Clearing the Fog
in the
War of Words


  logomachy--1. A dispute about words. 2. A dispute carried on in words only; a battle of words.
logomachon--1. One who argues about words. 2. A word warrior.



Secret Angel Man

Useful Fools points out this nonsense, reported on Yahoo:
NEW YORK (AFP) - Human Rights Watch listed the names of 11 senior Al-Qaeda suspects it said were held by the CIA in secret locations overseas, where some had reportedly been tortured.

The suspects were detained with no notification to their families, no Red Cross access and, in some cases, no acknowledgement that they are even being held, the New York-based watchdog said in a 46-page report.

"'Disappearances' were a trademark abuse of Latin American military dictatorships in their 'dirty war' on alleged subversion," said Human Rights Watch special counsel Reed Brody.

"Now they have become a United States tactic in its conflict with Al-Qaeda," Brody said.

Detainees profiled in the report included Khalid Shaikh Mohammed, the alleged principal architect of the September 11, 2001 attacks and Abu Zubayda, reputedly a close aide of Osama bin Laden.
While recognizing the United States' right to gather anti-terror intelligence, Human Rights Watch argued that the secret incommunicado detention of suspects violated the "most basic principles" of a free society.

As I commented in Useful Fools, notice the misplaced "alleged". There was no question of the subversion in Latin America; it was its perpetrators who were alleged. Notice also the distortions necessary to create an appearance of equivalence:
  • Equating citizen political prisoners with international terrorists
  • Implying that international terrorists are due the same treatment as lawful soldiers. If nothing else, a POW is out of it, while in contrast, the very fact of a clandestine agent's capture is a valuable--even life-saving--piece of information. Security concerns might make a trial impossible.
  • Asserting that the capture and imprisonment of non-US citizens in foreign countries by foreign governments makes the CIA guilty of illegal restraint and murder of US citizens at home.
  • Implying the absurdity that a clandestine terrorist can be (further) "disappeared".
  • Counting acknowledged prisoners among the "disappeared".
  • It would be easy to ask where HRW has been during kidnappings, beheadings, and bombings conducted by the NGO mujihadin, but they don't even acknowledge that they have no idea of where to deliver the letter of protest, and that includes a press conference for the Arab/Islamic press (predicted attendance: 0).
There are at least two things about NGOs like Human Rights Watch that really grate my goolies:
First, they are completely irresponsible and unaccountable. They are simply facilitators for moral posturing by people whose annual dues are solicited by trumped up simplistic morality tales.

Second, they assume an inhuman, angelic viewpoint that goes far beyond any national or international law, and they act as though every government action is covered by their nicey-nicey punctilio appropriate for dealing with Enron executives (tho no liberal worth his ACLU card wouldn't give up one of his Volvos for a chance to violate the Geneva Conventions with Ken Lay). The word for this is arrogance.

But that is an interesting concept. Suppose the Director of Central Intelligence had an angelic advisor. Would the advisor have his feathers all in a flutter over a couple of al-Qa'eda honchos kept under wraps? Here's the official prayer: "St. Michael the Archangel, defend us in battle. Be our protector against the wickedness and snares of the devil . . . Thrust into hell Satan and all evil spirits, who wander through the world seeking the ruin and destruction of souls." Does that sound like a Human Rights Watch brief? Not to me.

Now, thrusting into Hell is not in the CIA’s job description, so St. Michael would certainly insist on positive identification, three squares and a rack, toothbrush, towel, blanket, and shower every other day. I trust our spooks would restrain some of our less refined allies.

Note: This concept is copyright 2004 by Logomachon, as are the show titles,
"C I Angel", "Angel: CIA", and "Touched by an Angel: CIA, Afghanistan". Ditto for the song title, "Secret ANGEL Man". Note also that I will do everything humanly possible to prevent the production of such a show, but if I fail, I want producer's points.


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