So There

Khalid Sheikh Mohammed et al are apparently throwing in the towel on their not-trials, and going to confess to helming the 9/11 attacks:

Five men charged with plotting the Sept. 11 attacks told a military judge Monday that they want to immediately confess at their war-crimes tribunal at Guantanamo Bay, setting up likely guilty pleas and their possible executions.

The five said they decided to abandon all efforts to defend themselves against the capital charges on Nov. 4, the day Barack Obama was elected to the White House. It was as if they wanted to rush toward convictions before Obama — who has vowed to end the war-crimes trials and close Guantanamo — takes office.

I’m not getting this. If KSL and the others are seeking to be put to the needle before Dubya leaves, then it’s clear that they have learned nothing about the judicial system — the last meal takes months to cook, even with all appeals dropped.

Maybe they recognize the power of Barry to (at least) paper-over the divisions between U.S. America and the rest of the world. Maybe they want to take the heat off their pals, now radicalized by the not-so-judicial treatment of the feds. I dunno.


They’ve been lied to about everything. Why should they be in any different situation than any of us?

They want to become martyrs under what everyone acknowledges is a sham kangaroo court. If they wait for Barry, there’s a chance they might receive something resembling a fair trial, and where’s the PR value in that?

So what say you Stinqueos? Should they kill these guys or life imprisonment? It’s a hard call for me, and I’m interested in your opinion.

Incidentally, the poll at the right leaves off “Zombie Nixon”, who I think would likely be the best choice for them come 2012, given the current crop of hopefuls.

@Tommmcatt Yet Again:
Life. Killing them is actually more merciful. At this point, I’d rather not grant their wish of going to meet Allah and Moh.


But would they run their little jihad through the bars of teh prison? That’s what concerns me about that option….

They may very well have been so damaged by psychological torture that they want to die, not for martyrdom, but for the more usual reasons we see in our society.

In any event, here is a simple rule for use in deciding any issue involving their fate: Whatever it is that they want to happen, don’t let that happen.

ManchuCandidate: They shouldn’t worry about Allah and Moh. Al-Curly can be a real pain in the neck, however. (Nyuk nyuk nyuk.)

I’m with Prommie to an extent. If they want to die, make them live — no sense in giving the movement martyrs. Yet that could be a Jedi mind-trick thing.

And there will be martyrdom either way — either to a needle or to (not unfounded, thanks to the numbnut neocons) an incarceration-by-fiat non-judicial system. Final result? Meh, either way.

@chicago bureau: Seriously, the fact that they are furiously advocating for anything sounds suspect. These guys spend all their days with their eyes covered with blackout goggles, their hands and feet covered over and both shackled in chains. Most of us would be no more animated than a potato after four or five years of that.

Yeah, FlyingChainSaw. I smell a big fat rat in all of this. (Come to think, KSL — he of the impossibly dense chest/back hair — does kind of look like a fat rat. But anyway.)

One theory I have is that, with the impending chemical death of these assholes, the remainder will look like saps caught up in a neocon dragnet. Thus, Barry will close Gitmo and send said untried, unprosecuted saps back to where they came from, where (post-Gitmo radicalization) they will plot all sorts of radical terrorist shit that would make Barry look like a fool for closing Gitmo and lead to the installation of a new, God-fearing government led by Sarah Palin, which would basically give fuel to the fire of al-Qaeda types, for decades to come.

(And, no, I have used only clean tin-foil for my hat, and not the foil which was used for wrapping up leftover steak this weekend.)

TJ: Tribune Co. filed for Ch 11 reorganization in Delaware this AM. I can’t wait for the fraudulent conveyance litigation over Zell’s use of the ESOP to fund his acquisition of the company. I litigated some of those cases back in the day. Every leveraged buyout is a fraudulent conveyance from the prospect of the company’s creditors — it’s just that no one cares when the deal works out.

Dodgerblue: Sam Zell. Super Genius.

