DefenseWar Department has replaced the judge, Army Col. Peter Brownback III, in the Guantánamo Bay “show trial” for Canadian detainee Omar Khadr. The official reason? He is “ill”. The likely reason? Brownback has made rulings in favor of the defense. The Miami Herald reports Pentagon is silent on Guantánamo judge’s ouster.
Military prosecutors had been pressing Brownback to set a trial date, but he has repeatedly directed them first to satisfy defense requests for access to potential evidence. At a hearing earlier this month, he threatened to suspend the proceedings altogether unless the detention center provided records of Khadr’s confinement.
The Bush administration is worried Canada might “demand Khadr’s repatriation.”
The LA Times notes that Grandpa McCain’s Web gap is showing. Seems the McCain campaign just can’t keep up with the young whippersnappers these days. “Six of the top 10 videos returned by a “John McCain” YouTube search Thursday pegged the 71-year-old as inconsistent, extreme, wooden or a combination of the three… Contrast that with a YouTube search of “Barack Obama.” It’s a swoon fest, with virtually all of the top entries featuring the Illinois senator at his eloquent, uplifting best.”
“So how do McCain & Co. get into the YouTube game?” asks the LA Times. “It may be time for McCain to play his own, less-menacing Hollywood ace: Wilford Brimley… He’s got those Quaker Oats ads and that stolid, old-man cool.” I guess Grandpa Simpson is already booked?
I don’t know if America’s corporate media is going to pick up on this, The Guardian reports McCain is using a picture of himself shaking the hand of a uniformed General David Petraeus in his campaign fundraising material. Both Sen. John Kerry and Wisconsin’s Gov. Jim Doyle said this was an inappropriate politicisation of the military. Just like George W. McBush.
The pair also leapt on the Arizona senator’s remarks yesterday in Wisconsin that US troop levels had declined to pre-surge levels and that some cities in Iraq are “quiet”.
“I assume Senator McCain just doesn’t know the facts here,” Doyle said.
“It’s very disturbing to have John McCain continually raise questions about what he knows and what he bases his judgments on,” said Kerry, a Navy veteran of Vietnam.
“If you don’t know the number of troops it’s very difficult” to assess if they are overextended. The comments raise “serious questions about his comprehension of this challenge”.
McCain’s reponse? ‘The surge is a success.’ The reality? “The level of violence has been inching up since January, after a 60% drop in attacks nationwide in the second half of last year, according to U.S. military figures.”
Clean coal is a myth and guess what? According to the NY Times, Mounting costs slow the push for coal plant carbon capture. The coal power industry wants “to take the carbon dioxide that spews from coal-burning power plants and pump it back into the ground… But it has become clear in recent months that the nation’s effort to develop the technique is lagging badly.”
In fact, viable techniques to pump CO2 underground are practically nonexistant. “Considerable research is still needed to be certain the technique would be safe, effective and affordable.”
Scientists need to figure out which kinds of rock and soil formations are best at holding carbon dioxide. They need to be sure the gas will not bubble back to the surface. They need to find optimal designs for new power plants so as to cut costs. And some complex legal questions need to be resolved, such as who would be liable if such a project polluted the groundwater or caused other damage far from the power plant.
Test projects have failed and “in January, the government pulled out after projected costs nearly doubled, to $1.8 billion. The government feared the costs would go even higher.” Clean coal is snake oil.
May 30 2008