If you're looking for a visual to sum up 2013, you should picture someone in a raincoat, a partially open raincoat, standing before you, flashing you. 2013 was all about exposure.
" from July 3rd captures that.
NSA whistle-blower Ed Snowden exposed Barack Obama's illegal spying.
It shocked a number of people -- not just Americans but around the world. Outrage was expressed by the leaders of Bolivia, Brazil and Germany.
Ed's actions didn't just expose what the government was doing it secret, it also resulted in exposing what the government was doing publicly.
Like Senator Dianne Feinstein who is the oldest member of the Senate and whose excuses for the spying and minimization of it exposed her as not just an old fool but an old fool who needs to retire.
Feinstein isn't fit to serve in the Senate anymore. She snarled early on in the aftermath of the initial revelations, "He took an oath!" DiFi took an oath to uphold the Constitution. She took that oath every time she was re-elected. Did she not understand what an oath was?
Instead of fighting for the American people and/or the Constitution, she defined her role as discovering new ways to justify breaking the law or, worse, lying.
That may have been the greatest public obscenity of 2013 -- a politician with no real rivals who skips to re-election over and over can't find the backbone to stand up.
Ed's revelations also led to MSNBC's self exposure.
The entertainment network tries to pass itself off as a news network.
It's not news.
Bad seventies daytime TV.
Endless talk shows with really ugly hosts who send you fleeing.
Among others, Ed Schultz, Melissa Lie Face Lacewell-Harris-Perry, Lawrence O'Donnell and Alex Wagner have attacked Ed Snowden.
On Alex's show, big mouth Melissa screamed and yelled, waved her hands around wildly as she insisted that Ed Snowden was "dangerous" to the United States by not staying in the United States after his whistle-blowing became public. Yes, she really said that: "But this going on the run thing, this is different. This is dangerous to our country."
Let's say Ed committed murder and he left the US and sought asylum elsewhere.
You might argue he escaped justice, but you couldn't argue his actions were "dangerous to our country" since having a criminal out of the US would presumably make the country safer. That is one of the points of prison, after all, that the criminal is removed from society.
Even more distressing, Melissa babbled on for 14 seconds shy of two minutes. She was part of the MSNBC lynch mob in that segment which also included Alex Wagner who ganged up on WikiLeaks spokesperson Krstinn Hrafnsson.
"Do you want to respond to Melissa's points?" asked Wagner.
He did and he got to speak for 18 seconds before Melissa began yelling and cutting him off. And host Wagner let Melissa do that.
Host Wagner had just given Hrafnsson the floor to respond to Melissa's 106 second verbal tirade and he only got 18 seconds worth of comment before Melissa screamed and yelled and took over the discourse.
Wagner is a lousy host.
She has no manners. She's strange looking -- what's going on with that nasal construction right below eye level on the bridge? It's like she's got a fake nose on top of a real nose. There's a clear line between the 'two' and it only becomes more noticeable when she dips her head down. Worst of all, she asked her guest Hrafnsson -- her only real guest, MSNBC employees appearing on the show are employees, not guests -- Wagner asked her guest to stop speaking so that Melissa could continue ranting and screaming. (Wagner will deny asking him to stop. When Melissa's screaming and Wagner pats his hand to get him to stop talking, that's asking him to stop talking.)
And then there was MSNBC's Sgt Schultz. Big Ed.
Punk has many meanings.
For some reason watching Schultz froth at the mouth, it really seemed he was using the word in the sense that he probably did in school -- "punk" as code for a gay man.
And I'd fear Schultz was doing that because he wanted to f**k Ed Snowden were it not for the fact that, to do so, Schultz would need a penis and as obese as Schultz is, it's clear he hasn't seen his penis in years, that big belly probably prevents him from even seeing his toes when he's standing up.
Of course, Lawrence O'Donnell had to rant and rave repeatedly throughout the year and, as it closed, managed to squeeze in yet another attack. He and Joy Reid acted as a tag team going after Ed Snowden last week. At one point, Joy Reid insisted the whistle-blower was overreacting because, "They haven't outlawed sex." Having cited her worst fear of government abuse, Reid then went on to insist, "They
haven't outlawed speaking against the government."
To watch MSNBC, of course, you'd never know that it was still legal to speak against the White House.
People talk a lot.
Some say our society is too violent.
With school shootings and Barack killing people with drones as well as all the various wars, I would agree completely.
Some would carp about violent films and video games and their impact on society.
than anyone else on MSNBC when it comes to this.
She likes to use violent imagery.
She's infamous for this year's "open season" Tweet regarding a jury verdict she disagreed with.
Speaking of the economy on MSNBC, she declared, "[. . .] it's as if they [Republicans] stuck dynamite on the bridge, blew it up and
then dared people to cross to the other side of the canyon on their own."
After the 2012 Newton school shooting, Goldie took to the media to declare she'd given up her own firearm. It's a shame she can't also give up violent imagery when discussing politics.
And not just because she's one of the few faces MSNBC has who actually has a face for TV but because she's know more real violence than most ever will.
Whether you agree with her decision to give up her gun or not, hopefully, you do respect that she was trying to do her part to get society to step away from violence. But that effort is undermined when she takes to the airwaves to serve up violent imagery in a conversation about politics.
I do think we are growing to accustomed to violence, to torture, too removed from reality with regards to it and I don't see how discussing the economy by referring to a bridge being blown up gets us away from a culture of violence.
If I'm spending more time on this specific issue, it's not just because I strongly believe our political conversations are too often promoting violence, it's also because I honestly believe Goldie Taylor is an important voice and I honestly think she can do much better than resorting to violent imagery to get her points across.
Bob Somerby found that praise worthy. Because he's really not that smart.
Look at what Krugman's saying and it's wrong in two ways.
First off, Krugman's recommending journalists check out three sites: Campaign Desk, Media Matters and The Daily Howler
By 2004, Somerby's site was pretty much worthless and would remain that for a good many years. This is where Somerby begins insisting that the Swift Boating of John Kerry was so much kinder than what was done to his college roommate Al Gore.
I'm not a fan of Al Snore. I did donate to his campaign and to the recount effort and I did vote for him in 2000. But I'm not a fan. I've known John for years and maybe that (I like John as a person) and my distaste for Al Gore leads me to feel that Kerry was treated worse.
I'll allow that.
I'm not an idiot like Bob Somerby who seems to think his hero worship of Al doesn't impact his judgment calls.
Al Gore was called a liar about this claim and that claim.
In 2000, one popular joke went, "What's the difference between Bush and Gore and Jane Fonda? Jane Fonda went to Vietnam."
And that's really about it for Gore.
He served in Vietnam. I am opposed to that war to this day.
I do not demonize -- and never have -- those sent over to Vietnam by the crooked government of the United States -- under Democrat and Republican administrations.
I don't make light of what they saw or what they experienced.
And so I'm sorry but mocking John Kerry's service and mocking his wounds and calling him a liar on that? That's a lot worse then snickering, "Al Gore invented the internet!"
Bob was worthless in 2004 and it begins his slide into worthlessness. He'll go on to attack former US Ambassador Joseph Wilson as a liar. He'll 'forget' to disclose his relationship with Matthew Cooper to his readers. (We eventually did that for Bob.) Matthew Cooper was one of the reporters CIA agent Valerie Plame was outed to -- outed by the Bully Boy Bush administration. Valerie is (and was) Joseph Wilson's wife. While the bulk of America focused on issues, Somerby obsessed over trivia.
We're coming back to Somerby.
But there was Media Matters. It's worthless today -- too many scandals to keep under wraps and it's not a media watch dog, it's a partisan outlet. In 2004, when Krugman wrote that, there were hopes that it would be a real media watchdog.
That leaves Campaign Desk.
This was CJR's reach around.
This was not media criticism.
This was, "Who are our buddies?"
This was, "Who do we hate?"
So various outlets that people wanted to work at or had friends at were pimped regularly and various outlets they hated were attacked.
(It should be noted that there was a regular back and forth between Campaign Desk and Third Estate Sunday Review
. We'd post a critique and they'd do a response. So they were, in effect, our background singers.)
So I'm confused why Paul Krugman would promote them.
But mainly I'm confused why he'd promote any of them?
He wrote that by visiting those three sites, you could find out how you were seen.
If you wanted to know how you were seen, why go to three Democratic Party sites?
It's not the only game in town.
And if Krugman really wanted journalists to know how they were seen why wouldn't he include, for example, NewsBusters
on the list?
His stated goal is not met by steering to just one point on the political spectrum.
The second problem is the stated goal: "It's good to see ourselves as others see us."
