Friday, February 17, 2006

Annan wants Guantanamo closed and Democracy Now! takes in depth look at torture

Good evening. Long day.

And blame Elaine for us both starting late. We weren't able to get on the phone together until about a half hour ago and then Elaine wanted to read two things from The Third Estate Sunday Review. Her office assistant had printed them up today and handed them to her. (Elaine had a long day too.) Elaine was going through various papers and forms and came across those and just started laughing. They made her day. So she was reading them to me over the phone and they put me in a better mood too.

Let me say thank you to Jim, C.I. and Elaine who all read the research paper I did recently. They gave me input and I know they're all busy. I got the paper back today and got a high A on it. I couldn't have done that without them pointing out the weak spots and offering suggestions so thank you to all three.

Now let's do Democracy Now!

Kofi Annan Calls for U.S. To Close Guantanamo
The United Nations Secretary General, Kofi Annan is urging the United States to shut down the Guantanamo Bay prison camp "as soon as is possible." His comments came in response to a new report by UN investigators calling for U.S. to close the camp. Kofi Annan said the Bush administration could not hold hundreds of prisoners in jail without charges in perpetuity. "Charges have to be brought against them, and (they) be given a chance to explain themselves, and prosecuted, charged, or released, I think is something that is, common under any legal system," Annan said. "And I think sooner or later, there will be a need to close the Guantanamo and I think, it will be up to the government to decide, hopefully to do it as soon as is possible." White House spokesperson Scott McClellan dismissed the new UN report. "The United Nations should be making serious investigations across the world, and there are many instances when they do, when it comes to human rights. This was not one of them," said McClellan. "And I think it's a discredit to the U.N. when a team like this goes about rushing to report something when they haven't even looked into the facts. All they have done is look at the allegations."

He should know the facts? Has Scotty forgotten that he didn't know the facts about the outing of Valerie Plame when he was going to the press and saying that no one in the administration was involved? Annan has the facts. Most people outside the US do. That may not be the case in the US but that's the fault of the corporate media.

I hope everyone caught Democracy Now! today but if you missed it, this is from "Professor McCoy Exposes the History of CIA Interrogation, From the Cold War to the War on Terror:"

AMY GOODMAN: And Rumsfeld's comment, when asked if it was torture, when people were forced to stand hours on end, that he stands at his desk?
ALFRED McCOY: Right, he wrote that in one of his memos. When he was asked to review the Guantanamo techniques in late 2003 or early 2004, he scribbled that marginal note and said, you know, "I stand at my desk eight hours a day." He has a designer standing desk. "How come we're limiting these techniques of the stress position to just four hours?" So, in other words, that was a clear signal from the Defense Secretary. Now, one of the problems beyond the details of these orders is torture is an extraordinarily dangerous thing. There's an absolute ban on torture for a very good reason. Torture taps into the deepest recesses, unexplored recesses of human consciousness, where creation and destruction coexist, where the infinite human capacity for kindness and infinite human capacity for cruelty coexist, and it has a powerful perverse appeal, and once it starts, both the perpetrators and the powerful who order them, let it spread, and it spreads out of control.

That's a pretty important interview so check it out.

Senate Republicans Block Investigation Into NSA Spying
This update on the controversy over President Bush's warrant-less domestic spying program - on Capitol Hill, Senate Republicans have blocked a proposed investigation into the operation. On Thursday, Republican Senator Pat Roberts, chair of the Intelligence Committee said, his panel decided not to conduct an investigation. Roberts said he reached an agreement with the White House to consider legislation and provide more information to Congress on the eavesdropping program. The ranking Democrat on the committee -- Sen. John Rockefeller -- said "Today, the Senate Intelligence Committee once again abdicated its responsibility to oversee the intelligence activities of the United States."

I would have been screaming but I'd read The Common Ills before I heard Democracy Now! on the radio today so I was prepared for this. C.I. was writing about "Accord in House to Hold Inquiry on Surveillance" in the New York Times and comparing it to "Senate Rejects Wiretapping Probe" in the Washington Post. The difference is that the Washington Post led with this:

The Bush administration helped derail a Senate bid to investigate a warrantless eavesdropping program yesterday after signaling it would reject Congress's request to have former attorney general John D. Ashcroft and other officials testify about the program's legality. The actions underscored a dramatic and possibly permanent drop in momentum for a congressional inquiry, which had seemed likely two months ago.

