- With poetic flair, Judge Toomin said, basically, Jussie Smollett's entire prosecution— even the part where charges were dropped— was invalid, because Foxx said she'd "recused" herself before he was ever arrested, and failed to ask for a special prosecutor https://chicago.suntimes.com/politics/2019/6/21/18693732/jussie-smollett-special-prosecutor-kim-foxx-empire-actor …
A special prosecutor. And the judge said that the person appointed to the role could decide if Jussie needed to be charged.
If only, when Jussie made his deal, he had then said to the press, "I lied. I am sorry."
Instead, he lied. He lied that he hadn't made up anything. He lied big time.
And that just angered everyone all over again.
- Judge appoints a special prosecutor to investigate the decision by prosecutors in Chicago to dismiss all charges against "Empire" actor Jussie Smollett. http://apne.ws/DidIisS
- New: #JussieSmollett could be re-charged with the 16 felony counts or more — and Kim Foxx’s decisions will be now probed. Chicago judge just ruled a special prosecutor will investigate the entire case from the start.
- A judge's decision to appoint a special prosecutor means Jussie Smollett could be re-charged: https://abc7.ws/2Y5hXjx
- #BREAKING Special prosecutor appointed to look into #JussieSmollett controversy - actor could face charges after all...
- Today is @JussieSmollett's 37th birthday. And a Cook County judge gave him a special prosecutor as a gift.
This is C.I.'s "Iraq snapshot:"
.@realDonaldTrump Your Iran strategy has been ill-advised and short-sighted. Change course now. Return to the Iran nuclear agreement before it’s too late. Put aside your pride and political calculations for the good of our country. Do the right thing. tulsi.to/iran20
Ending the US policy of waging war to overthrow foreign govts we don’t like is crucial. The trillions wasted on regime change wars is a foreign & domestic issue—b/c if we continue to waste $ on these counterproductive wars, we can’t afford to take care of the American ppl’s needs
And Senator Bernie Sanders also Tweeted about potential war.
If you think the invasion of Iraq was a disaster, a war with Iran would be worse. The United States must bring Iran and Saudi Arabia to the negotiating table, not foment a never-ending, unconstitutional war in the region.
Former US House Rep and candidate for the presidential nomination Beto O'Rourke Tweeted:
This administration is gunning for war in Iran. We can resolve our differences with that country firmly and peacefully, without invading yet another country and starting yet another war in the Middle East.
On Thursday, even Senator Elizabeth Warren found her way into the discussion.
The crisis with Iran is a result of @realDonaldTrump provoking Iran’s extreme hardliners & alienating our allies. I cosponsored @SenatorTomUdall’s amdt to the defense bill that prohibits war with Iran without Congressional approval. We can't start another war in the Middle East.
Margaret Kimberley (BLACK AGENDA REPORT) offers:
The latest in the saga of the desperate empire is the execution of one of the most obvious false flag operations of all time. On June 13, 2019 explosions took place on two oil tankers, one of which was Japanese owned, in the Gulf of Oman. Japan’s prime minister Shinzo Abe had just concluded meetings with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani. Japan is caught up in the U.S. sanctions scheme against Iran, which forbids their continued purchase of Iranian oil. The Trump administration and their friends at the New York Timesand other outlets would have us believe that Iran would take such risky action during delicate negotiations that determine its ability to survive as a nation.
But the absurdity is accepted, not just by Trumpian neocons and not only by the New York Times. Democratic congressman Adam Schiffman, point person in ginning up Russiagate hysteria, sounds just like the administration he allegedly opposes. “There’s no question Iran is behind the attacks,” Schiff opined on the Face the Nationnews program. Obviously there are many questions, such as who among the rogues gallery of U.S. proxies carried out the deed on behalf of the criminal enterprise. Israel, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates are the obvious suspects.
But Schiff is not alone. Ever the proud vassals, the British immediately backed up their partner in crime. They can always be counted on to follow Washington’s orders.
Margaret's column was published Wednesday morning but I don't think most of what followed on Thursday would have changed her opinion to any real degree. Possibly US House Rep Ilhan Omar (who is not seeking the presidential nomination) might win some praise for the straight forward nature of her Tweet.
Just as in Iraq, aggressors are using illegitimate pretexts to beat the drums of war. Just as in Iraq, our media is taking these claims at face value. Just as in Iraq, children will die, American lives will be lost, and the world will be less safe. #NoWarWithIran
Yesterday, Margaret Tweeted and re-Tweeted on the topic, including:
Iran has never had troops on American soil Iran doesn't have any nuclear weapons Iran has never dropped an atomic bomb Iran is surrounded by American military bases Iran isn't causing the genocide in Palestine or Yemen Iran poses absolutely no threat to the United States
Real journalists would be asking what that drone was doing over 7500 miles away from US territory, not hairsplitting over how many km from Iranian airspace it was flying. US imperialism is so deeply ingrained in the collective media psyche, that its aggression is normalized
It’s a bad sign when CNN gives a crisis its own graphic.
