Thursday, December 26, 2002

No government can go about sucking blood of its own people

43% of new Congresscritters are millionaires. In 2000, it was 1/3.

Here’s something I didn’t know: in Alabama, January 20 is both the federal Martin Luther King holiday and the state Robert E. Lee holiday.

WaPo for US national security defends defending the torture of Al Qaida and Taliban suspects, including handing them over to Egyptian or Moroccan torturers--nothing I didn’t mention months ago, but it’s nice to see it in the Post. And the quotations are horrifying, so this is a must-read. The paper notes that sleep deprivation, one of our methods, is denounced in the annual State Dept reports as a method of torture when other countries do it.

There’s also a story in the Post about how in 1969 Nixon tried to give the Soviets an incentive to hurry North Vietnam along at the negotiating table by putting US nuclear forces on alert, essentially threatening them with a nuclear war, as part of his “mad bomber” strategy. I’m unclear why this is news, since I knew about it 20 years ago, I think from an essay by Daniel Ellsberg.

Speaking of mad bombers, no one seems to be making anything of it, but Rumsfeld threatened North Korea with war a couple of days ago. He said that the US can indeed conduct two wars at the same time, so Iraq won’t stop us taking them on too. Does anybody else think that threatening war--especially threatening possible nuclear powers with war--is becoming entirely too routine, so much so that this one didn’t even cause the tiniest of stirs?

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