Thursday, June 02, 2005

Big Numbers... Big Pictures...

Iraqi Insurgents Kill 39 in Rapid Attacks

AP - 1 hour, 7 minutes ago

BAGHDAD, Iraq - Insurgents killed 39 people in a series of rapid-fire attacks Thursday, including three suicide car bombings within an hour and a drive-by shooting at a busy Baghdad market that ratcheted up the bloody campaign to undermine Iraq's government. Iraq's interior minister, meanwhile, claimed the government offensive seeking to root out rebels in Baghdad had scored big gains, saying this week's sweep by Iraqi soldiers and police captured 700 suspected insurgents and killed 28 militants.



what stopped the vietnam war?

big numbers.

what do we get daily from iraq?

little numbers.

what really happened today?

big numbers.

what do they tell us happened?

little numbers.


it's almost boring.

in fact.

it is boring.



they're spending $2 billion a day there...


the situation is getting worse...


what are they spending the money on?


"There's no public accounting of how many missions are flown, how much ordinance is dropped, we have no accounting and no demand to know. The only sense you get is we're basically in a full-scale air war against invisible people that we can't find, that we have no intelligence about, so we bomb what we can see."
- Seymour Hersh, 11 October 2004, UC Berkeley


every number is argued...

every criticism questioned...

every challenged siphoned into the ether...


"Conversational Aikido: Absorb the blow, redirect it harmlessly away, or redirect it harmfully back."
- Black Krishna


something is going on over there...

something bad...



we just don't know what.




don't believe it?



do you like to watch videos?


Judge: Release Abu Ghraib Videos, Photos

Associated Press Writer
8 minutes ago

NEW YORK - A judge has ordered the government to release four videos from Abu Ghraib prison and dozens of photographs from the same collection as photos that touched off the Iraqi prisoner abuse scandal a year ago.

i still like G-Unit videos better...

"Hate It Or Love It" is wikkid...

the "Girls Gone Wild" collection is funny...

especially the ones with Snoop Dogg...

can you believe he was on Sesame Street?

or was he?


hopefully these are pretty good too...

The federal judge issued the order late Wednesday requiring the Army to release the material to the American Civil Liberties Union to comply with the Freedom of Information Act.

The ACLU said the material would show that the abuse was "more than the actions of a few rogue soldiers."


what normally happens to "rogue soldiers"?

i mean...

isn't this the best-trained, equipped and disciplined army in the world?

who gets away with roguishness?



"c'mon, rogue! let your body move to the music! yeah, yeah, yeah!"

Judge Alvin Hellerstein said the 144 pictures and videos can be turned over in redacted form to protect the victims' identities. He gave the Army one month to release them.

aw man!

i hate when they edit videos!

like when every 3rd word is bleeped out!


it's usually hip hop videos too...

and it isn't like we don't know what they're saying...

and they let alanis morissette say "go down on you in a theatre"...

oh well...

i hope over the next month they do a good job...

maybe get a DJ to scratch over the edits...

that usually sounds good...

they have a month too...

The judge ordered the release after he viewed eight of the photos last week. They were given to the Army by a military policeman assigned to Abu Ghraib.


just eight???


must be some crizz-azy photos!

In October 2003, the ACLU filed a lawsuit seeking information on treatment of detainees in U.S. custody and the transfer of prisoners to countries known to use torture. The ACLU contends that prisoner abuse is systemic.


nearly 2 years later...


the pix from Vietnam came back daily...


"These images may be ugly and shocking... (but) the American public deserves to know what is being done in our name," said Anthony D. Romero, executive director of the ACLU.


do they want to?

i mean...

"The Surreal Life" is pretty cool...

and isn't this kind of like that?

So far, 36,000 pages of documents and the reports of 130 investigations, mostly from the FBI and Army, have been turned over to the ACLU. The group is seeking documents from the CIA and the Department of Defense as well.

The judge said last week that he believed photographs "are the best evidence the public can have of what occurred" at the prison.



didn't we see these?

are there new episodes?

and who the hell is reading 36,000 pages of documents?

umm... thanks?

Government lawyer Sean Lane had argued that releasing pictures, even in redacted form, would violate Geneva Convention rules by subjecting the detainees to additional humiliation.

