Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
June 28, 2009

Links June 28 09

Please add your links, views and news in the comments.

Posted by b on June 28, 2009 at 5:51 UTC | Permalink


US to reverse Afghan opium strategy

The first Link should read:

Posted by: Beni | Jun 28 2009 7:53 utc | 1

@Beni - thanks, corrected

Posted by: b | Jun 28 2009 8:41 utc | 2

After Iran, Twitter conspiracy theory hits Germany

Go on b make our day!

Posted by: hans | Jun 28 2009 9:00 utc | 3

that is the source,1518,632942,00.html

actually what German politicians are afraid of is that exit polls are published before the end of the polls so that supporters of the losing party can be mobilized to take part - at the last second.

that would constitute a legal argument not to accept electionfair results as valid.

Posted by: outsider | Jun 28 2009 9:26 utc | 4

Never mind the waterboarding, here's the sodomy

"Yasser tearfully described that when he reached the top of the steps 'the party began…They started to put the of the rifle the wood from the broom into . They entered my privates from behind.'...Yasser estimated that he was penetrated five or six times during this initial sodomy incident and saw blood 'all over my feet' through a small hole in the hood covering his eyes."

–Physicians for Human Rights, Broken Laws, Broken Lives: Medical Evidence of Torture by US Personnel and Its Impact

Waterboarding. It’s all we seem to discuss when comes to American torture. Whenever you see people discussing "enhanced interrogation" on your TV, chances are they’ll be throwing around the same tired arguments, all revoling around waterboarding. Why, of all the things we’ve done to our suspected (and not-so-suspected) terrorist detainees, is waterboarding the issue? Why confine the rapidly dwindling debate to that single technique? We’ve engaged in a lot of other practices that qualify universally as torture. Are sleep deprivation or "Palestinian hanging" not controversial enough? Is solitary confinement too mundane?

How about sodomy? Is that something we consider unremarkable?

"This is highly consistent with the events Amir described, including a traumatic injury and subsequent scarring process. Examination of the peri-anal area showed signs of rectal tearing that are highly consistent with his report of having been sodomized with a broomstick."

–Physicians for Human Rights

That’s right, sodomy. Forcible anal penetration. The documentation of this and other forms of sexual humiliation is too extensive to be denied or pawned off on a couple of redneck privates. And we know now that sexual humiliation techniques were among those discussed and approved by the National Security Principals Committee, a White House group including Dick Cheney, Condoleezza Rice, Donald Rumsfeld, Colin Powell, George Tenet, and John "History will not judge this kindly" Ashcroft.

I don’t want to come off as minimizing the horror of controlled drowning. It’s just that there’s something about forcible anal rape that brings the torture issue into sharp focus. Just once, I’d like to hear one of these American Enterprise Institute psychos, the ones that always trot out to defend the Neocons’ freakish obsessions, have to defend shoving a flashlight up a guy’s ass. I want to hear Frank Gaffney or Jonah Goldberg tell me why I shouldn’t be fucking mortified that raping prisoners was considered within tolerable interrogation practices by my country. I want Glenn Beck to justify butt-raping a suspect.

The next time I hear some idiot refer to Jack Bauer in defense of torture, I want to ask him what he thinks of Jack Bauer rogering terrorists with a broomstick. You’ve never seen that in the hours of not-so-subtle pro-torture TV drama we’ve seen since 2001, have you? Never saw Andy Sipowicz cornhole a skell on NYPD blue? Or Michael Chiklis on The Shield making a suspect drink his pee? Me neither. Something tells me that might have hurt their ratings.

"He also recalled having been forced to wear soiled underwear, often for weeks or months at a time. 'I had diarrhea and I was in handcuffs. I was making my toilet in my underwear and I was very dirty. That was very painful.' ...When he asked to see the doctor he was told that 'we brought a medicine to you.’ Laith explains that, in fact, 'They brought to me bottles urine and told me if you do not drink these now we will bring your mother and sisters. Because I was hearing the voices of women and children, I drank it. I was in handcuffs and they poured the urine and sometimes I vomited from that but when I vomited they kept on pouring on my head … I died at that time.' He said that he was forced to drink urine from the soldiers on eleven different occasions."

