Seattle Times reporter Hal Bernton has flown to Afghanistan for a two-month rotation at McClatchy's fledgling Kabul bureau. Bernton is blogging here.
Fourteen hundred miles due east, McClatchy's bureau in Baghdad seems to have languished since bureau chief Leila Fadel left a few weeks ago. Modesto Bee reporter Adam Ashton is on temporary assignment in Baghdad. Fadel has moved to Washington DC -- and has morphed into a homeless activist.
McClatchy has not named Fadel's replacement in Baghdad.
A reliable source told me a few weeks back that Hannah Allam would be named bureau chief in Baghdad. But the position has been vacant for a few weeks, which makes me wonder if the company is re-evaluating whether the expense of maintaining a Baghdad bureau is worth it.
So will Hannah Allam head to Kabul instead of Baghdad?
(Don't expect McClatchy's web site to clarify which correspondent is where -- info on this page is way out of date.) Update: somebody finally brought the info current.
Update: Adam Ashton is leaving Baghdad.
WHY WASTE THEIR TIME? THEY WOULD NEVER REPORT REAL NEWS LIKE THIS ANYWAY?
Ahmadinejad's spiritual advisor told followers this week that raping prisoners is okay but wash your hands first...But, if the prisoner enjoys it then please don't repeat the rape.
"Can an interrogator rape the prisoner in order to obtain a confession?" was the follow-up question posed to the Islamic cleric.
Mesbah-Yazdi answered: "The necessary precaution is for the interrogator to perform a ritual washing first and say prayers while raping the prisoner.
If the prisoner is female, it is permissible to rape through the vagina or anus.
It is better not to have a witness present. If it is a male prisoner, then it's acceptable for someone else to watch while the rape is committed."
This reply, and reports of the rape of teen male prisoners in Iranian jails, may have prompted the following question: "Is the rape of men and young boys considered sodomy?"
Ayatollah Mesbah-Yazdi: "No, because it is not consensual. Of course, if the prisoner is aroused and enjoys the rape, then caution must be taken not to repeat the rape."
Iranian Regime Blames Student Protester For His Own Prison Rape
The regime asked him embarrassing questions. (LA Times)
Iranian officials interviewed an alleged victim of jailhouse rape at the hands of security personnel. But instead of consoling him, they asked him embarrassing questions and blamed him for the violence.
They said it was the young man's own fault for protesting the results of Iran's June 12 presidential elections, according to a fresh account of the alleged rape published on the website of a prominent reformist politician.
"I asked them why I and others were raped in prison," the young man says he asked two interrogators and a judge who had agreed to hear his story, according to the website of former parliamentary speaker Mehdi Karroubi.
One of the three replied, "'When the supreme leader confirmed the election result, everyone should have recognized it."
The young man's tale of rape, the latest in a series of gruesome stories emerging from Iran's detention centers, was published today on the website of Karroubi's political party, Etemad Melli. (The website is in Persian.)
The young man said he was raped by guards after being locked up in Tehran's now notorious Kahrizak detention center.
He said he was at first humiliated by the experience and suicidal, but was consoled by Karroubi, a cleric, who helped him regain his composure and self-esteem.
"He devoted himself like a psychiatrist to me to convince me that I was innocent," he said, according to the account. "He cited religious examples, and I was finally convinced that when someone is raped with his hands and feet tied is not a sinner and is on the contrary an oppressed."
On July 24, the alleged victim met with an official at the chief prosecutor's office, whom he described as respectful and sympathetic.
About four weeks later, the judge and two interrogators began cross-examining him, asking him to write down everything that had happened.
They asked him embarrassing questions about the extent of penetration, and whether he enjoyed being raped.
This is Your National Security Advisor” PATTERICO
Quote of the Day regarding Obama’s National Security Advisor Gen. Jim Jones:
“Summarizing, the metrics are showing success and Obama is doing better than the previous administration.
But there is no tally sheet, and the whole issue of killing and capturing more people misses the point. But more to the point, we are killing and capturing more people."
Neither do I.
Feel safer now?
...It isn't going to be easy for McClatchy to find Talibani that can write Engrish and staff their Kabul bureau.
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