Saturday, March 05, 2016

Iraq snapshot

Saturday, March 5, 2016.  Chaos and violence continue, Moqtada stages another rally, Hillary Clinton loses another state, trash emerges to insist the party must rally around Crooked Clinton, and much more.

Tuesday, War Hawk Hillary Clinton managed to dupe enough people to win the Democratic Party primary in seven out of eleven states.  Or, as one friend put it, supposed Ms. Inevitable managed to lose four states to Senator Bernie Sanders:  Oklahoma, Vermont, Colorado and Minnesota.  Oklahoma must have been especially painful for Hillary to lose.  In 2008, Hillary carried Oklahoma.  She won with 55% of the voters to Barack's 31%.

But Tuesday?

Bernie won the state by 51%.

From 55% in 2008, Hillary's support in Oklahoma dropped to 41.5%.

Ms. Inevitable is far, far from Ms. Incredible.

A point underscored today when Sanders defeated her in Kansas.

And her inability to close the deal is a reality a number of people have noted this week on Twitter because Incredible People don't back illegal wars.



  • . u acknowledge that support for Iraq War was a mistake, so why did you encourage military option in Libya?

  • But you can't have a rush of reality without a backlash of whoring.

    Enter the courtesan.

    Michelle Manning Barrish.

    Is she know for anything besides who she slept with?

    Supposedly, she's an activist.

    I've been speaking out against the Iraq War since February 2003.

    I never heard of her doing any activism.  (MOVEON commercials are not activism.)

    But then I don't consider sleeping with rich men to be radical action.  Although maybe big divorce settlements count as one way of redistributing the wealth?

    She shows up at -- where else -- THE HUFFINGTON POST to insist that she's always been against the Iraq War, to toss around mentions of her "brother" repeatedly (is she trying to hide behind him) and insist that when Hillary is crowned the nominee, everyone must unite behind her.

    Let's be really clear on that.

    Michelle Manning Barish?

    She's not running a damn thing.

    She needs to sit her tired  ass down already.

    No one asked her.

    Your vote is your vote.

    It's not her vote.

    No one needs anyone to tell them how to vote -- and when someone tries to tell you how to vote, they need to be told to mind their own damn business.

    Your vote belongs to you.

    You can use it to vote for Hillary, to vote for Donald Trump, to vote for Jerry White, to vote for whomever.

    You can use your vote by not voting because you don't feel anyone has earned your vote.

    If Michelle wants to stick to why she's supporting Hillaary, that's fine.

    But when she thinks she has any right to tell anyone else how to vote?

    She needs to grasp that if we need to know where to get vast amounts of collagen shot into our lips, then she's out go to.

    But to know how to vote?


    You have to be at least 18 to vote in the United States.  Which means every voter in the US is an adult.

    No adult needs to be told how to vote.

    Michelle insists:

    When you are faced with making many decisions, you aren't going to always be right. When you don't have anything important to decide on, or much at all, your averages of not making mistakes improves greatly, because you didn't have anything to decide on in the first place. These other candidates can shout their "positions" from the rooftops with conviction and great certainty, but until they have actually had to create policy or negotiate a treaty with a world leader...their words aren't worth anything. They are merely opinions and soundbites.
    Hillary Clinton has had to make the tough decisions. I want someone tough sitting across the table from Vladimir Putin. I want someone who understands the economy to make decisions about Wall Street. I want someone who has always been a champion for Reproductive Rights, to fight hard, and not let the Republican party play the games they have played throughout the entire Obama presidency. 

    What tough decisions has Hillary made?

    To vote for war?


    To change her hair constantly?


    What else?

    To attack women who accuse her husband of something?


    I'm not getting what else she's done.

    I'm also not getting how she has any experience on the economy.

    She's also not been a champion of reproductive rights.

    Stop whoring, Michelle, stop whoring.

    Mid '00s found her being rightly criticized for her move away from support of abortion.

    So just stop whoring,  Michelle.

    You're welcome to lie to yourself all you want but when you lie to others, you just embarrass yourself.

    For many of us, we will never vote for Hillary.

    She's a War Hawk.

    If the Iraq vote didn't make it clear, her pushing for war on Libya did.

    Her response is always "war!"

    Me personally?  I could vote for Bernie if he got the nomination.  I could vote for Cynthia McKinney if she ran.  I could vote for Michael Bloomberg if he ran.  There are many people who could win my vote.  Hillary is not one of them.

    And her support of the Iraq War is no minor thing.

    And I'm not some hardened and unfeeling person, I can cry like a baby watching an episode of FIX IT AND FINISH IT  where Antonio Sabato Jr. and crew are helping some mother with a special needs child get the improvements she needs for her child to live comfortably in their home.

    But I'm not such a softie that I'll forget what Hillary has done or overlook the destruction her support of war has dealt to so many civilians.

    As Lillian Hellman once declared, "I cannot and will not cut my conscience to fit this year's fashions."

    Michelle Manning Barish takes a pair of garden shears to her conscience and turns it into Daisy Dukes.

    She's not the only one disappointing this week.

    He vowed they'd take the battle to the gates of the Green Zone.

    He vowed they'd make a difference.

    Instead, Friday's turnout, Friday's rally?

    Not at all unlike the one Moqtada al-Sadr already staged last week.

    Mid-week, ALL IRAQ NEWS reported Baghdad Operations Control has announced they will be providing security for the rally.

    Of course, they didn't protect real protesters, not from December 2011 through Janaury 2014, when actual protests took place in Baghdad.

    Instead, they harassed the press (to keep them from covering the protests), they harassed and attacked the protesters, followed them home to intimidate them, etc.

    But Moqtada wasn't protesting, he was backing up Haider's call for reform.

    Which might also explain why Moqtada was allowed to send his armed militia into the streets of Baghdad.

  • Unprecedented numbers of armed Sadr militants flocking from all of towards the Green Zone now..

  • 100s of heavily armed Sadr Shiite militants gearing up for 'peaceful' protests in Green Zone..

  • AP notes thousands gathered and that Moqtada urged peace.  Lars Hauch (MEE) reports:

    His speech wasn’t opposing the government in general though. In fact, Sadr called for support for the politics of Haider al-Abadi, the current prime minister who has found himself under pressure from pro-Iranian politicians and militia leaders who confront his reform plans.

    Meanwhile, the US government continued bombing Iraq with the US Defense Dept announcing today:

    Strikes in Iraq
    Ground attack, fighter and remotely piloted aircraft conducted 12 strikes in Iraq, coordinated with and in support of Iraq’s government:
    -- Near Al Baghdadi, a strike destroyed an ISIL rocket rail and an ISIL mortar position.
    -- Near Albu Hayat, a strike destroyed an ISIL vehicle bomb.
    -- Near Fallujah, a strike struck a large ISIL tactical unit and destroyed an ISIL bed down location.
    -- Near Kisik, two strikes struck two separate ISIL tactical units and destroyed two ISIL vehicles, two ISIL mortar positions, four ISIL vehicle bombs, and seven ISIL fighting positions.
    -- Near Mosul, a strike destroyed an ISIL heavy machine gun position.
    -- Near Qayyarah, a strike destroyed an ISIL rocket position.
    -- Near Ramadi, two strikes struck an ISIL tactical unit and destroyed an ISIL fighting position, an ISIL staging area, an ISIL tunnel, and an ISIL front end loader.
    -- Near Sinjar, a strike destroyed an ISIL heavy machine gun position.
    -- Near Tal Afar, two strikes struck an ISIL tactical unit and destroyed an ISIL assembly area.

    Task force officials define a strike as one or more kinetic events that occur in roughly the same geographic location to produce a single, sometimes cumulative, effect. Therefore, officials explained, a single aircraft delivering a single weapon against a lone ISIL vehicle is one strike, but so is multiple aircraft delivering dozens of weapons against buildings, vehicles and weapon systems in a compound, for example, having the cumulative effect of making those targets harder or impossible for ISIL to use. Accordingly, officials said, they do not report the number or type of aircraft employed in a strike, the number of munitions dropped in each strike, or the number of individual munition impact points against a target.

