Friday, June 09, 2017

Creep of the week James Clapper

James Cogan (WSWS) reports on the hideous James Clapper:

Hillary Clinton lost because large numbers of Democratic Party voters either abstained—in disgust with the right-wing, pro-Wall Street character of her campaign—or voted for Trump.
Of the two big business candidates, it was Trump who made populist appeals, however fraudulent, to the broadly-felt social grievances of millions of workers. He declared he would bring back jobs and prosperity. The Democrats, in contrast, told suffering working-class voters that things had “never been better.” Clinton still won the popular vote, by a margin of over three million. Trump was elected due to the vagaries of the state-based electoral college system.
In one revealing answer, Clapper contradicted his own narrative that Trump won because of Russia’s nefarious hand. He stated: “His election was a big shock... It was actually a personal shock to me about how disconnected apparently I was from what I’ll call the flyover part of the United States. And there’s still a very, very strong body of resentment and frustration in our country with Washington, writ large.”
Clapper’s use of the term “flyover part” served only to underscore the contempt in ruling circles for the working class. It was a reference to the tens of millions of people across the US whose living standards have stagnated for decades and plummeted over the past 10 years. Barak Obama’s administration imposed the full burden of the 2007–2008 financial collapse on the backs of the working people, while bailing out the banks and corporations. Clinton was viewed rightly as a figure who would continue Obama’s anti-working class agenda, as well as escalate US wars and interventions in the Middle East and Asia.
The faction of the American establishment for whom Clapper speaks does not have the slightest concern for the conditions of the working class and makes no appeal to it. It does not oppose the devastating cuts the Trump administration is imposing to health, education, pensions and other social spending. Its opposition stems from a war-mongering insistence that Russia be dealt with as a hostile power, not, as figures around the incoming president had suggested, as a country that could be developed into a possible “friend.”
Pointing to the prospect of significant political unrest if Trump were impeached, Clapper noted with perplexity that the president still had support, despite the frenzied efforts to tarnish him as a Russian pawn.

The ex-spy chief complained: “So far the coalition of people that elected President Trump are still there. They’re still hanging in there. So, I don’t know what it will take.”

Where do they get off doing this?

And why isn't the press calling him (or John McCain earlier) out for this?

It's beyond disgusting.

Here's C.I.'s "Iraq snapshot:"

Friday, June 9, 2017.   The Mosul Slog continues as Iraq is again slammed by violence.

Day 233 of The Mosul Slog and, we are yet again told, victory is just around the corner.

233 days to turn that corner?

Actually, it's longer than that.

Tomorrow is June 10th.

June 10, 2014, the Islamic State seized control of Mosul.

They've still not been driven out of the city -- the same can't be said for the unprotected civilians who've been turned into refugees.

For over two years, the Baghdad-based Iraq government did nothing to help Mosul.

Finally, in October of 2016, they began an operation that was to last weeks.

Months later, that operation still continues.

Yes, it is very embarrassing for the government that tomorrow will be the anniversary of the seizure of Mosul -- the 3rd anniversary -- and Mosul is still in the process of being 'liberated.'

233 days and counting.

And no attempt to protect the civilians.

: "Shooting children as they try to run to safety" in the battle for Mosul

They were told to remain in their homes throughout the bulk of the 'liberation.'

Then, when finally told to leave in the last weeks, no safe passage was provided.

At least 100,000 are said to remain in the city.

Let's check in on our decade's new Judith Miller: Rukmini Callimachi (yes, that does sound like a figure from the Brothers Grimm):

Replying to 
7. Analysts have long that the ppl running Amaq can't be just in Iraq/Syria bc of how quickly they claim attacks & bc they upload videos:

Rukmini fancies herself a terrorist expert.

Isn't that cute.

Judith Miller, of course, started with THE PROGRESSIVE.

You may remember that when the magazine was celebrating its anniversary (they said the 100th, but no, it wasn't), they failed to note Judith once in their look back on the past.

Judith Miller ended up a terrorism 'expert' herself.

Remember, that's how Oprah Winfrey presented Judith on her talk show when she brought Judith on to promote the upcoming Iraq War and then Oprah attacked the audience member who dared to point out that Judith was presenting non-facts as facts.

Glenn Greenwald loved him some Judith Miller back then -- part of the reason he supported the Iraq War.


He loves him some Rukmini.

Rukmini's been hired by THE NEW YORK TIMES mainly to prove that they learned nothing from the Judith Miller fiasco.

Which is how Rukmini was in Mosul (as an embed -- as they say, "embed roughly means 'legs spread'").

And we called out her nonsense.

But there was Glenn Glenn, in love again, reTweeting her because critical abilities are in short supply apparently.

While Rukmini filed her propaganda and Tweeted her nonsense about how wonderful things were, a real reporter did real journalism.

Ali Arkady did not file fluff.

His documentation of what is taking place in Mosul has been covered by RT and ABC NEWS.

"Negative coverage will get you kicked out of Mosul."

They had nothing to worry about with regards to Rukmini, did they?

From Brian Ross' ABC NEWS report:

Officers of an elite Iraqi special forces unit, praised by U.S. military commanders earlier this year for its role in fighting ISIS, directed the torture and execution of civilians in Mosul in at least six distinct incidents caught on tape.

“That's a murder,” retired Green Beret Lt. Col. Scott Mann told ABC News after reviewing the graphic footage. “There should be punishment for anyone doing it. It's reprehensible and it shouldn't be allowed on any modern battlefield."

The alarming footage was smuggled out of Iraq by a prize-winning Iraqi photojournalist, Ali Arkady, who spent months embedded in combat with the elite Iraqi troops leading the fight against ISIS late last year. Since turning over his cache of photos and videos to ABC News, he says he has received death threats from the soldiers he once considered friends and has now fled Iraq to seek asylum in Europe.

"This is happening all the time," Arkady said of the war crimes he documented, which he recounted in an exclusive interview with ABC News’ Brian Ross broadcast Thursday on ABC's World News Tonight with David Muir and Nightline.

Am I wrong that Glenn hasn't been eager to promote this story?

I know he's got a lot of problems right now because THE INTERCEPT burned a source -- intentionally or not, it doesn't matter, they burned her.

Nothing is going to change that.

There should be an apology (not a blood letting) and they should announce how they will do their best not to burn another source in the future.

So, yes, he has problems, but so does Iraq and he needs to be Tweeting about that if he can't write about it.

He has found time to reTweet Rukmini.

It's a shame he can't use his Twitter feed to amplify real reporting on Iraq.

But that's a shame many share and part of the reason the Iraq War is on year 14 and counting (more if we backdate to the sanctions, et al).

The violence never ends.

First video of the aftermath of the suicide bomber that detonated inside bus station injuring 4 civilians.
A suicide bomber detonated his explosive vest after being surrounded by forces inside bus station injuring 4.

Four is bad -- one is bad -- but sadly the numbers have been climbing.

At least 22 killed, 31 wounded in a suicide attack targeting civilians in al -Musayab, . Suicide bomber in Karbala wounds at least 10.

Maher Chmaytelli and Gareth Jones (REUTERS) report, "A woman detonated her explosive belt in a market east of the Shi'ite holy city of Kerbala on Friday, killing at least 30 and wounding 35, Iraqi security sources said."

The following community sites -- plus Jody Watley -- updated:

  • Thursday, June 08, 2017

    We could have had President Bernie Sanders

    Why didn't more see it coming? One year ago I said it's "very possible that ... Clinton will lose" to .


    It was obvious.

    The media fooled a lot of us -- me for a while.

    But it was September, a roundtable for the gina & krista round-robin where C.I. was asked.

    She did her usual preface about predictions and not liking to make them and then said, "Donald Trump's going to win."

    And boy did we push back.

    The media hates him, was one of the first things we offered.

    And C.I. said, "Yes, and they are overplaying their hand.  It's creating sympathy for him."

