Thursday, July 10, 2014

Iraq snapshot

Thursday, July 10, 2014.  Chaos and violence continue, The NewsHour covers for Nouri, assessments by US 'advisors' in Iraq should be done shortly, Nancy Pelosi brags about how and why she made sure Bully Boy Bush didn't get impeached, the House Veterans Affairs Committee hears from parents whose children took their own lives after serving in Iraq and Afghanistan, and much more.

US House Rep Krysten Sinema:  Thank you, Mr. Miller and Mr. Michaud for allowing me to participate in today's hearing.  And special thanks to my colleague from Arizona Ms. [US House Rep Ann] Kirkpatrick who represents our state's veterans so well on this Committee.  I want to thank all of today's panelists for joining us.  In particular, thank you to Daniel's parents Howard and Jean for being here.  We've worked together quite closely since learning of Daniel's suicide.  And it is an honor and a privilege to be with you here today.  Unfortunately, Daniel's story and the story of the other young man who committed suicide is just all too familiar in our country.  And 22 veterans a day are still committing suicide even after we have heard the tragedies of the young men who lost their lives here and their brothers all across the country.  And, as we heard from Mr.[US House Rep Tim] Walz, Congress has addressed this issue before, has passed legislation before, has said they were going to fix it before and yet the problem has not only not gotten better, it's gotten worse.  I have heard a lot of testimony today about ideas to actually reform the system and make it better.  The Hippa  issue is one I think the Committee would agree needs to be addressed.  I am particularly interested in the pilot program that Sgt [Josh] Renschler participated in.  And my question, to Dr. and Jean Somers, would be about Daniel.  Daniel's experience at the Phoenix VA -- like many, many veterans' experience at the Phoenix VA -- was one of lack of concern, lack of care, lack of follow through and a discombobulated system that didn't allow veterans to receive the care they needed.  In particular, one of the struggles Daniel faced was as an individual who had served in classified service.  He was unable to participate in group therapy because he was not able to share the experiences he experienced while in service.  And yet, at the Phoenix VA, he was unceremoniously put in group therapy and when [he] requested private therapy was not able to get that care.  And of course as we know he took his own life as a result of being unable to get that care.  One medical home model, I believe, in the private  community, has provided an opportunity to create patient-centered care and allow civilians to get the care they need in one home easily that's centered directly on their needs.  While the pilot program in Washington was ended because of -- Well I don't understand why.  They say they really didn't have enough money for it which I think is outrageous -- horrible, horrible reason to stop providing care that we knew was effective.  My question for Dr. and Jean Somers is do you believe a medical home model would work or could be helpful to veterans like Daniel?  We know that many of our post-9/11 veterans face co-occurring disorders --  PTS, TBI, anxiety, depression, physical maladies.  Would a medical home model have been a model that may have worked better for Daniel than what he faced?  

Jean Somers: Absolutely.  As Daniel's irritable bowel syndrome worsened, he didn't feel he could physically leave the house.  I can't imagine that embarrassment.  [Long pause.]  And then, as Howard mentioned, at the time, Phoenix had the speed traps set up on the major highway to get from his home to the Phoenix VA.  So he had to actually find a way to get off the highway so that the flashing lights would not effect him.  So absolutely, I can see that it would have been very helpful to him just to have the privacy capability. 

Dr. Howard Somers:  I-I completely agree.  I think that not only the medical home model but what we talked about -- the ability within the facility for the different people because of his IBS and his TBI and his PTSD.  You're being treated, as we learned here, the term is in "silos."  And what you have to do is get out of the silos and you have to combine resources, combine knowledge.  And we have heard of programs such as was mentioned that are very successful and  that people can have problems and, for whatever reasons, you have an optometrist or an ophthalmologist in there and they say, 'Well, it sounds like it's not this but this.'  And it's something you might not have thought of.  So the medical home model, the ability to create these panels of care, I think anything like that would be overwhelmingly positive.  

