Thursday, March 24, 2005

Not a lot in the Times but 2 'interesting' stories available online

Let's start the topic of this morning's New York Times by noting Neil A. Lewis' "Guantanamo Detainees Make Their Case:"

A 30-year-old Sudanese prisoner listened with barely concealed anger on Tuesday and slouched deeper into his seat as an Air Force officer told a military panel why the man remained a threat to the United States and should not be released from the prison camp here.
The slight and scraggly bearded Sudanese, hands cuffed and feet shackled to the floor, is among more than 500 prisoners from the fighting in Afghanistan who remain here and whose cases are being reviewed under the latest military legal proceeding intended to reduce Guantánamo's prison population and meet the terms of a Supreme Court decision allowing them to challenge their detention.
The prisoner never heard some of the evidence against him because it was deemed classified and was given to the court in secret. He disputed some of the charges, such as that he had participated in a prison riot in Afghanistan, and argued that it was legal for him to have traveled there.

Sullen? Angry? How long has the prisoner been held? Am I missing that? Secret evidence?
Score one for 'the new American way,' I guess. And may this 'new American way' quickly follow the lead of the failed 'new Coke.'

Thanks for playing, Neil. I'm sure your article was a hit in certain circles. Karl will no doubt read this one to the Bully Boy.

Thom Shanker has "Army Likely to Miss 2 Recruiting Goals; Review Is Planned:"

The Army is likely to miss recruiting goals for March and April, and the strain to meet personnel quotas is prompting a review of how enlistment is pitched to young Americans and to their parents, the new Army secretary said on Wednesday.
The secretary, Francis J. Harvey, said internal Army studies predicted that the service would not meet its goals this month and the next.

Okay, there's one article Karl will hide from the Bully Boy.

Warren Hoge has an article entitled "France Asking U.N. to Refer Darfur to International Court:"

France, in a direct challenge to the United States, proposed a resolution on Wednesday referring war-crime cases from Sudan to the International Criminal Court. This presented Washington with the choice of validating a tribunal it strongly opposes or casting a politically awkward veto.
The United States has been in the forefront of calling for international action in the Darfur region of western Sudan, where an ethnic-cleansing campaign has left up to 300,000 people dead and two million villagers displaced, but disagreements over where to try accused war criminals and whether to press for sanctions have caused weeks of delay in Security Council action.

Interesting development, no? And possibly the reason for this headline to an article Francisco sends in (which is available online but I'm not seeing it in the print edition and which will leave false impressions) "Chirac Is Said to Listen In on Rival's Phone Calls." The article, by Craig S. Smith, suggests that in addition to the incredible investigative work that Times reporters do from the couches on Sunday mornings as they write up the chat & chews, soon we may get writes up on Mad magazine and The Onion.

From the write up:
According to the French satirical weekly Le Canard Enchaîné, President Jacques Chirac is listening in on his archrival Nicolas Sarkozy's phone calls.
[. . .]
The article, written in the wink-and-nod style of the 90-year-old newspaper, gave no attribution for the charge but many such tidbits in the paper have proven accurate in the past. Most recently, the newspaper disclosed that Mr. Sarkozy's successor at the Finance Ministry, Hervé Gaymard, had rented an extremely expensive apartment at government expense. The subsequent scandal led to his resignation.

Many Mad magazine items have proven true as well. Francisco and I both look forward to this beefed up investigative force at the Times next blowing the lid off Cracked! And I'm sure the timing on this article is completely coincidental. And far be it from me to suggest that if the Times truly believes in this article (why would they print it if they didn't) that they assign a reporter to look into the story, not to look at humor mags.

Check out the AP article "Indictment in Laser Aimed at Plane" which Sarah e-mails about (I'm also not seeing this in the print edition but I could be overlooking it and the article Francisco found):

A Parsippany man accused of pointing a laser at an airplane flying over his home, temporarily blinding the pilot and co-pilot, was indicted Wednesday under the federal Patriot Act, an antiterror law passed after 9/11.
The man, David W. Banach, 38, was also accused of lying to the F.B.I. about the Dec. 29 incident, in which a small passenger jet's windshield and cabin were hit three times by a green laser as the plane prepared to land at Teterboro Airport.
[. . .]
"I think it's an absolute abuse of prosecutorial discretion to charge my client under the Patriot Act for nonpurposeful conduct," Ms. Longarzo said.

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