Wednesday, September 20, 2006


It was only a matter of time, really. It was only a matter of time before right wingers would get caught by their unwavering support of indefinite detention, secret prisons and torture of terror suspects. You had to know it would come back to haunt them. All it would take is for some suspects charged with acts of terror to be dubiously convicted of those acts, with one crucial element thrown into the mix. In such a case, the terrorists could not be Muslims. They would have to be something else. Christians, perhaps.

Well, that scenario has indeed come to pass. Three Catholics have been charged and convicted of "masterminding" the massacre of 200 Mulsims in Indonesia; a terrorist act by any definition. The events in question occurred in 2000 and now the lawyers have taken the case to the International Criminal Court. In a move that should surely embarass the Bush administration, the Indonesian government is abiding the human rights convention and will grant the defendents a hearing before the ICC. The lawyers for the convicted men claim that the trial was "riddled with illegalities," witnesses were ignored by the court and evidence rejected.

Into the fray steps bug-eyed monster Michelle Malkin, not to mention other of her irony-free ilk, who has the hypocritical temerity to now express horror that terror suspects were given an unfair trial. In Indonesia. It strikes her not how odd she is, she who thinks indefinite detention and lack of due process is perfectly fine when being conducted the Bush administration and against Muslims. She appears unaware of the odd sight that, at the same time she is bitching about improprieties in a terrorist trial in Indonesia, she is also supports the Bush administration's position that refuses to even conduct a trial for terror suspects. And the ICC? Oh, please. That's a court for other governments' abuses, not ours.

While the American government wrangles over whether to let the Bush administration conduct "coercive interrogations," indefinitely detain suspects without due process and withhold what little evidence they might have during secret military tribunals, which will likely be nothing but a sham, people like Malkin complain that terrorist suspects have been treated unfairly in court in Indonesia. And while Indonesia is willing to abide international law and human rights conventions, sending the disputation to the ICC, Malkin will stand firm in her conviction that the US must never be subjected to the fairy whims of internationalists and supports the White House's every violation of international law, including the subjegation of the sixty years old Geneva Conventions.

These are indeed strange times. How have such obscenely dissociated and confused people like Malkin parlayed their incendiary idiocy into such a cash cow? Do Americans just love unhinged, illogical screeching? Partly. Is it just that she is a hottie with a bad mouth, the kind cable news loves to love? Surely that is part of it, too. But she does not stand in that fevered swamp alone. She is surrounded by far more measured fools scattered about the air waves and printed pages; people who have fueled a discussion that no one could have imagined having only a few short years ago. It is discussion about whether the US government should adopt a White House policy of torture and indefinite detention and make it law. That this is a discussion is explained very much by the presence of people like Malkin on the public airwaves, airwaves that once were meant to convey fact when now and instead they transmit enormous volumes of unadultered bullshit. And you know what they say about bullshit; if you're around it long enough, pretty soon you don't even notice the smell.

Surely, witch burning is somewhere just over the horizon.

[check out Glenn Greenwald's take on this, who was about the first one to notice. I fear the good Glenn spends far too much time hunting down these people.]


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