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news & opinion with no titillating non-news from the major non-news channels.


I am: progressive, not a wild-eyed Progressive; liberal, but shun liberals and Liberals; conservative, but some Conservatives worry me; absolutely NOT a libertarian. I am: an idealist, but no utopian; a pragmatist, but no Machiavellian. I am a realist who dreams.


I welcome all opinions.

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Living in Interesting Times:
   A Ludlum or Soylent Green novel?

Two articles in today's Washington Times:

U.S. frees 'high-value' detainees from Iraq

By Paul Martin
December 20, 2005

AMMAN, Jordan -- U.S. forces yesterday flew eight newly released "high-value" Iraqi detainees out of the country aboard a special military aircraft, in a move other officials said was aimed at furthering a secret peace process with Sunni hard-line groups. The releases, made Saturday but announced only yesterday, angered Iraqi government officials who pledged to hunt down and recapture some of the detainees, including former leaders of Saddam Hussein's government and security forces. Among those released or about to be freed is Rihab Taha, who was dubbed "Dr. Germ" by the popular press in the West and admitted to producing germ-warfare agents. A State Department official told the Associated Press she was no longer considered a security threat.

In a late-night telephone interview with The Washington Times, the Iraqi government's national security adviser said that U.S. forces had taken the eight released detainees to Jordan.

"We will certainly claim them back, and we will follow them wherever they go," said Mowaffak al-Rubaie. "The Iraqi judiciary will follow them."

He said an Iraqi judge had issued arrest warrants for the detainees several weeks ago, and that their release from U.S. custody had not been authorized by any Iraqi judicial process.

Chinese inmates' organs for sale to Britons

By Richard Spencer
December 20, 2005

GUANGZHOU, China -- A Chinese company has begun marketing kidneys, livers and other organs from executed prisoners to sick Britons in need of transplants. Hospital Doctor, a British magazine, earlier this month reported that a firm called Transplants International was trying to recruit British patients. Operations were to be carried out at Guangzhou Air Force Military Hospital by doctors from a hospital affiliated with the nearby Sun Yat-sen Southern University. Guangzhou is the fast-growing metropolis near Hong Kong in the heart of China's southern manufacturing zone.

The Telegraph confirmed the story in an interview with the hospital's Dr. Na Ning, in which a reporter posed as someone interested in getting involved as a business venture.

"We can sign an agreement," Dr. Na said over a business lunch in a smart Western restaurant.
"We should be cautious -- this is sensitive. There is no need to bring in lawyers or consultants. We should do the agreement on trust."

Dr. Na is one of many doctors involved in a growing organ-transplant trade that has caused revulsion around the world. In China, the practice raises few eyebrows.

Executed prisoners are the main source of organs used in the country's transplant operations, thousands of which are conducted each year.


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