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Friday, August 20, 2004

Day-Old Links -- Cheap 

Our usual blogging schedule has been slightly disrupted by important diplomatic obligations, but the news marches on! -- and these are some of the stories that we would normally be marching just in back of:

U.S. medical personnel committed gross ethics violations at Abu Ghraib, according to a report published in the British journal The Lancet.
Some even went so far as to revive prisoners for further torture and falsify death certificates of prisoners who died during interrogation, according to official documents examined by Steven H. Miles of the University of Minnesota.

Their "offenses do not merely fall short of medical ideals; some constitute grave breaches of international or U.S. law," Miles wrote.

Deal W. Hudson resigned as the President's campaign advisor on Catholic outreach ("John Kerry should be attacked from the pulpit whenever and wherever he campaigns as a Catholic") following a report that in 1994 he had been fired from a tenured position at Fordham for having sex with one of his students, an emotionally-disturbed 18-year-old woman. Soon afterward he took over the Scaife-funded Catholic magazine Crisis, which he used as a forum to denounce the moral failings of Bill Clinton ("Who will want to sacrifice personal desires for public responsibilities?").

The Najaf bloodbath, seemingly averted a couple of days ago, was back on by Thursday. On Friday, however, Muqtada al-Sadr's Mahdi army laid down their weapons and delivered the keys to the Imam Ali shrine to a representative of Grand Ayatollah Ali Al-Sistani, Iraq’s top Shiite cleric.
Earlier in Baghdad, Interior Ministry spokesman Sabah Kadhim said police entered the mosque and arrested 400 armed militants without incident.

“They are liars,” one militiaman said hours later as he reclined on carpets in the mosque compound in Najaf sipping tea with comrades. “We’re ready to give up the shrine, but never to police.” Not a single Iraqi policeman could be seen anywhere around the compound. At 5.30 p.m. the huge doors of the mosque were locked.
Juan Cole speculates that the siege of Najaf could cost Bush the election.

$8.8 billion of Iraqi money (primarily oil revenues) from the Development Fund for Iraq appears to have been mislaid by the CPA, according to an internal audit leaked by Col. David Hackworth.

John Kerry fought back against the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth. He filed a complaint with the FEC alleging that the group had violated campaign law "with inaccurate ads that are illegally coordinated with the Bush-Cheney presidential campaign and Republican National Committee," and also demanded that Regnery Publishing withdraw Unfit for Command from stores, calling the book a "hoax." Meanwhile, the New York Times charted the Swift Boat Veterans' connections ("to the Bush family, to high-profile Texas political figures, and to President Bush's chief political aide, Karl Rove") and contradictions.

UPDATE (via Zemblan patriot J.D.): Oh, almost forgot -- Iran threatened to launch a preemptive strike against U.S. forces in order to prevent a preemptive strike against its own nuclear facilities by either the U.S. or Israel.

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