Docudharma Times Thursday July 3

You Can Lie To Me If You Like

Just As Long As You Tell The Truth

Thursday’s Headlines:

U.S. prison officials considering safety vests, union says

The shame of a Mugabe torturer: ‘I am being forced to kill someone’

UN lines up big names for key role in pincer move to oust Mugabe

In Jordan, aid for Iraqi refugees is often redirected

Jerusalem attacker ‘acted alone’  

How a gay Spanish mayor brought life back to his village

Srebrenica Muslim chief cleared

Change in the face of foreign devils

25 hurt in renewed violence in Jammu

Colombian forces trick Farc rebels into freeing hostage Betancourt

Committee Questions State Dept. Role in Iraq Oil Deal


Published: July 3, 2008

Bush administration officials knew that a Texas oil company with close ties to President Bush was planning to sign an oil deal with the regional Kurdistan government that ran counter to American policy and undercut Iraq’s central government, a Congressional committee has concluded.The conclusions were based on e-mail messages and other documents that the committee released Wednesday.

United States policy is to warn companies that they incur risks in signing contracts until Iraq passes an oil law and to strengthen Iraq’s central government. The Kurdistan deal, by ceding responsibility for writing contracts directly to a regional government, infuriated Iraqi officials. But State Department officials did nothing to discourage the deal and in some cases appeared to welcome it, the documents show.

Risk to U.S. troops seen if Israel strikes Iran

Joint Chiefs Chairman Michael Mullen says a new conflict could entangle and strain soldiers already in the region.

By Peter Spiegel, Los Angeles Times Staff Writer

July 3, 2008  

WASHINGTON — The U.S. military’s top officer warned Wednesday that an Israeli airstrike against Iran would make the Middle East more unstable and could add to the stress on overworked American forces in the region.

The comments by Navy Adm. Michael G. Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, came days after he visited Israel and amid growing international concern that Jerusalem is actively considering such an attack on Iran’s nuclear facilities.

Mullen spoke at a Pentagon news briefing shortly after President Bush addressed the subject. Bush was asked at a Rose Garden news conference whether he would strongly discourage Israel from an attack, but he sidestepped the question, saying only that he believed the best way to deal with the Iranian nuclear program was through multilateral negotiations.


FBI might use profiling in terror investigations

Critics worry the change would single out Muslims, Arabs or other groups

Associated Press

WASHINGTON – The Justice Department is considering letting the FBI investigate Americans without any evidence of wrongdoing, relying instead on a terrorist profile that could single out Muslims, Arabs or other racial and ethnic groups.

Law enforcement officials say the proposed policy would help them do exactly what Congress demanded after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks: Root out terrorists before they strike.

Although President Bush has disavowed targeting suspects based on their race or ethnicity, the new rules would allow the FBI to consider those factors among a number of traits that could trigger a national security investigation.

U.S. prison officials considering safety vests, union says

By Michael Doyle | McClatchy Newspapers  

WASHINGTON – Bureau of Prisons officials are now considering equipping federal guards with safety vests following the murder of Atwater correctional officer Jose Rivera, union leaders revealed Wednesday.

In what one participant termed a “heated” meeting, Bureau of Prisons Director Harley G. Lappin indicated knife-resistant vests could be a viable option for at least some of the nation’s 16,000 or so federal prison guards. Some think a vest might have saved Rivera, who died June 20 after being stabbed through the heart with a prison-made shank.

“This is something that I think is pretty hard to argue with,” said John Gage, president of the American Federation of Government Employees. “I think it’s pretty much a no-brainer.”


The shame of a Mugabe torturer: ‘I am being forced to kill someone’

By Daniel Howden in Harare

Thursday, 3 July 2008  

He has whipped strangers with barbed wire and hit them with iron bars. He has stood by while old men were beaten half to death, as he chanted songs glorifying the violence.

Gibson became one of Robert Mugabe’s foot soldiers when the 84-year-old President turned an election into a guerrilla war. He is one of thousands of members of the armed youth militias who have turned on their own people in a vicious campaign of looting, torture and murder. But now Gibson is risking his life to tell his story. He was forcibly recruited into the campaign of terror and now he can see no way out. Not yet 25, his life is now completely “alien” to him he says. There is no end in sight, even now the elections have come and gone and the terror tactics have succeeded in overturning the opposition’s first round lead and returned Mr Mugabe to office.

UN lines up big names for key role in pincer move to oust Mugabe

From The Times

July 3, 2008

James Bone in New York and Jonathan Clayton in Johannesburg

James Bone in New York and Jonathan Clayton in Johannesburg

Pressure was mounting last night for the key role of mediating an end to the crisis in Zimbabwe to be taken out of the hands of Thabo Mbeki, the President of South Africa, whose “softly softly” approach to Robert Mugabe has been condemned worldwide.

The UN’s push for greater involvement came amid mounting frustration with the failure of current mediation efforts. The United States pushed for Mr Mugabe and other ring-leaders of election abuses in Zimbabwe to be slapped with a worldwide travel ban and the freezing of their assets.

Middle East

In Jordan, aid for Iraqi refugees is often redirected

Millions in aid money intended to help war refugees is also helping improve Jordan’s beleaguered infrastructure.

By Nicholas Seeley  | Contributor to The Christian Science Monitor

Amman, Jordan –  Forbidden to work, Iraqi war refugees here are poor and getting poorer. Waiting lists for food and cash assistance have grown into the thousands.

But while the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) is looking to donors for money to meet these needs, a large portion of the aid already provided has gone to address Jordan’s own urgent national priorities.

In 2007, 61 percent of UNHCR’s operational budget was given directly to Jordan, along with millions in bilateral aid from the European Community and the United States. This is a kind of trickle-down development in which helping host countries helps refugees.

But with budgets squeezed by rising fuel and food prices, some experts are questioning how much Iraqis are benefiting from international funds that are not going directly to refugee services but instead to the Jordanian government

Jerusalem attacker ‘acted alone’

A Palestinian who went on a bulldozing rampage in west Jerusalem on Wednesday apparently acted alone, Israeli police say, despite claims by militant groups.


Hussam Dwayat was at work on a building site when he drove his front-loader vehicle into the street and started mowing down cars and ramming buses.

He killed three people and wounded dozens more before security personnel climbed on the vehicle and killed him.

The shooting was filmed by BBC staff whose office overlooked the scene.

Three Palestinian militant groups claimed responsibility for the attack – which would be the first by their supporters in Jerusalem since a shooting in March at a religious school.


How a gay Spanish mayor brought life back to his village

By Elizabeth Nash in Campillo de Ranas

Thursday, 3 July 2008  

As you push aside the foliage and descend the stone steps to Francisco Maroto’s house, a small rainbow-striped sticker by the door signals the revolution achieved in this tiny village north-east of Madrid.

From the Spanish capital, you drive 78 miles across parched meseta and reach a verdant valley overshadowed by the Ocejon mountain, where slate-roofed houses dot the hillsides around Campillo de Ranas. Some are new, others restored, but they exude a prosperity rare among villages hereabouts, most of which are dying.

Mr Maroto, 44, Campillo’s Socialist mayor, has bucked the trend of rural depopulation by promoting his village as a venue for weddings, particularly gay weddings.

Srebrenica Muslim chief cleared  

The commander of Bosnian Muslim forces in Srebrenica, Naser Oric, has had his conviction for war crimes overturned by the UN tribunal in The Hague.


He was convicted of failing to prevent men under his command killing and mistreating six Bosnian Serb prisoners.

His alleged crimes took place well before the 1995 Bosnian Serb massacre of nearly 8,000 Srebrenica Muslims.

Between 1992 and 1993 he commanded troops who allegedly destroyed 50 Serb villages, causing thousands to flee.

But judges at The Hague ruled the first trial had failed to prove he had control over the men.


Change in the face of foreign devils


By Francesco Sisci

BEIJING – Libraries are filled with thousands of volumes explaining all the problems and intricacies of the momentous passage from agricultural to industrial society, from rural to urban life, from a world marked by huge gaps in time and space to another in which communications and telecommunications immensely narrow time and distance.

These changes still puzzle us and seem largely unexplained. Yet the changes, occurring over a span of 200 years, are minimal if compared to what has happened in China in the past 30 years.

25 hurt in renewed violence in Jammu

Press Trust Of India

Jammu, July 03, 2008

Protesters halted trains, set afire vehicles and fought pitched battles with police at many places in Jammu region where 25 people were injured on Thursday in fresh violence over the Amarnath land revocation row.

Shiv Sena activists barged into the house of a Hurriyat Conference leader in Jammu and assualted him as curfew slapped on several areas remained in force for the third day.

The administration launched a crackdown against saffron outfits arresting 17 BJP leaders, including its former Jammu and Kashmir president Nirmal Singh, on charges of inciting violence.

Latin America

Colombian forces trick Farc rebels into freeing hostage Betancourt

· Presidential hopeful was held captive for six years

· 14 others including three Americans also liberated

Rory Carroll, Latin America correspondent and Sibylla Brodzinsky in Bogota

The Guardian,

Thursday July 3, 2008

Ingrid Betancourt was savouring freedom last night after Colombia’s security forces duped guerrillas into releasing her and 14 other hostages from a secret camp deep in the jungle.

A daring military operation ended the French-Colombian politician’s six-year ordeal as a high-profile bargaining chip and dealt a devastating blow to the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (Farc).

Without a shot being fired military spies tricked the Marxist rebels into handing over their most valuable captives to military helicopters flown by pilots posing as aid workers.

“Thank you for your impeccable operation,” a thin but radiant Betancourt told military commanders after being flown to the capital, Bogota. “The operation was perfect.”



Skip to comment form

    • brobin on July 3, 2008 at 2:04 pm

    Interesting as usual!

    • RiaD on July 3, 2008 at 2:18 pm

    & thanks for visiting my essay the other day. it meant a LOT to me.


  1. Re second report:  I wonder how long it will be until JC Chairman Mullen “retires” following his speech?

  2. has not yet issued a denial that they spied on me.

    Should I be worried?

    I’ve seen people that might be FBI agents and I think they might be profiling me.

    Should I be worried?

    Israel is considering a war in the Middle East where there are already 130,000 American troops and the GOP polls are in the toilet and the GOP control of the White House is about to end and the only way to stay in power is to declare martial law over some contrived excuse.

    Should I be worried?

    This week, a Baltimore man was sent to prison after being convicted for killing a police officer with his car. He was found murdered, alone in his locked cell, strangled.

    Should I be worried?

    • Robyn on July 3, 2008 at 3:50 pm

    Having worked as a prison guard in a previous life, I venture that when guards and prisoners understand that their is no personal animosity and when they both realize that the reason the guards are there is to protect the prisoners, violence between the two is less likely to happen.  That someone got shanked leads me to ask about the lack of communication going on at that prison.

    I fear putting protective vests on the guards will diminish the trust necessary for peaceful coexistence.

    Just my view.

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