Sunday, November 04, 2001

The Sunday Washington Post has a couple of worthwhile articles, one analyzing the detainees, and how the government is using detention as a tool, the other on the eroding line between law enforcement and intelligence-gathering, the very thing I was complaining a week or more ago about no one talking about. Better late than never. Also worth leading, the Seymour Hersh article in the New Yorker, "King's Ransom," available online, about Saudi Arabia's instability and US policy through the years. One thing it says which I kind of assumed, but it's nice to have confirmed, is that the Saudis asked us to restrain the CIA from operating there and that it complied, with results that should be obvious. Tom Friedman wrote a week or so back that in the 1980s they asked the US to recall an ambassador who was actually speaking to Saudi people. We took the hint and never since have we sent an ambassador who speaks Arabic. Ya know, all Afghanistan ever did to us was give sanctuary to someone we don't like. Saudi has a much higher population of those, and provides most of the money.

It's not just t-shirts that are a problem in the schools. I'm so glad I'm not a parent, I'd be in a constant state of outrage. Evidently it's now quite common to use drug-sniffing dogs on the students, just have the dog go up and down the rows.

Evidently bin Laden's "Afghan Arabs" all expect to die. One preparation they've been making is buying husbands for their sisters and daughters, by which I mean going into an Afghan village one night, asking who wants a wife, and giving him some money for promising to protect her. Like a fairytale romance, isn't it? Some of them are quite young, of course. Good luck with the rest of your lives, girls.

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