Remember, it's not important that we did torture these people. What's important is that we are not the kind of people who would torture these people.
As further details of outrages in Abu Ghraib emerge, I'm beyond appalled -- I'm sickened. It has become more than obvious that Rumsfeld intends to take "responsibility" only by saying he does. The only way to redeem this nations' tarnished honor is when the voters repudiate the entire sorry bunch come November.
Here's an absolutely blistering op-ed decrying the shameless mendacity, execrable arrogance and stunning incompetance of the Bush Administration. It'd make a fine opening statement at Bush's trial. It's too good to quote; read the whole thing.
A military intelligence analyst who recently completed duty at Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq said Wednesday that the 16-year-old son of a detainee there was abused by U.S. soldiers to break his father's resistance to interrogators.
The analyst said the teenager was stripped naked, thrown in the back of an open truck, driven around in the cold night air, splattered with mud and then presented to his father at Abu Ghraib, the prison at the center of the scandal over abuse of Iraqi detainees.
Upon seeing his frail and frightened son, the prisoner broke down and cried and told interrogators he would tell them whatever they wanted, the analyst said.
Disgusting. Foul. (And if memory serves me right, it's flagrantly illegal as well.) I thought this was the kind of atrocity we invaded Iraq to stop.
Rumsfeld certainly needs to go -- in disgrace -- for this outrage. But the only way to regain America's honor is for the voters to repudiate this entire scurvy lot that stained it.
Congratulations to pitcher Randy Johnson of the Arizona Diamondbacks for throwing a perfect game -- at age 40, yet! Johnson is the oldest pitcher in Major League history to accomplish the feat, which was only the 17th on record.
CalWashingtonMonthlyPundit has a roundup of the latest developments in the ongoing Abu Ghraib scandal. Meanwhile, Slate's Timothy Noah provides the excuses offered by the new champions of moral relativism on the Right.
I am writing to express my admiration and support for Spec. Joseph Darby, the soldier who upheld the finest traditions of the US military by helping expose the abuses at the Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq. As you may know, some misguided people have been critical of Spec. Darby's actions in exposing the heinous abuses in the prison.
By his actions, Spec. Darby has shown more honor and respect for American democratic values than some of his superiors, including many in the current Administration. I urge you to take whatever steps are in your power to see that Spec. Darby receives the recognition as a hero that he deserves.
Thank you for your time.
Sincerely yours, etc. etc.
As an aside, I was somewhat disappointed to note that while Senator Lugar provides an email address on his contact page (as a graphic, no doubt as an anti-spam tactic), Bayh and Carson both use clunky form-based Web mail instead. That's nonsense. I should be able to fire off an email to my Senator and Representative any time I feel like it, without having to navigate a time-consuming form.
Snark aside, the assassination of the Iraqi Governing Council's current president is a much grimmer development. Bush's failure to provide security in Iraq is jeopardizing his goals and seriously damaging US security. With Bush having decided to stake his re-election as a "war president," it boggles the mind how incompetently his administration has conducted the occupation. It'll be cold comfort if Bush's incompetence fails to secure his re-election even as it fails to bolster -- indeed, substantially undermines -- national security.
[U]nambiguous dedication to the rule of law has distinguished American governments, until now, from those that systematically violate human rights. Perhaps the administration has gained valuable information through its harsh treatment of prisoners, though it has offered no evidence for this. But no gains could possibly justify the abuses that have been exposed or the damage done when an American secretary of defense declares to the world that holding detainees hooded and contorted is in keeping with international law and American values.
I've spent almost no time tweaking the template in the wake of the recent Blogger redesign, but I have discovered the reason the comments templates are boinked. The individual pages Blogger creates to support the comment system are stored in separate directories, and of course the template code doesn't point to the graphics and style sheets correctly. Rather than work to correct this vexing quirk, I'll probably renew my efforts to resume the former comment system. Updates will follow as appropriate.
We visited Louisville this weekend and had a very pleasant time. Part of the fun was dropping in on a couple of my favorite stores, Ear X-Tacy and The Great Escape, where I used to spend a lot of time -- and money -- back in my college days. Although I didn't go on a wild spending spree despite having a couple hundred extra bucks in the bank (more on that in a moment), I did see one thing at The Great Escape that I absolutely had to have: A used vinyl copy of Esquiviel's Other Worlds, Other Sounds for a mere four bucks -- and in decent condition, yet!
My dad taped the album and promises to convert the recording to CD -- a good thing, too, as it turns out the CD is out of print and quite rare. The album itself is now framed, and will go on my wall as soon as I figure out the appropriate spot.
In searching for the album cover art, I discovered this groovy essay on space-age bachelor pad type music. And I must admit, the purchase has sparked an interest in picking up a few more CDs of Esquiviels, Arthur Lyman, Martin Denny and the great Les Baxter.
As I mentioned, I also received an unexpected bonus from work. I'd thought that they banked the overtime I've been working by default, but instead they pay it out. I took advantage of the fact to do a little joy shopping, and got some groovy stuff off of Amazon. Details will follow when the package arrives, but I was able to apply the difference in price of the DVDs I got from the cost at the stores where I looked to pick up an extra couple of flicks. Groovy!