Like: orders in neighboring areas are delivered by biodesel-powered truck. They use soy oil as fuel. Like: when they send you your coffee, an actual human being writes 'thanks! A tip of the hat to Peace Coffee.
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Thought for the Day September 29, p. This war is really, really bringing your positive efforts to the level of zero. September 29, p. He tried to get the Army to pay attention. It didn't. So Capt. Ian Fishback went over the Army's head. Now the Army's main interest still doesn't seem to provide clarification and guidance to its troubled officer--it wants to harass him and the soldiers who have also offered damning testimony. Fishback is the latest in a series of 'ordinary' Americans who have retained enough of their religious and spiritual education--Fishback is a devout Christian--to stand up to our disgraceful embrace of torture.
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Here is Fishback's letter to John McCain :. I am a graduate of West Point currently serving as a Captain in the U. Army Infantry. I have served two combat tours with the 82nd Airborne Division, one each in Afghanistan and Iraq. While I served in the Global War on Terror, the actions and statements of my leadership led me to believe that United States policy did not require application of the Geneva Conventions in Afghanistan or Iraq.
On 7 May , Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld's testimony that the United States followed the Geneva Conventions in Iraq and the "spirit" of the Geneva Conventions in Afghanistan prompted me to begin an approach for clarification. For 17 months, I tried to determine what specific standards governed the treatment of detainees by consulting my chain of command through battalion commander, multiple JAG lawyers, multiple Democrat and Republican Congressmen and their aides, the Ft. Bragg Inspector General's office, multiple government reports, the Secretary of the Army and multiple general officers, a professional interrogator at Guantanamo Bay, the deputy head of the department at West Point responsible for teaching Just War Theory and Law of Land Warfare, and numerous peers who I regard as honorable and intelligent men.
Instead of resolving my concerns, the approach for clarification process leaves me deeply troubled. Despite my efforts, I have been unable to get clear, consistent answers from my leadership about what constitutes lawful and humane treatment of detainees. I am certain that this confusion contributed to a wide range of abuses including death threats, beatings, broken bones, murder, exposure to elements, extreme forced physical exertion, hostage-taking, stripping, sleep deprivation and degrading treatment.
I and troops under my command witnessed some of these abuses in both Afghanistan and Iraq. This is a tragedy. I can remember, as a cadet at West Point, resolving to ensure that my men would never commit a dishonorable act; that I would protect them from that type of burden. It absolutely breaks my heart that I have failed some of them in this regard. That is in the past and there is nothing we can do about it now. But we can learn from our mistakes and ensure that this does not happen again.
Take a major step in that direction; eliminate the confusion. My approach for clarification provides clear evidence that confusion over standards was a major contributor to the prisoner abuse.
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We owe our soldiers better than this. Give them a clear standard that is in accordance with the bedrock principles of our nation. Some do not see the need for this work. Some argue that since our actions are not as horrifying as Al Qaeda's, we should not be concerned. When did Al Qaeda become any type of standard by which we measure the morality of the United States?
We are America, and our actions should be held to a higher standard, the ideals expressed in documents such as the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution.
Jesse KornBluth - Swami Uptown
Others argue that clear standards will limit the President's ability to wage the War on Terror. Since clear standards only limit interrogation techniques, it is reasonable for me to assume that supporters of this argument desire to use coercion to acquire information from detainees. This is morally inconsistent with the Constitution and justice in war.
It is unacceptable. Both of these arguments stem from the larger question, the most important question that this generation will answer. Do we sacrifice our ideals in order to preserve security? Terrorism inspires fear and suppresses ideals like freedom and individual rights. Overcoming the fear posed by terrorist threats is a tremendous test of our courage. Will we confront danger and adversity in order to preserve our ideals, or will our courage and commitment to individual rights wither at the prospect of sacrifice?
My response is simple. If we abandon our ideals in the face of adversity and aggression, then those ideals were never really in our possession. I would rather die fighting than give up even the smallest part of the idea that is "America. Once again, I strongly urge you to do justice to your men and women in uniform. Give them clear standards of conduct that reflect the ideals they risk their lives for. So over to you, message board posters--what do you make of this? Life is messy.
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So the seers tell us. But when the media gets hold of a story, it gets poster simple, doesn't it? Especially when it's the story of a white Christian woman held hostage by a black escaped killer. She reads to him from America's best-loved book--'The Purpose-Driven Life'--and they weep together, and then he lets her go.
Happy ending! But now it's book time--and to sell it, Ashley Smith tells a different story :. Ashley Smith, the woman who says she persuaded suspected courthouse gunman Brian Nichols to release her by talking about her faith in God, discloses in a new book that she gave him meth- amphetamine during the hostage ordeal. Smith, who has been in a mental hospital and has flunked out of drug rehab programs, says the seven-hour hostage ordeal led her to stop using drugs.
She says she has not touched drugs since the night before she was taken hostage. Let me wipe my nose, because I just did some drugs before I got here,"' Smith told the Augusta Chronicle. She writes that she asked Nichols if he wanted to see the danger of drugs and lifted up her tank top several inches to reveal a five-inch scar down the center of her torso -- the aftermath of a car wreck caused by drug-induced psychosis.
She says she let go of the steering wheel when she heard a voice saying, "Let go and let God. When John F. Kennedy was a schoolboy, he was no scholar. Indeed, he was such a cut-up that he was often found sitting in the corner for some infraction or other. On such occasions, notes were sent home. And then his father, the fierce Joe Kennedy, would deliver the ultimate threat--if you don't stop misbehaving in school, we won't let you read the next John Tunis book.
John Tunis is on my mind because, this weekend, the Yankees and Red Sox will face one another for three games that are, to their fans, important as the World Series. A good time to remember what baseball meant to us as kids--in my life, it was a Religion--and to read one of the great Tunis books, The Kid from Tomkinsville. Thought for the Day September 28, p. People walking in here, this is a surprise for you! Don't stand here looking like you know what's coming.
September 28, p. Look at the beginning of this White House briefing. Does it not look as if President Bush got a terrible piece of news five seconds before he stepped on stage?
Note: this is government footage. Lynndie R. England: Patsy September 28, p. You remember the Army clerk photographed--with cigarette and leash--with naked Iraqi detainees at Abu Ghraib prison. She was sentenced yesterday to three years in prison and a dishonorable discharge. She said she was drawn to Specialist Graner, a member of the same unit, because he showered her with attention and made her feel safe.
Graner testified that his superiors knew all about the torture and humilation. Alas, no officer was present the night the photos of England were taken. Given all that we have learned since these pictures were released, that is entirely credible.
All You Need Is Hate - Stanley Fish - Think Again - Opinion - New York Times Blog
But it is the meta-policy of the United States that men in authority are never actual authority figures. They hear no evil, see no evil, do no evil. What do they do? Beats me. So it's perfect--dramatically perfect--that the woman who got screwed by her superior has been screwed again, this time by the court. Let's pass out cigars to the men in the Army, the Pentagon, White House.
edumacoltd.com/images/fybiwez/4865.php Well done, gentlemen! That's how much gets handed out each day as the Reconstruction of the South moves forward.