I actually like the comments to THE AV article better than the article itself. If you missed it Viola Davis plays Michelle Obama in THE FIRST LADY on SHOWTIME. Ava and C.I. covered it in "TV: First Ladies and Martha Mitchell" on Sunday.
And before I go further . . .
Ava and C.I. made serious criticism that needs to be heard. Michelle is angry and upset, on the screen, with Barack and she calls him the N-word within earshot of her daughters.
I'm not a Michelle fan.
I also don't believe that would happen.
Ava adn C.I. explain that it wasn't in the script, it did not happen but Viola insisted upon it, she said this is how Black people talk.
My parents would have washed our mouths out with soap.
Now, I get it. Viola was dirt poor. And she comes from a different class than I do. Both of my parents worked and they were able to afford college for their children. Michelle Obama was not raised in poverty either. Her father worked while Michelle and Craig were in school and her mother worked outside the home only after both her children had graduated high school. That alone is your clue that Michelle was not poor. If she had been, her mother would have had to have worked outside the home.
Viola can't seem to pull herself out of the ghetto.
I've gotten bit tired of Viola in recent times. I didn't care for her attack on THE HELP. She was nominated for an Academy Award for that film.
Now she wants to attack it?
Reality: I didn't see the film. Wasn't interested in it. Didn't want to see some movie in the past where all the Black people are ''the help.''
But she read the script. She chose to make the movie. Octavia Spencer is in the film and won applause for her performance. What is she saying about Octavia when she starts attacking THE HELP?
She just seems more and more ungrateful.
Now Viola's having a fit because no one likes her performance. They don't like it on Twitter, the critics online and in print don't like it.
She did a lousy job. So she's atacking critics and saying they serve no real purpose.
I guess she thinks they're like herself in THE FIRST LADY.
She's whining that it was a hard role.
Whine somewhere else, you took it.
You were stupid enough to think that at 56 you could play a young Michelle Obama.
You look too old -- and she's got her face smeared with make up which, as Ava and C.I. point out, only makes the lines and wrinkles more obvious.
Ava and C.I. also point out that while she's 56, the guy playing Barack is 41 -- and they're right, she does look like his mother, not his wife.
She needs to grow up and stop lashing out at others.
She's embarrassing herself and everyone who's ever supported her.
I loved HOW TO GET AWAY WITH MURDER (and coveed it here). But after her nonsense over THE HELP and now over THE FIRST LADY? I don't think I'll be watching her again.
"Iraq snapshot" (THE COMMON ILLS):
Tuesday, April 26, 2022. Joe Biden continues to persecute journalist Julian Assange, Iraq faces more consequences of climate change, and much more.
Starting with Julian Assange. The publisher of WIKILEAKS committed the 'crime,' in the US government's eyes, of publishing the truth. Despite what THE WASHINGTON POST and its overgrown and middle-aged adolescent Taylor Lorenz think, journalism is supposed to punch up, not down. They are supposed to provide a public service by holding the powerful accountable. Those that are over the decisions that impact our lives are supposed to be reported on, those acts that our government commits are not supposed to b hidden. In our names, War Crimes were carried out in Iraq and Afghanistan. Julian brought shined the sunshine on these acts that a democracy requires.
That is why The First Amendment is the First. You can't have a democracy without freedom of speech.
US President Joe Biden does ot believe in free speech. He was unethical -- possibly to the point of criminal -- in his actions to bring in money for the family via his son Hunter Biden.
Joe Biden refuses to stop the persecution of Julian. He wants to make Julian a scarecrow -- to put his head on a pike to scare off every media outlet. That's what this is about. And that's why he's demanding the UK turn Julian over to the US government where they can punish Julian.
And we know how they punish. They want to break hi, they want to destroy him. As they did the people held in the Guantanamo gulag. Kit Klarenberg (MINT PRESS NEWS) reports:
In March the CIA declassified a 2008 CIA Inspector General report on the agency’s treatment of 9/11 suspect Ammar al-Baluchi at overseas ‘black sites’ and Guantanamo Bay. The report was released as a result of legal submissions and its shocking contents offer an unprecedentedly candid snapshot of the brutal physical and psychological torment to which he and hundreds of others were subjected by the agency over many years, under its global torture program.
The nephew of purported 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, Baluchi was arrested in Pakistan in April 2003. He was accused of serving as a “key lieutenant” within al-Qaeda and its chief “bagman,” having provided pivotal financial and logistical support to the 9/11 hijackers. U.S. officials declared his capture would offer crucial information on the plot, prevent future attacks by the terrorist group, and potentially even lead to the apprehension of Osama bin Laden. Despite years of incarceration, interrogation and torture, none of this proved to be true.
Quoting contemporary cables, the Inspector General’s report tracks Baluchi’s induction at the “Salt Pit,” a CIA black site in Afghanistan, in detail. New arrivals were physically examined, their beards and heads shaved, and then put through a “non-enhanced” psychological assessment to determine their “willingness to cooperate without enhanced techniques…displace their expectations and begin the conditioning of subjects.”
[. . .]
The distinction between enhanced and non-enhanced interrogation methods was evidently something of a misnomer. If initially uncooperative, Baluchi would be “immediately” placed in the “standing sleep deprivation position” for up to 12 hours; this agonizing technique was considered “non-enhanced” if applied for less than three days.
In response to the cable, CIA HQ at Langley signed off on a welter of enhanced techniques to be used on Baluchi, including “the facial attention grasp,” facial and abdominal slaps, numerous excruciating stress positions, “cramped confinement,” sleep deprivation lasting up to 180 hours, dousing with freezing water, starvation, “loud music or white noise” 24 hours a day, cessation of access to reading material, and “walling” – slamming his head against a flat surface.
Based on his initial psychological evaluation, it was ruled that none of these unspeakable horrors would inflict “permanent psychological or emotional harm” on Baluchi. This was the universal approach to using “enhanced techniques,” based on the assumption that their use in U.S. military SERE (Survival, Evasion, Resistance and Escape) training did not cause lasting harm. But, while in SERE training the subject is typically confined for only a couple of days, and knows it is training and they will soon be released, the black site prisoners had to endure months or years of brutalizing treatment, with little to no prospect of escape.
The Inspector General notes that CIA superiors offered little to no clarity on “how many times or for how long interrogators could perform a particular measure or combination of measures.” This may well account for why Salt Pit interrogators “applied some of the measures exuberantly.”
Their ‘exuberance’ was no doubt also influenced by Baluchi’s disobliging response to torture techniques. One CIA operative at the site recorded how the inmate’s “presentation” had “elicited the strongest reactions from interrogators.” His attitude was considered “dismissive, condescending, and arrogant,” typified by “obvious stonewalling, minimizing, and denying,” which served to “frustrate” his captors “and make a difficult task even harder.”
Still, some interrogators seemingly sympathized with Baluchi. One, with whom he spent a “significant amount of time,” described him as “one of the more intelligent or ‘bookish’ of the detainees.” Another regretted the monstrous methods to which they’d subjected Baluchi, stating “I wished I’d never been asked” to do so, and “wouldn’t do them again.”
Likewise, when Baluchi was submerged in a bath of “excessively cold” icy water, on at least one occasion an interrogator was “so uncomfortable with the technique he sat outside the dousing room” to avoid witnessing it first-hand. Another admitted to the Inspector General that this practice was “probably…outside the bounds of what we were supposed to be doing.” A similar strategy killed Salt Pit inmate Gul Rahman in November 2002.
By contrast, CIA torturers had no reservations whatsoever about using Baluchi as a “training prop.” Several new interrogators at the site, “who had only two weeks of classroom instruction,” needed “on-the-job practice for certification”: Baluchi represented “an opportunity to demonstrate their knowledge of techniques,” in particular “walling.”
After he was stripped naked, interrogators “lined up” one-by-one to slam Baluchi’s head into plywood – and, on occasion, concrete – walls over and over again, until they became “fatigued,” whereupon another would take their place, in sessions lasting up to two hours. A CIA operative interviewed by the Inspector General claimed this method was “meant more for ‘sensation’ than to hurt the detainee,” and “simply made a big noise.”
The US government knowingly carried out torture. Torture is a serious crime. The UK government should not had anyone over to the US government for that reason. If they do hand Julian over, whatever happens to him is on their hands because they did so knowing that the US government was breaking laws and conventions as they tortured prisoners.
Joe Biden wants to harm Julian Assange. This is not about justice. It never was. There is no legal reason to go after an Austrlian citizen who exposed US wWar Crimes. None at all.
Joe Biden is a War Criminal who is complicit in the crimes that took place in Iraq. He claims he was misled. Well he was a senator in the US Senate, then he was a Vice President and now he is a sitting president. If he was misled, he certainly has had the power to punish those who misled him. Instead, he pins a medal on Bully Boy Bush. And he goes after a journalist namedJulian Assange.
The full US government weight -- and our tax dollars -- are being put behind punishing someone for the Iraq War and it's not someone who voted for it, supported it or advocated for it or hid the truth from the American people, it's an Australian journalist who told the truth.
Joe Biden is a pathetic president. If he continues to attack the First Amendment, he will go down in history as the worst president,
John Kiriakou (SCHEER POST) notes of the gulag at Guantanamo:
And it wasn’t just U.S. law that prohibited what the CIA was about to do. It was also the United Nations. The United Nations Convention Against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman, or Degrading Treatment or Punishment—of which the United States was the primary author and an original signatory—specifically defined and banned anything approaching “enhanced interrogation techniques. Article 1 states,
“torture means any act by which severe pain or suffering, whether physical or mental, is intentionally inflicted on a person for such purposes as obtaining from him or a third person information or a confession, punishing him for an act he or a third person has committed or is suspected of having committed, or intimidating or coercing him or a third person, or for any reason based on discrimination of any kind, when such pain or suffering is inflicted by or at the instigation of or with the consent of acquiescence of a public official or other person acting in an official capacity.”
Meanwhile, the CIA, fully cognizant of what it was getting into, was making contingency plans for Abu Zubaydah’s potential death in custody. Senate investigators reported on a July 15, 2002 cable to CIA headquarters from the detention site saying,
“If [Abu Zubaydah] develops a serious medical condition which may involve a host of conditions including a heart attack or other catastrophic type of condition, all efforts will be made to ensure that proper medical care will be provided to [him’. In the event [Abu Zubaydah] dies, we need to be prepared to act accordingly, keeping in mind the liaison equities involving our hosts.”
If he were to die in custody, the cable said, Abu Zubaydah would be cremated and scattered. It went on,
“…regardless which [disposition] option we follow, however, and especially in light of the planned psychological techniques to be implemented, we need to get reasonable assurances that [Abu Zubaydah] will remain in isolation and incommunicado for the remainder of his life.”
CIA headquarters responded similarly.
“There is a fairly unanimous sentiment within HQS that [Abu Zubaydah] will never be placed in a situation where he has any significant contact with others and/or has the opportunity to be released. While it is difficult to discuss specifics at this point, all major players are in concurrence that [Abu Zubaydah] should remain incommunicado for the remainder of his life. This may preclude [Abu Zubaydah] from being turned over to another country, but a final decision regarding his future incarceration condition has yet to be made.”
The Senate knew. Joe is a War crimianl who does not abide by the US laws outlawing torture or the international conventions that the US has signed on to. No court should turn over prisoners to the US at this point unless they are in the practice of condoning torture and are willing to stand trial for their part in torture as an accessory.
Moving to the ongoing tragedy that is the Iraq War, AFP reports:
A "No Fishing" sign on the edge of Iraq's western desert is one of the few clues that this was once Sawa Lake, a biodiverse wetland and recreational landmark.
Human activity and climate change have combined to turn the site into a barren wasteland with piles of salt.
Abandoned hotels and tourist facilities here hark back to the 1990s when the salt lake, circled by sandy banks, was in its heyday and popular with newly-weds and families who came to swim and picnic.
But today, the lake near the city of Samawa, south of the capital Baghdad, is completely dry.
Bottles litter its former banks and plastic bags dangle from sun-scorched shrubs, while two pontoons have been reduced to rust.
"This year, for the first time, the lake has disappeared," environmental activist Husam Subhi said. "In previous years, the water area had decreased during the dry seasons."
The five-square-kilometre (two-square-mile) lake has been drying up since 2014, says Youssef Jabbar, environmental department head of Muthana province.
The causes have been "climate change and rising temperatures," he explained.
For the People Alliance, formed between the Kurdish New Generation party, Emtidad Movement, and ten independents “presented an initiative that includes collecting signatures to hold a session [to elect the president] on Saturday, May 7,” state media quoted head of the alliance Alaa al-Rikabi as saying.
The session aims to “elect the president of the republic, find a political solution, complete the parliamentary committees and approve the budget law,” he added, while calling on all MPs to attend the session.
The following sites updated: