7 countries' attempts to grapple with their troubled pasts, and move beyond them.
On March 15, 1993, The Truth Commission for El Salvador published its report From Madness to Hope: the 12-year war in El Salvador. The Commission attributed the assassination of Archbishop Óscar Romero to the death squads, as well as the deaths of the victims of the El Mozote Massacre. ... Five days after the commission issued its report, the Legislative Assembly of El Salvador approved an amnesty law covering all the violent events of the war.
In a surprise move, the co-chairs of the National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform, former Clinton Chief of Staff Erskine Bowles and former Senator Majority Whip Alan Simpson (R-WY), held a press conference today - three weeks in advance of the due date for the Commission's final report - to announce their draft recommendations on how to reduce the federal budget deficit. [more inside]
Last Tuesday, The Augstine Commission - an independent council created earlier this year to study NASA's human spaceflight objectives - released their findings. While many are responding to the report's grim findings on NASA's budget woes, former aerospace engineer Rand Simberg has a criticism of his own: "If our attitude toward the space frontier is that we must strive to never, ever lose anyone, it will remain closed. If our ancestors who opened the west, or who came from Europe, had such an attitude, we would still be over there, and there would have been no California space industry to get us to the moon forty years ago. It has never been 'safe' to open a frontier, and this frontier is the harshest one that we've ever faced."
The 9/11 Commission suspected that critical information it used in its landmark report was the product of harsh interrogations of al-Qaida operatives - interrogations that many critics have labeled torture. Yet, commission staffers never questioned the agency about the interrogation techniques and in fact ordered a second round of interrogations specifically to ask additional questions of the same operative... [more inside]
"Using information provided earlier about their weekly routine, the photographer will arrive on the scene, and unseen, take shots of the subject." This is what Izaz Rony of Methodizaz says he can do for you for several hundred bucks. Or, perhaps use this self-hired paparazzi service as a present for friends and family? "Without posing and artifice, the camera captures only the natural beauty of the person." Flash website [via]. [more inside]
Nice work if you can get it. Bloggers are an increasingly important part of modern elections -- something that becomes immediately obvious when you look at FEC filings. Bloggers are increasingly starting to rake in the campaign cash. Initially inspired by this feature from The Hotline, Bill Beutler combed through the FEC records and broke down what candidates were paying what bloggers how much in the current election.
When Government Writes History [The New Republic, registration required], a behind-the-scenes memoir of the 9/11 Commission Report, by commission historian Ernest May. [Related reading: Richard Posner's The 9/11 Report: A Dissent in the New York Times and Elizabeth Drew's Pinning the Blame in the New York Review of Books.]
Correcting the Record. In meticulous detail the 9/11 commission's report found that the hijackers had repeatedly broken the law in entering the United States, that Mr. bin Laden may have micromanaged the attacks but did not pay for them, that intelligence agencies had considered the threat of suicide hijackings, and that Mr. Bush received an August 2001 briefing on evidence of continuing domestic terrorist threats from Al Qaeda.
Questions Condoleezza Rice must answer Guardian’s Mark Oliver considers the likely lines of inquiry the US national security adviser will face today from the commission investigating the September 11 attacks.
Henry Kissinger has been named head of the "independent commission" to investigate the Sept. 11 attacks. President Bush named Kissinger head upon signing bill to establish the commission. Kissinger has a controversial history and arguable distance from "independence". Given that, can the American people have any reasonable expectation of an honest inspection by their government of what lead up to that day? Will the burning questions even be asked, let alone answered?
This a bronze sculpted bust of President Ronald Reagan that Arnold Schwarzenegger commisioned.Did he get his money's worth?
talk about a captive audience 'AT&T Corp. is mulling a plan ... [that] ... would charge for each customer that accesses an Internet retail site using AT&T’s communications network. It would receive an additional commission when customers buy something, analysts said.'
My new favorite website is explodingdog.com which is the best of a new genre of websites (new to me anyhow) on which an artist creates something based on your suggestions. The artist at this site will draw a portrait of your pet if you donate $75 dollars to an animal shelter. Too bad my hamster died. Another variation on this theme is the digital doodlebox which displays a simple graphic and invites anyone to submit a variation of it. These fun sites have inspired me to add something similar to my site. Do you folks know of any other good sites like these?
The Trilateral Commission - If The X-Files is true, these are the guys that are conspiring with the aliens. Black UN helicopters and all that.