Monthly Archives: September 2005

No Longer "soon to be"

Ok. I’ve packed my life into two suitcases, a day pack, and a laptop case. Aside from a 5’ x 10’ storage locker, that is. And, after giving my desktop PC to a computerless Elma family, my computer system has been reduced to a 3 pound Sony laptop with a 10” screen and all of the latest wireless technology.

Tomorrow I will pack my life into my car and my neighbor, and best friend of 28 years, will drive me to the Portland airport for my post midnight flight to Merida, where I will arrive later that day, check into my apartment, and embark on my Yucatan adventure.

I have removed “soon to be” from the blog title, as tomorrow I will embark upon my expatriation.

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Torture by U. S. Military Personnel is a Matter of Policy

The New York Times reports that torture by US military personnel is systemic, not due the “few bad apples” as the Dept. of War and Bush have assured us.

From the NYT article:

Captain Fishback said the investigators who have questioned him in the past 10 days seemed to be less interested in individuals he identified in his chain of command who allegedly committed the abuses.

“I’m convinced this is going in a direction that’s not consistent with why we came forward,” Captain Fishback said in a telephone interview from Fort Bragg, N.C., where he is going through Army Special Forces training. “We came forward because of the larger issue that prisoner abuse is systemic in the Army. I’m concerned this will take a new twist, and they’ll try to scapegoat some of the younger soldiers. This is a leadership problem.”

In separate statements to the human rights organization, Captain Fishback and the two sergeants described abuses by soldiers in the 82nd Airborne Division, including beatings of Iraqi prisoners, exposing them to extremes of hot and cold, stacking prisoners in human pyramids, and depriving them of sleep at Camp Mercury, a forward operating base near Falluja. The abuses reportedly took place between September 2003 and April 2004, before and during the abuses at the Abu Ghraib prison near Baghdad.

After fruitlessly trying for 17 months to get his superiors to take action on his complaints, Captain Fishback said, he finally took his concerns this month to aides to two senior Republicans on the Senate Armed Services Committee, John W. Warner of Virginia, the committee chairman, and John McCain of Arizona. When the Army learned he was talking to Senate aides, Captain Fishback said that Army investigators suddenly intensified their interest in his complaints.

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Pat Tillman

Remember Pat Tillman? Tillman graduated summa cum lade from Arizona State; was a star high school and college football player; played professionally for the Arizona Cardinals; and, in the wake of the 9-11 attacks, passed on a lucrative Cardinals contract extension offer to enlist in the army to fight al Queda in Afghanistan.

Tillman was shot to death by members of his own army unit and for the subsequent 5 weeks the Dept. of War proferred a story that Tillman was killed in a heroic fight with enemy forces. Shortly before Tillman’s unit was due to ship home officials in the Dept. of War apparently decided they had better own up to the truth and revealed that Tillman had been killed by “friendly fire.”

Despite a number of investigations, one of which is ongoing, the truth of Tillman’s killing has never been definitively enunciated. I wonder why the Dept. of War lied about Tillman’s death? Similarly, why did the DOW lie about the Jessica Lynch affair? In either case, it seems to me, lies were told purely for public relations purposes; and, it seems, that those who proferred the BS arrogantly thought they could get away with theirs lies.

Read the San Francisco Chronicle article.

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Urban Legend

Turns out that “99%” of the stories of shooting, murder, and rape in New Orleans in the wake of Katrina are BS. Read the story in the Time-Picayune.

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Depths of Depravity

Is there no limits to the depth of depravity of President in Fact, Karl Rove? Remember that President, by Supreme Court edict, George Bush has appointed Rove to head the Katrina recovery effort.

From the Mississippi Clarion-Ledger. Full Story here.

“The Clarion-Ledger has obtained a copy of an internal e-mail the U.S. Department of Justice sent out this week to various U.S. attorneys’ offices: “Has your district defended any cases on behalf of the (U.S.) Army Corps of Engineers against claims brought by environmental groups seeking to block or otherwise impede the Corps work on the levees protecting New Orleans? If so, please describe the case and the outcome of the litigation.'”

What became of the republican “talking point” that now is not the time for affixing blame for the Katrina response debacle? None-the-less, the Justice Department, not to mention its apologists at the “National Review Online,” got it wrong. As the article notes, the levees subject of environmental law suits were Mississippi River levees, not the Lake Pontchartrain levees that failed and flooded New Orleans. So not only is Karl Rove depraved, he’s also inept, except, of course, when it comes to smearing folks who don’t agree with him.

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Bush Goes to the U.N. and Writes Note to Mommy Condi

I know Condi and George are close, but this is abit over the top. The President writing a note to his Secretary of State, during a U. N. confab indicating that he needs “a bathroom break” .

The Reuters caption.

“U.S. President George W. Bush writes a note to Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice during a Security Council meeting at the 2005 World Summit and 60th General Assembly of the United Nations in New York September 14, 2005. World leaders are exploring ways to revitalize the United Nations at a summit on Wednesday but their blueprint falls short of Secretary-General Kofi Annan’s vision of freedom from want, persecution and war.”

Click image to enlarge.

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Trogir Girl

Time for another photo so my two readers don’t grow weary of my ranting.

I came upon this exceptionally cute Croatian girl while skulking the narrow byways of Trogir photographing the beautiful old buildings in the small town on a tiny island in the Adriatic not far from Split.

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