Wednesday, December 22, 2004

TODAY'S TOP FIVE: It's Cliche to be Cynical at Christmas

The Daily Mayhem: Iraq Edition 22 people were killed in a rocket attack on a U.S. mess tent in Mosul, including 20 Americans, in one of the deadliest attacks on American forces in Iraq since the start of the war. The carnage coincided with a surprise visit to Iraq by British Prime Minister Tony Blair. The White House insists that January elections will still take place, even though reporters have raised questions about the U.S.'s ability to protect 9,000 polling places throughout the country when it seemingly cannot protect its own bases.

They Love Big Brother British citizens will now be issued national identification cards, despite a last-ditch revolt by hundreds of Conservative and Labour MPs to block the measure from passing Parliament. Tony Blair's government argues that the ID cards will help the government better combat terrorism and "trafficking in people"...oh, and also eliminating dissent. Can't forget about that benefit.

O Little Town of Bethlehem Michel Sabbah, the Latin Patriarch of the Catholic Church in the Holy Land, said in his annual Christmas remarks that Bethlehem, the birthplace of Jesus, is turning into a "prison" thanks to Israeli efforts to erect a "peace barrier" around the mostly-Palestinian city of 61,000. Why is that guy such a freedom-hater/anti-semite/French person?

There Has Been Some Concern About the Torture, Yes FBI agents repeatedly wrote memoranda complaining about the torture of detainees at Guantanamo Bay by U.S. government interrogators, only to have their concerns subject to a high-level cover up. Memos obtained by the American Civil Liberties Union show that over a period of several months, FBI officers complained about witnessing military interrogators beat, strangle, and burn Gitmo detainees, often while pretending to be FBI agents themselves. The memos indicate that approval for the torture came from the "Dep Def Sec," or Deputy Defense Secretary, or Paul Wolfowitz, as his mother knows him. Interesting to note there isn't much outrage over this. Well, at least these Gitmo psychos aren't bringing their torture tactics home with them.

This Would Be a Great Christmas Present The Supreme Court of Chile is gearing up to hear what could be the final appeal for Gen. Augusto Pinochet, the brutal dictator who staged a coup against the democratically elected Socialist government in 1974 and ruled until 1990. Chilean authorities are hoping to prosecute Pinochet for some of the political murders carried out on his orders, while Pinochet's lawyers, as they have in the past, are arguing that the old man is too sick to stand trial. Let's hope the good guys finally win one.

-Consider Arms, about to embark on a much-needed break from posting over the Christmas holiday