You might recall my post back in March about IslamTube entitled “IslamTube: Snipers and Destruction.” Bottom line, IslamTube back then (hold on before you excoriate me for not updating my sources) featured such crowd-pleasers as videos of jihadists blowing up Coalition forces, and Zawahiri tapes–much unlike the cheery GodTube.
Well, turns out somebody has now hacked IslamTube, rendering it useless. Hopefully forever–thanks to good old freedom and democracy, it appears that citizens of fellow democracy Turkey have hacked the abomination. Now appearing on the IslamTube front page: a lovely picture of Turkish nation-founder Ataturk, the Turkish flag, and some music (Turkish national anthem?).
Now to be fair, there were positive Islamic videos on the site: and so, sincere apologies to our reader (named “a person”) who pointed out that IslamTube now directs him to another site (“Islaam.com”). I also found myself redirected to Islaam.com, before the second attempt that brought me Ataturk.
I’ll take Ataturk over Jihadists anyday. Long live Turkey!
(And by the way: hacking is often illegal. Don’t do it.)
The President yesterday signed an Executive Order, entitled “Interpretation of the Geneva Conventions Common Article 3 as Applied to a Program of Detention and Interrogation Operated by the Central Intelligence Agency.”
Note that the Military Commissions Act requires this Executive Order. MCA, Sec 6(a)(3) : states that “As provided by the Constitution and by this section, the President has the authority for the United States to interpret the meaning and application of the Geneva Conventions and to promulgate higher standards and administrative regulations for violations of treaty obligations which are not grave breaches of the Geneva Conventions.” The section continues to state that POTUS “shall issue [such] interpretations . . . by Executive Order,” and that such EO “shall be authoritative (execpt as to grave breaches of common Article 3) as a matter of United States law, in the same manner as other administrative regulations.”
As you read, note a few additional things. First off, the EO requires that CIA detainees “receive the basic necessities of life.” However, the Washington Post reports that a “senior administration official” states that “sleep” does not fall within the “basic necessities” category.
Second, the President reaffirms his 7 February 2002 determination that al Qaeda, Taliban, “and associated forces” are “unlawful enemy combatants who are not entitled to the Continue reading
A recently released document from the Nixon White House provides an illuminating window on Nixon and his modus operandi. In it, Nixon complains that the public doesn’t appreciate his good and caring side. It’s hard to say what is the most amusing part about it: The false humility (“Again, such things, to be believable, have to be discovered, and one of the great factors that should be emphasized is that the President does not brag about all the good things he does for people.”), the outrageous mendacity (“The line that the President always takes the heat and never shifts the blame should get out.”), the false air of education (“I have used the Latin phrase over and over again, ‘Esta en su casa.’”), or the unintended irony (“we have gained the liability of being known as a ‘PR-obsessed administration’ and have been less successful in PR than in any other area of undertaking.”, “100 years from now political scientists will praise us for our process.”).
We reported earlier that Parker v. District of Columbia, 04-7041 (D.C.Cir, 9 Mar 2007), the D.C. Circuit Court that struck down parts of the 31-year old D.C. gun laws as unconstitutional, was headed to the Supreme Court.
Not surprisingly, today that became a reality. Although the petition was due August 7th, D.C. officials announced today they’d be asking for a 30 day extension to file their petition. At a press conference, Mayor Adrian Fenty announced: “We have made the determination that this law can and should be
defended and we are willing to take our case to the highest court in
the land to protect the city’s residents. Our handgun law has saved
countless lives–keeping guns out of the hands of those who would
hurt others or themselves.”
More as the case develops.
Steven Mufson of the Washington Post has a grave assessment of Congress’ ability to make even a dent in the dire issue of climate change:
Here’s the good news about climate change: Energy and climate experts say the world already possesses the technological know-how for trimming greenhouse gas emissions enough to slow the perilous rise in the Earth’s temperatures.
Here’s the bad news: Because of the enormous cost of addressing global warming, the energy legislation considered by Congress so far will make barely a dent in the problem, while farther-reaching climate proposals stand a remote chance of passage.
