Weekly Review — June 15, 2004, 12:00 am

Weekly Review

[Image: Caught in the Web, 1860]

Caught in the Web.

Evidence continued to emerge that high-level officials in the Bush Administration approved the torture of prisoners in Iraq and elsewhere; althoughThe HillAttorney General John Ashcroft denied that the president authorized the use of torture on suspected terrorists, he refused to give Congress several memorandums by Justice Department lawyers laying out ways that interrogators could evade anti-torture laws.New York TimesSuch documents were being leaked, however; in one report on interrogation methods, administration lawyers argued last year that President Bush is not bound by laws and treaties that ban torture; the report concluded that “in order to respect the president’s inherent constitutional authority to manage a military campaign . . . (the prohibition against torture) must be construed as inapplicable to interrogations undertaken pursuant to his commander-in-chief authority.” The report further argued that the president has the “inherent” authority to set aside laws and that consequently his subordinates could not be prosecuted for violating anti-torture laws.Wall Street Journal“Look, I’m going to say it one more time,” said President Bush when asked at the G-8 Summit whether torture is ever justified; “The instructions went out to our people to adhere to law. That ought to comfort you.”Associated PressIt was reported that Lt. Gen. Ricardo Sanchez personally approved the torture of inmates at Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq and that he ordered guards to hide at least one prisoner from the Red Cross.Washington Post, US NewsFormer CIA officials said that the new prime minister of Iraq, Iyad Allawi, was involved with a CIA-funded terrorist group in Iraq in the early 1990s; the group apparently carried out a bombing campaign, blowing up a movie theater and possibly a school bus.New York TimesIn Alaska, a college radio DJ was fired for celebrating Ronald Reagan’s death on the air, and newAssociated Pressresearch found that people are often unable to remember traumatic events.New Scientist

The United Nations Security Council voted to support the transfer of Iraqi “sovereignty” to the new interim government; the resolution did not make reference to the interim constitution, however; this omission upset the Kurds, whose autonomy is guaranteed in that document, and they threatened to withdraw from the new Iraqi state if necessary.New York TimesA series of car bombs killed people in several Iraqi cities.ReutersThe Shiite militia loyal to Moktada al-Sadr, who reportedly plans to establish a political party, took over a police station in Najaf.New York TimesIraqi militants attacked oil pipelines near Kirkuk.New York TimesAn American military contractor was shot dead in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, and anNew York TimesAmerican engineer was kidnapped.BloombergThere were reports of a Libyan plot to assassinate the Saudi royal family.New York TimesZimbabwe announced that it will eliminate private ownership of land, and aBaltimore Suntourist committed suicide by jumping out of a helicopter over the Grand Canyon.Associated PressScientists said that the “dirty bomb” plan attributed to Jose Padilla would not have worked; “it’s the equivalent,” said one physicist, “of blowing up lead.”Associated PressBrigitte Bardot was convicted of inciting racial hatred,Associated PressMongolians were ordered to adopt surnames,The AustralianPresident George W. Bush unveiled Bill Clinton’s presidential portrait, andAssociated PressGeorge Herbert Walker Bushjumped out of an airplane.New York Times

Officials from the Bosnian Serb republic admitted that its military took part in the 1995 Srebrenica massacre, in which more than 7,000 Muslim men and boys were slaughtered and dumped into mass graves. CNNBritain’s Labour Party suffered huge losses in local elections and came in third behind the Tories and the Liberal Democrats.New York TimesCongo announced that it had put down a coup attempt by members of the presidential guard.New York TimesA surgeon from South Carolina proposed denying care to lawyers involved in medical-malpractice cases.Associated PressAlcohol abuse was up in the U.S., suicideAssociated Press was up in Japan, and officialsNew York Timesin North Dakota were searching for 27,000 missing pelicans.New York TimesReproductive scientists in Chicago created a line of mutant human stem cells, andNew ScientistChinese paleontologists found a perfect pterosaur in a fossil egg.Nature.comScientists at the Los Alamos National Laboratory found a new method of exciting light emission from nanocrystal quantum dots.Los Alamos National LaboratoryNew photographs of Saturn’s moon Phoebe, which were taken by the Cassini space probe, suggested that the moon might be a captured comet.New ScientistAn astronomer in Virginia reconstructed the sound of the Big Bang and discovered that it sounded at first like a “majestic” major third chord and then changed to a “sadder” minor third.New ScientistRay Charles died.New York TimesScientists found that people with higher social status live longer, andNew Scientistthat women are more likely to have sex when they’re fertile.New Scientist

Share
Single Page

More from Roger D. Hodge:

From the October 2010 issue

Speak, Money

Get access to 167 years of
Harper’s for only $45.99

United States Canada

CATEGORIES

THE CURRENT ISSUE

December 2017

Document of Barbarism

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

Destroyer of Worlds

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

Crossing Guards

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

“I am Here Only for Working”

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

Dear Rose

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

The Year of The Frog

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

view Table Content

FEATURED ON HARPERS.ORG

Article
Destroyer of Worlds·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

