Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Yeah, Right

Given the Bush administration's track record, we shouldn't be surprised that even as our Dominatrix of State was telling the world that America doesn't render individuals to other countries for the purpose of torturing them, the ACLU filed a lawsuit against George Tenet and other members of the CIA on behalf of Khaled el-Masri. Masri, you may recall, is the Lebanese born German citizen who claimed he was kidnapped on suspicion of being an al Qaeda operative and taken to a prison in Afthanistan. Here's how James Meek of The Guardian relates el-Masri's story:
On the evening of January 23, he was handcuffed, blindfolded, put in a car and told he was going to Germany. He was driven to a place where he heard the sound of a plane, then heard the voice of one of the Macedonians saying he would have a medical examination.

"I heard the door being closed," says el-Masri. "And then they beat me from all sides, from everywhere, with hands and feet. With knives or scissors they took away my clothes. In silence. The beating, I think, was just to humiliate me, to hurt me, to make me afraid, to make me silent. They stripped me naked. I was terrified. They tried to take off my pants. I tried to stop them so they beat me again. And when I was naked I heard a camera." El-Masri breaks down as he recalls the moment when the men carried out an intrusive anal search.

He was dressed in a nappy, a short-sleeved, short-legged suit and a belt. His feet were shackled and his hands were chained to the belt. His ears were plugged and ear defenders placed over them and a clip put on his nose. A hood was put over his blindfold. With his arms raised painfully high behind his back, he was driven to an aircraft where he was thrown down on to a bare metal floor, chained and bound, and given an injection. He was dimly aware of a landing and takeoff and a second injection before the plane landed again and he was put into the boot of a car.

El-Masri arrived in what he later found to be his cell by being pushed violently against the wall, thrown to the floor, having feet placed on his head and his back and having his chains removed. The cell was to be his home for the next four months. From the graffiti on the wall - in Arabic script, but not Arabic - and the Afghan dress of the guards, he deduced that he was in Afghanistan. There was nothing in the cell except a blanket, a filthy plastic mat and a bottle of tainted water so vile that the memory of it makes him literally gag.

El-Masri soon discovered that the prison, though technically Afghan, was run from behind the scenes by the US. His first encounter with an American was with a masked individual who spoke English with what el-Masri believes was an American accent. He had a Palestinian translator. The American took a blood sample and photographed el-Masri naked again.

The Bush administration: making us all proud to be Americans.

Or was these just the rogue actions of a few more bad apples?


Mister Bush himself, talking before the Council of Foreign Relations today, starting off with 9/11-Pearl Harbor analogies. Wow. How did his speech writers ever come up with that one? "Freedom's cause." "Courage and determination." "Firm resolve."

"Like the generation before us, we're taking the fight to those who attacked us?"

Good Gosh, he's still trying to convince people Hussein was involved with 9/11.

More "fighting them there so we don't have to fight them here" talk. Our goal is victory.

"We're working with the Iraqis." Like the policemen who let themselves get blown up in their own station the other day?

Somebody tell me this man isn't really the president of the United States.

Blather, rinse, repeat. Same talking points, same audience.

Holy cow, Mister Bush himself just quoted Joe Lieberman, who is rapidly becoming the administration's leading echo chamberlains.

"Cut and run." "Complete our mission." "Strong ally."

"Free societies are peaceful societies." I reckon that's why free societies don't invade other countries on false premises.


Forty or so minutes of glittering generalities, bandwagoning, attacking straw men, scapegoating, appeals to emotion, labeling, and just about every other propaganda trick in the book.

Not a single tangible leg of strategy on how we'll achieve this "complete victory," or what complete victory consists of.


Chris Matthews and Dick Gregory on MSNBC, analyzing the speech. Brother. Those two couldn’t name all the colors in a box of crayons.


Joe Lieberman. There's a guy you want to listen to on matters of national security. He's been in politics since he got out of Yale Law school. His big claim to fame on his web site bio is that he:
…was the Senate's leading champion of legislation creating the Department of Homeland Security to better protect the nation from terrorist attacks.

Now there's something to be proud of.

You can't help but wonder how much of Lieberman's pro-Bush talk lately is payback for the BRAC commission letting him keep his submarine base in Connecticut.


And now for something slightly different…

MSNBC's big survey question today: should the White House season's greeting cards read "Merry Christmas" or "Happy Holidays?"

No doubt they'll have Chris Matthews and Dave Gregory back on later in the day to analyze those poll results.


  1. Dead bodies are still being found in New Orleans. Our debt is gargantuan. Heating and prescription drug costs are on the rise. Corporations are raping both the interest of Americans and internationals alike.


    Seriously? This is the America I live in?

  2. And what about the latest episode of the Apprentice? Where's the coverage of important stuff like that?

  3. I'm guessing "total victory" really means "peace with honor". BushCo. thinks if they repeat it enough times, it will be true (or enough people will think it is -- wishing really DOES make it so!).

    I'm positive the strategy for "total victory" includes more tax cuts.

    Oh, and "Apprentice" coverage has been bumped -- Jessica Simpson and Nick Lachey gave each other dirty looks today.

  4. Oh, I missed the Nick and Jessica news. What's wrong with those darn old cable stations? Why aren't they running it every fifteen minutes?

  5. Holidays v. Christmas? It is a vital question. But I vote for "War on Christmas Terror". I mean those elf dudes look suspicious to me. And everywhere I look there is another long bearded geezer who says he's Osanta Bin Laden with Gifts. You do the math.

  6. I say we profile the little bastards and render the shit out of them.

  7. OK Commander, I'll power up the sleigh. But we can't fly them to the North Pole-that guy was roommates with Bush in college and cannot be trusted to keep his flap shut.

  8. Senor Huber, maybe you can shed a little bit of light on this:

    Why, if the Administration knows what it is doing with its "Plan for Victory", is USAID offering a billion dollars to someone who can come up with a "Plan for Victory"?

  9. Very logical question, Sadiq.

    We don't do logic in the Bush malAdministration. Nice try, though.

  10. Sadiq,

    As a back-up, maybe, in case this plan doesn't accomplish the mission?


    oh, wait... were you serious?

  12. Wow. Thanks for the link.