Give the conniving scroundrel a biscuit

Waterboarding Historically Controversial – In 1947, the U.S. Called It a War Crime; in 1968, It Reportedly Caused an Investigation

Twenty-one years earlier, in 1947, the United States charged a Japanese officer, Yukio Asano, with war crimes for carrying out another form of waterboarding on a U.S. civilian. The subject was strapped on a stretcher that was tilted so that his feet were in the air and head near the floor, and small amounts of water were poured over his face, leaving him gasping for air until he agreed to talk.

“Asano was sentenced to 15 years of hard labor,” Sen. Edward M. Kennedy (D-Mass.) told his colleagues last Thursday during the debate on military commissions legislation. “We punished people with 15 years of hard labor when waterboarding was used against Americans in World War II, he said

Marty Lederman at Balkinization writes in “Cool, Carefully Considered, Methodical, Prolonged and Repeated Subjection of Captives to Physical Torment, and the Accompanying Psychological Terror” that the administration may issue an order that stops the use of waterboarding by executive order – his royal highest issues official decree. In other words King George has been using it in violation of the law and commonly excepted standards of human rights. In addition Lederman notes a Intelligence Science Board Senior Advisory Group report that says “the harsh techniques used since the 2001 terrorist attacks are outmoded, amateurish and unreliable”. Bush’s order still allows interrogation techniques that go beyond what is allowed in the Army’s own field manual. The Bush agenda is rather simple in terms of leadership and morality – set the bar very very low.
Statement by the President on Darfur

HE PRESIDENT: Good morning. For too long, the people of Darfur have suffered at the hands of a government that is complicit in the bombing, murder, and rape of innocent civilians. My administration has called these actions by their rightful name: genocide. The world has a responsibility to help put an end to it.

Last month I announced that the United States was prepared to take new steps if the government of Sudan did not allow the full deployment of a U.N. peacekeeping force; if the government did not begin living up to its many commitments, that the United States would act. I made clear that the time for promises was over, and that President Bashir had to do something to end the suffering.

…And so today, at my instruction, the United States has taken the steps I announced in April. First, the Department of Treasury is tightening U.S. economic sanctions on Sudan. With this new effort, the United States will more aggressively enforce existing sanctions against Sudan’s government.

Conservatives, those people with resolve, moral convictions, lethal striking power and fast reaction time that would put a rattler on a hot day in July to shame now in May of 2007 the coil has unsprung, only Timeline: crisis in Sudan

February 2003
In early 2003, the war in Darfur erupts with a rebellion against the Khartoum government by the SLA and the Justice and Equality Movement (JEM). The fighting began because the rebels claimed that the Sudan government was ignoring the Darfur region.

The government responds to the rebellion by bombing villages and arming the Janjaweed, a government militia.

April 2004
A ceasefire is signed with the rebels, but the government goes on to flout it with little international comment.

June 2004
The African Union sends 60 peace monitors to Sudan.

June 13 2004
The USA and UN accuse the Sudanese government of involvement in the killings of thousands of people in Darfur.

July 2004
The onset of heavy rain causes problems in refugee camps on the Chad-Sudan border, where up to one million displaced Darfur residents are now living. Roads and aid supplies are cut off and shelters are destroyed. Water supplies are contaminated, leaving refugees vulnerable to disease.

The problems in the Sudan having been on an a precipitous course since the eighties, but it has been under Bush’s watch that the genocide crisis has reached its peak. Katrina, the Sudan, Iraq, Afghanistan – is there is situation for which Republicans are capable of acting with courage and competence.

That dark empty void of ideas other wise known as Glenn Beck is doing so badly in the ratings at CNN if his show was being monitored by radar the technician would need a magnifying glass to find him Ratings for the week of May 21-25 were staggering in how low Beck’s ratings have fallen. Beck’s main contribution to the the world of wingnuttery is the usual pissing and whining that can be found in dozens of other parts of the right-wing sewer already staked out by others. CNN allowed Beck to decry “leftist witch hunt” against shock radio, didn’t mention his own hate speech. Beck takes the usual right-wing route and whines about the great liberal conspiracy to somehow silence him. On the contrary. It is the 21st Century and a once fairly competent cable news outlet like CNN has given over two hours a day to Beck who is a black hole of ideas and insight into world events. That is two hours that could be given to James Hatori who used to do a great series on science and technology. It is two hours that could be given over to a Bill Moyer’s Now type of program where there is some thoughtful adult-like examination of the issues that face America. The problem with Beck and his clones is many Americans like actual ideas and information, versus those looking for yet another echo of mindless drivel that they can find plenty of other places.

WSJ: Former Rove Aide in Talks with Thompson Campaign

The Wall Street Journal reports (sub. req.) that Timothy Griffin, the former aide to Karl Rove who became one of the most controversial figures in the U.S. attorney firing scandal, is in talks with Fred Thompson’s presidential campaign

Mr Fred Law and Order declared his candidacy today and he’s off to a great start – its part of his give a conniving scoundrel a biscuit campaign.

Scientists Looking for Wayward Whales

More than two weeks after they were first spotted far up the Sacramento River, two lost humpback whales appeared to have finally found their way home Wednesday.

Officials said they assumed the pair returned to the open sea, undoing a wrong turn that drew thousands of admirers and a flurry of rescue efforts.

Golden Gate