Friday, June 29, 2018

Dianne Feinstein and other losers who attack Julian Assange

Why does anyone tolerate Dianne Feinstein at this late date?  She voted for the Iraq War.  She’s a California senator who voted for the Iraq War.  She excused and minimized all the illegal spying on the American people.  She only got upset when she found out her staff was being spied upon.  She’s pro-Patriot Act.  She’s just hideous.
And, as Demi Lovato sings, it gets worse.  James Cogan (WSWS) reports:

Ten Democratic Party senators have issued a reprehensible call for the Trump administration to demand that the Ecuadorian government renege on the political asylum it provided WikiLeaks editor Julian Assange six years ago and evict him from its London embassy. He would then be detained by British police, while US agencies filed extradition warrants.
The letter of the senators was addressed to Vice President Mike Pence, ahead of his visit to Ecuador today and top-level talks with the small country’s president, Lenín Moreno. The signatories are a roll-call of leading congressional Democrats: Robert Menendez, Dick Durbin, Richard Blumenthal, Edward J. Markey, Michael Bennet, Christopher Coons, Joe Manchin, Jeanne Shaheen, Diane Feinstein and Mark Warner.
The document exudes deceit, and the hatred of the American ruling class for Assange, a journalist who has exposed the criminality of US imperialism and the real goings-on within its corridors of power, including within the Democratic Party.
The letter declares that the Democratic senators are “extremely concerned” that Ecuador still provides asylum to Assange. It states they are “alarmed” that the read-out of Pence’s visit to Ecuador did not mention the WikiLeaks editor.
The letter declares: “[I]t is imperative that you raise US concerns with President Moreno about Ecuador’s continued support for Mr. Assange at a time when WikiLeaks continues its efforts to undermine democratic processes globally.”
Jeanne Shaheen?  She’s lousy.  That was obvious when Amy Goodman was fawning over her on DEMOCRACY NOW! Back during the 2008 DNC convention.  She’s got no backbone and stands for nothing.  Dick Durbin?  Biggest cry baby in the Senate.  Whiney and can’t stand up for anything that matters.  Same with Joe Manchin who should be supporting war resiters but doesn’t.

Julian Assange should be free and these losers shouldn't be in Congress.

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

Thursday, June 28, 2018.  A US helicopter has crashed in Iraq . . .


This AP report dated June 28, 2018 appears to be from March.  Apparently, there was no crash today.  My apologies.  Snapshot continues below as it appeared this morning.

Another helicopter crash in Iraq today.  Lolita C. Baldor (AP) reports that the US helicopter was carrying 7 service members and that "The helicopter is used by the Air Force for combat search and rescue, and was in transit from one location to another when it went down Thursday afternoon near the town of Qaim in Anbar Province."

At this point, the fate of the seven service members is not known.

Maybe it'll serve as a reminder to a real ugly subfaction?

Somehow, in the immigration dialogue taking place, service members were brought up, specifically, their separation from their families.  In response, some really pompous and stupid voices sprang up saying they were children whose parents had gone to Iraq and it was not the same thing because their parents returned.

How entitled and self-obsessed do you have to be?

Not every parent returned.

And while you may have hoped your parent would return, when someone ships off to war there is always the possibility that they will not return.

The idiots advancing that nonsense did no one any favors.

But maybe their smug attitudes made it clear why they cannot take to the streets over the ongoing wars?  They don't see death as a possibility and they don't care about the deaths of the Iraqi people.

Good morning. Americans are still dying in Afghanistan and Iraq after 17 years of war, with no real end in sight, because nobody wants to "lose" the war. The Supreme Court is about to be absolute s**t. Mitch McConnell is an utter rat. Nothing matters. Eat .

On the topic of dying, SPUTNIK notes, the US government has now admitted to "unintentionally killing 939 civilians since the start of the operations in Iraq and Syria" and that the "London-based NGO Airwars has estimated the US and its allies are responsible for at least 9,600 civilian deaths."

