Tuesday, April 24, 2007

My Grandfather

A Dedication to my Grandfather
My Grandfather
When my mother was ten, my grandmother married a Filipino immigrant: Bartolome Aledo (Bart). He was my only real role model of manhood; and I am blessed to have had him. He taught me unconditional love, sacrifice, and the honor and dignity of work. For his adopted family, he worked himself to the the bone.

The Old Man and the Sea describes a seemingly frail, quiet old fisherman - possessed of a hidden, bottomless well of stoic endurance and to the marrow strength, borne of sheer will; my grandfather was such a man. The small, seemingly frail Filipino worked endless years of back-breaking farm labor, from the moment he stepped off the boat in 1929 till his 77th birthday in 1987. He wore himself down to literally nothing - except raw sinew sheathed in skin like thin leather-and he did it gladly, for his family.

Most people cannot comprehend work like that. Visualizing the life of the Chinese railway worker is, perhaps, the closest they will come to understanding. Most people, if they did not die from it, would lie down and
wish for death after a couple of months of that kind of labor. My grandfather did it all his life with a big, false tooth grin-while calmly looking all he met right in the eye, as equals. Down inside, he knew that in his world, the world of hard work, he was King, and his family was, for him, the treasure that made him as wealthy as anyone alive.

Monday, April 09, 2007

Princeton Professor who criticized Bush added to terrorist 'no-fly' list

A top Constitutional scholar from Princeton who gave a televised speech that slammed President George W. Bush's executive overreach recently learned that he had been added to the Transportation Security Administration's terrorist watch list. He shared his experience this weekend at the law blog Balkinization.

Walter F. Murphy, the McCormick Professor of Jurisprudence, Emeritus, at Princeton University, attempted to check his luggage at the curbside in Albuquerque before boarding a plane to Newark, New Jersey. Murphy was told he could not use the service.

"I was denied a boarding pass because I was on the Terrorist Watch list," he said.

Read the rest here

Gitmo interrogations spark battle over tactics

Speaking publicly for the first time, senior U.S. law enforcement investigators say they waged a long but futile battle inside the Pentagon to stop coercive and degrading treatment of detainees by intelligence interrogators at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

Their account indicates that the struggle over U.S. interrogation techniques began much earlier than previously known, with separate teams of law enforcement and intelligence interrogators battling over the best way to accomplish two missions: prevent future attacks and punish the terrorists.

Read the rest here

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Detainee says he confessed to stop torture

The terrorism suspect contends he was forced to admit to a role in the Cole bombing. A military law expert isn't surprised.

WASHINGTON — A detainee accused of being Al Qaeda's Persian Gulf operations chief said in court that his U.S. captors tortured him for years and forced him to falsely confess to the bombing of the U.S. destroyer Cole and to many other terrorist plots, according to a Pentagon transcript released Friday.

Abd al Rahim al Nashiri , a Saudi of Yemeni descent, told a military board at the U.S. detention center at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, that he had nothing to do with the bombing of the warship in Yemen in 2000 — or with any other terrorist activity.

Speaking under oath, he said he made up a long list of Al Qaeda plots and attacks so his captors would stop torturing him, even telling interrogators that Al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden had a nuclear bomb.

"I just said those things to make the people happy. But when they freed me, I told them all, 'I only told you these things to make you happy,' " Nashiri said at a March 14 hearing held by military officials to determine if he should be designated as an enemy combatant and tried before a military commission.

Read the rest here