November 20, 2008

I said 'hey'
she said 'hey'
that's the way
it is today

Klipschutz, farewell piece of poly sci snidery until…I change my mind, 2008

klipschutz reads! Tonight Thursday, November 20, he’ll be part of "Gratitude Is in the Air," a group event at the Peace Café, 1665 Haight Street, San Francisco. Reading starts at 7 p.m. klipschutz performs at 7:50.

* Eugene Robinson. excerpt:

"We will look back on the Bush years and find it incredible, and disgraceful, that individuals were captured in battle or 'purchased' from self-interested tribal warlords, whisked to Guantanamo, classified as 'enemy combatants' but not accorded the rights that status should have accorded, held for years without charges—and denied the right to prove that they were victims of mistaken identity and never should have been taken into custody.

"A new study by researchers at the University of California at Berkeley, based on interviews with 62 men who were held for an average of three years at Guantanamo before being released without ever being accused of a crime, found that more than a third said they were turned over to their American captors by warlords for a bounty. Those who reported physical abuse said most of it occurred at the U.S.’s Bagram Air Base in Afghanistan, where about half the men were initially held before being taken to Guantanamo."
"Years from now, we will be shocked to see those pictures of naked prisoners being humiliated and abused at Abu Ghraib—and we will be ashamed of a U.S. government that punished low-level troops for their sadism but exonerated the higher-ups who made such sadism possible.

"Years from now, we will know the full truth of the clandestine CIA-run prisons where 'high-value' terrorism suspects were interrogated with techniques, including waterboarding, that both civilized norms and international law have long defined as torture. From what we already know, it’s hard to say which is more appalling—the torture itself, or the tortured legal rationalizations that Bush administration lawyers came up with to “justify” making barbarity the official policy of the United States government.

"Obama’s clarity on the issues of Guantanamo and torture stands in contrast to his necessary vagueness about how he will deal with the economic crisis. Torture is wrong today and will still be wrong tomorrow, whereas today’s economic panacea can be tomorrow’s drop in the bucket. Who would have thought that these 'war on terror' issues would be the easy part for the new president?

"Not that easy, though. More reports like the UC Berkeley study will come out, but this is not a task that can be left to academic researchers alone. The new Obama administration has a duty to conduct its own investigation and tell us exactly what was done in our name. Realistically, some facts are going to be redacted. Realistically, some officials who may deserve to face criminal charges will not. But to restore our national honor and heal our national soul, at least we need to know."

* Alex Balk is right, this is likely the dumbest political analysis of the year: "Our incoming president’s very short tenure in the public eye is brought home to me every day as I write on my not-so-old computer, which continues to underline Obama’s name in red. It’s not a misspelling, it just hasn’t been part of the national vocabulary very long."

* Drug czar finally does something constructive.

* The Bat and The Bird has posted Bill Callahan playing Diamond Dancer, from a May 16, 2007 recording for Austin's Kut radio.

* "It is no good to try to stop knowledge from going forward. Ignorance is never better than knowledge." -- Enrico Fermi


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