Death’s in Guantanamo

In the Vietnam war, 144 POWs died. According to documents released to the ACLU there were 190 deaths of detainees in the War on Terror (not all at Guantanamo).

… a detainee was killed by an unnamed sergeant who walked into a room
where the detainee was lying wounded “and assaulted him … then shot
him twice thus killing him,” one of the investigating documents says.
The sergeant then instructed the other soldiers present to lie about the incident.
Later, the document says an unnamed corporal then shot the deceased
detainee in the head after finding his corpse.

It’s horrific that for decades we thought of the treatment of POWs in Vietnam as the epitome of brutality but more prisoner’s died in our custody than in Vietnamese custody!
The defense department defends it as not being as bad as it sounds and that people have been convicted of murder:

The Defense Department disputes the allegations, saying it
takes detainee treatment seriously.

Some history:

Guantanomo

More on Stuxnet Worm and Iran’s Nuclear Research

Last month there was an article about a virus that targetted Iran’s Nuclear Research. There’s a little more on Stuxnet worm in the NY Times.
From Stuxnet Worm Used Against Iran Was Tested in Israel:

The computer program also secretly recorded what normal operations at the nuclear plant looked like, then played those readings back to plant operators, like a pre-recorded security tape in a bank heist, so that it would appear that everything was operating normally while the centrifuges were actually tearing themselves apart.

Wealth and Income Distribution

I keep having trouble getting my head around how wealth is distributed in America — or maybe just that I don’t seem to explain it well enough to other people. There’s an article, “Who Rules America: Wealth, Income, and Power“, that looks into the details. Most of the data is only up to 2007 but the suggestion is that things have gotten worse since the recession:

So far there are only tentative projections … there has been an “astounding” 36.1% drop in the wealth (marketable assets) of the median household since the peak of the housing bubble in 2007. By contrast, the wealth of the top 1% of households dropped by far less: just 11.1%. So as of April 2010, it looks like the wealth distribution is even more unequal than it was in 2007.

The following shows how wealth is distributed but it’s a little misleading if you don’t read the labels. The “pie” is all wealth but each slice represents a different percentage of households. For example, the big slice represents 1% of households (about 1.1 million) and all the other slices represent about 109 million households.

WealthDistribution1

Another way of looking at similar data is this chart that summarizes a survey asking people how they think wealth is distributed and also how they think the ideal should be shaped. The top most bar represents how wealth is actually distributed. Note that the bottom 40% of households don’t even show up in the top most bar:

Actual estimated ideal wealth distribution

In case you are thinking this is normal, the article includes this information over time and things are only getting worse.