[Dick Cheney]’s developed an angst and almost a protective cover, and now he fears being tried as a war criminal.Colin Powell’s former chief of staff, Col. Lawrence Wilkerson • He also contends that Cheney “was president for all practical purposes for the first term of the Bush administration,” something critics have long-alleged. source (via • follow)
hannahmaryelizabeth-deactivated asks: If possible, can you summarize in a short paragraph what has happened throughout the years since our involvment in Iraq in 2003? After the whole looking for WMD's situation.
» SFB says: Phew, big question. Basically, the invasion — which came about for controversial reasons (the hunt for weapons of mass destruction) and in the midst of a second war in Afghanistan — started with a push to remove Saddam Hussein from power. We kicked him out, then handed power over to an interim government. At the same time, the insurgency was intensifying — meaning that there were more suicide bombers, IEDs, etc. The first democratic elections came in early 2005. By October of the same year, a constitution had been approved in spite of rising violence. Throughout 2006, violence continued to rise — including more car bombings and more civilian deaths. In December, Saddam was executed for crimes against humanity. Violence began to subside mid-2007; by 2008 things improved further. The US returned the western province of Anbar to Iraqi control and the Iranian president visited. The U.S. and Iraq formed a security pact in early 2009 that said American troops would leave the country by the end of 2011. In late 2009, the al-Qaeda-linked Islamic State of Iraq claimed responsibility for many of the suicide bombings that year. In August 2010, the last US combat brigade left Iraq, and two months later WikiLeaks published classified documents about the US’s involvement in the war. If you want more details (there are many more), check out this timeline from the BBC. I hope that helped! — Justin @ SFB
» Two conflicting cultural problems: What’s going on here is a bit of culture conflict. First, Charles Whittington takes medication and has received counseling on his issues. While in the paper he said that killing ”is something that I do not just want but something I really need so I can feel like myself,” it’s clear that he’s trying to make an effort to move on. Meanwhile, his school, the Community College of Baltimore County in Catonsville, Md., is trying to prevent another Virginia Tech-style shooting. We feel that Whittington’s frankness is a clear signifier that those days are behind him – or at least he’s willing to try. (Thanks to pitusimz for the suggestion)
» An awful end for many: Beyond the fact that terrorists attacked a Catholic Church in Baghdad, perhaps the worst fact about this whole situation is that many of the killed were hostages – most were killed or wounded after explosives were set off in the church. And they were killed because of their faith. The pope has already denounced the attack, which the Islamic State of Iraq took credit for with a note on their Web site: “The Mujahedeens raided a filthy nest of the nests of polytheism, which has been long taken by the Christians of Iraq as a headquarter for a war against the religion of Islam and they were able by the grace of God and His glory to capture those were gathered in and to take full control of all its entrances.”
I think anything that suggests that basic rules of war, conflict and engagement have been broken or that torture has been in any way condoned are extremely serious and need to be looked at.British Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg • Suggesting that the British government needs to investigate the torture claims brought forth by Wikileaks’ massive Iraq War data dump. Just yesterday, the country’s Ministry of Defense, which condemned the group for releasing the data. Clegg, on the other hand, has a very refreshing response to the whole thing: “We can bemoan how these leaks occurred, but I think the nature of the allegations made are extraordinarily serious.” If only more world leaders would take that approach to Wikileaks. source (via)
» Did the U.S. hide torture? The most controversial fact revealed in the reports, barring the release of the reports themselves, appears to be the U.S. military’s complicit role in hiding torture. It’s something that UN representative Manfred Nowak is straight-up calling out the Obama administration for. ”There is an obligation,” he said. “to investigate whenever there are credible allegations torture has happened – and these allegations are more than credible – and then it is up to the courts on the one hand to bring the perpetrators to justice and also on the other hand to provide the victims with adequate reparation for the harm they have suffered.” Other human rights groups have pinpointed the British government for similar reasons.
They called me the James Bond of journalism. It got me a lot of fans, and some of them ended up causing me a bit of trouble.Wikileaks founder Julian Assange • Making a pretty frank admission about his whole legal situation in Sweden, where he’s wanted on rape and molestation charges. Assange brought an even larger set of documents to the public eye Friday, revealing 391,832 secret documents yesterday, a leak more than five times as large as the recent Afghan War documents leak, which led to Bradley Manning’s detainment. Regarding Manning, who Assange has been matter-of-fact about in the past, he had something much weightier to say: “We have a duty to assist Mr. Manning and other people who are facing legal and other consequences.” Assange is a complex figure, perhaps one of the most interesting news figures around. And in his own weird way, he’s an essential part of the news right now. Even if some of his styles are questionable, some of the best journalism comes from these experimental methods. Ten years from now, Christian Bale should be all over this role. source (via)