Sunday, March 29, 2009

Detainee's Harsh Treatment Foiled No Plots

You Can't Squeeze Intelligence From A Turnip

The Washington Post reports that torturing Abu Zubaida got no real leads and wasted a lot of time and money chasing down red herrings.

The methods succeeded in breaking him, and the stories he told of al-Qaeda terrorism plots sent CIA officers around the globe chasing leads.

In the end, though, not a single significant plot was foiled as a result of Abu Zubaida's tortured confessions, according to former senior government officials who closely followed the interrogations.
But it was just so much danged fun.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Debate Over Drugs For ADHD Reignites

Ritalin Added To Coffee and Cigarettes As Things That Stunt Your Growth

The Washington Post reports on a study that says that kids that take tons of mood altering drugs don't end up any more normal, just shorter.

New data from a large federal study have reignited a debate over the effectiveness of long-term drug treatment of children with hyperactivity or attention-deficit disorder, and have drawn accusations that some members of the research team have sought to play down evidence that medications do little good beyond 24 months.

The study also indicated that long-term use of the drugs can stunt children's growth.

So just give them a pack of Camels and a daily latte espresso to calm them down to get the same effect.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Latest CIA Scandal Puts Focus on How Agency Polices Self

James Bond Movies Were Never Like This

The Washington Post has a scoop on how far the CIA will go to curry favor with foreign sources:
As a novice CIA case officer in the Middle East, Andrew Warren quickly learned the value of sex in recruiting spies. Colleagues say that he made an early habit of taking informants to strip clubs, and that he later began arranging out-of-town visits to brothels for his best recruits.
He seems to have crossed a line when he started drugging women and then taping the encounters. They never put enough rules into the Secret Spy Employee Manual.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Red Cross Described 'Torture' at CIA Jails

How We Should Treat AIG Traders

The Washington Post catches the Red Cross using the T-word:
Many of the details of alleged mistreatment at CIA prisons had been reported previously, but the ICRC report is the most authoritative account and the first to use the word "torture" in a legal context.
And exactly what qualifies as torture?
During interrogations, the captives were routinely beaten, doused with cold water and slammed head-first into walls. Between sessions, they were stripped of clothing, bombarded with loud music, exposed to cold temperatures, and deprived of sleep and solid food for days on end. Some detainees described being forced to stand for days, with their arms shackled above them, wearing only diapers.
Some people pay good money to get treated that way.

Also in that article is this curious quote:
The CIA declined to comment. A U.S. official familiar with the report said, "It is important to bear in mind that the report lays out claims made by the terrorists themselves."
So, we can't trust anything they say because they're terrorists. If we can't believe what they tell us, then what the fuck were we torturing them for?

Friday, March 13, 2009

Washington Senate OK's hiking energy efficiency standards

I had no idea that hiking needed to be more efficient. Does that require better shoes, or spring loaded walking sticks? From the AP via
Washington has moved closer to raising the energy efficiency standards for buildings.
Ohhh! They are increasing building energy efficiencies.


Thursday, March 5, 2009

GM Auditors Wary About Auto Firm's Future

The Accountants Are Always The Last To Know

The Washington Post reports on the troubled car makers pre-mortem:
Auditors for General Motors today said there is "substantial doubt" that the struggling automaker will remain financially viable and able to continue operating, raising doubts about whether the company will have to declare bankruptcy or can continue to qualify for Treasury Department loans.
The auditors may be confused, but the customers seem to have already decided.