Watching the Shadows
Following a ruling this week by the Supreme Court, José Padilla has finally appeared before a civilian judge—which means that the high court will likely not have to weigh in any time soon on whether he was held legally as an "enemy combatant" under the US constitution. From the AP, Jan. 5:
A group of 25 US Catholic peace protesters held a three-day fast starting on Dec. 12 near the US naval base at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, to protest the situation of 500 male Muslim detainees held there for three years as "enemy combatants." The group began the 66-mile walk from Santiago de Cuba to Guantanamo on Dec. 7 and arrived near the base Dec. 11.
From the front page of the New York Times, Dec. 28, via Bellaciao:
Defense lawyers in some of the country’s biggest terrorism cases say they plan to bring legal challenges to determine whether the National Security Agency used illegal wiretaps against several dozen Muslim men tied to Al Qaeda.
We recently noted how Ethiopia and Eritrea, as they mutually demonize each other, are both engaging in a crackdown on their own media. Now the Committee to Protect Journalists, in their year-end report on imprisoned journalists worldwide, finds the two Horn of Africa rivals to be the worst offendors after China and Cuba. Uzbekistan was in fifth place, while the nasty and ostracized dictatorship of Burma was tied for sixth with the Leader of the Free World—that's right, none other than the good ol' US of A.
From Amnesty International, Dec. 7:
Rendition and 'disappearances' in the 'war on terror'
800 secret CIA flights into and out of Europe
Amnesty International has revealed that six planes used by the CIA for renditions have made some 800 flights in or out of European airspace including 50 landings at Shannon airport in the Republic of Ireland.
This is too funny. Followers of this blog will be aware that we recently had to call out "World's Greatest Intellectual" Noam Chomsky for loaning legitimacy to vile historical revisionism on the Bosnia war. The problem with having to diss The Chom is that we thereby risk implicitly loaning legitimacy to other of his critics, who include some extremely unsavory types. Ironically, topping the list are both ultra-Zionists and conspiranoid anti-Zionists. So now we once again have the opportunity to diss a Chomsky detractor.
David Irving, the self-trained British "historian" currently cooling his heels in an Austrian jail cell, appears to have recanted his denial of the Nazi Judeocide. The Nov.5 UK Guardian reports that a "repented" Irving plans to plead guilty to charges he lied about the Holocaust during speeches in Austria 16 years ago, violating a 1947 Austrian law banning Nazi revivalism and criminalising belittling or justifying the crimes of the Third Reich. Irving claimed at the time there were no gas chambers at the Auschwitz death camp, something he first said publicly at the 1988 trial of his friend Ernst Zundel, currently on trial as well in Germany for Holocaust denial. According to his lawyer Elmar Kresbach, Irving said, "I fully accept this, it's a fact. The discussion on Auschwitz, the gas chambers and the Holocaust is finished ... it's useless to dispute it." Kresbach added: