Monday, June 05, 2017

Losers Bono and Hillary

A lot to cover.

First, at THIRD we did "Bono Loves Bully Boy Bush" which wasn't a shock and shouldn't have been.

I've long noted how Bono used AIDS as his excuse for not calling out the Iraq War -- he and Bully Boy Bush were doing AIDS work.

Whatever, he's a liar.

CONSENT FACTORY has a new piece on the disgusting Bono.

Be sure to check that out.

Bono wouldn't like Bush if he actually visited the war zones where the streets have no names

Moving to other hideous, Hillary.

You can't blame WikiLeaks for your failures when what we published was your own words. Blame yourself.


Take accountability, Hillary.

And here's Robert Parry (CONSORTIUM NEWS) from his dissection of Hillary's thousands of excuses served up last week:

Referring to a report released by President Obama’s Director of National Intelligence (DNI) on Jan. 6, Clinton asserted that “Seventeen agencies, all in agreement, which I know from my experience as a Senator and Secretary of State, is hard to get. They concluded with high confidence that the Russians ran an extensive information war campaign against my campaign, to influence voters in the election. They did it through paid advertising we think; they did it through false news sites; they did it through these thousand agents; they did it through machine learning, which you know, kept spewing out this stuff over and over again. The algorithms that they developed. So that was the conclusion.”
But Clinton’s statement is false regarding the unanimity of the 17 agencies and misleading regarding her other claims. Both former DNI James Clapper and former CIA Director John Brennan acknowledged in sworn testimony last month that the Jan. 6 report alleging Russian “meddling” did not involve all 17 agencies.
Clapper and Brennan stated that the report was actually the work of hand-picked analysts from only three agencies – the Central Intelligence Agency, National Security Agency and Federal Bureau of Investigation – under the oversight of the DNI’s office. In other words, there was no consensus among the 17 agencies, a process that would have involved some form of a National Intelligence Estimate (or NIE), a community-wide effort that would have included footnotes citing any dissenting views.
Instead, as Clapper testified before a Senate Judiciary subcommittee on May 8, the Russia-hacking claim came from a “special intelligence community assessment” (or ICA) produced by selected analysts from the CIA, NSA and FBI, “a coordinated product from three agencies – CIA, NSA, and the FBI – not all 17 components of the intelligence community,” the former DNI said.
And, as Clapper explained, the “ICA” was something of a rush job beginning on President Obama’s instructions “in early December” and completed by Jan. 6. Clapper continued: “The two dozen or so analysts for this task were hand-picked, seasoned experts from each of the contributing agencies.”
However, as any intelligence veteran will tell you, if you hand-pick the analysts, you are really hand-picking the conclusion since the agency chiefs would know who was, say, a hardliner on Russia and who could be trusted to deliver the desired product.
On May 23, in testimony before the House Intelligence Committee, former CIA Director John Brennan confirmed Clapper’s account about the three agencies involved.
“It wasn’t a full inter-agency community assessment that was coordinated among the 17 agencies, and for good reason because of the nature and the sensitivity of the information trying, once again, to keep that tightly compartmented,” Brennan said.
In other words, Clinton’s beloved claim that all 17 intelligence agencies were in agreement on the Russian “hacking” charge – an assertion that the “fact-checking” group Politifact has certified as “true” and that has been repeated endlessly by the mainstream U.S. news media – is not true. It is false. Gee, you might even call it “fake news.”
The Mysterious ‘Agents’

But Clinton’s false claim about the intelligence consensus was not her only dubious assertion. Her reference to the 1,000 Russian “agents” is not contained in the Jan. 6 report, either. It apparently derived from unconfirmed speculation from Sen. Mark Warner, D-Virginia, who mentioned this claim at a news conference on March 30, admitting that he didn’t know if it was true.

