Saturday, December 18, 2021

NYT offers some truth -- will it cause any reflection?

Azmat Khan's "Hidden Petnagon Records Reveal Patterns Of Failure In Deadly Airstrikes" is up at THE NEW YORK TIMES.  It's the first part in a series.  The article's subheading is "The promise was a war waged by all-seeing drones and precision bombs. The documents show flawed intelligence, faulty targeting, years of civilian deaths -- and scant accountability."  It opens:

Shortly before 3 a.m. on July 19, 2016, American Special Operations forces bombed what they believed were three ISIS “staging areas” on the outskirts of Tokhar, a riverside hamlet in northern Syria. They reported 85 fighters killed. In fact, they hit houses far from the front line, where farmers, their families and other local people sought nighttime sanctuary from bombing and gunfire. More than 120 villagers were killed.
In early 2017 in Iraq, an American war plane struck a dark-colored vehicle, believed to be a car bomb, stopped at an intersection in the Wadi Hajar neighborhood of West Mosul. Actually, the car had been bearing not a bomb but a man named Majid Mahmoud Ahmed, his wife and their two children, who were fleeing the fighting nearby. They and three other civilians were killed.
In November 2015, after observing a man dragging an “unknown heavy object” into an ISIS “defensive fighting position,” American forces struck a building in Ramadi, Iraq. A military review found that the object was actually “a person of small stature” — a child — who died in the strike.
None of these deadly failures resulted in a finding of wrongdoing.
These cases are drawn from a hidden Pentagon archive of the American air war in the Middle East since 2014.
The trove of documents — the military’s own confidential assessments of more than 1,300 reports of civilian casualties, obtained by The New York Times — lays bare how the air war has been marked by deeply flawed intelligence, rushed and often imprecise targeting, and the deaths of thousands of civilians, many of them children, a sharp contrast to the American government’s image of war waged by all-seeing drones and precision bombs.
The documents show, too, that despite the Pentagon’s highly codified system for examining civilian casualties, pledges of transparency and accountability have given way to opacity and impunity. In only a handful of cases were the assessments made public. Not a single record provided includes a finding of wrongdoing or disciplinary action. Fewer than a dozen condolence payments were made, even though many survivors were left with disabilities requiring expensive medical care. Documented efforts to identify root causes or lessons learned are rare.
The air campaign represents a fundamental transformation of warfare that took shape in the final years of the Obama administration, amid the deepening unpopularity of the forever wars that had claimed more than 6,000 American service members. The United States traded many of its boots on the ground for an arsenal of aircraft directed by controllers sitting at computers, often thousands of miles away. President Barack Obama called it “the most precise air campaign in history.”
This was the promise: America’s “extraordinary technology” would allow the military to kill the right people while taking the greatest possible care not to harm the wrong ones.

Yeah, they covered it up.  It was only new and surprising to you if you ever believed that these were precision strikes to begin with.  And if you want to get honest with yourself, maybe you might ask if you believed that because you wanted to?  Because it made it easier for you?

The government lied, no question.  But a lot of us knew it real time.  If you're just now catching up, maybe you need to take a look at yourself and wonder how that happened?

Civilians were murdered.  That's what it was.  It was 'quick' and it was 'cheap.'  And that's all mattered to some.  

Human life -- and respect for it -- never entered the picture.

Grasp that.  And expand that enough to grasp that the Mosul Operation was never about saving the people of Mosul.  It was about the US putting an end to a very visible and obvious failure that went to how bad the govenment that they installed in Iraq was.

ISIS taking over Mosul was an indictment of the ongoing US government actions in Iraq.  And a lot of lies were told to cover that up or to kick the can backwards so that the problems were all in the past and caused solely by Bully Boy Bush.  Bully Boy Bush is a War Criminal, no question.  But the press sure was found of pretending everything after 2009 in Iraq was Bully Boy Bush's fault.  They loved to whore for Barack.  That's how ISIS gets pinned on Bully Boy by some.  ISIS is the direct result of Barack and Joe Biden overruling the Iraqi voters -- who voted Nouri al-Maliki out in 2010 -- with The Erbil Agreement that gave thug Nouri a second term.  

A lot of lying and lot of whoring went down.  

Maybe some of the truth Azmat and THE TIMES are offering right now will force some reflection.

The following sites updated:


Sam Seder SMEARS Jackson Hinkle On The Majority Report

Lawyer who took on Chevron Back Under House Arrest


Interview with Iran's Chief Negotiator at Nuclear Talks | Richard Medhurst and Dr. Ali Bagheri


CIA Caught Protecting Pedophiles Inside CIA



C. Delores Tucker Was Right! Corporations and the Weaponizing of Hip Hop

 Hip Hop Artist Asheru, most popularly known for the Boondocks theme song stops thru iMWiL! on the 12/17 episode.

Full Episode: DaveyD and Jared Ball Debate C. Delores Tucker Hip-Hop’s Still Troubled Narrative: A Requiem for C. Delores Tucker by Jared Ball

Sexual Assualt and the City


Start your day smarter with a dossier on the most important world news, rounded off with a shot of intriguing and offbeat stories. Like the president, you deserve no less.

Dec 17, 2021TODAY

Columbia University study warns that omicron is “markedly resistant” to vaccines. Seventeen missionaries kidnapped in Haiti earlier this year have been released. The FDA permanently removes a requirement for patients to pick up abortion medication in person, allowing those meds to be mailed instead. And two women accuse Sex and the City star Chris Noth of sexual assualt. All of this and more in today’s Presidential Daily Brief. 


1 - Omicron Surges

Study warns that omicron is resistant to vaccines

A new study by scientists at Columbia University and the University of Hong Kong finds that the omicron variant is surprisingly resistant to vaccines. The authors raise concerns that the variant’s extensive mutations can compromise or even neutralize a vaccine’s effectiveness. As omicron continues to spread at 70 times the speed of delta, the authors call on the scientific community to anticipate the virus’s mutations and get out in front of them—before the virus becomes immune to current antibodies. The news comes on the same day that a CDC panel issued a unanimous preference for Pfizer and Moderna vaccines over Johnson & Johnson’s, saying that the latter causes rare but serious blood clots and is less effective. (Source: AP)

2 - Hostages Head Home

All 17 missionaries kidnapped in Haiti have been freed

In October, 16 Americans and one Canadian were kidnapped by one of Haiti’s powerful gangs. Yesterday, Christian Aid Ministries confirmed that all hostages are safely on their way home—without specifying whether the $1 million ransom per head was paid. Haiti’s kidnapping rate is one of the highest in the world, and it’s rising quickly with nearly 800 kidnappings reported before the end of October. The increase follows the assasination of President Jovenel Moïse in July, as rival gangs vie for power and use kidnappings to finance their activities. (Source: BBC)

3 - Contingencies Commence

As abortion rights come under fire nationwide, the FDA makes moves

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced Thursday that it will permanently relax restrictions on medication used to induce abortions at a time when abortion rights hang in the balance. Before the pandemic, the drug called mifepristone could only be obtained via prescription picked up in person. Then, in the face of nationwide lockdowns, the Biden administration relaxed those requirements and allowed the pills to be mailed directly to patients instead, dramatically increasing access for those living in rural areas. Instigated by lawsuits from groups including the American Civil Liberties Union, the decision by the FDA makes that change permanent. (Source: NPR )

4 - Mandate Court Date

Vaccine mandate may reach the high court

The Department of Justice (DOJ) is just about fed up, it seems. Solicitor General Elizabeth Prelogar wrote to the Supreme Court yesterday to ask justices to allow a vaccine mandate for certain health care workers to go into effect across the nation. This is the first time the DOJ has turned to the court for an opinion on a mandate, so all eyes are on Washington. Lower courts have blocked the mandate in about half of the U.S. If implemented, the sweeping ruling would apply to 10.3 million health care workers nationwide. (Source: CNN)

5 - Briefly

Here are some things you should know about today: 

Kamala Harris says she and Biden haven’t discussed plans for the 2024 election. The VP and star Democrat said that she and the President are focused on completing their first year in office. (Source: WSJMeta bans seven “surveillance-for-hire” companies. The social media giant says the companies spied on around 50,000 unaware users. (Source: NPRNicholas Burns becomes U.S. ambassador to China. Burns, a career diplomat, takes his post at a tense time with the eastern superpower. (Source: Axios


As She Talks COVID Symptoms, #MeToo, and Politics


1 - Claudette Colvin Cleared

The original Rosa Parks finally has her record expunged

Nine months before Rosa Parks famously refused to give up her bus seat, Claudette Colvin did the same—at the age of 15. In March of 1955, Colvin and three of her friends sat in the section of a Montgomery bus reserved for Black patrons. Then, a young white woman moved into the same row and demanded they move into the aisles. Colvin refused. For her courage, Colvin faced three charges, of which one stayed: assaulting a police officer. Now, at 82, Colvin’s record has finally been expunged after she petitioned an Alabama judge. (Source: BBC)

2 - No More Credit for Kids

The widely popular child tax credit may soon expire

If Congress doesn’t take swift action, the child tax credit will expire at midnight on December 31st. For months during the pandemic, families have received hundreds of dollars in support thanks to the child tax credit and its expansion, passed in July. Now, the Senate sits gridlocked over the controversial Build Back Better Act, which includes a provision to extend the benefits for another year. Democrats had hoped to pass the bill before Christmas, but centrist Senator Joe Manchin is making that seem less and less likely. (Source: ABC News)

3 - Sexual Assault and the City

“Sex and the City” star Chris Noth accused of assault by two women

Noth, who plays Mr. Big in the franchise then and now, only recently returned to the public eye after the reboot of the classic TV show. Yesterday, the Hollywood Reporter revealed that two women were allegedly assaulted by Noth in 2004 and 2015. The Los Angeles Police Department is currently looking into the accusations. One of the women says Noth harassed her with constant voice messages before raping her in his apartment. The other woman says he invited her over to taste whiskey before violating her. Noth says he had consensual sex with both women, but categorically denies rape allegations. (Source: NBC News)

4 - Nightmare in the Sky

Bouncy castle disaster leaves five children dead and four injured

Five children died and four suffered serious injuries after wind lifted a bouncy castle 32 feet into the air. Nearly forty children between the ages of 11 and 12 were attending an end-of-school fun day at Hillcrest Primary School in Australia when the tragedy occured. Of the four injured survivors, three are in the hospital. An investigation is underway into what caused the accident, including the strength of the wind at the time and how the castle had been tethered to the ground. (Source: CNN)

5 - Political Maneuvering

Florida’s Republican governor continues to go after CRT

Governor Ron DeSantis has a bone to pick with a very specific kind of legal academic theory that is actually almost never included in any K-12 curriculum: critical race theory (CRT). Yesterday, DeSantis introduced a legislative proposal to let parents sue public schools if they teach CRT. He calls it the “Stop W.O.K.E. Act”. Florida state Senator Shevrin Jones, a Democrat, scoffed at the proposal, saying “Republicans would rather manufacture a crisis out of a non-issue, all in the hopes of fanning the flames of a culture war for political gain.” (Source: Axios)


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Daily Poster: How Amazon BLOCKED Worker Protection Bill | Breaking Points with Krystal and Saagar

 Krystal and Saagar are joined by Daily Poster journalist David Sirota as part of an ongoing collaboration to talk about how Amazon funded lobbyists blocked a worker protection bill before the tornadoes struck their warehouse

To become a Breaking Points Premium Member and watch/listen to the show uncut and 1 hour early visit: To listen to Breaking Points as a podcast, check them out on Apple and Spotify Apple: Spotify: Merch: Daily Poster:

A Letter from Bioneers Co-Founders Nina Simons and Kenny Ausubel


Dear Bioneer, 

As we reflect upon the upcoming Solstice—and after a challenging time for so many among us—we find that we still have so much to be thankful for. We’re particularly grateful for you, the Bioneers community. Throughout a year like this one we are more grateful than ever that Bioneers is here and ready to meet this moment in such profound, deep and far-reaching ways.

We write to invite you to consider contributing an end-of-year gift to Bioneers. Thanks to a challenge grant, the impact of every dollar you give will be doubled up to $30,000. Your donation today will directly support the diverse Bioneers programming that you’ve come to love, and that we believe is helping to evolve our cultures—to one that’s Earth-honoring, celebrates diversity, is just, regenerative and peaceful. Your gift will help it all—from our podcasts and radio shows to the Indigeneity Forum and our Annual Conference (which will return in-person this coming May 2022!):

  • $50 supports one month of the beautiful imagery and graphics you’ve come to expect from our articles and newsletters. 
  • $100 supports the production of our monthly Food Web newsletter
  • $550 allows us to provide full Bioneers Conference registration, with three healthy meals for one Native youth.
The world has clearly entered what Joanna Macy calls “The Great Turning,” and the work of Bioneers is more important, relevant and timely than ever. We need the cultural enzyme, the contagious memes, and whole-systems approach that Bioneers offers, spread as far and wide and as quickly as possible, to ignite the citizen engagement and leadership that’s so urgently needed. We hope you’ll consider stretching to give as generously as you possibly can—and we promise to use your support resourcefully and well! And remember, all gifts up to $30,000 will be worth double to Bioneers, through January 1st!
At Bioneers we measure our mission delivery in cultural shifts and transformation. What does a cultural shift look like? One story:
In 2016 Bioneers began an innovative project: “Decolonizing Thanksgiving,” which involved hosting a “Decolonized” Thanksgiving meal with a visionary donor and a group of allies. We reported on this meal and what the concept of Decolonizing Thanksgiving meant. Every year since then, we’ve built on that foundation: hosting events, creating curriculum, and producing media around the topic. 

Google the phrase “Decolonizing Thanksgiving” and Bioneers is the first thing you’ll see. Not bad for a tiny team. But the story gets even better. Last month we launched a formal resource page, collecting all our Decolonizing Thanksgiving materials into one place, alongside contributions/resources from other leading organizations, and discovered just how influential these resources can be. 

In mid-November the Chancellor of the Washington, D.C. schools sent an email to the entire district that included a link to Bioneers’ Decolonizing Thanksgiving resources as a way to pay respect to the different ways of experiencing the holiday. This story was then picked up by none other than Fox News online, who tried to skewer it (unsuccessfully, in our view). Since its publication, our Decolonizing Thanksgiving materials have generated massive traffic and brought visitors both new and returning to our site—in November alone we had over 215,000 visitors to 

Moving from an intimate gathering of ten Bioneers around a dinner table to influencing the mainstream media’s national discourse—that’s the kind of change and cultural shift that you are supporting. 
We hope you'll consider supporting us and everything we do to tell stories that change the world, create sovereign spaces dedicated to Indigenous programming, uplift the voices of diverse women and youth leaders, promote the conservation of biocultural diversity, and weave the web of relationships among disparate communities to build the power it’s going to take to actually change the system. 

Our sincerest gratitude,

Nina Simons, Kenny Ausubel, and the entire Bioneers Team
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