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Cooley Hurd

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Member since: 2002
Number of posts: 24,662

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Saturday. 10 years. Rachel Corrie. April 10, 1979 – March 16, 2003


On March 16, 2003 the IDF was engaged in an operation involving the demolition of Palestinian houses in a military zone between the Rafah refugee camp and the Egyptian border called Philadelphi Route. Corrie was part of a group of three British and four American ISM activists attempting to disrupt the IDF operation. Corrie placed herself in the path of a Caterpillar D9R armored bulldozer in the area and was fatally injured. After she was injured she was taken by a Red Crescent ambulance to the Palestinian Najar hospital, arriving at the emergency room at 5:05 pm still alive but near death. At 5:20 pm she was declared dead.

The events surrounding Corrie's death are disputed. Eyewitnesses said that the Israeli soldier operating the bulldozer deliberately ran Corrie over while she was acting as a human shield to prevent the demolition of the home of local pharmacist Samir Nasrallah. They said she was between the bulldozer and a wall near Nasrallah's home, in which ISM activists had spent the night several times. On the other hand an IDF officer testified in court that on that day they were only clearing "vegetation and rubble" and that no houses were slated for demolition. However, ISM activist Richard Purssell testified, "hey began demolishing one house. We gathered around and called out to them and went into the house, so they backed out. During the entire time they knew who we were and what we were doing, because they didn't shoot at us. We stood in their way and shouted. There were about eight of us in an area about 70 square meters. Suddenly, we saw they turned to a house they had started to demolish before, and I saw Rachel standing in the way of the front bulldozer." Human-rights activists and Palestinians say that the demolitions had also been accompanied by gunfire from Israeli snipers. The director of Rafah's hospital, Dr. Ali Moussa said that 240 Palestinians, including 78 children, had been killed. "Every night there is shooting at houses in which children are sleeping, without any attacks from Palestinians."

The major points of dispute are whether the bulldozer operator saw Corrie and whether her injuries were caused by being crushed under the blade or by the mound of debris the bulldozer was pushing. An IDF spokesman has acknowledged that Israeli army regulations normally require that the operators of the armored personnel carriers (APCs) that accompany bulldozers are responsible for directing the operators towards their targets because the Caterpillar D9 bulldozers have a restricted field of vision with several blind spots. In a statement issued the day after Corrie's death, however, the ISM said, "hen the bulldozer refused to stop or turn aside she climbed up onto the mound of dirt and rubble being gathered in front of it ... to look directly at the operator who kept on advancing."

The IDF produced a video about Corrie's death that includes footage taken from inside the cockpit of a D9. The video makes a "credible case", wrote Joshua Hammer in Mother Jones, that "the operators, peering out through narrow, double-glazed, bulletproof windows, their view obscured behind pistons and the giant scooper, might not have seen Corrie kneeling in front of them". Corrie's father, Craig Corrie has said "I know there's stuff you can't see out of the double glass windows." But he has denied that as a valid excuse for the death of his daughter, saying "you're responsible for knowing what's in front of your blade." Based on his experience of overseeing work with bulldozers similar to the D9 while serving as a combat engineer in Vietnam he said: "It's a no brainer that this was gross negligence", adding "they had three months to figure out how to deal with the activists that were there." Eye witness Tom Dale commenting on the 2012 verdict said: "Whatever one thinks about the visibility from a D9 bulldozer, it is inconceivable that at some point the driver did not see her, given the distance from which he approached, while she stood, unmoving, in front of it. As I told the court, just before she was crushed, Rachel briefly stood on top of the rolling mound of earth which had gathered in front of the bulldozer: her head was above the level of the blade, and just a few meters from the driver."

In April 2011, during the trial of the civil suit brought by Corrie's parents, an IDF officer testified that Corrie and other activists had spent "hours" trying to block the bulldozers under his command. He went on to say that it was "a war zone where Palestinian militants used abandoned homes as firing positions" and exploited foreign activists for cover. He shouted over a megaphone for the activists to leave, tried to use tear gas to disperse them and moved his troops several times. "To my regret, after the eighth time, (Corrie) hid behind an earth embankment. The D9 operator didn't see her. She thought he saw her," he said.

An infantry major later testified that the activists were endangering troops and had ignored numerous warnings to leave the area. Between September 2000 and the date of Corrie's death Israeli forces in the area had been subjected to 1,400 attacks involving gunfire, 150 involving explosive devices, 200 involving anti-tank rockets, and 6,000 involving hand grenades or mortar fire. Israeli military officials gave evidence in court stating that Corrie and other activists were legitimate military targets

Tomorrow on the Ed Show - the person who filmed the "47%" video!!!

In person!!! Just announced!!

White smoke!!!!

Oops. False alarm...

CNN Breaking: 60,000 federal workers responsible for securing borders to be furloughed

60,000 federal workers responsible for securing borders have been told they will face furloughs due to spending cuts.


(CNN) -- The union representing Customs and Border Protection employees sent out a press release Thursday saying furlough notices are going out to all 24,000 CBP employees it represents.

This comes as the forced budget cuts that went into effect less than a week ago are resulting in "lengthening lines of passenger and commercial traffic at the nation's ports of entry," the release said. The National Treasury Employees Union said it has begun formal talks with CBP over furlough notices. The notices of as many as 14 unpaid furlough days are expected to affect managers and supervisors, as well as the workers the union represents.

Even though I've missed his 70th birthday by 4 days, here's a tribute to George Harrison...

Heads up - Ed Show going after Woodward with FACTS!

Maddow's "Hubris" wins time slot in 25-54 demo


Maddow: 432
Hannity: 335
Cooper: 233

Jerry Nachman (Conservative) was the Editor-in-Chief of MSNBC in 2003...

...back then, there was NOTHING Liberal about MSNBC besides Phil Donohue (at this point, KO had come and gone and had yet to come back again). Nachman hired him to get ratings - he did, but but Nachman and his overlords (GE) had a bigger investment to be concerned about.... defense contracts. To protect this investment, they agreed to push the War (see Ashleigh Banfield's speech ).

Needless to say, Nachman's long dead and there's new management at MSNBC. If you want to give the new management hell over what the old boss did, so be it. But, I think it's unfair...

(in response to this thread: http://www.democraticunderground.com/10022399060 )

I just LOVE this scene! (Re "Harry Reid - this is how it's done!")

Longtime NBC Foreign Correspondent Tom Aspell Dead at 62


Tom Aspell, a veteran foreign correspondent for NBC News, died Monday after a two-year battle with lung cancer. He was 62 years old.

After beginning his career as a scriptwriter and cameraman with Visnews in 1970, Aspell joined NBC News in 1985 as a producer based in Cyprus.

He later became a foreign correspondent, and in this role covered events ranging from the fall of Saigon and the toppling of Saddam Hussein, to the Bosnian War, Beirut and Baghdad — all the while displaying what NBC's Brian Williams described as “an intense brand of cool under fire.”

"From Southeast Asia to the Middle East… to the Balkans … to Afghanistan, Iraq, Iran and dozens of other 'hot spots,' Aspell made his mark on behalf of NBC News for 28 years," said NBC News President Steve Capus.

Crossy gently, Tom. No more deadlines, I suppose....
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