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Posts published in “Day: July 20, 2007”

The Spokane torture connection

Part-way into this fine Vanity Fair piece on the development of torture as a foreign policy tool (you'll find the start of it on the second page), you'll run into something startling - the strong Spokane connection to the torture research & development industry.

Two of the main figures involved, "James Mitchell and Bruce Jessen played a key role in developing the Air Force's sere program, which was administered in Spokane, Washington. Dr. Bryce Lefever, command psychologist on the U.S.S. Enterprise and a former sere trainer who worked with Mitchell and Jessen at the Fairchild Air Base, says he was waterboarded during his own training." (Much of the article's focus, by the way, is on how invalid most torture-obtained information is.)

Hat tip to Jack Bog's Blog, which has been following this.

Ever-helpful friends

Steve Novick

Steve Novick

From an e-mail Democratic Senate candidate Steve Novick shot around Oregon today, making the point that one's friends can be as much a hazard as the other guys.

(You get some sense of Novick's personality in the process . . .)

So today "Just Out," the Portland newsweekly of the gay community, puts me on the cover, which is nice, but then quotes me as saying that we need to "ask people in this country to pay higher taxes" and that "our opponents will convince the public that we're doing things that are way too dangerous." Of course, what I actually said was that we need to ask SOME people (e.g., people who make all their money from capital gains) to pay higher taxes, and that if we try to really deal with the problems of the country - health care, global warming, the Federal fiscal mess -- our opponents will TRY TO convince the public that we're doing things that are way too dangerous. (If I were convinced our opponents would always win, I wouldn't run!) I'm
sending you this note as a pre-response to the Smith ad next year highlighting the tax misquote ... Still, it's nice to be on the cover holding my copy of the Schlesinger book on Bobby Kennedy ...

Cone of silence

City clubs with their luncheon speakers like to say, through their slogans, that nothing happens until people start talking. There's truth in that. But also in this: When people abruptly quit talking, something almost certainly already is happening.

Eyes once again, then, to Micron Technology at Boise.

The Boise Idaho Statesman this morning ran a richly provocative interview by columnist Dan Popkey with Gordon Smith, a board director at Micron, and formerly an executive at the J.R. Simplot Company. A view into the company via the Statesman at all is rare these days, since it hasn't been officially talking to the paper or most anyone in the Boise media except for KTVB-TV (Channel 7). But Smith, speaking for himself, did speak up, and he had some fascinating things to say. (The paper ran a story on the Smith interview, but the transcript is the thing to read.)

In a sense, there are no surprises here; but hearing it from the inside - of the board - did give confirmation to the already widely suspected.