Far From Heaven

1. Shiny Happy People
Arthur Silber finds even more reasons to celebrate the truly special specialness of the "shining city on the hill." He also thanks Bill Clinton for teaching him -- and all of us -- some very important lessons about the nature of the American political system.

2. Dirty is as Dirty Does
Nell Lancaster looks askance at Barack Obama's craven climbdown on releasing the rest of the torture photos from Abu Ghraib -- even as he appoints one of the dirtiest of our many dirty war mavens to take over the "humanitarian intervention" in Afghanistan, as Scott Horton of Antiwar.com details.

3. Continuity Über Alles
Meanwhle, the progressive anti-war peace liberal president is also mulling over ways to continue the Bush policy of holding Terror War captives indefinitely without trial or charge. But not to worry: it seems there is a lot of "debate" within the Administration about a draconian practice that even Hitler and Stalin largely shied away from. (Most of their gulag victims were duly sentenced under specific charges for specific -- if often infinitely elastic -- terms.) Doesn't that make you feel better -- the leaders of the American republic "debating" the permanent, extra-legal incarceration of captives at the arbitrary will of the executive?

4. They Had it Coming
And how many children -- children -- did the now-progressive-led humanitarian intervention kill at a single stroke in Afghanistan last week? Ninety-five. Ninety-five. Ninety-five. And what does the now-progressive Pentagon say about this atrocity? Why, the Obama Pentagon (the Obamagon?) says that the grieving families are just making shit up in order to get a couple thousand dollars in guilt money -- despite the overwhelming evidence of mass slaughter found by the International Red Cross and myriad other eyewitnesses on the scene. Truly, a great change has come to America, has it not?

5. Dead for a Dollar
"What's this war all about, Jack Reed?"
"Profits."

-- Reds

Pepe Escobar has the details in "Pipelinestan Goes Af-Pak."