Another Torture Scandal .
Nov 30th, 2004 by Ken Hagler

Anoth­er Tor­ture Scan­dal. The New York Times today report­ed that the Inter­na­tion­al Com­mit­tee of the Red Cross gave the Bush admin­is­tra­tion a report last July reveal­ing that it had found that the U.S. mil­i­tary was using psy­cho­log­i­cal and phys­i­cal coer­cion “tan­ta­mount to tor­ture”… By James Bovard. [ Blog]

The Feds’ response is inter­est­ing:

White House spokesman Scott McClel­lan snubbed the Red Cross charges, and declared today: “We strong­ly dis­agree with any char­ac­ter­i­za­tion that sug­gests the way the [Guan­tanamo] detainees are being treat­ed is incon­sis­tent with the poli­cies that the pres­i­dent out­lined.”

So here we have the White House offi­cial­ly admit­ting that Bush ordered the tor­ture of pris­on­ers.

Attempt to stop mandatory mental screening fails .
Nov 29th, 2004 by Ken Hagler

Attempt to stop manda­to­ry men­tal screen­ing fails. An attempt by Rep. Ron Paul, R-Texas, to add lan­guage to the omnibus spend­ing bill in Con­gress to require parental con­sent for any mental-health screen­ing done to chil­dren with fed­er­al mon­ey has failed.

The lan­guage was pro­posed to blunt the effect of a pro­gram pro­posed by the New Free­dom Com­mis­sion on Men­tal Health, which Pres­i­dent Bush estab­lished in 2002. The New Free­dom Ini­tia­tive rec­om­mends screen­ing not only for chil­dren but even­tu­al­ly for every Amer­i­can. [World­Net­Dai­ly]

Forgotten Facts of American Labor History .
Nov 22nd, 2004 by Ken Hagler

For­got­ten Facts of Amer­i­can Labor His­to­ry. The oft-heard tale about the sad plight of labor as ver­sus cap­i­tal is almost entire­ly false, writes Thomas Woods, author of a new book on Amer­i­can his­to­ry. Those parts of con­ven­tion­al labor his­to­ry that are true are true for rea­sons oth­er than those alleged by pro-union his­to­ri­ans, who see in them only con­fir­ma­tion of their prej­u­dices against the mar­ket econ­o­my. By Thomas Woods. [Lud­wig von Mis­es Insti­tute Arti­cles]

Quote of the Day
Nov 21st, 2004 by Ken Hagler

From kaba:

Fool­ish lib­er­als who are try­ing to read the Sec­ond Amend­ment out of
the Con­sti­tu­tion by claim­ing it’s not an indi­vid­ual right or that it’s
too much of a pub­lic safe­ty haz­ard don’t see the dan­ger in the big
pic­ture. They’re court­ing dis­as­ter by encour­ag­ing oth­ers to use the
same means to elim­i­nate por­tions of the con­sti­tu­tion they don’t like.”

Alan Der­showitz
[End the War on Free­dom]

AP .  Here’s an interesting metric.  Actually, I think elections, even if there is a high voter turn-out, can undermi
Nov 21st, 2004 by Ken Hagler

AP.  Here’s an inter­est­ing met­ric.  Actu­al­ly, I think elec­tions, even if there is a high vot­er turn-out, can under­mine legit­i­ma­cy.  One rea­son (out of many): unrea­son­able expec­ta­tions.
But a low vot­er turnout, espe­cial­ly in Sun­ni strong­holds now plagued by insur­gency, would be worse than hav­ing no elec­tion at all, accord­ing to Peter Khalil, a nation­al secu­ri­ty research fel­low at the Saban Cen­ter of the Brook­ings Insti­tu­tion.  “You need at least 70 per­cent of the vot­ers to take place to accord legit­i­ma­cy to the next gov­ern­ment. If not, it will fuel the insur­gency and give it a new polit­i­cal dimen­sion,” said Khalil, who served for near­ly a year with the U.S.-led occu­pa­tion author­i­ties in Iraq.
[John Robb’s Weblog]

It’s a lit­tle sil­ly to be talk­ing about under­min­ing the legit­i­ma­cy of some­thing that has no legit­i­ma­cy to begin with. The quote aout need­ing 70% of the vot­ers is pret­ty fun­ny, though. That’s sig­nif­i­canty more than the turnout for any US elec­tion I’ve vot­ed in.

# Vin Supryniwicz at The Las Vegas Review-Journal — What do police departments r
Nov 19th, 2004 by Ken Hagler

Vin Supryni­wicz at The Las Vegas Review-Journal -

What do police depart­ments real­ly do?
— enforce malam pro­hibi­tum
laws against peace­ful peo­ple, that’s what. Behav­ior that only a few
decades ago would have got­ten them shot and fed to the local
hogs. Behav­ior that still ought to elic­it that
response. [stan­leyscoop]
Let us sup­pose that, mag­i­cal­ly, there were no police. You are sit­ting
at home of an evening, qui­et­ly read­ing a book. Next door, behind his
own locked doors, your 21-year-old neigh­bor, who inher­it­ed some
hand­guns from his grand­fa­ther, is spend­ing time with his 16- or
17-year-old sweet­heart, whose fam­i­ly is hap­py to know she intends to
mar­ry him and bear his chil­dren as soon as she grad­u­ates high
school. At the moment, the two of them are con­sum­ing some of the
mar­i­jua­na they grow in their back yard.

If you knew this, would you leap to your feet and race down­town, pound­ing on the door of the sleep­ing mag­is­trate, insist­ing he swear out a war­rant so you can rush back to your neigh­bor­hood, break into your neighbor’s home and arrest him?

Of course not. He’s hurt­ing no one.
[End the War on Free­dom]

Unfor­tu­nate­ly there real­ly are peo­ple who would ruin their neighbor’s life out of a twist­ed sense of self-importance and self-righteousness.

Muslims who act as if Islam had never come and its teachings had never been revealed .
Nov 18th, 2004 by Ken Hagler

Muslims who act as if Islam had never come and its teachings had never been revealed. Ralph Peters:

The hard-core terrorists spawned by the breakdown of the Middle East quote the Koran. They wear Muslim garments. They perform the daily rituals prescribed by the faith into which they were born. But all of us, in the West and the Middle East, have mistaken the identity of these butchers.

For all of their Muslim trappings, the terrorists of al-Qaeda and its affiliates have returned to pre-Islamic practices, to behaviors that Moses, Christ and Mohammed uniformly rejected: They practice human sacrifice.

The grisly decapitations caught on film and the explosives-laden cars driven into crowds, the bombings of schools and the execution of kidnapped women are not sanctioned by a single passage in the Koran. Nor are they political acts committed by freedom fighters. These are the actions of a resurrected blood cult that has nothing to do with the message of the Prophet Mohammed and everything to do with the bloodthirsty winged devils and gory altars that haunted the ancient Middle East.

The terrorists may believe that they're good Muslims — self-awareness is not a widespread human trait — but their deeds are those of the pagans Mohammed condemned...

...You don't need to understand Arabic to get the message of those videotaped beheadings, with their rituals and liturgy. The sermon precedes the sacrifice. Then the human calf, shivering with terror, has his throat slit by the "priest." We might be watching a ceremony from 4,000 years ago.

The attack on 9/11 was not a political act. It was a religious act. But it wasn't Islamic. The Koran forbids the murder of innocents (as well as the taking of hostages and the abuse of prisoners). The 9/11 attacks were cult behavior from the dawn of civilization, employing modern tools.

We must cut through the layers of intellectual nonsense piled up by academics and pundits to get at the essence of this new — and very old — reality. When the terrorists we face invoke the names of "Allah" or "Mohammed," they are blaspheming and corrupting a great faith. The prophet was appalled by the religious practices of the early desert peoples. Those who murder in his name today have rejected his message even as they claim to revere it.

The terrorists we face aren't super-Muslims. They're Islam's worst enemies. They don't seek to turn back the calendar to the 10th century. They're reaching back to the sordid epochs when gods drank human blood.

Etc, etc, etc. [Al-Muhajabah's Islamic Blogs]

Kevin Sites, the man who shot the video of a Marine murdering a wounded Iraqi, has his own weblog .
Nov 18th, 2004 by Ken Hagler

Kevin Sites, the man who shot the video of a Marine mur­der­ing a wound­ed Iraqi, has his own weblog.

New C.I.A.
Nov 17th, 2004 by Ken Hagler

New C.I.A. Chief Tells Workers to Back Administration Policies. Porter J. Goss, the new intelligence chief, has told Central Intelligence Agency employees that their job is to "support the administration and its policies in our work,'' a copy of an internal memorandum shows.

"As agency employees we do not identify with, support or champion opposition to the administration or its policies," Mr. Goss said in the memorandum, which was circulated late on Monday. He said in the document that he was seeking "to clarify beyond doubt the rules of the road." (link)

I thought their job was to provide intelligence analysis regardless of whether or not the truth supports the administration's policies. Silly me. [Al-Muhajabah's Islamic Blogs]

American Heroes… We sat, horrified, stunned with the horror of the scene that unfolded in front of our eyes.
Nov 17th, 2004 by Ken Hagler

Amer­i­can Heroes… We sat, hor­ri­fied, stunned with the hor­ror of the scene that unfold­ed in front of our eyes. It’s the third day of Eid and we were final­ly able to gath­er as a family- a cousin, his wife and their two daugh­ters, two aunts, and an elder­ly uncle. E. and my cousin had been stand­ing in line for two days to get fuel so we could go vis­it the elder­ly uncle on the final day of a very des­o­late Eid. The room was silent at the end of the scene, with only the voice of the news anchor and the sobs of my aunt. My lit­tle cousin flinched and dropped her spoon, face frozen with shock, eyes wide with dis­be­lief, glued to the tele­vi­sion screen, “Is he dead? Did they kill him?” I swal­lowed hard, try­ing to gulp away the lump lodged in my throat and watched as my cousin buried his face in his hands, ashamed to look at his daugh­ter.

What was I sup­posed to tell them?” He asked, an hour lat­er, after we had sent his two daugh­ters to help their grand­moth­er in the kitchen. “What am I sup­posed to tell them- ‘Yes dar­ling, they killed him- the Amer­i­cans killed a wound­ed man; they are occu­py­ing our coun­try, killing peo­ple and we are sit­ting here eat­ing, drink­ing and watch­ing tv’?” He shook his head, “How much more do they have to see? What is left for them to see?”

They killed a wound­ed man. It’s hard to believe. They killed a man who was com­plete­ly helpless- like he was some sort of dis­eased ani­mal. I had read the arti­cles and heard the sto­ries of this hap­pen­ing before- wound­ed civil­ians being thrown on the side of the road or shot in cold blood- but to see it hap­pen­ing on tele­vi­sion is some­thing else- it makes me crazy with anger. [Bagh­dad Burn­ing]

An Iraqi’s reac­tion to the mur­der of a wound­ed man in a Fal­lu­jah mosque.

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