“Don’t Bomb Us!” – Al Jazeera Blog

While browsing the impressive, award-winning Global Voices blog, I came across this brand new blog launched this week by three Al-Jazeera staffers. Don’t Bomb Us is definitely worth following.

Tariq Ayoub, al Jazeera’s Baghdad correspondent, was killed by a U.S. airstrike in April 2003. On Thursday, staffers and supporters of Al Jazeera held photos of Ayoub outside the network’s Doha, Qatar headquarters in protest of the memo in which President Bush reportedly suggested bombing Al Jazeera during a meeting with British Prime Minister Tony Blair, according to the London Times. Ayoub’s widow is considering suing the U.S.

The Guardian has a background article on the Bush/Blair meetings that are the source of the memo in question.

UPDATE: British MP and editor of the UK Spectator Boris Johnson is prepared to go to jail for the opportunity to print the four page Bush-Blair memo. Other journalists are set to follow his lead. The world was prepared to slough aside the Mirror’s claims in regards to the memo’s contents until it became clear that the UK has taken extreme measures to protect against the publishing of its contents, threatening jail…. is it only a matter of time?

NYT: Court charged Padilla to avoid hearing testimony of tortured operatives

That’s not exactly how the headline reads in the Nov 24 New York Times, but its all spelled out right here in the lede:

WASHINGTON, Nov. 23 – The Bush administration decided to charge Jose Padilla with less serious crimes because it was unwilling to allow testimony from two senior members of Al Qaeda who had been subjected to harsh questioning, current and former government officials said Wednesday. — By DOUGLAS JEHL and ERIC LICHTBLAU

The two al-Qaeda leader’s being referenced are Khalid Sheikh Mohammad (KSM) and Abu Zubaydah, who remain in secret prisons and furthermore, the validity of the information and treatment they received has been scrutinized, most notably in the CIA report titled “Khalid Shaykh Mohammed’s
Threat Reporting?Precious Truths Surrounded by a Bodyguard of Lies.” (.pdf).

read today’s NYTimes article.

Move over Jose, make room for Tom and his boys

Just in time to appease the Supreme Court, Jose Padilla, yes, the American man who has been imprisoned for 3 and a half years awaiting charges related to his alleged involvement with al-Qaeda, was charged today in federal court.

Padilla was not indicted for intent to run around naked, dirty and/or bombing, stealing from natives, or even having his friends loot the reservation for him. No, keep this guy locked up, because he’s looking to “murder, kidnap and maim” some peace-loving creatures in a land far, far away, according to Atty. General Alberto Gonzales’ charges.

Very interesting charges coming from one Hizzoner Gonzales, who last mentioned maiming people in foreign lands in the infamous “torture memo.” (at least that’s what Google knows him for).

If convicted, Padilla could face life in prison, which surely is the best only thing he’s heard in years!

Tim Grieve covers the bait-and-switcharoo at Salon:

Remember how Jose Padilla was supposed to have been plotting to build and detonate a “dirty bomb” in the United States? Then remember how he was supposed to have been training to use natural gas to blow up apartment buildings in the United States?

Never mind.

Now lets put the REAL CRIMINALS in the can.

Zarqawi Slides under the Tag… Again

One Legged ZarqawiAnd, to think, he only has one leg left to tag.

Headlines such as “U.S. troops ‘just missed’ killing Zarqawi,” (which cameo’d as a headline on MSNBC.com for a brief period last night) never cease to amaze me.

As I read the news from the weekend, the 8 Iraqi’s who may or may not have been Zarqawi, actually blew THEMSELVES up. when troops were encroaching. Details aside — there is no such thing as a “near miss” when there’s a $25 million dollar bounty for a kill or capture!!!

This is not the first “near-miss” on the ever-elusive one-legged terror bogeyman:

Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Public Affairs Lawrence Di Rita, Nov 10, 2005:

Q: Has there been any interest in incidents recently in which you came close to catching him or might have just missed him or — that you know of?
A: We’re — the coalition, the Iraqi security forces, the U.S. forces are — we know what we know about Zarqawi and his network, and there’s undoubtedly a lot that we don’t know. But what we know for sure is that this is a guy who has — that al Qaeda in general has a vision, and their vision is one of a network capability….

Everybody remembers in April, when we juuuussst missed Zarqawi… but the special agents that ambushed his hideout were able to snag his laptop (iBook G4) which contained a “treasure trove of terror info.” — can you believe he didn’t just fold right then and there?!?!

But that wasn’t the first laptop that was seized. Just two months earlier, coalition troops “just missed” al Zarqawi, who (you’ve gotta see this web page! from the Dept. of Defense website):

“quickly grabbed his American-made rifle with one magazine and an unknown amount of U.S. dollars and escaped. He left behind his computer, pistols and more ammunition, which were all seized in the raid.”

Think they’re not trying hard enough to get the guy? Guess again (via NewsMax, reknown right-wing squawk box):

– At least two top-secret, multi-agency commando teams
– dozens of special forces commandos and military intelligence gatherers
– dozens of CIA case officers and analysts
– FBI special agents and bomb experts
– forensic money-trackers from the Treasury Department
– Eavesdropping satellites, unmanned drones and even U-2 spy planes

Wait a minute, Batman…. Who is this Zarqawi guy, anyway???

‘Buddha Boy’ has Arrived

The legend of Buddha Boy has made it around the world today thanks to a story in the Telegraph. Ram Bomjon has spent six months wthout food or water, meditating beneath this tree, according to his devotees.

“A snake bit me but I do not need treatment. I need six years of deep meditation,” explains the 15-year old Bomjon, whose mother, Maya Devi, shares the same name as the mother of the original Buddha, born 160 miles from this site around 543 B.C.E.

No report yet on whether President Bush, traveling in nearby Mongolia will make a visit, but if he reads this blog he may think twice about this opportunity to be born again again. USA Today reported last week that “Bush is a Methodist, but he seemed to get into the Buddhist vibe in South Korea.”

stay tuned…