....LMB: "Skeletor Revealed"....

June 17, 2004


Rumsfeld ordered prisoner held off the books:

Pentagon officials tell NBC News that late last year, at the same time U.S. military police were allegedly abusing prisoners at Abu Ghraib prison, U.S. Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld ordered that one Iraqi prisoner be held "off the books" ó hidden entirely from the International Red Cross and anyone else ó in possible violation of international law.

Itís the first direct link between Rumsfeld and questionable though not violent treatment of prisoners in Iraq.

The Iraqi prisoner was captured last July as deadly attacks on U.S. troops began to rise. He was identified as a member of the terrorist group Ansar al Islam, suspected in the attacks on coalition forces.

Shortly after the suspectís capture, the CIA flew him to an undisclosed location outside Iraq for interrogation. But four months later the Justice Department suggested that holding him outside Iraq might be illegal, and the prisoner was returned to Iraq at the end of October.

Thatís when Rumsfeld passed the order on to Army Lt. Gen. Ricardo Sanchez, commander of U.S. troops in Iraq, to keep the prisoner locked up, but off the books.

So the US took this guy prisoner, made no record of it, sent him to be interrogated in the US, but got scared that doing that was a violation of international law. Then they sent him back to Iraq, hid him from the Red Cross, and then, um, lost him.

If there was no "violent treatment", why was the military so keen on hiding this guy from the Red Cross? The most reasonable and benign explanation would be that the military was trying to cover up their prisoner's trip to the US by hiding him from legal monitors like the IRC.

Or, the military beat the fuck out of him and didn't want to get caught. Either way.

But if these "Pentagon officials" are for real, violations of the Geneva Convention and possibly orders about torture itself go all the way to the White House, to Bush's Secretary of Defense.

Honestly, this almost sounds made up. How could the head of the US military, with its hundreds of bases and millions of personnel, be such a micro-manager? "After you hide the prisoner, take care of that machine gun cache in that ditch next to Imam al-Mehdi Street. And then fill up the all soap dispensers in the bathrooms at Camp X-Ray."

But if it's true, and Rumsfeld was directly involved with authorizing torture, or at least ordering violations of the Geneva Convention...

And since you've read this whole article so patiently, you deserve the kicker:

Pentagon officials still insist Rumsfeld acted legally, but admit it all depends on how you interpret the law.



A commenter has pointed out that I misread the article a bit and that the prisoner was just taken "outside Iraq", not necessarily to the United States.



Rumsfeld now seems to be blaming the whole thing on George Tenet.


Posted by Jake at 12:46 AM | TrackBack (1)

While I admit this is deplorable behaviour for the US government to be involved with, nowhere in the article does it state that the prisoner was taken to the US. He was probably (and this is just speculation) taken to another middle eastern country where the laws against beating the shit out of prisoners aren't so strict.

Posted by: guy at June 17, 2004 01:03 AM

So continues the blame game. "No it was the soldiers! No it was Rumsfeld! No for the love of fucking god it was George Tenet!Wait wait! Saddam Hussein, no wait, damnit we found him, or rather we stumbled into his hole in the ground....god, who ELSE can we find to push the spotlight from the fuck of an administration under Bush?"

I just want to know the truth *tear*

Posted by: Alyssa at June 17, 2004 08:29 AM

But the media says that the White House says that type fo thing is perfectly leagl soooooo it must be true.

Jesus Bleeding Christ! I don't have any room left fellas. Quit blowing sunshine up our asses and just tell the friggen truth for once!

Is it horribly wrong of me to admit that I take comfort in the knowledge that they'l all die one day?

Posted by: PrincessEvilina at June 17, 2004 10:27 AM

Leave the electrodes, bring the cannoli.

Posted by: Miss Authoritiva at June 17, 2004 02:45 PM
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Media News

November 16, 2004

Tales of Media Woe

Senate May Ram Copyright Bill- one of the most depressing stories of the day that didn't involve death or bombs. It's the music and movie industries' wet dream. It criminalizes peer-to-peer software makers, allows the government to file civil lawsuits on behalf of these media industries, and eliminates fair use. Fair use is the idea that I can use a snippet of a copyrighted work for educational, political, or satirical purposes, without getting permission from the copyright-holder first.

And most tellingly, the bill legalizes technology that would automatically skip over "obejctionable content" (i.e. sex and violence) in a DVD, but bans devices that would automatically skip over commericals. This is a blatant, blatant, blatant gift to the movie industry. Fuck the movie industry, fuck the music industry, fuck the Senate.

Music industry aims to send in radio cops- the recording industry says that you're not allowed to record songs off the radio, be it real radio or internet radio. And now they're working on preventing you from recording songs off internet radio through a mixture of law and technological repression (although I imagine their techno-fixes will get hacked pretty quickly).

The shocking truth about the FCC: Censorship by the tyranny of the few- blogger Jeff Jarvis discovers that the recent $1.2 million FCC fine against a sex scene in Fox's "Married By America" TV show was not levied because hundreds of people wrote the FCC and complained. It was not because 159 people wrote in and complained (which is the FCC's current rationale). No, thanks to Jarvis' FOIA request, we find that only 23 people (of the show's several million viewers) wrote in and complained. On top of that, he finds that 21 of those letters were just copy-and-paste email jobs that some people attached their names to. Jarvis then spins this a bit by saying that "only 3" people actually wrote letters to the FCC, which is misleading but technically true. So somewhere between 3 and 23 angry people can determine what you can't see on television. Good to know.

Reuters Union Considers Striking Over Layoffs- will a strike by such a major newswire service impact the rest of the world's media?

Pentagon Starts Work On War Internet- the US military is talking about the creation of a global, wireless, satellite-aided computer network for use in battle. I think I saw a movie about this once...

Conservative host returns to the air after week suspension for using racial slur- Houston radio talk show host (and somtime Rush Limbaugh substitute) Mark Belling referred to Mexican-Americans as "wetbacks" on his show. He was suspended for a couple of weeks, and then submitted a written apology for the racial slur to a local newspaper. But he seems to be using the slur and its surrounding controversy to boost his conservative cred with his listeners.

Stay Tuned for Nudes- Cleveland TV news anchor Sharon Reed aired a story about artist Spencer Tunick, who uses large numbers of naked volunteers in his installations and photographs. The news report will be unique in that it will not blur or black-out the usual naughty bits. The story will air late at night, when it's allegedly okay with the FCC if you broadcast "indecent" material. The author of this article doesn't seem to notice that Reed first claims that this report is a publicity stunt, but then claims it's a protest against FCC repression. I'd like to think it's the latter, but I'm not that much of a sucker.

Posted by Jake at 04:02 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)
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Mission: Mongolia

Jake's first attempt at homemade Mongolican barbecue:


What went right: correctly guessing several key seasonings- lemon, ginger, soy, garlic, chili.

What went wrong: still missing some ingredients, and possibly had one wrong, rice vinegar. Way too much lemon and chili.

Result: not entirely edible.

Plan for future: try to get people at Great Khan's restaurant to tell me what's in the damn sauce.

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