Despite growing public concern over global warming, the House has failed to agree on new standards for automobile fuel efficiency, and the Senate has done little to boost the efficiency of commercial office buildings and appliances. In September, Congress is expected to start wrestling with more ambitious legislation aimed at slowing climate change; but because of the complexity of the likely proposals, fewexpect any bill to become law. Even if passed by Congress and signed by President Bush, the final measure may not be tough Continue reading
Clearly this Canadian anchor thinks little of the U.S., but Ayaan Hirsi Ali, known more for her fierce characterization of Islam as antithetical to free will, will have none of it, saying choicely: “You grew up on freedom, so you can spit on freedom.” Hirsi Ali’s repeated defense of America against all those who reflexively attack modern American culture in favor of “traditional” values or cultures (which I can only surmise need such affirmative action in defense of some alleged intentional American imperialist design) cuts to the bone: “My criticism of the West, especially of liberals, is that they take freedom for granted.” This interviewer provokes her again to the same point: it’s not about America’s failures, and indeed, they are many–it’s about what America offers to every American. Here’s the video:
The Somali refugee who sought political asylum in the Netherlands, and eventually became a member of that country’s lower house of Parliament, who faced death Continue reading
Some new developments.
1. First off, the Pentagon on Wednesday (July 4th) filed an appeal to reverse the commission judge’s dismissal and denial of reconsideration in the Khadr case, which we previously discussed HERE. I’m somewhat surprised, as most government offices weren’t open on the 4th. Despite the filing of the appeal, apparently the court, called the Court of Military Commissions Review (CMCR), isn’t even truly in existence yet: the members are due to be sworn-in this week.
The Court’s rules are according to one report “almost identical to those employed by the various service courts of criminal appeals.” For an example of one of the service court’s rules, the Navy-Marine Corps Court of Criminal Appeals’ rules are HERE.
The same report suggests that no timetable exists for processing the appeal. If the CMCR follows generally military case law, however, one can look to United States v. Moreno, 63 M.J. 129 (C.A.A.F. 2006), which requires a docketing time with the court of no more than 30 days after conviction, and requires no more than an 18 month time period between docketing of a record Continue reading
SCOTUS Detainee Cases
News on several fronts. Last Friday, June 29th, SCOTUS reversed its denial of cert in both the Boumediene v. Bush (06-1195) and Al Odah v. U.S. (06-1196) cases, saying :
The petitions for rehearing are granted. The orders entered April 2, 2007, denying the petitions for writs of certiorari are vacated. The petitions for writs of certiorari are granted. The cases are consolidated and a total of one hour is allotted for oral argument.
SCOTUS reversing a denial of cert, then granting rehearing and new argument, reportedly has not occurred since Hickman v. Taylor, 329 U.S. 495 (1947).
The Court also noted that due to pending decisions in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, supplemental briefings would be ordered upon any decisions issued in Bismullah, et al., v. Gates (06-1197) and Parhat, et al., v. Gates(06-1397). Boumediene and Al Continue reading
Kudos to yojoe for airing his views, but as with my strong disagreement with the conclusions of Michael Moore’s Sicko, there’s often another way to skin a cat. While I find merit in yojoe’s conclusions, I’m not sure he’s taken the most virtuous route to that conclusion (and I ascribe no fault to him–but to factors detailed below). And so I’m left disagreeing with his conclusion in this particular case.
Without going in great depth for professional and other reasons, readers trolling over to the New York Times, one of yojoe‘s sources, will notice the following language not cited by yojoe: “Three of the Russian men released with Mr. Odizhev have since been arrested, and the other three have apparently fled Russia because of police harassment or torture, according to Human Rights Watch, a private American organization, which has investigated their cases.”
Lest readers be mistaken that Human Rights Watch doesn’t intersect with the U.S. Government’s concerns, on May 24th, Department of State Assistant Secretary for European and Eurasian Affairs Fried testified before the U.S. Helsinki Commission about Russia’s current trajectory, and this is what he said:
Under the guise of demanding reforms, Russia has proposed changes to the [Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE)], the effect of which would be to cripple its democracy promotion efforts. The United States disagrees strongly with this Russian approach . . .
Suppression of genuine opposition, abridgement of the right to protest, constriction of the space of civil society, and the decline of media freedom all represent serious setbacks that are inconsistent with Russia’s professed commitment to building and preserving the foundations of a democratic state. The unsolved murders of Continue reading
In the picture below is Ms. Diaz wearing a bag emblazoned with the slogan “Serve the People.” This was a political slogan of the murderous leader Mao Zedong.
This was understandably upsetting to the people of Cuzco, Peru as Shining Path was the cause of some 70,000 deaths in the 1980s. Shining Path was inspired by Mao’s Cultural Revolution in China. Camron Diaz, like the vast majority of morons donning Che t-shirts, has no idea what she is doing.
Ernesto Guevera was the commander of a prison in Cuba, where he presided over the show trials and executions of former members of the Batista government. It is therefore quite fitting that he was executed in a schoolhouse in Bolivia. Prior to this demise, Guevera held a number of other high-level posts in in Castro’s government.
Left: Che Conducting Summary Executions
Right: Che About To Be Summarily Executed
What about Himmler? He was in charge of Nazi prison system, why not a t-shirt for him? Himmler, Goring, Goebbels, were all revolutionaries that engaged in murder just like Che. Himmler even has a better mustache and better hair than Che.
P.S. This does not constitute an endorsement of an official yojoe Himmler t-shirt. The point is, we should not celebrate any of these people.
There has been a buzz on Capitol Hill in recent days not seen since Joe Kennedy installed a mechanical bull on the floor of the Senate. The discovery by Dick Cheney that the Vice President’s office constitutes a fourth branch of government has triggered a flurry of projects and papers by government researchers. As in the heady days of the discovery of high-temperature superconductors, new announcements are coming in by the day. In such a fast-changing environment, information becomes outdated almost as soon as it is posted. However, as of the writing of this post, six additional branches of government have been announced by D.C. researchers, bringing the unofficial total to ten:
1) The House Sergeant-at-Arms (part executive, part legislative)
2) Military Tribunals (part judge, part jury, part executioner)
3) Ted Kennedy between the hours of 10 pm and 3 am (part legislative, part drunk)
4) The Jefferson Memorial (via loophole, governed by neither Congress nor the President, but by groundskeeper Thaddeus Hatch)
5) Project Stargate (part executive, part woo-woo)
6) The US Den of Espionage (neither executive, legislative, nor judicial)
We here at AO will bring you further updates as they come in.
[UPDATED 26 Jun: the full 702-pages of primary source materials, referred to below, were posted today on GWU's National Security Archive. Download or keyword-search the files, HERE (24 meg, .pdf). GWU's summary of the documents is HERE, with links to brief/meaty selections.]
Thank “nature’s God” (or your own preference) each day you’re able to discuss and debate the merits of Guantanamo, NSA surveillance, and other matters du jour. Although I leave my own personal opinions out of many of these matters, the freedom to blog and debate is quintessentially the right of a free and democratic people–relish it. History, too, must inform our debates: Jefferson presciently believed that an educated electorate was the sine qua non of democracy. With that in mind, A.O. welcomes the yesterday’s revelations about CIA history.
In recognition of the need for “Government of, by, and for the People,” the Central Intelligence Agency will as soon as next week declassify materials revealing some 25 years of illegal domestic spying activities against Americans until official investigations and reforms took place in the 1970s. CIA Director General Michael Hayden made the announcement Thursday, 21 Jun 07, in a speech to a conference of foreign policy historians. For decades, the documents to be declassified had been sought under the Freedom of Information Act by Americans, but the requests had been Continue reading
Life is very difficult for former Iranian “reformist” president Mohammad Khatami (1997-2005) these days. As the video below (after the break) depicts, he shook
Former Iranian President Mohammad Khatami (left hand unaccounted for)
hands with women on a recent trip to Italy–and is now facing trial following condemnation by Iranian conservatives. Ultra-conservatives a protest in the city of Mashhad and delivered a formal complaint, along with copies of the below film, to a special clerical court calling for Khatami to be put on trial. Placards carried by the crowd read, among other choice phrases, “Death to the Clerics’ Foe.” A second lawsuit has also been filed against Khatami by the Hezbollah militia for the handshakes.