Thursday, January 27, 2005


That's Hot

AP: Gitmo Soldier Details Sexual Tactics
By PAISLEY DODDS, Associated Press Writer

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico - Female interrogators tried to break Muslim detainees at the U.S. prison camp in Guantanamo Bay by sexual touching, wearing a miniskirt and thong underwear and in one case smearing a Saudi man's face with fake menstrual blood, according to an insider's written account.

A draft manuscript obtained by The Associated Press is classified as secret pending a Pentagon (news - web sites) review for a planned book that details ways the U.S. military used women as part of tougher physical and psychological interrogation tactics to get terror suspects to talk.


The female interrogator wanted to "break him," Saar adds, describing how she removed her uniform top to expose a tight-fitting T-shirt and began taunting the detainee, touching her breasts, rubbing them against the prisoner's back and commenting on his apparent erection.

The detainee looked up and spat in her face, the manuscript recounts.

The interrogator left the room to ask a Muslim linguist how she could break the prisoner's reliance on God. The linguist told her to tell the detainee that she was menstruating, touch him, then make sure to turn off the water in his cell so he couldn't wash.

Yes to Alberto!


The Art of Sarcasm

As many of you have gathered, I'm a staunch defender of freedom, liberty and democracy. I love it. And what better way to deliver the terrific trio then to make Alberto Gonzalez the next Attorney General of the United States. Watch this short movie to see him for the fun loving, caring and compassionate man he really is!

Saturday, January 15, 2005


There and back again

What a terrible year it’s been so far. So what’s the death toll now? 160000 due to the big wave, 15000 or so due to GWB, and this guy celebrated by dressing like Adolf. On a smaller scale, my supervisor from THC quit last Friday due to depression and loss of hope. Why do I grieve for her resignation? Because she was the puppet in my plot of dominating the THC, and now I need to start building new relationships and chisel on the glass ceiling.

Now if only all the money spent celebrating the New Year was saved for the tsunami, would we really have fewer people dead? Sometimes I wonder why we celebrate New Year's anyway. Or worse, birthdays... Does anyone else find birthdays a vain and egotistical celebration? It’s like celebrating Christmas (let’s pretend it really is JC’s birthday for our purposes), but for ourselves. And we invite friends, effectively making it a Mass. I believe Saddam declared his birthday a national holiday (“Saddammass”) and its celebration was enforced.

Speaking of new years, anyone come across the document of predicted global trends by 2015? I’ve lost the link, but these are some of the predicted trends plus my own forecasts:

-Information technology will take over our lives, analogous to the industrial revolution. I look forward to this.
- The rising Middle Eastern corporations will go through changes and would see globalization as an opponent to its rise. Could Dubai be the next NYC? What if they run out of black gold? Apparently, oil is only a minor (less than 40%) contributor to Dubai’s income.
- Iran will have its own space exploration program and Iraq would carry out nuclear experiments. Nah, I don’t think Iran would make it. Unless the connotation here is that Iran would be blown off into space. Iran looks so much like the next target in GWB’s agenda, it’s uncanny. And how can Iraq have nuclear technology? Wasn’t it “librated” from the nuisance of it all? Oh, maybe what is meant is that Iraq would be the site of nuclear experiments. Yes, more plausible.
- Tension builds up between the US and EU, eventually leading to the breaking of their alliance. I don’t see the rationality here.
- Peace would prevail in the Middle East for some period, especially between Israel and the Arabs. There will be a period of “cold peace”, probably. But let’s look at the results of the “cold war”. Well, all the scientific and technological advancements were a side effect of the anxiety of the “cold war”. So one can only deduce that following a “cold peace”, there will be retardation, perhaps?

I think they should've put more thought into predicting future prison abuses. Oh, but somebody already did predict what happened at Abu Ghraib by the dispositional hypothesis.

Thursday, January 06, 2005


Reality Bites

Hi, I'm Ericka and I'm a member of the reality based community. G.W Bush, acting leader of our elected despotism, isn't. According to the Nelson Report, a daily tip sheet written for corporate and government officials by Chris Nelson, former Capitol Hill staffer and United Press International reporter:
There is rising concern amongst senior officials that President Bush does not grasp the increasingly grim reality of the security situation in Iraq because he refuses to listen to that type of information. Our sources say that attempts to brief Bush on various grim realities have been personally rebuffed by the President, who actually says that he does not want to hear “bad news.”

Rather, Bush makes clear that all he wants are progress reports, where they exist, and those facts which seem to support his declared mission in Iraq...building democracy. “That's all he wants to hear about,” we have been told. So “in” are the latest totals on school openings, and “out” are reports from senior US military commanders (and those intelligence experts still on the job) that they see an insurgency becoming increasingly effective, and their projection that “it will just get worse.”

