May 8th, 2008

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I told you so

It's hard nowadays to open a newspaper or read any sort of political commentary online without running across some story on Gitmo. Considering that most reporters are self-declared hippies, most of them favor having the place shut down and its prisoners released. Think about it. How many exposes have there been now where some magazine or newspaper features some poor misfortunate who supposedly wound up as an enemy combatant 'by mistake'. Of course, the mistake in question is usually being found in a war zone with an AK-47 and shooting at US troops.

This is not to say that there probably haven't been mistakes. There are no doubt people out there who have been swept up who only dabbled instead of fully participated in terrorism. I'm sure there must be at least a couple instances of guilt by association. If your three best friends just happen to have been suicide bombers, your uncle runs the radical mosque you attend, and Al Zawahiri happens to come over once a week for potluck, it's very likely you're going to be viewed with suspicion and picked up whether you yourself have ever actually participated in their actions.

Despite all the press about the supposed innocent and the push to have more prisoners released, what we don't often see is that many of those that have been detained have ended up rejoining Al Qaeda. Think of it this way, of those who have been released, they were deemed the most likely to be innocent and the most likely to not constitute a threat. Of those, a not insignificant number have been later found to have rejoined the fight. There's one just reported in CNN today.

Pentagon: Ex-detainees returning to fight

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- A Kuwaiti man released from U.S. custody at the Guantanamo Bay Naval Base in 2005 blew himself up in a suicide attack in Iraq last month, Pentagon officials said Wednesday.

Abdullah Saleh al-Ajmi was one of two Kuwaitis who took part in a suicide attack in Mosul on April 26, the officials said. Records show that an attack in Mosul that day targeted an Iraqi police patrol and left six people dead, including two police officers.

An announcement on a jihadist Web site earlier this month declared that al-Ajmi was one of the "heroes" who carried out the Mosul operation. A second man from Kuwait also took part in the suicide attack, the Web site said.

Pentagon officials who had been keeping track of al-Ajmi said they were aware he had left Kuwait for Syria, a launching ground for terrorists into Iraq.

A video posted on various jihadist Web sites shows a number of images of al-Ajmi, followed by text reading, "May God have mercy on you Abdullah al-Ajmi. I send you a warm greeting O you martyr, O you hero, O you, a man in a time where only few men are left."

U.S. military records of Guantanamo detainees indicate that a man with the same name and nationality was held at the Cuban prison.

Those records said al-Ajmi, 29, was picked up in Afghanistan as he tried to enter Pakistan after the 2001 U.S. invasion. He claimed to have fought for the Taliban, the records show, and said he fought in a number of battles against the Northern Alliance.

Though he was never charged with any crime, al-Ajmi was held at Guantanamo through 2005. Military documents show he later claimed that his statements about fighting for the Taliban were made after he was threatened while in U.S. custody. He asserted that he was in Afghanistan to study the Quran.

It's fucking ridiculous. Frankly, someone owes those poor bastards in Mosul an explanation for this sort of thing. Maybe we can get some of the hippies who supported this asshole's release to travel there and tell the family members why their loved ones are dead. Maybe they can tell them how the guy 'pinky swore' he really wasn't a terrorist and that's why they fought to get him released.

There should be a price to be payed when people are wrong about bullshit like this. At the very least the families should be allowed to sue the ACLU or whoever advocated for this asshole's release.
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Pain turns the mind to mush

I think my brain is starting to atrophy. One thing I've noticed about chronic pain is it really serves to unfocus the mind. It's hard to concentrate on anything other than the pain itself, and usually that's the last thing you want to do. Instead, thoughts become disjointed and you seem to spend a lot of time in a sort of by the moment limbo. Once the pills start to kick in and things subside, your brain just feels an immense sort of relief and does the mental equivalent of sinking into a comfy armchair and vegging out.

Sometimes I feel like I should be planning something or doing something or anything. But notta comes to mind. I'm the proverbial boat without a rudder.
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Nuts to the lot of them

I got a heads up earlier that some person was complaining about one of the games I ran at Ubercon on behalf of his girlfriend or something. I, of course, popped over to his LJ to take a look and it wasn't hard to not feel grumpy about it. In case you want to take a look, the whole entry is here. Here's the relevant portion:

Mandy also got ticked off at some guy running Killer Bunnies who kept leaving the table, Henry Chi or something? Gonna find out if he's a playroom rep or if he's just some douche bag who kept acting like those playing his game were a nuisance or burden.

I swear to God, some people are such whiney sissies. I can only assume that she thought that I was supposed to sit there and hold her hand during the entire game.

The really obnoxious part about this is that I already end up scheduling and running twice the number of games that a GM is required to and actually slotted them in a way to maximize the number of events. That I would then get this person whining about it just gets my goat. It's not even as if I simply walked off after tossing the game on the table and vanished or something. I must've spent 15 minutes or so teaching the rules and then spent the entire time around 15 feet away. It's not even as if I were actually involved in another game or something. Actually, at the time I was having issues and simply didn't want to sit and make things any worse. I went to a nearby table where friends were playing something or other and knelt on a chair there, leaning on the table. June, who was also playing KB, waved me over a few times for rules questions and adjudications so I'm not sure exactly what this girl's problem was. Maybe she just felt she needed to be catered to or something.

The really ironic part is that I had been worried the game would be problematic at first because of the presence of a couple of newbies. I stuck around at the table for a while just to make sure that things were going well but after a time they seemed to have it all well in hand. I'm wondering if I should drop June a line and see if this girl was complaining the entire time or otherwise a problem since as far as I knew, things had run smoothly.

Feh. Sometimes I really wonder if it's worthwhile to run games. It's one thing when people are appreciative of the effort but quite another when you make the effort and still get crap because of it. God knows I didn't have to do as many events as I did, but I figured it was for the good of the con. Maybe it's time to rethink that metric.


So the guy responded to my comment on his blog and was actually pretty reasonable and even keeled in his response. That, of course, takes a lot of the wind and bluster out of my irritation. I even went back and edited some of my more colorful language. After all, it's not his fault really, he just ends up being the surrogate since it was his blog entry I was directed to.

Still, I am more than a bit cheesed about her supposed comment that I didn't have the materials for the game. I brought the game with every single expansion in it. What in the world did she want on top of that? The decks even had a smattering of all the omego and psi cards to boot. Feh. I'm definitely going to have to drop June a line and see what in the world was up.

I dropped June a PM over on BGG. We'll see what she has to say about it.
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