    Friday, March 04, 2016

    The Congressional Progressive Caucus Believes in War

    This is from David Swanson:

    The Congressional Progressive Caucus Believes in War
    By David Swanson

    Each year the Congressional Progressive Caucus releases a weaker and weaker budget proposal. This year they asked for input first. I sent them this and communicated with them about it, so I know they read it. An excerpt:

    "Last year's Congressional Progressive Caucus budget proposed to cut military spending by, in my calculation, 1%. In fact, no statement from the Progressive Caucus even mentioned the existence of military spending; you had to hunt through the numbers to find the 1% cut. This was not the case in other recent years, when the CPC prominently proposed to end wars and cut particular weapons. With all due respect, how is this censoring of any mention of the military evidence of progressing, rather than regressing?"

    I should clarify that when the Progressive Caucus prominently proposed serious cuts to militarism, George W. Bush was president, and that the CPC will no doubt discover a distaste for mass murder if Trump is inaugurated.

    But what about now?

    This year's initial press release and email from the CPC again pretends that the majority of the budget (which goes to militarism) just doesn't exist. Its slightly longer summary includes, near the bottom:

    "Sustainable Defense: Promoting peace And Security
    • Modernizes our defense system to create sustainable Pentagon spending
    • Ends funding for unsustainable wars
    • Increases funding for diplomacy and strategic humanitarian aid
    • Adds robust funding for refugee resettlement programs"

    That's (relative) progress. But what does it mean exactly? What does a budget pie chart look like? 

    Does 50 to 60 percent still go into war preparations? The "full budget" tells us this:

    "Pentagon spending has doubled over the last decade at the expense of investments in working families. But as the war in Afghanistan draws to a close, we need a leaner, more agile force to combat realistic twenty-first century threats."

    [Note that the latest plan is to keep the war on Afghanistan going for decades, and that the CPC has not lifted a finger to end it. So, if that war doesn't "draw to a close," do we still get the "leaner force"? And what does "agile" mean? And who gets killed in the "realistic" "agile" wars? The same war in Afghanistan was "drawing to a close" in identical language in last year's CPC budget.]

    "The People's Budget responsibly [is there some other way?] ends operations in Afghanistan, brings our troops home, focuses Pentagon spending on modern security threats instead of Cold War - era weapons and contracts, and invests in a massive job creation program that will help workers transition into civilian jobs."

    [In fact, Congress has to actually end that war, but it's right for a decent budget proposal to assume it's ended. However, what about the war in Iraq and Syria? The drone wars in several nations? The bases spreading like a virus across the globe? The U.S. role in the Saudi slaughter in Yemen? The new war in Libya? Why only end the one war that people are already pretending has "ended"? That said, transition to a peace economy is exactly the right idea, which is why it's a shame that, despite there supposedly being a progressive caucus, only three Congress members have signed onto this bill.

    And where are the numbers in this budget? How much is "massive"?]

    "The People's Budget also increases investments in diplomacy, sustainable development, and humanitarian assistance to address the ongoing crises in Syria and Iraq. The Congressional Progressive Caucus does not support Pentagon cuts mandated by sequestration and believes there are more responsible savings achievable that will not harm service members and veterans."

    [Whoa. If you have actually thought through the advantages to the so-called "service members" of the "massive" job creation program, what can you possibly mean by suggesting that cutting the military would "harm" them? Clearly, the CPC has not actually thought that through or given any moral reflection at all to its proposal to fund the most expensive military in the history of the earth in order to benefit its troops. This comes naturally to Congress members, of course, as they've been conditioned to think of military spending as justified by the jobs it provides in their districts. They should pause for a moment, though, and think about how they would explain that benefit to children whose parents were killed by a missile from a U.S. drone.]

    "End Emergency War Funding Beginning in FY2017 – Our budget limits Overseas Contingency (OCO) funding to redeployment out of Afghanistan in FY2017 and zeroes out OCO thereafter, saving $761 billion compared to current law."

    [This is clearly following the misleading practice of multiplying everything by 10 and then hiding in some footnote that all "savings" will be "over 10 years." So let's say this is actually $76.1 billion. That's still (relative) progress and a good beginning. Now, surely we'll hear about the serious cuts....]

    "It is time to swiftly and safely end the war in Afghanistan and end the policy of funding endless war. An expedited withdrawal from Afghanistan would save billions. Further, the use of emergency funding via the OCO account masks the true impact of war spending and should be discontinued."

    [True enough.]

    "Reduce Base Pentagon Spending – We reduce baseline military spending to ensure Pentagon spending does not continue to contribute significantly to our fiscal burden, and establishes a responsible targeted approach towards a sustainable defense budget."

