Saturday, April 30, 2005

Pantano Accuser Granted Immunity

Marine Sgt. Daniel Coburn, the chief accuser of Lieutenant Ilario Pantano, was granted immunity by the prosecution after refusing to testify earlier for fear that he would incriminate himself for disobeying orders not to talk to media about the case. From the Boston Globe [emphasis added]:
...Coburn abruptly left the stand Wednesday when he was told he was suspected of violating orders forbidding him from giving interviews about the case. He told Marine officials he wouldn't return unless he was granted immunity from prosecution, and came back briefly Friday only to invoke his right to avoid incriminating himself.

Military lawyers said that was unnecessary because they have no plans to charge Coburn. They indicated they will instead submit written statements he gave to investigators.

Gittins, the defense attorney, asked a pair of generals to grant Coburn immunity so that the defense can complete its cross-examination. He said Coburn should be compelled to testify, and a failure to put him on the stand "makes this proceeding a sham."
Gittins is quite correct. Allowing the chief prosecution witness to avoid cross-examination would turn the hearing into a kangaroo court. With such outrageous behavior from the chief accuser, it's unclear why charges against Pantano were ever raised.

Coburn had been removed from his supervisory duties prior to the incident under investigation for performance issues. Other members of Pantano's and Coburn's unit have described Coburn as a "weak" Marine, bitter about Pantano's decision to remove him from a leadership role.

Stone the Crows, Exploding Toads Explained...Maybe

A veterinarian who has examined the mysterious exploding toads of Hamburg says that crows are responsible. From the Pakistan Daily Times:
Now a veterinary surgeon, Frank Mutschmann, who has examined the remains of the toads, said they had been pierced with a single peck by crows trying to eat their livers. This in turn caused the toads to explode. “The toads swell up as a form of self-defence. But when their livers are taken away and their stomachs are punctured, their blood vessels explode, their lungs collapse and the other organs come out,” Mutschmann said. “Crows are intelligent animals. They learn very quickly how to eat the toads’ livers,” he said.
Mmm...paté de foie crapaud.

Friday, April 29, 2005

"Welcome to Ground Zero" - Ward Churchill

Churchill, the University of Colorado professor at the center of a firestorm concerning comments he has made about 9/11 victims (calling them "little Eichmanns", among other bon mots), is feeling victimized by officials looking into his suitability to continue teaching at the institution.

Churchill spoke at a rally for him Tuesday night (from the Denver Post
"Welcome to ground zero," Churchill said to loud cheers. "I do not back up an inch. My fight is your fight and vice versa. ... We go forward with this (expletive) committee and its process, and we defeat that."
The investigation into Churchill by University officials has decided that he can't be fired for what he said, but is looking into accusations of plagiarism and misrepresentation of his ethnic background.

Churchill probably doesn't realize it, but his invocation of Ground Zero is as deeply offensive as the slanderous things he had to say about the innocent victims of 9/11. The real Ground Zero has a quiet power evocative of the Vietnam Veterans' Memorial or Arlington National Cemetery. It doesn't deserve to be sullied by having a creature like Churchill utter the words.

This ridiculous drama queen should be dropped like a noisome nugget from a diseased hog's buttocks. He has nothing of value to teach.

Pantano Accuser Invoking Fifth Amendment

According to News 14 Carolina Marine Sergeant Daniel Coburn, the man who accused Lieutenant Ilario Pantano of murder in the deaths of two Iraqis last year, refused to give testimony and instead invoked his Fifth Amendment (or UMCJ equivalent) right against self-incrimination:
(CAMP LEJEUNE) - The chief accuser of a Marine accused of murdering two Iraqi detainees took the stand long enough to invoke his right to avoid incriminating himself.
Coburn doesn't seem very popular with other members of his unit:
Other witnesses have heaped scorn on Coburn, describing him as a weak Marine who's bitter about Pantano removing him from a leadership role within his platoon and making him a radioman. That's a job usually reserved for the youngest Marines. They have described Pantano as a zealous, but not abusive, officer.
This case has sounded fishy from the beginning. Time for someone at Eight and Eye (Marine headquarters) to wake up and stop persecuting this officer. Alternatively, President Bush can invoke his powers as Commander-in-Chief to have the case dropped.

Akbar Sentenced to Death

US Army Sergeant Hasan Akbar has been sentenced to death by a military jury for murdering two officers in Kuwait just prior to the start of the US invasion of Iraq. Hasan rolled grenades into a tent and assaulted fellow soldiers with his rifle. 14 were wounded.

From News 14 Carolina:
"I want to apologize for the attack that occurred. I felt that my life was in jeopardy, and I had no other options. I also want to ask you for forgiveness,"

"He is a hate-filled, ideologically driven murderer," chief prosecutor Lt. Col. Michael Mulligan said. He added that Akbar wrote in his diary in 1997, "My life will not be complete unless America is destroyed."
Now your life really is in jeopardy, Hasan.

Thursday, April 28, 2005

Latest Installment of "Damned of the West" at The Jawa Report

The latest installment of Dr. Rusty Shackleford's interview with the family of American hostage Roy Hallums has been posted at The Jawa Report. Go check it out and help make sure that our long term hostages aren't forgotten.

Pantano Accuser Read Rights During Hearing

The hearing investigating charges of pre-meditated murder against Marine 2nd lieutenant Ilario Pantano was stopped Wednesday to read Pantano's accuser his rights and offer him counsel. Sergeant Daniel Coburn is suspected of discussing details of the case with the media in violation of a direct order. From The Jacksonville Daily News:
Coburn was taken out of the courtroom and given the opportunity to speak with military counsel in Quantico, Va., by telephone. He was then released for the day as a witness, although Charles Gittins, Pantano's civilian defense attorney, made it clear to Winn that he wasn't done with his cross-examination of Coburn and wanted to continue it later.

Coburn, 28, was apprised of his rights after he admitted he violated orders, given to him by two Marine officers, that he shouldn't talk to the media about the case. Coburn gave interviews to CBS, the Daily News of New York and to New York magazine. He is also alleged to have posted his opinion about the case, using the name "Marine that knows," on a Web site.
Pantano could face the death penalty if convicted of murder in the deaths of two Iraqis in 2004.

Wednesday, April 27, 2005

Insanely Dangerous Internet Feedback Loop Experiment

James Joyner of Outside the Beltway has made a tradition of (and endeared himself to many bloggers with) his "Beltway Traffic Jams", which allow smaller blogs to link to a "Traffic Jam" post on his blog and share in some of the traffic Outside the Beltway generates. Here's the one for today:
Another do-it-yourselfer at the Traffic Jam today.

To join in, choose a post from your blog to highlight, edit it to add a link to this post, and then send a TrackBack. If your blog doesn't automatically generate one, use the Send TrackBack feature below. For more information, see this post.
This post will attempt a dangerous experiment. Stop reading now if you're a squeamish, fretful nancy boy, because things could go horribly wrong and get ugly fast.

What we're going to do is mirror Joyner's Traffic Jam. That's right. Link to this post and send a trackback, and in the meantime, this post is linked and tracked back to the Traffic Jam, so a feedback vortex will be created that will...I'm not sure. Be brave and remember: It's for Science.

Terrorists Murder Iraqi Woman MP, Reuters Writer Blames Iraqi Legislature

The news of terrorist gunmen murdering Iraqi member of parliament Lame'a Abed Khadawi comes with a heavy-handed editorial message from Reuters writer Michael Georgy Yahoo! News (Reuters) [emphasis added]:
By Michael Georgy

BAGHDAD (Reuters) - Gunmen assassinated an Iraqi woman member of parliament Wednesday in a fresh shock to politicians whose failure to form a government three months after elections has allowed violence to thrive unchecked.
Blaming the Iraqi parliament for Khadawi's murder is beyond bizarre, but par for the course for Georgy one of the most blatantly biased western "reporters" in Iraq, now that Giuliana Sgrena is back in Italy.

A Google search for Georgy stories reveals that Georgy virtually always loads his reporting with anti-US editorializing; so much so that he is a favorite source for leftist and terrorist sympathizer websites: Counterpunch, Countercurrents, LA Indy Media,,

I was unable to find a single story by Georgy that could be considered as portraying the US or Coalition Forces in a good light. This is a clear indication that Georgy is deliberately slanting his stories, rather than simply reporting what's happening - unless, of course, you happen to be one of the loons who thinks that all US soldiers are evil robots controlled by Halliburton implants.

Here's how Georgy describes Fallujah, where American civilian contractors were brutally murdered, and their charred corpses hung from a bridge: "Fallujah, regarded as a place with an independent streak..."

If Reuters were an honest organization they would label Georgy's Fables as what they are, opinion pieces. If Reuters were a competent organization, Georgy would have been fired long ago. Instead, Reuters passes Georgy's rants off as news reporting.

Toad Explosions Rock Hamburg

Thousands of toads have been swelling up and exploding in a Hamburg park, scattering their guts and limbs all over the place. This story first cropped up in the Ananova "Quirkies", but has since made its way onto the Associated Press wire. The toad explosions seem to be limited to a particular pond in the Hamburg park.

So far, there are no reports of toads shouting "Allahu akbar" prior to exploding.

Tuesday, April 26, 2005

Is Pantano Witness a Cook or a Spook?

Two major dailies offer conflicting descriptions of a chief witness in the Ilario Pantano hearing today. Pantano, a 2nd lieutenant in the Marine Corps, may be charged with capital murder, pending the outcome of the hearing. A Marine identified only as "Corporal O" was a key witness for the prosecution today. This is how The New York Times describes him:
An Arabic translator who was at the scene of the killings, identified at the hearing only as Corporal O because of what officials said was his involvement with counterintelligence operations, said he questioned the two men after they were seized while leaving a house suspected of being an insurgent nest.
That makes Corporal O sound a lot more important than this paragraph from the Washington Post account:
"Corporal O," described as a cook working to be an Arabic linguist, said the men were scared and claimed to be visiting family in the residence. After the shooting, he testified, the men "looked like they were on their knees. They were shot in the backs."
Common sense would say that WaPo got it right, and the NYT reporter missed something.

Today's testimony focused on the positions of the bodies as described by Corporal O, and the so-called "death card" ("No better friend, no worse enemy") that Pantano admitted placing on the Iraqis' car after the shooting. The "death card" would seem to have no relevance at all to what occurred, but it is prejudicial to Pantano's case.

My understanding is that President George W. Bush, as Commander-In-Chief of the Armed Forces, has the authority to stop these proceedings at any time and order charges against Pantano dropped. It's time he did so.

The Damned of the West, Part Three

Dr. Rusty Shackleford at The Jawa Report has posted part three of The Damned of the West, his interview with the family of hostage Roy Hallums, who was abducted on November 1, 2004. Rusty wants to make sure that Americans don't forget those who, like Roy Hallums, who have been held hostage so long that the mainstream press has forgotten them.

Department of Bizarre News

Sherry over at Bittersweet reports that the singer Moby has decided he wants to turn his children gay.

In a post titled Pardon me while I go throw up..., Lord Spatula of the spatula city bbs! has found a revolting story about a 360 lb. pedophiliac Florida teacher.

Curt of Flopping Aces has been following the story of actress Maggie Gyllenhaal who believes that we are betraying the victims of 9/11 if we don't blame America for the attack.

Pentagon Clears Soldiers in Sgrena Friendly Fire Incident

US soldiers have been cleared by a Pentagon investigation looking into the incident involving Italian communist "journalist" Giuliana Sgrena that resulted in the death of Italian secret service agent Nicola Calipari. Soldiers had said that the vehicle carrying Sgrena, who had just been picked up by Calipari and a driver following here alleged kidnapping, refused to stop at a US checkpoint on the Baghdad airport road. Soldiers flashed lights at the car, then fired warning shots, firing at the car when it failed to heed the warnings.

From CNN
WASHINGTON (CNN) -- A U.S. military investigation has cleared American troops of any wrongdoing in the shooting death last month of an Italian security agent in Baghdad, according to a senior Pentagon official.
Sgrena, who was wounded, made wild and inflammatory statements following the incident, alleging some sort of plot to murder her.

Via The Jawa Report,

Monday, April 25, 2005

Silver Star For Fallujah Veteran

"I just loaded my weapon and kept on firing..."

Sergeant Benny Alicea, 2nd Battalion, 7th Infantry, 1st Cavalry Division, a Specialist at the time of the Fallujah offensive, was awarded the Silver Star for singlehandedly protecting his wounded buddies from attacking insurgents. Alicea, wounded himself, held off as many as fifteen insurgents until his unit was relieved by a Bradley fighting vehicle.

Full story.

WaPo, Reuters, AP Getting Back in Stride

Major news services, caught by surprise and stunned by the success of the Iraqi elections in January, are beginning to recover and now feel safe to once again distort information from military sources into a litany of doom. This is how Ellen Knickmeyer of the Associated Press, writing for the Washington Post puts "local flavor" on events:
This week, at a checkpoint bunker in Tarmiya where insurgents downed a helicopter, a teenager in sunglasses clutching an AK-47 marked the limits of the Iraqi army's authority. "I wouldn't advise going there," the young Shiite Muslim recruit said, referring to Tarmiya, a Tigris River town a few hundred yards up the road that is dominated by Sunni Muslim landowners who were loyal to Saddam Hussein. "Those are some bad people there."

Up the road, insurgents run relatively free, and last week they appeared to have used a hilltop outside of town to fire what they later said was a shoulder-launched, heat-seeking missile. The missile hit a chartered Russian-made helicopter Thursday, killing six Americans and five other foreigners, including a survivor executed by the guerrillas afterward.
Well of course he doesn't want you running around near there, you stupid get. They don't need any more multi-million dollar ransoms paid out (thank you Giuliana Sgrena and Simonas). Reporting the news doesn't entitle you to take foolish risks that result in diverting resources to save your silly ass.

Meanwhile, military press releases paint a different story:
BAGHDAD –- In the [past] 24 hours, the number of captured terrorists suspected to have possible links to the shooting down of a civilian MI-8 helicopter has increased to 10.

Task Force Baghdad units, working in conjunction with Iraqi Security Forces and acting on tips from local residents, continue to investigate and detain individuals believed to have ties to the April 22 attack northwest of Baghdad.

Iraqi Police and Task Force Baghdad Soldiers have also apprehended 16 other terror suspects in the Baghdad area during the last 24 hours.

Task Force Baghdad Soldiers swept through a village in north Baghdad and captured 11 suspected terrorists during an early-morning raid April 24.
Reading between the lines, as the mainstream news likes to do, I surmise that the young man who spoke to Ellen assessed her as someone who would not only get in the way of ongoing, successful counter-terrorist operations, but someone who would slant the news to meet pre-conceived notions. I might further surmise that Ellen's story has the bias it does in part because of a fit of pique at being thwarted by an Iraqi teenager doing his job.

Hooray For Hollywood

Curt at Flopping Aces reports that actress Maggie Gyllenhaal (I know, I've never heard of her either), who appears in a new movie about 9/11, thinks that "...America has done reprehensible things and is responsible in some way..." for the carnage on that day of infamy.

One of the most reprehensible things America has done is to foster a culture in Hollywood that encourages ignorant parasites such as Miss Gyllenhaal to make idiotic public statements.

Sunday, April 24, 2005

How Stupid Can They Be?

Very, very stupid. We may actually be seeing evolution in action here, with morons like these eliminating themselves from the gene pool. This is from an April 22 DVIDS press release about counter-terrorist activities around Baghdad [emphasis added]:
At the same time in northeast Baghdad an alert Soldier on patrol spotted an anti-U.S. bumper sticker on a parked car. The patrol investigated and found grenades, illegal weapons and a bloody machete in the house where the car was parked.

The Soldiers also detained two local nationals and took them into custody for questioning.

Please to come and arrest us immediately now.

Update: The DVIDS site is registration-only, but you can read the full release on line here.

Saturday, April 23, 2005

Snake on a Stick...mmm!

Arabian Sand Boa Held By SSG Greene. Photo By SGT Flint.

Soldiers working on the perimeter of Camp Bucca rescued this large Arabian Sand Boa, which was endangered by construction work. A picture of the snake was sent to Robert George Sprackland, PhD, Director of The Virtual Museum of Natural History, who responded:
Thank you for the excellent photograph of one of the most exquisite specimens we have ever seen of the Arabian sand boa. The ones here that are exported from Egypt for zoos and pet shops pale in comparison. Sand boas are found across central North Africa east to India. All are characterized by blunt heads and tails, stout bodies, and an intricate upper pattern contrasting with a plain white belly. Like other boas, they are constrictors, which means they kill prey by holding its ribcage shut when the animal exhales. They feed on rodents and the occasional lizard, and are completely harmless to soldiers. Maximum size is about a meter. Males have a pair of claw-like spurs at the base of the tail. Sand boas spend most of their time under the sand, going deeper during the heat of the day, then lying in ambush for prey near the surface at night.
Shortly after this photo was taken, the boa crushed the stick holding it. The snake was then released a safe distance from the camp.

Welcome Birding Babylon readers.

I've just received another photo of the Arabian sand boa as it was released:

Six Detained in Helicopter Attack

The man whose murder was videotaped by the terrorists is being identified as the Bulgarian pilot of the helicopter. From Yahoo! News:
BAGHDAD, Iraq - The U.S. military said Saturday it detained six men suspected of shooting down a civilian helicopter carrying 11 civilians north of Baghdad two days earlier. All 11 people on board — including six Americans — were killed, with the Bulgarian pilot gunned down by insurgents.
Update: ABC reports that Iraqi citizens turned the men in:
An Iraqi civilian helped U.S. soldiers in Task Force Baghdad locate the suspects, who were apprehended at two houses Saturday afternoon, the military said in a statement. The military did not identify the suspects or specify where they were captured.

The Iraqi civilian told soldiers he knew where a blue pickup truck used in the attack was parked and led them to the site, the military said. When the soldiers reached the area, several other local residents confirmed the initial tip and showed them where the suspects lived, the statement said.

Soldiers started to search two houses at 12:30 a.m. (4:30 p.m. EDT Friday). At the first house, three men were captured and bomb-making materials were seized. At the second house, three more suspects were detained, the military said.

Oh, For the Love of [your belief system].

"...that they are endowed by their [insert your belief system] with certain inalienable rights..."
Valerie Richardson of the Washington Times reports:
DENVER -- The students in Vincent Pulciani's seventh-grade class were reciting the Pledge of Allegiance this week when they heard the voice over the intercom say something they'd never heard before, at least not during the Pledge.

Instead of "one nation, under God," the voice said, "one nation, under your belief system."

Margo Lucero, the eighth-grade guidance counselor at the school, substituted the phrase "under your belief system" as she led the recitation of the Pledge on Wednesday.

After irate phone calls poured in from parents, Principal Kathleen Norton, who normally leads the Pledge but was out of the building at the time, apologized to students Thursday and sent home letters of apology yesterday.
Do I really have to comment on the utter boneheadedness of this incident?

Via Michelle Malkin.

Search For Hostages in Madaen Yields Weapons Stockpiles

While it's still not clear whether or not the scores of bodies found floating in the Tigris River were hostages reportedly taken by Sunni terrorists, the massive search of the area has taken large supplies of weapons and explosives out of insurgent hands. From a press release (via DVIDS):
Staff Sgt. Craig Zentkovich

MADAIN, Iraq – Following an early-morning cordon and search of a city south of Baghdad, Iraqi Security Forces supported by Task Force Baghdad Soldiers, discovered weapons caches at two separate locations Monday.

Prior to Monday’s search, Madain (also known as Salman Pak) had for months been known as a terrorist staging ground for improvised explosive device attacks against Iraqi and U.S. forces.

Items discovered and later destroyed by an explosive ordinance disposal team from Task Force Baghdad’s 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Infantry Division, included more than 50 82mm mortal shells, rocket-propelled grenades and launchers, rockets, high-explosive artillery shells, and a pair of 250-pound Russian-made bombs.

Additionally, dozens of rigged IED initiation devices and spools of wire were found in a nearby shack.

Friday, April 22, 2005

Video of Terrorists Murdering Injured Survivor of Helicopter Crash

Dr. Rusty Shackleford of The Jawa Report has posted graphic screen captures and a link to download video showing terrorists of the Islamic Army of Iraq murdering the lone survivor of a helicopter apparently downed by the group. Major western news sources are not showing the video, describing it as "too graphic".

Upon murdering the civilian, the terrorists cite Kevin Sites' infamous video of a Marine killing an insurgent feigning death in Fallujah.

The video is downloadable from a site called

Update: I've finally been able to download and view the video. The infovlad site is obviously experiencing a high volume of traffic. Because they have cited the video of the Marine in Fallujah killing a wounded insurgent who he thought was feigning death, I wanted to see if it was possible that the IAI terrorists could have felt in any way threatened by the man they shot.

The man, wearing a blue coverall without visible insignia, is discovered lying in high grass an indeterminate distance from the crash site. When told to "stand up" in English he replies, "It's broken...give me a hand, it's broken", and is helped to his feet by a terrorist. The man keeps his hands out to the sides at all times, apparently to indicate he is not a threat to the terrorists. The terrorists tell him, "Go, go!" and he hobbles painfully away a few paces, then turns and raises his right hand in a defensive gesture as the first terrorist shoots him. More shots are fired as he falls onto his back, then the terrorists continue to fire into his body as he lays on the ground. At no time does the man pose a threat, or give the appearance of posing a threat. What sounds like "Allahu akbar!" (God is Great) is being shouted by the terrorists as they shoot the man.

Update and Clarification:

There was no mention of Fallujah on the videotape. I forgot to include a link to al-Jazeera, which quotes an Islamic website claiming responsibility for the murder:
"One of the crew members was captured alive and killed," it said.

The group said the crew member was killed to "avenge Muslims killed in cold blood in Falluja's mosques ... in front of the eyes of the world and on television screens without anyone protesting".

Thursday, April 21, 2005

Don't Tell Mrs. Dread Pundit...

...but I've often fantasized about sharing a web page with Ann Coulter (look down under Ann's pic - AOL Newsroom Picks...keep going...a little further down...there). Anyway, this'll pay the wife back for making me sit through those Antonio Banderas movies. Don't get me started on Fabio.

Update: Awww...AOL replaced the Coulter picture with a couple of NFL players.

CIA Knowingly Held Innocent Man

NBC News has reported that German Muslim Khaled el-Masri was abducted and held for five months by the CIA:
Senior U.S. officials tell NBC News that CIA officers had concluded by Spring 2004 that el-Masri was the wrong man. But NBC News has learned that he was held for six more weeks while officials debated how to handle the mistake.
Condoleeza Rice had to order them twice to release the man. This is inexcusable and counter-productive to winning the war on terrorism.

I can understand the confusion over the similarity in names, especially since el-Masri's passport appeared to be fake. But the people responsible for keeping el-Masri imprisoned long after his innocence was established deserve to be cashiered. I gave the CIA the benefit of the doubt when I first posted on this, and they let me down. They let us all down.

US Plan to Control Overflights Angers Foreign Air Carriers

This should have been put into place years ago, right after 9/11, with the other added security measures. American authorities currently have little or no control over airliners that aren't landing in the US, but are overflying US soil. Foreign air carriers are not required to share passenger lists with the US, or check US no-fly lists to overfly our territory. Obviously, terrorists don't need to land here to do massive damage (unless you consider crashing into skyscrapers "landing").

From the Washington Post:
The U.S. government plans to force foreign airlines flying over American soil to turn over the names of passengers on board or check the names against U.S. government watch lists in an effort to prevent terrorists from entering U.S. airspace.
This action was prompted by an incident involving a KLR flight on April 8th that was scheduled to overfly the US enroute to Mexico. Two of the passengers on board were Saudis who had studied at the same flight school in Arizona as one of the 9/11 hijackers. Mexico alerted the US to their presence on the plane, and it ended up returning to its origination point, Amsterdam. This incident clearly points to the need to control our own airspace.

But our European allies don't see it that way, according to the same Washington Post story:
The proposal has angered European, Mexican and Canadian airlines, which operate most of the 500 estimated daily overflights. If foreign airlines do not comply with the order, which is expected to be issued in coming weeks, they could have to reroute flights, adding time and cost to the journeys. At least one carrier, Aeromexico, claims the rule would violate international aviation agreements.
Remember that heartwarming French headline right after 9/11 that said, "Today, we are all Americans"? Apparently it only applies if being honorary Americans doesn't cost money or cause inconvenience.

Hezbollah Refuses to Disarm

During an interview with the Lebanese Broadcasting Corporation yesterday President Bush called on Syria to stop supporting terrorists/insurgents in Iraq, to withdraw completely from Lebanon, and to shut down Hezbollah, recognized by the US as a terrorist organization. The leader of Hezbollah, Sheikh Hassan Nasrullah, says that the group will not give up their weapons. From Arabic News:
Nasrullah said in an interview with Reuters that his party will keep its weapons and will not give it up, noting that this decision is because of the continued Israeli occupation and the risks of occupation against his country.

He stressed that the UN Security Council resolution demanding Hizbullah to hand over its weapons is meaningless and of no value.
Nasrullah's worries about "occupation" can only be viewed as disingenuous given that Hezbollah abetted and profited from the Syrian occupation of Lebanon. The leaders and members of Hezbollah simply may not be civilized enough to participate in a new, independent Lebanese government.

Nasrullah has one thing right, though. The UN Security Council resolution is "meaningless and of no value". The UN has tried to bluff too many times.

Wednesday, April 20, 2005

Marine To Be Nominated as Chairman of Joint Chiefs

President Bush will nominate Marine General Peter Pace as the next Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the highest military position in the country. If confirmed, General Pace, who earned the bronze star as a lieutenant in Vietnam, will be the first Marine ever to serve in the position. From the Washington Post
President Bush intends to name Marine Gen. Peter Pace the next chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, officials said yesterday, replacing Air Force Gen. Richard B. Myers, whose term ends this autumn.

Announcement of the decision is due soon and probably will include the nomination of Navy Adm. Edmund P. Giambastiani Jr. as the new vice chairman, officials said.

A Challenge to Phenegar the Black

Inflamed by the attention lavished upon Phenegar the Black by TDPB reader vivi, these soldiers have resolved to capture the affections of the fair vivi by, "showing her what a real soldier looks like."

Specialists Talbot and Harper shoot crabs hoping to win the heart of Vivi.

The Dread Pundit Bluto offers this photo in the spirit of friendly competition between comrades in arms (and to pander shamelessly to the stated desires of a reader), and has no plans to decorate the sidebar with ferns and Bette Midler photos. Not that there's anything wrong with that.

Roy Hallums, Part 2: Interview With Susan Hallums

Dr. Rusty Shackleford at The Jawa Report has posted part two of his series on American hostage Roy Hallums, who was abducted on November 1, 2004. Rusty writes:
I had the opportunity to have several e-mail conversations with both Susan Hallums and Carrie Hallums Cooper recently. They have graciously agreed to letting us interview them. What follows is part 2 in a series of interviews with the family of Roy Hallums. Part 1 of that interview can be found here. This segment continues the interview with Susan Hallums.
Read the rest at The Jawa Report.

More TSA Troubles

CNN reports wasteful spending at the Transportation Security Administration that may indicate willful fraud and deliberate attempts to deceive auditors.
WASHINGTON (CNN) -- A Transportation Security Administration official spent $500,000 on art, silk plants and other decorations for a new operations center and then went to work for the vendor after leaving the agency, according to a report from the Department of Homeland Security's inspector general.
Uniformed TSA screeners will recognize the result of a management culture at TSA that worships the principle of R.H.I.P. - Rank Hath Its Privileges.

Via Captain's Quarters.

50 Bodies Found, May be Madaen Hostages

The truth of what occurred in Madaen may never be known for sure. After many major news outlets had concluded that the Madaen hostage crisis was a fabrication, news that 50 bodies have been found in the Tigris river may change that perception. From Yahoo News:
BAGHDAD (Reuters) - The bodies of 50 people, believed to be those of hostages held in a town near Baghdad earlier this week, have been found in the Tigris river south of Baghdad, Iraqi President Jalal Talabani said on Wednesday.

"More than 50 bodies have been brought out from the Tigris and we have the full names of those who were killed and those criminals who committed these crimes," Talabani told reporters.

