BULLY BOY PRESS & CEDRIC'S BIG MIX -- THE KOOL-AID TABLE
CELEBRITY IN CHIEF BARRY O STANDS ON THE WORLD STAGE WITH HIS TAIL BETWEEN HIS LEGS. SPEAKING TODAY, A SHEEPISH BARRY INSISTED, "I'M REALLY JUST LIKE BLAINE WILSON, YOU KNOW. I AM A CHAMPION."
BARRY O WENT TO COPENHAGEN THINKING A LITTLE STAR POWER ON HIS PART WOULD BRING THE OLYMPICS TO CHICAGO. EITHER HIS STAR POWER HAS COMPLETELY CRATERED OR AS USUAL IT WAS A MISTAKE TO RELY ON MICHELLE OBAMA'S SOCIAL 'SKILLS,' BECAUSE TEAM OBAMA STRUCK OUT.
BARRY O CONTINUED TO STICK TO HIS PREPARED LINE OF NOT BEING A LOSER, JUST BEING "BLAINE WILSON."
HE NEVER GRASPED HOW TRUE THAT WAS. IN 2000, NBC AIRED THE WORST OLYMPICS EVER. NBC DID NOT AIR THEM LIVE AND THOUGHT THE WAY TO HANDLE SPORTS WAS AS IF IT WERE AN E: TRUE HOLLYWOOD SPECIAL. SO YOU HAD REPEATED SEGMENTS OF KATIE COURIC AND MATT LAUER INTERVIEWING BLAINE WILSON, THE GYMNIST WHO WAS 'GOING FOR THE GOLD' AND WOULD BE THE BIG SUCCESS STORY. LIKE BARACK, BLAINE GOT ALL THE PRESS. LIKE BARACK, BLAINE COULDN'T DELIVER. 8 YEARS AFTER THAT HIGHLY PUBLIC EMBARRASSMENT, BLAINE WILSON ANNOUNCED HIS PROFESSIONAL RETIREMENT. WAGS SAY EXPECT BARRY O TO MAKE A SIMILAR ANNOUNCEMENT IN 3 YEARS.
FROM THE TCI WIRE:
Academy Award winning actress Angelina Jolie is also the UNHCR Goodwill Ambassador. Today, visiting Syria, she issued a call for the world not to forget the Iraqi refugees who have been forced to flee their own country for safety. The UNHCR notes:
Tens of thousands of Iraqi civilians have returned to their country from Syria and other nearby countries over the past year, but many more are unable or unwilling to return to a country still rocked by violence. As the Iraqi story has largely disappeared from global headlines, so has the plight of the refugees.
Jolie, returning to visit Iraqi refugees in the poorest suburbs of the Syrian capital of Damascus after a 2007 visit, said these refugees still needed vital help and support. "Most Iraqi refugees cannot return to Iraq in view of the severe trauma they experienced there, the uncertainty linked to the coming Iraqi elections, the security issues and the lack of basic services. They will, therefore, be in need of continued support from the international community."
The acclaimed American actress, travelling with her partner Brad Pitt, was welcomed into the homes of two Iraqi families in the Jaramana district of southern Damascus. The first family, grouping seven people, fled to Syria in 2006, while the second family, members of a minority religious group, fled to Iraq in July this year after a son, Waleed,* was twice abducted and his mother, Hoda,* physically abused. The family patriarch, Fares,* had to pay US$25,000 in ransom the first time Waleed was abducted.
The second time, both son and mother were snatched, and Fares had to find US$40,000. The two were released, but they had suffered a terrible ordeal, including torture. "I was assaulted every day for 13 days by up to 10 men," Hoda* recalled, her voice trembling. "I wanted to kill myself and the only reason I decided not to go ahead is because of my children," she added.
On the release of Hoda and Waleed, the family fled to Syria.
RadarOnline offers photos of Angelina's visit to Syria.
This afternoon Fort Lewis's Media Relations department announced that Ehren Watada had completed his out processing and was discharged from the US military. We're going to stay with this topic for a bit because (a) it is important and (b) it is historical. 1st Lt Watada was the first officer to publicly refuse to deploy to Iraq. As Ann noted last night, "there are people who have no idea what a brave thing he did." Ehren Watada was informed he would be deploying to Iraq in June 2005. He had not given much thought to Iraq. To prepare for the deployment, his superior advised him to study up on the war so that he could answer any questions that might come up from those serving under him. He started researching the basics about the country itself, topography and geography and continuing through the history up to the current war. He came across the Downing Street Memos which exposed that the 'intelligence' for the Iraq War was fixed. He was now firmly convinced that the Iraq War was illegal and immoral. From eager to serve in Iraq to realizing he'd be violating his oath to the Constitution, Ehren was now confronted with a decision. He could keep his mouth shut and just do as he was told. Or he could take a stand which would risk the wrath of the military as well as a portion of the public.
Ehren's mother, Carolyn Ho, has explained what happened next many times as she's spoken to raise awareness of her son's case. WBAI's Law and Disorder shared one of her talks on their January 22, 2007 broadcast. Carolyn Ho explained it was the new year, January 2006, and her son called her. He explained that he had something to tell her, he'd decided decided he wouldn't deploy to Iraq when the time came. She was very upset and asked him if he understood what might result from his decision? Ehren told her that he had no choide, he'd taken an oath to the Constitution, this was what he had to do and he was going to inform his superiors.
Ehren didn't hestitate to inform his superiors. This was in January 2006. They at first attempted to change his mind. He could not be budged. So they stated they wanted to work something out. They brainstormed together. Ehren came up with ideas including, he could deploy to the Afghanistan War instead, he could resign (his service contract expired in December 2006). His superiors appeared to be eager to consider every possibility; however, they were just attempting to stall. They appear to have thought that if they put him off and put him off, when the day to deploy came, he'd just shrug his shoulders and deploy.
They did not know Ehren. June 7, 2006 ("the day before his 28th birthday," Carolyn Ho likes to remind), Ehren went public with his refusal to deploy. Jake Armstrong (Pasadena Weekly) notes Ehren stated to participate in the Iraq War would be participating in war crimes.
In August 2006, an Article 32 hearing was held. Watada's defense called three witnesses, Francis A. Boyle of the University of Illinois' College of Law, Champagne; Denis Halliday, the former Assistant Secretary General of the UN; and retired Colonel Ann Wright. These three witnesses addressed the issue of the war, it's legality, and the responsibilities of a service member to disobey any order that they believed was unlawful. The testimony was necessary because Watada's refusing to participate in the illegal war due to the fact that he feels it is (a) illegal and (b) immoral. Many weeks and weeks later, the finding was released: the military would proceed with a court-martial.On Monday, February 5, 2007, Watada's court-martial began. It continued on Tuesday when the prosecution argued their case. Wednesday, Watada was to take the stand in his semi-defense. Judge Toilet (John Head) presided and when the prosecution was losing, Toilet decided to flush the lost by declaring a mistrial over defense objection in his attempt to give the prosecution a do-over. Head was insisting then that a court-martial would begin against Watada in a few weeks when no court-martial could begin.January 4, 2007, Head oversaw a pre-trial hearing. Head also oversaw a stipulation that the prosecution prepared and Watada signed. Head waived the stipulation through. Then the court-martial begins and Ehren's clearly winning. The prosecution's own military witnesses are becoming a problem for the prosecution. It's Wednesday and Watada's finally going to take the stand. Head suddenly starts insisting there's a problem with the stipulation. Watada states he has no problem with it. Well the prosecution has a problem with it and may move to a mistrial, Judge Toilet declares. The prosecution prepared the stipulation and they're confused by Head's actions but state they're not calling for a mistrial or lodging an objection. That's on the record. Head then keeps pushing for a mistrial and the prosecution finally gets that Head is attempting to give them a do-over, at which point, they call for a mistrial.The case has already started. Witnesses have been heard from. Double-jeopardy has attached. The defense isn't calling for a mistrial and Head rules a mistrial over defense objection and attempts to immediately schedule a new trial. Bob Chapman (Global Research) observes, "With little fanfare the Army at Fort Lewis, Wash., accepted the resignation of the 1966 Kalari High School graduate, and he will be discharged the first week in October." With little fanfare indeed. And to those 'lefty' sites that want to smear opposition of Barack Obama's ObamaBigBusinessCare passed off as something to do with "health care"? I'd say before you accuse anyone of racism, you might take a look at your own damn ass -- which, Red or not, appears highly racist when you claim to be "anti-war" and yet 'forget' all damn week to note Ehren Watada.
And, related, like Elaine, I was disgusted that Free Speech Radio News had time for a ceremony for Glenn Beck but not time to cover Ehren Watada. Today they sort of cover him (link has audio and text):
Lt. Ehren Watada, the first US Army officer to refuse to serve in the war in Iraq, will finally be allowed to resign from the US Army today at Fort Lewis in Washington. Mark Taylor-Canfield has more from Seattle.
Spokespersons at Fort Lewis have confirmed that First Lt. Ehren Watada will be allowed to resign from the US Army. In 2003, Lt. Watada was the first US military officer to refuse to serve in Iraq, which he claims is an illegal war. In 2007 his court marshal was declared a mistrial by a civilian judge. Watada's enlistment was supposed to be up two years ago but he has not been allowed to leave the service.
According to Watada's attorney, Kenneth Kagan, he will receive a "less than honorable discharge." Watada took a leading role in the anti-war movement, speaking out publicly against the war, and criticizing President George W. Bush at the Veterans For Peace national convention in Seattle in 2006. Watada has been under a military imposed gag order since his original court marshal proceedings. Mark Taylor-Canfield, FSRN, Seattle.
Sort of? Two hours before that aired, I'd confirmed on the phone that he'd been discharged and his paper's processed but they're broadcasting, two hours later, that he is supposed to be discharged. People, it's one damn call. You pick up the phone, you call public affairs at Fort Lewis and you explain what you need. So to find people who love and people who hate Glenn Beck, FSRN can do some work. But when they finally note this historic development, they're left with nothing really to say. Not "will be," was. News. You're the ones claiming to be reporters, not me. I rejected that years ago. You're the ones begging for money, not me, I think it's incumbent upon you to do the work that makes someone feel money is well spent. (For those note catching the connection between the two -- both events, Ehren's historic day and that party for Beck took place in the Seattle region. One got an actual report and one got a brief headline. What did our 'independent' news program give us a report on? Glenn Beck's party. Look next for FSRN to woo Suzy for audio reports or possibly Cindy Adams.)
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