The first few headlines that I saw this morning (after reading Jerome’s diary on the Bush fatwa against the Democratic Congress), coupled with the lead story I heard this morning as I was getting ready to head to the airport, made me scratch my head and wonder just what the hell else is going to come out and will it even surprise me in the least.
Where to even begin? I guess we can start with a followup to the comments cited in my diary yesterday about the Saddam hanging backlash. As part of the Iraqi government’s investigation into the circumstances surrounding the video of Saddam’s hanging, we find that the protests against his hanging are now intensifying.
Interestingly, the same NY Times article seems to have been scrubbed to delete a reference made on Huffington Post from last night that indicates that one of the men holding a cellphone to make a video was the Iraq National Security Advisor. First, the blurb from Huffington Post:
As his aides announced that the events at the hanging would be the subject of an inquiry, one of the officials who attended the hanging, a prosecutor at the trial that condemned Mr. Hussein to death, said that one of two men he had seen holding a cellphone camera aloft to make a video of Mr. Hussein's last moments -- up to and past the point where he fell through the trapdoor -- was Mowaffak al-Rubaie, Mr. Maliki's national security adviser. Attempts to reach Mr. Rubaie were unsuccessful. The prosecutor, Munkith al-Faroun, said the other man holding a cellphone above his head was also an official, but he could not recall his name.
Now, the NY Times article piece:
Mr. Maliki seemed equally eager to ward off the opprobrium stirred by the execution. His aides announced that the events at the hanging would be the subject of an inquiry. A prosecutor who attended the execution, Munkith al-Faroun, said he thought one of the invited witnesses had recorded the session on a cellphone, but he could not recall his name.
Interesting that between just before 11PM last night until sometime this morning, this little nugget of extremely damning information was taken out of the NY Times article. Needless to say, the fact that a high level Iraqi governmental official making a video of this execution (if true) would add even more fuel to the fire that has already been raging and is likely to explode even more so. Not surprisingly, the prosecutor who initially pointed out the National Security Advisor’s role has now come forward and denied saying that it was al-Rubaie. Of course, another person has already been arrested in connection with the taping of the hanging.
No wonder Iraqi Prime Minister Maliki hates his job and wants to leave BEFORE his term expires.
Then, as if things aren’t already bad enough with killing and abuse, we have some new revelations on torture at Guantanamo. According to the BBC, an FBI report indicates that a number of FBI employees were witness to “harsh interrogation tactics”.
At least 26 agency employees say they witnessed inmates being mistreated and subjected to harsh interrogation.
One reported seeing a man whose head was covered in duct tape, another saw detainees chained from hand to foot in the foetal position for up to 24 hours.
Because, you know, those three square meals and extraordinarily humane treatment that the “detainees” are receiving include such fun things as being wrapped in duct tape and being chained. Wow, that sounds like fun to me.
Back to Iraq, it is now being reported that Bush’s grand new plan and strategy is to escalate the occupation, but with such a low level of additional troops (rumored to be 20,000) that it defies all logic and reason. And what is it for? Not for training Iraqi forces. Not to root out al-Sadr and his militia. Not to secure other areas of the country. But to help with “security” Baghdad. Of course, that is what I thought that the “Baghdad offensive” was supposed to do. I asked last week, and I will ask again - how will 20,000 additional troops help this security situation?
This isn’t even flying with administration officials, one of whom is claiming that this is a (shocker there) – POLITICAL decision:
Administration officials told us today that President Bush has now all but decided to surge those additional troops into Baghdad to try to control over the violence there and only then could they accelerate the turnover of territory to Iraqi security forces. Fact is they’re not up to the task yet. The plan would also throw more U.S. money at Iraq for reconstruction and a jobs program. Interestingly enough, one administration official admitted to us today that this surge option is more of a political decision than a military one because the American people have run out of patience and President Bush is running out of time to achieve some kind of success in Iraq. While this plan will clearly draw some stiff opposition on Capitol Hill, the president is expected to announce it a week from today.
Not only will I point out, yet again, how Abizaid, Casey and everyone else said that an escalation will not help the situation, I will point out that Bush’s own people are admitting that he is willing to buck everyone else and send more troops – more Americans into a failure of an occupation and risk more lives – all to score political points. Once again.
The president’s own people are admitting that the president is hell bent on sending more people to kill and die, AGAINST ALL ADVICE, for political reasons
Ladies and gentlemen, the wheels are coming off. The president is unhinged. He is alone in his decision to kill more innocent people and doesn’t care if this is not what his Generals, his fellow republicans, Congress and nearly 90% of Americans want. Or if it is doomed to fail.
This man must be stopped.