The video embedded above shows Maram Susli (Syrian Girl) being interviewed by a mainstream morning news show in Australia. She does quite well! Of course, she benefits from being interviewed by Australian newsolk who are rather better behaved than your average American newsbimbo.
Still, I was miffed by the way they kept asking Susli about her credentials and sources of information. No-one ever asks those questions of men. And they don't ask such questions of rightwingers of either sex.
Had Susli done a show like this in America, the only permissible topic would have been Israel Israel Israel! How dare you ever say anything bad about Israel?
There would have been a relentless effort to picture her as an anti-Semite and a probable member of Al Qaeda.
Okay, it's official: There is a concerted effort to push Elizabeth Warren into the presidential race. See here
In what has perhaps been the most significant piece of the draft movement puzzle so far, the liberal group MoveOn.org recently launched a $1 million effort to persuade Warren to entire the race and is in the process of establishing a presence in Iowa and New Hampshire.
Partnering with Ready for Warren, MoveOn.org is hosting its first “Draft Warren” rally at a coffee shop in Des Moines on Wednesday -- an event that will be closely watched for indications of enthusiasm for her candidacy among progressive activists in the nation’s first voting state.
The real question: Is the "draft Warren" movement entirely the work of people who like
Warren and her progressive message?
When a mainstreamer like David Brooks say things like this
, should we worry?
Liz and Ayn?
Matt Taibbi says that Warren's opposition to the mighty CROMnibus bill was actually rooted in her conservative instincts:
...Warren's opposition to the Citi provision wasn't a left-leaning move at all. It was very much a conservative position. Ayn Rand herself, dragged from the grave and lashed to a chair on the floor of the Senate, would have argued the same thing.
All the Dodd-Frank rule says is that if you're a federally-insured depository institution – if you're an FDIC-guaranteed bank, where real people have real bank accounts that are guaranteed by the federal government – you can't also be gambling with swaps and other dangerous derivative instruments.
Think of it in terms of a workman's compensation law. If you're going to be insured against injury by the state, the state should get to demand that you don't engage in fire-eating or base-jumping during work hours.
There's no logical argument against the provision. The banks only want it because they want to use your bank accounts as a human shield to protect their dangerous gambling activities.
I'm not sure that Taibbi is right to bring Ayn Rand into this. At any rate, why use that
whack job as the cultural touchstone?
Other than that, Taibbi makes a lot of sense:
Meanwhile, on the other side, we have "liberals" in the White House and in the lame-duck Senate leadership who are nakedly whoring for big business in this affair, unashamedly doing favors for banks like Citigroup and JPMorgan Chase that in recent years have racked up tens of billions of dollars in penalties for a smorgasbord of corrupt practices. Establishment Democrats like Harry Reid almost certain to cave and wave through the Citigroup provision, foregoing a filibuster-type standoff.
Police state watch.
Bill Clinton says that Eric Garner didn't deserve to die
. Well, duh
More important is this CNN story on Ferguson
. The headline conveys the impression that McCulloch was right: "One challenge for Ferguson grand jury: Some witnesses' credibility."
But then we get into the meat of the piece. Confirmation: McCulloch got exactly
the outcome that he intended.
"It's no surprise that some people did not tell the truth in this or any other grand jury," says CNN legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin.
What is unusual in the Ferguson case is that prosecutors chose to call so many witnesses, including some whose credibility they doubted.
"Usually, a prosecutor applies her own screen to the witnesses -- and only introduces evidence that she believes will be credible and believable," says Toobin.
If McCulloch wanted a trial, he could have shown only the most important witnesses to the grand jury. As for the conflicting testimony offered by other witnesses: That's what trials are for
-- to work out conflicts in testimony.
The CNN piece also discusses a factor which has received little play in print pieces, although I've heard it discussed on MSNBC:
In later testimony, Witness 40 changed her story about some of what she saw and admitted to having gathered some details from news reports. She also gave a different reason for having allegedly been in Ferguson that day, and shared part of a journal that she claimed to have kept.
Did Atta go to Prague? Apparently not!
On the day of the killing, she posted a comment online saying, "They need to kill the f---ing n-----s. It is like an ape fest," the grand jury documents say. (CNN is redacting the "f" and "n" words, but she used them in full.) She also organized a small group helping raise money for officers, including Wilson -- a group she said was created as a result of this incident.
The torture report was the Big Spook Story this week, but let's not overlook this shocking revelation
, which comes to us by way of Michigan Senator Carl Levin. Do you recall when American newsfolk revealed that 9/11 aviation enthusiast Mohammed Atta had met an Iraqi intelligence officer in Prague before the attacks? We now the official confirmation that the whole yarn was bullsquat.
Director John Brennan still refuses to declassify a document (known to Senator Levin) which tells the whole story. You have to ask yourself: Why on earth is Obama's choice to head the Agency covering up Bush-era disinfo?
I'm going to take the liberty of quoting Levin's piece at some length, because this material is important. Indeed -- as I'll make clear in my final comments -- this story is very relevant to today.
On March 6, 2003, just two weeks before U.S. troops would cross the Iraqi border, President Bush held a prime-time televised press conference. In that press conference he mentioned the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks eight times, often in the same breath as Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein. There was a concerted campaign on the part of the Bush administration to connect Iraq in the public mind with the horror of the Sept. 11 attacks. That campaign succeeded. According to public polls in the week before the Iraq war, half or more of Americans believed Saddam was directly involved in the attacks. One poll taken in September 2003, six months after we invaded Iraq, found that nearly 70 percent of Americans believed it likely that Saddam Hussein was personally involved in the Sept. 11 attacks. Americans who believed in a link between Iraq and 9/11 overwhelmingly supported the idea of invading Iraq. Of course, connections between Saddam and 9/11 or al Qaeda were fiction.
America’s intelligence community was pressed to participate in the administration’s media campaign. Just a week after the President’s prime-time press conference, on March 13, 2003, CIA field staff sent a cable to CIA headquarters, responding to a request for information about a report that Mohammad Atta, the leader of the Sept. 11 hijackings, had met in 2001 with an Iraqi intelligence official in the Czech capital of Prague. In stark terms, this CIA cable from the field warned against U.S. government officials citing the report of the alleged Prague meeting.
Yet the notion of such a meeting was a centerpiece of the administration’s campaign to create an impression in the public mind that Saddam was in league with the al Qaeda terrorists who attacked us on 9/11. On multiple occasions, including national television appearances, Vice President Dick Cheney cited reports of the meeting, at one point calling it “pretty well confirmed.” Officials from Donald Rumsfeld’s Pentagon, who set up a sort of rogue intelligence analysis operation, briefed senior officials with a presentation citing the Prague meeting as a “known contact” between Iraq and al Qaida.
Now, why am I bringing up a CIA cable from more than a decade ago? Isn’t this old, well-covered terrain? No, it isn’t. This is about giving the American people a full account of the march to war as new information becomes available. It is about trying to hold leaders who misled the public accountable. It is about warning future leaders of this nation that they must not commit our sons and daughters to battle on the basis of false statements.
Here is what the Vice President said on December 9, 2001, in an interview on “Meet the Press:” “It’s been pretty well confirmed that he [Atta] did go to Prague and he did meet with a senior official of the Iraqi intelligence service in Czechoslovakia last April, several months before the attack.”
Far from “pretty well confirmed,” there was almost no evidence that such a meeting took place. Just a single unsubstantiated report, from a single source, and a mountain of information indicating there was no such meeting, including the fact that travel and other records indicated that Atta was almost certainly in the United States at the time of the purported meeting in Prague.
Levin coes on to quote Jiri Ruzek, who was the head of Czech intelligence in 2001:
Mr. Ruzek writes, “It was becoming more and more clear that we had not met expectations and did not provide the ‘right’ intelligence output.” Mr. Ruzek goes on: “The Americans showed me that anything can be violated, including the rules that they themselves taught us. Without any regard to us, they used our intelligence information for propaganda press leaks. They wanted to mine certainty from unconfirmed suspicion and use it as an excuse for military action. We were supposed to play the role of useful idiot thanks to whose initiative a war would be started.”
That’s chilling. We have a senior intelligence official of a friendly nation describing the pressure that he and other Czech officials were under to give the Bush administration material it could use to justify a war.
This is not just a historical matter. As you read these words, keep in mind the current whelps for war in Syria and Ukraine.
Remember the 2013 sarin attacks in Damascus? People scoffed when I said that those attacks were probably the work of the rebels, not Bashar Assad. They stopped scoffing months ago. Nobody believes the "Assad did it" lie anymore.
is why this adminstration doesn't want to expose the intelligence lies of yesteryear. The warmongers don't want to call into question the credibility of those who tell similar lies today.
(Actually, the "Prague" disinfo tale is a rich, complex affair. I may go into some of the tributary issues later on today.)