Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Blackfive on the detestable Julian Assange

Translators beware

Understand, if you take nothing else away from this article, know that when a translator or other "collaborator" was caught, they were most often tortured extensively. Far more often than many of certain political stripe are willing to admit, their spouse or family joined them, and while regular rape was a part of it because of what it means in that culture, other objects (see above) were reportedly used as well. Drills and vehicle batteries, along with hands and feet and other things, made those hours into an eternity that does need to be dwelled on in this instance. A coup de grace in the form of a shot to the head was truly a mercy at the end. It was and is the lucky ones that are killed immediately.

While in Iraq in 2007, I learned of a new twist on this. Instead of mercy, the death blow was changed by some to a last use of the drill, reportedly slowly, on the head. For videos, the slow-saw beheading is the choice.

J had been kidnapped at one point. Thankfully, they didn't realize who he was. They had some idea that his clan and/or family would pay for his return, but they didn't have his real name or realize that he was an interpreter. He got out of it, quickly, and was glad to get out as lightly as he had. If his real name or what he was doing had become known, well, see above.

Since that time, he had taken a number of precautions. He was careful in what he said, to whom, and in how he moved around. The level of precautions was staggering in some respects, but nothing compared to the possible consequences. To this day, I will not say more about him.

Today, the news came that among the documents released by anti-war activist Assange is a list of those working for or with the Allies in Afghanistan. Reports are already stating that the Taliban and other groups are using these lists for targeting.

I doubt that someone like Assange, who is secure in his self-righteous dudgeon, cares. After all, they are just barbarian "wogs" aren't they? Peasants, beneath notice. Besides, to make his anti-war/pro-peace better world omelette, one has to break a few eggs, right? Such unwashed, unlettered peons are hardly worth his attention or care, being no better than the thuggish myrmidons that are the soldiers whom they help. Anyone on our side who has also rushed to assure that no one/real people have been endangered is also guilty of this same unthinking bigotry.

If there were true justice in the world, Assange would have to watch everything that happens to each and every person on that list who is caught by the enemy. In this world, I will settle for doing everything I can to see him charged with the murder of each person so caught. U.S. law, international law, the law of Allies, I don't care. With luck, it would be good to see him indited in as many jurisdictions as possible for each murder. For he is as guilty of each murder as if he had done the torture and killing himself. Period. So is whoever leaked the information to him. Period. I want them found, and tried at the highest level and highest possible penalty. Period.

Hear Hear!

Great acronyms in history! Todays episode: BOGSAT

I wasn't aware of this one, learned about it today, but it is hysterical. It's definition seems to be this:

Noun: **A meeting of more than two people.

Adjective: It refers to a particular set of properties in danger of being acquired by objects in virtue of being the focus of attention during one or more BOGSATs (noun usage).

The properties in question:

1. Undue ambiguity, vagueness, length, or complication of content. This is acquired by written projects, PowerPoint presentations (or low tech correlates), policies, projects, tasks or organizations:

Research shows that there is a direct proportionality between ambiguity, vagueness length, and complication of content and the size of teams involved in projects, while there is an inverse square proportionality of boldness of content to size of team...or so I am told.

So for example, a committee report that is late due to too many cooks being involved, is either in danger of, or in the process of acquiring this property of BOGSAT. Grammatically the acronym can function adjectivally, or as a verb, or as a noun.

Adjectival example: That report went seriously BOGSAT at about the fifth meeting.

Verbal use: We need to quash this report. Let's BOGSAT the thing.

Noun: **See above - And: That particular BOGSAT was a thing of bureaucratic beauty.

And what does the acronym actually abbreviate? The phrase 'Bunch of guys sitting around a table.'

Darth Vader was not one to countenance BOGSAT:

Petraeus guidance on COIN in Afghanistan

The PDF is here

Sanka freeze-dried version collapsing some of the 24 points, in no particular order:

1. We must create a real sense of stable long-term security within the Afghan populace. (Message to U.S. pols as much as to ISAF)

2. Corruption will not be tolerated (Message to Karzai as much as to ISAF)

3. I really mean (2), so don't compromise that directive in order to carry out short-term goals, because you think you have no other choice. I mean it.

4. Dole out money carefully. See (2) and (3).

5. Reintegrate reconcilables, hunt and kill irreconcilables.

6. Get out amongst the people, patrol, talk, listen. Don't be passive about this. Seek out contact. Make it regular.

7. Train up the ANSF forces. ( also see (2) and (3))

8. Don't spin the truth. Deal with it openly.

9. Become a tea addict.

10. Trust subordinates to find ways to implement the strategy in day-to-day operations.

11. Don't freeze if your situation isn't covered by an order. Figure out what the order would have been, and follow that order. You will not be hung out to dry.

12. Take every opportunity to make clear to the Afghans that the Taliban crime family is the scum of the Earth, and doesn't give one whit about their well-being.

Who said it? (No fair googling)

A. Robert Nozick

B. David Hume

C. Leszek Kolakowski

D. Leon Trotsky

"It must, indeed, be confessed,that nature is so liberal to mankind, that,were all her presents equally divided among the species, and improved by art and industry, every individual would enjoy all the necessaries, and even most of the comforts of life; nor would ever be liable to any ills but such as might accidentally arise from the sickly frame and constitution of his body. It must also be confessed, that, wherever we depart from this equality, we rob the poor of more satisfaction than we add to the rich, and that the slight gratification of a frivolous vanity, in one individual, frequently costs more than bread to many families, and even provinces. It may appear withal, that the rule of equality, as it would be highly USEFUL, is not altogether IMPRACTICABLE; but has taken place, at least in an imperfect degree, in some republics; particularly that of Sparta; where it was attended, it is said, with the most beneficial consequences. Not to mention that the Agrarian laws, so frequently claimed in Rome, and carried into execution in many Greek cities, proceeded, all of them, from a general idea of the utility of this principle.

But historians, and even common sense, may inform us, that, however specious these ideas of PERFECT equality may seem, they are really, at bottom, IMPRACTICABLE; and were they not so, would be extremely PERNICIOUS to human society. Render possessions ever so equal, men's different degrees of art, care, and industry will immediately break that equality. Or if you check these virtues, you reduce society to the most extreme indigence; and instead of preventing want and beggary in a few, render it unavoidable to the whole community. The most rigorous inquisition too is requisite to watch every inequality on its first appearance; and the most severe jurisdiction, to punish and redress it. But besides, that so much authority must soon degenerate into tyranny, and beexerted with great partialities; who can possibly be possessed of it, in such a situation as is here supposed? Perfect equality of possessions, destroying all subordination, weakens extremely the authority of magistracy, and must reduce all power nearly to a level, as well as property."