Staying with violence, the United Nation's has published their Annual Report of the Secretary-General on Children and Armed Conflict.  At least 717 children were killed in Iraq in 2017.  The report notes:

Over half of all incidents were the result of air strikes, shelling, sniper fire and rockets, resulting in 390 child casualties. Improvised explosive devices were the second leading cause (24 per cent), followed by targeted attacks on children (10 per cent), including three boys who were killed and two who were injured by unidentified parties for their alleged association with ISIL.

Deaths don't matter much to Kurt Eichenwald, nor do facts.  Kurt takes time off from talking to underage male porn performers to whine yet again.

Years democratic cry-baby protest voters came out/stayed home 2001: gave us bush, Iraq war. 2010: gave us tea party, first step toward blocking garland nomination years later. 2016: gave us trump and SCOTUS GOP majority for rest of my life. Screw you narcissistic idiots.

Screw you, Kurt.  You should be in prison for you actions with boys.  Thank goodness that at least THE NEW YORK TIMES fired your ass when they found out you were paying one of these boys.  The useless Anthony Kennedy is retiring.  A right-winger.  And it's time to act really stupid apparently.  No one has to be confirmed to the Supreme Court.  The Democrats could block any nomination for a year or more.

That's today.  2010?  "First step toward blocking Garland nomination years later"?  He's so stupid.  And Garland was not a good nominee.  Whining about him?  Barack Obama should have nominated someone of substance.  Having decided to go with the corporatist Garland, it's on Barack.  He knew how to horse trade.  That's all he had to do.  But he didn't do that.  The failure of his nominee is on him.


Was Kurt trolling for young boys while he wrote that Tweet?  Who stayed home in 2001?  There wasn't a presidential election in 2001.  He may mean 2000.  Regardless, the Democrats own the Iraq War.  Not only because Barack Obama failed to end it, despite his promise to do so, they also own it because they voted for it.  Every Democratic Party presidential ticket since the start of the Iraq War has contained at least one person who voted for the Iraq War.

Kurt wants to spew and apparently couldn't find a photo of a young bow to aim his stub at so instead he tries to spew over the American people.

Kurt's big problem is that the American people didn't turn out for the Democratic Party.

Because he's a piece of crap, he slams the American people.  He doesn't take even one minute to ponder when the Democratic Party turned out for the American people.  They didn't stop the Iraq War, despite all the promises -- Nancy Pelosi in 2006, Barack Obama in 2008.

Kurt needs professional help.  He is not healthy, obviously.  You don't hunt around online for young boys if you're healthy.  You don't fork over thousands of dollars to them and 'forget' to inform your employer when asked about your relationship.

The Democrats in Congress could have stood for the American people at any point.  They didn't.  Give people a reason to turn out and they will.  Give them empty words that you never fight for and why should they bother?

Where is Medicare for all?  Where is the forgiveness of student debt?  Where are any of the things that Americans want?

These are the things that Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez ran on, as Bruce A. Dixon (BLACK AGENDA REPORT) reminds:

Ocasio-Cortez campaigned on single payer health care and free college tuition. She denounced the latest massacre in Gaza. She says ICE ought to be abolished, and the day before the election she was at a South Texas immigrant detention center. She’s a young working class Puerto Rican woman who reportedly refused corporate cash and was working a real job, waiting tables at the beginning of her campaign. 

On that platform, she won the primary this week.  Alistair Farrow (UK SOCIALIST WORKER) observes,  "The victory comes despite the Democratic Party repeatedly letting people down."

Whether she will win in November's general election (and whether, if she does, she will fight for what she believes) is not known at this point.  But what is clear?  That if you give people a reason to vote, they will show up.

Today is Post-Traumatic Stress Awareness Day:

Today is Awareness Day. It's not only veterans who suffer from it, but regular people and journalists. For me, it started in Iraq after I covered a multiple suicide bombing. As the death and destruction piled up over the months, it got harder to function outside a war zone

Of the estimated 2.7 million American Iraq and Afghanistan war veterans, an estimated 20 percent have PTSD and/or depression and about half never seek treatment. In order to bring greater awareness to the issue, the US Senate designated June 27th as .

The following community sites -- and a few non-community ones -- updated:

  • Wednesday, June 27, 2018

    Why won't they turn over the records

    Why is the Justice Dept. refusing to cooperate with Congress?

    We are sick and tired of the DOJ giving Congress the runaround. As a separate branch of government, we have a right to get information. and I want the full weight of the House behind our resolution. It's time to act.

    ZERO HEDGE reports:

    The Judiciary Committee will be meeting with Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein and FBI Director Christopher Wray on Thursday to discuss the OIG report. Moreover, GOP Rep. Jim Jordan of Ohio is expected to bring a House floor vote demanding that the DOJ turn over documents.
    Also Thursday, a Republican resolution demanding that Rosenstein and the Justice Department turn over more internal documents is expected to be brought to the House floor for a vote. It will be a test of how widely Republicans back the push by party conservatives to probe inner workings of the FBI and Justice Department and cast doubt on the legitimacy of the continuing Russia probe.  -Bloomberg
     "All we are asking for are documents we deserve to get -- and they are giving us the finger," said Jordan. 
    Meanwhile, every Democrat on the House Judiciary Committee sent a letter to protest Jordan's resolution on "emergency bias," as they say that it shows the committee "has been hijacked by its most extreme majority members at the expense of upholding longstanding committee rules and minority rights."

    It was not exactly clear how Congress asking the DOJ to see documents related to a massive political scandal constitute a hijacking.

    The Democrats look ridiculous right now.  They, also, should be demanding records. 

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

    Wednesday, June 27, 2018.  Is ISIS defeated is the bigger question before arguing over credit for it's alleged defeat.

    Starting with David DeGraw:

    Here's a 20 minute interview that I just did w/ Lee Camp. We discuss the latest news on the unaccounted for $21 Trillion & the insanity of dropping 121 bombs a day... (Watch Video)
    * I haven't been able to keep Changemaker.Media online without insanely long load times, another topic we discuss in this interview. You can watch the full interview via YouTube here.
    There are two short excerpts from the interview posted to Facebook...
    Here's the 5 Minute Version on my new YouTube channel.

    Staying with bombs being dropped, the US Defense Dept announced the following yesterday:

    On June 18, coalition military forces conducted two strikes consisting of two engagements against ISIS targets near Rutbah. The strikes engaged an ISIS tactical unit and destroyed an ISIS vehicle.
    On June 19, coalition military forces conducted two strikes consisting of three engagements against ISIS targets:
    -- Near Rutbah, a strike engaged an ISIS tactical unit.
    -- Near Kisik, a strike engaged an ISIS tactical unit.
    On June 20, coalition military forces conducted a strike consisting of three engagements against ISIS targets near Rutbah. The strike destroyed three ISIS caves.
    On June 21, coalition military forces conducted a strike consisting of one engagement against ISIS targets near Tal Afar. The strike destroyed an ISIS tunnel.
    There were no reported strikes in Iraq on June 22.
    On June 23, coalition military forces conducted a strike consisting of one engagement against ISIS targets near Basheer. The strike engaged an ISIS tactical unit and destroyed an ISIS-held building.

    There were no reported strikes in Iraq on June 24.

    Now let's stop a minute for a claim that pops up in e-mails from time to time.  US President Donald Trump has not defeated ISIS.  ISIS remains.  Every now and then someone e-mails the public e-mail account insisting that we (this site) are not giving Donald credit for defeating ISIS and neither is the media.  ISIS has not been defeated.  Go back to the so-called 'liberation' (destruction) of Mosul.  We did not run with the lie that ISIS was defeated.  We noted that their original plan was never to seize cities.  That's not why they came into being.  Because Iraq was run so poorly (Nouri al-Maliki), ISIS was able to seize control of cities.

    If there's some outlet you're watching or reading that's claimed ISIS has been defeated?  By all means, slam them for not giving Donald credit for that.  But we have never said ISIS was defeated -- and it's not defeated -- no matter how lazy some outlets are.

    Not only is the US still dropping bombs on Iraq, supposedly to target ISIS, but ISIS continues fighting on the ground in Iraq.  For example, Mohammed Ebraheem (IRAQI NEWS) reports:

    Six Iraqi pro-government fighters were killed and wounded Wednesday in an attack launched by Islamic State on a village in Kirkuk.
    A security source told Al-Araby Al-Jadeed newspaper that “IS militants stormed al-Bashir village in southern Kirkuk, and clashed with the security forces and al-Hashd al-Shaabi fighters deployed there for two hours.”

    “The fierce clashes between the two sides left a member of al-Hashd al-Shaabi dead and five others wounded,” according to the source.

    On the topic of the militias -- al-Hashd al-Shaabi -- let's again note this Tweet:

    2 weeks ago air jets targeted a group of Hashd Al-Shaabi Militants on the border of - near . Yesterday Head of Hashd Al-Shaabi Militia Al-Muhandis stated that the Militia will not stay silent and will target the Americans for targeting the .


    This is not the first time that the Hashd al Shaabi has publicly threatened US troops (most recently, they did so last November).  These threats are among the reasons that the US government designates Hashd al Shaabi as a terrorist organization.  Of course, Hashd al-Shaabi is also part of the PMU (militias) and they came in second in the May 12th national elections in Iraq.

    Bryant Harris (AL-MONITOR) reported earlier this month:

    The House of Representatives unanimously voted last week on legislation requiring President Donald Trump to sanction “persons that are officials, agents, affiliates of or owned and controlled by” two prominent Iran-backed militias that operate in Iraq and Syria. The amendment from Rep. Ted Poe, R-Texas, to a must-pass annual defense authorization bill targets Asaib Ahl al-Haq and Harakat Hezbollah al-Nujaba, both of which are part of the Shiite-led Popular Mobilization Units battling the Islamic State.
    Both militias joined with other Iran-backed military forces as part of the Fatah, or Conquest, political coalition, which came in second in the May 12 elections with 47 out of 329 parliamentary seats. Asaib Ahl al-Haq won 14 of those 47 seats, according to Iraq analyst Kirk Sowell, while Harakat Hezbollah al-Nujaba did not field any candidates.
    “The US Department of Treasury will ultimately determine if the political wing constitutes an affiliate or entity controlled by” Asaib Ahl al-Haq, a Poe aide told Al-Monitor. “Congressman Poe believes [Asaib Ahl al-Haq] will likely be subject to these penalties unless it completely breaks all ties with the armed wing, renounces violence and acts solely as [an] Iraqi political party with no backing from Iran.”

    Which makes for interesting relations between the governments of Iraq and the US.
    Shi'ite cleric and movement leader Moqtada al-Sadr came in first in the elections, followed by the militias, followed by current prime minister Hayder al-Abadi.  Moqtada and the head of the militias, Hadi al-Ameri, teamed up.  Now they have been joined by Hayder al-Abadi.  163 seats are needed to form a government -- seats in Parliament.  Those three represent 143 seats.  (That's a CORRECTION to my math on Monday.)  They are twenty seats shy of forming the government.  
    «May 12’s Iraqi parliamentary election led to a surprising result, with cleric Moqtada al-Sadr’s bloc winning a plurality. Sadr, a nationalist with long opposition to both US and...

    Although Abadi and the US were deeply disappointed by the result of the election, he could emerge as a compromise candidate for prime minister. Sadr cannot aspire to the post because he is not a member of parliament.

    Sadr, who led two violent uprisings against the US and whose followers killed hundreds of Sunnis during inter-sectarian warfare, has projected himself as an anti-sectarian man of the people. His electoral alliance, which included communists, secularists and Sunnis, rejected all foreign intervention and promised to fight corruption, build schools and hospitals and provide for the poor. 

    What's in it for Hayder?  Possibly he will remain prime minister.  IRAQI NEWS notes:

    Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi has agreed to fulfill a condition set by Shia cleric Muqtada al-Sadr to retain his post as prime minister in the new government.
    According to Alkhaleej Online, Sadr his requested Abadi to withdraw from the Islamic Dawa Party to enter into an alliance and allow him to retain his prime minister’s post.

    The long-awaited alliance deal between Abadi’s Victory Alliance, which came third in a May parliamentary election, and Sadr’s Sairoon list, which won the largest number of seats, is expected to help in forming the new government after weeks of political tensions as a result of vote-ragging.

    Let's move over to the topic of burn pits:

    Amie Muller of Woodbury died of cancer at 36. She served in Iraq & was around toxic burn pits. I’ve worked with her husband Brian who's fighting to save others. Yesterday my bill to help treat these health issues passed the Senate. Time to get it thru the House & signed into law.

    And let's pair that with the latest from Burn Pits 360:

    June Newsletter
    House Veterans Affairs Subcommittee Held Hearing on Health Impacts of Burn Pits on Veterans
    On June 7, 2018, the House Veterans Affairs Subcommittee on Health held its first hearing on how exposure to burn pits is impacting the health of veterans, and how VA plans to address the issue. Although we were not invited to testify, Burn Pits 360 attended the hearing and was on site lobbying lawmakers the day of the hearing as well as the days leading up to it.

    As many know, burn pits have caused severe health problems in many veterans who served in Iraq and Afghanistan, and VA has been slow to conduct research into the problem or provide exposed veterans the specialized care that they need. At the hearing, VA's chief consultant for post-deployment health, Ralph Erickson, told members of the committee that VA is currently working on six studies regarding the issue of burn pits and veterans' health, as well as working to expand the VA Burn Pits Registry to collect more data on veterans' post-deployment health.

    However, many advocates, veterans, and committee members expressed concern that the studies would not be finished soon enough to help veterans with grave health conditions. While veterans and advocates are pushing VA to recognize the link between burn pits and certain illnesses, VA has stated that they do not yet have sufficient evidence.

    For more information on burn pit claims and VA, watch this video by Chisholm Chisholm & Kilpatrick LTD with Burn Pit 360 Board Member Kerry Baker.

    Burn Pits 360 Holds Press Conference with Lawmakers

    Prior to the hearing on June 7th, Burn Pits 360 held a joint press conference with Representatives Raul Ruiz (D-CA), Joaquin Castro (D-TX), and Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI) to discuss the issue of burn pits and how Congress can act to help veterans who were exposed. Burn Pits 360 Founder Le Roy Torres spoke of the health issues he experiences due to burn pit exposure and how they have impacted his life post-deployment.

    Army Staff Sergeant Will Thompson spoke during the press conference of the respiratory issues he has faced since his return from service. He was diagnosed with pulmonary fibrosis when he returned from his deployment in Iraq, and has since had two double-lung transplants.

    Susan Zeier also spoke at the press conference on her son-in-law's cancer diagnosis and how they believe it is due to his exposure to burn pits in service.

    Click here to read more on the press conference.


    Burn Pits Accountability Act Introduced to Congress

    Representatives Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI) and Brian Mast (R-FL) have introduced new legislation called the Burn Pits Accountability Act that would require VA to monitor service member's health in-depth, and require VA and DoD to share information about service members exposed to burn pits with each other.
    Burn Pits 360's Legislative Asks
    The Congressional hearing on June 7th was the first step in a long journey to getting our veterans the specialized care and recognition of their conditions caused by burn pits. Burn Pits 360 has four legislative asks in order to keep up the momentum on this issue:

    1. That VA grant a presumptive category for constrictive bronchiolitits.
    2. That veterans exposed to burn pits get specialized care and compensation.
    3. That the Department of Defense (DoD) recognize constrictive bronchiolitis as a disability based on an injury or disease received in the line of duty as a direct result of armed conflict or caused by an instrumentality of war and incurred in the line of duty during a war period as defined by law.
    4. We request that a hearing be scheduled to include the participation of medical experts and veterans.
    Take Action to Prove the Connection Between Burn Pit Exposure and Illness by Participating in the Burn Pits 360 Registry Research Study
    The Burn Pits 360 Registry is a research study, collecting data on burn pit exposures and related illnesses.  The goal is to prove the connection between burn pit exposure and illness.  Before now, this information was only available to the Departments of Defense and Veterans Affairs.  So far, over 5,000 individuals have participated.  Your data will enable Burn Pits 360 to advocate and lobby on behalf of the veteran community for VA benefits, policy change, and specialized health care. To participate, visit us on our website here.
    Burn Pits 360 Welcomes Dr. Daniel Brewer and SFC Geoff Dardia to Advisory Board
    Burn Pits 360 welcomed two new members to the Advisory Board this month: Dr. Daniel Brewer and Sergeant First Class Geoff Dardia.

    Dr. Daniel Brewer is a retired Lieutenant Colonel with 34 years of military service. Among his military awards are the Bronze Star, Ranger Tab, Senior Army Aviator Wings, and Combat Actionbadge among many others. While in the military, he worked to recover Desert Storm era military equipment in Saudi Arabia and Kuwait, including depleted uranium munitions and debris. He also worked on environmental guidance and practice management for US bases.

    SFC Geoff Dardia served in the United States Navy, US Army Reserves, and the US Army. He served over 10 years on a Special Forces Operational Detachment Alpha (ODA) as a Senior Weapons Sergeant, then later as a Special Forces Intelligence Sergeant, Static Line Jumpmaster, and DiveSupervisor. He had four combat deployments to Afghanistan and two overseas deployments to Jordan and Chad. After his military service, SFC Dardia created the Special Operations Forces Health Initiatives Program (SHIP) for the Task Force Dagger Foundation in 2012.
    Burn Pits 360 Honors a Soldier
    Each month, Burn Pits 360 honors a fallen solider.  Staff Sergeant Jennifer Kepner served in the US Air Force as a medic from 2001 to 2007.  At age 39, she lost her life to pancreatic cancer as a result of exposure to burn pits during her service in Balad, Iraq.
    Legal Help for Veterans

    Disability Benefits:  If VA has denied your disability compensation claim, assigned you the wrong impairment rating, or if you are entitled to an earlier effective date, contact Chisholm Chisholm & Kilpatrick for assistance.  CCK is also experienced at helping eligible veterans get VA benefits for special monthly compensation (SMC) or total disability rating based on individual unemployability (TDIU).  Contact CCK toll free at 844-291-8569 or visit CCK online at
    Donate to Burn Pits 360

    Burn Pits 360 Needs You!  The success of our mission depends on the generosity of individuals like you.  We ask you to consider a monthly donation to help us advocate for our community and its needs.
    Connect with us on Facebook

    Burn Pits 360 is community of veterans with burn pit-related illness, their families, and advocates with the common goal of exposing the harms of toxic burn pit exposure and obtaining benefits and policy change. Join us. Like us on Facebook!
    Meet the Burn Pits 360 Team

    Founder: CPT (Ret.) Le Roy Torres
    Executive Director: Rosie Torres
    Secretary: Tammy McCracken
    Program Manager: Will Wisner
    Legislative Liaison: Cindy Aman
    Director of Development:Daniella Molina

    Advocates Advisory Board
    Diane Slape (Texas)
    Rocio Alvarado (California)

    Advisory Board
    Ret. Colonel David Sutherland
    Dr. Steven Coughlin
    Ret. Lt. Col. Gregg Deeb
    Dr. Robert Miller
    Ret. Lt. Col. Brian Lawler
    Kerry Baker
    Solomon Ortiz Jr., former Texas House of Representatives, District 33
    Solomon Ortiz Sr., former Congressman for the 27th District of Texas
    SFC Geoffrey Dardia
    Dr. Daniel Brewer

    Copyright © 2018, Burn Pits 360 Veterans Organization, All rights reserved.

    Our mailing address is:
    Burn Pits 360 Veterans Organization
    201 N. 4th Street
    Robstown, TX 78380

    The following community sites -- plus Jody Watley and PACIFICA EVENING NEWS -- updated: