Monday, May 13, 2019

Jonathan Turley's right yet again

Jonathan Turley again gets it right:

For weeks, Democrats have insisted that Attorney General William Barrmust release special counsel Robert Mueller’s “full and unredacted report.” They dismissed objections that some information such as grand jury evidence, called Rule 6(e) material, cannot be legally released by Barr. The House Judiciary Committee issued a subpoena for “a complete, unredacted copy, including exhibits and attachments.” It maintained that “neither Rule 6(e) nor any applicable privilege barred disclosure of these materials to Congress.”
Yet, in holding Barr in contempt this week, the committee stated that, despite a subpoena demanding the unredacted report, it was not demanding the release of grand jury material. Instead, it wanted Barr to ask a federal court to release the information —something Congress can do on its own. Not only would such a request be a departure from the long-standing position of the Justice Department in protecting Rule 6(e) material, but it would run into a ruling last month from the D.C. Circuit Court rejecting such releases.
The change in the committee’s position creates a disconnect between the subpoena and the contempt sanction, on the one hand, and the position of the House in a court. It also means the House now recognizes what Barr and many of us have said for weeks: Barr cannot release Rule 6(e) information without a court order. This leads to the second atonal note of delaying impeachment.
Delaying impeachment
For months, I have written about the dilemma facing Democrats who won control of the House in part with calls to impeach President Trump. The House leadership never showed any interest in actually impeaching Trump as opposed to appearing to want to impeach him. Yet, House members have told constituents that the Mueller report confirms impeachable acts. While House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) maintains Trump is goading them to impeach him, her argument hardly resonates with voters who were told to wait for the report for any moves on impeachment.
This week a new explanation has emerged: We would love to impeach but Barr is withholding necessary information in these redactions. That point was stated by Rep. Ted Deutch (D-Fla.) who was asked on CNN why Democrats have cited impeachable offenses but refused to initiate the impeachment process. When Deutch proceeded to again describe the “constitutional crisis” caused by Trump’s obstruction, host Alisyn Camerota replied: “If it’s an impeachment proceeding, then somebody should call it that.”
Camerota is right. If House members truly believe Trump committed criminal or impeachable acts, they should commence an impeachment proceeding. If they truly wanted to get this information, they would do so as a matter of impeachment, not oversight authority. Congress is more likely to win the conflict over executive privilege — and do so more rapidly — under an impeachment inquiry. Deutch’s response was tellingly adamant: “This isn’t impeachment.” He suggested that Congress needs to fight over the redactions and underlying documents before it decides to impeach.
While so many have truly run around like chickens with their heads cut off, Turley has been a steady voice who has addressed what the law says and what it means.  That is what analysts are supposed to do.  Somehow, he's been one of the few in his profession to grasp that.  While Turley's done exception work, Lawrence Tribe has come off like a hack. 

This nonsense of 'constitutional crisis'?  I like this from Ava and C.I.'s "TV: Dead To All Of Us (spoilers)" last week:

Suspend disbelief?  That's the phrase Hillary Clinton tossed around in September 2007, when she was a US senator and questioning Gen David Petraeus.  To believe him, you'd have to suspend disbelief.  And she couldn't.  Neither could we.
Today, we can't suspend disbelief enough to believe Hillary's lie.   Hillary's latest lie? "I really do believe we're in a crisis, a constitutional crisis."  Really?

You really believe we're in a Constitutional crisis?

Because if that's the truth, then you really are a despicable person.  All you've ever done is brag about your commitment to civic duty but now you claim that you believe the country is in the midst of a Constitutional crisis and you're telling people that . . . as long as they pay -- what?

$1785 is what she wanted per ticket.  But she can't fill the venues.  So the price keeps dropping.  Again, if you really believed that, you'd be making these speeches for free.  Unless, of course, you're so pathetic and greedy, you would try to profit off your own country's pain?

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

Monday, May 13, 2019.

Sixteen years into this wave of the Iraq War and success!  No, kidding.  Just more failure.  The latest sign of how poorly the never-ending war is going?  The US Embassy in Baghdad issued the following:

Security Alert – U. S. Embassy Baghdad, Iraq (May 12, 2019)

Event:  The U.S. Embassy in Baghdad advises all U.S. citizens of heightened tensions in Iraq and the requirement to remain vigilant.
Actions to Take:

  • Do not travel to Iraq
  • Avoid places known as U.S. citizen gathering points.
  • Keep a low profile
  • Be aware of your surroundings
U.S. Embassy Baghdad
Al-Kindi Street, International Zone, Baghdad
Telephone (during business hours)
From Iraq:  0760-030-3000;
From the United States:  301-985-8841
U.S. Citizen Emergency After-Hours Telephone (ask for the duty officer)
From Iraq:  0760-030-3000;
From the United States:  301-985-8841

Nothing spells success for the US government like an advisory that US citizens "do not travel to Iraq."

Lies started the Iraq War, lies continue around the Iraq War.

The commander of the Syrian Democratic Forces said he hoped American troops would stay in Syria, pointing to the American departure from Iraq in 2011, which was followed by the rise of Islamic State. “They must not make the same mistake,” he warned.

No surprise that the nonsense would appear in THE NEW YORK TIMES -- no outlet did more to sell the Iraq War.  No, Judith Miller was not the only one selling it at that paper.

The US departure in 2011 did not allow for the rise of ISIS.  Nouri al-Maliki is responsible for that.  The Iraqi people saw a crazed tyrant and they turned out, in March 2010, to vote him out as prime minister.  The election was in March.  When did Iraq get a prime minister that year?  November.  Why?

Because Nouri refused to step down and idiots like the then-US Ambassador to Iraq Chris Hill, idiots like Samantha Power and idiots like Susan Rice advised Barack Obama that Nouri was their guy.  Idiot Barack went along with it.  Instead of insisting that Nouri honor the democratic election results, Barack tasked US diplomats with negotiating The Erbil Agreement which nullified the will of the people, set aside the actual vote and gave Nouri a second term.

In his second term, he only grew worse.  He is the reason for the rise of ISIS.  He was the one arresting innocent people without an arrest warrant, throwing them into secret prisons and torture chambers, he was the one ordering the abuse of Iraqi girls and women, he was the one calling on Iraqi people to kill suspected lesbians and gays, he was the one having the press arrested, he was the one bombing residential areas of Falluja, he was the one arresting protesters . . .  We'd need several snapshots just to review all that he did.

Nouri is responsible for the rise of ISIS.

As for the ridiculous Syrian Democratic Forces?  Uh, aren't you fighters?  Why do you need the US to breast feed you?  Are you not able to stand up on your own?

Barack had the US fighting ISIS and al Qaeda in Iraq while supporting it in Syria.  That's a policy screw up that he will never escape.

On the topic of ISIS, RT has a documentary about what life was like under ISIS in Iraq.

Meanwhile, AL-MANAR reports:

Iraq’s Hashd Shaabi volunteer forces announced on Sunday a plan to redeploy in Nineveh governorate.
A commander in the Hashd, which is also known as the Popular Mobilization Forces (PMF), Raed Al-Karawi, said the PMF is to redeploy across the governorate, noting that coordination with the Iraqi army and security forces are going on.

This move takes place as Nineveh has a new governor.  RUDAW reports:

The Nineveh Provincial Council elected Mansour Marid as its new governor on Monday.

He is from the Ataa Movement that confirmed the news.

The 39-member provincial council voted him in with 28 votes.

The political group is close to the Hashd al-Shaabi and Iraqi National Security Advisor Falah al-Fayyadh.

How long Mansour Marid will be in office is anyone's guess.  If the past is any indication, he's highly likely to be removed from office as happened to his immediate predecessors Nawfal Hamadi and Atheel al-Nujaifi.  Nujaifi was kicked out by the Baghdad-based central government because Mosul was seized by ISIS.  That was the excuse, anyway.  Two years prior to that, Nouri al-Maliki was trying to remove Atheel from office.  Ramadi, Mosul, Falluja, etc. were seized by ISIS and the person sacked for that was the governor of Nineveh?  Not the prime minister of Iraq?

As for Nawfal Hamadi, he was also part of a long effort to force him out of office.  The council voted him out of office long before the ferry disaster earlier this year.

RUDAW notes there was an effort to stop the vote:r.

Doubts over the Council’s ability to elect a new governor are rife. The Council, whose role includes overseeing governorate budget plans, itself faces accusations of corruption following an investigation launched by Iraq's Integrity Commission, with many calling for its dissolution. It was found that nearly $64 million from funds allocated for reconstruction projects had been embezzled.

[. . .]

In the run up to the vote that was supposed to take place in an Iraqi parliament session on May 2, a video statement was released by a group of Nineveh MPs, which said "Our people in the province of Nineveh are awaiting the decision of the Iraqi parliament to dissolve, members of who directly or indirectly deliberately caused in wasting funds or stealing them on part of the local government."

But parliament allegedly removed the vote on the fate of the Council from its agenda, much to the MPs' dismay.

New governor Mansour Marid is backed by the Ataa Movement that is close to Hashd al-Shaabi and NSA Al-Fayyadh

Mustafa Habib details other issues with the election.

Dangerous developments in . While the city suffers of destruction, needs reconstruction. Big political crisis has begun over governor's post, today is scheduled to be elected governor but hundreds of protesters gathered around provincial building to prevent that (1
  • Protesters are demanding the staying of the interim administration of Mosul headed by Muzahim al-Khayat. Some say that rival parties participated in the protests (2)
  • Iraqi parliament has sent order to Nineveh provincial council to postpone governor's election due to corruption by sale of the post to some parties, but members of the provincial council refuse to postpone (3)
    Now, Moqtada al-Sadr calls the president and the prime minister to intervene to resolve the crisis by dismissing members of the provincial council (4)
    Breaking: elect Mansour al-Maraid to governor of Ninewa, he is close to "Fatah" alliance led by Hadi al-Amiri and he supported by Popular Mobilization Forces (PMF)
  • Former Prime Minister Haider Abbadi criticizes election of the new governor of Nineveh, and says: "we will stand against the corrupt and treacherous who paved the way by their corruption to ISIS control on

    New content at THIRD:

    We'll close with some Tweets from former US Senator Mike Gravel who is seeking the Democratic Party's presidential nomination:

  • Here's the official Mike Gravel 2020 Campaign Launch Ad - "Rock 2.0" Join the to push American politics to the left and speak truth to power, send Mike $1 to get him on the debate stage: .
    From Mike's interview on : "It's not a matter of age - it's a matter of whether your IDEAS are old." - Donate $1 to get Mike to the debates! We're more than halfway there, and we need your support!
    Would people be interested in a livestream Q&A with Sen. Gravel? (Teens will not be able to be present.)
    this is the greatest day of my life
    Louise Mensch, "journalist"
    Mike Gravel stands in solidarity with the nurses of Mercy Health St. Vincent Medical Center in Toledo, who are striking for better wages, insurance, and decent schedules. We encourage all our supporters to support the nurses and staff in their brave stand.
    Ilhan Omar is an American hero. You should challenge any presidential candidate who doesn’t say that outright.
    Sen. Gravel was honored to go on to speak out against the coup in Venezuela. America is bankrolling death and destruction in a desperate attempt to install a business-friendly conservative - we cannot stand for it.
    it's good to know that we need to find a compromise between "the world must flood" and "the world should not flood." real progress since noah's ark
    Sen. Gravel on Pete Buttigieg and LGBTQ+ rights
    "Like most human beings, I have no concrete principles or views about anything"
    Best panel is definitely in handcuffs
    It’s rare that we’ve faced problems as large as those we face today. And it’s rare that we find someone as hilariously ill-equipped to handle them as Joe Biden.