Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Tori Amos releases new album

Music lovers, Kat did three album reviews on Sunday: "Kat's Korner: Tori Climbs The Mountain In Stiletto...," "Kat's Korner: Childhood Home is an adult classic" and "Kat's Korner: Livingston Taylor brings the songs t..."  Make sure you catch them all.

Remember that Tuesday means Tori Amos' new album.

Rachel Martin interviewed Tori for Sunday's Weekend Edition (NPR):

MARTIN: And I read a quote, you had said that the South walks with me wherever I am in my world, I can't get it out of my DNA. It finds its way into several different parts of this album, especially I'm thinking about the track "Trouble's Lament."
AMOS: (Singing) Trouble needs a home girls, trouble needs a home. She fell out with Satan, now she's on the run. But I have found her quite straightforward in her contracts and her deals, she warns me when danger is loose behind his wheels and he is loose behind his wheels. Don't cry baby.
MARTIN: Often when you think about good and evil themes in country music, which comes up a lot, artists tend to use the devil. You use the word Satan, which has a different kind of religious reference to it, a religious weight. Your dad was a preacher, a minister, right?
AMOS: Methodist ministry, yes.
MARTIN: Does that language find its way into your songwriting.
AMOS: Well, he said to me so many times, oh, just be grateful you're a minister's daughter, what would you write about if I had been a dentist?

Tori's a real artist.

"TV: The feedback, the fallout, the failures" (Ava and C.I., The Third Estate Sunday Review):
"Well, Ava and C.I.," our readers say, "e-mails come with the territory."

No doubt they do.

But the above aren't from e-mails.  They were phone calls and a face-to-face.

The first is from a friend who worked on Believe, the second is from a friend who worked on Intelligence and the third from a friend who worked on Almost Human.

Those were not the only ones complaining.  Nor do we believe the complaining will cease with this new week.

Reality, the networks dicked a lot of people around this go round.

Execs -- including one at ABC who does feel we attempted to paint the network into a corner with regards to Nashville -- insisted to us that it seemed like a nonstop lottery of cancellations because they were doing everything they could to try to find a way to keep the shows that got cancelled -- all the shows, except of course Bad Teacher.  CBS hated that show more than even we did.

And in trying to keep the shows, they went over everything.  They went over budgets, they went over other projects that performers might have coming up which could provide new life to struggling shows, they went over ratings from previous seasons, they went over coverage in old media and new media.

"You just don't get," a VP of programming told us, "how hard we worked on this."

Actually, what we got was that this spring the suits finally did the work they were too lazy to do in past seasons when they cancelled on whims.

Cancelled and renewed on whims, countered a programming exec at Fox.

Well touche.

If the writers for the failed and cancelled sitcom Dads had thought up comebacks even half as quickly, the show might still be on.

And while we applaud them for doing their job and working until the last minute (to be clear, they worked until the last minute, they did not wait until the last minute to start working). as one show after another got the axe, the mood in the entertainment community continued to drop.

One sitcom show runner (whose show was renewed) told us, "It was like being in the office where no one won the Superbowl pool."

Repeating, his show got renewed.

The dragged out process that suddenly picked up as ABC, CBS, The CW, Fox and NBC all went Lizzie Borden on us felt like an assault to so many.

Like Jim, I love it when Ava and C.I. do reporting.  No one can do it like they do.  They're amazing and this is another classic piece from them.  They've been doing this for nine years and they're still able to keep it fresh.

That's amazing.

"Iraq snapshot" (The Common Ills):
Monday, May 12, 2014.  Chaos and violence continue, the killing of civilians in Falluja attracts a little more attention, Nouri meets with US General Lloyd Austin and the media runs to cower, Facebook doesn't want you addressing The Drone War, all that and Benghazi.

Chris Carroll (Stars and Stripes) reports today on changes the Pentagon is making with regards to imminent danger pay and notes, "Imminent danger pay and current R & R programs remain unaffected in Afghanistan, Iraq, Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Pakistan, Syria and Yemen."

US service members in Iraq still get danger pay.  And should.  Thing is, few Americans seem aware that US troops are still in Iraq.

Even fewer may be aware of this meet-up.

That photo of yesterday's meet up went up on Nouri's website

As the article at Nouri's site notes, Nouri met with US Ambassador Robert S. Beecroft and with US Gen Lloyd Austin.   It was news but we noted it Sunday night -- and were the only English language website to do so -- it was even in the Iraqi press.  It's now Monday and there are still no reports on it in the Western press.
Why is it news that Austin went to Iraq?
Saturday, David Swanson (War Is A Crime) mentioned, "The White House is trying to keep the occupation of Afghanistan going for TEN MORE YEARS ("and beyond"), and articles have been popping up this week about sending U.S. troops back into Iraq."

Let's drop back to last Thursday's snapshot:

Gordon Lubold has long covered the Iraq War -- including for the Christian Science Monitor.  He has a post with disturbing news at Foreign Policy -- on the discussions of sending (more) US troops into Iraq:

But the nature of the fight the Maliki government confronts in western Iraq is such that officials say Baghdad is looking not only for better reconnaissance and surveillance capability, but also for more robust, lethal platforms. Iraq has been unwilling to accept American military personnel in the country in any operational form, but the willingness to revisit that policy appears now to be shifting. A spokesman for the Iraqi Embassy declined to comment on the issue of allowing American military personnel into the country to conduct drone operations, but acknowledged that the U.S. and Iraq share a "common enemy" in al Qaeda.
"Iraq's view is that all available tools must be utilized to defeat this threat, and we welcome America's help in enhancing the capabilities we are able to bring to bear," the spokesman said.  

You need to put that with other news because Lubold isn't smart enough to.  There's the fact that all US troops never left Iraq.  There's the fact that Barack sent a brigade of Special-Ops in during the fall of 2012. Tim Arango (New York Times) reported, "Iraq and the United States are negotiating an agreement that could result in the return of small units of American soldiers to Iraq on training missions. At the request of the Iraqi government, according to General Caslen, a unit of Army Special Operations soldiers was recently deployed to Iraq to advise on counterterrorism and help with intelligence."  And let's include the news from the April 25th snapshot:

Mark Hosenball, Warren Strobel, Phil Stewart, Ned Parker, Jason Szep and Ross Colvin (Reuters) report, "The United States is quietly expanding the number of intelligence officers in Iraq and holding urgent meetings in Washington and Baghdad to find ways to counter growing violence by Islamic militants, U.S. government sources said."  It was 1961 when US President John F. Kennedy sent 1364 "advisors" into Vietnam.  The next year, the number was just short of 10,000.  In 1963, the number hit 15,500.  You remember how this ends, right?

Last week,  Dar Addustour reported that US Gen Lloyd Austin was expected to visit Iraq and meet with Nouri to discuss weapons and US forces.  That's what the meet-up was about.
And we all need to be aware (a) of the meet-up and (b) of the press doing their part to conceal that the meet-up took place. Austin is not only the current commander of CENTCOM, he was also the top US commander in Iraq up until the drawdown of December 2011.
As the US cozies up to Nouri, Amnesty International's just issued Torture in 2014: 30 Years of Broken Promises notes, "Torture and other ill-treatment have also blighted the records of countries emerging from conflict.  In Iraq, the phenomenon remains widespread in prisons and detention centers.  More than 30 people are believed to have died in custody as a result of such treatment between 2010 and 2012."

Nouri and his War Crimes, Aswat al-Iraq notes, "Renowned Sunni Sheikh Abdul Malik al-Saadi" on Saturday called out the attacks on Falluja, referring to them as "the greatest proof of sectarian genocide."  Genocide is the term for it, genocide and War Crimes.

Chief Thug and Prime Minister of Iraq Nouri al-Maliki is committing War Crimes.  He's using the weapons provided to him by the US government to target civilians in Falluja.  They are being punished because he says there are terrorists in the city.  There are Iraqis in the city.  By going along with the lie that they're 'terrorists,' the US government is choosing sides in a civil war. So today, the continued shelling of Falluja's residential neighborhood ("collective punishment" is the term for this legally defined War Crime) has killed 2 civilians and left eleven more injured. Every day the civilian death toll climbs -- Iraqi civilians killed by the Iraqi military on the orders of Nouri al-Maliki.

But here's the thing about War Crimes, no Iraqi soldier can fall back on the excuse that they were 'just' following orders.  That assertion was rejected in Nuremberg.

Over the weekend, Al Jazeera's reported:

Shelling by the Iraqi army in the city of Fallujah has killed more civilians, hospital sources and witnesses have said, amid allegations that government forces were using barrel bombs in an attempt to drive out anti-government fighters from the area, 
The use of barrel bombs in civilian areas is banned under international conventions given their indiscriminate nature.
But Mohammed al-Jumaili, a local journalist, told Al Jazeera that the army has dropped many barrel bombs "targeting mosques, houses and markets" in Fallujah.

This is the government Barack Obama has backed.  And this is what has resulted from it.  Saturday, UNAMI issued the following:

Baghdad, 11 May 2014 – The Special Representative of the United Nations Secretary-General for Iraq (SRSG), Mr. Nickolay Mladenov remains concerned at reports of increased armed activities in Fallujah and particularly its effects on civilians.

“The people of Anbar have suffered from terrorism and violence for too long. All efforts must be made to ensure that fighting ends, people return to their homes, and reconstruction can begin. It is vital that those affected by the fighting are able to receive humanitarian support”, Mr. Mladenov said. 
“As the Iraqi Security Forces continue their efforts to restore law and order in Anbar, they should ensure that the fight against terrorism is conducted in accordance with Iraq’s international and constitutional human rights obligations”, he added. 
“I am particularly concerned about the impact of violence on civilians and the deteriorating conditions in Fallujah. The UN humanitarian team will continue working with the Government and local authorities to ensure that, despite the difficulties, aid reaches those in need. Continued fighting, including shelling, often hampers the delivery of badly needed emergency aid”, the SRSG added. 
Since the outbreak of violence, the United Nations delivered a total of 15,186 food parcels, blankets, and tents; 37,943 Water and Sanitation Supplies (WASH) and hygiene kits that have reached a total of 233,958 Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) affected by fights in Anbar and floods in Abu Ghraib. 
During the past week: 
UNICEF reached 3,000 families with the distribution of hygiene and household kits in Rawa, Anah, Haditha and Sitak in Anbar. Another 1,500 affected families were reached with hygiene kits in Abu-Ghraib (Baghdad) and 5,000 more hygiene kits were distributed in Samarra and Jazeera (Salah-al-Din). UNICEF also distributed 81 water tanks, installed 6 water storage tanks (of 250,000 litres capacity each) in Rutba, Al-Qaim, Heet, Khalidiayh, Obaidi and Amiryat al-Fallujah, (benefiting 15,360 individuals), and two water storage tanks (of 10,000 litres capacity each) in Samarra. UNICEF also continued with the water truck delivery of 300,000 litres per week in Rutba, Heet and Al-Qaim (benefiting 15,126 individuals).
UNHCR continued with the distribution of Core Relief Item (CRIs) kits including 175 tents in Amiriyat al-Fallujah and Al-Habaniya areas, as well as in Mansour area in Baghdad, bringing its total distributed Core Relief Item kits to date to 6,519. UNHCR is also planning to assist 400 displaced families from Abu-Ghraib with cash money.
IOM distributed to date a total of 7,507 Non-Food Items to Anbar population and delivered on behalf of WFP 930 new food parcels to Saqlawiya, Heet, Amiriyat al-Fallujah, Al-Madina al-Siyahiya, Al-Karma, Al-Habaniya, Al-N'emiyeh, Al-Qaim, Ramadi and Abu-Ghraib, bringing the total number of food parcels distributed to date in Anbar to 15,186. 
WHO in coordination with the Ministry of Heath delivered 2 Inter-Agency Emergency Health Kits (each kit can meet the needs of 10,000 persons) and 1 Trauma Kit (sufficient to carry out 100 major surgeries) to Abu-Ghraib flood victims as well as 3 Emergency Kits of medical and surgical supplies to hospitals in Ramadi and Fallujah, as well as additional medical supplies to Al-Qaim

Of the crisis, Abdul Rahman al-Rashed (Asharq Al-Awsat) notes, "No one will win in this war, which may go on as long as the government in Baghdad believes it can solve the crisis through force of arms."

Among Sunni Arab blocs, campaign rhetoric reflected extreme polarisation. Speaker Osama Al Nujayfi's Mutahidun, the largest Sunni bloc, described Mr Al Maliki's counterinsurgency campaign as an all-out war against Sunni Arabs, warning that Mr Al Maliki's reelection would result in "genocide" against Sunnis.
That's from Kirk Sowell's "With results due, Iraq anticipates a post-election fight" (The National) where he offers his take on the recent elections which also include:

Saleh Al Mutlaq's Arab Coalition, by contrast, framed the Kurds and Mr Al Nujayfi's promotion of an autonomous Sunni region as the greatest threat to Iraq. Former prime minister Iyad Allawi's predominately Sunni but cross-sectarian Nationalist Coalition took an anti-Maliki but more moderate line than Mr Al Nujayfi.
Wednesday, April 30th, Iraqis voted in parliamentary elections. Iraq's Independent High Electoral Commission has named May 25th as the date the tally of the votes will be released.
Walter Pincus (Washington Post) notes today, "In Iraq, it’s been Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, a Shiite who came into power in 2006 during the Bush administration and has been using his authority to destroy the opposition and perpetuate his time in office while ignoring U.S. advice to compromise with the country’s Sunni and Kurdish elements. As a result, there is renewed violence and a return of ­al-Qaeda-associated Sunni insurgents."


If he came to power in 2006, why is he still in power right now?  Is prime minister of Iraq an eight-year term?


It's a four year term.

And in 2010, the White House demanded that Nouri get a second term.  Despite losing the 2010 election to Ayad Allawi and Iraqiya, Barack Obama -- not Bully Boy Bush -- demanded Nouri get a second term.  And since votes didn't give him a second term, Barack had US officials broker a contract giving Nouri a second term.  This contract is known as The Erbil Agreement.

Related, poor dumb Prashant Rao.  He was kindly called an idiot by an analyst and he had no response to it.  That tends to happen when you spend more time Tweeting about Spider-Man than you do noting the meet-up Lloyd Austin had with Nouri yesterday.  In fact, Prashant never noted that meet-up.  I'd said here Sunday that I might rescue him.  Not doing it.  He's on his own.

Today, Iraq finally makes the front page of the New York Times.

The ongoing genocide?

No, Blackwater.

For background, we need to drop back to the Monday, September 17, 2007 Iraq snapshot:

Turning to the issue of violence, Sahar Issa (McClatchy Newspapers) reported Sunday that  a Baghdad shooting (by private contractors) killed 9 Iraqi civilians and left fifteen more wounded. Later on Sunday, CNN reported, "In the Baghdad gun battle, which was between security forces and unidentified gunmen, eight people were killed and 14 wounded, most of them civilians, an Interior Ministry official said. Details were sketchy, but the official said witnesses told police that the security forces involved appeared to be Westerners driving sport utility vehicles, which are usually used by Western companies. The clash occurred near Nisoor square, in western Baghdad.  CBS and AP report that Abdul-Karim Khalaf, spokesperson for the Interior Ministry, announced "it was pulling the license of an American security firm allegedly involved in the fatal shooting of civilians during an attack on a U.S. State Department motorcade in Baghdad," that "it would prosecute any foreign contractors found to have used excessive force" in the slaughter (eight dead, 13 wounded) and they "have canceled the liscense of Blcakwater and prevented them from working all over Iraqi territory." 

No one's come to justice thus far as the result of deals the State Dept made with Blackwater.  They basically offered immunity for information -- why they'd do something like that, why anyone would?  To prevent anyone from being prosecuted.

Matt Apuzzo writes a long-winded, say-nothing article which is entitled "Trying to Salvage Remains of Blackwater Case" and kicks off on the front page before concluding on A-9.

Apuzzo quotes attorney Susan Burke (disclosure, I know Susan) stating, "As citizens, we need to ask why our government fails to achieve any accountability for such blatant wrongdoing."

Too bad Apuzzo's not interested in that.

As a reporter, the story should be about the government of the United States.

It's not really about Blackwater.

Deaths resulted.  I believe the whole world now knows that.  Justice will come for that or it won't.

As it is, Blackwater's on its third or fourth name change which goes to the awareness of what happened -- they keep trying to shed their bad image by changing names.

The US government made the decision not to seek accountability or justice.  They did that when the immunized the Blackwater employees.

At one point, Apuzzo's quoting a State Dept employee about how they were made to pick up shell casings to protect Blackwater.  I don't doubt that.  But most people, presented with that claim, would ask the obvious question:  Made to pick up those casings by whom?

'By the US government' would be the most likely response.

This event took place in 2007 but all these years later, we still don't know who was in the convoy Blackwater was 'protecting,' what US official.

We went over all of this Friday.  Apuzzo's doing a governmental mop up in response to the issues we raised. His article attempts to take the heat off the US government and put it on the Blackwater employees.

The reason none of them have been punished is not because of Blackwater (under whichever name it currently operates).  The reason they've escaped punishment is because of the US government.

Susan Burke's a smart person.  At some point, she'll probably grasp that if she wants the government to really get on board with real prosecutions, she's going to have to make it worth their while.  She could, for example, demand to know the official being protected by Blackwater.  The US government doesn't want to give up that information but it's not a state secret and, with seven years having passed, it's past time they do. Were Burke to demand the government supply the name, she might find the US government suddenly discovers some evidence that can be used in a court of law.  And if the current administration doesn't want to cooperate, it's time to subpoena Condi Rice who, after all, is all about accountability these days and so eager to impart wisdom to groups of students so surely she would have no problem informing the American people and a court of law the name of the US official being transported by Blackwater.

Iraq War veteran Matt Maupin  was captured April 9, 2004. In a briefs roundup, March 30th, 2008,  the Washington Post noted:

The father of a soldier listed as missing-captured in Iraq since 2004 says the military has informed him that his son's remains were found in Iraq.
Keith Maupin said that an Army general told him Sunday that DNA was used to identify the remains of his son, Sgt. Keith Matthew Maupin, who went by "Matt."
Matt Maupin was a 20-year-old private first class when he was captured April 9, 2004, after his fuel convoy was ambushed west of Baghdad. Arabic television network al-Jazeera aired a videotape a week later showing Maupin sitting on the floor surrounded by five masked men holding automatic rifles.

Friday, Amanda Lee Myers (AP) reported that a trial date has been set in Iraq for next Tuesday for an Iraqi whom Lt Col Alayne Conway states has "confessed to killing Maupin."  An unnamed Iraqi judge states the confession took place in 2009 and led to a conviction and sentence of death; however, the conviction's set aside or reversed as a result of some paperwork issue resulting in the need for a new trial.  Central Illinois' 31 News (link is video and text) reported Matt's father Keith Maupin "is traveling to the Pentagon on Monday to learn more about the confession." Jessica Jerreat (Daily Mail) adds this will involve Keith Maupin speaking "to the [Iraqi] judge through a translator."

Today, Karin Johnson (WLWT -- link is video and text) spoke with Keith Maupin at the airport before he left for DC. I'm not going up there for revenge.  I'm going up there for accountability and just justice, I guess."

As he searches for truth regarding his son's death, POLITICO's Katie Glueck falls into a tizzy over Glenn Greenwald's 'remarks' about Hillary Clinton.  Where's the link?  If they can steal from us but they can't link to us, we don't link to them.  They have to steal because they're not very smart and they're business model proves it (they're hanging on by their fingernails right now and praying they can last until 2015 when they just know the presidential campaign of 2016 will heat up interest in their site).  Glueck's not very smart either which is why she pull quotes from "GQ magazine" without adding anything to the issue she's raising via poll quotes.

Michael Paterniti.  Those are the two words 'journalist' Glueck forgot to include.  How does a journalist use the work of another and not even credit the journalist?  Not credit the journalist?  Oh, that's the POLITICO way.

Glenn Greenwald was not smart to bring Hillary up.  In a long interview -- six pages in the write up -- many important issues are discussed and addressed.  All Glueck can do is zoom in on the Hillary 'remarks' and ignore everything else.  Here's the section from Paterniti's article:

How do you feel about the early presidential jockeying?

Hillary is banal, corrupted, drained of vibrancy and passion. I mean, she's been around forever, the Clinton circle. She's a f[**]king hawk and like a neocon, practically. She's surrounded by all these sleazy money types who are just corrupting everything everywhere. But she's going to be the first female president, and women in America are going to be completely invested in her candidacy. Opposition to her is going to be depicted as misogynistic, like opposition to Obama has been depicted as racist. It's going to be this completely symbolic messaging that's going to overshadow the fact that she'll do nothing but continue everything in pursuit of her own power. They'll probably have a gay person after Hillary who's just going to do the same thing.

I hope this happens so badly, because I think it'll be so instructive in that regard. It'll prove the point. Americans love to mock the idea of monarchy, and yet we have our own de facto monarchy. I think what these leaks did is, they demonstrated that there really is this government that just is the kind of permanent government that doesn't get affected by election choices and that isn't in any way accountable to any sort of democratic transparency and just creates its own world off on its own.

That's basically five brief sentences -- in a six page article -- and it's what will be glommed on.

We may note Ed Snowden and other things in the interview later in the week.  But I have to get to Benghazi, yes, I have to get to Benghazi and Hillary's our entry point.  (Nod to Tori Amos' "Black Dove" -- "But I have to get to Texas, said I have to get to Texas" -- Tori's new album Unrepentant Geraldines is released tomorrow -- Kat reviewed it here.)

Glenn's remark weren't sexist -- what a nice change -- but where does he get his information?  Who are these women who will rally to Hillary?  A number refused to in 2008, she's also lost the support of a number of women who did support her in 2008.  I won't be supporting and I won't be voting for her.  I'm among the people she lost.  And it was over her secrecy as Secretary of State -- an issue that can bury her campaign, should she choose to run. And it was over her Congressional explosion re: Benghazi.

Forget what did or didn't happen in Benghazi, I'm just not in the mood for her shouting at people.  Her conduct was unbecoming as a government official and it's even more unbecoming when you consider that she's a former US senator.  Her remarks were rude and insensitive and they were delivered in a bully manner.  I don't want to see that.  She was never the smartest candidate but in 2008 she still knew how to conduct herself in public.

I'm not in the mood for her screaming fits. The press lapped that moment up because they're so craven.  They saw that bully moment and it excited them, delighted them.  We called it out the day it happened.  I will never forget my revulsion, sitting in that hearing, watching Hillary explode like the "Hilda-beast" so many on the right had mocked her as.  I'm not in the mood for a president who acts like a bully and diminishes the sacrifices of the American people.

On September 11, 2012, a terrorist attack in Benghazi left four Americans dead: Sean Smith, Glen Doherty, Tyrone Woods and US Ambassador Chris Stevens.  The US government has done nothing.  I support a legal response (arrest and try those said to be responsible).  Some support that, some support some sort of military strike.  Regardless, the attack has gone unpunished despite the fact that the White House knows who's responsible -- or says they do.  That's a message of weakness.

The attack had many implications.  We seem to be the only ones to give a damn about the diplomatic corps. We give a damn in part because I have so many friends in the diplomatic corps and I heard from them -- and continue to hear from them -- about the meanings of the attack and the lack of response.

The message to any would-be terrorist right now is that you might want to go after the US military in a foreign country but, hey, look at this, if you go after the diplomatic corps (which, yes, does and always has included CIA agents and assets), the US government might not even mount a response.  One year and eight months after the attack, there has been none despite the White House saying they know who is responsible.

Why was there no response while the attack was happening?

That's an issue that needs to be raised and why a special committee is needed.

We're told (lied to) that this was because the attack only lasted X length of time.

Well, yes, we know that now.  But after the attack started?  There was no way of knowing if it would last one hour or seventeen hours.  There was no way to know that.  Why weren't forces dispatched?

They may or may not have made it in time but why weren't they dispatched?

That's one of the key questions people in the diplomatic corps are asking.  They've never heard of anything so stupid.

The nation asks people in the diplomatic corps to go all over the world.  Most US Embassies are protected by a number of Marines.  This protection is seen as solid.  But when it's not enough, when an emergency takes place, what is the alternate plan?

People I'm speaking to at the State Dept see Benghazi as (a) revealing there is no alternative plan or (b) announcing a new policy of when Americans are under attack on foreign soil, their government that dispatched them to this area has no intention of protecting them.

Setting aside the CIA element that uses diplomatic status as cover, there are many men and women who give their entire lives, all of their energy to try to increase and improve relations with other countries.  While everyone else was drooling over Ann Wright being a former colonel, we made a point to repeatedly note she was also former State Dept.  While a lot of Democrats online who never served and never would serve in the US military went ga-ga year after year about former colonel Ann Wright, we saw her service in the diplomatic corps as important and worthy of note.

The diplomatic corps is the one threatened by the Benghazi assault and no one ever wants to address that on the left.  They want to have their hissy fits -- which we'll get to in a moment -- and they want show their ass (hello, Jon Stewart).  It's really sad.

Bob Somerby's painted himself into yet another corner and his ridiculous and ongoing defense of Susan Rice is painful to watch.  Rice lied.  She lied in the same way Bully Boy Bush did.  After using false linkage to tie Iraq and 9-11 together, the response from the Bush supporters was to insist that it never happened.  They could insist this because BBB repeatedly implied a link.  That's what Rice did as well.

We opposed the trial balloon floated for her to be nominated as Secretary of State.  That's because I value the diplomatic corps, that's because Rice is a War Hawk and it's because -- after her disgraceful performances on the Sunday chat & chews -- everyone I knew in the diplomatic corps that weighed in on the topic was of the opinion that Rice shouldn't represent them.


Ari Rabin-Havt argues at The American Prospect (no link to Podesta trash) that Democrats should participate on the House Select Committee and that US House Rep Alan Grayson should be on lead.  No. That is one of the stupidest things anyone's ever suggested in 2014 thus far.

Grayson has many strong points.  He has many weak points.  There is no ideal marriage between him and this issue.  We'll come back to that point.

Today, Bob Somerby noted Kevin Drum (Mother Jones) yet again.  Kevin's made an ass out of himself yet again but Bob Somerby can never call out a man.  Kevin's praising a stupid article and using it to note his past coverage of Benghazi, four posts he's mistakenly proud of.

Four people died.  You'll never see them named in the four posts Kevin wrote in real time and linked to.  Four Americans died.  And who was politicizing it?  Read the four posts Kevin so proud of today.  Mitt Romney is "ham fisted" and other things and it's so wrong to "smear" Barack.

Kevin Drum never gave a f**k about four dead Americans.  From the start he made it into political hay.  He's a tawdry whore who doesn't even have the sense to post a photo that doesn't look like he was taking a dump when he was photographed.  How apropos because Kevin Drum is a little s**t.

I don't know what's worse, that they don't care or that they think everyone's too stupid to notice that they don't care?  Kevin Drum is in love with Martin Longman's ridiculous article "The Origin of Benghazi Fever" (Washington Monthly).  He tells you he was "irritated" and "very angry" about the attack.  He notes that "facts were in short supply" immediately after the attack.

But Martin doesn't care.  He doesn't give a damn and Americans aren't as stupid as he would like them to be.

In his piece he mentions Mitt Romney's name ten times.  He mentions Chris Stevens' name three times.

And in his 732-word piece, how many times does he mention Tyrone Woods?


In his 732-word piece, how many times does he mention Sean Smith?


In his 732-word piece, how many times does he mention Glen Doherty?


You don't care about the dead or you would name them.

Your arrogance buries you.

And it would bury Alan Grayson.

Too many on the left have been giggling about the four dead Americans (when not ignoring them completely) ever since September 11, 2012.  They've giggled and they've made jokes and they've done it with each other -- it's been one circle jerk after another.

All they've done is made asses of themselves and lost any high ground on the issue.  We noted when the first hearings started that Democrats had to name the dead, that four dead were not too many to name.  (We also noted that the press needed to stop saying "Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans.")  Eventually, most Democrats in Congress grasped that they needed to name the dead.  It's very sad that they needed a tutorial.

It's even sadder that outlets like Washington Monthly think they can pretend to care about veterans while ignoring Tyrone Woods and Glen Doherty.

Tyrone Woods was an Iraq War veteran.  Glen Doherty was an Iraq War veteran and an Afghanistan War veteran.

From the start, Benghazi has been politicized.

Not by Mitt Romney.

By the press.

A press that should have immediately asked questions spent the hours after the attack, the day after the attack, slamming Mitt Romney who was the Republican presidential candidate.

Even now Washington Monthly and Mother Jones want to make Mitt the story.

They rush to politicize it and they do that in order to protect Barack Obama.

That's the job of the Secret Service.  They're trained in that job, they do it very well.

A free press is not a press that would spend forever and a day obsessing over Mitt Romney's actions while ignoring (or lying) about what took place in Benghazi.

There's a push for Alan Grayson because it's thought he can politicize the committee.

The visuals on this are and have been all wrong for Democratic partisans.  That's why they've lost on this issue.

Alan Grayson would only make the loss greater.

Theatrics and screaming are not needed at this point.  If the Democrats choose to participate in the investigation (they should, for a number of reasons), they need serious people not carnival barkers.  Susan Davis, Mike Michaud, those type of people who are not seen as ever trivializing death and are seen as willing to consider and evaluate with an open mind.

But if Democrats want to lose further ground on this issue, go ahead and turn it over to Alan.  Let him scream, yell, ridicule and see how that plays out across America.  Maybe Alan will scream Mitt Romney's name over and over which will further convince Americans that this is about politics (for the Democrats) and not about the truth.

Lastly, The Drone War.  Adam Kokesh notes the censorship on Facebook:

I’ve been getting text messages from concerned friends and fans for the last several hours about the official ADAM VS THE MAN Facebook page being down. I logged in, and it turns out that the meme below is the reason. This is a young girl who was badly burned in one of Obama’s drone strikes. As obscene as this photo is, it’s still only a small symbol of the pain experienced by millions in the Middle East suffering due to Obama’s war policies and the families of the hundreds of children who have been confirmed killed by Obama’s drone strikes.

Why does Facebook have an interest in covering up Obama’s war crimes? Well, if you know anything about Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerburg, you know he’d rather cozy up to the murderer-in-chief than call him out or tell the truth about his crimes. In fact, he won’t even let us portray the grizzly reality that is being kept from the American people.