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Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Sometimes, Murtha Really Ticks Me Off

THIS is one of them.

Lawmaker: Marines killed Iraqis ‘in cold blood’ (from MSNBC)
By Jim Miklaszewski and Mike Viqueira

WASHINGTON - A Pentagon probe into the death of Iraqi civilians last November in the Iraqi city of Haditha will show that U.S. Marines "killed innocent civilians in cold blood," a U.S. lawmaker said Wednesday.

From the beginning, Iraqis in the town of Haditha said U.S. Marines deliberately killed 15 unarmed Iraqi civilians, including seven women and three children...

If indeed the Marines acted improperly, as Murtha's unnamed sources are allegedly confirming, I'm sure they will be dealt with accordingly. But Murtha doesn't need to be fueling the fires of anti-military sentiment by championing sensationalism, and pronouncing them guilty before the investigation is completed. Once again, he's using one incident as a springboard to malign the military as a whole - acting as if this is ordinary, instead of an anomaly - and an alleged anomaly, at that. He's using this as a political tool - saying that the Marines deliberately killed innocents because of Bush. And that is reprehensible.

Anything else I'll say probably just wouldn't be civil, so I'll just quit while I'm ahead.

TAZA, IRAQ — U.S. Army 1st Lt. David Pattillo, assigned to 2nd Battalion, 327th Infantry Regiment's Military Transition Team, mans his M-240 mounted machine gun during an operation in the Taza industrial zone, south of Kirkuk, Iraq, May 11, 2006. The operation, involving nearly 600 Iraqi army soldiers and police, consisted of a citywide lock-down and sweep through more than 300 shops, markets and small factories. U.S. Navy photo by Petty Officer 1st Class Jeremy L. Wood

Where Am I?

Travelling again...

This time, I'm in the birthplace of the US Marine Corps' first African-American female combat pilot.

It's also the home of Alpha Company, 1st Battalion, 178th Infantry, an Army Natioanl Guard unit recently mobilized for duty in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom.

It has a number of military monuments, among them the Manuel Perez Jr. Plaza (and an elementary school named for him).

PFC Manuel Perez, Jr. (depicted above), of the US Army's Company A, 511th Parachute Infantry, 11th Airborne Division, earned the Medal of Honor for his actions on February 13, 1945. He was killed in action a week later. From his citation:

"He was lead scout for Company A, which had destroyed 11 of 12 pillboxes in a strongly fortified sector defending the approach to enemy-held Fort William McKinley on Luzon, Philippine Islands. In the reduction of these pillboxes, he killed five Japanese in the open and blasted others in pillboxes with grenades. Realizing the urgent need for taking the last emplacement, which contained two twin-mount .50 caliber dual-purpose machine guns, he took a circuitous route to within 20 yards of the position, killing four of the enemy in his advance. He threw a grenade into the pillbox, and, as the crew started withdrawing through a tunnel just to the rear of the emplacement, shot and killed four before exhausting his clip. He had reloaded and killed four more when an escaping Japanese threw his rifle with fixed bayonet at him. In warding off this thrust, his own rifle was knocked to the ground. Seizing the Japanese rifle, he continued firing, killing two more of the enemy. He rushed the remaining Japanese, killed three of them with the butt of the rifle and entered the pillbox, where he bayoneted the one surviving hostile soldier. Singlehandedly, he killed 18 of the enemies in neutralizing the position that had held up the advance of his entire company. Through his courageous determination and heroic disregard of grave danger, Pfc. Perez made possible the successful advance of his unit toward a valuable objective and provided a lasting inspiration for his comrades."

First one with the correct answer in the comments section or by email gets a copy of a fantastic book I’m currently reading I just finished - "Blood Stripes - The Grunt's View of the War in Iraq," by David J. Danelo

UPDATE: We have a winner

Stryker brigade combat team on patrol
Staff Sgt. Chris Pierce mounts a M240 machine gun to the top of a Stryker vehicle before going on patrol near Sinjar, Iraq on May 14, 2006. Sergeant Pierce is a joint tactical air controller assigned to a U.S. Army Stryker brigade combat team. (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Jacob N. Bailey)

This Day in History - the USS Stark

Early in the day on May 17, 1987, an Iraqi jet had fired on a Cypriot tanker, crippling it.

Shortly after 8pm, an AWACS detected an inbound aircraft, and the USS Stark's radar operators tracked it from 200 miles away. Due to the common Iraqi warplane presence, the ship's captain was not significantly concerned. He did, however, order a radio message requesting identification - twice. There was no response, but as the targeting radar on the plane was not locking on the Stark, it was expected to veer off.

By 10:10, the plane suddenly turned towards home. Undetected, the French-built Iraqi Mirage had launched two Exocet air-to-surface missiles, which slammed into the Stark only seconds after they were spotted. From the 10' x 15' hole at the point of impact, fire spread up into the combat information center, crippling the ship's electrical systems. The destroyer USS Waddell picked up a distress signal, and responded.

The AWACS called for airborne Saudi planes to pursue the Iraqi plane, but ground controllers in Dharain stated they were unable to do so. The Iraqi plane escaped back into home airspace.

The Stark's crew battled fires all through the night. They succeeded, and the Stark was able to make it back to port. She was repaired, with only a memorial plaque to mark what had happened.

37 Sailors lost their lives. In the wake of the incident, Congress ordered analysis of what had gone wrong, and delayed shipment of aircraft to the Saudis because of what was seen as it's apathetic response to the call for pursuit of the Mirage.

The USS Stark was decommissioned in May, 1999.

More information can be found here:
Wikipedia - USS Stark
USS Waddell History
Shipmates Not Forgotten
Haze Gray & Underway - The USS Stark

UPDATE: Brad notes that more photos of the damaged Stark, as well as other information, are posted here:

by Staff Sgt. Aaron Allmon II
May 16, 2006
Soldiers from 1st Battalion, 36th Infantry Regiment, 1st Brigade, 1st Armored Division look at a suspicious object during a patrol in Tal Afar, Iraq.

In Today's News - Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Quote of the Day
"...without a Respectable Navy, Alas America!"

Captain John Paul Jones, in a letter to Robert Morris, October, 1776

News of Note
Operation Iraqi Freedom
19 Killed in Iraq Garage Attack
Video: Baghdad Bloodshed
UAE Diplomat Kidnapped
Baghdad Attack Leaves 19 People Dead

Homeland Security / War on Terror
Video Released of Jet Hitting Pentagon on Sept. 11
Video: Pentagon Attacked
World Trade Center Memorial Lawsuit Dismissed

Keeping Informed
Verizon Denies Giving Customer Call Records to NSA
Video: Data Collection Denial
Bush reverses stand on spy program oversight
Lawyers in CIA leak case seek news media records
Telcos careful with words on NSA spy program
Verizon Denies Giving NSA Phone Records
Bush: U.S. Not Listening to Domestic Calls
Hatch: Court Briefed on Bush Surveillance

Bush Defends Border Plan- NEW! Immigration Center- Video: Reactions
Senate defeats bid to water down immigration bill - Video
Senate Bypasses Security for Immigration

Worldwide Wackos
Jet Threat
Chavez: Bush Guilty of Genocide
EU3 to offer Iran reactor in deal: sources

News from My Neck of the Woods
Skies clear over New England after historic floods - Video

A very strange sign of the times...
Springtime for, oh, somebody bad...
Elephant Not Interested in Using Treadmill

Other News of Note
Trappers Catch Killer Gator

Fox News
Stocks to Watch: Target
Tenn. Death Row Inmate Granted Reprieve
Poll: Coastal Residents Unprepared for Hurricane
Judge Strikes Down Georgia Gay Marriage Ban
New England Still Submerged- Video: Evacuations
Rival: Wanted Polygamist Jeffs Likely in Canada
Ohioan Falls Off Cruise Ship
Pacific Tsunami Warning System Tested
Quake Hits During Drill
Northwestern Probes Alleged Women's Soccer Hazing
Global 'Da Vinci' Protests
Anger over film's premiere
Video: Does 'Da Vinci' Attack Christianity?
FOX411: The First Review of 'The Da Vinci Code'
'Da Vinci Code' Under Fire From Albinos
'American Idol' Center

Reuters: Top News
Myriad of woes doomed NASA test craft
El Salvador tropical coffee forests threatened
Nokia launches Google Talk on Web tablet
FDA says Bausch failed to report infections
Economy class syndrome not due to pressure: study
Kidman engaged to country star
"Drowsy" leads Tony nominations, big names snubbed
US states, Ontario jostle to host new Honda plant
Record labels sue XM over portable device
Neurocrine, Pfizer drug rejected, shares plunge
Orange to launch new 3G service in France in H2
BSkyB up on talk News Corp raising stake -dealers
Stocks fall on retailers' sales, HP jumps late - Video
HP, LTX Corp. rise
Hewlett-Packard jumps 5 pct
Photronics results beats forecasts; shares rise
Apple stock off 4 percent on business concerns
Sweet on corn
Gerstein: A way to trade housing market
On the Radar: Carlisle Companies

AP World News
Brazil Cops Kill 33 Suspected Gang Members
Miami Tops Auto Club List for Rude Drivers
Latest Spears Photos Spark Safety Debate
Honda to Build New Plants in U.S., Japan
Wade's Steal Sends Heat to East Finals
Cowell Picks Hicks to Be Next 'Idol'
Hewlett-Packard 2Q Profit Up 51 Percent
Hall Opens Doors for Paterno, Bowden
ABC Moves 'Grey's Anatomy' in Fall Lineup
Tattooed Mummy With Jewelry Found in Peru
'Survivor' Gets 51 Months in Tax Case
Dow Closes Down 9, Nasdaq Finishes Down 9
Report: Army Combat Teams Lack Firepower
Venezuela May Sell F-16 Jets to Iran
Vets Reunite for Aircraft Carrier Sinking

Department of Defense
Rumsfeld: World More Free Than Ever - Story - Photos
Bush, Howard Focus on War on Terrorism - Story
Guard Support at Border Not New Concept - Story
Baghdad-Area Command Procedures Change - Story - On Assignment

U.S. Marines, Iraqi Troops Hold Medical Clinic - Story
Airmen Keep Fleet Rolling Through Dust, Mud - Story
Comm Experts Keep Marines Connected - Story
Task Force Troops Visit African Orphanages - Story
Navy Unit Receives Presidential Unit Citation - Story

Georgians Arrive at Forward Operating Base Caldwell

Soldier Extends Deployment to Reunite With Husband - Story

Spouse Competes on Game Show - Story

IEDs Kill Three Soldiers
Tank Unit Assumes Responsibility
Casey: Iraqis Hopeful About Future
Province Fire Station Renovated
Forces Kill, Detain Terrorists
U.S. Troops Conduct Patrol
Terrorists Kill Civilians in Baghdad
Renewal In Iraq
Fact Sheet: Progress and Work Ahead
Report: Strategy for Victory in Iraq
Iraq Daily Update
This Week in Iraq (PDF)
Multinational Force Iraq
State Dept. Weekly Iraq Report (PDF)
'Boots on the Ground' Audio Archive
Iraq Reconstruction

New Radio Station Opens
Enemy Rockets Injure Afghans
IED Injures Two Afghan Civilians
U.S. General Notes Progress
Air Strike Kills 4 Enemy Fighters
'Mountain Lion' Roars Into Valley
Afghanistan Update

Pentagon Bio-Exercise Scheduled
U.S., Libya Diplomacy Restored
More Detainee Names Released
Decatur Joins French-Led Force
House Votes on Border Security
Fact Sheet: Budget Request
Fact Sheet: War on Terror
Fact Sheet: Terror Plots Disrupted
Waging and Winning the War on Terror
Terrorism Timeline
Terrorism Knowledge Base

Guard to Assist Border Patrol
Carrier Hosts Moroccan Dignitaries
National Guard Responds to Floods
Top Doc Talks Mental Health Issues
National Guard, Reserve Update

Officials Identify Army Casualty - Story

Al Azamiyah Al Basrah Al Hillah Al Karkh Al Kazimiyah Al Kut
An Nasiriyah Baghdad Baqubah Mosul Najaf Nineveh Tall Kayf

Bost/Laskar Ghurian Herat Kabul Qandahar


This Day in History
0218 - 7th recorded perihelion passage of Halley's Comet.
1536 - Anne Boleyn's 4 "lovers" are executed.
1672 - Frontenac becomes Governor of New France (Canada) .
1673 - Louis Joliet and Jacques Marquette begin exploration of Mississippi.
1733 - England passes the Molasses Act, putting high tariffs on rum and molasses imported to the colonies from non-British territories.
1756 - Britain declares war on France (7 Years' / French & Indian War)
1804 - Lewis & Clark begin exploring the Louisiana Purchase.
1862 - In West Virginia, the Battle of Princeton ends with a little over 125 casualities.
1863 - Battle of Big Black River Bridge, Mississippi
1864 - Union troops force a Confederate retreat at the Battle of Adairsville, GA.
1871 - General Sherman escapes Comanches in an ambulance.
1876 - The 7th U.S. Cavalry under Custer departs from Fort Lincoln.
1884 - Alaska becomes a U.S. territory
1916 - Daylight Savings Time (British Summer Time) is introduced for the first time.
1926 - Chiang Kai-shek is made supreme war lord, the German Government of Marx takes power.
1938 - Congress approves the Vinson Naval Act, funding a two-ocean Navy.
1940 - Nazis bomb Middelburg
1944 - Allied aircraft conduct a raid on Surabaja, Java, Chinese and U.S. forces take Myitkyina Airport, Burma, General Eisenhower sets D-Day for June 5th, the Allies land in Netherlands New-Guinea as part of Operation Straightline.
1945 - 2 U.S. P-47 Thunderbolts bomb Kiushu.
1946 - President Truman seizes control of U.S. railroads to head off a strike.
1948 - Israel liberates Acre, Nebi Yusha and Telel-Kadi, the U.S.S.R. officially recognizes Israel.
1949 - The British government recognizes the Republic of Ireland.
1954 - The U.S. Supreme Court unanimously reverses the 1896 "separate but equal" decision (Plessy vs. Ferguson).
1973 - The Senate Watergate Committee begins hearings.
1983 - Israel and Lebanon sign a peace treaty.
1987 - Iraqi missiles strike the USS Stark, killing 37 sailors.

1741 - John Penn, Declaration of Independence signer
1812 - Union Brigadier General Joseph Warren Revere
1836 - Joseph Norman Lockyer, discovered Helium
1886 - Alfonso XIII, King of Spain
1900 - Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini
1903 - Douglas Packard, British Lieutenant General
1911 - Knut Anders Haukfield, British Special Operations Executive (SOE) Operative
1912 - Archibald Cox, first Watergate special prosecutor
1923 - Michael Beetham, RAF Marshal
1924 - Thomas Baird, Vice-Admiral
1926 - David Young, Lieutenant-General
1932 - Rodric Braithwaite, British ambassador to USSR
1945 - D.A.S. Pennefather, Major General / Commandant (General Royal Marines), George Miller (Representative-CA)
1953 - Nicholas Bacon, premier baronet of England

1606 - Forges Dimitri, Czar of Russia, murdered
1727 - Catherine I, Empress of Russia
1945 - Jan van Geenen, resistance fighter
1996 - Willis Conover, broadcaster

Reported Missing in Action
Deere, Donald T. , US Army SF (TX); Killed / BNR

Dodge, Ronald Wayne, USN (CA); F8E shot down - remains returned July, 1981

Lewis, Charlie G., US Army (NC); M113 hit pressure-type mine - KIA/BNR

Young, Charles L., US Army (NY); not located after assault boat was ambushed

Stewart, Virgil G. USAF (LA); F4D shot down - KIA/BNR

Westwood, Norman P., Jr., USNR (CT); F4B caught fire and crashed at sea

Pearce, Dale A., US Army (OH); UH1H shot down (pilot, w/Soyland) - KIA/BNR

Soyland, David P. US Army (SD); UH1H shot down (aircraft commander, w/Pearce)