KENNY SILVERSTEIN FELL OFF HIS BAR STOOL LAST NIGHT AS HE INSISTED, "THERE'S NOT A SHRED OF EVIDENCE TO SUPPORT" THAT BARACK OBAMA IS TIED UP IN THE ROD BLAGOJEVICH CRIMES. ACTUALLY, KENNY USED "SCANDAL" TO DESCRIBE THE CRIMES.
APPARENTLY, IF SOMEONE BREAKS INTO KENNY'S HOME AND MAKES OFF WITH THE PORNY COLLECTION HE'S HIDDEN IN THE BOTTOM DRAWER OF HIS WORK DESK THAT BREAK IN WOULD BE A "SCANDAL" AND NOT A "CRIME."
MOST CURIOUS IS HOW 'REPORTER' KENNY SCREAMS "NOTHING HERE! MOVE ON!" BEFORE REPORTERS CAN EVEN BEGIN DIGGING.
HOPPED UP ON WINE SPRITZERS, HE-MAN KENNY WASN'T TAKING NO GUFF AND, DESPITE CALLS FOR HIM TO PIPE DOWN, INSISTED HE WAS GOING TO DECLARE HIS LOVE FOR BARACK IF NOT THE TRUTH AS HE TOSSED BACK ANOTHER ZIMA.
NOT SINCE KENNY DECIDED TO WRITE ABOUT FIRE ARMS HAS HE DEMONSTRATED SUCH GROSS IGNORANCE. HE SMILED AT THAT AS HE STAGGERED HOME LAST NIGHT.
Yesterday's snapshot noted Reuters journalist Ibrahim Jassam who is wrongly being held by the US military despite the Iraqi court system ordering that Ibrahim be freed. Ibrahim is one of many reporters suffering in the 'free' Iraq. Last Wednesday's snapshot noted the United Nations Assistance Mission for Iraq's "Human Rights Report" [PDF format warning, click here]. The report was the latest (thirteenth) and noted the attacks on the press especially in the Kurdish region where journalists spoke of being "arrested, harassed and ill-treated by KRG police. . . . Local journalist associations have condemned the conduct of the KRG authorities while other journalists were also prevented from covering the military operations." And the snapshot included:
. . . last month saw another journalist targeted in the Kurdistan region. Adel Hussein is the journalist and he's been convicted to six months of prison for the 'crime' of "writing an article about homosexuality". Reporters Without Border notes: "Sexual practices are part of the individual freedoms that a democratic states is supposed to promote and protect. Furthermore, Hussein did not defend homosexuality. He limited himself to describing a form of behavior from a scientific viewpoint. . . . We are astonished to learn that a press case has been tried under the criminal code. What was the point of adoptiong -- and then liberalising -- a press code in Kurdistan region if people who contribute to the news media are still be tried under more repressive laws?" The Committee to Protect Journalists is calling for the immediate release of Adel -- "a doctor and a freelance journalist with the independent weekly Hawlati". CPJ's Robert Mahoney (Dept Director) states, "A judge of all people should know that ignorance of the law is no excuse. This is the second time in a month that a court in Iraqi Kurdistan has sent a journalist to prison in violation of the new press law. We call on the authorities to ensure that the new legislation is widely promulgated and enforced, and we urge the appeal court to overturn this conviction and free Adel Hussein immediately." The other reporter referred to was Shwan Dawdi whose conviction was overturned by the court of appeal. Yahya Barzanji (AP) quotes the Kurdistan Journalist Union's Zirak Kamal stating, "We will appeal this unjust verdict and we hope that Kurdistan officials intervene and solve the problem." BBC explains the Kurdish government is attempting to say that Adel "violated a public decenty law" by reporting.
In a new development,
The Committee to Protect Journalists announces that Adel was pardoned Sunday by KRG President Massoud Barzani and quotes CPJ Deputy Director Robert Mahoney stating, "We are relieved that President Barzani intervened to right this injustice. We call on the authorities to ensure that the new legislation is enforced and that Adel Hussein is the last journalist to be sent to prison in Iraqi Kurdistan because of his work." Reporters Without Borders notes:
Reporters Without Borders welcomes yesterday's release of physician and freelance journalist Adel Hussein from prison in Erbil (330 km north of Baghdad) under a pardon granted by the president of the Iraqi region of Kurdistan at the start of every religious festival.
Hussein had been in prison since 24 November, when he was found guilty of offending public decency under article 403 of the criminal code for writing an article about homosexuality for the independent Kurdish-language weekly Hawlati.
Turning to the topic of Blackwater -- Monday 5 mercenaries turned themselves into US federal authorities for charges stemming from the September 16, 2007 slaughter in Baghdad, Tina Susman and Usam Redha (Los Angeles Times) guage Iraqi opinion on the development. A veteran of Iraq's military, Ali, tells the reporters, "It means no one is above the law, even if he's an element of foreign forces. It also means the victims will get justice." An unnamed police officer states, "Because they killed 17 innocent people, of course they should be arrested." It's very rare that Iraqis are quoted or their opinions reported on.
Take McClatchy's Leila Fadel being interviewed by Paul Jay for the Real News Network in what is supposedly a nine minute interview about Iraqi suspicion of the treaty masquerading as a Status Of Forces Agreement. Yet at 2:37 in, she's still not talking about Iraqis. And she's wasted everyone's time with what appears to be a defense of McClatchy's AWFUL coverage from Baghdad of the treaty. She's yammering on and on endlessly about the Arabic version of the agreement ('which we translated into English") and who gives a damn, Leila? What do we care about? Well, how about you explain how Adam Ashton, in Iraq for McClatchy, couldn't (for McClatchy) write the truth about the treaty; however, Ashton works for The Modesto Bee and one Saturday, while still in Iraq, he could (for The Modesto Bee) write the realities that McClatchy wouldn't allow? How about you trying explaining that?
In what plays like yet another attempt to excuse the AWFUL reporting by McClatchy coming out of Baghdad, Leila begins referring to the "way that Maliki has sold the agreement to the population and has talked about it is as the end of the American occupation, he has won a date" -- uh, Fadel, he doesn't control the US press and the US press went with that -- including the Baghdad division of McClatchy that you head -- so how about taking a little damn responsibility or is that too difficult?
And, since you're now in DC and since the White House posted an English language version of the agreement (on Thanksgiving, as soon as the Iraqi Paliament voted it into effect -- as they said they would), why don't you address what that says?
And since you haven't read the White House version -- availabe for three weeks now -- maybe you ought to lose the attitude evident at 3:32 regarding Iraqis? (How "a lot of them haven't read" the Arabic version or done so well enough "to have an opinion.") In fact, if the average Iraqi that hasn't read the agreement in full doesn't have the right to an opinion in your opinion, then maybe you just should just close yourself off until you MAKE the time to read the White House version, published at the White House's website. You are, after all, a reporter and what's required and expected of you is a great deal more than what's required and expected of civilians whose country is occupied and under attack and who live in fear and do not have US passports that allow them to breeze in and out of Iraq at will? And, by the way, the Iraqis that "don't believe" in all the hog wash you have sold via McClatchy? They're right. They're right not only because it's a one-year treaty that either side can cancel in 2010 or 2011 -- which means you embarrass yourself in public when you bore us all with what's going to happen in 2011. But you don't need to know about that cancellation clause -- a clause Fadel 'forgot' to note when discussing the Arabic version for over 2 minutes (though that clause is also in the Arabic version). You only need to know that no US Embassy in any country is not protected by the US military. You only need to grasp that a larger embassy would require a larger US military force to protect it. You only need to realize that as long as the US Embassy remains in Baghdad, US forces will be on the ground in Iraq. That's reality. Here's some more -- don't show up for an inteview looking like a Los Molcajetes waitress serving chips and salsa. And for any little whiner at McClatchy who feels that's .just so harsh, let me be really clear: What McClatchy and others have done with regards to the treaty OUT DOES what Judith Miller did. Judith Miller (wrongly and laughably) believed that there were WMDs in Iraq. She should have shown skepticism, she shouldn't have been a stenographer. (And she was one of many.) But this illegal war continues because 'reporters' lie. LYING about the treaty, lying to Iraqis and Americans to lull them into a false belief that the war is winding down is nothing but an attempt to reduce pressure on the governments of both countries. You are servicing the adminstration, you are not servicing the people. And with all the lies that led to the illegal war having been exposed as lies, to provide new cover is outrageous and goes far beyond (my opinion) anything Miller could have hoped to do. In 2004 and 2005, we were regularly noting that if the Judith Millers got the US over there, the Dexter Filkins kept the US over there and they did so by lying in print regularly.
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