Tuesday, April 19, 2005

Remember Roy Hallums

Dr. Rusty Shackleford of The Jawa Report has an update on the plight of American Roy Hallums, who was kidnapped on November 1st, 2004.
Roy was taken hostage along with six other foreign nationals, including a Fillipino named Robert Tarongoy. The U.S. did not publish the fact that an American citizen had been taken hostage because of a policy of treating civilian abductions as purely private matters. The Jawa Report was the first publication to identify Roy Hallums as the hostage.

Since that time we have been in contact with members of the Hallums family who started leaving comments at our site. Roy's daughter, Carrie Hallums Cooper, and his ex-wife, Susan Hallums, have been leading the charge to keep Roy's plight in the media.
This is part one of a series that will continue tomorrow and next week. Stop over at The Jawa Report and read the full story.

Iraqi Lawmaker, Muqtada Al-Sadr Supporter, Claims Abuse by US Soldier

Reuters is reporting that a soldier grabbed a member of Iraqi parliament by the throat and forced him to the ground after he parked his car in the green zone.

BAGHDAD (Reuters) - An Iraqi lawmaker accused a U.S. soldier of grabbing him by the throat and shoving him to the ground Tuesday after he parked his car in Baghdad's Green Zone.

Fattah al-Sheikh, an independent, said he had parked his car before a session of parliament when U.S. troops approached him and told him he didn't have the right permit.

He said a soldier then kicked his car, insulted him and grabbed him by the throat with both hands as others looked on, before tying his hands behind his back with white plastic cuffs and shoving him to the ground.
According to, and several other internet citations, al-Sheikh is the editor-in-chief of Ishrakat Al-Sadr newspaper, and a former member of the Mahdi army of renegade cleric Muqtada al-Sadr.
Fath Allah Ghazy Fattahlah Ghazi Al-Esmaili, a.k.a. Fattah Al-Sheikh, is editor in chief of ,Ishrakat Al-Sadr newspaper.

Al-Sheikh is running for parliament as the head of list#352, a 180-candidate list representing Shiite-dominated Sadr City.

He is also a former member of the Mahdi Army.
Al-Sheikh is described only as an "independent" in the Reuters accounts.

Update: Washington Times article confirms pseudonym and background of soldier's accuser

BAGHDAD — Just months ago, Fattahlah Ghazi al-Esmaili was penning articles in support of Iraq's Shi'ite uprising as editor for Ishriqat, a newspaper for rebel cleric Sheik Muqtada al-Sadr and his Mahdi's Army militia.

"Before, we were men of the Mahdi's Army. Now we are men of politics," says the journalist, who goes by the pen name Fattah al-Sheikh. "Yesterday, we were out on the streets. Today, we are here campaigning, and hopefully tomorrow, we'll be in the presidential palace."
This information should have been included in the Reuters report.

Update II:
Knight-Ridder newspapers finally mentions in passing that Al-Sheikh is "...a member of a small party sympathetic to rebel Shiite Muslim cleric Muqtada al-Sadr," but not that he was a member of the Mahdi Army or that "Fattah al-Sheikh" is a pen name. Reuters has not updated their original story.

Monday, April 18, 2005

Marla Ruzicka and the Squids

A nasty exchange is going on in the comments at The Anti-Idiotarian Rottweiler under a post (titled Oops...) about Marla Ruzicka, the aid worker who was killed by a car bomb Saturday on her way to Baghdad International Airport. A couple of the (rare) liberal readers are upset that conservatives are being heartless in their reactions to Ruzicka's death.

I'll try to explain my own reaction.

Last week two kids on motorcycles took off when a cop tried to pull them over. They raced down a city street at speeds estimated to be in excess of 100 miles per hour. Another kid, driving a car, made a left turn in their path, seriously injuring one and killing the other. Friends of the motorcycle riders have harassed the kid who was driving the car, claiming that he was at fault for the death. Wrong. Running from police and 100 mph+ in a 35 zone caused the accident. Bad judgment. They were squids, engaging in squidly behavior.

Squids are what we motorcyclists call young, inexperienced riders who endanger themselves and others by reckless antics and street racing. Hollywood has glamorized them lately with movies like Too Fast, Too Furious and Biker Boyz. But the real bikers recognize them for what they are, people too wrapped up in doing their own thing to consider the risks, or the effect on other motorcyclists. Thanks to the squids, most of the pod people (car drivers) regard every motorcyclist as some sort of lunatic with a death wish.

I deeply regret the death of the young rider and cannot imagine the pain his parents are suffering, but I don't condone what he was doing. In fact, I condemn it. He and his buddy (who may be in a wheelchair for life, if he lives) were making things that much harder for the rest of us who enjoy that particular form of transportation. And they got what they could have expected. The Universe often treats stupidity as a capital crime.

And, from my perspective, Marla Ruzicka was a political squid. She probably had good intentions. I doubt that she was a bad person. But her willful and reckless behavior reflects badly on the rest of us here in America, and she has probably prolonged the insurgency that much more by relentlessly blaming everything bad in Iraq and Afghanistan on the United States.

I deeply regret that she died, and I can't imagine what her parents are experiencing, but I don't condone what she was doing. In fact, I condemn it. She was making things that much harder for the rest of us.

Marla Finally Discovered Who the Real Terrorists Are

Marla Ruzicka died Saturday in a car bombing in Iraq, where she had been on and off since the March 2003 invasion began, conducting door-to-door surveys to determine the number of civilian casualties, friends and family said.
But Ruzicka had been a radical activist for much longer than that, receiving a "Courageous Resister" award in 1996 from "Refuse and Resist",
Jody Avirgan, Sarah Park, Marla Ruzicka and nearly fifty other high school students who traveled to Cuba in defiance of the US travel ban as part of a group organized by Global Exchange.
Ruzicka was quick to blame the US for civilian casualties, and gloss over the effects of terrorism.
"The last two years from Kabul to Baghdad, my time has been made up of rich experiences and intimate experiences with families harmed as a result of US military actions."
From "Marla's Journal"
I will be spending Thanksgiving in Iraq, observing the end of Eid in Baghdad with children like Ayat. Ayat's parents, Mohammad Kadhum Manssor and Hamdia Radhi Kadhum, were both killed in an accident involving a U.S. tank.
But important facts could be omitted at times. From Envirosagainst the war:
On the 24th of October, former teacher Mohammad Kadhum Mansoor, 59, and his wife, Hamdia Radhi Kadhum, 45, were traveling with their three daughters – Beraa, 21, Fatima, 8, and Ayat, 5 years old – when they were tragically run over by an American tank.

A small grenade was thrown at the tank, causing it to loose
[sic] control and veer onto the highway, over the family's small Volkswagen.
The most telling and ominous quote of all is this: one
"The last week I was warned not to go there because the pool is surrounded by glass windows- quite easy for a car bomb to go off on the main road outside. But I could not resist. I have been going everyday."
Take enough risks and, eventually, the universe makes you pay.

Via The Jawa Report.

Alas, a Fine Whine Spoilt

Irish longtime America-hater Patrick Cockburn used reports of the Madaena "hostage crisis" for one of his tedious rants yesterday in the Independent (UK):
150 hostages and 19 deaths leave US claims of Iraqi 'peace' in tatters
By Patrick Cockburn in Mosul
17 April 2005

Iraqi and United States-led forces were last night preparing to launch a rescue mission for up to 150 Shia hostages held by Sunni insurgents.

The threat by Sunni militants in the town of Madaen, south of Baghdad, to execute the hostages unless Shias leave the area, intensified the growing sectarian fears.

The upsurge in violence across Iraq in the past four days has left claims made by the Pentagon that the tide is turning in Iraq and there are hopeful signs of a return to normality in tatters.
Unfortunately for Cockburn, it now appears the story was either false, or at least greatly exaggerated.

More at Captain's Quarters.

Wildly Conflicting News Stories Out of Madaen

Accounts coming out of Iraq have placed the number of Shiite hostages reportedly held by Sunni terrorists in the Iraqi town of Madaen between 3 and 150 people. First reports said the hostages were all men, then that they were mostly women and children. But according to the Sunday issue of The New York Times, there never was a hostage crisis:
By this afternoon, Iraqi army officials were reporting that the crisis in Madaen, which had been narrated in a stream of breathless television reports and news agency stories, was nothing but a tissue of rumors and politically motivated accusations.
This is directly contradicted by the Monday edition of the Gulf Daily News which is reporting fighting and negotiations with the hostage-takers:
But the commandos held off from an all-out offensive, waiting for the result of renewed negotiations with the gunmen who, according to a defence ministry official, had put up "severe resistance".
And, also in a Monday edition, The Peninsula, out of Qatar, reports a partial rescue:
BAGHDAD: Iraqi security forces raided a town in central Iraq yesterday and freed some 15 Shi'ite families being held hostage, an official said, after militants threatened to kill nearly 150 captives unless all Shi'ites left the area.
If The New York Times is wrong about this, it could be a huge blow following so closely on the Boston Globe story-fabrication scandal. The New York Times Company owns the Boston Globe.

Sunday, April 17, 2005

So This Baby Seal Walks Into a Club

This time, though, it's the Boston Globe that walked into the club, and one of their own reporters was wielding it. Reuters reported Friday about a poignant story in the Globe depicting the gruesome circumstances of a baby seal hunt. Unfortunately for the Globe, the hunt, scheduled for Tuesday, was postponed due to bad weather. Globe reporter Barbara Stewart's story ran on Wednesday anyway, describing the water running red with blood. The fake story provoked a complaint from the Canadian government.

The really sad part is that so few people are surprised by fake news stories anymore. While the mainstream media complains about talk radio and bloggers being inaccurate, they're running stories about vicious baby seal hunts that haven't happened.

