At the White House Press briefing today regarding the resignation of the Lebanese Government Helen Thomas goes waaayy off topic: (Q is Helen Thomas):
Q Has the President ever issued an order against torture of prisoners? And do we still send prisoners to Syria to be tortured?
MR. McCLELLAN: The President has stated publicly that we do not condone torture and that he would never authorize the use of torture. He has made that —
Q But has he issued an order?
MR. McCLELLAN: — statement very publicly, and he’s made it clear to everybody in the government that we do not torture.
Q Well, why do we still hear these stories then?
MR. McCLELLAN: If there are allegations of wrongdoing, then the President expects those allegations to be fully investigated and if there is actual wrongdoing that occurs, then people need to be held to account. The President has made that very clear.
Q Well, do you deny that we still send prisoners to other countries to be tortured? Is that a denial?
MR. McCLELLAN: Judge Gonzales testified previously that we have an obligation not to render people to countries that we know would torture them.
Q He did not rule out torture.
Transcript and link to video available here. Why is this woman still attending press briefings? And look at the second part of the first question… Did we ever “send prisoners to Syria to be tortured?” – Do you still beat your wife?
Via Fox News: Lebanon’s Prime Minister says whole government to resign. The Lebanese are rising against the Syrian forces.
Prime Minister Omar Karami:
“I am keen that the government will not be a hurdle in front of those who want the good for this country. I declare the resignation of the government that I had the honor to head. May God preserve Lebanon,”
More from Reuter’s:
“The people have won,” main opposition leader Walid Jumblatt told LBC television after Karami announced the resignation of the cabinet to a parliament session debating Hariri’s killing.
Ecstatic protesters, having got their wish for the government’s resignation, chanted “Syria out” and “Freedom, sovereignty, independence.” Syria has wielded political and military power in its smaller neighbor for decades.
They also chanted “Lahoud, your turn is next,” in reference to pro-Syrian President Emile Lahoud.
Martyrs Square, by Hariri’s grave, was a sea of Lebanese flags — red and white with a cedar tree in the center.
Thousands of protesters watched the debate live on large screens while loudspeakers blared patriotic songs.
Cheers and applause erupted when Karami resigned. In parliament, opposition MPs wearing the red-and-white scarves that have come to symbolize their movement, gave a standing ovation.
I’ve been posting lightly because I received my new laptop on Friday and have been getting it up to speed with all my old software. I also have a paper due tomorrow for my current class, so posting on my part will still be fairly light.
I have a brand new Dell Inspiron 6000 with a very nice 15-1/2 screen. It’s like an HDTV screen wider than tall, so it’s very nice for spreadsheet viewing. I’m getting used to the new Office 2003 software too.
From the International Herald Tribune:
As the International Atomic Energy Agency prepared to open a meeting in Vienna on Monday to review Tehran’s nuclear program, Iranian officials reluctantly turned over new evidence that strongly suggests it discussed acquiring technologies central to making nuclear weapons and hid that fact for 18 years, U.S. and European officials say.
More importantly, Iran’s admission came only after it was confronted with the evidence. I’m no expert, but 18 years seems like a long time to develop weapons systems. Awhile ago I wrote about the Left’s failure to appreciate the dangers of a false negative in such circumstances. Hard choices are approaching. The Left can await the outcome of this one and then preach about errors made in hindsight, but it would be nice for them to actually constructively enter the debate for the good of the country.