Watching the Shadows
Scott Ritter has been wrong before, but The Nation is still enamored of him. Robert Scheer has also been wrong before. Now they team up for a little collaborative error. In an April 13 piece on Scheer's TruthDig, "The Final Act of Submission," Ritter once again displays his right-wing nationalist colors, scapegopating the usual suspects for Washington's misadventure in Iraq. His charming closing lines:
More than a dozen detainees have launched a new hunger strike at Guantánamo, and the military has responded by starting to force-feed the detainees, according to an April 8 New York Times report. Lawyers for the hunger strikers said the strike was prompted by harsh conditions at a new maximum security complex, where some 160 prisoners had been moved since December. "The reports about the conditions at Camp 6 are deeply disturbing, and holding people indefinitely without legal process or access to family is an invitation to disaster," Hina Shamsi, a lawyer with Human Rights First, told AP.
From the Center for Constitutional Rights, April 2:
Supreme Court Denies Immediate Review of Guantanamo Cases
Clients May Wait Another Year in Detention Without Meaningful Way to Challenge Imprisonment
The Supreme Court announced today that it would not be hearing the cases of the Guantánamo detainees for the time being. The Court denied the Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR) and co-counsel's motion to hear the case with three justices dissenting and two issuing a statement that the detainees should exhaust the process set up by the Detainee Treatment Act (DTA), allowing for limited appeals from the decisions of military review panels, before they would consider ruling on constitutional questions. Attorneys with the Center for Constitutional Rights expressed disappointment with the ruling.
A high-level al-Qaeda suspect who was in CIA custody for more than four years has alleged that his US captors tortured him into making false confessions about terrorist attacks in the Middle East, according to newly released Pentagon transcripts of a March 14 military tribunal hearing at Guantánamo. Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri, who US officials link to the 1998 East Africa embassy bombings and the 2000 USS Cole bombing in Yemen, told a panel of military officers that he confessed torture. "The detainee states that he was tortured into confession and once he made a confession his captors were happy and they stopped torturing him," Nashiri's representative read to the tribunal. "Also, the detainee states that he made up stories during the torture in order to get it to stop." (AND from WP, March 31)
From the Center for Constitutional Rights, March 27:
First Military Commission at Guantanamo Deeply Flawed
The Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR) today released a statement on the military commission proceedings at Guantánamo Bay against Australian David Hicks that began yesterday. Hicks pled guilty to material support of a terrorist group last night apparently in exchange for being allowed to serve his sentence in Australia.
In the March 25 Washington Post, Trilateral Commission ideological guru and former National Security Advisor Zbigniew Brzezinski once again sounds like he was bitten by a radioactive Noam Chomsky. What's really sad is that the remnants of the American left are so rudderless and gullible that they fail to recognize this intra-elite squabbling on the proper maintenance of Empire as what it is, and fall for the pseudo-populist rhetoric. They will doubtless eagerly lap up this Trilateralist ejaculate, as they do the vile propaganda of Mearsheimer and Walt—never stopping to question the reactionary source. Writes Zbiggy (more commentary to follow):
As we have argued before, the paradigmatic metaphor for the global struggle is jihad against the robots: equally anti-human, exterminationist forces battling for control of the Earth—one zealous to the point of insatiable bloodlust, the other sterile and devoid of all emotion. Who's side will you be on? Who will ultimately win? Will our grandchildren be living under the tyranny of fundamentalism or the tyranny of robots? Or is a human alternative still possible? The skepticism expressed by some scientists in this account is a little comforting. From the BBC, March 16, emphasis and link added:
Khalid Shaikh Mohammed, purportedly the highest-ranking al-Qaeda operative in US custody, has now confessed to being "responsible for the 9-11 operation from A to Z," as well as being the mastermind of the 1993 WTC attack, Richard Reid's attempted shoe-bombing, the Daniel Pearl slaying, and a slew of planned attacks on such targets as Chicago's Sears Building—although given the notorious interrogation methods used at Guantanamo Bay, we are skeptical as to the veracity of these allegations. However, his statement sheds much light on al-Qaeda's worldview—and its appeal in the Third World. From the International Herald Tribune, March 14, emphasis and link added: