Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Lynne Stewart

On WBAI's Taking Aim yesterday, there were some techinical problems at the start of the show. Ralph Poynter did come on to discuss the travesty of justice that will keep his wife, U.S. political prisoner Lynne Stewart, behind bars. And I will note his words in a moment. But Ralph Schoenman and Mya Shone noted that next week they would have an in depth look at the verdict and what it means. They are planning to devote the full show next Tuesday (broadcasts live on WBAI, Tuesdays at 5:00 p.m. E.S.T.) to the issues.

Ralph Poynter: Just a brief statement on Lynne Stewart's sentencing. It's perjury, thy name is the United States government. The president-elect begins lying when announcing candidacy only to reneg on every promise. War, health care, Social Security, economy, etc. To excuse the president, it is quoted, he must perjure him or herself to become president. It is an understood and unstated American way, accepted perjury. When taking the oath of office, the president swears to uphold the Constitution and then proceeds to support the dismantling of the Constitution: The Patriot Act, hypocritical perjury. In office, the president employs signing -- that is, after signing a bill, signing a statement saying he will not abide by the bill. Pre-meditated perjury. There's more perjury gone on in this administration in these few years than all of the Bush administration. When Lynne Stewart was attacked by the government for making a press release on the Sheik's behalf it was revealed that other attorneys had made press releases as she did. The New York federal prosecutor said they didn't know about them. The national federal prosecutor said other lawyers should be charged and arrested. The Second Circuit of Appeals said it was selective prosecution but they would not deal with it and that Lynne Stewart should be further prosecuted and given a harsher sentence. Prosecutorial perjury. Is there anyone on the planet who does not know that the landmark [stage?] was hatched and planned for by the U.S. government with an Egyptian operative named Emad Salem? Is there anyone on this planet who does not know that the F.B.I. directed every step of the plot while promising unemployed, hapless hangers on money to be involved this so-called plot? It was staged, financed and filmed by the covert operative Emad Salem with constant oversight by the F.B.I. They desired to credit the blind Sheik. The F.B.I. charged the Sheik for not reporting the F.B.I. operative to the F.B.I. The blind Sheik merely said, "I don't think this would be good for Islam and go pick another target" -- never acquiesing to a plan of Emad Salem's. National security perjury. The judge first rejected this case against Lynne Stewart as being vague. The judge reversed himself and allowed the case to proceed. The judge allowed Osama bin Laden in the case while saying it had only to do with the state of mind of a third defendant. He allowed the massacre of Luxor in the case -- I guess for dramatic effect -- although having nothing to do with the case. Finally, I want to talk about the perjury on the part of the part of the so-called progressive people who leap to embrace any and every petty accusation made about Lynne Stewart. She is arrogant. She would like to think she would support and defend the First Amendment, speech. She would like to think she would defend the right for people to have an attorney. She is not remorseful. And have people forgotten, have we forgotten bravery, courage, Patrick Henry, John Brown, Harriet Tubman, Fannie Lou Hamer? Have we forgotten the principles of Lynne Stewart -- the principles that she stood by for 50 years? Have we forgotten who we claim to be? Progressive people, whose side are we on, brothers and sisters? Let us remember John Paul Jones: We have not yet begun to fight. Join us. Join Lynne. Join the struggle, the view of America that is inclusive and the view that we think America should have and should become.

There was one word I was not clear on (it sounded like "stage"). If you are able to stream and hear the stream, please do so. Not for the word but for the passion in Ralph's voice. Lynne went from three years to ten years in the sentencing.

"Editorial: She broke no law" is the piece we wrote at Third and I am really proud of that. C.I. asked us, for the opening, to think of Lynne as a person. I am paraphrasing here but C.I. said, "She's a hero, she's a legend but I worry that the person is getting lost in all of this. As long as she is an abstract and not concrete, the government can do anything to her and the number of us who care will more or less remain the same. We need to open with her humanity because that is the one thing the government and the press has worked hard to deny her." And that is how we came up with our opening:

Who is Lynne Stewart?
Like many women, she has many roles. She is the attorney who took on the clients that didn't bring in the big pay days but that needed defending. She's a noted chapter in the story of Civil Rights. She's a mother and a grandmother. She's the wife of Ralph Poynter. She's a breast cancer survivor. She's a woman who can step in front of a saddened and depressed group of people and have them on their feet and motivated in less than ten minutes. She's a woman who loves "the good fight" and will fight it regardless of whether or not she thinks she can win. She's a woman who fights "the good fight" but never forgets or loses her sense of humor.

Elaine and C.I. are the last three sentences. And C.I. brought in friends from the NLG to talk with us about the legal issues on Thursday so we would all be on the same page.

I also love the illustration. It is a pen and ink drawing that Isaiah did which Kat then went with Betty's kids to work on. Betty's daughter is a sweetheart and red is her favorite color. As she did with Anne Frank, Betty's daughter wanted Lynne to have some pretty colors including some red in her coat.

This is C.I.'s "Iraq snapshot" for today:

Wednesday, July 21, 2010. Chaos and violence continue, the US military announces another death, the militarization of the State Dept takes place with little notice from the US press, journalists remain under attack in Iraq, and more.

Today the US military announced: "CONTINGENCY OPERATING BASE SPEICHER, Iraq -- A United States Division - North Soldier died today in Diyala province when the Soldier's vehicle was attacked with an improvised explosive device. Following the attack, the Soldier was treated on the scene by unit personnel and then evacuated to the Combat Support Hospital located at Joint Base Balad. The name of the deceased is being withheld pending notification of next of kin and released by the Department of Defense. The names of service members are announced through the U.S. Department of Defense official website at The announcements are made on the Web site no earlier than 24 hours after notification of the service member's primary next of kin. The incident is under investigation." The death brings the total number of US service members killed in the Iraq War to 4413.

For the second day in a row, Baquba is in the news for a car bombing. Jim Loney and Philippa Fletcher (Reuters) report a Baquba car bombing which claimed 15 lives and left twenty-six injured. Reports note that the death toll (and wounded) continued to rise. Press TV puts the death toll at 28 (wounded at 46) and states it took place "near a mosque". AFP notes 28 people dead as well. Ali al-Tuwaijri (AFP) reports the death toll has risen to 30. Al Jazeera is also reporting 30 dead. CNN states, "The bomb was in a parked car and exploded at the market, which includes a clinic and a Shiite mosque." Timothy Williams (New York Times) quotes resident Ali Hader, "Why this killing? Why this destruction? Where is the security and stability the government is talking about? I hold the government responsible for what happened because they are busy fighting over seats while terrorists are playing with our blood."

In other reported violence, Reuters notes a Baghdad sticky bombing which claimed 1 life and left three people injured, a Baghdad roadside bombing which injured two people, another Baghdad roadside bombing which also left two injured, a Kirkuk roadside bombing which wounded three people and, dropping back to yesterday, 3 people shot dead in Kirkuk.

Meanwhile Mohammed Tawfeeq (CNN) reports that Nouri al-Maliki and Ayad Allawi had a face-to-face last night but that "no deals were reached and the stalemate continues". Stalemate? March 7th, Iraq concluded Parliamentary elections. Three months and two days later, still no government. 163 seats are needed to form the executive government (prime minister and council of ministers). When no single slate wins 163 seats (or possibly higher -- 163 is the number today but the Parliament added seats this election and, in four more years, they may add more which could increase the number of seats needed to form the executive government), power-sharing coalitions must be formed with other slates, parties and/or individual candidates. (Eight Parliament seats were awarded, for example, to minority candidates who represent various religious minorities in Iraq.) Ayad Allawi is the head of Iraqiya which won 91 seats in the Parliament making it the biggest seat holder. Second place went to State Of Law which Nouri al-Maliki, the current prime minister, heads. They won 89 seats. Nouri made a big show of lodging complaints and issuing allegations to distract and delay the certification of the initial results while he formed a power-sharing coalition with third place winner Iraqi National Alliance -- this coalition still does not give them 163 seats. They are claiming they have the right to form the government. It's four months and five days and, in 2005, Iraq took four months and seven days to pick a prime minister. Today makes it four months and fourteen days without any government being established. And the US government is getting nervous. US Senator John Kerry asked yesterday, "Is there any way in which you might judge that Prime Minister Maliki is simply not going to work in good faith to try to put together a legitimate government here? That he will just hang on and we stay in the stalemate and we transition and we sort of crumble out of the democracy we've created into another strong man situation?"

