Tuesday, March 01, 2011

THIS JUST IN! DID ANYONE EXPLAIN THE JOB TO HIM?

BULLY BOY PRESS & CEDRIC'S BIG MIX -- THE KOOL-AID TABLE

IN HIS LATEST ATTEMPT AT DEMONSTRATING HE DID TOO DESERVE THE NOBEL PEACE PRIZE, CELEBRITY IN CHIEF BARRY O HAS WADED INTO SOME VERY TRICKY WATERS, PROVING HE'S NOT AFRAID TO TAKE A TOUGH STAND!

BEST OSCAR WINNING SONG, HE INSISTS, IS "AS TIME GOES BY."

IT'S EXACTLY THAT SORT OF CRACKED UP S**T THAT CAUSES SO MANY TO WONDER WHY THE BI-RACIAL BARRY IS BILLED AS "BLACK."

OF ALL THE SONGS TO CHOOSE FROM, HE GOES WITH THE ONE PERFORMED BY A TOKEN ("SAM") WHO NOT ONLY PLAYS IT BUT DOES SO WHEN ORDERED TO. THERE'S NO "BEAUTIFUL FRIENDSHIP" BETWEEN HIM AND RICK -- JUST ECHOS OF THE PLANTATION SYSTEM.

AND AS ONE OBSERVER NOTED, "Do you really have to weigh in on everything? And if so, why haven't you said more to Gaddafi? I feel like that should be higher on your list."



FROM THE TCI WIRE:

Over the weekend, protesting continued in Iraq as it did on Friday's Day Of Rage. Mohammed Tawfeeq (CNN) reported that protests continued Saturday with Samarra protesters defying a "curfew to attend the funerals of two people killed during protests" on Friday and that Iraqi forces opened fire on the protesters/mourners leaving eight injured while Basra also saw a funeral for a protester killed on Friday. On Sunday, BNO News reports, protests continued in Iraq with 27 protesters left wounded in Amara City by Iraqi forces. Today, at Baghdad's Tahrir Square, Alsumaria TV reports Iraqis turned out to demonstrate again.
Saturday, Wael Grace and Adam Youssef (Al Mada) reported the disturbing news that after Friday's Baghdad demonstration, four journalists who had been reporting on the protests were eating lunch when Iraqi security forces rushed into the restaurant and arrested them with eye witnesses noting that they brutal attacked the journalists inside the restaurant, cursing the journalists as they beat them with their rifle handles. One of the journalists was Hossam Serail who says that they left Tahrir Square with colleagues including journalists, writers intellectuals, filmmakers. They went into the restaurant where the Iraqi military barged in, beat and kicked them, hit them in the face and head with the handles of their rifles, cursed the press and journalists, put him the trunk of a Hummer. This is Nouri al-Maliki's Iraq -- the Iraq the US forces prop up at the command of the Barack Obama. Stephanie McCrummen (Washington Post) added that the journalists stated "they were handcuffed, blindfolded, beaten and threatened with execution by soldiers from an army intelligence unit" and quotes Hossam Serail (spelled Hussam al-Ssairi) stating, "It was like they were dealing with a bunch of al-Qaeda operatives, not a group of journalists. Yesterday was like a test, like a picture of the new democracy in Iraq."

In addition, Alsumaria TV adds, "Iraqi security forces released on Friday Alsumaria reporters Sanan Adnan and Idris Jawad in addition to cameraman Safaa' Hatem. Alsumaria reporters were arrested while covering the protests of Baghdad's Tahrir Square. Security forces attacked as well Alsumaria employees Ali Hamed and Muhannad Abdul Sattar who managed to escape." Stephanie McCrummen (Washington Post) reported Sunday, "Iraqi security forces detained about 300 people, including prominent journalists, artists and lawyers who took part in nationwide demonstrations Friday, in what some of them described as an operation to intimidate Baghdad intellectuals who hold sway over popular opinion." The Committee to Protect Journalists notes the above and other crackdowns on the press in Iraq (as well as in Yemen and Libya):

Security forces prohibited cameras from entering Baghdad's Tahrir Square, where there were thousands of people protesting, according to news reports and local journalists. Police confiscated tapes that reporters managed to shoot in the square, according to Al-Jazeera.

[. . .]
Anti-riot forces also raided the offices of Al-Diyar satellite TV station in Baghdad and detained 10 of its staff members for three hours, according to Al-Diyar's website. In the afternoon, anti-riot police stormed the office for a second time, prohibited the staff from entering the building, and detained at least three more employees.

Niyaz Abdulla, a correspondent for Radio Nawa and a volunteer for Metro Center, a local press freedom group, was assaulted today while covering demonstrations in Erbil. "I was on the air when a plainclothes security officer came and started threatening me," she told CPJ. The officer threatened to call over men to attack her, alluding to a potential sexual assault. "I stayed calm but it was very disturbing," Abdulla said. She added that two of her colleagues had their cameras confiscated while they were covering the demonstration.

In Karbala, anti-riot forces attacked Afaq and Al-Salam satellite channels crews, according to news reports. "They were beaten and cursed at while they were covering the march in Karbala," Jihad Jaafar, a correspondent for Afaq channel told Noun news website. He added that the tapes of the crews were confiscated.

In addition, CPJ's Deputy Director Robert Mahoney is quoted stating, "We are particularly disturbed that a democratically elected government such as that of Iraq would attempt to quash coverage of political protests. We call on Baghdad to honor its commitments to respect media freedom."
Over the weekend, a number of journalists were detained during and after their coverage of the mass demonstrations that took place in central Baghdad's al-Tahrir Square. Simone Vecchiator (International Press Institute) notes:

During a news conference held on Sunday, four journalists -- Hussam Saraie of Al-Sabah Al-Jadid newspaper, Ali Abdul Sada of the Al-Mada daily, Ali al-Mussawi of Sabah newspaper and Hadi al-Mehdi of Demozee radio -- reported being handcuffed, blindfolded, beaten and threatened by security forces. They also claimed they were held in custody for nine hours and forced to sign a document, the contents of which were not revealed to them.
Aswat al Iraq news agency reported that the journalists will file a court case against the executive authority in response to the alleged violations of their civil rights.
This episode is the latest in a series of repressive measures adopted by security forces in order to stifle media reports about the current political and social unrest.

Meanwhile Nasiriyah reports that Maj Gen Qassim Atta, the spokesperson for Baghdad Operations Command is insisting he has no idea about targeting of the media, specifically four journalists being arrested on Friday, and insists there will be an investigation. He's calling on witnesses to come forward . . . so they can be disappeared? This morning Kelly McEvers (NPR's Morning Edition) reported on the attacks on journalists and focused on Hadi Al Mahdi whose "leg is really swollen" and who was one of the four noted above stopped Friday afternoon while "eating lunch with other journalists when soldiers pulled up, blindfolded them, and whisked them away. Mahdi was beaten in the leg, eyes, and head. A solider tried to get him to admit he was being paid to topple the regime."
Hadi Al Mahdi: I replied, I told the guy who was investigating me, I'm pretty sure that your brother is unemployed and the street in your area is unpaved and you know that this political regime is a very corrupt one.
Kelly McEvers: Mahdi was later put in a room with what he says were about 200 detainees, some of them journalists and intellectuals, many of them young protesters.
At a press conference in Baghdad today, AFP reports, Nouri was confronted by Wissam Ojji (Turkman Eli TV) over the fact that Iraqi soldiers beat him and broke his video camera while he was attempting to report on the Baghdad protests. Nouri is quoted tating, "We will compensate you for your camera and for the poor treatment that you received. We are sorry for what happened and if you can indentify to us who carried it out, we will punish the guilty, provided that you had not acted provocatively."
Focusing on the assaults on press freedom in the KRG, Reporters Without Borders released their open letter to KRG President Massoud Barzani:
Dear President Barzani,
In a
report released on 3 November, Reporters Without Borders said there was more press freedom in Iraqi Kurdistan than in surrounding regions and that the situation had improved considerably in the past 10 years. However we would now like to share with you our deep concern about the deterioration in the situation of journalists in your autonomous region since 17 February.

During the past 10 days, our organization has registered many physical attacks by the security forces on journalists covering the current demonstrations. Many journalists have also told us that they have received explicit death threats. Please find enclosed a list of these incidents, which is not exhaustive.

As president of the autonomous regional government of Iraqi Kurdistan, Reporters Without Borders urges you to do everything in your power to end these media freedom violations and to ensure that the safety of all journalists is guaranteed. We would also like these incidents to be investigated, especially the arson attack on the privately-owned TV station NRT on 20 February.

We thank you in advance for the attention you give to our request.

Sincerely,

Jean-Fran├žois Julliard
Reporters Without Borders secretary-general


Friday on Free Speech Radio, George Lavender reported, "Protests gained momentum late last week when militia forces for the ruling Kurdish Democratic Party fired on demonstrators who were calling for increased freedom, jobs and an end to political corruption. Three people died. Protests have since spread across Kurdistan, and authorities have responded with increased military force and by arresting large numbers of people. [. . .] Today thousands gathered in Sulaymaniyah's Freedom Square. Those present said demonstrations will continue until their demands are met. George Lavender, FSRN."
The protests have been witnessed and, many would argue, felt. Al Rafidayn reports that Salman Nasser Hamidi, Governor of Babylon Province (more commonly called Babil Province by most outlets), became the third governor to resign in the last three days as a result of the protests. Like the other two who have resigned, Hamidi was a member of the State Of Law slate. State Of Law is Nouri's political slate and Alsumaria TV notes that demonstrators on Friday in Baghdad, when confronted by security forces, began calling for the resignation of Nouri.



RECOMMENDED: "Iraq snapshot"
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"Change?"
"THIS JUST IN! SISTERS UNDER THE SKIN!"