U.S. HOUSE REP. DEBBIE WASSERMAN SCHULTZ IS STUCK IN A MESS OF HER OWN MAKING AND ALL BUT ROLLING IN IT.
INSTEAD OF AIRING THE ISSUES OUT WITH THE PUBLIC -- HER I.T. ISSUES -- SHE'S DECIDED TO BE "DEBBIE!"
SPEAKING TO THESE REPORTERS, THE CONGRESS WOMAN EXPLAINED, "I'M DEBBIE -- JUST DEBBIE! THAT WAY I GET A FRESH START. I GOT THE IDEA THIS MORNING WHILE GETTING DOUGHNUTS AND FINDING THAT DUNKIN' DOUGHNUTS WAS NOW JUST 'DUNKIN'' -- A FRESH START. I WANT THAT TOO!"
FROM THE TCI WIRE:
Yesterday afternoon, Audie Cornish (NPR's ALL THINGS CONSIDERED) spoke with Human Rights Watch's Belkis Willie:
AUDIE CORNISH, HOST: There is a revenge campaign happening in Mosul. This started when Iraqi forces were fighting to retake the city from ISIS, and it's gone on since Iraq regained control of it. Soldiers have been rounding up and prosecuting anyone suspected to be a member of ISIS or related to one or a sympathizer of the terrorist group. In many cases, those detained are abused and executed. Human rights observers say the tactics being used by the military are war crimes.
BELKIS WILLE: I mean in terms of executions, we're seeing men being shot. We're seeing even more grotesque cases - for example, men being thrown off cliffs into the Tigris River and then being shot upon as they land. Numerous cases of really severe torture, sometimes leading to death.
Last week, Human Rights Watch noted:
An Iraqi army division trained by the United States government allegedly executed several dozen prisoners in Mosul’s Old City, Human Rights Watch said today. Two international observers detailed the summary killings of four people by the Iraqi army’s 16th Division in mid-July 2017, and saw evidence that the unit had executed many more people, including a boy.
The US government should suspend all assistance and support to the 16th Division pending Iraq’s full investigation of the allegations and appropriate prosecutions, Human Rights Watch said. Under the “Leahy Law,” the US is prohibited from providing military assistance to any unit of foreign security forces if there is credible evidence that the unit has committed gross violations of human rights and no “effective measures” are being taken to bring those responsible to justice.
“The US government should make sure it is no longer providing assistance to the Iraqi unit responsible for this spate of executions but also suspend any plans for future assistance until these atrocities have been properly investigated,” said Sarah Leah Whitson, Middle East director at Human Rights Watch. “Given the widespread abuses by Iraqi forces and the government’s abysmal record on accountability, the US should take a hard look at its involvement with Iraqi forces.”[. . .]
Under the “Leahy Law,” the US government is required to suspend assistance to the 16th Division until the Iraqi government takes three steps, which are often known as “remediation components”: impartial and thorough investigations; impartial and thorough prosecutions or administrative actions, as appropriate; and proportional sentencing or comparable administrative actions.
Despite acknowledging that Iraqi forces committed violations of the laws of war during the Mosul operation and promising to punish those responsible, Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi has yet to demonstrate that Iraqi authorities have held any soldiers accountable for executing, torturing, and abusing civilians or captured fighters.
ABC NEWS covered the abuses.
The other broadcast outlets haven't really made time.
From NPR's broadcast yesterday:
CORNISH: You've said that the persecution of ISIS suspects now could inadvertently drive more people toward extremism. Why do you think that?
WILLE: I think you really need to look at ISIS and why ISIS for so many years was able to draw in so many recruits - young, Sunni Arab men - throughout Iraq and Syria. And it comes with a history.
Since 2003, with the fall of Saddam's government and an incoming Shia government that put Shia fighters into the military and brought in Shia militia, what we saw was rampant abuse that usually took the form of torture, executions, really targeting Sunni Arab men. These were the very men that ultimately joined ISIS, saying, we're sick of this complete impunity for Iraqi armed forces. And if this battle opens the floodgates to that very abuse that pushed men to join ISIS, we're going to continue to see young men wanting to join.
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