April 03, 2007
One Cannot Not Communicate
News & views - open thread - ...
Posted by b on April 3, 2007 at 02:14 AM | Permalink
Just read "Animal Farm"; that's their playbook.
Posted by: Chris Marlowe | Apr 3, 2007 2:24:07 AM | 2
.. and Animal Farm was a parody of Stalinist Russia.
Where's the Senator from Wisconsin when you need him ..
Posted by: DM | Apr 3, 2007 5:40:23 AM | 3
dm, if you mean russ feingold, he and reid just cosponsored legislation that would have the u.s. forces beginning withdrawl from iraq within 120 days of enactment and defunding as of march 2008.
Posted by: conchita | Apr 3, 2007 10:55:06 AM | 4
“A government operating in the shadow of secrecy stands in complete opposition to the society envisioned by the framers of our Constitution.” - Judge Damon Keith (6th Circuit Court of Appeals)
Posted by: Uncle $cam | Apr 3, 2007 11:09:00 AM | 5
I post this here, because it is a bloody amazing account of the depthless stupidity of the occupation. it's from chandrasekaran's Imperial Life in the Emerald City:
McPherson wasn't involved in drafting the 101-page plan. But he didn't find anything in it to quibble about. His vision for economic reform in Iraq hewed to the same philosophy. Instead of using government money to create new jobs in an Iraqi version of the New Deal, he favored a supply side strategy: reduce the role of government industry through privatization, eliminate subsidies for electricity and fuel, cut tariffs, lower taxes, promote foreign investment, and enact pro-business  laws. Those changes, he reasoned, would draw multinational firms, and even wealthy Iraqis, to set up businesses in Iraq that would create jobs for the unemployed. The key to economic growth, he believed, was "the development of a robust private sector."
"We need to shrink government employment," he said to me in that first interview, "not increase it."
McPherson landed in Baghdad a month after the city's liberation. He was eager to have BearingPoint get to work as soon as possible, but the company's consultants were not scheduled to land for several weeks. To McPherson, time was of the essence. He wanted to move forward right away with privatization and the elimination of subsidies. The faster you addressed those problems, he reasoned, the faster you would achieve economic growth. He also had a personal desire for alacrity. He had asked Michigan State's board of trustees for only 130 days of leave.
McPherson assembled his own brain trust. He brought over the deputy general counsel from the Treasury Department and two bright government economists, one from the White House's Council of Economic Advisers and the other from the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston. But McPherson didn't have the staff to tackle privatization. He had to rely on Corliss and Jackson.
As soon as he arrived, even before asking for the analysis of the state-owned enterprises that Corliss would perform in two weeks, McPherson announced his intention to move forward with privatization. At the Ministry of Industry, Carney, Jackson, and Corliss were still trying to understand how the place worked. On the CPA economics team, everyone was figuring out how to pay salaries to hundreds of thousands of government employees. "Here comes McPherson wanting to talk about privatizing state-owned industries," one member of the economics team said. "It struck us as so irrelevant."
There was also a legal roadblock. Article 43 of the second section of the Hague Convention of 1899-the first set of international treaties that attempted to create laws of warfarerequires an occupying power to respect all the laws of the occupied country except when it is necessary to promote public order and safety. Although the United States had the bless  ing of the United Nations Security Council, in Resolution 1483, to promote "economic reconstruction and the conditions for sustainable development" in Iraq, CPA lawyers were generally opposed to the sale of Iraq's industries, on the grounds that such sales violated the Hague Convention. What if a sovereign Iraqi government objected to privatization? You couldn't reverse the sale of a factory. Better to leave it to a future Iraqi administration, the CPA lawyers said.
Even more significant at the time was a practical challenge. There was no way Corliss, Jackson, and Carney could do it by themselves. Financial records would have to be scoured, offers posted and evaluated, financing arranged. When the trio met with a team of Germans to discuss how factories in the former East Germany had been privatized, the CPA team was told that the Germans had eight thousand people working on the project. "How many do you guys have?"one of the Germans asked. "You're looking at all of them," Corliss responded.
The German laughed and asked again. "No, how many people work for you?"
"No, this is it. Three people," Corliss said. "Don't bother starting," the German said.
Corliss quickly came to regard rapid privatization as a fool's errand. "So let's say that everyone within the CPA, every single bureaucrat in there, from Peter McPherson all the way down to little guys like me, all say privatization is the way to go. You then step out to the Iraqi ministry and you say'Guess what, guys? We're privatizing your factories. Starting today and starting with the vegetable oil factory. We're going to privatize it from our own funding.' The Iraqis would look at you and say, 'Really? Okay. Thanks. We'll get to work on that. We'll talk to you tomorrow' And they'd walk off and say,'Stupid, freaking Americans: And they just wouldn't do it.
