May 2009 archive

All they wanted was cookies!!

So here’s a mindfuck for you:

Cookies, not torture, convinced al Qaeda suspect to talk, FBI interrogator says…

The practice of torturing suspected terrorists received fresh blows Friday after a magazine reported that a key al Qaeda suspect offered useful intelligence after receiving sugar-free cookies.

Ali Soufan, a former FBI interrogator, revealed in an article being released in June that Osama Bin Laden’s bodyguard opened up about the 9/11 terror attacks only after being offered — sugar free cookies.

Bin Laden lieutenant Abu Jandal is a diabetic, Soufan said, and wouldn’t eat sugar cookies he’d been offered.

“Soufan noticed that he didn’t touch any of the cookies that had been served with tea: ‘He was a diabetic and couldn’t eat anything with sugar in it,’ Time’s Bobby Ghosh wrote. “At their next meeting, the Americans brought him some sugar-free cookies, a gesture that took the edge off Abu Jandal’s angry demeanor.

“We had showed him respect, and we had done this nice thing for him,” Soufan told Ghosh. “So he started talking to us instead of giving us lectures.”


Bin Laden lieutenant Abu Jandal is a diabetic, Soufan said, and wouldn’t eat sugar cookies he’d been offered.

“Soufan noticed that he didn’t touch any of the cookies that had been served with tea: ‘He was a diabetic and couldn’t eat anything with sugar in it,’ Time’s Bobby Ghosh wrote. “At their next meeting, the Americans brought him some sugar-free cookies, a gesture that took the edge off Abu Jandal’s angry demeanor.

Jesus, all it took was cookies?

So you are telling me that instead of sexually abusing them, we should have just broke out boxes of Girl Scout cookies?

Sadly, that seems to have been the answer. I think America way overshoot on the whole anal raping thing, when tea and cookies was all they wanted.

But someone needs to waterboard this guy, he’s always been in a sleeper cell brainwashing our children for years:

Velveteen Magic

A True and Recent Tale

Earlier in the afternoon, my four year old grand daughter Ivy Rose and I finished reading “The Velveteen Rabbit”, just before her nap.  She was especially captivated by the part when the Nursery Fairy gathered the Velveteen Rabbit up from the trash pile, and turned him into a real live rabbit, at last. But at first, he didn’t realize he was alive, and he didn’t know he had back legs, till something tickled his nose, and he saw his hind leg come up and scratch it!

Later, we were outside waiting for her Mom to come and pick her up, running around on my electric scooter, going over the speed bumps and generally having a silly good time, when we spotted a little brown bunny sitting under the pine trees.  I drove us close, very slowly, so as to not startle it.  Ivy stared and stared at it, then said in a whisper, “Gramma! Look! It’s got SPOTS, JUST LIKE THE VELVETEEN RABBIT!”  

Sure enough, it did have spots, and yes, it was the exact same color as the Velveteen Rabbit in the book!  Just then, the bunny turned toward us and grew very still, looking straight at us.  

Then, up came his hind leg , he scratched his nose, and then went a-leaping away! Exactly like in the book:

“He might have sat there a long time, too shy to move, if just then something hadn’t tickled his nose, and before he thought of what he was doing, he lifted his hind toe to scratch it. And he found he actually had hind legs! Instead of dingy velveteen, he had soft brown fur, soft and shiny, his ears twitched by themselves, and his whiskers were so long they brushed the grass. He gave one leap, and the joy of those hind legs was so great that he went springing about on the turf…..”  

Well. Both of us were speechless, and just sat looking at each other for a long moment. Her eyes were as round as saucers, and mine were too!  

Finally, I asked her, “Ivy, do you suppose that might have been the real Velveteen Rabbit?! ”

And she replied, matter of factly …”Yeah,’s magic! Now can we do the speed bumps again?”

So we did, and then we talked about magic some more. I asked her what other kinds of magic she’s seen.  She said:  “One time, I wanted my Mommy to come and pick me up outside, and..SHE DID!”

And so it was that on a warm spring day in the fall of my life, a little child did lead me, once again, to the realm of magic that is real.    

Who Are You? Really? Or The Fallacy In Causality

The video runs for 50 minutes… but it all happens at the same time.

Alan Watts – Time and The More It Changes

“The Pictures”

Simulposted at Daily Kos

In response to the ACLU lawsuit, SecDef Gates was set to release 2000 photos. Not the  “About 31 digital photographs contained on a compact disc discovered in June 2004.” That the ACLU sued for the release of.

So when Obama blocked the pictures that the ACLU had sued for….

He also effectively blocked the release of nearly 2000 others that Gates was set to release.

Presumably, in those 2000 were the photos that the Telegraph was talking about, and that Taguba confirmed exist.

The “news” yesterday was that Taguba confirmed that the pictures of rape and sodomy DO indeed, exist. That he saw these pictures.

And that is why Gibbs “shot the messenger. To deflect questioners who would ask about the rape photos specifically, to deflect from the fact that the sensational pictures do (or did) exist. He attacked the British Press, not Taguba. And thus put himself in a position where he didn’t, at least for the moment, have to actually answer any questions about pictures that show rape and sodomy.

So as Michael Gass said yesterday, They are both right. Sorta.

The pictures that were specifically part of the ACLU suit, either 21 or 31 of them, depending on the source, may not be “sensational.” (Depending on our jaundiced and jaded view of what is sensational post-Bush)

This is allegedly a description of what is in the ACLU photos…

About 31 digital photographs contained on a compact disc discovered in June 2004 during an office clean-up at Bagram Airfield also depicted the corpse of “local national” who died from “apparent gunshot wounds” and uniformed U.S. soldiers from the Second Platoon of the 22nd Infantry Battalion stationed at Fire Base Tycze and Dae Rah Wod (DRW) kicking and punching prisoners whose heads were covered with “sand bags” and blindfolds and hands were “zipped-tied,” according to a U.S. Army criminal investigation. The documents related to that investigation can be found in these five separate files:

You can access the referred to files at that link.

But, the photos that Taguba and others have referenced (See Gass’s piece linked above.) certainly are sensational.

And the original plan by the Obama Administration was, presumably, to release those as well.

Thus the confusion.

How long before Obama is on the hook?

Whew.  Can't believe I just wrote that headline. 

 For all this time, we have been told to keep our powder dry.  That he's on our side, got our best interests at heart.   For all this time, the focus and outrage has been directed to Bush/Cheney. There is plenty of evidence he's doing the bidding of the military industrial complex, and not the bidding of his constituents. 

Obama has been in office for just over 4 months.   In that time, he has had the time to:

1) Extend warrantless wiretapping, and even extend his claim to that power

2) Defend government secrecy – even exceeding Bush's claims of executive power.

3)  Publish evidence of Bush era war crimes

4) Declare theintention not to prosecute said war crimes

5) Close, then not close GTMO

-calling the detainees 'too dangerous to let go'

6) Reinstall military commissions for 'dangerous terrorists we CAn prosecute'

 7) Continue unabated the TARP program, while doing little to save people's homes from foreclosure.

8) Bail out giant carmakers without requiring the money be used to support jobs at home.

9) Kept key Bushies like Gates on – keeping the previous military structure in place so propaganda can leak out just like before. 

10) Asserted the intent to keep Don Seigelman in jail.


How on earth does this look different, other than the party label, than the last 8 years? 







First Amendment Friday 6 – Planned Parenthood V. ACLA

Happy Friday and welcome to the 6th in the Dog’s First Amendment Friday series. This series is following the syllabus for the class called The First Amendment and taught at Yale Law School by Professor Jack M. Balkin. As with the Friday Constitutional series this is a layman’s look at the Law, specifically the Supreme Court opinions which have shaped the boundaries of our 1st Amendment Protections. This week we don’t actually have a Supreme Court case, as the High Court refused to take up the appeal on this one. It is still part of Professor Balkin’s syllabus and as we look at the details you will see why it is an important First Amendment case. If you are interested in the previous installments of this series you can find them below:

Towards a More Tactical RV Escape Vehicle

But in event of “bug out” due to Unicorn Flu is your RV bug out ready?

