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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on September 7, 2006 12:22 AM. The previous post in this blog was Help catch the Tri-Met pipe bomber. The next post in this blog is And the beat goes on. Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.

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Thursday, September 7, 2006

The news from Amerika

The United States is moving 14 men from formerly secret CIA prisons overseas, where it has held them for years without charges, to its military prison camp in Guantanamo, Cuba. It's all part of a midterm-election-year jerk-around from Dick Cheney and Karl Rove, fronted by the Chimp.

And people are applauding.

Wake me, honey. I'm having a very bad dream.

Comments (52)

The Alternatives for these Murdering Bums ?

1. Have them sit in a trendy, elite salon in Paris, smoking mint chocolate ciggies with John Kerry, blaming the death of the Crocodile Man on Donald Rumsfeld.

2. Lock them in a 12 x 12 room in Secaucus, N.J., piping in continuous audiotape of Hillary Clinton yelling into a microphone 24 hours a day, until they cry "Uncle" ?

3. Get them " I Love New York " t-shirts, and send them to the U.N. until their hack-licenses come through.

4. Make them promise, without their fingers being crossed, that they will never again kill hundreds of innocent people and American soldiers and turn them over to the ACLU, Alan Dershowitz, and Ron Kuby ?

5. Get them get a show on Air America, get them get the Key to the City from Rep. Charles Rangel (D.,NY)and let them hang out with intellectual Keith Oberman?

Such moronic comments! What's wrong with constitutional due process? It's good enough for other Murdering Bums.

First of all, save us the breathless outrage. Bush made no "acknowledgement of previously secret CIA prisons." It's been acknowledged and reported for years that top al Qaeda detainees were held by the CIA somewhere offshore.

Secondly, these vermin are going to get constitutional due process -- military tribunals are obviously long-standing practice and are authorized by the President's role as Commander in Chief under Article II of the Constitution -- which is more than they deserve.

They are being given the same rights (under the Geneva Conventions' Common Article Three) as legitimate combatants, which they most certainly are not.

Allan L. would apparently have favored criminal prosecution for Hirohito and Yamamoto.

It's been acknowledged and reported for years that top al Qaeda detainees were held by the CIA somewhere offshore.

Talk about save me... Six months ago the folks reporting on that were being lambasted for it. They were putting lives at risk and endangering sensitive operations. What exactly changed? Oh! that's right! Republicans are in danger of losing Congress.

...which is more than they deserve

Until the new batch checked in yesterday, the only crime a lot of those guys down there committed was attending the wrong mosque. Imagine going to a secret prison half-a-world away for attending the wrong mega-church.

Allan L. would apparently have favored criminal prosecution for Hirohito and Yamamoto.

Did they teach you about Nuremberg when you were in school? Or should we have never brought those guys to trial and entered the evidence of their horrific crimes into the public record? Or is your point that we should only give white guys the luxury of criminal prosecution?

You guys are warped. The US should be a model for the rest of the world in prosecuting these thugs. If they can go to Gitmo now, why not when they were initially captured instead of squirreled away out of view from the Red Cross and other monitoring agencies. These guys have been in custody for years and need to be put on trial and prosecuted.

The military tribunals that "The Chimp" advocates do NOT have a long-standing practice, not even close and now we have tribunal 2.0 because the first efforts was rejected by the Supreme Court. We already have a system in place that addresses all the concerns that The Chimp may have and has a long history and that is a trial under the Uniform Code of Military Conduct (UCMJ). But no, what the Chimp is proposing is a law that allows hearsay evidence, evidence collected under torture, and the defendent nor his lawyer can see the evidence against their client.

Comments comparing these thugs to any WWII criminal shows the height of ignorance, which the Chimp possesses in bulk quantities, and Gary, sorry no comments necessary. Emperor Hirohito was not prosecuted after WWII and Yamamoto was killed during the war.

Wake up and smell the coffee. It is your country that is being hijacked.

We don't torture and we treat all prisoners humanely. Shortly after, footage of "water boarding" was shown, and a list of "devices for extracting information" was set out. Things like making prisoners stand naked in freezing cells, sleep deprivation. My favorite - playing the same rap music over and over, touted as effective in obtaining critical information from a "detainee". Not torture mind you, just good old fashioned investigative techniques done in secret prisons. Proud to be an amerikan?

You guys are really smart. The point is that Hirohito were enemies making war.

Anyway, good luck with tarring any critics as racists and focusing on the evil of Chimpy McBushHitlerHalliburton hijacking the country instead of that of the architects of the 9/11 hijackings, et al. It's sure to inspire confidence in the electorate that Democrats are serious about national security.

"The Alternatives for these Murdering Bums?"

We're the richest nation in the world, and the fourth largest in land area. We have lots of territory that is inhospitable, isolated, and basically inaccessible. We have one of the largest prison populations in the world, and maybe the most sophisticated prison system anywhere. Yet the Bush administration can't seem to find a way to securely hold these people on US soil? What's wrong with a cell in the super max down the hall from Ted Kaczynski?

Give. Me. A. Break.

It's dead obvious that the only reason to hold these people in secret prisons or overseas is to blur the law and blind the oversight which protects every human prisoner. Press, lawyers, the Red Cross, and the Judiciary have all been intentionally, persistently, and unapologetically excluded from access to these prisoners. That isolation makes the Constitution and the Geneva articles equally impotent. The administration has worked very hard to ensure that their only protection is the goodwill of their jailors, and that's not the way it's supposed to work.

And don't start in about the way they treat our people that they capture. This isn't about retribution. This is about protecting our citizens, soldiers and operatives overseas by adhering to international standards of prisoner treatment. If the world sees that we don't follow the rules, they will be less inclined to follow the rules when they capture our people. If you use the argument "they do it, so we should too" without seeing that it works both ways and puts our folks in greater danger for years to come, you're a fool or a liar.

We're the United States of America. We're supposed to be the good guys. Let's act like it.

We're the United States of America. We're supposed to be the good guys. Let's act like it.

Exactly. Thank you.

Yet the Bush administration can't seem to find a way to securely hold these people on US soil?

Then all the terrorists come here...good idea.

Personally, I think stuff like sleep deprivation and being interrogated by women are fine.
The warped stuff that was going on at Abu Graib was wrong, though. And those people should be punished.
Other than for war crimes, have prisoners of war ever been given "criminally prosecuted"?
Usually they were detained for the duration of the war, then returned to their home country, right?

And if we did bring these guys here to prosecute, what would the charge be? Most were just picked up on the battlefield..I guess "Loitering"? And OMG, our current court system is hosed now, could you imagine what it would be like (and cost) if we brought all the detainies here to "prosecute?" I bet it would cost more than the war does now...

As for "learning about Nuremburg"...that dont happen in schools today. Not even 20 years ago when I was in school in CA. The revisionists didnt allow it. My kids are not learning it now either. (Not from school, they are from me though. We actually study the holocaust and the things that went on during WWII at home because my grandfather's parents were involved.)

Why bother - but...

The use of the term "chimp" says it all.

Blather all you like about "moronic comments", "we're supposed to be the good guys...", "...if we don't...they won't..." "...fool or a liar." It smells to me of opportunistic, selective morality at its worst. Evil is only truly evil if we (read Bush) are doing it - oh my!

The remarkable contortions of some who refuse to treat the present conflict(s) as "war" leads to legalistic, tortured(!) arguments such as those above. The unwillingness or outright refusal to acknowledge the goals, motivations and lack of regard for "civilized" rules of war on the part of radical Islamists, juxtaposed with bleeding heart worries about treatment of their "soldiers" is naive at best.

Worst of all is the trite, simplistic implication that others will be "...less inclined to follow the rules when they capture our people." if we don't "...follow the rules..." - as if any of these groups have followed ANY rules so far. So the jihadists will say "thank you for following the rules" before they behead our troops, civilians, journalists, aid workers - "...they do it, so we should too..." works both ways only if both sides acknowledge the same view of morality and respect for "rules".

Where's the evidence for that?

Worst of all is the trite, simplistic implication that others will be "...less inclined to follow the rules when they capture our people." if we don't "...follow the rules..." - as if any of these groups have followed ANY rules so far. So the jihadists will say "thank you for following the rules" before they behead our troops, civilians, journalists, aid workers - "...they do it, so we should too..." works both ways only if both sides acknowledge the same view of morality and respect for "rules".

Why do you think I'm talking about jihadists? The world is a big place. We could realistically end up fighting a major conventional war with Iran, North Korea, China, or other nations within the next thirty years. I think, should any of those wars come to pass, that our soldiers would appreciate being accorded the protections of the Geneva conventions.

Jihadists have not a damn thing to do with it.

Got that? Jihadists have nothing to do with the treatment of Jihadists.

Never mind that the Geneva Conventions were created as both incentive to more humane conduct and discincentive for the reverse.

In a conventional war legitimate combatants should be accorded every consideration. The same doesn't follow for the likes of the prisoners in question. To fail to distinguish between lawful and unlawful combatants is to undermine the Conventions, not support them.

Jack, you defending these scumbags? They should be humiliated on live TV. I worked at the World Trade Center after 9/11. You liberal azzholes will be the death of this Country. They hate us Jack, especially lawyers!

I don't know what is more unbelievable -- this administration or the people who continue to support it.

It's interesting how much venom is spewed by the unrealistic liberal biased people who don't understand that the Jihadists have one overall agenda, to kill the "infidel" (insert "non-Muslim" here) And an overall theme within their radical culture is to subjugate women and children on their way to eternal bliss.

While some people spend time expressing their "shock" that terrorists were being held in secret prisons, Jihadist have beheaded civilians, burned the bodies of Iraqi and American soldiers and systematically killed, bombed and mutilitated innocent "infidels" as well as Muslims who do not share their extremist beliefs. And these atrocities are perpetrated throughout the world (insert Indonesia, England, Spain, Sri Lanka, India... here).

At some point the reality that some play by entirely different rule book will catch up with idealistic fantasy. I just hope it won't be too late.

"Got that? Jihadists have nothing to do with the treatment of Jihadists."

Excellent reading comprehension. You got it exactly right! Have a gold star.

"In a conventional war legitimate combatants should be accorded every consideration. The same doesn't follow for the likes of the prisoners in question. To fail to distinguish between lawful and unlawful combatants is to undermine the Conventions, not support them."

Consider the lowly tourist. Clearly not a combtant under the Geneva conventions. No uniform, ya know. But what happens when the photo-snapping tourist is arrested as a spy?

In such a case, we would like our tourist citizen to have a fair trial, would we not? Access to our embassy? Access to an attorney? To the legal system of the arresting country? Especially if, as in the linked case, it was basically an innocent misunderstanding which led to the arrest?

Not that I'm saying all the guys we've captured are innocent bystanders. I'm sure some - and probably all of these fourteen - are Murdering Bums. But that is, as I say, not the point.

If we want our citizens, when mistakenly arrested as spies by allied countries, to be held without access to embassy, legal counsel, or even the Red Cross, by all means we should continue the present policies until other nations reciprocate.

But I don't think that is an especially good way to make the world a safer place for Americans.

Carol-

Yes, we know that they're bad guys. We regular readers have been over this.

We also know that, even if they are highly motivated to do so, they are totally incapable of wiping out or subjugating all infidels, and they will not become capable of doing so anytime soon. The entire combined military force of the entire Islamic world is less threatening to us than that of France.

So please, stop telling me how scared I should be. I'm not scared, and you shouldn't be either.

Constitutional due process? For foreign nationals that are bent on killing as many non-believers (especially Americans and Britons) unless they convert to Islam?

You're joking, right? There were 3,000 Americans deprived of due process on 9/11.

Once we have 3,000 towel-headed goons sweating it out at Gitmo, then we can start having a conversation about the advantages of extending due process to those who think nothing of violating every article of the Geneva Conventions.

If you force Americans to fight terrorism with Constitutional Law, you might as well start burning the churches and synagogues and build the Mosques right on top of them. Because the troubles won't end until they have accomplished that reconstruction.

They hate us Jack, especially lawyers!

Yes, but the answer is not secret prisons and a freakin' prison camp in Cuba.

Once we have 3,000 towel-headed goons sweating it out at Gitmo, then we can start having a conversation

One more comment like that, and you won't be having any more conversation on this site.

who don't understand that the Jihadists have one overall agenda, to kill the "infidel" (insert "non-Muslim" here)

Hey, cut the cr*p. I understand what's going on. But I'm not willing to trash the Bill of Rights over it. If we had a leader with a respectable IQ and some brain cells left over from his wild days, we might find a better way.

Alan -
You jumped to the often incorrect conclusion that we are to be "AFRAID" of terrorists. Being aware of the threat is a motivation to think and act, rationally. I'm aware that there are rapists in our community. Yet, it doesn't make me fearful, it motivated me to be attentive to the threat and prepared for defending myself.

Jack -
Friends outside the U.S. who have family members, friends, or countrymen who have experienced the acts of the terrorists are not nearly as concerned about the U.S. Bill of Rights as they are about the loss of life and destruction of their communities. This is not to minimize our privileges in the U.S. Yet, U.S. citizens are exposed to or experience terrorism regularly on every continent of the world, as well as the nationals who call those countries their "home." I received a request just yesterday from a friend living in a "friendly" country, to never use certain phrases, words, group affiliations (other than Muslim) in any communications, including mail, emails, faxes, and so on. They don't appreciate the 3 to 8 hour interrogation process or the very real threat of imprisonment.

They don't appreciate the 3 to 8 hour interrogation process or the very real threat of imprisonment.

And so we should behave the same way, with secret prisons and star chambers? That's going to help your friends? Seems unlikely.

If the U.S. doesn't rise above, the world is going to get much worse for everyone in a hurry.

Alan,

The example of a “photo-snapping tourist” in a conventional war zone seems a little implausible, but in the unlikely event that an especially curious person behaved that way, the Geneva Conventions provide for such people, and I affirm those protections.

If you’re talking about more or less random incidents of tourists arrested on peaceful city streets, then the appeal to what China, et al., might do by way of reciprocation in a conventional war is irrelevant. Spies are not protected by the Geneva Conventions, and China, et al., don’t necessarily have any due process worth speaking of to begin with.

I’m arguing for properly distinguishing the various parties, including distinguishing ordinary civilians/bystanders, as well as the crucial distinction here of the different treatment the Geneva Conventions mean to accord to honorable soldiers just doing their job, on the one hand, and the likes of terrorists and spies on the other hand.

You seem to arguing that we should forget about such distinctions, and you even bring up a class of offense (espionage) that doesn’t fall within the Conventions’ protections.

There’s not a whole lot we can do about how other parties behave, even if we leave the terrorists out of the reciprocation calculus. That said, we already deal with suspected (and convicted) spies very leniently compared with the possible enemies you mention. In the case of the recent conventional warfare with Iraq, prisoners were accorded the usual protections (though there were some questions of mild violations having to do with photographing prisoners, which is not supposed to happen).

There are two reasons terrorists need to be treated differently: the first is a practical one, relating to the kind of damage they can do and the role that intelligence plays in dealing with their characteristically covert activity. The second is to provide a further disincentive to the use of these tactics: if you resort to terrorism, you are acting beyond the pale of civilization and thus forfeit many of civilization’s protections. If you think that’s overly harsh, you’re not thinking about thousands dead from either conventional or nuclear weapons by way of a covert operation that can only be discovered by interrogation that goes beyond the means that can only reliably gather name, rank, serial number from the subject.

One of your key points is the concern over mistaken identity. I agree that great care must be taken to make sure you have the right guy, but I trust that it is. James Taranto reported yesterday at OpinionJournal.com the following:


Every detainee at Guantanamo (possibly excepting the 14 new arrivals) has gone before a Combatant Status Review Tribunal, also known as an Article V hearing, to determine whether he actually is an enemy combatant. The Geneva Conventions require such hearings only in cases of doubt, and the U.S. Supreme Court has additionally mandated them (in the 2004 case of Hamdi v. Rumsfeld) only for detainees who hold U.S. citizenship, of which none remain.

Each detainee annually goes before an Administrative Review Board--analogous to a parole board--to determine whether he can be released without endangering U.S. security. This process is described in a July 2005 Pentagon briefing.

Pursuant to Rasul v. Bush (2004), all detainees have the right to retain lawyers and petition for habeas corpus.

War-crimes trials for the four detainees who've been charged have been delayed only because Osama bin Laden's bodyguard was able to avail himself of American appellate courts to challenge the legality of the proceedings.

The exceptions to the new arrivals have to do with the fact that their identity is abundantly established through a variety of other means and sources.

You ought to know as well as I that despite the fact that we do these things even for suspected terrorists, an American accused of being a spy in China or other places might not get even this level of protection.

But again, espionage is not covered under the Geneva Conventions, and it should be perfectly obvious that terrorism is even worse than espionage. The idea of subjecting a fellow human being to coercive intelligence techniques may be repugnant, but don’t blame those trying to protect us; blame the people who plot unthinkably cruel and barbarous attacks for forcing us to take the only measures that can help us to prevent their planning from bearing its horrible fruit.

So please, stop telling me how scared I should be. I'm not scared, and you shouldn't be either.

I dont think we should be scared either, but arent you the least bit concerned? Especially after we saw what they were capable of 5 years ago? And knowing that our gov't seems pretty inept at finding the them?

And what are we supposed to do? Just let them run amok?

Maybe we should just tell the rest of the world they are on their own, and go isolationist.

I can't believe some of the administration apologists that have popped up here. Certainly some these thugs need to be tried and jailed, but that is the crux of the problem. How can they be tried fairly and not have the outcome ordained by the Aministration? The Chimp (great comparison by the way) wants his cake and eat it too. Contrary to popular belief, nobody is suggesting that these guys be released, but they deserve a fair trial in accordance with he Geneva Convention. Lawful, unlawful combatants? Please don't wrestle with semantics and arbitrary terms. The Administration could probably come up with some justification for sacrificing your first born if they were so inclined (They are obviously not).

Distinguishing between lawful and unlawful combatants is "semantics and arbitrary terms"? That's a pretty amazing statement. It's basically the same distinction as that between legitimate belligerence and war crimes. If you don't care about such distinctions you miss the entire point of the Geneva Conventions, to say the least.

Seems to me that you don't want to bother acknowledging facts when they begin to undermine your prejudices.

Arbitrary is right. You show me wear in the Geneva Conventions it defines lawful and unlawful combatants and I will happily accept those terms. Are they war criminals? Are you so certain? I am skeptical of almost anything this Adminstration puts forth. Lets try the bastards in a fair trial and find out. That is all I'm asking. If the US must stoop to the levels of our advisaries, then it is a sad day indeed.

Carol-

I'm glad to hear that you're not afraid. Why, then, the litany of atrocities? It's not like anyone has forgotten them. If not to emphasize fear, what was your point in listing them?

Mister Tee-

"Because the troubles won't end until they have accomplished that reconstruction."

Even if we concede that's the case - which I don't - it's a pretty low grade of trouble.

Jon-

"I dont think we should be scared either, but arent you the least bit concerned? "

Sure I'm concerned. We should be vigilant to try to stop the next plot before it unfolds. But even on that terrible morning five years ago, the terrorists killed less than a tenth as many people as the US lost to auto accidents that year. Heck, we lost more pedestrians that year than the terrorists managed to kill.

So let's keep things in perspective. This is not so serious a threat to life, liberty, or hapiness as to justify "anything goes" rules. There's no sufficient reason not to use warrants for wiretaps, and there's no sufficient reason not to hold prisoners where the Red Cross can visit them.

Idler-

"The example of a “photo-snapping tourist” in a conventional war zone seems a little implausible [...]"

Why? Civillians get caught up in war zones all the time. Always have, always will.

But in any case, I wasn't talking about the people we have taken prisoner. I was talking about our citizens captured by other powers.

"You seem to arguing that we should forget about such distinctions [...]"

Nope. (Keep reading.)

"There are two reasons terrorists need to be treated differently: the first is a practical one, relating to the kind of damage they can do and the role that intelligence plays in dealing with their characteristically covert activity. The second is to provide a further disincentive to the use of these tactics: if you resort to terrorism, you are acting beyond the pale of civilization and thus forfeit many of civilization’s protections. If you think that’s overly harsh, you’re not thinking about thousands dead from either conventional or nuclear weapons by way of a covert operation that can only be discovered by interrogation that goes beyond the means that can only reliably gather name, rank, serial number from the subject."

There's a lot in that paragraph. I think it boils down to our security in the event of escape, the deterrent effect of threat of harsh treatment, the value of prisoners as intelligence sources, and proper interrogation tactics. Let me know if I left anything out.

The first seems misplaced. A trained soldier is far more likely to be capable of causing serious harm should he escape than a terrorist is. (Unless the terrorist is also trained as a soldier, that is.) There's nothing we've seen that implies any terrorist captured is the equal of one of our special forces soldiers. So if we expect our Rangers and SEALs to be accorded a certain level of access, there's no security reason a terrorist should be held with less access.

The second also seems misplaced. If the hawks are to be believed, these people have a serious admiration of martyrdom. Many are clearly willing to die. So why would they be deterred by threat of suffering for the cause? I don't buy it.

As for their intelligence value and our proper tactics, I'll grant that you could be correct that the intelligence justifies the tactics... but only if we assume that the harsher the treatment - that is, the more like torture - the more effective at extracting information.

So far as I can tell, that assumption is not true. Senator McCain has been very blunt about his personal experience under torture, and other sources tend to agree that torture is not especially useful in generating good data. (It may be effective at generating large volumes of useless, unreliable, or decietful data, of course, but that ain't exactly helpful.)

And if that's true, then torture, or getting close to the line of torture, is unlikely to generate substantially more good intelligence data than clearly accepted means of coercion.

It is about data, right? Not about retribution?

"One of your key points is the concern over mistaken identity. I agree that great care must be taken to make sure you have the right guy, but I trust that it is. "

I don't. As Mr. Reagan said, "Trust but verify." Verification means oversight. Oversight means access by independent bodies of auditors, be they the Red Cross or the courts. This administration has, as I said, persistently fought to deny all such access.

In your quote from Mr. Taratnto, he notes that from 2004 these prisoners have had some access to lawyers. Most of them were captured in late 2001 or early 2002. That's rather a long delay, isn't it? And such access was the result of a court challenge, not something the administration wllingly provided. Here are two timelines of the controversy to refresh your memory.

Now, I totally agree with you that we should prosecute the bad guys and let the bystanders go. But without allowing them due process, there's no way to tell the difference. That's the whole point of due process.

"The idea of subjecting a fellow human being to coercive intelligence techniques may be repugnant [...]"

Go ahead and justify its repugnance all you want... after you prove that torture actually works. Because if harsher measures don't work to provide more good data, then there's utterly no point to using them no matter how evil the bad guys are.

People who capture other people, hold them indefinitely without access to family, counsel or diplomatic help, and interrogate them using methods that are inhumane or include torture, and can't or won't justify their actions under the law, are war criminals or terrorists, or both, regardless of their official capacity or country of origin. I'm confident that each of you who apologize for and defend and support the current American government in its foreign policy could, under comparable circumstances, be persuaded to incriminate yourselves. You should be afraid of, or "concerned" about, that prospect. It is beyond terrifying that one terrorist act, combined with deranged and mentally deficient people orchestrating our response to it, has destroyed this country. But that's how it seems.

Only at the end do we espy the message.

As usual, what starts as an apparently reasonable, if somewhat smug, argument devolves to the true motivation for your Michael Moore style indictment of those who dare to hold views at odds with yours:

It is beyond terrifying that one terrorist act, combined with deranged and mentally deficient people orchestrating our response to it, has destroyed this country. But that's how it seems.

"...one terrorist act..."? Oh please!

"...deranged and mentally deficient people..." Of course; since, by definition, those with whom you disagree fit that colorful description.

"...has destroyed this country." Not much (if any) Bush-induced destruction by my definition - I see only another bombastic pronouncement by a someone whose views don't seem to resonate with the majority.

Of course, you know best.

Oh, maaaan. My reply from this morning seems to have been eaten. No way am I re-writing that monster. Carol and Idler, maybe I'll get back to you. For now, I'm picking the easy one:

Jon, I'm concerned. But I'm concerned at an appropriate level, commensurate with the threat.

In 2001, in the US, we lost about 40,000 people killed in car wrecks. We lost 4,000 pedestrians. In their best year, the terrorists didn't do a tenth the damage as cars did to this country's citizens.

So I'm about ten times as scared of driving as I am of terrorists. I still think warrants are necessary, I still think all prisoners in US custody should be allowed visits by their attorneys and the right of timely habeas corpus review, and I still drive too fast on the freeway.

Simple as that.

Alan:

A war on automobiles is already being waged in Portland. And thousands of children are starving to death in Africa at this very moment. What's your point?

Surely you don't believe that accidental deaths are morally equivalent to mass murder? More importantly, even a dispassionate statistical comparison would distinguish between 40,000 people who die across the country over 365 days and 3,000 who die in one place on a single day.

Worse yet, a trailing quantitative analysis has no predictive value: it offers no insight into where the largest possible number of deaths are likely to occur in the future (assuming we just let the terrorists do their best, because they are unlikely to kill sufficient numbers of people to "matter").

"A war on automobiles is already being waged in Portland."

I'm not impressed. It's down here in Salem that people have been attaching pipe bombs to cars. Tell you what: after somebody blows some stuff up, then you can call it a war. Right now, it's just politics.

"Surely you don't believe that accidental deaths are morally equivalent to mass murder?"

You're right, I surely don't. I didn't last time we had this argument, either, and I said so.

"More importantly, even a dispassionate statistical comparison would distinguish between 40,000 people who die across the country over 365 days and 3,000 who die in one place on a single day."

If you pick your time period right, you could make statistics say that we lost 3,000 people to terrorists in one hour. That's an annualized rate of over 26 million dead a year! Holy cow!

Or, we could pick the most recent ten year period, and make the statistics say that terrorism killed maybe 4,000 people in the US while auto accidents killed 400,000. That's a hundred-to-one ratio.

If you'd like to trade statistical lies, I'm sure we can have a lot of fun. But how about we stick to the annual measure of death rates? It's traditional and doesn't produce nearly so many absurd results.

Anyway, they are clearly distinguishable. You and I both know that, and so does everyone else. There's not much point arguing about how they're different, because we agree that they are.

"Worse yet, a trailing quantitative analysis has no predictive value: it offers no insight into where the largest possible number of deaths are likely to occur in the future [...]"

Well, okay. What's a better way to assign a predictive value? I mean, we all know that past performance is not predictive of future results, right? So what's your analysis of the actual threat?

How likely is it, do you think, that any random civillian in the US is going to be killed by a terrorist this year? Is a random civillian more or less likely to be killed by a terrorist than they are to be killed by an auto accident? By what basis do you make that determination?

You have my opinion. I think terrorists are a tenth as threatening as driving, and approximately equal to the threat of being killed while while going for a walk across town. I understand you don't like my threat assessment, so please show me how you can do better.

Alan,

To compare the specific destruction of September 11, 2001 with random car accidents is bogus.

In the first place, what use is a comparison against other existing risks other than as a predictor for one's own level of fear? It doesn't tell us how the appropriate parties should deal with the threat – which is what this thread was largely about.

Nor is it really honest about the impact of this particular risk or the uncertainty related to terrorism. Imagine if al Qaeda were able to pull off ten events in which 300 people were killed, or 30 events in which 100 people were killed. The numbers wouldn’t change but the impact on our sense of security would.

Furthermore, the fact that 3000 people were killed on 9/11/01 leaves out a great deal about both the raw magnitude and the broader significance of the attack: this country suffered a simultaneous attack on its financial center, its military headquarters and its seat of government. The financial district suffered most, the Pentagon less, and the other D.C. target, not at all. A proper appraisal needs to assess the significance of the targets chosen as well as how much worse things might have been if the planned was completely successful. I don’t know how much worse the Pentagon attack might have been, but if Flight 93 hadn’t been brought down, we would have had a far worse crisis on our hands. Also, many more people could easily have died in New York had things gone slightly differently.

In terms of financial impact – which affects the living in many ways – 9/11 was a catastrophe of historic proportions. Economic costs associated with the attacks have been estimated at about $200 billion, which is greater than the GDP of many countries, including the smaller European economies (e.g., Czech Republic, Norway or Ireland). Direct costs have further impact as opportunity costs (loss of productive use of capital), which the IMF estimated was $75 billion in 2001. The U.S. defense budget increased by one third (about $100 billion) from 2001 to 2003, which obviously uses revenues that could have been spent more productively. There are other ongoing, long-term costs associated with the event, particularly those related to security measures which include everything from added security personnel of all sorts, to added transportation-related security equipment and procedures, to massive business continuity/disaster recovery investments by companies and time lost by people caught up in security procedures.

That’s just from the one event that a commenter dismissively referred to above.

The return on those costs is that an attack like the one of 9/11/01 is unlikely to happen again. However, other kinds of attacks could, and they could be even more devastating. The beauty (if one can use such a word) of the 9/11 attacks was in the ingenuity behind them. In this respect, we are in a contest of imagination when it comes to our preventing attacks and the terrorists attempting them. No means of attack can be left out of that calculus, including biological and nuclear weapons. It is certainly possible for such an event to cause greater life than the average annual automobile casualty count, to say nothing of other potential costs.

Thanks Idler. My sentiments exactly.

I'm sure that most of the "we overreacted to 9/11" crowd would feel very differently if their mother, father, brother, sister, or spouse was inside the WTC that morning.

The doe eyed pacifists will always believe the U.S. precipitated 9/11 through their "imperialism" and other failings.

Logic suggests otherwise.

But you guys didn't answer my question at all.

Yes, I agree that the impact of 9/11 went well beyond the loss of life. (Although it seemed disrespectful to the dead to say as much.) If you really want to talk about economic impacts, though, we could talk about the voluntary unrelated war this administration chose to prosecute... which has clearly cost the US more money than your estimates of the economic impact of 9/11.

But that's not what I want to talk about today.

What I want to know is, what's your assessment of the ongoing threat?

One of the first things you have to do when designing security systems is a good threat assessment. You need this before you start designing countermeasures, to make sure the countermeasures are worthwhile.

Many administration supporters seem to think that any countermeasures are okay, no matter how invasive or expensive. If the threat is really dire enough, maybe that's sensible position to take. So I'm asking you guys, apparently administration supporters, to tell me how bad you think the threat really is. Human, economic, whatever. Please relate it to some other hazard we take for granted, like auto accidents, earthquake, murder, asteroid impact, etc. Take your pick.

Alan,

What more do you want beyond what I said in the last paragraph of my previous comment? The threat can’t be compared at all to natural disasters, which are essentially inevitable: one can prepare for them but not stop them. I’ve already commented sufficiently with regard to how they differ from auto accidents, and you can extrapolate from that to other day-to-day hazards.

Recognizing that threat isn’t a warrant to take “any countermeasures” but it may justify some that wouldn’t be necessary in response to lesser threats.

You seem to be fishing for some comment that would show “administration supporters” as gung ho for overturning civil rights. I’m certainly not arguing for any such thing, though I think popular opinion would be in favor of harsh emergency measures in the event of a much greater disaster than 9/11 or repeated episodes similar to the attacks of that day. All the more reason to prevent such an eventuality from ever happening.

But that’s not immediately relevant to a discussion of the status of the prisoners in question. They are clearly not eligible for prisoner-of-war status under the Geneva Conventions. The only genuine controversy is over the protections proposed under Common Article 3, which accords lesser protections to prisoners of lesser status (i.e., spies and unlawful combatants of whatever type) in rather vague language.

My position is that non-state parties that have declared their intention to slaughter civilians, and who intend to do so in ways that are hard to detect, force harsher interrogation techniques than other prisoners. At the same time, I believe in rigorous methods, with built in layers of review, for identifying any prisoners as belonging to that category, in order to avoid misidentification of persons, such as your hypothetical curious tourist.

"The threat can’t be compared at all to natural disasters, which are essentially inevitable: one can prepare for them but not stop them."

Sure they're comparable, if you're not conflating the idea of threat assessment with the application and effectiveness of countermeasures. Which you are. :-)

To put it a little more clearly, "What's the probability of a terrorist attack penetrating our current countermeasures?" That puts the terrorist threat on the same footing as an earthquake or hurricane.

(Remember that the whole point of threat assessment is to provide a basis from which to design appropriate countermeasures. Appropriate countermeasures vary according to the threat. For terrorist threats, good intelligence and police work are good countermeasures. For earthquakes, a countermeasure is something like "Improve building codes".)

"But that’s not immediately relevant to a discussion of the status of the prisoners in question."

Not immediately relevant... but still relevant. Much earlier, you said:

"There are two reasons terrorists need to be treated differently: the first is a practical one, relating to the kind of damage they can do and the role that intelligence plays in dealing with their characteristically covert activity. The second is to provide a further disincentive to the use of these tactics [...]"

Here, you're justifying the countermeasure of "hold captured terrorists in prisons without independent oversight" because you deem them to be dangerous, have high intelligence value, and you're claiming there's an additional deterrent effect to such confinement or treatment. (Please correct me if I'm misreading that.)

The assessment that they are dangerous seems reasonable... but are they more dangerous than one of our special forces troops? We train those guys to be very dangerous indeed wth limited resources, and still expect them to be treated like any other POW. Is an al-qeida trained terrorist more dangerous than a US Army Ranger? I rather doubt it. So that justification for the countermeasure seems to not hold up.

The assessment that this treatment enhances their intelligence value seems to be thoroughly refuted in another thread by Travis.

And lastly, the deterrent effect seems highly unlikely. As I recall, these people are widely believed to value martyrdom for the cause. If they're willing to die, why would they not be willing to suffer for the cause?

So why are secret extraterritorial prisons without independent oversight helpful or necessary?

"They are clearly not eligible for prisoner-of-war status under the Geneva Conventions. The only genuine controversy is over the protections proposed under Common Article 3, which accords lesser protections to prisoners of lesser status (i.e., spies and unlawful combatants of whatever type) in rather vague language."

As I understand the controversy, the uniformed leadership of the US military does not find article three at all vague, it's the civillian administration that thinks it's blurry.

At any rate, although that may be the actual controversy I don't think it's the correct one. What we should be asking ourselves is, "What sort of prisoner treatment is the most likely to best protect the nation?" My contention is that whatever short-term gain we may find through secret prisons is crushingly outweighed by the long-term damage to our reputation as the good guys.

In World War 2, many German soldiers worked very hard to surrender to the Americans instead of the Russians, because they expected - and got - much better treatment from us. That's a reputation that we should be very proud of, and that we should work to maintain. Instead, we're working to destroy that reputation, and I don't think we're getting much in the bargain.

I have an idea: let's start a "Draft Alan DeWitt for Homeland Security Czar" campaign.

Then he can listen to the liberals whine anytime he tries to be proactive, and he can take all the heat when the 2nd shoe finally drops.

With all his knowledge of threat assessment and statistics, what could go wrong?

BOOOM!

Alan,

It’s getting harder to take you seriously since you seem more focused on creating forced arguments than digesting what I’ve said and responding carefully. I haven’t said one can’t assess the terrorist threat; I’ve just said that it is of a different character than natural, unpreventable disasters, which it undeniably is.

Your comparison of a terrorist to a special forces soldier is especially spurious. If we’re talking about a uniformed soldier threatening military assets, the Geneva Conventions require he be treated as a prisoner-of-war. If we’re talking about terrorists threatening civilians, they don’t. Thus both the type of danger and the permissibility of their actions under the Conventions differ.

There is no question that such captives generally have useful information, and in fact intelligence is of heightened importance in fighting terrorism because there is no direct means of observing their assets, as there is in conventional warfare. Travis’ post is utterly unconvincing. Terrorist prisoners have delivered plenty of useful information under duress, much of which turns out to be either self-corroborating or useful in developing a picture corroborated by other information similarly acquired. In his September 6 speech, the President detailed the progress of intelligence gathering leading to the capture of 9/11 conspirators and actors. Here’s an excerpt:

After he recovered, Zubaydah was defiant and evasive. He declared his hatred of America. During questioning, he at first disclosed what he thought was nominal information -- and then stopped all cooperation. Well, in fact, the "nominal" information he gave us turned out to be quite important. For example, Zubaydah disclosed Khalid Sheikh Mohammed -- or KSM -- was the mastermind behind the 9/11 attacks, and used the alias "Muktar." This was a vital piece of the puzzle that helped our intelligence community pursue KSM. Abu Zubaydah also provided information that helped stop a terrorist attack being planned for inside the United States -- an attack about which we had no previous information. Zubaydah told us that al Qaeda operatives were planning to launch an attack in the U.S., and provided physical descriptions of the operatives and information on their general location. Based on the information he provided, the operatives were detained -- one while traveling to the United States.

There’s much more in the speech describing the utility of intelligence gathered from terrorist captives. The narrative abundantly demonstrates the folly of Travis’ arguments, unless you believe that all the information was given “voluntarily” without the benefit of some type of coercive interrogation techniques.

The relevant language in Common Article 3 (specifically in article 75 of same) is indeed vague. For example, it prohibits “outrages upon personal dignity.” That could mean just about anything, including simply being blindfolded and forcibly marched to the interrogation facility, to say nothing of much lesser affronts to an individual’s subjective sense of dignity. But the more important question is whether the protections should even be accorded to terrorists. Obviously I don’t think they should.

It’s very disappointing to see you end with a discussion that basically ignores everything I’ve said about differential treatment of prisoners, and which the Geneva Conventions delineate. If you think the Geneva Conventions don’t matter, just say so. If you believe they do, then you have to recognize the importance of differential treatment of prisoners. The whole point is to protect honorable soldiers, often conscripts, from inhumane treatment. Affirming their status requires differentiating them from spies and other unlawful combatants, such as terrorists.

During WWII, lawful combatants were indeed treated much better by the U.S. and its allies. But spies and other unlawful combatants were executed. For example, during the Battle of the Bulge, German SS troops dressed in American uniforms to disrupt the movement of troops and materiel. Once this "false flag" operation was identified, several were caught and shot. Interestingly, they also yielded valuable information when threatened with execution, such as details of their operation and the fact that they were under the command of the notorious Otto Skorzeny. So much for the uselessness of coerced information. Of course the lesson of this episode wasn’t that it was suddenly bad to be in the hands of the Americans, it was that treachery/perfidy would result in your forfeiting your status as a prisoner-of-war.

Similarly, it is a proper lesson that if you resort to terrorism, you’re not going to get the treatment accorded to lawful soldiers. It’s true that some people will not be deterred by this, but others will. Furthermore, some jihadis turn out not to be so brave in the field. Some have decided at the last minute that maybe they don’t want to blow themselves to smithereens for the cause after all. When such people fall into the hands of interrogators, it’s good for them to know that it’s not going to stop with name, rank and serial number (so to speak).

Idler-

I understand all that.

As I see it, the default state for anyone in US custody is that there should be access to the courts and attorneys for criminal prisoners; or embassies or the Red Cross for military prisoners. If we're going to do less than that, there better be a damn good reason.

So far, your idea of damn good reasons seem to be:
* these guys are dangerous
* it's not required by law
* inhumane treatment enhances inteligence value
* treatement of unlawful combatants must be different.

I think I have refuted the first, because these guys are no more dangerous than people we would accord POW or civillian prisoner status. There's no security advantage to be had by holding them in isolation from oversight. If you think there is such a security advantage, please state what it is.

On to the second.

I agree that the Geneva conventions do not require the same treatment of non-uniformed combatants taken prisoner as they do uniformed military prisoners. But are we only treating POWs well because it is required of us, or because our nation values humane treatment of prisoners?

The Eighth Amendment, "Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted", does not obviously limit its protections to US citizens. Instead, it limits our government's punitive actions against all persons. While I'm not claiming that it specifically applies here in the legal sense, it at least says something about our values when it comes to our government's treatment of prisoners.

Where is the harm in voluntarily allowing oversight by the Red Cross? Is this harm sufficient to outweigh a Constitutionally-expressed ideal?

I'm not asking to limit questioning to the proverbial "name, rank and serial number" or anything. I'm just asking that the prisons have independent oversight, and that we voluntarily hold the prisoners in a way subject to international standards of humane prisoner treatment. I'm not asking that we do it because it is required of us, but because it's the right thing for us to do.

Treating our prisoners well, and provably so, is also a way to continue clearly distinguishing ourselves from our enemies in the eyes of the whole world... especially in the eyes of the enemy's civillian base. In a "war" that is a clash of ideologies, this has a positive strategic value. By refusing even the barest oversight, we have given the enemy an easy way to tell their civillian base that our commitment to justice and humanity is a pretense, and that we are therefore an enemy worth fighting.

Refutation of your third reason I outsourced. You replied:

"Travis’ post is utterly unconvincing."

I don't recall Travis being much of a braggart or bullslinger, from kindergarten through high school. I also know a (very) little about what Travis has been up to these last twenty years. Combined, that knowledge gives me the idea that he most likely knows WTF he's talking about in this regard... and almost certainly knows better than you.

If you want to argue with him, go right ahread. But if you want to convince anyone that he can be so easily dismissed, you're going to have to tell us how your knowledge exceeds his.

Fourth:

"Affirming their status requires differentiating them from spies and other unlawful combatants, such as terrorists."

Why is differentiation required? POWs do not lose any protection if someone else gains similar voluntary protections. If we're faced with a new enemy, not imagined in Geneva, the the choice of treatment is ours to make. The administration obviously believes the choice is ours, and chooses to hold them without independent oversight.

Why could we not choose to treat them in a way that allows meaninful oversight?

Alan,

For a start, if there's no differentiation, there's really no point to the Geneva Conventions. Protection should be afforded to honorable soldiers and war criminals should be treated as such. I'm not in favor of gratuitous harm, but, as I've already said ad nauseam, only through interrogation of such captives can you get the kind of information required to discover their plots and protect their potential victims.

Don't know what you mean by "independent oversight." There are controls in place, including oversight, which I referred to in my Sept. 8, 6:29 post. The Geneva Conventions provide international standards.

Everything else has already been addressed. You might want to re-read earlier posts. As Samuel Johnson once said, "Sir, I have given you an argument; I am not obliged to find you an understanding."

"Protection should be afforded to honorable soldiers and war criminals should be treated as such."

All we have are accused war criminals. We don't get to treat them as convicted war criminals until we, you know, actually convict them. It's that troublesome legal value of ours called the "presumption of innocence", which is the envy of the world. Perhaps you've misplaced it?

Don't know what you mean by "independent oversight."

It's what we wish the PDC had.

Surely the words "trust but verify" ring a bell? Corporations have independent auditors, prosecutors have judges and juries, military prisons have the Red Cross.

Except we don't allow the Red Cross to visit. That sort of secrecy may be good enough for a dictatorship, but it ain't good enough for us. If we're treating the prisoners by internationally-respected standards, we should have no problem granting Red Cross access. Apparently the administration does have a problem with that. Why?

"There are controls in place, including oversight, which I referred to in my Sept. 8, 6:29 post."

Yes. Oversight by the same authority that's running the prisons. Foxes always report that they're guarding the chickens well, but independent oversight is the farmer seeing for himself.

Your own quote says that even prisoners' attorneys were excluded for the first two years - and that access was grudgingly given only because the courts ordered such access. The good news is that the courts did their job. The bad news is that they needed to.

""Sir, I have given you an argument; I am not obliged to find you an understanding."

"A witty saying proves nothing." -Voltaire

Right on, Alan.

Idler:

"I'm not in favor of gratuitous harm"

Good to hear, that distinguishes you from a few of the righties on this board.

"but, as I've already said ad nauseam, only through interrogation of such captives can you get the kind of information required to discover their plots and protect their potential victims."

No one is saying don't interrogate them. We're saying, do it within the constraints of international law and with oversight by independent international authorities, like the US insists other countries do. Hypocrisy does not make us safer. Bush acting like he has something to hide does not make us safer.

What "hypocrisy"? Do we tell other countries that terrorists have to be treated like legitimate combatants? The U.S. applies rigorous standards to identifying terrorists as such, as I've written above and subsequently referred to, and which has apparently been ignored.

The idea of international oversight over sensitive intelligence matters is simply bone-headed. Access to information about such prisoners should be on a need-to-know basis. If people want the tender ministrations of the Red Cross, then they'd better not be in the business of the deliberate mass slaughter of civilians.

If you guys would stop for just a second and think about how you get the job of protecting your citizens done rather than exhaustive fault-finding, you might understand what I've written here.

Your schtick is partisan, sanctimonious carping. If you were really focused on the problem, you'd have written very differently from the start. Just as in the case of Abu Ghraib, you exaggerate the import of everything that the Bush Administration does and cast it in the most sinister terms while diminishing the threat that administration is tasked with addressing. At the same time, you avoid sober consideration of the novel character of our enemies, especially as compared to other combatants.

Thank God you're not in charge of our safety.

"The U.S. applies rigorous standards [...] which has apparently been ignored."

I'm not ignoring 'em. I just don't agree they're rigorous. You can call 'em rigorous all you want, but that doesn't make it so.

"The idea of international oversight over sensitive intelligence matters is simply bone-headed."

Tell you what. I wouldn't like it, but I'd recognize the necessity of holding one of these guys totally incommunicado for a month. That might be justifiable due to the sensitivity of intelligence involved, and I'd give even this administration the benefit of that doubt. Heck, I'd give 'em another month or two on a case-by-case basis if they ran it by the FISA court.

But two years? Come on. Whatever these guys knew that was still fresh and valuable after three months, if anything, would have been stuff that the Red Cross could have heard anyway.

"Your schtick is partisan, sanctimonious carping."

Actually I'm independent and sincere, so it's just plain carping.

"[...] while diminishing the threat that administration is tasked with addressing."

I'm still waiting for your threat assessment. It takes a lot of cheek to argue I'm "diminishing" the threat when you won't even tell me what you think the threat level is.

"Thank God you're not in charge of our safety."

Just so you don't thank Mister Tee, who seems to want me in charge.

One more comment like that and I will be banned? Okay let my last one be a good one and then you can delete it. As to secret prisons, well lets see, a hot wire to their nut sack or a couple finger nails pulled out while interrogating is not as bad as a beheading (remember them). Even though I doubt that we are doing the nut sack and fingernail deal, even if I think that would be proper for these dogs. Feel free and easy on the west coast, because what statement do they make by blowing up nothing. Sorry the Lawyer thing hit a nerve. You ever hear the joke about why lawyers aren't allowed to take Viagra? Because it makes them to tall!! I guess thats Bye Bye Jacko. You forgot your roots Bro!

Say what you like about the rest of Mr. Golden's post, that was a good lawyer joke. :-)

"Brain cells left over from parting days"? Hmmmm. Jack thats alittle like the pot callin the kettle black huh?

Jim:

I believe the threat of banishment was in response to the colorful pejorative that preceeded my "3,000 Goons at Gitmo" comment.

m-w.com defines "goon" as:

2 a : a man hired to terrorize or eliminate opponents b : ENFORCER

In which case, it seems unlikely that "Goons" was inappropriate. Unless of course you prefer the qualifier "alleged Goons" which brings to mind the Clinton Administration's "Law and Order" approach to Usama Bin Laden, which failed. Under the "War on Terror" approach, popularized by the Bush Administration, people caught on the battlefield (or siezed in an apartment full of bomb making materials) are not innocent until proven guilty. It's more like Napleonic Law, I think.

Like the French. Cool

Bush's approach to UBL:

Don't meet with advisors re: Al Qaeda threat for first 8 months in office.

Ignore 8/6/01 PDB: "Bin Laden determined to strike inside U.S."

Allow NORAD to "stand down" rather than shoot the planes out of the sky as soon as they go off course on the morning of 9/11/06. Proceed with a photo op and be a "hands off" type leader on the morning of 9/11/06.

Pump billions in blood and treasure into Iraq.

Let UBL get away at Tora Bora.

5 years after 9/11, let UBL have safe haven in Pakistan because it's a "sovereign nation."

Clinton's approach:

Arrest, try and imprison for life the perpetrators of the 1993 WTC bombing.

Foil Millenium Bomb Plot. Foil Project Pachinko.

Which was the failure again?


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Purple Moon, Merlot 2011
Purple Moon, Chardonnnay 2011
Horse Heaven Hills, Cabernet 2010
Lorelle, Horse Heaven Hills Pinot Grigio 2011
Avignonesi, Montepulciano 2004
Lorelle, Willamette Valley Pinot Noir 2011
Villa Antinori, Toscana 2007
Mercedes Eguren, Cabernet Sauvignon 2009
Lorelle, Columbia Valley Cabernet 2011
Purple Moon, Merlot 2011
Purple Moon, Chardonnnay 2011
Abacela, Vintner's Blend No. 12
Opula Red Blend 2010
Liberte, Pinot Noir 2010
Chateau Ste. Michelle, Indian Wells Red Blend 2010
Woodbridge, Chardonnay 2011
King Estate, Pinot Noir 2011
Famille Perrin, Cotes du Rhone Villages 2010
Columbia Crest, Les Chevaux Red 2010
14 Hands, Hot to Trot White Blend

The Occasional Book

Saul Bellow - Mister Sammler's Planet
Phil Stanford - White House Call Girl
John Kaplan & Jon R. Waltz - The Trial of Jack Ruby
Kent Haruf - Eventide
David Halberstam - Summer of '49
Norman Mailer - The Naked and the Dead
Maria Dermoȗt - The Ten Thousand Things
William Faulkner - As I Lay Dying
Markus Zusak - The Book Thief
Christopher Buckley - Thank You for Smoking
William Shakespeare - Othello
Joseph Conrad - Heart of Darkness
Bill Bryson - A Short History of Nearly Everything
Cheryl Strayed - Tiny Beautiful Things
Sara Varon - Bake Sale
Stephen King - 11/22/63
Paul Goldstein - Errors and Omissions
Mark Twain - A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court
Steve Martin - Born Standing Up: A Comic's Life
Beverly Cleary - A Girl from Yamhill, a Memoir
Kent Haruf - Plainsong
Hope Larson - A Wrinkle in Time, the Graphic Novel
Rudyard Kipling - Kim
Peter Ames Carlin - Bruce
Fran Cannon Slayton - When the Whistle Blows
Neil Young - Waging Heavy Peace
Mark Bego - Aretha Franklin, the Queen of Soul (2012 ed.)
Jenny Lawson - Let's Pretend This Never Happened
J.D. Salinger - Franny and Zooey
Charles Dickens - A Christmas Carol
Timothy Egan - The Big Burn
Deborah Eisenberg - Transactions in a Foreign Currency
Kurt Vonnegut Jr. - Slaughterhouse Five
Kathryn Lance - Pandora's Genes
Cheryl Strayed - Wild
Fyodor Dostoyevsky - The Brothers Karamazov
Jack London - The House of Pride, and Other Tales of Hawaii
Jack Walker - The Extraordinary Rendition of Vincent Dellamaria
Colum McCann - Let the Great World Spin
Niccolò Machiavelli - The Prince
Harper Lee - To Kill a Mockingbird
Emma McLaughlin & Nicola Kraus - The Nanny Diaries
Brian Selznick - The Invention of Hugo Cabret
Sharon Creech - Walk Two Moons
Keith Richards - Life
F. Sionil Jose - Dusk
Natalie Babbitt - Tuck Everlasting
Justin Halpern - S#*t My Dad Says
Mark Herrmann - The Curmudgeon's Guide to Practicing Law
Barry Glassner - The Gospel of Food
Phil Stanford - The Peyton-Allan Files
Jesse Katz - The Opposite Field
Evelyn Waugh - Brideshead Revisited
J.K. Rowling - Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone
David Sedaris - Holidays on Ice
Donald Miller - A Million Miles in a Thousand Years
Mitch Albom - Have a Little Faith
C.S. Lewis - The Magician's Nephew
F. Scott Fitzgerald - The Great Gatsby
William Shakespeare - A Midsummer Night's Dream
Ivan Doig - Bucking the Sun
Penda Diakité - I Lost My Tooth in Africa
Grace Lin - The Year of the Rat
Oscar Hijuelos - Mr. Ives' Christmas
Madeline L'Engle - A Wrinkle in Time
Steven Hart - The Last Three Miles
David Sedaris - Me Talk Pretty One Day
Karen Armstrong - The Spiral Staircase
Charles Larson - The Portland Murders
Adrian Wojnarowski - The Miracle of St. Anthony
William H. Colby - Long Goodbye
Steven D. Stark - Meet the Beatles
Phil Stanford - Portland Confidential
Rick Moody - Garden State
Jonathan Schwartz - All in Good Time
David Sedaris - Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim
Anthony Holden - Big Deal
Robert J. Spitzer - The Spirit of Leadership
James McManus - Positively Fifth Street
Jeff Noon - Vurt

Road Work

Miles run year to date: 377
At this date last year: 237
Total run in 2013: 257
In 2012: 129
In 2011: 113
In 2010: 125
In 2009: 67
In 2008: 28
In 2007: 113
In 2006: 100
In 2005: 149
In 2004: 204
In 2003: 269


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