9/11 Quran burning in Tennessee?


This video from the USA is called Islamophobia: The new red scare?

By Nick Wing in the USA:

Tennessee Minister Also Planning Quran Burning

09- 9-10 02:05 PM

Rev. Terry Jones‘s now globally maligned idea to burn Qurans on the 9th anniversary of September 11th is receiving praise from one Tennessee minister who now says that he’s going to incinerate the sacred Islamic text on Saturday and post the video online.

According to a report from Nashville’s Tennessean, [Southern Baptist] Rev. Bob Old of Springfield, Tennessee recently gave his support to Rev. Jones of the Dove World Center Outreach in Gainesville, Fla., and said that his idea to set fire to Qurans was good.

The pastor planning a burning of the Koran on the anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks said Thursday he would not go forward with the event, adding he plans to meet with the imam planning to build an Islamic center near ground zero: here.

NO DEAL: Park51 denies Quran-burning reverend’s claim that plan was called off because of relocation deal: here.

US drones kill Pakistani children


This video is called US drone strategy raises concern in Pakistan – 17 Nov 09.

US drones have blitzed a Pakistani region bordering Afghanistan, killing at least 18 people, including four children, in the fourth US strike in 24 hours in the area: here.

From Dawn daily in Pakistan:

MIRAMSHAH: Fourteen suspected militants and four children were killed when US drones carried out three attacks in North Waziristan on Wednesday.

More crimes: CIA drones killed many Westerners, including some US passport holders in Pakistan during GWB administration: here.

Fourteen antiwar activists claimed a victory of sorts Sept. 14 when a county judge in Las Vegas helped them turn a misdemeanor trespassing case into a wider hearing on the legality of the use of unmanned military drones by the U.S. military abroad: here.

‘Extinct’ Californian fox rediscovered


This video from the USA is called Fisher Management in Northern Idaho.

From Wildlife Extra:

‘Extinct’ fox rediscovered in California

09/09/2010 11:15:15

Rare Red Fox Sighting Confirmed

The US National Forest Service have announced the recent sighting of a Sierra Nevada red fox (Vulpes vulpes necator), in the area where the Humboldt-Toiyabe and Stanislaus National Forests and Yosemite National Park come together. The Sierra Nevada red fox has never occurred in high numbers, and it is known to have suffered when non native foxes were introduced. The lack of any record of the fox for more than 10 years had led scientists to think that it was probably extinct.

This summer, the Forest Service has been conducting monitoring activities with motion sensitive cameras to detect the presence of the elusive fisher and marten, two forest carnivores known to frequent the High Sierra.

Surprised observers

While checking photographs on August 11, 2010, Forest Service wildlife biologists, Sherri Lisius, from the Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest, and Adam Rich, from the Stanislaus National Forest, identified a photo believed to be that of a red fox. Surprised by what they saw, the Forest Service biologists consulted with California Department of Fish and Game (CDFG). The only known population of Sierra Nevada red fox since the 1920s occurred in the Lassen Peak region – about 150 miles to the north.

Not seen here since 1920s

Recent survey efforts by CDFG in the Sierra Nevada have failed to detect red foxes south of the Lassen area, making the Forest Service detection significant. “The last known sighting of a Sierra Nevada red fox in the Sonora Pass area was sometime in the 1920s,” said Mike Crawley, Bridgeport District Ranger. “Needless to say, we are quite surprised and excited by this find.”

DNA testing – Distinct population

The Sonora Pass population of the Sierra Nevada red fox carried a genetic signature seen previously only in museum specimens collected before 1926. Analysis of hair found on the tree supporting the motion sensitive camera allowed UC Davis veterinary geneticists to identify it as originating from a Sierra Nevada red fox, distinct from the Lassen Peak population.

Wildlife biologists from the Forest Service, CDFG, and the University of California, Davis, will set-up additional monitoring stations to gather more information on the presence of Sierra Nevada red fox in the area of Sonora Pass.

See also here.

Biologists Confirm 2 Rare Red Foxes Spotted in Sierra Nevada Near Yosemite; Subspecies Was OnceThought Extinct: here. And here.

A survey of the world’s mammals published today reveals that more than a third of species once feared extinct have since been spotted in the wild, in one case 180 years after the last confirmed sighting. Rare mammals that were considered dead but later rediscovered were typically missing for 52 years: here.

Rape in Abu Ghraib torture jail


This video from the USA is the film GHOSTS OF ABU GHRAIB.

War crimes do not just happen in Afghanistan.

Also in Iraq.

This is from the British Conservative Daily Telegraph (before any pro war reader of this blog starts yelling about “liberal media” etc. etc.). Maybe “old news”. However, as the cover-up described in this item is still going on, it is not really old news.

Abu Ghraib abuse photos ‘show rape’

Photographs of alleged prisoner abuse which Barack Obama is attempting to censor include images of apparent rape and sexual abuse, it has emerged.

By Duncan Gardham, Security Correspondent and Paul Cruickshank

Published: 8:02PM BST 27 May 2009

At least one picture shows an American soldier apparently raping a female prisoner while another is said to show a male translator raping a male detainee.

Further photographs are said to depict sexual assaults on prisoners with objects including a truncheon, wire and a phosphorescent tube.

Another apparently shows a female prisoner having her clothing forcibly removed to expose her breasts.

Detail of the content emerged from Major General Antonio Taguba, the former army officer who conducted an inquiry into the Abu Ghraib jail in Iraq.

Allegations of rape and abuse were included in his 2004 report but the fact there were photographs was never revealed. He has now confirmed their existence in an interview with the Daily Telegraph.

The graphic nature of some of the images may explain the US President’s attempts to block the release of an estimated 2,000 photographs from prisons in Iraq and Afghanistan despite an earlier promise to allow them to be published.

In April, Mr Obama’s administration said the photographs would be released and it would be “pointless to appeal” against a court judgment in favour of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU).

But after lobbying from senior military figures, Mr Obama changed his mind saying they could put the safety of troops at risk.

It was thought the images were similar to those leaked five years ago, which showed naked and bloody prisoners being intimidated by dogs, dragged around on a leash, piled into a human pyramid and hooded and attached to wires.

Mr Obama seemed to reinforce that view by adding: “I want to emphasise that these photos that were requested in this case are not particularly sensational, especially when compared to the painful images that we remember from Abu Ghraib.”

The latest photographs relate to 400 cases of alleged abuse between 2001 and 2005 in Abu Ghraib and six other prisons. …

Maj Gen Taguba’s internal inquiry into the abuse at Abu Ghraib, included sworn statements by 13 detainees, which, he said in the report, he found “credible based on the clarity of their statements and supporting evidence provided by other witnesses.”

Among the graphic statements, which were later released under US freedom of information laws, is that of Kasim Mehaddi Hilas in which he says: “I saw [name of a translator] ******* a kid, his age would be about 15 to 18 years. The kid was hurting very bad and they covered all the doors with sheets. Then when I heard screaming I climbed the door because on top it wasn’t covered and I saw [name] who was wearing the military uniform, putting his **** in the little kid’s ***…. and the female soldier was taking pictures.”

The translator was an American Egyptian who is now the subject of a civil court case in the US.

Three detainees, including the alleged victim, refer to the use of a phosphorescent tube in the sexual abuse and another to the use of wire, while the victim also refers to part of a policeman’s “stick” all of which were apparently photographed.

This is not old news, but today’s news: 4 Iraqi Prisoners Escape US Prison In Baghdad: here. Hey, that does not really sound like “withdrawal” from Iraq, if you have your own prisons for Iraqis?

Journalist: Women raped at Abu Ghraib were later ‘honor killed’: here.

The US Court of Appeals has said that torturers (alleged of course) can not be sued because to talk about torture committed by agents, employees or contractors of the US government is a state secret. But everyone knows that there has been a systemic torture regime in place, that is not a secret. Accountability is the secret sauce that prevents or at least minimizes torture: here.

A federal appeals court’s dismissal Wednesday of a lawsuit on behalf of victims of the CIA’s “extraordinary rendition” program represents a victory for the Obama administration’s defense of torture and dictatorial executive powers: here.

On Tuesday afternoon, Soran Rahman Taleh Wali, a Kurdish Iraqi soldier, opened fire on US troops at an Iraqi commando base near the city of Tuz Khurmatu: here.

Palestinian-Iraqi refugees — the forgotten victims of Iraq war: here.

Murdered Afghan civilians’ fingers as soldiers’ trophies


This video from the USA is called Rethink Afghanistan War (Part 4): Civilian Casualties.

Spc. Adam Winfield (left), Spc. Michael Wagnon (center), and Spc. Jeremy Morlock (right)

From daily The Guardian in Britain:

US soldiers ‘killed Afghan civilians for sport and collected fingers as trophies’

Soldiers face charges over secret ‘kill team’ which allegedly murdered at random and collected fingers as trophies of war

* Chris McGreal in Washington

* Thursday 9 September 2010

Twelve American soldiers face charges over a secret “kill team” that allegedly blew up and shot Afghan civilians at random and collected their fingers as trophies.

Five of the soldiers are charged with murdering three Afghan men who were allegedly killed for sport in separate attacks this year. Seven others are accused of covering up the killings and assaulting a recruit who exposed the murders when he reported other abuses, including members of the unit smoking hashish stolen from civilians.

In one of the most serious accusations of war crimes to emerge from the Afghan conflict, the killings are alleged to have been carried out by members of a Stryker infantry brigade based in Kandahar province in southern Afghanistan.

According to investigators and legal documents, discussion of killing Afghan civilians began after the arrival of Staff Sergeant Calvin Gibbs at forward operating base Ramrod last November. Other soldiers told the army’s criminal investigation command that Gibbs boasted of the things he got away with while serving in Iraq and said how easy it would be to “toss a grenade at someone and kill them”.

One soldier said he believed Gibbs was “feeling out the platoon”.

Investigators said Gibbs, 25, hatched a plan with another soldier, Jeremy Morlock, 22, and other members of the unit to form a “kill team”. While on patrol over the following months they allegedly killed at least three Afghan civilians. According to the charge sheet, the first target was Gul Mudin, who was killed “by means of throwing a fragmentary grenade at him and shooting him with a rifle”, when the patrol entered the village of La Mohammed Kalay in January.

Morlock and another soldier, Andrew Holmes, were on guard at the edge of a poppy field when Mudin emerged and stopped on the other side of a wall from the soldiers. Gibbs allegedly handed Morlock a grenade who armed it and dropped it over the wall next to the Afghan and dived for cover. Holmes, 19, then allegedly fired over the wall.

Later in the day, Morlock is alleged to have told Holmes that the killing was for fun and threatened him if he told anyone.

The second victim, Marach Agha, was shot and killed the following month. Gibbs is alleged to have shot him and placed a Kalashnikov next to the body to justify the killing. In May Mullah Adadhdad was killed after being shot and attacked with a grenade.

The Army Times reported that a least one of the soldiers collected the fingers of the victims as souvenirs and that some of them posed for photographs with the bodies.

Five soldiers – Gibbs, Morlock, Holmes, Michael Wagnon and Adam Winfield – are accused of murder and aggravated assault among other charges. All of the soldiers have denied the charges. They face the death penalty or life in prison if convicted.

The killings came to light in May after the army began investigating a brutal assault on a soldier who told superiors that members of his unit were smoking hashish. The Army Times reported that members of the unit regularly smoked the drug on duty and sometimes stole it from civilians.

The soldier, who was straight out of basic training and has not been named, said he witnessed the smoking of hashish and drinking of smuggled alcohol but initially did not report it out of loyalty to his comrades. But when he returned from an assignment at an army headquarters and discovered soldiers using the shipping container in which he was billeted to smoke hashish he reported it.

Two days later members of his platoon, including Gibbs and Morlock, accused him of “snitching”, gave him a beating and told him to keep his mouth shut. The soldier reported the beating and threats to his officers and then told investigators what he knew of the “kill team”.

Following the arrest of the original five accused in June, seven other soldiers were charged last month with attempting to cover up the killings and violent assault on the soldier who reported the smoking of hashish. The charges will be considered by a military grand jury later this month which will decide if there is enough evidence for a court martial. Army investigators say Morlock has admitted his involvement in the killings and given details about the role of others including Gibbs.

See also here. And here.

US soldiers killed Afghan civilians and kept fingers, skull as trophies: here. And here.

If a military court will find the suspects guilty of these crimes, then they will be punished.

However, horrible as the crimes are, they were not committed in isolation from the general “global war on terror”, as George W Bush used to call it. In a context where large parts of the United States political establishment vilify Muslims and other “others” … where there are connections between Christian religious fundamentalism and US armed forces … where even Afghan employees of the US occupation forces, who theoretically are supposed to be considered allies and exponents of the brave new pro-Washington Afghanistan are in practice considered to be somewhat less than human, having “separate but equal unequal” toilets at Kandahar military base … where US and other NATO armed forces often kill civilians as part of a “shoot first, think later” climate … in such circumstances, it will become more likely that some individuals, like the ones who stand accused now, will go just a few terrible steps further.

The Pat Tillman USO Center in Bagram, Afghanistan will host the international premiere of The Tillman Story, Amir Bar-Lev’s compelling documentary about the death of Cpl. Pat Tillman by ‘friendly fire': here.

Britain: In an unprecedented Commons vote the government rubber-stamped continued war in Afghanistan even as bereaved military families published an open letter demanding Britain’s immediate withdrawal: here.

Poor sanitation, water shortages, climate change and environmental destruction – Afghanistan grimly illustrates the fate of many nations if we do not act now: here.

British butterflies counted


This video says about itself:

Peacock Butterflies with Honey Bee and Bach’s Air on a G string Guitar Music too ;-)

From Wildlife Extra:

World’s biggest ever butterfly count reveals Britain’s top ten

August 2010. The main results of the UK’s first ever big butterfly count, based on a staggering 187,000 individual sightings, have revealed good news for small tortoiseshell and gatekeeper butterflies.

Zebra Ringlet: Little brown butterfly forgotten for a 100 years is a new species: here.

Sightings are still coming in, but the main results of the big butterfly count are already clear. From 24 July – 1 August 2010, the top ten most common species were the Small White, Large White, Gatekeeper, Meadow Brown [see also here], Common Blue, Peacock, Green-veined White, Red Admiral, Small Tortoiseshell and the Ringlet.

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This is a Dutch red admiral migration video.

Black-and-White Butterflies Show Their True Colors: here.