Tuesday, August 24, 2004

Animal House

The program director for the R convention says, "We tried to look at what TV shows do to keep an audience. We’re taking lessons from TV shows." I hope they’re not getting a twin pregnant just to boost ratings. That would be wrong.

Once the convention starts, or perhaps before, I encourage those of you who can stand to watch to submit your choice for the convention’s jump-the-shark moment to jumptheshark.com.
But in which category? "Special Guest Star"--Schwarzenegger? "They did it"--Bush & McCain?

In Guantanamo, the first military tribunal in 60 years, the names of whose members we are not allowed to know, has formally charged Osama bin Laden’s driver, possibly for failing to signal a turn, as part of George W. Bush’s bold plan to inconvenience bin Laden by making him have to walk, or possibly take a bus. Correction: the panel’s names were already known, but the media are now being asked not to print their names anyway. Only one member has any legal training.

In May I joked about Fox turning Abu Ghraib into a reality show, suggesting that Corp. Graner had provided the perfect title, "I Love to Make a Grown Man Piss Himself." It turns out that the guards already did just that, using their dogs in a competition to get under-aged prisoners to piss themselves. The Post does not say what the prize was.

I’m not sure why the Schlesinger report into the prison abuses is being portrayed as blaming Rumsfeld, when it seems to have gone rather far out of its way to avoid doing so. The "Animal House" line seems to follow the "boys will be vicious, sadistic, evil boys" position the Pentagon has been pushing from the start. In fact, the report is just blaming the prison night shift. We are supposed to believe that the day shift was torturing prisoners as part of an interrogation strategy (we know this, we have the memos), then the night shift came in and did the exact same things, but for fun, because they were bored.

As Argentina was to fleeing Nazis, so is the US today a haven for war criminals and other shits from all over the world, with very little comment or discussion. For example, Haitian death squad leaders live in Florida with impunity. And the guy on the left in this picture moved to Virginia, where he owned a pizza parlor and died in 1998 of natural causes.

So it's interesting that the trial of Alvaro Rafael Saviria, one of the masterminds behind the assassination of archbishop Romero in El Salvador in 1980, is getting so little attention. The trial, which is a civil trial, is going ahead although the guy has disappeared, fearing prosecution. Not for the assassination, but for rolling back odometers and selling lemons--he was a used car dealer in Modesto, CA.

The Palestinian hunger strikers will, obviously, overstrain normal prison medical facilities. But the Israeli health minister has said that "these murderers" will not be allowed into regular hospitals.

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