Twenty-five members of the Catholic Worker movement are walking across Cuba to the US Naval prison at Guantánamo Bay in hopes of meeting with more than 500 detainees, the first time peace activists have brought their protests to the tropical gulag. If they are turned away, the pilgrims plan on conducting a vigil outside.
The Tipton Three embody a nightmare scenario of the "war on
terror": Young British men visiting Pakistan for a wedding wound up
accused of terrorism in Afghanistan, imprisoned and tortured at
Guantánamo Bay, then released with no charges. Now they're
telling their story in the docu-drama, The Road to Guantánamo.
The pursuit of truth in drama is elusive, but in life it is mandatory, wrote Harold Pinter, who died Wednesday at 78. When he won the 2005 Nobel Prize for literature, he condemned the United States for its actions in Iraq and and called on its citizens to reject the manipulation of political language.
The current debate in the United States over the use of torture in the
interrogation of terror suspects has prompted Patricia Isasa, a teenage
torture victim in Argentina's "dirty war," to speak out against the
School of the Americas, a longtime training ground for torture
The Chronicles of Narnia is the perfect combination
of Christian allegory and The Lord of the Rings, a well-crafted
commodity and nothing more. The Ice Harvest, an anti-Christmas
film noir, has an unexpected depth of feeling. Memoirs of a
Geisha is all prestige and promotions.
Photographs are supposed to be unbiased recognitions of
reality, but they're really self-portraits of the photographer. The
Ongoing Movement, a blend of biography and analysis, examines what
happens when photographers create deliberately untruthful pictures.
Last May, I wrote an Annals of Outrage IIÂ chronicling the waste, fraud and abuse in the federalÂ government in the first half of 2004. Plenty of timeÂ has passed since my last piece and muchÂ has happened. Here, then, is my latest attempt toÂ guide you through the Bush Administration's mostÂ egregious corruption scandals. The information comesÂ to us courtesy of the federal government's internalÂ investigations into administration fraud, waste andÂ abuse. The cronyism and corruption have hit a new low.Â
1) Bat Mitzvah Corruption: In terms of sheer outrage,Â millionaire defense contractor David H. Brooks is hardÂ to top. The New York Daily News recently reported thatÂ Brooks spent an estimated $10 million on hisÂ daughter's bat mitzvah reception. Aerosmith performedÂ at the reception (reportedly earning a cool two million dollars), and Kenny G, 50 Cent, Tom Petty and TheÂ Eagles' Don Henley and Joe Walsh also played. Here'sÂ the kicker: Brooks has reportedly made more thanÂ $250 million in wartime profits as the CEO of DHB Industries-- which has had thousands of defective bulletproof vests recalled by the government!Â
According to a government investigation intoÂ the faulty vests that was uncovered by the MarineÂ Corps Times, DHB's equipment saw "multiple completeÂ penetrations" when 9mm pistol rounds were fired intoÂ the vests. One government ballistics expert quoted inÂ the government's findings said he had "littleÂ confidence" in DHB's equipment. Meanwhile,Â the SEC is looking into Brooks' 2004 sale of $186Â million worth of company stock. Institute for PolicyÂ Studies' Sarah Anderson, who co-authored a reportÂ called "Executive Excess 2005," called Brooks a "worldÂ champion war profiteer," concluding, he has "no shame."Â
Four editors of October magazine trace the history of
contemporary art. Though Art Since
1900 seeks to be comprehensive, its writers leave out entire movements and impose moralistic
judgments on the artists and art they profile.
Does it lessen the horror to admit that this is not the first time the
US government has used torture to wipe out political opponents? The
exclusion of the impact of the School of the Americas on war crimes in El
Salvador, Argentina and Panama from our current debate on torture is
evidence of our collective amnesia.
Bush brings a robust simplicity to the business of news
management: Where possible, buy journalists to turn out favorable
stories. And if you think you can get away with it, shoot them or blow
The Democratic Leadership Council purports to speak for Democrats, yet
still employs former Christian Coalition official Marshall Wittmann to
parrot dishonest right-wing talking points about the war. Meanwhile,
Nancy Pelosi joins Representative Jack Murtha to demand withdrawal from
In a misguided GOP reform effort, Congress is ready to pass measures
that would militarize border controls, violate workers' rights and give
corporations a new bracero program. Immigrant rights groups,
unions, civil rights organizations and working families push for
No nation is immune from the insidious downward spiral signified by
torture. In this special issue, The Nation confronts the
sweeping moral seriousness what the torture conspiracy will do to
America and its democratic institutions. The facts are known: Now it's
time to hold the conspirators accountable.
Human rights organizations have coordinated an investigation into torture and an extensive defense of detainees, organizing lawyers who represent clients from nonprofits to oil and gas companies. But the issue of torture needs to transcend the legal world.
By the time the first prisoners were taken in Iraq, a green light to
abuse had been issued in writing. Now torture is cloaked in a veil of
secrecy, with obscured statistics, dismissal of human rights reports
and outright denial. Torture has proved to be a window into the Bush
Administration's pursuit of the war on terror.