More Progress

From Holden: We don’t need no stinking plan! The House of Representatives voted down a measure, by a 128 to 300 vote, that called on President Bush to devise a plan for a withdrawal from Iraq. Two soldiers killed yesterday whenthier helicopter was shot down near Buqubha, which in Dear Leader’s mind is proof that we are winning. Unka Dick needs to bust some union ass! Some 300 Filipinos employed at a US military camp in Iraq went on strike this week to protest poor working conditions, the foreign ministry said on Friday. The workers, under contract from Prime Projects … Continue reading More Progress

Damn You To Hell, Newsweek!!!!

From Holden: I blame Newsweek for the fact that U.S. soldiers fired on a civilian bus in Baghdad for no apparent reason, killing three. “American forces opened fire on a minibus in the Dura district, in southern Baghdad, killing three people and wounding four others,” said a defence ministry source. US military spokesman Lieutenant Jamie Davis confirmed the incident but could not say at what time the bus shooting occurred. “The details are sketchy and we don’t know who was involved,” Davis said. Bus driver Abbas Abbas said US troops opened fire after he pulled over to get out of … Continue reading Damn You To Hell, Newsweek!!!!

More Abu Ghraib Photos To Come

From Holden: Thank whatever diety you wish for the ACLU And while you are reading this bit notice how the guvmint lawyer is suddenly all concerned and shit for the detainees rights under the Geneva Convention. A federal judge in New York told the Defense Department yesterday that it would have to release perhaps dozens of photographs taken by an American soldier of Iraqi detainees in the Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq. The judge, Alvin K. Hellerstein, said at a hearing that photographs would be the “best evidence” in the public debate about the abuse of Iraqi prisoners by American … Continue reading More Abu Ghraib Photos To Come

Tanned, Rested and Ready

From Holden: A British think-tank concludes that the Iraqi insurgency has been re-organized and re-energized since the elections. Iraq’s insurgents, described earlier this year by U.S. officials as a dwindling force, have resisted military efforts to halt their attacks and have an apparent new bombing strategy to inflict headline-grabbing casualties, according to diplomatic and academic experts. The specialists, including one with extensive experience in Iraq, suggested that Washington misinterpreted a lull in attacks after January’s national elections as a sign that the Iraqi insurgency was dying out or relaxing its effort to force a foreign military retreat. Instead, the experts … Continue reading Tanned, Rested and Ready

Today on Holden’s Obsession with the Gaggle

From Holden: In today’s gaggle coverage I want to focus your attention on the excellent questions asked by two gagglers who I normally use as punching bags. First up, Raghubir Goyal asks about progress in Afghanistan. Q The question is — the question is that ex-Taliban foreign minister in Afghanistan, Mr. Wakil Ahmed — Mullah Wakil, he said that his government made a mistake by hosting Omar Mullah and also Osama bin Laden. And now he’s running for the parliament as the leader of the Taliban. And also in — according to a Pakistan newspaper, Omar Mullah, he criticized Afghanistan … Continue reading Today on Holden’s Obsession with the Gaggle

Another Reason for the Hatred

From Holden: A former Wall Street trader who rejoined the Marines after the Sept. 11 attacks will not be tried on murder charges for killing two suspected Iraqi insurgents, a Marine general decided Thursday. The decision by Maj. Gen. Richard Huck, commander of the 2nd Marine Division based at Camp Lejeune, ends the prosecution of 2nd Lt. Ilario Pantano, whom prosecutors accused of killing the men without justification. [snip] The two Iraqis were killed during an April 2004 search outside a suspected terrorist hideout in Mahmudiyah, Iraq. Pantano, 33, contended he shot them in self-defense after the men disobeyed his … Continue reading Another Reason for the Hatred

Laura Just Loves Those Violent Tyrants

From Holden: After all, she married one. On Monday she gave the Egyptian president-for-life the tongue. In front of the pyramids, Laura Bush said on Monday that building democracy is a slow process, and she praised Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak for what she called an important first step toward open elections. “I think he’s been very bold and wise to take the first step,” Mrs. Bush said of the president who has served 24 years without facing an opposing candidate for re-election. [snip] Mrs. Bush told reporters that sometimes “you have to be slow” when implementing political freedoms. That’s right, … Continue reading Laura Just Loves Those Violent Tyrants

The New And Improved Green Zone

From Holden: Don’t try to tell me that the insurgency in Iraq won’t see this as a challenge. The government announced Thursday that a security cordon of 40,000 Iraqi soldiers and police will ring Baghdad starting next week to try to halt a spree of insurgent violence that has killed more than 620 people this month. [snip] The security cordon next week would be followed by similar anti-terrorism moves across the country, part of an effort to shift the government stance toward the insurgency from a defensive to an offensive position, said Interior Minister Bayan Jabr and Defense Minister Saadoun … Continue reading The New And Improved Green Zone

The Five Stages of Bushery

From Holden: Your president was asked about his confused position on stem cell research today. Let’s put on our psychologist caps and analyze the five stages of his response. The Question: Thank you, sir. With 400,000 frozen embryos in this country unlikely to all get adopted, why do you think that either storing them or even discarding them is better than using them for research? Stage One: Recognition She’s asking about a very delicate subject called embryonic stem cell research. Stage Two: Dishonesty I have made my position very clear on that issue. Stage Three: Prevarication I believe that the … Continue reading The Five Stages of Bushery

Action Alert – WaPo and the American Gulag

Thursday, May 26, 2005; Page A26 IT’S ALWAYS SAD when a solid, trustworthy institution loses its bearings and joins in the partisan fracas that nowadays passes for political discourse. It’s particularly sad when the institution is Amnesty International, which for more than 40 years has been a tough, single-minded defender of political prisoners around the world and a scourge of left- and right-wing dictators alike. True, Amnesty continues to keep track of the world’s political prisoners, as it has always done, and its reports remain a vital source of human rights information. But lately the organization has tended to save … Continue reading Action Alert – WaPo and the American Gulag

Three Crosses Burned in North Carolina – KKK comes out to play

from CNN: The first burning was reported at 9:19 p.m. outside St. Luke’s Episcopal Church. The next came at 9:54 p.m. atop a large pile of dirt near an apartment complex construction site; the third was at 10:28 p.m. at a downtown intersection. [snip] Police said each cross was about 7 feet tall and 4 feet wide and made of four 2-by-4s. They were wrapped in burlap and doused in a liquid that smelled like kerosene. The cross burnings were the first in recent memory in Durham. DURHAM, North Carolina (AP) — Three large crosses were burned in separate spots … Continue reading Three Crosses Burned in North Carolina – KKK comes out to play

Crass Commercialism

Donation link is fixed. I think. Tell me if it’s not. All right. Longtime readers of this site may recall the days when we had nothing here but some Firefly fanfic and my reviews of TV shows. Longtime readers may also remember we didn’t always have ads, either, but we have some now. *points at ads* And we have stuff, T-shirts and hats and mugs and such. We also have a donation link up and running now, over there on your right. That, and the ads, and the swag, is mainly intended to defray hosting costs and other assorted little … Continue reading Crass Commercialism

License to Kill

The following quotes are all drawn from news accounts of the last few days on the stem cell bills. Sen. Sam Brownback, on stem cell research: “We all have a duty to protect the innocent, and this vote represents a failure to recognize the scientific fact that stem cell research that destroys embryos kills young human children.”And “We simply should not go down the road of using taxpayer dollars to kill young humans.” Rep. Tom DeLay on stem cell research: “In the life of men and nations some mistakes you can’t undo,” DeLay said as he closed the House debate. … Continue reading License to Kill

Department of Exactly

Over to you, Mr. Reider: The Bush administration and the right-wing blogs have had a field day with the episode. But some of their rallying cries have been downright laughable. The notion that Newsweek has blood on its hands is ridiculous. People died because irresponsible zealots used the news item to work their followers into a frenzy of anti-Americanism. And the climate that made that so easy to do was created, not by the dreaded liberal media, but by the people who launched the war in Iraq and jettisoned the rights of detainees at Guantnamo and Abu Ghraib. Indeed, as … Continue reading Department of Exactly

Today on Holden’s Obsession with the Gaggle, Part I: Every Sperm is Sacred

From Holden: The Bush assministration hasn’t quite worked out all the nuances in its Hug an Embryo for Jeebus policy, as you can tell from today’s gaggle. Q The Senate is now going to schedule a vote on the stem cell legislation that passed yesterday. What does President Bush think should be done with all of the frozen embryos in clinics that are not going to be used? MR. McCLELLAN: Actually, the President talked about that very issue yesterday, and — Q I don’t think he addressed that — MR. McCLELLAN: I think — actually, I think he did. The … Continue reading Today on Holden’s Obsession with the Gaggle, Part I: Every Sperm is Sacred

Today on Holden’s Obsession with the Gaggle Part II: Lies, Torture, and Lies

From Holden: Let’s lead off with none other than Helen Thomas as she catches Little Scottie indulging in a bit of historical revisionism. Q The other day — in fact, this week, you said that we, the United States, is in Afghanistan and Iraq by invitation. Would you like to correct that incredible distortion of American history — MR. McCLELLAN: No, we are — that’s where we currently — Q — in view of your credibility is already mired? How can you say that? MR. McCLELLAN: Helen, I think everyone in this room knows that you’re taking that comment out … Continue reading Today on Holden’s Obsession with the Gaggle Part II: Lies, Torture, and Lies

