Only two people know what did or did not happen between Reade and Biden in the spring of 1993. Still, like other significant chapters of the #MeToo moment, Reade’s comes with the statements of confidants who say they heard her account long before it became public.
But while five people have said Reade shared all or part of her account of sexual harassment with them around the time she says it happened, corroboration of the assault charge is shakier.
The two people who say she told them of it contemporaneously — her brother and a longtime friend — initially offered accounts of harassment, not assault. The friend told The Times in 2019 that Biden’s behavior was “a little bit just over the line, but nothing like, ‘Oh, my God, call 911.’”
The friend says she had withheld the full story because Reade was not ready to share it, and two other people have said she told them of an assault a few years later. Professionals who counsel sexual abuse victims say it is not uncommon for them to reveal what happened piecemeal, over time.
There is some contemporaneous evidence that she complained of mistreatment while in Biden’s office.
As The Intercept reported in April, a woman living in California called in to “Larry King Live” in August 1993 to say her daughter had been working “for a prominent senator and could not get through with her problems at all.” She did not say what that trouble was. Reade has previously said her mother, who has since died, called into the program after she told her about her experience.
Three years later, in divorce proceedings, her husband, Ted Dronen, said Reade had “related a problem she was having at work regarding sexual harassment in U.S. Senator Joe Biden’s office.” He did not say Biden had himself harassed her.
Left-wing corporate Democratic media and politicians not only proved me wrong, they betrayed my trust and respect as a student journalist and moral citizen. Regardless of whether you believe Tara Reade’s allegation against Joe Biden or not, no human and survivor who speaks up deserves death threats and harassment, interrogation, trauma-ignorant journalists, disrespect, vilified characterization, and media blackout.
Tara Reade is certainly not the first survivor to withstand such treatment nor will she be the last, but as readers and as voters, we need to start holding our institutions and representatives accountable for the messages of silence they send.
The New York Timeswas one of many left-leaning newspapers to exemplify this treatment against Reade. This was shown by their taking 19 days to report on her allegation, and by including interviews from extraneous staff members, using Trump as a strawman, and editing the article after publication to say "The Times found no pattern of sexual misconduct by Mr. Biden'' and excluding "beyond the hugs, kisses and touching that women previously said made them uncomfortable" — without notifying readers of the update. Between all of it, this article and many others like it, politically trivalize sexual violence in a way that encourages silence for the sake of political convenience.
Many #MeToo leaders and liberal feminists, including Alyssa Milano, fell into this trap of political hypocrisy as well. The double standard reactions towards Reade's case as compared to Ford and other survivors was made clear as many went out of their way to criticize Reade, once more begging the question of trading in any actual conversation of Reade and her story for political convenience.
As we see survivors on national television scrutinized and politically targeted by journalists, politicians, #MeToo leaders, and anyone with an opinion, there's a dangerous message that the burden is on the survivor and that the world is against them. Consider another reason many don't report: the length and difficulty of the reporting process and any following criminal case.
"I've spoken to a lot of people about this and that was why the case being so long felt even longer because they have to go through the trauma over and over again," Sexual Assault and Relationship Violence Activists (SARVA) Director Nicole Sullivan said.
At the end of July, Spanish troops will be withdrawn from the Gran Capitán base in Bismayah, which is Spain’s most important base in Iraq. Before the coronavirus pandemic, 350 out of Spain’s 530 soldiers in Iraq were stationed at the Gran Capitán base. The base is one of the Building Partner Capacity (BPC) centers run by the US-led international coalition in Iraq, which is tasked with training Iraqi security forces. According to military sources, troops are being withdrawn because the base has completed this mission.
The Spanish Defense Ministry is also preparing to withdraw soldiers from Afghanistan by the end of this year or the beginning of 2021, before the 14-month deadline for complete withdrawal of US and allied forces comes to an end, as set out in the deal struck between the United States and the Taliban.
A veteran Iraqi economist who is advising the country's new Prime Minister, Mustafa Al Kadhimi, has revealed astounding figures on government waste in the resource-rich but impoverished nation.
Mudher Salih told of a state obsessed with generating money from its oil sector without acting to develop the country or plug holes in the budget that have been sucking liquidity out of public finances for years.
The electricity sector costs the government about $10 billion (Dh36.73bn) a year to run but generates only 7 per cent of its operating costs in revenue, Mr Salih told the official Iraqi news agency on Tuesday.
Iraq also suffers crippling power cuts and imports electricity and gas from Iran to boost production.
Official datas show its generation capacity at 16,000 megawatts, compared with the 24,000 to 30,000 megawatts needed to satisfy demand.
Mr Salih, a former central bank official, is one of the few senior independent experts in Iraq who survived purges under Saddam Hussein.
He retained a senior position in the state after the consolidation of the Shiite political ascendency in 2005, the year Iraq had its first democratic poll post-Saddam.
Mr Salih said Iraq imported $50bn worth of fuel in the past 10 years, although it is one of the top five members of Opec.
"This amount could have been used to build 10 large oil refineries," he said.
“Shortsighted politicians are citing increased rainfall as the reason they do not need to urgently deal with Basra’s persistent crisis,” said Lama Fakih, acting Middle East director at Human Rights Watch. “But Basra will continue to face acute water shortages and pollution crises in the coming years, with serious consequences, if the government doesn’t invest now in targeted, long-term, and badly needed improvements.”
Human Rights Watch interviewed 58 Basra residents, workers at private and public water facilities, and healthcare professionals, and reviewed water sample tests from the Shatt al-Arab river, treatment plants, and taps in homes. Human Rights Watch also interviewed representatives from Basra’s provincial council, governor’s office, and the Ministries of Water Resources, Municipalities and Public Works’ water and sewage departments, Health and Environment, and Agriculture, and analyzed academic and public health data and over 20 years of scientific and commercial satellite imagery of the region to substantiate many of the findings.
Basra’s primary water sources are the Shatt al-Arab river and its freshwater canals. Human Rights Watch found that Iraqi authorities have failed to properly manage and regulate Iraq’s water resources, depriving people in southern Iraq’s Basra governorate – four million people – of their right to safe drinking water for decades, including during the period of occupation by the US- and UK-led Coalition Provisional Authority. But multiple government failures since the 1980s, including poor management of upstream water sources, inadequate regulation of pollution and sewage, and chronic neglect and mismanagement of water infrastructure, have caused the quality of these waterways to deteriorate.