BULLY BOY PRESS & CEDRIC'S BIX MIX & TCI WIRE--- DC.
HOWARD KRONGARD, THE U.S. STATE DEPARTMENT'S HEAD OF THE OFFICE OF INSPECTOR GENERAL ANNOUNCED TODAY HE WAS RECUSING HIMSELF FROM ALL ISSUES AND INVESTIGATIONS RELATED TO BLACKWATER.
THE ANNOUNCEMENT CAME AFTER RECESS INTO A CONGRESSIONAL HEARING. PRIOR TO THE RECESS HE INSISTED AN ISSUE WAS NOTHING BUT "UGLY RUMORS"!
THE ISSUE? THAT HOWARD KRONGARD HAD A BROTHER NAMED ALVIN D. KRONGARD WHO WAS ON THE BOARD OF THE MERCENARY COMPANY BLACKWATER.
RETURNING FROM RECESS, HOWARD KRONGARD WHO REPEATEDLY INTERFERED WITH INVESTIGATIONS INTO BLACKWATER, ANNOUNCED THE "UGLY RUMORS" WERE TRUE.
TURNS OUT ALVIN D. KRONGARD, FORMER EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR OF THE C.I.A. IS ON THE ADVISORY BOARD OF BLACKWATER AND IS, IN FACT, HOWARD KRONGARD'S BROTHER.
"I AM NOT MY BROTHER'S KEEPER!" INSISTED HOWARD KRONGARD TO CONGRESS.
LATER, HOWARD KRONGARD TOLD THESE REPORTERS THAT WHAT THREW HIM WAS "ALVIN D."
"ALVIN?" KRONGARD ASKED, "WE ALL CALLED HIM 'BUZZY.' NEXT THING YOU'RE GOING TO TELL ME IS THAT MY MOTHER'S FIRST NAME ISN'T REALLY 'MOMMY'!"
FROM THE TCI WIRE:
Indybay Media has posted an (audio) interview with war resister Brad McCall conducted by Courage to Resist. Brad McCall is the war resister who self-checked out and attempted entry into Canada only to be arrested (September 19, 2007) crossing the border. McCall explains in the interview that he applied for CO status and waited ("and begged and begged and begged") before realizing it wasn't happening.
Brad McCall: I made, the final decision, I made it one night. I found out -- or one day. I talked to a friend of mine in Colorado Springs and he told me about these GIs that were running to Canada and I was like, 'Wow, this is cool.' . . . I went to another one of my friends' house and got on my laptop at her house and we both looked and saw that it's very possible. And we found Resisters.ca on the internet and that night I made the choice that a week later we would leave. She traveled with me as just a friend and that we'd leave in a week which, as a matter of face, was payday. So I knew I would need some cash to get on the road and get moving."
Courage to Resist: So you drove to British Columbia?
Brad McCall: Yes.
Courage to Resist: And did you connect immediately with other resisters up there?
Brad McCall: Well, initially the first thing that happened to me up there when I got to British Columbia was I was arrested at the border. For that week that I was still in Fort Carson, I had e-mail contact with Canada and with people that were willing to help me and I didn't realize that my parents actually had my e-mail password and they were watching all of this go down. And they were e-mailing all these e-mails to my commander and first sergeant so they knew I was going to Canada.
Courage to Resist: Well I guess I don't need to ask about support from your family for this decision?
Brad McCall: Oh, oh, God, no. I've been disowned. But that's why I love Canada. I have nothing to go back to in the United States so I'm very content with staying here for the rest of my life.
Courage to Resist: So you were arrested at the border?
Brad McCall: Yes, I was arrested at the border on the command of the US army by Canadian Border Services Agency -- not by US services, but Canadian services -- put into a Canadian jail for two days until my lawyer showed up and got me.
Courage to Resist: Now this was a Canadian lawyer, yes?
Brad McCall: Yes.
Courage to Resist: From a Canadian support committee for GI resisters?
Brad McCall: No, he's just a, uh, young lawyer. He supports the cause. He's an immigration lawyer. And he said -- the first thing he told me -- he said. "Me helping you guys out is a no-brainer." He said, "I'm not associated with the War Resisters Support Campaign or the War Resisters League or any anti-war group. I'm a lawyer by myself and I'm helping you guys out. And he's really an awesome guy.
Courage to Resist: An unsung hero.
Brad McCall: Yes, very much so.
