Saturday, August 24, 2013

Campus catfight!

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

WHY DOES COLORADO STATE UNIVERSITY SATELLITE AT PUEBLO EMPLOY THE HACK TIM MCGETTIGAN?

'PROFESSOR' TIM 'TEACHES' CLASSES SUCH AS "CRIME & FILM," "POPULAR CULTURE," AND "FILM & SOCIETY" -- PROOF POSITIVE HE WASTED HIS TIME IN HIGHER LEARNING.

ADDITIONALLY, HE'S REDUCED OPPOSITION TO THE DALIBAMA TO THE 'FACT' THAT BARRY O'S OPPONENTS ARE "GRUMPY OLD WHITE MEN."

TIM'S ONE OF THOSE GRUMPY OLD WHITE MEN WHOSE REACHED THE AGE WHERE HIS EYE BROWS DISAPPEAR WHICH DOES EXPLAIN HIS OBSESSION WITH THE YOUNGER AND MORE ATTRACTIVE PROFESSOR MATT HARRIS WHOM TIM'S BEEN ALLEGED TO DECLARE "FARTS IN CLASS AND WEARS SOCKS THAT DON'T MATCH!"

REACHED FOR COMMENT BY THESE REPORTERS, 'PROFESSOR' TIM INSISTED HE'D HEARD PROFESSOR HARRIS HIGHLIGHTS HIS HAIR AND "BESIDES GOOD LOOKS DON'T LAST FOREVER!  AND DON'T GET ME STARTED ON INSTRUCTOR JAMES BALL!  THERE'S NO WAY THAT FINE ASS IS ALL HIS OWN!  I CAN'T HELP THAT MY ASS SAGS TO BELOW MY KNEES NOW!  IT'S CALLED AGING!"

FUELED BY HIS CAMPUS CATFIGHTS, 'PROFESSOR' TIM SWEARS HIS 'INSIGHTFUL' ANALYSIS WILL ONLY BECOME BETTER.


FROM THE TCI WIRE:



Today protests continued in Iraq.  Iraqi Spring MC notes protests took place in Baquba, Tikrit, Baji, Mosul, Falluja, Baghdad's AdhamiyaSamarra, Rawah, Jalawah, and Ramadi.


This wave of protests has been going on since December 21st. and this week marked eight months of continued protests.




This is the 8th month of continued protests.


As part of the Pride and Dignity campaign, protesters participated in a blood drive for the victims of bombings in IraqIn Ameria, a preacher spoke to those assembled and stated that it is not enough for Nouri al-Maliki to say he recognizes the crimes committed against the people, he must release the innocentNational Iraqi News Agency reports:

Preacher of the unified Friday prayer in Samarra, Sheikh Khaled Hatem al-Samarrai called on Iraqis to end silence towards what is happening in Iraq that took a long time without getting an answer from the Government of unfair and kill of Sunni component without mercy under the name of /revenge of the martyrs / in a Baghdad belt areas specially.


Sheikh Khaled Hatem al-Samarrai decried the targeting of Sunnis.   Where is the United Nations?  They have yet to decry this.  Not only that but UN Secretary-General has yet appoint someone to be his Special Representative to Iraq. (Martin Kobler's gone and "acting" Special Representative is not the same -- the current acting official is doing a strong job but does not have the authority he would have if he was named the Special Representative by Ban Ki-moon.)  NINA also reports:

Preacher Sheikh Hussein al-Dulaimi said in his Friday sermon in Ramadi sit-in Square: " The security forces in Baghdad belt deliberately violating human rights, even these forces confiscate illegally livestock of citizens and practice torture,kill or arrest them, wondering if such a practices are security measures?.
 

NINA notes that thousands turned out in Ramadi and Falluja:

 Sheikh Mohammed Fayyad, one of the organizers of Anbar sit-ins ,said to NINA reporter : "The citizens participated in the prayers that held in the courtyard northern Ramadi and eastern Fallujah cities , stressing that the goal of this trickle is to send one again a message to the governing in Baghdad that our demonstrations are peaceful and backed by citizens deep conviction.






Al Mada reports that protests took place in multiple provinces and a Samarra preacher called on Nouri to empty the prisons of the innocents and also decried the international silence (from the UN and the Arab League) while pointing out that the government is deliberating violating the rights of peaceful assembly in Baghdad.  Tuesday,  Human Rights Watch issued another in their ongoing reports about the assault on basic freedoms and protesters in Iraq:


Baghdad’s new governor, Ali al-Tamimi, should immediately declare that he will support Iraqis’ right to exercise free assembly, Human Rights Watch said today. He should revoke regulations that allow police to prevent peaceful protest. On August 2, 2013, security forces invoked the regulations, which breach safeguards contained in Iraq’s constitution, to detain 13 people who attempted to protest against corruption and Iraq’s continuing slide into violence. Al-Tamimi became governor of Baghdad a month ago.
Soldiers detained three protesters, held them for 36 hours and then released them. The police arrested 10 more as they gathered in a central Baghdad square, then charged them with “disobeying police orders,” a criminal offense based on the 2011 regulations, because they had failed to obtain official permission to demonstrate. On August 4, al-Rusafa criminal court threw out the charges, declaring them “fabricated.”
“These latest arrests show just how far Iraqi authorities will go to prevent peaceful protests despite the major problems engulfing the country,” said Joe Stork, acting Middle East director at Human Rights Watch. “The new governor should start fresh, revoking these unfair regulations to show that he supports the right of people to express their grievances peacefully. It would go a long way to restoring trust in the government.”
The regulations effectively give authorities unfettered power to determine who may hold a demonstration.
Human Rights Watch spoke separately to five of the 13 detained protesters, all of whom said that federal police and soldiers arrested them when they and others tried to gather in Baghdad’s Tahrir Square at around 7 a.m. on August 2. The soldiers detained Ahmed Suhail, his cousin Hussein Abbas, and a third man, took them to the headquarters of the 11th division, and held them there until their release late the following day. By then, the men’s families had “started to ask powerful people to intervene,” Suhail told Human Rights Watch.
Police arrested the other 10 after initially warning demonstrators who were making their way to the square that “the army will arrest you and maybe hurt you” and then telling them that they could not enter the square because they did not have an official permit to demonstrate. A federal police general offered to help the demonstrators get a permit, but instead took four protesters who agreed to accompany him to seek the permit to Bab al-Muatham police station, where police arrested them. Police then brought in six others they had arrested, including two news cameramen who had been among the demonstrators.
Three of these six told Human Rights Watch that soldiers from the army’s 11th division assaulted them before police arrested them. One said soldiers forced them to the ground, beating two of them, after first tying an Iraqi flag around his head to prevent him from seeing. The soldier “beat and kicked us, and called us ‘traitors,’’’ he told Human Rights Watch, and “asked us, ‘Who paid you to come demonstrate?’”




Al Mada added that the Samarra preacher noted the eagerness with which the government now attacks the Iraqi people and notes Nouri didn't feel such a need when the American occupier was present in large numbers in Iraq.  Sheikh Mohammed al-Jumaili noted that the Parliament passes laws to protect the animals but seems unconcerned about the protesters' safety.  He noted that violence and militias will not force the protesters to retreat.

And why would it?

After eight months of threats, arrests, gunshots and more, they haven't stopped protesting.  They've seen leaders assassinated and that hasn't led them to retreat.  Even the Tuesday, April 23rd massacre of the sit-in in Hawija by Nouri's federal forces didn't stop them.  Alsumaria noted Kirkuk's Department of Health (Hawija is in Kirkuk)  announced 50 activists have died and 110 were injured in the assault.  UNICEF informed the world that 8 of the dead were children and twelve more children were left injured.

 When they started, eight months ago, many in the (international) press felt it would last a month or two.  Then they assumed the brutal summer or Ramadan would stop the protests.  Nope and nope.  The Iraqi spirit is alive and well in the protesters.  They do not give up.

Al Mada, Iraqi Spring MC and NINA are among the very few covering today's protests.  No Western media could be bothered, not even to Tweet.  You'd think on the eight month anniversary, they'd manage to at least take a moment to note the protests.




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Friday, August 23, 2013

Dalibama bombs in Syracuse

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


THE GRANNY PANTY WEARING DALIBAMA IS STILL REELING FROM YESTERDAY'S INCIDENT IN SYRACUSE.

SPEAKING TO THESE REPORTERS EARLIER THIS MORNING, BARRY O INSISTED, "DID YOU HEAR THAT?  THEY CALLED ME A WHORE! THEY ACTUALLY CALLED ME A WHORE!"

DON'T SING FOR US EVITA, THEY JUST HECKLED YOU.

SYRACUSE WELCOMED THE DALIBAMA WITH A DEMAND THAT HE PARDON CHELSEA MANNING.

"NO, NO," BARRY O CONTINUED TO INSIST, "THEY CALLED ME A WHORE! THEY ACTUALLY CALLED ME A WHORE!"

IT IS THE OPINION OF THESE REPORTERS THAT BARRY O IS HEARING VOICES.



FROM THE TCI WIRE:



Governments with enormous wealth for the officials and enormous poverty for the people tend to be government's with gross human rights abuses.  To maintain an enormous disparity, officials will often resort to violent attacks on the very people they claim to represent.  With that in mind, let's look at Iraq.

Yesterday, Aswat al-Iraq reported:


Commander of Iraqi Air Force Anwar Hama Amin disclosed that Iraq needs 90 jet fighters to build its air force, pointing that the Turkish and Iranian violations will continue unless Iraq is supplied with these fighters in the coming stage.
In a press statement, today, he described the US F 16 fighters deal as "the deal of dreams", which shall be a complete project comprising of 36 planes by 2016.
It is expected that the first dispatch will arrive in September 2014.

  Friday, Iraq's Foreign Minister Hoshyar Zebari spoke at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in DC.  He was there for his Thursday visit with US Secretary of State John Kerry.  We covered the event in Friday's snapshot and in Monday's.  Today we're going to note another aspect.  The Center for Strategic and International Studies has posted video and audio of the DC event.  And they also now have a [PDF format warning] transcript of the event.

Josh Rogin: Thank you very much, I'm Josh Rogin with Newsweek and the Daily Beast.  Thank you for your time today. As you know, uh, as we discussed, increased security cooperation is one of the main request of the Iraqi government is for new U.S. arm sales to Iraq. Lawmakers here in Washington are concerned about those sales for two reasons. They believe that Iraq is still allowing Iran to use Iraqi airspace to promote the flow of arms to the Assad regime. Also they are concerned that the Iraqi government may use uh U.S. weapons uh towards political ends to marginalize the political opposition as we've seen in the past. What assurances can you give us on both of these fronts? What specific steps are you taking to stop the arms flow from Iran over Iraqi airspace to Assad? And what assurances can you give us that, as we approach new elections, that U.S. weapons won’t be used for domestic political purposes? Thank you. 


Minister Hosyar Zebari: Definitely my government will abide by all the rules and regulations that you here in the United States or Congress will impose on arm sales. Not only to Iraq  to many other countries in the world. So we will abide by that, definitely, for these weapons not to be used for domestic use or improperly. But to be used for the defense of the country. Now on the flight of -- the overflight of -- of Iranian using Iraqi airspace -- let me give you the reality and Sometimes we are speaking theoretically about the situation, as if Iraq has dozens of fighters or aircrafts. For your information, Iraq doesn't have a single fighter plane up to now. It has a couple of helicopters, some training let's say planes, small planes, but it doesn't have a single aircraft to protect its airspace. Iraq up until now doesn't have an integrated self-defense to protect its skies. We have requested and we are waiting for the delivery. So, that is the situation when we talk about Iraq's capabilities and deterrence capabilities to prevent others from using its airspace and so on. We have made demarches to the Iranians. We don't want and we don't support you or any other to use our airspace because it runs against our policy of taking an independent, neutral position here, not to militarize the conflict in any way. And we have done a number of inspections. These inspections could not be, I mean, endorsed by some circles here in the United States. That this could choose only those who carry legitimate equipment or material. But we have raised the possibility here, really, we will continue to live up to our commitments here. But there are Security Council resolutions banning these from leaving Iran. Under Chapter VII, whether its weapons, imports, export -- we don't have the capabilities of enforcing this. Though politically we have made these demarches. So who's going to reinforce that? Is it the Security Council or who? We've taken note actually of the U.S. administration’s serious concerns about this [. . .]


We'll stop there.  Before we go to the next exchange, two things.  One, when I am quoting someone speaking in English and it's not their native language, I do not include "uh" or "uhm."  These moments can be revealing -- in any language -- when someone does it in their native language.  In a second or third (or more) language, they may not be revealing of anything other than the person is not speaking in their native language so we do not include the uhs or uhms.  That's the policy here.  Second, Zebari's recent lies has been Iraq's no longer got to worry!  Chapter VII is over!!  Truthfully, it's been replaced with Chapter VI.  That was too much truth for Zebari.  But isn't it interesting that he's citing the no longer existent Chapter VII.  Same topic, of weapons, asked again at the event, we'll skip the first part of the question (we covered that in Monday's snapshot).  This is Wallace Hays.  Not "Wallace Hayes" as I wrongly typed Monday.  A friend passed that on.  You can find a profile of Wallace Hays here.  My apologies for getting the spelling of his last name wrong.


Wallace Hays:  Hi, Wallace Hays, Independent Consultant I wanted to give you an opportunity, a lot of people here feel like there's been a lack of political reconciliation in Iraq and that it has been U.S. policy to support the Erbil Agreement, which has not been implemented in Iraq. And, following up on Mr. Rogin's question, why should -- I'd like to  give you the opportunity to explain, why should the United States sell arms to Iraq, when in fact many people believe that the lack of political reconciliation is contributing to some of the violence today? Thanks. 

Minister Hoshyar Zebari: Thank you. Political reconciliation is the key issue really, for Iraq and the stability of Iraq and I think that all of the key leaders believe that this is the way forward. With the hydrocarbon law, with normalizing relations with Saudi Arabia, with Turkey, I mean all the questions have been pointed questions about the core issue in Iraq. So, the political reconciliation is moving, it's not stagnant. I mean, look at the representatives of the Sunni community, let's say or from al-Iraqi parliamentary blocs. They are now represented in Parliament, now they are represented in government. They may feel that they are underrepresented or marginalized, this is a fair call, I mean we could do more about that, definitely. But really the lessons that came out of this local election were very, very important. Many people believe they could do with the majoritarian democracy or political majority government, that the one sect or one group could win all over and rule by themselves, it proved they couldn't. They could win but they could not govern. And I think everyone realized and recognized that there has to be an inclusive democracy, a nonsectarian democracy, in Iraq for this country to have any future.

Zebari's remarks there are pure nonsense.  We called them out in Monday's snapshot, refer to that.  In terms of Hays picking up on Rogen's question, please note that Zebari doesn't really address that  (except via a false portrayal of current Iraqi politics).

