Monthly Archives: June 2005

Today on Holden’s Obsession with the Gaggle

From Holden:

Stephen “Yellow Cake” Hadley was on gaggle duty in Scottie’s place today, and the gagglers want to know more about Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, the new Iranian president Chimpy’s belicose words helped elect.

Q Steve, has the United States been able to determine whether Iran’s new President was indeed one of the captors of the 52 Americans who were held for 444 days?

MR. HADLEY: We have seen reports of that. I understand there’s some photographs. We obviously are looking into it. At this point, no determination has been raised. It obviously raises some questions, and we’re looking into that.


Q But when you talk about potential consequences, would he, if he is confirmed to have been one of the original hostage takers, then be in violation of Geneva Conventions or international laws of some kind?

Well, er –uh… um, violating of the Geneva Conventions and international laws does not disqualify you from leading a country, does it?

Stand Create

“Of all the souls that stand create

I have elected One

When Sense from Spirit flies away

And Subterfuge is done

When that which is and that which was

Apart intrinsic stand

And this brief Drama in the flesh

Is shifted like a Sand

When Figures show their royal Front

And mists are carved away

Behold the Atom I preferred

To all the lists of Clay!

— Emily Dickinson

MADRID, June 30 – The Spanish Parliament gave final approval today to a bill legalizing same-sex marriage, making Spain only the second nation to eliminate all legal distinctions between same-sex and heterosexual unions, according to supporters of the bill.

The measure, passed by a vote of 187 to 147, establishes that couples will have the same rights, including the freedom to marry and to adopt children, regardless of gender.

In the end, I pray, I hope, I believe love never loses.

Many blessings on your marriages, fair lads and ladies of Spain.


Criminals, Not Sources

From Holden:

I’m sick of the claim that Judith Miller and Matt Cooper risk going to jail because they are protecting “sources”. The two reporters are protecting felons, traitors to be exact. Miller and Cooper are witnesses to a crime, and according to Novak the criminals who revealed Valerie Plame’s identity are “senior administration officials” – traitors in high places no less. There is no honor in protecting them.

Imagine the reaction if, during the Watergate years, Bob Woodward had witnessed Mark Felt committing a sexual assault. The cops had the victim but could not identify the perpetrator. They knew Woodward witnessed the crime. Would there have been any breast-beating over Woodward if he had refused to divulge the name of the criminal who just happened to have been his “source”?

I think not.

They Say It’s Your Birthday

From Holden:

Yes, it is my birthday as I reach the ripe-but-not-too-ripe age of XX today.

This was a helluva nice present.

It is a wonderful day to say thanks to a few of the bloggy folks I’ve met and corresponded with over the past three years or so starting with the fabulous Tena and the soon-to-be-$25-poorer Athenae who graciously share this space with me.

Thanks as well to Attaturk, Robert M. Jeffers (who was also born on this date), NTodd, Backslider, skippy, Dan Froomkin, TBogg, watertiger, and of course the daily (hourly) read – Atrios who gave the opportunity to guest in his place just less than a year ago, thus giving me a push down the road to hell.

Reality Tramples Fantasy

From Holden:

Something tells me this is not the kind of announcement Chimpy wanted Condi’s department to issue yesterday.

The State Department called Iraq too dangerous for American travellers on Wednesday, hours after President George W Bush pointed to “significant progress” there.

“Attacks against military and civilian targets throughout Iraq continue,” and targets include hotels and restaurants, the State Department’s travel warning said. “There have been planned and random killings, as well as extortions and kidnappings.” The State Department issues warning against unnecessary travel to countries where internal conditions such as war, political unrest or terrorism may make American tourists, business people or other travellers targets. Wednesday’s warning replaced a similarly worded warning issued in October.


The State Department warning said terrorism threatens travel over land and by air.

“There is credible information that terrorists are targeting civil aviation. Civilian and military aircraft arriving in and departing from Baghdad International Airport have been subjected to small arms and missiles,” the warning said.

US government personnel are not allowed to fly commercially aboard Iraq’s national airline, Iraqi Airways. They must come and go to the country on US military or other government-owned aircraft, or by Royal Jordanian Airlines.

“All vehicular travel in Iraq is extremely dangerous,” the warning said. “There have been numerous attacks on civilian vehicles, as well as military convoys. Attacks occur throughout the day, but travel at night is exceptionally dangerous.” More than 1,700 US troops have died in Iraq, with thousands more injured. The toll is even higher among Iraqis.

Eason Jordan Will Burn For This

From Holden:

Journalist, the most dangerous job in Iraq.

Yasser Salihee, an Iraqi special correspondent for Knight Ridder, the parent company of the Free Press, was shot and killed in western Baghdad on Friday as his car neared U.S. and Iraqi troops who had stopped to search a building for snipers.

Salihee, 30, was driving alone when a bullet pierced his windshield and then his skull. The shot appears to have been fired by a U.S. military sniper, though Iraqi soldiers in the area also may have been shooting at the time.

U.S. Humvees blocked three entry points to the intersection Salihee was approaching. The one he was driving toward was manned by Iraqi and U.S. soldiers on foot. It’s unclear how well he could have seen the troops, and whether they were in the road waving motorists away, or taking cover in case of sniper attack.

Most witnesses told another Knight Ridder Iraqi special correspondent that no warning shots were fired. But the front right tire of Salihee’s car was pierced by a bullet, presumably meant to stop him from advancing.

Iraqis in Baghdad often complain that U.S. and Iraqi soldiers set up positions in roadways without clearly marking them. Such roadblocks increase the likelihood that motorists won’t have time to stop before soldiers, worried about suicide car bombers, open fire, many Iraqis say.

The U.S. Army said it is investigating the incident.


Salihee began working for Knight Ridder in early 2004. He said he left his position as a doctor at Baghdad’s Yarmouk Hospital because of low salaries paid by the Iraqi government. But he volunteered at medical clinics on his days off.

He is survived by his wife, Raghad, also a physician, and their 2-year-old daughter, Danya.

Bridget Nation

Why shit like this works.

“The point is that you are supposed to vote for the principle of the thing, not the itsy-bitsy detail about this percent and that percent. And it is perfectly obvious that Labour stands for the principle of sharing, kindness, gays, single mothers and Nelson Mandela as opposed to braying bossy men having affairs with everyone shag-shag-shag left, right and center and going to the Ritz in Paris then telling all the presenters off on the Today program.”

–Helen Fielding, “Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason”

And the principle of the thing at work here is that Arabs attacked us, Muslims attacked us, and that one brown person is as good as another. There’s a type we hate, a group we hate, even though some of them are all right and we sure like eating their falafel at Taste of Buttfuck, Ohio, and if they’d just take the veils off and “blend in” we wouldn’t even have to trouble our beautiful minds. But really, when you get right down to it, they’re all the same to us is the principle of the thing, and quibbling about this Arab country or that Arab country is just nitpicking.


Today on Holden’s Obsession with the Gaggle

From Holden:

After wasting the first half of the gaggle on Frances “Pinball Wizard” Townsend’s discussion of the rearrangement of the intelligence deck chairs, the gaggleres got down to busines..

Q Can I follow on that? Part of what Senator Rockefeller said was that by using the references to 9/11, that the President was trying to click a patriotic button that would make people more patient. He called it “amazing.” He further said that there was no connection between Osama bin Laden, Iraq and 9/11, and effectively was saying the President was using that national tragedy. How do you respond to that?

MR. McCLELLAN: And who made any suggestion of a link to the attacks? [Ack! Was Scottie watching the NBA Draft last night?] What the President was talking about was that September 11th taught us important lessons. It taught us that we must confront threats before they full materialize, before they reach our shores. That’s why the President decided we were going to take the fight to the enemy. We are taking the fight to the enemy abroad so that we don’t have to fight them here at home. We are on the offense, not defense. And that’s the way you fight and wage and win the war on terrorism.

Q I guess the question Democrats have is, is the enemy in Iraq the same enemy that struck the United States on September 11th, 2001?

MR. McCLELLAN: Actually, the President talked about it last night. He said the terrorists have chosen to make Iraq a central front in the war on terrorism. They are the same — they have the same hatred and — let me back up — they have the same ideology of hatred and oppression that the terrorists who attacked us on September 11th held. These are the same kind of people. They are terrorists who seek to dominate the Middle East.


Q So while the President isn’t arguing that Saddam Hussein and his regime were behind 9/11, he’s saying that essentially they’re the same kind of people?

MR. McCLELLAN: Well, remember, we talked about how his regime was a sworn enemy of the United States. And what the terrorists did was choose to make Iraq a central front in the war on terrorism. No matter where you stood on the decision to go into Iraq — we talked about the decision about why we went into Iraq — I think all of us can recognize that the terrorists have made it a central front in the war on terrorism. [snip]

Holy Jesus, Holy Jesus, Holy Jesus!

What about Rummy’s 12-year timetable?

Q Last night, the President did not give a timetable. He said he wouldn’t give a timetable. But over the weekend, Don Rumsfeld said that the insurgent activity could last into 12 years and by then Iraqi forces will be policing themselves. What guarantee is this administration going to give U.S. forces will not be in Iraq for 12 years, or 20 years, or 30 years?

MR. McCLELLAN: I think, April, first of all, to correct you, Secretary Rumsfeld was talking about typical insurgencies. And I think he was talking about five to 12 years, somewhere in that range. And that’s what he was talking about. And so —

Q He said Iraqis will be policing themselves —

MR. McCLELLAN: Well, I just wanted to put it in context.

The President, as you heard last night, laid out a clear way forward. As we stand up Iraqi forces, we will stand down American forces.


Q Listening to your answer, am I wrong in assuming that some U.S. presence will be in Iraq for as long as it takes, it could be 12 years, 20 year, or 30 years? Am I wrong —

MR. McCLELLAN: You’re trying to set artificial timetables now.

Q No, I’m not. Rumsfeld gave a year this weekend.

MR. McCLELLAN: I think you have to look at the progress that’s being made. There’s a two-track strategy. The President outlined it last night — the political track and the military track. And it’s important that we continue moving forward on both.


Q — troops going in, but as long as it takes, could — as long as it takes, if that is 20 years, is that as long as it takes?

MR. McCLELLAN: April, you’re trying to get us to set artificial timetable, and we’re not going to —

Q Rumsfeld said 12 years this weekend. I didn’t give you that number, your own Defense Secretary gave it.

MR. McCLELLAN: No, that’s not exactly what he said.

Q Okay.

MR. McCLELLAN: And I’m not going to get into setting artificial timetables. And you have to look at the progress being made on the ground.

Q He gave numbers. I’m asking the question.

MR. McCLELLAN: Go ahead, Goyal.

Follow that with this excellent question.

Q In this issue of the administration making the point, the President making the point, better to fight the terrorists there, if you don’t fight them there, you’ll be fighting them here in the U.S., is there an implied statement that if there were an attack here, the Iraq policy would, therefore, be a failure? Is there an implied statement that continuing the Iraq war means there won’t be an attack here?

And then we want to know why the troops hate Dear Leader?

Q Scott, can you clear up something about the atmospherics of last night? A Bragg PAO told me that the White House had left somewhat ambiguous how the troops should comport themselves during the speech last night, that he didn’t want a big pep rally with the rousing hooahs that you always get at most of these base speeches. But then, at the same time, you weren’t really expecting that there wouldn’t be any applause, and that the person who went up to instruct the troops on protocol sort of overinterpreted what the White House was looking for. Is that a fair assessment?

MR. McCLELLAN: Well, I was with the President ahead of the speech when he was visiting with many of the families of the fallen, so I wasn’t there when whoever the military officer was that spoke to the troops. But this was a serious address to the nation. My understanding was that we did talk to the military and talk to them about that, and that’s why you saw at the beginning of the speech that instead of applauding, the troops simply stood up and stood at attention. And I think that they recognized that this was an address to the nation, this was not a rally-type event.

Q Right, but is it safe to say that you weren’t expecting there to be no applause until a White House advance person, either caught up in the moment or whatever, started it?

MR. McCLELLAN: The President appreciates the warm reception he had at Fort Bragg both from the families of many of our fallen that were there he was visiting with beforehand, as well as the troops at Fort Bragg — the troops who have been serving on the front line in the war on terrorism. He appreciated the warm reception he received and was pleased to give that address at Fort Bragg. I don’t know of many Presidents that have gone to Fort Bragg on two occasions. This was his second occasion to go to Fort Bragg. But many of the men and women serving from Fort Bragg are doing an outstanding job, helping us to defend our freedoms and helping to advance freedom and democracy in the broader Middle East.

In today’s edition of your Daily Les, Kinsolving points to yet another contradiction in the assministration’s foreign policy.

Q The Jerusalem Embassy Act of 1995, introduced by Senator Bob Dole, a good Republican, requires that relocation of our embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem unless there are national security concerns, which President Bush has just claimed there are, and he has for every year of his presidency. And my question: Since we are opening a U.S. embassy in Baghdad, how on Earth can the President claim Jerusalem is more dangerous than Baghdad?

MR. McCLELLAN: Les, right now in the Middle East it’s a very hopeful period for the Palestinian period and for the people of Israel. And we’ve got to keep our focus on the step that is before us right now. It’s an important step. That is the disengagement plan. That’s where our focus is. The President this afternoon is receiving an update from General Ward, our security coordinator, who is helping the Palestinians restructure and unify their security forces, and from the U.N. special — or the Quartet special envoy, Jim Wolfensohn, who is helping the Palestinian people make sure they have the institutions in place and the economy in place to take over the Gaza area once Israel withdraws from there.

Q Well, is Baghdad — do you believe that —

MR. McCLELLAN: Les, hang on —

Q — is more dangerous —

MR. McCLELLAN: Les, Les, it’s —

Q — is less dangerous than Jerusalem?

MR. McCLELLAN: Les, Les —

Q Do you? I mean, could you answer that?

MR. McCLELLAN: I don’t think that’s a distinction to get into. I think that the focus needs to be —

Q You don’t want to answer that question.

MR. McCLELLAN: — on moving forward on the disengagement plan and making sure that’s successful, because then it will help us move forward on the rest of the road map. But we need to take that step right now and focus our efforts there.

No Higher Calling

From Holden:

George W. Bush, June 28, 2005:

And to those watching tonight who are considering a military career, there is no higher calling than service in our Armed Forces.

Some chose a lower calling we know as punditry.

UPDate: I’m through being coy. Adding the names.

Rich Lowery

Michelle Maglalang

Ben Shapiro

Laura Ingrahamsandwich

Glenn Reynolds

Jonah DoughyPantLoad

While others failed to heed the call despite the fact that they campaigned on behalf of the president who is their father or uncle.

The NotJennster

The Jennster

Pierce Bush

Lauren Bush

George Pee Bush

Noelle Bush

Marshall Bush (center)

Reject CAFTA

From Holden:

CAFTA will be bad for workers. The Bush assministration knows that, and they are lying about it.

The Labor Department kept secret for more than a year government studies that supported Democratic opponents of the Bush administration’s new Central American trade deal, internal documents show.

The studies, paid for by the department, concluded that several countries the administration wants to be granted free-trade status have poor working conditions and fail to protect workers’ rights. The agency dismissed the conclusions as inaccurate and biased, according to documents reviewed by The Associated Press.


The studies’ conclusions contrast with the administration’s arguments that Central American countries have made enough progress on such issues to warrant a free-trade deal with the United States.


Hoping to lure enough Democratic votes to win passages, U.S. Trade Representative Rob Portman earlier this month promised to spend money and arrange an international conference to ensure “the best agreement ever negotiated by the United States on labor rights.”

But behind the scenes, the administration began as early as spring 2004 to block the reports’ public release.

The Labor Department instructed its contractor to remove the reports from its Web site, ordered it to retrieve paper copies before they became public, banned release of new information from the reports, and even told the contractor it couldn’t discuss the studies with outsiders.

Damn You Eason Jordan!

From Holden:

American can’t handle the truth.

The French-based press freedom organization, Reporters Without Borders (RWB), on Wednesday called on Iraq and the United States to provide information about the disappearance of two TV journalists early last month and for an explanation on the murder of a local TV producer on Tuesday.

Cyrus Kar, a US national of Iranian origin and his Iranian cameraman Farshid Faraji, were both arrested in Iraq on May 2, 2005, while making a documentary called, “In search of Darius the Great.” And only yesterday, Ahmed Wael Al Bacri, a producer on local Al-Sharkiya television, died at the wheel of his car while he was shot upon returning to his home in Baghdad.

“We ask for light to be shed on the circumstances of the arrest of documentary-maker Cyrus Kar and his cameraman Farshid Faraji” the Reporters’ body said in a statement.

“The US and Iraqi authorities should quickly investigate to find out the reasons for their detention,” the organisation said, adding, “We are particularly worried for Faraji about whom we have had no news since his arrest on 2 May.” The US national, Kar, was apparently spotted in a US army transport since his arrest.

“We have found out that Kar was seen in a US Army vehicle. It is not the first time that US forces have arbitrarily detained journalists in Iraq. The extremely sensitive context in the country does not justify this detention and it is important the US forces continue to respect the work of journalists, the RWB statement said.

“We demand the full truth about this case and the murder of Ahmed Wael Al Bacri. We ask the competent authorities to take all necessary steps to investigate the circumstances of his death. Iraqi journalists are frequently the target of attacks and pay a high price for reporting the news,” the organisation added.

Summer In The City

After reading this, all I have to say is that I want a snow cone.

And that’s about the most coherent thought you’re going to get out of me until this heat wave breaks.

What’s your favorite summer treat?


Scottie vs. The Chimp

From Holden:

George Bush, September 18, 2003:

“No, we’ve had no evidence that Saddam Hussein was involved with September the 11th,” Bush said.

But in this morning’s gaggle Little Scottie put a different spin on the issue, according to Talk Radio News Service’s Gregory Gorman.

When asked if the president is willing to admit that there is no specific Iraqi link to what happened on 9/11, McClellan responded that Iraq was a state sponsor of terrorism and that Iraq shared the ideology of those that participated in the 9/11 attacks.

Less Than 40 By The 4th Is Breaking Out All Over

From Holden:

I just have to promote ltsply2’s comment from another thread to the main blog page:

Take a look at the SurveyUSA results at:

Holden wins in 11 states including: ME, MA, DE, NV, NJ, MI, CA, CT, IL, NY, RI, and VT

Nationwide approval at 43%.

Wow. The good people of 14 states rate Chimpy’s job performance at less than 40%, including these red states:

Iowa: 39%

Nevada: 39%

Ohio: 38%

Come on, America, let’s make it less than 40 by the 4th. Howard Dean needs Athenae’s money.


From Holden:

This is how it begins.

Democrats are eyeing several parliamentary maneuvers to prod Congress into investigating the so-called Downing Street memo and other recently disclosed documents that they contend shows that the Bush administration manipulated prewar intelligence to build support for the war in Iraq.

Although any Democratic move will almost certainly fail in the face of vigorous Republican opposition, such maneuvers would constitute the first steps toward filing articles of impeachment, a bold step that some Democrats have left as an open question in recent weeks.

“If you read the record of the writing of the Constitution, ‘high crimes and misdemeanors’ had a very particular meaning at the time of the drafting of the Constitution. It certainly didn’t mean lying about sex, but it might well mean lying to the Congress about a large public purpose such as Iraq,” Rep. Zoe Lofgren (D-Calif.) said at a forum held by Rep. John Conyers (D-Mich.) earlier this month, referring to the 1998 impeachment proceedings against then-President Bill Clinton.

Democrats and allied groups are mulling at least two options to spur an investigation.


Conyers and Rep. Maxine Waters (D-Calif.) are expected to give a special-orders speech on the Downing Street Memo on the floor tonight.

Still, other members may move forward with Conyers. “My sense is other members are following [Conyers’s] lead for now,” a House Democratic aide said. “However, the groups who are advocating for this may well lose patience with [Conyers’s approach] and may seek another member to do this.”

Another, lesser option being considered is a resolution of inquiry on the Downing Street memo. This less-drastic parliamentary maneuver would ask the administration to provide more information related to the claims.

Rep. Barbara Lee (D-Calif.), co-chairwoman of the Out of Iraq Caucus and a member of the International Affairs Committee, is circulating a letter calling for a resolution of inquiry. Employed from time to time by the minority, the resolution would be referred to the committee of jurisdiction, which would then have to vote it down in a set number of days or it would proceed to a floor vote.


Lee’s draft language does not mention impeachment, instead hewing in the direction of a letter Conyers sent to Bush on May 5 requesting more information on questions raised by the memo and other recently leaked documents, several sources said. More than 120 Democrats signed Conyers’s letter.

Waters said she too was working on a response to the memo. “I am working on something that I can’t talk about right now,” she said.

Democrats have considered steps leading toward impeachment before. Conyers met in 2003 with a Democratic lawyer and activist who were drafting articles of impeachment, but ultimately he took no action.


“My position is I want to be at a point where the data is overwhelming,” said Sheila Jackson Lee (D-Texas) “We’re looking to have more hearings. We really want to turn this into official hearings of the respective committees.”

You Can’t Polish a Turd

From Holden:

Chimpy will try tonight anyway.

