Breaking the hunger strikers at Gitmo

by Steve, February 9th, 2006

restraint chair

This image is no joke.

The New York Times reports:

United States military authorities have taken tougher measures to force-feed detainees engaged in hunger strikes at Guant´┐Żnamo Bay, Cuba, after concluding that some were determined to commit suicide to protest their indefinite confinement, military officials have said.

In recent weeks, the officials said, guards have begun strapping recalcitrant detainees into “restraint chairs,” sometimes for hours a day, to feed them through tubes and prevent them from deliberately vomiting afterward. Detainees who refuse to eat have also been placed in isolation for extended periods in what the officials said was an effort to keep them from being encouraged by other hunger strikers.

Repeat after me: We do not torture. We do not torture. We do not torture.

Speaking truth to power

by Steve, February 7th, 2006

politicsWith George Bush in the audience for Coretta Scott King’s funeral, the Rev. Dr. Joseph Lowry let it rip.

“We know now there were no weapons of mass destruction over there,” he said, prompting a standing ovation. “But Coretta knew and we know that there are weapons of misdirection right down here. Millions without health insurance. Poverty abounds. For war billions more but no more for the poor.”

You can see a short video at

Errin Haines, in an AP story, noted that Lowry’s quote was a “takeoff on a line from a Stevie Wonder song. The comment drew head shakes from Bush and his father as they sat behind the pulpit.”

The president’s budget is a disgrace, in case you haven’t been paying attention. Billions slashed from popular programs for the poor. Tax cuts for the rich. Phantom revenue from proposed drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. And still an enormous defecit.