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Back to the Hell-Hole: Bush is Not Closing Abu Ghraib

You know the big story about how Bush was going to (finally) close Abu Ghraib prison? Well, it turns out that it was all a lie. Who says? The Pentagon — the same people who were peddling the false story just last week, generating lots of nice headlines about how U.S. forces were putting all the prison’s "unseemly associations" behind them, etc.

That was then; this is now. Here’s the new word from the American Forces Information Service of the U.S. Department

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Little Big Men: Custer Battles and Bushist Blood Money

Our old friends at Custer Battles LLC are in the news again. The Bush-wired war profiteers, last seen battling accusations of skimming tens of millions of dollars from their insider contracts from the War-Profiteer-in-Chief, and of using strong-arm tactics to keep their crimes uncovered, were last week convicted for — guess what? — war profiteering, and ordered to cough up more than $10 million in damages and fines, as USA Today reports.

However, this being the Bush Imperium and all, there were of course some

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Opportunity Knocks: Dream Team Skims the Cream of Conquest

This is a version of a column that originally ran in the Oct. 12, 2004 edition of The Moscow Times.

It’s another story of the American Dream come true, the kind you see every day in George Bush’s blessed realm. All the usual inspiring elements are there: a couple of plucky kids starting a business with nothing but hustle and a whole lotta heart; a few lucky breaks crowned with big-time success; a duffel bag stuffed with millions in cash from a war-zone slush fund; a father

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Sickness Unto Death: America in Plague-Time

It was, by all reports, the most heinous terrorist act in history. A ruthless gang of religious extremists, driven by an insatiable hatred for Western civilization, killed multitudes of innocent people in a surprise attack that struck without warning, without mercy. The perpetrators – who posed as ordinary citizens, members of a law-abiding ethnic minority going about their daily business – took advantage of the burgeoning global economy to move easily across borders as they brought their vast conspiracy to its poisonous fruition.

But Western leaders, though they did sleep, finally roused themselves to action. One by

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Fighting for Their Lies: The Deadly Delusions of America’s Troops

While much has been made of the recent poll showing that a majority of U.S. troops on the ground in Iraq think we should get out – heartening news for all those who oppose Bush’s bloodsoaked war crime – the poll contained another revelation that should disturb anyone – anti-war or pro-war – who still believes in American democracy: the fact that some 85 percent of US forces in Iraq believe they are fighting to avenge Saddam Hussein’s role in the September 11 attacks. (Alex Sabbeth at has more on this, and on Bush’s broader

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Note from the Webmaster

If you find some time – fans of Empire Burlesque… please vote for us at the Koufax Blog Awards for 2005. We have been nominated for three awards in two categories. Since we only opened our doors in September 2005, both Chris and I are very pleased just to be nominated. With some votes from the community – there’s a chance we may move forward to the next round. And the pollination of Chris’s work will accelerate. Please leave a message at the links below with a vote for us! Best New Blog – link Best Post #1 by Chris

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Annals of Liberation

From the Sunday Times: "Driller Killers" Spread a New Horror in Iraq
THERE was no sign of danger as Mohammed Sammarai arrived at his brother Mustafa’s home for lunch last week, no hint that this would be their last meal together. It was not until after they had been joined by their old friend Ali Ahmad that they heard a commotion outside and realised something was wrong. Even then, the three men — all government employees, all Sunnis — had no inkling of the terrifying events that

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Scar Tissue: How the Bushes Brought Bedlam to Iraq

This week, the Washington Post offered a grim overview of Iraq’s epidemic of mental disorders, produced by years of war, upheaval and neglect (“Iraq’s Crisis of Scarred Psyches,” March 6). Of course, much of this psychological damage is the fault of Saddam Hussein and the brutal regime he installed: militarism, tyranny and the gross deceit required to maintain them wreak serious havoc on the human mind, as Americans are coming to know too well. But there is a deeper history behind the unfolding nightmare in Iraq – a method to the induced madness – that is inextricably linked to the

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Gitmo Detainee al-Qahtani Interrogation Log

From SECRET ORCONINTERROGATION LOGDETAINEE 06323 November 20020225: The detainee arrives at the interrogation booth at Camp X-Ray. His hood isremoved and he is bolted to the floor. SGT A and SGT R are the interrogators. ADoD linguist and MAJ L (BSCT) are present.0235: Session begins. The detainee refuses to look at SGT A “due to his religion. Thisis a rapport building session.0240: Detainee states he’s on hunger strike. SGT A explains the affects of a hungerstrike on the body. SGT A runs “love of brothers in Cuba” approach.0320: The detainee refused to answer whether he wanted water. SGT R

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Party Hacks: California Sinks Into the Bushist Sea

*This piece has been edited (30 March) since its original posting to clarify the investments of the Ahmanson family in vote-machine companies.*

Two weeks ago, an obscure, unelected, Republican-appointed official in California decided the future of the world. That future – at least for the next several years – will be an accelerating nightmare of war, corruption, repression, breakdown, atrocity and terror. That’s

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