Monday, October 22, 2007

I am going to become a country western songwriter

My first song goes like this...

There once was a big black lab named Tosha
She loved her Frisbee and playing catch
but what she liked best
was being the center of attention
and she lived to the ripe old age of ten.

There once was a big horse named Reef
back in the day he was a sight to see
for he was a big beautiful strapping young lad
but his eye was not so good and had to be removed
so now we call him "the one eyed Willie"

Now we all know that things come in threes
and the only thing I can tell you is that despite the costs of animals
my husband still loves me....
Well - at least he did this morning...

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

From the Washington Post

An Incursion of Briefs at Guantanamo

Tuesday, October 2, 2007; A17

Undergarments from Under Armour, the sports apparel line, offer "all-day performance, delivered in a lightweight compression fit," at least according to the company' s promotional material. While "unprecedented" in its ability to deliver comfort, Under Armour underwear is not standard issue for detainees at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. So when two men in detention there were found to possess the contraband briefs, the Navy attorney contacted their attorneys. One of the detainees in question is Shaker Aamer, whose release the British government wrote to request from Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice in August. But before turning to the larger question of whether Aamer will stay or go, there's the question of what he's wearing. And as the recent exchange between the Navy lawyer and Aamer's attorney Clive Stafford Smith illustrates, in the legal wrangling over detention, even details on intimates can lead to contentious debate:

From: the Commander, JAGC, U.S. Navy,

Staff Judge Advocate

To: Mr. Clive Stafford-Smith,

attorney for Shaker Aamer

Date: Aug. 12, 2007

"Your client Shaker AAmer, detainee ISN 239, was recently discovered to be wearing Under Armor briefs and a Speedo bathing suit. Neither item was issued to the detainee by JTF-Guantanamo personnel, nor did they enter the camp through regular mail . . . We are investigating the matter to determine the origins of the above contraband and ensure that parties who may have been involved understand the seriousness of this transgression. As I am sure you understand, we cannot tolerate contraband being surreptitiously brought into the camp. Such activities threaten the safety of the JTF-Guantanamo staff, the detainees, and visiting counsel. . . . we would like to know whether the contraband material, or any portion thereof, was provided by you, anyone else on your legal team . . ."

From: Mr. Clive Stafford Smith,

attorney for Shaker Aamer

To: the Commander, JAGC, U.S. Navy,

Staff Judge Advocate

Date: Aug. 29, 2007

"I will confess that I have never received such an extraordinary letter in my entire career. Knowing you as I do, I hope you understand that I do not attribute this allegation to your personally. Obviously, however, I take accusations that I may have committed a criminal act very seriously. . . . I also hope you understand my frustration at yet another unfounded accusation against lawyers who are simply trying to do their job -- a job that involves legal briefs, not the other sort.

. . . First, neither I, nor Mr. Katznelson [attorney for other detainee found with briefs], nor anyone else associated with us has had anything to do with smuggling 'unmentionables' into these men, nor would we ever do so.

Second, the idea that we could smuggle in underwear is farfetched. As you know, anything we take in is searched and there is a camera in the room when we visit the client. Does someone seriously suggest that Mr. Katznelson or I have been stripping off to deliver underpants to our clients? . . .

I had never heard of 'Under Armor briefs' until you mentioned them, and my internet research has advanced my knowledge in two ways -- first, Under Armour apparently sports a 'U' in its name, which is significant only because it helps with the research.

Second, and rather more important, this line of underpants are very popular among the military. . . . It would be worth checking whether this lingerie was purchased from the NEX [Navy Exchange store] there in GTMO, since the internet again leads one to suspect that the NEX would be purveyors of Under Armour . . . perhaps you might check the label to see whether these are 'tactical' underwear, as this is apparently something Under Armour has created specially for the military. . . . I don't mean to say that it is an open and shut case proving that your military provided the underwear, as I understand that other people use Under Armour. One group I noticed on the web were the amateur weight lifters, who seem confused as to whether Under Armour give them a competitive advantage.

However, in the grand scheme of things, I would think we can all agree that the interrogators or military officers are more likely to have access to Messrs. Aamer and el Gharani than the U.S. Amateur Power Lifting Association.

� 2007 The Washington Post Company

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