Alsumaria TV reports: "Iraqi Prime Minister-designate Nuri Al Maliki warned that any change in the agreements reached, during talks with Kurdistan Leader Massoud Barazani would delay the formation of a national policy council." Nouri's in a panic because the power-sharing agreement is facing some tension. Ayad Allawi's stating he may pull out of the agreement, his political slate Iraqiya has said that Nouri needs to nominate "rival parties" to his cabinet and now Hemin Baban (Rudaw) reports that, according to Kurdish MP Mahmoud Osman, the Kurds have informed Nouri that they expect to be granted "six ministerial portfolios in the new cabinet." For those late to the party, to form the power-sharing agreement, Nouri just promised cabinet posts . . . . repeatedly. To the point that he promised more than exist. So now he's inventing posts. Of course, invented posts don't necessarily come with real duties and powers and it's a bit of rough waters for Nouri right now. Not surprisingly, Alsumaria TV explains, "Iraqi Prime Minister-designate Nuri Al Maliki warned that any change in the agreements reached during talks with Kurdistan Leader Massoud Barazani would delay the formation of a national policy council." That statement sounds a lot like Nouri's laying the case for "I'm still designate even if I can't meet the rules outlined by the Constitution in the Constitutionally mandated 30 days!"
Sami Moubayed (Asia Times) notes the competition and jockeying for cabinet posts:
Among other things, Allawi's Iraqi National List was earmarked to name the minister of foreign affairs, but it is now clear that post will continue to be held by the Kurds. Instead, Allawi's team is demanding the Ministries of Finance, Municipalities, and Agriculture. It is also eyeing the Ministry of Industry and Youth Affairs, given that the powerful Ministry of Oil will seemingly go to the INA. No agreement had been reached as of the weekend on the less powerful, but very strategic, Ministry of Housing.
Additional posts in debate are non-ministerial ones that nevertheless are crucial, like governor of the central bank and director of Iraqi intelligence. Jamal al-Batikh, an MP who is close to Allawi, is a strong candidate for the security post, although Maliki wants it for his bureau chief, Tarek Najm. Adnan al-Asadi, a veteran of the Ministry of Interior, is eyeing the post of minister and so is Shirwan Waeli, the outgoing Shi'ite minister of national security.
The Ministry of Interior is very strategic, as all parties remember only too well how when it was held by the Supreme Iraqi Islamic Council (SIIC), militias flourished on the streets of Baghdad and accusations flared over SIIC members using the ministry's police cars - and dungeons - to settle scores with traditional enemies.
A new post that is raising snowballing speculation is that of the deputy prime minister of energy, which will probably serve as an alternate authority to the minister of oil. Given that INA has secured the Oil Ministry, Maliki is pushing to name outgoing minister Hussain al-Shahristani, one of his prime allies, as deputy prime minister for energy.
Turning to the topic of WikiLeaks, at Chatham Daily News, Bruce Corcoran takes on the notion that WikiLeaks' releases are just 'wrong' during war:
How about the Iraq War? U.S. troops have been there since 2003, 93 long months. This "war" has gone on longer than the Second World War. What's worse, it was a contrived affair. Remember the clamour over weapons of mass destruction? That was the reason behind the invasion. Sure, the U.S. found Saddam Hussein hiding in a rat hole, but they never found those WMDs.
And yet young U.S. soldiers are still dying over there, nearly four years after Hussein's arrest, trial and execution.
If we Westerners are still at "war," perhaps a few governments need to come clean on why. By leaving troops to occupy Islamic countries for such long stretches, our prime ministers and presidents in the West have been the lead recruiters to the very terrorist organizations they've been striving to stamp out.
Had the U.S. acted with surgical precision in Iraq, getting Saddam and getting the heck out, Iraq wouldn't have turned into the al-Qaida hotbed it is today. By lingering, the U.S. turned supporters, and those who were just happy to see Saddam ousted, against them.
Julian Assange remains in the news. He is part of WikiLeaks, he is not WikiLeaks. He is currently facing charges. Hopefully, he's innocent. If not, that will come out as well. As noted in yesterday's snapshot, non-feminist Naomi Wolf launched an attack on the two women who have filed charges. As always when the men want to attack, they need a mouthpiece to do it through. They would be called out but the hope is Naomi won't be and that attacking apparent rape victims will be seen as "feminist" and "good." It is neither. If the women's allegations are false, that will emerge in the trial (no trial would most likely indicate the charges are false). Heather notes Amy Siskind's takedown of Naomi Wolf's assault. The New Agenda's Siskind writes a 'thank you' on behalf of rapists to Naomi and makes her point. Though she doesn't bring this up, I will. She also makes her point that she is a feminist. For those who've forgotten, in January 2009, Naomi and Amy were both on CNN with Naomi insisting Barack was a feminist and a 'gift' and we'd have a post-everything world. Pop another pill, Naomi. Naomi began whispering about conspiracies and offering slurs against Amy Siksind. Events tend to demonstrate what speechifying doesn't. In other words, Amy gets to hold her head high while Naomi's brought shame on herself and her supporters. Refer to Ann's "This rape survivor says: Naomi Wolf, go f**k yourself" from last night and we'll note this from the Center for Constitutional Rights:
CCR Statement on Arrest of WikiLeaks Founder Julian Assange
Rights Group Alarmed By Legal Overreach
Assault Allegations Must Be Taken Seriously While Ensuring Process Not Manipulated for Political Reasons
As a human rights organization, the Center for Constitutional Rights is alarmed by multiple examples of legal overreach and irregularities in the arrest of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, especially given concerns that they are meant to clear the way for Mr. Assange to be extradited to the U.S. via Sweden.Standard procedure in these cases is to call in a suspect for interrogation, and he has offered on numerous occasions to cooperate with the authorities. Similarly, a suspect who has surrendered, having never gone into hiding or attempted to flee, would normally be allowed to post bail. Yet Mr. Assange has been arrested and denied bail.Allegations like these should be taken seriously, and in this regard Assange has made every effort to cooperate in this matter. He should be afforded all due process, and steps should be taken to ensure that the investigation process is not manipulated for political reasons.We are concerned that the United States may seek to punish Mr. Assange for his journalistic efforts at uncovering and exposing the truth underlying key world events exactly as other news media, including The New York Times, have done. The documents published by WikiLeaks are providing important information about significant government wrongdoing and serious human rights violations that must be addressed, rather than focusing entirely on punishing the messenger.
The Center for Constitutional Rights is dedicated to advancing and protecting the rights guaranteed by the United States Constitution and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Founded in 1966 by attorneys who represented civil rights movements in the South, CCR is a non-profit legal and educational organization committed to the creative use of law as a positive force for social change.
Closing with the Senate Democratic Policy Committee. At the DPC's video page, there is a new video by Senator Kirsten Gillibrand. She remembers what others seem to forget. Remember all the grandstanding on 9-11 and the use of the term hero? If it was indeed genuine, why does Gillibrand have to remind people of those workers? This is her Senate floor statement "Clearest Example of Right v. Wrong: We Have a Moral Obligation to Protect the Workers Who Came to the Rescue on 9/11."
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