Our sources are firm in that they conclude this “good news only” directive comes from Bush himself; that is, it is not a trap or cocoon thrown around the President by National Security Advisor Rice, Vice President Cheney, and DOD Secretary Rumsfeld. In any event, whether self-imposed, or due to manipulation by irresponsible subordinates, the information/intelligence vacuum at the highest levels of the White House increasingly frightens those officials interested in objective assessment, and not just selling a political message.
We, the people of the reality based community, have been saying this for almost years. It's not a matter of political strategy, rather this man and his followers are blindfolding themselves with this bankrupt ideology because they truly believe in the validity of their position. Conviction is one thing, but complete lack of foresight and reasoning is something to be worried about.

(Via Oliver Willis)
Meanwhile in Iraq, the reality gets dimmer. According to today's WaPo, three-star Lt. Gen. James R. "Ron" Helmly is the most recent senior army official to show outrage over the state of affairs in Iraq:
The head of the Army Reserve has sent a sharply worded memo to other military leaders expressing "deepening concern" about the continued readiness of his troops, who have been used heavily in Iraq and Afghanistan, and warning that his branch of 200,000 soldiers "is rapidly degenerating into a 'broken' force."

In the memo, dated Dec. 20, Lt. Gen. James R. "Ron" Helmly lashed out at what he said were outdated and "dysfunctional" policies on mobilizing and managing the force. He complained that his repeated requests to adjust the policies to current realities have been rebuffed by Pentagon authorities.

Surprise, surprise.

"By consistently underestimating the number of troops necessary for the successful occupation of Iraq, the administration has placed a tremendous burden on the Army Reserve and created this crisis," Sen. Jack Reed (D-R.I.), a member of the Armed Services Committee, said in a statement.

"The memo presents more questions than answers," said Rep. Victor F. Snyder (D-Ark.), who deals with reservist issues in the House. "I think he's really making a plea to the Pentagon to change some of their practices or let him do some things he wants to do."

You can be sure this memo didn't make it to the oval office.

And there's more from the fantasy world of these neocon nutjobs. The debate over Bush's Attorney General nominee Alberto Gonzalez has spilled over into a debate on the use of torture on terrorist suspects. I think it's simple; if we are going to call this a War on Terror, then prisoners are effectively prisoners of war. Beyond the semantics, I cannot understand the justification of inhumanities in any circumstance in which we are holding ourselves to a higher moral standard. This is the America that voted for moral values; this is the administration that operates on "moral clarity"; if torture is acceptable then gay marriage and abortion rights should follow suit. Where is the moral clarity?

Oh...I found it!

LEAHY: "Does U.S. law allow for torture, in your opinion?"

GONZALES: "Bush has already said there won't be any torture."

LEAHY: "That's not what I asked. In your opinion, does U.S. law allow for torture?"

GONZALES: "That's a hypothetical question that I won't answer."

LEAHY: "U.S. law. Torture."

GONZALES: "That involves a lot of complex law that I don't know."

Monday, January 03, 2005


Changing the spotlight

I was thinking about what shapes our concerns. So the little voice inside my head said, "Depends on who you are, right?". Well, that made sense, momentarily, or at least before being confronted with, "What do you mean by 'who you are'?".

"Well," the voice continued, "depends on how you think, what you think about, what makes you think about something, what affects you, how it affects you and so on and so forth. You get the point."

At that point it "seemed" that I got it. So Mr. Or Miss I-earn-big-bucks-and-I-like-my-useless-luxuries would probably be more likely to be concerned about the scratch on his/her Mercedes or how he/she would earn that extra million. Well, really there's more to it.
But, one aspect, (not necessarily the only one, or the most dominant one) that affects an average person's concerns, might be the media he turns to for news. But as it happens, news selected by media often reflect the concerns of the those that own the media. Or alternatively, it makes sense to say that media avoid reflecting those concerns that might be against the interests of the owners.

So we might often be obsessed with concerns, that are not really ours. Doesn't make sense working for other people's concerns, right? But one might argue its a good thing to care about others. Sure, but not at our own expense right? How about focusing our attention on those problems that concern us all in the long run. Yes, I am talking about the environment and the ecosystem. Thanks to our self-created need for luxury, we have threatened our environment and ecosystem enough to totally screw ourselves up in the near, and I mean very near, future. So how about a bit more thought into this masochist nature of us, human beings of the so called civilized world?

Lets change the spotlight, shall we?

Saturday, January 01, 2005


Happy New Year

What a year 2004 was. I'll save you the "What 2004 meant to me" speech and just let you know what to expect for 2005 in terms of this blog.

First and foremost, I'd like send my regards to all those affected by the tsunami.

I'd like to extend a warm welcome to our two new bloggers Ericka Gilbeau and LjohnS. I think 4 bloggers officially makes this a "group blog". I'm sure their contribution will make this a great read.

We're always looking for people who would like to contribute so if you think you've got what it takes then let us know.

This template has gotten rather mundane so don't freak out if you notice something new sometime soon.

On behalf of the Nineteen crew I'd like to wish you all a Happy New Year!

P.S. It just wouldn't feel right without me pointing out some worthwhile reading so how about a report on the Top 10 War Profiteers of 2004? It's definetly a worthwhile read.

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