    Remember, C.I., Ava, Kat and Wally are speaking every week all over the country.

    They don't need 'polling,' they are face to face with people hearing what's really going on.

    It was probably two, maybe three weeks, after that before I saw Trump was going to win and C.I. was right.

    And this was long before Comey and Hillary's back under investigation.

    People were sick of Hillary, they didn't trust her and they were pissed about all the celebrities.

    C.I. said back in September, "She's not running a campaign, she's airing an infomercial and people are tuning out."

    So, yes, Hillary was a loser.

    And we could have had Bernie.

    Right now, we could have had President Bernie.

    We don't though because we got stuck with the worst candidate ever.

    (And before any community member e-mails that I broke guidelines by quoting from the round-robin, I only quoted C.I. and she's said before she doesn't care one way or the other.)

    Here's C.I.'s "Iraq snapshot:"

    Thursday, June 8, 2017.  Chaos and violence continue and is greeted with so much silence.

    Day 232 of The Mosul Slog.

    What's been accomplished?

    🔞🔞 In a series of serious violations by US-backed forces, new vid emerge of Iraqi soldiers torturing a man to death:

    That is an accomplishment.

    It's not a good one, it's not an honorable one.

    But it's been accepted and normalized -- including by the US government.

    And it will have a huge impact on Iraq's future.

    Torture is okay.

    That's the message.

    That and justice is made by our hands and not by any court.

    Do you fear yet for Iraq's future?

    Because you should.

    A message has been sent.

    Just like one was sent after Nouri al-Maliki lost the 2010 election but wouldn't step down and Barack Obama, then-US president, went around the Iraqi people to give Nouri a second term via The Erbil Agreement.

    Within two years, Barack had turned on Nouri.

    After Barack won the 2012 election, Nouri called to congratulate him and Barack refused to take the call, palming it off instead on Joe Biden.

    It would be two more years (2014) before Barack would publicly rebuke Nouri.

    Those millions Barack's going to get for his superficial tract on his life in the White House should warrant a little honesty on Iraq and especially on Nouri.

    By 2010, Nouri's use of torture and secret prisons were well known.

    But Barack chose to give him a second term.

    ISIS would most likely never have gotten a foothold in Iraq were it not for Nouri's second term.

    (Nouri's responsible for the rise of ISIS but I say "most likely" because Nouuri's far from the only despot in Iraq and someone similar to Nouri could have also precipitated the rise of the Islamic State in Iraq.)

    When Barack's door step is finally released, Nouri al-Maliki should figure prominently in it.

    As should Barack's sleight of hand with regards to the Iraq War.

    A bunch of silly fools enlisted into The Cult of St. Barack.

    They believed he'd end the Iraq War.

    That's on them.

    Barack didn't end it.

    And they're still in denial.

    I can understand being temporarily fooled.

    Elaine and I met him when he was trying to get into the US Senate.

    And the hype laid down had us both excited.

    But all he had to do was say that the US was already in Iraq and blah blah blah for us to realize he wasn't anti-war and that embarrassing and sparsely attended 'big' speech of 2002 didn't matter.

    If Barack was honest about ending the Iraq War, I would have supported his Senate run.

    If he were honest, I would have turned this site, in 2007 and 2008, over to non-stop Barack -- one long running infomercial.

    But he was a liar.

    And it's amazing that eight years later, as the Iraq War continues, his Cult still can't get honest.

    And I've been kind enough.  Stop pretending you couldn't have known.

    Here's a piece we did at THIRD:

     NYT: "Barack Obama Will Keep Troops In Iraq"

    The story you should have seen Friday.

    The New York Times
    Friday, November 2, 2007
    "Barack Obama Will Keep Troops In Iraq"
    by Michael R. Gordon and Jeff Zeleny

    Presidential candidate and US Senator Barack Obama who is perceived as an 'anti-war' candidate by some announced that he would not commit to a withdrawal, declared that he was comfortable sending US troops back into Iraq after a withdrawal started and lacked clarity on exactly what a withdrawal under a President Obama would mean.