Lane did not immediately return a telephone message for comment Thursday.

would you?


Tuesday, May 31, 2005

"But their hosts had ulterior motives: to sell them to the Americans, said the men who are now prisoners at Guantanamo Bay."

AP: Gitmo Detainees Say Muslims Were Sold

Associated Press Writer
1 hour, 30 minutes ago

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico - They fed them well. The Pakistani tribesmen slaughtered a sheep in honor of their guests, Arabs and Chinese Muslims famished from fleeing U.S. bombing in the Afghan mountains. But their hosts had ulterior motives: to sell them to the Americans, said the men who are now prisoners at Guantanamo Bay.

Bounties ranged from $3,000 to $25,000, the detainees testified during military tribunals, according to transcripts the U.S. government gave The Associated Press to comply with a Freedom of Information lawsuit.

A former CIA intelligence officer who helped lead the search for Osama bin Laden told AP the accounts sounded legitimate because U.S. allies regularly got money to help catch Taliban and al-Qaida fighters. Gary Schroen said he took a suitcase of $3 million in cash into Afghanistan himself to help supply and win over warlords to fight for U.S. Special Forces.

"It wouldn't surprise me if we paid rewards," said Schroen, who retired after 32 years in the CIA soon after the fall of Kabul in late 2001. He recently published the book "First In: An Insider's Account of How the CIA Spearheaded the War on Terror in Afghanistan."

Schroen said Afghan warlords like Gen. Rashid Dostum were among those who received bundles of notes. "It may be that we were giving rewards to people like Dostum because his guys were capturing a lot of Taliban and al-Qaida," he said.

Pakistan has handed hundreds of suspects to the Americans, but Information Minister Sheikh Rashid Ahmed told the AP, "No one has taken any money."

The U.S. departments of Defense, Justice and State and the Central Intelligence Agency also said they were unaware of bounty payments being made for random prisoners.

The U.S. Rewards for Justice program pays only for information that leads to the capture of suspected terrorists identified by name, said Steve Pike, a State Department spokesman. Some $57 million has been paid under the program, according to its Web site.

It offers rewards up to $25 million for information leading to the capture of al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden and Jordanian militant Abu Musab al-Zarqawi.

But a wide variety of detainees at the U.S. lockup at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, alleged they were sold into capture. Their names and other identifying information were blacked out in the transcripts from the tribunals, which were held to determine whether prisoners were correctly classified as enemy combatants.

One detainee who said he was an Afghan refugee in Pakistan accused the country's intelligence service of trumping up evidence against him to get bounty money from the U.S.

"When I was in jail, they said I needed to pay them money and if I didn't pay them, they'd make up wrong accusations about me and sell me to the Americans and I'd definitely go to Cuba," he told the tribunal. "After that I was held for two months and 20 days in their detention, so they could make wrong accusations about me and my (censored), so they could sell us to you."

Another prisoner said he was on his way to Germany in 2001 when he was captured and sold for "a briefcase full of money" then flown to Afghanistan before being sent to Guantanamo.

"It's obvious. They knew Americans were looking for Arabs, so they captured Arabs and sold them — just like someone catches a fish and sells it," he said. The detainee said he was seized by "mafia" operatives somewhere in Europe and sold to Americans because he was in the wrong place at the wrong time — an Arab in a foreign country.

A detainee who said he was a Saudi businessman claimed, "The Pakistani police sold me for money to the Americans."

"This was part of a roundup of all foreigners and Arabs in that area," of Pakistan near the Afghan border, he said, telling the tribunal he went to Pakistan in November 2001 to help Afghan refugees.

The military-appointed representative for one detainee — who said he was a Taliban fighter — said the prisoner told him he and his fellow fighters "were tricked into surrendering to Rashid Dostum's forces. Their agreement was that they would give up their arms and return home. But Dostum's forces sold them for money to the U.S."

Several detainees who appeared to be ethnic Chinese Muslims — known as Uighurs — described being betrayed by Pakistani tribesmen along with about 100 Arabs.

They said they went to Afghanistan for military training to fight for independence from China. When U.S. warplanes started bombing near their camp, they fled into the mountains near Tora Bora and hid for weeks, starving.

One detainee said they finally followed a group of Arabs, apparently fighters, being guided by an Afghan to the Pakistani border.

"We crossed into Pakistan and there were tribal people there, and they took us to their houses and they killed a sheep and cooked the meat and we ate," he said.

That night, they were taken to a mosque, where about 100 Arabs also sheltered. After being fed bread and tea, they were told to leave in groups of 10, taken to a truck, and driven to a Pakistani prison. From there, they were handed to Americans and flown to Guantanamo.

"When we went to Pakistan the local people treated us like brothers and gave us good food and meat," said another detainee. But soon, he said, they were in prison in Pakistan where "we heard they sold us to the Pakistani authorities for $5,000 per person."

There have been reports of Arabs being sold to the Americans after the U.S.-led offensive in Afghanistan, but the testimonies offer the most detail from prisoners themselves.

In March 2002, the AP reported that Afghan intelligence offered rewards for the capture of al-Qaida fighters — the day after a five-hour meeting with U.S. Special Forces. Intelligence officers refused to say if the two events were linked and if the United States was paying the offered reward of 150 million Afghanis, then equivalent to $4,000 a head.

That day, leaflets and loudspeaker announcements promised "the big prize" to those who turned in al-Qaida fighters.

Said one leaflet: "You can receive millions of dollars. ... This is enough to take care of your family, your village, your tribe for the rest of your life — pay for livestock and doctors and school books and housing for all your people."

Helicopters broadcast similar announcements over the Afghan mountains, enticing people to "Hand over the Arabs and feed your families for a lifetime," said Najeeb al-Nauimi, a former Qatar justice minister and leader of a group of Arab lawyers representing nearly 100 detainees.

Al-Nauimi said a consortium of wealthy Arabs, including Saudis, told him they also bought back fellow citizens who had been captured by Pakistanis.

Khalid al-Odha, who started a group fighting to free 12 Kuwaiti detainees, said his imprisoned son, Fawzi, wrote him a letter from Guantanamo Bay about Kuwaitis being sold to the Americans in Afghanistan.

One Kuwaiti who was released, 26-year-old Nasser al-Mutairi, told al-Odha that interrogators said Dostum's forces sold them to the Pakistanis for $5,000 each, and the Pakistanis in turn sold them to the Americans.

"I also heard that Saudis were sold to the Saudi government by the Pakistanis," al-Odha said. "If I had known that, I would have gone and bought my son back."

EDITOR'S NOTE: Chief of Caribbean Services Michelle Faul has covered the prison at Guantanamo Bay since it opened in January 2002. Associated Press writers Paisley Dodds in London and Matthew Pennington in Islamabad, Pakistan contributed to this report.


On the Net:

State Department's Rewards for Justice program,


Cheney "Offended" By Comparison of Guantanamo to a "Gulag"



they didn't mean it?

like they didn't know how controversial that would be?

why would they say that?

don't they know their credibility is on the line?

why would they say that?

how dare they say that?

who are they anyway?

who do they think they are?


VP Cheney "Offended" By Comparison of Guantanamo to a "gulag"

Meanwhile Vice President Dick Cheney told CNN that he was "offended" by Amnesty's description of Guantanamo Bay as "the gulag of our times". Cheney said "For Amnesty International to suggest that somehow the United States is a violator of human rights, I frankly just don't take them seriously."

Condoleezza Rice also weighed in on Amnesty's report - describing the group's findings as "absurd."




i guess they just can't be trusted...


okay then...

on to new old business...


Bush Says Democrats Stalling on Bolton

AP Diplomatic Writer

Meanwhile, Yale classmates of Bolton's wrote to senators to oppose the nomination.

The 76 signers include cartoonist Garry Trudeau, who lampooned Bolton in his "Doonesbury" strip in May. Others were fellow members of the Class of 1970 who participated in a 35th reunion over the Memorial Day weekend.

"We are embarrassed and ashamed that the Bush administration has nominated someone so manifestly unsuited to represent our country at the United Nations," the Yale classmates wrote.

"As his classmates, we do not believe that Mr. Bolton has exhibited the values of civility, light and truth which our shared institution represents."

Bush also attended Yale and graduated in 1968.



76 classmates?

who are they?

who do they think they are?

how dare they say that?


i guess they just can't be trusted...


what the hey...
why not...
the best of...
the whole...


Headlines for May 31, 2005

Listen to Segment || Download Show mp3
Watch 128k stream Watch 256k stream
Help Printer-friendly version Email to a friend Purchase Video/CD

- 8 U.S. & Italian Soldiers Killed In Aircraft Crashes
- Gen. Myers: Guantanamo Bay is a "Model Facility"
- Cheney "Offended" By Criticism of Guantanamo
- Demonstrators Interrupt Rice Speech in San Francisco
- CIA Creates Front Groups to Fly Suspects Around the World
- U.S. General Demoted For Warning of Overstretched Military
- Israel's Mr. TV Criticizes Occupation of West Bank & Gaza
- U.S. Refuses To Extradie Luis Posada Carriles
- Wages Fall But Number of Millionaire Homes Soars


Tuesday, May 31, 2005: Choose a stream below:
Download Show as MP3 file
Listen to Entire Show on Realplayer
Watch Entire Show on Realplayer (Broadband or dialup, 60min.)


Report: 11 UK Soldiers Under Investigation for War Crimes

And in Britain, the Independent of London is reporting 11 British soldiers are under investigation for committing war crimes following the killing of an Iraqi civilian.

Amnesty: U.S. Officials Should Be Investigated & Tried For War Crimes

The U.S. mistreatment of detainees at Guantanamo Bay and Iraq remained in the headlines throughout the weekend. Last week Amnesty International issued a damning report criticizing the Bush administration of ignoring international law. Amnesty's William Schulz charged that Washington has become "a leading purveyor and practitioner" of torture and ill-treatment and that senior officials should face prosecution by other governments for violations of the Geneva Conventions and the UN Convention Against Torture. Schulz said "If the U.S. government continues to shirk its responsibility, Amnesty International calls on foreign governments to uphold their obligations under international law by investigating all senior U.S. officials involved in the torture scandal." He went on to say "If those investigations support prosecution, the governments should arrest any official who enters their territory and begin legal proceedings against them." Over the weekend General Richard Myers, Vice President Dick Cheney and Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice all dismissed Amnesty's report.

Gen. Myers: Guantanamo Bay is a "Model Facility"

Gen. Richard Myers -- the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff -- claimed Guatanamo Bay was a "model facility" and that Amnesty's report was "absolutely irresponsible." During that same interview Myers revealed that the U.S. has detained 68,000 people since the Sept. 11 attacks.

VP Cheney "Offended" By Comparison of Guantanamo to a "gulag"

Meanwhile Vice President Dick Cheney told CNN that he was "offended" by Amnesty's description of Guantanamo Bay as "the gulag of our times". Cheney said "For Amnesty International to suggest that somehow the United States is a violator of human rights, I frankly just don't take them seriously." Cheney also attempted to dismiss the widespread reports of mistreatment of detainees. He said "Occasionally there are allegations of mistreatment. But if you trace those back -- in nearly every case -- it turns out to come from somebody who had been inside and been released to their home country and now are peddling lies about how they were treated." Condoleezza Rice also weighed in on Amnesty's report - describing the group's findings as ''absurd."

CIA Creates Front Groups to Fly Suspects Around the World

The New York Times is reporting today that the CIA has created a new generation of shell companies to make it easier for the Bush administration to secretly fly suspects around the world. The paper focuses on the North Carolina based firm Aero Contractors which was founded by a CIA officer who once served as chief pilot for Air America - a Cold War era CIA owned airline. According to flight records Aero Contractors has repeatedly landed at Guantanamo Bay, Afghanistan, Pakistan and Libya. The CIA appears to own 26 planes all of which are owned by a web of seven shell corporations that appear to have no employees. The planes are then operated by real companies that are either controlled by or tied to the CIA. In addition to Aero Contractors, the Times identified two Florida companies as likely CIA front companies: Pegasus Technologies and Tepper Aviation.

Report: U.S. & UK Increased Bombing Raids Over Iraq in 2002

The Sunday Times of London is reporting that it has uncovered new evidence that the U.S. and British governments significantly intensified bombing raids over Iraq in the year before the 2003 invasion in an attempt to provoke Saddam Hussin into giving the allies an excuse to attack. By August 2002 - seven months before the invasion began -- the strikes were so frequent that the Times described it as a full air offensive. At the time, the U.S. and British governments justified the bombings by claiming they were simply enforcing the no-fly zones.

