Monday, November 8, 2021

Grab bag

Kat's "Kat's Korner: No, Diana Ross, Thank You" reviews Diana Ross' new album THANK YOU.  Kat's review went up over the weekend as did Isaiah's THE WORLD TODAY JUST NUTS "That Moment Nancy Can't Live Down"  


This is from today's MORNING EDITION on NPR:


RACHEL MARTIN, HOST: Today, the U.S. Supreme Court hears arguments in a case involving an FBI undercover operation at a mosque in California. A group of Muslim men are suing the FBI in a class-action lawsuit over a nearly yearlong surveillance program. The operation, at least publicly, yielded no results. And as NPR's Nina Totenberg reports, it ended up being a huge embarrassment to the bureau. 

NINA TOTENBERG, BYLINE: In hindsight, the covert operation unfolded like some sort of dark comedy, as Ira Glass reported on This American Life. 


IRA GLASS: It is a cautionary tale. It is a case where we can watch everything go wrong. 

TOTENBERG: It all started in 2006 in Orange County, Calif. At that point, a homegrown terrorist on the FBI's most wanted list had attended services at an Orange County mosque. Relations between the Muslim community and the FBI were so fraught that the head of the Los Angeles FBI office, Steven Tidwell, decided he should do a town hall at a mosque that he picked - the Islamic Center of Irvine. At the meeting, Tidwell repeatedly sought to assure the audience that the FBI was not secretly monitoring them. 


STEVEN TIDWELL: What I'm saying - FBI - we will tell you we're coming for the very reason we don't want you to think you're being monitored. 

TOTENBERG: But even as he was saying that, the FBI was recruiting an undercover informant to infiltrate the mosque and catch anyone who might be recruiting and training terrorists. The informant was named Craig Monteilh, a trainer at a local gym who had a checkered past. He posed as a Muslim convert at the Irvine mosque, one of the largest in Southern California. As Sam Black reported for This American Life... 


SAM BLACK: The FBI later confirmed in court that Craig was an undercover informant. A district attorney also stated in court that Craig did work with agent Kevin Armstrong and that Craig had given the FBI, quote, "very, very valuable information." 

TOTENBERG: The bureau has also confirmed that Monteilh secretly recorded tons of audio and video of the people he was making friends with at the mosque. Probing for radical sentiments, he started pummeling his new friends with questions about jihad, making some of them very uneasy. Eventually, he would do much more, as he later told This American Life. 


CRAIG MONTEILH: I said, we should carry out a terrorist attack in this country because I'm tired of just staying around doing nothing. We should bomb something. 

TOTENBERG: When Monteilh, said that to two of the guys he'd been hanging out with, they freaked out. But they didn't know who to call or how to report Monteilh. So they contacted Hussam Ayloush, director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations in Southern California. 


HUSSAM AYLOUSH: I told them, calm down. You're not responsible for anything. You're doing the right thing. You're calling the authorities. So even if the guy is planning on anything, you have nothing to worry about. You're not accomplices. 

TOTENBERG: Now, Ayloush was the person who'd arranged that earlier townhall with Agent Tidwell. So he called Tidwell. But Tidwell, after thanking Ayloush for the tip, did an odd thing. He told Ayloush to call the local police and didn't even ask for the alleged terrorist's name. Again, reporter Sam Black. 


BLACK: Tidwell wouldn't speak to me for this story, so I don't know what he thought when his own informant was reported to him as a terrorist. But not long after this phone call, the FBI launched an investigation into Craig, which, no matter how you look at it, was a very strange undertaking. FBI agents were going around asking questions about an FBI informant, treating him as an actual suspect they were investigating. 

TOTENBERG: The Muslim community came to believe that this was just another ploy, a way to leverage people and get them to inform on others. And three of the people who were spied upon sued the FBI. The lead plaintiff is Sheikh Yassir Fazaga, who in 2006 was the imam at the Orange County Islamic Foundation.




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

 Monday, November 8, 2021.  What took place in Baghdad?  Logic is missing from the bulk of the storyline.

So much nonsense passing for coverage out of Iraq.  Reality, Mustafa al-Kadhimi is an outgoing prime minister.  He's enjoy his moment of high drama and the whores in the press love it because it allows them to pretend they're doing their job.

The western press is not doing its job, it never does its job and, after all, that is why Iraq suffers.


Diana Ross' THANK YOU came out last Friday.  

"That's "All Is Well," her first video in years.  It was released November 5th and already has over 1 million views.

As I worried/warned over two weeks ago, the world would see the release of Diana's new album before it saw an official, final tally of the votes in the Iraqi election.

This isn't minor but it's not a flashy new toy that press can play with so they ignore reality and act like the attack that might have been an assassination attempt on Mustafa al-Kadhimi is something major.

If the attack was aimed at him, surely one of the reasons for it is because there is no final count.

