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.
Video from Abu Ghraib
Friday, May 21, 2004
Washington Post is streaming a video from the Abu Ghraib prison.
This is what the dehumanizing experience of war does to people. If you supported the war, you are morally obligated to watch the outcome of your choice.
If you can't bear to watch it, you shouldn't have been able to bear to support it in the first place.
Ahmad Chalabi Conspiracy Theory
Is anyone else suspicious of the recent switch of Iraqi Ahmad Chalabi from pro-American cheerleader to anti-American rebel?
Chalabi is the guy who had been trying for years to get the U.S. government to invade Iraq. He's the one who fed the Bush Administration false stories about huge stockpiles of weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. The Bush Administration hand-picked Chalabi for a seat on the puppet government of the Iraqi Governing Council. Until just a couple weeks ago, Chalabi has been strongly supportive of the American occupation of Iraq.
Now, all of a sudden, Chalabi appears to be a strong opponent of the American occupation, giving fiery anti-American speeches and having his offices raided.
Well, as the Church Lady might ask, isn't that convenient?
Chalabi wants to be the next leader of Iraq, and the Bush Administration has wanted to place him in that role. Yet, Iraqis seem to detest anyone who supports the American occupation of Iraq. What now appears to be the widespread use of torture by Americans in Iraq makes it extremely difficult for a pro-American Iraqi to earn the trust of Iraqi voters. Chalabi, as long as he appears to be pro-American, would have no political future in Iraq.
So how, oh how, would a guy like Chalabi get credibility? Why, he'd have to appear to be standing up against the American occupying thugs, wouldn't he?
For me, Chalabi's switch from pro-occupation to anti-occupation happened too suddenly to be believed. I'm more inclined that Mr. Bush and Mr. Chalabi are in a wink-wink-nudge-nudge relationship in which it's understood that the best way to get Chalabi into power is to help him change his shed his image as a toady of the American occupying force.
A few weeks ago, I would have dismissed such an idea, but since then it's become clear that the Bush Administration will resort to anything, no matter how strange, to get its way.
Read the sworn statements of Iraqi Detainees at Abu Ghraib
Read the sworn statements of Iraqi Detainees at Abu Ghraib
Winston Smith at Abu Ghraib
'Do you remember,' said O'Brien, 'the moment of panic that used to occur in your dreams? There was a wall of blackness in front of you, and a roaring sound in your ears. There was something terrible on the other side of the wall. You knew that you knew what it was, but you dared not drag it into the open. It was the rats that were on the other side of the wall.'
- George Orwell, 1984
The Bush Legacy: Euphemisms for Torture
Looks like one thing Bush II will be remembered for is a proliferation of euphemisms for the word "torture."
The latest one, right up there with Richard Myers' "creating suitable physical and mental conditions for interrogation," comes from Ronald Dumbsfeld spokesman Larry Di Rita, who recently spoke of "non-doctrinal" interrogation methods. (Source: AP, 5/21/04)
Wonder if they used these kinds of "non-doctrinal" methods for "creating suitable physical and mental conditions for interrogation" back during the Spanish Inquisition. Wonder if these methods yielded any information on heresy-"related program activities."
Bush: The Car Crash President
Thursday, May 20, 2004
How incapable is George W. Bush of accepting criticism? The one time in her life that his wife made a critical comment about one of his speeches, he drove his car into the wall of a garage. (Source: Reuters May 19, 2004)
Torture Scandal Coverup?
Wednesday, May 19, 2004
Well, who'd a thought? Turns out every single one of the witnesses called to testify for the prosecution in the Abu Ghraib prison torture trial of Charles Graner, including the Lieutenant Colonel in charge of military operations at the prison, have refused to testify on the grounds that they might incriminate themselves. (Source: LA Times, 5/19/04)
Anybody smell a coverup?
Bigger than Abu Ghraib
Three journalists working for Reuters report they were detained by American forces and "forced into humiliating acts and compelled to make demeaning gestures as soldiers laughed, taunted them and took photographs."
Abu Ghraib? No. These journalists were detained at Forward Operating Base Volturno, near Fallujah.
Either there are two sets of bad apples spoiled in exactly the same way, or someone very high in the chain of command is at the source of the rot.
Read all about it.
Place Irregular Times content on your website for free
Tuesday, May 18, 2004
Would you like to share the latest Irregular Times articles with others on your web page? How about doing it in a way that's automatically updated, with no work from you, for absosmurfly free?
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Reason # 1135 to Boot Bush
Monday, May 17, 2004
In April of 2003, George W. Bush travelled to Canton, Ohio's Timken Co. to give a speech touting the benefits of his tax-cutting plan for companies like Timken.
In May of 2004, Timken Co. announced it would close three of its plants in Canton and lay off 1,300 workers. (Source: Cleveland Plain Dealer May 15, 2004)
Newsweek Corroborates Hersh
Now Newsweek chimes in with an independent report corroborating Seymour Hersh's revelations in the New Yorker:
George W. Bush, John Ashcroft and Donald Rumsfeld and Steve Cambone actively generated, against opposition from more modeate elements, the secret system for detentions and interrogations under which these instances of torture occurred.
Bush partisans will say that by examining these facts, journalists like Hersh and the three-person team at Newsweek are not supporting the troops. Bush campaign voices will say that by reading these articles and talking about them, we're spitting on American soldiers and calling them baby-killers.
Ignore that distraction: While George W. Bush, Donald Rumsfeld and the gang try to pin the blame on the grunts on the ground, these news pieces actually demonstrate the contrary. Primary fault does not lie with a few "bad apple" soldiers who came up with this torture on their own. Whether they should have done so or not, they were following orders. No, primary fault lies with the civilians who designed the new apparatus of indefinite detention and torture of "ghost prisoners." Their names: Bush. Ashcroft. Rumsfeld. Cambone.
Powell: Yes, The Administration Knew
And now, back to reality. From the Associated Press:
Secretary of State Colin Powell says there were high-level discussions within the Bush administration last fall about information from the International Committee of the Red Cross alleging inmate abuse at the U.S.-run Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq.Isn't it sad when reality in this country is weirdly darker than the conspiracy nuts can even imagine?
9-11 Uncovered: The TRUTH !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
For entertainment purposes only, visit 9-11 Uncovered. You'll find gems like this:
"Richard Clarke's revelations about the Bush Administration are actually part of the real coverup that is going on. Richard Clarke and George Bush are not enemies--they planned this entire fiasco. The 911 Commission and Bob Woodward's new book are also part of the coverup. In fact, the entire Democrat-Repubican rift about the 911 intelligence is all a sham. They are trying to distract you from the real truth. These people really belong to just one entity--the New World Order. 911 was simply a stepping stone for them to achieve their ultimate goal of a one-world government."
Man, it's fun to read conspiracy theories like that every once in a while. Hee, hee!
Impeach Bush Postcards: Bush Knew
Sunday, May 16, 2004
From Seymour Hersh's article in the New Yorker magazine to hit tomorrow's newsstands:
"The operation had across-the-board approval from Rumsfeld and from Condoleezza Rice, the national-security adviser. President Bush was informed of the existence of the program."
This refers to George W. Bush's knowledge of the secret program to kidnap suspects in Afghanistan and interrogate them using all available methods, including torture. It's not yet clear whether Bush knew about the torture going on in Iraq, but Bush clearly knew about the existence of a program centered in Afghanistan (and active in other countries) which worked outside American and international law, For this, Bush can be Impeached.
So, as promised we have extended our line of Irregular Postcards to include not just a set of Impeach Rumsfeld postcards, but also a set of postcards with the banner headline Stop the Torture: Impeach Bush. A small graphic of the Impeach Bush postcard can be seen below.
Folks, this is the test of American democracy in the eyes of the world. If we, the American people, do not get George W. Bush out of office, we will be regarded as supporting state-sponsored torture of prisoners. This torture is nothing short of terrorism.
Who here remembers the lonely voice of protest in the U.S. Congress at the beginning of George W. Bush's War Against Evildoers? It said, "Let us not become the evil we deplore". That voice was Barbara Lee, and we thank her for the foresight that her colleagues lacked.
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