Thursday 25th of April 2024

chuckie's diary .....

‘US soldiers, accused of raping and murdering a 14-year-old Iraqi girl, drank alcohol and hit golf balls before the attack. One of them grilled chicken wings afterwards, a criminal investigator told a US military hearing yesterday.

Benjamin Bierce interviewed one of the accused, Specialist James Barker who made a written statement in which he recorded graphic and brutal sexual details of the alleged assault on March 12.

Mr Bierce was testifying on the second day of the hearing to determine whether five soldiers must stand trial for the rape and killing of Abeer Qassim al-Janabi, her parents and five-year-old sister in the town of Mahmudiya.

Rebellion in the ranks


"If I am to die politically because of my stance on this bill, it is better to die on my feet than to live on my knees," Government Backbencher Russell Broadbent during debate on the governments Asylum seeker bill.


 SMH August 9, 2006 - 5:26PM

Liberal backbencher Petro Georgiou has described Government laws that would send all asylum seekers arriving in Australia by boat offshore as the most "profoundly disturbing" legislation he has ever encountered in Parliament.

the glaring truth .....

‘All of them – Bush, Rice, Hoekstra, Santorum, the warmongering nabobs at Fox News – know they are peddling lies. The truth is too glaringly obvious to ignore, even for a pathologically incurious, spoon-fed twit like Bush. But they don't care. Hanley's story is one of the very few in the mainstream press to have ever laid out the facts alongside their lies in a calm, straightforward fashion. It's clear, concise, quietly but utterly devastating – and it won't make a damn bit of difference.

The Bushists know that a wire story buried on page 16 of the Topeka Times – or even splashed on the front of the Washington Post – poses no threat to their propaganda machine. They know that the majority of Americans get their "news" from TV – or rather, from glimpses at the scrolling headlines rolling by under the bland, blathering, blow-dried heads of the anchors and the fulminating mugs of the countless hard-right apparatchiks who dominate the screen. The lies will go on – and the corpses will keep piling up, despite the occasional flash of lightning piercing through the dark.’

lead balloonicoonan .....

From the ABC …..

Communications Minister Helen Coonan says the Government will not necessarily go ahead with the final sale of Telstra.

Telstra has decided not to proceed with a new $4 billion broadband technology expansion, saying it would not be viable to invest in a fibre-to-the-node network under the current government regulations.

Senator Coonan says the Government will now look at the best way to move ahead with Telstra.

condoleezza's baby .....

‘Last week, Haaretz columnist Doron Rosenblum wrote a remarkable, explosive analysis that no one would ever dare print in North America, where any criticism of Israel brings a storm of abuse and often terminates careers.

The real cause of the latest Lebanon war, wrote Rosenblum, was not seizure of two Israeli soldiers by Hezbullah, but an earlier TV speech by Hezbullah’s leader, Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah, that provoked Israel’s leaders to fury and an act of supreme folly.

let me help you .....

From the ABC …..

Coalition rules out cutting petrol excise.

The federal Coalition party room meeting has ended without coming up with a solution to high petrol prices.

Many MPs and senators say their constituents are angry about the extra dollars they have to spend because petrol costs have risen so much.

But in their first gathering since the winter break, they have decided there is little the Federal Government can do to ease the pain.

KBR's international overcharges... what about South Australia?

 South Australia is currently stuck with years of advanced planning by KBR, and we're going to pay dearly in tax dollars for the privilege.

I wouldn't like to be a South Australian politician looking at the international Hallburton news at the moment.. I'd be wondering how to afford to get my roads built and my warships made

We're hearing locally of cost blow-outs in our road plans.  Costs for scheduled tunnels to make a fast road from the southern suburbs to Port Adelaide have exceeded all expectations  before the first hole is dug, and now the proposed new Northern Expressway (six lane accessibility to the mines) is also in financial crisis, with calls being made this week for a Federal bail-out.

poison pen .....

The Editor,
Sydney Morning Herald.                                                                                         August 6, 2006.

Miranda Divine’s latest poisonous piece on David Hicks is not only deliberately misleading but it ignores & seeks to justify the fundamental injustice being perpetrated against him, whilst mounting a cowardly attack on his family ('United 93 highlights dangers of Hicks cult's flight from reality', Herald, August 6).

staying on the wrong course .....

from the Centre for American Progress

‘Yesterday, Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld testified about Iraq before the Senate Armed Services Committee, his first public testimony about the war in six months. One thing became abundantly clear: conditions in Iraq have gone from bad to worse.

Four months ago, Gen. John Abizaid, the commander of American forces in the Middle East, told a Senate committee, "Iraq remains a long way from civil war." Yesterday, Abizaid, who testified with Rumsfeld, said that the "the sectarian violence is probably is as bad as I’ve seen it" and, unless rampant violence in Baghdad is "stopped," a civil war could be imminent.

the great scamster .....

‘Yet another sordid chapter in the murky annals of Halliburton might well lead to the indictment of Dick Cheney by a French court on charges of bribery, money-laundering and misuse of corporate assets.

At the heart of the matter is a $6 billion gas liquification factory built in Nigeria on behalf of oil mammoth Shell by Halliburton - the company Cheney headed before becoming Vice President - in partnership with a large French petro-engineering company, Technip. Nigeria has been rated by the anticorruption watchdog Transparency International as the second-most corrupt country in the world, surpassed only by Bangladesh.

'night night amerika .....

‘US Attorney General Alberto Gonzales said the US government could "indefinitely" hold foreign 'enemy combatants' at sites like the US naval base in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

"We can detain any combatants for the duration of the hostilities," said Gonzales, speaking to the Senate Armed Services Committee.

"If we choose to try them, that's great. If we don't choose to try them, we can continue to hold them," he said.

defending a way of life .....

‘Human Rights Watch, after extensive investigation, has concluded that the Israeli military is guilty of war crimes. HRW says:

·                     Israeli forces have systematically failed to distinguish between combatants and civilians in their military campaign against Hezbollah in Lebanon, Human Rights Watch said in report released today. The pattern of attacks in more than 20 cases investigated by Human Rights Watch researchers in Lebanon indicates that the failures cannot be dismissed as mere accidents and cannot be blamed on wrongful Hezbollah practices. In some cases, these attacks constitute war crimes.

the italian job .....

‘When Italian prosecutor Armando Spataro issued arrest warrants for 22 CIA officers last November, for the 2003 kidnapping of an Egyptian cleric in Milan, it seemed like a hollow gesture. Spataro claimed that American operatives had snatched the Imam, who is known as Abu Omar, and transported him to Egypt, where he was allegedly tortured. But there was no way the United States would extradite its spies, and it appeared that the Italian investigation of the murky practice of extraordinary rendition would go the way of similar cases in this country: nowhere.

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