Thursday, March 12, 2015

Iraq snapshot

Thursday, March 13, 2015. Chaos and violence continue, the Iraqi forces violence against Sunnis gets serious media attention, CodeStink needs to pack it in having done too much damage (they aren't the only ones doing damage), and much more.

On the Thursday broadcast of ABC World News with David Muir, Iraq was covered:

David Muir: Now to new fall out after our ABC investigation last night. It involves the fight against ISIS known for those awful videos, lining up their victims on the beach.  And now a new concern.  Are some of the Iraqi forces -- trained and paid for by US taxpayers -- using techniques that are just as brutal?  Well the State Dept tonight responding to our report and ABC's chief investigative reporter Brian Ross back on the job tonight.

Brian Ross:  The State Dept called these scenes today serious and distuuing.  Brutal images of what appear to be Iraqi forces and militias carrying out, celebrating, torture and beheadings.  In this torture scene, two US weapons against the wall. This video shows two civilians, pleading for their lives, about to be shot dead.  A man with an American supplied weapon walks by, a gunman with what appears to be the insignia of Iraqi Special Forces caught on tape.

US State Dept spokesperson Jen Psaki: Their behavior must be above reproach or they risk being painted with the same brush as ISIL fighters.

Brian Ross:  The Pentagon says it has already cut off money to some Iraqi units because of gross human rights violations.  But Senator Patrick Leahy says the ABC News report shows the government should cut off money to more Iraqi units.

Senator Patrick Leahy: When you look at at the videos and look at the uniforms being worn, do we really want to say the US condones that?

Brian Ross: US officials tonight tell ABC News that America's top military leader Gen Martin Dempsey, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs, has repeatedly warned Iraqi leaders about the conduct of the Iraqi military and the militias that fight with them -- especially because the US is sending $1.5 billion to the Iraqi army and almost 3,000 American troops to help train them.

At the link, you'll find not only the video report, but also a text article and a photo essay.  James Gordon Meek, Brian Ross, Rym Momtaz and Alex Hosenball did the previous ABC News report on this topic.

The Jen Psaki moment in the transcript above is from today's State Dept press briefing.

Jen is shown looking down at her notebook and reading a pre-written statement.

She's ridiculous and shameful.  Let's move to that moment at today's briefing:

QUESTION: There’s some really disturbing images coming out of Iraq, which appear to show uniformed Iraqi soldiers committing atrocities – beheadings, torture. Are you – I mean, Iraq has said they’re investigating. Do you have confidence in their investigation, their ability to investigate this alone? Will you, the State Department, do any investigating? That’s the first question.

MS. PSAKI: Sure. Well, these are clearly disturbing and serious allegations, ones that we’ve, unfortunately, spoken about many times before, including from this podium, because we’ve been – there have been a range of reports out there for some time about these types of abuses. So we’re, of course, deeply concerned by the reports. The Iraqi Government, as you mentioned, has indicated that it will investigate to determine the facts behind these claims. We urge it to conduct a transparent, thorough, and timely investigation.
I would also note that Prime Minister Abadi, I think including in his inaugural remarks, spoke about this, has stated that he – not about this specifically, but about efforts to kind of address unregulated militias, which is part of the problem – has stated that he has a zero-tolerance policy of human rights abuses by any security element. U.S. officials from Washington and Baghdad continue to raise our concerns with senior Government of Iraq officials, and we have been doing that for some time.
This behavior is clearly – their behavior must be above reproach or they risk being painted with the same brush as ISIL fighters. And certainly that’s a message that we are making clear. But they’ve indicated they’re investigating. There’s no plans for the United States Government to investigate, no.

QUESTION: Okay. But do they not also risk, then, the U.S. sort of cutting off funding and pulling out of the coalition and sort of stopping their involvement?

MS. PSAKI: Well, we have withheld assistance from certain Iraqi units on the basis of credible information in the past. There’s an entire process of review that happens. And certainly if new information surfaced that warranted that – the Leahy law being put into effect, we would do the same thing.

QUESTION: Right. So unlikely that you would – as a result of these types of crimes, if proven true – I mean, there’s images supporting them at this point. But if proven true, it’s unlikely that you would do some sort of broad pullout of Iraq as a result, just stopping financing to certain brigades?

