Wednesday, September 26, 2007

So Much for the Blackwater Ban

Democracy in California had the following follow up on the Blackwater debacle:

Surprise, surprise. Four days after pledging to ban Blackwater USA from operating in Iraq, it seems that Iraqi Prime Minister Maliki found a dead horse in his bed.

A US embassy spokeswoman said the decision to allow Blackwater to resume work had been taken in consultation with the Iraqi government. [BBC]

Well, I guess that settles that. However, if the Iraqi government does not challenge U.S. claims of immunity in the courts, and if it does not prosecute employees of Blackwater blamed for the killing of Iraqi civilians, as Maliki vowed it would, then it will have failed the ultimate test of sovereignty, leaving no doubt that the so-called "Iraq Coalition Government" is a puppet regime, doing the bidding of the mafia in Washington.

Further complicating matters is a probe by Federal prosecutors investigating whether employees of Blackwater USA illegally smuggled weapons into Iraq that may have been sold on the black market and ended up in the hands of a U.S.-designated terrorist organization.
Wow, smuggling weapons to "the bad guys" for some extra cash. The greed of mercenaries knows no bounds, and that's precisely the reason why it is dangerous for any government to employ them.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Acupuncture and sham acupuncture

This is an interesting finding: Acupuncture works but so does sham acupuncture. This confirms my suspicions that acupuncture probably does do something but it's effects have nothing to do with the psuedo-science of Chinese medicine.

Friday, September 21, 2007

Thursday, September 20, 2007

The waters continue to grow darker

What can you expect when you hire mercenaries to do your dirty work?

If Erik Prince of Blackwater shows up at the House oversight committee's hearing into his company's activities in Iraq, expect him to get an earful. It's not just about the Mansour incident, or the murky legal status the private-security firm possesses. According to the Iraqi government, Blackwater employees engineered a jailbreak to free a minister convicted of corruption charges.

Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki referred obliquely to the incident yesterday. But a Defense Ministry spokesman told Leila Fadel of McClatchy that Blackwater, in December, broke former Electricity Minister Ahyam al-Samarrai out of prison in the Green Zone, where he was awaiting sentencing for embezzling $2.5 billion in reconstruction money.

Until now, Iraqi officials hadn't named the private security company that they believe helped Samarrai, the only Iraqi cabinet official convicted of corruption, to escape from a jail that was overseen jointly by U.S. and Iraqi guards. He subsequently was spirited out of the country and is believed to be living in the United States.

Sunday, September 09, 2007

Reduced Mental Capacity

A group of neo-Nazis have been arrested in Israel. . . . If I were their attorney, I'd argue for a reduced mental capacity plea. This is like setting up a ku klux klan rally in Harlem.