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Between the Lines

May 11, 2004

The retribution begins

A video posted today on a web site linked to Al-Qaida shows an American civilian being beheaded by menwho said they were acting in retribution for the mistreatment of prisoners at Abu Ghraib.

The victim was Nick Berg, a small-business owner from Westchester, Pa., who had gone to Iraq to work on reconstruction projects. His body was found on a Baghdad overpass

His murderers said:

"For the mothers and wives of American soldiers, we tell you that we offered the U.S. administration to exchange this hostage with some of the detainees in Abu Ghraib and they refused.

"So we tell you that the dignity of the Muslim men and women in Abu Ghraib and others is not redeemed except by blood and souls. You will not receive anything from us but coffins after coffins ... slaughtered in this way."

Steel yourselves.

Posted by tbrown at 01:42 PM

Rumsfeld: twisting slowly, slowly in the wind **

Three views:

Conservative: Columnist Robert Novak says Rumsfeld's deliberate alienation of the professional officer corps and his dysfunctional management style have left him friendless.

Liberal: Columnist Jim Lobe says "the embattled Pentagon chief may have made too many enemies particularly within his armed forces to be saved." After all, when even the Army Times wants you to quit, who's left?

War correspondent: "This is about right and wrong," says Joe Galloway of the Knight Ridder papers, who as a UPI correspondent was the only civilian to win the Bronze Star in Vietnam. "First graders know that. Any policeman who can't figure that out needs some time on the other side of the bars.

"This takes us down in the eyes of the Middle East and the rest of the world. It is one more disaster in a string of disasters that began with the idea that we would topple Saddam Hussein and the grateful Iraqi people would welcome us with showers of rose petals.

"Heads ought to roll over Iraq in general and Abu Ghraib in particular, but George Bush seems to have an aversion to firing people even when they desperately need it."

** Where President Nixon's late aide, John Ehrlichman, wanted to leave acting FBI Director Patrick Gray as the Watergate scandal widened.

Posted by tbrown at 11:04 AM

Who knew what when?

The International Red Cross knew last year.

"In a visit to the Abu Ghraib prison last October, Red Cross inspectors were so unsettled by what they found that they broke off their visit and demanded an immediate explanation from the military prison authorities." (Free site registration may be required.)

The Iraqi artist who sculpted a countryman as a U.S. prisoner, hands bound and with a bag over his head, knew about it at least two months ago, Digby's blog reports.

"We knew what went on at Abu Ghraib,' the artist Abdul-Kareem Khalil said on Saturday. "The pictures did not surprise me."

There's a photo of the sculpture.

Posted by tbrown at 11:01 AM

An Iraqi stationed at Abu Ghraib speaks up

The guy's a doctor, and his view of what was going on at the prison is much more benign than what Maj. Gen. Taguba found in his official investigation. Ali, one of three Iraqi brothers who post at Iraq the Model (and who in general support the U.S. occupation) presents his friend's comments in detail. Well worth a read.

Posted by tbrown at 10:59 AM

America: The detention society

"The US comprises 5% of the global population yet it is responsible for 25% of the world's prisoners. It has a higher proportion of its citizens in jail than any other country in history, according to the November Coalition, an alliance of civil rights campaigners, justice policy workers and drug law reformers."

One more thing to make us proud.

Posted by tbrown at 10:58 AM

Hamstringing the superpower

Blogger Mark Kleiman says George Bush has hobbled U.S. effectiveness abroad to a degree that Noam Chomsky can only imagine and that conservatives are likely to be pretty angry when they figure it out.

"George W. Bush has managed to actually carry out the program Noam Chomsky only dreamed about: to greatly reduce the capacity of the United States to achieve its ends abroad.

Posted by tbrown at 10:56 AM

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November 2004
October 2004
September 2004
August 2004
July 2004
June 2004
May 2004
April 2004
March 2004
February 2004
January 2004
December 2003
November 2003
October 2003
September 2003
August 2003
July 2003
June 2003

The retribution begins
Rumsfeld: twisting slowly, slowly in the wind **
Who knew what when?
An Iraqi stationed at Abu Ghraib speaks up
America: The detention society
Hamstringing the superpower


Blogs to watch

Abu Ardvark
Andrew Sullivan
Atrios Eschaton
Best of the Web
Drudge Report
Joe Conason (subscription required)
Josh Marshall
Kaus files
No More Mr. Nice Blog
Real Clear Politics
The Corner
The Volokh Conspiracy
The Whiskey Bar

Mideast blogs

Salam Pax (Iraq)
G. in Baghdad
L.T. Smash (U.S. military in Iraq)
Lady Sun (Iran)

City blogs

L.A. Examiner

Africa blogs

Cathy Buckle

Media blogs

Dan Gillmor's eJournal
Media Whores Online


Newspapers online (guide to papers on the web)
International Herald Tribune
The Guardian U.K.
New York Times (free registration required)

Economy blogs

Brad DeLong

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