Jon Stewart and The Daily Show did a few segments on the Abu Ghraib prisoner torture scandal. Thanks to Lisa Rein for hosting the videos (the archive.org links went down).
[via Boing Boing]
Jon Stewart and The Daily Show did a few segments on the Abu Ghraib prisoner torture scandal. Thanks to Lisa Rein for hosting the videos (the archive.org links went down).
[via Boing Boing]
, one 2-month old piece depicts a naked man in a hood that looks strikingly similar to some of the photos that have circulated from Abu Ghraib:
‘We knew what went on at Abu Ghraib,’ the artist Abdul-Kareem Khalil said on Saturday. ‘The pictures did not surprise me.’
Well that explains the whole thing now: the MPs weren’t actually abusing prisoners, they were just posing them for the local artists (in order to stimulate the Baghdad art economy). Those CIA men are so considerate of the local artists needs.
Bush spoke at a press conference today and congratulated Rumsfeld, saying: “You are doing a superb job.”
I was tempted to post one of the pictures of the MPs giving the thumbs up and congratulating Rumsfeld as well, but as cynical as I am, I can’t bring myself to use those pictures in mockery of this administration. It’s base and even I can’t stand those kinds of jokes.
The fact is, Rumsfeld and his generals tried to cover this mess up three times and it took photographic proof to surface for them to even acknowledge that oh… maybe there was a huge fucking torture problem in Iraq.
I’m not going to rush to makeout of this (like a certain senator whose name starts with “J” and ends with “ohn Kerry”), but it wouldn’t be overly eager of a court to subpoena memos from Rumsfeld’s office on the subject of Iraq prisoners and determine whether he should answer questions about what he knew and why it was allowed to continue. At the very least he is likely to be culpable of conspiracy to defy Geneva conventions (or whatever the official charge may be).
Speaking of Geneva conventions, why hasn’t anyone brought them up? I hear a lot of invectives being thrown around at these MPs who were complicit in, but I don’t hear anything about war crimes… if the shoe fits, we better not play the hypocrite in front of the world.
But then again, maybe that’s what Bush means when he says “superb job”. Rumsfeld has done a superb job of making sure that no one realizes just how war tribunal illegal this whole fiasco is.
[Image Caption: Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld finishes his opening remarks as he testifies before the Senate Armed Services Committee on Capitol Hill Friday, May 7, 2004, in Washington. (AP Photo/Ron Edmonds)]
I ran across an interesting little site called AngryFinger.org while browsing the Politics section of .
“people are running around with digital cameras and taking these unbelievable photographs and then passing them off, against the law, to the media, to our surprise, when they had not even arrived in the Pentagon.”
His response nail exactly why I have indignation at this administration even though they have apologized:
“If you were in the hotseat that Rumsfeld’s in and the thing you were talking about had such devastating worldwide implications for the US, wouldn’t you be saying along the lines of, ‘I’m just thankful that these photos made it out of Iraq and were brought to my attention, I’m sorry that it took me until the media got a hold of the story to actually do anything about it, but thankfully, now I’ll have the opportunity to punish this completely unacceptable behavior.'”
“Not Rummy, he just wants to blame the soldiers and the digital camera’s for stirring up all this shit, instead of doing what he should have done in the first place, had he actually not tried to cover it up, being grateful that the pictures came out and exposing such unacceptable behavior.”
Maybe it was intentional, maybe it wasn’t, but it seems that The German newspaper Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung ran an editorial photo of one of the torture photos in a manner which made it look like an iPod advertisement.
I’ve included the actual photo (top) and simply added the missing elements to illustrate how close this image is to pop-culture insanity.
“If you have accessed this document on the Internet, CALL POLICY IT SECURITY IMMEDIATELY!”
“THE INFORMATION CONTAINED IN THIS REPORT IS CLASSIFIED; DO NOT GO TO FOX NEWS TO READ OR OBTAIN A COPY.”
thinks that this is just a test run of articles before the announcement of the Onion-Time Magazine merger.
Apparently blogging on that Intarweb thingy is just so darn confusing. This guy wanted to avoid the difficult process of uh… typing, and instead “freeway blogs”:
The cost is relatively cheap, but trackbacks could be problematic:
The signs on this page were seen by over four million Californians. They cost a total of $35 to make.
L. Neil Smith has an interesting Libertarian piece up at The Libertarian Enterprise:. My favorite quote in the entire article (with context, so you know the qualifier):
That truth is simply this: it isn’t the Moslems who came to the west to push us around, steal our resources, sneer at our customs and beliefs, depose our leaders and replace them with puppets, reshape our political institutions, or redraw our national borders to suit their own foul purposes. No, that’s what we Europeanoids have been doing to them.
Get this through your head right now, because it’s not going to go away, no matter how much you may hate being compelled to recognize it. It’s a fact that will largely determine the shape of the 21st century. Americans and Europeans are the aggressors in this conflict, and what happened in New York on September 11, 2001, was an act of long-delayed retaliation.
Don’t misunderstand me. I’m not one of those liberal detractors of Western Civilization we hear of from time to time, mostly from their entrenched positions within academia. I happen to like most aspects of Western Civilization. The problem is, what this government is doing in Iraq and Cuba is not what Western Civilization is supposed to be all about. In fact, it represents a hideous slide backward into the Dark Ages.
The article is also being run on Aaron Russo’s blog, L. Neil Smith is the Campaign Advisor.
I decided to upgrade to the latest version of WordPress, which meant I had to blow away the old design for the time being because I had tweaked the crap out of it… what this means is that you are either looking at the WP default layout, or a really borked looking version of the old layout (hit refresh or clickand refresh).
Everything still works, but it will look kinda odd until I can cobble it back together.
Also, this is fair warning that I am about to turn off comments. I never get any anyways, so why should I bother to enable something that isn’t used. This will be the last post with comments.
UPDATE: I am working on the rebranding/redesign of the site, for the time being you will have to grin and bear the crappy design for a while (a week at the most). Here is a hammeroftruth.com and had it redirect to this site for some time, but now I intend to use it as my own brand. There will not be any need to update your bookmarks, both domains will be identical.for anyone who is interested. This should the the last iteration of design changes for a while, I don’t plan on modifying WordPress much outside of the index page (slightly) and the CSS file. I have owned
UPDATE2 (5/10): Ok, the new layout is in place, I will continue to tweak certain parts and eventually get Google Ads running again (one version for the main page and another for permalinks once I can figure out what the friggin code to differentiate between frontpage items and permalink items is in WordPress. The new format also means that I should be posting more than once a day now if I see fit.
Ironically, the next paragraph in the January 2003 SotU address, President Bush had this to say to the Iraqi people:
And tonight I have a message for the brave and oppressed people of Iraq: Your enemy is not surrounding your country — your enemy is ruling your country. (Applause.)
More information is coming out surrounding the torture and abuse at the Abu Ghraib military prison in Iraq. There were way more than 6 soldiers involved, including CIA operatives who sanctioned and encouraged the abuse to “soften them up” and civilian contractors who had access to prisoners and may have engaged in torture as well. As it was put so succinctly at the end of the New Yorker article,: “Do you really believe the Army relieved a general officer because of six soldiers? Not a chance.”
Also, the US Army Report on Torture of Iraqis in Abu Ghraib Prison is being circulated, and documents many many instances of abuse and willful ignorance of abuse and torture up the chain of command.
The punishment for these “abhorrent” acts?. Pathetic.
Note: this article contains
dead links, the url is still in the hover/alt text. Keep the web working, curate content well!
There’s talk of a draft coming, but it isn’t like your daddy’s Vietnam draft… it’s a kinder and gentler world, where men and women age 18-34 (you read that right, 34) not only register with the Selective Service System, but regularly keep them up-to-date with their skills. It may only sound like hot air blowing through Congress, until you realize the information was pulled straight from the SSS via a FOIA request.
You may be thinking that, shucks, maybe it isn’t a bad idea after all, because we always need to be “maintaining a national inventory of American men and, for the first time, women, ages 18 through 34, with an added focus on identifying individuals with critical skills,” but to some of us who believe in the Bill of Rights, that smacks of Fourth Amendment infringement which says:
IV – The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.
Now, I’m all in favor of protecting America, and would have no problem picking up an M16 A2 service rifle and shooting anyone who threatened my way of life, and it’s why I supported the war in Afghanistan after 9-11. You send people into my house and try to hurt me, and I will go to your cave and blow it up, simple as that. But Iraq faltered in making that same level of sense. In fact the case for war was built thinly and only through a draft would the Bush administration be able to send troops anywhere without causing massive revolts.
That’s the score on Bush, he’s in favor of the draft, but he’s going to bide his time and hope he can get re-elected, after which he can slyly push it through. Kerry on the other hand, is even more clever, The word “mandatory” was removed from Kerry’s site after Libertarian candidate Aaron Russo pointed the spotlight on the issue., but making it mandatory in high school students before they are even 18. Way to indoctrinate America’s youth, Kerry.
It’s clear where both Kerry and Bush stand on drafts and mandatory service. Both of them are political scum.
Again, I want to reiterate that I fully respect and commend the soldiers who serve our country, even if our leaders are narrow-minded and send them to war under false pretenses. One of the gravest travesties of the Vietnam era was the vilification of Veterans instead of investigating the source of the crimes. As with the 6 soldiers in Iraq who should be charged with war crimes, but instead received a slap on the wrist, Vietnam had soldiers who did not want to be there, and behaved badly, we simply canot paint the entire military with that wide brush of vilification.
By now you’ve probably seen the photos of American soldiers doing some pretty heinous stuff to Iraqi prisoners. I saw it last week and my initial thought was: “what the fuck is wrong with those people?”
So again, the Memory Hole launches a media frenzy, and with good cause. And the issue resurfaced again today as I’m listening toon the way to work (no permalink, audio date is 5/3/04, hour 2). He had some good insight, saying that we “shouldn’t fight evil with evil” and he wishes “280 million people could line up at the airport to spit on those soldiers” who are responsible for these actions. I agree with the sentiment, but the reality is that there is a perfectly reliable recourse for these actions, it’s called a war crimes tribunal.
If we are going to hold Saddam’s old regime responsible for their war crimes, we sure as hell better hold our own people to the same fire. It sends a powerful and lasting message when you purge a few bad apples while the world community watches.
For a similar opinion, check out. I’ve been following his site for a couple of weeks now and I have to say I’ve been impressed with the reason he displays. It’s good to see another New Yorker magazine fan, he’ll be a welcome addition to my blogroll.
UPDATE: woops, I screwed up the date on the Glenn Beck audio date (I timewarped to 5/5/04 for some reason)… You can now listen to the archive online… Hour 2 is all I heard, but I’m including links to all 3 hours: Hour 1 Hour 2 Hour 3.
I found this little tool where you can screw around with road signs, so here’s what I came up with. [via Blogdex]
My beef with the current system is twofold: a) everyone already breaks the ludicrous 65mph limit (at least here in Atlanta); b) the people who aren’t breaking the speed limit are always blocking the “fast lane”.
Now, this isn’t the Autobahn, because if it was, flashing my lights at the dumbass in his SUV who is pacing the car in the lane to his right would cause him to speed up a little and get out of the way. Common courtesy. No, while that moron drives oblivious of the traffic around him, five other cars and myself are passing on the right, two lanes away. Obviously it’s not as safe if drivers would be more alert.
Consider the fact that there are 5-6 freaking lanes (including HOV, which I would abolish), and this system would work pretty well. Hell, the average speed here is already around 80mph, and most people aren’t going to abuse this anymore than they already abuse the speed laws. Consider that traffic would just flow so much better if people got pulled over more often for going too damn slow!
Consider that… and realize that this makes so much freaking sense that this will never happen in our litigious happy America.
UPDATE: Bob sent me some links to his site where he wrote about this… I liked, where a cop actually pulls over the speed-lane hog. Score one for rational justice.
This little op-ed piece by Bill O’Relly in the NY Daily News made me laugh: High-level dodge ball (Pols shop around for shows that ask only easy questions).
It’s funny because he’s shocked… SHOCKED! that Rumsfeld won’t come on his show and answer his questions:
Why didn’t your Defense Department warn the country that the aftermath of the war in Iraq could be very bloody? Was it another intelligence failure?
Suddenly, it looks like O’Reilly is coming out swinging for the Bush administration. What happened? Did Bill get kidnapped by feminists who fed him the Liberal Kool-Aid?
No, this is easily explained, you see, O’Reilly is an opportunist Republican, and he can see that their ship is sinking as the flow of truth is coming over the stern faster than they can haul it out with buckets full of lies. An apt anology, considering Bill is merely a rat deserting early.
He likes to abuse his moniker as head of the “No Spin Zone”, but in fact he’s spinning himself, lauding the invasion a year ago, then coming to terms with the absense of WMDs. It’s no suprise many reasonable people find him to be little more than a big blubbering vagina (humorous and completely safe for work).
Oh well, he’ll probably become another born-again Libertarian like Niel Boortz. Another slobbering sycophant who sucks up to the current leaders when the shift is in their favor, then slithers off when it becomes obvious that the shit has hit the fan. Selah!
By now you have heard about the giant explosion near the North Korea/China border that may have killed upwards of 3,000 people and created a catastrophe in and around Ryongchon, North Korea.
Well now, let’s revisit my prediction from earlier this week: The Imminent Assassination of Kim Jong-il [Stephen VanDyke]
Doesn’t sound so far-fetched now does it?
Was this explosion a message to Jong-il, or was it merely coincidence? It’s unclear:
Almost immediately following the crash of the two trains, one carrying oil and the other liquefied petroleum, rumors spread that it could have been a deliberate attempt on Kim’s life.
But senior U.S. Defense Department officials told Fox News there wasn’t any information to substantiate such theories and the collision was more likely a tragic accident.
Analysts differed on whether the incident was planned.
“If it was an assassination attempt, it was a poor one,” John Wolfsthal of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace (search) told Fox News. He said it was doubtful because of the nine-hour difference between when Kim passed through and when the collision and explosion occurred.
Basically, the media doesn’t know jack squat. North Korea is keeping hush and has even gone so far as to cut phone lines out of Ryongchon. This may indeed have been a botched attempt on Jong-il’s life, or it could have been successful and no one knows it yet (there have been no public appearances since the explosion).
So far, the only word from North Korea has been a plea for aid and what could be a downplaying of the death toll:
Britain’s Foreign Office quoted North Korean officials putting the death toll at several hundred in the blast that razed part of the town of Ryongchon, near the Chinese border.
“North Korean officials are saying there are several hundred dead and several thousand injured,” the Foreign Office spokeswoman told Reuters in London.
If this turns out to be an actual assassination attempt, it came from China with a nod from the U.S.
“Bring ‘em on.” George W. Bush on July 3, 2003
Bush warns militants who attack U.S. troops in Iraq [CNN]
Due to a Freedom of Information Act request from The Memory Hole, the Air Force has released 361 photographs showing soldiers’ remains arriving home. These are the images that the Pentagon prevented the public from seeing.
Photos of Military Coffins (Casualties From Iraq) at Dover Air Force Base [The Memory Hole] (via Metafilter)
UPDATE (4/23): It looks like Dover mistakenly included photos of coffins of the Columbia space shuttle crew in it’s response to the FIOA request:
An initial review of the images featured on the Internet site www.thememoryhole.org shows that more than 18 rows of images from Dover Air Force Base in Delaware are actually photographs of honors rendered to Columbia’s seven astronauts.
NASA NOTE TO EDITORS [NASA.gov]
UPDATE (4/23): The Memory Hole has gone offline (probably due to the crazy amount of traffic they got). So here’s aof the gallery.
UPDATE (4/24): A bit of a tempest is brewing, The Memory Hole is still ofline due to excessive traffic, and some people are misinterpreting NASA’s statement as meaning that all the photos are of Columbia shuttle crew. Well, the fact is, it’s a confluence of misunderstandings: The FOIA request yielded “[…] all photographs showing caskets (or other devices) containing the remains of US military personnel at Dover AFB. This would include, but not be limited to, caskets arriving, caskets departing, and any funerary rites/rituals being performed”. Dover complied, and the first 73 of the 361 images is of NASA astronauts’ coffins (NASA is technically Air Force). Presumably, Russ Kick received a CD full of unlabeled images and he assumed they were all casualties from the Iraq war, forgetting that the Columbia disaster occured during the umbrella period of his request. But then SpaceRef gets it all wrong and thinks Dover is full of dumbasses who don’t know the difference between astronauts or the army. OY! Fact is, there’s a lot of confusion because there is no communication between Internet outlets that are flexing their muscles, and the media which is dumbfounded.
That wasn’t so hard to understand, now was it? But smart money says the right-wing pundits will use that leverage to bash the credibility of the other pictures, instead of questioning why there was a media blackout in the first place.
I think I finally hit the mini-audience blogging wall (I mean that in the nicest possible way). You know which one it is… you can post daily, perhaps even multiple times a day (though I think that’s overkill). But you’re in the twilight zone. You have between 25 and 40 people who read what you have to say on a regular basis, but you’re still kind of an afterthought (good God, did I actually just say that? I meant thousands, THOUSANDS of people read this, and I have the intelligence briefings to prove it).
You need a breakthrough, because after all, this shit is purely egotistical.
So you think about how to sucker… I mean draw people into coming to the site. Maybe you post comments to other people’s sites and hope people click your name which is conveniently href-ed. Maybe if you pick up on a meme and trackback it, hoping people will come in droves. Maybe you .
Or you get lucky and make a stupid infographic that everyone and their friend links to. Maybe you post that to Fark and Boing Boing and they totally give you 15 minutes (not me, I’d never do any of that).
Or maybe you get all self-referential, and everyone proclaims you a genius for being introspective. I can imagine the comments now: “Nah, that one is total bullshit”.
Don’t believe for a minute that bloggers don’t post fake comments. If they can’t get feedback, the next best thing is the illusion of feedback and agreement. Or they don’t have comments at all, in which case it’s a total crapshoot at figuring out popularity.
Know this, popularity feeds on itself.
But that’s not enough is it? Tolstoy only had to write two long ass books in order to secure his fame, but this is the 21st century and you are expected to perform daily in a never-ending encore of greater skill.
Even if you shotgun blast your way into different memes and shoot up in popularity for a few days, sooner or later things will get back to normal. Except that’s not enough and you want massive, consistent, traffic because you have to FEED THE EGO.
So you pool your strength and try and create that one thing that will make you matter. And you try and do it in a way that’s not selling out or eating your own soul, or completely fucking up everything you stand for. And you pray that everyone will look at you after that and say “hey, this guy’s pretty interesting, perhaps I should read this on a regular basis…”
Well, I created that thing.
Only you’ll have to come back next week in order to find out what it is.
Am I interesting yet?
“If you want a picture of the future, imagine a boot stamping on a human face-forever.” George Orwell, 1984
I got this as an email attachment from my good friend Jayson Blair. By good friend, I of course mean I intend to kick him in the gut the next time I see him. He still thinks he is important in the world of journalism, yet he writes this wretched pap:
Vice President Dick Cheney is back from his recent visit to China where he has been discussing Sino-American relations and the question of how to “effectively penetrate the North Korean border to help the people [die faster].” Cheney cleared the air when he met with China, demanding that they either “resume diplomatic relations with [intent to remove] Kim Jong-il [and take over North Korea], or America will step in [and do the dirty deed ourselves…]. [W]e’re […] willing to accept brutal dictators and murderous tyrants [but only if they’re on our team and in good standing with Fortune 500],” Cheney indubiously shared fresh intelligence with China, and to put the ball in motion (and admitted it was a faux pas to fax intelligence directly from the Whitehouse). Cheney then flew to Seoul, where he has been keeping a close eye (on Halliburton activity) on the border. Should China fail at diplomacy, Cheney has hinted that he will (assume control of the border and order tactical nukes to be fired at Pyongyang after which he will maybe) pressure Japan and South Korea to step in (and launch more nukes). Close aids have said that “[h]e gets a kick out of a seeing the border [being nuked] through a pair of binoculars.”
