Tuesday, November 15, 2011

6 women

Today on The Diane Rehm Show (NPR), the guests were Lenor Guariguata, Maya Rockeymoore, Dr. Rita Kalyani, Dr. Judith Franklin and Ann Albright. The second hour was Jean Baker.

POLITICO reports that The Daily Caller is having troubles. That link's not to gloat, just because I think it's an interesting article.

This is C.I.'s "Iraq snapshot:"


Tuesday, November 15, 2011. Chaos and violence continue, the US military announces another death, Panetta tells Congress negotiaions continue with Iraq, NPR reports on a man accused of killing 5 US soldiers -- but forgets to name the 5 US soldiers -- and more.
Here's what the news media isn't telling you because apparently they'd rather be a bunch of guttersnipe gossips.
Senator Joe Lieberman: Understood. In your own thinking, since you obviously didn't recommend zero troops after January 1st, what do you think now are the greater risks that we face as a result of the fact that we will have no continuing US military presence in Iraq.
General Martin Dempsey: Well some of the things that the -- that the larger military footprint address will now have to be addressed diplomatically and that is some of the things that have come up here today about the, you know, the protection of the small religious communities and so forth, the Arab-Kurd tensions, if you will. But I also want to mention this Office of Security Cooperation will help us ensure that the foreign military sales program, the program of record as we call, it that continues to build the institution of Iraqi security forces, will continue to be addressed. So this isn't a divorce. It might feel that way because the way the numbers have -- the way the Iraqi government came to the decision. But the fact is we will be embedded with them as trainers, not only tactically but also at the institutional level. And I think that's an important way to mitigate the risk that you are talking about.
Senator Joe Lieberman: Let me, Secretary Panetta, pick up from that point. I've heard from friends in Iraq -- Iraqis -- that Prime Minister Maliki said at one point that he needed to stop the negotiations -- leave aside for one moment the reasons -- but he was prepared to begin negotiations again between two sovereign nations -- the US and Iraq -- about some troops being in Iraq after January 1st. So that's what I've heard from there. But I want to ask you from the administration point of view. I know that Prime Minister Maliki is coming here in a few weeks to Washington. Is the administration planning to pursue further discussions with the Iraqi government about deploying at least some US forces in Iraq after the end of this year?
Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta: Senator, as I pointed out in my testimony, what we seek with Iraq is a normal relationship now and that does involve continuing negotiations with them as to what their needs are. Uh, and I believe there will be continuing negotations. We're in negotiations now with regards to the size of the security office that will be there and so there will be -- There aren't zero troops that are going to be there. We'll have, you know, hundreds that will be present by virtue of that office assuming we can work out an agreement there. But I think that once we've completed the implementation of the security agreement that there will begin a series of negotiations about what exactly are additional areas where we can be of assistance? What level of trainers do they need? What can we do with regards to CT [Counter-Terrorism] operations? What will we do on exercises -- joint-exercises -- that work together?

Senator Joe Lieberman: Right.
Secretary Leon Panetta: We -- we have these kind of relationships with other countries in the region and that's what we're going to continue to pursue with Iraq.
Senator Joe Lieberman: And in fact, just using the term that both of you have used, that would be a normal relationship. A normal relationship would not exlcude the presence of some American military in Iraq, correct?
Secretary Leon Panetta: That's correct.
Senator Joe Lieberman: So what I hear you saying, assuming that this question of immunities can be overcome, do you, Mr. Secretary, personally believe that it's in the interests of the US to have some military presence in Iraq as part of an agreement with the Iraqis?
Secretary Leon Panetta: I believe -- I believe there are areas where we can provide important assistance to the Iraqis but again I would stress to you, Senator Lieberman, I know that you have been there that in order for this to happen we've got to be able to have them basically say, 'These are our needs, this is what we want, these are the missions that we want accomplished.' And then we can assist them in saying we can provide this in order to accomplish those missions. It's got to be a two-way street.
That's from today's Senate Armed Services Committee hearing. Can everyone follow that or do we need to prepare flash cards?
I grasp that the cess pool of today's 'reporters' -- 'artistes' -- can't tell you the truth. They can't do it because the press is lazy and when they all agree to a narrative, it is hell to get them to ever change it. A bunch of lazy asses and dumb asses in the Mainstream Media decided Barack was withdrawing all US troops from Iraq and bringing them home. Based on?
Their own reporting? Hell no. Lazy bastards take stenography, they don't report. Since before that speech, we were explaining there were many options to continuing the war. Since that speech, we've repeatedly explained that negotations did not end, that they were ongoing. But day after day, your MSM wants to tell you that it's over and that blah, blah, blah and 3 out of 4 approve of Barack's plan. What the hell is Barack's plan? It's what he told Michael R. Gordon and Jeff Zeleny he planned to do with Iraq -- what he told them in 2008. And back then, we were the only ones to catch it because idiots like Tom Hayden went by the report Gordo and Jeffy did as opposed to the partial transcript that the Times published online.
Martha and Shirley tell me that a record number of e-mails came into the public account today from visitors full of apologies for all the nasty things they said about me being a liar and who knows what else. Let me be clear, not only do I not read the bulk of the e-mails to the public account (I try to read as many e-mails as I can from community members to the two private e-mail accounts), it doesn't matter if I do. An insult from a stranger? I don't really care. I'm not that touchy. It's not necessary to me -- and never has been -- to be universally loved. I can actually operate more effectively when I'm up against the opposite emotional spectrum. Nasty e-mails calling me a liar and worse to the public account didn't force me to write, "Negotiations aren't going on! I was wrong! Forgive me! It really is all over!" I could care less. And I've always been aware that when you're dealing with big topics, reactions really aren't about you. So I don't know why visitors are writing the public e-mail account now to apologize.
Presumably, you share my outrage over the inability of our press -- we're dealing with Big Media right now -- to tell the damn truth. If indeed that is the case, you need to use that time e-mailing the David S. Clouds (whom Martha and Shirley say you're praising for his report -- read it again and ask yourself why you're praising him for his single-sentence sixth paragraph when that should have been his lede), e-mailing CBS News about their dumb ass survey, etc. You need to be e-mailing and ask them why they are deliberately -- DELIBERATELY -- skewing reality and refusing to inform the American people of what is taking place. I know what's taking place because I have friends in the Congress and friends in the administration and what the MSM press keeps 'reporting' is not what is taking place. If you need forgiveness from me, "I forgive you." Blanket forgiveness, let's move on. Now stop writing the public account to apologize and use that time instead to demand that Big Media tell the damn truth.
Look at the SOFA. In today's hearing, over and over, you heard how this official and that official and this and that senator expected -- this is back in 2008 -- that in 2011 it would be extended or replaced. We have that in our archives. The day the White House published the SOFA -- despite it being Thanksgiving -- I went through every bit of it and we shared an analysis here that stands up to this day. The inability of the MSM to get that story right should have led to a huge outcry. But from whom?
Panhandle Media? When's the last time Left Media did a damn thing besides beg you for money? And did you not hear that garbage on Antiwar Radio this week with the guy The Nation pays? Or how about the garbage before that with Gareth and Scott? And Scott Horton is right-wing media. If Antiwar Radio won't bother with the truth why the hell would we expect The Progressive, The Nation and the other get-out-the-vote for Barack Obama organs to tell the truth?
We live in a sick and disgusting time when it comes to media. Across the board, they have failed us. They have done so repeatedly.
Today, when the MSM -- Big Media -- could be correcting the false narrative they broadcast to the American people, they instead focus on the trivia. The news from the hearing is that negotiations go on -- and it's not just that exchange quoted at the top. We can cite other exchanges in the hearing as well.
But instead of focusing on that actual news, instead of delivering reality to Americans -- who, point of fact, need to be informed if we're going to have a functioning democracy -- the 'artiste' David S. Clouds want you to know John McCain got testy today.
News -- that which is new, novel or effects lives.
I'm having a hard time figuring out how John McCain being testy in a committee hearing meets the definition of news. It really doesn't effect our lives. And it's not new or novel to anyone who's attended a hearing he's been present for in the last years. He didn't even have the best moment in what I guess the 'reporters' are calling "Testy Theater." The best moment came when Leon whined -- the most nasally whine, as if he were channeling Jerry Lewis -- and was stopped by a senator. Ava will cover that at Trina's tonight because she covers that senator (and, no, it's not John McCain).
The big news was that negotiations continue and will continue. That is big news because it effects lives. It is big news because it is both "new" and "novel" as a result of the press failure to report that this was taking place.
But you won't get that. You won't be informed of that. Not as long as you continue to accept this garbage from All Things Media Big and Small.
Let's stay with McCain for a moment. As noted before, I don't care for him. (As noted before, I know Cindy McCain and she's a very nice person.) Here's what really news with regards to him. John McCain was right.
John McCain was attacked by partisan bloggers from the left. Republican who repeated his comments were trashed from the same group. (Not all left bloggers are partisan bloggers. And if you're late to the party, I'm a Democrat. And way further left than probably most people are.) You had Huffington Posts and other outlets attacking them, calling them crazy. Remember?
For what? For making the assertion that US military commanders were opposed to all US troops leaving Iraq. John McCain was right.
I guess playing Rona Barrett and going all dishy with "John gave Leon a look and Leon got mad and you know he just was so not going to take that but you will absolutely not believe what they said to each other then!" tires our MSM out so very much that they can't report reality. (Or, hell, maybe it's part of the continued effort to push Barack over the line -- you know that benchmark that he never met as a candidate or since as a president?)
When Vet Votes' lil' expert showed up at Huffington Post, we didn't play that game. It didn't matter the right was being attacked so, if we want to be good leftists, we go along or be silent. No, that's not the game we play. We'll play the truth game instead, thank you very much. And we called out that nonsense repeatedly, check the October 27th snapshot for one example.
In today's Senate Armed Services Committee hearing, John McCain (Ranking Member on the Committee) established, in his first round of questions, that US military commanders were not on board with what the press has presented the US is doing in Iraq (pulling all troops). Furthermore, in the second round, Senator Lindsey Graham would establish that this was true of Iraqi military commanders as well. Neither US nor Iraqi were calling for zero forces, both felt that US troops needed to remain in Iraq.

From McCain's first round of questioning, here's one portion of that.
Senator John McCain: Since you brought up regrettably, General Dempsey, 2003 and 2004. The fact is that you did not support the surge and said that it would fail. Secretary Panetta was part of the Iraq Study Group which recommended withdrawal from Iraq and opposed the surge. And so we're all responsible for the judgments that we make and obviously that effects the crediblity of the judgments that we make now on Iraq. I regret that you had to bring that up, General Dempsey. The fact is that there were some of us who were over there in those years you talked about, in fact, maybe even had other members of their family there and saw that it was failing and that we needed to have the surge and the surge succeeded. And the fact is that we could have given sovereign immunity as we have in other countries to keep our troops there and give them the immunity that they needed. We have other agreements with other countries that guarantee sovereign immunity. The fact is, that every military leader recommended that we have residual forces at minimum of 10,000 and usually around 20,000. That was the recommendations made before this committee by General [Ray] Odierno, recommendations made by General [David] Petraeus, recommendations made by even lower ranking military who had spent, as you mentioned a great amount of time there and did not want to see that service and sacrifice all wasted away because of our inability and lack of desire to reach an agreement with Iraqis. As I said in my opening statement, Iraqis are largely responsible as well. But the fact is that when Senator Lieberman, Senator Graham and I were there the Iraqis were ready to deal. And what was the administration's response? They didn't have a number last May as to our residual force in Iraq. So as things happen in that country, things fell apart. Now can you tell the Committee, General Dempsey, if there was any military commander who recommended that we completely withdraw from Iraq?
General Martin Dempsey: Uh, no, Senator. None of us recommended that we completely withdraw from Iraq.
Senator John McCain: When did we come up with the number of uh troops that we wanted to remain in Iraq? Do you know when that final decision was made as to exact numbers that we wanted?
General Martin Dempsey: Uh, it to my knowledge the process started in Augustof [20]10 and, as you know, there was a series of possibilities or options that started at about 16,000 and ended up with about 10[000] and then migrated to 3[000] and then we ended up with [cross talk] --
Senator John McCain: Do you know when the final decision on numbers was reached?
General Martin Dempsey: Well the final decision of focusing on the Office of Security Cooperation was based on a conversation between our president and president Maliki. [C.I. note: Nouri al-Maliki is the prime minister of Iraq. He is not the president. Jalal Talabani holds the ceremonial post of president.] Prior to that, I don't know.
Senator John McCain: The reason I thnk you don't know because there never was an exact number and missions articulated by our government which would have been a concrete proposal for the Iraqi government. So to say that the Iraqi government didn't want us when they didn't know the number and missions that we wanted as a residual force makes it understandable why we didn't reach an understanding with them. And, as you mentioned, it cascaded down from 20,000 to the ridiculously low number of 3. So, Secretary Panetta, we're now going to have a residual presence in Iraq of 16,000 American Embassy personnel and workers, isn't that correct.
If we'd mocked John McCain for his claim, it really would be incumbent upon us to present the above. We didn't mock him. But we include the above -- some of which I disagree strongly with -- because we do care what is true and what is false. McCain -- and GOP presidential nominee wanna-bes like Rick Perry and Mitt Romney -- were correct when they stated that the military leaders did not agree that there should be no US military presence in Iraq.
I believe there should be no military presence at all and no huge embassy presences. I can and have argued that position and done so without lying about John McCain or any other idealogical opponent.
A lot of people tell pretty lies. It's very good if you want to fit in with the circle-jerk. But if you're looking for reality, it's of no use.
You laugh, he said, you think you're immune
Go look at your eyes they're full of moon
You like roses and kisses and pretty men to tell you
All those pretty lies pretty lies
When you gonna realize they're only pretty lies
Only pretty lies
Just pretty lies
-- "The Last Time I Saw Richard," written by Joni Mitchell, first appears on her album Blue
Wally's covering the hearing at Rebecca's site tonight and will note the cost issue. Kat will offer some general impressions of the hearing at her site tonight. We'll be covering the hearing tomorrow -- barring some major Iraq news breaking -- because there were many topics noted in the hearing's first panel that we address here frequently. We may or may not cover the second panel. (The first panel was composed of Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta and General Martin Dempsy.)
Turning to today's violence in Iraq. Reuters notes a Baghdad roadside bombing left three people injured, a Qaiyara asault claimed the life of 1 doctor and, dropping back to Sunday night, 1 man was shot dead outside his Jbela home. Aswat al-Iraq adds that a Mosul bombing claimed the life of 1 police officer and left three people injured.
AP reported this morning that the US military has announced another death in Iraq, this one taking place yesterday "while conducting military operations in central Iraq." AFP quotes an unnamed US military spokesperson stating, "It was a hostile incident."

Sean Ferguson whose death made yesterday's news cycle. KSEE 24 News reports the decorated Iraq War veteran was back in Iraq as a contractor for the State Dept and they quote Ralph Jordan speaking on behalf of the fallen's family, "A 29-year-old man whose life has really been unselfishly given. . . . I'm a direct beneficiary of that, everyone is." KFSN (link has text and video) notes, "A memorial service for Army Sergeant Sean Ferguson will be held at the Church of Jesus Christ Latter Day Saints on Saturday morning. Friends and family say Ferguson was passionate about his service and fighting for freedom."

Meanwhile Carrie Johnson does a bad report for NPR on today's Morning Edition. The US military is holding Ali Mussa Daqduq. Are they going to release him? Are they going to try him in the Iraqi courts? Are they going to try him in a military court? Will they bring him to the US and try him in a civilian court? Johnson notes that Senator Lindsey Graham is among those saying a US civilian trial would be a mistake. Where the report falters is in actual details. He was not, as Johnson states, captured five years ago. It will be five years next March. To say he's accused of the deaths of 5 US soldiers is really kind of tacky. Who are the five? Why aren't you naming them?

Here's the US military's release on the January 20, 2007 attack that they are saying Ali Mussa Daqduq is responsible for:


Multi-National Corps – Iraq
Public Affairs Office, Camp Victory
APO AE 09342

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
RELEASE No. 20070121-01
Jan. 21, 2007

Karbala Provincial Joint Coordination Center attacked by militia
Multi-National Division – Baghdad PAO

KARBALA, Iraq – The Provincial Joint Coordination Center (PJCC) in Karbala was attacked with grenades, small arms and indirect fires by an illegally armed militia group Jan 20. Five U.S. Soldiers were killed and three wounded while repelling the attack.
Initial reporting by some media outlets indicated falsely that the attack was conducted by Coalition forces.

"The PJCC is a coordination center where local Iraqi officials, Iraqi security forces and Coalition forces stationed within the center meet to address the security needs of the population," said Brig. Gen. Vincent K. Brooks, Deputy Commander for Multi-National Division-Baghdad. "A meeting was taking place at the time of the attack to ensure the security of Shiite pilgrims participating in the Ashura commemorations."

"The attack on the Karbala Provincial Joint Coordination Center was aimed at Coalition and Iraqi Security Forces working together toward a better future for the citizens of Karbala," said Lt. Col. Scott R. Bleichwehl, Spokesperson for Multi-National Division-Baghdad.
The location has been secured by Coalition and Iraqi security forces.
The deceased Soldiers' names are being withheld pending notification of their next of kin.

-30-

FOR MORE INFORMATION, CONTACT MULTI-NATIONAL DIVISION – BAGHDAD PUBLIC AFFAIRS NCO IN CHARGE, MASTER SGT. DAVID LARSEN BY E-MAIL AT: DAVID.J.LARSEN@US.ARMY.MIL This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it ; OR BY PHONE AT COMMERCIAL: (914) 822-8174, OR IRAQNA: 011-964-790-192-4675.

Multi-National Corps – Iraq
Public Affairs Office, Camp Victory
APO AE 09342

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
RELEASE No. 20070121-01
Jan. 21, 2007

Karbala Provincial Joint Coordination Center attacked by militia
Multi-National Division – Baghdad PAO

KARBALA, Iraq – The Provincial Joint Coordination Center (PJCC) in Karbala was attacked with grenades, small arms and indirect fires by an illegally armed militia group Jan 20. Five U.S. Soldiers were killed and three wounded while repelling the attack.
Initial reporting by some media outlets indicated falsely that the attack was conducted by Coalition forces.

"The PJCC is a coordination center where local Iraqi officials, Iraqi security forces and Coalition forces stationed within the center meet to address the security needs of the population," said Brig. Gen. Vincent K. Brooks, Deputy Commander for Multi-National Division-Baghdad. "A meeting was taking place at the time of the attack to ensure the security of Shiite pilgrims participating in the Ashura commemorations."

"The attack on the Karbala Provincial Joint Coordination Center was aimed at Coalition and Iraqi Security Forces working together toward a better future for the citizens of Karbala," said Lt. Col. Scott R. Bleichwehl, Spokesperson for Multi-National Division-Baghdad.
The location has been secured by Coalition and Iraqi security forces.
The deceased Soldiers' names are being withheld pending notification of their next of kin.

-30-

FOR MORE INFORMATION, CONTACT MULTI-NATIONAL DIVISION – BAGHDAD PUBLIC AFFAIRS NCO IN CHARGE, MASTER SGT. DAVID LARSEN BY E-MAIL AT: DAVID.J.LARSEN@US.ARMY.MIL This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it ; OR BY PHONE AT COMMERCIAL: (914) 822-8174, OR IRAQNA: 011-964-790-192-4675.

So that's what the military said in real time. It's a real shame that an NPR report can't add a thing to it all these years later. For example, the accused is apparently the last of those alleged to be responsible for the attack to still be held. Barack Obama released the ringleader. Were I the defense counsel, I would certainly think that was pertinent and belonged in a so-called news report. The five dead also have names. That's pretty pertinent as well. It's shameful that NPR did a report on an attack and couldn't take the time to name the five killed. The US military -- above -- couldn't because the families hadn't all been notified on January 21, 2007. What's NPR's excuse today? We'll drop back to the June 9, 2009 snapshot for names of the five US soldiers killed while serving in Iraq and for Barack's decision to release others who are alleged to have taken part in the attack:


This morning the New York Times' Alissa J. Rubin and Michael Gordon offered "U.S. Frees Suspect in Killing of 5 G.I.'s." Martin Chulov (Guardian) covered the same story, Kim Gamel (AP) reported on it, BBC offered "Kidnap hope after Shia's handover" and Deborah Haynes contributed "Hope for British hostages in Iraq after release of Shia militant" (Times of London). The basics of the story are this. 5 British citizens have been hostages since May 29, 2007. The US military had in their custody Laith al-Khazali. He is a member of Asa'ib al-Haq. He is also accused of murdering five US troops. The US military released him and allegedly did so because his organization was not going to release any of the five British hostages until he was released. This is a big story and the US military is attempting to state this is just diplomacy, has nothing to do with the British hostages and, besides, they just released him to Iraq. Sami al-askari told the New York Times, "This is a very sensitive topic because you know the position that the Iraqi government, the U.S. and British governments, and all the governments do not accept the idea of exchanging hostages for prisoners. So we put it in another format, and we told them that if they want to participate in the political process they cannot do so while they are holding hostages. And we mentioned to the American side that they cannot join the political process and release their hostages while their leaders are behind bars or imprisoned." In other words, a prisoner was traded for hostages and they attempted to not only make the trade but to lie to people about it. At the US State Dept, the tired and bored reporters were unable to even broach the subject. Poor declawed tabbies. Pentagon reporters did press the issue and got the standard line from the department's spokesperson, Bryan Whitman, that the US handed the prisoner to Iraq, the US didn't hand him over to any organization -- terrorist or otherwise. What Iraq did, Whitman wanted the press to know, was what Iraq did. A complete lie that really insults the intelligence of the American people. CNN reminds the five US soldiers killed "were: Capt. Brian S. Freeman, 31, of Temecula, California; 1st Lt. Jacob N. Fritz, 25, of Verdon, Nebraska; Spc. Johnathan B. Chism, 22, of Gonzales, Louisiana; Pfc. Shawn P. Falter, 25, of Cortland, New York; and Pfc. Johnathon M. Millican, 20, of Trafford, Alabama." Those are the five from January 2007 that al-Khazali and his brother Qais al-Khazali are supposed to be responsible for the deaths of. Qassim Abdul-Zahra and Robert H. Reid (AP) states that Jonathan B. Chism's father Danny Chism is outraged over the release and has declared, "They freed them? The American military did? Somebody needs to answer for it."


While it's no surprise that NPR wouldn't want to address the deal the White House made, it's shocking that they would also work to render the five dead invisible. If you're talking about someone who is alleged to have killed 5 Americans in Iraq, you name the five Americans.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Blog Archive