That's really disturbing because Paul Krugman's not posing for the cover of In Style
He's allegedly a journalist -- not a reporter, a columnist.
But he's advising journalists including reporters.
And reporters aren't doing autobiography.
They're supposed to be reporting.
So visiting sites shouldn't tell you about how you're seen but about how your work is seen.
It's not a minor point.
It was 2004, Krugman's written better and worse pieces since then.
But Somerby quoted it yesterday and couldn't grasp the problem. He praised Krugman sending people to a Democratic Fun House so that they could learn how people see them.
Somerby's doing lousy work yet again.
David Kirkpatrick wrote an article for the New York Times on the September 11, 2012 Benghazi attack
I didn't read it because I didn't want to comment on it.
In part because there's too much going on in Iraq.
Then Bob had to praise it.
Because it's great reporting?
Bob Somerby doesn't know what reporting is.
He's humping the New York Times because he likes the article's conclusions.
The article is problematic for many reasons.
First, at the end of November, I learned from a White House friend about the article.
Susan Rice is an important leaker to the paper. She's not leaking anything of value, to be clear.
She's not doing unauthorized leaks. But she regularly takes to the Times whatever the White House wants leaked.
For this reason, the paper agreed to do an article to improve her image.
This was quid pro quo.
I have no idea if the reporter David Kirkpatrick was aware of this horse trade deal (we'll continue to leak if you'll give Susan Rice some good press) but the management knew.
US House Rep Peter King has been insisting the paper's done this to help Hillary Clinton and her possible 2016 presidential run.
I don't know where he's getting that -- I don't know if someone's told him that or if it's a hunch.
If it's a hunch, I'd say he's very wrong.
As most Democrats high up in the party know, Barack doesn't want to help Hillary.
Not just because the two really don't like each other (though they don't) but because, as one of his former advisers told me hours after "Iraq and the American electorate
" went up here, if Hillary runs, Barack needs for her to lose.
He didn't win the most votes in the primaries. There are people who still feel Hillary should have been the 2008 nominee (that includes me).
Hillary has to lose for Barack to be special.
If she runs and wins in 2016, she'll be doing so in a climate much more anti-Democrat than what Barack won in. (As early as 2007, most pundits were pointing out that the Democrats would win in 2008 no matter who their nominee was.)
Even worse, if she gets in the White House what if she outshines him?
Hillary is far from perfect.
I've noted that before.
But one thing Hillary would do -- one thing that Barack never did -- would be to get serious about the economy.
Most likely that would mean 'pragmatic' moves (a blend of center left and center right) that would outrage many on the left.
What does it say about 'special' Barack if Hillary runs in 2016 and wins in a much more hostile to Democrats environment and what does it say if she gets into the White House and gets the economy to rebound -- to really improve and reduce unemployment?
I'm not calling Peter King a liar. If it's a hunch, I think he's wrong.
If it's what someone told him, I think he should think about his source. Doing so may make him believe it more firmly and his source may be right. But I'm not hearing from any close to Barack that he wants Hillary to win in 2016, should she run.
Okay, now for the article. The long, long, long article by David Kirkpatrick.
Kirkpatrick isn't a trained journalist in term of schooling. He's learned on the job. That can work. It has many times in the past. Provided you're learning by being on the police beat or something similar that requires factual reporting and is a bit of a grind.
That's not what the paper did with David.
David D. Kirkpatrick wrote pro-Democrat stories and anti-Republican ones. They were largely meaningless reports that had no lasting value. He was sometimes teamed up with Scott Shane for an article of importance but that's more of a credit to Shane than it is to Kirkpatrick.
So when I read the long article, I see so much sloppy.
I see so much failure to nail down, failure to explain, failure to address the issues.
I'm also curious of how quickly the article was written and how Kirkpatrick got a byline -- this is from two friends at the paper -- that he really didn't earn. It should have listed other names.
If you're in doubt on that, Kirkpatrick is the Cairo bureau chief.
That really doesn't allow for the time to write a long article, let alone do a solo investigative piece.
If you can grasp that, you should be able to grasp that Kirkpatrick is interpreting the work of others, so he's at least once removed.
For an investigative report, that's a problem.
Again, Somerby doesn't know a damn thing about journalism. (For years, he thought reporters wrote headlines and he's still sometimes unsure.)
Kirkpatrick's also not much of a reporter.
Four Americans were killed in the attack. In the first section of his report, the first thousand words, Kirkpatrick notes:
Later that day, Mr. Stevens was dead, killed with three other Americans
in Benghazi in the most significant attack on United States property in
11 years, since Sept. 11, 2001.
It's about 5,000 words into the piece -- the very long article -- when this appears:
Two American security guards, Tyrone S. Woods and Glen A. Doherty, were
killed by the mortar shells. Mr. Stevens and Sean Smith, an information
officer, suffocated in the burning of the main villa in the diplomatic
Those names should have been included from the start.
When you're writing an article of over 6,000 words, you've got more than enough room to include Tyrone Woods, Glen Doherty and Sean Smith instead of "three other Americans."
Anyone who waits 5,000 words in to name the other three dead isn't reporting. And isn't concerned with pleasing anyone but the White House.
If his focus was on reporting, the three names would have appeared at the start. Would have and they should have.
Worse, that's the only time their names appear.
Bob Somerby, stupid fool that he is, claims this report tells what happened in Benghazi and clears the White House. Here's Bob with his thumb up his ass yet again:
That said, Sunday’s new report was extremely detailed. In this early
passage, Kirkpatrick contradicts two basic parts of the brain-dead
script which caused so much damage:
KIRKPATRICK (12/29/13): Months of investigation by The New
York Times, centered on extensive interviews with Libyans in Benghazi
who had direct knowledge of the attack there and its context, turned up no evidence that Al Qaeda or other international terrorist groups had any role in the assault.
The attack was led, instead, by fighters who had benefited directly
from NATO’s extensive air power and logistics support during the
uprising against Colonel Qaddafi. And contrary to claims by some
members of Congress, it was fueled in large part by anger at an
American-made video denigrating Islam.
Say what? The Times found “no evidence that Al Qaeda had any role in the assault?”
And not only that:
The assault “was fueled in large part by anger at an American-made video denigrating Islam?”
Can those findings really be true? As everyone knows, Rice was crucified for suggesting the possibility that the video may have been part of the turmoil.
Yes, Kirkpatrick makes that claim in the first fifth of the report, paragraph ten in fact. It's over 6,000 words long. He makes that claim at the front but he never backs it up. He provides no supporting evidence.
This report doesn't even tell how Doherty, Woods and Smith died. ""Mortar shells"? Is this a two paragraph of the day's events in Iraq or it is an article that's over 6,000 words long?
This is complete nonsense. (The paper would say that this is covered in the accompanying timeline. I'm sorry, you've got a report over 6,000 words long. You can offer how the three died.)
Who are his sources?
Some are the ones who fled when the attack started, the ones who were supposed to be providing protection.
Why would you trust these people?
I don't understand why Libyans who fled their posts and failed to provide the protection they were paid to provide and contracted to provide are now people who are seen as honest brokers.
Otherwise, who is his source.
He makes a lot of claims about terrorists involved in the attacks.
Can we get a source?
No arrests have been made to this day but somehow Kirkpatrick knows the people involved?
He speaks with Abu Khattala who denies involvement in the attack. This man "suggested that the video insulting the Prophet Muhammad might well have justified the killing of four Americans." Okay but that's saying the killings might be justified. It's not saying the killings were motivated by the video -- and it can't say that if Khattala's maintaining he wasn't part of the attacks.
Kirkpatrick then types, "Other Benghazi Islamists insist, bizarrely and without evidence, that they suspect the C.I.A. killed the ambassador."
He also notes:
The leaders of Ansar al-Shariah, the hard-line Islamist group allied
with Mr. Abu Khattala, declared in a statement read on television the
morning after the attack that they had not participated in it. But they
lauded the assault as a just response to the video. They, too, insisted
that a “peaceful protest” had “escalated as a result of shooting that
came from the consulate, which led to the ambassador’s death by
If they weren't there, they can't say. They're not witnesses if they're not their. They're not sources if they weren't present.
Kirkpatrick states that Egypt was enraged by the video and the announcement that a Florida pastor would
"debut the film." That would be Egypt. The attack was in Libya.
He then insists that the video was aired ("a clip") on September 8th on El Nas, an Egyptian channel. He doesn't establish how he 'knows' that. Was he told it? Did he see a recording of the program?
Regardless, we're still talking about what took place in Egypt. Not Libya.
He says people were watching in Begnhazi.
How does he know that? Because one person tells him that El Nas is popular: "It is Friday morning viewing." That's interesting.
