Thursday, February 28, 2019


ABC's HOW TO GET AWAY WITH MURDER wrapped up the season tonight.  SPOILERS will follow, you have been warned.

So we know now who was responsible for the hit on Nate Sr.  It was Laurel's family.  I guess we should have considered that all along but I didn't.  Last season, that crime family got taken down and yet I just seemed to think they'd vanished.  Instead, with Laurel's father in prison and her mother in hiding, her brother took over.

Her mother?  She may be dead.  That box with the hair from last episode?  It Laurel's mother's hair.  

Pretty Boy tells Michaela that the FBI agent wants him to rat out Annalise or she'll go after Pretty Boy's mother.  And that gets stopped by Asher kicking in the plan that Laurel had shot down on an earlier episode.  They got the agent kicked out of the FBI.

Annalise?  She was dealing with a lot including Laurel's brother trying to frame Emmett (Timothy Hutton).  

Frank went after one of the security guards at the prison to find out who was behind the hit on Nate Sr.  It was Laurel's brother.  He and Annalise came up with a plot to get the security guard to lie to Bonnie.  Bonnie thinks Miller was involved as a result.  So does Nate.  Bonnie no longer has to feel guilty over helping Nate kill Miller.

Other than Frank and Annalise, only Laurel knows the truth.

Annalise confronts the governor who tries to lie and intimidate Annalise.  

She then tells Annalise that since Annalise won't help her, she's forwarded the fake phone call records over to the FBI to implicate Emmett.

Michaela and Pretty Boy kiss.  After she tells him that the FBI agent isn't a problem.  But here's a problem, Michaela is looking for her birth father.  That's a tiny thread throughout the season.  Tonight?  She gets information but she's not there so Asher and the gang look at it.  And they are bothered by what they see.  Annalise has some connection to Michaela's father.

And the way the scenes intercut, I really feared that Michaela and Pretty Boy might be related.  That was what I got.  That's probably not the case.

So Laurel and Annalise went to confront Laurel's brother.  He thinks he can outsmart them.  

She tells him that he can't.  

Annalise tells him,  "You're just as boring as you think.  But you lost this round, Boo,  And the FBI has everything they need to arrest you and your pathetic ass.  Turn yourself in, maybe they'll let you share the same call as your father."

He calls the governor after they leave and she tells him they're going to implement their plan.

So Tegan calls Annalise as Annalise and Laurel are walking on the street.  She tells her the governor's just said on live TV that she is under investigation but she insists she's innocent and that Emmett is the guilty one.  We see Emmett in his office, on the floor, he's trying to breathe.  Is he having a natural heart attack or was he poisoned (there's a glass on the carpet next to him).

Tegan just knows Emmett's in his office (upstairs) and Annalise tells her just to keep Emmett calm and that she's on her way.

But she hangs up with Tegan and realizes Laurel's no longer walking with her.  She looks around.  Then she starts to panic and begins screaming Laurel's name.

Connor and Oliver are now the godparents of Laurel's son.  Oliver's not keen on what's been going on (as usual) with all the scheming.  But he sees Connor caring for Laurel's son and he softens up a bit and even says maybe he and Connor should consider adopting a child.

Frank comes running in to ask where Laurel's baby is.  They point to the tablet which shows the baby upstairs in his crib.  Frank goes running up to the nursery.  The crib is empty.

The footage is on a loop.

It looks like Laurel's brother has kidnapped her and her son.

That's what everyone thinks.

I don't.

Laurel and Annalise were at each others' throats throughout the episode.  Annalise even told her she didn't want to pick her for the legal team and that it was Frank's dick (I think she said dick) that got Laurel selected.  

So anyway, they get on the street after they leave her brother and before Tegan calls and Laurel and she talk about Miller and the lie to Bonnie and how you do what you have to in order to protect your children.  

Laurel then tells Annalise that she wants to thank her for all she did.

That's when the phone rings (Tegan) and Annalise answers.

My point?

That thank you seemed like a goodbye.  Laurel is concerned about her son and told the gang that she has to do anything she can to protect him (that was in response to them learning -- Pretty Boy told Michaela -- that Laurel met with the FBI and was offered immunity if she'd turn on the gang).

