accused President Barack Obama on Thursday of offering suspected terrorists
fewer legal protections than Nazi war criminals were given. The Republican presidential candidate laced into Obama for authorizing the
CIA-led drone strike that killed Anwar al-Awlaki, an Al Qaeda leader, in Yemen
this September. He reiterated his previously stated position that al-Awlaki’s
American citizenship entitled him to due process.
I'm sorry, does James Hohmann not know the Constitution? Do they not teach that to journalists? Ron Paul is correct. What he states above is correct.
Rebecca wrote a great post last night ("good for kelly clarkson") that I hope you already read. I will also applaud Kelly Clarkson for speaking her mind and also note my regret that she was then attacked online for doing so.
Attacked with mis and dis information.
I had noted that these latest rounds of rumors -- started this go-round by corporate hit woman Gloria -- had been addressed in 2008. They were denied then. They've been denied repeatedly. The media is eager to kill off the chances of anyone who does not support empire and endless war.
Endless war makes a lot of money for the empire. Not just for NBC (co-owned by weapons maker GE) but for all of them. They feel their bread & butter threatened and they're striking at Ron Paul as a result.
I do not think Ron Paul is God, Jesus, Buddah or anyone else. I think he's a politician. Flawed like anyone else. I also believe he is against the continuing empire project.
For that reason, I applaud him. For that reason, I defend him.
Gloria's assassination attempt wouldn't have worked without (a) a lot of whores and (b) a lot of mindless zombies. The whores know the rumors are false but repeat them. The zombies are too mindless to think for themselves and just follow marching orders.
Again, the rumors that surfaced at the end of last week? Nothing new. Covered in 2008. Denied then. Addressed then.
Friday, December 30, 2011. Chaos and violence continue, protests take
place in Turkey and Iraq over the Turkish military killing 35 Kurds, Nouri's
forces attack protesters in Baghdad and seize journalists' equipment, Ayad
Allawi reminds everyone of the Erbil Agreement, McClatchy closes its Baghdad
Bureau, the political crisis continues, the issue of the families of service
members being upset about the media whoring for Barack (the false claim that ALL
troops were home for Christmas) finally bubbles up in the media, and more.
The Kurds are considered to be the largest minority in the world without a
homeland. Northern Iraq borders Turkey. As noted in yesterday's snapshot, using drones for 'tracking'
and 'surveillance,' the Turkish military then sent air planes to bomb the border
northern Iraq and Turkey share to kill members of the PKK. As Mike noted last night, the Turkish government
seems to think it would have been okay if the 35 dead and 20 injured were PKK
but they weren't PKK, they were Turkish citizens. The PKK is a group of Kurds
-- one among many -- who fight (physically fight, use violence) for Kurdish
equality and dream of a Kurdish homeland. Many are in the mountains of northern
Iraq. They form in 1984 as a response to decades of oppression in Turkey.
And the government of Turkey gives little reason for them to stop. Last
week, Kaya Genc (Index On Censorship) reported, "In the
latest wave of arrests of those the state claims
are linked to the separatist group Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK), 41 people were
detained across Turkey on Monday including many journalists. Initial reports placed the
number of media workers arrested at 25, but this number rose in the aftermath of the crackdown. Mustafa Özer, the Agence France-Presse
photographer, was among those detained in the operation, which is reported to
have taken place in the wee hours of the day. Dicle News Agency's offices in
İstanbul, Ankara, Diyarbakır, Van, İzmir and Adana were raided and ten staff
members were detained, including the agency's news director, editor in chief and
various reporters. Five journalists from Turkey's main Kurdish newspaper Özgür
Gündem were among those detained, as well as reporters from Birgün and Vatan
newspapers." Wladimir van Wilgenburg (Rudaw) reports further
on the demonization of all things Kurdish, explaining today that a new video
game, which is selling briskly (five million in one week alone) is entitled
battlefield and allows the player to be a US soldier fighting 'terrorists' --
the 'terrorists' are Kurds and their base, in the game, is the Kurdistan
Regional Government (northern Iraq).
Coffins were brought in
a long convoy of cars and ambulances, sounding their horns as mourners flashed
defiant V for victory signs. "It is
impossible to kill them mistakenly. The soldiers were 150 metres away and had a
bird's eye view," 20-year-old Mehmet from Ortasu village, near the site of the
raid, said, referring to troops who observed the attack. Mehmet, who also makes his living by smuggling goods
from the border, said: "I could have been one of the [victims]." A young woman whose cousin died in the bombing was in
tears. "This was no mistake. They
intentionally killed people, who were trying to earn a crust," she
The EuroNews notes Turkish government
claims that there will be an investigation and, they swear, no cover up. A
protester in Uludere shouted, "Damn you, Erdogan . . . One day
you too will know our pain!" The 35 killed were in Turkey. For some
reason the Turkish government continues to insist upon stating that they were in
northern Iraq. IC quotes the PKK's
Bahoz Erdal stating, "This massacre was no accident ... It was organised and
planned. We urge the people of Kurdistan... to react after this massacre and
seek a settling of accounts through uprisings." Alexandra Zavis (Los Angeles Times) notes of the 35
dead "most appeared to be members of an extended family and were under the age
CNN reports, "Turkish
Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Friday that he regrets the deaths of 35
civilians in a military airstrike in a Kurdish area on the border with Iraq."
BBC News notes Erdogan termed the
attack "unfortunate and saddening" and President Abdullah Gul noted "pain" over
the murder of the 35. But, as well as noting that 20 people were also injured
in the bombing, Bloomberg News quotes
Turkey's Deputy Prime Minister Bulent Arinc stating, among other things, "Turkey
is combating terrorism and in that fight incidents like this may occur." That
statement really doesn't make the alleged regret seem genuine. Christopher Torchia (AP) adds, "For a
second day, stone-throwing demonstrators clashed with police who responded with
tear gas and water cannons in several cities in the mostly Kurdish southeat.
Protesters lobbed rocks at a national ruling party office in Diyarbakir, the
region's biggest city, and Firat said 30 people were arrested there."
A protest took place in Baghdad today as well and the government's actions
did not speak well. It did, however, back up an observation Jack Fairweather (Financial
Times of London) made today about how "the mechanics of the Iraqi state
remain unchanged from the days of Saddam Hussein." Jomana Karadsheh (CNN)
captured the protests in a series of Tweets:
The continued crackdown on protests in Iraq. Excuse me, the continued
crackdown on protests in supposedly 'free' Iraq. Nouri's goons grab cameras
(Karadsheh's cell phone) and target reporters attempting to do their jobs, the
Iraqis beg the reporters to stay out of fear of what happens when no witnesses
are around and then the Iraqis disappear. That's Nouri al-Maliki's Iraq and the
US installed him and kept him in power in 2010 even when the Iraqi people
rejected him by voting Iraqiya into first place in the March 2010 elections with
Nouri's State of Law trailing in second place.
Remember what followed those elections? Nouri's tantrums. And eight
months of his digging his heels in -- with US backing -- and refusing to
surrender the post of prime minister -- even though his term had expired and
even though, per the Iraqi Constitution, Iraqiya would have first shot at
building a government. Nouri refused to obey the Constitution and the US
government applauded that by continuing to back him even when the likes of
Moqtada al-Sadr and Ammar al-Hakim were stating publicly that Nouri could not be
the next prime minister.
Political Stalemate I ended in November of 2010 with the Erbil Agreement
hammered out in Erbil between the major political blocs (and the US)
whereby every one was supposed to make concessions. The Kurds would get to keep
Jalal Talabani as president. They thought they would get three vice presidents.
Iraqiya won the elections in March 2010 and the political bloc was headed by
Ayad Allawi. Nouri wasn't stepping down and the White House was backing Nouri.
For Nouri to remain prime minister, Allawi was promised he would head a new,
independent council over security issues. He was also promised that the Iraqiya
candidates demonized as Ba'athists and forced out of the 2010 elections by
Nouri's friends would have their names cleared.
11th, the new Parliament held their first real session. They voted
Osama al-Nujaifi Speaker of Parliament (he was from Iraqiya and that was part of
the Erbil Agreement), Jalal was named president and Nouri was named prime
minister designate (but we were all informed in the following days that this was
'unofficial' -- once named prime minister-designate, you have 30 days, per the
Constitution, to put together a Cabinet and get the Parliament to sign off on
each member). But what of the security council? It and other promises were
forgotten as Nouri refused to abide by the agreement.
Ayad Allawi, leader of Iraqiya and former prime minister of Iraq, remembers
what happened and Tweeted about it this week.
25th, Jalal 'officially' named Nouri prime minister-designate. Nouri
had created Political Stalemate I by refusing to surrender the prime minister
post. He'd done that for eight months. In that time, he should have had some
ideas about a Cabinet. But Nouri's problem was he over-promised to get support.
So when it was time to name a Cabinet, suddenly the Cabinet had more ministers
and deputy ministers than it had previously (from 37 in 2006 to 42 in 2010). And
he still couldn't keep his promises to everyone. December 21,
2010, the Constitution was tossed by the wayside and Nouri was
allowed to move from prime minister-designate to prime minister because he'd
assembled a kind of Cabinet. He named 31 out of 42 ministers and people
pretended that was good enough. He had failed to meet the Constitutional mandate
of naming a Cabinet but everyone looked the other way.
He refused to name
the security posts: National Security, Interior and Defense. His defenders
(including the White House) swore those posts would be named in a matter of
weeks. His detractors saw the refusal as part of a pattern of power grabs on
Nouri's part and stated he wouldn't fill the posts. This is the start of
Political Stalemate II. And it's where Iraq remains, still in a stalemate and
now in a political crisis. In the latest embarrassment for Nouri al-Maliki, Alsumaria TV reports that State of
Law MP Adnan Mayahi, who serves on Parliament's Security and Defense Commission,
has declared that the bulk of Iraq's security services have been infiltrated and
that a great many working in prisons practice torture. After a year of refusing
to name heads to the Ministery of the Interior, the Ministry of National
Security and the Ministry of Defense, you'd think stories like this would lead
for widespread calls for Nouri to stop holding those posts and instead fill
them. And Alsumaria TV has now reported more on this story on
their English version site:
No Iraqis would be imprisoned for their opinions and thoughts but
for violence and terrorism only, Armed Forces General Commander Prime Minister
Nuri Al Maliki assured, on December 10. There are no limits for human freedom if
it doesn't oppose public interest, he added, a source told Alsumaria.
Iraqiya List headed by Iyad Allawi revealed, on December 14, that random
arrests are still occuring in all Iraqi regions which contradicts human rights'
basics. Our members are holding constant meetings regarding this issue, Iraqiya
indicated. Iraqi Government is not executing most of its international
agreements and conventions concerning human, women, children and prisoners'
rights, Representative of Secretary General of the United Nations in Iraq Walter
Kalin accused in his report on June 3. In its report issued last February,
Amnesty International revealed that there are secret prisons in Iraq where
detainees are being tortured for confessions used in their convictions.
Meanwhile it's been one denial after another from Speaker of Parliament
Osama al-Nujaifi. Ammar Karim (AFP) reports he is denying
co-writing "How to Save
Iraq From Civil War" (New York
Times) with Rafie al-Issawi and Ayad Allawi but instead insists that his
name was added to the byline without his knowledge. Why deny co-writing the
column? Because some are saying the column was a letter to the White House
asking it to intervene in Iraqi matters. Alsumaria TV reports that National
Alliance MP Qasim al-Araji is among those declaring that the column is a plea to
the Barack Obama administration to intervene in Iraqi affairs.
addition, Al Mada reports al-Nujaifi is
denying having made a deal with President Jalal Talabani to oust Nouri via a
vote of no confidence. Al Rafidayn notes that he declared
the meet-up with Talabani was to discuss a national conference to be held
shortly to address issues (including the political crisis) and the need to
resolve the Tareq al-Hashemi issue via the judiciary. On the first issue, Al
Mada notes Talabani says the conference will be held within
two weeks and, on thesecond issue, Al
Mada adds that the political blocs are currently debating the
proposal that al-Hashemi's case be transferred to the Kurdish
Vice President Tareq al-Hashemi, a member of Iraqiya, has
been accused by Nouri al-Maliki of being a terrorist. If convicted of that
charge, the punishment is life in prison or execution. Tareq al-Hashemi is
currently in the KRG and a house guest of President Talabani. al-Hashemi is not
the only member of Iraqiya that Nouri has targeted recently. He's also demanding
that Deputy Prime Minister Saleh al-Mutlaq be stripped of his office. Were
al-Mutlaq stripped of his office, he would lose immunity and Nouri could sue him
for statements Nouri did not like. (Nouri is highly litigious. Along with suing
other Iraqi politicians, he likes to sue news outlets such as the Guardian.) The targeting of the two members of
Iraqiya comes as rumors swirl that others will be targeted -- including supposed
arrest charges for Financial Minister al-Issawi -- and after the November
arrests of over 500 alleged "Ba'athists." In an introduction to a new profile
on the Financial Minister, Jack Healy and Michael R. Gordon (New York
He may also be the next leader to fall as the country's Shiite
prime minister takes aim at perceived rivals and enemies, his fate a litmus test
for a country in crisis.
Unlike other Sunni politicians who have drawn fire from the
Shiite-led government, Mr. Essawi is known as a conciliatory figure who has
built bridges with Kurds, Shiites and Westerners. If the prime minister,
al-Maliki, takes action against him -- he has
already tried to relieve Mr. Essawi of his duties -- it could open deep new
divisions in Iraq's already tattered sectarian landscape and send a discouraging
signal about whether a post-United States Iraq can forge a truly inclusive and
A politician in Maliki's own National Alliance told
McClatchy yesterday that Maliki holds "complete" sway over the Supreme Court. It
was the Supreme Court's "interpretation" of the constitution that enabled Maliki
to retain his position as PM and form a government after the last elections,
although Iraqiya bloc had the highest take. It was also through the Supreme
Court that Maliki all but stopped the legislative powers of the parliament by
its "interpreting" the constitution to say that legislation can only stem from
the executive branch (cabinet and presidency) and that the parliament could only
The report is called "Iraq At The
Crossroads" and hopefully it will run in all McClatchy owned papers
because it's an important piece. We're grabbing from it on the courts because
that's what I need for this entry but the whole thing is a gripping read.
McClatchy's Iraqi journalists have done top-notch work throughout the war. This
report (at McClatchy's Inside Iraq)
continues that tradition. And today brings the news, at Inside Iraq, in a heartfelt
post, that McClatchy's Baghdad Bureau has now closed. Sahar Issa, Laith
Hammoudi, Jenan Hussein, Mohammed al Dulaimy and others did so much to help the
world understand what was taking place on the ground in Iraq. Their spirit and
passion for journalism was inpsiring even before you factor in that their
reporting took place as Iraq became the war that claimed the most journalist
lives and as the Committee to Protect Journalists and Reporters Without Borders
repeatedly documented the attacks taking place within Iraq on journalists and
the practice of journalism.
While some risked all to convey the truth, others live to obscure.
Professional victim and apparent hobbyist liar Mayada Al Askari surfaces to
flaunt her stupidity at Gulf News. In a poorly written piece, Mayada wants to
yet again snarl about Saddam and attack Iraqiya because her hatred has consumed
her and she has nothing left to offer but anger and lies. (You'd think someone
who should be seeing their life as "rescued" would be able to tap into some joy
but some people only want to embrace the darkness.) The piece of trash scribbles a defense of Thug
Nouri in which she notes:
Al Hashemi, who is a member of the Al Iraqiya bloc, is accused of
backing terrorism, and the Supreme Judicial Council in Baghdad issued an arrest
warrant after a number of his bodyguards confessed to carrying out terrorist
The Al Iraqiya bloc headed by Dr Ayad Allawi mishandled the problem
by boycotting the parliament, which may easily lead to additional deterioration
in stability and security.
Let's be really clear here, Mayada is nothing but TRASH. When you've made
it your life's purpose over the last years (even before the US invasion) to
decry torture and false confessions under Saddam, you damn well don't accept
'confessions' at face value. That's even before you realize that Amnesty
International and Human Rights Watch have repeatedly documented that
'confessions' are forced by torture under Nouri al-Maliki. You're trash because
you pretended to give a damn about torture but in fact all you gave a damn about
was that torture touched your own tiny circle. You weren't opposed to torture,
you weren't opposed to forced confessions. If you truly were, you'd be the last
person in the world to be insisting that 'confessions' aired on state TV
qualified as genuine confessions. You're just a dirty trash. And possibly that
keeps you far too busy to ever concern yourself with facts, but, as usual, your
facts are wrong.
Iraqiya did not walk out on Parliament in response to the arrest warrant
for Tareq al-Hashemi. From the Friday, December 16, 2011 snapshot: "In other
explosive news, Al Mada
reports that Iraqiya has announced it is breaking off talks
with the ruling bloc. [. . .] When announcing that talks were over, Al Mada notes Iraqiya stated that they had
given up a great deal for the good of Iraq but there was no compromise from
another. That's a reference to Nouri's State of Law as well as the coalition he
now heads. In giving up the right to prime minister, Iraqiya was promised (and
the Erbil Agreement is in writing) that an independent security commission would
be created and that Ayad Allawi would head it. That's among the many broken
promises Nouri made to keep his claws on the post of prime minister." That was
their announcement on Friday, December 16th.
Saturday, December 17th, they made good on their announcement. Margaret Griffis (Antiwar.com) reported,
"The Iraqiya political bloc boycotted parliament today over Prime Minister
Nouri al-Maliki's failure to properly share power and the arrests of hundreds of
Sunni Iraqiya suppoerters in a crackdown against alleged Ba'ath Party members.
[. . .] During a meeting last night the Iraqi block decided to suspend its participation in parliament to
protest the prime minister's management of the country."
18th was the infamous airport moment at Baghdad International where
Nouri's goons forced Saleh al-Mutlaq (Deputy Prime Minister), Tareq al-Hashemi
and Finance Minister Rafie al-Issawi as well as their bodyguards. Three of
al-Hashemi's bodyguards were taken into custody, the rest and the three
officials were let go and allowed to reboard the plane.
reported this afternoon that an arrest warrant had
been issued for Iraqi Vice President Tareq al-Hashemi by the Judicial Commitee
with the charge of terrorism. Omar al-Saleh (Al
Jazeera) terms it a "poltical crisis" and states,
"The government says this has nothing to do with the US withdrawal, that this
has nothing to do with the prime minister consolidating his grip on power.
However, members of al-Iraqiya bloc, which Hashimis is a member of, say 'No,
[Maliki] is trying to be a dictator." Sam Dagher (Wall St.
Journal) observes, "The arrest warrant puts Mr.
Maliki on a possible collision course with the Kurds, who run their own
semiautonomous region in the north and participate in the central government but
have longstanding disputes with Baghdad over oil and land; and with Sunni Arabs
in provinces like Anbar, Diyala, Nineveh and Salahuddin who have pressed in
recent weeks for more autonomy from Baghdad with the backing of the
No, Iraqiya did not walk out on Parliament after an arrest warrant was
issued for Tareq al-Hashemi. That is a bold face lie. Mayad Al Askari is trash
and she's condemned herself to a hell of her own sickness because instead of
embracing a new chance offered she wants to baste in the hatred she's carried,
stroked and nursed for years and years and years. She'll die in a hell of her
own making. There is no hope for her. She will never awaken to the fact that
her life could have been different if she'd chosen to embrace the present
instead of submerging in a past that is long gone.
Back to al-Nujaifi denials, Alsumaria TV reports he is also
denying accusations that his actions are being directed by the United States
which, the rumor insists, seeks to overthrow Nouri.
Turning to the topic
of Sahwa. They've been called "Awakenings" and "Sons Of Iraq." They are Iraqis
(largely Sunni but some Shi'ites as well according to David Petreaus' April 2008
Congressional testimony -- Petraeus is now CIA Director but he was the top
commander in Iraq back then). They were put on the US payroll to get them to
stop attacking the US military. Al Mada reports that the
Baghdad-based government has recorded 1498 Sahwas deaths since 2006nd that
another 830 Sahwas have been left wounded. The government also estimates that
over 100,000 people became Sahwas since the program's 2006
Remember all the weeks this month we've repeatedly called out
the press lie that ALL US troops have come home from Iraq? Remember how we've
noted that some are being repostured to surrounding areas of Iraq and that some
will actually remain in Iraq? And we've called out the press repeatedly for its
painful lie. We've noted repeatedly that family members of loved ones who are
not coming home for Christmas have decried this lie and have mailed this site
and Third about how painful it is to hear the lie of "ALL" over and over from
one outlet after another (including The NewsHour on PBS which should be
able to get the facts right)? Geoff Ziezulewicz (Stars and Stripes) has an
important article today on family members upset that their loved ones are
not home for Christmas and he notes, "
It has also been painful to see news articles in the past week touting the
fact that all U.S. troops are home from Iraq, Thane said." That's Andrea Thane
whose husband is not yet out of the Middle East. There was never a reason for
the media to WHORE for the administration and put lies over the airwaves to give
Barack a happy Christmas poll boost. But they chose to, they chose to whore for
Barack at the expense of reality and we noted repeatedly here and at Third that
their WHORING was HURTING military families. They need to do some
self-reflection on the way they MISREPORTED all month long.
We first began hearing from the family of service members on this issue at
the end of November and wrote "Editorial: Words have
meaning" about this subject and the pain it was causing.
The media chose repeatedly to disregard the truth because they wanted to whore
for Barack. I'm sorry but I thought the media role was to inform the public (of
reality), not to lie in order to push up the poll numbers of a