Tuesday, December 21, 2004

Democracy Now!, Katrina vanden Heuvel, Matthew Rothschild

First, Democracy Now!'s second segment has posted a transcript:

Attorney General Nominee Gonzalez Advised CIA on "Acceptable" Torture Techniques


MICHAEL ISIKOFF: Well, it's interesting when the President talks about the commitment to the rule of law. Of course – and then cites these Guantanamo tribunals. Of course, those tribunals are taking place only because the Supreme Court rebuked the Bush administration for its handling of -- of the detainees at Guantanamo, not providing them any access to the courts, any right to challenge their detention. That was a policy that was set firmly early on by the White House, a decision the President made based on the recommendations of his White House counsel, Alberto Gonzales, that Geneva Convention protections should not apply to any of the prisoners at Guantanamo, and that the U.S. courts had no jurisdiction over what was taking place at Guantanamo.

I'm sorry about today's posts. The second Democracy Now! post (with "do you yahoo" at the end) posted. It was sent over six hours before it posted. Again, I'm trying to figure out what the problem is.

Aidan saw a post that is gone now this evening. I'd done four posts as tests (only one had "Test" in the title) to try to figure out what was causing the problem. I haven't figured it out yet.

A number of you have written regarding Richard Perle's Morning Edition segment. I've started an entry on that and will attempt to post it tomorrow. (Sorry for the delay but the frustration level is extreme at the moment due to the four attempts at posting tonight -- the ones Aidan saw some of -- weren't working. Tomorrow I will try to embody patience.)

If you were fortunate, you heard Katrina vanden Heuvel co-hosting The Majority Report tonight (filling in for Janeane Garofalo). She did an incredible job and, rightly, asked where was the outrage over today's revelations of abuse?

That's a question we should all be asking. And we can start by asking ourselves where's the outrage? We learned in this morning's Times that lit cigarettes were used on prisoners, they were choked and beaten. We also learned of prisoners being shackled in the fetal position for over 18 hours and left to urinate and defecate on themselves at Guantánamo Bay. Where is the outrage?

We're setting a new standard here (a low one) and it will come back to bite us in the rear at some point. Do we care? Do we care that the people being held are being held, they have not been convicted of anything? Had they been convicted would we not give a damn?

I know there's outrage among our group because I've read the e-mails and will hopefully be doing an entry on that tomorrow. (If you want to weigh in, the address is common_ills@yahoo.com.) But we seem to be collectively yawning. If you saw that happening around you, feel free to write in. If you saw passionate discussions, please pass that on as well.

[The story in question can be found here http://www.nytimes.com/2004/12/21/politics/21abuse.html?hp&ex=1103691600&en=d96e9999547b00c1&ei=5094&partner=homepage.]

Also please check out Matthew Rothschild's "This Just In":

Bush picked an odd time to express strong support for Rumsfeld.
Not only did the Secretary of Defense display disdain for the troops and their safety two weeks ago. Over the weekend it came out that he hasn’t even bothered to personally sign the letters of condolences to the families. Twenty-five signatures a week!Is that just too much work for the Donald? A minute or two of his time?Then, at the very moment Bush was giving Rumsfeld a public smooch, articles in the press were breaking about still more Pentagon torture in Iraq, including the putting out of cigarettes in the ears of detainees.