netflix's 'what if'

please read ava and c.i.'s 'TV: It's show runners, not show ruiners' because it addresses the netflix show 'what if' which is from the same guy who created 'revenge.'  i  blogged about 'revenge' here back when the show as on.  i loved it.  then i loved it less.  mike kelley ruined the show.  but i do think it was getting better in the last season and could have really had a great 5th season.

anyway, from ava and c.i.:

ABC didn't air WHAT/IF -- NETFLIX is the network for that show.  But Mike Kelley finally found real success as the creator of REVENGE which aired on ABC.  One of the reasons WHAT/IF didn't air on ABC?  Kelley ruined REVENGE so much that before season two was completed, ABC had announced that he was leaving.

Mike had a problem with casting.  There were rumors involved on that topic but we'll just note that his idea of a man wasn't always ABC's idea of a man.

He still has that problem.

The average WHAT/IF review tells you that Academy Award winner Renee Zellweger is worth watching but no one else.

That's not reality.  The entire cast does a strong job except for one.

29-year-old Jane Levy plays the lead role, Lisa, and she's wonderful and more than carries her own.  She can't, however, also carry Blake Jenner who plays a bad actor playing her husband.  Or is he just a bad actor?  Yeah, he's just a bad actor.  He's also 26-years-old.  Three years younger than Levy.  More to the point, also younger than his character who is supposed to have graduated high school ten years prior.

Among other things, he's also a murdered a man, flamed out in professional baseball and much more.

But Blake Jenner has no experience -- life or acting classes -- to draw on.  He does have the worst sunburns since FOX tried to pursue the teen crowd.

Why is it that Mike Kelley hates men?

As ABC told him, stop casting tall boys as men.  It remains a problem for him.

And it remains a huge problem for WHAT/IF.

At one point, we're supposed to believe that not only is Jane Levy's character attracted to Blake Jenner but so is Renee's character.  It's impossible to believe that.  In an early scene, Renee orders a drink and asks Blake Jenner to have a drink with her.  He says it's against the rules.  It's much easier to believe it's against the law -- him not looking like anyone who's reached the age of drinking.

Repeatedly, he's referred to as "the boy" throughout.  You never raise your eyes over that.  The one time he's called a "man'?  That pulls you out of the show and back into reality.

Mike Kelley's concept of manhood was always a problem for REVENGE -- Danny, Declan, etc.  It's an even bigger problem here when Renee is toying with Blake -- toying with a child.

There's a laughable ten year high school reunion that takes place late in the mini-series.  Blake Jenner's surrounded by actors playing 28 and 29 year olds.  And they all look the part.  While he looks like one of the graduates brought along their kid. 

mike kelley thought with his cock.  and it ruined 'revenge.'  he was so obsessed with, for example, the actor cast as aiden that it really didn't matter to him that the actor couldn't actually act.

the rumors, of course, were that he was more than interested in the actor.  if you recall, there were whispers of a casting couch.

emily thorn was the lead of 'revenge' but mike grew bored with her.

as for 'what if'?  blake jenner's sideburns are ridiculous.  in the late 90s, even jason priestly and luke perry would have pointed at them and laughed.

and blake jenner did come off like a boy.  it was creepy.

he's supposed to be a former professional baseball player, some 1 who graduated 10 years ago, some 1 who is a husband, some 1 who killed some 1. 

but he just seemed like a little boy.

a real man being threatened by renee zellweger?  that would have been interesting.  that would have supplied tension and drama.

instead, she was like a cat toying with a tiny mouse.

let's close with c.i.'s 'Iraq snapshot:'

Friday, May 31, 2019.  A look at the history that got us to this point and at how those who just follow orders are not going to become good leaders -- but mainly we look at Joe Biden and hypocrisy.

This week, we've been talking about how the press works overtime to destroy anti-war candidates, how they rush to prop up the worst pro-war candidates.  Right on time, here's Senator Tammy Baldwin with another poorly written column.

The Iraq War veterans goes for the drama -- she always does, she's John McCain for the 21st century -- by reminding everyone yet again that her helicopter was shot down.

John used his war issues to hide behind as well.  It's strange because you look at someone like Robert Dole (Bob Dole) who actually is a war hero and he's never done that.  He's never hidden behind that or used it as a "I'm an expert because!"  And Bob Dole, like so many others who have served in the military, really did make a difference.

The only difference Tammy makes is increasing the number of dead and wounded.

Ten paragraphs of more after she's done recounting her 'glory days' (sing it, Bruce), Tammy finally gets around to today -- never forget that Tammy must be center of attention! -- and argues that the US military must stay in Iraq because . . . well the economy!  And a host of other issues:

Its younger generation is struggling, with too few jobs for the 800,000 young people trying to enter its workforce every year.
Its military appears ill-equipped to sustain itself whenever the U.S. stops writing checks.
It remains dangerously vulnerable to a resurgent Islamic State, or ISIS, a group that’s as insidious as ever.

Excuse me, Genius Tammy, what the f**k does US troops on the ground have to do with job creation for young Iraqis.  US troops, you War Hawk, have been on the ground for years in Iraq, that has never addressed the jobs for young Iraiqs.  I gues sif you couldn't hide behind your helicopter crash, you'd be afraid others would challenge you on your f**ked up lies that you tell to continue the Iraq War.

As for the Iraqi forces?  The US military has trained them.  And retrained them.  And retrained them.  And at this point, we're still with Bully Boy Bush in the White House.  But then Barack comes in and the constant training continues.  More of it is supposed to take place after the 2011 December drawdown (not withdrawal) but the Iraqi government is saying they don't want that training.  And, sure enough, as 2012 rolls around -- and as then-US House Rep Gary Ackerman repeatedly pointed out -- they refuse the training.  They don't show up.  This is now under the State Dept and as Gary and others on Committees note, the Sate Dept won't give straight answers.  But, after it happens, months after, Congress is informed that the State Dept did turn over the training academy to the Iraqi government -- the one US taxpayers paid for and the one the State Dept was supposed to do training at -- because no one was showing up for training.

So from 2012 through most of 2014, no real training going on officially (in the fall of 2012, as Tim Arango reported for THE NEW YORK TIMES, Barack sent in a team of special-ops to help with training and other messy realities).  Then Barack Obama sends in US troops to Iraq -- publicly for the country to realize he broke his promise to the people (while keeping his 2007 promise to Michael Gordon and THE NEW YORK TIMES -- he told them he'd do that, he'd send troops back in after a withdrawal if he became president, he kept his word, didn't he?).

So except for a very brief period of 2012 through June of 2014, US troops have repeatedly trained and re-trained Iraqi troops.

We have defended Iraqi troops here in this space when US trainers have slammed them as lazy or worse.

They're not lazy.  They're there for a pay check.  The Iraqi government is installed by the US, it does not reflect the Iraqi people.  That's why, in early 2008, for example, so many Iraqi troops fled the battle in Basra -- the battle their supposed government sent them into.  That's why, when ISIS began grabbing land in 2014, the Iraqi military repeatedly fled.  They didn't fight.

What did they have to fight for?  A puppet government put in place by the US government?

Tammy's a liar and she's a liar who hides behind "my helicopter crashed."

Tammy is a press stooge.  In 2006, she ran for Congress and failed.  Because to know Tammy is to strongly dislike her.  But before the Congressional election, there was the primary.  And the press -- big and small -- lied and pimped Tammy as an anti-war candidate, a peace candidate.  She was nothing of the sort.  One of the funnies moments of Laura Flanders' AIR AMERICA RADIO show (when she was in charge, before THE NATION took over and started dictating her guests) was when Laura was promoting the hell out of Tammy, live on air, yet again, only to have a guest say, wait, she's not progressive, she's not even the progressive Democrat in that primary, it's Christine Cegelis.

Laura was shocked.  Laura was surprised.  Laura said she didn't know.  And with that show, the coverage ended.  Now do we applaud Laura for that?  Or do we maybe point out the fact that if she really was shocked and surprised, the right thing to do was to have Christine on her show the following weekend?  This is when the show was live and on Saturday and Sunday nights.  Long before THE NATION took over -- they dumped what's his face and gave Laura the show THE NATION had always done but with strings attached.  Laura could have whomever she wanted on her show and did.  Remember the guests (plural, yes) who appeared to explain that Hurricane Katrina wasn't that bad, that it was really bombs set up around New Orleans?

Laura hopes you don't remember and maybe you don't -- but me?  I never forget.

The press sold Tammy as a progressive and there was Laura promoting her as such while ignoring the actual progressive in the race.

So Tammy loses but has so many friends in war places that she moves along, one scandal after another, and eventually fails upward into the Senate.

That's how it works if you're a War Hawk who will pimp war constantly.

And few swing a bigger dick than Tammy, right?  She calls Donald Trump, President of the United States, "president bone spurs."  She's mocking him because he didn't serve in Vietnam.

Now no one should have served in Vietnam.  It was an illegal war and it was a destructive war and a war built on lies.  Yeah, it was the early version of the Iraq War.

But for dick swingers like Tammy, Seth Moulton and Pete Buttigieg, it's time to mock someone if they didn't serve in that war.

Excuse me, that's not true.

Elaine pointed out the truth last night -- these dick swingers really only attack their enemies for not serving in Iraq.

See Elaine's "Wheezie Joe, who died when you didn't go?" and learn all about how Joe Biden avoided serving in Vietnam.  First with 8 years of education deferments and then with the 'fact' that he had childhood asthma -- a condition that was so serious but somehow -- who knows how? -- still allowed him to play football and baseball in high school and football in college.  Asthma, poor Joe.

Earlier this week, Seth Moulton, a member of the US Congress, went on cable TV to declare that Donald Trump was not a patriot because he used deferments to avoid serving in Iraq.  Furthermore, Seth insisted that by using those deferments, Donald made some other man go and might have condemned that man to death in Vietnam.  Strangely enough, despite Seth's own battles with PTS, he never offered that this allegedly condemned man could have come back to the US and suffered and taken his own life.

But apparently, when you swing your big dick like Seth, Tammy and Pete love to, all the blood rushes out of your big head into your little one.

So, Seth, when you calling out Wheezie Joe?  When you going to point out -- as you try to win the Democratic Party's presidential nomination -- that Wheezie Joe may have condemned someone to death by his eight years of education deferments and then by his signed statement about his childhood asthma?

I thought Seth's entire performance was pathetic and ahistorical.  But that's the performance he  took to the American people.  It's the same one Tammy does as she ridicules Donald Trump repeatedly and Mayor Pete does it too.

So are you three whores just going to admit you're hypocrites or are you going to apply the same standard to Joe Biden?

Wheezie Joe refused to serve and by the dick swingers 'standards' that means he is not fit to be commander-in-chief -- that's what they learned from their Little Golden Books -- the last books they apparently ever picked up which would explain their cartoonish view of the world.

Joe Biden, always craven, always whorish, declared yesterday that John McCain was a War Hero -- that's a strange definition when McCain's record is actually examined and all the crashes he had -- and that he couldn't be criticized.

Joe's the best little whore, isn't he?  John McCain went on to serve decades in the Congress and, sorry, Joe, he absolutely can (and should) be slammed for that.

I remember John best for his 'brave' refusal to support GI legislation for post-911 veterans -- even GI education benefits.

John was so happy -- War Hero!-- to send men and women into needless wars but he didn't want them to have any education after.  Educated people are dangerous, sheep are so much easier to manage.  That's what 'War Hero' John McCain believed.

Someone needs to inform Tammy that real heroes -- war or otherwise -- don't constnatly tell their own story over and over.  Refusal to grasp that?  Usually a sign of vanity and an admission that you've honestly never accomplished anything so you have to pull out your war story from 15 years ago.

And military service does not make you better than anyone (or worse than anyone) and does not make you fit for leadership.

US House Rep Tulsi Gabbard served in the Iraq War.  Is that why she would be a good president?  No.  It's the fact that she questions what the US government ordered that would make her a good president.

The military trains you to follow orders.  That's not a leader.  If you don't progress beyond that, if you're not able to reflect on your own actions and those of your government, you've not demonstrated leadership at all.

Nothing Tammy has done or said indicates that she can process an actual experience -- military or otherwise.

Seth and I are of the same mind when it comes to PTS (including using that term) and I applaud his work on that issue but, as popped up on his Twitter feed (check for yourself), when someone tries to enlarge the topic of PTS, Seth goes running out of the rooms, hands over his ears.

PTS exists in all areas.  I'm sure that the children present at school shootings (and their parents) can suffer PTS just as rape survivors and others can.

But Seth cannot build on anything.  He wants to be president but even on the topic of PTS he shows his repeated inability to analyze and assess.  He's so big on PTS -- but just so long as it's about the military.  He had PTS and he can only relate to those who had PTS the way he did from the same source he did.

That's not leadership.  That's not someone who can reach out or who can make anything better.  That's a little boy who can't grow up.

A few people are starting to notice the effort to turn the government into the military.  I think it's a fad -- and it's far from over -- like the late 80s leading into the hideous "re-inventing government" promoted by many -- including Al Gore.  That was not an answer.  That is why Glass-Stegall was repealed.

There is so much talk about that but they never connect it to the doctrine it sprung from.  Dems wanting to flirt with Big Business sold out the American people and did so with the argument that privatization of this or that was needed and that there was a 'middle way' that would allow business to succeed.  See, government was bad, the arghument went, and privatization was good.  And we needed to free business.  Glass-Stegall was born of the stock market crash that led to the Great Depression.  When the neoliberals pimping reinventing government (actually "decimating" government) did away with it, we ended up with the great recession of the last decade.

Joe Biden, strange how he's always there like Zelig but in all the bad moments of history, was a huge supporter of 'reinventing government.'  He needs to answer for that.  A press that was about informing the people would ensure that he was forced to answer.  A press that is not a free press but just a tool of big business will look the other way.

And does.

We need to wrap this up.

Let's note first that Joe Biden, yesterday, as he seeks the Democratic Party's presidential nomination, tried to police Americans speech -- the same Joe Biden who can't police his own hands and keep them off little girls.

Let's note that Tammy, Seth and Pete live to mock Donald Trump for not serving in Vietnam but they look the other way on Wheezie Joe -- that's known as hypocrisy -- I'm not sure that topic was ever covered in a Little Golden Book.

America needs leaders, real leaders.  A Tulsi Gabbard, a Bernie Sanders, in fact, a number of people running, have demonstrated that they can assess and analyze.  And that's what we need, not the dumbing down of America but this time by Joe Biden!

One more thing, in e-mails I'm asked about this posting "Rep. Susan Davis Response to Mueller Statements on..."?  No, I am not in favor of impeachment and we have real issues to focus on.  But everything that goes up here does not have to be my opinion or in agreement with me.  I'll make my argument, others can make their own.  I'm opposed to impeachment.  I believe Susan presented her own case and did so very well.  But, no, I do not favor impeachment.

The following sites updated:


joe biden is a failure

why would any 1 be backing joe biden for president?


Link to headline article

a d-minus on climate change?

what more proof do we need that joe is a relic from the past?  he is not the road to the future.  he is not the path to a better country.  he is just barely in the 20th century.  he can't keep up.  he needs to go.  old joe needs to go.

if you haven't watched 'animal kingdom' yet, by the way, make a point to.  the 1st new episode of the season aired last night.  season 4 looks like it's going to be incredible. 

let's close with c.i.'s 'Iraq snapshot:'

Thursday, May 30, 2019.  No justice in Iraq and no justice in the US press which attacks candidates who take stands against war and promotes those who back wars.

In the US, there is a race for the Democratic Party's 2020 presidential nomination.  Anyone following the press coverage of the candidates, if they're honest, has already noticed that all candidates are not treated fairly.  Stand up against war?  Watch the press attack.  Beto O'Rourke began calling out the endless Iraq War and suddenly he was no longer the press' favorite candidate.  Even though he had been promoted and fawned over while running for the US Senate, even though he continued to be fawned over by the press after that run.  When Beto noted that the Iraq War had been going on for decades, THE DAILY BEAST and others showed up to trash him.

Beto was right about the Iraq War.  But not right in the eyes of the press.  The corporate press applauds a candidate who voted for the Iraq War and then says today that, looking back on his votes and actions, there's nothing he's sorry about.

Yes, be Joe Biden and watch the press fawn and give you easy press.  Stolen election?  The corporate press loves to pimp that notion -- except when it's the US doing the stealing.  Joe Biden was Vice President and went to Iraq to explain to various officials -- including the winner of the 2010 election Ayad Allawi -- that the results didn't matter.  The will of the Iraqi people?  Didn't matter.

They voted against Nouri al-Maliki.  But they and their votes didn't matter.  The US government negotiated a contract, The Erbil Agreement, that overturned the election and gave thug Nouri al-Maliki a second term.  That second term led to the rise of ISIS in Iraq.

Why are these not questions for Joe Biden?  Why are these not details in the press coverage of Joe Biden?

Because Joe is a corporate whore's ideal candidate.  He votes for war and he doesn't apologize.  Millions dead due to the Iraq War -- Iraqis, foreign fighters (US forces, UK forces, etc) -- and Joe has no regrets.

That's the killer that the corporate press loves -- blood thirsty and shallow.

Beto was attacked by the same press that fawned over him and all he did was note how long the US has been at war with Iraq.  That's too much reality for a press that exists to sell wars.

He wasn't even running as an anti-war candidate.  But it was too much for the whorish press.  What if he was an anti-war candidate?  What if he were Senator Bernie Sanders or US House Rep Tulsi Gabbard?  Danny Haiphong (BLACK AGENDA REPORT) outlines the kind of treatment the corporate press delivers to those who speak out against war:

The New York Times has historically led the Cold War against socialism in the mediaand recently showed its anti-communist teeth in a two-pronged attack on Bernie Sanders in mid-May. The Times called Sanders the “Foreign Minister” of Burlington for participating in rallies and actions against U.S.-proxy wars in Nicaragua in the 1980s. Sydney Ember, the co-author of the original Sanders hit piece, followed up with an interview of the Vermont Senator . Ember urged Sanders to remember instances of “anti-American” chants during his trips to Nicaragua. Forgotten was the fact that U.S.-backed death squads, also known as Contras, killed tens of thousands of civilians in Nicaragua and Honduras. For Ember and the rest of the Cold Warriors at The New York Times, U.S. wars of mass destruction in Central America were justified and Sanders should apologize for his opposition to them. In a Meet the Press interview that same week, Sanders was asked if he would apologize for his anti-war activism against the Vietnam war and his vote against the Iraq war. To his credit, Sanders declined to apologize on all accounts of his anti-war history.
Tulsi Gabbard is also no stranger to Cold War smears from the corporate media. In an article in the Daily Beast , Gabbard was accused of being supported by “Putin apologists.” Who were these apologists? Professor and Russia expert Stephen Cohen, a mysterious “Goofy Grapes” said to be a former employee of Lee Camp’s RT America program Redacted Tonight, and Sharon Tennison, a leader in the Center for Citizen Initiatives which organizes regular delegations to Russia in an effort to ease tensions between the nuclear armed nations. The Daily Beastarticle was cited by ABC’s George Stephanopoulos in his most recent interview with Tulsi Gabbard. Gabbard’s principle crime against the corporate media has been to publicly condemn the New Cold War with Russia and China.
That the corporate media is aligned with the poorly written smear against Gabbard in theDaily Beast should come as no surprise. The outlet is owned by media monopolist Barry Diller . Diller is the founder of Fox Broadcasting Company and a board member of the Coca-Cola corporation. In addition to Diller, the IAC board sports Chelsea Clinton as one of its many directors. Clinton is a leader in the now greatly tarnished Clinton Foundation. The leadership of Dillard and Clinton alone make the Daily Beast nothing more than a mouthpiece for the Cold War hawks that dominate Washington and the corporate media.
What the attacks on Sanders and Gabbard show is that there is a deep crisis within the ruling imperialist system of the United States. A larger portion of the U.S. population support socialist policies and believe that the U.S. military should be used as a “last resort.” The two-party corporate duopoly not only disagrees with most of the population but is also incapable of providing any relief from the many miseries of endless war and austerity. U.S. imperialism is built to enrich the few at the expense of the working and oppressed masses all around the world. High-tech monopoly capitalism and run-away financial plunder have made U.S. imperialism a drag on the progress of humanity. The maintenance of such a system requires trillions of dollars-worth of investments in the military to ensure social control at home and a check on the rising economic and military power of Russia and China abroad. 
These conditions have ensured that there will be no New Deal 2.0 in either the Democratic Party or the White Man’s Party. Individuals such as Bernie Sanders and Tulsi Gabbard unsettle the oligarchs because their policy positions are dangerously desired yet unobtainable under the current arrangement of society. Of course, under a socialist system, policies such as Medicare For All, a Green New Deal, and an end to regime change wars are more than possible; they are the existing reality in nations such as China and Cuba. Despite the heavy pressure of U.S. military and economic warfare, both nations have committed to eradicating poverty, providing healthcare to all, and respecting international law and the environment. This has come about only through centralized, public, and planned control of the means of production, something that the U.S. ruling class fears its increasingly pauperized working-class population, especially Black America, may find attractive if their expectations are raised by the likes of Gabbard or Sanders.

If only they could be suck ups like Mayor Pete who trashes whistle-blower and hero Chelsea Manning with transphobia.  The US press whores hate those against wars but they love the candidates who trash truth tellers.  As Mayor Pete makes clear to them, he will continue the war on whistle-blowers that Barack Obama started.  They will applaud that.

They love it when whistle-blowers are attacked . . . until they realize too late that they are included on that list.

James Risen was attacked during the Obama administration.  Today, he's just another whore attacking others.

Surprising?  Not really.

Back in the 90s, I gave a talk about the media and how our portrayals are enforced by the media. Two characters can suffer abuse, for example, and in one case it's character building, in another it's seen as the abuse it is.

In PRIVATE BENJAMIN, Goldie Hawn's character is targeted and abused by her superior.  It's abuse.  And Goldie and the others extract the only justice they can.  In AN OFFICER AND A GENTLEMAN, Richard Gere's character also suffers abuse.  But don't worry, men, you only experience character modling.  By the end of the film, Richard's Zach is fond of the ass who tried to destroy him.

Asses like Zach (a character) and James Risen need to lie to themselves because men are never victims and certainly they themselves are not.

There's one victim of the Obama administration who doesn't try to happy-spin it.

Why is still using your tax $ to fight Attkisson v. DOJ for govt. computer intrusions-- instead of providing justice? Clip below. Full video here: Please RT. Attkisson 4th Amendment Litigation Fund:

There are some men who challenge -- but check out the popular, cultural fairytales and grasp that they are not encouraged to challenge.  There are some women who play safe.

Look at Senator Elizabeth Warren.  She's too scared to call out the never-ending wars.  She timidly stepped up to calling out the DoD budget.  That's as far as she could go.  But, think about it, if she hadn't made that calling out part of her initial campaign, would the press have treated her better?

I don't care for Elizabeth and she lost me the second she became the warrior for impeachment.  But I won't pretend she's treated fairly by the corporate press.

Senator Kamala Harris?  She's stuck to what many are calling "identity politics."

It's not identity politics.  I'm so sick of that term.

We should all be equal in the eyes of the law.

Kamala Harris is not fighting for equality.  She's grabbing the easiest -- and most popular -- positions possible.  Senator Cory Booker does the same.

This isn't "identity politics.''  A better term for what they do would be "virtue signaling."

They're not at the forefront demanding equality.  They've waited to see what existing positions the American public already favors.  They present themselves as brave for reciting popular opinion.

And they get away with that.  The press doesn't bring that reality up -- has anyone brought that up until right now?  I don't think so.

The press saves their caustic behavior for those who call out wars.

While politicians cry crocodile tears over lives already lost, they make plans to sacrifice more lives on the altar of new regime change wars & the new cold war. As commander-in-chief, I’ll only send our troops on missions worthy of their great sacrifice.

Thank you to Democratic Presidential candidate for signing our veterans’ pledge! Veterans overwhelmingly say it’s time to bring our troops home. Anyone who wants to be Commander-in-Chief should follow his lead.

THE NEW YORK TIMES trashed Bernie Sanders earlier this month for . . . being against the Vietnam War.  That's not a joke, that's what they did.  They trashed him for being against Ronald Reagan's attack on the Sandinistas and Reagan's promotion and backing of the Contras.  I guess they missed the part, on the latter issue, where the US Congress cut off all funding for the Contras?  Somehow the whores of NYT missed that because it was such a minor issue, right?  It's not like Reagan's refusal to stop funding the Contras didn't lead to the Iran-Contra issue -- one of the biggest domestic stories of the 80s.

The whorish corporate press is so pro-war (remember, as Lily Tomlin used to point out all the time, war is big business) that they will pretend that Bernie being against backing the Contras is an extreme position and one that he needs to disown.  No, he was right.

But being right or telling the truth never matters to the corporate whores.  That's why no one (except scapegoat Judith Miller) got punished for the Iraq War.  Everyone else kept their jobs, many got promotions.  Jeffrey Goldberg comes to mind.  And while FAIR likes to point that out, FAIR never does the real job which is to point out that liars and cheerleaders for the Iraq War also got rewarded with jobs in the Beggar Media -- Kevin Drum works for MOTHER JONES.  They hired him.  Not a blogger who was against the Iraq War.

In the US crafted Iraq, there is no justice.  Maybe no justice by design?  But this puts millions at risk.  The ones at risk currently?  French citizens.  Rebecca Rosman (ALJAZEERA) reports:

Activists and lawyers have pleaded with the French government to recognise flaws in Iraq's justice system after two more of its citizens accused of ISIL membership were given the death penalty, bringing the total to six.
The executions could be carried out at the end of the week.
"We have information from Iraqi lawyers who do not want to take on these cases on because it's too dangerous for them," Raphael Chenuil-Hazan, Executive Director of the French NGO Together Against the Death Penalty (ECPM) told Al Jazeera.   
Human rights groups accuse the Iraqi government of conducting thousands of unfair trials against those suspected to be members of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL or ISIS).

A report from Human Rights Watch said the trials are based on limited criminal evidence, often relying solely on a defendant's forced confession.

There is no justice in Iraq.  The courts are a joke -- and have demonstrated that repeatedly -- in one case, ahead of a trial, the justices held a press conference to announce the guilt of someone (then-Vice President Tareq al-Hashemi) and one of the justices, in the press conference, went even further declaring that Tareq had tried to attack him.  That's how a judiciary works?


Forced confessions are the norm.  These 'confessions' even get aired on TV.  Forced 'confressions' resulted in the death of one of Tareq's employees.

There is no justice.  And now death sentences are imposed.

Earlier this week, Jane Arraf discussed the issue with Mary Louise Kelly on NPR's ALL THINGS CONSIDERED:

In Iraq, a court has sentenced four French members of ISIS to death. They're among a dozen French citizens who were captured and handed over to Iraqi authorities to be tried. And they illustrate what happens when a country - in this case, France - decides not to try their citizens at home. NPR's Jane Arraf has been following the trial. She joins us from Irbil in the Kurdistan region of Iraq in the north of Iraq. Hi, Jane.

JANE ARRAF, BYLINE: Hi, Mary Louise.

KELLY: So tell us more about who these ISIS fighters are.

ARRAF: So a lot of these are dual nationals, some from North Africa. The ones that have been sentenced to death Sunday and Monday, they include a postal worker, a truck driver, a military contractor. And they're all appearing in Baghdad's counterterrorism court. So these prisoners come in, and they're dressed in yellow shirts and trousers. There are rows of seats with French consular officials as well as journalists watching. And they're brought in, and they stand in this wooden dock kind of like a cage.
So one of the men was brought in. He's an Algerian French citizen, 33 years old. And he told the judge he was actually tortured in detention. So the judge postponed his case for a medical investigation. Another one came in. He actually started to cry. I mean, very often, they don't react at all, but this man started to cry. And the judge asked him to lift up his shirt to see if he'd been tortured. He appeared not to have been, according to the judge, and they proceeded with it. And he was sentenced to hang.
A lot of these people are saying that they didn't fight for ISIS, but Iraq says it has evidence that they did. And even if they didn't fight, its terrorism laws are so sweeping that even being convicted of being a member of ISIS can land you with the death penalty.

KELLY: And why does France not want to try these? You mentioned some of them are dual nationals, but they're French citizens. Why don't they want to try them in France?

ARRAF: Well, part of it is France was the country where most of the Western Europeans who went to fight for ISIS came from. And France, like other countries, is worried that if they bring them back, they won't have the evidence to convict them there. It's a much higher bar there, particularly since the crimes were committed in this region. Also there's a lot of public opposition to bringing them back.

KELLY: And opposition, I guess, to if they're not able to convict based on evidence in Western Europe, then these people might just be let go and released back onto the streets.

ARRAF: Absolutely. But here's the big problem. They've been sentenced to death. And France, along with almost every other European country, bans the death penalty. At the same time, it did not oppose them being brought to Iraq from Syria where they were captured knowing that they could well be sentenced to the death penalty.

The following sites updated:

  • Regarding THIRD, Ava and I spent Sunday writing our piece.  Why isn't new content up yet?  I have no idea but Dona e-mailed us that we could go ahead and  post our piece if we wanted so we have.  As far as I know, that'll be it for new content at THIRD this week.