Follow with me please, Kirkpatrick's 'proof' that the program was watched is one unnamed person who explains it was watched, this program that aired September 8th and showed a clip from the video and this led to outrage. It was watched and it was outrageous and see, people in Libya watch this show, it is Friday morning viewing.
It's a daily show and on Friday's they're watching.
I don't think that's been proven but that's the claim offered.
My problem with that claim?
They supposedly watch this show on Friday. Friday morning.
September 8th was a Saturday. Check out yourself. (You can click here for a Saturday, September 8, 2012 entry
if you don't have a 2012 calendar handy.)
How could they have watched a program the morning of Friday, September 7, 2012 if the program wasn't aired until Saturday, September 8th.
Memory is a tricky thing. Even someone who's not planning to lie can misremeber.
But no one can watch a September 8th program on September 7th unless they're psychic or have some ability to time travel.
If Kirkpatrick encountered people who had either of those skill sets, he should have ditched Benghazi as a topic and written about that instead.
Kirkpatrick notes or alleges "a popular eastern Libyan Facebook page had denounced the film" on September 9th. (That would be a Sunday.)
Let's assume he's accurate -- that's a big assumption -- but so what?
A popular Facebook page.
Did they issue threats?
I denounce things here everyday, it doesn't mean I'm grabbing missiles and headed for some government locale to attack.
He doesn't quote the denouncing, he just tells us it happened.
This is shoddy reporting. He's not establishing anything.
And this 'reporting' is so bad that it also calls into question the fact checking and I'm really afraid that what I was told Sunday by a friend with the paper is true: Kirkpatrick fact checked his own article.
And one of his 'witnesses' says, "that he had known about the building rage in Egypt over the video, but that, 'We did not know if it was going to reach us here'."
Which further weakens any case for the video as inciting the attack.
So, to recap, one source tells him the video outraged people because they watched this Egyptian program -- on satellite TV -- every Friday before prayers. But they apparently managed to watch it before it aired since the program aired September 8th.
He refers to a Facebook page but doesn't quote it.
He quotes someone saying that they didn't know the video would cause so much outrage in Libya.
And he quotes someone who claims he wasn't involved in the attack but just knows that it was because of the video.
There is no support for this.
He had over 6,000 words and he can't back up his claim that the video caused the attack.
Kirkpatrick exposes himself and the paper as frauds.
That's the only term for it.
Most reporters will never get even 1,000 words to report on something.
Kirkpatrick got over 6,000 and couldn't establish his claim.
The paper and he are exposed as doing the bidding of the White House to try to improve Susan Rice's image.
Bob Somerby is a joke.
He's made himself a joke.
He's praising this badly written article through the roof and it can't back up the claims Kirkpatrick made at the start of the article.
He's exposed himself too.
And so have a number of Americans, sadly.
We're all busy, I know that. I grasp that.
But if you're on the left and you're pimping a story from the New York Times -- the paper that sold the Iraq War, that (falsely) linked Iraq to the 9-11 attacks in the immediate weeks after the attack, and did so on the front page?
I understand being busy, I do, but you have no excuse to ever run with a story the paper pimps without reading it.
The current editor of the paper? She has a ton of excuses about that bad Judith Miller. But that current of the paper? She was supposed to be Judith's direct editor, Judith's immediate superior back when Miller was filing those awful, unsupported 'reports' leading the march to an illegal war.
Why would you think the paper has changed?
Other than Judith Miller, the fall guy for the whole newspaper, who has been punished, fired or even quit? Who among the ones sold the illegal war?
Judith Miller's superior got promoted to heading the whole paper. That's not accountability.
Bill Keller had that position during some of Miller's later reports. He was a columnist in the lead up to the war -- one who cheerleaded the Iraq War. He killed circulation for the paper. For that, he was dropped back down to columnist. But he's never been punished or penalized for what he allowed as editor.
Michael Gordon was frequently sharing bylines with Miller. He's still at the paper.
Why in the world would you think anything changed?
That doesn't mean the paper can't report truth. It does mean that because it is the New York Times and has the bad reputation it does that you're even more skeptical of what it prints.
We on the left need to get honest.
We're not doing the work required clearly.
If we were, we would have called out Kirkpatrick's awful 'reporting.'
This is embarrassing.
No one gets that kind of word count for a report.
That was your first clue that the paper was serving something other than readers.
The paper has dismissed Benghazi since day one.
Why 15 months after the attack would they publish over 6,000 words on it?
When that happens you need to wake the hell up.
I know some people are younger. Gore Vidal was an independent voice so he was taken with a hit job in The Huffington Post. I knew Gore very well and for many years.
That was a hit piece and it was untrue.
Why write it?
Because Gore was truth teller and Barack was going to go into the White House.
You had to silence him and if you couldn't -- and no one ever silenced Gore -- you had to make him toxic so no one would listen to him. And you had to make an example out of him.
For those who came of age after the hit job?
They have an excuse, they may not be familiar with Gore's long critique of the New York Times. They may also not realize how many involved in the selling of the illegal war retain their jobs at the paper.
But the rest of us, we don't have that excuse.
(To finish up on Gore quickly, I believe that press hit job on him is why he's dead. He never recovered from that attack. It wounded him. I would try to get him to laugh about it and he couldn't. He could see it for what it was, an attempt to ensure that Gore didn't critique Barack from the left the way he had done with Bill Clinton. Also, for the record, Iraq brought us closer. We frequently disagreed on many things and I don't want to misrepresent as Gore's closest confidant. If it weren't for the Iraq War we would have just been casual friends. In part because I hated a lot of people he liked -- like Joanne Woodward, I loathe her. For good reason. Gore loved her)
In 2013, with the illegal spying, Barack's Drone War, his lie of 'if you like your plan you can keep it,' his attacks on the press and on whistle-blowers and more, his polling fell.
The media created Christ-child was exposed as a lying politician.
Something many of us knew before he was elected in 2008.
He was re-elected in 2012. In part because when Tim Arango (New York Times) reported
Iraq and the United States are negotiating an agreement that could
result in the return of small units of American soldiers to Iraq on
training missions. At the request of the Iraqi government, according to
General Caslen, a unit of Army Special Operations soldiers was recently
deployed to Iraq to advise on counterterrorism and help with
the press ignored it.
It's the New York Times
. I don't believe anything in that paper blindly. Arango's reported accurately. I know that from friends at the paper, from two friends in the French government and from Caslen himself after he left Iraq and took over West Point.
2013 was the Year of Exposure.
It was not, however, the year of the awakening.
Possibly 2014 will be.
Let's hope so because Iraq is the disaster the US government created.
Some silly fools insist money be thrown at it, to make up for the illegal war.
Money doesn't bring back the dead. Money doesn't bring back your legs that were blown off in a bombing.
More importantly, Nouri al-Maliki already sits on billions and the Iraqi people continue to suffer.
Why in the world, with Nouri still prime minister, would any thinking being insist that the 'answer' is to give Nouri money?
Doesn't his son already have enough sports cars and spending money?
No money handed to Nouri will trickle down to the Iraqi people.
Nouri is a thug. He can't be trusted with money or weapons.
He's running secret prisons. Patrick Cockburn (CounterPunch) finally reported
In March 2003 the majority of Iraqis from all sects and
ethnic groups wanted to see the end of Saddam’s disastrous rule even if
they didn’t necessarily support the US invasion. But the government now
in power in Baghdad is as sectarian, corrupt and dysfunctional as
Saddam’s ever was. There may be less state violence, but only because
the state is weaker. Its methods are equally brutal: Iraqi prisons are
full of people who have made false confessions under torture or the
threat of it. An Iraqi intellectual who had planned to open a museum in
Abu Ghraib prison so that Iraqis would never forget the barbarities of
Saddam’s regime found that there was no space available because the
cells were full of new inmates. Iraq is still an extraordinarily
dangerous place. ‘I never imagined that ten years after the fall of
Saddam you would still be able to get a man killed in Baghdad by paying
$100,’ an Iraqi who’d been involved in the abortive museum project told
Much more honesty was provided by the Guardian's Martin Chulov when he spoke to Australia's ABC December 23rd
is, for example, an intelligence service called the Iraqi National
Intelligence Service which was raised and funded by the CIA,’ he said.
‘[It’s] meant to be slightly different from the state itself but it’s
been totally co-opted by Maliki who has instilled members of his Dawa
Party into it. [It is] the special forces of the Iraqi military. One
unit of it works directly as a Praetorian guard for Maliki.
a prison inside the Green Zone which is used to prosecute those who
oppose him… I guess the tendencies are towards the same sort of
totalitarianism that was ousted ten years ago.
