Monday, November 30, 2009

Ready to play dress up





Starting with employment opportunities: "Desperately seeking dirty whores willing to lie and look the other way while Iraqis are slaughtered. If you have no ethics and no real training, we'll send you to Iraq where you can be a reporter! Call 1-800-Reuters." The news agency continues to falter in Iraq without Tim Cocks to lead their coverage. Which is how you get them reporting no deaths -- NONE -- since Thursday. Today Michael Christie and Mark Trevelyan fetch coffee and take stenography for the Iraqi government as they announce the Interior Ministry's official death toll numbers of 88 dead in Iraq. They try to dress up with civilians, but what's a civilian? If a police officer and his or her family is slaughtered at their homes -- which did happen this month -- are they civilians? It's not even an issue of killed in the line of fire and it's such a stupid division to begin with. Are resistance fighters civilians? Again, it's a stupid division but then it's stupid for anyone to run with a count from the Interior Ministry which can't even release a total of the number of Iraqis imprisoned (including imprisioned in the Interior Ministry's secret prisons).

Excluding foreign forces and foreign contractors, how many people died in Iraq during the month of November thus far? November 1st through 7th saw at least 51 reported dead and 97 reported injured ("Sunday saw 25 Iraqis reported deaths and 97 injured. Monday saw 4 reported dead and 3 reported wounded. Tuesday saw 3 reported dead and 10 reported injured. Wednesday saw 7 reported dead and 25 reported wounded. Thursday saw 5 person reported dead and 15 reported injured. Friday saw 4 people reported dead and six people reported injured. Saturday saw 3 reported dead and 3 reported injured."). November 8th through 14th saw at least 29 reported dead and at least 44 reported wounded ("Sunday were reported 8 dead and 6 were reported wounded, Monday it was 2 dead and 15 wounded, Tuesday it was 4 dead and 2 wounded, Wednesday found 3 dead and 5 wounded, Thursday it was 6 dead and 10 wounded, Friday there were reported 3 dead and on Saturday the number killed was 3 and the number injured was 6. [Saturday's number may be 4 -- we are going with 3, use links and you'll see why.]"). November 15th through 22nd saw at least 44 reported dead and at least 93 reported injured ("Last Sunday 1 person was reported dead in Iraq and 8 were reported injured, Monday's numbers were 28 dead and 36 wounded, Tuesday's were 4 dead and 14 wounded, Wednesday's numbers were 2 dead and 5 wounded, Thursday's numbers were 4 dead and 6 wounded, Friday's numbers were 2 dead and 10 wounded and Saturday's numbers were 3 dead and 14 wounded."). November 23 through November 28th saw 34 reported dead and 120 reported wounded ("Sunday 11 Iraqis were reported dead and 22 wounded, Monday the numbers were 2 dead and 18 wounded, Tuesday the death total was 3 and the number wounded was 16, Wednesday the death toll was 13 and the injured numbered 38, Thursday were 5 dead and 43 wounded"). Yesterday the press reported 3 dead and 5 injured. That's a total of at least 161 reported dead and at least 359 reported injured. There's very little follow up reporting out of Iraq so those in the injured column who didn't recover, who died? There's no way of knowing.

The laughable ICCC count is 105 (civilians and non-civilians) killed in Iraq in November (thus far). Is it a count or is it a dabble? According to their 'count,' no one died in Iraq on November 19th, n one died in Iraq November 9th, 10th or 11th. So if you want to be crazy, idiotic or just a liar, feel free to cite the laughable count of ICCC. We don't cite Iraqi Body Count because it is an undercount and it has always given an undercount. Undercounts help sell the illegal war. We note ICCC's death toll for US service members since the start of the Iraq War -- the only thing they do worth citing. That number is 4367. Sunday the US military announced: "BASRA -- A Multi-National Division -- South Soldier died Nov. 29 of non-combat related injuries. The name of the deceased is being withheld pending notification of next of kin and release by the Department of Defense. The names of service members are announced through the U.S. Department of Defense official website at The announcements are made on the Web site no earlier than 24 hours after notification of the service member's primary next of kin. The incident is under investigation." The month is not yet over and the military often announces monthly deaths a few days into the next month but currently the monthly death toll is 11 making the month of November the deadliest month for US service members in Iraq since June.

Warren P. Strobel (McClatchy Newspapers) offers a lenthy state-of-Iraq piece today which includes this:

After Iraqi army troops and [Kurdish] peshmerga forces nearly came to blows last spring, Army Gen. Raymond Odierno, the commander of American forces in Iraq, proposed joint patrols by the two armies, under U.S. supervision. The patrols have yet to begin.
Sheikh Jaafar Sheikh Mustafa, the minister of the peshmerga, told McClatchy that the Kurdish regional government has accepted Odierno's plan, but with reservations. However, he ruled out pulling back from the tense front-line region around Mosul.
"We will not withdraw one step, under any pressure, or any threat, or any request," Sheikh Jaafar said in an interview in Irbil, the Kurdish regional government's capital. "Solve the problems, we will withdraw the troops."

There are many sections from Strobel's report worthy of noting; however, we're noting that section because some outlets have falsely reported that those joint-patrols have already started.

Staying in the real world, if you were a kiddie rapist and the murderer of four people and were damn lucky enough to have been sentenced only to life in prison, you might want to consider that a 'win.' But Steven D. Green was never known for smarts and his cheap lawyers were never known for their ethics. Steven D. Green was convicted last May 7th of the gang-rape of 14-year-old Iraqi Abeer Qassim Hamza al-Janabi, her murder, the murder of her five-year-old sister and the murders of both of her parents. The War Crimes took place in Iraq where Green was serving with the US military. Green was the ringleader and part of the plan was to blame the War Crimes on 'insurgents.' By the time the War Crimes were discovered, Green had already been discharged. The War Criminal was sentenced to life in prison only after the civilian jury appeared split on whether or not to sentence him to the death penalty. No reporter has covered this story as much as AP's Brett Barrouquere. Today Barrouquere reports that Green's attorneys filed an appeal today claiming that the 2000 Military Extraterritorial Jurisdiction Act was not appropriate or legal and should be overturned (a claim the defense made in federal court already and a claim that was rejected). His attorneys are claiming that Green would have received more leniancy in military courts and want the conviction tossed out and for Green to be re-tried before a military court -- in other words, his attorneys are attempting to garner the death penalty for Green.

Green and his attorneys seem unaware of the reasons why some of the others involved received lighter sentences than Green did (Green is sentenced to life without parole). The reasons include that all four family members killed were shot dead by Steven D. Green. The reasons include that Green was the ringleader who plotted the entire attack. The reasons include that Green showed no remorse while others begged for the mercy of the court, going so far as to cry in court. Green showed no remorse. It should also be noted that Green and his two-bit attorneys did a lousy job in court. After Green was found guilty, the attorneys attempted to spin it and say that was their strategy. Hey, put that on a business card: "Defense attorneys who will work overtime so that you're found guilty." They claimed that they intended that and were saving their fight for the sentencing. That's an outright lie. They tried many tactics before the first day of the trial and the judge repeatedly shot them down. Pouting and not all that smart to begin with, they went through the motions in court and never regained their balance. So when you put your client in the courtroom and you never challenge the accusastions against him, when you never dispute them, when you never argue he's not guilty, don't be surprised when he gets convicted. Don't be surprised at all.

Green showed no remorse and that's public information now. It's unlikely that a judge will toss out the civilian court's conviction but it could happen. If it does, Green's not likely to face a jury nervous about sentencing him to death. Green is a War Criminal. A military jury (or just a judge if he skips a military jury) will see him as a disgrace to the uniform and someone who brought shame to the US military. They will know that he offered no remorse. Oops.

Let's stop a moment. In May, after being convicted and with the sentence hearing concluding and Abeer's family in the courtroom, Green read a statement (this is the prepared statement e-mailed to the public account of TCI, it varied a bit as Green stumbled through his public reading):

What I am about to say is completely my own. No one told me what to say. No one wrote this for me. Not my lawyers, not the government, not anybody.My feelings of remorse are directed solely towards the victims, and towards the family of the victims, who I do not deny are victims themselves.I am truly sorry for what I did in Iraq and I am sorry for the pain my actions, and the actions of my co-defendants, have caused you and your family. I imagine it is a pain that I cannot fully comprehend or appreciate. I helped to destroy a family and end the lives of four of my fellow human beings, and I wish that I could take it back, but I cannot. And, as inadequate as this apology is, it is all I can give you.I know you wish I was dead, and I do not hold that against you. If I was in your place, I am convinced beyond any doubt that I would feel the same way. And, if I thought it would change anything, or if it would bring these people back to life, I would do everything I could to make them execute me. I also know that you think I am evil, and I understand that as well, and even though I do not think that you want to hear this, I have to tell you that despite the evil that I have done, I am not an evil person. Before I was in the Army, I never thought I would kill anyone, and even after I was in the Army, but before I went to Iraq, I never thought I would intentionally kill a civilian. When I was in Iraq, something happened to me that I can only explain by saying that I lost my mind. At some point while I was in Iraq, I stopped seeing Iraqis as good and bad, as men, women, and children. I started seeing them all as one, and evil, and less than human. When that happened, any natural, learned, or religious morality, that normally would have stopped this, was gone. But I see now that I was wrong, and that Iraqis are human beings, and that despite differences of race, religion, culture, and language, they are still human. And that at their core, they have the same feelings, emotions, and needs as Americans. It was wrong to kill Iraqis, just like it was wrong to kill Americans, just like it is wrong to kill anyone, and I am very sorry. Most of all I am sorry for the deceased, but aside from them, I am the most sorry for the boys whose family are gone. I know what we did left a hole in their lives, and scars on their minds, and that there is no making up for that. I only hope for them that they can somehow, and I don't know how, move forward, and have a good future despite the nightmare in their past that I helped create. They have my apologies and my prayers, as meaningless as they must seem. The Government is not going to execute me, as I am sure you wish they would, but there is really no chance that I will step foot outside of prison for as long as I live. I know that if I live one more year or fifty more years that they will be years that Fahkriya, Kassem, Abeer, and Hadeel won't have not matter where I am. And even though I did not learn their names until long after their deaths, they are never far from my mind. But in the end, whether in one year or fifty, I will die, and when I die I will be in God's hands. In the Kingdom of God where there will be justice, and whatever I deserve, I will get. On the day of judgment, God will repay everyone according to his works, and affliction and distress will come upon every human being who does evil. I know that I have done evil, and I fear that the wrath of the Lord will come upon me on that day. But, I hope that you and your family at least can find some comfort in God's justice. I see now that war is intrinsically evil, because killing is intrinsically evil. And, I am sorry I ever had anything to do with either. And, I cannot say this enough times, whether or not you can ever forgive me, and I don't see how you could, I am and will always be sorry for what I did.

Oh, what a sweet little War Criminal. Abeer's family didn't buy his little act. Renee Murphy reported on the events in the court room for WHAS11:

Renee Murphy: I mean, they came face to face with the killer. Once again, the only thing different about this time was that they were able to speak with him and they had an exchange of dialogue and the family is here from Iraq and they got to ask Steven Green all the questions they wanted answered. They looked each other in the eye. Green appeared calm and casual in court. The victims' family, though, outraged, emotional and distraught. Now cameras were not allowed in the courtroom so we can't show video of today's hearing but here's an account of what happened. [Video begins] This is a cousin of a 14-year-old Iraqi girl raped and killed by Steven Green. He and other family members in this SUV were able to confront Green in federal court this morning. Their words were stinging and came from sheer grief. Former Fort Campbell soldier Steven Green was convicted of killing an Iraqi mother, father and their young daughter. He then raped their 14-year-old daughter, shot her in the head and set her body on fire. Today the victim's family was able to give an impact statement at the federal court house the young sons of the victims asked Green why he killed their father. an aunt told the court that "wounds are still eating at our heart" and probably the most compelling statements were from the girls' grandmother who sobbed from the stand and demanded an explanation from Green. Green apologized to the family saying that he did evil things but he is not an evil person. He says that he was drunk the night of the crimes in 2006 and he was following the orders of his commanding officers. In his statement, Green said if it would bring these people back to life I would do everything I could to make them execute me. His statement goes on to say, "Before I went to Iraq, I never thought I would intentionally kill a civilian. When I was in Iraq, something happened to me that I can only explain by saying I lost my mind. I stopped seeing Iraqis as good and bad, as men, women and children. I started seeing them all as one, and evil, and less than human." Green didn't act alone. His codefendants were court-martialed and received lesser sentences. Green will be formally sentenced to life in prison in September. [End of videotape.] The answers that Green gave were not good enough for some of the family members. at one point today, the grandmother of the young girls who were killed left the podium and started walking towards Green as he sat at the defendant's table shouting "Why!" She was forcibly then escorted to the back of the court room by US Marshalls. She then fell to the ground and buried her face in her hands and began to cry again. The family pleaded with the court for the death sentence for Green. but you can see Green's entire statement to the court on our website and coming up tonight at six o'clock, we're going to hear from Green's attorneys.

His performance wasn't at all convincing and he dropped it when he popped back into court in September. From the September 4th snapshot:

May 7th Steven D. Green (pictured above) was convicted for his crimes in March 12, 2006 gang-rape and murder of Abeer Qassim Hamza al-Janabi, the murder of her parents and the murder of her five-year-old sister while Green was serving in Iraq. Green was found to have killed all four, to have participated in the gang-rape of Abeer and to have been the ringleader of the conspiracy to commit the crimes and the conspiracy to cover them up. May 21st, the federal jury deadlocked on the death penalty and instead kicking in sentence to life in prison. Today, Green stood before US District Judge Thomas B. Russell for sentencing. Kim Landers (Australia's ABC) quotes Judge Russell telling Green his actions were "horrifying and inexcusable." Not noted in any of the links in this snapshot (it comes from a friend present in the court), Steven Dale Green has dropped his efforts to appear waif-ish in a coltish Julia Roberts circa the 1990s manner. Green showed up a good twenty pounds heavier than he appeared when on trial, back when the defense emphasized his 'lanky' image by dressing him in oversized clothes. Having been found guilty last spring, there was apparently no concern that he appear frail anymore.

Italy's AGI reports, "Green was recognised as the leader of a group of five soldiers who committed the massacre on September 12 2006 at the Mahmudiyah check point in the south of Baghdad. The story inspired the 2007 masterpiece by Brian De Palma 'Redacted'." BBC adds, "Judge Thomas Russell confirmed Green would serve five consecutive life sentences with no chance of parole." Deborah Yetter (Courier-Journal) explains, "Friday's federal court hearing was devoted mostly to discussion of technical issues related to Green's sentencing report, although it did not change Green's sentence. He was convicted in May of raping and murdering Abeer al-Janabi, 14, and murdering her parents, Kassem and Fakhriya, and her sister, Hadeel, 6, at their home outside Baghdad."

Green was tried in civilian court because he had already been discharged before the War Crimes were discovered. Following the gang-rape and murders, US soldiers attempted to set fire to Abeer's body to destroy the evidence and attempted to blame the crimes on "insurgents." In real time, when the bodies were discovered, the New York Times was among the outlets that ran with "insurgents." Green didn't decide he wanted to be in the military on his own. It was only after his most recent arrest -- after a long string of juvenile arrests -- while sitting in jail and fearing what sentence he would face, that Green decided the US Army was just the place he wanted to be. Had he been imprisoned instead or had the US military followed rules and guidelines, Green wouldn't have gotten in on a waiver. Somehow his history was supposed to translate into "He's the victim!!!!" As if he (and the others) didn't know rape was a crime, as if he (and the others) didn't know that murder was considered wrong. Green attempted to climb up on the cross again today. AP's Brett Barrouguere quotes the 'victim' Green insisting at today's hearing, "You can act like I'm a sociopath. You can act like I'm a sex offender or whatever. If I had not joined the Army, if I had not gone to Iraq, I would not have got caught up in anything." Climb down the cross, drama queen. Your entire life was about leading up to a moment like that. You are a sociopath. You stalked a 14-year-old Iraqi girl while you were stationed at a checkpoint in her neighborhood. You made her uncomfortable and nervous, you stroked her face. She ran to her parents who made arrangements for her to go live with others just to get her away from you, the man the army put there to protect her and the rest of the neighborhood. You are one sick f**k and you deserve what you got. Green play drama queen and insist "you can act like I'm a sex offender" -- he took part in and organized a gang-rape of a 14-year-old girl. That's a sex offender. In fact, "sex offender" is a mild term for what Green is.

His September statements, where he pushed off guilt, rendered his carefully worded May statement a lie. That's public record. Even if the verdict is overturned and he's taken to military court, all that happened is public record and out there. And Green better understand that sympathy for those who cried, showed remorse and established that they were led around by a ringleader (Green) will not be there for him. He got very lucky that a civilian court didn't sentence him to death. A military court will not give him as much benefit of the doubt. They will not buy into his the cheap theatrics of his cheap attorneys. They will not fret that Green was 'forced' into these War Crimes by the military because they will grasp that Green's War Crimes are not common, are not universal and they will most likely decide that a strong, strong example needs to be made of Green. He seems to think that after he's murdered four people and raped a young girl that he deserves to roam the streets in two to five years. He's never accepted the horrifica nature of his crimes, he's never accepted the lives he destroyed and he's never taken accountability for the shame he brought to the US military. Most kiddie rapists who murdered their victim and her family would see life in prison as getting off easy but Green's never taken accountability for his crimes. Now Abeer's family may have to face yet another trial. But that doesn't concern Steve-o, he just knows he's itching to get out of prison. After all, there are lots of young girls in the United States. Who knows who he might be able to rape next? Repeating: No remorse, no guilt. He's never shown either.

RECOMMENDED: "Iraq snapshot"
"Iraq Inquiry"

"Send off ceremonies and PTSD"

Isaiah's The World Today Just Nuts "Rolling In It"

"And the war drags on . . ."

"Kat's Korner: Joni Mitchell's unearthed treasure"

"The Iraq Inquiry"

"Media crackdown, militias returning, it's Iraq"
Truest statement of the week
Truest statement of the week II
A note to our readers
Editorial: Barack The Never Ending Liar
TV: What's the return policy?
TV: Good As He's Been To You
The Iraq War's British roots
The numbers and the outrage
Don't Steal This Look!
When Bully Met Poodle
"Who will she give diet tips too?"

No comments: