Saturday, June 17, 2006

Being stupid in Miami again:

Well here's another proud moment in Miami, the Miami Herald reports that the Miami-Dade School Board says a children's book called Vamos a Cuba, along with "similar books from the same series about other countries -- must be removed from all 33 Miami-Dade school libraries that stock it," because once again the Cuban community is up-in-arms. The Board voted to not only to ban the book on Cuba but also to remove other books in the series about Vietnam, Greece, and China. Now that Greece is a real hotbed of communist acitivity!

So what's such a grave threat to the Kindergarteners of the Miami-Dade school system that these books need to be banned? The NYT reports that:

"The cover of the book shows smiling Cuban children in the uniform of the Pioneers, the Communist youth group to which every Cuban student must belong. The 32-page book describes July 26, a Cuban national holiday that celebrates a historic day in Fidel Castro's revolution, as a carnival where people dance and sing. Critics also found misleading a page reading, 'People in Cuba eat, work, and go to school like you do.'" Ai Dios Mio!

The Herald reports that the book became a "target of controversy earlier this year when the father of a Marjory Stoneman Douglas Elementary student complained about the book's sunny portrayal of life in Fidel Castro's Cuba. 'The Cuban people have been paying a dear price for 47 years for the reality to be known,' said Juan Amador, the father who filed the original appeal and a former political prisoner in Cuba. 'A 32-page book cannot silence that.'''

No, I guess it wouldn't, so why bother bringing attention to it by making such a big deal out of nothing? If Mr. Amador hadn't opened his big mouth no one would even know about this book. If it really is such a huge problem for Mr. Amador to see books and hear opinions that don't exactly conform to his own, perhaps he might want to emigrate to a country where dissenting opinions are Cuba for instance. See here in the USA, people have fought and died to preserve our right to think and read what we want.

I sort of resent the fact that there's a group of immigrants in this country who call themselves "exiles" --- implying that they're just waiting for Casto to die so they can go back --- that take full advantage of all our economy and our public services and then turn around and try to dictate what is and isn't acceptable to them. We all have to conform to what they want or we'd better start getting someone else to start our cars for us.

A case in point is Board Member Robert Ingram, who opposed the ban, but told the Herald he voted for the ban anyway because he feared for his life. The ALA web site writes that:

"He said threats from the Cuban exile community caused him to think board members 'might find a bomb under their automobiles' if they voted to keep the book, the June 15 Miami Herald reported. 'There's a passion of hate,' said Ingram. 'I can't vote my conscience without feeling threatened-- that should never happen in this community any more." (No dount he hadn't forgotten about Emilio Milian and what happened to him.) Some might think Ingram's fears are overblown but they would be wrong.

Jim Mullin of the Miami New Times compiled some of the more heinous acts of poltical violence that have ocurred over the years in the years following the arrival of the "Exile Community" in Miami.

1968 From MacArthur Causeway, pediatrician Orlando Bosch fires bazooka at a Polish freighter. (City of Miami later declares "Orlando Bosch Day." Federal agents will jail him in 1988.)

1972 Julio Iglesias, performing at a local nightclub, says he wouldn't mind "singing in front of Cubans." Audience erupts in anger. Singer requires police escort. Most radio stations drop Iglesias from playlists. One that doesn't, Radio Alegre, receives bomb threats.

1974 Exile leader José Elias de la Torriente murdered in his Coral Gables home after failing to carry out a planned invasion of Cuba.

1974 Bomb blast guts the office of Spanish-language magazine Replica.

1974 Several small Cuban businesses, citing threats, stop selling Replica.

1974 Three bombs explode near a Spanish-language radio station.

1974 Hector Diaz Limonta and Arturo Rodriguez Vives murdered in internecine exile power struggles.

1975 Luciano Nieves murdered after advocating peaceful coexistence with Cuba.

1975 Another bomb damages Replica's office.

1976 Rolando Masferrer and Ramon Donestevez murdered in internecine exile power struggles.

1976 Car bomb blows off legs of WQBA-AM news director Emilio Milian after he publicly condemns exile violence.

1977 Juan José Peruyero murdered in internecine exile power struggles.

1979 Cuban film Memories of Underdevelopment interrupted by gunfire and physical violence instigated by two exile groups.