US House Rep Krysten Sinema:  Thank you. And, Mr. Chair, while Mr. [US House Rep Dan] Benishek has already left, I do want to take a moment to thank him for co-sponsoring legislation [H.R. 3387: Classified Veterans Access to Care Act] that we drafter with the Somers to address the issue specifically of service members who have served in classified settings and who need appropriate care when they return to the VA.  And I want to thank the Committee and the Subcomittee for supporting just a part of the solution to this issue.

That was from today's House Veterans Affairs Committee.  US House Rep Jeff Miller is the Committee Chair and US House Rep Mike Michaud is the Ranking Member.  The Phoenix VA is, of course, only one part of the national scandal in the VA's failure to provide timely and needed to care to veterans who have been left to suffer.

Chair Jeff Miller:  Following a Committee investigation which uncovered widespread data manipulation and accompanying patient harm at the Dept of Veterans Affairs' medical facilities all across this nation, this Committee has held a series of full Committee oversight hearings  over the last several weeks to evaluate the systemic access and integrity failures that have consumed the VA health care system.  Perhaps none of these hearings have presented the all too human face of VA's failures so much as today's hearing will in fact do.

Jean and Dr. Howard Somer are the parents of the late Daniel Somers, an Iraq War veteran who took his own life following his facing multiple obstacles while he attempted to receive care.  His parents, in their opening statement, cataloged some of these obstacles:

A1.    At the start, Daniel was turned away from the VA due to his National Guard Inactive Ready Reserve status.
A2.    Upon initially accessing the VA system, he was, essentially, denied therapy. 
A3.    He had innumerable problems with VA staff being uncaring, insensitive and adversarial.  Literally no one at the facility advocated for him. 
A4.    Administrators frequently cited HIPAA as the reason for not involving family members and for not being able to use modern technology.
B1.    The VA’s appointment system known as VISTA is at best inadequate. It impedes access and lacks basic documentation.
B2.    The VA information technology infrastructure is antiquated and prevents related agencies from sharing critical information.  There is a desperate need for compatibility between computer systems within the Veterans Health Administration, the Veterans Benefits Administration, and the DOD. 
B3.    Continuity of care was not a priority.  There was no succession planning, no procedures in place for “warm handoffs”; no contracts in place for locum tenems; and a fierce refusal to outsource anyone or anything.
B4.    At the time Daniel was at the Phoenix VA, there was no pain management clinic to help him with his chronic and acute fibromyalgia pain.
B5.    There were few coordinated inter-Agency goals, policies and procedures.  The fact that the formularies of the DOD and VA are separate and different makes no sense since many DOD patients who are stabilized on a particular medication regimen must re-justify their needs when they transfer to the VA.

B6.    There were inadequate facilities and an inefficient charting process.

His parents were on the first panel along with the parents of Clay Hunt -- Susan and Richard Selke -- and the mother of Brian Portwine -- Peggy Portwine -- and retired Sgt Josh Renschler.

Clay Hunt was an Iraq War veteran and an Afghanistan War veteran, a member of Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America.  He took his own life following a move to Houston where he was unable to get the prescription for his Post-Traumatic Stress and was told he'd have to wait two months to see a psychiatrist.  Committee Chair Jeff Miller's suicide bill is named in the memory of Clay Hunt.

Brian Portwine was an Iraq War veteran.  His mother Peggy Portwine explained that Brian's first deployment to Iraq found his unit patrolling Haifa Street in Baghdad and that 8 of his fellow service members would die during this deployment.  He survived a 2006 RPG attack.

Peggy Portwine: Brian suffered a blast concussion and had lacerations to his face and legs from shrapnel. This was Brian’s first episode of Traumatic Brain Injury. During another mission Brian and his 1st Sgt were on patrol in a Humvee and had switched seats so Brian was now in the passenger seat. Twenty minutes later an IED hit the Humvee and his 1st Sgt was killed and Brian was thrown from the Humvee and injured his back. Besides these two  incidents Brian was involved in five other IEDs during his 15 month deployment.  After coming home after his 1st deployment Brian had trouble with short term memory. When his friends were going somewhere he would often say "Where are we going again?  You know I have scrambled brains." To help cope with this he would post everything he had to do on his calendar or computer. In 2010 Brian was recalled to the Army and deploying from Fort Shelby, Miss. During this deployment Brian did not email or call home or to his friends. Little did we know how he was struggling with PTSD and TBI. He had panic attacks being on the same roads he had traveled on the 1st tour where IEDs went off often. He had nightmares 3 x a week and would wake up his unit and someone would have to wake him up. He suffered with anxiety, depression, insomnia, poor concentration, and hypervigilance. But he was never sent home.

Peggy Portwine noted Rose Kennedy [mother of President John F. Kenney, Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy and Senator Ted Kennedy -- among others] once stated that "time heals all wounds."  Peggy Portwine declared, "I disagree.  The wounds remain.  In time, the mind -- to protect its sanity -- covers them with scar tissue and the pain lessens.  But it is never gone."

She would like to see S. 2182: Suicide Prevention for American Veterans Act (introduced by Senator John Walsh) passed.

Sgt Josh Renschler is an Iraq War veteran.  He served in the military for almost six years. He was medically retired from injuries he sustained in Iraq   He did not receive treatment, he received drugs from the VA to mask the pain, not to help make him healthier.  His doses of Percocet were repeatedly increased until his tolerance for the drug was so strong that they had to switch him to methadone. He was placed on a cocktail of over 13 drugs ingested daily.  Among his many pains, there were pains resulting from nerve damage -- something his VA physical therapist (or 'therapist') had not considered or raised but would be discovered in an MRI.  Renschler has suffered a liver scare and remains in intense pain.  Acupuncture was thought to be a possibly viable treatment for relief from some of the pain, however, it would require him to travel one hour to treatment and one hour back which would defeat any relief he might experience as a result of the treatment.

On the topic of alternative treatments, let's note this exchange from the hearing.

US House Rep David Jolly:  You've raised concern about personalized care and it would seem to me that's clearly lacking.  I don't know what your impressions would be -- if you could speak to that.  And also, simply whether or not alternative therapies have ever -- your sons had that discussed perhaps, or Sgt, in your counseling, the ability to get alternative therapy?  And I say that based on a personal experience as well.  At VA Intake Day, I had a man in my office who said, "Equine therapy works." Well that was good enough for me. But it wasn't good enough for the VA.  So can you speak to any discussions about alternative therapies?  Availability of?  Your opinions to that?  

Sgt Josh Renschler:  Yes, sir.  So again, within the VA medical center, they-they had at one time available to poly-trauma, those who suffered from comorbid conditions, we were able to access recreational therapy and I was put on a six month waiting list.  And when the six months came up, they lost the recreational therapist. That was my only experience there.  Never had a chance to engage in that because I was downgraded from poly-trauma care when the VA determined that my Traumatic Brain Injury had reached a plateau of recovery and it probably would not get better.  That's a completely separate hearing day but as far as the efficacy of alternative therapies, we could -- Again, it really helps and the VA --

US House Rep David Jolly:  The availability? 

Sgt Josh Renschler:  The availability is not there through VA channels.  It's private community is where you have to go. 

US House Rep David Jolly: Doctor and Ms. Somers, do you?

Jean Somers: Yeah, yeah.  I would agree with that.  Daniel himself was a musician so it was easy for him.  He got a piano and a guitar and that was his therapy.  But I would totally agree with that.  At the San Diego VA, I know that they have pottery classes which we were thrilled to hear about and a guitar program.

Dr. Howard Somers: And-and when you talk about evidence-based, it's certainly not just medications.  I mean there are in the psychological treatments that are out there but they are only using two of them when  there are so many potentials out there.  And the other thing that we had mentioned was the MDMA Ecstacy and LSD for pain -- the MDMA for PTSD and the LSD for pain.  Because of our national phobias against these particular chemicals, we're making it very difficult to do trials with these, uh, potential-potential benefits. 

There were three panels. The above is only regarding the first panel and it's not even a real sample because, as Chair Miller noted at the end of it, the first panel had gone on for over three hours.  Just the first panel.  I would love to return to this hearing in tomorrow's snapshot.  That will be dependent upon events going on in Iraq.

Chair Miller noted a veteran shared a story with him about being in need of medical attention and visiting the VA for it.  The veteran was told he could get an appointment in six months.  But, the veteran was informed, if he were to say right now that he was thinking of killing himself, he could get an appointment much sooner,  "three months instead of six."

That story is appalling on so many levels including that if every veteran used it the ones who were seriously considering taking their own lives would be waiting the same length of time as those who were not.  But the thing that appalled me the most is a veteran is told it will be six months for an appointment.  That's unacceptable. If VA can't do better than that, you schedule an appointment with an outside provider -- VA schedules and VA pays, to be clear.  But what adds another layer of sadness to this is the fact that if you are thinking of killing yourself, you still wait three months.  Three months for help.  The whole thing is disgusting.

Ranking Member Mike Michaud:  I know that speaking about the loss of a loved one -- particularly a child  -- can be an incredibly difficult and exhausting experience.  But, in this case, I think we have to listen to their stories, identify what went wrong, and we can take action to ensure those failures aren't repeated again. So I want to thank you very, very much for joining us today and sharing your stories. Eighteen to 22 veterans commit suicide each day. In my opinion, that is 18 to 22 brave men and women each day who our system has let down in some capacity.  It is a totally unacceptable.

Moving over to Iraq which was noted at today's US State Dept press briefing by spokesperson Jen Psaki.

QUESTION: I want to go to Iraq if I can.

MS. PSAKI: Sure.

QUESTION: ISIS recently said that it has acquired a chemical weapons facility and 2,500 degraded weapons. Does the State Department have a comment on that, and what is the potential fallout over acquiring those weapons and this chemical facility?

MS. PSAKI: Sure. I do have something on this. Give me one moment.
Well, first, let me note that there was a copy of a letter – and I know you’re aware of this, but just so everybody is aware – of a letter that the Iraqi permanent representative to the United Nations sent to UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon which was circulated yesterday to members of the Security Council, which outlined this. The purpose of the letter was to notify the international community of the seizure of University of Mosul facilities containing nuclear materials in June and to request international assistance.
In typical fashion, these requests are sent just directly to the IAEA and they look into them. And that is, of course, the natural process at this point. I would point you to the comments and the statement made by the IAEA today, that they believe the material involved to be low-grade and not presenting a significant safety, security, or nuclear proliferation risk. Of course, they’re the appropriate identity to make any decision about whether there is a risk or concern, but it doesn’t seem that is the case at this point in time.

QUESTION: But what do you say that – if you see the letter – in that it says that – from the Iraqis – that “threat of their use by terrorists in Iraq or abroad.” So how – what do the Iraqis say about it?

MS. PSAKI: Well, they sent the letter that was referenced and the – they took responsible action by informing the UN Secretary General and the international community and it’s been referred, of course, to the IAEA. They, of course, made initial comments. I would leave it to them if they have more to say about it. I would point out that the letter also notes that this is material used for scientific and medical purposes, which is an important contextual point on our level of concern or their level of concern.
Go ahead.


MS. PSAKI: Oh. Go ahead.

QUESTION: So are you worried that some other kind of materials that – weapons that can go into these hands. And they were also – in the letter they say it can be used in Iraq or it can be taken abroad. So --

MS. PSAKI: Well, again, I would just highlight the fact that the Iraqi Government and the United States Government are not the experts like the IAEA is on this type of material and what risk it may or may not pose. So it’s in their hands. They’ve made an initial statement. I would point you to that and I would refer to them if there’s more they plan to say on this.
Go ahead.

Psaki rightly notes that the US isn't an expert and refers to the IAEA call.  That's correct because the US hasn't examined the materials and the material may or may not pose a risk.  If it did pose a risk, there's a small chance the IAEA might wait to reveal that until efforts had been made to reacquire the material.  The US government cannot vouch for material they haven't vetted.  And the world hopes the IAEA is being upfront about the material.

Tom Coghlan and Deborah Haynes (Times of London via The Australian) report:

Colonel Hamish de Bretton-Gordon, a former army officer and expert on weapons of mass destruction, confirmed that the uranium could not be turned into a nuclear bomb. “The most likely terror use for it would be some dirty bomb, but a dirty bomb is not terribly effective anyway except for the psychological impact ... You are more likely to die from shrapnel,” he said.

