Friday, December 30, 2005

Justice Department on a Roll

Now they are having a witch hunt to find out who wasn't covering up the President's crime!

Imagine that type of response to Valerie Plame

to 9/11

to Tom DeLay's appropriating feeral property.

Imagine if they hadn't permitted so many of their friends to destroy evidence of ongoing investigations. Anthrax, 9/11, Ohio...

Confidential letters from Uzbekistan II

Our decisions in this area are so bad; they are nothing short of creating tomorrow's terrorists today.

Letter #2 Confidential Fm Tashkent

To FCO 18 March 2003



1. As seen from Tashkent, US policy is not much focussed on democracy or freedom. It is about oil, gas and hegemony. In Uzbekistan the US pursues those ends through supporting a ruthless dictatorship. We must not close our eyes to uncomfortable truth.


2. Last year the US gave half a billion dollars in aid to Uzbekistan, about a quarter of it military aid. Bush and Powell repeatedly hail Karimov as a friend and ally. Yet this regime has at least seven thousand prisoners of conscience; it is a one party state without freedom of speech, without freedom of media, without freedom of movement, without freedom of assembly, without freedom of religion. It practices, systematically, the most hideous tortures on thousands. Most of the population live in conditions precisely analogous with medieval serfdom.

3. Uzbekistan's geo-strategic position is crucial. It has half the population of the whole of Central Asia. It alone borders all the other states in a region which is important to future Western oil and gas supplies. It is the regional military power. That is why the US is here, and here to stay. Contractors at the US military bases are extending the design life of the buildings from ten to twenty five years.

4. Democracy and human rights are, despite their protestations to the contrary, in practice a long way down the US agenda here. Aid this year will be slightly less, but there is no intention to introduce any meaningful conditionality. Nobody can believe this level of aid – more than US aid to all of West Africa – is related to comparative developmental need as opposed to political support for Karimov. While the US makes token and low-level references to human rights to appease domestic opinion, they view Karimov's vicious regime as a bastion against fundamentalism. He – and they – are in fact creating fundamentalism. When the US gives this much support to a regime that tortures people to death for having a beard or praying five times a day, is it any surprise that Muslims come to hate the West?

We can't change the things we won't acknowlege.

(emphasis mine)

update memos mirrored here.

Confidential letters from Uzbekistan

Tony Blair wants to keep this under wraps

Too bad.

Craig Murray says:

In March 2003 I was summoned back to London from Tashkent specifically for a meeting at which I was told to stop protesting. I was told specifically that it was perfectly legal for us to obtain and to use intelligence from the Uzbek torture chambers. After this meeting Sir Michael Wood, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office's legal adviser, wrote to confirm this position. This minute from Michael Wood is perhaps the most important document that has become public about extraordinary rendition. It is irrefutable evidence of the government's use of torture material, and that I was attempting to stop it. It is no wonder that the government is trying to suppress this.

The Economist of 7 September states: "Uzbekistan, in particular, has jailed many thousands of moderate Islamists, an excellent way of converting their families and friends to extremism." The Economist also spoke of "the growing despotism of Mr Karimov" and judged that "the past year has seen a further deterioration of an already grim human rights record". I agree.

Between 7,000 and 10,000 political and religious prisoners are currently detained, many after trials before kangaroo courts with no representation. Terrible torture is commonplace: the EU is currently considering a demarche over the terrible case of two Muslims tortured to death in jail apparently with boiling water. Two leading dissidents, Elena Urlaeva and Larissa Vdovna, were two weeks ago committed to a lunatic asylum, where they are being drugged, for demonstrating on human rights. Opposition political parties remain banned. There is no doubt that September 11 gave the pretext to crack down still harder on dissent under the guise of counter-terrorism. Yet on 8 September the US State Department certified that Uzbekistan was improving in both human rights and democracy, thus fulfilling a constitutional requirement and allowing the continuing disbursement of $140 million of US aid to Uzbekistan this year. Human Rights Watch immediately published a commendably sober and balanced rebuttal of the State Department claim.


Karimov is a dictator who is committed to neither political nor economic reform. The purpose of his regime is not the development of his country but the diversion of economic rent to his oligarchic supporters through government controls. As a senior Uzbek academic told me privately, there is more repression here now than in Brezhnev's time. The US are trying to prop up Karimov economically and to justify this support they need to claim that a process of economic and political reform is underway. That they do so claim is either cynicism or self-delusion.

This policy is doomed to failure. Karimov is driving this resource-rich country towards economic ruin like an Abacha. And the policy of increasing repression aimed indiscriminately at pious Muslims, combined with a deepening poverty, is the most certain way to ensure continuing support for the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan. They have certainly been decimated and disorganised in Afghanistan, and Karimov's repression may keep the lid on for years – but pressure is building and could ultimately explode.


...It is easy to place Uzbekistan in the "too difficult" tray and let the US run with it, but I think they are running in the wrong direction. We should tell them of the dangers we see. Our policy is theoretically one of engagement, but in practice this has not meant much. Engagement makes sense, but it must mean grappling with the problems, not mute collaboration.

I wish our conservative friends would pay attention to this, we could really use their partnership to deal with the solutions to these wrongs before they explode.

