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Wednesday, April 04, 2007


"I announce that the great people of Iran and the Islamic Republic, even having legal rights to try these military people, in honor of the prophet's birthday, will be freed as a gift to the people of the United Kingdom." -- Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad

Brits to Go Free

Ahmadinejad 'pardons' 15 seized British troops - VIDEO

Don't get me wrong - I'm glad to see these Heroes released (but I won't really believe it until I hear that they're actually on British soil)...

...But OF COURSE he is releasing them - because the world gave him exactly what he wanted - center stage, and the ability to show the lunatic extremists how to intimidate a powerful Western nation.

Look at the display today - roses, shaking're talking about a nation who deals with people who speak out by filleting their tongues out of their mouths...or worse. A nation from which came a fatwah approving the use of nuclear weapons against his enemy. Think of the reaction if the Pope gave a blessing to those who nuked Muslims!! This was all a deranged, doomsday-loving megalomaniac's stunt...put on for a world that allowed him to do it.

If Britain hadn't entertained negotiations, if the world had condemned their actions as an act of war, if everyone had refused to entertain their ludicrous allegations of the Brits having crossed into Iranian waters, do you think these Heroes would be free? Although I am thrilled for these Heroes and their families, I fear that the success of this particular nation taking hostages to prove a point may have grave implications for the future.

UPDATE: Be sure to check out Mr. Bob's take on this - he's got a couple of questions about British Code of Conduct training...over at The Daily Blogster

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ON PATROL — U.S. Army Pvt. Todd Thomas walks past a graffitti-covered wall during a patrol in the Graya'at area of Baghdad's Adhamiyah District, April 1, 2007. U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Mike Pryor

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VA Searching for Last Doughboys of World War I - Only Four Believed Still Alive

WASHINGTON (April 4, 2007) -- With the number of known living American veterans of World War I now standing at four, the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) is seeking public assistance in determining whether others are still alive.

"These veterans have earned the gratitude and respect of the nation," said Secretary of Veterans Affairs Jim Nicholson. "We are coming to the end of a generation that helped bring the United States to the center of the international arena."

Nicholson noted that VA usually knows about the identity and location of veterans only after they come to the Department for benefits. None of the four known surviving World War I veterans has been on the VA benefits rolls.

The Secretary asks members of the general public who know of a surviving World War I veteran to contact VA. To qualify as a World War I veteran, someone must have been on active duty between April 6, 1917 and Nov. 11, 1918. VA is also looking for surviving Americans who served in the armed forces of allied nations.

Information about survivors can be e-mailed to; faxed to 202-273-6702, or mailed to the Office of Public Affairs, Department of Veterans Affairs (80), 810 Vermont Ave., NW, Washington, DC 20420.

About 4.7 million men and women served in the U.S. armed forces during World War I. About 53,000 died in combat, with another 204,000 wounded.

The four known surviving World War I veterans are John Babcock, 102, from Puget Sound, Wash.; Frank Buckles, 106, Charles Town, W.Va.; Russell Coffey, 108, North Baltimore, Ohio; and Harry Landis, 107, Sun City Center, Fla.

Babcock is an American who served in the Canadian Army. The other three survivors were in the U.S. Army.

Recent VA News Releases:
To view and download VA news release, please visit the following Internet address:

H/T to Shelle


Michael Yon took this photo of mementos found inside a Christian college in Baghdad last week.

Be sure to visit his site today for a new dispatch - RUBS #3, and make sure to check back for the upcoming dispatch "Desires of the Human Heart"

Michael Yon's photos are posted with permission - please do not repost or republish without same.

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In Today's News - Wednesday, April 4, 2007

Quote of the Day
"It appears we have appointed our worst generals to command forces,
and our most gifted and brilliant to edit newspapers!
In fact, I discovered by reading newspapers that these editor/geniuses
plainly saw all my strategic defects from the start,
yet failed to inform me until it was too late.
Accordingly, I'm readily willing to yield my command
to these obviously superior intellects,
and I'll, in turn, do my best for the Cause
by writing editorials - after the fact."

-- Robert E. Lee, 1863
(thanks to Mike S. for the quote suggestion)

News of Note
Operation Iraqi Freedom
U.S. sees more evidence of Iran's meddling in Iraq - Video
Expat film maker charts Baghdad's dying past
Indonesia floats Muslim solution to Iraq

Homeland Security / War on Terror / Hamas-Hezbollah Happenings
Palestinian Kids' Terror Textbook - PHOTOS
Bush success vs. al Qaeda breeds long-term worries

Other Military News
Cadet Thanks Rescuers After Fall From Cruise
Walter Reed Using 3-D

Worldwide Wackos
Whose Move in Hostage Crisis?
Iraqi Government Seeks Release of Iranians Detained by U.S. Military
Britain proposes direct talks on dispute with Iran - Video
Iran dailies see British plot in captives saga - Video
Report: Iran Gets Access to Terror Suspects in Iraq

Politics / Government
Bush to Congress: Stop 'Undercutting' Troops
Bush, Democrats clash over Iraq war funding - Video
Pelosi arrives in Syria, tours old Damascus - Video
Bush: Pelosi visit to Syria sends "mixed signals" - Video
Clinton urges Dems to press Bush on Iraq
Pentagon's top official on Asian affairs resigns
U.S. agents visit Ethiopian secret jails

In the Courts / Crime and Punishment / Law and Order
Troubled Marriage Turns Tragic - Mom's screams lead cops to scene
Woman Slain in Murder-Suicide Was Trying to Avoid Ex
One Dead in Atlanta CNN Center Shooting
No Charges in Deadly Water-Drinking Contest
Kansas City Cops Hunt for 2 Missing Girls
Arrest Made in Case of Missing 911 Operator
Mr. Universe Arrested for Assault While in Insulin Shock
Man Jailed for Having Deadly TB
Nursing home hostage standoff ends

U.N. News
U.N. council begins considering Kosovo independence
U.N. envoy to Middle East to step down

Media in the Media / Bloggers in the News / Watching the Web
U.S. Journalist Freed After 226 Days in Jail

Science / Medicine / Technology
New Mammogram Guidelines for Women
Hormone therapy safe for younger women: study
Exercise may fend off arthritis in women

Mother Nature
Hurricane Warning! (or, Lots of Wind?)
Panda Porn Fails; Zoo Turns to Insemination
Leading Storm Forecaster Predicts 17 Named Storms in Atlantic This Year
CO2 action to take years despite court ruling
Trawling, industry threaten India turtle nesting
Solomons declares disaster as quake toll hits 28 - Video
Prehistoric whale found in inland Italy
Apes to name neighboring trumpeter swans

'I Snorted My Father' (Keith Richards)
Couple Fights to Name Baby Girl 'Metallica'
41-Year-Old Virgin Spends $40,000 to Find a Mate
Prisoner fights her way to freedom?
Woman loses battle to turn dead dad into diamond
Even Cowgirls Hit the Booze

Other News of Note
Textbook Case of Religion - Texas debates use of Bible in public schools
FCC: 'No' to Cell Phones on Airplanes
Jackson Hewitt Stores Accused of Tax Fraud
Flight Diverted After Passenger Punches Pilot
Pet owners making own dog and cat food

Fox News
Runaway Train: Speed Record Set PHOTOS
NEWS IN PICTURES: Halle Smooches Star
Pop Tarts: Jennifer Lopez Cuts Ties With J.Lo
Paternity Results Expected Next Tuesday in Anna Nicole Smith Case

Reuters: Top News
U.S. trade deals raising drug prices abroad: Oxfam
Ukraine leader insists on new poll, PM to put case - Video
Giant sunflower, hot wax are climate-change art - Video
British hacker loses U.S. extradition appeal
EU says record firms force iTunes to limit access
Mortgage crisis calls American Dream into question
Paternity of Anna Nicole's child still a mystery
Film critic Ebert plans "return to action"
Oil falls over $1 as Iran diplomacy gathers pace
Falling oil, rising home sales spark rally
Global stock funds gain $1 bln each last week
Investors drop bonds for stocks as fears ease
Nasdaq plans to launch China equities index
Volatility to remain in vogue
Fannie move may benefit home buyers
GM U.S. March sales down 7.7 percent
Pending home sales rise narrowly
Texas lawmakers to debate bills affecting TXU sale
Tribune swaps may face further weakness
Nikko holder to join in tendering above Citi bid
Treasury's Paulson omitted small fund holding

AP World News
Toyota's sales jump while GM, Ford fall
Lady Vols reach summit, win NCAA title
Sabres win to wrap up top seed in East
Peavy upstages both Barrys as Padres win
Altman changes mind, will leave Arkansas
Beilein says he's taking Michigan job
Stocks surge on positive housing report
Ex-Spice Girl gives birth to daughter
Poll: Should Bush Veto War Bills?
Def Tech: The End of Friendly Fire?
Op-ed: Give Congress Some Credit
Blog: Talibanistan is Expanding
Slideshow: The Green Berets
Naming Kids After War Heroes
The New Warfighter's Forum

CENTCOM: News Releases

USJFCOM signs cooperative research and development agreement with Northrop Grumman - podcast
USJFCOM gears up for Noble Resolve - podcast
Personnel recovery capability continues process of fielding to the warfighter - podcast

Delay in War Funds Will Hurt Readiness, Morale - Story
Remarks: Bush on the Emergency Supplemental
AAFES's 'Combat Retail' Marks Fourth Year - Story
Officials Announce Major Unit Rotations for Iraq - Story
Walter Reed's Top NCO Gets Back to Basics - Story
Troops Embark on ‘Why We Serve’ Mission - Story

More Headline News
Iraqis, Coalition Work Together to Secure Tal Afar
Hicks Case Good Start for Military Commissions

Military News
Bush Honors Navy Midshipmen for Gridiron Glory
Last Surviving Female World War I Veteran Dies
U.S. Marines Thank Lebanese Military for Efforts

War on Terror
13 Terrorists Killed In Iraq - Story
Soldier, Marine Die in Iraq
CENTCOM Chief Visits Leaders
Nine Soldiers, Marine Die in Iraq

America Supports You
Franchise Helps Injured Troops - Story
Sports Clinic a Success
Accident Claims Volunteer
Tour Entertains the Troops

Soldiers Test New Vehicles
TV Show Features "FutureWeapons"
Air Force to Develop New Engine
Army Tests Parachute System

Face of Defense
Air Force Surgeon Honored - Story
Wounded Soldier Re-enlists
Female Soldiers Make History
Marine Strives to Excel

Afghan Government, Coalition Aid Flood Victims - Story
Artillery Soldiers Tackle New Mission in Qadisiyh - Story
Multilateral Exercise Improves Maritime Security - Story
U.S., Coalition Servicemembers Climb 'The Ghar' - Story

Officials Sign Agreement to Build New Hospital
Iraqi, U.S. Soldiers Bring Smiles to Schools
Soldiers Focus Inward at Freedom Rest Retreat
Black Jack Performs Medical Mission in Baghdad

Female Aviators Pilot into Strong Career
Team Rebuilds Afghanistan One School at a Time
Combat Engineers Turn Dwellings into Homes

Soldiers Keep Promise, Check on Injured Girl
Postal Specialists Deal With Limited Space
Security Company Stands Watch in Djibouti
Forecasts, Updates Assist in Naval Planning


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
'Boots on the Ground' Audio Archive
Weekly Reconstruction Report (PDF)
Iraq Reconstruction

Afghanistan Update

Fact Sheet: Budget Request
Fact Sheet: Terror Plots Disrupted
Waging and Winning the War on Terror
Terrorism Timeline
Terrorism Knowledge Base

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

Today in History
0896 - Formosus ends his reign as Catholic Pope
1081 - Alexius I Comnenus occupies Byzantine throne
1460 - University of Basle in Swizerland forms
1541 - Ignatius of Loyola becomes 1st superior-General of the Jesuits
1558 - Czar Ivan IV gives parts of North-Russia to fur traders
1581 - Francis Drake completes circumnavigation of the world and is knighted
1588 - Christian IV succeeds Frederik II as King of Denmark
1655 - Battle at Postage Farina - Tunis English fleet beats Barbarian pirates
1660 - English King Charles II ends Declaration of Breda (freedom of religion)
1687 - English King James II orders his Declaration of Indulgence read in church
1716 - Russian & Prussian troops occupy Wismar
1818 - Congress decided US flag is 13 red & white stripes & 20 stars
1828 - Casparus van Wooden patents chocolate milk powder (Amsterdam)
1832 - Charles Darwin aboard HMS Beagle reaches Rio de Janeiro
1850 - City of Los Angeles incorporated
1862 - Battle of Yorktown begins; US begins Peninsular Campaign aimed at capturing Richmond
1864 - Skirmish at Elkin's Ford (Little Missouri River), Arkansas
1865 - Lee's army arrives at Amelia Courthouse
1870 - Golden Gate Park established by City Order #800
1887 - Susanna Medora Salter elected 1st US woman mayor (Argonia KS)
1896 - Announcement of Gold in the Yukon
1900 - Assassination attempt on prince of Wales/King Edward VII; British garrison of Reddersberg surrenders to Boer General De Wet
1905 - Earthquake in Kangra India, kills 370,000
1911 - Hugh Chalmers, automaker, suggests idea of baseball MVP
1912 - Chinese republic proclaimed in Tibet; Army fires on striking mine workers at Lena-gold fields, Siberia
1916 - US Senate agrees (82-6) to participate in WWI
1918 - Battle of Somme ends; Food riot in Amsterdam
1920 - Arabs attack Jews in Jerusalem
1926 - Greek dictator Theodorus Pangalos elected president
1932 - Vitamin C 1st isolated, C.C. King, University of Pittsburgh
1933 - US Dirigible Akron crashes off coast of New Jersey, 73 die
1939 - Faisal II ascends to throne of Iraq
1941 - German troops conquer Banghazi
1944 - British troops capture Addis Ababa, Ethiopia; De Gaulle forms new regime in exile, with communists
1945 - Hungary liberated from Nazi occupation (National Liberation Day); US forces liberated the Nazi death camp Ohrdruf in Germany; US tanks/infantry conquer Bielefeld
1947 - Largest group of sunspots on record; UN's International Civil Aviation Organization established
1948 - 84-year-old Connie Mack challenges 78-year-old Clark Griffith to a race from home to 1st base; it ends in a tie
1949 - North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) treaty signed (Washington, DC); Israel & Jordan sign armistice agreement
1951 - Dutch Prince Bernhard visits Juan & Eva Perón in Buenos Aires, Argentina
1955 - British government signs military treaty with Iraq
1958 - 1st march against nuclear weapons (Aldermaston, England)
1960 - Senegal declares independence from France
1966 - US performs nuclear test at Nevada Test Site
1967 - Dutch De Young government forms; Marines chase "Nozems" out of Amsterdam Central Station
1968 - Apollo 6 launched atop Saturn V; unmanned
1971 - Marine clay under houses liquifies, 31 die (St-Jean-Vianney Québec)
1972 - 1st electric power plant fueled by garbage begins operating
1974 - Hank Aaron ties Babe Ruth's home-run record by hitting his 714th
1975 - USAF transport carrying orphans from Saigon crashes killing 155
1976 - Seni Pramoj's Democratic Party wins elections in Thailand
1979 - Jane M. Byrne (D), elected 1st woman mayor of Chicago, IL
1983 - 6th space shuttle mission, Challenger 1 launched
1984 - Winston Smith in Orwell's "1984" begins his secret diary
1992 - Jury deliberations begin in the Noriega case; Sali Berisha becomes president/Alexander Meksi premier of Albania
1994 - KLM Saab 340B crashes at Schiphol, 3 killed; Netscape Communications founded as Mosaic Communications
1997 - DMSP Titan 2 launched; STS 83 (Columbia 22), launches

0188 - Caracalla [Marcus Aureiius Antoniius] Roman emperor (211-17)
1786 - John Franklin, British explorer (Arctic)
1792 - Thaddeus Stevens, US Radical Republican congressional leader (Representative)
1814 - John Blair Smith Todd, Union Brigadier General
1817 - John Wilson Sprague, Union Brevet Major General
1820 - Charles Devens, Jr., Union Brevet Major General
1823 - Robert Byington Mitchell, Union Brigadier General
1826 - Zénobe Théophile Gramme, inventor (electric motor)
1831 - Edward Cary Walthall Brigadier General (Confederate Army), died in 1898
1870 - George A. Smith, 8th president of Mormon church
1881 - Charles Funk Ohio, Encylopediest (Funk & Wagnalls)
1884 - Isoroku Yamamoto, Admiral/supreme commander of Japanese fleet
1888 - Tris Speaker, baseball great
1906 - John Cameron Swayze, newscaster (Timex, Hindenberg)
1914 - Sir John Beith British diplomat
1917 - Joseph Ortiz, French-Algerian extremist (barricade uprising)
1921 - Willem J. "Wim" the Villiers, South Africa minister of Administration
1927 - Bob Stump (Representative-Republican-AZ)
1929 - William F. Clinger, Jr. (Representative-Republican-PA)
1931 - Denis Frank Owen, Natural historian; Harold L. Volkmer (Representative-Democrat-MO)
1932 - Richard G. Lugar (Senator-Republican-IN)
1933 - Fritz Bolkestein, Dutch CEO (Shell)/Minister of Defense (VVD)
1937 - J. Hans van den Doel, economist/Dutch MP (PvdA)
1938 - A. Bartlett Giamatti, president of Yale/baseball commish (1989)
1940 - Vladimir Timofeyevich Isakov, Russian cosmonaut
1943 - Ian Robertson, British museum director (National Army Museum)
1956 - Lamen Khalifa Fhimah Suk Giuma, Libyan terrorist bomber (Pan Am Flight 103)
1965 - Robert Downey Jr New York NY, comedian/actor (Larry Paul-Ally McBeal, Saturday Night Live, Less than Zero, Back to School)

0397 - Ambrosius, Governor of Liguria/bishop of Milan (374-97)/saint
0896 - Formosus, Pope (891-96), dies
1229 - Hugo van Pierrepont, bishop of Liege
1284 - Alfonso X "El Sabio," King of Castilië/León (1252-84), at 62
1292 - Nicholas IV [Girolamo Masci], Pope (1288-92)
1393 - Floris van Wevelinkhoven, bishop of Utrecht
1406 - Robert III, King of Scotland (1390-1406)
1585 - Caspar de Robles Spanish viceroy of Frisia, at about 57
1588 - Frederik II, King of Denmark/Norway (1559-88), at 53
1714 - Karel Duke of Berry/French heir to the throne
1817 - André Masséna Duc de Rivoli, soldier; Prince d'Essing
1841 - William Henry Harrison, 1st US President to die in office, at 68
1844 - Charles Bulfinch, 1st US pro architect (Massachusetts State House), at 80
1900 - Edward VII, King, assassinated
1919 - William Crookes, English chemist/physicist (Crookes-pipe), at 86
1923 - L. Martov [Joulij O. Tsederbaum], Russian revolutionary, at 49
1929 - Karl Friedrich Benz, automobile engineer (Mercedes), at 84
1932 - Wilhelm Ostwald, physical chemist (Nobel 1909)
1939 - Ghazi I, King of Iraq (19??-39), in a car accident
1953 - Carol II, King of Romania (1930-40), at 59
1968 - Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr., civil rights leader, assassinated in Memphis at 39
1972 - Adam Clayton Powell, Jr. (Representative-Democrat-NY), at 63
1979 - Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto, former Pakistani President, hanged in Pakistan at 51
1991 - John Heinz (Senator-Republican-PA), in a plane crash at 52
1996 - Carl Burton Stokes, politician

Reported Missing in Action
The following personnel reported Missing during strike against the Thanh Hoa Bridge:
Draeger, Walter F., Jr., USAF (WI); A1H shot down

Harris, Carlyle S., USAF (MD): F105D shot down, released by DRV February, 1973 - retired as a Colonel - alive and well as of 1998

Magnusson, James A., Jr., USAF (MA); F105D shot down

Martin, David Earl, USN (FL); F4B shot down over water (w/Szeyller) - KIA/BNR

Szeyller, Edward Philip, USN (PA); F4B shot down over water (w/Martin) - KIA/BNR

Trivelpiece, Steve M., US Army (CA); KIA/BNR

Duffy, John E., USAF (ME); O2 crashed - remains returend May, 1993 - ID'd March, 1996

Young, Jeffery, J., US Army (IN); KIA/BNR

Smith, Joseph S., USAF (IL); F100D shot down - KIA / BNR

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