Raping, murdering scum of a military reject gets ten years for crimes.

From CNN.com: U.S. soldier gets 100 years for Iraq rape, killings.

What they're not going to outright tell you: he's only going to serve ten years.

FORT CAMPBELL, Kentucky (AP) -- A U.S. soldier was sentenced to 100 years in prison Thursday for the gang rape and murder of an Iraqi girl and the killing of her family last year.

Sgt. Paul E. Cortez, 24, also was given a dishonorable discharge. He will be eligible for parole in 10 years under the terms of his plea agreement.

Cortez, of Barstow, California, pleaded guilty this week to four counts of felony murder, rape and conspiracy to rape in a case considered among the worst atrocities by U.S. military personnel in Iraq.

In his plea agreement, he said he conspired with three other soldiers from the Fort Campbell-based 101st Airborne Division to rape 14-year-old Abeer Qassim al-Janabi. The girl, her parents and a younger sister were all killed.

Earlier Thursday, tears rolled down Cortez's face as he apologized for the rape and murders. He said he could not explain why he took part.

"I still don't have an answer," Cortez told the judge. "I don't know why. I wish I hadn't. The lives of four innocent people were taken. I want to apologize for all of the pain and suffering I have caused the al-Janabi family."

The military judge hearing the case, Col. Stephen R. Henley, issued a sentence of life in prison without parole, the maximum for the charges. Under military law, the defendant is given the lesser sentence unless he violates terms of the plea agreement, which requires Cortez to testify against others charged in the case.

Psychologist Charles Figley testified that Cortez and the other soldiers likely suffered stress brought on by fatigue and trauma.

"It eats you up," Figley said. "It's a horrible thing. This is not unique. We've seen this in other wars."

Five soldiers who served with Cortez in Iraq testified that his actions were out of character and described the hardships of war they experienced, including sleep deprivation and the lack of running water.

"I just never would have seen it coming," said Staff Sgt. Tim Briggs, who has known Cortez for five years and served with him in Iraq.

Prosecutors said the stress was no excuse for the actions of Cortez and the other soldiers from the 101st Airborne Division, based at Fort Campbell.

On Wednesday, Cortez described raping the girl in her family's home in Mahmoudiya last March, along with Spc. James Barker, 24. Barker pleaded guilty in November to rape and murder and was sentenced to 90 years in military prison.

Cortez said this week that former private Steven D. Green raped the girl in front of him; shot her father, mother and sister; and then shot her in the head. He also testified that the soldiers attempted to burn the girl's body; burned their own clothes; and threw the murder weapon, an AK-47, into a canal in an attempt to dispose of the evidence.

Cortez was found not guilty of more serious charges of premeditated murder and conspiracy to premeditated murder.

Pfcs. Jesse Spielman, 22, and Bryan Howard, 19, await courts-martial. Green, who is accused of being the ringleader but was discharged from the military before being charged, will be prosecuted in a federal court in Kentucky.

If this had been anyone else, they'd be locked away for life without any chance of seeing the sun again.

Justice my fat white ass.


New cards drawn, February 18, 2007

Added Democratic Underground to the hand. I like DU, no matter how much some people like to malign it as being "OMGZ TEH MILLION TIMES WORSE THAN FREEREPUBLIC". People call it that despite the fact that I doubt anyone from DU has ever sent fake anthrax to right-wing journalists.

Just a thought.


I hate Joe Lieberman.

From Daily Kos: Those Crazy Republicans

I'm mostly posting because of this single quote by stealth Republican and lying, cheating, hateful scumbag Joe LiarmanLieberman:

Yes, we should vigorously debate and deliberate. That is not only our right, it is our responsibility. But at this difficult juncture, at this moment when a real battle, a critical battle is being waged in Baghdad, as we face a brutal enemy who attacked us on 9/11 and wants to do it again, let us not just shout at one another, but let us reach out to one another to find that measure of unity that can look beyond today’s disagreements and secure the nation’s future and the future of all who will follow us as Americans.
Uh, Joe? Noboody's parroting that line in the administration anymore except you. The warring Muslim factions in Iraq didn't attack us on 9/11, you blithering simpleton. If you're going to lie, at least pick a lie that's believable, not one that's been debunked four trillion times.


"Christian" doctor turns patient away because of her parents' tattoos; Jesus shakes his head and sighs.

From KGET-TV NBC 17, Bakersfield, CA: Christian pediatrician denies child service because parents are tattooed
A family is turned away by a local pediatrician, they say because of the way they look.

The doctor said he is just following his beliefs, creating a Christian atmosphere for his patients.

And what is more Christian than letting a child suffer because of her parents, right?

Tasha Childress said it’s discrimination.

She said Dr. Gary Merrill wouldn’t treat her daughter for an ear infection because Tasha, the mother, has tattoos.

The writing is on the wall—literally: “This is a private office. Appearance and behavior standards apply.”

For Dr. Gary Merrill of Christian Medical Services, that means no tattoos, body piercings, and a host of other requirements—all standards Merrill has set based upon his Christian faith.

Ah, the use of faith to punish those who are different. So utterly Christ-like.

I wonder if this assflap swore to the Declaration of Geneva like real doctors do nowadays:

  • I SOLEMNLY PLEDGE to consecrate my life to the service of humanity;

  • I WILL GIVE to my teachers the respect and gratitude that is their due;

  • I WILL PRACTISE my profession with conscience and dignity;

  • THE HEALTH OF MY PATIENT will be my first consideration;

  • I WILL RESPECT the secrets that are confided in me, even after the patient has died;

  • I WILL MAINTAIN by all the means in my power, the honour and the noble traditions of the medical profession;

  • MY COLLEAGUES will be my sisters and brothers;

  • I WILL NOT PERMIT considerations of age, disease or disability, creed, ethnic origin, gender, nationality, political affiliation, race, sexual orientation, social standing or any other factor to intervene between my duty and my patient;

  • I WILL MAINTAIN the utmost respect for human life;

  • I WILL NOT USE my medical knowledge contrary to the laws of humanity, even under threat;

I MAKE THESE PROMISES solemnly, freely and upon my honour.

Further to this, I wonder if this guy's faith precludes him from actually treating any illness - after all, that's GAWD'S job, isn't it? I wonder if he tells his patients to go home and pray? I wonder if he tries to exorcise demons to cure diseases?

I wonder if you can have your medical license pulled for being a discriminatory jackass?


Clear the air.

I want to know something.

Based on how many letters I've seen in the local papers saying that secondhand smoke isn't harmful, that smoking is some kind of inalienable right, that smokers have more rights than non-smokers, that a smoking ban is tantamount to utter destruction of the Constitution, that it's all a "slippery slope"...

How many of those people taking this stance AREN'T smokers?

Furthermore, given the number of letters that say that secondhand smoke is merely an "irritant" rather than being harmful to health as has been proven a seemingly endless number of times, I wonder why the people writing those letters aren't doing important research as to what is and isn't harmful, rather than writing pithy letters to the editor. Heaven knows, you could make lots of money in the field of medical research, you pioneers of the field. Go! Go! For the good of your wallets!

My name is Inigo Montoya. You killed the funny. Prepare to die.

The 1/2 Hour News Hour.

Damn, but this is unfunny shit. I mean, REALLY unfunny. Some of the shit they put on Adult Swim is funnier than this, and 70% of what they put on there is utter garbage.

House passes H.R. 63

The House has passed H.R. 63, the non-binding resolution opposing escalation fo the Iraq War.

Get back to me when they pass something that matters.


I am Spartacus.

Shakespeare’s Sister is bowing out of the Edwards campaign.

Not surprising - after all, once you start getting threats of violence because of a right-wing smear job, you start thinking about packing in the whole high-profile-job thing. Fortunately, for those whose attention spans aren't all that long, driftglass sums up how the hatchets were being swung (like they usually are) quite smartly:
1. The scripture-barking, Christ-defiling demagogies who run the show carefully and deliberately angry up the dung people.
2. They glean votes and dollars and ratings and its all a lot of fun until Tim McVeigh blows up a federal building because he took them at their word.
3. Then the scripture-barking, Christ-defiling American Taliban who run the show swear they had no idea it would ever go this far.
4. Then they do it all over again.

I am Spartacus.


I'm not gone.

I was. I spent a week back home. But now I'm back.

And I'm too busy to really update right now.


Goodbye, Molly Ivins

Syndicated columnist Molly Ivins dies of breast cancer at 62.

Why is it always the good ones?