Saturday, January 21, 2006
BERLIN - Part of the ransom money alleged to have been paid by the German government to win the freedom of Iraq hostage Susanne Osthoff last month was found on Osthoff after her release, the German magazine Focus said on Saturday. Without citing its sources, Focus said officials at the German embassy in Baghdad had found several thousand U.S. dollars in the 43-year-old German archaeologist's clothes when she took a shower at the embassy shortly after being freed. The serial numbers on the bills matched those used by the government to pay off Osthoff's kidnappers, the magazine said. ...She was probably a mole for the enemy and thief. She should be charged, tried, convicted and jailed for life as a spy. OH AND HEY: how do we get back that Hizb'Allah terrorist?!?
Osthoff, who converted to Islam and lived in Iraq, was seized heading north from Baghdad on November 25 by gunmen who threatened in a videotape to kill her and her driver unless Germany ended all support for the Iraqi government. Speculation about the circumstances of her kidnapping and release has swirled in the German media since the German government announced on December 18 that she was free. Two days after her release, the German government freed a Hizbollah member jailed for life in 1985 for the murder of a U.S. Navy diver. Berlin has denied a connection between the two events. Osthoff herself caused a stir when she said in an interview at the end of December that she did not believe her kidnappers were criminals.
Other bloggers commenting HERE and HERE.
ASSAD ON THE DEFENSIVE: ANNOUNCES REFORMS; ACCUSES ISRAEL OF ASSASSINATING ARAFAT; AND PORTRAYS HIMSELF AS VICTIM OF GLOBAL PLOT
Syrian President Bashar al-Assad has said he has decided to carry out political reform. But he gave no details, other than to say he rejected any outside interference in the matter. ...Mr Assad repeated criticism that the UN investigation into the killing of former Lebanese prime minister Rafik Hariri was biased against Syria. He said the investigators had reached their conclusions first and looked for the evidence afterwards. And he strongly hinted that he would refuse the commission's request to give evidence in person in the case.
... But there is still no sign of the major changes that seemed possible when President Assad took office in the year 2000, our correspondent says. There has been no sign that the members of the ruling circle are willing to give away much of their power.
Syrian President Bashar Al Assad accused Israel on Saturday of assassinating former Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat, the cause of whose death 14 months ago remains a mystery. “Of the many assassinations that Israel carried out in a methodical and organised way, the most dangerous thing that Israel did was the assassination of President Yasser Arafat,” Assad told a gathering of Arab lawyers. “This was under the world’s gaze and its silence, and not one state dared to issue a statement or stance towards this, as though nothing happened.”
The Syrian President, Bashar al-Assad, has blamed a "global plot" against the Arab world for his country's deteriorating relations with Lebanon. In a typically combative address at a legal conference in Damascus on Saturday, al-Assad said: "What is happening between Syria and Lebanon is part of a global plot against all Arabs, which has many facets."MIDDLE EAST NEWSLINE:
Iraqi and U.S. troops have launched a major counter-insurgency operation near Syria. Officials said Operation Koa Canyon has sought to capture or kill Sunni insurgents in the western Euphrates River Valley in the Anbar province. They said the operation, which began on Jan. 15. includes 1,000 U.S. soldiers and 300 Iraqi troops.These are all BLATANTLY HOLLOW AND COORDINATED PR MOVES by Assad; they are meant to placate his foes at home and abroad, and to divert attention from his REAL problems: the encroaching Hariri investigation; Khaddam's "government in exile" threat; and our encroaching troops.
The clock is ticking and Assad knows it. Too bad he has not yet accepted the fact that he can no longer control his own fate. If Assad was smart he would work out a deal with us - the USA - allowing him to abdicate and go into exile in return for no prosecution.
[The TAT] article on the fake photo published on the New York Times website has spread far and wide in the blogosphere, and it picked up talk radio coverage from some of the big national shows. It even broke through just a bit to cable news talk. ... [The article] criticized the Times for running the picture without checking. I never implied they created the picture, or did anything other than let it get through their filter. I faulted the Times’ (ahem) editing process for appalling sloppiness. Here’s the key sentence:MY QUESTION: Is Keller an idiot or working for the enemy? Ditto the NYTIMES.
Not only did the editors lack the basic knowledge necessary to detect the fake, they didn’t bother to run the photo past anyone with such knowledge before exposing the world to it.
Although I didn’t discuss the picture being from AFP, I accused the Times of uncritically accepting a picture that must have been staged. If the artillery shell wasn’t used for an attack by a Predator, because Predators don’t fire heavy artillery, someone had to bring the shell there and pose it for a picture. We call such artifacts “propaganda.” In this case, enemy propaganda. ... The Big Question
What is Keller doing about this breach of misplaced trust on the part of his badly-informed organization? Isn’t it his job to fix the problem illustrated by his website having served as a conduit of enemy propaganda?There is no evidence visible to me that the New York Times is pursuing the matter of how AFP came to supply it with what amounts to a propaganda photo. If they are doing so, it is rather discreet. Call me crazy, but I think it should be of some deep concern that they are being fed fake photos from the French. ... The Times has not exactly done its part to undo the damage it did. The correction it published implicitly puts the blame on AFP. The misspelling of “ordnance” as “ordinance” speaks again to the lack of military exposure of the combined AFP/Times quality assurance effort.
But most importantly, [Keller's & the NYTIMES'] correction does not address the real significance of the error: the fact that the picture must be a fake, staged with a prop piece of ordnance, not a missile.
Bill Keller must have read my article before he responded to my article, no? If he is in the habit of sending responses to articles he hasn’t read, he is even more arrogant and careless than I thought. So assuming he read my article, he knows that he has published a fake picture.
Friday, January 20, 2006
Today Judge Alito submitted answers to post-hearing questions posed by members of the Judiciary Committee. Three senators (Kennedy, Leahy, Durbin), however, who already announced their opposition to Judge Alito are among those who submitted written questions. Could there be a clearer example of their lack of interest in what he has to say for himself?"This proves that Teddy Jo and his comrades are total phonies. "Grabs" like this are why I read Betsy's Page everyday - you should too!
I read PP everyday; he highlights and succinctly comments on an excellent range of news items.
Iran is moving its foreign currency reserves out of European banks as a pre-emptive measure against any possible U.N. sanctions over its nuclear program, the Central Bank Governor said Friday.Is this a pre-emptive defensive move which is a prelude to impending sanctions - one meant to at least soften their effect, if not: to make them so worthless as to be taken off the table? Or, do the Iranians know about an impending LARGE SCALE jihadoterrorist attack - in Europe, or the USA, or anyhwere else in the West? After all, this move comes DIRECTLY on the heels of Binladen's announcement/truce-offering/warning: "preparations are underway." I believe that it is in anticipation of a series of large scale jihadoterrorist attacks. JP at Americans for Freedom expressed why very succinctly:
I am toubled by the combination of the following recent events: OBL tape, Amadinejad visiting Damascus, the upcoming IAEA/UN talks, Sharon's incapacitation and Chirac's vow to nuke any state that attacks France with WMDs. Throw this together with the large disposible cell phone purchases in the past couple months in the US and it seems to me that Iran/Syria and Qaeda are whipping up some terror coordination in the near future to prevent action against the Iran nuke regime.More HERE.
Bush's policy NOT to negotiate with terrorists and NOT to seek a truce with terrorists is good. And he should apply it equally in all situations - whether the terrorist is a jihadoterrorist targeting the USA - OR ISRAEL! But time after time after time after time, the Bush Administration twists the arms of Israeli leaders to accept truces with HAMAS and the other jihadoterrorist groups, and to negotiate with them. Rice is as gulty of this as Powell.
This is hypocritical and diminishes the moral clarity of the GWOT - and it diminshes our chances of overall success: the defeat the jihdaoterrorists/islamiofascists enemy we SHOULD engage him aggressively EVERYWHERE, not just where the enemy attacks the USA; we should be on the offense in Iraq, Afghanistan, Thailand, the Philipines, Jordan, Turkey, Chcehnya, Morocco, Egypt, Algeria, the Horn of Africa, AND ISRAEL TOO! ESPECIALLY NOW:
ITEM #1: NZ HERALD: SUICIDE BOMBER INJURES 20 IN TEL AVIV. ITEM #2: "Reuters":
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, on a visit to regional ally Syria, pledged support to militant Palestinian factions at a meeting with their leaders in Damascus on Friday, a Palestinian group said. The talks came a few hours after Israel's defense minister accused Iran and Syria of being directly responsible for Thursday's suicide bombing in Tel Aviv which wounded 30 people.
Truces with jihadoterrorists are ALWAYS a bad idea. (This links to a 1997 article explaining why truces with jihadopterrorists are always a bad idea. YUP: 1997!!!!)
EXCERPT: In Hamas ideology a truce can be offered to the enemies of Islam only for tactical reasons — principally when the enemy is strong and the Muslims are weak. The truce period is to be used to change the balance of forces. When this is accomplished, and the stage has been set for a Muslim victory, the truce must be broken. This strategy follows the practice and teachings of Islam's founder, the Prophet Mohammed, who arranged a 10 year truce with the Quraysh tribe in 628, when his forces were not yet powerful enough to defeat the Quraysh. The truce has been known since then as the "Treaty of Hudaybiyah," after the site near the Quraysh city of Mecca where it was negotiated. Less than 2 years later, when Muslim forces were sufficiently strong, the Quraysh were defeated by the Muslims and Mecca captured. The Arabic term used to describe the truce with the Quraysh was hudna — the same word used by Hamas in their "truce" offers to Israel.We must ignore all truce offers from all jihadoterrorists. The sooner we SMASH the jihadoterrorists EVERYWHERE the sooner we win. This means aggressively supporting REGIME CHANGE in Syria and Iran - AND ALSO IN THE PALESTINIAN TERRITORIES: If Abbas won't fight them (as he is contractually BOUND to do), then the Israelis MUST, and we should not discourage them from doing so, or from assassinating any and ALL leaders of the jihadoterrorist groups which target Israelis.
HECK: the Israelis should be expected and allowed AND ENCOURAGED to do to the jihadoterrorists who are targeting them EXACTLY WHAT WE JUST DID TO THE AL QAEDA IN PAKISTAN: kill them with any and all means necessary. Anything less is a double standard. And that's HYPOCRISY, plain and simple. A hypocrisy which makes it tougher for us to defeat the enemy - it gives jihadoterrorists safe-haven, hope, and a place/cause to rally their adherents. These adherents should be shown that theur cause and their tactics are wrong, and to do this they must be CRUSHED. Everywhere.
I CALL ON BUSH AND CHENEY AND RICE TO QUIT THIS HYPOCRITICAL POLICY. If we don't think it is right or good for us to appease our enemies, then WE MUSTN'T EXPECT OR DEMAND THAT THE ISRAELIS APPEASE THEIR ENEMIES. It's that simple. (More on APPEASEMENT of Israel's enemies HERE - from POWERLINE.)
Thursday, January 19, 2006
Suppose you were appointed global economic czar, and your task was to bring the world’s per capita income up to the level of Ireland’s (almost that of the U.S.). Would you:Like I said: 'Prosperity is the by-product of liberty."(A) Insist the world’s rich nations transfer substantial wealth though massive foreign aid to the poor nations?If you answered “A,” welcome to the Kofi Annan, Jacques Chirac, Gerhard Schroeder school of willful economic ignorance. Graduates of this school are well represented among international institutions, such as the World Bank, and the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development; the political left; and the media elites in such places as the New York Times editorial pages, the BBC and National Public Radio.
(B) Insist all nations adopt policies that would make them as economically free as the top 10 freest economies today?
Fortunately, in their effort to roll back economic ignorance, the Heritage Foundation and the Wall Street Journal produce an annual “Index of Economic Freedom.” Their 2006 Index, the 12th edition, has just been released, and again it shows in stark and unambiguous terms that income, economic growth and opportunity are highly correlated with economic freedom.
The economically freest societies are the most prosperous, and the most economically repressive societies are the poorest.
... the biggest recipients of development aid over the last quarter-century, for the most part, have gone nowhere economically. Egypt (No. 129), the biggest recipient of development aid in the last quarter-century, is a prime example, with a per capita income about 5 percent of Ireland’s.
The lesson is clear for all who will remove their ideological blinders that the road to prosperity is economic freedom, not development aid. International institutions and major donor countries should stop handouts and pressure laggard countries to make free market reforms.
Many on the Left like to see themselves as the symaptheitc and idealistic and unselfish defenders of the poor, and the see conservatives as heartless selfish people who don't care if people stay in poverty. IN FACT, the policies which the Left advocates keep people in poverty - or dependent on government handouts, while policies of ther Right actually lift poor people out of poverty and allows them to become richer and financially independent.
NEED MORE PROOF?! Deng Xiao Ping proved it in China when he inroduced a free markets in agriculture in 1979 and transformed China from a poor starving nation into a richer food exporting nation; in so doing, he lifted 350 MILLION people out of poverty in ten years - perhaps the greatest uplifting of humanity of ALL TIME.
Er um....he didn't do it with Maoism or Marxism or any other form of socialism. He did it by getting socialism OUT of the way, and by implementing conservative, right-wing free market policies and allowing and expanding capitalism and globalism. YUP: The two things the Left hates the most saved the poor people of China - arguably the poorrest nation on Earth at the time.
If we REALLY want to "MAKE POVERTY HISTORY" then - as the Brussels Journals says - we should demand that "International institutions and major donor countries should stop handouts, and pressure laggard countries to make free market reforms.
Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said yesterday that she will shift hundreds of Foreign Service positions from Europe and Washington to difficult assignments in the Middle East, Asia and elsewhere as part of a broad restructuring of the diplomatic corps that she has dubbed "transformational diplomacy." ... As part of the change in priorities, Rice announced that diplomats will not be promoted into the senior ranks unless they accept assignments in dangerous posts, gain expertise in at least two regions and are fluent in two foreign languages, citing Chinese, Urdu and Arabic as a few preferred examples.
Rice noted that the United States has nearly as many State Department personnel in Germany -- which has 82 million people -- as in India, with 1 billion people. As a first step, 100 jobs in Europe and Washington will be immediately shifted to expanded embassies in countries such as India, China and Lebanon. Many of these diplomats had been scheduled to rotate into coveted posts in European capitals this summer, and the sudden change in assignment has caused some distress, State Department officials said.
The voice, attributed to Bin Laden and apparently addressing Americans, said: "The new operations of al-Qaida has not happened not because we could not penetrate the security measures. It is being prepared and you'll see it in your homeland very soon."
"In response to the substance of the polls in the US, which indicate that Americans do not want to fight Muslims on Muslim land, nor do they want Muslims to fight them on their land, we do not mind offering a long-term truce based on just conditions that we will stick to. ... "But what triggered my desire to talk to you is the continuous deliberate misinformation given by your President [George] Bush, when it comes to polls made in your home country which reveal that the majority of your people are willing to withdraw US forces from Iraq. ... We know that the majority of your people want this war to end and opinion polls show the Americans do not want to fight the Muslims on Muslim land, nor do they want Muslims to fight them on their [US] land.
We are a nation that Allah banned from lying and stabbing others in the back, hence both parties of the truce will enjoy stability and security to rebuild Iraq and Afghanistan, which were destroyed by war. "There is no problem in this solution, but it will prevent hundreds of billions from going to influential people and war lords in America - those who supported Bush's electoral campaign - and from this, we can understand Bush and his gang's insistence on continuing the war."
Addressing Americans again, he said: "If your desire for peace, stability and reconciliation was true, here we have given you the answer to your call."
BUT, the NYTIMES leak about the NSA intercepts might have made their chatter less available to interception - a claim made by intelligence officials to JOE KLEIN of TIME magazine.On the tape, the speaker said, "Our mujahedeen were able to overcome all the security measures in European countries, and you saw their operation in major European capitals.
FBI, counterterrorism and intelligence officials say there's been no increase in so-called "chatter," or monitored communications, and no intelligence suggests any terrorist plan is operational or ready to be put in place in the United States.
The voice on the tape said heightened security measures in the United States are not the reason there have been no attacks there since the Sept. 11, 2001, suicide hijackings. Instead, the reason is "because there are operations that need preparations, and you will see them," he saidBBC: "Bin Laden made Europe a similar truce offer following the Madrid train bombings of March 2004." (More on this previous November 2004"offer" HERE (Newsday; this was just before the US election), and the April 2004 "offer" HERE, (MSNBC; this is the one just after the Madrid bombings - AND JUST BEFORE THE LONDON BOMBINGS).
(1) Only yesterday I referred to Binladen as ALIVE (despite recent reports - from ledeen and others) that he was dead. I think he is alive because, until there is proof of the fact that he is dead, I feel we must presume he is alive. (2) On 1/9/06, I believed Zarqawi when he issued a statement that Binladen had ordered the rocket attacks against Israel. And in that post, I warned that Zarqawi's statement contained an ominous warning of a WMD attack in Israel or the USA. Because Binladen has released THIS warning tape, I believe that there will be an attempted major jihadoterrorist SOON, more than ever. (3) On 11/18/05, I again warned that the enemy was desperately trying to WIDEN the war in order to make it tougher for us to combat them militarily. My first warning of this was on 9/25/05. These warnings have been borne out, I believe, by the AL QAEDA rocket attacks against Israel and the suicide-bombing attack in Amman. And now, these TWO statements - one by Zarqawi and this newer one by Binladen - each threaten to widen the war, and attempt MAJOR attacks inside Israel and/or the USA (little Satan and Big Satan).If my assumptions are correct, then I would expect that al Qaeda will attempt an attack in the USA - with WMD - in our major cities, probably the subways in our major cities (because Zarqawi specifically said "DEEP INSIDE" in his statement after the rocket-firng against Israel) - and/or probably against HIGH PROFILE TARGETS (like the Superbowl, or the NYSE, or some such national symbol).
Remember, Islamic law is quite specific about truces. They can only be concluded for a temporary period, so that the Islamic forces can gather strength. Thus this offer, whoever is really making it, may indicate that the mujahedin are feeling the heat of the war on terror in Iraq, and want to give their forces a chance to regroup and regain the upper hand.
Mr. Barrett began his investigation with the narrower issue of whether Mr. Cisneros lied to the Federal Bureau of Investigation when he was being considered for the cabinet position. He ended his inquiry accusing the Clinton administration of a possible cover-up."Cisneros was later pardoned by ... Clinton." What slippery corrupt scum. BOTTOM-LINE: If this had been a GOP Secretary of HUD then it would have been frontpage news for the last seven years. But because the perps were liberals, the MSM gave them all a pass. Pathetic.
His report says Justice Department officials refused to grant him the broad jurisdiction he wanted; for example, Attorney General Janet Reno said he could look at only one tax year. And after Internal Revenue Service officials in Washington took a Cisneros investigation out of the hands of district-level officials in Texas, the agency deemed the evidence too weak to merit a criminal inquiry, a conclusion strongly disputed by one Texas investigator. ... After being indicted on 18 felony counts, Mr. Cisneros pleaded guilty in 1999 to a misdemeanor charge of lying to investigators. He was later pardoned by President Bill Clinton.
ABC News has learned that Pakistani officials now believe that al Qaeda's master bomb maker and chemical weapons expert was one of the men killed in last week's U.S. missile attack in eastern Pakistan. Midhat Mursi, 52, also known as Abu Khabab al-Masri, was identified by Pakistani authorities as one of four known major al Qaeda leaders present at an apparent terror summit in the village of Damadola early last Friday morning.Now that we know this method works, let's unleash these Predator drones and their Hellfire missiles and make shish khabab outta Zarqawi and Binladen!
Washington has frozen all US assets held by Syria's military intelligence chief, accusing him of contributing to violence in Lebanon and Iraq. Asef Shawkat, brother-in-law of President Bashar al-Assad, is said by the US to have promoted terrorism and interference in Lebanese affairs. He is also accused by Washington of playing a direct role in Syria's alleged support for militants in Iraq. ... It is the latest US action apparently aimed at increasing pressure on the Syrian government.The clock is ticking on Assad. I think he may soon work out a deal, abdicate and go into exile. STAY TUNED...
Wednesday, January 18, 2006
In general, I oppose KELO, but it might be just the right thing to save New Orleans.
Ohio's Republican leader wants Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Paul Hackett to apologize for calling some conservative Republicans religious fanatics and comparing them to terrorist mastermind Osama bin Laden. Hackett was unapologetic Tuesday for the comments in a newspaper story, saying religious fanatics of any flavor should be ashamed. "I said it. I meant it. I stand behind it," he said.
Hackett said in a Sunday column in The Columbus Dispatch: "The Republican Party has been hijacked by the religious fanatics that, in my opinion, aren't a whole lot different than Osama bin Laden and a lot of the other religious nuts around the world."
Equating America's religious right with the islamofascists and jihadoterrorists is NO DIFFERENT than calling President Bush "King George BusHitlerburton" or our previous USA AG AshKKKroft. By asserting that America's religious right is as dangerous as Al Qaeda, Paul Hackett has proven that he's as loony as Cindy Sheehan. And - sadly - as loony as so many MANY other Democrats, and much of the McGovernite Democrat Party leadership. Their rhetoric is nothing more than an idiotic blend of shameless and irrational hyperbole, demogogic hate-speech, and thoughtless pandering. Hackett is no different: Hackett has proven that he is NOT FIT for public office, but sadly, he has proven that he is QUITE FIT to get a Democrat Party nomination. How sickening. Especially for me: a registered Democrat since 1974. Jerks like Hackett make me want to puke.
NOTE: When you put Hackett's remarks alongside Hillary's plantation remarks, AND Nagin's chocolate remarks, AND Gore's over-the-top accusations on the NSA intercept brouhaha, AND the shabby treatment Alito received at the hands of Kennedy, Durbin, and Schumer, then a clear picture emerges: the Democrat Party is abso-bloomin-lutely INSANE! (Or under the Svengali-esque control of Rove!) Malkin weighs in HERE, (hat tip Prairie Pundit).
The two lists really drive home the fact that the Left-wing dominated MSM and the Left-wing dominated Democrat Party essentially and repeatedly attack Bush with "fake but accurate" propaganda (which harms our nation) instead of responsible criticsm which might actually strengthen us. This approach makes them (at best) a useless distratcion and (just as often) a Fifth Column. YOU KNOW WHAT?! Most times they're both!
(Here's a link to what the Left said about my list.)
"... polls show that most people continue to support Bush's handling of the war on terrorism. As long as federal surveillance remains targeted on the country's enemies, not on the president's, the public will continue to yawn at hyperbolic criticisms of the commander in chief.RTWT.
Tuesday, January 17, 2006
Russia and China today called for more negotiations with Iran over its nuclear program, a day after rebuffing a call by the Americans and the Europeans for the issue to be put before the United Nations Security Council. But Russia's foreign minister, Sergei Lavrov, also made clear that Iran must shut down the nuclear research program it just reopened before any meaningful negotiations with Europe can resume.I do not trust Putin or the Chinese. I think they might very well be aiding the Iranians' attempts to delay any real move against Iran until it's too late and the genocidal mullah tyrants have nukes. The Russians and Chinese may be doing this because they think a nuclear-armed Iran weakens the USA and Europe and Israel more than it harms them; IOW: it's a classically cold geopolitical play on their part. REMEMBER: China aided AQ KHAN and Russia is building Iran's nuclear reactors.
Russia and China had agreed on that point during a five-hour meeting on in London Monday, with the United States, Britain, France and Germany, according to the British Foreign Office and senior European officials. And the two countries, in a conciliatory gesture, had also agreed not to block a move to convene a special session early next month of the 35 nations that make up the board of the International Atomic Energy Agency in Vienna, according to the officials.
UPDATE: ACE reports that El Baradei is talking a VERY TOUGH game ; in fact, his talk is tougher than Putin's or the Chinese, (and nearly everyone else!); he's even agreeing it may come down to the use of force. I LIKE THAT. (Remember, diplomacy is talking nice to a mad dog as you bend over to pick up a rock.)
Nine Iraqi coastguards have been detained by Iran after a clash on the Shatt al-Arab waterway which marks the Iran-Iraq border, officials say. Basra Governor Muhammad al-Waili said the Iranian Navy had attacked the coastguards after they boarded a ship believed to be smuggling oil. Mr Waili said one Iraqi coastguard was killed, but this was not confirmed by other Iraqi officials. The Shatt al-Arab has long been a source of tension. The commander of the Iraqi regional border force, Brig-Gen Abbas Musawi, called on Iran to free the men immediately.Something like this might trigger all out war between Iraq and Iran. This time: we will aide Iraq and help them destroy the mullah tryanny.
AND I PREDICT that the ACLU will sue to get the list, of those whose calls were intercepted, released.
Is the ACLU in contact with terrorists overseas? Well, of course they are! Now it seems they are paranoid of getting caught!As I further wrote on 12/19/05:
Saying that the Bush administration’s illegal spying on Americans must end, the American Civil Liberties Union today filed a first-of-its-kind lawsuit against the National Security Agency seeking to stop a secret electronic surveillance program that has been in place since shortly after September 11, 2001. ... The lawsuit was filed on behalf of a group of prominent journalists, scholars, attorneys, and national nonprofit organizations (including the ACLU) who frequently communicate by phone and e-mail with people in the Middle East.
The ACLU and the Left will do this IN FULL KNOWLEDGE that these efforts aid the enemy. They don't care: THEY HATE BUSH MORE THAN THEY FEAR THE ENEMY, OR LOVE AMERICA. That's why those on the Left are traitorous scum.Can anyone imagine anybody suing FDR if someone had leaked his secret correspondence with Churchill (begun BEFORE Churchill was PM; while Churchill was merely "First Lord of the Admiralty" and a subordinate to "PM Chamberlain, the Appeaser"!), or if they'd found out about FDR's deliberate and flagrant violations of THE NEUTRALITY ACT - AN ACT OF CONGRESS!?!?? PBS:
They are essentially "9/10" people who would rather we prosecuted jihadoterrorists in an international tribunal like those in The Hague (which DOESN'T have the death penalty), than we retailiated militarily AND transformed the Arab and Muslim world by transforming their backward tyrannical regimes into vibrant democracies.
When France fell to the Nazis in May 1940, Britain stood alone. Roosevelt began a remarkable and voluminous secret correspondence with Britain's prime minister, Winston Churchill. Although Churchill desperately needed American troops, he asked only for arms and ammunition. Roosevelt responded, using his presidential powers to circumvent the Neutrality Act.FDR is rightly ADMIRED for these acts, not disparaged and he certainly wasn't sued by the ACLU. WHY?!
People on the Left were more patriotic then - mostly because we were allied to the USSR, and were in a position to save them. [Unfortunately, because of SPIES AND TRAITORS, (like ALGER HISS, who ran the Yalta Conference on behalf of the US State Department, but - according to the VENONA PAPERS - was really working for Stalin!) the USSR often got the best parts of most bargains.]
Now, the nations which the post modern Left admires most (France, Germany, Russia, and China) are mostly AGAINST the USA and in favor of appeasing the islamofascists and dumping Israel. So, now the American Left opposes their own country tooth and nail. And if that means suing the US government and making our national security weaker (by exposing secrets): so be it; they just don't care. They are fundamentally TRAITORS because they aid and abet our enemies. I wish we would treat them as traitors. I think Bush is too kind and gentle with them.
Monday, January 16, 2006
MATTHEWS: ... For a behind the scenes view as to what is going on inside the highly secret foreign intelligence surveillance court, we turn to Ken Bass, who was a counsel, helped create the court back in ‘78. [Meaning he is probably a liberal Democrat, since Carter was in the White House and the Dems controlled the Congress - reliapundit] ... Do you think that this is an egregious matter here, or just a technical on, the fact that the president hasn‘t gone to the FISA courts, to the surveillance courts, to get approval..This is especially interesting since it was aired on the Left-wing HARDBALL show, hosted by long-time Democrat operative Chris Matthews. BASS was obviously not convinced by anything which has yet been made public to date - INCLUDING ALL THE STUFF IN THE NYTIMES - that Bush has actually done anything wrong. I think the Democrats - and others skeptical about "the NSA International al Qaeda Communications Intercept Program" - would be wise to adopt his concerned and thoughtful tone (and that of Jane Harmon, for another example), rather than the hyperbolic insanity of Gore, Daschle, Pelosi, Dean, Reid, Kennedy and Kerry.
BASS: I don‘t know enough to tell you the answer yet. All the critical factors are still classified. The whole role of the NSA was carefully structured in the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act. We set some provisions in there for the NSA to do what it‘s been doing for decades without going to the FISA court. We‘re not sure at all that what we intended is what‘s going on here. There‘s just way too much ambiguity.
MATTHEWS: I told you before, that the Americans have different reactions. A lot of Americans say this is a time of war, we‘re fighting terrorism. Let‘s not be squeamish about catching the enemy. If somebody‘s been on the phone with an al Qaeda person overseas, let‘s nail the bastard.
That‘s the attitude most of us have. Think it‘s reasonable, if it‘s somebody who‘s actually involved in that kind of terror against the United States, that‘s reasonable. Then again, people say don‘t be checking into my phone lines by accident and don‘t be checking on my stuff, because I may be a liberal or a skeptic about this administration‘s policies. Who draws the line?
BASS: That‘s why we had the FISA court in the first place. The court was going to supervise where the executive drew the line. That whole issue of whether people feel good about it tends to reflect a sort of ambivalence. They say I want civil liberties protected, but I don‘t want to worry about it, because they‘re not going to targeting me.
The fact is, depending on what they are doing, they could be picking up U.S. news people who are in conversation with Iraqis. When they say that they‘re only targeting known al Qaeda, if you listen to the segment you just had, what‘s a known al Qaeda? Is it somebody who happens to be in Iraq at the wrong place at the wrong time?
MATTHEWS: What about this new technology called data mining, where they go out—I don‘t even know this world, but I know it‘s out there— they can look at the world of email and they can look—throw out a big fish net and say let‘s look at everybody who‘s used the phrase Lincoln Tunnel or Empire State Building or Sears Tower.
Anybody between here and that al Qaeda land over there, those Arab countries, is using words like that on the phone, we want to know who they are. Can you go to a FISA court and say went to lasso everybody who‘s used the word Lincoln Tunnel in the past three weeks?
BASS: No, but that‘s not really a new technology. The same thing was happening at the time FISA was passed with a different form of communication.
MATTHEWS: The phone?
BASS: Not the telephone so much. A different form of communication, which I can‘t get into the details. The fact of the matter is that the act was intentionally set up to allow N.S.A. to do data mining, as long as they weren‘t targeting specific individuals.
The issue here is that, based on what the administration has said, it sounds very much like instead of looking for phrases, they‘re looking for individuals. And that they‘ve been targeting Americans, based on evidence that they think is not sufficient to go to the FISA court. That‘s the troubling issue.
MATTHEWS: So the court would have permitted data mining for particular phrases?
BASS: It didn‘t get into the business of data mining phrases?
MATTHEWS: But if it had been asked, it could have said yes?
BASS: It was all prized [sic!?] under the statute and it‘s been done for decades.
MATTHEWS: You‘re the first person to say it, because some people say the reason that this administration didn‘t go to the FISA courts to get approval to intercept key phrases that might have to do with the targeting of U.S. iconic facilities, buildings, is because you can‘t get approval for such a broad scope.
BASS: You can‘t get the approval, but Chris I can assure you, because I worked on the issue when FISA was enacted, that we consciously knew about data mining at that time and we knew that searching for phrases was not to be covered by the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act and it‘s covered through a process of minimizing use of the information. The difference is you‘re not targeting individuals.
MATTHEWS: OK. Thank you very much. Ken Bass.
BOTTOM-LINE: There is probably NO SCANDAL HERE AT ALL. Except for the leak. As for the over-reaction of the Left: that was as predictable as it is off-putting. As Joe Klein wrote (echoing Matthews' comment above - about not being "squeamish"):
Democrats are on thin ice here. Some of the wilder donkeys talked about a possible Bush impeachment after the NSA program was revealed. The latest version of the absolutely necessary Patriot Act, which updates the laws regulating the war on terrorism and contains civil-liberties improvements over the first edition, was nearly killed by a stampede of Senate Democrats. Most polls indicate that a strong majority of Americans favor the act, and I suspect that a strong majority would favor the NSA program as well, if its details were declassified and made known. [...] and until the Democrats make clear that they will err on the side of aggressiveness in the war against al-Qaeda, they will probably not regain the majority in Congress or the country.
(1) "Congressman Barr and I have disagreed many times over the years, but we have joined together today with thousands of our fellow citizens-Democrats and Republicans alike-to express our shared concern that America's Constitution is in grave danger. In spite of our differences over ideology and politics, we are in strong agreement that the American values we hold most dear have been placed at serious risk by the unprecedented claims of the Administration to a truly breathtaking expansion of executive power."
(2) "As we begin this new year, the Executive Branch of our government has been caught eavesdropping on huge numbers of American citizens and has brazenly declared that it has the unilateral right to continue without regard to the established law enacted by Congress to prevent such abuses."
(3) "The New York Times reported that the President decided to launch this massive eavesdropping program 'without search warrants or any new laws that would permit such domestic intelligence collection.' "
(4) "During the period when this eavesdropping was still secret, the President went out of his way to reassure the American people on more than one occasion that, of course, judicial permission is required for any government spying on American citizens and that, of course, these constitutional safeguards were still in place. But surprisingly, the President's soothing statements turned out to be false."
(5) "At present, we still have much to learn about the NSA's domestic surveillance. What we do know about this pervasive wiretapping virtually compels the conclusion that the President of the United States has been breaking the law repeatedly and persisnthtly."
(6) "As the executive acts outside its constitutionally prescribed role and is able to control access to information that would expose its actions, it becomes increasingly difficult for the other branches to police it. Once that ability is lost, democracy itself is threatened and we become a government of men and not laws."
(7) "And the disrespect embodied in these apparent mass violations of the law is part of a larger pattern of seeming indifference to the Constitution that is deeply troubling to millions of Americans in both political parties."
(8) "... the President has also declared that he has a heretofore unrecognized inherent power to seize and imprison any American citizen that he alone determines to be a threat to our nation, and that, notwithstanding his American citizenship, the person imprisoned has no right to talk with a lawyer-even to argue that the President or his appointees have made a mistake and imprisoned the wrong person. The President claims that he can imprison American citizens indefinitely for the rest of their lives without an arrest warrant, without notifying them about what charges have been filed against them, and without informing their families that they have been imprisoned. At the same time, the Executive Branch has claimed a previously unrecognized authority to mistreat prisoners in its custody in ways that plainly constitute torture in a pattern that has now been documented in U.S. facilities located in several countries around the world."
(9) "... after appearing to support legislation sponsored by John McCain to stop the continuation of torture, the President declared in the act of signing the bill that he reserved the right not to comply with it."
(10) "There have of course been other periods of American history when the Executive Branch claimed new powers that were later seen as excessive and mistaken. Our second president, John Adams, passed the infamous Alien and Sedition Acts and sought to silence and imprison critics and political opponents. When his successor, Thomas Jefferson, eliminated the abuses he said: "[The essential principles of our Government] form the bright constellation which has gone before us and guided our steps through an age of revolution and reformation... [S]hould we wander from them in moments of error or of alarm, let us hasten to retrace our steps and to regain the road which alone leads to peace, liberty and safety."
Our greatest President, Abraham Lincoln, suspended habeas corpus during the Civil War. Some of the worst abuses prior to those of the current administration were committed by President Wilson during and after WWI with the notorious Red Scare and Palmer Raids. The internment of Japanese Americans during WWII marked a low point for the respect of individual rights at the hands of the executive. And, during the Vietnam War, the notorious COINTELPRO program was part and parcel of the abuses experienced by Dr. King and thousands of others."
Gore and all the other BDS afflicted politicians should STOP LYING AND DISTORTING or just shut up.
[NOTE: There are a few sane critics of the president's NSA intercept program who have voiced legitimate concerns about the scope of the program and whether there were enough safeguards to ensure that the scope was limited, but Gore is OBVIOUSLY NOT one of them.
I want to remind you all that when the FISC orders SECRET electronic surveillance on a US citizens it is up to the USA AG (and his agencies) or ther CIA's IG or the NSA's IG to make sure (through self-policing) that the order is correctly adhered to. The very same procedures and oversight were in effect for this program too - so there was never any GREATER threat that THIS SECRET program would abused than any other FISC ordered surveillance. Thinking there could, or would be, is illogical.]
Sunday, January 15, 2006
[MIKE WALLACE:] Why has [your] policy not been endorsed by potential Democratic presidential candidates Hillary Clinton, Joe Biden or John Kerry?I think Murtha is WRONG about Kerry and Biden and Hillary AND wrong about Iraq. They don't endorse his policy because they understand that it is a BAD policy. They don't condemn it in public - as they should - because they dare not risk losing the base of today's Democrat party: the Loony Left. What does our miltary think of Murtha? here's another quote from 60MINUTES:
[JOHN MURTHA:] "Because," says Murtha laughing, "they’re afraid. They’re afraid. They don’t understand it. ... They think there’s a safe way to work their way through this."
General Peter Pace, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said Murtha's comments are damaging to recruiting and hurting the troops. "It’s damaging the morale of the troops who are deployed and it’s damaging the morale of their families who believe in what they are doing to serve this country," Gen. Pace said.Pace is right; Murtha is wrong. And Murtha's comments HURT us. He should shut the eff up.
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad will make an official visit to Syria this weekend, where he will meet with Syrian President Basher Assad, Iran has said. This is the first official visit of the Iranian president to Syria since he came to power in 2005. Syria is Iran's central ally in the Arab world.When these two islamofascists are together, it would be perfect time to "get two birds with one stone" - if you get my meaning... Sort of like wiping out Hitler and Mussolini in 1939...
Cronkite said one of his proudest moments came at the end of a 1968 documentary he made following a visit to Vietnam during the Tet offensive. Urged by his boss to briefly set aside his objectivity to give his view of the situation, Cronkite said the war was unwinnable and that the U.S. should exit. ...
Former CBS anchor Walter Cronkite, whose 1968 conclusion that the Vietnam War was unwinnable keenly influenced public opinion then, said Sunday he'd say the same thing today about Iraq. ... "It's my belief that we should get out now," Cronkite said in a meeting with reporters.
Today's doves - Kennedy, Kerry and Cronkite (YUP: IT'S THE SAME OLD TIRED CREW, TOO!) - WOULD HAVE US DO TO THE IRAQIS WHAT WE DID TO THE SOUTH VIETNAMESE.
Instead of the South Vietnamese being as free ansd as rich as South Koreans, they are as tyrannized and poor as the NORTH Koreans. MEANWHILE: the Vietnamese Marxists who tyrannize their own people are NOW BEGGING for the US "CAPITALIST PIGS" to invest in their backwards impoverished nation.
WELL, IF IT WASN'T FOR THE VIETCONG - AND THEIR WILLING ALLIES IN THE DEMOCRAT PARTY, (FOLKS LIKE KENNEDY AND KERRY AND CRONKITE) - THE VIENAMESE COULD HAVE HAD ALL THAT USA INVESTMENT STARTING IN 1965! Sh-t: by now they'd be as rich as the JAPANESE!
MY POINT: The oldtimers in the Left simply don't get it: they were wrong then and they are wrong now. It's long passed time they just shut the eff up.
Now Iran has burned all its bridges by opening all the IAEA seals and going ahead with uranium enrichment despite multilateral negotiations aimed at allowing Iran to expand its nuclear power production and even buy lots of enriched uranium and expanding Iran's economic relationships with the West, without letting them enrich their own urianium. The HOOK was, the IAEA had to be allowed to inspoect Iran's nuclear infrastructure periodically in order to make sure nothing was being divwerted for the production of BOMBS.
(For those folks who feel that we are being unfair to Iran: Even Sweden - a highly advanced nuclear power producing nation - doesn't enrich their own uranium; they buy it from an international consortium.)
Well, now that Iran has taken unilateral actions which make further negotiations MEANINGLESS, WHAT SHOULD WE DO!?
We could go to the UN Security and get sanctions against Iran. The sanctions would mean that they couldn't sell anything EXCEPT oil, and then only through a special program administered by the UN, which would also make sure that Iran didn't use the proveeds of those sales for anything except food and medicine. We could call it the UN OIL FOR FOOD PROGRAM.
OH.... SORRY... YOU'RE RIGHT: we tried sanctions like that once, and it failed.
Okay, then. Since we know that doesn't work, why wait? Why postpone the INEVITABLE!? LET'S LAUNCH MISSILES ASAP.
Getting the IAEA to refer it to the UNSC and then trying to get the UNSC to approve sanctions is POINTLESS, except as a way to prove (to people prone to appeasement) that we are reasonable and have tried EVERYTHING, and the Iranians are unreasonable. BUT DON'T WE KNOW THAT ALREADY!? We sure do. So, let's forget the "PR" and do the right thing: obliterate Iran's nuclear infrastructure NOW.
Some worry that a preemtive airstrike would lead to a major spike up in oil prices. BUT NOW, THE IRANIANS HAVE THREATENED TO RADICALLY RAISE OIL PRICES IF WE ENACT SANCTIONS! So, you see: there's NOTHING for us to lose by uasing military force, and lots to gain: It's the ONLY way to guarantee that the the Iranian Mullah tyrants don't get a nuke.
UPDATE - 1/16/06: It looks to me like Russia is HELPING IRAN with stalling tactics (perhaps in the hope of delaying any pre-emptive attack until it's too late and Iran HAS either a nuclear bomb, or at least much more hardened air-defenses - which, may I point out, THEY'RE BUYING FROM PUTIN!):
BBC:Russian President Vladimir Putin has hinted compromise is still possible on Iran's controversial nuclear programme. He said Iran had not rejected a Russian offer to enrich uranium for its nuclear programme - which would make it harder for Iran to make nuclear weapons. He was speaking as top Western nations tried to persuade Russia and China to support a hard line on Iran, which insists its programme is not military.
(1) JIHAD WATCH (and Prairie Pundit):
The January 2005 arrest of Noel Exinia and Cesario Nuñez appeared to be just another Drug Enforcement Administration bust on the border, until court documents in the case are examined more closely. A few days before their arrest on federal cocaine trafficking charges, Exinia and Nuñez moved more than a quarter-ton of cocaine from Mexico through the Rio Grande Valley and on to New York City, the men told officials.(2) I warned about this here at THE ASTUTE BLOGGER on, February 14, 2005:
Nuñez, 33, pleaded guilty to a drug conspiracy charge in September. His sentencing is set for Thursday. Exinia, 35, eventually pleaded guilty to the same charge. His sentencing is expected in March.
Court documents filed in Exinia’s case make frequent references to his position in the notorious Gulf Cartel. The paperwork also contains details of a December 2004 incident in which he tried to secure transportation for 20 Middle Eastern “terrorists” waiting to enter the United States from Monterrey, Chiapas and Puebla in Mexico. Recorded telephone conversations authorized under the U.S. Patriot Act and a court order captured the La Feria truck driver referring to the 20 men as “gente de Osama” or “Osama’s people.”
During a Jan. 5, 2005, telephone conversation, Exinia described the men as “Iraqis,” ages 25 to 33, who were willing to pay $8,000 for transportation past Border Patrol checkpoints in South Texas and into the U.S. interior. Exinia mentioned that eight of the men were coming to Progreso, northwest of Brownsville. He said they were “dangerous” and “really bad people.” They carried guns and made the smuggler that was helping them “afraid.”
FLASH! ALGIERS (AP):(3) And suspicion of Algerians in particular turns out to be VERY WELL-FOUNDED: POWERLINE: and (PAJAMAS MEDIA): GEO (Turkey):Algeria President Vicente Fox arrived in Algeria on Saturday with plans to sign a series of accords during the first visit by a Mexican leader to this North African nation in three decades. Four accords were being signed during his visit, Fox told Algerian government-controlled daily El Moudjahid, ranging from exchanges in education, art and culture to a decision to do away with visas in diplomatic and official passports.As a sovereign nation, Mexico is within its rights to allow anyone it wants into it's country - with any degree of security or checking or oversight. But if they allow people into their country with NO CHECKS, then we MUST harden our border with Mexico, and make it IMPOSSIBLE for illegals to enter our nation from Mexico.
If Bush fails to do this, then it matters NOT how many other good and necessary security measures he takes; the neojihadists will attack us at our WEAKEST point, and right now it's our border with Mexico. And this move makes it a lot worse. In fact, it makes it intolerably dnagerous for us.
IMHO this border is as threratening to our natrional security as North Korea and Iran. If not, then more so. If we have to build a wall/fence/barrier - as the Israelis have begun, then so be it. And the time to begin hardening this border is now, if not PAST DUE! (Hat tip LGF.)
UPDATE: As direct result of this Mexican move, Muslim/Arab/North African neojihadists will have a much easier time posing as Algerians and entering Mexico legally. This will make it much easier for them to set up cells there, and to ferry in: messages; plans; money; materiel; etc. THIS IS A GRAVE RAMPING UP OF AN EXISTING THREAT!
ROME: Three Algerians arrested in an anti-terrorist operation in southern Italy are suspected of being linked to a planned new series of attacks in the United States, Interior Minister Giuseppe Pisanu said on Friday.
The attacks would have targeted ships, stadiums or railway stations in a bid to outdo the September 11, 2001 strikes by Al-Qaeda in New York and Washington which killed some 2,700 people, Pisanu said.
The Algerians, suspected of belonging to a cell established by an Al-Qaeda-linked Algerian extremist organisation, the Salafist Group for Preaching and Combat (GSPC), were named as Achour Rabah, Tartaq Sami and Yasmine Bouhrama. The first two were arrested Friday in the Salerno area south of Naples, and in Curingia, in the southern Calabria region, respectively.
FBI says no terror link to group trying to buy cell phonesWELL, NOW - (IF THIS REPORT FROM THE BROWNSVILLE HERALD IS ACCURATE) THERE IS AN OBVIOUS POSSIBLE LINK BETWEEN IMMIGRATION VIOLATORS, DRUG DEALERS AND ARABS INFILTRATING THE USA THROUGH MEXICO - ARABS WHO MIGHT BE TERRORISTS. There is now a proven nexus between these groups. therefore, I think that the FBI was WAY TOO QUICK at discounting any link. The druggies who bought the disposable cellpjhones MIGHT have been "hired" to make the buy by their connections in Mexico who were hired by Arab terrorists. Mexico's Narco-terrorists and jihadoterrorists might very well have made an alliance - one that might raise money for al Qaeda (by selling drugs for them), and which smuggles in al Qaeda agents, and which buys al Qaeda guns and cellphones and explosives.
MIDLAND, Texas — Authorities have found no link between any terrorists and a group of people who tried to buy a large number of prepaid cell phones from a store last month, according to the FBI. Some employees at a Wal-Mart off Interstate 20 in Midland called police about 12:30 a.m. Dec. 18, saying six people of Middle Eastern descent were trying to buy "an unusually large quantity" of prepaid, disposable cell phones, according to a police report.
Officers found four of the people in the store and talked to them, but then called the FBI when they were evasive, police said. Officers also searched their van and found 60 cell phones and marijuana, and one person in the group was arrested on a drug possession charge, according to the police report.
U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents later charged one man with an immigration violation, and two others were released after producing appropriate documents, said Bill Vanderland, agent in charge of Midland's FBI office.
Agents at the time said members of the group were linked to suspected terrorist cells in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, but Vanderland said Thursday that was not the case. "There is no known link or demonstrated link or any other kind of link at this point between the people here and any terror cell," he said.
IF I am right, (and the FBI was WRONG to quickly discount any connection) it would NOT be the first time that the FBI has dropped the ball on a terror investigation and allowed an attack to occur which might have been stopped: the FBI did so with Zaccarias Moussoui and the 9/11 Plot.
I hope the FBI's quick reversal and discounting of any terror connection was merely PR, and that they are really checking more deeply into the POSSIBILITY that the Algerians arrested in Italy, the drug smugglers arrested in Brownsville and the "Midland Texas disposable phone purchasers" are connected to a plot to "outdo 9/11" by possibly "targeting stadiums" - perhaps even the Super Bowl (as the PAJAMAS MEDIA post HYPOTHESIZED).
Developing a scenario, even one as wild as this, and then checking it out thoroughly is an important exercise. The possiblity that something is up is NOT zero, and the costs of slippiung up are HUGE. I hope the FBI is listening...