Yesterday Kerry asked that of James Jeffrey during the Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing on the nomination of US Ambassdor James Jeffrey. He is currently the US Ambassador to Turkey, President Barack Obama has nominated him to be the US Ambassador to Iraq. (He would replace the current disaster, Chris Hill.) Last night, Kat covered it at her site with "Senate Foreign Relations Committee," Wally covered it at Rebecca's site with "Kaufman and Casey," and Ava covered it at Trina's site with "Kerry, Lugar and Feingold." Russ Feingold's exchange with Jeffrey hasn't been noted yet.

Senator Russ Feingold: [. . .] And last year Ambassador Hill testified that any delay in withdrawing our troops by 2011 would "be poorly received by the Iraqi people." Do you agree with that assessment? Share that assessment?

Ambassador James Jeffrey: I have seen all the polls, Senator, I just reviewed them in the last two days -- that we've taken and that other people have taken -- and, uh, the Iraqi, uh, populace in very large numbers -- at least outside of the Kurdish areas -- does want to see our forces withdraw.

Senator Russ Feingold: Thank you, sir. The State Dept is planning to make up for the departure of US troops by doubling its security contractors. Even though such contractors often don't have the essential security capabilities that are provided by our troops. I'm concerned this will be dangerous and also lead to a situation where we don't have meaningful control over our own contractors. What alternatives have you considered?

Senator Russ Feingold: Thank you, sir. The State Dept is planning to make up for the departure of US troops by doubling its security contractors. Even though such contractors often don't have the essential security capabilities that are provided by our troops. I'm concerned this will be dangerous and also lead to a situation where we don't have meaningful control over our own contractors. What alternatives have you considered?

Ambassador James Jeffrey: Senator, this is an extremely important point. Uh, if confirmed as chief of mission, my first responsibility will be for the safety and security of the personnel under my supervision and I've put a lot of time and effort into looking at this. Uhm. The -- after the incident in 2007 in Baghdad involving the Blackwater security people, the State Dept did a very thorough investigation called the Kennedy Report. I've read that report. It concluded -- and I think that this conclusion remains true today -- that the State Dept has done a very good job in an extremely lethal environment protecting its people and keeping them alive and safe; however, there needed to be certain steps, technical steps, rule of engagement steps, coordination steps -- coordination both with the US military and with the Iraq authorities, and more supervision. Now we put, uh, a direct hire State Dept officer or person with all movements So -- And we have more technical control through, uh, basically recordings, audio and video equipment and such so that we're able to determine what happened and review any incident and since then there has not been a serious incident. But I want to underscore, this is a very, very difficult mission. This is, uh, uh, a defensive mission, not an offensive one, but it involves thousands of people, many movements in a very lethal environment and it is something we have to remain very concerned about.

Senator Russ Feingold: Thank you, Ambassador. State Dept Human Rights Report on Iraq found that -- as in previous years -- reports of abuse at the point of arrest and during the investigation period -- particularly by the Ministry of Interior's federal police and the Minister of Defense battalion level forces -- continued to be common. Federal law requires a certification before the United States can continue to provide certain kinds of security assistance to any state that has "consistent pattern of gross violations of internationally recognized human rights." In your view, how many years of violations must occur before such a certification of a consistent pattern of abuses is required?

Ambassador James Jeffrey: I've read the report, Senator, I would have to look at this in more detail. The effort that we're trying to do, including the police training effort, is to try to get at the violations and the abuse which we have seen in the past and we have seen it -- We saw it when I was there, we've seen it since then, it's been documented. Our hope is that we can see this on a declining slope. And it is something that I will look at very carefully if I'm confirmed and if I go out there.

Senator Russ Feingold: Well of course I applaud that and I urge you on in the effort to make sure that these units are vetted, but my question was: How many years of violations?

Ambassador James Jeffrey: I can't assess that at this time, Senator.

Senator Russ Feingold: Can you get back to me on that?

Ambassador James Jeffrey: I can.

Senator Russ Feingold: Okay. More broadly, how if confirmed will you work with the relevant US and Iraqi entities to faciliate improvements in human rights in Iraq which according to the State Dept report are far less -- far below adequate?

Ambassador James Jeffrey: Again, that is the assessment of the State Dept Human Rights Report and Iraq is coming out of a horrific conflict and out of thirty years of dictatorship and almost constant war, both civil, internal war, war with Iran, war with Kuwait. It's going to take some time for Iraq, even with a democratic government and democratic institutions to move into a environment even more in the average in the region but certainly what we would like to see in the more developed parts of the world. It's going to take time.

Senator Russ Feingold: And in that regard, sectarianism obviously remains a very real problem in Iraq, including in security forces. If confirmed how will you work with the Iraqi government to help make this a priority issue and to push for concrete improvement?

Ambassador James Jeffrey: There are various efforts that we already have underway that I will review and reinforce if I'm confirmed Senator for example, we now do joint-patrols with the US forces, Kurdish forces, peshmerga forces, Iraqi army forces along the disputed internal borders. We are putting a special effort into the minority communities -- I mentioned that in my opening statement, it's of great concern to me. It was then when I was there last time, it remains so. We are also looking at the makeup and the composition of the security forces. It has improved over time but it is something that has been worrisome in the past and it is something that requires continued vigelance.

Senator Russ Feingold: Yes, sir. Finally, the New York Times recently reported on hundreds of millions of dollars worth of crude oil and refined products being smuggled across the Iran-Iraq border every year. What steps is the Iraqi government taking to address this problem? given not only its potential to undercut our efforts with Iran but also tensions over resource revenue sharing in Iraq itself?

Ambassador James Jeffrey: We're very concerned about this given the latest, uh, uh, sanctions legislation that the US has passed but also, uh, the role of that in the relationship between Iraq and Iran. I know that we're looking into this latest charges -- the latest information -- at the embassy and with the Iraqi government and also with the folks in the north [Kurds] because some of that smuggling has been identified in the north.

There's a great deal in the above worth commenting on but we'll go for the obvious: Did you notice he didn't mention the Iraq War in his reply to a question about human rights? He was mentioning this conflict and this war and how this and that had hurt Iraq, but he really didn't seem aware that the Iraq War had caused suffering in Iraq, did he?

Today Mike Mount (CNN) reports that the top US commander in Iraq, Gen Ray Odierno, has (yet again) declared the US is on track with the drawdown. Mu Xuequan (Xinhua) notes Odierno was speaking at a Pentagon briefing and quotes him stating, "To be successful, Iraq must have a unity government." The drawdown is a success! Thus far! Is that really the story or was Odierno trotted out before people could process what took place in the Jeffrey's hearing yesterday?

Ranking Member Richard Lugar and Jeffreys had a lengthy exchange during which, asked about post-withdrawal or 'withdrawal,' Jeffreys explained, "We [State Dept] are taking on missions that the US military has done." Exactly because under the Samantha Power Doctrine, the State Dept becomes militarized in Iraq: It is over 'operations' and has armed 'employees' at various "outposts" in Iraq; it becomes responsible for training Iraqi security forces, it doubles the number of contractors/mercenaries, etc. These are not State Dept duties. The militarization of the State Dept, the armed wing of the State Dept. Jeffreys declared, "The security for all of this would be done by the Deapartment of State under the current plans."

For those present and paying attention, it was obvious that there was no end of the Iraq War in 2012 even if the SOFA was followed. This is the plan Samantha Power didn't attempt to hide from the press. But when the press is in the tank with Barack and/or scared of being attacked by the peers who are, they don't tell you what you need to know. Which is how Davey D had his ridiculous moment of defending Samantha Power on air on KPFA and revealing how dumb he truly could be -- he got her name wrong and he thought she was a woman of peace. This is the woman who blurbed the US military's counter-insurgency manual, the woman from the Carr Center. The one who preaches war eternal. And this plan Jeffrey was discussing, largely with Lugar, in yesterday's hearing. In fact, let's go to the moment Lugar and Jeffrey found so amusing -- it takes place during Lugar's "do not appreciate" when each came close to laughing.

Ambassador James Jeffrey: [. . .] We're going to have to do more if we want to have the kind of presence nationwide that everyone believes is necessary to carry out the President's program, sir.

Ranking Member Richard Lugar: I appreciate your response. I simply made the point because many Americans and members of Congress talking about the withdrawal of our troops from Iraq do not appreciate a whole new contingent is moving. And these aren't military people, these are civilian people. The State Dept and affiliated people. But it is a huge commitment by the American people and a considerable budget. And it follows that after we've had a war and a consideral period of peace making, moving on to the future is not the same maybe as the conventional embassy situation in a country where there's not been this sort of conflict. And we appreciate your outline of it and we will appreciate your management of it.
Just to be sure we're all aware of what Lugar outlined, we're going to drop back to his opening statement, which he delivered after he and Kerry took a lengthy break from the hearing and after acting chair Bob Casey paused the hearing for a recess.

Ranking Member Richard Lugar: While making fewer headlines, the situation in Iraq continues to be vital to the national security of the United States. Iraq held parliamentary elections on March 7, 2009, but an agreement on who will be the Prime Minister may not be concluded for several months. The redeployment of American forces in Iraq has begun, and by September, all but 50,000 U.S. troops will have departed the country. President Obama has said that by the end of 2011, all US troops will be out of Iraq. Plans submitted by the Administration suggest that US involvement in Iraq will remain robust well beyond that with more than 5,000 diplomats and civilian advisers working with civil society and the Iraqi government. The uncertain political situation creates risks for our transition plans. Our military has been involved in areas of governance far beyond security and turning over those critical responsibilities will be challenging. The State Dept has asked for more than $800 million in start-up costs for a police mentoring and training program. The program envisions having 350 advisors at three camps who will fan out to 50 sites in the country, about half of which would be reachable by ground and the rest requiring air support. With the military's departure, we are told, the Dept may hire as many as 7,000 contract security personnel. An AP article last month suggested the Iraq mission would need the equivalent of a squadron of Blackhawk helicopters, 50 ambush-protected vehicles and equipment to protect against rockets and mortars. It is important that the Administration flesh out how all the pieces of this unprecedented operation will fit together in Iraq as American troops depart.

That's the militarization of the State Dept and the continuation of the Iraq War. It was interesting to watch Jeffrey, for example, during the exchange with Feingold. Jeffrey stuck to the polls of the Iraqi people on withdrawal; however, he never noted that many Iraqi leaders do not want the US military to levae at the end of 2012. Nouri al-Maliki has publicy made noise about extending the US stay (he did so in August 2008). He is not the only one voicing such desires. Jeffrey is aware of that. Jeffrey chose to ignore that and was less than fully upfront in his reply.

Less than fully upfront desribes the US press and Iraq. They sold the illegal war with their wide-eyed wonder (to put it kindly) and their non-stop whoring (to tell it like it is -- as the Neville Brothers and the Wilson sisters of Heart once sang). Despite the half-truths and outright lies they both repeated and invented, they felt no desire to clear the record when they had the chance to do so via the testimony Eliza Manningham-Buller, former MI5 Director General (2002 - 2007) gave to the Iraq Inquiry (see yesterday's snapshot). At 9:00 pm last night, the New York Times published Sarah Lyall's "Briton Who Led MI5 Disputes Reasons to Invade Iraq" online (and ran it in today's paper). What other newspaper covered the story? As of 8:00 a.m. EST, that was it. Let's be clear on what was testified to. The intelligence stated Iraq was not a threat, the intelligence indicated that tensions would increase as a result of the Iraq War and it would make England's risk of a terrorist attack increase. And, she testified that when then-US Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld was unable to get the CIA to say that Iraq was a threat to the US, he created his own 'intel' outfit.

So where was everyone? Was, for example, the CBS Evening News so busy with the Jeffrey's hearing that they didn't have time to cover it last night? No. They ignored the hearing. That was the case with everyone including PBS' NewsHour. The same who sold the illegal war couldn't be bothered with it yesterday. Taylor Barnes (Christian Science Monitor) offers a summary of the testimony. And did so before noon today. It should have been huge news. It wasn't. Remember that if there's another terrorist attack. Remember that, despite all of the back patting and self-stroking by the media after September 2001, 9-11 didn't change a damn thing when it comes to the way the media operates. Ask ABC why Facebook or Michael Jordan qualified as news when terrorism and war didn't? No time for either report that mattered yesterday or today but they've got time for fluff? Katie Couric (CBS) had time to tell us about a new book that's nothing but rejection letters? That kind of s**t really saved anyone's life on 9-11? When the Twin Towers were burning and later collapsing, you really think anyone gave a s**t about some stupid coffee table book? Really? And you think that's how you inform the American public today? With that garbage passed off as news?

How embarrassing.

David Hughes (Telegraph of London) asks, "Why did Tony Blair ignore MI5's advice?" and concludes: "It's hard to conceive of a more comprehensive foreign policy disaster yet the man responsible is now the Middle East peace envoy. It's beyond parody." Andy McSmith (Independent of London) notes various reactions to the testimony:But the evidence presented by Lady Manningham-Buller does not just call Mr Blair's credibility into question, it also throws down a challenge to the coalition Government, warned Lord Carlile of Berriew, a Liberal Democrat peer who has acted since 2005 as the independent reviewer of anti-terror laws. He told The Independent: "It's certainly the case that the threat and number of home-grown terrorists -- and 'not home-grown' terrorists coming into the UK -- increased after the Iraq war. "This makes life difficult both for the old government, who have criticisms to answer, and for the current Government. It makes their review of current terrorism law a delicate exercise because there is no evidence of any significant reduction in the threat. We are where we were." Sir Menzies Campbell, former leader of the Liberal Democrats, added: "I should be astonished if Mr Blair were to return to give further evidence, but questions will remain as to what it was which prompted him to disregard the reservations of officials and their advice. If only Britain had been as well served by its politicians as it was by Eliza Manningham-Buller then we would never have got ourselves into the illegal mess of Iraq." Lord West, who was counter-terrorism minister in the Home Office under Gordon Brown, told the BBC that he had "no doubt" that the Iraq war increased the threat of terrorism in the UK, which hit the government like a "bow wave" in 2003.Ken Livingstone, who was Mayor of London at the time of the 7 July bombings, said: "Eliza Manningham-Buller's evidence is a damning indictment of a foreign policy that not only significantly enhanced the risk of terrorist attacks in London but gave al-Qa'ida the opening to operate in Iraq too."

And though ignored in the US, Tuesday's testimony is still news in London. The Daily Mail reports that the Liberal Democrat's Nick Clegg filled in for the Conservative Party's David Cameron today during Prime Minister's Questions. Cameron is prime minister as a result of a power-sharing coalition the Conservative Party formed with the Liberal Democrats following the May elections in the UK. War Hawk Jack Straw (now out of power) asked a question which Clegg responded to with, "I'm happy to account for everything we are doing in this coalition Government, which has brought together two parties, working in the national interest to sort out the mess that you left behind. Perhaps one day you could account for your role in the most disastrous decision of all, which is the illegal invasion of Iraq." The Guardian offers video of the moment in their write-up. Chris Ames (Iraq Inquiry Digest) covers the coverage here.
While US journalists show little respect for the power of the press or its obligations, in Iraq, journalists are under attack. The Committee to Protect Journalists notes today:

The Committee to Protect Journalists calls on Iraq 's Supreme Judicial Court to disclose details about the decision to establish a new press court and to explain the mechanisms under which it will operate.
Abd As-Satir Birkdar, spokesman for the Supreme Judicial Court , which announced the creation of the court on July 11, told Al-Mada newspaper that the court is being established in accordance with the Judicial Organization Law that allows the head of the Supreme Judicial Council to "establish special courts in accordance with the public interest."
The new court, the first of its kind in Iraq , will only examine cases connected with media and publishing offenses, like defamation, libel, and press freedom violations. Journalists and non-journalists will be able to file complaints there, according to press reports.
Some journalists have expressed reservations about the court. Sarmad al-Tai, the editor-in-chief of the private daily al-Alam, said he is concerned that there is not enough public information about the court for Iraqi journalists to decide whether or not they support it.
The Journalistic Freedoms Observatory (JFO), a local press freedom group, issued a statement last week in which it stated that the decision to establish a special court is unconstitutional, according to Article 95 of the Iraqi Constitution, which states that "Special or exceptional courts may not be established." Ziad al-Ajili, JFO's director, told CPJ that the court is "a move to control the media" by the authorities. Al-Ajili said Iraqi authorities should instead modify articles in the regulations inherited from Saddam Hussein's regime, which hinder freedom of speech.

Returning to the topic of a self-amused US press attempting to overdose on infotainment passed off as information that actually effects your life, Robert Farley (PolitiFact) feels he's caught something: Joe Biden's plan for three equal regions in Iraq, Joe denies it was a partition!

Check the archives of this site, Farley, Joe never considered it a partition. [Disclosure, as noted before, I know Joe Biden and have for years. I like Joe and I'm probably including this item for that reason.] He preferred the term "federalism." Farley thinks he's proven Joe wrong by (selectively) noting some real-time press. It doesn't matter what the press said. Did Joe ever consider it a partition? No. And we noted that here repeatedly. I consider it a partition. Joe Biden didn't. That he still doesn't consider a partition is not news.

Serving up four-year-old, stale news, Robert Farley wants to pretend he accomplished something and he wants to make fun of Joe. Thing is, the one looking like a dumb ass? Not Joe Biden.

January 22, 2008, when a vote on the measure took place, he issued a press release. His online Senate office is, of course, closed. (He's not Vice President of the United States.) However, that legislation was co-sponsored with Senator Sam Brownback and you can find a copy of the press release -- a joint one from Brownback and Joe Biden -- at Senator John Kyl's online office and you'll note it includes the following:

A few key facts about the Biden-Brownback amendment:

The legislation does not tell Iraqis what to do. It speaks only to what U.S. policy should be.
Federalism is not a U.S. or foreign imposition on Iraq. Iraq's own constitution calls FOR a "decentralized, federal system" and sets out the powers of the regions (extensive) and those of the central government (limited). The Constitution also says that in case of conflict between regional and national law, regional law prevails.
Federalism is not partition. In fact, it's probably the only way to prevent partition or, even worse, the total fragmentation of Iraq.
Federalism will not accelerate sectarian cleansing; it's the only way to reverse it. Iraqis have already voted with their feet, with 4.5 million fleeing within Iraq or abroad. Unless Iraqis come to some kind of agreement on sharing power peacefully, the results of extensive cleansing will solidify and set the stage for future instability.

So there you go, in a joint-release, Biden was stating his opinion -- as he did numerous times before -- that it was not "partition." So that's what passes for gotcha journalism these days? What's next? Robert Farley's going to break the news that George W. Bush mispronounces "nuclear."

iraq the new york times timothy williams
cnnmohammed tawfeeq
mike mount
xinhuamu xuequan
sarah lyall
the telegraph of londondavid hughesthe independent of londonandy mcsmith
the committee to protect journalists