30 June 2004

Recent GAO report

Seth Borenstein, in a recent news collumn, sums up the recent report by the General Accounting Office--a congressional investigative arm. The 105-page report came to the following findings:

  • In 13 of Iraq's 18 provinces, electricity is available fewer hours than before the war.
  • Most of the money pledged to rebuild Iraq has thus far gone to run Iraq's ministry operations.
  • The country's court system is more clogged than before the war.
  • The new Iraqi civil defense and security units are suffering mass desertions.
  • Significant insurgent attacks are sky-rocketing.

In addition, a recent CPA IG report has highlighted serious management difficulties at the CPA.

Praise for the "mentally unfit"

According to the Guardian Unlimited, "A National Guard commander told a mental health counselor to change an evaluation to show that a serviceman who accused fellow soldiers of abusing Iraqi prisoners was mentally unfit..." (This story was accessed through Political Puzzle.)

Democracy: It's not just for 3rd world countries any more...

Today I read an article by Hartung and Donnelley--"The hidden cost of war: How the Bush doctrine is undermining democracy in Iraq and democracy in America" (in The Iraq War and Its Consequences, 2003).

The authors initially point out the failures of Bush administration neocons to accurately access the consequences of the war. They also point out that any Iraqi "democracy" has been hopelessly tainted by the use of handpicked U.S. flunkeys (Chalabi, etc.) as well as extensive influence from the U.S. corporate sector. It is pointed out that the average American has no idea which companies are involved in Iraq and how those companies got there. Perhaps the most interesting assertion in the article is that Iraqi democracy is intrinsically linked to democracy in the U.S. Until U.S. citizens can exert enough influence to reduce the omnipresent influence of the military industrial complex in Iraq, there's little hope of establishing true democracy there. I think Hartung and Donnelly hit the nail on the head, here. The last part of the article discusses actual political connections between the military industrial complex and the current administration. I know many readers may yawn at this point and say "What's new?" but I'd like to remind people that it doesn't have to be this way. Why did Americans elect an entire administration filled with wealthy people tied to big oil? Why have Americans allowed this administration to enrich its friends at public expense? The facts are out: they're in numerous well-researched articles, they're in the new Michael Moore film, and in Hartung and Donnelley's article.

Does anybody know what time it is? Does anybody care? Doo doo doo doo....

(= time to sack the prez along with the other gangsters surrounding him)

29 June 2004

Recent decisions in the Padilla and Hamdi cases

SCOTUS Blog has a well-informed discussion of the Padilla and Hamdi cases. My personal reading of the recent decisions was that they allowed the current detentions. Looking at the SCOTUS discussion of the cases, I realize that the decisions being handed down are fairly complex. Even so, I feel that even those of us not adept at reading the legaleze need to educate ourselves about what's happening here. I find the idea that the executive can secretly incarcerate anyone very chilling (especially in the Bush era).

Cobb and LaMarche

David Cobb and Pat LaMarche have won the Green Party nomination.

    Cobb's stand on key issues include:
  • Ending the occupation in Iraq and Afghanistan
  • Ending the transnational corporate empire
  • Dismantling the military industrial complex
  • Universal health care
  • Ensuring a living wage for all
  • Building schools instead of more prisons
  • Creating a multi-party democracy with publicly funded elections
  • Development of Proportional Representation and Instant Runoff Voting
  • An end to the racist War on Drugs
  • The repeal of the Patriot Act
  • Slowing global warming and creating jobs through a crash program to get energy from clean and renewable resources such as wind and solar power

Clearly, the Cobb platform is designed to create equity and fairness within U.S. society. Why is the Green Party virtually the only party putting forth bold solutions to the country's current problems? So many people that I talk to say that they agree with ALL of the Green Party's positions, but are voting Democratic because they don't want to be spoilers. Perhaps they're right. But apart from the presidential election, I would encourage people to register Green and to support the party at the grass-roots level. If nothing else, the ideas coming out of the Green Party will put pressure on other parties to come up with real solutions that work for normal everyday Americans instead of catering solely to the needs of moneyed interests.

Republican failure

In the Knight Shift, the conservative author writes about his disillusionment with the Republican Party. It's an interesting post pointing out the gap between the party's stated ideals and its actions. Hopefully, more and more Americans will begin to see through the empty rhetoric. Instead of a party promoting fiscal responsibility and the values of hardwork, the Republic Party promotes corporate welfare. As in that wonderful clip in Farenheit 9/11, Bush really does see the elite as his base.

28 June 2004

Say Noh to censorship!

The Internet in Asia site, quoting The Korea Times, claims that: "South Korea's Ministry of Information and Communication (MIC) is currently continuing its emergency 24-hour monitoring system to shield people from the gruesome execution scenes of Kim Sun-il. So far, it has blocked access to 40 foreign-based Web sites that contain the video footage showing the beheading of a South Korean hostage in Iraq." A Korean news site, Inews24, reports that pictures of Kim pleading for his life, having already been broadcast, will be allowed, whereas sites showing the killing itself will not be. Inews24 points out that this is the first time decency laws have been applied to a social issue other than pornography and similar categories of content.

While the Korean news articles mention "40 foreign-based websites," Korean-based bloggers report sweeping blockage of foreign blogging services. Does anyone know what legal basis the Korean government is currently using to block internet access to international blogging sites?

Marmot mentioned recent articles in the Korean press that have praised the media censorship complaining of foreign netizens, to include an article from the supposedly left-leaning Hankyore Shinmun. In response, I have deleted the Hankyore link from this site.

The following blogs discuss the censorship issue (links are from a post by Big Hominid copied to Chaotic Not Random):

P.S. Oranckay says that the massive blockage of access to blogging services might not be the government's doing but rather people running the technology--the routers perhaps? Personally, I don't take issue with the government blocking access to pictures of the beheading as this is something that would be upsetting to the family. However, it would be upsetting if the government was using this incident to shut down access to other sites as well.

I recently came across an excellent English-language article at Ohmy News.

Anti-Bush ads

Bush in 30 Seconds has the winning anti-Bush ads from a recent contest (although these were slow to load when I tried them.)

Amerika uberalles

Suburban Guerrila has an interesting piece on parallels between what's going on now and events in Germany during the times of the Nazis.

Blogs are like, so retro

I came across a blog titled: Blogs are so 2003.


A sad, sad day for those living in the U.S.

It has been reported that the Supreme Court ruled Monday, in a 6-3 ruling, that Congress gave President Bush the power to hold an American citizen without charges or trial. While this news is being treated as a minor ruling, I think this is one of the most important milestones in U.S. history. I've talked about this previously, but I'll repeat it here: The ruling makes it possible for the president or anyone in the U.S. military who feels they are acting under someone's order to imprison a U.S. citizen, hold them secretly, torture them, and kill them. The new set of laws being passed is not aimed at foreign terrorists--the U.S. president and military have always had the ability to go after these terrorists without public oversight. The law's aimed at you and me. So speak up now or forever hold your peace (or should that be "piece.")

27 June 2004

Censorship in South Korea II

Net Politik has some interesting comments on South Korean censorship of internet sites and the ethics of linking to sites showing beheadings. Gunbi and Marley and Dear Free World have a fairly detailed discussion of the government censorship on their sites as well.

Cheney caught lying

Apostrophe had the following post discussing Cheney's recent memory lapse:

Transcript, CNBC’s "Capital Report," June 17, 2004

Gloria Borger: Well, let’s get to Mohammed Atta for a minute, because you mentioned him as well. You have said in the past that it was quote, "pretty well confirmed."
Vice President Cheney: No, I never said that.
Vice Pres. CHENEY: Never said that.
BORGER: I think that is...
Vice Pres. CHENEY: Absolutely not.

Transcript, NBC’s "Meet the Press," December 9, 2001.

Vice-President Cheney: "It’s been pretty well confirmed that he did go to Prague and he did meet with a senior official of the Iraqi intelligence service in Czechoslovakia last April."

26 June 2004

Farenheit 9/11

I recommend that everyone see this excellent film!

The film has engendered a great deal of controversy (as any great political documentary should!) David Denby provides a fairly good critique of the movie, although his article could perhaps be a better critique of the limitations of all televised media. For example, Denby points out that Moore, unlike writers discussing the same subject, does not provide "footnotes," but the fact is that Moore does provide much more objective and fact-based reporting than U.S. news stations do--stations that are supposedly in the "news" business. (Actually, most movies do not come with "footnotes" and if anyone wants some footnotes, they can read some of Moore's books--Dude, Where's My Country, in particular.) The Guerrila News Network, likewise, complains that "in an era where authentic journalism and critical analysis have been sacrificed for ambulance chasing and hyperbole, Michael Moore has basically fallen into the same trap." These complaints that Farenheit 9/11 somehow fails to be objective really miss the mark, I believe. In the movie, the tears of the people being bombed are real. The corpses are real. As Natasha commented in Pacific Views, there were a number of scenes in the movie that were particularly touching. Perhaps these scenes were even more shocking since the US media has failed to show us the suffering that the war caused for the Iraqi people.

One weakness I found in the film (and in liberal attacks on Bush in general) were the ad hominem attacks against the president. Such attacks are nowadays common in the literary realm as well. For example, I've read that Justin Frank, a clinical professor of psychiatry at George Washington University, is making the argument that the president's inclination to see the world in black-and-white, good-versus-evil terms, and his tendency to repeat favorite words and phrases under pressure, are not simply politics as usual, but classic symptoms of untreated alcoholism. These critiques reflect an exceedingly naive view of politics, i.e., that political decision-making is a straightfoward affair taking place on the blank slate of the politician's personality. Such ad hominem attack prevent the American people from viewing U.S. politics from a sound analytical framework (i.e., that of class interests).

As for the issue (brought up in the movie) about Bush's numerous vacations, I'm more likely to take Bush at his word about how busy he was during his long vacations. Just as Bush hinted at, I'm sure that he was meeting all sorts of very important (=rich) people and making all sorts of secret deals away from the prying eyes of the press. Bush isn't stupid; he's smart. Trouble is, he ain't one of us, and he's clearly willing to use us as cannon fodder if it's going to make him or his pals an extra buck or increase their power. Moore makes a nice conclusion in the movie, and one I'm sure that people on both sides of the political spectrum can agree with: War is grim business (in the current case, literally "business") and should only be fought when absolutely necessary.

Other interesting reviews I've come across include that of Russtaglibro (Esperanto), Truespeak, The Long Dark Tea-time of the Soul, the reviews of Obsidian Wings and Lew Rockwell (conservatives), the reviews on Rotten Tomatoes and the Guerrila News Network. The GNN concludes that: "Just like Bowling was not a film about guns, but about fear, this film is in many ways not about George Bush, but about the media." I would disagree with this characterization of the film, but the GNN is right at least in the sense that the film really makes one wonder what in the hell the U.S. media have been doing. Why haven't they been digging up these damning facts about the Bush administrations collusion with big business and media giants? One gets the feeling that Watergate was child's play compared to what's going on now.

P.S. (August) Who's against Michael Moore? has more comments and links about the Moore phenomenon.

South Korean censorship?

Ruminations in Korea reports that the Korean government is shutting down sites showing the recents beheading of Mr. Kim. Evidently, many of the foreign blogging services are being cut off as well. Even if we agree with the government's motivations, isn't the government casting its net a bit too wide?

25 June 2004

Poll: War a mistake

A recent poll indicates that over half of Americans now think that the Iraqi War was a mistake, a conclusion which brings us to where we were around August 1968 regarding the Vietnam War: not a bad place to be in an election year.

FCC ban

Recent news has it that the FCC might ban ads for Farenheit 9/11 after July 30. Will it really matter? Most people I've talked to seem willing to drive to the next state through hurricane winds to see Moore's new film.

Unfogged has a discussion of this news.

Blogging as "post-social" interaction

Lago has an interesting piece on the post-social aspect of blogging, about how bloggers at times relate with the blogs themselves instead of the people who write them.

We pay for tickets too, damn it!

Regarding the right-wing attempt to dissuade theaters from showing Michael Moore's new film (see news article), we should keep track of the theaters that cave in to right-wing pressure so that we can boycott these theaters in the future. If anyone knows of any such theaters, right me and I'll keep a list.

Theater owners beware! Caving in to right wing pressure will cost you!

Blogging versus Confucian collectivism

A Korean blogger (Jeongjungyongdeok) notes that the current blogging trend that has just hit Korea this last year would seem to run counter to the country's collectivist weltanschauung. I suppose it's odd for people to discuss their uniqueness in a country that values consensus so highly. In My Diarium, the writer (S.K.Shin) even writes in the byline that the blog should not be seen as a form of "look at me" behavior.

On another note, I noticed that many of the Korean bloggers display a great deal of sophistication regarding the new blogging technology (for example, see Blog or Die or Kwanny's Rants). From what I've observed so far, the format for blogging services does not seem to be all that uniform across languages. Many of the Korean and Japanese blogs seem to occupy a limited set of modules within a PHP page that displays server-side content.

