**Randy Paul at Beautiful Horizons reports what at first blush appears to be pretty good news: the State Dept has de-certified Uzbekistan for reciving aid based on the fact that they “had made no progress towards ending police torture and other abuses.” But he cautions that the report from Human Rights Watch points out that the Bush Admin is giving Uzbekistan–one of several Central Asian states pretending to be our allies in the WOT–an “exemption” in the “national interest,” which means they’ll get their money anyway, at least this year. Once again, the BA comes to the rescue of a dictatorial regime.
**Billmon at Whiskey Bar has a frightening post up–frightening if you care about the people of (and our soldiers in) Iraq–called “Cry Freedom”: the BA has just hired Ahmad Chalabi’s private army as a “security force.” It’s a little more complicated than that, but that’s what it boils down to. The Kicker: key staffers in this security force are brutal ex-South African apartheid enforcers. One of them alone is known to have had a hand in dozens of petrol bombings of activists’ homes, at least one car bomb that killed an ANC Cabinet Minister, and the deaths of nine anti-apartheid activists who were shot before being burned. Billmon notes:
Does anyone else find it ironic that an organization that calls itself the Iraqi National Congress hired a bunch of white South African security thugs to help build its own private army? That’s liberation — neocon style.*******************
I cannot emphasize enough how nasty these folks are. They are former operatives at the sharp end of apartheid South Africa’s Bureau Of State Security (“BOSS”, seriously) which translates into the worst scum of the earth; one notch below knuckle-dragging thugs, capable of making the most irredeemable KKK tards look like Nobel contenders. Truly ambassadors of the evil memory of apartheid.
Don’t it just figure that the neocon’s best buddy, the same guy who conned them into thinking Hussein had WMD’s piled up in the streets, would want his private army loaded with racist murderers and sadists?
**Kevin Drum at Calpundit links to an LA Times report that the State Dept’s intelligence branch, the guys who were the closest to getting the true situation in Iraq right and got enough protection from Powell to say so, is being excluded by the Republican leadership from “a panel that advises Congress each year on worldwide threats.” Kevin says:
It’s conservative postmodernism at its finest. We don’t want accurate threat assessments, we want scary threat assessments. Anyone who insists on bringing actual facts to the table is no longer welcome
**Phaedrus at No Fear of Freedom takes note of an astounding announcement by the Bush campaign: They won’t be stressing his accomplishments in their advertising, they will be focusing on his proposals for the coming term. Well, I never. I wonder why ever not?
**Digby at Hullabaloo has a very funny post about Republican reaction to satiric protestors in NY as the party readies for its convention. In one case, as two protest groups approached hundreds of people lined up outside a club waiting to get into a Publican event, a “man who appeared to be a security agent of some type” whispered into a microphone that he was faced with “one for and one against” Bush. It turned out that one of the groups was identifying itself as “Billionaires for Bush”, and as soon as the agent saw their banner he assumed they were on his side. Go figure.