Monday, November 07, 2005

pinions of buddy don: the 19% man

ye probly dun herd bout the member of the administrayshun that has a 19% approval ratin. after readin sum of todays news, ye mite wunder who could be in that 19%. why do they hate the amurkin ideals? we are a cuntry of laws, not men, whar innybidy detained is tole the reason why, gits a lawyer, gits to confrunt the accuser, gits a trial, gits to be assumed innocent till proovd guilty. the battle that we have with terrism aint one of military mite but one of harts n minds. we claim the spread of demockrussy will make the worl safer on a counta the ideals we live by, witch i jes listed sum of the most importunt.

but them ideals aint good a nuff fer mr 19%. he wonts to go back on em, wonts us to be listed with them that tortchurs folks n detains em without trial, that sends em to other demockrussies (sos they kin all be tainted with the same betrayull of thar ideals?).

all i kin say bout the stories that follers is read em n weep ...

  • Cheney Fights for Detainee Policy; As Pressure Mounts to Limit Handling Of Terror Suspects, He Holds Hard Line:
    Over the past year, Vice President Cheney has waged an intense and largely unpublicized campaign to stop Congress, the Pentagon and the State Department from imposing more restrictive rules on the handling of terrorist suspects, according to defense, state, intelligence and congressional officials.

    Last winter, when Sen. John D. Rockefeller IV (D-W.Va.), vice chairman of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, began pushing to have the full committee briefed on the CIA's interrogation practices, Cheney called him to the White House to urge that he drop the matter, said three U.S. officials.

    In recent months, Cheney has been the force against adding safeguards to the Defense Department's rules on treatment of military prisoners, putting him at odds with Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and acting Deputy Secretary of Defense Gordon R. England. On a trip to Canada last month, Rice interrupted a packed itinerary to hold a secure video-teleconference with Cheney on detainee policy to make sure no decisions were made without her input.

    Just last week, Cheney showed up at a Republican senatorial luncheon to lobby lawmakers for a CIA exemption to an amendment by Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) that would ban torture and inhumane treatment of prisoners. The exemption would cover the CIA's covert "black sites" in several Eastern European democracies and other countries where key al Qaeda captives are being kept.
  • Prisoner Accounts Suggest Detention At Secret Facilities; Rights Group Draws Link to the CIA:
    Three Yemeni nationals who were arrested in late 2003 say they were transferred to U.S. custody and kept isolated in at least four secret detention facilities that Amnesty International officials believe could be part of a covert CIA prison system.

    The three detainees have not said they were physically abused while in U.S. custody, but they describe being whisked away in airplanes to unknown locations where they were interrogated by Americans in civilian clothes, according to an Amnesty International report. At one prison, the detainees were guarded by people in all-black "ninja" suits, who communicated using hand gestures.

    During their separate incarcerations, the detainees were never visited by the International Committee of the Red Cross, never had access to lawyers, were unable to correspond with their families and had no contact with the outside world, the report said. Their families believed they were dead or were told that they had gone to Iraq to fight the United States.

    The accounts, taken in independent interviews by Amnesty International researchers over the past few months, appear to be consistent with reports of a network of secret CIA detention facilities, according to the report. The detainees could not determine where they were because they were hooded during the flights, but because of the travel time they assumed they were in Europe or the Middle East, according to Amnesty International.
  • Senators Question Terrorism Inquiries; FBI Use of Patriot Act Is Weighed Against Rights of Individuals in U.S.:
    Lawmakers expressed concern yesterday that the FBI was aggressively pushing the powers of the anti-terrorist USA Patriot Act to retrieve private phone and financial records of ordinary people.

    "It appears to me that this is, if not abused, being close to abused," said Sen. Joseph R. Biden Jr. (D-Del.), who is a member of the Judiciary Committee.

    Sen. Chuck Hagel (R-Neb.), a member of the Select Committee on Intelligence, agreed, saying the government's expanded power highlights the risks of balancing national security against individual rights. "It does point up how dangerous this can be," said Hagel, who appeared with Biden on ABC's "This Week."

    Under the Patriot Act, the FBI issues more than 30,000 national security letters allowing the investigations each year, a hundred-fold increase over historic norms, The Washington Post reported yesterday, quoting unnamed government sources.

    The security letters, which were first used in the 1970s, allow access to people's phone and e-mail records, financial data and the Internet sites they visit. The 2001 Patriot Act removed the requirement that the records sought be those of someone under suspicion.

    As a result, FBI agents can review the digital records of a citizen as long as the bureau can certify that the person's records are "relevant" to a terrorism investigation.
  • And the War Goes On:
    The coalition of the clueless that launched the tragically misguided war in Iraq is in complete disarray.

    Dick Cheney is simultaneously running from questions about his role in the Valerie Wilson affair and fighting like mad to block any measure that would outlaw torture by the C.I.A. His former top aide, Scooter Libby, one of the original Iraq war zealots, is now an accused felon who is seldom seen in public unaccompanied by defense counsel.

    Donald Rumsfeld, the high-strutting, high-profile defense secretary who was supposed to win this war in a walk, is suddenly on the down-low. There are people in the witness protection program who are easier to find than Rummy.

    As for the president, he went all the way to South America to get away from the Washington heat. But even within the luxurious confines of Air Force One, Mr. Bush found that he couldn't escape the increasingly corrosive effect of the fiascos plaguing his administration.
  • Deconstructing Cheney:
    THE INDICTMENT of the vice president's chief of staff for perjury and obstruction of justice is an occasion to consider just how damaging the long public career of Richard Cheney has been to the United States. He began as a political scientist devoted to caring for the elbow of Donald Rumsfeld. As a congressman, Rumsfeld had reliably voted against programs to help the nation's poor, so (as I recalled in reading James Mann's ''Rise of the Vulcans") it was with more than usual cynicism that Richard Nixon appointed him head of the Office of Economic Opportunity, the antipoverty agency. Rumsfeld named Cheney as his deputy, and the two set out to gut the program-- the beginning of the Republican rollback of the Great Society, what we saw in New Orleans this fall.

    When Rumsfeld became Gerald Ford's White House chief of staff, he again tapped Cheney as his deputy. Now they set out to destroy detente, the fragile new relationship between the United States and the Soviet Union. Dismissing detente as moral relativism, Cheney so believed in Cold War bipolarity that when it began to melt in the late 1980s, he tried to refreeze it. As George H.W. Bush's secretary of defense, Cheney was key to America's refusal to accommodate the hopeful new spirit of the age. Violence was in retreat, with peace breaking out across the globe, from the Philippines to South Africa, Ireland, the Middle East, and Central America. When the Berlin Wall fell in 1989, Cheney forged America's response -- which was, little over a month later, to wage an illegal war against Panama.

    As Mikhail Gorbachev presided over the nonviolent dismantling of the Soviet Union, Cheney warned Bush not to trust it. When the justification for the huge military machine over which Cheney presided disappeared, he leapt on the next casus belli -- Saddam Hussein's invasion of Kuwait. Hussein, a former ally, was now Hitler.

    Against Cheney's own uniformed advisers (notably including Joint Chiefs Chairman Colin Powell), he forged Washington's choice of violence over diplomacy. The first Gulf War, remembered by Americans as justified, was in fact an unnecessary affirmation of military might as the ground of international order, just as an historic alternative was opening up. US responses in that period, mainly shaped by Cheney, stand in stark contrast to Gorbachev's, who, refusing to call on military might even to save the Soviet Union, was ordering his soldiers back to their barracks. The unsentimental Cheney, eschewing human rights rhetoric, was explicit in defining America's Gulf War interest as all about oil. (The oil industry having made Cheney rich.) Cheney's initiatives, more than any other's, defined the insult to the Arab world that spawned Al Qaeda.

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