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Iraq snapshot - July 3, 2012


July 3, 2012. Chaos and violence continue, the US White House still has no nominee for US Ambassador to Iraq, the State Dept is asked if Barack even plans to name a nominee, Iraq is slammed with bombings, Joe Biden's phone call to Nouri on behalf of ExxonMobil continues to get attention in Iraq (while the US press continues to ignore it), and more. Conservative Thomas J. Basile (Washington Times) argues of Iraq, "The situation is a tragic reminder of just how fragile the country was when Mr. Obama opted to end any significant involvement in its future. It also may give Mitt Romney and the Republicans an opportunity to open an effective foreign policy front against the administration for leaving Iraq in the lurch and providing an opportunity for Iran to extend its influence in the region."..

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Iraq snapshot - July 3, 2012

The Common Ills

Tuesday, July 3, 2012.  Chaos and violence continue,  the US White House still has no nominee for US Ambassador to Iraq, the State Dept is asked if Barack even plans to name a nominee, Iraq is slammed with bombings, Joe Biden's phone call to Nouri on behalf of ExxonMobil continues to get attention in Iraq (while the US press continues to ignore it), and more.
 
Conservative Thomas J. Basile (Washington Times) argues of Iraq, "The situation is a tragic reminder of just how fragile the country was when Mr. Obama opted to end any significant involvement in its future.  It also may give Mitt Romney and the Republicans an opportunity to open an effective foreign policy front against the administration for leaving Iraq in the lurch and providing an opportunity for Iran to extend its influence in the region."
 
Related, who is Peter W. Bodde?  Diplopundit noted in March that he is "a career member of the Senior Foreign Service, is currently the Assistant Chief of Mission for Assistance Transition in Iraq and Coordinator for Minority Issues at the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad." He was in the news over the weekend.  Saturday, the Himalayn News Service reported Peter W. Bodde had been named the new US Ambassador to Nepal.  He's set to to go to Nepal "in late August"  and he'll replace Scott H. DeLisi

James Jeffrey is no longer the US Ambassador in Iraq.  He stepped down.  The laughable Brett McGurk had been the new nominee but he withdrew his nomination.  At a time when Iraq is seeing so much violence, the White House still has yet to name a new nominee to be US Ambassador to Iraq and they're also transferring out people like Bodde who have experience?  Bodde is not going from Iraq to Nepal.  Nor should he be expected to.  He has every right to downtime.  And the point isn't that Bodde shouldn't be Ambassador to Nepal.  The point is that the White House is dropping the ball repeatedly.
 
Dropping the ball includes the fact that they're now scrambling to name the third US Ambassador to Iraq since Barack has been sworn in.  Bully Boy Bush nominee Ryan Crocker agreed to stay on while Barack found a nominee.  That was Chris Hill who was confirmed and didn't make four years, did he?  So then Barack nominated James Jeffrey who, like Hill, didn't even make two years in the post.  Clearly, the White House has done an awful job vetting people to be US Ambassador to Iraq.  This is the most costly diplomatic or 'diplomatic' US mission in the world.  There should not be this kind of turnover rate in the post.  There should have been a steady hand.  Instead, this White House has turned US Ambassador to Iraq into a revolving door post with each nominee having about the same longevity of one Larry King's wives.
 
Where is the leadership?
 
And that the Republican leadership in the Senate has failed to point this out is rather surprising.  They objected to Chris Hill but confirmed him.  When Jeffrey came before them, I really expected to see the Ranking Member talk about how 'regretabble' it was that less than two years after Hill was confirmed, they're again having to weigh a nomination for US Ambassador to Iraq.  Maybe if the Ranking Member were John McCain and not Richard Lugar, something would have been said. 
 
Since there's no one running the mission currently, maybe the Senate Foreign Relations Committee -- regardless of political party -- will start asking the White House some tough questions?  Today at the US State Dept press briefing, spokesperson Victoria Nuland faced some:
 
 
QUESTION: On Iraq.
 
MS. NULAND: On Iraq? Yeah.
 
QUESTION: Yeah. Iraq has seen a great deal of violence in the last few weeks. It always – the summer, it goes up. My question to you is: Are U.S. activities or the State Department or the Embassy's activities in Baghdad have been curtailed as a result of this spike of violence?
 
MS. NULAND: To my knowledge, not. But I'm going to refer you to Embassy Baghdad.
 
QUESTION: Okay.
 
MS. NULAND: Please.
 
QUESTION: Could you also – could you update us on the status of the new ambassador to Baghdad?
 
MS. NULAND: You mean whether the White House will nominate a new candidate, is that what you're asking?
 
QUESTION: Right.
 
MS. NULAND: That is definitely a question for the White House, Said.
 
QUESTION: But surely you can say that they will.
 
MS. NULAND: Over to the White House for that one.
 
QUESTION: Well, are you suggesting the White House is not going to name – nominate someone to be the new ambassador to the White House – I mean, to Iraq?
 
MS. NULAND: I'm suggesting that consideration on all ambassadorial appointments are the White House prerogative.
 
QUESTION: Well, are you aware that the Administration is not going to nominate someone to take that position?
 
MS. NULAND: I'm not aware one way or the other.
 
QUESTION: Okay. Could you comment on some reports that the relationship between Maliki and the United States is really quite tense these days?
 
MS. NULAND: We continue to have the same kind of dialogue that we've had all along. We maintain an open channel not only with the prime minister but with all of the major political figures in Iraq. And we use those channels to encourage them, among other things, to work well together and to settle their political differences through constitutional processes.
 
QUESTION: And who is leading that channel in Baghdad from the U.S. side?
 
MS. NULAND: The mission, at the moment, is led by our charge d'affaires who was the previous deputy.
 
 
 
Victoria Nuland loves/lives to be evasive.  The name she wouldn't provide is Robert Stephen Beecroft.  And, Nuland tells us, he was formerly the deputy!  Oh so he must have experience with Iraq, right?  No.  He's not even been assigned to Iraq for a year yet.  He began his first Iraq assignment July 14, 2011.  He's been Charge d'affaires since June 1st. 
 
 
And what position does he hold currently?  The number two US official in Iraq.  Since James Jeffrey has abandoned his post -- and that is the term for it, when Barack  Obama was sworn in as US President, Ryan Crocker agreed to stay on until Barack could find a successor -- and since this is obviously a very delicate time for Iraq, is it really wise to take the number two US official out of Iraq at a time when not only is there no number one US official (that would be a US Ambassador to Iraq) but the White House hasn't even named a nominee for the post.
 
If the White House thinks they can get away without naming one in the lead up to the US elections, they are mistaken.  The GOP will jump all over that to remind voters of Barack's indeciveness that characterized his state legislature career and his Senate career and they will draw lines between that and his mis-steps and failures once becoming president.
 
 
While Barack dithers, Iraq is again slammed with bombings today. Mohammed Tawfeeq (CNN) notes "a series of attacks" in Karbala, Baghdad and Taji.  BBC News focuses on a truck bombing in Diwaniya where the death toll has reached "at least 25" with another forty injured.  AP notes the truck used in the bombing was a vegetable truck. Mohammed Tawfeeq (CNN) explains, "In that attack, some 99 miles (160 kilometers) south of Baghdad, a suicide bomber parked a truck packed with explosives concealed by watermelons and began calling shoppers to the truck."  Alsumaria reports that the center of city has been closed to all traffic.   Yang Lina (Xinhua) reports 75 injured in that bombing.  Before morning was over in the US today,  RT was reporting the death toll in the Diwaniya bombing has risen to 40.  
 
AFP observes, "The blast came just hours after near-simultaneous car bombs targeting Shiite pilgrims on the outskirts of the central shrine city of Karbala killed four people." Alsumaria notes of the Karbala bombing that it hit at the popular market where fruits and vegetables are sold, it left 11 dead and forty-five injured (according to police sources) and that millions of Shi'ites are expected to travel through Karbala this week to celebrate the birth of the 12th or Hidden Imam (9th century).  Jamal Hashim and Mustafa Sabah (Xinhua) report, "Karbala's twin bombings came as hundreds of thousands of Shiite pilgrims have started to march to the holy city to commemorate the birth of Imam Mahdi, the last of the twelve most revered Shiite's Imams. Authorities in Karbala expect that the number of pilgrims from Iraqi Shiite cities and outside the country, who started to arrive to observe the ritual ahead of its climax date on Thursday and Friday morning in Karbala will exceed five millions."
 
Those weren't the only bombings today.  Reuters adds, "Earlier in the day, two roadside bombs targeting Shi'ite pilgrims killed four people and wounded 21 near the central Iraqi city of Kerbala, hospital and police sources said" while AP notes, "In Baghdad, a roadside bomb exploded next to a police patrol in the Sunni-dominated Ghazaliya neighborhood, injuring three policemen and two civilians, a police officer and a health official said." In addition, the Telegraph of London reports, "Another bomb attack in the town of Tuz Khurmatu, north of Baghdad, killed a policeman and wounded another, an officer and a local doctor said."
 
RTT counts at least 50 dead in today's violence.  Deutsche Welle points out,  "The bombings were just the latest in a series of such attacks in Iraq in recent weeks, which have raised fears that the county could be slipping back into a wider pattern of violence between Sunni and Shiite Muslims."  Sky News notes, "Security forces appear unable to stop the conflict since US troops left Iraq last December, after nearly nine years of war." 
Tim Arango (New York Times) has a more than solid report on the violence and the survivors but we're going to note this observation he makes:
 
Antony J. Blinken, the national security adviser to Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr., wrote in Foreign Affairs recently that since President Obama took office, "violence in Iraq has declined and remains at historic lows -- a trend that has continued since the last U.S. troops departed late last year."
In fact, though, more Iraqis -- civilians and security force members alike -- have died from attacks in the first six months of 2012 [2,101] than in the comparable period of 2011 [1,832], according to United Nations statistics. 
 
2,101 deaths -- UN figures -- in just the first six months of the year.  Where is the security?
Dropping back to the December 21, 2010 snapshot:
 
Shashank Bengali and Mohammed al-Dulaimy (McClatchy Newspapers) report point out the Cabinet is missing "the key ministries responsible for security and military affairs for now, because lawmakers haven't agreed on who should fill them. There's still no deal, either, on creating a yet-to-be named strategic council -- a U.S.-backed initiative aimed at curbing al-Maliki's powers -- which lawmarkers said could be weeks away." Liz Sly and Aaron Davis (Washington Post) explain, "Maliki appointed himself acting minister of interior, defense and national security and said the three powerful positions would be filled with permanent appointees once suitable candidates have been agreed on."
 
 
And that's still true today.  There are no heads to the security ministries.  Nouri's never nominated people for the posts.  He likes to say ___ is "acting" ____.  But there's no such thing as "acting" in the Constitution.  If they are vacant, he controls the ministries.  (By contrast, if he nominates someone and Parliament confirms them, only a vote in Parliament can remove them.  We saw this when Nouri spent months attempting to get Deputy Prime Minister Saleh al-Mutlaq removed from office.  (He failed at that removal.)  A real minister doesn't have to do what Nouri says because Nouri can't fire them.  A real minister can run the ministry in a way that he or she feels best benefits the Iraqi people.  By controlling the security ministries, Nouri consoldiates his own power which is why Iraqiya (rightly) called this a power-grab back in 2010.
 
 
The 2010 elections were held in March of that year.  The process to form a government was supposed to last a few weeks.  Instead it lasted over eight months.  Why?  Nouri and his State of Law came in second in the elections which meant he wasn't supposed to get first crack at forming a Cabinet.  That should have gone to first place Iraqiya.  But the White House chose to back Nouri.  The Barack Obama White House chose to back a man already repeatedly caught running secret prisons where people were tortured, a man who attacked the press from his first days in office in 2006, a man who had a track record of no results (his entire first term, where he failed to meet the White House established benchmarks for progress that he had agreed to).  They backed this nightmare and that's why Bush starting the illegal war really doesn't matter at this point.
 
The Iraqi people bravely went to the polls and expressed their will.  It wasn't to give Nouri a second term.  When the White House chose to ignore democracy, the will of the people and the votes to back Nouri, Barack bought into the fate of Iraq.  Sherwood Ross (OpEdNews) notes:
 

 
Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki's "harassment and persecution of anyone deemed a threat to himself or his party has dramatically reduced freedom throughout Iraq," a noted journalist reports.
What's more, al-Maliki is presiding over a system "rife with corruption and brutality, in which political leaders use security forces and militias to repress enemies and intimidate the general population."
So writes former Los Angeles Times foreign correspondent Ned Parker in the March/April issue of "Foreign Affairs" magazine. His is a rather grim assessment of life in "The Iraq We Left Behind" or "Welcome to the World's Next Failed State."
Now Edward R. Murrow Press Fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations, Parker writes that al-Maliki, America's favorite, "will keep striving for absolute power, using fear, intimidation, and cronyism." And he adds that by turning a blind eye to Maliki's encroaching authoritarianism, "U.S. officials allowed Iraq's political culture to disintegrate."
Whereas some Iraqi officials wonder if the next elections will be free and fair, Parker writes, "several former U.S. military officers wonder if the elections will happen at all."
 
That's who Barack backed.  That's who he trashed the election, the votes and any hopes of democracy in Iraq for. 
 
Iraqis get to vote in two sets of elections -- or are supposed to get to vote in two sets of elections: Provincial elections and parliamentary elections.  The provincial elections determine the governance of the provinces.  The parliamentary elections determine who sits in Parliament and are supposed to determine who gets first crack at being prime minister-designate.  Mohammad Sabah (Al Mada) reports that the Electoral Commission is stating provincial elections will be postponed until April 2013 and that this is due to both an amendment to a law being needed and also due to budget concerns.  Elections were supposed to be held January 31, 2013.  Budget concerns?  Iraq brought in over six billion in oil revenues last month alone -- and last month was the worst month for oil revenues in Iraq since February 2011. All Iraqi News reported yesterday on the lack of an election law and quoted the Independent High Electoral Commission's Chair Faraj al-Haidari stating that the elections would not be held on time. Today All Iraqi News reports that Arshad al-Salehi,  Chair of the Turkman Front, met with the UN Secretary-General's Special Envoy to Iraq Martin Kobler and stressed that all segments of the Iraqi people need to be represented in the elections.

This does not effect the Kurdistan Regional Government which holds their own provincial election.  They are currently working on a law regarding the Christian minority because, as the law reads currently, Christians must vote for other Christians.   Three provinces currently make up the KRG -- Duhok, Erbil and Sulaymaniyah.  If Article 140 of the Constitution is ever implemented (Nouri was supposed to implement it by the end of 2007, per the Constitution), Kirkuk might also become part of the KRG. 

Someone wants to visist the KRG.  Al Mada reports the National Alliance wants to send a delegation -- with Ibrahim al-Jaafari mentioned as the possible head -- to the KRG.  This would be an effort to smooth things over for Nouri.  Not a smart effort considering the long standing issues between the Kurds and al-Jaafari. Haitham Jubouri, attorney for State of Law, states that the withdrawal of confidence in Nouri is no longer possible. 

A lot of people seem to believe Moqtada al-Sadr has changed his position.  There's nothing he's said that's changed his position.  He appears to be taken the issue of questioning very seriously.  And would appear to be presenting himself as impartial and reluctant.  That's been his position all along.  Is Nouri going to appear before Parliament for questioning?  If he follows the Constitution, yes.  There's not X number needed for questioning.  He has been asked to appear. 


Whether he does or not, per the Constitution, he has to.  If he does, per Moqtada's statements, an opinion will be formed based on Nouri's answers.  If the answers are not satisifactory, Moqtada -- with a heavy heart and great reluctantce -- would have his bloc vote for no-confidence if the others got their required votes.  As Al Mada reports today, the vote is currently postponed because, among other reasons, Jalal Talabani remains out of the country (that reason comes from the Sadr bloc).
 

Nouri may not appear before Parliament.  Alsumaria has Moqtada al-Sadr already attempting to set guidelines for the Reform Commission.  Yesterday al-Jaafari announced that the Reform Commission had held two hearings so far. All Iraqi News reports the third meeting was held at al-Jaafari's home last night.  There will be a meeting Saturday in Baghdad.

What's the Reform Commission?  Nouri's attempt to avoid a national conference. 
 
The national conference.  To give Nouri his second term as prime minister and to end Political Stalemate I (the over eight month period of gridlock after the elections), the US said, "Hey, Iraqiya, Kurds, everybody, let's all be adults and end this gridlock.  Let's figure out what you want and we know Nouri wants a second term as prime minister, so let's draw up a contract outlining what your blocs get in exchange for that.  And don't worry, this is a binding contract and we are backing you and the contract."
 
That was the Erbil Agreement.  It allowed Nouri to be named prime minister-designate in November 2010 and prime minister in December of 2010.
 
But that wasn't a gift to Nouri.  That was in exchange for his concessions on certain items.  Instead, Nouri trashed the Erbil Agreement, the US government turned its back on the Kurds (to the point that relations with the Kurds right now are at an all time low) and on the new Iraqiya and everyone else.
 
Part of the reason that the US has been unable to fix anything, to mediate successfully, is due to the fact that Barack's White House has ensured that the US government is not to be trusted by Iraqi politicians.
 
The Kurds were told in January of 2011, told by US officials, "Be patient.  Nouri will return to the Erbil Agreement."  He didn't.  And by the summer of 2011, with no support coming from DC, the Kurds demanded Nouri return to the Erbil Agreement.  Iraqiya and Moqtada al-Sadr quickly joined the Kurds in that demand.  This is Political Stalemate II.  December 21, 2011, Speaker of Parliament Osama al-Nujaifi and Iraqi President Jalal Talabani began calling for a national conference.  Nouri said no.  Then he stone walled.  Then he finally went along with Jalal's call for an April 5th start date.  But then he called it off less than 24 hours before the conference.
 
April 28, 2012, efforts began for a no-confidence vote on Nouri.  We could go through all of that but suffice is to say, Jalal met with US officials after the petition got the needed number of signatures for a vote of no-confidence (that number was only needed for a floor vote -- there is no number requirement for Parliament to call for a vote of no-confidence).  US officials pressured the forever-buckle Jalal and he refused to pass on the petition.  Then he fled Iraq for an 'emergency procedure' in Germany (knee surgery).
 
Let's hope the US got something out of it because they may have leaned on Jalal for the last time.  Not because Jalal will suddenly find a spine but because Jalal's actions have seriously hurt his standing in the KRG.
 
 Now we're going back to today's US State Dept press breifing.
 
 
QUESTION: Okay. Could you comment on some reports that the relationship between Maliki and the United States is really quite tense these days?
 
MS. NULAND: We continue to have the same kind of dialogue that we've had all along. We maintain an open channel not only with the prime minister but with all of the major political figures in Iraq. And we use those channels to encourage them, among other things, to work well together and to settle their political differences through constitutional processes.
 
QUESTION: And who is leading that channel in Baghdad from the U.S. side?
 
MS. NULAND: The mission, at the moment, is led by our charge d'affaires who was the previous deputy.
 
What's so tense these days?  ExxonMobil and the KRG signed a contract last fall.  Nouri has repeatedly attempted to kill that contract.  As June drew to an end, he sent a formal letter to the White House demanding that Barack kill the ExxonMobil contract.  Forget that it's the immensely powerful oil industry and pretend for a moment it was Betty Crocker and they were planning to send millions of dry cake mixes to Baghdad.  Barack is the President of the United States.  There's a lot of power with that position.  But the president of the United States -- regardless of whom he or she is -- does not control US business, cannot give orders to US businesses.  The United States has no king or queen.
 
Now let's return to the fact that it is ExxonMobil, that it is the oil industry.  Many have accused the illegal war of being all about oil to begin with.  Former Fed Chairman Alan Greenspan briefly admitted to that before rushing to deny what he wrote when there was pushback.  (What he had written in his book The Age of Turbulence: Adventures in a New World  was, "Whatever their publicized angst over Saddam Hussein's 'weapons of mass destruction,' American and British authorities were also concerned about violence in an area that harbors a resource indispensable for the functioning of the world economy. I am saddened that it is politically inconvenient to acknowledge what everyone knows: the Iraq war is largely about oil.")   From SourceWatch:
 
  • The public interest group Judicial Watch, in July 2003, "after a protracted court battle with the White House," obtained documents utilized by the controversial Cheney Energy Task Force. It was discovered that the task force "led by Vice President Dick Cheney was examining maps of Iraq's oil assets in March 2001, two years before the United States led an invasion to oust Saddam Hussein."
The task force had maps which showed "Iraq's oil fields, its major refineries and pipelines," a list of "companies from countries that were interested in doing business with Saddam's regime, ranging from Algeria to Vietnam," details of "oil and gas projects in Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, and [which included] information on the cost and status of projects in those countries." [4]
  • "Bush's Cabinet agreed in April 2001 that 'Iraq remains a destabilising influence to the flow of oil to international markets from the Middle East' and because this is an unacceptable risk to the US 'military intervention' is necessary." [5]
 
 
A US president will tell the oil industry what to do? 
 
That would be novel.
 
More often the oil industry tells the White House what it will do.  From yesterday's snapshot:
 
Meanwhile remember when Little Saddam (Nouri al-Maliki) forgot he was a puppet and thought he could demand that the White House get ExxonMobil to drop their deal with the Kurds?  Silly puppet.  Administrations dance for oil corporations.  Dar Addustour reports that US Vice Presidetn Joe Biden phoned Nouri on Thursday to express the US government's belief that Nouri needs to stop trying to halt that deal and that Nouri was informed that the F-16s Iraq 'needs' will not be supplied if Nouri doesn't stop trying to halt he ExxonMobil deal.  It's amazing.  Torture cells didn't bother the White House.  Killing gay men and men suspected of being gay didn't bother the White House.  Attacking Iraqi youths didn't bother the White House.  But when a billion dollar ExxonMobil deal was threatened, suddenly the White House is ready to pull the F-16s.
 
 
Today Dar Addustour columnist As Sheikh explores the issue and finds Nouri in an embarrassing situation having made a demand and been not only denied his request but informed that if he keeps attacking ExxonMobil's deal with the KRG, he won't get the F-16s he's been insisting he needs. The Thursday night call between Biden and Nouri is noted and As Sheikh says Joe also threatened to deny a number of visas to Iraqi officials.  As Sheikh feels that Iraqis can't grasp the power of ExxonMobil in the US and how it can sway an administration.  He may be right.
 
 
Turning to the US and political prisoner Lynne Stewart.  This week's Black Agenda Radio, hosted by Glen Ford and Nellie Bailey (first airs each Monday at 4:00 pm EST on the Progressive Radio Network) featured an update on Lynne from her husband.
 
Glen Ford:  Lynne Stewart, the New York-based human rights attorney sentenced to 10 years in prison on charges related to her defense of a terrorism sdefendant has lost an appeal in federal court.  She's confined at a medical prison near Fort Worth, Texas.  We spoke with Lynne Stewart's husband and fellow activist Ralphy Poynter.
 
Ralph Poynter: When I read the papers, and I read them again, one of the things that struck me is that they're referring to Lynne as having disrespect for the law.  My reaction to that is, anybody who studied the history of American law knows it's based in genocide, slavery and the double standard.  And so the only things that we can look to in America that are positive are those people who disobeyed the law and those people who fought to right the wrongs, who followed justice rather than law.  I like that better.  I am proud of her.  I am not saddended -- the things they said about her give me great pride.  We don't have to look far to see where she was afoul of the law [. . .] supporting immigrant rights, immigrant children, supporting the Black Movement,  And all of these things oppose the law.  So they and those who seek justice are coming at opposite ends.  So I applaud Lynne.  She has just had her operation that she should have had 36 months ago and she was scheduled to have her operation when the Second Circuit said she must go to jail immediately because 'she's traveling around the country to law schools and universities corruption our youth.'  So she's just had her operation. She went to a hospital. She said she had good treatment at the hospital.  But they said it was time to go back.  Not according to medical necessity but according to prison necessity. She was concerned about going back to a prison that is not hospital clean.  But Antoinette Martinez, an inmate from the Bronx, made sure that the section she went back to in the prison was as clean as a hospital.  And this really gives me -- Lynne says when she looked and saw it, she came to tears, that the inmates know who she is and are protecting her.  They cleaned. So here we are.  Lynne is fighting for the rights of the people int here and some of the people inside understand who she is and they're fighting for her rights the best way they can.
 
Last night, I filled in for Elaine and wrote about Lynne so you can refer to that for more but we'll note Peter Daniels (WSWS) article:

One of Stewart's lawyers, Herald Price Fahringer, said that an appeal to the full appeals court would be made, and that attorneys might eventually ask for a Supreme Court review. The opinion is a "terrible deterrent for people speaking out in public," Fahringer said.
Another attorney for Stewart, Jill R. Shellow, said, "Our intent is to pursue all of the legal remedies available to Lynne to redress her unreasonable sentence… Lynne was not and is not a terrorist. She was a fine and dedicated lawyer. She is almost 73, and under the best of circumstances will not be released from prison until 2018. That's a lifetime, her lifetime."
The vindictiveness of the appellate judges compares with the inability and unwillingness of any court up to the Supreme Court to put a halt to the genuinely criminal activities that continue to be carried out at the Guantanamo Bay prison, not to mention the drone attacks and other violations of international law by the Obama administration that provoked the condemnation of former US president Jimmy Carter this past week.


:: Article nr. 89321 sent on 04-jul-2012 23:04 ECT

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