Eggs Benedict

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David Miliband’s statement
Miliband’s apology over ‘rendition’
Miliband admits US rendition flights stopped on UK soil

UK apology over rendition flights
Government admission on rendition a ‘huge embarrassment’, say critics

In full: CIA statement on renditions
Political fall-out from rendition

Extraordinary admissions
Embarrassed Miliband admits two US rendition flights refuelled on British soil
Official apology after CIA ‘torture’ jets used UK base

The British Government announced today that the United States recently provided information on rendition flights through Diego Garcia-a UK territory in the Indian Ocean-that contradicted earlier data from us.

Our government had told the British that there had been no rendition flights involving their soil or airspace since 9/11. That information, supplied in good faith, turned out to be wrong.

In fact, on two different occasions in 2002, an American plane with a detainee aboard stopped briefly in Diego Garcia for refuelling.

Neither of those individuals was ever part of CIA’s high-value terrorist interrogation program. One was ultimately transferred to Guantanamo, and the other was returned to his home country.

These were rendition operations, nothing more. There has been speculation in the press over the years that CIA had a holding facility on Diego Garcia. That is false. There have also been allegations that we transport detainees for the purpose of torture. That, too, is false.

Torture is against our laws and our values. And, given our mission, CIA could have no interest in a process destined to produce bad intelligence.

In late 2007, CIA itself took a fresh look at records on rendition flights. This time, the examination revealed the two stops in Diego Garcia.

The refuelling, conducted more than five years ago, lasted just a short time. But it happened. That we found this mistake ourselves, and that we brought it to the attention of the British Government, in no way changes or excuses the reality that we were in the wrong.

An important part of intelligence work, inherently urgent, complex, and uncertain, is to take responsibility for errors and to learn from them. In this case, the result of a flawed records search, we have done so.

The CIA employs Woody Allen to write statement on rendition. Turns out he’s got heartburn.

J.K.


Atrocious Episode

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British soldiers executed up to 20 Iraqi detainees, say witnesses
British soldiers accused of executing civilians
‘I heard the terrible sound of someone being choked’
Claim UK troops ‘executed’ Iraqis

Mr Abdelreza’s statement said: “I believed people were being killed. I have never heard anything like that sound ever before in my life.

“It shocked me and filled me with such terror.”

The lawyers say the five witnesses are labourers from Majar al-Kabir with “absolutely nothing” to do with the insurgent Mehdi army, who engaged British troops at the Battle of Danny Boy.

Showing images of corpses from the battle, Mr Day said: “The nature of a number of the injuries of the Iraqis would seem to us to be highly unusual in a battlefield.

“For example, quite how so many of the Iraqis sustained single gunshots to the head and from seemingly at close quarter, how did two of them end with their eyes gouged out, how did one have his penis cut off [and] some have torture wounds?”

“There is the clearest evidence available of systematic abuse and systematic failings at the very highest levels of politicians, the civil service and the military,” said Mr Shiner.

Mr Day was previously involved in legal action launched against the MoD over allegations by more than 200 Masai women in Kenya that they were raped by British soldiers in the 1970s.

What a wonderful world.

J.K.


The Water Cure

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It sips its coffee and reads of its soldiers administering the “water cure” to rebels; of how water with handfuls of salt thrown in to make it more efficacious, is forced down the throats of the patients until their bodies become distended to the point of bursting; of how our soldiers then jump on the distended bodies to force the water out quickly so that the “treatment” can begin all over again. The American Public takes another sip of its coffee and remarks, “How very unpleasant!”

“But where is that vast national outburst of astounded horror which an old-fashioned America would have predicted at the reading of such news?” the World asked. “Is it lost somewhere in the 8,000 miles that divide us from the scenes of these abominations? Is it led astray by the darker skins of the alien race among which these abominations are perpetrated? Or is it rotted away by that inevitable demoralization which the wrong-doing of a great nation must inflict on the consciences of the least of its citizens?”

Responding to the verdict in the Glenn court-martial, Judge Advocate General Davis had suggested that the question it implicitly posed—how much was global power worth in other people’s pain?—was one no moral nation could legitimately ask. As the investigation of the water cure ended and the memory of faraway torture faded, Americans answered it with their silence.

And they are still answering it with their silence.

J.K.


The Rapemen Part Deux

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New US rape allegation in Okinawa

Another US military serviceman has been detained over an alleged sexual assault on Japan’s southern island of Okinawa.

In the latest of a string of incidents involving US troops, the man is accused of raping a Filipino woman at a hotel.

The alleged rape happened before a 24-hour curfew was imposed on US troops, their families and civilians working for the military on Okinawa.

