it must be our freedoms

Emboldened by how well the fear-mongering campaign against closing Guantanamo has been succeeding amongst dumber Americans like Glenn Beck and Harry Reid, the Pentagon went ahead and does what it does best: release a completely fabricated report to “bolster” it.  And it’s a thing to behold.  With a military budget like ours, can’t we afford better BS than this?  The  report, which is only alarming in its amateurish absurdity, uses numbers to describe things more properly compared to grains of sand on a beach or petals on a daisy, proudly stating that “1 in 7″ of the 534 (another number pulled out of thin air…) detainees have “returned to the battlefield,” or in fine print at the end that resembles the part where they hurriedly mention “anal leakage” in a drug commercial, “related, supporting, admiring, being in a cab with, someone who has.”  The quote is made up; the actual blather spewed by clearly embarrassed anonymous Pentagon drones to the NYT’s ever-credulous Elizabeth Bumiller are just as bad, and more boring, so I changed them.

Things really go off the rails though, when we get into numbers.  The 534 figure is confidently divided by the number that have since gotten all uppity against their torturers, and then decided to strike back, and now are particularly prepared to do so should underwater breathing be necessary to swim that nuke over.  Wah La!  One out of Seven!  Doesn’t that just make you glad you’ve still got that duct tape?  This is when you should have been listening, both to the “spokesmen” and the drug commercial.  Anal leakage ahead.

The report, which is still “under review,” but nonetheless was released for the corresponding righty Wurlitzer rollout, cites 74 dastardly terrorists that evidently slipped through the weak, Saudi-holding hands of President Bush and then ran around trying to bother the people who stuck broomsticks in their asses and made them wear feces.  Ingrates.  But wait…  it turns out that 45 of these miscreants have no names, leaving only 29… 16 of these are even “new,” which generally means made up yesterday.  Nobody bothers to recalculate the much-hyped recidivism rates as these numbers dwindle to nothing like camel piss on a hot rock.

Fortunately, such ridiculous numbers are too much even for Bumiller, so she momentarily puts on her il-fitting Brenda Starr hat and actually makes some phone calls to people who surprisingly have some insight about arithmetic and Pentagon lies, pretty much destroying the Pentagon’s figure, and go on to mention the US recidivism rate of as high as 68%. (compared to the Pentagon’s fake yet hrdly blood-curdling 14%….)  The latter third of the story is, dare I say, “uncharacteristically” relevant.  Could another plagiarism scandal be far behind?  I doubt it.  The headline about “1 in 7,” along with the laughably nonsensical basis on which it’s made, is what will go out over the wires.  They don’t get paragraphs 12-17 across the Hudson, you know.

Thus, the heart of the story, that we are continuing to inflame terrorism by locking people in offshore torture chambers, lie about it, and raise outrageous, false fears to justify it all, ends up on the cutting room floor, and “1 in 7,” becomes holy writ.

Your Fourth Estate at work.


  1. Karen M says:


    If any one of us ever wins the lottery, we should try and turn you into a print news mogul. It would be so much fun!

    You wouldn’t have to put out a real newspaper, just lots of things like the stuff you write here. But you could have a celebrity persona to go along with it… and a posse, sort of an Algonquin Table of the West.

    • cocktailhag says:

      Well, I do have my eye on the spinning globe that graces the PI building in Seattle, which would look so good with a neon Martini glass around it atop CHNN headquarters, but a suitably wealthy suitor has not been found.

      • dirigo says:

        Guess we’ll have to put off the purchase of the flying boat …

        • cocktailhag says:

          That’s ok. I hate flying, even more than usually here lately. At least the miserable tubs I’ve been on lately had records of airworthiness.

          • Per piacere, if you will attempt to secure the globe subito, and adorn it with the neon martini glass, preferably with a swizzle stick which goes tick-tock, I will dig into the reserve funds for the S-42.

            I am thinking, grazie Signore, that we could find somewhere an Artista who could do the hull in faux marble, and the marvelous double tail fin in a deep, midnight blue, with the legend CHNN in white, surmounted by the globe and glass rampant.

            Vi piace?

          • dirigo says:


  2. cocktailhag says:

    Ah, I’m thinking of cocktail lounge inside… lots of velvet and smoked mirrors, sparkling, tinkling glass ware and chandeliers, tuxedo-clad waiters gliding about with trays.