Wednesday 17th of April 2024

into the trash can of history .....



Tainted chief attorney felled by US political storms …..

US Attorney-General Alberto Gonzales was one of President George W Bush's closest advisers and a chief architect of the country's tough anti-terrorism laws, accused of redefining the word "torture".

His uncompromising stand, which led him to argue that terror suspects held at the US base in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba had no rights under the Geneva Convention, drew fire from international rights groups.

And critics also charged that his legal counsel to Bush resulted in the abuse and torture of prisoners by US forces in Iraq's Abu Ghraib prison.

But in many ways Mr Gonzales, now 52, had been a symbol of the American success story, after became the highest ranking person of Hispanic descent to serve in the US government when he was sworn in back in 2005 as the 80th US attorney-general.

Mr Gonzales frequently justified his get-tough measures by saying "every day is September 12," referring to the day after the September 11, 2001 attacks on the United States.

Tainted Chief Attorney Felled By US Political Storms


Gus: just a thought... wouldn't the world be better if every day was "September 10"? ... Just a rhetorical question... I Got a bit peeved... Being naturally lazy, it took me a hell of an effort to draw Gonzo's face... (10 seconds as usual but the decision took months!!!...) and then barely captured on paper, he resigns from the administration!!!! Wasted my time!!! So here is another cartoon - using my drawing - with Gonzales explaining his feelings for his fellow humans... now where's the waste paper basket...?

pass the bucket .....

after turd blossom's epithet, forget the waste basket Gus & pass the bucket ....

“It is sad that we live in a time when a talented and honorable person like Alberto Gonzales is impeded from doing important work because his good name was dragged through the mud for political reasons,” Bush said at a press conference in Crawford, Texas.

The President praised Gonzales for his “integrity, decency and principle.” He added that in his two and a half years as attorney general, Gonzales “has played a critical role in shaping our policies and the war on terror and has worked tirelessly to make this country safer.”

Bush Reacts To Gonzales Resignation

He took a long long time...

Yes John

My decision to draw Gonzales was delayed by my belief he would go "pretty soon" in 2006... But he hanged on and on... thus eventually I caved in, thinking the fellow was protected species by the dark forces of OIL... But suddenly, he resigns!!! This does not stop the investigation into the fancy footwork of his department in sacking a number of States' Attorney Generals for political reasons. But now after having lost his "brains, and lost his "whisperer" Bushit is under the spell of himself and that of uncle Dick. God bless America... although god is pushing the joke a bit too far...

Coyote court...

Officer Is Acquitted of Main Charges in Abu Ghraib Trial

Published: August 28, 2007

FORT MEADE, Md. (AP) -- A military court Tuesday acquitted an Army officer of failing to control U.S. soldiers who abused detainees at Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq, but it found him guilty of disobeying an order not to discuss the abuse investigation.

Lt. Col. Steven L. Jordan was the only officer and the last of 12 defendants to go to trial in the 2004 Abu Ghraib scandal, which embarrassed the Pentagon and shocked the Muslim world.


Eleven enlisted soldiers have been convicted of crimes in connection the Abu Ghraib scandal. The longest sentence, 10 years, was given to former Cpl. Charles Graner Jr., of Uniontown, Pa., in January 2005. Lynndie England, who was an MP reservist from Fort Ashby, W. Va., and the most recognizable face from the Abu Ghraib photos, was sentenced to three years.


Gus:  of course the originators of the "deeds", Rummy Duck and Berto Gonzo, who fiddled with the word "torture" in law and ordered the "renditions" from the top won't get their fingers smacked... because the "chain" of command is blurred by various deceitful tricks... and they did not personally do the "deeds". But we know who the  the real culprits are... Rummy and Gonzo, Bush and Rove, Cheney and Rice, and other minions who still do some fancy footwork behind the scene while the front troops take the bullets... and the prison sentences.

Gonzo Squeezeyarnuts...

From The New York Times

Justice Dept. Said to Endorse Harsh C.I.A. Interrogations
Published: October 4, 2007

WASHINGTON, Oct. 3 — When the Justice Department publicly declared torture “abhorrent” in a legal opinion in December 2004, the Bush administration appeared to have abandoned its assertion of nearly unlimited presidential authority to order brutal interrogations.

But soon after Alberto R. Gonzales’s arrival as attorney general in February 2005, the Justice Department issued another opinion, this one in secret. It was a very different document, according to officials briefed on it, an expansive endorsement of the harshest interrogation techniques ever used by the Central Intelligence Agency.

