As of late Tuesday night, more than 100 people had been killed or found dead in the previous 24 hours, government officials said. In Baghdad, more than two dozen bodies were found, one Iraqi official said; about half of the victims had been bound and killed after apparently having been tortured.
The pipeline explosion appeared to be a result of what one official in Diwaniya called a "power vacuum" created by a battle there on Monday between the Iraqi Army and heavily armed members of the Mahdi Army, a militia controlled by the radical anti-American cleric Moktada al-Sadr.
[. . .]
Despite Iraq's huge oil reserves, corruption, mismanagement and the lack of security have created a severe gasoline shortage that has sent prices to $3.20 per gallon and forced drivers to wait in gasoline lines for as long as 24 hours.
And the illegal occupation. The other things are listed are factors of the illegal occupation. The above is from Paul von Zielbauer's "A Flick of a Lighter Kills Scores of Gas-Looting Iraqis" in this morning's New York Times. von Zielbauer also notes that as US soldier died Tuesday (roadside bomb) and, among other things, this curious statement:
Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzales met Mr. Salih on Tuesday in Baghdad and discussed the tactics used by Iraqi security forces to combat a wave of violence. He condemned the use of torture.
The Times may wish that he had said that but he didn't. He didn't condemn torture at all.
From Sudarsan Raghavan and Saad Sarhan's "Iraqi Pipeline Blast Kills 50; Gonzales Consults in Capital" (Washington Post):
"It is sometimes a difficult decision to make, as to what is the appropriate line, what is allowed under the law, under the Constitution," Gonzales said. "The path the Iraqi officials will take will be a decision made by the Iraqi government, but we emphasize the importance of the rule of law." He did not elaborate.
Gonzales played a key role in drafting detention policies that many critics say led to the torture of suspected terrorists and other prisoners. He wrote a 2002 Justice Department memo that narrowed the definition of torture and argued that President Bush could override anti-torture laws in some cases.
When asked to distinguish between the kinds of torture he authorized and the kinds being carried out in Iraq by militias with ties to governing parties, Gonzales appeared taken aback.
"It is against the law," he said. "We have a domestic law prohibiting torture. There are international prohibitions against torture. We are a party to the convention against torture. The president has been very, very clear: This government does not engage in torture."
The administration has authorized torture and has carried it out. And Times readers would be more informed if Gonzales' "It is sometimes a difficult decision to make, as to what is the appropriate line, what is allowed under the law, under the Constitution" had been included. When pressed, as before the Senate (which von Zielbauer does note today), Gonzales is full of flowery nonsense that has on reflection on what is actually done. His "It is sometimes a difficult decision to make, as to what is the appropriate line, what is allowed under the law, under the Constitution" says it all. He only offered the additional remarks when questioned and, as the Post notes, he "appeared taken aback."
Marcia forwarded the below on Camp Democracy:
Camp Democracy Unites Progressives at National Press Club
We held a press conference Tuesday at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C., to announce Camp Democracy:
It aired on C-Span and C-Span2:
The Associated Press wrote an article:
PoliticsTV.com filmed the event, and has posted the one-hour video. It loads quickly:
The advisory that we sent to the media prior to the event has more information:
Camp Democracy Is Less Than One Week Away
Camp Democracy opens on Tuesday, September 5th
We still need volunteers. Please ask everyone you know to sign up at
We still need money. We knew from the start we'd need at least $50,000. We've only raised $46,000. We need at least $4,000 more, and we need it fast! Every dime we've raised or spent is listed publicly on the website, modeling transparent governance in case anyone in Washington is watching:
Tabling only costs $25 per day. Why not set up a table with your information:
Here are free rooms and rides:
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If you need help filling it, post it on the board:
You can help spread the word about Camp Democracy with the tools found on this page, including a local event guide, a sample press release, Email announcements, flyers, posters, web banners, audio of a public service announcement, a student activism kit, and a short blurb for newsletters:
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the new york times
paul von zielbauer
the washington post