October 12, 2012. Chaos and violence continue, Iraq makes the debate
between Joe Biden and Paul Ryan (but not because it was a topic asked
about it), Nouri's weapons deal with the Czech Republic is estimated to
be worth 1 billion dollars, a mother shares how the administration
misinformed her about how her son (Sean Smith) died in Libya, a tape --
over fifty minutes -- exists of the September 11, 2012 Benghazi attack
and a government body is keeping it from Congress, and more.
night in Danville, Kentucky, the media went through the pretense that a
vice presidential debate was taking place. If it were a vice
presidential debate, where was Cheri Honkala
(Green Party v.p. candidate), Luis J. Rodriguez
(Justice Party v.p. candidate), Jim Gray
(Libertarian Party v.p. candidate), Phyllis Scherrer
(Socialist Equality Party v.p. candidate) and Jim Clymer
(Constitutional Party v.p. running mate) among others? If this were the
vice presidential debate, those people would have been on stage.
Instead, Martha Raddatz of ABC moderated a Democratic candidate debating
a Republican candidate. (Ava
and I shared our thoughts on that this morning
Martha Raddatz was less than honest when she declared that the event
was "sponsored by the Commission on Presidential Debates." It was
sponsored by corporations -- large amounts of corporate money. This is
not 'secret' information, it's at the commisson's own website
2012 National Sponsors
The Howard G. Buffett Foundation
Sheldon S. Cohen, Esq.
Crowell & Moring LLP
International Bottled Water Association (IBWA)
The Kovler Fund
addition, it is not put on by "the Commission on Presidential Debates"
which makes it sound as though everyone has a say. Also lying is the
Commission itself which insists
that they are "a nonprofit, nonpartisan" corporation. They are
bi-partisan, the officials would not be either Democrats or Republicans
now would candidates from those two parties be the only ones invited to
these debates. They are bi-partisan.
Iraq came up briefly in the debate. Lu Hui (Xinhua) notes
"The two clashed over how the country has been winding down the wars in
Iraq and Afghanistan, and tried to sharpen contrast on national
security and defense budget cutting." Click here for a full transcript at CNN
. This is both candidates Iraq remarks and I've pulled out the non-Iraq stuff.
President Joe Biden: On Iraq, the president said he would end the war.
Governor Romney said that was a tragic mistake, we should have left
30,000 - he ended it. Governor Romney said that was a tragic mistake, we
should have left 30,000 troops there.
House Rep Paul Ryan: With respect to Iraq, we had the same position
before the withdrawal, which was we agreed with the Obama
administration. Let's have a status of forces agreement to make sure
that we secure our gains. The vice president was put in charge of those
negotiations by President Obama and they failed to get the agreement. We
don't have a status of forces agreement because they failed to get one.
That's what we are talking about.
may argue we should include the question. Okay. Martha Raddatz stated,
"I would like to begin with Libya. On a rather somber note, one month
ago tonight, on the anniversary of 9-11, Ambassador Chris Stevens and
three other brave Americans were killed in a terrorist attack in
Benghazi. The State Department has now made clear, there were no
protesters there. It was a pre-planned assault by heavily armed men.
Wasn't this a massive intelligence failure, Vice President Joe Biden?"
President Joe Biden: On Iraq, the president said he would end the war.
Governor Romney said that was a tragic mistake, we should have left
30,000 - he ended it. Governor Romney said that was a tragic mistake, we
should have left 30,000 troops there.
As we were noting on Tuesday,
that is incorrect. At the New York Times blog The Caucus today, Richard A. Oppel declared
"Little noticed in last night's debate: Vice President Joseph R. Biden
Jr. seemed to go out of his way to alter what has been a high profile --
and unfair -- criticism by President Obama of the Romney campaign's
statements about Iraq." He goes on to declare Biden's assertion to be "a
little closer to being accurate" than Barack's. But a little closer to
accurate isn't accurate and it remains, as he noted, "unfair" and
untrue. This is FactCheck.org from September 7, 2012
the case that Romney lacks foreign policy chops, Obama twisted Romney's
words, claiming, "My opponent said it was 'tragic' to end the war in
But that's not quite what Romney
said. He was speaking of the speed with which Obama was withdrawing
troops, not to ending the war in general.
