Now...for that news roundup...
The Army is having problems and not just with recruiting and retention. Desertions are up 80% since 2003, when the biggest deserter of them all decided that it was God talking to him and not cocaine-induced dementia that made him hear those voices that told him invading Iraq was a stellar notion. Desertion rates are at their highest level since 1980.
Marine Lt. Colonel Jeffrey Chessani today became the highest ranking officer to face a combat-related court martial in over 30 years. He is charged with Violation of a Lawful Order and Deriliction of Duty, accused of mishandling the fallout from the 19 November 2005 massacre of civilians in Haditha. It was decided that Chessani should face trial after a hearing officer was scathing in his condemnation of the officer for failing to immediately go to the scene and initiate an investigation.
Two-plus years after Hurricane Katrina crystallized the Bush kleptocracy, Mississippi (Governor: Haley Barbour, former RNC head) is in violation of federal guidelines that state half of all federal aid for storm recovery be distributed to low income residents. Instead of the mandated half, poor residents have received only about 10% of the aid disbursed to date and affluent residents ahve received the other 90%. Mississippi - again, governed by Haley Barbour - is the only state that the feds waived the rules for.
The Senate Republicans succeeded in temporarily cutting off funding for the Iraq misadventure. The House last week approved $50 billion in war funding, but attached a timeline for withdrawal. The Senate failed to pass the legislation. Pelosi says they will not consider another funding package this year. John Aravosis at AMERICAblog summed it up best:
So in a nutshell, the Democrats were ready to give George Bush $50 billion for Iraq today and the Republicans killed it because they don't want to provide any oversight whatsoever. The Republicans think the war in Iraq is going great, and to prove it they just took $50 billion away from our troops.But apparently the faithless, feckless fools of the GOP don't just hate our military - they hate our farmers too! They killed the farm bill today.
The Republicans own this war. Remember that in one year when we're still in Iraq, we still haven't won, and the Republicans are still telling us that we need yet another six months to finally show progress.
We always suspected, and now we know: It was indeed official policy for the U.S. military to keep Red Cross monitors from Guantanamo detainees.
And the Inspector General for State? Yeah, it turns out that his brother is on the Blackwater Board of Directors. Blackwater is under contract to the State Department to provide security for diplomats in that country, and murdered 17 civilians in a bloody, murderous rampage on September 16 in Nissour Square in Baghdad.