Monday, October 25, 2010

BO World

Barack Wins The Terrible

That's Isaiah's The World Today Just Nuts "Barack Wins The Terrible" starring the vain celebrity. Isaiah's really nailed Barry. Meanwhile Kat's "Kat's Korner: Cher and the too far gone 70s" makes the argument for Cher being in the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. She should be in it. Now this is from Hillary is 44's "ANNOUNCING - The Birth Of The DETOX PARTY On November 3, 2010:"

Dump Barack Obama and his “situation comedy” coalition of electoral organizing or face future defeats at the ballot box. That is the lesson that will either be learned on November 2 or will be learned after election day in 2012 or eventually in 2016.

On November 3, 2010 all who voted for Barack Obama will confront the consequences of supporting an inexperienced, unqualified boob for president. For some, this will be the moment that they will join the Detox Party. The Detox Party will be the half-way house to wean themselves away from the mass consumption of Hopium which they have been imbibing for years now.

But many Obama acolytes will continue to make excuses for the election defeats in 2010 and continue to support Barack Obama. We see this army of Hopium addicts still in the throes of Hopium psychedelia. Some examples follow.

One Obama Hopium distributor in 2008 by the name of Nate Silver (a baseball statistician) garnered a following to his website which purportedly dealt with statistical analysis of election polls information. This year Silver was hired by the New York Times to provide his mush to the masses. On October 20 Silver projected a 75% chance of Republicans winning the House in November. The reaction from his 2008 Obama allies was swift.

Barack, the huckster, told Dems in 2008 that backing him would mean victories and then he continued that talk. Even telling them after the election that the mid-terms wouldn't be like 1994 because the difference was that they had him.

Now baby even he gets how little he's worth.

Probably not. He's probably still blaming the voters, cursing them and inventing new things to pin on them.

In Barack's world, it's always someone else's fault.

Going out with C.I.'s "Iraq snapshot:"

Monday, October 26, 2010. Chaos and violence continue, the US State Dept publicly states the White House is open to extending the US military presence in Iraq past 2011, the political stalemate continues, the WikiLeaks revelations lead to calls for inquiries and more.

Today Robert Dreyfuss (The Nation) reports that former US Ambassador to Iraq Ryan Crocker spoke last week to the National Council on US - Arab Relations and " that when the dust clears in the formation of a new government in Iraq that Baghdad would come to the United States to ask for an extension of the US military presence beyond the end of 2011. By that date, according to the accord signed in 2008 by the Bush administration, all US troops are to leave Iraq. But Crocker said that it is 'quite likely that the Iraqi government is going to ask for an extension of our deployed presence'." (He also expressed that Nouri would remaing prime minister. Why? The US government backed Nouri as the 'continuing' prime minister after Nouri promised he's allow the US military to remain in Iraq past 2011.) Today at the US State Dept, spokesperson Philip J. Crowley was asked about Crocker's remarks. He responded, "Well, we have a Status of Forces Agreement and a strategic framework. The Status of Forces Agreement expires at the end of next year, and we are working towards complete fulfillment of that Status of Forces Agreement, which would include the withdrawal of all U.S. forces from Iraq by the end of next year. The nature of our partnership beyond next year will have to be negotiated. On the civilian side, we are committed to Iraq over the long term. We will have civilians there continuing to work with the government on a range of areas – economic development, rule of law, civil society, and so forth. But to the extent that Iraq desires to have an ongoing military-to-military relationship with the United States in the future, that would have to be negotiated. And that would be something that I would expect a new government to consider. [. . .] Should Iraq wish to continue the kind of military partnership that we currently have with Iraq, we're open to have that discussion."

We are? Barack didn't end the war. (Even if some losers and whores 'moved on' from the Iraq War.) Crowley's the spokesperson for the US State Dept. And while the Cult of St. Barack humps their mattresses every night still believing rainbows shoot out of Barack's ass, the US State Dept just admitted that a continued military presence in Iraq is a something that they're "open" to discussing. End the war in Iraq? It's not looking that way.

Late Friday, WikiLeaks released 391,832 US military documents on the Iraq War. Tomorrow on The Diane Rehm Show (airs on most NPR stations and begins streaming live online at 10:00 a.m. EST), Diane will devote the first hour to a discussion on the WikiLeaks revelations (and her second hour will find her joined by Juan Williams to discuss his NPR career and firing). The Defense Dept response to the revelations was predictable. Jason Ditz ( reports, "Pentagon officials are, as always, struggling to find a common ground between downplaying the crimes revealed in nearly 400,000 new classified documents released yesterday by WikiLeaks while insisting that their revelation is a grave affront." Saturday in London, WikiLeaks held a press conference and legendary Pentagon Papers whistle blower Daniel Ellsberg provided the perspective.

Daniel Ellsberg: The threat being made by the Pentagon, as we read over the last few days, of warning newsmen to stand away from this material, to refuse to receive it and, if they do receive it, to return it seems absurd on its face. We're not dealing with the 7,000 pieces of paper, top secret pieces of paper, that comprised the Pentagon Papers. The Pentagon did make a demand to the New York Times that they return that pile of paper to the -- to the Pentagon. The Times refused until -- in fact, never did return it. And refused to stop the presses until a court order came down. But with cyber material, it's all over the world right now and in several papers right now, the demand seems absurd. I understand the reason for those words because they echo the words first used against me, the legal words of 18 USC 793, paragraphs D and E which for the first time used the so-called espionage act as if it were a kind of official secrets act that you have in Britain which simply criminalizes the release of any classified material to any unauthorized person. We don't have such a law. And the irony now is that President Obama in making these clear threats of applying this law to anybody who deals with this information including not only the journalists but the words apply to the people who read it and don't return it to the proper authorities actually. President Obama's threats are not entirely without credibility here because he has started as many prosecutions for leaks as all previous presidents put together. It's a small number. It's three. The last one is Bradley Manning. [C.I. note: The other two are Shamai Kedem Leibowitz of the FBI and Thomas Drake of the NSA.] That's small because we don't have an official secrets act. And prior to Bush and Obama, presidents took it for granted that any application of the espionage act was likely to be overthrown as unconstitutional in our First Amendment by the Supreme Court but we're now facing a different Supreme Court. And, after 9-11, Obama is making a new experiment on this issue which will really change the relationship of the press to sources very radically. As it is, any source, with or without this change in the law, who gave this kind of material -- 400,000 pages of documents, 800,000 pages of documents -- to WikiLeaks would have to know that they were facing a risk of being where Bradley Manning is right now, in prison, accused of these things. And we don't know, I don't know, who the source is. If the president should prove beyond a reasonable doubt that it is Bradley Manning, we can give him his unreserved admiration from us and thanks for what he did. But whomever did it, in fact, acted very appropriately in the course of deadly, stalemated war and which has one characteristic, by the way, in Iraq which isn't going to come out clearly in these 400,000 pages or in the discussion. And that is that the origins of war were clearly in the form of lying to the publics of Britain and America in order to carry on a clearly illegal crime against the peace, a war of aggression. So all of these civilian casualties are killed in a war of aggression. We won't have to say also the non-civilian casualties reported here are in the role of fighting against foreign occupiers, invaders, by the standards of the world, the question is raised very much whether their death by the invader is not also to be counted among the murders?

You can view portions of the press conference at World Can't Wait and Press TV's YouTube channel. And you can stream it in full at CSpan. At the press conference, Public Interest Lawyers' Phil Shiner states the documents indicate that US and UK forces looked the other way on torture which is a violation of international law and that the two had "a very clear legal responsibility". UN Special Rappoteur called on Barack to launch an investigation into whether or not the Us was complicit in torture. Tara Kelly (Time magazine) reports on the press conference here. Aged sexist and one-time journalist Thomas E. Ricks (Foreign Policy) parrots his think-tank's line of nothing-to-see-here while explaining that, in a recent dining experiment, mayo did not make his favorite spread taste better. Before he was bought and paid for by the Defense Industry, he worked for the Washington Post. So did Ellen Knickmeyer. At The Daily Beast, journalist Ellen Knickmeyer explains that February 22, 2006, there was a slaugher in Baghdad ("We watched hundreds of black-clad religious militiamen, waving their AK 47s in the air and calling for revenge, in what would be the start to a campaign of sectarian killing and tortue") and that the corpses piled "over the next two days" with well over 1,000 processed and more waiting:

Here's the thing, though: According to then-Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld and his top commanders, it never happened. These killings, these dead, did not exist. According to them, reporters like myself were lying.
"The country is not awash in sectarian violence," the top U.S. commander in Iraq, Gen. George Casey said, on talk show after talk show, making the rounds to tell the American home-front not to worry. Civil war? "I don't see it happening, certainly anytime in the near term," he said, as he denied the surge in sectarian violence.
[. . .]
Thanks to WikiLeaks, though, I now know the extent to which top American leaders lied, knowingly, to the American public, to American troops, and to the world, as the Iraq mission exploded.

Nothing to see says Tom Ricks, Ellen Knickmeyer points out that journalists "were under attack" for reporting the truth. Apparently Thomas E. Ricks never encountered that problem. How very strange -- or how very telling. WikiLeaks release is filled with new information. Angus Stickler's "US Apache guns down surrendering insurgents" (The Bureau of Investigative Journalism) reports that on a February 22, 2007 assault when insurgents outside Baghdad attempted to surrender, a US helicopter crew radioed that attempt but was given orders to kill the insurgents because "Lawyer stated they cannot surrender to aircraft." That is a War Crime. Military officials giving the orders should be court-martialed and drummed out of the US military with no benefits. War Criminals don't get to be on the public dole for years and years to come. Not only should those officials making that call and giving that order be court-martialed, this incident is documented. All military brass who saw this report should be immediately court-martialed for their refusal to live up to the code of conduct they swear to uphold and to instead cover up for War Crimes. Stickler also reports:

President Barack Obama's government handed over thousands of detainees to the Iraqi authorities, despite knowing there were hundreds of reports of alleged torture in Iraqi government facilities.
Washington was warned by the United Nations and many human rights organisations that torture was widespread in Iraqi detention centres. But the Bureau of Investigative Journalism can reveal the US's own troops informed their commanders of more than 1,300 claims of torture by Iraqi Security forces between 2005 and 2009.

The Times of London notes, "Files seen by The Sunday Times also provide first-hand accounts of underground bunkers operated by insurgents that contained cattle prods, whips and even a chainsaw. The mutilated bodies of victims were regularly found dumped at the roadside or on wasteland. Accounts from detention centres operated by Iraqi police and the army tell of suspects being whipped with cables, chains, wires and pistols." The Telegraph of London publishes an overview they dub "key findings" while Debra Sweet (World Can't Wait) offers key themes:

Key themes in the Iraq War Logs show:
Abuse, rape, torture, murder of detainees: Hundreds of incidents of abuse and torture of prisoners by Iraqis security services, up to and including rape and murder. These are so egregious that the UN is calling for further investigation.
Civilians are dying in greatest numbers: Rumsfeld always said "we don't do numbers" on civilian deaths. Iraq War reveals that they kept some numbers. The US & allies killed civilians much more frequently than thos they identified in the Log as "insurgents." Still, we'll never know the total.
Hundreds of civilians killed at checkpoints: Robert Fisk says, "Out of the 832 deaths recorded at checkpoints in Iraq between 2004 and 2009, analysis by the Bureau of Investigative Jounalism suggests 681 were civilians. Fifty families were shot at and 30 children killed. Only 120 insurgents were killed in checkpoints incidents."
Private contractors non-uniformed, unsupervised, wreak havoc: Blackwater (now Xe) and the thousands of civilian "security" operatives got away with murder, over and over again. And there are even more contractors in Afghanistan now than the larger troop force Obama sent in.

Along with turning prisoners over when you know the group you're handing to them practice torture (which would be a violation of international law), Raphael G. Satter and Paisley Dodds (AP) report that the documents reveal that US interrogators would be questioning Iraqis with fresh wounds -- which would mean they were emerging from torture, which would mean the US was deliberately sending some to be tortured to 'soften' them up -- which is also illegal under the treaties and conventions the United States signed off on. Both of these issues, the reporters point out, happen despite Barack's claim that the US will "eschew torture". Al Jazeera's John Terrett pressed the issue today at the US State Dept.

John Terrett: PJ, I'm sorry, my question is a bit of a war and a peace question today, if you'd graciously just bear with me for 20 seconds. As you know, my stations Al Jazeera English and Al Jazeera Arabic have been disseminating the WikiLeaks information, the 400,000 classified documents over the weekend. The three key headlines -- as far as I can see -- are Iran's influence in the region, the abuse and torture of Iraqi citizens by Iraqi security forces and allegations that the US turned a blind eye to that -- though the Pentagon denies that. Now the United Nations Special Representative for Torture, Manfred Nowak, has said that the White House has an obligation to carry out a full, independent inquiry. So that's already the administration he was talking about generally. Do you -- Does State have a reaction to all of this?

Philip J. Crowley: Well let's see. Let's take them one at a time. The first one is concern -- documentation of concern about Iran's influence in Iraq -- just move the same context from Afghanistan to Iraq. We have been concerned about the role that Iran has been playing in Iraq for some time which is not to say that an Iraqi government or the Iraqi people are not going to stand up for their own sovereign rights. They are. But certainly we have had and have been vocal in our concerns about Iran trying to undercut Iraq's sovereignty. The second point?

John Terrett: The allegation of torture of Iraqi citizens by Iraqis security forces and that the US turn a blind eye to that -- by and large.

Philip J. Crowley: We have not turned a blind eye. Our troops will report -- were obligated to report abuses to appropriate authorities and to follow up and they did so in Iraq. Without commenting on any specific documents, obviously these documents have a range of dates attached to them. One of the things that we've done in Iraq -- during our time there -- has been to partner with Iraqi forces -- conduct human rights training. We have done that and that's one of the reasons why we continue to have military forces in Iraq: To help with ongoing training of Iraqi security forces. And we believe that we've seen their performance improve over time.

John Terrett: And just quickly, pressure mounting from the Australian government, the Denmark government, the UN -- there for a full investiation. Do you think there will be one?

Philip J. Crowley: I think if there needs to be an accounting -- first and foremost -- there needs to be an accounting by the Iraqi government itself and how it has treated its own citizens. And that, too, is a conversation that we have had and will continue to have with the government of Iraq.

The question someone should have posed to Crowley was about the 1997 Leahy Amendment:

None of the funds made available by this Act may be provided to any unit of the security forces of a foreign country if the Secretary of State has credible evidence that such unit has committed gross violations of human rights, unless the Secretary determines and reports to the Committees on Appropriations that the government of such country is taking effective measures to bring the responsible members of the security forces unit to justice: Provided, That nothing in this section shall be construed to withhold funds made available by this Act from any unit of the security forces of a foreign country not credibly alleged to be involved in gross violations of human rights: Provided further, That in the event that funds are withheld from any unit pursuant to this section, the Secretary of State shall promptly inform the foreign government of the basis for such action and shall, to the maximum extent practicable, assist the foreign government in taking effective measures to bring the responsible members of the security forces to justice so funds to the unit may be resumed."

