Friday, May 14, 2004

An Obese Rapper of Truth- "I'm Not Paranoid I Just Doubt A Lot."

Conspiracy-Watch Is it just me, or is it more than a little suspicious that the deaths of Nicholas Berg and Daniel Pearle were both said by the CIA to have been done directly by the hands of top al-Qaeda? Claims were made that Khalid Sheik Mohammed held the knife that killed Daniel Pearle and now Abu Musab al-Zarqawi is said to have been the masked man who beheaded Nicholas Berg on a video released to the Arab press. (And how the fuck do you ID a dude in a hood from a grainy video? Does the CIA have clear voice samples of all the major terrorist networks?) It seems to play out a little too nicely for propaganda to have senior al-Qaeda traveling around the world and being the executioners for every beheading. And besides, unlike the hooded executioner, al-Zarqawi wouldn't wear a gold ring.

Thanks to the great photo weblog Conscientious, here are two great articles about the photos of prisoner abuse written from more of a photographer's perspective. A BBC article about the power of the photographs and a NY Times op-ed piece that compares the trophy shots of Abu Ghraib to photographs of lynchings in the South.

Through the Fucking Looking Glass "The government lawyers argue that releasing such materials (the hundred of additional, unreleased photos of abused Iraqi prisoners) would violate a Geneva Convention stricture against presenting images of prisoners that could be construed as degrading, Rumsfeld said en route to the Iraqi capital on a trip that was not announced in advance due to security concerns." So we fuck the Geneva convention up and down by torturing, killing and humiliating prisoners for months and then when it's convenient we immediately start obeying it like sacred Scripture. Right... We didn't have any problems releasing the photos of the corpses of Saddam's sons to show "Iraqis the reality of their situation." Don't we deserve to know the reality of our military and occupation?

I Take It All Back, You Crazy, Lovable, Tartan-Wearing Bastard From the bits and pieces that have been leaking out (most notable being the recent GQ article) it is becoming clear the Colin Powell's relationship to the White House is more WWF than West Wing. Powell recently issued a statement that he and other top officials kept Bush "fully informed ... in general terms" about the reports of prisoner abuse that came from the Red Cross and other groups. So now it's clear that the knowledge trail runs straight to the top.

The Inherent Problems of Interviewing Musicians Just because you play an instrument doesn't mean you're not a complete dipshit. Gene Simmons of older-than-your-father-rockers Kiss recently told an Australian radio station that Islam is "a vile culture and if you think for a second that it's going to just live in the sands of God's armpit you've got another thing coming. They want to come and live right where you live and they think that you're evil." Simmons the feminist, who has boastfully (and falsely) claimed to have slept with over 10,000 women, took a brave stand for Muslim women by making up tons of bullshit about the Arab world. "Your dog, however, can walk side by side, your dog is allowed to have its own dog house... you can send your dog to school to learn tricks, sit, beg, do all that stuff - none of the women have that advantage."

-The Sikh Geek