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GI Special 5L9: "I Threw Him On The Floor" [ December 12, 2007 ]

Thomas F. Barton

GI Special:



Print it out: color best.  Pass it on.


[Thanks 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 Appointment’"

"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 Division.

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 dad."

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 appointment.’"


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 said.

"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 kids.

"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 5th Corps.

"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 the military.


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."



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 bombing.

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.






A US soldier patrols a market in west Baquba. Two suicide bombers ...

A US soldier patrols a market in west Baquba. (AFP/Gianluigi Guercia)



Foreign Occupation Soldier Killed, Another Wounded At Musa Qala


December 10, 2007 The Sunday Times

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 telephone.

"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 we must."

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 attacks.

"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.



Bill Day Nov 27, 2007


"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 [Excerpts]

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 home.

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 seeking answers."


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.


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, Box 126, 2576 Broadway, New York, N.Y. 10025-5657




Members of the al-Mujahedeen army gesture on the hood of a burned ...

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

A plume of smoke rises from Doura refinery after a rocket attack ...

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 said.

"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 Efforts

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.

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, he added.


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.

Al-Mutlaq, speaking 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.

Hussam al-Azawi, a member of Allawi’s bloc, said there were indications of an assassination plot ahead of the suicide attack.

"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.’’


Resistance Action

A cloud of smoke rises after police vehicles are set ablaze ...

Police vehicles are set ablaze by insurents in the town of Buhriz near Baquba, northeast of Baghdad, December 9, 2007.  (Stringer/Reuters)

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 source said.

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.

Iraqi soldiers inspect a destroyed army checkpoint in Baiji, ...

A destroyed army checkpoint in western Baiji, north of Baghdad December 9, 2007. A car bomb targeted the checkpoint, killing two soldiers and wounding seven others.  REUTERS/Sabah al-Bazee




"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 Monitor [Excerpts]

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 anti-Sadrist operations.

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 different.

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 fighters.



Guns Guns Guns

Veterans Day parade in Albany, Oregon 1991

From: Mike Hastie

To: GI Special

Sent: December 06, 2007

Subject: Guns Guns Guns


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)





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.  REUTERS/Stefano Rellandini

[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.


[But your commanders know that, don’t they?  Don’t they?]

"In the 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."


The women 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 blindfolds.  YOCHI J. DREAZEN, Wall St. Journal, 3.12.07




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"

Haliburton Rape

Jamie Leigh Jones

[Thanks to Pham Binh, Traveling Soldier & Phil G, who sent this in.]

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 leave.

Dec. 10, 2007 By BRIAN ROSS, MADDY SAUER & JUSTIN ROOD; ABC News [Excerpts]

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 leave.

"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 happened."

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 security officers.

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 foundation.

"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: overwhelming security.

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 visitors.

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 says.

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.

[S]ays 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 interrogated.

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.

At Akkad 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.


Al-Kinani, 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 his defense.

"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 further."

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 material."

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 proceedings.

"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"


2007-12-11 IRIN

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 in Jordan.

"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 [Excerpts]

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 police force.

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 this year.

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.







"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 [Excerpts]

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 resistance.

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. gets out.



Troops Invited:

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 contact@militaryproject.org:.  Name, I.D., withheld unless you request publication.  Replies confidential.   Same address to unsubscribe.



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! (www.ivaw.org/)




Class War On The Poor:

Welcome To Occupied Los Angeles:

A City That Arrests "People With Disabilities, Or People Whose Cigarette Ash Falls On To The Sidewalk"

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.

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 or littering.

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 scripture. 

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 Deuteronomy.

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 motivation is.

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 the country.

Antonio Villaraigosa 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 Class"

"She Says The Kids (High School Seniors) Really Like It"

From: D

To:GI Special

Sent: December 11, 2007

My daughter teaches US Foreign Policy at [XXXXXX] and has been showing Sir! No, Sir! in class.


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 the film.

Another brought in a newspaper from Nov. 16, 1969, reporting on the Mobilization to End the War in Washington, DC the day before.

Other kids told stories about their parents’ anti-war involvement.


[She] also has her students read The Things They Carried and shows them Born on the Fourth of July.

GI Special Looks Even Better Printed Out

GI Special issues are archived at website http://www.militaryproject.org .

The following have chosen to post issues; there may be others: http://williambowles.info/gispecial/2007/index.html; http://www.uruknet.info/?p=-6&l=e;  http://www.traprockpeace.org/gi_special/; http://www.albasrah.net/pages/mod.php?header=res1&mod=gis&rep=gis


GI Special distributes and posts to our website copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner.  We are making such material available in an effort to advance understanding of the invasion and occupation of Iraq.  We believe this constitutes a "fair use" of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law since it is being distributed without charge or profit for educational purposes to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for educational purposes, in accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107.  GI Special has no affiliation whatsoever with the originator of these articles nor is GI Special endorsed or sponsored by the originators.  This attributed work is provided a non-profit basis to facilitate understanding, research, education, and the advancement of human rights and social justice.  Go to: www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.shtml for more information.  If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond 'fair use’, you must obtain permission from the copyright owner. 


If printed out, this newsletter is your personal property and cannot legally be confiscated from you.  "Possession of unauthorized material may not be prohibited."  DoD Directive 1325.6 Section

:: Article nr. 39154 sent on 13-dec-2007 04:38 ECT


:: The views expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of this website.

The section for the comments of our readers has been closed, because of many out-of-topics.
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