Archive for June, 2007

Volker Beck hit in Russia

June 5, 2007

this is old news to some, but I have just found out about it…

Police then hustled away others, including German parliament member Volker Beck, as opponents threw eggs and shouted: “Moscow is not Sodom!”

A total of 31 people were detained and most were later released, Moscow police spokesman Yevgeny Gildeyev said. He said two Italians were detained for jaywalking and a German was taken away by police to prevent him from being beaten.

But Beck, who was later released, told The Associated Press police beat him and the others and seized their passports. Beck also denied the group was holding a demonstration, insisting they were only trying to hand over the letter.

http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories/R/RUSSIA_GAY_RIGHTS?SITE=7219&SECTION=HOME&TEMPLATE=DEFAULT&CTIME=2007-05-27-16-29-

“I was attacked,” Beck told German television. “It was a stone and a fist. It shows we’re not safe in this country. The security forces did not protect us but instead prevented us from retreating. We were left without any protection.”

volker-beck-got-hit-in-russia.jpg

the plot?

June 2, 2007

exaggeration:

“The devastation that would be caused had this plot succeeded is just unthinkable,” U.S. Attorney Roslynn R. Mauskopf said at a news conference, calling it “one of the most chilling plots imaginable.”

idiocy:

One of the suspects, Russell Defreitas, a U.S. citizen native to Guyana and retired JFK air cargo employee, said the airport named for the slain president was targeted because it is a symbol that would put “the whole country in mourning.”

“It’s like you can kill the man twice,” said Defreitas, 63, who first hatched his plan more than a decade ago when he worked as a cargo handler for a service company, according to the indictment.

Gates unaware

June 2, 2007

A task force of coalition ships, called CTF-150, is permanently based in the northern Indian Ocean and patrols the Somali coast in hopes of intercepting international terrorists. U.S. destroyers are normally assigned to the task force and patrol in pairs.

CNN International, quoting a Pentagon official, also reported the U.S. warship’s involvement. A Pentagon spokesman told The Associated Press he had no information about the incident.

“This is a global war on terror and the U.S. remains committed to reducing terrorist capabilities when and where we find them,” Pentagon spokesman Bryan Whitman said.

“We recognize the importance of working closely with allies to seek out, identify, locate, capture, and if necessary, kill terrorists and those who would provide them safe haven,” Whitman said. “The very nature of some of our operations, as well as the success of those operations is often predicated on our ability to work quietly with our partners and allies.”

At an international conference in Singapore, U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates told reporters who asked about the Somalia reports on Saturday, “Frankly, I don’t know exactly what was going on. I’ve been on the road. And I wouldn’t be commenting on operational activities anyway.”

Cities Where ATF, FBI Have Crime Teams

June 2, 2007

Cities Where ATF, FBI Have Crime Teams
Jun 1, 6:05 PM (ET)

Attorney General Alberto Gonzales announced that Violent Crime Impact Teams were being dispatched to Mesa, Ariz.; Orlando, Fla.; San Bernardino, Calif., and San Juan, Puerto Rico.

Other cities where impact teams have been deployed since June 2004:

_Albuquerque, N.M.; Atlanta; Baltimore; Baton Rouge, La.; Birmingham, Ala.; Camden, N.J.; Columbus, Ohio; Fresno, Calif.; Greensboro, N.C.; Hartford, Conn.; Houston; Laredo, Texas; Las Vegas; Los Angeles; Miami; Milwaukee; Minneapolis; New Orleans; Philadelphia; Pittsburgh; Richmond, Va.; Tampa, Fla.; Tucson, Ariz.; Tulsa, Okla.; Washington.

Cities and regions where the FBI has deployed Violent Gang and Violent Crime/Gang Safe Streets Task Forces nationwide, as of December 2006, the latest data available. Note: some cities and regions have more than one task force deployed there, focusing separately on violent crime, gangs or major thefts.

Alabama: Mobile, Birmingham.

Alaska: Anchorage.

Arizona: Phoenix.

Arkansas: Metrock.

California: South Los Angeles County, Los Angeles, Santa Ana, Stockton, Sacramento, Central Valley, San Diego, North County region, North Bay region, Oakland, San Francisco, North Central Coast.

Connecticut: Bridgeport, New Haven, Northern Connecticut region.

Colorado: Rocky Mountain region, southern Colorado region.

Delaware: statewide.

District of Columbia.

Florida: Jacksonville, Daytona Beach, South Florida region, Palm Beach County, Tampa Bay.

Georgia: Hall County, northwest Georgia region, Conasauga, southwest Georgia region.

Idaho: Treasure Valley, North Idaho

Illinois: Will County, Chicago, West Peoria, Quad Cities, Metro East region.

Indiana: Indianapolis, Gary.

Kentucky: Northern Kentucky region

Louisiana: Calcasieu Parish, northeast Louisiana, Capital Area.

Maryland: Baltimore, Prince George’s County.

Massachusetts: Western Massachusetts region, North Shore region, southeast Massachusetts region, Boston.

Michigan: St. Joseph, Saginaw, Detroit, Genessee County.

Mississippi: Jackson, southeast Mississippi.

Missouri: Kansas City, St. Louis.

Montana: Big Sky, Central Montana region.

Nebraska: Greater Omaha.

Nevada: Las Vegas.

New Jersey: statewide, South Jersey region, Jersey Shore region.

New Mexico: southern New Mexico region.

New York: Capital District area, Buffalo, Westchester County, New York City, Long Island.

North Carolina: Raleigh-Durham, Charlotte.

Ohio: Miami Valley region, Cleveland/Cuyahoga region, Mahoning Valley, Stark County.

Oklahoma: Oklahoma City, Tulsa.

Oregon: Portland.

Pennsylvania: Lehigh Valley region, Delaware Valley region, Philadelphia, Steamtown,
Pittsburgh, Erie, southwest Pennsylvania region.

Puerto Rico: Guaynabo, Aguadilla regional, Ponce, Fajardo.

Rhode Island: statewide.

South Carolina: Columbia, Charleston, PeeDee.

Tennessee: Chattanooga, Knoxville, Nashville, Memphis

Texas: Dallas, west Texas region, east Texas region, Tarrant County, El Paso, Houston, Corpus Christi, San Antonio, Austin, Rio Grande.

U.S. Virgin Islands: regional.

Utah: statewide, northern Utah region.

Virginia: Petersburg, Richmond, Tidewater region, Peninsula region

Washington: Pierce County, Puget Sound.

West Virginia: Charleston, Huntington, Potomac Highlands Task.

Wisconsin: Milwaukee area, Gang-Rock County.

Source: Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and the FBI.

Marine uniforms not allowed at political events?

June 2, 2007

Marine Cpl. Adam Kokesh had already received an honorable discharge from active duty before he was photographed in April wearing fatigues – with military insignia removed – during a mock patrol with other veterans protesting the Iraq war.

Col. Dave Lapan, a Marine Corps spokesman, said Kokesh is under administrative review because he wore his uniform at a political event, which is prohibited. And, Lapan said, when a senior officer told Kokesh that he violated military regulations, Kokesh used an obscenity and indicated he would not comply with the rules.

“It’s the political activity that is prohibited, not the type of event that it was,” Lapan said. “If it had been a pro-war rally, it would still have been a violation.”

A second Marine who was at the same event was also called about the violation, but told the officer he was unaware he was breaking the rules and said he would not do it again, Lapan said. That Marine, who has not been identified, has not been called to an administrative hearing.

Condoleezza Rice

June 2, 2007

“We want Russia to be strong, but strong in 21st century terms.”

“Democratic institutions and an open society are not a source of weakness,” Rice said. “Nor is freedom of speech and freedom of the press just a nuisance.”

“I think the question isn’t why won’t we talk to Tehran,” she said. “The question is why doesn’t Tehran want to talk to us.”

Army of God

June 2, 2007

Many Troops Return to War; Many Never Go
Jun 1, 9:29 PM (ET)
By PAULINE JELINEK

WASHINGTON (AP) – Even as troops in Iraq and Afghanistan are serving longer and more often – three, four, even five times – roughly half of Americans in uniform have not been sent at all.

Whatever the reason, it didn’t seem fair to Marine Sgt. Matthew Clark, who sits behind a desk in Illinois but has asked to “go to the fight” instead.

Clark is among some 1,000 reassigned for deployment since Marine Commandant Gen. James T. Conway issued a policy message early this year called “Every Marine into the Fight.”

“When they join our Corps, Marines expect to train, deploy and fight,” Conway said in the January message. “That’s who we are. That’s what we do.”

By this spring, roughly 150,000 active duty soldiers, 85,000 sailors, 90,000 airmen and 65,000 Marines had gone more than once to Iraq, Afghanistan or surrounding countries. About half the total force had not deployed to either conflict, Defense Department figures show.

Fifty-three percent of the active duty Air Force and 50 percent of the Navy had not been to the wars, not surprising since the fighting is overwhelmingly on the ground.

Still, 45 percent of the Marines and 37 percent of Army forces had never been deployed.

– The military is an ever-morphing body, with people coming in and going out constantly. The four branches recruited about 180,000 just last year – meaning there are always new people still in training.

– Though the two wars are the biggest Pentagon efforts, there are tens of thousands of forces in other parts of the world, from Korea to the Philippines to Africa

“There are a lot of folks doing God’s work right here stateside that are invaluable to the people overseas,” said Col. Daniel Baggio, an Army spokesman. “The spirit of the Army is really that folks want to do their part … in any way they can. … They go where they’re told to go.”

Anyone who stays in for more than one enlistment can pretty much count on going overseas.

“We like to say there are three kinds of soldiers: those that are deployed, those that have been deployed and those that are going to be deployed,” Baggio said.

Now, there are almost 220,000 troops, airmen and sailors serving in the Iraq and Afghan campaigns – 150,000 in Iraq, 28,000 in Afghanistan and 40,000 in neighboring countries and on ships offshore

Conway’s January order directed leaders to change policies “to ensure all Marines, first termers and career Marines alike, are provided the ability to deploy to a combat zone.”

Since then, officials have been identifying people who haven’t deployed, looking at assignment lengths and making needed changes, said Lt. Col. Kevin Schmiegel of the Marine assignments office.

Dakota Wood, a retired Marine and fellow at the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments, said it’s a good idea.

The Marine Corps is a “war-fighting-oriented organization,” Wood said. “People join the Marines to be operational. That’s the kind of person you’re drawing; they’re looking for excitement, engagement.”

You don’t get those things, Wood said in a football analogy, “if the same 11 guys take the field and you keep sitting on the bench.”

There are inevitably some people who don’t want to go, who are suspected of manufacturing a health problem or maneuvering into a job that will help them stay put, Pentagon officials say privately. In fact, there are those who like their location or work and don’t want any of the moves that can come with military life.

People in the military call them “homesteaders.” One is said to have worked in Washington his entire 17 years in the service and never been deployed anywhere.