Tuesday, November 30, 2010

The embarrassment that is the current administration

State has plans to move about 600 employees now living in Baghdad into barracks to be built within the new embassy complex there. Why? "The imminent departure of the military from Iraq and the associated return of property and facilities to the government of Iraq, including a substantial amount of housing, makes the timely construction of the building important to the continued operation of the embassy," State Department officials said in an August memo explaining the need to get funding rapidly for the barracks building. It is set to cost almost $70 million to construct.
Those officials also said it is "highly likely that the security situation in Baghdad may deteriorate to the point where any other housing would be deemed to be too unsafe and the personnel would not be able to remain in Baghdad."

The above is from Walter Pincus' "Cost to keep Americans safe in Iraq after troops leave will be high" (Washington Post) and the question is: Why even stay?

When Barack's screwing over federal employees, using them to score a few political points and we're supposed to pretend that everybody's taking a hit, why is all this money still being wasted on Iraq?

Are we aware how much "assistance" the US tax payer is going to pay for Iraq in 2011? How much "aid"?

Now Walter's explaining that the US government has looked at the situation and found that only one type of housing -- costly -- may be safe. May be. Does anyone remember the high and mighty lectures from members of the government after Hurricane Katrina? Does anyone remember the judgmental attitude of why anyone would live there?

And yet Iraq is judged even more dangerous by the US government and they're going to waste tax payer money on 'housing' that really can't guarantee protection. It may protect. It may not. So why the hell is the US staying in Iraq?

It's eight years in March and --if you're a liar like Barack Obama -- you can spin it as 'worthwhile' or 'progress' but the reality is the people are under assault and they are under assault from the exiles that the US government installed. No one wants to be ruled by a flock of cowards who didn't stay and fight for their own country which is why these thugs have no legitimacy in the eyes of Iraqis.

But more importantly, a coward like Nouri can be pathetic in exile. A coward like Nouri installed into power? He's an angry coward, angry at himself for his own weaknesses and his own inability to stand up. So what he does is take that anger, that internal shame, and lash out at others. What he does is set out to even 'old scores' and that's why Iraq is in the state it is in currently: A ton of Nouris, all installed by the US, all determined to re-fight tired old battles that the extremely young population of Iraq doesn't even give a damn about at this point.

In bad news for Hoshyar Zebari, Alsumaria TV reports, "WikiLeaks documents revealed on Monday that Iraq’s Foreign Ministry has provided US Embassy in Baghdad since 2008 with the names of Iranian diplomats asking for a visa to enter Iraq." Zebari is the Minister of Foreign Affairs. Staying with the WikiLeaks revelations, Deutsche Presse-Agentur reports that the release includes State Dept cables about how the US Embassy in Spain pressured Spanish officials to drop the case brought by the family of journalist Jose Couso -- a Spanish citizen who was killed by the US military in Iraq.

Turning to the topic of Bradley Manning. Background, 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. Monday June 7th, the US military announced that they had arrested Bradley Manning and he stood accused of being the leaker of the video. This month, the military charged Manning. Leila Fadel (Washington Post) reported in August that Manning had been charged -- "two charges under the Uniform Code of Military Justice. The first encompasses four counts of violating Army regulations by transferring classified information to his personal computer between November and May and adding unauthorized software to a classified computer system. The second comprises eight counts of violating federal laws governing the handling of classified information." Manning has been convicted in the public square despite the fact that he's been convicted in no state and has made no public statements -- despite any claims otherwise, he has made no public statements. Manning is now at Quantico in Virginia, under military lock and key and still not allowed to speak to the press. The latest WikiLeaks release has brought Manning's name up again.

Marc Ambinder of The Atlantic blogs, "To date, Bradley Manning stands accused only of providing a classified video of U.S. operations in Iraq to WikiLeaks. But U.S. government officials say they consider Manning the prime suspect behind the flood of documents that have wound up being promulgated by the group determined to bust U.S. secrecy." In every culture in decay, you need the whores like Marc Ambinder. Little flecks of trash who will repeat what the government wants them to. Isn't it funny that Manning is identified by Ambinder but his accusers are not.

Does Marc Ambinder know the first damn thing about the US justice system? I'm sure if we were to ask him how to best pleasure a source or how to toss the salad of government anonymice, he could give us a vivid description, probably even draw an intricate diagram. But the actual justice system and the belief that people are innocent until proven guilty? He'd be hazy there. He'd be even more confused if we asked him to speak to the issue of the government attempting to try their case in the press. And even more so about the issue of the government going off the record to plant details in the press about an ongoing case.

But whores don't need to be smart, they just need to be willing. Marc Ambinder is always willing -- kind of like cellulite, which has a memory, Ambinder.

Hillary embarrassed herself yesterday in such a manner that the press conference may go down as her Colin Powell before the UN moment. If the US is in danger, as Rebecca pointed out last night, or if the White House just believes the US is in danger, then that was a message that should have been delivered by President Candy Ass. As president of the United States, it's his job, if the US is in danger, to alert the citizens. He didn't do that -- big surprise, what jobs can he handle? But Hillary joined a long conga line of self-righteous government officials decrying leaks.

The only leak that matters, pay attention employees of the US electorate, is the leak that interferes with a legal case and is done by the government. The government's not allowed to leak and, if it's demonstrated that they have, judges can and often do toss cases out of court. Point, if you're going to ride your self-righteous pony through the town square, you damn well better shut down your own leaks. The administration has always been a glossy photo of hypocrisy but never more so than when they send the anonymice out to attack Bradley Manning and his chance at a free trial. Climb down from the crosses, Hillary and all the rest, you have no grounds to decry leaks while you turn a blind eye to your own leaks that attempt to poison public opinion against someone who has not been found guilty of a damn thing.

Richard Savill, Victoria Ward and Nick Allen (Telegraph of London) report that Bradley Manning's family attempted to visit him and WERE TURNED DOWN. He's been arrested since May. What does it say about the United States and the pathetic leadership of Princess Candy Ass that someone found guilty of nothing is refused the right to see his family. Furthermore, even if he were found guilty, they would have no rights to deny him visits. Bradley has been found guilty of nothing and locked away for months and they won't even let him see his family. His own mother was refused the right to see her son. As David Bowie once sang, "This is not America" (song written by Bowie, Pat Metheny and Lyle Mays, first appears on the soundtrack for The Falcon and the Snowman).

David Bacon's latest book is Illegal People -- How Globalization Creates Migration and Criminalizes Immigrants (Beacon Press) which won the CLR James Award and we'll close with this from his "Dream Act Students Defy Deportations, Tell Congress to Vote" (TruthOut):

OAKLAND, CA (11/27/10) -- This coming week, if Senator Harry Reid keeps his word, Congress may get a chance to vote on the DREAM Act. First introduced in 2003, the bill would allow undocumented students graduating from a U.S. high school to apply for permanent residence if they complete two years of college or serve two years in the U.S. military. Estimates are that it would enable over 800,000 young people to gain legal status, and eventual citizenship.
A vote in Congress would be a tribute to thousands of these young "sin papeles," or people without papers . For seven years they've marched, sat-in, written letters and mastered every civil rights tactic in the book to get their bill onto the Washington DC agenda.
Many of them have given new meaning to "coming out" -- declaring openly their lack of legal immigration status in media interviews, defying authorities to detain them. Three were arrested last May, when they sat-in at the office of Arizona Senator John McCain, demanding that he support the bill, while defying immigration authorities to come get them. They were, in fact, arrested and held in detention overnight. Then a judge recognized the obvious. These were not "aliens" who might flee if they were released from detention, but political activists who were doing their best not only to stay in the country, but to do so as visibly as possible.
Reid owes his tiny margin of victory in Nevada's election to an ourpouring of Latino votes. Since he announced he'd bring the bill to the floor of Congress, more students have begun a hunger strike at the University of Texas in Austin. They insist they won't eat until Senator Kay Bailey Hutchinson renounces her opposition to the DREAM Act. First their fast spread to campuses across Texas. Then students in other parts of the country announced they too would act when Reid calls the bill up for a vote.
But the DREAM Act campaigners have done more than get a vote in Washington, no matter how that may turn out. They've learned to use their activism to stop deportations. Further, they did this in an era when more people have been deported - 400,000 last year alone - than ever before in this country's history. To highlight the connection between the bill and their challenge to the rising wave of deportations, four undocumented students walked for weeks from Miami to Washington in protest.
In the process, they learned the lesseon the civil rights movement of the 60s' taught activists of an earlier generation: Congress and Washington's political class can be forced to respond to social movements outside the capitol. When those movements grow and make themselves felt, they can win legislation, and even more. People in the streets can change the conditions in their own communities. DREAM Act activists, by stopping deportations even in the absence of Congressional action, have made possible what political insiders held to be impossible.

The e-mail address for this site is common_ills@yahoo.com.