Via The Anti-Idiotarian Rottweiler.

Allawi Blames al Qaeda For Madaen Mass Kidnapping

Iraqi interim Prime Minister Iyad Allawi says that al Qaeda (and, by implication, Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, self-proclaimed al Qaeda leader in Iraq) is responsible for the kidnappings of up to 150 Shiites in the Iraqi town of Madaen. From ITV News (UK):
"Unfortunately, evil powers are trying to disturb the peace of our country, stop progress, destroy Iraq, keep killing innocent civilians and planning for the start of ethnic, sectarian and religious division," Mr Allawi said in a statement.
Meanwhile, terrorist Zarqawi claimed on an Islamist website that the kidnapping story was fabricated to justify the raid. From Reuters India:
"The infidels fabricated the case of the hostages. They are lying," the Sunni group led by Jordanian militant Abu Musab al-Zarqawi said in the statement on an Islamist Web site.

"The infidels and apostates incited them (Shi'ites) to lie so that they can invade Madaen as they did Falluja ... and other cities."

"The enemies of God, the pagan guards and police -- helped by the crusaders and Jews -- raided Sunni homes, beat up Sunnis in front their families, arrested them and took them to (the southeastern city) Kut for no reason or crime,"
The fact that Zarqawi's statement refers to fellow Muslims as "pagans" would seem to lend credence to the theory that al Qaeda staged the kidnappings to incite sectarian violence.

Saturday, April 16, 2005

Bahrain News Site: Sunnis Holding 150 Shiites Hostage

Contradicting earlier reports saying that Sunni terrorists in Madaen, Iraq were holding 60 Shia men hostage, Gulf Daily News of Bahrain reports in their Sunday edition that the Sunnis are holding 150 hostages, mostly women and children.
BAGHDAD: A major offensive was underway early this morning in Iraq's "Triangle of Death" to free more than 150 hostages, mainly women and children.

US and Iraqi forces launched the raid on the central town of Madaen after Sunni insurgents threatened to kill the hostages in 24 hours unless all Shias left.

The insurgents overnight dragged the civilians from their homes, ordered the others out of town and dynamited a mosque - threatening a potentially inflaming sectarian divide. Troops last night surrounded the town after attempts failed to defuse the crisis peacefully.
Gulf Daily News does not quote any news services, and the only sources quoted are an unnamed Baghdad Shia official, and an unidentified Madaen resident reached by telephone.

The hostage-taking appears to be a desperate bid to touch off a sectarian civil war.

Update: For what it's worth, propagandist creative commentator Patrick Cockburn of the ultra-leftist UK rag The Independent is using the 150 hostage figure in his Sunday rant.

11 Detainees Escape From Camp Bucca, 10 Recaptured

From a story in Arab Times (Kuwait)
BAGHDAD (Reuters) - Eleven Iraqis detained at a U.S. prison in southern Iraq escaped on Saturday, but 10 were quickly recaptured, U.S. officials said.

The men broke out at around 1:30 a.m. (2230 GMT Friday) after cutting a man-sized hole in the perimeter fence of Camp Bucca, a U.S.-run facility near the town of Umm Qasr, where around 6,500 detainees are held.
Many sources are carrying this story, but Arab Times, working from a Reuters feed, seems to have more details.
Iraqi security forces searched for the men at daybreak and soon recaptured 10 of them, Rondeau said. U.S. and Iraqi authorities are searching for the 11th.

None of those who escaped was a high-value detainee, Rondeau said. He gave no details on how long they had been held or the charges against them.
I've requested more information from my source at Camp Bucca.

Friday, April 15, 2005

Pot Calling the Driven Snow Black

The Jawa Report links to a post by the Anchoress, who has printed an excerpt from an upcoming book by Mary Mapes. Mapes is the CBS producer who was let go in the wake of the Dan Rather Memogate scandal. In the excerpt, Mapes accuses bloggers of "digital McCarthyism" for relentlessly pursuing the fake memo story.
“Conservative bloggers are part of the story. They have vilified me, mounted a “wilding” attack against me…we were, it seemed the first victims of a new kind of digital McCarthyism, which uses the same techniques as the old McCarthyism–rumors, slurs, false charges and ugly attacks–but now employs the Internet, talk radio and cable TV echo chamber to ricochet information around the world…"
"Rumors, slurs, false charges"? Classic case of psychological projection. I've got your "digit" right here, Mary. In Brazil, this gesture means "good luck". But we're not in Brazil.

Sometimes, They Just Make It Too Easy

The photo and caption below are from, a Turkish Islamist propaganda site.

Our goal is to create a section on Islam, where all of the Believers and those interested could find what they are looking to see about Islam and about Prophet Mohammed (p.b.u.h. - short for "peace be upon him").

So tell me, is the "peace" for the Prophet hidden under the Kalashnikov?

I know, I used this photo in another post, but it really deserves its own little spotlight.

Support the Cedar Revolution in Lebanon: Here's How

The Spirit of America site is collecting donations to support the Cedar Revolutionaries, who are living in tent cities to keep up the pressure on the Syrian-backed government. Spirit of America is a 501c3 nonprofit, so donations are tax deductible.
Lebanon is at an historic crossroads. It has been under foreign occupation for more than a generation. But, as the result of pro-democracy demonstrations in Beirut, free elections and independence are now within Lebanon’s reach. The focal point of these demonstrations is a “tent city” where pro-democracy demonstrators representing many different religions and political groups have united to form a permanent presence until Lebanon wins its independence.
Via The Jawa Report.

Thursday, April 14, 2005

A Liar Called Muhammad

Lies and disinformation about the war in Iraq and the so-called "Iraqi Resistance" are rampant on the internet. It's gratifying to happen to have the information at hand to catch them in the act. A source in Iraq emailed me today to point out an outrageous post on the website Liberty Forum.
Prisoners rebel, kill four US guards in Camp Bucca prison camp Monday night.

Four US troops were killed and five more wounded in battles in Camp Bucca prison camp near the southern city of al-Basrah on Monday.

An officer in the Iraqi puppet army told Mafkarat al-Islam that a large number of prisoners, armed only with their fists and sharp objects like knives, attacked US soldiers and killed four American troops and wounded five more, one of those mortally.

The source added that the fighting erupted after one of the prisoners cursed one of the American soldiers during the evening meal. The Americans took that prisoner out and attempted to torture him on the field in front of the rest of the inmates. Then the prisoners, armed with knives and razor blades, attacked the four American troops who were tying up the prisoner in the middle of the field. They stabbed those four to death and wounded five more. The prisoners also set fire to one of the Americans’ tents.
My source happens to be serving at Camp Bucca. There was a prisoner riot on April 4 sparked by some prisoners being transferred. Four soldiers were injured during the riot. No soldiers were killed.

The post had been copied from the poster's website The 7th Fire, which is registered to "White Eagles Soaring" and purports to be an American Indian site. He or she is probably simply a dupe. The 7th Fire had reposted the story from Free Arab Voice, where "Muhammad Abu Nasr" had translated it from an Arabic language site.

In researching Muhammad Abu Nasr, I discovered that he is considered a liar by the US State Department, and has a prominent place on their website.
Muhammad Abu Nasr faithfully translates the Islam Memo's many phony "news items" into English every day and posts them as "Iraqi Resistance Reports" on his Web site. They are also posted on other Web sites, including Jihad Unspun.

Islam Memo, or Mafkarat al-Islam, is perhaps the most unreliable source of "news" about Iraq on the Internet. For example, on March 27, 2005, Islam Memo "news items" translated into English by Muhammad Abu Nasr claimed that more than 88 U.S. soldiers had been killed that day. In reality, none had been killed. Such disinformation fabrications are typical of Islam Memo. In the ten-day period from March 20 to March 29, 2005, they claimed that more than 334 U.S. troops had been killed. The real number was eight.
It's bad enough having people like Muhammad Abu Nasr telling deliberate lies. What makes it worse is when gullible fools like "White Eagles Soaring" repeat the lies as fact.

For more on how propaganda is being spread, click here.

Boston Globe Cites Italian Papers Over NBC

The Dread Pundit Bluto is certain that the Boston Globe didn't do this merely to be able to headline a "clash" between Italy and the US over the investigation, rather than run NBC's conclusion, that the preliminary investigation report clears US soldiers. The beginning of the Globe's story:
Reports: Italy, U.S. clash over investigation into shooting of Italian agent in Iraq

ROME (AP) Reluctance by Italian investigators to accept the U.S. version of the killing of an Italian security agent by American troops in Iraq last month is holding up the conclusion of a joint inquiry into the shooting, Italian newspapers said Thursday.

NBC News, however, has said a preliminary report from the U.S.-Italian commission has been completed and clears the Americans of any wrongdoing in the killing of Nicola Calipari at a temporary checkpoint on the road to Baghdad airport while he brought an Italian hostage to freedom.
One wonders if these unidentified Italian papers are the same ones who prematurely reported the Pope's death.

Robot Camel Jockey Test Successful

Science marches on. The robot camel jockey, designed by a Swiss company, has been successfully tested in Doha, Qatar. From The Peninsula
DOHA: The first-ever robot camel jockey in Qatar was successfully experimented this week at the Al Shahaniya camel race track in the presence of the Prime Minister H H Sheikh Abdulla bin Khalifa Al Thani.

Robot camel jockeys have been introduced in the country following a recent ban imposed on using child jockeys in camel races.
And you thought I was making this up.

Wednesday, April 13, 2005

US Soldiers Cleared in Sgrena Incident

NBC News has reported details of a preliminary report by a joint US-Italian investigation, which will conclude that Nicola Calipari, the Italian secret service agent killed, chose not to coordinate his mission with the US military. From MSNBC
In Italy, agent Calipari was given a state funeral, but the investigation found he himself may have committed a fatal error. He reportedly chose not to coordinate his movements with the U.S. military for fear it would jeopardize his efforts to free the Italian hostage.
The investigation has also found that the friendly fire incident took place just as the US military originally reported: the car carrying Sgrena failed to stop at a US military checkpoint despite flashing lights and warning shots.
Intelligence agent Calipari had just negotiated Sgrena's release from Iraqi kidnappers on March 4 when the two and a driver headed for the Baghdad airport in a compact rental car.

It was dark when the Italians turned onto a ramp leading to the airport road where the U.S. military had set up a temporary checkpoint.

The investigation found the car was about 130 yards from the checkpoint when the soldiers flashed their lights as a warning to stop. But the car kept coming and, at 90 yards, warning shots were fired. At 65 yards, when the car failed to stop, the soldiers used lethal force — a machine gun burst that killed Calipari and wounded Sgrena and the driver.

Senior U.S. military officials say it took only about four seconds from the first warning to the fatal shots, but insist the soldiers acted properly under the current rules of engagement.
The Italians still insist that the car was traveling much slower than the 50 mph estimated by the soldiers. But, given that the soldiers version has been borne out in the other details, it seems likely they are right about this, too.

Giuliana Sgrena, the person whose foolish and irresponsible actions actually caused the entire situation, is disputing the findings.

Large Number of Terrorist Suspects Captured in Baghdad Raid

A new press release from Task Force Baghdad (via DVIDS) confirms a story from Gulf Daily News (Bahrain) that I reported here regarding the large number of terrorist suspects captured (67) but does not mention the four al Qaeda leaders in the Gulf Daily News story. Gulf Daily News seemed to have very specific information, including the names of the terrorist organizations the al Qaeda members headed.

From the press release:
Spc. Emily J. Wilsoncroft
Task Force Baghdad PAO

FOB FALCON, Iraq — Iraqi Army Soldiers teamed up with elements of 4th Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Infantry Division for Operation Vanguard Tempest, an early-morning raid on the Baghdad neighborhood of al-Dora April 11.

“These guys are trying to kill Americans, Iraqi Soldiers and Iraqi Police,” added Pfc. Richard Kasserman, a C Co., 3/7 tank loader from Aiken, S.C. “It’s best to get ‘em off the streets as soon as possible.”

“As soon as possible” was 3 a.m. Monday, when the Soldiers began to move among the dimly-lit and nearly silent rows of houses, taking care to stop only at those homes identified in the intelligence they had been given.

Even though not every team was able to locate its assigned targets, a large majority of the suspected terrorists accompanied the Soldiers back to Falcon by the time the operation was over at 8:30 a.m.
90 suspects were targeted; 67 apprehended, a large percentage for this type of operation. The quality of the intelligence implies a high degree of cooperation from Iraqi civilians.

Tuesday, April 12, 2005

Watching a Propaganda Snowball Grow

The latest atrocity story spreading through the internet as we speak was originated by al-Jazeera yesterday.

Here's the gist of it:
Twenty Iraqis have been killed and 22 injured after US helicopters and heavy artillery bombed houses in al-Rummana village, north of al-Qaim city, Aljazeera reported.

Seven children, six women and three old men were among the dead,
witnesses said, while the injured included 13 children, seven women and two old men.
The story was then picked up, pretty much unchanged, by a Turkish radical Islamist website with branches in the UK. (Actual picture and unintentionally ironic caption below are from this site)

Our goal is to create a section on Islam, where all of the Believers and those interested could find what they are looking to see about Islam and about Prophet Mohammed (p.b.u.h. - short for "peace be upon him").

Now the story moves on to Uruknet, which repeats the story word-for-word, but adds an uncaptioned, unattributed photo of a woman's bloody legs with bloody baby legs between them. The photo did not run in the al-Jazeera story.

Now, on to our Italian friends who shelter Arab Monitor, which headlines the story as a "massacre". When Arab Monitor is done, the sentence from the al-Jazeera story:
The witnesses added that the shelling started after US forces, who landed near al-Qaim on Monday night, came under repeated attack.
The attack was waged in retaliation for five car bombs that had hit yesterday near the US military base in Al-Qaim, Camp Gannon, and against a US military convoy, wounding 3 US soldiers.
The story now moves on to bella ciao, in France. The same uncaptioned, unattributed photo that appeared in the uruknet piece is repeated. Bella ciao links back to al-Jazeera.

So far, no Western mainstream media outlet has reported on this, but terrorists and their sympathizers are creating a string of links for the useful idiots of the Western loonie left to cite later on. A legend is being built, piece by piece, about US forces deliberately murdering civilians. If there is a kernel of truth in the story, it has already been so distorted by this network of propagandists that the real story will likely be obscured forever.

By the time most Westerners hear of this story (assuming it has any legs) it will already have been defined by al-Jazeera and the shadowy websites it has already traveled.

Update: This Centcom press release may be about the same incident:
April 12, 2005
Release Number: 05-04-09



BAGHDAD, Iraq – Multi-national forces conducted a raid April 12 on a known foreign-fighter and weapons-smuggling ring located near the Iraqi border town of Al Qaim, five miles east of the Syrian border. The raid was the result of information gathered from intelligence and testimony from terrorists who were detained recently.

Terrorists immediately engaged Coalition forces with small arms fire and multi-purpose assault weapons. Initial reports indicate a number of foreign terrorists were killed, including at least one suicide bomber. No Coalition forces were injured in the raid.

Over the last week, two other raids in the Al Qaim area resulted in the capture of smugglers who confessed to bringing weapons, foreign fighters and money for terrorists across the Syrian border into Iraq.

Four Al Qaeda Leaders Reported Captured by US and Iraqi Forces

Bahrain's Gulf Daily News is reporting that four al Qaeda leaders and 63 suspected insurgents were captured in Baghdad on Monday. The suspects have not been identified but are believed to be involved with three terrorist groups: Ansar Al Sunna (Defenders of the Tradition), Tawhid Wal Jihad (Unity and Holy War), and Ansar Al Islam (Defenders of Islam).

20,000 Hits

I wasn't paying attention and sometime yesterday or Sunday The Dread Pundit Bluto site went over the 20,000 hit mark. This happened during the blogalanche after powerhouse The Anti-Idiotarian Rottweiler fronted my post about the Onondaga Land Claim. I've also received support from mega-blogs The Jawa Report, and Captain's Quarters., and I received a lot of hits from MSM links in Howard Kurtz's column in the Washington Post, and several mentions in Slate.

My thanks to everyone who has linked and visited since The Dread Pundit Bluto went up on January 6 this year. Yarr.

Eight Hostages Freed in Raid on Terrorist Stronghold

The army yesterday released details of an April 5th operation by Iraqi police and US soldiers, who staged a joint raid on insurgent-held buildings in southern Baghdad. They were directed to the buildings by local residents, who pointed them out. Eight hostages were freed and fifteen insurgents were captured.From the DVIDS MIL-PR site story (registration required):
After taking small-arms fire from buildings in Awhida, IPs and U.S. forces searched several blocks of the densely-populated residential area.

Many residents waved to the IPs, and pointed to the buildings where the terrorists were eventually captured. Several fleeing terrorists were also caught by a team of IPs as they moved to the south.

The joint force freed the hostages in two buildings during the raid. One said he was a 65-year-old schoolteacher and that his captors didn’t like what he was teaching.

“It was outstanding to watch the citizens of Awhida as their police force moved against the insurgents among them,” said Lt. Col. Steven Merkel, 1st Bn., 9th FA commander, “People got up on the roofs, standing on empty insurgent fighting positions, and pointed where they fled to. I think the citizens are ready to take back their neighborhood from (Anti-Iraqi Forces).”

Iraqi Police Raid Insurgent-Held Building
(Photo and coverage of raid by Spc. Ben Brody)

Monday, April 11, 2005

Monster Garage, Army Style

Okay. I've been given the go-ahead to publish pictures of the Master Blaster mentioned in a post on Sunday (The Master Blaster Cometh).


The Master Blaster Fabrication Team

The Master Blaster was designed and fabricated in Iraq in a big-ass hurry. I don't know what its mission is. I do know that I wouldn't get in its way.

Turning the Other Cheek?

New Iraqi President Opposes Death Penalty For Saddam

Iraq's new president, Kurdish leader Jalal Talabani, opposes the death penalty on general principles, not specifically in the case of Saddam Hussein. The Gulf Daily News reports that Talabani said he was among lawyers who signed an international petition against the death penalty.

Talabani is a more forgiving soul than The Dread Pundit Bluto, who would just as soon see Saddam eaten alive by hogs. Big, fat, snorting hogs.

As a practical matter, imprisoning Saddam would provide a rallying point for the so-called Iraqi insurgency. If Saddam is not put to death the ex-Ba'athist psychopaths and Islamist terrorists will agitate for his release with more beheadings and suicide bombings.

Talabani said that a pardon would be up to the presidential council, not him personally.

Sunday, April 10, 2005

The Master Blaster Cometh

Welcome to all the loyal minions of the Rottweiler Empire! And many thanks to Emperor Darth Misha and Lord Spatula, King and Tyrant.

A source in Iraq has sent me photos of a device that demonstrates the dedication and ingenuity of our folks over there. I've promised not to print them right away to preserve operational integrity, and I don't have a timeline estimate for when that will be. You'll see the Master Blaster after its mission is accomplished. Until then, this is all I can show you:

Oh yes, I'm sure it will be...nice.

