Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Instahoglets 14th Feb. 07

Happy Valentines Day, folks. I hope it's a good one for you.

Now on to some quick hits, in the accepted Insta-Atrios style.

  • First up, Shakes' Sis has resigned from the Edwards Campaign. You probably already know that. I don't have a lot to say other than extend my very best wishes to a good blogging friend. Death and rape threats can't be nice, ever. But I also think she was right to resign - not because what she wrote was ever offensive to anyone except Aunt Grundy, but because I believe John Edwards will prove to be the Tony Blair of US politics. He talks a good progressive game, but underneath the facade there's a soul thats been sold to corporate interests and warmongering neocons. Shakes doesn't need to tie her future star to that anchor.

  • The BBC looks at falling recruitment standards in the US military. The number of people with criminal records in the United States military has doubled in the past three years. More evidence of how Bush's misadventures have gutted the military.

  • Again from the BBC, this time on illegal rendition flights: "The European parliament has approved a damning report on secret CIA flights, condemning member states which had colluded in the operations.
    The UK, Germany and Italy were among 14 states which allowed the US to forcibly remove terror suspects, MEPs said." The report also concluded that the purpose of most flights was to remove suspects illegaly for torture. Torture like this: "A former CIA contract employee was sentenced Tuesday to nearly 8 years in prison for beating an Afghan detainee who later died."

  • I wonder why the US rightwing, usually so fast to jump on any story about terrorist bomb-makers in Europe, aren't talking at all about the guy who "stockpiled explosive chemicals in advance of a civil war in Britain." Maybe it's because he isn't Moslem, he's a rightwing racist. That must be it.

  • Here's a must-read, Dr Stephen Taylor, the very definition of a sane and moderate conservative, has a look at the war on drugs, the war on terror, and how they clash. He concludes that US policy is "utter folly".

  • From the UK's Sky News, the Brit version of Murdoch's FOX, comes the tale of missing FBI computers and, more amazingly, machine guns.

    Most of the firearms that disappeared between 2002 and 2005 were pistols - although rifles, shotguns and sub-machine guns also went missing.

    The report concludes that "it is impossible for the FBI to determine the extent of the damage these losses might have had on its operations or on national security".

    I will let you draw your own snarky comparisons between this and recent accusations against Iran.

  • Bush has a press conference today in which he intends explaining why we should believe anonymous officials instead of general pace and why the North Korea deal is different from the deal he could have done six years ago when NK didn't have nukes. Should be fun.
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