In the last few days another soldier was found drunk asleep on a sofa in a house he had broken into, while another was arrested for drink-driving.

The military will be hoping that in time Japan’s national media will lose interest in the story.

America busily winning hearts and minds, even if it must be burglary…

Heckuva job boys.

J.K.


The Love Muscle

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Scientists find the G spot but not all women have it
The elusive G spot really does exist, say researchers
Female G spot ‘can be detected’

For decades sceptics have dismissed talk of the female G spot as a sort of gynaecological UFO – much searched for, much discussed, but unverified by objective means.

Now scientists believe they have finally obtained the first evidence of its existence – but only in some lucky women.

The G spot is said to confer the capacity for orgasms on its fortunate possessers. Many writers suggested it was a small hypersensitive area of the vagina about three quarters of the way up the anterior wall.

Italian researchers, who used ultrasound scans to explore inside the vaginas of 20 women, say they have found a thickened area of tissue in those who said they had experienced vaginal orgasms – but not in those who had not.

“For the first time it is possible to determine by a simple, rapid and inexpensive method if a woman has a G spot or not,” Emmanuele Jannini, from the University of L’Aquila, told New Scientist.

The finding is unlikely to settle the issue. Other researchers queued up to offer their interpretations of the results, suggesting the thickened tissue could be the internal part of the clitoris, or that those who had learnt to experience orgasms through practice had altered their anatomy.

Dr Jannini plans larger studies to help women decide whether to give up the hunt – or tell their partners to try harder.

I swear by all that I hold dearly that I shall find this elusive G spot, or die trying. It will become my white whale, or my head of Alfredo Garcia if you will.

J.K.


All The Lies That’s Fit To Print

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From the Guardian, originally published on February the 2nd;

Remote-controlled explosives were strapped to two women with Down’s syndrome and detonated in coordinated attacks on two Friday morning markets in central Baghdad yesterday, killing at least 73 people and wounding nearly 150.

The chief Iraqi military spokesman in Baghdad, Brigadier General Qassim al-Moussawi, claimed the female bombers had Down’s syndrome and that the explosives were detonated by remote control, indicating they may not have been willing attackers in what could be a new method by suspected Sunni insurgents to subvert stepped-up security measures.

The US ambassador to Iraq, Ryan Crocker, said the bombings showed that al-Qaida has “found a different, deadly way” to try to destabilise Iraq.

US secretary of state Condoleezza Rice said the bombings in Iraq proved al-Qaida is “the most brutal and bankrupt of movements” and would strengthen Iraqi resolve to reject terrorism.

From the Guardian, originally published on February the 20th;

The U.S. military said Wednesday that two women used as suicide bombers in attacks earlier this month had undergone psychiatric treatment but there is no indication they had Down syndrome as Iraqi and U.S. officials initially had claimed.

Lt. Gen. Abboud Qanbar, the chief Iraqi military commander in Baghdad, said soon after the attacks that photos of the women’s heads showed they had Down syndrome, but he did not offer any other proof.

A U.S. military spokesman for the Baghdad area, Lt. Col. Steve Stover, also said at the time that medical experts with his division had examined the photos and agreed the women probably suffered from the genetic disorder. “They were both females and they both looked like they had Down syndrome,” Stover said on Feb. 2.

A cell phone image of one of the heads viewed by The Associated Press was inconclusive.

There was speculation that the heads could have been distorted by the blast, leading police initially to believe they had Down syndrome.

On Wednesday, Smith backed away from the claim about Down syndrome while responding to a question concerning the psychiatric histories of the two bombers.

Both had recently received psychiatric treatment for depression and/or schizophrenia. From what we know now there’s no indication that they had Down syndrome,” Smith said, citing records obtained by the military.

Smith also said one of the women was married but that neither had criminal backgrounds. He said it was not clear how they were linked to al-Qaida in Iraq, which the military has said was behind the bombing.

On the 2nd of February the Guardian published unsubstantiated claims as fact.

It seems the Berliner is closer to the Tabloid than the Broadsheet.

J.K.


Strategic Interests

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US ‘is not seeking African bases’

Mr Bush said the idea that he was currently visiting Africa looking for sites for US bases was “baloney”.

Mr Bush is on the second-to-last stop of a five-country Africa tour.

He said the new command, Africom, was to provide African states with military training and assistance so they could handle Africa’s problems better.

“It is a command structure that is aiming to help provide military assistance to African nations so African nations are more capable of dealing with Africa’s conflicts – like peacekeeping training,” he said.

Critics say Africom is designed to protect strategic American interests on the continent such as oil.

Africom is a benign command structure that will both ensure the security of strategic American interests, and teach American-style problem solving techniques to a continent that sorely needs them.

Huzzah!

J.K.