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???

How ’bout a Do-Over?

Immersed in a squallid moat of schoolwork, but coming up for air. Apparently Rumsfeld said something on Schieffer’s Sunday show to the effect of “I didn’t advocate the invasion of Iraq…” or something befuddlingly similar.

It is no secret that Rumsfeld INSISTED on micromanaging a 21st century-style speedy and slick war with minimal troops. If the U.S. had begun the ground war with at least double the troops, as General Shinsecki (Shinseki)? and other uniformed military leaders projected as reasonable; perhaps the U.S. would have the personnel to better investigate and understand the regional and national disturbances occurring, soon to occur, and purported to have occured according to horrendously viral, yet unverifiable rumors cross-cutting Iraq.

What I fear is getting out of Iraq with as hasty, careless, and incomplete a plan as we had when we went in. I am hoping that Congress and the Administration have finally hit bottom and will come out more focused and ready to work overtime to produce a quality plan. Forget about the “Global” War on Terror and stick to Iraq – where there can be no “winning” in its normal sense. With the house on fire, you obviously want to get your people out as soon as possible, but how can you best save your guests AND spare the fire from spreading throughout the neighborhood?

The president originally made a decent case for war, and it is hard not to agree that Saddam needed to be taken out. My main argument against the war was simply logistical — How can you reverse the standards of war that have been revised since Vietnam and so hastily make a plan to fix Babylon in weeks and come out unscathed, leaving only freedom dust sprinkled behind?

Without having an in depth knowledge of the history of Iraq, I was aware of the fact that the fertile soils at the isthmus of the Tigris and Euphrates have been fawned over by kingdom’s and empires and dinosaurs since the beginning of civilization. President Bush may have overlooked this when his read on the Bible was reprogrammed by “Intelligent Design.”

So I hereby recommend the use of Marty McFly’s DeLorean for one last trip back in time. Mr. President, just imagine being back on the USS Lincoln in that flight suit and having that be the last day that anyone ever mentions “war” in Iraq, or even “occupation.” A little Back to the Future action, and Rumsfeld – you can be Mr. Smooth with the press corps again, gracing the cover of People as a celebrity and American hero, now that you’ll be able to do what you wish you had done and keep Gen Shinsecki et al in command of the mission.

P.S. if you happen to remember, there are a few terrorist attacks that can be averted between 2002 and now in Madrid, Bali, and London, among other places… nahhh, I doubt anyone will remember those.

Oops, I’ve rambled. I am getting back to work. Main reason I’m posting is to insert these links below so that I can follow up on the HOT Sunday morning talk show action that I missed.

Bush’s locked out of ‘exit strategy’ in China | Rummy | Murtha on MTP | George Will | General Odom on McLaughlin | Lawrence Wilkerson | Leonard Downie to Howard Kurtz | Italia Federici on Abramoff’s bribes | SNL Highlights

Big Hi-Fives go to Crooks and Liars and the Daily Dissent for hosting and posting.

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