Friday, January 12, 2007

The pause that refreshes

The soldiers who met Bush at Fort Benning yesterday were banned from speaking to reporters.

Monday the Supreme Court refused to overturn a 9th Circuit decision allowing the prosecution of seven Iranian refugees for supporting the People’s Mujahadeen of Iran, which the State Dept considers a terrorist organization. This means that they will not be able to question that designation in court (the 9th said it literally doesn’t matter if the designation is correct). So you’ve got all wrapped up in one unconstitutional ball a bunch of things antithetical to justice and fairness: 1) secret evidence (used in the designation, which is an administrative process but has the effect of making the giving of aid to certain organizations a criminal act), 2) guilt by association, 3) collective guilt, 4) and in this case the designation was even made retroactive. The Bush admin had told the Supreme Court that this wasn’t about free speech (or freedom of association) at all but the regulation of financial interactions.

Secretary of War Robert
gates 23
testified to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee that members of the Bush administration and the military have been persuaded that Maliki and other Iraqi leaders “finally have the will to act against all instigators of violence in Baghdad.” “Finally.” Even the Bushies (including DCI Hayden, in a reference I’ve misplaced) are having to admit that these people have always acted in a sectarian manner in the past and that the only guarantee they won’t do so in the future is that they say they won’t. Gates: “The record of fulfilling their commitments is not an encouraging one. But I will say this: they really do seem to be eager to take control of this security.” Yes, they are eager to be unleashed to repress the Sunnis.

Yesterday the House voted for federal support for stem cell research. The NYT chose to run the story with this picture

Delicious, thirst-quenching stem cells

of Rep. Diana DeGette and her staff toasting the victory with plastic cups of delicious, thirst-quenching stem cells.

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