May 2004


I was listening this morning to Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld’s testimony before the Senate Armed Services Committee. This apology made a lot more sense than the one he offered on the Today Show yesterday:

“Anyone who sees photographs does in fact apologize to the people who were
in fact abused. That was wrong, anesthetist that was unacceptable, sale that was un-American.
That apology is there for anyone who was abused.”

Some people think we don’t even need to apologize for the abuse suffered by these Iraqi prisoners. Rush Limbaugh, apoplectic for example, thinks torture and sexual humiliation is nothing more than kids “having a good time”:

CALLER: It was like a college fraternity prank that stacked up naked men —

LIMBAUGH: Exactly. Exactly my point! This is no different than what happens at the Skull and Bones initiation and we’re going to ruin people’s lives over it and we’re going to hamper our military effort, and then we are going to really hammer them because they had a good time. You know, these people are being fired at every day. I’m talking about people having a good time, these people, you ever heard of emotional release? You of heard of need to blow some steam off?

Meanwhile, the New York Times had photos today of dead prisoners, obviously beaten, their bodies covered with ice. In characteristic understatement, the headline is “Photos of Dead May Indicate Graver Abuse”.

Can we believe Rumsfeld that these were the acts of a few depraved souls, and not part of military intelligence’s efforts to “soften up” the detainees for interrogation? Regardless, will the Arab world, modest and homophobic, ever be able to view the United States as a “liberator” when our people were doing the same thing to the same people in the same place that Saddam Hussein used to?

There is only one good thing that I can imagine would come of this. Perhaps the Supreme Court will view with appropriate skepticism the White House assertion made during oral arguments in Padilla v. Rumsfeld that detainees do not need attorneys, formal charges or judicial review because they always have the opportunity to exonerate themselves by telling their story to the interrogators. Now that interrogation involves neither due process nor the rule of law.

Utah has passed a law regulating spyware which bars companies from installing software that reports its users’ online activity, visit web sends personal data to other companies, viagra buy or pops up ads without permission.

WhenU, a company that uses spyware to target popup ads at users, is asking for an injunction because the law will impace their business model. The ban takes effect May 3.
Schwarzenegger v. Bobbleheads, treat
coming soon to a courthouse near you!
I often argue here that the free and open flow of information is critical, health
and today New College alums are in the news for publishing important facts about recreational drugs. Congratulations, Erowid.

Utah has passed a law regulating spyware which bars companies from installing software that reports its users’ online activity, visit web sends personal data to other companies, viagra buy or pops up ads without permission.

WhenU, a company that uses spyware to target popup ads at users, is asking for an injunction because the law will impace their business model. The ban takes effect May 3.
Schwarzenegger v. Bobbleheads, treat
coming soon to a courthouse near you!

I loved his Meadowlands about the toxic urban swamp near my hometown.

« Previous Page