Tortoore? shoore....

White House Denies Torture Assertion

By Dan Eggen and Michael Abramowitz Washington Post Staff Writers
Thursday, October 4, 2007; 3:00 PM


Bush administration officials acknowledged today that the Justice Department issued a secret legal opinion in early 2005 allowing specific interrogation techniques to be used on CIA terrorism suspects, but denied that the tactics violated earlier government decrees against torture.


Gus: You say "rendition" and "specific interrogation techniques", I say torture... So, let's call the whole thing off...

torture, Templars and nothing new...

In the hearings before Clement V, the knights reportedly admitted spitting on the cross, denying Jesus and kissing the lower back of the man proposing them during initiation ceremonies.

However, many of the confessions were obtained under torture and knights later recanted or tried to claim that the their initiation ceremony merely mimicked the humiliation the knights would suffer if they fell into the hands of the Muslim leader Saladin.

The leader of the order, Jacques de Moley, was one of those who confessed to heresy, but later recanted.

He was burned at the stake in Paris in 1314, the same year that the Pope dissolved the order.

However, according to Prof Frale, study of the document shows that the knights were not heretics as had been believed for 700 years.


Gus: Heretics? Inquisition? Pope's armies? Clement V? Torture? Secret archives and recordings? Midnight OIL? Middle East? Mercenaries?... Thumbscrews? Kissing butts?

"Plus ça change, plus c'est le meme chose..."

forgotten humanity .....

Just months after U.S. Army troops whisked a German man from Pakistan to the military prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, in 2002, his American captors concluded that he was not a terrorist. 

"USA considers Murat Kurnaz's innocence to be proven," a German intelligence officer wrote that year in a memo to his colleagues. "He is to be released in approximately six to eight weeks." 

But the 19-year-old student was not freed.

Instead, over the next four years, two U.S. military tribunals that were responsible for determining whether Guantanamo Bay detainees were enemy fighters declared him a dangerous al-Qaeda ally who should remain in prison. 

The disparity between the tribunal's judgments and the intelligence community's consensus view that Kurnaz is innocent is detailed in newly released military and court documents that track his fate.

His attorneys, who sued the Pentagon to gain access to the documents, say that they reflect policies that result in mistreatment of the hundreds of foreigners who have been locked up for years at the controversial prison. 

Evidence Of Innocence Rejected At Guantanamo 

meanwhile ….. 

I heard this story on the BBC International morning news, which is the only place any Americans are likely to hear about it, despite the fact that it has been authenticated by US officials. 

An inmate at the US detention centre in Guantanamo Bay slashed his throat with a sharpened fingernail, US officials have confirmed. 

The prisoner, described by his lawyer as an Algerian held for six years, required several stitches and spent a week under psychiatric observation. 

US officials characterised the incident as an act of "self-harm" rather than a suicide attempt. US Navy Commander Andrew Haynes said there was "an impressive effusion of blood" but the prisoner was treated by guards and taken to the prison clinic. 

Officials would give no details of the man but lawyer Zachary Katznelson said the inmate had been held without charge for nearly six years. 

Commander Haynes said "self-harm" incidents were a tactic to discredit US forces. 

Right. Because it's impossible to imagine why someone left to rot in a prison for six years without charges, doomed to indefinite despair, would have any legitimate reason to want to end his life - except to make the people holding him look bad

I've got a hot tip for you, Commander Haynes: You already looked bad to anyone who fondly remembers an America of not so long ago where lettres de cachet were not issued by the king to render souls sans trial to the modern-day cachots of the Bastille. 

Maybe this man is a terrorist. Maybe he is not. He hasn't been charged, no less tried and found guilty.

His alleged crimes have not been listed, yet he has served a six-year sentence already, with neither glimmer nor shadow of the rule of law meant to govern this nation in sight.

To have the full weight of the American justice system brought down on him would be a gift; at least it would remind him he is human. Instead we have abandoned him to hopelessness, where in its gloomy bowels he knelt upon the floor, and sharpened his fingernail against stone, and plunged it into his own throat. 

And then his wish to die was denied him, too.  In a final blow, the bushit government has buried his dignity and agency beneath the accusation that he is a cunning propagandist, not merely a desperate, miserable fool at the end of his tether - because we have, for the convenience of justifying this black mark on our collective soul, turned alleged terrorists into supermen.

Ignoring all evidence of human capacity to the contrary, including our own protracted grief at a thing a man like this is meant to have done, we have made him capable of resisting the utter collapse that the wretched vacuity of hope wreaks upon every other person. 

