Wednesday, October 26, 2005

White House to Onion: Stop using seal
Symbol 'being used inappropriately,' says spokesman

WASHINGTON (Reuters) -- The White House is not amused by The Onion, a newspaper that often spoofs the Bush administration, and has asked it to stop using the presidential seal on its Web site.

The seal was still on the Web site on Tuesday at the spot where President George W. Bush's weekly radio address is parodied.

With headlines like "Bush To Appoint Someone To Be In Charge Of Country" and "Bush Subconsciously Sizes Up Spain For Invasion," The Onion is popular with readers looking for a little laughter with their politics.

White House spokesman Trent Duffy said people who work in the executive mansion do have a sense of humor, but not when it comes to breaking regulations.

"When any official sign or seal is being used inappropriately the party is notified," Duffy said.

"You cannot pick and choose where to enforce that rule. It's important that the seal or any White House insignia not be used inappropriately," he said.

Duffy said while he does not personally read The Onion, he admitted knowing others in the White House who do. "Like everyone else, we like a good laugh."

Scott Dikkers, editor-in-chief of the satirical newspaper, said its lawyer disagrees with the White House assessment.

"I've been seeing the presidential seal used in comedy programs most of my life and to my knowledge none of them have been asked not to use it by the White House," Dikkers said.

"I would advise them to look for that other guy Osama (bin Laden) ... rather than comedians. I don't think we pose much of a threat," Dikkers said.

Copyright 2005 Reuters. All rights reserved.This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Police to probe US ‘torture flights’ landing in Scotland

By Neil Mackay, Investigations Editor

SCOTTISH police are to launch an investigation into CIA “torture flights” which fly in and out of Glasgow and Prestwick airports, ferrying kidnapped war on terror suspects around the world.
The police action is a result of last week’s disturbing investigation by the Sunday Herald into the so-called “extraordinary rendition flights”, which see suspects kidnapped overseas by the CIA, drugged and then flown to “friendly” states, such as Egypt, Uzbekistan and Morocco, where they are tortured on behalf of British and American intelligence.

Following our reports , the Green Party wrote to the chief constable of Strathclyde Police, Sir William Rae, asking for a full inquiry into the torture flights. A police spokesperson confirmed that the force would now launch an investigation.

Last week, we revealed that the British government was to be sued by human rights lawyer Clive Stafford Smith for complicity in the torture of his client Benyam Mohammed al-Habashi.

Also exposed was the fact that international human rights experts and lawyers believe the UK is breaking the Geneva Conventions by collaborating with the USA on the transit of the flights through Britain.

Further, the UK allows British airports to be used for refuelling by the CIA’s jets ferrying suspects around the world. Glasgow and Prestwick airports are the two most favoured CIA stop-overs.

Chris Ballance, the Green Party MSP who represents the Prestwick area, said he lodged the complaint with Strathclyde Police after reading the Sunday Herald’s investigation because it appeared that “Scotland is complicit in these gross acts of torture”.

Craig Murray, former British ambassador to Uzbekistan, said : “Once these planes land on British soil, they have no immunity. If they touch down at a civilian airport they are under civilian jurisdiction. This would allow the police to do their job fully and to board the plane and question those on board.”

Beyond saying that an investigation would take place, Strathclyde Police said it could not comment on how the inquiry would proceed.

The CIA refused categorically to comment. One CIA official merely laughed when told that Scottish police were to investigate.

23 October 2005

Monday, October 10, 2005

Bush 'getting weaker by the day'

Republicans are jumping over themselves to distance themselves from the disgraced regime...

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Some SCOTUS Humor

Crash Course: "Oct. 4, 2005 - One day after nominating a non-judge, Harriet Miers, to the United States Supreme Court, President George W. Bush presented his nominee with a book entitled 'Judging for Dummies' which he said would provide her with 'a crash course in judging.'
The book, which includes definitions of such basic judging terms as 'docket' and 'gavel,' will be invaluable in preparing Miers to serve on the highest court in the land, the president said.
While nominating someone with no judging experience on her resume to the Supreme Court raised eyebrows in some legal circles, Bush told reporters that although Miers had no experience as a judge, she had decades of experience as a crony.
'People make up half the stuff on their resumes anyway,' Bush said. 'Look at poor old Brownie,' referring to former FEMA director Michael D. Brown.
Saying that 'experience is overrated,' the president noted, 'I never served in the military, and I've invaded two countries�you learn by doing.'
Bush expressed confidence that his nominee was a quick study, adding, 'If you're looking for judging experience, I can think of no better on-the-job training than serving on the United States Supreme Court.'
For her part, Miers said that she had begun reading 'Judging for Dummies' and was already getting up to speed for her new job: 'The 'v' in legal cases is short for 'versus.''"