24 June 2004

Japanese product blogs

This morning, I was looking surfing the blogosphere, looking at Japanese blogs (e.g., Dragon Egg, Vitamin X, etc.). I was surprised to see the number of blogs that discuss products. One blog even had a link category called "product blogs." Some of the postings also discussed cell-phones seen on the subway and so on. Admittedly, some of the products were funny (e.g., Aloe-flavored ice-cream), but entire blogs dedicated to products! Is this sort of thing common in English-language blogs as well or is this just a peculiarity of Japanese blogs?

Nader again?

I don't know who I'll vote for in this election. Of course, unless the sun begins setting in the east and the electrons running through my brain all reverse their spins in tandem, I'll be voting against Shrub. But Kerry? I don't know. I think that at the very least the Dems could have come up with a candidate who was at least consistently opposed to the Iraqi War, the Patriot Act, and all this other nonsense. I was going to vote Green, but if the party chooses to support Nader again, I won't go along. I don't think there's any hope for the Green Party to develop as a party if it continues to run solely on the force of a single personality (who, incidently, is not even a Green Party member). Of course, many Dems are upset that anyone would support a third-party candidacy and allow Shrub to slip through again. But I would like to see the Greens or any third party get enough votes to force real debates about real issues into the media and the national agenda. No matter what anyone thinks about the Greens, one thing's clear: the party's one of the few running that isn't heavily in debt to corrupt corporate interests.

22 June 2004

Our two-faced pols

In the news today, we learn that Donald Rumsfeld did in fact approve of torture, to include stripping prisoners and the use of dogs. But Rumsfeld previously explicitly stated to a congressional committee that guards were under orders to follow the Geneva Conventions. So which one is Rummy's true face?

Comments on The Working Poor

I recently skimmed through David Shipler's new book The Working Poor: Invisible in America (2004). When I first checked out the book, I was expecting to find some in-depth analysis of poverty among the working class. I found, to my chagrin, that the book merely provides numerous anecdotes about the poor. Many people will probably find the writing balanced. Shipler claims that there are numerous factors leading to poverty: in addition to government policies neglecting the contributions of poorer workers there are factors such as ignorance, laziness, and irresponsibility. After providing countless stories and descriptions of poverty for the working class, Shipler offers the following solutions:

  • Poor workers should vote. (Although Shipler concedes that few voters actually vote their class interests, or for that matter, correctly understand what class they belong to!)

  • The US should create a higher minimum wage.

  • Workers should unionize.

  • Those who are not college bound should get vocational training.

  • The government should do more to provide adequate health insurance coverage, etc.

  • Government efforts to help the poor should receive better funding.

Lastly, I did find one admiral quote from the book (p. 299).

"The liberal conservative divide is not only about how big government should be; it is also about what government should do."

For our conservative friends, this is a no-brainer: Buy expensive military hardware; launch pre-emptive wars; subsidize companies such as Halliburton that have close ties with the government and third-world kleptocrats; and shout class-warfare whenever anyone complains.

Well-oiled political machinery

Another major scandal is brewing about Halliburton, the oil conglomerate once headed by Dick Cheney (you can get the details on Alternet). The company is now being investigated for a $180 million bribery scheme in Nigeria that occurred during Cheney's watch. As much as Halliburton is in the news, one has to wonder. How is it that these oily Halliburton execs seem to keep popping up in all the wrong places? And this is the company we tax-payers have entrusted with our hard-earned money? The same company that the vice-president used to head?

Hey, you! Stop swerving! Keep moving forward!

Check out the "Move America Forward" Action Alert 7 attempting to censor Moore's new movie. The site says that "The mainstream media can’t seem to understand what Americans are so upset about." Evidently, we aren't supposed to be reading or watching things that might be "upsetting."

Warning: Swerve Left has been found to be upsetting to a large number of red-blooded Amerikans. Pleez help us ban this site and thus "move Amerika forward"!

21 June 2004

The plot thickens...(and sickens...)

A recent article, pointed out by Stupid Git, mentions that the commission probing the 2001 attacks has asked Cheney to tell them what info he had pointing to an Iraq--Al-Qaida link. Since they've been allowed to see all of the classified info, it'll be interesting to find out what other sources Cheney had. Perhaps he had a direct revelation from God. Or maybe he's really a Theosophist and is channeling an ancient Babylonian who gave him the tip. Or perhaps the insight occurred after a White House rave party, through the chance amalgamation of some high-quality LSD and ecstacy. The World Socialist Web Site has an excellent article on the Bush administration's response to the report.

I came across a good editorial on this topic.

Just a few bad apples

The number of times Bush administration officials repeated the now disproven statement that Suddam Hussein had links to Al-Qaida:

  • September 26: President George W. Bush

  • January 9: Vice President Dick Cheney

  • January 22: Vice President Dick Cheney

  • January 26: Secretary of State Colin Powell

  • January 30: Vice President Dick Cheney

  • February 16: National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice

  • March 9: Secretary of State Colin Powell and National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice

  • Iraq War Begins
  • September 7: National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice

  • September 14: Vice President Dick Cheney

  • September 17: President George W. Bush

  • September 28: National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice

  • October 9: Vice President Dick Cheney

  • March 28: Former CIA Director John Woolsey

  • June 14: Vice President Dick Cheney

  • June 15: President George W. Bush

Source: Center for American Progress

According to my count, major figures of the Bush administration knowingly lied to the U.S. people around 15 times on this one issue alone. Is this what the Republi-cons were talking about when they said they were going to bring "moral leadership" to the Whitehouse? These people should all be impeached and then hung from their toes in Abu Ghraib prison.

17 June 2004

US concentration camps

A report is now circulating that the US has over two-dozen secret concentration camps. It's probably safe to assume that there are numerous Abu Ghraibs among them. The assumption is that these camps house "terrorists" but it would be interesting to know who the inmates really are. My guess is that the US military and government forces are simply picking up anyone anywhere who is perceived as a major obstacles to their aims. Whether or not you disagree with my assumption, I guess we will never know since these camps are in fact secret. Evidently, in our great "democracy," decisions about who gets detained and the rules governing their detainment are not decisions that WE need to make as a people. WE are to simply keep our fucking eyes down and fucking mouths shut while our august leaders make such decisions for us.

16 June 2004

No Reagan No Cry

So wazzup with all the hoodoo over Reagan? I'm sure that in a few months, people will start to see his visage in the bark of trees or will notice real tears coming from his eyes in the copy of some old Time Magazine cover. Then, perhaps, Reagan can make that final transition from secular King to holy Saint.

Why do people feel the need for heroes? I don't get it. It ain't simply that I think Reagan was a self-serving ass--the U.S. government seems to be a haven for such types. Even if people want to selectively remember him in his acting role instead of in his role as a politician, I still can't see why people need heroes. I mean, there are lots of heroes. The people who work day in and day out to provide our services and build things, the people who work for pennies overseas to bring in our quota of plastic Wallmart thingamabobs, the people who raise us and provide for us--in a sense, these people are all "heroes." We paid ol' Ronnie millions over the years to run around and repeat the mantras provided by his handlers. We provided him with bodyguards for life, good food, life-time health insurance, colored jellybeans and everything else he asked for. What the hell else are we supposed to do? Sing his praises for all eternity?

Reagan's death was worth about two lines in the back of the New York Times. And while they were at it, they could list the other 10,000 people who happened to kick the bucket on the same day along with their accomplishments. As for this nonsense about putting Reagan's mug on the $10, Cosmic Milk has some thoughtful apropos remarks. GaraLog and The Daily Weasal also have short posts on Reagan's passing.

Gimme that ol' time censorship...Jus' like mah gramma used to know...

Arianna Huffington, in her recent blog post, mentioned right-wing attempts to prevent the showing of Michael Moore's new movie Fahrenheit 9/11. In the U.S., at the moment, there appears to be lemminglike leap towards government censorship, in the apparent hope of encouraging self-censorship.

It just encourages me all the more. Evidently, the film has managed to push a few people's buttons. Far out! Grab some popcorn everyone! Let's go see the show! See it twice! Bring some friends! Talk about it! Blog about it!

Moveon.org has recently written a piece opposing censorship attempts.

Luke-warm memories

Orwell Rolls in His Grave

I recently read a review of a new documentary called Orwell Rolls in his Grave. Evidently, the documentary exposes corporate media's control of public opinion. The film is being distributed by BuzzFlash.

15 June 2004


Now, for a little low-brow entertainment, check out "The Idiot Son of an Asshole" and "War Pigs." And then there's "New York Girl."

New book on Dylan

In the newspaper today, i came across an article by Charles McGrath, mentioning a new tome by the professor of poetry, Christopher Ricks. The book, titled Dylan's Visions of Sin, evidently provides an erudite examination of Dylan's music with a thorough analysis of Dylan's lyrics. Has anyone had a chance to read this yet?