I think there's a good chance that Laurel has left on her own and that she took her child with her.  I wouldn't be surprised if we learn that next season.

So that was the season finale and I'd argue this was the strongest season of HOW TO GET AWAY WITH MURDER ever.

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

Thursday, February 28, 2019.  Rallies for Julian Assange are mounting, AFP discovers the brain drain in Iraq -- over 13 years after it started, the Center for Constitutional Rights notes a development in the Abu Ghraib scandal, and much more

Julian Assange.  A truth teller.  In England, he remains in an embassy.  If he steps out, he could be arrested.  If arrested, he could be handed over to the US government.

Some idiots -- there are so many on our side (the left) these days -- insist he has committed treason.  That charge just goes to their own stupidity and to the failure of the American education system.  Julian is a citizen of Australia.  Find out how he committed treason against Australia, if you think you can.  But his publishing the Iraq War Logs or, later, the DNC e-mails were not acts of treason and never qualified as such.  Treason is a serious charge and before Hillary Clinton was so stupid that she lost the 2016 election, on the left -- even the faux left -- we didn't hear cries of "treason" the way we do today.  It would do everyone a great service to calm the f**k down and also grasp that treason is a charge, that if convicted, can lead to execution.

It's a very serious charge and people would do well to treat it as such.

I get it, Hillary ran a lousy campaign.  She morphed into Bully Boy Bush in fact.  Maybe it was her age?  In 2008, she was everywhere and she was everywhere over and over -- despite being a sitting US senator.  In 2016, with no real job to speak of, she suddenly was Bully Boy Bush whining that she had to be at her home by nightfall, screw the schedule, screw visiting here or there, princess just wanted to sleep in her own bed.  Fine and dandy, but don't run for president, dear.  We've slammed Bully Boy Bush for that for years.  We'll slam anyone for it.  Running for president is hard work, if you're not up to it, if your delicate little butt needs to be home each night then don't run.

Had she run the same type of campaign in 2016 that she did in 2008, she probably would be in the White House.  Not only did she do more campaign stops that year, she also met with working people and attempted to connect with them.  Yes, chi-chi, frou-frou media and Barack Obama's hipsters (ugly men, one and all), slammed her for things like her April 2008 proposal to suspend (temporarily) the federal excise tax on gas.  Working people liked the proposal.

The disdain The Cult of Barack had for working class was evident in their response.  They mocked it.  They laughed at it.  It would be about $11 a week, they snickered.  That's about one cup of coffee.

Did the little bitches ever seem more out of touch?  For working class voters, ten dollars matters.  It might mean they can have Ramen or something better than Ramen.  It might mean they can give their child 2 dollars more a day towards lunch.  It was never going to be suspended for good but even if was only suspended for six months, that would be over $240 that Hillary's proposal would put in the hands of working class people and families.  And to Barack's frou-frou set, those tough boys so eager to bleach their assholes right after their pedicures, $240 was a joke.

Hillary did not lose because of Julian Assange.  She was a deeply unpopular politicians.  That was true in 2008 as well.  But in 2008, Hillary wasn't asking you to celebrate her or that you insist "I'm with her."  In 2008, she ran as a fighter who would fight for you.

That Hillary would have won in 2016, regardless of her other problems and issues.

Julian Assange is not responsible for Hillary's defeat.  Hillary is responsible and she's done how many speaking tours and that poorly ghost-written book and still can't take accountability -- demonstrating what a lousy leader she is.  I remember another who couldn't own their mistakes: Bully Boy Bush.

Julian is a publisher.  He needs to be free.  An attack on him is an attack on the press.

WSWS gets this which is why they're covering this story.  See below:

Free Julian Assange!

Australian filmmaker Curtis Levy demands freedom for Julian Assange

28 February 2019
Veteran documentarian Curtis Levy speaks out in defence of the WikiLeaks publisher and freedom of the press.

Australian workers and youth support March 3 and March 10 rallies demanding freedom for Assange

By our reporters, 28 February 2019
“I’m going on March 3 and I think everyone should come because we need to take action to free Assange and end war.”

Australian media union complicit in the persecution of Julian Assange

By Oscar Grenfell, 27 February 2019

SEP national secretary James Cogan calls for maximum participation in rallies to free Julian Assange

25 February 2019
Cogan explains the connection between the fight for Assange’s freedom and the fight against the escalating government attacks in every country against freedom of the press and other basic democratic rights.

Attend March 10 Solidarity Vigil in London for Julian Assange

By Robert Stevens, 25 February 2019
The SEP (UK) calls on all defenders of civil liberties and democratic rights, all opponents of imperialist wars for regime change, to attend the March 10 vigil and make it known in your workplaces, campuses and schools.

The working class and the fight to free Julian Assange

By James Cogan, 23 February 2019

Sydney Martin Place Amphitheatre, March 3! Melbourne State Library, March 10!

By the Socialist Equality Party (Australia), 25 January 2019

Today:  WikiLeaks publisher Julian Assange detained in the UK for 3000 days--in violation of multiple UN rulings requiring his release. He is nominated for the 2019 Nobel Peace Prize.


Jennifer Robinson: the free-speech champion who stuck by Julian Assange

Julian has many supporters.  He has lost two major supporters providing legal assistance.  One is Michael Ratner who passed away.  Michael was very vocal on the need to stop persecuting Julian Assange.  I believe it's fair to say that Michael would see it as a contribution to his own life's work if those who could would call for an end to the persecution.

Support Julian 's right to safe passage to Ecuador, without facing extradition & jail in the US. He exposed war crimes. To mark him serving the equivalent of 6 years imprisonment in the Embassy in London, rally outside 6pm 19 July. INFO
Replying to 

Journalist and filmmaker John Pilger to speak at March 3 Sydney rally to defend Julian Assange - World Socialist Web Site: 

There are a series of rallies that will take place around the world.  You can show your support for Julian in many ways.

If someone knows a list of these, please e-mail and we will post it.

Meanwhile, AFP reports:

In Iraq, medicine is a matter of life or death — not just for patients, but for doctors facing threats by vengeful relatives and emigrating en masse.
Shaymaa Al-Kamali, a family physician in Baghdad, said her problems began when she barred a patient’s father from staying in the hospital after visiting hours.
Furious and carrying arms, their relatives stormed her clinic in protest, and she had to flee through a service entrance.
“I took off my doctor’s coat and ran out with a colleague. We got into a taxi as if I was his wife and not a doctor like him,” Kamali told AFP.
“I didn’t go back to work for ten days.”
Doctors, nurses, and other health workers across Iraq say they regularly risk being physically harassed, verbally threatened, and even kidnapped while on the job.
They blame this on the longstanding tradition of personal gun ownership in Iraq, a country ravaged by decades of violence.

What a load of crap.

How stupid do you have to be to type that garbage?

At least stupid enough to mention 2009 as your starting point.

It's the brain drain.  Is AFP lying to pimp gun control?  I have no idea but if AFP is worried about guns in Iraq they should make sure that those traveling with their journalists do not carry any.

Personal guns are not the issue.  The militias have always been the issue here and, thanks to former prime minister Hayder al-Abadi, the militias are now part of the government.

Jonathan Steele (GUARDIAN) from March 23, 2006 (three years before AFP's 'history'):

Still ashen-faced six days after escaping death, Dr Ali Faraj pulls his hair aside to display a scar above his left ear. One of Iraq's top cardiologists, he was seeing a patient when a group of kidnappers wearing ski-masks stormed into his Baghdad clinic, knocked his receptionist to the floor and when he emerged to investigate the noise, ordered him to come with them.
To his surprise, they said they were taking him to the Interior Ministry. "I know the minister so I said I would check if it was really necessary. I put out my hand to pick up the phone, but they knocked my arm aside and struck me on the head with a pistol butt. They dragged me to the front gate where a car was waiting," he says, safe now in Jordan.
"It was about 7pm, already dark. Suddenly we heard shots. I couldn't tell where they were coming from. One of the kidnappers fell to the ground. He had been hit. Three of them started to lift him up. The fifth man ordered me into the car but I ran back to the clinic in the darkness."
Faraj was not totally unprepared for what has become a normal risk of Baghdad life. "I had a Kalashnikov in the clinic. My driver took it and started shooting. I also had a pistol in my drawer. The kidnappers drove off."

Bleeding from his head wound, he was taken home by colleagues. Only the next day did Faraj discover that the firing that saved him came from the garden of a tribal sheikh who lives opposite: "The man's bodyguards saw the gunmen going into my clinic, and were ordered by the sheikh to take cover and shoot if they were obviously abducting somebody when they came out."
[. . .]
The growing insecurity has set off a massive brain drain, as more and more Iraqis slip away from the country, perhaps never to return. While the fall of Saddam Hussein opened the door for an earlier generation of Iraqi exiles to go home, now the flow is going the other way again. Kidnap survivors are the lucky ones. Hundreds of Iraqi professionals are being murdered in what some Iraqis see as a deliberate campaign to destroy the country's best and brightest. The Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research says that 89 university professors and senior lecturers have been killed since 2003, and police investigations have led to nothing.

The militias just assassinated a novelist this month, Alaa Mashzoub.

Search results

HORRIBLE. -i novelist and critic Alaa Mashzoub assassinated in Karbalaa today with 13 bullets.
He criticized radicalism, ISIS, Iran rulers & its militias. Penned work about Iraqi Jewish minority, history of Karbalaa & many novels. Will we see justice? RIP v

  • I drew the Iraqi writer Alaa Mashzoub, creator of novels about the pluralistic history of his city. This month, Alaa was murdered in front of his home in Karbala by unknown assassins. May his memory be a blessing. Solidarity to writers in Iraq


  • The US treats Iraq as a geopolitical space to counter Iran/ISIS/withdraw/whatever. The Iraq the US left behind is also a place where amazing people such as Alaa Mashzoub get murdered for expressing opinions, but that is never the issue.

    The opening of the 46th annual Baghdad International Book Fair has been darkened by the shadow of the murder of one of Iraq's most outspoken novelists, Alaa Mashzoub, earlier this month

    It is critical that those who are willing to raise their voices and express dissident viewpoints have the freedom to do so. Holding Alaa Mashzoub's killers accountable is of paramount importance in preserving a vibrant cultural and civic life in Iraq.

    When his cousin, Aws al-Khafaji, called out the mmilitias, he was taken away by the militias -- even though he was a militia leader himself.

    This is a pretty stunning accusation by the Hashd al-Shaabi - Officially declaring the Abu Fadl al-Abbas Brigade and its commander Aws al-Khafaji as 'fake hashd'

    The leader of "Abu al-Fadl al-Abbas" militia  -Aws al-Khafaji - ; exposes the facts about the leaders of the # militias in Iraq #,  before his arrest.

    How awful that AFP is writing about attacks and ignoring the one from earlier this month.

    The brain drain has been going on for years.  Iraqi professionals and intellectuals have been fleeing the country for their own safety for years now.  This is not an 'individual' issue -- don't sale guns! -- this is the government condoning and/or ignoring it.  The Ministry of Interior had a well known history -- there have been US Congressional hearings about this -- of taking part in these attacks.

    It takes a lot of stupid for AFP to publish that stupid and uninformed article.

    In November of 2006, Kai Ryssdal was reporting on the brain drain for MARKETPLACE (link is text and audio):

    KAI RYSSDAL: The news out of Baghdad has been changing all day. First reports this morning had about 150 people being kidnapped from a government education office there. Later updates have brought that number down to several dozen, perhaps as many as 50. The interior minister initially threatened to shut down all of Iraq's universities. He pulled back from that as the day wore on. But today's incident is a sharp reminder of the threats to Iraqi academics and professionals.

    Scott Peterson's in Baghdad for the Christian Science Monitor. Scott, good to talk to you.

    SCOTT PETERSON: Good to talk to you.

    RYSSDAL: Have academics and professionals been increasingly the targets of these sorts of attacks in Baghdad?

    PETERSON: Well, this is certainly the most spectacular mass kidnapping that we've had but it also is capping a process — a trend, if you will — that's been going on for the last two or three years here. Professionals who've been leaving. Professionals who've received threats, both Sunnis and Shias, but primarily Sunnis who are the ones who formed most of that class during the Saddam era. So, they have been under fire and a lot of people . . . there's been an extraordinary brain drain that's taken place in Iraq.

    RYSSDAL: What was making the ones who did stay, stay and possibly get kidnapped today?

    PETERSON: Well, I mean, they recognize that without their input, without their intelligence, without their experience, no one is going to be able to build this country up.

    RYSSDAL: The ones who do leave, Scott, where are they going and what kinds of work are they able to find?

    PETERSON: Most of them are going to Jordan and to Syria. The U.N. put out figures just a week ago, saying that 2,000 people are crossing every day into Syria. And that there were 1,000 a day crossing into Jordan. This is, of course, all Iraqis — 3,000 a day. About an exodus of 100,000 a month.

    Meanwhile, the Center for Constitutional Rights notes a development in the Abu Ghraib scandal:


    Judge Rejects Latest Efforts by Private Contractor to Have Case Dismissed

    February 27, 2019, Alexandria, VA – Today, a federal judge refused to dismiss a lawsuit filed by survivors of torture at the infamous “hard site” at Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq against private military contractor CACI Premier Technology, Inc., over the for-profit company’s role in the torture. CACI provided interrogation services at the prison. The Center for Constitutional Rights filed the case in 2008, and CACI has sought to dismiss it 16 times, resulting in multiple trips to the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals. Judge Leonie Brinkema’s rejection of CACI’s latest motions means that, nearly 15 years to the date when the world first saw the shocking photos of naked, hooded Iraqis stacked in human pyramids and subjected to horrific abuse, three of the original Abu Ghraib survivors in the case, Suhail Al Shimari, Asa’ad Al Zuba’e, and Salah Al-Ejaili, will finally be able to have their day in court. They will be permitted to testify either live or by video link, representing a rare opportunity for the American public to hear directly from victims of this historic human rights atrocity. 
    Trial is scheduled to begin on April 23, 2019 in the federal courthouse in Alexandria Virginia. 
    “After the smoke from more than a decade of litigation fights has settled, we now see an important moment in the quest for justice and accountability for victims of torture and abuse at Abu Ghraib. Our clients have waited patiently for the lawyers to do their work – now, they finally have a chance to tell their story directly to an American jury,” said Center for Constitutional Rights Legal Director Baher Azmy
    U.S. military investigators long ago concluded that CACI interrogators conspired with U.S. soldiers, who were later court martialed, to “soften up” detainees for interrogations. A U.S. Army general referred to the treatment as “sadistic, blatant, and wanton.” A number of low-level military officers were court-martialed over their roles in the abuse, but CACI has gone unpunished and continues to reap millions of dollars in government contracts. 
    In a 2018 ruling, the court held that the treatment alleged by the men at Abu Ghraib constituted torture, war crimes, and cruel, inhuman, and degrading treatment, actionable under the Alien Tort Statute. The men were subjected to stress positions, isolation, sensory deprivation, beating, forced nudity, exposure to extreme temperatures, and sexual assault – treatment that caused them to suffer then – and continue to suffer now – severe physical and mental harm. 
    “More than ten years passed for us to reach this point and achieve justice,” said plaintiff Salah Al-Ejaili. “We faced a lot of obstacles along the way that we had to surpass and we stayed patient because we wanted to win our right to equality in the law.” 
    Patterson Belknap Webb & Tyler LP, and Shereef Akeel & Valentine, P.C. in Troy, Michigan, are co-counsel on the case.
    The Center for Constitutional Rights works with communities under threat to fight for justice and liberation through litigation, advocacy, and strategic communications. Since 1966, The Center for Constitutional Rights has taken on oppressive systems of power, including structural racism, gender oppression, economic inequity, and governmental overreach. Learn more at

    The following community sites -- plus Jody Watley, BLACK AGENDA REPORT and ANTIWAR.COM -- updated: