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Sunset at The Nantucket restaurant

Under here.

September 16, 2007

In Lodi?
Sunday. We appear to have survived another week out here on the left coast. I wonder what it's like to live close to the nation's capitol on the right coast where the neocons reside? Do people have a greater fear for their continued existence? Are they rolling up the evil doers on their streets as we've done here with the local Lodi guy we put in jail for twenty-four years for “washing vegetables” at a jihadist terrorist camp in Pakistan? A jihadist terrorist camp about which John Diaz, the Chronicle editorial page editor, asked the feds: what did we do about this “camp” other than nail one of its kitchen help? Did we send in the Marines? Did Pakistan send in its Marines? The camp located not in the remote tribal areas of Pakistan but a sixty minute drive from the capitol Islamabad? Our government evidently didn't respond other than to say they'd nailed their kitchen guy.

So I figure if they're out of hand in Lodi, they must be way off the chart closer to our nation's capitol where the folks running our foreign policy make such a visible target. How many vegetable washers are they sending to prison in Washington D.C., how many of their jury foremen have been quoted saying “ it's absolutely better to risk convicting an innocent man than to exonerate a guilty one when it comes to terrorism”. I would certainly say so in this land of abject fear and tail between the legs patriotism. But that's over the top. Most people don't know what I'm talking about. Lodi? Where's Lodi and who's is this low life vegetable scrubber anyway?

I guess all this is just my way of asking myself why I'm able to read about this guy in Lodi, California, and realize, from my reading that our government has probably railroaded the poor schmuck to show they're on top of the terrorism business and yet I sit not doing the least thing about it. You'd have thought the government lawyers in looking at this case would have recalled one of the reasons they joined the legal trade in the first place was to encourage the administration of “justice” and to fight the party in power when its objective was political advantage at the cost of putting an innocent man in jail. I could be wrong. Wouldn't be the first time, but the situation seems surreal: too many reporters reporting doubt about the guy's guilt, too many editorials expressing distrust in the government, too many legal experts saying the guy was skewered, nobody in the government saying anything at all.

It's easy to say when your window on the world is a series of newspaper stories that somebody is innocent or guilty. Think of this Madeline thing going on in Portugal and England. They paid an informant $230,000 “to get” this guy in Lodi. Maybe it was money worth spending, but the reputation of our government has gotten so bad with the outgoing Attorney General, the stain on American values at Guantanamo, the use of the fright word “terrorist” to pass any and every piece of dumb headed legislation imaginable that I don't trust them anymore.

You finished?

Why do I get myself started with this stuff? The Lodi guy is probably a Pakistani immigrant Baby Face Nelson. He did admit to scrubbing vegetables in a Pakistani camp after hours and hours of interrogation all without the benefit of counsel. Just because they put him in a box and sweated it out of him doesn't mean he wasn't telling the truth. The fact the government used it to snatch attention from their other ongoing political disasters doesn't mean the guy isn't dangerous. There could have been Salmonella on that brush he was using to scrub those vegetables, vegetables destined to be frozen and sent to Lodi, for Christ's sake. Fearsome stuff on which to end another week, here in Oakland.

The photograph was taken at sunset at The Nantucket restaurant with a Nikon D2Xs mounted with a 17 - 55mm f 2.8 Nikkor lens at 1/1600th second, f 2.8, ISO 100.