Thursday, December 09, 2004

Tantamount to discipline?

As we know, US soldiers never “torture” prisoners, they “abuse” them. But when the WaPo says that 4 Special Forces soldiers have been “disciplined” for “abusing” prisoners with tasers (the NYT uses the same wording in its headline), we know that “disciplined” isn’t a euphemism for, say, going to prison but for...wait for it... receiving letters of reprimand. Jolly strict letters of reprimand, I’m sure. Pentagon spokesmoron Lawrence Di Rita was asked whether the use of tasers was tantamount to torture and replied, “I have nothing to say on that. I just don’t know.” Don’t know? Well I have a suggestion for how to dispel Di Rita’s lack of clarity on whether tasering is torture, and it involves another press conference, 4 reporters (perhaps including Helen Thomas), 4 taser guns, and my VCR recording the whole thing.

What is the WaPo trying to say when it includes the story “Chicken Genome Decoded” in the “Washington in Brief” section?

From Knight Ridder: “There is no comprehensive way to quantify how rebel activity has been affected nationwide by the Fallujah assault. American officials no longer make available to reporters a daily tally of the number of incidents reported around the country.” Not that reporters should consider Pentagon figures to be “comprehensive” in the first place, of course.

The Bush admin files a friend-of-the-Lord brief asking the Supreme Court to allow displays of the 10 Commandments in court houses. Evidently they are “historic symbols of law” and not of religion. Who knew?

Hamid Karzai calls for a “jihad” against opium. Jihad, Afghanistan, that always goes well.

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