Sunday, March 24, 2019

Taibbi: How the Press That Sold the Iraq War Got Away With It – Rolling Stone

Taibbi: How the Press That Sold the Iraq War Got Away With It – Rolling Stone


Matt Taibbi
Excerpted from Hate Inc., which can be found in serial form at Taibbi.substack.com.

To the lie about the possession of WMDs, Bush added a few more: that Hussein “trained and harbored terrorists, including operatives of al-Qaeda.” Moreover, left unchecked, those Saddam-supplied terrorists could “kill hundreds of thousands of innocent people in our country.”

The disaster that followed cost over a hundred-thousand lives just in Iraq and drained north of $2 trillion from the budget. Once we were in and the “most lethal weapons ever devised” were not discovered, it quickly became obvious that large numbers of people at the highest levels of society had either lied, screwed up, or both.

The news media appropriately caught a huge chunk of the blame. But a public that had been fooled once was not prepared for the multiple rounds of post-invasion deceptions that followed, issued by many of the same pols and press actors. These were designed to rewrite history in real time, creating new legends that have now lasted 16 years.

  

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Leaked Audio Exposes Oil & Gas Execs Laughing With Joy Over Cozy Access to Trump Officials



Jon Queally, staff writer - Published on Saturday, March 23, 2019 by Common Dreams

A newly-leaked audio recording reveals that oil and gas executives in a private meeting were "giddy" with laughter in the summer of 2017 as they rejoiced over the "unprecedented access" they were being given to the highest levels of the Trump administration, boasting about their ability to have closed-door meetings with top officials and the ascendance of their own industry colleagues to some of the most powerful seats of government. Among the topics in the recording, reports Reveal at the Center for Investigative Reporting—which was provided the audio—the oil and gas executives who belong to the Independent Petroleum Association of America (IPAA) "are heard discussing David Bernhardt, now deputy secretary of the Interior and a former industry lobbyist." Notably, Bernhardt—described by the executives in the recording as a close friend and industry operative—has now been nominated by President Trump to be the next Secretary of Interior, with his confirmation hearings scheduled for next week.

  

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Saturday, March 23, 2019

Neal Katyal: William Barr can - and should - release the Mueller report - The Washington Post

Neal Katyal: William Barr can - and should - release the Mueller report - The Washington Post


Neal Kumar Katyal

Neal Kumar Katyal is the Saunders Professor of Law at Georgetown University Law Center. He was acting solicitor general of the United States from 2010 to 2011.

The public has every right to see Robert S. Mueller III's conclusions. Absolutely nothing in the law or the regulations prevents the report from becoming public. Indeed, the relevant sources of law give Attorney General P. William Barr all the latitude in the world to make it public.

Those regulations, which I had the privilege of drafting in 1998 and 1999 as a young Justice Department lawyer, require three types of reports. First, the special counsel must give the attorney general “Urgent Reports” during the course of an investigation regarding things such as proposed indictments. Second, the special counsel must provide a report to the attorney general at the end of the investigation, which Mueller delivered on Friday. And third, the attorney general must furnish Congress with a report containing “an explanation for each action … upon conclusion of the Special Counsel’s investigation.”

  

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Civil Rights Groups Call ‘Election Integrity’ Bill a ‘Dangerous New Assault on Voting Rights in Texas’

Civil Rights Groups Call ‘Election Integrity’ Bill a ‘Dangerous New Assault on Voting Rights in Texas’


Michael Barajas
Published Tue, Mar 19, 2019

Bowing to pressure from tea party groups, lawmakers passed legislation last session cracking down on mail-in voting. Hughes’ proposal extends that crackdown by turning misdemeanors — improperly assisting mail-in voters or filling out ballot applications — into state jail felonies.

  Or confusing ...

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