Farewell. The Flying Pig Has Left The Building.

Steve Hynd, August 16, 2012

After four years on the Typepad site, eight years total blogging, Newshoggers is closing it's doors today. We've been coasting the last year or so, with many of us moving on to bigger projects (Hey, Eric!) or simply running out of blogging enthusiasm, and it's time to give the old flying pig a rest.

We've done okay over those eight years, although never being quite PC enough to gain wider acceptance from the partisan "party right or wrong" crowds. We like to think we moved political conversations a little, on the ever-present wish to rush to war with Iran, on the need for a real Left that isn't licking corporatist Dem boots every cycle, on America's foreign misadventures in Afghanistan and Iraq. We like to think we made a small difference while writing under that flying pig banner. We did pretty good for a bunch with no ties to big-party apparatuses or think tanks.

Those eight years of blogging will still exist. Because we're ending this typepad account, we've been archiving the typepad blog here. And the original blogger archive is still here. There will still be new content from the old 'hoggers crew too. Ron writes for The Moderate Voice, I post at The Agonist and Eric Martin's lucid foreign policy thoughts can be read at Democracy Arsenal.

I'd like to thank all our regular commenters, readers and the other bloggers who regularly linked to our posts over the years to agree or disagree. You all made writing for 'hoggers an amazingly fun and stimulating experience.

Thank you very much.

Note: This is an archive copy of Newshoggers. Most of the pictures are gone but the words are all here. There may be some occasional new content, John may do some posts and Ron will cross post some of his contributions to The Moderate Voice so check back.


Friday, February 3, 2012

The Aftermath of Intervention

By Steve Hynd

The aftermath is never as full of rose petals and candy as neo-whatever advocates of the intervention told us it would be.

(Tripoli) - A Libyan diplomat who served as ambassador to France died less than 24 hours after he was detained by a Tripoli-based militia from the town of Zintan, Human Rights Watch said today. Dr. Omar Brebesh, who was detained on January 19, 2012, appears to have died from torture.

A preliminary autopsy report viewed by Human Rights Watch said the cause of death included multiple bodily injuries and fractured ribs. Photos of Brebesh's body, seen by Human Rights Watch, show welts, cuts, and the apparent removal of toenails, indicating that he was tortured prior to death. Human Rights Watch also read a report by the judicial police in Tripoli, which said that Brebesh had died from torture and that an unnamed suspect had confessed to killing him.

"The torture and killing of detainees is sadly an ongoing activity by some Libyan militias," said Sarah Leah Whitson, Middle East and North Africa director at Human Rights Watch. "These abusive militias will keep torturing people until they are held to account. Libya's leaders should show the political will to prosecute people who commit serious crimes, regardless of their role in the uprising."

According to the ICRC, there are about 8,500 detainees in prisons in Libya right now, most run by militias with only tangential connections to the central government. Many of these detainees are dark-skinned Libyans or sub-Saharan Africans. Many reliably report having been tortured.

The detainees who reported abuse said guards had beaten them, sometimes on a daily basis. Seven prisoners in two facilities, including women, said guards had subjected them to electric shock. Two detainees who had been at one facility reported beatings on the soles of their feet � a torture technique commonly used during Gaddafi�s rule...Fewer than half of the 53 interviewed detainees said they had been questioned, and none had been investigated by the police or brought before a judge. None said they had been able to speak with a lawyer.

What you won't be hearing is any kind of contrition from those who pushed for the NATO intervention - no, not even a little bit. They're apparently too busy calling for the next one, in Syria, to care what happens in the aftermath.

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