America has plenty of #ConcentrationCamps. Usually we call them prisons. There are more than 2 million locked up in them.
U.S. Claims Drone Was Minding Own Business On Its Way To Church When Iran Attacked It Out Of Nowhere
Allison Quinn (DAILY BEAST) notes:
President Trump approved U.S. military strikes on multiple targets in Iran on Thursday but changed his mind at the last minute, according to The New York Times. Multiple senior administration officials cited by the Times said military and diplomatic officials were waiting for a strike Thursday evening when the operation was suddenly called off.
One source said planes were already in the air and ships had gotten into position when the call came down that the operation was not going ahead. It was not immediately clear why the strike was called off, but Trump had appeared to walk back his accusations against Iran earlier Thursday by suggesting on Twitter that the country had not intentionally shot down a U.S. drone.
War on Iran, a real possibility, as so many wars -- including the Iraq War -- continue.
Yesterday, on ALL THINGS CONSIDERED (NPR), a new development in the trial of Edward Gallagher was noted:
ARI SHAPIRO, HOST:
Stunning development is an overused cliche. But in this instance, the phrase fits. It happened today in the trial of Navy SEAL Edward Gallagher. Chief Gallagher is accused of war crimes, including killing a teenage ISIS captive. Today a fellow SEAL testified that he, not Gallagher, is the one who killed the young man. And a warning - some of the details of that killing are disturbing to hear. Reporter Steve Walsh of member station KPBS has been covering the trial in San Diego, and he joins us. Welcome.
STEVE WALSH, BYLINE: Hi, Ari.
SHAPIRO: So you were in the courtroom today. Tell us what happened. It sounds like it was just a shocking, unexpected turn of events.
WALSH: No, it was completely unexpected. It was like something out of a Hollywood movie. You don't expect someone to declare that they're the real killer.
SHAPIRO: Especially when that person was a witness for the prosecution.
WALSH: Exactly. They're a witness for the prosecution. So Corey Scott was a medic. He was there on the scene in Iraq with Gallagher. He was beside him. And he testified, much like prosecutors expected him to testify, that Gallagher took a knife, plunged it into the neck of this wounded Iraqi fighter that they were providing medical care to. It was the sort of blow that was not designed for any sort of medical treatment but to injure the Iraqi fighter.
And it was all following the script. And then Corey Scott says in cross-examination by the defense that it was not Gallagher that killed him, that it was, in fact, Corey Scott who killed him by closing off a breathing tube for the wounded fighter. And then he slowly watched him die.
SHAPIRO: Now, Scott had presumably gone through depositions. How had this not come out earlier?
WALSH: Well, that's what the defense was saying. They're saying it was sloppiness on the part of naval investigators and prosecutors. Obviously, prosecutors were incredibly upset by this turn of events. And they pointed out on the stand that he had spoken to prosecutors several times - they had asked him to go step by step in this - and that he had never mentioned closing off the airway. And he'd never said that in any of his testimony to naval investigators either.
SHAPIRO: And he now has immunity, so he won't be prosecuted for this. Is that right?
WALSH: In the whole buildup to the case, one of the twists and turns - that there are seven SEALs that have been granted immunity to testify in this case. Corey Scott is one of those. He can still be prosecuted for perjury, but he cannot be prosecuted for any statements that he makes, including, apparently, admitting to a killing.
On the topic of courts, Omar Sattar (AL-MONITOR) reports:
Iraq's parliament is working on a draft law that could put clerics on the Federal Supreme Court and give them veto power.
The legislature held its second reading of a draft law regarding the Federal Supreme Court on June 13, amid heated disputes over most of the proposed articles, particularly those providing for the appointment of clerics to the court and the entity responsible for their selection.
The court currently is regulated by a law issued by an interim government in 2005 and contradicts several articles of the permanent constitution approved at the end of that year.
Most notably, Article 92 of the constitution specifies, “The Federal Supreme Court is an independent judicial body, financially and administratively.” The court, however, is headed by the president of the Supreme Judicial Council, who also selects its judges.
And the violence continues . . .
IRAQ: At least 10 have been reported killed after a suicide bomber detonated their explosives in a Shia mosque in Baghdad.
The following sites updated: