Thursday, November 30, 2006

Islam and Women's rights: Today it is the Right that has latched on to women's rights.

Pamerla Bone writing in The Austrialian about a conference in New York of Muslim Women you won't find covered in our MSM. via Normsblog
Maryam Namazie, a British-based human rights activist, said recently: "Debating the issue of women's rights in an Islamic context is a prescription for inaction and passivity, in the face of the oppression of millions of women struggling and resisting in Britain, the Middle East and elsewhere. Anywhere they (Islamists) have power, to be a woman is a crime."

Namazie is of the Left. She is the director of the Worker-Communist Party of Iran's International Relations Committee and has been named British secularist of the year. But in general, she notes, the Left, the traditional defender of human rights, is silent about the oppression of Muslim women. The reasons are that political Islam is seen as anti-imperialist, racism is these days much worse than sexism and minorities are automatically to be supported. (Some minority; Islamism is the strongest and fastest-growing ideology in the world.) Change must come from within, say the good liberals. Strangely, no one said that about South Africa's apartheid system.

Today it is the Right that has latched on to women's rights. John Howard was an unlikely feminist until various sheiks began expounding their theories about women's role in society. It was only when Osama bin Laden became a threat that George W. Bush started talking about the freedom of Afghan women. No one cared about the Taliban when all they were doing was oppressing the female half of the population.

Given that a half-billion Muslim women are not going to abandon their faith, the only way they can be liberated is for Islam and women's rights to be reconciled. That is why all power and support - and maximum publicity - should be given to Muslim women reformers.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Flopping Aces - Backup: Getting The News From The Enemy, Update III

Flopping Aces - Backup: Getting The News From The Enemy, Update III

Long but fascinating post on the non-immolation of six Sunnis by a Shia mob. It's hoax played on the AP it seems.

Archbishop Ncube: Zimbabwe is not a nation at war

More on Zimbabwe via Catholic News Service with a HT to Belmont Club,
Archbishop Ncube, who was in London to raise funds for an AIDS charity, blamed the crisis on the mismanagement of the country under Mugabe over the last seven years.

"Zimbabwe is not a nation at war," Archbishop Ncube said. "It used to be able to feed itself and its neighbors. Zimbabwe used to have one of the highest life-expectancy rates in Africa.

"And these figures cannot just be blamed on AIDS," he added.

He said the Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front government, or Zanu-PF, was not investing in medicine to treat AIDS because it was "more interested in importing military aircraft from China than protecting (the) lives of its people."

"We remain in the grip of a dictator. ... We cannot compete for attention in a world fixated by events in Iraq, Iran, Lebanon, Sudan and elsewhere. Yet we need the international community to maintain pressure on Zanu-PF now as much as ever before," he said.

Sunday, November 26, 2006

l’Humanité interviews Iraqi Minister Minister of Science and Technology Raïd Fahmi

Raïd Fahmi is Iraq's Minister of Science and Technology, and a member of the Central Committee of the Iraqi Communist party. The French Communist daily l’Humanité interviewed and the English translation available here. HT to Labour Friends of Iraq.
l’Humanité: How does the Iraqi government, with its avowed objective of ending the occupation, intend to achieve the departure of foreign troops in light of the fact that the United States refuses to give the least schedule for withdrawal? It’s rumoured that major American military bases have been built and will endure, even in the event of the departure of military forces. Furthermore, it’s difficult to imagine the United States withdrawing purely and simply from the region.