Before the WikiLeaks revelations, March 24, 2008, the Center for American Progress was calling on the end of federal funds to Iraq citing the Leahy Amendment. That was before the WikiLeaks release.
Thomas E. Ricks says nothing to see. Really? Human rights groups do not share his opinion. First, Amnesty International issued the following Friday:

Amnesty International today called on the USA to investigate how much US officials knew about the torture and other ill-treatment of detainees held by Iraqi security forces after new evidence emerged in files released by the Wikileaks organization on Friday.

"We have not yet had an opportunity to study the leaked files in detail but they add to our concern that the US authorities committed a serious breach of international law when they summarily handed over thousands of detainees to Iraqi security forces who, they knew, were continuing to torture and abuse detainees on a truly shocking scale," said Malcolm Smart, Amnesty International's director for the Middle East and North Africa.

The new disclosures appear to closely match the findings of New Order, Same Abuses: Unlawful Detentions and Torture in Iraq, a report published by Amnesty International in September 2010 detailing the widespread torture and other ill-treatment of detainees by Iraqi forces, committed with impunity. Thousands of Iraqis who had been detained by US forces were transferred from US to Iraqi custody between early 2009 and July 2010 under an agreement between the USA and Iraq that contains no provisions for ensuring protection of the detainees' human rights.

"These documents apparently provide further evidence that the US authorities have been aware of this systematic abuse for years, yet they went ahead and handed over thousands of Iraqis they had detained to the Iraqi security forces," said Malcolm Smart.

The USA is a party to the UN Convention against Torture, the main international treaty prohibiting torture, which requires all states to prohibit torture and to refrain from transferring detainees to the authorities of another state at whose hands they face torture.

Amnesty International continues to campaign for full accountability in the cases of all those detainees tortured and ill-treated by USA military personnel in Iraq , such as those in Abu Ghraib prison.

The US authorities, like all governments, have an obligation under international law not only to ensure that their own forces do not use torture, but also that people who were detained and are being held by US forces are not handed over to other authorities who are likely to torture them.

"The USA failed to respect this obligation in Iraq, despite the great volume of evidence, available from many different quarters, showing that the Iraqi security forces use torture widely and are allowed to do so with impunity." said Malcolm Smart

"The information said to be in these documents also underscores the urgent need for the Iraqi government to take concrete measures to end torture, ensure the safety of all detainees, and root out and bring to justice those responsible for torture and other serious human rights abuses, however senior their position."

And yesterday Human Rights Watch issued a press release which included the following:

The Iraqi government should investigate credible reports that its forces engaged in torture and systematic abuse of detainees, Human Rights Watch said today. Hundreds of documents released on October 22, 2010, by Wikileaks reveal beatings, burnings, and lashings of detainees by their Iraqi captors. Iraq should prosecute those responsible for torture and other crimes, Human Rights Watch said.
The US government should also investigate whether its forces breached international law by transferring thousands of Iraqi detainees from US to Iraqi custody despite the clear risk of torture. Field reports and other documents released by Wikileaks reveal that US forces often failed to intervene to prevent torture and continued to transfer detainees to Iraqi custody despite the fact that they knew or should have known that torture was routine.
"These new disclosures show torture at the hands of Iraqi security forces is rampant and goes completely unpunished," said Joe Stork, deputy Middle East director at Human Rights Watch. "It's clear that US authorities knew of systematic abuse by Iraqi troops, but they handed thousands of detainees over anyway."

That's not the full release, we'll try to note it in full later this week but there's not room for all of it in today's snapshot.

Jason Beattie (Mirror) reports that England's Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg has called for an inquiry. Susan Sachs (Globe and Mail) quotes British Deputy Prime Minister telling the BBC, "We can bemoan how these leaks occurred, but I think the nature of the allegations made are extraordinary serious. They are distressing to read about and they are very serious. I am assuming the U.S. administration will want to provide its own answer." Deborah Haynes (Times of London) quotes Clegg stating, "Anything that suggests that basic rules of war and conflict and of engagement have been broken, or that torture has in any way been condoned, are extremely serious and need to be looked at."

On Lateline (Australia's ABC), Emma Alberici reported, "The Ministry of Human Rights in Iraq is now also calling for an investigation of these latest crimes."

Wijdan Michael, Iraqi Minister of Human Rights: The documents that have been leaked will be studied by the Human Rights Ministry and by the Government, and if they produce new evidence that charge Americans or specific persons with torturing civilian or committing violations against Iraqi citizens, they will be adopted and the case will be opened again.

As calls emerge for accountability, patterns emerge in coverage. For example, Tom Gjelten (All Things Considered, NPR) thinks he can just repeat "the Penatgon says" over and over and, even when asked for "reactions" fall back to the Pentagon and ignore human rights group. Then there's commercial broadcast television. Friday and Saturday, they covered the released documents. ABC went with "brazen" and "outrage" and so much more, NBC went with WikiLeas that "threatenend" and "claims" (the Pentagon, exposed as a liar in the documents released, still got treated as a reliable source by NBC Nightly News). Only the CBS Evening News with Katie Couric (and the CBS Evening News with Jeff Glor) stuck to reporting and avoided using charged language that would allow them to editorialize. Editorialize?

Like saying "those documents never should have gotten out to the public in the first place" while you're supposed to be an impartial reporter? Pentagon fan boy -- billed as Pentagon correspodent -- Jim Mikalszewski managed to insert that into his report on Friday's NBC Nightly News with Brian Williams. (For more, see Ava and I my scribbling about the network coverage of the release.) Cable coverage was most interesting as a result of Atika Shubert. CNN has asserted that they were offered the revelations ahead of time but turned them down. Saturday Atika Shubert whored for her corporate owners and attacked WikiLeaks' Julian Assange on the air. That might seem strange to some unless that stopped a moment and thought. If you did, you'd remember that CNN is sitting on footage of the US military shooting an innocent Iraqi teenager. Former CNN correspondent Michael Ware went public with that only last month (refer to the September 22nd snapshot). When you bury your own footage of unreported war crimes, getting your TV personality to attack Julian Assange is just more of the same.

Dropping back to the State Dept press conference today:

Philip J. Crowley: We have not turned a blind eye. Our troops will report -- were obligated to report abuses to appropriate authorities and to follow up and they did so in Iraq. Without commenting on any specific documents, obviously these documents have a range of dates attached to them. One of the things that we've done in Iraq -- during our time there -- has been to partner with Iraqi forces -- conduct human rights training. We have done that and that's one of the reasons why we continue to have military forces in Iraq: To help with ongoing training of Iraqi security forces. And we believe that we've seen their performance improve over time.

"And we believe that we've seen their performance improve over time." Do they not get the morning papers at State anymore? Budget cutbacks preventing that? Because this morning, the New York Times ran Timothy Williams and Omar al-Jawoshy report that an increasing number of Iraqi security forces "are becoming dependent on drugs or alcohol" with some areas of the country experiencing 50% of the forces using drugs while on duty.

Today in Baghdad,
Reuters notes, 1 Ministry of Electricity employee was shot dead and a Baghdad sticky bombing targeted the car of a Ministry of Defense worker injuring him and two more people.

Meanwhile Ernesto Londono (Washington Post) reports that the Supreme Court of Iraq told MPs yesterday that they had to hold a session: "The ruling could add a sense of urgency to negotiations among political factions, because the court set a two-week deadline to resume parliamentary sessions." June 14th was the only time the new Parliament has convened -- they did a roll call, took their oaths and quickly adjourned, all in less than 20 minutes.

New parliament? March 7th, Iraq concluded Parliamentary elections. The
Guardian's editorial board noted in August, "These elections were hailed prematurely by Mr Obama as a success, but everything that has happened since has surely doused that optimism in a cold shower of reality." 163 seats are needed to form the executive government (prime minister and council of ministers). When no single slate wins 163 seats (or possibly higher -- 163 is the number today but the Parliament added seats this election and, in four more years, they may add more which could increase the number of seats needed to form the executive government), power-sharing coalitions must be formed with other slates, parties and/or individual candidates. (Eight Parliament seats were awarded, for example, to minority candidates who represent various religious minorities in Iraq.) Ayad Allawi is the head of Iraqiya which won 91 seats in the Parliament making it the biggest seat holder. Second place went to State Of Law which Nouri al-Maliki, the current prime minister, heads. They won 89 seats. Nouri made a big show of lodging complaints and issuing allegations to distract and delay the certification of the initial results while he formed a power-sharing coalition with third place winner Iraqi National Alliance -- this coalition still does not give them 163 seats. They are claiming they have the right to form the government. In 2005, Iraq took four months and seven days to pick a prime minister. It's seven months and eighteen days and still counting.

In all that time, the Parliament has met only once. No, that's not how it's supposed to be nor is that what the Constitution demands of the Parliament. Londono reports acting Speaker of Parliament Fouad Massoum states, "I'm not going to disobey this decision. I will call for a session. But if the majority of the parliament doesn't show up, I won't be in charge."
Anthony Shadid (New York Times) hypothesizes that one of the outcome's of the Court's decision may be to "perhaps set the stage for another constitutional crisis." And Shadid reports that the ruling resulted from a lawsuit brought "by a civil society group backed by the venerable but small Communist Party, against the acting Parliament speaker, Fouad Massoum." Liz Sly (Los Angeles Times) quotes that civil society -- Civil Initiative to Preserve the Constitution -- spokesperson Ali Anbori, "It doesn't matter if some political parties are happier than others. For us the most important thing is to observe the constitution and end this political crisis." She also notes concerns on the part of some that the Court's order will benefit Nouri.

Benefit Nouri? The way the US decision to go against the UN setting up a caretaker government benefited Nouri?

If there were a caretaker government right now, you can be sure Nouri would not be able to stone wall other parties. If there were a caretaker government, for example, it's very unlikely he could have spent months ignoring that Moqtada al-Sadr and Ammar al-Hakim didn't want him as prime minister (al-Hakim is still not on board). But retaining -- illegally retaining -- the position of Prime Minister has allowed him not only to ride it out but to have resources that others vying for the post don't have. When the US refused to go along with the creation of a caretaker government, that benefited Nouri but we've yet to see one US outlet point that reality out.

With no caretaker government in place, it is conceivable that Nouri could remain prime minister for years without the March 7th election results ever being decisive. He could just continue to hang on to the post he's in -- which expired some time ago -- and say, "Well I'm the last Prime Minister elected by Parliament so I'm still in charge." It was a huge, huge mistake on the part of the US to allow Nouri to delay the elections and then stall and stall on the election law. By doing that and refusing the creation of a caretaker government, they ensured that Nouri would be in office after the elections despite his term being up. They knew it took four months after the December 2005 elections to form a government. They had every reason to guess it would take at least that long again. Nouri's played the system very well but only after the US ensured the system was broken.

Today Amy Goodman hosted a discussion the WikiLeaks release on Democracy Now! (link has text, audio and video) and the New York Times' At War blog is taking questions about the WikiLeaks release for their reporters who are covering the issue (among those covering the release have been Sabrina Tavernise, James Glanz, Andrew W. Lehren, Michael R. Gordon, etc.).

the bureau of investigative journalism
angus stickler
the washington post
ellen knickmeyer
jason ditz
daniel ellsberg
the world cant wait
press tv
the new york times
sabrina tavernise
al jazeera
the mirror
jason beattie
alsumaria tv
the telegraph of london
the new york times
timothy williams
omar al-jawoshy
ernesto londono
the new york times
anthony shadid
the los angeles times
liz sly

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