Wednesday Reads: OBL, Twisters and Homeless KidsPosted: May 4, 2011
Good morning! I am very happy …I am writing this post on my new laptop. Thanks again for this gift, buying a new laptop is something that was completely and utterly impossible for me to do on my own.
Starting Monday next week I will begin posting Evening Reads, every weekday (Monday-Friday) at 6 PM EST. They will be something like our Morning Reads, sort of a quick round-up of news links and commentary that have happened during the day while many readers were at work. You can come to Sky Dancing and get your newsy fix every morning with our Morning Reads. Then get caught up on the day’s news every evening Monday through Friday with our Evening Reads.
So, let’s get to this morning’s round-up.
With OBL taking up most of the headlines, I thought I would post this link from MoJo. It has done the work for us…Bin Laden Reading Guide: How to Cut Through the Coverage | Mother Jones
Elsewhere in Mother Jones, David Corn analyzes the political gamble Obama took in authorizing the attack, Dave Gilson breaks down the numbers behind the most expensive manhunt in history, and Josh Harkinson rounds up ten ways the right is spinning bin Laden’s death. Adam Weinstein reports on the reactions of bin Laden’s supporters as well as active-duty soldiers, Stephanie Mencimer checks in on the tea party, and Mike Mechanic pulls together a slideshow of major daily front pages.
The death of Osama bin Laden has sent news organizations scrambling for details on how it happened, where it happened, and what it all means. We’ve rounded up some of the best coverage, being careful to note what’s been said, what’s already being disputed, and what still remains to be seen.
So if you want a pretty good summary of what the media has been reporting about OBL, then click that link above for the rest of the MoJo article.
Pannetta is making the rounds, and here are some of his comments and statements.
The White House has done an edit on their original story due to “fresh” information, saying Osama bin Laden’s wife wasn’t killed, but also that he wasn’t armed, even though he “resisted.” As Jay Carney said today, “resistance does not require a firearm.”
CIA Director Panetta’s first interview was with PBS News Hour, with Jim Lehrer.
In a newsmaker interview with Jim Lehrer on Tuesday, CIA Director Leon Panetta describes the final tense seconds of the commando raid on the compound housing Osama bin Laden in Pakistan — and the culmination of a nearly 10-year manhunt.
Panetta told Lehrer neither he nor President Obama watched the actual shooting of bin Laden as it happened. Panetta spoke from CIA headquarters about the military intelligence operation that led to the al Qaeda leader’s death.
“Once those teams went into the compound, I can tell you that there was a time period of almost 20 or 25 minutes that we really didn’t know just exactly what was going on. There were some very tense moments as we were waiting for information. But finally Adm. [William] McRaven came back and said he had picked up the word ‘Geronimo,’ which was the code word that represented they got bin Laden,” he said.
When Lehrer asked if bin Laden said anything to the commandos, Panetta said: “To be frank, I don’t think he had a lot of time to say anything.”
Lehrer also asked about the uncertainty surrounding whether bin Laden was actually in the compound and whether he fired back at the Navy SEALS.
What do you think of this statement: Panetta said: “To be frank, I don’t think he had a lot of time to say anything.”
So he did not have any weapons….and he did not have time to say anything…hum? But he resisted? Don’t get me wrong, I am glad he is gone. (Really glad.) However, the latest revisions of the raid are a bit concerning to me.
There are a lot of questions about if this raid was “legal” and this article from Der Spiegel ask some important questions.
Americans are celebrating, but there are serious doubts about whether the targeted killing was legal under international law and the laws of war.
US President Barack Obama gets precious few opportunities to announce a victory. So it’s no wonder he chose grand words on Sunday night as the TV crews’ spotlights shone upon him and he informed the nation about the deadly strike against Osama bin Laden. “Justice has been done,” he said.
It may be that this sentence comes back to haunt him in the years to come. What is just about killing a feared terrorist in his home in the middle of Pakistan? For the families of the victims of the 9/11 attacks, and for patriotic Americans who saw their grand nation challenged by a band of criminals, the answer might be simple. But international law experts, who have been grappling with the question of the legal status of the US-led war on terror for years, find Obama’s pithy words on Sunday night more problematic.
Please read the entire article and let me know what you think about it in the comments…
Here is some reaction to OBL’s death from Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood Sticks With Bin Laden – Eric Trager – International – The Atlantic
Most of yesterday’s headlines proclaiming the death of Osama bin Laden used epithets like “terror mastermind” or “bastard” to refer to the internationally feared mass murderer. (That latter headline is from the New York Post.) But in its first public statement on the killing of bin Laden, Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood used the honorific term “sheikh” to refer to the al-Qaeda leader. It also accused Western governments of linking Islam and terrorism, and defended “resistance” against the U.S. presence in Iraq and Afghanistan as “legitimate.”
The Muslim Brotherhood’s response to bin Laden’s death may finally end the mythology — espoused frequently in the U.S. — that the organization is moderate or, at the very least, could moderate once in power. This is, after all, precisely how Muslim Brothers describe their creed — “moderate,” as opposed to al-Qaeda, which is radical. “Moderate Islam means not using violence, denouncing terrorism, and not working with jihadists,” said Muslim Brotherhood youth activist Khaled Hamza, for whom the organization’s embrace of “moderate Islam” was the primary reason he joined.
Now in their most recent statement on the death of bin Laden, the Muslim Brotherhood has gone a step further. “The whole world, and especially the Muslims, have lived with a fierce media campaign to brand Islam as terrorism and describe the Muslims as violent by blaming the September 11th incident on al-Qaeda.” It then notes that “Sheikh Osama bin Laden” was assassinated alongside “a woman and one of his sons and with a number of his companions,” going on to issue a rejection of violence and assassinations. It goes on to ominously declare that the Muslim Brotherhood supports “legitimate resistance against foreign occupation for any country, which is the legitimate right guaranteed by divine laws and international agreements,” and demands that the U.S., the European Union, and NATO quickly “end the occupation of Afghanistan and Iraq, and recognize the legitimate rights of the Palestinian people.” It closes by demanding that the U.S. “stop its intelligence operations against those who differ with it, and cease its interference in the internal affairs of any Arab or Muslim country.”
I already question the Muslim Brotherhood’s representation of women…or should I say lack of representation of women. What do you think about this public statement? Here is Juan Cole’s comment about it:
Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood said that Bin Laden was not representative of Islam and they condemned his methods. On the other hand, they objected to his having been killed rather than captured for trial.
Both the Brotherhood and Iran said that with Bin Laden’s death, the US had no reason to remain in Iraq and Afghanistan and should withdraw. The Iranian Shiite regime despises al-Qaeda, and the feeling is mutual, but is wary of the US military presence on either side of it.
Bin Laden’s passing is, then, an anti-climax. A nothing. Terrorism is just garbage, and produces nothing but garbage. It has mostly been taken out, with nothing but the stench hanging in the air. Most Muslims have moved on. So should Americans.
In fact, Americans should mark these days as an opportunity to recover our lost civil liberties.
Okay…I am moving on to other world news. Syria, which has again violated it’s citizens human rights…Syria charges hundreds with degrading the state | Reuters
Hundreds of ordinary Syrians have been charged with “degrading the prestige of the state,” the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said, in President Bashar al-Assad’s drive to crush protests against his autocratic rule.
The charge, which carries a 3-year prison sentence, was lodged on Tuesday against hundreds of people detained in the last few days, particularly in the run-up to Friday prayers, which have seen increasingly large pro-democracy demonstrations.
“Mass arrests are continuing across Syria in another violation of human rights and international conventions,” said Observatory director Rami Abdelrahman.
Other rights organizations said many male detainees had been beaten severely in a campaign of arrests that included women, teenagers and the elderly but has failed to deter protesters’ appetite for reforms. Syria already has thousands of political prisoners.
Dozens of people have reportedly been killed in the main city of Abidjan in fighting between Ivory Coast troops and the remnants of a militia loyal to deposed leader Laurent Gbagbo.
“We have seen many dead. We recovered 40 bodies over two hours, but we were forced to stop because he had no room left in our van,” said Franck Kodjo, an official at the International Committee of the Red Cross, adding at least five corpses were from Tuesday’s fighting.
