March 28, 2009

News Bits that caught my eye

Sometimes when I read the news, all I can think is we are so f*cked.

Catching up on the news today, I see that Digby wrote earlier this week that the Senate Foreign Relations Committee has hired John Kiriakou to be their Middle East and South Asia expert. His name truly was shocking to me because I'd finally got around to reading Mark Danner's piece about the indisputable evidence of US Torture in the New York Review of Books and guess who shows up prominently?

The man has been captured now: traced to a safe house in Faisalabad, gravely wounded by three shots from an AK-47. He is rushed to the Faisalabad hospital, then to the military hospital at Lahore. When he opens his eyes he finds at his bedside an American, John Kiriakou of the CIA:

I asked him in Arabic what his name was. And he shook his head. And I asked him again in Arabic. And then he answered me in English. And he said that he would not speak to me in God's language. And then I said, "That's okay. We know who you are."

And then he asked me to smother him with a pillow. And I said, "No, no. We have plans for you."[6]

Kiriakou and the "small group of CIA and FBI people who just kept 24/7 eyes on him" knew that in Abu Zubaydah they had "the biggest fish that we had caught. We knew he was full of information...and we wanted to get it."

So not only do we torture, but our Democratic Senate rewards people even knowing they participated in torture. No wonder it was left to Spain to start putting together the first credible investigations into this American scandal.

Another news piece that made me sit up and go, huh?, was this piece in the Financial Times reporting that Jack Welch, the former chairman of GE, who was all gung-ho for the need to focus exclusively on shareholder value, now thinks this a dumb idea.

Jack Welch, who is regarded as the father of the “shareholder value” movement that has dominated the corporate world for more than 20 years, has said it was “a dumb idea” for executives to focus so heavily on quarterly profits and share price gains.

...“On the face of it, shareholder value is the dumbest idea in the world,” he said. “Shareholder value is a result, not a strategy . . . Your main constituencies are your employees, your customers and your products.”

Wish that he could have come to that conclusion before the American economy had been hollowed out by decades of a relentless search for profits and the glorification of Greed.

His other killer idea, Rank-and-Fire Management, looks like it didn't pan out too well either.

Finally, it looks like all the power-hungry political conservatives are rushing to become Catholics. For a church that once had a strong moral voice on helping the least among us and our obligations to love our neighbors as ourselves, it has once again become a powerful voice for authoritarian patriarchy. No wonder Newt wants to join.

Editor Note: for those of you who read both Pacific Views and The Left Coaster, sorry for the double posts - just not enough time to keep both blogs going these days with my work schedule. I do appreciate that although this blog has become a quiet little backwater, that folks still check to see what's happening here and leave an occasional comment. It is definitely my home and a place where I get to express my thoughts on politics and the world. And is the place I can put some of my more eccentric meanderings and occasional photo.

Posted by Mary at March 28, 2009 07:41 PM | US News | Technorati links |
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