in case you missed it | What collateral damage looks like


What collateral damage looks like

On Tuesday, Private Bradley Manning, an Army intelligence analyst, was formally charged under U.S. military law for allegedly leaking a video to that shows personnel in a U.S. military helicopter callously killing a group of 12 people, including two employees of the Reuters news service. Manning also stands accused of leaking an estimated 150,000 diplomatic cables.

Private Manning now faces the military’s equivalent of a grand jury. He has been charged with four counts of violating Article 92 of the Uniform Code of Military Justice, for disobeying orders or regulations, and eight counts of violating Article 134, a general charge for misconduct for violating federal laws against giving away classified information.

We’re not sure about the diplomatic cables, but releasing the video was a heroic act. It gave everyday Americans a close-up look at “collateral damage” — how ugly it really is, how easily it happens, and how little some military personnel seem to care that the bullets they’re firing might injure a child or an innocent bystander — or a journalist on assignment.

When will the military go on trial for its mistakes? Or is “collateral damage” the only form of murder for which no one is ever held accountable?

Not surprisingly, WikiLeaks, an organization that leaks embarrassing government documents from around the world and offers anonymity to those who provide them, is on an official Pentagon list of organizations considered to be a potential threat to the U.S. military.

Yeah, the truth is dangerous — particularly for those who work overtime to conceal it.

Hot cereal for the snakes?

Hey, the Longmont-based Colorado Reptile Humane Society is running out of certain materials and is putting out a call for donations.

The list of needed supplies includes the usual suspects, like paper towels, copy paper and envelopes.

But when we got to the item “regular oatmeal,” that was a stumper. Is that for the staff or the inmates? Absorbent cage liner? We heard that if you feed that stuff to ants, it expands and they explode.

And 46-gallon trash bags? We couldn’t help picture the death of one of those giant komodo dragons, and how one might dispose of the body.

They also need plastic water bowls, hand gardening tools and gift cards for gasoline.

So we called them up, and as it turns out, the oatmeal is used as bedding for worms (reptile food), the garbage bags are used as bed liners, the gas cards are used to get the critters to DIA when they are shipped to out-ofstate adopters, and the gardening tools are used for growing many of the plants and veggies eaten by our scaley friends.

If you want to donate, call 303- 776-2070 to schedule a drop-off time.

Blow job

Leave it to Columbia to make winning the World Cup sound even more appealing.

Columbian authorities at the Bogota airport seized a replica of the World Cup trophy made entirely of cocaine on July 3, media outlets reported.

The trophy was boxed up with some soccer jerseys and bound for Madrid. The cocaine was mixed with acetone or gasoline to make it moldable.

Seems the poor quality of the paint is what tipped off police. And Columbian law enforcement officers call themselves soccer fans. True “futbol” aficionados should have also noticed that it weighed too much, at 24 pounds.

According to reports, the real trophy is lighter. And it’s almost as valuable as the coke version, because it’s made of 18-karat GOOOOLD!

John, don’t go, say it ain’t so!

Aw, shucks. Colorado has lost one of its hard-core Republican groups, an outfit that trains Christian college students how to be proper right-wingers.

The John Jay Institute’s Board of Governors has decided that Colorado Springs is just not conservative enough, and it is moving the institute to Philadelphia. Huh?

“I can’t think of a better place to inspire young leaders with America’s constitutional principles than Philadelphia,” board chair Claude Pressnell said in a news release. “America was born in Philadelphia.”

Wow, that’s deep. We know, we know. You are crushed.