The Times didn't really want to address that. C.I.'s got the testimony where Specter (Republican) was saying that he wanted Ashcroft to testify and Schumer was trying to pin down Gonzales on how freely Aschroft could speak. Gonzales keeps saying that whether or not to call Ashcroft is the "chair's decision." The chair is Specter. And as soon as Gonzales' testimony was over, you better believe that he ran back to the White House to oppose Ashcroft testifying.

Read C.I.'s "NYT: The paper, like the Congress, can't wait to wear the 'Kick Me!' sign."

And always read The Daily Jot. Wally's got another funny post today but don't miss yesterday's "THIS JUST IN! THE ONE TOKE CHENEY DANCE!." Watergate note: Martha Mitchell joke in yesterday's post.


Iraq, Dave Zirin and Danny Schechter

Good morning. It's past midnight here. Cedric phoned and said, "Mike do not get online this evening. Take some time with Nina, have some fun, get something to eat, see a movie or something." I said, "Cedric, I didn't post anything about posting late." And Cedric said, "It's Thursday, you can tell your readers, 'Cedric always posts on Thursdays, you should have checked there. Maybe next time you will.'" :D

So if you did check, you saw that. I did have a lot of fun tonight. And then I got back here and read Cedric's entry and thought, "You said it all, buddy!" He really did so check it out. I did a lot of research for the post I intended and I think I may take it over to The Third Estate Sunday Review and maybe we can do a parody this week or next with it but Cedric said all that can be said factually. Tip of the hat to Ced.

So let's get started with Democracy Now!

UN Investigators Call on U.S. to Close Guantanamo
In other news, United Nations investigators have called on the Bush administration to immediately close the Guantanamo Bay prison camp in Cuba. The UN report urges the US government to "refrain from any practice amounting to torture or cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment." The report goes on to state "In the case of the Guantanamo Bay detainees, the U.S. executive operates as judge, as prosecutor, and as defense council: this constitutes serious violations of various guarantees of the right to a fair trial before an independent tribunal." About 500 men are being held at the site. Charges have never been filed against most of them. State Department spokesman Sean McCormack dismissed the report. He said the U.N. information was based on "hearsay."

I was intending to write a ton about this because this is a big issue. Usually Elaine and C.I. cover this and the rest of us just follow in their footsteps at The Third Estate Sunday Review when the topic comes up. But I got back here and made some phone calls, checked my e-mails, and surfed. Rebecca's said it all and here's a part of it:

this is something you'll have to answer for. children in a generation or 2 will ask you, 'how were you able to just stay silent and look the other way?' so if that's your plan to keep on ignoring this, you might use that looking away time to come up with a good excuse. this is a sad thing, this is a tragedy.
being scared senseless immediately after 9-11 might have been understandable for some, goodness knows the bully boy was working overtime - the only time he ever works - to scare the nation. and you may have been grieving and felt like 'who cares?'
well it's past time to care. want to make money in afghanistan? kidnap some 1 and turn him over to the authorities telling them you've captured a terrorist.some of them were children. they've spent 4 years locked away. if they had any information, it was old long ago.
in the meantime, as many of the prisoners realize that they are never getting out, they go on a hunger strike. so we brutalize them. we force feed them in spite of the fact that every patient has the right to refuse treatment. but we can't have them dying on us, not while the world's condemning us even if our own press isn't paying attention. this is nonsense and it should have been addressed a long time ago. your children will study in this history classes, their children will study it. the matt dillon of the future will star in a film where he falls in love with 1 of the prisoners or the family of a prisoner (like golden gate).
it's a travesty and we willingly tossed aside our own principles to feel 'safe'. then we left our principles in the trash can because it was too messy to deal with.

