Thursday, February 16, 2006

Trained in trying to disseminate false allegations

The US has rejected a UN report calling for the closure of Stalag Guantanamo or at the very least for the torture and forcible feeding to stop, have real legal proceedings, and blah blah blah. Why, the US says in badly feigned righteous indignation, we can tell the report is biased because the investigators never even visited Gitmo, having refused our generous offer to come and not be allowed to speak with any of the prisoners (lack of transparency works twice: first you keep everyone in the dark, then you accuse them of ignorance like it’s their fault. Alberto Gonzales did this last week re NSA eavesdropping). “We know that al-Qaeda terrorists are trained in trying to disseminate false allegations,” says Scott McClellan, who, can you believe it, never had a lesson. The US response to the report (pages 53-4 of the pdf linked above) finds its condemnation of the force feeding of hunger-striking prisoners “bewildering.”

Speaking of unethical medical practices, the state of California will respond to a federal judge’s ruling that its particular cocktail of drugs used in executions may inflict pain on prisoners, won’t change the drugs but will provide an anaesthesiologist to ensure that the prisoner in the case, due to be executed next week, will be unconscious before the drugs are administered. The California Medical Association says participation by a doctor in an execution is unethical because “Capital punishment is not a medical task,” but it won’t actually do anything about it.

Condi Rice is asking Congress for tens of millions to “support the aspirations of the Iranian people” (Condi does not say how she determined what those aspirations are; possibly she went door to door with a clipboard). She accuses the Iranian government of “toxic statements and confrontational behavior,” which is funny because she just talked about trying to overthrow that government, which is usually considered at least a wee bit confrontational. Some of this money will be distributed secretly to certain Iranians, ensuring that all reformers can be denounced as American puppets. Condi says that she’s “read that” Beethoven and Mozart cannot be played in Teheran. Well, if she’s “read” it, it must be true.

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