Friday, August 27, 2004

"Killing an Arab"

The men who shot Uday Hussein



First inside account of a 1996 ambush that signaled active Iraqi resistance.

By Peter Ford | Staff writer of The Christian Science Monitor

SHATRA, IRAQ – As Salman Sharif gave the order to open fire, he was certain he was going to die himself. You did not try to assassinate Uday Hussein, the former Iraqi president's elder son and heir-apparent, at point blank range and expect to get away with it.
"We knew we had a 1 percent chance of returning alive," Mr. Sharif says today, sitting crosslegged on a carpet-strewn floor as, for the first time, he recounts to a foreign newspaper the daring attack he led. "Strict security made this kind of operation almost impossible."
But after months of careful planning, the four man hit squad drawn from a shadowy resistance group was determined to go ahead. As Uday Hussein drove his golden Porsche slowly up a busy street in one of Baghdad's smartest districts, just after dark on Dec. 12 1996, two gunmen responded to Sharif's command with a hail of bullets from their AK-47 rifles.

"We were sure we had killed him," Sharif recalls. "We fired 50 rounds into that car."

In fact, he discovered later, Uday had been hit 17 times but survived. He was crippled for the rest of his life, and - according to popular belief - rendered impotent (a special kind of justice, Sharif said, because of the elder Hussein son's reputation for brutal womanizing), but he lived.

Still, the unprecedented assassination attempt on a member of the ruling Baath Party's inner circle sent an important message. "We showed that the Islamic resistance could reach any target at any time," Sharif says. "And we refuted before the whole world the regime's claim that there was no resistance inside Iraq."

Mr. Sharif, who was 27 at the time he mounted the operation that sent shockwaves through the Iraqi leadership, looks an unlikely freedom fighter. Studious and methodical, peering intently through a large pair of spectacles, he resembled a provincial primary school teacher more than a guerrilla hit-man. But Sharif's tale offers a rare window into how the Iraqi resistance movement operated during Hussein's reign
more

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"Killing An Arab"

Standing on the beach
With a gun in my hand
Staring at the sea
Staring at the sand
Staring down the barrel
At the arab on the ground
I can see his open mouth
But I hear no sound

I'm alive
I'm dead
I'm the stranger
Killing an arab

I can turn
And walk away
Or I can fire the gun
Staring at the sky
Staring at the sun
Whichever I chose
It amounts to the same
Absolutely nothing

I'm alive
I'm dead
I'm the stranger
Killing an arab

I feel the steel butt jump
Smooth in my hand
Staring at the sea
Staring at the sand
Staring at myself
Reflected in the eyes
Of the dead man on the beach
The dead man on the beach

I'm alive
I'm dead
I'm the stranger
Killing an arab

-The Cure



Monday, August 23, 2004

Rape victim marries jailed attacker to avoid Muslim shun

Scotsman.com News
SHAIKH AZIZUR RAHMAN IN CALCUTTA


THE dusty Berhampur Central jail, 120 miles north of Calcutta, provided the setting for a bizarre wedding last week between a rapist and his victim.

The victim faced a life as an outcast, ostracised and stigmatised by Indian society for being on the receiving end of a violent sexual crime.

But if her assailant married her, the shame would be lifted in the eyes of the local Muslim community.

On the order of the court in Berhampur, Ahammad Shaikh, 30, tied the knot with Sabina Khatoon, 18, inside the local prison where he is serving his sentence.

Shaikh kidnapped Khatoon - the daughter of a daily wage labourer - from her village and raped her in a nearby forest in March this year.

After her father complained of the rape to the police in June, Shaikh was arrested. In the court he admitted having raped the teenager and was sent to prison for the deed.

Shaikh’s lawyers failed to bail him out and he expected to be handed at least a seven-year sentence within a few months.

Then, with permission from the court, an activist carrying out work among rural women, approached Shaikh inside the jail and informed him of the woman’s miseries after being ‘tainted’ by his rape.

The women’s rights activist suggested that Shaikh marry Khatoon. Shaikh said that he needed time to respond to the overture.

The court also said that if Shaikh came forward to marry Khatoon, it could consider his case with sympathy and a possible release.

Shaikh’s lawyers and Khatoon’s parents then petitioned the court that the defendant was willing to marry Khatoon, and they sought his release from the jail for the purpose of the marriage.

The court observed that it could never release Shaikh until he married his victim. However, it ordered that the two could get married inside the prison if they wanted.

As bride, Khatoon turned up in the jail with her relatives. In the presence of Shaikh’s relatives, the jailhouse wedding took place according to the Muslim rites, followed by a registration.

The jail officials and about 60 remand prisoners took part in the marriage celebrations, which included a feast.

"I took advantage of her weakness and assaulted her while she was alone. What I did was wrong," the apparently repentant Shaikh said at the end of the ceremony.

"Now I am happy to get a chance to make amends for the crime I have committed."

Khatoon, who looked very happy after the marriage, said: "For that act [of rape] I hated him. Sometimes I felt like I wanted to tear him to pieces.

"But I have a different feeling for him now. I have forgiven him because he has chosen me as his wife. I have to love him now."

After the marriage Khatoon went to stay with her in-laws, while Shaikh is likely to be released on bail within one or two weeks when his lawyers produce the marriage certificate to satisfy the judge.

In recent weeks, at the order of the courts, at least three such marriages between rapists and their victims have taken place inside jails in eastern India.

In all the cases concerned, judges ordered the release of the rapist prisoners when the marriage certificates were produced in the court.

A public prosecutor in connection with one case said: "Our job is to oppose the bail of a criminal. But in such a case we are happy to support the bail, as the man, in an act of repentance, pledges to take care of the woman as a permanent measure by marrying her."

Saturday, August 21, 2004

Mideast Conflict

Yahoo! News Photos - Mideast Conflict

The father of 10-year-old Palestinian boy Khaled Al-Osta cries next to his dead body after he was shot by Israeli soldiers during an army operation in the Old City area of the northern West Bank city of Nablus. Six other people were also wounded by Israeli bullets including a 17-year-old youth who was said to be in a critical condition(AFP/Jaafar Ashtiyeh)

what they fail to say is what was young Khalad doing to be shot. Throwing stones ? Keep your children safe indoors during obvious dangerous conflict and they will be safe no?

Thursday, August 19, 2004

America after 9/11

We are a good and moral people and we form a nation that is the last hope of mankind.
Don't listen to our enemies or the weak sisters in our own ranks who accuse us of all sorts of purposeful atrocities around the world. If we were what our enemies said we were Afghanistan would be an uninhabitable moonscape. Iraq would be the same and quite possibly several other places on the map. would be in similar shape.
No, our sins have been those of omission and inattention.
At most we have been a selfish people, concentrating our attention n the creation of wealth and becoming fixated on the contemplation of our financial navel. And as you have gathered from this book, we as a nation were never really serious about the threat of terrorism in the past.
Our government did more than apply band aids to abrasions while ignoring the festering infection within.
All we really did was to keep terrorism away from our own shores.
Little real work was accomplished because the political leadership lacked the will to tackle the problem, and their lack of willpower was caused by the intuitive knowledge that the American people would not support the effort.
our enemies became bolder while the nation and it's agencies were focused almost exclusively on their petty problems of self absorption, rampant careerism, and beauracratic infighting - an the came September 11, 2001.
We now know what we're up against and I am convinced that \we as a nation have the resolve to protect ourselves and eradicate the scourge of terrorism.
But make no mistake, it won't be easy and it won't be quick. The worst parts , the most threatening parts, of the terrorist menace will be eliminated rather rapidly, but that won't be the end of it.
The work will go on for years if not generations, until the sources and causes that bring about terrorism are addressed and changed. Notice I said changed, and not defeated. For what must change is the attitude of a large part of the Muslim world. The attitude that the United States is responsible for the ills suffered by that segment of the world population. We can't do the changing for them but we must help bring it about.
But at the same time that we are working to help the Islamic populations of the globe find their place in the modern world, we must continue to seek out and destroy terrorist threats wherever they exist.

And tonight , when you are comfortably in your bed, in those quiet moments before you go to sleep, give thanks to what ever deity you speak to that we have a group of men and women who readily go into the worst of harms way, and are prepared to lay down their lives if that's what it takes so that you can live a life without fear.
Remember , we don't call ourselves the land of the free and home of the brave for nothing.

Eric L Haney
American Citizen, Soldier
( excerpt from 'Inside Delta Force')

Monday, August 16, 2004

Najaf battle a crucial test for Allawi

Najaf battle a crucial test for Allawi | csmonitor.com

Thursday, tanks sealed off all approaches to Najaf's Old City, while 2,000 US marines and 1,800 Iraqi forces closed in. US forces stormed Mr. Sadr's home, but he wasn't there. It's just a matter of time, US military officials say, before the radical cleric and his militia are expelled from one of the holiest sites in Shiite Islam, the Shrine of Imam Ali.
For Iraqi Prime Minister Iyad Allawi, this is a crucial test of the strength of his government, barely a month and a half old, and a first chance to extend government authority over a key part of Iraq, most of which remains under the control of armed militias and insurgents.

"The attack in Najaf is a strategic one, with limited US costs, against Sadr's ragtag militia that doesn't enjoy local support," says Toby Dodge, a Middle East expert at the International Institute of Strategic Studies in London. "Sadr is a symptom of a security vacuum in Iraq. The US military does not have enough forces on the ground to take control of the country. Even if you defeat Sadr, that still leaves a majority of the population living under the control of militias and insurgents."

What's at stake is not just the control of Najaf, but perhaps Iraq's territorial integrity. Key territories in Iraq are controlled by armed groups opposed to central government control from Baghdad. Kurdish militias in the north are vying for control of the crucial oil field town of Kirkuk; Sunni insurgents, many of them loyal to Saddam Hussein, control much of the center and the Northwest, including the transit link to Jordan. And now, as Shiite militias in the south and Baghdad turn to armed confrontation,

Prime Minister Allawi, a Shiite, has chosen to exert power where it seems most likely the government will prevail. In Shiite Najaf, a religious tourist and university city where many residents support the interim government, defeating Sadr would be a small but significant step toward preserving the Iraqi nation-state.

In an Aug. 10 speech, Allawi promised Iraqis to "teach these criminal outlaws the lesson they deserve."
Scott Baldauf

Alaa: "Basrah is in Grave Danger"

I appeal to people of the World; Please, Please, Please hear the true voice of the Iraqi people. We are facing a terrible conspiracy. The people of the South are being persecuted and massacred, not by the Americans, not by the Iraqi Army and Iraqi police. The gangs of the “Mehdi” army financed and recruited by the Iranian security forces and others, this has become amply clear, are massacring the people, right now as I am writing these lines. As one caller to the “Fayhaa” T.V. station is saying right now from Kut, for the first time in history the Wahabis, the Iranian hardliners and the Baathists have formed an alliance against the people of Iraq and particularly against the Shiaa people. Horrifying stories are emerging from the South.

In the name of the Iraqi people and the Shiaa people, as God is my witness, we appeal to our friends everywhere to come to the rescue of our people in the South in particular. The people of Kut are fighting the gangs with their bare hands at the moment. Don’t expect any coherent words from me now. Please do not listen to the lies. The vast overwhelming majority of the Shiaa people in particular are dead against these gangs. They don’t want them; please believe me, and may God strike me dead immediately if I tell you lies or my own personal feeling only.

The greatest danger is not in Najaf, but in Basrah where the main oil wealth of the country is being jeopardized (and so is the world economy and the security of the entire free world), and placed at the mercy of Gangs financed and employed by the Iranians, Al Qaeda and the Baathists. So much for the much-vaunted success of the British at controlling the region, they have allowed the thugs to gain control of the area. Basrah is in grave danger , Basrah, Basrah, Basrah; not only us but the whole free world is threatened. Can anybody understand, will anybody hear?

So what is to be done? Only one thing: to give full support to the Iraqi Government and Security forces, and allow the people to mobilize under their banner to fight the final battle - I mean real support and real arms and real capability.

No one, but no one, is going to rob us of our hopes and our future. No one can succeed in subduing the majority of the people of Iraq again, least of all gangs of thieves, thugs, robbers and kidnappers. It is better to die a thousand deaths than to submit to the forces of darkness and evil.


This guy is alway's spot on as to the happenings around Iraq and I have no reason to doubt him now
messopotamian

Friday, August 13, 2004

al-Sadr for 3 Purple Hearts

Yahoo! News - World Photos - AP

NAJAF, Iraq -
Not to be outdone by the swaggering postering 'Lurch' Kerry, Radical Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr has been wounded in fighting between his followers and U.S. and Iraqi forces in the holy city of Najaf, his spokesman said Friday.
Her also intimated that te wounds were more or less self inflicted to garner sympathy and support from not only his Mehdi Army and supporters but those followers in the Western world as well.
"See guy's, being wounded three times is no biggie" he said from his pulpit on Fri.

Wednesday, August 11, 2004

Sadr will fight to "last drop of blood"??

Yeah right

NAJAF Firebrand Shiite cleric Moqtada Sadr said on Thursday he was prepared to meet an Iranian delegation in Najaf as he embraced mediation efforts to avert a showdown with US troops massed outside the holy city.
http://www.channelnewsasia.com/stories/afp_world/view/99963/1/.html

but then

NAJAF Firebrand Shiite cleric Moqtada Sadr said on Thursday he was prepared to meet an Iranian delegation in Najaf as he embraced mediation efforts to avert a showdown with US troops massed outside the holy city.http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=story_16-4-2004_pg4_9

Later heard to remark to head thug - "over my dead body will I shed every drop of my blood for these peasants, maybe theirs by God Inshalla hatass ( Arabic for you gotta be shittin me)

(hat tip forgotten will advise)

Who Goes There?


another gem from the C&F boys

Monday, August 09, 2004

Hasbeens for Hamas Tour

Dave Matthews Band, Pearl Jam, Springsteen, Others Join "Hasbeens for Hamas" Tour
by MTV.com Wednesday August 04, 2004 at 07:27 PM


George W. Bush and John Kerry aren't the only ones concentrating their efforts on swing states.

The Dave Matthews Band, Pearl Jam, R.E.M., Death Cab for Cutie, Bright Eyes, Jurassic 5, My Morning Jacket, Ben Harper, Kenny "Babyface" Edmonds, Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band, the Dixie Chicks, John Mellencamp, Jackson Browne, James Taylor and Bonnie Raitt are among the artists taking part in the Vote for Change Tour, which will hit key battleground states across the country in early October.

The tour, presented by MoveOn's political action committee and America Coming Together (ACT), will feature more than 20 bands and artists. With all proceeds benefiting ACT's voter education and mobilization efforts in battleground states, the Hasbeens for Hamas Tour kicks off on October 1 and runs through October 10, according to MoveOn.org.

"We plan to do something never done before," the artist declaration on MoveOn PAC's Web site says, "to concentrate our energies in the states where the election is expected to be closest."

"Hasbeens for Hamas", created by a partnership of artists four months ago, will stage approximately 34 concerts in 29 cities in nine states during the trek.

"A Hasbeens for Hamas" is a vote for a stronger, safer, healthier America," Dave Matthews said in a statement. "A vote for Bush is a vote for a divided, unstable, paranoid America. It is our duty to this beautiful land to let our voices be heard. That's the reason for the tour. That's why I'm doing it."

The format for the tour will be several concerts taking place in different cities on each night of the outing. Participating artists will be divided into six groups that will play together on each night.

Tickets for the concerts go on sale August 21.

The organization of the concerts is unique in that the artists grouped themselves. According to Eli Pariser of MoveOn PAC, Springsteen invited R.E.M. and Bright Eyes to share the bill with him, a decision momentous in itself since Springsteen does not employ opening acts on his own tours. What's more, Springsteen has never so openly participated in electoral politics.

Though many politicians will be visiting the same swing states that the Hasbeens for Hamas Tour is hitting, Ellen Malcolm of ACT is confident that the artists will play a large part in inspiring fans to get out to the polls.

"I think a lot of voters would think that Bruce Springsteen and Dave Matthews understand a lot more about what's going on in their lives than politicians do," she said. "There are a lot of people turned off from the political system, and they think that the artists have a passion and an interest in regular folks that comes through in their music."

Pariser believes that the tour will help MoveOn PAC's goal of influencing the election. "This is an emergency," he said, "and rock and roll, the music of rebellion, can help lead the way."

Saturday, August 07, 2004

Scholar in Smuggling Trial Switches to a Guilty Plea

By EDDY RAMÍREZ
Published: August 4, 2004


A noted Middle East scholar pleaded guilty yesterday to smuggling stolen Mesopotamian relics from Iraq last year and lying to federal customs officials when he said he had never traveled to the country.

The scholar, Joseph Braude, the author of "The New Iraq: Rebuilding the Country for Its People, the Middle East, and the World," entered guilty pleas to three counts in Federal District Court in Brooklyn on the second day of testimony in his trial.
Mr. Braude admitted that on June 11, 2003, he returned to New York with three 4,000-year-old marble and alabaster stone seals that he believed had been stolen from the Iraqi National Museum in Baghdad.

He also admitted that he had lied to customs agents at Kennedy International Airport when he told them that he had never traveled to Iraq, hoping to keep them from searching his suitcase.

He had wrapped each of the seals in tissue paper and tucked them away in a plastic case in his suitcase.

"I accept responsibility for my conduct, and I deeply regret my actions," Mr. Braude told Judge Allyne R. Ross as a number of family members looked on.

Judge Ross scheduled sentencing for Oct. 25. Mr. Braude, 29, could be put on probation or sentenced to up to 16 months in prison, his lawyer said.

The defendant announced his decision to change his plea to guilty after he conferred with family members in a courthouse hallway. Later, outside the courtroom, he declined to tell reporters why he decided to plead guilty.

Standing beside him, his lawyer, Benjamin Brafman, sought to explain Mr. Braude's original insistence on going ahead with a trial even though, Mr. Brafman said, he had advised him otherwise.

"It's sometimes the case that a good person takes a very long time to accept that he has violated the law because of the way he has lived his whole life," Mr. Brafman said.

A graduate of Yale and Princeton, Mr. Braude spent much of the last decade traveling throughout the Arab world and became fluent in Arabic, Farsi and Hebrew. He worked at an Islamic archive in the United Arab Emirates, where he helped recover and preserve antique Arabic manuscripts. He has been a federal consultant on terrorist activities.

Mr. Braude, who lives in Providence, R.I., pleaded guilty to smuggling, lying to a federal agent and misstating the value of the artifacts on his customs declaration form.

In testimony yesterday, Marguerite Caropolo, a senior customs inspector at Kennedy Airport, testified that on his return from London, Mr. Braude handed her a customs declaration form stating that he had traveled only to London and Kuwait City. He was escorted to pick up his suitcase and denied to agents that he had traveled to Iraq, Ms. Caropolo said.

Only after she searched his suitcase and found business cards with Iraqi addresses and the three cylindrical seals did Mr. Braude admit that he had been to Iraq, she testified.

Referring to the seals, he told her, "That's just junk," Ms. Caropolo said, adding that he said, "I just bought them from a vendor in Baghdad."

Mr. Brafman had argued that his client had not lied to the customs agents because he eventually told them in a private search room that he had gone to Baghdad where he had obtained the seals.

The judge, however, ruled that she would instruct jurors that answers a defendant knows to be incomplete are considered false statements even if the defendant later discloses more information.

After the plea was changed, the United States attorney's office said: "Through his guilty plea Mr. Braude admitted that he knew exactly what he was doing - smuggling precious antiquities looted from the Iraqi people. The federal government is committed to prosecuting those who attempt to purloin these treasures, in order to protect the world's archaeological heritage."

Vandals desecrate Jewish cemetery in New Zealand

I am ashamed to be a Kiwi

WELLINGTON, NEW ZEALAND - A Jewish cemetery in New Zealand has been vandalized, a day after the country imposed diplomatic sanctions on Israel for the activities of two alleged Mossad agents.

At least 16 historic Jewish grave headstones were smashed at a cemetery in Wellington and a Nazi swastika was cut into the lawn.

New Zealand Prime Minister Helen Clark said she did not know if the incident was linked to the diplomatic row between the two countries.

Clark suspended high-level diplomatic contacts with Israel on Thursday after two Israeli men were sentenced to six months in prison for trying to obtain New Zealand passports illegally.

Israel's Foreign Ministry announced it regretted the state of relations between the two countries and pledged to do what it could to restore ties.

But Clark said she is waiting for a formal apology and explanation.

"They said they were very sorry about the decision we have taken, which of course falls somewhat short from saying that you're sorry for what you did."

Uriel Zosha Kelman and Eli Cara pleaded guilty to attempting to procure New Zealand passports illegally and working with organized criminal gangs. But they denied they belong to Mossad, Israel's secret service.

Clark has said there was no doubt the two were Israeli agents and what they did were not simple criminal activities.

Clark said the case "seriously strained relations" between Israel and New Zealand, and she's cancelled foreign ministry talks scheduled for this year.

New Zealand was also planning to refuse any request by Israeli President Moshe Katsav to stop off in the country when he visits Australia next month.

Friday, August 06, 2004

New ways to harm our country and our people

"Our enemies are innovative and resourceful, and so are we. They never stop thinking about new ways to harm our country and our people, and neither do we"

-President George W. Bush

The latest in a long list of gaffs as our President gabbles away in his native tongue.

WASHINGTON - President Bush (news - web sites) offered up a new entry for his catalog of "Bushisms" on Thursday, declaring that his administration will "never stop thinking about new ways to harm our country and our people."
Bush misspoke as he delivered a speech at the signing ceremony for a $417 billion defense spending bill.

"Our enemies are innovative and resourceful, and so are we," Bush said. "They never stop thinking about new ways to harm our country and our people, and neither do we."
No one in Bush's audience of military brass or Pentagon chiefs reacted.

The president was working his way toward a larger point. "We must never stop thinking about how best to defend our country. We must always be forward-thinking," he said.
White House spokesman Scott McClellan said Bush's misstatement "just shows even the most straightforward and plain-spoken


I am as right wing as the next guy, but jesus fucking christ, our man Bush doesn't make it easy. In fact he is a smirking, posturing, illiterate, creep, but he is listening to the right people ( allah willing )and doing what he is told. What! you think he is running the show?, no way. It is obvious from this latest faux-pas that he is not thinking about what he is reciting moreover conscious of the need to say it properly. His speech writers could have us in hysterics at his expense if it weren't for the dire consequences to follow such antics.

"sensitive"

Karol knows there is no such word as "sensitive" where terrorists/gunmen/activist/militia/insurgent are concerned. I say take the kid gloves off and hurt these fVckers.NOW!

Thursday, August 05, 2004

Defendant Ignored Amnesty on Iraq Relics, Witness Says

A man accused of smuggling ancient relics from Iraq had the opportunity to turn them over in Baghdad under a United States military amnesty program but chose not to do so, according to a Marine officer who testified yesterday in Federal District Court in Brooklyn.

The officer, Col. Matthew Bogdanos, said a sophisticated media campaign to recover stolen artifacts from the Iraqi National Museum was in full swing during the week that the man, Joseph Braude, said he was in Baghdad conducting research for an updated paperback edition of a book he had written on rebuilding Iraq.

Colonel Bogdanos testified on the opening day of Mr. Braude's trial that he did not have contact with Mr. Braude while leading the investigation into artifacts stolen from Iraq.

Mr. Braude, 29, of Providence, R.I., is accused of smuggling three 4,000-year-old cylindrical marble and alabaster stone seals when he returned to New York last summer from a visit to Iraq. The relics had been part of a collection at the Iraqi National Museum, which was looted after the fall of Baghdad in April 2003.

Deborah S. Mayer, an assistant United States attorney who is prosecuting the case, said during her opening statement that Mr. Braude misled customs officials by failing to disclose that he had traveled to Iraq when he arrived at Kennedy Airport on June 11, 2003. Mr. Braude also did not declare that he had paid $200 for the three stone seals that were found in his suitcase, Ms. Mayer said. "He didn't simply forget," she told jurors. "He lied to conceal his third crime," she said, referring to the smuggling charge.

Mr. Braude's lawyer, Benjamin Brafman, argued that it would have been difficult for his client to turn over the artifacts to the United States military at a time when there were news reports about gunfire in the streets of Baghdad and the killing of soldiers across Iraq.

Mr. Brafman said Mr. Braude had intended all along to turn the seals to the proper authorities. He said his client bought the artifacts without knowing their exact value or even if they were authentic. He also told jurors that the prosecution's entire case rested on testimony that was based completely on what Mr. Braude had told two customs agents.

Mr. Brafman said Mr. Braude had traveled to Iraq to write a preface to his book, "The New Iraq: Rebuilding the Country for Its People, the Middle East and the World," and to meet with Pentagon officials about a possible job and visit the neighborhood where his mother was born.

"There is no dispute that he bought the artifacts, and there is no dispute that they turned out to be authentic," Mr. Brafman said. "We don't run away from it. We confirm it." He said Mr. Braude told the agents at the airport "within minutes" of arriving that he had bought the seals in Iraq.

Colonel Bogdanos testified that Baghdad was relatively safe during the months when military authorities were seeking to recover artifacts pilfered from the national museum. From May 16 through July 4, Colonel Bogdanos said, the traffic of Iraqis who lined up to turn in stolen artifacts was "nonstop."

Colonel Bogdanos said authorities were able to recover 1,831 artifacts, including one in New York. Asked by Mr. Brafman about the artifact recovered in New York, Colonel Bogdanos acknowledged that he had agreed to meet with an American lawyer who wanted to turn over a stamp that was later determined to be from the Akkadian period, the same time period as the seals Mr. Braude is accused of smuggling into the country. That person was never prosecuted, Colonel Bogdanos said.

He said that at that time there was celebratory gunfire in the streets of Baghdad but that most military casualties were in other parts of the country. When Mr. Brafman tried to suggest that most ordinary people in the United States would associate the deaths with Baghdad, Colonel Bogdanos said, "Your client does know where these places are." If convicted, Mr. Braude could face up to five years in prison and a $250,000 fine.
The New York Times > New York Region > Defendant Ignored Amnesty on Iraq Relics, Witness Says


Tuesday, August 03, 2004

An apparent Vietnam flashback set in motion a chain-reaction accident Wednesday amid the hoopla of Democrat National Convention, claiming a fatality and sending several people to local hospitals.

Boston Police spokesman Aidan Patrick Callahan Gilhooly said that while the event remains under investigation, it was likely set in motion after nominee John Kerry "snapped" while arriving at the Fleet Center aboard a water taxi decorated as a Vietnam-era Navy swift boat.

"We believe that scene created a rush of emotions that psychologically transported Senator Kerry back to a free-fire zone in the Mekong Delta," said Gilhooly, who also faulted the Democratic National Committee for decoratiing the Charles River with rice paddies.

Unable to locate a 50-caliber machine gun, Kerry grabbed an object on the deck -- apparently mistaking it as a hand grenade -- and hurled it toward the banks, striking the car of Senator Edward Kennedy (D-MA). The object was later identified as a medal case belonging to a Kerry shipmate.

Kennedy's Buick then swerved out of control and careened into a the sedan chair of Senator Hillary Clinton (D-NY), causing minor injuries to four eunuchs. Clinton's chair helicoptered through the air with the Senator inside, eventually colliding with a massive book stack of "My Life," the autobiography of her husband, former President Bill Clinton.

While dazed, Mrs. Clinton was unharmed in the collision. However, the stack collapsed on her husband, who, according to aides, was privately counseling a staff member behind the stack at the time. He is currently being treated at Walter Reed Medical Center for unspecified bite injuries.

Kennedy's car continued to careen out of control, eventually plummeting of the Massachusetts Avenue bridge into the Charles. After swimming to safety, Kennedy made several desperate dives to save the life of passenger Destiny Knobbs, a 23-year old Florida entertainer described by aides as a "longtime Kennedy family friend." Though his efforts to save her were unsuccessful, Kennedy's dives netted four bottles of Chivas Regal.

A Boston EMS Ambulance unit arriving at the scene was also involved in the melee, when it was rear-ended by the speeding Lexus of Vice Presidential nominee John Edwards. He later complained of neck injuries, lupus, chonic fatigue syndrome and unspecified pain and suffering.
iowahawk