Another Fishy Saddam Capture Story Surfaces

A month to the day after this fairy tale about Saddam Hussein's capture came to light, a new one has been reported in the Gulf Daily News:
Capture of Saddam a tradeoff?
LONDON: One of Saddam Hussain's bodyguards Qayess Al Namiq denied that the ousted leader was arrested as he hid in the bottom of a hole in a farmhouse in Tikrit.

Al Namiq, who accompanied Saddam from the fall of Baghdad on April 9, 2003, to the moment he were arrested, told London-based Al Sharq Al Awsat daily that Saddam was not in that hole but was in his private farm when he was captured, adding that he was taken there by US troops.

He also confirmed that Saddam had met his two sons - Uday and Qusai a month before they were killed. Also, he was in very good mental condition contrary to reports alleging he was depressed.

He and Saddam used a small Datsun truck, a motorcycle, a bicycle and sometimes a horse to move around the city.
The name Qayess Al Namiq isn't cited in any of the news stories I was able to find about Saddam's capture. Coming as it does in conjunction with anti-American protests instigated by renegade cleric Muqtada al-Sadr it seems likely to be another false report.

I have no doubts about the circumstances of the capture because I spoke with a soldier who took part in it about a month after the capture took place. At that time I saw photos taken by this soldier that have never been published, but which are consistent with published photos. Saddam's ignominious capture was a severe mental blow to the ex-Ba'athist and foreign terrorists of the Iraqi insurgency. Saddam Hussein represented a virile symbol of Iraqi strength to these people. The reality of the picture below seems to be more than they can handle.

Like a flounder, Saddam is pulled
from the hole in which he was cowering.

Saturday, April 09, 2005

We Likes the Cut of 'is Jib. Yarr

This soldier has been identified to me only as "Phenegar the Black". It's nice to know that, even serving in Iraq, our guys get to have a little fun now and then.

Phenegar the Black

Hospice: Magouirk Not Being Denied Food and Water

Atlanta television station WXIA is reporting that Mae Magouirk is not being denied food and water by the Hospice LaGrange.
The CEO of the West Georgia Health System told 11Alive News, "No patient at our hospice is denied food or water."
Ms. Magouirk is at the center of a controversy similar to the Terri Schiavo case, after reports that she was being denied food and water. The only source for the claims is her nephew, Ken Mullinax, who is fighting with Magouirk's granddaughter, Elizabeth Gaddy, for guardianship of Magouirk.

Thanks to Romeocat for pointing out that the link was incorrect. It's been updated.

Via The Anti-Idiotarian Rottweiler.

Friday, April 08, 2005

CBS Cameraman Being Held as Insurgent

A man with CBS press credentials who was shot and wounded by US troops earlier because his camera resembled a weapon has now been detained as a possible insurgent. From Newsmax:
The military issued a statement then saying the cameraman was shot because his equipment was mistaken for a weapon.
But on Friday, the military said the cameraman was detained because there was probable cause to believe he posed "an imperative threat to coalition forces."

"He is currently detained and will be processed as any other security detainee," the statement said.
CBS must be desperate for a Pulitzer.

Via The Jawa Report.

GM Has Finally Had Enough of the LA Times

Automotive giant General Motors has announced they're pulling all advertising from the Los Angeles Times, due to "...strongly voiced objections from our dealers in California about factual errors and misrepresentations in The Times editorial coverage." Translated, that means that David Shaw's vaunted "four experienced Times editors" failed to adequately mitigate auto critic Dan Neil's vicious (and largely gratuitous) attack on GM top management during a review of the Pontiac G6.
At the moment the news broke, I had written two words of a review of the Pontiac G6: "Dump Lutz [General Motors North America Chairman Robert Lutz]."
Then Neil rips into GM CEO Rick Wagoner. The actual automotive review - what Neil is ostensibly paid to do - doesn't start until the seventeenth or eighteenth paragraph. Duh. No Wonder GM flew into a snit and pulled their advertising. Now all and sundry will be whining about "censorship". Piffle, GM is allowed to spend their advertising dollars as they choose, and if they had chosen to continue spending money on a paper whose reviewer obviously hated them, then the GM management would deserve to be cashiered.

But, Neil's most unforgivable act, as far as The Dread Pundit Bluto is concerned, lies in this paragraph:
Honestly, it takes some sort of perverse genius to make the Grand Am, the car the Pontiac G6 replaces, look like a showroom winner, but the G6 is selling at about half the volume of the unloved and unlovely Grand Am, which dates to the 1980s.
How dare you slander the Grand Am, you weasel? Neil, your taste is all in your mouth. The Grand Am, since about '92, has been one of the best looking cars on the American street - nice handling, dependable, and great in the snow. I mourned the totaling of the '93 Grand Am that I had passed on to my son like a death in the family (my grief was mitigated to some degree by my earlier acquisition of a new Grand Prix).

Via Captain's Quarters.

Thursday, April 07, 2005

Indian Land Claim Snows Gullible Environmentalists

On March 12, 2005 lawyers for the Onondaga Nation located just south of Syracuse, New York filed claim to 4,000 square miles of New York State, a huge swath of land running from the Canadian border to Pennsylvania. And the Onondagas had a unique spin to put on it. They're not interested in money or casinos, oh no, they just want the environment cleaned up. The local and regional media lapped it up. Here's what they reported: From The New Standard:
Syracuse, New York , Mar 18 - The Onondaga Indian Nation has filed a unique, historic land rights lawsuit seeking title to approximately 4,000 square miles of their aboriginal territory in Central New York. Stretching from the Canadian border to Pennsylvania, the area includes the cities of Syracuse, Cortland, Oswego, and Binghamton, constituting the largest amount of land cited in a tribal land rights case in New York’s history. But unlike typical land claims, the primary focus of the Onondagas’ suit is environmental protection and recovery.
From The Ithaca Journal:
"Our concern is for the water, the land, the air. They are not well," said Sid Hill, the tribe's spiritual leader. "It is the duty of the nation's leaders to work for a healing of this land, to protect it, and to pass it on to future generations."
No one bothered to send a photographer to check the environment of the Onondaga Reservation itself. So The Dread Pundit Bluto took his own camera on a little road trip. Here are a few snapshots. Click on the pictures for a larger view.

Litter at the entrance to the reservation

A beautiful little waterfall violated by carelessly thrown trash

A burned out mobile home mars the land. Rust indicates how long the eyesore has remained with no effort at cleanup

An apparently discarded modular home, one of dozens, sits rotting on the reservation

A tour through the Onondaga Nation gives no reason to think that the Onondagas have any concern for the reservation's environment whatsoever. Why would anyone think that the Onondagas are capable of doing anything positive for the environment of 4,000 square miles of New York State? If the Onondagas can't control the detrimental behavior of the 300 some-odd households currently under their leadership, why would anyone think that they can control the actions of hundreds of thousands in the land claim area?

And another good question: why hasn't the Syracuse Post Standard, the local newspaper, bothered to have a photographer drive five or six miles to check the reservation out?

More on the Onondagas and their land claim here and here.

Canadian Adscam Scandal Widens, Judge May Lift Publication Ban

The Toronto Star speculates that expected testimony implicating the Parti Québécois, the Quebec separatist party, may take some of the heat off the Liberal government.
OTTAWA—As federal politicians get ready for the mud to start flying in the sponsorship scandal, Prime Minister Paul Martin's Liberals are trying to make sure that their Quebec separatist foes get splattered too.

A publication ban could be lifted as soon as today on testimony that has had all of Ottawa abuzz about the extent of the damage it could do to a federal Liberal government already hobbled by constant threats of election.
The superblog Captain's Quarters has been publishing leaked testimony despite a publication ban imposed by Justice John Gomery, who is hearing evidence in the case. CQ's massive bump in readership is a clear signal that the electronic age has made such bans obsolete.

Some information via Captain's Quarters.

Update: The Toronto Star reports that Justice Gomery has lifted the publication ban. Thanks to commenter mikeymike.

Wednesday, April 06, 2005

Saddam Witnessed Selection of New Iraqi President on Television

Saddam Hussein was watching on television as a Kurd was named the new interim president of Iraq. While Saddam was in power, he murdered thousands of Kurds with chemical weapons. From The Gulf Daily News:
BAGHDAD: Saddam Hussein watched the election of Iraq's new president on video and was shaken by what he saw, the country's Human Rights Minister Bakhtiar Amin said yesterday. "He was clearly upset. He realised that it was over, that a democratic process had taken place and that there was a new, elected president," Amin said. "It was not just the fact that there was a new president, but that the president was a Kurd. And the previous interim president became a vice-president. What's more, it all happened without bloodshed," he said.

Wait a Minute. I Thought Karl Rove Was the Evil Genius?

Now Arianna Huffington and a gaggle of Hollywood lefties (tautology alert) say that Matt Drudge is the evil genius controlling the media? (And just where was this alleged evil genius when the blogosphere was giving Eason Jordan his just deserts?)
The partisan left has slowly been constructing outlets to counterbalance the partisan right’s perceived influence in radio and television (Air America; former Vice President Al Gore’s TV channel). Ms. Huffington, Mr. Beatty and Co., however, are aiming not at the margins but at the center of the media scrum: the news cycle itself, now being deftly nudged, goosed and spun by Mr. Drudge—daily, hourly, instantly.
This is indeed good news for conservatives. Chasing phantom arch-conservative media manipulators is just the thing to keep these weasels occupied and out of everyone's hair while real work (Afghanistan, Iraq, Lebanon) is accomplished. Here's hoping Huffington's Mongolian clusterblog allows comments. That would make things really interesting. Just imagine Gwyneth Paltrow having a nice public meltdown when some little person confronts her with facts that contradict her Liberal Orthodox beliefs.

