Tuesday, December 11, 2007


The USA merrily greets the rest of the world with the threat of torture. Don't get involved with anti-US activities.

The secret anti-terror apparatus snaps up suspects, tortures them, and imprisons them indefinitely without trial. The Bush Administration claims "enhanced interrogation techniques" are not torture; well, don't become invited to their suspect 'hospitality'...

Perhaps 'the media is the message'
= the message is fear

Sunday, December 09, 2007


An excellent compilation by Seldes, George (1985) The Great Thoughts contains thought-provoking quotes:

"No one can possibly achieve any real and lasting success or "get rich" in business by being a conformist."
--- J Paul Getty (1892-1976), American businessman; interview, Paris Herald Tribune 10 Jan 1961

"There is no such thing as an independent press in America. I am paid for keeping my honest opinions out of the paper I am connected with. Any of you who would be so foolish as to write honest opinions would be out on the street looking for another job. We are the tools and vassals of the rich men behind the scenes. We are the jumping jacks; they pull the strings and we dance. Our talents, our possibilities and our lives are all the property of other men. We are intellectual prostitutes."

--- reply to the toast "An Independent Press" at Twilight Club journalists' gathering, New York City, 12 April 1893; John Swinton (1830-1901), Editor, The New York Sun

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Guantanamo is a horror

The Guantanamo Bay detention camp is a defilement of US law, lacking in civilized fairness and due process.

There may be some very bad 'detainees' there. But among more than 700 people who've been interred, over 400 have been released without charge, in some cases after years of isolated and stressful suffering. Only a small fraction of the remaining people are expected to be charged - nobody really knows, and nobody is in a hurry to make (or to solve) their cases. This situation is not proper.

Look yourself at
- habeas corpus
- the Geneva Conventions
- US Army Regulation 190-8
- Uniform Code of Military Justice USA
- defining the Combatant Status Review Tribunal
- The Golden Rule

The indefinite imprisonment (why call it detention simply because they haven't been charged, tried or convicted?) is now being argued as reasonable because these people are "held overseas in a country that the United States does not occupy and uses only under the terms of a lease that reserves sovereignty to the lessor — Cuba."

This is false - the USA blatantly occupies the Guantanamo territory without regard to Cuba's strenuous objections; it's a 40+ year sovereignty infringement in an area larger than Manhattan. (If Cuba supposedly has sovereignty, might Cuba decide the fate of the prisoners? Or provide palliative care or relief?) The answer is clear: no way José. Arguing these people are horribly dangerous is potentially believable; arguing that the USA does not occupy Guantanamo is a blatant lie. In fact, such knuckleheaded assertions should lead an impartial court to rule that the USA must abandon Guantanamo on Cuba's request.

Wholly disregarding law, or seeking to spin blatant lies as truth, indicates something different than partisanship, and a perversion of advocacy. This is pathogenic for society. Surely many up-and-coming people in the USA and around the world watch and learn from these knuckleheads. What is being unleashed is not good. Can't we retreat from an Age of Sham? the Thousand-Year Fraud?

In the same recent brief (US Supreme Court Nos. 06-1195 & 06-1196, Respondent's Brief; Oct. 2007), US Solicitor General Paul Clement claimed:
"The detainees now enjoy greater procedural protections and statutory rights to challenge their wartime detentions than any other captured enemy combatants in the history of war"

I'd like to believe that.
But the Solicitor General's statement is untrue.
Why "lay it on so thickly?" ...Dude...

Open the can of worms

Senate Majority Leader
Senator Harry Reid

Dear Senator Reid

I urge you to please support democracy and open government - do not allow telecom immunity. You are sure to know more about this topic than I do. But please consider:

The secrecy of the present administration and its stifling of checks-and-balances undermines our Constitution. An informed electorate is helped when facts are established in wider forums such as assorted courtrooms and Senate and Congressional hearings. This administration has ignored many Congressional subpoena. They operate unilaterally as THE STATE, although our government should be of and by the People, with other key branches of government keeping balance.

I have no sense of enmity nor wish for severe punishment of the telecoms, but I do hope for more open and sustainable government.

Prof. Bruce Henry Lambert