Monday, June 27, 2005

Outrages at Guantanamo must stop!

A retired US Army Green Beret has returned from the terrorist detainee center at the US Navy base in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, to report on the human rights conditions.

Lt. Col. Gordon Cucullu USA reports that American military personnel are under constant threat of assault in the compound, subjected to a "daily barrage of feces, urine, semen, and spit hurled at them along with vile invective." Some detainees attempt to gouge out American guards' eyes, and one even threatened military police to find out on the Internet where they live, slaughter their spouses and children, and drink their blood.

In his Front Page Magazine essay, the colonel also reports on continued outrages that the press has not yet unmasked:

* Three meals a day that are so plentiful and appetizing that the colonel thought they represented an entire day's ration: "vegetables, pita bread, and other well-prepared food filled two of the large Styrofoam take-home containers we see in restaurants";
* Special meals for terrorists who are picky about their vegetables;
* Spoiling terrorists who don't like their food; one “throws back his food tray if it contains things he has specifically said he doesn’t want," so the guards number his tray, write what kind of food he wants, and have the special "order" delivered to his cell;
* Diets that are so rich that some terrorists not only have gained weight since their battlefield capture, but are actually getting fat;
* A modern medical center "comparable to a well-equipped and staffed small-town hospital with operating, dental, routine facilities," and obsessive, four-times-a-month medical checkups for each of the 520 detainees;
* US taxpayer-issued Korans for each prisoner - with specially installed racks in every cell so the terrorists' spiritual reinforcement doesn't ever touch the floor;
* "These thugs are treated with an amazing degree of compassion: They are given ice cream treats and recreational time. They live in clean facilities, and receive a full Muslim religious package of Koran, prayer rug, beads, and prayer oils. An arrow in every cell points to Mecca. The call to prayer is played five times daily."
* No discipline for detainees for bad behavior.

This is the real outrage in Guantanamo. It goes way beyond the basics of humane treatment. Not even American prisoners are treated as well.

Col. Cucullu concludes, "You are right to worry about inhumane treatment taking place at GITMO. But your concern should be for the dedicated, well-trained, highly professional American men and women who are subjected to a daily barrage of feces, urine, semen, and spit hurled at them along with vile invective as they implement a humane, enlightened system of confinement on men who want nothing more than to kill Americans."

"We left convinced that America is being extraordinarily lenient – far too lenient."

Sunday, June 26, 2005

Rove is right: weak politicians give the terrorists hope they can defeat us

White House strategist Karl Rove's June 22 comments about certain politicians unwittingly aiding terrorists was right on the mark.

Here's what Rove said:

. . . perhaps the most important difference between conservatives and liberals can be found in the area of national security. Conservatives saw the savagery of 9/11 and the attacks and prepared for war; liberals saw the savagery of the 9/11 attacks and wanted to prepare indictments and offer therapy and understanding for our attackers. In the wake of 9/11, conservatives believed it was time to unleash the might and power of the United States military against the Taliban; in the wake of 9/11, liberals believed it was time to . . . submit a petition. I am not joking. Submitting a petition is precisely what did. It was a petition imploring the powers that be" to "use moderation and restraint in responding to the terrorist attacks against the United States."

Note that Rove didn't say "Democrats." He said "liberals," obviously referring as well to some of the more weak-kneed members of his Republican party.

After 9/11, President Bush said he would lead the United States against terrorists by any means possible. He went ahead and did that, but the liberals are now viewing him as more of a threat than the terrorists. Here are some key examples:

* A generally defeatist attitude in which the politicians ask harsh questions of those leading the war effort, yet seldom offer constructive advice or solutions.
* Senator Dick Durbin's repeated comparisons of the American military with Nazis, Stalinists and other mass murderers - without a single rebuke from another liberal member of the Senate.
* Senator Ted Kennedy's constant attempts to water down anti-terrorist legislation.
* Senator Carl Levin's swarming attacks on the Office of the Secretary of Defense, in which he issues countless demands for information in a harassment campaign designed to hamstring those leading the war effort.
* Senator Jay Rockefeller's political abuse of the formerly bipartisan Select Committee on Intelligence, and his Levin-like campaign make endless demands for information in order to harass and discredit decision-makers.
* Liberal (and libertarian) attempts to sandbag the USA PATRIOT Act that has allowed authorities to round up terrorist support networks.
* Defense of the "rights" of captured al Qaeda and Taliban detainees, and demands that they be given the legal protections of the United States Constitution.
* Repeated encouragement of the "insurgents" and mosque-bombers in Iraq by using each day's explosions as another reason for the US to cut and run.
* Repeated encouragement of other terrorists around the world by crippling the administration's toughest anti-terrorism operations.
* Joining North Korea's Kim Jong-il and Cuba's Fidel Castro in bitter opposition to President Bush's pick of a tough ambassador to the United Nations.

