Friday, August 05, 2005

So sorry

U.S. Plans to Transfer Afghan Prisoners:

Only four of the hundreds of prisoners held at Guantánamo have been charged with crimes. Most were swept up during the fighting in Afghanistan and held for three years, prompting complaints by human rights groups and charges from former prisoners that they were tortured.

These are the people who are being held and tortured by the U.S. of A. Your country, my country. Beacon to the world for human rights.

U.S. to Afghans: Apologies for the inconvenience. And when we say "apologies," what we mean is, your humanity means nothing to us and we will cart your ass back to Gitmo any time we feel like it. Hmmm. We might have to work on our apologies.

Thursday, August 04, 2005


If you've seen "The Shawshank Redemption," and especially if you've seen it countless times due to the miracle of commerical cable television, you probably remember the lines about the inmates getting institutionalized. The old man Brooks had been in prison so long, he couldn't handle the outside world after he was released. Red felt like he had been in prison long enough to be the same way.

I'm not going for a direct comparison here. I am just taking off on the word "institutionalized."

Congress breaks for the month of August. The President is off for a five-week vacation and brush clearing photo op. The Washington press seems to be pulling back a bit, recognizing that this is a slow time in DC.

August in DC. An annual slowdown. Accepted by these players. "It's always like this."

Except there is a war on.

A war that was launched on the basis of lies.

A wrong war, in which people are still dying. A war with no end in sight.

A war that doesn't come up in casual conversation, days at a time, weeks at a time.

A war in which our country is abandoning our morals, ignoring the Geneva Convention, torturing, murdering.

But it's August, and down in D.C., things are quiet. It's always like this.

Wednesday, August 03, 2005

Stick it to...please choose A or B

Who would you rather stick it to?

A. Rove
B. Miller

So asks Yglesias.

I have no problem with the thought of Miller being hoisted on her "proved fucking right" hubris for all of eternity. But it is a subplot, not the main action.

Rove's actions may have been illegal, and were certainly dirty and inexcusable. But his actions are only the entry point to the main story. He outed Plame, in his twisted way, to defend the case for war on Iraq. The main story here is the case for war, and the war itself.

But the key is to get Rove. Hold him responsible for what he did, legally responsible if possible.

Yukking it up with the Torturer-in-Chief, the warmongering President

I haven't read this whole transcript yet, but the excerpts that I did read have been bugging me. That this abject failure of a president still gets away with the back-slapping good-ol-boy shit is amazing. Not a boy-am-I-impressed-with-his-charm amazing, more of a I-weep-for-our-country amazing.

I'm sure I'll have more later as I read through this.

Tuesday, August 02, 2005

I'm guessing "bust"

They must be feeding Tierney some good weed up there in the Arctic Circle. He is with a group of people who apparently go there to pretend that they are Mars explorers.

In one afternoon we covered more ground than either of NASA's Rover robots has traveled in two years.

Yeah, we kicked those robots' asses!

Artificial gravity could be created during the flight to Mars by twirling the ship.

Such a ship was designed during the 1990's by Robert Zubrin, the president of the Mars Society

Tierney and Zubrin are apparently pretending here that they never read or saw "2001: A Space Odyssey."

Mars, bitches!

Monday, August 01, 2005

To make an empire, you have to break a few heads

Here is another story about objections to the new legal system that the Executive office has taken it upon itself to create.

As the Pentagon was making its final preparations to begin war crimes trials against four detainees at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, two senior prosecutors complained in confidential messages last year that the trial system had been secretly arranged to improve the chance of conviction and to deprive defendants of material that could prove their innocence.

And there is also this:

...the e-mail messages had prompted a formal investigation by the Pentagon's inspector general that found no evidence to support the two officers' accusations of legal or ethical problems.

Is this the same inspector general that can't seem to find any wrongdoing in the treatment of the people at Guantanamo, Abu Ghraib, Bagram?

Smells like Cheney

Excerpt from the latest CIA handbook:

Information that does not meet the administration's foregone conclusions will be shelved and the appropriate personnel will be kicked in the teeth.

The Central Intelligence Agency was told by an informant in the spring of 2001 that Iraq had abandoned a major element of its nuclear weapons program, but the agency did not share the information with other agencies or with senior policy makers, a former C.I.A. officer has charged.

I have no way of telling whether the agent's accusations are true or false, or whether the investigations into his behavior are justified or are retribution.

But in light of the whole Rove-Plame scandal, it sure seems plausible.