Monday, July 17, 2023

Tara and other crazies

Tara Reade?  She has apparently dropped her support for Robert F. Kennedy, Jr.; however, she is still reTweeting Marjorie  Taylor Greene:

Our government is one big fat bloated machine and it’s killing the American dream. #ACTCON2023

What American dream is it killing, Ms. Reade?  Is it killing your grifting?  You defected to Russia.  Surely, you have found enough new people to grift off of, right?  Will the Russian government be as forgiving when you do not pay people back for loans or move off with their property?  I wonder.

But no one who was truly a lefty would be reTweeting Ms. Greene. 

As for Robert F. Kennedy Jr., if he had any love for his family, he would drop out now before he further destroyed the Kennedy name.

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

Monday, July 17, 2023.  The persecution of Julian Assange continues, Max Blumenthal may die on his lonely hill as he alone among The Twitter Brigade attempts to rescue RFK Junior, Junio's mouth has got him into trouble again so all the GOP money in the world may not be able to save him this time, and much more.

Julian Assange has suffered still worse. He endured seven years of “arbitrary detention” in the Ecuadorean Embassy, deliberately trapped there through the machinations of British, Swedish and US authorities.

He continues to be arbitrarily detained in Belmarsh, on remand for over four years, some of that time spent in near solitary confinement. Together with a media campaign of vilification the whole process amounts, according to Nils Melzer, a former UN rapporteur, to psychological torture.

He faces charges in the US which carry a sentence of up to 175 years and he is likely to suffer prison conditions in the form of Special Administrative Measures that amount to torture.

Julian is being persecuted for the 'crime' of journalism.  Julian Assange remains imprisoned and remains persecuted by US President Joe Biden who, as vice president, once called him "a high tech terrorist."  Julian's 'crime' was revealing the realities of Iraq -- Chelsea Manning was a whistle-blower who leaked the information to Julian.  WIKILEAKS then published the Iraq War Logs.  And many outlets used the publication to publish reports of their own.  For example, THE GUARDIAN published many articles based on The Iraq War Logs.  Jonathan Steele, David Leigh and Nick Davies offered, on October 22, 2012:

A grim picture of the US and Britain's legacy in Iraq has been revealed in a massive leak of American military documents that detail torture, summary executions and war crimes.
Almost 400,000 secret US army field reports have been passed to the Guardian and a number of other international media organisations via the whistleblowing website WikiLeaks.

The electronic archive is believed to emanate from the same dissident US army intelligence analyst who earlier this year is alleged to have leaked a smaller tranche of 90,000 logs chronicling bloody encounters and civilian killings in the Afghan war.
The new logs detail how:
US authorities failed to investigate hundreds of reports of abuse, torture, rape and even murder by Iraqi police and soldiers whose conduct appears to be systematic and normally unpunished.

A US helicopter gunship involved in a notorious Baghdad incident had previously killed Iraqi insurgents after they tried to surrender.
More than 15,000 civilians died in previously unknown incidents. US and UK officials have insisted that no official record of civilian casualties exists but the logs record 66,081 non-combatant deaths out of a total of 109,000 fatalities.

The numerous reports of detainee abuse, often supported by medical evidence, describe prisoners shackled, blindfolded and hung by wrists or ankles, and subjected to whipping, punching, kicking or electric shocks. Six reports end with a detainee's apparent deat

The Biden administration has been saying all the right things lately about respecting a free and vigorous press, after four years of relentless media-bashing and legal assaults under Donald Trump.

The attorney general, Merrick Garland, has even put in place expanded protections for journalists this fall, saying that “a free and independent press is vital to the functioning of our democracy”.

But the biggest test of Biden’s commitment remains imprisoned in a jail cell in London, where WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange has been held since 2019 while facing prosecution in the United States under the Espionage Act, a century-old statute that has never been used before for publishing classified information.

Whether the US justice department continues to pursue the Trump-era charges against the notorious leaker, whose group put out secret information on the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, Guantánamo Bay, American diplomacy and internal Democratic politics before the 2016 election, will go a long way toward determining whether the current administration intends to make good on its pledges to protect the press.

Now Biden is facing a re-energized push, both inside the United States and overseas, to drop Assange’s protracted prosecution.

