BULLY BOY PRESS & CEDRIC'S BIG MIX -- THE KOOL-AID TABLE
TODAY, CELEBRITY IN CHIEF BARRY O DECLARED, "AND THAT'S ON ME." AND, FOR A CHANGE, HE WASN'T TALKING ABOUT THE WET SPOT.
THE DHALIBAMA WANTS PEOPLE TO BELIEVE HIM THAT HE'S GOING TO FIX THINGS . . . OF COURSE THE PROBLEM THERE IS HE ALREADY LIED -- FOR YEARS -- CLAIMING OBAMACARE WOULD LET YOU KEEP YOUR PLAN.
NOW HE WANTS YOU TO BELIEVE HIM AGAIN.
BUT, FOR THE FIRST TIME, HE'S LEARNING WHAT THE REST OF US HAVE ALWAYS KNOWN AND EXPERIENCED: TRUST IS EARNED NOT GIVEN.
FROM THE TCI WIRE:
Due to his own texts, we know that Gina Chon gave Brett McGurk blue
balls before they both decided to cheat on their spouses in Iraq, the
question is: Who stuffed Brett full of crap?
Judging by his demeanor and statements to the House Foreign Affairs
Subcommittee on the Middle East and North Africa, Brett stuffed himself
and goodness how the nonsense poured out of him.
US House Rep Ileana Ros-Lehtinen is the Subcommittee Chair and US House
Rep Ted Deutch is the Ranking Member. In addition to those two, US
House Reps David Cicilline, Steve Chabot, Juan Vargas, Joe Wilson, Grace
Meng, Brad Schneider, and Dana Rohrabacher were present. I hope I
didn't miss anyone.
The way this is going to play out is that we're going to focus on some
of the hearing today and some of it tomorrow. I also attended a VA
hearing today and would like to work that in but with two snapshots
being needed for Subcommittee hearing (and that may go into three), it
may be next week before we get to the VA hearing.
Chair Ileana Ros-Lehtinen: Before we begin this afternoon's hearing I
will hand Deputy Assistant Secretary McGurk an envelope and ask that he
please deliver it to Secretary [of State John] Kerry. These are my
previous letters to Kerry pleading for the United States to help the
residents of Camp Ashraf and Camp Liberty and to prevent another deadly
attack like the one from September at Camp Ashraf which left 52 dead and
7 hostages who are still missing. There's also a video taken by the
residents of Camp Ashraf during the last assault that I urge Secretary
Kerry and all members of this Subcommittee to view. And finally, a
letter to Secretary Kerry regarding the return of Iraqi-Jewish community
artifacts that are now on display at The National Archives. In 2003,
US and coalition forces found a trove of Iraqi-Jewish cultural
artifacts being warehoused in the basement of Saddam Hussein's secret
police headquarters. And the US subsequently brought them here, to The
National Archives, for restoration, preservation and display; however,
these artifacts are scheduled to be returned to Iraq where the
government will claim possession of these artifacts which were unjustly
taken from the Iraqi-Jewish community. The US government must not
return those stolen treasures to the Iraqi government but instead should
facilitate their return to their rightful owners or descendants.
Therefore, on behalf of me, Congressman Steve Israel and over 40 of our
House colleagues, we ask you, Deputy Secretary McGurk, to personally
deliver this letter to Secretary Kerry and the Dept of State ensures
that the Iraqi-Jewish community does not get robbed again of its
collective memory and treasures.
That was the Chair speaking at the start of the hearing. After opening
statements, Chair Ileanna Ros-Lehtinen started by noting the contents of
the envelope she was asking McGurk to pass on to Kerry and asked about
the issues she'd noted above.
McGurk elected to go with the issue of the Jewish archives.
Brett McGurk: I'll start with the Jewish archives. As you know, the
archives are on display at The National Archives. I went to see them
last week. It is a really remarkable display -- both about the Jewish
heritage and the tragic history of this community in Iraq. Uhm, we are
also in a daily conversation with the government of Iraq, uhm, and with
the Jewish community here in Iraq -- uh, this morning, I was in
communication with Rabbi Baker from the American Jewish Council. I've
also been in regular conversation with Ambassador Fahly who's here, uh,
representing the Iraqi government. Uh, as you know, we have a
commitment from an agreement in 2003 to return, uh, the archives to
Iraq, uh, next summer -- by the end of next summer. Uh, we have paid
for Iraqi archivists who are here now training with The National
Archives to make sure uh that these archives are preserved -- and
At this point, the Chair noted that her time was brief and she needed
him to touch on her other topics and that she was sure others present
would ask about the archives.
Brett McGurk: I'll say just briefly on the archives, we're open to
discussions on discussing this position of the archives and I know the
ambassador agrees with that. And I'm happy to discuss this further.
What was Brett McGurk saying?
He was lying.
He was lying plain and simple.
Doesn't it sound like, from his words, that the State Dept is reconsidering their pact?
Because they should be. The artifacts were stolen property, stolen by
the government of Iraq (Saddam Hussein's government). So they don't
belong to Iraq or the Iraqi government. In fact, if they're turned over
to the Iraqi government, the government will be in possession of stolen
There is no legal binding contract despite the nonsense from the State
Dept and the White House. Only the owner of the property can enter into
a contract regarding the property.
A thief cannot steal property and legally sell it. A thief has no ownership rights to property they stole.
But McGurk thought he could lie. He wasn't expecting so many members of
the Subcommittee to be interested in this topic. Let's note this
Ranking Member Ted Deutch: I'd actually like to get back to the
issue of the archives. And you said that you're "open to discussions."
And these are just a couple of observations -- and I appreciate the
attention that you've paid to this issue already. Iraq, Babylon, was
the center of Judaism for a thousand years and-and these documents,
tattered as they were, found a decade ago are -- according to the
agreement that was reached with the -- with the Coalition Provisional
Authority were supposed to be sent -- were supposed to be sent back to a
place where the number of Jews, the number is perhaps in the single
digits. The documents -- many of the documents are very personal in
nature, records of the community, things that are of real value to the
members of the community and their descendants who simply aren't there.
So help me. I understand what the agreement was. You've also said
you're now open to discussions. And can we explore that a little bit?
Can we explore that a little bit? And if you could just continue where
you left off? What discussion can we have? And what can we do? What
-- what would be the hold up to ensure that these items are so, so
personal to the community that is no longer living in the country can
actually reside with the community?
Brett McGurk: All I can say is that is that everybody should go see
the exhibit and if you meet the technicians who actually traveled to
Baghdad in the heart of the worst -- one of the worst periods of the war
in 2003 to preserve these materials, it's really a remarkable effort by
The National Archives. The State Dept's proud to be a partner with
them in that -- in that effort. They will be on display at the
archives. They will -- they will then be on display in New York. The
commitment that we made in 2003 is a legal agreement to get them out of
Iraq to preserve this important material. Without that agreement, the
material never would have been preserved. Uhm, they will be on display
in New York and then under this commitment, they will -- they will
transfer to Baghdad in the late summer of next year. All I can say is
that, uh, we have an agreement with the, uh, Iraqi ambassador here to
begin a conversation about, uh, long-term loans here in the United
States to make sure that people can -- can view them, but that will be
an ongoing discussion. It's November now. We have until the end of the
summer, so we do have some time to discuss this. We have heard very
loudly and clearly the concerns of the community. We've listened to
them, we've taken them to heart and we'll see what we can do.
Ranking Member Ted Deutch: And I would -- I would just add to that
there are, as I understand it, some 2700 books, tens of thousands of
documents. It certainly seems that -- that it would be possible to be
able to have the ability to highlight the-the community that existed in
Iraq in some fashion while still ensuring that the bulk of these records
continue to stay with-with those who are the most closely affiliated
with them and presumably whose lives they effect.
And there we find out that Brett McGurk lied.
Are we surprised?
So there are no discussions currently about this most important topic: Legal ownership.
The Iraqi government has no legal ownership.
And that's actually the first thing you establish.
Try to get just how crooked and corrupt the State Dept is on this.
I swipe your emerald necklace.
The US government sees that the stones need polishing. They take it to
polish the stones and tell me they'll get it back to me. You show up
and say, "That necklace is stolen property! It belongs to me!" Brett
McGurk hears you "very loudly and clearly."
Brett shows up at my door to tell me . . .
that I should probably let the necklace be displayed in New York.
Why is he negotiating with me about possible showings of property I've stolen?
That's so insulting and it's so stupid. You establish ownership first and foremost.
And the US should have done that in 2003 before entering into any agreement.
But the law's the law. And the law is not 'the US must honor the
contract!' No, the law is the contract is invalid if the property was
stolen. That does not mean ownership goes to the US -- it does mean the
US has to hand it over to the rightful owners.
As it is, the US government has wasted a ton of a tax dollars -- US tax
dollars -- making the property more valuable and it's about to hand this
increased worth over to thieves.
And that's what the Iraqi government is -- not Saddam, the current one
-- if they're trying to grab stolen property which they have no claim
Can you imagine if all the Shi'ites had been run out of Iraq in 1993 and
Saddam was holding items he stole from them in 1984? Can you imagine
And it would be justifiable outrage.
I'm honestly surprised the clerics, like the Grand Ayatollah Ali
al-Sistani, have not spoken on the matter since we are talking religious
artifacts and heritage. You'd think the Shi'ite religious elders, who
knew what it was to suffer under Saddam Hussein, would be the first to
speak up and say, "Stolen Jewish artifacts do not belong to our country,
they belong to the Jewish people."
The lies of Brett McGurk never ended. It was as though everyone of us
in that room were his first wife and he was all insincere charm
insisting to us that he wasn't sleeping with some crazy reporter with
the Wall St. Journal.
The lies started immediately. Even though the Chair said his full
written statement would be entered into the record, he attempted to read
all ten pages.
He lied at the start about Baghdad and Erbil, but we'll come back to that.
It was offensive to hear him go on and on about Shi'ite victims of
violence. Violence is awful no matter who is harmed. But there are
levels of violence.
It's awful when anyone goes on a mad tear to destroy and harm. But when it's the government? That's even worse.
Brett did not want to acknowledge, for example, the April 23rd
massacre of a sit-in in Hawija which resulted from Nouri's federal forces storming in. Alsumaria noted Kirkuk's Department of Health (Hawija is in Kirkuk) announced 50
activists have died and 110 were injured in the assault.
AFP reported the death toll rose to 53. UNICEF noted that the dead included 8 children (twelve more were injured).
The 52 dead are not more dead than, for example, a Shi'ite pilgrim. But
the fact that the killers were tools of a government which is supposed
to protect the population, which exists for that reason first and
foremost? That makes the violence worse.
Brett McGurk kept blustering about al Qaeda in Iraq and 2011 and 2012
and how the US sent al Qaeda in Iraq running and blah, blah, blah.
But just as he refused to note the Hawija massacre, he didn't want to note that Nouri's responsibilities. His failures.
Chief among them?
Back in July 2012, Mohammed Tawfeeq (CNN) observed,
"Shiite Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki has struggled to forge a lasting
power-sharing agreement and has yet to fill key Cabinet positions,
including the ministers of defense, interior and national security,
while his backers have also shown signs of wobbling support." That's still true.
And it's not a minor point at any time but it's especially not a minor
point that you've got no Minister/Secretary of Defense, Interior and
National Security as your country's security unravels.
I have yet to hear -- during all this time those spots have been empty
-- one member of Congress challenge a witness as to whether or not
Nouri's refusal to fill those seats may have helped violence increase in
It was so irritating to hear Brett McGurk babble on endlessly.
Brett McGurk: In short, Iraq's hydrocarbon sector is vital to U.S. interests in the region, and its
term stability. These
shared interests have
led to a close
partnership as to how Iraq can best manage its abundant
resources to generate increasing revenues and align the interests of disparate
groups in a unified and federal Iraq. For example, four export platforms that came
on line south of Basra in 2012 -- each with capacity to export
day -- were the result
of joint efforts
beginning in 2007 to address serious
deficiencies in Iraq's infrastructure.
Today, U.S. policy is focused on a similarly ambitious -- and
achievable -- vision: a
strategic pipeline from the super giant oil fields in Basra
(with 80 percent of Iraq's
to the Haditha refinery
to the Red Sea;
These three export
routes -- the
Gulf, Red Sea, and Mediterranean -- will
into Iraq's national export infrastructure, facilitate prosperity to
all parts of
the country, and align the interests of regional partners in a stable and
Coupled with this vision is a revenue sharing agreement to ensure that revenues are
shared equitably, and, longer term,
predictability to market entrants
. The United States wants
to see Iraqi oil from
parts of the country -- north to south -- reaching global
markets as soon as possible, and in a manner that reinforces
stability. Iraq today
3 million barrels-per-day, but the IEA projects under its central scenario
increases to 6 million barrels-per-day by
, and 8 million barrels-per-day by 2035
, with revenues over this period approaching $5 trillion.
Ignore the numbers and Brett McGurk was saying this same crap in 2006
and 2007 and 2008 and . . . (McGurk was an Iraq War cheerleader in the
administration of Bully Boy Bush.)
There is no hydrocarbons law.
For those who've forgotten, the hydrocarbons law was in the 2007
benchmarks. The White House made that a benchmark and Congress would
see success on it and not cut off funds!
There was never any progress on it but a spineless Congress refused to follow up.
That's not fair. An uncaring Congress. By 2008, there was only one
member of the House who was asking where the progress was on the
benchmarks: US House Rep Lloyd Doggett.
We have heard over and over that a hydrocarbon law is on its way.
It has never, ever happened.
Why does that matter?
It's at the heart of the problems between Baghdad and Erbil to hear
Brett tell it. (He skipped over Kirkuk. He skipped over so much.)
Not only that, he had the nerve to insist, "The United States does not
take sides in the internal disputes regarding the distribution of
revenues and management of oil resources."
The how about someone explain this statement issued by Victoria Nuland November 23, 2011,
"We have always advised and continue to advise all oil companies,
including Exxon-Mobil, that they incur significant political and legal
risks by signing any contracts with the Kurdistan Regional Government
before national agreement is reached on the legal framework for the
The US government has been taking sides on the oil issue from day one of the illegal war.
They led Nouri to believe they could get the ExxonMobil contracts
cancelled. I noted in passing here that they couldn't which led the
State of Law MP that reads this site to deluge the public account with
e-mails about how this works.
That's when I realized that many Iraqis -- at least Nouri's State of Law
-- were living under the misguided assumption that the US government
owned oil companies. In Iraq, they had state-controlled oil and the
government could dictate. That was not the case in the US. In fact, if
anything, the multi-national oil conglomerates control the US
Brett McGurk offered testimony that things were improved between the Baghdad and Erbil due to US "diplomatic engagement."
Brett McGurk: Due to a series
over the Iraqi budget,
in the disputed
northern Iraq, Kurdish ministers and parliamentarians were
boycotting the central
government, and its Peshmerga forces faced off against Iraqi Army units -- with
both sides daring the
other to open fire.
Fortunately, intensive diplomatic engagement led to a
, with both sides
pulling back and disputes returning to the political arena where they belong.
, Prime Minister Maliki visited Erbil for the first time in tw
o years; then, on
, IKR President Barzani visited Baghdad, for the first time since
As a result of these visits, the IKR and the central government established seven
joint committees with mandates to address the most difficult issues
security cooperation, revenue sharing, and balancing powers between the central
and regional governments.
Since then, there has been progress in the area of security cooperation, and we are
working to facilitate serious discussions on revenue sharing, to help ensure that all
Iraqis -- in all parts of Iraq -- benefit
equitably from Iraq's national patrimony.
Hmm. The US brokered peace between Baghdad and Erbil? Set aside that
it's no lasting peace as last week demonstrated. Brett claimed other US
Brett McGurk: Beginning in March, the United States launched a quiet but active campaign to
ease tensions with Turkey, settle accounts with Kuwait, strengthen ties to Jordan,
reintegrate Iraq with its Gulf neighbors.
Iraq's independence, and,
and security initiatives,
long -- term
interests to ours.
These efforts have seen some success
Iraq and Kuwait settled
to the 1991 Gulf War, and
the U.N. Security Council voted
finalize a process to normalize relations between both countries. Two weeks ago,
the Iraqi cabinet voted to open Kuwaiti consulates in Erbil and Basra.
In April, the
a trilateral process with Iraq
and Turkey, focused
, Turkey’s Foreign Minister visited Baghdad for the first time
in [. . .]
I'm sorry, this makes no sense. And maybe that's why Nouri's government is so screwed up.
Nouri created the problems with Turkey -- as he has with all neighbors
except Iran. He's attacked everyone, dubbed foreign leaders terrorists,
accused them of upsetting the balance n Iraq and said the most rude and
threatening remarks imaginable.
And Brett McGurk wants to tell the Congress that the State Dept is
wasting over a billion US tax payer dollars in Iraq each year to go
around smoothing things over for Nouri?
At what point does Nouri put on his big boy pants and solve his own damn problems? Ones that he created?
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