And so, a halfway-decent newspaper (minus the editorial board which, while it has its moments, generally blows) is kaput. Yes, the Internets are running laps around the morning paper, but, dammit, I just like having a decent paper in the morning, instead of some two-bit wire-service-repeater.

[ADD: No, the paper ain’t going under today, so that there is no paper tomorrow morning. But the cost-cutting in order to squash the outstanding debt will be severe.]

@chicago bureau: Re: “I just like having a decent paper in the morning, instead of some two-bit wire-service-repeater.” I have a friend who works for AP; she says their business is booming.

@chicago bureau:
Isn’t Zell, the US American version of Connie Black? Many of those LAT and CT “editorials” were bordering on insanely stupid if I recall.

There might be some good (not much) is that Jonah Goldberg will be looking for a new job or move back to mommy’s.

@Mistress Cynica: @Tommmcatt Yet Again: Agreed. And life imprisonment having to watch things which are patently disgusting over and over again. Like Mann Coulter naked.

@Dodgerblue: Teh SeeEnnEnn is employing some of my friends for their new wire service down here about 6 blocks from my office.

The problem? They’re sitting at desks, reporting mostly by phone calls — with a few reports from in the field. Oh yeah, and their iReporters.

AP FTW, as long as AP keeps its foreign bureaus and actual reporters out in the streets.

@chicago bureau: Not so nuts. The entire Al Qaeda strategy is based on US over-reaction. Stand across the street, wait until bus turns the corner, give ’em the finger, shout ‘your mother swims out to meet troop ships’ and watch goon get hit by bus running across the street to beat your ass.

@rptrcub: I read that CNN just cut its science reporting staff. No prob, they can hire some religion reporters instead.

Speaking of Bush’s incredible shrinking presidency, check out Karl Rove’s latest sniveling:

Rove sees a presidency clouded by the way it began.

“There were people who never accepted the legitimacy of George W. Bush and acted accordingly,” he said.


“I’ve got behind-the-scenes episodes that are going to show how unreceiving they were of this man as president of the United States,” Rove said, adding: “I’m going to name names and show examples.”

Rove is insane. GWB is not qualified to be a dog’s chew toy.

@mellbell: unreceiving they were of this man as president

@mellbell: He won’t have to go far. I think Cheney was “unreceiving of this man as president…” from the git go.

Why do I always stay at hotels with crappy-ass wireless that they charge me an arm and a leg and a left tit for? And why do I end up at hotels that don’t even have a fucking $tarbuck$ nearby for me to use their wireless? And who thought it’d be a good idea to hold a conference at a hotel in sprawling suburbs far from any mass transit? There’s nothing nearby but a T.G.I.McScratchy’s.

/apologies for nonsequitur ranting

The rule is if you are staying a high end hotel they will charge you $20 a day for Internet that doesn’t work and make sure there is no one on staff that has a blessed clue how to fix it or improve its performance. I am always surprised at the ubiquity of mid-to-lower-mid list fleabags that have usable wireless Internet access these days at no extra charge. A number of times when I have been put up in digs not of my choosing, I have ended up aiming the laptop at downscale neighbor’s for connectivity rather than pay for the ‘incidental’ that would be put on my card.


Sounds like the conference/event planners are all the same.

Took almost as long to get to the hotel as it did to fly there.

@Mistress Cynica: Huh, what?

East of La Jolla, somewhat north of my Zoo/Sea World axis. Two pilots ejected, no reports of ground injuries.

@nojo: They shitfaced? Last name McCain by any chance?

@SanFranLefty: @FlyingChainSaw:
why does it take me 10 minutes to connect to the wireless network in my own fucking house? this godamn less than a year old marvel keeps trying to connect me to every hotel and pirated network i’ve hacked into in my travels over the past year.

where are ya lefty? home i hope?

Update — local station has NBC’s Pentagon correpondent on the horn, reporting two deaths on the ground. No local confirmation, but Da Mayor is holding a news conference in a few minutes.

The neighborhood is University City, between UCSD and the military’s Miramar airport. No McCain relationship yet reported.

@baked: You can delete those old wireless connections, if you aren’t ever going to use them anymore. Do you have a PC? If so, I can walk you through it. If not, maybe nojo can help.

Getting uglier: F/A-18 crashed into home with possibly four people inside — mother, grandmother, two kids. Two dead, two missing.

@mellbell: If it’s a PC, I’m proudly clueless. Macs R Us.

you are a doll! yes, when i’m not this stoned i will absolutely look for you. i’m in no condition for the control panel right now, which is where my daughter told me to go before she hung up on my techyneediness.
my solution is, i never shut it off.
i already let a cig fall on it, burning my ALT and X.
have no idea what happened to the Q. my keyboard is missing teeth and full of animal hair and paw prints. it looks homeless.
going to cook now, see ya later-thanks sweetie!

NOJO, just saw your update. OMG. that’s horrible. remember when heinz plane crashed into a schoolyard? that was my daughters school-merion elementary school in merion pa. 2 kids were killed. horrible horrible.

@baked: which is where my daughter told me to go before she hung up on my techyneediness.

I tell my parents that if they get a PC, my brother’s stuck with tech support.

luckily we’re all PC, except my mother. i bought her a mac so i wouldn’t have to talk to her.
i remind my daughter that i taught her to use it–she surpassed me, she owes me!


I got a Mac for the same reason among many others. Every “service” call from my parents and sister always ended with a fight/yelling/swearing/shouting. When they call now, I play the smug annoying asshole Macfan telling them “You should have gotten a Mac. Vista sucks don’t you know? Woof woof.”

Now they don’t call.

@SanFranLefty: That’s some crazy shit. It’s always the fancy hotels and resorts that charge $20/hour for crappy internet, whether in room or in their lame ass ‘business center’ and they get away with that crap precisely because they are in the middle of buttfuckin nowhere you can go to get it for free/cheap. And as FlyingChainSaw says, places like the Hampton Inn will have in room internet service included in the price along with your (crappy) free breakfast. Whereas at the fancy hotel, you have to pay $20 for the privilege of a crappy hotel breakfast.

And then, a $50/day “resort fee” on top of all that even if you didn’t do anything there but sleep and attend your conference.

Yeah. I’ve been there and wanted to kill all those MFers.

@Jamie Sommers: Beats the phone bill I ran up in Guatemala in 96 trying to access porn news through dial-up at my monthly pension before the wife joined me.

@ManchuCandidate: you, me and Nojo brother. My moms still regrets allowing my siblings to get her a Dell with the promise that they’d help her out. She can’t even change a printer cartridge by herself.

@SanFranLefty: Fuck internet, I stayed at a hotel without a fucking BAR in DC, whats important?

@Jamie Sommers: Oh, I totally love Hampton Inn and those other lower-cost places. I first learned about Hampton working on a campaign and sleeping on the floor with four or five other staffers. Free breakfast, free dial-up (now they have wireless – this was pre-wireless days), and they’d always have fresh-baked cookies ready for us when we’d come back from doing GOTV calls and door-knocking. I always prefer to stay at a Hampton Inn or Holiday Inn Express a million times over a Hyatt or Hilton – they don’t nickel and dime you, they have free breakfast, a nice gym, good nozzle on the shower, and it doesn’t cost too much.

Unfortunately I am at a conference at a hotel where you have to stay at the hotel. Not that there’s anything outside the hotel but highways and suburban sprawl. I finally convinced the front desk staff to give me the secret passcode for the wireless because I can only get it to work in the lobby. There are a bunch of other people huddled around their laptops for the same reason, but I was going to be goddamned if I had to pay $9.95 a day to not be able to sit on my hotel bed in my pajamas. Still, the worse was when I stayed at a hotel in LA a few years ago that NOT ONLY charged $15 a day for the computer access (and $4 for a cup of coffee) but charged me $18 a day to use the fucking fitness center. I paid the fee (after getting busted sneaking in to the center) and then fought a royal battle with my boss when our bookkeeper questioned me on the fact that I was trying to get reimbursed for it.* I won the battle.

*Don’t get me started on the fact that my office refuses to provide corporate credit cards for us even though we spend a ton of time traveling, and I spend half of my working hours trying to go through personal credit card bills and receipts to submit and wait a week for a reimbursement check that then takes a week to clear my bank.

@rptrcub: They should have Mann Coulter rape them daily with her gigantic cock.

@SanFranLefty: My favorite Hotel, its a tie between the Lisbon Four Seasons Ritz Carlton, thats right, a Four Seasons and Ritz Carlton rolled into one, and this place I stayed in on the Lido, across the lagoon from Venice, I forget the name, but its where the novel “Death in Venice” takes place. I loved the Lisbon Four Seasons Rizt Carlton because each floor had a concierge, who stood in the elevator lobby and greeted you by name every time you came and went and offered her services. I liked the place on the Lido because the room was about an acre, and the walls were upholstered with padded silk, all the walls, all of them, all the way floor to ceiling, padded silk with buttons, like cushions, those were the fucking walls.

I loves Mrs. Prom’s expense account.

@SanFranLefty: My worst experience was being carless at a conference in Lake Tahoe. Hotel was completely isolated (but at least in a beautiful location), no wireless or cell connectivity, and you were forced to eat every meal there. I’m so grateful not to have to do expenses anymore – the university nickel and dimed me to death. I had to show a receipt for meals that itemized everything I had consumed, and they wouldn’t reimburse me for more than a 15 % tip (I usually leave 25%, unless service really sucked). And they would do this even when I’d used frequent flier miles to pay for my ticket and got my conference registration comped for being a speaker.

@Mistress Cynica:
My boss gave me shit because I expensed a $300 bar tab (for myself and several coworkers) and a $160 meal (the most expensive meal I’ve ever eaten) in Paris (different nights) that was till I explained to her that she did extend my trip on her insistence (living out of a suitcase for a month sucks) and that for the most part I was very frugal with the food so I could afford to be a little bad. This was during the Tech Bubble so what I did was barely noticed in the general rape and plunder of the time.

Of course this is nothing compared to one guy I met at school who became a trader in NYC who took advantage of his expense account to the tune of $4K on strippers and booze. What bothered me the most was this guy was one of the cheapest guys I ever met.

@Promnight: First time I was invited to Japan, the locals wanted to make an impression so they put me up at the Grand Hyatt Roppongi. I am usually so busy and so behind on email, I don’t notice anything about any hotel I am booked into when I am traveling. Given my schedule, I had to get up well before dawn to get my presentations ready. The bathroom area was in the back of the room facing the wall to wall window on the opposite side of the room. Since I was traveling alone, I left the door open and jumped in the shower, which was really a closed off tub and marbled shower area. Scrubbin’ and dubbin’ I looked through the splash glass and out the window and suddenly noticed the view that was obscured by low fog and smog that clung to the city when I arrived the afternoon before: Fuji, illuminated by a crescent moon. I took it all in and was reminded of the ruminations of Lafadio Hearn and spent the rest of my time there and on subsequent trips looking for the proudly and quietly laid detail within details that are hallmarks of Japanese design. Someone had obviously thought a lot about how to make the shower an experience of lasting retreat and reflection and cannot remember ever a hotel ever doing anything that matched that in terms of making my stay memorable.

@ManchuCandidate: As state employees, we weren’t allowed to expense alcohol at all or buy food for other people. I had an idiot in accounting, who apparently had never left Stillwater OK in her life, question a $40 dinner tab in NYC, thinking it couldn’t possibly for just one person. Had to explain it was the pre-theater special and refer her to my $10 Starbucks-latte-and-scone breakfast receipt for a little perspective.

@FlyingChainSaw: Savoire vivre. Its decadent on a large scale, but on a small scale, its the meaning of life. I can make morrocan style braised lamb shanks with cous cous for two, for much less than a supersized meal for two from McDonalds, that is savoir vivre, knowing what is quality, and essential, and simple and good, and learning to enjoy that, deeply appreciate and enjoy that, because it was prepared with knowledge and love and attention to the small details that cost nothing but which make the enjoyment so much greater.

When we are living on potatoes and goat milk on our commune, I will make potatoe and goat milk cheese casseroles, with a fermented corn and honey mead, for special occasions, that will give us more pleasure than ever caviar or the finest sushi did, because we milked the goats and made the cheese and grew the potatoes and corn. And we will have views and see the stars and the rising and setting of the sun every day, and rain will not be an annoyance but a blessing, and we will be happier. And hopefully, we will be so sufficient in basic foods that we can start fermenting and distilling, though to keep this waste (is it a waste to feed the spirit as well as the body) to a minimum, we will develop customs that limit the use of these precious distilled commodities to recognized festivals when everyone shares the joy together. Growing some pot would probably be far far more efficient, though.

@Promnight: The El Rancho Hotel in Gallup, New Mexico. Home to movie stars shooting Westerns in the ’30s and ’40s. My home away from home when working as a reporter out at Navajo was Room 212, the Roy Rogers room.

As a reporter, we used to expense everything. One time we were out on the Jicarilla Apache reservation in northwestern New Mexico and we bought and expensed raffle tickets for a goat. Our plan if we won the goat was to buy a bale of hay and leave it in the managing editor’s office since we spent the newspaper’s money on the raffle ticket. The editor’s secretary, who processed the “blue slips”, said mine were the most creative she’d ever seen.

@redmanlaw: RML, I mentioned the best hotels I ever stayed at. The best nights I ever spent, those are a different story. One night at the top of Grandfather Mountain in North Carolina, I think its the second highest peak in the east. The only time I ever packed every element of survival up in a pack, and camped in a wilderness setting, the wind came up in the night, and though it was summer, it got to the 30s, I had only a summer bag and thought zi was gonna die of cold as the wind whipped the tent, on the peak of the highest peak for miles. I ate Ramen. Cooked in water I scooped out of a muddy puddle.

But the best nights have been the nights out in the boat in Barnegat bay, right there where that Tornado hit. a 360 degree horizon, watching the sun set slowly as I cooked the food I caught and gathered with my hands. With a Hendrick’s Martini and my best Ipod mix going. Watching for satellites as they slowly crossed the sky.

@Promnight: Took only a polarfleece blanket to the mountains this summer on our pligrammage, both for wearing and sleeping in. I figured I was gonna be cold anyway at 8500 and 12000 ft, and didn’t want to pay the weight penalty for a 15 or 20 degree bag.

Dude, come camping/backpacking/fishing to NM next year.

For a business trip today out to the Navajo rez, I packed a laptop, phone and computer chargers, extra clothes and winter gear due to the winter storm advisory, Leatherman and Gerber multi-tools, fire making materials, TP, water, space blanket, energy bars, flashlight, maps, a revolver and .38+P ammo in a backpack . . . you’d think I worked for the Flying Tigers or something.

Sapphire martini now. The Hendricks bottle awaits . .

@Dodgerblue: The pragmatist in me says that as long as they run my press releases verbatim on research (which from a university is not as nefarious as corporate PR), I have no problem. The idealist in me haz a sad.

@Promnight: That is an even more frightening thought than I initially laid out.

@FlyingChainSaw: I stayed at the Okura, Akasaka Prince and the ANA hotel on Roppongi, but never the Grand Hotel. The Okura is where they put us when the wife and I arrived fresh from the Central American bush, she was 8 mos. pregnant and we were astounded that the food she required on a regular basis could cost so damn much. The Okura is also where the Beatles were sequestered during their first tour of Tokyo and appearance at the Budokan; since nothing besides sumo had ever been performed at Budokan, the Japanese police forced the Beatles to remain indoors and handicrafts were brought to them at the hotel. We didn’t get their room.

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