BBC Africa: Escaping Boko Haram: How Three Nigeria Girls Found Safety.


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Escaping Boko Haram: How three Nigeria girls found safety

 

The story of three Nigerian girls who escaped Boko Haram

For six months the world has waited for news of the fate of more than 200 girls abducted by Nigerian militant group Boko Haram. As the Nigerian government insists a deal to release the “Chibok girls” is being negotiated, three girls who escaped their captors have told their story to BBC Hausa.

Lami, Maria and Hajara were at school in Chibok, north-eastern Nigeria, when they were kidnapped in April. Best friends Lami and Maria escaped by jumping from the back of a truck. Hajara was taken to a camp but later fled with another girl.

 

To protect the girls’ identity we have portrayed their story as an animation, and provided an edited transcript of their account below.

 

The girls’ names have been changed for their protection.

 

Animation by Luis Ruibal.

 

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Lami: It was Monday night. We had exams the following day. Then we started to hear shootings in the town. So we went out. We phoned our parents to tell them what was happening in the town. They told us to run away when we got the chance. We told them that the town was already surrounded so there was no way we could run.

 

Maria: Lami woke me up saying: “Maria didn’t you hear what’s happening? Haven’t you heard sounds of shooting from the town?”

 

I said we should climb the wall and run away. She said: “No. No-one has run away. We should gather in one place and wait to see what’s going to happen.”

 

Other girls said nothing would happen to us. “We’re girls. They don’t do anything to girls. We should wait and see what God would do.”

 

Lami: We were at the school when suddenly three Boko Haram members entered.

 

They said: “If any of you attempt to leave we’ll kill all of you.” When we went out they were everywhere. They gathered us where we have our school assembly. As we were there they kept burning the school. They burnt everything.

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Hajara: They asked us to get out of the gate, saying that when we were out they would let us go back to our homes. They said whoever did not have a headscarf or shoes should go and get them. They then asked us to climb on to a lorry, on top of the food loaded in it. The lorry was so high that we couldn’t easily climb on.

 

Maria: They said to us: “You’re only coming to school for prostitution. Boko (Western education) is haram (forbidden) so what are you doing in school?”

 

We kept quiet. I think there could have been about 100 Boko Haram members – they were all over the school. They outnumbered us. They took us away in their vehicles. We were sitting on oil drums in the vehicle. Our vehicle was really overloaded. We were saying to one another that we should throw away our shoes and scarves so that if our parents came they would know the road we had taken.

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Hajara: The vehicle became full before I could get on. There were about 100 of us walking. We stopped at one town and people brought us water. I saw one of those who brought us water changed his clothes and joined the Boko Haram men. They then put us in other vehicles.

 

They put the rest in the boots of cars. Some of the Boko Haram members were so small that if I were to grab their necks I could break them. Some couldn’t even carry their guns properly.

 

Maria: We were wondering where we were being taken to. When we entered the vehicle, Lami said to me: “Shouldn’t we jump out of the vehicle here so that we may possibly escape? There are no other vehicles close by.”

 

Hajara: I thought, it’s preferable to have these people shoot me as I run than have them humiliate me. They kept saying to us: “Make sure you put on your scarves. Make sure you put on your scarves. We’ll shoot any girl we see without a scarf. And any girl who jumps out will die.”

 

I was about to jump out when one girl held me back and said they’d shoot me if I did.

 

“What’s the difference,” I said. “Is it not to the same death we’re going? They should shoot me here and let my corpse be collected.”

 

I was crying and praying until we reached the camp.

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Lami: There was a lot of dust on the road, they couldn’t see us. When we jumped out, we started to run. We were running without shoes. We found other people. We started to run away from them thinking they were Boko Haram. But they too had run from the town.

 

Hajara: Boko Haram gathered us in a forest around noon. Some of the girls were tired and were lying down. But I couldn’t lie down. The spirit of God was asking me to go. It was telling me: “Get up and go. Get up and go.”

