Friday, July 07, 2017

Their embrace of war should sink them

This was true in WI. Young conservative independent voters voted for Obama, then turned against him and Dems on failure to stop wars.


That is what happens and what should happen.

You lie and whore to the voters, we get to respond.

So, Nancy Pelosi, claiming you'd end the Iraq War to win the 2006 elections?

The Iraq War still isn't over and it's 11 years later.

You whored.

You lied.

And that also includes Barack and a whole host of others.

You brought this on yourself.

Don't blame the voters.

Take a moment, just once, to accept responsiblity.

Adding Isaiah's latest comic just went up "Pointing Podesta."

pointing podesta

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

Friday, July 7, 2017.

The Iraq War was built and based on lies.

And yet so many idiots step forward today convinced they can re-write history.

Take this hysterical opponent of Donald Trump's:

The CIA NEVER said there were WMD in Iraq, that was the Whitehouse who LIED, Bush lied. So Trumps lying 2 times. We know its Russia!!!



Bush turned to Tenet. “I’ve been told all this intelligence about having WMD and this is the best we’ve got?”
From the end of one of the couches in the Oval Office, Tenet rose up, threw his arms in the air. “It’s a slam dunk case!” the DCI said.
Bush pressed, “George, how confident are you?”
Tenet, a basketball fan who attended as many home games of his alma mater Georgetown as possible, leaned forward and threw his arms up again. “Don’t worry, it’s a slam dunk!”

That's from Bob Woodward's PLAN OF ATTACK.

Who was Tenet?


Former CIA director George Tenet will likely never live down having called the intelligence on Saddam Hussein’s WMD a “slam dunk.”
But former CIA deputy director Mike Morell, in his book, “The Great War of Our Time,” defends Tenet.
“When we wrote pieces for the president, the analysts wrote with authority on the [weapons of mass destruction] issue,” Morell writes. “This is why I personally never found fault with George Tenet’s alleged “slam dunk” comment.”

“The way the [intelligence] analysts talked and wrote about their judgments,” Morell adds, “would have led anyone to think it was a slam dunk— that is, that Saddam definitely had active WMD programs. No one ever said to me, [agency analyst Jami] Miscik, [ex-director John] McLaughlin, Tenet, [Condoleezza] Rice, or the president, ‘You know, there is a chance he might not have them.’ Such a statement would have gotten everyone’s attention,”  Morell writes.

From 60 MINUTES:

Still, at CIA headquarters, Tenet's team was about to make a historic blunder of its own. The CIA produced its evaluation of Iraqi weapons of mass destruction in a secret report called a "National Intelligence Estimate."
"The first key judgment in the national intelligence estimate says, quote, 'Baghdad has chemical and biological weapons.' Period," Pelley says.
"High confidence judgment," Tenet replies.
How could he make such a bold statement? Says Tenet, "We believed he had chemical and biological weapons."
"But there was no hard evidence," Pelley remarks.
"No, no. There was lots of data. There's lots of technical data," Tenet says. "So you put all of this together, it's not evidence in the court of law. Remember, when you write an estimate, when you estimate, you're writing what you don't know. You might win a civil case. Huh? You're not gonna win a criminal case, in terms of evidence."
"We are going to war. Tens of thousands of people are going to be killed. And you're telling me you had evidence to prove a civil case, not a criminal case?" Pelley asks,
"Well, as you know, hindsight is perfect. The public face on this what we wrote on weapons of mass destruction and for professionals, who pride themselves on being right, this is a very painful experience for us," Tenet acknowledges.

Now what did the Tweet say again?  "FACT, The CIA NEVER said there were WMD in Iraq, that was thee Whitehouse who LIED, Bush lied."

Bully Boy Bush is a liar -- and a War Criminal.  That does not change the fact that Tenet and Morell -- top two at the CIA -- in their own words say and said that Iraq had WMD.

I'm sorry that you're so shrill and hysterical but that does not give you the right to re-write history.

I also have to wonder about his followers.

No one gave him a heads up?

I got a heads up.

Community member Lewis e-mailed July 5th asking if the numbers of The Mosul Slog were correct?

I hadn't checked in forever and as I always note "Check my math!"

So yesterday I counted them one by one: 262.

This was updated in the snapshot to read: "**262**" and the plan was to scan the calendar sheets last night.

That didn't happen.

When we got done speaking, I honestly fell asleep.  I didn't get undressed, I didn't wash my face, I lay down on the bed for what I thought was a second and then was out cold until this morning.  I'll try to scan them and post them tonight but it will be up by Saturday at the latest.

Thank you to Lewis for raising the issue.  I was off six days (yesterday's snapshot originally had 256).   My apologies for my error.

So today is day 263 of The Mosul Slog.

Civilians trapped as Iraq forces battle IS group in Mosul

REUTERS notes, "Air strikes and artillery salvoes continued to pound Islamic State's last Mosul bastion on Friday, a Reuters TV crew said."

Yes, the slog slogs on.

In a new paper (for RADDINGTON REPORT), Emma Skye observes:

The Islamic State (ISIS), which had in its grasp a full third of Iraq as recently as 2014, is likely to lose hold of all its territory in the country by the end of this year. Fighting block by block, Iraqi special forces have made steady progress in cutting through ISIS-held territory, including liberating nearly all of ISIS’ final bastion in Mosul. The troops have suffered significant casualties since their assault to retake Mosul last October, as ISIS mounted a fierce defense using suicide attacks, snipers, roadside bombs, mortars and machine guns. However, Iraqi forces have all but won the immediate battle in the country’s second city. Several thousand ISIS fighters in Mosul have been removed from the battlefield through death or injury, which is only one small part of the more than 60,000 militants that are estimated to have been killed since the war against the Islamist group began. But a couple hundred ISIS fighters are still believed to be in Mosul, using a network of tunnels to escape detection. In addition, they are living among thousands of civilians, who face shortages of food, water, medicine and fuel as the city’s siege tightens.
Celebrations at the demise of the caliphate in Iraq may well be short-lived. A loose coalition of forces found a common objective in working together to fight ISIS, but there is no agreement on what comes next — nor on how Iraq should be governed. And the signs are worrying: there seems to be little willingness to address the conditions that gave rise to ISIS in the first place.

And despite then-President Barack Obama's speech on July 19, 2014 insisting Iraq needed a political solution to address its crises, the US government has instead focused all efforts on military actions.

And the conditions that gave rise to ISIS cotninue to thrive in Iraq.

The U.S. announced its intent to provide additional $150 million to to help stabilize after liberation of areas held by ISIS.
U.S. Announces Intent to Provide $150 Million for Iraq Stabilization
Spokesperson Heather Nauert addresses reporters at the Department Press Briefing on July 6, 2017. - U.S. Department of State

That was from yesterday's press briefing.  Nauert noted Iraq early on:

The second thing that we have going on is Brett McGurk, our special presidential envoy for the global coalition to defeat ISIS, will host members of the coalition for a series of meetings in Washington, D.C. next week. This will be an opportunity for members to discuss the efforts to defeat ISIS, including maximizing pressure on its branches, on its affiliates, and on its networks. The coalition will discuss all aspects of our campaign, including stabilization support, counter-finance, foreign terror fighters, counter-messaging, among other things. The meetings are taking place at a key moment in the fight against ISIS. Just as ISIS is trying to stay alive, we remain dedicated in committing to defeating them. There is still a lot of work to be done, but the coalition has a strong and proven strategy committed to the total destruction of ISIS while in parallel preparing for the day after.

Another thing – and this is related to Iraq – and we are pleased to announce this: On July the 5th, Ambassador Silliman, our U.S. ambassador to Iraq, announced the U.S. Government’s intent to provide $150 million to the United Nations Development Program to support the Government of Iraq-identified stabilization priorities in the areas of Iraq that have been liberated from ISIS. The funds will support efforts to establish basic security, re-establish essential services, restore local economies, stabilize communities, and allow Iraqis to finally return home. This brings the United States commitment to stabilization programming in Iraq to more than $265 million over the past two years. The funds will be provided through USAID. 

Meanwhile, XINHUA reports:

Two Iraqi journalists were killed and a third wounded in Friday while covering fierce clashes between the Islamic State (IS) militants and Iraqi forces at a village in Iraq's northern central province of Salahudin, a provincial security source told Xinhua.
The reporter Su'dad Faris and the photographer Harb Hazza', who work for Huna Salahudin satellite channel, were killed in the village of Imam Gharbi near the town of Shirqat, some 280 km north of Iraqi capital Baghdad, the source said on condition of anonymity.

And we'll close with this from the KRG:

The owner of this all-women car garage has some advice for fellow Iraqi women.
Video: Iraqi mechanics
More on

And that you could lie like that without fear or remorse does not reflect well towards your character.

