Allison Kilkenny: Unreported

The soft media coup: McChrystal talks shit to Rolling Stone

Posted in Afghanistan, Barack Obama, war, world by allisonkilkenny on June 22, 2010

It's my war, and I'll kill civilians how I want to!

If you asked me what publication General McChrystal, the highest ranking US military official in Afghanistan, would chose to meet with for the purpose of discrediting his Commander-in-chief, I probably wouldn’t have said the same magazine that once featured the fabulous Adam Lambert on its cover.

An article in this week’s Rolling Stone magazine depicts McChrystal as a lone wolf on the outs with many important figures in the Obama administration and unable to persuade even some of his own soldiers that his strategy can win the war.

Are we talking about the same lone wolf, who admitted to war crimes in March? I can’t imagine why people are refusing to listen to a man who admitted that the US military has “shot an amazing number of people, but to [his] knowledge, none has ever proven to be a threat.”

This weird story reminded me of Sy Hersh’s statement last year that the military was “waging a war against the White House.”

“A lot of people in the Pentagon would like to see him get into trouble,” he said. By leaking information that the commanding officer in Afghanistan, Gen. Stanley McChrystal, says the war would be lost without an additional 40,000 American troops, top brass have put Obama in a no-win situation, Hersh contended.

“If he gives them the extra troops they’re asking for, he loses politically,” Hersh said. “And if he doesn’t give them the troops, he also loses politically.”

McChrystal’s, of course, playing innocent now, and he’s apologized to the White House, but it’s hard to believe a man who spends his every waking hour plotting strategy would “accidentally” leak these kinds of whopping gaffs to the press.

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Dick Lugar boldly redefines “success,” “satisfy,” “American people”

Posted in Afghanistan, Barack Obama, Democrats, Republicans, war, War on Terror, world by allisonkilkenny on June 20, 2010

Now matter how fast he ran, the dictionary kept making swift gains

Here’s a strange one. Today, Candy Crowly interviewed Senators Lieberman, Murkowski, Feinstein, and Lugar, and somehow managed to survive to tell the tale of it. Feinstein and Lugar specifically talked about Afghanistan, and Candy pointed out how the whole thing has turned into a bottomless quagmire of despair and suffering.

My words, not hers. Feinstein thinks people like me are Negative Nellies. I guess she was included in this conversation as the “liberal” answer to the Republicans’ crazies, but honestly, she sounded like a chickenhawk most of the time. The Taliban is bad. Really, Diane? I had no idea. I thought all that acid they threw in the faces of schoolgirls was part of an exfoliation regimen.

But the gold medal for “What’d He Say?” in punditry excellence goes to Dick Lugar for this exchange. My comments [in brackets]:

CROWLEY: Senator Lugar, she paints a pretty grim picture about a war that’s been going on for nine-plus years. [Again, I thought Feinstein was pretty conservative in her language, but then again, I’m a shrill, hysterical, irrational leftist agent]. If had you to say, on this day I will know that the U.S. has succeed and we can begin bringing troops home, what would that day look like?

LUGAR: Well, your question implies that we’ve defined success, and we’ve never got to that point. That’s a part of our problem, that we’re going to have, as a government, whether it be the president or the Congress, to define success in a way in which the American people find this to be satisfying. Otherwise we’ll continue to argue about the date of withdrawal or how fast, or how — whether we surge more or less, without ever having defined exactly what it is hope from Afghanistan. [What’d he say?]

Wait, what? The only barometer we have for “success,” which, btw, we haven’t even defined, is the satisfaction of the American people? So basically, whatever the American people desire shall by default become the parameters of “success.”

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US Drops Charges Against 5 Gitmo Prisoners

Posted in Afghanistan, human rights, War on Terror by allisonkilkenny on October 21, 2008

Isn’t this called Double Jeopardy?


SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico (AP) — The Pentagon announced Tuesday it dropped war-crimes charges against five Guantanamo Bay detainees after the former prosecutor for all cases complained that the military was withholding evidence helpful to the defense.

America’s first war-crimes trials since the close of World War II have come under persistent criticism, including from officers appointed to prosecute the alleged terrorists. The military’s unprecedented move was directly related to accusations brought by the very man who was to bring all five prisoners to justice.

Army Lt. Col. Darrel Vandeveld had been appointed the prosecutor for all five cases, but at a pretrial hearing for a sixth detainee earlier this month, he openly criticized the war-crimes trials as unfair. Vandeveld said the military was withholding exculpatory evidence from the defense, and was doing so in other cases.

The chief prosecutor at Guantanamo Bay has now appointed new trial teams for the five cases to review all available evidence, coordinate with intelligence agencies and recommend what to do next, a military spokesman, Joseph DellaVedova, said in an e-mail.

DellaVedova said the military might renew the charges against the five later.

Clive Stafford Smith, a civilian attorney representing detainee Binyam Mohamed, said he has already been notified that charges against his client would be reinstated.

“Far from being a victory for Mr. Mohamed in his long-running struggle for justice, this is more of the same farce that is Guantanamo,” Stafford Smith said. “The military has informed us that they plan to charge him again within a month, after the election.”

Army Lt. Col. Bryan Broyles, who represents one of the prisoners whose charges were dropped, said the military might be preparing the tribunals to face increased scrutiny following next month’s presidential election. John McCain and Barack Obama have both said they want to close Guantanamo.

The five detainees are Noor Uthman Muhammed, Binyam Mohamed, Sufyiam Barhoumi, Ghassan Abdullah al Sharbi and Jabran Said Bin al Qahtani.

Demand Candidates Answer Vets’ Questions

Posted in Barack Obama by allisonkilkenny on October 18, 2008

On Wednesday, October 15th 2008, a peaceful protest outside the third Presidential Debate at Hofstra University on Long Island was met with violence and misconduct by police.

Iraq Veterans Against the War had a clear mission that night: to ensure that the issues most important to Veterans would be at the forefront of the debate. With over 4,183 service members having been killed in Iraq (at the time of the protest), it’s unforgivable that the candidates have been allowing the Occupation of Iraq and it’s casualties to fall into avoidable talking points instead of focused attention.

At 7:00pm the night of the debate, IVAW members led a contingent of a few hundred peaceful protesters to the main gate of Hofstra University. As per our letter to Moderator Bob Scheiffer, because we hadn’t received notice that two of our Veterans would be allowed to enter the debate to address the candidates, a small, uniformed contingent of Veterans physically attempted entry.

Immediately police began arresting those who “crossed the line”. They then began using horses to physically knock protesters back away from the Hofstra gates.

As the order to get back on the sidewalk was being complied to at least one officer charged his horse up the curb, and onto the sidewalk- directly resulting in at least three injuries- including two Iraq Veterans.

Nick Morgan, a former Army Sergeant was trampled, knocked out, and had his face crushed by the hoof of a horse.

Witnesses say that police left him unconscious on the sidewalk for up to ten minutes before arresting him. Nick, disoriented and obviously suffering a concussion, was initially refused medical treatment beyond a simple piece of gauze taped to his face.

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Supporters of the Hofstra 15 are now asking that you contact Back Obama and John McCain and demand they answer the vets’ questions posted below. Please support the brave men and women that demand nothing but some answers regarding their health care,

See the following websites to contact each candidate!
http://my.barackobama.com/page/content/contact/
http://www.johnmccain.com/Contact/

————————–——————
The Questions which we, the Veterans, wished to ask
————————–————————–——————

Senator McCain, on July 9th 2008 you were quoted saying “I’ve received every award from every major veterans organization in America but the reason why I have a perfect voting record from organizations like Veterans of Foreign Wars, the American Legion, and all the other Veterans Service Organizations is because of my support of them.”

However, there are non-partisan Veterans Organizations such as the Disabled American Veterans (DAV), Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America (IAVA), and the Vietnam Veterans of America (VVA) who’ve noted that you’ve consistantly voted against important issues such as increased VA funding in 2004, 2005, 2006, and 2007. This summer, another Veterans Organization, Veterans for Common Sense filed suit against the VA and discovered that approximately 1000 Veterans under their care are attempting suicide each month, with an average of 17 succeeding every 30 days. Government surveys conclude that over 300,000 21st Century Warriors are currently suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, while only 67 thousand have been diagnosed with with PTSD, and less than half of those are collecting disablity benefits. Doctors and Nurses at the VA are struggling to treat the 2 million American Troops who’ve deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan. What promises are you willing to make, as a Veteran, as a Senator, as a Presidential Candidate, to the Veterans of the United States to prove that you will ensure the VA is fully funded, staffed, and capable of preventing Troops from suffering as they are now, after they’ve served our great nation overseas?

-Sergeant Kristofer Goldsmith
Operation Iraqi Freedom III Veteran

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Senator Obama, you have said that the War and Occupation of Iraq is illegal. If by your words, it is illegal, then it is not only the right of service members such as myself to refuse deployment and participation in Iraq, it is also our responsibility. Sir, as President, are you willing to go by your own words and back them up, and support servicemembers refusing to participate in what you have, in your own words, termed an “Illegal Occupation”?

-Sergeant Matthis Chiroux
Operation Enduring Freedom Veteran