"If you understood everything I said, you'd be me" - Miles Davis
"There is much pleasure to be gained from useless knowledge." - Bertrand Russell
"Take away the right to say fuck and you take away the right to say fuck the government." - Lenny Bruce
"Facts are meaningless. You could use facts to prove anything that's even remotely true!" - Homer Simpson

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Mike Hawash Indicted
Update to previous Post.
"Maher Mofeid Hawash, 39, of Hillsboro, Oregon, was charged in a criminal complaint with conspiracy to levy war against the United States, conspiracy to provide material support to al Qaeda and conspiracy to contribute services to al Qaeda and the Taliban."
Via Metafilter

World Class City
Trapeze School New York
Via Q Daily News

Well, this is clear as mud
Here what DoD Secretary Rumsfeld had to say today concerning my question regarding the status of detained Iragi officials.

"Q: Mr. Secretary, when it comes to the senior regime leaders that have been captured, such as Tariq Aziz, are they considered prisoners of war? Are they subject to the protections of the Geneva Convention? Will they be visited by the Red Cross? Will they be possibly moved to Guantanamo? What's going to happen to them?

Rumsfeld: Lots of questions. With respect to Guantanamo, the answer is no. We intend to not take people, regardless of what they're characterized as, from Iraq or from any other country to Guantanamo Bay at the moment. Could it change? Possibly. But my preference is not to. And I would guess I'd have a voice in it, and I would discourage doing that.

I think that it's hard to characterize all of them in the same way. I mean, some of them may very well be people who were military. Let me --

Q: Well, say, take Tariq Aziz, for example.

Rumsfeld: Well, let me -- some of them are military, and they would be considered enemy prisoners of war. We were in a war. Some others might have been in civilian garb, like the Fedayeen Saddam, and the question is, what are they? And the lawyers will sort all that out.

What we do know is that there are people who in large measure have information that we need, and we need that information so that we can track down the weapons of mass destruction in that country. We need that information so that we can track down the terrorist links between Saddam Hussein's regime and various terrorist networks. And we need it to track down other people. We need it to find records so that we can go through this process of "de-Ba'athification," if there's such a word, trying to eliminate the influence of the Ba'ath Party in that country. There's lots of very important projects we've got.

And the first order of business is, in my view, to stop holding the ones we don't need. And that's why we're working through 200 or 300 a day, trying to sort them and get rid of them, let them go back home and live their lives if we don't need them.

Conversely, we -- the ones -- we sort out the high-value ones, and get interrogation teams working together that information. And clearly, Tariq Aziz falls in the latter category.

Q: Is he a POW, subject to the protections of the Geneva Conventions?

Rumsfeld: These are lawyers are going to sort through that. Was he in the military? He always -- every time I was ever with him, he always wore a camouflage uniform and a pistol on his hip. Does that make him military? I don't know. He was deputy prime minister; he was, I believe, foreign minister. But the lawyers will figure that out. I don't have to worry about that stuff. (Laughter.)

Q: Mr. Secretary, is the U.S. considering possible criminal charges against any of these Iraqi leaders? And if not, at the conclusion of any conflict, wouldn't they be subject to release?

Rumsfeld: There are rules that apply to people depending on which basket they're in. It's true that when a war is over, there is a responsibility to release people who fit in certain categories but not in others. The lawyers are currently sorting through the question as to how they want to deal with this. Do they want to have some sort of a tribunal, should the Iraqi people do it, should some international organization do it, should the United States do it? I think probably the latter is not our first choice, but that's going to be decided at a higher level than this."

What I get out of this: The officials are not under arrest, not charged with any crime (U.S.,International, or Iraqi), not prisoners of war, not unlawful combatants-they aren't any of these yet. We have them in custody simply so we can interrogate them. This is probably legal at least until we declare an end to hostilities.
Via-Found by my own self

Israel seeks pipeline for Iraqi oil
"Plans to build a pipeline to siphon oil from newly conquered Iraq to Israel are being discussed between Washington, Tel Aviv and potential future government figures in Baghdad."

I'm very interested to hear the reaction of Iraqis to this idea. Somehow I doubt they've been fully informed yet.
Originally Via also not found in nature

Just Wondering
U.S. forces are taking members of Saddam's government into custody. What I want to know are the legal particulars of just how this works. Are they suspected criminals? Are they Prisoners of War? If so, what happens after we declare hostilities over? I have little doubt these are bad people, but the whole concept of the rule of law says the government has to have a legal justification to detain or imprison people.

Name a middle-eastern country with WMDs
Via Cursor.org

Go Boss, Go
"The Dixie Chicks have taken a big hit lately for exercising their basic right to express themselves. To me, they're terrific American artists expressing American values by using their American right to free speech. For them to be banished wholesale from radio stations, and even entire radio networks, for speaking out is un-American.

The pressure coming from the government and big business to enforce conformity of thought concerning the war and politics goes against everything that this country is about - namely freedom. Right now, we are supposedly fighting to create freedom in Iraq, at the same time that some are trying to intimidate and punish people for using that same freedom here at home.

I don't know what happens next, but I do want to add my voice to those who think that the Dixie Chicks are getting a raw deal, and an un-American one to boot. I send them my support.

Bruce Springsteen"
Via Cursor.org

Who'da thunk it?
Thomas Jefferson invented Macaroni and Cheese. That, and other food origins are available at "Who Cooked That Up?".
Via gammatron

Who Covered The War Best?
"In covering the war, al-Jazeera was unique in the number of independent reporting teams distributed throughout the region, some of whom have been beaten by Kurdish forces, banned by Iraqi government officials, and reprimanded almost daily by U.S., Iraqi, Kuwaiti, Saudi, Jordanian and other state and military officials at press conferences. These states recognize the destabilizing potential of al-Jazeera's brash willingness to ask difficult questions and give voice to the marginalized majority."
Via Robot Wisdom

IMHO, if you piss off that many people, you must be doing something right.

Neat Stuff
I've just learned through Ethel the blog that "Crossing Jordan" now has a soundtrack CD out. I've mentioned before how I like the show's cast but wasn't taken with the show. But if they're using Richard Thompson on network TV I may give it another go.

So where are they, Mr Blair?
"Well, Saddam is now gone. And with him has disappeared any conceivable risk to those intelligence sources (assuming they ever existed). So just what was this information on the basis of which Washington and its faithful ally launched an unprovoked invasion of a ramshackle third world country? A country with a very nasty regime to be sure, but not a great deal nastier than some other potential candidates for "liberation" in the Middle East and elsewhere.".....

"But they'd better be found pretty soon. Having rushed into war to suit its own military and domestic electoral timetable, the Bush administration now has the nerve to claim that a year may be required to establish the whereabouts of the WMD - and that it may never do so unless led to them by co-operative Iraqis. But no longer can London and Washington rely simply on the impossibility for the former Iraqi regime to prove a negative, that the weapons do not exist. It is up to the "coalition" of two to provide proof positive that they do.
br> This pointless war cannot be un-made. But we urgently need to know that the invasion was not illegal as well. With Britain and the US in full control of Iraq, a month should suffice. If no "smoking gun" has turned up by then, a full parliamentary inquiry is essential - into the competence and accountability of the intelligence services, and into how our Government used them to sell a mistaken and reckless policy."
Via Technorati

So where are they, Mr Bush?

Fun fact o' the day
Rob Zombie was a production assistant on Pee-Wee's Playhouse.

"Iraq's scavengers have thieved and destroyed what they have been allowed to loot and burn by the Americans and a two-hour drive around Baghdad shows clearly what the US intends to protect. After days of arson and pillage, here's a short but revealing scorecard. US troops have sat back and allowed mobs to wreck and then burn the Ministry of Planning, the Ministry of Education, the Ministry of Irrigation, the Ministry of Trade, the Ministry of Industry, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Ministry of Culture and the Ministry of Information. They did nothing to prevent looters from destroying priceless treasures of Iraq's history in the Baghdad Archaeological Museum and in the museum in the northern city of Mosul, or from looting three hospitals.

The Americans have, though, put hundreds of troops inside two Iraqi ministries that remain untouched and untouchable because tanks and armoured personnel carriers and Humvees have been placed inside and outside both institutions. And which ministries proved to be so important for the Americans? Why, the Ministry of Interior, of course with its vast wealth of intelligence information on Iraq and the Ministry of Oil. The archives and files of Iraq's most valuable asset its oilfields and, even more important, its massive reserves are safe and sound, sealed off from the mobs and looters, and safe to be shared, as Washington almost certainly intends, with American oil companies."
Lifted wholesale from Booknotes

"When the interviewer pointed out that Iraqi museum officials claimed that they had asked the U.S. military to protect the museum, and that the military had refused, Rumsfeld responded: "Oh, my goodness. Look, I have no idea."

Looting, he concluded "isn't something that someone allows or doesn't allow. It's something that happens."" Link
Also via Booknotes

Dear Secretary Rumsfeld: Bite me.

Knowledge Bad, Ignorance Good
'Super-DMCA' fears suppress security research
Via Metafilter

Hulk hate baseball
Not only do the friggin' Mariners screw up traffic and traffic radio, they've gone and pre-empted one of the last Buffys. God forbid somebody misses like the 6th game in the season-it's sooooooo vital to their record. KSTW has a nice anonymous feedback form-if you're half as cheesed off as I am, give them piece of your mind.

A followup to my earlier post about the Mariners screwing up KOMO's traffic reports: The pregame show is an hour, the postgame show is 1 1/2 hours. That's two and a half hours of just yakking about baseball on top of whatever ungodly long time the actual game lasts. I understand the concept of "bread and circuses" but where the heck is the bread?

More Henry Miller
What is the greatest treason?
Via Wood's Lot

State-Level Super-DMCAs
"Under existing law, those who have legitimately purchased communication services (e.g., cable TV, satellite, or broadband Internet services) are free to connect whatever they like to the wires they pay for, so long as they do not violate any otherwise applicable law. So, for example, you are free to connect a new TV, PC, VCR or TiVo to a cable television connection that you pay for. Similarly, you are free to connect a Wi-Fi wireless access point to your DSL line in order to share your broadband connection among several computers in your house. This freedom has encouraged technology vendors to compete and innovate in response to the demands of consumers.

The proposed super-DMCA statutes reverse this traditional rule. Under these statutes, you would not be entitled to connect anything to your cable, satellite, or DSL line without the express permission of your service provider. The model MPAA bill accomplishes this by making it a crime to possess a device to "receive ... transmit, [or] re-transmit" any communication service without the "express authorization" of the communication service provider. The various pending state bills include similar language.

This provision would make you a criminal for simply connecting a TV, PC, TiVo or VCR (all of which can "receive" communication services) to the cable TV line in your living room without your cable company's permission. It could also make you a criminal for connecting a Wi-Fi wireless gateway (which can "retransmit" Internet traffic) to your DSL or cable modem line without the permission of your ISP. The shift proposed by these bills is radical: all technology that is not expressly permitted becomes forbidden. This would give communication service providers unprecedented control over the home entertainment and the technology marketplace. For example, your broadband ISP could force you to use only certain brands of computers, or force you to pay extra if you wanted to connect more than one computer to your DSL line. Cable and satellite TV services could forbid you from using a TiVo, or could charge you extra to connect a VCR to your TV." Emphasis Mine
Via Boing Boing

Wrestling Match Name of the Day
"No Rope Barbwire Explosive Electrified Land Mine Double Hell Death Match."

The Lie of Liberation
"Ah, but still the celebratory chants come. We have freed Iraq from its brutal dictator, one who was zero threat to our monster superpower country! And we did so by mutilating and killing countless thousands of Iraqi people, often ruthlessly , soldiers and citizens, women and children, so many bodies the local hospitals stopped counting, thousands more than were ever killed in 9/11, though there remains absolutely no connection between this war and 9/11, none whatsoever! Yay! Don't you feel proud?

And what, exactly, have we the American people won? What are the spoils of our victory? Let's look: A gutted U.S. economy, a record budget deficit, decimated civil liberties (the GOP now wants to make the draconian USA Patriot Act permanent ), one of the most secretive and ruthless and warmongering administrations in 50 years and the outright derision and bitter resentment of much of the civilized world, of nearly every one of our former allies.

Oh, and a bonus: the horrific, irrevocable reputation that we are now a power-mad rogue superpower that will attack anyone, for any reason, on the hollowest of bogus pretenses. Righteous!"
Via Random Walks

I Like Quotes
"We are accustomed to think of ourselves as an emancipated people; we say we are democratic, liberty-loving, free of prejudice and hatred. This is the melting pot, the seal of a great human experiment. Beautiful words, full of noble, idealistic sentiment. Actually we are a vulgar, pushing mob whose passions are easily mobilized by demagogues, newspaper men, religious quacks, agitators and such like. To call this a society of free peoples is blasphemous. What have we to offer the world beside the superabundant loot which we recklessly plunder from the earth under the maniacal delusion that this insane activity represents progress and enlightenment? The land of opportunity has become the land of senseless sweat and struggle. The goal of all of our striving has long been forgotten. We no longer wish to succor the oppressed and homeless... The world meanwhile looks to us with a desperation such as it has never known before." Henry Miller, The Air-Conditioned Nightmare.
Via Geegaw.com

You have been warned
Please select a body modification to learn more about its risks
Via Memepool

A partial list of potential future wars

"Even within the Middle East and South Asia, Iraq is far from being the only country to develop weapons of mass destruction (nor is it the only country to use them). According to Weapons of Mass Destruction in the Middle East, a 2002 report by Anthony H. Cordesman, Senior Fellow at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington <www.csis.org>, Middle Eastern and South Asian countries with weapons of mass destruction, other than Iraq, include: Egypt (chemical), Iran (chemical, biological, developing nuclear), Israel (chemical, biological, nuclear), Libya (chemical), Syria (chemical, biological), Pakistan (chemical, biological, nuclear) and India (chemical, biological, nuclear). In addition to Iraq, Egypt, Iran, and Libya have all reportedly used chemical weapons against neighboring countries."

Via Monthly Review

Measure twice. cut once
I find all the reports of the differences between Bush and Blair's idea of the role of the U.N. in a post-war Iraq puzzling. Didn't anyone think to bring up what Britain and the U.S. were going to do once they'd defeated the Iraqi military before the invasion? Blair agreed to invade and occupy Iraq with us without knowing what the exit strategy was?

I was wondering...
If and when Dubya loses (or fails to steal) the next presidential election, can I do some looting? I promise to lay off the arson.

Teeny Tiny
Miniature fake food for doll houses.

This could get real ugly
"Baghdad will be near impossible to conquer"
Via Booknotes

More Warblogs

I feel so much more secure
"Mike is a U.S. citizen, is held without being charged with any crime;

Mike is being held in solitary confinement, with limited access to his lawyers and wife, and no access to his children;

Mike is being held as a material witness, but he has not been interrogated by the federal authorities;

Mike has been a U.S. citizen and resident for 14 years. He is an Arab-American. His wife Lisa was born and raised in Roseburg, OR, and stepchild and children were born and raised in the Hillboro, OR, where they live;

The warrants and subpoenas in Mike's case are all secret, sealed by the court at the U.S. government's request;

Mike has a job, a home, a family, and deep roots in his community. Historically, "material witness" arrests were solely for grand-jury or trial witnesses who were either a "flight risk" or represented a "danger" to the community. The U.S. has held other middle-eastern men for as long as 15 months without charge as "material witnesses""
Via Metafilter