I have literally had no reason to use that phrase in all my years of blogging.
The Assistant US Attorney overseeing the Awan family investigation is STEVEN WASSERMAN, THE BROTHER OF DEBBIE WASSERMAN SCHULTZ!!!
Debbie Wasserman Schultz.
Can she get more disgusting?
Wonder why the media desperately wants to ignore the Debbie Wasserman-Schultz IT Aide Awan scandal?
Awan just got arrested for attempting to leave the country.
This is a huge story.
This is C.I.'s "Iraq snapshot" for today:
Thursday, July 27, 2017. Nouri's trip to Russia receives feedback, US President Donald Trump doesn't believe transgendered persons should serve in the US military, Human Rights Watch calls for War Crimes in Mosul to be investigated, and much more.
Let's start with the crazy.
Let's start with the crazy.
Sen.Tammy Duckworth-Iraq war vet, helicopter pilot, lost both legs. Purple Heart recipient: hT @chrislhayes
Forgotten actress Mia Farrow had a little time on her hands and didn't feel the need to Tweet about her convicted child molesting brother so she wanted to weigh in by spreading nonsense.
The United States has a democracy.
Tammy Duckworth being an Iraq War veteran does not make her any more important than any other American.
Veterans are owed what they were promised.
They are not owed blind worship.
Steven D. Green was an Iraq War veteran.
Maybe we should remind Mia of that because (a) she's never mentioned him and (b) he has a lot in common with her own brother. Oh, wait, I think John was into underage boys. So a little, he had a little in common with her brother.
Care to enshrine Steven for being a veteran who served his country?
May 7, 2009 Steven D. Green (pictured above) was convicted for his crimes in the March 12, 2006 gang-rape and murder of Abeer Qassim Hamza al-Janabi, the murder of her parents and the murder of her five-year-old sister while Green was serving in Iraq. Green was found to have killed all four, to have participated in the gang-rape of Abeer and to have been the ringleader of the conspiracy to commit the crimes and the conspiracy to cover them up. May 21, 2009, the federal jury deadlocked on the death penalty.
Alsumaria explained, "An ex-US soldier was found guilty for raping an Iraqi girl and killing her family in 2006 while he might face death sentence. . . . Eye witnesses have reported that Green shot dead the girl’s family in a bedroom while two other soldiers were raping her. Then, Green raped her in his turn and put a pillow on her face before shooting her. The soldiers set the body afire to cover their crime traces."
Evan Bright reported on the verdict:
As the jury entered the court room, Green(red sweater vest) let out a large sigh, not of relief, but seemingly of anxiety, knowing the weight of the words to come. As Judge Thomas Russell stated "The court will now publish the verdict," Green interlaced his fingers and clasped them over his chin. Russell read the verdict flatly and absolutely. Green went from looking down at each "guilty" to eyeing the jury. His shoulders dropped as he was convicted of count #11, aggravated sexual abuse, realizing what this means. A paralegal at the defense table consoled Green by patting him on his back, even herself breaking down crying at the end of the verdicts.
After Russell finished reading the verdicts, he begged questions of the respective attorneys. Wendelsdorf, intending to ensure the absolution of the verdict, requested the jury be polled. Honorable Judge Russell asked each juror if they agreed with these verdicts, receiving a simple-but-sufficient yes from all jurors. Green watched the jury flatly.
From the September 4th, 2009 snapshot:
Turning to the United States and what may be the only accountability for the crimes in Iraq. May 7th Steven D. Green (pictured above) was convicted for his crimes in March 12, 2006 gang-rape and murder of Abeer Qassim Hamza al-Janabi, the murder of her parents and the murder of her five-year-old sister while Green was serving in Iraq. Green was found to have killed all four, to have participated in the gang-rape of Abeer and to have been the ringleader of the conspiracy to commit the crimes and the conspiracy to cover them up. May 21st, the federal jury deadlocked on the death penalty and instead kicking in sentence to life in prison. Today, Green stood before US District Judge Thomas B. Russell for sentencing. Kim Landers (Australia's ABC) quotes Judge Russell telling Green his actions were "horrifying and inexcusable." Not noted in any of the links in this snapshot (it comes from a friend present in the court), Steven Dale Green has dropped his efforts to appear waif-ish in a coltish Julia Roberts circa the 1990s manner. Green showed up a good twenty pounds heavier than he appeared when on trial, back when the defense emphasized his 'lanky' image by dressing him in oversized clothes. Having been found guilty last spring, there was apparently no concern that he appear frail anymore.
Italy's AGI reports, "Green was recognised as the leader of a group of five soldiers who committed the massacre on September 12 2006 at the Mahmudiyah check point in the south of Baghdad. The story inspired the 2007 masterpiece by Brian De Palma 'Redacted'." BBC adds, "Judge Thomas Russell confirmed Green would serve five consecutive life sentences with no chance of parole." Deborah Yetter (Courier-Journal) explains, "Friday's federal court hearing was devoted mostly to discussion of technical issues related to Green's sentencing report, although it did not change Green's sentence. He was convicted in May of raping and murdering Abeer al-Janabi, 14, and murdering her parents, Kassem and Fakhriya, and her sister, Hadeel, 6, at their home outside Baghdad."
Green was tried in civilian court because he had already been discharged before the War Crimes were discovered. Following the gang-rape and murders, US soldiers attempted to set fire to Abeer's body to destroy the evidence and attempted to blame the crimes on "insurgents." In real time, when the bodies were discovered, the New York Times was among the outlets that ran with "insurgents." Green didn't decide he wanted to be in the military on his own. It was only after his most recent arrest -- after a long string of juvenile arrests -- while sitting in jail and fearing what sentence he would face, that Green decided the US Army was just the place he wanted to be. Had he been imprisoned instead or had the US military followed rules and guidelines, Green wouldn't have gotten in on a waiver. Somehow his history was supposed to translate into "He's the victim!!!!" As if he (and the others) didn't know rape was a crime, as if he (and the others) didn't know that murder was considered wrong. Green attempted to climb up on the cross again today. AP's Brett Barrouguere quotes the 'victim' Green insisting at today's hearing, "You can act like I'm a sociopath. You can act like I'm a sex offender or whatever. If I had not joined the Army, if I had not gone to Iraq, I would not have got caught up in anything." Climb down the cross, drama queen. Your entire life was about leading up to a moment like that. You are a sociopath. You stalked a 14-year-old Iraqi girl while you were stationed at a checkpoint in her neighborhood. You made her uncomfortable and nervous, you stroked her face. She ran to her parents who made arrangements for her to go live with others just to get her away from you, the man the army put there to protect her and the rest of the neighborhood. You are one sick f**k and you deserve what you got. Green play drama queen and insist "you can act like I'm a sex offender" -- he took part in and organized a gang-rape of a 14-year-old girl. That's a sex offender. In fact, "sex offender" is a mild term for what Green is.
Steven D. Green made the decision to sign up for the US military. He was facing criminal punishment for his latest crimes, but he made the decision. Once in the military, despite his long history of arrests, he didn't see it as a chance to get a fresh start. He saw it as a passport for even more crimes. What he did was disgusting and vile and it is War Crimes and by doing that he disgraced himself and the US military. His refusal to take accountability today just demonstrates the realities all along which was Green did what he wanted and Green has no remorse. He sullied the name of the US military, he sullied the name of the US. As a member of the army, it was his job to follow the rules and the laws and he didn't do so. And, as a result, a retaliation kidnapping of US soldiers took place in the spring of 2006 and those soldiers were strung up and gutted. That should weigh heavily on Steven D. Green but there's no appearance that he's ever thought of anyone but himself. He wants to act as if the problem was the US military which requires that you then argue that anyone serving in Iraq could have and would have done what he did. That is not reality. He does not represent the average soldier and he needs to step down from the cross already.
AFP notes, "During closing arguments at his sentencing, Green was described alternately as 'criminal and perverse' and deserving of the death penalty, and as a 'broken warrior" whose life should be spared'." Brett Barrouquere (AP) has been covering the story for years now. He notes that Patrick Bouldin (defense) attempted to paint Green as the victim as well by annoucing that Green wanted to take responsibility "twice" before but that Assistant US Attorney Marisa Ford explained that was right before jury selection began and in the midst of jury selection. In other words, when confronted with the reality that he would be going to trial, Steven D. Green had a panic moment and attempted to make a deal with the prosecution. (The offer was twice rejected because the 'life in prison' offer included the defense wanting Green to have possible parole.) Steve Robrahn, Andrew Stern and Paul Simao (Reuters) quote US Brig Gen Rodney Johnson ("Commanding General of the U.S. Army Criminal Investigation Command") stating, "We sincerely hope that today's sentencing helps to bring the loved ones of this Iraqi family some semblance of closure and comfort after this horrific and senseless act."
Green went into the military to avoid criminal charges on another issue. He was one of many that the military lowered the standards for.
May 28, 2009, the family of Abeer gave their statements to the court before leaving to return to Iraq. WHAS11 (text and video) reported on the court proceedings:
Gary Roedemeier: Crimes were horrific. A band of soldiers convicted of planning an attack against an Iraqi girl and her family.
Melissa Swan: The only soldier tried in civilian court is Steven Green. The Fort Campbell soldier was in federal court in Louisville this morning, facing the victims' family and WHAS's Renee Murphy was in that courtroom this morning. She joins us live with the information and also more on that heart wrenching scene of when these family members faced the man who killed their family.
Renee Murphy: I mean, they came face to face with the killer. Once again, the only thing different about this time was that they were able to speak with him and they had an exchange of dialogue and the family is here from Iraq and they got to ask Steven Green all the questions they wanted answered. They looked each other in the eye. Green appeared calm and casual in court. The victims' family, though, outraged, emotional and distraught. Now cameras were not allowed in the courtroom so we can't show video of today's hearing but here's an account of what happened. (Video begins] This is a cousin of a 14-year-old Iraqi girl raped and killed by Steven Green. He and other family members in this SUV were able to confront Green in federal court this morning. Their words were stinging and came from sheer grief. Former Fort Campbell soldier Steven Green was convicted of killing an Iraqi mother, father and their young daughter. He then raped their 14-year-old daughter, shot her in the head and set her body on fire. Today the victim's family was able to give an impact statement at the federal court house the young sons of the victims asked Green why he killed their father. an aunt told the court that "wounds are still eating at our heart" and probably the most compelling statements were from the girls' grandmother who sobbed from the stand and demanded an explanation from Green. Green apologized to the family saying that he did evil things but he is not an evil person. He says that he was drunk the night of the crimes in 2006 and he was following the orders of his commanding officers. In his statement, Green said if it would bring these people back to life I would do everything I could to make them execute me. His statement goes on to say, "Before I went to Iraq, I never thought I would intentionally kill a civilian. When I was in Iraq, something happened to me that I can only explain by saying I lost my mind. I stopped seeing Iraqis as good and bad, as men, women and children. I started seeing them all as one, and evil, and less than human." Green didn't act alone. His codefendants were court-martialed and received lesser sentences. Green will be formally sentenced to life in prison in September. [End of videotape.] The answers that Green gave were not good enough for some of the family members. at one point today, the grandmother of the young girls who were killed left the podium and started walking towards Green as he sat at the defendant's table shouting "Why!" She was forcibly then escorted to the back of the court room by US Marshalls. She then fell to the ground and buried her face in her hands and began to cry again. The family pleaded with the court for the death sentence for Green. but you can see Green's entire statement to the court on our website whas11.com and coming up tonight at six o'clock, we're going to hear from Green's attorneys.
