Daily Scribble finishes No. 2 in voting for best Web political cartoon of 2004

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"Though Charles Pugsley Fincher would do well to find a stage name, his daily scribbles are nothing to scoff at. Plain and simple, on lined yellow scratch paper, yet they speak volumes." Jacob Wheeler,

Scribble runs in the opinion section of Flak Magazine.
By Charles Pugsley Fincher, A Spin-Off of
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December 6, 2005
U.S. Interrogations Are Saving European Lives, Rice Says

BERLIN, Dec. 5 - Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice chastised European leaders on Monday, saying that before they complain about secret jails for terror suspects in European nations, they should realize that interrogations of these suspects have produced information that helped "save European lives."

Her remarks were the Bush administration's official response to the reports of a network of secret detention centers in at least eight European nations, said to house dozens of terror suspects.

At the same time, she denied that the United States has moved suspects to these prisons to allow interrogators to use torture. "The United States," she said, "does not permit, tolerate or condone torture under any circumstances." At another point, she said, "The United States does not transport and has not transported detainees from one country to another for the purpose of interrogation using torture."

...Following the reports of a secret detention policy, the administration has come under criticism from the United Nations, at least two arms of the European Union and several European countries. The Europeans say the secret detention centers would be illegal in their countries. Jack Straw, the British foreign secretary, wrote Ms. Rice on behalf of the European Union last week, seeking an explanation.

...Ms. Rice insisted she could not confirm the existence of secret prisons because that would involve discussion of classified activities. "One of the difficult issues in this new kind of conflict is what to do with captured individuals who we know or believe to be terrorists," she said. Many are "essentially stateless, owing their allegiance to the extremist cause of transnational terrorism."

On her plane later, Ms. Rice expressed impatience with the spiraling investigations and inquiries.

"Democracies are going to debate these things," she said. "But they need to debate them not just on one side of the issue - that is, how the actual activities are being carried out." They should also consider, "are we doing everything we can to protect innocent lives?"


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