Wednesday, February 15, 2006

There’s no value that can be added


My, that was the epitome of soft-ball interviews, wasn’t it? Or non-interview, really, since Hume didn’t ask a single question that Cheney didn’t want asked. One thing: I didn’t put any particular credence in the rumors that Pamela Willeford, the ambassador to Switzerland who was also on the hunt, was Cheney’s mistress until he referred to her only as “the other hunter.” As for “taking responsibility,” Media Matters points out that for several days, Cheney’s office referred all questions to Katharine Armstrong, who blamed Whittington for being shot. Still, he talked about shooting an old man in the face without actually bursting into giggles or maniacal laughter, and that’s the important thing.

That interview, remixed as a gay porn script by someone with too much time, and god knows what else, on their hands.

State Dept lawyer John Bellinger, speaking about the new (to us) Abu Ghraib photos, takes exactly the same disingenuous line that so many media outlets in the US and elsewhere have taken towards the Danish cartoons: “It’s unfortunate, though, that the photographs are continuing to come out because I think it simply fans the flames at a time that sentiments on these issues are raw around the world. People know, the world knows, that this behavior went on. It was described. It’s been prosecuted. There’s no value that can be added.” And Pentagon spokesmodel Bryan Whitman added (but without adding any value) that release of the pictures “could only further inflame and possibly incite unnecessary violence in the world and... would endanger our military men and women”. You know the word I really like in that sentence? Unnecessary. And are you sure you didn’t mean that the photos would inflame our military men and women and endanger our unnecessary violence? Anyway, the link for those unnecessary-violence-inciting photos once again is here.

Tony Blair forces Parliament to override a House of Lords vote and ban “glorification” of terrorism, to wit,
Statements that are likely to be understood as indirectly encouraging acts of terrorism [because it] glorifies the commission or preparation (whether in the past, in the future or generally) or such acts or offences; and is a statement from which those members of the public could reasonably be expected to infer that what is being glorified is being glorified as conduct that should be emulated by them in existing circumstances.
Blair intends to use this power to ban whole organizations, and to deport foreign imams. Blair said, “We have free speech in this country, but you cannot abuse it.” I wouldn’t have thought that free speech is that difficult a concept to grasp – what part of “free” is so hard to understand?

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