It is a time of freedom and fear, of Gaia and of borders, of many paths and the widening of a universal toll road, emptying country and swelling cities, of the public bought into privacy and the privacy of the public sold into invisible data banks and knowing algorithms. It is the time of the warrior's peace and the miser's charity, when the planting of a seed is an act of conscientious objection.

These are the times when maps fade and direction is lost. Forwards is backwards now, so we glance sideways at the strange lands through which we are all passing, knowing for certain only that our destination has disappeared. We are unready to meet these times, but we proceed nonetheless, adapting as we wander, reshaping the Earth with every tread.

Behind us we have left the old times, the standard times, the high times. Welcome to the irregular times.


Reason #1102 to Boot Bush
Saturday, May 08, 2004
 
George W. Bush did not watch Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld testify before Congress on May 7, 2004. Nevertheless, after Rumsfeld was done, Bush called him to tell him he had done a "really good job." We need a president who knows what he's talking about, who actually depends on knowledge about a subject when coming to a conclusion. (Source: New York Times May 7, 2004)

Posted by Matthew Cook at 3:07 PM. # (permalink)


Undoing Global Warming - How You Can Help
Friday, May 07, 2004
 
Mother Davis looks at her calendar, opens a window, and remembers,

In the heat of a presidential campaign and a growing anti-war movement, we can easily forget that the heat is rising in other areas too. We're facing another summer of extreme weather very soon. Last year, tens of thousands of people died as a direct result of climate change - remember those 15-20 thousand people who died of heat exposure in Europe?

Time is not on our side with global climate change, but we're lucky that the Environmental Defense Fund has organized a practical campaign to start to undo climate change - centered at UndoIt.org.

Right now, the Undo It campaign is focused on the Climate Stewardship Act, which will once again be voted on in the Senate. This is the only legislation to address climate change that has come along in years, and it's not perfect or complete, but at least it's a start.

I urge you to visit UndoIt.org, to find out more about the threats of climate change, and to find out what you can do to help stop it.

Fanning herself with her Sierra Magazine,
Mother Davis

Posted by Katherine Davis at 8:28 AM# (permalink)


Update on Murders in America's Iraqi Prisons
 
Update: As of this morning, the American military admits that 25 Iraqis have died in the American-run prisons in Iraq.

Also, it has now been revealed that two guards at the American Camp X-Ray in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba are being investigated for torturing prisoners there.

Posted by J. Clifford Cook at 8:15 AM# (permalink)


A very sorry president - who should resign?
 
Help me understand this. Yesterday, George W. Bush said that he was "sorry for the humiliation suffered by the Iraqi prisoners and the humiliation suffered by their families."

Then, Bush said that "Secretary Rumsfeld has served our nation well."

So which is it, Mr. Bush?

If you're really sorry for the torture done by American soldiers under the command of Donald Rumsfeld, then why are you praising Rumsfeld's work so strongly?

It's significant that George W. Bush has criticized Rumsfeld only for not telling him about the coming revelations of torture in American-occupied Iraq. Bush did not criticize Rumsfeld for the torture itself.

Yes, Donald Rumsfeld should resign. But then again, George W. Bush should resign too. If Bush is sorry, he ought to do something more than make speeches about it.

Posted by J. Clifford Cook at 7:24 AM. # (permalink)


The Pride of Cresaptown, Maryland
Thursday, May 06, 2004
 
Cresaptown, Maryland was never a very well known place. It's the kind of town that's always hoping for someone to make it kind of big, like to become the Vice President of a Fortune 500 company, or to invent a kitchen device. There's no shame in that - in fact, we've often liked to think that there's something kind of inherently decent about such little-known American towns. We call them the "heartland".

Now, Cresaptown, Maryland will be known to all Americans. Cresaptown finally has someone who's become well known -- no, not famous, infamous. Poor Cresaptown will now be remembered as the home town of Private Lynndie England, who signed up to be all that she could be, and was sent by the U.S. government to torture Iraqi prisoners. Here she is, doing the work she was ordered to do, putting a dog leash on a naked prisoner, and willingly posing for a souvenir snapshot as she does so:


cresaptown torturer Lynndie English


Support the troops? Don't send them to war.

Posted by J. Clifford Cook at 6:53 AM. # (permalink)


How George W. Bush is a part of our great American democracy...
Wednesday, May 05, 2004
 
You know, after listening to George W. Bush give his interviews to Arab news networks this morning, I have to admit that, even though I don't agree with Bush's policies and have no respect for his abilities, his re-election campaign is a part of our great American democracy...

... kind of like the way that Kellogg's Frosted Flakes are a part of a nutritious breakfast.

