Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Other Items

The violence continues in Iraq. Reuters reports a Baghdad roadside bombing last night that claimed 4 lives and left two more injured (all "police commandos"), a Mosul car bombing today that left eight people injured and the driver of the car dead, a Tuz Khurmato roadside bombing that injured two and 1 Iraqi soldier shot dead in Sekhra in a drive-by shooting and a Kirkuk drive-by Monday night resulted in one police officer being injured. And in another Kirkuk drive-by shooting, also on Monday, AP's Hamid Ahmed reports that Subhi Hassan was shot dead
and a bodyguard was also killed while another person were wounded. All were members of the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan and Hassan was over p.r. for the political party. With provincial elections set for the end of the month, there is talk that these were political killings.

On the topic of violence, Eric Owles (New York Times) offered a Monday violence roundup at the paper's blog.

Meanwhile Mike Carter (Seattle Times) reports that the 2006 shooting in Baghdad where a Blackwater contractor shot "the bodyguard [Raheem Khalif] of the Iraqi vice president after a drunken Christmas party" will finally result in charges -- in the US and that the Justice Dept is seeking "a grand-jury indictment against 28-year-old Andrew Moonen".

Staying with crime, War Criminal Bully Boy gears up to depart the White House and move into historical obscurity by giving a flurry of interviews. Peter S. Canellos offers "Acrimony sown by Bush will forever define his presidency" (Boston Globe) and, as you read through, wondery why:

As his presidency enters its final two weeks, George W. Bush is hoping that history will give him high marks on two scores: having prevented another terrorist attack at home - a topic he has said he might address in a farewell speech - and being seen as "somebody who liberated 50 million people," as he put it in a National Public Radio interview. The latter comment reflects his confidence that the failures of his Iraq policy will be lessened if and when a successful democracy emerges.
Instead of acknowledging his mistakes, President Bush chose to fight back against those who pointed them out.
But Bush has also used a series of postelection interviews to mitigate his standing in two areas where history is unlikely to be kind: his use of intelligence in the run-up to the Iraq war, and the extent to which his actions and the way he defended them divided the country and alienated many US allies.
[. . .]

His biggest regret, he told ABC News in early December, was the failure of prewar intelligence on Iraq: "A lot of people put their reputations on the line and said the weapons of mass destruction is a reason to remove Saddam Hussein," Bush said, reinforcing the argument that his misstatements about Iraq's weapons programs were good-faith interpretations of flawed intelligence, not exaggerations to promote war.
Any historical account of the Bush presidency will make note of many other factors, as well. On the downside, his regulatory failures,
[. . . ]

And that's it. Big bad brave Boston Globe forgets to call out the lie to ABC News. The intellingence failed because the White House steered it and falsified it. They did so knowingly and willing and the Boston Globe looks like the puniest of the punies as it refuses to make that factual point. If the paper's been sleeping for the last five years and counting, they can start by referring to the December 18th House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform [PDF format warning] "MEMORANDUM Re: The President's Claim that Iraq Sought Uranium from Niger" which refutes the no-one-could-have-guessed Condi Rice defense.

And in other news, Saturday Iraq's Ministry of Foreign Affairs released the following statement:

Iraqi Justice Refutes Allegations of Sami Al-Askari, Against Foreign Minister Hoshyar Zebari
Foreign Minister Hoshyar Zebari claimed lawsuits in a civilized manner against Deputy Sami Jasim Al-Askari and called for accountability to the Iraqi justice system for Deputy Al-Askari's recent defamation and libel against Minister Zebari on one of the radio channels on February 19 , 2008.
The Baghdad Federal Karkh Appeal Court issued the verdict on 24 \ 9 \ 2008 in ratification of the original ruling issued by the court on 14 \ 9 \ 2008 which stipulates the obligation of Deputy Sami al-Askari to a compensation payment for the Foreign Minister for moral damage caused to him after Mr. Askari's insufficiency to prove his non-disciplined act to the Appeal Court previously made against Foreign Minister Hoshyar Zebari, and the Foreign Ministry he heads , the Iraqi justice has proved its neutrality, independence and fairness in the resolving of such disputes.
With the issuance of this rule , the Foreign Minister has used his right from Mr. Askari and the Iraqi justice system at all levels has refuted the defamatory allegations issued Mr. Askari. The Foreign Minister previously set up a penalty case against Mr. Askari, but he was included in the amnesty No. 19 for 2008 Act and investigative proceedings against him were stopped.

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