Steven D. Green was convicted of War Crimes.
This was not a minor story.
Maybe it is to Mia Farrow.
He's dead now, he killed himself in prison.
Is Steven D. Green representative of all US service members?
Not in the least.
But Mia -- and Tammy Duckworth -- would have us provide blind worship.
The military is not any better or any more noble than any other segment of America. (Nor is it any worse than any other segment of America.)
Teachers? I'd argue they're a national treasure of this country.
Or single-parents who work endlessly on behalf of their children.
Or medical professionals, fire fighters, activists who lead when others cower (AIDS activists faced huge backlash, to name but one example) . . .
Get the point?
There are people who give their all every day and they are national treasures -- regardless of what their occupation is.
Tammy's someone who's always been a little heavy on the war trigger.
Chris Hayes supports her?
Of course he does. The faux left of THE NATION backed her over a true progressive. Remember when Laura Flanders played shocked on her radio show when a call in denounced the decision to have Tammy on as a guest and not the real progressive in the race?
She wasn't shocked.
She was following orders.
It's the playbook.
Now I'm not overly fond of Tammy but I've defended her here when it was warranted.
And that includes when Nancy Pelosi refused to allow Tammy to vote in a party matter from her home because that would have hurt Nancy's crony Corrine Brown.
Now she's trying to raise money for an appeal.
But Nancy said that a woman -- a pregnant woman on bed rest per doctor, forbidden from flying into DC -- could not vote in a party matter -- this wasn't a Congressional vote.
She said that because she's not a feminist.
Rules have to change.
That's true for the military -- which must allow transgendered persons to serve. It's true for Nancy's little fiefdom which wants to pretend that it doesn't have to address issues like pregnancy -- issues that effect millions of women in America.
As for Mia, maybe she should go back to advocating for another war?
She's cheered the Iraq War, the Libyan War, war on Sudan . . .
I guess she was really just a "hippie" in the 60s so she could f**k around on Frank.
Sweet little Mia, screwing John Phillips and anyone else she could get her hands on and then boo-hooing when Frank divorced her.
Again, I'm sure she can find a war to cheer on.
Or maybe she can go visit her child molesting brother in prison?
Or attend another anti-abortion rally?
Yes, Mia, I'm out for blood these days. Crawl back under your rock, you know how ugly this can get.
Soon you will be gone
Take your violet and blue mornings with you
-- "Violet and Blue," written by Stevie Nicks, first appears on the AGAINST ALL ODDS soundtrack
Steven D. Green was a War Criminal.
Despite being convicted for this, his story is little known.
Few wanted to cover it.
Which makes this Tweet from Kelley B. Vlahos all the more disturbing:
The link goes to a piece by retired Maj Todd E. Pierce which concludes:
The closing the Office of Global Criminal Justice just makes official what has been U.S. policy since 9/11. If it is true that hypocrisy is the tribute that vice pays to virtue, then the U.S. government has showered tribute upon vice with the hypocrisy of the Office of Global Criminal Justice. If it closes, it means we won't even pay tribute anymore to virtue, preferring to fully embrace vice in a display of our "authenticity." And that may be the one example where the "Office of Global Criminal Justice" fulfills its mission to "expose the truth."
Today, Human Rights Watch notes:
An Iraqi army division trained by the United States government allegedly executed several dozen prisoners in Mosul’s Old City, Human Rights Watch said today. Two international observers detailed the summary killings of four people by the Iraqi army’s 16th Division in mid-July 2017, and saw evidence that the unit had executed many more people, including a boy.
The US government should suspend all assistance and support to the 16th Division pending Iraq’s full investigation of the allegations and appropriate prosecutions, Human Rights Watch said. Under the “Leahy Law,” the US is prohibited from providing military assistance to any unit of foreign security forces if there is credible evidence that the unit has committed gross violations of human rights and no “effective measures” are being taken to bring those responsible to justice.
“The US government should make sure it is no longer providing assistance to the Iraqi unit responsible for this spate of executions but also suspend any plans for future assistance until these atrocities have been properly investigated,” said Sarah Leah Whitson, Middle East director at Human Rights Watch. “Given the widespread abuses by Iraqi forces and the government’s abysmal record on accountability, the US should take a hard look at its involvement with Iraqi forces.”
As we noted throughout this week, former prime minister of Iraq and forever thug Nouri al-Maliki has been in Russia this week.
Randa Slim (MEI) offers:
A sign of the new times in the Middle East is that politicians who are aspiring to leadership positions now head to Moscow to lobby for support. This is what Nouri al-Maliki, Iraq’s former prime minister, is currently doing in Moscow. Instead, Maliki was subjected to public humiliation with Russian foreign minister, Sergei Lavrov, obliging the former Iraqi PM and his delegation to wait 30 minutes while TV cameras were filming the visibly frustrated Iraqis.
Maliki wants his old job back. He is strongly opposed by the religious leadership in Najaf and by Moqtada al-Sadr. This means Iran faces limits in how far it can push Maliki’s bid. It is a cardinal rule among Iranian leaders, especially the supreme leader, that on the few times Najaf leadership speaks and takes a firm stand on an issue, Tehran must listen.
EL-BALAD weighs in with:
Sources said that although Maliki knows Russia does not have a role in his country، he coordinated the visit to Moscow without consulting with the Iraqi government or with Prime Minister Haidar al-Abadi.
According to some observers، Maliki wants to show his strength after his rule was marred by several controversies particularly regarding affairs related to corruption and investigation int.
Mosul falling into the hands of ISIS.
Let's go back to the transgender issue.
The Mia Farrows of the world -- when not tending to their child molesting brother -- think they can use Tammy Duckworth as their toy soldier.
Place her out in front of them and they've won.
It doesn't work that way.
J.R. Salzman is also a veteran of the Iraq War.
He served with bravery.
Tammy Duckworth is no better or worse than J.R. Salzman.
J.R. is opposed to allowing transgendered persons to serve in the military.
Here are some of his Tweets on the issue.
Serving in the military is a privilege not a right. And it is sure as hell not a social experiment.
That is the argument. If you're making this into an issue of identity politics & political correctness, then you're kneecaping the military
War doesn't give a sh*t about your identity. You either have the physical, mental, and emotional capacity to hack it or you don't. That's it
I care that people serving in the military have the mental physical and emotional capacity to do their job effectively. That's it.
Everyone can have an opinion.
(My opinion? Let them serve.)
And what makes Tammy or J.R.'s opinions more valid? Nothing.
I fucking love me some @MsSarahPaulson!
If you wanted to get into a validity contest, you could argue that Chaz, as a transgendered person, is an even more valid voice.
The issue is does it harm the service?
I would argue no.
Those arguing either way should back it up correctly.
Though the following share my opinion that transgendered persons should be allowed to serve, they do not make an argument that I want to be part of:
Iraq vet lawmaker: Ironic that draft dodger Trump is stopping trans people “who want to serve” hill.cm/c3yhOdm
Here's what Shane Ortega, a transgender Iraq and Afghanistan combat veteran, had to say about Trump: thestar.com/news/world/201…
That's not an argument for anything.
Nor is that this is a military matter.
Military matters are decided by the president of the United States -- whomever that is at any given time. There is civilian control over the military. We are not a junta.
If I had the space to make an argument this morning (we're way too long as it is), I'd build mine over 'dainty.'
I don't believe the military is so 'dainty' that it can not accommodate change or any American who wishes to serve. I don't believe it's so 'dainty' that it will fall apart.
I believe the military has often been tasked with duties and missions -- some that were beyond them -- and they've managed to rise to the occasion.
The military is not a 'dainty' object. It can expand and grow and has demonstrated that in the past.
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