(emphasis mine)

update memos mirrored here

Trojans, Viruses and Worms

Oh My!

Update your anti virus programs.

Thursday, December 29, 2005

No Drinking Liberally Here

I just noticed that there is not a single group in Montana.

Alito: The Type of Professor You'd Like to Have a Beer With After Class

Finding the meat in the watery gruel the AP presents us with in the latest installment of Sam Alito is your new best friend campaign.

Robert Cochran, a professor at the Malibu, Calif., law school who suggested the visit, said Alito came across as dispassionate, deliberate and objective. Yet, Cochran said, he betrayed a concern with the topic.

"He didn't take a particular stance on the issues but the way that he raised the questions indicated that he was aware that there was a danger that, in times of national crisis, we take unreasonable steps to curb civil liberties," Cochran said.

Who is working this one, Ketchum, the Lincoln group, or another sleight of hand PR group?

Happy Talk

The job climate is good and getting better! There are more people collecting unemployment but we're not going to let them ruin our story.

College Tuition to rise?

PSOTD brings up the very real possibility that college students will get to foot the bill for the government to spy on them.


FSD: Female Sexual Disfunction

I'm surprised that I was surprised to learn that it happens to women too.

Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Justice Department Opens Voter Disenfranchisement Case

It's against Ike Brown in Macon Mississippi for challenging white voters!

He said that he was challenging Republicans who were trying to throw the Democratic primaries.

(heard on Nightline)

Government Meddling





The upside to this is that dead soldiers don't go on to malinger on disability for Post Traumatic Stress Disorder because that costs money that could be better spent on tax cuts for the top 1% and no bid contracts for Halliburton.

Thank-you American Enterprise Institute for cracking down on those ungrateful little whiners!

via the Cosmic Iguana

Homeland Security a Flop

Has an unhealthy obsession with Quakers caused this non unionized bureaucracy to fail to do the most basic tasks imaginable?

Responding, Homeland Security spokesman Russ Knocke said the department is prioritizing resources and programs based on "today's greatest threats."

Quakers, journalists, poverty groups, animal lovers, environmentalists, liberals and Jews.

In all fairness, the head of DHS only gets about a dollar a head a year for everybody who has to mind him, but it has taken three years to break 33 major promises to the American people so far.

Presumably they will try to find time to

  • Compile a single, comprehensive list prioritizing protections for the nation's most critical and potentially vulnerable buildings, transportation systems and other infrastructure.
  • _Install monitors at borders and every international seaport and airport to screen for radiation material entering the country.
  • _Install surveillance cameras at all high-risk chemical plants.
  • _Create one effective network to share quickly security-related intelligence and alerts with state, local and private industry officials.
  • _Track international visitors through a computerized system that takes their fingerprints and photographs as they enter and exit the country

Sometime after they have dealt with the Quakers, journalists, poverty groups, animal lovers, environmentalists, liberals and Jews.

Does Anybody Know What Time It Is?


Monday, December 26, 2005

They Failed


Empty Foodbanks

NBC has finally decided to mention that there are shortages, that fewer people are giving help when more people need it.

38 million Americans living on the brink of hunger, two million more than a year ago. The mass layoffs keep rolling in spite of the wonderful Bush economy.

Thank-you Republicans for cutting food stamps and keeping your own $4,000.00 raise!

The very wealthy recieved another tax cut, but don't expect them to help, T Rex analyzes how little they contribute to the well being of their fellow human beings.

Where Freedom Starts

Young Iranians are my heros today.

There was a time that Americans had the balls to say their government didn't have the right to dictate the choices they made in their personal lives.


Free Music


The Abusive Partner

Has anybody else noticed how relentless this administration has been with their demands that we all submit to their will?

They have been lying, spying, conning and bullying to get their way about everything for a magnitude of shifting excuses. War on terror my butt.

How many excuses has the President tried out to get our own military running operations here in the United States? It is more than once and you know it.

What's wrong with the economy?

  • 1. Profits are up, but the wages and the incomes of average Americans are down.
  • 2. More and more people are deeper and deeper in debt.
  • 3. Job creation has not kept up with population growth, and the employment rate has fallen sharply.
  • 4. Poverty is on the rise.
  • 5. Rising health care costs are eroding families' already declining income.
Details here

The 4th Amendment of the Constitution demands it...

Americans expect NSA to conduct its missions within the law. But given the inherently secret nature of those missions, how can Americans be sure that the Agency does not invade their privacy?

The 4th Amendment of the Constitution demands it... oversight committees within all three branches of the U.S. government ensure it
... and NSA employees, as U.S. citizens, have a vested interest in upholding it. Respecting the law is only a part of gaining Americans' trust.

The American people need to know, within the bounds of operational security, what NSA does and why they do it, and how they work within the Intelligence community and the Department of Defense to protect the Nation's freedom.

With each new day, NSA is writing new and unexpected chapters. The missions have never been clearer. The challenges have never been greater. The stakes have never been higher.

via Americablog

Sunday, December 25, 2005

The Nightmare Continues

Self serving bitch in line for top job. Proven track record of lying about anything any place any time regardless of the pain and suffering it causes others, believes that death is a divine reason to go shoe shopping.