Meh Culpa

Splish Splash: Skimming

I finally got around to reading ProPublica, well into the depths of an article about Wikileaks and the Congressional Research  Service, an org that  pumps information only for members of Congress.   I am so not interested in CRS reports, but, now that’s another bag of tomatoes. is to spreading secrets as Madge was to dishwashing liquid.  Today I discovered a NATO report dated January 14, 2009, Metrics Brief 2007-2008 (.pdf file), that records a 45% increase in Afghan civilian deaths in the last year, while kidnappings are up 50%.   IED attacks, which have risen 27%,  are deemed the “single largest cause of casualties.”  Many of them would seem to be against the Afghan government, as attacks  against that entity have skyrocketed to almost 120%.  The document’s all graphs, slides, and stats,  so it’s a fairly easy read.

Another  link that caught my eye has to do with a white supremacist shot to death by his wife two months ago in a domestic violence homicide.   I suppose we should be a grateful public.  By gunning down her husband, the independently wealthy James G. Cummings, Amber Cummings of Belfast, Maine has potentially saved us from a “dirty bomb,” the makings of which were in her home.   No one,  from the coppers to Senator Collins, has any comment.  Natch.

In other news,  there’s the article “McCain Solicits Russian U.N. Ambassador” originally published at the conservative  WaPo last year.  At first I thought it was a sex story because that’s what sells,  but it’s about campaign donations.  Still, very droll.  The Russians despised McCain’s positions–and might wish they had a few missiles aimed at Sarah’s house–so they  wouldn’t have given his campaign any money even if they were allowed.   The article does show how far wrong McCain’s campaign could go, which makes it amusing and a tad pitiful.

A 2007 document alleges that the United States has violated chemical weapons conventions in Iraq.  I thought that was common knowledge.  I guess I was wrong.

There’s about 237 pages worth of SOP for Camp Delta (.pdf file) in Guantanamo signed by the nefarious Maj. Gen. Geoffrey D. Miller,  who was later sent to Abu Ghraib to make that facility more  Gitmo-esque.  The article preceding the .pdf file claims evidence of psychological torture, which I assume is about cavity searches and intimidation by military dogs.  There could be more evidence I’m not getting because it’s written in dull militarese and I’m short on time.

When I do get some time–after my next two exams and the paper about ovarian cancer–I’m going to look into the Counterinsurgency link, which boasts military doctrine for unconventional warfare used by US  Special Forces;  UK insurgency doctrine from 2007, or doing-to-the-Taliban-and-Al-Qaeda-what-they’ve-done-to-us;  there’s ” McCain’s real Petraeus doctrine,” about US trained death squads and a number of other slimy details the Pentagon doesn’t want you to know.  We’ve got all sorts of goodies here at Wikileaks, boys and girls.   I counted forty-three links, although some,  such as those under “Catalyzed analysis and reportage,”  may redirect and talk about related doctrine, reports, and projections.

Be good and learn a lot.  😉

February 19, 2009 Posted by | Afghan War, Afghanistan, Defense, Foreign policy, Guantanamo, Pentagon, Russia, torture, UK | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Bush Administration Lied about Terrorists Returning to Battlefield

I shouldn’t be surprised.  I mean, Bush, Cheney, the Pentagon, lying all these years. What’s new, right?

(Unless you want to see the whole thing, start the video at about 3:26)

Rachel Maddow, who makes me wish I have cable news, says the outgoing administration (with the help of Susan Crawford)  created “a complete if not cogent argument”  for keeping the terrorists we tortured from being released from Guantanamo.  Holding men you can’t convict certainly isn’t quite the cogent argument, in my opinion. It merely smacks of, oh, an authoritarian government like Egypt’s.  Following the rule of law with respect to torture means actually following the rule of law.  I think we should release people we’ve tortured. It might teach us not to torture. *

I looked up Maddow’s guest, Professor Mark Denbeaux–because that’s what I do, I’m curious–and I found rather interesting material:  “REPORT ON GUANTANAMO DETAINEES: A Profile of 517 Detainees through Analysis of Department of Defense Data“: his statement before The Senate Armed Forces Services Committee in April last year (a Word.doc well worth downloading) in which he said,

[Y]ou don’t have to be a combatant to be an enemy combatant, to be the worst of the worst, to be held in Guantanamo. But you also don’t have to be a member of al Qaeda. It turns out that 60 percent of all those detained in Guantanamo are not even accused by the United States government of being fighters for or members of either al Qaeda or the Taliban.”

Denbeaux’s article CAPTURED ON TAPE: Interrogation and Videotaping of Detainees in Guantánamo, a vivid and chilling discussion of the over 24,000 Guantanamo interrogations captured on tape that made my skin crawl.

NationMaster Encyclopedia on the Web also has a whole slew of articles and books by Denbeaux listed on its site as well. I was hoping they’d lead somewhere, but no such luck. There are synopses in case you’re interested, though. Just move your mouse over the link(s).

* Never mind that the number of released detainees tracked by Professor Mark Denbeaux who have gone back to the battlefield is “tiny.”  We just shouldn’t torture.  Ever.  And we should prosecute those among us who have authorized torture.

Update: (Naturally I found another article after I hit “Publish.”) “SETON HALL LAW REPORT: DEPT. OF DEFENSE DATA REVEALS NO RELEASED GUANTÁNAMO DETAINEE EVER ATTACKED ANY AMERICANS: Dept of Defense’s own data rebuts Justice Scalia’s claim that 30 former GTMO detainees ‘returned to the battlefield’

January 21, 2009 Posted by | Armed Services Committee, Bush administration, Congress, Executive branch, Geneva Conventions, Guantanamo, Senate, torture, war crimes | , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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