An onslaught of grisly and sophisticated attacks since parliamentary elections in September has left Afghan and international officials concerned that Taliban guerrillas are obtaining support from abroad to carry out strikes that increasingly mimic insurgent tactics in Iraq.Does it really need to be made more obvious that we should have consolidated things in Afghanistan instead of going charging off after Bush's bête noir?
The White House for the first time has claimed possession of an Iraq withdrawal plan, arguing that a troop pullout blueprint unveiled this past week by a Democratic senator was "remarkably similar" to its own.
So I wonder if the people who were railing against Murtha last week are going to be saying the same things about the "remarkably similar" White House now?
27. Beatings-of a kind that leave no marks. They use rubber truncheons, and they use wooden mallets and small sandbags. It is very, very painful when they hit a bone-for example, an interrogator's jackboot on the shin, where the bone lies just beneath the skin. They beat Brigade Commander Karpunich-Braven for twenty-one days in a row. And today he says: "Even after thirty years all my bones ache and my head too."
In recollecting his own experience and the stories of others, he counts up to fifty-two methods of torture. Here is one: They grip the hand in a special vise so that the prisoner's palm lies flat on the desk-and then they hit the joints with the thin edge of a ruler. And one screams! Should we single out particularly the technique by which teeth are knocked out? They knocked out eight of Karpunich's.
As everyone knows, a blow of the fist in the solar plexus, catching the victim in the middle of a breath, leaves no mark whatever. The Lefortovo Colonel Sidorov, in the postwar period, used to take a "penalty kick" with his overshoes at the dangling genitals of male prisoners. Soccer players who at one time or another have been hit in the groin by a ball know what that kind of blow is like. There is no pain comparable to it, and ordinarily the recipient loses consciousness.
19. Then there is the method of simply compelling a prisoner to stand there. This can be arranged so that the accused stands only while being interrogated-because that, too, exhausts and breaks a person down. It can be set up in another way-so that the prisoner sits down during interrogation but is forced to stand up between interrogations. (A watch is set over him, and the guards see to it that he doesn't lean against the wall, and if he goes to sleep and falls over he is given a kick and straightened up.) Sometimes even one day of standing is enough to deprive a person of all his strength and to force him to testify to anything at all.
For example, the Lefortovo punishment cells were entirely unheated. There were radiators in the corridor only, and in this "heated" corridor the guards on duty walked in felt boots and padded jackets. The prisoner was forced to undress down to his underwear, and sometimes to his undershorts, and he was forced to spend from three to five days in the punishment cell without moving (since it was so confining). He received hot gruel on the third day only. For the first few minutes you were convinced you'd not be able to last an hour. But, by some miracle, a human being would indeed sit out his five days, perhaps acquiring in the course of it an illness that would last him the rest of his life.
When you stare long into the Abyss the Abyss also stares into you.
He doesn't address my pet theory that when the Pacific islanders sailed from Micronesia to the Hawaiian islands by raft, they encountered a storm in which most of their consonants were blown overboard. They were later found washed up on the shores of Wales by the thrifty natives, who put them to immediate use.
Special prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald said in court filings that the ongoing CIA leak investigation will involve proceedings before a new grand jury, a possible sign he could seek new charges in the case.drip...drip...drip...
In filings obtained by Reuters on Friday, Fitzgerald said "the investigation is continuing" and that "the investigation will involve proceedings before a different grand jury than the grand jury which returned the indictment" against Vice President Dick Cheney's chief of staff, Lewis "Scooter" Libby.
Seemingly stung by polls showing that 57 percent of Americans now believe that he “deliberately misled” the nation into war with Iraq, President Bush did what a successful con man always does in a tight spot : He doubled his bet, resorting to falsehoods so brazen as to invite citizens almost to doubt the evidence of their senses. Who are you going to believe, your president or your lying eyes ? On Veterans Day, Bush chose another of the handpicked audiences he likes best—soldiers at a Pennsylvania Army depot—to accuse Democratic critics of a “deeply irresponsible” effort “to rewrite the history of how [the Iraq ] war began.” He alleged that Congress saw the same intelligence regarding Iraq’s mythical weapons of mass destruction that the White House saw ; consequently, “when I made the decision to remove Saddam Hussein from power, Congress approved it with strong bipartisan support.” The president also claimed that a “bipartisan Senate investigation found no evidence of political pressure to change the intelligence community’s judgments.” None of these things is true. (emphasis mine)
They claim that not only will it make your audio CDs sound better, it will make your photo CDs look better! And all for just $189.95. Good grief.
Well, I guess that settles that.After the end of World War II, the US led the way in developing a (dare I say it?) new workd order, a more civilized and lawful world than the one which had allowed the atrocities of the Nazis and Japanes (yes, and our own as well). This was, as everything, not purely altruistic. We used it to make the Soviet Union look bad at every opportunity (and it wasn't difficult, nor undeserved). I guess the neocons figure that since the Soviet Union is gone, those old ways are....quaint.
"We do not torture," President Bush said on Monday. Never mind all those torture pictures from Abu Ghraib. Never mind all those torture stories from Guantanamo Bay. Never mind the 2002 Justice Department memo that sought to justify torture. Never mind reports of U.S. officials sending detainees to other countries for torture. Never mind Dick Cheney lobbying to exempt the CIA from rules prohibiting torture.
"We do not torture," said the president. And that's that, right? I mean, if you can't believe the Bush administration, who can you believe? No torture. Period, end of sentence.
But . . . What does it say to you that the claim even has to be made?
He reveals that Karl Rove, the political adviser to the president, told him there would have been no problem for Mr Bush in waiting until the end of 2003 or even early 2004 and this would not have risked entanglement in the US presidential campaign.
Does that make you feel safer? I wouldn't like it if an Administration I trusted had that kind of power. I sure as hell don't trust the current clowns with it.
So why does Karl Rove still have his security clearance?
Dick Cheney made an unusual personal appeal to Republican senators this week to allow CIA exemptions to a proposed ban on the torture of terror suspects in U.S. custody, according to participants in a closed-door session.This whole thing reminds me of the old joke with the punchline, "We have established what you are, madam. Now we're just haggling over price." I can't believe that these people don't understand that the point of foreswearing torture is that we will not become torturers. Morally, it's really not about the prisoners. It's about us, and what we are willing to become.
Cheney told his audience the United States doesn't engage in torture, these participants added, even though he said the administration needed an exemption from any legislation banning "cruel, inhuman or degrading" treatment in case the president decided one was necessary to prevent a terrorist attack.
Reality: Homeland security and defense only accounts for 1/3 of increased spending during the Bush administration, and Republicans have been in control of Congress since 1995.
Reality 1, DeLay 0.
And just for icing on the cake,
"I'm not here to defend the highway bill," DeLay said. Then he defended it, saying that without the bill, his Houston district wouldn't get its fair share of highway money.
A Dutch designer has created a wall of fake breasts to help male shoppers buy bras that fit their wives or girlfriends.
"Most men have a selective memory," she explained. "They know all about their car, but never seem to know their wife's bra size.
"When trying to buy a sexy bra for their wife or girlfriend, usually they point to other women in the shop or, when asked about size, they say a 'handful'."
The wall consists of rows of silicon breasts in all sizes. By look and touch, male shoppers can work out the right size, she says.
That's the Cover of Dazzle Ships, by 80s synth-pop band Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark, or as they later became known, OMD. I own a copy. I like it. I never knew where the name came from, though, until I ran across this.
Apparently "dazzle ships" came from the experiment of painting garish cubist designs on military ships in WWI to try to make it more difficult for submariners to estimate their speed and heading, and reduce the risk of torpedo attacks.
That's the French cruiser Gloire in full dazzle kit. Follow the "read more" link for a few more photos and explanation.
It's a better derivation than Spandau Ballet, to be sure.
Pizza in two minutes from a flash-baking vending machine.