Posted by: slothrop | Apr 3, 2007 12:18:59 PM | 6
many other examples. really a good read.
Posted by: slothrop | Apr 3, 2007 12:20:13 PM | 7
Agresto was a lifelong Republican. The son of a Brooklyn dockworker, he was the first in his family to go to college. He went on to earn a doctorate in political science from Cornell University. After a brief teaching career, he joined the National Endowment for the Humanities during the culture wars of the rg8os. Along with Lynne Cheney and William Bennett, he hectored the higher-education establishment as liberal and lazy. After leaving the NEH, he spent eleven years as president of St. Johns, a small, classical liberal arts college known for its Great Books curriculum. In Woo, he retired and set up a consulting company. In his spare time, he prepared homemade Italian sausage and relaxed with his wife in their cabin near the Pecos River in New Mexico.
A few weeks after U.S. troops rolled into Baghdad, Agresto got a call from his predecessor at St. John's, Edwin Delattre, who asked if he'd be interested in going to Iraq. A professor of philosophy at Boston University and an adjunct fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, Delattre had been approached about the Iraq job by John Silber, BU's president emeritus, who had been contacted by Jim O'Beirne, the White House liaison at the Pentagon. O'Beirne had figured that Silber, one of the few social conservatives in American academia, could recommend candidates who supported President Bush's decision to invade Iraq. Agresto most certainly did. He described himself as a "strong supporter" of the war.
Agresto knew next to nothing about Iraq's educational system. Even after he was selected, the former professor didn't read a single book about Iraq. "I wanted to come here with as open a mind as I could have," he said. "I'd much rather learn firsthand than have it filtered to me by an author."
Posted by: slothrop | Apr 3, 2007 12:28:27 PM | 8
conchita #4 not so simple
Posted by: annie | Apr 3, 2007 12:42:50 PM | 9
annie, in another universe i would be tempted to argue with you that these democrats want us out of iraq and that is the goal of this legislation - particularly because it is feingold - but i can't read minds and, like you, i question who we can trust in congress. it doesn't help that in conversation with blitzer over the weekend about the supplemental funding resolution, presidential hopeful obama said:
OBAMA: Right. I think that we continue to put a series of votes up and try to convince our colleagues on the Republican side that the only way that we are going to change circumstances in Iraq is if you see a different political dynamic; that there are, at this point, no military solutions to the problems in Iraq; that what we have to do is get the Shia, the Sunni, the Kurd to come together and say to themselves "We, in fact, are willing to start making some compromises around oil revenues, around the arming of militias and so on."
Posted by: conchita | Apr 3, 2007 1:28:04 PM | 10
hey conchita, there may in fact a number of dems that want us out of iraq but the facts remain that the legislation they propose does not really do that. if offers way to bring many troops home but it does not offer a way to do it w/independance for iraqis. they are independent to kill eachother off but not be independent to move forward under their terms.
plus, this says nothing of the thousands of 'security' contractors their to protect the interests of the greed/oil barrons.
We, in fact, are willing to start making some compromises around oil revenues, around the arming of militias and so on."
compromises? how generous. what on earth should the iraqis be compromising w/us on their own resources. retreat is not about compromise, it is about loosing. going home, acknowledging you made a huge mistake and totally fucked over a country.
it is not about agreeing to pull out enough troops to look like a retreat and then having expectations the iraqis will agree to concede to you. that is nuts.
this 'benchmark ' thing is a total sham. it makes it appear as if the iraqis, by not submitting to our theft, will have us retreat. obviously if they don't give us what we want we are not going to just go home and leave them alone. you can't put lipstick on this pig.
Fury at RAF Kamikaze plan
RAF Top Guns were stunned last night after being asked to think of being Kamikaze pilots in the war on terror.
Posted by: annie | Apr 3, 2007 1:46:06 PM | 11
jeez. it is posts like that i wish we had some function to delete. how embarrassing.
