Best Defense

Thomas E. Ricks' daily take on national security.

Things I didn’t know, latest edition: Bad Italian police, Ezra Pound and Bergdahl, P. Klay, and Pakistanis in U.K. Parliament

Italian police were found guilty of torture in their brutal handling of protestors at the 2001 G-8 meeting in Genoa.

A South Korean man watches a television screen showing North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un's New Year speech, at a railroad station in Seoul on January 1, 2015. North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un said he was open to the "highest-level" talks with South Korea as he called for an improvement in strained cross-border relations.  AFP PHOTO / JUNG YEON-JE        (Photo credit should read JUNG YEON-JE/AFP/Getty Images)
A South Korean man watches a television screen showing North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un's New Year speech, at a railroad station in Seoul on January 1, 2015. North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un said he was open to the "highest-level" talks with South Korea as he called for an improvement in strained cross-border relations. AFP PHOTO / JUNG YEON-JE (Photo credit should read JUNG YEON-JE/AFP/Getty Images)
A South Korean man watches a television screen showing North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un's New Year speech, at a railroad station in Seoul on January 1, 2015. North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un said he was open to the "highest-level" talks with South Korea as he called for an improvement in strained cross-border relations. AFP PHOTO / JUNG YEON-JE (Photo credit should read JUNG YEON-JE/AFP/Getty Images)

— Italian police were found guilty of torture in their brutal handling of protestors at the 2001 G-8 meeting in Genoa. Those beaten and detained were subjected to a variety of cruel treatments. Some police reportedly sang old fascisti songs while misbehaving.

— Speaking of Italy, I didn’t know that Ezra Pound is from the same town in Italy as Bowe Bergdahl—Hailey, Idaho. The great thing about Idaho is that it keeps Texas from being the craziest state in the country, and I speak as someone related to the founder of Rexburg. Checking just now on Bergdahl, I didn’t know he was discharged from Coast Guard boot camp.

Bloodstains_on_Diaz_school_following_police_action_in_July_2001

— Italian police were found guilty of torture in their brutal handling of protestors at the 2001 G-8 meeting in Genoa. Those beaten and detained were subjected to a variety of cruel treatments. Some police reportedly sang old fascisti songs while misbehaving.

— Speaking of Italy, I didn’t know that Ezra Pound is from the same town in Italy as Bowe Bergdahl—Hailey, Idaho. The great thing about Idaho is that it keeps Texas from being the craziest state in the country, and I speak as someone related to the founder of Rexburg. Checking just now on Bergdahl, I didn’t know he was discharged from Coast Guard boot camp.

— The fine writer Phil Klay is writing a movie with Judd Apatow. I’ve read all of Klay’s book, but I’ve never finished watching a movie by Apatow, so Klay looms larger in my world than Apatow.

— There are now nine members of the House of Commons of Pakistani origin, including one who is from Scottish Nationalist Party.

— Things I still don’t know: How long before someone whacks L’il Kim.

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Thomas E. Ricks covered the U.S. military from 1991 to 2008 for the Wall Street Journal and then the Washington Post. He can be reached at ricksblogcomment@gmail.com. Twitter: @tomricks1

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