Friday, December 30, 2005

Because our policy is to preserve life

A WaPo article on covert action since 9/11 notes that assassinations of “terrorists” have been redefined: no longer are they considered to be assassinations (which would be illegal and shit) but acts of self-defense. It was necessary to destroy the English language in order to save it. Also, you know how we learned that decisions on whose communications get surveilled were made by “shift supervisors”? Well, the decisions on “who was going to get it,” as one anonymous source so elegantly put it, were devolved from George Bush to the Director of Central Intelligence, George Tenet when this all began, who delegated them to the CIA’s Counterterrorist Center, where doubtless shift supervisors left it up to the Magic Eight Ball of Doom.

By the way, the WaPo refers to this program as GST, but its crack reporters failed to crack the riddle of just what that might stand for. Suggestions, serious or not so much, in comments, please.

Neither Russia nor Ukraine show any sign of budging in the showdown over natural gas prices, with the Russian deadline 24 hours away (although I think Ukraine’s been stockpiling). Notice how Hugo Chavez’s efforts to win friends and influence people through cheap oil exports are portrayed in the American press as some sort of fiendish plot – or possibly a dastardly plot.... actually which is worse, fiendish or dastardly? – but Russian threats to freeze the populations of countries that displease it (because, of course, this is not primarily a fight over what the fair and proper price of natural gas should be) hasn’t even generated a single tut-tutting editorial (that I’ve seen, anyway)?

The hunger strike in Guantanamo has more than doubled, according to the Pentagon’s highly untrustworthy reporting, to 84, of whom 32 are being forcibly fed. The Pentagon put out the usual claim that hunger striking is “consistent with al Qaeda training and reflects detainee attempts to elicit media attention”. Which must be why they did it on Christmas, and why we didn’t find out for 4 days. Asked why the hunger strikers were being force fed, Col. Jeremy Martin said, “Because our policy is to preserve life.” I’m not sure who has less media savvy, those attention-craving hunger strikers, or Col. Martin.

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