Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi has begun an impeachment inquiry into President Trump for asking Ukraine president Volodymyr Zelensky to investigate former vice president Joe Biden and his son Hunter. I get that there is a strong desire for many Americans to be rid of what they see as the national nightmare of Trump's presidency. But I urge caution for several reasons.
First, this impeachment inquiry will not succeed in getting rid of Trump. To win, a supermajority of the Senate must vote for impeachment. This will not happen. Even if the inquiry clearly shows that Trump withheld military aid to pressure President Zelensky to give him dirt on Joe and Hunter, the inquiry will also expose the sleaziness of the Bidens.
After the successful overthrow of the elected Ukrainian government in 2014, Hunter Biden was paid $50,000 a month to sit on the board of Ukraine's biggest gas producer, Burisma Holdings. While this shady deal might not provide a legal defense to Trump, an impeachment inquiry is political, not criminal, and the behavior of the Bidens will at least muddy the waters enough to assure that Trump will survive impeachment.
Second, the mere fact that our corporate-controlled Congress is willing to take up the impeachment inquiry guarantees that it will produce no major reforms to better the lives of most Americans. Keep in mind that our national politics is dominated by two political parties that are beholden to the interests of big-money donors. Sure, there are a few members of Congress who don't rely on big donors, but they are the exception, and they do not control the agenda of their parties. Thus, rest assured that the big donors to Congress—big pharma, fossil fuel extractors, Wall Street, weapons manufacturers, agribusiness, big insurance, and for-profit health care—approve of its spending six months debating impeachment. Big business believes this impeachment inquiry will not threaten corporate profits or its ability to continue exerting control over government policy.
A dozen years ago, Speaker Pelosi rejected calls to begin an impeachment inquiry against President George W. Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney for lying us into the war in Iraq. The evidence there was clear and unambiguous. Bush and Cheney told the American people that there was "no doubt" that Iraqi president Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction. In fact, as the Bush team knew, the evidence of Saddam's WMDs was highly dubious. It was based on the word of a paid informant named Curveball, and on a crudely forged invoice purporting to show Saddam buying uranium from Africa. Both Curveball and the invoice were exposed as frauds, but Bush and Cheney continued lying to sell the war.
Bush's lies resulted in the deaths of at least a million innocent people, the destruction of a country, and the creation of ISIS. He and Cheney committed monstrous crimes, similar to crimes resulting in the execution of German generals at Nuremberg after World War II. Why then did Speaker Pelosi announce in 2006 that impeachment was "off the table" for Bush? Because the big corporate donors didn't want impeachment hearings over the Iraq war. Rather, the arms manufacturers, fossil fuel extractors, and other war profiteers want our presidents to be free to lie us into wars without any negative repercussions for the president, such as criminal penalties or impeachment.
Important column. And C.I. has an incredible snapshot today (posted in full at the end of my post). She really nails it down. And every day we learn more and more about the leaker who tries to pose as a whistle-blower. This is from INFORMATION CLEARING HOUSE:
Lawyers for the whistleblower said he had worked only "in the executive branch." The Washington Examiner has established that he is a career CIA analyst who was detailed to the National Security Council at the White House and has since left. On Sept. 26, the New York Times reported that he was a CIA officer. On Oct. 4, the newspaper added that he "was detailed to the National Security Council at one point."
Michael Atkinson, the Intelligence Community's inspector general, told members of Congress that the whistleblower had a "professional tie" to a 2020 Democratic candidate. He had written earlier that while the whistleblower's complaint was credible, he had shown "some indicia of an arguable political bias ... in favor of a rival political candidate."
A retired CIA officer told the Washington Examiner, “From everything we know about the whistleblower and his work in the executive branch then, there is absolutely no doubt he would have been working with Biden when he was vice president."
This is C.I.'s "Iraq snapshot" for today:
Thursday, October 10, 2019. Cindy Sheehan alerts to a protest on Friday, Amnesty International notices the abuse of protesters in Iraq, Joe Biden calls for impeachment to distract from his own issues and much more.
Starting with this Friday action:
So that's this Frdiay.
Let's move from real actions to outright whores.
