'Intelligent discontent is the mainspring of civilization.' -- Eugene V. Debs

Saturday, September 11, 2010

A 9/11 Collage 


Further, the process of transformation, even if it brings revolutionary change, is likely to be a long one, absent some catastrophic and catalyzing event––like a new Pearl Harbor.


In A Journey: My Political Life, Blair depicts Cheney as believing the United States was at war not only with Islamic terrorists but with rogue states that supported them and that the only way of defeating [this threat] was head-on, with maximum American strength.

Cheney wanted forcible regime change in all Middle Eastern countries that he considered hostile to U.S. interests, according to Blair.

He would have worked through the whole lot, Iraq, Syria, Iran, dealing with all their surrogates in the course of it – Hezbollah, Hamas, etc., Blair wrote. In other words, he [Cheney] thought the world had to be made anew, and that after 11 September, it had to be done by force and with urgency. So he was for hard, hard power. No ifs, no buts, no maybes.”


The majority concludes its opinion with a recommendation of alternative remedies. Not only are these remedies insufficient, but their suggestion understates the severity of the consequences to Plaintiffs from the denial of judicial relief. Suggesting, for example, that the Executive could “honor[ ] the fundamental principles of justice” by determining “whether plaintiffs’ claims have merit,” [see Maj. Op. at 13554] disregards the concept of checks and balances. Permitting the executive to police its own errors and determine the remedy dispensed would not only deprive the judiciary of its role, but also deprive Plaintiffs of a fair assessment of their claims by a neutral arbiter. The majority’s suggestion of payment of reparations to the victims of extraordinary rendition, such as those paid to Japanese Latin Americans for the injustices suffered under Internment during World War II, over fifty years after those injustices were suffered [Maj. Op. at 13554], elevates the impractical to the point of absurdity. of Similarly, a congressional investigation, private bill, or enacting of “remedial legislation,” [Maj. Op. at 13556], leaves to the legislative branch claims which the federal courts are better equipped to handle. See Kosak v. United States, 465 U.S. 848, 867 (1984) (Stevens, J., dissenting).

Arbitrary imprisonment and torture under any circumstance is a “ ‘gross and notorious . . . act of despotism.’ ” Hamdi v. Rumsfeld, 542 U.S. 507, 556 (2004) (Scalia, J., dissenting) (quoting 1 Blackstone 131-33 (1765)). But “ ‘confinement [and abuse] of the person, by secretly hurrying him to [prison], where his sufferings are unknown or forgotten; is a less public, a less striking, and therefore a more dangerous engine of arbitrary government.’ ” Id. (Scalia, J., dissenting) (quoting 1 Blackstone 131-33 (1765)) (emphasis added).


Yet nothing comes closer to Titus Andronicus than the insistent, terrible stories of gang rape by United States personnel in Abu Ghraib. You hear this repeatedly in Amman, and a very accurate source of mine in Washington – a man who deals with military personnel – tells me they are true. This, he says, is why Barack Obama changed his mind about releasing the photographs which George W Bush refused to make public. The pictures we saw – of the humiliation of men – were outrageous enough. But the ones we haven't seen show Americans raping Iraqi women.

Lima Nabil, a journalist who now runs a home for on-the-run girls, sips coffee as the boiling Jordanian sun frowns through the window at us. In Abu Ghraib, she says, women were tortured by the Americans much more than the men. One woman said she witnessed five girls being raped. Most of the women in the prison were raped – some of them left prison pregnant. Families killed some of these women – because of the shame.

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