2 important videos

i want to note 2 videos.

1st up, jackson hinkle on the fraud squad.

the fraud squad have been exposing themselves for over a year now.

on 'the convo couch,' fiorella and pasta addressed fake progressives who do nothing.

they also talk about the so-called independent media and it reminded me of what c.i. said about independent media in today's snapshot.  

it could really accomplish something if it weren't so corrupt.  never forget how once barack was in the white house, amy goodman didn't just drop the iraq war as a story, she also promoted war on libya.  she spread the lies about russia.  they have no ethics.  none at all.  

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

 Thursday, January 27, 2022.  US troops remain in Iraq but Joe's itching for war with Russia.

As US President Joe Biden pushes for more war (and as Nancy Pelosi plans to gift Ukraine with $500 million US tax dollars), Margaret Kimberley (BLACK AGENDA REPORT) observes:

The corporate media always carry water for the state, and they are never more dangerous than when the nation is on a war footing. Right now the United States government is sending weapons to Ukraine. One wouldn’t know that because of constant references to “lethal aid.” The euphemisms and subterfuge are necessary for a very simple reason. Everyone except the Washington war party knows that provoking war with Russia is extremely dangerous.

Joe Biden is picking up where he left off, as Barack Obama’s Ukraine viceroy. He and his incompetent foreign policy team have spun a tale about a pending Russian attack on Ukraine. In reality, it is the U.S. that is ginning up war by provoking the Ukrainians to start a fight that they can’t win. In 2014 a U.S. backed coup put a far-right clique in power. The people of the Donbass region in the east, largely ethnic Russians, wanted no part of the new anti-Russian government and sought autonomy. The resulting war has killed some 30,000 people.

Now the Biden team who publicly insulted the Chinese government and withdrew from Afghanistan without even being able to secure a major airport, have moved on to opening the proverbial can of whoopass with the world’s other major nuclear power. They are using Ukraine in an ill-advised effort to instigate what could lead to disaster.

The 2014 coup against an elected Ukrainian president took place in part because the Russians underestimated the extent of U.S. and NATO determination. They roused themselves quickly however and Crimeans, who are mostly of Russian origin, voted to rejoin the nation they had been a part of until 1954. The U.S./NATO regime change effort came at a steep price for Ukraine. Thanks to Atlanticist meddling it is now the poorest country in Europe that won’t get the NATO and EU membership it was promised. It remains a pawn between two powerful countries.

The U.S. is pulling all the hybrid warfare schemes out of the tool box. For months they claimed that Russian troops were massed on the border, ready to invade. They have engaged in diplomacy but only to try and get their way. Russia has held firm on a guarantee of no further NATO encroachment and the removal of missiles from their border. The French and Germans are feckless and do what Washington wants. They should be pressuring Ukraine to live up to the Minsk II Agreement which requires talks with the breakaway Donbass region.

None of this information is conveyed to the American people who live in ignorance orchestrated by republicans, democrats, and their friends in corporate media. Republican senators who want to run for president outdo one another with nonsense about stopping the Nord Stream II gas pipeline that Germany, a U.S. ally, asked the Russians to build. Winter is coming, quite literally, and Europe needs Russia’s gas. But unless they stop following Uncle Sam’s bullying they will end up with nothing.

War on Russia?  The economy's tanking -- inflation surges and the stock market struggles, etc -- and Joe can't deliver on anything -- not even one of his extremely modest campaign promises -- so it's time to start a war to distract everyone yet again.  Alex Lantier and Johannes Stern (WSWS) report:

Yesterday, as crisis talks between German, French, Ukrainian and Russian officials began in Paris, U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken delivered a statement rejecting Russian demands for security guarantees from NATO in Ukraine.

The NATO alliance is stoking a war crisis, deploying thousands of troops to Eastern Europe and demanding that the far-right regime in Ukraine be armed to fight an invasion it alleges Russia is preparing. It has sent large quantities of missiles and other arms to Ukraine, and it is preparing up missile bases in Ukraine only a few minutes’ flight time from Moscow. Moscow therefore issued a written request for guarantees that Ukraine would not be allowed to join the NATO alliance and serve as a jumping-off point for attacks on Russia.

Blinken dismissed this out of hand. “There is no change. There will be no change,” he said of US-NATO plans to allow Ukraine and other former Soviet republics, such as Georgia, to join NATO. “We make clear that there are core principles that we are committed to uphold and defend, including Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity, and the right of states to choose their own security arrangements and alliances,” he continued.

Blinken added that this policy had been decided directly by President Joe Biden who, he said, was “intimately involved” in drafting the US response to Moscow’s request. “We reviewed it with him repeatedly over the last weeks, just as we were getting, as you know, comments, input, ideas from allies and partners.”

Only days after US officials revealed plans to send up to 50,000 troops to the borders of Russia and Ukraine, Blinken all but admitted that Washington is not negotiating but sending an ultimatum backed with threats of war.

War and more war.  And let's not pretend that the mid-terms aren't on the minds of those screaming for war.  The pathetic and faux 'resistance' spent the last four years whitewashing War Criminals and crooks.  The same ones that pushed for the Iraq War and saw it as a campaigns trategy for the 2002 mid-term elections are now 'helping' the Democratic Party -- the David Frums.  Trash.  Get in bed with trash, don't whine to me that you got a social disease.  You brought it on yourself.  You knew a David Frum was filth before you ever bedded down.

The media goes along with the pushf or war.  "The corporate media."  Uh, no.  

THE PROGRESSIVE bills itself as "A voice for peace and social justice since 1909."  Guess it's taking a long break.  (And, no, they have not been around since 1909.  That's like MCCLATCHY NEWSPAPERS trying to claim credit for the work of KNIGHT RIDDER because they bought KNIGHT RIDDER.)  No wars appear to exist in the eyes of today's PROGRESSIVE.  Ukraine?  Never heard of it apparently.  Iraq?  They believe it fell off the planet.  Go down the list.  Adult topics are so very hard for them so they stick to lifestyle crap and the 'sports' work of Dave Zirin.  

So, no, it's not just the corporate media.  Outside that echo chamber, however, David Broder speaks with Richard Sakwa (JACOBIN) about some basic myths:


In Western media, Ukraine is often near-totally defined by its antagonism with Russia; a Times headline cited a general saying “Ukrainians are ready to tear apart Russians with their bare hands.” Especially after the 2008 NATO summit, it’s also assumed that Ukrainians want to join NATO, but Russia is stopping it. What evidence is there for that?


This goes much further back even than NATO’s 2008 Bucharest summit, which invited both Georgia and Ukraine to ultimately join. It’s the way that Ukrainian policy was defined for a long time in terms of the so-called European choice — which itself was highly contested, with poll after poll showing that the Ukrainian public is divided. It’s wobbled a bit over the years, but basically the western part, what we would call the Galician element, really wants to not just join the West, but to tear up all ties with Russia.

Postcolonialism, if that model can be used in this case, assumes a hybridity after you’ve been colonized, like at the linguistic and cultural levels, whereas the cultural separatists believe that it’s post-colonial with a hyphen, that you have to expunge all former links. But the southern and eastern parts of the country are more inclined to maintain close links with Russia. In a way, there is a basis to Vladimir Putin saying that Russians and Ukrainians are one people in terms of culture, history, intermarriage and so on. He never said that they should be one state — and that’s a fundamental difference.

I traveled through the Donbass in 2008, and you’d see painted on buildings everywhere, “No to NATO.” Whereas now we’ve seen the WikiLeaks State Department documents, published in 2010–11, showing endless messages from the US ambassador in Kiev saying ultimately people wanted NATO. This was a fanciful and artificial idea from the beginning, assuming that the choice was simple and unequivocally toward the West. Russia was then framed as holding Ukraine back geopolitically, developmentally, and above all in terms of democracy.

It’s a much more complex situation, as opinion polls even today show. Gerard Toal and his colleagues have shown that an astonishingly high proportion — 30 or 40 percent of the population, even with Crimea and Donbass not included — want close relations with Russia. Some even want to join the Eurasian Economic Union. So, this is what Zbigniew Brzezinski, and earlier and above all, Samuel Huntington, described as a cleft country, a divided country. So, it’s wrong to assume that they have opted unequivocally for NATO. But this choice has been imposed since the emergence of the neonationalist government in February 2014 after the Maidan events.

[. . .]



British media coverage often centers on our responsibility not to “appease” Putin. We also have this World War II analogy in German politics, with its Green Party foreign minister, Annalena Baerbock, saying Berlin has a duty to protect these states for “historical reasons.” The idea that small countries like the Baltic states should be able to choose for themselves, and not be left defenseless, which Putin is effectively arguing for, sounds appealing at a certain level. But clearly there’s also a problem with this analogy insofar as it reimports into Western politics a trope that demonizes all critics, or those who aren’t hard-line supporters of the arms buildup, as latter-day “appeasers.”RS

The tendency you mention is even worse than it was in the first Cold War, because back then there was at least some diversity and debate. I’ve mentioned De Gaulle’s France, and within West Germany, there was the Ostpolitik line of change through engagement, beginning even in the early 1960s. What’s so shocking today is that there are so few voices in opposition. Instead, we have this endless trumpeting of the unity of the Atlantic powers. Unity is only a good thing if it’s united around a sensible policy, not if it’s an echo chamber of false analysis talking about plucky little Ukraine facing up to Russia as a revisionist power. Germany is to be commended to its approach to history, but there’s nothing more dangerous than misapplying that to a different historical moment. Any idea of talking about engagement — classic German policy — and even the pushing forward of Nord Stream 2 is considered “appeasement” of Russia.

This is a complete misunderstanding of where we are today. Putin does not wish to recreate a Soviet empire. Our defense minister in Britain, Ben Wallace, said this week that Putin is an ethnonationalist. This couldn’t be more mistaken: Russia today has at least 150 major nationalities. Putin has been condemning ethnonationalism endlessly: it would tear the country apart. So, if Western politicians get the basic things wrong, they’ll also get the big geopolitical things wrong.

So, my view is that this present situation is far more dangerous because there’s just a few brave souls out there who are condemning it. I’m delighted to see the Quincy Institute for Responsible Statecraft has developed; there’s a few people in the United States, shockingly few in the United Kingdom — and I think the tide has turned in Germany too, especially with the Greens, who are just Clintonian liberal interventionists of the worst order — Cold War hawks.

Foreign policy should always be a balance between interests and values. If Russia was just willy-nilly wanting to invade and suppress Ukrainian democracy, then I’d be the first to support Ukraine. But that’s not what we’re talking about. Putin’s so-called revisionism is not of an Adolf Hitler sort. This endless, even implicit, reductio ad Hitlerum is just nonsense in this case. When Putin came to power, he even said Russia would join NATO. The elite and the leaders in Russia are rational. They’re not trying to recreate an empire. They’re simply saying, “Look, our back is to the wall. Listen to us.”

The solution is very simple: neutrality for Ukraine. No one is taking it over. Putin has supported the Minsk II agreement, which is a framework for the return of the Donbass to Ukrainian sovereignty. So, where is the empire in that? Today, there are 2.5 million people in the Donbass with their own views. Putin initially mobilized because Ukraine has 100,000 troops also on the border, with the Turkish drone missiles that showed their efficacy in the second Nagorno-Karabakh war last year between Armenia and Azerbaijan. So, there was genuine alarm in Moscow that they could do what Croatia did in Operation Storm, in attacking the Serbian enclaves way back in the mid-1990s. It’s a complicated situation, but the basic lines are fairly simple and clear.

Kyle Anzalone and Connor Freeman also address the lust for war in the latest episode of CONFLICTS OF INTEREST. 

Turning to Iraq . . .

Sardar Sattar Tweets:

Muqtada al-Sadr is in Baghdad today to hold "the last round of negotiations" with the pro-Iran Cooperation Framework concerning the formation of a new government. An official said Sadr will show no flexibility on the "national majority government" plan.

While flexibility does lessen for the morbidly obese, ten to fifteen minutes of morning streches and Moqtada wouldn't be so inflexible.  Also, maybe get a sports bra for those moobs, Moqtada.

Still no government.  And we're also supposed to pretend that's not emboldening ISIS.  

As Moqtada disthers, Nouri al-Maliki remains in the newsARAB NEWS notes:

 Lawmakers have until Feb. 8 to elect a president — a post historically allocated to a Kurd.

But negotiations between parties and coalitions seeking to form a parliamentary majority have been marked by tensions, particularly between key Shiite currents seeking to exert their influence.

Both the Coordination Framework and another bloc formed by firebrand Shiite cleric Moqtada Sadr claim to have the majority needed to elect a president.

We'll wind down with this;


Dear Common Ills,

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The following sites updated:

michelle wolf talks tampons

my friend t just bit the bullet and got 'netflix.'  yes, she knows she's behind the times.  but she's enjoying the comedy specials and loves michelle wolf's special.

she did the entire otter routine over the phone.  that is a good 1 from michelle.  i asked what else she loved because i think i've noted the otter 1 here before.  she said she liked the 1 about tampons.  so here's that 1

there are shows i like on 'netflix' but the stand up specials really are what i watch the most on the streamer.

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

 Wednesday, January 26, 2022.  Victoria and the other uglies are stirring unrest, explain to Jane Arraf that ISIS didn't creae anything (they're just taking advantage), and much more.

There's never too much war for the crooks and creeps in the US Congress.  Jake Johnson (COMMON DREAMS) reports:

Despite warnings that a dangerous war with Russia could soon be unleashed if diplomatic efforts fail, House Democrats are reportedly looking to bypass typical procedures and fast-track a vote on legislation that would send $500 million in military aid to Ukraine—a move that critics say only adds fuel to the fire.

The Intercept reported Tuesday that "Democrats in the House of Representatives are planning to expedite a massive bill that would dramatically increase U.S. security assistance to Ukraine and lay the groundwork for substantial new sanctions on Russia—hastening a war-friendly posture without opportunity for dissent as concerns over a military invasion abound."

"House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) told members on a caucus call Tuesday that she's looking to skip marking up the bill and move it straight to the House floor, setting up the possibility of a vote as soon as early next week," The Intercept revealed, citing two unnamed congressional sources.

Formally known as the Defending Ukraine Sovereignty Act of 2022, the legislation is co-sponsored by 13 Democrats in the House and 41 in the Senate, including Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.).

News of the push for speedy passage of the bill comes just one day after President Joe Biden put 8,500 U.S. troops on standby to deploy to Eastern Europe and as anti-war voices increased their warnings against military action.

One senior Democratic aide told The Intercept that the House leadership's plan to rush a vote on the Ukraine measure "is how the space for nonmilitary options gets slowly closed off in Washington, without any real debate."

Yesterday, the always eager for war NEW YORK TIMES felt the need to spotlight propaganda on Ukraine . . . from the Russia end.  Hmm.  Have they ever seriously explored Victoria Nuland's efforts?  Even the BBC repoted on it back in 2014 -- you know, when Joe Biden was Vice President and Barack Obama was president.  Necon Victoria was noted in January of last year by Mark Episkopos (THE NATIONAL INTEREST):

President-elect Joe Biden plans to name Victoria Nuland to a top State Department post, sending the clearest signal yet on the president-elect’s likely policy approach to Russia and Ukraine.  

Earlier this month, Politico reported that the Biden-Harris transition team had decided on a new round of foreign policy and national security appointees. Biden is expected to nominate veteran diplomat Victoria Nuland as undersecretary of state for political affairs, according to sources familiar with the process. These sources also told reporters that the president-elect will tap Wendy Sherman, a veteran of the Obama and Clinton administrations, as the deputy secretary of state.

Nuland was the U.S. Ambassador to NATO under President George W. Bush from 2005 to 2008. She served as State Department spokesperson under Secretary of State of Hillary Clinton before succeeding Philip Gordon as the assistant secretary of state for European and Eurasian affairs. More than simply an “Obama veteran,” Nuland played a central role in executing the Obama administration’s Ukraine policies during and after the 2014 Euromaidan revolution. She conveyed U.S. support for demonstrations in Kiev against the government of President Viktor Yanukovyvch, condemning efforts by local police to quell the protests. “It is still possible to save Ukraine’s European future, and that’s what we want to see the president lead. That’s going to require immediate security steps and getting back into a conversation with Europe and with the International Monetary Fund and bringing justice and human dignity to the people of Ukraine,” said Nuland in December 2013. She met with pro-EU protesters in Kiev on Dec. 11, distributing food in a symbolic gesture of solidarity with anti-government protesters; the move prompted widespread outrage in the Kremlin, which perceived Nuland’s outing as a brazen act of public interference in Ukraine’s domestic affairs. 

It was revealed in early 2014 that Nuland, along with then-U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Geoffrey Pyatt, was intimately involved in ongoing U.S. efforts to curate and install a new government in Ukraine. “I think Yats is the guy who’s got the economic experience, the governing experience,” said Nuland in a leaked phone conversation with Pyatt, referring to the installation of Ukrainian politician Arseniy Yatsenyuk to a top government post. Nuland likewise voiced her strong dispreference for opposition leader Vitali Klitschko: “I don’t think Klitsch [Klitschko] should go into the government. I don’t think it’s necessary, I don’t think it’s a good idea.” The phone call is best remembered for Nuland’s colorful reference to the European Union, which did not fully see eye-to-eye with Washington on key questions involving the fate of the Yanukovych government: “OK. He’s now gotten both [proposed UN mediation team member [Robert] Serry and [UN Secretary General] Ban Ki-moon to agree that Serry could come in Monday or Tuesday. So that would be great, I think, to help glue this thing and to have the UN help glue it and, you know, F*** the EU.” After widespread rebuke from high-placed EU officials, State Department spokesperson Jen Psaki announced that Nuland “has been in contact with her EU counterparts and of course has apologized for these reported comments.”

She's a chicken hawk -- always using the lives of others to fight her petty wars and whore battles. 

And she's aided by a whorish media that has bent every ethical rule int he world for her.  The whore's name first appears at this site in 2004 becauase back when John Kerry was running for US president  against Bully Boy Bush NPR felt the need to bring Robert Kagan on to 'evaluate' John Kerry..It never should have happened and what made it worse was the ombusperson for NPR weighed in and never mentioned the real problem with Kagan appearing.  This was October, during a presidential election, and NPR gave airtime to the husband of DIck Cheney's  girl Victoria Nuland.  

Everyone listening to the report deserved to now that the man speaking had a wife who worked for Dick Cheney.  But they weren't told that on air and, when the hideous Jeffrey Dvorkin weighed in, he also refused to supply that truth, that fact.

Dick's baby girl.  Now I'm not saying the two slept together, we all know Robert's the player in that marriage -- and, honestly, who could blame him, right?  I mean, you've seen her, right?

But the press has always whored for that family and continues to do so.  

Victoria doesn't need a government job, she needs a fumigation.

And she's working overtime for war.  The US government is ready to spend millions on Ukraine but not on Medicare For All.  They'll do anything for war.

The American people can and have suffered.  But they'll do anything for war.

There is no reason for anyone -- not a single person -- to be homeless in the United States but Congress won't fix that problem, will they?  The number skyrocketed in the 80s.  This is not a new problem and we see our inept and crooked Congress press do nothing over and over.  But for war?  They're always on board.  

Turmoil in Ukraine has been a longterm goal of the US government.  And they'll deny Americans basic rights, they'll refuse to address the needs of the American people, to push for it.  

There should be a prison for these people like Victoria Nuland who work to cause war and to send people to their deaths.  There should be a prison that they're kept in.  Instead, they wait for the administrations to change and then they pop back in with their petty wars and plans and start working them all over again.  


Let's move over to the ongoing disaster that Victoria and her family helped create: Iraq. 


An audacious attack on a prison housing thousands of former ISIS fighters in Syria. A series of strikes against military forces in neighboring Iraq. And a horrific video harking back to the grimmest days of the insurgency that showed the beheading of an Iraqi police officer.

The evidence of a resurgence of the Islamic State in Syria and Iraq is mounting by the day, nearly three years after the militants lost the last patch of territory of their so-called caliphate, which once stretched across vast parts of the two countries. The fact that ISIS was able to mount these coordinated and sophisticated attacks in recent days shows that what had been believed to be disparate sleeper cells are re-emerging as a more serious threat.

“It’s a wake-up call for regional players, for national players, that ISIS is not over, that the fight is not over,” said Kawa Hassan, Middle East and North Africa director at the Stimson Center, a Washington research institute. “It shows the resilience of ISIS to strike back at the time and place of their choosing.”

It's a piece co-written by The Whore of Baghdad, Jane Arraf.  Never had a scoop her entire time in Iraq -- going back to the 90s when she did Saddam friendly propaganda for CNN (as Eason Jordan would admit after the start of the Iraq War in, where else?, THE NEW YORK TIMES).  She knows who signs her check and she can't do antying else.  She does these faux reports that offer nothing of value and don't pass for news so she has to make herself useful somehow.

Today, she joins Ben Hubbard to co-sign that nosnense.

ISIS?  It never left Iraq, it's never been defeated.  Our focus is not Syria at this website but it is true that Barack bacekd ISIS in Syria while maintaining the US was fighting them in Iraq. It's also true that to reclaim Mosul, the US government aided ISIS' escape/withdrawal to Syria from Mosul.  

But our focus isn't Syria.  Our focus is Iraq.

Is ISIS on the rise?

Not really.

It's a terrorist organization.  It's been active because it never left Iraq.  What's changed?

ISIS exists to grab any break they can to carry out fivolence and destruction.

So what's the big change in Iraq right now that would allow for this -- you know, the real issue, the thing that Jane and Ben refuse to explore, let alone lead with?

It's the lack of a government.

The US State Dept is rather surprised that US citiziens are bombarding it lately with questions about Iraq.  They should be more bothered that they have no official position and are not officially working on resolving the issue of the government formation.  They should be more worried that a number of American people are noting this.

The Whore of Baghdad wants US troops in Iraq.  If they leave, she'd have to.  And no one wants her in the US.  And she only has a career as an 'expert' on the Middle East.  To keep the money coming in, she needs US troops on the ground.  

It's that or being a greeter at Walmart for Jane where, every day, some assistant manager is cracking down on her and insisting, "Those bakery samples are for the customers!"

October 10th?  That's when elections were held.  When will the government be formed?

And on Arabic social media, what do you find?  Dismay as it appears that all the powerful positions will be filled by the same men who held them before the election took place.

ISIS doesn't create.  It watches and it takes advantage.  It's watching as the political stalemate continues and it sees opportunity.  

Katie Hearth (MNN) offers:

Iraq’s political turmoil reflects a broader battle for control in the Middle East.

“Three months ago, there was an election, and [Sadr’s] group won. This is not aligned with what [Iran wants]; they are not trying to do what Iran tells them to do,” Fadi Sharaiha with MENA Leadership Center says.

“Iranians lost their seat in the parliament, and they (Iran’s leaders) did not take this lightly. They are challenging this in the courts and the streets.”

Attacks on various political institutions in Iraq fill the headlines continuously. Shooters attacked a Kurdish leader last week, days after twin explosions rocked Kurdish-owned banks in Baghdad.

“This is a clear impact of the proxy war in Iraq, as it is happening in Yemen, Lebanon, and in Libya, unfortunately,” Sharaiha says.

He adds that the battlefields change, but most of the conflict traces its roots to one issue.

As the war in Iraq continues, Joe Biden continues to persecute Julian Assange.  Marjorie Cohn (TRUTH OUT) notes:

On January 24, 2022, the British High Court of Justice allowed WikiLeaks publisher Julian Assange to ask the U.K. Supreme Court to hear his appeal of the extradition order. In December 2021, the High Court had overturned U.K. District Judge Vanessa Baraitser’s January 2021 ruling denying the U.S. request for extradition.

