13 March 2008

The War Crimes Trial Of Charles Taylor

A chilling story over at doubleplusundead.  I would have linked directly to the story and just given the hat-tip, but dpu has a humorous story just below this one that will get your mind off warcrimes.  Check out both and enjoy.

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This Would Be Awesome For Our Military

New technologies are often developed specifically for the battlefield, then adapted for commercial use.  I don't see any mention of a military application in this article, but it would be a nice tool for Special Forces and other trigger-pullers.

Users have to specifically think about voicing words for them to be picked up by the band, but it saves them from saying potentially sensitive things while on a cellphone in public.

Or maybe just before an assault?  Granted, once the bullets start flying... noise discipline is very low priority.  But for the setup and coordination phase?  Definitely something to look at.

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Venezuela Finally "Disturbing" United States

I've written about the South American thug Hugo Chavez more than once and still believe there is a strong possibility he'll move on Colombia soon.  Although the State Department has now said that the information found on laptops used by FARC leaders was "disturbing", they're not ready to add Venezuela to the list of state sponsors of terrorism.

"The information that has emerged so far is worrisome. I would even call it disturbing because it does seem to indicate a degree of dialogue and discussion between members of the government of Venezuela and the FARC that have to be explained," he told reporters. "But ... we are very early in the process and it would be a mistake to jump to conclusions."

Let's recap a bit to see if we're feeling froggy.  First, Chavez buddies up with known sponsors of terror like Ahmadinejad and Castro.  Second, the FARC computers.  Third, constantly attacks the United States in speeches and at the United Nations, calling our President "the devil".  Fourth, gets really angry when a terrorist buddy is killed in another country... mad enough to cut off diplomatic relations and send troops to the border.  Fifth, threatens to cut off sales of oil to the United States even though nobody else will buy it.  Sixth, tries to nationalize a private company from the United States and refuses to consider any compensation for the theft.  Seventh...

Screw it, hell yes I'm feeling froggy.  I think I'll just go ahead and jump to the fat, juicy conclusion that this guy is a sponsor of terrorists, is a terrorist himself, and is probably impotent... ok, maybe I won't jump to that last one.  But, it would explain a lot, wouldn't it?  Put him on the list Condoleezza... make the jump, it's not that far.

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12 March 2008

Detainee Wants To Boycott Trial

The Afghan detainee accused of throwing a grenade at U.S. soldiers, severely injuring them and an accompanying translator, wants to boycott his trial at Guantanamo Bay.

The hearing inside the hilltop courthouse overlooking the Caribbean was delayed more than two and a half hours after Jawak initially refused to attend.Kohlmann ordered his ankles to remain shackled during the hearing because he was not cooperating fully.

The judge told him that he could still be tried, convicted, and sentenced, even if he didn't attend.  There were, of course, the usual claims of torture, abuse, and being innocent... blah, blah, blah.  Maybe he'll be more compliant after he gets to call home? 

To hell with this punk.  Try him whether he's there or not.  Then lock him up for the rest of his natural life.  His place in Hell is already assured and he will never cease being a danger to the United States and our allies.  Never.  There are some there that might give up the fight... he's not one of them.

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11 March 2008

Can You Hear Me Now? *UPDATED* *UPDATED X2*

Detainees at Guantanamo Bay are to be allowed regular phone calls to family.  This is a welcome surprise and I hope it's implemented soon.  As many of you may know, I don't have a lot of sympathy for the detainees.  The stories you hear about staff and guards being assaulted are true... if anything, they're under-reported.

A Pentagon spokesman, Navy Cmdr. Jeffrey Gordon, said the telephone policy reflects a commitment to maintaining the health and well-being of Guantanamo detainees. No start date has been set for the program.

So why is this a good thing?  Three reasons right off the top of my head. 

First, since most of them have been there for 4-6 years, contact with family may help them realize what they're missing.  This will encourage cooperation and reduce some of the rationally-based stress of confinement.  It won't do anything for the irrationally-based ones, but not much will.

Second, I'm sure these calls will be monitored and either the detainee or their family may let some valuable intelligence slip into the conversation.  It may even be that family members will provide new intelligence willingly in order to facilitate a detainee's release back to their own country.  They might still be confined there, but would probably be allowed family visits.  This could be a very strong incentive for cooperation.

Third, maybe the military folks there won't have to spend so much damn money on phone cards to talk with their own families.  If jihadis get to talk with their family for free, wouldn't it make sense to provide the same consideration for the hard-working guards and staff?  They have "Morale Calls" available now (or they used to), but I don't know anybody who used them because it was such a pain.  IIRC, it was two 15-minute (or portion thereof) calls a week which had to be made from a military phone, going through an operator, using an access code, when it worked.  It just wasn't worth it for 15 minutes or less, especially if you called and found out nobody was home.

There are probably many more (and better) reasons for this, these were just the ones that first came to mind.  I think the drawbacks are obvious and have already been considered if it's taken this long to approve.

*UPDATE*  Looks like I may be on the opposite side of the argument from a few folks.  Oh well, not the first time.
*UPDATE X2* Thanks to Patterico for the link!

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10 March 2008

Shocking News - Human Rights Group Condemns Guantanamo Trials

Hasn't it already been established that only three high-level terrorists were waterboarded?  Via Patterico's, this link from ABC News says so:

For all the debate over waterboarding, it has been used on only three al Qaeda figures, according to current and former U.S. intelligence officials.

So how many trials are tainted by this?  According to Human Rights First, all of them:

U.S. military commission trials of Guantanamo terrorism suspects will be tainted by coercive tactics such as waterboarding used to obtain evidence and should be scrapped, human rights groups said on Monday.

There was no systematic "torture and inhuman treatment" at Guantanamo and I don't believe there has been anywhere else.  The interrogators I met while in the Army all spoke of incentive-based interrogation being the best long-term tool.  The only reason to use harsh interrogation methods is for time-sensitive intelligence.  Many detainees would come back a little worse-for-wear because they smoked too much (link is from my interview with Patterico in 2006) and ate too much pizza, never from physical interrogation.

This is just another attempt to smear the military, the administration, and the United States by an anti-American "rights group" and the MSM. 

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09 March 2008

UN Security Council Discredited

It's official.  The UN Security Council has no crediblity left.  The final nail in the coffin?  Not this...

Mottaki said that the new round of sanctions lacked "technical and legal," justification and would discredit the Security Council.

But this:

At the prodding of the U.S. and its European allies, the U.N. Security Council passed a third round of sanctions on Iran Monday ordering assets to be frozen of additional Iranian officials and companies with links to the country's nuclear and missile program, and for the first time banned trade with Iran in some goods that have both civilian and military use. [emphasis mine]

The first time?  Really?  So that means that Russia, China, France, and whoever else is making money from Iran will have to start ignoring a ban just now?  Because we know how well that worked with Saddam.  Did they ever stop ignoring the trade bans with him?  Seems like Saddam was getting weapons and equipment after several Security Council bans.

I'd say their credibility has been gone... events with Iran just keep confirming that.

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I'll Be Right Back... I Have To Go To The Bathroom

Good thing nobody tried this in Guantanamo.  Just a brilliant escape plan with outstanding execution.

Authorities say Mas Selamat, 47, had been taken from his cell to a room where he was waiting for his family to make a scheduled visit. He fled after being granted permission to visit the washroom.

Just brilliant.

/sarcasm off

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Teen Wants to Stay in UK Because Iran Will Kill Him For Being Gay *UPDATED 11 Mar 08*

Why is this even a question?  From this story it seems pretty clear that going back to Iran is a death sentence.

"But in the past few months my situation back home has changed. The Iranian authorities have found out that I am a homosexual and they are looking for me."

How did the Iranian authorities find out?  During the interrogation of his boyfriend... just before the Iranians executed the boyfriend by hanging him.  Whether you agree with homosexuality or not, granting him asylum should be a no-brainer.

The kid is now in the Netherlands because his asylum request was already refused once by UK authorities.  He's trying to keep from being sent back to the UK because he fears they will deport him to Iran for execution.  I hope the Netherlands and/or the UK do the right thing here.

*UPDATE*  The Netherlands is sending him back to Britain on a technicality.

Upholding a ruling by the Dutch government, the Council of State said Britain is responsible for Kazemi's case because he applied for asylum there first. European Union rules say the member state where an asylum seeker first enters the bloc is responsible for processing that person's claim.

The good news is that a British official seems to be hinting that the asylum will be granted.

However, Britain's Border and Immigration Agency has issued a statement that could give Kazemi hope: "We examine with great care each individual case before removal and we will not remove anyone who we believe is at risk on their return."

I hope so.  I also hope Britain tells the Iranians they thought there weren't any homosexuals in Iran.  Isn't that what Ahmadinejad said?

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07 March 2008

Old Enough to Know Better

Fat, drunk and stupid is no way to go through life son.
Dean Vernon Wormer

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