When the Saudis tell us that everything is alright with their relationship with the United States, what they really mean is that they want the status quo to go on forever, i.e. they want the U.S. to continue to ignore the Saudis’ dangerous work creating a radical Islamic network around the world, while we provide security for the royal family.
Chris Caldwell takes on the drug commercials the gov’t ran during the Superbowl. Those irked me beyond words, but not entirely for the same reasons as Mr. Caldwell. He states:
The camera cuts between various teenagers either making outrageous confessions of murder or excusing drug use:
I helped murder families in Colombia
It was just innocent fun . . .
I helped kidnap people’s dads
Hey! Some harmless fun!
I helped kids learn how to kill
I was having some fun, you know . . .
After a crypto-pro-life moment in which Miss Harmless Fun, the most obnoxious of the homicidal druggies, is made to say, “My life, my body!”, it ends with two slogans across a silent screen:
Drug money supports terror.
If you buy drugs, you might, too.
What crap. Teenagers who are buying drugs are not killing families in Colombia. They’re not even “helping” to kill families in Colombia. They are just buying drugs. Oughtn’t that be bad enough for the Office of National Drug Control Policy?
Seems not. The drug bureaucracy appears to believe that no one will take its drug war seriously unless the federal government resorts to propaganda worthy of the Zhdanov-era Soviet Union. Like communist propaganda, these ads assert something that is kinda-sorta-true-in-a-certain-sense-like “Western capitalism rests on the enslavement of the Third World”–as both an unambiguous truth and a call to action. (“The Reagan administration is killing nuns in Latin America.” True! True! All that’s missing is a context!)
The ONDCP is both degrading the public discourse and playing with fire. This may be Chomskyism in the service of right-wing ends, but it’s still Chomskyism. Once you start making assertions that are “in a sense” true, anyone can start playing that game:
Freely available weaponry supports terror–if you oppose gun control, you do, too.
Or, more to the point,
Drug prohibition creates a business opportunity for terrorists–if you oppose legalizing drugs, you support terror, too.
The fact is, we are in a war on terrorism. There will be occasions when the government will, for national security reasons, have to tell us less than the whole truth. That is all the more reason not to engage, unless it,s absolutely necessary, in taxpayer-sponsored lying to the American public.
If anyone knows of a good filter for spam for Eudora (with instructions that are in English), please email me the addy. Porn peddlers now have ALL of my email addresses.
In between rapidly breathing in and out of a little paper bag (or at least I hope so- I don’t want anyone else to get hurt because of John Walker), J. Wilkes fires (misfires?) back:
You might not have liked my interpretation of your words but maybe you should be more careful in your writing. For each claim made by JW’s attorney, you blithely dismiss them as if they are nothing to be concerned about. JW’s attorneys might be full of it but neither you nor I have the facts to dismiss their claims out of hand.
But you are willing to accept every argument as fact. I see it as ‘poisoning the well,’ and his attorneys know damn well what they are trying to do.
Your flip attitude suggested that if constitutional rights were violated, that’s OK, it could have been worse.
Here’s a good example:
From the article- His lawyers said Mr. Lindh, 20, was abused by his American captors, who bound him to a stretcher with heavy tape, placed him in a windowless metal container, gave him little food or medical attention and refused to allow him to speak with a lawyer.
See that disclaimer at the beginnning? HIS LAWYERS SAID. What his lawyers said means NOTHING. Are you really this obtuse? What I wrote was that his lawyers are acting like idiots, and if anything, are hurting the traitor’s case (not that this bothers me at all).
My original words- However, he was not hung by his wrists, beaten until his internal organs resembled blood pudding, and then had his testicles zapped with a cattle prod, all before being thrown from a tall building.
to which you respond:
So it’s OK to deny him access to his attorney and to create conditions that can lead to a coerced confession? You and Charles have this obsession with comparing JW’s treatment with what he would get in Afghanistan or under the Palestinians. I don’t give a god-damn about them. JW is an American citizen and any American citizen deserves to have his constitutional rights protected and given a fair trial.
No, and no. AGAIN, you are simply BELIEVING THIS HAPPENED. Whether or not his rights were trampled is something that will come out in the future. You just choose to believe it because ‘his lawyers said.’
And, FWIW, that is a nice bit of selective editing and sophistry on your part. My words originally were:
However, he was not hung by his wrists, beaten until his internal organs resembled blood pudding, and then had his testicles zapped with a cattle prod, all before being thrown from a tall building. Cruel fates like that are reserved for individuals whose chief offenses against humanity are practicing Christianity and being homosexual.
What has obviously escaped you is that is not how I think people should be treated in any circumstance, but it sure as hell was a daily activity for the Taliban and the Al Qaeda that Johnny Walker chose to associate himself with.
I accept that on the battlefield, things happen that are not consistent with the rule of law. But Mr. Ashcroft is trying to claim the opposite, that everything was done as if this was on American soil. So which is it? You can’t have it both ways.
Where? The only claim about his rights in this article were:
“At each step in this process,” Mr. Ashcroft said, “Walker Lindh’s rights, including his rights not to incriminate himself and to be represented by counsel, have been carefully, scrupulously honored.”
Do you have proof to the contrary, other than lawyerly assertions? I have proof that he is being afforded his rights. It is in the form of the hours of footage on television and the findlaw transcripts of the court proceedings.
I don’t know if JW’s confession was coerced or not.
Which is entirely consistent with your position of not knowing anything and proving it loudly to everybody.
But I’m not going to accept that it didn’t just because Ashcroft said it didn’t. I want some facts and I want to make up my own mind. You are pretty quick to come to conclusions without any evidence.
You want facts that you agree with, particularly if they are damning of John Ashcroft.
You’re right, your opinion by itself doesn’t weaken our constitutional rights but its your kind of mentality that gives the A-OK to the legislation being trotted out these days to “protect us” from the terrorists. No thanks, I prefer to keep my rights, thank you.
This is stupid beyond comment. My opinion doesn’t weaken our constitutional rights but it weakens our consitutional rights through legislation? You opinions weaken your argument.
At least one more person has laughed off Johnny Walker’s claims that he is not a flight risk:
U.S. Magistrate Judge W. Curtis Sewell found that John Walker Lindh, 20, “has every incentive to flee” because he is facing up to three life sentences plus 90 years if he is convicted of all 10 counts outlined in a grand jury indictment yesterday.
Sewell also noted that Lindh, who had not seen his parents for two years before his capture, has extremely weak ties to his family and this country. “While it has been stated . . . that the defendant is a loyal American, the evidence before the court belies that assertion,” Sewell said.
That is judge for ‘I fart in your general direction.’