10,000 on ignore, Book 190, The Days of Reckoning, Part 49.....

Ten Thousan Marbles

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A Marine veteran has gone viral after 'exposing' what he believes are lies the US military leaders have allegedly been telling Americans along with the rest of the world...Lucas Kunce...wrote an elaborate essay for the Kansas City Star...

Kunce, who describes himself as a "13-Year Marine Veteran, Afghanistan/Iraq Vet, Arms Control Negotiator, National Security Expert" and antitrust advocate, is also a Democratic candidate for US Senate. Kunce claims that the current situation in Afghanistan... shouldn't come as a shock. Kunce claims 'DC military leaders' have lied to the general people for 20 years, and instead of leaving in 2021, they should have left back in 2003 itself…

"What we are seeing in Afghanistan right now shouldn’t shock you. It only seems that way because our institutions are steeped in systematic dishonesty," Kunce opens in his essay, continuing: "It doesn’t require a dissertation to explain what you’re seeing. Just two sentences. One: For 20 years, politicians, elites and DC military leaders lied to us about Afghanistan. Two: What happened last week was inevitable, and anyone saying differently is still lying to you."

..."I know because I was there. Twice. On special operations task forces. I learned Pashto as a US Marine captain and spoke to everyone I could there: everyday people, elites, allies and yes, even the Taliban. The truth is that the Afghan National Security Forces was a jobs program for Afghans, propped up by U.S. taxpayer dollars — a military jobs program populated by nonmilitary people or “paper” forces (that didn’t really exist) and a bevy of elites grabbing what they could when they could."

Kunce then highlights: "You probably didn’t know that. That’s the point. And it wasn’t just in Afghanistan. They also lied about Iraq. I led a team of Marines training Iraqi security forces to defend their country. When I arrived I received a “stoplight” chart on their supposed capabilities in dozens of missions and responsibilities. Green meant they were good...red said they couldn’t do it at all. I was delighted to see how far along they were on paper — until I actually began working with them. I attempted to adjust the charts to reflect reality and was quickly shut down. The ratings could not go down. That was the deal. It was the kind of lie that kept the war going."

...The right call was getting out in 2002. 2003. Every year we didn’t get out was another year the Taliban used to refine their skills and tactics against us — the best fighting force in the world. After two decades, $2 trillion and nearly 2,500 American lives lost, 2021 was way too late to make the right call. You’d think when it all came crumbling down around them, they’d accept the truth. Think again…

..."Elitist hacks are even blaming the American people for what happened last week. The same American people that they spent years lying to about Afghanistan. Are you kidding me? We deserve better. Instead of politicians spending $6.4 trillion to “nation build” in the Middle East, we should start nation building right here at home…

...For 20 years, politicians, elites and DC military leaders lied to us about Afghanistan. What happened last week was inevitable, and anyone saying differently is still lying to you...”
 
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Ten Thousan Marbles

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Judge Orders Hospital to Administer Ivermectin
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In one of those “I can’t believe it’s come to this” stories, Ohio Capital News reports this morning that a judge in deep red Southwest Ohio Butler County has ordered a Cincinnati hospital chain to treat a COVID-19 patient with Ivermectin.

Butler County Common Pleas Judge Gregory Howard ordered West Chester Hospital, part of the University of Cincinnati network, to treat Jeffrey Smith, 51, with Ivermectin. The order, filed Aug. 23, compels the hospital to provide Smith with 30mg of Ivermectin daily for three weeks.

It goes on to say,

Julie Smith filed the lawsuit on behalf of her husband of 24 years. He tested positive for COVID-19 July 9, was hospitalized and admitted to the ICU July 15, and was sedated and intubated and placed on a ventilator Aug. 1... Julie Smith found Ivermectin on her own and connected with Dr. Fred Wagshul, an Ohio physician who her lawsuit identifies as “one of the foremost experts on using Ivermectin in treating COVID-19.” He prescribed the drug, and the hospital refused to administer it.

This quack, Wagshul, who should lose his medical license, called the “science” behind Ivermectin “irrefutable,” as he panders to the same people who insist the science behind the vaccines is lacking. Just shaking my head. This herd is rapidly thinning.
 

Ten Thousan Marbles

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Too_Much_Winning.jpg
 

Ten Thousan Marbles

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Feb 6, 2014
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As high-profile conservative attorney John Pierce reportedly grapples with COVID-19, an employee has started appearing on behalf of suspected Jan. 6th rioters. That employee, Ryan Marshall, has been charged with felonies and is “not a licensed attorney,” federal prosecutors told a judge on Monday.

Known for formerly representing Kenosha shooter Kyle Rittenhouse in his homicide case, Pierce kept picking up clients fighting federal charges associated with the Jan. 6th siege of the U.S. Capitol. Rittenhouse’s family fired Pierce after questioning what he did with the millions he raised for the accused murderer. Now, Pierce’s relationship with some 17 other clients stands in limbo for health reasons.

“Sadly, Mr. Pierce is reportedly ill with COVID-19, on a ventilator, and unresponsive,” Assistant U.S. Attorney Anne McNamara wrote, in a five-page notice first reported by national security journalist Marcy Wheeler.

“For roughly the past week, Ryan Marshall—an associate from Mr. Pierce’s law firm who is not a licensed attorney—has been appearing in Mr. Pierce’s place at court hearings and meetings with the government,” the notice reads. “Because Mr. Pierce is unavailable and Mr. Marshall cannot ethically or legally represent Mr. Pierce’s clients, the government is making the Court aware of Mr. Pierce’s reported illness so that it can take any steps it believes necessary to ensure the defendant’s rights are adequately protected while Mr. Pierce remains hospitalized.”

The prosecutor filed the five-page notice in the case of Florida man David John Lesperance, accused of storming the U.S. Capitol with his pastor.

Marshall was the same associate who reportedly told a judge in open court on Aug. 15: “Mr. Pierce is in the hospital, we believe, with COVID-19, on a ventilator, non-responsive.”

In a footnote, prosecutors pointed out that Marshall, 31, is “currently faces felony criminal charges in two cases in the Court of Common Pleas of Fayette County, Pennsylvania,” where he stands accused of defrauding a widow and her late husband when he clerked for a judge.

Other associates of Pierce have denied Marshall’s claim in court about the diagnosis of the conservative lawyer, who has vocally rejected the scientific consensus about the safety and efficacy of the COVID-19 vaccine.

Brody Womack told NPR that Pierce, whom he called a “dear friend,” was “hospitalized on Monday due to symptoms that he believed might be related to COVID-19” but only “appears to be suffering from dehydration and exhaustion in relation to his tireless work on behalf of his clients.” NPR later heard from another source said to be close to Pierce, who confirmed his coronavirus-related hospitalization but denied that he was on a ventilator.

Prosecutors say that they have had no contact with Pierce since Aug. 13. His usually active Twitter account has been silent since Aug. 20, and Insider reported last Wednesday that the telephone numbers at his law firm appear to be disconnected.

“The United States thus finds itself in a position where this defendant and 16 other defendants charged in connection with the Capitol Riot appear to be effectively without counsel,” McNamara wrote. “Unfortunately, it seems that Mr. Pierce may be hospitalized and unable to communicate, and it is unclear when Mr. Pierce will recover. Although Mr. Marshall has now appeared several times in Mr. Pierce’s place, he is not a licensed attorney and thus cannot appear in this Court, represent Mr. Pierce’s clients, or provide them with legal advice or services.”

In Pierce’s absence, prosecutors added, Marshall appears to have taken actions “that he is not permitted to do” without a license. Prosecutors say Marshall excluded time from the speedy trial clock in the case of self-described “King of Las Vegas” Nathan DeGrave and represented DeGrave in a reverse-proffer session with the government.

“From the government’s perspective, given Mr. Pierce’s reported illness and the fact that Mr. Marshall is not a licensed attorney, this case is effectively at a standstill,” the government’s notice states. “Although Mr. Marshall has been the government’s main or sole point of contact for many of the defendants represented by Mr. Pierce, the government does not believe it appropriate to continue to communicate with him in Mr. Pierce’s absence, during which he would necessarily be acting without supervision by a licensed attorney.”

With Pierce incommunicado, prosecutors want to pause proceedings until he returns or his clients are adequately represented.

“Hopefully, Mr. Pierce will soon regain his health and be able to continue his representation of the defendant. The government did, however, want to make the Court aware of Mr. Pierce’s reported illness and its impact on the case so that the Court can take any steps it believes necessary to ensure that the defendant’s rights are adequately protected while Mr. Pierce remains hospitalized.”

Marshall’s lawyer Jack William Connor did not immediately respond to Law&Crime’s telephone call requesting comment.
 

Ten Thousan Marbles

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The Education Department on Monday launched civil rights investigations into five states that have barred indoor masking mandates, alleging that the governors are creating an unsafe learning environment for students with disabilities at heightened risk of severe illness from COVID-19.

It's an aggressive new legal tack from the Biden administration to challenge Republican governors who insist indoor mask mandates don't work.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has found that schools are generally safe if students and staff universally wear masks. School districts who struggled with COVID-19 outbreaks this year – oftentimes sending thousands of kids home – typically did not require masks.

The investigations focus on Iowa, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Utah. The Education Department says it is not including Florida, Texas, Arkansas and Arizona at this time "because those states' bans on universal indoor masking are not currently being enforced as a result of court orders or other state actions."

 

Ten Thousan Marbles

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America’s longest war has been by any measure a costly failure, and the errors in managing the conflict deserve scrutiny in the years to come. But Joe Biden doesn’t “own” the mayhem on the ground right now. What we’re seeing is the culmination of 20 years of bad decisions by U.S. political and military leaders. If anything, Americans should feel proud of what the U.S. government and military have accomplished in these past two weeks. President Biden deserves credit, not blame.

Unlike his three immediate predecessors in the Oval Office, all of whom also came to see the futility of the Afghan operation, Biden alone had the political courage to fully end America’s involvement. Although Donald Trump made a plan to end the war, he set a departure date that fell after the end of his first term and created conditions that made the situation Biden inherited more precarious. And despite significant pressure and obstacles, Biden has overseen a military and government that have managed, since the announcement of America’s withdrawal, one of the most extraordinary logistical feats in their recent history. By the time the last American plane lifts off from Hamid Karzai International Airport on August 31, the total number of Americans and Afghan allies extricated from the country may exceed 120,000.

In the days following the fall of Kabul earlier this month—an event that triggered a period of chaos, fear, and grief—critics castigated the Biden administration for its failure to properly coordinate the departure of the last Americans and allies from the country. The White House was indeed surprised by how quickly the Taliban took control, and those early days could have been handled better. But the critics argued that more planning both would have been able to stop the Taliban victory and might have made America’s departure somehow tidier, more like a win or perhaps even a draw. The chaos, many said, was symptomatic of a bigger error. They argued that the United States should stay in Afghanistan, that the cost of remaining was worth the benefits a small force might bring.

Former military officers and intelligence operatives, as well as commentators who had long been advocates of extending America’s presence in Afghanistan, railed against Biden’s artificial deadline. Some critics were former Bush-administration officials or supporters who had gotten the U.S. into the mess in the first place, setting us on the impossible path toward nation building and, effectively, a mission without a clear exit or metric for success. Some were Obama-administration officials or supporters who had doubled down on the investment of personnel in the country and later, when the futility of the war was clear, lacked the political courage to withdraw. Some were Trump-administration officials or supporters who had negotiated with and helped strengthen the Taliban with their concessions in the peace deal and then had punted the ultimate exit from the country to the next administration.


They all conveniently forgot that they were responsible for some of America’s biggest errors in this war and instead were incandescently self-righteous in their invective against the Biden administration. Never mind the fact that the Taliban had been gaining ground since it resumed its military campaign in 2004 and, according to U.S. estimates even four years ago, controlled or contested about a third of Afghanistan. Never mind that the previous administration’s deal with the Taliban included the release of 5,000 fighters from prison and favored an even earlier departure date than the one that Biden embraced. Never mind that Trump had drawn down U.S. troop levels from about 13,000 to 2,500 during his last year in office and had failed to repatriate America’s equipment on the ground. Never mind the delay caused by Trump and his adviser Stephen Miller’s active obstruction of special visas for Afghans who helped us.

Never mind the facts. Never mind the losses. Never mind the lessons. Biden, they felt, was in the wrong.

Despite the criticism, Biden, who had argued unsuccessfully when he was Barack Obama’s vice president to seriously reduce America’s presence in Afghanistan, remained resolute. Rather than view the heartbreaking scenes in Afghanistan in a political light as his opponents did, Biden effectively said, “Politics be damned—we’re going to do what’s right” and ordered his team to stick with the deadline and find a way to make the best of the difficult situation in Kabul.


The Biden administration nimbly adapted its plans, ramping up the airlift and sending additional troops into the country to aid crisis teams and to enhance security. Around-the-clock flights came into and went out of Afghanistan. Giant cargo planes departed, a number of them packed with as many as 600 occupants. Senior administration officials convened regular meetings with U.S. allies to find destinations for those planes to land and places for the refugees to stay. The State Department tracked down Americans in the country, as well as Afghans who had worked with the U.S., to arrange their passage to the airport. The Special Immigrant Visa program that the Trump administration had slowed down was kicked into high gear. Despite years of fighting, the administration and the military spoke with the Taliban many times to coordinate passage of those seeking to depart to the airport, to mitigate risks as best as possible, to discuss their shared interest in meeting the August 31 deadline.

The process was relentless and imperfect and, as we all have seen in the most horrific way, not without huge risks for those staying behind to help. On August 26, a suicide bomber associated with ISIS-K killed more than 150 Afghans and 13 American service members who were gathered outside the airport. However, even that heinous act didn’t deter the military. In a 24-hour period from Thursday to Friday, 12,500 people were airlifted out of the country and the president recommitted to meeting the August 31 deadline. And he did so even as his critics again sought to capitalize on tragedy for their own political gain: Republicans called for the impeachment of Biden and of Secretary of State Antony Blinken.

Within hours of the attack at the airport, America struck back, killing two terrorists and injuring another with a missile launched from a drone. A separate drone strike targeted a vehicle full of explosives on Sunday. In doing so, Biden countered the argument that America might lack the intelligence or military resources we would need to defend ourselves against violent extremists now that our troops are leaving.

The very last chapter of America’s benighted stay in Afghanistan should be seen as one of accomplishment on the part of the military and its civilian leadership. Once again the courage and unique capabilities of the U.S. armed services have been made clear. And, in a stark change from recent years, an American leader has done the hard thing, the right thing: set aside politics and put both America’s interests and values first.
 

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