The Rittenhouse Review

A Philadelphia Journal of Politics, Finance, Ethics, and Culture

Wednesday, June 23, 2004  

Items in the News
June 23, 2004

Oh, that memo!
“We didn’t mean it” seems to be the Bush administration’s preferred defense against accusations it condoned, even encouraged, the torture, abuse, and humiliation of prisoners in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Guantanamo Bay. The Washington Post reports (“Memo on Interrogation Tactics Is Disavowed,” by Mike Allen and Susan Schmidt) officials from the White House, the Justice Department, and the Pentagon “disavowed an internal Justice Department opinion that torturing terrorism suspects might be legally defensible, saying it had created the false impression that the government was claiming authority to use interrogation techniques barred by international law.” And: “Responding to pressure from Congress and outrage around the world, officials at the White House and the Justice Department derided the August 2002 legal memo on aggressive interrogation tactics, calling parts of it overbroad and irrelevant and saying it would be rewritten.”

Oh, that kind of sovereignty!
Iraq is a week away from some sort of “sovereignty.” Not the kind of sovereignty recognizable to any student of international law, but what the heck? Writing in the Los Angeles Times (“A ‘Sovereign’ Iraq? Don’t You Believe It”), sociologist Amatai Etzioni raises questions: “The United States is about to fall prey to its own propaganda. President Bush has repeatedly said we will grant ‘full and complete sovereignty’ to Iraq on June 30. We’ve said we’ll turn over Saddam Hussein for trial and punishment and that the occupation will finally be replaced by Iraqi self-rule. But these grand promises are as unbelievable as they are unattainable.”

Oh, that Lollapalooza!
“Plagued with lousy ticket sales, this year's Lollapalooza tour was canceled yesterday, unplugging the best-known alternative rock festival in the country.” And thousands of Morrissey fans do their friends a favor by slitting their wrists.

[Note: Additional items may be posted to PP&T after initial publication.]

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