Raïd Fahmi: Regarding the withdrawal of military forces, the Iraqi government’s approach is quite clear. We think that it’s not possible to call for an immediate withdrawal. The country is united on this front. Even political forces from the Sunnite community are firmly opposed to immediate withdrawal of the multinational forces, for reasons of national security. But there is also a large majority of the population who agree that it’s impossible to call for an unmodified continuation of the presence of multinational forces. These troops are here by virtue of UN resolutions 1637 and 1546 as well as a number of letters exchanged between two former Prime Ministers: Allaoui et Al Jaafari. We have publicly expressed the fact that we are no longer satisfied with these conditions today. Furthermore, negotiations are unde way with the multinational forces to review their conditions and their presence, and in particular, their authority, and their relationship with each other and with the Iraqi forces. The Iraqi government recommends that the Iraqi armed forces be primarily responsible for the country’s security. If the Iraqi forces need support from the multinational forces, it should be the Iraqis who ask for help, rather than the current situation where there are limits and constraints imposed on them by virtue of the above-mentioned resolutions. This should be formalized when the question of the authority of the multinational forces will be discussed in December. Nevertheless, this will not provide a definitive response with regards to the withdrawal date of the multinational forces. The principle of a withdrawal schedule has been accepted by the government. But this schedule has two prerequisites. We must establish a schedule for developing the capacities of Iraqi military forces, for increasing such capacities, and for the gradual transfer to the Iraqi forces of security files pertaining to the various Iraqi provinces. Similarly, the timing of the withdrawal of the multinational forces must be accelerated. This dual calendar should provide an acceptable solution for the population and will correspond to our desire to establish a withdrawal plan for foreign armies in Iraq.

Saturday, November 25, 2006

Caroline Glick: The Gemayel Warning

Caroline Glick on the Gemayel Warning.
The Democratic Party's victory in the November 7 Congressional elections convinced Iran and Syria that they are on the verge of a great victory against the US in Iraq. Iranian and Syrian jubilation is well founded in light of the Democratic leadership's near unanimous calls for the US to withdraw its forces in Iraq; Bush's firing of Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld and his appointment of his father's CIA director Robert Gates to replace him; and Bush's praise for the Congressionally mandated Iraq Study Group charged with revisiting US strategy in Iraq, which is being co-chaired by his father's secretary of state James Baker III.

Although his committee has yet to formally submit its recommendations, Baker made clear that he will recommend that the administration negotiate a withdrawal of US forces from Iraq with Iran and Syria. That is, he is putting together a strategy not for victory, but for defeat.

Baker fervently believes that US foreign policy should revolve around being bad to its friends and good to its enemies. Consequently he thinks that the US can avoid the humiliation of the defeat he proposes by buying off Syria and Iran, the forces behind most of the violence, instability, subversion and terror in Iraq. If the US accepts their conditions, they will temporarily cease their attacks to enable a US retreat that will look only mildly humiliating to the television viewers back home.
Just as Israelis and American Jews both bitterly recall Baker's acrimonious and degrading treatment during his tenure as secretary of state, so the Syrians and Iranians take comfort from his record. They remember Baker as the man who accepted the 1989 Taif Accord that ended the Syrian-sponsored Lebanese civil war by sacrificing Lebanese sovereignty to Assadian fascist occupation in the name of regional stability.

Then too, Baker is remembered as the man who abandoned Iraq's Shi'ites to their fate at the hands of Saddam after the US failed to assist them in their post-Gulf War rebellion which the US itself had encouraged. Finally, no doubt they noticed that Baker's law firm Baker-Botts is representing the Saudi government in the 9/11 victims' lawsuit against the kingdom.

BAKER'S CURRENT dealings with Iran and Syria parallel closely Israel's talks with the Palestinians in the lead-up to its withdrawal from Gaza and northern Samaria last year. As Baker does today, at the time Israel appealed to the Palestinians to restrain themselves temporarily to enable an orderly Israeli surrender of the territories.

Litvinenko's statement: May God forgive you

I knew the US would be tested after the elections with bombings in Iraq, but Litvinenko's and Gemayel's murders creating a perfect storm.

Here's Litvinenko's final testament via IHT,
But as I lie here I can distinctly hear the beating of wings of the angel of death. I may be able to give him the slip but I have to say my legs do not run as fast as I would like. I think, therefore, that this may be the time to say one or two things to the person responsible for my present condition.

You may succeed in silencing me but that silence comes at a price. You have shown yourself to be as barbaric and ruthless as your most hostile critics have claimed.

You have shown yourself to have no respect for life, liberty or any civilized value.

You have shown yourself to be unworthy of your office, to be unworthy of the trust of civilized men and women.

You may succeed in silencing one man but the howl of protest from around the world will reverberate, Mr. Putin, in your ears for the rest of your life. May God forgive you for what you have done, not only to me but to beloved Russia and its people.

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Abizad on the long war and America's will

Abizad from Reuters via Weekly Standard's blog,
The top U.S. general in the Middle East said on Friday that if the world does not find a way to stem the rise of Islamic militancy, it will face a third world war.

Army Gen. John Abizaid compared the rise of militant ideologies, such as the force driving al Qaeda, to the rise of fascism in Europe in the 1920s and 1930s that set the stage for World War Two.

"If we don't have guts enough to confront this ideology today, we'll go through World War Three tomorrow," Abizaid said in a speech titled "The Long War," at Harvard University's Kennedy School of Government in Cambridge, outside Boston.

If not stopped, Abizaid said extremists would be allowed to "gain an advantage, to gain a safe haven, to develop weapons of mass destruction, to develop a national place from which to operate. And I think that the dangers associated with that are just too great to comprehend."

Abizaid said the world faces three major hurdles in stabilizing the Middle East region: Easing Arab-Israeli tensions, stemming the spread of militant extremism, and dealing with Iran, which Washington has accused of seeking to develop nuclear bombs.

"Where these three problems come together happens to come in a place known as Iraq," said Abizaid, who earlier in the week warned Congress against seeking a timeline for withdrawing U.S. troops from the country that is wracked by insurgent and sectarian violence.

"The sacrifice that is necessary to stabilize Iraq, in my view, must be sustained in order for the region itself to become more resilient," Abizaid said.

Saturday, November 18, 2006

Zimbabwe: This cull is not an act of God.

From the Independent via NormsBlog,
The World Health Organisation has plotted this precipitous fall in women's mortality in the former British colony from 65, little more than a decade ago, to today's low. Speaking privately, WHO officials admitted to The Independent that the real number may be as low as 30, as the present figures are based on data collected two years ago.

The reasons for this plunge are several. Zimbabwe has found itself at the nexus of an Aids pandemic, a food crisis and an economic meltdown that is killing an estimated 3,500 people every week. That figure is more than those dying in Iraq, Darfur or Lebanon. In war-torn Afghanistan, where women's plight has received global attention, life expectancy is still above 40.

This cull is not an act of God. It is a catastrophe aggravated by the ruthless, kleptocratic reign of Robert Mugabe, in power since independence in 1980. The Mugabe regime has succeeded in turning a country once fêted as the breadbasket of Africa into a famished and demoralised land deserted by its men of working age, with its women left to die a silent death.
And from Micahael Quinlin on the shift in meaning of the word Cull.
So cull has shifted sense from “selection of the best” to “mass disposal”. Not a good move, you may feel.
Well, the new meaing fits this story.... a mass disposal this is. A disposal we in the west indifferent too, and no act of the Gods for sure.

Friday, November 17, 2006

Gen. Abazid to Sen. Clinton: ...despair is not a method

Wildwestjoker over at Donald Rumsfeld Fan Club,

I think people, particularly pontificating senators who grandstand in hearings, may eventually find that some generals have a tendency to say what they don't want to hear. Here everyone has assumed General Abizaid was told to shut up by Rumsfeld the General Hater, but here the Centcomm Commander hits the old girl right between the eyes with the equivalent of "Why don't you shut up?" in his testimony today:

Clinton: "Hope is not a method. We've had testimony now for four years about what 'must be done' -- and it doesn't get done."

Centcomm Commander: "I would also say that despair is not a method."

Perhaps this stupid canard that Rumsfeld defied his generals and refused (as opposed to being unable) to put more troops in the field will finally get clarified. There may have been a window shortly after the takedown when more forces could have been introduced, but to what end? Nobody will ever know just exactly how much the Abu Ghraib scandal, which was completely over and participants charged before it was ever reported, damaged our ability to be more aggressive because of the political nightmare that ensued. I think time will reveal that we have been doing just about as much as we dare while waiting for political control to solidify in Iraq. It hasn't been the lack of numbers we've suffered from, but the lack of determined aggression. It hasn't been politically tenable for us to be more aggressive with the
timing of Abu Ghraib.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Ruth Marcus on Pelosi, Murtha, and Abscam

From Marcus's column in todays WAPO: Unfit for Majority Leader,
Two other congressmen in on the deal "do expect to be taken care of," the lawmaker says. But for the time being -- and he says repeatedly that he might change his mind and take money down the road -- he'd rather trade his help for investment in his district, maybe a hefty deposit in the bank of a political supporter who's done him favors.

"I'm not interested -- at this point," he says of the dangled bribe. "You know, we do business for a while, maybe I'll be interested, maybe I won't, you know." Indeed, he acknowledges, even though he needs to be careful -- "I expect to be in the [expletive] leadership of the House," he notes -- the money's awfully tempting. "It's hard for me to say, just the hell with it."

This is John Murtha, incoming House speaker Nancy Pelosi's choice to be her majority leader, snared but not charged in the Abscam probe in 1980. "The Democrats intend to lead the most honest, most open and most ethical Congress in history," Pelosi pledged on election night. Five days later she wrote Murtha a letter endorsing his bid to become her No. 2.

Not the most promising start.
If Rahm Emanuel is remaking the National Democrats in Illinois image, you really hope he's trashing this very Illinois sounding behavior in the make-over. It kills the party before they even start.

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Rich Miller on Judy Baar-Topinka, Illinois... and serious trouble ahead

Wish he had written this before the election,
Polls show voters never believed much that Rod Blagojevich ever said. But they do believe what they see and hear, and the Blagojevich campaign masterfully used Topinka’s own words against her. “I love you dearly,” she said to George Ryan at an emotional State Fair event in 2002. The now infamous video clip of her speech, along with the reportedly electronically altered sight of her bobbing her head up and down as Ryan spoke at the podium was replayed about a billion times on TV. The Blagojevich people have built almost their entire campaign around that clip, which makes the case for them that she was “George Ryan’s treasurer.”

The people who know Judy Baar Topinka know that almost all of the charges made by the Blagojevich campaign against her were baseless or just plain lies.
I’ve known Topinka for 16 years, and I don’t believe she has a corrupt bone in her body. She’s too cheap to be corrupt. And I know for a fact that she does whatever she can for military veterans.

But the voters could see and hear Topinka talking about her “love” for George Ryan or saying something off the wall about unnamed people who care about veterans — and, understandably, they didn’t like it.

For way too long we’ve been an electorate that focuses on out-of-context quotes or laps up gotcha games that deliberately distort meaning just because we can see or hear the so-called evidence for ourselves. If voters don’t start seeing through this blatantly dishonest, cynical manipulation by the professional hucksters (both in politics and in the media), we’re heading for serious trouble.


We went last night and walked out after the first third. I hope these people successful with their law suit. It was a cruel movie.

Chris Lauzen's post mortum

An email from Lauzen.

Number 3 is a balance. I think the solution there is Justice Scalia's position: "It is blindingly clear that judges have no better capacity than the rest of us to determine what is moral". Abortion, same-sex marriage, embryonic stem-cells research should all be decided in legislatures and not by courts. That makes sense and it's a stand that's unmistakable.

Here's the Senator's ideas,
1. "Allow us to vote" for our Republican Party leaders just like Democrats do and just like Republicans used to do before 1986. I sponsored and unanimously passed SB600 out of the State Senate in April 2005. I have waited patiently for House Republican Leaders to ask for a vote. Democrat Speaker Madigan and Majority Leader Currie have acquiescenced to allow a simple up-or-down vote in the House. I now call upon Representatives Tom Cross, Tim Schmitz, and Pat Lindner to use their House Republican Leadership power to call SB600 for a vote during Veto Session within the next three weeks.

How in the world can a Republican precinct committeeman ask a neighbor to help grow this party, if our leaders do not demonstrate enough respect for that person's opinion to allow them to vote for the equivalent of the party's board of directors? We're fighting a war in Iraq in part for this basic principle of democracy.

2. "Clean up our act" by prohibiting party leaders from working as paid lobbyists on the side. Although it's getting old to be reminded of George Ryan's crimes by a Governor who has been in power for four long years and has more federal investigations directed at his administration than Ryan had, Republicans should have no party leader or elected official who is using his or her political influence and inside information to enrich himself and his friends.

3. "Emphasize traditional values and sound policy principles" rather than being distracted by position and power. A solid majority of citizens and voters in this country believe that every innocent human life is a gift from God and should be protected by society from destruction. They recognize that less government means more freedom. We are confronted by bad people so we need strong national defense externally and conscientious public safety internally. And, a durable majority of hard-working people know that the strongest social unit in the world is the traditionally family. As another Illinois-born Republican Ronald Reagan said, " is the time to speak in bold, unmistakable colors, not in timid pastel shades."
What social conservatives have to remember is while many (if not most) agree, ...a durable majority of hard-working people know that the strongest social unit in the world is the traditionally family. It's an option no longer available for a growing number of single-parent lead households.

Further more of us are going to live the majority of our time alone. A majority of us will grow up in families that don't look traditional. Everyone will agree about the value of the traditional family, but many will not live in one.

It's that reality that in fact sparks much of this debate. It's a reality social conservatives are going to need to understand and learn to speak too, understanding that people live in realities, and not ideals.

The Republican position should be Scalia's: Judges shouldn't make these calls. That means legislatures do it and they need to be aware they shouldn't sound like Judges either.

xp Illinoz

Saturday, November 11, 2006

Kareem Amer's detention

From Arabic Network for Human Rights Information,
Egyptian Human Rights Organizations Condemn the Ongoing Detention of Egyptian Blogger and the Violation of His Right to Freedom of Expression Kareem Amer is detained for an additional 15 days
Cairo - 11 November 2006

The Public Prosecutor Office of Alexandria re-detained the Egyptian blogger Kareem Amer for additional 15 days on Wednesday 8 November. This is considered a violation of his right to hold opinions without interference, which is stipulated in the Egyptian constitution and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights to which Egypt is a state-party.

"The arbitrary accusations against Kareem Amer indicate the authorities' inclination to detain Kareem simply for expressing views contradictory to theirs. The Public Prosecutor told Kareem that if he did not abandon his views, even though personal, he may be imprisoned," the undersigned human rights organizations stated.

The case of Amer is eventually testing the extent of respect granted by the Egyptian government to the right to freedom of expression, the Egyptian Constitution, and other international covenants which that right.

Kareem Amer deserves encouragement and support for risking his freedom for the sake of upholding his right to believe in secularism. His insistence on his right to freedom of expression had previously resulted in his expulsion from Al-Azhar University. The right to freedom of thought and expression is a basic human right that should not be undermined. Article 18 and 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, adopted by the UN General Assembly on December 10, 1948, states:

Article 18: "Everyone has the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion; this right includes freedom to change religion or belief, the freedom to manifest religion or belief in worship, observance, practice, and teaching either alone or in community with others and in public or private."

Article 19: "Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers."

The undersigned human rights organizations call upon the Egyptian government to immediately release Kareem Amer, protect him against more harassment, and guarantee his right to freedom of expression.

Signatory Organizations:

From Egypt:
1. The Arabic Network for Human Rights Information
2. The Egyptian Association for Community Participation Enhancement
3. The Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights
4. Association for Human Rights Legal Aid
5. Habi Center for Environmental Rights
6. Al-Nadeem Center for Psychological Rehabilitation and Treatment of Victims of Violence
7. Hisham Mubark Law Center
8. Land Center for Human Rights
9. Shomuu Assocaition for Human Rights and People with Disabilities
10. Egyptian Center for Human Rights
11. Cairo Institute for Human Rights Studies
12. The Civil Observatory of Human Rights
13. Al-Ganob Center for Human Rights

From Bahrain:
14. Bahrain Youth Society for Human Rights

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Repudiation of Bush; and an affirmation of Lieberman

If voters repudiated Bush yesterday, they certainly gave Lieberman a resounding affirmation too.

There were sensible Democrats elected yesterday. Bruce Reed explains why.
Apart from a foolish summer fling with Ned Lamont and a late Laugh-In cameo from John Kerry, Democrats did just about everything right and ran their best campaign in a decade. Field marshals Rahm Emanuel and Chuck Schumer ignored the virtual industry of self-help nonsense that has paralyzed Democrats' chattering classes and went back to a simple, proven formula: From the suburbs to the heartland, elections are won in the center.
It's good for America if the Democrats can hang on too some of these new Representatives. I'm not betting on it and guessing on a return to the self-help nonsense.

The Machine was rolling

Beavers in the Sun Times,
"This was the Machine rolling," said Ald. William Beavers (7th), who has been Stroger's muscle and who won his own seat Tuesday on the County Board.
I think it's going to turn out to be a very tough time for Liberals and Progressives in Illinois.

Here's Madigan's Steve Brown in the Trib,
"It's a good referendum on Democratic policies," Brown said.

Under the trio of Chicago Democrats—Jones, Madigan and Gov. Rod Blagojevich—the social agenda over the last four years included laws bolstering gay rights, requiring equal pay for women and increasing the minimum wage—something the governor made clear he hoped to do again.
As Illinois politics sinks under indictments and fiscal crisis, they're going to have to ask themselves if the deal with the rolling Machine was worth it, because these prizes look only symbolic to me. The getting-in-bed with the Machine will make them pay an awful price, starting with scandals that will continue to tarnish Obama's national bid.

As for the GOP, when your at the bottom, the only way is up. I just wish JBT had said early on she was badly mistaken about Peter Fitzgerald.

xp Illinoiz

Sunday, November 05, 2006

It's all Rovian

Gerard Baker writing in The Austrialian.
There is compelling evidence now that John Kerry is a kind of Manchurian Candidate of Democratic politics.

It seems entirely possible that at some point in his career he was seized by a youthful Karl Rove, brainwashed and programmed to kill off, at crucial moments in American history, the Democratic Party's political prospects.


The party's leaders, such as Nancy Pelosi, who will become Speaker of the house, is among the most left-wing of house Democrats. On economics, the party has abandoned Clintonian pragmatism for naked populism.

The glimpse of Democratic leadership afforded by Kerry's intervention probably came too late to deprive the party of a majority in at least one and possibly both houses of Congress next week. But as Democrats prepare the celebrations, most know their problems are just beginning

Rich Whitney and Daniel DeLeon

I belonged the Socialist Pary of Frank Zeidler back in College in the 1970s. I left, or sort of fell out of it, when I graduated in 1976.

Rich Whitney belonged to he much older -but still existing- Socialist Labor Party founded by Daniel DeLeon back in 1877 . The Socialist Party and IWW eclipsed the SLP in the first decade of the 20th century.

Yet it lingered on. It was a fixture on the new left in the 60s and 70s when elderly members and younger converts like Whitney would show up with copies of The People. The SLP's current National Secretary, Robert Bills, writes to Illinois Times of Whitney's eighteen year history with the SLP.
There are two types of lies: lies of commission and lies of omission. Green Party gubernatorial candidate Richard Whitney told little green lies of both types when Terry Martin of the Illinois Channel asked him two direct questions during a recently televised interview: “What is your history? What party have you identified with over your adult life?”

To these questions Whitney replied: “I’ve always been independent-minded. I’ve never been a member of the Democratic or Republican parties. . . . I actually have been a Green for over 10 years now, because I helped found . . . our local in 1996 . . . . I’ve been always very much involved in third-party kind of politics in trying to get us out of this stranglehold of the two party system.” (Watch the video at

Fact is that the 51-year-old candidate and 10-year veteran of the Green Party belonged to the Socialist Labor Party for 18 years, from 1975 until 1993. There’s nothing wrong with being a Socialist, at least I don’t think so. There’s nothing wrong with changing your mind about being a Socialist. However, there is something wrong about a candidate asking for your trust while concealing the truth when asked: “What is your history? What party have you identified with over your adult life?”

Green and yellow really do go together.

Robert Bills
National secretary
Socialist Labor Party of America
I've changed my mind on Socialism but I'm proud to have known Frank Zeidler and grateful for the brief time I spent with the SP. So I'm not Yellow about having been Red.

In fact, Bush's ownership society ideas seem awfully close to the pension fund socialism comrades like Whitney and I argued about back in the 1970s. So maybe I'm still one.

xp Illinoiz

Friday, November 03, 2006

John Laesch on Republican Torture Policies

Eating lunch today and saw Laesch's second commercial .

My first thought was if Republican Torture Politics are creating more terrorists, then it seems to me like an immediate pull out from Iraq is the order of the day.

Next was to wonder if Laesch, in his time as an Intelligence Officer, used intelligence obtained coercively? If he thought terrorists fighting outside the Geneva Concention's rules-of-war were entitled to give just the name, rank, and serial number required by the Convention?

Or would he have drawn a line further out on what could be coerced and how during interrogation? He must have some thoughts based from his MI training here.

Which took my mind to the image of Mr. Faleh in Laesch's ad. The hooded prisoner with fake electrodes attached to him. Back when a Mr. Qaissi was posing as Mr. Faleh, the NYT's told us the real prisoner had been released and disappeared,
Meanwhile, it is not clear what happened to the real hooded man, Mr. Faleh. An Army spokesman said he was released from American custody in January 2004. Tribal leaders, and the manager of a brick factory next to the address where prison records say he lived, said they had never heard the name. Besides, they said, detainees often make up identities when they are imprisoned. Mr. Qaissi's attorneys said they have not attempted to search for him.
Finally I recalled one of the most impressive things I saw working in the Army. It was the Spec 4 in charge of the GIs in my computer room leading them in training on Wednesday afternoons. Once they went through exercises on ethics using case-studies like: you're a sole American Military Advisor to Commandte X in the jungle. The Commandte proceeds to slice off the ear of a prisoner. What do you do? You have no authority here, your just an advisor, and a lonely one at that among the Commandte's men.

These guys would discuss the cases and it was impressive to see them work solutions to this stuff. Almost embarrassing really because they looked up to me as the college educated computer programmer.

When the Taguba report came out and I read this citation at the end, I knew the Army was still doing the training.
4. (U) The individual Soldiers and Sailors that we observed and believe should be favorably noted include:

a. (U) Master-at-Arms First Class William J. Kimbro, US Navy Dog Handler, knew his duties and refused to participate in improper interrogations despite significant pressure from the MI personnel at Abu Ghraib.

b. (U) SPC Joseph M. Darby, 372nd MP Company discovered evidence of abuse and turned it over to military law enforcement.

c. (U) 1LT David O. Sutton, 229th MP Company, took immediate action and stopped an abuse, then reported the incident to the chain of command.
These guys are real heros to me. They knew the Army rules. They knew the moral boundaries. They saw line crossed and they acted. They're pretty impressive Americans Soldiers.

That's where Laesch's images on Republican Torture Politics took me.

xp at Illinoiz

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Iraq's Nuclear Bomb program

The NYT doesn't want the Gov to publish the Iraqi plans.
Last March, the federal government set up a Web site to make public a vast archive of Iraqi documents captured during the war. The Bush administration did so under pressure from Congressional Republicans who had said they hoped to “leverage the Internet” to find new evidence of the prewar dangers posed by Saddam Hussein.

But in recent weeks, the site has posted some documents that weapons experts say are a danger themselves: detailed accounts of Iraq’s secret nuclear research before the 1991 Persian Gulf war. The documents, the experts say, constitute a basic guide to building an atom bomb.

Last night, the government shut down the Web site after The New York Times asked about complaints from weapons experts and arms-control officials. A spokesman for the director of national intelligence said access to the site had been suspended “pending a review to ensure its content is appropriate for public viewing.”
Somehow I think the know-how is out now and the greater danger is Americans thinking WMD in the hands of terrorists is a Rovian ruse.