Wednesday, December 14, 2005


Thursday, December 08, 2005


Bring The Incompetent Design Theory up at your next School Board meeting…


Well, something has finally forced me to carve out a little time and put my Bluest Fist hat on. I urge you to read the article by Dana Priest in this past Sunday’s Washington Post

But if you for some reason can’t or don’t have time I’ll synopsize it here and give you my thoughts. Here are some excerpts from Priest’s article:

In May 2004, U.S. Ambassador Daniel R. Coats informed the German minister that the CIA had wrongfully imprisoned one of its citizens, Khaled Masri, for five months, and would soon release him, the sources said. There was also a request: that the German government not disclose what it had been told even if Masri went public. The U.S. officials feared exposure of a covert action program designed to capture terrorism suspects abroad and transfer them among countries, and possible legal challenges to the CIA from Masri and others with similar allegations.
Unlike the military's prison for terrorist suspects at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba -- where 180 prisoners have been freed after a review of their cases -- there is no tribunal or judge to check the evidence against those picked up by the CIA. The same bureaucracy that decides to capture and transfer a suspect for interrogation-- a process called "rendition" -- is also responsible for policing itself for errors.

And errors there have been, plenty of them. We are talking about innocent people with no association whatsoever to terrorism being grabbed by the CIA, beaten, tortured and interrogated in secret. Khaled Masri is one of these people. Who is he? Well, geez, he’s just some German guy who happens to be of Lebanese decent. Other people of Lebanese decent include my good friend Phil Metres and TV’s Jamie Farr, who you may have recently seen in a rerun of M*A*S*H. Masri had a fight with his wife and took a bus to Macedonia to blow off steam. Macedonian authorities working in contact with the CIA grabbed him off the bus because his name was kind of like (yes, not the same as but kind of like) the name of an al Qaeda figure. Once word got to the CIA “The director of the al Qaeda unit [in the CIA’s counter-terrorism office] insisted he was probably a terrorist, and should be imprisoned and interrogated immediately.”

Let’s pause for a minute. “Probably a terrorist”?!? This is how we fight terrorism now, by saying some German dude with a middle eastern name is “probably a terrorist”? It would all be a hilarious Saturday Night Live-like joke if it weren’t for what happens to these guys once they are designated “probably terrorist.” Because, listen up American citizens, they are then snatched up by our lovely, secret, “Rendition Group.” Haven’t heard of the Rendition Group? Didn’t know your hard-earned tax dollars pay for this group? Well, Dana Priest at The Post tells us about them:

Members of the Rendition Group follow a simple but standard procedure: Dressed head to toe in black, including masks, they blindfold and cut the clothes off their new captives, then administer an enema and sleeping drugs. They outfit detainees in a diaper and jumpsuit for what can be a day-long trip. Their destinations: either a detention facility operated by cooperative countries in the Middle East and Central Asia, including Afghanistan, or one of the CIA's own covert prisons -- referred to in classified documents as "black sites," which at various times have been operated in eight countries, including several in Eastern Europe.

Let’s try to put this all in familiar terms for a moment: Let’s say you’re a working-class guy and you live in San Diego. You’re name is Mike Magee. You get in a fight with your wife and to blow off a little steam you take a bus across the border to Tiajuana. Mexican authorities meet you as you get off the bus because they’re looking for a guy named Mick McGahee and, well, your name is kind of like that. So, now you’re in a jail waiting for a hearing. But before you get a hearing, a bunch of commandos dressed head to toe in black and wearing masks snatch you up, blindfold you, cut your clothes off, shove an enema up your ass, drug you. When you wake up you’re wearing a diaper and have hit and pissed in it; you’re in a dimly lit room in some basement where these commandos proceed to beat, torture and interrogate you for five months. Then they drop you off somewhere near the border and tell you to find your way back to San Diego. When you get there your wife and five children are gone. You hear they moved to Nebraska. Meanwhile the Mexican Government has convinced your President to pretend this never happened.

This is the equivalent of what your United States government did to Khaled Masri. THEY DID THIS KNOWINGLY, THROUGH A PROGRAM AUTHORIZED BY GEORGE W. BUSH AT THE PROVOCATION OF DICK CHENEY.

Please do not treat this as conspiracy theory. It is not. The story of Khaled Masri is simple fact, corroborated by dozens of sources in the U.S. government and intelligence community. And Masri is one of several dozen innocent people who have received similar treatment at the hands of the Rendition Group.

"I have very bad feelings" about the United States, Masri says. "I think it's just like in the Arab countries: arresting people, treating them inhumanly and less than that, and with no rights and no laws."

Can someone explain to me again how this message we’re sending to ordinary law-abiding people of Middle Eastern decent is going to help us fight terrorism?

There was a time, after 9/11, when citizens like you and I could perhaps be forgiven for not having the moral righteousness and fortitude to pay attention to the perversions of American democracy that were taking place in the name of the “war on terrorism”. That time is now past. If we can’t as citizens of the United States put a stop to what this White House is doing by our own actions of vote and protest then we don’t really deserve to live in a democracy, which depends for its very life on the personal moral responsibility of its citizens.

Call your Congresspeople! Call your Senators! They are in your phone book. Tell them you have had enough and don’t sugar-coat it – tell them your are wretching and puking over what George W. Bush is doing to our democratic principles and that you will stand for nothing short of a full investigation and immediate reforms.

When Thomas Jefferson sat down to write the Declaration of Independence, he decided to include in it a list of sins committed by King George against the people of the United States of America and against the principle of democracy. It wasn’t a long list, really. Every item was treated as a serious state-altering infraction. Among the items included were these:

“He has affected to render the Military independent of and superior to the Civil Power…depriving us, in many Cases, of the Benefits of Trial by Jury [and] transporting us beyond seas to be tried for pretended offenses.”

When I think of these words in light of our current circumstances and those of Khaled Masri and others like him, I am completely sick. And my greatest fear is that around the globe, millions of people are or will soon be echoing in their own minds precisely what Jefferson said about King George at the advent of our own nation:

“He is, at this Time, transporting large Armies of foreign Mercenaries to compleat the Works of Death, Desolation, and Tyranny, already begun with circumstances of Cruelty and Perfidy, scarcely paralleled in the most barbarous Ages, and totally unworthy of the Head of a Civilized Nation.”

This horrible turn of events in the history of the United States of America can only be remedied by you and I, the American people.

Peace, Love and Happy Holidays,