Did I fool you again? No cat.
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Rojak posts, mostly political.
"A writer is a person for whom writing is more difficult than it is for other people." -- Thomas Mann
If so, I must be a writer.
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A federal judge rejected a motion by alleged al-Qaida operative Jose Padilla to dismiss terrorism charges against him over claims he was tortured in U.S. military custody. The ruling removes one of the last major obstacles to the start of Padilla's trial next week.
U.S. District Judge Marcia Cooke stressed in a 12-page order filed late Monday that she was not passing judgment on the torture allegations. Rather, she said the effort to dismiss the case for "outrageous government conduct" was faulty on legal grounds.
Padilla's lawyers claim that during the 3 1/2 years Padilla was held as an "enemy combatant" at a Navy brig he was routinely subjected to harsh treatment and torture.
He claimed that he was forced to stand in painful stress positions, given LSD or some other drug as a "truth serum," subjected to loud noises and noxious odors, and forced to endure sleep deprivation, extreme heat and cold and harsh lights.
The Pentagon and Justice Department have repeatedly denied those claims. Officials with the brig in Charleston, S.C., said during earlier testimony before Cooke that Padilla, a 36-year-old U.S. citizen and Muslim convert, was not mistreated, though they acknowledged occasional removal of the mattress in his cell and of his copy of the Quran.
Iran’s defence doctrine does not provide for the creation of nuclear weapons, the secretary of the Supreme National Security Council, Ali Larijani, said on Monday.
“If they [the West] continue to pressure Iran over its peaceful nuclear activities we have no other choice but to follow parliament's order and review our membership of the NPT [Non-Proliferation Treaty],” Larijani said.
Asked if Tehran may change the direction of its nuclear programme if Iran’s opponents persist, Larijani said his country will continue its civilian nuclear programme because the creation of nuclear weapons is not allowed by in the national defence doctrine.
However he warned that if the West continues the same policy, this would harm the NPT.
"Non-nuclear-weapon States Parties undertake not to acquire or produce nuclear weapons or nuclear explosive devices."
Cuba, Israel, India, and Pakistan were the only states that were not members of the NPT.
Israel made a mistake when it used cluster bombs during the Second Lebanon War, deputy defense minister Ephraim Sneh told the BBC in a documentary on last summer's war in Lebanon set to be broadcast on the Radio 4 network in the United Kingdom on Tuesday and internationally on the BBC world service and Web site later this week.
Sneh became the first Israeli government representative to apologize for using cluster bombs, according to a transcript of the documentary obtained exclusively by The Jerusalem Post.
"It was a mistake, it was a mistake," Sneh told interviewers Edward Stourton and Mark Savage. When they asked whether he regretted the use of cluster bombs because of the damage to Israel's image or because they "kill a lot of people," Sneh responded: "No, people are still losing their lives from time to time and we don't like it. But it was... it was a mistake."
When asked about the transcript, Sneh said he "was misunderstood by the reporters." He said he could not comment further because the use of cluster bombs was still being investigated by the IDF. But his spokesman said Sneh did not think the use of cluster bombs during the war was a mistake.
"He thinks they were used in specific instances when it was necessary," the spokesman said.
Israel initially denied using cluster bombs during the war, but later confirmed the findings of a US State Department investigation submitted to Congress on January 29 that alleged that they were used.
Sen. John McCain said Monday he would have taken his tour of an Iraqi market last week even if he hadn’t been accompanied by heavily armed U.S. soldiers.
The Republican presidential hopeful said he would have walked through the Bab al-Sharqi market in Baghdad without the military protection, but the top U.S. commander in Iraq, Gen. David Petraeus, had recommended the armed escort.
“I’m not notorious for being nervous about going anywhere,” said McCain, R-Ariz. “I’ll gladly go almost anywhere in the world, under any circumstances, but I did respond and do what General Petraeus asked me to do.”
The drafting of reports by the world’s pre-eminent group of climate scientists is an odd process. For many months scientists contributing to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change tussle over the evidence. Nothing gets published unless it achieves consensus. This means that the panel’s reports are extremely conservative – even timid. It also means that they are as trustworthy as a scientific document can be.
Then, when all is settled among the scientists, the politicians sweep in and seek to excise from the summaries anything which threatens their interests.
The only woman among the 15 British naval personnel held by Iran told Monday how she was forced to strip and her captors had threatened that she might never see her baby daughter again.
But in a new round of the propaganda war between the two sides, fought over the captives, Iran broadcast new footage of the Britons playing table-tennis and watching an English football game which it insisted showed they were well treated.
"At one stage ... (the interrogator) asked me, 'How do you feel about dying for your country?" she said.
"The next day, another interrogator said to me, 'You don't understand, you must cooperate with us. Do you not want to see your daughter again?"
For the first five days, Turney was also made to believe that the other 14 men had gone home, and she was the only one left.
"I was thrown into a tiny little cell and ordered to strip off," Turney told the newspaper.
"They took everything from me apart from my knickers. Then some cotton pyjamas were thrown in for me to wear and four filthy blankets. The metal door slammed shut again."
The youngest of the captives, Arthur Batchelor, 20, said he was also stripped to his underpants, left in solitary confinement for several days ordeal, and an interrogator indicated that if he did not co-operate, he would not see his family.
Following their capture on March 23, Batchelor said: "I was frozen in terror and just stared into the darkness of my blindfold. I could feel the emotion welling up inside me."
He added that he been berated for his youth and diminutive appearance -- his captors called him "Mr Bean," after the bumbling television character -- and one of his interrogators "indicated I might never see my family again if I didn't go along with what they told me to do."
And finally, during a photo-op at the White House last week, the president nearly caused a serious accident by attempting to plug an electrical cord into the hydrogen tank of a hybrid car. “I just thought, ‘Oh my goodness!’ So, I started walking faster, and the President walked faster and he got to the cord before I did,” Ford CEO Alan Mulally said. “I violated all the protocols. I touched the President. I grabbed his arm and I moved him up to the front,” Mulally said. “I wanted the president to make sure he plugged into the electricity, not into the hydrogen This is all off the record, right?”
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