Don’t Miss

Gotta go back to the courthouse for jury duty today. Meanwhile —

The Talking Dog interviews Trevor Paglen, the co-author (with A.C. Thompson) of Torture Taxi: On the Trail of the CIA Rendition Flights, the first book to systematically investigate the CIA’s extraordinary rendition program. You might also enjoy the Dog’s earlier interview of Michael Bérubé.

Via Avedon

Lambert has a whole bunch of theocracy outrages:

* In video, military Christianists use uniform to proselytize, admit putting loyalty to country third on the list;
* Military Christianists pull rank to force their beliefs on subordinates;
* In video, Pentagon Christianists say they’d rather study the Bible than do their jobs;
* General in Pentagon Christianist video also abused rank to solicit campaign contributions for Republicans.

You know, this stuff is entirely unconstitutional, but it’s getting to be a habit. But, seriously, these people are a threat to our democracy and should get kicked out pretty damned quick.

See Juan Cole‘s testimony at the Kucinich-Paul Congressional Hearing on Civilian Casualties in Iraq.

Glenn Greenwald expounds on the Washington Post’s affection for Augusto Pinochet.

That should keep you busy! And please add more links you want to share to the comments.

8 thoughts on “Don’t Miss

  1. I graduated from the Air Force Academy in 1982 (yep, I’m a zoomie) before the Christian “scandal” broke — up to that point the only scandals we had were cheating or sex scandals … I’ll let you decide which is worse.

    I have to say I was surprised when I first heard about the problem. In my day (back when dinosaurs roamed the Terratzzo) there was an understanding that every officer-to-be had a right to practice his or her own religion without interference from the brass or anyone else. You know that big, iconic aluminum chapel on the Academy grounds? The pointy one? The upper floor is general Christian, the lower one Catholic, in the back there’s a Synagogue, a Mosque (when needed) and they’d set up a Mormon or Buddhist Temple if they needed to accomodate even just one Cadet (maybe already have). It’s truly multidenominational, and we were always proud of that fact.

    The atmosphere was one of respect for others’ religions, and there was a clear separation between military matters and religious ones.

    But it seems that recently that atmosphere has gotten clouded by an alarmingly energetic bunch of zealots. I wonder if the change has to do with the belief that some people have that the current war is a religious war between Muslims and Christians – I don’t know. But it’s sad.

    It’s ironic that before I went to the Academy I spoke with a Jesuit priest about reservations I had — I wasn’t sure it was very Christian to join the military in the first place since I might be required to kill someone as part of my sworn duty. He told me to consider what the military would be like if everyone who felt like I did avoided it. It was a good point.

    Then he said he didn’t think going to the Academy was a good idea, nonetheless. We were in his office adjoining the rectory where he and all the other priests of the order lived and spoke Latin to each other and wore identical vestments and so on. You could hardly tell them apart. But I remember this one particular priest real well, because he’s the one who told me I shouldn’t go to the Academy because, as he said, “They will take away your individuality.”

  2. I am a firm believer in the NEED for strong moral beliefs in the military. Denomination is irrelevant. A belief system is indispensable when faced with life-and-death decisions, and those kind of decisions are not uncommon in military life.

    I am firmly opposed to using a position of authority (military or civilian authority) to make religious converts of subordinates. There needs to be policy from the top. There is for racism and sexism in the military. Discriminating for or against on the basis of participation in favored religious activities should be cause for one warning, then discharge for conduct unbecoming.

  3. Doug … “I am a firm believer in the NEED for strong moral beliefs in the military,” … exactly what Father Olsen was trying to tell me all those years ago … “There needs to be policy from the top,” … exaclty what the first ammendment is all about.

  4. Joe – we are in agreement. BTW, I like the way you write and what you say. What I failed to say was that a few zealots military officers of high rank) need to have their careers VERY publicly ended with DDs (crucifixion is a bit extreme) to get the point across. Officers are not stupid; they know and understand the rules; they are doing it because they can get away with it.

  5. Thanks Doug … more of what I have to say is at but none of it is political.

    I agree about taking very public actions against those officers — don’t see it happening just yet …

    Oh, and thanks for saying officers aren’t stupid, cause I were one!

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