Bloggers discuss a new Guantanamo Bay report and debate a consumer advocacy group's suggestion to label soda with health warnings; they also consider a Supreme Court nomination for Alberto Gonzales.
The torturous thong: A high-level military report released Wednesday concluded that controversial Guantanamo Bay interrogation techniques, including forcing suspected 20th hijacker Mohammed al-Qahtani to wear a thong on his head and dance with a man, did not qualify as torture.
Many bloggers are annoyed. Reacting to the news that a suicide bomber killed a group of Iraqi children Wednesday, World War II vet Richard Alexander at Views from Right says, "I cannot understand why we worry about care of these Bastards at Club Gitmo but have no moral outrage when children are brutally targeted." Scott Kahn of Fresh Politics, a group blog for students, comments on al-Qahtani: "I can say from personal experience that the soldiers' treatment of this man is identical to that of pledges at just about any American fraternity. Immature and insensitive, perhaps, but this certainly is not torture." Rant and Rave Blog's Rob Falk adds, "Let me call Amnesty International and the Red Cross! Who knows what horrors these guys will face next? Wedgies?"
A few on the left are appalled at the administration's tolerance of abuse: Armchair Generalist's progressive Jason Sigger writes, "I'm still wondering what planet these military officers come from. … I've lost confidence in our Army leadership if they can go to sleep at night after justifying these means." Gene of Harry's Place emphasizes that similarities between Gitmo and Abu Ghraib further incriminate Donald Rumsfeld for "his inexcusable failure to set firm guidelines on treatment of detainees." At Mother Jones' MoJoBlogger, Bradford Plumer adds, "The 'aggressive' interrogation techniques used at Guantanamo may not have amounted to torture, if you really want to parse the word carefully … But they certainly set the stage for abuses in Abu Ghraib that did amount to torture. Pretending that the government can set 'aggressive' policy and then exonerate itself when that policy horribly spins out of control is, to say the least, disingenuous."
Read more about the Gitmo report here.
Stop the pop!: In an attempt to combat child obesity, the Center for Science in the Public Interest requested Wednesday that the Food and Drug Administration require soft-drink companies to label their products with health warnings.
The blogosphere doesn't want Big Brother's fingers in its soda: "Soon air will carry a warning label," complainsBuzz Machine's Jeff Jarvis, a new-media consultant. Rita of Res Ipsa Loquitur writes, "If you're too damn dumb to know that drinking too much soda isn't good for you, I doubt you'd get much from a warning label." The Fifth Column's Werefish speculates on what might constitute an effective warning: "If you want to be a fat spotted moron with rotted teeth, go right ahead and drink this high fructose corn syrup. Fatty." Livin' La Vida Low-Carb's Jimmy Moore, who lost 180 pounds last year, is ambivalent: While "the government should not be stepping in and dictating placing warning labels on products such as sugar," he writes, "I do think more education about sugar's harmful effects should be distributed to the general public." With the minority opinion is Diet King's Adam Wilk: "I find it amusing, that these jackals who oppose this idea, the ones who manufacture this stuff, are the same ones who walk around pissed off at the so-called burden overweight people allegedly put on our health care system."
Read more about health warnings for soda here.
The next Rehnquist?: Chief Justice William Rehnquist, who has thyroid cancer, was hospitalized Tuesday night with a fever. Conservatives are up in arms that President Bush may nominate socially moderate Attorney General Alberto Gonzales to fill the seat of either Rehnquist or recently retired Sandra Day O'Connor.
Liberals have mixed feelings about Gonzales: Peer Review's Blogger X says, "Democrats are very smart to publicly endorse a Gonzales nomination … Nominating Gonzales would be the worst thing Bush could do going into the midterm elections." Phil Gallagher, a liberal neocon, urges conservatives to give Gonzales a chance, asserting that he is a "man of integrity, capability, and faith and conscience." HelluvABurden's Paul Loeb, on the other hand, declares, "As right-wing religious leaders attack Alberto Gonzales for being insufficiently doctrinaire, it's tempting to accept him as the best we can get for the Supreme Court. … But when someone exhibits as much contempt for due process as Gonzales does, we have to challenge him, in every way we can."
Some conservatives are dead-set against him: Josue Sierra of A Latino Conservative Blog, writes, "My hope is that Bush will not make a decision based on neither race nor gender, but qualifications and commitment to uphold the constitution in its original intent." Estate 5's John Hawkins predicts Bush won't rile his base by appointing a moderate and hopes for a day in which "every lousy decision of the last few years from Roe v. Wade to Lawrence v. Texas to Kelo v. New London would be struck down one right after the other."
Read more about the impending Supreme Court nominations here.