Tuesday, November 6, 2007

You can see by our stockings and pantaloons that we are gentlemen engaged in gentlemanly pursuits...

Torture is in the news once again this week. It pops up every so often due to some legal wrangle or another, causing but a cigarette burn on our collective psyche only to scab over when the ill practice retreats back to the out-of-sight black sites where it rightly belongs. This time was because when Attorney General To-Be Michael Mukasey went through the confirmation process he was asked point-blank if he thought waterboarding was torture. In true greasy Gonzales style Mukasey tap-danced around the issue while Bush backed up his choice with a little soft-shoe of his own. The reasons of course are tap water transparent; Mukasey would be responsible for laying charges on anyone up to and including the President in the event of an illegal act. The Bush Administration secretly endorsed torture and torture has indeed been carried out. There is no way Bush is going to elevate someone who will make his life even more miserable than it already is.

By rights this should be a huge deal because George W. Bush is on record stating the United States does not torture people. Therein lies the battle congress has had with the Administration, they wish to test the validity of the statement. They have made formal requests for documentation, Bush has refused citing such work is classified, they have subpoenaed advisors, Bush has claimed Executive Privilege, they have asked for clarity when it comes to techniques employed, Bush has said that such information will be of value to the enemy. Everywhere congress turns for information they find the President trying to cover his ass and bury his mistakes.

Many times it has been repeated by the supposed experts that torture does not produce worthwhile intelligence. By the same token those same experts claim that a person tortured will say anything to save themselves from further abuse. Perhaps that is the point! Would a steady stream of fictional confession be of use to this Administration? Not only would these desperate falsehoods cover the tracks of the witch hunt by producing those who are guilty but it also has the beneficial side-effect supplying bogus terrorist plots to keep people in fear and make some feel even grateful for the protection they receive.

At any rate waterboarding or controlled (simulated) drowning is at the heart of this issue because it is the one thing that is known with evidence to have been endorsed and performed. It is therefore the gateway to congressional hearings. Waterboarding was not considered torture by the likes of Alberto Gonzales and was merely designated an Enhanced Interrogation Technique. Now the obvious truth is finally being spoken; of course waterboarding is full-on torture. The Japanese were condemned for doing it during World War II and it was first mentioned being employed way back in the easy-breezy days of the Spanish Inquisition! If Mukasey admitted that it is torture then a case can be made, special prosecutors demanded, and the Democrats would get another opportunity to take a run at the Bush Administration in hopes of bringing the whole house of cards down.

Hey I'll try I mean how bad can it be blub-blub-blub OH MY FUCKING FUCK MAKE IT STOP!

Daniel Levin was the Acting Assistant Attorney General when he submitted himself to waterboarding in order to learn what the fuss was about. Sure as shit he came back wet-haired and with no doubt in his mind that this was the real deal. As soon as Alberto Gonzales secured the nomination for Attorney General he fired this guy’s ass.

World War II Veterans: Pussies... There, I've said it. Now I'll never get advertising.

By comparison some of the old WWII interrogators reminisce about some of the hard-core methods they employed to make Gerry talk. If you have a sensitive stomach you shouldn’t read this; games of chess, steak dinners, long talks and moonlit walks. They befriended their prisoners and eventually the Germans spilled the beans on military strategy, submarines, rocketry projects; treasure troves of intelligence by any modern standard. How did later generations become so fucking stupid?

It's every civilization's dream to beat the shit out of lawyers but not like this, never like this!

Pakistan is still descending into bad times. Those feisty lawyers took to the streets again where they were beaten up and carted off by the hundreds. In diverting police and intelligence resources towards domestic security Musharraf will have no choice but to shift focus away from fighting the terrorists. Though he claimed that they were a serious threat to Pakistan’s stability it seems he’s primarily moving against political rivals and those in support of the democratic process. Good call, Pervez and good luck with that. Take your eye off the guys who killed over 150 people in a single attack just a couple weeks ago. You know what I call that? Good Leadership… Of course I’ve been known only to care about sensational headlines and blood-soaked fodder for the digital grist.

Saddam had a chemical plant... on a train I tell you... run by robots with rockets - no - lazers!

Introducing the one and only Curveball; this is the Iraqi guy who supposedly convinced The White House that Saddam Hussein had a chemical weapons program. It was all lies of course and the man who spun them did so thinking it would improve his chances for asylum, which it did. I don’t think this guy changed history much. The Iraq War was going to happen and the Administration was, in the Pentagon lingo of the times; fixing the facts around the agenda. I’m sure Rafid Alwan didn’t convince Bush, Cheney, and Rumsfeld of anything; he was preaching to the converted. His fabrications may have helped convince other nations though, and fool Colin Powell whose participation lend a lacquer of integrity to the whole enterprise.

Our quant island of coconuts would like to thank the white man for giving us guns.

This is what I call a very future-earth-today situation. The nation of Fiji has established itself as a mercenary contractor. They maintain a large military which they shop out around the world, especially to the United Nations. Unlike Blackwater they are government soldiers who have to abide by a code of conduct because they reflect the nation itself. They are said to be very well trained and seem well regarded. All in all it seems a very interesting way to bring a human product to the world market when you are a resource poor country.

"They didn't owe me but $100, but I took $400 and set the whole damned place on fire."

Finally for something completely different THIS is a truly interesting article. It’s coming out on the heels of that intense looking American Gangster movie. The flick was based off a real person; one Frank Lucas, the Harlem Heroin kingpin. If half of what this guy says is true then his life reads something like a modern day Conan the Barbarian. Sure he was a killer and a drug lord but he also has a larger-than-life outlaw streak to him that’s hard not to admire. Great movie makers have realised that gangster stories are American Dream tales just as viable as the law-abiding ones and Frank Lucas is no exception.

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