Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Report: Abusive tactics used to seek Iraq-al Qaida link | McClatchy

Report: Abusive tactics used to seek Iraq-al Qaida link | McClatchy: "But for most of 2002 and into 2003, Cheney and Rumsfeld, especially, were also demanding proof of the links between al Qaida and Iraq that (former Iraqi exile leader Ahmed) Chalabi and others had told them were there.'

It was during this period that CIA interrogators waterboarded two alleged top al Qaida detainees repeatedly — Abu Zubaydah at least 83 times in August 2002 and Khalid Sheik Muhammed 183 times in March 2003 — according to a newly released Justice Department document.

'There was constant pressure on the intelligence agencies and the interrogators to do whatever it took to get that information out of the detainees, especially the few high-value ones we had, and when people kept coming up empty, they were told by Cheney's and Rumsfeld's people to push harder,' he continued.

'Cheney's and Rumsfeld's people were told repeatedly, by CIA . . . and by others, that there wasn't any reliable intelligence that pointed to operational ties between bin Laden and Saddam, and that no such ties were likely because the two were fundamentally enemies, not allies.'"

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

book notes

The Israel Lobby by John J. Mearsheimer and Stephen M. Walt

Despite various assertions by Zionists immediately after 9/11 that OBL didn't care about Palestine and was motivated by U.S. troops in Saudi Arabia, OBL's mother said he was radicalized as a teenager by the Palestinians. Moreover, other leading members of Al Qaeda, like KSM, were motivated primarily by the Palestinian conflict.

Protection of Israel was one of the main reasons, if not the mail reason, for the U.S. invasion of Iraq.

The Israel Lobby's hawkish views is not a reflection of American Jews. It's a combination of hawkish Jews and Christian Zionists, who believe that Israel paves the way for the Second Coming (during which all Jews would either convert and die)

Monday, April 13, 2009

Are Gay Activists Too Wedded To the Cause? -

Are Gay Activists Too Wedded To the Cause? - "There remain the ongoing campaigns to end the military's discriminatory 'don't ask, don't tell' policy and to pass the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, which would make it illegal to fire someone on the grounds of sexual orientation. But given the overwhelming support for these moves among younger Americans, these victories are not far off, and gay rights organizations should start facing the prospect that in the near future, their missions will be superfluous.

This is a realization that comes easier to younger gays like me (I'm 25) than to older ones. For people who grew up in a time when being open about one's homosexuality could result in being fired or thrown into prison, it's harder to move out of a mindset that sees the plight of gay people as one of perpetual struggle. This attitude is all the more pronounced in those who hold leadership positions in the gay rights movement, as their life's work depends upon the notion that we are always and everywhere oppressed."