Sold into sexual slavery?
He hasn't written a column since June 6th.
So where is he?
Reuters reports today:
Another 50 US special operations forces have arrived in Baghdad under the newly appointed command of a two-star general as the US military steadily ramps up an advisory mission aimed at helping Iraq battle back Sunni militants, the Pentagon said on Thursday.
The Pentagon said the first of two planned Joint Operations Centers in Iraq had also become activated, bolstering its ability to oversee US teams and gather information about the situation on the ground, including about Iraq's security forces.
"It will of course serve as a fusion center where information that's coming in from the various teams can be consolidated and it can be analyzed," said Colonel Steve Warren, a Pentagon spokesman.
Surely, Norman Solomon wouldn't be silent as Barack declares war on Iraq yet again.
Surely, he would speak up loudly.
Even a coward like Norman Solomon.
Iraq, after all, was his big issue.
He went there with Sean Penn, he gave speeches on it, he wrote books.
Surely, cowardly Norman would still find the spine to speak up?
On Iraq, he would, right?
I guess not.
I guess John Halle nailed him in 2011:
It is true that the far left spectrum of the internet represented by Counterpunch allowed challenges to this conventional wisdom. But even here, leftists such as Norman Solomon, David Michael Green and others could be found making the case for “critical support” and in some cases expressing unbridled enthusiasm at the prospect of the nation’s first African American president. In the months after the election, as predictions of even Obama’s most unenthusiastic supporters collided with the hard right reality of the Obama administration, pieces stating the obvious fact of the matter — that virtually the entirety of the mainstream left and much of the so called “radical left” — got it wrong remained hard to place. Again, speaking from my own experience, what I regard as one of my better pieces “Who Got it Right” was consigned to the far fringes of the web, having been rejected for publication from the all of the major left sites I sent it to.
Norman's made some weak attempts in the last two years to hold Barack accountable.
But here's the chance to prove he has ethics and where is Norman?
Hiding like the coward he is.
While Iraq burns.
"Iraq snapshot" (The Common Ills):
Starting with this from the Feminist Majority Foundation:
|FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE||Contact: J.T. Johnson|
|June 26, email@example.com|
Statement of Eleanor Smeal, President FMF
WASHINGTON -- Today, the Feminist Majority Foundation (FMF) is outraged by the Supreme Court’s decision to strike down a Massachusetts buffer zone law as unconstitutional.
“The lives of doctors and clinic staff are being threatened as we speak,” said Feminist Majority Foundation President, Eleanor Smeal. “This decision emboldens more extreme violence, harassment, and intimidation of women and health care providers in the name of free speech.”
“The Court’s decision failed to acknowledge that the Massachusetts law was enacted after the murder of two clinic receptionists, Shannon Lowney, 25, and Lee Ann Nichols, 38, by anti-abortion extremist John Salvi at two separate clinics in Brookline. Five other people were wounded in the attacks.”
“The Court wants to believe that these anti-abortion protestors are merely ‘sidewalk counselors’, but let us not forget that initially Scott Roeder, who murdered Dr. George Tiller, acted as a ‘sidewalk counselor’ to gain information about vulnerabilities of the clinic; Paul Hill, who killed Dr. John Bayard Britton and his escort, James Barrett, outside a Pensacola clinic was a ‘sidewalk counselor’ first. Hill was mistakenly thought to be handing them a leaflet. Instead he delivered lethal bullets.”
“Even with today’s outcome, we shudder to think that this decision could’ve been worse. Four Justices would have gone even further. Three—Justices Scalia, Thomas, and Kennedy—would overturn the Colorado buffer zone established by Colorado v. Hill. That ruling establishes an even narrower, 8-foot, floating buffer zone around individual patients.”
“Thankfully, a majority of the Court did not overturn Hill. Citing Madsen v. Women’s Health Clinic, the Court also stated a preference for court-ordered injunctions around individual clinics.”
“But the problem with injunctions is that women and health workers must first endure harassment and intimidation. Why must harassment, intimidation and terror have to be endured before women’s constitutional rights are protected?
