Sunday, October 28, 2007



Rumsfeld flees France fearing arrest
Sat, 10/27/2007 - 08:45

Former US Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld fled France today fearing arrest over charges of "ordering and authorizing" torture of detainees at both the American-run Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq and the US military's detainment facility at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, unconfirmed reports coming from Paris suggest.

US embassy officials whisked Rumsfeld away yesterday from a breakfast meeting in Paris organized by the Foreign Policy magazine after human rights groups filed a criminal complaint against the man who spearheaded President George W. Bush's "war on terror" for six years.

Under international law, authorities in France are obliged to open an investigation when a complaint is made while the alleged torturer is on French soil.

According to activists in France, who greeted Rumsfeld shouting "murderer" and "war criminal" at the breakfast meeting venue, US embassy officials remained tight-lipped about the former defense secretary's whereabouts citing "security reasons".

Anti-torture protesters in France believe that the defense secretary fled over the open border to Germany, where a war crimes case against Rumsfeld was dismissed by a federal court. But activists point out that under the Schengen agreement that ended border checkpoints across a large part of the European Union, French law enforcement agents are allowed to cross the border into Germany in pursuit of a fleeing fugitive.

"Rumsfeld must be feeling how Saddam Hussein felt when US forces were hunting him down," activist Tanguy Richard said. "He may never end up being hanged like his old friend, but he must learn that in the civilized world, war crime doesn't pay."

International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH) along with the Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR), the European Center for Constitutional and Human Rights (ECCHR), and the French League for Human Rights (LDH) filed the complaint on Thursday after learning that Rumsfeld was scheduled to visit Paris.

Arianna at HuffPo says: "We have a mainstream on the right that supports torture, supports the behavior of Blackwater thugs, supports the gutting of our civil liberties. So, it can no longer be denied: the right wing lunatics are running the Republican asylum.

** Please go to and sign the petition for General Wesley Clark.

Time for a break from politics. Last Sunday night, my family attended a lavish Barmitzvah at the Fairmont Hotel for the 13-year-old Iranian (Persian Jewish) friend of my son's. There were two ballrooms: one for the kids and one for the adults. We entered the "appetizer room" which had a bar with a carving table of roast lamb, grilled chops, and a long table of ten different salads, hummus, Middle Eastern empanadas and a Sushi bar. It was a feast. That was just the beginning.

Then the ballroom was opened and at least 500 people sat down to an amazing celebration of a boy entering manhood. They danced around him, threw him up into the air — seated in a chair — and showed slides of his entire childhood set to Britney Spears and Justin Timberlake music. Then they showed slides of a family trip to Jerusalem and the Western Wall. there were video crews, photographers, and Espresso machines. This party was more impressive than any wedding I've been to. This photo is just a stock photo, not the actual Barmitzvah we went to.

Another buffet feast was served, but first, fruit, tea and figs. There wree huge crystal vases filled with golden raspberries, cucumbers, apples, grapes, olives, figs, and apricots. Then the main course of sea bass, Osso bucco, and roast beef.

Sometimes I wish we were Jewish. There is such a tight-knit culture and so much celebration of life. The kids turn out so confident after being honored this way.

I am a big fan of the Food Network and the Travel Channel. Just watched Giada in Paris last night as she climbed the Arc du Triomphe and ate amazing Parisian dishes. Paris is one of my favorite cities; I remember climbing the steep spiral steps inside Nortre Dame with my sister years ago, up to the roof full of Gargoyles. We sat there looking over the city, mesmerized. We had the best time in Paris. I wrote a novel which takes place there in 1938.

Also watched Rachel Ray on Martha's Vineyard eating fresh lobster and crusted snapper and organic gazpacho.

Johnny Garlic's Cedar Plank Salmon
Show: Guys Big Bite
Episode: Swim the Plank

2 tablespoons oil
2 jalapenos, cut into rings
1 tablespoon garlic, minced
1/2 cup white wine
3 tablespoons whole-grain mustard
1 cup apricot preserves
4 (4 by 4-inch) pieces parchment paper
4 cedar plank pieces, food service quality
4 (6-ounce) salmon fillets, skinned and boned
2 teaspoons sea salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
4 (3-inch) fresh rosemary sprigs
1 lemon, zested
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
In a small saute pan over medium heat, heat oil. When hot, add jalapenos and saute until caramelized. Add garlic, and before it begins to brown, deglaze with white wine. Next add mustard and apricot preserves and bring to a simmer. Simmer over low heat for 20 minutes and let completely cool.

Place parchment paper on planks, add salmon, lightly salt and pepper, place a rosemary sprig on each fillet, and liberally apply cooled apricot mixture.

Place cedar plank on gas burner. When plank has begun to smoke, place into preheated oven.

Cook salmon until medium-rare; remove from oven and let sit for 2 to 3 minutes until serving. Garnish with lemon zest.