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. [LewRockwell.com 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. 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. 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]
“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.”
[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 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 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
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. Ralph Peters:
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.
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. 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.