Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Operation KBR detention camp contracts:

Last Monday night I listened to W. give his immigration speech and actually didn't feel the urge to throw something at the TV. (This is a first.) Of course, I knew there had to be some rub to all his reasonable sounding proposals and I think I finally found it.

Initially, I thought the idea of sending National Guard troops to the border didn't sound all that outrageous, if it was only going to be temporary, but after giving it some thought I have to say it's pretty rotten idea that could lead to unintended consequences in the long run. A case in point is what this jackass Sheriff Joe Arpaio down in Arizona is doing. What if the military starts getting involved in setting up camps a la Arpaio, that begin to resemble Gitmo or the Japanese internment s camps? Right now, the tactics Arpaio is using are pretty popular with the 'get tough on illegals' crowd, some in Congress might a similar approach as a viable solution for the feds.

And who's to say that due to the confusing nature of the borde that battled hardened Guard troops more used to the sweep 'em all up and ask questions later tactics of Afghanistan or Iraq accidently start rounding up people coming across the the border that have a right to do so? The WaPo points out today that, "there were more than 24 million legal pedestrian crossings in 2004, according to the U.S. Department of Transportation. In El Paso alone the same year, there were more than 680,000 pedestrian crossings."

This panicked knee jerk reacted by the the Bush administration to opt for the military default position for every preceived crisis, including 'the bird-flu,' is a sign of weakness, rather than a show of strength. W. sounds more like Hugo Chavez every day.

Naturally, along with the potential political pay-off associated with locking illegals up and making them wear pink underwear, there's also the potential pay-off for W. & CO.'s good buddies Haliburton. The Texas Observer reports that business is bullish on locking up immigrants.

"No matter how the national debate on immigration plays out in Congress...the corporations that have moved into the business of building and operating detention centers are likely to see a steady stream of revenue for years to come...One of the companies to benefit from the government'-building-and privatizing-binge is KBR, a Halliburton Co. subsidiary, which in January was awarded a contract worth up to $385 million to build temporary immigrant detention facilities for the Homeland Security Department in case of an 'emergency influx of immigrants.'"

See, there's an emergency going on, just like in Iraq. We don't have time for no-bid contratcs or any namby-pamby handwringing about whether all those being swept up in this "emergency [detention] situation are actually illegals or not."

In this year's budget W. has asked for money for 6,700 new beds but the Inquirer reports, "Richard L. Skinner, the Homeland Security Department's inspector general, said in a report Friday that the administration hadn't budgeted enough and that it would take nearly 35,000 more jail beds to detain all high-risk immigrants." Who are these "high risk" inmates anyway? I thought we were talking about detaining economic migrants until they can be processed and deported.

Maybe other "high risk" inmates, not neccessarily OTMs, might need to be locked up too. The Army issued a new rule in Jan. of last year that calls for the construction of detention facilities on US military bases, to be run by the Guard and Reserves for "civilian inmate labor programs and civilian prison camps."

Sounds like Olly North's REX-84 Bravo plan or what the governemnt is now calling ENDGAME, a plan according to infowars, "which sets as its goal the removal of "all removable aliens" and "potential terrorists."

Of course, W. says rounding all the illegals would be impossible, I believe him don't you? All this talk about military-run detention camps is just contingency planning, right?

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Pot calling the kettle black:

The WaPo reports that the world has given a colective yawn to the news that the US is renewing full diplomatic relations with the former terrorist regime of Moammar Kadafi.

Pretty much no one is buying anymore the line that the US will "pay any price, bear any assure the survival and the success of liberty," as Bush promised in his second inaugural. Now it's all about the oil. The WaPo article quotes Mohamed Sayed Said as saying that, "The timing can be explained by a need for the United States to have a positive breakthrough in the Middle East," but the real explaination might have more to do with what the FT reported today:

"The timing of the move to restore diplomatic ties could be linked to Libya's recent announcement of a new round of oil licensing, he said. US oil companies did well in the first round of licensing last year that followed the lifting of international sanctions against Libya, but there were concerns that China was moving in aggressively."

See we have to get in there before China does, because they just sign deals with none of those pesky human rights concerns attached. At the same time though, we're very concerned about Hugo Chaves, so concerned in fact, that the US, on the same day that we made firends with killer Kadafi, banned arms sales to Venezuela. The US State Department says that Venezuela is a "country of concern."

The BBC reports:

"The state department has repeatedly expressed its concern over Venezuela's contacts with Iran and Cuba and also over its relations with armed groups operating in Colombia which the US considers terrorist organisations." Yes, watchout for that that terrorist hotbed in Cuba!

It's kind of funny that while we're accusing Hugo Chavez of supporting terrorists we're refusing to honor the Venezualn governments's extradition request for Luis Posada Carriles,
a notorious anti-Castro terrorist who even the CIA says blew up a Venezuelan plane killing 70 people in 1976. I guess one man's airline bomber is another man's patriot.

Monday, May 15, 2006

Kadafi Duck and our daffy war on terror.

Today the WaPo reports:

"The United States will restore full diplomatic relations with Libya, Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice said today, ending more than a quarter of century when the African nation was considered one of this country's worst enemies...The statement released this morning said the United States would open an embassy in Tripoli soon and take Libya off its list of state sponsors of terror."

Condi Rice said, "We are taking these actions in recognition of Libya's continued commitment to its renunciation of terrorism and the excellent cooperation Libya has provided to the United States and other members of the international community in response to common global threats faced by the civilized world since September 11, 2001."

So let me get this straight, we went to war with Iraq to overthrow Saddam because he was such a bad guy that we just could not allow him to stay in power one minute longer: American lives were at stake. Not that he actually ever killed any Americans, but he might have at some point in the future (with his romote control planes and nonexistant anthrax.)

Now Moamar Kadafi on the other hand, killed 259 Americans and 11 British citizens on December 21 1988 by blowing up Pan An Flight 103 over Lockerbee Scotland. Years later he paid $2.7 billion to the families of those he killed and that makes everthing alright. If Saddam would have just coughed up some cashy money, I guess, he'd still be killing Shiites and writing novels.

This is just unbelievable: It's one thing to make kissy faces with Vlad "the impaler" Putin or maybe Ilham Aliyev to make some oil deals, but Moammar Kadafi????

Not only did this guy kill 259 Americans and finance and support the likes of Charles Taylor in his raping and murdering rampages in Sierra Leone and Liberia, but as recently as a few years ago, according to a 2003 LA Times article, Kadafi "offered aid to the families of Al Qaeda militants arrested in Pakistan. In May 2002, Kadafi paid for the transport of six wives and 14 children of militants from Pakistan to Libya."

As the negotiations were going on between the US and Kadafi to give up his WMD he was plotting to assassinate then Crown Prince Abdullah of Saudi Arabia! [By the way, Grover Norquist's good buddy Abdurahman Alamoudi was involved in the plot]

As an added bonus, the LA Times reported in September of last year that:

"Kadafi's point man for dealing with Washington is his head of foreign intelligence, who is banned from entering the U.S. because of his suspected involvement in terrorist acts, including the Lockerbie bombing. He also is suspected of taking part in a plot to kill Saudi Arabia's ruler."

And even worse:

"In turn, the U.S. has handed over to Tripoli some anti-Kadafi Libyans captured in its campaign against terrorism. And Kadafi's agents have been allowed into the Guantanamo Bay detention camp in Cuba to interrogate Libyans being held there."

So all this guy has to do is open up his oil-wells to Exxon/Mobil and say 'I'm really sorry about killing all those people, so here's some money' and the next thing you know, his henchmen are interviewing Gitmo detainees and he's coming to the White House for a state dinner!

That's Realpolitik for you!
hit counter script Top Blog Lists Favourite Blogs Top List
My Zimbio
Top Stories