View from the Loft 

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Tuesday, February 17, 2004

The Rhetoric of Elimination

For an alarming discussion of the right wing's increasingly eliminationist rhetoric aimed at liberals, you owe it to yourself to read David Neiwert on some recent vicious statements by conservatives (scroll down to Feb. 15, "Disturbing undercurrents").

He quotes Grover Norquist, who calls liberals "cornered rats"--and points out that "vermin references like Norquist's are a classic hallmark of fascist and white-supremacist propaganda, referring to the enemy in subhuman terms by way of suggesting the need for their extermination."

Go and read it. If you can stomach it.

Was Kelly's Death a Suicide?

Tinfoil hat time?

Several doctors have written to the Guardian contradicting the British government's finding of suicide in the death of David Kelly, the scientist outed by the BBC in the story of the "sexed-up"dossier:
We all agree that it is highly improbable that the primary cause of Dr Kelly's death was haemorrhage from transection of a single ulnar artery, as stated by Brian Hutton in his report.


Our criticism of the Hutton report is that its verdict of "suicide" is an inappropriate finding. To bleed to death from a transected artery goes against classical medical teaching, which is that a transected artery retracts, narrows, clots and stops bleeding within minutes. Even if a person continues to bleed, the body compensates for the loss of blood through vasoconstriction (closing down of non-essential arteries). This allows a partially exsanguinated individual to live for many hours, even days.
The doctors also state their opinion that the level of co-praxamol was not adequate to have resulted in death.

They call on the government "for the reopening of the inquest by the coroner, where a jury may be called and evidence taken on oath."

See also this for a more equivocal opinion, and this by Dr. David Halpin, one of the doctors who doesn't believe the verdict of suicide.

According to a news story dated Feb. 6, Oxford Coroner Nicholas Gardiner is said to be about to convene a hearing into the matter. I haven't seen anything since that date to confirm or deny this, but Gardiner cannot act before a legal ban on his involvement in the case ends, which will be next month.

If opened, a new inquiry "would be able to consider evidence not made public during the Hutton Inquiry, and force reluctant witnesses to give evidence. It would also be able to call independent experts to hold crucial medical evidence up to scrutiny."

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