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Monday, October 02, 2006
October 2, 2006: Recent links of interest
Monday, 2 October 2006 6:05 P GMT-05
A former page has come forward to tell ABC News warnings were issued about Foley to the pages in 2001. Matthew Loraditch says pages were told to watch out for Foley. "It was a slight cautionary statement, you know, 'Don't get too wrapped up in him being too nice to you and all that kind of stuff.' You know, 'He's a nice guy, but he's a little bid odd,' and that sort of thing," Loraditch said.
Monday, 2 October 2006 6:01 P GMT-05
Forget, for the moment, that the proposed “compromise” torture legislation effectively abrogates the Geneva Conventions. Forget that it effectively licenses torture in the name of every American. Focus instead on the fact that it “vests in the administration the singularly most tyrannical power that exists – namely, the power unilaterally to decree someone guilty of a crime and to condemn the accused to eternal imprisonment without having even to charge him with a crime, let alone defend the validity of those accusations.”
Monday, 2 October 2006 5:58 P GMT-05
Monday, 2 October 2006 5:55 P GMT-05
Not only did Condi's office give final approval for the press release that has affected 1000's of New Yorkers, "two devastating memos, written by the U.S. and local governments, show they knew. They knew the toxic soup created at Ground Zero was a deadly health hazard. Yet they sent workers into the pit and people back into their homes." What do you say to that media? U.S. and local Governments knowingly sent New Yorkers to their death. Is that "newsworthy" enough for you?
Monday, 2 October 2006 5:33 P GMT-05
The Senate just passed by a vote of 65-34 a bill that, among other things, allows the president to imprison forever, without trial, your neighbor's son -- a lawful permanent resident in the United States -- for emailing his Muslim roommate who went home to visit his family. Your daughter who organizes a protest at the Pentagon that gets a little more attention than the president thinks it should could become a detainee, held indefinitely. The bill says generally what activities qualify one as an "unlawful enemy combatant" subject to detention, but if the government can postpone that review indefinitely, who's going to tell the president that detention is illegal?
Monday, 2 October 2006 5:22 P GMT-05
Some people think that Amnesty International's description of the camp as the "gulag of our times" is too harsh. Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld, for instance, recently rejected the "gulag" label, telling conventions of the Veterans of Foreign Wars and the American Legion that Guantanamo is more akin to a holiday resort, complete with a volleyball court, basketball court, soccer field and library. During my years of incarceration, I never once encountered the things Rumsfeld mentioned and never met anyone who had. What people don't seem to understand about Guantanamo is that the prisoners there who protest their innocence have no way to prove it. The principle "innocent until proven guilty" is turned on its head. Everyone's guilty without charges, convicted without a trial. That is why it's like a gulag — even if it's one that provides "Harry Potter" books for reading material (as Rumsfeld noted).
Monday, 2 October 2006 5:17 P GMT-05
A Boston police officer today pleaded not guilty to criminal charges stemming from an incident last June when he allegedly shot and wounded a fellow Boston police officer while both were off-duty.
Monday, 2 October 2006 4:47 P GMT-05
Congress has now granted the president the powers of a dictator. The rest of the story of our slide into absolutism is merely a matter of filling in the details.
Sunday, 1 October 2006 6:35 P GMT-05
The President, by failing to support a bill that would certainly have defined the nation's moral position, and might even have saved tens of thousands of lives, was choosing to appease, not confront the very "Islamo-fascists" against whom he rails in the abstract.
Sunday, 1 October 2006 6:24 P GMT-05
A report in the Chicago Tribune summarized the bill as shielding U.S. officials from prosecution under the War Crimes Act retroactively to 1997. That's when the original law was passed criminalizing violations of Common Article 3 of the Geneva Conventions.
Sunday, 1 October 2006 5:53 P GMT-05
"It was the Americans who found the bombers first. They came to within metres of the bombers," reported CTV's David Akin. "There was no radio contact. After a period of time, the Russians turned and went home." The bombers never crossed over into Canadian or U.S. airspace. And according to Major Jason Proulx, such incidents are not rare.
Sunday, 1 October 2006 5:49 P GMT-05
"You see the Taliban cutting around on dirt bikes, their weapons in one hand, their kids in the other," said an email reported by The Mail on Sunday. "They think we will not shoot them. There have been some terrible accidents. It is horrible to kill a kid, nothing could prepare you for it."
Sunday, 1 October 2006 5:44 P GMT-05
To the applause of fellow passengers, the Jewish designer was escorted from a New York flight as a potential bomber. Because, he tells Sophie Goodchild, of his holiday tan
Sunday, 1 October 2006 5:37 P GMT-05
According to the Chicago Tribune, that memo instructed prosecutors to drop cases handled by four Chicago police officers who were later charged with robbery and kidnapping.
Saturday, 30 September 2006 5:56 P GMT-05
Just as it is hard to fully comprehend the grief of a beloved friend or relative killed needlessly in an accident, it is excruciatingly painful to try to come to terms with the pernicious betrayal of our Constitution and liberty that occurred in the Senate on Thursday, September 28.
Saturday, 30 September 2006 5:33 P GMT-05
So, let's say the nightmare came true, and out of fear, we all shut up--all us Democrats, all us dissenters, all us Bush-haters, all us upholders of the Constitution, all us liberals and secular humanists? What if all journalists and all bloggers and even Keith Olberman and the generals at the Pentagon, starting right now, gave Bush a free pass? Here is what would happen. His policies in Iraq would still fail. His attack on Iran would still be a disaster. His War on Terror would still be a bust. And everyone knows it.
Saturday, 30 September 2006 5:30 P GMT-05
He said the Constitution makes the president commander in chief and the Supreme Court has long recognized the president's pre-eminent role in foreign affairs. "The Constitution, by contrast, provides the courts with relatively few tools to superintend military and foreign policy decisions, especially during wartime," the attorney general told a conference on the judiciary at Georgetown University Law Center. "Judges must resist the temptation to supplement those tools based on their own personal views about the wisdom of the policies under review," Gonzales said.
Saturday, 30 September 2006 5:15 P GMT-05
lthough it specifically outlaws rape and mutilation, defining them as war crimes, human rights groups fear this leeway could allow George Bush to authorise methods viewed as illegal under international law. Sleep deprivation, light and sound deprivation, 20-hour interrogations, induced hypothermia, the use of hoods, isolation and the removal of clothing are amongst methods already believed to be in use that could be given official approval by Mr Bush.
Saturday, 30 September 2006 5:05 P GMT-05
Saturday, 30 September 2006 5:00 P GMT-05
Check out the names listed on the left-hand side of this letter regarding Professor Barrett, and this letter regarding Professor William Woodward. I can understand poor Lynne Cheney's involvement: she does not want to see her husband prosecuted as a traitor and war criminal as one of the apparent perpetrators of the 9/11 attacks.
Saturday, 30 September 2006 4:29 P GMT-05
Saturday, 30 September 2006 4:10 P GMT-05
"We were told that it was intended to fix the clock in the system, which it didn't do," Hood told Rolling Stone. "The curious thing is the very swift, covert way this was done."
Friday, 29 September 2006 7:58 P GMT-05
We need to be afraid of our own representatives of both parties and their willingness to dismantle democracy as they jockey for political edge and stretch for a few more votes in a moral vacuum. We need to be afraid of the economic fallout that might occur if tens of thousands of American immigrants, in this country legally, start to leave out of the fear that they can now be arrested with no evidence and held by a jailer who, accountable to no one, can throw away the key. We need to be afraid that some day soon, any American who speaks out could hear that late-night knock on the door emblematic of every totalitarian state where people are forced to lower their voices to a whisper. Far-fetched, you say? After Thursday's vote in the U.S. Senate, I’m not so sure.
Friday, 29 September 2006 7:55 P GMT-05
By writing this essay, I could be deemed an "enemy combatant." It's that simple, and very soon, it will be the law. I always laughed when people told me to be careful. I'm not laughing anymore. In case I disappear, remember this. America is an idea, a dream, and that is all. We have borders and armies and citizens and commerce and industry, but all this merely makes us like every other nation on this Earth. What separates us is the idea, the simple idea, that life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness are our organizing principles. We can think as we please, speak as we please, write as we please, worship as we please, go where we please. We are protected from the kinds of tyranny that inspired our creation as a nation in the first place.
Friday, 29 September 2006 7:54 P GMT-05
One day I received a massive number of emails from people asking for more information regarding 9/11, and the possibility it was an inside job. Stunned, I contacted one of these people to find out how they'd gotten my email address, and found that my email address had been published in a major North American newspaper. The article had begun as a "grassy knoll" "tin foil hats" hit piece on 9/11 truth seekers, but oddly it listed point by point the disturbing facts around 9/11 I had collected and sent out. Then it said if you want more information on 9/11, contact ... and they gave my email address. I called the reporter, who immediately apologized for the "hit piece" quality of the article. He said that in order to get the facts out about the disturbing questions around 9/11, he had to write it in the form of a hit piece in order to get it past his editor. He spoke of other reporters at major papers who'd already lost their jobs for critically analyzing the events of 9/11, and this was only a few months after 9/11/2001.