Sparky: Some Stuff To Ponder
TOKYO — North Korea said Saturday that Japan should not participate in upcoming six-way talks on the North's nuclear program, while criticizing Japanese leaders for their refusal to accept Pyongyang as a nuclear power.
"It would be much better for Japan to refrain from participating in the six-party talks and less attendants would be not bad for making the talks fruitful," North Korea's official Korean Central News Agency reported, quoting a spokesman for the North Korean Foreign Ministry. "It is the view of the DPRK that since the U.S. attends the six-party talks, there is no need for Japan to participate in them as a local delegate because it is no more than a state of the U.S. and it is enough for Tokyo just to be informed of the results of the talks by Washington."
Aside: The New York Times reports that a website created at the request of United States Representative Peter Hoekstra and Senator Pat Roberts was found to contain detailed information which could help nuclear-capable states produce nuclear weapons. The website was shut down on November 2 following questioning by The New York Times and protests by International Atomic Energy Agency officials. (The New York Times)
Well, you don't have to imagine it. There is such a government.
As the Washington Post's Carol D. Leonnig and Eric Rich reported:The Bush administration has told a federal judge that terrorism suspects held in secret CIA prisons should not be allowed to reveal details of the "alternative interrogation methods" that their captors used to get them to talk.
The government says in new court filings that those interrogation methods are now among the nation's most sensitive national security secrets and that their release -- even to the detainees' own attorneys -- "could reasonably be expected to cause extremely grave damage." Terrorists could use the information to train in counter-interrogation techniques and foil government efforts to elicit information about their methods and plots, according to government documents submitted to U.S. District Judge Reggie B. Walton on Oct. 26.
The battle over legal rights for terrorism suspects detained for years in CIA prisons centers on Majid Khan, a 26-year-old former Catonsville resident who was one of 14 high-value detainees transferred in September from the "black" sites to the U.S. military prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. A lawyer with the Center for Constitutional Rights, which represents many detainees at Guantanamo, is seeking emergency access to him.
The government, in trying to block lawyers' access to the 14 detainees, effectively asserts that the detainees' experiences are a secret that should never be shared with the public.
Because Khan "was detained by CIA in this program, he may have come into possession of information, including locations of detention, conditions of detention, and alternative interrogation techniques that is classified at the TOP SECRET//SCI level," an affidavit from CIA Information Review Officer Marilyn A. Dorn states, using the acronym for "sensitive compartmented information."
Gitanjali Gutierrez, an attorney for Khan's family, responded in a court document yesterday that there is no evidence that Khan had top-secret information. "Rather," she said, "the executive is attempting to misuse its classification authority . . . to conceal illegal or embarrassing executive conduct."
Don't you wonder what the fuck the Bush II Junta's Puppet Boy King "W" and Ted Haggard talked about once or more a week? My gut instinct is 'hot gay talk' went down ... Has to beat Cheney and "Rummy" talking about 'killing' stuff ...
Is there meth in Ted Haggert's heaven? Does it rot your teeth? In his 2005 Barbara Walters interview, Haggert says you can eat all the food you want in heaven and never gain weight. Can you shoot all the meth you want and never lose your teeth? What about unprotected sex with gay prostitutes?
Do you get divine protection against AIDS? Or only if you swear in public that gays are the cause of American family breakdowns.
I wonder what it will take for the good people in the pews tol call leaders like Haggert to account for their mean-spirited hypocrisy. And maybe even to approach the world with more forgiveness and less harsh judgment. I hope they won't just move on to some other similarly charismatic and seductive preacher, who works out his own demons and flaws on whoever he chooses to demonize.
AP's Catherine Tsai reports Evangelical Leader Says He Bought Drugs
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (AP) - The Rev. Ted Haggard said Friday he bought methamphetamine and received a massage from a male prostitute. But the influential Christian evangelist insisted he threw the drugs away and never had sex with the man.
Haggard, who as president of the National Association of Evangelicals wielded influence on Capitol Hill and condemned both gay marriage and homosexuality, resigned on Thursday after a Denver man named Mike Jones claimed that he had many drug-fueled trysts with Haggard.
On Friday, Haggard said that he received a massage from Jones after being referred to him by a Denver hotel, and that he bought meth for himself from the man.
But Haggard said he never had sex with Jones. And as for the drugs, "I was tempted, but I never used it," the 50-year-old Haggard told reporters from his vehicle while leaving his home with his wife and three of his five children.
Jones, 49, denied selling meth to Haggard. "Never," he told MSNBC. Haggard "met someone else that I had hooked him up with to buy it."
Jones also scoffed at the idea that a hotel would have sent Haggard to him.
"No concierge in Denver would have referred me," he said. He said he had advertised himself as an escort only in gay publications or on gay Web sites.
Jones did not immediately return calls from The Associated Press on Friday.
In addition to resigning his post at the NAE, which claims 30 million members, Haggard stepped aside as leader of his 14,000-member New Life Church pending a church investigation. In a TV interview this week, he said: "Never had a gay relationship with anybody, and I'm steady with my wife, I'm faithful to my wife."
In Denver, where Jones said his encounters with Haggard took place, police said in a news release they planned to contact the people involved for information on whether a crime was committed. The statement did not say whether an investigation was under way, and police spokeswoman Virginia Quinones declined to elaborate.
Lynn Kimbrough, a spokeswoman for the district attorney's office, said that a public admission isn't enough by itself to bring a case, but that charges will be filed if criminal conduct can be proved.
Jones claims Haggard paid him for sex nearly every month for three years until August. He said Haggard identified himself as "Art." Jones said that he learned who Haggard really was when he saw the evangelical leader on television.
Jones said he went public with the allegations because Haggard has supported a measure on Tuesday's ballot that would amend the state constitution to ban gay marriage. Jones said he was also angry that Haggard in public condemned gay sex.
Haggard, who had been president of the NAE since 2003, has participated in conservative Christian leaders' conference calls with White House staffers and lobbied members of Congress last year on U.S. Supreme Court nominees.
The NAE's executive committee issued a statement Friday praising Haggard's service but saying "it is especially serious when a pastor and prominent Christian leader deliberately violates God's standards of conduct."
The statement did not mention the allegations against Haggard beyond noting he had admitted to "some indiscretions."
"Due to the seriousness of Rev. Haggard's misconduct while in the leadership roles he held, we anticipate that an extended period of recovery will be appropriate," the statement said.
White House Deputy Press Secretary Tony Fratto said Friday that Haggard had visited the White House once or twice and participated in some of the conference calls. He declined to comment further, calling the matter a personal issue for Haggard.
Corwin Smidt, a political scientist at Calvin College in Grand Rapids, Mich., and director of the Institute for the Study of Christianity and Politics there, said that Haggard's role with the association gave him some political clout, but that the group's focus is more on religion than political activism.
"It isn't necessarily that all evangelicals are paying close attention to what he's saying and doing, but he is an important leader," Smidt said.
James Dobson, head of Focus on the Family, an influential conservative Christian ministry based in Colorado Springs, said he was "heartsick" over the allegations. He described Haggard as his close friend and colleague.
Aaron Stern, another pastor at New Life, told Associated Press Television News on Friday that Haggard is a man of integrity and that church members don't know whether to believe the allegations.
Stern said he has been telling church members seeking his advice: "People do things we don't expect them to do, but in the midst of all of that our God is faithful, our God is strong."
Jones took a lie-detector test Friday, and his answers to questions about whether he had sexual contact with Haggard "indicated deception," said John Kresnick, who administered the test free at the request of a Denver radio station.
Jones told reporters afterward: "I am confused why I failed that, other than the fact that I'm totally exhausted."
For the record: On February 14, 2006, "Duck Hunt" the game was again used as "digital simulation" of Vice President Dick Cheney's accidental shooting of Harry Whittington on both Comedy Central's The Daily Show with Jon Stewart and MSNBC's Countdown with Keith Olbermann. See Dick Cheney hunting incident.