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What really happened? I do not know. But it seems to me that these credible witnesses should have at least been interviewed by the NCIS; that the official story has gaping holes of logic; that the autopsies are beyond bizarre; and that the slightest possibility that something is amiss requires further investigation. If there is any chance that these prisoners were accidentally tortured to death and their deaths then covered up as suicide, this is the biggest story in the grim annals of the Bush-Cheney era since Abu Ghraib. And yet, other than to carry a brief synopsis from Associated Press, no main US newspaper has delved into the Harper’s cover-story.
And indeed, a year ago Hickman and his fellows went to Obama’s justice department to explain what they believed needed to be investigated further. The FBI interviewed other witnesses who backed Hickman up. Last November, after months of waiting for a response, Hickman’s lawyer got a call from the justice department. The case was closed. The NCIS report stood. When Hickman’s lawyer asked why, he was told that Hickman’s conclusions “appeared” to be unsupported. This is the change we were asked to believe in.
More from Scott Horton:
Six Questions — October 18, 2014, 8:00 pm
Nathaniel Raymond on CIA interrogation techniques.
I recently spent a semester teaching writing at an elite liberal-arts college. At strategic points around the campus, in shades of yellow and green, banners displayed the following pair of texts. The first was attributed to the college’s founder, which dates it to the 1920s. The second was extracted from the latest version of the institution’s mission statement:
The paramount obligation of a college is to develop in its students the ability to think clearly and independently, and the ability to live confidently, courageously, and hopefully.
Let us take a moment to compare these texts. The first thing to observe about the older one is that it is a sentence. It expresses an idea by placing concepts in relation to one another within the kind of structure that we call a syntax. It is, moreover, highly wrought: a parallel structure underscored by repetition, five adverbs balanced two against three.
Percentage of Britons who cannot name the city that provides the setting for the musical Chicago:
An Australian entrepreneur was selling oysters raised in tanks laced with Viagra.
A naked man believed to be under the influence of LSD rammed his pickup truck into two police cars.
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“Shelby is waiting for something. He himself does not know what it is. When it comes he will either go back into the world from which he came, or sink out of sight in the morass of alcoholism or despair that has engulfed other vagrants.”