Other experts disagreed. “This material is not good enough for a dirty bomb,” said Olli Heinonen, a former IAEA chief inspector. “You cannot make a nuclear explosive from this amount, but all uranium compounds are poisonous.” In a dirty bomb scenario, terrorists could detonate a device mixing conventional explosives and radioactive material in an effort to scatter radiation in a major western capital.
The capture of the uranium represents a psychological coup for Isis. “The real victory is the kind of fear it will instil,” said Dina Esfandiary, a research associate in the non-proliferation program at the international institute for strategic studies. Far more worrying was the takeover by Isis of a base north of Baghdad that holds Iraq’s old but still lethal stockpile of chemical weapons — hundreds of warheads containing sarin and mustard gas, according to Colonel de Bretton-Gordon, who is chief operating officer at SecureBio, a chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear consultancy.

There are some outlets who have taken a 'case closed' stance on the possibility of the material being used for a dirty bomb.  It's really not that simple and they would do well to take the approach Jen Psaki did in today's press briefing.

Iraq was briefly noted today on The NewsHour (PBS, link is text, audio and video):

GWEN IFILL: In Iraq, the rift between Kurds and Shiite Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki deepened today. Kurdish ministers announced they will boycott weekly cabinet meetings after Maliki accused them of harboring Sunni militants who’ve captured Iraqi territory.

ROZ NOURI SHAWEZ, Deputy Prime Minister, Iraq (through interpreter): We declare that we will not take part in the upcoming cabinet sessions to show our protest, and we cannot endure any more such behavior, statements and stances.

GWEN IFILL: The Kurds have infuriated Maliki by seizing Kirkuk and its oil reserves and moving toward a referendum on independence from Iraq.

I'm sorry, is Gwen an agent of a foreign government?

She's certainly not speaking as a journalist.

Note her false construct. (A) Today the rift "deepened" because Kurdish Cabinet members say they will boycott the weekly Cabinet meetings.  (B) The Kurds have infuriated Nouri, Gwen says, by seizing Kirkuk and its oil reserves and exploring independence.

Does that ridiculous skull cap wig she wears create a Vitamin D deficiency for Gwen?

Let's drop back to The NewsHour's Wednesday's coverage of Iraq in full:

GWEN IFILL: In Iraq, security forces found the bodies of 53 men blindfolded and handcuffed. The corpses were near a mainly Shiite village about 60 miles southeast of Baghdad. Most of the victims had been shot. The motive for the attack remains unclear, but the discovery comes amid a Sunni insurgency in Northern and Western Iraq.

Now let's pull this from Wednesday's Iraq snapshot:

If you're not grasping it, right now, while Barack's insisting the country needs a "political solution," Nouri's yet again attacking political rivals.  Rudaw reports:

Hours after Iraq’s embattled Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki accused the Kurds of harboring insurgents, the Kurdistan Region decided that Kurdish ministers appointed to the Iraqi cabinet will not be going to Baghdad.
“As a first response to Maliki’s threats, the Kurdish leadership has decided that our ministers will not attend any meetings of the Iraqi cabinet,” said an official from the dominant Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP).
The official said that there is a consensus among all Kurdish political parties, including the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK), to boycott Baghdad.

Nouri is begging the US for help and US President Barack Obama has provided him with weapons and now with US troops.  And Nouri says "thank you" by attacking the Kurds?

If you use the link to yesterday's snapshot, you'll also see that Jen Psaki addressed the charges Nouri made.

The NewsHour elected to ignore it.

But today, when the Kurds respond to the attack on their reputation and integrity, The NewsHour is suddenly interested and 'report' as though the Kurds started something.

Contrast Gwen's nonsense with Hamza Mustafa's report for Asharq Al-Awsat which opens:

Recent remarks by Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri Al-Maliki in which he accused Erbil of harboring fighters from the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) have provoked the ire of Kurdish politicians, who have dismissed the accusations as “unfounded.”

“It is unfortunate that the prime minister has descended to the level of Hanan Al-Fatlawi, the State of Law coalition MP, who has always levelled unfounded accusations at Kurds for no apparent reason, accusing Erbil of harboring [fighters from] ISIS,” former Kurdistan Alliance spokesman Moayad Tayeb told Asharq Al-Awsat.
In his weekly televised speech on Wednesday, Maliki lashed out at the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG), branding its capital, Erbil, as being “a headquarters for ISIS, [the] Ba’ath [Party], and Al-Qaeda and terrorist operations.”
The accusation has provoked Kurdish lawmakers who have in turn accused Maliki of failing to deter Islamist fighters.

“ISIS is not in Erbil but . . . [is approaching] Baghdad, and if he [Maliki] wants to fight and expel it, it is but a stone’s throw away from him,” Tayeb added.

AAP adds:

Iraq's Kurds say Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki is "hysterical" and not fit to run the country, further dimming the prospect of a new leadership uniting to face jihadist fighters.
The worsening political discord comes three days ahead of a planned parliamentary session, meant to revive the process of replacing what has effectively been a caretaker government since April elections.

Maliki "has become hysterical and has lost his balance", a statement from the office of Kurdish regional president Massud Barzani says on Thursday, reacting to accusations by the prime minister a day earlier that his administration was harbouring militants.

You can also refer to the end of Tom Coghlan and Deborah Haynes' report to see how you accurately cover the events Gwen mangled.

A major story was reduced by Gwen in such a way that Nouri was the injured party.  If PBS wants to air The PropagandaHour, they should be sure and give Gwen much more airtime.

Jason Ditz ( observes, "Tensions between Iraq’s central government and the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) are soaring further today, with reports that Prime Minister Maliki has imposed a ban on all cargo flights into Kurdistan, after accusing the Kurds of aiding ISIS in their takeover of western Iraq."

On the topic of tyrant Nouri, NINA reports Falluja General Hospital released numbers today on the dead and injured from Nouri's bombings of Falluja's residential neighborhoods (which is legally defined as a War Crime).  Since January 1st, Nouri has killed 542 civilians in Falluja and injured 1880 more.

Yet, Nouri keeps getting more bombs and missiles from the US government -- in violation of treaties, laws and the Leahy Amendment.

After the hospital's announcement, another of Nouri's bombings killed 3 civilians in Falluja and left four more injured.

In other violence,  National Iraqi News Agency reports Lt Gen Qassim Atta declared that armed forces killed 25 suspects in Jurfis-Sakhar, Atta also declared 47 suspects were killed in Tikrit, a Kirkuk motorcycle bombing left seven people injured, a mortar shell attack on Jurf al-Sakar left five people injured, a Baiji mortar attack left 3 people dead and sixteen injured, an armed attack in Ramadi left 3 people dead, 11 farmers were kidnapped in Al-Gelam, and 3 bombings south of Tikrit left 4 police members dead and two more injured.  Reviewing the violence today, Margaret Griffis ( notes 151 deaths and 86 people left injured.

Hannah Allem (McClatchy Newspapers) reports:

An official from Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al Maliki’s office confirmed Thursday that a high-stakes standoff is unfolding at the country’s largest oil refinery, but he disputed details of a McClatchy report that said only 75 commandos were holed up inside and that the government wasn’t sending food or reinforcements.
The Iraqi official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because he isn’t authorized to make public statements on sensitive military operations, said that up to 1,500 counterterrorism forces are inside the Baiji refinery, a sprawling, 300-acre compound about 150 miles north of Baghdad.

Read more here:

At the Pentagon on Tuesday, spokesperson Rear Adm John Kirby was asked about the status on the assessments US troops have been making in Iraq:

REAR ADM. KIRBY:  What I -- what I would tell you is that we're taking a very measured, deliberate approach here to a very complicated problem inside Iraq. And right now, there are two missions for the U.S. military -- providing some static security for our diplomats so that they can continue to do their very important work, the embassy, and our facilities there at the airport. And the second mission is to advise -- I'm sorry, to assess -- to have six assessment teams on the ground, mostly in and around Baghdad, to assess the cohesiveness of the Iraqi security forces, the situation on the ground, and, again, the follow-on advisory mission.
We also have a small number of people that are working in two joint operations centers, one in Baghdad and one up in Erbil, all designed to help us get a better sense of what's going on, on the ground before any follow-on military decisions are made. That's the mission that we've been given; that's the strategy that we're pursuing. And I won't -- I won't go into...

Q: (OFF-MIC) timeline to assess -- to finish the assessment that the U.S....

REAR ADM. KIRBY: Yeah. I mean, as I said at the outset, it was going to -- we expected the assessment teams to take about two to three weeks. We think that they're nearing the end of -- of that initial assessment phase.

Q: What have they found so far?

REAR ADM. KIRBY: Well, the reports that we've been -- we've been staying in touch with them. I'm not going to prejudge or get ahead of the assessments as they -- as they come in through more official channels. But -- but they have done most of the work, completed most of the work, assessed most of the units that -- that we asked them to go look at.

Q: What have they found so far?

REAR ADM. KIRBY: Well, the reports that we've been -- we've been staying in touch with them. I'm not going to prejudge or get ahead of the assessments as they -- as they come in through more official channels. But -- but they have done most of the work, completed most of the work, assessed most of the units that -- that we asked them to go look at.

Q: Can you characterize what they found?

REAR ADM. KIRBY: No, I'm not going to do that from here. No, I'm not going to -- I'm not going to get ahead of a decision-making process that -- that hasn't even started yet. So we need to let the work finish. It's almost done. The assessments will come up and then leadership will get a chance to take a look, and we'll go from there.

Q: Will it be done this week?

  REAR ADM. KIRBY: I think it'll be done very soon, Justin, very soon.

The assessments shouldn't be too rosy.  Nouri's lost chemical weapons, nuclear material, cities and so much more. He's also attacked the Kurds verbally while continuing War Crimes in Falluja.

Nouri is a failure.

So is Nancy Pelosi.

She lost her post as Speaker of the House and the Dems lost their majority.  But the Queen of Plastic Surgery didn't have to step down her leadership role because few can whore for corporations the way Nancy does.  She can make it rain.

However, her ethics, like her fact, appear botched.

As if a bad wig and a pathetic refusal to accept her age isn't bad enough, Nancy demonstrated just how trashy she is today -- link is video and text:

Nancy Pelosi: The argument against President Bush was about a president and an administration that sent us into a war based on a false representation of a threat of weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. That's a major accusation against the president, and I, myself, said that at the time. You know, in 2002 when the bill came up. The intelligence does not support the threat that the president -- not the president, his administration is contending.

Having said that, it's not about impeaching the president. It's about putting the country through that. I thought what the Republicans did to President Clinton was shameful, irresponsible, and wrong for the country. And what he did was stupid, but it had nothing to do with public policy and his office, his responsibility and his office.

I do think people could have made a case about President Bush, but I did not want to go down that path because of what it would mean for the American people. We've just tried to impeach -- well, we did impeach but did not remove from office one president in a very irresponsible manner in my view on the part of the Republicans in the House at the time.

And I thought it was time for us to address -- try to end that war, which we voted to do, and the president vetoed our bill, but to deal with it in a policy way rather than take us down that path. 

Nancy didn't want to go down that path.  She had to get her elderly tits lifted off her knees and three inches pulled back on her face.

That was path Nancy wanted.

An Oval Office occupant lying to the American people didn't rise to high crimes and misdemeanors for Pelosi.  She didn't want to put the country through an impeachment.

What a lousy failure she is.

It's really time for Nancy tired ass to stay home. Maybe by dropping out of Congress, she could use her free time to find something else to have tightened?  Maybe her vagina?  Maybe her anus?

But what she clearly cannot do is serve the country or honor the oath she took to the Constitution.

Bully Boy Bush should have been impeached.

Nancy is a coward, Nancy is a fool.

She should go down in history as the biggest enabler to War Crimes.  And maybe people will start to also remember Nancy's participation in torture.  She tried to act surprised and, with the pop-eyes from all that plastic surgery, some may have believed she was surprised.  However, the truth always was that Nancy was briefed in full on water boarding and other forms of torture.

jason ditz