We have forgotten he is human. He is trying to remind us.

serious medical conditions caused by...

Spain drops request to extradite former Guantánamo pair

Two former Guantánamo Bay detainees accused by Spain of membership of an al-Qaida cell in Madrid will not be extradited from the UK after a Spanish judge ruled they were not fit to stand trial.

Jamil el-Banna, 45, and Omar Deghayes, 38, were reunited with their families in the UK last December after five years in US detention.

Upon arrival in London, they were immediately re-arrested when the investigating judge, Batlasar Garzón, issued warrants for their extradition to Spain.

The pair were released on bail - £40,000 of it paid by the actor Vanessa Redgrave - ahead of a full extradition hearing, which was due to have taken place on April 15.

Today Garzón ruled the pair were suffering severe mental and physical problems after their time in Guantánamo and were not fit to stand trial in Spain.

Garzón, Spain's leading investigative judge who sits at the national court in Madrid, archived the case against the pair, basing his decision on medical reports on their condition provided by the British authorities.

According to the judge's order, two British doctors, Jonathan Derek Fluxman and Helen Bamber, examined the pair at the Harrow Road health centre in February and diagnosed serious medical conditions caused by torture at the hands of their captors and the inhumane conditions in which they were kept for five years.

illegally politicizing justice

June 25, 2008  Report Sees Illegal Hiring Practices at Justice Department



WASHINGTON -- Justice Department officials over the last six years illegally used “political or ideological” factors to hire new lawyers into an elite recruitment program, tapping law school graduates with conservative credentials over those with liberal-sounding resumes, a new report found Tuesday.

The blistering report, prepared by the Justice Department’s inspector general, is the first in what will be a series of investigations growing out of last year’s scandal over the firings of nine United States attorneys. It appeared to confirm for the first time in an official examination many of the allegations from critics who charged that the Justice Department had become overly politicized during the Bush administration.

“Many qualified candidates” were rejected for the department’s honors program because of what was perceived as a liberal bias, the report found. Those practices, the report concluded, “constituted misconduct and also violated the department’s policies and civil service law that prohibit discrimination in hiring based on political or ideological affiliations.”

The shift began in 2002, when advisers to then-Attorney General John Ashcroft restructured the honors program in response to what some officials saw as a liberal tilt in recruiting young lawyers from elite law schools like Harvard and Yale. While the recruitment was once controlled largely by career officials in each section who would review applications, political officials in the department began to assume more control, rejecting candidates with liberal or Democratic affiliations “at a significantly higher rate” than those with Republican or conservative credentials, the report said.

The shift appeared to accelerate in 2006, under then-Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzales, with two aides on the screening committee — Michael Elston and Esther Slater McDonald — singled out for particular criticism. The blocking of applicants with liberal credentials appeared to be a particular problem in the Justice Department’s civil rights division, which has seen an exodus of career employees in recent years as the department has pursued a more conservative agenda in deciding what types of cases to bring.


see toon at top...

I live on another planet...

Remember? The stuff below I wrote in Into the trash can of history

Gus: just a thought... wouldn't the world be better if every day was "September 10"? ... Just a rhetorical question... I Got a bit peeved... Being naturally lazy, it took me a hell of an effort to draw Gonzo's face... (10 seconds as usual but the decision took months!!!...) and then barely captured on paper, he resigns from the administration!!!! Wasted my time!!! So here is another cartoon - using my drawing - with Gonzales explaining his feelings for his fellow humans... now where's the waste paper basket...?

Well, today's cartoon by Wilcox (22/09/08) in the Herald reinforce the iffy life of the underpaid toonist — in Gus' case, totally unpaid: no conflict of interest thus. No master to say amen to. Just a slanted vision of the world through my night goggles (I don't sleep much), my hip pocket (I don't have much cash and will work till I'm 95) and my misunderstandings of the human condition (I live on another planet)... Luxury extraordinaire.

But then the media at large had the power to make or break reputations without proper scrutiny of its motives and of its unfortunate influences...  And there are also people who exploit this to their advantage to sell poor view points to the morons. Some of the targets are really hurt by the carefully crafted viciousness... or by official newspaper website posting illegal photos of them ... just for tittilation and voyeurism galore. The new culture: notoriously moronic.

Rugby league deserter Sonny Bill Williams has edged out Bali bomber Amrozi to be named Australia's most hated person in a notorious annual poll.

Williams has topped men's mag Zoo Weekly's annual Top 50 People We Hate List, released today.

Zoo editor Paul Merrill said the now French rugby player was the clear winner.

"Sonny Bill is someone who did something no Australian should do, he ditched his teammates and walked out," Merrill told AAP.

"We're calling him Money Bill Williams for scarpering off to another continent just for the cash."

Federal MP Belinda Neal was third, disgraced AFL player Wayne Carey was fourth for "shagging his mate's missus" and "even the name Wayne" while swimmer Nick D'Arcy rounded out the top five.


As a cartoonist, I never wish anyone ill wind. But I have the strong unstoppable desire to bring to the world's attention the idiosyncrasies of certain political actions (toon and blog line explaining why I have drawn Brendan Nelson with a hole in the head since 2005) that affect other people's lives — including death. Thus I won't hold fire when politicians lie, porky or send people to die...

Enjoy life. 

happy as a guantanamo detainee...

US anger at Guantanamo Bay ruling

The 17 have been in Guantanamo Bay for nearly seven years

The US has reacted angrily after a judge ordered that 17 Chinese Muslims held at Guantanamo Bay should be released into the United States.

District Judge Ricardo Urbina said the US could not hold the 17 as they were no longer considered enemy combatants.

The Uighurs were cleared for release in 2004 but the US says they may face persecution if returned to China.

The White House said the ruling could set a precedent that would allow "sworn enemies" to seek US entry.

The government says the 17 also pose a security risk if released into the US.

Lawyers for the Bush administration have argued that federal judges do not have authority to order the release into the US of Guantanamo detainees.

Analysts say the ruling is a rebuke for the US government and could set the stage for the release of dozens more detained at the military jail in Cuba.


Gus: May be the Cuban brothers may have the heart to take these poor Chinese into their ancestal Spanish emotional heart with some cash from the United Nations of course to pay for the upkeep... All they'd have to do would be cross the border on foot, where some Cadillac from the 1960's would wait for them on the other side, into a life of song and dance, and happy poverty... Better than being rich and having a heat attack because of the Schtock Market... The sun still shine on the beach... See toon at top... Yes Mr Whatisname helped making the lives of these poor wretched fellows better after seven years of horrid detention...

Happiness is what life's about...

welcome to gitmo resort

from the Guardian

The 240 people who live in very basic lodgings on the southern tip of a sunny Caribbean island may wish to reconsider the less-than-rosy opinion they have of their surroundings.

No less an authority than Miss Universe has visited Guantánamo Bay and pronounced the infamous US detention centre a "relaxing, calm, beautiful place".

According to a blog posting that will strike fear into the hearts of diplomats in Caracas and Washington, the beauty queen - who is also known as Dayana Mendoza from Venezuela - visited the facility last week with her friend, Miss USA, Crystle Stewart.

"It was a loooot of fun!" Mendoza wrote on the Miss Universe blog. She also recounted how she and Stewart met US military personnel and toured the camp, with its barbed wire fences, minefields and watchtowers. As well as a bar on the base, the pair also discovered an "unbelievable" beach in the bay.

"We also met the military dogs, and they did a very nice demonstration of their skills. All the guys from the army were amazing with us."

But the "deployment" - organised to entertain US troops and "boost morale" - also had its educational aspects.

"We visited the detainees' camps and we saw the jails, where they shower, how the[y] recreate themselves with movies, classes of art, books. It was very interesting," wrote Mendoza. "I didn't want to leave, it was such a relaxing place, so calm and beautiful."


Not even a scratch from the razor wire on her china-white skin... See toon on top.

way beyond...

 Sir John, who served as special representative in Baghdad in 2003, told the Iraq inquiry that his team had been aware of “difficulties” within the facility as early as June 2003. He said that his team heard accounts of the use of “possibly unnecessary violence”.

However, he insisted that the extent of the abuses that eventually came to light were “way beyond” anything that British officials in Iraq had imagined. “We knew of difficulties in the conditions for detainees dating back to June, July of 2003,” said Sir John, who arrived in Baghdad in May 2003 to represent Tony Blair in the Iraqi capital. “But the revelations at Abu Ghraib were definitely a shock to us, as they were to everybody on the American side as well as across the world.”

He added: “We thought the basic problems were about poor conditions and possibly unnecessary violence, but Abu Ghraib was an extra dimension.” Eleven US soldiers were convicted of committing abuses against prisoners within the facility. Two soldiers were sentenced to ten years and three years in prison.


see toon at top.... And we know also that all this "torture" and "mistreatment at the prison was direct order from the top..., From G W Bush and Cheney via the legalese of Gonzales..