Saturday, January 14, 2012

Oprah thinks people still watch her!

BULLY BOY PRESS & CEDRIC'S BIG MIX -- THE KOOL-AID TABLE

FAILED NETWORK OWNER, FADED TV CELEBRITY, GAYLE KING'S CLOSETED LOVER AND PROFESSIONAL FAT GIRL OPRAH WINFREY DUSTED OFF ANOTHER BAD WIG, FLARED HER PIG NOSTRILS AND SAT FOR THE CAMERA TO DECLARE SHE'S SUPPORTING BARRY O! OF COURSE SHE IS, HER TRASHY TV SHOW AND HER LIES ABOUT HER CHILDHOOD (SEE KITTY KELLEY'S BOOK) MADE HER MILLIONS. SHE'S NOT ONE OF THE PEOPLE. SHE'S THE 1%. ALL THE FAT CATS GO WITH BARRY O!

REACHED FOR COMMENT BY THESE REPORTERS, OPRAH DECLARED SHE WAS VERY BUSY THESE DAYS ATTEMPTING TO BRING OUT A LINE OF DOUBLE SIDED DILDOS BUT, YES, SHE WAS SUPPORTING BARRY O AND CHIEFLY BECAUSE HIS "TITS SAG MORE THAN MINE AND THAT AIN'T EASY."

IN THE BACKGROUND, THESE REPORTERS HEARD GAYLE KING HOLLER BACK, "IT AIN'T EASY! YOU GOT THAT RIGHT, MR. WINFREY!"

OPRAH'S PAST FABLED JUDGMENT HAS BROUGHT THE WORLD JAMES FREY, THE IRAQ WAR (AND JUDITH MILLER AS A TRUSTED GUEST) AS WELL AS THE LAWSUIT OVER HER DESIGNER PERFUME MAD COW.

"I HAVE NO REGRETS," DECLARED OPRAH WHEN CONFRONTED WITH THE LIST. "AND, TO THIS DAY, MAD COW REMAINS MY SIGNATURE SCENT."

"IT'S SECRET INGREDIENT IS UNDER BOOB SWEAT FROM UNDER OPRAH'S VERY OWN BOOBS! LET ME TELL YOU, IT IS SWAMPY DOWN THERE!" GAYLE KING YELLED BEFORE OPRAH ENDED THE CALL.


FROM THE TCI WIRE:


The Iraq War and the Afghanistan War have produced many veterans. Many services are needed, many resources are overtaxed.
In San Diego a vacant building could house close to fifty veterans. KGTV's 10 News reports, "Dr. Robert Smith presented the plan which he said is particularly necessary in the San Diego area as it has the largest population of Iraq and Afghanistan veterans in the nation at 28,000." But the psychiatric facility found objection at the Mission Hillas Town Council hearing by some parents who say that a school across the street from the vacant building means children could be at risk. Jeanette Steele (San Diego Union-Tribune) adds "neighbors are wary, saying it's not a 'vets versus kids' equation. They ay it's a great facility but there must be better places to put it in sprawling San Diego." If they're worried about danger to the kids, a vacant building in a city, as a general rule, tends to attract more problems than an occupied building. That's drug use and drug dealing, that's a safety hazard for children (who naturally enjoy exploring and may enter a vacant building) and so much more. The facility would be a medical one. There's no guarantee that it would be any more safe than any other medical facility, or any less safe. There are many reasons to oppose a new facility -- veterans or otherwise -- coming into a neighborhood but one that would fill a building that now stands empty? Ex-Navy nurse Mary Rushton is quoted stating, "When these veterans fail the program and are asked to leave, that's the end of the VA's responsibility. Who knows what could happen? From not controlling their emotions and reactions, things along those lines. I don't think these kids need to see anything." And what's really sad is that's from a former Navy nurse. The government sent people to war, there's no need to hdie that reality from children. Are they at risk? By the nurse's argument everyon across the country is at risk. I believe schools are supposted to have their own safety procedures. Does she not trust the school? We know she doesn't trust the veteran. In the comments, Tikvah Organics' owner Cyndi Norwitz makes this point:
Unbelievable. There are children in every neighborhood, so are these people in opposition saying these vets aren't welcome anywhere? There are schools in most neighborhoods too. As for being across the street from a school, that seems ideal to me. When school is in session (plus the hours before and after), the place is swarming with staff. What could be safer than that? My daughter's in first grade and I would have no problem with a center like this being across the street from her school
Hugh Lessig (Virginia's Daily Press) reports on Hampton Veterans Administration Medical Center's program which issues housing vouchers to veterans in need: "The bad news? Business is bomming here in Hampton Roads" and the veteran population they served used to trend to 40 to 60 years old but is now starting to decrease in age to their 20s and 30s. Meanwhile in Illinois, homeless veterans continue to increase in numbers. Susan Frick Carlman (Naperville Sun) reports the Midwest Shelter for Homeless Veterans needs to open a second home and raised the issue at a town hall. US Senator Dick Durbin offered a non-reassuring, "I've got to look for new ways to help you, and if I can, I'll find some. If you've got the dedicated volunteers and professionals to make it work, it's a heck of an investment." If San Diego is the norm 9i hope it's not), then, should money be found, the shelter would next face the issue of finding a location that didn't have all the neighbors clutching the pearls.
Finding the money should be easy, after all the government's worked so very hard to refuse to give veterans the proper disability rating to save money (and cheat veterans). But sometimes veterans win in spite of it all. Michael Doyle (McClatchy Newspapers) reports, "After three years of legal maneuvering, a federal judge in late December quietly approved the settlement that covers [Iraq War veteran Chris] Crotte and about 2,100 other veterans who've been medically discharged since 2002 with post-traumatic stress disorder. Under the settlement, one of several similar efforts now under way, affected veterans discharged with PTSD will get better benefits, including lifetime health care and post-exchange privileges. The affected veterans had been discharged with disability ratings that were way too low to receive such benefits." On the subject of PTSD, the University of California San Francisco's Steve Tokar reports of a new study on women veterans and PTSD:
Women who served in the U.S. Army in Iraq and Afghanistan were involved in combat at significantly higher rates than in previous conflicts, and screened positive for post-traumatic stress disorder at the same rate as men, according to a study led by researchers at the San Francisco VA Medical Center and the University of California, San Francisco.

"While women technically are not supposed to serve in direct combat, this research demonstrates that, in reality, they are experiencing combat at a higher rate than we had assumed," said lead author Shira Maguen, PhD, a clinical psychologist at SFVAMC and an assistant clinical professor of psychiatry at UCSF. "At the same time, it shows that men and women really don't differ in how they react to the stresses of combat."

Women in the U.S. military gradually have been integrated into combat roles since the early 1990s, and today comprise about 14 percent of Americans serving in uniform. Of roughly 2.2 million troops who have served in Iraq and Afghanistan, more than 255,000 have been women, according to the Pentagon. Under current U.S Army rules, women are not officially assigned to units whose primary mission is direct combat on the ground, but can be assigned to other roles in combat zones.
The study of 7,251 active-duty soldiers who served in Iraq and Afghanistan is the first study, the authors say, to include gender as a variable in examining responses to four combat-associated traumatic experiences: killing, witnessing someone being killed, exposure to death (seeing dead soldiers or civilians) and injury.
Earlier this week, Laura Unger (Lousiville Courier Journal) observed that "almost 15 percent of today's active-duty troops are women;" however, health service for women continue to lag. For example, "VA hospitals don't provide obstetrics, for example, and most don't offer mammograms on-site. Medical centers on U.S. military bases, meanwhile, transfer women to civilian doctors for certain high-level care." In addition women who serve often face what H. Patricia Hynes (Truthout) calls another battlefield:

These same women have found themselves, concurrently, caught in a second, more damaging war - a private, preemptive one in the barracks. As one female soldier put it, "They basically assume that because you are a girl in the Army, you're obligated to have sex with them." Resisting sexual assault in the barracks spills over to the battlefield, according to many women veterans, in the form of relentless verbal sexual harassment, punitive high-risk assignments and the morbid sense that your back is not being watched.
The double trauma of war and sexual assault by "brothers-in-arms" within a culture of impunity for perpetrators may explain why a 2008 RAND Corporation study [1] "found that female veterans are suffering double the rates of depression and post-traumatic stress disorder [PTSD] than their male counterparts." Patricia Resick, a psychiatrist who researches PTSD in women for the Veterans Administration (VA), asserts "sexual trauma is a more significant risk factor for PTSD than combat or the types of trauma that men generally experience." Resick adds that sexual trauma, unlike combat trauma, is caused by people who are supposed to bond with you and protect you, and that betrayal by those you need to trust with your life deepens the harm.
Military sexual trauma (sometimes referred to as MST) is so extreme that it is even more likely to cause PTSD in women than civilian sexual trauma ­­- because of military culture.

Many veterans and contractors also suffering from exposure to burn pits. For some the exposure has cost their lives. Next next month, the first ever scientific symposium will be held in New York.


1st Annual Scientific Symposium on
Lung Health after Deplyoment to Iraq & Afghanistan
February 13, 2012

sponsored by
Office of Continuing Medical Education
School of Medicine
Stony Brook University

Location
Health Sciences Center, Level 3, Lecture Hall 5
Anthony M. Szema, M.D., Program Chair
Stony Brook
University
Medical Center


This program is made possible by support from the
Sergeant Thomas Joseph Sullivan Center, Washington, D.C.


2 WAYS TO REGISTER FOR THE CONFERENCE

* Register with your credit card online at:
http://www.stonybrookmedicalcenter.org/education/cme.cfm

* Download the registration form from:
fax form to (631) 638-1211

For Information Email:
cmeoffice@stonybrook.edu


1st Annual Scientific Symposium on
Lung Health after Deployment to Iraq & Afghanistan
Monday, February 13, 2012
Health Sciences Center
Level 3, Lecture Hall 5

Program Objective: Upon completion, participants should be able to recognize new-onset of lung disease after deployment to Iraq and Afghanistan.

8:00 - 9:00 a.m. Registration & Continental Breakfast (Honored Guest, Congressman
Tim Bishop

9:00 - 9:30 Peter Sullivan, J.D., Father of Marine from The Sergeant Thomas Joseph
Sullivan Center, Washington, D.C.

9:40 - 10:10 Overview of Exposures in Iraq, Anthony Szema, M.D., (Assistant
Professor of Medicine and Surgery, Stony Brook University)

10:10 - 10:40 Constrictive Bronchiolitis among Soldiers after Deployment, Matt
King, M.D. (Assistant Professor of Medicine, Meharry Medical College,
Nashville, TN)

10:40 - 11:10 BREAK

11:10 - 11:40 Denver Working Group Recommendations and Spirometry Study in
Iraq/Afghanistan, Richard Meehan, M.D., (Chief of Rheumatology and
Professor of Medicine, National Jewish Health, Denver, CO)

11:40 a.m. - Microbiological Analyses of Dust from Iraq and Afghanistan, Captain Mark

12:10 p.m. Lyles, D.M.D., Ph. D., (Vice Admiral Joel T. Boone Endowed Chair of
Health and Security Studies, U.S. Naval War College, Newport, RI)

12:10 - 12:20 Health Care Resource Utilization among Deployed Veterans at the White
River Junction VA, James Geiling, M.D., (Professor and Chief of Medicine,
Dartmouth Medical School, VA White River Junction, VT)

12:20 - 1:20 LUNCH AND EXHIBITS
Graduate students Millicent Schmidt and Andrea Harrington (Stony Brook
University) present Posters from Lung Studies Analyzed for Spatial
Resolution of Metals at Brookhaven National Laboratory's National
Synchrotron Light Source

1:20 - 1:40 Epidemiologic Survey Instrument on Exposures in Iraq and Afghanistan,
Joseph Abraham, Sc.D., Ph.D., (U.S. Army Public Health Command,
Aberdeen Proving Ground, MD)

1:40 - 2:10 Overview of the Issue Raised during Roundtable on Pulmonary Issues
and Deployment, Coleen Baird, M.D., M.P.H., (Program Manager
Environmental Medicine, U.S. Army Public Health Command)

2:10 - 2: 40 Reactive Oxygen Species from Iraqi Dust, Martin Schoonen, Ph.D.
(Director Sustainability Studies and Professor of Geochemistry, Stony
Brook University)

2:40 - 2:50 BREAK

2:50 - 3:15 Dust Wind Tunnel Studies, Terrence Sobecki, Ph.D. (Chief Environmental
Studies Branch, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Cold Regions Research
and Engineering Laboratory, Manchester, NH)

3:15 - 3:45 Toxicologically Relevant Characteristics of Desert Dust and Other
Atmospheric Particulate Matter, Geoffrey S. Plumlee, Ph.D. (Research
Geochemist, U.S. Geological Survey, Denver, CO)

3:44 - 4:15 In-situ Mineralogy of the Lung and Lymph Nodes, Gregory Meeker, M.S.
(Research Geochemist, U.S. Geological Survey, Denver, CO)


Continuing Medical Education Credits

The school of Medicine, State University of New York at Stony Brook, is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education to provide continuing medical education for physicians.
The School of Medicine, State University of New York at Stony Brooke designates this live activity for a maximum of 6 AMA PRA Category 1 Credit(s)TM. Physicians should only claim the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.
In other veterans news, Justin Raimondo (Antiwar.com) has taken up the cause of Cpl Jesse Thorsen who is facing reprimand for sharing the stage, in uniform, with US House Rep Ron Paul in Iowa.

The War Party's lynch mob was out for Thorsen's hide the very next day, with
Democratic party shill Paul Rieckhoff, head of Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans
of America,
declaring:
"Our troops are many things to many people. Heroes, parents, diplomats,
victims, villains, victors. But as the GOP Primary races roll through New
Hampshire this week, there is one thing that all of America must understand
they're not: political props.
And that's not just my opinion, it's the law.

"This is why so many of us in the military and veterans community were
so shocked and outraged last Tuesday night when we saw Corporal Jesse
Thorsen step up to the microphone in uniform and

endorse Ron Paul for President. We know the law -- the military law
under the UCMJ (Uniform Code of Military Justice). We know
Article 88
of UCMJ prohibits contemptuous speech by commissioned officers against
the President and certain elected officials at penalty of court-martial."

Rieckhoff is off his rocker: the section of the complicated and often
contradictory regulations being invoked against Thorsen has nothing to do
with "contemptuous speech," but with engaging in partisan political activity
while in uniform. Here is what Thorsen had to say at the Paul rally: do you
hear any "contemptuous speech" in these remarks? I thought not. However,
if you're a
Democratic party operative like Rieckhoff -- who has served as
an
official party spokesman – you do indeed hear "contemptuous speech" in
Thorsen's condemnation of President Obama's foreign policy. CNN did an
interview with Thorsen earlier, but
cut him off when he started to talk about
how our interventionist foreign policy is opposed by most soldiers -- which is
why Paul has garnered more donations from military personnel than all other
candidates combined.

RECOMMENDED: "Iraq snapshot"
"Moqtada continues to offer leadership during Nouri..."
"Baghdad governor says 4 Americans arrested"
"I Hate The War"
"Fried Egg Sandwiches in the Kitchen"
"Who they serve"
"Solyndra"
"Whitney"
"4 men, 2 women"
"4 women, 3 men"
"it's no movement"
"revenge"
"Edwards case postponed"
"Women?"
"Rochelle Riley's lust for Michelle Obama"
"The book"
"Ugly Rochelle Riley"
"Whitney"
"The Mod Squad"
"The spin"
"Take Two"
"The posers"
"Crazy limp dicked Robert Parry"
"Him and his whores"
"Whore Rochelle Riley wants to pretend to care about women"
"THIS JUST IN! ROCHELLE THINKS YOU'RE STUPID!"

Friday, January 13, 2012

Whore Rochelle Riley wants to pretend to care about women

BULLY BOY PRESS & CEDRIC'S BIG MIX -- THE KOOL-AID TABLE

YEARS AGO, ROCHELLE RILEY MUST HAVE DECIDED SHE WOULD HERO WORSHIP HER ENTIRE LIFE AND THAT THE ONLY THING BETTER THAN KISSING ASS WAS EATING OUT MICHELLE OBAMA.

THAT'S THE ONLY EXPLANATION FOR GREASY FACED ROCHELLE'S LATEST GARBAGE AT THE DETROIT FREE PRESS.

"ENOUGH IS ENOUGH," DECLARES ROCHELLE SUBSTITUTING A FINGER FOR HER TIRED TONGUE.

MICHELLE OBAMA, WHINES ROCHELLE, IS NOT BEING TREATED FAIRLY. AND SHE CAN PROVE IT! OVER THREE YEARS, SHE'S FOUND THAT IN A NATION OF OVER 300 MILLION PEOPLE, THERE WERE THREE TIMES SOMEONE SAID MICHELLE'S SHIT DO STINK.

OH THE HORROR!

WHILE WHINING THAT MICHELLE'S TREATED SO POORLY, ROCHELLE SLIPS IN THAT MICHELLE HAS A 73% FAVORABLE RATING.

SO WHAT'S THE PROBLEM, DUMB ASS?

THE WHOLE WORLD MUST LOVE HER?

ROCHELLE, GO FINGER BANG YOUR GIRLFRIEND AND SHUT THE F**K UP.

YOU'RE A DIRTY WHORE WHO WANTS TO WRITE ABOUT HOW 'ALL WOMEN' SHOULD BE OFFENDED THAT MICHELLE ISN'T AT 100% APPARENTLY.

BUT DUMB ASS WHORE, WE LIVED THROUGH 2008.

MEANING WE REMEMBER YOUR ATTACKS ON HILLARY CLINTON.

MEANING YOU'RE A STUPID ASS WHORE WHO THINKS SHE CAN TRICK PEOPLE TODAY. YOU DIDN'T GIVE A DAMN ABOUT WOMEN IN 2008 AND YOU DISMISSED-- ON NPR NO LESS -- THE EVIDENCE OF SEXISM AGAINST HILLARY CLINTON.

SO SHUT YOUR TRASHY ASS MOUTH UP, NOBODY NEEDS TO HEAR FROM YOUR GREASY FACE AND ALL YOUR DIRTY LIES.

YOU'RE A DUMB ASS, YOU'RE A WHORE. NO ONE NEEDS YOU ROCHELLE RILEY. GO F**K YOURSELF.


FROM THE TCI WIRE:


Marc Lynch (Foreign Policy) decides to play Columbus and 'discover' Iraq today. It wasn't pretty.
If the "last American troops officially left Iraq before Christmas," who's guarding the US Embassy in Baghdad?
Phantom Marines?
Why does Nouri al-Maliki say 700 US troops remain in Iraq as trainers?
"Then-candidate Barack Obama promised" 16 months for troops to leave Iraq, starting with when he was sworn in. You can't just rewrite history. Events happened, they took place, and you can't pretend otherwise.
It's not just wrong, it's insane. Why the hell would Barack promise 2011?
Because of the SOFA?
The SOFA wasn't released until after the Iraqi Parliament voted on it. Does Lynch know when that was? Probably not.
That was November 27, 2008. A Thursday. Thanskgiving Day. Only after that vote took place did the White House release the SOFA. So Barack promised to do what the American public didn't know?
How is that possible?
And why would Candidate Barack agree to abide by a SOFA?
Barack's position as a candidate was that Bush didn't have the power to negotiate a SOFA. He objected to it. As did Joe Biden. (And a host of others, but we're talking about the Obama-Biden ticket.) And it wasn't until after the election that Team Obama's vanished the objection to the SOFA from the official website.
These are events that happened and, you, Marc Lynch, have a lot of nerve writing of Iraq "at this point very few care" when you yourself so obviously don't care as evidenced by your very loose living arrangement you have with the facts.
Marc Lynch also wants to share some opinions but when you don't even get the facts right, have you really earned that? I don't think so. You don't ignore your vegetables and then get to have cake and ice cream. So sorry.
Jeremy Herb (The Hill) reports that Senator Ben Nelson has declared in a letter to US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and US Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta that the costs of protecting the US Embassy in Baghdad should be covered by the Iraqi government: "Nelson, who is retiring at the end of the year, pointed to testimony from Joint Chiefs Chairman Martin Dempsy at a November 2011 Senate hearing, when Dempsey said that a host nationa has the first responsibility for securing embassies." In Iraq, US Senator John McCain's discussion on Face The Nation (CBS News) Sunday is in the news. Dar Addustour features quotes from the interview but they're not always what McCain said. And, in the case of McCain's remarks on Iraqi Vice President Tareq al-Hashemi, you really can't have two quotes because McCain only made one statement on al-Hashemi, "The Vice President of Iraq is now hiding out in Erbil." So how they're getting two different quotes -- in quotes -- on al-Hashemi from McCain is beyond me. He was noted in one sentence only. Al Mada focuses on the reactions to the statements which include State of Law MP Izzat Shabandar dismissing McCain as an American-Israeli War Hawk. Bahaa al-Araji is with the Sadr bloc and he states that Iraq is not likely to split into three states (McCain: "I think there's clearly an unraveling going on which could eventually lead basically into three different kinds of states in Iraq."). To clear up one point in Al Mada's reporting, Face The Nation airs on Sunday mornings. McCain made those remarks on live TV Sunday. To clear up confusion in other reporting -- it was not a "debate." He spoke one on one with host Bob Schieffer.
Turning to the topic of violence, Reuters notes, "Gunmen wearing military uniforms bombed an equipment storage yard belonging to Angola's national oil company near an oilfield in northern Iraq, police sources said on Thursday." In addition, Reuters reports a Latifiya roadside bombing which left four pilgrims injured, a Baghdad shooting which left 2 police officers dead, a Kifl car bombing which claimed 1 life and left twelve people injured, a Jbela roadside bombing which left five pilgrims injured, a Mosul shooting in which 1 person was shot dead and, dropping back to Wednesda for the last two, a Baaj shooting which left 2 suspects killed and a Baquba roadside bombing which targeted a Sahwa and left three of his children injured.
The pilgrims wounded and killed this week have been observing Arbaee which concludes Saturday. An Iraqi correspondent for McClatchy Newspapers explains:
For generations, Muslims used to commemorate the anniversary of the Arba'inya by walking from everywhere in Iraq and Arab land to the holy shrine in Karbala in spite of many kinds of danger basically death. Many rulers tried to prevent people from going to Karbala by many ways. During the Abbasian era which lasted for over a century, the caliphs imposed taxes to prevent people from going to but people paid happily. When they found out that money is not enough to stop people, they ordered to cut one hand from every pilgrim but again, they failed because people gave their hands. At the end the authorities ordered to kill one from every ten pilgrims and one more time, they failed because sacrificed their souls. During the modern history, things didn't change a lot. In Saddam's era, Arba'inya visit meant certain death. Even after 2003, the situation stayed the same. The pilgrims are still a target but this time not for the authorities in Iraq but for the Islamic extremists. The only change was the method. Instead of cutting the hand of pilgrims or killing one of ten, the insurgents chose to kill the biggest number of pilgrims by car bombs, suicide bombers and even poisoned food and drinks. Thousands of men, women and even kids were killed by brutal attacks in all the Shiite cities just because they love Imam Hussein. In fact, the attacks targeted even the Shiite people in others countries like Afghanistan and Pakistan. But did the extremists succeed? One more time, the answer is no.
Jomana Karadsheh (CNN -- link is video and text) reports on the pilgrimage and speaks to Said Duraid Mohammed who is making the holy journey. He tells her, "We are used to bombings. It is normal for us to face that in our daily life. And for the pilgrimage and Imam Hussein, we are ready to step on the bombs." Abdelamir Hanoun (AFP) notes officials estate 15 milliion will make the pilgrimage to Karbala by Saturday.
Turning to the non-sacred, Turkey's Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan has spent the last few days noting the dangerous political crisis in Iraq and calling on efforts to address it. From Tuesday's snapshot:
Vestnik Kavkaza reports, "The US has made a big mistake by withdrawing from Iraq, Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said, 1news.az reports. Erdogan met his Norwegian counterpart Jens Stoltenberg and reminded him that he had warned US president and vice-president about repercussions from such step. The Turkish premier noted that the situation in Iraq remains tense and inter-religious conflicts may arise at any moments. Turkey is a neighboring state and cannot remain indifferent to the situation. He added that Iran is planned to be involved in the process." KUNA also notes Erdogan making public statements of concern about what's taking place in Iraq and they offer this context, "Erdogan made these remarks amidst political conflict between the Prime Minister Nouri Al-Maliki's rule of law coalition and the Iraqiya List after a judicial committee issued an arrest warrant for vice-president Tareq Al-hashimi on terrorism charges."
Thomas Seiberg (The National) reports, "Recep Tayyip Erdogan, the Turkish prime miniser has started a bid to end the power struggle in Iraq, warning that religious strife had turned the neighbouring country into a 'sea of blood'. Mr Erdogan was scheduled to talk to Nouri Al Maliki, the Iraqi prime minister, by telephone yesterday. There was no word on whether a statement would be released afterwards." Today's Zaman adds, "In a telephone conversation late on Tuesday, Erdogan told Maliki that transformation of mistrust into animosity toward a coalition partner will negatively affect democracy in Iraq, a veiled warning to the Iraqi prime minister that his latest arrest warrant for Sunni Vice President Tariq al-Hashimi is a blow to democracy in the war-torn country." Hurriyet Daily News reports on a speech Erdogan gave Tuesday "to his party's parliamentary group" in which he alluded to Nouri al-Maliki, "Without naming him directly, Erdo─čan slammed Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, saying 'a positive outcome cannot be expected from a mindset which is sending tanks to besiege the homes of ministers from his own coalition'." Nouri started that as soon as he returned to Iraq after his meet up with Barack Obama in DC. Saturday, December 17th, Liz Sly (Washington Post) reported, "In recent days, the homes of top Sunni politicians in the fortified Green Zone have been ringed by tanks and armored personnel carriers, and rumors are flying that arrest warrants will be issued for other Sunni leaders." Nouri received praise yesterday as well, Al Mada reports. The militant group Army of the Mujahideen declared support for Nouri and his efforts to form a "single and unified Iraq" . . and that they claimed that they had been behind the rocket attack on the Green Zone ceremony celebrating the creation of the Iraqi Army.
The response from Nouri al-Maliki's State of Law political slate? Aswat al-Iraq notes National Alliance MP Ali al-Shalah declared, "Iraq is not an Ottoman province, and never will be." Of course, factually, Iraq was once part of the Ottoman Empire until the British (via the League of Nations) divided it up in 1920. al-Shalah suggested the Turkish prime minister should "attend [to] the Turkish internal affairs, where some Turkish quarters suffer racist violations." If you use the link, you'll be saying, "Uh, you're wrong, he's National Alliance." He's State of Law. And Aswat al-Iraq knew that recently. For example, last week. In addition, yesterday Aswat al-Iraq reported State of Law MP Ibraheem al-Rekabi declared that Turkey was "responsible for the latest crisis among the political entities." This blame everyone else approach echoes not only Nouri's style but the 'diplomatic' approach State of Law's has been practicing for weeks now such as the December 30th when Dar Addustour reported State of Law MP Yassin Majid declared that Erdogan should keep "his nose" out of Iraqi political matters. Political matters? Aswat al-Iraq terms it "a major political crisis." If State of Law thought they could bully Erodgan into silence, they were wrong. Today's Zaman reports he met today with Ayad Allawi (leader of Iraqiya) to express "that he is concerned over possible chaos in Iraq caused by anti-democratic and sectarian approaches" and feels that civil war in Iraq is a possibility if the political blocs can not reach an understanding.



RECOMMENDED: "Iraq snapshot"
"State of Law gets snippy about Erdogan, political ..."
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"brief"
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"The book, the mistakes"
"The end of privacy"
"Body of Proof"
"I'm sticking with him"
"Where was Ron Paul in most of the media?"
"The stink fruit doesn't fall far from the trash tree"
"THIS JUST IN! DRUNKS AND LIARS!"

Thursday, January 12, 2012

The stink fruit doesn't fall far from the trash tree

BULLY BOY PRESS & CEDRIC'S BIG MIX -- THE KOOL-AID TABLE

CELEBRITY IN CHIEF BARRY O GOT BUSTED BY THE A.P. FOR HIS PRETENSE THAT HIS EVERY MOVE IS NOT DRIVEN BY THE RE-ELECTION EFFORT.

IN OTHER ARREST NEWS, HIS DRUNKEN UNCLE -- NOT AUNT ZEITUNI, SHE JUST LOOKS MANNISH -- ONYANGO OBAMO IS DEMANDING THE DRIVING RECORD OF THE POLICE OFFICER WHO BUSTED HIM. BECAUSE THAT'S HOW THEY ROLL IN THAT TRASHY FAMILY, THEY NEVER TAKE RESPONSIBILITY FOR THEIR ACTIONS.

