Tuesday Reads: Gitmo, Torture, and Dirty Wars

Yemeni protestors dressed in prison uniforms, hold posters of men detained in Guantanamo Bay prison during a demonstration in front of the U.S. embassy demanding their release, in Sanaa, Yemen, Tuesday, April 16, 2013.

Yemeni protestors dressed in prison uniforms, hold posters of men detained in Guantanamo Bay prison during a demonstration in front of the U.S. embassy demanding their release, in Sanaa, Yemen, Tuesday, April 16, 2013.

Good Morning!!

There has been so much news lately that it’s hard to know what to write about; but I decided to focus on a shocking story that hasn’t gotten much coverage in the corporate media–the mass hunger strikes at Guantanamo.

Last week The New York Times published a heart-rending cry for help from an inmate (dictated over the phone), Samir Naji al Hasan Moqbel: Gitmo Is Killing Me. This man has been in Gitmo for 11 years with no charges and faces the terrible possibility that he will die there. How did he end up imprisoned by the U.S.?

When I was at home in Yemen, in 2000, a childhood friend told me that in Afghanistan I could do better than the $50 a month I earned in a factory, and support my family. I’d never really traveled, and knew nothing about Afghanistan, but I gave it a try.

I was wrong to trust him. There was no work. I wanted to leave, but had no money to fly home. After the American invasion in 2001, I fled to Pakistan like everyone else. The Pakistanis arrested me when I asked to see someone from the Yemeni Embassy. I was then sent to Kandahar, and put on the first plane to Gitmo.

He has been on a hunger strike since Feb. 10, and Americans are now force-feeding him. That is torture.

Last month, on March 15, I was sick in the prison hospital and refused to be fed. A team from the E.R.F. (Extreme Reaction Force), a squad of eight military police officers in riot gear, burst in. They tied my hands and feet to the bed. They forcibly inserted an IV into my hand. I spent 26 hours in this state, tied to the bed. During this time I was not permitted to go to the toilet. They inserted a catheter, which was painful, degrading and unnecessary. I was not even permitted to pray.

I will never forget the first time they passed the feeding tube up my nose. I can’t describe how painful it is to be force-fed this way. As it was thrust in, it made me feel like throwing up. I wanted to vomit, but I couldn’t. There was agony in my chest, throat and stomach. I had never experienced such pain before. I would not wish this cruel punishment upon anyone.

I am still being force-fed. Two times a day they tie me to a chair in my cell. My arms, legs and head are strapped down. I never know when they will come. Sometimes they come during the night, as late as 11 p.m., when I’m sleeping.

There are so many of us on hunger strike now that there aren’t enough qualified medical staff members to carry out the force-feedings; nothing is happening at regular intervals. They are feeding people around the clock just to keep up.

This is being done in our name. Our tax money is being spent on this.

Protesters demand Obama close Guantanamo Bay prison

Protesters demand Obama close Guantanamo Bay prison

On Saturday, The Guardian Observer published another inmate’s story, “Shaker Aamer: ‘I want to hug my children and watch them as they grow'”

As of today, I’ve spent more than 11 years in Guantánamo Bay. To be precise, it’s been 4,084 long days and nights. I’ve never been charged with any crime. I’ve never been allowed to see the evidence that the US once pretended they had against me. It’s all secret, even the statements they tortured out of me.

In 2007, roughly halfway through my ordeal, I was cleared for release by the Bush administration. In 2009, under Obama, all six of the US frontline intelligence agencies combined to clear me again. But I’m still here.

Every day in Guantánamo is torture – as was the time they held me before that, in Bagram and Kandahar air force bases, in Afghanistan. It’s not really the individual acts of abuse (the strappado – that’s the process refined by the Spanish Inquisition where they hang you from your wrists so your shoulders begin to dislocate, the sleep deprivation, and the kicks and punches); it’s the combined experience. My favourite book here (I’ve read it over and over) has been Nineteen Eighty-Four by George Orwell: torture is for torture, and the system is for the system.

More than a decade of my life has been stolen from me, for no good reason. I resent that; of course I do. I have missed the birth of my youngest son, and some of the most wonderful years with all my four children. I love being a father, and I always worked to do it as best I can.

