The website WikiLeaks’ release of nearly 400,000 secret U.S. war logs on Iraq, posted amidst the din of midterm elections, represents the largest intelligence leak in U.S. history. The release also provides Americans with a mammoth record of a war most of us want to ignore or forget.
No “earthshaking revelations” here, claimed The New York Times in its initial summaries of the documents, known as the Iraq War Logs. Iraqi civilian deaths, the excesses of privatized warriors, the torture of Iraqis by Iraqi troops and police detailed in the logs were stories already reported.
Amy Goodman, co-anchor of the progressive news program Democracy Now!, described WikiLeaks’ latest offering as “a new trove of evidence of the violence and suffering that has befallen Iraqis since the U.S. invasion of 2003.”
The posting of these 391,832 “significant action reports” from U.S. military files may also signify the durability of conscience and its unpredictable emergence even in war.
While moderating the comments on John Allen's report on Sunday's vigil of sex abuse survivors at the Vatican, I came across something remarkable: a first-hand account of the events from one of our commenters.
The comment comes from Judy Lorenz and has been slightly edited, just for formatting purposes.
It's a wonderful look into what the event meant for those who attended. Have a read:
While people may think the event was not well attended or did not evolve into what was hoped for -- it was still a very powerful moment in time. Earlier in the day the survivors met, and it was there that we had the opportunity to meet the deaf commnunity who traveled six hours by bus from Verona, Italy. Men and women who were brave enough to face their demon in their own country. A country where speaking ill of "Papa" is risky indeed.
Glenmary Fr. John S. Rausch, profiled in our special issue on ecology last year, reports on a recent prayer gathering near a site in Kentucky where the strip mining of coal was taking place:
"With storm clouds changing the sky by patterns of various lights and darkness, 75 people gathered last September on Pine Mountain near Whitesburg, Kentucky, to pray. The ecumenical gathering called “The Cross in the Mountains” (check YouTube) prayed for a renewal of Appalachian communities on a four-acre prayer site that looked onto Black Mountain where strip mining was eating away part of Kentucky’s highest ridge.
You may have seen reports yesterday from the Commerce Department that the Commerce Department followed up with disappointing news, noting that personal incomes fell 0.1% in September after rising 0.4% in August.
Today, the Free Exchange blog, written by The Economist reporters, looks at what's behind those numbers:
Seven weeks before he died, Father Thaer Abdal was standing beside the gnarled stone grotto to the Virgin Mary in Sayidat al-Nejat church, an extremely worried man.
My wife, Sally, and I got on a train Saturday morning in Maryland and headed for the rally for whatever. Part of the point was that we now could -- hop on a train, that is, as we could not do during our 16 years in Kansas -- and be in DC in a half hour.
John L. Allen Jr. will speak in the Cleveland area Thursday night.
A press release:
SCOTTSDALE, AZ -- The U.S. Secular Franciscan Order declared its “solidarity with migrants in our midst” during its national gathering Oct. 29 at the Franciscan Renewal Center in Scottsdale, AZ.
The national body, representing 14,000 Secular Franciscans across the United States, unanimously approved a statement declaring “some current harsh attitudes towards migration” as intolerable and deploring “the fear and anxiety paralyzing our immigrant brothers and sisters.”
“As Franciscans, we intentionally chose to come to Arizona to stand in solidarity with the migrants in our midst,” the statement reads.
The statement goes on to say:
- “We endorse the United States Catholic Bishops’ urgent call for Comprehensive Immigration Reform, including their strong support for the DREAM act.”
- “We support and encourage all the humanitarian efforts to assist immigrants who are struggling to survive.”
- “We pray for peace and harmony, and we always remember in prayer families who are being torn apart.”
At the end of last week, both Demetria Martinez and I wrote here about the widening gap between rich and poor in America -- and how that has most likely contributed to political polarization over the last generation. But the reality is this: that income gap has not sparked electoral dividing lines that make economic sense.