This perhaps is more viable than echoing MSM talking points about shit that ain’t ever gonna get fixed.  Besides I need to get back to something constructive.

living with weapons consciously

This weekend I went to a place where EVERYONE was armed. Not just armed; although everyone was carrying deadly weapons, some people were literally festooned with them. And we’re talking DEADLY weapons; not meant for hunting, but meant for KILLING. Killing people.

I myself was armed, of course; although I didn’t go there for the weapon side of it, I wouldn’t dream of showing up at this event unarmed. I wouldn’t feel completely dressed, you know?

Strangely enough, not a single person was hurt by these deadly weapons. Not a scratch. And I doubt that anyone was hurt going to or coming from this event. Nor do I believe that many people will be hurt by these deadly weapons.

And besides, I LIKE weapons. There, I’ve said it. You ain’t going to get my fifteenth-century Muramasa longsword without a stiff argument.

Follow me after the fold, as I attempt to explain why I felt safe in the middle of an armed society.

The Lion Roars! Kennedy Health-Care Plan Has Public Option

Thank God or the Goddess for Teddy Kennedy!  He has done so much for America over his lifetime, and even in sickness, the “Lion of the Senate” is roaring again:

May 29 (Bloomberg) — Senator Edward Kennedy, chairman of one of two Senate panels drafting health-care overhaul plans, said he will include a government-run program to compete with private insurers in a measure to be considered in mid-June, asserting his role in the emerging debate despite his battle with brain cancer.


“An important foundation of our legislation is the following principle: If you like the coverage you have now, you keep it,” Kennedy wrote in an op-ed article in the Boston Globe. “But if you don’t have health insurance or don’t like the insurance you have, our bill will give you new, more affordable options.”


Postcard from Cuervonaca


This is a true story. Almost. And it’s almost a work of fiction, but not quite. I should know. I was there.

Docudharma Times Friday May 29

There Is No

Doubt Republicans

Are Just Racists  

Friday’s Headlines:

 Nominee’s Links With Advocates Fuel Her Critics

Young Iran’s search for a leader

Iraq faces the mother of all corruption scandals

The hidden massacre: Sri Lanka’s final offensive against Tamil Tigers

Koreans turn out in force for Roh

Russia’s chief of elite forces ‘implicated in Chechen village massacre’

Fiat will not attend Opel talks

Slump Disrupts Migration

Program to refurbish aging nuclear warheads faces setbacks

Technical problems and an erosion of scientific expertise are blamed for delays in the effort to replace thousands of parts that have aged since the bombs left the factory decades ago.

By Ralph Vartabedian

May 29, 2009

A decadelong effort to refurbish thousands of aging nuclear warheads has run into serious technical problems that have forced delays and exacerbated concerns about the Energy Department’s ability to maintain the nation’s strategic deterrent.

The program involves a type of warhead known as the W76, which is used on the Navy’s Trident missile system and makes up more than half of the deployed warheads in the U.S. stockpile.

The refurbishment program is aimed at replacing thousands of parts that have aged since the bombs left the factory 20 and 30 years ago.

The $200-million-a-year program is a cornerstone of America’s nuclear deterrent strategy, and the Energy Department has been under growing pressure from the military and Congress to meet tough deadlines to get the weapons ready.

In February, the department’s National Nuclear Security Administration announced that the “first refurbished W76 nuclear warhead had been accepted into the U.S. nuclear weapons stockpile by the Navy.”


On Torture And War Crimes, Part One, Or, I Interview Dr. Addicott

I can’t tell you the number of times I began a story with a plan for where it would go, only to discover that the plan isn’t going to work.

The stories sometimes seem to write themselves…but other times, the research seems to do the writing instead; this being one of those times.

When the production of this story began it was with the intention of trying to explain what should be the “controlling authority” in terms of defining torture, a precedent set by the European Court of Human Rights, or Title 18 of the United States Code.

Having reviewed both statute law and numerous judgments in law courts worldwide as well as the recent Senate Judiciary Committee testimony of Professor Jeffrey Addicott, and having conducted an interview with Dr. Addicott personally, I’ve come to two rather surprising conclusions:

It may not really matter whether waterboarding is torture…and although neither I nor Dr. Addicott might have seen it coming, it’s starting to appear that he and I might agree on one thing:

Waterboarding, whether it’s torture or not, is a war crime.  

Load more