The Feminist Majority Foundation took Madsen to the Supreme Court. This Florida case establishing a buffer zone through an injunction was upheld by the Court in 1994 and in today’s decision.
The Feminist Majority Foundation conducts the National Clinic Access Project (NCAP). To date, FMF has trained over 60,000 volunteers how to keep clinics open. NCAP is the largest project in the nation defending clinics against violence. NCAP provides legal support to reproductive health clinics across the country, and provides security assessments and equipment to targeted providers.
Moving over to Iraq, Margaret Kimberley (Black Agenda Report) summarizes events as follows:
A world away in Iraq, a nation is crumbling under the weight of eleven years of violent occupation by the United States. The once developing nation is now a ruin, with all of its infrastructure and systems from health care to education destroyed by western avarice. The prime minister who was chosen with America’s blessing, Nouri al-Maliki, has now become an inconvenience and faces a bleak fate.
The Bush administration and now the Obama team determined that promoting one side in sectarian political disputes would make for a smooth running and profitable occupation. Instead they brought war between Sunni and Shia and with goal of knocking down more dominoes, continued to fund jihadists who always upset their plans. Now Maliki is being told to get out of office if he wants help in crushing the enemies that America made for his country.
A big story in today's news cycle is the CIA and a supposed dropped ball.
At the longtime CIA media outpost Newsweek, Jeff Stein wants you to know Nouri bega,n spying on and tracking the CIA in 2004. If true, not surprising. Supposedly, he was fed info by the Iranian government and fed back to them. If true, the notion that the White House installed Nouri in 2006 and demanded he remained prime minister in 2010 makes both Bully Boy Bush and Barack Obama look even more stupid for supporting Nouri. Stein writes:
According to [former CIA official John] Maguire and another former CIA operations officer, the Iraqis acquired sophisticated cell phone monitoring equipment, probably from Iran, and began tracking CIA operators to identify their spies, especially inside the Maliki government. “It wasn’t so much the agency people they were interested in as who they were meeting and talking to,” says another CIA source, a paramilitary operations specialist who did three tours in Iraq. Although he was not authorized to discuss the subject, he agreed to be quoted on condition of anonymity because he felt U.S. advisers just arriving in Iraq needed to be warned.
“They are very aggressive,” he says of the Iraqi security services. “They have the best equipment Iran has,” including devices known as StingRays, that can lock onto a cell phone and extract all its data, from contacts to photos and music.
AP's Ken Dilianianap speaks to CIA spokesperson Dean Boyd who states that "the intelligence community provided plenty of warning to the Obama administration that the insurgent Islamic State in Iraq and Levant --known as ISIL -- could move on Iraqi cities" and Dilianianap quotes US House Rep Mike Roger (House Intelligence Committee Chair) stating, "Anyone who has had access to and actually read the full extent of CIA intelligence products on ISIL and Iraq should not have been surprised by the current situation."
Dean Boyd is offended by any suggestion that the CIA in Iraq since 2011 have just been sitting behind desks or hiding out. They've done much more than that and I'm not being sarcastic. We've noted here at least three different times when drones were spotted flying over Baghdad. I'm sure they've done many other missions as well. In addition, they do have the outpost on the Turkish border which allows them fly drones over Iraq and Iran and that's also where most communications -- in Iraq and Iran -- are monitored from.
Nouri is said to have purged the CIA assets in Iraq. That's also not 'news.' The Iraqi press has noted repeatedly in the last two years -- especially Kitabat and Iraq Times -- that this or that official was run off (and often run out of the country) by Nouri who was accusing the official (usually a general) of being a spy for the United States.
All of this was known or should have been. Did the CIA 'fail' the administration?
The previous administration? Possibly. (If they did, they did so by bending to the will of the Bully Boy Bush White House.) The current administration? No.
Let's again note that Jaime Dettmer (Daily Beast) reported earlier this week that the White House had months of warnings about ISIS and the warnings were ignored. And who's talking about this? Dettmer reports:
The prime minister of the semi-autonomous Kurdistan region, Nechirvan Barzani, says he warned Baghdad and the United States months ago about the threat ISIS posed to Iraq and the group’s plan to launch an insurgency across Iraq. The Kurds even offered to participate in a joint military operation with Baghdad against the jihadists.
Washington didn’t respond—a claim that will fuel Republican charges that the Obama administration has been dangerously disengaged from the Middle East. Iraqi Prime Minister al-Maliki dismissed the warnings, saying everything was under control.
The Kurds’ intelligence head, Lahur Talabani, says he handed Washington and London detailed reports about the unfolding threat. The warnings “fell on deaf ears,” he says.
There were warnings. In addition, common sense told anyone paying attention this was coming. hWe warned here repeatedly that when people were told they could make changes by votes and their votes were overturned (by the White House in 2010), when those politicians who tried to represent them were targeted by the government, what was left? The only avenue for redress was protest. And Nouri labeled the protesters 'terrorists' and attacked them. And where was the US?
In March of last year, activists in Samarra put their message on display.
"Obama, If you Cannot Hear Us Can you Not See Us?"
That's a pretty clear message.
And when Nouri began attacking protesters and the US government refused to say a word, that was pretty clear message as well.
The April 23, 2013 massacre of the 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. UNICEF noted that the dead included 8 children (twelve more were injured). And the State Dept had no statement calling it out and the White House couldn't be bothered. And, step by step, things got worse and worse.
The current events are no surprise at all. As Dexter Filkins told Terry Gross (Fresh Air, NPR, link is audio and text) yesterday, "Well, you know, it's pretty depressing (laughing). I mean, these guys are - I mean, some of those guys, you know, ISIS are just full on psychopaths. You know, these are the people that make beheading videos. It's not all of them. But there's a lot of them in there. And, you know, it's sad. I mean, it's not terribly surprising I have to say. You know, I was there a few months ago and it wasn't difficult to see what was happening. You know, I didn't - I certainly didn't predict what would ultimately happen. But everything was really fragile, there was so much anger and unhappiness that it looked like, you know, we're kind of one big event away from everything coming apart. It wasn't hard to see."
What this is about is that the Blame Bully Boy Bush for problems that emerged from 2009 to the present day is wearing thin so the White House is attempting to push the blame over to the CIA and the CIA is saying, "Oh, no, we're not going to be your fall guy." It's an internal squabble, a game of hot potato.
This week's. Black Agenda Radio, hosted by Glen Ford and Nellie Bailey (first airs each Monday at 4:00 pm EST on the Progressive Radio Network), features a discussion of the CIA's involvement in Iraq with Bill of Rights Defense Committee's executive director Shahid Buttar.
Glen Ford: The NSA -- the National Security Agency which purports to be the all seeing eyes and the all hearing ears of the United States, how could the NSA not have known that ISIS -- the jihadist group which US funding has been so much a part of the growth of -- was not about to launch a major offensive or be the spearhead of a major offensive in Iraq?
Shahid Buttar: The CIA has a long history of being on both sides of conflicts and instigating conflicts which we then later sacrifice a great deal to address. And there's any number of places we could demonstrate this from [. . .] Saddam Hussein -- which the CIA supplied his regime for years, Iran -- which the CIA supplied, that's what the Iran-Contra scandal was about -- with the CIA basically trading weapons with our nation's central enemy and the idea that they are under the table, betraying American interests, taking tax dollars to do it, destabilizing our international relations is the short answer to why they hate us -- to the extent anyone hates us -- is the CIA. It's three letters. It's not that long. And I think it's very unfortunate that we see in ISIS the recreation of this pattern of the CIA's complicity with people who have been our enemies, will be our enemies, are allied with people who are currently our enemies[.]
The 5,000-plus diplomatic or 'diplomatic' staff should have also been monitoring things and reporting back to the administration.
Joe Gillespie (KXNT) reports that Senator Dean Heller "says he recently attended a closed door meeting on Capitol Hill where he was briefed by military officials. He says the focus was on evacuation plans, when to evacuate and how to get the Americans out safely." Staying with the topic of US Senators and Iraq, Senator Tim Kaine appeared on Morning Joe (MSNBC) today. Excerpt.
Mika Brzezinski: [. . .] it could be further pressure on the White House to carry out airstrikes, something it says can be done without Congressional approval. Joining us now, someone who disagrees, Senator Tim Kaine.
[. . .]
Joe Scarborough: Would you like the President to pick up the phone and ask you guys to pass a resolution before we can pull the trigger?
Senator Tim Kaine: Joe, you know the issue isn't what I would like, the issue is what the law is. It's very, very plain that Congress is the body that gets to declare war. It was set up that way by a great Virginian James Madison for a reason. The president, once [war is] declared, the president manages it but Congress has got to get involved.
Joe Scarborough: Nancy Pelosi says that since you guys have already approved, that the president still has authority from prior approvals. Do you agree with former Speaker Pelosi?
Senator Tim Kaine: Joe, I completely disagree with it. If you look at the two authorizations that were on the table. You're right there was an authorization done in 2002 to topple the government of Saddam Hussein, that government is gone, we finished combat operations in Iraq in 2011 and even the White House has said that that authorization -- the Iraqi authorization -- is obsolete and should be repealed. But that, oh, no, now we can revive it and go wage a different war in Iraq with the Hussein regime long gone is a stretch, I think, way beyond what Congress intended. And second, there's the authorization that was done right after 9-11
ago that said we could undertake military action against the perpetrators of 9-11. ISIL didn't get formed until 2003. The administration has said, 'Well okay but you can go against al Qaeda or it's affiliates. ISIL is not al Qaeda and, in Syria, ISIL and al Qaeda are at war.
Senator Tim Kaine's argument is sound. If you doubt it, let's go the speech US President Barack Obama gave in January 2012:
Last month, I went to Andrews Air Force Base and welcomed home some of our last troops to serve in Iraq. Together, we offered a final, proud salute to the colors under which more than a million of our fellow citizens fought -- and several thousand gave their lives.
We gather tonight knowing that this generation of heroes has made the United States safer and more respected around the world. (Applause.) For the first time in nine years, there are no Americans fighting in Iraq. (Applause.) For the first time in two decades, Osama bin Laden is not a threat to this country. (Applause.) Most of al Qaeda’s top lieutenants have been defeated. The Taliban’s momentum has been broken, and some troops in Afghanistan have begun to come home.
[. . .]
Ending the Iraq war has allowed us to strike decisive blows against our enemies. From Pakistan to Yemen, the al Qaeda operatives who remain are scrambling, knowing that they can’t escape the reach of the United States of America. (Applause.)
A month prior, Barack gave another speech we could use. We're ignoring that one. A president should never lie to the American people. But we're focusing on January 2012's speech because it's the State Of The Union address -- the only speech a president is Constitutionally mandated to deliver.
Carrying out his official and Constitutionally mandated speech, he declared the Iraq War over. Two years later, he can't claim he can take new military action under authorization for a war he pronounced over.
As for Nancy Pelosi, while she has her knowledge base, the Constitution has never been one of Pelosi strong suits -- among the many reasons she could (and did) skirt her responsibility to bring impeachment charges against Bully Boy Bush.
Today, Alsumaria reports Nouri is praising Syria for carrying out air attacks within Iraq. Lindsay Wise and Mousab Alhamadee (McClatchy Newspapers) add:
Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki told the British Broadcasting Corporation on Thursday that he welcomed Syrian airstrikes against radical Sunni militants on the border between Syria and Iraq.
“There was no coordination involved, but we welcome this action,” Maliki told the BBC. “We welcome any Syrian strike against (the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria), because this group targets both Iraq and Syria ... But we didn't make any request from Syria. They carry out their strikes and we carry out ours. The final winners are our two countries.”
The Guardian puts it this way, "The Iraqi prime minister, Nouri al-Maliki, said on Thursday that he welcomed a Syrian air strike on Sunni militant positions as it left both countries 'winners'." Arwa Damon, Ashley Fantz, Tim Lister and Raja Razek offer "Why would Syria bomb Iraq? Your questions answered" (CNN -- link is text and video).
So for years now, Barack's wanted to topple the Syrian government and back the rebels (which include ISIS) but now he's working with Nouri whom the Syrian government is aiding?
Is there a plan here?
Is there even a goal?
Mousab Alhamadee and Jonathan S. Landay (McClatchy Newspapers) observe:
After taking a hands-off approach toward the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria for several months, the government of Syrian President Bashar Assad has reversed course and launched air attacks against the Sunni Muslim extremist group inside both Syria and Iraq.
The policy shift complicates an already tangled situation for the Obama administration by effectively aligning Assad, whose ouster Washington is demanding, with the United States in the fight against ISIS, which was once part of al Qaida.
Does Barack have any sort of plan?
He supports the rebels in Syria -- the same ones he supported in Libya.
He opposes the government in Syria (and toppled the regime in Libya).
But he's in bed with Nouri who's getting help from the Syrian government and opposing the rebels Barack has backed in two other countries.
Not only does the dichotomy not make sense, the action of bombing itself? That's not helping anyone. Let's be clear what's being embraced. NINA reports today, "A security source said that six people were killed and 11 others injured, including four women, in an air strike by Syrian Air Force in Rabia border area."
The lack of a coherent framework was noted today on The Lead with Jake Tapper (CNN -- link is video):
Jim Sciutto: Clearly, a lot is riding on Prime Minister Maliki to form this unity government. Is the administration placing too much faith in him? Do you have any confidence that Maliki will deliver?
Senator Ron Johnson: Hello, Jim. No, I don't. What we're witnessing here is a real tragedy. It's a tragedy that I don't think had to happen. We've lost the influence we had and we would have had influence if we'd left behind a stabilizing force. So I'm afraid Humpty Dumpty is broken now. Unfortunately, what we are witnessing is the establishment of a new state -- Al Qaedastan is what the Wall St. Journal termed it. It's very sad and it's very tragic. What we need to do now is we need to discuss the situation, we have to not deny reality, actually understand what's happening right now. As you said, we're witnessing the break up of Iraq We've got a couple stable regions now Kurdistan in the north, we need to make sure that we protect our friends and allies. Jordan, we need to make sure that ISIS cannot attack Jordan. We need to do everything we can to help stabilize Israel. So this is tragedy. This never had to happen. But we're in a pretty bad state right now.
Jim Sciutto: Senator Johnson, I want to ask you because, as the US is waiting, the Syrians have carried out air strikes along the border and some signs that they've carried it inside Iraqi territory. The Iranian's moving a great deal of military equipment in. They've got forces on the ground, even drones flying over Iraq -- as the US does as well. But as this is happening is the US in effect ceding Iraq to Iraq's nieghbors Syria and Iran? Ones with frankly totally different motivations than the US here?
Senator Ron Johnson: Well we ceded it when we bugged out at the end of 2011 when President Obama made that historic strategic blunder of not leaving a stabilizing force behind. So now, right now, our primary goal in Baghdad is to protect the Americans that are there in our embassy. I'm highly concerned about that.
I have not heard a plan of this administration They better come up with one fast. They better start acting to stabilize Jordan They better start acting to stabilize Kurdistan. And let's not force Israel into any destabilizing agreements.
Jim Sciutto: But I have to ask you, Senator Johnson, how far, I'm familiar with this criticism that has come from you and other Republican senators as well that President Obama did not negotiate a Status Of Forces Agreement to keep US troops in Iraq after 2011. But how far would you be willing to go in this current situation? Would you authorize US combat troops going on into the ground in Iraq again 3 years after they left there? How far would you be willing to go?
Senator Ron Johnson: It depends on what the administration puts forth as a plan -- [Crosstalk] I would be happy to send American military personnel into the Kurdistan region so we can help stabilize that, I'd be happy to send American military personnel into Jordan to make sure that that doesn't fall to ISIS
in terms of Baghdad, look at the choices we face right now are we going to ally with Iran, are we going to ally with Syria's Assad I mean all the choices at this point are bad because of this administration's historic strategic blunder. So what we're looking for our of this administration is a game plan. We've had the briefings, it's absolutely grim. You were there in Iraq do you think Humpty Dumpty can be put back together again? Now it's about stabilizing what is stable in that region and hopefully you learn from the past mistakes.
Jim Sciutto: But just to be clear you would authorize, you would authorize, you would be in favor of, if the administration presented this option of combat troops into Kurdistan, into Baghdad, back into Iraq, back into the line of fire?
Senator Ron Johnson: I'm not so sure about Baghdad because I don't know what plan can do that at this point in time. I would absolutely support sending troops to protect Americans and evacuate them if it comes to that and it may be coming to that sooner than we think. I'm highly concerned about Americans in Baghdad because of this rolling disaster now. But I want to see a game plan from this administration, we haven't seen that yet.
Confusion. At what point does the White House put together a coherent plan that people can grasp and discuss? Again, from yesterday's Fresh Air:
FILKINS: Well, now this...
GROSS: We're sending in 300...
GROSS: Advisers - not really sure exactly what that means.
FILKINS: Well, this is the really - you know, this is what's front and center right now. I think, just to back up a little bit, I think that what people in the White House say is, they say they weren't surprised by the ISIS move into Iraq - that they'd been tracking ISIS and they've watched ISIS kind of take over towns in eastern Syria. And they've - so they weren't really caught off guard by it - maybe by the timing or whatever. But they were caught off guard by the utter collapse of the Iraqi army. They were surprised. I mean, this was an American project, and we spent $25 billion training the Iraqi army. But suddenly, now, the Obama administration is confronted - I mean, it's a bunch of bad choices. They are looking at the map of Syria and all these rebels. And who are the - what's ISIS? It's a bunch of guys in pickup trucks, you know, rolled into these towns. There's not that much you can do. I think that the options that the White House has - the military options are really pretty lousy. And they know that. And so what they're trying to do, and I think they imagine - I think they see that the only possible solution here is a political solution, not a military one. I think, frankly, it's probably going to be a combination of the two but that Obama wants to try, I think, to broker a kind of larger, political settlement between, you know, the Sunnis, and the Shia and the Kurds. And frankly, I think that means getting rid of the current Prime Minister, Nouri al-Malki. I think they see him as being, basically, at the heart of the problem. And so, you know, they'll say things like, this is an Iraqi decision, and it's an Iraqi process. But you can bet, and I think it's a pretty good bet, the administration is going to push pretty hard to try to get Maliki out of there. That's just me talking. But that's my impression.
GROSS: And Secretary of State John Kerry is talking to the Iraqis about an inclusive government, which the Maliki government is not. The Maliki government has basically thrown out Sunnis from the government.
FILKINS: Yeah, look. I mean, there's two reasons why all this is happening right now. The first reason is the Syrian civil war, right? That allowed ISIS to have a base, and to get stronger and to kind of, you know, do its thing and then cross over into Iraq. But the second reason is Malki. And it's probably the biggest reason of all. You know, I did a long story on Maliki earlier this year. And I sort of looked at his life. And what I really didn't know and it really struck me was, Maliki has been fighting this sort of Shiite sectarian war against the Sunnis his entire adult life. This is the main war for him. It's - you know, it's not bringing democracy to Iraq. It's bringing down the Sunnis and bringing the Shiites up. And he - you know, he sees himself the as the sort of, you know, the leader of the oppressed, Shiite majority that was oppressed for so long by the Sunnis. And he's been fighting that war his whole life, you know? And he was fighting it before we got there. And then when we got there, you know, he said all the right things, but he still kept fighting it. And so he's driven - he has driven the country to the point where it is. He has so marginalized and alienated the Sunnis. He has so cut them out of the political process. He's arrested or presided over the arrests of thousands of Sunni men, you know, without charges, disappearing into prisons. This is why this is happening now. And Maliki at the - Maliki's at the front of that.
The confusion? Even the administration is confused. That was obvious today on The Lead with Jake Tapper (video), Jim Sciutto spoke with Secretary of State John Kerry.
Jim Sciutto: You said "sustained and intense" -- US military action would be "sustained and intense" if the President decides to go forward. Wonder if you could better define the time frame but also the measure of success if the President decides to go forward. Is it ISIS destroyed? ISIS retreating, partial retreating?
Secretary John Kerry: That's precisely the strategy that needs to be defined as we go forward. What I said would be intense would be the support to the government of Iraq and our efforts to try to help rebuild the military structure as well as hopefully support a new unity government.
"That's precisely the strategy that needs to be defined as we go forward."
Actually, that's precisely the strategy that needed to be devised, defined and explained before US 'advisors' were sent to Iraq.
How many were sent elsewhere? The US government pulls a lot of strings and a lot of spineless people lived to be pulled but first, let's look at deaths.
Through yesterday, Iraq Body Count counts 1681 deaths from violence in Iraq so far this month. And --
Oh, goodness. Only 1681?
I'm the biggest liar in the world! I'm the biggest bitch! I've said the count was at 3,000 and clearly I'm just a damn liar.
See, here's a screen snap of the count.
What a damn liar I am!
I pay good money for information. So today when Martha told me an e-mail came in saying take a screensnap of IBC's count immediately and explained why, I told her to reply that I would be hitting their pay pal account with a generous thank you.
Here's the count minutes before IBC changed it.
No, I didn't lie.
But I'm told -- and paid for this information -- that IBC lowered the count under pressure from US officials.
I paid for it so I'll damn well repeat it.
And Iraq Body Count may not like that charge being exposed; however, when you drop a count from 3211 to 1681, don't think no one will catch you.
I'm sure they'll now try to come out with some alternate reason.
But I believe what I was told. That source has been consistently honest.
More to the point, why does IBC drop their count by nearly half with no note? Why do they try to hide what they did?
I am told Iraq Body Count was under pressure from US officials to drop their count and agreed to. That's what I believe happened but I can't wait to hear the fairy tale IBC intends to offer the world -- and, tip, be sure your lie includes a reason for not explaining at your site that you dropped the count.
And be sure and explain which nearly 1400 Iraqis came back to life after dying earlier this month. I'm sure their families must be thrilled and the whole world should share in this miracle.
P.S. This sort of crap is why we used to ignore IBC. In better times, when the world cared about Iraq, we could and did ignore IBC. But they needed money and pressure also is said to have included talk of a donation. It would be so funny if the talk of a donation didn't pan out. A good whore knows to get the money upfront.
As long as we're in the land of fantasy, let's note this from today's State Dept press briefing by spokesperson Marie Harf:
QUESTION: Sorry. There were reports from Baghdad that reprisal killings against Sunnis are becoming more and more frequent. Is the U.S. doing anything at this time to try and prevent this from becoming more of an issue than it already is?
MS. HARF: Well, we are following the reports closely, certainly. We’ve seen execution-style killings of thousands of Iraqi soldiers, policemen, government leaders, also some of the ethnic minorities and religious minority populations as well. So we are working with our international partners very closely to see how we can deal with this sort of what I would call an even worse than humanitarian situation. We’re working with the Iraqi Government to help on this, also with the UN as well. So we’re monitoring it, and obviously that’s – I think just underscores the notion that Iraq’s political leaders needs a form of government as soon as possible, bring the country together, and use their influence to try and stop some of this.
Thousands, a jaded (and uncaring?) Marie Harf says, thousands. Well I guess that answers the question as to whether or not the US is doing anything to prevent them?
Back in the real world, National Iraqi News Agency reports security forces say they killed 4 suspects to the north of Ramadi, they say they killed 13 suspects in Baiji, a battle in Mansuriyya left 20 rebels dead, a Kirkuk mortar attack left 3 Peshmerga dead and two more injured, an eastern Mosul battle left 2 Peshmerga dead, Joint Operations Command announced they killed 10 suspects in Anbar Province, and 28 corpses were discovered in Mosul. All Iraq News reports a Mahmoudiya mortar attack and suicide bombing left 12 civilians dead and forty-six injured and 5 people were shot dead when assailants shot up "a shop [. . .] selling alcohol drinks in Zayouna district of eastern Baghdad." And Nouri's War Crimes continue as he continues bombing residential neighborhoods in Falluja. Alsumaria notes last nights bombings left 3 civilians dead and a fifth injured.
feminist majority foundation
national iraqi news agency
iraq body count
jonathan s. landay
the lead with jake tapper