a veterans roundtable in South Carolina on Nov. 11, 2011, Romney
criticized Obama's plan to remove troops from Iraq by the end of that
year. Here's the fuller context of his comments, as reported by the New York Times:
Nov. 11, 2011: It is my view that the withdrawal of all of our troops
from Iraq by the end of this year is an enormous mistake, and failing by
the Obama administration. The precipitous withdrawal is unfortunate —
it's more than unfortunate, I think it's tragic. It puts at risk many of
the victories that were hard won by the men and women who served there.
A month earlier, when Obama formally announced the withdrawal of tens of thousands of troops from Iraq by year's end, Romney released a similar statement:
Oct. 21, 2011: President Obama's astonishing failure to secure an
orderly transition in Iraq has unnecessarily put at risk the victories
that were won through the blood and sacrifice of thousands of American
men and women. The unavoidable question is whether this decision is the
result of a naked political calculation or simply sheer ineptitude in
negotiations with the Iraqi government. The American people deserve to
hear the recommendations that were made by our military commanders in
In December, Romney argued
that Obama "has pulled our troops out in a precipitous way" and that he
ought to have left a residual force of "10-, 20-, 30-thousand personnel
there to help transition to the Iraqi's own military capabilities."
the "precipitous" pace of withdrawal and the president's failure to
leave a residual force in Iraq is a far cry from calling the end of the
war in Iraq "tragic."
Biden said that Mitt Romney wanted to leave 30,000 servicemembers in
Iraq beyond the end of the U.S-Iraq status of forces agreement that
expired at the end of 2011.
facts: Obama administration officials and Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri
al-Maliki's government negotiated for months on a deal that would have
allowed a small residual force to remain in Iraq beyond 2011 under a new
status of forces agreement. The negotiations, however, fell apart
because Maliki believed he would be unable to nudge the Iraqi parliament
to agree to immunity for American troops operating in Iraq.
Obama announced his plan to withdraw the last remaining troops from
Iraq in October 2011, Romney said on Fox News in December: "If I were
president, I would have carried out the status of forces agreement that
was long anticipated that actually (Defense Secretary Leon) Panetta ...
indicated he wanted to have as well, which would have allowed to us have
somewhere between 10 and 30,000 troops in Iraq."
The only thing more laughable than the above is them on Libya. USA Today
cannot tell the truth on Libya, but we'll address that on Sunday.
Regarding the above, it gives the impression that Barack removed "the
last remaining troops from Iraq." He did no such thing and USA Today
should stop lying, they really are embarrassing themselves -- and this
is the paper who demanded -- in an editoriall -- that Bill Clinton step
down as President for fooling around with Monica Lewinsky, That is what
they concerned themselves with, the 'high crimes' of a blow job. And one
might think that would be their all time low point but the no-stars are
damned determined to aim even lower.
Sebastian Meyer (CNN) reports
today that Iraqis really don't care about the elections in the US. And
why would they? They saw a Democrat replace a Republican in the White
House and the war didn't end. Meyer points out, "The Iraq Body Count
database estimates that seven people have been killed every single day
by suicide and car bomb attacks this year." In addition, US forces
remain in Iraq. Micah Zenko (Council on Foreign Relations) observes
today, "The United States currently has 225 troops, 530 security
assistance team members, and over 4,000 contractors to equip and train
Iraqi security forces via the Office of Security Cooperation Iraq."
Or, as Kevin Kervick points out in a letter to the editors of the Seacoast Online
"President Obama did accomplish a rhetorical end to the Iraq war, a
development that many of us celebrated during an End of War Parade right
here in Portsmouth. However, there are still thousands of military
trainers, mercenaries and contractors there who have no plans on
leaving. The violence continues to rage in Iraq." [Kevin J. Kervick is running for state representative in New Hampshire's District 30
As last year wound down, Ted Koppel was reporting that Special Ops
would be among those troops remaining in Iraq. Not only did they remain
there, more were sent in. Tim Arango (New York Times) reported September 26th
"Iraq and the United States are negotiating an agreement that could
result in the return of small units of American soldiers to Iraq on
training missions. At the request of the Iraqi government, according to
General Caslen, a unit of Army Special Operations soldiers was recently
deployed to Iraq to advise on counterterrorism and help with
last night's debate, Joe was a hypocrite when he ridiculed Mitt Romney
as someone who wanted US troops to remain longer because (a) Barack was
in negotiations for that and (b) the White House continues to negotiate
for that. I like Joe, I know Joe. He's a wonderful person. But he was
dishonest on Iraq last night. Very dishonest. Joe also declared of the
Iraq War and the Afghanistan War, "I voted against them. I said, 'No, we
can't afford that'." I believe he mispoke on that -- my belief --
because he does know his own voting record. His statements were
inaccurate and you can say he was lying (I won't say lie on this one
because I believe he mispoke) because he voted for both wars. I've tried
to figure out how he could claim otherwise? Am I missing some
appropriations vote -- after the wars started -- that he voted "no" on? I
don't believe I am. But if there were one, with regards to Afghanistan,
he declared, "Whatever it takes, we should do it
With regards to Iraq, he may be arguing about his 2002 amendment -- he
wanted a second resolution. He voted on the Iraq War in favor but had
proposed an amendment which failed. Had it passed, it would have
required authorization from the United Nations. Possibly, that's what
Joe was interpreting as being against it -- his proposing that amendment
makes clear he was against going to war without a second UN resolution,
therefore, he can assert that he was against the war that took place
since Bush did not get a second resolution. If others want to
characterize the voting against them statement as a lie, I'm not going
to argue the point. But I know Joe and it's not like him to distort his
own voting record. My opinion, he mispoke there or he's interpreting his
voting record -- not just the initial votes -- in a way that others
-- including myself -- do not.
regards to the current negotiations with Iraq, on that Joe misled, he
flat-out lied. I wish he hadn't, but he did. And I have no problem
On the topic of Iraq, Michael Gordon and Bernard Trainor have an important new book entitled The Endgame
. Gary Anderson (Washington Times) reviews
the volume today and concludes, "To sum up the book for the reader: A
Republican administration blundered into the Iraq War, and a Democratic
administration stumbled out of it. Through it all, rank-and-file
soldiers and civilian professionals saved our bacon by making chicken
salad out of chicken droppings. The devil of the story is in the
details, and the authors do a superb job of providing them."
is me, not the book. Before 2010 rolled around, it was already clear
that Nouri al-Maliki was not going to be a fair leader. Since 2007,
State Dept cables regularly noted Nouri was paranoid In addition, he was
prone to seeing conspiracies everywhere. The book notes Nouri's fetish
for conspiracies and his paranoia. It notes that the top US commander in
Iraq, General Ray Odierno, felt there needed to be contingency plans
before the 2010 elections. Specifically, Odierno thought Nouri might not
respect or honor the results. (Odierno looks like a prophet today. He
was 100% right.) While Odierno had clear concerns, Chris Hill -- then
the Ambassador to Iraq -- was dismissive of the concerns, dismissive of
Odierno and saw Nouri in a way no one else did. (Through the eyes of
love?) From the book:
Maliki's ornate palace in the Green Zone, a picture was beginning to
emerge from the election returns and it was not one that the prime
minister liked. Maliki had believed he was all but assured of victory.
He had seen the nation through the surge and led the charge to Basra,
formed "support councils" to reach out to tribal leaders throughout the
south, and rebranded his political coalition as a nationalist
organization committed to restoring and preserving the peace: State of
Law. In fact, Maliki was so confident that his populartiy and the
dramatically improved security situation would seal his reelection that
he had split away from his rivals in the other major Shiite bloc, the
Iraqi National Accord, after they announced they would not support
Maliki for another term as prime minister. Malliki's aides had assure
him that State of Law would win as many as 120 seats and would be able
to easily form a government without the INA and Iraqiya. That Allawi
and his largely Sunni coalition could dislodge the incumbent prime
minister seemed unthinkable to Maliki.
the contest between Iraqiya and State of Law was astonishingly close and
as the results trickled in to Iraq's Independent High Election
Commission it appeared that Allawi's bloc might win more parliamentary
seats, which could give it the right to make the first attempt to
assemble a governing coalition under the Iraqi constitution. On March
17, Iraqiya held a slim nine-thousand-vote lead over Maliki's State of
Law with more than 95 percent of the votes counted. The party had even
done well in areas of the Shiite south, where they tallied more than
200,000 votes and elected more than ten Shiite members of the
parliament. The trend held up when the final results were announced nine
days later. Allawi's Iraqiya had secured ninety-one seats over Maliki's
State of Law, which had been awarded eighty-nine seats. The INA, the
competing Shiite alliance, won seventy seats and the Kurdistan Alliance
fifty-seven seats. To govern Iraq, a bloc needed to line up enough
allies to control 163 seats in the 325-seat parliament.
the book make clear, prior to this, Gen Ray Odierno had forseen a power
grab by Nouri. He'd been dismissed by Chris Hill. In fact, Chris Hill
loathed Odierno and threw a hissy fit to get Odierno shut out of the
media. This is in the book.
in the book, Chris Hill did not like Sunnis. Iraqis who worked with the
US Embassy felt that was very clear and several found Hill's remarks to
be disturbing enough that they shared their take of him with embassy
staff. This was relayed back to the White House who didn't seem at all
concerned. (And, to be clear, the Iraqis complaining to embassy staff
were Shi'ites.) Chris Hill gave a very ugly face to America and his
'jokes' were not seen as 'funny' (by Iraqis or by most staff). Chris'
hatred of Sunnis is why he worked against Shi'ite Ayad Allawi who was
heading the Iraqiya political slate which was a mix of Sunnis and
Shi'ites though Hill saw it as Allawi fronting Sunnis. Hill also did not
and does not care for Saudi Arabia. This will explain page 620's
statement, "There was no Sunni party that was not bought and paid for by
Saudis, he said, but he shared some of Odierno's concerns." He was not
concerned with a Sunni buy-in of the government, the book explains.
the book, one of Chris' many tantrums gets noted. He's screaming
private, US government conversations in front of non-Americans. Chris
Hill was an awful face for the US to Iraq.
as noted in the book, had forseen a power grab on Nouri's part and had
wanted a detailed plan for various moves Nouri might pull. This was
brushed aside. To reach the deadline of the SOFA for all US troops out
of Iraq by the end of 2011, Under Secretary of Defense Michele Flourney,
Barack and others were eager to support Nouri. Odierno and Hill met
March 25th, 17 days after the election, when there were clear problems.
While Odierno had concerns and wanted to send a message that the US
supported democracy, Hill's feelings were expressed as, "What a stinking
country this is."
"What a stinking country this is."
Chris Hill was the worst face for the US in Iraq. And he did a lousy job in Iraq.
used the Bagdad Iraqi court to 'revise' the Constitution allowing him
first crack at forming a coaltion. He did not have that right, the
Parliament does not give him a right. Odierno was repeatedly pushed
aside. But the votes, the will of the people and the Constitution did
not matter to Barack. The book notes, "At the White House, Obama
administration officials were not perturbed. They argued that Allawi's
Iraqiya would have been unlikely to attract enough allies to form a new
government and that it was a political fact of life that the prime
minister of Iraq would come from the ranks of the Shiite political
parties. But Sunnis saw it as a violation of the very spirit of the
around this time, Chris Hill's ignorance would be brought to the
attention of then-Secretary of Defense Robert Gates. Not in the book, at
which point the complaints to the State Dept finally registered as (in
the book) Gates takes Odierno to meet with Hillary Clinton and others.
Hill should have been immediately replaced. Instead, Barack kept him in
place. Even though he was inept. In his more minor role, he continued to
insist that Iraqiya didn't need to be brought into the process and
repeatedly attempted to undermine Odierno's efforts to bring Iraqiya
into the process.
you see where that led to? Chris Hill is an idiot. Chris Hill destroyed
all the diplomatic work the State Dept had done, all the leadership
work Odierno did (Odierno met with Iraqi leaders regularly and spoke of
what most would consider universal values such as free and fair
elections). Chris Hill -- as we noted repeatedly in real time -- was
disrespectful to Odierno, jealous of him and worked repeatedly to
undercut him. While Odierno has been polite enough not to air his
complaints, someone serving under Odierno is considering a book deal.
Chris Hill better be worried. When someone from that side of the
equation tells the story, it will be even more clear how Hill didn't
understand the first thing about Iraq and screwed up everything. As was
described to me by someone in the State Dept, Chris went to Iraq
thinking 'success' was forming a friendship with Nouri and backing Nouri
in everything. Chris Hill is an idiot who was more concerned with
kissing Nouri's ass, undermining Odierno and attacking the US press.
the White House backed Hill isn't anything Gordon and Trainor can suss
out. No one can. Retired US Gen Anthony Zinni was supposed to be the US
Ambassador to Iraq, Barack was supposed to nominate him. Zinni discussed
that on the August 6, 2009 broadcast of NPR's The Diane Rehm Show
Diane Rehm: General Zinni, you almost went to work for the Obama administration. I'd like to hear from you --
Anthony Zinni: Right.
Diane Rehm: -- what happened.
Zinni: Well, uh, I was called right before the inauguration and asked
if I would be willing to serve as, uh, to serve in the administration in
a couple of possibilities. And then --
Diane Rehm: By whom?
Zinni: By General [James L.] Jones, the National Security Advisor. And I
said I would given the-the positions he mentioned,. And right after the
inauguration, he called and asked if I would serve as the ambassador
to, uh, Iraq. And I said I would. And, uh, received a call from the vice
president thanking me that I would take that on --
Diane Rehm: Vice President [Joe] Biden.
Zinni: Vice President Biden. And, uh, I met with Secretary of State
[Hillary] Clinton and, uh, deputy -- two deputies. Spent a long time
with her in the office. She was asking me what I understood about Iraq,
my assessment. I had just gotten back not long before that doing an
assessment out there. And then I left that meeting, you know,
understanding fully, you know, I was going to be the nominee. I mean I
was told to prepare for it, we would move the process forward very
quickly because of the outgoing Ambassador Ryan Crocker was coming out
Diane Rehm: You shook hands on it?
Zinni: Yes, we did. I mean, there was no way I left and didn't think
this was going to happen. And actually thought I had a very short period
of time to get my affairs in order. I mean, obviously, there are a
number of things you have to do in your own financial family and all
that sort of thing. And for -- a week went by and I was told to stay in
touch, be prepared, quote: "Move the paperwork forward." That we were
going to move up the confirmation hearings. And nothing was happening.
And I tried to contact people and I couldn't get any answers. And
finally late -- about a week later -- I finally got a hold of General
Jones and he informed me I was not the choice and I was kind of shocked
and surprised by it. And then the next morning in the Washington Post, I
read that it's Chris Hill and I thought: "Had I not gotten ahold of
General Jones, that's how I would found out." To be honest with you, I-I
don't, I can understand people changing their minds and I don't
object to that. You know that's a fact of life. I-I was just put back by
not being called or told by anyone and, to this day, I haven't had
anybody explain to me what happened so. But I moved on. Clearly, you
know, you have to understand Washington and the way things work and I've
moved on from there.
Diane Rehm: What's your best guess as to why you were not chosen?
Zinni: Honestly, Diane, I don't know. Uh, one of the reasons -- I-I
started getting calls that very day from the media, from the press and,
uh, people saying, "These are the rumors we're hearing." And they were
attributed to senior government officials so that was disturbing. And
many of the-the reasons given, I clearly knew were not right because --
Diane Rehm: Such as?
Zinni: Such as, "Well the Pentagon didn't want you." Or, "A certain
general didn't want you." All-all of whom I knew personally and it's
just the opposite and matter of fact were calling me upset that-that it
hadn't gone through. So I began to be bothered by some of the rumors
that obviously were coming out of the -- supposedly attributed by the
media to senior government officials.
Diane Rehm: What kinds of rumors?
Zinni: Well, it was this particular lobby that worked against you, it
was this particular individual that-that stopped it or this person.
And-and to me that -- you know, to me, many of them I knew weren't true,
many of them I thought were only based on rumor and so I thought it
important since they were asking me what happened I tried to not engage
them but then I finally said, "Well look, let me just tell you the
course of events that went by. So there's no misunderstanding that I
didn't know or understand that I was be the nominee. And what happened."
And-and to this day, nobody's told me what happened. Not that I'm
interested anymore. But [laughing] I haven't been told.
Diane Rehm: So even speaking with General Jones, he did not give you a reason?
Zinni: He did not. Our last conversation, right after that was "Well
I'll get back to you as I find out." And, you know, that was in January
and then I have not heard anything about it. Not that I'm, again, I'm
not interested anymore in what happened.
Rehm: Of course you're not interested anymore since it's over and done
with. On the other hand, as a human being, if I had been in your
position, I would have felt really stung.
Zinni: Yeah -- well, yes. I guess the best way to describe my feelings,
was I was disappointed because there were many friends and people I
respected tremendously in this process and, uh, so that-that created a
disappointment and confusion on my part as to what exactly happened.
If it's any consulation to Zinni, anyone paying attention can see that Chris Hill and his 'expertise' did much harm to Iraq.
Al Mada reports
that another brigade of of US soldiers have arrived in Iraq to help the
others US soldiers who began inspecting Iranian planes crossing over
Iraq to Syria (the others began last week). Look for the US press to
ignore this news that's been reported for a week now in Iraq. To
continue to ignore. Saturday, Al Mada reported
that the US military has entered Baghdad International Airport and
taken over the inspection of all Iranian planes en route to Syria. In
addition, the US is monitoring the Iraqi Centeral Bank (allegedly out of
concern that funds are being diverted to Syria). Monday Kitabat reported
that on Sunday the US took the lead in the inspections. This may
account for the Iranian government's sudden desire to comment on the
search policy. Two weeks ago, when Iraqis inspected the first Iranian
plane bound for Syria, there was no real comment from the Iranian
regime. Suddenly, it's an issue, a very big issue. Hard to believe the
reports of the US now handling the inspections isn't responsible for
some of the warning statements from the Iranian government. Those who
don't read Arabic can refer to this Aswat al-Iraq article
which covers the Al Mada
's report from last Saturday, "Iraqi al-Mada
daily quoted an official that a US force entered Baghdad International
Airport and became responsible of searching Iranian planes heading for
Syria through Iraqi airspace."
to the spokesman for the Iraqiya List, Haydar al-Mulla, the meetings
between the Iranian Defense Minister and Iraqi officials in Samara
constituted a violation of national sovereignty. He stressed that "the
danger of the Iranian defense minister's visit to Samara lies in his
meetings with Iraqi security leaders, which constituted a violation to
the most basic concepts of national sovereignty."
Mulla criticized the amicable position of some Iraqi forces toward Tehran, paving the way for Iranian influence and control.
is addressing Iraq as if it were its own subsidiary, with the blessing
of some political parties," he said. "One of the major problems today in
Iraq, after 2003, is the double standards and selective application of
the constitution and laws. We, as the Iraqiya List, are keen to adopt
the best relations for Iraq with neighboring countries, whether Arab or
not," he added.
Meanwhile the September 27 attack on the prison in Tikrit is back in the news. Kitabat reports
that the attack that resulted in at least 16 deaths and injuries as
well as over 100 escapees is being claimed by the Islamic State of
Iraq. They claimed credit for the attack, boasted that they had
infiltrated the prison and smuggled guns and bombs inside. Alsumaria adds
that today's announcement also stated that five members of the Islamic State of Iraq had been killed in the operation. AFP states
inmates "escaped during the assault, including 47 members of the ISI"
and that four were said to have been killed and 23 recaptured which
would mean 77 remain at large weeks later. July 22nd
the Islamic State of Iraq released an audio recording announcing a new
campaign of violence entitled Breaking The Walls which would include
prison breaks and killing "judges and investigators and their guards
." Since they made their July announcement there have been minor and major attacks throughout Iraq.
of the reason for the Islamic State of Iraq's successes of late is that
they have a cause that is sympathetic when they focus on prisoners due
to the fact that the Iraqi prison system has become a labyrinth that few
ever escape from. The disappeared are often impossible for the
families to track and often wait years and years for a court appearance
that may or may not come. When Nouri was interested in looking like a
leader to the American people -- a portion of 2007 and 2008 -- he spoke
about the need to pass an amnesty law. Nothing was ever passed. His
State of Law remains the biggest obstacle to an amnesty law. All Iraq News notes
that the Kurdistan Alliance is calling for the amnesty bill to contain
more guidelines and that Speaker of Parliament Osama al-Nujaifi has
postponed the latest scheduled vote to Saturday. Al-Shorfa maintains
"The presidency of the Iraqi Parliament on Friday (October 12th) said
it will excluse those who committed terrorist crimes from a draft law
that could give all Iraqi prisoners amnesty." The Saudi Gazette reports
3 Saudis in a Baghdad prison are on a hunger strike and have been for
20 days. The three are death row prisoners. At least 119 people have
been executed in Iraq so far this year.
On Parliament, Alsumaria notes
the infrastructure bill is also supposed to be voted on Saturday. The
legislative body recently scheduled a month long vacation to begin in
November. Al Mada reports
that Deputy Prime Minister Saleh al-Mutlaq is calling on the members
of Parliament to postpone the vacation until an amnesty law is passed. All Iraq News reports
that human rights activist Haitham Mohamed Ibrahim has been arrested in
Mosul after Governor Ethel al-Nujaifi swore out a complaint against
him. For what isn't stated. al-Nujaifi is not just the governor of
Nineveh Province, he is also the brother of Speaker of Parliament Osama
al-Nujaifi. In other surprising news, Alsumaria reports
that they have official documents revealing vast wasted public funds on
a parcel of land that a hosptial was supposed to be built upon in
Karbala. But the big government news for Iraqi outlets continues to be
Nouri's weapons shopping spree this week, $4.2 billion to Russia for
weapons and an undisclosed sum to the Czech Republic for more.Alsumaria notes
yestereday's press conference in Prague where Nouri announced the
agreement with the Czech Republic but was coy on details such as the
value of the weapons contract. Suadad al-Salhy and Jason Hovet (Reuters) estimate
the deal is worth "about $1 billion." So the Czech Republic deal and the Russian deal are worth over $5 billion dollars. Haifa Zaiter (Al-Monitor) offers
some interpretations of the deals including:
Ihsan al-Shammari, a professor of political science at Baghdad University, explains this idea to As-Safir.
According to the professor, the Kurds feel the most threatened by this
visit. They believe that arms in the hands of Maliki would pose a major
threat to their historic dream of secession, which was further promoted
when the Syrian crisis erupted.
the divide within the Iraqi domestic arena has surfaced again, between
those who support an alliance between Baghdad and Tehran, on the one
hand, and between Baghdad and Washington on the other. There is another
emerging camp, which believes that US influence will not be harmed as a
result of this visit, especially given that Maliki is not able to escape
from under the US umbrella.
This point of view is supported by Abdel Halilm al-Rahimi, an Iraqi writer and politician, who told As-Safir that Iraq has a "strategic alliance" with the US, and it would not be in Iraq's interest to harm it.
Through yesterday, Iraq Body Count
counts 65 people killed in Iraq from violence this month so far. Alsumaria reports
1 Iraqi soldier was shot dead in Saydiya. Alsumaria also reports
1 women's corpse was discovered in Nineveh (shot dead) and 1 man's
corpse found in Nineveh Province (he had been kidnapped three days
In related news, Al Mada notes
State of Law is insisting that the continued absenses of heads of the
security ministries is not Nouri's fault. They insist that he can only
take names and nominate them apparently trying to insist that its the
responsibility of someone else to come up with names for nominations.
Maybe that's written into the Erbil Agreement? If not and if we're
going by Iraq's Constitution, it's Nouri's job to come up with
nominees. All Iraq News reports
that Iraqiya MP Khalid al-Alouni has declared that Nouri only wants nominees from his own State of Law political slate.
Chair Darrell Issa: More importantly, they held a broad news conference
over the phone in which they made it very clear that it had never been
the State Department's position -- I repeat, never been the State
Department's position -- that in fact this assault was part of a
reaction to a video or the like. This is corroborated by numerous
witnesses and whistle blowers. Contrary to early assertions by the
administration, let's understand, there was no protest. And cameras
reveal that. And the State Department, the FBI and others have that
Over and over, we heard about this. Over and over, in the hearing, the State Dept talked about this.
press isn't doing their damn job. If you doubt me on that, please note
that not only has the video been widely dispersed within the
administration, it is a little over fifty minutes long and Issa, in
questioning the State Dept's Patrick Kennedy in open session on
Wednesday, established that a government body is keeping the tape from
the American people and from the Congress. That government is not the
FBI nor is it any division of "law enforcement." This was also
established in open session. The press should have run with that,
headlines should have asked who has this tape, why is it being kept from
the American people and from the Congress?
White House repeatedly lied about the attacks. Claimed it was due to a
video. Claimed it was protesters. Lie, lie, lie. A government body
now has the tape. The FBI states they are done with the tape, they have
no objection to Congress having the tape. What body is keeping the
tape from Congress? That's what the press should be asking. They
should also be asking why the tape is being kept from Congress?
Americans were killed in the attacks: Glen Doherty, Sean Smith,
Ambassador Chris Stevens and Tyrone Woods. Wednesday night, Sean
Smith's mother Pat Smith spoke with Anderson Cooper for CNN's Anderson Cooper 360
for video, here for transcript
. Here's an excerpt of Pat Smith speaking about her son:
Pat, I appreciate you being with us. And I'm just so sorry for your
loss. What do you want people to know about your son, about Sean?
SMITH, SON KILLED IN BENGHAZI ATTACK: Well, god. He was my only child.
And he was good, he was good at what he did, he'd loved it.
COOPER: He loved working with computers?
SMITH: Computers, radios. He was good at what he did.
COOPER: Was that something he had done as a kid? I mean how did -- did he always -- was he always good with computer?
SMITH: Well, when he was a kid, computers weren't out yet. And --
then they were out and he -- I got a computer and he started playing
with them and he started showing me how you could build a flame thrower
and -- by just watching a computer and then told you how to do it. So
that's how it started.
note another excerpt later in the interview. The administration
promised Pat Smith she would be given answers about how her son died.
She has not been given information.
COOPER: Who told you that they would give you information?
You'll love this. Obama told me. Hillary promised me. Joe Biden -- Joe
Biden is a pleasure. He was a real sweetheart. But he also told -- they
all told me that -- they promised me. And I told them please, tell me
what happened. Just tell me what happened.
COOPER: So you're
still waiting to hear from somebody about what happened to your son?
About what they know? Or even what they don't know.
Right. Right. Officially yes. I told them, please don't give me any
baloney that comes through with this political stuff. I don't want
political stuff. You can keep your political, just tell me the truth.
What happened. And I still don't know. In fact, today I just heard
something more that he died of smoke inhalation.
COOPER: So you don't even know the cause of death?
I don't even know if that's true or not. No, I don't. I don't know
where. I look at TV and I see bloody hand prints on walls, thinking, my
god, is that my son's? I don't know if he was shot. I don't know -- I
don't know. They haven't told me anything. They are still studying it.
And the things that they are telling me are just outright lies.
Susan Rice, what -- she talked to me personally and she said, she said,
this is the way it was. It was -- it was because of this film that came
COOPER: So she told you personally that she thought it was a result of that video of the protest?
Oh, absolutely. Absolutely. In fact all of them did. All of them did.
Leon Panetta actually took my face in his hands like this and he said,
trust me. I will tell you what happened. And so far, he's told me
nothing. Nothing at all. And I want to know.
COOPER: It's important for you to know all the details no matter how horrible.
As she knows, she was lied to. And the White House has made no effort to correct those lies to her.