BULLY BOY PRESS & CEDRIC'S BIX MIX -- DC.
WITH THE NUMBER OF U.S. TROOPS WHO HAVE DIED IN IRAQ ALREADY REACHING 3,114 AND SPRING COMING UP AND THE THOUGHT OF FACING CAMP CASEY WHILE HE COULD BE ENJOYING THE FINALL YEARS OF HIS REIGN AS THE MOST EVIL MAN IN THE WORLD, THERE HAS BEEN A CHANGE OF PLANS ANNOUNCED.
TODAY TONY SNOWJOBS TOLD THESE REPORTERS, AND OTHERS GATHERED FOR THE PRESS BRIEFING, "PRESIDENT AND MRS. BUSH WILL TRAVEL TO BRAZIL, URUGUAY, COLOMBIA, GUATEMALE, AND MEXICO FROM MARCH 8TH TO 14TH OF 2007. THE TRIP WILL UNDERSCORE BLAH BLAH BLAH."
AS THE USELESS PRESS CORPS BUSIED THEMSELVES WITH NEAR NON-STOP QUESTIONS ABOUT NANCY PELOSI'S PLANE TRAVEL ARRANGEMENTS, THESE REPORTERS KEPT WAITING FOR THE MOMENT WHEN ANA NICOLE SMITH'S DEATH WAS BROUGHT UP.
THOUGH THAT DIDN'T HAPPEN, THERE WERE ALSO NO QUESTIONS ABOUT SCOOTER LIBBY'S CASE THAT THE PROSECUTION RESTED ON TODAY.
AFTER THE PRESS BRIEFING, THESE REPORTERS STOOD IN FRONT OF THE MEN'S ROOM AND BLOCKED HIS ENTRANCE WHILE HE HOPPED FROM FOOT TO FOOT AND WHIMPERED, "COME ON GUYS, I NEED TO GO PEE PEE."
THOUGH HE REFUSED TO ANSWER ANY QUESTIONS ABOUT SCOOTER LIBBY, HE DID ADMIT THAT BULLY BOY "IS DESPERATE TO ESCAPE FROM CINDY SHEEHAN, EVERY TIME SHE'S AROUND SHE BUMS HIS WAR HIGH. ALSO JEB'S WIFE TOLD THE FIRST COUPLE THAT THEY COULD PICK UP SOME REALLY NICE THINGS AND, IF THEY WERE CLEVER COMING THROUGH CUSTOMS, THEY COULD MAKE A SMALL FORTUNE."
FROM THE TCI WIRE:
Starting with Ehren Watada. Yesterday, Lt. Col. John Head (aka Judge Toilet) decided to interject him into the proceedings -- going so far as to question Watada -- and then decided he would declare a mistrial. Aaron Glantz spoke with Sandra Lupien on yesterday's The KPFA Evening News and explained that the 'judge' was "essentially throwing out the agreement that the prosecution and the defense made together on the eve of the trial." The agreement was the stipulation that the defense and the prosecution came to an agreement on whereby Watada acknowledged making statements that were published and broadcast (thereby removing the need for reporters to come to court and affirm their reporting). Both sides agreed to the stipulation and the judge was aware of it and poured over it. Until Wednesday, it was not a problem. Daisuke Wakabayashi's (Reuters) explains the agreement, "In the stipulation, Watada said he did not board the plane with the rest of his unit to Iraq and admitted to making public statements criticizing the war and accusing U.S. President George W. Bush's administration of deceiving the American people to enter into a war of aggression. Watada does not dispute the facts, but said it was not an admission of guilt because it does not take into account the intent behind his actions." John Nichols (The Nation) picks up there noting the judge felt there was no "meeting of the minds" and without such a meeting "there's not a contract" -- despite the fact that both the prosecution and the defense agreed there was a contract -- and so, overruling efforts by the prosecution to again state "that they were not arguing that the agreement represented an admission of guilt by Watada." Eli Sanders (Time magazine) observes that Judge Toilet's declaration of a mistrial was "a surprising development that left military prosecutors clearly frustrated, observers stunned and defense attorneys claiming that the military had blown its only chance at a conviction." Frustrated? Stunned? As The Honolulu Advertiser notes this was "a weird bit of courtroom drama, both parties agreed with each other that Head was wrong." Sam Howe Verhovek (Los Angeles Times) reports that, regardless of what happens next, "the judge's ruling amounted to a temporary moral victory for the lieutenant in a case that many legal observers had considered a virtual slam-dunk for the Army."
So what does that mean? At this point, meaning is up in the air. Corey Moss (MTV News) was among the ones noting that Judge Toilet had scheduled a court-martial for next month. No, he's not planning on court-martialing himself though that would qualify as justice. He thinks Watada can be retried. Others aren't so sure. Mike Barber (Seattle Post-Intelligencer) reports that Watada's defense doubts that assertion and that John Junker ("University of Washington law professor") feels that another court-martial would be double-jeopardy for Watada, "The notion is that you can't just stop in the middle and say, 'I don't like the way it's going' and start over." Howe Verhovek quotes Ann Wright (retired State Department, retired col.) who declares, "The legal mess we saw here today reflects the major mess the Bush administration has made with the war in Iraq." If you can follow the above, consider yourself smarter than William Yardley (New York Times) who drops the issue of double jeopardy by merely noting that "the circumstances surrounding the mistrial, including the fact that the judge rejected a stipulation he had initially approved, could allow Lieutenant Watada to avoid prosecution altogether" -- all in the concluding sentence. Where it stands now for Ehren Watada? Aaron Glantz told Sandra Lupien (The KPFA Evening News) that if it another court-martial is held, "We're going to go back to the original charges. Some of the charges were dropped as a result of the agreement . . . Those charges are now back on the table."
Watada is a part of a movement of resistance with the military that includes others such as Agustin Aguayo (whose court-martial is currently set to begin on March 6th), Kyle Snyder, Darrell Anderson, Ivan Brobeck, Ricky Clousing, Aidan Delgado, Mark Wilkerson, Joshua Key, Camilo Meija, Pablo Paredes, Carl Webb, Stephen Funk, David Sanders, Dan Felushko, Brandon Hughey, Jeremy Hinzman, Corey Glass, Patrick Hart, Clifford Cornell, Joshua Despain, Katherine Jashinski, Chris Teske, Matt Lowell and Kevin Benderman. In total, thirty-eight US war resisters in Canada have applied for asylum.
Information on war resistance within the military can be found at Center on Conscience & War, The Objector, The G.I. Rights Hotline, and the War Resisters Support Campaign. Courage to Resist offers information on all public war resisters.
RECOMMENDED: "Iraq snapshot"
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