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Spurred By Anti-Abortion Website, Death Threats Hit Indiana Doctor (And Her Child)

The Indiana abortion doctor at the center of the report involving a procedure performed on a 10-year-old rape victim is reportedly facing an onslaught of threats, according to The Guardian.

The Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) previously warned Planned Parenthood that it had received intel about a potential threat against Dr. Caitlin Bernard and her child. The nonprofit organization, in turn, warned Bernard of the threats. The bureau indicated that Bernard had been called out on a website run by the anti-abortion group Right to Life Michiana.

Bernard was one of several doctors listed under the site's Local Abortion Threat section. Last year, Bernard testified that she was forced to "stop providing first-trimester abortions at a clinic in South Bend."

The latest development comes months after the initial report back in January. That report included a detailed explanation of Barrett's ties to the site. Back in 2006, U.S. Supreme Court Justice Amy Coney Barrett, who was employed as a Notre Dame professor at the time, reportedly endorsed one of the group's advertisements opposing abortion.

"Barrett, who voted to overturn Roe v Wade last month, signed a two-page advertisement published by the group in 2006, while she was working as a professor at Notre Dame. It stated that those who signed 'oppose abortion on demand and defend the right to life from fertilization to natural death,'" The Guardian reported.

"The second page of the ad called Roe v Wade, the landmark 1973 decision that legalized abortion, 'barbaric,'" the news outlet added. "The advertisement was published in the South Bend Tribune by St Joseph County Right to Life, which merged with Right to Life Michiana in 2020."

According to the report, "Bernard is still listed on the Right to Life Michiana website," with the Guardian's Stephanie Kirchgaessner adding, "It is a common tactic employed by anti-abortion groups that supporters of abortion rights have said invites threats of violence and intimidation against abortion providers."

Reprinted with permission from Alternet.

Smeared By Fox, Indiana Doctor Broke No Laws In Rape Victim's Abortion

Following an Indy Star report about a 10-year-old rape victim traveling from Ohio to Indiana for an abortion, right-wing media have tried repeatedly to disprove the story or attack the individuals involved, even since the story was confirmed to be true.

The source behind the story, Dr. Caitlin Bernard, has been under heavy scrutiny for being the sole source for the story. Washington Post columnist Glenn Kessler, while misspelling her name, dismissed her as an activist. Right-wing media figures were also quick to discredit Bernard, especially after President Joe Biden mentioned the story in a pro-abortion rights speech and the Ohio Attorney General said on Fox News that he was unaware of any report of the rape. After the story was further confirmed by the arrest of a suspect, right-wing media outlets continued unconfirmed attacks against Bernard, claiming that she had a history of not reporting underage rapes. Fox News’ Jesse Watters did not hesitate to pile on to the attacks, and he even invited on the Indiana attorney general, who declared that his office would be investigating Bernard.

Right-wing media figures have continued to target Bernard, repeating claims that she should be investigated for not reporting the crime to authorities, in a clear attempt to discourage other health care providers from coming forward with similar stories. The claim that Bernard failed to report the procedure has been debunked by a local Fox affiliate, which obtained Indiana Department of Health documents showing that she reported the incident. Right-wing media continue to promote the Indiana attorney general’s claims of an investigation into Bernard’s actions, as well as general claims that Bernard acted outside the law.

Following Indiana Attorney General Todd Rokita’s appearance on Fox News’ Jesse Watters Primetime, cries for an investigation into Bernard’s response to the crime spread over right-wing news sites. The articles primarily quoted Rokita’s statements directly, with only one of them, from PJ Media, adding a later correction that Bernard had indeed complied with privacy laws.

Fox News host Jesse Watters

Watters, as part of his repeated attempts to undermine the story, claimed on the July 13 edition of Fox News’ Jesse Watters Primetime, that “this Indiana abortion doctor has covered this up,” and that “she has a history of failing to report child abuse cases.” Indiana Attorney General Todd Rokita then appeared on the show to announce his investigation into Bernard, stating, “We have this abortion activist acting as a doctor with a history of failing to report. So, we're gathering the information. We're gathering the evidence as we speak, and we're going to fight this to the end, including looking at her licensure. If she failed to report it in Indiana, it's a crime for – to not report, to intentionally not report.”

Newsmax Co-host Bianca de la Garza

On the July 14 edition of Newsmax’s John Bachman Now, co-host Bianca de la Garza repeated that Indiana authorities are “not sure if she [Bernard] reported the rape, as required by law.” When asked why abortion providers allegedly sometimes fail to report rape, guest Abby Johnson claimed that “most abortion facilities do not report rape. They are a safe haven for abusers. The fact that she, from what we can tell, was not one of the people that reported this, is very very common. They protect abusers. We see that over and over again. We’ve seen that in undercover footage.”

YouTuber Tim Pool

Right-wing YouTuber Tim Pool repeated Watters’ claim that Bernard did not report the crime, stating on July 14 that “the people who were helping this little girl didn’t report it,” and claiming that “if they reported it, then maybe they would have gotten services, and that's where the hoax actually does come into play.”


BlazeTV host Glenn Beck and PJ Media writer Megan Fox

BlazeTV host Glenn Beck got the story wrong on his July 14 show as well, frequently mixing up Bernard and the Ohio doctor who referred the victim to her and claiming that “she instead reported it to the press. She's now also being investigated in Ohio for a violation of HIPAA. A 10-year-old – and tell me these people care.”. PJ Media writer Megan Fox, who has led the charge on Twitter in accusing those involved of protecting the girl’s rapist, later clarified that Bernard is being accused of failure to report rather than the Ohio doctor, but added that “I don't know if she reported to the Indianapolis police her mandated report.” She went on to say that Bernard “still won't answer directly what role she had in helping this investigation or not.”

The Daily Wire's Ben Shapiro

The Daily Wire founder Ben Shapiro claimed on his July 14 podcast that “it does not look as though we have any information about the doctor or who this girl saw making a police report, which is actually required by law.”

Fox co-host Carley Shimkus

Fox & Friends co-host Carley Shimkus reported on July 15 that Rokita’s investigation “comes after it is revealed that the 27-year-old alleged rapist was listed as a minor in the report sent to authorities. Rokita saying the doctor in question has a, quote, ‘history of failing to report criminal incidents.’”

Fox co-hosts Kayleigh McEnany, Emily Compagno, and Fox contributor David Webb

In a July 14 group discussion on Outnumbered, co-host Kayleigh McEnany falsely claimed Bernard did not report, asking, “Why did you report this to a newspaper and not authorities?” Co-host Emily Compagno responded that “it's a crime to intentionally not report. … There are HIPAA violation allegations now. That could lead to criminal and/or also civil penalties. That could lead up to jail time.” Later on, Fox contributor David Webb accused Bernard of using the child for political gain: “Why was she used as a political tool? Why was the doctor not acting on it? Why was she first a political tool?”



One America News’ Kara McKinney

One America News’ Kara McKinney stated on the July 14 edition of her show Tipping Point that “Todd Rokita told Fox News yesterday that his office is investigating the aforementioned Dr. Caitlin Bernard for not reporting the rape of a 10-year-old to authorities, as she is required to do. Bernard faces a possible loss of her license.”

Babylon Bee Managing Editor Joel Berry

Babylon Bee Managing Editor Joel Berry shared a screenshot of Bernard’s work phone number in a tweet and claimed if the story was true then Bernard “helped cover up the rape, failed to report it to authorities, and sent the victim back to her rapist to be raped again.”

Townhall Media

Townhall Media, owner of both Townhall and PJ Media news sites, published articles on the affiliated sites repeating the claims that Bernard is under investigation for possibly not reporting the rape to authorities. The July 14 article published to Townhall included a quote from Rokita declaring his intentions to remove Bernard’s license if she did not go to the authorities. PJ Media’s article was updated at 8:13 p.m. on July 14 with a statement from Bernard’s employer saying that “IU Health’s investigation found Dr. Bernard in compliance with privacy laws.”

The Washington Times

The Washington Times published an article repeating Rokita’s statement and noting, “An Indiana abortion provider is under investigation over whether she reported the rape of a 10-year-old Ohio girl as required by law.”

Just the News

Just the News, a website run by misinformer John Solomon, repeated the claims that Bernard had previously had complaints filed against her for not reporting underage rape. The site quoted from Rokita’s appearance on Fox, where he said, “We have the rape, and then we have this abortion activist acting as a doctor with a history of failing to report.”

National Review

National Review published a July 14 article that discussed Rokita’s intent to investigate Bernard and continued to cast doubt on the original story, saying, “Many pundits and representatives were skeptical of the story.” It also implied there was no evidence Bernard reported the attack to the authorities, saying the original article “did not make any mention of a law enforcement probe, which should have been immediately triggered after a medical professional learned of the rape.”

Blaze Media

Blaze media covered Rokita’s Fox News appearance in a July 14 piece, noting that “Rokita said his office will investigate Bernard because she purportedly failed to disclose the case to law enforcement.” The article also included Bernard’s statement following Rokita’s TV appearance.

The Daily Caller

The Daily Caller published a July 14 article outlining Rokita’s intent to investigate Bernard for “potentially failing to report the rape of a minor to law enforcement.” The article goes on to reference Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost, who earlier this week claimed there was no evidence of the rape taking place. The Daily Caller stated, “Yost said Monday his office had no evidence that the rape of the girl had occurred as prosecutors had not been able to identify a report to law enforcement.”

Reprinted with permission from Media Matters.

Pence Isn’t Really a Hick; He Just Plays One On TV

I love it when holders of high office who are arrogant, vain and disdainful suddenly decide that they need to stress one other quality to the voters: their humility.

If Mike Pence were an act, nobody could play him better than Mike Pence.

As the right-wing Republican governor of Indiana since 2013, Pence has now decided to sacrifice the pleasures of Indianapolis to be Donald Trump’s running mate.

“For those of you who don’t know me, which is most of you,” Pence said, Trump made his selection for one reason:

Trump is a man known for his “large personality, a colorful style and lots of charisma,” Pence said, “so I guess he was just looking for some balance on the ticket.”

And then a crowd, still raw from booing the eminently booable Ted Cruz, actually burst out laughing.

The joke had worked. And Pence plunged on with a life story so full of hayseed that only Frank Capra could have done it justice.

He said he was raised in a small town in Indiana “with a cornfield in the backyard,” failing to point out that most of Indiana has a cornfield in the backyard.

His grandfather had emigrated from Ireland to the South Side of Chicago, where he drove a bus. His father “was a combat veteran in Korea.” He said, “If Dad were with us today, I have a feeling he’d enjoy this moment and probably be pretty surprised.”

But his mother was in the hall, he said, as throats started to choke up just a little, and he told everyone, “Join me in welcoming the light of my life, my mom, Nancy.”

His mother stood up and waved a small wave, and Pence said that 31 years ago, he married the girl of his dreams, who was also there.

But wait! There was more! “The most important job I’ll ever have is spelled D-A-D,” he said. And if you weren’t sobbing as the camera showed his family, well, you were not human.

His boyhood heroes had been Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and John F. Kennedy; as an Irish Catholic of his generation, it was practically a law to have Kennedy as a boyhood hero.

And then one day, he heard a politician give a speech. That politician was Ronald Reagan, and Pence knew he was going to be a Republican forevermore.

And he would also be a man of faith. As a Catholic, he took his religion very seriously, and when he became an evangelical Catholic in college, it practically broke his mother’s heart. But he did what he knew he had to do.

He did not know exactly what he wanted to do with his life, but he knew all was possible “in the land of the free and the home of the brave.”

Somebody ought to check that for plagiarism, by the way. It sounds a little too slick to me.

Today Pence has “faith that God can still heal our land,” and, he said, our land needs it.

Trump is “a doer in a game usually reserved for talkers,” he said, and “while Donald Trump was taking my measure as a possible running mate, I did some observing myself. … He can be a little rough with politicians on the stage,” Pence said, “and I’ll bet we see that again.”

And the audience laughed again. A few minutes later, Pence let loose with his line of the evening.

“When Donald Trump becomes president of the United States of America,” he said, “the change will be yuge!”

Pence beat up on Hillary Clinton a little, but it was nothing compared with the attacks she had suffered at this convention thus far, including one apparent death threat by a delegate from New Hampshire. (The Secret Service is investigating.)

“It was Hillary Clinton who left Americans in harm’s way in Benghazi and, after four Americans fell, said, ‘What difference, at this point, does it make?'” Pence continued, “Anyone who said that, anyone who did that should be disqualified from ever serving as commander in chief of the armed forces of the United States of America.”

Pence also hit on the vulnerability that Clinton’s campaign is well aware of. “Democrats are about to anoint someone who represents everything this country is tired of,” he said.

There were probably many reasons Trump staffers settled on Mike Pence. They were certain, for instance, that a guy like Pence would never outshine the top of the ticket.

They may have gotten that one wrong.

 

Roger Simon is Politico’s chief political columnist. His new e-book, “Reckoning: Campaign 2012 and the Fight for the Soul of America,” can be found on Amazon.com, BN.com and iTunes. To find out more about Roger Simon and read features by other Creators writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators webpage at www.creators.com.

Photo credit: DonkeyHotey

9 Things You Should Know About Mike Pence

Rumor has it that Donald Trump is all set to announce Indiana Gov. Mike Pence as his vice presidential pick tomorrow morning. Pence, a Christian conservative former congressman and radio host, is seen as a “safe” pick for Trump — someone to rally the base, bolster Trump’s conservative bona fides, and assure voters that there will be at least one sober-minded individual in the West Wing.

But, let’s be honest, Donald Trump sets a low bar for sober mindedness. And in reality, the inclusion of Pence on a presidential ticket would have been much more alarming news in any other election cycle, without Trump’s authoritarian shadow soaking up the spotlight.

Here are a few things you should know about Mike Pence.

1. He’s anti-gay. Last year, Pence signed into law the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, which stipulated that businesses had the right to refuse service to anyone who did not conform to their religious beliefs. Only after intense and sustained public outcry did Pence sign an amendment to the law which prohibited the use of its language to facilitate outright discrimination. As a congressman, Pence voted against the Employee Non-Discrimination Act and the repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.

2. He’s anti-abortion. Pence led the first congressional effort to defund Planned Parenthood — way back in 2011, way before a hoax video purported to show representatives of the organization discussing the price of fetal tissue. After that video was released last year, and after it was exposed as a hoax, Pence went forward anyways with an investigation into Indiana’s Planned Parenthood locations — the investigation didn’t go anywhere, obviously. As governor, Pence also slashed Planned Parenthood budgets across the state. Mother Jones reports that by 2014, “state funding for Planned Parenthood had been cut nearly in half from 2005 levels.”

But it’s not just Planned Parenthood — In March, Pence signed the most extreme anti-abortion bill in the country, requiring that aborted fetuses be cremated and prohibiting abortions for “fetal anomalies” like Down syndrome. Women around the state responded forcefully:

…which may account for the fact that:

3. Hoosiers don’t like him. After Pence’s hard right stances on gay marriage and abortion brought Indiana a sort of national infamy, the same voters who elected Pence by a slim margin in 2012 might not have wanted him back anyways in 2016. A poll in May showed that just 40 percent of respondents approved of Pence’s performance in office, down from 46 percent a year ago.

4. He’s pro-trade. We reported yesterday that Pence, like all the rest of Trump’s likeliest vice presidential picks, has been ardently pro-free trade his entire career, supporting NAFTA, CAFTA, and the Trans-Pacific Partnership as efforts to expand American political influence and exports. This isn’t surprising: It’s Trump who has taken the unusual position on trade for a Republican. Pence has toed the party line. 

5. He doesn’t “believe” in global warming. Pence is a reliable proponent of the “I’m not a scientist, but…” position, meaning that he isn’t a scientist, but also that he seems not to have read the letter signed by 23 Indiana scientists urging him to take climate change seriously in 2015. As a congressman, Pence voted against caps on greenhouse gas emissions, allowing the EPA to regulate emissions, and incentives for alternative energy production. 

6. He doesn’t believe in evolution. Here’s a 2009 exchange with Chris Matthews, via Huffington Post

MATTHEWS: Okay, you want to educate the American people about science and its relevance today. Do you believe in evolution, sir?

PENCE: Do I believe in evolution? I embrace the view that God created the heavens and the earth, the seas and all that’s in them.

MATTHEWS: Right. But do you believe in evolution as the way he did it?

PENCE: The means, Chris, that he used to do that, I can’t say. But I do believe in that fundamental truth.

7. He built his career on Koch money. As reported by The Intercept‘s Lee Fang, Pence was previously president of the Koch-linked Indiana Policy Review Foundation, and appointed one of its staff to the Indiana’s state board of education as governor. A report published by the foundation under Pence’s leadership proposed fighting crime with privatized prisons in which prisoners were forced to work to pay for the cost of their… stay. 

As reported by Politico, “Americans for Prosperity, the Kochs’ top political group, has been holding up Pence’s work in Indiana as emblematic of a conservative reform agenda they’re trying to take nationwide.” Pence’s former chief of staff, Marc Short, leads Freedom Partners Chamber of Commerce, a shadowy group known as the Kochs’ “secret bank.” Pence regularly speaks at Koch fundraising events.

8. He was delusional on Iraq. Pence was an early and enthusiastic supporter of invading Iraq, and his enthusiasm seemed unchanged over time. In 2007, Pence traveled with Sen. John McCain to Iraq in an effort to prove that McCain’s surge had succeeded in securing parts of Baghdad. On a visit to the Shorja market, a frequent target for suicide bombings, Pence said it was “like a normal outdoor market in Indiana.” (Hint: It wasn’t then, and isn’t now.)
9. He was, at least originally, against Trump’s proposed Muslim ban. So much for that.

 

Photo: Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump (R) and Indiana Governor Mike Pence (L) wave to the crowd before addressing the crowd during a campaign stop at the Grand Park Events Center in Westfield, Indiana, July 12, 2016. REUTERS/John Sommers II

Trump Picks Indiana Governor Pence For Running Mate: Media

Republican Donald Trump chose Indiana Governor Mike Pence as his vice presidential running mate on Thursday, U.S. media reported, a move that will put at Trump’s side a conservative with the potential to unify divided Republicans.

The presumptive Republican presidential nominee is to announce his choice on Friday at 11 a.m. in Manhattan. The choice of Pence was first reported by Roll Call and the New York Times and CBS also said this was his pick.

Sources had earlier told Reuters that Trump was leaning toward Pence.

Trump is to be formally nominated as the party’s candidate for the Nov. 8 election at the Republican National Convention next week in Cleveland. Traditionally, the vice presidential choice is used to build enthusiasm among party loyalists.

Trump’s choice of running mate is seen as critical because his defeat of 16 rivals in the Republican primary race left the party divided and some party leaders are still uneasy about some of his campaign positions, and his style.

Roll Call said Trump was reportedly impressed with Pence’s calm demeanor, his experience on Capitol Hill and as a governor, and Pence’s potential to assist in governing if Trump wins in November. Trump, a New York businessman, has never held elected office.

Trump had also considered former House of Representatives Speaker Newt Gingrich and New Jersey Governor Chris Christie as finalists.

Gingrich told an ABC News correspondent earlier that he expected to hear Trump’s decision after 1 p.m. EDT and would not be surprised if Trump chose Pence.

Pence, 57, a former congressman, is seen as a safe choice, not too flashy but popular among conservatives, with Midwestern appeal and the ability to rally more party faithful behind Trump.

TESTING CHEMISTRY

Pence and Trump spent time this month testing their chemistry at Trump’s golf course in New Jersey and at the governor’s residence in Indiana, Roll Call said.