In 2010, U.S. Army intelligence analyst Chelsea Manning provided WikiLeaks with documents containing evidence of U.S. war crimes. They included the “Iraq War Logs,” which were 400,000 field reports describing 15,000 unreported deaths of Iraqi civilians, as well as systematic rape, torture and murder after U.S. forces “handed over detainees to a notorious Iraqi torture squad.” They contained the “Afghan War Diary,” 90,000 reports of more civilian casualties by coalition forces than the U.S. military had reported. And they also included the “Guantánamo Files” — 779 secret reports with evidence that 150 innocent people had been held at Guantánamo Bay for years, and 800 men and boys had been tortured and abused, which violated the Geneva Conventions and the Convention Against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment.

Manning also furnished WikiLeaks with the notorious 2007 “Collateral Murder Video,” which shows a U.S. Army Apache attack helicopter targeting and killing 11 unarmed civilians, including two Reuters journalists, as well as a man who came to rescue the wounded. Two children were injured. The video reveals evidence of three violations of the Geneva Conventions and the U.S. Army Field Manual.

This is the first time a publisher has been prosecuted under the Espionage Act for disclosing government secrets. In December 2022, The New York Times, The Guardian, Le Monde, El País and Der Spiegel signed a joint open letter calling on the U.S. government to dismiss the Espionage Act charges against Assange for publishing classified military and diplomatic secrets. “Publishing is not a crime,” the letter says. “This indictment sets a dangerous precedent, and threatens to undermine America’s First Amendment and the freedom of the press.”

Let's turn to US . . .

 Oh, Maxi-pads.  You want to die on the hill, don't you?

What's going on?  While Robert F. Kennedy's bid for the Democratic Party's presidential nomination ended with a bullet in 1968, Junior appears to be ending his with own mouth.

Junior's denied saying what he said -- THE VANGUARD has the footage in the video above.  Are we supposed to pretend it's a deep fake AI by the CIA?  

Before we go further, let's note how bad it is.  Tara Reade has her head down and is Tweeting non-stop about the debate her buddy Mother Tucker Carlson did with GOP candidates.  John Stauber has changed his handle to "RFKjr spring, Cornel fall24."  And John's really in a panic over Junior's racism as evidenced by all the reTweets as he struggles to find voices of color saying something, anything he can agree with so he looks less racist than Junior.

Here's a person of color Stauber didn't reTweet.

       A number of high-profile Jewish groups are denouncing Democratic presidential contender Robert F. Kennedy Jr.’s false remarks that “Ashkenazi Jews and Chinese” people are “most immune” to Covid-19.

Speaking at a dinner in New York City earlier this week, Kennedy said “there’s an argument that it is ethnically targeted,” according to video shared by the New York Post on Saturday.

“Covid-19 is targeted to attack Caucasians and Black people. The people who are most immune are Ashkenazi Jews and Chinese,” Kennedy said, adding that “we don’t know whether it’s deliberately targeted that or not.”

Ashkenazi Jews trace their roots to Central and Eastern Europe and represent a majority of the US Jewish population.

The American Jewish Committee told CNN in a statement Saturday that Kennedy’s “assertion that Covid was genetically engineered to spare Jewish and Chinese people is deeply offensive and incredibly dangerous.”    

How bad is this?  Even crazy Naomi Wolf is sitting this one out.  That's right.  The woman who "as a Jewish woman" took to Twitter to defend the hate group Moms For Liberty (which was using Adolf Hitler's playbook and quoting him in their newsletter) will not touch this.  Moms For Liberty?  Crazy Naomi vouched for them -- vouched for them (her words) "as a Jewish woman."  But she's not stepping in this crazy -- it's too insane for even her.


His latest remarks prompted a range of leading Democrats to speak out.

"These are deeply troubling comments and I want to make clear that they do not represent the views of the Democratic Party," Jaime Harrison, chair of the Democratic National Committee, tweeted on Saturday.

Democratic Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz of Florida said Kennedy's claims boiled down to "vile antisemitic tropes and Sinophobia" and "insulted countless families who lost loved ones to the virus," while Rep. Ted Lieu of California pointed out, "Millions and millions of people died from COVID-19 worldwide, including Americans who were Jewish or of Chinese descent."

"If you still support the wacky, narcissistic, racist Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., then that says more about you than it does about him," Lieu said.

Rep. Josh Gottheimer of New Jersey called Kennedy "a disgrace to the Kennedy name and the Democratic Party" in a tweet responding to the video. 

"For the record, my whole family, who is Jewish, got Covid," Gottheimer wrote. "Speaker McCarthy and Jim Jordan should disinvite this antisemite from testifying before Congress and spewing his misinformation and hate."

Ken Frydman was at the table when Junior made the remarks and recounts what took place at THE NEW YORK DAILY NEWS:

Twenty five journalists sat at the large, square banquet table. Call me paranoid, but Bobby was looking directly at me when he made his wrong-headed assertion that the coronavirus had passed over the homes of Ashkenazi Jews.

The stunning moment was surreal and incomprehensible. But I’ve seen the video and heard the audio, so I know it’s true.

“COVID 19 is targeted to attack Caucasians and Black people,” said Kennedy. “The races that are most immune to COVID-19 are Ashkenazi Jews and Chinese.”

Sitting next to Kennedy at that moment was an Ashkenazi Jew, New York Post reporter Jon Levine. Check out his baffled expression on the video.

Contrary to Bobby’s hair-brained theory, I got the coronavirus. My son, brother, sister-in-law, aunt, uncle, nephews, niece, cousins and friends also got COVID. My neurologist’s medical partner got COVID and died. Ashkenazi Jews all.

Bobby knows who I am. My wife, Liz, and I donated to his Riverkeeper nonprofit organization and watched him fly falcons at the Hudson River home of then-Gov. George Pataki. Bobby should also know that Frydman is a Jewish name of European ancestry. I’m not Sephardic. I’m fair-haired and light-skinned. That makes me Ashkenazi.

You’d think his campaign manager, former Ohio congressman and Cleveland Mayor Dennis Kucinich, and staff would’ve prepped Bobby about the probability of Ashkenazi Jews and Chinese journalists being in attendance. In fact, there was a Chinese reporter from the Epoch Times at the table.

That prep session wouldn’t have helped. Bobby knew what he was saying. He has clearly made a political calculation to forsake liberal Jews and, instead, play on the conservative side to Orthodox Jews like Mort Klein, president of the right-wing Zionist Organization of America.

But even Klein, a prominent anti-vaxxer and good friend of RFK Jr. who’s advised him on Israel, is reportedly “worried” about Bobby’s kooky COVID comments.

This is exactly why the Republicans are funding Junior's run for the Democratic Party's presidential nomination, by the way.  And make no mistake, at this point, they are the ones footing the bill.  Jessica Piper (POLITICO) reports:

Some of that money came from donors who have more recently supported Republicans. Kennedy’s campaign raked in at least $100,000 from donors who previously gave to committees associated with Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis or former President Donald Trump, according to a POLITICO analysis of federal and state campaign finance filings. The analysis is based solely on Kennedy’s itemized donations, although he also raised more than $2 million from small-dollar donors, whose names the campaign does not have to disclose.

Such crossover giving is unusual, but Kennedy is running on a platform that includes opposition to efforts to vaccinate against Covid-19, which is increasingly resonating with the Republican base. Though there has been an uptick in vaccine skepticism in recent years, the biggest increases tend to be among voters who identify as Republican.

[. . .]

Among the donors who maxed out donating to Kennedy despite having recent histories of giving to Republicans is banking executive Omeed Malik, who Axios reported is hosting separate fundraisers for DeSantis and Kennedy in the Hamptons this summer.

Let's wind down with this from Alyssa J. Rubin (NEW YORK TIMES):

In one social media clip, a young Iraqi woman dances at a national soccer tournament. In another, she dances at her son’s birthday party.

A different post shows a Baghdad fashionista modeling clothes, including an outfit based on the Iraqi Army uniform.

A fourth features a young man in a black sweatshirt and pants interviewing a young woman, also clad in black, about her private life. It is one of several clips he has made of young people dressed in close-fitting clothes that strike conservative Iraqis as provocative.

A few months ago, the people featured in these clips were stars of Iraq’s booming social media scene. No longer.

They have been largely silenced by being tried, convicted and sentenced to time in Iraq’s overcrowded prison system because of new Interior Ministry rules against “indecent” or “immoral” content on social media.

This crackdown on social media is relatively new, but is of a piece with a broader campaign to silence, sideline or co-opt those who publicly question or criticize the government.

That wider effort traces its roots to the months of demonstrations in 2019 and 2020, when young Iraqis poured into the streets demanding an end to corruption, a reduction in Iranian influence in Iraq and a new era of openness. ​Those demonstrations eventually forced the resignation of the prime minister, who was supported by Iranian-linked parties in the government.

The following sites updated: