9/11 victim dies in U.S. custody

But it’s not polite to talk about this particular victim:

Adnan Latif, a mentally incapacitated man wrongly swept up in Pakistan in 2001 and shipped to Guantanamo, has died, the Pentagon announced today. Latif was ordered releasedin 2010 — because, you know, he was innocent — but President Obama refused and kept him locked in the Cuban prison, where he had been repeatedly tortured. Latif’s death comes after an intensive hunger strike and at least one suicide attempt. Did we mention he was innocent? Or, as the Pentagon put it: “Latif arrived at Guantanamo in January 2002 and was being detained consistent with the law of war…Joint Task Force Guantanamo continues to provide safe, humane, legal and transparent care and custody of detainees.” His lawyer, David Remes, remembers Latif, who, dead at 32, spent more than a third of his life in Guantanamo: “Slightly built and gentle, he was a father and husband. He was a talented poet, and was devoutly religious. He never posed a threat to the United States, and he never should have been brought to Guantanamo. The military has not stated a cause of death. However Adnan died, it was Guantanamo that killed him. His death is a reminder of the human cost of the government’s Guantanamo detention policy and underscores the urgency of releasing detainees the government does not intend to prosecute.”

Dreams of 9/11

This is just one of the sites around the web that collects stories about premonition dreams of 9/11. (I remember reading one about a illiterate tribal chieftain somewhere who saw the whole thing in his dream.) Many relatives of the people who died report that they seemed to know ahead of time.

And I had a dream about it, 18 months before it happened. When it happened, I didn’t even remember – a couple of my friends had to remind me. (I’d confided the details because it was so vivid, and so puzzling.)

In the dream, I was in downtown Manhattan. (I knew that’s where I was, because it’s the only place I’ve ever been where sunlight is blocked and the streets are like wind tunnels.) I was walking down the street and saw two long, skinny tornadoes hit the sides of two skyscrapers. As they hit, I saw papers everywhere. One of the strange things I remember is, large granite blocks were floating down as if they were filled with air.

In front of the canopy of a nearby hotel, Bill Clinton was holding a press conference, assuring everyone that the tornadoes were a fluke, everything would be fine. He was sort of smirky and creepy. He was laughing and talking with the reporters, and when he was done, turned to go back into the hotel and I was the only person who could see his face: He looked terrified. I said to myself, “Wow, the president of the United States is terrified, which means this has to do with nuclear or chemical weapons.”

And then I woke up.

I figure the election was still up in the air, so my psyche stuck Bill Clinton in as a placeholder, since he was the current president. I remember being shocked that I had such a negative reaction to him — and no wonder. I was responding with the same visceral revulsion I feel for George W. Bush.

Not all the details are correct, obviously, but the general gist was there. And so were the dreams of a lot of people.

Bible belters suspicious of Mitt

I am not all that surprised:

(Reuters) – Sheryl Harris, a voluble 52-year-old with a Virginia drawl, voted twice for George W. Bush. Raised Baptist, she is convinced — despite all evidence to the contrary — that President Barack Obama, a practicing Christian, is Muslim.

So in this year’s presidential election, will she support Mitt Romney? Not a chance.

“Romney’s going to help the upper class,” said Harris, who earns $28,000 a year as activities director of a Lynchburg senior center. “He doesn’t know everyday people, except maybe the person who cleans his house.”

She’ll vote for Obama, she said: “At least he wasn’t brought up filthy rich.”

White lower- and middle-income voters such as Harris are wild cards in this vituperative presidential campaign. With only a sliver of the electorate in play nationwide, they could be a deciding factor in two southern swing states, Virginia and North Carolina.

Reuters/Ipsos polling data compiled over the past several months shows that, across the Bible Belt, 38 percent of these voters said they would be less likely to vote for a candidate who is “very wealthy” than one who isn’t. This is well above the 20 percent who said they would be less likely to vote for an African-American.

In Lynchburg, many haven’t forgotten Romney’s casual offer to bet Texas Governor Rick Perry $10,000 or his mention of his wife’s “couple of Cadillacs.” Virginia airwaves are saturated with Democratic ads hammering Romney’s Cayman Islands investments and his refusal to release more than two years of tax returns.

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