Tuesday, May 25, 2004


Instead of the usual sounds of stray gunfire punctuated by grenade explosions and car bombs, the streets of Baghdad were filled with the sounds of revelry and merrymaking last night as word filtered down of President Bush's proposal to knock down Abu Ghraib prison and built a brand new state of the art prison in its stead.

"This makes the whole invasion and occupation worthwhile," said Ahmed B., a young Shia who until recently had held radical tendencies.

"Now I understand what is wonderful about democracy," he continued. "Thank you for coming here. Long live Boosh."

Ahmed's sentiments were echoed across town by twin brothers Salaam and Balaam, who are of the Sunni persuasion.

"We were just on our way to plant a roadside bomb when we heard the news," Salaam said.

"But now everything is different. We are turning in our explosives and volunteering to be the first inmates at the new prison, as soon as our good American friends from the Halliburton company get it built."

Balaam smiled in agreement. "You ask your president," he said to me, "if we can join Christian religion and Republican party after detainment time is over."

"You are learning our ways," I said. "But you've got things just a little bit backward. In America, you become a big Republican first, then you go to prison, then you get religion."

My new Iraqi friends and I shared a hearty laugh and ambled off into the sunset together arm in arm.


Monday, May 24, 2004


"There is perhaps no reliable indicator of a society's ripeness for a mass movement than the prevalence of unrelieved boredom."

"To remain ignorant of things that happened before you were born is to remain a child."

"When a human being falls prey to a pack of dogs, it is the Greenland custom to bury an empty coffin. The Danish police slaughter the dogs which joined in the feast, and their bodies are thrown into the sea to prevent the inhabitants from eating them in their turn."


Wednesday, May 19, 2004


If one were of a certain mind set, the wheels could spin like this:

1. The CIA killed Nick Berg to distract attention from the prison abuse scandal.

2. But now the clumsy conspiracy is unraveling, so more sensational stories must appear to make everyone stop pursuing the CKNB angle:

3. The nonwedding party nonmassacre.

4. Mr. Chalabi (previously the George Washington presumptive of the new Iraq, now the Benedict Arnold).

5. The president take a dive from his bicycle.

6. In fact, the real story could be the continuing release of prisoners/possible abuse victims/potential witnesses of/to the prison abuse. Were the 750+ released since this story broke all detained in error? Shouldn't that call for some sort of investigation? If not, why are they being released? Would we release this many insurgents just to get some good PR?

So, either we 'accidentally' detained/imprisioned over 750 people, or we released 750+ people actively working against us in order to manage the weekly news cycle. Not very encouraging either way.



(Roll over, Vince Foster)

"Of course," said JA. "Didn't you notice the convenient timing? A soon as that came out, everybody stopped talking about the prison abuse."

That was Friday night. Idle chatter over a few drinks. I'm not much of a conspiracy person myself, but....

On Monday I found this site. Interesting stuff. But not exactly a mainstream news source. I hadn't heard of it before. It was a little hysterical, unprofessional (typos), but still....

On Tuesday afternoon, Mark Ames ran this in the New York Press. I know the NYPress.com isn't NYT.com, but it's not Joe's conspiraciesrus blog either.

Today, a little of this conjecture entered the mainstream, albeit on tiptoes, in this short entry (5/19 - 5 paragraphs down) in TPM.

If more questions come out and this issue doesn't go away naturally, I guess there will have to be another "event" so spectacular that everyone forgets to pursue this one.

At least, I would think that, if I were one of those people who ...thought that way.


Monday, May 17, 2004


As I walk up to the information desk at the Barnes & Noble the perky-faced info. provider breaks off eye contact at the last second and turns to another perky young thing approaching from a side aisle.

InfoProvider: "May I help you?"

PerkyCustomer: "Do you have Wonderland?"

IP: "We may have some at the desk. Do you want me to call and check?"

PC: "Would you?"

IP calls front desk, speaks, hangs up, smiles. "It looks like they're all out. But we are getting more tomorrow. Would you like to order one?"

PC: "Yes, that would be great."

Me: "Jesus Christ."

IP: "Excuse me?"

I walk over to a display and pretend to browse.

IP: "Could I have your name please, for the order?"

Finally, the order appears to be completed. I walk back up to the desk.

PC: "I'm really looking forward to reading this book. I graduated from Pennsbury last year."

IP: That's great."

PC: "So I really know a lot about it."

IP" "I read it already. It's excellent."

Me: "Jesus Christ."

IP: "Excuse me?"

I stare over her head and pretend I didn't say or hear anything.

IP: "Oh, I forgot to tell you, the books that are coming in tomorrow are all special orders. Your book won't be in until three days I think. or more like the end of the week."

PC: "That's fine. I really can't wait to read it." She leaves.

Me: Jesus Christ."

IP: "Excuse me?"

Me: "Can you tell me what books you have by David Rees?"

IP: "Excuse me?"

Me: "Do you have any books by David Rees? That's Rees: R E E S."

IP: "The last name was what?"

Me: "Rees. R E E S."

IP: "Are you looking just for new books?"

Me: "Could you please just tell me what books you have by him?"

IP: "We have Get Your War On."

Me: "Do you have anything else by Rees?"

IP: "I'd have to check."

Me: "Would you check?"

IP purses lips, stares at scrolling screen. "We also have Get Your War On 2."

Me: "Where would I find that?"

IP: "It's coming out in October. Would you like to order it?"

Me: "No, thank you. Do you have anything else by David Rees?"

IP: "I just told you sir, we have Get Your War On."

Me: "Jesus Christ."

IP: "Excuse me?"

Me: "Where would I find that title?"

IP rolls her eyes and snorts. "It's right at the end of this row." Pauses for effect and delivers knockout line for the benefit of other customers: It's in the COMICS section."

I walk to the end of the row. No comics section. There is a GRAPHIC NOVELS section. It's a little hard to work through as the titles seem to be filed by superhero/protagonist rather than by author, but I make my way. No David Rees there, however. The humor section is adjacent. Books filed alphabetically by author here, so it's easy to not find Rees there.

I leave empty-handed. Another lunch hour stolen.


Tuesday, May 04, 2004


"...American leaders believed that it was not enough to win the war. They also had to win in a way that was consistent with the values of their society and the principles of their cause. One of their greatest achievements .... was to manage the war in a manner that was true to the expanding humanitarian ideals...." (375)

"American leaders resolved that the War....would be conducted with a respect for human rights, even of the enemy." (376)

"The American recovered the mutilated corpses and were shocked by what they had found.... The acts.......reinforced the American resolve to run their own war in a different spirit." (378)

"An American policy on prisoners emerged.......captives would be treated as human beings with the same rights of humanity...." (378)

It's in here.


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