This is not loyal opposition. This is a pattern of partisan attacks by politicians who have allowed their policy differences with the president to become sabotage of the war on terrorism. This pattern is sending the terrorists the message that, if the Islamists and Ba'athists and others can continue their attacks, the weaklings and self-servers in Congress will be there to declare defeat and demand an American withdrawal. The politicians are giving the terrorists the hope they need to continue fighting.

Wednesday, June 22, 2005

Senator Durbin should be stripped of all leadership and national security posts

Senator Dick Durbin of Illinois should be stripped of his seniority and his national security posts after comparing American troops to Soviets and Nazis.

Durbin's loss of political power would be consistent with what Senator Trent Lott had to endure after making what some saw as excessively kind words about departing Senator Strom Thurmond, who had run for president a half-century before as a segregationist.

Durbin should be forced out of his post as Senate Minority Whip (a position he prefers to call Assistant Democratic Leader).

He should also lose all his assignments concerning national security. Those posts include:

* Membership on the Appropriations Subcommittee on Defense;
* Membership on the Appropriations Subcommittee on Foreign Operations;
* Membership on the Judiciary Subcommittee on Immigration, Border Security and Citizenship;
* Membership on the Judiciary Subcommittee on Terrorism, Technology and Homeland Security.

He should lose those posts now - as quickly as Senator Lott was forced from his position as Majority Leader. Before everyone forgets.

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

It's a boy! Dominique Marie François Rene Galouzeau de Villepin

Remember the French politician who couldn't decide whether he wanted Saddam Hussein or the US-led coalition to win the Iraq war? President Jacques Chirac just named him premier.

A lot of people are wondering why. The obsessively anti-American Dominique Marie François Rene Galouzeau de Villepin - yes, with a name like that he is, we are told, still a he - is widely reviled in France, especially within Chirac's own Gaullist party.

Mrs. Chirac hates him so much she calls him Nero, after the Roman emperor who murdered his own mother. Former premier Alain Juppe, of Chirac's own party, begged Chirac not to pick Dominique Marie. So did former premier Edouard Balladur, who said Dominique Marie lacks "common sense."

As Olivier Guitta writes in today's Jerusalem Post, "He is most detested by the members of parliament, especially from his own party. . . .

"But more importantly, he is not popular among the French: A June 1 poll showed that only 36 percent approve of his nomination and 57% think he is not going to restore the confidence of the French people anytime soon."

Many expected Chirac to name Interior Minister Nicolas Sarkozy as premier. Sarkozy is the most popular politician in the country and is considered the most likely to succeed Chirac. But Sarkozy is also arguably the most pro-American politician in France. Which is probably Chirac passed him over in favor of Dominique Marie.

Fonda the troops, Durbin cries on Senate floor

Almost breaking down in tears on the Senate floor, a humiliated Senator Dick Durbin issued a near apology for comparing American anti-terrorism personnel to the Nazis and Communists.

Still unwilling to admit that he went too far, Durbin did acknowledge that "some may believe that my remarks crossed the line," adding, "To them I extend my heartfelt apologies."

The Associated Press reports that Durbin made the half-apology with "his voice quaking and tears welling in his eyes."

Said Durbin: "I made reference to Nazis, to Soviets, and other repressive regimes. . . . I've come to understand that's a very poor choice of words."

Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld compared Durbin to actress Jane Fonda, who collaborated with the North Vietnamese and called American troops "war criminals."

Chicago Mayor Richard Daley, a Democrat, called Durbin's comments "a disgrace."

The senator said he was "sorry" twice and offered his "apology" twice. Then he quoted Abraham Lincoln and gave his "promise to speak out."

Saturday, June 18, 2005

How to torture Senator Durbin: Ignore him

The most influential newspaper in Dick Durbin's state of Illinois offered a way of applying "torture" to whom it calls the "coverage-hungry senator."

The Chicago Tribune recommended in a June 17 editorial:

Durbin's comparison of U.S. interrogators to governments that together killed millions of people makes him look desperate for attention. Well, he's created a lot of discussion about Dick Durbin. We suspect that was the goal all along.

Perhaps, though, citizens should be grateful. At least Durbin has stopped repeating that odd little joke about President Lincoln--that he must have been Jewish because his first name was Abraham and he was shot in the temple.

We know what Durbin thinks about the treatment of Guantanamo prisoners. So what's the proper treatment of our coverage-hungry senior senator when he displaces the ever-present microphone long enough to insert his foot in his mouth? Ignore him. That would be torture.

No Senate Democrat would defend US military against Durbin's Nazi slander

No Democrat party member of the United States Senate, as of this date, has risen to defend American anti-terrorism forces against the slander of Illinois Senator Dick Durbin, who compared US interrogation tactics to mass murderers like Hitler, Stalin and Pol Pot.

Nearly a week has passed since Durbin first made his hateful comments, and Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev) has still declined to criticize. So have Senators Hillary Clinton (D-NY), Chuck Schumer (D-NY), Joe Lieberman (D-Conn), and John Kerry (D-Mass).

Their silence shows not only a lack of judgement. It shows a lack of patriotism.

Embattled senator claims he was 'misunderstood'

After days of standing his ground but finding almost no supporters, Senator Dick "Turban" Durbin now says he was "misunderstood" when he compared American anti-terrorism personnel to Nazis and Soviets.

"My statement in the Senate was critical of the policies of this administration, which add to the risk our soldiers face," the Illinois Democrat said in a statement to the press. "I have learned from my statement that historical parallels can be misused and misunderstood. I sincerely regret if what I said caused anyone to misunderstand my true feelings: Our soldiers around the world and their families at home deserve our respect, admiration and total support."

Friday, June 17, 2005

'Senator Turban' provides fuel for Al Jazeera

Al Jazeera is having fun with Senator Dick Durbin's repeated comparison of American anti-terrorist officials to the world's most notorious mass murderers.

"Senator Turban" is getting lots of play on the Wahhabi-funded satellite TV channel, which highlighted his refusal to recant and his insistence that the US apologize.

Al Jazeera says Durbin's comments are among the "most e-mailed stories" from its website.

Aiding and abetting: Senator Dick Durbin

Senator Dick Durbin of Illinois handed the terrorists a propaganda coup this week by repeatedly comparing Americans who fight terrorism to the Nazis, the Soviet Gulag, and Cambodia's Pol Pot.

He cited what he considered American crimes against the terrorist detainees in Guantanamo: putting a terrorist in a cool room until he shivered, putting another terrorist in a room as hot as a Washington day in August, leaving terrorists in isolation for so long that they had accidents in their pants, and forcing terrorists to listen to loud rap music.

After reading the list, Durbin stated, "If I read this to you and did not tell you that it was an FBI agent describing what Americans had done to prisoners in their control, you would most certainly believe this must have been done by Nazis, Soviets in their gulags or some mad regime — Pol Pot or others — that had no concern for human beings."

He then called for the US to give "all" detained terrorists "a meaningful opportunity to challenge their detention before a neutral decision-maker."

Durbin, the second-ranking Democrat in the Senate, refused to back down, taking to the chamber floor on the night of June 16 to repeat his comments.

Republican senators denounced Durbin's written comments as "deplorable" and "reprehensible." Democrat senators couldn't bring themselves to do the same. Fox News reported that "Several Democrats declined to comment on Durbin's remarks. Those who did chose their words carefully, saying questions remain about interrogations. 'I don't think, however, that I would go quite as far as he would because, for example, I don't think we need to close down Guantanamo Bay,' said Sen. Jay Rockefeller, D-WV."

Senate Democrat Leader Harry Reid of Nevada blamed the Bush Administration and its supporters for Durbin's rhetoric.

Thursday, June 16, 2005

His communist collaboration confirmed, Szlajfer withdraws as Poland's envoy to US

Polish TV is reporting that Henryk Szlajfer abruptly withdrew as ambassador-designate to the United States June 14 after Polish sources independently confirmed his Soviet-era collaboration with the Communist secret police.

Szlajfer continues to deny all allegations, first raised in the US April 30 on Fourth World War.

Using images of this blog, the Polish television program Wiadomosci reported June 13 that Szlajfer informed on his friends, including fellow Trotskyist "dissident" Adam Michnik, in the 1970s. His secret police cryptonym was "Albin," according to the report.

The Associated Press reported on June 15 that senior Polish officials were reviewing the Szlajfer appointment.

The development breaks as a similar controversy swirls around former dictator Wojciech Jaruzelski was recruited as an agent of Stalin's GRU military intelligence service in 1946, and subsequently informed on his fellow military officers to the Polish secret police. As military dictator in the 1980s, Jaruzelski named his former control officer to be his Minister of Internal Affairs.

For details, see my sister blog, Polish Collaborators.

Wednesday, June 08, 2005

Archives show former Polish dictator Jaruzelski was Soviet GRU agent

Former Polish dicator Wojciech Jaruzelski, the military general whose imposition of martial law in 1981 failed to snuff out the pro-freedom movement in his country, was an agent of Soviet GRU military intelligence, archives show.

News of his secret collaboration with Stalin comes after the 81 year-old Jaruzelski said he wanted to set up a "truth commission" with former Solidarity leader and Polish President Lech Walesa to serve as an "independent" and "objective" platform for researching the country's troubled history.

He didn't like Walesa's proposal to have a commission under the control of the National Remembrance Institute, which looks unfavorably on the decades of Soviet rule.

Jaruzelski became a GRU agent shortly after World War II ended but before his country was under total Soviet control, according to remnants of his file which Polish researchers recently discovered.

According to the file, the GRU formally recruited Jaruzelski, whose cryptonym was "Wolski," on March 23, 1946.

As with many Soviet files, the name is misspelled, but according to Polish sources the file is definitely that of the former dictator. Jaruzelski's name is misspelled According to a biographical note compiled by an intelligence officer, Jaruzelski "Jeruzelski Wojciech."

The GRU termed Jaruzelski "a good secret collaborator, fit to be a resident" (dobry tajny współpracownik, nadający się na rezydenta).

A "resident" or rezident, in Soviet jargon, is head of a "residency" (rezidentura), the chief of a KGB or GRU station abroad. The use of the word in the Jaruzelski file appears to refer to him as a potential leader of other secret collaborators.

The Soviets physically ran Polish military intelligence (Informacja Wojskowa) at the time, using GRU and Chekist officers, and essential documents in the nominally Polish service were generally written in Russian.

Despite the enthusiasm with which the US wishes to embrace Poland as one of the most reliable of NATO allies, the failure of Poland to de-Sovietize the current WSW military intelligence service presents continued, if unspoken, confidence problems.

It is unclear when - if ever - Jaruzelski stopped being a Soviet GRU agent.

To follow this issue, see my Polish Collaborators blog.

Monday, June 06, 2005

Chinese propaganda recycles Amnesty's 'gulag' allegation against US

The Chinese government is making hay out of Amnesty International's denunciation of the US detention centers for terrorists as a "gulag."

Through its controlled propaganda agency Xinhua, the Chinese government also echoed Amnesty International's unsubstantiated accusation against Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld as an "apparent high-level architect of torture."

Xinhua did include a top Amnesty International figure's admission that he had "no idea" whether or not his allegation against Rumsfeld was true.

However, it failed to mention the Amnesty leader's acknowledgement that the "gulag" metaphor was an exaggeration. Reuters did quote the admission: "Clearly this is not an exact or a literal analogy."

Sunday, June 05, 2005

Architect of Mexico's anti-anti-terrorism dies in car wreck

Adolfo Aguilar Zinser, architect of Mexico's intransigent policy against helping the US in the war on terrorism, died this weekend in a Jeep wreck. While one takes no joy in his passing, we want to make sure the record stays straight.

This blogger has long been critical of Zinser, a left-wing political activist who considered himself an intellectual, who formed an alliance of convenience with Mexican President Vicente Fox. Zinser was Fox's national security adviser before becoming ambassador to the United Nations. He was one of the two main figures behind Mexico's new international activist role against US security interests, and a mastermind of Mexico's attempts to dismantle the inter-American security system that has been in place since the late 1940s and that was activated after the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks.

After Zinser failed to obstruct the US in Iraq from Mexico's new seat on the UN Security Council, he became so extreme and antagonistic that President Fox sacked him. He then turned against Fox, accusing him of trying to curry favor with the United States and of personal betrayal.

To his credit, in the late 1990s Zinser turned against Cuban dictator Fidel Castro after having slavishly supported him for decades.

Thursday, June 02, 2005

Another goofy name for a war

As if 'GEE-wot' wasn't a dumb enough name for the war we're in, somebody who hasn't quite mastered the war of ideas is about to come up with an even sillier one.

Gee-wot, of course, is Pentagonese for GWOT, the acronym of Global War on Terror(ism). A real inspiring name for a war likely to last decades.

Now, however, David Kaplan reports in US News & World Report that the White House is about to make Gee-wot even better. How about this for an uplifting, optimistic name: WOE?

The covert suggestion of an enemy infiltrator to divide and demoralize us? Not according to US News. "Nearly four years after 9/11, officials have finally figured out who the enemy is," Kaplan writes. "The White House's new counterterrorism strategy, now being revamped at the National Security Council, will focus more sharply on Islamic extremism, not terrorism. One important sign of the change: Policymakers are ready to abandon their shorthand for the conflict - GWOT, or the global war on terrorism. The likely new name is simply WOE - the war on extremism. The reason, explains a senior national security official: 'Terrorism is the method rather than the enemy.'"

Since when did we define the enemy when we named our wars? Not in World War I, World War II, or (as some of us call the Cold War) World War III.

What about naming our enemies in other wars? Kosovo wasn't our enemy. The Persian Gulf wasn't our enemy. The Vietnamese and Koreans weren't our enemies. The Spanish-Americans weren't our enemy. We don't name the enemy in the Civil War (or, as some prefer it, the War Between the States). The Mexican War . . . well, I'll concede on that one.

But 1812 wasn't our enemy. Can you imagine what would have happened to the idea of America if we'd called the Revolutionary War the War On England? WOE to us! So why do our leaders insist on identifying the elusive, diverse, and ever-changing enemy this time?

I still like World War IV.