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Read Now: So… Al Qaeda Is Back In Afghanistan Already? Biden Spox John Kirby Faces Rapid Fire Questions – 101 Latest News



So… Al Qaeda Is Back In Afghanistan Already? Biden Spox John Kirby Faces Rapid Fire Questions

#Qaeda #Afghanistan #Biden #Spox #John #Kirby #Faces #Rapid #Fire #Questions

I, along with many veterans and Americans, celebrated the death of al-Qaeda leader and 9/11 plotter Ayman al-Zawahiri this week. I can remember the moment I saw the Twin Towers get hit on 9/11.

My young adult life was very much built around my military service in and around Afghanistan, so to have the former #2 of al-Qaeda off this blue marble is welcome news.

However, the strike brings up uncomfortable questions for the Biden administration over some comments the President made a year ago when trying to explain the haphazard withdrawal of Afghanistan. Luckily for us, Fox News’ Peter Doocy made sure to hammer National Security Council spokesman John Kirby with these uncomfortable realizations.

The exchange between the two gentlemen also made me wonder if Mr. Doocy was happy to have someone up to the task at the podium and if the White House is second-guessing who they have filling the Press Secretary position. Say what you will about Mr. Kirby; he’s more adept at fielding the tough questions than Karine Jean-Pierre.

Al-Qaeda Back, or Perhaps They Never Left

Mr. Doocy wasted no time questioning Mr. Kirby on the accuracy of President Biden’s comments from a year ago:

“You’re saying that you’ve always known there was a small number of al-Qaeda in Afghanistan. President Biden said, ‘What interest do we have in Afghanistan at this point with al-Qaeda gone?’”

Typically quite eloquent and concise in answering tough questions, Mr. Kirby responded with the following:

“Yeah, I mean, in a major way al-Qaeda was not…playing a major role in operations or resourcing or planning in Afghanistan. But, Peter, I know specifically because I was at a different podium a year ago. And we talked about the fact that al-Qaeda had a presence in Afghanistan, but it’s small, and not incredibly powerful or potent.”

So essentially, what I can gather from that is the President, as usual, said one thing when the reality was another. Although to be fair to Mr. Kirby, a year ago, he did issue a correction to the President’s statements regarding al-Qaeda, stating:

“We know that al-Qaeda is a presence, as well as ISIS, in Afghanistan, and we’ve talked about that for quite some time.”

Unfortunately, it appears the President wasn’t a part of those conversations. 

RELATED: As the Anniversary of the Afghanistan Withdrawal Approaches, Those in the Biden Administration Brace for Impact

Really Great Questions

According to the government, Zawahiri was taken out on a balcony in downtown Kabul. He had been reportedly casually staying at the house with his family. Other than “al-Qaeda had left Afghanistan,” a laughable statement in and of itself a year ago, the next concerning matter is if the Taliban knowingly were harboring this man.

Mr. Doocy gets to this issue in his questioning:

“So we know that the Taliban was harboring the world’s most wanted terrorist. You guys gave a whole country to a bunch of people that are on the FBI most wanted list. What did you think was gonna happen?”

A fair question that Mr. Kirby took issue with arguing the validity that it was our country to give away or not. What I found most interesting in Mr. Kirby’s response was this:

“I don’t want to re-litigate the whole war here, but obviously no one anticipated the Ghani government to fall as fast as it did.”

Shouldn’t it be alarming that no one anticipated what would happen? I’m pretty confident there is a process to investigate and review why we were so inept at that assessment… yet I don’t recall that anything has been released to the public yet. 

Color me not surprised.

Mr. Doocy goes on to ask yet another great question regarding the Taliban’s lack of living:

“…up to the part of the deal they made with the US to not let Afghanistan be a place that terrorists feel like they can be safe, what are you going to do about it?”

I am still waiting on that answer. Although, if you believe the Taliban, they didn’t break any deal.

RELATED: Biden State Dept. Refusing To Cooperate With Afghanistan Inspector General Review

If You Believe This, I Have a Bridge for Sale…

No surprise here; the Taliban is sticking to the claim that they had no idea Zawahiri was staying in Kabul. A house with ties to the deputy leader of the Taliban, by the way. 

Nobody is buying that, at least I hope not. Instead, the Taliban is going even further, claiming that the strike the U.S. took against Zawahiri was a “clear violation of…the Doha agreement.”

Secretary of State Antony Blinken bit back, stating:

“The Taliban grossly violated the Doha agreement and repeated assurances to the world that they would not allow Afghan territory to be used by terrorists to threaten the security of other countries.”

Quite right, Secretary Blinken, so what are we going to do about it? 

Maybe we don’t need to worry about it; after all, the Taliban released a statement yesterday:

“There is no danger from the territory of Afghanistan to any country, including America.”

My mind is at ease already.

I Don’t Need to Imagine

Bruce Hoffman of the Council on Foreign Relations and an expert on counter-terrorism said Zawahiri was “given VIP treatment” and:

“One can only imagine the kind of treatment that other al-Qaeda officials and fighters are getting.”

I don’t need to imagine. A year ago, when we pulled chocks and withdrew, over three dozen al-Qaeda senior leaders were released from a jail my husband at one point guarded. 

Who released them? The Taliban. 

Members close to al-Qaeda currently fill critical positions in the Taliban government, including Sirajuddin Haqqani, who runs the Taliban’s interior ministry. Al-Qaeda is alive and well in the Afghan region, and it’s only a matter of time before they start up training camps and plot their next move if they haven’t already.

This is how the world turns, and it appears it will continue to turn, unfortunately. Let’s hope these ‘over the horizon’ strikes continue to be effective for the sake of the next generation of Americans. 

I’d hate to have my kids fighting the same endless war their parents fought.

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Read Now: Libel Case Against Entertainers T.I. & Tiny (of VH1's T.I. & Tiny: The Family Hustle) Can Go Forward – 101 Latest News



Parents and Children

#Libel #Case #Entertainers #amp #Tiny #VH1039s #amp #Tiny #Family #Hustle

From Peterson v. Harris, decided Friday by the California Court of Appeal, in an opinion by L.A. Superior Court Judge Audra Mori, joined by Justice Audrey Collins and L.A. Superior Court Judge Helen Zukin:

In January 2021, plaintiff Sabrina Peterson posted a video and messages to her Instagram account accusing defendants Clifford and Tameka Harris (entertainers who perform under the stage names “TI” and “Tiny”) of various forms of sexual and physical abuse. Peterson also accused Clifford of previously threatening her with a handgun. Clifford, Tameka, and Tameka’s friend, codefendant Shekinah Jones Anderson, responded to Peterson through their social media accounts.

Peterson sued for libel, false light, and intentional infliction of emotional distress (among other torts); the Harrises filed an anti-SLAPP motion, but the Court of Appeal concluded that Peterson’s claim can go forward. First, Peterson’s factual allegations:

Peterson is an award-winning business coach, entrepreneur, and founder of Glam University, a company designed to “coach women who are interested in entrepreneurship.” The Harrises are well-known musicians, producers, and television personalities. Codefendant Anderson is a reality television personality who has appeared on a television show covering the Harrises.

At some point during the parties’ friendship, Peterson got into an altercation with Clifford’s assistant. Responding to the altercation, Clifford placed a gun to Peterson’s head and said, “‘Bitch I’ll kill you.'” Peterson ceased communicating with Clifford but maintained her friendship with Tameka.

In January 2021, Peterson was the victim of a carjacking. To cope with this traumatic experience, on January 26, 2021, Peterson “shared her traumatic experience with [Clifford] to a group of her followers” on Instagram. As established by the evidentiary submissions discussed below, Peterson also posted messages she had received from other women accusing Clifford and Tameka of various forms of sexual, physical, and emotional abuse. Clifford, Tameka, and Anderson issued various statements responding to Peterson’s Instagram posts.

In every cause of action, the complaint alleged that Clifford, Tameka, and Anderson “posted certain statements on the public internet site Instagram to their more than 23.6 million followers” and sought to hold all three liable for the statements. The complaint identifies the posts or public statements as follows:

[1.] The Posts on the Harrises’ Instagram Accounts

On January 26, 2021 (the same day Peterson revealed the prior incident involving Clifford), Tameka posted to her Instagram account a photograph of Clifford standing alongside Peterson’s eight-year-old son. Attached to the photograph was the following message:

“‘Hold up… So you want your abuser to train your sons? He was just uncle 2 years ago … now when did you say my husband assaulted you? Did you change your mind or change it back? What’s up wit you today Pooh? … You strange. Everybody know you been special….”

Tameka’s Instagram account has 6.6 million followers.

In a statement released to the public January 29, 2021, the Harrises “’emphatically den[ied] in the strongest way possible the egregiously appalling allegations being made against them by [ ] Peterson.” The same day, Clifford posted a video to his Instagram account in which he stated:

“‘Whatever we ever have done has been done with consensual adults …. [¶] We ain’t never forced nobody, we ain’t never drugged nobody against their will. We ain’t never held nobody against their will. We never made nobody do anything. We never [sexually] trafficked any[body]…. [¶] I also want you to know there’s evil at play…. We’ve had a history in dealing with the particular individual in question.'”

Clifford’s Instagram account has 13.5 million followers.

[2.] The Post on Anderson’s Instagram Account

Also on January 29, 2021, Anderson posted a video to her Instagram account. In the video, Anderson stated:

“‘She’s looking for fucking attention. She wants [Tameka]. She has sex with [Tameka], she wants [Tameka] to be her girlfriend. Now listen, this is my thing, [s]he came out and [Clifford] pulled a gun on her….

“‘She has a problem. But she ain’t talking about how she fucked Tamika [sic] too. I said what I said. Why she ain’t talking about she done sucked his dick and fucked her in her pussy…. I’m trying to figure out why she ain’t tell ya’ll about how much pussy she ate? Why she didn’t tell ya’ll about she wanted the women who used to go recruit the bitches for him to fuck?

“‘What’s up? … Go ask her why [she] ain’t tell you she didn’t get fucked and she went to the apartment? Why she didn’t tell ya’ll if she done had somebody that did too?'”

Anderson’s Instagram account has 3.5 million followers….

[In response to the anti-SLAPP motion, the Harrises submitted] court records from a criminal matter involving Peterson in 2011. Those records reflected a guilty plea [to a federal false statements charge] in which Peterson admitted she had “denied know[ing] an individual named ‘P. Denis,’ when in fact she knew of and had lived with [this] individual.” …

The court concluded that Peterson’s speech was on a matter of public interest, so the anti-SLAPP statute potentially applied:

Clifford and Tameka are accomplished musicians and producers, and both have a television show covering their lives. Peterson herself is a successful entrepreneur and business coach who has been featured in well-known publications. The controversy under which this case arose directly concerns gun violence and sexual abuse by those in the entertainment industry. The many articles covering this controversy clearly establish the public’s interest in it.

Even assuming the statements did not implicate a public issue or issue of public interest, they are still protected as activity encouraging participation “in the context of an ongoing controversy.” Peterson voluntarily thrust herself into the public eye by accusing Clifford of gun violence and the Harrises of various forms of sexual, physical, and emotional abuse. All of the statements appearing in the complaint were responsive to Peterson’s own public revelations against the Harrises. As such, Peterson has “subjected herself to inevitable scrutiny … by the public and the media.”

Finally, the activity of Clifford, Tameka, and Anderson all occurred in a public forum for purposes of section 425.16, subdivision (e)(3). With one exception, all of their statements were published on Instagram and could be readily accessed by 3.5 to 13.5 million followers.

But the court also held that Peterson’s case could move forward, because her allegations were legally adequate (their factual accuracy may end up being a matter for the jury). As to defamation, the court reasoned:

Peterson marshaled evidence suggesting both statements were provably false. As to the implied statement Peterson had lied about the gun incident, Peterson averred she had endured the “traumatic experience” involving Clifford placing a gun to her head, and she stated the Harrises’ denials were “false.” The Harrises offered no evidence contradicting these averments. Viewed in context, the Harrises’ statements implied a provably true or false statement that Peterson had lied about the gun incident.

The Harrises do not discuss any of this evidence and instead argue that their statements that Peterson had lied were in fact true. Citing Peterson’s prior criminal matter in 2011, the Harrises contend Peterson “is, in fact, a proven liar.” But while Peterson’s criminal records may establish Peterson lied about something in 2011, they do not conclusively establish that she lied about Clifford threatening her with a gun.

Regarding the salacious sexual accusations, Peterson declared she had “never engaged in sexual acts with either of the Harrises nor have I ever recruited woman [sic] to engage in sexual acts with the Harrises.” These allegations are also capable of being proven true or false….

We also conclude that, contrary to the Harrises’ arguments, Peterson made the requisite showing of actual malice as a limited public figure….

The court concluded that the false light claims were merely “cumulative [of her defamation claim] and will add nothing to her claims for relief.” But the court also concluded that her intentional infliction of emotional distress claim can continue, as to the allegations of her sexual conduct with the Harrises:

[W]e agree with the Harrises that the implied statement Peterson had lied about the gun incident, even if insulting or unflattering, did not constitute extreme or outrageous conduct. However, the salacious sexual accusations against Peterson, made in graphic detail, may properly be considered extreme and outrageous by a factfinder.

Congratulations to Rodney S. Diggs (Ivie McNeill Wyatt Purcell & Diggs), who represents plaintiff.

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Read Now: Trump Gets Some Brutal Feedback From GOP Iowa Voters – 101 Latest News



Trump Gets Some Brutal Feedback From GOP Iowa Voters

#Trump #Brutal #Feedback #GOP #Iowa #Voters

Some voters at Sen. Joni Ernst’s Ride and Roast showed why Donald Trump may have an Iowa problem in 2024.


One voter told MSNBC, “We’re not big Trump fans. There’s a lot of bluster good ideas, but a lot of bluster. I like Mr. Scott. We share the same faith. He has a really arduous road ahead of him. Being black and a Republican.”

Another Republican voter in Iowa, “I’ve talked to Mike Pence a few times. I like Mike. He’s a good, moderate conservative. Religious family man. I’m not 100 percent Trumper this time. He did some great things. I like what he did when he was in office. I just didn’t like all of the bantering in the background.”

The Republicans MSNBC spoke to voiced a couple of realities about the Republican Party. Tim Scott is going to struggle as a candidate because he is black. Second, the Republican Party has moved so far to the right that Mike Pence could be viewed as a moderate.

Trump didn’t show up for Ernst’s Ride and Roast, so it makes sense that the audience would be composed more of Iowans looking for someone other than Trump.

However, the reason why these voters seemed to be turned off is because of Trump’s personality. It isn’t the legal problems, the criminal indictments, or the corruption.

Some Republicans are sick of Trump’s personality and drama.

The more he campaigns, the more Trump might be costing himself votes.

The MAGA contingent within the Republican primary is so large that it is unlikely that anyone else will be able to beat Trump in a primary, but Donald Trump definitely has an Iowa problem as he heads into 2024.

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Read Now: Biden and McCarthy Both Improved Their Political Standing – 101 Latest News



Quote of the Day

#Biden #McCarthy #Improved #Political #Standing

Playbook: “Somehow, both McCarthy and Biden emerged from the potential economic debacle in better political shape. Politics is often zero sum, but the FRA accomplished the chief political goals of both men.”

“McCarthy, who faced a humiliating path to the speakership, needed to strengthen his position within the House GOP conference.”

“Biden, whose job approval trendline has veered uncomfortably close to sinking below 40%, needed to strengthen his position with American voters.”

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