In both Iraq and Afghanistan, burn pits have been used. This means all the waste -- including medical -- is burned in an open area. Many US service members and contractors were exposed to these leading to respiratory illnesses and worse. In 2009, the practice was finally banned by the US government. Sadly, neither the war in Iraq nor the war in Afghanistan began in 2009. Many service members and contractors suffer from exposure to burn pits. Next month, the first ever scientific symposium will be held in New York.
1st Annual Scientific Symposium on
Lung Health after Deplyoment to Iraq & Afghanistan
February 13, 2012
sponsored by
Office of Continuing Medical Education
School of Medicine
Stony Brook University
Location
Health Sciences Center, Level 3, Lecture Hall 5
Anthony M. Szema, M.D., Program Chair
Stony Brook
University
Medical Center
This program is made possible by support from the Sergeant Thomas Joseph Sullivan Center, Washington, D.C.
2 WAYS TO REGISTER FOR THE CONFERENCE
* Register with your credit card online at: http://www.stonybrookmedicalcenter.org/education/cme.cfm
* Download the registration form from:
fax form to (631) 638-1211
For Information Email: cmeoffice@stonybrook.edu
1st Annual Scientific Symposium on
Lung Health after Deployment to Iraq & Afghanistan
Monday, February 13, 2012
Health Sciences Center
Level 3, Lecture Hall 5
Program Obejctive: Upon completion, participants should be able to recognize new-onset of lung disease after deployment to Iraq and Afghanistan.
8:00 - 9:00 a.m. Registration & Continental Breakfast (Honored Guest, Congressman
Tim Bishop
9:00 - 9:30 Peter Sullivan, J.D., Father of Marine from The Sergeant Thomas Joseph
Sullivan Center, Washington, D.C.
9:40 - 10:10 Overview of Exposures in Iraq, Anthony Szema, M.D., (Assistant
Professor of Medicine and Surgery, Stony Brook University)
10:10 - 10:40 Constrictive Bronchiolitis among Soldiers after Deployment, Matt
King, M.D. (Assistant Professor of Medicine, Meharry Medical College,
Nashville, TN)
10:40 - 11:10 BREAK
11:10 - 11:40 Denver Working Group Recommendations and Spirometry Study in
Iraq/Afghanistan, Richard Meehan, M.D., (Chief of Rheumatology and
Professor of Medicine, National Jewish Health, Denver, CO)
11:40 a.m. - Microbiological Analyses of Dust from Iraq and Afghanistan, Captain Mark
12:10 p.m. Lyles, D.M.D., Ph. D., (Vice Admiral Joel T. Boone Endowed Chair of
Health and Security Studies, U.S. Naval War College, Newport, RI)
12:10 - 12:20 Health Care Resource Utilization among Deployed Veterans at the White
River Junction VA, James Geiling, M.D., (Professor and Chief of Medicine,
Dartmouth Medical School, VA White River Junction, VT)
12:20 - 1:20 LUNCH AND EXHIBITS
Graduate students Millicent Schmidt and Andrea Harrington (Stony Brook
University) present Posters from Lung Studies Analyzed for Spatial
Resolution of Metals at Brookhaven National Laboratory's National
Synchrotron Light Source
1:20 - 1:40 Epidemiologic Survey Instrument on Exposures in Iraq and Afghanistan,
Joseph Abraham, Sc.D., Ph.D., (U.S. Army Public Health Command,
Aberdeen Proving Ground, MD)
1:40 - 2:10 Overview of the Issue Raised during Roundtable on Pulmonary Issues
and Deployment, Coleen Baird, M.D., M.P.H., (Program Manager
Environmental Medicine, U.S. Army Public Health Command)
2:10 - 2: 40 Reactive Oxygen Species from Iraqi Dust, Martin Schoonen, Ph.D.
(Director Sustainability Studies and Professor of Geochemistry, Stony
Brook University)
2:40 - 2:50 BREAK
2:50 - 3:15 Dust Wind Tunnel Studies, Terrence Sobecki, Ph.D. (Chief Environmental
Studies Branch, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Cold Regions Research
and Engineering Laboratory, Manchester, NH)
3:15 - 3:45 Toxicologically Relevant Characteristics of Desert Dust and Other
Atmospheric Particulate Matter, Geoffrey S. Plumlee, Ph.D. (Research
Geochemist, U.S. Geological Survey, Denver, CO)
3:44 - 4:15 In-situ Mineralogy of the Lung and Lymph Nodes, Gregory Meeker, M.S.
(Research Geochemist, U.S. Geological Survey, Denver, CO)
Continuing Medical Education Credits
The school of Medicine, State University of New York at Stony Brook, is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education to provide continuing medical education for physicians.
The School of Medicine, State University of New York at Stony Brooke designates this live activity for a maximum of 6 AMA PRA Category 1 Credit(s)TM. Physicians should only claim the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.
We will note that again (probably in several snapshots). Any typos in the above are mine. That was sent to me in a PDF last month. I did two or three lines on it and said we'd note it in full (when I had time to convert the file, print it and then type it up). I completely forgot and they're so kind they're not one of the ones who ever send a reminder. (Some people e-mail you something they want highlighted at 10:20 a.m. And then e-mail you an hour later and an hour later and an hour later and hour later . . .) My sincere apologies for forgetting about it.
And the burn pits cause damage to those breathing in the chemicals. Other damage is unknown. But improperly disposing of chemical waste, for example, has led to the increased cancer risks at Camp Lejeune. That's an issue many work on but Senator Richard Burr -- Ranking Member on the Senate Veterans Affairs Committee -- has long highlighted. He and Senator Kay Hagan introduced the Caring for Camp Lejeune Veterans Act of 211 which won the unanimous support of the Senate Veterans Affairs Committee but has not had a floor vote. US House Rep Brad Miller has a similar measure in the House of Representatives. Former US Senator Elizabeth Dole (Raleigh-Durham News & Observer) addressed the issue yesterday:
As a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, I fought to expose the facts about the Camp Lejeune water contamination and to expedite notification to all potential victims. My legislation requiring the Pentagon to provide such direct notification through a registry was signed into law. The Corps, however, has not utilized the registry to directly inform military families about the EPA's determination.
The provision of medical care for the people made ill by the contaminants in the installation's drinking water must now be addressed through the legislative process. The cost of that care may eventually be high in terms of dollars. We must, nevertheless, meet our nation's ethical and moral responsibilities.
Sen. Richard Burr, R-N.C., and Rep. Brad Miller, D-N.C., are to be commended for their sponsorship of legislation that would provide medical care through the Department of Veterans Affairs for individuals who suffer from one or more of these cancers or other health effects and who are known to have served or lived at Camp Lejeune during the years in question. Passage of their legislation and its enactment into law are the necessary next steps.
Former US Senator Evan Bayh repeatedly attempted to create a national Burn Pit Registry with no success. Maybe now that the Senate's chief objector to the registry is set to leave at the end of the year (Jim Webb -- who also objected to the Agent Orange benefits the VA created), it can be championed again and this time passed?
Camp Lejuene should make you wonder what the effects from these burn pits will be on Iraqis in the future? (As well as the people of Afghanistan, but our focus is Iraq.) And don't expect the US government to make public any risk assessment they've carried out or might carry out in the future as well as the effects from the depleted uranium and white phosophorus used in the second 2004 assault (November) on Falluja. Last week Dahr Jamail reported for Al Jazeera from Falluja and noted the huge increase in birth defects and there has been "a 12-fold increase in childhood cancer" since the second assault. Dahr shares:
Four-year-old Abdul Jaleel Mohammed was born in October 2007. His clinical diagnosis includes dilation of two heart ventricles, and a growth on his lower back that doctors have not been able to remove.
Abdul has trouble controlling his muscles, struggles to walk, cannot control his bladder, and weakens easily. Doctors told his father, Mohamed Jaleel Abdul Rahim, that his son has severe nervous system problems, and could develop fluid build-up in his brain as he ages, which could prove fatal.
"This is the first instance of something like this in all our family," Rahim told Al Jazeera. "We lived in an area that was heavily bombed by the Americans in 2004, and a missile landed right in front of our home. What else could cause these health problems besides this?"
John Glaser (Antiwar.com) adds, "Antiwar.com columnist Kelley B. Vlahos wrote a brilliant piece in April 2011 in The American Conservative cataloguing the scientific support behind the conclusion that this ongoing suffering in Fallujah is caused by the U.S. weapons used in America's siege of the city in 2004."

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Tell me lies, tell me sweet little lies

BULLY BOY PRESS & CEDRIC'S BIG MIX -- THE KOOL-AID TABLE

THE ILLEGAL PRISON ON GUANTANAMO BAY REMAINS OPEN DESPITE PROMISES FROM CELEBRITY IN CHIEF BARRY O. BEN FOX (AP) NOTES, "THE DEADLINE SET BY PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA TO CLOSE GUANTANAMO CAME AND WENT TWO YEARS AGO."

AND YET IT REMAINS OPEN.

THIS BLIGHT ON HUMANITY.

THIS BLIGHT ON THE RULE OF LAW.

BORROWING FROM THE TCI WIRE, WE'LL INCLUDE THIS COMMENTARY ON GUANTANAMO FROM CONSTITUTIONAL EXPERT MICHAEL RATNER:

On this week's Law and Disorder Radio -- a weekly hour long program that airs Monday mornings at 9:00 a.m. EST on WBAI and around the country throughout the week, hosted by attorneys Heidi Boghosian, Michael S. Smith and Michael Ratner (Center for Constitutional Rights) -- topics explored include an update on Guantanamo by Michael Ratner on the tenth anniversary of the Guantanamo Bay prison, attorney Roger Wareham discusses the January 12th International People's Tribunal on War Crimes and Other Violations of International Law, California State University professor David Klein on the plan to build the Cornell and The Technion of Israel in NYC and CCR attorneyy Darius Charney on NYC's stop and frisk policies. Excerpt from opening segment.

Michael Ratner: January 11th, here we are. We've completed ten years after 9-11, going into the eleventh year. The tenth anniversary of Guantanamo opening, entering its 11th year now. On the actual annivesary, January 11th, I will be in London commemotrating the opening of Guantanamo with other lawyers but particularly with men who have been freed from Guantanamo, a group called Caged Prisoners. Commemorating the 11th year of the practices that underlie imprisonment at Guantanamo: the capture of detainees anywhere in the world or their kidnapping; their imprisonment indefinitely or forever under a preventive detention scheme; and their trials, if at all, by rump trials or military commissions. Here we are, the Guantanamo Syndrome -- that series of illnesses, sickness and outrage that represent both Republican and Democratic administrations are still with us. I'm commemorating it with a group set up after Guantanamo, set up by some of the very people who were formerly impisoned in Guantanamo, a group called Caged Prisoners. And I'm in London going through three days of commemoration of not just those who remain in Guantanamo, but of those who remain in secret prisons all over the world, particularly Bagram. And I'm with a number of the people who have been freed -- freed from Guantanamo. Some of those prisoners. for example, Moazzam Begg was freed from Guantanamo even before we won our court case in June 2004. And I'm with him today in London and his story actually tells us a lot about what happened at Guantanamo. And then I want to give a little history of the Center [for Constitutional Rights]'s involvement and my own. I met Moazzam Begg in February 2004 in the United Kingdom. He'd been freed because of the huge amount of efforts by the British citizens -- led by the Redgraves [the late Corin Redgrave and his sister Vanessa Redgrave of the British acting family dynasty] in particular and others to get the British citizens to get the British citizens out of there. And when I walked into the room, I remember it like it was yesterday, here were these young men -- I mean they were young like my own children in a way -- and the idea that these three men were ever kept in Guantanamo as the 'worst of the worst' or 'terrorists' just struck me as completely impossible. They could joke with me, they could tell the stories of what happened, they could talk about Guantanamo, they could talk about their own lives and, of course, they were kept in Guantanamo after being picked up in Pakistan and forced to give 'confessions' when they were at Guantanamo. They figured when they were at Guantanamo that after they were being tortured in various ways that they were better off just saying, 'Yeah, we knew Osama bin Laden, etc.' And they thought it would go better for them but of course it went worse. And even though they had alibis of where they were at the time and why they were in Afghanistan -- and good ones, correct ones -- the government forced these 'confessions' out of them under torture and kept them there year after year. When I met them, they talked about the torture. And when I talk to you, our listeners, about it, you have to understand that when I met them, no one knew publicly what was going on in Guantanamo, there'd been no access to Guantanamo. But there was the testimony of the Tipton Three. And everybody said, 'Oh, they're lying, they're not telling the truth.' And in the room with me that day, they went over what's called a "Rumsfeld Technique." Those are what we now know are everything from hooding, stripping, dogs, sexual assault -- all these kind of terrible things that Rumsfeld Techniques did to people at Guantanamo as a means of coercing what turned out to be false confessions out of people. And I sat there and I believed them. But I had trouble believing it because, of course, I'd always looked at Guantanamo as a horrible place because it was incommunicado detention -- we couldn't get them into court to test their detentions, we couldn't get them lawyers, we couldn't visit -- and I looked at that as the worst aspect. And while I suspected that there might be interrogation issues, I didn't realize that there would be abuse amounting or equivalent to torture. And was I naive in that respect? Possibly so. But of course within a couple of months after my interview with the Guantanamo Three or the Tipton Three, the Abu Ghraib photos came out on April 24th of 2004 and then, of course, it was public for everybody. The Rumfseld Techniques came out and then the Tipton Three's testimony -- that people had said, 'Oh, we don't believe it' -- was proven to be utterly, utterly accurate to the actual use of the Rumsfeld Techniques, the dozen techniques. And so then Guantanamo became synonymous not just with incommunicado detention but with torture as well. And today, of course, Guantanamo is still there. And as we talk about Guantanamo, I want to give people the numbers. Guantanamo is still there. 171 men remain in Guantanamo. 46 have been approved -- whatever that means -- for indefinite detention and will be there forever as far as I know. 36 men have been referred for prosecution. What kind of prosecution? Most likely military commissions which are just rump courts which are just rump trials for nothing. The remainder? Not clear. But most of the remainder have been approved for release. So that means the remainder shouldn't be there at all. People like the Uighurs from western China who were picked up wrongly -- admittedly wrongly -- and have now been there for ten years and will be going on I don't know how many years. So that total is about 89 people, most of whom have been approved for transfer. So of those 89 almost none of them should be there. So there's our numbers again. 46 indefinitely detained forever, 36 supposedly subject to prosecution and 89 who shouldn't be there at all -- or most of whom should not be there at all, some of whom they may not have decided yet. That's Guantanamo today.



To put a face on war, Susie Day pens the essay "Dead Iraqis Occupy Wall Street" (Monthly Review):

With the war in Iraq now officially over and the Occupy Wall Street movement less visible, life in New York was expected to return to normal. Instead, several recent passersby in Manhattan's financial district have reported seeing thousands of deceased Iraqi civilians taking up residence at Zuccotti Park. The park served for two months in the fall of 2011 as a protest base for thousands of OWS activists.
Although the Iraqis remain largely silent and immobile, some witnesses claim to have seen individual deceased mothers, students, and the elderly holding up the backs of old pizza boxes, on which have been scrawled the English words, "Remember Me."
Public reaction has been mixed. Some say the dead are "occupying" the park in nonviolent protest; others accuse the Iraqis of faking their own deaths in order to flout U.S. immigration laws. The Bloomberg administration, having evicted hundreds of living protesters from the park in mid-November, has thus far maintained a wary tolerance.

Meanwhile John Robles (Voice of Russia -- link is text and audio) interviews De
John Tirman (Washington Post) mused on US President Barack Obama's speech. (For the record, as we noted the day Barack gave that speech, if you're president of the United States you don't say "nearly 4,5000 members of the US armed forces who died in Iraq," you give the exact number or you and your staff haven't done the job needed.) Tirman
notes Barack's speech included nothing about the dead or injured Iraqis and offers, "This inattention to civilian deaths in America's wars isn't unique to Iraq. There's little evidence that the American public gives much thought to the people who live in nations where our military interventions take place."

We're always so quick to blame the American people. Why is that? Do they control the newspapers and the radio and the TV? If people should care -- and I believe they should -- then the media should be covering it. If it's not being covered, it's really cowardly to blame the American people when you haven't said one damn word about the American media.
How would the American people know about, for example, Iraqis right now?
Traveling sea gull?
If the media's not covering it, then that's a media issue, it's not an American people issue. Quit blaming We The People for the crimes of The Few The Media. As the year drew to a close on December 31st, McClatchy and NPR closed their Baghdad bureaus, joining ABC, NBC and CBS, the San Francisco Chronicle, the Boston Globe and countless others, go down the list. How are Americans supposed to know the realities for Iraqis when they can't get coverage of Iraq?
But don't worry, they're spending their money and time well. For example, if NPR were still providing coverage from Iraq, listeners of Morning Edition might not know, thanks to Steve Inskeep, that Mitt Romney spoke at a Saturday event in "jeans and an open-collared shirt with the sleeves rolled up." Here's some reality, if Steve Inskeep wants to work for Women's Wear Daily, he needs to try to get hired there. It might not be easy, their standards are a bit higher than those of National Public Radio. But while he's on NPR doing 'news' -- and this is true for others at NPR as well as PBS -- unless Mitt Romney -- or any other candidate -- shows up for a speech in just underwear or nude, it's not really news what they're wearing. It's chatter. It wastes our time. It ensures that real issues are never addressed. It's not news.
While the bulk of All Things Media Big and Small ignore Iraq, independent journalist Dahr Jamail has returned to the country. Dahr (Centre for Global Research) observes, "As a daily drumbeat of violence continues to reverberate across Iraq, people here continue to struggle to find some sense of normality, a task made increasingly difficult due to ongoing violence and the lack of both water and electricity. [. . .] Iraq continues to have a cash economy; meaning there are no credit cards, almost no checking accounts, no transfer of electronic funds, and only a few ATMs. Iraq lacks a functioning postal service, has no public transporation, nor a national airline -- and most goods sold in Iraq are imported."
And if you turn away
because there is no lesson here
I will hold my awkward bowl,
with all its cracked stars shining
like a complicated lie,
and fasten a new skin around it
as if I were dressing an orange
or a strange sun.
Not that it was beautiful,
but that I found some order there.
-- "For John, Who Begs Me Not To Enquire Futher" written by Anne Sexton
As noted Saturday, "What did protesters tell CNN last month? They begged CNN not to leave Baghdad's Tahrir Square. Why? Because when the press left, Nouri's forces would attack the protesters. (And did.) Across the world, we all have the power to shine a light on what's going in Iraq." Today Jomana Karadsheh (CNN -- link is video) files an important report:
Jomana Karadsheh: Last month, Oday al-Zaidy and a small group of people gathered in a Baghdad square to celebrate the US media withdrawal planning to burn the US flag. But more than 200 security forces swarmed around them, banned us from filming and stopped the protests because they said the group had not obtained a permit. But they still managed to burn the flag. Oday and others were beaten up and detained for a day. Security officials say, they assaulted policemen, something the group denies. "Democracy in Iraq is an illusion," Oday says. "An American illusion and an American lie. Whoever wants to see that for themselves, should come and see what's been happening in Iraq since February 25th." That's when thousands of Iraqis -- partly influenced by the Arab Spring -- took to the streets of cities across the country protesting against corruption and a lack of basic services. [Gun shots are heard and security forces move in.] But from the start, they were met by a fierce crackdown. The government denies an orchestrated effort to put down protests, saying there were just minor violations committed by to put down protests by individual security officers. Activists groups disagree. Human Rights Watch says the violations have been systematic and ongoing documenting dozens of cases where protesters were beaten up, detained and, in some cases, even tortured.
Human Rights Watch's Samer Muscati: People are afraid to go to demonstrations, are afraid of being rounded up, of being assaulted, of being beat up, of being followed to their own homes.
Jomana Karadsheh: And this is what has happened almost a year since the protests began here in Baghdad's own Tahrir or Liberation Square the scene is very different from last February. Activists say the crowd here has significantly dwindled over recent months and most of those present on this Friday say they are supporters of Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki. This crowd behind me has been chanting against two of the prime minister's two main political rivals -- Ayad Allawi and Saleh al-Mutlaq. Banners like these around the square praise "the wisdom and courage" of Mr. Maliki.
Human Rights Watch's Samer Muscati: I think really we are at a critical juncture and we are at a crossroads and Iraq right now, from what we see, is a budding police state. And hopefully that will change but all indications now are that things are actually going to deteriorate even more.
Baghdad Operations Command Spokesperson Qassim Atta: Our country is still suffering from terrorism and security forces are highly sensitive and ready for the worst possibilities and it is their right to protect public security. There should be no generalization. These human rights organizations can visit Tahrir Square every week to see the protests.
Jomana Karadsheh: But those who dare venture out have a different story. As we try to speak to this protester, we're interrupted by government supporters. Protesters say they're intelligence agents. For now, there are still some who refuse to back down despite the intimidation campaign.
Iraqi Male: The Republic of Iraq! Every time he's dead! Kill! Dead! Kill! Why?
Jomana Karadsheh: As this man cries out against the government, Maliki's supporters move right in, drowing out the calls for change. Jomana Karadsheh, CNN, Baghdad.
A police state. Well aren't we lucky the US isn't spending billions training the Iraqi police. Oh. Wait. The US tax payer is on the hook for training the potential police of a police state. Ed O'Keefe (Washington Post) explained in October, "Since 2003, the United States has spent about $8 billion to train, staff and equip Iraqi police forces. With the U.S. military preparing to leave Iraq at the end of December, responsibility for the police training program transferred to the State Department this month. The department has requested $887 million to continue operating the program this fiscal year."
When not busying themselves with preventing freedom of assembly, Nouri's thugs focus on other speech issues, like journalism. Dahr Jamal (Al Jazeera) reports:
According to [Iraq's Society for Defending Press Freedom's Oday] Hattem, if a journalists reports critically "that means this journalist will lose his life".
Like Hussein, Hattem sees the situation worsening on all fronts.
"The political and freedom of speech situations are both descending," he said. "Maliki launched an attack on freedom of speech in February 2010, when he arrested tens of journalists and human rights activists after the beginning of demonstrations in Baghdad."
US President Barack Obama, during a December 12, 2011, press conference with Iraq's Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, had nothing but high praise for the state of press freedom in Maliki's Iraq:
So we're partnering to strengthen the institutions upon which Iraq's democracy depends - free elections, a vibrant press, a strong civil society, professional police and law enforcement that uphold the rule of law, an independent judiciary that delivers justice fairly, and transparent institutions that serve all Iraqis.
Three days later, Iraq's Society for Defending Press Freedom filed an appeal with Iraq's High Federal Court against Maliki's government and its "Journalists Rights Law", which the group said contradicted four articles from Iraq's constitution.
And that's what the US has backed and continues to back. Even now.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Was he not paying attention?

BULLY BOY PRESS & CEDRIC'S BIG MIX -- THE KOOL-AID TABLE


CELEBRITY IN CHIEF BARRY O WAS TAKEN BY SURPRISE WHEN BILL DAILEY DECIDED TO BAIL.

DON'T THEY EVER HAVE SINKING SHIPS IN INDONESIA?




Before we get to Iraq, an anniversary. On this week's Law and Disorder Radio -- a weekly hour long program that airs Monday mornings at 9:00 a.m. EST on WBAI and around the country throughout the week, hosted by attorneys Heidi Boghosian, Michael S. Smith and Michael Ratner (Center for Constitutional Rights) -- topics explored include an update on Guantanamo by Michael Ratner on the tenth anniversary of the Guantanamo Bay prison, attorney Roger Wareham discusses the January 12th International People's Tribunal on War Crimes and Other Violations of International Law, California State University professor David Klein on the plan to build the Cornell and The Technion of Israel in NYC and CCR attorneyy Darius Charney on NYC's stop and frisk policies. Excerpt from opening segment.

Michael Ratner: January 11th, here we are. We've completed ten years after 9-11, going into the eleventh year. The tenth anniversary of Guantanamo opening, entering its 11th year now. On the actual annivesary, January 11th, I will be in London commemotrating the opening of Guantanamo with other lawyers but particularly with men who have been freed from Guantanamo, a group called Caged Prisoners. Commemorating the 11th year of the practices that underlie imprisonment at Guantanamo: the capture of detainees anywhere in the world or their kidnapping; their imprisonment indefinitely or forever under a preventive detention scheme; and their trials, if at all, by rump trials or military commissions. Here we are, the Guantanamo Syndrome -- that series of illnesses, sickness and outrage that represent both Republican and Democratic administrations are still with us. I'm commemorating it with a group set up after Guantanamo, set up by some of the very people who were formerly impisoned in Guantanamo, a group called Caged Prisoners. And I'm in London going through three days of commemoration of not just those who remain in Guantanamo, but of those who remain in secret prisons all over the world, particularly Bagram. And I'm with a number of the people who have been freed -- freed from Guantanamo. Some of those prisoners. for example, Moazzam Begg was freed from Guantanamo even before we won our court case in June 2004. And I'm with him today in London and his story actually tells us a lot about what happened at Guantanamo. And then I want to give a little history of the Center [for Constitutional Rights]'s involvement and my own. I met Moazzam Begg in February 2004 in the United Kingdom. He'd been freed because of the huge amount of efforts by the British citizens -- led by the Redgraves [the late Corin Redgrave and his sister Vanessa Redgrave of the British acting family dynasty] in particular and others to get the British citizens to get the British citizens out of there. And when I walked into the room, I remember it like it was yesterday, here were these young men -- I mean they were young like my own children in a way -- and the idea that these three men were ever kept in Guantanamo as the 'worst of the worst' or 'terrorists' just struck me as completely impossible. They could joke with me, they could tell the stories of what happened, they could talk about Guantanamo, they could talk about their own lives and, of course, they were kept in Guantanamo after being picked up in Pakistan and forced to give 'confessions' when they were at Guantanamo. They figured when they were at Guantanamo that after they were being tortured in various ways that they were better off just saying, 'Yeah, we knew Osama bin Laden, etc.' And they thought it would go better for them but of course it went worse. And even though they had alibis of where they were at the time and why they were in Afghanistan -- and good ones, correct ones -- the government forced these 'confessions' out of them under torture and kept them there year after year. When I met them, they talked about the torture. And when I talk to you, our listeners, about it, you have to understand that when I met them, no one knew publicly what was going on in Guantanamo, there'd been no access to Guantanamo. But there was the testimony of the Tipton Three. And everybody said, 'Oh, they're lying, they're not telling the truth.' And in the room with me that day, they went over what's called a "Rumsfeld Technique." Those are what we now know are everything from hooding, stripping, dogs, sexual assault -- all these kind of terrible things that Rumsfeld Techniques did to people at Guantanamo as a means of coercing what turned out to be false confessions out of people. And I sat there and I believed them. But I had trouble believing it because, of course, I'd always looked at Guantanamo as a horrible place because it was incommunicado detention -- we couldn't get them into court to test their detentions, we couldn't get them lawyers, we couldn't visit -- and I looked at that as the worst aspect. And while I suspected that there might be interrogation issues, I didn't realize that there would be abuse amounting or equivalent to torture. And was I naive in that respect? Possibly so. But of course within a couple of months after my interview with the Guantanamo Three or the Tipton Three, the Abu Ghraib photos came out on April 24th of 2004 and then, of course, it was public for everybody. The Rumfseld Techniques came out and then the Tipton Three's testimony -- that people had said, 'Oh, we don't believe it' -- was proven to be utterly, utterly accurate to the actual use of the Rumsfeld Techniques, the dozen techniques. And so then Guantanamo became synonymous not just with incommunicado detention but with torture as well. And today, of course, Guantanamo is still there. And as we talk about Guantanamo, I want to give people the numbers. Guantanamo is still there. 171 men remain in Guantanamo. 46 have been approved -- whatever that means -- for indefinite detention and will be there forever as far as I know. 36 men have been referred for prosecution. What kind of prosecution? Most likely military commissions which are just rump courts which are just rump trials for nothing. The remainder? Not clear. But most of the remainder have been approved for release. So that means the remainder shouldn't be there at all. People like the Uighurs from western China who were picked up wrongly -- admittedly wrongly -- and have now been there for ten years and will be going on I don't know how many years. So that total is about 89 people, most of whom have been approved for transfer. So of those 89 almost none of them should be there. So there's our numbers again. 46 indefinitely detained forever, 36 supposedly subject to prosecution and 89 who shouldn't be there at all -- or most of whom should not be there at all, some of whom they may not have decided yet. That's Guantanamo today.
This is an important issue, it does have connections to Iraq (including how Rumsfeld Techniques migrated from Guantanamo to Iraq). It's one of the reasons that (offline) this will be a crazy end of the week for me (as I noted last week) and also Michael Ratner's worked like crazy to get attention on this issue for ten years now. Ideally, we will continue to note Guantanamo every day in this week's snapshots due to the anniversary; however, the rest of the week we will save it for the end of the snapshot. And the above is an excerpt, there is more to Michael Ratner's analysis on the topic in the broadcast. And for more on Guantanamo, all this week, World Can't Wait will be drawing attention to Guantanamo. It generally covers Guantanamo every week regardless but due to the anniversary and various actions, there will be even more attention so refer to World Can't Wait throughout the week.
Iraq? AFP's Prashant Rao Tweets:
prashantrao Prashant Rao
Yet another terrible day in #Baghdad. #Iraq
Another day of political crisis, another day of extreme violence. AP notes 2 Baghdad car bombings left "at least 14 people" dead with "dozens" injured. Kareem Raheem (Reuters) notes the death toll rose to 15 and fifty-two were injured. AFP reports that bombings today targeting pilgrims in Iraq have resulted in one death and twenty-four people being left injured -- 1 dead and nine injured in Owairij and fiften injured in Hilla. Jomana Karadsheh (CNN) explains, "Hundreds of thousands of Shiites are making their way to Karbala to commemorate the Arbaeen pilgrimage this weekend. Arbaeen is the pilgrimage marking the end of a 40 day mourning period for the death of Imam Hussain, the grandson of the Prophet Mohammed, a seventh century imam and one of the Shiaa Islam's holiest figures." Al Jazeera adds, "As part of the Arbaeen ceremonies, Shia pilgrims walk to Karbala from across Iraq. Devotees also descend on the city from around the world." Reuters notes the Hilla bombing was yesterday and the injured were Afghanistan pilgrimas, they count 2 dead in a Baghdad roadside bombing with twelve more pilgrims injured, they also note the following Sunday night violence just making the news cycle: a Balad home bombing targeting a police officer which left him "his wife and three children" injured, a Falluja home bombing targeting a police officers home which injured two of the officers' relatives, Baghdad police shot dead a suspect, Iraqi soldiers in Mahmudiya shot dead a suspect, and 1 city government worker was shot dead in Kirkuk.
And the political crisis? Kareem Raheem (Reuters) notes today, "The crisis threatens to unravel Iraq's fragile coalition government of Shi'ite, Sunni and Kurdish factions and has raised fears of renewed sectarian violence." The editorial board of Canada's Globe & Mail observes:
Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki continues to purge his opponents and consolidate his authority. He is now on the verge of abandoning last year's power-sharing agreement, which formed a government of national unity. Vice-President Tareq al-Hashemi has [. . . sought refuge in] Kurdistan after authorities issued a warrant for his arrest, a decision that added to sectarian tensions. In the weeks before the U.S. military withdrawal, Mr. al-Maliki rounded up hundreds of Iraqis accused of being former Baath Party members. Security forces detain and abuse dissenting academics, activists and journalists with impunity [. . .]
Serena Chaudhry (Reuters) quotes the Economist Intelligence Unit's Ali al-Saffar stating, "There is no doubt [the arrest warrant] was choreographed to put down the marker, to eradicate any doubt over who was in charge in the wake of the U.S. troop withdrawl." Patrick Cockburn (Independent of London) offers an analysis and we'll note this paragraph:

"I think it was a bad mistake for the US not to say in 2010 that Maliki was unacceptable to them," said a Western diplomat formerly posted to Baghdad. He argued that Mr Maliki should have been rejected because he was a sectarian Shia intent on building an authoritarian state and that this state is corrupt and dysfunctional. Corruption is at a level whereby state funds are simply transferred abroad to shell companies secretly owned by officials at home. Unemployment is between 25 and 40 per cent. Inability to provide an adequate supply of electricity has been a notorious failing of the post-Saddam state, but the electricity ministry still managed to agree to pay $1.3bn to a bankrupt German company and a non-existent Canadian one. The government's budget is spent mainly on salaries and pensions, with recipients often connected to the ruling parties.


Not only did they refuse to say he was unacceptable, they demanded that he continue as prime minister. The Iraqi people voted in March 2010. Nouri's State of Law came in second to Ayad Allawi's Iraqiya. Instead of respecting the will of the voters and the Iraqi Constitution, the US government set out to circumvent both. It was as ugly and offensive as the US Supreme Court installing second place Bully Boy Bush over first place Al Gore. And it sent the message to Iraqis that (a) their votes didn't matter, (b) the Constitution didn't matter and (c) that the whole thing was a farce. This was a very big thing, the elections. Iraqiya was labeled "Ba'athists" by State Of Law, the Justice and Accountability Commission (whose term had expired) suddenly resurfaced to begin banning Iraqiya candidates from running, in the lead up to the elections, several Iraqiya candidates were shot dead, state media was claiming Nouri's State of Law would come in first. Despite all of that, Iraqis turned out and voted and, thanks to the US, were left to wonder why they even bothered?

This was an issue raised in the Iraqi protests in 2011 -- that the prime minister stayed the same, that Jalal Talabani remained President and the two Vice Presidents remained the same, so why did they even vote? They also protested the corruption, the disappearance of loved ones into the so-called judicial system, the lack of jobs and the lack of public services (reliable electricity, potable water, etc.) Dar Addustour reports that protests took place in Sulaymaniyah Province today over public services and the claims were put forward that there are planned projects. Lots of 'planning' but Iraqis still see no results.

Worse, they saw Nouri al-Maliki -- watching the unrest in Egypt -- insist that problems would be fixed in 100 days. Then 100 days passed and Nouri claimed that he had not promised to fix anything just to identiy the problems. The 100 days was nothing but a stalling technique (as we noted when he announced it) a way to distract Iraqis. The 100 days expired in June. So, according to him, that was time spent identifying problems. And what was done in the over 180 days since Nouri 'identified' the problems? Not a damn thing to impact the average Iraqi in a positive manner. And this as the number of Iraqis who see themselves as sufferin/enduring increases. Gallup has a new poll out today. It's a survey of Iraqis. Stafford Nichols explains, "The percentage of Iraqis who rate their lives poorly enough to be considered 'suffering' rose from 14% in in October 2010 to 25% in September 2011."

RECOMMENDED: "Iraq snapshot"