They Built Hell [ 26 April 2009 ]
Posted by musliminsuffer on April 29, 2009
In the Name of Allah, the Compassionate, the Merciful
=== News Update ===
They Built Hell [ 26 April 2009 ]
Thomas F. Barton
GI SPECIAL 7D17:
They Built Hell, And Call It Liberation:
“They Were Whipped With Electrical Cables To Force Them To Confess To Being Militiamen”
“A Young Male Student Confessed To Membership Of A Terrorist Cell Because His Jailers Threatened To Rape Him”
“One Of The Most Common Ploys Is To Arrest Innocent People And Then Charge Hundreds Or Even Thousands Of Dollars For Them To Be Released”
April 24, 2009 By James Hider in Fallujah, The Times [Excerpts]
The brief film is deeply disturbing, even in a country famed for its al-Qaeda beheading videos and sniper snuff movies.
The young woman, evidently drugged, vomiting and occasionally calling for her mother, tries weakly to stop the grinning man in a white T-shirt and boxer shorts from pulling off her underwear.
She fails. The man, instructing the cameraman to shoot the scene with his mobile phone from various angles, rapes her.
That is not the only shocking aspect of the film, according to Jassim al-Bidawi, former Mayor of Fallujah and now a human rights activist.
He has identified the rapist as an Iraqi police officer, and says that the cameraman is one, too. They are thought to have drugged the woman as she visited her husband in a detention centre in Ramadi.
Since the rapist’s uncle is a senior policeman in the city the attacker is all but untouchable, Mr al-Bidawi says.
In the desperate rush to drag Iraq back from civil war, sweeping powers were granted to its new security forces.
In this vast and largely unaccountable security apparatus, with almost a million people in uniform, corruption is rife.
One of the most common ploys is to arrest innocent people and then charge hundreds or even thousands of dollars for them to be released.
Abu Aliya, 35, was arrested with 15 other men in a Baghdad park last September. They were having a picnic after a day of manual labour when a unit of Iraqi soldiers handcuffed and beat them, demanding to know whether they recognised any of the people on a list of suspected Shia militiamen.
The men said that they did not.
They were locked up and whipped with electrical cables to force them to confess to being militiamen.
After three months a soldier told them that they needed a lawyer. Fearing that they would never get out, they each paid $3,000 – a huge sum to day labourers earning about $10 a day – and were sent to court.
The judge asked why they had been detained when there was no evidence, then dismissed the case.
“The Iraqi security forces are out of control,” Abu Aliya said.
“If you quarrel with a simple soldier, even one out of uniform, he will arrest you and your family. This is happening everywhere, all the time.”
Muhammad, in his early twenties, was arrested in a raid on his west Baghdad neighbourhood in 2007.
He says that he spent 18 months in jail, where men were dragged off every night for questioning, returning to overcrowded cells in the morning battered and semi-conscious.
Muhammad lost several teeth during the beatings meted out to him and was hung by his arms until he consented to put a thumbprint on a document that he could not read because he was blindfolded.
His family paid $800 and he was released, even though he had apparently confessed to a crime.
Sawsan al-Barrack, an official at the Ministry of Human Rights, said: “There are many cases of abuse of power coming to us, especially of police officers in temporary detention centres.
“There are many women complaining they are raped or beaten.”
According to tribal sources in Ramadi, the rapist in the film, who apparently recorded his crime to make his victim keep her mouth shut, was detained briefly before being mysteriously freed. He is believed to have fled to Syria.
Amel al-Qaadi, a member of the Iraqi Parliament’s Integrity Committee, said that she had met a young male student who had been detained and had confessed to membership of a terrorist cell because his jailers threatened to rape him.
“There were many others who told me they were actually raped at the headquarters of various security force units,” she said.
Ms al-Qaadi warned that random arrests were exacerbating the surge in violence. “Most current attacks on the armed forces are the results of earlier arrests by the security forces.” she said.
Azhar al-Samarrai, a Sunni MP from the Committee for Displaced Persons, said that, facing defeat at the hands of militias and terrorist groups, the US and Iraqi authorities hastily recruited “substandard people, with no education or moral values” into the security forces.
Clinton Supports Iraqi Armed Resistance To Occupation;
[She Is Right To Do So]
“We are committed to Iraq. We want to see a stable, sovereign, self-reliant Iraq,” Clinton said at the town hall. – Baghdad, 4.25.09 (CNN)
[Thanks to Mark Shapiro, The Military Project, who sent this in.]
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IRAQ WAR REPORTS
Brother: Cypress Soldier Who Was Killed ‘Wanted To Help’
Pvt. 2nd Class Bryce E. Gautier of Cypress was one of five soldiers killed by a suicide bomber in Mosul, Iraq, on Friday. He was 22. COURTESY MYSPACE
April 13, 2009 By DOUG IRVING and EUGENE FIELDS, THE ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER
CYPRESS – Bryce Gautier was still living with his parents and working part-time when he sat down at his computer late one evening in 2007 and wrote that he was going to join the Army.
“I am nervous and excited at the same time,” Gautier wrote in a blog post on his MySpace page. “This is a big step in my life. But I am ready to finally grow up.”
He titled the post: “Becoming an adult.”
Gautier, 22, was killed in Iraq last week when a suicide bomber detonated a truck loaded with explosives near a police station where he was. His body was returned to Dover Air Force Base in Delaware on Sunday, along with the bodies of four other U.S. soldiers killed in the blast.
Pvt. 2nd Class Gautier had detailed his Army experience in his blog posts. He wrote that he was a combat medic and had graduated from Airborne school in October. He wanted to become a nurse when he got out of the Army.
“He always really wanted to help people,” said his brother, Evan, 24. “He was going to hopefully make a difference, saving lives.”
Gautier had been in Iraq since January, according to Army documents. He received the National Defense Service Medal, the Army Service Ribbon and the Global War on Terrorism Service Medal.
He graduated from Rancho Alamitos High School in Garden Grove in 2005, school district spokesman Alan Trudell said. He was a captain on the water polo team his senior year and was voted “Most Dependable” of the senior class – “happy to help whenever needed,” according to the school’s 2005 yearbook.
His brother Evan remembers him as a “goofy kid,” quick to laugh. And unlike Evan, he could stay calm in emergencies and never blanched at the sight of blood – one reason he set his sights on nursing.
He decided to join the Army after long talks with his brother – and knowing that he would likely be sent to war. The danger didn’t seem to bother him. “He was willing to make that sacrifice,” Evan said. “We never thought, of course… we never thought it would come to this.”
Gautier explained his decision on his MySpace page: “I need a change, I need some structure, and I need a main (focus) in life… I want to be an adult. I want to have my family be proud of me for what and who I am.”
He ended the post: “I am going to miss so much, but I know I will gain so much more by doing this.”
His family last saw him during Christmas, right before he shipped out for Iraq. His mother and brother pooled their money to fly him home for the holidays from his base at Fort Carson, Colo.
Once in Iraq, he told his family his job was to listen for calls for help to come over the radio, then jump into a Humvee and go. He also said he went out on patrols sometimes, although he couldn’t tell them specific details.
Gautier was at a police station in Mosul, Iraq, on Friday when a suicide bomber drove up in a truck loaded with an estimated ton of explosives. The explosion killed him, the four other soldiers and two Iraqi policemen, and wounded 62 others, including an American soldier.
Gautier’s father – whom he described as “my biggest hero ever” — had died on April 10, 2008 – one year to the day before his death. The family was getting ready to go to a memorial service when they were notified of Gautier’s death in Iraq.
The Department of Defense identified the other soldiers killed in the blast as Cpl. Jason G. Pautsch, 20, of Davenport, Iowa; Staff Sgt. Gary L. Woods Jr., 24, of Lebanon Junction, Ky.; Staff Sgt. Bryan E. Hall, 25, of Elk Grove; and Sgt. Edward W. Forrest Jr., 25, of St. Louis.
In addition to his brother, Gautier is survived by his mother, Heidi Frankel; his sister-in-law, Nicole Gautier; and a close family friend, Karen Cox. The family is still making arrangements for a memorial service.
Iowa Soldier ‘Believed In What He Was Doing’
April 13, 2009 By MOLLY HOTTLE, Des Moines Register
U.S. Army Cpl. Jason Graham Pautsch had always wanted to join the Army.
The 20-year-old’s bedroom in his dad’s Davenport home is still decorated with Army advertisements and posters of soldiers scaling mountainsides.
But he won’t be coming home in May, as he had planned.
Pautsch, a 2007 Davenport North High School graduate, was among five Americans killed last week when a suicide bomber rammed a truck filled with explosives into a wall surrounding police headquarters near Mosul in northern Iraq.
Military officials have described it as the single deadliest attack against U.S. forces in more than a year.
Pautsch was a squadron leader in the Army’s 4th Infantry Division and was the 70th person with Iowa ties to be killed in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, according to Des Moines Register records.
David Pautsch was informed of his son’s death Friday night, just 12 hours after the two had spoken on the phone. “He believed in what he was doing,” David Pautsch said. “This is what he wanted to do.”
Jason Pautsch’s body was flown back to the United States on Sunday along with those of the other four soldiers killed. The five flag-draped transfer cases arrived aboard an Atlas Air 747 cargo jet that touched down at Dover Air Force Base about 7:30 p.m. EDT.
Family members, including David Pautsch, arrived to see the cases with the bodies waiting atop a cargo lift alongside the aircraft.
A six-member transfer team from the Army’s Old Guard in Washington and an eight-member Air Force team moved the cases off the lift in an efficient, tightly choreographed process. As teams moved each case toward the waiting van, officers on the plane and on the ground called for a salute.
The process lasted 20 minutes, during which time family members were screened from journalists.
Sunday’s dignified transfer was the third to take place with journalists present since Defense Secretary Robert Gates decided last month to end an 18-year media ban and allow access when families grant permission.
David Pautsch said Saturday that his son wasn’t always on the right path, but after a serious bicycle motocross accident in 2003, Pautsch’s life turned in a different direction.
“Jason was feeling like he was going to die,” David Pautsch said. “So we prayed. His life changed; he developed a heart for God.”
Pautsch is the second North graduate to die in Iraq. U.S. Army Pfc. Katie Soenksen, a 2005 graduate, was killed in 2007 when her convoy was attacked in Baghdad.
Davenport North High Principal Jane Artman-Andrews said grief counselors will be available for students and teachers this week.
“It brings the reality of the war home,” Artman-Andrews said. “We hear about it on the news and read about it in the newspaper, but when it touches the lives of those whom we sat in class with and went to prom with, it’s an entirely different story.”
Kerry Meyer, 20, of Davenport had been close friends with Pautsch since sixth grade. Meyer said knowing what importance Pautsch’s faith had to him gave him closure. “If it weren’t for his faith, I would feel worse about the whole situation,” Meyer said. “Hopefully, everyone can just remember the good times we had with him.”
Jason Pautsch is survived by his father; his mother, Teri Johnson of Moline, Ill.; three brothers; and one sister. The funeral will be at Calvary Church of the Quad Cities in Moline. Details are pending.
Bullitt Soldier Is Among 5 Killed In Iraq Attack
April 13, 2009 Sheryl Edelen and AP, Louisville Courier-Journal
A Shepherdsville, Ky., native was one of the five U.S. soldiers killed Friday in an attack that Army officials said was the deadliest against U.S. troops in Iraq in more than a year.
Army Staff Sgt. Gary L. Woods Jr., 24, and four other soldiers were killed Friday when a bomber driving a truck detonated a ton of explosives near a police headquarters in the northern city of Mosul, the Associated Press reported. The U.S. military said that Iraqi police were the bomber’s target and that the Americans were caught up as bystanders.
Woods’ father, Gary Woods Sr., said that his son, who went by his middle name, Lee, was a talented musician who sang and played the trombone, drums, piano and guitar while a student at Bullitt Central High School. He was also a member of the school’s football team.
But after finding satisfaction in ROTC classes, his son entered the military after high school, he said.
“He joined the Army just as we were going into the second gulf war,” Woods Sr. said by telephone from his home in Lebanon Junction. “He knew the chances were that we’d still be in it, but he was convinced that’s what he wanted.”
Woods rose to staff sergeant and was leading the soldiers’ mission the day they died, his father said.
The other soldiers killed in the attack were Staff Sgt. Bryan E. Hall, 32, of Elk Grove, Calif.; Sgt. Edward W. Forrest Jr., 25, of St. Louis; Cpl. Jason G. Pautsch, 20, of Davenport, Iowa; and Pvt. Bryce E. Gautier, 22, of Cypress, Calif.
All were assigned to the 1st Battalion, 67th Armor Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division, based at Fort Carson, Colo.
Woods was on his third tour in Iraq and was to return to the United States in four months, his father said. He was to be reassigned to Fort Knox, where he and his wife, Christie, who had been his high school girlfriend, could be closer to family.
Woods Sr. said his son had spoken off and on about making a career of the Army and had just re-enlisted. But his son had also been thinking of life after military service.
“He really wanted to get out and start having a family,” his father said.
His son was mature and cared about others, which made him both a good soldier and a good person, Woods Sr. said.
“I want everyone to know what a good man he was.”
More Silly Propaganda Bullshit:
Same Al Qaeda Leader Captured For The 764th Time
25 April 2009 (Reuters)
BAGHDAD – Iraqi officials won’t know for a couple more days whether a man arrested this week is indeed the leader of an Al Qaeda-affiliated insurgent group blamed for violence in Iraq, a senior military official said on Saturday.
Major General Qassim al-Moussawi, spokesman for Baghdad security operations, said documents discovered with the man arrested on Thursday suggested he was Abu Omar al-Baghdadi, head of the self-styled Islamic State of Iraq (ISI).
“To obtain irrefutable results about Baghdadi’s identity, we are waiting for results of the DNA test and testimony from key al Qaeda leaders we have in custody who have worked with him,” Moussawi said.
He said results of the investigation would be released in about two days.
Neither U.S. nor Iraqi officials have so far been able to confirm the man detained in Baghdad is Baghdadi, who has been reported killed and captured before.
Some security analysts believe Baghdadi does not exist, speculating he is a fictional character invented by al Qaeda in Iraq to give an Iraqi face to what is otherwise a foreign organisation. His name could be a title of sorts, passed from one person to another, analysts say.
No, Resistance Isn’t Over;
Not Even Close
04/25/09 By Ernesto Londono and Aziz Alwan, WASHINGTON POST [Excerpt]
“Saddam Hussein led Iraq very well!” a distraught woman yelled to a reporter Friday as she cradled a young, weeping son. Her 35-year-old husband was among the dead, she said.
“We have a corrupt government.
“They can’t protect us. If you’re a man, publish that!” she cried.
Resistance Attacks U.S. Humvee In Convoy North Of Baiji;
23 April 2009 HEYET Net
An improvised explosive device went off targeting a vehicle of the American occupation forces in the province of Salahuddin in northern Iraq on Wednesday afternoon
Witnesses said that the IED targeted a Humvee, part of an American occupation forces convoy on the road Baiji – Mosul which led to total destruction of Humvee killing and wounding occupation soldiers inside it.
Witnesses added that the attack occurred north of the city of Baiji, a few kilometers from the city center where occupation forces quickly cut the road for several hours.
They said: “The air ambulances rushed to the place of the attack for the transfer of the bodies of the dead and to evacuate the injured. Other military aircraft were in search for perpetrators of the attack.”
The Baghdad – Mosul road often witnesses Iraqi resistance attacks targeting U.S. occupation convoys.
04/23/09 AFP & (Reuters) & HEYET Net
1920 Revolution Brigades, one of the resistance factions operation under Jihad and Change Front, claimed responsibility for damaging a tanker of the U.S. occupation forces in Baghdad. The statement of the brigade said the tanker was damaged as a result of an explosive device planted by insurgents on the side of the road west of Baghdad.
At least five people were killed on Thursday in an explosion near a national police patrol in southeast Baghdad, according to security officials and a medical source at a nearby hospital. The interior ministry official said the blast targeted a patrol in Al-Tahariyat square and that the dead included at least three policemen.
A roadside bomb killed three people and wounded three from a U.S.-backed militia in the town of al-Udhaim, 90 km (60 miles) north of Baghdad, police said. Police said one of the dead was Mubarak Humadi al-Ubaidi, a leader of the patrolmen, or “Sahwa,” in al-Udhaim.
AFGHANISTAN WAR REPORTS
April 23 (KUNA) & April 24 (Reuters) & By AMIR SHAH and FISNIK ABRASHI – Associated Press Writer & 04/25/09 (CNN)
A policeman and seven Taliban militants were killed in Khak-e-Safid district of Afghanistan’s western Farah province.
A roadside bomb killed three Afghan soldiers and wounded five others in Garda Serai district, 120 km (75 miles) south of Kabul, provincial police chief Aziz Ahmad Wardak said.
In the capital Friday, a police officer was killed by a bomb inside a package left at a checkpoint. Police stopped a man walking with the large package in southern Kabul before dawn, and the man quickly dropped the box and ran off, said Ahsib Arian, the district police chief. An officer was killed when he looked inside the box, he said.
Five security officials were killed Saturday morning by bombers who were targeting the governor’s office in Kandahar, Afghanistan, government officials said.
Three suspects were near the governor’s compound when they detonated their bombs, officials said. “One detonated on the street outside the compound. The other entered a container where police stay and detonated there. The other entered through the compound door and blew himself up,” said Ahmad Wali Karzai, head of the provincial council in Kandahar.
The governor was not harmed. Two police officers and three security guards were killed. Eight others were injured in the bombing.
BEEN ON THE JOB TOO LONG:
COME ON HOME, NOW
April 23, 2009 By JENNIFER HLAD, Jacksonville Daily News [Excerpts]
The Marines had a special guest at their training Thursday, as they wrap up pre-deployment exercises in preparation for a tour in Afghanistan.
Secretary of Defense Robert Gates visited Camp Lejeune, stopping by to watch 2nd Light Armored Reconnaissance Battalion conduct a mock attack on a village at the Military Operations in Urban Terrain facility, and see 2nd Battalion, 8th Marine Regiment, train to recognize roadside bombs.
The Marines will leave in the next few weeks to join the 2nd Marine Expeditionary Brigade in southern Afghanistan.
He addressed a question about repeated deployments, saying the fact that many service members are on their fourth or fifth deployment makes them “the most battle hardened force the United States has probably ever had in its history.”
“I think these men and women want to be in the fight,” he said.
Democrat Party Loves The New Emperor:
“Firmly Behind” Funding To Kill More U.S. Troops And Afghans
[Thanks to Phil G, who sent this in.]
April 23, 2009 By CARL HULSE, The New York Times Company [Excerpts]
Unlike the repeated partisan clashes between the Bush administration and Democratic leaders over war financing, the party’s leadership of the House and Senate is now firmly behind the new Democratic administration.
“Afghanistan is where the terrorist threat exists to the world, not just the United States,” said the House speaker, Nancy Pelosi, who said the Bush administration’s decision to focus on Iraq left unfinished a mission in Afghanistan that originally had broad support in Congress.
SOMALIA WAR REPORTS
Interview With A Pirate:
“The Only Way The Piracy Can Stop Is If (Somalia) Gets An Effective Government That Can Defend Our Fish”
“And Then We Will Disarm, Give Our Boats To That Government And Will Be Ready To Work”
[Thanks to Carl Foster, Military Project & Veterans For Peace, who sent this in.]
22 April 2009 By Mohamed Olad Hassan, BBC
A 25-year-old Somali pirate has told the BBC’s Mohamed Olad Hassan by telephone from the notorious den of Harardhere in central Somalia why he became a sea bandit. Dahir Mohamed Hayeysi says he and his big-spending accomplices are seen by many as heroes.
I used to be a fisherman with a poor family that depended only on fishing.
The first day joining the pirates came into my mind was in 2006.
A group of our villagers, mainly fishermen I knew, were arming themselves.
One of them told me that they wanted to hijack ships, which he said were looting our sea resources.
He told me it was a national service with a lot of money in the end. Then I took my gun and joined them.
Years ago we used to fish a lot, enough for us to eat and sell in the markets.
Then illegal fishing and dumping of toxic wastes by foreign fishing vessels affected our livelihood, depleting the fish stocks.
I had no other choice but to join my colleagues.
The first hijack I attended was in February 2007 when we seized a World Food Programme-chartered ship with 12 crew.
I think it had the name of MV Rozen and we released it after two months, with a ransom.
I am not going to tell you how much it was, or three other hijackings I have been involved in since.
My ambition is to get a lot of money so that I can lead a better life.
Now I have two lorries, a luxury car and have started my own business in my town.
I only want one more chance in piracy to increase my cash assets, then I will get married and give up.
Piracy is not just easy money – it has many risks and difficulties.
Sometimes you spend months in the sea to hunt a ship and miss.
Sometimes when we are going to hijack a ship we face rough winds, and some of us get sick and some die.
Sometimes you fail in capturing and sometimes you come under threat by foreign navies, but all we do is venture.
Let me give you a good example.
Thousands of young desperate Somali continue to risk their lives in the sea in search of a better life abroad.
So it is no surprise to see us in the same water, pirating in search of money – there is no difference.
We have local support; most of the people here depend on pirates directly or indirectly.
Because if there is a lot of money in the town they can get some through friendship, relatives or business.
Also our work is seen by many in the coastal villages as legal and we are viewed as heroes.
The only way the piracy can stop is if (Somalia) gets an effective government that can defend our fish.
And then we will disarm, give our boats to that government and will be ready to work.
Foreign navies can do nothing to stop piracy.
THIS IS HOW OBAMA BRINGS THE TROOPS HOME:
BRING THEM ALL HOME NOW, ALIVE
The remains of Staff Sgt. Bryan E. Hall, 25, of Elk Grove, Calif., Dover Air Force Base, Del. April 12, 2009. Hall died with four other soldiers April 10, 2009, when their military vehicle was struck by a vehicle-borne improvised explosive device in Mosul, Iraq.
(AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)
140 Nebraska National Guard Soldiers Off To Obama’s Imperial Slaughterhouse
Apr 24, 2009 The Associated Press
KEARNEY, Neb. — About 140 Nebraska National Guard soldiers headed to Iraq will be given a community send-off next month.
The ceremony is set for 7:30 p.m. May 12 at the Event Center in Kearney.
It will be the second trip to Iraq for several members of the 1195th Transportation Company, which until being reorganized and renamed in 2005 was part of the 735th Transportation Company.
The headquarters of the 1195th is in Kearney; it has detachments in Lexington and McCook.
Once called up for active duty next month, the company will train in Fort Stewart, Ga., then head to Iraq for about a year.
Never Mind The Dead And Wounded Troops;
That’s Just Collateral Damage:
War Profiteers Raytheon, L-3 Report Higher Profits, Improved Forecasts
APRIL 24, 2009 Wall St. Journal
Defense contractors Raytheon Co. and L-3 Communications Holdings Inc. reported higher first-quarter results and said the diversity of their operations leaves them prepared to weather shifting military priorities.
U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates targeted costly weapons programs for cutbacks in his 2010 budget proposal, but increased money for cybersecurity, unmanned aerial vehicles, battlefield surveillance and communications systems suited for fighting insurgents
That leaves L-3 “well-positioned for strategic growth in priority areas,” such as intelligence, training and foreign assistance, L-3 Chairman and Chief Executive Michael T. Strianese said on a conference call.
Unlike some contractors, Raytheon and L-3 aren’t dependent on a handful of big government contracts for the bulk of their sales. “Our largest program only makes up only 4% of our top-line sales,” Raytheon Chief Financial Officer David Wajsgras said in an interview.
One of Raytheon’s key programs is the electronic systems for a futuristic Navy destroyer. Although only three destroyers will be built, Mr. Wajsgras said the technology can be used for other warships as well.
Raytheon, Waltham, Mass., on Thursday posted net income of $460 million, or $1.12 a share, up 15% from $399 million, or 92 cents a share, a year earlier.
Revenue rose 9.9% to $5.88 billion.
Raytheon also raised its profit outlook for the year to $4.55 to $4.70 a share from $4.45 to $4.60 a share. The increase reflects share buybacks as well as strength in missile-systems, battlefield-electronics and computer-networking operations, Mr. Wajsgras said.
Raytheon projected 2009 revenue at $24.4 billion to $24.9 billion, up slightly from a previous forecast of $24.3 billion to $24.8 billion.
Mr. Wajsgras attributed the increase to U.S. Army and Federal Aviation Administration training contracts.
Raytheon’s funded backlog, which reflects future work, was $23 billion at the end of the first quarter, up about $1 billion from the end of last year.
L-3 Communications, which has contracts spanning an array of work including training foreign militaries to upgrading government aircraft, said first-quarter net income rose 4.7% to $201 million, or $1.66 a share, from $192 million, or $1.51 a share.
Revenue at the New York company increased 3.7% to $3.64 billion.
L-3’s funded backlog ticked up to $11.7 billion from $11.6 billion at the end of the fourth quarter. L-3 lifted the low end of its full-year outlook and now forecasts earning $7.17 to $7.32 a share.
Montana Small Town Wants All 240 Gitmo Prisoners;
[Needs Money To Finish Construction Of New Jail]
Apr 24, 2009 By Matthew Brown – The Associated Press
BILLINGS, Mont. — President Barack Obama has 240 terror suspects he has said will be moved out of Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, within a year.
The city of Hardin has a brand-new empty jail.
A match made in heaven? Hardin officials think so; Montana’s congressional delegation thinks not.
The development authority in Hardin, a city of 3,400 people bordering the Crow Indian Reservation, built the $27 million, 460-bed jail two years ago and has been looking for tenants since. Its construction loans are in default.
The City Council voted 5-0 Tuesday in favor of a resolution supporting a proposal to house terror suspects currently detained at the U.S. naval base in Guantanamo Bay while they await trial.
“At a time like this, scorching irony, not convincing argument, is needed. Oh had I the ability, and could reach the nation’s ear, I would, pour out a fiery stream of biting ridicule, blasting reproach, withering sarcasm, and stern rebuke.
“For it is not light that is needed, but fire; it is not the gentle shower, but thunder.
“We need the storm, the whirlwind, and the earthquake.”
Frederick Douglass, 1852
Regaining My Humanity:
“To Those Who Have Called Me A Hero, I Say That I Don’t Believe In Heroes, But I Believe That Ordinary People Can Do Extraordinary Things”
Truthout Note: Camilo Mejia spent more than 7 years in the military and 8 months fighting in Iraq. On a furlough from the war, he applied for Conscientious Objector status, and was declared a Prisoner of Conscience by Amnesty International. He was convicted of desertion by the U.S. military for refusing to return to the war in Iraq and was imprisoned. Mejia was released from prison on February 15th 
7 February 2005 By Camilo Mejia, Iraq Veterans Against The War; CodePink.org
I was deployed to Iraq in April 2003 and returned home for a two-week leave in October.
Going home gave me the opportunity to put my thoughts in order and to listen to what my conscience had to say.
People would ask me about my war experiences and answering them took me back to all the horrors-the firefights, the ambushes, the time I saw a young Iraqi dragged by his shoulders through a pool of his own blood or an innocent man was decapitated by our machine gun fire.
The time I saw a soldier broken down inside because he killed a child, or an old man on his knees, crying with his arms raised to the sky, perhaps asking God why we had taken the lifeless body of his son.
I thought of the suffering of a people whose country was in ruins and who were further humiliated by the raids, patrols and curfews of an occupying army.
And I realized that none of the reasons we were told about why we were in Iraq turned out to be true.
There were no weapons of mass destruction. There was no link between Saddam Hussein and al Qaeda. We weren’t helping the Iraqi people and the Iraqi people didn’t want us there. We weren’t preventing terrorism or making Americans safer.
I couldn’t find a single good reason for having been there, for having shot at people and been shot at.
Coming home gave me the clarity to see the line between military duty and moral obligation.
I realized that I was part of a war that I believed was immoral and criminal, a war of aggression, a war of imperial domination.
I realized that acting upon my principles became incompatible with my role in the military, and I decided that I could not return to Iraq.
By putting my weapon down, I chose to reassert myself as a human being. I have not deserted the military or been disloyal to the men and women of the military. I have not been disloyal to a country. I have only been loyal to my principles.
When I turned myself in, with all my fears and doubts, I did it not only for myself. I did it for the people of Iraq, even for those who fired upon me-they were just on the other side of a battleground where war itself was the only enemy. I did it for the Iraqi children, who are victims of mines and depleted uranium. I did it for the thousands of unknown civilians killed in war. My time in prison is a small price compared to the price Iraqis and Americans have paid with their lives. Mine is a small price compared to the price Humanity has paid for war.
Many have called me a coward, others have called me a hero. I believe I can be found somewhere in the middle.
To those who have called me a hero, I say that I don’t believe in heroes, but I believe that ordinary people can do extraordinary things.
To those who have called me a coward I say that they are wrong, and that without knowing it, they are also right. They are wrong when they think that I left the war for fear of being killed.
I admit that fear was there, but there was also the fear of killing innocent people, the fear of putting myself in a position where to survive means to kill, there was the fear of losing my soul in the process of saving my body, the fear of losing myself to my daughter, to the people who love me, to the man I used to be, the man I wanted to be. I was afraid of waking up one morning to realize my humanity had abandoned me.
I say without any pride that I did my job as a soldier. I commanded an infantry squad in combat and we never failed to accomplish our mission. But those who called me a coward, without knowing it, are also right.
I was a coward not for leaving the war, but for having been a part of it in the first place. Refusing and resisting this war was my moral duty, a moral duty that called me to take a principled action.
I failed to fulfill my moral duty as a human being and instead I chose to fulfill my duty as a soldier.
All because I was afraid.
I was terrified, I did not want to stand up to the government and the army, I was afraid of punishment and humiliation. I went to war because at the moment I was a coward, and for that I apologize to my soldiers for not being the type of leader I should have been.
I also apologize to the Iraqi people. To them I say I am sorry for the curfews, for the raids, for the killings.
May they find it in their hearts to forgive me.
One of the reasons I did not refuse the war from the beginning was that I was afraid of losing my freedom. Today, as I sit behind bars I realize that there are many types of freedom, and that in spite of my confinement I remain free in many important ways.
What good is freedom if we are afraid to follow our conscience? What good is freedom if we are not able to live with our own actions?
I am confined to a prison but I feel, today more than ever, connected to all humanity. Behind these bars I sit a free man because I listened to a higher power, the voice of my conscience.
While I was confined in total segregation, I came across a poem written by a man who refused and resisted the government of Nazi Germany. For doing so he was executed. His name is Albrecht Hanshofer, and he wrote this poem as he awaited execution.
The burden of my guilt before the law
weighs light upon my shoulders; to plot
and to conspire was my duty to the people;
I would have been a criminal had I not.
I am guilty, though not the way you think,
I should have done my duty sooner, I was wrong,
I should have called evil more clearly by its name
I hesitated to condemn it for far too long.
I now accuse myself within my heart:
I have betrayed my conscience far too long
I have deceived myself and fellow man.
I knew the course of evil from the start
My warning was not loud nor clear enough!
Today I know what I was guilty of…
To those who are still quiet, to those who continue to betray their conscience, to those who are not calling evil more clearly by its name, to those of us who are still not doing enough to refuse and resist, I say “come forward.” I say “free your minds.”
Let us, collectively, free our minds, soften our hearts, comfort the wounded, put down our weapons, and reassert ourselves as human beings by putting an end to war.
“Iraq Veterans Against The War Calls For The Immediate And Unconditional Withdrawal Of All Occupying Forces In Afghanistan”
“The Afghanistan War Dehumanizes The Afghan People And Denies Them Their Right To Self-Determination”
“There Is No Battlefield Solution To Terrorism”
March 21 Washington, DC Photo by Bill Perry. Thanks to Ward Reilly, Veterans For Peace
Feb 5 2009 IVAW Website: IVAW.org
Whereas, Iraq Veterans Against the War is an organization that has opened its membership to veterans of the war in Afghanistan;
Whereas, the war in Afghanistan is continuing into its seventh year with rising casualties among the Afghan people, and with U.S. and Coalition forces facing their deadliest year since the invasion;
Whereas a primary motivation for the prolonged occupation of Afghanistan is competition between the U.S., Russia and China for control of oil and natural gas resources in Central Asia and the Caspian Sea;
Whereas, the military occupation is creating tension and resentment among the Afghan people, to include Afghan women, many of whom are calling for the removal of all foreign occupying troops;
Whereas, the Afghanistan war dehumanizes the Afghan people and denies them their right to self-determination;
Whereas, our military is being exhausted by involuntary extensions, and activations of the Reserve, National Guard and Individual Ready Reserve, and by repeated deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan;
Whereas, service members are facing serious health consequences due to our government’s negligence in Iraq and Afghanistan and mismanagement of the Department of Veterans Affairs;
Whereas, there is no battlefield solution to terrorism, and any escalation of the war in Afghanistan will only serve to exacerbate the plight of the Afghan people, destabilize the region, and further the breakdown of our military;
Therefore, be it resolved that Iraq Veterans Against the War calls for the immediate and unconditional withdrawal of all occupying forces in Afghanistan and reparations for the Afghan people, and supports all troops and veterans working towards those ends.
CLASS WAR REPORTS
Which Way The Wind Blows:
“Kill Your Politician” Gallery Opens;
“People Are Allowed To Shoot The Politicians They Dislike”
A visitor adjusts an air rifle as her girlfriend finds their disliked politician at the ‘Kill Your Politician’ exhibit at the Roxy/NoD Galery in Prague. Portraits of all 200 members of Czech Chamber of Deputies are displayed at the exhibition where people are allowed to shoot the politicians they dislike. (AFP/Michal Cizek)
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:: Article nr. 53777 sent on 28-apr-2009 13:13 ECT
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