I am about to quote from an article by Paul Tash. Who?
Paul Tash is the chairman and CEO of the Tampa Bay Times. On November 22, 1963, he was in the fourth grade at John J. O’Brien Elementary School in South Bend, Indiana.
After serving in the U.S. Army, Skip went to Cuba to fight in the revolution — first with Castro to overthrow the Batista dictatorship, and then against Castro when he embraced communism. For three months in 1959, Skip was in a Cuban prison, along with Tampa mobster Santo Trafficante. After Kennedy was assassinated, Trafficante himself was a suspect.
John Pappas enjoyed Skip’s stories and adventures. John remembers a trip to a gun range in San Gabriel to shoot machine guns, and a van stuffed with weapons and ammunition.
Weeks after the president’s assassination, John recalls, Skip brought a rifle to him. Considering all the guns that Skip had, this one did not seem obviously valuable or special. “John, take this rifle,” Pappas says Skip told him. “Put it away. Don’t touch it. Don’t talk about it.” And when John asked, “What’s this all about?,” Skip replied, “You’ll know.”
The Carcano was the same make as the rifle Oswald got through the mail
from a sporting goods company in Chicago. The rifles are poorly regarded
as inconsistent and unreliable; Oswald happened to get one that shot
straight. It was adapted so it could take a telescopic sight. So had the
one that Skip Hall gave his stepson.
“Somebody was trying to make a hunting rifle,” said Al Offinga, a retired federal agent and firearms consultant. At the request of the Tampa Bay Times, he studied various photos of the Pappas rifle. “That would be the only reason for somebody to (add a scope), unless they were going to shoot the president.”
John Pappas sent the rifle for testing and examination to Lucien “Luke” Haag, a firearms expert in Arizona. Although it came from the same Italian armory as Oswald’s, Haag determined that it was an older version that took slightly larger bullets than the two that hit JFK.
Months after he handed over that rifle to his stepson, Skip told John something else about the assassination: there were two people on the Grassy Knoll, where witnesses said they saw a shooter. One was there to kill JFK. The other was there to make sure it happened.
Mr. Tash is calling for the files on the assassination to be released.
Now for David Minier. Who?
David Minier of Fresno is the former district attorney and Municipal Court judge for Madera County. He also served as the district attorney of Santa Barbara County.
The Central Intelligence Agency doesn’t want you to know the truth about Claude Barnes Capehart. He claimed to have been a CIA asset present at the assassination of President John F. Kennedy in 1963. The CIA has hidden the truth about Capehart for almost 60 years. Surveys show that most of the public believe the crime is still unsolved, and only 20% believe Lee Harvey Oswald was the lone assassin. This month, with the government’s expected final release of secret JFK assassination documents, the truth about Capehart may finally be known.
Claude Barnes Capehart was living in Chowchilla in 1978. When The Bee printed a government request for information about three persons of interest in a photograph taken at the assassination scene, Capehart’s girlfriend, Faye Weaver, recognized him as one of them. Capehart first denied it, then confirmed it was he. He told her he had worked as a “hit man” for the CIA on numerous occasions, retiring in 1975. He told Weaver he was present with Lee Harvey Oswald at the scene of the JFK assassination. He said two others were with Oswald, and it was not Oswald who shot the president.
Weaver related this to Chowchilla’s resident deputy sheriff, Sgt. Dale Fore. She told Fore that Capehart was “paranoid” about his photograph in The Bee, and left Chowchilla a few days later, after threatening her not to talk. Weaver said Capehart had passports bearing his photo but assumed names, and numerous firearms, including a high-power rifle with scope and a silenced handgun. She also saw items taken from the CIA spy ship Glomar Explorer and the Soviet nuclear submarine K-129, which the spy ship had secretly raised from the ocean floor. Capehart carried a pistol both on his person and in his car, Weaver said.
