Wednesday, March 22, 2023

Matteo Lane, WILL TRENT, SUPERMAN & LOIS, Ben Burgis

Here's Matteo Lane.


Completely forgot about SUPERMAN AND LOIS last night.  Didn't remember until I just sat down to blog.  Asked my daughter if she watched and she forgot too.  That's what happens when you take your show off for almost a full year.  And bring it back in March.  I did watch WILL TRENT on ABC.

I usually catch that every week.

If you haven't watched, Will is a detective and he has dyslexia.  He grew up in foster homes. As did Angie, his on-again-off-again girlfriend who's on the police force.  Her partner is Michael and he's played by Jake McLaughlin who has been so great in so many shows -- including QUANTICO and especially BELIEVE.   Will's boss is Amanda and his partner is Faith.  

Last night's episode was about Faith being at the courthouse to testify when a man with a gun ended up kidnapping her.  She'd arrested him before and he thought he could trust her.  He was being framed for murder -- by a crooked cop.  The crooked cop ending up framing Faith as well but Will and Michael ended up reluctantly teaming up to prove Faith innocent.  Which they did.  Angie headed to an AA meeting because she saw a former foster parent who molested her.  And, later in the episode, saw him with an uncomfortable young girl.

At the end of the episode, she and Will were at home in the kitchen and she was in a mood -- so much so that Will asked her why she was trying to start an argument with him and he asked to her to tell him about her day.  She took a breath but just avoided the topic.  Michael knows what happened and her AA group but she didn't go into it with Will.

Next week, Will's got to protect a child and the preview at the end of last night's episode made that look like a really good episode (Will's hiding the kid in the ceiling and telling him to crawl back as far as he needs).

On TV, go check out Stan's "EXTRAPOLATIONS" -- I didn't have the bravery to watch, the trailers alone disgusted me.  And be sure to read Ava and C.I.'s "Media: They lie."  Also, Kat wrote about "Season 20 of AMERICAN DAD kicks off Monday" so check that out too.   Oh, almost forgot Ruth wrote about a new TV documentary "United 23" so also check that out.

 Sorry.  Meant to have this already up.  My daughter came in when I was typing the paragraph above and asked if I wanted to watch SUPERMAN AND LOIS.  So we went and watched it.

Not really all that interested in the DAWSON'S CREEK of it all.  Don't care that Jordan and Jonathan went back to Metropolis for a party and saw Lana's daughter and John's daughter there and they played games and left the party.  

I don't think I would care on a good day.

I also barely paid attention to what was going on with Lana -- are she and John going to become a couple?  Cool if so.  If not, who was watching her daughter?  I hope it was Sam.  I hope she didn't just go off to dinner with John as the writers forgot Lana has two daughters and that the youngest needs a parent on site because she's not a teenager.

I didn't like the episode.

SPOILER is coming, you're warned.

If they wanted to do this episode it should have been variations of the scene on the street between Clark and Lois where he tells her he knows she's not telling him something.  We should have seen that over and over.  We should have focused on Lois and how her world seems to be over.

She thought she was pregnant until the end of last week's episode.  This week?  She found out she has cancer and is apparently dying.   That's the episode.  You want that storyline then you run with that story.  Don't tell us Lois has cancer and then treat is a minor thread in the episode.  

At JACOBIN, Ben Burgis writes about the Iraq War noting:

And in the coming months and years, more than four thousand Americans came home in flag-draped coffins. One of those coffins held the body of a kid with whom I went to high school. He was seventeen when he joined the Army. Four years too young to go to one of the bars crammed with MSU students on Friday and Saturday nights in East Lansing. Eight years too young to rent a car. And a year too young to be eligible to vote for any of the politicians who decided to throw his life away on a cruel and stupid “war of choice.”

We had friends in common, but he and I didn’t hang out, so I have no idea what his motives were for enlisting. But I have to imagine the recruiters told him the usual things about how the US military exists to “defend freedom.” Instead, he died on the other side of the world in the process of imposing an occupation bitterly resented by the vast majority of Iraqis.

The consequences for ordinary Iraqis dwarfed the “Coalition” casualties. According to an estimate published this month by the Watson Institute at Brown University, since the invasion between 550,000 and 580,000 people died in Iraq and then Syria when the chaos spread there — and “several times as many may have died due to indirect causes such as preventable diseases.” In addition, more than seven million people fled the two countries, and another eight million became “internal refugees.”


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


Wednesday, March 22, 2023.  YOUTUBE censors DEMOCRACY NOW! in their efforts to lie for the criminals behind the Iraq War, Bret Stephens shows up at NYT to reveal what we always knew (he has no soul), and much more.

Thinning hair and no spine, Bret Stephens shows up -- where else? -- in the pages of THE NEW YORK TIMES today.  Is he again pimping racism?  Or maybe he's again telling us that climate change doesn't exist?

No, the foppish fool wants the world to know that he doesn't "regret supporting the Iraq War."

Just like women don't regret sleeping with him and his tiny little choo-choo. 

Sure, Bret, keep telling yourself that.  

I guess if you have no shame, there really isn't anywhere else for you to go than the pages of THE NEW YORK TIMES.  No one did more to sell the Iraq War, after all.  Running Bret's boast is running their own opinion.

They lied.  They didn't just lie before the Iraq War.  They lied during it to keep it going.

And when public editor Daniel Okrent forced them to finally acknowledge their lies, the paper just lied again.  Bill Keller insisted that they're (tiny) mea culpa was only the first step and they would be looking into all that published reporting.  They never did.

Bill wanted war on Iraq.  So did trashy Jill Abramson.  Jill blamed Judith Miller for everything.  She started a whisper campaign against reporter Judith.  She did that because she was actually over Judith and could have stopped Judith's reporting at any minute.  But she didn't.   Because she liked the Iraq War.

She's always got an excuse and she's always got an agenda.

She was part of the lying campaign that all US troops were out of Iraq.  Eight months after the drawdown -- not a withdrawal -- then-President Barack Obama -- running for re-election claiming to have ended the Iraq War -- began sneaking US troops back into Iraq.  This was the sort of huge story anyone would want to break, right?

Tim Arango had it.  He had a US general on record about it.  

Jill wouldn't let the story run.  To her, news didn't matter as much as re-electing Barack Obama.  The Iraqi people, the truth, none of it was more important to her than re-electing Barack Obama.  

Tim finally got it into the paper.  Not as a front page article on Iraq -- because this is a huge headline -- grasp that.   A sitting US president is sneaking US troops back into Iraq -- huge news all by itself -- and dong so while lying that he ended the Iraq War -- even bigger news -- and using that lie to run for re-election -- huge.

But Jill didn't want huge news.

Here's all Tim Arango was able to do with that news in September of 2012 -- weeks before the 2012 election:

And on top of that, it's not the lede, it's not the opening paragraph, it's buried in the middle of an article that's mainly on Syria.   Tim Arango's September 25, 2012 NEW YORK TIMES report included this, "Iraq and the United States are negotiating an agreement that could result in the return of small units of American soldiers to Iraq on training missions.  At the request of the Iraqi government, according to [US] General [Robert L.] Caslen, a unit of Army Special Operations soldiers was recently deployed to Iraq to advise on counterterrorism and help with intelligence."

The paper of (mis)record has so much to apologize and atone for but, all these years later, it's still more comfortable running the mad ravings of human filth like Bret Stephens.

Stephens regrets nothing because he's human filth and casualties and death don't bother his gated-community mind.  Others die for his lies and he's okay with it.  

The papal nuncio who served in Iraq at the time of the U.S. invasion 20 years ago told Vatican News that Christians in Iraq were worse off after Saddam Hussein was removed from power.

Cardinal Fernando Filoni was appointed by Pope John Paul II in 2001 as the Vatican’s ambassador to Iraq and Jordan. He told Vatican News that when war broke out on March 20, 2003, he remained at his post at the papal nunciature in Baghdad.

“I remember this period as one of the most tough periods of my life,” Filoni said. “This was the moment in which not only myself but also the bishops, the priests, the faithful, and the people in Iraq, we had the perception of our incapacity to give a different perspective than that of war.”

In the weeks before the U.S. invasion Pope John Paul II had pressed for peace. Addressing the diplomatic corps accredited to the Holy See on Jan. 13, 2003, the pope said: “No to war! War is not always inevitable. It is always a defeat for humanity.” He announced a day of prayer and fasting for peace in the Middle East to take place on March 5, 2003.

That's how awful the Iraq War has been -- even the Church can note life is much worse for Christians in Iraq now than it was before the US-led invasion kicked off these 20 years of war.  And don't forget, Christians in Iraq are usually the ones who sell alcohol.  Their businesses have been targeted with bombing throughout the war and now their own government has just banned importing alcohol into Iraq.  Guess there are going to be even more Iraqis out of a job now.

The 2003 invasion of Iraq by the US-led Coalition of the Willing was a model exercise of maligning the very international system of rules Washington, London and Canberra speak of when condemning their latest assortment of international villains.  It recalled those sombre words of the International Military Tribunal, delivered at the Nuremberg war crimes trials in 1946: “War is essentially an evil thing.  Its consequences are not confined to the belligerent states alone but affect the whole world.  To initiate a war of aggression, therefore, is not only an international crime; it is the supreme international crime differing from other war crimes in that it contains within itself the accumulated evil of the whole.”

The invasion of Iraq defied the UN Security Council as the sole arbiter on whether the use of force would be necessary to combat a genuine threat to international peace and security.  It breached the UN Charter.  It encouraged instances of horrendous mendacity (those stubbornly spectral weapons of mass destruction) and the inflation of threats supposedly posed by the regime of Saddam Hussein.

This included the unforgettable British contribution about Saddam’s alleged ability to launch chemical and biological weapons in 45 minutes.  As Blair declared to MPs in September 2002: “It [the intelligence service] concludes that Iraq has chemical and biological weapons, that Saddam has continued to produce them, that he has existing and active military plans for the use of chemical and biological weapons, which could be activated within 45 minutes.”

Putin, not one to suffer amnesia on this point, also noted this fact in his speech made announcing Russia’s attack on Ukraine.  Iraq, he noted, had been invaded “without any legal grounds.”  Lies, he said, were witnessed “at the highest state level and voiced from the high UN rostrum.  As a result, we see a tremendous loss of human life, damage, destruction, and a colossal upsurge of terrorism.”

In the immediate aftermath of the invasion, the infrastructure of the country was ruined, its army and public service disbanded, leaving rich pools of disaffected recruits for the insurgency that followed.  The country, torn between Shia, Sunni and Kurd and governed by an occupation force of colossal ineptitude, suffered an effective collapse, leaving a vacuum exploited by jihadis and, in time, Islamic State.

Meanwhile, an e-mail to the public account asked why I don't note Iraqi Body Count?  Why?  Do I look like Fiorella Isabel?  The e-mails says she's noting them and linking to them.  Oh.  Well  I'm  not that stupid.   We noted Iraq Body Count in the early days of the war and this site.  Then we noted serious problems with their counting methods -- and this was just on US service members who were killed in Iraq.  We noted  more problems, John Stauber noted problems, Nafeez Ahmed noted problems . . .  Sorry to upset Fiorella who can't stop Tweeting about AOC -- excuse me, AOCIA -- as Fiorella prefers to call her -- but the two men behind IBC have both been on the payroll of the US Peace Institute (a government agency that has nothing to do with peace).  Meaning?  Their ties to the CIA and other alphabet soups are a little stronger than the mythical ones AOC supposedly has.

For additional reading, refer to Pierre Bienaime (COLUMBIA JOURNALISM REVIEW) and especially pay attention to this section:

Investigative journalist Nafeez Ahmed has accused IBC of downplaying the war’s toll on Iraq’s people, noting that its two founders also co-directed Every Casualty, a program funded by the United States Institute of Peace, which Ahmed calls a “neocon front agency.”

Hamit Dardagan, one of IBC’s founders, insists the funding doesn’t compromise the group’s integrity. 

It didn't compromise the group's integrity . . .  because the group has no integrity.   

We stopped noting Iraqi Body Count years ago.  There was a 'think tank' in the US that had a man -- of course, it was a man, we said it was a US think tank -- who was doing his own counter.  He'd just started it.  And we noted it.  And then he whined in an e-mail about this that and everything else.  But the real takeaway there is that he started it with a lot of fan fair and promises and six weeks later it was no longer updating.  I believe that's the story of his life but maybe you'd have to ask Phyllis Bennis to be sure?

It's okay, boys and girls, Phyllis knows who I'm talking about -- and agrees with me.

THE KATIE HALPER SHOW noted the Iraq War last night.

Apparently, Katie's the only one who can interview a veteran of the Iraq War who is against the Iraq War.  Didn't realize it was that hard to do.  Thank you to Katie for doing what appears to be the impossible.

Talk about the impossible,  Emma Graham-Harrison and Joe Dyke (GUARDIAN) can report on events of the Iraq War that took place after Bully Boy Bush was out of the White House:

The transcript of the drone operators’ remarks is brief and blunt, but it captures with grim clarity the moment they realised their deadly mistake.

“Two children” someone called out in the control room, as hundreds of miles away in Mosul, under a warm late autumn sun, the missile they had fired detonated beside a woman and her young family.

Enam Younis, 31 at the time, was thrown to the ground by the blast and has never walked again. Her older daughter, Taiba, six, inquisitive and desperate to start school, was killed instantly. Zahra, just three, was hurled over a fence. She survived but was peppered with shrapnel that tore into her stomach and is still lodged deep in her skull. Doctors have said that if it moves, it could cause devastating brain injury.

There was a third child, Ali, a toddler too young to walk, who was shielded from the drone cameras – and the worst of the blast – by his mother’s arms, but who still lost part of a foot and hand.

Younis was taken out of Mosul for treatment and even six years later, her memories are too painful for her to return to the city she called home. “It is still impossible for me to think about going to Mosul now,” she said weeping. “I didn’t even visit my daughter’s grave. I can’t do it.”

ritain’s planes and drones operated over Mosul throughout the two-year battle to reclaim it from Islamic State (IS), which began in 2016. The Ministry of Defence has detailed how many militants were killed by Paveway bombs and Brimstone and Hellfire missiles it used. 

The UK military claim to have fought a “perfect” war in Iraq, one in which British weapons did not harm a single civilian, even as missiles from their allies in the US-led coalition killed and maimed hundreds.

An investigation into this implausible claim, by the Guardian and Airwars, the not-for-profit watchdog that investigates harm to civilians in conflict zones, led reporters to Younis’s current home, in the northern Iraqi city of Erbil, as well as to the site where her daughter had been killed.

Britain says one Hellfire missile killed three militants in Mosul on 29 November 2016. Official data released by the US, the coalition and its allies, and eyewitness interviews on the ground, show that strike also probably killed Taiba and badly injured her family.

The tragedy was so clear, even on the fuzzy aerial video feed, that the team that fired the missile immediately reported the strike to their commanders, prompting an internal investigation, which is detailed in coalition documents released to the New York Times under a freedom of information request.

The coalition concluded the civilian casualty report was “credible”, but would not say which country had launched the missile. The alliance was structured to make investigations – and responsibility – for civilian deaths collective.

Washington has acknowledged that coalition weapons killed 455 civilians in Mosul, although Airwars estimates the real toll to be almost three times higher.

Civilians being killed . . .  What does that remind us of?

It should remind you of WIKILEAKS.

At last, the world has found someone to punish for the Iraq War -- Julian Assange whose 'crime' is telling the truth about what took place in Iraq.

Julian remains imprisoned and remains persecuted by US President Joe Biden who, as vice president, once called him "a high tech terrorist."  Julian's 'crime' was revealing the realities of Iraq -- Chelsea Manning was a whistle-blower who leaked the information to Julian.  WIKILEAKS then published the Iraq War Logs.  And many outlets used the publication to publish reports of their own.  For example, THE GUARDIAN published many articles based on The Iraq War Logs.  Jonathan Steele, David Leigh and Nick Davies offered, on October 22, 2012:

A grim picture of the US and Britain's legacy in Iraq has been revealed in a massive leak of American military documents that detail torture, summary executions and war crimes.
Almost 400,000 secret US army field reports have been passed to the Guardian and a number of other international media organisations via the whistleblowing website WikiLeaks.

The electronic archive is believed to emanate from the same dissident US army intelligence analyst who earlier this year is alleged to have leaked a smaller tranche of 90,000 logs chronicling bloody encounters and civilian killings in the Afghan war.
The new logs detail how:
US authorities failed to investigate hundreds of reports of abuse, torture, rape and even murder by Iraqi police and soldiers whose conduct appears to be systematic and normally unpunished.

A US helicopter gunship involved in a notorious Baghdad incident had previously killed Iraqi insurgents after they tried to surrender.
More than 15,000 civilians died in previously unknown incidents. US and UK officials have insisted that no official record of civilian casualties exists but the logs record 66,081 non-combatant deaths out of a total of 109,000 fatalities.

The numerous reports of detainee abuse, often supported by medical evidence, describe prisoners shackled, blindfolded and hung by wrists or ankles, and subjected to whipping, punching, kicking or electric shocks. Six reports end with a detainee's apparent deat

The Biden administration has been saying all the right things lately about respecting a free and vigorous press, after four years of relentless media-bashing and legal assaults under Donald Trump.

The attorney general, Merrick Garland, has even put in place expanded protections for journalists this fall, saying that “a free and independent press is vital to the functioning of our democracy”.

But the biggest test of Biden’s commitment remains imprisoned in a jail cell in London, where WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange has been held since 2019 while facing prosecution in the United States under the Espionage Act, a century-old statute that has never been used before for publishing classified information.

Whether the US justice department continues to pursue the Trump-era charges against the notorious leaker, whose group put out secret information on the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, Guantánamo Bay, American diplomacy and internal Democratic politics before the 2016 election, will go a long way toward determining whether the current administration intends to make good on its pledges to protect the press.

Now Biden is facing a re-energized push, both inside the United States and overseas, to drop Assange’s protracted prosecution.

Julian remains persecuted.  Julian told the uncomfortable truth.  

And the world just got more ridiculous which I didn't think possible.  Last week, Amy Goodman spoke with Julian's father and brother.  We were going to embed the video below.

We can't.

YOUTUBE hasn't just put an age-restricted warning on the conversation of Assange's family with Amy, they've also taken away the option to embed the video.  

They've got a warning "The following content ahs been identified by the YOUTUBE community as inappropriate or offensive to some audiences."

You can watch it at DEMOCRACY NOW! -- shame on YOUTUBE -- and we'll note a lengthy excerpt from the transcript.

AMY GOODMAN: This is Democracy Now!,, The War and Peace Report. I’m Amy Goodman, as we continue our coverage of the 20th anniversary of the U.S. invasion of Iraq by looking at the imprisonment of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, who’s been jailed for exposing U.S. war crimes in Iraq, Afghanistan and beyond. Julian has spent nearly four years locked up in the U.K.'s notorious Belmarsh prison, often called “Britain's Guantánamo.” He’s been held there as the U.S. government seeks his extradition to face espionage and other charges. If extradited and convicted in the U.S., Julian faces 175 years in a maximum-security prison.

In 2010, WikiLeaks gained international attention after publishing a trove of classified documents leaked by former U.S. Army soldier Chelsea Manning. Included were numerous accounts of war crimes in Iraq. One video released by WikiLeaks showed a U.S. helicopter gunship in Baghdad slaughtering a dozen civilians, including two Reuters staff — Reuters journalist, the up-and-coming photographer, videographer, 22-year-old Namir Noor-Eldeen, and his driver, Saeed Chmagh, father of four. WikiLeaks titled the video “Collateral Murder.” This is an excerpt.

U.S. SOLDIER 1: Let me know when you’ve got them.

U.S. SOLDIER 2: Let’s shoot. Light ’em all up.

U.S. SOLDIER 3: Come on, fire!

U.S. SOLDIER 2: Keep shootin’. Keep shootin’. Keep shootin’. Keep shootin’.

U.S. SOLDIER 4: Hotel, Bushmaster two-six, Bushmaster two-six, we need to move, time now!

U.S. SOLDIER 2: All right, we just engaged all eight individuals.

AMY GOODMAN: Julian Assange appeared on Democracy Now! in April 2010, a day after WikiLeaks published the “Collateral Murder” video.

JULIAN ASSANGE: When we first got it, we were told that it was important and that it showed the killing of journalists, but we didn’t have any other context, and we spent quite some months, after breaking the decryption, looking closely into this. And the more we looked, the more disturbing it became. This is a sequence which has a lot of detail and, I think, in some ways, covers most of the bad aspects of the aerial war in Iraq and what we must be able to infer is going on in Afghanistan. …

These are not bad apples. This is standard practice. You can hear it from the tones of the voices of the pilots that this is in fact another day at the office. These pilots have evidently and gunners have evidently become so corrupted, morally corrupted, by the war that they are looking for excuses to kill.

AMY GOODMAN: So, that’s Julian Assange sitting in a Washington, D.C., studio right after he released the, what they call, “Collateral Murder” video. I later interviewed Julian in 2014 about WikiLeaks releasing the Iraq War Logs. At the time, he was living inside the Ecuadorian Embassy, where he had sought political asylum. We sat together there.

JULIAN ASSANGE: With the Iraq War Logs, which were published in October 2010, which in some ways has been one of our best analytical works, we worked together with not just other media organizations, but a number of statistical organizations to work out what the kill count was for Iraq, and combining with other figures, and we ended up with more than 100,000 civilian casualties — in fact, 15,000 new, completely undocumented civilian kills — and documenting U.S. involvement and approval of Iraqi torture centers within the police and many killings of civilians at checkpoints and some political issues and so on. And that produced a number of inquiries and has fed into cases that have been taken by Iraqis, and that has now ended up with an ICC filing, International Criminal Court filing, against the British military.

AMY GOODMAN: So, that was one of several interviews I did with Julian Assange inside the Ecuadorian Embassy in London when we traveled to interview him there. That was in 2014.

Well, in a moment, we’ll be joined by Julian’s father, John Shipton, and his brother, Gabriel Shipton. They’re here in the U.S. for the opening of a new documentary about John Shipton’s struggle to free his son. It’s titled Ithaka. This is the film’s trailer.

It's outrageous that YOUTUBE is censoring DEMOCRACY NOW!  Outrageous.  We'll continue the topic of the reality 20 years later tomorrow and we'll be talking about a US president we haven't mentioned yet and his involvement with the illegal war. 

The following sites updated: