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Thursday, September 29, 2005

lunch 

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If This Is Integrity

Delay, Frist, Abramoff, Safavian... Wasn't this the crowd that was going to "restore honor and integrity" to Washington? If this is what integrity looks like, let's bring back Oval Office blow jobs.


Karen Hughes Gets An EarFul


WASHINGTON -- As Karen Hughes works to repair the United States' image in a trip overseas, her State Department colleagues have received a report underscoring how tough a task she faces.

Based on their own travels to the Persian Gulf, Egypt and Britain, a nine-member advisory committee headed by former Secretary of State Colin Powell's chief of staff found widespread hostility toward the United States and its policies, especially the U.S. occupation of Iraq.

"For what can be heard around the world, in the wake of the invasion of Iraq, the prisoner abuse scandal at Abu Ghraib, and the controversy over the handling of detainees at Bagram and Guantanamo Bay, is that America is less a beacon of hope than a dangerous force to be countered," the report said.

"This assertion, repeated in newspaper columns, on radio and television broadcasts, and via the Internet, diminishes our ability to champion freedom, democracy and individual dignity," said the report by the Advisory Committee on Public Diplomacy.


Helping Osama


With these well-meaning arguments, Hughes has provided the exact proof for what Osama bin Laden has claimed about American motives. "It is stunning ... the extent [to which] Hughes is helping bin Laden," Robert Pape told me. Pape, a University of Chicago political scientist who has conducted the most extensive research into the backgrounds and motives of suicide terrorists, is the author of "Dying to Win: The Strategic Logic of Suicide Terrorism," and recently briefed the Pentagon and the National Counterterrorism Center. "If you set out to help bin Laden," he said, "you could not have done it better than Hughes."


This is why they hate us


LONDON, Sept 28 (Reuters) - The conduct of U.S. troops in Iraq, including increasing detention and accidental shootings of journalists, is preventing full coverage of the war reaching the American public, Reuters said on Wednesday.

In a letter to Virginia Republican Sen. John Warner, head of the Senate Armed Services Committee, Reuters said U.S. forces were limiting the ability of independent journalists to operate. The letter from Reuters Global Managing Editor David Schlesinger called on Warner to raise widespread media concerns about the conduct of U.S. troops with Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, who is due to testify to the committee on Thursday.

Schlesinger referred to "a long parade of disturbing incidents whereby professional journalists have been killed, wrongfully detained, and/or illegally abused by U.S. forces in Iraq."



PR does not counter torture

We've been treated to the spectacle of a Republican-controlled House and Senate abdicating their constitutional responsibility to conduct rigorous oversight of actions and failings of the executive branch of government. This has gone on for the four-plus years that George W. Bush has occupied the White House, and it looks as if we'll get more of the same for three more years and a bit.

There have been 17 separate investigations of Abu Ghraib, Guantanamo and other prisoner abuse scandals. All have gone straight to the bottom of every case. All have consistently claimed that no one higher up the chain of command, including the civilian leadership in the Pentagon, bears any responsibility for any of this.
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