    Declaring that "there are no good options in Iraq," Senator Obama went on to explain that even with his 16 month plan for withdrawal, he would continue to keep US troops in Iraq, agreeing that he would "leave behind residual force" even after what he is billing as a "troop withdrawal."

    "Even something as simple as protecting our embassy is going to be dependent on what is the security environment in Baghdad. If there is some sense of security, then that means one level of force. If you continue to have significant sectarian conflict, that means another, but this is an area where Senator Clinton and I do have a significant contrast," Senator Obama offered contrasting himself with his chief opponent for the Democratic presidential nomination. "I do think it is important for us not only to protect our embassy, but also to engage in counter-terrorism activities. We’ve seen progress against AQI [Al Qaeda in Iraq], but they are a resilient group and there’s the possibility that they might try to set up new bases. I think that we should have some strike capability. But that is a very narrow mission, that we get in the business of counter terrorism as opposed to counter insurgency and even on the training and logistics front, what I have said is, if we have not seen progress politically, then our training approach should be greatly circumscribed or eliminated."

    The Senator insisted, "I want to be absolutely clear about this, because this has come up in a series of debates: I will remove all our combat troops, we will have troops there to protect our embassies and our civilian forces and we will engage in counter terrorism activities. How large that force is, whether it’s located inside Iraq or as an over the horizon force is going to depend on what our military situation is."

    The positon of the majority of Americans in poll after poll is that all US troops need to be brought home by 2008. Senator Obama's strategy calls for bringing some troops home, should he be elected president, in his first sixteen months; however, he is not, by his own words, an advocate of a "Out of Iraq" strategy.

    While maintaining that he would remove all combat troops in sixteen months he did agree that the forces left behind to fight "terrorists" would be performing "a combat function."

    He also spoke of deployment, and presumably bases, "in places like Kuwait" in order "to strike at terrorist targets successfully."

    Returning the topic of leaving US forces in Iraq even after what he's billed as a "withdrawal," the Senator delcared, "As commander in chief, I’m not going to leave trainers unprotected. In our counterterrorism efforts, I’m not going to have a situation where our efforts can’t be successful. We will structure those forces so they can be successful. We would still have human intelligence capabilities on the ground. Some of them would be civilian, as opposed to military, some would be operating out of our bases as well as our signal intelligence.

    The senator also admitted that he was comfortable with sending troops back into Iraq after what he's terming a "withdrawal" though he wanted to split hairs on what constituted "armed force."

    In what will be seen as a blow to his Democratic-center-slightly-left admirers such as the editor and publisher of The Nation, Katrina vanden Heuvel, Senator Obama touched on the topic that led to a brief flurry of disappointment when he refused to take all options off the table regarding Iran. In the interview yesterday, he repeated, "I don't think the president of the United States takes military options off the table." In addition, he also endorsed the Bully Boy's unproven claim that the Iranian government is equipping the resistance by declaring, "Iran has shown no inclination to back off of their support of Shia militias as a consequence of the threats that they've been receiving from the Bush and Cheney administration."

    All in all, a candidate our readers can rest assured will not rock the boat or fundamentally change the current direction of the country.

    That's the story they could have written based upon the interview conducted by Michael Gordon and Jeff Zeleny. As C.I. noted in Friday's "Iraq snapshot," the interview the reporters conducted hit harder than the sop they wrote up on it that ran on Friday's front page of the paper.

    November 4, 2007.

    So stop pretending you couldn't have guessed, drop your Condi Rice pretense.

    Barack did a drawdown (not a withdrawal) and then started sending troops back in (in 2012) and then amplified that in 2014.

    And the Iraq War continues, it drags on.

    I don't have a lot of respect for the rank and file members of The Cult of St. Barack but I especially have no use for the lieutenants in the Cult (who daily prepared the Kool-Aid) and the master of ceremony.

    Norman Solomon?

    I used to love Norman.

    Now that whore needs to get honest or go away.

    Clearly, he can't get honest.

    Norman -- a pledged delegate for Barack in 2008 (a detail he forgot to mention in his radio appearances until he was repeatedly called out) -- pretended to care about the Iraq War.

    When's the last time Norman wrote about the Iraq War?


    He writes these days, in a very ineffectual manner.

    Take this from his piece at COUNTERPUNCH this week:

    The Trump administration has already done enormous harm to the United States and the planet. Along the way, Trump has also caused many prominent progressives to degrade their own political discourse. It’s up to us to challenge the corrosive effects of routine hyperbole and outright demagoguery.

    Norman's become ridiculous.

    Trump has also caused many prominent progressives to degrade their own political discourse.

    Accountability, it's a word Norman's allergic to.

    So he writes garbage like that: "Trump has also caused many prominent progressives to degrade . . ."

    No, they are responsible for their actions.

    Of course it would be a man, right?

    Of course it would be a man who would insist that one's actions were the responsiblity of others.

    'She was asking for it'?

    Isn't that the 'legal' foundation for Norman's sentence?

    Those embracing Russia-hysteria are doing so.

    That's on them.

    It's not on Trump.

    They are making a choice -- and doing tremendous damage -- and they can't hide behind Donald Trump.  They need to be called out and they need to take accountability.

    But pledged delegate for Barack Obama never took accountability, did he?

    Grand standing as only Norman could, he sold the lie throughout 2008 that Barack was peace and Barack would end the Iraq War.

    He had so much to say back then about Barack and Iraq but now he pretends it never happened.

    Barack didn't cause Norman to write and say what he did.

    Norman made the decision to.

    And it's past time that Norman took accountability.

    He's far from the only one who needs to, to be sure.

    June 7, conducted 38 strikes consisting of 75 engagements against terrorists in & . MORE:

    Again, the Iraq War continues.

    The guilty -- like Norman Solomon -- now think they can escape accountability by pretending the war isn't taking place.

    The suffering continues -- even in Norman Solomon's silence -- and it's not going to end while large numbers turn their heads away.

    Use of air-dropped & ground-launched explosive weapons in causing unnecessary civilian suffering -

    Human Rights Watch notes:

    The expected battle involving Iraqi and US-led coalition forces against the Islamic State (ISIS) in west Mosul’s Old City poses a considerable threat to civilians and civilian objects, international humanitarian and human rights organizations said today. All warring parties should cease using explosive weapons with wide area effects and inherently indiscriminate weapons in densely populated west Mosul. ISIS’s unlawful use of civilians as “human shields” and the difficulty of identifying civilians in buildings increases the risk of civilian casualties.
    The United Nations has estimated that 200,000 civilians remain in the two-square-kilometer area in west Mosul’s Old City, which Iraqi and US-led coalition forces are encircling in preparation for the battle there.
    "Thousands of families are trapped by ISIS in west Mosul, with its fighters preventing civilians from fleeing to safety,” said Lama Fakih, deputy Middle East director at Human Rights Watch. “Iraqi and coalition forces should recognize that in the crowded Old City, using explosive weapons with wide area effects puts civilians at excessive risk.”
    The groups expressing concern are Airwars, Amnesty International, Center for Civilians in Conflict (CIVIC), Human Rights First, Human Rights Watch, the International Network on Explosive Weapons (INEW), and War Child.

    It's amazing to look at recent reports on Mosul in the last three weeks and grasp how there has been no attempt to amplify them by our so-called 'independent' media in the US.

    Back in the day, many of them were funded by the CIA.  The funding then effected what they cover.  Today, the funding (including foundations) also effects what's covered.

    So MOTHER JONES, THE PROGRESSIVE, THE NATION, Norman Solomon and so many others look the other way.

    - Mercy? - Not in this war Iraqi 'inquisition' tortures siblings who escaped in (DISTURBING FOOTAGE)

    They should all be ashamed of themselves.

    The following community sites -- plus Jody Watley -- updated: