According to the New York Times, Clapper, who was then head of the National Imagery and Mapping Agency, "said satellite imagery showing a heavy flow of traffic from Iraq into Syria, just before the American invasion in March, led him to believe that illicit weapons material 'unquestionably' had been moved out of Iraq."
Clapper made his remarks to reporters on October 28, 2003, one week after the publication of Seymour Hersh's article, "The Stovepipe," which examined "the disparity between the Bush Administration’s prewar assessment of Iraq’s weapons of mass destruction and what has actually been discovered."
The above is from Muriel Kane's "New spy chief who hyped Iraq WMD 'may invade Finland'" (Raw Story). Grasp the above. Barack Obama is nominating someone for "intelligence czar" who failed the most important test. Remember that? Samantha Power and others of the Cult of St. Barack used that 'test' in 2008 over and over. Hillary "failed it" and Barack allegedly "passed it." (Barack gave a sparsely attended 2002 speech against war with Iraq. He did nothing in 2003 in the lead up to the war. After the Iraq War started, he noted he supported it in numerous interviews -- both while running for US Senator and after.) So that alleged "test" is a test for Barack and his cronies . . . except when it comes to an intelligence post.
An intelligence post?
Where information will be studied, analyzed, et al. And we're going to put the freak who either knowingly lied or was too damn stupid to surf the web and be able to immediately refute the claims the Bush administration repeatedly made. That's how Barack 'takes care' of America?
What was James Clapper's job that he failed at? He was over the satellite photos, among other things. Remember those grainy photos Colin Powell trotted out before the UN -- the ones that showed nothing despite Collie The Blot Powell lying as he's done in so much of his public life? Clapper fixed him with those.
Grasp that (a) not only has Barack not kept his promise on ending the Iraq War, (b) not only has he (and the Democratic Party) refused to hold the Bush administration accountable for lying the country into an illegal war but (c) he's now promoting the liars to higher positions of power.
Last Thursday's snapshot included the following:
Meanwhile in England, Owen Bowcott (Guardian) reports on what would be England's second known deportation of Iraqis -- forcible deportation. The last one, you may remember, resulted in a British plane landing in Iraq and Iraqi guards refusing to allow everyone to disembark so the plane returned to England. Bowcott notes that approximately 70 Iraqis will be forcibly deported Wednesday, June 9th: "The operation, deporting them via the central provinces of Iraq, is in direct contravention of United Nations guidelines. The UN high commissioner for refugees opposes forced returns to the area because of continuing suicide bombings and violence. The UN guidance was explicitly restated last autumn after the UK attempted to deport 44 men to Baghdad. That abortive operation resulted in Iraqi airport officials refusing to admit all but 10 of the men. The rest were told to reboard the plane and flown back to the UK."
Today Amnesty International issued the following:
Reacting to reports that a charter flight carrying Iraqi nationals is scheduled to leave the UK for Baghdad via Halmstad, Sweden in the early hours of 9 June, Amnesty International stressed that removals to Baghdad are not safe and should not take place.
Amnesty International opposes any forcible returns to Iraq in the current situation of ongoing insecurity and instability. Amnesty International believes that Iraqis from the five provinces of Iraq considered to be particularly dangerous, namely Ninewa (Mosul), Kirkuk, Diyala, Salah al-Din and Baghdad, should be granted refugee status or a form of subsidiary protection, and that in the case of asylum-seekers from other provinces of Iraq an individual assessment should be made to assess whether they also qualify for refugee or subsidiary protection.
Amnesty International UK refugee programme director Jan Shaw said:
"It's unfathomable that the UK can consider Baghdad a safe place to return people. Our report in April documented scores of civilian killings, some of whom were tortured and their bodies mutilated before they were dumped in the street. Bombings continue to take scores of lives.
"As far as we are concerned, removing someone to Iraq should only take place when the security situation in the whole country has stabilised.
"Until the situation improves and it is safe to return to Iraq, these people should be offered some form of protection in the UK."
Despite the ongoing violence in Iraq, several European governments have forcibly returned rejected Iraqi asylum-seekers to Iraq. In 2009, the authorities in Denmark, the Netherlands, Norway, Sweden and the UK forcibly returned Iraqis to unsafe parts of Iraq, such as central Iraq, in breach of UNHCR guidelines.
On 15 October 2009 UK authorities forcibly deported 44 rejected Iraqi asylum-seekers to Baghdad; the Iraqi authorities allowed only ten of them to enter and the remainder were flown back to the UK. The Norwegian authorities forcibly returned 30 Iraqis to Baghdad in December 2009 and 13 in January 2010.
For its report "Iraq: Civilians under fire" published in April 2010, Amnesty International spoke to several Iraqis who were forcibly returned by the Netherlands government on 30 March 2010. Among the 35 refugees was a 22-year-old Shi'a Turkoman man from Tal Afar, a city north of Mosul, where hundreds of civilians have been killed in sectarian or other politically motivated violence in recent years, and where the violence continues unabated. As of mid-April, he remained stranded in Baghdad.
Reuters notes that England's not the only country planning a forced deportation of Iraqi refugees this week -- Norway, Sweden and the Netherlands are also conspiring -- and that UN High Commissioner for Refugees spokesperson Melissa Fleming states they are opposed to the deportations and, "Despite these people having had their applications for asylum rejected, we fear for their futures and their own physical protection if they were to be returned." UNHCR issued the following:
UNHCR understands that four governments – the Netherlands, Norway, Sweden and the UK – are arranging an enforced removal of Iraqi citizens to Baghdad, Iraq later this week. We have not received confirmed information of the number and profile of those individuals and whether some have requested protection.
Our position and advice to governments is that Iraqi asylum applicants originating from Iraq's governorates of Baghdad, Diyala, Ninewa and Salah-al-Din, as well as from Kirkuk province, should continue to benefit from international protection in the form of refugee status under the 1951 Refugee Convention or another form of protection depending on the circumstances of the case. Our position reflects the volatile security situation and the still high level of prevailing violence, security incidents, and human rights violations taking place in these parts of Iraq. UNHCR considers that serious – including indiscriminate – threats to life, physical integrity or freedom resulting from violence or events seriously disturbing public order are valid reasons for international protection.
UNHCR appreciates that the international protection needs of Iraqis are assessed by asylum authorities in Europe and elsewhere on an individual basis. We urge those authorities to ensure that the situation in Iraq as a whole, including the important level of lawlessness, is factored into their assessments. While some have proposed that returned Iraqis could reside in other parts of the country from where they originate, UNHCR's position is that no internal flight alternative exists in Iraq because of the on-going levels of violence in Baghdad, Diyala, Kirkuk, Ninewa and Salah Al-Din, and in view of access and residency restrictions in various governorates as well as the hardship faced by returnees in ensuring even survival in areas of relocation.
The continued insurgency in Iraq and on-going violence there has led to large scale internal and external displacement of the Iraqi population, with most refugees living in Syria and Jordan. UNHCR is concerned about the signal that forced returns from Europe could give to other host countries, particularly those neighbouring Iraq.
Monday April 5th, WikiLeaks released US military video of a July 12, 2007 assault in Iraq. 12 people were killed in the assault including two Reuters journalists Namie Noor-Eldeen and Saeed Chmagh. Yesterday the US military announced they'd arrested Bradley Manning as the suspected leaker. Professional snitch Adrian I-Lick Lamo has been all over the place playing Drama Queen nailed to the cross. We'll note this from WikiLeaks' Twitter feed:
- Save Bradley Manning facebook group: http://bit.ly/cRwuVc
- We do not know if Mr. Manning is our source, but the U.S. military is claiming he is so we will defend them.
- @6/@kpoulson There's a special place in hell reserved for "journalists" like you and "lawyers" like Barbara Olshansky
- Those interested in assisting the solider Bradley Manning write to firstname.lastname@example.org
David Bacon is an independent journalist who covers the labor and immigration beat and this is from "Pics: Out of Work, Sleeping in the Fields" (Political Affairs Magazine):
The People of the Central Valley - 4The People of the Central Valley - 4: A photodocumentary project on the reality of life today in California's Central Valley
Near Reedley, on the east side of the San Joaquin Valley, three men live in a camp they've built under the trees of an abandoned orchard. A blue tarp and the cardboard from an unfolded carton make up the roof. The mattresses for their beds sit on shipping pallets, or nearby under a bush. One of the men made a doll of straw, which sits in the branch of a dead tree overlooking the camp.
David Bacon's latest book is Illegal People -- How Globalization Creates Migration and Criminalizes Immigrants (Beacon Press) which won the CLR James Award. Bacon can be heard on KPFA's The Morning Show (over the airwaves in the Bay Area, streaming online) each Wednesday morning (begins airing at 7:00 am PST).
We'll close with this from the Senate Democratic Policy Committee, Senator Bill Nelson speaking out against the Gulf Disaster yesterday:
More DPC videos can be found here.
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