Three-Star General Demoted For Warning of Overstretched Military

A group of 40 retired military personnel - including many retired generals - are campaigning for the Pentagon to reverse last year's demotion of General John Riggs. The three-star general was demoted after he warned that the U.S. military was overstretched in Iraq and Afghanistan. In an interview with the Baltimore Sun, he said that the Army would need to be substantially increased in order to meet its global commitments. This made him the first senior active-duty officer to publicly urge for a larger Army. Within months he was demoted. According to the Pentagon, he was demoted because he allowed outside contractors to perform work they were not supposed to do. But many believe the motivation behind his demotion was politics and the fact that he publicly disagreed with Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld. The Baltimore Sun points out that a senior officer's loss of a star is a punishment seldom used, and then usually only for the most serious offenses. In recent years generals and admirals faced with far more serious official findings including the scandals at the Navy's Tailhook Convention, the Air Force Academy and Abu Ghraib prison have continued in their careers or retired with no loss of rank.

Army Analysts Receive Awards Despite Errors in Iraq Analysis

Meanwhile the Washington Post is reporting two Army analysts who played a key role in the intelligence failure on Iraq have received job performance awards in each of the past three years. The analysts had inaccurately concluded that Saddam Hussein was seeking to buy aluminum tubes in order to bolster the country's alleged nuclear weapons program. The tubes turned out to be for ordinary rockets. But the Bush administration used the nuclear claim as a justification of war. No major reprimand or penalty has been announced publicly in connection with the intelligence failures on Iraq. George Tenet resigned as CIA director but was later awarded the Medal of Freedom by President Bush.

U.S. Refuses To Extradie Luis Posada Carriles

The United States has officially refused to extradite a Cuban man to Venezuela to face terrorism charges. The man -- Luis Posada Carriles -- is wanted to stand trial for the 1976 bombing of a commercial airliner that killed 73 people. Posada is a U.S.-trained Cuban exile who has been trying to violently overthrow Fidel Castro's government for the past 40 years. He snuck into the United States two months ago and is seeking political asylum. The Cuban and Venezuelan government have accused the Bush administration of harboring a terrorist.

Wages Fall But Number of Millionaire Homes Soars

New studies show that the number of households in the country with a net worth of one million dollars rose by about 20 percent last year. There are now 7.5 million so-called millionaire households in the country. Meanwhile the Economic Policy Institute is reporting that real wages for non-management employees are falling at their fastest rate in 14 years. The last time salaries fell this steeply was at the start of 1991.


Monday, May 30, 2005

"Since those attacks, the U.S. has taken 68,000 suspects into custody..."

Since those attacks, the U.S. has taken 68,000 suspects into custody, Myers said, and has held them in Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere. He said the military had investigated 325 cases of alleged abuse and found 100 of them to have merit.
- Air Force Gen. Richard B. Myers, The Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff

SOURCE -,1,4823500.story?coll=la-headlines-nation



at least they're being thorough...


if you're taken to guantanamo bay...


abu ghraib...




you only have a 0.001% chance of being abused...

then again...

you only have a 0.005% chance of anyone paying attention...


In another interview Sunday, on CBS' "Face the Nation," Myers rejected criticism by New York Times columnist Thomas L. Friedman, who said that 100 prisoners had died in U.S. custody since the start of the U.S.-declared war on terrorism.

"This is not systemic," Myers said. "It is not the policy of this government, obviously. None of us would sign up with that. We want to treat people humanely."

Myers said some of those who had perished in custody "died from natural causes. Some have died because of maltreatment." He said each case that was brought up was investigated.
- Air Force Gen. Richard B. Myers, The Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff

SOURCE -,1,4823500.story?coll=la-headlines-nation





the same number of people abused and killed...


only 67,800 left...



Noting that the International Committee of the Red Cross "has been at Guantanamo since Day 1," Myers insisted that "it is a model facility."
- Air Force Gen. Richard B. Myers, The Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff

SOURCE -,1,4823500.story?coll=la-headlines-nation


why do you call something a "model"...


perhaps to "model" more things after it...


i gotta tell ya...

no offense...

but this may be the ugliest model i've ever seen...