BULLY BOY PRESS & CEDRIC'S BIX MIX -- DC.
IN AN EXCLUSIVE INTERvIEW WITH BULLY BOY PRESS & CEDRIC'S BIX MIX,
SECRETARY OF STATE AND ANGER CONDI RICE (WHO SAYS SHE'S GROWN ADDICTED TO SEEING HER OWN NAME AND HAS SUFFERED SERIOUS WITHDRAWAL AFTER HER RECENT MISSION TO THE MIDDLE EAST TO STOMP OUT PEACE DIDN'T PRODUCE NEARLY AS MUCH COPY AS SHE'D HOPED FOR) TELLS ALL.
ON MONDAY, THE BULLY BOY WILL ASK CONGRESS FOR ADDITIONAL MONIES FOR HIS ILLEGAL WAR IN IRAQ. BULLY BOY WILL ASK FOR $99.7 BILLION FOR 2007 AND $145 BILLION FOR 2008 (FOR BOTH IRAQ AND AFGHANISTAN).
SECRETARY OF STATE AND ANGER GIGGLED.
SO THESE REPORTERS POINTED OUT THAT ONE YEAR AFTER HURRICANE KATRINA DESTROYED THE GULF REGION, ONLY $110 BILLION DOLLARS WERE ALLOCATED FOR REBUIDLING, RECONSTRUCTION AND REPAIR.
SECRETARY RICE GIGGLED AGAIN.
"WHAT'S YOUR POINT?" SHE ASKED. "THAT WE WOULD RATHER SPEND MORE MONEY WIPING OUT PEOPLE OF COLOR THAN IN HELPING THEM?"
WHEN ASKED TO DEFINE "WE," SECRETARY RICE RESPONDED, "US. THOSE OF US IN THE ADMINISTRATION."
IS SECRETARY RICE AWARE THAT SHE IS A PERSON OF A COLOR?
"SH!" HISSED SECRETARY RICE LOOKING AROUND NERVOUSLY. "EVERYONE IN THE WHITE HOUSE THINKS I JUST HAVE A REALLY DEEP TAN!"
AND DO THEY EVER DOUBT THAT EXCUSE?
"SOMETIMES. WHEN THAT HAPPENS, I TELL RACE JOKES. I JUST PASSED ON A FEW TO JOE BIDEN."
FROM THE TCI WIRE:
Starting with Ehren Watada who became the first comissioned officer to publicly refuse to deploy to Iraq in June and now faces a court-martial in Fort Lewis, Washington on Monday.
Daisuke Wakabayashi (Reuters) says the case "could determine the limits of free-speech rights for officers." Dean Paton (Christian Science Monitor) takes a look at the life that led up to the brave stand: "When it came time for Watada to enlist, he was diagnosed with asthma and declared physically unfit. He paid $800 to have an outside test done and was accepted into the Army's college-option program. He completed basic training in June 2003, and went to Officer Candidate School in South Carolina. He emerged 14 weeks later as a 2nd lieutenant." Ben Hamamoto (The Nichi Bei Times) reports on some of the activities Carolyn Ho has been taking part in to raise awareness of her son including suggesting people write letters to Congress, sign petitions (one is at Ehren Watada's site) and "post signs demanding that the military drop the charges and allow Watada to resign" because, Ho stated, "The way this resolves itself will speak to the soldiers and tell them whether or not they are being supported and it will speak to the politicians as to how we feel about the war (and soldiers' rights)."
Diane Kay (The Maine Campus) traces his life from college to speaking out: "Watada was a finance major, and graduated magna cum laude. The war in Iraq had just begun, and Watada, like many Americans, believed that Iraq posed a real threat to the United States, had WMDs and was connected to Sept. 11. He entered the U.S. Army officer candidate program following graduation to pursue a career in the military. Watada served in Korea in 2003 and 2004, earned the rank of lieutenant, and received excellent reviews of his work by his superior officers. In 2005, Lt. Watada and his unit returned to the United States, and were stationed in Ft. Lewis, Wash. Lt. Watada knew that his unit would eventually be deployed to Iraq, and he began to study as much as he could to prepare himself and his unit for deployment." This is where Ehren Watada starts to learn about the Bully Boy's lies of war. He had been assigned to Iraq. It was his duty (and superiors encouraged him in it) to study up so that he would be more effective and also able to answer questions from those serving under him (big one: "Why are we even here?"). It took the American people (many, not all) time to wake up to the lies of war and that didn't happen overnight. (Nor did it happen via the media as Liza Featherstone laughably suggests in The Nation. But then how would she know about the Downing Street Memos -- which The New York Review of Books, not The Nation, published. Jessica Lee, of the Indypendent, covers what Featherstone can't or won't -- click here.) What happened in the United States was activists and some journalists and publications pursued the topic (again, really not The Nation -- they had food issues and environmental issues and so much more to cover -- which is why they've never once written of the gang rape and murder of 14-year-old Abeer). People carved out a space for it and certainly Cindy Sheehan took it up a notch.
All that was needed for the lies to be exposed and the public to turn against the war. Ehren Watada was not in the United States. He was stationed in Korea. And it's really important to remember that. Many who've served in Iraq have seen the lies fall away before their eyes (which reality will do) but in terms of how the war was sold, don't think that troops serving overseas are getting the same media that those in the United States do. In the lead up to his announcing his decision to his mother on January 1, 2006, he was cramming in three-plus years worth of information, reporting, critiques, etc. Which is why Hatsue Katsura of El Cerrito notes to The Contra Costa Times: "It was a gradual awareness and realization of facts about the war that were publicly disclosed over time. It became obvious our administration lacked reliable intelligence and was lying to justify an illegal and immoral war.I respect and support Watada for his decision. By refusing to obey orders, he knew he'd probably face a jail sentence. But he responded to a higher calling to serve his fellow man as an American and a world citizen."
Or, as Ehren Watada asked Daisuke Wakabayashi, "When you have leaders that are unaccountable, who have already deceived people over something as serious as war and are willing to do it again, you have to ask yourself, 'where do you stand?'" Or, as he explained to Judith Scherr (Berkeley Daily Planet), "I'm willing to go to prison for what I believe in. . . .
I've taken an oath to defend the constitution, I must be willing to sacrifice."
That sacrifice shouldn't involve sacrificing the truth of his story so possibly some might need to correct Tom Zeller Jr. (New York Times) who writes: "But Lieutenant Watada is no ordinary deserter, and he did not claim to be a conscientious objector." Ehren Watada is "no oridinary deserter" -- in fact, he's no deserter of any kind. Not since Zeller Jr. dismissed concerns over the Ohio vote immediately after the 2004 election has he seemed so out of touch with what he is supposed to be covering. Watada isn't a deserter. He refused to deploy. That is not desertion. He is not charged with desertion. Since he refused deployment, he has reported to the base for work every day. Zeller's fact-free approach to reporting made him a laughing stock in 2004 (all the more so with the recent Ohio convictions on voter fraud in the 2004 election) and he's obviously more concerned with maintaining that status. So let's speak slowly for Zeller Jr.: Desertion follows AWOL. AWOL is what most are charged with if they are gone for less than thirty days. Watada is not charged with desertion because he never went AWOL. He has been at Fort Lewis for every scheduled hour since he went public. He is not a deserter and the fact-free approach of Zeller's is not reporting. If the Junior Zeller is still confused, someone can refer him to the reporting of Andrew Buncombe (Independent of London): "When Lt Watada refused to go to Iraq last summer the army charged him with missing movement -- for failing to deploy -- as well as several counts of conduct unbecoming an officer."
Amnesty International has issued a press release entitled "USA: War objector's freedom of conscience must be respected" which notes: "'If found guilty, Amnesty International would consider Ehren Watada to be a prisoner of conscience and call for his immediate and unconditional release', said Susan Lee, Amnesty International's Americas Programme Director. 28-year-old Army Lieutenant Ehren Watada faces a possible four year prison sentence on charges of 'missing movement' -- due to his refusal to deploy to Iraq in June 2006 -- and of 'conduct unbecoming an officer' --- because of his public comments regarding his objections to the war in Iraq. Ehren Watada has stated that his refusal is based on his belief that the Iraq war is illegal and immoral. In a pre-court martial hearing held on 16 January, a military judge ruled that he could not base his defence on the legality of the war in Iraq." As Amnesty International steps up to the plate and The Nation plays useless, is it any wonder that so many are starting to believe organizations are more worthy of their dollars than those in independent media who make themselves useless?
As noted, Watada will not be allowed to present a defense. Lt. Col. 'Judge" Head will preside. A military jury will render the verdict on the charges. The hearing itself is expected to go rather quickly since the 'judge' has disallowed Watada's right to present a defense. (The August Article 32 hearing went quickly, since witnesses like Ann Wright, Denis Halliday and Frances Boyle will not be allowed to testify for Watada this time, it's expected to be over in a couple of hours.)
Suzanne Goldenberg (Guardian of London) interviewed Watada who told her, "It was so shocking to me. I guess I had heard about WMD and that we made a terrible, terrible mistake. Mistakes can happen but to think that it was deliberate and that a careful deception was done on the American people -- you just had to question who you are as a serviceman, as an American."
Saturday, Ehren Watada will be speaking:
Your last opportunity to hear from Lt. Watada
in person prior to his military court martial!!
Saturday, February 3, 7 PM
University Temple United Methodist Church
1415 NE 43rd Street,
Seattle WA(next to the University Bookstore).
$10 suggested donation for the event.
No one will be turned away.
In addition, his mother, Carolyn Ho, will be speaking Saturday in Little Tokyo (in Los Angeles) at an event Saturday organized by the Asian Emrican Veterans Organization (event starts with a meet up march at the intersection of San Pedro and Second at 4:00 pm)..
More information on all events can be found by clicking here.
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.
Again, the court-martial beings Monday. Courage to Resist lists actions taking place at Fort Lewis and elsewhere. They note that the court-martial is open to the public (you need to get a visitors pass), will be held (at Fort Lewis base) in Building 2027 and that the proceedings are scheduled to begin at 9:00 am.
And Iraq Veterans Against the War are staging actions throughout the weekend:
Friday, February 2nd through Monday, February 5th, the day of Lt. Ehren Watada's court-martial, IVAW's Olympia Chapter and IVAW Deployed will be holding a series of events/fundraisers in order to raise awareness on the importance and details of Ehren's action, and subsequently, his court-martial.
We will show up on the day of Ehren'' trial with a presence and message that cannot be ignored nor denied. Our message is simple: George W. Bush and those who choose to partake in war crimes are the people that should be on trial. Lt. Ehren Watada's argument is legitimate and should be adopted by all who might be given unlawful orders.
RECOMMENDED: "Iraq snapshot"
"And the war drags on"
"'Backstory: Dissent of an officer' (Dean Paton)"
"john mccain's show boat express"
"Molly Ivins, Marjorie Cohn"
"Guns & Butter, APEX Express, Free Speech Radio News"
"THIS JUST IN! AND THAT'S AS GOOD AS IT'S GOING TO GET, JOE!"
"Rest in Peace, Molly Ivins"
"Vote: Let Luke Find Love!"