Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Conspiracy Update

Today is the 21st anniversary of the first attack on the World Trade Center by Muslim terrorists in 1993.  Some consider it the unofficial beginning of the GWoT.

Oddly, on the same day a story has emerged that brings even more fuzziness into the entire War on Terror narrative. 

Backtracking to 93, the perpetrators were not thought to be part of AQ, rather, they were loosely associated with the Egyptian Islamic Group attached to the Blind Shiekh Omar Rahman and/or the rootless, stateless variant known to include KSM. Bin Laden was considered a minor player at the time.

But the players have always been a bit of a mystery.   The most notable was Ramzi Yousef, who was born in Pakistan.  Called "Rashid the Iraqi" by his terror buds, he was locked up and forgotten before AQ became a force.  Another was Abdul Yasin, an actual Iraqi who has never been found (after fleeing to Saddam's Iraq after the attack).  Egyptians made up the bulk of the rest of the gang.   The hate for infidels is noted, but why would they have reason at that time to knock over the towers and kill 200,000 New Yorkers?  After all, we had liberated Afghanistan, Kosovo, allowed the Blind Shiekh safe harbor and had just cut the legs out from under Saddam Hussein, a noted whiskey drinking apostate.   

Over the years the focus morphed to UBL and AQ.  But journalists had long ago uncovered that the FBI was running an asset on the inside of the plot, an Egyptian named Emad Salem, who was bizarrely pulled from the inside some months before the attack.   That was a bit embarrassing, but it never became a huge public story as time passed and people forgot, except the 9/11 truthers, who consider it evidence of the grand plot.   

After 9/11 interest spiked again, but the 9/11 Commission decided not to go delve back too far into history in their review for some reason.  Had they done so they might have uncovered a new revelation surfaced today about the history of the FBI and UBL:
In a revelation missing from the official investigations of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, the FBI placed a human source in direct contact with Osama bin Laden in 1993 and ascertained that the al Qaeda leader was looking to finance terrorist attacks in the United States, according to court testimony in a little-noticed employment dispute case.
No doubt this will light the conspiracy world on fire.  Perhaps it should--considering that the FBI has been able to keep this out of the limelight for over 20 years now.  If they can suppress something for 20 years it's not hard to think they could have suppressed info about something like a plane crash off the coast of Long Island.

But is this really a big deal?  In 1993 UBL was living in the Sudan. That's likely where this Egyptian asset met with him and found out about the Los Angeles plot.  The Times story does not say what happened to the source after 1994--he seems to have vanished--just like the notorious Ali Mohammed, star character of several Peter Lance books (but someone who's not known by the majority of Americans for some strange reason) who also disappeared.

Apparently this source was not reached soon enough to help prevent the 1993 WTC attack, but the public is left to puzzle on why, if the FBI had a source in the WTC plot, a source in Ali Mohammed (who was working with UBL) and presumably another mystery person (assuming it's not Mohammed), did the attacks continue during the 90s culminating in 9/11?  Did the government not come clean because Mohammed betrayed us as a double agent?  Is that why nobody seems to know where he is now, despite being in US custody after 1998?  Or was it just as Michael Moore and the Looser Changers have imagined, ie, ole Ali was an asset who helped Halliburton set up the GWoT so we could plunge for oil and treasure? 

Here's the kind of thing conspiracists will seize upon (emphasis added)...
Like Mr. Hamilton, Mr. Zelikow said he does not recall ever being told by the FBI about the 1993 source and that Mr. Curran’s disclosure appeared to involve “valuable intelligence gathered in 1993 and 1994.”
But Mr. Zelikow cautioned against reading too deeply into the revelation, asserting that bin Laden’s activities that long ago would be viewed as “pretty attenuated in relation to 9/11.”
Pretty attenuated? Is he kidding? This is the guy who blessed 9/11. We were told he was a non-factor during the first bombing. If he was directing terrorist attacks in America years before the government claims he was that's a pretty big thing because it means they either missed him, dismissed him, or were trying to suppress him. Continued stonewalling on stuff like this will only make things worse. 

And make it political.

For instance, right now there's a story on the wires about Clinton administration documents being held in the Clinton Library and not released as scheduled on January 1st, 2014.  Could there possibly be anything incriminating in those documents about the War on Terror they'd rather keep sealed before Billary is safely back in the White House?  Or did former Clinton official Sandy Berger take care of this problem when he pilfered documents in his socks from the National Archives before the 9/11 Commission could get to them?

And what of the Republicans and Bush? Was there a tie-in to George H.W. Bush that his son didn't want revealed during the investigation of 9/11?  If the source was indeed Ali Mohammad and Bin Laden was more important than we were told that would seem to leave some blame for 9/11 on 41, since they were figures in the jihad before Clinton came into power.  Mohammad was welcomed into the US Army, after all.

Or was that the reason the Bush administration went so easy on Berger for doing something that would have landed the average citizen in the Supermax beside Yousef?  He was protecting their legacy, too? 

Maybe time will tell. Until then there's rank speculation.  Right now the money speculation is not that this story proves a massive conspiracy hatched by American politicians to attack their own country ala Fahrenheit Loose Change Zeitgest 9/11.  They are generally too stupid and the circle of knowledge is far too wide.  People eventually talk, yet leaks from Wikileaks, Stratfor and Snowden have turned up nothing.

Rather, it's more likely a case of politicians, bureaucrats, and individuals covering their asses after a massive failure.  As we seen, it's not hard for the FBI to hide a covert operation for 20 years when the circle of knowledge is small (and careers/pensions are on the line).  It's just as likely that lousy dot-connecting and bureaucratic snafus were responsible as opposed to some massive, premeditated plot perfectly engineered and orchestrated flawlessly.  Hindsight is always 20/20.  As the old guard begins to retire and certain political figures die off maybe the truth will begin trickling out.  

But certainly these kinds of revelations don't endear confidence or trust in the authorities.

MORE  2/27/14

Not surprisingly Captain Ed at Hot Air basically downplayed this story as he is wont to do these days, choosing not to find much shock in the FBI suppressing something of this nature for 20 years amidst the climate of post 9/11 investigations. He also didn't question whether the FBI, though former director Loius Freeh, told the president (Clinton) or whether anyone in that administration, such as board member Jamie Gorelick, was derelict for not coming forth with such information, which could have possibly changed some of the 9/11 commission conclusions.  Remember, Sandy Berger was supposedly pilfering documents about the thwarted "Millennium" terror plot in 1999 where Ahmed Ressam was arrested before he could blow up LAX.  Was there anything in those docs that pointed back to this information?  

At any rate, Ed seems to be swayed by this NBC story, which portends to answer the questions the Washington Times report left hanging.  No, the AQ mole wasn't Ali Mohammed, but rather a guy who wound up dumping his mole duties for the FBI and hitching himself to the CIA, which supposedly got him killed by AQ operatives in Bosnia in 1995, which might explain his disappearance off the FBI radar scope in 1994. As to how the FBI learned of the mole's disappearance..
The FBI did not know at the time that its informant had started working for the CIA, or why he had disappeared. His former handler, Bassem Youssef, who by then was working undercover in Los Angeles as a supposed member of al Qaeda, began asking his al Qaeda sources what had become of the driver.
They told Youssef that the driver had gone to Bosnia, and that al Qaeda operatives there had killed him because they believed that he was a mole for the CIA. Later, Youssef was able to confirm that the al Qaeda operatives’ suspicions were justified, and that the driver had been working for the CIA.
So why wasn't this in the Times story yesterday?  NBC seemed to get it pretty quick--did they call the FBI and ask?  Did the Washington Times not bother?   Something else? 

Whatever the case it appears to be information designed to wrap a bow on the story and squelch any lingering questions, ie, the mole is dead now, nothing to see, move along.  Look over there--gay marriage! 

Except we've seen a lot in this one story.

1.  We've seen the Feds had bin Laden on their radar in 1993 and didn't report that to the 9/11 Commission.
2.   We've learned an AQ terror cell was based in Los Angeles well before the 1999 Ressam bombing plot, none of which was fully reported.
3.   We've learned there was a thwarted terror attack at an LA Masonic Lodge in 1993, engineered by bin Laden. 
4.   We've learned UBL was a money man for the Blind Shiekh network before anyone claimed it was occurring.  Why wasn't this reported?  Did bin Laden family connections to the Bush family have anything to do with it?  
5.  We know the FBI knew about a terror cell in San Diego years before the two 9/11 hijackers arrived in America and took roost there.  Had the FBI stopped surveillance on this cell or did they know about these two plotters?   The story to date has been that CIA refused to tell FBI about the hijackers, otherwise the plot may have been prevented.  This is what Richard Clarke keeps telling people.  Did Clarke know about this AQ cell in LA/mole story when it was happening?  If not, why not?  Was he right about a cover-up, but simply wrong about the agency?     

Yet NBC just puppets what their anonymous push-back sources told them:
Sources told NBC News, however, that they weren’t sure the informant was relevant to the 9/11 Commission, because by 2001 his short, albeit productive, relationship with the U.S. government – and his life – had been over for six years. In a statement, the FBI said that the FBI “made all relevant information available to the 9/11 Commission.”

Not a missile. Not relevant, nothing to see, move along.

And yes, the above sounds more than a little 9/11 trutherish. It's not.  9/11 was too big and too broad to be a conspiracy, much less a government conspiracy. It's one thing to keep a little self-serving secret like this story, it's another to keep someone from ratting out a politician attacking his own country.

No, it's just an example of how a rigid bureaucracy, internecine turf wars, raw politics, a misplaced sense of security, and a feeling that the mujahadeen who helped us beat the Soviets in Afghanistan were still on our side led to failure and that terrible day.  It's doubtful anyone did anything to purposely get people killed, other than the Islamoterrorists, who are still terrorists and must be eradicated. But a little truth wouldn't hurt every now and then.


Bill O'Reilly has completed his journey from a questioning newsman to complete and utter dope. Poor Laura Ingraham had to gently hand him his backside on a pillow to keep it from cracking on air and hurting someone.  His self-congratulation and ass-kissing are past the point of embarrassment.  Megyn Kelly is now the alpha journalist on prime-time Fox.  This has nothing to do with this post, just had to get that in.


Guy Taylor from the WaTimes reports that the House will be looking into this.  Frank Wolf seems like one of the few straight-shooting congressmen, he's going to be taking charge...
Rep. Frank R. Wolf, Virginia Republican and chairman of the House Appropriations subcommittee that funds the FBI, said the panel would take a close look at what came of the human source that the FBI’s Los Angeles field office cultivated in 1993.
The source’s contributions, which included helping thwart a terrorist plot in Los Angeles, were never mentioned in the more than 500-page official report published in 2004 by the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States.
In an interview with The Times on Wednesday evening, Mr. Wolf said the details surrounding the source represent “exactly the type of activity” that the newly established panel will examine. The panel, which is also being dubbed a “commission,” was created in late January under language Mr. Wolf crafted for Congress‘ 2013 omnibus appropriations bill that President Obama ultimately signed into law.

The question is whether there really are any true straight-shooters left. Maybe we'll see. Maybe we won't.

MORE  2/28/14

Some additional reporting...

ABC's Note makes it sound like the FBI is questioning former Special Agent Curran's story.  Their story title actually contains a question  mark.  FBI officials "could not recall" an asset meeting with UBL that early.  So they acknowledge the mole to NBC, claim he went to the CIA and they got him killed in Bosnia, but don't remember what he did back in 1993.  

As usual, the Daily Mail went out and found pictures of the FBI guys in their story, which pretty much summarizes other reporting.

But here's some partial paydirt--from Mother Jones.  They did a feature on Youssef in 2009, before the testimony, which fills in some holes..
The FBI's highest-ranking Arabic-speaking agent is a ghost. He goes to work each day, but walks the halls like an empty suit. Fellow agents whisper about his loyalty and talk about throwing him "off the roof." Bassem Youssef, after all, is the whistleblower at the center of two of the FBI's biggest ongoing scandals: its rampant abuse of national security letters to access confidential information on US citizens, and its failure to recruit Arabic-speaking agents. He's sued the bureau for discrimination and has been sidelined to a paper-pushing job. Yet he won't quit—he remains determined, he says, to fight the war on terror, even if he has to battle his bosses to do it.
The article is worth reading for perspective, especially when it describes Youssef's status during the mid 90s:
It wasn't always so. In the mid-1990s, if you were to call the FBI and ask for Bassem Youssef, the switchboard operator would tell you there was no such person. Known in those days by his alias, Adam Shoukry, Youssef was a star counterterrorism specialist, one of only a few agents in bureau history whose work was deemed so sensitive that the attorney general allowed him to go undercover within the FBI itself.
Almost a full decade before the 9/11 attacks, he managed to penetrate "Blind Sheikh" Omar Abdel-Rahman's Islamic Group, which carried out the 1993 World Trade Center bombing. (Some of its key members later joined Al Qaeda, which Youssef identified as a threat long before it was on most intelligence agents' radar.) The details of Youssef's service during this period remain classified, but his value as an agent was such that, in November 1994, he received the Director of Central Intelligence Award, a high honor reserved for the intelligence community's most skilled operators.

