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Axes & Allies?

Friday, Jan. 19, 2007 12:04 AM

Last week, China saw fit to test a ballistic missile by destroying one of its own, obsolete weather satellites.

Now the U.S. and other countries are criticizing China for doing so. The United States, in particular, cites the test as being, "... inconsistent with the spirit of co-operation that both countries aspire to in the civil space area," according to National Security Council spokesman Gordon Johndroe.

Would that be the spirit of cooperation defined by a policy that states, "The United States will preserve its rights, capabilities, and freedom of action in space � and deny, if necessary, adversaries the use of space capabilities hostile to U.S. national interests."

So is China now an adversary? If not, why are they entitled to any lesser defensive/offensive capabilities pertaining to space? Is our space defense policy another case of 'we can have it, but you can't'?

Attorney General Alberto Gonzales says the recent rash of firings of federal prosecutors are not politically motivated, but due to performance issues.

"What we're trying to do is ensure that for the people in each of these respective districts, we have the very best possible representative for the Department of Justice," Gonzales told a Senate panel. He assured the Senate Judiciary Committee that he, "... would never, ever make a change in a United States attorney for political reasons or if it would in any way jeopardize an ongoing serious investigation."

Gonzales nonetheless refused to tell Senator Dianne Feinstein how many prosecutors were asked to resign, and Senator John Cornyn pointed out that some of the prosecutors in question were, in fact, hired by the Bush Administration.

But we have seen in the past that the Department of Justice, under the Bush Administration, hasn't really been attentive to the people, but to itself and the Administration. It has defended torture, dismissed the Geneva Conventions as quaint and outmoded, insisted on circumventing federal law because it was too inconvenient to follow it, and quietly backpedaling when its decisions were challenged.

Senator Feinstein still gets a boot to the head, because now she's shocked at the little provision in the USA-PATRIOT Act that allows federal prosecutors to be dismissed and replaced on an indefinite, interim basis without Senate oversight.

Yes, Dianne, it's the same bit of legislation that you insisted was necessary and a vast improvement on the original. It's the same legislation you voted in favor of.

Are you telling us now that you didn't read it?

On a side note, Senator Patrick Leahy slammed Gonzales over the treatment of Canadian Maher Arar, who � instead of being shipped home to Canada, was instead shipped to Syria (you know, the same folks who we're blaming for providing material support and training to insurgents in Iraq).

Arar was tortured for close to a year before he was released, uncharged.

"It is beneath the dignity of this country, a country that has always been a beacon of human rights, to send somebody to another country to be tortured," Leahy commented.

Well spoken, Senator. Well spoken.

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