Monday, April 30, 2012

9 people dead in Baghdad so far today

Alsumaria reports a Baghdad roadside bombing has left 6 people dead and a Ministry of Health official's wife and 3 children were killed when unknown assailants slit their throatsAl Rafidayn says the wife and children were killed by blunt objects.

A major news topic in the Iraqi press is Vice President Tareq al-Hashemi.  The political crisis was already well in effect when December 2011 rolled around.  The press rarely gets that fact correct.  When December 2011 rolls around you see Iraqiya announce a  boycott of the council and the Parliament, that's in the December 16th snapshot and again in a December 17th entry .  Tareq al-Hashemi is a member of Iraqiya but he's not in the news at that point.  Later, we'll learn that Nouri -- just returned from DC where he met with Barack Obama -- has ordered tanks to surround the homes of high ranking members of Iraqiya.  December 18th is when al-Hashemi and Deputy Prime Minister Saleh al-Mutlaq are pulled from a Baghdad flight to the KRG but then allowed to reboard the plane. December 19th is when the arrest warrant is issued for Tareq al-Hashemi by Nouri al-Maliki who claims the vice president is a 'terrorist.' .

al-Hashemi was already in the KRG when the arrest warrant was issued.  He did not "flee" there.  He remained there with the approval of Iraqi President Jalal Talabani and KRG President Massoud Barzani until April when he left the country on a diplomatic mission. Nouri and his flunkies insisted that Qatar, Saudi Arabia and Turkey hand him over.  None did.  They also insisted that INTERPOL arrest him when he was in each of the three countries.  INTERPOL cannot take part in political arrests, it's against their charter.  They have to look impartial, per charter.

Alsumaria notes that May 3rd is when the Baghdad court intends to officially try al-Hashemi.  "Officially"?  Baghdad judges held a press conference in Februrary insisting al-Hashemi was guilty of the charges.  Having insisted that publicly -- in violation of the Iraqi Constitution -- they now want to have a trial?  The Baghdad courts are controlled by Nouri and a joke.  Al Rafidayn notes that al-Hashemi is still in Turkey and that the trial will take place in absentia.   Alsumaria reports that al-Hashemi and his bodyguards are now also charged with the murders of 6 judges.  Still having not learned what a joke they are on the national stage, the Baghdad judges sent their spokesperson Abdelsatter Bayraqdar out to make a statement about how "confessions were obtained on them, including the assassination of six judges, mostly from Baghdad."  The judicail system is corrupt and ignorant in Iraq.  They have confused the role of the judge with the prosecution and their actions betray their country's Constitution.  They should all be immediately removed from office.  They won't be, but they should be.

Al Sabaah notes that there are 300 charges in all, according to the spokesperson, and that there will be 73 defendants on trial and, in addition to being accused of murdering judges, al-Hashemi and his bodyguards are also being accused of mudering military officers.   Dar Addustour reports rumors that al-Hashemi will be stripped of his office prior to the start of the trial.

Meanwhile Al Mada reports that the UN Secretary-General's Special Envoy in Iraq Martin Kobler was in Erbil yesterday where he met with various officials including Moqtada al-Sadr, Iraqiya's Ayad Allawi to discuss the ongoing political crisis.  He is still set to talk to Iraqi President Jalal Talabani.  The paper notes the meeting came a day after the big meet-up of various political blocs.

Nouri's targeted so very many in the last months.  They include Iraqiya (Tareq al-Hashemi and Saleh al-Mutlaq most noticeably), the Iraq Independent Election Commission (having the head of the commission and and a commissioner arrested this month) and many more.  And now Kobler's meeting with various political blocs.  Hmm.

What might Nouri do?

Begin verbally attacking the UN?

Oh, it may have already started.

It may seem like old news but that's just because Talabani's forever attempting to rescue Nouri.  Al Sabaah reports that Talabani is attempting to smooth things over between Nouri and the poltical blocs.

There's more news on the political crisis and we'll cover it in the snapshot later today.

Bonnie reminds that Isaiah's The World Today Just Nuts "Celebrity In Chief" went up last night.  On this week's Law and Disorder Radio -- a weekly hour long program that airs Monday mornings at 9:00 a.m. EST on WBAI and around the country throughout the week, hosted by attorneys Heidi Boghosian, Michael S. Smith and Michael Ratner (Center for Constitutional Rights), topics explored include Bradley Manning drones -- drones is the topic they discuss with Electronic Frontier Foundation's Jennifer Lynch.  In the snapshot today, I may go off on David Cole.  Right now, I'm telling myself he's just not worth it.  And he's not.  He's the most weak-ass 'protector' the Constitution and America has ever had.  He's churned out a small tribal following that is as weak as he is.  (I do know him.)  He's an embarrassment because he's always so worried about being respectable and 'respectable' means he forever gets his facts wrong offering one bad comparison after another.  In a world where academics were truly held accountable, Cole's body of work would have been picked apart and refuted long ago.  Considering how his 'respectable' drive hurt Lynne Stewart's case (please, David, if you're going to 'help' by convicting, just please close your mouth and don't say a damn word), there's a good chance I'll call Cole out in the snapshot.
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