DeLay Wins Appeal: Court Upholds Indictment Dismissals

Tom DeLay's Statement on the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals
Decision to Uphold the Dismissal of Indictments:

"The Texas Court of Criminal Appeals today ruled that I was wrongfully indicted by Ronnie Earle, the Mike Nifong of Texas, on laws that didn't even exist. The court affirmed the decision to throw out the conspiracy indictments because they were based on laws that weren't even on the books. What Ronnie Earle accomplished is no rookie error - it's a political attack using our legal system as the primary weapon."

"Ronnie Earle's politically motivated indictments cost Republicans the leader of their choice, and my family hundreds of thousands of dollars in legal fees. The damage he has done to my family and my career cannot be rectified, but the courts have recognized a significant portion of the injustice and ruled accordingly. For nearly two years I have been willing and eager to go to trial and with this ruling, we are thankfully closer to that day."

"Ronnie Earle may think this case is about campaign finance, but in the end it will be a case about his own prosecutorial misconduct."


Talk Show America 7/03/2007

Poll: More Than Half of America Won't Vote for Clinton

More than half of Americans say they wouldn't consider voting for Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton for president if she becomes the Democratic nominee, according to a new national poll made available to McClatchy Newspapers and NBC News.

The poll by Mason-Dixon Polling and Research found that 52 percent of Americans wouldn't consider voting for Clinton, D-N.Y. Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, a Republican, was second in the can't-stand-'em category, with 46 percent saying they wouldn't consider voting for him.

Clinton has long been considered a politically polarizing figure who would be a tough sell to some voters, especially many men, but also Clinton-haters of both genders.

Thursday's survey provides a snapshot of the challenges she faces, according to Larry Harris, a Mason-Dixon principal.

"Hillary's carrying a lot of baggage," he said. "She's the only one that has a majority who say they can't vote for her."

Clinton rang up high negatives across the board, with 60 percent of independents, 56 percent of men, 47 percent of women and 88 percent of Republicans saying they wouldn't consider voting for her.

On name recognition, Clinton also led the 2008 presidential pack in voter disapproval, with 42 percent saying they recognized her name and were unfavorable toward her, versus 39 percent favorable.

That gave her a double-digit lead in that bad-news category over Republican Sen. John McCain of Arizona and former North Carolina Sen. John Edwards, a Democrat. They each had 28 percent unfavorable recognition.

Talk Show America 7/03/2007

President Cites Hopeful Signs in Iraq

The surge of coalition and Iraqi operations in Baghdad has produced hopeful signs, President Bush said today at the Naval War College in Newport, R.I.

Bush said the coalition and the Iraqi government are making progress in Anbar province, and this is spreading to Baghdad. He also spoke about the Iraqi government's need to pass legislation, and the need for Americans to display patience.

The Sunni-dominated Anbar province was the seat of al Qaeda in Iraq six months ago. Bush said critics cited the province as the example of American failure in Iraq.

"About the same time some folks were writing off Anbar, our people are methodically cleaning Anbar's capital city of Ramadi of terrorists and winning the trust of the local population," he said. "In parallel with these efforts, a group of tribal sheikhs launched a movement called 'The Awakening' and began cooperating with American and Iraqi forces."
The confluence of coalition forces and Iraqi sheikhs worked against al Qaeda.

"To capitalize on the opportunity, I sent more Marines into Anbar, and gradually they've been helping the locals take back their province from al Qaeda," Bush said. "These operations are showing good results. Our forces are going into parts of Anbar where they couldn't operate before. With the help of Iraqi and coalition forces, local Sunni tribes have driven al Qaeda from most of Ramadi, and attacks there are now down to a two-year low."

Anbar is still a dangerous place, Bush said, but a province that had been written off as hopeless
"now enjoys a level of peace and stability that was unimaginable only a few months ago."


The president said coalition leaders want to replicate the success in Anbar in Baghdad.

"In the months since I announced our new strategy, ... we've been moving reinforcements into key Baghdad neighborhoods and the areas around the capital to help secure the population,"
he said. Coalition and Iraqi forces are in the midst of Operation Phantom Thunder - which is focused on defeating al Qaeda terrorists, the insurgents and militias, and on denying extremists safe havens.

In January, about 80 percent of Iraq's sectarian violence was within 30 miles of Baghdad, Bush said. If coalition forces can clear the belt around the capital of al Qaeda and death squads, "we can improve life for the citizens of the areas and inhibit the enemy's ability to strike," the president said.

Bush said Americans must get used to hearing the names of places like Adhamiya, Rashid and Mansour.

"These areas are important because they represent so-called sectarian faultlines, locations where Shiia extremists and al Qaeda terrorists are attempting to reignite sectarian violence through murder and kidnappings and other violent activities," he said. "Until these areas and others like them are secured, the people of Baghdad can't be protected. They can't go about their lives."


The coalition and Iraqi forces are at the beginning of the offensive, the president emphasized.

"We finally got the troops there. Americans have got to understand, it takes a while to mobilize additional troops and move them from the United States to Iraq," he said. "And we got them there, and now we're beginning to move."

The plan in place is a good one, Bush said. The forces are the best in the world and are carrying out that plan. "We owe them the time and we owe them the support they need to succeed," the president said.

But the fight in Iraq involves more than just the military. "The Iraqis have got to be making tough decisions towards reconciliation, and that's why we'll keep the pressure on Iraqi leaders to meet political benchmarks they laid out for themselves," he said.

The United States will keep up pressure for the Iraqis to pass important legislation regarding sharing oil revenues, hold provincial elections and reconciliation.

"I speak to the prime minister and I speak to the Presidency Council quite often, and I remind them we expect the government to function and to pass law,"
Bush said.

He said that many Americans are frustrated by the slow pace of legislation. But Iraq is a democracy, and democracies are often slow, he said.

"The Iraqi parliament is composed of members representing many different religions and ethnicities - Sunnis, Shiia, Turkamen, Kurds and others," he said. "Even in a long-established democracy, it's not easy to pass important pieces of legislation in a short period of time. We're asking the Iraqis to accomplish all these things at a time when their country's being attacked.

"I make no excuses," he said. "We will continue to keep the pressure up. We expect there to be reconciliation; we expect them to pass law."


The United States is involved in a broader war against ideological killers, Bush said, calling success in Iraq and Afghanistan important to the people of the greater Middle East and Central Asia.

"The stakes are high in the beginning stages of this global war against ideologues that stand for the exact opposite of what America stands for,"
the president said. "What makes the war even more significant is that what happens overseas matters to the security in the United States of America, as we learned on September the 11th, when killers were able to use a failed state to plot the deadly attack.

"If we withdraw before the Iraqi government can defend itself," he continued, "we would yield the future of Iraq to terrorists like al Qaeda, and we would give a green light to extremists all throughout a troubled region."

The president said the consequences of such a withdrawal would be disastrous, as sectarian violence would overwhelm Iraq and fighting could spread well beyond Iraq and engulf the entire Persian Gulf region.

"We would soon face a Middle East dominated by Islamic extremists who would pursue nuclear weapons, who would use their control of oil for economic blackmail and who would be in a position to launch new attacks on the United States of America,"
Bush said.

The United States must stay involved in the region, the president said.

"The United States must stand with millions of moms and dads throughout the Middle East who want a future of dignity and peace, and we must help them defeat a common enemy,"
he said.

Phantom Thunder Operations Disrupt Terrorists in Iraq

U.S. and Iraqi troops are disrupting terrorist activities from Baghdad and its environs to Anbar province as the result of surge-related operations being conducted across Iraq, a senior U.S. military officer serving in Iraq said yesterday.

Operation Phantom Thunderis anongoing anti-insurgent operationthat launched June 15, once all "surge" troops arrived in Iraq. Theoperationhas shut down hideouts operated by al Qaeda and other extremist groups, bomb factories and execution rooms, Army Brig. Gen. Kevin Bergner told online journalists yesterday.

Phantom Thunder has produced "a pattern of finding facilities, the operating bases, that al Qaeda and other extremists have been operating from in Iraq," said Bergner, who serves as Multinational Force Iraq's deputy chief of staff for strategic effects.

Bergner pointed to the recent discovery of safe houses in Baqubah, Iraq, that were used by insurgents for executions, as well as for prisons and weapons storage.

"We continued that same pattern," Bergner said, noting an al Qaeda weapons cache, rocket-propelled grenades and other munitions turned up in more recent security sweeps in Baqubah. A recent coalition raid in Anbar province yielded an enemy improvised explosive device factory, the general said.

"So, what we're seeing is an array of facilities that are established specifically to operate from, launch spectacular attacks from and solidify their control over the neighborhood in which they're established,"
Bergner said regarding insurgent facilities that have been shut down across Iraq in recent weeks.

Just days ago, coalition troops killed two senior al Qaeda agents who had operated a foreign-fighter cell out of northern Iraq, Bergner pointed out.

The purpose of the surge of operations "is really centered on improving population security, creating that linkage between the Iraqi forces and the people, the citizens in these neighborhoods, and connecting them with their government," Bergner said.

It will likely "take a period of weeks and months" to measure the surge's full effects against the enemy, he added.

Establishing security across Iraq is
"one of those things that takes time to build, and it's one of those things that takes time to solidify once you've got it in place, so that it becomes more resilient,"
Bergner said.

Talk Show America 6/29/2007

Operation Arrowhead Ripper Makes Headway in Baqubah

Iraqi and U.S. troops continue to clear out insurgents in Baqubah and distribute aid to its citizens as part of ongoing Operation Arrowhead Ripper, and recent terrorist bombings in Baghdad have killed 15 Iraqis and wounded 23 others, U.S. officials reported.

Iraqi security forces and U.S. soldiers operating in Baqubah yesterday continued to clear the city of insurgents while providing humanitarian aid to its citizens as Operation Arrowhead Ripper entered its ninth day.

Arrowhead Ripper is one of several operations that are part of an overall offensive against insurgents in Iraq dubbed Operation Phantom Thunder, which began June 15, once all "surge" troops were in place.

Iraqi and U.S. security forces have provided Baqubah's citizens about 265,000 pounds of rice and flour, more than 10,000 vegetarian rations, and thousands of bottles of water since the operation began.

At least 60 al Qaeda operatives have been killed, 74 have been detained, 31 weapons caches have been discovered, 81 improvised explosive devices have been destroyed and 18 booby-trapped structures have been destroyed since the operation began.

U.S. helicopter crews returned ground fire and killed one insurgent and wounded another during an engagement south of Baghdad June 26.

Two AH-64 Apache helicopters assigned to the 3rd Combat Aviation Brigade were fired on by insurgents inside a building. The helicopters returned fire with 30 mm rounds. Paratroopers from the 2nd Battalion, 377th Parachute Field Artillery Regiment, 4th Brigade Combat Team (Airborne), 25th Infantry Division, were called to search the building and immediate area for insurgents. The wounded insurgent was taken to a local hospital for treatment and will be taken into custody by the Iraqi army.

In other news, Iraqi police from Khalis broke up a gunfight between Iraqi residents of two neighboring villages June 26. The police were dispatched in response to reports that al Koubat villagers were being attacked by members of the Tohoyla village.

The gunfire stopped upon the arrival of the Iraqi police, who discovered that four local Iraqis had been killed and 19 others were wounded. Two Iraqi police were wounded during the altercation. The police secured the scene, provided first aid and transported the wounded to Khalis's local hospital for further treatment.

American soldiers with the 5th Squadron, 73rd Cavalry Regiment, attached to the 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division, also responded to the attack and assisted Iraqi police in securing the area.

Meanwhile, U.S. soldiers assigned to Troop A, 6-9 Armored Reconnaissance Squadron, killed two gunmen during an engagement near Thurah on June 26.

The U.S. soldiers were conducting security operations in the area when they were attacked by three gunmen armed with AK-47s. The Americans killed one of the gunmen, but his comrades then counter-attacked with rocket-propelled grenades. The U.S. soldiers then chased the remaining gunmen into a building.

The second gunman was killed in the ensuing firefight, while the third insurgent fled the area. There were no U.S. casualties. Small arms and ammunition, a grenade, and an improvised explosive device were found inside the building.

In other news, U.S. soldiers found 11 roadside bombs and defeated insurgent attacks while patrolling Baghdad's Rashid district June 25 and 26.

"The continued discovery of roadside bombs before they can be used against innocent Iraqis or our forces is a strong indication that the people are growing tired of the violence in Rashid,"
Army Col. Ricky D. Gibbs, commander of the 1st Infantry Division's 4th Infantry Brigade Combat Team, said.

The U.S. troops defeated enemy forces in two separate engagements in East Rashid over a 24-hour period. Several extremists shot at a U.S. patrol on June 26. American helicopters fired on and killed two extremists. A third extremist was wounded and later detained. Troops detained four more suspects for further questioning.

Talk Show America 6/29/2007

Help Save Internet Radio

Click below to Tell Congress To Pass the Internet Radio Equality Act:

http://capwiz.com/sicminc/issues/alert/?alertid=9942396&type=CO

ALERT: The future of Internet radio is in immediate danger!

Royalty rates for webcasters have been drastically increased by a recent ruling and are due to go into effect on July 15 -- retroactive to Jan 1, 2006! If the increased rates remain unchanged, the majority of webcasters will go bankrupt and silent on this date.

Internet radio needs your help!

On March 2, 2007, the Copyright Royalty Board (CRB), which oversees sound recording royalties paid by Internet radio services, increased Internet radio's royalty burden between 300 and 1200 percent and thereby jeopardized the industry's future.

At the request of the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), the CRB ignored the fact that Internet radio royalties were already double what satellite radio pays, and multiplied the royalties even further. The 2005 royalty rate was 7/100 of a penny per song streamed; the 2010 rate will be 19/100 of a penny per song streamed. And for small webcasters that were able to calculate royalties as a percentage of revenue in 2005 -- that option was quashed by the CRB, so small webcasters' royalties will grow exponentially!

Before this ruling was handed down, the vast majority of webcasters were barely making ends meet as Internet radio advertising revenue is just beginning to develop. Without a doubt, most Internet radio services will go bankrupt and cease webcasting if Congress does not reverse this royalty rate, and webcasters' demise will mean a great loss of creative and diverse radio -- including and especially conservative and Christian internet radio stations. Surviving webcasters will need "sweetheart licenses" that major record labels will be only too happy to offer, so long as the webcaster permits the major label to control the programming and playlist.

Is that the Internet radio you care to hear?

Because of this impending multi-billion dollar royalty rate increase, we are facing the virtual SHUTDOWN of Internet radio. We will lose some of the best online stations currently available -- maybe even some you don't know about:

Conservative radio networks like RighTalk.com will disappear.

Christian radio networks like Victory Broadcast Service (VBS Radio) will disappear.

Alternative Right/Left/Libertarian radio networks like BlogTalkRadio.com will disappear.

We can't let this happen. Action must be taken to stop this faulty ruling from destroying the future of Internet radio that so many millions of listeners depend on each day.

Thankfully, some members of Congress have recognized the danger of this impending rate increase, and have introduced the bipartisan "Internet Radio Equality Act" (H.R. 2060 and S. 1353) to nullify the March 2, 2007, determination of the Copyright Royalty Judges with respect to webcasting.

But we only have THREE WEEKS to get these bills passed! PLEASE HELP!

TAKE ACTION: The wonderful diversity of Internet radio is enjoyed by tens of millions of Americans and provides promotional opportunities to independent talk radio shows, churches and ministries that are not available to them on broadcast radio. In just the last year Internet radio listening jumped dramatically, from 45 million listeners per month to 72 million listeners each month. Internet radio is already popular, and it is already benefiting thousands of pastors and artists who are finding new listeners online every day.

Yesterday, thousands of webcasters observed a "day of silence" to raise awareness of the threat these new rates pose to the future of Internet radio and rally support for the legislation pending in Congress. Internet-only webcasters and broadcasters that simulcast online alerted their listeners that "silence" is what Internet radio may be reduced to after July 15th, the day on which 17 months' worth of retroactive royalty payments -- at new, exceedingly high rates -- are due to the SoundExchange collection organization, following the recent CRB decision.

Please, help save Internet radio. Click below NOW to send a FREE message to your Congressman, asking him or her to SUPPORT H.R. 2060, the "Internet Radio Equality Act":

http://capwiz.com/sicminc/issues/alert/?alertid=9942396&type=CO

Talk Show America 6/29/2007

Report: Progress, Shortcomings in Iraqi Security Forces

Strides have been made in building Iraq's security forces and increasing their responsibility, but more progress is needed, according to a new congressional report released today.

The report, "Stand Up and Be Counted: The Continuing Challenge of Building the Iraqi Security Forces," follows an investigation by the House Armed Services Committee's Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee.

It reports that the $19 billion the United States has invested over the past four years to organize, train and equip Iraq's military and police forces "has yielded mixed results."

"Despite making significant progress in generating a sizeable national force, the Iraqi security forces have not developed as fast as the coalition planned and, as a result, are not yet ready to take full responsibility for their nation's security," the report states.

The report also notes various states of readiness within the Iraqi forces. It recognizes that "some units are willing and capable of engaging the enemy" while others, particularly the Iraqi Police Service, are less effective.

The report's findings track closely with those offered earlier this month by the U.S. general in charge of training those forces until turning over command of the Multinational Security Transition Command Iraq on June 10.

Army Lt. Gen. Martin E. Dempsey told the House Armed Services Committee oversight subcommittee many Iraqi units, particularly in the Iraqi army,
"have become increasingly proficient and have demonstrated both their improved capability and resolve in battle."

However, he acknowledged that both army and police units "have a lack of tactical staying power of sufficient capability to surge forces locally." They also suffer from shortages of leaders, he said.

The congressional report echoed Dempsey's recognition of the need for improved leadership and an indigenous logistics capability keys to independent, self-sustaining Iraqi security forces.

Bryan Whitman, assistant secretary of defense for public affairs, reviewed with Pentagon reporters today some of the successes the Iraqi security forces have demonstrated.

Nine out of 10 Iraqi army division headquarters are in place, 31 of 36 Iraqi army brigade headquarters have been formed and 95 out of 112 battalions have security responsibilities in their respective areas.

"If you compare that today ... to October 2005, when there was only one division, four brigades and 23 battalions, I think it is reflective of progress,"
he said.

Army Lt. Gen. James M. Dubik is working to build on that progress as the new commander of Multinational Security Transition Command Iraq.

During the change of command ceremony June 10, Army Gen. David H. Petraeus, commander of Multinational Force Iraq, acknowledged that much work needs to be done to ensure the Iraqi security forces are capable of protecting the Iraqi people.

But in working toward that goal, Petraeus called Dubik "precisely the right man for this position at this time."

Talk Show America 6/29/2007

Iraqis Pulling Weight in Northern Iraq

The Iraqi soldiers and units working with the Multinational Division North are "holding firm," the director of operations for the division said today from his headquarters in Tikrit. (Video)
"They are in the fight. They're doing what they're told. They're following their leaders," Army Brig. Gen. John Bednarek said."But more importantly, as we've known for years that they have that direct link and rapport with the citizens that the coalition forces do not have, they can get that immediate link, ... the human dimension, that information potentially leading to intelligence."

Bednarek, the 25th Infantry Division's assistant division commander for operations, told reporters in Baghdad that the division's soldiers "have killed a heck of a lot of al Qaeda" in operations in western Baqubah, the capital of Diyala province.

He said the division also has detained almost 100 al Qaeda members. U.S. and Iraqi forces are participating in Operation Arrowhead Ripper, designed to kill or capture al Qaeda operatives in the city and ensure security for Iraqi citizens.

Al Qaeda leaders already have deserted their fighters, Bednarek said.
"You've got the senior leaders of a terrorist organization that cowardly leads their mid-level leaders and followers to take on the fight that's larger than they are," he said. "I don't know of any organization that's going to be successful when the leaders, when it gets too hot, they're the first ones that leap. It doesn't speak too well of an organization."

The Iraqi army, on the other hand, is performing well, he said. "The Iraqi army soldiers are good," Bednarek said. "They're holding firm. They are in the fight. They're doing what they're told. They're following their leaders."

And the Iraqi soldiers also are the immediate link to the people of the country. They are able to sift through the cultural baggage and assess whether an item is important or not, the general said. The citizens of Baqubah are tired of al Qaeda in their midst, they are tipping off Iraqi soldiers about the terrorists' locations, and they are pointing out where al Qaeda has booby-trapped houses and are building car bombs, the general said.

"One of the significant increases just in the past 24 hours is the amount of caches that we have found and ... those al Qaeda holding locations and strong points that had been rigged with masses of explosives ... that we had been able to find and dismantle or destroy based on tips from the citizens,"
he said.

The progress is not limited to Baqubah; coalition forces uncovered a car-bomb factory in Mosul. Three large houses linked together by a tunnel served as a vehicle-bomb factory and storage area, and also as a center for building roadside bombs, Bednarek said.

"This entire operation started by a tip," he said. "The tips were from our local nationals there in Mosul, through our Iraqi security force counterparts. And we took action on this, identified the information, vetted that, went after the target and destroyed it."

Those tips stopped al Qaeda from killing possibly thousands of Iraqis, Bednarek said.

The general said Operation Arrowhead Ripper has been successful so far, and that he is cautiously optimistic that in the weeks ahead, "not only will we win this fight and eliminate al Qaeda in Baqubah, but continue to pursue them wherever they go across Diyala and across MND North."

Poll: Young Americans Leaning Left

Young Americans are more likely than the general public to favor a government-run universal health care insurance system, an open-door policy on immigration and the legalization of gay marriage, according to a New York Times/CBS News/MTV poll.

The poll also found that they are more likely to say the war in Iraq is heading to a successful conclusion.

The poll offers a snapshot of a group whose energy and idealism have always been as alluring to politicians as its scattered focus and shifting interests have been frustrating. It found that substantially more Americans ages 17 to 29 than four years ago are paying attention to the presidential race. But they appeared to be really familiar with only two of the candidates, Senators Barack Obama and Hillary Rodham Clinton, both Democrats.

More than half of Americans ages 17 to 29 - 54 percent - say they intend to vote for a Democrat for president in 2008. They share with the public at large a negative view of President Bush, who has a 28 percent approval rating with this group, and of the Republican Party. They hold a markedly more positive view of Democrats than they do of Republicans.

28 percent described themselves as liberal, compared with 20 percent of the nation at large. And 27 percent called themselves conservative, compared with 32 percent of the general public.

Forty-four percent said they believed that same-sex couples should be permitted to get married, compared with 28 percent of the public at large. They are more likely than their elders to support the legalization of possession of small amounts of marijuana.

The findings on gay marriage were reminiscent of an exit poll on Election Day 2004: 41 percent of 18-to-29-year-old voters said gay couples should be permitted to legally marry, according to the exit poll.

In the current poll, 62 percent said they would support a universal, government-sponsored national health care insurance program; 47 percent of the general public holds that view. And 30 percent said that "Americans should always welcome new immigrants," while 24 percent of the general public holds that view.

Their views on abortion mirror those of the public at large: 24 percent said it should not be permitted at all, while 38 percent said it should be made available but with greater restrictions. Thirty-seven percent said it should be generally available.

In one potential sign of shifting attitudes, respondents, by overwhelming margins, said they believed that the nation was prepared to elect as president a woman, a black person or someone who admitted to having used marijuana. But they said that they did not believe Americans would elect someone who had used cocaine or someone who was a Mormon.

Mr. Obama has suggested that he used cocaine as a young man. Mitt Romney, the former governor of Massachusetts and a candidate for the Republican nomination, is a Mormon.

By a 52 to 36 majority, young Americans say that Democrats, rather than Republicans, come closer to sharing their moral values, while 58 percent said they had a favorable view of the Democratic Party, and 38 percent said they had a favorable view of Republicans.

Asked if they were enthusiastic about any of the candidates running for president, 18 percent named Mr. Obama, of Illinois, and 17 percent named Mrs. Clinton, of New York. Those two were followed by Rudolph W. Giuliani, a Republican, who was named by just 4 percent of the respondents.

The survey also found that 42 percent of young Americans thought it was likely or very likely that the nation would reinstate a military draft over the next few years - and two-thirds said they thought the Republican Party was more likely to do so. And 87 percent of respondents said they opposed a draft.

But when it came to the war, young Americans were more optimistic about the outcome than was the population as whole. Fifty-one percent said the United States was very or somewhat likely to succeed in Iraq, compared with 45 percent among all adults.
Contrary to conventional wisdom, younger Americans have historically been more likely than the population as a whole to be supportive of what a president is doing in a time of war, as they were in Korea and Vietnam, polls have shown.

Talk Show America 6/29/2007


Troops Find Execution House, Illegal Prison in Baqubah

Iraqi security forces and Task Force Lightning soldiers discovered an execution house and an illegal prison in the Baqubah neighborhood of Khatoon yesterday during the sixth day of Operation Arrowhead Ripper.

The two buildings were in the same area as a torture chamber and illegal courthouse linked to al Qaeda, which were found on the fourth and fifth day of the operation, officials said.

Soldiers from 5th Battalion, 20th Infantry Regiment, discovered the execution house using information from local citizens, who said it had been used by al Qaeda. Soldiers searching the house found five bodies buried in the yard behind the building and bloody clothes in several rooms inside it.

Located nearby, a house had been converted into an illegal prison, with several numbered rooms and bars covering the building's windows. Several blindfolds were found inside.

Elsewhere in Baqubah, soldiers from 1st Battalion, 23rd Infantry Regiment, identified a house that was filled with explosives and had been booby-trapped. The soldiers cleared the area and destroyed the house through the use of attack aircraft and indirect fire.

"The fact that we continue to find these booby-trapped houses filled with explosives and torture chambers only reaffirms that al Qaeda has no regard for the safety and welfare of the people of Baqubah. They only want to see death and destruction,"
said Army Col. Gary Patton, chief of staff for Task Force Lightning.

Iraqi and coalition forces also discovered 10 weapons caches throughout Baqubah yesterday. These included four anti-tank mines, three rocket-propelled grenade launchers, 18 rocket-propelled grenades with boosters, 13 AK-47 assault rifles, nine hand grenades, two flak vests, thousands of rounds of ammunition and a box of al Qaeda propaganda.

Since the beginning of Operation Arrowhead Ripper, at least 58 al Qaeda operatives have been killed, 60 have been detained, 23 weapons caches have been discovered, 52 improvised explosive devices have been destroyed, and 17 booby-trapped structures have been destroyed.

Talk Show America 6/26/2007

Time Magazine Calls Iraqi Troops/Inept/Incompetent/Unmotivated

A recent article in Time Magazine referred to Iraq Troops as being inept, incompetent, and lacking in motivation:

An ongoing TIME investigation has turned up several tactics insurgents use to evade detection and get past the security arrangements. Most of the tactics are designed to exploit the ineptitude of Iraqi security forces - the 30,000 soldiers and 21,000 police who are meant to support U.S. troops. Lacking in training, equipment and motivation, the Iraqis are the soft underbelly of the surge. A U.S. military internal assessment of the surge in late May showed that they are often unable to perform the simplest tasks, like manning checkpoints. And insurgent groups take full advantage, easily slipping men and munitions in and out of neighborhoods guarded by Iraqi soldiers and police.


Now, I realize that the Iraqi Troops and Police are not even a close match to the US Military, so it is to be expected that they will not perform as well as our brave men and women do, but I find this article to be more of an INSULT to the Iraqi troops than a critique of their performance.

Of course Time Magazine states the source of their assessment:

A U.S. military internal assessment of the surge in late May showed that they are often unable to perform the simplest tasks, like manning checkpoints. And insurgent groups take full advantage, easily slipping men and munitions in and out of neighborhoods guarded by Iraqi soldiers and police.


According to Time, one enemy fighter said this:

"They never check cars with families, or children, or old people. If you have a woman passenger, you can drive past 50 checkpoints with a trunk full of C4, and you won't be stopped once."


And of course Time makes sure they gleefully publish this for all the enemy to see.

But then the article goes on to say:

Even so, some insurgent groups are taking precautions, giving their fighters new ID cards and papers with government markings that look remarkably authentic. Some don't need to: another insurgent commander told me his group has recruited many government officials and even soldiers. "I'm bringing weapons into the city in official cars," he said. In the Abu Ghraib area west of Baghdad, some fighters in the Brigades of the 1920 Revolution say they have been ordered to sign up for the Iraqi Army in order to get official papers that would allow them to move freely in the city.

So apparently folks, many of the enemy are not as SURE of the assessment of Iraqi Troops as Time Magazine is.

The incompetence of Iraqi forces helps to explain why, after a sharp drop in the early weeks of the surge, the civilian death toll from sectarian violence has begun to climb. Nearly 2,000 Iraqis were killed in May, the highest since the start of the security crackdown.


What it helps explain is that this is Al Qaeda in Iraq's last breath and they have ramped up their operations trying to discourage support for the surge among the population and the media. Al Qaeda in Iraq knows full well its hay days are numbered, so they have to try and convince everyone else they are still a viable enemy, it is an act of desperation more than anything else.

There are so many incidents where the Iraqi Troops and Police have been successful against incoming suicide bombers and Al Qaeda in Iraq, as well as rescuing hostages and putting their lives on the line for their country every single day.

They may not be of the calibre of the US Military, they may not be as proficient and some of them may not be as motivated, but the fact of the matter is that these brave Iraqis put their life on the line everyday in a very volatile and hostile environment. They deserve better than to be labeled Inept,Incompetent, or lacking motivation.

The fact is that they, along with our brave men and women of the US Military, have volunteered to protect their country to the best of their ability. God Bless them all.

Talk Show America 6/25/2007



Talk Show America 6/26/2007

West Coast Motorcycle Run to Show Support for the Haditha Marines

Blue Star Dad Organizes West Coast Motorcycle Run to Show Support for the Haditha Marines: June 23-28

A motorcycle ride is being organized to start at Seattle, Washington and finish at the Main Gate of Camp Pendleton, Oceanside California.

The main compliment of riders will be veterans of all branches of our military who are fed up with the way the Marine Corps and the political community are treating the Marines, mainly the men of Kilo Company, 3rd Battalion, 1st Marine Regiment, the “Thundering Third.”

These Marines fought in Haditha and returned home the champions that they are, only to find themselves indicted on charges from murder to cover-up.

These charges have stemmed from an incorrect article in Time Magazine, as well as some politicians who seem to have jumped to conclusions without stopping to get facts.

The facts were brought forth by men, such as a Bronze Star winning Intelligence Officer who viewed the whole incident by unmanned camera aircraft and accumulated log books and reams of data that exonerates all the Marines of K/3/1. This evidence seems to be pushed aside by the politically motivated opportunists.

The question now arises for the parents and family of military individuals on deployment in Iraq...
"Does my son or daughter or husband or wife have to get shot before they can legally defend themselves?"


"How do they distinguish between an insurgent or an Iraqi citizen being used as a shield by an insurgent."


"Could my son go to prison for five years and be dishonorably discharged from the military that he loves because he fought for his country?"


"Will the facts be pushed aside and incorrect reporting believed to the detriment of our war heroes, our family members and friends who have sacrificed all for our freedom?"

That is politically incorrect!

The veterans of the past and family of current military are not going to stand for it.

On Saturday morning, June 23, 2007 at 8AM veterans from the Northwest will meet at the South Center Mall in Tukwila, Washington, and prepare to depart at 9AM for destination Main Gate, Camp Pendleton.

We plan to arrive sometime Thursday, June 28th.

We don't intend to block traffic of cause any discomfort whatsoever to other Americans. We fought for their rights, too and we intend to make their day, not wreck their day.

At this late date it is realized that some who would want to go, but can't, may want to ride a short distance to show they’re support. Our colors will be Old Glory, the Stars and Strips will fly from the back of each motorcycle.

Some of the riding veterans will carry a container for donations to be given to the Defense Fund upon arrival at Camp Pendleton.

This ride is open to every American who wants to support our troops in Iraq and Afghanistan. Those who don’t have motorcycles or can't ride will want to go to the overpasses near their homes and wave flags as the motorcycles travel down Interstate 5.

Normal regrouping locations will be the numerous Rest Stops along the way. We will ride daylight hours only, because our intentions are visibility to American Citizens, so that we may all show support together.

Veterans and military family members from other parts of the country who want to participate may want to meet the ride at some location on Interstate 5 that is more convenient to their location. This ride is spontaneous and is designed to meet every American's desire to show support to our military heroes.

We want "No Man Left Behind."

This page will be updated with itinerary and progress reports so you can join the ride as it passes through your community or just give them your support!

For ride information, contact Don Dinsmore at ddingo630@aol.com, and view www.dondinsmore.com.

Talk Show America 6/25/2007

U.S., Afghan Troops Rescue Enemy-Held Hostages

Two people who'd been held hostage by Taliban and al Qaeda militants were rescued today by U.S. and Afghan forces during raids in the Zaghun Shah district of Afghanistan's Paktika province, U.S. officials reported.

Intelligence indicated that three Afghan citizens from the district had recently been abducted by Taliban and al Qaeda fighters.

During raids conducted today, U.S. and Afghan troops discovered one of the hostages being held at a compound, while another hostage held nearby was being led away by his captors to another location.

The anti-insurgent forces chased down and captured the terrorists and freed one of the hostages. Another hostage was being held in a nearby compound. Coalition forces found and released him, too, but they met with armed resistance when attempting to get the militants to surrender.

"The room was filled with armed Taliban and al Qaeda, and they were keeping the women and children who lived at the house close to them in order to protect themselves from the coalition forces outside,"
said Army Maj. Chris Belcher, a Combined Joint Task Force 82 spokesman.

The anti-insurgent forces subdued the Taliban and al Qaeda fighters, with no injuries to the women or children. According to one of the two freed hostages, the third hostage had been killed by the militants a day earlier.

A large cache of rocket-propelled grenades, AK-47 rifles and machine guns was discovered during searches of the two compounds. The weapons were removed to a safe distance and destroyed.

While conducting the raid on the other compound, coalition forces were fired upon and returned fire. Eight militants were detained. They will be questioned as to their identities and participation in militant activities.

The identities of the two freed hostages and the deceased hostage are being withheld at this time.

Talk Show America 6/25/2007