    [Hey, pick your favorite reasons. But where did the numbers go, all of a sudden? How much do you reduce it?]

    "The People's Budget would repeal the damaging across-the-board cuts and caps proposed by the Budget Control Act, while providing significant savings through the enactment of reforms, endorsed in bipartisan fiscal reform proposals. It redirects funding to priorities such as caring for our veterans, Congressional Directed Medical Research Programs (CDMRP), smart diplomacy, and environmental cleanup and climate change mitigation programs within the DOD Strategic Sustainability Performance Plan."

    [This is where one has to start worrying. The numbers have disappeared. The cuts currently required by law are "damaging" (and too large?). The CPC wants people who are trained and armed to kill and destroy to work on programs that help us better survive climate change. Is the CPC aware that the military is our top creator of climate change, that significant military cuts would not just "mitigate" climate change but actually reduce it?]

    "Adjusting to Pentagon Downsizing and Investing in Non-Defense Manufacturing – The People’s Budget increases investments in DOD's Office of Economic Adjustment to assist state and local governments to respond to major defense program shifts by helping communities adjust to defense contract losses.
    "Fully funding initiatives like the DOT’s Federal Ship Financing Program and significantly increasing federal agency procurement of sustainable technology from communities impacted by Pentagon cuts will help provide a just transition for defense manufacturing workers and ensure that the U.S. manufacturing base remains vibrant."

    [Great! How much is "fully"?]

    "Modernizing our Defense Posture – Our budget achieves a smaller force structure with fewer personnel through attrition. A modern defense strategy must focus our armed forces on their strengths of crisis response, smart security, and deterrence. Our military needs to adapt to current threats and challenges, particularly cyberwarfare, nuclear proliferation, and combatting non-state actors. No savings are obtained by reducing military personnel wages or benefits, including TRICARE and pensions. The proportion of private contractor personnel would be significantly reduced and their work transitioned to civilian personnel, curbing needles "outsourcing" that creates excessive cost overruns. Additional reforms include the decommissioning of our Cold War-era nuclear weapons infrastructure, as outlined by the Smarter Approach to Nuclear Expenditures (SANE) Act, and reducing procurement and research, development, test, and evaluation (RDT&E) spending by making smarter procurement choices."

    Attrition? Do they, then, defund recruitment? They don't say. Cyberwarfare? Combatting non-state actors? Aren't these jobs for police? Not reducing personnel except through attrition, in order to not "harm" the personnel? Yet an investment in a "massive" non-military jobs program that none of the military personnel will have time to find employment in? The SANE Act does not, in fact, "decommission ... nuclear weapons infrastructure." It blocks the creation of certain types of insane new additions to the "nuclear weapons infrastructure," presumably allowing the existing "infrastructure" to phase out through the "attrition" of either being shut down as too old or killing us all.

    "Audit the Pentagon – As the only federal agency that cannot be audited, the Pentagon loses tens of billions of dollars annually to waste, fraud, and abuse. It is past time to check the wasteful practices with little oversight that weaken our financial outlook and ultimately, our national security."

    [Get it? When the Pentagon wastes money instead of buying more weapons, our national security is weakened. So, any money saved by eliminating the waste will have to go into more weapons. Putting it into education or housing would endanger us. Or are we willing to run that risk? In that case, if we know that the Pentagon wastes tens of billions, why not back at least a cut of $20 billion now?]

    "Diplomacy and Development – The People's Budget increases investment in diplomacy and development to stabilize key regions of the world through supporting the United States' leadership in the United Nations, smart security, providing vital governance, development and humanitarian assistance, and increasing the tools to combat the horrors of drug and human trafficking and nuclear proliferation. According to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, the number of people forcibly displaced throughout the world has reached the highest level ever recorded at a staggering 59.5 million people. The People's Budget recognizes this and provides robust funding for refugee resettlement programs. Our plan rebalances goals and risks to achieve a more effective mix of defense, diplomacy, and development aid. By adopting this new global security posture, investing in domestic priorities and creating a cost-effective military aligned with 21st century threats, the U.S. can achieve significant deficit reduction goals while simultaneously enhancing global security."

