'When I use a word,' Humpty Dumpty said, in a rather scornful tone,' it means just what I choose it to mean, neither more nor less.'
'The question is,' said Alice, 'whether you can make words mean so many different things.'
'The question is,' said Humpty Dumpty, 'which is to be master - that's all.'
“The killings should remind all of us that there is an enemy in this world that is willing to kill innocent people, willing to bomb a wedding celebration in order to advance their cause,” Bush said in the Oval Office during a meeting with President Ali Abdullah Saleh of Yemen, an ally of the US in the war on terror.The irony cuts like a knife:
Video shot and distributed by Associated Press Television News shows graves being dug Wednesday in western Iraq. Iraqi witnesses tell AP it's the aftermath of an attack by American military aircraft on a wedding party.Bush yesterday, at the Jordanian embassy:
One man says, "A plane came and struck at the wedding and killed the whole family at three o'clock in the morning and lots of houses were blown up."
Another says, "Twenty-six people were killed from one family and five of the same family are seriously injured at the hospital."
A senior military coalition official puts the number even higher, saying as many as 40 people were killed. But the official says he believes the attack was against a safe house used by foreign fighters.
the bombers killed innocent women and children, it struck me, Mr. Ambassador, that -- once again, that we face an enemy that has no heart,
Reuters, November 8:
ROME (Reuters) - U.S. forces in Iraq have used incendiary white phosphorus against civilians and a firebomb similar to napalm against military targets, Italian state-run broadcaster RAI reported on Tuesday.Give the king your justice, O Lord!
A RAI documentary showed images of bodies recovered after a November 2004 offensive by U.S. troops on the town of Falluja, which it said proved the use of white phosphorus against men, women and children who were burned to the bone.
"I do know that white phosphorus was used," said Jeff Englehart in the RAI documentary, which identified him as a former soldier in the U.S. 1st Infantry Division in Iraq.
The U.S. military says white phosphorus is a conventional weapon and says it does not use any chemical arms.
"Burned bodies. Burned children and burned women," said Englehart, who RAI said had taken part in the Falluja offensive. "White phosphorus kills indiscriminately."
A U.S. military spokesman in Baghdad said he did not recall white phosphorus being used in Falluja. "I do not recall the use of white phosphorus during the offensive operations in Falluja in the fall of 2004," Lieutenant Colonel Steven Boylan said.
An incendiary device, white phosphorus is used by the military to conceal troop movements with smoke, mark targets or light up combat areas. The use of incendiary weapons against civilians has been banned by the Geneva Convention since 1980.
The United States did not sign the relevant protocol to the convention, a U.N. official in New York said.
“For those of us who love freedom and for those of us who respect every human life, no matter whether you’re from the west or from your neighbourhood, Mr President, we have an obligation and a duty to remain strong and to remain firm and to bring these people to justice,” Bush said.The New York Times, today:
The Senate voted Thursday to strip captured "enemy combatants" at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, of the principal legal tool given to them last year by the Supreme Court when it allowed them to challenge their detentions in United States courts.
The vote, 49 to 42, on an amendment to a military budget bill by Senator Lindsey Graham, Republican of South Carolina, comes at a time of intense debate over the government's treatment of prisoners in American custody worldwide, and just days after the Senate passed a measure by Senator John McCain banning abusive treatment of them.
If approved in its current form by both the Senate and the House, which has not yet considered the measure but where passage is considered likely, the law would nullify a June 2004 Supreme Court opinion that detainees at Guantánamo Bay had a right to challenge their detentions in court.
Nearly 200 of roughly 500 detainees there have already filed habeas corpus motions, which are making their way up through the federal court system. As written, the amendment would void any suits pending at the time the law was passed.
Mr. Graham said the measure was necessary to eliminate a blizzard of legal claims from prisoners that was tying up Department of Justice resources, and slowing the ability of federal interrogators to glean information from detainees that have been plucked off the battlefields of Afghanistan and elsewhere.
"It is not fair to our troops fighting in the war on terror to be sued in every court in the land by our enemies based on every possible complaint," Mr. Graham said. "We have done nothing today but return to the basics of the law of armed conflict where we are dealing with enemy combatants, not common criminals."
A three-judge panel trying to resolve the extent of Guantánamo prisoners' rights to challenge detentions sharply questioned an administration lawyer in September when he argued that detainees had no right to be heard in federal appeals courts.
The panel of the District of Columbia Circuit is trying to apply a 2004 Supreme Court ruling to two subsequent, conflicting decisions by lower courts, one appealed by the prisoners and the other by the administration.
In its June 28, 2004, decision in Rasul v. Bush, the Supreme Court ruled 6 to 3 that the Guantánamo base was not outside the jurisdiction of American law as administration lawyers had argued and that the habeas corpus statute allowing prisoners to challenge their detentions was applicable.
Due process is such a hindrance to justice. And after all, it isn't like we're going to let them go anyway. Or charge them with anything. Or treat them inhumanely. Or allow them to come before a court of law. Why don't we just re-define "justice," so that we remain the master of the word?
After all, we are the good guys. Our hearts are pure, our motives good. And after that, it doesn't matter what we do. At least our"representatives" seem to think so. They still cling to that charade. The people beg to differ:
Most Americans say they aren't impressed by the ethics and honesty of the Bush administration, already under scrutiny for its justifications for an unpopular war in Iraq and its role in the leak of a covert CIA officer's identity.The people understand:it's what we say that counts.
Almost six in 10 - 57 percent - said they do not think the Bush administration has high ethical standards and the same portion says President Bush is not honest, an AP-Ipsos poll found. Just over four in 10 say the administration has high ethical standards and that Bush is honest. Whites, Southerners and evangelicals were most likely to believe Bush is honest.