1979 Bomb discovered at Padron Cigars, whose owner helped negotiate release of 3600 Cuban political prisoners.

1979 Bomb explodes at Padron Cigars.

1980 Another bomb explodes at Padron Cigars.

1980 Powerful anti-personnel bomb discovered at American Airways Charter, which arranges flights to Cuba.

1981 Bomb explodes at Mexican Consulate on Brickell Avenue in protest of relations with Cuba.

1981 Replica's office again damaged by a bomb.

1982 Two outlets of Hispania Interamericana, which ships medicine to Cuba, attacked by gunfire.

1982 Bomb explodes at Venezuelan Consulate in downtown Miami in protest of relations with Cuba.

1982 Bomb discovered at Nicaraguan Consulate.

1982 Miami Mayor Maurice Ferre defends $10,000 grant to exile commando group Alpha 66 by noting that the organization "has never been accused of terrorist activities inside the United States."

1983 Another bomb discovered at Replica.

1983 Another bomb explodes at Padron Cigars.

1983 Bomb explodes at Paradise International, which arranges travel to Cuba.

1983 Bomb explodes at Little Havana office of Continental National Bank, one of whose executives, Bernardo Benes, helped negotiate release of 3600 Cuban political prisoners.

1983 Miami City Commissioner Demetrio Perez seeks to honor exile terrorist Juan Felipe de la Cruz, accidentally killed while assembling a bomb. (Perez is now a member of the Miami-Dade County Public School Board and owner of the Lincoln-Martí private school where Elian Gonzalez is enrolled.)

1983 Gunfire shatters windows of three Little Havana businesses linked to Cuba.

1986 South Florida Peace Coalition members physically attacked in downtown Miami while demonstrating against Nicaraguan contra war.

1987 Bomb explodes at Cuba Envios, which ships packages to Cuba.

1987 Bomb explodes at Almacen El Español, which ships packages to Cuba.

1987 Bomb explodes at Cubanacan, which ships packages to Cuba.

1987 Car belonging to Bay of Pigs veteran is firebombed.

1987 Bomb explodes at Machi Viajes a Cuba, which arranges travel to Cuba.

1987 Bomb explodes outside Va Cuba, which ships packages to Cuba.

1988 Bomb explodes at Miami Cuba, which ships medical supplies to Cuba.

And that's just the stuff he could remember, there's a lot more. What's really amazing about this whole rediculous controversy is that you would think that after the Elian debacle and the resulting embarrassment to the Cuban community of South Florida they'd think twice about making fools of themselves in the eyes of the entire country all over again. And it's all over a book for 3 year-olds! In Meee'ami you're never to young to start hating the monster, I guess!

Attention American fighting people: The GOP wants you to keep going back to Iraq until your number is finally up.

The WaPo reports the Republican engineered resolution supporting the president's policies in Iraq passed 256 to 153 in the House yesterday and I feel a lot safer for it, don't you? Now, we can back to the serious issues of the day like Flag Burning.

It would have been nice if the Republicans had bothered to have a "serious discussion" about Iraq after it became clear that the mission wasn't accomplished about three years ago, but what are you going to do?

Instead they offer the American people a bogus "debate" about nothing while the chaos ramps up in Iraq. I hope the troops fighting and dying over there appreciate that the Republican party is using them and their sacrifice as a partisan battering ram for their own political advantage.

Though, it would seem maybe the people aren't buying it this time. The WaPo article points out that even after the glorious news of the death of Zarqawi a Wall Street Journal-NBC News poll shows that, "Fifty-four percent of those polled said they would back a congressional candidate who favored pulling all U.S. troops out of Iraq within 12 months." How about that?

I urge House Majority Leader John A. Boehner to keep saying things like the Iraq war "is a war of necessity." The more the Republicans deny the reality of the situation and identify themselves so completly with this disaster, the better it is for the Dems, even if they can't find their asses with both hands.

Friday, June 16, 2006

Musings and BS:

Here are some random musings on the foreign affairs of the day. I generally do the foreign stuff over at LTAD, but I'm running out of free disk space there (after two years) so I'll be doing more of it here.

The big news breaking right now is that W. is in Baghdad on a "surprise" visit. It was such a surprise, in fact, that W. didn't even bother to tell Iraqi PM Nouri al-Maliki that he was coming. Now, that's really showing that you trust the Iraqis not to let the cat out of the bag. (Imagine if a major world leader just showed up on the steps of the White House unannounced!) W.'s arrival was apparently a real "bring 'em on" kind of deal, landing in daylight at the Baghdad airport and then flying from low over Baghdad to the Green Zone. Pretty risky there W., I hope you had your six-shooters on!

The White House is on a roll this week; Zarqawi is dead, the Iraqi "government" finally has finally got all its cabinet posts filled, and just today the news is that Karl Rove supposedly is out of Patrick Fitzgerald's line of fire. Man, if only those detainees at Gitmo hadn't killed themselves!

There are a few things on the horizon that might not bode well for this good news continuing for W. & Co.

On the Middle East "peace process" front:

Our good friend Ehud Olmert is sinking even faster in Israeli polls than even W. is here, which puts his grand plans for establishing permanent borders for Israel in doubt. The Israeli/Palestinian conflict is heating up again as Hamas announced this week that it was ending its year-long cease-fire with Israel after 7 Palestinians were killed on the beach in Gaza. And as if that wasn't bad enough, the PA is coming apart at the seams as we speak.

Fatah militants have launched attacks against Hamas and their strongholds and yesterday even went so as far as to shoot out the windows of the parliament building. While W. has been busy focusing all his attention on Iraq to the exclusion of all else, our lack of any policy towards Israel and the PA is now blowing up in our faces. You would think that after insisting that the Palestinians hold elections, which Hamas then won, we'd feel an obligation to do more than to just call them terrorists and cut off all funding to the PA. But instead we're just out-sourcing all our diplomatic responsibilities to the Europeans, which worked so well with Iran. [Update: Hamas says they might resume the ceasefire, as it appears they might have bitten off more than they can chew.]

Speaking of Iran:

It took almost this administration's entire time in office, but they've actually come up with some sort of a policy on Iran. After insisting that they'd never talk to Tehran, they're now in the process of talking about talks. Condi Rice is really running a risk here, if things don't work out the Cheney/Rummy cabal of neocon-true-believers that's kept Iran policy paralyzed all this time by refusing to reward Iran's "bad behavior, " are going to be fitting her for a Colin Powell necktie. They've been feverishly working on building bunker buster bombs and regime change and now Condi pulls this end-around on them. Now what do they do? (Man, she'd better hope this works out because Cheney is thinking about going out on another hunting trip soon.)

Although at present it appears both W. and the Iranians are willing to let the adults have a hand at working out a deal, there's no telling when Mahmoud Amadinejad or Cheney's minions might do or say something stupid that could blow everything out of the water. A case in point is John Bolton, Cheney's man at the UN --- who Condi is supposedly keeping a tight leash on --- who was caught shooting his mouth off just the other day. He told the FT last Friday that time was running out for diplomacy and he said the US had no intention of striking a "grand bargain" with Iran. (Wait, didn't we just give them our proposal just last week?)

FT: "Referring to a report by the United Nations nuclear watchdog that Iran has stepped up uranium enrichment --- a process that can create both nuclear fuel and weapons grade material -- Mr. Bolton said, 'They've got both feet on the accelerator, which is why we have a sense of urgency that these diplomatic efforts can't continue indefinitely... Each day that goes by gives Iran more time to continue to perfect its efforts for mass production.'"

Of course, no one --- except the Israelis and their pawns in Cheney's office and at the editorial board of the Wall Street Journal ---thinks the Iranians are close to getting the bomb within the next five to ten years, but I guess they'd better hurry up and make up their minds to capitulate, otherwise we're going to get on with our plans for regime change. Bolton tells the FT that he's not much of a "carrots man" and thinks that "our experience has been that when there is a dramatic change in the life of a country, that's the most likely point at which they give up their nuclear weapons."

Like in Iraq, for instance: So they didn't have nukes and were no where near having nukes, but if we hadn't gone in there and dramatically changed the life of that country, they might have had them at some point. So listen up Iran, you've got weeks rather than months (where have I heard that before?).

Of course, maybe Bolton didn't get the memo, because the Iranians say that they were given no deadline to answer and the chief EU diplomat Javiar Solana confirmed that by saying that the proposal given to the Iranians "was not conveyed as a deadline. The message was that they should reflect and not answer hastily."

Luckily, no one is really listening to Bolton these days, particularly the Russians. Vlad "the impaler" Putin says he had a little chat with Ahmadinejad on the sidelines of the Shanghai Co-operation Organization summit, where Iran was an observer, and he says Iran is ready to deal. "The Iranian side responded positively to the six-nation proposal for a way out of the crisis," Putin said." What he didn't say, however, was whether they agreed to the US precondition that they suspend enrichment, which is kind of the key to the whole thing. The FT reports that a regime insider said Iran would reply in a week or two but that their response would be "general rather than specific." They will require a clarification for further talks; in other words, they want to talk about talking. The insider said "there is no chance whatsoever of Iran stopping enrichment." But that may not be the final word; the Saudis have gotten involved and their foreign minister, Saud al-Faisal, met with Ayatolla Ali Khamenei (the real power in Iran) in Tehran this week and Saudi sources say that Tehran was in favor of negotiations. It seems many are of the mind that the Iranians could suspend enrichment and sell it as a technical break, as a face saving measure.

So, things are going fairly well with that part of the Axis of Evil, unfortunately the North Koreans are up to their old tricks again. They're feeling slighted nowadays because the US is focusing all its attention on Iran and they feel left out. In order to get back in the game it looks like they're preparing to launch Taep’o-dong 2 intercontinental missile, which is thought to be able to reach the US mainland.

They could either be bluffing, just going through the motions to keep US satellites busy, or they could really be determined to set this thing off. The thinking is that this missile has only been tested once ---back in 1998 when they gave Japan a scare --- and they might need to test it again. No one thinks it would have a warhead but since the North Koreans aren't too sure about what this thing can do, it might go veering off to God knows where and possibly start a war.

That would really ruin the warm and fuzzy mood at the White House. Imagine if people started asking why the administration hasn't done anything about the Hermit Kingdom and their arsenal of nukes for the past five years. Sure, we're fighting the terrorists in Iraq so we don't have to fight them here, and we're all worked up about the threat to Israel that Iran poses, but what about the crazy North Koreans and their ICBMs that can rain down nuclear destruction on the continental US?

That would defiantly shift the debate in Congress from the dangers of gay marriages and burning flags to something more urgent! And while we're discussing this administration's laser-like focus on Iraq, what about Somalia...that worked out well. W. & Co. have squandered hundreds of thousands of dollars in an effort to keep Islamic warlords from taking over that country and guess what, it was a total failure. I hope all those knuckle-heads shouting "USA, USA, USA," after watching Black Hawk Down realize this administration has been funneling money to the very same people who killed those 18 Army Rangers.

And to what end? Now we have to deal with a bunch of turbaned lunatics in Mogadishu who know that we were backing their enemies. Ring up another foreign policy success for the gang who couldn't shoot straight! Well, it all could work out in the end, because we've been dying to get a big footprint in Africa; this could be just the ticket. If we can just extract ourselves from Afghanistan and Iraq somehow without leaving more of mess than what we're already dealing with, we ought to be able to sell the idea that the next front on the war on terror is in Africa. And it just so happens that there's a lot of oil there that we need to protect from the Chinese, who are moving into that part of the world in a big way.

Thursday, June 15, 2006

Congress needs a diet COLA!

Seeing as Congress has done a great job this term --what with the tax breaks for the rich and the effort to protect us from the gays ---lawmakers decided not to vote on whether they should get a pay raise or not. They left that to the automatic COLA cost of living raise of 2% which gives them a raise without them having to go on record as supporting it. Pretty neat, huh? This is the 7th pay raise in 7 straight years for these freeloaders on the public dole. The reports Congress members will recieve a "$3,300 pay raise that will increase their salaries to $168,500.

Lawmakers easily squelched a bid by Rep. Jim Matheson, D-Utah, to get a direct vote to block the COLA, which is automatically awarded unless lawmakers vote to block it. Like last year, Matheson led a quixotic drive to block the raise. He was the only member to speak on the topic.

'I do not think that it is appropriate to let this bill go through without an up or down vote on whether or not Congress should have an increase in its own pay,' Matheson said. But by a 249-167 vote, the House rejected Matheson's procedural attempt to get a direct vote on the pay raise."

Another thing Congress can't bring itself to vote for is an increase in the minimum wage, which hasn't gone up in 9 years! It's not like things have gotten more expensive since then or the value of the dollar has declined any. My rent certainly hasn't gone up by about half as much.

It's not like Ted Kennedy ever stops trying to do what's right, but the odds are stacked against him. On Tuesday, the News & Observer reported, a funny thing happened in the Republican-controlled House Appropriations Committee. It "approved an amendment to raise the hourly minimum wage from $5.15 to $7.25. The 32-27 vote came after seven Republicans, in a surprise move, crossed over to vote with Democrats. The amendment was attached to a fiscal 2007 bill to fund health and education programs. "

So maybe there is a chance something might actually happen after all? No, not really: "The committee does not have jurisdiction over labor issues, so the provision likely will be stripped from that bill when it comes up for a vote this fall."

I'm affraid the cash dipped tenticles of the National Restaurant Association and a host of other blood suckers have more pull in the halls of government than the average American does. They argue that if they were forced to raise their slave wages the working man would be harmed. Of course, one could argue that if employers were forced to provide a livable wage the incentive of hiring illegal workers would be eliminated and there would be more jobs for Americans.

But, what does Congress care about all the poor bastards serving them at their fancy get- togethers with lobbyists, right?

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

What about Hurricane Wilma?????

AP reports that the GOA has found that FEMA wasted almost 20% of the money it spent on Katrina and Rita on fraudulent claims. This is more than government incompetence or criminality run amok, for me this this is personal.

The news that the GOA has found that FEMA doled out more than $1.4 billion in bogus assistance to victims of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, nearly 16% of the total spent so far, is no surprise, though; this is just history repeating itself all over again. In 2004 thousands of residents in South Florida's Miami/Dade County were given millions in relief funds by FEMA even though Hurricane Frances didn't hit the area. My parents who suffered damage to their manufactured home in Martin County --- further north where the storm actually did hit --- were denied assistance at that time.

But this is no biggie, right; Donna Dannels, acting deputy director of recovery for the Federal Emergency Management Agency, told a House hearing the congressional conclusions "represent a fraction of the overall assistance provided." [AP] Sixteen percent: I guess, in Bush-speak that's a fraction!

The NYT reports that:

"Emergency aid was used to pay for football tickets, the bill at a Hooters in San Antonio, a $200 bottle of Dom Perignon, "Girls Gone Wild" videos, even an all-inclusive weeklong Caribbean vacation...More than $5 million went to people who had provided cemeteries or post office boxes as the addresses of their damaged property. FEMA also provided cash or housing assistance to more than 1,000 prison inmates, totaling millions of dollars; one inmate used a post office box to collect $20,000.

Last year as the nation strained to deal with the duel disasters of Katrina and Rita, yet another storm, Wilma, hit my family’s home, the fourth in two years to do so; this time absolutely destroying their home. In the almost seven months since their roof was ripped off and their lives turned upside down, their retirement savings are completely gone, their mental and physical well-being have been severely damaged and FEMA has again denied them assistance.

Perhaps, if my veteran father had asked FEMA for money to get a sex-change operation or my mother had been in prison they might have had a better chance at getting the aid they desperately need!

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

More of the same with a surprise visit!

Well, gosh W. made a "surprise" visit to Baghdad today to look Iraqi PM Nouri al-Maliki in the eye. (I wonder if he felt his soul like he did with Vlad 'the impaler Putin'?) W.'s visit was such a surprise that the WaPo reports:

"Maliki learned of Bush's visit only after his Nighthawk helicopter had landed in the Green Zone following a six-minute ride from the airport, part of the extraordinary security measures associated with the trip." Now, that's the way to show the Iraqis you don't trust them enough not to let the cat out of the bag!

It's not like things are so completly out of control over there that the president of the United States can't even tell the democratic leader of "sovereign Iraq" he's coming for a visit or anything. I mean, public enemy number 1 Abu Mosab al-Zarqawi was killed last week, you'd think W. would have been doing a victory lap through Firdos Square or something.

AP reports that Maj. Gen. Mahdi al-Gharrawi, the commander of public order forces that al-Maliki was just about to start operation Iron Fist throughout Baghdad but that, "The terrorists will escalate their violence especially during the first week as revenge for the killing of al-Zarqawi." But I thought they were finished! Every time something comes up the damn insurgents start escalating again!

Asymmetrical PR. Where's Karen Hughs?

The WaPo reports that:

"Human rights groups and defense lawyers yesterday called for an independent investigation into the three detainee suicides at the U.S. detention facility at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, questioning the military's preliminary explanation of how the men killed themselves and the way U.S. officials have characterized the deaths."

Amnesty says in a press release:

"Military authorities have shown themselves to be oblivious to the psychological suffering of the detainees. Earlier, military psychiatrists reportedly reclassified suicide attempts as "manipulative self-injurious behaviour", resulting in a decrease in the rate of suicide attempts officially recorded."

That's just typical isn't it? They've fallen for these jihadis' PR campaign. As Collen Graffy, Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Public Diplomacy, pointed out to the BBC on Sunday, the suicides were a "good PR" move designed as a "tactic to further the jihadi cause." If anyone would know about good PR moves, it's obviously Ms. Graffy.

Josh White in the WaPo article says Amnesty International "in a written statement said an ongoing Naval Criminal Investigative Service probe will not be sufficient in light of comments U.S. officials have made."

What comments? Camp commander Rear Adm Harry Harris only said, "I believe this was not an act of desperation, but an act of asymmetrical warfare waged against us." What's wrong with that? I don't get the idea from his and Graffy's statements that the administraion and the pentagon are in lala land. We can trust them, right?

Where is Karen Hughs anyway? I thought W. appointed her to win over the Arab world to our way of thinking. For sure this incident ought to further that objective.

So far, though, Hughs hasn't been too successful at convincing the "Arab Street" that we're the good guys. I found some Middle Eastern commentary from 2005 when she went on her "listening tour," and it wasn't exactly positive. [Note: You might want to go back to the drawing-board Karen.]


The Gulf News of Dubai said:

"...why is Hughes on her visit? Anyone who has even a limited understanding of events in the Middle East can spell out loud and clear exactly what aggrieves people in the Middle East with regard to the U.S. It is their policy. Therefore, if the avowed intent prior to Hughes visit is for "no change, steady as we go" then it is best for Hughes to return home."