Following a three-week evidentiary hearing, Baraitser concluded that if extradited to the United States for trial, Assange was very likely to commit suicide because of his mental state and the harsh conditions of confinement under which he would be held.

During that hearing, the Biden administration didn’t provide the judge with any assurances that Assange would not be held in near-isolation in U.S. prisons. It was only after Baraitser denied extradition that the U.S. government came forward with “assurances” that Assange wouldn’t be subject to special administrative measures (SAMs) or be held in the ADX supermax prison in Florence, Colorado. But those so-called assurances contained a loophole. They would be null and void if Assange were to commit a “future act” that “met the test” for the imposition of SAMs.

The late timing of the U.S. assurances precluded Assange’s defense from arguing that they were unreliable. Nevertheless, the High Court accepted the Biden administration’s 11th-hour assurances and ruled that Assange could be extradited to the United States.

Assange is facing 175 years in prison for charges under the Espionage Act that stem from the 2010 WikiLeaks publication of evidence of U.S. war crimes in Iraq, Afghanistan and Guantánamo. The Obama administration considered charging Assange for those revelations but declined to do so for fear of running afoul of the First Amendment’s freedom of the press. Donald Trump did indict Assange, however. But instead of dismissing the case, Joe Biden is vigorously fighting to extradite Assange and pursue the charges that Trump filed.

At ANTIWAR.COM, Craig Murray notes:

Questions of the viability of assurances that, inter alia, make torture a future option, were ruled not to be arguable appeal points.

So the certified point, whether assurances can be submitted at the appeals stage, is not really just about timing and deadlines, it is about whether there should be scrutiny of the assurances or not.

However it does not look like a substantial point. It looks like just a technical point on timing and deadlines. This is very important, because it may be the screen behind which the British Establishment is sidling slowly towards the exit. Was Lord Burnett looking to get out of this case by one of the curtained doors at his back?

If any of the other points had been certified, there would have been detailed discussion in court of the United States’ penchant for torture, its dreadful prison conditions, and its long record of bad faith (it is an accepted point of law in the United States that domestic authorities are not bound by any assurance, commitment or even treaty given to foreign governments). For the Supreme Court to refuse Assange’s extradition on any of those grounds would be an official accusation against the United States’ integrity, and thus diplomatically difficult.

But the Supreme Court can refuse extradition on the one point now certified by the High Court, and it can be presented as nothing to do with anything bad about the USA and its governance, purely a technical matter of a missed deadline. Apologies all round, never mind old chap, and let’s get to the claret at Simpson’s.

Can there really be an end in sight for Julian? Is the British Establishment quietly sidling to the exit?


Isaiah's THE WORLD TODAY JUST NUTS "Adele Borrows From Oasis" went up last night.  The following sites updated:


grab bag



tonight, Isaiah's THE WORLD TODAY JUST NUTS "Adele Borrows From Oasis" went up.  it's about how adele steals from oasis' 'wonderwall' on her new album.  now let me note 'the gay gaston.'

here's some truth from glenn greenwald:

When it comes to new wars, there's never any question about money or what has to be sacrificed. If you want Medicare for All, Pelosi can't find money for it. But when it comes to buying arms from weapons manufacturers, she always finds a gigantic suitcase of cash under the sofa.

and, lastly, this is from ava and c.i.'s 'TV: Even when she's brazen, she's boring:'

Alyssa's playing a very stupid woman. When we first see her, she's giving a public reading and not since Troy Donahue played Youngblood Hawke have we seen a more laughable 'literary giant.' No sooner is Alyssa done speaking to the crowd than she's fleeing town and you would too if you were her. Off she goes to flirt with her sister's neighborhood police officer. Off she goes to solve her sister's murder. Off she goes to do blatant T&A as she dresses up as a dominitrix because she was apparently asked to show both her talents. Off she goes to get herself in trouble and play damel in distress.

It's really that pathetic. Doris Day in CAPRICE had more sense and more self-empowerment than the ditz Alyssa's playing. The main take away though? Garbage does not stop being garbage because you wait 33 years to film it. 

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

Tuesday, January 25, 2022.  Jen Psaki insists that Joe Biden respects the press -- this as he calls a reporter "a son of a bitch" for asking a question about inflation.

That's Stella Morris speaking of the court ruling that Julian Assange can appeal the previous finding that he can be extradicted to the United States.  Stella Morris is an attorney and the partner of Julian Assange.  They have two children together -- Max and Gabrial.  Julian?  He's the publisher of WIKILEAKS and he's being persecuted by US President Joe Biden for the 'crime' of journalism.  

The Australian citizen is responsible for releasing the truth about several War Crimes.  He's also 'guilty' of exposing corrupting at the top of the Democratic Party.  A point that arose at yesterday's White House press briefing.  Before we get to that, lets again note the statement from Reporters Without Borders:

Reporters Without Borders (RSF) welcomes the High Court’s decision to allow Wikileaks publisher Julian Assange to appeal to the Supreme Court, seeking review of his extradition case, but limited to one narrow ground. The Supreme Court will be asked to consider matters related to the US government’s provision of diplomatic assurances regarding Assange’s treatment if extradited.

On 24 January, the High Court granted Julian Assange the right to appeal to the Supreme Court, seeking review of the decision that could allow for his extradition to the US. Assange’s legal team now has 14 days to file an application with the Supreme Court, which could take several months to decide whether it will accept the case for review. 

If accepted, the Supreme Court would consider matters related to the US government’s provision of diplomatic assurances regarding Assange’s treatment, which were filed only prior to the appeal stage of proceedings, meaning the assurances were not scrutinised in the evidentiary portion of the extradition hearing. The High Court granted permission for Assange to file an application on this ground due to the lateness of the US government’s provision of these diplomatic assurances.

“We welcome the High Court’s decision to allow Julian Assange the right to appeal his extradition case to the Supreme Court. This case will have enormous implications for journalism and press freedom around the world, and could be hugely precedent-setting. It deserves consideration by the highest court in the land. We very much hope that the Supreme Court will indeed accept the case for review,” said RSF’s Director of International Campaigns Rebecca Vincent, who was present in court for the hearing.

This decision follows the High Court’s ruling of 10 December 2021 by the same judges, overturning the District Judge’s decision of 4 January 2021 barring extradition on mental health grounds. The High Court had ruled in favour of the US government’s appeal, on the basis of the diplomatic assurances provided regarding Assange’s treatment if extradited.

RSF believes that Assange has been targeted for his contributions to journalism, as Wikileaks’ publication of hundreds of thousands of leaked classified documents in 2010 informed extensive public interest reporting around the world, exposing war crimes and human rights violations that have never been prosecuted. If he faces trial in the US, Assange would not be able to argue a public interest defence, as the Espionage Act lacks such a provision. Assange’s prosecution would set a dangerous precedent that would have lasting implications for journalism and press freedom around the world.

RSF is also gravely concerned by the state of Assange’s mental and physical health, which remain at great risk in conditions of prolonged detention in London’s high-security Belmarsh prison – risks that would be severely exacerbated if the US succeeds in securing his extradition. In December it was revealed that he had suffered a mini-stroke in prison during the appellate hearing, and in January it was reported that Covid infections were again on the rise in Belmarsh prison.

The UK and US are respectively ranked 33rd and 44th out of 180 countries in RSF’s 2021 World Press Freedom Index.

Julian was a brief topic at yesterday's White House press briefing moderated by spokesperson Jen Psaki.

Q    And then, quickly: A UK court is now allowing Julian Assange to appeal his extradition to the United States.  The Justice Department, as you know, isn’t commenting.  But what about the President?  He says press freedom is critical for democracy, so why is he continuing to pursue this case?  Is the reason that he’s pursuing this Trump-era case because Julian Assange embarrassed the Democratic Party in 2016?

MS. PSAKI:  Again, this is under the purview of the dem- — the Department of Justice, so I don’t have any comment from here.

Go ahead.

Q    Thank you.  On the Palin-New York Times case — I know you can’t maybe speak specifically to the case, but does the White House have any concerns about threats to press freedoms, to press access, to the limits of the First Amendment protection?

MS. PSAKI:  I obviously can’t speak to the case, so I appreciate you saying that at the top. 

I will say that I think the President has shown that he respects the value of the freedom of the press.  He obviously took a step earlier this year to ensure there couldn’t be a replication of actions that had been taken over prior administrations, as it related to journalists.  So, I think that speaks to his commitment, but I don’t have any more comments on the case.

We've go to touch on the second question.  Freedom of the press?  There is no freedom to intentionally lie about osmeone -- that's why the press that's why there are laws against slander and liberl.  Palin is, of course, Sarah Palin and the edtiorial board of THE NEW YORK TIMES deliberately lied about her.  This is not a ;press freedom' case no matter how much some idiot at a White House press briefing might wish it were.

This is an accountability issue -- press accountability.  Libel and slander have been on the books for years.  This is not new territory.  We haven't noted the case so let's not Jonathan Turley who has analyzed it repeatedly and this is from his most recent analysis:

We previously discussed a major ruling restoring the defamation lawsuit of Sarah Palin against the New York Times over a false claim related to the shooting of former United States Rep. Gabrielle Giffords. Now, the New York Times is trying to introduce footage of Palin on “The Masked Singer.” The effort to introduce the video would seem to have no probative value and clearly is meant to ridicule Palin.

The case concerns an editorial by the New York Times where it sought to paint Palin and other Republicans as inciting the earlier shooting. The editorial was on the shooting of GOP Rep. Steve Scalise and other members of Congress by James T. Hodgkinson, of Illinois, 66, a liberal activist and Sanders supporter.  The Times awkwardly sought to shift the focus back on conservatives. It stated that SarahPAC had posted a graphic that put Giffords in crosshairs before she was shot. It was false but it was enough for the intended spin: “Though there’s no sign of incitement as direct as in the Giffords attack, liberals should of course hold themselves to the same standard of decency that they ask of the right.”

The editorial was grossly unfair and falsely worded. Indeed, the earlier opinion began with a bang: “Gov. Palin brings this action to hold James Bennet and The Times accountable for defaming her by falsely asserting what they knew to be false: that Gov. Palin was clearly and directly responsible for inciting a mass shooting at a political event in January 2011.”

That is not about press freedom, it is about accountability.  You can read on to see just how desperate NYT is over this case.  They should be, they are not on strong ground, the law is against them.

Jen Psaki uses the cae case to insist that Joe Biden is all about press freedom.  She states, "I will say that I think the President has shown that he respects the value of the freedom of the press."

She thought that, she insisted.  She thought that on the same day Joe Biden was in the news for sharing his thoughts on a reporter.  Courtney Subramanian (USA TODAY) reports:

Fox News' Peter Doocy asked the president whether he thought inflation would be a "political liability" ahead of November's midterm elections. Biden's reaction was caught on a hot mic. 

"That's a great asset, more inflation," Biden said. "What a stupid son of a b----."

Moments before, Biden groused about fielding questions on the deepening crisis in Ukraine instead of being asked about the White House Competition Council meeting, which focused on the administration's efforts to promote economic competition and drive down prices for consumers.

Anyone remember this from Joe Biden:

No mocking, no bullying?  Hmm.

Guess that was just more 'repsect' for the freedom of the press, eh, Jen?

The same 'respect' he shows Julian by persecuting him.  Julian didn't commit War Crimes.  He's not the one to punish.  Unless you're trying to intimidate the press and silence it.  Jen Psaki needs to put some make up on her face (I'm recovering from COVID as well, Jen, and I don't go inf ront of people looking chalky) and she needs to grasp how ridiculous her statements are.

At WSWS, JD Palmer notes the CBC's coverage of Julian which, like so many outlets, has been biased:

Having laid bare the US empire as a never-ceasing conveyor belt of war crimes, Assange exposed Washington’s lies of “nation building” in Afghanistan and Iraq as a vast “money laundering” operation.

And yet, as his legal case progressed, it was clear that the Wikileaks founder’s heroism was resulting in his slow murder via multi-state judicial corruption. In response to this remarkable case, in one of many examples of journalistic malfeasance, Chris Brown, in his report for the CBC’s flagship news program “The National,” falsely asserts that Assange “leaked” the cables that contained the infamous Collateral Murder video. Brown, a long-time CBC correspondent, can presumably distinguish between publishing and leaking. Determined to confuse the viewer, Brown fails to mention the role of whistleblower Chelsea Manning (Assange’s source) and through conflation taints the journalistic credentials of the man who exposed torture at Guantanamo.

Brown knows quite well that publishing leaks is the backbone of national security journalism with the quotidian apparatus of “legacy” newspapers like the New York Times, providing potential whistleblowers with technical instructions on their websites for evading detection. That’s why, as CBC fails to inform the viewer, the Obama administration chose not to prosecute Assange (a decision later reversed by Trump’s Department of Justice or DOJ). Due to what it deemed the “ New York Times problem,” such a precedent, Obama’s DOJ concluded, could be used against fellow elites.

Now in the hands of Biden’s DOJ, this clear case of selective prosecution by the US and its colluding vassal state, the UK, has been denounced by legal experts, a swath of trade unions and activists. And while one can reliably count on Canada’s public broadcaster to ignore grassroots campaigns, what’s remarkable is that the CBC’s reporting on this historic case sinks below even the corporate media’s degraded standards.

Turning to Iraq . . . 

When tens of thousands of young people took to the streets of Baghdad and towns and cities across southern and central Iraq in late 2019, one core demand resonated louder than any other — employment opportunities.

The country, which had only recently emerged from decades of tyranny, siege, war and insurgency, had delivered precious little for the generation of young Iraqis who came of age in the years after the fall of Saddam Hussein in 2003.

Two years on from those protests, which fizzled out with the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic in early 2020, and under the brutal heel of repression meted out by Iraq’s powerful militias, young Iraqis say nothing has changed.

“If anything we’re worse than when we started,” Rashid Mansour, a hairdresser from west Baghdad, told Arab News. “Neither me nor my cousins can afford to stay here. We all work part time. Just like the country, we’re all just getting by.”

Nothing's changed.  And it doesn't appear anything will change anytime soon.  There's talk that Iraq's prime minister will remain the same -- despite the October 10th elections.  The PUK is isnisting that the president of Iraq remain the same person and already the previous leader of Parliament has again been named Speaker.

What was the point of even holding elections?

The following sites updated: