“I Don’t Think Anybody Could Have Predicted That They Would Try to Use an Airplane as a Missile”

Greenwald tears down the “Who Coulda’ Thinked It…?”

WikiLeaks Video – “Collateral Murder, Baghdad July 12, 2007”

April 5, 2010

WikiLeaks Video – “Collateral Murder, Baghdad July 12, 2007”

By Michael Collins

Report from the W’ikiLeaks Press Conference

By Michael Collins

(April 5, Washington, DC) Julian Assange and Wikileaks kept their promise of February 20 by releasing a video tape that showscivilians and reporter deaths from an attack by United States forces. The tape was presented at a 9:00 ampress conference at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C.

Before the conference began, Assange described this as a “very rich story.” He opened with a brief statement and then showed the video tape. The edited and unedited versions of the tape are available here. WikiLeaks received the tape through unspecified channels. Assange did say that the leak to his organization “sends a message that there are some people in the US military who don’t like what’s going on.” [Read more…]

British Troops Are Like: “We’re Out of Iraq, Cheerio”

(CNN) — British troops will begin leaving Iraq in May, more than six years after joining the U.S.-led invasion that ousted former dictator Saddam Hussein, Britain and Iraq announced Wednesday.

The British mission will wrap up by the end of May, with the last troops withdrawing over the next two months, British Prime Minister Gordon Brown and his Iraqi counterpart, Nuri al-Maliki, said in a joint statement during Brown’s visit Wednesday to Baghdad.hemp-96

The pair said the partnership between the two countries would continue. Brown — on his fourth trip to Iraq as prime minister — said British troops had made a huge contribution and given people an economic stake in the future of Iraq.

Brown’s previously unannounced visit comes three days after a similar trip by President Bush, who was forced to duck when an Iraqi journalist threw a pair of shoes at him during an appearance Sunday with al-Maliki.

Britain was the leading U.S. ally during the invasion of Iraq, and still has about 4,000 troops based outside the southern city of Basra. About 140,000 U.S. troops remain in Iraq.

Besides the U.S. and Britain, five nations — Albania, Australia, El Salvador, Estonia and Romania — maintain fewer than 2,000 troops total in Iraq, according to the Multi-National Force-Iraq Web site.

In their statement, Brown and al-Maliki said: “The role played by the UK combat forces is drawing to a close. These forces will have completed their tasks in the first half of 2009 and will then leave Iraq.”

On Tuesday, the Iraqi council of ministers agreed to a new resolution allowing troops to remain in the country until the end of July. It sets the end of May as the final date for combat operations.

Speaking at a press conference after the talks, Brown said: “We have agreed today that the mission will end no later than May 31 next year. Our troops will be coming home within the next two months [after that].

“The biggest reduction will be at the end part of the period we are talking about.”

Brown added: “It is important to remember we have been engaged in the most difficult and challenging of work: the tasks of overthrowing a dictatorship, the task of building a democracy for the future and defending it against terrorism.

“We have made a huge contribution and of course given people an economic stake in the future of Iraq. We leave Iraq a better place.

“I am proud of the contribution British forces have made. They are the pride of Britain and the best in the world.”

Al-Maliki confirmed that the agreement included a provision for the Iraqi government to request an extension of the British military presence. However, both leaders indicated that it was not expected to be used.

Like the United States, Britain has been negotiating with the Iraqi government on the future of its military presence there. Ahead of Brown’s arrival, Britain’s Ministry of Defense said those talks were making “good progress.”

Air Chief Marshal Sir Jock Stirrup, chief of the defense staff, is accompanying Brown on the visit.

Also Wednesday in Baghdad, a double bombing in a commercial district killed 18 people and wounded dozens of others, with police officers among the casualties, an Iraqi Interior Ministry official said.

The first explosion was a car bomb, followed by a roadside bomb that targeted traffic police responding to the initial blast, the official said. Three of the dead were police officers, the official said. Another 52 people, including eight police, were wounded.

Mr. Rove’s Wild Ride

BY John Tully
October 8 2002
The Los Angeles Sun

Politics is not a pretty thing.

Look no further than this week in Washington D. C. Former Vice-president Albert Gore Jr. finally brought up the huge marsupial in the room. Criminy! folks, that’s gonna’ wake the whole herd up mate!

Senate Leader Tom Daschle, who seemed to have stashed his opinions in a lock box this summer finally blew his top on the Senate floor denouncing President Bush’s comment at a recent fundraiser that the “Senate” is more interested in “special interests” than in the Security Of Americans. That very same fundraiser pushed the President past Bill Clinton’s record of $126 million raised in one year and it’s only the last week of September.

Stepping right up to the plate this week was a small group of Senators who have been all too quiet this summer with any dissent of this administration’s dual War On Terrorism and Iraq. In fact the debate on war had bipassed “if” and went straight through to “when” and “who’s with us” by the time Mr. Gore finally cleared his throat Monday in San Francisco. Actual questions were raised about our effectiveness in toppling Saddam and how to proceed post-war in Iraq among others.

Sen. Robert Byrd paced and shook with disdain as he read Bush’s remarks from the newspaper on the senate floor. Sen. Daschle’s voice broke as he defended his colleagues, spoke of members who have served in the military and demanded an apology from the President. He also spoke of not politicizing the nation’s debate. It was a classic case of “too little,too late”

Back in June an internal G.O.P. playbook, authored by White House political strategist Karl Rove got into the hands of the opposition. The Powerpoint presentation suggested Republican candidates play up the “War” to keep the political dialogue on their side of the fence.The relative silence of the Democrats this summer only strengthened the resolve of the true hawks in the administration and a bipartisan resolution for war will almost definitely be passed by both houses. For GOP candidates however, the strategy might not pay off.

A new poll released this week shows that while the majority of Americans are for action against Iraq, three out of five want our allies to sign on. Colin Powell would like to go back to the Security Council soon with a joint resolution from the United States Congress and it looks as if he will have it. Unfortunately for the Republicans, this momentary truce focuses the debate back onto the domestic front where, as usual, it is the Economy…stupid.

Crikey! The bugger just ate his own heed!

Politics is not a pretty creature.

© 2002 The Los Angeles Sun

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