The following community sites updated:

  • Thursday, July 06, 2017

    All those terrorists

    Tracy Chapman's "Bang Bang Bang."

    Got to know that one off her recent greatest hits.  (Here for Kat's review of that 2015 album.)

    Tony Blair is "world's worst terrorist," says sister of UK soldier killed in Iraq war.

    Tony Blair is a terrorist.

    He's not the only one.

    Include Bully Boy Bush and Barack

     Obama on that list.

    We'll have to include Donald Trump as well, I'm sure.

    The oath of office for the White House has become a blood deed that you sign agreeing to attack and kill innocents.

    And in reply to Kimberly, Vote Vets.

    She asked what was the worst organization around.

    Vote Vets.

    A bunch of hypocrites who thrust out their chests and pretend like they know everything when they don't know s**t and they're just a bunch of hacks fronting for the Democratic Party.

    I remember when they emerged on the scene.

    What was that 2006?  2007?

    They were embarrassing then too.

    Vote Vets?


    What have they done as civilians to make you want to vote for them?

    Not a damn thing.

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

    Thursday, July 6, 2017.  Chaos and violence continue, John Chilcot weighs in on War Criminal Tony Blair, Hobby Lobby gets caught in criminal conduct, and much more.

    War Hawk Tony Blair is forever tied to the illegal Iraq War.

    He's back in the news as the British judicial system examines whether or not he can be sued for his actions.

    Stepping forward to add his thoughts today is John Chilcot.


    Bowing to pressure -- and seeing writing on the wall that others ignored -- prime minister Gordon Brown agreed to an inquiry into the Iraq War.

    Had other Labour politicians recognized the same reality, Gordon Brown might not be the last Labour member to be prime minister thus far.

    But instead of recognizing reality, others dug in and made Labour (actually New Labour) the apologist party for Tony Blair instead of a political party for the people.

    John Chilcot headed the Iraq Inquiry which issued their findings a year ago.

    Today, he sat down with the BBC's Laura Kuenssberg.

    Tony Blair was not straight with the nation & the inquiry about his decisions in the run up to Iraq War - Sir John Chilcot tells .

    From the transcript the BBC posted:

    LK: And they were, particularly the sessions with Tony Blair, they were extraordinarily tense.

    JC: Yes.

    LK: You say he always tried to make the most persuasive case, the advocate's case.

    JC: Yes.

    LK: Do you feel he was as straight with you as he ought to have been?

    JC: I think I'd have to take us back into the body of the report itself, and the critique that we made. There is, I argued, you know, including in the launch statement, the responsibility on the leading politician, of a government, both to make the case for the policy decision taken but also to balance that with realism about risks, downsides, counter-arguments. If you act simply as a one-sided advocate you risk losing that. And I think that risk did come - come about.

    LK: And indeed, your report would say, says, for example on the intelligence.

    JC: Yes.

    LK: He gave it a certainty that wasn't justified. I mean that's another way of saying it was exaggerated.

    JC: He found - I don't know whether consciously or not - a verbal formula in the dossier and his foreword to it. He said - and used it again later. 'I believe the assessed intelligence shows beyond doubt.' Pinning it on 'my belief'. Not on the fact, what the assessed intelligence said. You can make an argument around that, both ethical and - well, there is an ethical argument I think.

    LK: Do you think it was ethical to do that?

    JC: We criticised it and said it shouldn't have been done.

    LK: But was it ethical?

    JC: I don't know that I - I'm not an ethicist. (laugh)

    LK: But you spent years studying this -

    JC: Yes.

    LK: Intelligence. The way you put it in the report and what you've just said would suggest that's somebody who's spent their life in government, in public service.

    JC: Yes.

    LK: That you feel he manipulated the evidence to make his own case.

    JC: Again I'm declining the word 'manipulate'. Using as best he could. But it's only fair to him to say that on the very eve of the invasion he asked the then chair of the Joint Intelligence Committee, can you tell me beyond any reasonable doubt that Saddam has weapons of mass destruction. To which the answer was, yes I can. He was entitled to rely on that. But would it have been wise to rely on it?

    LK: And when it came to his evidence to you -

    JC: Yes.

    LK: Do you feel he gave you the fullest version of events?

    JC: I think he gave an - what was - I hesitate to say this, rather, but I think it was, from his perspective and standpoint, emotionally truthful and I think that came out also in his press conference after the launch statement. I think he was under - as you said just now - very great emotional pressure during those sessions. Far more than the committee were. He was suffering. He was deeply engaged. Now in that state of mind and mood you fall back on your instinctive skills and reactions, I think.
    LK: But he was relying, you suggest, therefore on emotion, not fact?

    JC: Both. I mean fact, insofar as there are facts particularly in the intelligence sphere. Nobody should be allowed to become a senior minister reading intelligence without undergoing a training course. That was a diversion, but it's also true.

    LK: But just having been part of those incredibly intense sessions and then having studied that version of events along with the enormous array of documentary evidence that you had, just in the most simple terms, do you believe that Tony Blair was as straight with you and the public as he ought to have been?
    (long pause)

    JC: Can I slightly reword that to say I think any prime minister taking a country into war has got to be straight with the nation and carry it, so far as possible, with him or her. I don't believe that was the case in the Iraq instance.   

    'Tony Blair was not 'Straight' with the British public? Why don't you just say it, Chilcot, he LIED!! End of.

    Meanwhile . . .

    "Hobby Lobby May Have Been Paying Off ISIS For Stolen Iraqi Antiquities" is a Coen brothers movie

    Yesterday, the US Attorney's office for the  Eastern  District New York  issued the following:

    Wednesday, July 5, 2017

    United States Files Civil Action To Forfeit Thousands Of Ancient Iraqi Artifacts Imported By Hobby Lobby

    Cuneiform Tablets Were Falsely Labeled as Product “Samples” and Shipped to Hobby Lobby Stores, Inc., and Two Corporate Affiliates

    Earlier today, the United States filed a civil complaint to forfeit thousands of cuneiform tablets and clay bullae. As alleged in the complaint, these ancient clay artifacts originated in the area of modern-day Iraq and were smuggled into the United States through the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Israel, contrary to federal law. Packages containing the artifacts were shipped to Hobby Lobby Stores, Inc. (“Hobby Lobby”), a nationwide arts-and-crafts retailer based in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, and two of Hobby Lobby’s corporate affiliates. The shipping labels on these packages falsely described cuneiform tablets as tile “samples.”
    The government also filed a stipulation of settlement with Hobby Lobby, in which Hobby Lobby consented to the forfeiture of the artifacts in the complaint, approximately 144 cylinder seals and an additional sum of $3 million, resolving the civil action. Hobby Lobby further agreed to adopt internal policies and procedures governing its importation and purchase of cultural property, provide appropriate training to its personnel, hire qualified outside customs counsel and customs brokers, and submit quarterly reports to the government on any cultural property acquisitions for the next eighteen months.
    The complaint and stipulation of settlement were announced by Bridget M. Rohde, Acting United States Attorney for the Eastern District of New York, and Angel M. Melendez, Special Agent-in-Charge, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), New York.
    “American collectors and importers must ensure compliance with laws and regulations that require truthful declarations to U.S. Customs and Border Protection, so that Customs officers are able to scrutinize cultural property crossing our borders and prevent the inappropriate entry of such property,” stated Acting United States Attorney Rohde. “If they do not, and shippers use false declarations to try to clandestinely enter property into the United States, this Office and our law enforcement partners will discover the deceit and seize the property.” Ms. Rohde thanked U.S. Customs and Border Protection for its role in intercepting shipments and safeguarding the seized antiquities.
    “The protection of cultural heritage is a mission that HSI and its partner U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) take very seriously as we recognize that while some may put a price on these artifacts, the people of Iraq consider them priceless,” stated Special Agent-in-Charge Melendez.
    According to the complaint and stipulated statement of facts filed with the court, in or around 2009, Hobby Lobby began to assemble a collection of historically significant manuscripts, antiquities and other cultural materials. In connection with this effort, Hobby Lobby’s president and a consultant traveled to the UAE in July 2010 to inspect a large number of cuneiform tablets and other antiquities being offered for sale (the “Artifacts”). Cuneiform is an ancient system of writing on clay tablets that was used in ancient Mesopotamia thousands of years ago.
    In October 2010, an expert on cultural property law retained by Hobby Lobby warned the company that the acquisition of cultural property likely from Iraq, including cuneiform tablets and cylinder seals, carries a risk that such objects may have been looted from archaeological sites in Iraq. The expert also advised Hobby Lobby to review its collection of antiquities for any objects of Iraqi origin and to verify that their country of origin was properly declared at the time of importation into the United States. The expert warned Hobby Lobby that an improper declaration of country of origin for cultural property could lead to seizure and forfeiture of the artifacts by CBP.
    Notwithstanding these warnings, in December 2010, Hobby Lobby executed an agreement to purchase over 5,500 Artifacts, comprised of cuneiform tablets and bricks, clay bullae and cylinder seals, for $1.6 million. The acquisition of the Artifacts was fraught with red flags. For example, Hobby Lobby received conflicting information where the Artifacts had been stored prior to the inspection in the UAE. Further, when the Artifacts were presented for inspection to Hobby Lobby’s president and consultant in July 2010, they were displayed informally. In addition, Hobby Lobby representatives had not met or communicated with the dealer who purportedly owned the Artifacts, nor did they pay him for the Artifacts. Rather, following instructions from another dealer, Hobby Lobby wired payment for the Artifacts to seven personal bank accounts held in the names of other individuals.
    With Hobby Lobby’s consent, a UAE-based dealer shipped packages containing the Artifacts to three different corporate addresses in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. Between one and three shipments arrived at a time, without the required customs entry documentation being filed with CBP, and bore shipping labels that falsely and misleadingly described their contents as “ceramic tiles” or “clay tiles (sample).” . After approximately 10 packages shipped in this manner were received by Hobby Lobby and its affiliates, CBP intercepted five shipments. All of the intercepted packages bore shipping labels that falsely declared that the Artifacts’ country of origin was Turkey. No further shipments were received until September 2011, when a package containing approximately 1,000 clay bullae from the same purchase was received by Hobby Lobby. It was shipped by an Israeli dealer and accompanied by a false declaration stating that the bullae’s country of origin was Israel.
    In executing the stipulation of settlement, Hobby Lobby has accepted responsibility for its past conduct and agreed to take steps to remedy the deficiencies that resulted in its unlawful importation of the Artifacts. Hobby Lobby has agreed to the forfeiture of all of the Artifacts shipped to the United States.
    The government’s case is being handled by Assistant United States Attorneys Karin Orenstein and Ameet B. Kabrawala.

    E.D.N.Y. Docket No. 17-CV-3980 (LDH) (VMS)

    Exhibit A
    Sample Images of the Defendants in Rem

    Cuneiform Tablet

    Cuneiform Tablets

    Clay Bullae

    John Marzulli Tyler Daniels United States Attorney’s Office (718) 254-6323

    Derek Hawkins (WASHINGTON POST) reports:

    Arts-and-crafts retailer Hobby Lobby has agreed to pay a $3 million fine for illegally smuggling thousands of ancient clay artifacts into the United States from Iraq, federal prosecutors said Wednesday.
    Under a civil complaint in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York, Hobby Lobby will forfeit thousands of cuneiform tablets, clay bullae and cylinder seals it falsely labeled as “samples” and shipped through the United Arab Emirates and Israel.

    The Oklahoma-based company brought more than 5,500 artifacts for $1.6 million in December 2010 from an unidentified dealer in an acquisition prosecutors said was “fraught with red flags.” Hobby Lobby got conflicting information about where the artifacts had been stored and never met or communicated with the dealer selling them, according to court documents. When it came time to pay, the company wired money to seven separate bank accounts.

    How does a three million dollar fine cover this?

    What they did was illegal.

    A fine is not enough.

    A civil complaint is not enough.

    This requires criminal charges because this was criminal activity.

    Thousands of civilians may be trapped in Mosul as U.S.-backed Iraqi forces make a final push to reclaim the city from ISIS:

    Day **262** of The Mosul Slog.

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

    The Iraqi government did nothing in 2014.

    The Iraqi government did nothing in 2015.

    Finally, in October of 2016, they initiated an operation to liberate or 'liberate' Mosul.

    That is the ongoing Mosul Slog.

    Jessica Durando (USA TODAY) notes:

    But a humanitarian crisis looms for survivors, many of them children, who are suffering from dehydration and malnutrition in northern Iraq. U.S-backed forces have entered the final stages of the Mosul offensive to retake the second-largest city. 
    The fight for Mosul is having a “devastating” impact on residents, Doctors Without Borders said in a statement on Wednesday. Only a “fraction … who require medical attention are receiving it, and many are dying on the battlefield,” the organization said.

    Thought for the day:

    By using our voices we stopped the war in Vietnam. By not using them we acquiesced to war in Iraq. Learn facts. Say prayers. Use your voice.

    The following community sites -- plus Jody Watley, DISSIDENT VOICE, BLACK AGENDA REPORT and GORILLA RADIO --   updated: