From Elaine of Kalilily as posted on Blog Sisters:
One of the great things about the net is that, if you can't get a mainstream medium to publish something, you can always post it.
A college chum of mine, a former CIA polygraph specialist who served in Vietnam, has tried to get the following Op-Ed piece accepted by several newspapers. They wouldn't even accept it as a "letter to the editor." I had intended to post it on my weblog, but the server's been down for several days. Besides, it occurred to me that posting it here might help to get it circulated. Please feel free to use it in your own blogs.
FYI, this former CIA lie detector, John F. Sullivan, is the author of Of Spies and Lies: A CIA Lie Detector Remembers Vietnam. He has another book ready for publishing that was held up by CIA censors. Here's his thus-far unpublished Op-Ed essay:
Bush and Torture
by John F. Sullivan, former CIA polygraphy interrogator in Vietnam.
During Mr. Bush’s press conference on January 19, one of the correspondents asked the president to clarify his position on torture. “Americans don’t torture,” summed up his response. I don’t know if Mr. Bush was suggesting that Americans didn’t torture in the past, weren’t currently engaging in acts of torture, or wouldn’t engage in such acts in the future, but I do know that during my five years in the U.S. Army and 31 years as a polygraph examiner/interrogator with the CIA, I became aware that Americans did torture
Torture and prisoner abuse have been a part of every war in which America has engaged, at least in my lifetime, but was never a sanctioned policy. Torture has been to the U.S. Government, and police agencies which use it, analogous to what sexual misconduct on the part of Catholic priests has been to the Catholic Church: publicly denied, privately acknowledged, and occasionally tacitly approved. That changed with 9/11.
Vice President Cheney’s suggestion that in response to 9/11 we may have to go to the “dark side” of intelligence in our fight against terrorism, the administration’s declaring al Qaeda and other terrorists as enemy combatants, not POWs, in order to deny them protection under the Geneva Convention, and the Department of Justice’s memorandum of August 2002, which redefined torture, made it clear that “the gloves were off” and that in the pursuit of terrorists, “anything goes.” Torture went from being a “dirty little secret” to a condoned policy.
Of the aforementioned, the most insidious was the Department of Justice’s August 2002 memorandum which defined a coercive technique as torture, “…only when it induced pain equivalent to what a person experiencing death or organ failure might suffer.” This is an obscenity.
How does one determine when an individual being “coerced” has reached the point of being tortured – by the decibel level of the victim’s screams? I assume the person making that decision is the interrogator. If so, what training has he or she had in making such assessments? I would hope that no doctor would ever participate in such an exercise and contend that any doctor, who would, not only violates his Hippocratic Oath but is also right down there with the infamous Dr. Mengele.
In analyzing Mr. Bush’s “Americans don’t torture,” statement, I conclude that he based his statement on the DOJ’s definition of torture and that those pictured in the Abu Ghraib photos didn’t meet his criteria for torture. I would like to think that Mr. Bush does not share Rush Limbaugh’s view that what happened at Abu Ghraib was nothing more than a fraternity prank, but am concerned that many Americans might agree with Limbaugh.
My first reaction to those pictures was rage – rage at the sheer sadism depicted; rage at the stupidity of those who allowed the torture, rage at the lack of cultural awareness, and lastly, rage over the fact that those pictures were going to cost American GIs their lives.
The Abu Ghraib pictures make a great recruiting poster for al Qaeda, and I posit that more Muslims were recruited for the Jihad as a result of those pictures than GIs were saved as a result of information coming from torture victims.
It seems logical to me that an al Qaeda/terrorist fighting in Iraq, who saw those pictures, might be more motivated as well as more inclined to fight harder so as not to get captured. Do the battle cries “Remember the Alamo,” “Remember the Maine,” or “Remember 9/11” ring any bells? How about “Remember Abu Ghraib?”
What are the implications of those pictures for any American GIs who might get captured? Can anyone imagine the reaction in America if similar pictures of American GIs were coming out of Iraq? Were that the case, I don’t think our military would have to worry about recruitment shortfalls for as long as the war on terror is waged.
Senator McCain, in commenting on his ordeal in North Vietnam and in referring to his torturers, noted that one of the things that sustained him and his fellow POWs was their belief that, “We are better than this.” The Abu Ghraib photos seem to indicate that we are not better than we were back then.
It would be great if you could mention -- or even reprint -- this essay in your own blogs.
Posted by Elaine to Blog Sisters at 2/25/2006 04:37:00 PM
February 25, 2006
From Elaine of Kalilily as posted on Blog Sisters:
Well just stop treating Dave like a famous object, okay? He's a lot of things.
"It was a rougher week on the net than you could see on the mail lists. I'm getting pushed around again, that's the bad news. The good news is that a bunch of people wanted to get a flamefest going with me as the guest of honor, and it didn't take root. Even so, I have reached a new level of exhaustion, and that's not a good thing. In some conversations, I've tried, to no avail, to explain that I am a real person, not an object, and I'm just asking to be treated as you would treat anyone else. But I'm also an A-lister, and a celebrity, and being treated like an object comes with the territory. But I'm also a blogger, and I'm sorry, I just doing go for the regal treatment. Anyway, maybe next week will be better. I sure hope so."
