Wednesday, August 23, 2017

James Clapper will always be a liar

I agree with this.

Known liar now a liberal icon.

James Clapper is hideous.

I also do not approve of his questioning "fitness to be in office."

Who is this liar to judge anyone?

He lied to Congress. He told them that the NSA was not collecting data on Americans and then we find out -- thank you, Ed Snowden -- that they are collecting metadata.

James Clapper is a liar who lied to Congress.


On March 12, 2013, during a United States Senate Select Committee on Intelligence hearing, Senator Ron Wyden quoted NSA director Keith B. Alexander’s keynote speech at the 2012 DEF CON. Alexander had stated that “Our job is foreign intelligence” and that “those who would want to weave the story that we have millions or hundreds of millions of dossiers on people, is absolutely false.... From my perspective, this is absolute nonsense.” Wyden then asked Clapper, “Does the NSA collect any type of data at all on millions or hundreds of millions of Americans?” He responded, “No, sir.” Wyden asked “It does not?” and Clapper said, “Not wittingly. There are cases where they could inadvertently, perhaps, collect, but not wittingly.”[31]
When Edward Snowden was asked during his January 26, 2014, TV interview in Moscow what the decisive moment was or why he blew the whistle, he replied: “Sort of the breaking point was seeing the director of national intelligence, James Clapper, directly lie under oath to Congress. ... Seeing that really meant for me there was no going back.”[32]

That is James Clapper.

He is not to be trusted.


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

Wednesday, August 23, 2017.  Chaos and violence continue, a reporter visits 'liberated' Mosul, the US government works overtime to prevent Kurdish independence, and much more.

From video report below: "The Baghdad government has declared victory.  But the threat still lingers.  There are still pockets of ISIS fighters  in the old city.  And this is what liberation looks like.  Iraq's second largest city, just ruins."

Yalda Hakim reporting from Mosul for the BBC.

At THE DAILY MIRROR, they have a photo essay featuring Carol Guzy's photographs of some of the Mosul survivors.

Meanwhile, it's apparently victory lap time for others.

Proud to serve with LTG Townsend, a nightmare for as he led our campaign in and over the past 12 months.


I wonder.

Mad Maddie Albright infamously declared on TV, in the 90s, that the death of 1/2 million Iraqi children was worth it.  She was still aglow, feeding on the blood of the dead.

Ten years later, she realized that gloating would follow her forever.

Will Brett be so proud in 2040?  When we have a strong estimate on exactly how many civilians were killed?

And the war drags on.

Iraqi forces enter 1st neighborhood in Tal Afar, last major redoubt in Iraq

When Tal Afar falls, I guess they'll move on to the next "last #IS major redoubt in Iraq" -- the way that was once how they described Mosul.  Will that be Hawija?

US Special Envoy Brett McGurk called Tal Afar "the last major city they [ISIS]'re holding in northern Iraq."

W.J. Hennigan (LOS ANGELES TIMES)  passes on, "U.S. commanders say the offensive against the estimated 2,500 militants in and around Tall Afar will be grinding because Islamic State fighters built extensive defenses. Among them: They lined up derelict vehicles to push invading forces into a kill zone strewn with booby traps."  Really?


Because abandoned cars and trucks are directing the foot flow?

How many tons of bombs is the US coalition planning to drop on Tal Afar?

2,500 militants?

You'd think the Iraqi forces -- even the Iraqi forces? -- could handle 2500 fighters by themselves.

You'd think.

In other news, the US government again meddles in foreign elections.

Yesterday, Brett McGurk declared, "We believe these issues should be resolved through dialogue under the constitutional framework and that a referendum, at this time, would be really potentially catastrophic to the counter-ISIS campaign. We've mentioned that before. And so we've made that position very clear, but we are hopeful that this dialogue that's going on now can deliver some results."

But, Brett, the KRG is following the Constitution of Iraq, as you well know.

As for timing?

Isn't it funny how the oppressors will always insist to the oppressed that they're not against freeing the oppressed but just not right now?

There's never a 'good time' for certain types to give up the reigns (and whip?) but there is a "right time" for it and I'd argue a referendum on Kurdish independence is long overdue.

Australia's ABC notes:

And one of them [working for the referendum] is Zirian Fatah, from Kurdish Lobby Australia.
"Both my parents were freedom fighters, fighting on the front line against Saddam Hussein's dictatorship," he said. "As a child my bassinet was a suitcase."
Now, with dialogue rather than bullets, he's working to win support in Australia for the independence referendum.
"The reality of Iraq is it was always fictional. It was always a state that was sticky-taped together," he said.
"During the 1920s, the Kurds were promised their own state. Unfortunately, due to the superpowers — the British and the French — Kurdistan was divided and carved up amongst four host nations. We're hoping to see that undone now.
"The Kurdish people aspire to achieve their independence. It has been a long time coming, and it is an historic moment in time."

But the US government is attempting to stop the vote from taking place.

It's interesting, isn't it, how this happens in the open with no outrage in the US?

Contrast that with the still unproven charge that Russia 'hacked/interfered/mind controlled' the 2016 US presidential election.  Contrast it with the outrage and hysteria from Hillary Clinton's Temple Prostitutes.  Or crazed Hillary herself, right?

In the United States, IAVA issued the following:

Tel: 212-982-9699

NEW YORK, NY (August 19, 2017) – Today, Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America, the leading voice of the Post-9/11 generation of veterans, applauded the President’s signing of H.R. 873, establishing a memorial in Washington for our generation of warriors. This is the third IAVA legislative priority to become law in the last month, with another expected this week on VA appeals.

“We are proud to support a memorial for the Global War on Terror in the nation’s capital. We thank Andrew Brennan and the GWOT Memorial Foundation for their steadfast leadership, and members of Congress and the President for listening to veterans and acting quickly to sign this bill into law,” said Paul Rieckhoff, Founder and CEO of IAVA. “Eighty-two percent of IAVA members said that they support the creation of a memorial for veterans and their families of this era. Having a place for our generation to gather and mourn is vital to honoring all those who have served since 9/11. We’re proud to stand shoulder to shoulder with our VSO partners to ensure that veterans and their families have somewhere to reflect and remember the sacrifice of those in our community.”

IAVA has advocated for a Post-9/11 National Monument in its Policy Agenda for years. For the full IAVA recommendations on a national memorial, please see the 2017 IAVA Policy Agenda.
Note to media: Email or call 212-982-9699 to speak with IAVA CEO and Founder Paul Rieckhoff or IAVA leadership.

Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America ( is the leading post-9/11 veteran empowerment organization (VEO) with the most diverse and rapidly growing membership in America. As a non-profit founded in 2004, IAVA’s mission is to connect, unite and empower post-9/11 veterans. Celebrating its 12th year anniversary, IAVA has connected more than 1.2 million veterans with resources and community, and provided more than 7,300 veterans with personalized support from IAVA’s Master’s level social workers.

The following community sites -- plus Jody Watley, BLACK AGENDA REPORT, LATINO USA and CHOCOLATE CITY -- updated:

  • iraq iraq iraq iraq iraq Iraq

    Tuesday, August 22, 2017

    The manipulation

    Enjoyed these Tweets.

    1. With hysteria ratings dropping off, the contemplates switching back to the hysteria ...
    2. By becoming continuous war has ceased to exist.

    They sell fear.

    That is all they have.

    They try to scare us to death.


    Too many of us then run around like Chicken Littles with our heads cut off.

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

    Tuesday, August 22, 2017.  Chaos and violence continue, the US Secretary of Defense visits Iraq, Masrour Barzani weighs in on the referendum scheduled for September 25th, THE WASHINGTON POST again distorts reality, and much more.

    FOX NEWS ALERT: Sec. Mattis arrives in Baghdad to discuss ISIS strategy

    AFP reports, "Mattis flew in for talks with Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi and other top officials, as well as Massud Barzani, president of the Iraqi Kurdistan region, saying he wants to help keep the regime focused on eradicating ISIS jihadists."  Robert Burns (AP) quotes Mattis stating, "You see, Isis is now caught in-between converging forces.  So Isis's days are certainly numbered, but it's not over yet and it's not going to be over any time soon.”

    So Mattis is in Iraq.

    In the US, the lies and whoring never ends.

    We've fact-checked Trump's criticism of the 2011 Iraq withdrawal, which he once supported.

    You dumb, stupid ass.

    Shame on anyone who applauds that crap.

    It's so much more than just false.

    You can call for the war to end but still be against the way someone ended it.

    Same with withdrawal or drawdown.

    And, for the record, the Pentagon called it a "drawdown" -- not  a withdrawal.

    Barack pulled most -- but not all US troops out of Iraq.  Some were then stationed in Kuwait.  As he did so, Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta was noting that the US was still in negotiations with Iraq about keeping troops on the ground and that -- in fact, regardless -- US troops would still be in Iraq (as they were -- hence the term "drawdown" used repeatedly by the Pentagon).

    Let's again do the work that so-called press outlets like THE WASHINGTON POST refuse to do.  From the November 16, 2011 snapshot:

    Senator Joe Lieberman:  Let me, Secretary Panetta, pick up from that point. I've heard from friends in Iraq -- Iraqis -- that Prime Minister Maliki said at one point that he needed to stop the negotiations -- leave aside for one moment the reasons -- but he was prepared to begin negotiations again between two sovereign nations -- the US and Iraq -- about some troops being in Iraq after January 1st.  So that's what I've heard from there. But I want to ask you from the administration point of view. I know that Prime Minister Maliki is coming here in a few weeks to Washington. Is the administration planning to pursue further discussions with the Iraqi government about deploying at least some US forces in Iraq after the end of this year?

    Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta: Senator, as I pointed out in my testimony, what we seek with Iraq is a normal relationship now and that does involve continuing negotiations with them as to what their needs are.  Uh, and I believe there will be continuing negotations.  We're in negotiations now with regards to the size of the security office that will be there and so there will be -- There aren't zero troops that are going to be there. We'll have, you know, hundreds that will be present by virtue of that office assuming we can work out an agreement there.  But I think that once we've completed the implementation of the security agreement that there will begin a series of negotiations about what exactly are additional areas where we can be of assistance? What level of trainers do they need? What can we do with regards to CT [Counter-Terrorism] operations? What will we do on exercises -- joint-exercises -- that work together?

    I'm sorry you're such a damn liar or so f**king dumb that you don't know this all these years later, but we were there in real time at the Congressional hearings and we know what was happening.

    At one point, it was decided that DoD Memo of Understanding could cover a continued US presence in Iraq so that's what replaced a SOFA (Status of Forces Agreement).

    Let's spoonfeed the tragically stupid.  Dropping back to the April 30, 2013 Iraq snapshot:

    December 6, 2012, the Memorandum of Understanding For Defense Cooperation Between the Ministry of Defense of the Republic of Iraq and the Department Defense of the United States of America was signed.  We covered it in the December 10th and December 11th snapshots -- lots of luck finding coverage elsewhere including in media outlets -- apparently there was some unstated agreement that everyone would look the other way.  It was similar to the silence that greeted Tim Arango's September 25th New York Times report which noted, "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 MoU allowed another Special Ops unit go into Iraq and the end of the 2012. From the December 11th snapshot:

    In yesterday's snapshot, we covered the Memorandum of Understanding For Defense Cooperation Between the Ministry of Defense of the Republic of Iraq and the Department of Defense of the United States of America.  Angry, dysfunctional e-mails from Barack-would-never-do-that-to-me criers indicate that we need to go over the Memo a little bit more.  It was signed on Thursday and announced that day by the Pentagon.   Section two (listed in full in yesterday's snapshot) outlines that the two sides have agreed on: the US providing instructors and training personnel and Iraq providing students, Iraqi forces and American forces will work together on counterterrorism and on joint exercises.   The tasks we just listed go to the US military being in Iraq in larger numbers.  Obviously the two cannot do joint exercises or work together on counterterrorism without US military present in Iraq.

    This shouldn't be surprising.  In the November 2, 2007 snapshot -- five years ago -- we covered the transcript of the interview Michael R. Gordon and Jeff Zeleny did with then-Senator Barack Obama who was running in the Democratic Party's primary for the party's presidential nomination -- the transcript, not the bad article the paper published, the actual transcript.  We used the transcript to write "NYT: 'Barack Obama Will Keep Troops In Iraq'" at Third.  Barack made it clear in the transcript that even after "troop withdrawal" he would "leave behind a residual force."  What did he say this residual force would do?  He said, "I think that we should have some strike capability.  But that is a very narrow mission, that we get in the business of counter terrorism as opposed to counter insurgency and even on the training and logistics front, what I have said is, if we have not seen progress politically, then our training approach should be greatly circumscribed or eliminated."

    This is not withdrawal.  This is not what was sold to the American people.  Barack is very lucky that the media just happened to decide to take that rather explosive interview -- just by chance, certainly the New York Times wasn't attempting to shield a candidate to influence an election, right? -- could best be covered with a plate of lumpy, dull mashed potatoes passed off as a report.  In the transcript, Let-Me-Be-Clear Barack declares, "I want to be absolutely clear about this, because this has come up in a series of debates: I will remove all our combat troops, we will have troops there to protect our embassies and our civilian forces and we will engage in counter terrorism activities."

    So when the memo announces counterterrorism activies, Barack got what he wanted, what he always wanted, what the media so helpfully and so frequently buried to allow War Hawk Barack to come off like a dove of peace.

    Please note, that MoU is what governs the US military presence in Iraq currently -- there is no SOFA.

    Now the above alone contains many elements that someone could object to.  Sadly, we're not done.  We could go on and on forever.  We'll note one more.

    As part of the drawdown, the US mission in Iraq went from the Defense Dept to the State Dept (October 2011).

    This is where you end up with buildings that eventually are just handed over -- to the objection of Congress when they learned of it after the fact.  More to the point, there is a huge waste of money and the 'training program' for Iraqi forces that falls apart.

    As the take over of various cities by the Islamic State in 2014 demonstrates, the Iraqi forces needed additional training.  It was the State Dept that was supposed to follow up on that but failed.

    Again, there's so much to object to.

    Here, we offered Barack should immediately withdraw US troops in his first months as president.  We argued that the withdrawal would bring about its own problems (largely because the US had created and propped up an unpopular government) and that the smart thing to do was to cite the 2008 election as a mandate from the American people, end the Iraq War immediately and it would not have been Barack's 'fault' -- whatever happened.

    But that's not what Barack did.

    He couldn't keep his hands out of it and his ego told him he could 'improve' on it.

    So he overturns the 2010 election results with a legal contract (The Erbil Agreement) which provides Nouri al-Maliki with a second term he didn't win.

    Again, I'm sorry you're so f**king stupid and write about a topic -- for a so-called news outlet -- that you clearly do not grasp.

    It's appalling that you are allowed to pass your ignorance on to the people.

    It's disgusting as well that after all these years, you're still promoting binary thinking -- where it's either/or exclusively.  But, hey, if THE WASHINGTON POST couldn't practice xenophobia, they wouldn't be able to file any stories at all, right?

    And the war goes on . . .

    IS conflict: Iraqi forces enter outskirts of Tal Afar

    Today, the UNHCR notes:

    Telafar city, in Ninewa province, some 65 kilometres north-west of Mosul, fell under the control of extremist armed groups in 2014. Its pre-conflict population was thought to be around 200,000. Since April this year, more than 30,000 people fled Telafar district, many living in camps sheltering other displaced families mainly from Mosul.
    Humanitarian agencies have been without access to Telafar since 2014, but it’s estimated that thousands of people could still be in the city. Conditions are said to be very difficult, with food and water running out, a lack of electricity and diminishing health facilities. People are said to have been surviving on unclean water and bread for the past three to four months. 
    Those families who have managed to flee the area have done so at great personal risk. Many talk of seeing dead bodies along the way, and there are reports that some were killed by extremist groups. Others appear to have died due to dehydration or illnesses.

    People leaving Telafar are walking long distances to reach safety, without food or water, at times for up to 20 hours and in scorching heat. Temperatures can reach up to 50 degrees Celsius. They are often forced to leave behind their most vulnerable (children, elderly, disabled) who are unable to undertake the arduous journey.

    September 25th, the KRG is scheduled to hold a referendum that will determine their future.  As usual, the US government is attempting to derail the vote.  Masrour Barzani is the head of security for the KRG.  He is also the son of KRG President Massoud Barzani.  On Twitter this morning, he weighed in on the topic.

    Replying to 
    independence is announced. The only solution is to live alongside each other as neighbors in two newly defined independent states.
    Replying to 
    After the referendum dialogue with Iraq is necessary to negotiate terms through peaceful means. Iraq's position will determine how/when...
    Replying to 
    Iraq in its current form won't succeed; a united Iraq doesn't exist. It's polarized along sectarian lines and already practically divided.
    Replying to 
    Iraq was built on wrong foundations against the wishes and aspirations of its peoples. Forced-existence leads only to enmity and conflict.
    Replying to 
    Subordination for us is catastrophic. At a time of great peril, incl genocide and use of chemical weapons, no one came to our assistance.
    Replying to 
    This vote is for the people of Kurdistan, incl religious groups & nationalities. In an independent Kurdistan their rights will be protected.
    Replying to 
    Our neighbors must recognize that Kurdistan isn't a threat. We've proven so over the last two decades, focusing instead on economic trade.
    It's wrong to postpone the referendum. The people of Kurdistan - not others, must determine the right time- MB.

    The following community sites -- plus DISSIDENT VOICE -- updated:

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