The worst Senate candidate ever:
[Katherine] Harris does love talking about Israel. She’s proud that Israelis sometimes assume she’s one of them and talk to her in Hebrew. She is a Christian but has called herself a “wannabe” Jew. During the bitterly contested recount in 2000, which she oversaw as Florida’s secretary of state, she compared herself to the Biblical character Queen Esther, who risked her life to save the Jews.
I sure hope that somebody records Harris’s victory party and throws it up on YouTube.
The worst administration ever:
The Bush administration has told a federal judge that terrorism suspects held in secret CIA prisons should not be allowed to reveal details of the “alternative interrogation methods” that their captors used to get them to talk.
The government says in new court filings that those interrogation methods are now among the nation’s most sensitive national security secrets and that their release — even to the detainees’ own attorneys — “could reasonably be expected to cause extremely grave damage.” Terrorists could use the information to train in counter-interrogation techniques and foil government efforts to elicit information about their methods and plots, according to government documents submitted to U.S. District Judge Reggie B. Walton on Oct. 26.
That’s a lot of newsmaking for a network of secret prisons that doesn’t exist.
Let’s clarify what this means. There doesn’t exist a free country on Earth which keeps its detention treatment as jealously private as America does. Tinpot dictatorships do that. As much as humanitarian questions play into it, basic questions of legitimacy are just as important. Every country has rules about how detainees must be treated. When an inmate or former inmate makes an allegation about his treatment, for the free countries that isn’t a problem because the entire process is transparent. But when you “disappear” inmates into black-box facilities which no lawyer or oversight body may enter then those accusations, no matter how wild, now have a certain weight. Transparency protects your reputation as a free country governed by laws.
The government could care less whether terrorists train to counter our “enhanced techniques.” First, they only work to extract confessions, not truth and second, even prepared people eventually crack under torture. It just takes longer, and they spill the same interrogator-pleasing nonsense as everybody else. I don’t think that the government really plans to go on abusing detainees and holding massive numbers incommunicado into perpetuity. Rather, during those freewheeling years of one-party rule our leaders committed so many crimes with eyes wide open that they know full well what will happen when the sunlight shines in. At this point they’re in full retreat and throwing up whatever roadblocks they can think of to forestall the inevitable day of reckoning.
The worst Defense Secretary ever:
An editorial set to appear on Monday — election eve — in four leading newspapers for the military calls for the resignation of Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld.
The papers are the Army Times, Air Force Times, Navy Times and Marine Corps Times. They are published by the Military Times Media Group, a subsidiary of Gannett Co., Inc. President Bush said this week that he wanted Rumsfeld to serve out the next two years.
“We say that Rumsfeld must be replaced,” Alex Neill, the managing editor of the Army Times, told The Virginian-Pilot tonight in a telephone interview. “Given the state of affairs with Iraq and the military right now, we think it’s a good time for new leadership there.”
Who’s next, Rumsfeld’s mom?