Saturday, March 17, 2007

Instahoglets 17th March 07

The big stories today are going to be AG Gonzales - and guessing how long until he packs his desk - and the ongoing New PlameGate revelations coming from Henry Waxman's panel, which show that the White House didn't take a felony seriously.

But there are other stories out there worth noticing. Here's a few of them.

  • Major news from Iraq, where chlorine bombs set of by insurgents in Falluja and Ramadi have resulted in eight dead and over 350 injuries. That brings the total of such attacks to five since late January. It's obviously a new tactic by the insurgency, who keep evolving new tactics faster than US and Iraqi forces can stand up countermeasures.

  • A guest-poster over at The Carpetbagger has a rather compelling argument that it is time to repeal the 2nd Amendment. "It is time to quit trying to reconcile our need for a sane gun policy with the antiquated language of the Second Amendment. We must cease pretending that we can live with the Second Amendment, as long as it is interpreted properly. Let’s not give judges the opportunity to misconstrue it by getting rid of it outright.
    Once this is done, federal, state and local gun laws can then take whatever form the people want through their elected representatives. A sparsely populated, largely rural state like Wyoming may choose relatively few gun controls. The urban areas of the East Coast would likely adopt tighter laws."

  • Can you hear the panic inside the beltway? After a prominent upscale D.C. madame was forbidden by a judge to sell detailled records on the phone records of her prostitution business, she instructed her lawyer to give away copies for free. They are now in the hands of an undisclosed news organization. There were 40 bidders, including lawyers acting for former clients who want to stay secret.

  • An Israeli documentary and a former Egyptian soldier have made accusations of war atrocities against Israeli Minister of National Infrastructure Benjamin Ben Eliezer. The soldier says he was an eyewitness to the alleged execution of two captured Egyptian officers by Eliezer while the documantary implicates him in the deaths of 250 unarmed Egyptian prisoners during the 1967 Arab-Israeli war.

  • Israel is refusing to recognise the new Palestinian cabinet - which has rejected violence but affirmed a right to resistance and still doesn't recognise Israel. It looks like other Western nations, led by the US and UK, will follow the Israeli lead. But here's a word of sensible advice from the UK - "the whole point of peace negotiations is to talk to the enemy...If we had made conditions in Northern Ireland as we are making them in Palestine, the Good Friday agreement would never have been reached."

  • The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) says that that the Pakistani intelligence agency ISI is using sophisticated technology from the U.S. as part of a campaign of kidnapping, torture, and even murder of political opponents of Musharaff's regime. "The dangerous "mission creep" of surveillance technologies from anti-terrorist uses to uses against political opponents and ordinary people within the U.S. is well documented, and now it seems we are spreading this problem internationally."

  • The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees says he is "deeply disturbed" by recent Iraqi Army "surge" raids in a Palestinian area of Baghdad. They appear to be cover for ethnic cleansing, torture and extortion - where detainees families are told their loved ones won't be tortured and mutilated, or may be released, if they come up with large sums of US dollars.

  • As US and Iraqi forces surge into the Sadr City part of Baghdad, there are signs that their job might be about to get a whole lot tougher. "Firebrand Shiite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr on Friday called upon followers inside his stronghold of Sadr City to resist U.S. forces who are trying to stabilize the capital. Officials in his organization said the cleric was advocating a peaceful uprising." Until now, the Shiite Mahdi Militia controlled by al-Sadr has been conspicuous by its absence during the "surge".

  • You know what's the funniest thing about Republican allegations - used by Bush again today - that Dems are trying to "micromanage" the war in Iraq?

    That even if such allegations were true - which they aren't, they are simply putting the troops before the war - it would still be better than Republicans MISmanaging the war!
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