Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Lessons of Viet Nam...Keith Olbermann

Keith Olbermann's Special Comment on the Lessons of Viet Nam. Hat tip to prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald on the clip. Very timely for Thanksgiving...

Hot Links

Former Ohio republican fundraiser Tom Noe is sentenced to 18 years, plus numerous fines...see, a perfect example of how our criminal justice system can work. Is there anyone who can say Noe did not receive a fair trial? Give us your arguments, and we'll try not to laugh.

Dearest Readers, have you noticed the level of sarcasm in our global neighbors regarding Dubya? They are beyond angry, thankfully. But the comments regarding intelligence, impaired judgement etc. Oh my, it could be a comedy show if the results of suffering him were not so tragic...

ABC Key Daley aide sentenced to 46 months

"If you think he deserves 46 months then you and I come from a different planet," Durkin said. He also noted that the government did not launch such an investigation until Patrick J. Fitzgerald, a transplanted New Yorker, became U.S. attorney in Chicago.

"I am taken aback by the suggestion that Chicago is so corrupt that we have to bring in somebody from New York," Durkin said.

Prissy is sure Scooter will say something to the same effect when he is sentenced. Too stubborn to save himself and cop a plea...

AP News Reno Files Challenge to Terror Law

Some of the eight attorneys named in the document are now in private practice and represent detainees at the military base in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. Most served under President Clinton, though the list includes former U.S. Attorneys W. Thomas Dillard and Anton R. Valukas, who served under President Reagan.

"The existing criminal justice system is more than up to the task of prosecuting and bringing to justice those who plan or attempt terrorist acts within the United States - without sacrificing any of the rights and protections that have been the hallmarks of the American legal system for more than 200 years," the attorneys wrote.

And..."These are complex and difficult legal issues, and while we respect the right of other legal minds to be heard on these issues, we believe we are on firm legal footing in this case as both the magistrate judge and district court concluded," Blomquist said.

Last weekend, Attorney General Alberto Gonzales defended the nation's handling of the detainees. He said they are afforded more rights than required.

"Gonzo Government", not to be confused with the true American system of justice-is not on firm legal footing...

International Herald Tribune, hat tip to The Next Hurrah Document shows Bush guided CIA on detention

The Central Intelligence Agency has acknowledged for the first time the existence of two classified documents, including one signed by President George W. Bush, that have guided the agency's interrogation and detention of terror suspects.

The CIA disclosed the existence of the documents in a letter Friday sent from the agency's associate general counsel, John McPherson, to lawyers for the American Civil Liberties Union.

The contents of the documents were not revealed, but one document, as described by the ACLU, is "a directive signed by President Bush granting the CIA the authority to set up detention facilities outside the United States and outlining interrogation methods that may be used against detainees."

The second document, according to the group is a Justice Department legal analysis "specifying interrogation methods that the CIA may use against top Al Qaeda members.

CBC Canadian army needs reservists to fill gaps in Afghan mission: commander

Canada's mission in Afghanistan has put the Canadian army under so much strain that it is relying increasingly on reservists to sign on as full-time soldiers, the head of the army told a parliamentary committee on Monday.

Lt.-Gen. Andrew Leslie, commander of the Canadian army, told the House of Commons defence committee that to complete the mission in Kandahar, which is slated to run until February 2009, the army will have to draw on reservists.

Reuters Rwanda's Kagame should face court: French judge

A top French judge has called for Rwandan President Paul Kagame to be brought before a U.N. court over a 1994 plane crash that killed the country's president and sparked a genocide, a judicial source said on Tuesday.

Anti-terrorism magistrate Jean-Louis Bruguiere is also seeking international arrest warrants against nine Kagame associates, including the military's chief of staff, according to an official document seen by Reuters.

Rwanda's foreign minister dismissed the arrest warrants as an attempt to cover up what Rwanda says was France's role in training soldiers who carried out the genocide.

News 24 Iraq and Syria restore ties

Baghdad - Iraq and Syria have announced the restoration of diplomatic ties severed 25 years ago and said they had agreed to co-operate on security matters.

"We have signed a little while ago an agreement to restore complete diplomatic relations with Syria," Iraq's foreign minister Hoshyar Zebari told reporters at a joint news conference with his visiting Syrian counterpart Walid Muallem.

CNN World Ex-Russian spy 'may have radioactive poisoning'

Litvinenko's supporters claim he was targeted after years of stinging criticism of abuses by the Federal Security Service, or FSB, and most recently his inquiries into the slaying of another government critic, Russian investigative journalist Anna Politkovskaya, who was gunned down October 7 inside her Moscow apartment building.

"Somebody has asked me directly, who is guilty of Anna's death? And I can directly answer you: It is Mr. Putin, president of the Russian Federation," he told a videotaped meeting discussing Politkovskaya's death at the Frontline media club in London in October.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov dismissed suggestions that Russian intelligence services were involved as "nothing but sheer nonsense."

Litvinenko joined the KGB counterintelligence forces in 1988, and rose to the rank of colonel in the FSB. He began specializing in terrorism and organized crime in 1991, and was transferred to the FSB's most secretive department on criminal organizations in 1997.

Does Putin really eat babies?

WaPo Top-Secret Torture The Bush administration claims detainees can't disclose how they were treated.

The trouble is that at least some of the secrets the government is trying to protect are the very techniques used against people such as Mr. Khan -- and its means of protecting them is to muzzle him about what the CIA did to him. CIA official Marilyn A. Dorn said in an affidavit that Mr. Khan might reveal "the conditions of detention and specific alternative interrogation procedures." In other words, grossly mistreating a detainee now justifies keeping him quiet.

The problem with this argument is not just its Kafkaesque sheen. If the courts accept it, it would have vast practical implications. The integrity of any military trials of the high-value detainees will depend on their excluding evidence obtained by unduly coercive means. By the logic of the government's argument, however, all of that litigation will have to take place in secret. Detainees are also supposed to be able to appeal their status as enemy combatants to the federal appeals court here in Washington. The government's logic would all but assure that the bulk of any such appeal would be secret as well. So accepting this theory would mean that no claim of torture could be resolved in a transparent and accountable fashion. Given the importance of open trials for the high-value detainees, it's hard to imagine a principle that would more thwart the effort to bring them credibly to justice.

How is it the inventors of this method continue to call themselves Americans? Please tell Prissy this wasn't taught in any college receiving federal funds...

David Letterman: "Tomorrow at the White House, President Bush will pardon the turkey. It's that time of year for him to pardon the turkey. Today, Dick Cheney spent all day torturing it."

Reuters Briton tortured into confessing bomb plot: lawyer

A British Muslim falsely confessed to planning to bomb several high-profile English landmarks after being tortured and subjected to degrading conditions in Pakistan, his defense lawyer said on Tuesday.

Salahuddin Amin, 31, was subjected to "inhumane" treatment by the Pakistani Intelligence Service (ISI) during 10 months of incarceration, Patrick O'Connor told a London court.

The torture took place with the knowledge of British intelligence agencies although no British agents were actually involved or witnessed it, he said.

Monsters and Critics California court expands immunity for bloggers

The ruling supports federal law that clears individuals of liability if they transmit, but are not the source of, defamatory information. It expands protections the law gives to Internet service providers to include bloggers and activist Web sites.

'We acknowledge that recognizing broad immunity for defamatory republication on the Internet has some troubling consequences,' California's high court justices said in their opinion.

'Until Congress chooses to revise the settled law in this area, however, plaintiffs who contend they were defamed in an Internet posting may only seek recovery from the original source of the statement,' the decision stated.

At Center Network 11/20/2006 - Interview - Linda Englund, MFSO

A must see interview with an articulate military mother, who won't be fooled by BushCo. Linda Englund is a member of

Military Families Speak Out

Her son is an exemplary soldier and you can see he comes from tough stock. No one should be surprised why military families who are geniunely aware of what is really happening in the war, continue to fight to put an end it to the madness...How long would it last if these people were told to personally fight it, rather than negotiate or be forced to rely on diplomatic skills?

India Times Angry welcome awaits Bush in Indonesia

HO CHI MINH CITY: Warmly greeted by world leaders in Vietnam, US president Bush drew a different reaction Sunday at his upcoming stop in Indonesia, where thousands angrily protested America's policy in the Middle East and wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

The White House said it was confident about security precautions for Bush's visit despite police warnings of an increased threat of attack by Al Qaida-linked groups.

The president was to spend just six hours in Indonesia, most of it at Bogor Palace, a presidential retreat outside the capital of Jakarta and far from the scene of protests on Sunday where Bush was denounced as a "war criminal" and "terrorist".

Has there ever been a president more protested while abroad, than Dubya?

Heartland See Cheney's Oil Map

CBS Republican Named Winner In Fla. House Race

Several other House races nationwide remain unresolved: In Ohio's 2nd District, a few counties began counting provisional and absentee ballots in the disputed race between GOP Rep. Jean Schmidt, a Republican who called decorated Vietnam veteran Rep. John Murtha a coward, and Democrat Victoria Wulsin. Schmidt led by about 2,800 votes, though nearly 9,000 votes could remain to be counted in the district.

In Ohio's 15th District, Republican incumbent Deborah Pryce was ahead of Democrat Mary Jo Kilroy by more than 3,500 votes. Some 19,000 ballots remain to be counted, with results expected next week.

Al Jazeera.net Nepal peace agreement signed

Maoist fighters in Nepal have signed a peace agreement with the country's government.

The agreement signed by Girija Prasad Koirala, Nepal's prime minister and Prachanda, the Maoist leader, is the formal end to a civil conflict which has killed more than 13,000 people.

The deal has been reached seven months after King Gyanendra surrendered power to political parties following weeks of street protests.

Check back for updates over the holiday.

Wishing all Dearest Readers a happy holiday season.

Quotes of the Day

Against logic there is no armor like ignorance.--Laurence J. Peter (1919 - 1988)

Only the curious will learn and only the resolute overcome the obstacles to learning. The quest quotient has always excited me more than the intelligence quotient.--Eugene S. Wilson

We need men who can dream of things that never were.--John F. Kennedy (1917 - 1963), speech in Dublin, Ireland, June 28, 1963

There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, Than are dreamt of in your philosophy.--William Shakespeare (1564 - 1616), "Hamlet", Act 1 scene 5