MS. PSAKI: Well, there are laws in place, that have been in place for time, that we have applied to some Iraqi units. And certainly we would continue to apply those if applicable. Obviously we look at any information that was available, including reports and media reports as well. But I’m not going to prejudge what that would mean in the future.

That's not the law and the State Dept looks like a pack of idiot War Criminals right now.

The US government is not allowed to pick and choose -- per the law -- which parts of a military they give assistance to.  The law is that when incidents like the above take place, the US government has to cut off all military assistance.

That's the law.

I thought Jen was leaving.  I thought she was taking her lying to the White House?

After today, she can't leave soon enough.

There is spin and there is whoring.

We've been rather kind to Jen here.  Marie Harf, not so much.  But Jen's largely gotten a pass because she's usually been professional not whorish.

When she stands in front of the press and lies through her teeth about the law -- to cover for War Crimes -- she's nothing but a cheap whore.

She has no shame and she clearly has no ethics.

The Leahy Amendment does not say: If the government the US is sending military aid to has human rights abuses (War Crimes), the US government must ensure that the 'good' elements of the military receive money and weapons.

The law says when these human rights abuses take place, the aid is to be immediately cut.

The State Dept is a disgrace today.

John Kerry's confused himself with Secretary of Defense throughout his tenure as Secretary of State.

It is shameful.

And it should be criminal for a spokesperson to lie about what the law says.

What the trashy liar doesn't tell the press briefing is that the US government is refusing to investigate because such an investigation -- if the charges bore out (and they will) -- would mean -- Leahy Amendment or not -- the US drop all aid immediately or be guilty of supporting the War Crimes, of funding the War Crimes.

This goes beyond the Leahy Amendment and goes to charters and treaties the US government has signed.

Jen Psaki lied.

She disgraced herself.

She disgraced the State Dept (which I'm sure Kerry is happy about because he's become such a liar himself).

She betrayed democracy and open government with the effort to lie and deceive the American people.

Spin is one thing.  We've let her spin in the past and rolled our eyes over it.

This was deceit, this was trickery.

Some are pointing out that the Pentagon had held off funds.

That's even worse.

The Pentagon came to the conclusion that certain funds shouldn't go to certain parts of the Iraqi forces because of human rights abuses (War Crimes).

Those decisions -- which, again, are not legal, legal is all or nothing -- should have been conveyed to the American people.

It's the American people who are footing the bill.

It is the American people the administration is supposed to serve -- Serve.

And they lied.

The Pentagon lied.

It lied by not informing the American people.

This isn't 'national security.'

This shouldn't be 'classified.'

It is the willful disregard of the American people, of democracy and of informed consent that has been the hallmark of Barack Obama's tenure as President of the United States.

He has made a mockery of transparency and of his own claim, prior to becoming president, that his administration would be open.

And Barack himself should have told the American people the news that the Pentagon had learned that certain elements in the Iraqi forces were committing human rights abuses (War Crimes).

Maybe he'll again insist that he didn't know until the press just reported it.

Last week we noted, starting with the March 5th snapshot, Iraqi forces surrounding an 11-year-old boy.  This is video.  It's not in dispute.  The child is sitting in the middle of the street as he is bullied and threatened by Iraqi forces and then they execute this child.

These things are not in dispute.

I long ago noted being sickened by the video where Iraqi forces burned a man alive.

It's over a year later.

Mountains of documented cases of these abuses.


They set themselves up as our saviors on the left.

The nothing but attention getting problem makers.

At yesterday's hearing, one was evicted after screaming about "killing people."

The tired point being made was that any war is going to result in killing -- and that will include populations -- civilians -- caught up in the war.

Yes, CodeStink, we all know that.  We all get that.

The Iraq War's been going on since 2003.

Over a million Iraqi civilians have died of violence during just the early part of the war.

After the CodeStinker was flushed from the hearing, John Kerry went to town.

Because they'd set him up perfectly.

He preened and grinned, he really did, as he tried to act stern and angry and insisted that if CodeStink was so concerned about killings, they should ask the families of the American journalists who were killed and they should consider the Jordanian pilot who was burned alive.  That was it.  Of all the victims of the Islamic State, that was it for Kerry.  Didn't care about the aid workers, for example.

If CodeStink had been doing their job, they would have joined me in calling out the abuses of the Iraqi forces.

But for over a year they've ignored.

Maybe they don't care, maybe they're too stupid.

I think they're too lazy to do the work required and that's why, whenever they talk the Iraq War, they don't have a single thing to say that they weren't already saying before Barack became president.  Six years of the war, the most recent six, are erased or ignored by CodeStink.

So a CodeStinker gave Kerry the moment he wanted where he couldn't pretend he was so moral and upstanding.  (I know John.  I like him outside of his office.  But I'd never accuse of being upstanding or ethical in his work as Secretary of State.)

Now if the CodeStinker had done any work required, the shout would have been, "Why are we funding this war and these forces when they are killing Iraqi civilians!"

And Kerry would have responded.

And since ABC News hadn't broken the story yet and since Kerry repeatedly lied throughout the hearing, he would have lied on this.

And CodeStink could have had credit, in the hours that passed, for setting Kerry up to get caught in a lie.

Instead they're just useless.

Yesterday's snapshot covered the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Cedric's "John Kerry has a hissy" and Wally's "THIS JUST IN! AND THE HUFFY BIKE HE RODE IN ON!" humor joint-post covered it, Wally covered it also in "Is there a bigger bitch than John Kerry (Wally)," Kat covered it with "I honestly feel sorry for Barack Obama," Ann covered it with "How afraid of us is the US government?" -- this is about the police presence at the hearing and that was appalling -- and Ava covered it with "John Kerry's become a bully and a bore (Ava)."

Let me start with Ava's real quick.  At, Lucy Steigerwald has a new column tonight entitled "Loving America Means Letting It Go to War" and I thought, "Well good.  Someone else is picking up on the points of the hearing that bothered Ava."  No.  Lucy can't be bothered with the hearing so she does a 'greatest hits.'  She plays the jukebox and there's nothing breathing or alive in her dead prose.  As Ava points out, John Kerry ridiculously attempted to blackmail the Committee.  They had to vote for the AUMF, he insisted, or the terrorists win.  And if Congress votes for it and it barely passes?  The terrorists still win.

Kerry invoked 9/11 and everything else in an attempt to shame Congress into voting for war.

Someone needs to inform Lucy.  Her headline was topical.  Her tired column was not.

I really don't get these people -- and I've called them out for years -- at least since 2006 -- who think they can dust off their past remarks about Iraq and 'repurpose' those remarks into a 'new' column on Iraq.

And it's offensive and it's damaging.

John Kerry lied repeatedly to the Committee.

Never more so than when he rewrote history regarding al Qaeda in Mesopotamia.

And he gets away with it because of lazy whores on the left.

They're not new to my side.

They've been lazy since at least 2006.

And by their constant whoring to blame everything on Bully Boy Bush, they allow a John Kerry to invoke 9/11 before a Senate Committee to argue for further war on Iraq and to claim a link between Iraq and 9/11.

You need to get your heads out of your asses and start grasping -- and talking and writing about -- what happened from 2010 to 2014.  If you can't do that, please,  find another topic because the world cannot afford your lies and stupidity.

You have created an environment in which John Kerry can falsely link 9/11 to Iraq.

You created that by ignoring reality because you're lazy and also because your life's goal is not to help Iraqis but instead to provide cover for Barack Obama.

You're whores.

You're disgusting.

The Iraqi protesters -- not that any of you ever acknowledged it -- called on Barack for help.

And he ignored them.

For example, in March of 2013, activists in Samarra put their message on display.

From Samarra من سامراء

"Obama, If you Cannot Hear Us Can you Not See Us?"

The following month, Sunnis would be slaughtered at a protest elsewhere.

April 23, 2013 massacre of a sit-in in Hawija which resulted from  Nouri's federal forces storming in.  Alsumaria noted Kirkuk's Department of Health (Hawija is in Kirkuk)  announced 50 activists have died and 110 were injured in the assault.   AFP reported the death toll eventually (as some wounded died) rose to 53 dead.   UNICEF noted that the dead included 8 children (twelve more were injured).

And Barack, the White House and the State Dept could offer nothing but 'we call for both sides to be careful.'

Nouri's forces slaughtered 8 children.

The BRussells Tribunal carried the account of survivor Thamer Hussein Mousa who lost his son Mohammed Thamer, who saw his son killed by Nouri's forces.  What did he say?

