January 15, 2005

McClellan Makes A Funny

From a press briefing on the 13th. Emphasis mine:

Q But -- it's all kind of ephemeral now. I mean, you could point to Afghanistan before and say, here's where the terrorists are; you could point to Indonesia and say, here's where Jemma Islamiya is. But, as I say, it's kind of ephemeral. We don't really -- where is the enemy these days?

MR. McCLELLAN: John, I'll give you an update. The enemy is the ideology of hatred and oppression that people espouse. That's what we're up against. We're working to defeat an ideology of hatred and oppression. And you do that by going after the terrorists, who have no regard for rule of law, no regard for innocent civilians, and all they seek to do is spread chaos and fear and intimidation. ...

No regard for the rule of law:

Claiming that the president is above the law: Gonzales says the "new paradigm" of the war on terrorism "renders obsolete Geneva's strict limitations on questioning of enemy prisoners and renders quaint some of its provisions." ...Gonzales also notes that "It is difficult to predict the motives of prosecutors and independent counsels who may in the future decide to pursue unwarranted charges based on Section 2441 (of the US code, the War Crimes Act). Your determination [to bypass the Geneva Conventions] would create a reasonable basis in law that Section 2441 does not apply, which would provide a solid defense to any future prosecution."

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The result of winking at torture. (Links present graphic images.)

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Disseminating propaganda at home: The chairman of the Federal Communications Commission ordered an investigation Friday into whether conservative commentator Armstrong Williams broke the law by failing to disclose he was paid by the Bush administration to plug the president's education agenda. ...The law requires disclosure of any payment or gift for airing any material for broadcast, such as a radio disc jockey being paid to play a particular recording. ...

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Blowing the cover of a CIA agent: "Mission to Niger" by Robert Novak: "Wilson never worked for the CIA, but his wife, Valerie Plame, is an Agency operative on weapons of mass destruction. Two senior administration officials told me Wilson's wife suggested sending him to Niger.... The CIA says its counter-proliferation officials selected Wilson and asked his wife to contact him."...

"More vicious than Tricky Dick" by John Dean: "I thought I had seen political dirty tricks as foul as they could get, but I was wrong. In blowing the cover of CIA agent Valerie Plame to take political revenge on her husband, Ambassador Joseph Wilson, for telling the truth, Bush's people have out-Nixoned Nixon's people. And my former colleagues were not amateurs by any means." ...

No regard for innocent civilians:

The detainees: ...Last summer I interviewed a kind, 55 year-old woman who used to work as an English teacher. She had been detained for four months in as many prisons…in Samarra, Tikrit, Baghdad and, of course, at Abu Ghraib. She was never, she told me, allowed to sleep through a night. She was interrogated many times each day, not given enough food or water, or access to a lawyer or to her family. She was verbally and psychologically abused.

But that, she assured me, wasn't the worst part. Not by far. Her 70 year-old husband was also detained and he was beaten. After seven months of beatings and interrogations, he died in U.S. military custody in prison. She was crying as she spoke of him. "I miss my husband," she sobbed and stood up, speaking not to us but to the room, "I miss him so much." She shook her hands as if to fling water off them…then she held her chest and cried some more. ...

Spreading chaos, fear, and intimidation:

Fallujah: A delegation of residents of the Iraqi city of Fallujah has submitted a memorandum to the General Secretary of the United Nations, Kofi Annan, that consists of two reports. The first report details crimes committed by the US occupation forces in the city between 7 November 7th, 2004 and December 30, 2004. The second is concerned with the situation of refugees from the city, who were driven from their homes by the US aggression that began against the city in November 2004. ...

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The occupation in (graphic) pictures

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Children pay cost of Iraq's chaos: Acute malnutrition among young children in Iraq has nearly doubled since the United States led an invasion of the country 20 months ago, according to surveys by the United Nations, aid agencies and the interim Iraqi government.

After the rate of acute malnutrition among children younger than 5 steadily declined to 4 percent two years ago, it shot up to 7.7 percent this year, according to a study conducted by Iraq's Health Ministry in cooperation with Norway's Institute for Applied International Studies and the U.N. Development Program. The new figure translates to roughly 400,000 Iraqi children suffering from "wasting," a condition characterized by chronic diarrhea and dangerous deficiencies of protein.

...The surveys suggest the silent human cost being paid across a country convulsed by instability and mismanagement. While attacks by insurgents have grown more violent and more frequent, deteriorating basic services take lives that many Iraqis said they had expected to improve under American stewardship.

Iraq's child malnutrition rate now roughly equals that of Burundi, a central African nation torn by more than a decade of war. It is far higher than rates in Uganda and Haiti. ...

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Scarves now a protective accessory: ...''I put on the scarf because I wanted to walk in the street without fearing someone will kill me or kidnap me," said one of the women. ''I want to finish my studies. Without the scarf, I cannot. I heard rumors about killing women without a scarf. Why should I risk my life?"

This is the new reality for many women in Iraq, Muslims and Christians alike. As the months have passed since the US-led attack, fewer women are daring to venture out without wearing a traditional Muslim head scarf, called a hijab in Arabic. In Baghdad, moderate Muslim women used to feel they had a choice whether to wear the scarf. Now, in many neighborhoods, it is hard to find a woman outdoors without one.

...Although Iraq is predominantly Muslim, for decades its capital was a trendy, modern city. In the 1960s, women wore short skirts and blouses with low necklines. But their daughters say they do not have such freedom today. They blame a postwar insurgency bolstered by conservative hard-liners.

''Because of the current situation in the country, lack of security, the occupation, and many other things, people started to look for a way to escape the terror," said Fadhil Shaker, professor of psychology at Baghdad University. ''They want to hide or take shelter to protect themselves. For women, the scarf is the best way to protect them. Women believe the scarf will be the wall to prevent people from looking at them." ...

The massive Republican projection complex is going full throttle. At present, there isn't another group, organization, or country in the world that could match the Bush administration record for sheer amount of chaos generated. There's no relatively 'respectable' country whose government has gotten away with this much disregard for the law, and no disreputable country with the practical capability to export so much of their recklessness.

Maybe Bush is a big fan of Judge "I am the law" Dredd; what with the not reading, maybe he feeds his intellect with the sage ethical paradigms of Hollywood's blockbuster action flicks. The Islamic world has the excuse that at least no one elected al-Qaida, Hamas, or Hezbollah. What's our excuse for spreading hatred and oppression, Scottie?

Posted by natasha at January 15, 2005 11:07 PM | US Politics | Technorati links |
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