Sunday, December 31, 2006

Musharraf a "useless dictator"

* Dahlia Lithwick:
The Bill of Wrongs - The 10 most outrageous civil liberties violations of 2006.

6. The State-Secrets Doctrine
The Bush administration's insane argument in court is that judges should dismiss entire lawsuits over many of the outrages detailed on this very list. Why? Because the outrageously illegal things are themselves matters of top-secret national security. The administration has raised this claim in relation to its adventures in secret wiretapping and its fun with extraordinary rendition. A government privilege once used to sidestep civil claims has mushroomed into sweeping immunity for the administration's sometimes criminal behavior.

* smh:
"If Iraq has turned into a nightmare for the US President, George Bush, think about Islamists gaining power in Pakistan, population 166 million, and their hands on its nuclear arsenal.
Yet Musharraf and his government are deeply ambivalent in their commitment to supporting the Western campaign, in return for which about $US4 billion ($5 billion) in US aid has flowed their way over the past five years.
The "Talibanisation" of Pakistan itself is now a looming worry for the West.

Soon after he seized power in 1999 - ahead of being sacked by Sharif - The Economist magazine called Musharraf a "useless dictator".

Seven years later, he hangs onto power without having achieved much in the way of reform, largely because the US regards him as key to keeping the Islamists out of power.

That is turning out to be another big misconception in Washington."

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