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THE AWKWARD SQUAD -- In Memoriam To Robin Cook

by suskind Sun Aug 7th, 2005 at 10:42:03 AM EST

Robin Cook - Founding Member of The Awkward Squad

"The Most Awkward Thing One Can Do Is To Stand Up In The Face Of A Corrupt Regime - To Tell The Truth And Be Willing To Face The Consequences"

In memoriam to Robin Cook I have started this Diary Project called "The Awkward Squad."  Originally I went looking for all those resignation speeches and letters of those in public office who resigned in protest of the war on Iraq.  But as you will see, the project became too big for me.  So I need the help of Booman Tribune & European Tribune.  You will see who is missing, (Sibel Edmonds, "Gagged But Not Dead" and find what links don't work....    A special thanks to Oui, who is a Member of The Awkward Squad.  Clearly I need all the help I can get... thanks in advance, Suskind.

They Resigned In Protest of Iraq War

 "The more aggressively we use our power to intimidate our foes, the more foes we create and the more we validate terrorism as the only effective weapon of the powerless against the powerful." - John Brady Kiesling




Steven Vincent: Steven Vincent, freelance, August 3, 2005, BasraVincent, who had written for a number of U.S. publications and was working on a book, was abducted along with his translator, Noor al-Khal, on August 2. They were taken by armed men driving what initial press reports described variously as a pickup truck or possibly a police car.

Vincent's bullet-riddled body was found with hands tied with plastic wire and a red piece of cloth wrapped around the neck, The New York Times reported. Al-Khal was seriously wounded and was hospitalized.In an op-ed article published in The Times on July 31, Vincent said police in Basra had fallen under the sway of Shiite religious groups, and he strongly criticized British authorities in charge of police training for tolerating such influence. Vincent's work also appeared in The Christian Science Monitor and the National Review. A resident of New York City, he had been in Basra for several months working on a book about the Iraqi port city.Vincent was the first U.S. journalist to be murdered in Iraq.

(And there's more: THEY BROUGHT SUIT: DOE V. BUSH; Ramadi v. Rumsfeld: CONSCIENTIOUS OBJECTORS.... THEY PUBLISHED... those people who took out full page ads in opposition to war on Iraq, i.e. Sean Penn, MoveOn, etc..etc.. THEY TESTIFIED.... Sen. Robert Byrd, Sen. Patrick Leahy, Cindy Sheehan, Ray McGovern, John Bonifaz, Ambassador Joe Wilson... THEY WROTE, THEY PETITIONED, THEY MADE THEIR MOVE... Congressman John Conyers, Rep. Barbara Lee, Markey, Waxman, .... etc. etc. Then there's Booman Tribune/European Tribune members of the Awkward Squad... your nominations please)

Awkward squad tries to sharpen view

They call themselves the "awkward squad" and their questions to the generals running the war in Iraq are starting to divide the sceptical press from their more loyal American colleagues.

By Guardian Newspapers, 3/25/2003

sorry I have to run ... will be back soon!

Thank you for profound tribute and job well done.


Global Warming - distance between America and Europe is steadily increasing.

by Oui on Sun Aug 7th, 2005 at 11:30:05 AM EST
Thanks for pointing out all the official opposition there was to the neo-con treason and coup. It wasn't just millions of naive "peaceniks" protesting, there was also a strong internal opposition. Knowing what "hidden persuaders" were used to carry the day for the warmongers would be very interesting, to say the least.

Hannah K. O'Luthon
by Hannah K OLuthon on Mon Aug 8th, 2005 at 07:21:31 AM EST
This bunch is hard to find.  There's this from Helen Thomas -- Awkward for More Than Forty Years

White House Press Conference May 25, 2005

HELEN THOMAS: The other day -- in fact, this week, you said that we, the United States, is in Afghanistan and Iraq by invitation. Would you like to correct that incredible distortion of American history --

MR. McCLELLAN: No, we are -- that's where we currently --

HELEN THOMAS: -- in view of your credibility is already mired? How can you say that?

MR. McCLELLAN: Helen, I think everyone in this room knows that you're taking that comment out of context. There are two democratically-elected governments in Iraq and --

HELEN THOMAS: Were we invited into Iraq?

MR. McCLELLAN: There are two democratically-elected governments now in Iraq and Afghanistan, and we are there at their invitation. They are sovereign governments, and we are there today --

HELEN THOMAS: You mean if they had asked us out, that we would have left?

MR. McCLELLAN: No, Helen, I'm talking about today. We are there at their invitation. They are sovereign governments --

HELEN THOMAS: I'm talking about today, too.

MR. McCLELLAN: -- and we are doing all we can to train and equip their security forces so that they can provide for their own security as they move forward on a free and democratic future.

HELEN THOMAS: Did we invade those countries?

MR. McCLELLAN: Go ahead, Steve.

And this is pretty memorable from Terry Moran, ABC:

Terry Moran: With respect, who made you the editor of Newsweek? Do you think it's appropriate for you, at that podium, speaking with the authority of the President of the United States, to tell an American magazine what they should print?

MR. McCLELLAN: I'm not telling them. I'm saying that we would encourage them to help --

Moran: You're pressuring them.

From the same press conference, May 18, 2005:

Elisabeth Bumiller of the NY Times: Let me follow up on that. What -- you said that -- what specifically are you asking Newsweek to do? I mean, to follow up on Terry's question, are you saying they should write a story? Are you going that far? How else can Newsweek, you know, satisfy you here?  

McCLELLAN: -- because of this report. I think Newsweek is going to be in the best position to determine how to achieve that.
And there are ways that I pointed out that they can help repair the damage. One way is to point out what the policies and practices of our United States military are. Our United States military personnel go out of their way to make sure that the Holy Koran is treated with care...

Elisabeth Bumiller, New York Times:  Are you asking them to write a story about how great the American military is; is that what you're saying here?

Are you asking them to write a story?

MR. McCLELLAN: Elisabeth, let me finish my sentence. Our military -

Elisabeth Bumiller, New York Times: You've already said what you're -- I know what -- how it ends

Bumiller has been vilified by the left for her writing in praise of GWB, but she was certainly being awkward here... in the best possible way....

There are quite a few awkward lawyers and judges as well.  But for now I am looking for more awkward US journalists.... they are a rare breed.

Ron Suskind is a great writer. I am not him.

by suskind (m.suskindathotmail) on Tue Aug 9th, 2005 at 05:12:29 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I love the "we are there at their invitation". with Helen Thomas on why America is in Iraq and Afghanistan. That ought to be employed as a American motto for the children who are being held as prisoners (inviters?) at Abu Ghraib. "We are guarding, torturing, raping and killing you at your invitation. " I'd like to see those pictures become public. Thanks Suskind
by Stu Piddy on Wed Aug 17th, 2005 at 01:19:33 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Its certainly impressive, seen all together: well done. Remember also, Michael Meacher who was sacked in 2003 - purportedly because he wouldn't toe the line on GM crops - and has been writing some challenging articles for major newspapers ever since (just as Robin Cook did)

A couple of his articles:
"This war on terrorism is bogus " :- http://politics.guardian.co.uk/iraq/comment/0,12956,1036687,00.html

"Did Dubbya rig the election?" :-
http://www.newstatesman.com/nssubsfilter.php3?newTemplate=NSArticle_NS&newDisplayURN=20041129001 8

by Boudicca (badgerval at hotmail dot com) on Tue Aug 9th, 2005 at 07:19:07 AM EST

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