A blazing oil pipeline in Dibis with a firefighter in the foreground. Attacks on the oil infrstructure in Iraq continue. The reason I post it, however, remains that I'm awe struck by the power of oil fires. Stunning.
It's what makes the bucket Rusty... and by the way, if you see Rusty tell her to write.
If John Ashcroft was right, then I was staring into the malevolent, duplicitous eyes of pure evil, the eyes of a man with the mass murder of Americans on his mind. But all I could really see was a polite, unassuming, neatly dressed guy who looked like a suburban Little League coach.
If Mr. Ashcroft was right, then Maher Arar should have been in a U.S. prison, not talking to me in an office in downtown Ottawa. But there he was, a 34-year-old man who now wears a perpetually sad expression, talking about his recent experiences - a real-life story with the hideous aura of a hallucination. Mr. Arar's 3-year-old son, Houd, loudly crunched potato chips while his father was being interviewed.
"I still have nightmares about being in Syria, being beaten, being in jail," said Mr. Arar. "They feel very real. When I wake up, I feel very relieved to find myself in my room."
In the fall of 2002 Mr. Arar, a Canadian citizen, suddenly found himself caught up in the cruel mockery of justice that the Bush administration has substituted for the rule of law in the post-Sept. 11 world. While attempting to change planes at Kennedy Airport on his way home to Canada from a family vacation in Tunisia, he was seized by American authorities, interrogated and thrown into jail. He was not charged with anything, and he never would be charged with anything, but his life would be ruined.
Mr. Arar was surreptitiously flown out of the United States to Jordan and then driven to Syria, where he was kept like a nocturnal animal in an unlit, underground, rat-infested cell that was the size of a grave. From time to time he was tortured.
He wept. He begged not to be beaten anymore. He signed whatever confessions he was told to sign. He prayed.
Among the worst moments, he said, were the times he could hear babies crying in a nearby cell where women were imprisoned. He recalled hearing one woman pleading with a guard for several days for milk for her child.
He could hear other prisoners screaming as they were tortured.
"I used to ask God to help them," he said.
The Justice Department has alleged, without disclosing any evidence whatsoever, that Mr. Arar is a member of, or somehow linked to, Al Qaeda. If that's so, how can the administration possibly allow him to roam free? The Syrians, who tortured him, have concluded that Mr. Arar is not linked in any way to terrorism.
This is characteristic Stern—measured and precise—but signals to me that the warning from the libertarians ought not be simply dismissed as rhetorical excess. I don’t think there are yet real fascists in the administration, but there is certainly now a constituency for them —hungry to bomb foreigners and smash those Americans who might object. And when there are constituencies, leaders may not be far behind. They could be propelled into power by a populace ever more frustrated that the imperialist war it has supported—generally for the most banal of patriotic reasons—cannot possibly end in victory. And so scapegoats are sought, and if we can’t bomb Arabs into submission, or the French, domestic critics of Bush will serve.
we are not supposed to take our opinions on the rights of man from European Courts or theological speculations. We wrote the book on rights. The torture memos of which you speak are disgusting, (Yes I have read them) and clearly outside the tenor of American thought. Lay that aside, since Washington accepted the surrender of the Hessians at Trenton the entire world has known that American soldiers treat prisoners with dignity and time after time that has saved American prioner's lives. Al Gonzales was an integral part of a criminal conspiracy to deny that protection to future generations of Americans and because of that participation deserves contempt.
Simply put, our nation's fiscal policy is on an unsustainable course. As long-term budget simulations by GAO, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO), and others show, over the long term we face a large and growing structural deficit due primarily to known demographic trends and rising health care costs. Continuing on this unsustainable fiscal path will gradually erode, if not suddenly damage, our economy, our standard of living, and ultimately our national security. Our current path also will increasingly constrain our ability to address emerging and unexpected budgetary needs.