Patterico's Pontifications

6/13/2009

Iranian Election Update

Filed under: International — DRJ @ 8:00 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

The New York Times quotes an unnamed Interior Ministry source on the Iranian election:

“They didn’t rig the vote,” claimed the man, who showed his ministry identification card but pleaded not to be named. “They didn’t even look at the vote. They just wrote the name and put the number in front of it.

Other reports support these allegations of election fraud:

“There are no independent election monitors in Iran. Mousavi’s claims [of fraud], however, point to some noticeable breaks with past election counting.

The tallies from previous elections — time-consuming paper ballots — began to trickle in hours after polls closed. This time, huge chunks of results — millions at a time — poured in almost immediately from a huge turnout of about 85 percent of Iran’s 46.2 million voters. The final outcome: 62.6 percent of the vote to Ahmadinejad and 33.75 for Mousavi, a former prime minister from the 1980s.

The U.S. refused to accept Ahmadinejad’s claim of a landslide re-election victory said it was looking into allegations of election fraud.”

Moussavi has disappeared and is reported to be under house arrest “or worse.” Text messaging, cell phones, universities, websites, and newspapers have been shut down, and the streets of Tehran have erupted in violence.

— DRJ

Court Reporter of the Doctors From Hell

Filed under: War — DRJ @ 5:13 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

The Houston Chronicle has a fascinating story about local resident and Nuremberg court reporter Vivien Spitz:

“She grew up in Joliet, Ill., during the Great Depression. There wasn’t enough money for Spitz to attend a four-year university, but her mother leveraged some family property so that she could go to business college.

By the time Spitz graduated in 1943, she was writing 260 words per minute in shorthand and disbelieving the news dispatches from the war front.

Spitz is half-German and Catholic. “I just couldn’t believe the Germans were capable of such atrocities.”

To see for herself, she volunteered when the U.S. War Department started recruiting court reporters to help with the trials.

When Spitz arrived in Nuremberg in 1946, she saw a city flattened by bombs. Living conditions were trying, but what gave Spitz nightmares were the remorseless German doctors and their testimony. The physicians used Jews, Gypsies and Catholics from the concentration camps as guinea pigs in a long series of cruel and bizarre medical experiments.”

The article chronicles several experiments, some of which I had not heard about before. Spitz could have easily tried to forget about what she heard but, instead, she set out to give meaning to the phrase “Never forget.” She used trial transcripts to write Doctors From Hell and, at personal risk, she joined the lecture circuit because “[s]he didn’t think the Holocaust was being taught adequately in local schools.”

There really are heroes among us.

— DRJ

What Obama Told the British

Filed under: International,Obama — DRJ @ 1:08 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

Following up on the recent transfer of four GTMO Uighurs to Bermuda, the Telegraph’s US Editor Toby Harnden has more details on what the Obama Administration told the British and when it told them:

“Late on Wednesday night, British officials received a telephone call from the Obama administration informing them that four Uighurs – Chinese Muslims – were about to board a plane at Guantanamo Bay bound for Bermuda.

It was a fait accompli, arranged directly between the Obama administration and Ewart Brown, the Bermudan premier. The UK had no choice – it was too late for any debate about the issue. The Uighurs (lucky them, for the alternative was Albania) would be on Bermudan soil by Thursday morning.

The problem is that Bermuda is one of 14 British sovereign territories – the oldest in fact – and as such Britain has responsibility for its foreign policy and security.

A British diplomat told me, with that trademark stiff upper lip style, that David Miliband, Foreign Secretary, had called Hillary Clinton, Secretary of State, immediately to protest.

“The Foreign Secretary registered his surprise. It was a regrettable mistake. Bermuda, the UK and the US now need to work together to fix it and make sure it doesn’t happen again.”

Roughly translated, that means that Miliband said: “WTF, Hillary?””

I’d love to have heard what Hillary said when she got off that phone call. I imagine Obama’s ears were burning.

— DRJ

Iranian Election Results (Updated)

Filed under: International,Obama — DRJ @ 10:17 am

[Guest post by DRJ]

Fraud, fraud, it’s Ahmadinejad:

“U.S. officials are casting doubt over the results of Iran’s election, in which the government declared President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad the winner Saturday.

U.S. analysts find it “not credible” that challenger Mir Hossein Mousavi would have lost the balloting in his hometown or that a third candidate, Mehdi Karoubi, would have received less than 1 percent of the total vote, a senior U.S. officials told FOX News.

Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khameini apparently has released a statement calling the results “final” and hailing the election as a legitimization of the regime and its elections.”

Meanwhile, PJTV’s Roger L. Simon has a message for the Obama Administration:

“How deeply naive about Iran is the Obama administration. I wonder if any of them have even done any basic reading. I would suggest beginning with Amir Taheri’s biography of Ayatollah Khomeini. Then they would realize how very dumb this seems: The dominant view among Obama administration officials is that the regime will look so bad as a result of whipping up Iranian hopes for democracy and then squelching them that the regime may feel compelled to show some conciliatory response to Obama’s gestures of engagement.

Earth to Obama people. This is a religious movement. They could care less about what the world thinks. They care what Allah thinks. Get it?”

With Obama, it’s always about Obama.

UPDATE: More at Kevin Murphy’s post at The Jury Talks Back. Please read that and leave your comments there.

— DRJ

Administration Dispersing GTMO Detainees (Updated)

Filed under: International,Obama,Terrorism — DRJ @ 9:43 am

[Guest post by DRJ]

Ten Guantanamo detainees have been transferred so far:

“This week alone, the administration transferred 10 detainees out of Guantanamo. Two were sent to Chad and Iraq, one was brought to New York to stand trial in civilian court, four were sent to Bermuda and three to Saudi Arabia. A deal in principle has been reached with the Pacific island nation of Palau to accept some others.”

Palauans aren’t happy with their government’s decision to accept GTMO Uighurs so that deal may fall through, and the transfer of four GTMO Uighurs to Bermuda also caused hard feelings. The British government is responsible for Bermuda security but it wasn’t told about the transfer until the last minute, making for rocky times with our closest ally:

“ABC News’ Kirit Radia reports: The U.S. may be happy to see four more detainees leave the Guantanamo Bay detention facility, but close ally Great Britain is not. London is seething because it says it was not adequately consulted about a decision to move four Uighurs — Chinese Muslims — to Bermuda today.

“They’re pissed,” admitted a senior State Department official, speaking on condition of anonymity.

The UK provides for Bermuda’s defense and foreign affairs, but the State Department today said it dealt directly with the government of Bermuda, who then informed the British Governor General on the island.”

Meanwhile, the three detainees sent to Saudi Arabia sound like test cases:

“Authorities announced Friday that three detainees – Khalid Saad Mohammed, Abdalaziz Kareem Salim Al Noofayaee and Ahmed Zaid Salim Zuhair – had been sent home to Saudi Arabia. Zuhair had had been on continual hunger strike at Guantanamo for almost four years to protest his detention.

The Justice Department said the trio will be subject to judicial review in Saudi Arabia before they participate in a “rehabilitation” program administered by the Saudi government.”

Here are the NY Times’ dockets on Mohammed, al Noofayaee, and Zuhair. Depending on how well they are “rehabilitated” in a Saudi training program, over a 100 Yemenis may follow:

“U.S. officials said they were close to a deal with Saudi Arabia and Yemen under which Saudi Arabia would take about 100 Yemeni detainees and place them in Saudi-run terrorist rehabilitation centers.”

That’s what I call coming full circle.

— DRJ

UPDATE: Hot Air: The Obama Administration intentionally kept Britain in the dark about its plan to move detainees to Bermuda, claiming it wanted to shield Britain from pressure from the Chinese.

Obama Administration Defends DOMA

Filed under: Obama — DRJ @ 8:53 am

[Guest post by DRJ]

According to John Aravosis at AmericaBlog:

Obama defends DOMA in federal court. Says banning gay marriage is good for the federal budget. Invokes incest and marrying children.
***
We just got the brief from reader Lavi Soloway. It’s pretty despicable, and gratuitously homophobic. It reads as if it were written by one of George Bush’s top political appointees. [NOTE: Maybe it was.] I cannot state strongly enough how damaging this brief is to us. Obama didn’t just argue a technicality about the case, he argued that DOMA is reasonable. That DOMA is constitutional. That DOMA wasn’t motivated by any anti-gay animus. He argued why our Supreme Court victories in Roemer and Lawrence shouldn’t be interpreted to give us rights in any other area (which hurts us in countless other cases and battles). He argued that DOMA doesn’t discriminate against us because it also discriminates about straight unmarried couples (ignoring the fact that they can get married and we can’t).

He actually argued that the courts shouldn’t consider Loving v. Virginia, the miscegenation case in which the Supreme Court ruled that it is unconstitutional to ban interracial marriages, when looking at gay civil rights cases. He told the court, in essence, that blacks deserve more civil rights than gays, that our civil rights are not on the same level.

And before Obama claims he didn’t have a choice, he had a choice. Bush, Reagan and Clinton all filed briefs in court opposing current federal law as being unconstitutional (we’ll be posting more about that later). Obama could have done the same. But instead he chose to defend DOMA, denigrate our civil rights, go back on his promises, and contradict his own statements that DOMA was “abhorrent.” Folks, Obama’s lawyers are even trying to diminish the impact of Roemer and Lawrence, our only two big Supreme Court victories. Obama is quite literally destroying our civil rights gains with this brief. He’s taking us down for his own benefit.

Holy cow. Obama invoked incest and people marrying children.”

More at Americablog, including a link to the Obama Administration brief.

John Berry, Obama’s “openly gay Office of Personnel Management director,” asked at a recent DOJ Gay Pride Month event “Where do you stand? Honoring love as precious and true wherever you find it, or with those who would demean or deny it?”

If same-sex marriage is the answer, now gays know where Obama stands.

— DRJ


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