BULLY BOY PRESS & CEDRIC'S BIG MIX -- THE KOOL-AID TABLE
FOR THE RECORD, IF YOU SMOKE AND ARE HAPPY SMOKING, MORE POWER TO YOU. WE ARE NOT JUDGING YOU.
THE CELEBRITY IN CHIEF, BARACK OBAMA, HOWEVER, HAS BEEN CAUGHT IN ANOTHER LIE.
HE PROMISED THE ATHLETIC MICHELLE THAT HE WOULD QUIT SMOKING IF SHE WOULD LET HIM RUN FOR PRESIDENT. YES OR NO, HAS HE QUIT?
BAD ENOUGH THAT HE LIED.
BUT HIS COMMENTS THAT HE'S 95% QUIT DEMONSTRATES THAT HE'S NOT JUST A LIAR, HE'S AN IDIOT. THERE IS NO 95% RECOVERY. YOU'RE AN ADDICT IN RECOVERY OR YOU'RE AN ADDICT CAUGHT UP IN YOUR ADDICTION.
BARACK NEEDS TO GET HONEST ABOUT WHAT HE IS.
SHOULD HE DECIDE THAT HE'S HAPPY SMOKING, WE'LL APPLAUD AND BE HAPPY FOR HIM. BUT AS LONG AS HE SAYS HE WANTS TO QUIT SMOKING AND PROMISES TO, THESE REPORTERS WILL HOLD HIM TO THAT STANDARD.
FROM THE TCI WIRE:
Starting in England where Prime Minister Gordon Brown remains desperate and eager to spin. Today he gave a highly confusing interview to BBC Radio 4's World at One in which he meant to say that there would be a scope for people to provide testimony but he actually stated there was no scope for it and in which he appeared to hint that Mid-East countries surrounding Iraq would be harmed from a public inquiry because they had been working with England on the Iraq War.
Gordon Brown: The Iraq inquiry was always going to be difficult because we're looking at, uhm, eight years of -- of events. We're looking at the causes of the conflict, what happened during the conflict, we're looking at the reconstruction that's taking place after the conflict. And there are many, many views on this and it has been a very controversial issue for Britain over a period of -- a period of time. I want that review to able to take all the evidence that is -- that is necessary, including having before it the security information, the confidential information. We've got to be careful, of course, about our relationships with other countries and what is made public about our relationships for examples with countries in the region which have got to be strong after the inquiry as well. But I think we've got to position with Sir John Chilcot where he has written to me yesterday saying he sees some hearings that we could do in public consistent with national security. He has responded to my invitation that he take into account the needs of the family. He has also responded to my invitation that as chairman of the inquiry he looks at whether there's an oath or some kind of undertaking on giving evidence. And I think -- I think we're making progress on an inquiry that I hope for the public is not just to get to the truth of what's happened -- that's important. It's also to learn lessons and lessons I think the whole public wants to learn what happened during that period.
Shaun Ley: But it looks as though you have been forced into a change of position by the reaction. A week ago you told the House of Commons you wanted the evidence to be heard in private for the reasons you've just outlined. Then you get people like Lord Butler saying this will add to mistrust, John Major says people will perceive it as a whitewash, John Chilcot writes to you and you respond and say 'actually I accept your advice as much as possible should be held in public.'
Gordon Brown: Hold on. Hold on.
Shaun Ley: And they get --
Gordon Brown: Hold on. Hold on.
Shaun Ley: -- a sense then that --
Gordon Brown: Hold on. Hold on.
Shaun Ley: -- perhaps the public's mood on this kind of issue.
Gordon Brown: Hold on. You --you've got to put what happened in its proper, uh, context.
Shaun Ley: I'm trying to do that.
Gordon Brown: I, uh, I actually wrote to Sir John Chilcot my-myself. I asked him, as chairman of the inquiry, to consider a number of issues related to the conduct of the inquiry -- some of the issues that you've just raised.
Shaun Ley: But after you made your statement to the MPs.
Gordon Brown: Yes, but I said at the time that I was inviting Sir John Chilcot to talk to all the leaders of the parties and all the chairman of the select committees, and that we were going to have a process of consultation with them about the conduct of the inquiry. So Sir John Til--Chilcot looks at the thoughts I put to him -- including thoughts about how we deal with the vex question of how the families are properly consulted and do they want to -- to give evidence in private or public. and rightly Sir John Chilcot then replies to me. I'm trying to find a way to get an inquiry that can satisfy people that we're doing everything in our power to get to the truth while at the same time I think everybody understands because people were asking for a Franks-style inquiry and Franks meant
Shaun Ley: On the Falklands War.
Gordon Brown: Yes you've got to take into account national security considerations and that you've got serving military --
Shaun Ley: Indeed.
Gordon Brown: -- who want to give evidence want to give evidence sometimes in private.
Shaun Ley: At what point did you refer to this question of the giving evidence on oath? Will that in your view now happen? Does that have to happen? Does that need to happen?
Gordon Brown: Well Sir John Chilcot has written back to me -- I requested this -- he's written back to me. He is suggesting that he does think there's a way that people can give at least an undertaking that what they're saying is truthful and complete and full and I think that's --
Shaun Ley: So not a kind of hand on the Bible or hand on the Crown kind of thing?
Gordon Brown: You see, the -- the point of this inquiry --
Shaun Ley: An honorable statement saying I am giving truthful evidence.
Gordon Brown: Of course, yes. The point of this inquiry, this was an eight-year-long uh episode in -- in British history, our troops are just leaving Iraq, it is ripe to learn the lessons. Now I think the way we're doing it allows those people that have got something to say sometimes that is confidential or effects our relationships with other countries to be able to say it directly to Chilcot he then has the chance to look at all the papers the security papers as well as confidential and private papers but at the same time there is no scope for people to give evidence in public if that is -- if that is what he chooses.
Note that the program is only available for the next seven days. Tom Whitehead (Telegraph of London) notes that Brown's backtracking (prior to the interview -- the interview was only more backtracking) was "further humilitation" and that Conservative Party members are saying the New Labour prime minister is doing a "U-turn in slow motion". At the US Socialist Worker, Mark Steel offers his thoughts on the inquiry:It's unlikely anything so interesting will come out of the inquiry into the Iraq war announced by Gordon Brown. Because it will be held entirely in secret, and is not allowed to "apportion blame," as this will prevent the inquiry being "clogged up by expensive lawyers."
Apparently, this will encourage those called to be "more candid" about their behavior. So why not change the whole legal system for similar reasons? Murderers would be so much more candid in a trial if they weren't weighed down by the thought of their comments being made public. "Between you and me I strangled the lot of them," they'd laugh, whereas once they're in that big room with lawyers and blame getting in the way they're bound to clam up. How much quicker the law could be resolved without all that paraphernalia of cross-examining and working out who was telling the truth and other money-wasting nonsense. Just ask someone whether they did it, and if they say "Not really," or "I had to kill them because I'd heard they had some destructive weapons," the judge could say, "Well, that's pretty much cleared it up--who's next?"
This Wednesday, the Stop the War Coalition is rallying Wednesday. "Protest at parliament against holding Iraq enquiry in private" (Great Britain's Socialist Worker) reports the demonstration will be "outside parliament at 2pm this Wednesday, demanding 'No Whitewash, No Cover Up', in the Iraq enquiry." Independent Catholic News notes that Justice and Peace groups have created a petition "to urge MPs to vote in favour of a public enquiry." Click here for the petition.
Meanwhile in Germany, a whitewash has concluded. Deutsche Welle reports the nation's investigation into "whether former chancellor [Gerhard] Schroeder helped oust Saddam Hussein" -- an investigation that's taken three years, heard from 140 witnesses, produced a final report that numbers 2,500 pages -- was unable to "clear up key questions" and had only "meagre results." If that judgment seems harsh, it's not my judgment. It's Seigfried Kauder's judgment and Kauder was the committee chair of the investigation. Friday The Local reported that "the parliamentary investigation split along party lines over whether [Frank-Walter] Steinmeier had been truthful when he said that Germany's help to US forces consisted only of intelligence on how to avoid bombing civilian targets." The amount of pressure put on the British inquiry ahead of it commencing will determine how much of a whitewash it is or isn't.
Gordon Brown has additional troubles and they could end up being big problems for the US government. As Rebecca explained last night, May 2007 saw five British citizens kidnapped and held hostage. Over two years ago. Two turned up over the weekend and they were dead. The families are outraged. As Rebecca points out:
had the british government tried anything (diplomacy or force) and it gone bad, you could say, 'well they tried.' you could be miserable over the results but you knew they were acting.instead, gordon brown took the attitude that he could just ignore the hostages. that's what he did and that's why he wanted the families to be silent. not to protect the hostages but to keep them nameless so england wouldn't be able to put a name to each 1 and demand their safe return.
He did nothing. Two are dead. The other three? No one knows at this point. What is known is that the US negotiated with terrorists. That does happen and it's not uncommon. But they did so for the five British citizens. In fact, they released two men, two brothers, thought to be the ringleaders in an assault on a US base in Iraq in which five US service members were killed. They released these two suspected ringleaders and the deal was supposed to be that the organization the brothers belonged to released the five British hostages. Thus far only two have been released and they were dead. Should all five prove to be dead, look for extreme outrage over an action the US government has been able to semi-quiet up to this point.
Staying with the topic of US clampdowns, Heath Druzin is an American journalist employed by Stars & Stripes. You might think he'd easily be able to embed with US troops in Iraq but that was not the case. David Axe (Wired) reports the US army said no and did so "in part, because he 'refused to highlight' good news on previous stints with the military." Terry Leonard, the editorial director of Stars & Stripes, declares this is "censorship." (I agree with him.) Stars & Stripes is reporting on the refusal to allow Druzin to report:
Officials said Stripes reporter Heath Druzin, who covered operations of the division's 3rd Heavy Brigade Combat Team in February and March, would not be permitted to rejoin the unit for another reporting tour because, among other things, he wrote in a March 8 story that many Iraqi residents of Mosul would like the American soldiers to leave and hand over security tasks to Iraqi forces.
"Despite the opportunity to visit areas of the city where Iraqi Army leaders, soldiers, national police and Iraqi police displayed commitment to partnership, Mr. Druzin refused to highlight any of this news," Major Ramona Bellard, a public affairs officer, wrote in denying Druzin's embed request.
Bellard also alleged that Druzin used quotes out of context, "behaved unprofessionally" and persisted in asking Army officials for permission to use a computer to file a story during a communications-blackout period.
Additionally, Col. Gary Volesky, the 3rd Brigade's commander, asserted that Druzin "would not answer questions about stories he was writing."
Terry Leonard, editorial director of Stars and Stripes, said Druzin's reporting in Mosul had been consistently accurate and fair and he denied all of the Army's allegations. Leonard noted, for example, that reporters are not required to answer a commander's questions about their plans for future stories.
He said the newspaper had spent more than three weeks appealing Druzin's banishment to senior commanders in Iraq as well as public affairs officials at the Pentagon, but had been repeatedly rebuffed.
RECOMMENDED: "Iraq snapshot"
"Yesterday's bombing, tensions in Nineveh"
"Gordon loses control of his inquiry"
"Building Bridges "
"The 9 day old story won't go away"
"the do-nothing gordo brown"
"Sandra Bullock, John Kass"
"Roey Thorpe's a liar, a damn liar"
"Cindy Sheehan, Sandra Bullock, Ava & C.I."
"Chris Hedges, Third and Isaiah "
"THIS JUST IN! HE'S A VAMPIRE"
"When he gets behind closed doors . . ."