one man's conspiracy is another man's business plan
Saturday, May 15, 2004 | An Open Letter to the Berg Family and the Press
First of all, please accept my deepest condolences for your loss. The loss of a child is the worst thing that can happen to a parent. It is unnatural and devastating. Our children are supposed to outlive us, it is they who should bury us, mourn us, not the other way around. The loss of a beloved brother is a tragedy unimaginable by those who have not lived it, and the best comfort any of us can take is that the son, the brother, lives on in the hearts of those who loved him most.
It is particularly distasteful to me, and unbearably cruel for you, to have heaped on your sorrow the added indignity that his death has become the subject of speculation and questioning by millions of people.
I know that it was your wish, as it would be the wish of any family, to allow Nick the common decency of privacy in death, and you the common decency of privacy in grief.
I ask your forgiveness, and I will presume to ask it on behalf of others who struggle with the dilemma of respect for your family, and for your son's memory, and the urgency of finding out the truth, if such a thing is possible. Please forgive our plain language, forgive our unseemly and public rehashing of details that are painful to all people of conscience and faith, and that must be torture for you. Forgive us, and understand that we do not seek to sensationalize or disrespect your son, we just want to find out who killed him.
It does not appear, according to the video, that Nick was alive when his body was desecrated.
The regime in Washington has provided a disjointed collection of sometimes contradictory and consistently dubious statements on Nick's experiences in Iraq.
Their assertion that Nick was killed by Abu Musab al-Zarkawi does not rise to minimum standards of credibility.
I am sure that despite your pain, you are well aware of the myriad discrepancies, anomalies and incongruities that have been pointed out by those who have examined the video, not out of morbid interest, but a sincere desire to unlock the mystery of your son's death.
These are well-known and there is no need to list them here.
There is, however, a need for the news media, specifically the American news media, to comprehend the significance of Nick's murder, and to put aside concerns of politics and sponsors and access.
Things have gone far enough. Anyone, anyone at all, could be Nick.
I call on journalists all over the world, but especially in the United States, to do your job. For the sake of Nick's memory, and for the sake of your own personal safety and that of your family members, do not let the investigation of this senseless killing remain the stuff of blogs and message boards and email lists.
Not only will you be honoring your profession, and Nick's memory, you just might be saving someone else's son, even your own.
Sunday, May 09, 2004 | When there is nothing left to say
It does not matter now whether, as some have suggested, the US decided to admit what has been common knowledge in the Majority World for quite some time, whether the photos were leaked in order to demonstrate just how far the American public has sunk; that the Secretary of Defense can sit in front of the ostensibly representative legislators of the United States and find all in agreement that the Geneva conventions do not apply to some people, in other words, everything you see here and more, is indeed done according to US decree as long as someone says the victims are connected in some way with the increasingly nebulous and shape-shifting umbrella of "Al Qaida."
The policy is echoed, unquestioningly, matter-of-factly by the regime's propaganda mouthpiece, the Crusade News Network.
"But wait, there's more!" hawked Rumsfeld and the Congress, in a marathon infomercial hinting at even juicier, more prurient material to come - Rape movies - with SOUND! Hear the screams, America, right there in your living room, as the press heard them as former Gitmo boss Miller gave a tour of Amrika's famous torture camp - no talking to the victims allowed.
Rape movies of children, too! the public is promised, would be just radioactive if THOSE got out, mused Rummy. But they MUST, panted Congress, a film of fine sweat forming on it's upper lip.
A later tease from the mainstream press assured viewers that necrophilia fanciers will not be forgotten in the Great American Media Dump. Big tent. Big, big tent.
Whether Torturpalooza 2004 will have the intended effect on the Iraqi people is yet to be seen. Certainly no one can blame the OSP for its assumption that brutal horrific regimes are effective in quashing dissent. Lord knows it has installed and maintained enough of them for decades.
It's playing well with the domestic audience though. On an internet message board, someone with a conscience mentioned he was thinking of writing a LTTE (Letter to the Editor) to a popular Arabic satellite channel, something to the effect of Washington may not be sorry but I and many Americans are, and horrified to boot, and thick and fast came the replies - Better not, they'll come for you. Too dangerous. Not a good idea.
It is not, then, that Americans are unaware that "OK to do it to some" means that at any given moment, their own grannies, their own 12 year old daughters can be designated as "some," it is simply that they accept it.
The New Strategy of the American mainstream will not be to change the government, to assemble in unprecedented masses of biblical proportions, but to keep mouth closed and eyes down (except when they are being raised to view Coming Attractions).
A country that can accept that its young people are sent to invade a sovereign nation, there to function as uniformed sexual predators and torturers against innocent people, has only two choices: either throw off the regime, or embrace it and everything it stands for.
One of two messages to send to the world: that the American people so vehemently oppose the actions of their government that they brave the moths and haul out the old Declaration of Independence and holding it aloft, descend en masse upon the generals and politicians, or they acquiesce, and send the message to the world that all in the New Release and Coming Soon section is done with the consent and approval of the American taxpayer.
In such a situation, those opposed, both within US borders and without, also have somewhat limited options.
There is nothing left to say that can be posted on the internet.
Wednesday, May 05, 2004 | TortureGate Tarantella in Brief
As soon as it became clear that attempts to keep photos illustratinig treatment of seized Iraqi nationals out of the US mainstream media had proved unsuccessful, Washington went into overdrive.
Bush said he was disgusted. Secretary of State Colin Powell pointed out that Iraqis do not understand what the US is doing, Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld explained that while he found the photos unhelpful and was stunned, alleging abuse is one of the things terrorists do.
Several members of Congress expressed outrage that they had not seen the photos before CBS, after sitting on the pics for two weeks finally told the White House that they could no longer honor the US government's request to keep them secret because May Sweeps was almost upon us.
The military let it be known that 6 soldiers had been reprimanded and a seventh one had been admonished, and the boss of the Guantanamo concentration camp, from which photos do not emerge, was put in charge of Abu Ghraib. He promptly announced some visible cosmetic changes, and invited the media in to hear the caged women scream as he apologized.
Coming as it did on the heels of the annual fundraiser for US gunmen both foreign and domestic, this year known as the "9-11 Commission," it is no surprise that many viewed Torturegate as a terrific opportunity to call for an even larger number of gunmen to be sent to Iraq, and the regime obligingly announced that the forces would be increased.
It is an election year in the US, and America's taller choice for crusade chief, John Kerry, wasted no time in courageously declaring himself both disturbed AND troubled.
Someone somewhere in Washington decided that the definitive solution was to have Bush magnanimously grant ten minute interviews to the US's own propaganda network, and Al-Arabiya. An Al Jazeera cameraman told his story of being seized and tortured by US troops yesterday, so they missed out on the opportunity to have bush in their studios today to assert that the Iraqi people have to understand that the US is not going to leave.
For its part, the Majority World duly pounded out the requisite rants of outrage, what the US likes to call "fiery rhetoric" that failed to soar above a universal leitmotif of "well, DUH."
While Torturegate may be a revelation to the quaffers of designer water and SUVLUVers of American affluentia, it is not exactly news to the millions around the world with a multi-generational first-hand knowledge of just what it means when one's ancient land is chosen by the Golden Corporate Sword to be the recipient of the gift of democracy.
There is nothing in the now-famous Taquba report that has not been reported in papers decreed "unreliable" and "propaganda sheets" by the American mainstream, who are prone to shake their heads in pity for the unfortunate hordes who do not have the freedom to see as they do, the gleaming purity of truth consisting of dozens of different rewrites of centcom briefings and government press releases.
As the Christian Soldiers march onward to Iran and Syria, pausing only to strafe the holy cities of Najaf and Karbala, the American voting elite scampers and scrambles like busy ants, frantically clinging to their belief that their "elections" are any more relevant, against the backdrop of world events set in motion long ago, than Paris Hilton's choice of sandal for an evening out, they do not see, they refuse to see, and it is arguably just as well that they do not see the huge, looming, pulsing LCD sign over their heads: GAME OVER.
Saturday, May 01, 2004 | Pictures the World Was Never Meant to See
That's the way CrusadeNewsNetwork's Tucker Anderson put it, and poring over the US press on the subject of photos of Iraqis in the clutches of their brave American liberators, it crystallizes the prevailing view very nicely.
"Comes at such a bad time." "The Arab TV Channels will show them, and this will inflame the Arab world," "increase anti-American sentiment." Those who expect grief and horror in "the Arab world" to contain a note of surprise will be disappointed. As someone said, it will be at most, documentation of something that has been known in the Arab world and beyond for quite some time.
In the UK, fresh on the heels of photos of its own troops' interaction with Iraqis that the world was never meant to see, the BBC had a poll on its website: Should the photos be shown?
I don't remember whether they meant theirs or the US's, but it doesn't matter.
Criticism of the acts themselves was duly drafted and droned, with even Bush expressing "disgust," but the message was clear. It is not the fact that these acts took place, that they were apparently so tolerated and commonplace that these particular perpetrators felt comfortable posing for souvenir shots to send the folks back home, make 'em proud.
The lawyer for one of the soldiers immediately began a full-scale press offensive: his client did not know the terms of the Geneva convention, had to look it up on the internet.
The mother of another complained that her daughter was "not properly trained."
In other words, the US military puts guns in the hands of individuals who do not know that it is wrong to attach electrodes to peoples' fingers, to force them to strip naked, to simulate sexual acts. Human beings, bound and hooded, gagged, in a concrete cell with these exemplary products of American cutltural indoctrination.
Oh, yes, they were trained all right.
Pictures the world was never meant to see.
Very few people, and even less in the western mainstream press, expressed outrage that the US had invaded a sovereign nation, seized twenty thousand or so of its citizens, within the framework of a culture in which such acts are committed with grins and laughs, photographed. Fun! A little R & R! These were not pictures the world was meant to see, for heaven's sake. We need to get the job done, show our resolve, chorus the politicians. What we need, say the experts, the generals, the analysts, is more troops, more weapons, more cameras?
In its wisdom the US promptly installed the erstwhile boss of Camp X-Ray to take charge of the prison cum photo studio of Abu Ghraib. That should put a stop to this reckless photo-snapping.
One would-be pundit suddenly, after almost 3 years of the less photo-prolific concentration camp in Guantanamo Bay, and the "death in US custody" of a number of individuals seized in Afghanistan and Iraq, that with upwards of 150,000 of the photo models' colleauges deployed on foreign soil, and the US admitting to at least one or two captured, that this was a really bad thing these photos, because those Arabs are going to want to do the same to our boys!
As puerile, as airheaded as such thinking is, it nevertheless could have its uses.
Our boys, you say. And our girls. Think about it. Hood on head, electrodes, naked, fake-humping at gunpoint a stranger, a brother, cousin, in a starring role in some pictures the world was never meant to see.
What would be your reaction, O soccer mom sitting there in your dining room nook, enjoying the sun from your bay window glance off the Waterford, to see the man you love, the body you have kissed, taken in to yours, perhaps the father of your child, in such a pose?
For make no mistake, every one of those human beings, those living souls, my brothers and yours, every one was someone's husband, someone's father, someone's sweetheart, someone's son.
Someone in Iraq, if they are alive to do so, is sobbing - "That is HIS foot!."
The foot he or she kissed in infancy, tickled in play, grasped in passion, tugged out of bed, grabbed in a futile attempt to trip him up and get to the ball first, roll over each other, laughing, the foot someone tsk-tsked and bandaged when it stepped on a nail.
"That is HIS hand," cries another voice, the hand they held, that held them up, fed a morsel to a mouth, someone took that hand to their cheek, turned their head, kissed the palm. That hand provided food, provided comfort, stroked a child's head, hesitantly poked at a baby's diaper to see if it was wet or messy, measured against another hand to see whose was bigger, that hand, that man, all those men, are loved.
To somebody, to many many many somebodies, those pixelated tangled bodies are "Our Boys."
Actions like Sep 11 do not happen in a vaccuum.
Long before those hijackers ever stepped foot on the planes the damage
had been done. They were brainwashed with the same type of garbage
propaganda that is spewed from Fatwa's weblog.
Middle Eastern countries are so much more barbaric today and preAmercia than America can ever hope to be...America has only been around 230 years...who did you blame for everything before that Ductape? I am calling a Fatwa on your bullshit!
IMO - terrorist plain and simple. He is an Al queda operative who
should be put in a cage on gitmo Skinner
My favorite..."In Defense of Holocaust Deniers"
I always thought that "The Enemy Within" was just a metaphore for liberalism, that is, until I encountered Ductape Fatwa. He should be in an orange jumpsuit for sure.
peopleforchange.netductape is either a commie, al queda, or a deep cover mole
Tells you something about this asshole doesn't it. He's really serious.
I believe that DF is nothing but a Republican plant...
Ductape is a commie, a terrorist, and he drinks blood too. He drinks
Capitalist blood. He eats unborn babies too
Give me your address and I'll send you $20 and a thank-you note for taking your hatred elsewhere.
A terrorist with a sense of humor!
He ain't nuthin' but shit
inadequate, halfway house bullshit
You are a dumbass. Fuck you and your condescension about us "benighted sheeple." hamletta
Untruthful, damaging bullshit
no better than the neocons and no different than Timothy McVeigh
dailykos.coma turd in the punchbowl...if DF were Joe Hill he probably would have killed himself rather than get put to death.
A compost pile of fecundity
dailykos.comdespicable and literally mentally ill