–Physicians for Human Rights

The key to winning the debate on torture is to eradicate any illusions about just what this was, which is sick, twisted, and freakish beyond any usefulness in gathering information. And it becomes very clear in the light of a rectally inserted lightstick. Raise the specter of White House-authorized sexual abuse, and anyone who doesn’t shrink away from defending it will be doomed to be remembered as the guy who defended ass-rape and forced urine-drinking, which is the very least an American should suffer for trying to justify brutally raping prisoners.

But no one will pull the trigger. Even as more proof is revealed, nobody seems to mention the sodomy. The torture debate is limited to waterboarding alone. Why? Forget the 48 photos Obama has flipped on releasing (like the putz he’s turned out to be). There are known photos—you can see them at—of a female prisoner being raped, and a male. Not to mention the kinky naked slave-stacking and forced masturbation--and the prisoner with a banana up his ass.

We blared Metallica at them 24 hours a day while they shat themselves, chained to the floor. We kept them in coffin-sized boxes for hours on end. We hung them from the ceiling. We made them jack each other off. We beat some of them to death. Many have lost their minds. Some these people were guilty of nothing but being in Afghanistan or Iraq and being swept up as part of an intelligence “mosaic.”

"Perhaps most important are the anal scars that were observed. Not only are these scars highly consistent with anal trauma (i.e., as would result from forced sodomy or penetration with an object), these scars are in a location where accidental injuries would not occur."

–Physicians for Human Rights

The inevitable dunderhead response, "they beheaded our people," is a sickness unto itself. From Abu Ghraib to Gitmo, we’ve suffered countless such humiliating comparisons, judging ourselves by the lowest standards current events can offer. Sorry, but it is not enough to say we aren’t as bad as Saddam Hussein or the scumbags that killed Daniel Pearl. The very idea that we should measure our own conduct by theirs is a total failure of self-respect. Only the worst kind of scumbag can excuse himself by saying, "I’m incrementally better than the Taliban."

"These brainstorming meetings at Guantanamo produced animated discussion. 'Who has the glassy eyes?' Beaver asked herself as she surveyed the men around the room, thirty or more of them. She was invariably the only woman in the room, keeping control of the boys. The younger men would get excited, agitated, even: 'You could almost see their dicks getting hard as they got new ideas.' "

–Phillipe Sands, Torture Team: Rumsfeld’s Memo and the Betrayal of American Values

What’s so sick about it is that the sexual nature of the torture seems so unnecessary. I mean, even if we were going to torture them, we could have stuck to waterboarding, pulling some fingernails or just beating the shit out of them. But menstrual blood smeared on their faces? Ass rape? What kind of people do that? What possible purpose does that serve that outweighs becoming known as the country that ass-rapes people? We couldn’t get enough answers, or false confessions, or whatever we were looking for, from regular brutality? We had to go all BDSM on these people?

The upshot is this: America is the country that rapes its prisoners. We’re sex criminals. That’s our thing now. And Obama’s refusal to "look back," i.e. prosecute these incredibly serious crimes, ensures that it’s our permanent legacy. No national reputation can survive this simply by shrugging it off. We used to be seen as a bastion of freedom and decency around the world. That shit is over, folks. We’re like the Soviet Union with better movies now. When we talk about human rights, we are an international joke.

And when we talk about torture, we stick to waterboarding, because nobody, not even the "liberals," are willing to face what we’ve done.

Posted by: Uncle $cam | Jun 28 2009 11:30 utc | 5

Today, the bridge across the muddy waters of the Panj River is carrying much more than vegetables and timber: It's paved the way for drug traffickers to transport larger loads of Afghan heroin and opium to Central Asia and beyond to Russia and Western Europe.---McClatchy

A top Russian drugs official said on Friday Moscow should stop the transport of cargo across its territory to U.S.-led forces in Afghanistan if they do not do more to cut the flow of heroin to Russia.--Reuters

Posted by: Don Bacon | Jun 28 2009 13:09 utc | 6

Well now, Pat has been busy. Wonder if she will have better luck with this op?


maybe she will pop in later to gloat....

Posted by: dan of steele | Jun 28 2009 13:47 utc | 7

Uncle $cam,

Just like your name sake you have a way of ruining a guys meal... or his day.

Great? story. Riveting and horrible it should be mandatory reading for everyone in the west so they know how their tax dollars are being spent.

I don't know how people who are against homosexuals and abortion support buggering a guy to death. I guess it's ok to sodomize as long as the guy on the receiving end doesn't enjoy it.

In those really backwards places that still have laws against sodomy I suppose the new defense is, "Officer, I swear I was only interrogating that guy in the public bathroom, really."

Posted by: DavidS | Jun 28 2009 14:04 utc | 8

the matt taibbi piece is insane; the insanity being it can be reported and nothing will be done about it.

Posted by: Lizard | Jun 28 2009 14:56 utc | 9


it is inconceivable that u s intelligence agencies are not involved. perhaps they saw honduras as a weak link in the chain because the president has been the less engaged - his presidency more peron than chavez. the international media as you will be able to notice are completely unconcerned by this putsch - which they will no doubt try to legitimise in the same way as they tried for 36 hours to legitimise the putchists in venezuela in their coup in 2002

i notice we have visitors here from honduras - i hope they can inform us in greater detail what is happening

Posted by: remembereringgiap | Jun 28 2009 16:16 utc | 10

hugo chavez is speaking live now on telesur & he has spoken of the assaults on the ambassadors of cuba, venezuela, & of nicaragua & they are showing the coup in the streets. chavez speaks openly of u s complicity - chavez is speaking from the palacia de miraflores

zelaya is now speaking live - he accuse the military & economic elites - he is allusive about american intervention - he is speaking with the president of costa rica who calls the coup an assault on the whole of democracy in latin america

Posted by: remembereringgiap | Jun 28 2009 17:27 utc | 11

b, the scary thing about the "Twitter Conspiracy" is that it shows the extent of the decline in standards in what the public is wiling to accept as news reporting: anything that anyone can hack out into a keyboard is accorded the status of Truth.

Posted by: ralphieboy | Jun 28 2009 17:51 utc | 13

Holy fucking wow.

Posted by: china_hand2 | Jun 28 2009 17:59 utc | 14

he is peaking a great deal about the referendum which was to be held today.

it appears that he is still in his bed wear

my comprehension of spanish is far from perfect but he appears very resolut & as the press conference progresses the demand by him for barrack obama to be clear about what is happening - implies u s involvement. i think that is the kindest interpretation

telesur is now showing lage demonstration outside the house of the presidency with a leader of a peasants group

the u s can no longer treat the people of latin america as a parentheses in their alliances with the oligarchies

Posted by: remembereringgiap | Jun 28 2009 18:07 utc | 15

gone are the days of every man for himself - all the leaders of latin america are speaking out strongly against the coup

obama has delivered a message - & it would seem at first glance totally different from the one he gave to iran

as th link a offers - it seems like in venezuela in 2002 - it reprimands the coup while supporting it - we shall see

Posted by: remembereringgiap | Jun 28 2009 18:14 utc | 16

any good links/blogging yet on honduras? this coha rpt from two days ago gives an indication of what was coming - Political Reform in President Zelaya’s Honduras

On June 25, Hondurans awoke in a state of anxiety and uncertainty. The previous night, President Manuel Zelaya announced the sacking of General Romeo Vasquez, head of the Honduran armed forces. General Vasquez had declined to lend logistical support to a referendum on constitutional reform which is scheduled to take place in the country on June 28. As a result of this referendum, the president hopes to eliminate the one-term limit placed on Honduran presidents. The referendum has been declared illegal by Congress and the Supreme Court, and Vasquez said that he would be violating the law by allowing the military to follow the president’s directives. However, having previously announced that “orders are meant to be followed, not analyzed,” the president acted on his threat by firing the general.

The sacking of General Vasquez caused the nation’s military bases to go into a state of “high alert”. Armored vehicles rolled out onto the streets and soldiers took up positions at key intersections. Later that day the Supreme Electoral Tribunal declared Zelaya’s re-election null and ordered the seizure of all ballot boxes and election-related materials. According to Spanish daily El Pais, the ballot boxes were being kept at the Tegucigalpa airport having been flown in from Venezuela. Investigators from the Ministerio Público, the Honduran attorney general’s office, arrived to seize the election cartons.

However, the president decided to strike back and ordered hundreds of supporters to follow him to the airport on a “mission” to rescue the boxes. Zelaya placed himself at the head of the march and oversaw the mob’s actions as they tore down the gates to the base and swelled past riot police, forcefully removing the boxes from the military base.

While some figures, most notably the ousted General Vasquez, have called for citizens to remain calm, Zelaya appears intent on doing the opposite. By pursuing his referendum, which has been declared illegal by the Honduran Supreme Court, and has been heavily criticized by Congress, Zelaya is escalating what could become an extremely volatile situation. More importantly, he is setting a dangerous precedent by completely ignoring or assaulting the other two branches of government.

Posted by: b real | Jun 28 2009 18:24 utc | 17

b real

at the moment there is complete coverage of this on telesur

Posted by: remembereringgiap | Jun 28 2009 18:32 utc | 18

It seems that Zelaya has been deported to Costa Rica by the army.

I think we may need some background on this. I was away all the weekend without internet access and from what I listened in the radio news all the official statements where against Zelaya, including his own (now old) politicial party. Which if I understand correctly is just a vanilla right wing party common for the region. Then we have all the leftist governments in the region strongly supporting Zelaya who seems to have become a populist lately ... to remain president with the actual support of the population? But the army implementing an armed coup ('ala' US+french Aristide affair) is quite suspect when 'legally' the government statements had been using multitude of other methods.

If I remember correctly Honduras was until recently (a couple years ago? still is?) one of the south-american-mercenary-country-of-the-willing in Iraq. I remember they were under the spanish militar leadership back in the 2003-2005. The military was said to be quite more proficient on supressing the poor shiite militias by the words of some US mercenaries. Understably when compared with the 'shy' spanish troop who didn't want to be in the middle of a full shiite rebellion in Najaf. As far as I remember they remained after the spanish troops were hastely removed from that mess.

Posted by: ThePaper | Jun 28 2009 18:37 utc | 19

b real

i imagine those in the u s barracks just out of tegucigalpa are thinking of the old days - they'll be there with their maps, their telecommunications & a constant contact with the putschists

Posted by: remembereringgiap | Jun 28 2009 18:43 utc | 20

this is clearly a case of zelaya following the people but if i understood the president of costa rica correctly(while he was citing immanuel kant) he is concerned for the fragility of the newly won democratic processus in latin & central america. he's neither a correa or a morales but i can believe in the peronist tradition he was obliged to listen to the people

Posted by: remembereringgiap | Jun 28 2009 18:51 utc | 21

the paper

at this time the only information i am getting is from telesur

Posted by: remembereringgiap | Jun 28 2009 19:04 utc | 22

There was an interview yesterday with Zelaya in the spanish paper 'El Periodico de Catalunya'.

Right now I don't know the full details about what has been happening in Honduras.

But from the details I'm reading it seems that in the last year or two years due to international crisis, Zelaya, elected as mild right wing president, received economical aid from Venezuela and I would guess that he started implementing a more social policy. In the interview he openly he says he came from a right wing politics and now has become more of a mild socialist interested on supporting the population against the elites. It seems that there is a presidential election in half a year or so, but Zelaya couldn't run himself for election due to limitations in the Constitution. The parlament issued preemptive ruling forbidding referendums in the 180 days before an election, basically ruling out attempt at changing the Constitution for a Zelaya rerun. Zelaya attempted nevertheless to start a popular consultation on the matter, not about reform of the Constitution itself, but about a possible referendums on the matter, basically an attempt to show popular support. The parlament and the supreme tribunal ruled that consultation illegal.

Zelaya tried then to use the military to prepare the consultation but the chief of the army rejected the (ilegal as by the parlament and supreme tribunal, but I'm not a lawyer) order and Zelaya depossed him. At first (Friday-Saturday) it seemed that the chief of the army rejected to leave the post and the army would react with a coup but in the last hours they backed off. However the military continued to refuse the orders about the consultation. Zelaya and his supporters would still implement the consultation this Sunday. Then just hours before the consultation, at 6 AM, surprising even Zelaya who thought he was already safe due to US lack of backing for the coup (his own words), he was captured and shipped by plane to Costa Rica.

