"Don’t count your recoveries before they’re hatched." - Paul Krugman
Conservatives are so incensed by warnings about the threat of right wing radicalism that they're considering overthrowing the federal government. - Josh Marshall
From ProPublica: "Among the OLC memos released today, one appears to inadvertently reveal that a top al-Qaida suspect captured in northern Iraq in January 2004 was held by the CIA in a secret prison.
After Hassan Ghul was arrested in early 2004, President Bush told reporters: "Just last week we made further progress in making America more secure when a fellow named Hassan Ghul was captured in Iraq. Hassan Ghul reported directly to Khalid Sheik Mohammad, who was the mastermind of the September 11 attacks. He was captured in Iraq, where he was helping al Qaeda to put pressure on our troops."
Military officials and former CIA director George Tenet described Ghul as an al-Qaida facilitator who delivered money and messages to top leaders. The U.S. government never publicly discussed Ghul again. The 9/11 Commission report said Ghul was in "U.S. custody." But the government itself never discussed Ghul’s whereabouts. And the CIA has never acknowledged holding Ghul.
Since then, he has been considered a missing, or ghost detainee. But in the heavily redacted OLC memo dated May 30, 2005, government censors appeared to have missed a single reference to his name and confinement during a lengthy description of the interrogation techniques used against him. The reference can be found at the bottom of Page 7 in the memo, where Ghul’s surname is spelled "Gul."
According to the memo, Ghul was one of 28 CIA detainees at the time who had been subjected to the agency’s "enhanced interrogation techniques." Specifically, the memo says he was subjected to "facial hold," "facial slap," "stress positions," "sleep deprivation," a technique called "walling," in which a detainee’s shoulders are repeatedly smashed against a wall, and the "attention grasp," in which the detainee is placed in a choke-hold and slapped.
So it appears we now have evidence Ghul was in a CIA prison. Where he is today is still a mystery. We’ve called the CIA, and they declined to comment." OOPS! Curiouser and curiouser, said Alice...
Looks like the Bush folks needed a shredder." Expect a whole lot of fallout from these documents, fodder for the news shows for weeks, and maybe paranoid identifications from Michelle Malkin and Sean Hannity, since they already think the government is singling them out as right wing radicals...
Here's a better characterization of Louisiana"s Governor Bobby Jindahl, more in keeping with the way he really thinks than that horrible speech he gave in response to Obama addressing Congress. From the Huffington Post: "On ABC's "Good Morning America" Thursday, Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal was asked whether he agreed with former Vice President Dick Cheney that President Obama has made the country less safe.
"Democrat or Republican," Jindal responded, "we should all agree that our current President and our former President would obviously want to do everything they could to keep us safe. I don't think we should question President Obama's patriotism or his intentions."
"Let's give the new administration a chance. Let's not question their intentions, but let's have a real debate on their policies," Jindal added. "We should give the new administration a chance ... I don't think we should question Obama's patriotism. ... At the end of the day, I don't think we should be questioning the administration's intention, but I think it's good to have an honest debate."
"Some Americans did a very dumb thing today. They had tea party protests. They've been mailing tea bags to Congress to I guess express their dissatisfaction with taxes and government spending because nothing shakes a politician up like a complimentary bag of tea. 'Hey if you don't straighten up next year, crumpets, buddy.'" --Jimmy Kimmel
"A lot of protests today. Thousands of people had these tea parties, during which they protested higher taxes. But here in LA, it was called the Green Herbal Double Decaf Tea Party." --Jay Leno
"According to MSNBC, there's a big problem with identity theft affecting electronic tax filing. People are stealing other people's identities, filing taxes in their name, and then getting their refund check. Today, half the Obama administration said, 'That's what happened to us!'" --Jay Leno
"President Obama should get a big refund this year because he has a lot of dependents. AIG, Citibank, Morgan Stanley -- all dependents." --Jay Leno
"And as you know, that captain of the merchant ship that was held captive by three Somali pirates was rescued when the pirates were shot and killed by a group of Navy Seals. President Obama authorized the military to use any force necessary to accomplish this. And today, the CEOs of Ford, Chrysler and GM said, 'We'll build any car you want.'" --Jay Leno
"President Obama has lifted the travel ban to Cuba. If you do travel to Cuba, don't forget to set your watch back 50 years. Yeah, if you go back. If you're looking for a '58 Buick, that's the place to get it." --Jay Leno
"President Obama is going to Mexico tomorrow. He visited Canada a couple weeks ago, then he went throughout Europe, then he went to Iraq, and tomorrow he's going to Mexico. See, this is what happens when your mother-in-law moves in with you. 'Honey, I'm going to be out on the road a couple weeks.'" --Jay Leno
"And, according to the U.S. Labor Department, because of the recession, the number of unemployed lawyers in this country has hit a ten-year high. So, see, there is a silver lining in all of this." --Jay Leno
"You know what you call a bunch of lawyers sitting around out of work doing nothing? Congress!" --Jay Leno
"In Arlington, Virginia, the Environmental Protection Agency is holding something called the National Bed Bug Summit. Health officials are going to offer advice on how to combat the growing problem of bed bugs. And it's being held in Arlington's Crystal City Sheraton Hotel. See, that's when you know the economy is bad, okay? When a Sheraton hotel is thrilled to be hosting the bed bug summit. 'Hey, be sure to come back in June for the big head lice symposium.'" --Jay Leno
"But the good news is we have a new White House dog, a Portuguese water dog named Bo. So welcome to the White House, Bo. Actually, Bo has only been there a couple of days, but he is already very busy. Earlier today, Bo hosted a luncheon for former White House dogs." --David Letterman
"And you know they have Bo wearing one of those electronic collars. If he strays beyond the perimeter of the White House grounds he gets a little buzz. That's to make sure he doesn't -- no, wait a minute, that's Joe Biden." --David Letterman
"This is like the Boston tea party for people that decided, let's say, I don't know, two and a half months ago, that they didn't want to pay taxes anymore. The tea part is just a metaphor [on screen: a Fox News reporter pointing to boxes at one of the tea parties containing a million tea bags]. Let me get this straight. To protest wasteful spending, you bought a million tea bags. Are you protesting taxes or irony?" --Jon Stewart, on the tea party protests (Watch video clip)