Monday, February 28, 2011

In Other News..

While everyone is focused on Tripoli or Madison there is news of our captured CIA contractor Raymond Davis detained in Pakistan:
The government of Pakistan offered to trade a CIA contractor currently jailed in that country for a Pakistani neuroscientist suspected by U.S. intelligence to be an al Qaeda operative.

According to a senior American administration official and a Pakistani official involved in the negotiations to free CIA contractor Raymond Davis, the Pakistani government proposed trading Davis for Aafia Siddiqui, an MIT-educated Pakistani neuroscientist currently serving 86 years in federal prison for attempted murder.
Gee, what a great ally in the war on terror. Usually only rogue states stoop to holding Americans for the purposes of trading them for convicted terrorists, especially someone like Siddiqui. The woman didn't just shoot at some military and FBI guys, she's a Brandeis trained biologist married to Ammar al-Baluchi, part of the same clan of Baluchis responsible for most of al Qaeda's terror against the United States in the past 18 years. Even Obama wouldn't do that trade.

What does the outlandish suggestion say? Here are some WAGS, for what they're worth -- 1) they took a long shot hoping Obama would hand over someone most of our people don't know in exchange someone everyone in Pakistan knows, to placate the restive peeps. This doesn't make sense because it would become a big news story there, most likely blowing back on Obama here.

2) they made the offer knowing it would be rejected but still did it to score political points to calm the restive peeps. This is standard operating practice.

3) Mr. Davis is actually someone a lot more important than anyone here has been led to believe and the ISI is trying to gain leverage by dangling him for a big-time AQ plum thinking Obama will panic and accede to demands behind the scenes before the press starts asking questions (I know how funny that sounds--it's just a wag).

4) Mr. Davis doesn't know as much as we think he does and ISI are bluffing by throwing up Siddiqui to make us think it's a behind-the-scenes even trade.

The ABC story suggests that it's only a matter of time before Davis will be released--as soon as the story dies down. If that's the case, 1) why are the Pakis inflaming the story by proposing an emotional trade they know will be rejected, something that they will be reminded of if Davis is simply outright released 'when the story dies down', and 2) if they are saying he'll eventually be released without a trade then why are they holding him now? How the hell can we win a war teamed up with such cunning lunatics? Hopefully Mr. Davis is as comfortable as possible.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

The Silence on Libya

The Washington Post has a 3 page apologia explaining our relative silence on the massacre in Libya--it was all done to protect American lives there.

While the president has a duty to protect Americans around the world this story needs some boiling down-- it appears Obama's administration is chocked full of professors who are using world events to prove their theoretical concepts, while other advisors apparently would prefer thousands of dead Libyans so long as said president avoids a politically taxing extended American hostage crisis with Gadaffi, justifying the silence. There will be adequate time to condemn the violence and claim victory when the rebels are holding the dictator's head on a pike.

We don't know exactly what's going on behind the scenes but our public image is important too--it's what the world sees. Even Human Rights Watch seems perplexed:
"You usually expect the United States to take action and the Europeans to make statements," Tom Malinowski, the Washington director of Human Rights Watch, said last week before the sanctions were announced. "So far, though, that seems reversed."
And here's John McCain, still alive and pontificating:
Well, the British prime minister and the French president and others were not hesitant and they have citizens in that country. America leads.
Our current strategy seems to be 'leading from the rear'. Seriously, can anyone envision Obama authorizing the kind of daring and uncleared rescue the Brits just pulled off? Hopefully he has it in him, should a future crisis ever dictate, but from reading this article the question is whether his collegiate advisors and legal team would ever allow it.

You're Not Fooling Anyone, CNN

It's funny how the left has no problem discussing Jesus when it's convenient. As union protests rise across America in response to fiscal conservative governors suddenly CNN whips up the following on their US edition:

The focus of the story is John Dominic Crossan, a former priest from Ireland who believes in a non-supernatural rendering of Christ. But why did CNN headline this story today? The following paragraphs should give it away:
In Jesus' time, Rome was forcing many Jewish families into destitution, with high taxes and land seizures. Some Jews advocated violent rebellion, but others opted for non-violent resistance.

Jesus called for nonviolent resistance to Rome and just distribution of land and food. He was crucified because he threatened Roman stability -- not as a sacrifice to God for humanity's sins, Crossan says.

If you believe in a God that uses violence to "save" humanity, you'll start believing that violence is permissible in certain circumstances, such as suicide bombing or invading other countries to spread democracy, Crossan says.
Yes, because suicide bombers for Mohammad are just the same as ridding the world of those committing unspeakable violence such as Hitler, Stalin and Saddam. And maybe Jesus didn't fly into a rage when he saw the moneychangers in the Temple, maybe he just put up signs and had his disciples organize a drum circle. And he never said "render unto Caesar", he was here to non-violently remove him. And it wasn't the Sanhedrin who went to the Romans to complain because he threatened their power, it was the Romans who went to Romans.

But let's cut to the chase here. Regardless of how Biblical historians or believers feel about the life of Christ it's a pretty good bet CNN published this because Crossan believes Jesus was an extraordinary peasant socialist non-violent revolutionary who believed in spreading the wealth around. He was not the son of God, more like Martin Luther King with healing powers. Or even Barack Obama. Or to paraphrase--"take that you tea baggin' Jesus freaks in Jesusland rooting for Governor Walker!"

Saturday, February 26, 2011


On February 26, 1993 the World Trade Center was bombed by terrorist Ramzi Yousef (who now claims to be a Christian) and several others in what amounted to the first unofficial sortie by Islamic terrorists on US soil. At least one of the bomb-makers remains at large (and not even mentioned in the 9/11 Commission Report).

There was no national commission to investigate the attack so the public is left to wonder in perpetuity about the players involved. The presumption was al Qaeda, but it was just a presumption.

Two years earlier on the same date then Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein ordered his invasion forces to retreat from Kuwait City, marking the end of occupation and the Gulf War. Kuwait is celebrating the 20 year anniversary this year. Unlike the royal wedding in Britain, Obama was formally invited to attend but apparently declined; Admiral Mullen and Colin Powell were there.

Today is also the first anniversary of another weird Obama conspiracy--the death of a woman named Holiyah "Lia" Soetoro, who claimed to be a step-sister and caretaker of the president when he lived as Barry Soetoro in Indonesia. One might think a story about a long-lost and previously unnamed step-sister would make national news, if nothing else in a puff piece, but beyond WND this one only made news on the blogs:
“Lia, a nickname. She lived at the family home of Lolo Soetoro for 15 years. And four years of which she spent in the company of a black kid who came from Hawaii.
Obama's half-sister Maya reportedly called this woman a fraud--she may well be--yet it would seem rather easy for a mainstream journalist to confirm or deny. Obama just recently visited Indonesia on November 9, 2010 and reporters mentioned his history as such:
Obama's stop here, the second country on his 10-day Asia trip, is a homecoming for the president. He spent four years in Indonesia as a boy after his mother married an Indonesian man, and his return was highly anticipated. "Much has been made of the fact that this marks my return to where I lived as a young boy," the president said. "I will tell you, though, that I barely recognize it."
Nothing about the mysterious Lia, though. The visit was cut short, reportedly due to volcanic ash from Mt. Merapi. Obama's earlier planned visit to his boyhood homeland was to have taken place in March 2010 but was canceled by the health care debates, then later in June, canceled that time by the BP oil spill. If Lia was indeed a childhood step-sister to Obama she would have missed them all anyway. But like the first World Trade Center bombing this one appears destined to remain just another unexplored mystery.

Side Tracks

The Moody Blues, from somewhere (the Soviet Union?)

Friday, February 25, 2011

The Rummy Files

Rummy has been making the rounds, boldly appearing with Andrea Mitchell then Jon Stewart promoting the 800 page tome and likely exploding a few heads (perhaps on the left and the right). On a side note, it was funny to watch Mitchell grill him over things she thought she knew only to have him tell her she didn't know them because she wasn't there. Too bad he couldn't have turned the tables and grilled her on her Plame comment but apparently the media has their own private untouched vaults just like the government.

Anyway, in doing these interviews he refers to "" as a repository of documents used to back up his memories. And that site is very interesting. Goof around with the search engine and perhaps you'll find a December 3, 2001 memo from Paul Wolfowitz to the Secretary laying out a list of good/bad about the coming future.

Here is one of his good things:

Saddam dies: 1) replaced by a new thug; or 2) revolutionary upheaval

Doesn't sound like Neocon One was secretly planning a war at that point. Here is one of the 'neutral' things:

We find conclusive evidence of a state sponsor of 9/11

Interesting they considered this 'neutral', although they apparently knew something would have to be done about and as Cheney was quoted in the Woodward book, they weren't "ready to do anything about it yet".

Here's one of the 'bad' outcomes:

Terrorist Attacks in U.S., perhaps with anthrax, radiological or nuclear WMD

Interestingly, one of the good outcomes was also capturing bin Laden, again casting doubts on some kind of shadowy conspiracy to let UBL escape. Remember, the battle of Tora Bora was only two weeks away at that point.

But the most brutal memo is the one Stewart mentioned, a 'what if' list he put together in October 2002. About half of the bad things he listed came true.

MORE 2/25/11

Here's a document from Rummy from July 27, 2001 calling for a principal's meeting on Iraq. Take a look at this:
A third possibility perhaps is to take a crack at initiating contact with Saddam Hussein. He has his own interests. It may be that, for whatever reason, at his stage in life he might prefer to not have the hostility of the United States and the West and might be willing to make some accommodation. Opening a dialogue with Saddam would be an astonishing departure for the USG, although I did it for President Reagan the mid-1980s. It would win praise from certain quarters, but might cause friends, especially those in the region, to question our strength, steadiness arid judgment. And the likelihood of Saddam making and respecting an acceptable accommodation of our interests over a long period may be small.
Now, consider the picture of Rummy shaking hands with Saddam that had been used by the left for 8 years to bash Bushitler. In fact, wasn't Rummy just doing what Obama wanted to do with our adversaries, something his supporters have defended six ways from Sunday? Also, this does not exactly sound like a bunch of people trying to start a war, just solve a problem.

Here's another, rather cryptic and apparently a note to self, dated 9-21-01:
At the right moment, we may want to give Saddam Hussein a way out for his
family to live in comfort.
So at least Rummy was considering Saddam right after 9-11. Then again, so was Hillary.

Here's another one, from November 4, 2003:
1. I want to know what exists as to France and Russia advising Saddam
Hussein pre-war, according to the Tariq Aziz interview and others’
2. I also want to know about the seized Iraqi intel files.
Please get back to me.
Wonder what the reply was?

Thursday, February 24, 2011

A Ticking Time Bomb

Apparently all the chaos in Arabia and here at home is masking a serious, serious national crisis--call it a ticking time bomb in the health care system. Overweight pets.

Yes, overweight pets.

But gosh, if our pets are overweight that seems like a sign of prosperity. If the Koch Brothers were really that evil we'd already be eating pet food ourselves.

Now pardon me, but there's a tornado coming...

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

The Fall of Realpolitik?

Wiki Leaks, the unrest in Egypt, Libya and elsewhere in the Middle East, and the availability of Facebook, Twitter and the internet in general--can realpolitik co-exist in this new world?

Consider Libya--what a barrel of monkeys that has turned into for the west. First, Reagan decided to confront Gaddafi in the mid 80s after a nightclub bombing in Germany by trying to murder his butt in Tripoli. He survived but a family member didn't, and he allegedly responded by blowing up Pan Am 103 over Scotland in 1988. There were all kinds of conspiracies about the culprits (including an early version of trutherism) but we convinced Moammar to turn over suspect al-Megrahi for trial in the late 90s, which occurred to little fanfare during 2001 with Megrahi sentenced to jail time in Scotland.

Then somehow the west missed a Libyan NBC program until a ship was captured heading to Tripoli in 2003. With Saddam fresh from his spider-hole capture the conventional wisdom is that Moammar came to Jesus and gave up his program in return for us giving up his terrorist nation status. Condi Rice was a believer, as were many others. Meanwhile it appears the nuke program came from China through Pakistan (with help from AQ Khan), two countries we continue to suck up to at every opportunity. More on Pakistan in a minute.

Later came billions of dollars of penalty settlements not only for the victims of Pan Am 103 but for those of ATA 772, another airliner he allegedly brought down a year later in 1989.

All the while BP and Blair were angling for more Libyan oil. But to get it they were going to be put through some hellish hoops. Recently released documents now show that he was in a better bargaining position than the west would have liked, actively strong-arming international oil companies for access, such as having them pay part of the terrorist settlement. The Brits dabbled with prisoner swaps, and previous cables said he was threatening western business people in the country. Yet they soldiered on.

Then the guy who always wanted to be Saddam played the Megrahi card. He just couldn't help himself.

But so desperate were the Brits for oil that even this wasn't a crossed line. It appears they were willing to lie about the terrorist's health to get him back to Libya, risking a hero's welcome Gaddafi promised not to give but one which was certainly predictable. No doubt Clinton and Bush and Obama knew about this the entire time but had to put on their shock faces when the news broke about Megrahi's release in 2009. After all, the greater good was at stake.

Now today it was reported that a former minister claimed Moammar himself ordered Megrahi to pull off the Pan Am 103 attack. If true (and it's hard to prove) that even makes the release sound more risky, since the Brits can be seen as legitimately negotiating with a terrorist and places Gaddafi himself in the crosshairs of international justice. By the way, the presumed bomb-maker was picked up in 2003--guess where:
Khala Khadar al Salahat, a member of ANO, surrendered to the First Marine Division in Baghdad on April 18, 2003. According to an August 25, 2002 report in the Sunday Times of London, a Palestinian source claimed that Salahat and Nidal had furnished Libyan agents the Semtex (plastic explosive) bomb that destroyed Pan American Flight 103 over Lockerbie Scotland in 1988. Among the 259 persons killed in the air and 11 killed on the ground were 35 American college students.
Abu Nidal was also holed-up in Baghdad but killed himself with three bullets to the head before we arrived. He was in government housing along with one of the bomb-makers of the first WTC attack and another notorious bomb-maker, both of whom are still at large. Sort of brings more clarity to the spider-hole moment in the eyes of Moammar--no doubt he had his connections but certainly also knows where bodies are buried (odds on him making it to the Hague, anyone?).

Of course in the old days all we'd see on TV would be a few smiling politicians and some oil company press releases or some perp walks. Facts were slow to trickle out.

But the world is changing. Technology is leading this change, and those who ignore its power are being steamrolled. Realpolitik, or engaging in risky or below-board conduct in the smoke-filled backrooms, mostly for the greater good (with the politician smiling for the cameras and saying the opposite) seems to be getting harder to pull off. How can we make backroom deals when someone is anonymously blogging or tweeting about it almost as it happens?

Take for instance that captured "diplomat" in Pakistan. In the old days stories like these might only appear on some foreign magazine stand...
Pakistan, however, says that the two men Davis killed were ISI agents sent to follow him after it was discovered he had been making contact with al Qaeda after his cell phone was tracked to the Waziristan tribal area bordering Afghanistan where the Pakistani Taliban and a dozen other militant groups have forged a safe haven and former CIA agent Tim Osman (also known as Osama bin Laden) is believed to be in hiding.
...that is, unless they came from a Clancy novel or an Ahmadinejad press release. But today the public is increasingly receiving a blizzard of information up front with the reader left to figure out an approximate truth. In the days of realpolitik the mainstream news media filtered it for us, now they are seen as less than credible leading to sites like, well, this one. Is it better or just different? Not sure, maybe something to adjust to--but going back to the past is not attractive in the least bit.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Pirates Again

Here's the NY Times on the horrible tragedy that befell the four Christian missionary sailors:
It is not clear why the pirates killed the hostages – whether accidentally during a firefight or possibly out of revenge for the Somali pirates killed by American sharpshooters in a hostage situation in 2009.

Maritime analysts who monitor pirate activity said the killings were unusual and may have stemmed from a highly-combustible mix of around 20 pirates and four hostages squeezed together on a sailboat with limited food, water and space. In the past, when pirates have hijacked smaller vessels, they usually transfer the hostages to a much bigger boat, a so-called mother ship, which functions as a floating base in the middle of the ocean.
According to the Times Obama was "tracking the event closely" but apparently he lost track because so far only Hillary has issued a statement. That was different back in 2009. Here's the Times covering the last high profile pirate event:
Acting with President Obama’s authorization and in the belief that the hostage, Capt. Richard Phillips, was in imminent danger of being killed by captors armed with pistols and AK-47s, snipers on the fantail of the destroyer Bainbridge, which was towing the lifeboat on a 100-foot line, opened fire and picked off the three captors.
Again, the big question is why the pirates would break the first rule of hostage-taking. They mentioned a possible dispute--perhaps a new team of suicide pirates was sent in to kill the Americans to make a point and the others rebelled? Story says they never fired at the Seals other than the RPG. Seems to be some missing pieces at this point.

Whatever the case, these words were spoken by a pirate spokesman after the last event:
“Every country will be treated the way it treats us,” Abdullahi Lami, one of the pirates holding a Greek ship anchored in the pirate den of Gaan, a central Somali town, was quoted by The Associated Press as saying in a telephone interview. “In the future, America will be the one mourning and crying.”
The problem is what to do about them. Carpet bombing won't solve the abject poverty and tribalism that is breeding these scumballs; then again we cannot allow pirates to indiscriminately kill Americans on the open seas no matter how good their excuses sound. America has been to Somalia once to provide food and all we got for it were dead soldiers dragged through the streets of Mogadishu. President Jefferson had a similar problem in his day and his solution lasted a few hundred years--what will Obama do? Smoke a cigarette? Will the media even bother to ask?

MORE 2/22/11

The "Pirates" are saying (that sounds ludicrous, as if the pirates actually have a public affairs officer) that the Navy shot first:
'Our colleagues called us this morning (saying) that they were being attacked by a U.S. warship,' said a pirate who identified himself as Muhammad.

'The U.S. warship shot in the head two of my comrades who were on the deck of the yacht by the time they alerted us,' he said. 'This is the time we ordered the other comrades inside the yacht to react - kill the four Americans because there was no other alternative - then our line got cut.'
And we should believe a pirate? Their alternative is to admit they messed up and assassinated four American Christians on a bible mission. Or maybe they did--can religious based hate crime be ruled out yet?

Monday, February 21, 2011

Using the Quorum Call

The scurrilous Democrats who ran off to an Illinois resort to stop Scott Walker may seem to be opening a new frontier of political game-playing but really, they haven't. Pulling stunts is not unusual for a minority party, something ironically confirmed by Don Rumsfeld's new memoir "Known and Unknown":
So before the debate legislation came up for a vote, one of us would ask for a quorum call and the rest of us would work to ensure there were never enough members present on the House floor for debate or votes to continue.
That was from page 117. He was operating in the Republican minority in the late 60s towards the end of the Johnson administration, using the quorum call to delay a vote.

Rummy goes on to say that Speaker of the House John McCormack threatened to send out the Capitol Police to physically round up members and lock them in the chamber, which was largely a bluff.

Maybe this is why the Wisconsin Repubs promised not to drop the hammer on their absentee colleagues--behind the scenes they know politics is politics. The real action begins this week as all the Dem delay options are exhausted, the crowds thin, and Governor Walker and company get to decide whether they want to try a few stunts of their own (knowing how the national media will spin things).

Meanwhile, here are some more facts to digest about recent Badger political history.

Libya and Beyond

Quedaffy is supposedly on the run now as the mob rule comes to Libya. Never thought we'd see the day. Hopefully Allah is protecting Pan Am terrorist al-Megrahi in his villa along the Mediterranean with all the chaos against the regime--it would be terrible if any harm would come to him, being so sick and all.

And it's certainly fortunate that Libya's nuke program is sitting in Tennessee right now. For some reason the London Daily Mail forgot to mention that in their article suggesting Tony Blair might somehow be complicit in the shootings for trying to bring Libya into the civilized world. It's harder to blame Bush when his foreign policy was to bring freedom to the Arab world.

In all seriousness let's hope the unrest spreading across Arabia doesn't lead to more unrest. It's hard to forget that one of bin Laden's main goals was toppling the thugocracies in hopes that Islamists would take the reins. Revolts have to be followed by strong, committed leaders to manage the mundane after-effects.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Will Obama Condemn his Alma Mater?

If this story is correct it brings to light the real reason Ivy League schools like Columbia didn't want ROTC on their campuses--and it had nothing to do with DADT:
"Racist!" some students yelled at Anthony Maschek, a Columbia freshman and former Army staff sergeant awarded the Purple Heart after being shot 11 times in a firefight in northern Iraq in February 2008. Others hissed and booed the veteran.

Maschek, 28, had bravely stepped up to the mike Tuesday at the meeting to issue an impassioned challenge to fellow students on their perceptions of the military.

"It doesn't matter how you feel about the war. It doesn't matter how you feel about fighting," said Maschek. "There are bad men out there plotting to kill you."
The university (and others) should just admit it--they don't like the military and haven't since Vietnam. DADT was just an excuse. But that sets up a logical conundrum since the military defends their freedom to dislike the military, meaning they can't actually admit their dislike in the popular press because it's indefensible.

What about our current president, a former student at Columbia? For some reason he's never allowed his writings/transcripts to be released. We have been told he spent most of those years holed up in the library but it would be interesting to see if he had any opinions on ROTC or the military in general back in the day.

As for today, the same guy is now Commander-in-Chief. Earlier in his term went out to Dover and saluted perfectly as fallen heroes arrived in flag-draped coffins, something that garnered respect. The same guy surged troops in Afghanistan. It almost seems his duty to speak out and defend this wounded soldier and ROTC in general just like he's been defending public sector union workers in Wisconsin. Who knows, maybe he'll surprise us.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Ends Justify Means in Madison

Is there any better example of the difference between liberals and conservatives--doctors at the protest rally writing notes for striking "sick" state workers in Madison? Nothing exemplifies 'ends justify means' any better...hey--screw the rules when they apply to me!

Long gone are the days when civil servants had a humble spirit of service, knowing their jobs existed at the whim of the elected officials and taxpayers who pay their salaries and pensions.

OK, that's never been the case.

Which is part of the problem. Protesters were actually on the street yelling through bullhorns for higher taxes, in other words, solve the problem by stealing more money from the successful private sector workers (to be fair not all teachers feel this way).

None of this is to say workers don't need protection--they do, and even in the public sector--but the inmates cannot be allowed to run the institution. Having a system where workers can put pressure on elected officials to raise taxes in order to fulfill contracts despite having so much protection it damn near takes killing someone to get fired is not 'what democracy looks like'. It's what failure looks like.

Walker may not have intended to do so but he's jettisoned himself into the history books in only a few short months as Wisconsin has become the epicenter of the great debate between small and big, rich and poor. In many ways it has also become ground zero for Obama's presidency and the future of America. What happens over the next week could affect the strategy of politicians in DC as they prepare for a federal showdown on March the 4th.

To that end, the protesters have exercised their freedom and have redressed their government over a grievance. Here's hoping the true spirit of America takes hold and everyone goes back to their jobs and lets the republic function as it was designed.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Side Tracks

With the loss of composer John Barry it seems fitting to go with some Bond music. Here's Nancy Sinatra (again--hey I like it).

And the inimitable Shirley Bassey..

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Acting Stupidly Again

Obama, reacting to one group of protesters today...

And to another group in 2009...

Guess those people weren't 'neighbors and friends'.

But Obama is just one man in the coming mother of all ideological battles. The left will demonize, chastise, and break every rule Obama set down in Tucson on their road to solving the problem through higher taxes and a more perfect Marxist union. Obama will float above the fray as usual but with a much lower orbit--this is his bread and butter issue and he might occasionally take a few stands to triangulate for 2012.

The right will bumble and stumble and hack their way along, largely oblivious to the cabal of trickery poking at them from the left and media (pardon the redundancy) in an effort to return America to the financial policies of the founding crackers. And Ron Paul will be on the sidelines bobbing like a bobble head and saying he told us so.

Allah help us all.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Curveball Finale, and this Time it's for Real

The left's favorite Iraqi--code named Curveball--is making news again after telling the Guardian that essentially it wasn't Bush who lied--it was him:
"Maybe I was right, maybe I was not right," he said. "They gave me this chance. I had the chance to fabricate something to topple the regime. I and my sons are proud of that and we are proud that we were the reason to give Iraq the margin of democracy."
OK, this is big news on the left (and has outrageously outraged Colin Powell) but before the lather thickens perhaps some questions could be answered:

1. He claims the German spy agency BND knew his claims were false in 2000. This would be before Bush took office. Why would Prime Minister Schroeder, by all accounts a Bush hater, help the US lie about WMDs to promote war in Iraq? Was David Kay correct about the BND? If so, why would they do it?

2. He claims toppling Saddam by force was the only way to bring democracy to Iraq. Based on the celebrations over Egypt, isn't this a great outcome?

3. He claims:
After the speech, Janabi said he called his handler at the BND and accused the secret service of breaking an agreement that they would not share anything he had told them with another country. He said he was told not to speak and placed in confinement for around 90 days.
If he was deliberately trying to bring down Saddam by lying why would he demand the Germans not share his info? Was it reverse psychology, knowing they would? That sounds like something an intelligence asset might try. Or did he seriously think Germany would roll tanks into Baghdad and liberate his family? Or was he just trying to use the story to gain asylum and now, after the fact, trying to elevate himself into a hero by saying he was noble?

4. Tyler Drumheller said he was a liar. Is he still a liar? Is he still drinking? A Chalabi stooge?

5. George Tenet said the following about Curveball in his memoirs regards Drumheller:
Thank Dr. Hanning for the Iraqi WMD information provided by the BND asset "Curve Ball." Inform Dr. Hanning that we would like to work with the BND to craft an approach to Curve Ball to secure his cooperation in locating evidence of Iraq's biological weapons (BW) programs, and about the direct involvement of Dr. Rihab Taha al-Azzawi in Iraq's mobile BW program.
Has Mr. Drumheller ever refudiated or responded to this assertion?

Oh well. It's highly unlikely these questions will be answered any faster than the last set posed in 2007. Maybe a Wiki Leak will clear things up.

Monday, February 14, 2011

The San Diego WMD interview

What the future??

Three possibilities come to mind. One, a cleverly planned slip-up designed to scare Congress into fully funding Homeland Security after the upcoming slash and burn budget fest. This would be coupled with a number two--it's part of an effort to spur people into narcing out their neighbors in the 'see something, say something' program. Of course if true, both would be disgusting and worthy of mass firings. Playing politics with something this serious would be terrible.

Possibility three is that this assistant chief is a humble guardian of the port of San Diego not prone to politics and spin or used to doing interviews, and he just lapsed into some brutal honesty. The raw un-edited video suggests the latter, especially his heart-felt recall of 9/11 (here's the original story).

If three is to be believed then certain devices of 'mass effect' have already been found coming into America while everyone was busy watching Dancing with the Stars and America's Got Talent.

So here are a few observations. The official DHS statement in reply..
A nuclear device has never been found in the US
.. didn't rule out bio weapons or radiological substances (nuclear is obviously more than just radiation) nor chemical weapons.

Notice also what the assistant port chief DID say. He used the term "weapons of mass effect", which is a bit non-standard for the press. Was it his way of saying WMD or technically something different? According to DHS it looks to be insider lingo. "Nothing has been found this past fiscal year", meaning something could have been found in previous fiscal years at that very location. It just wasn't a functioning nuke.

DHS public affairs said Chief Haller was 'just nervous' and 'misspoke'. Maybe. But if so, he doesn't seem to be the kind of person needed in a top position like that. If on the other hand he was just trying to answer a question without lying what's next? Unquestionably it's a stark reminder there are still Islamic fanatics trying to spread murder for their god by scoring the big one on Great Satan (and the next one will have to top 9/11). It's also a reminder they haven't succeeded yet. We still have vigilance and better toys.

There's actually a fourth possibility involving a conspiracy: they've lost one and this interview was designed to quietly spread the story to open some eyes without causing undue panic. The DHS statement emphatically said no nuclear devices had ever been "found" in the United States but that wouldn't preclude one from being lost. Will leave that one with Alex Jones.

All of this also begs the question of whether our current leadership is up to the task. This video is making the rounds regarding a Newsweek columnist's view of how the president mishandled the Egyptian revolution...

Visit for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

Tom Maguire seems to suggest this leadership issue also touches on the core of the birther argument--that is, if a long form birth cert is required to play Little League baseball then why is it beyond appropriate to ask one of a POTUS? Why would a POTUS resist? Does such reluctance or desire to play politics suggest an unserious administration unqualified to assume their lofty roles in an age of nuts trying to smuggle in mass effect weapons to our ports?

It's entirely possible the Newsweek piece was a shameless attempt to tact back right for readership (based on their dismal bottom line) but Ferguson makes one point that's hard to refute--there appears to be no current strategy. None of the MSNBC panel members seemed to have any coherent rebuttals of this point. If Islamic terrorists have and continue to try to smuggle WMDs into America what's the smart power solution towards draining the Middle Eastern swamp? As he said, it can't just be "I'm not Bush, love me".

Book Update

A few posts ago I mentioned an interview by current ABC News analyst and former communication director for the Clinton White House George Stephanopoulos where it seemed he was overly hectoring Don Rumsfeld over a refusal to apologize for his role in Iraq. I promised to read Steph's memoir "All Too Human" and see how much he apologized, or even mentioned, Iraq or terrorism. His book came out in 1999. Yes, a cheap gotcha.

After getting through over half the book it can be said that Steph is a somewhat sympathetic neurotic not afraid to admit his close ties with all kinds of MSM journalists or that he was generally in over his head, but completely afraid to mention much of anything about the aforementioned items. It's possible fear was not involved--perhaps such subjects simply didn't rate very high on his liberal agenda give-a-crap meter in the late 90s. Which is kind of like an indictment of sorts.

Interestingly the lack of mention doesn't seem to square with the passionate zeal of his former boss Bill Clinton when addressing the bin Laden issue with Fox News host Chris Wallace a few years ago. According to Clinton, nobody pursued UBL like he did. Maybe that happened after Steph left in late 1996.

Actually the highlight of the book so far has been the story about "Sweet, sweet Connie". Possibly lost in a fog of multiple Clinton bimbo stories, Steph tells of an event in Little Rock where a woman named Connie Hamzy encountered Clinton in a hotel lobby. She was out by the pool sunbathing and came up to Bubba and dropped her bikini top saying, "what do you think of these"? The travails of being king.

Oh, and if that phrase 'sweet sweet Connie' rings a bell that's because it was indeed the same Connie mentioned in the song "American Band" by Grand Funk Railroad...
"On the road for forty days,
Last night in Little Rock put me in a haze.
Sweet, sweet Connie -- doin' her act,
She had the whole show and
that's a natural fact. ".
OK, back to the research!

FINISHED 2/17/11

Here were the original questions, followed by my interpretation of the read:

First World Trade Center Bombing.. nothing mentioned

Ramzi Yousef.. zip

KSM.. zip

Osama bin Laden.. zip

Blind Sheikh Rahman.. zip

Ali Mohammed.. zip

Attack on US military barracks in Saudi Arabia (twice).. nothing

TWA flight 800.. nada

CIA coup against Saddam.. there was a vague mention of some action, but nothing specific

Defection of Hussein Kamel (Saddam's son-in-law).. zip

Islamic connection to Oklahoma City bombing.. nothing, and nothing much on the Ok City bombing either

Waco event coming only days after first WTC bombing.. there was only a brief mention of the Waco event as to coverage on the day the compound burned down.

Yet he mentioned the OJ Simpson case and verdict; the Susan Smith event; the Rodney King thing; and Frank Corder's Cessna kamikazi into the White House on September 12, 1994.

It's not a bad book on the the Clinton White House, though. No question he absolutely hates Dick Morris, which makes him human, and no doubt he's a committed liberal who now has a high position in ABC News (who has to pretend daily that he's fair). The point is he never apologized for anything the Clinton administration didn't do in regards to the Islamic problem. He didn't even mention it.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Side Tracks

The Doobies with Johnston..

A little trivia-- a few members separated from the Doobies and formed country-folk-rock band Southern Pacific back in the late 80s. Some of you may remember their biggest hit.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

To a Boil

We've had a day of rage in Egypt so today must have been a day of rumor:
Another phone call from Obama to Abdullah on Thursday, Feb. 10, 2011 (today) was described as the most acerbic the US president has ever had with an Arab ruler and brought their relations into deep crisis and placed in jeopardy the entire edifice of US Iran and Middle East policies, causing the king to fear that in the event of a situation developing in Saudi Arabia like the uprising in Egypt, Washington would dump him just like Mubarak.
Wonder which side is leaking these private Obama-Abdullah conversations? Added to the rumor mill is one that says Abdullah has died (DEBKA, for what it's worth), of course the thought of Saudi collapsing might do it, especially considering the likely heirs and their methods.

One has to wonder how much any of that has to do with the Wiki Leak about SA's oil reserves being overblown by about half, which is drawing only timid press here. Perhaps the cable was passing along a rumor but certainly if factual it might shine some extra light on our presence in Iraq.

Right Truth also points out that 2 supertankers have now been captured by the Somali Popeyes while Mubarak seems to be re-thinking his exile. Sounds like some upcoming fun in the oil futures market. It might be interesting to know what position George Soros has taken.

Well, surely the smart power set is in the Situation Room figuring all of this out right now. Or not. Where is Hillary anyway? Meanwhile the threat of terrorism is as high now as 9/11 but it's mainly domestic. Gee, weren't the 9/11 hijackers operating in America?

Wednesday, February 09, 2011

Snow Again

It's another Yankee winter down here in Goreland...we have more snow...

The roads were even more horrible than normal since temperatures remained in the 20s. It'll be a fun ride tomorrow too, after lows in the teens. But it's always comforting to see the Memphis snow-fighting equipment going by...

Tuesday, February 08, 2011

ABC on Rummy

ABC got the exclusive on Rumsfeld's new book "Knowns and Unknowns", with George Stephanopoulos getting a pre-release interview, to which he opined:
So why won’t Rumsfeld go there [apologizing for his role in Iraq -ed]? After listening to him this morning and watching him with Diane Sawyer last night I’m convinced that he’s guided by a simple mantra: “I’m not McNamara.” He doesn’t believe Iraq is Vietnam. And even if he does believe that his personal mistakes prolonged the war and increased its costs he won’t appease his critics by giving them what they most want. I imagine he calculates that making a concession like that will define his career and overshadow everything else from his half century in public life. Better to fight on than wave the white flag. What’s your theory?
What's my theory? Thanks for asking!

Don Rumsfeld probably believes we went to war with the intelligence we had. More will become clear after reading his book, meanwhile I've also ordered George's memoir "All Too Human", which came out in 1999 after George had left the White House to become an analyst on ABC (you can pick up a used copy for 2 bucks). The book evidently details his years as a senior policy adviser to president Bill Clinton from 1993-1996 (he left in December after the re-election). I'll be reading with an eye out for the following topics:

First World Trade Center Bombing
Ramzi Yousef
Osama bin Laden
Blind Sheikh Rahman
Ali Mohammed
Attack on US military barracks in Saudi Arabia (twice)
TWA flight 800
CIA coup against Saddam
Defection of Hussein Kamel (Saddam's son-in-law)
Islamic connection to Oklahoma City bombing
Waco event coming only days after first WTC bombing

All of these things occurred while George was advising the president--did he go there? Precious few have ever been discussed in any significant detail in the memoirs of Clintoninstas. It's prudent to think he may expand upon these events in a book, being he was a top adviser and such. Google Books reveals some mention of the deliberations behind Bubba's first use of cruise missiles on the Iraqi Intelligence Service HQ in Baghdad in 1993 but George only mentions something about it following the Bush 41 assassination attempt and nothing further.

Also, after joining ABC there was a Sheila Mac Vicar report on ties between Saddam and bin Laden that he might know a little about, since he was there.

And darn, wouldn't it have been fun to watch Rummy turn the tables and ask George whether he has any theories on why there were no 9/11 commission-style investigations into the bombings of both the WTC and Murrah Federal buildings during his watch despite both bombs being similar in nature and in some ways, precursors of the terrorism to follow. But such boorishness was probably what ABC was hoping for, I guess.

Anyway, consider my answer in limbo at the moment pending further review.

MORE 2/9/11

Here's a flashback from the former Secretary of Defense William Cohen (the one who held up the bag of sugar on ABC's This Week in 1997)
"I am absolutely convinced that there are weapons...I saw evidence back in 1998 when we would see the inspectors being barred from gaining entry into a warehouse for three hours with trucks rolling up and then moving those trucks out."
April 2003
Has Stephanpoulos, who worked with the Clinton cabinet, ever asked him to apologize?

The al-Megrahi Saga Continues

Oh what a tangled web we weave, when first we practise to deceive!
That's about the size of the al-Megrahi story.

Briefly put, events can be summarized as follows, with a dash of blogger speculation of course: started with the Brit-American joint venture to shut down Gaddafi's nuclear program a few years after 9/11. Part of that deal was to open Libya to some joint business ventures, and obviously oil is their biggest export. But getting BP access to the oilfields was still not free--it apparently required prisoner swaps to appease the nutball dictator. This eventually led to the highest profile Libyan terrorist of all time being sent back to Tripoli for a hero's welcome, a cream pie crammed in the face of the UK and the USA. Is the west really so desperate?

Reports tonight have finally shown what many figured in 2009: people lied about the health of the terrorist. People were dishonest about what was known of the whole sordid affair. Megrahi did, and still does, have prostate cancer, but he wasn't 'months away from death' as reported first back in 2008 then again repeatedly in 2009. Wiki details say the Brits tried to 'coach' the Libyans on how to get him freed, undoubtedly based on this criteria (from 2008):
Prisoners thought to have less than three months to live in Scotland can apply for early release on compassionate grounds.
That was over two years ago, when it was reported he had weeks to live. Last March we got this. This year the truth came closer. Cameron is still trying to pretend. Meanwhile under the surface BP's deal with Gaddafi was cruising right along without a snag until the Deepwater Horizon bumped it into a holding pattern. At some point the coast will clear, though.

Through it all the Pan Am 103 victims' families--like the Cole bombing families--are left to wonder what happened to justice.

Which is a tough question. As you read this the Libyan nuke program still sits securely in Tennessee. The terrorist will soon be dead and the oil will soon be extracted, perhaps within view of his villa. So maybe that's the answer.

Monday, February 07, 2011


WaPo is running a quiz of our knowledge on the national anthem in light of Ms Aguilera's 'reaming' of the song during the Super Bowl.

Why? Apparently to prove that it's OK for a highly-paid professional singer to botch the words to the most patriotic American song during a huge internationally-televised event because, er, un-paid, non-professionals/tea baggers don't know their Star Spangled Banner trivia. Surely there's also a way to blame Sarah Palin.

Former Brotherhood Leaders Weigh In on Egypt

If you're wondering where the reaction is from al Qaeda about the recent uprisings in Egypt, Long War Journal has it:
Ayman al Zawahiri's top deputy, Thirwat Salah Shehata, has released a statement praising the Egyptian people and calling for President Hosni Mubarak's ouster.
This story was written by terrorism expert Thomas Joscelyn, who brings a bunch of other chicken nuggets into the story in regards to this fella Shehata, the main one being that some intelligence reports say he has been hiding in Iran since 9/11 along with other important AQ operatives. Here's what History Commons has to say about these so-called house arrest detainees:
At first, these operatives appear to be capable of communicating with operatives outside of Iran. Saad bin Laden is said to play a major role planning the attack of a synagogue in Tunisia in April 2002 (see April 11, 2002). But the Saudi government will suspect that some of the operatives in Iran are involved in a 2003 attack in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia (see May 12, 2003), and they will successfully press Iran to tighten the house arrest of the operatives in Iran.
Interesting that Saad bin Laden, from Iran, was suspected of organizing a terrorist attack in Tunisia, a country that just fell to a popular uprising. Now government figures in Iran are praising the uprising in Egypt.

Sunday, February 06, 2011

God is a Socialist?

Are Christians not Christian-like if they aren't socialists? Hot Air points to a Ruth Marcus column in RCP about Obama's appearance at the National Prayer Breakfast, whereupon he self-identified as a born-again Christian in an apparent effort to set up his rationale for spreading the wealth.

Marcus, and Obama, seem to be saying that only big government spending--even if we don't have the money--is the only moral and righteous course for Christians. No longer should conservatives enjoy a moral high ground with God for constitutional frugality--they want a share for pushing the Lord's work through higher taxation.

First off, these guys are good. They really are. No doubt the party has been gaming out some of these religious strategies since November as a sneaky way to combat the incoming conservative Congress, many of whom tend to be gullible when it comes to a sleight of hand. Obama's speech was marvelous. It was. But as he waxed like a preacher about touching the face of God and coming together and being patient and praying for his adversaries it's useful to remember that only a few months ago he was telling Hispanics to punish their enemies and the GOP challengers to get in the back seat. Remember which side more ascribes to a long-held credo of "ends justify means".

The Founding Fathers provide a useful backdrop here. Most were believers, some even devout, yet they devised a limited constitutional republic that featured weak powers over the states centered on individual liberty, with just enough federal taxing powers to defend the union, build roads, process the post, and send envoys around the represent us in the world. Had they wanted a share-the-wealth social democracy they could have built one, but they didn't. Over-taxation would not have impressed them much nor would they have taken kindly to being called un-Christian for opposing it. They might even have reeled off a few Bible verses in reply.

We have a very clever president. He might be the best speaker to ever occupy the presidency insofar as his chameleon-like ability to adapt to whatever audience he's addressing. But it long ago became useful to watch what he does, not what he says.

Saturday, February 05, 2011

Side Tracks

A little faster than reality, but it certainly suits the town. Band is Sugarcult.

Friday, February 04, 2011

Awesome Indeed

There is utter chaos on the streets in Egypt. Here in America everyone including the president is trying to figure out what's going on and what it means and who's to blame. This picture probably won't help matters..

It purports to be Coptic Christians forming a ring around some protesting Muslims as they pause for daily prayer. Copts were recently attacked by a self-described branch of AQ and in response some Muslims Imams called for unity. Let's hope this is true. And let's hope Ayman Zawahiri sees this picture and it causes him to have a stroke. OK, it's not Christian-like to wish bad health on enemies, so perhaps it will cause him to run outside his hut screaming and get killed by a drone.

Most agree the region has reached a decision point. The future seems to lie with either democratic states or thugocracies (that we are forced to pay off to keep the peace) or theocracies like Iran. The thugocracies are a dying breed in a world of Twitter and Facebook--Bush was trying to foster a regional movement by remaking Iraq because he knew the only hope of stopping organized and state-sponsored terrorism was to reform the states.

So yes, the protesters here are quite awesome, and quite inevitable.

Thursday, February 03, 2011

Memphis to Get Democrat Convention?!

That's right folks, direct from the First Lady:
In listing Charlotte's many virtues, Obama named southern charm, hospitality, diversity — "And of course, great barbecue."
Clearly--they picked Memphis and mistakenly sent the email to Charlotte, even though we weren't in the running! Score one for us--lots of drunks and hookers to help eat the BBQ!

Yeah, Charlotte actually got it. Politico was suggesting the First Lady's office used some kind of form letter to congratulate them but perhaps they just used a stereotype. Don't all redneck southern cities have great barbecue? They probably figured they couldn't go wrong.

But go wrong they did, especially when the mayor responds like this:
"We have good barbecue in Charlotte, but there's great barbecue [elsewhere] across the state," Foxx told POLITICO. "I have had great barbecue in Charlotte that's been brought in on a truck."

But he said Charlotte will not let down the Obamas.

"If barbecue is what the First Lady wants, she will have all the barbecue she needs," Foxx said. "We'll make sure of it."
Shipped in from Memphis, perhaps. But of course, nobody in her party will be able to eat it.

Wednesday, February 02, 2011

Debating the Mandate

Althouse has a link to a Senate hearing on the constitutionality of the individual mandate. Perhaps Congress should mandate everyone to watch it. Or would that be an overreach? Hey, maybe Congress themselves should have done this before passing the bill via reconciliation. We already knew this was in there.

I actually watched it all the way through, pausing a few tens of times. But I feel versed on both sides now. Here are my cliff notes:

Democrats largely behaved (aside from Franken, who showed his ass yet again). Their main points were 1) people will suffer while these GOP pinheads challenge our great leader's fantastic program, and 2) hey, maybe that Florida judge overreached and exercised judicial activism, just as our great leader said.

Fortunately this was a panel not to be toyed with. There were three who believed the Obamacare mandate was constitutional, and two who didn't (the Dems sneakily got a Reagan administration appointee to be their main arguer, along with a former Marine). None of them took kindly to being pigeonholed by either side, which was nice.

But as to the Dem points, the first was standard fare boilerplate for such hearings and was completely ignored. The second item was mildly spanked down by both the GOP Senators and almost all the panelists, in a civil manner, of course.

Senator Blumenthal also tried to make the point that the judiciary should presume that Congress is passing constitutional laws in the first place while deciding their business, added to by chairman Gulag Durbin who reminded everyone that Kay Bailey Hutchinson called a point of constitutional order or somesuch before the vote, which I guess he figured was enough to make it constitutional or something (maybe he shares a view of the document with his state colleague Hare). The panelists poo-poo'd that as well.

The most persuasive argument to me was that if the mandate passes muster then Congress could later compel all citizens to purchase other things. Using the vegetables example, they could not force someone to eat four servings of broccoli per day, but perhaps they could force one to buy four servings a day. Or they couldn't force you to go to the gym, but to buy a gym membership, etc.

None of them touched much on the issue of waivers for religious reasons or whether illegal aliens will be forced to participate in the mandate and if so, how that could be legal, but all in all it was well worth the time invested in watching.

Tuesday, February 01, 2011

Aviation Update

This new 9/11 revelation about three Qatari conspirators and a possible facilitator from the UAE is somewhat puzzling. According to the report the Qataris arrived in America on August 15th from their home country:
They allegedly carried out surveillance at the World Trade Centre, the White House and in Virginia, the US state where the Pentagon and CIA headquarters are located.
But why would AQ need an independent team doing surveillance after the targets were supposedly already picked? According to the 9/11 report:
On August 3 [2001] … Atta and Binalshibh discussed several matters, such as the best way for the operatives to purchase plane tickets and the assignment of muscle hijackers to individual teams. Atta and Binalshibh also revisited the question of whether to target the White House. They discussed targets in coded language, pretending to be students discussing various field of study” “architecture” referred to the World Trade Center, “arts” the Pentagon, “law” the Capitol, and “politics” the White House.
The dispatch goes on to say the Qataris were scheduled on an LA-DC American flight on September 10--on the same 757 that became one of the hijacked planes the next day. This could suggest they didn't know the time and place of attack until the last moment and were warned off so as not to draw attention, but if so that's a pretty bizarre coincidence. Maybe they were decoys. That is presuming they were operating for al Qaeda. The dispatch doesn't say.

The memo was dated in February 2010--so what triggered it? Surely the FBI had known about these guys for awhile. The Telegraph article says it was being sent to Hillary along with some top level alphabet agencies, so it's not clear if she was being 'read in' on it or just kept in the loop. Oddly or not, this still unexplained aviation mystery had occurred less than a month earlier off the coast of Beirut. One of the wanted guys from UAE was thought to be a threat to international aviation.

Or perhaps they were getting some inklings about the cargo package bombs to come...
The cable states: “Hotel cleaning staff grew suspicious of the men because they noticed pilot type uniforms, several laptops and several cardboard boxes addressed to Syria, Jerusalem, Afghanistan and Jordan in the room on previous cleaning visits.

“The men had a smashed cellular phone in the room and a cellular phone attached by wire to a computer. The room also contained pin feed computer paper print outs with headers listing pilot names, airlines, flight numbers, and flight times.”
The recent UPS/Fed Ex toner bombs were wired to cell phones (by the way, terrorists should never trust the maids). Meanwhile Homeland Security has known this much about possible plots since 2003:
In November 2003, the Department of Homeland Security advised law enforcement officials that al-Qaeda may be planning to fly cargo planes from another country into vital U.S. targets, including nuclear power plants.
Maybe the biggest takeaway is why these guys weren't included in the 9/11 report or on "Rewards for Justice" site? Lots of possibilities; perhaps it had to do with the US not wanting to throw undue attention on Qatar while trying to expand military basing rights there, or perhaps the admission of knowing these guys were in-country before the fact would have been embarrassing, especially considering two 9/11 hijackers were in California at the same time.

Or maybe it had something to do with KSM's history in Qatar, including employment with their government. Whatever the case it will give a burst of like to the troofers and a further sense of bafflement to the rest of us.

Meanwhile leaks are coming fast and furious--just today the press reported that our State Department was aware--in 2008--that the Brits were counseling Libya on how to get Pan Am 103 bomber Megrahi out of a Scottish prison due to his cancer. This doesn't seem to comport with the administration's expression of shock over the matter a year later, but as with everything else, it's hard to say for sure.