    [Never mind what created the refugees! O.K., yes, this is needed, but where are the numbers?]
    At the end of the CPC budget, just like last year's, are a few pages of actual numbers, where you can find, just like last year, a $6 billion, or roughly 1%, cut to the "base" spending of the Department of so-called Defense. You also find $104 billion investment in infrastructure, and $68 billion in additional job creation, plus $94 billion to make college, not free, but "affordable." There's no single-payer healthcare here, but the godforsaken "public option." There's also $1 billion for public financing of election campaigns.

    The vast difference between the modest expenditures on public goods and the tiny military cuts is made up by taxing financial transactions, carbon, capital gains, etc. All such taxes are goods in and of themselves. But the sort of investment in transition to sustainable energy that we actually need, plus the restraint in murdering large numbers of people that those large numbers of people need, can only come from serious cuts to the military. The $76.1 billion cut to the slush fund is a good start. But much more serious cuts are needed to so-called Defense, to Energy, to so-called Homeland Security, to the CIA and NSA and so on. The habit of refusing to imagine serious change didn't begin with Hillary Clinton for President. It's deeply ingrained in Washington.


    David Swanson is an author, activist, journalist, and radio host. He is director of and campaign coordinator for Swanson's books include War Is A Lie. He blogs at and He hosts Talk Nation Radio. He is a 2015 Nobel Peace Prize Nominee.

    Follow him on Twitter: @davidcnswanson and FaceBook.

    War Is A Lie: Second Edition, published by Just World Books on April 5, 2016. Please buy it online that day. I'll come anywhere in the world to speak about it. Invite me!

    Anyone can fight for Mosul, Haider declares (though apparently no one will)

    Haider al-Abadi, prime minister of Iraq, went back on his word a few weeks ago.  Most don't know it because when he addressed Parliament, the world press ignored it and it was only reported in Iraq.

    But one of the things he declared before Parliament was that he would be sending the Popular Mobilization Foces (Shi'ite militias -- long ago outlawed but brought back and brought into the Iraqi forces by Haider) into Nineveh Province in the battle for Mosul.

    This has not been a popular decision.

    Again, you don't know that because CNN, AP, THE NEW YORK TIMES, et al, won't touch it.

    WORLD BULLETIN reports that Haider's facing a rebuke on this decision from the provincial council in Nineveh but he's dismissed and is declaring, "Nobody can stop Iraqis from participating in the liberation of their land."

    But clearly someone has.

    Mosul's been under the control of the Islamic State since June of 2014.

    Haider's been a coward and he's led a bunch of cowards.

    Only a failed leader and a coward would allow a city to remain held by a terrorist group for nearly two years.

    It's his job to defend Iraq.

    He's failed.

    And now he wants to use Shi'ite thugs to take a non-Shi'ite city.  And after the 'liberation' of Ramadi (most recently), everyone knows what that means:  looting, killing civilians and burning down homes.

    Meanwhile, Susan Jones (right wing outlet CNS NEWS) reports that US Senator Marco Rubio and Ohio Governor John Kasich -- both vying for the Republican presidential nomination -- declared at last night's GOP debate that, if elected president, they would send more US troops into Iraq.

    I haven't watched the Republican debates so I'm just going by what Jones is reporting.

    However, I have heard what everyone's heard -- it's a circus, it's this, it's that.

    Strange because last night's debate appears to have produced a concrete answer.

    As opposed to the Democratic debates which have repeatedly found Hillary insisting she has a three part plan -- which she never explains -- that anyone can find at her website -- but, as we've noted before, what's at her website isn't concrete.

    It's also just "I'll do what Barack's doing."

    What Barack's doing?

    Yep, we're back to the Shi'ite militias.  As noted earlier this week in "Well look who the State Dept woke up in bed with this time," the disgraceful State Dept spokesperson John Kirby was singing the praises of the Popular Mobilization Forces -- also know as the Shi'ite thugs who killed Iraqi civilians, British citizens and US soldiers.

    He was singing their praises.

    On the Shi'ite militias, as we noted in last night's snapshot, they're out in full force in Baghdad -- look at the photos in the snapshot.

  • Shia militia of (Muaqtada alsadr) with heavy weapons in Baghdad !!!! No law in where the media?

  • Imagine what would happen if non-Shi'ite militias were openly walking through Baghdad?

    Lastly, Anders Corr (FORBES) has a strong opinion piece today which opens:

    The war in Syria and Iraq is no place for the U.S. We have no clear allies there, leading us to bargain with bad actors who besmirch our good name. In our single-minded fight against the Islamic State (ISIS), we look desperate and ineffective, because we are. Our tunnel vision targeting ISIS has made us blind to the dangers from our allies of convenience there, and the likelihood that they will turn on us in future.

    The following community sites updated:

  • The e-mail address for this site is

    Thursday, March 03, 2016

    Iraq snapshot

    Thursday, March 3, 2016.  Chaos and violence continue, efforts to prop up Haider al-Abadi continues, Moqtada al-Sadr claims death threats against him, Brett McGurk visits Iraq, a former ally of Hillary Clinton's makes an immunity deal with the FBI, and much more.

    Tuesday, War Hawk Hillary Clinton managed to dupe enough people to win the Democratic Party primary in seven out of eleven states.


    Her e-mail scandal continues to haunt.  And a new development has many people talking -- a former employee has made a deal to testify with the FBI to talk in exchange for immunity.   Judge Andrew P. Napolitano (WASHINGTON TIMES) offers his analysis which includes:

    It is fair to call this a scandal because it consists of the public revelation of the private and probably criminal misdeeds of the nation’s chief diplomat during President Obama’s first term in office. Mrs. Clinton’s job as secretary of state was to keep secrets. Instead, she exposed them to friend and foe. The exposure of state secrets, either intentionally or negligently, constitutes the crime of espionage. For the secretary of state to have committed espionage is, quite simply, scandalous.
    We are not addressing just a handful of emails. To date, the State Department has revealed the presence of more than 2,000 emails on her private server that contained state secrets — and four that were select access privilege, or SAP. The SAP emails require special codes in order to access them. The codes change continually, and very few people in the government have the codes. SAP is a subcategory of “top secret,” and it constitutes the highest level of protected secrecy, for the utmost protection of the government’s gravest secrets. It is unheard of for SAP-level data to reside in a non-secure, vulnerable venue — yet that is where Mrs. Clinton caused four SAPs to reside.
    Mrs. Clinton’s allies in the State Department have perpetrated the myth that the 2,000 emails were recently upgraded to reflect their secret contents. That is untrue. The emails possess secret status by virtue of their contents, not because of any markings on them. Mrs. Clinton had a legal obligation to recognize state secrets when she saw them, no matter their markings or non-markings. On her first day on the job, she swore under oath that she recognized and understood that legal obligation and she promised to comply with it. She did not comply.

    That's Natpolitano's view.  Legal expert and international law professor Francis A. Boyle shared his thoughts on Cranky Clinton on DIALOGOS RADIO (link is text and audio):

    Hillary Clinton is a psychopath and a war criminal, [who said] “we came, we saw, he died,” mimicking Julius Ceasar and laughing hysterically after Colonel Kaddafi, my former client, was sodomized with a knife and beaten to death. She’s a certified psychopath and war criminal.

    On the immunity deal, Adam Goldman (Washington Post) reports:

    The Justice Department has granted immunity to the former State Department staffer who worked on Hillary Clinton’s private email server as part of a criminal investigation into the possible mishandling of classified information, according to a senior law enforcement official. 

    The official said the FBI had secured the cooperation of Bryan Pagliano, who worked on Clinton’s 2008 presidential campaign before setting up the server in her New York home in 2009.

    Pagliano wasn't always agreeable to talking.  Alexandra Klausner (DAILY MAIL) explains:

    First he said he would invoke his Fifth Amendment rights but now the IT specialist, who set up Hillary Clinton's controversial private email server, is ready to cooperate with the FBI.
    In doing so, Bryan Pagliano, 39, has been granted immunity by the Justice Department as it continues its criminal investigation into whether or not the current Democratic Presidential candidate mishandled classified information.

    The immunity deal has many observers commenting.  Chris Cillizza (WASHINGTON POST) offers:

    The kindest possible reading of this news for Clinton is that Pagliano was simply nervous to talk about how -- and why -- he had set up the email server, and granting him immunity lets him speak freely without any concern that he might get into trouble.
    Maybe. But it's my strong impression that the Justice Department doesn't go around granting immunity to people unless the person getting the immunity may be able to shed light on an important part of the investigation. After all, if Pagliano a) knew nothing or b) did nothing wrong, why would he need immunity to talk to the FBI?