Sgt. Fore had met Capehart on several occasions, and Capehart told him he had retired from the CIA. He operated a well drilling business, and Fore noticed he always had “a bundle of cash.” When Weaver showed Fore The Bee photograph of three persons of interest, Fore found one to be a “dead ringer” for Capehart. Fore recorded several conversations with Weaver. As Madera County’s district attorney at the time, I also interviewed her, as did FBI special agent Tom Walsh. We all found Weaver credible. Fore took his evidence to Washington, D.C., where he met with Richard Billings, editorial director of the House Select Committee on Assassinations, and FBI agents. The committee never investigated Capehart’s claims about the JFK assassination because their final report was already in preparation. A committee memo suggests Capehart be interviewed by the FBI, but it never happened. The committee’s final report, however, released in 1979, supported Capehart’s statements. The assassination, it concluded, was the result of a conspiracy, with at least one gunman other than Oswald, and with gunshots coming from two different directions.
The records are supposed to be released. Three years ago, the C.I.A. told then-President Donald Trump that the release had to be delayed. It is time for the records to be released and President Joe Biden needs to ensure that they are released. Immediately.
This is C.I.'s "Iraq snapshot" for today:
Tuesday, November 2, 2021. Despite being convicted of two murders in an Iraqi court, the Iraqi government does not want you to know the name Hamza Kadhim al-Aidani .
Hamza Kadhim al-Aidani know the name. It's a name the Iraqi government doesn't want you to know. From yesterday's snapshot:
NRT has an interesting report. We'll note it in full:
If true, it's great that the murderer of a journalist is finally being held accountable.
But what's most interesting to me is the one convicted.
We've long noted -- and decried -- Iraq's televising of confessions (which most likely are forced). Why is the convicted not named?
A court found someone guilty. Who? And what are his or her affiliations? This should all be part of the public record. Instead, we're being told that some unnamed person has been found guilty of murdering two journalists. And that's supposed to pass for informing the public?
Who? Hamza Kadhim al-Aidani. We now have a name.
But the Iraqi government isn't providing that. They have refused to name the convicted.
We know the name only because the ASSOCIATED PRESS spoke with the the brother of Ahmed Abdul Samad:
The court provided no details about the man’s identity or affiliation with any militant or other groups. The case is now with a higher court, which can either confirm the death penalty, hand down a lesser sentence or call for a retrial.
Mohammed Samad, the brother of the slain reporter, told The Associated Press over the phone that he blames four people for the killing “but only one was brought to court."
He identified the convicted killer as Hamza Kadhim al-Aidani, "a police officer who had worked at the same court that sentenced him today.”
“Our happiness will be complete when their leader is brought to trial as he is currently on the run,” he added.
By the way, we give writers credit here. I'm saying "AP" because the outlet -- in twelve different versions of this story -- has not provided a byline. I'm assuming that's intentional. For example, RUDAW doesn't do individual bylines on some articles that will come off controversial to the Iraqi government. Bylines can mean that you're targeted. You can be killed for the 'crime' of covering a protest.
It is laughable that the sitting prime minister Mustafa al-Kahdimi wants to pretend he's helped the protesters and other victims when he's done nothing and, when a killed is convicted, he doesn't even ensure that the guilty person's name is released to the public.
This is Iraq which still airs forced confessions on TV. And they won't identify someone convicted in court of two murders?
Sally Bachori Tweets:
Jojo (Siwa) Jabbari Tweets:
Ruba Ali al-Hassani Tweets:
And exploit the work sites of their members within the state institutions for the purpose of completing operations, especially since one of the members of the death squads works in the Judicial Police Department. 2/15
Shocking confessions rocked the Iraqi street after the trial of those accused of the case of assassination of journalist Ahmed Abdul Samad and Safa Ghali. The accused explicitly admitted that the person who directed them directly in the assassinations is Ahmed Tuwaisa. 3/15
Ahmed belongs to Hezbollah Brigades (Kata'ib Hezbollah) in Basra. This group carried out several operations in addition to the assassination of Ahmed Abdul Samad and Safaa Ghali. 4/15
Targeting the governor's house, targeting the house of Hatem Al-Daradji, targeting the governor's brother's house, killing Mujtaba Ahmed Jassim, attempted assassinating Lieutenant Colonel Muthanna Adnan Abdul Karim, assassinating Jenan Madhi,..5/15
throwing Lieutenant Colonel Mustafa's house with an explosive device. These factions were able to convince their members and their collaborators that these operations are the execution of legitimate fatwas issued directly from Supreme Leader of the…6/15
Islamic Revolution in Iran ayatollah Ali Khamenei. Members of these militias, some of whom work in government institutions through which they can delay trials and postpone procedures, taking advantage of their positions. 7/15
The accused who made confessions. Born in 1983, he works as a commissioner in the Basra Police Directorate-Judicial Police Department. In 2014, he joined the Popular Mobilization Forces,..8/15
He worked as a soldier in PMF for a year and a half, after which he returned to work in the police. During this period, get to know each of: Haidar Shan Shabosa - works as Hezbollah coordinator in the Popular Mobilization Forces. 9/15
Ahmed Tuwaissa - one of Hezbollah members in Basra Abbas Al-Haris - works in the university pool. Akil Abu Fatima - employee of Basra Oil Company (government company) Haidar Abu Janat - Managing Director of Naseem Iraq Company. 10/15
Ahmed Al-Abd (formerly working in Asa'ib Ahl al-Haq AAH) Bashir Abdul Karim. He admitted his work within the assassination squad that carried out assassinations in Basra governorate against protesters and security forces officers. 11/15
Ahmed Tuwaissa told them that these operations are carried out by a fatwa from the Wilayat al-Faqih(Guardianship of the Islamic Jurist) on the assassination of the above people as they are against the state. (Ahmed Tuwaisa) was directed to assassinate Ahmed Abdel Samad.. 12/15
For publishing video clips criticizing the name of Khomeini Street in Basra as well as criticizing loyalists of Iran. The assassination of Ahmed Abdel-Samad was carried out by a pickup:- The assassination took place after pursuing the wheel that Ahmed Abdel Samad And… 13/15
Safaa Ghaly were riding (a white Kia Sportage), where Ahmed Abdel Samad was in the front right seat and wearing a blue suit, with Safaa Ghaly driving the wheel on a road behind the Charter Flour Mill. The operation was carried out near the Al-Shamsona area Specifically.. 14/15
near the Oxford English Language Center. The car of the victims was shot, and the culprit who carried out the assassination got out of the car and shot again at Ahmed Abdel Samad and the photographer Safaa Ghaly, who was driving the vehicle. 15/15
This is a major story and would be one just for the conviction of Hamza Kadhim al-Aidani. It's an even bigger story because the court refused to publicly identify the convicted and because the court edited the transcript to remove the person the convicted identified as ultimately responsible -- remove that name from the official transcript.
Press right groups and international organizations have described Iraq as one of the “most dangerous” countries for journalists.
Prominent activist Ihab al-Wazni was killed in Karbala in May of this year. The murder sparked outrage among activists, with many blaming Iran-backed militias for his death.
Activist and journalist Ali al-Mikdam was kidnapped and tortured in July. He was later freed.
Iran-backed militias, including factions of the Popular Mobilization forces (PMF or Hashd al-Shaabi in Arabic), are widely blamed for the assassination attacks.
Last week on NPR's ALL THINGS CONSIDERED, Ari Shapiro spoke with Ruth Sherlock about Iraq:
SHAPIRO: So the election was earlier this month, and now the parties are in negotiations to see who will control various ministries and how the coalitions will take shape. As somebody who's covered Iraq and the region for years, what are you thinking watching this process unfold, about the country's future, about the U.S. role there, particularly given what we just saw in Afghanistan?
SHERLOCK: One stark takeaway for me has been the real gap between what the U.S. and other international powers want and what most Iraqis we spoke to want. The U.S. seems to prioritize trying to maintain basic stability and countering Iran, like we just said. Meanwhile, Iraqis want better public services and an end to corruption and actual representation by their government. And the thing is, many Iraqis, especially young people, nowadays see that changing the sectarian structure of government, the underlying foundations, and weakening the main political parties as kind of the only way to achieve this, even if it means risking some stability.
At a recent anti-government protest, I spoke with Ali Hadid. You heard from him a little earlier. He was campaigning to boycott the election.
HADID: There's no democracy in Iraq.
HADID: There is no democracy.
SHERLOCK: So this political system...
HADID: It's a Mafia. We are ruled by a Mafia (ph). That's all.
SHERLOCK: Do you think this is, basically, what the Americans brought to Iraq?
HADID: Yeah. It's not just America; it's also the Iranian and also the international. All of them, they participate in this problem.
SHERLOCK: And, you know, what's also striking is speaking to people who were born around the time of the U.S. invasion and seeing how their whole lives have been shaped by that decision. For example, I spoke with one young man, and his first memory is hiding in the shower of his home with his family as U.S. troops fight a militia, and the house gets destroyed around them. Now the poor economy and state corruption means that even as a university graduate, he can't find a job, and he's had friends killed by militias. Look; of course, you can't blame all of Iraq's problems on the U.S. involvement there. It's much more complicated than that. But certainly, the decision to invade Iraq set off a kind of chain reaction of events that continue to shape the broken Iraq you have today.
Iraq held elections October 10th. There is still not an official final tally. In fact, Layal Shakir (RUDAW) reports:
electoral commission on Tuesday announced that it has begun accepting
evidence again in support of alleged election result errors or
violations, state media reported as most of the submitted appeals of the
October 10 results have been found to be groundless.
“Whoever has new evidence about the submitted appeals can file them within three days,” the commission’s director of media and public communications Hassan Salman said.
The Independent High Electoral Commission (IHEC) started the manual recount of votes from certain polling stations where complaints were filed last week.
Meanwhile, Firas Adnan (ALMADA) writes that the expectation currently is that a new government in Iraq will be formed in . . . nine months. Firas notes that dialogues continue and that the prime minister post will be dependent upon an agreement on who will get control over which ministries. The Arab Center Tweets:
In other news, Black Alliance For Peace has issued the following:
For Immediate Release
Media Contact: Tunde Osazua
Black Alliance for Peace & the U.S. Out of Africa Network Stand with the People of Sudan
October 25, 2021 — We are clear that the training of African police and military by the US and its NATO allies, in counter insurgency measures to confront the mass uprisings against repression, as taking place right now in Sudan using violent suppression, is right out of the imperialist playbook. For decades the U.S. Africa Command, or AFRICOM, the E.U., and Israel have assisted in the training, financing, and arming of the militias and forces within Sudan. We must call for an end to the training of African defense and security forces by imperialists and neo-colonial entities and for the demilitarization of the African continent.
The Black Alliance for Peace and the U.S. Out of Africa Network express solidarity with over a million Sudanese people who have taken to the streets in cities and towns across Sudan to resist the military coup that took place the morning of October 25, 2021. Trade unions and people’s movements have called for international solidarity, strikes, and mass protests in response to the coup by the Sudanese military. The coup takes place as Sudan was nearing a transition to civilian rule from the joint military and civilian government that was installed following the deposition of Omar al-Bashir.
The U.S. did not directly come out in support of the military government. We believe that this is so they can more easily manipulate the situation like they did with Tigray. In a recent tweet, U.S. Special Envoy for the Horn of Africa Jeffrey Feltman lays the blame for the coup squarely on the shoulders of Sudan. His statement fails to mention the role of the U.S. in fueling conflict in Sudan to control its energy resources, cement access to the Red Sea which links the Mediterranean to Asia and is one of the world’s busiest waterways, and take advantage in the struggle against China and Russia’s geopolitical ascendancy.
The Black Alliance for Peace and the U.S. Out of Africa Network, calls for return to Sudan’s popular process of transition.
No compromise! No retreat!
The U.S. Out of Africa Network (USOAN) is a network of volunteers committed to strategizing around creative and radical tactics for the complete withdrawal of U.S. forces from Africa, the demilitarization of the African continent, the closure of U.S. military bases throughout the world, pressuring the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) to unequivocally oppose AFRICOM and conduct hearings on its impact on the African continent. The USOAN is the driving force for the U.S. Out of Africa! Shutdown AFRICOM! campaign of the Black Alliance for Peace.
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