Posted by: annie | Apr 3, 2007 1:48:35 PM | 12
don't know if this has been written about yet, but thought i would share. this is a nice victory:
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Monday, April 2, 2007
Contact in Washington: Deborah Mathis, Communications Director,
at (202) 797-8600 Ext. 246 Contact in Seattle: India Simmons at
SEATTLE TO CLEAR ARREST RECORDS, PAY $1 MILLION TO WTO PROTESTERS WRONGFULLY ARRESTED IN 1999
Settlement Requires Overhaul of Police Training
SEATTLE – In a landmark settlement reached by Public Justice on behalf of scores of people arrested in 1999 while peacefully protesting the World Trade Organization, the City of Seattle has agreed to seal and expunge the records of what a jury earlier determined to be their unconstitutional arrests by Seattle police. In addition, the settlement mandates that the City improve police training in order to prevent unconstitutional mass arrests in the future. Finally, the City will pay $1 million to compensate the protesters for the violation of their constitutional rights and the costs of bringing the lawsuit.
Following an 11-day trial in January, a civil court jury found the City liable for violating the protesters’ Fourth Amendment rights. The verdict in Hankin v. City of Seattle and settlement followed seven years of litigation and determined work by the Public Justice legal team. “It’s a shame when justice is delayed any length of time, especially seven years,” said lead plaintiff Kenneth Hankin, a Boeing fuel systems engineer. “The verdict and this settlement not only vindicate the rights of the people who peacefully and lawfully protested in 1999, but will help ensure that future dissent is treated as intended in a free society.”
The class action lawsuit, filed in 2000, arose from the events of December 1, 1999, when police corralled and arrested approximately 175 people who were peacefully protesting the WTO in downtown Seattle’s Westlake Park. The City had invited and encouraged the WTO to hold its ministerial conference in Seattle. By the time the conference began in late November, tens of thousands of individuals and organizations with a range of concerns from globalization and labor to endangered species and human rights converged on the city to protest WTO policies. After one day of widespread but largely peaceful protest, Seattle’s mayor declared a swath of the downtown business core off-limits to all but certain citizens in what many observers saw as an exaggerated response to isolated disturbances by some individuals. Although the order did not specifically prohibit protests within the area, city officials and Seattle police called it a “no protest zone.” Hundreds of peaceful protesters were then arrested.
All charges against those arrested in the “zone” were later
dropped, but not before many of the demonstrators were held in jail for up to four days—until the WTO conference had ended. No police officers were ever reprimanded or disciplined by the City.
Based largely on testimony by Seattle Police Department leaders, Public Justice co-lead trial counsel Michael Withey argued that the arrests adhered to City policy or, at minimum, had been approved by policymakers within the department. The jury agreed, finding that the City was responsible for the unconstitutional arrests. In addition to Withey, the plaintiffs were represented at trial by Public Justice co-lead trial counsel Tyler Weaver of Seattle; Seattle attorney Fred Diamondstone; and attorney Leslie Bailey, the Brayton-Baron Fellow at Public Justice.
After the jury verdict, Seattle faced further litigation on the damages owed to the peaceful protesters it unconstitutionally arrested. To avoid the trials, the City agreed to settle the case. “This settlement brings to a close an important chapter in the history of this City,” said Withey. “The lesson to draw is that the full constitutional rights of citizens can be guaranteed at the same time public safety is secured. The court, the jury and now the City of Seattle have validated this vital principle. We are proud to hold the city accountable and to contribute to this important victory.” Weaver said he was pleased that the Westlake Park demonstrators would be compensated, but that the full outcome of the case has a much more significant meaning. “Most importantly, the jury’s verdict in this case is a sign that our Constitution is alive and well,” Weaver said. “I am hopeful that this case will send a message not only to the City of Seattle but to cities around the country that mass arrests of peaceful, law-abiding protesters will not and cannot be tolerated.”
Diamondstone noted that the settlement serves “an important lesson for police departments around the country that have looked to Seattle’s WTO experience” when large numbers of protesters gather in other large cities. “The proper lesson is to avoid repetition of the fiasco in Seattle by allowing peaceful protesters to gather, as guaranteed by the Constitution,” Diamondstone said. Pursuant to the settlement agreement, which is subject to court approval, the City of Seattle has agreed not only to seal its own records of the arrests, but also to formally request that other agencies expunge any records they may have received or maintained regarding the December 1, 1999 arrests. The City will also notify the agencies that the Westlake class members were never tried or convicted of any offense. The sealing and expungement of arrest records is of particular importance to members of the class, who were concerned about the potential effect on their reputations and good standing in the eyes of law enforcement.
Perhaps most significantly, the City has agreed to incorporate key court rulings from the Hankin case into police training. Those rulings make clear that police lacked probable cause to arrest both the peaceful protesters at Westlake and others arrested outside the “no protest zone.” Improved training will help ensure that police officers will protect individuals’ constitutional rights against unlawful search and seizure in the future.
The monetary settlement negotiated by Public Justice will secure a financial recovery for each protester in the range of $3,000 to $10,000, depending on the number of class members who file claims. The settlement fund will be paid with insurance proceeds, rather than by City taxpayers. In addition to the trial team, the plaintiffs were represented by Public Justice Staff Attorney Victoria Ni and Public Justice Executive Director Arthur Bryant. For more information on Public Justice or this case, go to www.publicjustice.net.
Posted by: conchita | Apr 3, 2007 2:15:42 PM | 13
conchita, that was the headlines of 2 big newspapers here yesterday. i was there, i took jess to experience it.
it was very well organized. the key arena was packed to capacity. groups had come from all over the world as well as huge turnout of unions some complete w/hardhats, full native costumed tribal groups from SA ,africa, asia. tibetan monks, you name it. there was a long period of speeches and then we all marched downtown from seattle center (space needle) to westlake (near the convention)meeting another group from the federal building.
the cops just couldn't handle it by the end of the day. huge turnout.
Posted by: annie | Apr 3, 2007 2:35:43 PM | 14
re #4 Ah - I meant Senator McCarthy - (the "Senator from Wisconsin" as he was so often alluded to - or so they tell me).
Posted by: DM | Apr 3, 2007 4:16:28 PM | 15
brief kenyan editorial expressing doubts about what they got themselves into in agreeing to partner w/ the north americans in the GWOT
Is Kenya Now the 53rd State?
THE NEWS THAT THE KENYA GOVERNMENT is surrendering its own citizens to foreign countries without the due process of law and without bothering to inform their families, is causing dismay among citizens who look to the government for protection.
It appears the government has been turning over suspects arrested while fleeing Somalia to the United States, Ethiopia and the transitional Somali government.
It is understandable that Kenya, having been a victim twice, should wish to be in the forefront of fighting terrorism. But the danger is that the Muslim community that has borne the brunt of these arrests is feeling increasingly disillusioned and excluded from the Kenyan judicial system.
Parliament has yet to debate and pass the Anti-Terrorism Bill into law. So, under which law is the government arresting these suspects? Worse still, why is Kenya handing over its citizens to Somalia, which doesn't even have a functioning justice system?
It is time the government acted to dispel the impression that Kenya has surrendered its sovereignty to the US at least in as far as the war against terror is concerned.
the ceasefire in mogadishu continued on tuesday, strengthened by futher agreements b/t the hawiye clan & ethiopian forces, including meeting again on thursday. the u.n. is reporting that nearly 100,000 residents have fled the capital city in a little over a month-and-a-half of fighting. shabelle is reporting that one human rights group put the civilian death toll from the three-days of heavy fighting at "around 381." no numbers of ethiopian & interim govt troop deaths yet, though dead soldiers are still laying in the streets.
for a bit of levity, perhaps, in the news from somalia, i did find something humorous in this story -- or at least the way it was reported -- of the adventures of some journos traveling to cover an object that recently fell out of the sky in a remote part of the country. locals said of the object, which struck & killed a camel, that "in the daylight it glitters and but in the nighttime, it turns lights and speaks a strange language which can’t be understood by the villagers". (no, i doubt it's the arrival of dyncorp)
The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) today condemned the attack on five journalists whose car was ambushed by armed men as they went to cover a story in Hiran region in central Somalia.
On Thursday morning the journalists were ambushed by five armed men as they were heading to Bule Burde district of Hiran Region to cover a story about an object that reportedly fell from space.
According to the National Union of Somali Journalists (NUSOJ), unknown gunmen opened fire on a vehicle carrying Mohammed Sheik Nur, a stringer for Associated Press, Mohammed Ibrahim Isak, a stringer for New York Times, Abshir Ali Gabre, a journalist for Radio Jowhar and two freelance journalists. The car was forced to pull over and the gunmen stole six cameras, six mobile phones and some money from the journalists. They also spanked Nur.
Posted by: b real | Apr 3, 2007 7:15:17 PM | 16
good interview w/ salim lone on democracynow today which covers somalia, the u.s. goals there, sudan, africom, even another problem w/ obama.
lone brings up a good point, re one of the (many) problems w/ the u.s. military believing their own pretext of being benevolent humanitarian do-gooders
The US Rangers are very active in Kenya, carrying out, by the way, development projects, which is scary, because this is how you make humanitarian organizations targets, because you identify them with military activities.
and re obama
...one of the great problems here is that so little is known about Somalia and the region. We have a situation where Barack Obama is on the same page with George Bush on the question of Somalia. He is a co-sponsor of an amendment at the moment on Somalia, which is, you know, designed to root out tourism, etc., etc. We need to reach out to --
AMY GOODMAN: Barack Obama, whose father comes from Kenya.
SALIM LONE: From Kenya. Even though his father comes from Kenya, he does not know enough about what the US is actually doing, because he co-signed -- he’s one of the co-sponsors. So we need to reach out to people like Barack Obama and the many of the senators and congress people who care. But they don’t know.
russ feingold too is a big proponent of africom and u.s. involvement to protect u.s. national security interests there (oil)
Posted by: b real | Apr 3, 2007 8:09:26 PM | 17
that was a typo in the transcript where lone obviously said "terrorism" and it was transcribed as "tourism"
Posted by: b real | Apr 3, 2007 8:11:36 PM | 18
5. All communication is either symetrical or complementary
does this include communications betweens persons who are heavily influenced by religion prescription or "self-evident" cultural prescription ?
Posted by: jony_b_cool | Apr 3, 2007 8:48:57 PM | 19
Holy shit! Alert alert...There has been a billmon spotting: I spotted him today here.
Perhaps, one can not not write too? hehe...maybe he's testing the waters.
Posted by: Uncle $cam | Apr 3, 2007 10:21:46 PM | 20
er, uh, sorry, make that here...
Posted by: Uncle $cam | Apr 3, 2007 10:25:25 PM | 21
Pelosi Threatening Progressives to Stop Impeachment?
A Movement of One (Or Maybe a Million)
In fact, the leadership of my party is doing worse than nothing. They are actively blocking efforts to bring President Bush to ground. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has is known to have threatened key members of Congress, notably Judiciary Chairman John Conyers, and other early backers of impeachment hearings, with punishment-the loss of key committee and subcommittee chairs or postings, problems with any bills they might submit, and the like--in order to keep them from submitting bills of impeachment.
She and other leading Democrats in Washington have also unconscionably interfered with efforts in state legislatures to pass resolutions which would demand that the House of Representatives take up impeachment.
The cynical motive behind these actions is to try and win bigger majorities in Congress in 2008 by doing nothing-the idea being that Bush and his cronies and their Republican backers in Congress have made such a hash of running the country, and of their wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, that Americans will abandon them and turn to the Democrats.
The problem with this strategy-even if it were to work, which is highly dubious--is that by 2008 there won't be much left of the Constitution, or of tri-partite government, thanks to Democratic inaction and cowardice.
Only the impeachment of Bush and the other criminals in the current administration offers any hope or restoring the Constitution, the Bill of Rights, and the tradition of separation of powers that has provided the underpinning of American democracy for over two centuries.
Imagine my (utter) lack of shock...
From the above: The cynical motive behind these actions is to try and win bigger majorities in Congress in 2008 by doing nothing
Or that's their excuse, and they're sticking with it. The motive behind stopping attempts to impeach is to keep Bush happily in power until the next election. It's as simple as that, and you can work out all the consequences accordingly.
If there's ever going to be a serious attempt to move away from 2 party politics, then surely it must happen in America within the next 5 years. And it'll happen because people realise that the 2 party politics we've got is really 1 party politics. That the Democrats aren't falling over each other trying to win the contest over which particular method of impeachment will be used is all the evidence you need. It just doesn't happen in 2 party politics that the opposition party will forgo gift opportunities to impeach the sitting President (ergo: this is not 2 party politics we are witnessing). They can make Bush and the Republicans look like shonky crooks from here on in, and they expect people to believe their story that they'll win more votes if they don't take the opportunity to make the Republicans look shonky?! That's why a two-party politician gets out of bed in the morning - in the hope that on that day they'll be able to throw some muck that actually sticks to the other guy!!
Coke or Pepsi.
Posted by: Uncle $cam | Apr 3, 2007 11:20:13 PM | 22
On, Animal Farm as the Republican playbook:
I'd add 1984 (at least for the endless war) and a history of Tammany Hall or Richard Daley Sr.'s Chicago to their likely sources of inspiration. I was going to include an account of Watergate as well; but, enough of the senior players in this political machine were involved in that or Iran-Contra to make reading about it unnecessary.
I'd guess that, when they read Orwell, their absolute inability to identify with the victims (who are, after all, responsible for their own condition) left them with no choice but to identify with the oppressors and, so, take the works as cookbooks.
On, RAF Kamikaze:
The article includes the following paragraphs:
"He asked aircrews at a conference: 'Would you think it unreasonable if I ordered you to fly your aircraft into the ground in order to destroy a vehicle carrying a Taliban or al-Qaeda commander?'"
"Such an order would mean certain death for a pilot who cost £6million to train — and the loss of a £50million jet."
It's not that it's unconscionable to order someone to commit suicide for the "greater good." The problem here is the investment that's been made in their equipment and training.
Just where is it that we're supposed to differ from Al Qaeda? Oh, that's right, this is for your country.
On, that was a typo in the transcript where lone obviously said "terrorism" and it was transcribed as "tourism":
Are you sure it was a typo? Sponsoring a military solution that brings about the intensification of a civil war certainly sounds like something "designed to root out tourism."
This could be the Bush regime's third major failed attempt to use foreign forces to impose a military solution in a civil war. Since Somalia lies astride the shipping lanes from the Middle East, I suppose it has the benefit of increasing the price of oil.
Posted by: bcg | Apr 4, 2007 3:20:29 AM | 23
Interesting OpEd in LAT: Overselling capitalism
Capitalism is stymied, courting long-term disaster. We still work hard, but only so that we can pay and play. In order to turn reluctant consumers with few unsatisfied core needs into permanent shoppers, producers must dumb down consumers, shape their wants, take over their life worlds, encourage impulse buying, cultivate shopoholism and invent new needs. At the same time, they empower kids as shoppers by legitimizing their unformed tastes and mercurial wants and detaching them from their gatekeeper mothers and fathers and teachers and pastors. The kids include toddlers who recognize brand logos before they can talk and commodity-minded baby Einsteins who learn to shop before they can walk.
Consumerism needs this infantilist ethos because it favors laxity and leisure over discipline and denial, values childish impetuosity and juvenile narcissism over adult order and enlightened self-interest, and prefers consumption-directed play to spontaneous recreation. The ethos feeds a private-market logic ("What I want is what society needs!") and combats the public logic fashioned by democracy ("What society needs is what I want to want!").
Posted by: b | Apr 4, 2007 5:03:04 AM | 24
Since this is an open thread, here's an interesting, if both off-topic and depressing, article. Note the conclusion stated: it would be cheaper to provide proper care than to do things the way they are currently done. Why, quelle surprise!
Posted by: The Truth Gets Vicious When You Corner It | Apr 4, 2007 5:30:39 AM | 25
AP: U.S. interrogating at Africa’s secret prisons
NAIROBI, Kenya - CIA and FBI agents hunting for al-Qaida militants in the Horn of Africa have been interrogating terrorism suspects from 19 countries held at secret prisons in Ethiopia, which is notorious for torture and abuse, according to an investigation by The Associated Press.
Human rights groups, lawyers and several Western diplomats assert hundreds of prisoners, who include women and children, have been transferred secretly and illegally in recent months from Kenya and Somalia to Ethiopia, where they are kept without charge or access to lawyers and families.
The detainees include at least one U.S. citizen, and some are from Canada, Sweden and France, according to a list compiled by a Kenyan Muslim rights group and flight manifests obtained by AP.
More than 100 of the detainees were originally arrested in Kenya in January, after almost all of them fled Somalia because of the intervention by Ethiopian troops accompanied by U.S. special forces advisers, according to Kenyan police reports and U.S. military officials.
Those people were then deported in clandestine pre-dawn flights to Somalia, according to the Kenya Muslim Human Rights Forum and airline documents. At least 19 were women and 15 were children.
In Somalia, they were handed over to Ethiopian intelligence officers and secretly flown to Ethiopia, where they are now in detention, the New York-based Human Rights Watch says.
Posted by: b | Apr 4, 2007 7:18:32 AM | 26
via Joshua Landis
Seymour Hersh was interviewed by Ghassan Ben Jeddo on Al-Jazeera Sunday evening. Here is the rough translation from Arabic sent to me by Alex:
1) American intelligence sources told him that Lebanese AND middle Eastern parties opposed to Syria misled the Unites States and France with false evidence (or manufactured evidence) designed to implicate Syria in the Killing.
2) His sources at the UN tell him there is no evidence against Syria yet. That the Hariri killing was very carefully planned and executed, and that we might never find out who ordered that assassination.
3) Prince Bandar is very ambitious … Seymour is not sure if the Prince wants to be the next King, but the prince has significant influence worldwide and is spending a lot of money to help this administration finance Anti Syria operations in Lebanon and elsewhere. Prince Bandar’s main American contact is Vice President Cheney… their meetings last long hours.
4) Sunni “moderate” Arab states indeed asked the United States to attack (not invade) Iran.
5) Prince Bandar is coordinating with the Americans to attack تهاجم)) Syria and Iran (not sure Attack was the English word .. I heard the Arabic translation: His purpose of the Iran visit was to isolate Syria.
6) Some in Israel want to work with Nasrallah, instead of trying to finish him.
7) The US is financing the Seniora government and its allies through Bandar money .. and through 9 billion dollars that was taken from Iraq. Samir Jeajea is getting some of that money.
Posted by: b | Apr 4, 2007 8:25:24 AM | 27
Got this in my box today...
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Posted by: Uncle $cam | Apr 4, 2007 10:10:07 AM | 28
We succeeded where America failed, says Islamist chief
DOHA, Qatar Apr 3 (Garowe Online) - The executive head of Somalia’s Union of Islamic Courts movement, Sheikh Sharif Sheikh Ahmed, appeared in a televised interview on Tuesday for the first time since the Islamists were driven out of Mogadishu and southern Somalia last year.
Sheikh Sharif was interviewed by Al-Jazeera TV in Qatar, where the international station is based.
Speaking in Arabic, the Islamist leader described the ongoing conflict in Mogadishu as being between the public and the invading Ethiopian army.
While accusing the international community of neglect, especially in the ongoing Mogadishu violence, Sheikh Sharif said he does not recognize the Somali government.
He said that even Ethiopia does not recognize Somalia’s transitional government, since Ethiopian military officers in Mogadishu reached a truce with insurgents without the government’s knowledge.
which seems to me to indicate that the ethiopians (via the u.s.) are running things in somalia & that the TFG appears to have been abandoned. quotes from the last couple days by spokespersons for the TFG made clear that they were not aware of any ceasefire and would not recognize it.
from the second link,
After talks with Prime Minister Meles Zenawi here on Monday, Senator Inhofe told journalists that Ethiopia's measure of defence against the danger posed on it by the extremist force in Somalia was commendable.
He said his discussions with Prime Minister Meles Zenawi included the Ethio-U.S. bilateral cooperation, which he described is "very good".
He called for enhancement of such cooperation in various fields.
repression of opposition political parties, including extrajudicial executions... secret prisons... torture... illegally invading somalia & killing thousands of children, women, men, & elderly civilians. WTF is inhofe smoking?
Posted by: b real | Apr 4, 2007 11:41:40 AM | 29
on newshour last nighht, leherer referred to the situation in somalia as "battles against remnants of islamic extremists."
Posted by: slothrop | Apr 4, 2007 11:50:21 AM | 30
WTF is inhofe smoking>/i>
Posted by: slothrop | Apr 4, 2007 11:51:27 AM | 31
In memoriam Tom Hurndall.
He went to a local school where my neighbour's kids go.
Jocelyn Hurndall's book about her son, and the aftermath of his shooting by the IDF.
Posted by: Dismal Science | Apr 4, 2007 1:58:18 PM | 32
Former Iranian defence minister ‘missing’
Turkey’s interior ministry on Tuesday began an investigation into the disappearance of a former Iranian deputy defence minister who went missing in Istanbul, amid reports that he had defected to the west or had been abducted.
Iran asked the Turkish authorities to probe the disappearance of Ali-Reza Asgari, who was reported missing while on a private visit to Turkey last month.
Posted by: Uncle $cam | Apr 4, 2007 2:51:09 PM | 33
Just want to endorse b real's recommendation @#17 of Salim Lone intervewed on Democracy Now yesterday. Thoughtful, informative, reasoned, beautifully articulated.
- Africa has been trying to get the rest of the world to establish meaningful engagement with Africa for decades. The last thing Africa needs is a new Western military command.
- The UN has lost much credibility in the Islamic world because everything the UN knew about Iraq was used by the US when it attacked.
Everyone should hear the full interview.
I was listening while driving. Arrived at destination and remained in the car 10min more, until Lone finished.
Posted by: small coke | Apr 4, 2007 5:13:02 PM | 34
Paul Sanford, first to ask McClellan about Plame/treason link, commits suicide
from the article:
In what police describe as a "probable" suicide leap, a prominent Monterey Bay Area attorney fell at least nine floors to his death....
Friends and associates expressed disbelief at the news of Sanford's death and that it was ruled a suicide, saying Sanford seemed happy and had made many plans for this week and in coming months. Mills said he and Sanford recently decided to open a shared law office to serve Monterey and Santa Cruz counties, something Sanford was looking forward to doing.
I don't think we're SUPPOSED to believe it. We're supposed to recognize the consequences...
