Monthly Archives: February 2007

EZSmirkzz 4.0 Feb 18-21, 2007

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Chemical Weapons Against Civilians?

Militants Using Chemical Bombs in Iraq

BAGHDAD, Feb. 21 — For the third time in a month, insurgents deployed a new and deadly tactic against Iraqi civilians today: A chemical bomb combining explosives with poisonous chlorine gas.

This is revolting. It is hard to fathom this behavior, against non combatants. May Allah rebuke them.

Eleventh Dimension Approaching the Membranes

Instaputz beats me to it all the time, so get used to it.

Wow, check out Putz’s totally unhinged reply to Paul Campos in the Rocky Mountain Times.

He’s got the low down.

I suppose that’s why Glenn is lawyer, and not a leader, although I’m sure he is training some of them up. It should go without saying, I suppose that the American’s have been accused of doing this anyway, but the double standard is, or should be, obvious.

Obviously

This ought to be Good

StopIranWar.com

from TPM.

Wes Clarke and Veterans that vote have teamed up on this, so it is full of partisan rancor, yada yada nada.

Was Valerie Plame Covert?

Since this seems to be the straw man of the week, why not read this?

Scooter Libby is not on trial for violating the Intelligence Identities Protection Act. He faces a jury because he lied about his role in giving out Valerie’s name and obstructed the investigation into the leak. Can you leak the name of an overt employee? No.

Of course it’s hard to hang a bell and whistle on that, but that’s what it’s all about.

Was it something I said?

Update: Edited for a little clarity! Clarity Man! Is that to much to ask??

David Gregory, White House correspondent for NBC News:

“I think politics and political coverage has become so polarized in this country…because it’s the internet and the blogs that have really used this White House press conferences to somehow support positions out in America, political views. And they will clip and digitize portions of these briefings to fit into their particular argument.”

Tony Snow, White House Press Secretary:

“You’ve got this wonderful, imaginative hateful stuff that comes flying out. I think one of the most important takeaways is — it’s the classical line — not only should you not believe your own press, you probably shouldn’t believe your opposition blogs either.”

Richard Wolffe, White House correspondent for Newsweek:

“They want us to play a role that isn’t really our role. Our role is to ask questions and get information. … It’s not a chance for the opposition to take on the government and grill them to a point where they throw their hands up and surrender. … It’s not a political exercise, it’s a journalistic exercise. And I think often the blogs are looking for us to be political advocates more than journalistic ones.”

On of the things reporters at the White House should realize, I think, is that they report on things that have both political implications and are news events, depending on which part of which sentence one wishes to parse, and that news feeds will pick up on the news, and that political blogs will pick up on both.

I really doubt that the coverage has become polarized so much by the blogs, as by the politicians, and the reaction of political partisans is hardly to be unexpected from either side of the spectrum.

As for believing owns own press, I agree, However sweeping generalities are in keeping with Red Herring arguments that can neither be supported nor defended, which is probably why Mr. Snow is a Press Secretary, since his statement appears to say something more than it does. Conversely one should not believe your supporter blogs either if it is a matter of veracity.

I would hate to think at this late date that blogs are so completely misunderstood that the term blog means the same thing to all people, and that all blogs are therefore equal. There is quite a bit of difference in quality and quantity in blogs as there are in papers, radio, and television.

I would hope that the role the press plays is as Mr. Wolffe states, but he and others must at least admit that sometimes the press in general has not asked the questions and so no one has got the information. That failure has many reasons, but the blogs are not one of them. The blogs point these things out.

It is of course one thing I suppose for a blogger to use sweeping generalizations, since most of them have no formal training in logic, or English for that matter, but I would think it quite another for those who have been trained in the subjects to do so, as the impression it leaves is of the intention to do so. It is expected that you would be criticized for that infraction as being partisan yourselves, which the right has been pretty consistent in doing, and in fact, this was not really an issue until the left joined in on the criticism.

And finally, I suppose, yes, we do want you to grill government spokesmen, because we have been through one war enabled by the “press’” failure to do so, and have no intentions of letting that mistake be repeated and remain silent as it is.

I think that blogs will always be oppositional to government, but not so towards the press, unless those individuals are collectively perceived to being biased, due to the aforementioned logical fallacies. To criticize the media, or press, is also a fallacy if it is done in general, but to criticize an individual is opinion, opinion that sometimes is more accurate than at others, but coming from a blog, is always personal opinion, and not necessarily as weighty and accepted by the general public as that of the organizations these individuals report for and represent. Coming from the government it is even worse, since one would hope that after all, it represents us all.

via Atrios, who sent me here.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Good Post, Maybe Michelle Will Read It

Sixty-five years ago today, President Roosevelt ordered the internment of Japanese Americans. First-time diarist uberblee, whose grandparents were interned, reminds us in Day of Remembrance: Executive Order 9066.

US ‘Iran attack plans’ revealed

US contingency plans for air strikes on Iran extend beyond nuclear sites and include most of the country’s military infrastructure, the BBC has learned

Oh Really, I’m shocked.

Conspiracy Idiots

These conspiracy idiots are a boon for Bush and Blair as they destroy the movements some of us have spent years building

Why do I bother with these morons? Because they are destroying the movements some of us have spent a long time trying to build. Those of us who believe that the crucial global issues – climate change, the Iraq war, nuclear proliferation, inequality – are insufficiently debated in parliament or congress, that corporate power stands too heavily on democracy, that war criminals, cheats and liars are not being held to account, have invested our efforts in movements outside the mainstream political process. These, we are now discovering, are peculiarly susceptible to this epidemic of gibberish.

Agreed.

George Will, Still a Wanker

I usually stay out of Republican’t infighting, but;

Here’s George Will, the inventor (albeit not the chief practitioner) of “strong government conservatism,” sniffing disdainfully at Ron Paul, Congress’s one and only consistent advocate of good old-fashioned “small government conservatism,” as “a cheerful anachronism.” After all, Rep. Paul’s quirky idea that “the federal government is a government of strictly enumerated powers” is held “with more stubbornness than evidence.” Silly Ron — he thought conservatives were advocates of limited government. But he didn’t bank on the revisionism of Will & his fellow neocons, who have redefined traditional conservatism out of existence. Today, Barry Goldwater — and the rhetorical Reagan — would be laughed off the stage of a National Review “summit” (not that he’d be invited in the first place).

Monday, February 19, 2007

What a Mole

Heh,

Now a reader of the Cunning Realist blog has dug up the archived version of the website of Mr. Alishtari’s company, GlobalProtector, which shows that at the same time Alishtari was giving money to the GOP he was bidding on multiple government contracts — including ones with the Pentagon and the Department of Homeland Security.

via: Talking Points Memo What is it with all these short haired people?

Update: It can always get worse, Terrorist Fundraiser of the Year

Yasith Chhun, the head of the Cambodian Freedom Fighters, a group designated by the State Department as a terrorist organization, was indicted in May of 2005 for charges of plotting to overthrow the Cambodian government. He was also, The Los Angeles Times reported, a member of the NRCC’s Business Advisory Council:

I suppose it won’t be long before the press is blaring the next Democrat to be busted for the same crimes, given everything we should know.

I pushed this on up to the top. Did you notice?

The Slow Bleed

A Fairly interesting read.

Most observers would rightly conclude that up until now the United States remains uncommitted to the fight. Less than 13 percent of our 1.4 million active-duty military are deployed in Iraq. Fewer than 15,000 of the 150,000 troops in Iraq today are actually engaged in combat operations

You can divide 15,000 by 1.4 million,

Iraq has become a “slow bleed,” in which American blood, prestige and credibility are all slowly and inexorably being spilled in ever increasing quantities.

So what I kind of derive from this, is for all the Administration’s and War Hawks pontifications about winning the war, and all the white flag Republican snark from the right, the fact of the matter is this war was never intended to be won at all, and all the debate about this or that aspect of it is just a dog and pony show for the masses. Expletives Deleted come to mind.

This ties in with a previous admonition not to be naive about US forces capabilities with regard to Iran, and the ability of the American people to be bamboozled by their government at the “whim of the hat,” to paraphrase the current “Dear Leader.”

Updated for tenses,for the millions, and snark removal. It’s bad enough as it is. And of course back at the ranch, this was I believe, a part of the original Neocon spin.

Yeah I Like This Too

Interesting take. although YMMV, and I’m sticking with Ezra on this.

Ricochets from the Eleventh Dimension

InstaRudundant ought to be proud,

Johnson, incidentally, has been feted by the mainstream media. He was recently named number 20 on Forbes’s “Web celeb” list. Perhaps more such posts about targeting foreign leaders will move him up into the top ten and get him the sort of regular network booking Ann Coulter enjoys.

Nothing like being in the company of Little Goof FooseBalls there Glenn.

Your GOP Donor at Work

Yeah I can see why Britney is news, after all, publicity is publicity, clik cllk,

WASHINGTON, Feb. 18 — Senior leaders of Al Qaeda operating from Pakistan have re-established significant control over their once-battered worldwide terror network and over the past year have set up a band of training camps in the tribal regions near the Afghan border, according to American intelligence and counterterrorism officials.

not from this guy. Meanwhile back at the ranch,

TEHRAN, Feb. 18 — The Iranian Foreign Ministry charged Sunday that Sunni insurgents from Iran used Pakistan as a base to plan a bombing that killed 11 people and wounded more than 30 in the southeastern border city of Zahedan last week. The ministry said it had demanded an explanation from the Pakistani ambassador.

On another note, when will the majority of the American press figure out that there are NO Shiite Muslims? The word is Shia, as in Shia Muslims.

Perspective on Britney?

ROTFLAMAO

Update: IMHO only. I understand that a lot of people really are interested in this stuff, and my opinion isn’t the only one that matters. I am interested in this stuff too, but only in passing, and I sure don’t want anyone to feel like they shouldn’t be on my account, anymore than I want to feel as though I should, on anyone else account either.

Besides, I should have learned a long time ago not to pick on Matt.

Oh Well, That’s Not Helpful to the War Machine

Iran nuclear plant may be delayed

Moscow last year backed limited UN sanctions on Iran for refusing to halt uranium enrichment after objections to the Bushehr deal were dropped.

Oh! So that’s what they mean by using diplomacy? You mean it isn’t Cruise Missiles at night? Who would have thunk?

The Murtha Smear Is On

It was immediately picked up by The Weekly Standard, U.S. News & World Report, the National Review Online and the Wall Street Journal, among others. And in the days that followed, the “slow-bleed” line has been used by everyone from House Minority Leader John Boehner, to Senate Minority Whip Trent Lott, to White House spokesman Tony Snow, who prefaced it with the ever-handy, “some say.” But apparently that line isn’t having the desired effect, because now the long knives have come out and the smear of John Murtha is officially on.

Robert Novak:

So who’ll be the next in line? via dKos

Fifty Six Votes is not a Loss

Am I the only person in America that appreciates the rules of the Senate? Because the Senate rules protect the minority opinion, does not mean it cannot express the majority’s views.

What I want to know is why it is a “victory” to threaten to invoke the nuclear option over judges, and end over two hundred years of tradition of guaranteeing the minority’s rights, through Civil and World Wars.

The Senate vote was a bigger victory than anyone seems to note, and that is the biggest loss of the vote. Just how ignorant can we be?

UPdated” I thought the first question ought to be framed as a question, for those of you who speak the language better than you read minds.

Our Children at War

While I may disagree with him about the underlying causes of this behavior, the behavior is what it is, this is another reason to think long and hard before rushing off to war.

Murder, Inc.
That’s the reality of American foreign policy

How typically American: he isn’t to blame for his actions – certainly not! – it’s his “ill-defined mission.” But what if carnage – for its own sake, as an end in itself – is the mission? Forget the highfalutin’ rhetoric about “democracy,” the “war on terrorism,” the “weapons of mass destruction” that somehow turned into a desert mirage. The ugly reality is that Iraq has become an arena for American sadists to act out their perverted fantasies, a vast Charenton where the de Sades in charge of American foreign policy have unleashed an army of torturers and murderous thugs on the Iraqi people. The American media doesn’t want to show the real face of U.S. “liberators,” but they are being outflanked by the new technology that makes the self-appointed “gatekeepers” of journalism increasingly irrelevant.

I think some of these same characteristics prevent the voices of dissent from being given an ear prior to war as well, so it isn’t just us in our time, it is a learned national trait. Since I was raised here as well I can’t imagine where it is learned, unless it’s at the house, or perhaps it is natural to mankind and the churches, etc, fail to remove this illusion of superiority,

Sunday, February 18, 2007

Man, Who Has Time to Eat?

Confronting the Greatest Market Failure in History: National Security & Climate Change

I have just discovered that former National Security Advisor to George H.W. Bush, General Brent Scowcroft, is on the board of directors of Al Gore’s Alliance for Climate Protection. Cool.

so I guess I ought to throw this link in here as well; Climate change: scientists warn it may be too late to save the ice caps

A critical meltdown of ice sheets and severe sea level rise could be inevitable because of global warming, the world’s scientists are preparing to warn their governments. New studies of Greenland and Antarctica have forced a UN expert panel to conclude there is a 50% chance that widespread ice sheet loss “may no longer be avoided” because of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere.

This ought to give conservatives with issues, issues.

Wheels within Wheels Circle the Wagons

By Michael Isikoff Newsweek

Asked by one of Libby’s lawyers if he had talked about Plame with anybody else before outing her in his column, Novak said he’d discussed her with a lobbyist named Richard Hohlt. Who, the lawyer pressed, is Hohlt? “He’s a very good source of mine” whom I talk to “every day,” Novak replied. Indeed, Hohlt is such a good source that after Novak finished his column naming Plame, he testified, he did something most journalists rarely do: he gave the lobbyist an advance copy of his column. What Novak didn’t tell the jury is what the lobbyist then did with it: Hohlt confirmed to NEWSWEEK that he faxed the forthcoming column to their mutual friend Karl Rove (one of Novak’s sources for the Plame leak), thereby giving the White House a heads up on the bombshell to come.

So not only did no one get fired, everyone knew before the question was even posed. HT to The Washington Note.

Et Tu FOX?

via Atrios,

True ‘Fair And Balanced’ Coverage: Wallace Calls Out Feith For Lying On Fox News

Transcript:

WALLACE: Now a follow-up to our interview last Sunday with former Undersecretary of Defense Douglas Feith. Many of you asked us to check out the claim. Here’s what he said to us.

FEITH: Nobody in our office said there was an operational relationship between Iraq and al Qaeda. It’s not correct. Words matter.

WALLACE: But it turns out he did make that case in a memo he sent to the Senate Intelligence Committee in October of ‘03. “The Weekly Standard,” which saw the memo, described it this way. “Osama bin Laden and Saddam Hussein had an operational relationship from the early 1990s to 2003 that involved training and explosives and weapons of mass destruction, logistical support for terrorist attacks, al Qaeda training camps and safe haven in Iraq, and Iraqi financial support for al Qaeda.”

Whoa, I’m impressed.

GOP Donor Busted

NY Man Charged With Trying To Fund Terror

Ouch. Serious fair use pinch Via TPM UD: JMM has some links to follow up on.

(CBS/AP) Terrorism charges brought Friday against the administrator of a loan investment program claimed that he secretly tried to send $152,000 to the Middle East to buy equipment such as night vision goggles for a terrorist training camp in Afghanistan.

Abdul Tawala Ibn Ali Alishtari, 53, of Ardsley, N.Y., pleaded not guilty in U.S. District Court in Manhattan to an indictment accusing him of terrorism financing, material support of terrorism and other charges. The charges carried a potential penalty of 95 years in prison.

CBS News has confirmed that Alishtari is a donor to the Republican Party, as he claims on his curriculum vitae. Alishtari gave $15,500 to the National Republican Campaign Committee between 2002 and 2004, according to Federal Election Commission records. That amount includes $13,000 in 2003, a year when he claims to have been named NRCC New York State Businessman of the Year.

Alishtari also claims to be a lifetime member of the National Republican Senate Committee’s Inner Circle, which the NRCC describes as “an impressive cross-section of American society – community leaders, business executives, entrepreneurs, retirees, and sports and entertainment celebrities – all of whom hold a deep interest in our nation’s prosperity and security.”

When Your Wrong Lou, Your Wrong

Apparently I was. My apologies

For those of you who have been as perplexed by the inconsistencies in the Border Patrol Agents story, convicted of shooting a drug runner, or in the vernacular, a mule, then you did well to lay low and let it develop, at least I wish I had.

Below is all that I have left of my original two posts, although I know I clobbered at least one more and there may other snotty remarks directed at Mr. Dobb’s over this on my part. Anyway, there are enough inconsistencies in the case to warrant further investigation by a special prosecutor as Mr Wian has alluded to, just to clear the whole mess up.

It is one thing, I suppose for a network to tick off the US Attorney, or the Border Patrol, and quite another for an individual to do so. Ultimately, however, I think that the nation as a whole is better served by knowing the border and drug enforcement laws are being enforced, and upheld, without the bias and prejudice of either the Border Patrol Agents or the criminal justice system being a factor.

At any rate the reporting of the story has been informative and educational, in that I have a better understanding of all the issues that have pitted the two opposing views of the event, without any clearer understanding of exactly what happened during the incident and subsequent trial.

It is not however an issue that has run its’ course in the criminal justice system, so it is not IMHO, and issue that the President can or should interject himself into, no is it at the level of an impeachable offense as some Congressmen have stated, and so the issue is polluted by political gamesmanship as well.

Anyway here are the two posts I still retain, in full, so the rest of you know what in the hell I’m talking about;

Back to The Border Patrol Case

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</IfEntryCategories –>One of the current problems I am having, besides a lack of news without an agenda, is how an agent supposedly being keeped in solitary confinement can be beaten in his sleep by five people, which makes zero sense.

Here is the US Attorneys Statement via KVIA,

At the initiation of their investigation, the DHS Office of Inspector General contacted Aldrete-Davila who was at the time in Mexico.

Aldrete-Davila was at first reluctant to cooperate with the investigation because he feared that should he return to the United States, he could be prosecuted for the offenses committed in relation to the load of marijuana he was driving on February 17, 2005.

In order to secure his cooperation and appearance at trial in the United States, this office agreed that in return for his truthful testimony he would not be prosecuted for the February 17, 2005 offenses. The agreement does not immunize any other conduct.

Based on all of the evidence admitted at the two week trial, including the lengthy testimony of both of the defendants, the jury of twelve citizens heard all of the testimony, judged the demeanor and credibility of the witnesses and unanimously found both defendants guilty beyond a reasonable doubt of eleven of the twelve counts alleged in the indictment, including assault with a dangerous weapon, assault with serious bodily injury, discharge of a firearm during the commission of a crime of violence and wilfully violating Aldrete-Davila’s Constitutional, Fourth Amendment right to be free from illegal seizure, as well as obstructing justice by intentionally defacing the crime scene, lying about the incident, and failing to report the truth.

via TalkLeft, The Dallas Morning News reported;

Both men admitted in court that they didn’t report the incident, but Ramos said he assumed one of several other agents at the scene had reported it. They also testified during the two-week trial that they shot at Aldrete, who ran back across the Rio Grande into Mexico after being wounded, because they thought he had a gun.

The above two sources are ones that I have come to trust over the years, so Lou’s starting to develope a few hickeys, on this one from the MSM and left.

Two other sources, one of which I can usually disagree with, appear to disagree with Mr. Dobbs as well,

Bonkers at the Border
Lou Dobbs and some Republicans pull an Al Sharpton.

Most people would consider corrupt border patrol agents to be part of the illegal immigration problem, not the solution. So it’s passing strange that anti-immigration Republicans in Congress are calling for the federal government to release Ignacio Ramos and Jose Alonso Compean, two former border guards from Texas who were sent to prison last week for shooting an unarmed man in the back and then trying to cover up their crime.

Several GOP lawmakers, including outspoken restrictionists like Congressmen Tom Tancredo and Duncan Hunter, have hailed the ex-agents as American heroes. President Bush is even being urged to pardon Ramos and Compean, who received sentences of 11 years and 12 years, respectively. GOP Representative Dana Rohrabacher has gone so far as to accuse Mr. Bush of being “on the side of [America’s] enemies” for allowing the men to go to jail.

CNN’s Lou Dobbs has also weighed in repeatedly with pseudo-reporting designed to rile up his viewers rather than inform them of the facts. Speaking of facts, they are as follows, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Western District of Texas and evidence presented at the ex-agents’ jury trial:

I would note the Wall Street Journal does still carry some wright with me, so another hickey to Lou. and then there is Reason Magazine‘s

“Compean and Ramos are Bad Guys.”David Weigel | January 30, 2007, 9:40am National Review’s Andrew McCarthy has absolutely the harshest take on the case of Jose Alonso Compean and Ignacio Ramos, border agents who shot a drug smuggler and whose “wrongful” imprisonment has become a cause celebre for immigration hawks. To wit: Rep. Dana Rohrabacher, California Republican, called it “the worst betrayal of American defenders I have ever seen.” Rep. Duncan Hunter, California Republican, introduced legislation calling for a congressional pardon. Rep. Joe Wilson, South Carolina Republican, described the case as a “grotesque misdirection of our judicial system.” Petitions with more than 260,000 signatures have been presented to President Bush calling for a pardon. Seventy members of Congress are co-sponsors of Mr. Hunter’s bill.

Ouch. While there are some facts mixed in to the story, i looks like politics as usual.

Tentative Conclusion, John Stewart still has the best take on TV News.

Snow-jobs” at the White House

May be the best story description of them all.

7:18 AM2/8/2007

The following is the original post;

Duncan Hunter and Me?, or, The Stangest Post I’ve Ever Done

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</IfEntryCategories –>Anyone who knows me, or my writing, will understand that I am one of the odder of the lefties, and also a pretty partisan one, so if you think I might support Duncan Hunter because he wants to impeach the President you might have some basis for your argument, but you’ld be wrong. Nor have I spent a lot of time watching CNN since I haven’t had access to it for more than a couple of months, and it has to compete with Free Speech TV. In fact I may probably be a TV news junky, and inspite of my railings against FOX, I still watch the local Fox station KRIV, since they were on air even before cable, and so I am familiar with Mike Barrajas and Cecilia. No big deal, just some background.(sp) (Sorry Mike, my bad)

Long story can’t be made short, Lou Dobb’s has finally convinced me through his program that the story of the two convicted Border Patrol agents, Ignacio Ramos and Jose Alonso Compean, needed some looking into, and for someone like me finding reliable sources on this is a little rough as there are very few conservative outlets I trust not to spin for spin’s sake, or in the case of Eleventh Dimension, I have become so accustommed to his over the years that I read him to see what everyone else is saying, but he is more of a charcoal filter than a source of news that I fall back on. Obviously I need to so some work on that stuff again, since I used to be pretty good at it before it finally wore me out.

Now, I am one of those lefties that want Leon Peltier freed because he was railroaded into prison, and, I am inherently distrustful of the state. Injustice does not know ideology, it just is, and needs to be corrected when it is found, and it is good for the American soul, because we may disagree on many things, but injustice in the legal system should not be one them. I can’t advocate for Padilla and mot do so for Ramos, or advocat for Peltier and and not do so for Compean, and it’s just that simple. Given the politicians who advocates for these men, it is a difficult thing to align with them, on any issue. Oh well, such is life. I’ll keep an eye out for evangelical lawyers and such.

I don’t have to much if any bias with Dobb’s and CNN, because I can only vouch for Headline News, whom I trust after many, many years. One of the drawbacks with me, or the right’s webring perhaps, is the echo chamber of views and spews which may, as I have stated, be my own biases, and the non lunatic right may have as much trouble with our side of the blogotracks as I with theirs, as well. So befor anyone at GopUSA thinks I am going to start frequenting the joint again, forget it. (I actuallly used to have an account there four years or so ago.)

WIAN: U.S. Attorney Johnny Sutton released a lengthy statement defending his decision to prosecute the agents and offer immunity to the drug smuggler. In part, it says, “Federal prosecutors cannot look the other way when law enforcement officers shoot unarmed suspects, then lie about it to their supervisors and file official reports that are false.”

But there is conflicting testimony about all of Johnny Sutton’s claims, conflicts that could be up to an appeals court to resolve — Lou.

DOBBS: Conflicting statements indeed. As a matter of fact, it is clear that the U.S. attorney and the prosecutors in this case took the word of a drug smuggler, one caught red-handed, fleeing federal authorities, and who later was involved in a subsequent crime over that of the U.S. Border Patrol agents. It is a remarkable case.

WIAN: It certainly is. And as Ted Poe, the congressman from Texas, a former judge, has said, it’s the most incredible case he’s ever seen in his — in his career, which includes 22 years as a judge in felony cases in Texas — Lou.

DOBBS: Well, it’s — this is — as a number of those congressmen said, this will not stand. The question is how justice will be ultimately served in this country. We have to hope that that is still a possibility.

Casey, thank you very much.

So off I went looking for trusted others, and four or five pages in I found this’ Border Patrol Agents Betrayed,

The US Attorney for the Western District of Texas was unavailable for comment Wednesday, but in a written statement he released to the news media last week he defended the prosecution of the two agents saying “These agents shot someone who they knew to be unarmed and running away.” He said they also “destroyed evidence, covered up a crime scene and then filed false reports about what happened.”
What he doesn’t mention is the fact that the alleged victim had led the agents on a high speed chase, ditched his vehicle to run across the border and appeared to be armed, pretending to aim a weapon at the agents.
The drug smuggler was given amnesty in return for his testimony and since the trial has been arrested for drug smuggling twice and allowed to walk. Let me repeat that, a illegal alien who has a record of drug smuggling made a deal giving him a free walk on a charge of drug smuggling after being caught with 750lbs of pot, in return for his testimony against the two border agents who caught him red handed, and shot him because they thought he was preparing to shoot them. ….

and then I found this; which quotes a Lulac representative,

The head of the El Paso office of the League of United Latin American Citizens, Elvia Hernandez, says her organization did not view the two agents as innocent, because they had violated procedures and fired at an unarmed man. Still, she says, her organization did not support the harsh sentence and favored their remaining free while awaiting appeal. “We are still very disturbed that they did not let them stay out of jail while appeal was on. It is not that we do not think they should be punished, it is just that the sentence was a little strict,” she said. Hernandez says the federal court wanted to make an example of the two men to discourage other Border Patrol agents from violating the law, but she fears it may have the effect of discouraging agents from using force when it is justified and necessary.

and I have less trouble with LULAC, since I’ve been familiar with them since I was a yonker, but the crux of the evidence appears which is disputed by the father-in-law of one of the men in the letter from Loya that I linked.. Anyway I ran across this letter,

BP supervisor, Jonathan Richards, who had arrived on the scene, was very angry that the smuggler had gotten away. Richards ordered everyone to report to the station. He also told them to load the 743 lbs of marijuana onto their vehicles and take it to the station.

Richards never went across the canal to investigate the assault or to check on agent Compean. Ramos and another agent, named Yrigoyen later testified they told Richards that Compean had been assaulted. At the station, another agent, Mendez, stated that Compean had cuts on his face and hand. He said this in the presence of Supervisor Richards. This is significant because Richards denied having any knowledge of Compean’s injuries. He therefore never notified the F.B.I and there was never an investigation in this case. The agents were convicted on the allegations and lies of the smuggler, the fabricated lies of the prosecutors and the fabricated lies of two agents who were handed proffer letters, (immunity) from prosecution in exchange for their testimony against Ramos and Compean.

The BP supervisor lied on the witness stand, testifying that no one told him Compean had been assaulted, which is his excuse for never notifying the F.B.I. of this fact. The truth is that he offered Compean medical attention and had asked Compean several times if he was OK. The physical evidence was apparent as Compean was cut and covered with dirt. Richard’s failure to notify the F.B.I. of the assault is the reason why the case was never investigated.

Because of the supervisor’s actions, none of the agent’s filled out firearms discharge reports. This administrative policy violation could have gotten them a five day suspension without pay. After checking again on Compean’s condition and asking him if he wanted to file assault charges, according to testimony, Richards then made a statement saying, “If we call the F.B.I. we are going to be here all night doing paperwork. We will never know who the person was that assaulted you although we’ve got the van and the marijuana.” After that, everyone went back to work.

and so there is where I am tonight.
I really can’t put my finger on it, but something really fishy is going on here, and like the LULAC, until this case hase been appealed, given the disputed evidence, I think these men need to be out on bail. It will take awhile to get this story lined out in my head to my own satisfaction, andt I will, but my gut tells me there is something really wrong in Denmark here, and that has usually been right. Ask someone who knows me, or has been reading my work for awhile. Anyway, I’ll be doing some digging into this tomorrow.

6:13 PM2/7/2007

Long story short, everyone involved with this case has done a better job os sorting through this, but especially Mr. Wian, who may be the most insulted by my take on the whole deal. So again, apologies to Mr. Dobb’s and his staff,

OK, Just One More Channelling

So “the Murtha plan” is to deny the president the possibility of victory while making sure Democrats don’t have to share the blame for the defeat. But of course he’s a great American! He’s a patriot! He supports the troops! He doesn’t support them in the mission, but he’d like them to continue failing at it for a couple more years. As John Kerry wondered during Vietnam, how do you ask a soldier to be the last man to die for a mistake? By nominally “fully funding” a war you don’t believe in but “limiting his ability to use the money.” Or as the endearingly honest anti-war group MoveCongress.org put it, in an e-mail preview of an exclusive interview with the wise old Murtha:

“Chairman Murtha will describe his strategy for not only limiting the deployment of troops to Iraq but undermining other aspects of the president’s foreign and national security policy.”

“Undermining”? Why not? To the Slow-Bleed Democrats, it’s the Republicans’ war. To an increasing number of what my radio pal Hugh Hewitt calls the White-Flag Republicans, it’s Bush’s war. To everyone else on the planet, it’s America’s war. And it will be America’s defeat.

©Mark Steyn, 2007

Hmmm.

John Hawkins: Do you think we would have been better off if we would have invaded Iraq this summer instead of waiting this long?

Mark Steyn: Yes. The time lost has emboldened America’s enemies – I use the term elastically – from the peace movement, which is a little less of a joke today than it was last spring, to Jacques Chirac to Kim Jong-Il. John Podhoretz keeps writing these columns in The New York Post congratulating Bush on one tremendous victory after another – over Tom Daschle, over Kofi Annan, over Dominique de Villepin. But these are not the enemy, they’re just speed-bumps on the way to the enemy, and they should all have been left receding into the distance in the rear-view mirror a long time ago.

My emphasis, since the term has such a familiar ring to it, then Hmmmmm.

John Hawkins: Hypothetically, let’s say that somehow, someway, George Bush were convinced not to invade Iraq and were to promise not to invade any other nation during the war on terrorism. What do you think the consequences of that would be?

Mark Steyn: He’d be a one-term President, and the death of the west would be pretty much a certainty. In hard terms, the best reason to hang Saddam is pour encourager les autres. Similarly, if he gets off, the North Koreans and Syrians and the more devious princes in the House of Saud will draw entirely reasonable conclusions about their freedom to operate.

Hmmm.

John Hawkins: Let’s say that things go well in Iraq and that we dispose of Saddam in short order with a minimal number of American and Iraqi civilian casualties. What do you think our next step in the war on terrorism should be?

Mark Steyn: The next step should be to quarantine the Saudis. The US has a moral distaste for imperialism, which is fair enough, but, on the other hand, when it scuppered the British and French over Suez in 1956, all it did was deliver the Middle East out of western influence and into the hands of what it thought were pliable strongmen. That’s no more morally superior than western imperialism and in practical terms it’s been a lot worse. We need to reform the entire region. To those cynical Europeans who say, “Oh, it’s absurd to think Arabs can ever be functioning members of a democrat state”, I’d say, in that case why are you allowing virtually unrestricted Muslim immigration into your own countries? So I’d say: after Iraq, Iran won’t be far behind; we then quarantine Saudi Arabia and explain the realities of life to Egypt and Syria.

Hmmm.

John Hawkins: How do you see the conflict between the United States and North Korea playing out?

Mark Steyn: I’m relatively relaxed, if only because a while back I made my own peace with the big change in global reality: during the Cold War I was never one of those people living in fear of impending nuclear annihilation – the nukes were in the hands of the Americans, British, French, Russians and Chinese, none of whom are stark staring nuts. Now the nukes have gone freelance, and more or less anyone can grab one and take out, if not New York or London, then one of their less vigilant neighbours – Vancouver or Rotterdam. It’s a horrible vision, and I don’t know why the Give-Peace-A-Chance crowd are so insouciant about it, but I’d be very surprised if we get through the next five years without a terrible catastrophe in a western city.

Hmmm.

Another weird scene from the Instapundit.

All Things Me

Some more

All Things Libby

eRiposte goes over the record, for the record, yet again.

[Preface: This post is the eighth of a series (see Parts 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 and 7) focused on offering some observations and analysis on some of the documents released during the Libby trial. Cross-posted at The Left Coaster.]

but you knew that.

Right as Rain

Duncan is right as rain on this.

It’ll be unfair to him and to Mormons, but I hope the candidacy of Mitt Romney helps us put a stop to this “people of faith” nonsense. It’s time to retire the phrase and the concept. Not that I have any sympathy for Romney, who said:

We need to have a person of faith lead the country.

I don’t think being of faith makes you better than other people, because it is intended to make you a better person than you were before you found it. It is not, as I understand it, a comparative endeavor, unless it is in fact an internal comparison.

There ought to be an end to this if for no other reason than we should be wearied of being criticized by atheists about non germane aspects of our faith.

And a real time Update: Howard’s (Kurtz) the guy that turned me on to Stealth Badger.

The Media is not the Issue

There is a limit to the usefulness of criticizing the media, since that too falls under the ubiquitous “media,” which doesn’t really mean much when it is used as a broad brush of generalization, and then as per my habit, to single out an individual for a single story doesn’t really help out too much if that individual isn’t open to criticism in the first place anyway. Some people are like that without being journalists.

I don’t have any problems with criticizing someone who gets it wrong all the time, and some of them do, but I don’t think that I want an adversarial relationship with the “media,” which has many constraints that I am not aware of, ie Corporate “policies,” and then again, no matter how high profile they may become, most people make mistakes in judgments and facts all the time.

The reason I even bring this up is because I find journalist to be fascinating people, as are most English majors, because they are so well read, and bring so many different interpretations to the events of our lives, and I don’t want to insult the many for the errors of the few, or just because I disagree, and because sometimes I get things all screwed up myself.

Hopefully the “media” is aware of the fact that the interaction between the blogs and the “media” is just as new a phenomenon to bloggers as it to themselves. It’s like having a pen pal in real time, sometimes, and that is always a little dicey of a relationship even on dead trees.

There, I’ve said my piece. Peace.

Get Your War On

Soldiers Face Neglect, Frustration At Army’s Top Medical Facility Whether goes the War Party?

Behind the door of Army Spec. Jeremy Duncan’s room, part of the wall is torn and hangs in the air, weighted down with black mold. When the wounded combat engineer stands in his shower and looks up, he can see the bathtub on the floor above through a rotted hole. The entire building, constructed between the world wars, often smells like greasy carry-out. Signs of neglect are everywhere: mouse droppings, belly-up cockroaches, stained carpets, cheap mattresses.

This is the world of Building 18, not the kind of place where Duncan expected to recover when he was evacuated to Walter Reed Army Medical Center from Iraq last February with a broken neck and a shredded left ear, nearly dead from blood loss. But the old lodge, just outside the gates of the hospital and five miles up the road from the White House, has housed hundreds of maimed soldiers recuperating from injuries suffered in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Is this worthy of the Senate’s time Senator Graham? Or are you all bluster? I thought so. To much snark for this early.

BTW: Via: Atrios

Late Night Eleventh Dimension

To some people, Vietnam wasn’t a defeat, but a victory. To them, the right side won. And lost. Naturally, they’re happy to repeat the experience.

The ubiquitous some people again, win, loose and draw, or as I prefer, matter, doesn’t matter, anti-matter.

Good Morning Glenn.

So Whose Micro Managing the War Now?

Having listened to the House and Senate debates, and again, to both sides, job well done,

Rice told Iraqi leaders that the Baghdad security operation needs to “rise above sectarianism” and noted that no U.S. or Iraqi forces have yet moved into the capital’s major Shiite militia stronghold, the Iraqi official said.

Politics makes such interesting bed wetters too, doesn’t it?

btw: Via: Antiwar

Peace Talks after Peace Talk?

The US and Israel will not work with a new Palestinian unity government unless it recognises Israel, Prime Minister Ehud Olmert has said.

He was speaking as US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice prepared for talks with Mr Olmert and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas.

I suppose this is reciprocal too.

US troops killed, Britney in the News

Eight US troops have been killed and 14 wounded in a helicopter crash in south-eastern Afghanistan, the US-led coalition has said.

The helicopter, reported to be a Chinook, came down after the pilot reported engine trouble.

Road Rage In Iraq, and Exploding Stars

Apparently our bad habits go with us too;

The Pentagon has been accused of obstructing an investigation into how three British soldiers almost died when an American tank transporter rammed them off a road in Iraq.

and of course I would be remiss to miss this;

Thousands of light years away this remarkable image, captured by the Hubble telescope, shows the death of a star and gives a dramatic foretaste of the time when our own Sun will expire and swallow up the Earth

Sorry the psychobabble is on ABC and deals with Britney. She either wants the attention or needs to be left alone for awhile. But minding our own business isn’t an American forte, anymore, since the news became the Enquirer.

The vote in the Senate

For those few people who may not have noticed, the Senate again affirmed minority rights, something that the previous Senate was unwilling to do. That in itself is a victory. This isn’t rocket science, it is fundamental to our democracy.

It would be nice if the Republicans remembered this the next time they are the majority party in the Senate. It would be nice if they would remember their positions on Kosovo too, but in America war is a partisan issue, and because that is so, there are no victors in America, only losers.

Everything goes out the window, faith, ethics and morality, when war begins. One wonders when the one half will become as chagrined at their own loss, as they are at the other’s.

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EZSmirkzz Feb 19-20, 2007

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Conspiracy Idiots

These conspiracy idiots are a boon for Bush and Blair as they destroy the movements some of us have spent years building

Why do I bother with these morons? Because they are destroying the movements some of us have spent a long time trying to build. Those of us who believe that the crucial global issues – climate change, the Iraq war, nuclear proliferation, inequality – are insufficiently debated in parliament or congress, that corporate power stands too heavily on democracy, that war criminals, cheats and liars are not being held to account, have invested our efforts in movements outside the mainstream political process. These, we are now discovering, are peculiarly susceptible to this epidemic of gibberish.

Agreed.

Edited: I agree they are a distraction and Bush and Blair can and do use them for that purpose as far as the MSM and “adults” are concerned, but Mr. Monibots failure and his movements failures are their own faults and not those whom attacks. If he had any political sense he would take his corrosives where he could find them, be they acidic or alkaline.

US ‘Iran attack plans’ revealed

US contingency plans for air strikes on Iran extend beyond nuclear sites and include most of the country’s military infrastructure, the BBC has learned

Oh Really, I’m shocked.

Monday, February 19, 2007

This is the Next Place

Where I can call morons morons, and perhaps say what I want to, without having to worry if someone is getting their feelings in a fluster.

Nuts And Bolts Feb 19-20, 2007

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

US ‘Iran attack plans’ revealed

US contingency plans for air strikes on Iran extend beyond nuclear sites and include most of the country’s military infrastructure, the BBC has learned

Oh Really, I’m shocked.

Conspiracy Idiots

These conspiracy idiots are a boon for Bush and Blair as they destroy the movements some of us have spent years building

Why do I bother with these morons? Because they are destroying the movements some of us have spent a long time trying to build. Those of us who believe that the crucial global issues – climate change, the Iraq war, nuclear proliferation, inequality – are insufficiently debated in parliament or congress, that corporate power stands too heavily on democracy, that war criminals, cheats and liars are not being held to account, have invested our efforts in movements outside the mainstream political process. These, we are now discovering, are peculiarly susceptible to this epidemic of gibberish.

Agreed.

Monday, February 19, 2007

This is the Next Place

Where I can call morons morons, and perhaps say what I want to, without having to worry if someone is getting their feelings in a fluster.

EZSmirkzz 4.0 Feb 10-19, 2007

Monday, February 19, 2007

What a Mole

Heh,

Now a reader of the Cunning Realist blog has dug up the archived version of the website of Mr. Alishtari’s company, GlobalProtector, which shows that at the same time Alishtari was giving money to the GOP he was bidding on multiple government contracts — including ones with the Pentagon and the Department of Homeland Security.

via: Talking Points Memo What is it with all these short haired people?

Update: It can always get worse, Terrorist Fundraiser of the Year

Yasith Chhun, the head of the Cambodian Freedom Fighters, a group designated by the State Department as a terrorist organization, was indicted in May of 2005 for charges of plotting to overthrow the Cambodian government. He was also, The Los Angeles Times reported, a member of the NRCC’s Business Advisory Council:

I suppose it won’t be long before the press is blaring the next Democrat to be busted for the same crimes, given everything we should know.

I pushed this on up to the top. Did you notice?

The Slow Bleed

A Fairly interesting read.

Most observers would rightly conclude that up until now the United States remains uncommitted to the fight. Less than 13 percent of our 1.4 million active-duty military are deployed in Iraq. Fewer than 15,000 of the 150,000 troops in Iraq today are actually engaged in combat operations

You can divide 15,000 by 1.4 million,

Iraq has become a “slow bleed,” in which American blood, prestige and credibility are all slowly and inexorably being spilled in ever increasing quantities.

So what I kind of derive from this, is for all the Administration’s and War Hawks pontifications about winning the war, and all the white flag Republican snark from the right, the fact of the matter is this war was never intended to be won at all, and all the debate about this or that aspect of it is just a dog and pony show for the masses. Expletives Deleted come to mind.

This ties in with a previous admonition not to be naive about US forces capabilities with regard to Iran, and the ability of the American people to be bamboozled by their government at the “whim of the hat,” to paraphrase the current “Dear Leader.”

Updated for tenses,for the millions, and snark removal. It’s bad enough as it is. And of course back at the ranch, this was I believe, a part of the original Neocon spin.

Yeah I Like This Too

Interesting take. although YMMV, and I’m sticking with Ezra on this.

Ricochets from the Eleventh Dimension

InstaRudundant ought to be proud,

Johnson, incidentally, has been feted by the mainstream media. He was recently named number 20 on Forbes’s “Web celeb” list. Perhaps more such posts about targeting foreign leaders will move him up into the top ten and get him the sort of regular network booking Ann Coulter enjoys.

Nothing like being in the company of Little Goof FooseBalls there Glenn.

Your GOP Donor at Work

Yeah I can see why Britney is news, after all, publicity is publicity, clik cllk,

WASHINGTON, Feb. 18 — Senior leaders of Al Qaeda operating from Pakistan have re-established significant control over their once-battered worldwide terror network and over the past year have set up a band of training camps in the tribal regions near the Afghan border, according to American intelligence and counterterrorism officials.

not from this guy. Meanwhile back at the ranch,

TEHRAN, Feb. 18 — The Iranian Foreign Ministry charged Sunday that Sunni insurgents from Iran used Pakistan as a base to plan a bombing that killed 11 people and wounded more than 30 in the southeastern border city of Zahedan last week. The ministry said it had demanded an explanation from the Pakistani ambassador.

On another note, when will the majority of the American press figure out that there are NO Shiite Muslims? The word is Shia, as in Shia Muslims.

Perspective on Britney?

ROTFLAMAO

Update: IMHO only. I understand that a lot of people really are interested in this stuff, and my opinion isn’t the only one that matters. I am interested in this stuff too, but only in passing, and I sure don’t want anyone to feel like they shouldn’t be on my account, anymore than I want to feel as though I should, on anyone else account either.

Besides, I should have learned a long time ago not to pick on Matt.

Oh Well, That’s Not Helpful to the War Machine

Iran nuclear plant may be delayed

Moscow last year backed limited UN sanctions on Iran for refusing to halt uranium enrichment after objections to the Bushehr deal were dropped.

Oh! So that’s what they mean by using diplomacy? You mean it isn’t Cruise Missiles at night? Who would have thunk?

The Murtha Smear Is On

It was immediately picked up by The Weekly Standard, U.S. News & World Report, the National Review Online and the Wall Street Journal, among others. And in the days that followed, the “slow-bleed” line has been used by everyone from House Minority Leader John Boehner, to Senate Minority Whip Trent Lott, to White House spokesman Tony Snow, who prefaced it with the ever-handy, “some say.” But apparently that line isn’t having the desired effect, because now the long knives have come out and the smear of John Murtha is officially on.

Robert Novak:

So who’ll be the next in line? via dKos

Fifty Six Votes is not a Loss

Am I the only person in America that appreciates the rules of the Senate? Because the Senate rules protect the minority opinion, does not mean it cannot express the majority’s views.

What I want to know is why it is a “victory” to threaten to invoke the nuclear option over judges, and end over two hundred years of tradition of guaranteeing the minority’s rights, through Civil and World Wars.

The Senate vote was a bigger victory than anyone seems to note, and that is the biggest loss of the vote. Just how ignorant can we be?

UPdated” I thought the first question ought to be framed as a question, for those of you who speak the language better than you read minds.

Our Children at War

While I may disagree with him about the underlying causes of this behavior, the behavior is what it is, this is another reason to think long and hard before rushing off to war.

Murder, Inc.
That’s the reality of American foreign policy

How typically American: he isn’t to blame for his actions – certainly not! – it’s his “ill-defined mission.” But what if carnage – for its own sake, as an end in itself – is the mission? Forget the highfalutin’ rhetoric about “democracy,” the “war on terrorism,” the “weapons of mass destruction” that somehow turned into a desert mirage. The ugly reality is that Iraq has become an arena for American sadists to act out their perverted fantasies, a vast Charenton where the de Sades in charge of American foreign policy have unleashed an army of torturers and murderous thugs on the Iraqi people. The American media doesn’t want to show the real face of U.S. “liberators,” but they are being outflanked by the new technology that makes the self-appointed “gatekeepers” of journalism increasingly irrelevant.

I think some of these same characteristics prevent the voices of dissent from being given an ear prior to war as well, so it isn’t just us in our time, it is a learned national trait. Since I was raised here as well I can’t imagine where it is learned, unless it’s at the house, or perhaps it is natural to mankind and the churches, etc, fail to remove this illusion of superiority,

Sunday, February 18, 2007

Man, Who Has Time to Eat?

Confronting the Greatest Market Failure in History: National Security & Climate Change

I have just discovered that former National Security Advisor to George H.W. Bush, General Brent Scowcroft, is on the board of directors of Al Gore’s Alliance for Climate Protection. Cool.

so I guess I ought to throw this link in here as well; Climate change: scientists warn it may be too late to save the ice caps

A critical meltdown of ice sheets and severe sea level rise could be inevitable because of global warming, the world’s scientists are preparing to warn their governments. New studies of Greenland and Antarctica have forced a UN expert panel to conclude there is a 50% chance that widespread ice sheet loss “may no longer be avoided” because of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere.

This ought to give conservatives with issues, issues.

Wheels within Wheels Circle the Wagons

By Michael Isikoff Newsweek

Asked by one of Libby’s lawyers if he had talked about Plame with anybody else before outing her in his column, Novak said he’d discussed her with a lobbyist named Richard Hohlt. Who, the lawyer pressed, is Hohlt? “He’s a very good source of mine” whom I talk to “every day,” Novak replied. Indeed, Hohlt is such a good source that after Novak finished his column naming Plame, he testified, he did something most journalists rarely do: he gave the lobbyist an advance copy of his column. What Novak didn’t tell the jury is what the lobbyist then did with it: Hohlt confirmed to NEWSWEEK that he faxed the forthcoming column to their mutual friend Karl Rove (one of Novak’s sources for the Plame leak), thereby giving the White House a heads up on the bombshell to come.

So not only did no one get fired, everyone knew before the question was even posed. HT to The Washington Note.

Et Tu FOX?

via Atrios,

True ‘Fair And Balanced’ Coverage: Wallace Calls Out Feith For Lying On Fox News

Transcript:

WALLACE: Now a follow-up to our interview last Sunday with former Undersecretary of Defense Douglas Feith. Many of you asked us to check out the claim. Here’s what he said to us.

FEITH: Nobody in our office said there was an operational relationship between Iraq and al Qaeda. It’s not correct. Words matter.

WALLACE: But it turns out he did make that case in a memo he sent to the Senate Intelligence Committee in October of ‘03. “The Weekly Standard,” which saw the memo, described it this way. “Osama bin Laden and Saddam Hussein had an operational relationship from the early 1990s to 2003 that involved training and explosives and weapons of mass destruction, logistical support for terrorist attacks, al Qaeda training camps and safe haven in Iraq, and Iraqi financial support for al Qaeda.”

Whoa, I’m impressed.

GOP Donor Busted

NY Man Charged With Trying To Fund Terror

Ouch. Serious fair use pinch Via TPM UD: JMM has some links to follow up on.

(CBS/AP) Terrorism charges brought Friday against the administrator of a loan investment program claimed that he secretly tried to send $152,000 to the Middle East to buy equipment such as night vision goggles for a terrorist training camp in Afghanistan.

Abdul Tawala Ibn Ali Alishtari, 53, of Ardsley, N.Y., pleaded not guilty in U.S. District Court in Manhattan to an indictment accusing him of terrorism financing, material support of terrorism and other charges. The charges carried a potential penalty of 95 years in prison.

CBS News has confirmed that Alishtari is a donor to the Republican Party, as he claims on his curriculum vitae. Alishtari gave $15,500 to the National Republican Campaign Committee between 2002 and 2004, according to Federal Election Commission records. That amount includes $13,000 in 2003, a year when he claims to have been named NRCC New York State Businessman of the Year.

Alishtari also claims to be a lifetime member of the National Republican Senate Committee’s Inner Circle, which the NRCC describes as “an impressive cross-section of American society – community leaders, business executives, entrepreneurs, retirees, and sports and entertainment celebrities – all of whom hold a deep interest in our nation’s prosperity and security.”

When Your Wrong Lou, Your Wrong

Apparently I was. My apologies

For those of you who have been as perplexed by the inconsistencies in the Border Patrol Agents story, convicted of shooting a drug runner, or in the vernacular, a mule, then you did well to lay low and let it develop, at least I wish I had.

Below is all that I have left of my original two posts, although I know I clobbered at least one more and there may other snotty remarks directed at Mr. Dobb’s over this on my part. Anyway, there are enough inconsistencies in the case to warrant further investigation by a special prosecutor as Mr Wian has alluded to, just to clear the whole mess up.

It is one thing, I suppose for a network to tick off the US Attorney, or the Border Patrol, and quite another for an individual to do so. Ultimately, however, I think that the nation as a whole is better served by knowing the border and drug enforcement laws are being enforced, and upheld, without the bias and prejudice of either the Border Patrol Agents or the criminal justice system being a factor.

At any rate the reporting of the story has been informative and educational, in that I have a better understanding of all the issues that have pitted the two opposing views of the event, without any clearer understanding of exactly what happened during the incident and subsequent trial.

It is not however an issue that has run its’ course in the criminal justice system, so it is not IMHO, and issue that the President can or should interject himself into, no is it at the level of an impeachable offense as some Congressmen have stated, and so the issue is polluted by political gamesmanship as well.

Anyway here are the two posts I still retain, in full, so the rest of you know what in the hell I’m talking about;

Back to The Border Patrol Case

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</IfEntryCategories –>One of the current problems I am having, besides a lack of news without an agenda, is how an agent supposedly being keeped in solitary confinement can be beaten in his sleep by five people, which makes zero sense.

Here is the US Attorneys Statement via KVIA,

At the initiation of their investigation, the DHS Office of Inspector General contacted Aldrete-Davila who was at the time in Mexico.

Aldrete-Davila was at first reluctant to cooperate with the investigation because he feared that should he return to the United States, he could be prosecuted for the offenses committed in relation to the load of marijuana he was driving on February 17, 2005.

In order to secure his cooperation and appearance at trial in the United States, this office agreed that in return for his truthful testimony he would not be prosecuted for the February 17, 2005 offenses. The agreement does not immunize any other conduct.

Based on all of the evidence admitted at the two week trial, including the lengthy testimony of both of the defendants, the jury of twelve citizens heard all of the testimony, judged the demeanor and credibility of the witnesses and unanimously found both defendants guilty beyond a reasonable doubt of eleven of the twelve counts alleged in the indictment, including assault with a dangerous weapon, assault with serious bodily injury, discharge of a firearm during the commission of a crime of violence and wilfully violating Aldrete-Davila’s Constitutional, Fourth Amendment right to be free from illegal seizure, as well as obstructing justice by intentionally defacing the crime scene, lying about the incident, and failing to report the truth.

via TalkLeft, The Dallas Morning News reported;

Both men admitted in court that they didn’t report the incident, but Ramos said he assumed one of several other agents at the scene had reported it. They also testified during the two-week trial that they shot at Aldrete, who ran back across the Rio Grande into Mexico after being wounded, because they thought he had a gun.

The above two sources are ones that I have come to trust over the years, so Lou’s starting to develope a few hickeys, on this one from the MSM and left.

Two other sources, one of which I can usually disagree with, appear to disagree with Mr. Dobbs as well,

Bonkers at the Border
Lou Dobbs and some Republicans pull an Al Sharpton.

Most people would consider corrupt border patrol agents to be part of the illegal immigration problem, not the solution. So it’s passing strange that anti-immigration Republicans in Congress are calling for the federal government to release Ignacio Ramos and Jose Alonso Compean, two former border guards from Texas who were sent to prison last week for shooting an unarmed man in the back and then trying to cover up their crime.

Several GOP lawmakers, including outspoken restrictionists like Congressmen Tom Tancredo and Duncan Hunter, have hailed the ex-agents as American heroes. President Bush is even being urged to pardon Ramos and Compean, who received sentences of 11 years and 12 years, respectively. GOP Representative Dana Rohrabacher has gone so far as to accuse Mr. Bush of being “on the side of [America’s] enemies” for allowing the men to go to jail.

CNN’s Lou Dobbs has also weighed in repeatedly with pseudo-reporting designed to rile up his viewers rather than inform them of the facts. Speaking of facts, they are as follows, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Western District of Texas and evidence presented at the ex-agents’ jury trial:

I would note the Wall Street Journal does still carry some wright with me, so another hickey to Lou. and then there is Reason Magazine‘s

“Compean and Ramos are Bad Guys.”David Weigel | January 30, 2007, 9:40am National Review’s Andrew McCarthy has absolutely the harshest take on the case of Jose Alonso Compean and Ignacio Ramos, border agents who shot a drug smuggler and whose “wrongful” imprisonment has become a cause celebre for immigration hawks. To wit: Rep. Dana Rohrabacher, California Republican, called it “the worst betrayal of American defenders I have ever seen.” Rep. Duncan Hunter, California Republican, introduced legislation calling for a congressional pardon. Rep. Joe Wilson, South Carolina Republican, described the case as a “grotesque misdirection of our judicial system.” Petitions with more than 260,000 signatures have been presented to President Bush calling for a pardon. Seventy members of Congress are co-sponsors of Mr. Hunter’s bill.

Ouch. While there are some facts mixed in to the story, i looks like politics as usual.

Tentative Conclusion, John Stewart still has the best take on TV News.

Snow-jobs” at the White House

May be the best story description of them all.

7:18 AM2/8/2007

The following is the original post;

Duncan Hunter and Me?, or, The Stangest Post I’ve Ever Done

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Posted in Unspecified

</IfEntryCategories –>Anyone who knows me, or my writing, will understand that I am one of the odder of the lefties, and also a pretty partisan one, so if you think I might support Duncan Hunter because he wants to impeach the President you might have some basis for your argument, but you’ld be wrong. Nor have I spent a lot of time watching CNN since I haven’t had access to it for more than a couple of months, and it has to compete with Free Speech TV. In fact I may probably be a TV news junky, and inspite of my railings against FOX, I still watch the local Fox station KRIV, since they were on air even before cable, and so I am familiar with Mike Barrajas and Cecilia. No big deal, just some background.(sp) (Sorry Mike, my bad)

Long story can’t be made short, Lou Dobb’s has finally convinced me through his program that the story of the two convicted Border Patrol agents, Ignacio Ramos and Jose Alonso Compean, needed some looking into, and for someone like me finding reliable sources on this is a little rough as there are very few conservative outlets I trust not to spin for spin’s sake, or in the case of Eleventh Dimension, I have become so accustommed to his over the years that I read him to see what everyone else is saying, but he is more of a charcoal filter than a source of news that I fall back on. Obviously I need to so some work on that stuff again, since I used to be pretty good at it before it finally wore me out.

Now, I am one of those lefties that want Leon Peltier freed because he was railroaded into prison, and, I am inherently distrustful of the state. Injustice does not know ideology, it just is, and needs to be corrected when it is found, and it is good for the American soul, because we may disagree on many things, but injustice in the legal system should not be one them. I can’t advocate for Padilla and mot do so for Ramos, or advocat for Peltier and and not do so for Compean, and it’s just that simple. Given the politicians who advocates for these men, it is a difficult thing to align with them, on any issue. Oh well, such is life. I’ll keep an eye out for evangelical lawyers and such.

I don’t have to much if any bias with Dobb’s and CNN, because I can only vouch for Headline News, whom I trust after many, many years. One of the drawbacks with me, or the right’s webring perhaps, is the echo chamber of views and spews which may, as I have stated, be my own biases, and the non lunatic right may have as much trouble with our side of the blogotracks as I with theirs, as well. So befor anyone at GopUSA thinks I am going to start frequenting the joint again, forget it. (I actuallly used to have an account there four years or so ago.)

WIAN: U.S. Attorney Johnny Sutton released a lengthy statement defending his decision to prosecute the agents and offer immunity to the drug smuggler. In part, it says, “Federal prosecutors cannot look the other way when law enforcement officers shoot unarmed suspects, then lie about it to their supervisors and file official reports that are false.”

But there is conflicting testimony about all of Johnny Sutton’s claims, conflicts that could be up to an appeals court to resolve — Lou.

DOBBS: Conflicting statements indeed. As a matter of fact, it is clear that the U.S. attorney and the prosecutors in this case took the word of a drug smuggler, one caught red-handed, fleeing federal authorities, and who later was involved in a subsequent crime over that of the U.S. Border Patrol agents. It is a remarkable case.

WIAN: It certainly is. And as Ted Poe, the congressman from Texas, a former judge, has said, it’s the most incredible case he’s ever seen in his — in his career, which includes 22 years as a judge in felony cases in Texas — Lou.

DOBBS: Well, it’s — this is — as a number of those congressmen said, this will not stand. The question is how justice will be ultimately served in this country. We have to hope that that is still a possibility.

Casey, thank you very much.

So off I went looking for trusted others, and four or five pages in I found this’ Border Patrol Agents Betrayed,

The US Attorney for the Western District of Texas was unavailable for comment Wednesday, but in a written statement he released to the news media last week he defended the prosecution of the two agents saying “These agents shot someone who they knew to be unarmed and running away.” He said they also “destroyed evidence, covered up a crime scene and then filed false reports about what happened.”
What he doesn’t mention is the fact that the alleged victim had led the agents on a high speed chase, ditched his vehicle to run across the border and appeared to be armed, pretending to aim a weapon at the agents.
The drug smuggler was given amnesty in return for his testimony and since the trial has been arrested for drug smuggling twice and allowed to walk. Let me repeat that, a illegal alien who has a record of drug smuggling made a deal giving him a free walk on a charge of drug smuggling after being caught with 750lbs of pot, in return for his testimony against the two border agents who caught him red handed, and shot him because they thought he was preparing to shoot them. ….

and then I found this; which quotes a Lulac representative,

The head of the El Paso office of the League of United Latin American Citizens, Elvia Hernandez, says her organization did not view the two agents as innocent, because they had violated procedures and fired at an unarmed man. Still, she says, her organization did not support the harsh sentence and favored their remaining free while awaiting appeal. “We are still very disturbed that they did not let them stay out of jail while appeal was on. It is not that we do not think they should be punished, it is just that the sentence was a little strict,” she said. Hernandez says the federal court wanted to make an example of the two men to discourage other Border Patrol agents from violating the law, but she fears it may have the effect of discouraging agents from using force when it is justified and necessary.

and I have less trouble with LULAC, since I’ve been familiar with them since I was a yonker, but the crux of the evidence appears which is disputed by the father-in-law of one of the men in the letter from Loya that I linked.. Anyway I ran across this letter,

BP supervisor, Jonathan Richards, who had arrived on the scene, was very angry that the smuggler had gotten away. Richards ordered everyone to report to the station. He also told them to load the 743 lbs of marijuana onto their vehicles and take it to the station.

Richards never went across the canal to investigate the assault or to check on agent Compean. Ramos and another agent, named Yrigoyen later testified they told Richards that Compean had been assaulted. At the station, another agent, Mendez, stated that Compean had cuts on his face and hand. He said this in the presence of Supervisor Richards. This is significant because Richards denied having any knowledge of Compean’s injuries. He therefore never notified the F.B.I and there was never an investigation in this case. The agents were convicted on the allegations and lies of the smuggler, the fabricated lies of the prosecutors and the fabricated lies of two agents who were handed proffer letters, (immunity) from prosecution in exchange for their testimony against Ramos and Compean.

The BP supervisor lied on the witness stand, testifying that no one told him Compean had been assaulted, which is his excuse for never notifying the F.B.I. of this fact. The truth is that he offered Compean medical attention and had asked Compean several times if he was OK. The physical evidence was apparent as Compean was cut and covered with dirt. Richard’s failure to notify the F.B.I. of the assault is the reason why the case was never investigated.

Because of the supervisor’s actions, none of the agent’s filled out firearms discharge reports. This administrative policy violation could have gotten them a five day suspension without pay. After checking again on Compean’s condition and asking him if he wanted to file assault charges, according to testimony, Richards then made a statement saying, “If we call the F.B.I. we are going to be here all night doing paperwork. We will never know who the person was that assaulted you although we’ve got the van and the marijuana.” After that, everyone went back to work.

and so there is where I am tonight.
I really can’t put my finger on it, but something really fishy is going on here, and like the LULAC, until this case hase been appealed, given the disputed evidence, I think these men need to be out on bail. It will take awhile to get this story lined out in my head to my own satisfaction, andt I will, but my gut tells me there is something really wrong in Denmark here, and that has usually been right. Ask someone who knows me, or has been reading my work for awhile. Anyway, I’ll be doing some digging into this tomorrow.

6:13 PM2/7/2007

Long story short, everyone involved with this case has done a better job os sorting through this, but especially Mr. Wian, who may be the most insulted by my take on the whole deal. So again, apologies to Mr. Dobb’s and his staff,

OK, Just One More Channelling

So “the Murtha plan” is to deny the president the possibility of victory while making sure Democrats don’t have to share the blame for the defeat. But of course he’s a great American! He’s a patriot! He supports the troops! He doesn’t support them in the mission, but he’d like them to continue failing at it for a couple more years. As John Kerry wondered during Vietnam, how do you ask a soldier to be the last man to die for a mistake? By nominally “fully funding” a war you don’t believe in but “limiting his ability to use the money.” Or as the endearingly honest anti-war group MoveCongress.org put it, in an e-mail preview of an exclusive interview with the wise old Murtha:

“Chairman Murtha will describe his strategy for not only limiting the deployment of troops to Iraq but undermining other aspects of the president’s foreign and national security policy.”

“Undermining”? Why not? To the Slow-Bleed Democrats, it’s the Republicans’ war. To an increasing number of what my radio pal Hugh Hewitt calls the White-Flag Republicans, it’s Bush’s war. To everyone else on the planet, it’s America’s war. And it will be America’s defeat.

©Mark Steyn, 2007

Hmmm.

John Hawkins: Do you think we would have been better off if we would have invaded Iraq this summer instead of waiting this long?

Mark Steyn: Yes. The time lost has emboldened America’s enemies – I use the term elastically – from the peace movement, which is a little less of a joke today than it was last spring, to Jacques Chirac to Kim Jong-Il. John Podhoretz keeps writing these columns in The New York Post congratulating Bush on one tremendous victory after another – over Tom Daschle, over Kofi Annan, over Dominique de Villepin. But these are not the enemy, they’re just speed-bumps on the way to the enemy, and they should all have been left receding into the distance in the rear-view mirror a long time ago.

My emphasis, since the term has such a familiar ring to it, then Hmmmmm.

John Hawkins: Hypothetically, let’s say that somehow, someway, George Bush were convinced not to invade Iraq and were to promise not to invade any other nation during the war on terrorism. What do you think the consequences of that would be?

Mark Steyn: He’d be a one-term President, and the death of the west would be pretty much a certainty. In hard terms, the best reason to hang Saddam is pour encourager les autres. Similarly, if he gets off, the North Koreans and Syrians and the more devious princes in the House of Saud will draw entirely reasonable conclusions about their freedom to operate.

Hmmm.

John Hawkins: Let’s say that things go well in Iraq and that we dispose of Saddam in short order with a minimal number of American and Iraqi civilian casualties. What do you think our next step in the war on terrorism should be?

Mark Steyn: The next step should be to quarantine the Saudis. The US has a moral distaste for imperialism, which is fair enough, but, on the other hand, when it scuppered the British and French over Suez in 1956, all it did was deliver the Middle East out of western influence and into the hands of what it thought were pliable strongmen. That’s no more morally superior than western imperialism and in practical terms it’s been a lot worse. We need to reform the entire region. To those cynical Europeans who say, “Oh, it’s absurd to think Arabs can ever be functioning members of a democrat state”, I’d say, in that case why are you allowing virtually unrestricted Muslim immigration into your own countries? So I’d say: after Iraq, Iran won’t be far behind; we then quarantine Saudi Arabia and explain the realities of life to Egypt and Syria.

Hmmm.

John Hawkins: How do you see the conflict between the United States and North Korea playing out?

Mark Steyn: I’m relatively relaxed, if only because a while back I made my own peace with the big change in global reality: during the Cold War I was never one of those people living in fear of impending nuclear annihilation – the nukes were in the hands of the Americans, British, French, Russians and Chinese, none of whom are stark staring nuts. Now the nukes have gone freelance, and more or less anyone can grab one and take out, if not New York or London, then one of their less vigilant neighbours – Vancouver or Rotterdam. It’s a horrible vision, and I don’t know why the Give-Peace-A-Chance crowd are so insouciant about it, but I’d be very surprised if we get through the next five years without a terrible catastrophe in a western city.

Hmmm.

Another weird scene from the Instapundit.

All Things Me

Some more

All Things Libby

eRiposte goes over the record, for the record, yet again.

[Preface: This post is the eighth of a series (see Parts 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 and 7) focused on offering some observations and analysis on some of the documents released during the Libby trial. Cross-posted at The Left Coaster.]

but you knew that.

Right as Rain

Duncan is right as rain on this.

It’ll be unfair to him and to Mormons, but I hope the candidacy of Mitt Romney helps us put a stop to this “people of faith” nonsense. It’s time to retire the phrase and the concept. Not that I have any sympathy for Romney, who said:

We need to have a person of faith lead the country.

I don’t think being of faith makes you better than other people, because it is intended to make you a better person than you were before you found it. It is not, as I understand it, a comparative endeavor, unless it is in fact an internal comparison.

There ought to be an end to this if for no other reason than we should be wearied of being criticized by atheists about non germane aspects of our faith.

And a real time Update: Howard’s (Kurtz) the guy that turned me on to Stealth Badger.

The Media is not the Issue

There is a limit to the usefulness of criticizing the media, since that too falls under the ubiquitous “media,” which doesn’t really mean much when it is used as a broad brush of generalization, and then as per my habit, to single out an individual for a single story doesn’t really help out too much if that individual isn’t open to criticism in the first place anyway. Some people are like that without being journalists.

I don’t have any problems with criticizing someone who gets it wrong all the time, and some of them do, but I don’t think that I want an adversarial relationship with the “media,” which has many constraints that I am not aware of, ie Corporate “policies,” and then again, no matter how high profile they may become, most people make mistakes in judgments and facts all the time.

The reason I even bring this up is because I find journalist to be fascinating people, as are most English majors, because they are so well read, and bring so many different interpretations to the events of our lives, and I don’t want to insult the many for the errors of the few, or just because I disagree, and because sometimes I get things all screwed up myself.

Hopefully the “media” is aware of the fact that the interaction between the blogs and the “media” is just as new a phenomenon to bloggers as it to themselves. It’s like having a pen pal in real time, sometimes, and that is always a little dicey of a relationship even on dead trees.

There, I’ve said my piece. Peace.

Get Your War On

Soldiers Face Neglect, Frustration At Army’s Top Medical Facility Whether goes the War Party?

Behind the door of Army Spec. Jeremy Duncan’s room, part of the wall is torn and hangs in the air, weighted down with black mold. When the wounded combat engineer stands in his shower and looks up, he can see the bathtub on the floor above through a rotted hole. The entire building, constructed between the world wars, often smells like greasy carry-out. Signs of neglect are everywhere: mouse droppings, belly-up cockroaches, stained carpets, cheap mattresses.

This is the world of Building 18, not the kind of place where Duncan expected to recover when he was evacuated to Walter Reed Army Medical Center from Iraq last February with a broken neck and a shredded left ear, nearly dead from blood loss. But the old lodge, just outside the gates of the hospital and five miles up the road from the White House, has housed hundreds of maimed soldiers recuperating from injuries suffered in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Is this worthy of the Senate’s time Senator Graham? Or are you all bluster? I thought so. To much snark for this early.

BTW: Via: Atrios

Late Night Eleventh Dimension

To some people, Vietnam wasn’t a defeat, but a victory. To them, the right side won. And lost. Naturally, they’re happy to repeat the experience.

The ubiquitous some people again, win, loose and draw, or as I prefer, matter, doesn’t matter, anti-matter.

Good Morning Glenn.

So Whose Micro Managing the War Now?

Having listened to the House and Senate debates, and again, to both sides, job well done,

Rice told Iraqi leaders that the Baghdad security operation needs to “rise above sectarianism” and noted that no U.S. or Iraqi forces have yet moved into the capital’s major Shiite militia stronghold, the Iraqi official said.

Politics makes such interesting bed wetters too, doesn’t it?

btw: Via: Antiwar

Peace Talks after Peace Talk?

The US and Israel will not work with a new Palestinian unity government unless it recognises Israel, Prime Minister Ehud Olmert has said.

He was speaking as US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice prepared for talks with Mr Olmert and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas.

I suppose this is reciprocal too.

US troops killed, Britney in the News

Eight US troops have been killed and 14 wounded in a helicopter crash in south-eastern Afghanistan, the US-led coalition has said.

The helicopter, reported to be a Chinook, came down after the pilot reported engine trouble.

Road Rage In Iraq, and Exploding Stars

Apparently our bad habits go with us too;

The Pentagon has been accused of obstructing an investigation into how three British soldiers almost died when an American tank transporter rammed them off a road in Iraq.

and of course I would be remiss to miss this;

Thousands of light years away this remarkable image, captured by the Hubble telescope, shows the death of a star and gives a dramatic foretaste of the time when our own Sun will expire and swallow up the Earth

Sorry the psychobabble is on ABC and deals with Britney. She either wants the attention or needs to be left alone for awhile. But minding our own business isn’t an American forte, anymore, since the news became the Enquirer.

The vote in the Senate

For those few people who may not have noticed, the Senate again affirmed minority rights, something that the previous Senate was unwilling to do. That in itself is a victory. This isn’t rocket science, it is fundamental to our democracy.

It would be nice if the Republicans remembered this the next time they are the majority party in the Senate. It would be nice if they would remember their positions on Kosovo too, but in America war is a partisan issue, and because that is so, there are no victors in America, only losers.

Everything goes out the window, faith, ethics and morality, when war begins. One wonders when the one half will become as chagrined at their own loss, as they are at the other’s.

Saturday, February 17, 2007

The Constitution and Joe

One would think a person so concerned with the constitution would have stepped up at some time in the last few years to denounce this:

You have to go to Digby’s digs for the rest.

Agreed

via: the wanker who doesn’t link to him,

It Is A Victory,

From where I sit, this is indeed a victory. The Democratic House passed a resolution that represents the true will of the people and a majority of Senators voted for it, even they were 4 votes shy of passage. It was non-binding, so wouldn’t have done anything practical yet–it’s import was symbolism, yes, but also gets everybody on record.

I don’t know if anyone reads Talking Points Memo, (heh,) but this outcome was a pretty well understood outcome way back last night. A couple of FUs ago the Republicans were talking about a Newcleare option, don’t ja know. Rome wasn’t built in day, nor did it fall in one.

A Little Hint, Don’t be Naive

Given the agreement with North Korea, our ever growing popularity in Okinawa and Japan, the size of the US Navy, the US components left in Europe, and NATO’s proximity to the region, it would be fool hearty to assume that a rather large land based operation is out of the realm of possibility for the United States and its’ allies, including the Arab states worried about the Shia Crescent, etc, etc, in regard to Iran.

Think Patton and Stormin’ Norman.

One of the emotional factors, for lack of a better phrase, is the Babooms sense that they are the only American generation to not have actually participated in something bigger than life in their own lives.

Two Out of Three Ain’t Bad

via FDL But

it doesn’t meet the benchmark either.

Responding to reporters who were skeptical — after all, they’d heard this many times before — White House officials urged them to judge for themselves whether that would happen

“You’re going to have to — you’re going to have some opportunities to judge very quickly,” one senior administration official said at an official background briefing on January 10, a few hours before Bush’s prime-time announcement.

“The Iraqis are going to have three brigades within Baghdad within a little more than a month. They have committed to trying to get one brigade in, I think, by the first of February, and two more by the 15th,” the official said.

so what did we get?

But at a Pentagon press conference yesterday, Joint Chiefs of Staff chairman Peter Pace acknowledged that only two of those three Iraqi brigades are there: “You’ve got two of the Iraqi brigades in — that were going to plussed up in Baghdad in Baghdad now. The third one is moving this month,” Pace said.

Other press reports suggest that even those two brigades are not anywhere near full strength.

So I would assume that the Friedman Unit that Senator Shelby referred to ought to work out to nine months or a year, as Republican’s reckon Friedman Units,( which are based on pre-war Friedman Units of six months, and not the post war inflated Friedman Unit,) before the Republican’s will know if the strategy is working. In either case the argument that an FU is still an FU, will remain indisputably, another big FY, adjusted for clarity and the alphabet.

Governments are Always the Last to Know?

Suppose it ought to have a link, eh, what mate?

The Bank of England told HM Treasury about the secret US surveillance of international banking transactions as long as five years ago.

European authorities, including the UK’s Information Commissioner, have since declared the US operation “illegal” and have begun to press financial institutions to put a stop to the warrantless and unprotected transfers of private banking data to the US authorities.

This programme remained a secret from privacy watchdogs – even from those people whose data was being handed over to US investigators – until the New York Times unearthed it last June. Yet HM Treasury knew about it for some years.

A spokesman for the Bank of England told The Register: “Swift told us in 2002 that it had agreed with the US subpoenas. We told Swift it should tell the government. We told HM Treasury. We felt they should know.”

So what did the Iranian government know, and when were they finally told, seems like one of those questions that will never be asked, but unlike Glenn’s point on the Libby trial, may actually be germane to the situation at hand.

Just an Update: It was aqui los otros dia.( Even bloggers make mistakes, but they won’t tell, and I just didn’t.)

Understanding the Circle of the Wheels

For many of my two readers, part of the problem is I link to so much analysis and not a lot of the places where the information comes from to be analyzed, and not because it is some double super secret thing. It’s because it is right under your noses, or more likely than not, linked to from the analysts article, (unless it’s on dead trees, in which case the links are almost always broken,) but just for you today, who want to know what all the good news is from Iraq that isn’t being reported except by the Mudville Gazette, is the Multinational Web site. Think of it as the Tony Snow of CentCom, and so YMMV. It isn’t that the press releases are false, it is that they are press releases, and such, press releases.

I used to link to GreyHawk in the blogroll before I quite permalinking to anyone at all. I don’t get mad, I get an erasure. Getting mad and getting even is for people who think it’s a race. Around here it’s to get informed. That makes this site more dangerous than a Gila Monster in your crack, so don’t smile, cause Gila Monster aren’t the brightest lizards on the planet either, if ya know what I mean.

Always with the Links!

Here’s another go to source of information for those of you who actually like to read about things from controversial organizations. (Israel Hasbara Committee) Of course if your mind is made up, then I haven’t a clue as to why you’re reading this blog. After all.

On the Upside

by Larry C Johnson

Lest anyone think I relish bashing Bush I will be the first to announce some good news that the President and his Administration will be certain to tout in April concerning progress in the global war on terrorism (GWOT). After two straight years of unprecedented increases terrorist incidents in which people were killed or wounded outside of Iraq and Afghanistan have declined significantly. While it may be premature to pop champagne corks, there was only one major mass casualty terrorist attack outside the aforementioned war zones–Mumbai, India, which killed more than 200 and wounded over 700.

I’ll let you read the caveats there, if you don’t mind.

Credibility Denied

Simple Questions

But the claim that the weapons came from Iran is not an established fact. Look at the peculiar circumstances of the briefing in Baghdad on the subject. Cameras and recorders were barred. Officials conducting the briefing are to remain anonymous. No direct evidence that the weapons came from Iran was presented. Instead, reporters were told that this was “inferred from other intelligence.”

One question I have that hasn’t been answered is why a mortar shell allegedly from Iran would have markings written in English. The English writing is plain to see in the photographs.

Of course they have to be asked.

Update: Seems a lot of inquiring minds want to know;

If reporters could all stop the heavy breathing for a moment, they might ask the folks at the White House and in the Pentagon to explain why those bombs that they displayed as “evidence” of Iranian perfidy had English words and numbers on them, instead of Persian.

I understand that Iranian manufacturers use English to identify products produced for export, but these devices–if they are Iranian–aren’t really part of their general export product list.

Low Spark of High Fivers

More proof the Israelis were shadowing the 9/11 hijackers

It was the tail-end of a bleak November, 2001: a pall of shocked numbness hung over the country, and a rising war hysteria had nearly everyone cowed. Americans were just beginning to pick themselves up, dust themselves off, and focus on what had happened, and how to react. It was very early on the morning of the 23rd when, scanning the headlines, I came across a Washington Post story by John Mintz: “60 Israelis Detained on Tourist Visas Since Sept. 11.” Odd, I thought, why go after the Israelis, probably the least likely suspects?

The subhead was even more intriguing: “Government Calls Several Cases ‘of Special Interest,’ Meaning Related to Post-Attacks Investigation.” Apparently organized groups of Israelis had been arrested, and “dozens” held without bond. Inquiries to the Justice Department had yielded this response:

I suppose it goes without saying in some quarters, but:

As for why the government investigation into the Israeli connection was scotched, Ketcham cites a former CIA counter-terrorism officer: “There was no question but that [the order to close down the investigation] came from the White House.”

which of course we don’t want to remember since as some Senators avow it was Iraq;

“There is no indication that the Israelis were involved in the 9-11 attacks, but investigators suspect that the Israelis may have gathered intelligence about the attacks in advance, and not shared it. A highly placed investigator said there are – quote – ‘tie-ins.’ But when asked for details, he flatly refused to describe them, saying, – quote – ‘evidence linking these Israelis to 9-11 is classified. I cannot tell you about evidence that has been gathered. It’s classified information.'”

and

I have to tell you that it hasn’t been easy following this story over the years. I was told in the beginning, and in no uncertain terms, that this line of investigation is forbidden, that it’s “too hot to handle,” and, implicitly, that the truth and the facts have to take second place to political correctness. To even mention this story, in certain quarters, is considered prima facie evidence of anti-Semitism. Case closed.

This last part is probably true, given human nature. In the end, some truths are too hot to handle, and on the other hand some of the people reporting this stuff, and leveling these charges, are anti-Semitic and as such detract from the case they wish to make. Mr. Raimondo, I believe is not among them, but is merely a libertarian to the bone.

Friday, February 16, 2007

Mom Momma, We’re all crazy now

Encouraging Press Coverage of Iranian Arms Claims Good post from the Anonymous Liberal. (He does that sometimes, don’t you know.)

Though there have been some notable exceptions, the press corps is showing some signs of life on the Iranian arms issue. In the lead up to the Iraq invasion, most journalists not only accepted as true whatever the Bush administration claimed regarding factual matters, but they also readily accepted the administration’s framing of those “facts.” In other words, not only was the administration not forced to defend its factual assertions, it was not even forced to defend its (bizarre and alarmist) interpretation of the significance of those assertions.

Bill Richardson’s Petition

Diplomacy, Not Attacks

I am joining Bill Richardson to send a clear message to the Bush administration that we will not tolerate ill-conceived and unauthorized aggression against Iran. It would be a mistake for the US to take military action in Iran before exhausting all diplomatic avenues. Tough, direct diplomacy backed by strong international alliances can work. This is exactly the strategy that worked in North Korea and it can work in Iran.

I demand this administration start direct diplomacy with Iran immediately and stop the irresponsible aggression.

There’s more, but you know, you have to do some reading also, too.

via Matt

Good Job

On the uptake from Newshog, The House did a good job, as good as can be expected given the circumstances, and the years and layers of BS built up around the Iraqi Civil War. For those two readers, the Iraqi Civil War is a description of what is there, and as such carries no connotation or denotation of the root cause of that war, merely that it is.

Iranian Blogger on Iranian Astroturfers

Lily Mazahery and Iran Freedom Concert are Backed by Neo-cons

If you have also received an email from someone called Lily Mazahrey, asking your help, please be aware that she chairs the steering committee of the “Iran Freedom Concert,” another Pentagon-backed organisation that is basically used to produce anti-Iranian propaganda and also organise Chalabi-style ‘grassroots’ groups. (I have written about Iran Freedom Concert before in this blog.)

I came across this blog from Steve Clemon’s Washington Note, and it really is worth a look see. Steve has more of course, it is after all his dig.

Updated to pinch the link

From the Eleventh Dimension

The press will no doubt try to spin this as a “bipartisan” resolution, but the truth is that the Democrats didn’t get anything like the number of Republican supporters they were hoping for just a few days ago. I think the public will recognize that the real meaning of the resolution is that the Democrats, as a party, have committed themselves to a policy of failure and surrender. Time will tell whether that commitment will turn out to be a wise one.

You guys already did that when you went in in the first place John, Glenn. You guys leave a stain on your beds, but then the pregnancy isn’t your fault, it’s Trojan’s.

Win, Withdraw, or Whistle

“Enough Already!” by Jim Marcinkowski

Position A: “The Last Stand.” Increase U.S. troops levels in Iraq to 300,000 to 400,000 as the Pentagon brass originally said was required after the fall of Saddam Hussein. If Iraq is the critical fight against world-wide terrorism and must be won at all costs, then let’s be honest and consistent and demand that we send more troops, a lot more troops.

Position B: Withdrawal. Whether it’s gradual, subject to a timeline or with a date certain, it’s still a withdrawal. To use the “w” word will make you subject to attack as being weak and you then become responsible for the aftermath.

Position C: Status Quo. If you would like to advocate for a “win at all costs” but the honesty of a serious troop increase and a military draft makes you queasy, or your stomach cramps at the thought of looking weak by using the “w” word, then this is the option for you. It’s also the only remaining option.

Sounds about right to me.

I really do try to understand Senator Lieberman’s position, and I don’t understand how 911 is conflated with Iraq, other than what Mr. Lang expressed in post. In short, I have not heard a well reasoned argument for the war, previous to, nor subsequently to the invasion, unless there is some sort of religious level of thinking going on as regards ourselves and other nations.

I cannot ascertain Mr. Lieberman’s motivation for his position either, nor would I wish to ascribe one to him.

However, given what the previous articles have mentioned, it is possible that the pro war opinion looks upon the opposition as some kind of destructive reformation led by bizarro Luther’s in a bizarro universal church of America. On this level I can have a certain amount of empathy with them, as our culture and training have to a very great extent made us members of the same faith, albeit with different heavens on earth, that is America in American eyes.

I am You, and You are Me, But…

Pat Lang has a really interesting article in Foreign Policy

It’s woven into our cultural DNA. Most Americans mistakenly believe that when we say that “all men are created equal,” it means that all people are the same. Behind the “cute” and “charming” native clothing, the “weird” marriage customs, and the “odd” food of other cultures, all humans are yearning for lifestyles and futures that will be increasingly unified as time and globalization progress. That is what Tom Friedman seems to have meant when he wrote that “the world is flat”—that technological and economic change are driving humankind toward a future of cultural sameness. In other words, whatever differences of custom and habit that still exist between peoples will pass away soon and be replaced by a world culture rather like that of the United States in the 21st century.

To be blunt, our foreign policy tends to be predicated on the notion that everyone wants to be an American. In the months leading up to the start of the Iraq War, it was common to hear seemingly educated people say that the Arabs, particularly Iraqis, had no way of life worth saving and would be better off if all “that old stuff”—their traditions, social institutions, and values—were done away with, and soon. The U.S. Armed Forces and U.S. Agency for International Development would be the sharp swords of modernization in the Middle East.

It gets better,this response struck me as quite insightful,

“America is the only nation in the world that is founded on creed. That creed is set forth with dogmatic and even theological lucidity in the Declaration of Independence; perhaps the only piece of practical politics that is also theoretical politics and also great literature. It enunciates that all men are equal in their claim to justice, that governments exist to give them that justice, and that their authority is for that reason just ……

Thsi is really worth a look at, unless, of course, you just like the same old coolaid from the kewl kids. If so, YMMV.

Poor Israel, Poor Me

I don’t think there is another topic that can get so many peoples cackles up than any discussion of the nature of, “What is Israel?,” since Israel means so many different things to so many different people.

The only place I know to start, is as a nation state, since that is the reality on the ground. It not only exists, but has the capability of defending itself, precariously as that defense may be if faced with an entire region bent on destroying it. That is, for me, the most compelling reason for US security guarantees to the Israeli nation, because for me, and many others in America, the Holocaust is not something we intend to forget, nor allow to occur again. I only wish that the American people were better informed about the Holocaust, and the other millions that were slaughtered alongside the six million Jews of Europe, but perhaps that will become more common knowledge as time goes on.

For most Americans, who were once a pretty antisemitic lot, the turn around is nothing short of amazing, and for a small minority of American Christians Israel has become a source of idolatry, which is not to be unexpected I suppose given the shared background of Christianity and Judaism, and I could digress for hours on that topic given the right forum and time, which this isn’t.

We cannot deal in what might have beens either, such as what if the Balfour agreement had placed the new state in South America, and so the state of Israel exists in its’ historic fore bearers territory, which has a lot to do with the “religious,” significance that some attach to it. But that is not the issue. The issue is, does Israel have a right to exist, and the answer is an unequivocal yes.

If that one salient fact can be accepted, then we can start to look into other aspects of the situation, with the caveat that we are discussing the internal affairs of another nation, and as such, outside interference is as welcome there as it is in any other state, such as Russia, or China. People tend to take a dim view of that interference from outside their own borders, and as noted recently within the US House of Representatives, sometimes from within. This umbrage should not surprise the Israeli people either, if Israel is perceived to be meddling with the internal affairs of the United States, such as AIPAC is perceived to be doing.

I do not know where the line is drawn in the hearts and minds of either Hebrews or Israelis, nor have I seen a definitive opinion from them, either collectively, or as distinctions, sometimes with and sometimes without, a difference. Given this situation it is incumbent on the Israelis and Hebrews to understand the confusion outside their own peoples as to what their positions are, and what they expect from the rest of us, fully understanding that they should expect no more than to be treated fairly, and without prejudice, just as we would expect to be treated by any, and all others as well.

The Jewish faith is absolutely none of my business, and I endeavor to keep it so. As a Christian I can and will address things that current in Christian discussions, discussions that many times intersect divergently with Judaic teachings and understandings, because they are obviously different religions with different perspectives. In these matters I can only assure the Judaic adherents that there is no animosity on my part towards them or their faith.

If there is a better way to proceed on these two issues then I would love to hear the outline. There can be no understanding built on assumptions of others thoughts and feelings, and I hope this has at least clarified my positions on those topics. If not, the comments are open to one and all, and I can take as well as I can give. The doors open.

Someone fell off their horse

It’s times like these you’ve just got to miss that dear lady Molly Ivins.

Update: Kos has the evidence that they landed on their heads

Well God didn’t make little green apples…

Thursday, February 15, 2007

More Accurate News on SNL

O’Reilly and Miller recycled false attack on Clinton’s attendance at 9-11 memorials

Yeah, I’m Shocled! Shocked!

On the February 14 edition of Fox News’ The O’Reilly Factor, host Bill O’Reilly and Fox News contributor Dennis Miller recycled the myth propagated by O’Reilly that, in the words of Miller, Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-NY) “did not attend one” of the “memorial services for the 9-11 people.” O’Reilly responded that Miller’s claim “is correct.” In fact, as Media Matters for America has noted, Clinton attended several funerals and memorials, including one for 79 restaurant employees who died in the September 11, 2001, attacks. Miller purported to contrast Clinton with former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani, who, Miller said, attended “like hundreds and hundreds of them.” Miller added: “Well, listen, if they get in a debate, you don’t even have to have them talk. Just put that up, number of the memorial services attended. If that doesn’t tell you everything about these two people, about talking about commitment versus real commitment, I don’t know what does.”

Since his original attack on Clinton on the November 27, 2001, edition of The O’Reilly Factor, in which O’Reilly complained that “the only events we know she attended were three highly publicized memorial services,” O’Reilly has regularly summarized the controversy by explaining simply that “Hillary Clinton didn’t go to one funeral or one memorial service of any of the regular folks killed at the World Trade Center, even though she’s a senator of New York” [The O’Reilly Factor, 5/13/02]. On the February 14 broadcast, O’Reilly went a step further, agreeing with Miller’s false claim that: “The Factor d[id] some research back then that Hillary Clinton did not attend one” memorial service. O’Reilly falsely responded, “That is correct.”

I spent most of the day working on the dishwasher and listening to the House of Representatives. You know if ad hominem is all you’ve got, all you have is an uninformed and un informative blogger.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Questions That Won’t Be Asked About Iranian Arms Smuggling

What percentage of the arms are left overs from the October Surprise of 1980-81?

Who painted and labelled the armaments displayed in the US Powerpoint presentation?

What is the magnetic field signature of the arms displayed in the US Powerpoint presentation, and why is this information not used to make or break the case?

What is the metalurgical signature of the armaments in the US Powerpoint presentation, and why is this information not used to make or break the case?

Why, oh Why, can’t we have a better press?

Melissa Too, Resigns

Second Blogger Quits Edwards Campaign

I would like to make very clear that the campaign did not push me out, nor was my resignation the back-end of some arrangement made last week. This was a decision I made, with the campaign’s reluctant support, because my remaining the focus of sustained ideological attacks was inevitably making me a liability to the campaign, and making me increasingly uncomfortable with my and my family’s level of exposure.

Somebody has the flag, wrapped to tightly around their heads, or their halos are showing themselves to be a little tight here on earth, as the case may be, Melissa. One of the purposes of the anaonymity is to slow or stop these sorts of things. Isn’t it Joe?

Living With Loco Vatamos

Neoconservatives hate liberty as much as they love war

Frank Gaffney, one of the country’s most influential and well-connected neoconservatives, has a column in today’s Washington Times in which he argues that the debate taking place in Congress over the war in Iraq constitutes treason. Gaffney specifically argues that the condemnations of Douglas Feith from Sen. Rockefeller “really should be a hanging offense.”

Gaffney begins his column by purporting to quote Abraham Lincoln. Gaffney claims that Lincoln said:

Congressmen who willfully take actions during wartime that damage morale and undermine the military are saboteurs and should be arrested, exiled, or hanged.

This quote has become a favorite weapon for those who want to criminalize criticism of the Leader and the War. Jack Murtha’s opponent in the last election, Diana Irey, cited this quote while discussing Murtha’s opposition to the war.

But this quote is completely invented. Lincoln never said it. This “quote” was first attributed to Lincoln by J. Michael Waller in Insight Magazine, in a 2003 article revealingly entitled: Democrats Usher in an Age of Treason. But as Waller himself now admits, the quote attributed to Lincoln is completely fraudulent. Waller wrote in an e-mail to FactCheck.org (h/t William Wolfrum):

The supposed quote in question is not a quote at all, and I never intended it to be construed as one. It was my lead sentence in the article that a copy editor mistakenly turned into a quote by incorrectly inserting quotation marks.

I’ve made up my mind, don’t confuse with the facts!

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

We Don’t Need Another Hero

We Don’t Need To Know The Way Home,

Heroes

Via Kevin comes this data point on the increasing representation of torture as a tool of heroes. From 1996 to 2001, prime time television had 102 torture scenes. From 2002 to 2005, there were 624. But it wasn’t only the quantity that change. “During this uptick in violence, the torturer’s identity was more likely to be an American hero like “24’s” Jack Bauer (Kiefer Sutherland) than the Nazis and drug dealers in pre-9/11 days.”

Oh yeah I wonder, I wonder, what we’re doing tonight.

Iranian War Talk Started with Ghengis Khan,

before that it was going on in Macedonia and Greece, and before that in Assyria. And you thought it was the overthrowing of the Iranian democracy? Maybe the Persians just chap everyone’s asses.

Amanda has Resigned

This is really kind of sad news, not for Amanda, who like her or not, or like her opinions or not, has a right to her opinions, and a paying job, and to be free and clear of Christian outbursts on equal with her own anti-Christian, anti-Catholic screeds. So it isn’t sad for her, it is sad for the Christian community.

I wonder if the faith of those who show themselves, “heated up at unrighteousness,” as if their thoughts and the things they have said somehow can improve the faith of the faithful, all by behaving in a decidedly unChristian manner.

The onus is always on us. Always.

I could be angry at the brothers and sisters that do these things, but of what use is anger in these situations? It merely reflects the world back at the world, which is not what those of us whose Kingdom is not of this world should be reflecting.

Freedom of speech is indeed a Constitutional right, but it is not a Christian right. We are in fact proscribed by Scripture from speaking in such a way as to drive the unfaithful away from the faith.

My sincere apologies to Amanda over this entire issue. Many will say you brought it on yourself, but that is hardly the case. You have perhaps hit an exposed nerve of those of little faith. I would only council you to behave and respond as they ought to have, which is hard I know, believe me I know, but will show them up. After all if you are behaving better than Christians, who is heaping burning coals on whom. God does note these things, and I would fear the judgment of those more than the judgment of you, if I were either one of you.

Just a Note

I have found the twelfth verse, so I am going to be busy with that sort of thing for awhile. It takes time to grow the rose that one is to throw down the well.

OK, the double Sestina with rhyme is up over here. Like I said earlier it is as it is, and will over time probably get reworked, but I didn’t want you to think I was wolfing you on this.

Monday, February 12, 2007

Momma This Surely Must Be A Dream

Bush-Backed Group Receiving Iranian Weapons via dKos and by SusanG

Via Think Progress, we learn that Iranian weapons shipments moving around Iraq – and the prototypical subject of an alarmist dog-and-pony show over the weekend – are actually typical of weapons destined for SCIRI, a Bush-backed rival group to al-Sadr’s Mehdi Army, according to a report from CNN’s Michael Ware (video available at Think Progress):

There’s a whole lotta via’s going on around here, but we’ll get there in the end.

Getting Older in the Blogsospheres?

Instapundit links to the shock of seeing bloggers advertising on buses, and the other side of the coin, having done a good job and being ignored at the intersection of good work and having, you know, a life.

DANIEL DREZNER ON GETTING OLD IN THE BLOGOSPHERE: I think that not taking it seriously is actually the key.

Of course if you’ve been kissing the Presidents ass for five or six years it would tend to let you blog a little less seriously. Hard to make enemies within the state that way, isn’t Glenn?

Break out the plastic and the cash

you know I don’t ask you to be rash,
Antiwar is running out of stash,
so help them out, in staying in the bash.

Justin has links;

As Iraq slides into the abyss [.pdf], and the domestic reverberations of the conflict shake American politics, the question of who lied us into war is being raised – and not just by Democrats. There is a growing suspicion that we didn’t just get the intelligence wrong – and a growing clamor to retrace our steps back to the source of what seems like deliberate deception.

The inspector general at the Department of Defense has issued a report [.pdf] criticizing the intelligence disseminated to senior policymakers in the run-up to war:

Text of Russian Presdients Speech

Thanks to Juan Cole for doing the, as it seems now, the mundane work of using Google for me. My bad. Unfortunately, the link now leads to a message in Russian now, so use the link below and follow the instructions. If I can do it, then I would think yous could too, but as with all things intertubes, YMMV.

Anyway if you go here you can get the RSS feed of his speeches translated into English for us Americans.

Not that I don’t trust the American press to actually tell it like it is, but trust but verify seems to be our fate here in the States.

Sunday, February 11, 2007

Beyond Belief

Not much to say about this dig from Matt Yglesia. According to the same Newsweek article that Atrios pointed out earlier, (Third Carrier, sans Group?, is heading to the Persian Gulf,) Condi Rice and Michael Gerson inserted North Korea and Iran into the Axis of Evil Speech, so that the focus would not be solely on Iraq and The President thought it sounded like Reagan’s Evil Empire speech.

Mr. Gerson has gone on to become a Newsweek and Washington Post fith columnist, and of course Mz. Rice has moved from being the National Security Advisor, to Secretary of State, where diplomacy is no longer required by the current government.

Where in the hell is the Congress??!!! Oh yeah, in Europe, or running for President.

Same Old Song and Dance

Nothing to see here folks move along.

Adam Liptak has a nice piece today based on Dick Cheney’s handwritten notes from the Ford Administration:

RETURNING to the White House after the Memorial Day weekend in 1975, the young aide Dick Cheney found himself handling a First Amendment showdown. The New York Times had published an article by Seymour M. Hersh about an espionage program, and the White House chief of staff, Donald H. Rumsfeld, was demanding action.

Out came the yellow legal pad, and in his distinctively neat, deliberate hand, Mr. Cheney laid out the “problem,” “goals” while addressing it, and “options.” These last included “Start FBI investigation — with or w/o public announcement. As targets include NYT, Sy Hersh, potential gov’t sources.”

Updated: This post went beyond the pale in an earlier iteration, even for me.

Dear Leader’s Dear Media

TPM Reader BW on Odom …

Failure is a tough sell. Odom admits that, but he does not fully understand the implications. The Democrats in Congress are not especially stupid, but they are necessarily anxious about withdrawal, because they are sensibly fearful of being blamed by the Republicans for “losing Iraq”.

The worst kinds of Republicans control almost the whole news Media. The punditocrisy has backed this stupid war completely. The narrative, which will be fed to the American People, by this propaganda machine will not be favorable to a Democratic Congress.

I think it may be getting back into balance somewhat, although trust but verify is still the only surefire check and balance to the facts, facts rarely matter to some “journalists,” and never with the conservative with issues.

There’s a couple articles on FUD etc, at ones and zeros, but they probably just illuminate rather than influence the debate. Someone has to catapult the propaganda, so we can count on one or two major outlets going all out and the others to succumb to the FUD of access.

FUD and Computer Security

Lies, damn lies… By Scott Granneman, SecurityFocus

What are you afraid of? What causes you real fear, the kind that causes your heart to beat faster involuntarily, your stomach to sag like you’ve eaten lead, and your mind to lose its reason and revert to the primitive reactions of fight and flight? Spiders? Snakes? Serial killers? Speaking in public? Or the worst, the thing that freaks out almost everyone – scary clowns?

Those are what I what I would call primal fears, those that exist deep down in our subconscious. Other fears, however, are manufactured by politicians and the media (heck, some so-called “news” channels base their whole business on this practice) in order to manipulate us. John Twelve Hawks, in his perceptive essay How We Live Now, discusses this exact state of affairs:

You’ll note that the Gates reference to the Mac comes from Newsweek, which is today floating a third Carrier Group headed to Persian Gulf.

You may want to read this as well.

Wrong war, wrong time, wrong place wrong leaders…

Wrong war, wrong time Pat has had a busy day today. Hope you caught him on CNN with Wolf Blitzer.

He has another post worth a purview here. Conflict Developing?

A damaging document like the Department of Defense Inspector General report on the misdeeds of the Office of Special Plans could not have been released without the express and personal permission of the Secretary of Defense.

That means that Bob Gates himself released the report in the certain knowledge that it would cause a furor in the media, in the Congress and in the White House. At the same time a rebuttal of the IG’s report has been prepared in the Pentagon. This would be a normal precaution on the part of DoD hedging against the “blowback” that the bureaucracy knew would occur as soon as the IG report became public.

I’ll leave the rest up to Mr. Lang.

Make a Deal With Syria

Make a Deal With Syria and Weaken the Iran-Hezbollah Axis by Martin van Creveld

Reproduced with permission from Forward.com
http://www.forward.com/articles/make-a-deal-with-syria-and-weaken-the-iran-hezboll/
Copyright 2007, Forward.com

Friday, January 26, 2007

Old news I’m sure, but it dovetails with this ISRAEL AND IRAN – AND THE BUSH ADMINISTRATION by Gabriel Kolko There has been a qualitative leap in military technology that makes all inherited conventional wisdom, and war as an instrument of political policy, utterly irrelevant, not just to the United States but also to any other state that embarks upon it. Nations should have realized this a century ago but they did not. But there have been decisive changes in balances of power, and more accurate and destructive weapons – and soon nuclear bombs and the missiles to deliver them – are becoming more and more available to the poorer countries. Technology is moving much more rapidly than the diplomatic and political resources or will to control its inevitable consequences. Nowhere is the danger of an uncontrolled, technology-driven escalation greater than in the long standing and increasingly complicated alliance between Israel and the United States.

The United States should have learned its lesson in Vietnam, and its public is aware of it to a far greater extent than its politicians. The war in Iraq has reaffirmed the decisive limits of technology when fighting against enemies who are decentralized and determined. It has been extraordinarily expensive but militarily ineffective, and America is ineluctably losing its vast undertaking. Rivals are much more equal, and wars more protracted and expensive for those who persist in fighting them. America’s ambitions for hegemony throughout the globe can now be more and more successfully

One Monkey Retyping

Doug Feith, Reinventing History

via No Quarter;

Dougie Feith appeared on Faux News Sunday with Chris Wallace today and emphatically denied that he or anyone in his office ever said there was an operational relationship between Saddam Hussein and Osama Bin Laden. How sad. Mr. Feith apparently has early on-set Alzheimer’s disease. He’s forgotten that someone in his shop at DOD leaked his October 2003 memo to the Senate Intelligence Committee to one Mr. Stephen Hayes, an enterprising journalist, who in turn published the breathless findings in the Weekly Standard.

So what? The Weekly Standard is not an official government publication. Why should we take it seriously? Well, let’s ask Vice President Dick Cheney. Here’s what the Weekly Standard Editor, a guy named Bill Kristol, wrote three years ago:

Editor’s Note, 1/27/04: In today’s Washington Post, Dana Milbank reported that “Vice President Cheney . . . in an interview this month with the Rocky Mountain News, recommended as the ‘best source of information’ an article in The Weekly Standard magazine detailing a relationship between Hussein and al Qaeda based on leaked classified information.”

Needs to start reading the papers, I suppose.

Yeah Baby!

I have moved the Religious stuff over to the next newest blog to last for a duration of undetermined time. That way I can keep everyone from freaking out on that stuff, and since this is version four Oh, it follows the format of the original blog(s) by separating religion and politics from politics and the media.

National and Computer Security stuff will probably stay here, unless they don’t, in which case they will have another newest blog of undetermined duration all of their own over there.

Saturday, February 10, 2007

‘NYT’ Reporter Who Got Iraqi WMDs Wrong Now Highlights Iran Claims

Now I ain’t saying anything about piccolo players, but…via IraqSlogger this story Editor and Publisher rips the story on yesterday’s NYT front page;

Sound pretty convincing? It may be worth noting that the author is Michael R. Gordon, the same Times reporter who, on his own, or with Judith Miller, wrote some of the key, and badly misleading or downright inaccurate, articles about Iraqi WMDs in the run-up to the 2003 invasion.

Gordon wrote with Miller the paper’s most widely criticized — even by the Times itself — WMD story of all, the Sept. 8, 2002, “aluminum tubes” story that proved so influential, especially since the administration trumpeted it on TV talk shows.

Some people never learn. Maybe the NYTimes will read one of the many articles somewhere on the net, even by anonymous sources such as a blogger. Why Oh Why …(see Brad.)

Update: More than likely the source for IraqSlogger was the Eleventh Dimension, but who knows who reads the WaPo and when, and of course no one reads the blogs except other bloggers and Joe citipack.

CNN Doing a Good Job Tonight

John Roberts had an excellent program tonight, and Christine Amapour’s story on Daniel Pearl is really worth the time. Thanks and kudos to both.

Updated:Go here, read, and learn.

More CBA of the ABCs

Last week, ABC played a video clip of Rush Limbaugh accusing “libs” of “prejudice” — without noting Limbaugh’s own voluminous history of outright bigotry.

ABC gave Rush Limbaugh a forum to accuse liberals — all of them — of “prejudice.”

Well he is a well bathed, I suppose, Non hippy type, strung out on drugs. Of course if he were a Hippy, I would disavow him anyway, I’ve always been what we called back then a Freek.

You know, Live like you wanna
let them call you a freek
you;ll be a baby factory
when you’re married a week,
said no no no, don’t dig it all.

Alvin Lee.

But all liberals? No broad brush of generalizations there Mark. I am beginning to understand conservatives pain. The truth hurts, doesn’t it Lou?

Things Worth Looking Into

This soft roll-out of the Iran in Iraq case continues. via War and Peace

Note the line in the first of the three pages in the NYT article, that the money and cash are being driven across the border at night. Well of course they are, everyone knows bad things only happen at night, except in DC where it is always midnight.

Feith in the Situation Room: Three Lies Nothing really new here except it’s becoming more obvious.

Does Bill Donohue Speak For You?

See the previous post here.

U.S. Attorneys, and a CIA Honcho, On The Way Down via No Quarter;

By SusanUnPC … It is a heavy news day, even if CNNMSNBCFOX are wall-to-wall Anna Nicole (thank god for BBC World Service radio).

Speaking of Anna, why would anyone, anymore. You can’t even die in America.

Tommy Franks Was Right more from No Quarter;

Douglas Feith, the former number three man at Rummy’s Department of Defense and co-author of the debacle in Iraq, proved Tommy Franks right. General Franks described Feith to author Bob Woodward as:

Except for those who still listen to him I suppose.

Ali on the Approaching Chaos

“I agree with Pat that Casey should not be in his job. Constantly offering light at the end of the tunnel when in fact a train is bearing down on the mission was a great error in Vietnam; it’s been repeated here. It is the candor thing; he never faked sincerity well and has now obviously been as habitually cavalier with the truth as Rummie.

Looking for Tehran in rose colored night vision goggles.

Back to Back, Blogger to Blogger

For those two readers perplexed by all of this, what can I say. These things are like my albums. I put what I want to on them, and I take what I want to off of them, and then I get tired of them, or they’re finished and I’m done with them. Like I’ve said if you want to keep them, do so, but don’t expect me to do so for you.

This iteration will, I hope gravitate away from the previous works of mostly politics, since I don’t care to stay in campaign mode even if that’s what the politicians and political pundits do. Much as I may or may not admire any of them or their work, the fact of the matter is that they are usually wrong about everything. Of course, time will tell, but we know better don’t we?

Anyway, if I’ve got something to say Blogger is about as Cadillac as I’m going to get. I’ll keep the other place active for other things, but there just isn’t the flexibility I wish to have over there, like heterosexual becoming hetero***ual in the title. Obviously they are appealing to someone other than you and I have to come expect over here. That’s cool, I’ve got a lot of family friendly poetry and observations too.

Anyway there it is. Stay or go away, I don’t really care.

EZSmirkzz 4.0 Feb 10-17,2007

Saturday, February 17, 2007

The Constitution and Joe

One would think a person so concerned with the constitution would have stepped up at some time in the last few years to denounce this:

You have to go to Digby’s digs for the rest.

Agreed

via: the wanker who doesn’t link to him,

It Is A Victory,

From where I sit, this is indeed a victory. The Democratic House passed a resolution that represents the true will of the people and a majority of Senators voted for it, even they were 4 votes shy of passage. It was non-binding, so wouldn’t have done anything practical yet–it’s import was symbolism, yes, but also gets everybody on record.

I don’t know if anyone reads Talking Points Memo, (heh,) but this outcome was a pretty well understood outcome way back last night. A couple of FUs ago the Republicans were talking about a Newcleare option, don’t ja know. Rome wasn’t built in day, nor did it fall in one.

A Little Hint, Don’t be Naive

Given the agreement with North Korea, our ever growing popularity in Okinawa and Japan, the size of the US Navy, the US components left in Europe, and NATO’s proximity to the region, it would be fool hearty to assume that a rather large land based operation is out of the realm of possibility for the United States and its’ allies, including the Arab states worried about the Shia Crescent, etc, etc, in regard to Iran.

Think Patton and Stormin’ Norman.

One of the emotional factors, for lack of a better phrase, is the Babooms sense that they are the only American generation to not have actually participated in something bigger than life in their own lives.

Two Out of Three Ain’t Bad

via FDL But

it doesn’t meet the benchmark either.

Responding to reporters who were skeptical — after all, they’d heard this many times before — White House officials urged them to judge for themselves whether that would happen

“You’re going to have to — you’re going to have some opportunities to judge very quickly,” one senior administration official said at an official background briefing on January 10, a few hours before Bush’s prime-time announcement.

“The Iraqis are going to have three brigades within Baghdad within a little more than a month. They have committed to trying to get one brigade in, I think, by the first of February, and two more by the 15th,” the official said.

so what did we get?

But at a Pentagon press conference yesterday, Joint Chiefs of Staff chairman Peter Pace acknowledged that only two of those three Iraqi brigades are there: “You’ve got two of the Iraqi brigades in — that were going to plussed up in Baghdad in Baghdad now. The third one is moving this month,” Pace said.

Other press reports suggest that even those two brigades are not anywhere near full strength.

So I would assume that the Friedman Unit that Senator Shelby referred to ought to work out to nine months or a year, as Republican’s reckon Friedman Units,( which are based on pre-war Friedman Units of six months, and not the post war inflated Friedman Unit,) before the Republican’s will know if the strategy is working. In either case the argument that an FU is still an FU, will remain indisputably, another big FY, adjusted for clarity and the alphabet.

Governments are Always the Last to Know?

Suppose it ought to have a link, eh, what mate?

The Bank of England told HM Treasury about the secret US surveillance of international banking transactions as long as five years ago.

European authorities, including the UK’s Information Commissioner, have since declared the US operation “illegal” and have begun to press financial institutions to put a stop to the warrantless and unprotected transfers of private banking data to the US authorities.

This programme remained a secret from privacy watchdogs – even from those people whose data was being handed over to US investigators – until the New York Times unearthed it last June. Yet HM Treasury knew about it for some years.

A spokesman for the Bank of England told The Register: “Swift told us in 2002 that it had agreed with the US subpoenas. We told Swift it should tell the government. We told HM Treasury. We felt they should know.”

So what did the Iranian government know, and when were they finally told, seems like one of those questions that will never be asked, but unlike Glenn’s point on the Libby trial, may actually be germane to the situation at hand.

Just an Update: It was aqui los otros dia.( Even bloggers make mistakes, but they won’t tell, and I just didn’t.)

Understanding the Circle of the Wheels

For many of my two readers, part of the problem is I link to so much analysis and not a lot of the places where the information comes from to be analyzed, and not because it is some double super secret thing. It’s because it is right under your noses, or more likely than not, linked to from the analysts article, (unless it’s on dead trees, in which case the links are almost always broken,) but just for you today, who want to know what all the good news is from Iraq that isn’t being reported except by the Mudville Gazette, is the Multinational Web site. Think of it as the Tony Snow of CentCom, and so YMMV. It isn’t that the press releases are false, it is that they are press releases, and such, press releases.

I used to link to GreyHawk in the blogroll before I quite permalinking to anyone at all. I don’t get mad, I get an erasure. Getting mad and getting even is for people who think it’s a race. Around here it’s to get informed. That makes this site more dangerous than a Gila Monster in your crack, so don’t smile, cause Gila Monster aren’t the brightest lizards on the planet either, if ya know what I mean.

Always with the Links!

Here’s another go to source of information for those of you who actually like to read about things from controversial organizations. (Israel Hasbara Committee) Of course if your mind is made up, then I haven’t a clue as to why you’re reading this blog. After all.

On the Upside

by Larry C Johnson

Lest anyone think I relish bashing Bush I will be the first to announce some good news that the President and his Administration will be certain to tout in April concerning progress in the global war on terrorism (GWOT). After two straight years of unprecedented increases terrorist incidents in which people were killed or wounded outside of Iraq and Afghanistan have declined significantly. While it may be premature to pop champagne corks, there was only one major mass casualty terrorist attack outside the aforementioned war zones–Mumbai, India, which killed more than 200 and wounded over 700.

I’ll let you read the caveats there, if you don’t mind.

Credibility Denied

Simple Questions

But the claim that the weapons came from Iran is not an established fact. Look at the peculiar circumstances of the briefing in Baghdad on the subject. Cameras and recorders were barred. Officials conducting the briefing are to remain anonymous. No direct evidence that the weapons came from Iran was presented. Instead, reporters were told that this was “inferred from other intelligence.”

One question I have that hasn’t been answered is why a mortar shell allegedly from Iran would have markings written in English. The English writing is plain to see in the photographs.

Of course they have to be asked.

Update: Seems a lot of inquiring minds want to know;

If reporters could all stop the heavy breathing for a moment, they might ask the folks at the White House and in the Pentagon to explain why those bombs that they displayed as “evidence” of Iranian perfidy had English words and numbers on them, instead of Persian.

I understand that Iranian manufacturers use English to identify products produced for export, but these devices–if they are Iranian–aren’t really part of their general export product list.

Low Spark of High Fivers

More proof the Israelis were shadowing the 9/11 hijackers

It was the tail-end of a bleak November, 2001: a pall of shocked numbness hung over the country, and a rising war hysteria had nearly everyone cowed. Americans were just beginning to pick themselves up, dust themselves off, and focus on what had happened, and how to react. It was very early on the morning of the 23rd when, scanning the headlines, I came across a Washington Post story by John Mintz: “60 Israelis Detained on Tourist Visas Since Sept. 11.” Odd, I thought, why go after the Israelis, probably the least likely suspects?

The subhead was even more intriguing: “Government Calls Several Cases ‘of Special Interest,’ Meaning Related to Post-Attacks Investigation.” Apparently organized groups of Israelis had been arrested, and “dozens” held without bond. Inquiries to the Justice Department had yielded this response:

I suppose it goes without saying in some quarters, but:

As for why the government investigation into the Israeli connection was scotched, Ketcham cites a former CIA counter-terrorism officer: “There was no question but that [the order to close down the investigation] came from the White House.”

which of course we don’t want to remember since as some Senators avow it was Iraq;

“There is no indication that the Israelis were involved in the 9-11 attacks, but investigators suspect that the Israelis may have gathered intelligence about the attacks in advance, and not shared it. A highly placed investigator said there are – quote – ‘tie-ins.’ But when asked for details, he flatly refused to describe them, saying, – quote – ‘evidence linking these Israelis to 9-11 is classified. I cannot tell you about evidence that has been gathered. It’s classified information.'”

and

I have to tell you that it hasn’t been easy following this story over the years. I was told in the beginning, and in no uncertain terms, that this line of investigation is forbidden, that it’s “too hot to handle,” and, implicitly, that the truth and the facts have to take second place to political correctness. To even mention this story, in certain quarters, is considered prima facie evidence of anti-Semitism. Case closed.

This last part is probably true, given human nature. In the end, some truths are too hot to handle, and on the other hand some of the people reporting this stuff, and leveling these charges, are anti-Semitic and as such detract from the case they wish to make. Mr. Raimondo, I believe is not among them, but is merely a libertarian to the bone.

Friday, February 16, 2007

Mom Momma, We’re all crazy now

Encouraging Press Coverage of Iranian Arms Claims Good post from the Anonymous Liberal. (He does that sometimes, don’t you know.)

Though there have been some notable exceptions, the press corps is showing some signs of life on the Iranian arms issue. In the lead up to the Iraq invasion, most journalists not only accepted as true whatever the Bush administration claimed regarding factual matters, but they also readily accepted the administration’s framing of those “facts.” In other words, not only was the administration not forced to defend its factual assertions, it was not even forced to defend its (bizarre and alarmist) interpretation of the significance of those assertions.

Bill Richardson’s Petition

Diplomacy, Not Attacks

I am joining Bill Richardson to send a clear message to the Bush administration that we will not tolerate ill-conceived and unauthorized aggression against Iran. It would be a mistake for the US to take military action in Iran before exhausting all diplomatic avenues. Tough, direct diplomacy backed by strong international alliances can work. This is exactly the strategy that worked in North Korea and it can work in Iran.

I demand this administration start direct diplomacy with Iran immediately and stop the irresponsible aggression.

There’s more, but you know, you have to do some reading also, too.

via Matt

Good Job

On the uptake from Newshog, The House did a good job, as good as can be expected given the circumstances, and the years and layers of BS built up around the Iraqi Civil War. For those two readers, the Iraqi Civil War is a description of what is there, and as such carries no connotation or denotation of the root cause of that war, merely that it is.

Iranian Blogger on Iranian Astroturfers

Lily Mazahery and Iran Freedom Concert are Backed by Neo-cons

If you have also received an email from someone called Lily Mazahrey, asking your help, please be aware that she chairs the steering committee of the “Iran Freedom Concert,” another Pentagon-backed organisation that is basically used to produce anti-Iranian propaganda and also organise Chalabi-style ‘grassroots’ groups. (I have written about Iran Freedom Concert before in this blog.)

I came across this blog from Steve Clemon’s Washington Note, and it really is worth a look see. Steve has more of course, it is after all his dig.

Updated to pinch the link

From the Eleventh Dimension

The press will no doubt try to spin this as a “bipartisan” resolution, but the truth is that the Democrats didn’t get anything like the number of Republican supporters they were hoping for just a few days ago. I think the public will recognize that the real meaning of the resolution is that the Democrats, as a party, have committed themselves to a policy of failure and surrender. Time will tell whether that commitment will turn out to be a wise one.

You guys already did that when you went in in the first place John, Glenn. You guys leave a stain on your beds, but then the pregnancy isn’t your fault, it’s Trojan’s.

Win, Withdraw, or Whistle

“Enough Already!” by Jim Marcinkowski

Position A: “The Last Stand.” Increase U.S. troops levels in Iraq to 300,000 to 400,000 as the Pentagon brass originally said was required after the fall of Saddam Hussein. If Iraq is the critical fight against world-wide terrorism and must be won at all costs, then let’s be honest and consistent and demand that we send more troops, a lot more troops.

Position B: Withdrawal. Whether it’s gradual, subject to a timeline or with a date certain, it’s still a withdrawal. To use the “w” word will make you subject to attack as being weak and you then become responsible for the aftermath.

Position C: Status Quo. If you would like to advocate for a “win at all costs” but the honesty of a serious troop increase and a military draft makes you queasy, or your stomach cramps at the thought of looking weak by using the “w” word, then this is the option for you. It’s also the only remaining option.

Sounds about right to me.

I really do try to understand Senator Lieberman’s position, and I don’t understand how 911 is conflated with Iraq, other than what Mr. Lang expressed in post. In short, I have not heard a well reasoned argument for the war, previous to, nor subsequently to the invasion, unless there is some sort of religious level of thinking going on as regards ourselves and other nations.

I cannot ascertain Mr. Lieberman’s motivation for his position either, nor would I wish to ascribe one to him.

However, given what the previous articles have mentioned, it is possible that the pro war opinion looks upon the opposition as some kind of destructive reformation led by bizarro Luther’s in a bizarro universal church of America. On this level I can have a certain amount of empathy with them, as our culture and training have to a very great extent made us members of the same faith, albeit with different heavens on earth, that is America in American eyes.

I am You, and You are Me, But…

Pat Lang has a really interesting article in Foreign Policy

It’s woven into our cultural DNA. Most Americans mistakenly believe that when we say that “all men are created equal,” it means that all people are the same. Behind the “cute” and “charming” native clothing, the “weird” marriage customs, and the “odd” food of other cultures, all humans are yearning for lifestyles and futures that will be increasingly unified as time and globalization progress. That is what Tom Friedman seems to have meant when he wrote that “the world is flat”—that technological and economic change are driving humankind toward a future of cultural sameness. In other words, whatever differences of custom and habit that still exist between peoples will pass away soon and be replaced by a world culture rather like that of the United States in the 21st century.

To be blunt, our foreign policy tends to be predicated on the notion that everyone wants to be an American. In the months leading up to the start of the Iraq War, it was common to hear seemingly educated people say that the Arabs, particularly Iraqis, had no way of life worth saving and would be better off if all “that old stuff”—their traditions, social institutions, and values—were done away with, and soon. The U.S. Armed Forces and U.S. Agency for International Development would be the sharp swords of modernization in the Middle East.

It gets better,this response struck me as quite insightful,

“America is the only nation in the world that is founded on creed. That creed is set forth with dogmatic and even theological lucidity in the Declaration of Independence; perhaps the only piece of practical politics that is also theoretical politics and also great literature. It enunciates that all men are equal in their claim to justice, that governments exist to give them that justice, and that their authority is for that reason just ……

Thsi is really worth a look at, unless, of course, you just like the same old coolaid from the kewl kids. If so, YMMV.

Poor Israel, Poor Me

I don’t think there is another topic that can get so many peoples cackles up than any discussion of the nature of, “What is Israel?,” since Israel means so many different things to so many different people.

The only place I know to start, is as a nation state, since that is the reality on the ground. It not only exists, but has the capability of defending itself, precariously as that defense may be if faced with an entire region bent on destroying it. That is, for me, the most compelling reason for US security guarantees to the Israeli nation, because for me, and many others in America, the Holocaust is not something we intend to forget, nor allow to occur again. I only wish that the American people were better informed about the Holocaust, and the other millions that were slaughtered alongside the six million Jews of Europe, but perhaps that will become more common knowledge as time goes on.

For most Americans, who were once a pretty antisemitic lot, the turn around is nothing short of amazing, and for a small minority of American Christians Israel has become a source of idolatry, which is not to be unexpected I suppose given the shared background of Christianity and Judaism, and I could digress for hours on that topic given the right forum and time, which this isn’t.

We cannot deal in what might have beens either, such as what if the Balfour agreement had placed the new state in South America, and so the state of Israel exists in its’ historic fore bearers territory, which has a lot to do with the “religious,” significance that some attach to it. But that is not the issue. The issue is, does Israel have a right to exist, and the answer is an unequivocal yes.

If that one salient fact can be accepted, then we can start to look into other aspects of the situation, with the caveat that we are discussing the internal affairs of another nation, and as such, outside interference is as welcome there as it is in any other state, such as Russia, or China. People tend to take a dim view of that interference from outside their own borders, and as noted recently within the US House of Representatives, sometimes from within. This umbrage should not surprise the Israeli people either, if Israel is perceived to be meddling with the internal affairs of the United States, such as AIPAC is perceived to be doing.

I do not know where the line is drawn in the hearts and minds of either Hebrews or Israelis, nor have I seen a definitive opinion from them, either collectively, or as distinctions, sometimes with and sometimes without, a difference. Given this situation it is incumbent on the Israelis and Hebrews to understand the confusion outside their own peoples as to what their positions are, and what they expect from the rest of us, fully understanding that they should expect no more than to be treated fairly, and without prejudice, just as we would expect to be treated by any, and all others as well.

The Jewish faith is absolutely none of my business, and I endeavor to keep it so. As a Christian I can and will address things that current in Christian discussions, discussions that many times intersect divergently with Judaic teachings and understandings, because they are obviously different religions with different perspectives. In these matters I can only assure the Judaic adherents that there is no animosity on my part towards them or their faith.

If there is a better way to proceed on these two issues then I would love to hear the outline. There can be no understanding built on assumptions of others thoughts and feelings, and I hope this has at least clarified my positions on those topics. If not, the comments are open to one and all, and I can take as well as I can give. The doors open.

Someone fell off their horse

It’s times like these you’ve just got to miss that dear lady Molly Ivins.

Update: Kos has the evidence that they landed on their heads

Well God didn’t make little green apples…

Thursday, February 15, 2007

More Accurate News on SNL

O’Reilly and Miller recycled false attack on Clinton’s attendance at 9-11 memorials

Yeah, I’m Shocled! Shocked!

On the February 14 edition of Fox News’ The O’Reilly Factor, host Bill O’Reilly and Fox News contributor Dennis Miller recycled the myth propagated by O’Reilly that, in the words of Miller, Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-NY) “did not attend one” of the “memorial services for the 9-11 people.” O’Reilly responded that Miller’s claim “is correct.” In fact, as Media Matters for America has noted, Clinton attended several funerals and memorials, including one for 79 restaurant employees who died in the September 11, 2001, attacks. Miller purported to contrast Clinton with former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani, who, Miller said, attended “like hundreds and hundreds of them.” Miller added: “Well, listen, if they get in a debate, you don’t even have to have them talk. Just put that up, number of the memorial services attended. If that doesn’t tell you everything about these two people, about talking about commitment versus real commitment, I don’t know what does.”

Since his original attack on Clinton on the November 27, 2001, edition of The O’Reilly Factor, in which O’Reilly complained that “the only events we know she attended were three highly publicized memorial services,” O’Reilly has regularly summarized the controversy by explaining simply that “Hillary Clinton didn’t go to one funeral or one memorial service of any of the regular folks killed at the World Trade Center, even though she’s a senator of New York” [The O’Reilly Factor, 5/13/02]. On the February 14 broadcast, O’Reilly went a step further, agreeing with Miller’s false claim that: “The Factor d[id] some research back then that Hillary Clinton did not attend one” memorial service. O’Reilly falsely responded, “That is correct.”

I spent most of the day working on the dishwasher and listening to the House of Representatives. You know if ad hominem is all you’ve got, all you have is an uninformed and un informative blogger.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Questions That Won’t Be Asked About Iranian Arms Smuggling

What percentage of the arms are left overs from the October Surprise of 1980-81?

Who painted and labelled the armaments displayed in the US Powerpoint presentation?

What is the magnetic field signature of the arms displayed in the US Powerpoint presentation, and why is this information not used to make or break the case?

What is the metalurgical signature of the armaments in the US Powerpoint presentation, and why is this information not used to make or break the case?

Why, oh Why, can’t we have a better press?

Melissa Too, Resigns

Second Blogger Quits Edwards Campaign

I would like to make very clear that the campaign did not push me out, nor was my resignation the back-end of some arrangement made last week. This was a decision I made, with the campaign’s reluctant support, because my remaining the focus of sustained ideological attacks was inevitably making me a liability to the campaign, and making me increasingly uncomfortable with my and my family’s level of exposure.

Somebody has the flag, wrapped to tightly around their heads, or their halos are showing themselves to be a little tight here on earth, as the case may be, Melissa. One of the purposes of the anaonymity is to slow or stop these sorts of things. Isn’t it Joe?

Living With Loco Vatamos

Neoconservatives hate liberty as much as they love war

Frank Gaffney, one of the country’s most influential and well-connected neoconservatives, has a column in today’s Washington Times in which he argues that the debate taking place in Congress over the war in Iraq constitutes treason. Gaffney specifically argues that the condemnations of Douglas Feith from Sen. Rockefeller “really should be a hanging offense.”

Gaffney begins his column by purporting to quote Abraham Lincoln. Gaffney claims that Lincoln said:

Congressmen who willfully take actions during wartime that damage morale and undermine the military are saboteurs and should be arrested, exiled, or hanged.

This quote has become a favorite weapon for those who want to criminalize criticism of the Leader and the War. Jack Murtha’s opponent in the last election, Diana Irey, cited this quote while discussing Murtha’s opposition to the war.

But this quote is completely invented. Lincoln never said it. This “quote” was first attributed to Lincoln by J. Michael Waller in Insight Magazine, in a 2003 article revealingly entitled: Democrats Usher in an Age of Treason. But as Waller himself now admits, the quote attributed to Lincoln is completely fraudulent. Waller wrote in an e-mail to FactCheck.org (h/t William Wolfrum):

The supposed quote in question is not a quote at all, and I never intended it to be construed as one. It was my lead sentence in the article that a copy editor mistakenly turned into a quote by incorrectly inserting quotation marks.

I’ve made up my mind, don’t confuse with the facts!

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

We Don’t Need Another Hero

We Don’t Need To Know The Way Home,

Heroes

Via Kevin comes this data point on the increasing representation of torture as a tool of heroes. From 1996 to 2001, prime time television had 102 torture scenes. From 2002 to 2005, there were 624. But it wasn’t only the quantity that change. “During this uptick in violence, the torturer’s identity was more likely to be an American hero like “24’s” Jack Bauer (Kiefer Sutherland) than the Nazis and drug dealers in pre-9/11 days.”

Oh yeah I wonder, I wonder, what we’re doing tonight.

Iranian War Talk Started with Ghengis Khan,

before that it was going on in Macedonia and Greece, and before that in Assyria. And you thought it was the overthrowing of the Iranian democracy? Maybe the Persians just chap everyone’s asses.

Amanda has Resigned

This is really kind of sad news, not for Amanda, who like her or not, or like her opinions or not, has a right to her opinions, and a paying job, and to be free and clear of Christian outbursts on equal with her own anti-Christian, anti-Catholic screeds. So it isn’t sad for her, it is sad for the Christian community.

I wonder if the faith of those who show themselves, “heated up at unrighteousness,” as if their thoughts and the things they have said somehow can improve the faith of the faithful, all by behaving in a decidedly unChristian manner.

The onus is always on us. Always.

I could be angry at the brothers and sisters that do these things, but of what use is anger in these situations? It merely reflects the world back at the world, which is not what those of us whose Kingdom is not of this world should be reflecting.

Freedom of speech is indeed a Constitutional right, but it is not a Christian right. We are in fact proscribed by Scripture from speaking in such a way as to drive the unfaithful away from the faith.

My sincere apologies to Amanda over this entire issue. Many will say you brought it on yourself, but that is hardly the case. You have perhaps hit an exposed nerve of those of little faith. I would only council you to behave and respond as they ought to have, which is hard I know, believe me I know, but will show them up. After all if you are behaving better than Christians, who is heaping burning coals on whom. God does note these things, and I would fear the judgment of those more than the judgment of you, if I were either one of you.

Just a Note

I have found the twelfth verse, so I am going to be busy with that sort of thing for awhile. It takes time to grow the rose that one is to throw down the well.

OK, the double Sestina with rhyme is up over here. Like I said earlier it is as it is, and will over time probably get reworked, but I didn’t want you to think I was wolfing you on this.

Monday, February 12, 2007

Momma This Surely Must Be A Dream

Bush-Backed Group Receiving Iranian Weapons via dKos and by SusanG

Via Think Progress, we learn that Iranian weapons shipments moving around Iraq – and the prototypical subject of an alarmist dog-and-pony show over the weekend – are actually typical of weapons destined for SCIRI, a Bush-backed rival group to al-Sadr’s Mehdi Army, according to a report from CNN’s Michael Ware (video available at Think Progress):

There’s a whole lotta via’s going on around here, but we’ll get there in the end.

Getting Older in the Blogsospheres?

Instapundit links to the shock of seeing bloggers advertising on buses, and the other side of the coin, having done a good job and being ignored at the intersection of good work and having, you know, a life.

DANIEL DREZNER ON GETTING OLD IN THE BLOGOSPHERE: I think that not taking it seriously is actually the key.

Of course if you’ve been kissing the Presidents ass for five or six years it would tend to let you blog a little less seriously. Hard to make enemies within the state that way, isn’t Glenn?

Break out the plastic and the cash

you know I don’t ask you to be rash,
Antiwar is running out of stash,
so help them out, in staying in the bash.

Justin has links;

As Iraq slides into the abyss [.pdf], and the domestic reverberations of the conflict shake American politics, the question of who lied us into war is being raised – and not just by Democrats. There is a growing suspicion that we didn’t just get the intelligence wrong – and a growing clamor to retrace our steps back to the source of what seems like deliberate deception.

The inspector general at the Department of Defense has issued a report [.pdf] criticizing the intelligence disseminated to senior policymakers in the run-up to war:

Text of Russian Presdients Speech

Thanks to Juan Cole for doing the, as it seems now, the mundane work of using Google for me. My bad. Unfortunately, the link now leads to a message in Russian now, so use the link below and follow the instructions. If I can do it, then I would think yous could too, but as with all things intertubes, YMMV.

Anyway if you go here you can get the RSS feed of his speeches translated into English for us Americans.

Not that I don’t trust the American press to actually tell it like it is, but trust but verify seems to be our fate here in the States.

Sunday, February 11, 2007

Beyond Belief

Not much to say about this dig from Matt Yglesia. According to the same Newsweek article that Atrios pointed out earlier, (Third Carrier, sans Group?, is heading to the Persian Gulf,) Condi Rice and Michael Gerson inserted North Korea and Iran into the Axis of Evil Speech, so that the focus would not be solely on Iraq and The President thought it sounded like Reagan’s Evil Empire speech.

Mr. Gerson has gone on to become a Newsweek and Washington Post fith columnist, and of course Mz. Rice has moved from being the National Security Advisor, to Secretary of State, where diplomacy is no longer required by the current government.

Where in the hell is the Congress??!!! Oh yeah, in Europe, or running for President.

Same Old Song and Dance

Nothing to see here folks move along.

Adam Liptak has a nice piece today based on Dick Cheney’s handwritten notes from the Ford Administration:

RETURNING to the White House after the Memorial Day weekend in 1975, the young aide Dick Cheney found himself handling a First Amendment showdown. The New York Times had published an article by Seymour M. Hersh about an espionage program, and the White House chief of staff, Donald H. Rumsfeld, was demanding action.

Out came the yellow legal pad, and in his distinctively neat, deliberate hand, Mr. Cheney laid out the “problem,” “goals” while addressing it, and “options.” These last included “Start FBI investigation — with or w/o public announcement. As targets include NYT, Sy Hersh, potential gov’t sources.”

Updated: This post went beyond the pale in an earlier iteration, even for me.

Dear Leader’s Dear Media

TPM Reader BW on Odom …

Failure is a tough sell. Odom admits that, but he does not fully understand the implications. The Democrats in Congress are not especially stupid, but they are necessarily anxious about withdrawal, because they are sensibly fearful of being blamed by the Republicans for “losing Iraq”.

The worst kinds of Republicans control almost the whole news Media. The punditocrisy has backed this stupid war completely. The narrative, which will be fed to the American People, by this propaganda machine will not be favorable to a Democratic Congress.

I think it may be getting back into balance somewhat, although trust but verify is still the only surefire check and balance to the facts, facts rarely matter to some “journalists,” and never with the conservative with issues.

There’s a couple articles on FUD etc, at ones and zeros, but they probably just illuminate rather than influence the debate. Someone has to catapult the propaganda, so we can count on one or two major outlets going all out and the others to succumb to the FUD of access.

FUD and Computer Security

Lies, damn lies… By Scott Granneman, SecurityFocus

What are you afraid of? What causes you real fear, the kind that causes your heart to beat faster involuntarily, your stomach to sag like you’ve eaten lead, and your mind to lose its reason and revert to the primitive reactions of fight and flight? Spiders? Snakes? Serial killers? Speaking in public? Or the worst, the thing that freaks out almost everyone – scary clowns?

Those are what I what I would call primal fears, those that exist deep down in our subconscious. Other fears, however, are manufactured by politicians and the media (heck, some so-called “news” channels base their whole business on this practice) in order to manipulate us. John Twelve Hawks, in his perceptive essay How We Live Now, discusses this exact state of affairs:

You’ll note that the Gates reference to the Mac comes from Newsweek, which is today floating a third Carrier Group headed to Persian Gulf.

You may want to read this as well.

Wrong war, wrong time, wrong place wrong leaders…

Wrong war, wrong time Pat has had a busy day today. Hope you caught him on CNN with Wolf Blitzer.

He has another post worth a purview here. Conflict Developing?

A damaging document like the Department of Defense Inspector General report on the misdeeds of the Office of Special Plans could not have been released without the express and personal permission of the Secretary of Defense.

That means that Bob Gates himself released the report in the certain knowledge that it would cause a furor in the media, in the Congress and in the White House. At the same time a rebuttal of the IG’s report has been prepared in the Pentagon. This would be a normal precaution on the part of DoD hedging against the “blowback” that the bureaucracy knew would occur as soon as the IG report became public.

I’ll leave the rest up to Mr. Lang.

Make a Deal With Syria

Make a Deal With Syria and Weaken the Iran-Hezbollah Axis by Martin van Creveld

Reproduced with permission from Forward.com
http://www.forward.com/articles/make-a-deal-with-syria-and-weaken-the-iran-hezboll/
Copyright 2007, Forward.com

Friday, January 26, 2007

Old news I’m sure, but it dovetails with this ISRAEL AND IRAN – AND THE BUSH ADMINISTRATION by Gabriel Kolko There has been a qualitative leap in military technology that makes all inherited conventional wisdom, and war as an instrument of political policy, utterly irrelevant, not just to the United States but also to any other state that embarks upon it. Nations should have realized this a century ago but they did not. But there have been decisive changes in balances of power, and more accurate and destructive weapons – and soon nuclear bombs and the missiles to deliver them – are becoming more and more available to the poorer countries. Technology is moving much more rapidly than the diplomatic and political resources or will to control its inevitable consequences. Nowhere is the danger of an uncontrolled, technology-driven escalation greater than in the long standing and increasingly complicated alliance between Israel and the United States.

The United States should have learned its lesson in Vietnam, and its public is aware of it to a far greater extent than its politicians. The war in Iraq has reaffirmed the decisive limits of technology when fighting against enemies who are decentralized and determined. It has been extraordinarily expensive but militarily ineffective, and America is ineluctably losing its vast undertaking. Rivals are much more equal, and wars more protracted and expensive for those who persist in fighting them. America’s ambitions for hegemony throughout the globe can now be more and more successfully

One Monkey Retyping

Doug Feith, Reinventing History

via No Quarter;

Dougie Feith appeared on Faux News Sunday with Chris Wallace today and emphatically denied that he or anyone in his office ever said there was an operational relationship between Saddam Hussein and Osama Bin Laden. How sad. Mr. Feith apparently has early on-set Alzheimer’s disease. He’s forgotten that someone in his shop at DOD leaked his October 2003 memo to the Senate Intelligence Committee to one Mr. Stephen Hayes, an enterprising journalist, who in turn published the breathless findings in the Weekly Standard.

So what? The Weekly Standard is not an official government publication. Why should we take it seriously? Well, let’s ask Vice President Dick Cheney. Here’s what the Weekly Standard Editor, a guy named Bill Kristol, wrote three years ago:

Editor’s Note, 1/27/04: In today’s Washington Post, Dana Milbank reported that “Vice President Cheney . . . in an interview this month with the Rocky Mountain News, recommended as the ‘best source of information’ an article in The Weekly Standard magazine detailing a relationship between Hussein and al Qaeda based on leaked classified information.”

Needs to start reading the papers, I suppose.

Yeah Baby!

I have moved the Religious stuff over to the next newest blog to last for a duration of undetermined time. That way I can keep everyone from freaking out on that stuff, and since this is version four Oh, it follows the format of the original blog(s) by separating religion and politics from politics and the media.

National and Computer Security stuff will probably stay here, unless they don’t, in which case they will have another newest blog of undetermined duration all of their own over there.

Saturday, February 10, 2007

‘NYT’ Reporter Who Got Iraqi WMDs Wrong Now Highlights Iran Claims

Now I ain’t saying anything about piccolo players, but…via IraqSlogger this story Editor and Publisher rips the story on yesterday’s NYT front page;

Sound pretty convincing? It may be worth noting that the author is Michael R. Gordon, the same Times reporter who, on his own, or with Judith Miller, wrote some of the key, and badly misleading or downright inaccurate, articles about Iraqi WMDs in the run-up to the 2003 invasion.

Gordon wrote with Miller the paper’s most widely criticized — even by the Times itself — WMD story of all, the Sept. 8, 2002, “aluminum tubes” story that proved so influential, especially since the administration trumpeted it on TV talk shows.

Some people never learn. Maybe the NYTimes will read one of the many articles somewhere on the net, even by anonymous sources such as a blogger. Why Oh Why …(see Brad.)

Update: More than likely the source for IraqSlogger was the Eleventh Dimension, but who knows who reads the WaPo and when, and of course no one reads the blogs except other bloggers and Joe citipack.

CNN Doing a Good Job Tonight

John Roberts had an excellent program tonight, and Christine Amapour’s story on Daniel Pearl is really worth the time. Thanks and kudos to both.

Updated:Go here, read, and learn.

More CBA of the ABCs

Last week, ABC played a video clip of Rush Limbaugh accusing “libs” of “prejudice” — without noting Limbaugh’s own voluminous history of outright bigotry.

ABC gave Rush Limbaugh a forum to accuse liberals — all of them — of “prejudice.”

Well he is a well bathed, I suppose, Non hippy type, strung out on drugs. Of course if he were a Hippy, I would disavow him anyway, I’ve always been what we called back then a Freek.

You know, Live like you wanna
let them call you a freek
you;ll be a baby factory
when you’re married a week,
said no no no, don’t dig it all.

Alvin Lee.

But all liberals? No broad brush of generalizations there Mark. I am beginning to understand conservatives pain. The truth hurts, doesn’t it Lou?

Things Worth Looking Into

This soft roll-out of the Iran in Iraq case continues. via War and Peace

Note the line in the first of the three pages in the NYT article, that the money and cash are being driven across the border at night. Well of course they are, everyone knows bad things only happen at night, except in DC where it is always midnight.

Feith in the Situation Room: Three Lies Nothing really new here except it’s becoming more obvious.

Does Bill Donohue Speak For You?

See the previous post here.

U.S. Attorneys, and a CIA Honcho, On The Way Down via No Quarter;

By SusanUnPC … It is a heavy news day, even if CNNMSNBCFOX are wall-to-wall Anna Nicole (thank god for BBC World Service radio).

Speaking of Anna, why would anyone, anymore. You can’t even die in America.

Tommy Franks Was Right more from No Quarter;

Douglas Feith, the former number three man at Rummy’s Department of Defense and co-author of the debacle in Iraq, proved Tommy Franks right. General Franks described Feith to author Bob Woodward as:

Except for those who still listen to him I suppose.

Ali on the Approaching Chaos

“I agree with Pat that Casey should not be in his job. Constantly offering light at the end of the tunnel when in fact a train is bearing down on the mission was a great error in Vietnam; it’s been repeated here. It is the candor thing; he never faked sincerity well and has now obviously been as habitually cavalier with the truth as Rummie.

Looking for Tehran in rose colored night vision goggles.

Back to Back, Blogger to Blogger

For those two readers perplexed by all of this, what can I say. These things are like my albums. I put what I want to on them, and I take what I want to off of them, and then I get tired of them, or they’re finished and I’m done with them. Like I’ve said if you want to keep them, do so, but don’t expect me to do so for you.

This iteration will, I hope gravitate away from the previous works of mostly politics, since I don’t care to stay in campaign mode even if that’s what the politicians and political pundits do. Much as I may or may not admire any of them or their work, the fact of the matter is that they are usually wrong about everything. Of course, time will tell, but we know better don’t we?

Anyway, if I’ve got something to say Blogger is about as Cadillac as I’m going to get. I’ll keep the other place active for other things, but there just isn’t the flexibility I wish to have over there, like heterosexual becoming hetero***ual in the title. Obviously they are appealing to someone other than you and I have to come expect over here. That’s cool, I’ve got a lot of family friendly poetry and observations too.

Anyway there it is. Stay or go away, I don’t really care.

EZSmirkzz Feb 6-8, 2007

Back to The Border Patrol Case

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Here is the US Attorneys Statement via KVIA,

At the initiation of their investigation, the DHS Office of Inspector General contacted Aldrete-Davila who was at the time in Mexico.

Aldrete-Davila was at first reluctant to cooperate with the investigation because he feared that should he return to the United States, he could be prosecuted for the offenses committed in relation to the load of marijuana he was driving on February 17, 2005.

In order to secure his cooperation and appearance at trial in the United States, this office agreed that in return for his truthful testimony he would not be prosecuted for the February 17, 2005 offenses. The agreement does not immunize any other conduct.

Based on all of the evidence admitted at the two week trial, including the lengthy testimony of both of the defendants, the jury of twelve citizens heard all of the testimony, judged the demeanor and credibility of the witnesses and unanimously found both defendants guilty beyond a reasonable doubt of eleven of the twelve counts alleged in the indictment, including assault with a dangerous weapon, assault with serious bodily injury, discharge of a firearm during the commission of a crime of violence and wilfully violating Aldrete-Davila’s Constitutional, Fourth Amendment right to be free from illegal seizure, as well as obstructing justice by intentionally defacing the crime scene, lying about the incident, and failing to report the truth.

via TalkLeft, The Dallas Morning News reported;

Both men admitted in court that they didn’t report the incident, but Ramos said he assumed one of several other agents at the scene had reported it. They also testified during the two-week trial that they shot at Aldrete, who ran back across the Rio Grande into Mexico after being wounded, because they thought he had a gun.

The above two sources are ones that I have come to trust over the years, so Lou’s starting to develope a few hickeys, on this one from the MSM and left.

Two other sources, one of which I can usually disagree with, appear to disagree with Mr. Dobbs as well,

Bonkers at the Border
Lou Dobbs and some Republicans pull an Al Sharpton.

Most people would consider corrupt border patrol agents to be part of the illegal immigration problem, not the solution. So it’s passing strange that anti-immigration Republicans in Congress are calling for the federal government to release Ignacio Ramos and Jose Alonso Compean, two former border guards from Texas who were sent to prison last week for shooting an unarmed man in the back and then trying to cover up their crime.

Several GOP lawmakers, including outspoken restrictionists like Congressmen Tom Tancredo and Duncan Hunter, have hailed the ex-agents as American heroes. President Bush is even being urged to pardon Ramos and Compean, who received sentences of 11 years and 12 years, respectively. GOP Representative Dana Rohrabacher has gone so far as to accuse Mr. Bush of being “on the side of [America’s] enemies” for allowing the men to go to jail.

CNN’s Lou Dobbs has also weighed in repeatedly with pseudo-reporting designed to rile up his viewers rather than inform them of the facts. Speaking of facts, they are as follows, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Western District of Texas and evidence presented at the ex-agents’ jury trial:

I would note the Wall Street Journal does still carry some wright with me, so another hickey to Lou. and then there is Reason Magazine‘s

“Compean and Ramos are Bad Guys.”David Weigel | January 30, 2007, 9:40am National Review’s Andrew McCarthy has absolutely the harshest take on the case of Jose Alonso Compean and Ignacio Ramos, border agents who shot a drug smuggler and whose “wrongful” imprisonment has become a cause celebre for immigration hawks. To wit: Rep. Dana Rohrabacher, California Republican, called it “the worst betrayal of American defenders I have ever seen.” Rep. Duncan Hunter, California Republican, introduced legislation calling for a congressional pardon. Rep. Joe Wilson, South Carolina Republican, described the case as a “grotesque misdirection of our judicial system.” Petitions with more than 260,000 signatures have been presented to President Bush calling for a pardon. Seventy members of Congress are co-sponsors of Mr. Hunter’s bill.

Ouch. While there are some facts mixed in to the story, i looks like politics as usual.

Tentative Conclusion, John Stewart still has the best take on TV News.

Snow-jobs” at the White House

May be the best story description of them all.

7:18 AM2/8/2007


Its OK, Ma, I’m a Republican Wanker

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Intemperate allies for me, but not for thee

Says it all.

6:11 AM2/8/2007


GOP Senators to Make Link Sausage, not Patties

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We’ll see.

5:16 AM2/8/2007


Sometimes I’m a big no help

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From Arms Control Wonk,

Yeesh, sometimes it’s hard to be a wonk.

Today, I planned to write about what happens if Iran places its centrifuge cascades in “warm standby.”

Still do, actually. But, first, a little housekeeping.

A Clarification To Yesterday’s Post

I always worry about even posting on these things anyway.

4:58 AM2/8/2007


A really must read

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4:50 AM2/8/2007


Body Armor That Works, Just Not For The Troops

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</IfEntryCategories –>Action: Please help our soldiers get the truth

The body armor you have just seen stop 40 rounds of 7.62-mm AK-47 ammo from 20 feet, and 150 rounds of 9-mm Uzi ammo from 10 feet, has been forbidden to our soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan. It is, however, worn by President Bush’s Secret Service bodyguards.

Do the walk of life, here comes Johnny gonna tell you a story……you know the tune.

8:33 PM2/7/2007


That Plane Still Don’t Fly

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How silly did the Pelosi-airplane story get today in the CNN retelling? Some choice squibs. Chatting it up with Wolf Blitzer on The Situation Room Carol Costello noted that protestations to the contrary, “both planes are capable of flying coast to coast without refueling under optimal conditions.”

JMM’s reader explains it so even I can understand it.


Late Update: TPM Reader JT from the airline industry writes in to say: “I work with aircraft logistics situations all the time. Having a plane that can make it to a destination non-stop (but only if conditions are right) is a nightmare for planning. It means you don’t know if you need to plan for another hour on the ground for the fuelstop until a few hours before the flight. And the weather looked good yesterday but doesn’t look good today. And (as you noted), if there’s a lengthy ground hold before the flight, you’ll make the stop regardless of weather. You would almost rather have a plane that definitely needed a fuel stop so you could at least plan around it.”

1. This editor still needs a little work. Technologically and carbon based.This really shouldn’t be an issue, should it? I’ve got a million of them.

via Atrios

8:18 PM2/7/2007


Duncan Hunter and Me?, or, The Stangest Post I’ve Ever Done

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</IfEntryCategories –>Anyone who knows me, or my writing, will understand that I am one of the odder of the lefties, and also a pretty partisan one, so if you think I might support Duncan Hunter because he wants to impeach the President you might have some basis for your argument, but you’ld be wrong. Nor have I spent a lot of time watching CNN since I haven’t had access to it for more than a couple of months, and it has to compete with Free Speech TV. In fact I may probably be a TV news junky, and inspite of my railings against FOX, I still watch the local Fox station KRIV, since they were on air even before cable, and so I am familiar with Mike Barrajas and Cecilia. No big deal, just some background.(sp) (Sorry Mike, my bad)

Long story can’t be made short, Lou Dobb’s has finally convinced me through his program that the story of the two convicted Border Patrol agents, Ignacio Ramos and Jose Alonso Compean, needed some looking into, and for someone like me finding reliable sources on this is a little rough as there are very few conservative outlets I trust not to spin for spin’s sake, or in the case of Eleventh Dimension, I have become so accustommed to his over the years that I read him to see what everyone else is saying, but he is more of a charcoal filter than a source of news that I fall back on. Obviously I need to so some work on that stuff again, since I used to be pretty good at it before it finally wore me out.

Now, I am one of those lefties that want Leon Peltier freed because he was railroaded into prison, and, I am inherently distrustful of the state. Injustice does not know ideology, it just is, and needs to be corrected when it is found, and it is good for the American soul, because we may disagree on many things, but injustice in the legal system should not be one them. I can’t advocate for Padilla and mot do so for Ramos, or advocat for Peltier and and not do so for Compean, and it’s just that simple. Given the politicians who advocates for these men, it is a difficult thing to align with them, on any issue. Oh well, such is life. I’ll keep an eye out for evangelical lawyers and such.

I don’t have to much if any bias with Dobb’s and CNN, because I can only vouch for Headline News, whom I trust after many, many years. One of the drawbacks with me, or the right’s webring perhaps, is the echo chamber of views and spews which may, as I have stated, be my own biases, and the non lunatic right may have as much trouble with our side of the blogotracks as I with theirs, as well. So befor anyone at GopUSA thinks I am going to start frequenting the joint again, forget it. (I actuallly used to have an account there four years or so ago.)

WIAN: U.S. Attorney Johnny Sutton released a lengthy statement defending his decision to prosecute the agents and offer immunity to the drug smuggler. In part, it says, “Federal prosecutors cannot look the other way when law enforcement officers shoot unarmed suspects, then lie about it to their supervisors and file official reports that are false.”

But there is conflicting testimony about all of Johnny Sutton’s claims, conflicts that could be up to an appeals court to resolve — Lou.

DOBBS: Conflicting statements indeed. As a matter of fact, it is clear that the U.S. attorney and the prosecutors in this case took the word of a drug smuggler, one caught red-handed, fleeing federal authorities, and who later was involved in a subsequent crime over that of the U.S. Border Patrol agents. It is a remarkable case.

WIAN: It certainly is. And as Ted Poe, the congressman from Texas, a former judge, has said, it’s the most incredible case he’s ever seen in his — in his career, which includes 22 years as a judge in felony cases in Texas — Lou.

DOBBS: Well, it’s — this is — as a number of those congressmen said, this will not stand. The question is how justice will be ultimately served in this country. We have to hope that that is still a possibility.

Casey, thank you very much.

So off I went looking for trusted others, and four or five pages in I found this’ Border Patrol Agents Betrayed,

The US Attorney for the Western District of Texas was unavailable for comment Wednesday, but in a written statement he released to the news media last week he defended the prosecution of the two agents saying “These agents shot someone who they knew to be unarmed and running away.” He said they also “destroyed evidence, covered up a crime scene and then filed false reports about what happened.”
What he doesn’t mention is the fact that the alleged victim had led the agents on a high speed chase, ditched his vehicle to run across the border and appeared to be armed, pretending to aim a weapon at the agents.
The drug smuggler was given amnesty in return for his testimony and since the trial has been arrested for drug smuggling twice and allowed to walk. Let me repeat that, a illegal alien who has a record of drug smuggling made a deal giving him a free walk on a charge of drug smuggling after being caught with 750lbs of pot, in return for his testimony against the two border agents who caught him red handed, and shot him because they thought he was preparing to shoot them. ….

and then I found this; which quotes a Lulac representative,

The head of the El Paso office of the League of United Latin American Citizens, Elvia Hernandez, says her organization did not view the two agents as innocent, because they had violated procedures and fired at an unarmed man. Still, she says, her organization did not support the harsh sentence and favored their remaining free while awaiting appeal. “We are still very disturbed that they did not let them stay out of jail while appeal was on. It is not that we do not think they should be punished, it is just that the sentence was a little strict,” she said. Hernandez says the federal court wanted to make an example of the two men to discourage other Border Patrol agents from violating the law, but she fears it may have the effect of discouraging agents from using force when it is justified and necessary.

and I have less trouble with LULAC, since I’ve been familiar with them since I was a yonker, but the crux of the evidence appears which is disputed by the father-in-law of one of the men in the letter from Loya that I linked.. Anyway I ran across this letter,

BP supervisor, Jonathan Richards, who had arrived on the scene, was very angry that the smuggler had gotten away. Richards ordered everyone to report to the station. He also told them to load the 743 lbs of marijuana onto their vehicles and take it to the station.

Richards never went across the canal to investigate the assault or to check on agent Compean. Ramos and another agent, named Yrigoyen later testified they told Richards that Compean had been assaulted. At the station, another agent, Mendez, stated that Compean had cuts on his face and hand. He said this in the presence of Supervisor Richards. This is significant because Richards denied having any knowledge of Compean’s injuries. He therefore never notified the F.B.I and there was never an investigation in this case. The agents were convicted on the allegations and lies of the smuggler, the fabricated lies of the prosecutors and the fabricated lies of two agents who were handed proffer letters, (immunity) from prosecution in exchange for their testimony against Ramos and Compean.

The BP supervisor lied on the witness stand, testifying that no one told him Compean had been assaulted, which is his excuse for never notifying the F.B.I. of this fact. The truth is that he offered Compean medical attention and had asked Compean several times if he was OK. The physical evidence was apparent as Compean was cut and covered with dirt. Richard’s failure to notify the F.B.I. of the assault is the reason why the case was never investigated.

Because of the supervisor’s actions, none of the agent’s filled out firearms discharge reports. This administrative policy violation could have gotten them a five day suspension without pay. After checking again on Compean’s condition and asking him if he wanted to file assault charges, according to testimony, Richards then made a statement saying, “If we call the F.B.I. we are going to be here all night doing paperwork. We will never know who the person was that assaulted you although we’ve got the van and the marijuana.” After that, everyone went back to work.

and so there is where I am tonight.
I really can’t put my finger on it, but something really fishy is going on here, and like the LULAC, until this case hase been appealed, given the disputed evidence, I think these men need to be out on bail. It will take awhile to get this story lined out in my head to my own satisfaction, andt I will, but my gut tells me there is something really wrong in Denmark here, and that has usually been right. Ask someone who knows me, or has been reading my work for awhile. Anyway, I’ll be doing some digging into this tomorrow.

6:13 PM2/7/2007


911 and Iraq- Slock and Blah Blah Blah

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</IfEntryCategories –>Yada yada yada Joe, the only connection now is the one the neocons bamboozled the country into. Update lookslike this.

3:24 PM2/7/2007


DDos Bombs Military DNS

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At least three DNS root servers, including one maintained by the US Department of Defense, were flooded with data for about 12 hours in an attack that was notable more for its audacity than any noticeable degradation of internet traffic.

The DOD’s G server was among those sustaining the most damage, according to an analysis of the machine’s unanswered queries. The L server, maintained by ICANN, and the WIDE Project’s M server, located in multiple locations, were also hit in attacks that started a little after midnight GMT on Tuesday. …SANS said it was aware of root server attacks but is still wading through data before issuing a report. It encouraged people with logs, or other information relating to the attacks to send it to SANS officials.

Sigh.

Update: you may wish to email registration @ sans.org fill in the gaps

before you go sending a lot of extra logs their way.

11:38 AM2/7/2007


Censure and Censoring – It’s Just for Blogs

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According to news reports cited by the EFF, an Army unit called the Army Web Risk Assessment Cell (AWRAC) reviews hundreds of thousands of websites every month, notifying webmasters and bloggers when it finds “sensitive information”. Some bloggers complain the unit’s remit extends beyond a legitimate attempt to restrict the disclosure of military secrets, effectively forcing them to censure posts about their feelings about the conflict or shut down sites altogether. “Soldiers should be free to blog their thoughts at this critical point in the national debate on the war in Iraq,” EFF staff attorney Marcia Hofmann said. “If the Army is colouring or curtailing soldiers’ published opinions, Americans need to know about that interference.”

We’ll I won’t tell them!!! What do mean I just did?? Oy Vey, now they’ll start paw printing the cats.

11:31 AM2/7/2007


Rightwing Wackos At Work Again

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</IfEntryCategories –>Alert after seven letter bombs sent in three weeks

At least the Brits have a police that can investigate these things.

The Register offers a little sanity here.

Similarly, as it was sent by post, one can generally rule out a timed detonation. The bomb maker has no firm idea when his weapon will be delivered. Almost all postals, therefore, are “victim operated” – that is, booby-traps intended go off on opening.

This in turn means that postals are normally constructed by low-calibre bombers, often disgruntled loonies acting alone. If an organisation uses letter bombs, it will normally be a lightweight, flakey, unprofessional one – animal liberationists or suchlike.

Serious criminals/terrorists/noble-freedom-fighters are usually seeking to strike at high-profile or security-conscious people, and such targets rarely open their own mail.

11:21 AM2/7/2007


Heh, Heh

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</IfEntryCategories –>Indeed;
NY Times, AP reported Donohue’s criticism of Edwards campaign bloggers — but ignored Donohue’s own controversial comments and inconsistent outrage

  • “Name for me a book publishing company in this country, particularly in New York, which would allow you to publish a book which would tell the truth about the gay death style.” [MSNBC’s Scarborough Country, 2/27/04]
  • “The gay community has yet to apologize to straight people for all the damage that they have done.” [MSNBC’s Scarborough Country, 4/11/05]
  • Addressing former Rep. Mark Foley (R-FL) in a press release, Donohue said: “[W]hy didn’t you just smack the clergyman in the face? After all, most 15-year-old teenage boys wouldn’t allow themselves to be molested. So why did you?” [10/4/06]
  • “I’m saying if a Catholic votes for Kerry because they support him on abortion rights, that is to cooperate in evil.” [MSNBC’s Hardball, 10/21/04]

The article at Media Matters is chocked full of these references. Unfortunately, Amanda is the issue in 2008. Only in America. via Atrios,

Update:(You know it had to be coming.,)

Let’s begin with Patrick Hynes, the paid consultant for John McCain’s presidential campaign. Hynes continuously blogged about political matters, including ones involving McCain and the GOP field, while concealing that he was on McCain’s paid staff. That was not the first time Hynes has been caught using deceitful tricks to manipulate the blogosphere into writing content on behalf of his undisclosed clients.

Super double secret clients? Sheeshhhh Mine are so secret I hide them in plain sight. Sometimes they repay me too. Is it just me or does Pushback sound like something out of the Astronaughty story? Tsk Tsk. Nasty Newspeople.

10:52 AM2/7/2007


Tax and Spend Independent

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</IfEntryCategories –>Yeah, right Joe.

A former Democrat who supports the Iraq war and backs President George W. Bush’s plan to send 21,500 additional troops to Iraq, Lieberman said the proposed increase in the Pentagon’s budget for next fiscal year will squeeze funding for critical domestic programs.

“I think we have to start thinking about a war on terrorism tax,” the independent Connecticut lawmaker said. “I mean people keep saying we’re not asking a sacrifice of anybody but our military in this war and some civilians who are working on it.”

“When you put together the (Pentagon) budget and the Homeland Security budgets, we need to ask people to help us in a way that they know when they pay more it will go for their security,” he said during a Senate panel hearing on the defense budget request.

Maybe increase the national tax on gasoline there Joe, you know pass it around to everyone who doesn’t drive and fly around at taxpayers expense. Cigarette?

via Antiwar

Updated here too: Because Joe needs the money. Maybe the Feds can just borrow the money like they always do, since it is deficit spending anyway, I’m sure the taxpayers will pick up the bill. I wonder if Joe wants us to sacrifice our skin, as he and the other meaner than skinned alive rattle snakes neocons have.

6:35 AM2/7/2007


Short answer

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</IfEntryCategories –>JJM has a good question on nicotine addiction and the effects of quitting on people, which is pretty focused on Barak Obama doing so while running for President;

So, an interesting set of questions about the culture and politics and Obama’s public image. But here’s another question. Aren’t people who are in the early stages of quitting a nicotine habit really irritable and on-edge? And isn’t running for president extremely stressful?

I think it depends on ones tendency to be irritable in the first place, and I don’t think all addicts become addicted to the same degree, hence the junky algebra of who is more, and who is less addicted to, (name your poison,) than I am. I doubt that quitting smoking would improve my irritability, although on the times that I have attempted it other people have tended to tick me off and a lot more, which I think has more to do with them than myself. I tend to think any addiction becomes part of ones own self perception, as well as the perception of others of you, hence the socially negative response. Passive aggressive people seem to key on this, and needle you a lot more when your quitting so it pays to be at the top of whatever social heap you belong to.

Everyone comes out of the woodwork then, and whether one is successful or not at stopping, one ends up with a better idea of who is their friend, and who really isn’t. Being a well adjusted.person is more of a herd consensus than a reality of human nature.

4:47 AM2/7/2007


The Senate Fails to Make the Sausage

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Well I suppose we should be happy the Senate wasn’t completely baffled by the, “War to end all Wars for the Moment.” It’s in Iraq.

Given the influence that voter frustration with Iraq had on the November elections, the national unease with the mounting human and financial costs, and the raw passion on all sides, even some lawmakers say they are astounded that the buildup to the Senate fight over Mr. Bush’s proposed troop increase has produced such a letdown.

Apparently there is no way to skin this sausage.

Update: I thought the NYTimes might like the link to their article, not being a snarky blogger and such.

4:31 AM2/7/2007


Dropping Rods Down Holes

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Scientists have backed the government’s plan to store the UK’s nuclear waste deep underground.

The report, from experts working across science and technology, concluded there were “no insurmountable scientific or technological barriers” to the scheme.

It urged the government to maintain momentum in implementing the policy, but recommended key areas where more research was needed to move forward.

These included finding suitable sites and addressing skills shortages.

Well there goes somebody else’s neighborhood.

4:22 AM2/7/2007


British took part in friendly fire inquiry

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The news of official British involvement in the US inquiry conflicts with earlier Ministry of Defence claims that a cockpit recording of the attack did not exist. It also raises questions over why British officials involved in the US military inquiry acquiesced in the official conclusion that the pilots were not to blame. After the Sun published the transcript of the cockpit recording yesterday, the US agreed for the video to be used in the Oxfordshire coroner’s inquest being conducted into L/Cpl Hull’s death.

Says it all.

4:14 AM2/7/2007


Actually A Pretty Nice Host

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</IfEntryCategories –>The interface is taking some getting used to, but the logs have nearly fallen silent. Hmmm. I miss the wysiwyg editor, but then I always did need to learn html so that really makes it a win win situation for me. The basics aren’t that tough, but I know you all expect first rate ambiance and eye candy, so consider it the hot dog stand for awhile, while I frame up some bells and whistles. There are a lot of decent templates too.

Glad I moved. No more plugs.

8:24 PM2/6/2007


Square Brained In a Round World

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</IfEntryCategories –>The Anonymous Liberal not only links to the NRO, but reads them as well, which says something about the fortitude of lawyers. Anyway Steyn’s head is still expanding after making a complete ass out of the American legal system, and there doesn’t seem to be a flag in the country big enough to wrap around it, so expect a large popping sound from the bowels of jurispudence, or as Digsby prefers, better get a large umbrella.

It’s hard to put into words just how deeply paranoid and disturbingly authoritarian these views are. First of all, as a factual matter, the suggestion that the attorneys doing pro bono work on behalf of Guantanamo detainees are “in fact being secretly paid by foreign interests” is completely absurd. No one who has any knowledge of how law firms actually work could possibly entertain such paranoid delusions.

Lack of knowledge has never slowed that crew down, AL.

8:05 PM2/6/2007

EZSmirkzz 01-16 to 02-07 2007 archive

Short answer

<!–IfCategoriesAllowed>

Posted in Unspecified

</IfEntryCategories –>JJM has a good question on nicotine addiction and the effects of quitting on people, which is pretty focused on Barak Obama doing so while running for President;

So, an interesting set of questions about the culture and politics and Obama’s public image. But here’s another question. Aren’t people who are in the early stages of quitting a nicotine habit really irritable and on-edge? And isn’t running for president extremely stressful?

I think it depends on ones tendency to be irritable in the first place, and I don’t think all addicts become addicted to the same degree, hence the junky algebra of who is more, and who is less addicted to, (name your poison,) than I am. I doubt that quitting smoking would improve my irritability, although on the times that I have attempted it other people have tended to tick me off and a lot more, which I think has more to do with them than myself. I tend to think any addiction becomes part of ones own self perception, as well as the perception of others of you, hence the socially negative response. Passive aggressive people seem to key on this, and needle you a lot more when your quitting so it pays to be at the top of whatever social heap you belong to.

Everyone comes out of the woodwork then, and whether one is successful or not at stopping, one ends up with a better idea of who is their friend, and who really isn’t. Being a well adjusted.person is more of a herd consensus than a reality of human nature.

4:47 AM2/7/2007


The Senate Fails to Make the Sausage

<!–IfCategoriesAllowed>

Posted in Unspecified

</IfEntryCategories –>Many Voices, No Debate, as Senate Is Stifled on War

Well I suppose we should be happy the Senate wasn’t completely baffled by the, “War to end all Wars for the Moment.” It’s in Iraq.

Given the influence that voter frustration with Iraq had on the November elections, the national unease with the mounting human and financial costs, and the raw passion on all sides, even some lawmakers say they are astounded that the buildup to the Senate fight over Mr. Bush’s proposed troop increase has produced such a letdown.

Apparently there is no way to skin this sausage.

4:31 AM2/7/2007


Dropping Rods Down Holes

<!–IfCategoriesAllowed>

Posted in Unspecified

</IfEntryCategories –>Science backs nuclear burial plan

Scientists have backed the government’s plan to store the UK’s nuclear waste deep underground.

The report, from experts working across science and technology, concluded there were “no insurmountable scientific or technological barriers” to the scheme.

It urged the government to maintain momentum in implementing the policy, but recommended key areas where more research was needed to move forward.

These included finding suitable sites and addressing skills shortages.

Well there goes somebody else’s neighborhood.

4:22 AM2/7/2007


British took part in friendly fire inquiry

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Posted in Unspecified

</IfEntryCategories –>which cleared US pilots

The news of official British involvement in the US inquiry conflicts with earlier Ministry of Defence claims that a cockpit recording of the attack did not exist. It also raises questions over why British officials involved in the US military inquiry acquiesced in the official conclusion that the pilots were not to blame. After the Sun published the transcript of the cockpit recording yesterday, the US agreed for the video to be used in the Oxfordshire coroner’s inquest being conducted into L/Cpl Hull’s death.

Says it all.

4:14 AM2/7/2007


Actually A Pretty Nice Host

<!–IfCategoriesAllowed>

Posted in Unspecified

</IfEntryCategories –>The interface is taking some getting used to, but the logs have nearly fallen silent. Hmmm. I miss the wysiwyg editor, but then I always did need to learn html so that really makes it a win win situation for me. The basics aren’t that tough, but I know you all expect first rate ambiance and eye candy, so consider it the hot dog stand for awhile, while I frame up some bells and whistles. There are a lot of decent templates too.

Glad I moved. No more plugs.

8:24 PM2/6/2007


Square Brained In a Round World

<!–IfCategoriesAllowed>

Posted in Unspecified

</IfEntryCategories –>The Anonymous Liberal not only links to the NRO, but reads them as well, which says something about the fortitude of lawyers. Anyway Steyn’s head is still expanding after making a complete ass out of the American legal system, and there doesn’t seem to be a flag in the country big enough to wrap around it, so expect a large popping sound from the bowels of jurispudence, or as Digsby prefers, better get a large umbrella.

It’s hard to put into words just how deeply paranoid and disturbingly authoritarian these views are. First of all, as a factual matter, the suggestion that the attorneys doing pro bono work on behalf of Guantanamo detainees are “in fact being secretly paid by foreign interests” is completely absurd. No one who has any knowledge of how law firms actually work could possibly entertain such paranoid delusions.

Lack of knowledge has never slowed that crew down, AL.

8:05 PM2/6/2007


Oh, This Breaks My Heart

<!–IfCategoriesAllowed>

Posted in Unspecified

</IfEntryCategories –>Changing Expectations
Just kidding Duncan. There is a lot to be said about Chris Bowers post, but I wouldn’t stop shooting for whatever audience one wishes to reach. I still read the ten blogs I turned Kimmy onto back in 03, execpt Drudge. I rarely go to HufPo, and I picked up on the other top teir blogs from the originals, plus hundreds of other lower tier blogs from the blog rolls. How or why some succeed or fail is beyond me, but I don’t spend a lot of time dwelling on it anymore.

Atrios has been advising people to go regional or local for quite a while, so there isn’t to much new about what Chris is saying, although the little blogs in Texas that you can find off of Burnt Orange are pretty good at local and state issues, although many don’t miss out on the national news or politics, some do.

In the end I’ll never be a Beatle or Prince, but that doesn’t mean I’m going to quit playing my guitar either. It just means I can play it a little out of tune and fewer people seem to care. A live show is better than a video or recording any day, so creativity, and panache count. Someday I may get those too. Hope still lives, and the dream is still alive.

6:13 PM2/6/2007


One of These Days

<!–IfCategoriesAllowed>

Posted in Unspecified

</IfEntryCategories –>Im going to quit reading Josh too.

Not soon, I’ld wager, however.

5:46 PM2/6/2007


Herding Cats Still Tough Going

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Posted in Unspecified

</IfEntryCategories –>

Liberal groups’ effort to discipline Democrats stumbles

WASHINGTON (AP) — When a coalition of liberal and labor strategists banded together to instill discipline on Democratic lawmakers, the toe-the-line message ended up stubbing some toes.

A top official at the American Association for Justice, formerly the American Trial Lawyers Association, withdrew from the coalition, citing a misunderstanding over the group’s mission.

Imagine that.

Well it gives the Rightstags another AP article to kick around.

3:50 PM2/6/2007


Wes Ckarke 3rd in Straw Poll at dKos’

<!–IfCategoriesAllowed>

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</IfEntryCategories –>Lot’s of netroot support, Obama is a hard act to follow.

2:51 PM2/6/2007


Hillary pulls a Cheney

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</IfEntryCategories –>Agreed.

“I do think we are engaged in a war against heartless, ruthless enemies,” she said. “If they could come after us again tomorrow they would do so.”

Are you speaking of politicians in DC?

2:40 PM2/6/2007


1, 2, 3, What Are We Fighting For?

<!–IfCategoriesAllowed>

Posted in Unspecified

</IfEntryCategories –>Don’t ask me I don’t give damn,
next stop is name your stan.

And it’s 1, 2, 3, What Are We…

From CNN:

BAGHDAD, Iraq (CNN) — A man sentenced to death in Kuwait for the 1983 bombings of the U.S. and French embassies now sits in Iraq’s parliament as a member of Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki’s ruling coalition, according to U.S. military intelligence.

Just another rerun.

10:58 AM2/6/2007


Notes on the Media

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Posted in Unspecified

</IfEntryCategories –>One of the things I am loath to do is criticize the media, since obviously they have the bigger microphone, and I don’t have a clue about the internal politics going on in any one corporation, politics that ultimately affect the stories covered, and the way they are presented to the public. I presume that there is quite a bit of independence because journalists are journalist and they tend to have ethical standards pretty much in line with the things they learned in college, although those ethics are subjective once they get into the work force. But let’s not be ignorant about human nature shall we?

The other day I posted up on the British soldier killed by US friendly fire because the family of the soldier deserved the truth about the circumstances of their loved one’s death. It is just that simple. The release of the video taped cockpit recording can and probably will be used by many ignoramuses to assign guilt or innocence to the air and ground crews, based solely on their perceived, inherent rights to do so. No such conclusion can be drawn from the video.

What conclusion can be drawn is that there was no reason for this affair to have reached the point that it had to be handled as it was. Whether this is a media problem or not I leave you to the media. It is however a military and governmental problem of serious proportions.

Innocent people are killed everyday in modern warfare, which fact seems to elude the War Party in America, usually the same people who are decrying the crimes in the streets of their own city, and which crimes the networks and conglomerates are all to willing to amplify and exploit for both political, but more importantly, financial gain. One does not expect patriotism from those who wrap themselves in the flag and inveigh their fellow citizens to support the troops, while they themselves work constantly to undermine the Constitution and the principles for which the flag stands, and that these soldiers fight and die, or are maimed for. In all meanings of the word, these people are idolaters. That is why they have no compunctions about cutting veterans benefits in the middle of the war, or sending troops into harms way without the proper armor, or inadequate manpower, to accomplish the task they assign these people to do. Unfortunately, there are some in the media that fit that bill.

Edited for comicals and almost comicals.

10:08 AM2/6/2007


Fair Play is UnAmerican and Not a Middle Class Value

<!–IfCategoriesAllowed>

Posted in Unspecified

</IfEntryCategories –> Washington Times Publishes False Report On Pelosi’s Use Of Military Aircraft

On February 1, the Washington Times published a story titled “Speaker pursues military flights,” which claimed that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) had been “pressing the Bush administration for routine access to military aircraft for domestic flights, such as trips back to her San Francisco district.” Former Speaker Dennis Hastert (R-IL) also used military aircraft to travel to his district. However, the Times reported, Pelosi is “demanding permanent access to a large military jet for herself, her staff, other Members and supporters.”

The story was disseminated widely through right-wing talk radio and blogs, spurring posts like, “First Class Pelosi,” “Air Force Becomes Pelosi Air,” “Nancy Pelosi is Drunk With Power,” “The Imperial Speakership,” “Pelosi: Fly Me Awayyyyy,” “Pelosi wants military airlift,” and “Nancy Pelosi’s Private Military Plane.”

So at least we know where Dobb’s goes for facts and grist,

1) The House Sergeant at Arms, not Pelosi, initiated inquiries into the use of military aircraft.
2) A larger plane was requested because Hastert’s plane required refueling to travel cross-country.

Remember too that the Washington Times is a sister publication of ‘Insight magazine’, the outfit that ran the Obama slur just a couple weeks ago.

Late Update: Okay, here’s Brit Hume hawking it.

Later Update: Apparently Lou Dobbs ran with this whopper like there was no tomorrow.

According to Thinkprogress and reporting in Roll Call, former Speaker Denny Hastert used a military plane for travel to history district. But the plane he used couldn’t carry enough fuel to fly nonstop across the country.

Pitiful, What’s next, reading the comments out of LGF as informed sources?

7:43 AM2/6/2007


Thought you’d never ask

<!–IfCategoriesAllowed>

Posted in Unspecified

</IfEntryCategories –>It was time to change, short out the box
that leeches everything into the vortex of fluff and puke speaking anything
to everyone who cannot hear their own voice.

The wisdom of youth is cud needing swallowed
to be rechewed into some future understanding
of the final gut, whence it may pass it’s knowledge
onto the understanding of the grass.

The sum of man is the dirt of the root
and should he blossom, what of it?
Bees gathers the nectar to other puposes,
and the flower stings the air with it’s futility.

6:25 PM1/16/2007

EZSmirkzz 02-06-07 archive

Tuesday, February 6, 2007

Fair Play is UnAmerican and Not a Middle Class Value

Washington Times Publishes False Report On Pelosi’s Use Of Military Aircraft

On February 1, the Washington Times published a story titled “Speaker pursues military flights,” which claimed that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) had been “pressing the Bush administration for routine access to military aircraft for domestic flights, such as trips back to her San Francisco district.” Former Speaker Dennis Hastert (R-IL) also used military aircraft to travel to his district. However, the Times reported, Pelosi is “demanding permanent access to a large military jet for herself, her staff, other Members and supporters.”

The story was disseminated widely through right-wing talk radio and blogs, spurring posts like, “First Class Pelosi,” “Air Force Becomes Pelosi Air,” “Nancy Pelosi is Drunk With Power,” “The Imperial Speakership,” “Pelosi: Fly Me Awayyyyy,” “Pelosi wants military airlift,” and “Nancy Pelosi’s Private Military Plane.”

So at least we know where Dobb’s goes for facts and grist,

1) The House Sergeant at Arms, not Pelosi, initiated inquiries into the use of military aircraft.
2) A larger plane was requested because Hastert’s plane required refueling to travel cross-country.

Remember too that the Washington Times is a sister publication of ‘Insight magazine’, the outfit that ran the Obama slur just a couple weeks ago.

Late Update: Okay, here’s Brit Hume hawking it.

Later Update: Apparently Lou Dobbs ran with this whopper like there was no tomorrow.

According to Thinkprogress and reporting in Roll Call, former Speaker Denny Hastert used a military plane for travel to history district. But the plane he used couldn’t carry enough fuel to fly nonstop across the country.

Pitiful, What’s next, reading the comments out of LGF as informed sources?

Monday, February 5, 2007

Free Speech Isn’t Free

Free Speech TV


Please call 1-877-378-8669

is holding their winter fund raising drive, if you can’t speak out, support it.

Thanks in advance.

Don’t Get Too Excited About Iran’s Centifuges

There is an end to patience, I suppose. Pimp my Cascade from Arms Control Wonk, Yet Again.

I am beginning to wonder if anybody in the media does any independent research, or fact checking, or is even aware of the background of the stories they “report,”.

UD: You may recall that they just crashed 300 of them a short time ago because their techs forgot to use gloves and the oil from their fingers jammed up the works.

Background Noise and Education

Maybe this is why dyslexic students are always angry, and can’t articulate that anger in way that doesn’t confuse the shrinks.

This background noise can be a big obstacle to efficient classroom learning for dyslexic students. Larger classes sizes, murmurings and rustlings from fellow classmates, and a fuzziness about phonology or weak auditory working memory, can spell failure (or ADD misdiagnosis) for even very smart or determined dyslexic students. This study only looked at tone and Huggins (kind of spectral noise) sounds…a test of similar-sounding phonemes might be even more dramatic.

YMMV

Update: Somethings just aren’t funny. Writing backwards nac be, but the condition itself is extremely frustrating for those who have it. Nor is the transposition of letters and numbers the only symptom.

Careful With That eXCel File Attachment Eugene

via slashdot
and the Register

“Microsoft is warning users to be on the lookout for suspicious Excel files that arrive unexpectedly — even if they come from a co-worker’s e-mail address. In an advisory, Microsoft confirmed a new wave of limited “zero-day” attacks was underway, using a code execution flaw in its Microsoft Office desktop productivity suite. Although .xls files are currently being used to launch the spear phishing attacks, Microsoft said users of other Office applications (Word, PowerPoint, Outlook, Access, etc.) are potentially at risk.”

Everybody I Love You

“Everybody I Love You”

Know you got to run,
Know you got to hide
Still there is a great life
Lingerin’ deep within your eyes.

Open up, open up, baby let me in.

You expect for me to love you
When you hate yourself, my friend.

Everybody, I love you
Everybody, I do

Though your heart is in anger
I need your love to get through
When I tell you I love you
You can believe that it’s true

Everybody, I love you
Everybody, I do.

Niel Young wrote it, CSN&Y did it.

Results 110 of about 183,000,000 for Everybody I love You. (0.14 seconds) ( I’ve got the other 6.59 billion of you covered.)

EZSmirkzz 2-01_05-07 archive

Monday, February 5, 2007

Scubbing the Net and Other Quirks of EZSmirkzz

There seems to be a brouhaha brewing about Amanda getting a paying job with the Edwards campaign, and since I don’t spend much time at Pandagon because they have really confused cats over there, or to phrase it better, they have a cat, or used to have a cat, that causes confusion amongst some people unfamiliar with cats of that sort.

Anyway forget all that, lets talk about me.

Like having an “anonymous” nickname which prohibits,inhibits, and just flat aggravates serious journalists, scrubbing my work is a re-enforcing tactic I use so that said journalists cannot use me as a direct reference, without having developed a modicum of internet savvy, such as using search engines and such, to verify what I link to or reference.

Bloggers figured that out years ago. If you link here it is going to be 404 sooner rather than later. That is why I try to distinguish this effort from the blogs in the blogoshere or blogistan, depending on the neighborhood your in, so that no one confuses being hosted on blogger, as actually inferring that one is a blogger.

This is my entertainment, for you, as well as myself, and frankly I don’t want to read it again after it’s done. Hopefully it will keep Hillary from calling too. So far that’s been working great. Hopefully the three letter boys won’t call either.

Ultimately it is mine, and I have copies of it all, and I don’t post up everything I write just because I can. Over the course of the centuries of human existence I would venture that 99 percent of the best and most creative work of man has been lost because it wasn’t recorded by the important people of their time, and while I don’t think I reach that level myself, I at least hope to keep good company. The rest of the world can do as it wishes, as in all things human, YMMV.

HT to the blogs of spheres.

I Too, Snarf the Intertubes

Stand Up And Be Counted

Digby has a fantastic post on the recent James Fallows article in The Atlantic regarding stopping escalation in Iraq and also stopping the ramp up to war with Iran that keeps rumbling out of the Bush Administration with all the force of the neocon hunger behind it. As Digby says:

In a sane world, the congress would move very quickly on this before that notion jells. But it won’t, because they believe they must allow the president to have all “options on the table,” — a “duty” which Republicans repeatedly failed to fulfill when Clinton was in office and which an earlier group of Democrats understood to be nonsense. Still, that seems to be where they are, at least with respect to Iran. Not only are they not prepared to stop it, they are either silent on the issue or actively supporting the premise upon which the president’s argument is built.

Still, we must at least begin to make this case and this James Fallows article is an excellent first step. I particularly liked this part, because it is absolutely true and shows the seriousness of the danger we are in:

If we could trust the Administration’s ability to judge America’s rational self-interest, there would be no need to constrain its threatening gestures toward Iran. Everyone would understand that this was part of the negotiation process; no one would worry that the Administration would finally take a step as self-destructive as beginning or inviting a war.

But no one can any longer trust the Administration to recognize and defend America’s rational self-interest — not when the President says he will carry out a policy even if opposed by everyone except his wife and dog, not when the Vice President refuses to concede any mistake or misjudgment in the handling of Iraq.

We are dealing with an administration that handled the overriding message of the mid-term election by doing exactly the opposite and escalating the war. They are not responsive to anything, not even political considerations. They are obsessed with their own legacy and if that means selling their own party down the river, they will do that too. There is nothing to stop them.

But there is something to stop them. A welling up of sentiment from the voters of this nation, so strong that it cannot be ignored. If ever there were a time to stand up and be counted — to tell your elected representatives exactly how you feel and why — this is it.

Which makes this about as many blockquotes as you’re apt to see in a single blogpost.

Constructive Criticism

Turning Syria: Lessons from Libya

We need to drop our counter-productive obsessions with regime change and do a deal that offers Syria’s rationalists an arrangement that meets their needs and begins to turn our fortunes a more positive direction in the Middle East.

There’s a link to a NYTimes article that I’m off to read, so maybe there may be an update later. I’ll check with the editor and publisher on that. (He said cool.)

I Wish I Put Things Like This, Like That

Then I wouldn’t have to yank the post down.

Neocons to Iraq: Screw You
Charles Krauthammer: moral monster

The ugly secret of the neocons is that their program of “regime change” throughout the Middle East doesn’t mean taking down tyrannies and replacing them with governments of a more democratic or even liberal character – it means toppling one regime and replacing it with… nothing. Michael Ledeen, the Machiavelli of this crowd, calls it “creative destruction.” I’m not sure how creative it is – although I guess it depends on what you’re trying to create – but clearly, by these standards, they have every right to claim Iraq as a “victory” and crow “Mission accomplished!”

The Intellectual Warriors

If you read the post that referenced the article referenced here in the New Yorker, then this from the WaPo will clarify things a bit.

As close to an Eleventh Dimension post as I get.

Update: The essay reference in the WaPo is here in PDF or
via Google.

AIPAC, Israel and the Non Monolithic Jewish People

I wonder if I have a strangely weird take on all of this, something in my mind that can compartmentalize these things as closely related, but distinct entities, which require completely different levels of thinking about and responding to on my part, or if in fact the only thing worse in America than being a liar is telling the truth, which is probably the more accurate observation

You have probably guessed that I would start with AIPAC which is a lobby, and as with all lobbies has policy agenda’s that the lobby advocates with members of the government just as any other lobby does, and in that context that’s all it really is. Hardly different from any other lobby, other than the conflation of the other two distinct subjects, Israel, and who, and what are Jews, within the mindset of those who are not Jewish.

It is not an easy subject to broach since the distinction between Judaism, and Jews, is lost on most people, and is not something that Christians spend a lot of time looking into, at least in my neck of the woods. That’s a shame since it is such a fascinating topic, but I have discovered that not only does it exist, but that there are wide diversification within Jewish thinking on the topics. On the other hand no one likes to be misrepresented, and some resent non Jews from even making an attempt at understanding these things, or more apropos, commenting on them, although in my limited experience, I have found these people to be far and few between, and less so, as I have learned more about the topics, and started to stop putting my foot in my mouth as regularly as I do on other topics.

As the Middle East is in turmoil right now it opens one up to a lot of controversy if one wishes to get to the meat of any problem, which only few people are willing to engage in publicly. “Fools rush in where Angels dare to tread,” as some would say, although I prefer the, “God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference,” method, as you may have noted, and perhaps you have already assigned the former role rather than the latter to me. Obviously I care a lot about other’s opinions of me, but I do try.

Unfortunate we live in times when silence is more dangerous than speaking out, and there is just no end to the twits with microphones that seek to exacerbate division, rather than seek a common ground other than their own narrow views, paranoia and jingoism. This isn’t exclusive to the right in ideological terms, nor the top in populist terms, but at the moment it is they who are pushing their narrow and often hidden agendas for peace through eternal war.

I would only ask patience then, from any Jewish and red necked readers, and would hope that any misconceptions of the topic might be clarified in a way that is educational and not confrontational. I cannot address any differences of opinions on my conclusions, since those conclusions are subject to change with increased understanding on my part, and there is not any consensus within the Jewish community that I know of, as that community is not as monolithic within itself as it may appear to be from without.

I would also like to interject at this point, that without the Jewish and Moslem peoples, preserving and refining of the ancient Greek philosophies that the West would be a far different place, and so would the Christian religion as it is understood today, without their efforts, and those who hate or disparage individuals of either group merely for being a Jew or a Muslim are probably woefully unsuited to the discussion, and so historically ignorant of their own culture that they most likely need to start reading more books, and fewer blogs, but that never stopped me, so wade on in the water will warm.

AIPAC is selling something, to somebody, and as such it has no moral denotation implicit to it. It does however inherit moral connotations from those who react to it. That can range from anti-Semitism, which is just bigotry toward Jews, and as such leaves off the other Semitic peoples who are not of the ancient kingdom of Judah, the tribes of Judah, Benjamin, Levi, and Simeon, and of course the other ten tribes of the ancient kingdom of Israel which also included the tribes of Levi and Simeon, and is referred to sometimes by some Israelis as Samaria, (such as Ariel Sharon did,) in reference to the land, and Ephraim when it devolves into the religion of the Jewish people.

On the other hand there are others who may have problems with AIPAC because they perceive it as being a corrupted lobbying effort, (which ones aren’t to some extent?,) or of having an American second mindset, and as such being part of the ubiquitous fifth column that has existed in America since the Presidency of John Adams. America must have internal enemies so the two parties can point out that they are not that, nor sympathetic to it, and hence the American political red herring dialog limits any open and honest debate about AIPAC in particular, and Israel in general, in this instance, but there will always be replacements for the Royalists Tories, and the republicans of Revolutionary France of Adams time for whipping boys.

For me, AIPAC is just another lobby to watch like a hawk, because the power to do great good also carries the power to do great harm. Power too, has no moral denotation, but it acquires its’ own connotations from those who wield it, and from those who do not. There is little difference between an abusive empire and abusive spouse, or parent, as far as the abused are concerned. Whether it is more moral to beat and kill the spouse, or child of another individual with fists or bombs, acting as either as an individual or as a state, I’ll leave to you at this juncture.

That Israel is a nation state is pretty obvious from its’ chartering from the United Nations Mandate inherited from the League of Nations. Its’ citizens are not all Jewish, and as such there is anti-Semitism in Israel as well. It goes with the turf of being a Jew. Not everyone in the world is going to like you, and many will have learned hatred of you merely for having the temerity for having been born Jewish, or God forbid, (tongue in cheek,) having converted to be so. Muslims will also have the same sort of response from different people with the same learned emotions, just as any other group of people in the news in America today does.

As a nation state one would expect Israel to conform to the norms of nation states, and like all other nation states, to be criticized for its’ failure to do so. There are those who disagree with that, for whatever reason, but here in the United States we call those who criticize American malfeasance in obeying the law, the “Blame America First,” crowd. It goes with the turf of having had the temerity of being born in America, or God forbid, (tongue in other cheek,) having become a naturalized citizen, which excludes you from the right to criticize American policy according to the, blame anyone else but us, crowd.

Americans don’t much care for the sixth column of an open mind, and despite its’ rhetorical flare for freedom of speech, this conversation is usually limited to the corners of fellow travelers, which tends to reinforce opinions already held, but hopefully this will break the ice on a conversation that is long over due. AIPAC is not and should not advocate for more or less than what it is chartered to do, nor should expect to advocate positions that are detrimental to the national interests of the United States. This is another debate that is fogged over and not discussed, but it is critical that it be done. No nation is sovereign if its foreign policy is controlled, or perceived to be controlled, by a foreign power. Whether anyone likes it or not, this is our current situation, and the ignorance of the American public to the realities of these issues make them easily manipulated by one and all. I do not think we can afford the luxury anymore.

Social Networking, and How Things Work, or Fall Apart

Social Science and the “War on Terror”

Knowing the Enemy,” by George Packer (The New Yorker, Dec 18, 2006), is a fascinating article about the social science needed to prevail against Islamic terrorism, which the author argues is best characterized as a counterinsurgency.

Just in case you missed it, a reminder that web rings and blogger’s blogrolls perform many of the same functions as office networks or any social networks.

That’s why it’s considered OK to pinch stuff here and never mention where you got it, because I obviously don’t belong to your network. That doesn’t mean I’m not asshole anus, it just means that you are too, but your network considers it cool, or OK.

It also makes it difficult for you to figure out what I’m up to, even when I’m not up to anything at all.

Updated for those who prefer not be called such things.

Updated 2 for those two readers who have shared the info, (imbedded update3: and so would be excluded from any and all references to orifices,)and increased readership here dramatically, to four.

Sunday, February 4, 2007

Are you A Liberal, Jew or Otherwise, Antisemite?

Take this quiz and find out.
By Joe Lanzmann
Posted Friday, Feb. 2, 2007, at 1:13 PM ET

After years of rising concern about left-wing anti-Semitism, the New York Times reported this week about a study for the American Jewish Committee. Written by professor Alvin Rosenfeld of Indiana University, the study describes the spread of a virulent anti-Zionism in many quarters on the left that has helped legitimate anti-Semitism. Some people have seized on the study to argue that these extreme anti-Zionists are really anti-Jewish bigots. Critics reply that criticizing Israel, even harshly, doesn’t prove animus toward the Hebrew people.

So, how can you tell if you’re a good liberal who simply thinks the West Bank settlements are bad policy—or a closet Judeophobe whose progressive views mask a serious attitude problem? Take this quiz and see.

Strangely funny in an odd sort of way.

Follow the links after the survey and see what the fuss is all about. It really is worth a read, and the follow ups to the article are good too.

The Message is Clear, the President is Deaf

The Message in the Body Count

Of course so is Congress.

Britain’s Pat Tillman Case

Why won’t the US tell us how Matty died?
Trooper Hull died in a hail of ‘friendly fire’ from our American allies in Iraq in 2003. Last week an inquest echoed to the fury of a coroner and the grief of a widow, but failed to answer why such a terrible accident happened. Here we reveal how ministers have battled for years to force the US to uncover the truth of this tragedy

Mark Townsend
Sunday February 4, 2007
The Observer

See the previous post.

Syria Replaces Iran as Current Whipping Boy for Failure in Iraq

Syria accused over Iraq attacks

I’m sure we’ll hear howls of protest from the rightstag over this AP report,

Speaking on al-Arabiyah television, Mr al-Dabbagh said many of the insurgents emanated from neighbouring Syria.

“Fifty per cent of terrorism enters Iraq from Syria, and we have evidence” to prove that, the Associated Press news agency reported.

Of course it comes from a reliable Iraqi source. Bwahaahaa

“The Interior Ministry and the Ministry of State for National Security gave them [the Syrians] evidence about those who are conspiring and are sending car bombs. We gave them the numbers of their apartments and the buildings where they live,” he said.

The Interior Department, huh?

The Mid East ought to be exporting mushrooms instead of oil. Talk about a renewable resources, this spigot has no valves.

Meanwhile, Back At TheRanch

via Informed Comment

Murdoch Confesses To Propaganda On Iraq

by

Murdoch was asked if News Corp. had managed to shape the agenda on the war in Iraq. His answer?

“No, I don’t think so. We tried […] We basically supported the Bush policy in the Middle East…but we have been very critical of his execution.”

And the bracketed dots disappear here.

No big surprise from the man that said $20 a barrel oil would be like a tax cut, before the war.

He also observed that News Corp and the other Industrial Media Complex pimps couldn’t catapult the propaganda like they used to because of the Intertubes, etc, yada, yada, yada.

Oh, well, that’s news.

Saturday, February 3, 2007

IPCC for The Eleventh Dimension, and Conservative With Issues

via the blue one, updated3:40p way down yonder.

No clue about AR4

I must be really important because Glenn Reynolds has made a specious attack on me based on something I wrote, not in a post, but in a comment on another blog. I wrote that the sea level projections in the draft AR4 report were similar to those in the previous report. Reynolds:

Number problems for Tim Lambert? Color me unsurprised.

He links to Tim Blair, who cleverly quotes me like this:

Lambert looks for a way out: “I didn’t say the numbers were the same, merely similar.” The numbers in question are … 59 and 88.

No, those aren’t the numbers in question. Blair left out my next sentence: “And the comparison is 59cm + extra from accelerating ice flows versus 88cm.” Now I don’t think that Blair was being deliberately deceitful here, but it’s clear he has no clue what is going on in the comparison. The team at RealClimate (several of whom were AR4 authors) explains

Of course far be it for me to suggest reading something besides the blogs, fellows, and now that I think of it, does anyone even remember when GR wrote a post longer than his nose? Sheesh, four years ago he was worth reading just to get the war party wing of the libertarians point of veiw, but he seems to be redduced to nano posting today. Maybe the other G will catch a clue and do us a favor.

Update from TPM:

You may not have noticed but this week’s UN report on global climate change based its estimate of a 1- to 2-foot rise in sea levels over the next 100 years on computer modeling which took into account only the volumetric increase in sea water as it warms. The estimate for sea level rise did not include melting glaciers and icecaps. While this was duly noted in most of the coverage I saw, it was often buried. The WSJ has a piece today on how much more dire the effects of climate change may be if you consider melting ice and increased cloud cover, neither of which factors the current computer models handle very well. — David Kurt

Speaking of Wankers

Edited for update: Via ACW, Total Wonkerr

Weekly Standard Wankathon

Michael Goldfarb wrote this post about the Telegraph’s North Korea/Iran nonsense. He said nice things about Jeffrey and me, but I think he’s being kind of dishonest. Or he may just fail to understand what we wrote.

The main problem is that he implies that Jeffrey and I were skeptical about the story (true) but have since deemed it more plausible (false). He also claims (falsely) that additional evidence has made the claim more plausible. [Here’s Jeffrey’s original post on the subject.]

Here’s another money quote;

Update:

Goldfarb responded. I’m glad he made clear where our opinions end and his begin.

Personally, I find this sentence to be troubling, for obvious reasons:

We must assume the worst about these two regimes, and any evidence that confirms those assumptions ought to be treated as serious, rather than dismissed out of hand.

Whatever. Absence of evidence is absence of evidence. “Some guy wrote it in the paper” is not evidence.

Yeah, but what if ” I heard it on TV?” Sheesh. It’s a full time job keeping up eith the war mongers.

Iran Scam – Scheming Ourselves Out of Iraq

No, it doesn’t have to involve Iran/Contra, BCCI, failing savings and loans, banks in Florida, or other non-issues for a reasonably brain dead, “mainstream media outlets,” like Brit Hume pretends he isn’t part of, being part of the FOX Clueless Netwerk is an exemption, like being a conservative with issues and a bullhorn, or a member of the US Senate, which imbues one with a clairvoyance on all things, all and all. Nope, I’m not going to touch on all those things, as it is hard to be reasonable and polite about somethings, so just forget about it and be happy.

This however, from JMM is interesting

This suggests a series of questions, the most obvious of which is whether we’re in the process of being gamed much as we were in 2002 when we allied with Saudi Arabia (which had a lot to do with 9/11) against Iraq (which had nothing to do with 9/11) to defend ourselves against another 9/11. Of course, I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention how we were also allied with Pakistan (a highly unstable, quasi-Islamist regime with nuclear weapons and a big nuclear weapons program proliferator) to make sure secular Iraq didn’t get nuclear weapons it didn’t have to give to terrorists it wasn’t allied with. But I digress …

The point is that there’s a certain illogic in our thinking that Iran is the prime destablizer of Iraq when you consider that we are currently allying ourselves with the forces in Iraq that the Iranians would probably be happy to see run the place. I know it’s not quite that simple. SCIRI is more the mullahs’ choice, not the al Dawa folks which is where Maliki comes from. But then the last I heard we were angling to dump Maliki in favor of the SCIRI folks anyway. In any case, I won’t be a fool enough to try to disentangle the intricacies of Iraq’s sectarian and partisan divisions. But we do seem to be doing a decent job driving the Iraqi car in the direction of Iran on our own. And the ‘insurgency’ is still in the Sunni heartland, though now there is near open war between the Sunni ‘insurgents’ and the Shia para-militaries.

Which leads to this John Pilger article posted at Antiwar

Unlike Israel and the United States, Iran has abided by the rules of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, of which it was an original signatory and has allowed routine inspections under its legal obligations – until gratuitous, punitive measures were added in 2003, at the behest of Washington. No report by the International Atomic Energy Agency has ever cited Iran for diverting its civilian nuclear program to military use. The IAEA has said that for most of the past three years its inspectors have been able to “go anywhere and see anything.” They inspected the nuclear installations at Isfahan and Natanz on 10 and 12 January and will return on 2 to 6 February. The head of the IAEA, Mohamed El-Baradei, says that an attack on Iran will have “catastrophic consequences” and only encourage the regime to become a nuclear power.

and includes this little graf as well,

The well-informed Arab Times in Kuwait says Bush will attack Iran before the end of April. One of Russia’s most senior military strategists, General Leonid Ivashov says the US will use nuclear munitions delivered by Cruise missiles launched in the Mediterranean. “The war in Iraq,” he wrote on 24 January, “was just one element in a series of steps in the process of regional destabilization. It was only a phase in getting closer to dealing with Iran and other countries. [When the attack on Iran begins] Israel is sure to come under Iranian missile strikes. Posing as victims, the Israelis will suffer some tolerable damage and then an outraged US will destabilize Iran finally, making it look like a noble mission of retribution . . . Public opinion is already under pressure. There will be a growing anti-Iranian hysteria, leaks, disinformation etcetera . . . It remains unclear whether the US Congress is going to authorize the war.”

Now, Russia does have, to be reasonably polite, credibility problems, unless we overlook their contention that North Korea had set off a multi kiloton range nuke in their test, or the observations from there that there was no evidence of any Chinese satellites disappearing over Siberia. But W has seen that soul scene thing, and YMMV with that stuff. Personally I think Putin would fit right in in DC, a Vice Premier for the VP, kinda fitting in. He would be considered a Soviet expert too.

Friday, February 2, 2007

Holocaust 2

via Ezra Klein, Mr. Rosenbergs article from the Israeli Policy Forum

You know you are in trouble when it takes former Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu to dispel some of the gloom about the Iranian nuclear threat to Israel. But that is what happened at last month’s Herzliya Conference on National Security. The annual conference has become the most prestigious venue in Israel for discussions of Israeli and global security by high-ranking political leaders, military figures and academics.

Netanyahu said: “I am optimistic, and my optimism is not baseless, because I understand our capabilities….”

snip…

Netanyahu’s statement was a reminder that Israel is far from helpless. It is a strong military power and, although he would not say this in so many words, reportedly has 200 atomic weapons of its own.

A nuclear attack on Israel by anyone would be suicidal and there are few, if any, governments in the world that would be willing to sacrifice millions of its own people to eliminate its enemies. (Those who argue that Iranians or Muslims in general – unlike Westerners — would happily see their cities destroyed and their children consumed in a nuclear jihad are talking nonsense. The Mullahs themselves are calculating and dangerous; they are not suicidal. And it is they, not Pres. Ahmadinejad, who call the shots).

Nevertheless, Israel’s powerful deterrent is continually being downplayed by those who insist that the Israeli state is essentially as vulnerable as the Jews of Europe were in 1939.

Wouldn’t it be a good idea to actually think this through, by informing ourselves of the historical realities, and the present ones, before we go pre-emptive for more bogosity?

Juat wondering.

Global Warming, from a Journalist, not a Conservative

Worse than we thought

Maybe this will help out the Senator from Olahoma, but it is a written question so he may want to ask math teacher.

Average temperatures could increase by as much as 6.4C by the end of the century if emissions continue to rise, with a rise of 4C most likely, according to the final report of an expert panel set up by the UN to study the problem. The forecast is higher than previous estimates, because scientists have discovered that Earth’s land and oceans are becoming less able to absorb carbon dioxide.

snip advert

The previous IPCC report, in 2001, said that failure to act could bring global warming of up to 5.8C by 2100.

So let me see here,

6.4
-5.8
——-
0.6

or
5.8
-4.0
——
1.8

So if one takes half the information one wishes to use, then yeah, you could say that global warming isn’t rising as fast as previously thought.

But if we take the 4 degree celsius as a bench mark,

A 4C rise or higher this century would see the world warm almost as much in 100 years as it did during the 15,000 years since the end of the last ice age.

And from there we go here and we get these;

Australian-based Greenie Watch, the work of a retired university lecturer in Brisbane, said that sea levels were unlikely to rise significantly – though perhaps even the lowest estimate of 18cm might seem like a lot if you live on a Pacific atoll.

Greenies betrayed by their pet … The latest IPCC report is not scary enough for the Greenies. It says that sea levels are unlikely to rise much!

Similarly, a blog on the website of the conservative US publication the National Review compares the estimates of global temperature increases in the latest publication and in the previous IPCC report in 2001:

Yes, the IPCC has actually lowered even the lower band of its projections, despite all the hype that it has raised it upwards … No wonder the alarmists are in a tizzy.

Finally, a mention to a pair of blogs which sum up opinion in particularly succinct ways.

Firstly, JK Beck, who blogs under the slogan “Nothing’s fact until it’s history, and then it’s debatable’. The complete post reads:

Shock IPCC climate finding – human blamed for climate change.

Meanwhile, The Elephant Bar covers the report under this headline:

IPCC Report Says ‘Bend Over, Kiss Your Ass Goodbye.’

Which puts the good Senator and man with issues in good company with the bloggers. But we already knew that, didn’t we?

You Mean People Get Paid For Doing This?

Glenn Greenwald has gone and got himself a paying blog, which seems to have some everyones knickers in a knot, so you go Glenn, and good luck.

I may be a contrararity of an old f*rt school, and y’all get this here blogity goodness on the cheap, which is cool with me, because if you can’t say I have short arms and deep pockets, then cheap is pretty accurate, and I am obliged to acknowledge your good traits as well.

I may despise greed, but I don’t have any rubs against anyone making a living off of their work. Before the blogosphere was the blogosphere I was a regular at the public libraries because they tended to get things like The Texas Observer, New York Times, Wall Street Journal, etc., and such, which were free reads, and d*mned if they didn’t let me borrow their books too. So cheap and free is good too.

I can also remember a rather well known reporter for a national TV network trying to get me to write in a competition for prizes, at a sponsored web site, and I declined, since it seemed odd for me to compete with other people in talking about stuff that other people, other than the previously mentioned other people, thought was a good idea to talk about.

Molly would have loved the previous graf if she wasn’t busy at the time she had read it, which wouldn’t be likely, as she knows how I write. She’s the one who covered for me awhile back, and taught me it was more palatable to say sumb*tch, instead of my heretofore, (back then,) rather less than likely to roll smoothly off the ears of the intended subject’s ears, enunciations of the term. It was a good lesson in persuasive argumentation, which hopefully, has rolled down the years onto other ears. Like Anne Richards, she’ll be missed, although Molly will always be on hand because she had a unique voice, and a unique way of expressing it, so it stuck in my head. She also got paid for it too, unless she didn’t.

So I don’t really see what all the fuss is all about if Glenn, or all the other names I could drop, get paid for writing or talking about what they want to talk about, whether it’s through advertising running capitalist dogs on their blogs or television shows, or if it’s a paying job for others, be they running capitalist dogs, or godless, socialist/communist, running dogs. That dog, and Dick Cheney, just don’t hunt around here, so I like to sit on the porch and kick pigs, to pinch a line.

Of course the job part is a little disconcerting, since I always thought you had to hate your job, and that’s why someone paid you to do it. Obviously I’m alright wrong and the whole world’s not screwed up on this topic, but I’m right about other things, so it all equals out in the karma. (little editing there)

So if you want free, go the library, or come here, with the caveat that any one of us is apt to disappear at any moment, although if I do I’ll be at the library if it’s still there. You gotta watch those libraries, though, they’re sneaky.

Update3: replaced 3 vowels with *

How Much Worse

via IragSlogger;

The Intelligence Community judges that the term “civil war” does not adequately capture the complexity of the conflict in Iraq, which includes extensive Shia-on-Shia violence, al-Qa’ida and Sunni insurgent attacks on Coalition forces, and widespread criminally motivated violence. Nonetheless, the term “civil war” accurately describes key elements of the Iraqi conflict, including the hardening of ethno-sectarian identities, a sea change in the character of the violence, ethno-sectarian mobilization, and population displacements.

See here for a .pdf of the complete declassified version. nie_iraq.pdf

Groundhog Day?

Am I the only one who wonders if today is in fact the day that any of the said prognosticating critters would have emerged from their burrow, of their own initiative, so as to actually be as accurate as say, the mule in Abraham Lincoln’s joke?

Whose on First? Again??!!

Mahdi Army gains strength through unwitting aid of U.S.

After U.S. units pounded al-Sadr’s men in August 2004, the cleric apparently decided that instead of facing American tanks, he’d use the Americans’ plans to build Iraqi security forces to rebuild his own militia.

So while Iraq’s other main Shiite militia, the Badr Brigade, concentrated in 2005 on packing Iraqi intelligence bureaus with high-level officers who could coordinate sectarian assassinations, al-Sadr went after the rank and file.

His recruits began flooding into the Iraqi army and police, receiving training, uniforms and equipment either directly from the U.S. military or from the American-backed Iraqi Defense Ministry.

via TPMmuckraker

Cheap Skates

Scientists offered cash to dispute climate study

Ian Sample, science correspondent
Friday February 2, 2007
The Guardian

Scientists and economists have been offered $10,000 each by a lobby group funded by one of the world’s largest oil companies to undermine a major climate change report due to be published today.

Letters sent by the American Enterprise Institute (AEI), an ExxonMobil-funded thinktank with close links to the Bush administration, offered the payments for articles that emphasise the shortcomings of a report from the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).

The highest profits EVAH, and all the scientists get is 15 minutes in rent by the hour and room?

Honest Republicans Lurking in Florida

Mr. Crist, a Republican, at times drew whoops and applause when he announced his plan at the South County Civic Center in Palm Beach County, the epicenter of the 2000 election standoff and home of the infamous “butterfly ballot” that confused many voters. The touch screens had replaced the punch-card systems that caused widespread problems that year.

“You should, when you go vote, be able to have a record of it,” Mr. Crist told a few hundred mostly older citizens at the civic center, in Delray Beach, where many residents said they accidentally voted for Patrick J. Buchanan in 2000 instead of Al Gore because of the confusing ballot design. “That’s all we’re proposing today. It’s not very complicated; it is in fact common sense. Most importantly, it is the right thing to do.”

Hope this post doesn’t cause you too much grief Governor.

Thursday, February 1, 2007

While America Slept

Non binding resolutions
over binding graves,
non solution resolutions
over unending staves.

How do you sleep
How do you sleep
Others awake to a wake.
How do you wake?

Resolution institution
money men on the dole,
revolution’s restitution
in and out they stroll.

Poor man fights a rich man war
that slowly winds into one more,
holy men rising to the bait
everyone fishes at heavens gate.

How do you sleep
How do you sleep,
just another wake
How do you wake?

Edited: Because it’s mine.

Get Your War On

News breaking out of the Congressional Budget Office: While the president has been saying the ‘surge’ will be 21,500 troops. Actually it will be between 35,000 and 48,000. More momentarily.

Update: We’ve got the analysis for you here.

— Josh Marshall

So we should only need another six or seven peps in the WH Press office to help out with the snow jobs.

Edited for John McCain —

.meop ysuol a hcus saw ti esuaceb deteled
In a far left sort of way, there John.

Something in the UN Charter…

Bomb, Bomb, Bomb, Bomb-Bomb Iran

The deployment of two aircraft carrier task forces to the Persian Gulf is a direct and deliberate challenge to Iran. As newly minted Secretary of Defense Robert Gates said recently:

the addition of another aircraft carrier task force to the Persian Gulf is both to show the level of American commitment to the region, and to remind Iran just how much firepower sits off it’s southern coast.

That my friends is called sabre rattling. We also have news that Bush authorized capture/kill operations against Iranians inside Iraq, which came on the heels of a U.S. raid on an Iranian diplomatic mission in northeast Iraq and resulted in the capture of five Iranians awaiting their diplomatic credentials. If you are Iran you take these as more than mere emtpy symbolic gestures.

Yeah, Distrust is Liable to Hit the Floor

via Laura Rozen

U.S. officials promised last week to provide evidence of Iranian activities that led President Bush to announce Jan. 10 that U.S. forces would begin taking the offensive against Iranian agents who threatened Americans.

But some officials in Washington are concerned that some of the material may be inconclusive and that other data cannot be released without jeopardizing intelligence sources and methods. They want to avoid repeating the embarrassment that followed the March 2003 invasion of Iraq, when it became clear that information the administration cited to justify the war was incorrect, said the officials, who described the internal discussions on condition of anonymity.

“We don’t want a repeat of the situation we had when [then-Secretary of State] Colin L. Powell went before the United Nations,” said one U.S. official, referring to Powell’s 2003 presentation on then-Iraqi President Saddam Hussein’s unconventional weapons program that relied on evidence later found to be false. “People are going to be skeptical.”

It’s from the LAT, and she has the link.

Bad Beans in Boston

Might be a new Nic here,

Let’s get a few facts straight on the Aqua Teen Hunger Force sign fiasco:

1. Attorney General Martha Coakley needs to shut up and stop using the word “hoax.” There was no hoax. Hoax implies Turner Networks and the ATHF people were trying to defraud or confuse people as to what they were doing. Hoax implies they were trying to make their signs look like bombs. They weren’t. They made Lite-Brite signs of a cartoon character giving the finger.

2. It bears repeating again that Turner, and especially Berdovsky, did absolutely nothing illegal. The devices were not bombs. They did not look like bombs. They were all placed in public spaces and caused no obstruction to traffic or commerce. At most, Berdovsky is guilty of littering or illegal flyering.

3. The “devices” were placed in ten cities, and have been there for over two weeks. No other city managed to freak out and commit an entire platoon of police officers to scaring their own city claiming they might be bombs. No other mayor agreed to talk to Fox News with any statement beyond “no comment” when spending the day asking if this was a “terrorist dry run.”

4. There is nothing, not a single thing, remotely suggesting that Turner or the guerilla marketing firm they hired intended to cause a public disturbance. Many have claimed the signs were “like saying ‘fire’ in a crowded theater.” Wrong. This was like taping a picture of a fire to the wall of a theater and someone freaked out and called the fire department.

5. The FCC can’t pull a private cable network’s license,…expletive deleted for virgin eyes and ears

HT and graphic snarf aqui Fair use yada yada yada, blah, blah, blah.

A Couple of Notes for the Reality Based

From the Consent of the Governed
by GreyHawk

A Libertarian Perspective
by Dharmajim

Are the Good Times Really Over For Good ?

Tomgram: Chalmers Johnson, Nemesis on the Imperial Premises

via Juan Cole;

Why Nemesis Is at Our Door
By Chalmers Johnson

History tells us that one of the most unstable political combinations is a country — like the United States today — that tries to be a domestic democracy and a foreign imperialist. Why this is so can be a very abstract subject. Perhaps the best way to offer my thoughts on this is to say a few words about my new book, Nemesis, and explain why I gave it the subtitle, “The Last Days of the American Republic.” Nemesis is the third book to have grown out of my research over the past eight years. I never set out to write a trilogy on our increasingly endangered democracy, but as I kept stumbling on ever more evidence of the legacy of the imperialist pressures we put on many other countries as well as the nature and size of our military empire, one book led to another.

skippity do da

As a continuation of my own analytical odyssey, I then began doing research on the network of 737 American military bases we maintained around the world (according to the Pentagon’s own 2005 official inventory). Not including the Iraq and Afghanistan conflicts, we now station over half a million U.S. troops, spies, contractors, dependents, and others on military bases located in more than 130 countries, many of them presided over by dictatorial regimes that have given their citizens no say in the decision to let us in.

Perhaps you will read the whole thing.

Update: Alas, this too, is linked at dKos. Bad news travels.

Seems to me

you don’t want to talk about it
seems to me,
you just want to turn your pretty heads and walk away

Official Lies Over Najaf Battle Exposed by Dahr Jamail with Ali al-Fadhily

NAJAF, Iraq – Iraqi government lies over the killing of hundreds of Shi’ites in an attack on Sunday stand exposed by independent investigations carried out by IPS in Iraq.

As the saying goes, if it didn’t exist, you’d have to invent it.

So with that in mind, let’s do a little prospective journalism. When the bogus ‘Iran incident’ happens that becomes the predicate for a military attack on Iran, what will it look like?

With the escalating chaos in Iraq and the deteriorating situation in Afghanistan, is it in our interests or not to get into a shooting war with Iran?

We’ve heard a few squawks and warnings from members of Congress. But now is the time for members of the House and the Senate to get serious about asserting some control over this rapid descent.

Or maybe, “Flirting with Disaster,” is more apropos. Tell me if you should know oh wise ones of the talking heads, has Russia entered into your equations? What say you Condi, just there for decoration?