Thursday, August 26, 2004

The cha-cha of plausible deniability

Hungary chooses as its next prime minister Ferenc Gyurcsany, the richest man in the country, because that turned out so well in Italy. He made his fortune buying up privatized state assets cheap. And most recently he was minister of sport, which qualifies him to run the whole country because... because... well, maybe the minister of paprika was busy.
Update: I've been informed by DoDo of Manic Net Preacher that Gyurcsany is nowhere near the richest man in Hungary, which is propaganda put out by his opponents, who are themselves supported by even richer people. Sounds familiar, somehow.

Geov Parrish asks, Are You Qualified to be President?

Dahlia Lithwick has a good column on the torture reports, good because it agrees with what I’ve said on the subject, which is the definition of good. She also makes an interesting comparison between the insistence on putting the blame on those at the low end of the torture totem pole rather than their superiors, and the overhyping of those Al Qaida foot soldiers we’ve been able to catch, while talking as little as possible about Rumsfeld & bin Laden respectively. I hadn’t noticed that parallel, although I’m not sure what it means. She argues, as I did here and here, that looking for a smoking gun linking Rummy to Lynndie England "ignores the realities of the chain of command, and the cha-cha of plausible deniability."

The US plans to hand over to the tender mercies of the Afghan legal system, whenever the Afghans get around to having one, the hundreds of Afghans it has been holding, some for close to 3 years. Yes I’m sure that’s a legal system we want to be an integral part of.

The State Dept has decided not to allow Muslim scholar Tariq Ramadan to come to this country to teach a course at Notre Dame. Ramadan, who lives in Switzerland, has written about how Muslims can accommodate themselves to secular societies. I guess he’s received a lesson in the subject himself, when Jewish groups (I’ve forgotten which ones since I first heard about this, and the NYT is too dainty to say) lobbied the State Dept not to let him teach at a Catholic university. You could look it up, how many Tariq Ramadans could there be?

The Victorian Sex Cry Generator.

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