A housewife calls to talk about a broken sewer pipe. A student calls to talk about a lost love. A shopkeeper calls to say what he thinks of the violent insurgency that has swept his country.
The callers have reached Iraq’s first talk radio station, Radio Dijla, which opened in April and has been putting Iraqis’ opinions directly on the air, mainlining democracy from a two-story villa in central Baghdad for 19 hours a day.
In all, about 15 private radio stations have sprung up since the American occupation began, but Dijla, Arabic for Tigris, is the first to serve only talk. The station is one of the most listened-to in Baghdad, according to its employees, a claim that appears to have merit, judging by its broad following among the city’s taxi drivers, housewives, students and late-night listeners, who tune in to a night talk show about relationships.
For 25 years, this little clique has maintained sub rosa ties to Iran. They, and Israel, had multiple lines into Iran’s mullahs long before the Shah fell. Israel armed Iran throughout the 1980s, including during the 444 days when thugs held U.S. diplomats hostage. They were behind Iran-contra, trying to push the United States into a closer relationship with Iran when we were, sensibly enough, backing Iraq. And they’ve never let up. Since 2001, when they took power with the Bush administration, they’ve plotted war against Iraq and plotted how to establish ties with Iran’s national security apparatus and its military again, even if it meant undermining U.S. policy. A key figure in all this is Michael Ledeen, an AEI stalwart who’s long had intimate ties to Israeli intelligence. And then there is Ahmad Chalabi, another Mossad-linked creature.
We can discount, or throw out, Israel’s silly statement that it stopped spying against the United States after the Pollard affair. Israel has penetrated the United States so completely that it probably doesn’t even call it spying anymore. It’s business as usual.
An attorney representing former detainees says his recent fact-finding mission to Baghdad uncovered dozens of cases of physical and psychological abuse, sexual humiliation, religious desecration and rape in ten US-run prisons throughout occupied Iraq.
The NewStandard spoke with Michigan-based attorney Shereef Akeel, who interviewed some 50 former detainees about their time and treatment in US custody. Part of the legal team behind a class action lawsuit against the firms for their employees’ involvement in prison abuse at US-run facilities in Iraq, the former immigration lawyer found himself traveling to meet face-to-face with the people he is representing in the American court system.
His team has documented abuse dating from July 2003 to as recently as last month, when an Iraqi boy just fifteen years old says his captors at an American facility raped him. “He was told to go on all fours naked and was sodomized from behind,” Akeel conveyed the fifteen year-old’s testimony. “He said they made him dance and he was crying.”
Few understand how likely this election is going to be taken by Diebolds, and if this election is taken by the Bushies, there won’t be a real election in America for a very long time . . .
I’ve said it a million times and I’ll say it again: Kerry will win hands down if there were a free and fair election in America this November. But Republicans can’t not cheat and win . . .
Jean Shaoul of the WSWS reviews the Glasgow University Media Group’s new book, Bad News from Israel.
“In November 1974, a reform-hungry Capitol Hill gave the newly sworn-in President Gerald Ford one of his first real challenges. Congress had passed a significant expansion of Ralph Nader’s 1966 Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), aimed at prying open for public scrutiny the previously exempt areas of national security and law enforcement.
When Ford was vice president to a commander-in-chief famous for his secrecy, paranoia, and abuse, he had supported the new sunshine amendments. But as chief executive, the interim president allowed himself to be talked into a veto by his intelligence directors and by his young chief and deputy chief of staff: Donald Rumsfeld and Dick Cheney.
“‘This was their first battle at Ford’s White House,’ says Thomas Blanton, director of the National Security Archive, a nonprofit at George Washington University that has helped declassify more than 20,000 government documents. It was a battle the FOIA foes lost: Congress overrode Ford’s veto.
Thirty years later, Rumsfeld and Cheney are again squaring off against the advocates of government transparency.
jogged by the MemoryBlog
Dennis McNamara, the Director of the UN’s Internal Displacement Division, told a press conference in Nairobi, Kenya, that rape and sexual violence against women and girls in Darfur was an immense problem.
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He made his remarks on the day that the Security Council deadline arrived for the Sudanese Government to show that it is giving Darfur’s vast population of internally displaced persons (IDPs) better protection and it is disarming the militias accused of attacking civilians.
“The Department of Defense announced today the death of a soldier who was supporting Operation Iraqi Freedom. Pfc. Luis A. Perez, 19, of Theresa, N.Y., died Aug. 27 in Fallujah, Iraq, when his convoy vehicle hit an improvised explosive device. Perez was assigned to the Army Reserve’s 223rd Transportation Company, Norristown, Pa.”
Perez was the 1000th American soldier to be killed since Iraq was invaded last March.