Archive - 2005

January 3rd

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Memo to the American Public: YOU MAKE IT SO EASY.

For those of you who were wondering how long that spirit of new possibilities, of a change for the better, of basic human hope would last into the new year, the answer is... about 24 hours. That's how long it took for the bastards to drop their latest floater into the news hole.

The "news hole" is a wonderful artifact of modern times. It used to be that a politician would get in trouble when something horrible they did, or planned to do, came to light. So they worked hard to keep it from coming to light, usually causing more problems in the process. Our primary referent here is of course Richard Nixon, who got caught and got caught covering up what he first got caught at. We all thought the same thing was gonna happen to Clinton, but a funny thing happened. People stopped giving a fuck.

Thus, the News Hole began to form. The goal now is not to -not get caught-, but rather to get caught when nobody's paying attention. If you manage that, in a couple of days, something else will happen, and nobody will follow up on the shit you got caught doing. The news hole starts on Friday afternoon. People don't watch the news on weekends. So you get it out there late Friday/early Saturday, spin it on the Sunday morning shows, and by Monday, Anna Nicole Smith's life will have taken another astonishing turn and you're off the hook. The only thing better than a weekend is a holiday weekend, and the only thing better than a holiday weekend is a weekend where the people who ARE watching the news are hoping to see more footage of giant tidal waves.

Case in point. On Sunday, the Washington Post revealed that the government is considering hanging on to its terrorism detainees. FOR THE REST OF THEIR LIVES. Freedom must be on the march, because it's getting harder and harder to find around here. These are people they've already been holding for years. People who, until a couple of court challenges from outside, weren't allowed to see a lawyer. People the government freely admits they couldn't convict in a real court. And now they want to keep them forever officially, instead of just hanging on to them until we forget they exist.

It's not just a bad idea, it's like they took a bunch of bad ideas that have already gone tits-up and rolled them into one. See, first, they'd build a replacement for Guantanamo Bay, a 200-bed prison called "Camp 6", which doesn't sound ominous AT ALL. Thank goodness there's no historical precedent for a culture with numbered POW camps doing things they shouldn't. In addition to Camp 6, they'll also be setting up prisons in foreign countries that the US would administrate.

And as we all know, nobody's better at administering foreign prisons than the United States! Sure, there may be a shortage of black hoods for a while, but you abuse human rights with the military you have, not the military you wish you had. For more on the exciting reasoning behind this brilliant plan, we turn to Pentagon spokesman Bryan Whitman, who despite his fine choice of first name, is about to become the first ACTUAL QUOTE TIME of 2005!

"Since global war on terror is a long-term effort, it makes sense for us to be looking at solutions for long-term problems. This has been evolutionary, but we are at a point in time where we have to say, 'How do you deal with them in the long term?"

There IS a system to deal with them long term. It's called the courts. Hell, there's even an international one we haven't joined because, well, we pull shit like this on a regular basis these days. Just because the courts won't give you a result you like doesn't mean it doesn't fucking exist.

Luckily, for such an egregious violation of our national "principles", the opposition has prepared a strong response. Why, Dick Luger, a Republican, said it was a "bad idea"! And Democrat Carl Levin drew this line in the sand.

"There must be some modicum, some semblance of due process." That's the fire, the passion, that has been missing fromt he Democratic Party! Finally, a Democrat stands up for what he believes in - a SEMBLANCE OF DUE PROCESS.

But few will see Carl Levin giving lip service to the idea of giving lip service to human rights, thanks to the News Hole. As of this writing, the plan to lock up brown people for life without evidence or trial has been covered approximately one tenth as heavily as the Rams-Jets game. Why, if I weren't filled with the warm glow of New Year's hope, I'd almost suspect my fellow Americans had their priorities completely fucked.