Monday, May 04, 2020

Tara Reade deserves to be heard

David Walsh (WSWS) reports:

On a television talk show Friday morning, Joe Biden, the leading candidate for the Democratic Party’s 2020 presidential nomination, denied an allegation of sexual assault that has been leveled against him.
Tara Reade, a former Biden staffer, claims the incident occurred in 1993 when the former vice president was a Senator from Delaware. There were no witnesses, Reade never contacted the police and the statute of limitations has long since run out.
Biden told MSNBC interviewer Mika Brzezinski the allegation wasn’t true, “I’m saying unequivocally that it never, never happened.”
Pressure had mounted on Biden as the week went on to break his silence on the issue. It is unlikely, however, that his categorical denial will put the story to rest. On the one hand, the Republican Party and certain #MeToo elements will continue to pursue the issue for their own respective political ends.
Beyond that, however, the controversy has gained additional and significant traction due to nervousness within the Democratic Party and the American ruling elite generally about Biden’s candidacy under conditions of an unprecedented social and economic crisis and the emergence of widespread popular opposition. Considerable skepticism exists about the ability of the 77-year-old Biden, who finds it difficult at times to respond coherently to reporters’ questions, to confront an explosion of working-class anger.
Reade’s persistence, the various forces fanning the controversy and Biden’s silence on the issue until yesterday have played a role in keeping the issue alive. But, as noted, the critical factor is growing disquiet about the former vice president’s political fitness in the context of the pandemic crisis and the disappearance of millions of jobs.

C.I., in the snapshot below, notes how desperate some people are and how their attacks on Tara Reade are efforts to shut her up before most Americans can hear her tell her story.  They know that if Tara is allowed to tell her story, she will be believed because she's credible.

This is C.I.'s "Iraq snapshot" for Monday:

Monday, May 4, 2020.  The efforts to silence Tara Reade continue.

Friday, Joe Biden appeared on MSNBC's MORNING JOE in an attempt to convince "the American people" (Mika's term) that he did not assault Tara Reade in 1993.  Jimmy Dore offers his take below.

Among other things, Jimmy takes MSNBC on for making it about what is or isn't in the National Archives.

Journalist Nicole Einbinder Tweeted the following Friday morning during the interview:

Joe Biden said that Tara Reade's complaint could only be at the National Archives, at what was then called the Office of Fair Employment Practices. But, a National Archives spokesperson told me that they do not hold records from that office.

Instead, a Senate Historical Office staffer said the Fair Employment Practices records are governed by a Senate resolution mandating that "records containing personal privacy, information closed by statute, and records of executive nomination are closed for 50 years."

That staffer said that rules for filing a complaint to the Office of Fair Employment Practices were complicated and that it was possible that a staffer attempting to do so without proper guidance may not have taken the necessary steps to get an investigation started.

According to congressional testimony from 1995, 479 people contacted the office between 1992 and 1995 seeking assistance. Of those, only 102 entered the office's five-step "dispute resolution" process, which included a formal complaint and hearing.

If Reade's complaint was filed to the Office of Fair Employment Practices, the record will remain closed until 2043 — more than two decades from now.

It's also important to note that Reade isn't just looking for the complaint. She has other reasons for wanting the University of Delaware to unseal the records:

Full story here:

Tara endured a series of public attacks over the weekend -- she also reports that she and her child received multiple threats.   AP attacked her with a bad headline that was untrue.

EXCLUSIVE: Tara Reade slammed The Associated Press on Saturday for its framing of a story regarding her Senate personnel complaint she filed against her former boss Joe Biden, calling for the news outlet to "retract" its headline.

Even MJ Lee of CNN called them out, as we noted Saturday:

CNN's MJ Lee Tweeted:

The AP's Tara Reade story headline appears to now been changed from

“AP Exclusive: Harassment, assault absent in Biden complaint”


“Reade: ‘I didn’t use sexual harassment’ in Biden complaint”

And she Tweeted:

That clumsy initial headline appears to be the reason that we appear to have now entered the news cycle of: Tara Reade now says she didn't file a complaint about sexual harassment or assault.

The misleading headline distracted people from two things in the report.  1) AP knew about the assault in 2019 and elected not to report on it.  And you wonder why she wanted help from Times Up to come forward?  2) AP found two more people who corroborate Tara's story:

Tara Reade asked the Associated Press to change their misleading headline: "I asked AP to retract headline," she said on Sat. That night the AP changed it.
The headline was crafted to bury news of the AP finding 2 more people corroborating
Reade's claims!

Reading is hard for so many.  A headline was all they needed.  That's especially true of the horrid and faux 'woke' Debra Messing.  The woman who never called out the Iraq War attempted to smear Tara by promoting an article by two con men who have been banned from Twitter.  Debra's an air head with no real foundation in anything.  She's a menace.  So is the disgusting Kurt Eichenwald.  He attacked her over the weekend -- hoping the whole time that we forgot he was a pedophile.  Note this Tweet:

reminder: Kurt Eichenwald funded the creation of child pornography by FedExing an underaged prostitute cash to make videos, he would then comment/critique them after they were made. in a court of law he told a judge he "didn't remember" doing this, and somehow it was dropped

Kurt is and always will be trash.  We addressed his nonsense Saturday night in "How lucky, as women, we are to finally have a man explain to us what rape's really like."  Kurt announced, in a series of Tweets, that he was raped in the 80s and used that to attack Tara Reade (who he wants to "rot in hell").  If you did not respond to your rape as Kurt The Man responded to his, you were not assaulted.  That's his argument.  It's as crazy as anyone listening to a pedophile to begin with.

We'll note this Tweet:

Forget politics. Why should her emotional response be the same as your emotional response? Who are you to tell a victim when and how they should remember, grieve, process, act? Do you want to be judged on how you handled your trauma? Why should she?

Also attacking Tara over the weekend?  Professional liar David Axelrod ('spinmeister' if he prefers).  Ava and I took on his nonsense of the claim that Barack Obama had Joe thoroughly vetted.  Thoroughly vetted?  The way they thoroughly vetted Van Jones who didn't last a year in the administration because it turned out that he was of a press demonized group: The 9-11 Truthers?  Where was the vetting there?  Everyone in the Bay Area knew about Van's involvement in the 9-11 Truth Movement.  How did Barack's 'skilled' vetters miss that?  They missed a lot with a lot of people.  David needs to sit his tired ass down.

Also at THIRD, Ann, Ava and I noted Jake Tapper asked Governor Gretch The Wretch Whitmar about why she believed Christine Blasey Ford but not Tara Reade?  As Jake note, Tara has far more corroboration than Blasey Ford did.  Gretch The Wretch chose to lie.  But she wanted you to know she had read about this issue.  [Ann's site is ANN'S MEGA DUB.]

Maybe that's the actual key.  They're trying to stop the story.  Tara's never been allowed to tell her story on any of the corporate channels -- MSNBC, CBS, NBC, ABC, CNN or even FOX NEWS.  That's what Gretch The Wretch fears.  So she -- and other whores -- are going to try to shut the story down right now, before the American people are really informed of it.

What happens if something like George Galloway's presentation above ends up on the US corporate media?  That's why Gretch The Wretch and others are attacking Tara.  They should be ashamed of themselves.  Tara is the one without any power.  They are sliming a woman claiming to be assaulted to defend a man who has made over $15 million since leaving the White House in January of 2017.  They are sliming a victim to defend a man connected to power his entire life.  They are trying to shut her down before she can tell her story in order to protect Joe Biden.

That's why they're also -- these whores -- calling for the FBI to investigate members of the press covering the story.  It's why they attacked Chris Hayes and are calling for him to be fired.  They want to scare the press into silence -- that's the goal of Lindy Li and these other creeps.

Sunday, at THE NEW YORK TIMES, Elizabeth Bruenig weighs in on Tara Reade and Joe Biden:

I have my own impressions regarding Ms. Reade’s allegations, but no one — save Ms. Reade and Mr. Biden — knows with certainty whether her claims are true. What I can assert with firm conviction is that Democrats ought to start considering a backup plan for 2020.
Ms. Reade’s account is not nearly as incredible as some have argued. In the course of my reporting, I have worked closely with many survivors of sexual assault. It isn’t unusual, in my experience, for survivors to exhibit behavior that seems unstable or erratic to others. They may initially disclose to investigators or journalists only a fragment of what happened, and then reveal more over time — some even falsely recant, either because they sense the police don’t believe them, or because they fear the consequences of pressing their claims. And victims often maintain relationships with their attackers or harbor mixed feelings about them.

“It’s not at all uncommon for someone to still have positive feelings about aspects of the person who assaulted them, or to admire or respect them,” Scott Berkowitz, the founder and president of the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network (RAINN) told me. “With people who work for politicians, there’s usually a strong measure of loyalty or respect in that relationship. So it’s not indicative that someone wasn’t telling the truth.”
[. . .]
 But it is also possible that this won’t just go away, and that it will demoralize voters and place Mr. Biden at a disadvantage against Mr. Trump in the general election, despite the fact that Mr. Trump has a damning list of accusers alleging sexual offenses. For a candidate mainly favored for his presumed electability and the perception of empathy and decency, that’s a serious liability. To preserve the strides made on behalf of victims of sexual assault in the era of #MeToo, and to maximize their chances in November, Democrats need to begin formulating an alternative strategy for 2020 — one that does not include Mr. Biden.

It's time to dump Joe Biden.  Ryan Cooper (THE WEEK) offered:

However, Biden still has not been officially nominated. The Democratic National Convention is not until August 17, and before then he could be pressured into dropping out. If Nancy Pelosi, Chuck Schumer, a critical mass of the rest of other Democratic elected officials, and all the various Democratic-aligned activists groups all said in unison that Biden was unfit to be president, and should drop out for the good of the party, he probably would withdraw. The primary rules regarding candidates who drop out are somewhat vague, saying that delegates cannot be "mandated" to vote for someone else, and "shall in all good conscience reflect the sentiments of those who elected them." But this would seem to allow Biden to instruct his delegates to support another candidate, and in 11 states there are specific rules for doing so. Realistically, no unclear legal technicalities are going to prevent someone else from getting the nomination if Biden refuses to take it.
Bernie Sanders would certainly be ruled out, despite the fact that he would have the second-most number of delegates. The entire point of the panicked scramble to endorse a clearly lousy candidate before Super Tuesday was to keep Sanders from winning. But it still could be somebody else — perhaps Washington Governor Jay Inslee, or California Governor Gavin Newsom, both of whom have handled the coronavirus pandemic relatively well (unlike New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, whose incompetent bungling created the worst outbreak in the world). Inslee or Newsom would not be my first choice, but at least they have no rape allegations against them and are in full possession of their faculties.

Or simpler still, as Alex Pareene suggests, Democrats could simply re-start the primary and see who wins. There would surely be some controversy, but most Democratic voters would wind up happier in the end.

ISIS never went away in Iraq.  Apparently burned out on the wall-to-wall coronavirus coverage, AP has suddenly rediscovered ISIS.  They offer, "The man wearing an explosive vest emerged from a car and calmly marched toward the gates of the intelligence building in Iraq’s northern city of Kirkuk. When he ignored their shouts to halt, guards opened fire, and he blew himself up, wounding three security personnel in the first week of Ramadan. Days later, a three-pronged coordinated attack killed 10 Iraqi militia fighters in the northern province of Salahaddin -- the deadliest and most complex operation in many months."   IANS explains, "Despite repeated military operations against the IS remnants, IS militants are still hiding in deserts, rugged areas as well as in Himreen mountain range which extends in the provinces of Diyala, Salahudin and Kirkuk. They are capable of carrying out frequent guerilla attacks against security forces and civilians."

 The violence happens daily.  Halgurd Sherwani (KURDISTAN 24) reports, that 3 police officers and 1 civilian were killed by the Islamic State at the Zaganiya police station in al-Abara while two more police officers and five civilians were left injured.  Sherwani notes, "The bloody incident comes as part of a recent increase in activity by fighters loyal to the group, over two years after its territorial defeat in Iraq in late 2017 by federal security forces, Kurdish Peshmerga, and Popular Mobilization Forces (PMF) militias, with air support by the US-led coalition."  ALMASDAR reminds, "Six Iraqi fighters were killed late Thursday night after ISIS terrorists targeted a point belonging to the 35th Brigade of the Popular Mobilization Units in the Salaheddine Governorate."   Lawk Ghafuri (RUDAW) charts this pattern:

ISIS militants also carried out multiple attacks against Iraqi security forces early Saturday in Saladin province, killing ten  members of the Popular Mobilization Forces (PMF), also known as Hashd  al-Shaabi. It was ISIS’s biggest attack in Iraq since its territorial  defeat.

Iraqi Defense Minister Najah al-Shammari vowed last week to “ramp up” anti-ISIS efforts.

Despite Iraq’s coronavirus lockdown measures and the US-led coalition’s withdrawal from several bases across Iraq, the ISF has stepped up its operations against ISIS remnants active in the country’s remote deserts and mountains.

Between January 1 and April 15, the ISF carried out 1,060 operations  and killed 135 ISIS targets, defense ministry spokesperson Yehia  Rasool said on April 21.

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