Liberty Just in Case

A Dialogue for the September 12th World

Archive for June 4th, 2005

What’s going on at the ACLU?

Posted by zaphriel on June 4, 2005

Apparently, according to breaking news

The American Civil Liberties Union has been shredding some documents over the repeated objections of its records manager and in conflict with its longstanding policies on the preservation and disposal of records.

The matter has fueled a dispute at the organization over internal operations, one of several such debates over the last couple of years, and has reignited questions over whether the A.C.L.U.’s own practices are consistent with its public positions.

The organization has generally advocated for strong policies on record retention and benefited from them, most recently obtaining and publicizing documents from the government about prisoners at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba.

The debate over the use of shredders is reminiscent of one late last year over the organization’s efforts to collect a wide variety of data on its donors, even as it criticizes corporations and government agencies for accumulating personal data as a violation of privacy rights.

Janet Linde, who oversaw the A.C.L.U.’s archives for over a decade until she resigned last month, raised concerns in e-mail messages and memorandums for over two years that officials’ use of shredders in their offices made a mockery of the organization’s policy to supervise document destruction and created potential legal risks.


This is possibly highly unethical and indicates a MAJOR problem.
What are THEY trying to cover up?
What are THEY hiding?
What have THEY done?
Hopefully we will all know soon.

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‘Gulag’ Not the Best Analogy

Posted by zaphriel on June 4, 2005

Oh really, like we didn’t know

“The American head of Amnesty International admits his group did not pick the best analogy when it compared detainee conditions at Guantanamo Bay to the Soviet-era “gulag” forced-labor system.”

Yeah, because it’s not. These guys are being treated better than some our own prisoners in our state prisons. If you ask me the Arizona Chain Gangs are too good for these “detainees”.

“There are only about 70,000 in U.S. detention facilities, and to the best of our knowledge, they are not in forced labor, they are not being denied food”

Or anything else they need.

President Bush called claims of improper detainee treatment “absurd.”

“It’s an absurd allegation,” Bush said in the White House Rose Garden this week. “The United States is a country that … promotes freedom around the world. When there’s accusations made about certain actions by our people, they’re fully investigated in a transparent way. It’s just an absurd allegation.”

Bush said “every single complaint” regarding those detained is investigated.

And I konw, having been through a few investigations myself, even if you did not do anything wrong, you feel as if you did when they are done, they turn up everything, and publish for the world to see, anything that is not classified.

“U.S. military officials say no guard at the Guantanamo Bay prison for terror suspects flushed a detainee’s Koran down the toilet, but they disclosed that a Muslim holy book was splashed with urine. In other newly disclosed incidents, a detainee’s Koran was deliberately kicked and another’s was stepped on.”

On March 25, a detainee complained to guards that “urine came through an air vent” and splashed on him and his Koran. A guard admitted he was at fault, but a report released Friday evening offering new details about Koran mishandling incidents did not make clear whether the guard intended the result.

In another confirmed incident, water balloons thrown by prison guards caused an unspecified number of Korans to get wet, and in a confirmed but ambiguous case, a two-word obscenity was written in English on the inside cover of a Koran.”

What is not being mentioned is that none of the detainees even had korans with them when they were picked up. WE provided them with the Korans. But not only by the guards did these things, the very people we were supposedly offending did some of these things also.

A Pentagon probe into rumors of Koran abuse at Guantanamo Bay has determined that in the overwhelming majority of cases, Muslim detainees were responsible of desecrating their own holy book.

Brig. Gen. Jay W. Hood, commander of Joint Task Force Guantanamo, who completed the three-week inquiry this week, confirmed 20 instances where the Muslim holy book was mistreated – fifteen of which were traced to detainees themselves.

Gen. Hood’s probe confirmed that detainees used a wide array of techniques to desecrate their Korans, including episodes where:

• Three detainees spit and/or threw urine on their Korans.

• Two detainees ripped pages from their Korans and tried to flush them down the toilet.

• A detainee tore out pages of his Koran to cover the air vent in his cell.

• A sleeping detainee was found using a Koran for a pillow.

By contrast, the five confirmed episodes of Koran abuse by U.S. officials were far more mild and mostly accidental.

But, NOOO we were intentionally trying to abuse this sacred book. This all smacks of the training Al Queda graciously provides to enable their prisoners to use our system against us. They are taught to trump up charges, knowing that we will listen, and loose face in the process.

“Hood said in a written statement released with the new details that his investigation “revealed a consistent, documented policy of respectful handling of the Koran dating back almost 2 1/2 years.”

Lawrence Di Rita, chief spokesman for Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld, did not address the confirmed incidents of mishandling the Muslim holy book. Reached while traveling with Rumsfeld in Asia, he said U.S. Southern Command policy calls for “serious, respectful and appropriate” handling of the Koran.

“The Hood inquiry would appear to affirm that policy,” Di Rita said.”

No Kidding, but Newsweak was still justified in what they did….NOT.

Give me a break, when we start treating these prisoners the way our prisoners have been treated, then talk to me about abuse.


Mulitple Sources used. Cheifly and
Thanks to Mudville Gazette

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OK so call me a grouch….

Posted by zaphriel on June 4, 2005

Let me say this once, and I will not address it again…

I DO NOT DO CHAIN LETTERS, MEME’S, AND/OR ANYTHING ELSE THAT REQUIRES ME TO PASS IT ON TO FIVE OTHER SMUCKS. It’s the pass it on thing, I just find irritating. I don’t mind voluntary quizzes, or tests, or what not, but the viral sending of a silly thing, and being called out to do it just gets under my skin. (I know you didn’t know Carl, this is just one of my pet peeves.)

So I respectfully ask that you don’t tag me. It is irritating and useless.

So Because Carl is a friend of mine, I will answer the questions, but I am NOT going to pass it on to anyone.

Here we go:

1) Total number of films I own on DVD/video: 150+

2) The last film I bought: The Matrix Series (I’m a big fan, I like them all)

3) The last film I watched: Star Wars Episode III

4) Five films that I watch a lot or that mean a lot to me: The Matrix(all three), Starwars (all six), Pulp Fiction, Spawn, Batman (Every one except “Batman & Robin”)

5) Tag 5 people and have them put this in their journal/blog… NO, Absolutly not (This is what I hate most about MEMEs), but if you wish to answer this MEME, feel free.

Kill All MEMEs!!

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Revenge of the Sith: An Emotion I Didn’t Expect to Feel

Posted by Mark on June 4, 2005

I stood in line for 2 hours for Star Wars, 4 hours for Empire Strikes Back, and played poker and spades for 6 hours before getting in for Return of the Jedi. Phantom Menace and Attack of the Clones were out on video by the time I got around to seeing them (marriage, children, and graduate school interfered), and I have rented them numerous times for my children’s edification. Yes, I’m a fan.

So, while my wife took the kids to see Madagascar, I took the opportunity to preview Episode III. It’s PG-13, and except for extraordinary circumstances, our kids don’t see PG-13 movies. Besides, I wanted to spend some quality alone time with the conclusion of my favorite movie series.

The familiar words Star Wars rolled across the screen, with the familiar fanfare, then the synopsis of events slowly scrolling across the starfield in yellow. Then off we go! For a full 10 minutes I was back in my Junior High years at the old Hornbeck in Shawnee Oklahoma….and then things sloooowwweeedddd waaaayyy dooowwwnnn.

I expected alot of emotions from Sith, but boredom was not one of them. I knew I was in trouble when I started looking at my watch as one of the interminable light saber duels began to drag on. Now, don’t get me wrong. I LIKE light sabers. My son has one, I had one, and I suspect my grandchild will have one. But after what seemed like 20 minutes of thrust and parry, I found myself desperately wishing for Errol Flynn in his green Robin Hood tights to step in and show them how it’s done. And if Padme and Anakin discussed their angst ridden relationship one more time, I swear I was gonna go get my free refill of popcorn!

Okay, the special effects were really (yawn) fantastic. But when you’ve seen your first ten ships blown up, you’ve seen ’em all. And, speaking of special effects, I found General Grievous, well, a little, well, grievous in his lack of of believability.

So, I’ll dutifully get Episodes I, II and III when they come out on DVD as a set, and will probably take my kids to see the darn thing when it hits the dollar theater here in town. But I’m really disappointed. I expected so much more, and got so much less. It makes me really glad the series has finally come to an end.

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