After seven weeks that inexplicably turned into ten weeks, I finally had the pleasure of getting the external fixator taken out/off of my arm December 3. The last of the five breaks finally decided to meet up and start knitting, so the hardware had finally outlived its usefulness. Lord knows it had outstayed its welcome.
Since the injury and subsequent surgery has managed to do a number on my writing and political projects, I guess I should start trying to set a schedule for 2015.
While I haven't gotten much written, I have at least managed to plot out some more stuff, because that's exactly what you need when you are a writer with stuff piling up- more stuff to work on, eventually, somehow. Need to get a handle on time and project management, so it's looking like I have narrowed down the primary projects to a short non-fiction work, the novel I'm furthest ahead on, and a new project in the early stages for Free Rein Media. Been taking some of the downtime to examine some new ways to get stuff out there, found a couple of interesting websites, which led to the plotting of new stuff. Damn stuff, it's everywhere.
Now begins another month or so of wearing the splint, a month of physical therapy, and then I will be ready for Recovery Mode Phase Three- getting ready for softball season next spring.
As Monday morning kicked off, the big news was not that my St. Louis Rams continue to impress as they climb to .500 with back-to-back shutout wins (albeit against Oakland and Washington), but the haggling over a Senate report on CIA interrogation methods in the War on Terror, including torture such as sleep deprivation, confinement, and waterboarding.
The report, a 480 page summary of a 6,000 page classified document, is basically the first public accounting of the CIA's tactics with detainees held in secret facilities in the years after the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. The report has taken five years to complete, due to numerous delays, and has reportedly cost upwards of $40 million to produce.
Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), Chair of the Senate Intelligence Committee, has been pushing for a release of the report for months now, with the latest wrinkle being Secretary of State John Kerry playing middleman for the White House to ask Feinstein for a continued delay, due to perceptions the report could put American personnel overseas at risk from increased extremist action. Naturally, at this stage of the game, the predominant worry is that Democrats will run out of time to release the report before the Republican majority assumes control in January.
House Intelligence Committee Chair Rep. Mike Rogers (R-MI) agrees with Kerry, telling CNN's State of the Union over the weekend that "Foreign partners are telling us this will cause violence and deaths. Our own intelligence community has assessed that this will cause violence and deaths." Rogers has also questioned why the report needs to become public, as the Justice Department investigation resulted in no criminal charges being filed.
Detractors, including former CIA Director Michael Hayden, fear the report could undermine cooperation between the U.S. and other countries on intelligence and counterterrorism, although Feinstein maintained recently to the Los Angeles Times the tactics undermined "societal and constitutional values that we are very proud of. Anybody who reads this is going to never let this happen again."
Okay. Both sides of the argument seem perfectly valid, but it's kind of hard not to lean toward releasing the report. Granted, there might be some blowback, but at the same time and going beyond the Democrats' notion of transparency, is there really anything in that report, all 480 presumably ponderous pages, that will actually shock anyone with its revelation? We've been joking about it for decades. The world's been joking about it for decades.
Also, as for Feinstein's contention that anyone who reads the report "is going to never let this happen again..." Yeah, that's cute as hell. She can just go on believing that.
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