Saturday, October 29, 2005

commentary for the week

4 news stories of the week that I'll note quickly.

1) Rosa Parks died Monday. Parks was a leader and member of the civil rights movement who had been ill for some time. She lived to see some of the changes the movement fought for her and hopefully took pride in the efforts she was part of. I'd recommend Cedric's "Rosa Parks" as required reading on the topic of Parks' passing.

2) Scooter Libby scoots on out of the White House. Indicted he's the Spiro Agnew of this adminstration. Perjury, false statements and obstruction of justice are among the charges he "could face up to the thirty years in jail" if convicted of every count.

"Kat! You're so smart!"

No, I'm listening to The Laura Flanders Show which, if you think about it, is a smart thing to do.

3) "Col. Janis Karpinski, the Former Head of Abu Ghraib, Admits She Broke the Geneva Conventions But Says the Blame 'Goes All the Way to The Top'" which was interview that Amy Goodman did this week on Democracy Now!:

AMY GOODMAN: Talk about General Miller. Who is he?
COL. JANIS KARPINSKI: General Miller was sent to visit Iraq by Secretary Rumsfeld and the Undersecretary Cambone. And they came -- General Miller came to visit from Guantanamo Bay. He was the commander of detention operations at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, and he was sent to assist the military intelligence interrogators with enhancing their techniques. And he brought with him the techniques that were tested and in use at Guantanamo Bay. And he brought a team of about 20 people, 22 people with him to discuss all aspects of interrogation operations, and actually, he did an in-brief. I was invited to participate or to attend to listen to his in-brief, because he was working almost exclusively with the military intelligence people and the military intelligence interrogators while he was there.
But we owned the locations that he was going to visit, and he ultimately selected Abu Ghraib to be the focus of his efforts, and he told me that he was going to make it the interrogation center for Iraq. He used the term, he was going to “Gitmo-ize” the operation and use the M.P.s to assist the interrogators to enhance interrogations and to obtain more actionable intelligence. I explained to him that the M.P.s were not trained in any kind of interrogation operations, and he told me that he wanted me to give him Abu Ghraib, because that's the location he selected.
AMY GOODMAN: You're both generals?
COL. JANIS KARPINSKI: Yes. He was a two-star.
AMY GOODMAN: What about the dogs? Is that when the dogs were introduced?
COL. JANIS KARPINSKI: Shortly after his visit, he -- again, he was spending most of his time with the commander of the Military Intelligence Brigade, Colonel Pappas. In his in-brief, his introduction when he first arrived there with his team, he responded to one of the interrogators, the military interrogator's question, and he was listening to the comments, the criticisms that they were doing these interviews and they were not obtaining really valuable information, so he was there to assist them with different -- implementing different techniques to get more actionable intelligence.
And one of the interrogators just asked the question about what he would recommend that they could do immediately, because they thought that they were doing a pretty good job with identifying the people who may have additional value or more military intelligence value, and General Miller said -- his first observation was that they were not -- they were being too nice to them. They were not being aggressive enough. And he used the example at Guantanamo Bay that the prisoners there, when they're brought in, that they're handled by two military policemen. They're escorted everywhere they go -- belly chains, leg irons, hand irons -- and he said, "You have to treat them like dogs."

4) Hurricane Wilma. There's probably a great deal more that others could think of but I know from Wally what it's like in Florida and I really don't think the press cares too much about this story. They're still on a generator at his grandfather's but Wally's been posting some of the hardest hitting comments this past week at The Daily Jot.

Me? I've been working on getting a feel for Stevie Wonder's latest and finally think I have something to say about the album. Yes, I have to go through all of this to write a review. I'm aware that many put on a CD and write a review in 15 minutes based on listening to sections of tracks. Good for them. I have to live with it and it has to say something to me. I don't believe in going through the motions.

But the usual number of "Where are you?" e-mails came in.

I had a comment up at The Common Ills on Friday:

Kat: At The Third Estate Sunday Review, I talk about Bono in a roundup or a news review and they end up getting cry baby e-mails. "Bono did more good than bad!" whined one. I asked C.I. if e-mails came in on this here and they don't. I'm going to guess that's because this issue was addressed at length here before Bono and his ego stalked the Live 8 concert stage and continued to pop up after. I'd really appreciate it if community members would talk about the reality of those concerts to their friends because Jim passed on some of the most recent e-mails and there are a lot of people who have apparently not heard one word other than the nonsense praise from rags like the New York Times.
Kat's working on a review of Stevie Wonder's CD (for those who've e-mailed asking when it will be done, she hopes to have it ready to go up here Monday morning) and as such is just holding off from posting at her site until she has it completed. She called last night to ask if it was okay to weigh in on something here and of course it is, she's a member and she can highlight anything she wants here. And let's give credit to our European community members because they highlighted the issue of the concerts being nothing more than a vanity trip so the community has been informed on what the concerts did and what they didn't do.

And today I did an entry there:

"The Laura Flanders Show: Larry Johnson, Ayoub Nuri, Jeanne Montross, Karen Kwiatkowsi, Nicolas Rossier, Pierre Labossiere"
Kat here. I'm almost done with the Stevie Wonder review. (Which honestly requires a lot of walking, a lot of dancing, a lot of moving as I toss ideas around in my head and when I finally write it, it will probably take about 20 minutes.)
I woke up and logged on the computer to catch up on what I missed and there was nothing at The Common Ills. I reached C.I. by cell and didn't realize this was an out of town weekend.C.I.'s working still on a thing on the New York Times. I offered to grab The Laura Flanders Show post because that's a show I greatly enjoy.
From the Air America Radio home page:
The Laura Flanders Show
As the White House tends to a wounded presidency, we take stock of what BUSH/ROVISM has cost the nation. First we speak with ex-CIA agenct LARRY JOHNSON about the indictment of Lewis Libby. Then AYOUB NURI, from Iraq, JEANNE MONTROSS, of Addison County Community Action in Vermont, and ex-Pentagon Official KAREN KWIATKOWSKI will weigh in on the damage done, not to the president, but to the people. In our final hour, we look at damage done to democracy beyond U.S. borders, with NICOLAS ROSSIER, director of the new documentary film Aristide and the Endless Revolution, and PIERRE LABOSSIERE, of the Haiti Action Committee.
Swiping from C.I. last week:
Don't Forget - You can listen to past broadcasts of the Laura Flanders Show:
Download archived shows HERE or Subscribe to the Free PODCAST through the iTunes Music Store
Go to the Laura Flanders Blog
In addition to listening to The Laura Flanders Show via iPod, you can also listen to it over broadcast radio (if there's an AAR in your area), via XM Satellite Radio (channel 167) or listen online. It's a program that airs Saturdays and Sundays. (Sundays is not a rebroadcast unless the show is on vacation.)
I'll also include The Kyle Jason Show because I've really grown fond of this show.
The Kyle Jason Show
10PM - MidnightTune in this Saturday night as The Kyle Jason Show profiles Art Blakey's A Night At Birdland, Vol. 1. Originally recorded live at the renowned New York City nightclub in 1954 and recently remastered by legendary recording engineer Rudy Van Gelder, this recording captures one of the earliest incarnations of the much-celebrated ensemble that would come to be known as The Jazz Messengers. Blue Note Records has re-released the album as part of their ongoing RVG Edition series, for which Van Gelder has been converting his original analog recordings into 24-bit digital. Don’t miss this treat for both jazz aficionados and novices alike, and as always, be sure to hook up with your fellow listeners on our blog.
Laura Flanders airs Saturdays and Sundays, The Kyle Jason Show airs Saturday.

Elaine wrote a very sweet thing on me this week, one completely undeserved, but thank you, Elaine. On the topic of Bono, I've just never been more disappointed in recent years in someone who's presented himself as righteous. Jesse Jackson's affair becomes public (in a smear tactic) in 2000 and I didn't blink twice. I don't think it was anyone's business or it effected Jackson's stances (it may have enhance them). Jesse Jackson didn't let me down but Bono has. "Walk away, walk away, I will follow" is apparently now sung solo to the Bully Boy. He has compromised himself. Not just by not speaking out against the war, which he all but brags about in the Rolling Stone interview, but also by defending Bully Boy's practices with regards to AIDS which renders the monies not only useless but also damaging. There will be a huge clean up needed after Bully Boy leaves office. Bono is the supreme disappointment and the supreme disappointment.

By the way, Seth posted this week. As someone who believes you only post if you have something to say (and the time!!!!!!), I know the pressure you can feel of "I've got to post!!!!"
Check out Seth's "A Week of Milestones" because when he does have something to say, it's worth a hearing.

Larry Johnson's on The Laura Flanders Show, why aren't you listening?

ayoub nuri