    Though many are making similar conclusions, not all observers are.  Matt Zapotosky (WASHINGTON POST) notes:

    That is because the line between what is classified and what is not is “not inherently obvious,” and charging the former secretary of state would require prosecutors to prove that she knew what she was handling crossed that line, said Barry J. Pollack, a white-collar criminal defense lawyer at Miller & Chevalier who defended convicted CIA leaker Jeffrey Sterling

    “If something has not been deemed classified, you’re asking a person to intuit how somebody else would make a subjective decision and hold that person responsible for the fact that they didn’t anticipate that somebody else might view the document as classified,” he said. “It’s almost a Rorschach test. Different people view it differently.”

    Despite the above and so much more, the media chorus is for . . . Senator Bernie Sanders to see his campaign as over.  The independent or 'independent' US media has taking to singing the same song over and over as David Sirota notes;

  • Again, the call is for Sanders to read the writing on the wall.

    In earlier times, in better times, it would be the one accused of not protecting state secrets who the media would be insisting end their campaign.

    Today, the US Defense Dept announced/claimed/insisted:

    Strikes in Iraq
    Attack, fighter, ground-attack, and remotely piloted aircraft conducted 21 strikes in Iraq, coordinated with and in support of Iraq’s government:

    -- Near Baghdadi, a strike struck an ISIL tactical unit.

    -- Near Huwayjah, a strike struck an ISIL tactical unit and destroyed an ISIL heavy machine gun and two ISIL fighting positions.

    -- Near Habbaniyah, a strike destroyed an ISIL anti-air artillery piece.

    -- Near Kisik, two strikes struck an ISIL tactical unit and destroyed 27 ISIL rocket rails.

    -- Near Mosul, seven strikes struck four ISIL tactical units and destroyed three ISIL vehicles, 12 ISIL assembly areas, and 25 ISIL bed-down locations, and suppressed an ISIL heavy machine gun position.

    -- Near Ramadi, three strikes destroyed an ISIL vehicle, an ISIL front-end loader, an ISIL bed down location, and an ISIL petroleum, oil and lubricant truck.

    -- Near Samarra, two strikes struck two separate large ISIL tactical units and destroyed 9 ISIL vehicles, three ISIL VBIEDs, an ISIL fighting position, an ISIL supply cache, and three ISIL fuel trucks.

    -- Near Sinjar, three strikes struck an ISIL tactical unit and destroyed five ISIL fighting positions, an ISIL assembly area, an ISIL mortar position, and suppressed an ISIL mortar fire position.

    -- Near Sultan Abdallah, one strike struck an ISIL tactical unit and destroyed an ISIL fighting position.

    Task force officials define a strike as one or more kinetic events that occur in roughly the same geographic location to produce a single, sometimes cumulative, effect. Therefore, officials explained, a single aircraft delivering a single weapon against a lone ISIL vehicle is one strike, but so is multiple aircraft delivering dozens of weapons against buildings, vehicles and weapon systems in a compound, for example, having the cumulative effect of making those targets harder or impossible for ISIL to use. Accordingly, officials said, they do not report the number or type of aircraft employed in a strike, the number of munitions dropped in each strike, or the number of individual munition impact points against a target.

    ALSUMARIA reports a Baghdad mortar attack has led to twelve dead and wounded.  The news outlet also notes a home invasion south of Baghdad left 1 man and 2 women dead and that an armed attack in Muqdadiyah left at least one person injured.

    Meanwhile, Barack Obama's Special Envoy Brett McGurk arrived in Iraq Wednesday.

    1. Landed in for 3 days of consultations on destroying , regional issues, and economic reforms.

    Today, he met with Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi.

    PM Al-Abadi reviewed coalition support with Ambassador and US technical assistnace for reform agenda

    Brett hasn't lit up Arabic social media with his visit, however, a large amount of discussion revolves around a rumored trip by Joe Biden in the next week to Iraq.

    Meanwhile, a joint press conference was supposed to take place today.  NATIONAL IRAQI NEWS AGENCY reports that cleric and movement leader Moqtada al-Sadr was supposed to participate in a satellite press conference with the leader of the Islamic Supreme Council of Iraq Ammar al-Hakim and that journalists were present and waiting when the delay turned into a cancellation with no explanation offered.

    Moqtada has been very busy of late shoring up support for Iraq's faltering prime minister Haider al-Abadi.  (US Vice President Joe Biden also tried to lend Haider a hand with a phone call yesterday.)

    Last Friday, Moqtada sent his followers into Baghdad's Tahrir Square to show support for reform measures that Haider had proposed a week before.

    He has called for his followers to turn out this Friday at the gates of the Green Zone.

    It's not a protest.

    It's a rally.

    If you doubt it, ALL IRAQ NEWS reports Baghdad Operations Control has announced they will be providing security for the rally.

    Of course, they didn't protect real protesters, not from December 2011 through Janaury 2014, when actual protests took place in Baghdad.

    Instead, they harassed the press (to keep them from covering the protests), they harassed and attacked the protesters, followed them home to intimidate them, etc.

    Of course, they may be bringing their own protection or 'protection.'

  • Unprecedented numbers of armed Sadr militants flocking from all of towards the Green Zone now..

  • 100s of heavily armed Sadr Shiite militants gearing up for 'peaceful' protests in Green Zone..

  • The topic of the failed press conference is not known.

    Nor is it know why it was cancelled but ALSUMARIA reports Moqtada has publicly vowed he will reach the protesters in spite of death threats.

    Death threats may or may not have led to the cancellation of the press conference.

    On those reforms that Haider's called for and Moqtada is backing, former prime minister Nouri al-Maliki is saying that they must be real and not for show.  Nouri's political slate, State of Law, has had various members tossing water on the reforms proposals in the last six days.  And Nouri's not fading away.  ALL IRAQ NEWS notes he met today with the Special Envoy for UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon.

    While Nouri plots his return, Haider tries desperately to hang on to the post of prime minister and to push through reforms or 'reforms.'   As Sheikh (DAR ADDUSTOUR) notes rumors of efforts on the part of Haider to make backdoor deals with members of the National Alliance (largest Shi'ite political alliance in Iraq) in order to push through his reforms or 'reforms.'

    As noted earlier, US Vice President Joe Biden attempted to lend a hand yesterday:

    The White House
    Office of the Vice President
    For Immediate Release

    Readout of Vice President Biden’s Call with Prime Minister Haidar Al-Abadi of Iraq

    The Vice President spoke with Iraqi Prime Minister Haidar Al-Abadi today and offered condolences to the people of Iraq targeted by ISIL’s indiscriminate and cowardly attacks in Baghdad and other cities.  The Vice President reaffirmed the United States' unwavering commitment to Iraq’s unity and stability in the fight against ISIL, including coalition military assistance as requested by the Iraqi government.  The Vice President also pledged continued U.S. support as Iraq seeks to stabilize and strengthen its economy and reiterated the U.S. commitment to work with G-7 and other international partners, as well as international financial institutions, to ensure Iraq has the financial resources it needs to fight ISIL.  The Vice President reassured Prime Minister Abadi of the United States’ steadfast support for Iraq’s sovereignty and territorial integrity and its efforts to establish positive relations with regional states based on the principle of non-interference, under the Strategic Framework Agreement.

    Lastly, at FIRST THINGS, a joint-statement has gone up decrying the genocide of Christians in Iraq and in Syria:

    In the name of decency, humanity, and truth, we call on President Barack Obama, Secretary of State John Kerry, and all members of the United States Senate and House of Representatives to recognize and give public expression to the fact that Christians in Iraq and Syria—along with Yazidis, Turkmen, Shabak, and Shi’a Muslims—are victims of a campaign of genocide being waged against them by ISIS. In pleading that this genocide be recognized and called by its name, we join Pope Francis, the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom, the European Parliament, and many others. We urge our fellow Americans and all men and women of goodwill everywhere to join us in prayer for those of all faiths who are victims, and in determination to act in the humanitarian and political spheres to aid them and put an end to their victimization.
    Robert P. George, McCormick Professor of Jurisprudence and Director of the James Madison Program in American Ideals and Institutions, Princeton University
    Cornel West, Professor of Philosophy and Christian Practice, Union Theological Seminary and Class of 1943 University Professor in the Center for African American Studies, Emeritus, Princeton University