Via Kausfiles.

Iraqi Parliament Selects a Kurd to be Interim President

Jalal Talabani was picked by the Iraqi parliament to be interim president. A Shiite and a Sunni were selected as vice presidents. From Yahoo News
"Today Jalal Talabani made it to the seat of power, while Saddam Hussein is sitting in jail," said Mohammed Saleh, a 42-year-old Kurd in Kirkuk. "Who would have thought?"
This is not to imply that all will be sweetness and light in Iraqi politics, as it is in the United States (tic), but it shows that the Iraqi parliament is acutely sensitive to the traditional divisions within Iraq.

So-Called Arab Intellectuals: "US policy hinders reform in Mideast"

This is what too often passes for "intellectualism" in the Middle East - from Gulf Daily News (note that the conference was held in Amman, Jordan, the country that suckled lunatic terrorist Abu Musab al-Zarqawi):
AMMAN: Arab intellectuals and reformers say they have seen few advances towards democracy in the Arab world in the past year. The third Arab Human Development Report (AHDR), released yesterday under UN auspices, said most reforms were "embryonic and fragmentary" and did not amount to a serious effort to end repression in the region, which has some of the world's most authoritarian governments.

The United States, which says it aims to promote democracy in the region, contributed to an international context that hampered progress through its policy towards Israel, its actions in Iraq and security measures affecting Arabs, the report said.
Even the UN didn't have the temerity to publish this report without a disclaimer:
"Some of the views expressed by the authors are not shared by UNDP or the UN ... (But) this report clearly reflects a very real anger and concern felt across the region," wrote Mark Malloch Brown, UNDP Administrator at the time it was written.
Well, there's nothing else for it; in response to these terrorist enablers and sympathizers who have created this dishonest and pernicious report, I'm giving them the finger:

Tuesday, April 05, 2005

And Now For Something Completely Different

The following is an email conversation I've been having with Eric of Raven's Blog, a liberal website. We came into contact while I was researching a piece on Sandy Shanks, an American journalist who wrote an anti-US column for al-Jazeera. Eric and I thought it might be fun to write a column together and decided to shamelessly steal Slate's Breakfast Table format, which Slate stole shamelessly from Point-Counterpoint. As you can see, it is possible for right and left to disagree without shrieking and throwing the furniture around (though sometimes it's fun to shriek and throw furniture around).

Hi Bluto,
I once heard an interesting defense of bias in Al Jazeera. Al Jazeera just has the bias of it's audience, like Fox News Channel. That might not be so bad if we were to substitute "American media" for "Fox News Channel". American media had a definitive US bias, so it might be silly to expect Al Jazeera not to have an Arab bias. Of course, it bias leads American media to get things wrong, we call them on it. We expect professional journalists to try to be objective, get their facts straight, make corrections they get something wrong. If Al Jazeera wants to be taken seriously as a news organization, they have to meet those standards too, and expect to called criticized when they don't. If in fact they are a real news organization, then comparing them to FNC is an insult, though if FNC is the standard they meet, then they certainly deserve all the opprobrium hurled at them. However, the Arab countries have plenty of government propaganda already, their own versions of FNC. If all Al Jazeera accomplished was to be a multinational propaganda channel, it's hard to believe they could have built an audience, let alone inspired a competing independent news channel in Arabic. Whatever their faults, at least Al Jazeera offered viewers an independent channel, which right there was an improvement. As a news outlet outside their control, Al Jazeera constitutes a threat to Arab dictatorships, so even if Americans don't like their take on the war in Iraq, we should be glad they're there.


Hi Eric,
It's tempting for folks like me, when progressives complain about Fox News, to just say, "now you know how we've felt for the past forty years watching ABC, NBC, and CBS," but I'll just stick to your comparison of Fox to al-Jazeera. I monitor al-Jazeera's website regularly. For my money, al-Jazeera compares more closely to the old Soviet Union "news" organs TASS and Pravda. Al-Jazeera's journalistic fig leaf is about the same size as that of those former propaganda sources.

Al-Jazeera's story selection and slant is relentlessly anti-Western. You won't find a story on their site that portrays the US in a positive light. And, if they're forced to report a story about an American success, you can bet it will be updated in a few hours once they discover or invent a negative nuance to exploit. That's not journalism, it's propaganda. You can't honestly say the same about Fox. They're in competition with the other networks, and they can't simply ignore stories negative to the Bush administration - and they don't.

You call al-Jazeera's bias an "Arab" one, but is it? Look at their coverage of the Rafiq Hariri assassination and its "People Power" aftermath. Al-Jazeera's reporting was designed to downplay any connection to Syrian intelligence involvement, and under-report the spontaneous demonstrations that shook the pro-Syrian Lebanese government. For contrast, see the coverage of Dar al-Hayat - they fronted a cartoon depicting Hariri's "martyred" body for a week. Al-Jazeera was more concerned with trying to maintain the position of Hamas, which has aligned itself strongly with Syria. I thought that was quite telling. Al-jazeera is not the voice of the Arab street; it is the propaganda arm of terrorists.


I didn't see Aljazeera's coverage while the demonstrations were in progress. I did a search on their site for "Hariri" and found a bunch of articles. I looked at their article from March 14th about the demonstration that followed the pro-Syria demonstration, and it looked like the coverage in the western media. That's not to naysay your characterization of their coverage, but I just can't confirm it. In general, looking at the English version of their web site, I'm not seeing an apparent bias, except for a lot more stories about the Middle East than on an American news site, which is pretty much what I'd expect from a Middle Eastern news site. Tonight the top story was about the death of John Paul II. It was very brief compared to American media, but the facts were right and they emphasized the same things.

To get into that infamous liberal nuance, I naturally wonder if the Arabic site is the same as the English one, and I don't know what they broadcast beyond what I've heard second hand, which doesn't always sound good, but those sources might have had biases. There are couple things you mentioned that seem odd, like the idea they're an outlet for terrorists. Aljazeera is based in Qatar and got started with money form the emir of Qatar, which puts their independence from the Qatari government in doubt but also argues against their loyalty to terrorists. Qatar is one of those secular regimes Al Qaida wants to overthrow. I've also seen pictures of Aljazeera female staff dressed western with their heads uncovered. This doesn't seem like an Islamist news channel.

The other thing that jumps at me is your assertion they don't show the US in a positive light. From an Arab point of view, there isn't much positive about the US, especially not the most salient aspects like we invaded them and killed a lot of people. More to the point, a journalist isn't supposed be concerned with showing a subject positively or negatively. That's a propagandist's job. A journalist should just get the facts right. If the facts make the US, or anything else, look bad, that's not the journalist's fault. Now, I've heard enough about Aljazeera to be skeptical of the claim all their reporting is objective, but a lack of stories the Bush administration would like hardly makes them propaganda. In fact, according to Hannah Alma, Baghdad bureau chief for Knight Ridder (scroll to "Reporting from a War Zone), Aljazeera had earned the respect of other foreign journalists in Iraq, and their expulsion was seen as just politics. I guess my question is just what is the form of their bias --- which stories they follow, facts they get wrong, corrections they refuse to make, etc.?


Hi again, Eric,
As you said, al-Jazeera never shows the US in a positive light. Liberals often accuse Fox of bias, yet Fox routinely reports stories that reflect badly on the US and/or the Bush administration. That's because they're bonafide journalists. The fact that al-Jazeera prints only negative stories means that they're either unbelievably bad journalists; or their motivation is not journalism, but pushing an agenda. Hell, Eric, even CBS has something positive to say about the US and the Bush administration occasionally.

You mention that the al-Jazeera coverage of the Hariri assassination looked like the Western media coverage. You're right. That's because the Western media completely missed the significance of the Hariri assassination until the sheer mass of anti-Syrian protesters shocked them into awareness (I wrote about this in February here). Al-Jazeera didn't miss the significance; they chose to downplay it, and to emphasize signs of support for Hezbollah and Syria.

"But we know for a fact that other times the terrorists have told journalists and I use the word inadvisedly, quote-unquote journalists, they've told journalists where they are going to be and what they are going to do.

"And the journalists have been there. And over and over and over again we've see that Middle Eastern television station Al-Jazeera that seems to have a wonderful way of being Johnny-on-the-spot a little too often for my taste," - Donald Rumsfeld

He's got a point. Al-Jazeera does know when terrorist events are going to take place, just as they are the outlet of choice for terrorist groups shopping videos around. You might also note that al-Jazeera chose to replay the Kevin Sites Fallujah Marine video, uncut. over and over and over again, while calling the video depicting the Islamist murder of Margaret Hassan "too graphic". And just by the way, the videotape was given to al-Jazeera by the murderers, or, as al-Jazeera calls them "fighters" or "captors". Iraqi suspicion of al-Jazeera was so strong that the interim government banned them from Iraq, an extraordinary step. Even Il Manifesto is still allowed in Iraq. That tells me that the Iraqis didn't expel al-Jazeera for what they wrote, Il Manifesto has written much worse, but because they believe al-Jazeera is actively aiding the insurgency.

Run the word "terrorist" through the al-Jazeera search engine. This word is always printed by al-Jazeera with quotation marks around it when referring to groups like Hezbollah, but, oddly, they don't feel the need for quotes when some lunatic accuses the US of being a "terrorist state". They also refer to the Iraqi insurgency as "the resistance" or "fighters", even when reporting on the targeting of civilians for murder.