I’m hearing that Hillary has a good chance of
winning here in Maine tomorrow, which is making
me think I should switch to Plan B (Plan
A is here): VOTE FOR OBAMA to save us
from Hillary. Mainefem stated on an earlier
thread that she’s going to be voting for Obama
tomorrow. She’s another one who is not happy
with our choices this year, but her bottom line
is: ANYBODY BUT HILLARY. So maybe Plan B
it is tomorrow….
Iraqmire — the
gift that keeps on giving. Thanks to our soldiers’ long
tours of duty in Iraq and Afghanistan — and too short a
rest period between tours —
America’s military readiness has been jeopardized.
Our military forces are now less prepared to respond to
a new crisis.
The Pentagon wants to improve this situation by forging
new partnerships overseas.
Aye, there's the rub. Defense Secretary Robert Gates
is trying to persuade our European allies (if they can
even still be called that) to help us in Afghanistan by
sending some of their troops over there. And for some
odd reason, they aren't too enthusiastic about that
They’ve already seen what a total disaster Iraq has
turned into, and now they won't touch us with a ten foot
pole. Even if these European leaders are confusing the
Iraqi and Afghanistan wars — as Gates says they are —
our credibility is shot. Toast. Finito. Thank you
Boozo the Clown.
Let's see, what other gifts has Iraqmire given us? Ah
recession. Yup, the R word — nearly two thirds of us
think we’re in one right now. And 68% think the surest
way to fix the economy is to pull out of Iraq. (48% said
pulling out of Iraq would help “a great deal,” and 20%
said it would help “at least somewhat.”)
The idea that pulling out of Iraq, and plugging up that
trillion dollar rupture in our treasury, would help the
economy — this should fall under the “DUUUHHH” category.
But surprisingly (or maybe it isn't surprising), most
Republicans think that pulling out of Iraq would
not help the economy.
Nice find by
HotAir: Faux News identified John McCain as a Democrat
yesterday, forcing the question of whether or not this was
just an "error." McCain is detested by the righties - booed
at CPAC, hated by conservative pundits, seen as more liberal
than even Hillary Clinton - but so much so that they'd label
him a "D"? It wouldn't be the first time that Faux purposely
mislabeled party affiliation . . .
very interesting article in Rolling Stone
magazine in which Matt Taibbi paints the portrait of
the Democratic surrender on the Iraq war, and about
how "Working behind the scenes, the Democrats have
systematically taken over the anti-war movement,
packing the nation's leading group with party
consultants more interested in attacking the GOP
than ending the war."
As I said, it is interesting
reading, but it has two major problems. The first is
the idea that the Democrats "surrendered" on the
Iraq war. In reality, they did no such thing; with
the exception of a distinct minority of the
Democrats, their talk of being opposed to the war
was just that - talk, designed to suck in the votes
of the real antiwar movement in the country by
pretending to be opposed to the war.
The second relates to the "antiwar" "movement."
The article mentions exactly one "antiwar"
group, Americans Against the Escalation in Iraq,
preposterously described as "the leader of the
anti-war lobby." The "anti-war" part is completely
preposterous; how can you be "anti-war" when you are
just opposed to "escalation"? The "lobby" part isn't
really preposterous, because that's exactly what
this group is, as opposed to a "movement" which is
how it is also described (e.g., in the sentence
quoted in the first paragraph above). Indeed, here's
how the group describes itself on its
Americans Against Escalation in Iraq is a major,
multi-million dollar national campaign to oppose
the President's proposal to escalate the war in
Iraq by sending more than 20,000 additional
troops into the violent civil war between Sunni
insurgents and Shiite militias.
Not a "movement," just a "multi-million dollar
campaign." There is a link on the page labeled
"support our cause." Does it tell you to join the
organization, demonstrate against the war, even
write a letter to your Congressperson? No, it tells
you to "visit our online store." This is the
"antiwar" "movement" that Taibbi thinks the
Democrats have taken over.
In reality, of course,
there is a story, as there is in almost every
election year, of activists being subsumed into
support for the Democratic Party and suspending or
reducing independent activity. But you won't find
that story in this article, in which mentions of
actual antiwar organizations like ANSWER, United for
Peace and Justice, Not in Our Name, Iraq Veterans
Against the War, etc., do not rate a single
Jon Stewart Weighs and Assesses
Romney's "I'm Helping Terror By Running for President" Speech
From Station Agent for
Ice Station Tango
That was one legendary log
of a speech Romney dished out on Wednesday. It
was so tone deaf that, in a wierd way, it's the
speech of the decade. It really had a little bit
of nothing for everyone.
Jon Stewart can not be left out of the feeding
The Baltimore Sun Endorses Barack
From Christopher for
From the Left
George W. Bush’s presidency can’t end soon
enough. Many Americans are fatigued by the state of the
nation: a relentless war in Iraq, a bottomless deficit, the
bruising mortgage crisis and the United States’ flagging
image abroad. So it is not hard to be energized by the
prospects for a successor.
When Marylanders vote in Tuesday’s presidential primary,
both Democratic choices are promising a new political era
for this century, and each has the intellect and the skills
to deliver. Hillary Clinton, with her years in Washington
and most recently in the Senate representing New York,
brings rich experience. She is tough and keenly focused,
pragmatic and driven. But Barack Obama, her Senate colleague
from Illinois, offers a more compelling vision for the
country that he would lead. He wants to forge a new reality
in Washington where consensus replaces confrontation. And he
has shown a remarkable ability to enroll a diverse array of
Americans in his cause, convincing a new generation that it
too has a stake in Washington.
The Sun strongly endorses Mr. Obama as the Democratic
nominee for president.
The point Petula Clark was
making spoke to the war in Vietnam. Funny how all that
fairly shouts to today as well. Vietnam, Iraq - the parts
are interchangeable - though the point unfortunately remains
exactly the same.
I think it’s finally time for a
woman to be President – don’t you?
Back from the big general WGA membership meeting to
discuss the proposed new contract. It was held at the
Shrine auditorium, which was the perfect venue because
(a) it’s large enough to accommodate the entire
guild…along with the 5th Army, (b) most writers spend
their Saturday nights in downtown Los Angeles anyway,
(c) it’s close to historic Felix Chevrolet on the “big
cat corner” of Figueroa & Jefferson, and (d) it’s
the cite of the American Music Awards.
The turnout was excellent. Estimated at 3,500. CAA was
not present handing out churros but all writers were
given colored wrist bands and if you got a green one you
were entitled to a free lap dance. I didn’t see Larry
Gelbart or Frank Pierson but I did see Diablo Cody.
There were also beefy security guards. Where were they
during negotiations? Outside were disappointed
photographers and film crews. Who the hell cares to see
writers at a
writers meeting? Where were the actors???
I didn’t know what to expect with this briefing. Similar
meetings in past strikes have turned very contentious.
Those security brutes might be needed. The pattern was
usually this: the president and board spend the first
hour selling the deal. The vibe is positive. Then the
floor is opened for questions. Here’s where the mood
turns. The first few queries are polite. Then about
fifteen minutes in the first F-bomb is dropped. The
questions get angrier and writers begin listing their
credits (as if it gives their opinions more weight
‘cause they wrote six episodes of THE TWILIGHT ZONE).
The membership gets rowdy, the negotiating committee is
under siege, and the whole thing turns real ugly.
Since a number of writers had issues with the current
deal on the table I wondered if this would become a
repeat of “Hollywood
Palladium 1981, 1985, and 1985 part two”.
Happily, it was not.
From the introduction of the negotiating committee there
were standing ovations. It was like a Tony Bennett
concert. There was even an enthusiastic standing 'O for
the actors. When have writers ever in the history of man
A major concern was addressed right off the bat. Members
feared this deal was being rammed down their throats at
the AMPTP’s insistence. Was the board going to vote to
end the strike on Sunday before members had the chance
to vote? WGA president Patric Verrone assured us that
no, in an accelerated process writers would vote within
48 hours of the board meeting. So at the earliest, the
strike would be over by Wednesday not Monday. That still
would salvage the TV season and the Oscars. Joan Rivers
is breathing easier today.
The main points of the deal are that it gives writers
jurisdiction over new media and a share of distributor’s
gross, which is hugely significant since any other
formula is just monkey points. By establishing
precedents the guild believes it is now in position to
share the revenue from emerging marketplaces such as the
internet. The deal is hardly perfect. There are a number
of holes (which the committee candidly acknowledged) but
considering we were negotiating against mega
conglomerates who would just as soon break the union,
this deal is at least a start and livable.
