Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Iraq snapshot

Wednesday, August 24, 2016. Chaos and violence continue, turns out the widow Lankford accuses Donald Trump in commercials of bilking her out of $35,000 but promotes him online as a qualification for choosing her as your real estate agent -- WOOPS!,  Shi'ite militias carry out War Crimes and the White House is aware, this week's Iraq executions don't meet scrutiny standards, and more.

Yesterday's snapshot opened with this Tweet.

Cheryl lost her husband in Iraq. Then Trump's company targeted her and scammed her out of $35,000.

A number of e-mails poured in.

They fall in to two groups mainly.

The first are veterans and veterans families.

They objected to Hillary Clinton not naming the fallen in her Tweet.

The second group objected to the widow herself -- that she is a partisan.

Let's deal with the second objection first.  

The woman, Cheryl Lankford, spoke at the Democratic Party National Convention.

I did not watch either the GOP or the Democratic convention.  I did not attend either.  (Ava and I did go to the Green Party convention to report on it in "Media: The ignored political party convention.")

Being a war widow does not give the woman immunity from criticism.

Since she's been telling the same story since that convention and has also taped a commercial for Hillary Clinton's campaign, let's examine her story.

It's her own fault.

That's the short version.

If what she says is true, it's her own fault.

Greed got the better of her.

Because Donald Trump was rich -- she apparently missed all his set backs and bankruptcies over the years -- she wanted to trust him with what was a huge amount of money for her -- $35,000.

And this despite the fact that Donald was not present.

Or that she was informed of the $35,000 one time only deal that had to be sealed immediately.

A fool and their money are soon parted.

And that's the reality on why she didn't talk about this until years later.

She felt stupid because she was stupid.

(If her story is true, she was conned out of her money -- her stupidity does not make Donald Trump and his business partners innocent.)

Texas, like any state, has a number of reputable and existing avenues for anyone to pursue if they want a career in real estate.

She didn't want that.

She had already started her own firm and been in business.

That wasn't good enough for her.

She wanted Trump money.


That's on her.

If her story is true, I have no reason to believe it is not, then the courts should side in her favor.

If she's shaded or left anything out, the decision could go in favor of Trump.

But she was foolish and stupid (neither of which are a crime) with a sum of money which was apparently huge for her.  

That's on her.

Now for the second charge.

I agreed reading the e-mails that Hillary should have mentioned the fallen's name.

But is it the fallen?

He didn't die in combat.

Iraq is a combat zone throughout.

Former US House Rep John Hall can be proud of many things in his time in the House but one of the things he should be most proud of was establishing for the record that if you're shot at it in Iraq, you're in combat.  

Many veterans were being told they were not in combat -- especially women -- and that was nonsense.

Cheryl's late husband Command Sgt Major Johnathan Miles Lankford died in Iraq not due to a shooting or a bombing but due to a heart attack.

He would not be listed as a military fatality on DoD's tally of those who were killed while serving.

When he died, his mother did question whether the responsibilities he had in Iraq led to the heart attack.  It's surely possible.

The $35,000 she wasted on greed probably should have gone into a college  fund for John Lankford Jr. -- two-years-old when his father had the fatal heart attack.

Again, greed got the better of her.

Greed allowed her to put her child's future on hold.

If Hillary's going to cite a "war widow" (her term) in a Tweet, she does need to cite the name of whomever died in Iraq.

Especially since she's the one who voted for the Iraq War and supported it and championed it.

Cheryl Lankford is upset that Donald Trump apparently took $35,000 away from her but has no problem with Hillary Clinton helping start a war that Jonathan Miles Lankford's mother believes may have brought on her son's fatal heart attack.

Maybe Cheryl Lankford bonded with Hillary over greed?

I don't know.

For those who feel that may be too harsh, let me offer Cheryl a little free legal advice:

Change your professional online resume/promotion immediately.

Let's hope you do it before Donald Trump's lawyers get a hold of it.

Here's how it currently reads -- pay attention to the last paragraph:

Cheryl D. Lankford Biography
San Antonio, TX | December 4, 2012
Ms. Lankford’s husband served in the military as a command sergeant major, eventually sacrificing his life for his country. Inspired by the contributions he made to a cause he believed in, Ms. Lankford developed a business in his honor, Lankford Land Development, LLC. For the last four years, this business has offered commercial and residential land development services within the San Antonia region.
At the helm of this burgeoning venture, Ms. Lankford manages land for the construction of houses, apartments and shopping malls, dealing with both residential and commercial properties. She scouts for new properties with potential for development as well, scouring the Internet, auctions, newspapers and courthouse listings. Her marketing and public relations fortes enforce the progress of Lankford Land Development, but Ms. Lankford is especially grateful to those who have supported her in her professional undertakings. She feels her success, as well as that of her company, has been perpetuated by her mentors and the other wonderful people whom she has been surrounded by.
Ms. Lankford’s work as a CEO is influenced by her academic background – she holds an Associate of Arts in governmental studies from Prince George's Community College. She has also been enrolled in Trump University. Eventually, as she hones her expertise, she plans to take on many different projects and hire more employees, gradually expanding the scope of her business.

I didn't include the contact option for her.

But do you see the problem?

She's advertised her experience, her qualifications.

And she's included "She has also been enrolled in Trump University."

She's calling it a plus in her online promotion.

She's using it to attract business.

Trump's lawyers could easily argue it was worth the $35,000 alone for her to be able to use the 'university' as a professional credit.

More likely, they'll stick with this argument instead: "If she was so displeased, why did she promote the university herself online?"

Hillary's campaign is really stupid.

It took me 30 minutes to search Cheryl Lankford this morning.

I came across many things Donald Trump could use against her.

It's a surprise the Clinton machine wasn't already on this and getting her to remove certain things online.

I also question GLAMOUR for their idiotic article that could have been written in July -- and was by THE NEW YORK TIMES and assorted others -- and is served up this week not to report but in an attempt to sway an electorate.

I condemn GLAMOUR, in fact, for their failure to delve into the Iraq War.  

What an embarrassing rag.  

And here's the thing, I'm all over the country (except Alaska).  

I will be ragging on GLAMOUR at every speaking event.  

I will make sure they do not walk away from this.

So good for throwing objectivity and professionalism out the window, GLAMOUR.

You and others will learn -- as many have in the last 8 years -- that whoring comes with risks.

Not as many risks as the people of Iraq face in the never ending war on their country, but risks all the same.

 Human Rights Watch Ken Roth Tweets:

Sectarian abuse by Iraq Shia militia was even worse than believed (meaning downright awful).

Human Rights Watch has long noted the ongoing persecution of the Sunnis in Iraq.

Roth's referring to a new blockbuster report from Ned Parker of REUTERS news agency.

This time, Ned's teamed with Jonathan S. Landay for a report which opens:

Shi’ite militias in Iraq detained, tortured and abused far more Sunni civilians during the American-backed capture of the town of Falluja in June than U.S. officials have publicly acknowledged, Reuters has found.More than 700 Sunni men and boys are still missing more than two months after the Islamic State stronghold fell. The abuses occurred despite U.S. efforts to restrict the militias' role in the operation, including threatening to withdraw American air support, according to U.S. and Iraqi officials.
The U.S. efforts had little effect. Shi’ite militias did not pull back from Falluja, participated in looting there and now vow to defy any American effort to limit their role in coming operations against Islamic State.
All told, militia fighters killed at least 66 Sunni males and abused at least 1,500 others fleeing the Falluja area, according to interviews with more than 20 survivors, tribal leaders, Iraqi politicians and Western diplomats.
They said men were shot, beaten with rubber hoses and in several cases beheaded. Their accounts were supported by a Reuters review of an investigation by local Iraqi authorities and video testimony and photographs of survivors taken immediately after their release. 

Prior to the start of the war, Jonathan S. Landay filed strong reports for KNIGHT RIDDER.  Ned first shined on the Iraq War with powerful pieces for THE LOS ANGELES TIMES including ones exposing secret prisons.  At REUTERS, he's continued for file reporting that matters. 

In fact, he's filed reporting that matters so much, he had to leave Iraq after being threatened on state television for his reporting.

As for  the US government?

They're not legally allowed to support Haider al-Abadi's government or 'government' in Iraq with these actions being carried out.

There are laws, there are legal treaties and there is the Leahy Amendment.

It'll be interesting to see how the State Dept and White House spin this.

New media was going to fix all the problems.

Are you old enough to remember that?

That talked ended in early 2006.  

Or that boast.

For good reason.

In the last days, maybe you caught the rah-rah over the hangings in Iraq?

Presented as just.

Even setting aside one's objection to the death penalty, they were not just.

But new media has a real problem with accuracy -- the same problem big media has.

They don't want to examine, they don't want to face reality.

They want pretty.

All they got was pretty lies.

Executions in Iraq not real justice for Speicher Massacre- fair trials needed to restore faith in justice system


The hangings were carried out on Sunday at a prison in southern Iraq, state TV said. Those executed were suspected Sunni Muslim militants convicted in the killings of as many as 1700 soldiers, mostly Shi'ite Muslims, after they were taken captive by Islamic State insurgents two years ago.
"The individuals who have been executed were convicted only on the basis of information provided by secret informants or by confessions allegedly extracted under duress," UN human rights spokeswoman Cecile Pouilly told reporters in Geneva on Tuesday.
She said the defendants' court-appointed lawyer did not intervene during the proceedings apart from a three-minute statement just before the verdicts were delivered.

 Isaiah's THE WORLD TODAY JUST NUTS "The Clinton Piggy Bank" went up last night.  The following community sites -- plus KPFK and PACIFICA EVENING NEWS RADIO -- updated: