Over 5,500 Soldiers Desert Since Mar 2003 Invasion

Two years ago today, millions marched in 2,000 cities against imminent war with Iraq. The invasion began March 19. Speak out this Saturday.

… along the route there was this one woman standing alongside the road with a young girl of about 8 or 9 years old and the little girl’s arm was burned all the way up her shoulder … she had 3rd degree burns the entire length of her arm and she crying in pain. ….

I asked the troop executive officer if we could stop and help the family and I was told that the medical supplies that we had were limited and that we may need them, I informed him that I would donate my share to that girl but we did not stop to help her.

— “Why I Refused A 2nd Deployment To Iraq,” Sgt. Kevin Benderman, 3rd Inf. Div, U.S. Army, 1987 to present, seeking conscientious objector status, charged with desertion (court martial trial: May 11)

Today, Democracy Now! interviewed Benderman and other AWOL soldiers, along with Harper’s Kathie Dobie, author of “AWOL in America: When Desertion is the Only Option.”

::: more below :::

Rude Pundit Steps in for Sidelined Maryscott [Profanity Alert]

Well, people…

I am in a bad way, so I’m very sorry to say that you shouldn’t expect any original work from me this week.

In its stead, please accept this offering from my brother in arms, The Rude Pundit.

Not that he knows he’s subbing for me. I’m sure someone will tell him, though. I figure, he’s LINKED to my dKos diary, for god’s sake — the least he can do is let me steal his stuff when I’m under the weather.

It’s a wee bit too rude for the un-initiated, so I’m putting it beneath the wheel, so to speak…

FBI Investigates Murder of U.S. Arms Dealer

The FBI is investigating the Bahgdad-area ambush and murder of Dale Stoffel, a U.S. weapons dealer who repeatedly warned an oversight task force overseen by one of America’s top generals that Raymond Zayna, a Lebanese middleman, was “routing kickbacks to Iraqi Defense Ministry officials.” The $283-million project to build a tank division was announced by interim Prime Minister Iyad Allawi last summer. “Senior military officials did not act on the contractor’s pleas for tighter financial controls,” according to the Los Angeles Times.

“If we proceed [as we are] there will be serious legal issues that will land us all in jail,” [Stoffel] wrote in a Nov. 30 e-mail to a senior assistant to [Army Lt. Gen. David H.] Petraeus. …

Stoffel, who was awarded the contract without competitive bidding but with Iraqi insistence that he include the Lebanese middleman, returned to the U.S., asked Pentagon officials and Sen. Rick Santorum’s office to pressure the Iraqis for his $24.7 million, and suggested an international accounting firm be brought in.

“News of it will be on the front page under the photos of President Bush, [Defense Secretary Donald H.] Rumsfeld, me” and Petraeus’ task force, Stoffel wrote to another military officer in early December. “Jobs will be lost and congressional hearings will be held.”

::: Below: “Show me the money!”

Hello Booman!

Well several days have passed since the opening of Booman Tribune and although the colors have gotten better, I still see a kermit with dreadlocks everytime I look at the frog.  

Today I noticed something new- the blogroll!

More under the cut…(I hope!)

That Dark Scary Room- A Confessional

OK…So I was raised a catholic..yup….baptised, confirmed, went to CCD, church, sometimes 3 times a week. I still have memories of the smell of the strong incense the priest swayed back and forth during some of the special services. I especially liked midnight mass on Christmas eve..not because of the mass, for me it was all about getting to stay up late in hopes of seeing St. Nick (Santa). I remember any red light in the sky…my Mom or Grandma said “There is Rudolph”. Rudolph=Church?.
        I thought it odd that some of the priests that I looked up to, on some occasions..like the church fair and several pot luck dinners..would get blitzed…drinking one to many beers and acted like fools. My Irish priests always had a way of drinking a little to much and saying things I questioned. I think it was around the time I was about 12 or 13 . Things began to change.