Post: Iraqi Reporter Killed in Controversial ‘Mosque’ Raid

Kamal Manahi AnbarA 28-year-old reporter, enrolled in the London-based Institute for War and Peace Reporting was one of the casualities of the March 26th raid by Iraqi and U.S. troops that killed at least 16.

“All that he was carrying was a notebook,” a friend of the victim, Kamal Manahi Anbar, told the Washington Post.

The Pentagon reported that insurgents were killed and captured in the raid and U.S. military photos show several armed victims, while al-Iraqiya television aired photographs of unarmed civilians slain at a mosque.

Jonathan Finer and Naseer Nouri’s report on A12 of Saturday’s Post is the most complete account of the raid and is a necessary follow-up read for everyone who, like myself, was utterly confused by the conflicting reports of the attack.

###

Also of note in the much-ignored Saturday papers, is this article in the Los Angeles Times by H.G. Reza. The story sucks you in the moment you read this deck:

The airport worker enjoyed Hollywood’s club scene. His hand was found chained to the steering wheel in Iraq’s deadliest attack.

Meanwhile… in Afghanistan

Several dozen Taliban were reportedly killed on Friday by Afghan and U.S. troops. Seeing as this hasn’t become a news item yet in the States begs the question… exactly HOW MANY Taliban are on the loose if death to 40-some isn’t newsworthy?

From the Beeb:

Some 41 Taleban fighters and six policemen have been killed in a battle in southern Afghanistan, a governor in the region has said.

OK, now I see it here on the Reuters wire, but as has been obvious for months, and has seen coverage of its own this week, is the absence of Afghanistan reporting in the U.S. press.

L.A. Times staff writer Paul Watson, based in Afghanistan, broke a huge story Monday, reporting that “memory sticks” or “flash drives” containing sensitive information are for sale at flea markets “no more than 200 yards from a U.S. base.” NBC confirmed the story, but not until Thursday, and on Saturday AP is picking it up.

We know that the security situation in Iraq precludes on the ground coverage from most media outlets. Is it the same in Afghanistan?

It seems Iraq only gets worse… we’re left hoping that Afghanistan will only get better, but, as E&P and others cry out: where da media at?

Donate to Cheney’s Tax Re-fund by Monday

Dick Cheney can Fuck HimselfYeah, file your taxes now, so Shooter Cheney doesn’t have to hold out on his nearly $2 MILLION refund. What, did he have Ken Lay’s accountant?

Andrea Seabrook reports on NPR’s Mixed Signals blog:

Vice President Cheney and his wife Lynne brought in a gross household income of $8,819,006. After they gave a lot — and I mean a lot — of that to charity, the family’s taxable income was $1,961,157. But because so much cash went through their accounts, the IRS withheld a whole lot more than the Cheneys owe — the result being, and I hope you’re sitting down here, a roughly $1.9 million tax refund.

I mean, I did feel for the Vice President in Overcharge just a little when his company Halliburton couldn’t get away with swindling the U.S. military for several hundred million…. But how on earth can the man in the bunker possibly get money back on that ginormous income?

We got till the 17th this year… so go, go, and get yr refund on!

Evidence of AT&T Secret ‘Spy’ Room Mounts

The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) filed suit earlier this year against AT&T for their collaboration in invading privace by data-mining and providing wiretaps for the National Security Agency.

Last week, Wired broke the news of an affidavit filed by Mark Klein, a former AT&T employee. Klein describes a shady scenario in which the NSA came in to oversee a special hire.

“I learned that the person whom the NSA interviewed for the secret job was the person working to install equipment in this room,” Klein wrote. “The regular technician work force was not allowed in the room.”

He later observed that fiber optic cables wired to the “secret room” were piped into AT&T’s circuits.

While the president may or may not have the constitutional authority to demand domestic wiretaps, the involvement of a public corporation willingly cooperating without a warrant would seem to be a violation.

Michael Hiltzik writes in his L.A. Times weblog:

The NSA’s vacuuming of terabytes of personal data from AT&T’s network is an example of the government aggressively taking advantage of a tattered fabric of privacy protection.

Klein may seem a hero to some, for stepping forward with a smoking gun that has At&T scrambling to ask the judge to return all of their “highly classified” NSA-related documents. But as Martin McKeay reminds, Klein’s actions will be viewed by some as a criminal disclosure of government secrets.

Either way, this story has exploded with this new twist and is now receiving broad coverage.

Klein may be just a disgruntled former employee, but would he really take such a risk if he didn’t have the truth on his side?

Ars Technica has an in-depth look at the technology involved in this case and the Narus STA 6400, which apparently can literally vacuum data from the internet.

Comedy Central Censors Muhammad Cartoon

Wednesday, on South Park’s Cartoon Wars II episode, Comedy Central — for the first time in South Park’s eight-year history — found a reason to censor writer/creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone.

According to Volokh, the scene (as broadcast) went like this:

Kyle lectures the head of FOX about the importance of free speech:

….Do the right thing, Mr. President. . . .If you don’t show Mohammed, then you’ve made a distinction between what is OK to make fun of and what isn’t. Either it’s all OK or none of it is. Do the right thing.”

At the point in the South Park episode where Mohammed is about to be shown handing a football helmet (with a salmon on top of it) to the Family Guy, the screen shows these words:

“In this shot, Mohammed hands a football helmet to Family Guy.”

The next screen is black with white type: “Comedy Central has refused to broadcast an image of Mohammed on their network.”

Instead of flashing a few frames of Muhammad just standing there, as the Washington Post reports:

The comedy _ in an episode aired during Holy Week for Christians _ instead featured an image of Jesus Christ defecating on President Bush and the American flag.

Below is a [forged?] still from the censored scene:

National Review’s Media Blog has contacted the network, which is owned by a division of MTV Networks, and they stand by the action, as is evident by the following statement:

“In light of recent world events, we feel we made the right decision.”

Further investigation reveals that a 2001 episode of South Park, which has run several times since, does show Muhammad.

Click on to watch a good 10 minutes of video from Wednesday’s South Park thanks to The Malcontent.

UPDATE: Jim Lindgren posted details of his interview with South Park Executive Producer Anne Garefino tonight.

?We wanted everyone to understand how strongly we felt about this,? said Garefino. Although the decision to omit Mohammed was not theirs, they wanted the language of the censorship disclosure to be their own.