Saturday, September 24, 2005


That is the saddest and sickest thing about this latest story of Americans torturing people. It is just unsurprising:
U.S. Army troops subjected Iraqi detainees to severe beatings and other torture at a base in central Iraq from 2003 through 2004, often under orders or with the approval of superior officers, according to accounts from soldiers released by Human Rights Watch today. The new report, "Leadership Failure: Firsthand Accounts of Torture of Iraqi Detainees by the U.S. Army's 82nd Airborne Division," provides soldiers' accounts of abuses against detainees committed by troops of the 82nd Airborne stationed at Forward Operating Base Mercury (FOB Mercury), near Fallujah.

Three U.S. army personnel-two sergeants and a captain-describe routine, severe beatings of prisoners and other cruel and inhumane treatment. In one incident, a soldier is alleged to have broken a detainee's leg with a baseball bat. Detainees were also forced to hold five-gallon jugs of water with their arms outstretched and perform other acts until they passed out. Soldiers also applied chemical substances to detainees' skin and eyes, and subjected detainees to forced stress positions, sleep deprivation, and extremes of hot and cold. Detainees were also stacked into human pyramids and denied food and water. The soldiers also described abuses they witnessed or participated in at another base in Iraq and during earlier deployments in Afghanistan.

According to the soldiers' accounts, U.S. personnel abused detainees as part of the military interrogation process or merely to "relieve stress."


Working for Peace

It does make me happy to see this, but then again, I am cynical about the actual impact that such events have. Because they are more events than an actual oppositional movement. Or so it seems to me when I'm in a bad mood.


Utterly Pathetic

And yet, unsurprising. From Americablog:

Interfering with on-going storm preparations wasn't the reason Bush ditched going to San Antonio yesterday. No, that's not why. The reason was a bad visual:

It was too sunny.

Not kidding:

Another White House official involved in preparing Mr. Bush's way noted that with the sun shining so brightly in San Antonio, the images of Mr. Bush from here might not have made it clear to viewers that he was dealing with an approaching storm.

The White House is desperate.



For New Zealand, even though I've never lived there. Just traveled the south island for a month.

But I long for a nation in which this story can make it into the paper. Much better than hurricane fuck-ups and Iraq quagmires:
An aggressive male kakapo has been banished after it assaulted a kakapo chick in one of the acclimatisation pens on isolated Codfish Island near Stewart Island.

The chick, hand-raised in Nelson, is recuperating at a clinic in Palmerston North after it was assaulted by the male kakapo with "an aggressive streak".

Kakapo recovery team leader Paul Jansen said Pounamu, a female chick, was injured three weeks ago when Dot, a two-year-old male, jumped into the pen she was sharing with another chick.


What a Bloody Shock

And if you have any last little fragment of a belief that the Saudis did not anticipate this outcome, I've got some mountain real estate in New Orleans to sell you:
The Saudi government yesterday warned that Iraq is hurtling towards disintegration and that an election planned for December is unlikely to make any difference. The government said it was delivering this bleak assessment to both the US and British administrations as a matter of urgency.


Friday, September 23, 2005

Down with OPP

I spent a thoroughly unpleasant 24 hours there; hellish, but nothing like this:
As Hurricane Katrina began pounding New Orleans, the sheriff's department abandoned hundreds of inmates imprisoned in the city's jail, Human Rights Watch said today. Inmates in Templeman III, one of several buildings in the Orleans Parish Prison compound, reported that as of Monday, August 29, there were no correctional officers in the building, which held more than 600 inmates. These inmates, including some who were locked in ground-floor cells, were not evacuated until Thursday, September 1, four days after flood waters in the jail had reached chest-level.

"Of all the nightmares during Hurricane Katrina, this must be one of the worst," said Corinne Carey, researcher from Human Rights Watch. "Prisoners were abandoned in their cells without food or water for days as floodwaters rose toward the ceiling."




Fuck. Fuck. Fuck.

I need to go home and go back to bed.

Hurricane Rita's steady rains sent water pouring through breaches in a patched levee Friday, cascading into one of the city's lowest-lying neighborhoods in a devastating repeat of New Orleans' flooding nightmare.

"Our worst fears came true," said Maj. Barry Guidry of the Georgia National Guard.

"We have three significant breaches in the levee and the water is rising rapidly," he said. "At daybreak I found substantial breaks and they've grown larger."

Dozens of blocks in the Ninth Ward were under water as a waterfall at least 30 feet wide poured over and through a dike that had been used to patch breaks in the Industrial Canal levee. On the street that runs parallel to the canal, the water ran waist-deep and was rising fast. Guidry said water was rising about three inches a minute.


Mental Health Exercise

Just think of Palomi, rorschach.


Homophobia Gets a Reprieve

More's the pity:
The Tennessee Department of Mental Health and Developmental Disabilities has backed down on an order closing a facility that claims to turn gays straight.

The department now is giving the Love In Action facility an additional week to apply for a license or the order will be carried out.


Faith Based Madness

They just don't stop, do they?

In the most macabre mishap, the chief body collector nearly pulled out of New Orleans over a dispute with FEMA. Kenyon Worldwide Disaster Services dispatched a small team and a mobile morgue to New Orleans as Katrina hit. With the death toll rising, Kenyon offered more staff and morgues if FEMA could broker a deal with Louisiana. But FEMA and the company argued for two weeks until Kenyon finally gave the Feds an ultimatum: Work out a deal or find a new mortician. The Louisiana Health Department stepped in and hired Kenyon, which increased its staff in New Orleans 15-fold. An issue raised by the Feds that Kenyon found distasteful: an instruction that chaplains bless recovered bodies. A company source said the Fedsare insisting on this, and the first chaplains are supposed to go out this week. Asked if that was mixing church and state, a FEMA spokeswoman responded: "A prayer is not necessarily religious. Everybody prays."


Time to Go

I'd really like to ask those 43% who still think we might "win" in Iraq what the hell they even think that means.
A CNN/USA Today/Gallup poll released Thursday indicated fewer than half of Americans believe the United States will win the Iraq war, and 55 percent of those surveyed said it should speed up withdrawal plans.

Only 21 percent said the United States definitely would win the war in Iraq, which began when a U.S.-led coalition invaded in 2003 to topple Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein. Another 22 percent said they thought the United States probably would win.


We're Gonna Win This F*cking War

And we will leave no stone unturned to do it:
Apparently the Marine Corps knew the heart of Adella Higenbotham Casler, who says she's more than willing to serve.

"If I can do something for my country, no matter the age, if you're physically and mentally able I want to do my part."

But Casler doesn't know if she could live up to the physical requirements.

Performing hundreds of pushups or running a mile in under 10 minutes would be taxing for a woman who is 79 years old.


And Yet More!

I spoil you.


Let's Not Waste Any Time About This


Thursday, September 22, 2005

Texas Homophobes Act Out

How incredibly twisted to you have to be, to be one of the people who did this? (No link because this is retyped from the hard copy of the Austin Chronicle.)
Paul Todd, a retired military chaplain and gay rights activist, was severely beaten by two men in his Austin apartment Tuesday night, according to an e-mail alert from Soulforce Austin, a faith-based organization aimed at eliminating "spiritual violence" against the GLBT community. Dodd, a Soulforce board member, is actively working with other faith-based groups to defeat a same-sex marriage ban on the Nov. 8 ballot. Police are investigating the incident as a suspected hate crime.


Stupid. And Determined to Keep Being Stupid.

That's our Bush. If only he'd get his tie caught in a circular saw. He'd be determined to "see it through" rather than "show weakness." And we'd all be better off.
President George Bush today insisted American forces would not withdraw from Iraq "on my watch" and give terrorists the chance "to claim an historic victory over the United States".

By the way, doesn't this pronouncement basically admit that he has no hope of actually winning anything, ever?


Lesbians in Tuxedos?

What next? Cats wearing dog collars?
A Florida school district has settled a discrimination claim by a lesbian student whose picture was removed from the yearbook because she was wearing "boy's clothes".

The dispute arose in February when Principal Sam Ward of Fleming Island High School ordered the picture removed when he was proof reading the year book before it went to press.

Ward said that Kelli Davis's tuxedo was not proper attire. The school requires females to wear frilly scoop neck collars.

The county school board and its superintendent backed the decision, which was debated at a School Board meeting attended by about 200 people. (story)

Fifteen of the 24 people who spoke at the meeting were in favor of Davis and nine supported the principal's decision.


Slavery? Child Rape? Prostitution? Okay!

Or at least, it's okay for our old friends the Saudis! Every nation should sent 10 or so of its young men on suicide missions in the US; just think of the benefits!
President Bush decided Wednesday to waive any financial sanctions on Saudi Arabia, Washington's closest Arab ally in the war on terrorism, for failing to do enough to stop the modern-day slave trade in prostitutes, child sex workers and forced laborers.


Katrina Legacy

They let it linger. On and on.

This is a corpse. On a fence. In the Ninth Ward. On September 20.



Rummy checks to see if he can, if fact, make the right side of Bush's head implode with a mere glance...


Should We Care?

The Enquirer, and we may just as well believe the Enquirer as any periodical these days, nicht wahr?, has reported that (gasp!) Bush is drinking again! (I'd say "still," but that's just me.)

My question is: How on earth could a drunk Bush do worse?
Family sources have told how the 59-year-old president was caught by First Lady Laura downing a shot of booze at their family ranch in Crawford, Texas, when he learned of the hurricane disaster.

His worried wife yelled at him: "Stop, George."

Following the shocking incident, disclosed here for the first time, Laura privately warned her husband against "falling off the wagon" and vowed to travel with him more often so that she can keep an eye on Dubya, the sources add.

"When the levees broke in New Orleans, it apparently made him reach for a shot," said one insider. "He poured himself a Texas-sized shot of straight whiskey and tossed it back. The First Lady was shocked and shouted: "Stop George!"

"Laura gave him an ultimatum before, 'It's Jim Beam or me.' She doesn't want to replay that nightmare — especially now when it's such tough going for her husband."

Bush is under the worst pressure of his two terms in office and his popularity is near an all-time low. The handling of the Katrina crisis and troop losses in Iraq have fueled public discontent and pushed Bush back to drink.

A Washington source said: "The sad fact is that he has been sneaking drinks for weeks now. Laura may have only just caught him — but the word is his drinking has been going on for a while in the capital. He's been in a pressure cooker for months."

The war in Iraq, the loss of American lives, has deeply affected him. He takes every soldier's life personally. It has left him emotionally drained.

The result is he's taking drinks here and there, likely in private, to cope. "And now with the worst domestic crisis in his administration over Katrina, you pray his drinking doesn't go out of control."


American Romance

The sad thing is, it makes perfect sense that some brown bodies are the matter from which white lust is constructed:
Isolated amid the chaos and often bizarre life inside Iraq's Abu Ghraib prison, Lynndie England posed in now notorious abuse photographs because she loved and trusted the scandal ringleader, her lawyer said at the start of her court-martial.

And can I just say that this last bit is journalistic bullshit? Plumper?
Appearing plumper than in the photos taken nearly two years ago, England said little during the proceedings, only very occasionally conversing with her two military lawyers.



How can anyone even pretend that our society is just? This is sheerest madness. A few government officials can tell us what we need and need not hear?

Democracy died long ago, but no one noticed its passing:

Senators from both parties accused the Defense Department on Wednesday of obstructing an investigation into whether a highly classified intelligence program known as Able Danger did indeed identify Mohamed Atta and other future hijackers as potential threats well before the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.

The complaints came after the Pentagon blocked several witnesses from testifying before the Senate Judiciary Committee at a public hearing on Wednesday. The only testimony provided by the Defense Department came from a senior official who would say only that he did not know whether the claims were true.

But members of the panel, led by Senator Arlen Specter, Republican of Pennsylvania, said they regarded as credible assertions by current and former officers in the program. The officers have said they were prevented by the Pentagon from sharing information about Mr. Atta and others with the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

A Pentagon spokesman had said the decision to limit testimony was based on concerns about disclosing classified information, but Senator Charles E. Grassley, Republican of Iowa, said he believed the reason was a concern "that they'll just have egg on their face."

Senator Joseph R. Biden Jr., Democratof Delaware, accused the Pentagon of "a cover-up" and said, "I don't get why people aren't coming forward and saying, 'Here's the deal, here's what happened.' "


Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Vile Realities

These are the things that don't warrant appearing before Bush's pristine eyes. I long for a micromanaging president, such as Clinton was:
On market day in Dajabón, a bustling Dominican town on the Haitian border, you can pick up many bargains if you know where to look. You can haggle the price of a live chicken down to 40 pesos (72p); wrestle 10lb of macaroni from 60 to 50 pesos; and, with some discreet inquiries, buy a Haitian child for the equivalent of £54.22.

"You just ask around town," says Hilda Pe-a, who monitors border crossings for the Jesuit Refugee Service. "People know who the scouts are. You just tell them what kind of child you are looking for and they can bring across whatever it is that you want."


New Orleans Lives!

Deja Vu is, it must be admitted, one of the skankier strip clubs in the Quarter, but still... (Link not all that work safe, though it is but an image from Yahoo News.)
Exotic dancer 'Alex' entertains patrons at Deja Vu Showgirls during the strip club's second day of business in the French Quarter of New Orleans, September 20, 2005. Three weeks after Hurricane Katrina demolished the city, the first strip club opened in the city's historic French Quarter, entertaining the city's hoard of police, rescue and fire workers.


Compare and Contrast

Read the billboard posted below, with Grover Norquist's quote and the photo of a drowned New Orleans.

Reflect on how long it took George Bush even to fly over the city and look down at it and opine that it probably looked even worse on the ground.

Then, read this:, an award- winning progressive news Web site, honored Al Gore with this week's "Wings of Justice Award" for Gore's decisive humanitarian actions in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. While the federal government's ineffectiveness and incompetence largely bungled the immediate relief and rescue effort, Al Gore, quietly and quickly rented two airplanes to evacuate sick patients from hospitals the federal government abandoned in New Orleans. Gore personally helped evacuate the hospital patients and secured medical services for them in Nashville.


We Will Not Forget

And thank you doing this, Andrew Boyd:
A protest outside Grover Norquist's Washington office has succeeded, RAW STORYhas learned.

Organizer Andrew Boyd told RAW STORY the protest was "very spirited," and that organizers had raised some $10,000 -- most of them in $5 contributions.

"The truck showed up and parked right outside the building," he said, speaking of a billboard that showed the Katrina flood paired with a famous quote the GOP power-broker had uttered, "My goal is to cut government in half in twenty-five years, to get it down to the size where we can drown it in the bathtub."

Boyd on Norquist's aides showing up for work: "You could tell who they were when they showed up, they had this very sweaty, conservative look. There were people concerned in the lobby making sure people got in okay. We engaged people in conservation."


Our Opaque "Democracy"

Nothing like a government of, by, and for the people, especially when the people are forbidden to know what their government is up to.

The latest example:
The Pentagon said today that it had blocked a group of military officers and intelligence analysts from testifying at an open Congressional hearing about a highly classified military intelligence program that, the officers have said, identified a ringleader of the Sept. 11 attacks as a potential terrorist more than a year before the attacks.

The announcement came a day before the officers and intelligence analysts had been scheduled to testify about the program, known as Able Danger, at a hearing of the Senate Judiciary Committee.


Christians: Still Trading On Misery

When will they rein in the raving extremists among them, who revel in the misfortunes of others?
A Pennsylvania school district has been told to shut down its Gay/Straight Alliance for face God's retribution.

Members of the Cornwall-Lebanon school board looked on in disbelief as Abigail Jarboe told them that hurricane Katrina was God’s way of punishing New Orleans in advance of Southern Decadence.

“I don’t think it’s a coincidence,” she said, adding that the same punishment could befall Lebanon, the Lebanon Daily News reports.


About Bloody Time

The ways that patent laws have been used to overcharge HIV+ people, and to keep generics off the market, for years and years has always seemed cruel to me:
The FDA has approved the first generic versions of the AIDS medication AZT, a move that could reduce the expense for people in the United States being treated for the disease.

AZT, an anti-retroviral drug that is also known as Zidovudine, helps prevent the AIDS virus from reproducing in the body. It is often used in combination with other medications to treat an HIV infection.

Generic versions of the drug have previously been unavailable in the United States because patent or market exclusivity restrictions prevented them from being marketed. Now that those patents have expired, versions of drug manufactured by Roxane Laboratories of Columbus, Ohio; Ranbaxy Laboratories of Guragon, India, and Aurobindo Pharma of Hyderabad, India, can go on the market.


Oklahoma Justice

I remember when these incidents were first reported, and I must confess I am surprised he's being brought to trial:
Jurors hearing the case against a former judge accused of exposing himself in his Creek County courtroom will be allowed to see the sex toy at the center of the state's allegations, a judge ruled Tuesday in rejecting a defense motion.
Thompson, 58, who spent more than 20 years on the bench before stepping down more than a year ago, faces three counts of indecent exposure.

Prosecutors allege he masturbated with a penis pump under his robe while presiding over two murder trials and a civil trial in 2003.


Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Puritan Idiocy

They keep on managing to surprise me with their priorities:
Early last month, the bureau's Washington Field Office began recruiting for a new anti-obscenity squad. Attached to the job posting was a July 29 Electronic Communication from FBI headquarters to all 56 field offices, describing the initiative as "one of the top priorities" of Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzales and, by extension, of "the Director." That would be FBI Director Robert S. Mueller III.
The new squad will divert eight agents, a supervisor and assorted support staff to gather evidence against "manufacturers and purveyors" of pornography -- not the kind exploiting children, but the kind that depicts, and is marketed to, consenting adults.

"I guess this means we've won the war on terror," said one exasperated FBI agent, speaking on the condition of anonymity because poking fun at headquarters is not regarded as career-enhancing. "We must not need any more resources for espionage."

Among friends and trusted colleagues, an experienced national security analyst said, "it's a running joke for us."

A few of the printable samples:

"Things I Don't Want On My Résumé, Volume Four."

"I already gave at home."

"Honestly, most of the guys would have to recuse themselves."



If he'd been wearing a "power tie," he'd have been done for:
An Australian man built up a 40,000-volt charge of static electricity in his clothes as he walked, leaving a trail of scorched carpet and molten plastic and forcing firefighters to evacuate a building.

Frank Clewer, who was wearing a woolen shirt and a synthetic nylon jacket, was oblivious to the growing electrical current that was building up as his clothes rubbed together.

When he walked into a building in the country town of Warrnambool in the southern state of Victoria Thursday, the electrical charge ignited the carpet.
"There were several scorch marks in the carpet, and we could hear a cracking noise -- a bit like a whip -- both inside and outside the building," said fire official Henry Barton.

Firefighters cut electricity to the building thinking the burns might have been caused by a power surge.

Clewer, who after leaving the building discovered he had scorched a piece of plastic on the floor of his car, returned to seek help from the firefighters.

"We tested his clothes with a static electricity field meter and measured a current of 40,000 volts, which is one step shy of spontaneous combustion, where his clothes would have self-ignited," Barton said.


Simon Wiesenthal

Simon Wiesenthal, the Holocaust survivor who was credited with tracking down 1,100 Nazi war criminals, died today aged 96.


History Repeats Itself

Chickenhawk Family Traditions, indeed:
On Saturday night in western Iraq, a roadside bomb exploded near a U.S. soldier on patrol. According to the Associated Press, the soldier was taken to a U.S. military hospital, where he died of his wounds.

Early Friday morning in Austin, Texas, the 21-year-old son of Florida Gov. Jeb Bush -- and the nephew of President George W. Bush -- was arrested on charges of public intoxication and resisting arrest. According to the Austin American-Statesman, John Ellis Bush was taken to the Travis County Jail, where he was released on his own recognizance.


FDA Madness

It seems another government agency is feeling left out, what with everyone paying attention to FEMA. So the FDA is deeming food that is good enough for our soldiers not good enough to feed Southerners:
The food, which cost British taxpayers millions, is sitting idle in a huge warehouse after the Food and Drug Agency recalled it when it had already left to be distributed. Scores of trucks headed back to a warehouse in Little Rock, Arkansas, to dump it at an FDA incineration plant.

The Ministry of Defence in London said last night that 400,000 operational ration packs had been shipped to the US.
One British aid worker, who would not be named, said: "This is the most appalling act of sickening senselessness while people starve.

"The FDA has recalled aid from Britain because it has been condemned as unfit for human consumption, despite the fact that these are Nato approved rations of exactly the same type fed to British soldiers in Iraq.

"Under NATO, American soldiers are also entitled to eat such rations, yet the starving of the American South will see them go up in smoke because of FDA red tape madness."


Shutting Down the Homophobes

Good news from Tennessee. However, I cannot tell if this is amusing because the facilities are being closed down based on their own claims that homosexuality is a mental illness, or disturbing because they are being closed down based on the state of Tennessee's assertion that it is:
The state Department of Mental Health and Developmental Disabilities has ordered the closing of what it calls two unlicensed personal care facilities run by a Christian group that counsels gays to give up homosexuality.

The state inspected two facilities in Memphis on Aug. 19 and determined Love In Action International Inc. was providing housing, meals and personal care for mentally ill patients without a license, according to a subsequent letter to the organization from the Department of Mental Health. The department gave Love In Action until Sept. 23 to cease operation of the facilities and apply for a state license.

If the organization were to continue operating the facilities past the Sept. 23 deadline, it would face criminal penalties that include fines of up to $500 and six months in jail for each day the facilities are determined to be in violation of state laws.

Additionally, it has been revealed by former Love In Action victim Peterson Toscano that Love In Action's leader, John Smid, is misleading clients by falsely claiming to be a reverend. In fact, Smid has no such credentials and is not the holy man he purports to be.


Republicans: Pro-Extinction

I know, it is hard to believe that the GOP would actually espouse a policy that is short-sighted and destructive, but there you have it:
The chairman of the House committee overseeing natural resources introduced a bill Monday that would make it more difficult for the federal government to set aside land it deems crucial to the health of endangered species.


Bush's Administration: Done For

But at this stage of the game, barring some imaginative political moves that bear some resemblance to the Bush Administration circa 2002, Republicans on Capitol Hill and even some longtime Bush team members in various Cabinet level departments say this Administration is done for.

"You run down the list of things we thought we could accomplish and you have to wonder what we thought we were thinking," says a Bush Administration member who joined on in 2001. "You get the impression that we're more than listless. We're sunk."


Dems Derail Faux "Probe"

Good for them. They've finally realized it does them no good to play along:
Congressional Republicans signaled today that they have abandoned their plan to conduct a joint House-Senate probe of the government's response to Hurricane Katrina.

In announcing a joint probe this month, the Republican leadership had said it would be the most efficient way to investigate the administration's much-criticized initial response to the hurricane. But today, Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist (R-Tenn.) conceded that he could not overcome Democratic opposition to a joint investigation.

The Democratic leadership has refused to appoint members to a joint committee, citing the lack of equal representation of Democrats on the panel, and the lack of power to issue subpoenas that the majority opposed. Democrats also have insisted on an independent inquiry.

Democratic opposition has left Republicans little maneuvering room for mounting a credible probe. With the joint investigation apparently off the table, Republicans can only hope that Democrats will participate in each chamber's separate investigation. It was far from clear today that Democrats would do that.


Sunday, September 18, 2005

Catholic Dysfunction Part XMII

When I was an altar boy, I never experienced anything like this. One more sick fuck for Jesus:
The Catholic Diocese of Austin is investigating after a priest called about 15 children to come forward during evening Mass so he could prick them with an unsterilized pin to demonstrate the pain Jesus suffered during crucifixion.

"What I was trying to teach them is that suffering is a part of life," said the Rev. Arthur Michalka, 78, on Friday.


Trying to Sleep...

because we are going back down to volunteer at the convention center for the Katrina evacuees this evening.

So I need to sleep, dammit.


Using Death Against the "Death Tax"

Yet more evidence that the GOP is the party of death.

This is downright ghoulish:
Federal troops aren't the only ones looking for bodies on the Gulf Coast. On Sept. 9, Alabama Senator Jeff Sessions called his old law professor Harold Apolinsky, co-author of Sessions' legislation repealing the federal estate tax, which was encountering sudden resistance on the Hill. Sessions had an idea to revitalize their cause, which he left on Apolinsky's voice mail: "[Arizona Sen.] Jon Kyl and I were talking about the estate tax. If we knew anybody that owned a business that lost life in the storm, that would be something we could push back with."
For now, getting repeal back on the agenda may depend on Apolinsky and his team of estate-sniffing sleuths, who are searching Internet obituaries among other places. Has he found any victims of both the hurricane and the estate tax? "Not yet," Apolinsky says. "But I'm still looking."

Link via the inestimable NTodd.


If You're With The (Native) Americans, The Terrorist Have Already Won...

Darn those (Reagan-appointed) activist judges!! Judge Roy Lamberth, who's been presiding over the case brought by Indians against the Department of the Interior, has seen enough of the case to understand that Interior's gross mismanagement of Indian funds is due to, at best, incompetence on the part of the government.

This realization, of course, is enough to make the government realize the error of its ways try to remove him from the case:
When Lamberth theorized in a July ruling that the Interior Department's failure, over many decades, to account for potentially billions of dollars owed to Native Americans could only be explained by outright evil, apathy, cowardice or -- more likely -- crushing bureaucratic incompetence, the Justice Department decided to go after the judge.

In one of the rarest legal moves Justice has ever taken, the government asked that a higher court remove Lamberth from a case he has overseen for the past nine years.