CELEBRITY IN CHIEF BARRY O IS FURIOUS.
LAST NIGHT HE APPEARED ON THE TONIGHT SHOW AND HE FEELS ALL PEOPLE THINK HE CARES ABOUT IS THE NBA LOCK OUT.
"HOW DOES THIS MAKE ME LOOK!"
HE SIGHED AND PATTED HIS TUMMY.
"THEY WERE SUPPOSED TO NOTICE MY BABY BUMP! I WAS SUPPOSED TO BE THE TALK OF THE NATION! I WAS GOING TO SHOW BEYONCE HOW A REAL SUPERSTAR TURNS A BUMP INTO LASTING FAME. BUT, DAMN, ALL THEY WANT TO DO IS TALK THE NBA. I AM SO MUCH MORE THAN JUST THAT."
FROM THE TCI WIRE:
How stupid are they? That's the question for the day. We've got stupidity on Antiwar Radio, we've got stupidity on NBC's The Tonight Show.
Let's start with late night. For the record, I didn't support Ronald Reagan, I didn't vote for him, I campaigned against him and generally refer to him as the Great Satan. So why am I noting that if Reagan had said what Barack Obama said on The Tonight Show last night, the media would be all over Reagan?
Chatting with Jay Leno like a braless starlet, The (brainless) One was asked of Hillary and yammered away about his cabinet.
Barack Obama: The entire national security team that we've had has been outstanding. And it's not just rivals within the Democratic Party. My Secretary of Defense, Bob Gates, is a Republican.
Jay Leno: Right.
Barack Obama: He was a carryover from the Bush Administration. He made an outstanding contribution.
Bob Gates is the US Secretary of Defense? If Reagan had prattled on like that, I wouldn't be the only one calling him senile. But it was Barack and no one's supposed to comment on this "senior moment," no one's supposed to note that the boy in the bubble is so out of it he forgets that Gates left that post at the start of July. (Leon Panetta has been in the post since then.) If you can't stomach gushing, click here for the Washington Post's transcript (also has video you can stream). While Barack was gushing about Gates last night, Gates wasn't giving Barack any credit last night.
We've noted Sig Christenson many times before and noted Christenson's a straight-forward reporter. I bring that up before someone says, "The reporter must have gotten it wrong!" Anyone can, but that's really not Christenson's style. Reporting for the San Antonio Express-News, Christinson notes Gates held a press conference at Trinity University yesterday: "Gates said the status of forces agreement negotiated under then-President George W. Bush included a timetable for U.S. troops leaving Iraqi cities, a drawdown to 50,000 troops and an end to combat operations."
No, it didn't. I'm not in the mood to spoon feed on this point -- a point we've made repeatedly excepting only when a friend got it wrong on NPR and I thought, "I've addressed this point enough." -- so you'll have to play One Of These Things Is Not Like the Other all by yourself but not all of that's the SOFA. Some of that's Barack. Gates should not only know what the SOFA says, he should know which was Barack. And I'd expect him to credit Barack for the part that was Barack Obama's. (Quickly, cities is Article 24, section two of SOFA; end to combat operations can be presumed to Gates referring to the SOFA expiration date, however, it most likely refers to the pulling of 'combat' forces by Barack Sept. 1, 2010 and that was Barack and not the SOFA; as for 50,000, there's no way to be generous, the SOFA doesn't say a damn word about dropping down to 50,000. Again that would be US President Barack Obama and you'd think Gates would know that and would credit him with it.)
Moving on. Can little boys keep their hands out of their pants in public? Where are their parents? Did no one tell them not to do that in public?
You have to wonder that as you listen to Gareth Porter make a fool out of himself (yet again). Speaking to Scott Horton (Antiwar.com) who hung on every word and possibly a better posture would be to question unless this is Fan Boi Radio?
Gareth Porter: Well I know that this marks the end of the fiction that the United States could actually have a longterm presence in Iraq in -in Iraq which was of course the, uh, the aspiration of the Bush administration and then, you know, despite the campaign promise by Barack Obama, the national security state again prevailed on Obama to try to maintain a significant US military presence. Uh, they put a lot of pressue on him to do that. Uh, and in the middle of last year, 2010, it appeared that they had gotten the White House to go along with the scheme [. . .]
We'll stop there. 'Poor little Barry O, under pressure from the national security state.' I cannot believe Scott Horton swallowed all that. That's very telling.
Gareth Porter: Well I know that this marks the end of the fiction that the United States could actually have a longterm presence in Iraq in -in Iraq [. . .]
First off, Gareth, the US does have a longterm presence in Iraq right now, it's called the US Embassy in Baghdad and all of its consulates throughout the country. Second, Special-Ops will remain in Iraq, that's known. Third, the CIA will remain, that's known. Fourth, about 160 US soldiers will be under the State Dept's command. Fifth, about 150 US soldiers will remain in Iraq for 'arms sales.' Sixth, the White House has revealed that Marines will be guarding the diplomatic outlets. How many is not known. Seventh, some members of the Air Force are remaining. Eighth, negotiations are ongoing. Ninth, Kuwait, Jordan and others are planned staging areas. In fact, Press TV reports today, "The US is negotiating with Kuwait about moving some equipment and troops to the Persian Gulf state. Washing is also holding talks with Turkey about deploying sensitive sensors, drone, and other equipment used in Iraq at the Incirlik airbase, promising to assist the Turkish government in fighting the Kurdistan Workers' Party."
It is unexpected to hear spin on Antiwar Radio. At a time when Antiwar.com has already noted negotiations are ongoing, has already noted the huge amount of contractors, this is really sad.
Instead of challenging Gareth's spin, Scott launches into a discussion about 2004. Scott Horton needs to be booking actual journalists like James Denselow or John Glaser to speak. Not people who really aren't allowed to speak honestly of Barack without threat of losing their pay check.
Maybe we should just be glad that a conviction finally kept pedophile Scott Ritter off the show? A conviction that's standing despite today's appeal for a retrial -- 'Not fair,' whined Pig Ritter, 'that my two other arrests for being a pedophile were brought in this case about my third pedolphile arrest!' Judge Jennifer Harlachar Sibum disagreed. Carol Demare (Albany Times Union) reports the 50-year-old pedophile has been sentenced "to up to 5 1/2 years behind bars in a Pennsylvania state prison" and that Judge Harlachar Sibum "also said Ritter met the criteria as a sexually violent predator and will have to register in Pennsylvania as a sex offender."
Yeah, these are the people who embraced the pedophile, remember? Yeah, they've got a great record.
As for Antiwar Radio? Corporate crap couldn't be worse than that broadcast with Gareth. In fact, NPR did a better job discussing Iraq yesterday on The Diane Rehm Show than Antiwar Radio. Ann picked this statement as her favorite exchange of that broadcast:
Phyllis Bennis: The agreement that was signed by President Bush and Prime Minister Maliki was very clear, as Nick Burns said earlier, about withdrawing all troops and all Pentagon-paid contractors. It left a huge loophole, big enough for tanks to drive through, about contractors who would be paid by another agency, for example, the State Department. And that's why we're seeing now this race by the State Department to sign off on contracts with, what we're hearing, up to 16,000 new contractors who will do the same things as the contractors have been doing throughout these eight years, which is very worrying. Because there have been so many crimes committed with no accountability, they are not legally provided with immunity by a U.S.-Iraqi agreement, but they have not been held accountable in the Iraqi system. And there have been these terrible incidents of killing civilians at checkpoints, et cetera. There's no particular indication to think that's going to end, nor is there any likelihood that the flood of money that has so corrupted the government -- so many government officials inside Iraq is going to end anytime soon. So I'm not persuaded that it's going to turn into Switzerland. I don't think anybody thinks that the case. But I think that this is a moment where, for the first time in more than 20 years, Iraq will have the chance to figure out how it wants to run its country, whether or not that includes the current government remaining in power.
Rafe Pilgrim (OpEdNews) notes how tempting it was to believe Barack's Friday announcement, especially if you didn't listen closely:
How many of his hopeful audience missed the "mention" that unspecified thousands of American "civilian contractors" would be "maintained" in Iraq? This is the side deal between him and Maliki to fool both of their peoples. Those "contractors" will not be filling potholes or doing horticulture. They will be weaponized and on ready alert status to do whatever soldiers and black-ops are commanded, at incidentally many times higher cost per trooper than an honestly declared American soldier.
I personally did not catch a statement on air-base privileges. Such will be there.
Now to our State Department's presence: The US will maintain three (or four?) major "diplomatic stations," including the embassy in Baghdad, the world's largest of any nation's, which accommodates 4500 personnel. Diplomats, clerks and chaplains? I would suppose not. And in the meantime, there is a boom of American construction in Iraq, and no one knows, or rather admits to knowing of what.
RECOMMENDED: "Iraq snapshot"
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