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November 07, 2005


When the President of the United States proclaims that we do not torture, no way, nohow, and in the same breath says that we can't pass a law outlawing torture because we have to come down on our enemies sometimes...

....well.....why are we even bothering to have a civilized discussion anymore. Words don't have any meaning.

Alberto Fujimori was just arrested by Chilean authorities.

SCOTUS granted cert in Hamdi, Roberts recused. Do we have five votes for reversal? And does that depend on Alito?

Thrice we have asked Bush the question
And thrice he has replied
"we do not torture"
Yet some say there was torture
And i'm sure they are honorable Americans

You all did love Bush once
Not without any cause
What holds you now to disapprove of him ?
O judgement! Though art fled to treasonous beasts
And men have lost their reasons;
Bear with me
My faith is in the President, George W Bush
And I will not pause in singing his praises

Hamdan, I meant Hamdan.

There's a great article in the Prospect about the effectiveness of a cooperative approach (this graf refers to al-Libi:

Says Cloonan: “I told them, ‘When you get access, don’t say anything at first. Sit; say hello after awhile; offer him tea, dates, figs. Point out where Mecca is; ask him if he wants to pray. And sit. And when he starts to look a little inquisitive, tell him who you are, and that he has rights and privileges, and that you’re going to give him his rights. Just like any other interview.’ So they do all this. And they start building rapport. And he starts talking about Reid and Moussaoui. They’re getting good stuff, and everyone’s getting the raw 302s [interview summaries] -- the agency, the military, the director. But for some reason, the CIA chief of station in Kabul is taking issue with our approach.”

And there it is. I'm sure there may be some on the right who would deride this as coddling - "Figs, fer christsakes!!!" But this is how it is done, you make then your buddy, you undermine all those hateful things they have heard about the US and they will talk - hell every police officer knows how it's done.

By all means go read the whole article because it is a great read. It just astounds me how many in this Administration are condoning inhumane techniques for their own sake, it's as if they don't even care about actually getting good intel from these guys.

Another version here.

"By all means go read the whole article because it is a great read."

That is, if you didn't read it in July in the first place, along with the at least dozen or so similar articles over the past couple of years.

No coverage here yet of such vital matters as Mongoloian clan names, a compilation of false statements from the Admin on Iraq, or a 1942 guide to Iraq for U.S. military personnel. What's happening to Afghan development. Or an IRS investigation of a church for allegedly being anti-war, or, worst of all, any coverage of the Shirtless Guy.

"Actress Sutton Foster was rehearsing a number called "I'm An Accident Waiting to Happen" earlier this week when she fell and broke her arm." -- CNN

New notes from Harriet Miers to George Bush. Heh. Double heh.

"SCOTUS granted cert in Hamdi, Roberts recused. Do we have five votes for reversal? And does that depend on Alito?"

Don't know. It probably depends on Kennedy. It might be useful to re-read Kennedy's concurrence in Rasul, or we can just hope that all the alleged brainwashing by them furriners' is still working on him.

Hamdan, not Hamdi. Two different cases. IIRC, the Hamdi case is past final disposition; he gave up his citizenshbip & moved to Saudi, and they let him out of jail after three years without a charge.

"& moved to Saudi,"

To Arabia, even. Pray forgive me expostulating on yet another of my Crazed Usage Rants. No, please, please forgive me! Get away from me with those torches!

I have a gub!

Anyway: "Arabia" is the name of the land, just as I live in "America." "Saudi" is the family of Ibn Saud. It because "Saudi Arabia" when Ibn Saud conquered it from the Rashidi, the Hashemite Sharif Ali, and other tribes.

"Saudi" is an adjectival form that modifies the noun "Arabia." Just as, say, "North" or "South" modifies "America" or "Dakota" or "Carolina."

When going to any of these places, one would not say "I'm going to North"; "I'm just back from South."

Similarly, it's equally incorrect (and jarring, I say, speaking only personally) to refer to the land of "Saudi," whether coming, going, or simply considering. There is no such place. There's Arabia. Saudi Arabia. But no "Saudi," any more than the short version of "New York City" is "New." (I was born in New, myself.)

Of course, in practice, this usage has been standard amongst the military and the international set and in the oil business, and in general with English-speakers doing business in or around or with Saudi Arabia. So, of course, my exegesis on this critical topic will never, in the forseeable future, win out.

But I shall fight them on the beaches, I shall fight them in the comment threads. I shall nevah surrendah.

Camel robot jockeys of Arabia. Need I say more?

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