Watching the Shadows

Jail for Judith Miller (try not to gloat)

Judith Miller is easy to hate, as a semi-official propagandist for the Bush administration's global military crusades. But the imprisonment of the New York Times star reporter for contempt of court, ordered July 6 by US Judge Thomas Hogan in Washington DC, is dangerous blow to basic press freedoms.

Rove named in Plame case

Surprise, surprise! None other than Karl Rove has been named as the source who leaked that Valerie Plame was a CIA agent, a crime for which two journalists may yet do time, even though they didn't commit it. Time magazine has now gone over the head of its own reporter Matt Cooper—who took a principled stance in refusing to name his source despite a federal subpoena—and released his e-mails regarding the case to the Justice Department, so he may be off the hook in terms of prison time. (Not so Judith Miller of the New York Times, whose own shameless pom-pom waving for Bush's military escapades makes her an unlikely hero.) The e-mails apparently confirm that he at least discussed the story with Rove, and allegations are mounting that Rove was in fact the source. So this is a convenient little double-whammy for the Bush administration. First they got to discredit Plame's husband Ambassador Joseph Wilson when he was claiming (correctly, it turns out) that Saddam did not seek uranium from Africa. Then, it uses the case sparked by the leak to erode the principle of journalistic privilege. Pretty Machiavellian. One wishes their hubris would catch up with these guys already, as it did for Machiavelli in the end. From the July 2 Editor & Publisher:

Pentagon maintains secret floating prisons?

Still only rumors at this point, but chilling ones, and a UN rapporteur considers them credible enough to warrant an investigation. Thanks to TruthOut for sending this one from AFP June 29:

US Suspected of Keeping Secret Prisoners on Warships: UN Official
The UN has learned of "very, very serious" allegations that the United States is secretly detaining terrorism suspects in various locations around the world, notably aboard prison ships, the UN's special rapporteur on terrorism said.

Conspiranoiacs get Reaganoid champion

As we've recently noted, nothing makes the 9-11 "skeptics" (who are actually among the most gullible people in the world) giddier than a whiff of vindication from The Establishment. Pretty ironic, given that their entire world view is predicated on the assumption of a monolithic and omnipotent Conspiracy. This time it's Paul Craig Roberts, a supply-side wonk from the Reagan Treasury Department. What the 9-11 conspiranoiacs (as we prefer to call them) don't get is that The Establishment is no less likely than any other cross-section of society to produce cranks and wackjobs. More likely, in fact. Especially the Reagan administration! James Watt, Alexander Haig, the Gipper himself—wackjobs on parade! Funnier still, while they are distributing Roberts' words to give themselves a sense of mainstream legitimacy, the medium that ran this piece of detritus, Arctic Beacon, states on its homepage that among the topics it seeks to explore is "the Alien Presence on Earth and UFO Phenomena."

Way to go, conspiranoiacs!

Doctors involved in Gitmo interrogations

Just as the White House has rejected creation of an independent commission to investigate abuses at Gitmo and elsewhere (Reuters, June 21), comes this deeply disturbing news. It is (as we've recently noted) taboo to say this sort of thing, but how is the analogy to the Nazi doctors avoidable? No, it is not the same as Mengele. The point is, you stand up and point out the similarity before it gets to that level of evil. The fact that the analogy is taboo, ironically, just abets the Nazification of the USA. Thanks to TruthOut for passing this one along.

Conspiranoiacs go mainstream

The conspiranoiacs are going to be salivating over this one. For all their relentless insistence that the entire government is controlled by The Conspiracy, nothing makes them giddier than a whiff of vindication from The Establishment. Too bad the poorly-named "9-11 skeptics" will never exhibit any skepticism over these claims...

Rasul v. Bush: one year later

Kudos to Newsday, which (unlike the NY Times thus far) today notes the approaching one-year anniversary of Rasul v. Bush, the Supreme Court ruling that Guantanamo detainees are entitled to judicial review. It was hailed as a victory by civil libertarians at the time, yet detainees have had no access to the courts since then. Note that Newsday rightly uses the word "courts" to refer to the civilian judiciary and not the Pentagon's special "tribunals" for the detainees, which are laden with extraordinarily onerous restrictions, and are arguably a legal fiction. Here are some excerpts from Newsday's coverage:

"Anti-terrorist" website promotes terror

David Horowitz' website Discover the Networks: A Guide to the Political Left is pretty funny, evoking what Richard Hofstadter called "the paranoid style in American politics." Its list of un-American "radicals" includes both George Soros and Sheik Omar Abdel Rahman (neither "leftists"), as well as Death Row celebrity Mumia Abu-Jamal and pro-death penalty ex-prez Bill Clinton. What isn't so funny is that Discover the Networks apparently exchanged links with a truly evil site called Target of Opportunity. The disingenuous "disclaimer" on this site is actually an explicit incitement to violence:

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