Sunday, March 19, 2006

If you don’t make them bleed, they can’t prosecute for it

Robert Baker, inventor of the chicken nugget, has died. He was buried... no, I can’t do it, I won’t do it.

In a radio address the day before the third anniversary of the U.S.-led invasion, President Bush said the violence in Iraq ‘has created a new sense of urgency’ among Iraqi leaders to form a government.

Those leaders ... were taking a break from negotiations to observe Monday’s Shiite holiday and Tuesday’s Kurdish New Year.
No doubt they took St Patrick’s Day off as well.

Secretary of War Rumsfeld has an op-ed piece in the WaPo entitled “What We’ve Gained In 3 Years in Iraq.” “Gained” is an interesting choice of word. He begins with what he no doubt thinks is a clever rhetorical trick:
Some have described the situation in Iraq as a tightening noose, noting that "time is not on our side" and that "morale is down." Others have described a "very dangerous" turn of events and are "extremely concerned."
In the second paragraph, he reveals that those “some” are in fact the enemy, the terrorists, “Zarqawi and his associates,” describing their own situation. See what he did there? Did he blow your mind? Those are their “exact words” – you can tell by the quotation marks, though he doesn’t say how he knows them or who actually said them or why they weren’t speaking in Arabic, but boy he sure showed those nay-sayers, didn’t he?

He says history will show he was right, although since history is written by the victors, I wouldn’t look for much love in that quarter if I were him. “Fortunately,” he added, “history is not made up of daily headlines, blogs on Web sites or the latest sensational attack.” Blogs on Web sites. He’s really down with the kids, isn’t he?

That’s followed by much of the usual crap, which I can’t be bothered to make fun of, sorry. The money quote: “Turning our backs on postwar Iraq today would be the modern equivalent of handing postwar Germany back to the Nazis.”

Bush also celebrated our three glorious years in Iraq.

Got some quagmire on muh tie.

Shrub’s word of the day: encouraged. “I encouraged the Iraqi leaders to continue to work hard to get this government up and running. ... Now the Iraqi leaders are working together to enact a government that reflects the will of the people. I’m encouraged by the progress. The ambassador was encouraged by it.” He ended his statement, “My God continue to bless our troops in harm’s way.” Continue?

Cheney celebrated the anniversary by shooting Bob Shieffer in the Face the Nation. Like Rumsfeld, he believes the terrorists have “reached a stage of desperation from their standpoint.” Indeed, “Zarqawi himself was quoted two years ago saying that if the Iraqis ever achieve that objective, put together a democratic government, that he’d have to pack up his bags and go elsewhere.” You get the feeling he’s being a little liberal with the paraphrasing? Shieffer noted that the administration, and Cheney in particular, have tended to be “optimistic” about Iraq (indeed, the Dickster said later that “the evidence is overwhelming” that we’re winning). Here’s Cheney trying to look optimistic:

Cheney pushed the 9/11 button more than Rummy or Bush, saying, “That kind of aggressive forward-leaning strategy [invading Afghanistan, invading Iraq, that sort of thing] is one of the main reasons we haven’t been struck again since 9/11 because we’ve taken the fight to them.”

Cheney says of his own veepship, “I didn’t ask for this job. I didn’t campaign for it. I got drafted”. I forget, who was it that drafted you again, who was the guy responsible for picking Bush’s running mate in 2000?

Many trees fell in a forest to make the Sunday edition of the New York Times. Did they make a sound? If so, it was not heard by Bob Shieffer, who didn’t ask Cheney about its article on Task Force 6-26 and the Black Room (motto “No Blood, No Foul,” because “If you don’t make them bleed, they can’t prosecute for it.”) Even the CIA and the DIA didn’t want to be associated with the goings-on there and pulled their people out of Camp Nama, although, like the memo from Under Sec. Stephen Cambone to William “They’re after us because we’re a Christian nation” Boykin (remember him?), one could be excused for seeing the move as pure CYA, since the CIA continued to provide T 6-26 the intel.

The sole task of the task force was to get Zarqawi.

Which they didn’t do.

But along the way they did torture quite a few people, play paintball with the prisoners, dumped prisoners found to be innocent deep in the desert, and had little ceremonies, like presenting outgoing members with a detainee hood.

Boykin, by the way, whose god is bigger than your god, said he didn’t find a “pattern of misconduct” by the task force. An army investigation ended last June, having accomplished nothing because task force members... used false names. I mean, what can you do when they use false names? Oh, and 70% of the unit’s computer files were “lost.”

Their base, until they moved somewhere even more secretive, was called Camp Nama, which the NYT says “stood for a coarse phrase that soldiers used to describe the compound.” Does anyone know what that means?
(Update: evidently Nasty Ass Military Area. Guess they reserve all their originality for devising new torture methods. Still -- that’s the phrase the Times was afraid would offend our precious delicate ears?)

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