Right now the situation seems quite tense in the capital with troops in force in the streets including tanks. Supporters of the president are protesting around the presidential residence and rioting in the streets. The army doesn't seems to be acting openly against them but backing away and leaving the police to do the job. The parlament and supreme tribunal are denying that it's a coup and saying that the military followed their orders to oust the president for his illegal consultation (yeah, right, that's why he was detained by the police). Keep in mind that Zelaya seems that lost all support inside the state structures after he aligned with Chavez.

That's what I cand understand from the reporting in the spanish media (they are from mildly to plain anti Chavez-Morales-etc so this is just one side of the history).

If I would, wrongly perhaps, guess, I would say that it's either over-reaction by the military (they seem to actually rule the country) due the president 'humiliating' them and/or preventing the 'communists' (Chavez-Morales-Castro, the embassies of Venezuela, Cuba and Bolivia were seized at the time of the coup) from 'taking over the country' (so are they afraid Zelaya has gained actuall widespread support by the population and the consultation would show that?). Not sure about actual external support (they may not dislike it though) but most seem to be speaking against the coup. With the parlament and the judges against Zelaya I see very difficult he could have been run for the next election, they had already cut most of his 'legal' wings in a lawful way, the US or other external influence (Spain) would keep with that line, I guess. That's why I see this like an internal over-reaction by the army. And the elites of a neoliberal fake democracy preventing someone from flying away from their hold on power. The population can vote, in a 'democracy', but for US, to keep OUR hold on the political and economic power.

Posted by: ThePaper | Jun 28 2009 19:37 utc | 23

Afghanistan: In first week of political campaigning for the August presidential elections, dozens of billboards advertising Dr. Ashraf Ghani, President Karzai's likely challenger, a financial academic elite backed by the US State Department,
have been defaced with acid or torn to shreds in the night by "unknown" militia.
Background: The Road to DisUnity of a Nation

Posted by: Cher Kroppah | Jun 28 2009 23:20 utc | 24

Cher 24) Immediately after the Ghani billboards went up last week, the mayor of Kandahar contacted the billboard company promoting Ghani and demanded that all their billboards come down for not having 'proper permits'. The Kandahar billboard company appealed to authorities at the provincial level, Governor Toryalai Wisa, PAMA Director Abdul Mohammad, Information and Culture Director Abdul Majid Babai and Kandahar Executive office Director Haji Mohammad Anas, who ruled the billboards were to stay, ordering the Mayor of Kandahar to meet with the billboard company the next week to resolve the situation. When the billboard company arrived for the meeting, the Mayor refused to meet with them, since their was nothing left to resolve, since his militia had removed all the company's billboards during the previous night, leaving only those of a competitor billboard company advertising President Karzai's re-election, which weren't subject to the Mayor's Krystal Nacht.

“Your US government is supporting a corrupt, mafia-ridden, criminal narcostate. The Karzai warlords are the sworn enemies of democracy, women’s rights and justice. The troops are guarding US strategic and military interests, not the Afghan people.”

Gorbachev promised US that hard-core cadres of the Reactionary Right acting within Finance and Military would overthrow liberal reforms of the Obama Administration, and plunge America into a kleptocratic narcostate just like the former Soviet Union has become.

Ta-dah! Honduras, right on cue!

So what do you get when you cross an $11T GD2 with a rogue Fascist Right Wing Cabal operating with a $T budget for black ops in play as an executive assassination ring?

Air France 447 for 350,000,000 passengers trapped in coach.

Posted by: Shah Loam | Jun 28 2009 23:58 utc | 25

Uncle $cam's article @ 5:

Never mind the waterboarding, here's the sodomy

Ever notice that no matter how much we kill, starve, maime and sexually abuse them there is still a long parade of them lining up to be quislings and collaborators? This surprises me more than the sodomy. Even more interesting is that the sodomy at Abu Graib was exposed by members of the US military, not the media or international red cross that later revealed what they already knew. Sodomy was already in the Taguba Report. Even sicker is what kind of a society is it that Darby and his family still have to live in hiding out fear for their lives for his part in exposing the abuse? There is no such fear amongst any of the convicted perpetrators.

Posted by: Sam | Jun 29 2009 2:19 utc | 26

The comments to this entry are closed.