A commander for the Ivorian army, known as the FRCI, said the remaining pro-Gbagbo fighters in the Abidjan neighbourhood of Yopougon were mostly Liberian mercenaries hired in the aftermath of the November election dispute.
“We are in the process of securing the town but there are heavy weapons,” the commander said. “We’re not the ones firing them, it is those we oppose, the Liberians,” he said.
The UN has said that almost 40,000 people have fled fighting in Libya’s Western Mountains region in the past month.
Thousands of ethnic Berbers from Libya fled into Tunisia after a brief hiatus in their exodus last week because of fighting between Libyan government troops and opposition forces for control of a border crossing point.
“This past weekend, more than 8,000 people, most of them ethnic Berbers, arrived in Dehiba in southern Tunisia. Most are women and children,” a UNHCR spokesperson said on Tuesday.
UNHCR staff in Dehiba said the situation of the refugees was being made worse by a violent sandstorm that has battered the area, destroying hundreds of tents and two huge portable warehouses.
Here is some US news that may have gotten lost these past couple days.
Dakinikat sent me this link last night, the only thing I can say about it is this…those damn freakin’ PLUBs! Texas Legislature: If Planned Parenthood Sues We’ll Take Everyone’s Family Planning Money | RH Reality Check
The Texas legislature is quite literally holding poor women hostage in order to defund Planned Parenthood. The have now introduced a bill that will shut down the entirety of the state’s low income women’s health care and family planning program if Planned Parenthood or any other group that provides abortions sues and wins a ruling saying they should be a part of it.
The Houston Chronicle reports:
Texas lawmakers inserted a poison bill into a women’s health program Tuesday in a move designed to ensure that groups like Planned Parenthood do not receive state funding.
Legislation that would renew a program to help poor women now has a provision that would shut it down immediately if a group that provides abortions files and wins a lawsuit to participate in the program. The Senate Health and Human Services approved the measure 5-1.
Sen. Bob Deuell, R-Greenville, said the move was necessary to make sure that no organization that provides abortions will receive any state money to provide any kind of health service.
“The legislature has clearly tried to cut off funding for these entities, only to have it restored by lawsuit,” Deuell said. “We do not want this to happen again … if abortion providers are able to sue and win — they have to win the suit — the program will cease to operate.”
Even better, almost all of the funding for the program that would be eliminated comes from the federal government, not the state. But they would rather toss it all out, and leave poor women without any health care, and especially birth control, if not doing so means Planned Parenthood might get a dollar of it.
The recent outbreak of tornadoes is officially in the record books. Deadly Tornado Outbreak Biggest in U.S. History – Truthdig
Meteorologists with the National Weather Service have reported that the spate of tornadoes that tore across the American South last week, killing hundreds of people and wrecking much of the region, was the largest in U.S. history. —ARK
The three-day period from 25-28 April saw 362 tornadoes strike, including some 312 in a single 24-hour period.
The previous record was 148 in two days in April 1974.
The tornadoes and the storm system that spawned them killed at least 350 people in Alabama and six other states. It was the deadliest outbreak since 1936.
Can you believe that…312 tornadoes in a single 24 hour period. Wow. My dad found some ripped up tar paper around our house this week, and no one is getting a new roof around here. He is convinced it is debris from the tornadoes that hit Northwest and Northeast Georgia.
This next link reminded me of all the funerals after September 11th…I cannot even imagine what these communities are going through. After deadly twisters, towns cope with multiple funerals | Reuters
As state officials continue to count the dead, the recovery effort for friends and relatives must include the painful task of burying them. Nearly 350 people died in seven states last week, the second-highest recorded death toll from tornadoes in U.S. history.
Some people have insurance to cover funeral costs, while others have turned to the Federal Emergency Management Agency for help, said Paul Rollins, Jr., a funeral director at Rollins Mortuary in Tuscaloosa.
This last link is something from a couple days ago. With all the hype over the bin Laden raid and death, and the fact that we still have a major problem with our economy, I thought it illustrated a point very well. Yglesias » Orlando Fact Of The Day
Michael Winerip in the NYT: “There are 2,953 homeless students attending Orange County Public Schools, up from 1,463 in 2008.”
A reminder that you don’t win the future by allowing sky-high unemployment to persist for years.
So what are you reading today?