Shaker Aamer is a Saudi Arabian citizen and his family lives in London.

shaker aamer

Jeffrey Kaye (AKA Valtin), who has been writing about U.S. torture for many years wrote a diary about Shaker Amer at DailyKos on Sunday that is well worth reading: British Press: US Conspires with UK & Saudis to Hold Detainee w/Evidence on Iraq War Lies.

Unlike the vast majority of detainees held at Guantanamo, Aamer speaks very good English. He is intelligent and motivated. That makes him dangerous to the authorities running Guantanamo. While President Obama’s administration and DoD officials maintain Guantanamo is run humanely, a blue-ribbon panel assembled by The Constitution Project, including former GOP officials, have determined that abuse still occurs, and have pointed out the the Army Field Manual’s Appendix M, a prime culprit in ongoing abuse, should be excised from that document and from DoD practice. (Link to the long and fascinating report.)

But it apparently is not only testimony about being tortured or seeing others tortured that Aamer can supply. That alone would probably not be enough to hold him forever. Instead, exposes this past weekend in the British press have indicated Aamer is being held indefinitely, or considered for “repatriation” to Saudi Arabia, because he can testify to the presence of British counter-terrorism agents from MI5 and MI6 at his own torture… and the torture of Ibn Shaikh al-Libi.

Al-Libi famously was tortured to give false evidence about Saddam Hussein’s pursuit of chemical weapons as part of the doctored evidence presented to US and world public opinion to justify the unprovoked invasion of Iraq by the US-dominated coalition in 2003. The invasion was responsible for the deaths of an untold number of Iraqis (estimates ranging from 100,000 to well over a million), an untold number of injured, produced millions of refugees, and generally destabilized the region.

In a recent Guardian expose, the culpability of high US officials in the organization and operation of death and torture squads by the Iraqis was documented. But in the United States, there appeared to be almost no interest in these developments.

President Obama supposedly ended Bush’s torture policies and vowed to close Guantanamo, but clearly these men are being tortured and there are no signs that Guantanamo will ever be closed. Here’s a piece by Jeremy Scahill published in 2009 that describes the “black shirts,” the “Thug Squad Still Brutalizing Prisoners at Gitmo Under Obama.” Clearly, it is still happening in 2013.

One more link to a piece at Truthout by Jason Leopold, who has also been writing about torture for years: Inmates Rising: Worsening Gitmo Mass Hunger Strike in Prisoners’ Own Words.

In early March, when journalists began to ask questions about a reported hunger strike involving about 130 of 166 prisoners at Guantanamo, US Defense Department officials disputed the assertions….
“There is not a mass hunger strike amongst the detainees at GTMO,” Army Lt. Col. Todd Breasseale, a Pentagon spokesman, told Truthout March 4.

“Some detainees have attempted to coordinate a hunger strike and have refused meal deliveries, but the overwhelming majority of detainees are not participating,” he said, placing the number of strikers at a half a dozen, “which is about what we have averaged for the past year.”

A “very limited few detainees” have engaged in sporadic hunger strikes for several years, he added. And the Gitmo prisoners “peacefully protest” from time to time about “a host of issues ranging from availability of particular brands of breakfast cereal to enforcement of long-established camp rules.”

But too many gaunt prisoners were telling their lawyers a different story, and the unclassified notes of client meetings and phone calls, along with information Truthout elicited in interviews conducted with officials at Guantanamo and the US Defense Department, point to new developments and old frustrations that precipitated the current crisis.

I highly recommend this article!

Abdulrahman al Awlaki, age 16, killed by a targeted drone strike

Abdulrahman al Awlaki, age 16, killed by a targeted drone strike

As a supplement to these reads, here’s an except the from Jeremy Scahill’s new book Dirty Wars: The World Is A Battlefield, just out today. Amazon is selling the e-book for less than $10, so I preordered it and it downloaded to my Kindle at midnight.

The excerpt at The Nation focuses on the killing of American citizen Anwar al Awlaki and his 16-year-old son (along with lots of others, including other children.) Scahill writes:

After Abdulrahman heard the news of Anwar’s [his father’s] death, he called home for the first time and spoke to his mother and grandmother. “That’s enough, Abdulrahman. You have to come back,” his grandmother Saleha told him. “That’s it.” The conversation was brief. Abdulrahman said he would return home soon, but that he wanted to wait for the roads to clear. There were police checkpoints and fighting along the route, and he did not want to be detained or caught up in any violence.

As Abdulrahman mourned, the boy’s family members in Shabwah tried to comfort him and encouraged him to get out with his cousins. That was what Abdulrahman was doing on the evening of October 14. He and his cousins had joined a group of friends outdoors to barbecue. There were a few other people doing the same nearby. It was about 9 pm when the drones pierced the night sky. Moments later, Abdulrahman was dead. So, too, were several other teenage members of his family, including Abdulrahman’s 17-year-old cousin Ahmed.

Early the next morning, Nasser al-Awlaki received a phone call from his family in Shabwah. “Some of our relatives went to the place where [Abdulrahman] was killed, and they saw the area…. And they told us he was buried with the others in one grave because they were blown up to pieces by the drone. So they could not put them in separate graves,” Nasser told me.

With the horror setting in that their eldest grandson had been killed just two weeks after their eldest child, Nasser and Saleha watched in disbelief as numerous news reports identified Abdulrahman as being 21 years old, with anonymous US officials referring to him as a “military-aged” male. Some reports intimated that he was an Al Qaeda supporter and that he had been killed while meeting with Ibrahim al-Banna, an Egyptian citizen described as the “media coordinator” for AQAP.

We are paying for this to be done in our name, many times over.

I’ll end with this piece at Alternet on a topic we’ve been discussing here at Sky Dancing over the past few days: America’s Focus on Terrorism Blinds Us To Everyday Violence and Suffering.

The Boston Marathon bombing and shootouts with the suspects frightened millions of Americans and turned into one of the biggest media events of the 21st century. But beyond lingering questions of whether the government went too far by shutting down an entire city and whether that might encourage future terrorism, a deeper and darker question remains: why is America’s obsession with evil so selective?

There are all kinds of violent events in America that go unheeded. The British-based Guardian newspaper reported that on the same day as the bombing, 11 people were killed by guns across the U.S. That sad list included a pregnant woman in Dallas allegedly shot by her boyfriend; a 13-year-old who took his own life after being bullied at school; and an off-duty New York City policewoman who killed her husband, her year-old baby, and then committed suicide with her police-issued handgun.

The lists of most violent American trends reveal the mundane shades of evil. There are the most violent cities. There are the murder capitals. There’s domestic violence primarily against women. There are the most dangerous jobs, where injury is common and death far more widespread than from bomb-wielding terrorists—such as at the Texas fertilizer plant that blew up last week and killed at least 14 people and where 270 tons of ammonium nitrate was illegally  stored in violation of state and federal law.

What is it about the nature of one form of evil versus another that grips America’s attention, whipping mainstream media into a frenzy and pushing government to pull out the stops in one moment but not in another? Do we respond more to the unexpected rather than to senselessness that continues day by day?

Now it’s your turn. What issues are you focusing on today? Please post your links on any topic in the comments. Remember nothing is OT!


56 Comments on “Tuesday Reads: Gitmo, Torture, and Dirty Wars”

  1. bostonboomer says:

    I know this is a downer, but I’ve been wanted to write about it for awhile–so I thought I’d take this opportunity.

    • dakinikat says:

      It’s extremely important and thank you for this. I think it’s important to discuss these things and to know about them!!!

      • bostonboomer says:

        Thank you!

        • dakinikat says:

          Ricin Suspect Released From Jail. Was He Set Up By a Fellow Mensa Member? http://slate.me/10xawSU

          check this out

          • From the link:

            Earlier this week, Curtis’ attorney, Christi McCoy, pointed to another possible suspect she said may have framed her client: alleged child molester and former political hopeful J. Everett Dutschke. Dutschke apparently has a long history with both the judge who was sent the third letter and her son, Steve Holland, a state lawmaker. As the son explained to USA Today, Dutschke “hates the Hollands with a passion.” He ran against, and lost to, Holland in 2007, no doubt explaining at least some of the ill will.

            Dutschke also isn’t on the best terms with Curtis. “They were known to have some kind of disagreement between them that may have started with Dutschke’s claim that he would help Curtis publish a book,” according to the paper. Here’s USA Today with more on the similarities between Curtis and Dutschke:

            According to their online posts, Dutschke and Curtis are both musicians, martial artists and members of Mensa, an international society for people with high IQs. Dutschke says he is an officer in the organization. Both were known for ranting online and writing Internet posts and emails to prominent figures.

            Damn, Hollywood has three movies from the headlines of last week alone.

    • I haven’t yet read it BB, but look forward to it.

  2. bostonboomer says:

    Jeremy Scahill on Democracy Now this morning.

  3. ecocatwoman says:

    Great & terribly important post bb. Thanks for doing it. Personally, I can’t bear to go to the links. Your excerpts are more than enough to both sadden and anger me. Governments have done horrendous things to their citizens, along with doing terrible things to those whom they consider their enemies throughout history. Sometimes it’s difficult to see the good that governments do. More often than not the good that is done by a country is done by individual or small groups of citizens. America seems, at least to me, to being doing much more harm than good. All too often, again my opinion, those who rap themselves in the flag or proclaim their Patriotism, are those who support our most objectionable actions.

    Again, thanks for pulling all of these threads together for us.

  4. bostonboomer says:

    Why Boston Marathon Bombing Suspect Tamerlan Tsarnaev’s Autopsy Should Include A Check For CTE

    Could the amateur boxing career of Tamerlan Tsarnaev, the deceased suspect in last week’s Boston Marathon bombings, have had a role in the massacre? That’s a question leading brain researchers at Boston University’s School of Medicine hope medical examiners look into when they perform an autopsy of the 26-year-old who was killed during a firefight with law enforcement officials early Friday morning.

    Tsarnaev was a champion boxer who qualified for the national Golden Gloves competition and had once had dreams of qualifying for the U.S. Olympic team. That abbreviated career has led Drs. Robert Cantu and Robert Stern to urge examiners to study his brain for signs of chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), the degenerative brain disease found in boxers since the 1920s that has received renewed attention because it was found in the brains of former football players. Though both doctors doubt that CTE caused the behavior that led to the bombings, researchers shouldn’t overlook the chance to study Tsarnaev’s brain, they told the Boston Globe:

    “Is it possible that some changes might have gone on in his overall functioning due to his boxing and potentially related brain disease? Yes,’’ said Stern, a BU professor of neurology and neurosurgery. “Anything is possible. But to then jump to the disease leading to well-planned behavior like this, I couldn’t go there.’’ […]

    “We can’t think of their brains as being normal,’’ he said. “But there are too many people who do such bizarre and terrible acts that it’s unlikely it’s all due to one terrorist gene or disease.’’

    • ecocatwoman says:

      I wonder if Tamerlan’s parents will permit an autopsy. My question arises not from my wealth of knowledge on this topic but because I’m an avid watcher of NCIS. There was an episode where Ducky wasn’t permitted to do an autopsy on a Muslim man and actually used a CAT scan or MRI (can’t remember which) to determine cause of death. Regardless it certainly seems plausible that Tamerlan’s boxing could have caused brain damage that resulted in his personality change. Personally I think physical abnormalities of the brain (from birth or later physical damage) would explain why many people do or believe the things they do. But, bb, you’re the expert in this area – I’m just a lay person trying to understand how people can become zealots, suicide bombers or mass murderers.

      • bostonboomer says:

        Would they be the ones to decide in this case? I don’t know what the laws are. I know the police can hold onto the body if they need it for evidence.

        • ecocatwoman says:

          This is what I don’t know. I think the parents or an Imam can raise objections to an autopsy, but I don’t know if the state/county coroner can be mandated by religious beliefs not to perform one.

      • Fannie says:

        I don’t think his parents would have a say, but maybe the wife.

  5. Fannie says:

    I had been thinking about boxer injuries………..boxing/fighting does cause injuries, and it can happen at any age, but more often than not they are finding the injuries later in their lives. Meaning these are old injuries that have been ingnored in the past. Regardless boxers are types of people who have short fuses, and the wrong look can set them off. I had also mentioned earlier that he had to drop out……..of many activities for many reasons………….I would be thinking that this didn’t help him become a greater person, it probably made him angry. And he began to favor the violence and went ballistic, and I think he knew that there would be no handcuffs……..but his own grave digging.

    The truth is their backgrounds aren’t going to be on trial…………..it’s their criminal acts of murdering that will. I don’t think the jury will be influenced by his background. However all of those tapes, photos, eye witnesses will be the influence, which will produce verdict of guilty.

    Don’t you think so?

    • bostonboomer says:

      This isn’t about the legal case. It’s about research on CTE. The only way it can be studied is post-mortum brain autopsies That’s why so many NFL players are leaving their brains to the research center at Boston University.

      • ecocatwoman says:

        Yep, and that’s why when they commit suicide (and several NFL players have done so), they shoot themselves in the chest instead of the head. The violence of the game is one of the reasons I can’t watch football any longer & enjoy it.

      • Fannie says:

        I wondered if they were trying to link Tamerlan to his younger’s brother’s case, as to what led them and was the cause for them becomming radical and their criminal behavior. Christ Benoit in 2007,a wrestler, killed his wife, and his son, and hung himself. Beside each was found a bible, and note by the third bible “I am prepared to leave this earth.” He also had used steroids, and had physcially abused his wife. His family blamed the murder sucide on CTE……………according to one doctor, his brain was so damaged that it resembled the brain of 85 year old alzheimer patient. All lobes of brain and stem showed he suffered CTE. This is a big case for sure.

  6. bostonboomer says:

    Columbia Journalism Review interview with Matthew Keys, who was fired by Reuters yesterday. I followed his tweets closely on last Thursday/Friday during the shootouts in Watertown. They were indispensable.

    It’s been a rough month and a half for Matthew Keys. In March, Reuters’s now-former deputy social media editor was indicted by the US Justice Department, accused of sharing a past employer’s network information with hackers. Reuters suspended him (with pay) shortly thereafter, and Keys, 26, spent the last month tweeting news much like he did before the suspension, with his Reuters title still on his Twitter profile.

    The Boston Marathon bombing proved to be Keys’s final undoing; he lashed out at Reuters social media editor Anthony De Rosa, accusing his boss of tweet plagiarism. Keys also took a lot of heat for erroneously tweeting that one of the bombing suspects was in custody and live-tweeting the Boston police scanner after the police department had asked the media to stop. Yesterday, Keys announced (on Twitter, of course) that his 14-month employment with Reuters had come to an end.

  7. bostonboomer says:

    Sloth and kitten cuddling

  8. bostonboomer says:

    WSJ Profile of the attorneys who will be representing Dzhokhar Tsarnaev

    He may be one of the most hated men in America. But Dzhokhar Tsarnaev is getting legal counsel from an office led by one of the nation’s most respected public defenders, Miriam Conrad.

    Ms. Conrad’s team includes William W. Fick, who was present when U.S. prosecutors charged Dzhokhar Tsarnaev with carrying out one of the Boston Marathon bombings during what’s known as a first-appearance hearing.

    Conrad defended the shoe bomber and other “notorious terrorists” and has been a federal public defender for 20 years. That’s dedication. It doesn’t pay that well.

  9. bostonboomer says:

    Mass shooting in Russia yesterday. Six killed, including fourteen-year-old girl.

    • RalphB says:

      Shooting was in Belgorod, a city by the Ukrainian border. Ironically it happened at or near an arms store.

  10. bostonboomer says:

    The Tsarnaev brothers’ mother thinks her son Tamerlan is still alive.

  11. bostonboomer says:

    Harvard to shut primate research center where monkeys died, citing tough economic climate

    The Harvard primate research center where four monkeys died because of animal care problems will be largely shut down by 2015, Harvard Medical School announced Tuesday afternoon. The university cited a tough economic climate for biomedical research funding and shifting long-term strategic plans.

    The announcement stunned outside researchers, because it comes a year and a half after Harvard began investing significant time and resources into the New England Primate Research Center in Southborough, to correct animal care and oversight problems that had resulted in the deaths of four monkeys between June 2010 and Feb. 2012.

    The US Department of Agriculture investigated the center and cited Harvard for violations of animal welfare rules, an embarrassing black eye that caused consternation across the university. But medical school leaders said the decision to close the primate center was unrelated to its previous problems.

    “It’s very, very disturbing, disappointing, disheartening, shocking,” said Nancy Haigwood, director of the Oregon National Primate Research Center, who was informed of the decision by the Harvard center’s director. “I think it’s going to be very, very difficult to imagine that the investigators impacted by this decision will be able to keep up their momentum. We’re talking about very talented senior investigators who are at the peak of their careers.”

