Meh Culpa

Armed Services Committee – Detainee Report…



… can be found here.  For those of you who don’t have time to read the entire thing, the Executive Summary and Conclusions begin on page 14 on the .pdf file.

April 22, 2009 Posted by | Abu Ghraib, Afghan War, Afghanistan, Armed Services Committee, Bush administration, Cheney, civil liberties, Congress, Defense, Foreign policy, Geneva Conventions, Guantanamo, Iraq, Iraq War, Middle East, National Security, Senate, torture, US Constitution, war crimes | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Fandango Friday: Hang your head low



There are days when you just want to go back to bed.

  • Blago was indicted by Patrick Fitzgerald yesterday–as if we didn’t all see that coming.
  • Coleman conceded today.  Maybe he asked his erstwhile backers to show him the money and they claimed that Bernie Madoff had run off with it.
  • Obama had his first date with the G-20 and he didn’t get a goodnight kiss. “I think we did all right,” he said.  Not really.  Many Americans don’t know that the rest of the world blames us for the  sand trap we’ve all found ourselves in, but they do.   Rightly.  We failed to regulate our financial system and we got pwned as a result. Now we’re going to have to learn to make do with less, to not being the Head Muckety Muck of the World.  It won’t kill us to reduce our exceptionalism.  We’ve been living off its insidious fruits for too long now.
  • Bristol Palin’s ex-beau, and the father of her child, thinks he and Bristol could conceivably get back together someday.  Dude, before 2012?  Ya think?
  • Robert Reich says “It’s a Depression.” Oh yeah. And in California there are predictions of 12% – 15% unemployment by next spring.  (I think I am going to move.)
  • The Guardian has posted a brutal video of a young girl being whipped (literally) by the Swat Valley Pakistani Taliban a day or two after Karzai declared rape legal in Afghanistan.   The girl in the video was punished for leaving her house with a man who wasn’t her husband. She begged them to stop beating her and just kill her. This beating was not about the religion of Islam as some may believe, it’s cultural and it’s local.  Still, it makes you want to hang your head low that there are such bad men in the world.

April 4, 2009 Posted by | Afghanistan, Depression, diplomacy, Economy, Foreign policy, human rights, Obama, Pakistan, politics, religion | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 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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