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  • I know it’s pointless to say it, but there was a time when the CIA running an espionage operation against a Senate committee would have been an absolutely HUGE scandal.

    Just as well though. Congress, the president, or the media spending too much time worrying about stuff like this would only cut into time better spent on getting the war-on-Ebola stunts just right.

  • kapock commented on the blog post State Department Quashed Investigations into Sex Caper

    2014-10-21 21:16:02View | Delete

    He was present at nearly every mistake the U.S. made during the years of Occupation.

    Yeah there are circles (e.g. 99.9% of humanity) where that would not count as a résumé builder. Fortunately the USG knows better.

  • … the agency’s rendition, detention and interrogation program …

    That’s to say, its abduction, imprisonment and torture program.

  • Indeed, and if you overlook it being a generation ago, a comparison that occurs to me is the 1989 Greekfest “riots” in Virginia Beach. That was, AFAIK, just a bunch of college students being rowdy (sans pumpkins), but they were African-American, and yes, the National Guard was called in.

  • It’s just an element I hope isn’t totally left out of the comparison between the two situations. But basically it’s great that people are making the connection: another positive result of the guts and resolve of the people of Ferguson and their allies.

  • Generation gap alert, I guess, but what does “turn down” mean in the headline?

  • There a big difference between the Ferguson protests and the Keene pumpkin thing, other than the race of the participants: the former is challenging the entrenched power structure in far-reaching ways, the latter has no agenda other than creating some disorder on the street for a few hours before resuming the status quo.

    Without denying that African-Americans can expect different and more dangerous experiences with the police no matter what the situation, I don’t see how a responsible commentator can ignore the difference in content and context between these two events. If these pumpkinfest people had instead been protesting the war (there’s always one going on to protest, if one is so inclined), or the Supreme Court gutting what little democracy we used to enjoy, or etc. etc., do you think the cops would be so casual?

    To ignore the differing nature of the two events (I suggest eschewing the word “riot” as much as possible, even if it feels like comeuppance here), is a disservice to reality, as well as to the protestors in Ferguson, who deserve to have their demands taken seriously, not just their skin color.

    P.S. From the post: “… charged with conspiring to littler.” LOL, maybe if Ecuador had thought of going after Chevron for that, it would have had more success in U.S. courts.

  • kapock commented on the blog post State Dept Says I Shouldn’t Write This!

    2014-10-20 16:37:54View | Delete

    You’re thinking of Kim Phi-Lo.

  • kapock commented on the blog post State Dept Says I Shouldn’t Write This!

    2014-10-20 14:46:34View | Delete

    Welcome to another episode of Post-Constitutional America, where the old rules do not apply.

    Peter, how longstanding is this State Dept. official “expectation” and “encouragement”? The document you link to seems to indicate it dates from 1995. If so, was it a bad new idea then, or has a version of this been around longer?

  • kapock commented on the blog post State Dept Says I Shouldn’t Write This!

    2014-10-20 14:38:09View | Delete

    … claiming Kim Il Sung invented the television.

    That’s a worse calumny than anything our side ever came up with about him.

  • “Outreach officer” LOL. As in reach out and get an activist fired.

  • kapock commented on the blog post Riots Hit Kiev, Neofascists Hold Torch-Lit March In Ukraine

    2014-10-14 14:11:33View | Delete

    Poor DSWright. Haven’t you heard? Now that the U.S.-Nato power play in Ukraine to advance the vital and worthy mission of encroaching on Russian security has failed, Ukraine no longer exists. Doubt me? Just look at the U.S. mass media.

  • Clearly this Turkish gov’t is just as bad as Saddam and Assad for striking its own people, right? Right?

    It’s not like they’re beheading people for religious “crimes” or other nonsensical reasons. The U.S. would never be on the side of people like that! (don’tthinkofsaudiarabiadon’tthinkofsaudiarabia)

  • kapock commented on the blog post US Nurse Infected With Ebola May Have Broken Protocol

    2014-10-14 11:00:50View | Delete

    I didn’t really mean it. “Some of my best friends …” and all that.

  • kapock commented on the blog post US Nurse Infected With Ebola May Have Broke Protocol

    2014-10-13 12:27:21View | Delete

    But back to Ebola: Time to build a fence! Keep those dirty Texans and their bugs out of our beautiful country! And Mexico should start denying them entry, too.

  • kapock commented on the blog post US Nurse Infected With Ebola May Have Broke Protocol

    2014-10-13 12:03:28View | Delete

    Well, which is more likely?:

    A) A disease that has been known of and learned about for 40 years, and which is being treated without infecting caregivers by people who know what they’re doing like MSF—that this virus all of a sudden acquires super powers in the one patient that flies to Texas, to a hospital that already showed it wasn’t paying attention by initially sending the patient home, such that it can defeat all the heretofore successful isolation procedures.


    B) The Dallas hospital failed to take the required care.

    Unsurprisingly, I go with (B).

    I’m not sure why some people (not in this post or comments, but elsewhere) jumped on Frieden for saying the protocol was broken, as if he was throwing the nurse under the bus. He used the passive “was broken”, not blaming any particular person.

    Considering how many Fox News and talk radio trolls are eager to use any pretext to pounce and fearmonger, trying to discredit actual public health experts, I think Frieden was right to make this point explicitly.

  • kapock commented on the blog post Lost Iraqi Billions Found?

    2014-10-13 10:55:31View | Delete

    I definitely woke up when I saw this article deep inside the Sunday NY Times. I have no idea why they buried such a scoop; it’s pretty depressing if that was an accurate appraisal of the newsworthiness of the bottomless Bush-era Iraq war corruption at this point.

    But maybe it’s just that the Times doesn’t want to be associated too closely with an unpatriotic future jailbird like Risen.

  • kapock commented on the blog post First World, Third World: A Travel Essay

    2014-10-08 13:38:13View | Delete

    The folks that win the infrastructure own the century, not the folks that destroy the infrastructure.

    I may steal that.

  • kapock commented on the blog post Prediction Creep in Syria

    2014-10-07 17:13:21View | Delete

    The media should always ask the proponents of these things, right at the start “what will constitute success (or failure)?”. They never do. With the current one setting a new standard for incoherence, it is an indispensable and unwarranted asset for Obama et al. to be allowed to retroactively define the objectives and resources needed to achieve them.

    “Failure isn’t an option” is a great maxim—especially when you get to define whatever happened as success.

  • Postol, in the article linked @3 above, says the Israelis were claiming 90 percent, but the truth is 5 percent or less (as in maybe zero success rate).

    Even without Postol’s expertise, I recall watching CNN during Iraq War I in early 1991, and seeing nighttime footage of a Patriot heading skyward to do battle with one of Saddam’s dastardly Scud missiles. Now, it was perfectly evident on the screen from the Patriot’s visible rocket flame that the missile immediately arcked right back into the ground after a few seconds, not intercepting anything. I mean, you could see it there right on the TV screen.

    But I’ll never forget how the CNN commentators talking over the image totally ignored what the camera showed, continuing to describe the Patriot’s progress to its target. In fact, I believe they that they really didn’t see what the camera showed: their brains filtered it out, since it didn’t fit the pre-determined narrative of stellar Patriot success.

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