Chief negotiator David Young (pictured right) laid out
the deal. Noting that his background was in the garment
industry, a writer near me said one of the concessions
we got was that doors
would remain unlocked during business hours.
About an hour in Patric Verrone was handed a note and
announced that someone was live blogging and would they
please stop it. I was worried that everyone would look
to me, and I would have to say, “Hey, guys. I don’t even
know how to text message.” Rumor has it the culprit was
some clown from the LA TIMES.
Lots of people lined up for questions, but they were
primarily seeking clarification of specific deal points.
And no one shared their credits. I have to be honest.
The sound system in that cavernous barn was horrible and
I couldn’t hear half of what anyone was saying. And
numbers and formulas were flying around and after a half
hour my head was ready to explode. I decided it was time
to leave. It was pretty clear that the membership is
behind this deal and if I got out before 11 I’d miss any
street gang drive-bys.
So peace and harmony could return to Hollywood as soon
as Wednesday. And will last all the way to June. Let’s
hope SAG is able to make their deal without another work
stoppage. But if there is, I’ll be the first to grab a
sign and join their picket line. I doubt if the AMPTP
would give a shit but the photographers and news crews
would be pissed because I’m blocking actors.
Yesterday while standing at our vigil, I fell in love. Some
motorists will look us right in the eye, and that moment we
share is so beautiful. Even those that won't look at us when
sitting right in front of us - well, I've been one of them
before. I'm sure that I've been the person who wouldn't look
because I had something else on my mind or I was afraid or I
disagreed with the other person's message or lifestyle. We
all have the same thoughts and feelings, so there is no
difference between the motorists that won't look and me.
There we all were together. On the street on a Saturday
afternoon, the bright Colorado sun warming us all.
We vigilers stand for peace. And there WAS peace. Right
Amazing how it happens!
I can't take credit for the
Larry G. Blackwood gets credit. You can make up your own
story about why I chose it for this post.
Clinton, Obama and Health
Care - A Closer Look
From Boss Kitty for
The Economy and Health Care are at the top of
America’s list of crisis issues. These topics are
intertwined with the Wars against terror, the veterans
returning home and immigration. Returning soldiers,
contractors and illegal immigrants who are scared to death,
when they fall ill, face an elitist health system with
bigoted administrators who condemn those without money as
lazy bums. After all, they are less deserving. No? This no
account, good for nothing, gold brick population has
expanded to include some of those same elitist bigots.
America’s middle class is beginning to admit it is
drowning in the well marketed extreme Neoconservative
Here are some very credible Health Care resources
that address the NeoCon Myths about universal Health Care:
So, there you have it. Comparisons up the yazoo …
Whatever the outcome among the Democrats, more inclusive
Health Care should be the result. The bottom line is that
the uninsured who are physically or mentally ill constitute
a hazard to the United States. The
operative word, without becoming too humanitarian, is
If the current trend continues, the healthy in America will
have to consider Quarantine. If the Democrats can pull off
any kind of ‘inclusive’ health care package, it will be
better than the status quo. It will not be easy to dislodge
the entrenched love-fest between Washington DC and the Drug
Industry, Insurance Giants and Mega-Hospital Consortiums.
The NeoCons can shout all they want that inclusive health
care is socialism. Their scare tactic falls way too short!
They can certainly buy their own health care. When the sick
will outnumber the healthy, it will be easier to quarantine
the healthy. The sick and at risk who cannot walk up to any
health care provider and get treated in time to prevent a
catastrophe, puts the whole country in jeopardy.
Proponents of a controversial proposed ballot measure
that would have reallocated California's
electoral college votes by congressional district
-- instead of the current winner-take-all system -- have
abandoned their effort.
"It's not going to make the ballot this year," said
David Gilliard, a Republican political strategist
organizing the campaign. "The money never materialized
to put it on the ballot."
The measure was the talk of Sacramento's political
chattering class in late 2007, as Democrats charged it
was an attempt to rig the 2008 presidential
election for the Republicans.
The Democratic presidential nominee has won
California in the general election -- and all of its
electoral votes -- in every election since 1992. By
splitting the state's electoral pie, the GOP nominee
would be assured of some 20 of California's electoral
votes, a prize the size of Ohio.
As a result, the proposed measure garnered national
But the campaign had to turn in more than 400,000
valid signatures by Feb. 4, which it did not do,
according to Gilliard... [emphasis added]
It's nice to have some good
news for a change. While I agree that the
plurality-based winner take all system of apportioning
electoral votes is fatally flawed, I posted a good way
to reform it
HERE. The GOP wants "reform"
only in states that the Democrats habitually win, while
keeping winner-take-all in red states.
Burma Generals Fire Up the PR
From RickB for Ten
“This is a move away from democracy, not towards it,”
said Mark Farmaner, Director of the Burma Campaign UK. “It
is public relations spin because they are afraid of stronger
sanctions being imposed. They are defying the Security
Council by going ahead with this sham process and refusing
to hold genuine talks with Aung San Suu Kyi and leaders of
ethnic groups. There needs to be a strong international
response to say that this will not be accepted.”
By going ahead with the next steps of its so-called 7
stage road map to democracy, the regime is sending a
strong message that it is not genuine about engaging
with the United Nations in a real process of national
reconciliation and reform. The regime has yet to enter
into genuine dialogue with the National League for
Democracy and Aung San Suu Kyi. It has, in effect,
banned UN Envoy Ibrahim Gambari from entering the
country. A visit scheduled for December was delayed
until January, and then pushed back to April. This
prompted the UN Security Council to issue its second
Presidential statement on Burma, calling for Gambari to
be allowed into the country.It is no coincidence that
the announcement comes at a time when the regime is
facing increasing economic sanctions following its
brutal crackdown on pro-democracy demonstrations in
September last year. The USA, EU, Australia, and Canada
have all announced new economic sanctions. Last week the
USA introduced new sanctions targeting business cronies
of the regime, and further sanctions are being
considered by Congress. The EU is also considering
strengthening sanctions when it renews the EU Common
Position in April.The regime’s claims that it is
committed to moving towards democracy run completely at
odds with the facts on the ground. Since the September
uprising they have continued to arrest activists. There
are now more than 1,800 political prisoners, an increase
of more than 700 from the year before. The regime is
also stepping up its campaign of ethnic cleansing in
Eastern Burma. The UN has condemned the regime for
breaking the Geneva Convention by deliberately targeting
civilians in Eastern Burma. More than half a million
people are internally displaced after being forced to
flee their homes.The Burma Campaign UK is also warning
that the regime will do everything it can to fix the
outcome of the referendum and elections. There are
serious questions about its ability to hold a referendum
in which all people can participate. There are no proper
lists of potential voters in the country. The junta’s
definition of a referendum could include forcing people
to attend mass public rallies, and then to claim that as
a mandate. In addition, political parties such as the
National League for Democracy are not allowed to operate
freely. It is also illegal to criticise the draft
constitution, and to do so is punishable by up to 20
years in jail.“The regime lost the election in 1990,
so just ignored the result,” said Mark Farmaner. “This
time we can be sure every stage will be rigged to ensure
The Burma Campaign UK is concerned not only about
the fact that the process is designed to keep the
generals in power, but also about the impact on ethnic
people in Burma, and on ceasefire agreements with armed
ethnic groups. Their aspirations are for a federal state
that would provide a degree of autonomy from central
government, and protect their culture and rights. There
are no provisions for this in the constitution. This is
not only a threat to ethnic people, but also threatens
the stability of the country. There appears to be a real
possibility that some ceasefire organisations could
return to arms, or split, with factions once again
taking up their guns. If this were to happen on a large
scale, it would not only completely change the current
political situation within the country, but also
threaten a new human rights and humanitarian crisis, as
the regime ruthlessly targets civilians in conflict
“What the regime has announced has nothing to do
with democracy,” said Mark Farmaner. “It is about
preserving military rule and avoiding economic
sanctions. The international community must not be
fooled again. The United Nations Security Council must
take action. In addition, the UK and EU must impose
further targeted sanctions to help force the regime to
the negotiating table.”
Note to Hillary - Please Remove
Chelsea From Your Breast
From Catherine Durkin
Out in Left Field
MSNBC's David Shuster suggested the Clinton campaign had "pimped
out" Chelsea by having her place phone calls to celebrities and
superdelegates. Hillary blew a few brain cells at the notion that
her darling little hedgefund manager could be compared to a 'ho.
Hillary then threatened to never appear on the network or in their
debates again. Which is just pathetic - on several levels.
Then MSNBC wraps up Shuster's balls and holds them hostage, making
him appear almost as ridiculous as the Clintons.
Really, Hill? Aren't we just inventing sh*t to be upset about now?
David Shuster might be a douche. There's certainly nothing wrong
with a grown woman campaigning on behalf of her mother.
But, if you're going to put your daughter out there - don't pitch a
fit when someone criticizes her or you for it.
WASHINGTON - Here's a sign of how shaky the
economy has become: Wal-Mart says its shoppers are redeeming
their holiday gift cards for basic items — pasta sauce,
diapers, laundry detergent — instead of iPods or DVDs.
Merchants had hoped shoppers armed with gift cards would
provide a lift after a dismal holiday shopping season —
partly because shoppers tend to spend even more than the
value of the card. But that didn't seem to happen last
month, and retailers are feeling the pain.
On Thursday, the nation's retailers turned in their worst
January in almost four decades as high gas and food prices,
a slumping housing market, tighter credit and a tougher job
market pushed consumers to the edge.
Sales at 43 retailers surveyed by the UBS-International
Council of Shopping Centers rose just 0.5 percent in
January, well below the original 1.5 percent forecast.
The results — based on sales at stores open at least a year
— followed an anemic 0.7 percent pace in December and were
below the 2.1 percent gain for all of last year.
Graph showing percentage change of major
retailers' sales in comparison to January 2007. From MSNBC
I guess the big retailers were hoping that Americans would spend
more of their gift cards on Ipods, or big-screen TVs, rather
than than groceries.
That leads us to
the three co-chairs of the DNC Credentials
Committee: Alexis Herman, James Roosevelt, Jr. and
Aliseo Roques-Arroyo. All three of them served in
the Clinton Administration. Okay, as far as we know
they are all reputable, upstanding people, but if
you were Hillary Clinton and these three people
worked for you and your husband during the 8
presidential years Hillary includes on her "35 years
of experience," wouldn't you feel like you might
have some influence on the three co-chairs?
After all, the
decision of the DNC Credentials Committee will be
political; this is not a judicial process.
I get a headache just thinking of what this means to
the nomination process for the Democrats .. the fix
is in methinks..
In May of 2005 Laura Bush made a high
profile speech at the World Economic Forum and challenged
the Middle East region to allow women into the political
process and workplace, saying equal rights are essential for
democratic progress in the Middle East. She also said that
new freedoms granted to the women in Afghanistan, Iraq,
Kuwait, and Morocco prove equal rights are compatible with
Islam and Arab culture.
Thank God we have Laura Bush to fight for women in the
Middle East, eh?
stated, "Freedom, especially freedom for women, is more than
the absence of oppression. It's the right to speak and vote
and worship freely. Human rights require the rights of
women. And human rights are
empty promises without human liberty."
Ah yes...empty promises. Now that's something that the Bush
family should be familiar with. Let's check out these
freedoms that were granted to the women in the Middle East
Iraq (CNN) -- The images in the Basra police file are
nauseating: Page after page of women killed in brutal
fashion -- some strangled to death, their faces
disfigured; others beheaded. All bear signs of torture.
Police chief Gen. Abdul Jalil Khalaf holds a book
cataloging the dead.
The women are killed, police say, because they failed to
wear a headscarf or because they ignored other "rules"
that secretive fundamentalist groups want to enforce.
"Fear, fear is always there," says 30-year-old Safana,
an artist and university professor. "We don't know who
to be afraid of. Maybe it's a friend or a student you
teach. There is no break, no security. I don't know who
to be afraid of."
Her fear is justified. Iraq's second-largest city,
Basra, is a stronghold of conservative Shia groups. As
many as 133 women were killed in Basra last year -- 79
for violation of "Islamic teachings" and 47 for
so-called honor killings, according to IRIN, the news
branch of the U.N.'s Office for the Coordination of
The women who have been killed have been strangled,
beheaded, their hands and legs chopped off. Police chief
Gen. Abdul Jalil Khalaf said when he came to Basra a year
ago, "two women were killed in front fo their kids. Their
blood was flowing in front of their kids, they were crying.
Another woman was killed in front of her 6 year old son,
another in front of her 11 year old child, two others were
After the fall of Saddam Hussein in 2003, Sawsan says, the
situation was "the best." But now, she says, it's "the
"We thought there would be freedom and democracy and women
would have their rights. But all the things we were promised
have not come true. There is only fear and horror."
So much for all that freedom Bush has given Iraqi women.
7, 2008--Ayatollah Sheikh Mohammed Al Yaaqubi of Fadhila
(Virtue) Party held Iraq politicians the responsibility
of emergence of extremist groups in certain cities of
the South due to their failed performance. After violent
clashes that have erupted more than three weeks ago in
Basra and Nassiriya between security forces and gunmen
belonging to Al Yamani Group, a new religious extremist
group came to light known by “Ansar Al Imam Al Rabbani”
group in Khales District, affiliated to Diyala Province.
The group is leaded by Fadel Al Marsoumi and advocates
extremist religious views that call for violence.
Sources from Diyala police have announced the arrest of
11 members from Al Marsoumi group which brings the
number of detainees belonging to this group to 28.
Officials have compared between the groups of “Ansar Al
Rabbani”, Ansar “Al Yamani” and “Ansar Jund Al Samaa’’
who have carried out violent fights in Zirka near Najaf
city in 2007 and concluded that these groups advocate
similar extremist views.
Shiite religious authorities are examining reasons
behind such groups in a bid to explain their emergence.
Iraqi Government holds a number of regional countries
and intelligence apparatus responsibility for supporting
these groups while some observers say that social,
political and economic reasons ease circumstances for
these groups to come about advocating such peculiar
thoughts that drag naïve people. They consider as well
that using over power to eradicate these groups might
contribute to their expansion.
Of course, I'm sure we can rely on Bush's best friends in
Saudi Arabia to keep this stuff under control, just like
they kept our oil prices under control, right? Well, maybe
37-year-old American businesswoman and married mother of
three is seeking justice after she was thrown in jail by
Saudi Arabia's religious police for sitting with a male
colleague at a Starbucks coffee shop in Riyadh.
Yara, who does not want her last name published for fear
of retribution, was bruised and crying when she was
freed from a day in prison after she was strip-searched,
threatened and forced to sign false confessions by the
Kingdom's “Mutaween” police.
Her ordeal began with a routine visit to the new Riyadh
offices of her finance company, where she is a managing
The electricity temporarily cut out, so Yara and her
colleagues — who are all men — went to a nearby
Starbucks to use its wireless internet.
She sat in a curtained booth with her business partner
in the café's “family” area, the only seats where men
and women are allowed to mix.
For Yara, it was a matter of convenience. But in Saudi
Arabia, public contact between unrelated men and women
is strictly prohibited.
“Some men came up to us with very long beards and white
dresses. They asked ‘Why are you here together?'. I
explained about the power being out in our office. They
got very angry and told me what I was doing was a great
sin,” recalled Yara, who wears an abaya and headscarf,
like most Saudi women.
The men were from Saudi Arabia's Commission for
Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice, a police
force of several thousand men charged with enforcing
dress codes, sex segregation and the observance of
Yara, whose parents are Jordanian and grew up in Salt
Lake City, once believed that life in Saudi Arabia was
becoming more liberal. But on Monday the religious
police took her mobile phone, pushed her into a cab and
drove her to Malaz prison in Riyadh. She was
interrogated, strip-searched and forced to sign and
fingerprint a series of confessions pleading guilty to
“They took me into a filthy bathroom, full of water and
dirt. They made me take off my clothes and squat and
they threw my clothes in this slush and made me put them
back on,” she said. Eventually she was taken before a
“He said 'You are sinful and you are going to burn in
hell'. I told him I was sorry. I was very submissive. I
had given up. I felt hopeless,” she said.
Yara's husband, Hatim, used his political contacts in
Jeddah to track her whereabouts. He was able to secure
“I was lucky. I met other women in that prison who don't
have the connections I did,” she said. Her story has
received rare coverage in Saudi Arabia, where the press
has been sharply critical of the police.
Yara was visited yesterday by officials from the
American Embassy, who promised they would file a report.
An embassy official told The Times that it was being
treated as “an internal Saudi matter” and refused to
comment on her case.
— Saudi Arabia’s Mutaween has 10,000 members in almost
— Ahmad al-Bluwi, 50, died in custody in 2007 in the
city of Tabuk after he invited a woman outside his
immediate family into his car
— In 2007 the victim of a gang rape was sentenced to 200
lashes and six years in jail for having been in an
unrelated man’s car at the time. She was pardoned by
King Abdullah, although he maintained the sentence had