Saturday, November 24, 2012

I Hate The War

"Discipline, Not Democracy, for Afghanistan and Iraq" is the title of a piece at TruthDig's Ear To The Ground.  It's a testament to ignorance and the problem with using uniformed sources like Glenn Greenwald.

We'll ignore Afghanistan and focus on Iraq.  They're finally discovering Ali Musa Daqduq.  And they're idiots because their understanding is a column Glenn wrote earlier this week.  Glenn's the human equivalent of a colander -- only a lot more than pasta water flows out of Glenn's sense of 'understanding.'  For months here, we've called out the US stomping their feet over Ali Musa Daqduq being found innocent by Iraqi courts.  We've noted that the US shouldn't have turned him over if they believed him to be guilty.  He was in US military custody from 2007 through December 2011.  If the US felt there was sufficent evidence, they should have tried him.

And this isn't a suggestion that was made after the fact.  Unlike Glenn Greenwald, we were covering this in 2011.  We ran pretty much every House Representative and every Senator's public statement calling for the White House to try Ali Mussa Daqduq.

Glenn ignores all of that so that when Truthdig simplifies the already simplified even more is left out.

Presumably Truthdig would argue -- if the knew of it -- that the White House received a promise from Nouri.  There was a promise made in December prior to the hand off.  One would expect it to have been a strong assurance that Daqduq would be found guilty because of the White House's confidence in that promise.

In the spring, when Daqduq was found not guilty by an Iraqi court, we noted the White House was wrong to call for the verdict to be reviewed (it did get reviewed, it was found to be correct by the Iraqi courts) and that, having been found innocent,  Daqduq was free to go, that to argue otherwise was to undermine a fledging legal system.

In just the above, you can see that we covered the issue in more detail than the simplistic Glenn Greenwald ever did.

Glenn's one of those men who always to try to prove how masculine he is and, sadly, for him that takes the form of hatred of women.  So he works in his little Hillary-is-a-hypocrite implication at the start (no doubt that's why Truthdig grabbed at it) but missed the entire issue.

Because he is beyond stupid.  Not only has he been one of the worst popularizers of sexism on the dissent side but he's time and again revealed that he knows practically nothing.

Glenn wants to play is ha-ha hypocrisy card that really just demonstrates how juvenile his mind is.  He goes with is 'terrorism' and is it a 'terrorist'?  The attackers stormed onto an Iraqi base in Iraqi forces uniforms.  They kidnapped and killed 5 American soldiers, they also wounded Iraqi forces.  Daqduq is not an Iraqi so he's a 'foreigner' too -- a term Glenny wants to apply to the Americans but not to Daqduq.

But the thing is, Glenn's a ______________ ignorant asshole.

Daqduq didn't act alone.

That's what Glenny won't tell people.

The ridiculous Glenn-Glenn.

Like a bad Ed Wood film, Glenn's forever distorting reality and fooling the easily misled.

The Leauge of Righeous was working with Daqduq.

If you want to call the US government hypocrites, you note that the White House is whining over the release of Daqduq but that the White House released the leaders of the League of Righteous from US military prisons in the summer of 2009.  You also note that the White House sat down with the spokersperon for the League of Righteous and negotiated a swap -- the White House sat down with a terrorist organization and made a deal to release the killers of 5 Americans.

If you don't know that story, chances are you've been reading Glenn Greenwald who can always find a way to misinform because puny minds can't hold too many details.

We covered this all last week.  We returned to the topic again on Monday.  Glenn's crap went up on Tuesday.  There was more than enough time for him to learn the details but learning is hard for Glenn so he goes simplistic and Truthdig puts it into the echo chamber. 

From Monday's snapshot:

It was supposed to be so easy for Barack Obama.  He squeaked by earlier this month, just winning the popular vote in the race for US president.  Re-election was one thing but having opponents -- Republican, Green, Libertarian, Constitutional, Socialist Equality Party, etc -- who refused to call him out for negotiating with terrorists was even better.  Now it appears the British press may force the American press to do the job they should have done on their own.  Colin Freeman (Telegraph of London) observed Saturday:
If a prisoner exchange was done, though, it was a high price to pay, particularly for the Americans, who believed that Khazali brothers's militant group, the League of the Righteous, was involved in the Kerbala attack. Not long after Moore and Qais al Khazali were released, I spoke to Vanessa Chism, the stepmother of one of the murdered soldiers, Specialist Johnathan Bryan Chism. While she didn't object to a prisoner swap in principle, she lamented the prospect of not getting justice for her stepson.
"We were informed that this was going to happen, and while personally we would like the people who did this to our child to be punished, they will have to live with what they did," she said. "But if some good came out of it, by the release of that British man, then I am fine with that."
It wasn't just Westerners, though, who lost their chance for a day in court. The League is also believed to have been behind the abduction of 30 Iraqi Red Crescent workers in Baghdad in 2006, most of whose fate remains unknown. When I was last in Baghdad, the family of one of the workers told me that they felt that they too should have been consulted over any prisoner swap. They argued that as part of any deal, the League should have been made to hand over some of its Iraqi hostages as well as Mr Moore – or at least say where the bodies lay.
Iraq's homegrown League of Righteous with the help of Lebanese terrorist Ali Musa Daqduq are believed by the US government to have been behind the murders of 5 US soldiers.

The White House has never had to explain why they negotiated with a terrorist group, let alone why they released it's leader, it's leader's brother and other high ranking members.  No one went to the American people and said, "Look we have the killers of the 5 Americans in custody.  But there are four dead British security guards and one IT hostage we think is alive.  We're thinking of releasing these terrorists, in fact, we're in talks with them, so that the corpses and maybe the one hostage can be released.  Does that sound like justice?  Because that's what we want to do."

It's that crap that has so many in the military and who are veterans feeling betrayed by the White House.  And don't get them started on the press that has refused to press on this issue.  The official US public position is: We do not negotiate with terrorists.  Yet Barack did just that.  Not because some mythical bomb would go off in 24 hours.  Not because the League of Righteous was a threat to the American people. Dropping back to July 9, 2011 when the League told Barack the deal was off:
Al Mada reports they have issued a statement where they savage the US government for not honoring -- and quickly honoring -- the agreement made with them. As a result, they say Alan McMenemy will not be released.
Peter Moore, the only one released alive, was a computer tech working in Iraq. Four British bodyguards were protecting him. The bodyguards were McMenemy, Jason Swindlehurst, Alec MacLachlan and Jason Cresswell. The families of the four have continued to publicly request that Alan McMenemy be released.
They [Leauge of Righteous] condemn the "procrastionation" of the US government after the deal was made and state that a promise was also broken when "US forces did not stop attacks" -- apparently Barack made very grand promises -- so now Alan McMenemy will not be released. The statement is credited to Akram al-Ka'bi.
What the statement really does is demonstrate what many condemned in 2009: The US government, the administration, entered into an agreement that did not benefit the US or Iraq. They freed known killers from prison. Killers of Iraqis, killers of American citizens. There was nothing to be gained by that act for Iraq or the US. At some point, history will ask how Barack Obama thought he was fulfilling his duties of commander in chief by making such an ignorant move?
Alan McMenemy's corpse was finally released and sent back to England where his loved one could hold a proper funeral for him.

Barack has never had to answer for the deal he made with the League of Righteous.  Outside of military and veterans circles, the issue is never raised when we speak.  College students we speak to usually don't know about it.  Not because they're uninformed but because the press has really refused to cover this story.  From 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."

After Barack made the deal with the League of Righteous (and after they mocked him publicly and repeatedly in the Iraqi press after they were released), the US still had Ali Musa Daqduq in custody.

And many senators were calling for Daqduq to be brought to the United States and tried.  Instead, in 2011, the White House turned him over to Iraq and received 'promises' regarding Daqduq's fate.

'Promises" turned out not be all that.  As noted in Friday's snapshot, " Ernesto Londono (Washington Post) reports that the rumors Ali Musa Daqduq had been released from Iraqi custody are true (see Wednesday's snapshot).  It's a huge embarrassment for the White House.  Victoria Nuland, State Dept spokesperson, was asked about it in today's press briefing."  Michael R. Gordon (New York Times) reported Friday:

In a phone call on Tuesday, Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. told the Iraqi prime minister, Nuri Kamal al-Maliki, that the United States believed that Mr. Daqduq should be held accountable for his actions and that Iraq should explore all legal options toward this end, an American official said. Robert S. Beecroft, the United States ambassador in Baghdad, made a similar appeal to Mr. Maliki that day. But Mr. Maliki told Mr. Biden that Iraq had run out of legal options to hold Mr. Daqduq, who this year had been ordered released by an Iraqi court.

Susan Crabtree (Washington Times) notes of that phone conversation between Joe Biden and Nouri al-Maliki, "The Whie House previously released a read-out of Mr. Biden's call with Mr. al-Mliki Tuesday that contained no mention of Mr. Daqduq." 
And  that's the reality.  So much more than the stupidity that Glenn Greenwald offered and Truthdig amplified.  If the White House is upset that no one's being punished for the deaths of 5 Americans than I think you can argue that the White House is to blame because they had all of them in custody.  Today they want to whine about Daqduq.  They never want to get honest about negotiating with terrorists.

And someone explain to little Glenn that Peter Moore was a computer technician who was kidanpped by the League and Daqduq because of that.  Someone explain that to him, slap him upside the head with some truth maybe, and then he can understand how people end up labeled terrorists?  Maybe not.   He's not all that smart.

It's over, I'm done writing songs about love
There's a war going on
So I'm holding my gun with a strap and a glove
And I'm writing a song about war
And it goes
Na na na na na na na
I hate the war
Na na na na na na na
I hate the war
Na na na na na na na
I hate the war
Oh oh oh oh
-- "I Hate The War" (written by Greg Goldberg, on The Ballet's Mattachine!)

The number of US service members the Dept of Defense states died in the Iraq War is [PDF format warning] 4488.

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