October 22, 2009 archive

The Worst of the Worst

A staggering case is still unfolding in Britain.  It is the case of Binyam Mohamed, a UK citizen, that was “picked up” in Pakistan, called a terrorist, renditioned, and tortured by the CIA.  The details of the case are found here in an excellent article by Andy Worthington and Truthout.org.

In their ruling last August, the judges made it clear that they were appalled by the global torture program in which they had found themselves unexpectedly immersed. In one of the most extraordinary stories in the “war on terror,” Mohamed, a British resident picked up in Pakistan in April 2002, had been rendered by CIA agents to Morocco in July 2002, where he had spent 18 months being tortured, had then been rendered to Afghanistan, to the “Dark Prison” outside Kabul, a secret prison run by the CIA, where he had spent another four months and had then been flown to Guantánamo, where he remained while the judges grappled with the largely classified evidence of a global web of kidnapping and torture.

Binyam Mohamed was one of those called “the worst of the worst”.  Unfortunately, the facts of the case show, like in many other cases, that there really was no case, nor evidence, against Binyam Mohamed.

The case of Binyam Mohamed is the case central to the continued pressure by Obama administration to keep secret the evidence of U.S. torture…


Veterans group VoteVets.org is paying for a locally broadcast radio ad, in conjunction with Operation FREE, calling on PA Rep. Daryl Metcalfe (R-Butler) to resign over remarks he made that veterans who are fighting for energy security are “traitors.”

Radio Ad

Transcript: Found Here

Rupert Murdoch is the Biggest Pirate of the US Anime Market

Burning the Midnight Oil for Breaking the Silicon Cage

Crossposted from My Left Wing, also available in Orange

When I wrote Can the Teaspoon Model stand up to Bloodsucker Streaming Sites?, it was clear that one reason the bloodsucker leech anime streaming sites are able to offer their “free anime” because they don’t pay streaming costs either. They rely on pointing their users to places that host the streams.

They are, in other words, an aggregator. People that know how to look and where to look collect the information, and they put a shell around it to make it convenient to the user. They live off a trickle of net advertisements and donations – and of course, nothing ever gets back to the animators, voice actors and actresses, producers, directors who actually create the work.

And if the anime was unavailable in this country, they could argue they are “growing the market”. But of course, an increasing amount of this media is available for legitimate free streaming, supported by a range of internet ads, streaming ads, and subscription models – which does feed income back to the industry that creates these collaborate works.

But the real problem is the hosts for the streams. Without the free hosting of bootleg streams, these leech bloodsucker sites could never afford to offer, as one of these sites boasts, “503 series, 7,657 anime episodes”. Its the ability to point to free streams of bootleg copies provided by someone else that allows the bloodsucker leech sites to spoil the market for legitimate streaming sites.

News of Note

Torture is not torture, according to former Vice President Dick Cheney, and to refer it to as such should be considered libelous. Even if it doesn’t actually qualify as libel.

“In the speech, Mr. Cheney charged that President Obama has ‘filled the air with vague and useless platitude’ when talking about torture and by calling enhanced interrogation techniques ‘torture” he has committed ‘libel’ against CIA interrogators whom Mr. Cheney described as ‘dedicated professionals who acted honorably and well, in our country’s name and in our country’s cause,'” Carpenter adds.

Cheney’s full comments Wednesday:


In short, to call enhanced interrogation a program of torture is not only to disregard the program’s legal underpinnings and safeguards. Such accusations are a libel against dedicated professionals who acted honorably and well, in our country’s name and in our country’s cause. What’s more, to completely rule out enhanced interrogation in the future, in favor of half-measures, is unwise in the extreme. In the fight against terrorism, there is no middle ground, and half-measures keep you half exposed.

U.S. Can Censor Gitmo Testimony, Judge Rules

    (CN) – A federal judge in Washington, D.C., upheld the government’s decision to censor Guantanamo Bay prisoner testimony, saying the unredacted transcripts would “seriously damage” national security.

  The documents outline top-secret CIA interrogation methods contained in the Army Field Manual that are still in use, the opinion states. Releasing them would “seriously damage” national security, the court ruled.

    “The President never authorized full disclosure of defendants’ interrogation program; he merely ended it,” Lamberth wrote.

On Being the Walking Wounded (meta)

I apologize to you budhy, if my comment the other day hurt you. It never occurred to me that my opinion in any way carried any weight. I always see myself as very inconsequential.

People lose it.

We all have our Achilles Heel. Mine is Rape. Remember the great “Thereisnorape” wars, where a poster blamed women for being out certain times of night, for their clothing, and said even taking one drink makes women responsible for their own rapes?

I fucking came unglued on the Motherfucker. My stomach still knots thinking about that day. It triggered my own pstd type behavior as a survivor of rape.

So here we are, with two people who lost it, and a metafest sucking the dialogue out of my beloved DD.

I did what I do, although I bit my tongue hard for a couple days trying NOT to get involved. It is not my place, nor my business to offer the admins here advice. But thats who I am. I do advice. I advocate. I negotiate. I always see both sides.

I too, as OTB did, would have closed comments, after leaving a comment about cooling off and WHY. I probably wouldn’t have deleted the essay, for the simple reason that people like me would see what happened with more clarity. I have done so in the past, and regretted it. It lets people off the hook, they tantrum and then can have a clean slate like their harsh words never happened. But again, its never an easy call.

I don’t blame her, I don’t blame Budhy. But I do opine its time to do something to define your (and my part-time) community here.

But I want to talk a little about walking wounded and excellence.

Thoughts on escape

Perhaps it’s unfair of me, but the only part of the NY Times 5 part story of the escape of David Rohde and Tahir Luddin that I have bothered to read thus far is the last one. It’s the part that contains the information of most interest to me.

I already know that the Taliban are assholes. I already know that the lives of both local and American embedded/combat journalists have become cheaper in this war than any other, including World Wars I and II. Too, I already know that stories like this serve as tools for a continued propagandist agenda that the NY Times has seldom shown itself on the right side of for the entire duration of these Bush-borne abominations, to include the beginning.

What’s left for someone like me to glean from this story, therefore, are the details of the actual escape. There’s still good and valuable stuff there, for all that it might be tinged with the overbearing agenda – the fact that the guy heard someone loading “a Kalishnikov”, for example. One wonders how he knew it was a Kalishnikov – does that somehow sound different than someone loading another kind of assault rifle? This is the sort of detail that intelligence agents, detectives and lawyers focus on to get to the truth of matters; but it is also exactly the sort of detail that propagandists, preachers and salesmen will tweak in order to create their own version.

As surely sanitized and infused with an agenda as this public debriefing is, there are still select and valuable take-home lessons in it for any of us living in the looming shadow of our own police state.

Motivating Future War Criminals




Ladies and Gentlemen and aspiring War Criminals, Get Motivated proudly presents…The Former Torturer in Chief, George W. Bush!

Thank you thank you

Good Evening, and thank you all for attending. Tonight I want to tell you right off, that you too can become, with hard work and dedication, a War Criminal just like me.

“You’re Alone Now”

“You’re alone now!”

That’s what a friend of mine said to me, many many years ago, when I was doing one of those back and forth style break-ups. You now, I kept taking him back. Lucy and Charlie Brown and the football.

Charlie Brown Pictures, Images and Photos

And she was right. She was right then and she’s right again, now, in my head.

I guess it’s my turn to spill my guts in a political blog which has become my community. Oh, I’ll go talk, in detail, with my Babes Forum, they’ve known gory details for the past 5 or 6 years, and they’ll be supportive. They always are.

Here… I have to hand it to both Translator and Ministry of Truth, who have outted themselves (!) with their personal woes yet somehow managed to spare us an overload of details. (Sometimes I wonder how many of us are “walking wounded”.) I’m not so good at that, so I just censor myself altogether. It’s easier.

Because … it’s complicated.

But, then again, on another level, it’s really not. It’s about Power. Again. Money. Control.

I don’t have any.

Predator: A Portrait of America

Would you like to see a symbolic self-portrait of America, circa 2009. Here it is. I give you the Predator:

Ugly, isn’t it? But it wasn’t designed to be pretty. It was designed to kill without warning – cheaply, efficiently, and at no risk to the operator. That’s a Hellfire missile under the wing. It can destroy any armored vehicle or demolish a small building. The little sensor globe under the nose allows the remote pilot, sitting in a cubicle somewhere in the good old USA, to deliver sudden death to America’s enemies on command. There is no defense against the predator, and no warning.

This is who we are now. This is our new national bird. We thrill at the killing of victims who never know what hit them. Aggressive violence has become a perfected perversion in America, and its ultimate expression is the ability to kill with absolute impunity. American industry and ingenuity have supplied this perfect remote killing device, and for this they have the thanks of a grateful, bloodthirsty nation.

Predators and predation are terms used increasingly to describe the miscreants of Wall Street, but these are only the best-paid of America’s predators. The whole “success” culture of America has morphed from a value-based model to a smash-and-grab, quick kill paradigm that equates to predation.

This transformation is perfectly represented in our mass culture. The measure of progress in the American popular cinema is the intensity of stylized violence in our beloved “action films.” Each new Batman movie, for example, shows the (progressively “darker”) costumed protagonist unleashing sudden, unexpected violence on the villains. He strikes with overwhelming force, out of nowhere, then vanishes completely.

So what’s so bad about predation? After all, nature is full of predators and prey. It’s a jungle out there. The problem is that civilization is based on value exchange. Giving fair measure in return for fair payment is the foundation of all commerce, and, arguably all human relations. When we adopt predation as our model for living, we regress from the civilized state to animalistic behavior. When predation becomes a society’s behavioral paradigm, businessmen become gangsters, government becomes brutal, and trust vanishes.

If you want to experience cognitive whiplash, ask any young adult what they think of Goldman Sachs, then ask them if they would take a job there. The fast hit to make a killing is now the American Dream. We are now a nation of predators.

Revulsion Begets Revolution

The Anti-War Movement: Hippies had it Right.

God, how I miss OPOL.

“But you know, if you wanna end war and stuff, you have to sing loud,” said Arlo. And end a war they did. It was not only by song, not only by protest, it was by the barrage of the REALITY of the horrors of war that woke the American People up to Vietnam.

It was the IMAGES.


I think that the American public doesn’t want to look at the horrors anymore. It would make it too hard to exist. Too hard to breathe easy over their lattes, doing nothing about it. They are too worried about keeping their jobs to think about much else.

You see, if they saw CURRENT images, such as this, in Obama’s Bagram, done by the US military, they would have to admit we are the barbarians we are supposed to stand against. We are the monsters.


Revulsion begets Revolution.

The First Step is Admitting You Have a Problem.

Disclaimer: Some of these particular images below have had their validity questioned and lacking citation, the author of this essay wishes you to consider them to be used in this instance as “examples” of rape behavior by soldiers. ~ Diane


Secretary of “Education” Arne Duncan: Dumbf***

Duncan to call for change in teachers’ education

WASHINGTON (CNN)  — Secretary of Education Arne Duncan is expected to push for reforms in how teachers are taught when he speaks at Teachers College at Columbia University in New York on Thursday.

According to advanced quotes released by the U.S. Department of Education, he will say that “schools, colleges and departments of education are doing a mediocre job of preparing teachers for the realities of the 21st-century classroom.” He will call for a “revolutionary” change in teacher preparation programs.

Duncan estimates that about 200,000 new teachers will enter U.S. school systems annually.”

Between Thought and Expression

The Australian actress Nicole Kidman testified yesterday before the House International Organizations, Human Rights and Oversight Subcommittee on the subject of violence in film, in particular the sickening amount of onscreen violence against women.  Kidman stated that many roles portray women as weak, as mere sex objects, or as both and that this permissive attitude of debasement contributes greatly to real life acts of violence perpetrated against women.  The actress’ intent was not merely to condemn the film industry for its excesses but also to advance the larger issue of unchecked, infrequently prosecuted violent acts committed against women across the globe.

The Oscar-winning actress said she is not interested in those kinds of demeaning roles, adding that the movie industry also has made an effort to contribute to solutions for ending the violence.  Kidman testified before a House Foreign Affairs subcommittee that is considering legislation to address violence against women overseas through humanitarian relief efforts and grants to local organizations working on the problem.

That notable stories like these get submerged underneath the incessant back-and-forth of partisan or even inter-party bickering surprises me not one iota.  Such stories are often pigeonholed as merely “women’s topics” or moved to the back of the soft news queue, with the tacit assumption that celebrities are incapable of advancing much beyond their own careers or the manufactured drama designed to garnish publicity.  As for this particular example in question, Kidman is notably treading cautiously here, not willing to assign full blame to Hollywood because of her stated belief that it has devoted committed and serious internal efforts towards self-regulation.  Forgive me for being skeptical, because I know that few major money-making industries do an adequate job of policing themselves from within.  Specifically regarding the celluloid conglomerate, it took the Hays Code and then the puritanical Production Code before Tinseltown ever strongly curtailed the content found in moving pictures.          

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