Posted by J. Clifford Cook at 4:25 PM# (permalink)


Murder Investigations of American Soldiers and Contractors
 
Mother Davis struggles to keep her eyes from popping out as she forwards the following news from Doctor Theopolis:

It's spiraling fast. It's not just torture. It's killing. The Army just got around to telling us that the DEATHS of 25 "detainees" in U.S. custody in Iraq and Afghanistan are currently under investigation. Two of these, the Army itself considers homicides:

One soldier shot a prisoner to death in Iraq.

Another prisoner was killed in November at Abu Ghraib jail by a "private contractor who worked as an interrogator for the CIA." (Source: Financial Times, 5/5/04)

That's right, kids. A private contractor doing "interrogations" for the CIA went a little too far and killed someone. Now, exactly what restraints are there on a private contractor, in a country without a sovereign government, "interrogating detainees" that the U.S. claims have neither legal rights nor rights under the Geneva Convention? I shudder to think.

Oh, but it's OK, because Rummy says he's "stunned by it all." Don't know about you, but I'm LIVID!


Letting Doctor Theopolis know that I'm livid too,
Mother Davis

Posted by Katherine Davis at 8:52 AM# (permalink)


A Whole Lot of Isolated Incidents
 
The American military has now admitted that it has 22 separate investigations into torture of prisoners by American soldiers.

Keep this in mind: Those 22 are just the instances that the military is admitting to. It took a major scandal for them to 'fess up to these, so how many more cases have they covered up? Also, it's safe to assume that for every incident of torture that has been discovered, there are many more that have gone undiscovered.

Oh, but you see, the George W. Bush and his aides weren't lying to us when they said that American torture of Iraqi prisoners was "an isolated incident". You see, each time that an American soldier tortures an Iraqi prisoner, it's one particular isolated incident, so technically, it's not a lie, see...

Posted by J. Clifford Cook at 5:45 AM. # (permalink)


Bush Administration Torture Scandal A Cover Up
Tuesday, May 04, 2004
 
As the hours pass, it appears more and more that the responsibility for the American military torture scandal goes right to the top. Among the latest revelations: The Bush Administration engaged in a cover-up of the torture. Under direct control from the Bush White House, the Pentagon refused to inform Congress that it had discovered the practice of torture by American soldiers in Iraq, even after an official Pentagon report confirming the torture was completed.

In fact, Donald Rumsfeld "briefed" members of Congress on the situation in Iraq last Wednesday, just hours before the stories of Americans torturing their prisoners were revealed. During that "briefing", Rumsfeld told Congress nothing about the torture, even though Rumsfeld himself knew full well about it. The Bush Administration only informed Congress and the public about the torture after CBS 60 Minutes broke the story.

This cover-up of torture by the Bush Administration is illegal because the congressional authorization of military action in Iraq required the White House to keep Congress fully informed of military operations there. On this point alone, the law has been broken, and on this point alone it may be possible to impeach George W. Bush.

The question that remains in my mind is this: How long was George W. Bush planning to keep the use of torture secret from Congress and the American people? Did Bush have any plans to ever let us know about it?

Senator John McCain is right when he says that the use of torture by Americans in Iraq calls for an open, public investigation. But the investigation must not be of the American military alone. Congress must also initiate an independent, public investigation of the Bush White House, in order to discover who knew about the torture, when they knew about it, and whether there were any plans to make the legally required disclosure to Congress. It's time for George W. Bush to appear before a panel of investigators, and this time, he must not make an appearance all by himself, without Dick Cheney by his side.

Posted by J. Clifford Cook at 5:15 PM# (permalink)


News to Come: American military torturing Iraqi boys
 
Shaking with fury, Mother Davis advises,

Those who were not able to listen to this morning's Diane Rehm show on NPR need to get a hold of the Real Audio Internet archive of the show, which will be available within a day or so.

Among the guests was Seymour Hersch, who has undertaken investigations of the American torture of Iraqi prisoners. In the last minutes of the program, Mr. Hersch informs us that more revelations are to come, and specifically mentions videotape of American soldiers abusing Iraqi boys.

I have, until now, held back from calls for impeachment, believing that impeachment is a dangerously divisive tactic. I can no longer hold back, because it has become clear that the Bush Administration is so dominated by dangerous extremists that the American democracy itself is under threat.

George W. Bush is raping Iraq, and doing it in the name of American values.

Impeach. Impeach. Impeach!

Unable to allow torture to continue in my name,
Mother Davis

Posted by Katherine Davis at 10:59 AM# (permalink)


Republicans Go Nuts: H.R. 3920
 
How downright nutty is a Republican Congress left unchecked by a Democratic President? Twenty-six Republican members of the House of Representatives have introduced a bill, H.R. 3920, entitled "To allow Congress to reverse the judgments of the United States Supreme Court." Read the text of the bill, and you'll see that's exactly what the bill is trying to do:
"SEC. 2. CONGRESSIONAL REVERSAL OF SUPREME COURT JUDGMENTS.

The Congress may, if two thirds of each House agree, reverse a judgment of the United States Supreme Court--

(1) if that judgment is handed down after the date of the enactment of this Act; and

(2) to the extent that judgment concerns the constitutionality of an Act of Congress.

SEC. 3. PROCEDURE.

The procedure for reversing a judgment under section 2 shall be, as near as may be and consistent with the authority of each House of Congress to adopt its own rules of proceeding, the same as that used for considering whether or not to override a veto of legislation by the President."
What happens if the Congress is able to decide that a law is Constitutional if it says it is? Well, then, the Congress can pass any law it wants to, regardless of whether it actually follows the Constitution or not.

This dangerous attempt at subverting constitutional government betrays the Republican Party's lack of faith in the U.S. Constitution as a guiding set of principles of liberty and democracy. Those who would subvert the Constitution must be checked, and George W. Bush is not the man to do it. It's time to get a Democrat back in the White House. (Source: Library of Congress, House Resolution 3920)



Posted by Matthew Cook at 7:35 AM# (permalink)


The Potemkin Town Hall Meeting
 
George W. Bush just can't handle unvarnished reality. Need evidence? Look no further than a "town hall meeting" he set up with residents of Niles, Michigan. The phrase "town hall meeting" suggests people who live in a town getting together in a hall to have a meeting. But George W. Bush only let pre-selected people who benefitted from his regressive tax policies, and who handily support his candidacy, speak. (Source: Associated Press May 3, 2004)

Posted by Matthew Cook at 6:46 AM. # (permalink)


Reason #1088 to Boot Bush
Monday, May 03, 2004
 
Reason #1088 to Boot Bush:

A vital part of the Bush Administration's faith-based initiatives policy is the taxpayer-funded Compassion Capital Fund, which is designed to "help faith-based and community organizations increase their effectiveness." Indeed, it is the only Bush Administration effort that has specifically disclosed the recipients of faith-based funding. Although Jewish, Muslim, and other non-Christian religious organizations applied for Compassion Capital Fund funds from the Bush Administration, none were granted funding as of April 2004. (Sources: United States Department of Health and Human Services' Administration for Children and Families website, Frontline, "The Jesus Factor," April 2004)

Posted by Matthew Cook at 3:07 PM. # (permalink)


Uncanny parallels to My Lai
Sunday, May 02, 2004
 
Two uncanny parallels to My Lai:

1. The lawyer who defended a soldier court-martialed as a result of the My Lai massacre, Gary Myers, will defend a soldier accused in the Abu Ghraib tortures.

2. The journalist who broke the widespread, widely-approved nature of the torture in Iraq, Seymour Hersh, wrote the definitive journalistic work on My Lai, a book entitled My Lai 5.

I highly recommend Hersh's article in the New Yorker.

Posted by Matthew Cook at 8:26 AM# (permalink)


NY Times: Torture of Iraqi Prisoners Supervised by U.S. Army Intelligence
 
From Sunday's New York Times:

U.S. Army Reserve Brigadier General Janis Karpinski "said the prison cellblock where the abuse occurred was under the tight control of Army military intelligence officers who may have encouraged the abuse.

"The suggestion by Brig. Gen. Janis Karpinski that the reservists acted at the behest of military intelligence officers appears largely supported in a still-classified Army report on prison conditions in Iraq that documented many of the worst abuses at the Abu Ghraib prison, west of Baghdad, including the sexual humiliation of prisoners."

"In a letter earlier this year, Sergeant Frederick wrote, "I questioned some of the things that I saw." He described "such things as leaving inmates in their cell with no clothes or in female underpants, handcuffing them to the door of their cell." He added, "The answer I got was, `This is how military intelligence wants it done.' "

"General Karpinski said she was speaking out because she believed that military commanders were trying to shift the blame exclusively to her and other reservists and away from intelligence officers still at work in Iraq.

"We're disposable," she said of the military's attitude toward reservists. "Why would they want the active-duty people to take the blame? They want to put this on the M.P.'s and hope that this thing goes away. Well, it's not going to go away.""

"She said that C.I.A. employees often participated in the interrogations at Abu Ghraib, one of Iraq's most notorious prisons during the rule of Saddam Hussein.

"General Karpinski noted that one of the photographs of abused prisoners also showed the legs of 16 American soldiers the photograph was cropped so that their upper bodies could not be seen 'and that tells you that clearly other people were participating, because I didn't have 16 people assigned to that cellblock.'"



Posted by Matthew Cook at 12:02 AM. # (permalink)




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