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Friday, December 29, 2006

Ding Dong....

Saddam is DEAD:
Iraqi TV Reports Saddam Hussein Has Been Hanged

Although there has been no official confirmation from U.S. authorities, Saddam's lawyer and Arab media are reporting that Saddam Hussein has been executed.

Good riddance - the world is a much better place with this monster out of it for good. The moonbats will tell you that his death is only going to make things worse, that it proves nothing. But it ensures that he will NEVER be a threat again - to anyone. He will NEVER again be able to torture and murder his own people. He will never again be able to offer payments to the families of suicide bombers. He will never again be able to defy U.N. sanctions. He will never again be able to order shots fired at U.S. planes enforcing the no-fly zone. And that is good news.

This guy is probably on the afterlife's express "down" elevator right now, and it couldn't happen to a more deserving party. Iraqis were lining up by the hundreds to vie for the privilege of being his hangman.

As has been said repeatedly, Iraq needs to chart its own course - and the Iraqis have opted for removing Saddam from the equation. Good for them.

UPDATE (Headlines from Fox News):
Saddam Hussein Executed - VIDEO
U.S. Forces Brace For Post-Execution Violence
Iraqi-Americans in Michigan Cheer Saddam’s Execution
Obituary: Saddam Hussein, 1937-2006
Brainroom: Saddam's Atrocities
Fast Facts: Saddam Timeline - PHOTOS

UPDATE 12/30:
David at The Thunder Run looks at what the Left is saying about Saddam's departure, in The Left Can't Let Go

‘Blacksmith’ Soldiers Bring Christmas Cheer to FOB Normandy

The leadership from the 6-9 Armored Reconnaissance Squadron, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division, serves Christmas dinner which was prepared by the cooks from Company D, 215th Forward Support Company, at the Forward Operating Base Normandy dining facility, Dec. 25. (U.S. Army photo by By 1st Lt. Thomas J. Radabaugh, 6-9 Armored Reconnaissance Squadron, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division)

SR# 122606-01
Dec. 26, 2006

By 1st Lt. Thomas J. Radabaugh
6-9 Armored Reconnaissance Squadron, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division

FORWARD OPERATING BASE NORMANDY -- The day started like most Christmas mornings do. Some people woke up early to open their gifts, while others conducted gift exchanges. Some, who had stayed up late the night before at Christmas parties, chose to sleep in.

This was no ordinary Christmas, however. For some of the 6-9 Armored Reconnaissance Squadron, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division Soldiers on Forward Operating Base Normandy, in the Diyala province of Iraq, Christmas morning marked the end of a long, cold night of guard duty.

For many Soldiers it was their first Christmas away from home and family. Most of the Soldiers tried to carry on traditions from home; hanging decorations and playing Christmas music. Some pulled out their Santa hats for this special day, while others opened boxes marked, “do not open until Christmas.”

“I sat around the fire with friends and reminisced.” said Sgt. Bradley Steptoe, C Troop, 6-9 ARS, and a native of Houston.

While each person carried on their own traditions, the dining facility carried the most holiday spirit. The “Blacksmith” Soldiers from D Co., 215th Forward Support Company, along with the workers from Tamimi Tafga (the dining facility contractor) spent days preparing the Christmas meal, the decorations, and the desserts.

“We started making the decorations seven to eight days out, and the baking began three to four days out,” said Staff Sgt. Jose Roman, the First Cook with Co. D, 215th FSC. “Everyone pitched in equally. The Tamimi workers and the Soldiers both worked on the baking and the decorations. It brought us great satisfaction to be able to improve the morale and to give the Soldiers a feeling of home. They deserve it.”

Like elves, the Blacksmith troops worked all through the night on Christmas Eve, but the hard work paid off. “I enjoyed seeing everyone’s reaction when they first came into the dining facility,” said Pfc. Jacques Bruce, Co. D, 215th FSC, and a native of Marysville, Calif. “I spent two days decorating a snowman cake. I wanted it to be just right.” This was Bruce’s first Christmas away from home. “I dealt with it by staying busy with work.”

While she stayed busy, Bruce still kept family close at heart.

“I’d like to tell my family I love them and miss them,” Bruce said, “I’ll be home soon!”

The Christmas dinner lived up to everyone’s expectations, and brought a little piece of home to FOB Normandy. For the Soldiers of 6-9 ARS, the Blacksmith crew made it an unforgettable experience.

The leadership from the 6-9 Armored Reconnaissance Squadron, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division, serves Christmas dinner which was prepared by the cooks from Company D, 215th Forward Support Company, at the Forward Operating Base Normandy dining facility, Dec. 25. (U.S. Army photo by By 1st Lt. Thomas J. Radabaugh, 6-9 Armored Reconnaissance Squadron, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division)

Soldiers from the 6-9 Armored Reconnaissance Squadron, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division, were able to enjoy desserts such as this snowman cake made by Pfc. Jacques Bruce, Company D, 215th Forward Support Company, during their Christmas meal on Forward Operating Base Normandy. “I spent two days decorating a snowman cake. I wanted it to be just right,” said Bruce. (U.S. Army photo by By 1st Lt. Thomas J. Radabaugh, 6-9 Armored Reconnaissance Squadron, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division)

INSURGENT HUNT — A U.S. Army soldier stands outside a fence to provide security as Salman Pak Iraqi police officers conduct a cordon and search operation for insurgents in the Al Jara area of East Baghdad, Iraq, on Dec. 22, 2006. Defense Dept. photo by U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Bronco Suzuki

In Today's News - Friday, December 29, 2006

Quote of the Day
"Honor and shame from no condition rise;
Act well your part, there all the honor lies."

-- Alexander Pope

News of Note
Operation Iraqi Freedom
Officials: Saddam Likely ToBe Hanged Before New Year
Hundreds of Iraqis Apply to Be Saddam's Hangman
Dozens Killed in Iraq; Kidnapped Americans Believed Alive
Bush Wants Peace in Iraq for New Year
Prince Harry Is Headed to Iraq, Girlfriend Says
Lawyer to World Leaders: Stop U.S. From Handing Over Saddam to Iraqis for Execution
Saddam bids family farewell, hanging date unclear - Video
U.S. preparing for Saddam's execution
Soldiers Divided Over Saddam Execution
Bush making "good progress" on new Iraq plan - Video
White House Crafting New Iraq Policy
Soldiers Question Iraq Troop Increase

Operation Enduring Freedom
U.S., Afghan Enlisted Leaders Gain Insight Into Pakistan Military Operations

Other Military News
Nearly 4,000 Troops to Participate in Ford Funeral Activities

Religion of Peace??
India Considers Burqa Ban After Thefts
Somalian Military Enters Mogadishu
Martial law for Somalia after Islamists flee capital - Video
Somali troops enter Mogadishu to cheers

Homegrown Moonbats
It's the 'Pimp' vs. the 'Big Fat Pig' - VIDEO
Worn Out Welcome? Cindy Sheehan No Longer on Tips of Everyone's Tongues

Politics / Government Exclusive: Jerry Ford, Navy Hero
The Navy Career of Gerald Ford
President Bush Declares January 2 as a National Day of Mourning for Gerald Ford
Nation plans 5 days of mourning for Ford
Ford: Nixon friendship affected pardon
Schwarzenegger: Broken but unbowed
Edwards seeks to make 2nd time a charm
Feds OK Food From Cloned Animals
FDA OK may spark 'clone-free' labels
Kennedy targeted on 1963 Ireland trip

In the Courts / Crime and Punishment
Duke DA in Ethics Flap

U.N. News
U.S. to push for UN Myanmar resolution early in 2007

Media in the Media / Bloggers in the News / Watching the Web
"Joe Blow" keeps track of Iraq war dead

Science / Nature
Fish-Carrying Bald Eagle Flies Over NYC
Colorado pounded by second powerful snowstorm
China heralds year of the fluorescent green pig
U.S. climber found dead in China ID'd
Atlanta's giant pandas are picky eaters
Group seeks protection for right whales
Ice mass snaps free from Canada's arctic

Teens Charged After Burning Dead Puppy (What the hell?!?)
Alabama Strippers Staying Semi-Clothed With Spray-On Bikinis
Sex slavery plagues Romania and Bulgaria
For sale on eBay: dream holiday with a stranger

Other News of Note
1 Detained After Russian Airliner Lands After Hijacking Attempt
China defends military rise, says faces threats
New Orleans police charged in post-Katrina shooting

Fox News
Video: Infant Twins Missing in N.C.
Bus Collides With Train in Mexico, Killing 22
Report: Board Didn't OK Apple CEO Steve Jobs' 7.5 Million Stock Options in 2001
GRRR! Hot Women in Hot Water All Too Common
Report: Lindsay Lohan Dances With Strippers at NYC Nightclub
Sienna Miller: A Movie Star Is Born

Reuters: Top News
Eighteen killed in wave of gang attacks in Rio
Muslim pilgrim crowds flock to Mena to begin haj - Video
Gunmen murder former Colombian militia boss
Second "dirty war" witness missing in Argentina
Media, tech cos probe possible high-def DVD hack
Romanian migrants change Spanish town
UnitedHealth, others to extend Medicare drug date
Fans bid farewell to singer James Brown
Stones, Streisand topped concert charts in 2006
Indexes slip as traders sell winners; Apple falls - Video
Chinese yuan hits parity with HK dollar
Nasdaq to close Jan 2 to mark President Ford's death
Dollar steadies after data shows economy stable
New chips may help Linear Tech stock: BusinessWeek
Florida condo market starts to fizzle
Existing home sales edge up in Nov.
Reform drive at GM
Apple stock on wild ride but Jobs job looks safe
AT&T offers more to win OK of BellSouth deal
Existing home sales, consumer confidence up
Verizon plans improved Pacific network after quake
Media, tech cos probe possible high-def DVD hack
End looms for fund manager Miller's record run

AP World News
Gyllenhaals flee fire at Calif. lodge
AT&T compromise may get merger approved
Giants, Zito reach preliminary agreement=
J.C. Penney fires COO Catherine West
Study: Many kids too fat by preschool
Apple shares fall on stock probe worries
Dow falls 9 after upbeat economic data
AP Poll: Bush, Britney get thumbs-down
Apple's iTunes appears back on track
Domestic violence rates down sharply
Colo. AG: Ethics law affects Nobel profs
Pa. man convicted of murdering girl, 15
Blog: To Surge or Not
DT: Noah's Favorite Posts of 2006
Is 2007 Your Year to Transition?
Holiday Fun for Milspouses
Op-Ed Is the General Still Loved?
Training With MiTT Help
MAG-16 Provides Ground Troop Support
Soldiers Prepare for Terrorist Attacks

CENTCOM: News Releases













USJFCOM gets approval to connect U.S., Australian networks - podcast
USJFCOM’s new super computer to enhance joint experimentation, training - podcast
Command surgeon hosts joint task force medical seminar - podcast

Department of Defense
Stability & Security in Iraq Report (pdf)
For Top News Visit DefenseLink

Iraqi Security Forces Increasing Capabilities - Story
Combined Forces Capture 60 Insurgents - Story
Soldiers Rescue Kidnapped Iraqis from Insurgents - Story
Cell Leader Killed in Iraq, Weapons Cache Found - Story
Five Iranians Detained in Recent Baghdad Raids - Story
Soldiers Take Pride in Transferring Supplies - Story
Airmen Celebrate the Holidays in Afghanistan - Story

Chief of Naval Operations Visits USS Boxer
Trainers Tell Gates They're Pleased With Progress
Residents Take Pride in Market Renovations
Soldiers, Mayor Discuss Progress of City Cleanup
Iraqi Police, Coalition Forces Deliver Supplies
Najaf Teaching Hospital Nears Completion
Soldiers Work 24/7 to Keep Supplies Flowing

Afghan Officials, U.S. Troops Open Runway
Chief of Chaplains Brings Support to Region
Buccaneers Return from Afghanistan Tour


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
Multinational Force Iraq
State Dept. Weekly Iraq Report (PDF)
'Boots on the Ground' Audio Archive
Weekly Reconstruction Report (PDF)
Iraq Reconstruction

Afghanistan Update

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

Officials Identify Casualties - Story

Bost/Laskar Ghurian Herat Kabul Qandahar

Ansbach Aschaffenburg Berlin Berlin-Tempelhof Berlin/Schonefeld Bremerhaven
Darmstadt Frankfurt Frankfurt/Main Freiburg/Breisgau Garmisch
Garmisch-Partenkirchen Geilenkirchen Gelnhausen Giessen Kitzingen
Hanau Am Main Heidelberg Mainz Mannheim Nurnberg Stuttgart Trier
Wiesbaden Wurzburg


Agana Agana Heights Agat Andersen AFB Asan Barrigada

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

Kadena Air Base Okinawa Tokyo Yokohama

Baler Radar Site Catanduanes Radar Site Manila

South Korea
Cheju Upper/Radar Chonju Chunchon Inch'on Kunsan Masan Mokp'o
Osan Pusan Seoul Suwon Taegu Taejon Tonghae Radar Site Ulsan Yosu

** If you're deployed, and want to see your location's weather listed here, please email me! **
Today in History
1503 - Battle at Carigliano: Spanish army beats France
1539 - St Jacobs Church burns after being hit by lightning
1541 - Isabella of Poland & King Ferdinand of Austria sign Treaty of Gyalu
1558 - Charles V, German emperor, buried
1708 - Great Alliance occupies Gent
1778 - English troops occupy Savannah, Georgia
1782 - 1st nautical almanac in US published by Samuel Stearns, Boston
1813 - British burn Buffalo New York during the War of 1812
1837 - Canadian militia destroy Caroline, a US steamboat docked at Buffalo; Steam-powered threshing machine patented, Winthrop ME
1841 - King/grand duke Willem II installs Order of Eikenkroon
1845 - Texas admitted as the 28th state
1848 - Gas lights 1st installed at White House (Polk's administration)
1852 - Emma Snodgrass arrested in Boston for wearing pants
1862 - Battle of Chichasaw Bayou: confederate armies defeat General Sherman; Bowling ball invented
1864 - Fire Department celebrates 1st annual ball
1867 - 1st telegraph ticker used by a brokerage house, Groesbeck & Company, New York
1876 - 11 passenger cars crash in a ravine near Ashtabula OH, 92 die
1885 - Gottlieb Daimler patents 1st bike (Germany)
1890 - US 7th Cavalry massacre 200+ captive Sioux at Wounded Knee SD; Indian "war" in the west
1891 - Edison patents "transmission of signals electrically" (radio)
1895 - Dr. L.S. Jameson begins failed raid on Johannesburg
1899 - English fleet brings German postschip Bundesrath up
1900 - General Viljoen surprise attack British garrison to Helvetia
1903 - French Equatorial Africa separates into Gabon, Chad & Ubangi-Shari
1908 - Patent granted for a 4-wheel automobile brake, Clintonville WI
1913 - 1st movie serial, "Adventures of Kathlyn" premieres in Chicago IL
1920 - The Netherlands/Venezuela recover diplomatic relations; Yugoslav government bans communist party
1921 - William Lyon Mackenzie King succeeded Arthur Meighen as Canadian PM
1922 - Revised Netherlands Law proclaims suffrage
1930 - Fred P. Newton completes longest swim ever (1826 miles), when he swam in the Mississippi River from Ford Dam MN, to New Orleans LA
1934 - Japan renounces Washington Naval Treaty of 1922 & London Treaty of 1930
1937 - Pan Am starts San Francisco CA-to-Auckland, New Zealand service; Ireland adopts constitution (Irish Free State becomes Eire)
1938 - Construction on Lake Washington Floating Bridge, Seattle WA, begins
1940 - Germany begins dropping incendiary bombs on London (WWII)
1944 - General Eisenhower's train returns to Versailles
1947 - Ship carrying Jewish immigrants driven away from Palestine
1948 - US State Department announces work on placing objects into Earth orbit; Canada recognizes Israel
1949 - 1st UHF television station operating regular basis (Bridgeport, CT); Hungary nationalized its industries
1952 - 1st transistorized hearing aid offered for sale (Elmsford NY)
1954 - Kingdom of the Netherlands, with Netherlands & Netherlands Antilles as autonomous parts, comes into being
1967 - Turkish-Cypriot government forms in Cyprus
1968 - Israeli commandos destroy 13 Lebanese airplanes
1972 - Eastern Tristar Jumbo Jet crashes near Everglades killing 101; Life magazine ceases publication
1975 - 11 killed, 75 hurt by terrorist bomb at LaGuardia Airport in New York NY
1978 - Shah of Iran asks Shapour Bahktiar to form a civilian government; Spain constitution goes into effect
1983 - US announces withdrawal from UNESCO
1984 - Indian PM Rajiv Gandhi claims victory in parliamentary elections
1989 - Vaclav Havel becomes President of Czechoslovakia
1991 - Boeing 747-200F of China Airlines crash into mountain at Taipei
1992 - Governor Cuomo grants Jean Harris ("Scarsdale Diet" Murderess) clemency
1994 - B737-400 flies into a mountain at Edremit East Turkey, 54 killed; Bangladesh government of Zia resigns
1997 - Russia signs agreement to build a $3B nuclear power plant in China

1586 - Francisco de Moncada, Spanish earl of Osuna/marquis of Aytona
1709 - Elisabeth Petrovna, tsarina of Russia/daughter of Peter the Great
1721 - Madame De Pompadour, mistress of French King Louis the 15th
1743 - Alexander van Bylandt, Dutch military officer
1776 - Charles Macintosh, patented waterproof fabric (Scotland)
1800 - Charles Goodyear, inventor (vulcanization process for rubber)
1808 - Andrew Johnson, (Unionist), 17th U.S. President (1865-69); György Apponyi, Hungarian Parliament member
1809 - William Ewart Gladstone (Liberal) British PM (1868-74, '80-86, '92-94)
1809 - Albert Pike, Confederate Brigadier-General
1831 - Adam Badeau, Union Brevet Brigadier-General
1833 - John James Ingalls (Rep-KS)
1843 - Elisabeth, queen of Romania/poet (Rumänische Dichtungen)
1859 - Venustiano Carranza, President of México (1915-20)
1866 - Joseph Limburg, liberal Second-Member of parliament (1905-19)
1908 - Gerben Sonderman, Dutch test pilot (Fokker)
1917 - Tom Bradley (Mayor-D-LA) (1973-93)
1939 - Maumoon Abdul Gayoom, President of Maldives
1946 - Laffit Pincay, Jr., jockey (Kentucky Derby 1984, Belmont Stakes 1982-84, Swale); Paul Trible (Senator-R-VA)
1970 - Yaroslav Ihorovych Pustovyi, cosmonaut

1141 - Yue Fei, Chinese general, executed
1170 - Thomas Beckett, archbishop, assassinated by 4 knights of King Henry II
1703 - Mustapha II, sultan (Turkey), dies at 39
1821 - Jean-Baptiste Dumonceau de Bergendael, South Netherlands general, dies at 61
1877 - Willem Sassen, Dutch Attorney General on Curaçao (Affair-S), dies
1890 - Big Foot, Sioux Indian chief, dies at Wounded Knee
1933 - Joh Georghe Duca, premier of Romania, murdered
1947 - Joseph Cuvelier, Belgian historian/general, dies at 78
1986 - [Maurice] Harold Macmillan, former British PM (1957-63), dies in Sussex, England, at 92
1995 - Madeleine Barot, resistance heroine, dies at 86; Nello Celio, President of Switzerland (1972), dies at 81
1996 - Daniel Raphaeautl Mayer, journalist/resistance leader, dies at 86

Reported Missing in Action
Bennett, Harold G., US Army (AR); DIC June, 1965 (taken with Crafts)

Crafts, Charles, US Army (ME); released February, 1967 - alive as of 1998

Hill, Arthur S., Jr., USN (CA); F4B shot down (bombardier/navigator, w/Rawsthorne) - presumed KIA/BNR

Rawsthorne, Edgar A., USN CA); F4B shot down (pilot, w/Hill) - presumed KIA/BNR

The following USAF personnel reported Missing after radio contact was lost with their C130E:

Clapper, Gean P. (PA); crew

Claxton, Charles P. (IL); pilot

Darcy, Edward J. (ME); crew

Eckley, Wayne A. (OR); crew

Fisher, Donald E. (OR); crew

McCrary, Jack, (TN); crew

Osborne, Edwin N., Jr. (FL); pilot

Parker, Frank C. III (PA); crew

Van Buren, Gerald G. (OH); pilot

Wenaas, Gordon J. (MD); crew

Williams, James R. (NC); crew

The following USAF personnel reported Missing when their A26A was shot down:
Cruz, Carlos R., (PR); pilot - remains ID'd October, 1995

Foster, Paul L., (TN); crew - remains ID'd October, 1995

Potter, William J., Jr., (PA); co-pilot - remains ID'd October, 1995

Scherdin, Robert F., US Army SF (NJ); severely wounded when left