Courage to Resist: So he got you out of the clink --
Brad McCall: Yes.
Courage to Resist: And then what did you do next?
Brad McCall: Well, um, while I was in jail, I filed refugee claim stating that I was requesting to be a refugee from the United States on ground that if I go back to the United States, I will be persecuted or legally prosecuted for my beliefs -- politically, morally and spiritually.
Courage to Resist: Right.
Brad McCall: And so that's what I've done. I've started my refugee claim, working on that --
Courage to Resist: And what's the status of that claim right now? Where are you in the process?
Brad McCall: Right now it's just a claim. It has to come under review by the Refugee Board of Canada and they will determine whether or not I am liable for refugee status. . So far there's only been two that have come up to the Refugee Board, only two claims by war resisters, and they have both been denied. They're in the appeals process right now.
Courage to Resist: This is Jeremy Hinzman and Brandon Hughey.
Brad McCall: Exactly.
Courage to Resist: Exactly. They're going to the Supreme Court I understand?
Brad McCall: Exactly. So me I'm not really expecting a victory in the way of getting refugee status. I'm not expecting that so I'm having to go ahead and prepare for other plans.
Hinzman and Hughey are waiting to hear whether or not Canada's Supreme Court will grant a hearing to their appeal over the Immigration and Refugee Board (really one person) denying them refugee status. Hinzman was the first resister during the Iraq War who went to Canada to go public with his resistance. He became the first to apply for refugee status (January 2004). He lives there with his wife Nga Nguyen and their son Liam. Prior to making the decision, Hinzman applied for CO status and was denied. Hughey went to Canada in March 2004. McCall's stories of conflicts with his family are echoed in the early reaction of Brandon Hughey's father. However, at the 2005 Veterans for Peace conference held in Texas, David Hughey delivered an amazing speech explaining the conflicts and how they had been resolved concluding with "I just thought I'd come up and introduce myself. I do support my son." The War Resisters Support Campaign announces:
Supreme Court decision on Hinzman & Hughey expected on THURSDAY NOV. 15th, 2007
The Supreme Court of Canada is expected to post its decision on whether or not it will hear the appeal by US war resisters Jeremy Hinzman and Brandon Hughey THIS THURSDAY at 9:45 am.
The decision will be posted at . . . [click here] (the case number for Jeremy Hinzman is 32113, and for Brandon Hughey it is 32111).
If the decision is negative, join protests in cities across the country. Check the take action page for listing of protests locations.
If the decision is positive, we will celebrate right across the country -- but there will still be much work to do to ensure that US soldiers who refuse to fight in Iraq have refuge in Canada. In TORNOTO, join us at 7 p.m. at Grossman's Tavern, 379 Spadina Avenue (at Cecil Street) for a 'Leave to Appeal' party.
That is tomorrow. On Iraq, McCall declared, "I want people to realize this is new era of war and Iraq is not going to -- if we don't stop Iraq, Iraq is not going to be the last step, not going to be the last frontier or whatever that the United States tries to take, it's just the beginning of a long series of wars that I can see in the future. It's not going to be pretty. And we've got to do something about it now. We have to do something about it now."
There is a growing movement of resistance within the US military which includes James Stepp, Michael Espinal, Matthew Lowell, Derek Hess, Diedra Cobb, Brad McCall, Justin Cliburn, Timothy Richard, Robert Weiss, Phil McDowell, Steve Yoczik, Ross Spears, Peter Brown, Bethany "Skylar" James, Zamesha Dominique, Chrisopther Scott Magaoay, Jared Hood, James Burmeister, Eli Israel, Joshua Key, Ehren Watada, Terri Johnson, Carla Gomez, Luke Kamunen, Leif Kamunen, Leo Kamunen, Camilo Mejia, Kimberly Rivera, Dean Walcott, Linjamin Mull, Agustin Aguayo, Justin Colby, Marc Train, Abdullah Webster, Robert Zabala, Darrell Anderson, Kyle Snyder, Corey Glass, Jeremy Hinzman, Kevin Lee, Mark Wilkerson, Patrick Hart, Ricky Clousing, Ivan Brobeck, Aidan Delgado, Pablo Paredes, Carl Webb, Stephen Funk, Blake LeMoine, Clifton Hicks, David Sanders, Dan Felushko, Brandon Hughey, Clifford Cornell, Joshua Despain, Joshua Casteel, Katherine Jashinski, Dale Bartell, Chris Teske, Matt Lowell, Jimmy Massey, Chris Capps, Tim Richard, Hart Viges, Michael Blake, Christopher Mogwai, Christian Kjar, Kyle Huwer, Wilfredo Torres, Michael Sudbury, Ghanim Khalil, Vincent La Volpa, DeShawn Reed and Kevin Benderman. In total, at least fifty US war resisters in Canada have applied for asylum.Information on war resistance within the military can be found at The Objector, The G.I. Rights Hotline [(877) 447-4487], Iraq Veterans Against the War and the War Resisters Support Campaign. Courage to Resist offers information on all public war resisters. Tom Joad maintains a list of known war resisters.