In February 1947, Harper’s Magazine published Henry L. Stimson’s “The Decision to Use the Atomic Bomb.” As secretary of war, Stimson had served as the chief military adviser to President Truman, and recommended the attacks on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. The terms of his unrepentant apologia, an excerpt of which appears on page 35, are now familiar to us: the risk of a dud made a demonstration too risky; the human cost of a land invasion would be too high; nothing short of the bomb’s awesome lethality would compel Japan to surrender. The bomb was the only option. Seventy years later, we find his reasoning unconvincing. Entirely aside from the destruction of the blasts themselves, the decision thrust the world irrevocably into a high-stakes arms race — in which, as Stimson took care to warn, the technology would proliferate, evolve, and quite possibly lead to the end of modern civilization. The first half of that forecast has long since come to pass, and the second feels as plausible as ever. Increasingly, the atmosphere seems to reflect the anxious days of the Cold War, albeit with more juvenile insults and more colorful threats. Terms once consigned to the history books — “madman theory,” “brinkmanship” — have returned to the news cycle with frightening regularity. In the pages that follow, seven writers and experts survey the current nuclear landscape. Our hope is to call attention to the bomb’s ever-present menace and point our way toward a world in which it finally ceases to exist.

Illustration by Darrel Rees. Source photographs: Kim Jong-un © ITAR-TASS Photo Agency/Alamy Stock Photo; Donald Trump © Yuri Gripas/Reuters/Newscom
Article
Crossing Guards·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

The Ambassador Bridge arcs over the Detroit River, connecting Detroit to Windsor, Ontario, the southernmost city in Canada. Driving in from the Canadian side, where I grew up, is like viewing a panorama of the Motor City’s rise and fall, visible on either side of the bridge’s turquoise steel stanchions. On the right are the tubular glass towers of the Renaissance Center, headquarters of General Motors, and Michigan Central Station, the rail terminal that closed in 1988. On the left is a rusted industrial corridor — fuel tanks, docks, abandoned warehouses. I have taken this route all my life, but one morning this spring, I crossed for the first time in a truck.

Illustration by Richard Mia
Article
“I am Here Only for Working”·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

But the exercise of labor is the worker’s own life-activity, the manifestation of his own life. . . . He works in order to live. He does not even reckon labor as part of his life, it is rather a sacrifice of his life.

— Karl Marx

Photograph from the United Arab Emirates by the author. This page: Ruwais Mall
Article
The Year of The Frog·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

To look at him, Sweet Macho was a beautiful horse, lean and strong with muscles that twitched beneath his shining black coat. A former racehorse, he carried himself with ceremony, prancing the field behind our house as though it were the winner’s circle. When he approached us that day at the edge of the yard, his eyes shone with what might’ve looked like intelligence but was actually a form of insanity. Not that there was any telling our mother’s boyfriend this — he fancied himself a cowboy.

“Horse 1,” by Nine Francois. Courtesy the artist and AgavePrint, Austin, Texas
Article
Dead Ball Situation·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

What We Think About When We Think About Soccer, by Simon Critchley. Penguin Books. 224 pages. $20.

Begin, as Wallace Stevens didn’t quite say, with the idea of it. I so like the idea of Simon Critchley, whose books offer philosophical takes on a variety of subjects: Stevens, David Bowie, suicide, humor, and now football — or soccer, as the US edition has it. (As a matter of principle I shall refer to this sport throughout as football.) “All of us are mysteriously affected by our names,” decides one of Milan Kundera’s characters in Immortality, and I like Critchley because his name would seem to have put him at a vocational disadvantage compared with Martin Heidegger, Søren Kierkegaard, or even, in the Anglophone world, A. J. Ayer or Richard Rorty. (How different philosophy might look today if someone called Nobby Stiles had been appointed as the Wykeham Professor of Logic.)

Tostão, No. 9, and Pelé, No. 10, celebrate Carlos Alberto’s final goal for Brazil in the World Cup final against Italy on June 21, 1970, Mexico City © Heidtmann/picture-alliance/dpa/AP Images

Factor by which single Americans who use emoji are more likely than other single Americans to be sexually active:

1.85

Brontosaurus was restored as a genus, and cannibalism was reported in tyrannosaurine dinosaurs.

Moore said he did not “generally” date teenage girls, and it was reported that in the 1970s Moore had been banned from his local mall and YMCA for bothering teenage girls.

Subscribe to the Weekly Review newsletter. Don’t worry, we won’t sell your email address!

HARPER’S FINEST

Report — From the June 2013 issue

How to Make Your Own AR-15

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

By

"Gun owners have long been the hypochondriacs of American politics. Over the past twenty years, the gun-rights movement has won just about every battle it has fought; states have passed at least a hundred laws loosening gun restrictions since President Obama took office. Yet the National Rifle Association has continued to insist that government confiscation of privately owned firearms is nigh. The NRA’s alarmism helped maintain an active membership, but the strategy was risky: sooner or later, gun guys might have realized that they’d been had. Then came the shootings at a movie theater in Aurora, Colorado, and at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, followed swiftly by the nightmare the NRA had been promising for decades: a dedicated push at every level of government for new gun laws. The gun-rights movement was now that most insufferable of species: a hypochondriac taken suddenly, seriously ill."

Subscribe Today