He’ll probably tell us how much better life is in Iraq now that Saddam is in prison.

Police opened fire on a crowd of demonstrators in the southern Iraqi city of Samawa on Tuesday wounding seven protesters, including one man who was shot in the head, witnesses and hospital staff said.

He’s likely to claim that Rummy knows what is going on in Iraq and is doing a FABulous job.

United States forces have not held talks with insurgent leaders involved in attacks in Iraq but may do so soon, the US commander in Iraq said in remarks that appeared to differ from those of Defence Secretary Donald Rumsfeld on Monday.

But I doubt he will mention Eason Jordan at all.

And an Iraqi hospital official says US troops killed an Iraqi news executive when he didn’t pull over for a US convoy.


Because y’all seemed to think I was batshit insane when I wrote this, read a couple of things.


There is no power without resistance. Without the resistance of a “regular army” or even an organized group that our military can decimate, it has no power. It has the power of destruction: of bombs, missiles, bullets, rockets, death brought about in hundred brutal and technological ways.

And this.

Clearly, I favor the latter over the former. And here’s why.

If we admit what’s been done is done, we move the fight to the future. Nobody’s fighting that yet. We’re Downing Street Memoing all about the war and various motivations for fighting it, rehashing the same arguments that didn’t make a dent during the election (Bush Lied! Liberals Hate Our Troops!) except to the people who already had their minds made up. The great lazy-ass middle has heard this shit before and they’re not convinced. And continuing to hammer on the past instead of facing the future puts the opposition Robert’s talking about right where they want us. They’ve made these arguments about liberals=weak for the last five years because they work. We’re in a hole with those arguments and we need to stop digging.

So we start talking about when we’re going to get out, and who’s going to pay for what we busted while we were there. And that’s a conversation WE start, which puts Republicans on the defensive. Which is right where they can just get good and comfortable until 2006, dithering around defending their fuckup. Kos is right. Nobody wants to talk about the economy. They want to talk about how the war is fucked up. Look at those polls. The war is fucked up and people know that. We’re stronger if we’re giving them a plan to fix it. Bush ain’t got no plan, his people are halfbright and his followers twice as dumb, but lookee over here, these Democratic guys came up with something that sounds pretty good.

However we fought it, for what reasons, the war was started and it’s being fought. People are done with the war over the start of the war and it’s time to make the issue how the war will end. Our message should be we did what we set out to do, so bring the troops home.

And I agree with the commenters who say declaring victory will make it easier to for them to justify Iran, which is where the accountability end of it comes in (that’s why Kos gets all the great women). We can’t go on to the next thing before we figure out what happened with this one. But first, we have to stop people dying. First, we have to bring them home.

If it takes a victory parade to accomplish that, you’re welcome to hold it on my street. I’ll stock the fridge.


Bush White House Tied to MZM

From Holden:

I see that Josh Marshall noted today’s WaPo report that the Dukester’s landlord, MZM Inc., just lost a major Pentagon contract.

But how did he miss this bit tying the White House to the troubled defense contractor?

Government procurement records show that MZM, which Wade started in 1993, did not report any revenue from prime contract awards until 2003. Most of its revenue has come from the agreement the Pentagon just cut off. But over the past three years it was also awarded several contracts, worth more than $600,000, by the Executive Office of the President. They include a $140,000 deal for office furniture in 2002 and several for unspecified “intelligence services.”

A White House spokeswoman declined to comment.

I’m sure its perfectly normal for the White House to buy $140,000 worth of furniture from a defense contractor, right?

Newsweek Did It

From Holden:

The Right’s take on GITMO Koran abuse has morphed from “It Never Happened” to “Damn Right It Happened – Woo-Hoo!” so I doubt it matters much to them that accusations continue to be made. However the thinking portion of the populace, and the rest of the world, greets the latest news with outrage.

Pakistanis freed from jail here after being held at the U.S. military prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, alleged Monday that they saw American interrogators throw, tear and stand on copies of the Koran, and one former detainee said naked women sat on prisoners’ chests during questioning.

The Pentagon denied the accusations and said al Qaeda training manuals instruct prisoners to make such charges.


Seventeen Pakistanis were freed Monday from a jail in this eastern city, where they had been held since their release nine months ago from Guantanamo. A Pakistani official said each had been “declared innocent by America” and cleared of involvement in terrorism by Pakistani intelligence.