For those not paying attention and easily misled, that election took place October 10th.  We are two days shy of a full month.  And we still await the final count.  That would be bad in any post-2002 invasion election in Iraq.  It's made worse.  First off, none of the previous votes took this long to arrive at the final count.  Second, The electoral commission, ahead of the election, told the Iraqi people they would have the final tally within 24 hours of the election.

Are things 'tense' in Iraq because of the possible assassination attempt on Mustafa last Saturday?

Well, sorry to be the one to inform you, but things were tense before it.  Which is why Friday's snapshot noted the protests in Baghdad by people who felt their voting rights had been stripped away and who had a violent clash with elements of the security forces.

See, the way the western whores tell the story, once upon a time everything was groovy in Iraq but then came a Saturday when, for no reason, Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kahdimi was almost assassinated.

That's not reality.

Alistair Jameson (INDEPENDENT) reported:

Iraq’s Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi survived an assassination attempt with armed drones that targeted his residence early on Sunday.

Seven of his security guards were injured in the attack, which occurred in Baghdad’s heavily fortified Green Zone area.

AP noted, "Two Iraqi officials told The Associated Press that seven of al-Kadhimi's security guards were injured in the attack with two armed drones which occurred in Baghdad's heavily fortified Green Zone area. They spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to give official statements."  THE GUARDIAN reminded:

Protests turned deadly on Friday when the demonstrators marched towards the Green Zone and there was an exchange of fire in which one protester was killed and dozens of security forces were injured.

Al-Khadimi ordered an investigation to determine what sparked the clashes and who violated orders not to open fire. Some militia leaders have openly blamed al-Kadhimi for Friday’s clashes and the protester’s death.

Al-Kadhimi, 54, was Iraq’s former intelligence chief before becoming prime minister in May last year. He is considered by the militias to be close to the US, and has tried to find a balance between Iraq’s alliances with the US and Iran.

That would be the only real reason to attack Mustafa.

He's an outgoing prime minister.  He's not liked by the people.  He's not like by the political blocs.  He's been propped up by news outlets that he used to work for who've raved over him while failing to disclose that he's their buddy that they used to work with.  He's been inept.  He's been cowardly.  He's failed to deliver.

This overdue vote tally?

A prime example of Mustafa's 'leadership.'  The most basic things? He can't even deliver them.  He was going to take on corruption, remember?  It's only more entrenched than before he became prime minister.  

He was supposed to be a one term prime minister presiding over a brief term.  He then tried to lengthen his own term by postponing early elections (they were supposed to take place last year) and he then tried to pursue a second term.  

He's as corrupt as anything he was supposed to take on.  He's been revealed as a fraud to everyone.  His support is so small it's insignificant.  And along comes an assassination attempt?

On Arabic social media, they note he's issuing statements like a braggard, basically challenging the culprits.  They note that it all seems a little stage managed, a little bit of created drama and they point to the United States government who, ahead of the election, back him and whored for him.

The US government's never given a damn about the Iraqi people which is why they continue to suffer.  They don't care that Mustafa is just another failure destroying the lives of the Iraqi people.

And a significant number of Iraqis on social media feel that the US carried out a stunt -- one never intended to kill Mustafa -- in an attempt to force the Iraqi people to rally around poor Mustafa.

If that is what happened and that was the goal, it's not working.  No one's rally around the idiot.

If that isn't what happened?

The most likely to have carried out a serious attack would be elements of the militias linked to Iran.

They were disenfranchised in the October election.  


This isn't what the western press tells you.  It tells you that they are poor sports.  They're poor sports unhappy because they did so poorly in the elections.   The reality is that they were not allowed to vote.  They are part of the Iraqi security forces.  It's a move I didn't favor before it happened, didn't favor when it happened and don't favor now.  But it's a moved the Iraqi government made.

Security forces were allowed to vote the Friday before the election.  Why? Because they always vote before the election.  They do that because they have to provide protection during the actual election.  Right before the election, it was announced that some parts of the militias wouldn't be allowed to -- this or that paperwork snafu, supposedly.

That disenfranchised them.

That prevented them from voting.

And somehow, whether you're AP or NYT, it's beyond your ability to note that basic fact.  

Instead, you make absurd claims that there's been no proof of irregularities and . . .

Denying the militias the right to vote is the proof.  It is a basic fact.

And you better believe that if this was a group Mustafa thought would support him, he would have been demanding that the security forces -- all of them -- be allowed to early vote.

He refused to do it.

Which goes to just what trash he is.  He's made no move to remove the militias from Iraq's security forces.  So they're part of that body and, as such, they have every right to vote early for the same reason others do -- they will be out of their own voting districts on election day because they will have to protect polling places.  

It's not that hard to grasp their outrage.

But if you're a western 'reporter,' you pretend to be confused by everything and you falsely insist that there are no signs of irregularities.  Disenfranchisement -- done publicly -- is your sign of an irregularity.


“These cowardly drones do not help in building nations.” Iraqi PM Mustafa al-Kadhimi addressed the nation and called for calm after surviving an assassination attempt from a drone attack Arrow pointing rightwards then curving downwards
0:03 / 2:31
Video: Iraq PM Mustafa al-Kadhimi survives ‘assassination attempt’
More on

These cowardly drones?  Like the one Turkey's used in northern Iraq to terrorize villages while Mustafa's said not one damn word?  Despite the fact that he took an oath to defend Iraq?  

Turkey's got military bases inside Iraq and ground soldiers and the people of northern Iraq are being terrorized.  One little attack that might or might have been aimed at him really pales in comparison to that reality.

Remarks on Mustafa's 'brave' statements are to the point.  Commentators point out that he's trying to play "the victim."  They wonder if the whole thing was staged.

He's apparently not intent on playing to his own country.  Who's he playing to?  Looks like the west which is why the western press keeps whoring for him.

It the western press was truly concerned about Iraq, it would be editorializing that it is past time to issue the final, official count of the ballots.  It would be calling out this long delay -- longer than any delay in any previous Iraq election since the 2003 invasion.  

Instead, they ignore the huge delay and act like something normal is happening, like something that has always happened is not taking place.

When that many people work so hard to distort reality, people have good reason to be suspicious.

Earlier this morning, RT Tweeted:

Iraqi PM Mustafa Al-Kadhimi claims that the government knows who was responsible for the reported drone attack against his residence, and will expose them MORE:

Oh, he's going to expose them, is he?

Strange.  Shouldn't he ust have them arrested?

That's what is supposed to happen if someone tries to kill you, they get arrested.  

Maybe Mustafa's planning to accuse someone he doesn't have the proof to arrest?

I have no idea.  But it's strange that he heads the government, a legal body, but he's not talking about arrest, just exposure. 

I guess that's another thing we're not supposed to notice, question or comment on.

Liz Sly (WASHINGTON POST) grabs a cup of coffee and sits down at the kitchen table with Lucy Ricardo and Ethel Mertz to offer:

Iran-backed militias carried out the drone attack on Iraqi PM Mustafa al-Kadhimi, security officials tell Reuters. One says it was Kataeb Hezbollah & AAH, another says it was just KH. Iran has blamed “foreign think tanks” without specifying which one.

Is that the official whisper, Liz?  Strange because if you know a body carried out an assassination attempt the smart thing to do would be to arrest them.  Standing around doing nothing?  That would allow them to make a second or third attempt, wouldn't it?

I have no idea what happened.  I know that Iraqis aren't buying the pimped story.  And I know that Mustafa's supposed response to an assassination attempt really isn't the way someone responds.  It was still Saturday night in the US when that took place -- we covered it Saturday night.  It's now Monday morning.  You know who was responsible?  Then why haven't they been arrested?  That's a basic question everyone should be asking.

And the militias may very well have tried to carry out an assassination.  If so, it was most likely over Mustafa disenfranchising them.  It wasn't to kill him before his second term because no one thinks he's getting a second term.  Whomever carried it out might have been trying to destabilize Iraq.

Which is all the more reason that a functioning western press would be demanding that the final vote count be issued.  But they aren't, are they?

And we're not supposed to see that as strange?

The only way what's gone down makes any sense is if you suspend all rational thought capability.  That's apparently never been a difficult for the western press to do.

 ARAB WEEKLY types up:

With the failed assassination attempt against Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi, pro-Iranian militias in Iraq, have lost all chances of being accepted as part of the next government, Iraqi analysts said.

The analysts add that Kadhimi is now likely to realise that, if he remains at the head of the government, the chances of striking a deal with these militias is no longer an option, nor is the track of leniency that he had followed with these militias, which have almost killed him.

Sources close to Kadhimi rebuff Iran’s condemnation of the assassination attempt, saying that Tehran condemned the failed attempt only because it failed. They point out the drones were Iranian, the militias which launched them were Iranian or working for Iran and the orders to carry out the attack came from Iran; as for the condemnation of the attempt, it was in line with the Iranian practice of “taqiya” (dissimulation).

Is that the story Mustafa wants to get out?  Then it makes complete sense to run it over to ARAB WEEKLY, where Mustafa once worked and where the staff has been so eager to lie for him and look the other way throughout his brief and highly problematic tenure as prime minister.

I have no idea what happened but the narratives that keep getting imposed are not being embraced by most Iraqis.  

Kat's "Kat's Korner: No, Diana Ross, Thank You" and Isaiah's THE WORLD TODAY JUST NUTS "That Moment Nancy Can't Live Down" went up Saturday night and early Sunday morning.  The following sites updated: