Wednesday’s Guardian had a story with the headline Bush names rightwing Republican as CIA chief. I half expected to see a story elsewhere on the page saying Study confirms bears defecate in woods or Pope announces he isn’t Jewish. Yes, I’m talking about the guy who says he’s not qualified for a job at the CIA.

Also yesterday, Wikipedia’s featured article was MKULTRA. I must admit, I was amazed by some of the details. It makes me realize that the Church of Scientology’s rabid hatred of psychiatry makes some kind of sense, in the 50s and 60s context of the cult’s growth. Did L. Ron Hubbard know that the leader of the World Psychiatric Association was carrying out experiments that involved deliberately putting people into comas and giving them electroshock at 30x normal voltage? Or did he merely suspect?

Thirdly, a quick pointer to Jeff The Pacifist Bomb, written back before the Iraq war but not posted until now.

In case you missed it:

The retrial of a Moroccan man convicted of involvement in the September 11 attacks appeared to be in doubt last night after the Bush administration refused to allow two key al-Qaida suspects to give evidence.

On the first day of the new trial of Mounir el Motassadeq, a court in Hamburg was told that the US had refused to allow its al-Qaida suspects to be questioned in Germany.

Mr Motassadeq, 30, is accused of plotting the attacks in 2001 together with Mohamed Atta and other members of Hamburg’s al-Qaida cell.

Washington’s announcement came as Mr Motassadeq’s defence lawyer tried to have the case thrown out. Josef Graessle-Muenscher told the court it would be impossible to find out what had really happened on September 11 because al-Qaida suspects in US custody had probably been tortured.

“In this swamp of torture and prison camps, no court can ascertain the truth any more,” he said in an intervention detailing US abuses of prisoners, especially at Guantánamo Bay in Cuba

—Guardian 2004-08-11

Yup, you read it right—one of the guys who the German government believe helped plan the 9/11 attacks may walk free because the Bush administration won’t let suspects held in Guatánamo Bay give evidence.

Remind me, why are they there again?