Another Torture Advocate for Justice

From Holden: Dan Froomkin picks up the story of Chimpy’s latest nominee. The Bush administration yesterday announced the nomination of Timothy E. Flanigan, a former White House lawyer and a senior vice president at Tyco International Ltd., to take over as second-in-command at the Justice Department. The nomination of Flanigan, 51, could prompt a debate in the Senate because of his involvement in setting interrogation and detention policies while he was at the White House and because the ongoing prosecutions of two former Tyco executives are being overseen by the deputy attorney general’s office. [snip] Officials have said Flanigan was … Continue reading Another Torture Advocate for Justice

Sen. Rockefeller: Bolton Mishandled NSA Intercepts

From Holden: Jeebus, Republicans. How bad does this guy have to be before you vote no? The top Democrat on the Senate Intelligence Committee said today that John R. Bolton might have mishandled classified information by sharing with another State Department official details about a communication intercepted by the National Security Agency. The assertion, by Senator John D. Rockefeller IV of West Virginia, followed a two-week review of the issue by the committee’s staff. Mr. Rockefeller outlined his findings in a three-page letter to the leaders of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, on the same day that the full Senate … Continue reading Sen. Rockefeller: Bolton Mishandled NSA Intercepts

Today on Holden’s Obsession with the Gaggle [Summary]

From Holden: Those in the know recognize the fact that I use the term “gaggle” rather loosely. Little Scottie typically takes questions from the press corps twice a day: once in the morning in an informal session called the Gaggle, and again in a more formal afternoon Press Briefing that typically opens with official announcements and updates on the president’s biking schedule. The session I generally obsess on is actually the afternoon Press Briefing because that’s usually the only session for which I can locate a transcript. I refer to both sessions as the “gaggle” because it is a silly-ass … Continue reading Today on Holden’s Obsession with the Gaggle [Summary]

Bad Apples or Evil Orders?

From Holden: Was a Navy Seal freelancing when he beat an Iraqi detainee, or was he following CIA orders? A CIA official testified he witnessed the “pummelling” of a detainee at a Navy Seal base in Baghdad in 2003, but a former Seal who beat the prisoner said he was acting on instructions from the CIA. The differing accounts were offered as the court-martial of Navy Seal Lieutenant Andrew Ledford got under way on Tuesday. Ledford, accused of charges including assault, dereliction of duty and conduct unbecoming an officer, faces a maximum of 11 years in military prison if convicted. … Continue reading Bad Apples or Evil Orders?

Children of Baghdad Better Off Under Saddam

From Holden: Freedom Cholera On The March! Cholera is spreading in Baghdad’s impoverished al-Amil quarter where overcrowding and contaminated water are leading to fears of an epidemic. City officials blame insurgent attacks on infrastructure for the outbreak in southwest Baghdad. Children have so far been the worse affected, with one doctor at a Baghdad hospital saying he is now seeing young cholera patients on a daily basis. Nadia Shawkat was in line at the Central Children’s Hospital waiting for a doctor to treat her daughter. “My only baby girl has cholera, and the reason is water pollution, as the physician … Continue reading Children of Baghdad Better Off Under Saddam

Meet The New Evil Empire

From Holden: Amnesty International branded the U.S. prison camp at Guantanamo Bay a human rights failure Wednesday, calling it “the gulag of our time” as it released a report that offers stinging criticism of the United States and its detention centers around the world. The 308-page report accused the United States of shirking its responsibility to set the bar for human rights protections and said Washington has instead created a new lexicon for abuse and torture. Amnesty International called for the camp to be closed. “Attempts to dilute the absolute ban on torture through new policies and quasi-management speak, such … Continue reading Meet The New Evil Empire

Two Makes a Pattern

From Holden: Just as FBI agents stood aside as the Saudis tortured American Ahmed Omar Abu Ali, they also allowed Pakistani agents to torture two American citizens in Pakistan. American F.B.I. agents repeatedly interrogated two United States citizens who were illegally detained for eight months and did nothing to stop them from being tortured by Pakistani authorities, a human rights group said Tuesday. The brothers, Zain and Kashan Afzal, ages 23 and 25, respectively, both Americans of Pakistani descent, were arrested at their Karachi home last August and kept in secret Pakistani detention facilities for eight months until their release … Continue reading Two Makes a Pattern