Thursday, May 26, 2005

Our Spineless, Liberal Media

Newsweek was right all along:

PENTAGON investigators have confirmed five incidents in which the Koran was mishandled by US guards and interrogators at Guantanamo Bay.

But they found “no credible evidence” that the Muslim holy book was flushed down a lavatory, as alleged in a disputed news account that sparked riots in the Islamic world.

Brigadier-General Jay Hood, who commands the detention centre in Cuba, said yesterday that a prisoner who alleged such desecration three years ago has now changed his story.

The investigators found 13 cases of alleged mishandling of the Koran at Guantanamo by US personnel. Ten were by a guard and three by interrogators. Of those, five were substantiated, General Hood said. He said that three of the cases were deliberate. None of the US personnel involved was facing disciplinary action.
The US has been fighting allegations that its prison guards and interrogators abused the Koran as a softening-up tactic at the US base.

Sixteen people died in riots that started in Afghanistan after Newsweek reported that the Pentagon had confirmed an allegation that a copy of the Koran had been flushed down a lavatory. The magazine retracted its story a week later and apologised after its source qualified the claim.

So, we just "mishandled" the Koran........Like, "Oops, I just dropped the Koran on a pile of dogshit! Sorry.... C-luuumsy me."

And the flushing incident has now been recanted. Gee, how many times did the prisoner get "waterboarded" to change his tune? Or did the anal "Glowstick of Truth" get him to retract his story? My guess is that Newsweek must have recieved the "GoT" also, considering how fast they retracted their (now true) story.


Monday, May 09, 2005

I Haven't Served, So I Can't Offer You My Opinion On The War.

Un-Fortunately, someone has written most eloquently, what I haven't the authority or experience to write:

Name Withheld Pending Notification
Gold Star Families for Peace

When I woke up this morning, the "official" death count in Iraq was 1576. The first thing I do in the morning after I boot up my computer is to check the DoD website to see if any more of our nation's precious children were killed in this horror of a nonsensical war. I was talking to another Gold Star Mom, Celeste Zappala, today and she sadly advised me that the count rose to 1579 (note: the official count is now 1594) while she was out to lunch.

Celeste and I and too many other moms know what the significance of "Pending Notification" means: it means that there are people in our country going through their lives right now not even knowing that they are about to be ambushed with the most devastating news of their lives: "We regret to inform you..."

Somewhere in America, there is a mom (I always think of the moms first) shopping for groceries, driving home from a long week of work, or maybe even planning her soldier's homecoming party.

Somewhere, here in our country there is a mother who is hoping that she will receive a Mother's Day card from her soldier, or perhaps, if she is extremely lucky, a rushed telephone call.

There is a mom out there who has been worried sick about her soldier since they arrived in the combat zone.

Maybe the mom still supports George Bush and the occupation or maybe the mom is certain if her child is killed in this abomination that her sweet baby, her soldier will have died for lies and betrayals. In the end, and at that moment, the mom is not going to care about politics or about reasons for invasion and occupation. She won't care if her child died for freedom and democracy, or to make some people wealthier and more powerful. All she will see is the Grim Reaper in a uniform standing at her door before she collapses on the floor screaming for her child and pleading with the Grim Reaper to take her with him.

Somewhere there is a father in America who won't know what hit him and who won't know whom to hit back.

There are brothers and sisters, nieces and nephews, spouses, and children who are about to step on the path of unbearable pain and seemingly endless grief.

Today there are the families and friends of three wonderful human beings who never, until now, knew that the human body could produce so many tears.

Somewhere in America live our fellow citizens who never even knew that a broken heart is not theoretical or symbolic. These most unfortunates are about to find out that a broken heart hurts far worse than a broken limb, and does not heal so readily, if ever at all.

The families of these soldiers are also departing on a long tour of banalities uttered by well-meaning, but let's face it, uninformed people. I hear these phrases over and over again: "Time heals every thing," "Casey's in a better place," (oh really, I didn't know that home with his mom was such a bad place to be), "Casey wants you to be happy," "Casey died doing what he loved doing," (he did?), or, my favorite, "Casey died defending his country." Let me assure the reader, phrases like this do not help. They are cliches for one thing, and for another, none of them are true. None of them help a grieving family.

If you, the reader, is ever in the situation facing a mom who had her son brutally murdered, God forbid, I will give you hints on what does help: hugs (lots and lots), make sure she eats, make sure she drinks plenty of water (tears are dehydrating), make sure she hears wonderful things about her child, bring boxes of tissues and toilet paper, and bring yourself. Leave your tired and impotent cliches at the door.

Of course, the most tragic thing about the 1579 is that not even one should be dead. Our "president" cheerfully rushed this country into a needlessly horrendous and devastating invasion. Our "president" thinks stolen elections confer a mandate. Our Congress cheerfully relinquished their Constitutional responsibility to declare war. If they had any courage or honor they would claim that right back and end this travesty.

I have a feeling our mis-leaders will be having a nice day with their moms or their children on Mother's Day. As they are eating their brunches and giving and receiving bouquets of Mother's Day flowers, they probably never even think about the moms in this world that their insanely reckless policies have destroyed. It never enters their wicked brains that they have ruined Mother's Day for so many families. This is a tragedy.

Our media was, and still is, a willing shill for the Administration and has never told the American public the truth. Reporting about Iraq is always trumped by such as child molesters, Martha Stewart, Terri Schiavo, Scott Peterson, the American Idol, or now, Runaway Brides!

Another tragic thing about this illegal and disastrous invasion and occupation is that there are only 1579 families in this country who even have to think about Iraq. Most Americans probably don't even know where to find Iraq on a map. The Halliburtons, Bechtels, KBRs, and the oil oligarchs of the world, who are laughing all the way to the bank, think of Iraq with greedy glee each day. Sorrowfully, there are 1579 families in this country who have "Iraq" carved on their hearts and souls for eternity.

We have sacrificed more than the $1.99 it costs to buy a "Support the Troops" magnet for our cars. We have had a violent amputation. Even if our fellow citizens don't realize it, by allowing this occupation to continue, they are also losing a very important part of themselves: their humanity.

My heart, my prayers, and my love go to the three families who are now embarking on this mournful, unnecessary journey. We at Gold Star Families for Peace are here for them. I hope they find comfort in what I know now seems like a comfortless world. Peace.

Love and Peace!!!
Cindy Sheehan
Mother of Hero: Spc Casey Austin Sheehan
KIA 04/04/04
Casey's Peace Page
Cofounder of Gold Star Families For Peace


Thursday, May 05, 2005

Finally, An Abu-Ghraib Higher-Up Takes Some Heat...

Karpinski Busted Down to Colonel.....But, Shoplifting? WTF?!

Brig. Gen. Janis Karpinski was disciplined after Army leaders deemed her job performance "seriously lacking" and accused her of concealing a past shoplifting arrest.

The Army said in a statement Karpinski had been reduced in rank to colonel, although an investigation by the Army inspector general's office "determined that no action or lack of action on her part contributed specifically to the abuse of detainees at Abu Ghraib."

Karpinski said last year she was being used as a "convenient scapegoat" for detainee abuse that was the fault of others.

Again, WTF?!

A U.S. official who asked not to be identified said Karpinski failed to inform the Army as required when filling out an official document about an earlier arrest on an Air Force base in the United States on a misdemeanor charge of stealing less than $50 worth of cosmetics from a military store.
Asked how Army investigators looking into detainee abuse learned of her shoplifting arrest, the official said, "Somebody ratted her out."

1) Did Karpinski get busted for Abu Ghraib, or is it the petty theft.

2) Holy Mother of Pearls, what in the crappety-fuck is a senior military officer doing shoplifting, shoplifting, Maybelline and Lip Smackers from the PX?!

This is not something that is going to look good in the "G.I. Jane" file.

Monday, May 02, 2005

Then and Now

Interesting how the past keeps trying to become the present, hmmmm?

The Spanish Inquisition was executed at the request of Isabella. She was a very pious and devout Catholic. One of her advisors, who would later become the first General Inquisitor, was Thomas de Torquemada........Besides, the queen had already said she wanted "one country, one ruler, one faith" (N. Dirksen and M. Johnson, The Spanish Inquisition's Effect on the Church, 1996).

The punishments and tortures used to gain confessions are the most famous parts of the Inquisition.
Because the trials were for spiritual matters, the Church handled them. However, the punishments were usually very much physical, so they were handled by the state.
(see Bush Administration,

There were many means of this physical torture for confession. The two most famous or infamous were the strappado or pulley, and the aselli or water torment. The strappado was a device that used ropes to strap a person in by their arms and legs, and then weights were attached to the ends of these ropes. The person was raised to a certain level and then the ropes were released. This created a situation where the body would be stretched painfully, sometimes enough to produce death (see Abu Ghraib,

The aselli was accomplished as a person was brought to lay down on a trestle with sharp-edged rungs and secured with an iron band. Their feet would be elevated above their heads. The accused then had a small piece of linen forced into the gullet. Using a jar (jarra), water would be poured into the mouth and nose producing a state of semi-suffocation. The process would be done repeatedly. While doing that process, the cords binding the limbs would be tightened until it would seem the very veins would explode. (see Gitmo, "Waterboarding",

The tortures were used on old and young alike to get confessions and to learn of accomplices. (see Guantanamo Bay,

Santayana's Maxim seems to apply here:

We didn't learn the moral lesson from this history, so we decided to repeat the immorality.

However we did learn some neat ways to torture people from this history, so we decided to repeat the methods.


NOBODY Expects The Spanish Inquisition!

Pat Robertson wants limitations on non-Christians serving public office:

Robertson told "This Week" that he didn't think Frist would run for president and said, "I just don't see him as a future president." But he praised two other senators as possible GOP presidential contenders: Sam Brownback of Kansas and George Allen of Virginia, both of whom are well liked by the Christian right. Robertson acknowledged that Giuliani did not "share all my particular points of view on social issues," but added, "Rudy's a very good friend of mine and did a super job running the city of New York. I think he'd make a good president."

But Sheldon, head of the Traditional Values Coalition, said that Giuliani would have difficulty drawing support from the GOP base unless he adjusted his views on gay rights and abortion. Sheldon praised Frist as a potential candidate and said he expected him to run. If Frist is able to resolve the Senate filibuster impasse on judges, that would give the him "an edge" over other conservative candidates, Sheldon said.

Robertson, who launched a brief presidential bid in 1988, said that if he were president he would not appoint Muslims to serve in his Cabinet and that he was not in favor of Muslims serving as judges.
"They have said in the Koran there's a war against all the infidels," he said. "Do you want somebody like that sitting as a judge? I wouldn't."