Monday, May 07, 2012

The White House auditions for MTV's Punk'd

Because the Iraqi government can't protect the people, Al Rafidayn reports that Nouri's agreed to allow every Iraqi household to keep one gun provided they register it with the nearest police department.  Dar Addustour adds that Nouri's spokesperson Ali al-Dabbagh has explained the one gun can be either a rifle or a pistol.  Al Sabaah notes that the Ministry of the Interior will issue guidelines on how the new procedure will be implemented.  Kitabat explains that the current policy had been for the Iraqi forces to confiscate any weapon they found during a house raid.

Meanwhile Sinan Salaheddin (AP) reports that a Baghdad minibus bombing has claimed 2 lives and left nine other people injured. 

Suadad-al Salhy, Patrick Markey and Andrew Heavens (Reuters) report that Iraq's 'justice' system has cleared Ali Mussa Daqdug of all charges related to the "2007 kidnapping attack that killed five U.S. troops."  what are we talking about?  This was "the Special Groups network," US term, which later became the League of Righteous.  For more on that, refer to [PDF format warning] Marisa Cochrane's "Asaib Ahl al-Haq and the Khazali Special Groups Network" (Institute for the Study of War).

Now let's drop back we'll drop back to the June 9, 2009 snapshot:

This morning the New York Times' Alissa J. Rubin and Michael Gordon offered "U.S. Frees Suspect in Killing of 5 G.I.'s." Martin Chulov (Guardian) covered the same story, Kim Gamel (AP) reported on it, BBC offered "Kidnap hope after Shia's handover" and Deborah Haynes contributed "Hope for British hostages in Iraq after release of Shia militant" (Times of London). The basics of the story are this. 5 British citizens have been hostages since May 29, 2007. The US military had in their custody Laith al-Khazali. He is a member of Asa'ib al-Haq. He is also accused of murdering five US troops. The US military released him and allegedly did so because his organization was not going to release any of the five British hostages until he was released. This is a big story and the US military is attempting to state this is just diplomacy, has nothing to do with the British hostages and, besides, they just released him to Iraq. Sami al-askari told the New York Times, "This is a very sensitive topic because you know the position that the Iraqi government, the U.S. and British governments, and all the governments do not accept the idea of exchanging hostages for prisoners. So we put it in another format, and we told them that if they want to participate in the political process they cannot do so while they are holding hostages. And we mentioned to the American side that they cannot join the political process and release their hostages while their leaders are behind bars or imprisoned." In other words, a prisoner was traded for hostages and they attempted to not only make the trade but to lie to people about it. At the US State Dept, the tired and bored reporters were unable to even broach the subject. Poor declawed tabbies. Pentagon reporters did press the issue and got the standard line from the department's spokesperson, Bryan Whitman, that the US handed the prisoner to Iraq, the US didn't hand him over to any organization -- terrorist or otherwise. What Iraq did, Whitman wanted the press to know, was what Iraq did. A complete lie that really insults the intelligence of the American people. CNN reminds the five US soldiers killed "were: Capt. Brian S. Freeman, 31, of Temecula, California; 1st Lt. Jacob N. Fritz, 25, of Verdon, Nebraska; Spc. Johnathan B. Chism, 22, of Gonzales, Louisiana; Pfc. Shawn P. Falter, 25, of Cortland, New York; and Pfc. Johnathon M. Millican, 20, of Trafford, Alabama." Those are the five from January 2007 that al-Khazali and his brother Qais al-Khazali are supposed to be responsible for the deaths of. Qassim Abdul-Zahra and Robert H. Reid (AP) states that Jonathan B. Chism's father Danny Chism is outraged over the release and has declared, "They freed them? The American military did? Somebody needs to answer for it."

Somebody did need to answer for that but no one ever did.  And December 16, 2011, Liz Sly and Peter Finn (Washington Post) reported on the US handing Ali Musa Daqduq over to the Iraqis:

He was transferred to Iraqi custody after the Obama administration "sought and received assurances that he will be tried for his crimes," according to Tommy Vietor, spokesman for the National Security Council in Washington.

Sought and received assurances, huh?

The White House lives to be Punk'd, doesn't it?

Kitabat reports that Nouri caved to pressure from Tehran and that's why he was released.   It's also noted that a number of US Senators were asking the White House not to turn Daqduq over to Iraq but to move him to Guantanamo or another facility.  However, the White House insisted that they knew best and they had these assurances. 

Conor Friedersdorf (The Atlantic) takes on the ridiculous Peter Bergen who left a whorehouse long enough to pen a really bad column the New York Times ran two weeks ago.  It's strange, you'd think men who frequent Afghan whorehouses wouldn't be seen as 'respectable' by the New York Times, but that's another story.  Friedersdorf takes on Bergen's ridiculous claim that Barack's not a War Hawk:

In summary, President Obama escalated a major war and sent tens of thousands more troops to fight it, even as he joined in regime change in a different country, ordered drone strikes in at least three others, and sent commandos into Pakistan, a list of aggressive actions that isn't even exhaustive.
It's perverse for that record to be rendered, in America's newspaper of record, as Obama "straddling the precarious line between hawk and dove." In fact, he is a hawk. Republicans are misrepresenting his record and positions and some progressives are doing the same, because they are rightly embarrassed by the gulf between his campaign promises and the record he's amassed. 

The e-mail address for this site is