Starting with this Friday action:
October 9, 2019
For immediate release:
One Day Until We Rage!
CONTACTS: Cindy Sheehan
Where: The White House; 1600 Pensylvania Ave
Date: Friday, October 11th
Time: 11 AM
Who: Activists from all over the US who are outraged by the continuing wars and devastation wrought by the
USA and its allies in war crimes.
What: An unpermitted march through the seat of violent
imperial power to Rage against the institutions,
people, and corporate power that make the wars and
other oppressions possible.
|CLICK BADASS BILLIE FOR MORE INFORMATION ABOUT RAGE|
Please read this statement by Black Alliance for Peace about Rage Against the War Machine.
Watch interview of Cindy on Mintpress News
CLICK PHOTO TO WATCH
Listen to this interview of Cindy on Loud and Clear
CLICK TO LISTEN TO THE INTERVIEW
CLICK THE IMAGE FOR INFORMATION ABOUT
THE ANTI-IMPERIALIST REVOLUTION SUMMIT
DONATE TO RAGE!
So that's this Frdiay.
Let's move from real actions to outright whores.
Thank you @joebiden campaign
Neera will never be anything but a whore. An ugly whore, yes, but still a whore. The nonsense above should make everyone remember that though she said publicly Hillary Clinton's e-mails weren't a story she privately said that this was huge and shouldn't have happened and she used hyperbole to describe what she thought should happen to whomever allowed Hillary to use her private e-mail while Secretary of Sate.
What's got her dirty panties all wet today is nothing to applaud unless you are a whore.
I'm real sorry to break it to you, but 'working the refs' isn't really the job of a campaign. And Joe Biden's thuggery is nothing to applaud. Dean Baquet doesn't need 'journalist Joe' telling him how to cover the news.
Joe's in a tizzy because Joe's in the wrong.
It was corruption, plain and simple. And Neera and the other whores can insist it doesn't matter that Joe's family were allowed to use his name and access to him to profit while Joe was Vice President but it does matter.
You've seen the press largely allow Joe's campaign to browbeat it into scared puppy status. Joe's actions are not actions you can defend. They go to graft, they go to corruption.
Some say they were illegal. I have not said that. Based on the little that is know, they were unethical. That doesn't mean that they were not illegal, it means that based upon what is publicly known, I haven't called them that and wouldn't call them that.
The press has a responsibility to investigate. Joe's bullied the press for days now and they've largely fallen in line.
My life does not revolve around Donald Trump. I am not following his Tweets.
But the press feels that is the 'story' because that is how Joe has framed it and tried to control the narrative. "Donald said I did something illegal!!!!" I don't give a damn what Donald said. But Joe's tried to make it about that to deflect from his own actions.
Whatever stupid thing Donald Trump said does not erase what Joe's brother James and what Joe's son Hunter did.
The press needs to do their job. If they're unable to do that, they better expect their already low image to drop even further. They're only interest is supposed to be the pursuit of the truth. The coverage is not supposed to be gamed or slanted.
That Joe Biden is a lousy candidate is a fairly obvious fact.
And maybe the campaign would be a little bit better if they weren't spending all their time trying to 'work the refs.'
Joe's legacy is one of corruption and that's reality.
Corruption: Joe Biden’s son makes thousands a month from Ukrainian government Joe Biden’s brother gets $1.5 Billion housing contract in Iraq while Biden was VP Joe Biden’s niece avoided jail time after stealing $100K in a credit card scam Where are the investigations?
Show me the falsehood in the above Tweet.
There is none.
And whores like Neera exist to lie to the American people. That's disgusting. She lies for votes. She's a two-bit whore -- she's also a woman who allowed sexual harassment in the workplace and then outed the victim, she's also a thug who physically assaulted someone working under her, she's trash. She's an ugly woman -- physically, she is disgusting. No waist, knobby knees, short legs and look at that face. But she's even uglier on the inside.
That the Democratic Party would allow her to be a representative doesn't say much for us.
Neera is all about lying and distracting.
Look at what she 'covers,' nothing of value. She's not using her time to talk about proposals by the candidates, she's trying to be the bully online that she is in real life.
Sorry, Neera, but the only thing scary about you is your face.
When Joe Biden's story of corruption first started getting attention in the last weeks, an idiot Tweeted a 'here's how we hang this on Trump' Tweet. I almost called him out but then looked at his history and grasped that he's not a player, he's not anyone involved and no one even follows him. He didn't get even one reTweet.
But though we won't name him now, we will talk about what he did.
As citizens, our response to corruption should never be, "Okay, here's how we manage this!"
That doesn't address corruption, that doesn't change anything.
As citizens in a democracy, we need to demand openess and transparency. We don't need to encourage cover-ups or distractions.
What Joe did needs to be rebuked. It is not appropriate, while you are being paid by the taxpayer, for your family to profit on your name and on your influence (perceived influence or actual influence).
What Joe did was wrong.
What's worse is he's supposed to be so wise.
Instead of addressing it, which would have shown wisdom, he's trying to control the narrative and he should not be allowed to.
Weeks ago, he could have come forward and made a real statement.
He could have claimed not to have known what was going on.
And he might have slid on that if he had taken responsibility.
"I did not know what my family was doing but I promise you that, if elected president, this will not happen."
There were concerns about Hillary Clinton being Secretary of State -- about The Clinton Foundation or Bill Clinton profiting off her public service. So a whole system was put in place to ensure that nothing would happen that was unethical.
What Joe and his family did was unethical.
His response has been to snap at reporters, to tell them that Donald Trump is the story (not him) and to try to control the narrative while hiding out nursing his wounds.
He's getting a little desperate because it was explained to him over the weekend that this isn't playing.
People far above Neera are objecting to Joe's refusal to take ownership of his actions. This hiding out is ridiculous and can you imagine him getting the nomination and pulling this crap in the general election? Joe On The Down Low is not a campaign that will be effective. Has Anyone Seen Joe Lately is not a good campaign slogan.
The Neeras have no ethics. We do not need to become a nation of Neeras. ( A) We're far better than that and (B) real democracy is not built on trying to put one over on the people.
We have to reject the Neeras not just because we're better than them but because, for an open society, we have to be better than them.
Joe has made one mistake after another and he's paid for it. (Especially among super delegates who are lodging the loudest objections to how he's running his campaign -- grasp that, super delegates are more critical than the press.) He's no longer seen as a sure thing (even with all the propping up he continues to receive from the press).
Oh man, this story might as well be headlined “Joe Biden Thinks This Is 1992”. Every detail shows how he is simply not nimble or clear-headed enough about GOP sociopathy to deal with what’s coming if he gets the nomination.
I agree with Amanda about Joe not being the right candidate. But let's not miss why he's calling for impeachment -- why he's now calling for it. It turns the story around and maybe then people aren't talking about his drug addict son -- who didn't get rehab -- or the divorce papers that talked about how Hunter spent all of his money on drugs and hookes -- and we're talking a man staring down fifty, not a kid. Forget the corruption, none of that looks good for Joe, Hunter is a mess. And at some point people are going to get tired of it. Where was the SNL skit that had Joe speaking and the dentures slipping out? That was funny when it happened in the debate. I have a friend who desperately wants to look young and she went to a premiere in the UK with her skin taped back underneath her wig -- the way Bette Davis used to do all those years ago. And, in front of the photographers, the tape slipped. I'm sorry but that's funny. That's really funny.
And the whole Joe campaign is built around ignoring reality. Don't talk about Hunter and how sick and disgusting it was that, when Beau died, Hunter moved in on his brother's widow. Don't talk about Hunter's crack use. Don't talk about Joe's denture slippage.
Don't, don't, don't.
America doesn't like being told don't. An that, more anything else, will doom a Biden presidential campaign.
Impeachment? Joe wants to talk impeachment now. Fine. Ask him what Donald Trump has done that is impeachable.
His talks with leaders of Ukraine are not impeachable and I said that long ago. He is the chief officer of the Executive Branch. If he has serious concerns, he can convey them to anyone he wants. In fact, he has a duty to do so. (It's called an oath of office.) Furthermore, he never should have released the transcript of the call. Not because it exposes wrong doing (it doesn't) but because that's executive privilege. Bill Clinton would have fought the release if he were president but he has a legal background, Donald doesn't. Donald also doesn't appear to care a great deal about the office and felt it was more immportant to say, "See, I didn't do anything wrong!"
To try to make this look back, Nancy Pelosi and others in Congress have ascribed motive to what was done. They can't prove their motive argument. But even if they could, it wouldn't make what Donald did illegal or impeachable.
But there argument is that Donald misused his power to try to alter the 2020 election.
What's the term here? Projection?
Because Nancy is using the air quotes of impeachment to try to influence the 2020 election.
You want to impeach Donald Trump, then do so.
But this nonsense that's passing for impeachment is not designed to get anywhere, just to get headlines and coverage. Nancy's abusing her office. She's not doing what the people need or want, she's acting out of partisanship.
If she believes it's time to impeach, call for the vote. And the votes are there, the trial will take place -- and it will take place in the Senate because that's what the Constitution says. Instead, she's doing everything to ruin a sitting president. She doesn't want him impeached, by her actions, she just wants him ruined.
I'm opposed to impeachment. We're 13 months or so away from an election. The charges being bandied about are not impeachable charges. If they wanted to get serious, I'd argue there are many issues they could have impeached him over. But they don't want to get serious.
And they don't want to do their jobs.
If you take them at their words, they're are bound by duty to impeach. Okay, then impeach. Stop stalling and impeach.
They won't do it.
It's all nonsense and perception management. I don't know why being manipulative has overtaken being plain spoken as what we root for in our public servants.
A few more notes on impeachment. Jerry Nadler is well respected and that's where any House investigation should be coming from, his Committee, the Judiciary Committee. Adam Schiff has been caught lying far too many times to be believed as the head of an impeachment investigation. The leaker will have to come forward. Trina rightly pointed out that he is not the woman accusing William Kennedy Smith of rape, he does not need a dot over his face so no one can see him. (Or her.) Anita Hill had to testify publicly. This person has made accusations based on what people have told him/her, not on what the person observed. The leaker is a joke. Chelsea Manning, Ed Snowden and others are whistle-blowers. Adam Schiff's office having contact with the leaker before the complaint was filed add further question marks.
Impeachment is a serious action and it's not a whisper campaign.
If they want to impeach, do it. But do it publicly and per custom and rule.
Imran Khan (ALJAZEERA -- link is text and video) reports, "Iraq's prime minister has announced three days of mourning for the demonstrators killed in anti-government protests over corruption and unemployment. At least 110 people were killed and thousands injured in Baghdad and other cities during days of unrest." Arwa Damon, Brice Laine, and Kareem Khadder (CNN) report:
On Saturday night, the Saudi-owned al-Arabiya TV station said masked men beat up their employees and smashed equipment. A number of other local stations also said their offices were targeted.
Activists have viewed the attacks as part of a broader effort to suppress the media. Many also claim the government is afraid of what will happen if countless videos showing atrocities are uploaded once the country is back online.
The government says it only shoots when fired on, but those who took part in the demonstrations dispute that. They claim security forces and Iranian-backed militias are deliberately shooting into the crowds.
Amnesty International issued the following:
The Iraqi security forces’ escalating use of excessive and deadly force against anti-government protesters must be properly investigated, Amnesty International said after interviewing eight activists who witnessed protesters being killed by sniper fire.
Amnesty International spoke to eight activists, protesters and journalists from Baghdad, Najaf, and Diwaniya, all of whom described security forces using excessive force, including live ammunition, to disperse protesters. The organization further verified and geolocated audiovisual material depicting a pattern of shootings that are consistent with sniper fire, and the specific details of these attacks were corroborated with witness testimony from Baghdad. Meanwhile, the organization gathered new testimonies describing the Iraqi authorities’ sinister campaign of harassment, intimidation and arrests of peaceful activists, journalists and protesters.
“The Iraqi authorities’ brazen use of excessive and lethal force against protesters in Baghdad and elsewhere must not be allowed to be swept under the rug. The Iraqis have paid too high a price simply to be able to exercise their right to freedom of peaceful assembly,” said Lynn Maalouf, Amnesty International’s Middle East Research Director.
“Authorities must immediately and without any delay act on their promise to set up an investigation. This promise is already ringing hollow as protesters continue to be harassed and threatened into silence, in addition to being hunted down and killed in the streets. They must commit to holding those found to be responsible for these crimes.”
Shoot to kill
One protester from Baghdad described how a suspected sniper targeted a protester and then fired at others who tried to help him.
“There was a person who was hit by the sniper. Five people ran towards him to help and they were all shot one after the other. There were bodies all along the street. They all had shots in the head and chest,” he said.
Footage verified by Amnesty International was consistent with the location and witness’ description of the incident. However, the organization has not been able to verify the identity or affiliation of the snipers.
On 6 October, the Iraqi authorities blamed “anonymous snipers” for the killing of protesters, but witnesses said the sniper fire was coming from behind the line of security forces. And in none of the reported cases of sniper fire are security forces known to have protected protesters, nor have police intervened and arrested anyone responsible for firing at demonstrations. It is the government’s responsibility to protect those peacefully exercising their right to freedom of assembly.
One protester told Amnesty International: “How can the government say they do not know who the sniper is? And if the forces did not know, once they realized that why did they not warn the protesters? The forces were focused on making sure no one helped the injured.”
In one area of Baghdad, protesters told Amnesty International that security forces had prevented injured protesters from reaching nearby hospitals, and arrested those who did make it to the hospital on the night of Wednesday 2 October.
Witnesses from the capital also described what they believed to be sniper fire at the protests between Thursday 3 October and Sunday 6 October. They also reported armed men shooting at protesters and driving towards them in an apparent attempt to run them over. Witnesses in Baghdad also described security forces surrounding protesters in the city’s Za’faraniya district and opening continuous live fire on them.
Campaign of intimidation
Journalists and activists who spoke to Amnesty International have also reported receiving threatening phone calls and indirect warnings from security forces telling them to “keep silent” and that their names have been added to “a list” compiled by intelligence services for “supporting” protesters. Journalists have been accused of reporting false information regarding the use of excessive force by security forces.
One protester from Baghdad said: “Anybody who has used his phone to make a call, take or spread photos of violations during the protests is in danger.”
Witnesses in Baghdad, Diwaniya and Najaf said security forces carried out hundreds of arbitrary arrests of protesters, often chasing them into side streets amid the chaos of people running away from tear gas and live ammunition.
Meanwhile, access to the internet and social media was blocked on Tuesday evening after a temporary lift on Sunday night. Access to the internet was unblocked briefly on Wednesday but has since remained restricted, while access to social media platforms remained blocked.
Activists told Amnesty International that they were calling for a change of government because they no longer believe any promises made by the current government, which they accuse of ignoring years of protests.
“We have been protesting since 2008 and nothing has changed. Now, we don’t want political parties to represent or lead us in these protests because without them we are strong and credible. We have stood by the government against Daesh [the armed group callilng itself Islamic State] and when they were liberating areas we supported them. We waited but what is the excuse now? They promise numbers, jobs, changes and all we get is the same: corruption and nepotism,” a protester from Bagdad told Amnesty International.
On 6 October and 9 October, in response to the protests, the Iraqi government made a number of promises that include building housing units, social security payments for families in need, and grants to unemployed citizens, economic support to tackle poverty and well as compensation for families of those killed during the demonstrations.
“These promises will simply not fly when Iraqis continue to be threatened into silence, arrested, and killed in the streets. The Iraqi authorities must respect people’s right to express themselves and to assemble without fear of repercussions. They must immediately and unconditionally release all those detained solely for peacefully exercising their rights to protest and freedom of expression, and commit to holding to account security forces responsible for intimidation and excessive use of force, including by bringing to justice those responsible for unlawful killings and injuries,” said Lynn Maalouf.
Iraqi government has accomplished something on the world level! Great job guys
Aljumhoriya bridge in #baghdad , the security officer shot a live ammunition directly under the feet of a protester who said I am not scared keep shooting! This is not how you deal with unarmed protesters
The following sites updated: