Posted by: quiscus | October 8, 2009

October 8, 2009

1.  Isn’t this criminal negligence, fraud, and bad faith on the part of our government?

“DoD Lacks Oversight on War Costs”

2.  Good:

Japan Threatening to Oust US Troops From Okinawa

3.  Anyone think this is appropriate?

“It depicts a University of Pittsburgh police officer directing traffic at a roadblock. What’s troubling is what he’s wearing: camouflage military fatigues. It’s difficult to understand why a police officer working for an urban police department would need to wear camouflage, especially while patrolling an economic summit. He’s a civilian police officer, dressed like a soldier. The symbolism is clear, and it affects the attitudes of the both the cops wearing the clothes and the people they’re policing.

Lucy Steigerwald, a libertarian student at Chatham University (and daughter of Reason contributor Bill Steigerwald), describes the scene via email: “I’m truly disappointed in my city’s reaction to Friday night….hundreds of riot cops attack[ed] Pittsburgh’s biggest, most jockish, mainstream college. And people still have no sympathy for peaceful protesters or curious college students on their campus. They just feel comfortable and confident that people who have the right to use force on other people are always in the right when they do so. It’s pretty scary and disappointing that they’re so trusting with people’s right to assembly being at the whim of the government.

A University of Pittsburgh spokesman said the tactic was to break up crowds that “had the potential of disrupting normal activities, traffic flow, egress and the like…Much of the arrests last night had to do with failure to disperse when ordered.” Note that a group of people needn’t have actually broken any laws, only possessed the “potential” to do so, at which point not moving quickly enough for the liking of the police on the scene could result in an arrest. That standard is essentially a license for the police to arrest anyone, anywhere in the city at any time, regardless of whether those under arrest have actually done anything wrong.”

4.  This war criminal wouldn’t know what a dove was if it took a dump on his head.

“Is McChrystal dovish on Iran?”

5.  If you think Muslims are ‘the enemy’, you need to grow up:

“Nearly One in Four Persons on Globe is Muslim

One of the implications is that the US is a little unlikely to thrive as a superpower in the 21st century if its more venal and bloodthirsty politicians go on barking about “Islamo-fascism” (they never said Christo-Fascism even though Gen. Franco in Spain was a good candidate for the label) and denigrating Islam and Muslims and seeking to militarily occupy their countries and siphon off their resources.”

6.  Fat chance that’ll happen:

Congressmen Grayson and Paul Ask Senate Banking to Delay Confirmation of Bernanke Until Fed Releases Information on Secret Bailouts”

7.  Lieberman is such a jerk – and an accessory after the fact to war crimes:

The American Propsect‘s Adam Serwer notes that, yesterday, Sen. Joe Lieberman successfully inserted into the Homeland Security appropriations bill an amendment — supported by the Obama White House — to provide an exemption from the Freedom of Information Act’s mandates by authorizing the Defense Secretary to suppress long-concealed photographs of detainee abuse.  Two courts had ruled — unanimously — that the American people have the right to see these photographs under FOIA, a 40-year-old law championed by the Democrats in the LBJ era and long considered a crowning jewel in their legislative achievements.  But this Lieberman amendment, which is now likely to pass, undermines all of that and — as EBay founder Pierre Omidyar put it today — its central purpose is to “legalize suppression” of evidence of American war crimes.

What made those detainee photographs so important from the start is that they depict brutal abuse well outside of the Abu Ghraib facility and thus reveal to Americans — and the world — that America’s torture was not, as they’ve been constantly told, limited to rogue sadists at Abu Ghraib and the waterboarding of three bad guys.  Instead, our torture regime was systematic, pervasive, brutal, fatal, and — becuase it was the by-product of conscious policies set at the highest levels of government — common across America’s “War on Terror” detention regime.  These photographs would have documented those vital facts; combated the false denials from torture apologists; fueled the momentum for accountability; and revealed, in graphic and unavoidable terms, what was truly done by America’s government.  But a Democratic-led Congress, at the urging of a Democratic President, are now taking extraordinary steps — including an act of Congress which has no purpose other than to suppress evidence of America’s war crimes — to ensure that this evidence never sees the light of day.

If a historian were to write about the events of the first nine months of 2009 when it came to transparency issues as they relate to the war crimes of the Bush years, the following is would be written.  Just remember this was all done with an overwhelming Democratic majority in both houses of Congress and a Democratic President elected on a promise to usher in “an unprecedented level of openness in Government” and “a new era of openness in our country.”  There’s no blaming Republicans for any of this.”

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