Woops, sorry I haven’t done a t4dw (tunes for the weekend) in a few weeks now. I know a lot of people probably don’t give a damn one way or the other, but here’s a cd-length taste of what is fresh in the bootleg world.
This week we have (almost) a full CD by the notorious Boomselection, who is hosting these files.. I say notorious, because along with the 29 mash-ups that he compiled, he also managed to fit in the a menagerie of shout-outs and accolades from industry stalwarts. This is essentially a mix CD, and to sum it up best, I’m slacking and letting JAMES HYMAN (woo woo, yo peace!) pick out the tunes. Big love to
But wait, I do have two other songs that I think will fit on this CD. It’s your choice, but they caught my eye on the GYBO board and I thought they were class… we’ll start there, then move on the the Hyman track listing:
Right, so the ball was crashed, but the day was saved. Everyone rejoiced and made way for the new visitors who had just shown up: James Hyman, and his band of groupies who did nothing more than say ‘James Hyman’ and pat him on the back. Some murmers were heard about the conspicuous Boomselection banner that they put up on the stage. Nonetheless, James pulled out a CD of some music that he had downloaded off the Internet, then walked off to the bar for a drink while his compatriots in turn took to the mic.
And the party went on into the night, until the cops came and broke it up because of a complaint of noise and nudity (a couple was dancing in the fountain while simultaneously snorting large amounts of absinthe).
Update: fixed some mp3 linking, if it breaks again, it’s your own damn fault for not downloading.
I didn’t even have to write this one, thanks to Gary Nolan. I have been impressed with his staunch Libertarian views for awhile now, and I’m officially endorsing him for President. I would also like to ask anyone who links to him to use the words “viable alternative” when linking to him. Through this google-bomb, you can help put him to the top of the google ranking for that search.
Brian Flemming points out a screenshot—from a Google News search on the Bush press conference—that asks “Was He Drunk?”. Obviously he hasn’t heard that all the cool Republicans are into the pill scene. [via ]
Sources tell me that Bill O’Reilly watched the press conference, and showed special interest in the hypno-tie Bush was wearing. He may or may not have said “woah maaaaan” during the viewing.
It looks like the press conference may have been part of a larger strategy of the Bush administration.
UPDATE: deconstructor took some of the bite off the google search for:
Google Discovers Secret White House Motto? [deconstructor]
First of all, he did look like he’d been popping some pills. The flushed cheeks, the bleary eyes never focusing for more than a moment, the transitions between visibly agitated and tired desperation. I mean hell, I don’t blame the guy for popping pills before a news conference with the press, after all, you gotta take the edge off of the coke somehow.
Wait scratch that, I must have been watching Dennis Miller again.
I’m glad I wasn’t the only one annoyed at the super-psychedelic tie. Whoever the hell is picking out Bush’s wardrobe these days needs to lay off the sugar cubes. 
It was funny that the reporters are fond of asking truly up-to-date questions about foreign policy. I mean, the words Iraq, Vietnam and quagmire in the same sentence… zing, someone pass that man a napkin. And for the home viewers, 3 shots of tequila is the par for that one.
Of course, it’s not very useful to ask questions that are sidestepped with one-liners and rhetoric. My favorite was the response to this line of questioning:
QUESTION: I was asking why [you and Cheney are] appearing together, rather than separately, which was [the 9/11 Commission’s] request.
BUSH: Because it’s a good chance for both of us to answer questions that the 9-11 commission is looking forward to asking us. And I’m looking forward to answering them.
A good follow-up question at this point would be to ask if Bush holds hands with the Secret Service when he crosses the street… or does Laura leave the night-light on for him when he goes to bed… or do they have to chop up his food in to really small pieces until his adult teeth come in?