November 4, 2004

For those keeping score at home, "a year later" is this year:

The U.S. troops said there was little they could do to prevent looting of the ammunition site, 30 miles south of Baghdad.

"We were running from one side of the compound to the other side, trying to kick people out," said one senior noncommissioned officer who was at the site in late April 2003.

"On our last day there, there were at least 100 vehicles waiting at the site for us to leave" so looters could come in and take munitions.

"It was complete chaos. It was looting like L.A. during the Rodney King riots," another officer said.


Despite the stockpiles at the site, no U.S. forces were specifically assigned to guard Al Qaqaa known to U.S. forces in Iraq as Objective Elm after the 101st Airborne left the facility.


"There was no plan to prevent these weapons from being used against us a year later."

Soldiers Describe Looting of Explosives [LAT]

Talking about his daughters last night, George W. Bush said he's "trying to put a leash on'em."

U Miami Transcript of Bush/Kerry debate [PRNewswire]

iraq_vlsg.jpgKwikpoint specializes in visual language guides, laminated pictograph cards to help bridge language barriers in hospitals, foreign countries, in daily deaf life--and for law enforcement and the military.

An Army captain with his boots on the ground calls their fold-out Iraq Visual Language Survival Guide "a hot commodity." It includes point-and-don't-shoot instructions for locating snipers, identifying the nationality of foreign terrorists, and, as pictured here, conducting a hairpiece-to-shoelaces strip search.

BoingBoing links to a couple of partial scans, but you can buy the whole thing for $11 directly from Kwikpoint. This is cooler than any deck of cards.

[via BoingBoing, Xeni, all is forgiven.]

September 13, 2004

Tony Scott's first report from Toronto really gives you a feel for the festival's sprawl and cinematic frenzy, where you feel like you're missing movies more than watching them. Meanwhile, he only mentions one film, and he mentions the hell out of it: Gunner Palace, Mike Tucker and Petra Epperlein's documentary about US soldiers' lives in Baghad. Here's a taste:

Gunner Palace is so startling because it suggests - it shows - just how complicated the reality of this war has been. It may not change your mind, but it will certainly deepen your perception and challenge your assumptions, whatever they may be. I hope "Gunner Palace" makes its way quickly from this festival to American theaters, because it is not a movie anyone should miss.
Sure, but did you like it?

Sex, War, and Hype at Toronto Festival of Films [A.O. Scott, NYT]
See a trailer and clips at

August 17, 2004

Philadelphia Enquirer photographer David Swanson and reporter Joe Galloway have created a powerful report on the Marines of Echo Company, which has lost more soldiers in the Iraq War than any other unit so far.

Swanson accompanied the Marines, part of the 2nd Battalion, 4th Company, on many of their battles in the western Iraqi city of Ramadi. The report is based on his journal, and interviews with the "families, friends, teachers, girlfriends, and ministers" of the fallen Marines.

Echo Company, a Special Report from the Knight Ridder Washington Bureau

Knight Ridder was "almost alone" in pre-war reporting of official and expert skepticism on WMD [AJR]
"Now They Tell Us," Michael Massing's scathing review of pre-war news in the NY Review of Books

June 27, 2004

If you are going to call yourself a Christian -- and I don't -- then you have to ask yourself a fundamental question, and that is: Whom would Jesus torture? Whom would Jesus drag around on a dog's leash? How can Christians tolerate it? It is unconscionable.
- Ronald P. Reagan, in an interview with The New York Times

June 17, 2004

from an AP report, Coalition's sealed compound includes a brisk bar scene:

The plushest tavern is the CIA's rattan furnished watering hole, known as the ''OGA bar." OGA stands for ''Other Government Agency," the CIA's low-key moniker.

The OGA bar has a dance floor with a revolving mirrored disco ball and a game room. It is open to outsiders by invitation only. Disgruntled CPA employees who haven't wangled invites complain that the CIA favors women guests.

Apparently, Paul Wolfowitz and I have something in common: our neighborhood Thai restaurant. We're in DC for the weekend, eating at Sala Thai, and he walks in alone, with a newspaper under his arm. Makes a beeline for the bar, where he orders, reads his paper--in far more peace than he's brought on the world--gets his takeout, and leaves.

Related: Al Gore calls for wholesale resignations of the dangerous architects of disgraceful Iraq and terrorism fiascos, including our neighbor, Paul Wolfowitz. Read the transcript, or watch the video.

May 23, 2004

May 7, 2004

Pentagon Fabulous

Everyone gets a nickname, whether friend or evildoin' foe. But Bush has one word that signals his support of someone. Can you guess what it is? (Hint: "really good" is two words.) No, my torture-tortured friends, the word is FABULOUS.

Related: "fabulous First Lady" via lowculture]

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Since 2001 here at, I've been blogging about the creative process—my own and those of people who interest me. That mostly involves filmmaking, art, writing, research, and the making thereof.

Many thanks to the Creative Capital | Warhol Foundation Arts Writers Program for supporting that time.

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Our Guernica Cycle, 2017 –
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Social Medium:
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Paper Monument, Oct. 2016
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Madoff Provenance Project in
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Chop Shop
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eBay Test Listings
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It Narratives, incl.
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Standard Operating Procedure
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CZRPYR2: The Illustrated Appendix
Canal Zone Richard Prince
YES RASTA 2:The Appeals Court
Decision, plus the Court's
Complete Illustrated Appendix (2013)
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"Exhibition Space" @ apexart, NYC
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HELP/LESS Curated by Chris Habib
Printed Matter, NYC
Summer 2012
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Destroyed Richter Paintings, 2012-
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Canal Zone Richard
Selected Court Documents
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