Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Other Items

A military judge on Tuesday ordered the general who headed the detention center at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, to appear at the court-martial next month of an Army dog handler in the Abu Ghraib prisoner abuse scandal.
It was unclear, however, whether the officer, Maj. Gen. Geoffrey D. Miller, would testify in the trial of the handler, Sgt. Santos A. Cardona, who is accused of using his working dogs to abuse detainees at Abu Ghraib. If General Miller testified, he would be the highest ranking officer to do so at any trial stemming from the misconduct at the prison.
In January, General Miller invoked his right not to give testimony that might incriminate him and said through his lawyer that he would not answer any questions in court-martial proceedings involving two dog handlers. General Miller's refusal to testify prompted the Senate Armed Services Committee to delay his scheduled retirement until he appeared before the panel to explain himself.

The above is from Eric Schmitt's "Judge Orders a Top Officer to Attend Abuse Trial" in this morning's New York Times. For more background on Miller's involvement, check out Amy Goodman's interview with Scott Horton -- "Iraqi CBS Cameraman Released After 1 Year Imprisonment by U.S. Forces" (Democracy Now!).

Lloyd notes Ruth Conniff's "Halliburton's Immigrant Detention Centers" (Ruth Conniff's Online Column, The Progressive):

What new programs might those be?
The web was abuzz with speculation after the contract was awarded on January 24.
Pacific News Service gave the most detailed analysis.
It connected the new "immigration emergency" plans with older plans that involved imposing martial law.
Certainly the detention centers raise the specter of WW II Japanese internment camps.
The new facilities could be used for round-ups of Muslim Americans or other American citizens tagged as "enemy combatants."
The use of military personnel and military contractors in the event of a Katrina-like disaster, which the Halliburton contract provides for, brings us closer to martial law, whether it is officially declared or not.

Lloyd notes that a reference was made to a government program in the comments ato Conniff's column. In HTML form, click here for the government's Civilian Inmate Labor Program.

Monday's broadcast of Law and Disorder on WBAI , has been noted by Mike (execution and the Clintons) and Cedric (Armenian genocide). Cedric also note Trina's "Gazpacho soup in the Kitchen" (which I keep forgetting to do, my apologies.)

Remember today's scheduled topic for Democracy Now!:

* Part II of our conversation with legendary Nigerian writer and political activist Wole Soyinka.

(We had other highlights, but I'm rushing this morning and juggling phone calls. My apologies.)
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