The voice of war resister Camilo Mejia is featured in Rebel Voices -- playing now through December 16th at Culture Project and based on Howard Zinn and Anthony Arnove's best-selling book Voices of a People's History of the United States. It features dramatic readings of historical voices such as war resister Mejia, Sojourner Truth, Frederick Douglass, Malcom X and others will be featured. Zinn will take part in the November 18th presentation (the official opening night -- but performances are already taking place) and musician Allison Mooerer will head the permanent cast while those confirmed to be performing on selected nights are Ally Sheedy (actress and poet, best known for films such as High Art, The Breakfast Club, Maid to Order, the two Short Circuit films, St. Elmo's Fire, War Games, and, along with Nicky Katt, has good buzz on the forthcoming Harold), Eve Ensler who wrote the theater classic The Vagina Monologues (no, it's not too soon to call that a classic), actor David Strathaim (L.A. Confidential, The Firm, Bob Roberts, Dolores Claiborne and The Bourne Ultimatum), actor and playwright Wallace Shawn (The Princess Bride, Clueless -- film and TV series, Gregory and Chicken Little), actress Lili Taylor (Dogfight, Shortcuts, Say Anything, Household Saints, I Shot Andy Warhol, Mrs. Parker and the Vicious Circle, State of Mind) and actor, director and activist Danny Glover (The Color Purple, Beloved, The Royal Tenenbaums, The Rainmaker, Places In The Heart, Dreamgirls, Shooter and who appeared on Democracy Now! Friday addressing the US militarization of Africa) The directors are Will Pomerantz and Rob Urbinati with Urbinati collaborating with Zinn and Arnove on the play. Tickets are $21 for previews and $41 for regular performances (beginning with the Nov. 18th opening night). The theater is located at 55 Mercer Street and tickets can be purchased there, over the phone (212-352-3101) or online here and here. More information can be found at Culture Project.
Meanwhile IVAW is organizing a March 2008 DC event:
In 1971, over one hundred members of Vietnam Veterans Against the War gathered in Detroit to share their stories with America. Atrocities like the My Lai massacre had ignited popular opposition to the war, but political and military leaders insisted that such crimes were isolated exceptions. The members of VVAW knew differently.
Over three days in January, these soldiers testified on the systematic brutality they had seen visited upon the people of Vietnam. They called it the Winter Soldier investigation, after Thomas Paine's famous admonishing of the "summer soldier" who shirks his duty during difficult times. In a time of war and lies, the veterans who gathered in Detroit knew it was their duty to tell the truth.
Over thirty years later, we find ourselves faced with a new war. But the lies are the same. Once again, American troops are sinking into increasingly bloody occupations. Once again, war crimes in places like Haditha, Fallujah, and Abu Ghraib have turned the public against the war. Once again, politicians and generals are blaming "a few bad apples" instead of examining the military policies that have destroyed Iraq and Afghanistan.
Once again, our country needs Winter Soldiers.
In March of 2008, Iraq Veterans Against the War will gather in our nation's capital to break the silence and hold our leaders accountable for these wars. We hope you'll join us, because yours is a story that every American needs to hear.
Click here to sign a statement of support for Winter Soldier: Iraq & Afghanistan
RECOMMENDED: "Iraq snapshot"
"3 US servicemembers announced dead and the Iraqi refugee crisis"
"NYT: Turkey & northern Iraq and Blackwater"
"bill gallagher on di-fi and fancy nancy"
"Amy Goodman interviews Studs Terkel"
"Isaiah, Democracy Now!, etc."
"Barack loving press"
"THIS JUST IN! THEY'RE AT IT AGAIN!"