Thursday, April 28, 2011

Tim Arango and 'what the hell is Daniel Dombey's problem?'

Yesterday's snapshot: "You pretend to know, Tim Arango, how the protests started in Iraq -- well they re-started. They were enough last year to force the Minister of the Electricy out. But you weren't covering Iraq then and are apparently unfamiliar with that aspect of the protests. " That was incorrect.

I was wrong.

My apologies.

Tim Arango writes to inform that he was present in Iraq when the Minister of Electricity resigned following protests last year. I stand corrected. I was wrong. Arango was present for that.

Why Arango covered it and can't remember it when leaving comments at a British website is a question to ask him. Currently, I'm i-ming 2 protesters in Baghdad with another claim made by Tim that a community member found at a blog. It's a ridiculous claim: "Prior to the Sadrist protest against the Americans, that issue was not a defining aspect of the protests." No, that is not correct.

We'll deal with that today in the snapshot (there's your heads up, Tim, if you want to weigh in -- you've got about 7 hour to compose a comment). Reminder, I don't do private conversations. I have enough conflicts of interests as is. I'm ignoring a number of court cases due to knowing attorneys -- in one current case, I've weighed in with an opinion to a friend on the prosecution side. I don't need more. Another example, I know Robert Kagan. To not have to do the disclaimer involved, I avoid commenting on his remarks/plans repeatedly. And only weigh in when no one else can or will call him out. I know (and love) Joe Biden. Have for years. Due to his position, he has to be mentioned here and there are times when he has to be called out and that does and has taken place. Unless someone in his family holds elected office currently, I am not noting them. I've made that clear before. I have no desire to ever call ___ out and if I noted her and covered her here and there was some to-do in the press, I'd have to weigh in. So I've walled that off and will not comment on any Biden who does not currently hold public office (or is running for public office). When promoting friend's projects (films or albums), I try to note I was asked to if I was asked. I don't need any more conflicts of interests than I already have. I'm not having e-mail conversations with reporters I do not know outside of the public eye thereby creating additional conflicts.

And, Tim, whatever you wrote in another e-mails or e-mails (the one I've received is "One More Thing") did not arrive. I've got 33,941 unread e-mails in the public e-mail account right now. I can't scroll through all but I can use the search function. That's the only e-mail you sent that arrived. Maybe it's the only one you wrote. But "One More Thing" would indicate that there was at least one other e-mail.

Thanks for catching one of my many errors. If your other e-mail(s) noted one (many), those did not arrive.

Daniel Dombey has an article for the Financial Times of London. It doesn't offer any new details (in fact, it's rather behind the times) but it makes a curious inference that could appear in the Times of New York (among other outlets) and would be wrong there as well:

But supporters of Moqtada al-Sadr, the politically powerful Shia cleric, have poured on to the streets to protest after Admiral Mullen and his boss, Robert Gates, defence secretary, suggested the US could stay.

The protests continued this week in the city of Mosul, where about 10 people were wounded.

The protests in Mosul are not being led by Sadirsts. Not if he means the real protests. (Nouri has sent a tiny contingent down to Mosul to protest IN SUPPORT of him. It's a vanity protest and so ridiculous that most outlets have ignored it. As previously noted this week, I learned of the pro-Nouri 'demonstration' from a friend at the State Dept.) Moqtada's cult poured into streets . . . when he returned to Iraq briefly. They did not "pour into" the streets last Saturday when less than 1% of the residents of Baghdad's Sadr City chose to take part in the Baghdad protest.

The Mosul protests are connected to the non-Sadr Baghdad protests. Only to them. The two Baghdad protesters I am i-ming (see above) note there is no connection between the Mosul protests and Moqtada's. They note that Moqtada earlier stood up publicly against the protests. Dombey is foolish to link them together.

This Western fascination with all things Moqtada is rather bizarre and echoes the breathless panting over 'the leader' of al Qaeda in Mesopotamia that characterized so much of the early Iraq 'reporting.'

Gina just texted to note there are two spots open for tonight's roundtable for the gina & krista round-robin. First two to contact her get it. (I'm bringing in a friend with ABC News tonight and the topic I have on the agenda is the absence of Iraq coverage on network televsion. It should be a lively discussion.)

The following community sites -- plus, War News Radio and Military Families Speak Out -- updated last night and this morning:

We'll close with this from Andy Worthington's "The Hidden Horrors of WikiLeaks’ Guantánamo Files" (World Can't Wait):

WikiLeaks’ latest revelations — secret military files on almost all of the 779 prisoners held in the US “war on terror” prison at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba — are already causing a stir, and for good reason, as they resuscitate a story that appears to have been forgotten in the last few years: how, in their rush to prove themselves tough and vengeful in response to the 9/11 attacks, the most senior officials in the Bush administration not only discarded international laws and treaties including the Geneva Conventions and the UN Convention Against Torture, but also threw out safeguards designed to protect innocent people from being wrongly imprisoned in wartime.

Some of the key discoveries in the Guantánamo files are the documents on the 201 prisoners released between 2002 and summer 2004, which cover new ground, as the US military has never publicly released any of this information before. For the other 578 prisoners, information has at least been revealed through the release of the government’s allegations against the prisoners, and the transcripts of the tribunals and review boards used to assess their significance, which were released in 2006 (with follow-ups in the years since), but for these 201 prisoners, many of the stories are being related for the very first time. These are mostly dispiriting revelations about how children as young as 14 and old men in their 80s were rounded up and sent to Guantánamo, joining farmers, taxi drivers and unwilling Taliban recruits — hordes of the innocent or the insignificant, whose stories help to confirm the folly of Guantánamo.

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oh boy it never ends