragile security situation in
Iraq, the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) is not
encouraging Iraqis in Jordan to return to their homeland, but it is ready to
help those who are determined to do so, according to Imran
Riza, UNHCR representative
"We still need to make a thorough evaluation
of the situation before we can say it is safe to return. We are not in a position to
encourage Iraqis to leave Jordan, but we are ready to help those who desire to
do so," said Riza, who noted that the number of
Iraqis returning to their country from Jordan is very small.
"We have not noticed any change in the
pattern of travellers from Amman to Baghdad. More
people come with us to Amman than those who leave," said Ali Salem, a
42-year-old taxi driver who has been travelling between the two capitals on a 700km desert road for nearly 10 years.
Salem said most taxi and bus drivers head to
the Iraqi capital with few passengers if any, but hoping to profit on the
return trip from the war-torn country.
Another Idiotic Decision By
Bush’s Little Dogs In Baghdad
December 11, 2007 By
Tina Susman, Los Angeles Times Staff Writer
The Iraqi government has ordered all
policewomen to hand in their guns for redistribution to men or face having
their pay withheld, thwarting a U.S. initiative to bring women into the nation’s
Without policewomen, [U.S. Army Brig. Gen.
David] Phillips said, there will be no officers to give pat-down searches to
female suspects, even though women have joined the ranks of bombers in
Iraq. Last week, a female bomber killed
at least 16 people north of Baghdad, at least the fifth such attack in Iraq
Policewomen say the decree also will leave
them unable to protect themselves at work or off duty. Scores of police employees, both officers and
administrative workers, have been killed by insurgents. Men and women have traditionally been allowed
to carry their Glock pistols with them after hours for security.
"We are considered policewomen. We face kidnapping. We could be assassinated. If anyone knew
where we worked, of course they would try to do something to us," said a
27-year-old interviewed Sunday.
DANGER: POLITICIANS AT WORK
"The Bipartisan Washington Establishment Is
Rallying Around The Consensus That The Surge Worked
Because It Provides The Excuse For Continued Occupation"
December 7, 2007 EDITORIAL, Socialist Worker
A NEW U.S. war lie--concocted by the Bush
administration, endorsed by the Democrats, embraced by the mainstream
media--has been deployed to justify continuing the occupation in Iraq.
The claim is that the Bush "surge" of 30,000
U.S. troops to Iraq worked--and is, at long last, bringing "peace" and "stability."
There is little reason to think that whatever
drop in violence has taken place can be sustained--if for no other reason than
the U.S. hasn’t given up its imperial ambitions of dominating the Middle East
and controlling its energy resources, and that is the source of Iraqi
This is why Republican and Democratic leaders
have moved closer on Iraq--they all agree on the goal of projecting U.S. power
in the region.
So you won’t be hearing the leading
Democratic presidential candidates do more than posture about Iraq, while
quietly admitting that they don’t support a U.S. withdrawal for years to come.
The bipartisan Washington establishment is
rallying around the consensus that the surge worked because it provides the
excuse for continued occupation.
Opponents of the war need to expose this new
war lie--and insist that life in Iraq will only really improve when the U.S.
What do you think? Comments from service men and women, and
veterans, are especially welcome. Write
to Box 126, 2576 Broadway, New York, N.Y. 10025-5657 or send email email@example.com:. Name, I.D., withheld unless you request
confidential. Same address to unsubscribe.
NEED SOME TRUTH? CHECK OUT
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. http://www.traveling-soldier.org/ And join with
Iraq War vets in the call to end the occupation and bring our troops home now!
CLASS WAR REPORTS
Class War On
Welcome To Occupied Los
A City That Arrests "People With
Disabilities, Or People Whose Cigarette Ash Falls On To The Sidewalk"
tickets are not issued to the gallery-goers who hang out on the sidewalks of Main Street on
Thursday night, take the occasional step into the street itself and sip wine
from open glasses. They are issued
exclusively to the poor - people who can’t beat Skid Row’s notoriously short
pedestrian lights to get across the street before the green man turns red, or
people with disabilities, or people whose cigarette ash falls on to the
By ANDREW GUMBEL
Nov. 29 - Dec. 5 Edition, LA City Beat
The police department has not primarily been
chasing down violent criminals.
Rather, its primary tool has been issuing
thousands upon thousands of so-called "quality of life" tickets for jaywalking
The tickets are not issued to the
gallery-goers who hang out on the sidewalks of Main Street on Thursday night, take the
occasional step into the street itself and sip wine from open glasses.
They are issued exclusively to the poor -
people who can’t beat Skid Row’s notoriously short pedestrian lights to get
across the street before the green man turns red, or people with disabilities,
or people whose cigarette ash falls on to the sidewalk.
Among the plaintiffs assembled by [lawyer
Carol] Sobel is Montgomery Garnett, a colorful local
figure known for his habit of carrying a ram’s horn and quoting from
He’s been ticketed six times in
the last year and a half, including one occasion when police objected to him
eating a bag of chips on a street corner and then clapped him in handcuffs and
accused him of making "terrorist threats" after he cited a few verses from
Another plaintiff, Otis Howard,
received a ticket after he put one foot in the road, then
hastily withdrew it as he saw the green pedestrian light go back to flashing
red. He is partially sighted and walks with a cane, which makes one wonder -
and makes Sobel wonder - what exactly their
The 12,000 tickets issued on Skid Row over
the past year - one seventh of the total for the whole of L.A., in an area
covering about 0.25 percent of the city’s population - create a huge problem
because the street people are in no position to pay them.
That puts them on a spiral of debt, court
warrants and, eventually, possible jail time - a spiral Sobel
likens to the debtors’ prisons of Victorian London so evocatively described and
denounced by Charles Dickens.
L.A.’s broken system of high-profile police
sweeps, arrests, emergency medical interventions, and other crisis management
tools amounts to a burden of as much as $150,000 per person per year.
A 2006 ruling by the Ninth Circuit Court of
Appeals, for example, held that it was unconstitutional to arrest homeless
people for vagrancy when they had nowhere else but the sidewalk to go to sit, lie, or sleep.
The court also upbraided Los Angeles for
having one of the most restrictive municipal laws regulating public spaces in
may call himself a progressive Democrat, but he has been more aggressive in
chasing homeless people off the streets than any mayor in memory.
A city that arrests the blind
for jaywalking needs to ask itself just what sort of city it has become.
"My Daughter Has Been Showing Sir! No, Sir! In
"She Says The Kids (High
School Seniors) Really Like It"
Sent: December 11, 2007
My daughter teaches US Foreign
Policy at [XXXXXX] and has been showing Sir! No, Sir!
She says the kids (high school
seniors) really like it--it’s eye-opening for them and for her.
Best of all, she said, is that several of her
students talked with their families over the weekend about the film, and their
parents came up with their memories of that time. One boy’s aunt gave him a newspaper she had
saved from August 26, 1969 reporting on one of the G.I rebellions described in
Another brought in a newspaper from Nov. 16,
1969, reporting on the Mobilization to End the War in Washington, DC the day
Other kids told stories about their parents’
[She] also has her students read The Things
They Carried and shows them Born on the Fourth of July.
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