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Archive for March 10th, 2009

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Glenn Beck went on Neil Cavuto’s Fox News show yesterday, and Cavuto, after the usual niceties, rather bravely called out Beck on his fearmongering. (Though he put it a little more softly than that.) In return, Beck accused Cavuto of intentionally fluffing up his newscasts:

Cavuto: But when you — and great show, of course I’m going to say that, because I love you dearly — but you also bum me out. You bum me out, because you say in 2014, I think you said there will be like three people working and the Dow will be at 27.

Beck: Noooo. Neil, you know I have profound respect for you. Do you know that? You don’t know that?

Cavuto: Well, I don’t know, you scared me.

Beck: Listen to me. Neil Cavuto, I don’t know if you know who this man really is. You may watch him on television — do your homework on Neil Cavuto. You are an amazing man. Amazing.

Cavuto: That I know. [crosstalk]

Beck: You and I have a fundamental disagreement on something.

Cavuto: You think we’re going to hell in a handbasket.

Beck: You believe that it is your responsibility to make sure that you say, ‘Hey-hey-hey-hey everybody!’ I believe you’re playing music on the deck. I’m saying, ‘Get into the lifeboats!’

Cavuto: No, no, no. I am a realist and I look at it — No, no no no. You are scaring people. And here’s what you’re doing —

Beck: I’m not scaring! I am letting them —

Cavuto: I am a big enough appreciator of history to know that we always get through these things. Now the government cannot —

Beck: And I believe that too.

Cavuto: Then why are you doing this stuff in 2014 we’ll all be eating lead?

Beck: [Looking skyward] Because when the market hit 14,000 I said, ‘Get the hell out of the market!’ And when —

Cavuto: You, you will say — people watch you in droves. Your ratings are through the roof. You’re radio rock star. So everything you say, when you say it, they’re gonna say, ‘Gee, well, Glenn just said, you know, we’re all gonna be dead.’

… I just think that you’re scaring people. I love you dearly, because you are a rock star. I’m just saying, I look at it, I watch it in my office as I’m getting ready for my Fox Business show … and I watch, and I’m saying, ‘Man, Glenn is scaring me.’

Beck: I watch you in my office. I watch you —

Cavuto: One night affected my appetite. I didn’t get dinner. So you’re actually good for me losing weight.

Beck: And terrible for me. I watch you and I get frustrated. Because I think you’re putting on such a happy face.

Cavuto may be a corporate suck-up, but evidently even he can see some problems in where Beck wants to take us. After all, the torches-and-pitchforks crowds often go after wealthy Republicans too …

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Amnesty International USA, March 9, 2009

A US federal judge considering whether detainees held by the USA in Bagram airbase in Afghanistan may challenge their detention before courts in the USA has ordered the administration of President Barack Obama to provide him with updated information on the Bagram detainees, by 11 March.

Amnesty International has written to the US administration urging it to inject some much needed transparency into the Bagram detention regime, including by making fully available to the public the information requested by District Court Judge John Bates.

When the Bush administration was asked by Judge Bates in January 2009 to disclose the number of people being held in Bagram, how many of them were taken into custody outside of Afghanistan, and how many of them were Afghan nationals, it responded by classifying as secret the key details and redacted them from the unclassified version of the filing.

Judge Bates has now asked the Obama administration the same questions, noting that the details supplied to him by the government in January may be out of date. Amnesty International has urged the new administration not to repeat its predecessor’s use of secrecy to conceal from the public its response to the judge. Transparency, essential to accountability and detainee protection, must be central to US detention policy. As President Obama has himself instructed his administration, “transparency promotes accountability”.

Figures released in late February by the International Committee of the Red Cross, the only organization with access to Bagram detainees, indicate that there were then about 550 detainees in the airbase. This was down from the figure of “about 615″ provided by US Secretary of Defense Robert Gates to the Senate Armed Services Committee a month earlier.

New detentions by US and allied forces in Afghanistan continue. According to reports by the American Forces Press Service, at least 120 “militants” were taken into custody during January and February 2009. It is not known how many, if any, have been or will be transferred to Bagram. The US authorities should provide regular public information on the numbers and nationalities of those held in US custody in Bagram and elsewhere in Afghanistan, and where, when, and in what circumstances they were taken into detention.

Continued >>

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