Pence had backed a Trump rival, Senator Ted Cruz of Texas, in April before the Indiana primary, but he praised Trump and said he would work on behalf of the eventual Republican nominee. Trump won Indiana anyway, prompting Cruz to drop out of the party race to be the nominee for the election.

Pence had considered running for president himself in 2016 before deciding to run for re-election as governor. Conservatives had urged him to seek the White House, but missteps in 2015 related to an Indiana law seen as anti-gay hurt his national profile.

This year, he was the target of a mocking social media campaign by women outraged at a law he signed creating new restrictions on abortions. Feeling that the law invaded their privacy, women responded by calling Pence’s office to describe their menstrual periods or tweeting similar messages.

Pence ran unsuccessfully for Congress twice before he was elected to the House of Representatives in 2000, where he was chairman of the Republican Study Committee, a group of conservatives.

FLURRY OF MEETINGS

In what has been an unusually public process of making his choice of running mate, Trump, 70, sat down with both Pence and Gingrich separately in Indianapolis on Wednesday.

He also met with a fourth potential No. 2, U.S. Senator Jeff Sessions, 69, of Alabama, who has been one of Trump’s closest advisers.

Trump had dinner with Pence on Tuesday night after they appeared together at a rally. Joined by daughter Ivanka and sons Donald Jr. and Eric Trump, Trump also had breakfast with Pence and his wife, Karen, on Wednesday at the governor’s residence in Indianapolis.

Trump adviser Ed Brookover told CNN that Trump “first and foremost” wants a running mate who he has good chemistry with and someone who can help him govern best.

 

(Reporting By Steve Holland; Additional reporting by Doina Chiacu; Editing by Frances Kerry)

Photo: Gage Skidmore via Flickr

Could ‘Jihadi Rehab’ Work Better Than Incarceration?

Indiana teenager Akram I. Musleh was arrested on Tuesday at Downtown Indianapolis’ Greyhound station on a charge of material support of terrorism. Musleh had allegedly been trying to board a bus to New York before traveling to Morocco to join ISIS, something he had unsuccessfully attempted many times before.

As is usually the case, 18-year-old Musleh began engaging with extremist ideas through the internet and social media. According to court documents, he posted videos of terrorist leaders back in 2013. If convicted, Musleh could face up to 20 years in jail.

Just this month, three young men were arrested on similar charges in Minneapolis. With a large Muslim community, the state of Minnesota has seen many cases of young people radicalized by the Internet. According to a 2015 U.S. House Homeland Security Committee report, Americans from at least 19 states had tried to leave the country for Syria since 2011; 26 percent of them were from Minnesota.

It’s worth thinking about the best solution for these cases of radicalization, especially when “material support of terrorism” can be a vague charge, and especially because it might not apply to those early in the process of radicalization, who could become extremists in the future.

Minnesota U.S. District Court Judge Michael Davis has tried an alternative approach in dealing with self-radicalized youth: de-radicalization.

In May 2015, when five Somali-Americans were accused of trying to join ISIS, Judge Davis considered keeping them at a halfway house instead of jail as they awaited trial. Months before that, he suggested the same for terrorism suspect Abdullahi Yusuf, who was kept in a halfway house where he received mentoring and studied Malcolm X, Martin Luther King, and the U.S. Constitution. Yusef was also encouraged to follow news coverage of his case in order to understand the effect his actions had on his community.

“You know, these are really young kids and in my heart I really believe that they fell for something. They need a chance to correct, to undo, what they did.” said Yusuf’s counselor Ahmed Amin, a local high school social studies teacher who works with Heartland Democracy, which runs a mentorship program aimed at young men susceptible to self-radicalization.

“I understand the difficulties of identity that lead people to join organizations like ISIS,” Amin told NPR. “It is hard trying to live in two worlds. From 9 to 5 these kids have to live one way when they are at school, they are socialized to be American. And then they go home, learn to be religious and are trying to cope with that. It is harder than you’d think.”

De-radicalization programs exist around the world, but it is not yet clear how effective they are.

Denmark, faced with disillusioned ISIS fighters coming back home, decided to try rehabilitation. In the nations’ second largest city, Aarhus, returning fighters are eligible for help in obtaining a job, housing, education, and counseling. The UK has also tried “Jihadi Rehab.”

In Saudi Arabia’s Mohammed bin Nayef Center for Advice, Counseling and Care, terrorism suspects eat well, engage in the arts, and are allowed plenty of leisure activities, in an attempt to reintroduce them into society.

Badr al-Enezi was arrested on suspicion of terrorism in his twenties and did his time at the rehabilitation center. “What is the secret? It is that the ideas we carry cannot be cured by weapons only. It also requires an ideological cure,” al-Enezi, who now serves as a mentor in the facility, said of the program.

Ideological rehabilitation could be a better antidote to extremist propaganda than incarceration — U.S. prisons abroad are often seen as recruiting centers for extremists. ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi is said to have been a studious, quiet young man until the U.S. invaded Iraq in 2003 and he landed in jail at Camp Bucca a couples years later.

Security officials that worked at the Iraqi prison have expressed that they are not surprised that a radical figure like al-Baghdadi would emerge from the camp. “Many of us at Camp Bucca were concerned that instead of just holding detainees, we had created a pressure cooker for extremism,” Tweeted former U.S. Air Force security officer James Skylar Gerrond in July 2014.

Gerrond told Mother Jones that in an environment where inmates were isolated from loved ones, they turned to each other. The article further elaborates on the issue of radicalization in the camp:

Former inmates told Al Jazeera in 2009 that Camp Bucca, which closed in September of 2009 and transferred detainees to Iraqi custody, was an “Al Qaeda school,” where extremists gave chalkboard lessons on explosives and suicide bombing techniques to younger prisoners. One former prisoner, Adel Jasim Mohammed, told the Arab news service that one extremist “stayed for a week and recruited 25 of the 34 detainees” he was grouped with. Mohammed said that the US military officials did essentially nothing to stop radicals from indoctrinating other detainees, though US military officials denied to Al Jazeera that jihadists had radicalized moderate prisoners there.

A fighter of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) holds an ISIL flag and a weapon on a street in the city of Mosul, Iraq, in this June 23, 2014 file photo.  REUTERS/Stringer/Files

Kasich To Bow Out Of 2016 Race

2016 GOP candidate and Ohio Governor John Kasich is set to make a televised statement at 5pm this afternoon. The New York Times, CNN, NBC News, and others report that he will announce the suspension of his campaign for president.

Kasich tried throughout this bizarre election cycle to position himself as the reasonable moderate in a horde of seething right-wingers. On the debate stage, he cultivated an air of optimism and levelheadedness, but couldn’t help but be swallowed up by bigger personalities. Kasich’s best moments came across as boring, and at his worst, he seemed disingenuous. His nice-guy persona covered up a history of extreme social conservatism, most evident in his myriad efforts to block access to abortion in Ohio.

While perhaps Kasich deserves some credit for his perseverance, one has to wonder how he honestly expected to win in the first place. He often cited polls that indicated he was the only GOP candidate capable of beating Hillary Clinton in a general election, but he failed to garner much enthusiasm, even as the Republican establishment scrambled to find a viable alternative to Donald Trump. Triumphing only his home state of Ohio, Kasich’s attention turned towards winning on the second ballot at a contested convention. Just last week, he and Ted Cruz made an alliance of sorts to split their efforts in the remaining state primaries in order to stop Trump from reaching the magic number of 1,237 delegates. It didn’t work.

With Cruz ending his presidential bid after yesterday’s Indiana primary, Donald Trump is now the lone Republican in the 2016 race. It seems the Party of Lincoln is finally united, but this is hardly the sort of union that Lincoln imagined.

Photo: Republican U.S. presidential candidate Governor John Kasich celebrates in front of his wife Karen (L) and daughter Reese (2nd L) after winning the Ohio primary Republican presidential election at a campaign rally in Berea, Ohio March 15, 2016.  REUTERS/Aaron P. Bernstein