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May 21, 2004

Newspapers published in glass houses...

The Times editorial page chastises the Bushies for having been taken in by Chalabi. No small irony, given that paper's own history with Chalabi--he was the main source for Judith Miller's breathless tales of the impending Iraqi threat.


Juan Cole takes a look at some pre-war cheerleading by Andrew Sullivan. Note Sullivan's matter-of-fact use of the word "imminent." (Via Atrios.)


May 20, 2004

One more

This is infuriating. To shrug this off--compare it to a Skull & Bones prank, or to things done by people who were not acting in our name--is beneath contempt.

A military intelligence analyst who recently completed duty at Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq (news - web sites) said Wednesday that the 16-year-old son of a detainee there was abused by U.S. soldiers to break his father's resistance to interrogators.

The analyst said the teenager was stripped naked, thrown in the back of an open truck, driven around in the cold night air, splattered with mud and then presented to his father at Abu Ghraib, the prison at the center of the scandal over abuse of Iraqi detainees.

Upon seeing his frail and frightened son, the prisoner broke down and cried and told interrogators he would tell them whatever they wanted, the analyst said.

Via Atrios.

Three stories, no comment


WASHINGTON - Iraqi and U.S. officials agree at least 40 people were killed in an American air strike yesterday, but Iraqis say the dead are mostly women and children from a wedding party, not foreign fighters in a "safehouse."

The conflicting claims from the U.S. and Iraqi provincial and hospital officials involved a predawn operation by U.S. forces in a remote area near the Syrian border about 200 miles northwest of Baghdad.

U.S. troops were moving "against suspected foreign fighters in a safehouse," said Army Brig. Gen. Mark Kimmitt. "We took groundfire and we returned fire."

Kimmitt said the troops called in strikes by attack helicopters and war planes about 3 a.m.

Dubai-based Al Arabiya television, quoting witnesses, said the raid on the village of Makr al-Deeb destroyed two homes and killed at least 41 civilians from a wedding party.

"We received about 40 martyrs today, mainly women and children below the age of 12," Hamdy al-Lousy, the director of Qaim hospital, told Al Arabiya. "We also have 11 people wounded, most of them in critical condition."

Associated Press Television News footage showed a truck containing bloodied bodies, many wrapped in blankets, piled atop one another. Several were children, one of whom had been decapitated.


Three Iraqis working for Reuters said Tuesday that American troops beat them and subjected them to sexual and religious taunts and humiliation in January during their detention in a military camp near Falluja...

The three first told Reuters of the ordeal after their release, but decided to make it public only after the United States military said there was no evidence they had been abused and after the exposure of similar mistreatment of detainees at Abu Ghraib prison near Baghdad.

An Iraqi journalist working for NBC News who was arrested with the three men also said he had been beaten and mistreated, NBC News said Tuesday.


Also yesterday, ABC News broadcast two new photos, apparently from the original disks, showing Cpl. Charles Graner and Spec. Sabrina Harman smiling and giving a thumbs up over a dead Iraqi. The network reported the man was beaten to death, and one of the other accused soldiers, Sgt. Ivan (Chip) Frederick, accused intelligence officers of the crime in an E-mail to relatives. He said they should be charged as he was.

Here's the photo.


May 18, 2004


Huge life changes coming up--we're moving to a different state and buying a house, and there's a ton of stuff I've got to do to make all that happen on schedule. On top of which are the usual relentless deadlines. So if posting is even more sporadic than usual for awhile, bear with me.


May 17, 2004


It's the fiftieth anniversary of Brown v. Board of Education.

And a lot of our fellow Americans will be celebrating their commitment to each other in Massachussetts today.

So we can start the week off on a happy note for a change.


May 16, 2004

The plot thickens

Hersh says Rumsfeld and Cambone knew. And Jason Vest has more on Cambone here.


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