    Hmmm…sounds like Nancy Haigwood isn’t all that concerned about research ethics…

    • ecocatwoman says:

      And you’re surprised, why? Taking proper care of animals, whatever kind of animals, is pretty damn easy. Keep the cages clean & give them food & water. Not terribly expensive, either. However, I’m sure they take better care of their microscopes, beakers, petrie dishes, etc. If anyone thinks that USDA does a crappy job of protecting our food supply, believe me they do a much worse job of overseeing the care of animals in laboratories. Think the West Fertilizer plant wasn’t inspected often enough? Well APHIS, for a variety of reasons, is just as lax in inspecting animal facilities. They notify the facility before they show up, they more often than not only give a warning, with a follow up visit a year or more afterwards to “confirm” the violation has been corrected. This applies to zoos, aquaria, circuses, laboratories, puppy mills and so on. I’ll shut up now because I don’t want to start a pro/con fight about vivisection.

      • bostonboomer says:

        I’m not surprised.

      • Fannie says:

        I spent a good amount of time searching for a dog kennel, going up and down, around, out back, talking to staff, looking over the other dogs……………I ended up going way out to the country, where my dog could get out in fresh air and walk around by himself, and with other dogs (he’s friendly) and have lots of fenced in space with grass and trees.. Of course it was damn near triple the cost, but I will sleep better when he is there.

    • ecocatwoman says:

      Here’s a post from 2011 about former research chimps sent to a sanctuary. The video shows them when they see the sky & grass for the first time in their lives: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/09/04/lab-chimps-see-sunlight_n_948639.html

  12. dakinikat says:

    More vapors from Lady Lindsey:
    @nickjuliano: Sen. Graham has placed a hold on Ernest Moniz’s nomination to become the next secretary of energy, an aide tells me.

    he is sure being an ass these days

  13. RalphB says:

    Charles Pierce: My Early Christmas Wish

    It seems that Max Baucus, the pestilential trout-mask replica from Montana, will be hanging them up at the end of this term, guaranteeing that any future Democratic majority on the Senate Finance Committee will be considerably more, well, Democratic.

    Short but worthy read 🙂

  14. janicen says:

    A false tweet sent the market tumbling 145 points. Gee, I feel secure.
    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424127887324874204578440331448641330.html

    The AP twitter account was hacked.

  15. This is interesting: Alex Jones Downplays Connection To “Boston Bomber”

    Alex Jones is not surprised that the media is reporting that Boston bombing suspect Tamerlan Tsarnaev was a fan of his Infowars website, he told BuzzFeed on Tuesday.

    “It’s just standard,” Jones said. “Anyone you talk to is familiar with my show. When I go out in public, half the people I meet in this country and in other countries too say they listen to my show. The show is bigger than the mainstream media admits.”

    Jones — whose site has peddled conspiracy theories about the Boston Marathon bombing and suggested that Tsarnaev is innocent — conceded that Tsarnaev “may have actually been a listener.”

    “He could be a listener,” Jones said. “It could be true. I’ve talked to the family and most of them are listeners. My show is anti-terrorism and my show exposes that most of the events we’ve seen have been provocateured.”

    The AP reported on Tuesday that Tsarnaev “took an interest” in Infowars and was also interested in getting a copy of “The Protocols of the Elders of Zion,” the anti-Semitic fraud that purports to show a Jewish conspiracy to take over the world.

    Nuts.

    • Fannie says:

      Rep. Stella Tremblay of New Hampshire is out of her tree………….she’s been claiming that Alex Jones and Glenn Beck are right, the bombing on Boston was done by the Government. She’s on facebook spilling her stupidity. This kind of terrorism from the republicans is becoming everyday fare in this Country.

      Off to tumble with Tremblay’s office.

  16. phl0 says:

    Georgia Sen. Saxby Chambliss told Channel 2 Action News late Tuesday afternoon that a law enforcement agency may have had information in advance of the Boston bombings that wasn’t properly shared.

    “There now appears that may have been some evidence that was obtained by one of the law enforcement agencies that did not get shared in a way that it could have been. If that turns out to be the case, then we have to determine whether or not that would have made a difference,” Chambliss said.

    http://www.wsbtv.com/news/news/local/chambliss-law-enforcement-agency-may-have-known-ab/nXT7x/

  17. bostonboomer says:

    Forgive me if I don’t take Saxby Chambliss too seriously.