Al-Qouds from Jerusalem said of her failed trip to Egypt:

"In a few words, the reason for the failure is the fact that her mission is artificial, one that tries to convince the Arab street that killing tens of thousands of people in Iraq ... is a noble task ... a successful public relations campaign [however] can only be achieved by taking care of the problem instead of trying to fix its outcomes."

Al-Ahram from Cairo said:

"Karen Hughes, the U.S. envoy to the Middle East and Muslim countries, clearly hopes to patch up the U.S. image. Her instructions are to promote U.S. policy as one might any new consumer durable ... What the United States should be doing is changing policy, not dressing it up to look better ... We notice the harassment that millions of Muslim Americans had to deal with. We notice the indefinite detention of hundreds of suspects in Guantanamo. We notice the horrors committed in Abu Ghraib. We notice things that no one - not even Hughes - can justify."

The Arab News in Jidda, Saudi Arabia (Our good friends), said:

"The problem here is not American popular culture - beloved and emulated everywhere - or even American political culture, imbued with the richest ideas about freedom, democracy, and individual rights ... The problem rather is American foreign policy, that remains, where it is not bellicose, overtly and unabashedly moralistic in tone --- Let the record show that no one has identified the gushy Hughes as an "ugly American," just an inane one."

Her trip is summarized at, where it's reported that not only was she a big flop in the Middle East but also here at home. Fred Kaplan in USA Today is quoted as writing:

"Put the shoe on the other foot. Let's say some Muslim leader wanted to improve Americans' image of Islam. It's doubtful that he would send as his emissary a woman in a black chador who had spent no time in the United States, possessed no knowledge of our history or movies or pop music, and spoke no English beyond a heavily accented "Good morning." Yet this would be the clueless counterpart to Karen Hughes."

But, who knows, maybe she can use this Gitmo suicide thing to turn this whole thing around.

Monday, June 12, 2006

Gitmo disgrace.

Gosh, one wonders what it's going to take to get the US to close down Gitmo. There have been hundreds of hunger strikes, numerous suicide attempts and now three deaths. The Germans, the Danes, the UN and even our good friends the Brits think the prison is a disgrace, but Tony Snow says that as much as W. would like to close the place, "You can't have a final disposition about Guantánamo until the Supreme Court has ruled on the Hamdan case."

So, it's the Supreme Court's fault...Oh yeah, and the detainees themselves. The WaPo reports that Army Gen. Bantz J. Craddock, chief of the Southern Command, "compared the three suicides there over the weekend to the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks in that everyday objects were turned into weapons."

They're so damn clever, who would have thought they would have used planes as missiles to fly into buildings and now they're using bedsheets! See how diabolical they are? Navy Rear Admiral Harry Harris, the camp commander, characterized the suicides as "asymmetrical warfare," not desperation. Most humans would probably attempt suicide if they thought they would never have a chance of being released from a hell hole like Gitmo, but these al-Qaeda types are not exactly human, are they? They hate us for the way we live and will do anything to hurt us again like on 9/11, even use regular everyday objects to kill them selves, just to show us! Man, reason enough to keep these guys locked up forever. Just imagine what they'd do if they ever got lawyers or their day in court!

This is a whole new paradigm, pre-9/11 legal niceties like Habeas Corpus --- a basic protection against government overreach codified in 1215 --- are just not operable any more. And along with those outmoded liberal inspired legal doctrines, doctors are no longer required to do no harm. Now, they can assist in torture and forced feeding and psychologists have a green light to concoct great new ways to use prisoner's primal fears against them. What a proud day for the United States!

It is odd that out of the 460 we have locked up there, only 10 have been charged with being "enemy combatants" by W.'s kangaroo courts. Strangely enough, too, none of the dead men were any of them. The pentagon assures us, though, that they were really, really, bad guys. We can believe them, right? Isn't that what being an American is all about, blindly accepting the word of out leaders who know better than us? So they haven't been entirely truthful about a lot of things, only traitorous leakers and Democrats would allow two hundred years of democracy stand in the way of the Decider-in-Chief deciding what's best for us.
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