And I'll note this from the Senate Judiciary Committee:

Grassley Pursues Answers on Then-Secretary Clinton State Department Involvement in Helping Bangladeshi Businessman and Clinton Organization Donor

Jun 01, 2017
WASHINGTON – Sen. Chuck Grassley today asked the State Department for information on  whether then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and her staff sought help through official channels for a Bangladeshi businessman who also was a donor to the Clinton Global Initiative and Clinton Foundation.  The allegations of special treatment include reports of a threatened IRS audit of the Bangladeshi prime minister’s son, living in the United States, if he did not help quash a Bangladeshi government investigation of the businessman and Clinton organization donor, Dr. Muhammad Yunus.
“As I wrote in my August 2016 letter to Department of Justice, federal law requires that executive branch employees be disqualified from matters that have a direct and predictable effect on the employee’s own financial interests or the financial interests of those persons or organizations with which the employee is affiliated, such as those of a spouse, unless the employee first obtains an individual waiver or a regulatory exemption applies,” Grassley wrote to Secretary of State Rex Tillerson.  “Once again, Secretary Clinton’s actions have raised reasonable suspicions that she violated these rules and undermined the public’s confidence in the integrity of the State Department.”
Grassley wrote that emails show that State Department officials, including Clinton, and staff for the Clinton Foundation closely monitored an attempt to remove Yunus from his bank position in Bangladesh and that the U.S. Ambassador to Bangladesh sought meetings with the prime minister “to apply pressure in an attempt to end the investigation into Yunus.”  The prime minister’s son said he was pressed multiple times by State Department officials to help end the investigation and that at one point, he was told “he may be audited by the IRS if he failed to use his influence to get his mother to drop the investigation into Yunus.”
“If the Secretary of State used her position to intervene in an independent investigation by a sovereign government simply because of a personal and financial relationship stemming from the Clinton Foundation rather than the legitimate foreign policy interests of the United States, then that would be unacceptable,” Grassley wrote.  “Co-mingling her official position as Secretary of State with her family foundation would be similarly inappropriate. It is vital to determine whether the State Department had any role in the threat of an IRS audit against the son of the Prime Minister in retaliation for this investigation.”
Grassley asked for details of whether any State Department official directly or indirectly suggested an IRS audit over the Bangladeshi investigation, whether the matter has been referred to the State Department inspector general or Justice Department for review, for  unredacted copies of all State Department emails attached to his letter, and for an interview by Grassley staff of the State Department staff member who allegedly mentioned the IRS audit over a failure to intervene in the Yunus case.
Grassley’s letter is available here.  

Oh, Hillary, what a disgrace you became.

Closing with C.I.'s "Iraq snapshot:"

Monday, June 5, 2017.  Chaos and violence continue, The Mosul Slog continues, White Phosphorus resurfaces in Iraq, and much more.

The US bombed a hospital today. A hospital full of sick people & kids & doctors. 488 died in Iraq & Syria. Manchester is part of global war.

Where's THE NEW YORK TIMES' coverage of that?

They can offer this:

Iraqi forces are closing in on the Islamic State’s stronghold in Mosul's Old City

But not White Phosphorus coverage.

Check our archives, they've always had a problem with reporting on White Phosphorus.

Not everyone outlet in the west falls silent.  Australia's NINE NEWS reports:

Iraqi forces have been accused of using the controversial and deadly war weapon white phosphorus in an attack on ISIS-held areas in western Mosul.
An explosion was captured on a Kurdish TV station who were livestreaming on Saturday when Iraqi forces made their move.
Stills from the blast showed it appeared to have the signature bright white plume of smoke which follows a white phosphorus attack, Human Rights Watch told Al Jazeera.

It's day 229 of The Mosul Slog.

The operation was supposed to last a few weeks.

Now it's 229 days old.

Not a lot of good things to show for it.

Human Rights Watch issued an alert:

At least 26 bodies of blindfolded and handcuffed men have been found in government held areas in and around Mosul since the operation to retake the city began in October 2016, Human Rights Watch said today.
In 15 of the cases, local armed forces told a foreign journalist that the men were extrajudicially killed by government security forces who had them in custody under suspicion of Islamic State (also known as ISIS) affiliation. In the remaining cases, reported by local and international sources, the sites of the apparent executions – all in government held territory – raise concerns about government responsibility for the killings. A foreign journalist also said that a government official told them that a Sunni Popular Mobilization Forces (known as the PMF or Hashd al-Sha'abi) unit, which is part of the government forces working to retake Mosul, was responsible for the extrajudicial killing of 25 men in their custody and dumping the bodies in the Tigris River.
“The bodies of bound and blindfolded men are being found one after the other in and around Mosul and in the Tigris River, raising serious concerns about extrajudicial killings by government forces,” said Lama Fakih, deputy Middle East director at Human Rights Watch. “The lack of any apparent government action to investigate these deaths undermines the government’s statements on protecting detainee rights.”
Extrajudicial executions during an armed conflict are war crimes and if widespread or systematic, carried out as part of policy, would constitute crimes against humanity.
Iraqi forces, including the Popular Mobilization Forces, are screening and detaining men fleeing Mosul, in some cases in unidentified and informal detention centers where they are cut off from contact with the outside world. The authorities have not released any information on the number of people detained, or being investigated or charged. Given past abuse of people detained by the PMF and other government military and security forces, Human Rights Watch has flagged concerns about detainees’ treatment, including possible executions.
On May 13 and 15, 2017, two groups of aid workers and a foreign journalist said that they saw groups of corpses, 15 bodies in all, by the side of a road between the village of Athba and town of Hammam al-Alil, about 15 kilometers south of west Mosul. The area is entirely under the control of Iraqi government forces. One group said they had driven past the area a day earlier and the bodies had not been there, suggesting they were killed on May 12 or 13.

Local armed forces at the nearest checkpoint told the journalist that they saw Iraqi “security forces” bring the men to the area and shoot them. The journalist observed many bullet casings in the area on May 15. The journalist found an identity card on one of the bodies and confirmed with a contact within the National Security Service, a security body under the ultimate control of the prime minister, that the name was on their government database of about 90,000 people wanted for ISIS-affiliation.

Again, 229 days.

The United Nations News Centre notes:

Some 100,000 children remain in extremely dangerous conditions in western sections of Iraq’s Mosul city as fighting between Government and terrorist forces continues, the United Nations children’s agency today reported, warning that “children’s lives are on the line.”
“We are receiving alarming reports of civilians including several children being killed in west Mosul,” said Peter Hawkins, the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) Representative in Iraq, in a statement, noting that boys and girls are being killed, injured and used as human shields as the fighting intensifies by the hour.
An estimated 100,000 girls and boys remain in extremely dangerous conditions in the Old City and other areas of west Mosul, he said, calling on all parties in west Mosul to keep children out of harm’s way at all times.
“Attacks on civilians and civilian infrastructure including hospitals, clinics, schools, homes and water systems should stop immediately,” Mr. Hawkins said. 

Children's lives remain at stake because the government told them not to leave Mosul when the operation began and waited until late April to finally say otherwise.

Even then, the Baghdad-based government failed to provide a safe passage out of Iraq, leaving thousands and thousands at risk.

In other news, RUDAW reports:

 Iraq’s internal incomes in the oil sector alone since the fall of Saddam Hussein’s regime from 2003 to 2016 had reached nearly $722 billion, of which 57 percent of this portion is exported outside of the country with another $112 billion missing.

“We have six precise reports in hand on transferring cash outside of the country, indicating that 57 percent of the cash made in Iraq is sent outside,” Ahmed Haji Rashid, head of the finance committee in the Iraqi parliament, told Rudaw.

“What the government is using now is $115 billion and the private sector retains $58 billion. But $112 billion is still missing,” he noted.

Commenting on committees formed to follow up on the fate of the cash flow out of the country, he explained, “work has been done but courts in this country are not assistive."

Nouri al-Maliki, former prime minister of Iraq and forever thug, enriched himself during his two terms as prime minister and his son also suddenly had a ton of money which was used to buy sportscars and various residences in the west.

Matt Purple (RARE) reminds the Iraq War has been a circle repeat:

That should sound like deja vu. Remember, the reason ISIS was able to rampage across Iraq in the first place was because it was welcomed by Sunnis weary of being abused by Shiite forces under the control of former prime minister Nouri al-Maliki. Now oppression has come to Sunni Iraq once again under the PMUs. Another violent Sunni counter-reaction seems inevitable, and then on we go.

The good news is that the PMUs are caught in the middle of a struggle for the future of Iraqi Shias. The three key figures to watch here are Maliki, back from ignominy and brandishing the PMUs that he helped create; Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi, who understands the PMUs are essential to defeating ISIS but wants to restrain them; and Moqtada al-Sadr, who’s reinvented himself as a populist with a focus on economic issues and wants to disband the PMUs entirely. Iraq is majority-Shia, but its general interpretation of Shiite Islam tends to be less extreme than Iran’s, meaning it’s possible that moderation may still prevail, either from Abadi’s good sense or Sadr’s outsider pressure. The PMUs themselves are also diverse—not all are committed to sectarian suppression.