Let's again state the facts. McClatchy Newspapers from 2000 through May 2006 owned the following newspapers: The Sacramento Bee, Anchorage Daily News, the Rock Hill Herald, Hilton Head Island Packet, Raleigh News & Observer, the Merced Sun, Kennewick Tri-City Herald, Beaufort Gazette, Minneapolis Star Tribune among others.
During this period, McClatchy did not do amazing run up to the Iraq War reporting or after-the-start of the illegal war reporting.
The reporting people wrongly credit McClatchy for?
It was being done in the San Jose Mercury News, in the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, in the Akron Beacon Journal, the Kansas City Star, the Miami Herald, the Detroit Free Press, the Monterey County Herald, the Olympian and many other papers. Over thirty papers were carrying the reporting that questioned the lies in the lead up to the war.
McClatchy had nothing to do with that.
It did not question the war. It marched along with every other outlet.
These papers printing Warren Strobel and others? These were Knight-Ridder newspapers.
In June 2006, Knight-Ridder sold newspapers to McClatchy as Knight-Ridder went out of business.
McClatchy has had a few good articles in the last two years. But it's not doing what Knight-Ridder did and not only is not questioning power the way Knight-Ridder did, it's really not breaking news if you consider breaking news to be investigative journalism.
Knight-Ridder made news, McClatchy's comfort food.
Knight-Ridder had to endure charges that Nancy A. Youssef and others hated Bully Boy Bush and that's why they questioned power.
McClatchy fawns so over Barack that no one would accuse them of hating the White House.
So that's some background for this entry.
Here's some more.
I didn't sleep on the plane ride home. Until the assault on Anbar, I've never had a problem sleeping on a plane. Now the horrors and War Crimes Nouri is committing haunt me and I can't get away from them. So I got up Friday morning at five a.m. and I've still not been to sleep.
The good news there is there will be an "I Hate The War" later.
A long one.
Zach was among the most vocal complaining that "I Hate The War" has sometimes shown up in the last months and sometimes not.
It shows up later today. It's not done, but it will show up.
After reading Zach's e-mail Monday, I was thinking all week what I could cover in a "I Hate The War" entry. And Thursday, when Human Rights Watch issued "‘No One Is Safe’: Abuses of Women in Iraq’s Criminal Justice System," I thought, "That's it!"
And this morning, I pulled up the report and left it up.
But this is the thing about "I Hate The War." It really can't be planned.
Zach is a valued community member who has been a part of this site since 2004.
And I appreciate his e-mail on this issue.
But I've said it before, I'm not a jukebox. You don't feed me some money and I spit out the tune you wanted to hear.
Along with the HRW report, I had also opened up a little over 40 windows of reports by Iraqi news outlets. And I had opened up three compose screens in Blogger/Blogspot.
So even with a planned topic, one I care very much about, as I read various reports, it became clear that the topic was actually going to be the supposed April 30th elections.
And several hours into what's going to be "I Hate The War," I realized I didn't have one English language source. An important event took place.
So I went to the gadfly of social media -- AFP's Prashant Rao. I went to his Twitter feed to get a link for AFP's Friday report on an important incident.
But there was none.
And I couldn't believe it.
I kept scrolling through the Tweets.
But then I came across fresh faced, dewy, innocent Prashant.
He was explaining that the main topic of Wednesday's House Foreign Affairs Committee hearing -- a hearing I attended and have reported on in three snapshots -- was the Ashraf community.
From tweets on McGurk's Iraq hearing I'm struck by focus on MEK as opposed to, ummm, Iraqis. Will have to go over transcript later, I guess.
Oh, that sweet, little boy, in his footie pajamas.
I'm reminded of a line from a film. A film featuring the best performance by an actress in the 20th century. Jane Fonda deservedly won an Academy Award for Klute, (I also applaud her winning for Coming Home and think she was robbed because she deserved for her performance in The Morning After but her work in Klute rivals and goes beyond even Bette Davis' amazing work in The Letter.)
Pimps don't get dates for you, cookie, they just take your money.
She says that to the naive detective John Klute (Donald Sutherland offering an amazing performance)
Klute thinks pimps provide prostitutes with 'dates.'
Prashant thinks today's 'journalist' actually report -- and tell the truth.
The Ashraf community as an issue will deal when we get to the whore. Yeah, Hannah's a whore, she's not a reporter and she should be fired for a Tweet she did.
But Prashant naively thought -- as he reTweeted Hannah over and over -- that he was getting the truth.
He notes Jo Biddle and others were covering it but he keeps reTweeting Hannah Whore like crazy.
I saw Jo Biddle's report on the plane today -- Al Mada runs it in Arabic. No surprise, it's strong work. Her work usually is. I didn't look at her Tweets other than the few Prashant reTweeted.
But the big issue at the hearing?
Apparently no one covered it. I would assume Jo found it nonsense and ignored it for that reason. Hannah's obsessed with hatred for the Ashraf community -- she's been that way for years and it's well known that she is and has been prejudiced against them.
That's why she made it all about Ashraf.
Wednesday, I noted Ranking Member Eliot Engel's "crocodile tears" and that we weren't including those comments. He tried the hardest to make it about Americans in Falluja in 2004.
But he wasn't the only one. That was the most common topic.
Silly Prashant, Media Whores don't report the truth, they just use their outlets to grudge f**k their enemies.
Ashraf was an issue and Ted Poe's remarks (US House Rep and also "Judge Poe") are the ones we're mostly likely to focus on if I have time Monday or Tuesday. His remarks on Ashraf.
Prashant doesn't have all the facts.
But let's go to Hannah.
As usual, the dope doesn't know what the hell she's talking about.
Grasp this, Hannah's so stupid, she can't even conceal it in 140 characters or less.
Her 'observation' is wrong to begin with.
But that a reporter would type that?
I don't get how it ever became acceptable to spit on the Ashraf community.
I'm not talking about Antiwar.com which hates them.
I'm talking about reporters. Tim Arango, for example, was called out by the New York Times' public editor because he failed to practice journalism with regards to the Ashraf community. (And unlike Hannah, Tim Arango is actually a reporter.)
The Ashraf community is made of Iranian dissidents.
It was decided -- possibly because they're Marxist -- that MSM outlets could mock them openly in what was supposed to be 'reporting.'
Hannah thinks those days would still exist if it weren't for the 'lobbying.'
She's sort of like the man who mocks women and then blames "PC" for the fact that no one finds him funny.
Prashant's not American so he may not grasp what the Congress does, but the Ashraf community is an issue to the Congress which realizes that Geneva kicked it on them, that the US government has legal obligations it has not honored. Equally true, relatives are in districts -- US districts. Dana Rohrabacher, for example, has a lot of relatives of that community in his district. San Diego is another big one. The MEK is not usually mocked by those of us from California because we're not new to them. They've been covered for years -- even before the start of the war -- by California news outlets.
And Congressional support for Ashraf is not new. Hannah can lie as long as her face is ugly and it won't change that reality.
Hannah, you lazy ass, you can check the 2011 archives here. That's before the 'lobbying.' That's when I called out one of your kindred for attacking the Ashraf community and mocking them and wrongly stating that they had no support. I note in that 2011 entry how much support they do have in the House and Senate.
Again, that's 2011.
Look it up, I'm not going to spoon feed your lazy ass.
Not after your b.s. Tweet.
She hates them so much that she's even lying about them in a Tweet.
Try to grasp that they've been repeatedly attacked and that their lives remain in danger -- 7 were kidnapped just last September.
And Hannah thinks she can mock them.
And be a considered a reporter.
And be considered impartial.
At Camp Ashraf, they were repeatedly attacked. They're now at Camp Liberty and they're still not safe.
US House Rep Dana Rohrabacher brought them up this hearing. And he did last November as well. In fact, that's when he showed the photos of the dead that were killed, hands tied behind their backs, shot in the back of the head execution style.
Don't think Hannay reported on those remarks and I know she didn't report on that attack.
After Falluja, I would say the second biggest topic was the 'wasted' aspect -- with many voicing how an opportunity had been provided but was wasted. This was repeated over and over but probably this position (one I don't agree with) was best expressed by US House Rep Adam Kinzinger. (And to be clear, he was Chair Adam Kinzinger at that moment. Ed Royce is the Chair of the Committee but he had left the hearing and left Adam Kinzinger as Acting Chair.) Adam -- I'm calling him that to avoid insulting him if I mispell his last name -- although he's seems like a nice person, like an Adam.
Adam's a member of the Air Force, the way he worded it, he's still a member. He served in Iraq. He had a slapdown of Harry Reid (Senate Majority Leader) when he spoke of hearing a remark by Reid when he was headed (Adam was deployed) to Afghanistan.
Though he spoke the most eloquently on this theme, it was noted over and over throughout the hearing.
Like so many other things in the hearing, it wasn't noted by Hannah in her Tweets.
I'd say Iran was discussed the most. It was discussed, of course, with regards to Ashraf, it was discussed with regards to militias in Iraq (most of that coming from Brett McGurk's mouth), it was discussed in terms of the flights over Iraq to Syria, it was discussed in terms of the nuclear talks with the US, it was discussed in terms that were beyond Brett's scope and he more than once insisted that the Congress member needed to seek out the intelligence community for the information he was seeking because McGurk didn't know.
Saudi Arabia only had one mention. It was asked if it was funding terrorism? McGurk avoided the question basically.
I'm trying to think what else but remember I'm on something like 30 or so hours straight without sleep.
Oh. Yeah, somewhere probably tied with Iran was the issue of residual forces, US forces. And of course, one of the main topics was the Jewish archives.
If you lump drones, missiles and Apache helicopters together under weapons, that may have gotten more attention than Ashraf. Especially Brent's long explanation of how even one Apache helicopter is not a point of sale and the bye-bye but a way to tie Iraq to the US for multi-decades.
Hannah didn't Tweet about that either.
I reported on the hearing in Wednesday's snapshot, Thursday's snapshot and Friday's snapshot.
Two confessions, Wednesday? I thought it was Thursday when I dictated the snapshot. You may notice that when I'm referring to having one more day this week to cover the hearing and then that I'd probably pick it up the next week. Friday? Connolly pops up all the sudden with no first name. Why? Originally, his remarks -- ones that got dropped -- opened the snapshot. In the middle of dictating it, a friend on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee called and wanted to know why I hadn't noted the Thursday night Senate vote? Because I didn't know about it. All I read last week was Arab media except for the HRW report and anything someone pointed out to me -- like the dopey article in The New Statesman that three British community members e-mailed about wanting me to weigh in. We quoted Alexandra Zavis this week, I'm thinking it was Thursday's snapshot but I'm tired. I was dictating the snapshot when an LAT friend called and wanted me to include them. I begged off saying that we didn't have space. He told me the byline. I said we'd make space and dictate whatever he wanted in the snapshot but read it slowly because I was going to have to repeat it into the other cellphone I was using to dictate the snapshot. I wish I could have read Zavis' piece, I'm sure it was wonderful. But I didn't have the time. I really didn't have time or space to include it in the snapshot but Zavis does strong work and so I was more than willing to make the time and have the snapshot run long -- way long. All week long.
Does Prashant Rao not know -- forget Hannah's she's stupid and only going to grudge f**k Ashraf anyway -- that the US government recently made one person in charge over Ashraf?
Does he not know that McGurk calls it one of the great humanitarian crises? That he did that in November and he did it again last week?
Does he not know that the United Nations also recently appointed one person whose entire job scope is Ashraf?
Of course this was going to come up. It is a legal and humanitarian issue. And I'd like to note -- next week -- how Brett agrees with that but tried to spin it around. A detail that Hannah didn't Tweet about either.
The reason we cover hearings here?
A friend's adult child was working for a Congress member. The AC asked me to include prepared remarks. I was happy to help out and did the entire time that the AC was working. A friend in the House said she was glad because Congress wasn't getting covered anymore. Paper's had cut back on staff and Congress wasn't getting the attention it once had. I've written about this before. But the House Rep and I were having dinner and I had never thought about the cutbacks and we discussed that and I said I could try to do a little bit of coverage here.
I did not want to, I did not wake up going, "I must do this!"
A flaw was pointed out and I agreed to try to do my part to change that.
But after my friend pointed it out, it was obvious. There are important hearings that never get covered anywhere. And there are hearings that I've attended that the 'reporting' was an embarrassment. At its worst, the 'reporting' of a hearing is done by 'reporters' who aren't present.
They grab the prepared remarks (opening statements) and build a 'report' around those.
I have friends I'm happy to pass my notes over to. And last week, I wanted so badly to cover Senator Bernie Sanders' press conference here. I wasn't there. I was still planning to cover it. I was at a hearing that started at the same time and a friend had asked the day before if they could see my notes on the hearing
and I said no problem but added could I see their notes on the press conference? I was planning to cover it that way and to note that I was using a friend's notes.
But since we started covering these hearings, I loan my notes out all the time.
I'm a kinetic person, I can learn any lines just by moving while I say them.
Sitting in a hearing is like death to me. I take down every word said to stay focused -- and sometimes to stay awake. So my notes are a transcript. And maybe since I'm not using my notes as a way to also do my first draft of something I'm going to write, I actually here what's going on in the hearings.
But Congressional hearings get far too little space in print and online text and far too little time in audio and video reports. When they are covered, they're often miscovered.
I know that from the hearings we've covered here versus the way they were covered elsewhere.
For example, I've long noted that the US Congress does not care for Nouri al-Maliki.
I wasn't revealing private conversations with members of Congress. I was noting public remarks in hearings. I made a point this week to include some of the comments about Nouri himself that House members made in the hearing so people could grasp that although Nouri has been the pet of two administrations, he is not popular with Congress. For obvious reasons.
Now the fact that it was considered controversial or disputable when I originally made those comments here goes to how bad the Congressional reporting is today because this all should have been in the public record.
It's why idiots have written attacks on Senator John McCain re: the failed SOFA.
They thought they could go to town and mock him. They didn't grasp that what he was saying -- factually -- was offered in public testimony by, among others, Leon Panetta.
There was so much in that hearing that Americans needed to know. (And Hannah, in that 2011 hearing, Ashraf was defended. It was noted that everyone on the Committee -- Democrat and Republican and then-independent Joe Lieberman -- was following the Ashraf events and outraged that Nouri wasn't providing the protection he was supposed to.)
But the press coverage?
"John McCain got nasty on Leon Panetta!"
Serious issues were turned into the gossip in Heathers proclaiming, "Did you hear! School's cancelled today because Kurt and Ram killed themselves in a repressed homosexual suicide pact!"
This was the hearing where Senator Kay Hagan asked -- and had answered -- about US troops not coming home but getting staged, for example, in Kuwait so that they could go back in if ordered to.
This was a major hearing and most Americans who try to follow the news never knew about it because serious issues were shoved aside so that 'reporters' could play gossips.
So Prashant's more than just a little naive to honestly think that journalists are reporting on hearings.
And Hannah? She was just reworking her long standing grudge.
The only real surprise for me -- other than Brett McGurk's continued sunny side up presentation that omits so much -- was that only two members of the Committee made real time for the issue of Iraq's Christians and other religious minorities. That surprised me because in the past that's been a major issue for the House and also because the same Committee explores the topic of Christians in the Middle East next week.
But Hannah Allem's misreporting?
Not surprised at all.
Her continued lying and attacking the Ashraf community?
Only surprised that the Tweet didn't get her written up.
Or that her factual problems weren't called out. Here's Hannah quoting.
McGurk: Some Anbar tribes are actually working w/extremists, some are working to oust them & some are on the fence.
Problem? He didn't use "some" three times, for starters. Here's what he said with that sentence:
As I said, some tribes are actually working with the extremists, some are now working to oust them, many others are on the fence.
I'm sorry but a quote has to be accurate to qualify as a quote. It was stated in the exchange with US House Rep Gerry Connolly (another detail Hannah 'forgets').
Maybe next time, Prashant will be less gullible?
I've got some personal obligations with friends to take care of now. "I Hate The War" (which isn't finished yet) and another entry will go up many hours from now.
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