Archives for FUBAR

Panetta: No more secret CIA prisons

The CIA is "no longer" operating secret prisons used by the intelligence agency to interrogate terror suspects, and plans to shut all remaining "black sites," the spy agency's director said Thursday.

The statement by the Central Intelligence Agency provided confirmation the spy service was carrying out an order from President Barack Obama to shut down the secret prisons that have been condemned at home and abroad as a flagrant violation of human rights.

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Lawyers, judges fed up with Obama’s Gitmo delays

Lawyers and judges working on Guantanamo Bay legal cases are showing signs of exasperation at President Barack Obama's administration, which they accuse of slowing federal judicial procedures for detainees.

Two federal judges tasked with examining cases by five Guantanamo prisoners contesting their detention -- a right to habeas corpus granted by the Supreme Court in June 2008 -- have made a rare public row of their impatience with government prosecutors.

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US military might no match for pirates

The seizure of an American crew and cargo demonstrates the limits of U.S. military power in an international cops-and-robbers chase along a huge, lawless stretch of African coastline.

The outcome for the U.S.-flagged Maersk Alabama and its crew off the coast of Somalia was still unclear early Thursday. The crew had retaken control of the cargo ship from a band of pirates, but the captain was still held by the attackers in one of the ship's lifeboats.

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Making necessary changes in the defense budget

More important than the weapons systems he might cut or modify in his new military budget is Defense Secretary Robert Gates' determination to reform the Pentagon's woefully expensive and inefficient procurement process.

The urgency of this was underscored by a Government Accountability Office report that said 96 of the Defense Department's biggest weapons systems were over budget by $296 billion -- which is well over half the $534 billion Gates is proposing for the entire department for all of 2010.

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Sometimes, pressure actually works

Bravo to the human rights activists around the world who muscled up in unison to obliterate one of the most backward laws passed by any country in recent times.

Afghanistan President Hamid Karzai recently signed into law a bill that approved of marital rape, stipulated that the wife "is bound to preen for her husband as and when he desires," barred wives from "leaving the house without the permission of the husband" unless in a medical or other emergency and approved child marriage with girls legally able to marry once they began to menstruate.

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The killing of a cop is an attack on us all

As flags fly at half-staff and Pittsburgh's spirits dip as low as the sullen clouds, it is necessary to take the unusual step of saying something nice about the government.

This is important because the flags have been lowered for three city police officers cut down Saturday by yet another armed, paranoid hater, this one harboring anti-government fantasies colored by anti-Semitism.

Those brave officers were just answering another domestic disturbance call. To the killer, it seems they were hated symbols of the government.

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The dark side of Special Olympics jokes

Americans with mental retardation have been in the news recently.

First, President Obama committed a regrettable indiscretion on the Jay Leno Show by comparing his own bowling ineptitude with the level of skill on display -- so the joke goes -- at the Special Olympics.

But honest people may feel a little uncomfortable with excessive sanctimony about this incident. In fact, at some point most of us have probably been guilty of making or being amused by similar digs at our fellow citizens with mental retardation.

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This guy is one of our allies?

So these are our allies in the war against terrorism?

A 17-year-old Pakistani girl is unmercifully and publicly flogged by a Taliban thug for leaving her house without a male escort and when authorities are asked to explain, they reply that it was wrong to do it in public. Afghan Shiite women face the prospect of arrest under a new law adopted by the government of Hamid Karzai that critics charge would allow their spouses to incarcerate them at home.

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