Monday, February 24, 2014

Moving the Climate Ball Forward

"Moving the ball forward".  It's a football reference.  Obama likes to use it to talk about his grandiose programs, such as making illegal immigrants legal or creating 'climate change hubs'.  Lately the administration has been focusing a lot on climate change, aka, global warming.

So what does CNN do?

Why, focus more on global warming. 

But not just focus on it, advocate for the administration's position.  Two stories today on their headline news webpage provide evidence. Here's one..
STELTER: So when you see a television segment that features a climate skeptic or a climate denier, how do you feel? Do you feel that network or that newspaper or that website, whatever it is, do you feel they're being irresponsible?
KAKU: Well, it's a free country. However, they should present the facts and that is that the overwhelming majority of scientists in the world who have studied the question believe that the temperatures on the planet are rising. And if there are skeptics let them present their computer program so that we can pick it apart. Let us understand this, because science is testable, reproducible and falsifiable.
AGW proponents love to conflate the accepted fact that the climate of the Earth has warmed since the Little Ice Age with the causation of said rise.  If someone disagrees that mankind caused the warming they deny the warming.  They are then called 'deniers'.  Or worse.  Because the debate is over.

The odd thing is Doctor Kaku demands to see models and studies from 'deniers' to disprove the theory, but it's doubtful he could get consensus on the exact contribution of mankind's activities to the temperature rise.  In other words OK, it's warming--what's causing it exactly?  When did it start, what year?  What's the precise contribution of humans?  Why did the Earth warm significantly in the early 20th Century?  Is 120 years of measurement data with thermometers and 35 years of satellite data enough?  Questions not answered.  But the debate is over.

The doctor talks about a 90 percent 'confidence' level that man is causing it, but that's not like saying that mankind has CAUSED 90 percent of the warming.  BIG difference.  But the debate is over.

The doctor demands scientific proof from the other side that his theory is not true when it's his side claiming it's a man-made problem.  The burden of proof is his.  Again, it's easy to prove it's warming, harder to prove how and why.  So they resort to name-calling and smearing when challenged, because the debate is over!

Only one side has Hollywood twits and well-known blowhards like Al Gore, who recently warned of another Dust Bowl if we don't go all socialist, yet he can't tell us what caused the first one back in the 1920s and 30s.  You know, back when the Washington Post was alarmed about the melting North Pole.  Only one side has journalist experts wailing idiotically about the "Polar Vortex" as if it's some kind of global-warming created abominable snowman never before seen.  Even though we saw it with a vengeance back in 1977.

Anyway, the above was on the "Reliable Sources", this morning they had a splash feature with Carol Costello entitled, "Why are we still debating global warming?"  Yeah.  So, after reporting about somebody that has developed a statistical grouping of all the opinions on the issue and narowed down the Tea Party to 15 percent (while basically putting the number of non-convinced Americans at above 50 percent when the groups are added up) Ms Costello goes on to proclaim:
The good news is, those uninformed minority voices are being quieted by nature and by those who have powerful voices. Extreme weather is forcing people to at least think about how global warming affects them directly.
And, perhaps more important, many religious leaders, including evangelicals, are now "green." They concur with the scientific community and take it a step farther. They say we have a moral obligation to save the planet.
What better illustration of how far the media will go to serve their master, ie, they will call the death and destruction from severe weather "good news" because it will show those hayseed Tea Party yahoo denier Republicans just how wrong they really are, once and for all.  Good news, another EF4 twister!  And of course they are taking their cues from the Master (even if the Flat Earth Society objects to be called flat-earthers on climate). 

If the above is not an example of advocacy journalism, nothing is. Maybe the GOP should advocate for that FCC study of newsrooms to come back--maybe they would stumble into discovering the real bias.  Just kidding on that.

Let's end with a final cut from the Reliable Sources piece, which by the way didn't include a real scientist skeptic like "heretic" Judith Curry or Dr. Roy Spencer (who recently objected to being labeled a "Nazi" for his dissenting views--the same Nazis who believed in science over religion and a cult of personality). Doctor Kaku is asked about skeptics:
STELTER: Dr. Kaku, do you think there's some room at the table for skeptics? For example, if I was to write a story about this topic and quote nine scientists who believe it's happening, should I be quoting at least one who is a skeptic? Or is this so settled that there's no room at all for something like that?
KAKU: Well, scientifically speaking, it's a settled question. But the average person out there hears the skeptics and therefore some of their arguments have to be addressed because they're out there anyway. In the scientific community, it's pretty much settled. In the court of public opinion, it is not yet settled. So it's good to present the balance, but you have to say that, with 95 percent of the scientific community behind this theory, it has more weight than another theory.
Well except good science REQUIRES listening to his 5 percent.  No reputable scientist would disagree!

Again, the game here is to conflate the temperature rise with the cause of the rise because it serves the need. Notice how the reporter is getting permission from the AGW scientist to exclude anyone who doesn't agree with the consensus narrative.  CNN didn't bother inviting an actual dissenter to debate whether dissent was valid or not.  Because the debate is over.  Truly amazing stuff.  It should scare people.
Obviously they don't want to clear up these misconceptions or they would, so there must be a motive to the madness.  And it's not just with climate.  Take this NY Times piece on Obama's Stimulus program over the weekend. Notice carefully what the "Paper of Record" did here:
This may be the singular tragedy of the Obama administration. Five years later, it is clear to all fair-minded economists that the stimulus did work, and that it did enormous good for the economy and for tens of millions of people. But because it fell short of its goals, and was roundly ridiculed by Republicans...
Behold!  The same strawman tactic used for global warming, ie, "all reputable scientists" becomes "all fair-minded economists", ie, nobody in their right mind would disagree that the Stimulus didn't save America.  That tactic allows them to bypass the shaky facts and go right to the flogging of dissenters.  It's a timeworn tactic narrowed by Alinsky and favored by most all statists and totalitarians with the ultimate goal of crushing dissent.  And dissent is the problem they are trying to solve now. It's the only thing standing in the way of Utopia.

Sunday, February 23, 2014

At what point...

....will the media say 'enough' to the intimidation?
Democrat Rep. Gary Peters is running for the Senate in Michigan and he doesn't like a political ad from Americans for Prosperity being shown on TV stations there. His attorneys at Perkins Coie have sent a letter to local television stations implying their licenses could be in jeopardy if they continue playing the ad.
Hmm. Well in case it hasn't been pointed out, these same tactics have been used before, several times..
Straight out of the Democratic handbook Harry Reid used to threaten ABC’s broadcast license for showing the “Path to 9/11,” here’s Obama lawyer Robert Bauer warning station managers not to air the NRA’s new anti-Obama “Hunter” ad if they want to stay in the FCC’s good graces.
Obviously Peters is not in the administration but he's certainly in touch with the leadership, who undoubtedly know the tactic very well.  Add this to the recent Orwellian study the FCC was about to embark upon examining how editorial decisions are made in newsrooms and it's clear the left is going to use anything and everything to retain the Senate this fall.

As they threaten broadcast licenses (in the shadow of Representative Clyburn's daughter in a leadership position at FCC) will the mainstream media ever wake up and realize they are wearing useful idiot suits?  Just last week the White House Press Corpse became outraged again (in a relative sense) because they were kept out of an impromptu side-door meeting Obama had with the Dalai Lama, enough for them to draft another formal access complaint.  Jay Carney spent some time Friday doing his best syrupy damage control, but it didn't take much because few complained overall.  There was no media fracus.

These rank intimidation tactics are likely to be used over and over again, so we'll have to see if any true feathers get ruffled.  After all, surely they are being counted on to do their part--to the best of their abilities--this fall.

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Side Tracks

Sounds familiar, even to some of us old farts who don't generally follow modern music (which includes a lot of stuff done in the 90s, LOL), so a bit late to the picnic on this.  The Verve's version is certainly classic and probably emblematic to a whole generation of anti-establishment hipsters, even if it is a parody of itself, so the extra smidgen of irony as to intellectual property rights is funny seeing as how it could be interpreted as just a cruel part of the whole 'bittersweet symphony'. 

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Surveying the Press

Here's Ed Henry from Fox asking White House spokesman Josh Earnest for a comment about the proposed FCC survey of newsrooms currently making a stir...

What the fork?  Are we to believe he seriously knows nothing about the story?  Holy mackerel, did they miss the Obama-appointed FCC Commissioner's Wall St Journal op-ed on February 10th?  The entire press room should have coughed "BS" in a manner befitting that famous scene in Animal House. 

But not one journalist followed up on Henry's question and pestered the spokesman for more information.  This despite the fact it affects their own business.  Nope, they strangely seem to have zero curiosity.  Maybe they think it's only designed to target Fox News and Limbaugh.  Or maybe they know.

As if that's not bad enough, some of the so-called reporters actually have a habit of thanking the press briefer after the briefing's over. For holding the briefing.  Uh hello, it's his damn job to answer questions.  Thank him?  The Fourth Estate is supposed to stop the press secretary from wasting everyone's time by throwing out unchallenged talking points for an hour.  One has to wonder what are they actually writing in their notebooks when everything is available on administration web sites. 

Cripes, the State Dept hasn't done a televised briefing all week despite their leader saying Global Warming was the worstest WMD on the planet, or his boss warning Ukraine they would be sorry for crossing his latest line in the sand.  Or Syria. Where is the outraged press to demand answers on the record?  Nowhere.

OK yes, there are no men biting dogs here.  But for someone who grew up watching the media pester politicians and every single presidential administration since the late 60s these last five years have been like watching a slow motion train wreck or an alien space craft landing on the White House lawn.   It's just hard to believe.

Sunday, February 16, 2014

AQ in Iran Update

This is an interesting development.  A right hand man to AQ leader Ayman Zawahiri, formerly ensconced in Iran, is on the loose...
The U.S. document describes Shihata as an “experienced operational planner” and “respected among al-Qaeda rank and file.” It was not clear when Shihata departed Iran, but a former U.S. official, who also requested anonymity, said he was believed to have traveled to Libya. The CIA declined to discuss Shihata’s whereabouts.
Shihata, or Shehata, is a big fish.  That he might be in Libya makes it more interesting considering the capture of Anas al-Liby, another legacy fish who would likely have some knowledge about Shehata.  Wonder if they were able to get any intel from al-Liby about Shehata before he lawyered up?  Thirwat could lead to Zawahiri and a possible true collapse of AQ "core".

Anyway, the fact Shehata's on the run may or may not be good news.  First the optimistic approach. Since it's assumed he didn't escape from Iran then the Ayatollahs deliberately released him.  Why?   Well, the WaPo reporter speculates aimlessly (as everyone does on this stuff) but he does notice the strange bedfellow situation between having Sunni AQ members in Iran while they support Hizballah and Assad forces fighting Sunni rebels and AQ elements in Syria.  One of his speculative guesses is they had no further use for him and just showed him the door.  But that sounds too simplistic.

Perhaps they made a secret deal with Obama, letting Shehata go or even killing him in return for the extra oil they've been exporting over and above the 1 million barrel per day restriction based on the recent diplomatic meetings.  But wouldn't people notice?  Under Bush they would, but under Obama the media won't be interested on a large-scale basis until the released terrorist is captured, which means a poll bounce for the president--something that could upend the plethora of gay stories from the front pages.

On the negative side maybe Iran is just as evil as the Jooooooos claim and are allowing his release so he can meet up with his buds to finalize preparations for another terrible attack, an exercise of leverage as the US continues to press for a diplomatic solution (after telegraphing we have no intentions of using our military).  Or maybe they made a deal with Zawahiri about something else, such as a prisoner swap.

It's worth noting that Usama Bin Laden's leading jihadi son, Saad bin Laden, was released by Iran in 2009 and reportedly killed by a US drone in Afghanistan some time later, the kill confirmed by AQ in 2012. Certainly a departure from the safe confines of Iran opens these AQ guys up to the global US surveillance dragnet and the dreaded hellfire surprise, which is a good thing.

But it's never a sure thing.  AQ bigwig Saif al-Adel, another Egyptian with a background with Zawahiri, has been rumored to have been in and out of Iran since 9/11.  By all accounts he's still alive.  Further west, Bashar Assad, Iran's man in Damascus, supposedly released Mustafa Setmariam Nasar back in 2011, shortly after the US began saying Assad's days were numbered.  He hasn't been found dead either.  So the news may not be all that good, especially if all those guys are still out there 'on the run', perhaps with access to chemical weapons or worse.   Wonder if that non-secret secret non-classified summary of the framework deal with Iran could shine some light on all of this?  

Oh, and one more thing.  Did you catch the comment about Snowden?
A top-secret 2008 U.S. document, which was leaked by former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden, lists 13 senior al-Qaeda figures or associates in Iran. Five were listed as “senior management” in the terrorist group and of those, three have left Iran in recent years. Among them was Mahfouz Ould al-Walid, al-Qaeda’s ideological chief better known as Abu Hafs al-Mauritani, who returned to his native Mauritania in 2012.
If indeed he released top secret documents pertaining to national security matters aside from the NSA bulk data collection affecting average citizens then he's solidly a traitor and needs to be treated as such.

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Side Tracks

Happy Holiday.  

ABC animates the Universe

Wow, hard to believe somebody could find symbolism in the sinkhole that swallowed the Corvettes in Kentucky and use it to condemn America for global warming, excessive capitalism and political malaise.  Then again, it's coming from one of our beloved mainstream media deep thinkers...
If we just listen to the universe and see things a little more clearly we might realize all of us may need to adjust our life to be more in sync with the Earth. That maybe respect and compassion for each other and the world is what has been lost. And that a simpler humbler way of living and leading is what we are being asked to do.
Actually the planet has gotten to the point where it is no longer asking, but demanding. It seems until we learn that lesson and let it sink in, sink holes will continue to swallow up the old models whether that is classic corvettes or outdated institutions. I am not arguing we give up our cars, but possibly if we take our foot off the gas of life, we might see what Mother Earth is trying to tell us.
First off, had Dowd used "God" instead of animating in-animate matter his editors probably wouldn't have allowed the story in print.  A "message from God" from our PC media is only allowable when discussing movies about Chicago musician/comedians or in stories about rebel flag waving rednecks, or stories about Bush.   

But it's good they did because it illustrates the kind of twits we have reporting our daily news. Dowd is probably not alone in believing a sinkhole in Kentucky somehow has unique universal symbolism because it swallowed some really cool inventions of American ingenuity (which have provided many people great lives through decent jobs over the years) as opposed to say a sinkhole opening up in Florida and swallowing a man sleeping in bed, who was never found.

No, this event provided the perfect jump off to bash Americans as excessive ignoramuses who ignore science (what "Mother Earth", another inanimate object, is trying to tell us) while the writer himself ignores the science that might actually explain why the museum suffered the cave-in.  Caves.  Could it perhaps be the geology of the region (see page 8), which includes the fabulous "Mammoth Cave"? 

Or could it be due to the harsh winter, which due to the frequent freezing/thawing of the ground has brought the term "frost quakes" into the lexicon?

Perhaps the "Universe" is only trying to tell developers to consider geology a bit more in planning. Or perhaps the screaming message is really that 'stuff happens'.  But in the end it's always easier to blame capitalism.  A lot easier for the rubes to believe than a soulless scientific explanation. 

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

No good deed goes unpunished..

This is what happens to the Speaker of the House when he capitulates to the Obama machine, out of rank fear.  The New York Times rushes a story to press blaming his caucus for everything but the Boston bombing..
The vote – 221-201 – relied primarily on Democrats to carry the legislation, the first debt ceiling increase since 2009 that was not attached to other measures.
Only 28 Republicans voted yes. But it effectively ended a three-year, Tea Party-fueled era when a series of budget showdowns raised the threat of debt defaults and government shutdowns, rattled economic confidence and brought serious scrutiny from an international community questioning Washington’s ability to govern.
Gee, the Times could have also written it this way:  "it ended an Obama-Reid fueled era of unprecedented intransigence regards negotiating on anything to do with the debt ceiling, despite a rich history of past Congresses doing just that".   But bias is job one in the Fit to Print newsroom. 

Hey, it's clear to see why Boehner punted--nothing really to gain from drawing a red line on this with the media in Obama's hip pocket and Jack Lew threatening to turn the dollar into Pesos or whatever his latest threat was.  Johnny Boy also recently punted on the immigration debate, which was a bone thrown to the Tea Party, so he probably figured he'd better not push it and can always pull this clean debt ceiling card out whenever Obama starts pestering him over saying no on something else.  Probably by Friday. 

But today's vote, although strategically correct, should be a lesson to the Speaker.  Aside from the fact it will only serve as fodder to those Democrats (and some Republicans) interested in protecting the Plutocracy from any rogue grassroots movements like the TP by exploiting the GOP divide, it also shows how fast the Democrats and media (sorry for the redundancy) will turn on the GOP when they do something the way the Democrats have demanded.  That's why many people are enjoying this Rand Paul push-back on the silly-ass "war on women", and it was refreshing to see Prebius defend it.   

Monday, February 10, 2014

So, who is it?

Odd, but with a purpose:
The case of an American citizen and suspected member of al-Qaida who is allegedly planning attacks on U.S. targets overseas underscores the complexities of President Barack Obama's new stricter targeting guidelines for the use of deadly drones.
The CIA drones watching him cannot strike because he's a U.S. citizen. The Pentagon drones that could are barred from the country where he's hiding, and the Justice Department has not yet finished building a case against him.
Four U.S. officials said the American suspected terrorist is in a country that refuses U.S. military action on its soil and that has proved unable to go after him. And Obama's new policy says American suspected terrorists overseas can only be killed by the military, not the CIA, creating a policy conundrum for the White House.
Two of the officials described the man as an al-Qaida facilitator who has been directly responsible for deadly attacks against U.S. citizens overseas and who continues to plan attacks against them that would use improvised explosive devices.
The question is, whose purpose?  The WaPo's version of the story weighs heavily on Congressman Rogers' comments regarding a sense that Obama counter-terrorism policy is handcuffing efforts to get the bad guys. This suggests the leak didn't originate in the White House.  Indeed AP (ABC) quotes "four US officials", which suggests they weren't "administration officials".  Jay Carney would not confirm when asked for comment today, but he didn't deny it either.  

Media outlets were using the story to highlight the new, improved "targeted killing policy", ie, Obama Kill List.   Imagine Bush being associated with anything remotely like it, and the reaction.  It's funny that Obama told Hollande at Monticello today, "I can do anything I want".  Yes, a joke, but not far from the truth as he again changed Obamacare today and if he were to contradict his own targeted killing policy by eliminating a US citizen suspected terrorist, who's going to impeach him?  John Boehner? 

So on to the speculation.  Some say a trial balloon designed to gage public reaction to targeted killing of a US citizen.  Hey, they poll everything nowadays. 

Others speculate it was designed to smoke said terrorist out of his hidey hole by indicating that one of his coming days may end poorly should the President decide to go all Obamacare on his targeted killing rules. 

Some speculate it's about letting the country in question know we know, while others look at this as career outsiders prodding the President to act before it's too late.  

Whatever the case a lot of politics could be played, such as mentioning that top secret info was given to the press amidst an administration that has prosecuted more leakers than all the other administrations combined.   Will Holder go after someone here or will his reluctance telegraph the leak's origin?  Will a Fox News reporter be wiretapped for good measure?   Surely the leader of the country in question is already under surveillance.

But seriously, how best to decipher this riddle.  How about taking the above paragraphs one at a time, keeping in mind they were presumably written by an AP reporter and not the White House--bold added for effect:

The case of an American citizen and suspected member of al-Qaida who is allegedly planning attacks on U.S. targets overseas underscores the complexities of President Barack Obama's new stricter targeting guidelines for the use of deadly drones.
The target is undoubtedly a US citizen because there was no qualifier language included.  He is a suspected member of AQ, allegedly planning attacks on OVERSEAS targets according to the writer, but maybe not the government.  Anyway, the 'homeland' is not assumed to be under threat.  Onward...

The CIA drones watching him cannot strike because he's a U.S. citizen. The Pentagon drones that could are barred from the country where he's hiding, and the Justice Department has not yet finished building a case against him.
So there are CIA drones operating over the country in question.  Story doesn't say whether the country in question knows this or not; allows it; or simply can't stop them.  Wherever it is they do not allow US military operations, at least drones.  Finally, if the Justice people haven't written up a full case then it's unlikely he's one of the luminaries on the Rewards for Justice most-wanted terrorist site, since most of them have been around awhile.  But based on the leak of the story they believe he's about to do or direct something. 

Four U.S. officials said the American suspected terrorist is in a country that refuses U.S. military action on its soil and that has proved unable to go after him. And Obama's new policy says American suspected terrorists overseas can only be killed by the military, not the CIA, creating a policy conundrum for the White House.
That's interesting, since it suggests the country might not be hostile to the US, just that it cannot or does not allow US military action. Sometimes that is done to assuage the local population. Since Obama changed the world and everyone loves us now, it's hard to figure out who it could be.  But the language also suggests the country could be hostile and just will not go after this AQ belligerent against our wishes.  Which brings in Putin! 
Two of the officials described the man as an al-Qaida facilitator who has been directly responsible for deadly attacks against U.S. citizens overseas and who continues to plan attacks against them that would use improvised explosive devices.
So he's a facilitator, not an operative or combatant.  He's been around long enough to be responsible for the deaths of Americans OVERSEAS, but as earlier comments indicated the Justice people don't have a case on him yet so he must be a relatively newer discovery.   Since they mentioned IEDs that suggests a war zone like Iraq or Syria but IEDs can be used anywhere. 

So that's it.  They didn't specify if the guy was "Core" or with one of the affiliates, which doesn't help much, but we do have a few American citizens on the Rewards for Justice wanted list.  These two come to mind first:
1. Adam Gadahn, aka Azzam the American, aka, Adam the Assclown
2. Abdul Rahman Yasin.  Whether he's considered AQ or even still operating is unclear.  He was one of the bomb mixers of the first WTC attack who boogied to Baghdad after the attack and hasn't been seen since the invasion.  Saddam seemed to be hiding him so bringing him up might be inconvenient.   

There's also:
3. Jehad Mustafa, a Wisconsin native now working for al-Shabaab 

Some may think about Adnan Shukrijumah, aka, Jafar the Pilot (a very very HVT) due to his extensive time living in the United States.  But he's not a US citizen.

Stumped at the moment, but it's Monday.   

Do have some closing observations/questions.  Is it a coincidence that the WaPo released a video of the extraordinary rendition capture of Anas al-Libi today?  Not sure if that was authorized by the admin either.  If not, what's the point?   Finally, is it a clue that all passengers booked on Caribbean Airlines flights from Guyana to the United States from today through Tuesday were told to make alternative plans due to threats received?  "Jafar the Pilot" is a citizen of Guyana, by the way.  

Sunday, February 09, 2014

The Difference it Makes

Here's another look at Hillary's famous comments about Benghazi for old times sake (and for the sake of this post)...

Everyone, including me, has focused on her main comment, "what difference, at this point, does it make".  But the comment uttered directly beforehand might be more of a Waterloo moment:
Was it because of a protest, or was it because of guys out for a walk one night who decided to kill some Americans?
Ah, that's a false choice.

The choice wasn't between a protest going out of control or some dudes on the street who just decided to kill Americans, it was between a group that attacked spontaneously after a protest or an organized terror attacked conducted with precision by an Islamic terror group comprised of leaders with ties to AQ timed for September 11, one day after Ayman Zawahiri called for revenge over the death of AQ Number Three Abu Yahya al-Liby (while Z-man's brother was in Egypt calling for the return of the Blind Sheikh). 

It's understandable why she wouldn't include that choice, if no other reason but to not remind people about the Blind Sheikh.  Clearly the facts pointed to the organized attack, which the former Secretary would have known at the time of her testimony, yet for some reason not worth mentioning in the famous set of choices.

O'Reilly might be a self-important populist blowhard but he's correct on his premise that proving such a thing--that the administration knew it was an organized attack featuring AQ-affiliated actors on the very night of the event because former CIA Director Leon Panetta told them--is the key to this entire brouhaha. If there's no cover-up over that fact, ie, no attempt to spin the event to minimize political damage in the 2012 election then there's no scandal here, just a bungled tragedy (as the administration has said over and over).

But O'Reilly is missing one more component. If ever called to testify again Panetta can easily spin his own explanation over his "one conservation" that night, but we already have the President of Libya on the record as calling it a terrorist attack with foreign fighters on the very day after the attack (and later on the same Sunday that Susan Rice told five Sunday shows the tall tale about the video).  Has anyone at Panetta's level ever been asked why President Magarief was so adamant, or whether anyone in the administration spoke to him after the fact and where he might have gotten such early information?

Maybe the source was the CIA, whose initial draft talking points after the attack mentioned an AQ connection, that is, before their Deputy removed the mention, as requested by State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland (and others unknown).  Nuland was later promoted by the administration and recently re-entered the limelight by being caught dropping an F bomb on the European Union in an intercepted phone call with the Ukrainian Ambassador placed on the internets by a Russian official.  So much for the reset.   

Perhaps it should also be of interest that the Deputy in question, Mike Morrell, is now working at a private global consulting firm run by Hillary's old right hand man and attack dog Phillipe Reines.  Benghazi followers should recognize Reines as the same guy who told the late reporter Michael Hastings to "F off and have a nice life" in an email exchange over a CNN story about Ambassador Stevens' diary found by CNN days after the attack, which mentioned an 'AQ hit list'.   This is what a modern phony scandal looks like, friends.

Saturday, February 08, 2014

Cash they can believe in

Obama back in the day..
As a candidate, Obama criticized President George W. Bush for rewarding his donors and friends with key positions. Now, however, the Obama administration has unequivocally dismissed criticism of the president's business-executive and big-time-bundler ambassador nominees, including an old college roommate, former Sen. Tom Daschle's ex-wife and the chairman of the Pittsburgh Steelers football team.
"It would be disingenuous for me to suggest that there are not going to be some excellent public servants but who haven't come through the ranks of the civil service," Obama said at a Jan. 9 press conference, according to a report from Bloomberg News Service.
Fast forward to yesterday, where Jen Psaki, State Dept Spokeschick, replied to a question from ABC's Jon Karl about another non career appointment in 2014..

By the way, if you watch the entire exchange it appears that two AP reporters attempt to come to the rescue of Ms Psaki to some degree after Karl's questioning, including the normally sharp Matt Lee who questioned whether Obama said he would appoint more civil servants as opposed to foreign service personnel, which really made no difference to the point.  This same kind of rescue attempt occasionally happens when Fox reporters get too frisky with their probing questions.  Both Lee and AP reporter Arshad Mohammed are good overall and ask many probing questions themselves.  But it's as if they have some kind of of instinctive mechanism to protect their own when someone else roots beneath the liberal skin.

So what, this is just another Obama bash, McCloud?  Well yes, yes it is, but it helps to prove that the 'change' promised was never about changing politics as usual, it was about changing America into a quasi-European socialized state while scaling back our influence in the world. That's what "ending the wars" was all about; that's what O-care was all about.  As everyone has now witnessed, a few lies to help those causes did not fall under the 'change DC' promise.  

Tuesday, February 04, 2014

Surely this is Satire...

Here's a perfect example of the cluelessness of certain liberal media figures. Jonathan Capehart of the WaPo considered the O'Reilly-O'Bama Super Bowl interview an example of a reporter being 'unfair' to the President...
Dana Milbank put his finger on exactly what was wrong with Bill O’Reilly’s pre-Super Bowl interview with President Obama. “Sometimes he argued with Obama as though the president were a guest on ‘The O’Reilly Factor’,” Milbank wrote.
Has Capehart forgotten Helen Thomas? Does he consider Sam Donaldson a hostile figure of media-past, rightfully inhabiting the dustbin of bad reportage?  Doubtful.   No president should be above honest questioning and all should be clipped when they won't answer. O'Reilly was far from disrespectful, which is the difference.  

Capehart again:
Then there was that moment when Obama spoke truth to power in response to O’Reilly’s self-reverential question about how he treats the president. “Do you think I’m being unfair to you, do you think I’ve been giving you,” the Fox anchor said before Obama interrupted. “Absolutely. Of course you have, Bill,” Obama said. “But, I like you anyway, Bill.”
Wait, the President "spoke truth to power"? THE PRESIDENT IS THE POWER, JONATHAN! He cannot speak truth to power to anyone, including Putin.  In fact almost every reporter who interviews the prez asks the same questions then sits back and watches the First Professor filibuster through meandering explanations, as if teaching a course.  O'Reilly was trying to get answers to a few questions that have never been fully answered.  That Obama said something like "not a smidgin" of corruption happened in the IRS targeting scandal while the investigation is still ongoing (and the FBI won't comment) was a newsworthy outcome of the piece.  Who else has asked?  

But hey, nobody on the right expects a liberal Democrat columnist with the Post to view the interview as anything other than an unfair hatchet job and probably racist. Capehart is so deep in his own bubble he can't even reason that Fox News was number one during almost all of the Bush presidency and will do just fine with a President Hillary or anyone else.  That's because he doesn't realize it's the Jonathan Capeharts of the mainstream American media that drive Fox's ratings. People like seeing reporters speak truth to power.

Sunday, February 02, 2014

Doobie Bowl Sunday

Can't claim much affection for either team.  Seattle seems more like the Cinderella squad this year, so will give it to them.  Either way, don't care who wins or loses, just hope it's a good football game. 

As to the politics, Bill O'Rilly has secured his almost-traditional pre-game Obama interview, of which he's been chest-thumping about for a week or more (along with tempering some of his normal rightward leaning views in the advent of meeting the prez).  Ho-hum.  It's hard to believe he'll ask anything truly controversial.

That said, he'll almost certainly ask tougher questions that any mainstream advocacy-journalist.  He asked 'the folks' to send him some suggestions because one will be used in the interview, so here are some hypothetical submissions..  

1.  Where were you on the night of the Benghazi attack?  Were you in regular contact with the Situation Room?   Did you issue any stand-down orders?   How and when did you realize the attack was over, and where were you at the time?   Why was the mention of "AQ" and "terrorist" removed from the original CIA talking points by unknown State and White House staff?  Did you approve this? 

2.   Have you seen the Seymour Hersh story and the report from a weapons inspector suggesting the Syrian rebels actually fired the chemical weapons that almost triggered a bombing raid on that country?  If you are not familiar with these stories/reports, why not?

3.  Sticking with Syria, Bashar Assad is not delivering the chemicals to the port in a timely fashion, as promised by the agreement.  If he continues to stall what is the remedy?  Is the bombing threat being made through back channels or directly to the Assad government?   Is Russia involved and helping?

4.  Similar question on Iran, what happens if we find them cheating before or after the 6 month preliminary disarmament negotiations?  Will new red lines be issued or does that pretty much mean bomb, bomb, bomb?

5.  If Karzai doesn't sign the BSA before leaving office will we definitely be pulling out all troops from Afghanistan?  By the way, when you say we are 'ending the war', will the enemy consider it a victory if everyone leaves and there's no BSA?  What happens if they allow AQ trainees back into the country or another attack is launched from commanders operating there?

6.  Have you changed your mind on presidential executive powers since your comments in 2008?  If so, do you owe the previous president an apology?

7.  Is Anas al-Liby, who was rendered from Libya last year, being interrogated anymore?  He seems to have lawyered up, with a report saying the Libyan government is paying his attorney fees.  Did we get anything useful out of him on possible pending attacks before he was read rights?   

8.  On the IRS targeting story, you expressed outrage upon learning of the event in the news but later called it a "phony scandal".  How did your half-brother Malik get 501 c4 status so quickly for his Barack H Obama foundation--even having it made retroactive?   Do you not see that as a form of favoritism?  Is the impression left that the IRS was used as a political attack dog something that concerns you?

9.  On a similar theme, why was your uncle Omar and aunt Zentuini allowed to remain in the country after both being ordered deported?  Were you aware of either case in advance?  Do you agree with the outcomes, and if so, do you believe there should essentially be open borders in the United States to the point of getting here means staying, and eventually citizenship?  Does it concern you that people following the legal pathway to citizenship are left looking like chumps when those ordered deported are given asylum or in the event of a general amnesty passed by Congress?      

10.   Which corporations do you think need their 'asses kicked' these days?  Looking back, do you consider that rhetoric as helpful or do you regret using it?

11.  How in the world does a website cost over a half-billion dollars?  Did you know the costs were running that high before rollout?  How did the website pass Initial Operating Capability tests?  Who signed off on these tests, assuming they occurred?   Are the contractors being paid more to fix something they should have delivered on October 1 or is it included in their agreements with the government?

12.  What do you think of the TSA whistleblower whose story is out this week, saying that TSA agents were indeed laughing and abusing the naked scanners at airports?   Surely stories like that in combination with the NSA snooping leaves many people guessing about their own government. How do you combat the negative impression left by such programs?  Should someone apologize?  