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February 24, 2006
"...Like any market, micromarkets are relational affairs. They do not exist independent of their observers in quite the same way as shoes and ships and sealing wax. This may seem an abstruse philosophical point, but it has critical ramifications for business, so pay close attention here. People in the microaudiences coalescing around micromedia do not think of themselves as micromarkets. They think of themselves as people.
This is perhaps the greatest shift in the balance of power between companies and what they have viewed until now as consumers--people whose only function was to buy products. The net has helped human beings rediscover other, and often more interesting, uses for their humanity. Because of this shift in perspective--which has caused online markets to radically realign priorities and allegiences--business needs to be especially wary of using old broadcast terminology as if it still applied in familiar ways. 'It looks like a medium, so it must be like television.' Or 'I see a lot of eyeballs out there, so it must be a branding opportunity.' Just because some words sound the same doesn't mean they describe the same realities."
"Individually, their audiences will be much smaller than those of today's mass-market broadcast channels, but taken together, the total audience will be much larger. Within a few years [[ED. NOTE: That'd be now]], many thousands of quality news, entertainment and information sources will spring up on the Internet to serve highly specific communities of interest. These micromedia sites will constitute an increasingly important vector for electronic commerce, serving as possible points of entry into a huge collection of web micromarkets...."
(C) 2001, Gonzo Marketing, Christopher Locke AKA RageBoy
Points of Blight. I just had dinner with two of them. Single moms in their 40s. The Class Formerly Known as "Middle." Lights/heat off. Mortgage not paid. No health insurance on mom. Kids on Medicaid. Getting $2.00 of gas a time. Groups of moms fixing meals on different nights to avoid the grocery store. more bounced checks. title pawn. can't pay back. lame paycheck eaten up in bounced-check fees. car repairs. work til 3 a.m. again. bronchitis. get sicker. No $ for drs appt. call uncle MD to get RX. bounce check to get meds. divorce not done--2 yrs and counting.
sweet jesus, my kid's teacher works from 6 - 3 and then goes to her night job from 6-12.
rob peter, pay paul,
hope to god.
February 23, 2006
"...I talk about gonzo marketing of and with micromarkets. As used in this book, micromarkets are not hashed-browned or refried databases. Neither are they individuals, so-called "markets of one."
Instead they are genuinely social social groupings. Little ones perhaps at first, but they're collections of people, communities joined by shared interest. And (this part is probably important too) they're groups you actually belong to, that you interact with--not by punching buttons and entering your zip code, but by exposing something real about who you are."
(C) 2001, Gonzo Marketing, Christopher Locke AKA RageBoy
It's time for some review lessons. If not for you, then for me. This is what I believed in 2001; I do more now than ever:
...The Internet is entirely different. It's not an opportunity for viral marketing. We are a virus and we want to multiply. We are the audience. We are the market. We are in it and of it. This is not just our "positioning," it's our position. And we won't recant or renege or back down. Where would we go? What else is there? This is market advocacy. This is gonzo marketing. You don't have to be nuts, but it helps to have been there. Because when you get personal with so may people, you begin to get stretched, to blur at the edges. You don't define your product--you discover who you are.
(C) 2001, Gonzo Marketing, Christopher Locke AKA RageBoy
settling gray clouds on my eye lids
is the mind stirring.
god don't let morning come heavy
come poison come furious with
terror to bully me
is always the worst.
is impossible to name,
wonder how to
full-stop, start again
without dread clawing
at my stomach
with loss wrapped
in soiled scratchy paper towels
I use after the bile comes.
amazing that I could hide it
in good works, shy smiles
at odds with
my own mask
the one you made
I haven’t really wanted a feature in an OS for a long while, but I really want this. Instead of digging through folders going “where the hell did I put that report”, I want to be able to click “word documents”, “+reports”, “+sociology”, and open the file I had in mind.
February 22, 2006
Steven, a young web wiz, has just celebrated his bar mitzvah. He received a dozen gifts and must write a dozen thank-you notes. Being webbish, he creates an on-line “Thank-You Note Generator.” Steven shows the site to his friends, who show it to their friends, and soon the site is getting traffic from recipients of all sorts of gifts, not just bar mitzvah stuff.
If Steven created the site with CGI and Perl and used tables for layout, this is the story of a boy who made a website for his own amusement, perhaps gaining social points in the process. He might even contribute to a SXSW Interactive panel.
But if Steven used AJAX and Ruby on Rails, Yahoo will pay millions and Tim O’Reilly will beg him to keynote.
Why does my new Technorati "faves' posts" sidebar widget keep showing recent posts for Ken Camp and Stowe Boyd (HI GUYS!), when folks like Sheila Lennon and Will have updated more recently?
Now I love this idea, IF it's not just going to become a mini-me of technorati's top 500 replicated across our blogs in this lil box. I hope it's going to be quite the opposite. Only semi-optimistic on that.
My understanding is that the new widget will act like a fast moving faves roll, with the most recent posts of your selected reading list showing up in the widget. On mine, that's not happening. What gives? Is there a bias against folks who don't have face icons on t'rati? Is it some kind of bug? Power Law reflection? Wha?
wood s lot updated yesterday, not 760 days ago like it says on my faves roll. Did I do something wrong? Does wood need a face?
I added 37 folks, purposely not focusing on my daily bread (and i mean brread), and purposely adding many others who I sometimes forget to read that I SHOULD be reading every day. I want them to appear in my little box based on the newness of their posts. Faces or not. Popular or not.
February 21, 2006
The results of that particular 'house cleaning' resulted in a lot of independent labels getting their products on the charts. The playing field was made level for indies that didn't have the deep corporate ahem, um, 'connections' the majors had so there were a bunch of new acts as well as name acts [no longer the sweetheart of a major] on indy labels that got through the door and received some airplay. [I'm inviting any music industry folks out there to kindly correct me about any of this stuff like payola].
Is there one blog you visit that you wish had gotten a face lift, like, a year ago? One that loads with a Quicktime error every time a non Macizen visits? One you're happier to read in Bloglines because it looks better in white? One that's various shades and hues make Joho's color palette look good?
For me that blog is Kevin Marks' Epeus' Epigone. I nominate Kevin's template for some kind of CSS extreme makeover. Kevin, consider this an intervention. I love to read you. You are one of my friends. Only a friend can say this to a friend: It's time to make a change. I can't bear the greens anymore.
Jenna and I had the privilege of meeting AKMA and Margaret when they were in Atlanta. I love this family so much. They are who they seem. And that is a big deal. A very big deal, both online and off, especially in this place, one that is being overrun by mask wearers. Vulnerable, beautiful.
i was heading the wrong way up 41 yesterday with my babygirl in the backseat, the second time i've gone north in two weeks when i meant to be driving south.
last week i had my standing wednesday-night appointment, and I decided to run an errand on the way, but i ran into a problem when I got on I-575 at a particular entrance ramp i wasn't so used to. it wasn't until i was a good 20 miles north, when a view of the mountains jolted me like rap on the alarm clock at 6, that i snapped to and realized i had been heading north instead of south.
i mean i was past Canton, supposed to be in Dunwoody. Whoa.
Same thing yesterday, except on 41, and what made me turn wrong this time is that I stopped to get some cheese dip from the mexican restaurant near the Y where jenna and I had been swimming. If you know one thing about me it's that i get turned around really easily. So apparently when i turned out of the parking lot i mistook which way was 'home' and again went north instead of south. this time i realized it after about 10 minutes and said, "Jenna, do you recognize any of this stuff?"
She said, "Oh no, we're lost." she hates being lost. I told her no i just went the wrong way, and that's the second time mommy did that in a week--mommy's just nutty sometimes isn't she.
the thing that got me this time was that after i headed the wrong way i passed by a parking lot at a funeral home where there was an obvious wake in progress, and i sing-sanged myself into the midst of it--doesn't take long--feeling what they were feeling, or not really, which is what the Tag Poetry below came from.
Because in passing by, i noticed two men standing near their cars talking, and one of them slapped the other on the back and i was passing by just long enough to see them laugh and glance the exchange--animated, positive.
so that got me thinking about death and someone inside the home dead, for sure, wondering who is that dead person. i think a woman is inside, older, these parking-lot men are her sons or grandsons or nephews, and i imagine them without her, i always do. i think how i have to pause and take a breath, someone else's dying knocks the wind out of me, i think what is that sound--oh that's the sound of someone not here anymore, that's the hum of absence, that is the space between 'is' and 'isn't' - if i could i would build an entire world in that eternal silence and i would name it Loss.
and that is about the time i realized i was headed north, not south.
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February 20, 2006
two days later - stewart in eweek. "Rather than focusing on making connections, as in many social-networking sites, or simply on real-time communication, Flickr embraces the idea of instant media sharing, Ludicorp President Stewart Butterfield said. Its initial focus: real-time photo sharing and collaboration."
I said: I'll tell you though, getting image bombed in the middle of a conversation just tickles me to pieces. A way to pass the time for the radically ADD. I can only imagine getting funk bombed or hip-hop bombed.
Anyone remember the flickering flickr chat? Me: You'll also find the rapidly flickering flickr flickering thing when you launch the group chat sessions in flickr. More than one flicker-er
has dubbed it the seizure-inducing startup thingy.
Stewart in eweek: "The point is to allow people to communicate and collaborate and to experiment in real time," said Butterfield, who dubs Flickr, "Groupware for play."
So I guess now flickr could be called photo hosting for grownups?
Technorati Tags: flickr, photos, photo+sharing, web2.0
February 19, 2006
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