Silver Rights

News, thoughts and comments on civil rights and related issues.

Friday, April 18, 2003  

School board member accused of bigotry

An African-American Illinois school board member is being lambasted for referring to schoolchildren as "mutts."

Amid calls for his resignation, an Evanston school board member has apologized for using the word "mutts" when criticizing a "multiracial" identification category on school registration forms.

Hecky Powell made the comments during a March 24 meeting of the Evanston Elementary School District 65 board as he argued against the need for such a category.

Initially, he said, ""In this country, we basically are all mutts anyway."

In a later gathering, he expanded on his previous remarks:

During an April 3 board meeting, he quoted a veterinarian and said mutts are "more sociable" and "more trainable" and tend to live longer.

I am skeptical about the complaints because some of them come from apparent members of the multiracial movement, which is very Right Wing.

"The comparison between my children and dogs is very disturbing, especially from a person who is responsible for the education of my children," said Tracey Wallace, 40, an Evanston resident who has called for Powell's resignation, as have several others.

Wallace is African-American, and his wife is white. They have two children.

The movement, whose de facto leader is Ward Connerly, often attacks black leaders. The issue of a multiracial category on forms is so important to them because they want to distance their mixed-race offspring from African-Americans. My position is that most African-Americans, Indian Americans and Hispanic Americans are already racially mixed, so there is no need for a new category.

Furthermore, Powell used the adjective "mutts" in relation to everyone, not just the children of interracial marriages. Wallace's claim his children were singled out is not true.

If the complaint was that children should not be compared to dogs, I might be more sympathetic. I believe Powell unwittingly used a phrase some people would find offensive, but with no intent to offend anyone.

In addition to the criticism from some parents, Powell was discussed at a human relations council meeting he was not informed about. That seems very irregular.

It appears the brouhaha may end without additional trouble for Powell, a successful businessman. I believe that is the best resolution.

Note: I have a partial entry about the multiracial movement around here somewhere. I will attempt to complete and publish it next week.

posted by J. | 11:43 PM

Thursday, April 17, 2003  

The rules of attraction redux

Charles has posted an excellent reply to my entry about the differences between normal heterosexual and homosexual attraction and having a fetish, such as a preference for amputees. My main points were:

•Normally, a person is attracted to an individual as a whole, not just some visible aspect;

•The obsessiveness with which the fetishist pursues the object of his interest much exceeds normal attraction behavior.

Charles responds that the fetishistic objects among what I consider normal heterosexuals are the male and female genitalia themselves. He believes some people, mainly men, are just as obsessed with female genitalia, usually breasts, as devotees are with stumps.

Read all about it at Alas, a Blog.

A revealing IQ test

Succinct sociologist Kieran Healy has discovered a worthwhile IQ test. It quizzes folks on how much they know about the economic realities of life in the First World. Take the Inequality Quiz developed by the Center for the Study of Inequality after you read Kieran's blog entry.

Kevin Drum discovers lead

CalPundit Kevin Drum has discovered that lead poisoning is considered a reason for lower IQs in poor children.

The problem arises because young children often eat paint chips or inhale them. The children of the poor are more likely to live in older, often substandard, housing. Such housing is apt to have been painted with paint containing lead.

The issue has been around for a while. However, it has received less attention as the housing stock in the United States, including tenements, became newer. Lead has not been a component of house paint since the 1970s. As a result, many cities have reduced the amount of funding for their lead abatement programs.

The article Kevin cites suggests the acceptability standard for lead in children's blood was set too high. Just about any lead may be too much.

Lead levels now widely believed to be safe in children actually produce a severe impact on intellectual development, researchers report today.

Blood levels of lead below current federal and international guidelines of 10 micrograms per deciliter produce a surprisingly large drop in IQ of up to 7.4 points, a U.S. team reports in today's New England Journal of Medicine.

A refocus on lead poisoining would mean a reversal of policy for both local and federal governments. Currently, the Deparment of Housing and Urban Development's main program is informational. Landlords and sellers of homes built before 1978 must disclose the possible presence of paint containing lead in the structures. Lessees and buyers then sign waivers acknowledging the disclosure. Considering the limited housing available to the poor, the program likely has little impact on whether children are exposed to lead in their homes.

Supporters of increased spending for lead abatement will have to fight an uphill battle.

Mad at Michael Moore

Some denizens of the blogosphere are calling for the Academy to revoke director Michael Moore's Oscar. He won it for his documentary, Bowling for Columbine. The (non-movie) critics seem to believe Moore 'hates America.'

posted by J. | 9:53 PM

Odds and ends

You get to decide which for each item.


My 'resigned to the war' return to normalcy is coming along. I watched two back-to-back hours of "The Practice" Monday night. Had intended to take in only one, so I could blog some more. But, the two-parter featured the marvelous Alfre Woodard. She was a paranoid schizophrenic about to be executed. The connundrum addressed was insane people can't be executed while in the throes of irrationality. They must be medicated into rationality and then executed.

By the way, Woodard is one of David E.'s favorite actresses.


Steve writes to add some insight in regard to intersexuality.

My understanding of the adult protests is that infant surgery robs them of the opportunity for informed consent. Impairment of natural sexuality is cited as a natural offshoot of that for some.

From what I've seen, the intersexual advocates believe that they should have access to the adaptive surgeries of their choosing in adolescence or adulthood instead of having decisions made for them as infants.


My blog bro, Roger Ailes, has almost recovered the web log that was nearly decimated by the GBM (great Blogger meltdown). He is on a tear with items about domestic difficulties in the Bush family, Bill O'Reilly's slur against children of color and continuing exposure of the really strange Janet Rehnquist. Read Roger.


Also in the mailbag was an email from a disgruntled reader we will call Bad Apple. He informs me his site is not funded by the eugenicist Pioneer Institute. I will take his word for that, having been influenced by "Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm" while a defenseless child, though he offers no proof. However, considering the reactionary content of his site, I suspect it is funded by some other far Right benefactor.


Whenever I mention some of the people who helped me get started as a blogger, I want to mention more. The list includes the Archpundit, CalPundit Kevin Drum, Chris of Flyover Country, DailyKos, Nathan Newman and Mark Kleiman. Mainly, they inspired me. John Cole and Jay Caruso irritated me enough to lead me to seek a remedy. That is a form of inspiration, too.

posted by J. | 1:39 AM

Wednesday, April 16, 2003  

When is sexual attraction a fetish?

Charles is the Alas, A Blog participant who believes that both heterosexuality and homosexuality are fetishes. If I understand him accurately, he thinks people are born with an inherent desire for sexual gratification, but who or what that desire attaches itself to is arbitrary.

Charles says being attracted to men or women is like being attracted to feet. He offers the sexualization of women's feet during much of Chinese history as an example.

I can't find a way to get Charles' understanding of 'fetish' to cohere with the accepted definition:

fet·ish also fet·ich

( P )  Pronunciation Key  (ftsh, ftsh)

n. Something, such as a material object or a nonsexual part of the body, that arouses sexual desire and may become necessary for sexual gratification.

To frame the problems, I'm going to explain how a couple of fetishes I am familiar with function. I first learned about acrotomophilia and apotomenophilia while working on a mass torts case involving dismemberments. Part of the damages in any tort case is the harm caused to a person's quality of life, which includes affectional and sexual relationships. To put it bluntly, there are people who are sexually attracted to amputees because they are amputees. Other people want to be amputees, with some accomplishing that goal. The groups sometimes overlap. Dr. John Money, introduced when we were discussing intersexuality, named and defined these fetishes.

Acrotomophilia: a paraphilia of the stigmatic/eligibilic type in which the sexuerotic arousal and facilitation or attainment of orgasm are responsive to, and dependent upon a partner who is an amputee (from Greek, Akron, extremity + tome'. a cutting = - philia). An acrotomophile is erotically excited by the stump(s) of the amputee partner.

Apotomenophilia: a paraphilia of the stigmatic/eligibilic type in which sexuerotic arousal and facilitation or attainment of orgasm are dependent upon oneself being an amputee [from the Greek, apo, from + temnien, to cut = - philia]. An apotemnophile becomes fixated on carrying out a self-contrived amputation, or obtaining one in a hospital.

Let's use the terms common in the culture that thrives on obsession with limblessness, devotees and wannabes. Devotees have developed a culture, particularly online, that includes introduction services, trade in photographs and videos and sites devoted to discussing acrotomophilia. Devotees are believed to often enter professions in which they can meet amputees, such as physical therapy and designing or manufacturing artificial limbs. They can be a serious problem for amputees because they sometimes follow or harass them, in efforts to gain access.

Not all amputees are created equal in the eyes of devotees. Some prefer multiple amputations. Leg amputations are more popular than arm amputations. Rarely, devotees like less intrusive amputations, such as fingers.

The majority of devotees are male. The idealized amputee is female, with an above-the-knee amputation, preferably not wearing an artificial limb. Because of relatively good medical care in First World countries, they are pretty hard to come by. That fuels the trade in substitute stimuli described above.

Canadian amputee activist Ian Gregson has written about the topic. Though acrotomophiles often angrily deny they are abnormal, he disagrees.

In general there is a great difficulty in the acceptance of acrotomophilia in the amputee population, particularly with male amputees. Many amputees believe that people should be accepted as human being first not just "stumps."

Therein lies part of the problem I have with Charles' use of the word 'fetish.' In most heterosexual and homosexual relationships, I believe the attraction to the person precedes the attraction to minor aspects of being human, such as race, ethnicity or height or weight. With fetishes, the basic rule of attraction changes. But for the amputation, the devotee would not be attracted to the person.

Apotomenophiles are sexually stimulated or gratified by the pretending to be or becoming amputees. There have been demands for amputation of healthy limbs so that wannabes can 'feel normal' .

There are a few other causes of this cutting-edge fetish: an eroticization of the stump or the desire for over-achievement despite a handicap. Thus, several times a year there are reports of perfectly healthy men and women who either find a doctor to perform this very unnecessary surgery or attempt it themselves. This is usually done by whatever means happens to be handy, or by infecting themselves and therefore giving a more reputable surgeon no recourse but to cut off the limb.

"I just didn't feel right," says one woman, who successfully worked to have part of her leg removed. "Now I feel like a real person."

Again, there is a significant difference between Charles' use of 'fetish' and how a real fetish functions. The excessiveness and obsession common to fetishizers is absent from normal heterosexual and homosexual relationships in my opinion.

Acrotomophilia and apotomenophilia have not become accepted as normal in the psychiatric community as homosexuality has. The consensus of opinion is they are disorders arising in the mind. Persons with the conditions deny that, saying being attracted to amputees or 'needing' to lose a limb is as normal to them as being attracted to tall women or coloring one's hair is in the general population. Again, the nature v. nurture issue arises. It is most troubling in regard to wannabes: If there is a biological reason for their desire to lose a limb, should society, in the form of physicians and hospitals, fulfill that desire? (A couple physicians in Scotland did, until societal disapproval made them stop.) Notice this is the same claim -- natural behavior should be accepted -- the homosexuality as a result of nature argument relies on, to a degree.

In recent years, discussion of devotees and wannabes has emerged from the closet. A quite mainstream article about the latter, "A New Way to Be Mad," appeared in the very respectable Atlantic Magazine in 2000. Therapist Greg M. Furth's almost lifelong obsession with wanting a leg amputated has been chronicled in print media and on television. He has written a book about apotomenophilia. His colleague, Elisabeth Kubler-Ross, wrote the introduction.

posted by J. | 11:52 AM

Tuesday, April 15, 2003  

Three for the road


Jeralyn Merritt of Talkleft reports Katrina Leung, the naturalized American of Chinese birth who is accused of being a spy, will not get bail.

Leung offered to post $3 million in real estate to secure her bond. The Judge refused to accept her proposal, saying that sufficient details about her assets had not yet been revealed.

He seemed to believe Leung represents a threat to the national security, but that her native-born alleged accomplice does not.

One of the two FBI agents romantically involved with Leung, James J. Smith, was supposed to be her "handler." Smith has been charged with "gross negligence in handling documents related to the national defense." He was released on $250,000. bail.


MB of Wampum Blog recently found a priceless photo she had misplaced. It depicts her mother in Native American dress.

It was 1955, and she was 16 and a half. Its the only photo I have of her in full regalia. Most of the photos of her that age are with high school friends, noticeably "tanner" then her peers, but sporting the same clothes and make-up. She looked like a typical All-American kid. But this photo documented the part of her life not shared with those friends, and in 1950s racist America, shared with few outside of her family.


Another round of 'Will you just look at John Lott, is he wack or what?' is taking place among at least a dozen bloggers. The Rightwing's premier gun nut has now apparently cited himself as an anonymous source in his latest brain droppings.

Atrios reminds us that in addition to being completely unscrupulous (and really bad-looking, says I), Lott may be a racist in a link to this entry from weeks past:

The real reason I care about John Lott is that the man testified to congress about the patterns of disenfranchisement in Florida during the 2000 election. The work was so hideously obviously deliberately dishonest, as Dr. Lichtman easily demonstrates, that the man obviously has no ethics. In fact, his willingness to present disinformation to cover up the disenfranchisement of voters makes him anti-democratic and anti-American as far as I'm concerned, and his willingness to try and cover up the disenfranchisement of black voters makes him a bigot.

There is ample evidence supporting the claim Lott is benighted in regard to race, including a glowing review of his book, "More Guns, Less Crime," at the white supremacist site, American Renaiisance.

posted by J. | 10:32 PM

Lynch legend does not match facts

We've heard all kinds of things about Pfc. Jessica Lynch and that Iraqi hospital. (Military headquarters, according to some on the Right.) That she was being held in a torture chamber. Armed Darth Vader-like Feyadeen supposedly guarded her. A car battery was said to be next to her bed, supposedly to to be used in torture sessions. Then, there was the Loyal Iraqi story in which she was rescued by an Iraqi lawyer who loves the United States. And, the one about how Pfc. Lynch fought until her ammunition was exhausted, being shot several times herself. Each of those claims has turned out to be untrue, or exaggerated at best. Today's Washington Post further debunks of the Legend of Little Jessie Lynch.

NASIRIYAH, Iraq, April 14 -- Accounts of the U.S. military's dramatic rescue of Pfc. Jessica Lynch from Saddam Hospital here two weeks ago read like the stuff of a Hollywood script. For Iraqi doctors working in the hospital that night, it was exactly that -- Hollywood dazzle, with little need for real action.

"They made a big show," said Haitham Gizzy, a physician at the public hospital here who treated Lynch for her injuries. "It was just a drama," he said. "A big, dramatic show."

Gizzy and other doctors said no Iraqi soldiers or militiamen were at the hospital that night, April 1, when the U.S. Special Operations forces came in helicopters to carry out the midnight rescue. Most of the Saddam's Fedayeen fighters, and the entire Baath Party leadership, including the governor of the province, had come to the hospital earlier in the day, changed into civilian clothes and fled, the doctors said.

The evidence suggests the evaporation of the Iraqi forces in Nasiriyah and other cities was pre-planned. The Iraqi leadership seems to have decided to put up a defense, but not to endanger their own lives. According to medical personnel at the hospital, the Ba'athists changed into civilian attire and walked away, blending into the general population. That process may have been repeated hundreds of times.

As for Lynch, the claim 'Mohammed' saw her being tortured and went to great lengths to save her appears apocryphal. At most, a tipster may have been involved. Her injuries seem to have occurred in in an automobile accident.

Lynch, 19, a supply clerk with the Army's 507th Maintenance Company, was captured March 23 when her unit made a wrong turn near Nasiriyah and was ambushed. Initial accounts reported how she was shot and stabbed and continued battling Iraqi fighters until she ran out of ammunition. But the doctors here who treated her said she suffered fractures to her arms and lower limbs and a "small skull wound," sustained when her vehicle overturned.

That does not mean there hasn't been a great deal of suffering in Nasiriyah.

The doctors at Nasiriyah's public hospital said they welcomed the U.S. and British invasion for having toppled Hussein's government. But that support is tempered by the high number of civilian casualties in Nasiriyah. Many of them, including women and children, remain in the crowded wards, suffering from severed limbs and deep lacerations the doctors said were caused by U.S. tank fire and bombs during the first week of the war.

Many injured civilians are nearly helpless in a city in which basic services such as water, lights and sanitation have been interrupted or destroyed. Medical supplies are also in short supply.

Note: I in no way intend to denigrate the pain Pfc. Lynch has doubtlessly endured. Anyone who has had even one broken bone knows how unpleasant the experience is. My interest in examining the legend that is arising around Pfc. Lynch is to probe how race, gender and credulous reporters can create a legend that have no basis in reality.

posted by J. | 6:42 PM

Monday, April 14, 2003  

People of a third sex

Barry is out of town. His housemates and friend are guest blogging for him. So, we can expect a more mainstream Ampersand, right? No way! If anything, Bean, Charles and Kip are farther out than the B-Man himself. Last week, a round robin discussion about politics and views of homosexuality, and later, race and homosexuality, began among liberal and progressive bloggers. At its most extreme, the conversation reached the issues of intersexuality (usually called hermaphroditism), and, whether heterosexuality and homosexuality are fetishes. Alas, A Blog, Barry's place, led the way.