13.  You recently pointed out that atmospheric carbon dioxide levels have been falling for the last 8 years, which would include the Bush administration.  Actually, the level of carbon increase was fairly stable during the two Bush presidencies, suggesting the decline may not be due to new EPA rulemaking alone.  Do you think this leveling off/decline of US emissions is related to the observed flat trend in global temperatures since 1998?  Do you think it's useful for people like the former Vice President to be running around spouting falsehoods about climate?   Doesn't that undermine efforts to persuade the people?     

14.  Why won't you approve the Keystone Pipeline project?   Does it trouble you that the shale oil is being moved in unit oil trains that might not be safer and definitely produce more greenhouse gases than transport through a pipeline?  Doesn't Keystone fit well with your "all of the above" energy strategy laid out during the State of the Union?  

15.   Is there a war on women, and if so, who are the combatants?  Is Sarah Palin a target or a combatant?  Is it acceptable for Democrats to use a term like 'war' when discussing their political opponents when Palin was blamed for encouraging the Gabby Giffords shooting based on her use of 'target'?

16.   Pete Carroll is being called a "9/11 Truther" by some due to a reported incident where a retired US Army general visited his clubhouse and he reportedly asked if Bush blew the towers.  Whether that's true or not, as president you would have access to all the secrets of the government, right?   It's tempting to ask you to once and for all confirm such things here, but it's understandable if you can't.  It would also be nice to clear up the UFO conspiracies and maybe the TWA 800 crash, which some former investigators recently asked your NTSB to take another look at.

However there is something you can answer.  Allegedly Coach Carroll asked the general about the 9/11 attack during a discussion about Iraq. You are famously on record as calling the Iraq war 'dumb', so here's the question-- what would you have done about Saddam if he were still around when you took office in 2008?   Would you have continued the sanctions and no-fly zones indefinitely?  Or do you think Middle-East peace would be possible with his regime still in power, as in, do you think he could have been brought to the table to honestly broker a peace treaty amongst Iran, Syria, Israel, Saudi Arabia and Russia?       

Thank you sir.             


Hate to say "I told you so" (so here it comes) but the team with better defense usually wins the big games.  In Seattle's case they were the number one defense to boot.  Also, they were severely misunderestimated, which is often a formula for victory.  Russell Wilson wasn't the team, the team was the team.   

As to BO vs BO, or O'Reilly vs O'bama, score one for the first prevaricator.  He turned every question around as a slam on Fox News, as if nobody in the country cares about the scandals he's already proclaimed as 'phony'.  Even BO couldn't effectively cut off BHO's filibustering, allowing him to run down the clock and limit any dents in the presidential armor.  Of course BO had to worry about his career and Fox's future access so he couldn't go for the jugular so to speak, but he could have pressed the president as to what he means by holding people accountable when nobody has even been demoted or placed into less-demanding jobs.  The other questions largely backfired on BO because he can't challenge the person who was there on scene and who holds all the power.  So as predicted, yawn.

Finally, this was tweeted out from HQ prior to the game....

A few initial questions come to mind.  One, why is the president looking up?  Is he trying to throw it to some guy in the stands?   Two, where is NATO field?    

Saturday, February 01, 2014

Ayers vs D'Souza

No bombshells, no questions from the audience about "Dreams" authorship, but worth skimming...

D'Souza is a fairly competent defender of western civilization and America in general and brings the immigrant perspective to boot.  He didn't neglect to mention that he came here as a peasant immigrant while Ayers inherited capital from this father.  Probably the most prescient examples he espoused were a defense of the "rights" inherent in the founding documents that later allowed the slaves to be freed and women and blacks to vote, an answer to Ayers' general idea that white people are practicing injustice (whether he thinks the white people who founded the country are to be condemned is unknown) along with the idea that America invented 'wealth creation'.  Ayers of course replied that the evil white men stole the country and murdered the Indians, which is part of his glass-half empty view of American crimes and the need to socialize the country to compel justice.  But as D'Souza retorted, it's easy to talk about 'splitting the pie', the hard thing is to create the pie in the first place.   Ayers had and has no answer for this.  

In his closing remarks D'Souza addressed a whiny South Korean immigrant questioner from the audience who railed on D'Souza for not giving the proper apologies for her new country's atrocities by reminding her she probably wouldn't be standing there asking the question if not for US action in Korea in the 1950s.  He boiled down the haves-have nots argument between America and the third world to "we want your jeans and your expensive camera", ie, we want the good things of life, too, so save the boilerplate Ivy League anti-colonial theory.

And that is precisely what eludes the Bill Ayers of the world--the real world.  Theirs is a John Lennon "Imagine" world, Godless because there is no God so it must be done here on earth, but hampered by a white-man-created US system that is repressive because it focuses on the rights of the individual, which too often tend to be rich white men.  What D'Souza was trying to show was that when it comes to human wants and needs things are usually a little simpler than what Ayers-type liberals imagine, something illustrated by D'Souza's own life story. The existence of the US has increased prosperity for many around the globe in that aspect, despite our faults.

One reality Ayers and his ilk often ignore is that, as the old saying goes, the world is a jungle.  The warlords of the jungle crush intellectuals like Ayers all the time, despite his occasional starry-eyed defense of such noble savages.  America represents a counter example, despite our stable of small-scale warlords. 

D'Souza is no William Buckley so he often didn't have the snappiest replies to the common socialist barbs the professor threw out, allowing Ayers to probably make a few converts with his blame America first rhetoric that is already so rooted in American universities.  It would have been fun to watch an Ayers vs Buckley debate and perhaps see how the latter focused on the former's 'small-c communism' and loathing of capitalism to point out that in an Ayers dreamed-of utopia their very debate would likely be impossible.


Here are a few questions that could have been asked of Ayers but were not, either by D'Souza or the audience.  They are not conspiracy questions because as we've seen, he's going to be flip or sarcastic or simply lie about anything controversial. 

1.  You wrote in "Prairie Fire" that you wanted all the people who weren't in line with your thinking rounded up and sent to re-education camps and according to Larry Grathwohl if they refused to come around, be eliminated.  You talk about being a small-c communist and someone who wants to end capitalism.   With that in mind, number one, how do you respond to that and two, what would an Ayers United States look like from a government standpoint?

2.   What did you see in Hugo Chavez and his administration from an educational standpoint?  If you were made Education Secretary tomorrow how would you change American education?

3.   Do you have the same hatred for all capitalism or just the Halliburtons of the world?  Do Microsoft and Google scare you?  Do they need to be split up or taken over by the government?   Does George Soros need to be reined in?