April 15, 2007

Marines accused of killing Civilians

A preliminary investigation into an incident more than a month ago involving a suicide bombing in Afghanistan has indicated that over 40 Afghans were killed or wounded by Marines in a retaliation counter-attack. The investigation claims that the American marines reacted to a bomb ambush with excessive force in eastern Afghanistan. The marines responded by opening fire on several targets, hitting groups of bystanders and vehicles with machine-gun fire in a series of attacks that covered more than 10 miles of highway. Senior Special Operations commanders said there is no evidence that the Marine Special Operations platoon came under small-arms fire after the bombing as according to reports from the marines. Statements from Marines reported the platoon began taking enemy fire and seeing people with weapons right after the bombing. The troops continued shooting at perceived threats as they traveled miles from the site of the March 4 attack according to some evidence. Other evidence supports the idea that civilians might have been killed in a small-arms attack that followed the suicide bombing. One Marine was injured by shrapnel in the suicide bombing, but immediate medical evacuation was not necessary. Of those killed, investigating officers reported that they were unable to find evidence linking the dead civilians to enemy warriors. A few of the dead included a 4-year-old girl, a 1-year-old boy and three elderly villagers. The marines could face criminal charges if they are convicted of the civilian casualties.

The two articles written by the Washington Post and New York Times, although containing reports from similar agencies such as the Special Operations Command Central and the Afghan Independent Human Rights Commission, the writers of each used different sources within the organizations.

Click here for the Washington Post article

or click the title for the New York Times article

April 8, 2007

Greek Cruise Ship Sinks in the Aegean Sea

Only two people are missing after a Greek cruise ship struck a volcanic reef Thursday. The 469-foot Sea Diamond was carrying nearly 1,600 people when it began to sink. When the ship ran aground on the volcanic rock bed, the captain tried to free the ship from the reef before evacuating the passengers as required by international rules. The ship's hull was ripped open by the effort to move off the rocks, causing it to completely sink 18 hours later. More than a dozen ships in the area were involved. Six navy rescue helicopters, two military transport plane and four warships also were been sent to the area, along with emergency medical crews. All but two were retrieved from the sinking ship in a three-hour rescue operation. Some passengers complained of an insufficient supply of life vests and little guidance from crewmembers. A few of the biggest headlines in this accident are the reports that the captain and crew were unprepared for the evacuation. The captain and five other senior crewmembers have been charged with negligence and violating international maritime rules. If convicted, the officers face a maximum five-year sentence.

In the Associated Press and CNN stories, both read as though they were written from the same press release (they probably were). It was hard to find other versions of this story other than the ones straight from the Associated Press.


Click the title for the CNN article or

Click here for the AP article

March 31, 2007

Australian is First Guantanamo Convict

A U.S. military tribunal sentenced an Australian to nine months in prison Friday after he pleaded guilty to supporting terrorism. Hicks’s sentence originally called for seven years in prison, a charge a panel of military officers sentenced Hicks to on a charge of providing material support to a terrorist organization. In exchange for Hicks' guilty plea in the morning hearing, the sentence had been reduced to nine months. Under the plea deal, the confessed Taliban-allied gunman will be allowed to serve his sentence in an Australian prison, but must remain silent about any alleged abuse while in custody. Under the deal, Hicks will be allowed to leave Guantanamo within 60 days. Described as a former outback cowboy, Hicks acknowledged aiding Al-Qaida during the 2001 U.S.-led invasion of Afghanistan, confirmed that he conducted surveillance on the former U.S. Embassy in Kabul.

One Fact about the plea agreement that I don’t agree with is the stipulation under his plea deal that he has “never been illegally treated by a person or persons while in the custody of the U.S. government.? It seems like the U.S. government is trying to cover up the mistreatment of detainees. Hicks earlier stated that he had been beaten and deprived of sleep while at the prison facility.

The two stories from the Associated Press and the McClatchy News Service are almost identical in the information they present. The difference is that the AP article mentions more of Hicks’s plea agreement, while the McClatchy News Service talks more on the trials and the terrorist actions of hicks.

Click the title to read the AP article or

Click here to see the McClatchy News Service

February 12, 2007

North Korea Signs Agreement to Disarm

Negotiations with North Korea have finally come to fruition. The United States, North Korea, South Korea, Japan, China, and Russia created a draft agreement early Tuesday, which laid out a plan to begin disarming North Korea's nuclear weapon's program.

This is a huge relief for many nations around the world after North Korea tested its first nuclear device earlier in October. North Korea has been under strict sanctions by the United Nations for some time, which just now seem to be paying off. The deal is currently under review by all parties and could be announced later today.

Click the Title to read the NY Times article or
Here for the artcle

January 27, 2007

Bush administration authorizes "kill or capture" of Iran agents

For more than three years now, Iran has been operating a program to supply and train Shiite militias according to one U.S. general. Afraid of escalating the tensions between America and Iran, U.S. forces have secretly been detaining suspected agents from Iran. Now, the Bush administration has finally ordered coalition forces to either "kill or capture" Iranian operatives. The reason for the change in strategy is because of Iran's growing influence in the region and unsuccessful efforts by the U.S. to isolate Tehran. Still, many skeptics believe that the bush administration's new policy could place the U.S. in another war.

January 21, 2007

Deadly Weekend for U.S. Troops

The death toll for U.S. troops in Iraq reached a total of 27 for the weekend. U.S. troops had their deadliest day in three years on Saturday with 25 soldiers killed in various engagments around Iraq. Of the 25 killed in action, the crash of a Black Hawk helicopter north of Baghdad left 12 service members dead.

Another attack that is under investigation involved a raid from insurgents disguised in American Military uniforms. The cunning strategy used by the insurgents has Coalition commanders worried that troops will be vulnerable to attack from killers who appear to be colleagues.