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Wednesday, December 14, 2005

idiots running the government 

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Europe's chief investigator looking into allegations about the existence of secret C.I.A. prisons said today that preliminary evidence suggested that American agents had kidnapped people and illegally transferred them between countries.

Dick Marty, who leads an investigation for the 46-country Council of Europe, sharply criticized the United States as failing to come clean on the allegations, notably during a five-day visit by Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice to Europe last week. But he also said he believed that there was some degree of collaboration from European officials.

Rice Lied

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VATICAN CITY (Reuters) - Pope Benedict said in an annual peace message on Tuesday that countries have a duty to respect international humanitarian law even if they are at war.

In the first peace message of his pontificate, he also appealed for worldwide nuclear disarmament and said countries considering acquiring such weapons should "change their course."

Pope says no torture


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MCM: I'd take your argument still further.

By now we've generally conceded -- that is, the mainstream media concedes -- that Bush/Cheney lied us into a disastrous war, or else deceived themselves and all the rest of us to get us there. And we concede that Bush & Co. conspired to out a CIA agent who was working to prevent another terrorist attack on US soil. And we concede that this regime responded to Katrina, then to Rita, with (at best) depraved indifference, even though they knew exactly what was coming. And we concede that, prior to 9/11, they had lots of solid evidence of an impending terrorist attack right here at home, and yet did nothing to prevent it. (And, moreover, we concede that they've done nothing to improve security on our railways, on our highways, on our borders, in our ports or even in the air.)

And rational observers also will agree that Bush & Co. swept into Haiti and threw out that nation's first democratically elected government; that Bush & Co.'s Iraq is no democracy, since Jay Bremer drafted all its laws, its government was not elected, and Iraqis have no writ of habeas corpus and no freedom of the press; that Bush bends over for the oligarchy running China (he says he likes the way they treat their journalists); and that his regime whole-heartedly supports the tyrannies all over Central Asia and the Arab world (Iran and Syria excepted). Bush and his men have praised the leaders of "New Europe" for defying their electorates, and have assailed the leaders of "Old Europe" for trying to do what their electorates prefer.

Meanwhile, here at home, the Bush regime has thrown out habeas corpus, junked the Bill of Rights (we now have special "First Amendment zones" for dissidents), used public revenues to subsidize right-wing religious proselytizers (while giving nothing to religious groups that don't back the regime), handed the entire economy to its own corporate cronies, and veiled the workings of the federal government behind an iron curtain of illegal
secrecy. We grant they've done all this-and yet it seems outrageous to suggest that they committed rampant fraud in the election? After they used Bush v. Gore, and other means, to steal the race four years before?

That's a loony argument.

BC: In the unlikely event you were stuck in an elevator with Diebold CEO Walden O'Dell; a well-reputed network news reporter (say, Christian Amanpour); and a functioning video camera, what would you say to or ask of Mr. O'Dell?

MCM: I'd ask him why Diebold has long resisted paper trails. When he's done not answering that question, I would then ask him why he thinks that democratic ballots should be counted secretly, with the results based merely on the say-so of a private vendor.

Mark Crispin Miller

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Mr. Murtha told Rolling Stone that the administration's deafness had doomed Iraq: "Everything we did was mishandled. Plans that the military and the State Department had in place - they ignored 'em. The military tells me that when they were planning the invasion, the administration wouldn't let one of the primary three-star generals in the room."

The president's bubble requires constant care. It's not easy to keep out huge tragedies like Katrina, or flawed policies like Iraq. As Newsweek noted, a foreign diplomat "was startled when Secretary of State Rice warned him not to lay bad news on the president. 'Don't upset him,' she said."

Heaven forbid. Don't burst his bubble
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