Thursday, December 09, 2004
Stop it right now, you naughty government
Here's a dandy: Our government now arranges "torture flights." We are outsourcing torture. A Gulfstream 5 jet has been leased by the Department of Defense and the CIA. We use this plane to transport suspected terrorists from other countries or U.S. military bases to countries that practice torture.
A Swedish television program tracked two Egyptians arrested there and supposedly "extradited" by Egypt. They were flown out on the leased American plane, and both suspects were then tortured in Egypt. According to Britain's Sunday Times, the plane's logbooks show it has been to 49 destinations outside the United States in the past two years, including Guantánamo and other U.S. bases, Egypt, Jordan, Iraq, Morocco, Afghanistan, Libya and Uzbekistan.
Open government si, Tricky Dick Cheney no
For example, on the Internet pages of George Washington University's National Security Archive you can read Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) manuals from the 1960s and the 1980s specifying approved methods of prisoner abuse as well as one of the last major pieces of the puzzle explaining U.S. and UK roles in the August 1953 coup against Iranian Premier Mohammad Mossadeq. The [Federation of American Scientists] government secrecy project recently provided a sampling of other Internet sources. A few examples:
* GlobalSecurity.org which says it provides "bottomless resources on all aspects of national security policy, and then some;"
* The Resource Shelf offers news on all aspects of government information policy and links to valuable source documents;
* The Memory Hole collects and publishes elusive records and documents that have been withdrawn from the public domain;
* Cryptome promises a rich collection of new official and unofficial documents on security policy;
* Project on Government Oversight performs independent investigations to promote openness and government accountability;
* Electronic Privacy Information Center offers declassified documents and insights on cryptography policy and privacy; and
* Nautilus Institute's Global Disclosure Project specializes in nuclear weapons policy and strategy.
Some "open government" websites are maintained by individuals, usually associated with universities. For example, the Guide to Declassified Documents and Archival Materials for U.S. Foreign Policy and World Politics, a road map to declassified foreign policy records, is the work of David N Gibbs of the University of Arizona.
FOI.net provides resources on national and foreign freedom of information law from Alasdair Roberts of the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs at Syracuse University...
(If you value this kind of info, bite the bullet and make a contribution).
Acronym o' the day: SCLM
"...On September 12,...a group of American soldiers patrolling Haifa Street, a dangerous avenue in central Baghdad, came under fire. Another group of soldiers in two Bradley fighting vehicles came to rescue them. They did, but one of the vehicles had to be abandoned, and a jubilant crowd quickly gathered around it. A banner from a group associated with Zarqawi was produced and placed on the vehicle. Arab TV crews arrived to record the event. At one point, two US helicopters showed up and made several passes over the vehicle. With the crowd fully visible, one of the helicopters launched a barrage of rockets and machine-gun rounds. The vehicle was destroyed, and thirteen people were killed. Among them was Mazen al-Tumeizi, a Palestinian producer for the al-Arabiya network who was doing a TV report in front of the Bradley. Hit while on camera, his blood spattering the lens, Tumeizi doubled over and screamed that he was dying.
"The video of Tumeizi's death was shown repeatedly on al-Arabiya and other Arabic-language networks. On American TV, it aired very briefly on NBC and CNN, then disappeared. On most other networks, it appeared not at all. Here was a dramatic piece of footage depicting in raw fashion the human toll of the fighting in Iraq, yet American TV producers apparently feared that if they gave it too much time, they would, in Urban Hamid's phrase, get burned. (I still have not heard of a single instance in which the killing of an American in Iraq has been shown on American TV.)"
Heartwarming, isn't it? (Read more, from Michael Massing in The New York Review of Books by way of truthout.org, whom I guess we could call the RLM.
Sunday, December 05, 2004
Shock and awe
I now have a music blog
Saturday, December 04, 2004
"Don't blame me..."
Friday, December 03, 2004
New hope for the easily amused
Country music review of the day
CHELY WRIGHT/The Bumper Of My S.U.V.
Writer: Chely Wright; Producer: Chely Wright; Publisher: Painted Red, BMI; Painted Red (www.chely.com)
—She’s got a Marines sticker on her car, and a lady driver gives her the finger in traffic. Hey, maybe it’s because you’re driving a gas-guzzling, air-polluting, space-hogging vehicle. Or maybe it’s because you cut her off.