From Naj, help Saeed Hajjarian-
Federal agents arrested seven men in North Carolina on Monday and charged them with plotting to wage “violent jihad” outside the United States, according to an indictment unsealed in federal court in Raleigh, N.C. …The government charged Daniel Boyd, a 39-year-old American who traveled to Afghanistan two decades ago to fight the Soviets, with recruiting six young men, including two of his sons, to take part in a conspiracy “to advance violent jihad, including supporting and participating in terrorist activities abroad and committing acts of murder, kidnapping or maiming persons abroad.”
Quite apart from the fact that I will believe the evidence when I see it (or lack thereof)… So if a person is going to commit violence abroad they are to be arrested, yet I doubt all the world’s militaries are worrying about incarceration. These chumps mistake (if the Feds are to be believed…*cough*) … is not doing the war crimes in the correct uniform, US or UK fatigues and they’re heroes! Drop the ‘Jihad’ call it a ‘Surge’ and bingo! Homecoming parades and a lifetime of creeping PTSD you are not encouraged to get treated for until you whack your partner and then maybe your jail might have a psych program that hasn’t been cut. Glory!
Colorado Springs Gazette
Casualties of War, Part I: The hell of war comes home
Casualties of War, Part II: Warning signs
Marquez, who was arrested before the latest programs were created, said he would never have pulled the trigger if he had not gone to Iraq.
“If I was just a guy off the street, I might have hesitated to shoot,” Marquez said this spring as he sat in the Bent County Correctional Facility, where he is serving 30 years. “But after Iraq, it was just natural.”
More killing by more soldiers followed.
In August 2007, Louis Bressler, 24, robbed and shot a soldier he picked up on a street in Colorado Springs.
In December 2007, Bressler and fellow soldiers Bruce Bastien Jr., 21, and Kenneth Eastridge, 24, left the bullet-riddled body of a soldier from their unit on a west-side street.
In May and June 2008, police say Rudolfo Torres-Gandarilla, 20, and Jomar Falu-Vives, 23, drove around with an assault rifle, randomly shooting people.
In September 2008, police say John Needham, 25, beat a former girlfriend to death.
Most of the killers were from a single 500-soldier unit within the brigade called the 2nd Battalion, 12th Infantry Regiment, which nicknamed itself the “Lethal Warriors.”
The battalion is overwhelmingly made up of young men, who, demographically, have the highest murder rate in the United States, but the brigade still has a murder rate 20 times that of young males as a whole.
The killings are only the headline-grabbing tip of a much broader pyramid of crime. Since 2005, the brigade’s returning soldiers have been involved in brawls, beatings, rapes, DUIs, drug deals, domestic violence, shootings, stabbings, kidnapping and suicides.
Like Marquez, most of the jailed soldiers struggled to adjust to life back home after combat. Like Marquez, many showed signs of growing trouble before they ended up behind bars. Like Marquez, all raise difficult questions about the cause of the violence.
Did the infantry turn some men into killers, or did killers seek out the infantry? Did the Army let in criminals, or did combat-tattered soldiers fall into criminal habits? Did Fort Carson fail to take care of soldiers, or did soldiers fail to take advantage of care they were offered?
And, most importantly, since the brigade is now in Afghanistan, is there a way to keep the violence from happening again?
“After being in Iraq, it feels like everyone is the enemy,” he said. “You feel like you need a gun so they don’t come to get you.”
His friends all felt the same way.
Nash slept with a loaded .45 under his pillow.
Butler kept a Glock .40-caliber with him all the time, even when he rocked his newborn baby.
Marquez bought three pistols, a riot-style shotgun and an assault rifle like the one he carried in Iraq. He carried a pistol constantly, he said, even when he went to church.
His buddy, Freeman, said he bought himself a “big, scary” snub-nose .357 revolver.
In a December 2007 letter to the Inspector General’s Office of Fort Carson, which investigates crimes within the Army, Needham told of the atrocities he saw. His father provided a copy to The Gazette.
One sergeant shot a boy riding a bicycle down the street for no reason, John Needham said. When Needham and another soldier rushed to deliver first aid, the sergeant said, “No, let him bleed out.”
Another sergeant shot a man in the head without cause while questioning him, Needham said, then mutilated the body, lashed it to the hood of his Humvee and drove around the neighborhood blaring warnings to insurgents in Arabic that “they would be next.”
Other Iraqis were shot for invented reasons, then mutilated, Needham said.
The sergeants particularly liked removing victims’ brains, Needham said.
Needham offered a photograph of a soldier removing brains from an Iraqi on the hood of a Humvee and other photos as evidence. His father supplied copies to The Gazette.
The Army’s criminal investigation division interviewed several soldiers from the unit and said it was “unable to substantiate any of his allegations.”
I learned at Al Giordano’s The Field that Honduran coup General Romeo Vásquez Velásquez (two-time graduate of SOA/WHINSEC) is the special guest of the Miami Covenant Church at a special convention (at Miami convention centre) titled- The Kingdom Government in Miami, in association with IV Congress MIGA partners, July 22-25.
Erin Rosa– MIGA in Spanish iniatials stands for Ardent Glory Intercontinental Ministry, founded in 1995 by Jaime Chavez, who bills himeslef as the “spiritual counselor” to the Honduran Armed Forces and General Romeo personally.
Here’s the promo vid, Romeo appears at the 19 second mark-
And here’s the poster with him in his military uniform (second row, at left)-
So what is this Christianist Kingdom government stuff, well it is how it sounds, it’s theocracy, rule by fundies- government according to God’s Law (and of course it has its white supremacist offshoot). So another example of Christianists chumming up with the military to impose their rule. If the general appeared at the loony fest it would mean the US allowed him entry and did not arrest him….It might not be Obama’s coup but it is looking to be Washington’s coup. More at this DK diary, hopefully someone can confirm whether he was in Miami or not. Also via a comment there-
Truthout– On July 9, US Ambassador Hugo Llorens in Tegucigalpa told an emergency School of the Americas (SOA) Watch delegation that the US had suspended military aid to Honduras as of the moment that Micheletti swore himself in as president. However, three members of the delegation had stopped by the Palmerola military base where over 500 US soldiers are based and “witnessed an apparently normal buzz of activities, including helicopter flights and interchange of Honduran and US soldiers.” The delegation spoke with a US official on duty at the base who told them that nothing had changed since the coup.
About that base, because of air safety issues with the civilian airport Zelaya wanted to use the US base as a civil airport-
Throwing fuel on the fire Assistant Secretary of State John Negroponte, a former U.S. ambassador to Honduras, said that Honduras could not transform Palmerola into a civilian airport “from one day to the next.” In Tegucigalpa, Negroponte met with Zelaya to discuss Palmerola. Speaking later on Honduran radio the U.S. diplomat said that before Zelaya could embark on his plans for Palmerola the airport would have to receive international certification for new incoming flights. According to Spanish news agency EFE Negroponte also took advantage of his Tegucigalpa trip to sit down and meet with the President of the Honduran Parliament and future coup leader Roberto Micheletti
Oh yes Negroponte! Chavez said Obama was a prisoner of empire, is it not time a President asserts his authority and stops those in Washington from fomenting coups if he is really against such activity?
However the people of Honduras are perhaps not going to to so easily misruled-
Al Giordano:- There is a three-ring circus distracting the global media from the authentic struggle – the one waged by the Honduran people, from below – and today none of the ringmasters dressed themselves in glory.
In ring one, we had Coup “president” Roberto Micheletti, who blinked when his troops did not arrest President Manuel Zelaya, who set foot on his country’s soil today at the border crossing – Los Manos – where we suggested he would yesterday.
In ring two, we had Zelaya, who himself blinked – inexplicably, from this community organizer’s lens, objectively viewed, a setback for his cause and his people – by not continuing his walk toward Tegucigalpa after the coup regime blinked. A few more steps forward and he would have either called the regime’s bluff, and continued marching, or he would have ended up in prison, inspiring the people to go the extra yardage necessary to topple the coup.
And in ring three, we had US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who claimed that Zelaya’s actions today were “reckless.” Today Clinton proved, once and for all, that she is not competent to do the job of foreign minister. What an asshole. It is Clinton who demonstrated that she is reckless about democracy. The actions she called “reckless” were those of a Honduran citizen and elected president doing no more than trying to rejoin his own feet with his own land. What makes her behavior today so obviously inept and deserving of eternal contempt is that she used such strong words to criticize a guy who, when push came to shove, did exactly what she had recommended, when Zelaya backed down. The only reckless thing he did was shrink from putting the next foot in front of the other.
Obscured from view by the circus: the mobilizations of an increasingly organized Honduran people. Today’s saga underscores that, in the end, the outcome is up to them, and from this pen we will redouble our efforts to make sure that their courage and sacrifice do not go unseen or unheard.
And he also reports the latest revelations on Radio Globo, is the coup unravelling?
Earwicga has a statement from Central America Women’s Network (CAWN), excerpt-
Honduran women’s organisations and individual women from rural and urban areas have come together to resist and protest peacefully in response to the coup and the events that followed. On 29 June they released a public statement calling for the return of the rule of law and respect for human rights by peaceful means, and they have not stopped their communications, despite frequent power cuts. The mainstream news channels are strictly controlled, so their reports provide crucial information by their immediacy and by giving a voice to ordinary people, especially women.
A businessman who was held and mistreated in the United Arab Emirates following the London bombings believes he has evidence that British consular officials asked permission from the UK’s own security services to visit him while he was detained. Heavily redacted documents seen by the Guardian appear to indicate that the request to visit Alam Ghafoor was made to an unidentified British intelligence officer and not to officials in the UAE.
Ghafoor is one of several British men who allege there has been British complicity in their detention and torture while abroad. The businessman, who is 38 and from Huddersfield, West Yorkshire, was detained and tortured while on a business trip to Dubai following the London bombings in July 2005.
Ghafoor and his business partner, Mohammed Rafiq Siddique, flew to the UAE on 4 July. They were dragged out of a restaurant as they dined on 21 July. The two British Muslims say they were threatened with torture, deprived of sleep, subjected to stress positions and told they would be killed and fed to dogs.
Ghafoor has obtained copies of correspondence from consular officials to the Foreign Office in London while he was in custody that show those officials were asking someone other than the UAE authorities for permission to see him. Who that person is, and who they represented, is unclear, as their name was censored before the copies were handed over. Some of the reports were so heavily redacted by the time Ghafoor received them that the only words not blanked are his name.
MI5 and MI6 officers who question terrorism suspects they know are being tortured, are acting in line with a secret government interrogation policy, drawn up after the 9/11 attacks. The policy states: “we cannot be party to such ill treatment nor can we be seen to condone it” and that “it is important that you do not engage in any activity yourself that involves inhumane or degrading treatment of prisoners.” It also advises intelligence officers that if detainees “are not within our custody or control, the law does not require you to intervene” to prevent torture.
The Indigenous Youth Delegation to Palestine, the first-ever delegation of its kind, is scheduled for August 2009. Youth leaders from grassroots indigenous groups in the US, namely Seventh Native American Generation (SNAG) Magazine, Huaxtec, and Native students at Haskell University, will travel to Palestine at the invitation of five Palestinian youth centers. After more than two years of communicating through the internet, these young people will have the opportunity to learn firsthand from each other by sharing tools of empowerment and education.
The trip to Palestine is part of an ongoing process to connect the shared experiences of Indigenous peoples across the world, to build solidarity, justice and peace. The group will create print media, blogs, video, photo essays, and other forms of media to share their stories and involve their communities in building a national and international movement for indigenous rights.
The US young people, all of who are from low-income, urban, Native American communities have already done a remarkable thing: They have raised all the money for their plane fares.
MECA has given the Palestinian organizations in YSN $18,000 for the youth training they are doing, and to prepare for the delegation.
Now, just one month from the start of the delegation, YSN still needs to raise $12,000 more for food, transportation and accommodations in Palestine.
Click here to make a contribution.
Be sure to put YSN in the “on behalf of” field in the form.