Sunday, July 31, 2011

Zero Hour!

Some general observations about debtmageddon.

First, using trite, trendy terms like 'debtmageddon'. Yes, I just used it up above. I should be ashamed.

Second, this business about "the American people". From the Financial Times:
Almost without exception, everybody invoked the name of “the American People”. This is now an obligatory and depressing reference in all political speech, President Barack Obama not excluded. The problem is that the American people seem to want mutually exclusive things – drastically lower federal spending to Republicans, continued social safety nets to Democrats. The American people, of course, only get to speak in elections, unless you take opinion polls seriously.
We've been told the American people are 80 percent behind raising taxes but about 60 percent don't want a tax increase. We've been told the people are behind Barack Obama although his favorability rating is down to 40 percent and just about everyone thinks the country is heading in the wrong direction. Harry Reid thinks the Tea Party is not actually a part of the American people. But nobody likes him because nobody likes Congress.

Maybe the reason nobody likes Congress is because they insult our intelligence daily. They build up things that aren't scary, while keeping the real scary things hidden, all in the name of getting reelected. And they've got help....

They should be ashamed, too.

Friday, July 29, 2011

Means to an End

Wow, has there ever been such a display of Alinsky-ite Chicago machine politics on a national level as is being seen now?
BLITZER: So what you're saying is the president did present a plan to the speaker, John Boehner.


BLITZER: But - but he didn't...

DALEY: Right.

BLITZER: - make it public.

DALEY: No, because there's... both the speaker and - and the president had agreed and - that these sort of negotiations do not happen in public.
After luring Boehner into a private discussion over something Obama knew would never pass the House (tax increases have to originate there and the Tea Party was never going to agree to them) he's now using that 'secret' negotiation against Boehner by taking it public. It's all about reducing him and dividing the GOP caucus. It has been from the start. Obama has no desire to stop spending.

Unless Boehner is a lot more clever than it appears, Obama will soon be spiking the football all over the endzone and blaming the poor economy on the Tea Party going forward. Yes, Two can play that game,, but the key is whether anyone besides right wing radio and TV listeners will listen. Here's hoping Boehner is a lot more clever than he appears.


The House passes another bill, this time with a provision for sending a balanced budget amendment to the states. Here's Boehner's cheerleader speech before the vote (ht Verumserum), including from the port siders when he vehemently defended 'sticking his neck out a mile' in dealing with Obama (to raucus applause from the right side).

The passion is good, but it's also a symptom of dealing with the robotic Spock-like Obama for so long. The left will surely call Boehner dangerous now, which fits in with the overall theme of "#compromise", itself targeted at the moderates they need on their side next year. As to the bill, it's DOA in the Senate and there are RINOs involved. Who knows anymore.

SYMBOLIC 7/30/11

Must see TV.

Thursday, July 28, 2011


It's always interesting to see what squeaks out during these big overblown showdown events. For instance, how many realize that one of the veterans who introduced John Kerry at the Democratic National Convention in 2004, and defended him vigorously against the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth, had his Silver Star taken away by the Navy last year? Yes, the story was just released this week.

Or how about the Senate voting 100-0 to confirm a 2 year extension on the 10 year term of FBI Director Mueller? Obama says he needs continuity in that office right now. Why? Is there some kind of emergency? Could it be this recently declared 'national emergency'?

And while the WaPo is saying that AQ's days might be numbered, the Treasury Department is telling us that Iran is harboring another AQ operator:
The Treasury Department said Iran is "a critical transit point for funding to support al Qaeda's activities in Afghanistan and Pakistan."
Read the bio of Saif al Adel, purportedly harbored by Iran after 9/11, and ask yourself who could possibly be more important right now aside from Zawahiri. If that guy was living under the blessings of the Ayatollahs then here's a newsflash for Obama--as long as they are state-sponsored, and the state sponsor is pursuing a nuke, AQ is far from defeated.

Oh, right. The debt mess. Well, Ron Paul is right, but he doesn't have any political sense. He doesn't understand that a 1995-type showdown won by Obama will not get anything done either. That's just reality. It can get worse if the Democrats win back the White House and the House next year, which is really what this whole shindig is all about.

Hopefully the Tea Party understands that if they force a default (and it will be blamed on them if they vote down anything Boehner or Reid propose) and it forces Obama to act unilaterally then the media, Hollywood, and the entire Democratic Soros machine will hammer them repeatedly until November 2012. The real target will be the fickle independents, who will make or break the election as they always do. A principled stand is fine, but it might not stand up to the onslaught. Never misunderestimate perception.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

The Road to Compromise

That speech last night was one of the most drippingly pitiful examples of partisan demagoguery and left wing hackery ever witnessed from a modern president. Doing it with a straight face was a testament to BS'ers the world over. But it just may box Boehner and the GOP into a corner and win Obama reelection if the cards aren't played right:
Carney said today, "We have a divided government. We have a two-party system. No party controls every branch of government. Compromise is the only option."
That's true, but of course his definition of compromise involves giving in to Obama's rigid demand for tax increases (even though Obama said it's unwise to raise taxes during a recession), promises of massive distant cuts (that can be overturned in future budgets--imagine Pelosi grinning and holding that huge gavel again), and Boehner's likely demise as Speaker if he agrees (after a Tea Party revolution casts him off for heresy).

It's a tough spot--one Boehner had no choice but to place himself in after the O sucker punched him with a last minute dealbreaking tax increase in their previous almost deal. Speaker John walked out (stormed?) and decided he would only play with the adults in Congress, which caused last night.

But the GOP dare not dismiss the hackery. Obama's working off a time tested formula. He knows the washed and unwashed masses who don't know a debt ceiling from a hole in the wall will side with him when he starts really scaring them--after all, this is the president of the United States talking--and money is involved. The Tea Party is still a minority.

What to do? Boehner can continue to ignore Hopey and work with Dopey in the Senate, hoping Barick's political capital has run dry as advertised and planning things around an eventual O'cave-in later this week. But desperate men do desperate things, and O is probably being counseled that this is his Newt Gingrich winner take all moment for 2012. That's probably why he reeled Biden back in and opened up a massive can of boilerplate. Never let a crisis go to waste.

If Boehner agrees to a relatively clean bill on the last day he will get blamed by both the TP'ers and Dems, getting stuck with any perceived damage to the markets and our credit rating, which will be ginned up by the White House propaganda factory and parroted by the baby bird media. The damage will not only be to him personally, but to the entire GOP.

Boehner could of course cave now and allow the massive tax increase but everyone knows the outcome there, so it's not worth discussing.

Or....Boehner can start saying, "ok sir, you're right, we're dysfunctional--including you--so if you want compromise we've got a compromise ready that basically does nothing but extend the limit for 9 months, just like previous extensions". Problem is, this would technically favor Obama since he didn't want any major debt decreases in the first place, but he couldn't very well admit that after fashioning himself as Captain Deficit, so that might lock him up. Then again, the baby bird media is there.

It might be the only way, though. Boehner would need to make repeated statements alluding to the fact the government is so divided that it's useless taking the chance of busting the debt limit over a rigid demand for tax increases--that it's something the people will need to decide in decision 2012, and therefore the only responsible and adult thing to do is pass an extension just like the preceding versions. He can then point out how Obama called his own no vote on extending the limit in 2006 a 'mistake'.

The Tea Party might be mad they didn't get a huge deal but not as mad as with other outcomes. Further counterattacks from Obama demanding a tax increase would start to look pettier by the day and also illustrate his singular goal from this affair--tax increases.

Then again, that scenario kinda leaves the impression that the entire thing is an elaborate kabuki dance. Which it is, really. But at least very little actual damage would be done.

MORE 7/26/11

Some of the baby birds are jumping out of the nest. And doing their jobs. It's promising to see a reporter actually interrupt one of the press lackeys instead of allowing endless scolding filibusters even if it is Ed Henry, one of the few who would push back in the press room when he was with CNN, now with Fox News.


Some recent history from Timmy Geithner...

Amazingly we didn't melt down in March, although he avoided it by writing IOUs to the government pension program. Is there another magic accounting trick available this time?

Notice what the baby bird reporterette said at the end: "now we've got a date on the calendar to hopefully provide some push forward". That's part of the arsenal at Obama's disposal. Nothing turns off the mass public like financial numbers, although EVERYBODY cares about their own finances. When they hear threats and warnings that might hit home, they take notice. Obama is now exploiting this fear perhaps as no Democrat has ever done before, and certainly as no modern president has done before.

Again, as postulated above, my position is not a cave. It calls for Boehner to craft a short term clean deal raising the limit for no more than 9 months, coupled with a blizzard of statements reiterating that divided government will not allow a big deal until we sort things out in 2012. This avoids the radical label--hey, just trying to avoid catastrophe--and if Reid won't take it up or if he does, and Obama won't sign it then let the default begin, which will be entirely on him.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Another Speech

Perhaps the networks could just show this instead...

SPEECH 7/25/11

The lecturer-in-chief has spoken and declared the government dysfunctional--except his part of course. He warned those scrubs in Congress (cough tea party) to set their personal grievances aside and do what's right for his reelection--after all, this ain't the health care bill! And he reminded them to stop playing politics with this issue because the entire world is watching--this is a big f'ing deal (even if he did initially send Joe Biden out to fix it)!

Well, let there be light I guess.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

More on Norway

This picture from the NY Times pretty much sums up the result of terrorism, regardless of venue. And make no mistake, Oslo was terrorism, not some one-off Virginia Tech or other snap-nut shooting. It was planned meticulously and the guy was doing it for a cause with hopes for changing outcomes to his way of thinking--just like Jihad.

No surprise he was a single guy living at home with mom who thought of himself as a Templar Knight as he played out his sick real-world video game. All these guys seem to have issues with women, including many jihadies. And most think themselves noble. The anthrax killer--assuming it was really Dr. Bruce Ivins--probably thought of himself as such--noble, patriotic, trying to halt an enemy or save the culture, etc. Same with bin Laden. But when their cause involves slaughtering innocent civilians they're nothing more than common "madmen". Every one of them.

Unfortunately Breivik's heinous act could set Europe on its ear, and perhaps the rest of the western world.

For instance, the jihadi group who took initial credit for the Oslo bomb backed out when they began to see the carnage unfolding on the island. Imagine the Elks, Kiwanas or Masons jumping in to take credit. Radical Islam once again showed itself and some will remember, others will not. Meanwhile:
Mohammed Shafiq, the leader of Ramadhan Foundation, one of Britain's largest Muslim groups, says mosques are being extra vigilant as it emerges that the suspect blamed for the Norway attacks opposed Muslim immigration to Europe.

"People are afraid that we will be the next target," Safiq said. "As a result, we've told people to be extra vigilant and there will be added security placed at mosques."
Not that they shouldn't be reasonably concerned as the attack might shake loose a few other unhinged crazies, but it feels more like they are playing a victim card. There's no evidence the Norway McVeigh even has a network, and even if he does it can't be anything approaching an AQ-like network. Leaders in Europe should take care not to overreact and give Islamic terrorists a reason to claim self defense for the next bombing, or give them new leverage to go after those who condemn cultural differences such as Sha'ria, burkas, subjugation of women, ie,--mostly conservatives. It will be easy for some to now compare them to a mass murderer.

Meanwhile, the international press seems to be enjoying pressing the "Christian fundamentalist" moniker (where did he attend church?) and the "multikulti" angle (click the pic above and read it yourself in the Times story). It's a circulation play but also helps score points for their team. CNN International already has a feature up about the reemergence of Europe's far right and their aversion to multiculturalism/immigration, yet the story failed to mention recent comments from Nicholas Sarkozy, Angela Merkel and David Cameron about the assimilation issue, preferring to focus on more radical figures like Gert Wilders and the like. Here's MSNBC; CBS; and the LA Times with similar themes.

Secondarily, the coverage may set up a moral equivalence paradigm that acts to place fundamental Christianity on the same plane as fundamentalist Islam despite the obvious differences. Painting Islam as too much a victim could also fuel negative attitudes regarding European/NATO war efforts in Afghanistan (and Libya) and any other action against Muslim terrorists around the world. The Imams need to resist the temptation to use this horrible act as a club and instead use it to illustrate just how much sorrow and carnage can be caused by madmen with causes.

But perhaps the most intriguing article of the day comes from ABC News:
The man suspected of killing more than 90 people in a bombing and separate shooting spree in Norway had considered a plan to obtain a weapon of mass destruction through a truce with extreme Islamists, despite his online anti-Muslim rants.

"We both share one common goal. They want control over their own countries in the Middle East and we want control of our own countries in Western Europe," reads part of a 1,500-page manifesto reportedly posted online by Anders Behring Breivik, apparently identifying himself with other right wing extremists. "An Islamic Caliphate is a useful enemy to all Europeans as it will ensure European unity under Christian cultural conservative leadership."
The same potential nexus was largely ignored with Oklahoma City, and Breivik eventually dropped it. But in the end his wild idea should serve as a reminder of the danger still faced.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Friday, July 22, 2011

Oslo Attacks

Thoughts and prayers to the folks in Oslo. Once again the question is who and why; initial reports said the perp(s) at the youth camp attack were white and Nordic in appearance suggesting a domestic political motive but such doesn't rule out an Arab-Islamic root, perhaps using lily whites. As to claims of credit, terrorist groups have a long history of blaming themselves for various catastrophes--as they have in this one--but it's too early to tell.

Many are mentioning the terror arrests and rulings combined with the Mohammad cartoons as a possible motive but Gaddafi has also recently warned of attacks in Europe and Norway hasn't exactly been shy regarding their participation in Operation Unified Protector. Today's attack apparently affected the Oil Ministry in Oslo among other government offices, which could be interpreted as a warning there as well. An attack coming from Libya would be especially nasty because it might mean Gaddafi has contracted with AQ or similar groups to do his dirty work. Again.

MORE 7/22/11

R.S. McCain is practically live-blogging the event. Lots of info over there.

UPDATE 7/22/11

Apparently they have a suspect, a Norwegian-born white Christian who likes hunting and farms for a living (access to fertilizer). But this comment is interesting in context with Obama's initial reaction:
"it seems like that this is not linked to any international terrorist organizations at all." The official spoke on condition of anonymity because that information had not been officially released by Norway's police.

"It seems it's not Islamic-terror related," the official said. "This seems like a madman's work."
"Seems like"? Well, that's conclusive. Also, didn't know there was a distinction between a suicide jihadist and a crazy Norwegian right winger when it comes to blowing innocents up, but apparently this guy believes only the latter qualifies as 'madman'. By the way, in Obama's statement about the attack he said the following:
"I wanted to personally extend my condolences to the people of Norway. And it's a reminder that the entire international community has a stake in preventing this kind of terror from occurring. And so we have to work cooperatively together both on intelligence and in terms of prevention of these kinds of horrible attacks.

"I remember fondly my visit to Oslo and how warmly the people of Norway treated me. And so our hearts go out to them, and we'll provide any support we can to them as they investigate these occurrences."
So right off the bat he made the international connection, yet now we have officials saying it 'seems like' there is no international connection. So much for the caution about jumping to conclusions. It's also nice to know Obama sends his condolences and was treated well by the white people in Norway, but what about the rest of us? The president is supposed to extend condolences from the United States government, not just himself.

Many questions, such as why a jihadi group took initial credit (the mere act of taking credit for such carnage shows just how grisly those bastards are) so this story is far from told. One effective way for Islamists to topple a government might be to recruit and/or help a lone wolf extremist from either ideological side in an effort to foment a civil divide. Just look at the USA. But on the surface it looks like a right wing nutjob.

MORE 7/23/11

The media is running with the Christianist, anti-Muslim angle. Not sure if it's due to his Facebook entry or other online conversation or something the police have released, but it probably doesn't matter. No doubt they won't point out that, unlike fundamentalist Muslims basing their attacks on passages in the Quran, there is nothing in the New Testament that would support such a heinous act. Nothing whatsoever.

Perhaps we'll soon hear his rationale--maybe he was targeting the Labour Party socialists to wake them up over immigration and the failure of multiculturalism in the EU, something also mentioned by Sarkozy, Merkel, and Cameron.

LAST 7/23/11

According to the Telegraph, from one of the island survivors:
"The first thing he did was to shoot the first cute girl he saw," he said.
And he supposedly lived with his mother. Sounds like the common thread shared with other mass-murdering maniacs has been found.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Rubio on Debt

Schieffer's hack questions seemed inconsequential compared to Rubio's clear replies.

MORE 7/21/11

DC was abuzz this morning over Grover Norquist's apparent dabble in nuance over the "Bush tax cuts" being allowed to expire:
"Not continuing a tax cut is not technically a tax increase," Norquist told the Washington Post editorial board. "We wouldn't hold it" as violating the pledge, he said.
Sounds a bit squishy, but I think it's a good idea to propose letting the Bush-Obama extended cuts expire because doing so would revert everyone back to the Clinton tax increase levels, which would mean a tax hike on just about everyone who works. That would force Obama to come out now and nix the plan because he's vowed not to raise taxes on anyone making under 250K.

That probably wasn't Norquist's goal though, as according to the above link he tried to clarify the position to someone on MSNBC (imagine that). To add to the frivolity, Harry Reid is now chastising the GOP House for taking the weekend off when they've got "days, not weeks" to get something done. Hmm, I thought the House had already passed a budget and debt bill.

Monday, July 18, 2011

News of the World

The NY Times continues its saturation coverage, smelling Murdoch-Fox News blood in the water ahead of the reelection of Obama and the Dems, hoping with high hopes that the scandal takes down the entire empire. Behold, the Obama campaign 2012 begins! Nope, can't prove it, just call it a feeling.

Where was their saturation coverage of the Global Warming emails? They largely took a pass on Obama's connections with Ayers, and have failed to cover the Fast and Furious scandal and a host of other miscues. But this News of the World tabloid thing is getting the Abu Ghraib treatment.

No doubt there's some sleaze going on. We are talking about tabloids, right? Have we come to the point where people are shocked and outraged that such things could ever possibly occur at a tabloid? Or did the National Enquirer breaking the John Edwards story get rid of that facade? Right, this is Murdoch.

Oh well, it should be a feisty day in Parliament on Tuesday, with fur and feathers flying. When the dust settles maybe the mainstreamers will give us an update on debt ceiling armegeddon.

Abdulhakim Terror Trial Opens in Little Rock

They are trying him on state capital murder charges instead of federal terrorism charges; he has declared himself a jihadist and wanted the federal trial:
Muhammad described in his own words how he took his declaration of faith in a Memphis mosque. He discussed his motives for moving to Yemen and his attempt to travel to Somalia for weapons training.
His father, Memphian Melvin Bledsoe, is heartsick over what has happened to his son and even testified in Peter King's hearing a few months ago. He believes his son was brainwashed by the people in the mosque he attended in Nashville--he may be right--but then again logic says most radical jihadists would fall under that rubric, especially those willing to strap bombs to themselves to kill women and children. Or go fight with the Taliban.

Using a capital murder charge as opposed to a federal terrorism charge is obviously a tactic designed to prevent Muhammed from being able to take pride in being charged and convicted as a terrorist. As it stands he'll be convicted of the same crime committed by a gang-banger who drives around randomly shooting people.

Treating him the same as a local crook also saves the Obama administration from having to hold a federal terrorist trial and all the coverage that goes with it, including details about this travel to Yemen and Somalia and the debate over whether he should be in a military tribunal, especially after targeting military personnel.

Who knows, they might have tried the same with the other Abdulxxx terrorist--Muttalab, who is awaiting federal charges related to the underwear bomb plot:
Abdulmutallab is charged with attempting to use a weapon of mass destruction and conspiring with others to kill 281 passengers and 11 crew members aboard Northwest Airlines Flight 253. U.S investigators believe he received training and instructions from al-Qaida operatives in Yemen, beginning in August 2009.
Abdulhakim also "conspired with others" when he conferred with al-Awlaki. But one was during flight, the other in flyover country. Few will notice.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

15 Years Ago...

TWA flight 800 exploded off Long Island 15 years ago today. There's not much more to say that hasn't been said... the government gave its probable cause, which if correct would represent the first such occurrence in a commercial jet aircraft in flight (none have occurred since), but strange things sometimes happen. Most have forgotten and accepted and moved on, but writers like Jack Cashill are still frustrated.

In his latest exercise of frustration Cashill points to an excellent book by Richard Miniter about KSM (a good primer in case a trial ever happens). The book contains nothing about flight 800 but the screaming message throughout is one of aviation terror, whether it be the 'planes' operation on 9/11, the failed 'Bojinka' plot, Yousef's seat bomb on a Philippine Airlines 747, the plan to crash a Cessna into the CIA complex, or their lifelong buddy Murad the pilot.

Indeed, aviation plots have dominated the terror news since the 90s, as recently as the parcel inkjet plot and the underwear guy (and a few unexplained crashes where terrorists have taken credit). Prior to the 90s, Arab terrorists had long made heavy use of hijackings going back to the 70s. At one point flight 800 was thought to be part of the same pattern, then after a dog training exercise explained away the PETN residue on the aircraft and a government animation explained away the streaks of light seen by dozens of witnesses, the big media lost interest despite the weakness inherent in those explanations.

While government investigative bodies aren't likely to weigh in on this case anymore there are a few questions not involving investigators that could still be asked. For instance, somebody could ask John Kerry and Katie Couric (video now gone from internet) and George Stephanapoulis what they meant when they called 800 a 'bombing' during the chaos of 9/11. Kerry even mentioned it again on a September 24th interview, well apart from the chaos of the day. Stephanapoulis wrote an excellent biography--published before 9/11--about his time in the White House and never mentioned 800.

Aside from those questions, which presume to point to a state sponsor, others are still inquiring. According to a Vanity Fair article, lawyers representing a 9/11 family claim that former commission attorney Dieter Snell has claimed in an affidavit there is compelling evidence that Iran helped facilitate the 9/11 plot. This was hinted in the final report but not strongly; if Snell has stronger evidence it's not being published.

And why would it? The public might demand our leaders take it further than 'the water's edge', and maybe we still aren't ready to do that yet. Some terrorism experts suggest that Hizballah maintains sleepers throughout North America that can be activated should something occur in the mother country. Responsible leaders have to plan carefully and play the game right. And of course there is always politics to consider.

Consider our presence in Libya now--reportedly as a UN and NATO member to 'protect the people' (or whatever the current rationale might be--the MSM has lately focused all their energy on bringing down Murdoch and Fox). Maybe we've actually slipped past the water's edge on this one due to al-Megrahi and other previously unmentioned horribles.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Side Tracks

In memory of NASA..

Odds and Ends

This is a strange article from CBS News. It purports to be a news story about the Dalai Lama visiting the White House to meet with Obama, but then it turns into an opinion piece suggesting that Obama should use 'his holiness' to mediate a debt ceiling bill. After all, according to the writer of this story his holiness has a lot of experience dealing with the totalitarian communist Chinese government, who haven't been very accommodating either--just like the GOP!

But maybe it's appropriate for Obama to get advice from his holiness. After all, he just recently admitted to being a Marxist. Maybe that will warrant a more dignified exit through the front door this time.

Speaking of the debt ceiling, why does the 'deadline' keep moving? During the brouhaha earlier this year about whether to pass a short-term continuing resolution (which according to Obama, America doesn't do) in lieu of a real budget (which apparently Congress doesn't do anymore), they were talking about the next big impasse being in March. Apparently they found a way to postpone catastrophe then, why not now?


With the continuing unrest in Egypt (not being covered in the media anymore) we hear a lot about the Muslim Brotherhood and their future role in the proceedings. Most of the stories from major media sources are sanitized, but to get a real feel of what a Brotherhood leader thinks about world affairs this interview by Michael Totten is a must-read. It's as if he was having a debate with a US liberal on a message board.


In News of the World news, the WaPo has actually written an article calling into question the highly flammable account of 9/11 victims' cell phones being hacked. Weirdly, all of congressfolk demanding investigations were not available for comment. Meanwhile the NY Times has made the Murdoch tabloid story front page news for a week now. Not that it's not news, but anyone who doesn't think they see some Fox News blood in the water please raise your hand.


The bodyguard who killed Hamid Karzai's brother was a 'trusted CIA contact'? The story says he had been acting nervously of late, getting calls in the middle of the night and even making a trip to Quetta, Baluchistan province Pakistan, currently the capital of terrorism on planet earth. In other words, he had likely flipped to the Taliban. We don't know whether some of the nervousness was actually due to a tug of war with the CIA (maybe they monitored his trip to Quetta to gain intel) but in the end it was a fail. Anyone who thinks there won't be more flips as the US withdraws please raise your hand.


Police bust teenage girls in Midway, Georgia for operating a lemonade stand without a permit. They switched to yard work to get their extra money, which as everyone knows is a much safer endeavor because it's a job Americans won't do.


Not everything is cynicism here at Fore Left. There's always room for some mocking humor as well...

Looks like a good intro to one of those Southwest Airlines commercials. Then again to be fair, perhaps Southwest should make a similar commercial about one of their own pilots.. or even this blogger, who once wrote a post entitled "Obama has no chance".

Friday, July 15, 2011

Taking the Case to the Peeps

Obama was back to the podium today to filibuster questions from chosen reporters. It's clear he considers this his second seminal moment--aside from the health care ramrod--to enact his Joe the Plumber philosophy on America by punishing the rich and vanquishing his enemies (GOP). He continued to paint the solution as easy--just tax the people who don't need their money (it belongs to the government dammit)--and by the way, most Republicans are in favor of the plan (whatever it is)!

This is what he meant when he threatened Cantor about 'taking it to the people'. It's part of his special talent. It's why he's there.

Back in reality Krauthammer brilliantly points out today just how flip-floppish the president has been on the debt issue to this point. Clearly the latest volley of pressers is based more on opportunism than anything else--seeing a heretofore political goal unobtainable of being able to roll the GOP by dividing the Tea Party from the mainliners. If he cared about debt he wouldn't have submitted a bloated budget just months ago (and please don't ask about it).

One reporter managed to follow up a filibuster by asking O why he's suddenly taking a stand on raising the debt ceiling and in turn threatening seniors and the credit rating of the nation when they've been fairly common for years. In answering he gave away some of his goal by admitting he wants the debate to illuminate the ineptitude in "Congress" because they are engaged in petty posturing instead of doing their jobs to help the American people. In other words, the Tea Party is stopping them. Such is of course stratospheric hypocrisy but he gets away with it using the same straight face he used when misrepresenting his mother's cancer fight with insurance companies (don't ask him about that, either).

Which is part and parcel of the threat issued to Cantor.

Neither Cantor nor Boehner nor McConnell can go out and speak the way Obama can. They just don't have the charisma, the flair with language and the Alinsky-like ability to twist the truth for the cause. Consider this talent when contemplating any currently known GOP challenger for 2012. Will he be beatable even if unemployment rates spikes into the double digits? Or will the only one who could stand with Obama toe to toe finally get himself in the race?

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Dead Fish in the Fox Cubby

Per the email release showing certain White House media flaks plotting to freeze out Fox News, one flak reportedly said to another,
‘I am putting some dead fish in the fox cubby – just cause”
Strange, but just a figure of speech? Probably. The 'dead fish' term is one associated with Rahm Emanuel (he once sent a pollster a stinking dead fish to express his displeasure or something). The flak's reference might have been mocking in response to Sean Hannity's penchant for calling Emanuel "Rahm Rombo dead fish" on the air, which would make sense.

That is, unless it had some weird relation to the Bush-appointed staffer at Department of Homeland Security who was sent a package of dead fish and white powder before being terminated of her position as a WMD expert (was that ever explained?).

The emails are not a surprise, though. Every administration has favorites and enemies and every one tries to gain an advantage with the media. This one has the benefit of a very docile pool full of admirers who are afraid to upset the power and hence, don't often make waves or much news.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011


Obama on Tuesday, talking to White House CBS scribe Scott Pelley:
"I cannot guarantee that those checks go out on August 3rd if we haven't resolved this issue. Because there may simply not be the money in the coffers to do it,"
Obama spokesman Jay Carney on Wednesday, from the White House press room:
Carney expressed confidence on behalf of the White House that "we will get an agreement" - and that concerns about Social Security checks would be null.

"Our position, the president's position, has always been that we will not get to that point because Congress will do the right thing," he said.
Panetta must be relieved to have the gaffe pressure off him. Wonder if the White House saw this hearing?

Anyway, as the mainstream press reported this evening, the whole is getting stressful for the O and he reportedly stormed out of today's meeting, or walked out, or strolled out whistling (depending on the anonymous source used), threatening Cantor he would "take it to the people". Isn't that what his Social Security threat was all about? And hey, what happened to Boehner?

The One also reportedly dropped Reagan's name in the process, bringing to mind the Reykjavik talks where Reagan walked out on Gorbachev and the Soviets. Who knows, maybe Obama thinks of the GOP as the evil empire. Or worse--he came to his negotiating table with an attitude and a lot of pre-conditions, something he promised he would never do when meeting with America's real enemies.

Speaking of the White House press corpse, apparently some of their gut instincts are finally coming to the surface. Obama has been getting away with murder for years in just every one of his pressers because the reporters have been prevented from shouting questions. Dealing with this type of interview prevents the respondent (him) from taking one question and filibustering for five minutes to eat up clock. He also allegedly has a computer screen in the podium where clarifications can be beamed, which is harder to deal with when the pace is fast.

The hand-picked structured format also discourages follow up questions, which are often more important than the initial question because they address the answer. Obama is very skilled in maneuvering around in this format and frankly, it's not his fault, it's the press' fault for tolerating it. They could 'take it to the people' if they really wanted to, making America more free, but of course that might risk being kicked out of the pool or having their book access restricted. So they don't. Besides, most still agree with him.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Say What?

Hmmm, as the bloggers say:
Newly appointed US Defence Secretary Leon Panetta told American troops in Baghdad on Monday that 9/11 was the reason they were in Iraq, before he was quickly corrected by his spokesman.

"The reason you guys are here is because of 9/11. The US got attacked and 3,000 human beings got killed because of Al-Qaeda," Panetta told about 150 soldiers at the Camp Victory US base. "We've been fighting as a result of that," he said.
Unless he forgot where he was it's hard to imagine that being a slip of the tongue. It sounds more like a slip of the truth, but who knows. Maybe he was thinking of AQ still being in-country but that doesn't really fit Mother Pea's narrative that we basically created AQ in Iraq by engaging in a dumb war. Or maybe he was thinking more of Hizballah/Iran--the latter having been once again blamed by several high-ranking government officials of supplying weapons to Shia militias who are killing our troops again.

Panetta's spokesman attempted some damage control by saying his boss tends to be "plain spoken". Does he mean 'not prone to BSing,' or 'honest'? Or was he calling his boss dumb? Panetta recently told troops in Afghanistan that 70,000 of them would still be there by 2014, which Reuters called a 'faux pas' since Obama has already promised we're exiting stage left, something else his spokesmen also had to explain although it was also probably not a slip of the tongue.

MORE 7/11/11

This WaPo version contains an actual quote from Panetta:
Pressed by reporters to elaborate, Panetta said: “I wasn’t saying, you know, the invasion — or going into the issues or the justification of that. It was more the fact that we really had to deal with al-Qaeda here; they developed a presence here and that tied in.” His aides then intervened and shooed the press corps away.
He didn't give a timeline, in other words, he didn't clarify whether AQ was represented by Zarqawi and Ansar al Islam in 2002 triggering the invasion, or by later iterations of AQ in Iraq that formed after the invasion. When tied into his original comment about 9/11 he could get by with saying the invasion was itself dumb, but when AQ showed up we had to deal with them because they attacked us on 9/11.

But even that qualification doesn't exactly square with Obama's narrative, which as late as 2007 was calling for an almost total withdrawal by 2008 save a small contingent to handle counter-terrorism. If indeed AQ is the reason our troops are deployed hither and yon it wouldn't seem logical to pull them out save a few to battle AQ in a collapsing country.

That's not the only bold thing Panetta has said of late. Just a few days ago he stated that we have AQ in a position to where victory is within reach. In other words, we could actually win the war against terrorism, something John Kerry, John Murtha and countless other Democrats thought wasn't possible. I think this signals that a few more big takedown are close at hand.

MORE 7/12/11

The NYT weighs in on the weirdness by painting Panetta as a bumbler:
At the Pentagon he has been unleashed to his natural state, schmoozing and holding forth, although his liberation — and new scrutiny of every word he utters as defense secretary — means his staff has to do some tidying up.
A couple of observations. One, notice the contrast in reportage between the supposed gaffes and anything a Republican would say cough Sarah Palin cough Michelle Bachmann.

Two, the bumbler defense has been used before by the Dems. Notice the Times felt compelled to list Panetta's age, 73. Why, he just might be suffering from CRS! Forget that it's the same guy who just got bin Laden, he's an Italian, and Italians say the craziest things and are allowed to get away with loose talk even in the highest offices.

When Percy Sutton calmly uttered that Obama had been sponsored for Harvard by Khalid al-Mansour the pushback wasn't that he was lying, but that he was old (in his 80s). Old farts get their facts mixed up don't cha know. When Sandy Berger stole national security documents from the National Archives, stuffing them in his pants and socks and later clipping and destroying them in his apartment, the pushback was that he was an absent-minded frump. Sort of like Oscar Madison. Yet the guy runs a worldwide security consulting firm.

So the question remains--did Panetta simply mean the troops were there because AQ was there and nothing more (regardless of why we went in), or did he slip and utter some tiny truth in that plain-speaking, salty Italian way?

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Sayeth Charlie..

From the congressman who cheated on his taxes:
But when pressed on exactly what that higher power would say about America's money problems, he replied "I don't know what Jesus or Moses or anyone would say. But, the issues are so morally clear...we are our brothers keepers."

Rangel summed up his argument by saying, "You know all of this is biblical... If you read your bibles and you read the spiritual scriptures you will see that clearly that Jesus would have something to say about this debate."
Hmm. Does he also want Jesus to weigh in on gay marriage? Abortion? Sexual sin? Ethics? Sloth? Debt and taxes? How about the separation of church and state?

This shameless tactic is pretty low even for the party of shameless tactics (Charlie's not the only one to do it), especially considering the number of liberals who daily try to dismiss most of the moral absolutes coming from the very same source. But hey, they didn't get known as the party of ends justify means for nothing.

Does he realize this stuff won't fly anymore? Only sycophants and media members will be dazzled by such a hypocritical zinger, everyone else will see it for what it was--just more BS from a congressman designed to paper over a serious issue. He knows Boehner has the upper hand right now after getting Obama to admit he'd be willing--using Charlie's logic--to throw his 'brothers' under the bus in return for higher taxes (which Charlie probably wouldn't pay).

Meanwhile Boehner doesn't have to do anything but position and hold. The president can either deal with the smaller package he sanctioned Biden to negotiate or play a game of chicken with himself by challenging his own self-imposed deadline and risk what Geithner has called a catastrophe. Then again, he could reset the Biden deal and demand the smaller package contain tax increases but that would be very weak, not to mention 'messing with Joe'. Joe would not like that. Unless that's how they are planning to replace him with Cuomo!

Well, surely they'll think of some new spin to deflect all of this, perhaps consisting of the words 'bullseye', 'targeted', 'crosshairs', 'racist', 'shotgun' or some other inflammatory rhetoric only considered inflammatory when used by Sarah Palin. Plenty of time.

PEAS IN A POD 7/11/11

Obama counters quickly by dismissing the Biden deal (saving Joe) in favor of a bullying posture using Mother Superior terminology. Have to admit I didn't see "eat our peas" coming, but it's completely in character for the floating president as he hovers above the debate, scolding the little people down in green valley to hurry up and get this over with so he can get back to the course.

SHORT TERM 7/11/11

Obama actually had the nerve to stand there and declare that America doesn't do short term fixes? Really? Has he counted the number of Continuing Resolutions we are up to now without a real budget (that Pelosi was afraid to bring to a vote for fear the Blue Dogs would get tarred by Tea Partiers)?

These pressers are not real pressers, they are setups for Obama to deliver talking points. Did anyone ask him why he voted against a debt limit increase in 2006 when Bush was asking for one?

Saturday, July 09, 2011

Side Tracks

They were subversive, irreverent, talented and made you think.

Friday, July 08, 2011

Viva Mexico?

That phrase was evidently uttered by convicted murderer Humberto Leal before Texas fed him his last cocktail upon the collapse of last minute relief from Obama and the SCOTUS.

Not to celebrate some guy's encounter with ole sparky, but yelling viva Mehico at the moments before death seems rather illuminating. Here was a kid brought to the United States by illegal alien parents when he was 2--the same kind of guy the liberals and some triangulating conservatives would award with college scholarships and backdoor citizenship had he only not killed a 16 year old girl, and a group in which Obama has painted as patriotic writ large and pretty much American by default.

So what happens when one of them is faced with the rule of law for a crime committed here? Obama steps in to say he should have been treated as a Mexican national.

In other words, just words. Whatever it takes to pander to the nearest voter.

Wednesday, July 06, 2011

At Least They Didn't Blow This One Away

Fox News is all atwitter (sorry) about a potential AQ big shot captured near the horn of Africa and kept aboard a Navy ship for two months of interrogation:
A member of an Al Qaeda-linked group was interrogated for two months by U.S. authorities on a Navy ship in the waters off the Horn of Africa, before being flown to the United States over the July 4 holiday to face prosecution in a civilian court, officials say.
Meet the new Gitmo, free from visits by the International Red Cross or media! Wonder if the HIG people were there?

Anyway, it's odd we'd pick up a Somalian named Warsame involved with AQ after prosecuting another Warsame here in the US several years ago--one which the govt wanted to make into a double agent.

Republicans are outraged he wasn't sent to GTMO, as if the administration is saying he's not an enemy combatant (which he surely is). Funny, they justified his trip to federal court by claiming they offered longer sentences even though KSM has been in custody without trial since 2003, as have many other AQ players. Indeed, the US has every right to hold this guy indefinitely so the administration must be trying to make a political point (discussed in this summary, including some questions that need to be asked).

Questions such as where is our policy heading? US forces are spread out fairly thin all over Africa, the Middle East and east Asia fighting the terror war and other various battles yet Obama is bringing a party man in as Secretary of Defense and putting a general at CIA, while making a point to bring this AQ biggie into civilian court. Reading the tea leaves it sounds like they are counting on withdrawal from the big land wars with a resulting cut in the Defense budget while shifting focus to small scale operations working with CIA. And that's not so crazy sounding, at least until AQ grabs hold of another country.

Monday, July 04, 2011

Fourth of July

Happy July the 4th. Yes, technically it's "Independence Day" (even if a guy wandering the beach in California can't find many bubble heads that know from whom) but there's nothing wrong with either description so long as the meaning remains.

The evil Fox News has a feature today about true meaning: little known facts associated with the holiday, including this one about the Pledge of Allegiance:
Our Founding Fathers Would Not Have Recited the Pledge: Another patriotic tradition that gets a lot of attention, particularly around this time of the year, is the Pledge of Allegiance. The Pledge did not exist during our Founders' lifetimes -- something that is very clear when looking at its text. The Pledge was written over a century after America's founding in 1892. It was also written by a socialist -- Francis Bellamy, whose original text was: "I pledge allegiance to my Flag and the Republic for which it stands, one nation, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all." According to our Founders, the states are not indivisible, but very much the opposite. In fact, when ratifying the U.S. Constitution, some states, such as Virginia among others, specifically declared the right to secede from the Union should they feel it necessary just as an extra precaution to make sure that that state right was understood. Our Founders took their states rights very seriously and considered the U.S. Constitution to be a compact amongst the sovereign states so that any state could secede if it felt the federal government had become oppressive. So, if not with a pledge, how would our Founding Fathers begin meetings and celebrations? The answer: most likely with a prayer. In fact, the very first resolution brought before the First Continental Congress, and immediately passed, was the declaration that they would open every meeting with a prayer.
Imagine a man-on-the-street quiz on any of that. But yep, there are probably more than a few state constitutions that would fall within a violation of the Separation of Church according ACLU types due to mentioning reverence to a deity--including the Declaration itself. It's amazing nobody has tried to have these documents amended or removed from the schools.

As to the pledge--many know the roots. While the founders might not have cottoned to a pledge I see nothing wrong with the amended version. They added "under God" and "the United States of America", which addressed the state sovereignty issue while reminding the socialists that the phrase 'endowed by their Creator' wasn't actually referencing the federal government.

Saturday, July 02, 2011

Fishing for Truth

Or maybe it's "twoof". Ed Morrisey points to a negligence charge leveled against the Massachusetts authorities in charge of Logan airport security in a lawsuit filed by the family of a 9/11 victim. The suit claims Mohammed Atta was milling around filming the security checkpoint at Logan several months prior to the attack, and they did nothing about it.

As Ed correctly says, this sounds like a pretty big case of "shoulda, coulda, woulda".

But as he also says, where has this been all along? The time period in question is identified as "May 2001" with no specific dates May 11, so checking an Atta timeline, it says he got a drivers license and rented a few cars in May, then made several flights in and out of Boston in June and July 2001. Aside from the possibility they were not told about it, which is almost impossible, why would the 9/11 Commission not include these May adventures? Let's speculate wildly!

Part of the issue with a review of anything so horrific is culpability--fault. People have been hurt and they want justice. The 9/11 truthers always fail to understand how bureaucracies work and the inherent concept of CYA, preferring to see dark intent even if none exists. But the easiest explanation is that certain information was left out to protect public and private entities from major bankrupting lawsuits, ie, the 'greater good'. Oh yes, one could also speculate it was to save GW's Bush political keister from those who would say Cheney was in the shadows guiding Atta via headset.

It has to be terrible for grieving family members to hear that Atta was known to be filming around Logan before the attacks but at the same time he was also stopped by police for traffic violations. It's easy to forget that although UBL declared war on America beginning in 1996, Americans had yet to fully grasp what that meant until September 11, 2001. Lawyers often ignore such things when pursuing damages.

Then again, Ed didn't mention this story regarding the same plaintiff from earlier in the year:
Lawyers for the family of a Sept. 11 victim want to question a United Airlines worker who they say might have contacted terrorist ringleader Mohamed Atta on the day of the attacks...

...According to court papers filed yesterday, the lawyers "believe that FBI reports and records show that a call was placed from Julie Ashley's cellphone to hijacker Mohamed Atta's cellphone on or about Sept. 11, 2001."

The court papers also reveal that Ashley's husband, Iranian-born pilot Ahmad Farid Khorrami, was jailed for three months right after the attacks on suspicion of links to some of the Sept. 11 hijackers

"The fact that Ashley's husband was not charged with any crime related to 9/11 does not allow Julie Ashley to avoid testifying in a civil trial," wrote Bavis' lawyer, Mary Schiavo, a former inspector general at the US Department of Transportation.
Again, something else not made very public. While the phone thing could well be another fishing expedition--the man was released and is suing the government--it also seems strange the feds would have immediately picked this guy up and held him for three months, suggesting they were aware of him beforehand. So what did they find on the cellphone? Did the phone dial Atta or not?

Let's say that it did--such would still not automatically prove guilt. Just because the pilot was an instructor of several of the hijackers while in Florida doesn't mean he was complicit in the plot. The explanation could be as innocent as "I knew he was coming through town and wanted to say hello". In other words, the feds would need to prove prior knowledge, which they apparently could not do. But still. Wow.

And 'wow' is exactly the reason they probably spiked it. Just imagine a story coming out right after the attack saying, "Iranian pilot involved with hijackers, wife works for United"--where would our national anger have been directed? Besides, as Cheney said in Woodward's book "Bush at War", even if--we weren't ready to do anything about it yet.

MORE 7/3/11

From the Atta timeline linked above (and no, I cannot verify it for accuracy):
9th - 10th May 2001: Unit #1, 1836 Lincoln Street
On May 9, 2001, Marwan al-Shehhi and Mohamed Atta rented Unit #1, 1836 Lincoln Street, Hollyowod, Florida. Al-Shehhi paid $954 in cash to the owner of the small apartment complex for what was to be a month-to-month rental starting on May 13, 2001. Later in the day on May 9, 2001, al-Shehhi and Atta called the owner and stated that they did not want to rent the apartment and they wanted their money back. On May 10, 2001, both Atta and al-Shehhi came by the owner's residence and he returned their deposit.

10th May 2001: AT&T cellphone account

An exhibit at the Moussaoui trial mentions documents relating to Atta's AT&T cellphone account for number 305-632-2408. (Source)

13th May 2001 - 16th June 2001: 1818 Jackson St

A Moussaoui trial exhibit mentions a $1110 receipt for Atta & al-Shehhi, covering the rental of the apartment 1818 Jackson St., #3A, Hollywood, FL.
If this is accurate it means Atta was in Florida on May 10th, one day before supposedly casing the Boston airport, then returned to Hollywood, FL on the 13th. Obviously that would give them a window but for some reason the list does not show them flying to Boston. If they drove they would have had to have made it within 24 hours.

Then again, a careful reading of the Herald story says Atta wasn't actually captured on security tape:
The family argues that troopers missed the opportunity that day to possibly intercept the men or at least capture Atta on surveillance camera footage.
..and that Atta was placed there not through discovery of FBI documents but through depositions from "airline employees and other witnesses". If Atta was in the airport filming near security checkpoints why wouldn't the security video show it? Smells kinda fishy. The family says they want ".. their day in court to expose what went terribly wrong on 9/11." So perhaps we'll see whether any new theories are unearthed.

Meanwhile, the story rekindles one of the strangest periods in the Atta timeline, the Madrid Spain trip between July 8-19, 2001. According to the 9/11 commission he met with Ramzi binalShibh between July 9 and 16th to discuss final planning, but at the same time he dropped off all hotel registries during most of this period. BinalShibh claims Atta met with nobody else during his overseas trips, but according to Spanish investigators there were two other men present, contradicting binalShibh and therefore the official US version.

The mystery of falling off hotel registries is probably answered by the gang being put up in a safe house near Barcelona to conduct the meeting--meaning they had a facilitator in Spain. Exactly what Atta did between the time he dropped off binalShibh at Reus airport on the 16th and left Madrid for Florida on the 19th remains in question, but hotel receipts suggest he stayed around Barcelona. It's possible he just took a little vacation before going back to his terrorist duties but with binalShibh back in Germany how does the 9/11 Commission know with certainty who or whom Atta might have encountered during those last three days?

Whatever the case one thing seems certain--Atta was well-trained, by somebody.

MORE 7/5/11

This post has drawn the attention of a smattering of 9/11 truthers, who apparently don't appreciate use of the word "fishing". But that's what these lawyers are doing. Doesn't mean they won't catch something.

Meanwhile, one of the truthers linked a site detailing a lawsuit filed that alleges that Iran was involved in the 9/11 plot via the world's second most wanted terrorist before the late bin Laden, the late Hizballah chieftain Imad Mughniyah. Such a concept wouldn't be surprising in the least, as mentioned here (for those scoring at home, Mughniyah was taken out in 2008 during the reign of Bush II).

But these lawsuits are not uncommon. There was one against Saudi Arabia, dismissed in lower courts and recently rebuffed by the Supreme Court to the delight of Obama. In previous years there was a lawsuit against Iraq for complicity in the Oklahoma City bombing, and Iraq was actually found guilty in absentia of having a hand in 9/11 through a link to al Qaeda. Did you know that?

Or in other words, lawsuits don't carry a lot of weight as far as public perception. At the same time it's doubtful the government wants it bandied about that Iran had anything to do with 9/11 because they are still pretending they had nothing to do with the Khobar Towers bombing either, despite a verdict saying they did. Or maybe they let the Saudis decide.

Side Tracks

Happy Independence Day weekend, all.

Friday, July 01, 2011

The Meaning of the Word "They"

Jack Cashill has an interesting review piece out on Richard Miniter's new book "Mastermind", specifically about how it relates to the Clinton administration's handling (or mishandling) of KSM. In so doing he points out an exchange between historian Taylor Branch and Bill Clinton regarding TWA 800:
On August 2, 1996, Clinton told Branch that the FBI was “rechecking” its interviews with “some fifteen ground witnesses who saw a bright streak in the sky near the plane.” If corroborated, Branch adds, this “could suggest a missile rather than a bomb.” Clinton knew it was a missile. By this time, the FBI had interviewed at least 200 eyewitnesses who had seen a bright streak. Still, he gave away more than he might have intended in this interview. Clinton traced the likely attack to Iran. So obsessed was he on the upcoming election that he claimed terrorists had struck “to undermine [his] chances for reelection because he was pushing the middle-east peace process.”

They want war,” Branch quotes Clinton as saying. Those three words suggest the probable justification used to stop this investigation at the water’s edge as well.
Bolded to point out that according to Branch's reflection the president believed (on August 2, 1996 at least) that Iran was likely behind an attack on the US that killed hundreds because they didn't want him solving Middle East peace. Could make sense--they had a large investment in Hizballah and Hamas. And Cashill has long talked of a 'come to Jesus' meeting at the White House on August 22, 1996 after which the 800 story suddenly began morphing from a terrorist act to a spark in the fuel tank, no worries, just an accident.

It's not hard to believe that Clinton might have thought "they" were trying to goad us into war to stop peace by staging an attack to sway the public towards the election of war hero Bob Dole later in 1996.

Bit it seems a lot depends on the meaning of the word "they". Conventional wisdom about 9/11 is that bin Laden was trying to bait us into a long war, which sounds similar to what Clinton was saying about Iran. Several AQ members were holed up in Iran for years after the attacks, most likely including the interim leader al-Adel and at least one of bin Laden's grown sons. Since proxies are normally used to do the dirty work, KSM's 'planes' operation was certainly in line with Yousef's earlier attacks on aviation. Was it just the Iranians he thought were trying to goad us into war? Or was 9/11 not a shock to him?

In a world of WikiLeaks perhaps such a truth may someday come out, although since it hasn't yet maybe that's not a rock solid guarantee. And maybe for good reason--just imagine such a revelation coming now as Iran gets closer to nuclear weapons every day while we prepare to leave the battlefields both east and west of them.