U.S. Denies Entry To Iraqi Widows
In other Iraq news, the human rights group Global Exchange and anti-war group CodePink are criticizing the Bush administration for refusing to allow two Iraqi women into the United States. The women had been scheduled to take part in a speaking tour and to participate in the March 8th Women Say No to War march in Washington Both women are widows whose husbands and children were killed by U.S. troops. According to the groups the State Department rejected the visas because the women didn’t have enough family in Iraq to prove that they'll return to the country and not emigrate to the United States. Organizer Medea Benjamin said "It's appalling that the US military killed these women's families and then the US government rejects their visas on the grounds that they have no family to return to in Iraq."

You gotta wonder what Bully Boy was thinking there? Was he thinking, "My God! They're going to join Cindy Sheehan and all camp out in front of my ranchette! I won't get any kind of a vacation!"? He had to be thinking something to turn them down, he had to be thinking something. Well, maybe not "thinking," it's the Bully Boy after all. Probably he just couldn't face the costs of the illegal war he led this country into.

Photographs Depict Corpses, Torture, Naked Men
One photograph showed a man lying dead in the dirt with blood coming out of his head. Another showed a naked man hanging from a bed by his knees. Another prisoner is shown covered in feces. Naked men are also shown in sexually humiliating positions. Prisoners were photographed wearing hoods. Men were also photographed showing what appears to be burn and torture marks. And the outcry over the photos may only intensify. Earlier today published even more photographs from Abu Ghraib. The online publication obtained files and other electronic documents from an internal Army investigation. The material includes more than 1,000 photographs, videos and supporting documents. According to some of the documents refer to CIA personnel as interrogators of prisoners at Abu Ghraib. To date, no CIA officers have been prosecuted for any crimes that occurred within the prison, despite the death of at least one Iraqi during a CIA interrogation there. On Wednesday, the American Civil Liberties Union, Amnesty International and other groups called for a truly independent investigation to look at all levels of the military chain of command, as well as involvement from other government agencies like the CIA and private military contractors who have been implicated in abuses.

I'm swiping from C.I. to get those links because I'm lazy tonight. You realize, right, that these aren't even what's supposed to be the worst of the photos? There's still more that haven't come out. C.I. addressed this in "And the war goes on . . . (Indymedia Roundup)." Forgot that was tonight or I wouldn't have called C.I. There's a ton of information in it.

I followed Cedric's advice and didn't bring up the Scold while I was on the phone with C.I. And reading the entry, it's obvious that C.I.'s just going to keep the nose to the grindstone and focus on what's important. I wish I was that noble. But C.I.'s always saying that people make the mistake of reading their own press so maybe that's how C.I. looks at the Scold? On the phone, C.I. was talking about the time the plane leaves tomorrow and wondering what time we were all getting on the phones for the latest Third Estate Sunday Review edition Saturday night. So I guess C.I. feels that the Scold and her opinion are unimportant. Until Cedric had reminded me, I hadn't remembered this was another week of go out on the road and speak to groups about the war and all the Bully Boy's wars actually. I get wiped out just from a trip to DC. Cedric's point to me on the phone (and he said I could blog about this) was that this person is nothing to C.I. and C.I.'s attitude will be, "There's work to be done, focus on that." It's that whole "high road" thing. But if you're a member who was outraged, I was too. I still am but am going to try to follow Cedric's recommendation and focus on what matters.
I'm tired so let's wind down by noting Dave Zirin's "The Value of a Number:"

When Jackie Robinson broke Major League Baseball's color line in 1947, baseball ceased to be just a game. In the dark years of McCarthyism, as his biographer Arnold Rampersad wrote, "only Jackie Robinson insisted day in and day out on challenging America on questions of race and justice." As Martin Luther King said of Robinson, "He was a sit-inner before sit-ins. A freedom rider before freedom rides." In 1997, on the fiftieth anniversary of Robinson's rookie season, MLB commissioner Bud Selig took the unprecedented step of retiring Robinson's number, 42, from the league.
Now a new push is taking place to honor another legend in a similar way. An appeal has been made by Hispanics Across America (HAA) to
retire the number 21of Pittsburgh Pirate Roberto Clemente. A native of Puerto Rico, Clemente was not the game's first Latino but its first breakout star. Clemente was a regular season and World Series MVP with 3,000 career hits, but he is especially revered for his efforts to support Latin American communities in the United States and abroad. Clemente's almost Bolivarian reputation was cemented when he perished in a 1972 plane crash taking medical, food and clothing supplies to earthquake-ravaged Nicaragua.
But the effort to honor Clemente has met resistance from a surprising source: Jackie Robinson's daughter Sharon. In January, she said, "To my understanding, the purpose of retiring my father's number is that what he did changed all of baseball, not only for African-Americans but also for Latinos, so I think that purpose has been met. When you start retiring numbers across the board, for all different groups, you're kind of diluting the original purpose."

And here's a Jack Abramoff story you can sink your teeth into, Danny Schechter's "JACK ABRAMOFF'S WHITE MAN'S BURDEN: How the Sleazy Republican Lobbyist Boosted Apartheid:"

Abramoff has a pattern of first denying sleazy practices until forced to admit them. At first, he publicly denied South African financing. This past week the Mail & Guardian quotes one-time apartheid spy Craig Williamson as now admitting that the money came directly from the South African military:
"Among Abramoff's South African projects was the anti-communist film Red Scorpion, made in South African-occupied Namibia and, according to Williamson, funded by the South African military."
Why the military? The newspaper reveals: "The IFF was ostensibly founded as a conservative think-tank, but was in reality part of an elaborate South African military intelligence operation, code-named Operation Babushka. Established to combat sanctions and undermine the African National Congress, it also supported Jonas Savimbi and his rebel Angolan movement, Unita."
The movie was modeled romantically on Savimbi’s 'War for Freedom' but also riddled with stereotypes and crude propaganda.

Weekend's almost ready to begin.

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Raging Grannies and the story we're not supposed to talk about: Cheney

Evening. I won't say "good evening" and I'll go into that after Democracy Now!

Report: Cheney Withheld News of Whittington's Heart Condition
Cheney is again being accused of withholding information on Whittington's condition. Over the weekend, the White House waited at least 19 hours before announcing the shooting. Today, the New York Times is reporting Cheney was informed of Whittington's heart condition when he arrived at the White House Tuesday morning. But according to senior administration officials, Cheney did not pass the information on to President Bush's aides, including White House Press secretary Scott McLellan. At a press conference later in the day, McLellan did not mention Whittington’s heart problems and even joked he was wearing an orange tie so he could be clearly visible in front of Cheney.

Scott McLellan made a joke. Does that mean a Scold's going to tear into him? Nina said I should write "Scold May I have permission to write about this topic?" In case you missed it, a scold's launched an attack on the left for writing about Cheney's shooting the guy. And the Scold's attacked people who've made jokes. "These aren't important topics!" screams the Scold who goes on to write about Willie Nelson the next day. Aren't we all a little better for having the Scold to write about the important topics?

I think she took a crack at my buddy Wally. Nina thinks so too. I'm still too mad to write about it tonight but I may write about it tomorrow.

This is a story. When someone's shot, it's a story. Scold or no Scold, it's a story.

Check out this by Matt Curry:

If the man wounded by Dick Cheney dies, the vice president could -- in theory at least -- face criminal charges, even though the shooting was an accident.
Dallas defense attorney David Finn, who has been a state and a federal prosecutor, said Wednesday that a Texas grand jury could bring a charge of criminally negligent homicide if there is evidence the vice president knew or should have known "there was a substantial or unjustifiable risk that his actions would result in him shooting a fellow hunter."

And check out this from Democracy Now!, "As Cheney Victim Suffers Heart Attack, Questions Raised About Secrecy and Cronyism:"

AMY GOODMAN: So, what do you think will now happen? Of course, we don't know right now the condition of Harry Whittington. I mean, we understand that he had a heart attack yesterday, has birdshot in his heart.
ROBERT BRYCE: Well, and that's really -- I mean, you know, I'm very concerned. You know, Harry is, as I said, he's such a wonderful guy, a very decent man. You know, he's 78. You know, you don't want to be having heart attacks, nor do you want to be shot, when you're 78. So, I think a lot of people are very concerned about his health and what this could mean if he, you know, God save us, that he would die. But, yeah, I mean, this is something that I think is not going to go away. And there was a very good piece in the Austin American-Statesman yesterday by Mike Leggett, who's their hunting or outdoors reporter. And, I mean, he just went right after Cheney, and he ended his piece by saying to Cheney, he said, "Stand up. Take responsibility. Be a man. You shot a guy." And I think that that really cuts to the heart of the matter, that for Cheney not to publicly apologize, for him not to, you know, say, "I made a mistake. You know, I made the worst error a hunter can make," I think it's just indicative of the arrogance that this White House, and particularly this Vice President, shows.

So it's news. And if the scold wants to have at Wally or C.I., she might want to try actually having something to point to with pride. Or maybe she thinks her Willie Nelson post today spread freedom and democracy online? While she's jerking off, Wally's making funny comments that have something to say. While she's jerking off, C.I.'s covering real issues. C.I. didn't make a 'Cheney joke' once but you'll note that Big Chin has one and she still links to him. She writes how sick she is of the left and how she removed sites from her blog roll that were focused on Cheney. Big Chin's must be her exception to her non-rules.

If you think I'm furious, I am, but it's nothing compared to Nina's fury. (Nina just said "I'm enraged.") (Nina said if I'm putting that in put in that Elaine doesn't have to keep noting that me and her aren't a couple. Nina's my girlfriend but a lot of people seem to think me and Elaine are a couple. Elaine's cool and pretty but Nina's my girlfriend -- and she's cool and pretty too.)
Poor Elaine had to hear me scream on the phone tonight. I'm sure she had to be thinking, "All day long I have to deal with crazies and now I've got another one!" :D

Nina says to note that Elaine "inspired her" when we all got together in D.C. in September so she decided to become a psychologist too. Sounds like good news until you realize that ever since Nina declared her major she's been all over my ass to declare as well. :D I'm still sampling.

5 "Raging Grannies" Arrested at Anti-War Protest Near DC
And just outside of Washington, DC, five women with the anti-war group the Raging Grannies were arrested Tuesday at a protest outside a military recruitment office. The women were arrested after announcing they intended to enlist. They chanted: "if someone must die in Iraq, let it be the old.” They were later released without charge. The protest was one of several held across the country Tuesday, including in Florida, California, and New York.

Give it up for the Grannies! Elaine's first words tonight were, "We've got to include the Grannies." I agree and that's about the only thing that makes me happy tonight. Good for those Raging Grannies. They are brave. If you heard about this, you know that the recuriters were scared of the Grannies and locked the doors in one location. They had this recruiter on the radio going, "Well, we were afraid that other protesters might show up too" but you know they were running scared from the Raging Grannies. Give it up for the Grannies.

Check out Like Maria Said Paz for Elaine's thoughts (if she has any left, I think I gave her a big headache tonight -- sorry and thanks for listening). And always check out The Daily Jot and The Common Ills.

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Shoot 'em up Cheney still raises questions -- fortunately they spend lots of money on spin

Good evening. Tomorrow's hump day so hang in there until the weekend. (Leigh Ann wrote, "Will this week ever end?") It can be a rough day if you don't have a honey. Let's get things going with Democracy Now!

Cheney Cited For Hunting Violation in Shooting Incident
The Bush administration is on the defensive over Vice President Dick Cheney’s accidental shooting of hunting companion and Republican fundraiser Harry Whittington at a Texas ranch Saturday. Whittington is reported to be in stable condition. It took the White House at least 19 hours to inform the public -- and only after a local Texas newspaper broke the story. Cheney is also coming under criticism for violating Texas game law. On Monday, state officials said Cheney had not purchased a stamp required for bird hunting.

So let's sketch this out. Whittington supposedly walked behind Cheney. How did he get shot in the face then? Cheney was hunting without the necessary papers. Cheney shot Whittington. Cheney didn't want the public to know and Cheney didn't want to talk to the cops. Was he drunk?

C.I. passed this on to me and Elaine, Juan Gonzalez's "Why Put Silencer on Story?":

Since when does the massive White House spin machine permit a little-known South Texas rancher to give vice presidential press briefings?
McClellan said yesterday he did not even learn the vice president had been the shooter until Sunday morning.
Even the normally docile Washington press corps wasn't buying that line. Angry reporters repeatedly demanded to know exactly when Bush learned about Cheney's errant shot.
Later in the day, the White House revealed that deputy chief of staff Karl Rove was the first to know. Rove spoke by phone with Armstrong on Saturday evening, then informed Bush around 8 p.m. of the vice president's role.
In other words, both Bush and Rove knew the essential details within hours of the incident, yet the White House kept things quiet until the next day.
At yesterday's briefing, McClellan repeatedly referred further questions to Cheney's office, and late in the day the information dribbled out that Cheney hadn't bothered to pay for the proper permit to go bird hunting in Texas.
Local sheriffs in Kenedy County reportedly complained that Secret Service agents prevented them from talking to the vice president immediately after the incident.
The Secret Service, on the other hand, says that it reported the shooting to the sheriff's office an hour after it happened, and that Cheney eventually did talk to local authorities.
The Cheney interview, like so much of this story, was delayed until Sunday morning.

Vice President shoots someone, it's news. Accident or not. C.I. noted the Pravda like coverage in the New York Times. Cheney's a sick man, we all know that or should. During the 2000 recount, they tried to act like he was fine but he had to go into the hospital. Are we supposed to believe that six years later, he's healthier than he was then? What if the Bully Boy bulge in the October 2004 debate wasn't a wire but some health related device? What if we've got two people in the charge who are both a lot sicker than the press has ever told you? Think about it.

GAO: Bush Admin. Spent Over $1.6B on PR
And finally, a new report from the Government Accountablity Office says the Bush administration has spent over $1.6 billion on advertising and public relations contracts in the last two years. Of this amount, the Pentagon has been the biggest spender, paying $1.1 billion for recruitment campaigns and other public relations efforts.

What can I tell you? Press whores cost money. They probably have a price they can quote you. Like Elisabeth Bumiller probably charges more for a press snowball (where she spits out -- in print -- every "fact" you gave her) than she does for fluffing. 1.6 billion dollars? A drop in the bucket compared to how much the wars are costing us but what if they took that money and gave it to the school systems? While they're starving off all the programs that are supposed to help people, they have a lot of money to toss out on spin. This administration spends so much Bully Boy must be so dizzy he passes out each night.


That's it. Elaine and I both promised to be brief tonight. We both have dates for Valentine's Day. I hope you do too but if you don't, it's not the end of the world. Treat yourself to something fun and make it a good Valentine's Day regardless. Be sure to check out Like Maria Said Paz. And check out this by Kat on the need to use your voice.

Monday, February 13, 2006

Wally on Sportsman Cheney's fishing mishap, Guantanamo prisoners

Good evening. Hope everyone had a great weekend. Let's kick things off with Democracy Now!

Christian Peace Group Charged Over Gitmo Vigil
Meanwhile, the US government has served legal papers to seven members of a US Christian group that held a vigil outside the U.S. military prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. The group, Witness Against Torture, held a five-day march to the prison in December. Around 500 prisoners are being held at Guantanamo, most without charge. The seven members each face up to 10 years in prison or a $250,000 dollar fine. Michael Ratner, president of the Center for Constitutional Rights said: "I find it extremely hypocritical that Washington is investigating this group for the 'crime' of traveling to Cuba. The U.S. government is flagrantly violating even the most basic norms of human rights -- such as indefinite detention without charges, denial of fair trials and, most importantly, torture."

Seven brave Americans willing to put their bodies where there mouths were stand up for the rights of us all. They don't know the prisoners. They went down to protest on humanitarian grounds. And the payback? Having charges lodged against them. Do you care? You should. You do know that Guantanamo Bay is just a holding tank and that imprisonment there doesn't mean the people are guilty?

From "CCR Applauds Confirmation of Guantanamo Detainees' Innocence in First Statistical Analysis of Military Documents:"

On February 9, 2006, in New York, the Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR) applauded the release of the Report on Guantanamo Detainees: A Profile of 517 Detainees Through Analysis of Department of Defense Data by Professor Mark Denbeaux of Seton Hall Law School and attorney Joshua Denbeaux.
Since February 2002, CCR has argued in the United States federal courts that the vast majority of prisoners at Guantánamo are innocent men who were kidnapped and turned over to the United States military for a bounty. The report found that "55 percent of the 517 detainees had no hostile act listed as the basis for detention" and a mere 5 percent were captured by U.S. forces, with the rest not picked up on the battlefield in Afghanistan but in Pakistan and handed to the U.S. by warlords and others for large bounties. According the report's careful analysis of the Defense Department records, 92% of the prisoners in Guantánamo were not characterized as Al Qaeda fighters. The men have been denied any fair hearing and detained in inhumane conditions for over four years, despite the Supreme Court ruling in CCR's case, Rasul v. Bush that they have the right to challenge the basis for their detention in U.S. court.
Said CCR attorney Gita Gutierrez, "Now, for the first time, the military's lies and misrepresentations about the prisoners in Guantánamo have been debunked through the military's own documents. Yet, these men remain in prison while at every turn the Executive seeks to avoid judicial scrutiny of its unlawful conduct."

That's from The Center for Constitutional Rights and if you go to that page, you can read a PDF format report. Jim, Dona, Ty, Jess, Ava and C.I. wrote "A Note to Our Readers" and I read that and thought, "Man, let me in on that!" Seriously, while we working on the F.U. edition of The Third Estate Sunday Review, we were talking about how serious stuff isn't being discussed. We don't mean people telling jokes. Like Wally, okay, The Daily Jot is supposed to make you laugh and hopefully think but it's humor. That's great. I love The Daily Jot. But there are a lot of "I'm so serious" types who aren't trying to make you laugh and they're being really lazy writing these jerk off columns and editorials about stuff like "Oprah had an author who lied!" and strutting around like they did something brave. If you're so serious, can you write about something that matters? Or is that asking too much? Too damn much is the way it looks. Flip through CJR magazine and see how serious they are or how pertinent to the world we're living in. They're a "journalism review" but they're not tackling any of the big issues. They're jerking off. (Read "Cowardly Journalism Review (Parody).") What's the point of that?

Report: US Aiding Construction of Morocoo Prison
In other news, the London Times is reporting the US is helping Morocco build a new prison for terror suspects near the capital of Rabat. The prison would be run by the Moroccan secret police, the Direction for Security of the Territory -- known as DST. Several human rights groups have accused the DST of torture. Morocco is thought to be one of the key partners in the CIA’s rendition of detainees.

What's the point of building more prisons for "terror suspects"? They've gotten away with it once, why not try again.

I'm swiping from C.I.:

James in Brighton notes Con Coughlin's "UN inquiry demands immediate closure of Guantanamo" (The Telegraph of London):
A United Nations inquiry has called for the immediate closure of America's Guantanamo Bay detention centre and the prosecution of officers and politicians "up to the highest level" who are accused of torturing detainees.The UN Human Rights Commission report, due to be published this week, concludes that Washington should put the 520 detainees on trial or release them.It calls for the United States to halt all "practices amounting to torture", including the force-feeding of inmates who go on hunger strike.The report wants the Bush administration to ensure that all allegations of torture are investigated by US criminal courts, and that "all perpetrators up to the highest level of military and political command are brought to justice".

That's from "And the war drags on" which is an entry focusing on reporting coming out of the United States mainstream media. C.I. does one of those (at least one) each Sunday. You read those entries and you get a different sense of the world then what our comfy, lazy press tells you (or doesn't tell you).

By the way, check out this from C.I. to read about outrage. We should all be feeling outraged by what's going on in what is supposed to be the land of the free.

And Ma's got a new recipe, this one requires no cooking and I can vouch for it, it's tasty. I hope everyone checks out Trina's Kitchen. And for some good belly laughs (nothing wrong with having a good laugh), check out Wally's "THIS JUST IN! DICK CHENEY HAS A FISHING MISHAP!" Here's the opening of that:


I tagged Elaine's site before I published, I just forgot to mention. Be sure to check out Like Maria Said Paz because Elaine's had a lot to say on the Guantanamo prisoners when we were on the phone earlier.