Tuesday, November 22, 2005

The Big Mix

Tonight, I'm just going to do this the way I'd figured I'd do Cedric's Big Mix when it first started.
It was just going to be a mix of things online that you might miss but needed to check out.

Hope you already found all the items but if you missed something, maybe this will steer you to an important report.

From Democracy Now!:

AMY GOODMAN: This issue of torture goes back, even before the pictures that we saw in April of 2004 of the prisoners that were tortured at Abu Ghraib. You were there when the discussions were taking place. What was your position? What exactly did you hear?
COL. LAWRENCE WILKERSON: Well, it's not so much discussions as the fact that just prior to those photographs going public, the photographs of Abu Ghraib, the Secretary of State walked through my door into my office and said, -- we had adjoining offices -- and he said, "I want you to get all of the paperwork you can, get everything together, establish an audit trail and a chronology and so forth. I want to know how we got to where we are." And over the course of the next few months, I got my hands on every piece of paper that I could, open source, classified, sensitive and otherwise, and I built for myself a chronology, an audit trail, and gained profound insights into how we got to where we were.
And what I found was that the statutory process, that is, the process in which the principals and the President meet to make national security decisions, worked. And that process produced a compromise, a compromise reflected in the President's memorandum which said although he recognized we were in a new situation, fighting al-Qaeda terrorists, for example, nonetheless, the spirit of Geneva would be adhered to by our armed forces in the field, consistent with military necessity. Now, my critics have said that phrase gave the President an out. I don't agree. It did not say "consistent with national security demands." It did not say "consistent with the demands of the war on terror." It said "consistent with military needs." Now, military needs are very simple and clear to a man like me who spent 31 years in the military. It means that if one of my buddy's life is threatened or my life is threatened, I can take drastic action. I can even shoot a detainee. And I can expect not to be punished under Geneva, or at least if I am court-martialed, I have a defense.
It doesn't mean that I can take a detainee in a cold, dark cell in Bagram, Afghanistan, for example, in December 2002, shackled to the wall, and pour cold water on him at intervals when the outside temperature is 50 degrees anyway, and eventually kill him, which is what happened. And the first thing I came across in my research was two deaths in Bagram, Afghanistan, in December 2002. And now we know after the army has finally, two years, conducted its investigations, we now know that one of those individuals who was murdered at Bagram was very likely innocent.
AMY GOODMAN: Explain these discs that you found. You found them in December 2002?
COL. LAWRENCE WILKERSON: No, this is what I discovered was the first occasion -- this was available to me in open source information, too, because The New York Times had done a really fine job of beginning an investigation of this. And what I found was these two deaths, and the suspicion was aroused in me, because at the time the Army coroner had declared the deaths homicides, and the Army had declared the deaths as a result of natural causes. And so, as I began to investigate, and as others began to investigate and began to talk to me and to feed me information, and as I began to look at the documents that were official and otherwise, I began to construct a case that showed that the Army had obfuscated, it had blocked at every level of command, trying to get to the bottom of these two killings.
And let me just add, when I left the State Department and had to turn over my papers, the deaths were up to over 70. And I have sources inside the government now that tell me the deaths may be up to 90. Now, this is people detained by the United States, either the armed forces, the Central Intelligence Agency or others, and these are people who have died in detention. Now, all of these cases, I hope, are not murder. But many of these cases still need to be investigated, and something needs to be done in the way of accountability.
AMY GOODMAN: And these are deaths in Afghanistan?
COL. LAWRENCE WILKERSON: These are in all of our facilities.
COL. LAWRENCE WILKERSON: In Iraq, at Guantanamo Bay and in Afghanistan.
AMY GOODMAN: And what do you know about the secret detention facilities?
COL. LAWRENCE WILKERSON: I can’t give you any insights into that. I did not know anything about that when I was in government. Those things, presidential findings, if they exist, are usually kept very close hold. Only very few people know about them. I have my suspicions. I suspect that if the Vice President is lobbying the Congress of the United States on behalf of torture, that we must have some kind of clandestine operation going on, but I can’t offer you any insights into that. Let me just make one other point. You're probably aware that recently the Minister of the Interior in Iraq was discovered to have a prison where principally Shia were being abused, being abused rather drastically, as I understand it. Imagine, if you will, General George Casey, our commander in Iraq and our ambassador in Baghdad, Khalilzad, imagine them having to go to Hakeem, the Minister of the Interior, and speaking to him in strong words about this abuse. Imagine Hakeem looking at them and laughing, because he could cite Abu Ghraib, he could cite Guantanamo, he could cite Bagram, and this position that we have assumed has just hurt our credibility and our image all around the world. Pardon me, my cell phone is ringing.

From News Dissector:

The forces behind the JFK murder are still being debated with a majority of Americans still convinced there was some kind of conspiracy. If you have never seen the famous Zapruder film that was said to have captured the killing, you now do so on line:
(Bear in mind that there are charges by assassinologists that it was doctored.)
That assassination marked a shift of interests as well that led us into the jungles of Vietnam and an economic crisis which has been papered over for years with other people’s money.
President Bush’s failed visit to China this past weekend marks another shift as the United States proves itself to be the paper tiger that Mao laughed at. With a federal deficit over $300 billion, with China gaining the upper economic hand, the "American" century seems long over.
Not only is Iraq facing the same outcome as Vietnam, but US leverage is slip slip-sliding away No wonder that the the man responsible for auditing US government budgets compared the US to ancient Rome before its decline. He says its fiscal condition is "worse than advertised."
Here’s the kind of fact I would rather not contend with before breakfast: "By 2010, the US debt is likely to rise to $ 11.2 trillion, or $ 38,000 for each man,is projected at $ 561 billion annually."

From The Common Ills:

Absolutely. Koppel may have passed the interview onto Forest Sawyer, but he didn't stand in the way of corporate synergy when it was decided his show would address the most pressing issue as 1990 drew to a close. Which is why December 3, 1990's episode dealt with the world shattering "news" topic: MTV's banning of Madonna's "Justify My Love" video. (No offense to Madonna, if "news" shows are stupid enough to offer, take the free promotion.)
Just to provide a little context, on December 2, 1990 Germany had their first "all German" (no longer partioned into "East" and "West") elections in fifty-eight years. December 3, 1990 Mary Robinson is elected the first woman president of Ireland. Also on December 3, 1990, you have a plane crash in Detroit that kills twelve. On the fourth of December, Saddam Hussein will release hostages. So it makes perfect sense that Nightline will instead honor it's corporate parent(s?) by promoting Madonna and her banned video (which Nightline played in full). Koppel's farming that interview out to Forest Sawyer doesn't alter the fact that Nightline "covered" it.
And more recently, they were there for the earth shattering anniversary of the release of the film Animal House. Animal House & Nightline? At first, it doesn't seem like they go together but think it through.
These and other "important" stories have oft been covered on Nightline. Take the 'pressing' issue of violence in figure skating. As FAIR noted, Nightline was there for "the Tonya Harding/Nancy Kerrigan saga. In about seven weeks (Jan. 24 to March 16), Nightline devoted five entire broadcasts to the figure skaters -- over 13 percent of total air time. During that period, Nightline offered no programs on such issues as unemployment, declining U.S. wages, world hunger or nuclear proliferation." (Multiple episodes are really important to Koppel, Katha Pollitt's noted his 1993 two-parter to explore whether or not the First Lady, Hillary Clinton, had too much power.)

From Liberal Oasis:

The mainstream media has yet to delve deep into the question: what would really happen if we left sooner, if we left later, or if we never left?
Most people in DC are still comfortable simply asserting that civil war would break out, and terrorists would run rampant, if ground troops left relatively soon.
And most interviewers still aren’t forcing anyone to back up their assertions (they’re content just covering the politics of the Murtha move, and glossing over the substance).

From Mikey Likes It!:

White phosphorus was used as a weapon and Monday the New York Times did a white wash, screw with the facts report, trying to act like it wasn't. Will they do a "correction" now. Hell no. They're the New York Times and they write whatever they want, when they want. Right now they want to carry water for the military using an illegal chemical weapon. Maybe someday they'll be brought down by what Amy Goodman's called "the lies of the Times." If it happens, let's hope people aren't acting like it's a sad thing. The way some are acting like the end of Ted Koppel's Nightline is a boo-hoo situation. C.I.'s got a great thing on that today called "The end of a (Bad) era." Hopefully, there will be brave voices if and when the might New York Times crumbles.

Reproducing the front page of the New York Times, A Scrivener's Lament wonders:

Is The New York Times Trying To Seduce Me?
Nice try, NYT.But whoring for readers after sneaking out of George W.'s bed isn't exactly my idea of true love.

From The Common Ills:

Scott Shane has an article in the paper today. "They said" is the hallmark of the piece. It's on Falluja (which the Times has an interest, a self-interest, in since their "award winning" Dexter Filkins -- aka "Put me on the jet with Chalabi!" -- was present). It's on white phosphorus. Shane's discussing the Italian documentary, one that he apparently hasn't seen due to the use of "they said" (or "they say").

From Sex and Politics and Screeds and Attitude:

the above is from murray waas' 'Key Bush Intelligence Briefing Kept From Hill Panel ' in the national journal. i think the article should be called 'further proof that bully boy lied us into war.'
get it? they knew they're case for a war was a lie. they knew ten days after 9/11.the lie that cheney and bully boy have been pushing this week and last loudly is that every 1 saw the same intelligence. but that's not true. the administration saw this, not congress.and don't think this is the only intelligence that the administration kept from congress.
bully boy wanted this war and he got it.
we never should have gone to war but he wanted it.
now that it's turned to shit, like everything he touches, he wants to bluff his way out of it and spread the blame. the blame is the administration's.

From Tom Hayden at The Huffington Post:

Congress should call for a peace envoy to begin immediate peace talks with the Iraqi opposition after this week’s historic Cairo summit. The three-day meeting was the first attended by leading Iraqi political parties as well as a delegation linked to the insurgents, organized by former minister Ayham al-Sammarae.
Overcoming the initial opposition of Prime Minister Ibrahim Jafari, the conference ended with a call for American withdrawal and an endorsement of "nationalist resistance" to foreign occupation.

The conference will resume in Baghdad in February, where a stronger call for US withdrawal is likely. The February date is consistent with the four-month period that has been established to re-negotiate the Iraqi constitution to accommodate Sunni demands.

From Why Are We Back In Iraq?:

Speaking of air and hot, Bob Woodward paid a visit to Larry King's CNN show the other night (transcript) and as other bloggers point out Mr. "I was scared of being indicted" is now claiming that he didn't tell his editor about being tipped about Plame early on in the game because he was "focused" on getting his book done.
From the Larry King interview last night:
"The evidence I had first-hand, a small piece of the puzzle acknowledge, is that that was not the case. So I'm trying to find out and focus on immense questions about, are we going to go to war in Iraq? How are we going to do it? What is the nature of Powell's position? What did Cheney do? What was the CIA's role? How good was the intelligence on all of this?"
The interview in question with the "casual and off-hand" comment about Valerie Plame being a CIA analyst, supposedly took place in mid-June of 2003 after we already went to war in Iraq.
Bob Woodward can't keep his "facts" straight.

From Like Maria Said Paz:

I find it poetic that one of the loudest dismissers of Plamegate, a journalistic "pro" and "institution," has no added to the fire and brought it back into the news -- but not by choice, by covering up. It's an interesting book end to his career. Thirty years ago he was one half of a team leading the way for what journalism could do and these days he's part of a team that seems more concerned with covering than informing the public.
His reputation was made as a voice for the public and he's killed it. A ritualistic slaying that he committed upon himself as a result of his desire to be "in the loop" but not to inform the public, just to be another sycophant.

From The Third Estate Sunday Review:

We bounced ideas for this review off a number of feminist friends. The only trace of "feminism" anyone could find in Commander-in-Chief was one woman who noted that the episode that aired Tuesday featured Mac telling her teenage daughter that she wasn't a virgin when she married.
So feminism is now defined by when you lost your cherry? Our culture's back to pimping Hugh Hefner as a voice of "liberation"?
While it's true that Bully Boy has lowered the expectations for the nation, we're not willing to drop our principles and then limbo beneath them. It's depressing to realize how quickly we've gone from The Ya Ya Sisterhood to The Nah Nah Sisterhood.

From Joseph C. Phillips at The Chicago Defender:

The last thing I am concerned about is the meal. I can roast a turkey in my sleep. My stuffing is sublime. I will put my mac and cheese up against any in the world and my cranberry relish has received standing ovations! I am not worried about the meal. I am, however, having anxiety over the blessing.
The dinner blessing is the transformative element of the occasion. Through prayer, we transcend the narrow confines of ego and give the credit for our bounty where it is properly due. However, the Thanksgiving prayer is not solely an acknowledgment that the good things in life are gifts given through God's grace. We are also beseeching God to give us more than we have. We offer the benediction in order to open our homes, and our hearts to the continued presence of the divine. It is the conduit through which the occasion moves from the purely sensual to the sacred. It puts the Holy in the Holi-day.

From The Daily Jot:

This morning, we were cracking wallnuts for a bread my mom's making and pecans for some pies she's making. That was me and my grandfather. We also took the turkey out of the freezer to defrost and we just bought it yesterday so that didn't make a lot of sense. Why put it in the freezer in the first place?
We didn't put the ham in there?
Is it bird flu? Something else?
I don't know. I don't cook.

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