This and That

1-President Obama has thrown his first gay Arabic linguist out of the Army, Lt. Dan Choi.

2-Early reports said that the Pope and several other people walked out on a speech by Taysir Tamimi, the Qadi of Jerusalem. But this Guardian UK article says the Pope stayed put. I haven’t been able to find the text of the speech that they found objectionable. It may be just that the Pope wasn’t in the mood to hear facts during his public relations tours of the Middle East. Also, Tamimi wasn’t scheduled to speak at all.
Israelis are also unhappy with the Pope, who they feel didn’t make a big enough deal about the Holocaust.

3-Saudi Arabia promised in January of 2008 that women would be allowed to drive within the year. It hasn’t happened yet. In fact, a woman was arrested for driving this March.

4-The Emirati prince caught on tape torturing a man has been detained. That’s probably somewhat different from being arrested.

5-One of our own former detainees, who was tortured and consequently gave false information that the Bush administration used to rush the country into invading Iraq, has apparently killed himself while in Libyan prison. What’s interesting to me is that the WaPo doesn’t know that al-Libi is not a real last name, that it just means “the Libyan,” and that Ibn al-Sheikh is just one name. So they essentially reported on one Buster from Libya.

When President George W. Bush ordered the 2006 transfer to Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, of high-value detainees previously held in CIA custody, Libi was pointedly missing. Human rights groups had long suspected that Libi was instead transferred to Libya, but the CIA had never confirmed where he was sent.

“I would speculate that he was missing because he was such an embarrassment to the Bush administration,” said Tom Malinowski, the head of the Washington office of Human Rights Watch. “He was Exhibit A in the narrative that tortured confessions contributed to the massive intelligence failure that preceded the Iraq war.”

6-There was some speculation (admittedly on the part of nutters) that the soldier who shot and killed five fellow soldiers in Iraq must be an Arab and/or a Muslim. He isn’t, but he is a Texan.

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Filed under arab, arabian, arabic, arabist, Saudi Arabia

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