Sagt mir wo die blumen sind.

A recent Associated Press news story claims that "by 2025, two-thirds of arable land in Africa will disappear, along with one-third of Asia's and one-fifth of South America's." After years of hearing how technology will hand us a magical elixir freeing us from the fruits of our folly, we seem to be headed for hard times and hard facts. In the end, I don't think some novel gizmo will save us. We need radical social change, and such change cannot occur within the current system. At present, the wealthy minority has no interest in sacrificing its monopoly on resources in order to realize a more sustainable system characterized by greater equity; they don't care if the pie shrinks as long as they eat the biggest pieces. But such greed, from a spiritual context, is corrupting, making it impossible to achieve authentic long-term solutions to the environmental problems plaguing the planet.

5 June 2004

Israeli execution

On the Common Man site, there are some very graphic pictures of the Israeli execution of a Palestinian. Why aren't such pictures ever shown in the U.S. news media? How does the US news maintain such consistency? We never see pictures of Israeli atrocities.

Swerving through cyberspace

I've been reflecting on blogs, as of late, and the whole internet experience. This new medium, transcending the conventional limitations of space--will it create a new and better human? Surely, these connections people make through the cybersphere have some substance beyond mere zeroes and ones. Or is the potential of this new medium limited through its inherent abstraction; are we trapped within the inevitable confines of pixels and phonemes? Does true human society require that I glance at the shift in your eyes, the smell of your body, the sequence of your digits tapping against your knee? As I swerve left, do I truly break free of the tried grooves of those who have slithered across this road before me, or is my swerving also simply part of a tired pattern, the extended arm of a normal distribution? As I swerve, do you plod on along the course designed by large marketing firms in New York, by corporate compatriots doggedly determined to turn a buck? Is my swerving likewise no more than a plodding, parallel to the well-trodden trench? In spite of its limitations, I still feel that this medium has the potential to take us beyond ourselves, beyond the tribal, patriotic, provincial blindness that has led ordinary blokes to fight each other for such phantoms as racism or a flag. The new mentality created through the internet may allow us to develop a new humanity that ties us together and allies us against the oppression of the few.

They say that all is determined through prior causes as the course of atoms is fixed. Even so, occasionally they swerve.

3 June 2004

Joseph Previtera

Democracy Now has an article about a Joseph Previtera, who has been arrested for protesting outside a recruiting office under circumstances that would be hilarious if they didn't underline how fascist our government has become.


There's a new short documentary on the cover-up leading to the Iraqi war.

2 June 2004

More on our little shrubling, Chalabi

On NPR today, it was mentioned that Chalabi was convicted (in absentia) of major bank fraud while in Jordan. And this was the CIA's choice for "our man" in Iraq? And we had to pay him a over a million bucks every 3 months? Couldn't he live off the millions he stole from bank deposits? When will the crooks in our government give back my tax dollars that they gave to that crook?

A legal question

I have a question for anyone with a legal background:

The US is currently at "war" with "terror," and the president has therefore been authorized by Congress to do whatever he feels is necessary to win the fight against terror. Until a Supreme Court decision says otherwise, the president, as Commander in Chief, apparently has the right to broadly order the arrest of anyone (including Americans) anywhere (including in the US) without a trial (the Padilla case is an example of this). These people can be tortured (as in Guantanamo) and killed (as will happen in the Guantanamo execution chambers being built) without any oversight. Of course, the president himself is not doing this, but rather, those in the military, all of whom are below him in rank. In short, the president and anyone in the military (who believes they are following an order) apparently now have the right to grab anyone anywhere and hold them, torture them, or kill them. Moreover, there is no way for us, as citizens, to know the extent to which this is going on, as such actions are classified. So my question is this: A local commander reads this blog and decides that I'm a terrorist and should therefore be captured and held incognito. In the process, I'm killed. Later, through a great deal of serendipity, someone above the local commander decides that executing me was not kosher. Now as I see it, at this point, there are two possible outcomes. (1) The local commander is reprimanded and gets a checkmark on his record (perhaps he doesn't make colonel at his next promotion board), or (2) nothing.

Am i mistaken about the law here? Can someone with some more advanced knowledge of the law help me out? But please don't tell me it won't happen because the local commander is a nice guy, that you saw him fishing with his son last weekend. The heads of the Nazi death-camps also went fishing with their sons, kissed their daughters goodnight, listened to classical music, and shot kids and tortured pregnant women as part of their dayjob.