Thursday, November 15, 2018

Who got killed on HOW TO GET AWAY WITH MURDER?

Who got killed and who did the killing?

Before we get to that, the two best moments of Oliver and Conner's wedding?

Conner, going down the aisle, sees Annalise there.  She had planned to bail.  She doesn't like weddings.  He went to speak to her and she was still planning to bail.  But in the end she showed up for Conner.  The look between the two of them was one of the best moments.

The other?  Conner was worried about Oliver and looking for him only to find that Oliver had been preparing a song to sing to Conner -- John Legend's "All Of Me." Oliver sang it very well and it was a strong, emotional moment for the wedding.

From the first episode this season, we knew that someone was going to die at the wedding celebration and I assumed it was going to be Oliver.  I was wrong.

The dead person is . . . Ronald -- Bonnie's boss and lover.

Who killed him?

Nate and Bonnie.


Nate had his friend look into the phone logs for the prison on the night his father was killed.  (Because Makayah found a strange call from a public pay phone.)  The friend did and got a camera shot of who made the call . . . Ronald.

As soon as Nate was sent the photo on his phone, he was furious.  He was going to leave the wedding when he bumped into Ronald.  He accused Ronald who denied it (and maybe Ronald was telling the truth).  Nate didn't believe him and started punching him and couldn't stop.

Later, Bonnie shows up because she was told Ronald was outside.  She's carrying Laurel's son.  She puts him down on the snow and goes over to Ronald.  He's still breathing which Bonnie takes care of.  She and Nate then plan/plot.  We see Nate churning the snow around (burying the blood) and we see him putting Ronald in his trunk.  (He also finds the engagement ring that Ronald was going to give Bonnie.)

What else did we find out this episode?

How about that Mr. Pretty Boy Gabe is actually the son of Annalise's dead husband.  Frank finds the proof (birth certificate) and shows it to Annalise who leaves the wedding party.  Earlier, she was drinking and Gabe found her alone in the chapel.  She dropped her purse.  He picked it up and he pocketed her keys.

When Annalise got home, she realized she didn't have her keys so she pulled the spare set out of the lamp.  She goes in upset about Gabe and basically collapses on the floor.  After a minute or two, she hears noises and realizes she's not alone.  It's Gabe.  He insists he's there because he's worried and because he found her keys.

He didn't find them and Annalise is nervous and afraid.

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

Thursday, November 115, 2018.  If you strip away history and context, it's easy to believe almost any government official.

Yesterday, Paul Gibbard appeared on RUDAW.

RUDAW:  You are Canada's first Ambassador to Iraq in 27 years.  Why has Canada chosen to return to Iraq now?

Paul Gibbard: It's a good question.  We've had an office here for a long time  but, definitely since 2016, we've-we've really ramped up our participation.  And that's really part of a broader strategy we have in the Mid East that includes Lebanon, Jordan and Syria.  We've invested about two billion dollars between 2016 and 2019.really in an attempt to respond to the expansion of [the Islamic State].  So, here in Iraq, we've been playing an important role in terms of the coalition against [the Islamic State] -- both on the military side and on the civilian side.  So part of the civilian side that many people may not know about is that we're providing training -- police training, uhm, to uh-uh officers both on community policing and also on the role of women in-in policing.  We also, uh, on the -- something new, uhm, that's been announced, the NATO mission, so that there's a new NATO mission.  

I don't believe Paul Gibbard has looked so dishonest since he spoke of immigration in 2016 and babbled on about "integrating" and how "our survival depends" on that integration.

In the above -- interview is here and they have a transcript -- with RUDAW, Gibbard is provided wide space to run free.  He's never pinned down.

Pinning him down would mean asking, for example, why NATO is needed in Iraq?

Richard Sisk (MILITARY.COM) offers his dictation notes:

NATO has committed to a long-term military training effort in Iraq, where the Iraqi Security Forces are still struggling against pockets of ISIS fighters in several areas despite declaring victory over the terror group nearly a year ago, a British officer with the U.S.-led coalition said Tuesday.
[. . .]
In a video briefing from Baghdad to reporters at the Pentagon, Ghika said the new, open-ended NATO training mission in Iraq would begin early next year and would essentially involve teacher-on-teacher instruction.

"It's going to focus its efforts on the institutional education establishments, such as the National Defense University, the Staff College, the institutional structure of the Iraqi Ministry of Defense," Ghika said.

That is hilarious.  Sisk never heard of context or history but he's still the sweetest cherry in the steno pool.

RUDAW's interview should have required Gibbard to explain who in Lebanon, Jordan or Syria is calling for Canada's "ramped up" participation.  It certainly should have included asking Gibbard why he claims Canada is responding "to the expansion of" the Islamic State since most observers have argued it has contracted, not expanded.  (Previously, they argued it was gone and vanquished -- as we stated repeatedly, that was never true.)

Peter Beaumont (GUARDIAN) reports from Falluja:

Shuhada school sits on what was one of Iraq’s most violent frontlines, in the former Isis stronghold of Fallujah.
The children have to walk along a dirt road, the edges of which are lined with red-painted bricks and skull and crossbones signs that warn of the risk beyond the makeshift border – landmines laid by the extremist group.
Hundreds of the homemade devices are buried in fields, inside war-damaged houses and under roads, forming a densely-packed belt that stretches for 15km and more.
Daily life for the people of Fallujah’s southern neighbourhood of Shuhada is shaped by the surrounding minefields. They dictate where they can live, walk, farm and allow children to play.
One of the first Iraqi cities clawed back from the self-proclaimed Islamic State caliphate, Fallujah is left with the conflict’s lingering and deadly legacy.

As the morning classes end, minibuses and parents on foot arrive to pick up the children. Others leave together in small groups to walk home along routes made safe and marked by the Halo Trust, the British demining charity.

Beaumont discusses his report on TODAY IN FOCUS.

A really informed exchange would require -- yes, Sisk -- context and history.

So Canada wants to train -- and wants to train the Ministry of the Interior.

Basic history?  How many times are Iraq's forces going to be trained, retrained and then retrained again?

Even in the early years of the Iraq War -- when Bully Boy Bush still occupied the White House -- you would find American trainers complaining to the press that the Iraqis couldn't learn.  More likely, they didn't want to.  See Herbert R. Kohl's classic I WON"T LEARN FROM YOU.  Nor should they want to.  Would you want someone who invaded your country to be your teacher?

If you can grasp that, you can apply the needed context.

In the fall of 2011, the US Defense Dept ceded control over the Iraq mission to the US State Dept and State was going to do what?  Anyone remember?  They were going to train the police forces.  There was a new academy built -- US tax payers footed the bill -- and this was going to be so huge.   New to the topic?  Let'd drop back to the December 1, 2011 snapshot:

"Number one, does the government of Iraq -- whose personnel we intend to train -- support the program?" asked US House Rep Gary Ackerman yesterday. "Interviews with senior Iraqi officials by the Special Inspector General show utter disdain for the program. When the Iraqis suggest that we take our money and do things instead that are good for the United States, I think that might be a clue."
That was Ackerman's important question yesterday afternoon at the House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on the Middle East and South Asia hearing on Iraq.  US House Rep Steve Chabot is the Chair of the Subcommittee, US House Rep Gary Ackerman is the Ranking Member.  The first panel was the State Dept's Brooke Darby.  The second panel was the Inspector General for the Office of the Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction Stuart W. Bowen and SIGIR's Assistant Inspector General for Iraq Glenn D. Furbish.  Chabot had a few comments to make at the start of the hearing.  They often echoed comments made in the November 15th Senate Armed Services Committee hearing [see the November 15th "Iraq snapshot," the November 16th "Iraq snapshot" and the November 17th "Iraq snapshot" and other community reporting on the hearing included Ava's "Scott Brown questions Panetta and Dempsey (Ava)," Wally's "The costs (Wally)" and Kat's "Who wanted what?" ]. But while Senators Joe Lieberman, John McCain and Lindsey Graham made their comments during rounds of questions, Chabot made his as the start of the hearing in his opening remarks. 
Chair Steve Chabot: Unfortunately, these negotiations failed due to, in my opinion, mismanagement by this White House.  Amazingly, the White House is now trying to tout the breakdown and lack of agreement as a success in as much as it has met a promise President Obama made as a candidate. This blatant politicization calls into question the White House's effort to secure an extension.  Fulfilling a campaign promise at the expense of American national security  is at best strategic neglect and at worse downright irresponsible.  And the White House tacitly admits this in negotiating an extension in the first place. I fear, however, that our objective is no longer to ensure that Iraq is stable but merely to withdraw our forces by the end of this year in order to meet a political time line. Saying that Iraq is secure, stable and self-reliant -- as Deputy National Security Advisor Dennis McDonough  recently did -- does not make it so.  And to borrow a quote from then-Senator Hillary Clinton , It requires "the willing suspension of disbelief" to believe that withdrawing our forces from Iraq at a time when Iranian agents seek to harm at every turn our country and its allies advances our strategic interests.  Although I understand that Iraq is a sovereign country, I believe there is much more we could have done to secure a reasonable troop presence beyond the end of this year.
McCain was wrongly criticized for not grasping Iraq was a sovereign nation in some press accounts. Wrongly.  McCain grasped that fact and acknowledged it repeatedly in the hearing.  Chabot may have wanted all of that at the start of the hearing to ensure that he was not misunderstood.  In addition, Chabot noted the "reports of obstruction and noncooperation on the part of the Department of State during SIGIR's audit.  This is extremely distressing and, to echo the sentiments of several of my colleagues in the other body which they recently expressed in a letter to Secretary of State Clinton, the Department of State is legally obliged to cooperate fully with SIGIR in the execution of its mission; jurisdictional games are unacceptable." In his opening remarks, the Ranking Member weighed in on that topic as well.
Ranking Member Gary Ackerman:  He [Bowen] has testified before other bodies of Congress, he has released written quarterly reports, as well as specific audits and the message is the same: The program for which the Department of State officially took responsibility on October 1st is nearly a text book case of government procurement -- in this case, foreign assistance -- doesn't buy what we think we're paying for, what we want and why more money will only make the problem worse.  Failed procurement is not a problem unique to the State Department.  And when it comes to frittering away millions, Foggy Bottom is a rank amateur compared to the Department of Defense. As our colleagues on the Armed Services committees have learned, the best of projects with the most desirable of purposes can go horribly, horribly off-track; and the hardest thing it seems that any bureaucracy can do is pull the plug on a failed initiative.  How do we know the Police Development Program is going off-track?  Very simple things demonstrate a strong likelihood of waste and mismanagement.  Number one, does the government of Iraq -- whose personnel we intend to train -- support the program? Interviews with senior Iraqi officials by the Special Inspector General show utter disdain for the program. When the Iraqis suggest that we take our money and do things instead that are good for the United States, I think that might be a clue.
Ackerman went on to note how "the program's objectives remain a mushy bowl of vague platitudes" and how  it had "no comprehensive and detailed plan for execution, there is no current assessment of Iraqi police force capability and, perhaps most tellingly, there are no outcome-based metrics.  This is a flashing-red warning light."

Remember how that ended?

The US government turned over the new facility to Iraq (and other properties).  They did not train any police.  Police members did not show up for trainings they were scheduled for.  The State Dept's entire program was a joke and a waste of tax dollars.  As then-US House Rep Gary Ackerman pointed out, the office of the Special Inspector General knew it was going to fail ahead of time because "senior Iraqi officials . . . show[ed] utter disdain for the program."  Ackerman was correct to argue, "When the Iraqis suggest that we take our money and do things instead that are good for the United States, I think that might be a clue."

It was a clue.  But no one wants to learn.

When the US State Dept was failing with the program who was the Minister of the Interior?

No one.  Nouri wanted to keep the post for himself.

Do we remember that?

You can't learn from history if you can't even remember it.

Now money will again be spent on 'training' and who is the Minister of the Interior?

Oh, right, again there is no Minister of Interior.

That's history.  Want honesty?

Here's honesty: The 'training' was never about training.  It was about spying.  It's still about spying.  That's why the waste of money won't shock the Canadian government anymore than it did the US government.  The 'training' is not about imparting wisdom, the 'training' is about getting intelligence and spying.

Further into the interview, Gibbard starts talking women -- he makes it the thrust of the interview.  Women are important, he insists, to the peace.  And, yes, Iraq has no women in the Cabinet, but they want to encourage.

So many want to encourage.

November 12, UK Political Coordinator to the United Nations Stephen Hickey delivered remarks which included:

We welcome the formation of the cabinet that is well underway and encourage the appointment of the remaining cabinet members in an inclusive manner within constitutional timelines. However, like Poland and the Netherlands and others, we do share the disappointment in a lack of female members in those appointed to the cabinet to date and we would encourage the Iraqi government in its efforts to address this issue and promote the participation and representation of women at all levels of decision-making in Iraq.

[Click here for Hickey's full remarks.]

All this encouragement.  Nothing changes so far, didn't in the past either, but let's keep 'encouraging.'  Hillary Clinton, as Secretary of State, turned down even the requests of her personal friends to help women in Iraq and stated that the government did not seek the input or participation of women.

What's changed?


If it's me that's driving you to this madness
Then there's one thing that I'd like to say
Take a look at your life and your lovers
Nothing ever changes

-- "Nothing Ever Changes," written by Stevie Nicks, first appears on her WILD HEART

There's more honesty -- as an aside -- in the following Tweet than in Gibbard's entire interview.

Food for thought...

"As well as trade . . ."

The following community sites -- plus BLACK AGENDA REPORT, Jody Watley and Cindy Sheehan -- updated:

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