 

So I went. Another girl followed me. When we were going I saw some of them [Boko Haram members] performing ablutions. We stooped as if we were trying to pull out thorns from our shoes, as if we were just going to wee. We’d walk a little then bend down for a little while as if we were looking for something we’d lost.

 

After walking for a while they couldn’t see us properly since it was forest. We then started to run. After we had run for a short distance, we heard them saying “catch those girls.” We kept running. Whether they came after us not, we didn’t know.

 

Hajara: We kept going and our shoes were ripped. We found a house, where a girl could speak Hausa. Her parents gave us a place to sleep. We reached the Chibok area in the morning. A man looking for a relative among the missing girls drove us on motorbike into town.

 

When I saw my elder and younger brothers, I fell to the ground crying. My mother and father were crying and all members of my family cried. Before I reached home it was as if there was a death in the house. Mats were spread. People were consoling my father and mother thinking that I had died.

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Lami: The people we met said: “Your town is far away. You can’t go there now. Come here and wait until morning when we’ll take you into the town to get transport back home.” We stayed there till morning when they asked us to get up so that we go to the town. We couldn’t walk. Our feet were full of thorns.

 

They said: “Let’s go find a vehicle to take you home.”

 

Maria: The men who helped us took us to Chibok, and I cried. It was the second time that something like that had happened to me. My dad was a pastor; Boko Haram went to our house and killed him. They also shot my mum in the stomach; they gave her 2,000 Naira ($12) to have the bullet.

 

Lami: My parents warmed up water and cared for my feet. I was taken to the hospital and it was two weeks before I could stand up.

 

Maria: I continued to live with the thought that Boko Haram members were coming to get me. I couldn’t sleep.

 

Hajara: I was having nightmares every day. There was even a day when I dreamed that they gathered all of us who fled in one place, and said to us: “You girls have defied us and fled. We’re now going to burn you alive.”

 

I haven’t forgotten about the other girls who are still in the hands of those people. I keep praying for them.

 

Lami: God will never make us meet these people again. And for our sisters who are still in the forest, may God help them. And may the whole world cry out for these girls to get out so that we continue with our education in school again.

 

Maria: They should pray to God to forgive them their sins. I’d also ask them to bring back the girls they have kidnapped because their parents are in distress. Some of the parents of the girls have already died. It was the thought of their girls that killed them.

 

Hajara: God will do what he wills, but I don’t want to look at them because of what they have done to my life. They think they’ve ruined me, but God willing, they haven’t ruined me. I’ll continue with my education.

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More on This Story

 

 

 Who are Boko Haram?

 

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  • Founded in 2002
  • Initially focused on opposing Western education – Boko Haram means “Western education is forbidden” in the Hausa language
  • Launched military operations in 2009 to create Islamic state
  • Thousands killed, mostly in north-eastern Nigeria – also attacked police and UN headquarters in capital, Abuja
  • Some three million people affected
  • Declared terrorist group by US in 2013

 

Who are Boko Haram?

 

Profile: Boko Haram leader Abubakar Shekau

 

Will ‘truce’ with Boko Haram free Chibok girls?

 

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The Bring Back Our Girls Hashtag Campaign

 

Published on May 9, 2014

All across the globe a campaign has started using the hashtag #BringBackOurGirls. Be a part of this magnificent effort to bring the kidnapped Nigerian girls home. Make your own sigh and post it on social media today.

 

 

 

#BringBackOurGirls

 

Published on May 5, 2014

The leader of an Islamic extremist group in Nigeria says his group has started kidnapping women and children as part of its bloody guerrilla campaign against the country’s government, according to a video released Monday. Scores of girls and young women kidnapped from a school in Nigeria are being forced to marry their Islamic extremist abductors, a civic organization reported Wednesday.

 

 

 

#BringBackOurGirls Worldwide Protest

 

Published on May 7, 2014

Images of people the world over weeping and protesting for the return of 276 young girls kidnapped from a Nigerian boarding school. #BringBackOurGirls #BringBackOurDaughters #276

 

 

 

BBC News100 WOMEN

Who is 100 Women for?

I don’t know her name, because she lives in a remote village in India – or was it Afghanistan? She’s not a politician – nor will she ever be. She does not seek publicity, or wear shoes that cost more than a Bangladeshi worker will earn in 10 years. But hopefully one day she or her daughter will break free from male-dominated society and carve out a living as a small-scale businesswoman.

BBC audience survey

 

Screenshot (1441) Screenshot (1440)

 

100 Women BBC NEWS

 

BBC News Africa: Nigeria’s Boko Haram Abducts More Women And Girls.

 

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From The Daily KOS: Since St. Louis Has Decided Against Releasing A Report, Here’s The Timeline Of Mike Brown’s Murder.


 

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Since St. Louis has decided against releasing a report, here’s the timeline of Mike Brown’s death

 

by Shaun King for shaunking

 

Mike Brown, an unarmed teenager, was shot and killed in the middle of the street by Ferguson, Missouri police officer Darren Wilson on a hot and hazy Saturday afternoon on August 9, 2014.

 

For over two months, people have practically begged the St. Louis County Police Department to release a detailed incident report of the shooting. Rather quietly, it was recently announced that the police will not be doing any such thing. In an interview with the Washington Post, Officer Brian Schellman, spokesman for the department, confirmed that that the police have no intention of releasing it whatsoever. Schellman said there are only two conditions in which the report will ever be released: If the grand jury in the Darren Wilson case decides against an indictment, or if Wilson is indicted and the report is used in court. Otherwise, we won’t be seeing it.

 

With this absence of information, the public has practically been forced to piece together public evidence to create a timeline of the day.

 

Below is a working theory of the killing of Mike Brown based on five things: six eyewitness accounts, confirmed audio of the fired gunshots, dozens of photos from the Aug. 9 shooting scene on Canfield Drive, visits to the crime scene by volunteers, and the publicly released autopsy results.

 

The typical police firearm usually holds 12-15 rounds (up to 17) to a magazine with possibly one bullet in the chamber, and Wilson may have nearly unloaded his entire gun during this incident.

 

Amazingly, a young man living in an apartment on Canfield Drive was using a mobile app called Glide in which he was recording a message to his girlfriend during the final moments of Brown’s life. The time stamp and location of the recording were authenticated by the technology company.

 

From the moment Mike Brown first saw Darren Wilson until he was laying face down, dead, on Canfield Drive, was less than two-and-half minutes. Jump below the fold for the timeline.

 

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Before Glide App Video Messaging Audio:12:00 PM: Mike Brown and Dorian Johnson are casually walking in the middle of Canfield Drive. This was/is a common practice on this street on a Saturday afternoon in this neighborhood. They notice a police SUV coming toward them. 

12:00 PM: Officer Darren Wilson, driving past them, slows down and tells them “to get the fuck on the sidewalk.” Brown remains silent while Dorian Johnson tells Wilson that they are just a minute away from their destination.

 

12:00 PM: Wilson, having passed them by, violently puts the car in reverse, screeching the tires in the street, nearly hitting Brown and Johnson, who are forced to jump out of the way, stops right next to them, and thrusts open his door. The driver’s side door only opens only a few inches because it hits Mike Brown and ricochets back into Wilson.

 

12:01 PM: A struggle ensues at the window of the police SUV, which causes Brown to lose his red, fitted baseball cap, found at this exact location after the shooting. Wilson immediately grabs at the neck of Brown as Brown tries to pull away, Wilson pulls his weapon, and threatens to shoot Brown. Brown’s hands remain outside of the SUV, and he uses the vehicle as leverage to pull away.

 

During this struggle, the first shot is fired from inside the vehicle by Wilson. It hits Brown in his chest/arm area.

 

Fearing for their lives, Brown and Johnson flee in different directions. Brown loses one of his flip-flops approximately 20 feet from the SUV. Johnson hides behind a black Monte Carlo.

 

Wilson, gun drawn, exits his SUV and prepares to fire at a fleeing Brown.

 

Begin Glide App Audio:

12:02:14 PM.: Wilson pursues Brown as he flees some 100-plus feet from the police vehicle.  During the pursuit, firing at the back of Brown, Wilson fires shots two (12:02:16 PM), three (12:02:16 PM), four (12:02:17 PM), five (12:02:17 PM), and six (12:02:17 PM)within milliseconds under three seconds, missing a fleeing Brown.

 

12:02:18 PM: Shot seven grazes Brown’s right forearm, at which point Brown turns aroundto surrender. There is a three-second pause after shot seven, as Wilson continues his pursuit of a surrendering Brown, closing the pursuit gap significantly. Brown, with his hands up, says, “Okay, okay, okay. I’m unarmed, don’t shoot…” Before Brown can finish his plea, Wilson begins to fire the last four shots that hit Brown.

 

12:02:22 PM: In just under two seconds shots eight through eleven strike Brown (making the encounter from shots two through eleven mere milliseconds under eight seconds.)

 

Shots eight and nine (12:02:22 PM) strike Brown’s arm/hand while Brown’s hands are up. Brown’s hands come down and he staggers forward a few feet in the direction of Wilson.

 

12:02:23 PM: While falling to the ground, Brown cradles his arms close to him as Wilson fires shot ten (12:02:23 PM) into his eye and shot eleven (possible fatal bullet fired at 12:02:23 PM) into the top of his head.

 

12:02:25 PM: Brown is dead on Canfield Drive—over 108 feet away from Wilson’s SUV. The time from the confrontation at the SUV to Brown’s death takes just about one minute.

 

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(Vincent Heck was a key contributor to this report.)

 

ORIGINALLY POSTED TO SHAUNKING ON WED OCT 15, 2014 AT 08:22 AM PDT.

 

ALSO REPUBLISHED BY DAILY KOS AND COMMUNITY SPOTLIGHT.

 

Thank you Shaun King & DAILY KOS

 

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Steve Harvey’s Emotional Chat With Michael Brown’s Mom, Ms. Lesley McSpadden. Ferguson Grand Jury Investigated For Misconduct.


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From The Steve Harvey Show:

 

“I Haven’t Any Time To Myself To Grieve.” Mike Brown’s Mother Lesley McSpadden Opens Up On Steve Harvey Show

 

An emotional Lesley McSpadden, the mother of slain teen Michael Brown appeared on the Steve Harvey show, to open up about what she has been through since the passing of her son: 

 

“I was at work, I got a call from my sister’s mother. She said ‘They shot Mike Mike!’ I didn’t want to think he was dead. All I could think was run, just run. I ran back into my job and told them get me to him. The first thing I seen that let me know he was dead was the yellow tape. I wanted to see him, to know it was really him and the cop told me no. For four and a half hours they told me no.” she said tearfully.

 

Next Steve asks her where does she find comfort these days: 

 

“Prayer. My other children”

 

When asked has she had a chance to grieve she says: 

 

“No. This is public. This is so public. Most people get to grieve in silence. I haven’t had any silence.I haven’t had any time to grieve at all.” 

 

Steve then speaks about teaching his sons how to interact with police so they don’t become victims with tears starting to pool in his eyes: 

 

“And for those out there who have to do like I do, because I have three sons and every time an incident happens like this, we have to go over, we have to go over the things again. Why do I have to teach my sons to assume the position? Why do I have to teach my sons “10 and 2,” palms up? I have to teach my son, when the window goes down, show both hands on both sides. Why am I teaching my sons this?”

 

Steve Harvey’s emotional chat with Michael Brown’s mom

 

Published on Sep 30, 2014

It’s a story we all remember. None of us could miss the headlines and the national issues it dug up; violence, race and dignity. They’re topics we must talk about as a society but we can’t let that overshadow the loss Michael’s family is going through right now, the grief they can only hope to one day overcome.

Steve talked with Lesley McSpadden, Michael Brown’s mom, about overcoming grief.

 

 

#Ferguson grand jury being investigated for misconduct

#Ferguson grand jury being investigated for misconduct

 

From The Washington Post:

 

Grand jury considering the Ferguson shooting is being investigated for misconduct

 

By Kimberly Kindy

 

The St. Louis County prosecutor’s office is investigating an accusation of misconduct on the grand jury that is hearing the case against the Ferguson police officer who shot and killed 18-year-old Michael Brown.

 

Ed Magee, the spokesman for county prosecutor Robert McCulloch, said they received the information from a “Twitter user” Wednesday morning.

 

“We are looking into the matter,” he said.

 

An account of possible jury misconduct surfaced Wednesday morning on Twitter, when several users sent messages about one juror who may have discussed evidence in the case with a friend.

 

In one of those messages, a person tweeted that they are friends with a member of the jury who doesn’t believe there is enough evidence to warrant an arrest of the officer, Darren Wilson.

 

The same person who tweeted about being friends with a member of the jury has also tweeted messages of support for Wilson.

 

Magee confirmed that the Twitter user and feed came from an activist, Shaun King.

 

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The jury has been weighing evidence on the case since Aug. 20, within days of the Aug. 9 shooting. McCulloch told The Washington Post last week that both the FBI and county police’s investigations into the shooting are “pretty much done.” He also said that jurors should be done hearing all the evidence by later this month, but they could meet through mid-November.

 

Grand jury proceedings are confidential and if there has been a breach, the prosecutor’s office may have to start over with a newly empaneled group.

 

Meanwhile, Ferguson is grappling with continuing protests amid the wait over whether Wilson will face charges.

 

Attorney’s for the Brown family did not immediately respond to requests for commentregarding the investigation into the grand jury. 

Reached on Wednesday evening, King told the Post that the potential link was further evidence that the current legal proceedings may be flawed.

 

“At a time where so many people in Ferguson already don’t believe that Prosecutor Bob McCulloch will take this case seriously, this potential leak is a disaster,” King said. “If it’s found to be true and the Grand Jury has to be dismantled, McCulloch should be taken off of the case immediately and replaced with a special prosecutor.”

 

-Wesley Lowery contributed to this report

 

Kimberly Kindy is a government accountability reporter at The Washington Post.

 

 

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Rape Culture In AmeriKKKa: George Will Says Being A College Rape Victim Is Now A ‘Coveted Status’.


George Will: Colleges become the victims of progressivism

 

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By George Will & The Washington Post

 

Colleges and universities are being educated by Washington and are finding the experience excruciating. They are learning that when they say campus victimizations are ubiquitous (“micro-aggressions,” often not discernible to the untutored eye, are everywhere), and that when they make victimhood a coveted status that confers privileges, victims proliferate. And academia’s progressivism has rendered it intellectually defenseless now that progressivism’s achievement, the regulatory state, has decided it is academia’s turn to be broken to government’s saddle.

 

Consider the supposed campus epidemic of rape, a.k.a. “sexual assault.” Herewith, a Philadelphia magazine report about Swarthmore College, where in 2013 a student “was in her room with a guy with whom she’d been hooking up for three months”:

 

“They’d now decided — mutually, she thought — just to be friends. When he ended up falling asleep on her bed, she changed into pajamas and climbed in next to him. Soon, he was putting his arm around her and taking off her clothes. ‘I basically said, “No, I don’t want to have sex with you.” And then he said, “OK, that’s fine” and stopped. . . . And then he started again a few minutes later, taking off my panties, taking off his boxers. I just kind of laid there and didn’t do anything — I had already said no. I was just tired and wanted to go to bed. I let him finish. I pulled my panties back on and went to sleep.’”

 

Six weeks later, the woman reported that she had been raped. Now the Obama administration is riding to the rescue of “sexual assault” victims. It vows to excavate equities from the ambiguities of the hookup culture, this cocktail of hormones, alcohol and the faux sophistication of today’s prolonged adolescence of especially privileged young adults.

 

The administration’s crucial and contradictory statistics are validated the usual way, by official repetition; Joe Biden has been heard from. The statistics are: One in five women is sexually assaulted while in college, and only 12 percent of assaults are reported. Simple arithmetic demonstrates that if the 12 percent reporting rate is correct, the 20 percent assault rate is preposterous. Mark Perry of the American Enterprise Institute notes, for example, that in the four years 2009 to 2012 there were 98 reported sexual assaults at Ohio State. That would be 12 percent of 817 total out of a female student population of approximately 28,000, for a sexual assault rate of approximately 2.9 percent — too high but nowhere near 20 percent.

 

Education Department lawyers disregard pesky arithmetic and elementary due process. Threatening to withdraw federal funding, the department mandates adoption of a minimal “preponderance of the evidence” standard when adjudicating sexual assault charges between males and the female “survivors” — note the language of prejudgment. Combine this with capacious definitions of sexual assault that can include not only forcible sexual penetration but also nonconsensual touching. Then add the doctrine that the consent of a female who has been drinking might not protect a male from being found guilty of rape. Then comes costly litigation against institutions that have denied due process to males they accuse of what society considers serious felonies.

 

Now academia is unhappy about the Education Department’s plan forgovernment to rate every institution’s educational product. But the professors need not worry. A department official says this assessment will be easy: “It’s like rating a blender.” Education, gadgets — what’s the difference?

 

Meanwhile, the newest campus idea for preventing victimizations — an idea certain to multiply claims of them — is “trigger warnings.” They would be placed on assigned readings or announced before lectures. Otherwise, traumas could be triggered in students whose tender sensibilities would be lacerated by unexpected encounters with racism, sexism, violence (dammit, Hamlet, put down that sword!) or any other facet of reality that might violate a student’s entitlement to serenity. This entitlement has already bred campus speech codes that punish unpopular speech. Now the codes are begetting the soft censorship of trigger warnings to swaddle students in a “safe,” “supportive,” “unthreatening” environment, intellectual comfort for the intellectually dormant.

 

It is salutary that academia, with its adversarial stance toward limited government and cultural common sense, is making itself ludicrous. Academia is learning that its attempts to create victim-free campuses — by making everyone hypersensitive, even delusional, about victimizations — brings increasing supervision by the regulatory state that progressivism celebrates.

 

What government is inflicting on colleges and universities, and what they are inflicting on themselves, diminishes their autonomy, resources, prestige and comity. Which serves them right. They have asked for this by asking for progressivism.

 

Thank you George Will & The Washington Post.

 

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George F. Will

Essential commentaries on politics, law and social character have earned him a huge, devoted following. Pulitzer winner. Twice weekly

 

Conservative columnist and pundit George Will CREDIT: AP PHOTO/J. SCOTT APPLEWHITE

Conservative columnist and pundit George Will
CREDIT: AP PHOTO/J. SCOTT APPLEWHITE

 

About

George Will is one of the most widely recognized, and widely read, writers in the world. With more than 450 newspapers and his appearances as a political commentator on FOX, Will may be the most influential writer in America.

 

Will began his syndicated column with The Writers Group on January 1, 1974, just four months after The Writers Group was founded by Ben Bradlee and Katharine Graham. Two years later, Will started a column for Newsweek which ran bi-weekly for more than three decades.

 

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From Think Progress:

 

Major Newspaper Dumps George Will, Apologizes For ‘Offensive’ Rape Column

 

BY JUDD LEGUM

 

Early this month, Washington Post columnist George Will wrote a column claiming that being a rape victim is now a “coveted status” that college women seek out. Will argued that complaints of rape and sexual assualt on college campus were overblown. He also suggested that women claiming to be raped were “delusional.”

 

Will’s column is syndicated in newspapers across the country by the Washington Post, which bills him as “the most influential writer in America.” The St. Louis Post-Dispatch, which has published Will’s column for a number of years, has had enough. In a message today to readers, the paper announced they were dropping Will from their paper and apologized for running his column on sexual assault:

 

The change has been under consideration for several months, but a column published June 5, in which Mr. Will suggested that sexual assault victims on college campuses enjoy a privileged status, made the decision easier. The column was offensive and inaccurate; we apologize for publishing it.

 

Will will be replaced in the Post-Dispatch by another Washington Post columnist, Michael Gerson.

 

Thank you Think Progress & JUDD LEGUM.

 

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Additional Reading………..

 

Washington Post Columnist Claims Being A College Rape Victim Is Now A ‘Coveted Status’

 

BY TARA CULP-RESSLER

 

Not much needs to be said about the esteemed Mr. George Will….or The Washington Post, for publishing his garbage. Need any more of a reason to boycott both?

 

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Senator John McCain Is Senile And MUST Resign His Senatorial Seat Immediately.


 

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Fact Checker Says John McCain DID Flip-Flop On Bowe Bergdahl

 

 

It was just last week when Sen. Kelly Ayotte (R-N.H.) delivered a Memorial Day message in which she urged Americans to keep Army Sergeant Bowe Bergdahl “in our thoughts and prayers.” She added, “I renew my call on the Defense Department to redouble its efforts to find Sergeant Bergdahl and return him safely to his family.”
Less than a week later, the Defense Department announced that Bergdahl had been freed and he’ll be returned safely to his family – prompting a new round of criticism from Sen. Kelly Ayotte (R-N.H.).

But all things considered, these conflicting statements are mild compared to Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) and his recent reversals, highlighted today by Doug Mataconis.

 

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John McCain: Obama Released the ‘Jihadists Responsible for 9/11′ to Get Sgt. Bergdahl

 

Published on Jun 8, 2014

Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) on Sunday asserted that the five Taliban members traded for Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, who was being held prison of war, were “hardcore military jihadists who are responsible for 9/11″ and should have been detained indefinitely at Guantanamo Bay or some other U.S. prison.

 

“First of all, I wouldn’t release these men,” McCain told CNN host Candy Crowley.

 

“Ever?” Crowley wondered.

 

“Not these men,” McCain insisted. “They were judged time after time during their confinement in Guantanamo, they were evaluated and judged as too great a risk to release. That was the judgement made.”

 

The Arizona Republican argued that Bergdahl knew when he joined the military that he was taking “certain risks, and among those risks are wounding, death, imprisonment. That’s why we cherish and love all of those men and women who serve so much.”

 

Crowley pointed out McCain had supported a prisoner exchange with the Taliban to save Bergdahl earlier this year.

 

McCain, however, insisted that the president had chosen the wrong prisoners, but refused to say exactly which detainees he would have selected.

 

“First of all, we’re not sending everybody home,” he chuckled. “We are going to send them — even if we close Guantanamo — we are going to send them to facilities inside the United States of America, that’s been the plan all along.”

 

“Second of all, I believe we should keep these people because they are hardcore jihadists who are responsible for 9/11,” McCain continued. “Of course, nobody wants to release people who are responsible for 9/11, and these people that are released that were Taliban governing worked hand-in-glove with al Qaeda.”

 

Retired Air Force Col. Morris Davis, who was the former top prosecutor at Guantanamo Bay, told MSNBC on Saturday that the prisoners released in exchanged for Bergdahl were so inconsequential that he did not even know who they were.

 

“My role as chief prosecutor was to review the information we had on the detainees to determine which ones we could potentially bring war crimes charges against,” Davis recalled. “When I saw the names of the five individuals, when they were reported last weekend, my first reaction was, ‘Who are they?'”

 

“I never saw the names before, which means there was not enough information to even make it on our list of potential prosecution,” he explained. “To trade five of them for a U.S. service member, in my estimation, and I’m often critical of President [Barack] Obama, I think they struck a pretty good deal.”

 

 

 

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WaPo Fact Checker: Yes, McCain Flip-Flopped on Bergdahl Release Deal

 

 

Published on Jun 6, 2014

Yesterday John McCain insisted that he did not flip-flop on support for the deal to release Bowe Bergdahl, and anyone who says he did is a “lying” “Obamaphile.” Well, Washington Post fact-checker Glenn Kessler looked into McCain’s denial and concluded that yes, he did, in fact, flip-flop.

 

Kessler goes through all the facts of the case; McCain was aware of who was being considered for the prisoner exchange, he said previously he was “inclined to support” a deal to trade five Taliban commanders for Bergdahl, and his given reason for not flip-flopping is that he brought up “details” back then that would have to be decided on. Kessler writes, “His previous dispute had been on releasing the men as a confidence-building measure, not on the character of the men themselves. He certainly did not say he would have objected to these men being part of the prisoner exchange.”

 

Kessler also calls McCain out for acting like the trade was a “surprise” when it’s clear he was aware of the facts ahead of time, and concludes that he flip-flopped. McCain may have thought he left himself an out when he said his support was dependent on the details. But then he can’t object to the most important detail — the identity of the prisoners — that was known at the time he indicated his support. McCain earns an upside-down Pinocchio, constituting a flip-flop.

 

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Rachel Maddow Jabs John McCain Hypocrisy on Bergdahl – The Rosetta Stone of What’s Wrong in DC

 

Published on Jun 5, 2014

6-4-14 – (MSNBC) – On Wednesday night, MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow announced that she has discovered the Rosetta Stone, the “secret decoder ring” by which all of U.S. politics in the Obama administration can be interpreted. She began by pointing to a Charlie Rose Show appearance by Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) from some weeks ago in which the senator gave his prescription for how President Barack Obama should handle the Russian incursion into Ukraine.

 

“I think first I would try the Magnitsky, which as you know, targets individuals and their bank accounts and their ability to travel,” said McCain. “I would try that first. Then, obviously, I would look at other areas, throw them out of the G8, of course, it should be the G7.”

 

Then, when President Obama did exactly those things, McCain went on Imus in the Morning to bash him, joking that Putin must be “reduced to tears” not to be included in the G8 anymore.

 

“See?” Maddow said. “This is the Rosetta Stone, this is the magic decoder ring that tells you how Washington works right now. Say that President Obama should do something, then pray that he doesn’t actually do it, because if he does actually do it, you’re going to have to come out against the thing that you have been recommending all along.”

 

“It’s amazing,” she said. “John McCain, I’d have to make you up if you didn’t exist.”

 

Case in point: Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, the prisoner of the Afghanistan war whose return Obama traded five Guantanamo prisoners for.

 

Weeks ago, in an interview with Anderson Cooper, McCain said, “I would be inclined to support such a thing,” with regards to swapping the five Taliban combatants held at Guantanamo for Bergdahl, particularly in light of the “rapid deterioration” of Bergdahl’s health seen in videos released to the Pentagon by the Taliban.

 

That, said Maddow, was Step One: McCain suggests Obama do something. Then comes Step Two, in which the president actually does it.

 

 
“Step Three?” Maddow said. “Well, now John McCain has to pretend to be against his own idea.”

 

Arizona’s senior senator obliged by saying on Wednesday, “This decision to bring Sgt. Bergdahl home — and we applaud that he is home — is ill-founded. It is a mistake and it is putting the lives of American servicemen and women at risk and that to me is unacceptable to the American people.”

 

Sighing heavily, Maddow said, “Sen. McCain did not think that very same exchange of prisoners would be ‘unacceptable to the American people’ when he himself suggested it in February. But once Pres. Obama did it and got Bowe Bergdahl home that way, well that’s when the senator had to complete Step Three of his magic decoder ring process and come out against his own idea as a terrible, outrageous and dangerous idea because Pres. Obama actually did it.”

 

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Call Your Representative It’s time for responsible solutions. Call your member of Congress: 888 284-5479.

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It’s time for responsible solutions. Call your member of Congress: 888 284-5479.

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