Wednesday, 11 July 2007

"BUMPER STICKER SLOGAN" UPDATE

Ken Berwitz

Weeks ago, john edwards, the human oil slick, dismissed global terrorism as a "bumper sticker slogan" -- along with a few other Democratic presidential wannabes.

Since then, I've blogged several examples of how imbecilic that comment is.  Here's another one, courtesy of today's New York Times.  As usual, the bold print is mine:.

July 11, 2007

Abbas Accuses Hamas of Aid to Al Qaeda

JERUSALEM, July 10 Mahmoud Abbas, the Palestinian president, has accused his rivals in Hamas of having opened the door to Al Qaeda in Gaza.

In an interview on Monday with Italys RAI TV, Mr. Abbas, of Fatah, said, Thanks to the support of Hamas, Al Qaeda is entering Gaza.

The charge, denied by Hamas, underscored the depth of Mr. Abbass hostility toward Hamas since it seized control of Gaza nearly a month ago in a rout of Fatah forces.

A Hamas spokesman in Gaza, Sami Abu Zuhri, responded that Hamas had no links to Al Qaeda, adding that Mr. Abbas was trying to mislead international opinion to win support for his demand to deploy international forces in Gaza.

Hamas has tried to distance itself from Al Qaeda and its agenda of global jihad, saying its struggle is confined to the Israeli-Palestinian arena.

Al Qaedas deputy leader, Ayman al-Zawahri, called on Muslims around the world to help finance and arm Hamas in an audiotape posted on the Internet in late June. Then, Mr. Abu Zuhri said, Hamas has its own program, regardless of the comments of this group or that group.

Previously, Mr. Zawahri criticized Hamas for going into politics and joining with Fatah in a unity government, eliciting an angry reaction from Hamas.

A growing number of actions in Gaza in recent months have apparently been inspired by a Qaeda-style anti-Western ideology.

The Army of Islam, the shadowy group that held the BBC correspondent Alan Johnston hostage for almost four months, is said to have demanded the release from foreign prisons of figures associated with Al Qaeda.

Mr. Johnston, who was released last week, described his kidnappers as followers of a jihadi agenda.

Palestinian officials who are close to Mr. Abbas accused Hamas of having worked in concert with the Army of Islam, a onetime Hamas ally, in securing Mr. Johnstons freedom.

But some experts in Israel doubted any connection between Hamas and Al Qaeda.

I am not sure there is a real Al Qaeda presence in Gaza, though there are clearly people there who identify with it in spirit, said Yoram Schweitzer, of the Institute for National Security Studies in Tel Aviv. Mr. Schweitzer dismissed the idea that Hamas would help Al Qaeda set up in Gaza. On the contrary, he said. Hamas wants to be in control there. It would do all it could to stop it.

At a news conference with Prime Minister Romano Prodi of Italy in the West Bank city of Ramallah on Tuesday, Mr. Abbas called for an international peacekeeping force in Gaza. Mr. Prodi remained noncommittal, saying he had not discussed the issue in any depth with Mr. Abbas.

Hamas has rejected the proposal for an international force in Gaza, threatening to treat any foreign presence there as an occupying force.  .

Let me start by acknowledging it is not at all certain that hamas is directly connected with al qaeda.  Yoram Schweitzer is a recognized expert on terrorism, particularly suicide/homicide bombings, with many years of intelligence experience.  I greatly respect his opinion in this matter.  But:

-While he may be right that there is no direct connection between al-qaeda and hamas specifically, he may be wrong too.  His view is, to say the least, not unanimously held by other experts.  Additionally, he does not dispute the connection between al qaeda and other terrorist groups based in gaza (and, of course, elsewhere);

-There is no doubt at all that the "Army of of Islam" is connected, as proven by the fact that they demanded the release of al-qaeda operatives in return for Mr. Johnston;

-There is no doubt at all that al zawahiri, the #2 "man" (I have trouble associating him with that term) in al qaeda sees this as a global war of Islam against the west.  He has told us as much in this article, as he has repeatedly done for years, from whatever cave he is cowering in.

At this point I do not expect edwards or his fellow geniuses to retract the imbecilic "bumper sticker slogan" comment.  There's too much of an ego inside that beautifully coiffed head, and too much to lose politically within the LAMB segment of the Democratic party for him to show such honesty and integrity.

The only thing that would cause edwards to retract, would be if mainstream media in this country reminded people that a) he made the statement and b) the events I keep detailing - and, ironically, THEY keep reporting (remember, I gleaned this article from the New York Times) demonstrate he is wrong.

But they aren't doing that, are they?

Then they wonder why people call them biased.

 


R.I.P. LADY BIRD JOHNSON

Ken Berwitz

Lady Bird Johnson, wife of former President Lyndon Baines Johnson, died today.  She was 94 years of age.

Her husband could not run for re-election in 1968 due to the unpopularity of the war in Vietnam - at least among activists and media (it's another one of those under-the-radar facts that the war was supported by the people in most polls straight through).

What agony she must have gone through as her husband, who, until Vietnam, was a hugely respected figure in American politics, became a hated symbol of that war. 

And what agony she must have gone through as her daughters became fair game for the haters, and were sneeringly derided for their looks.  Presidents are easy targets for this kind of sick crap against their families, and LBJ was no exception.

As a stupid, immature teenager, I remember finding it very funny when a friend showed me his button, that said "Sterilize LBJ:  Stamp Out Ugly Children".  I'm ashamed even now to have laughed at it then.

Ms. Johnson,  you were a classy lady, very successful in your own right.  You always knew how to stand tall, even when things happened that would have crushed most others.

Rest in peace;  you deserve it.


GIVE ME YOUR BEST LAST PARAGRAPH

Ken Berwitz

Ok, this is a challenge:

Here is the report from www.clickondetroit.com.  You supply the last paragraph:.

The NAACP convention is under way and will continue without one of its featured guests.

Former President Bill Clinton was expected to speak at the convention Wednesday and give out awards, but because of some confusion, Clinton did not make an appearance.

Clinton was scheduled to be the keynote speaker at the convention where youths got together to speak about their behavior, the way they dress and present themselves .

Let's see...you can try something about where he was, what he was doing there, who he was doing it with/to/in the same room with, etc. etc. etc.  Have a ball. 

I've already got mine............


IS SYRIA ITCHING FOR A WAR?

Ken Berwitz

I've seen a number of articles over the past two months indicating that the terrorist-loving, terrorist-supporting bashar al-assad, "president" of Syria (even jimmy carter can't find THOSE election results) is itching to have a war with Israel.  Here is the latest:

More signs war with Syria is on the way

By Stan Goodenough
Jul 10, 2007

Tensions crept higher in the Middle East Saturday through Monday, building on the already swirling rumors that another Arab-Israeli war is being set to wrack the region this summer.

Israelis learned Monday that a "top official" in the Ba'ath Party of Syrian President Bashar el-Assad had threatened Syrian fighters would commence "resistance" operations against Jewish communities on the Golan if Israel does not relinquish those heights by September.

Jerusalem Newswire picked up reports immediately following last summer's war between Israel and Lebanon's Hizb'allah that Syria had noted with interest how the Lebanese succeeded in driving Israel out of southern Lebanon, and the subsequent psychological impact they were able to inflict on Israel by simply firing missiles at the country.

Back then a decision was reportedly taken in Damascus to train a force that would imitate Hizb'allah and wage a war of attrition against the Jewish state.

According to World Net Daily (WND) the Baath official, who spoke on condition his name be withheld, said such a force the Committees for the Liberation of the Golan Heights has now been trained and is ready to launch attacks against Jewish homes on the Golan.

"Damascus was preparing for anticipated Israeli retaliation following these attacks and for a larger war with the Jewish state in August or September."

Syria has "the capability of firing 'hundreds' of missiles at Tel Aviv," the official warned.

Another source identified the Syrian official as President Bashar el-Assad.

On Saturday the London-based Arabic newspaper al-Hayat reported that Israel was "concerned" that a Syrian decision to remove military checkpoints that had been in place on the road to Kuneitra since 1967 could be a preparation for war.

The Jerusalem Post said the al-Hayat report also charged that Israel had barred journalists from covering IDF exercises and preparations on the Golan, and that the Israeli military had blocked access to areas on the heights from which towns and villages were visible.

The reports out of London came a few weeks after Syrian officials confirmed that its state archives had been removed from Damascus for safeguarding in the event of a war.

In another, almost bizarre development which will certainly do nothing to quiet the tensions, Israeli "experts" said Sunday Israel was stealing water from Syria.

"For years," ran the report in Ynetnews, "Israel has been pumping water from springs in the Golan Heights to the shrinking Sea of Galilee, depriving Syria of major water resources.

"Water from some springs exploited by Israel would naturally stream downhill to Syria had it not been to human intervention on the Israeli side of the border," the experts said.

According to the World Net Daily report, Israeli security officials have confirmed the stepped-up presence of Syrian troops along the border with the Golan Heights. Also noted was Syrian Scud missile movement near the border with Israel, and Syria's recently increased production of rockets and acquired missiles capable of hitting central Israeli population centers.

WND said the Syrian army has improved its fortifications and has received modern, Russian-made anti-tank missiles similar to those that devastated Israeli tanks during the last Lebanon war.

Russia has supplied Syria with advanced anti-aircraft missiles. .

Are they serious?  Can this be real? 

And if they are/it is, what happens when Israel fights back?  Will it be "proportional"? (translation - will Israel allow Syria to orchestrate how the war will be fought)? 

If Syria hits Tel Aviv, will Israel level Damsacus?  And, if they do, what will the world community have to say about it?  What will they do about it?

Which countries, if any, will fight alongside of Syria?  Which countries, if any, will fight alongside of Israel? What weapons do they have?  What weapons will they use?  

These are very dangerous times we live in, and I hope with all my heart that these reports are completely false.  Because if they aren't, we may get the war we can't get past.


UH OH: GOOD NEWS ABOUT THE ECONOMY

Ken Berwitz

Want to see some really good news about the economy?  Try this on for size:.

Deficit Falls to $205 Billion

 

Jul 11 08:52 AM US/Eastern

WASHINGTON (AP) - The nation's budget deficit will drop to $205 billion in the fiscal year that ends in September, less than half of what it was at its peak in 2004, according to new White House estimates.

President Bush planned to discuss the figures in an afternoon appearance.

The new figure is considerably smaller than original estimates. In February, the White House predicted that this year's deficit would be $244 billion because of stronger-than-expected revenue collections. The deficit hit a peak of $413 billion in 2004 and was $248 billion last year. 

.

As we all know ( I think we all know this), the deficit, which already had suffered a recession when the dot.com bubble burst during Clinton's last year in office, went completely haywire after our economy was decimated by 9/11 and its aftermath. 

But the tax relief President Bush pushed through (which the new Democratic congress is aggressively trying to end, it should be remembered) has caused a huge increase in tax revenues.  Just as it did during the Reagan era. 

And because of this huge increase in tax revenues, the deficit is rapidly falling --even in the face of ridiculously profligate spending which neither the Bush administration nor the Democratic congress can seem to live without.

Now it's hard to look at this as anything but good news.  Really good news. So let's keep an eye and an ear open, to see how mainstream media report this really good news. 

Will they report it at all?  Will they report it, but make sure to toss in a "but, however" crimp that creates the impression this really good news isn't so good at all?

Let's look and listen.  Then we'll talk tomorrow.


A TASTE OF THE FUTURE: PART 16

Ken Berwitz

This one is several years old, but I just saw it today and it definitely should be part of my "taste of the future" series.  The bold print is mine:

.Atefeh Rajabi Sahaaleh (1988 - August 15, 2004) was a 16-year-old Iranian girl who was executed in Iran after being sentenced to death by an Iranian judge, Haji Rezai, for allegedly having committed "acts incompatible with chastity": Based on judicial records, by the time Atefeh was 16, she had been convicted five times of having sex with unmarried men, and for removing her hijab while arguing with her judge in court.

According to the BBC, supreme court of Appeal documents described her as a 22-year-old, but no one bothered to check her real age. Her trial for crimes against chastity was based on her admission that she had been repeatedly raped by a 51-year-old ex-revolutionary guard turned taxi driver, Ali Darabi, a married man with children.

Atefeh reportedly had no access to legal counsel and her death sentence was upheld by a Supreme Court of conservative mullahs. Haji Rezaii, the religious judge, was reportedly so incensed with Atefehs "sharp tongue" during the trial that he travelled to Tehran to convince the mullahs of the Supreme Court to uphold the death sentence. According to Amnesty International, it was reported that she suffered from psychological illness, both during the trials and at the time she committed the crime. She was publicly hanged from a crane in Neka, Iran, in August 2004, the noose being applied by the lower court judge himself. Amnesty International, as well as human rights organizations from the international community at large, declared her killing to be a crime against humanity and against children of the world.  .

Take a good look.  Because this is what will replace western civilization if we allow it to.  And it will be the way YOU live.

If we fight against radical islam we may win and we may lose.  If we do not, we will most assuredly lose because, either way, they will continue fighting.  And if they win, our culture and our civilization is over, to be replaced by what?  Having 16 year old rape victims executed for "commiting acts incompatible with chastity"?     

God help the people who want to live this way.  I know I'm not one of them.  Are you?

We play political games with this lunacy at our own peril.


GIULIANI'S FOREIGN POLICY TEAM

Ken Berwitz

Rudy Giuliani has named his foreign policy team.  Here they are, with short biographies, courtesy of the terrific website www.littlegreenfootballs.com.  See if you're impressed.  I know I am:.

Charles Hill is a legendary diplomat with experience derived from postings around the world. He has direct Middle Eastern experience - he was political counselor for the US Embassy in Tel Aviv and was director of Israel and Arab-Israeli affairs. He has also taught many members of our foreign policy elite. A biography of him was recently published by one of his students at Yale (The Man on Whom Nothing was Lost); he emerges in this portrait as one whose worldview is based on a fundamental faith in the righteousness of American power, properly wielded and a man who looks back fondly at the methods and success of the Reagan-era foreign policies.

Lassoing a foreign policy titan with Reagan-era credentials is a coup for Giuliani.

Norman Podhoretz has long been one of Americas leading intellectuals; from his post as editor of Commentary magazine (he is now editor-at-large) he was able to enliven our public discourse and promote a diverse range of ideas that later became commonly accepted wisdom. He has argued for a forthright approach toward Iran and Islamic extremism. Republicans increasingly measure their leaders by this yardstick: will they appease Islamic extremists or defend America from them? Rudy already scores well in this area; Podhoretz will buttress his credibility.

Senator Bob Kasten was known as an outspoken conservative as Senator (1981-1993). His name is widely known and he is widely respected. He is a headliner.

Stephen Rosen is an expert on the military, serving as a professor of national Security and Military Affairs at Harvard University. He has a lengthy list of publications focusing on military affairs (ballistic missile defense, the American theory of limited war, and on the strategic implications of the AIDS epidemic.)

S. Enders Wimbush is also a Senior Fellow at a conservative think-tank: the Hudson Institute. He will be in charge of public diplomacy-an area the critics feel the Bush Administration has not been adequately addressing. Karen Hughes, Bushs czarina for public policy, has been heavily criticized for her faltering performance in the area of public diplomacy. Wimbush appears to have wide experience in this area: he spent 12 years as an expatriate in Europe and has traveled around the world for corporate and government clients. He also served as a director of Radio Liberty in Europe.

Martin Kramer is an Olin Institute Senior Fellow at Harvard. The Olin Institute has been one of the leading foundations promoting conservativism in America. He has vast experience in the Middle East and is an authority in Islam and Arab Politics. He is also the Wexler-Fromer Fellow at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy and a senior fellow at the Shalem Center. He is a strong supporter of the American-Israel relationship, which will help Rudy solidify support among supporters of Israel (many of whom are evangelical Christians who are influential in the GOP). He has also been a leader in exposing the increasing politicization in the Middle East Studies Departments on American campuses - a politicization that has led professors to teach from an anti-American and anti-Israel viewpoint.

If this is indicative of the quality of people Mr. Giuliani will have around him, it is another solid - even extraordinary - reason to want him to win the Republican nomination.


GUEST COMMENTARY: JEFF JACOBY ON ISLAMIC TERRORISTS

Ken Berwitz

Jeff Jacoby, the Boston Globe's brilliant columnist (and their house Republican, the guy that is supposed to allow them to pretend they give readers both sides), has written another gem.

Here it is without any further comment from me, because it doesn't need any.

AVOIDING THE M-WORD

By Jeff Jacoby

The Boston Globe

 

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

 

http://www.boston.com/news/globe/editorial_opinion/oped/articles/2007/07/11/avoiding_the_m_word/

 

     Is radical Islam connected to terrorism? A number of notable British voices spoke out on that subject after Britain's recent terrorist near-misses -- the two unexploded car bombs packed with gas cylinders and nails in London's West End and the fiery SUV rammed by would-be suicide bombers into the main terminal at Glasgow's international airport.

 

     Consider what four of those voices had to say:

 

     One declared that the word "Muslim" must not be used in connection with terrorism, and insisted that even the phrase "war on terror" should be scrapped.

 

     The second likewise cautioned against pointing a finger at Islam, contending that in London, "Muslims are . . . less likely to support the use of violence to achieve political ends than non-Muslims."

 

     The third, asked whether Muslim extremists might be responsible for the attempted atrocities in London and Glasgow, counseled: "Let's avoid presumptions. . . . It can be the work of Muslims, Christians, Jews, or Buddhists."

 

     By contrast, the fourth noted the resemblance of the latest terror attempts to "other recent British Islamic extremist plots," pinpointed "Islamic theology" as "the real engine of our violence," and described British jihadists as "mindless killers" who have "declared war upon the whole world."

 

     The first three statements, disingenuous but models of political correctness, were made respectively by (1) Britain's new prime minister, Gordon Brown, (2) London Mayor Ken Livingstone, and (3) Daud Abdullah, deputy secretary general of the Muslim Council of Britain. Their comments came just days before the second anniversary of the deadly 7/7 London transit bombings, and less than a year since 24 British Muslims were arrested for plotting to blow up passenger jets over the Atlantic. Yet the three men spoke as if they had no inkling that Britain is a battleground in militant Islam's global jihad -- as if only a boor or a bigot could imagine that Muslims might somehow be linked to the car bombs in London and Glasgow.

 

     And that fourth statement? Those were the blunt words of Hassan Butt, a onetime spokesman for the radical Islamist organization al-Muhajiroun, who has renounced his former life. In an essay published last week in the Daily Mail, Butt emphasized that jihadists are motivated not by opposition to British or US foreign policy but by a fundamentalist theology that seeks to subject the entire world to "Islamic justice." Radical Imams, he wrote, teach their followers that they must fight for Dar al-Islam (the House of Islam) against Dar al-Harb (the House of War -- i.e., infidels to be defeated). And "in Dar el-Harb, anything goes, including the treachery and cowardice of attacking civilians."

 

     By turning a blind eye to the radical theology of the jihadists, says Butt, mainstream Muslim institutions make it easy for the extremists to recruit new followers. His words apply with equal force to political leaders like Brown and Livingstone: "They refuse to broach the difficult and often complex truth that Islam can be interpreted as condoning violence against the unbeliever -- and instead repeat the mantra that Islam is peace, and hope that all of this debate will go away."

 

     Wars cannot be won through denial and willful blindness. Yet in ways large and small, Western leaders and institutions deliberately avert their gaze from the reality of the Islamist threat. UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon blames global warming, not Sudan's jihadist regime, for the genocide being carried out in Darfur. A leading candidate to succeed President Bush, Illinois Senator Barack Obama, maintains a lavish campaign website, complete with detailed position papers that have nothing to say about radical Islam's aggressive war. Another candidate, former senator John Edwards, prepares a 5,200-word speech to the Council on Foreign Relations -- and, in passing, devotes just 19 of them to the menace of Islamic extremism.

 

     The obfuscation is sometimes almost comical. The New York Times, reporting the Glasgow attack on Page 1, carefully avoided using the M-word to identify Britain's Muslim terrorists. Instead it attributed the 7/7 bombings to Britain's "disenfranchised South Asian population" and reported that the terrorists in Glasgow "were South Asian." (As Joel Mowbray pointed out for the Powerline blog, Indian Hindus are the United Kingdom's largest South Asian demographic.)

 

     Similarly, seven reporters contributed to AP's story on the arrested jihad-doctors ("Diverse group allegedly in British plot"), yet somehow missed the radical theology they presumably shared. The closest the story comes is a think-tank experts speculation that the arrested doctors "discovered that they shared some common ideology, and then they decided to act." Comments Robert Spencer archly at JihadWatch: "Gee, what a coincidence! I wonder what ideology they all held in common."

 

     Political correctness is no strategy for victory. Islamic fascists will not hate us less if we avoid all mention of the theology that inflames them. Winning the war the jihadists have declared -- the war of Dar al-Islam and Dar al-Harb -- begins with moral clarity. Denial is a luxury we cannot afford.


JANET HOOK UPDATE

Ken Berwitz

It is now several days since I e-mailed Janet Hook of the Los Angeles Times, about her bogus article which claimed -without benefit of even one specific source - that Fred Thompson had advocated for a pro-choice group in the 90's (which would of course hurt him with his conservative base).  You can read her article at http://www.latimes.com/news/politics/la-na-thompson8jul08,1,1816878.story

Specifically I e-mailed the following:.

Ms. Hook
 
Your article on Fred Thompson is a shameless hit piece.
 
Mr. Thompson's position on abortion as a US Senator was strongly "pro-life".
 
You do not provide even one named source for any of your allegations that he advocated for "pro-choice" positions..  You do, however, artfully show quotes that, at a quick glance, LOOK like they support the contention Mr. Thompson was advocating that position but, in reality, do not. 
 
Paul Weyrich, for example, says that, if true,  it would be a political problem for Thompson.  But nowhere in your article does he actually claim Thompson said or did any such thing.   Ditto for David Carney, who says it would hurt Thompson among conservatives - but doesn't actually say it happened.
 
Then there is this murky "In 1991, according to several people then affiliated with the National Family Planning and Reproductive Health Assn., he accepted an assignment from the association to lobby the White House to withdraw or relax a "gag rule" that barred abortion counseling at clinics that received federal money." --- again without any specific source.  Except for the DENIALS which is where you DO find specific sources.
 
Are you guys so scared of Thompson's viability as a Republican presidential candidate that you're reduced to pumping out this kind of stuff? 
 
One last thing:  By way of personal disclosure, I am not involved with Fred Thompson or his campaign in any way, and, while not in favor of unrestricted abortion on demand, I do support abortion rights as well as the so-called "day after" contraception techniques.  If I were voting for a Republican presidential candidate today, that candidate would emphatically be Rudy Giuliani. .
 
I still have received no response. 
 
This is the last update you will see unless she answers (which, by now, I would consider highly unlikely).
 
What arrogance.  It would be unbecoming of Ms. Hook even if her article WASN'T bogus.

 

Ken Berwitz God I hope that Michael Moore reference wasn't a physical one........ (07/11/07)

Ann Higgins Well, you're a glass half full kinda guy! Expecting reporters to check facts, accurately quote sources and remain neutral? Not in today's newsroom... I commend you for calling her out, if more people did, perhaps we'd have a more responsible media. You're the Michael Moore of the blogosphere... (07/11/07)


COLD BLOODED MURDERERS UPDATE

Ken Berwitz

Remember john murtha, the ethically challenged house member from Pennsylvania who tosses all those millions of defense contract dollars to his brother and his pals?  The one who had to apologize for his imperious pronouncement earlier this year that he runs things on his committee, the rules be damned?

Remember when murtha called the marines accused of killing as many as 24 Iraqi civilians "cold blooded murderers" - without benefit of a trial, any evidence or any opportunity for them to defend themselves?

Over the past year I have periodically blogged about this case, as one after another of the marines have had charges against them dropped. 

Well, here is the latest piece of news, courtesy of the Associated Press.  I'm showing the relevant excerpt, but you can read it all at: http://www.breitbart.com/article.php?id=D8QACP0G1&show_article=1:.

SAN DIEGO (AP) - The government's case against a Marine accused of fatally shooting Iraqi civilians in the town of Haditha lacks sufficient evidence to go to a court-martial and should be dropped, a hearing officer determined.

The murder charges were brought against Lance Cpl. Justin L. Sharratt for killing three Iraqi brothers in November 2005.

The hearing officer, Lt. Col. Paul Ware, wrote in a report released by the defense Tuesday that those charges were based on unreliable witness accounts, insupportable forensic evidence and questionable legal theories. He also wrote that the case could have dangerous consequences on the battlefield, where soldiers might hesitate during critical moments when facing an enemy.

"The government version is unsupported by independent evidence," Ware wrote in the 18-page report. "To believe the government version of facts is to disregard clear and convincing evidence to the contrary."

Prosecutors allege Sharratt and other members of his battalion carried out a revenge-motivated assault on Iraqi civilians that left 24 dead after a roadside bomb killed a fellow Marine nearby.

Sharratt contends the Iraqi men he confronted were insurgents and at least one was holding an AK-47 rifle when he fired at them.

In addition to Sharratt, two other enlisted men are charged with murder and four officers are accused of failing to investigate the incidentthe largest single Iraqi civilian death case of the war. Sharratt's case is the first among the three charged with murder to go to a hearing known as an Article 32 investigation, the military equivalent of a grand jury.

"Whether this was a brave act of combat against the enemy or tragedy of misperception born out of conducting combat with an enemy that hides among innocents, Lance Corporal Sharratt's actions were in accord with the rules of engagement and use of force," Ware wrote.

He said further prosecution of Sharratt could set a "dangerous precedent that ... may encourage others to bear false witness against Marines as a tactic to erode public support of the Marine Corps and its mission in Iraq."

"Even more dangerous is the potential that a Marine may hesitate at the critical moment when facing the enemy," he said.

The recommendation to drop the murder charge is nonbinding. A final decision about whether Sharratt should stand trial will be made by Lt. Gen. James Mattis, the commanding general overseeing the case.  .

If you're waiting for murtha to come out with something - anything - that might backtrack on his sickening "I am the judge, jury and hangman" comments, forget it.  He won re-election despite those comments (what exactly are they thinking in that district?), and he doesn't have to answer to anyone. 

But don't doubt for a minute that what he said was despicable. As is the man himself.


Buy Our Book Here!


Return to Current Blog
We're Hopelessly Partisan

hopelesslypartisan.com, is a web site which is dedicated to honest, blunt, debate on the issues of our time.


About Us



Privacy Notice: In conjunction with the ads on this site, third parties may be placing and reading cookies on your browser, or using web beacons to collect information.


At “Hopelessly Partisan” we discuss all issues, big and small. In here, nothing is sacred and nothing is out of bounds.

So settle back, preferably after laughing your way through a copy of “The Hopelessly Partisan Guide To American Politics”, and let the battle begin. In this blog, your opinion counts every bit as much as anyone else's, maybe even more.

And to show that my willingness to provide all sides of the issues is sincere, here are links to a variety of web sites, from the left, the middle (more or less) and the right. Read them and either smile in agreement or gnash your teeth in anger!!