Saturday Reading


It was December 6, 2019, three years into a sagging Clinton presidency and a bitterly divided Congress. That day, the 500-page executive summary of the Senate Intelligence Committee’s long fought-over, much-delayed, heavily redacted report on the secret CIA drone wars and other American air campaigns in the 18-year-long war on terror was finally released. That day, committee chairman Ron Wyden (D-OR) took to the Senate floor, amid the warnings of his Republican colleagues that its release might “inflame” America’s enemies leading to violence across the Greater Middle East, and said:

“Over the past couple of weeks, I have gone through a great deal of introspection about whether to delay the release of this report to a later time. We are clearly in a period of turmoil and instability in many parts of the world. Unfortunately, that’s going to continue for the foreseeable future, whether this report is released or not. There may never be the ‘right’ time to release it. The instability we see today will not be resolved in months or years. But this report is too important to shelve indefinitely. The simple fact is that the drone and air campaigns we have launched and pursued these last 18 years have proven to be a stain on our values and on our history.”

Though it was a Friday afternoon, normally a dead zone for media attention, the response was instant and stunning. As had happened five years earlier with the committee’s similarly fought-over report on torture, it became a 24/7 media event. The “revelations” from the report poured out to a stunned nation. There were the CIA’s own figures on the hundreds of children in the backlands of Pakistan and Yemen killed by drone strikes against “terrorists” and “militants.” There were the “double-tap strikes” in which drones returned after initial attacks to go after rescuers of those buried in rubble or to take out the funerals of those previously slain. There were the CIA’s own statistics on the stunning numbers of unknown villagers killed for every significant and known figure targeted and finally taken out (1,147 dead in Pakistan for 41 men specifically targeted). There were the unexpected internal Agency discussions of the imprecision of the robotic weapons always publicly hailed as “surgically precise” (and also of the weakness of much of the intelligence that led them to their targets). There was the joking and commonplace use of dehumanizing language (“bug splat” for those killed) by the teams directing the drones. There were the “signature strikes,” or the targeting of groups of young men of military age about whom nothing specifically was known, and of course there was the raging argument that ensued in the media over the “effectiveness” of it all (including various emails from CIA officials admitting that drone campaigns in Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Yemen had proven to be mechanisms not so much for destroying terrorists as for creating new ones).



All is well @ Rodney's Garage! Hey who put that Harley in here?

All is well @ Rodney’s Garage! Hey who put that Harley in here?

About Den

Always in search of interesting things to post. Armed with knowledge and dangerous with the ladies.
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16 Responses to Saturday Reading

  1. º¿carol says:

    Thanks for posting my collage! See Erling the bartender in the back? Even though Carey doesn’t come here anymore I have that cool picture of her so decided to use it, have her abusing Doc, lol. The Rodney signs, I was tickled pink to find those!

    Then there is Rodney himself. *sigh*



    • David B. Benson says:

      😄😃😃 🙂


    • Den says:

      A big THANKS! to our resident graphic artist! Rodney looks to be cleaning the Kegerator and as usual in his best suit(according to Carol). Sure miss our friends that left the planet too soon.
      Carey is always welcome back anytime (Never knew why she left), Micki just has to learn how to play well with others, and be nice,
      you need to lose my lousy pic, I look dead.
      The staff here@ DWF hopes everyone has somewhere to be or someone to be with this upcoming holiday, I’ll be winging it here while everyone else has the days off, this ain’t Wally(slave)Mart. All this rain has showed up in buckets in the garage, might Spackle those leaks since the Sun is due to make a triumphant return this week, only 3 weeks of soggy, dripping, fungus spawning normal CA Winter tho.


    • º¿carol says:

      I have to make do with the pictures I have on hand. I snag them where I can, don’t remember where I got that one of Jim Hitchcock. I think it was on something where he won something, like lotto, or maybe from gambling in Vegas, not sure. It was in the center of a red wreath, or medal? I also have a picture of him when he was a lot younger but not fair to use that one. Forget where I found that one, he must have posted it somewhere back in the day.

      That’s weird, I don’t know where that picture of you is, Den. Just looked in my folder, what the heck? The two most recent pictures of you I couldn’t use. In the one you’re making a face, the other the photo made your face red. My choices were slim.

      I’m glad Doc sent pictures here for you to post, made my day and I stashed them away immediately.

      Anyway, it was fun making that picture. I mean, Rodney’s! That was a great idea for the card.


  2. David B. Benson says:



  3. Den says:

    Go Larry! Screw N. Korea, literally.


  4. David B. Benson says:

    Mufon always has decent reports.


    • Den says:

      Many many, almost like a game, someone is selling tickets on an off-planet site for humanity whacking itself over the head enough to go extinct, the bet is on when we will do just that so they can move their ‘peeps’ in without having to kill anyone, they just figure given enough time we will self-eliminate, betcha the jackpot is HUGE!

      When will humanity self-extinguish? Place your bets.


  5. Den says:

    We could be someone’s zoo after all. What a hoot, humanity closely resembles a soap opera of entertainment for someone with it’s unpredictable nature. We must be like beasts to them, scrapping and fighting.


  6. jim hitchcock says:

    Holy shit, I’m a barkeep, clearly imbibing my own product.

    Here’s where you got the image, the only proof on the internets that I actually exist:

    Doc looks exactly how I always pictured Johnny Appleseed.


    • jim hitchcock says:

      Oh, and you’re are thinking of my hit at online gaming. Carnival Casino, a site based in Aruba, though there are no bricks, no mortars. I accrued about 5 years salary, and used it accordingly 🙂


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