Saturday, May 18, 2002

So what do I think should go in the World Trade Center site? How about a pillory? We lock the directors of the CIA and FBI and, oh, Condaleeza Rice, in stocks and everyone gets to throw fruit at them. Good for the NY street vendors, good for tourism, infinitely less destructive than bombing Kabul.

A NY Times columnist makes the case that whatever Al Qaeda were up to, it was never going to be simple hijacking, which was not their style at all. And that’s even without the advanced warning it now seems we had from multiple sources dating back to 1996 (to say nothing of the original attack on the World Trade Center: if there’s one thing that Dubya understands--just ask Iraq--it’s that simmering resentment about the big one that got away). I’ve heard asked several times, But what could we have done differently if the warnings had been made public? There’s an answer to that which is not only obvious (so why has no one but me come up with it?)(or maybe someone is sending a letter to the Times right now--my flight Simulator joke turned up in today’s paper), it actually happened: the Pennsylvania plane. The passengers crashed the plane once they had figured out what was going on--might not the pilots, crew and passengers of the other planes have done so, too, had they had advanced warning? A second obvious answer is, if a warning had been made, maybe they’d have cancelled or postponed the attack, giving the FBI time to catch them. That answer also hasn’t appeared anywhere.

Ari Fleischer, speaking for the American people, says “They will welcome an inquiry if it’s free from politics, led by the responsible experts, and the determinations of what should be looked into are made on the basis of intelligence analysis and not political considerations.” In other words, let the same bozos at the FBI and CIA who originally fucked up determine the lines of inquiry.

And Laura Bush is wheeled out to say: “I think it is very said that people would play upon the victims’ families’ emotions, or all Americans’ emotions.” You mean the way you just did, Laura? Another candidate for the pillory.

Speaking of leaving cover-ups, I mean inquiries, to the responsible experts, only the NY Times seems to have had the story of an article by a Vatican lawyer, obviously vetted by his bosses, trying to prevent inquiries into paedophile priests spread from the US. He says that bishops shouldn’t give any information to secular authorities, shouldn’t force psychological testing on the priests, and should continue to transfer them without staining their good names [yes, in those words] by informing the new parish.

US military aid to Indonesia is about to resume, at midnight Sunday, when East Timor becomes independent.

Kaiser Permanente, which is so evil that its executives all dress as Darth Vader except that the helmet has a spike at the top (get it, Kaiser, German helmet, get it?), had a policy of paying its telephone clerks bonuses based on how quickly they got off the phone with sick people, and how few appointments with doctors they scheduled. TELEPHONE CLERKS!

The Russians are crowing over having assassinated a Chechen warlord, which they did by sending him a letter. Laced with poison. It’s nice to see the KGB up and running again, isn’t it?

If you go into the woods today: Economic conferences are no longer held in cities, at the request of the local McDonald’s and Starbuck’s franchises, I believe. So the G8 is due to meet in the Canadian Rockies. Only they just realized that it was the start of the grizzly bear hunting season--that is, hunting *by* the grizzlies. Secret services are a little nervous.

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