"I hold Obama responsible for this act because he is the one who gave them these weapons. The weapons and aircrafts they used and fired upon us were American weapons. I also hold the United States of America responsible for this criminal act, above all, Obama."

So you're tired bulls**t about what Bully Boy Bush did in 2003 is worthless and cowardly.

That's if you're Noam Chomsky, CodeStink, whomever you are.

You have ignored War Crimes in Iraq and provided Barack Obama the cover to ignore them as well.

You cheap little whores -- and, yes, that's you Noam, you endorsed Barack don't pretend you didn't now -- insisted that, if he became president, you would hold his feet to the fire.

You never did.

And Iraq suffered because of you.

You're as guilty as Barack Obama.

You're as guilty as Bully Boy Bush.

You're craven, whorish and shameful.

So stop telling us about 2003 because that was a lifetime for Iraq -- it is a very young population.

Under Barack, things have been as bad and arguably worse.

Iraqis went to the polls in 2010 wanting change.  They voted for Iraqiya.  Nouri's State of Law came in second.  Nouri lost.

But Barack refused to allow the Iraqi people to choose their own leader.  He refused to respect democracy.

When Nouri al-Maliki wouldn't step down, Barack didn't demand it.  Instead, he has US officials negotiate a contract (The Erbil Agreement) which gave Nouri a second term.

This is what set everything in motion for the crises today.

We documented in real time.  We've documented it since.

If you can't be honest, just don't speak.

Find another thing to pretend you care about.

Your lies are hurting Iraqis and have hurt Iraqis.

Back to Ann.

So we, the American people, now have to put up with a non-stop police presence at a Congressional hearing.

Thank you, CodeStink.

You're worthless attention getters whose behavior has become self-parody.

And now, thanks to you, we have to have armed police standing in the aisles of a Congressional hearing.

I mean, if you ever accomplished anything with your little stunts, I'd be fine with your actions.

But you're a disgrace.

And it was probably your behavior with Condi Rice that will be cited as the excuse for what's now going to be the new policy at Congressional hearings.

For those who missed, CodeStink's ridiculous Diane -- we won't promote her by giving her full name, we used to promote her book and other things she asked for but that ended after the stunt she pulled -- she wanted to call out Condi.



Even fine to disrupt the hearing to do so.

But here's where Diane crossed the line.

With red paint on her hands -- to symbolize blood -- she stood right in front of Condi -- in the middle of a hearing -- shoving her hands at Condi's face.

I'm not a fan of Condi Rice.  I've never even bothered to learn the spelling of her first name.

I think she was part of a criminal administration.

So I really didn't appreciate Diane making me feel sorry for Condi.

Or Diane making me note how Condi responded to this 2007 outrageous act with grace.

Standing up in a hearing and unfurling a banner is one thing.

Heckling or shouting is one thing.

I can support those actions regardless of whether or not I agree with the message being shouted or on a banner or whatever.

But when you act in a way that makes you look nuts and your actions involve thrusting your hands at someone in a hearing?

If Diane had been tasered (or is it tazed?), I wouldn't have objected.

Her actions were outrageous and Condi -- or security -- could have made the logical conclusion that this crazy woman was a threat.

(They could have done the same with Medea I-Need-Attention Benjamin who refused to leave and made police drag her -- across people sitting at the hearing -- she's not a woman of peace, she's an idiot and a nut case.  You are asked to leave, leave.)

Because of that nutty behavior and so much more, we're apparently -- now that the Republicans are in charge of the Senate -- going to have to endure armed police standing on each aisle throughout a hearing, staring down those gathered to exercise their right to attend a Congressional hearing..

It's intimidating and it needs to stop.

I'm calling out the Republican leadership for doing this.

I'm also calling out CodeStink whose actions have resulted in the Republican response.

CodeStink has outlived its purpose.

Jason Ditz ( notes the Pentagon is denying reports that US bombings killed 22 Iraqi soldiers in Anbar, "Denials from US officials are common, and not always credible. It is hard to imagine, likewise, that the US launched only a single airstrike in the whole Anbar Province in an entire day."  Margaret Griffis ( counts 214 dead across Iraq from violence (read her report and not just the headline before you e-mail me that the number is 208).

Brian Ross

jason ditz