"I didn't want to leave, it was such a relaxing place, so calm and beautiful," Mendoza wrote. "The water . . . is soooo beautiful! We went to the glass beach, and realized the name of it comes from the little pieces of broken glass from hundreds of years ago. It is pretty to see all the colors shining with the sun." http://www.miamiherald.com/news/nation/story/981934.html
(...) Her visit to the base was designed as a morale-boosting treat for troops. "The first thing we did was attend a big lunch and then we visited one of the bars they have in the base. We talked about Gitmo and what it was like living there," wrote Ms Mendoza. Other highlights included meeting the military dogs - who "did a very nice demonstration of their skills" - and a first-hand look at the detainee camps with their orange jump-suited inmates. "We saw the jails, where they shower, how they recreate themselves with movies, classes of art, books," she said. "It was very interesting."
For Cori Crider, who has represented more than 40 current and former Guantanamo prisoners, the Miss Universe visit was simply the "latest surreal chapter" in the history of the prison. The human rights lawyer, who works for Reprieve http://www.reprieve.org/home.htm had just finished visiting an inmate, who had been shackled to the floor, and was driving back to her office when she saw a large crowd of jostling soldiers. "At the centre of the uniform swarm was a shock of glossy hair and a brightly patterned top that looked more like one you'd wear on beach holiday, her hip was out, her arm around a Marine," said Ms Crider.
"It's obviously tempting to blame her for posing for a photo a stone's throw away from the isolation camps, but people don't think. They miss human suffering going on right under their nose." Other human rights analysts expressed a certain amount of sympathy for the US troops, noting that Guantanamo is a tough assignment. (...) http://www.nzherald.co.nz/lifestyle/news/article.cfm?c_id=6&objectid=10564646
March 31st, 2009 - Statement by Paula M. Shugart, President of the Miss Universe Organization regarding Guantánamo Bay blog entry by Miss Universe, Dayana Mendoza:
"The Miss Universe Organization has had a longstanding relationship with the USO (United Service Organizations). All three titleholders (Miss Universe, Miss USA and Miss Teen USA) have participated in many USO goodwill tours to visit the men and women in uniform who serve our country around the world. As part of the USO's entertainment program, which boosts the morale of U.S. troops, they have traveled to many locations and many bases around the globe including Iraq, Afghanistan, Japan, Korea and most recently, Guantánamo Bay in Cuba, where the U.S. has maintained a naval base since 1898. Dayana Mendoza's comments on her blog were in reference to the hospitality she received while meeting the members of the U.S. military and their families who are stationed in Guantánamo. The Miss Universe Organization echoes the mission of the USO, which is to lift the spirits of U.S.troops and their families wherever they serve. We will continue to show our appreciation and express our gratitude to the military personnel who serve our nation." http://www.missuniverse.com/missuniverse/blog.php
CARACAS - President Hugo Chávez has a well-honed habit of insulting U.S. presidents and decrying U.S. capitalism. But Chávez now wants to help President Barack Obama solve one of his thorniest foreign policy issues. Venezuela is willing to begin housing some of the suspected terrorists held by the United States at its military prison on Cuba's Guantánamo Bay, Chávez told reporters while in Qatar. Obama is planning to close Guantánamo by early next year and is asking allies to take as many of the prisoners as possible off his hands. No one has stepped forward yet. Now Chávez has.
"'We wouldn't have any problem in taking in human beings," Chávez told the Arabic TV channel al Jazeera Wednesday at a summit of South American and Arab leaders in Doha, Qatar. For good measure, Chávez also renewed his calls for the United States to return Guantánamo Bay to Cuba, his closest ally. Chávez said the United States should end its business with "this miserable prison."
Some in Venezuela see irony in Chávez's descriptions of conditions at the U.S. prison in Cuba. Humberto Prato, the general coordinator of the Caracas-based Venezuelan Prison Watch -- a nonprofit that monitors prison conditions, noted that Venezuela's prisons are terrible. "They are inhumane," said Prato. Some 24,000 inmates are housed in facilities built for half that many, he noted. And prison violence kills more than 400 inmates per year, he added. "'Venezuela needs to first begin taking care of its own inmates before taking care of anyone else's," Prato said. The Obama administration seems in no rush to accept Chávez's offer. http://www.miamiherald.com/news/nation/story/981934.html
Currently estimated Iraqi deaths due to US invasion: 1,320,110 http://www.justforeignpolicy.org/iraq/iraqdeaths.html Estimate of deaths due to war conditions in Afghanistan: unknown and scientifically unestimated (see however http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Civilian_casualties_of_the_War_in_Afghanistan_(2001%E2%80%93present )
According to Mr Parenti:
"Interestingly enough, neither the Clinton nor Bush administrations ever placed Afghanistan on the official State Department list of states charged with sponsoring terrorism, despite the acknowledged presence of Osama bin Laden as a guest of the Taliban government. Such a "rogue state" designation would have made it impossible for a US oil or construction company to enter an agreement with Kabul for a pipeline to the Central Asian oil and gas fields." http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article21387.htm
The beautiful people, the beautiful people
Its all relative to the size of your steeple
You cant see the forest for the trees
You cant smell
Your own shit on your knees
Hey you, what do you see?
Something beautiful, something free?
Hey you, are you trying to be mean?
If you live with apes, man, its hard to be clean
Theres no time to discriminate,
Hate every motherfucker
Thats in your way
The worms will live in every host
Its hard to pick which one they eat most
The horrible people, the horrible people
Its as anatomic as the size of your steeple
Capitalism has made it this way,
Will take it away
- Marilyn Manson, "Beautiful people"
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Received on Mon Apr 6 13:27:11 2009
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