So the United States has delivered 75 Hellfire missiles to Iraq, The New York Times reported,
to help Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki fight Al-Qaeda’s regional
affiliate, the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria. The US has already sent
Iraq reconnaissance helicopters, and plans to deliver more aerial drones
and F-16 fighter planes in 2014, the article said. The Hellfire
air-to-ground missiles and reconnaissance drones, along with US
intelligence, are meant to “augment limited Iraqi ability”to locate and
strike Al-Qaeda militants, the article said.
The US focus on new weapons seems to be missing the point about the
security problems facing Iraq. There’s little evidence that Iraq’s
failure to improve security in the country stems from a lack of weapons,
but rather from its short-sighted approach to corruption and sectarian
politics, and a counterterrorism strategy that targets Sunni Iraqis amounting to collective punishment.
Corruption is deeply entrenched in the security forces, and Maliki
has at best turned a blind eye and at worst encouraged the graft to his
own advantage. Many people in Baghdad – including military officers,
and advisers in the Prime Minister’s Office – have told me that there is
a system for buying positions in the army and police, with set prices
for each rank.
He's using the weapons to attack the Iraqi people. He's attacked the protesters in Anbar this week and people don't seem to care in America.
I'm thinking of some big tough Iraq War veterans who are against the war and they strut around but, oops!, they got hurt! A horse ran over them or a cop hit 'em. They've got a scar. They went to the hospital.
We all are supposed to stop every damn thing we're doing and make our entrie output about these men.
Yet they recover. Fully. They can stand, they can walk, they can breathe without any mechanical assistance.
But we have to be outraged and make others outraged and work the whole country into a frenzy.
But when Iraqis are killed by Nouri -- the man Bully Boy Bush appointed in 2006 as prime minister and the one Barack insisted remain prime minister (even though his State of Law lost the 2010 elections to Ayad Allawi's Iraqiya), where are you big brave men then?
You are so strong and manly in your cries for personal attention.
But you don't say a damn word about the grown ups being killed in Iraq by their own government -- forget the children, you don't say a word.
Iraq Veterans Against the War, when did you call out Nouri for killing 8 children?
That's right, you didn't.
And part of the Year of Exposure, is people seeing how you're awfully concerned when your members are targeted but you can't write about Special Ops going back into Iraq in 2012, you can't write about the massacres, you can't do much of anything -- though you keep whining that the US government needs to pay Iraq for the pain and suffering -- ignoring the fact that were any money given to Iraq right now, it would go directly into Nouri's pockets.
The Year of Exposure includes Nouri. He wants a third term as prime minister. Yes, he promised in 2011 that he wouldn't seek a third term, said it would risk turning Iraq into a dictatorship.
But that was then and Nouri never keeps his promises.
Hopefully, The Year of Exposure includes the reality of Nouri being exposed.
Hopefully, the outcry from his actions -- which are finally beginning to build outside Iraq -- will prevent the White House from insisting -- for the third time -- that Nouri be prime minister.
Because exposure can have many reactions. The two most common?
Exposure can lead to action.
Sadly, it can also lead to denial by those who just can't stomach the truth.
's The World Today Just Nuts
"Pants On The Ground
" from July 3rd is above.
Isaiah did the comic while on an island cruise and didn't have a scanner so he took a photo with his phone. The photo was blurry and we worked with it in photo shop to get it up back then.
Isaiah kindly rescanned the comic for me today so I could use it in this. If you check out the one above and use the link to go to the original, you'll see what a difference using the scannder made.
Thank you to Isaiah
for doing that.
Previous year-in-review pieces include:
2012: The Year of Avoidance
2011: The Year of the Slow Reveal
2010: The Year of Enough
2009: The Year of Living Sickly
2008: The Year of Living Hormonally
2007: The Year of Living Useless
2006: The Year of Living Dumbly
Other 2013 year in review pieces include Kat
's "Kat's Korner: 2013 In Music
's "Ruth's Radio Report 2013
," "2013 in Books (Martha & Shirley)
" and Ann
's ""10 Best Films of 2013 (Ann and Stan)
" and Stan
's "10 Best Films of 2013 (Ann and Stan)
" which we reposted "10 Best Films of 2013 (Ann and Stan)
's "10 most f**kable men of 2013
" which we reposted "Rebecca offers up the 10 most f**kable men of 2013
" and Third's year in review edition included:
the new york times