Posted by: Uncle $cam | Apr 4, 2007 8:01:11 PM | 35
uncle, the plot thickens
The White House incident sparked controversy after Beltway bloggers incorrectly described Sanford as a reporter for the Air America radio network. At the time, he was associated with Watsonville radio station KOMY, an Air America affiliate, and Sanford told reporters he never claimed to work for Air America.
Sanford eventually filed suit against station owner Michael Zwerling after Zwerling was reported as saying Sanford had not been authorized to represent the station as a reporter, a statement Sanford refuted.
Mills represented Sanford in that suit, which was scheduled to begin in Santa Cruz County Superior Court in February. Mills said he did not know if the case will continue after Sanford's sudden death.
imagine the attention a trial like this might garner on the topic of treason.
the pavement seems like a traumatic choice for suicide.
Posted by: annie | Apr 4, 2007 8:30:52 PM | 36
I checked some of his comments at DailyKos and almost everyone has a reply pleading for the whiskey bar to re-open...
Posted by: a swedish kind of death | Apr 4, 2007 8:34:03 PM | 37
FOX News makes perfectly clear its news policies.
Seriously, this is so perfect its funny.
Posted by: citizen | Apr 5, 2007 1:03:21 AM | 38
via Juan Cole
Al-Zaman also reports that the Iraqi government has been secretly transporting unidentified corpses from the Baghdad morgue to a vast cemetery near the Shiite holy city of Karbala. The Baghdad daily says that 2500 unidentified corpses have been disposed of this way since last June. It alleges that the government of Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki has forbidden the Baghdad morgue from announcing the true death toll, but that morgue officials admit that 16,000 unidentified or unclaimed corpses came in during 2006.
And that's only Baghdad ...
Posted by: b | Apr 5, 2007 10:37:23 AM | 39
Warning - OT and totally irrelevant to this thread. You may have read this one currently doing the rounds of email jokes ...
Here is a funny joke about an Indian boy on his first day at school in the USA
It was the first day of school and a new student named Chandrasekhar Subramanian entered the fourth grade.
The teacher said, "Let's begin by reviewing some American History.
Who said "Give me Liberty, or give me Death"?
She saw a sea of blank faces, except for Chandrasekhar, who had his hand up: "Patrick Henry, 1775" he said.
Who said "Government of the People, by the People, for the People, shall not perish from the Earth?"
Again, no response except from Chandrasekhar. "Abraham Lincoln, 1863" said Chandrasekhar.
The teacher snapped at the class, "Class, you should be ashamed. Chandrasekhar, who is new to our country, knows more about its history than you do."
She heard a loud whisper: "Fuck the Indians,"
"Who said that?" she demanded. Chandrasekhar put his hand up. "General Custer, 1862."
Now furious, another student yells, "Oh yeah? Suck this!"
Chandrasekhar jumps out of his chair waving his hand and shouts to the teacher , "Bill Clinton, to Monica Lewinsky, 1997!"
Now with almost mob hysteria someone said "You little shit. If you say anything else, I'll kill you."
Chandrasekhar frantically yells at the top of his voice, "Gary Condit to Chandra Levy, 2001."
The teacher fainted. And as the class gathered around the teacher on the floor , someone said, "Oh shit, we're fucked!"
And Chandrasekhar said quietly, "George Bush, Iraq , 2005."
Posted by: DM | Apr 5, 2007 2:27:27 PM | 40
Canada's Role in Depleted Uranium (DU) Weapons worldwide
"CANADIAN URANIUM IS BASICALLY PROVIDING THE MATERIAL FOR THESE [DU] WEAPONS And I really would ask you to make this an issue in the front / centre and STOP IT NOW AS QUICKLY AS YOU CAN !!" -- Dr. Rosalie Bertell, authority on Depleted Uranium (DU).
Posted by: Alamet | Apr 5, 2007 7:29:36 PM | 41
You gotta laugh. This one (link to article below via anti-war.com) is quite funny.
Who said American comedy was no good? It's just a deadpan version of Monty Python.
Both Iraqis and Americans alike were stunned by the audacity of Senator John McCain's heavily publicized (and heavily armed) excursion through Baghdad's Shorja market last weekend. There was the leading proponent of the war on Capitol Hill, setting out to confirm his recent claim that the escalation of U.S. forces is greatly improving conditions on the ground, accompanied by a handful of Congressional colleagues. He seemed to think nobody would notice that their little shopping trip also included a platoon of soldiers, three Black Hawk choppers and two Apache gunships.
Posted by: DM | Apr 5, 2007 8:12:27 PM | 42