Last week, Josh Rogin and Eli Lake (Daily Beast) reported:

The U.S. government has notified Congress in recent weeks of its intention to sell Iraq $4.7 billion worth of military equipment, but none of those sales include the top item on Iraq’s shopping list, the Boeing AH-64 Apache helicopters. The House Foreign Affairs Committee and the Senate Foreign Relations Committee have refused to allow the sale of the helicopters to date.
“The committee continues to carefully review all proposed arms sales to Iraq in order to ensure that such transfers support U.S. national security interests in the region,” a House Foreign Affairs Committee spokesman told The Daily Beast. Two administration officials confirmed that until the committees sign off, the U.S. government won’t be able to complete the arms deal.
The State Department is negotiating with the leaders of those committees behind the scenes to alleviate concerns about the sale. Committee leaders are worried the Iraqi government will use the helicopters to go after their domestic enemies, not just suspected terrorists. Also lawmakers are convinced that Iraq still allows Iran to fly arms over Iraqi airspace to aid the regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.


These are serious concerns.   They are not new concerns.  At the end of 2011, for example, Anna Mulrine (Christian Science Monitor) pointed out:

The apparent effort of Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki to consolidate power since the US [drawdown] is worrisome to some defense analysts in the US, who say it's conceivable that he could use weapons purchased from the US against his political enemies and the people of Iraq.


Outside of Congress, the US government has not taken the concerns seriously.  As we noted Friday, Zebari lied and downplayed the April assault:

Hoshyar Zebari: As I said before, really we have demonstrations, sit-ins, all over the country for the past eight months and the government never resorted to the kind of violence -- except in one or two incidences in Haiwja.  And I'm not here to justify this violations whatsoever.  But really the government has tolerated this so far to go on without any intimidations.



The April 23rd massacre of a sit-in in Hawija resulted from  Nouri's federal forces storming in.  Alsumaria noted Kirkuk's Department of Health (Hawija is in Kirkuk)  announced 50 activists have died and 110 were injured in the assault.   AFP reported the death toll rose to 53 dead.  UNICEF noted that the dead included 8 children (twelve more were injured).


Not only did the government murder Iraqis, it did so via equipment the US government sold them.  Without the helicopters the US sold Iraq, the massacre would not be possible because Nouri's forces were denied entry into Kirkuk by the governor.  To get inside Kirkuk, to Hawija, they had to fly over.  This was made very clear when  Shalaw Mohammed (Niqash) interviewed Governor Najm al-Din Karim back in May:



NIQASH: Let’s talk about the controversial Tigris Operations Command. It’s caused several crises around here. What’s your opinion on this Iraqi military base?




Al-Din Karim: Neither I, as governor, nor the provincial council have changed our opinions on this issue. We don’t want the Tigris Operations Command here and we don’t accept their presence. Although we have agreed to form a committee in Baghdad to try and resolve this impasse.



NIQASH: The incidents in Hawija, where protestors were killed by the Iraqi military, also seems to have seen more Iraqi army forces enter Kirkuk.



Al-Din Karim: Actually those forces did not come through Kirkuk - they entered Hawija by helicopter. They tried to come through Kirkuk but we prevented them from doing so. I know the Prime Minister disapproved of this – he told me so last time we met.



Without the helicopters the US sold to Iraq, that massacre wouldn't have happened.  That massacre is important because people were killed and wounded and it became clear that Nouri was ready to turn on groups of Iraqis.  That massacre is also seen as a major point in the continued escalation of violence in Iraq.  Last week, the International Crisis Group issued "Make or Break: Iraq’s Sunnis and the State" and this is their take on Hawija:





As events in Syria nurtured their hopes for a political comeback, Sunni Arabs launched an unprecedented, peaceful protest movement in late 2012 in response to the arrest of bodyguards of Rafea al-Issawi, a prominent Iraqiya member. It too failed to provide answers to accumulated grievances. Instead, the demonstrations and the repression to which they gave rise further exacerbated the sense of exclusion and persecution among Sunnis.
The government initially chose a lacklustre, technical response, forming committees to unilaterally address protesters’ demands, shunning direct negotiations and tightening security measures in Sunni-populated areas. Half-hearted, belated concessions exacerbated distrust and empowered more radical factions. After a four-month stalemate, the crisis escalated. On 23 April, government forces raided a protest camp in the city of Hawija, in Kirkuk province, killing over 50 and injuring 110. This sparked a wave of violence exceeding anything witnessed for five years. Attacks against security forces and, more ominously, civilians have revived fears of a return to all-out civil strife. The Islamic State of Iraq, al-Qaeda’s local expression, is resurgent. Shiite militias have responded against Sunnis. The government’s seeming intent to address a chiefly political issue – Sunni Arab representation in Baghdad – through tougher security measures has every chance of worsening the situation.
Belittled, demonised and increasingly subject to a central government crackdown, the popular movement is slowly mutating into an armed struggle. In this respect, the absence of a unified Sunni leadership – to which Baghdad’s policies contributed and which Maliki might have perceived as an asset – has turned out to be a serious liability. In a showdown that is acquiring increasing sectarian undertones, the movement’s proponents look westward to Syria as the arena in which the fight against the Iraqi government and its Shiite allies will play out and eastward toward Iran as the source of all their ills.
Under intensifying pressure from government forces and with dwindling faith in a political solution, many Sunni Arabs have concluded their only realistic option is a violent conflict increasingly framed in confessional terms. In turn, the government conveniently dismisses all opposition as a sectarian insurgency that warrants ever more stringent security measures. In the absence of a dramatic shift in approach, Iraq’s fragile polity risks breaking down, a victim of the combustible mix of its long­standing flaws and growing regional tensions.




And yet the White House wants to provide more weapons to Nouri? In 2010, Iraq held parliamentary elections and Ayad Allawi's Iraqiya beat Nouri's State of Law.  Nouri refused to honor the will of the Iraqi people, the democratic process or his country's Constitution.  He refused to step down and he refused to allow a new Parliament to be seated.  This was the political stalemate, it lasted for over eight months -- only because Nouri had the support of the White House.  It was ended by the US-brokered Erbil Agreement, a legal contract that gave cry baby Nouri a second term he did not earn.  The political leaders signed the contract because (a) the White House swore it was binding and would have the full backing of the US government, (b) the leaders wanted to end the stalemate and (c) in exchange for giving Nouri a second term, he agreed to give them certain things (like implementing Article 140 of the Iraqi Constitution).  Nouri broke the contract after being announced prime minister for a second term.




The above demonstrates that (a) Nouri's word is worthless, (b) Nouri will not honor the Iraqi Constitution, (c) Nouri does not feel bound by any laws and (d) he has no respect for the Iraqi people as evidenced by his ignoring their will at the voting box.



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Thursday, August 22, 2013

Spy-in-Chief

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


CELEBRITY IN CHIEF BARRY O'S ILLEGAL SPYING ON THE AMERICAN PEOPLE CONTINUES.

REACHED FOR COMMENT TODAY, THE DALIBAMI TOLD THESE REPORTERS, "SPYING IS FUN.  MY FAVORITE IS WHEN I GET TO LOOK AT AN OLD WOMAN AND CATCH HER IN GRANNY PANTIES.  I LAUGH AND LAUGH.  THEN GO GRAB SOME OF MICHELLE'S GRANNY PANTIES, PUT THEM ON AND HOLLER 'CHANGE YOU CAN BELIEVE IN!'"

FROM THE TCI WIRE:



This afternnon, Lady Gaga Tweeted.

  1. The news of Bradley Manning's sentencing is devastating. If our own can't speak up about injustice who will? How will we ever move forward?

What's she talking about?  Agencia EFE reports, "U.S. Army Pfc. Bradley Manning was sentenced here Wednesday to 35 years in prison for providing more than 700,000 classified documents to WikiLeaks." Kevin Gosztola (Firedoglake) reports that after the sentence was delivered, "Guards quickly escorted Manning out of the courtroom as supporters in the gallery shouted, 'We'll keep fighting you, Bradley,' and also told him he was a hero."

Gosztola told guest host Kevin Pina on this evenings Flashpoints (KPFA) that, as they waited for the verdict to be announced, "Everyone was on edge" as they waited for the sentence that would "bring the court-martial of Bradley Manning to a conclusion.  And the judge entered the courtroom at about 10:15 am EST  and she sat down and the first instruction she gave before reading her announcement was that everyone in the courtroom, everyone in the gallery, the Bradley Manning supporters, she would not be tolerating any outbursts. She would not be tolerating anything [that interfered with the] decorum of the court-room.  She made a point of basically scolding them before they did anything wrong And she did this before the verdict."  It is extremely noisy as I type (I'm out and about) so this is a rough transcript of the remarks from the live broadcast airing right now.


Kevin Pina:  I'm wondering were their members of Bradley Manning's family that were present when this decision was read?


Kevin Gosztola:  There weren't any family.  You know, the family was  -- There were his sister and his -- Actually, I take that back.  There were people who were there to meet him but we don't know who in his family were there to meet him.  But we know that after the announcement, he was able to meet privately with them before he was processed and taken wherever he was taken.  It's unknown if he was headed back to Fort Leavenworth, where he will be serving his sentence, yet.  He could be in a facility nearby Fort Meade for some more days.  


The program will be archived after the broadcast ends (at 6:00 pm PST; 9:00 pm EST).

Michael Allen (Opposing Views) informs, "Manning was credited an additional 112 days, dishonorably discharged, reduced to private from private first class and forced to give up all of his U.S. military pay and benefits."  But it's not just the 112 days Bradley will receive credit for, Selena Hill (Latino Post) notes, "About 3½ years or 1294 days will be subtracted from Manning's sentence, which includes the number of days he's already been detained, plus the 112-day credit he received for excessively harsh treatment while in a Marine brig in Quantico, Va."  Sarah Childress (PBS' Frontline) explains, "Under military commission rules, the sentence must be reviewed by the Office of the Convening Authority, which has the power to set aside or amend the sentence --  but not increase it."  Many outlets are stating that Bradley will be eligible for parole in eight years; however, only the editorial board of the Baltimore Sun notes, "Under military law, Mr. Manning will be eligible for parole after serving one-third of his sentence, though there is no guarantee he would be released at that time."



Monday April 5, 2010, WikiLeaks released  military video of a July 12, 2007 assault in Iraq. 12 people were killed in the assault including two Reuters journalists Namie Noor-Eldeen and Saeed Chmagh. Monday June 7, 2010, the US military announced that they had arrested Bradley Manning and he stood accused of being the leaker of the video. Leila Fadel (Washington Post) reported in August 2010 that Manning had been charged -- "two charges under the Uniform Code of Military Justice. The first encompasses four counts of violating Army regulations by transferring classified information to his personal computer between November and May and adding unauthorized software to a classified computer system. The second comprises eight counts of violating federal laws governing the handling of classified information." In March, 2011, David S. Cloud (Los Angeles Times) reported that the military has added 22 additional counts to the charges including one that could be seen as "aiding the enemy" which could result in the death penalty if convicted. The Article 32 hearing took place in December. At the start of this year, there was an Article 32 hearing and, February 3rd, it was announced that the government would be moving forward with a court-martial. Bradley has yet to enter a plea. The court-martial was supposed to begin before the November 2012 election but it was postponed until after the election so that Barack wouldn't have to run on a record of his actual actions.  Independent.ie adds, "A court martial is set to be held in June at Ford Meade in Maryland, with supporters treating him as a hero, but opponents describing him as a traitor."  February 28th, Bradley admitted he leaked to WikiLeaks.  And why.


Bradley Manning:   In attempting to conduct counter-terrorism or CT and counter-insurgency COIN operations we became obsessed with capturing and killing human targets on lists and not being suspicious of and avoiding cooperation with our Host Nation partners, and ignoring the second and third order effects of accomplishing short-term goals and missions. I believe that if the general public, especially the American public, had access to the information contained within the CIDNE-I and CIDNE-A tables this could spark a domestic debate on the role of the military and our foreign policy in general as [missed word] as it related to Iraq and Afghanistan.
I also believed the detailed analysis of the data over a long period of time by different sectors of society might cause society to reevaluate the need or even the desire to even to engage in counterterrorism and counterinsurgency operations that ignore the complex dynamics of the people living in the effected environment everyday.




For truth telling, Brad was punished by the man who fears truth: Barack Obama.  A fraud, a fake, a 'brand,' anything but genuine, Barack is all marketing, all facade and, for that reason, must attack each and every whistle-blower.  David Delmar (Digital Journal) points out, "President Obama, while ostensibly a liberal advocate of transparency and openness in government, and of the 'courage' and 'patriotism' of whistleblowers who engage in conscientious leaks of classified information, is in reality something very different: a vindictive opponent of the free press willing to target journalists for doing their job and exposing government secrets to the public."


 Tuesday, July 30th, Bradley was convicted of all but two counts by Colonel Denise Lind, the military judge in his court-martial.  Today, Bradley finally received a sentence.


You make pretty daisies, pretty daisies love
I gotta' find, find, find: what you're doing about things here
A few witches burning, gets a little toasty here
I gotta' find, find, find why you always go when the wind blows?
God. sometimes you just don't come through
God, sometimes you just don't come through
Do you need a woman to look after you?
God, sometimes you just don't come through
-- "God," written by Tori Amos, first appears on her Under the Pink



We're going to note a series of opinions on the sentence and we'll do so briefly with the exception of Chase Madar who really nails it in a piece for The Nation, noting Bradley became the scapegoat for everything:


The best way to cope with humiliating military disaster is to find a scapegoat. For the Germans after World War I, it was leftists and Jews who “stabbed the nation in the back”—the Dolchsto├člegende that set the global standard. In the resentful folklore that grows like kudzu around our Vietnam War, American defeat is blamed on the hippies and anti-American journalists who sabotaged a military effort that was on the verge of total victory. (More sophisticated revanchists season this pottage with imprecations against General Westmoreland’s leadership.)  
The horrible problem with our Iraq and Afghan wars is that policy elites can’t find anyone to blame for their failure. Widespread fatigue with both wars never translated into an effective antiwar movement with any kind of mass base or high public profile. As for journalists, even liberal media platforms like The New Yorker and MSNBC dutifully mouthed administration propaganda in favor of both wars. (The liability of a thoroughly embedded media is that they can’t be blamed for military failure.)
 In other words, the usual suspects for stabbing-in-back whodunits all have ironclad alibis. Who will save us from this thoroughly unsatisfying anticlimax?


Russia Beyond The Headlines notes the comments of Russian Foreign Ministry's Envoy for Human Rights, Konstantin Dolgov, stating,  "When the interests of the United States are concerned, the American judicial system like in the case of Manning, makes unjustifiably tough decisions to scare off others without any consideration for human rights' aspects.  Such manifestations of dual standards regarding the supremacy of law and human rights once again proves the U.S. claims for leadership in these important spheres are groundless."  The editorial board of the Guardian points out, "In 2008, one could have hoped that the US had a president whose administration would distinguish between leaks in the public interest and treason. But this sentence tells a different story. Mr Manning's sentence, which is both unjust and unfair, can still be reduced on appeal. Let us hope that it is."

The Palm Beach Post has an online survey which asks, "Is Manning's 35-year sentence fair?"  The choices are "Yes," "No, ir's too much" or "No, it's too little."  This is a non-scientific poll and the current results are:


Is Manning's 35-year sentence fair?

35%
Yes

47%
No, it's too much

18%
No, it's too little


Tod Robberson (Dallas Morning News) opens with, "It's really strange, as a journalist who shares the profession's obsession with uncovering and disclosing secrets, for me to endorse a military's court's prison sentence of 35 years to Pvt. Bradley Manning, the infamous Wikileaks leaker."  No, it's not strange at all Toad.  A very good friend was with the Dallas Morning News during the Bully Boy Bush years and he used to horrify me with all the inside crap that took place before an 'opinion' like your own, Toad, was issued.  For example, Sheryl Crow wearing a peace sign and having a guitar with a "NO WAR" strap meant that the employees who covered music were ordered to trash Crow at every opportunity -- repeating: They were ordered to do that.  The pot head local columnist meanwhile, on orders from management, described protesting the war as an act of "treason."  I can go on and on for hours.  Toad, no one takes your opinion seriously.

Toad can take comfort that the San Jose Mercury News editorial board agrees with him, "In sentencing Pfc. Bradley Manning to 35 years in prison, the U.S. Army colonel who heard the case against him for leaking military documents to WikiLeaks once again exercised proper judgment."  Of course, "proper judgment" is laughable coming from the paper with Gary Webb's blood on its hands.

Writing for the right-wing Heritage Foundation, John G. Malcolm and Hans von Spakovsky bemoan that the sentence is 'only' for 35 years, "This sentence risks sending the wrong message to those contemplating leaking information that threatens our national security, endangers our troops, and frays relations with our allies. Hopefully, Bradley Manning will spend much more than just a decade in prison considering his misdeeds."  The Las Vegas Guardian Review runs the sexist and, considering Brad's issues, trans-phobic headline, "Manning Must Man-Up to 35 Years in Prison."  Julian Assange offers a two-part bizarre statement (here for AAP).  This is not a success.  Bradley's innocent of any harm.  Assange says the same of himself with regards to rape charges and someone should have told Assange that his statements can be easily turned around.  Such as, "Okay, 35 years isn't so bad?  So you'll go to Sweden?" It was a stupid statement to issue.

The Brennan Center For Justice offers, "Before the Obama administration, there were only three Espionage Act prosecutions brought for disclosing information to the media, and the longest sentence imposed was two years. While significantly less than the 60 years requested by prosecutors, the judge's sentence in Manning's case is the longest ever imposed for a media leak."  Already breaking my word about brief but a CCR friend asked that we note The Center for Constitutional Rights' statement in full:


We are outraged that a whistleblower and a patriot has been sentenced on a conviction under the Espionage Act. The government has stretched this archaic and discredited law to send an unmistakable warning to potential whistleblowers and journalists willing to publish their information. We can only hope that Manning’s courage will continue to inspire others who witness state crimes to speak up.
This show trial was a frontal assault on the First Amendment, from the way the prosecution twisted Manning’s actions to blur the distinction between whistleblowing and spying to the government’s tireless efforts to obstruct media coverage of the proceedings. It is a travesty of justice that Manning, who helped bring to light the criminality of U.S. forces in Iraq and Afghanistan, is being punished while the alleged perpetrators of the crimes he exposed are not even investigated.  Every aspect of this case sets a dangerous precedent for future prosecutions of whistleblowers – who play an essential role in democratic government by telling us the truth about government wrongdoing – and we fear for the future of our country in the wake of this case.
We must channel our outrage and continue building political pressure for Manning’s freedom. President Obama should pardon Bradley Manning, and if he refuses, a presidential pardon must be an election issue in 2016.


The ACLU's Ben Wizner states, "When a soldier who shared information with the press and public is punished far more harshly than others who tortured prisoners and killed civilians, something is seriously wrong with our justice system. A legal system that doesn't distinguish between leaks to the press in the public interest and treason against the nation will not only produce unjust results, but will deprive the public of critical information that is necessary for democratic accountability. This is a sad day for Bradley Manning, but it's also a sad day for all Americans who depend on brave whistleblowers and a free press for a fully informed public debate."  Amnesty International's Widney Brown offers, "Bradley Manning should be shown clemency in recognition of his motives for acting as he did, the treatment he endured in his early pre-trial detention, and the due process shortcomings during his trial.  The President doesn’t need to wait for this sentence to be appealed to commute it; he can and should do so right now."

Democracy Now! offers this statement from Bradley which was released today:

The decisions that I made in 2010 were made out of a concern for my country and the world that we live in. Since the tragic events of 9/11, our country has been at war. We’ve been at war with an enemy that chooses not to meet us on any traditional battlefield, and due to this fact we’ve had to alter our methods of combating the risks posed to us and our way of life.
I initially agreed with these methods and chose to volunteer to help defend my country. It was not until I was in Iraq and reading secret military reports on a daily basis that I started to question the morality of what we were doing. It was at this time I realized in our efforts to meet this risk posed to us by the enemy, we have forgotten our humanity. We consciously elected to devalue human life both in Iraq and Afghanistan. When we engaged those that we perceived were the enemy, we sometimes killed innocent civilians. Whenever we killed innocent civilians, instead of accepting responsibility for our conduct, we elected to hide behind the veil of national security and classified information in order to avoid any public accountability.
In our zeal to kill the enemy, we internally debated the definition of torture. We held individuals at Guantanamo for years without due process. We inexplicably turned a blind eye to torture and executions by the Iraqi government. And we stomached countless other acts in the name of our war on terror.
Patriotism is often the cry extolled when morally questionable acts are advocated by those in power. When these cries of patriotism drown our any logically based intentions [unclear], it is usually an American soldier that is ordered to carry out some ill-conceived mission.
Our nation has had similar dark moments for the virtues of democracy—the Trail of Tears, the Dred Scott decision, McCarthyism, the Japanese-American internment camps—to name a few. I am confident that many of our actions since 9/11 will one day be viewed in a similar light.
As the late Howard Zinn once said, "There is not a flag large enough to cover the shame of killing innocent people."
I understand that my actions violated the law, and I regret if my actions hurt anyone or harmed the United States. It was never my intention to hurt anyone. I only wanted to help people. When I chose to disclose classified information, I did so out of a love for my country and a sense of duty to others.
If you deny my request for a pardon, I will serve my time knowing that sometimes you have to pay a heavy price to live in a free society. I will gladly pay that price if it means we could have country that is truly conceived in liberty and dedicated to the proposition that all women and men are created equal.


This statement was read at a press briefing this afternoon.  We noted Assange's stupid statement earlier.  It pales in comparison to that of David Coombs, Bradley's civilian attorney, holding a press conference today.  There was an awful DC event the night of December 3rd night that many of us attended thinking it was about Bradley.  Instead it was glorification of (failed) attorney David Coombs.  I covered the event in the December 4th snapshot: and noted Coombs bragged, "I also avoid any interviews with the media."  That was stupidity.  Bradley had been locked away from reporters for over two years at that point and his attorney should have been using the media to keep Bradley in the news cycle and explain his client.  Then he couldn't be bothered.  Now that he's lost the case, he suddenly wants a press conference?

As Ruth and Marcia pointed out last night, Eric London (WSWS) offers an excellent critique of Coombs' awful and damaging 'defense.'  London documents how Coombs failed to mount a whistle-blower defense.  Yet Free Speech Radio News quotes Coombs today suddenly interested in the whistle-blower issue and stating, "This does send a message, and it's a chilling one and it's endorsed at the very highest levels.  This administration has gone after more whistleblowers than the previous ones combined.  So hopefully we can change that in the near future."

In the near future, Coombs?  You could have done that in the military proceedings but chose not to.

As if those failures weren't enough, Chris Kanaracus (Tech World) reports Coombs wept at the verdict and Bradley was forced to be strong for Coombs and offer him comfort.  The weeping attorney, what a loser.  The Voice of Russia quotes Bradley telling the weepy Coombs, "It's OK, IT's alright.  I know you did your best.  I'm going to be OK.  I'm going to get through this."

At the press conference, Coombs appeared to want others to do what he could not: get justice for Bradley.  Tim Molloy (The Wrap) notes Coombs honestly expects US President Barack Obama to pardon him, "The request is a longshot, to say the least: Manning is asking for a pardon from the same government that is prosecuting him. Obama said flatly that Manning "broke the law" even two years before his conviction."  Yes, as Iceland MP Birgitta Jonsdottir (Guardian) noted:

Of course, a humane, reasonable sentence of time served was never going to happen. This trial has, since day one, been held in a kangaroo court. That is not angry rhetoric; the reason I am forced to frame it in that way is because President Obama made the following statements on record, before the trial even started:
President Obama: We're a nation of laws. We don't individually make our own decisions about how the laws operate … He broke the law.
Logan Price: Well, you can make the law harder to break, but what he did was tell us the truth.
President Obama: Well, what he did was he dumped …
Logan Price: But Nixon tried to prosecute Daniel Ellsberg for the same thing and he is a … [hero]
President Obama: No, it isn't the same thing … What Ellsberg released wasn't classified in the same way.
When the president says that the Ellsberg's material was classified in a different way, he seems to be unaware that there was a higher classification on the documents Ellsberg leaked.
A fair trial, then, has never been part of the picture. Despite being a professor in constitutional law, the president as commander-in-chief of the US military – and Manning has been tried in a court martial – declared Manning's guilt pre-emptively.




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Wednesday, August 21, 2013

No justice

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

CLOWN DENISE LIND SENTENCED WHISTLE-BLOWER AND IRAQ WAR VETERAN BRADLEY  MANNING TO 35 YEARS.

BRAD REMAINS A HERO.

CLOWN LIND AND THE IDIOT ATTORNEY DAVID COOMBS REMAIN THE JOKES.

SADLY, NO GOOD LAUGHS TO BE FOUND THIS MORNING.


FROM THE TCI WIRE:


Yesterday came the horrible news that yet another person in Iraq's ongoing protest movement had been assassinated.   Haitham al-Abadi was assassinated in his Rifai home.  The assassination came after Haitham received threats from government forces.

Today Human Rights Watch issued another in their ongoing reports about the assault on basic freedoms and protesters in Iraq:

Baghdad’s new governor, Ali al-Tamimi, should immediately declare that he will support Iraqis’ right to exercise free assembly, Human Rights Watch said today. He should revoke regulations that allow police to prevent peaceful protest. On August 2, 2013, security forces invoked the regulations, which breach safeguards contained in Iraq’s constitution, to detain 13 people who attempted to protest against corruption and Iraq’s continuing slide into violence. Al-Tamimi became governor of Baghdad a month ago.
Soldiers detained three protesters, held them for 36 hours and then released them. The police arrested 10 more as they gathered in a central Baghdad square, then charged them with “disobeying police orders,” a criminal offense based on the 2011 regulations, because they had failed to obtain official permission to demonstrate. On August 4, al-Rusafa criminal court threw out the charges, declaring them “fabricated.”
“These latest arrests show just how far Iraqi authorities will go to prevent peaceful protests despite the major problems engulfing the country,” said Joe Stork, acting Middle East director at Human Rights Watch. “The new governor should start fresh, revoking these unfair regulations to show that he supports the right of people to express their grievances peacefully. It would go a long way to restoring trust in the government.”
The regulations effectively give authorities unfettered power to determine who may hold a demonstration.
Human Rights Watch spoke separately to five of the 13 detained protesters, all of whom said that federal police and soldiers arrested them when they and others tried to gather in Baghdad’s Tahrir Square at around 7 a.m. on August 2. The soldiers detained Ahmed Suhail, his cousin Hussein Abbas, and a third man, took them to the headquarters of the 11th division, and held them there until their release late the following day. By then, the men’s families had “started to ask powerful people to intervene,” Suhail told Human Rights Watch.
Police arrested the other 10 after initially warning demonstrators who were making their way to the square that “the army will arrest you and maybe hurt you” and then telling them that they could not enter the square because they did not have an official permit to demonstrate. A federal police general offered to help the demonstrators get a permit, but instead took four protesters who agreed to accompany him to seek the permit to Bab al-Muatham police station, where police arrested them. Police then brought in six others they had arrested, including two news cameramen who had been among the demonstrators.
Three of these six told Human Rights Watch that soldiers from the army’s 11th division assaulted them before police arrested them. One said soldiers forced them to the ground, beating two of them, after first tying an Iraqi flag around his head to prevent him from seeing. The soldier “beat and kicked us, and called us ‘traitors,’’’ he told Human Rights Watch, and “asked us, ‘Who paid you to come demonstrate?’”




This wave of protests has been going on since December 21st.  This week is the eighth month of these ongoing protests.   Layla Anwar (An Arab Woman Blues) has summed up the primary demands as follows:


- End of Sectarian Shia rule
- the re-writing of the Iraqi constitution (drafted by the Americans and Iranians)
- the end to arbitrary killings and detention, rape and torture of all detainees on basis of sect alone and their release
- the end of discriminatory policies in employment, education, etc based on sect
- the provision of government services to all
- the end of corruption
- no division between Shias and Sunnis, a one Islam for all Iraqi Muslims and a one Iraq for all Iraqis.



Early on, Ross Caputi (Guardian) observed, "These recent protests, however, are unique in their size and character. They focus on the prime minister, Nouri al-Maliki, accusing him of corruption, brutal repression, and sectarianism. Maliki's regime has military support from the US, and thus the protesters consider it the 'second face' of the occupation." In May, Tim Arango (New York Times) explained of the protesters' demands:


It has also highlighted an uncomfortable reality for American diplomats here who are scrambling to contain the crisis: at the core of Sunni grievances is a set of laws and practices imposed by the United States in the earliest days of the occupation.

The results of those policies, particularly a set of antiterrorism measures, are visible today throughout the country. Informants who once helped the American military now do the same work for the Iraqi government, sometimes putting innocent people in prison. Thousands of detainees, rounded up in terrorism sweeps, languish in prisons for years without being charged.

And former officers of Saddam Hussein’s military, banished by the Americans under their “de-Baathification” policy and later promised by the Iraqis the chance to return and regain their salaries and social status, remain on the outside looking in. 

Protesters have been targeted throughout.  From the March 8th snapshot:

 And they continue to be targeted by prime minister and thug Nouri al-Maliki.   Kitabat reports Nouri's forces killed two more protesters.  The two protesters killed were in Mosul with four more left injured.   Sameer N. Yacoub (AP) counts only one dead but the article has other counting problems we'll get to it in a moment.  All Iraq News reports, "Two demonstrators were killed and three others injured" but notes a security source states the number may rise.  Dar Addustour also reports two dead and they note it was the federal police -- a point that AP seems unclear on -- that did the firing.  This was not local police, this was the federal police -- under Nouri's command because they're under the direct command of the Ministry of the Interior and, in a power grab, Nouri's refused to nominate anyone to be Minister of the Interior.



Attacks like that have happened repeatedly.  The most infamous assault on the Iraqi people by Nouri's thugs?  The Tuesday, April 23rd massacre of the sit-in in Hawija by Nouri's federal forces.  Alsumaria noted Kirkuk's Department of Health (Hawija is in Kirkuk)  announced 50 activists have died and 110 were injured in the assault.  UNICEF informed the world that 8 of the dead were children and twelve more children were left injured.

Despite that and so much more, Iraqis have continued their protests.  Stephen Wicken (Institute for the Study of War) observed last month:



Protests against the Maliki government continue in Iraq’s Sunni Arab-majority provinces despite the underwhelming electoral performance of politicians close to the protest movement. Protesters continue to face raids from the Iraqi Security Forces (ISF), who have arrested protest organizers in Anbar and Kirkuk. At the same time, protest sites have become targets for attacks bearing the signature of Al-Qaeda in Iraq (AQI). These attacks are likely to increase during Ramadan, historically a time of increased AQI activity. The growing violence will pose a stern test to the commitment of the protesters, even as they are galvanized by the religious holiday. Caught between AQI and the ISF, and with Sunni Arab political leaders closest to the protests focused on provincial government formation, it remains unlikely that the protests will return to their early-2013 peak.


Recent weeks have seen renewed attendance at anti-government protests in Iraq’s Sunni Arab-majority provinces, now in their seventh month. Visual evidence from social media shows crowds at Friday protests larger than in May and early June, although still significantly smaller than during the protests’ apex in early 2013. Protest spokespersons have renewed their calls for the release of Sunni Arab detainees and the implementation of a general amnesty law, while continuing to distance themselves from the efforts of politicians seeking to represent them and their demands.


 The protests have been so strong that even Iraqi Foreign Minister Hoshyar Zebari had to mention them Friday in a speech to the DC  The Center for Strategic and International Studies (which has posted video and audio of the event.


Minister Hoshyar Zebari:  There has been demonstrations and sit-ins in Iraq in many provinces, in western part of Iraq and some Sunni provinces in Iraq for the last eight months and they have kept [can't make out the word], they have sit-ins, they have obstructions, but the government have not resorted to the same methods the Egyptians recently used or deployed to disperse the demonstrators.


As we noted that day, he lied about them, but he had to mention them.

Nothing has stopped them.  Not the holy month of Ramadan, not threats, not being followed from the protests to their own homes, not being harassed, not being arrested, not being wounded or seeing other protesters killed.

For eight months this protest movement has gone on and done so with very little attention from the non-Iraqi press.  There is CNN, there is the New York Times, there is Al Jazeera, Reuters, AFP, Global Research,  PRI, the Los Angeles Times, the Christian Science Monitor, the Associated Press, the Guardian and Workers World.  That's about it for the media.   (As always, The BRussels Tribunal has done great work but I consider them a human rights organization and not the media.)  NPR?  In 2011, Kelley McEvers filed one of the most important reports on the protests (Liz Sly filed the other).  Today?  McEvers 'reports' on kebabs in Iraq.  How very sad.



Friday, is the eight month marker.  Iraqi journalists have and will report on the protests.  They will do this despite Nouri's thugs trying to keep them from the protests.  But the rest of the world will remain largely ignorant of these ongoing protests because they have received so little attention from the world's press.


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Tuesday, August 20, 2013

The Dalibama's heretics question him

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



THE DALIBAMA, FRESH FROM MINISTERING TO THE LEPERS CONFINED TO THE GHETTOS OF MARTHA'S VINEYARD, RETURNED TO THE WHITE HOUSE ONLY TO DISCOVER HERETICS ACROSS THE COUNTRY WERE DOUBTING HIM.

A NEW POLL FOUND SUPPORT FOR BARRY O HAD FALLEN TO A NEW LOW OF 45%.  EVEN MORE SHOCKING TO HIS LOWLIEST WAS THAT ONLY 35% APPROVE OF HIS HANDLING OF THE ECONOMY.

REACHED FOR COMMENT, BARRY O EXPLAINED THE PROBLEM WAS THAT "THE AMERCIAN PEOPLE ARE SO STUPID.  CLEARLY THEY NEED, REQUIRE, ANOTHER SPEECH FROM ME WHERE I EXPLAIN HOW GREAT AND HOW WONDERFUL I AM.  NO DOUBT AS SOON AS I MAKE THE TIME TO EXTOLL MY VIRTUES AND SING MY OWN PRAISES, THE STUPID AMERICAN PEOPLE WILL BE BACK ON BOARD."





FROM THE TCI WIRE:





 Today in Iraq, another member of the protest movement is assassinated. "Gunmen assassinated, late last night, Haitham al-Abadi, one of the organizers of the demonstrations, in his home in Rifai area west of Mosul."  Iraqi Spring MC notes that he had been threatened by government forces.

Of course by government forces.  Who kills protesters?  Fellow citizens who disagree with their stance may yell at them as they pass but who kills protesters?  It's usually the government.  Take the US, who killed 4 Kent State University students and left nine more injured?  Angry professors?  Nope.  It was the US government (the Ohio National Guard was the weapon the US government used).  What happened August 28, 1968 in Chicago?  The government, via the local police, attacked protesters.  Protests take place around the world and when protesters are targeted with violence, the trail of blood usually leads back to the government.

In January of this year, Shafaq News reported:


Civilian activists confirmed on Saturday, that demonstrators of Mosul gave three days for Prime Minister, Nuri al-Maliki as a respite to respond to their demands, threatening from civil disobedience if he rejects these demands.The civil rights activist, Haitham al-Abadi said in an interview for "Shafaq News", that "the crowd gathered in the main central area of Mosul gave the central government a maximum period of three days to respond to their demands," stressing that “they threatened to resort to civil disobedience if the government did not respond to these demands."
He explained that "the civil disobedience would lead to the closure of shops and street in addition to other measures", Abadi preferred not to disclose it now.
Abadi added that "he was subjected to beating a few days ago by unknown men because of his activity in Ahrar Square", adding that "hundreds of people came out today to protest near the building of Nineveh province, heading to Ahrar Square in the center of Mosul."



Today Shafaq News reports:
 

“An armed group assassinated activist Haitham al-Abadi in Ras al-Jadaa area in central Mosul, after they opened fire and shot Abadi dead immediately,” the source told “Shafaq News”.
Abadi was exposed a few months ago to a threat, before being beaten by unknown people.
He was known by his activity within the Liberal Square protesting against the policies of the government in Baghdad.

The Iraq Times adds that the assassins used automatic weapons.  Qatar News Agency notes, "A police source in Nineveh said that gunmen killed Haitham al-Abadi in his home in Rifai area west of Mosul, adding that one of the tribal elders, who was with him in the house, was wounded in the attack."


In other violence today,  National Iraqi News Agency reports 3 Shabaks were shot dead in Mosul, a Tuz Khurmato bombing claimed 3 lives and left eight injured, a Mosul home bombing left 1 police officer dead and six members of his family injured, a Baquba roadside bombing claimed 1 life and left another injured, 1 police officer was shot dead in downtown Mosul, 1 civilian was shot dead in Mosul, a Hilla bombing claimed 1 life and left two people injured, and an armed attack in Rashad left 8 rebels deadAlsumaria adds a Hawija bombing left two police officers injured.  Xinhua reports "a child and a civilian were killed when a roadside bomb exploded near a police patrol at al-B'aj area, some 120 km west of Mosul, a local police source said" and "seven policemen were wounded when a roadside bomb hit their patrol in the city Dujail, some 60 km north of Baghdad, a local police officer told Xinhua."

In addition, AFP reports Iraq's Ministry of Justice has announced 17 executions (bringing the total for the year to at least 67).  AFP's Prashant Rao Tweets:



AFP's WG Dunlop Tweets:



  1. violence update: More than 3,500 people killed, over 9,200 wounded so far in 2013 figures

Through Sunday, Iraq Body Count counts 481 violent deaths so far this month.



Friday's snapshot noted Iraq Foreign Minister Hoshyar Zebari's speech (and one of the answers to a question) at the Center for Strategic and International StudiesThe Center for Strategic and International Studies has posted video and audio of the DC event.

 The first question asked was, "Your excellency, what are the safeguards you're implementing now to ensure that Iraq does not slide back to the bad old days of 2005  through 2007 especially in light of the merging of al Qaeda in Iraq and al Qaeda in Syria?  And how would that figure into a new SOFA [Status Of Forces Agreement] security agreement so to speak without introducing troops on the ground, boots on the ground?"  Zebari blathered away about 'the surge' (2008) and other nonsense for three minutes and forty seconds before declaring:

Now there is no plans to have a new SOFA.  We have concluded the SOFA, it's done. It's over.  We have another agreement, the Strategic Framework Agreement, that's a longterm, that defines Iraq - United States relations for many years to come.  And under this there are joint-commissions on security, on diplomatic, political issues, on services, on energy, on cultural things.  I have attended the fifth meeting of the Joint-Coordination Committee on Political and Diplomatic with Secretary Kerry yesterday at the State Dept.  So this is an indication that this is going on but, under the SFA, I think there is room for more security cooperation between Iraq and the United States.

Hoshyar Zebari lied by omission.

Before asking questions, each person identified themselves.  I'm not interested in calling the person out so I've omitted his name.  But  this is no longer just about the fact that,  December 6, 2012, the Memorandum of Understanding For Defense Cooperation Between the Ministry of Defense of the Republic of Iraq and the Department Defense of the United States of America was signed and the fact that we covered it in the December 10th and December 11th snapshots -- stressing the joint-patrols (US and Iraqi) it allows for.  It's not about that the ignorant press doesn't know about the US Congressional Research Service report by Kenneth Katzman entitled "Iraq: Politics, Governance, and Human Rights:"




General [Martin] Dempsey's August 21, 2012, visit focused on the security deterioration, as well as the Iranian overflights to Syria discussed above, according to press reports.  Regarding U.S.-Iraq security relations,  Iraq reportedly expressed interest in expanded U.S. training of the ISF, joint exercises, and accelerated delivery of U.S. arms to be sold, including radar, air defense systems, and border security equipment. [. . .]
After the Dempsey visit, reflecting the Iraqi decision to reengage intensively with the United States on security, it was reported that, at the request of Iraq, a unit of Army Special Operations forces had deployed to Iraq to advise on counterterrorism and help with intelligence, presumably against AQ-I.  (These forces presumably are operating under a limited SOFA or related understanding crafted for this purpose.)  Other reports suggest that Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) paramilitary forces have, as of late 2012, largely taken over some of the DOD mission of helping Iraqi counter-terrorismf orces (Counter-Terrorism Service, CTS) against AQ-I in western Iraq. Part of the reported CIA mission is to also work against the AQ-I affiliate in SYria, the Al Nusrah Front, discussed above.
Reflecting an acceleration of the Iraqi move to reengage militarily with the United States, during December 5-6 2012, Under Secretary of Defense for Policy James Miller and acting Under Secretary of State for International Security Rose Gottemoeller visited Iraq and a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) was signed with acting Defense Minister Sadoun Dulaymi.  The five year MOU provides for:

* high level U.S.-Iraq military exchanges
* professional military education cooperation
* counter-terrorism cooperation
* the development of defense intelligence capabilities
* joint exercises

The MOU appears to address many of the issues that have hampered OSC-I from performing its mission to its full potential.  The MOU also reflects some of the more recent ideas put forward, such as joint exercises.





Joint-exercises.  It's not about that.  Now they should know, they're reporters.  But they're dumb reporters, really dumb ones.  So let's allow that their stupidity allowed them to make it to Friday, August 16th without ever knowing the above.

That still doesn't excuse their ignorance on Friday.  Not when the State Dept issued a statement on Thursday which included:



Both delegations emphasized their commitment to close and ongoing security cooperation, noting in this regard the Memorandum of Understanding on security cooperation signed at the Defense and Security JCC in December 2012, the inaugural U.S.-Iraq Joint Military Committee (JMC) hosted by U.S. Central Command in June 2013, and the more than $14 billion in equipment, services, and training purchased by Iraq for its military and security forces through the Foreign Military Sales program. Both delegations pledged to enhance this cooperation in pursuit of their joint interests in denying terrorists a safe haven anywhere within Iraqi territory.




And guess what?  That was one of two statements the State Dept issued noting the Memorandum of Understanding.  Here's the other State Dept press release from Thursday, in which the Dept noted:




At the December 2012 JCC, Acting Defense Minister al-Dlimi signed a Memorandum of Understanding on Security Cooperation with the U.S. Department of Defense. This agreement represents the strong military to military relationship between the United States and Iraq, and provides mechanisms for increased defense cooperation in areas including defense planning, counterterrorism cooperation, and combined exercises.




You go to ask questions from Zebari about Iraq on Friday and can't even familiarize yourself with the documents the State Dept issued the day before?  That's too much work for you?  Then maybe your employer should assist you in finding another job.

Hoshyar Zebari lied.  And he got away with it because the press was too damn lazy to do their work.  It goes beyond stupidity to the careless manner in which they 'report' and their lousy work habits.

We'll return to the Friday event later this week (hopefully tomorrow) for at least one more issue.




Thursday, the US State Dept held a background briefing on Iraq.  This was the most important question asked.


QUESTION: Good. One of your five pillars, you mentioned the democracy piece of this, and you mentioned the parliamentary elections next year. I have a quick question related to that and then a larger question on Iraq and stability in the region. But on the democracy piece, did you all talk to the delegation today or have you been talking about the efforts to term limit the presidencies to two terms, which I think would include Prime Minister Maliki, who has gone back and forth on this issue several times. Has that come up?


SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL: That was not a topic of discussion, at least in these meetings.


QUESTION: Do you know where they stand on that? I mean, do you think that Maliki is going to not try to seek a third term?


SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL: I think this will really heat up, I think, in the fall as coalition building starts, and that’s when we’ll know a little more. I think right now, and what we’re trying to do with the Iraqis is say before you really get into the heat of the political season, the silly season that we also have here every four years, let’s take the next three – two to three months to focus on getting some concrete things done, and one of them was revenue sharing, for example. And that’s really where we’re trying to focus the efforts before we get into the 2014 election season.







Nouri is an abject failure.  He is the reason for the increased violence.   Back in July 2012, Mohammed Tawfeeq (CNN) observed, "Shiite Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki has struggled to forge a lasting power-sharing agreement and has yet to fill key Cabinet positions, including the ministers of defense, interior and national security, while his backers have also shown signs of wobbling support."  That remains true and that's on Nouri.  (It's also on Barack but we don't have time to review that today.)  As Ayad Allawi rightly noted in real time, this was a power grab and Nouri had no intention of appointing people to those posts.  (Nouri nominates, Parliament approves.  Once Parliament approves, the person has the appointment unless they step down -- or die -- or unless Parliament votes to strip them of the appointment.  Nouri cannot fire any Minister which is why he has refused to nominate people to head those ministries and instead created 'acting' ministers -- this allows him to control them -- and it is unconstitutional.) All Iraq News noted last week:


 Mouaed al-Oubaidi, the leader within the National Reformation Trend headed by, Ibrahim al-Jaafary, called the government to expedite nominating the security ministers.

He stated to All Iraq News Agency (AIN) "The ministers of the Interior and Defense Ministries must be nominated, but the ministers must not be acting ones."






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