BULLY BOY PRESS & CEDRIC'S BIG MIX -- THE KOOL-AID TABLE
CELEBRITY IN CHIEF BARRY O INTERRUPTED THESE REPORTERS NEW YEAR'S EVE FESTIVITIES AND SUMMED US TO THE WHITE HOUSE PACIFIC. ONCE THERE HE CONFRONTED US WITH A LOS ANGELES TIMES HEADLINE "WHITE HOUSE PLEDGES TO FIX INTELLIGENCE GAPS."
"WHY," BARRY O ASKED US, "ARE THEY TREATING ME LIKE A DUMB BLONDE!"
WE EXPLAINED TO THE CELEBRITY IN CHIEF THAT THE HEADLINE WASN'T IMPLYING HE WAS STUPID BUT INSTEAD REFERRING TO THE FAILURE TO PASS ALONG INTEL FROM AGENCY TO AGENCY.
"OH GOOD!" SIGHED BARRY O. "HEY WHILE YOU'RE HERE, CAN YOU HELP ME PUT IN A LIGHT BULB? I 'VE BEEN TRYING ALL NIGHT BUT I KEEP BREAKING THEM WITH THE HAMMER."
FROM THE TCI WIRE:
Peter Moore is alive. Alan McMenemy's status is unknown. The same as it was during yesterday's snapshot. May 29, 2007, the two men were kidnapped at the Ministry of Finance in Baghdad along with three other British citizens: Jason Crewswell, Jason Swindlehurst and Alec Maclachlan. The League of Righteous staged the kidnapping using official vehicles of the Baghdad security forces and using official uniforms of the Baghdad security forces. Moore was released yesterday, Alan McMenemy's status remains unknown and the other three men are dead.
July 29th, the families and loved ones of the five held a press conference. The bodies of the two Jasons had been turned over and there were rumors that Alan and Alec were dead as well.
Haley Williams: These reports are the worst possible news for us but we continue to hope that they cannot be true. But whatever Alec's condition, he no longer should remain in Iraq. We appeal to those holding him to please send him home to us. I speak to you as the mother of Alec's son. We are not the people holding your men but I do understand your feelings cause you're going through the same pain we are going through. If we had any influence over the release of your men, we would release them to you but we don't. Please send him home because as a family we can't cope with this anymore.
That is what Haley Williams stated. But, as noted in the July 29th snapshot, American audiences didn't get to hear all of Haley's statement. Most outlets ignored it and CNN cesnored it, stripping out this section: "We are not the people holding your men but I do understand your feelings cause you're going through the same pain we are going through. If we had any influence over the release of your men, we would release them to you but we don't." American audiences couldn't be told that the five British citizens were being used as barganining chips by the League of Righteousness. [See Deborah Haynes (Times of London link has text and also has video of the press conference) report for the families statements.]
Now that's really important. And it's important to what's happening right now and it's important to understanding how the whole thing played out. The British government never wanted publicity. They told the families -- they LIED to the families -- that going public would risk the lives of the five. They weren't trying to save the five. They never managed to, in fact. If Alan's alive and they save him, he'll be the first one they saved.
The British government was inept and it may have been criminally negligent. The kidnapping was high profile and the British government -- already being run out of parts of southern Iraq with their base destroyed and used as lumber by the Iraqi resistance -- had enough embarrassments on its hands. The government's request for a media blackout was never about the five men, never about saving them. It was always about saving Tony Blair and Gordon Brown from any further embarrassments. That's why Gordon Brown, current prime minister of England, could grand stand yesterday and speak of "Peter" yet only weeks before he refused to meet with Peter Moore's father.
They never wanted to talk about it to the media or to the families but when they think they have a photo op Brown and his administration are all over the press bragging and self-congratulating. For what? They didn't accomplish a damn thing and shouldn't be allowed to use Peter Moore as a shield to hide behind. Three British citizens are dead and on one knows Alan's state.
When the families held their press conference at the end of July, they did so over the objections of the British government. Why CNN elected to censor what was said is a question that everyone needs to be asking and part of the answer goes to the fact that few want to talk about how Peter Moore and three corpses were released. From the June 9th snapshot:
This morning the New York Times' Alissa J. Rubin and Michael Gordon offered "U.S. Frees Suspect in Killing of 5 G.I.'s." Martin Chulov (Guardian) covered the same story, Kim Gamel (AP) reported on it, BBC offered "Kidnap hope after Shia's handover" and Deborah Haynes contributed "Hope for British hostages in Iraq after release of Shia militant" (Times of London). The basics of the story are this. 5 British citizens have been hostages since May 29, 2007. The US military had in their custody Laith al-Khazali. He is a member of Asa'ib al-Haq. He is also accused of murdering five US troops. The US military released him and allegedly did so because his organization was not going to release any of the five British hostages until he was released. This is a big story and the US military is attempting to state this is just diplomacy, has nothing to do with the British hostages and, besides, they just released him to Iraq. Sami al-askari told the New York Times, "This is a very sensitive topic because you know the position that the Iraqi government, the U.S. and British governments, and all the governments do not accept the idea of exchanging hostages for prisoners. So we put it in another format, and we told them that if they want to participate in the political process they cannot do so while they are holding hostages. And we mentioned to the American side that they cannot join the political process and release their hostages while their leaders are behind bars or imprisoned." In other words, a prisoner was traded for hostages and they attempted to not only make the trade but to lie to people about it. At the US State Dept, the tired and bored reporters were unable to even broach the subject. Poor declawed tabbies. Pentagon reporters did press the issue and got the standard line from the department's spokesperson, Bryan Whitman, that the US handed the prisoner to Iraq, the US didn't hand him over to any organization -- terrorist or otherwise. What Iraq did, Whitman wanted the press to know, was what Iraq did. A complete lie that really insults the intelligence of the American people. CNN reminds the five US soldiers killed "were: Capt. Brian S. Freeman, 31, of Temecula, California; 1st Lt. Jacob N. Fritz, 25, of Verdon, Nebraska; Spc. Johnathan B. Chism, 22, of Gonzales, Louisiana; Pfc. Shawn P. Falter, 25, of Cortland, New York; and Pfc. Johnathon M. Millican, 20, of Trafford, Alabama." Those are the five from January 2007 that al-Khazali and his brother Qais al-Khazali are supposed to be responsible for the deaths of. Qassim Abdul-Zahra and Robert H. Reid (AP) states that Jonathan B. Chism's father Danny Chism is outraged over the release and has declared, "They freed them? The American military did? Somebody needs to answer for it."
The League of Righteous conveyed to the British government (which should be asked about those 'channels' of communication) that as long as their leader, his brother and other members of the League of Righteous were held in US-run prisons in Iraq, the five British hostages would remain hostages. That was their demand, that was the kidnapper's ransom. It's awfully silly for CNN to leave that out when the families of the kidnapped are making an appeal to the kidnappers. It explains to CNN viewers what the kidnappers want. But it got censored right out of the story at the request of the White House. CNN needs to explain that. They need to explain, first of all, why they're allowing the White House or any government body to determine what they broadcast when the First Amendment exists to make sure that doesn't happen. Then they need to explain specifically why they were told they couldn't air any reference to release of prisoners?
In ten years, you'll probably read the whys to both in a New York Times column because that's how CNN works. The British government never wanted press coverage of the kidnappings (until the poll challenged Gordon Brown could hide behind Peter Moore like he did yesterday) and the US government didn't want coverage after Barack Obama became president. The Bush White House never gave 'notes' to CNN on this story. Not when the kidnapping took place, not any time after. But CNN took notes from the Obama White House including from Barack himself. Anyone going to get honest about that?
For the British, it was an embarrassment. Under Bush, the following was conveyed to the British government (through various channels including the State Dept and the White House itself): US forces will patrol and look, special forces can be deployed for search missions, but NO Iraqi prisoners will be traded for the British hostages. That was the policy under Bush. And the weak and inept British government couldn't do a thing to save their own citizens. With Barack, who fancies himself President of the World and not President of the United States, an appeal was made.
The appeals started before Barack was sworn in and there's confusion as to the dead. It's thought, in retrospect, that when the talks began that only one was known/assumed dead (although two on Barack transition team state it may have been known/assumed that two were dead) but before the June release of prisoners, it was known that three were dead and a fourth was assumed. Before the US released the prisoners in June, it was known that only Peter Moore might be alive.
Peter Moore is a British citizen. It was the responsibility of the British government to work to secure his release. That can include asking other governments for help. In Barack's case? The prisoners were responsible for a raid on a US base and the deaths of 5 US service members. The Iraq War had not ended nor had the Afghansitan War. Meaning, you still have boots on the ground, you're still sending people over there. As President of the United States, his first duty was to the American people. That includes the five US service members who died and it includes their families and their friends. It also includes all of the men and women he is deploying to war zones.
Barack Obama's actions spit on the military. There's no way to pretty that up. The scheme/scam never should have been entered into. George W. Bush was, by no means, the brightest bulb in the lamp, but even he grasped the issues on this.
Barack Obama is commander of chief of the US military. The military's commander made 2009 about saying that the lives of US troops do not matter. The actions he took state that 1 British citizen is more important than 5 dead Americans. He was elected to be president of the United States, it was a job he wanted and it was a job he said he was up for. He's clearly failed throughout 2009 at his job. But how do you, as commander in chief, now ask any other service member to deploy?
How do you do it? You've just 1 British life trumps five American soldiers. How do you do it? How you earn their trust now? How do you tell him the crap about fight with honor when everyone knows that the US military held the ringleader of the attack on the US base in prison and you ordered his release?
In the US, the media's largely avoided the story. Despite this, when we speak to the military or military families about the Iraq War, since July, this topic has regularly been raised by them. This under-reported issue of the US release is known and discussed.
Barack Obama has falsely accused the left of spitting on soldiers after Vietnam. Barack has a habit of accusing others of what he does. It's called projection and this habit became obvious during the 2008 primary campaign. While he was making that statement this year, he had already engaged in spitting on the troops.
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