I'm going to talk about the fetishism issue eventually. But, for now, let's focus on variant sexuality, a topic I've researched pretty extensively. A commenter at Alas put that ball in play.

Well, I've got an interesting angle on all of this. I'm transgendered. I'm *not* transsexual--as I've not been down to the Body Shop to get any parts rearranged and I have no plans to do so :), though I did consider it at one time. But I have TS friends and other TG friends and crossdresser friends (I myself crossdress) and know people throughout the whole 'trans' spectrum.

. . .The way it's sometimes discussed is to disassociate 'gender' from 'sex'. My 'sex' is male--meaning, I have the requisite dangly male bits between my legs. My 'gender' is somewhere towards the female part of the spectrum. And 'sexuality' is an *entirely* different question (I'm a lesbian trapped in a man's body :)).

The commenter identifies himself (to avoid awkward phrasing, I will say 'he') as "Frank except when I'm Samantha :)."

Variant sexuality interests me because it goes to the core of the nature and nurture issue and the intersection of the psychological with the physical. We know very little about how genetics impact most areas of being human. We know somewhat more when it comes to hermaphroditism.

The treatment for infants born with some of both sets of genitalia is, traditionally, gender assignment surgery. Doctors decide whether the child has sufficient features and enough moldable tissues to form a penis. If not, the child is assigned a female gender, and its genitalia molded to fit that identity, regardless of what the chromosome test says. Both gender assignments receive hormone treatments appropriate to the assigned identity. It is feared a person reared between genders will suffer longterm psychological damage.

Within the last decade, some adult hermaphrodites have rebelled against the surgery for infants, saying it robbed them of what would have been their natural sexuality. However, I suspect the opponents of the surgery (for other people, mind you) are the more radical intersexed people. The average 'fixed' person probably accepts his gender assignment despite its limitations, such as not being able to have children if insufficiently female or requiring continuing surgeries to construct and maintain a penis if male.

What we can learn from this situation in regard to nature (biology) and nurture (environment) is that nature provides a framework and nurture determines the rest. There is no biological solution to intersexuality. At most, surgeons can try to achieve a physical result that will allow the person to pass as one gender. Upbringing, including psychological treatment, determines whether the intersexed person emerges as functional and able to accept his or her lot in life.

The intersection of the psychological with the physical may also determine how intersexed people actually manifest their sexuality. Frank provides some insight.

I'm mostly het--if you consider me male, that is--but that's *not* a genetalia--centered het. I don't have a problem with the male dangly bits--I have a problem with the *rest* of the male body. I'm not attracted to people with male body types. I *could* be attracted to a she-male, I'm sure, if I wasn't happily married.

A note of caution must be offered in regard to the literature about hermaphroditism. The main authority on the topic was Dr. John Money, formerly chief of the Gender Identity Clinic at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore. He was discredited and his reputation has been in free fall for a while. He lied about the results of his main study of intersexuality, which was of a male baby accidentally castrated. Dr. Money claimed the child, an identical twin, was reared female successfully. Actually, the boy rebelled against an imposed female identity and chose to live as a male. Some people would latch onto this one case to claim biology is dominant. But, I believe they would be making the same mistake Dr. Money did, in the opposite direction. Besides, the child, now grown up and a husband and stepfather, was not a true hermaphrodite.

Note: I have changed the title on this entry because having a certain noun so close to another noun may have led to this site being filtered.

posted by J. | 3:41 PM

Sunday, April 13, 2003  

Good neighbors . . . and bad


You may have noticed this blog has a lovely purple (Internet Explorer) or blue (Netscape) banner at the top of it instead of an ad for hemmorhoid remedies. That is because of the generosity of one of my neighbors in Bloggersville, George Kelly of All About George. The first week Silver Rights went public, he ransomed that space from Blogger. As I said in earlier entries, other bloggers have also been generous toward me, accepting me as a commenter and commentator. They include Roger Ailes, Natasha of the watch, Julia of Sisyphus Shrugged, James of a Skeptical Blog and Zizka of Vanity Site.


Having begun my association with blogs hanging out at DailyKos and Atrios' Eschaton, a couple of the most popular web logs, I try to spend time reading small blogs every week. I've happened across several bloggers I added to my blogroll that way and others I began corresponding with. However, there was a fellow whose response after I sent him two emails, extended silence, was rather rude. In the emails, I asked him why he included Fred Reed, a confirmed racist and hack with the Washington Times, that gathering place for the decency challenged, on his blogroll. It matters more than usual because the blogroll's owner sells memberships to other bloggers.

The person, Terry Oglesby of the PossumBlog, could have at least answered the question. That would just be having manners, you know? I became even more curious after learning Oglesby believes the Confederate flag has nothing to do with racism and his idea of a reliable African-American source is longterm reactionary Walter Williams. And, then, there was the post in which he ordered Kofi Annan, the Secretary General of the United Nations, who is from Ghana, to fetch him a drink. (After a shoeshine, maybe?)

But, mainly, Oglesby seems to be an unartful dodger. His reply to an article discussing segregation de jure is to say it was no different from segregation de facto.

The only part I can fault is that the folks who were "disgusted with seeing blacks as second-class citizens in the South" often turned a blind eye to the the reality of blacks being treated as second-class citizens in the North. Back in February I linked to a Newhouse News Service article detailing the Great Migration from the South to the North and Midwest, and the very similar conditions blacks had to contend with in both the North and the South.

Trying to shift the focus from the awful and incomparable racial sins of the South to elsewhere is like trying to strain water. One just gets wet all over. The dodge is Oglesby's stock response to slavery, segregation and the continuing inequities. And, people wonder why states like his, Alabama, remain at the bottom of all indicia of societal well-being. With middle-class people who are unable to even confront the issues, I don't believe it is a mystery.

I was recently informed Terry Oglesby is a participant in the 'race realist' (the latest term for 'scientific' racist) blog, Gene Expression. So, though I never received a return email from the PossumBlog, my question about why he includes Fred Reed on his blogroll has been answered.

But, we need not end on a glum note. At least one member of the group Oglesby markets his blogroll to has chosen to remove Fred Reed from the listing after discovering how excreable Reed is.

posted by J. | 9:35 PM

Spec. Shoshana Johnson freed by Iraqis

Spec. Shoshana Johnson, the remaining known female POW, was among the seven American troops who were missing in action apparently freed by the Iraqis today.

Two of the POWs — Chief Warrant Officer Ronald D. Young Jr., 26, of Lithia Springs, Ga., and Chief Warrant Officer David S. Williams, 30, of Orlando, Fla. - were shot down in their Apache helicopter south of Baghdad on March 23.

The five others were part of the Army’s 507th Ordnance Maintenance Company whose convoy was ambushed outside the southern city of Nasiriyah, also on March 23. They are Spc. Shoshana Johnson, 30, Fort Bliss, Texas; Sgt. James Riley, 31, Pennsauken, N.J.; Spc. Joseph Hudson, 23, Alamogordo, N.M.; Pfc. Patrick Miller, 23, Park City, Kan.; and Spc. Edgar Hernandez, 21, Mission, Texas.

All the missing members of the 507th are now accounted for.

The Johnson family learned about Spec. Johnson's fate one Sunday morning while watching television. They were shocked by her capture, having believed she was safe as a military cook.

"I was searching for cartoons to watch with my grandchild (Shoshana's 2-year-old daughter Janelle)," said Claude Johnson, a native of Panama.

His remote landed on Telemundo, which broadcast a report about the POWs. When he heard one of the soldier's first name, ethnicity and military company, he knew that was his daughter.

Johnson then told his wife, Eunice, that he thought Shoshana was one of the captives, and she "went to pieces," he said.

Like many African-American families, the Johnsons are overrepresented in military service. Spec. Johnson's father, Claude, is a 20-year Army veteran. An aunt also served. Currently, her sister is an Army Captain. Nikki Johnson prayed for Spec. Shoshana Johnson's safe return.

Captain Johnson says she's constantly wondering how her sister is being treated. "I hope she is already being treated well. I'm hoping the Red Cross can go in there and confirm that and add to anything she might need."

The released POWs have been medically examined and are now at an American base in Kuwait. There is much relief in El Paso, Texas, where the Johnsons reside.

“We are ecstatic that not only she is safe, but all of the POWS are back in U.S. hands,” said the family of [Spec. Shoshana] Johnson, in a statement. “We thank God for watching over them. We are grateful for all the worldwide prayers.”

posted by J. | 5:44 PM