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Thursday, June 08, 2006

Zarqawi. Is. DEAD.

Abu Musab Al-Zarqawi Dead
BAGHDAD, Iraq — Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, the Al Qaeda in Iraq leader who led a brutal insurgency that included homicide bombings, kidnappings and beheadings, was killed in an airstrike on a building north of Baghdad, U.S. and Iraqi officials announced Thursday.

Read the Rest at Fox News

President Bush will be making a statement at 7:30 a.m. ET

My statement: WOO-flippin'-HOOOOOO!

Press Release from CENTCOM (if you're going there today, be patient - the server is getting overwhelmed):

Release Date: 6/8/2006
Release Number: 06-06-08P

BAGHDAD, Iraq – Gen. George W. Casey Jr., Multi-National Force-Iraq Commanding General, announced the death of al-Qaida in Iraq leader Abu Musab Al-Zarqawi in the following statement during a press conference with Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki and U.S. Ambassador to Iraq Zalmay Khalilzad June 8:

“Ladies and Gentlemen, Coalition Forces killed al-Qaida terrorist leader Abu Musab Al-Zarqawi and one of his key lieutenants, spiritual advisor Sheik Abd-Al-Rahman, yesterday, June 7, at 6:15 p.m. in an air strike against an identified, isolated safe house.

“Tips and intelligence from Iraqi senior leaders from his network led forces to al-Zarqawi and some of his associates who were conducting a meeting approximately eight kilometers north of Baqubah when the air strike was launched.

“Iraqi police were first on the scene after the air strike, and elements of Multi-National Division North, arrived shortly thereafter. Coalition Forces were able to identify al-Zarqawi by fingerprint verification, facial recognition and known scars.

Al-Zarqawi and al-Qaida in Iraq have conducted terrorist activities against the Iraqi people for years in attempts to undermine the Iraqi national government and Coalition efforts to rebuild and stabilize Iraq. He is known to be responsible for the deaths of thousands of Iraqis. Al-Zarqawi’s death is a significant blow to al-Qaida and another step toward defeating terrorism in Iraq.

“Although the designated leader of al-Qaida in Iraq is now dead, the terrorist organization still poses a threat as its members will continue to try to terrorize the Iraqi people and destabilize their government as it moves toward stability and prosperity. Iraqi forces, supported by the Coalition, will continue to hunt terrorists that threaten the Iraqi people until terrorism is eradicated in Iraq.”



** This post stays at the top today, and will be updated as needed **

Coalition Forces Kill Top Terrorist in Iraq
BAGHDAD, June 8, 2006 – Jordanian terrorist leader Abu Musab al-Zarqawi died in an air strike north of Baghdad yesterday evening, U.S. officials have confirmed. "Ladies and Gentlemen, coalition forces killed al Qaeda terrorist leader Abu Musab al-Zarqawi and one of his key lieutenants, spiritual advisor Sheik Abd-Al-Rahman, yesterday, June 7, at 6:15 p.m. in an air strike against an identified, isolated safe house," said Army Gen. George W. Casey Jr. The commander of Multinational Force Iraq, announced Zarqawi's death during a press conference with Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki and U.S. Ambassador to Iraq Zalmay Khalilzad today. Story


Video: Nouri Al-Maliki, Dr. Zalmay Khalilzad, and Gen. George Casey
Give a press briefing on the June 7 air strike that killed Musab Al-Zarqawi.


Statement by the President on Death of Abu Musab al-Zarqawi

Rose Garden
Washington, D.C.

7:31 A.M. EDT

THE PRESIDENT: Good morning. Last night in Iraq, United States military forces killed the terrorist al Zarqawi. At 6:15 p.m. Baghdad time, special operation forces, acting on tips and intelligence from Iraqis, confirmed Zarqawi's location, and delivered justice to the most wanted terrorist in Iraq.

Zarqawi was the operational commander of the terrorist movement in Iraq. He led a campaign of car bombings, assassinations and suicide attacks that has taken the lives of many American forces and thousands of innocent Iraqis. Osama bin Laden called this Jordanian terrorist "the prince of al Qaeda in Iraq." He called on the terrorists around the world to listen to him and obey him. Zarqawi personally beheaded American hostages and other civilians in Iraq. He masterminded the destruction of the United Nations headquarters in Baghdad. He was responsible for the assassination of an American diplomat in Jordan, and the bombing of a hotel in Amman.

Through his every action, he sought to defeat America and our coalition partners, and turn Iraq into a safe haven from which al Qaeda could wage its war on free nations. To achieve these ends, he worked to divide Iraqis and incite civil war. And only last week he released an audio tape attacking Iraq's elected leaders, and denouncing those advocating the end of sectarianism.

Now Zarqawi has met his end, and this violent man will never murder again. Iraqis can be justly proud of their new government and its early steps to improve their security. And Americans can be enormously proud of the men and women of our armed forces, who worked tirelessly with their Iraqi counterparts to track down this brutal terrorist and put him out of business.

The operation against Zarqawi was conducted with courage and professionalism by the finest military in the world. Coalition and Iraqi forces persevered through years of near misses and false leads, and they never gave up. Last night their persistence and determination were rewarded. On behalf of all Americans, I congratulate our troops on this remarkable achievement.

Zarqawi is dead, but the difficult and necessary mission in Iraq continues. We can expect the terrorists and insurgents to carry on without him. We can expect the sectarian violence to continue. Yet the ideology of terror has lost one of its most visible and aggressive leaders.

Zarqawi's death is a severe blow to al Qaeda. It's a victory in the global war on terror, and it is an opportunity for Iraq's new government to turn the tide of this struggle. A few minutes ago I spoke to Prime Minister Maliki. I congratulated him on close collaboration between coalition and Iraqi forces that helped make this day possible. Iraq's freely elected Prime Minister is determined to defeat our common enemies and bring security and the rule of law to all its people.

Earlier this morning he announced the completion of his cabinet appointments, with the naming of a new Minister of Defense, a new Minister of the Interior, and a new Minister of State for National Security. These new ministers are part of a democratic government that represents all Iraqis. They will play a vital role as the Iraqi government addresses its top priorities -- reconciliation and reconstruction and putting an end to the kidnappings and beheadings and suicide bombings that plague the Iraqi people. I assured Prime Minister Maliki that he will have the full support of the United States of America.

On Monday I will meet with my national security team and other key members of my Cabinet at Camp David to discuss the way forward in Iraq. Our top diplomats and military commanders in Iraq will give me an assessment of recent changes in the political and economic and security situation on the ground. On Tuesday, Iraq's new Ambassador to the United States will join us, and we will have a teleconference discussion with the Prime Minister and members of his cabinet. Together we will discuss how to best deploy America's resources in Iraq and achieve our shared goal of an Iraq that can govern itself, defend itself and sustain itself.

We have tough days ahead of us in Iraq that will require the continued patience of the American people. Yet the developments of the last 24 hours give us renewed confidence in the final outcome of this struggle: the defeat of terrorism threats, and a more peaceful world for our children and grandchildren.

May God bless the Iraqi people and may God continue to bless America.

END 7:37 A.M. EDT


Watch the footage here! (again, be patient - the server is getting a little bogged down)


Michael Yon weighs in: Death Finds The Devil’s Second Most Favored Serpent


Reactions from Capitol Hill:

Senator Kit Bond

Senator John Cornyn

Senator Rick Santorum

Mr. Murtha's Rush to Judgment

Sunday, May 28, 2006; Page B06

A year ago I was charged with two counts of premeditated murder and with other war crimes related to my service in Iraq. My wife and mother sat in a Camp Lejeune courtroom for five days while prosecutors painted me as a monster; then autopsy evidence blew their case out of the water, and the Marine Corps dropped all charges against me ["Marine Officer Cleared in Killing of Two Iraqis," news story, May 27, 2005].

So I know something about rushing to judgment, which is why I am so disturbed by the remarks of Rep. John P. Murtha (D-Pa.) regarding the Haditha incident ["Death Toll Rises in Haditha Attack, GOP Leader Says," news story, May 20]. Mr. Murtha said, "Our troops overreacted because of the pressure on them, and they killed innocent civilians in cold blood."

Read the Rest at the Washington Post Online (registration may be required)

It's well worth the read.

To the rescue during Northern Edge 2006
Airmen from the 31st Rescue Squadron at Kadena Air Base, Japan, load a patient onto an HH-60 Pave Hawk during a combat search and rescue mission for exercise Northern Edge 2006 at Fort Wainwright, Alaska, on Tuesday, June 6, 2006. Northern Edge is a joint training exercise hosted by Alaskan Command. It is one of a series of U.S. Pacific Command exercises that prepare joint forces to respond to crises in the Asian Pacific region. (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Joshua Strang)
Full Story


Ex-Marine fights off robbers with knife

Cox News Service

ATLANTA — Former Marine Thomas Autry says he’s not a hero for pulling a knife and fighting back after a group of thugs attacked him on his late-night walk home from work.
The soft-spoken Desert Storm veteran was somber as he briefly talked to reporters Tuesday.

“I’m sorry this whole thing happened. I hate this world has gotten to the point where it is predatory,” said a shaken Autry.

Police say Autry acted in self-defense around 11 p.m. Monday when he fatally stabbed one of his five attackers, Amy Martin, 17. Another assailant was critically injured.

Read the rest at

Moral of this story - Don't mug a Marine!

H/T to Seamus

Jolo, Philippines (June 6, 2006) – Builder 2nd Class Shane Murray assigned to Naval Mobile Construction Battalion Four Zero (NMCB-40), receives help from some children to build a picnic table for the Sulu Provincial Hospital. NMCB-40 is deployed with the U.S. Military Sealift Command (MSC) Hospital ship USNS Mercy (T-AH 19) and will conduct minor construction projects at various locations during Mercy’s five-month humanitarian assistance deployment to South and Southeast Asia, and the Pacific Islands. U.S. Navy photo by Journalist Seaman Joseph Caballero

Fisher House Thanks SA Germany

Soldiers' Angels Germany recently received a thank you letter from the Fisher House.

Read it here.

Willie, MaryAnn, and the rest of SA Germany - you ROCK!

by Cpl. Richard A Hilario

June 7, 2006

Soldiers from the 172nd Stryker Brigade Combat Team and a Marine search a house for terrorists in Ramadi, Iraq.

In Today's News - Thursday, June 8, 2006

Quote of the Day
“Ladies and Gentlemen, Coalition Forces killed al-Qaida terrorist leader Abu Musab Al-Zarqawi and one of his key lieutenants, spiritual advisor Sheik Abd-Al-Rahman, yesterday, June 7, at 6:15 p.m. in an air strike against an identified, isolated safe house."
-- Gen. George W. Casey Jr., Multi-National Force-Iraq Commanding General

News of Note
Operation Iraqi Freedom
Al Qaeda in Iraq Leader Behind Some of Iraq's Bloodiest Attacks- Maliki Names Top Ministers
Jordan Helped Find Zarqawi
Oil Below $70 on Death News
Zarqawi's Kin: Death Expected
Fast Facts:Zarqawi Attacks
Video: Zarqawi Dead
Video: Scars, Fingerprints Lead to ID
Video: Impact on Insurgency
Video: Video: Bush Notified of Raid
Baghdad Bombs Kill 19
Bush: Zarqawi death may "turn the tide"
Zarqawi death won't stop Iraq killing: Blair
U.S. still mindful of Iraq terror tactics
Iraqi parliament swears in new ministers

Operation Enduring Freedom
Afghan Police Stop Donkey Bomb Terror Attack
Taliban bomb, ambush kill 5 Afghan troops, police - Video

Homeland Security / War on Terror
Gitmo detainee says clash involved Qurans (Of course...when in doubt, start flinging Quran accusations around. Well, it does beat the feces they were flinging before...)

Troops on Trial
Filipino Officials Say U.S. Obstructing Marine Rape Trial
Top Marine 'Deeply Concerned' by Haditha

Other Military News
Army Lt. Refuses to Deploy Because of War Objections (Here he is, folks - the new Moonbat poster child)
Lawmakers Angry at Bush Over VA Data Breach

Probe of CIA Prisons Implicates 14 EU Nations

Worldwide Wackos
Iran says threats will not work in nuclear talks
Bush wants diplomatic solution to Iran crisis: UK

Homegrown Moonbats
Father of beheaded man blames Bush, not Zarqawi

Politics / Government
House panel clears another $50 billion for Iraq - Video
Estate tax faces pivotal vote in Senate
Senate rejects gay marriage amendment

U.N. News
Speech by U.N. Leader Draws Angry American Response

BlackBerry addict? - Hotel offers detox

Fox News
Former Arizona Pitcher Admits to Steroid Use
Shark Attacks 7-Year-Old Girl
Bikini Slay Confession?
Video: Mother's 'Relief'
Stocks to Watch: H&R Block

Reuters: Top News
NASA clears shuttle fuel tank for flight
Australian rocks show early signs of life on Earth
Disposable cameras defy film's march to obscurity
Bolivia sees glint of gold in Che Guevara's footsteps
Firm makes killer calendar for serialphiles
High-fat diet doesn't increase skin cancer risk
ACE inhibitors may raise birth defect risk
Four Seasons bigger than ever in Broadway musical
Smithfield Foods net plunges on meat glut
ECB tightens rates to 3-year high
Ferrovial closes in on BAA as rival drops out
Barclays poaches top Citigroup exec as retail head
Richemont figures disappoint, shares slide
Endemol CEO resigns, stoking takeover talk
Level 3 Communications falls on Inet
Stock futures slump on rate concerns and ECB - Video
Advanced Medical raises 2006 profit view
EMC shares hit 14-month low
Xilinx, Finisar shares fall on Inet
AngloGold affirms production views
Gold Fields sees Q4 margins up
On the Radar: Portfolio insulation
Grab those student loan rates, by Linda Stern

AP World News
Stock futures down on interest rate fears
Indonesia volcano spews hot gas clouds
Rare millipede species found in Calif.
Sheen, Richards extend restraining order
Survey: iPods more popular than beer
Hurricanes wipe out Oilers, Markkanen 5-0
Wendy's plans to use healthier cooking oil
Asian stocks drop to lowest levels in mos.
Nikkei 225 index ends down 3.07 percent
Iraq Troop Rotations Planned
Pentagon Plans Major Alternative Fuel Buys

CENTCOM: News Releases




Department of Defense
U.S., Allies Must Win Peace in Terror War - Story

Army Mechanics Maintain Wheels, Weapons - Story
Vignettes Provide a Glimpse at War on Terror - Story - On Assignment
Iraqis Take Over Territory at Camp Habbinyah - Story
Work to Restore Iraqi Marshlands Continues - Story

Soldiers, Marines Drive on Through Adversity
Iraqis' Mortar Know-How to Improve Security
Soldiers Reflect on Second Iraq Deployment

U.S. Governors Visit Troops in Afghanistan
‘Lava Dogs’ Hand Off Ops to ‘Chosin Few’
Army Reservist Helps Train Iraqi Army - Story

Military Volunteers Adorn Cereal Box - Story

IED Claims Soldier in Baghdad
Casey: Decisions Reflect Values
Forces Kill, Capture Terrorists
Investigation Clears Forces
Allegations Don't Reflect Majority
Renewal In Iraq
Iraq: Security, Stability
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

Tripartite Commission Meets
3 Coalition Soldiers Killed
Afghan Troop Graduates
Suicide Bomber Strikes in Kandahar
Bomb Maker Captured
Afghanistan Update

Partnerships Vital, Pace Says
Pace: World Recognizes Threat
Nordic Ambassadors Visit EUCOM
Rumsfeld Thanks Sailors for Service
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

Defense Officials Identify Casualties - 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


Today in History
0452 - Attila the Hun invades Italy
0570 - Islam is founded (?)
1861 - Tennessee votes to secede from the Union.
1862 - Battle of Cross Keys, VA.
1915 - Secretary of State William Jennings Bryan resigns.
1948 - John Rudder becomes the first black commissioned officer in the USMC.
1965 - U.S. troops are given orders to fight offensively in Vietnam.
1967 - In the Mediterranean, Israel attacks the USS Liberty , killing 34.
1975 - The U.S.S.R. launches the Venera 9, bound for Venus.
1982 - President Ronald Reagan addresses a joint session of the British Parliament.
1986 - Alleged Nazi Kurt Waldheim is elected president of Austria.

1813 - David D. Porter, U.S. Admiral (Civil War)
1847 - Ida Sazton McKinley, 1st lady
1916 - Francis Crick, codiscovered DNA's structure, Nobel Prize winner
1937 - Bruce McCandless II, Captain USN / astronaut (STS 41B, STS-31)

632 - Mohammed, prophet of Islam (traditional)
1809 - Thomas Paine, writer, patriot (Age of Reason, Common Sense)

Reported Missing in Action
Krause, Arthur E., Civilian (IL); Philco engineer, Released November, 1963

Apodaca, Victor J., USAF (CO); F4C shot down; presumed dead

Busch, Jon T., USAF (OH); F4C shot down; remains returned October, 1988 (Contested)
Myers, David G., USMC (PA); KIA, body not recovered - died near Hill 881, near Khe Sahn (ground fire)

Harris, Jessie B., US Army (NY); Released October, 1969

Murphy, John S., Jr., USAF (TX); F4E shot down June, 1972, Released by PRG March, 1973