liberal ["liberalis" L - suitable for a freeman, generous; "eleutheros" Gk - free] (adj) generous, open-minded, not subjugated to authoritarian domination; (n) one who believes in liberty, universal suffrage and the free exchange of ideas. elite ["eslire" Fr -- to choose fr.L "eligere" -- choose] (n) the choice part; best of a class; the socially superior part of society.

Tuesday, August 02, 2005

Diplomatic Bankruptcy

Last Friday was the deadline for the DoD to release the 87 Responsive Darby Photos, depicting extreme abuse of detainees by American captors in Iraq. Instead of complying with a court order to release the photos, however, the Pentagon instead filed a Memorandum of Law and three Affidavits with the Court to try to prevent the release of the photos and video.

According to the ACLU:
Last week, on the deadline of a court order requiring the Defense Department to process and redact 87 photographs and four videos taken at Abu Ghraib, government attorneys filed a last-minute memorandum of law and three affidavits arguing against the release of the materials. The government's papers cite a statutory provision that permits the withholding of records "compiled for law enforcement purposes," that "could reasonably be expected to endanger the life or physical safety of any individual."
In their report on the situation on their website, the ACLU also states:
"The government's recent actions make a mockery of the Freedom of Information Act," said Anthony D. Romero, ACLU Executive Director. "The Defense Department has long dragged its heels on coming clean about the systematic and widespread abuse of detainees, but denying the public the right to even hear its legal arguments for withholding information is a new low."
Meanwhile, Richard B. Myers, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, issued a "Declaration" to accompany the Memorandum of Law. He claims therein that the US Government has never officially released photos of prisoner abuse at Abu Ghraib. The previously-leaked Darby photos were not released by the US government. He insists that for the government to release them would create a violent blowback against the US. Specifically, he says that release of the responsive Darby photos will result in harm to US soldiers and Iraqi civilians. Also, he emphasizes the potency they will have as recruiting propaganda for terrorist groups.
The recent vitriolic reaction to Newsweek's Koran report described above -- even following its retraction -- made it clear that US and allied troops and personnel and civilians in the Middle East will be subject to a likely, serious, and grave risk if the responsive Darby Photos described in paragraphs 21-24 are publicly released. Release of these images will be portrayed as part and parcel of the alleged, continuing effort of the United States to humiliate Muslims and ... riots, violence and attacks by insurgents will result.
If the government releases the photos, it should be over the dead bodies of Bush, Cheney, Rice, Rumsfeld, Libby, Wolfowitz and Myers. But that's the irony of it. By suppressing the photos the Pentagon is negating its own rationale for going to Iraq in the first place. Is potential bodily harm, risk of violence, not a small price to pay for free speech? Of course they will be upset -- but not because of the 1st Amendment. The anti-American sentiment Myers talks about will arise as a result of the unmasking of American hypocrisy and inhumanity.

After all, we told the Iraquis we were doing them a favor by going over there and liberating them. But now we're unable to admit that we don't like them, and that is why we aren't punishing the perpetrators of these crimes: Bush and his Cabinet. But who are we fooling? Everybody already knows what hypocrites we are.

John Bolton

According to the Washington Post,
As recently as last week, Senate Democrats were busily building the case for Bolton's defeat, including getting the State Department to admit publicly that Bolton misinformed the Senate when he did not reveal he had been interviewed by the agency's inspector general about faulty prewar intelligence.
Of course, even in today's article by Jim VandeHei and Colum Lynch, the Post glossed over the ugliest, most rancorous aspects of the Bolton nomination hearings.

He will not apologize for American imperialism or human rights violations in the Middle East, Asia, or South America.

He is not a diplomat. The Bush Administration has taken on the face of the petulent bully, and that is John Bolton. He's Bush's man at the UN.

My guess is that they will try to stabilize the Middle East for now, pitting Shi'ite against Sunni, and look to wratchet up the pressure on Venezuela, here in our own hemisphere where Rice and Bolton think they have home court advantage.

The Pentagon Administration's spokesperson, George Bush, has shown that he can get away with defying court orders. So he doesn't have to answer to anybody, and neither does his cabinet, or his bosses in the armed forces and the petroleum industry.


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