Thursday, June 29

john murtha

John Fund writes about John Murtha in OpinionJournal.com:

"In 1980, prosecutors named Mr. Murtha an "unindicted co-conspirator" in the Abscam scandal. The FBI captured him on tape saying he wasn't interested in taking a $50,000 payment from agents posing as Arab sheiks "at this point," but he was open to further discussions. The House Ethics Committee cleared him, but E. Barrett Prettyman, the committee's special counsel for the Abscam probe, questioned the panel's competence, likening it to "a misdemeanor court faced with a multiple murder." Mr. Prettyman abruptly resigned his post the same afternoon the committee voted to clear Mr. Murtha. While Mr. Prettyman continues to refuse to discuss the case, he told Roll Call newspaper in 1990 that it would be "a logical conclusion" that he resigned over the committee's exoneration of Mr. Murtha."

"In direct contrast to Sen. McCain, whose experience in the 1990 Keating Five scandal turned him into a good-government reformer, Mr. Murtha's brush with infamy stirred in him a pit-bull conviction that members of Congress deserve more protection from ethics probes. In 1997 Mr. Murtha joined with Rep. Billy Tauzin, a Louisiana Republican, in blocking outside groups from filing complaints directly with the House Ethics Committee. He also unsuccessfully pushed for a law that would require the Justice Department to reimburse the legal bills of any member of Congress it investigated if it was shown the probe was not "substantially justified"--a privilege no other American has. Small wonder that Gary Ruskin, director of the liberal Congressional Accountability Project, told Roll Call that "when it comes to institutional policing of corruption in Congress, John Murtha is a one-man wrecking crew."

5.6%

The economy grew at a torrid rate -- a 5.6% annual rate -- in the January-March period and the revised reading on gross domestic product was an even stronger showing than the 5.3% pace estimated for the quarter a month ago.

The strong GDP figure mostly reflected an improvement in the country's trade deficit.

delay

Israel has postponed a tank invasion into Northern Gaza. Speculation is that there has been some type of breakthrough on gaining the release of Israeli Cpl. Gilad Shalit.

hamdan v. rumsfeld, 05-184

As expected, the Supreme Court today ruled 5-3 that President Bush overstepped his authority by ordering military war crimes trials for terrorists being held at Guantanamo Bay.

Justice Kennedy sided with Liberals Stevens, Breyer, Souter and Ginsberg in finding that "Trial by military commission raises separation-of-powers concerns of the highest order. Concentration of power (in the executive branch) puts personal liberty in peril of arbitrary action by officials, an incursion the Constitution's three-part system is designed to avoid."

Stevens, who wrote the Majority opinion, said that the proposed military trials violate international law and the Geneva Conventions.

How ridiculous. Either Stevens is ignorant of the Geneva criteria or he's allowing his politics to shade his judgment. Either way, he's wrong.

The detainees are ineligible for the Geneva Conventions due to the fact that they (1) don't wear the uniform of a united army, (2) target civilians and (3) don't subscribe to international rules of war.

Another problem with this rationale is that it ignores the fact FDR did the exact same thing in WWII.

From the AP:

"Justice Clarence Thomas wrote a strongly worded dissent and took the unusual step of reading part of it from the bench -- something he had never done before in his 15 years. He said the court's decision would "sorely hamper the president's ability to confront and defeat a new and deadly enemy."

"The court's willingness, Thomas wrote in the dissent, "to second-guess the determination of the political branches that these conspirators must be brought to justice is both unprecedented and dangerous."

The real absurdity of this ruling -- the embarrassment to the Supreme Court -- is in the fact that it really doesn't change anything. Gitmo will not be closed and the terrorists will not be moved to the United States for trials.

If the Administration has truly acted outside of the law, as many on the Left have been asserting, then the Supreme Court -- as the nation's highest court -- had a duty to order the closure of Gitmo and the immediate release of the detainees. Instead, it appears that the Liberal 5 got together and issued a political statement with this phony ruling. It was an act of judicial activism.

This is why selecting judges is such an important matter. Liberals choose judges who seek to change the laws to comport with an ever-changing society, while Conservatives select judges who interpret existing law.

The only new thing coming from this decision today is that the White House and Congress will attempt to work together to craft new legislation on how best to proceed with legal preceedings against the detainees.

Justice Breyer acknowledged this fact in his remarks:

"Indeed, Congress has denied the president the legislative authority to create military commissions of the kind at issue here. Nothing prevents the president from returning to Congress to seek the authority he believes necessary," Breyer wrote."

And more from Kennedy:

"In light of the conclusion that the military commissions at issue are unauthorized Congress may choose to provide further guidance in this area. Congress, not the Court, is the branch in the better position to undertake the “sensitive task of establishing a principle notinconsistent with the national interest or international justice.”

Wednesday, June 28

clash

Two great articles today on the Terrorist Finance Tracking Program, or "TFTP."

From the Weekly Standard:

"Shortly after September 11, 2001, the Treasury Department began to monitor international financial transactions of persons suspected of having terrorist connections. According to Treasury, the program successfully identified terrorists. Like other disclosed counterterrorism programs, the program's legality was immediately challenged. But critics have their work cut out for them: The program appears to be both constitutionally sound and congressionally authorized. Furthermore, the Bush administration has repeatedly indicated that such surveillance was underway.

The overview of the Terrorist Finance Tracking Program (TFTP), as reported last Friday and largely confirmed by Treasury officials, is fairly straightforward. The United States secured information on international financial transactions from the Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication (Swift), a Belgian consortium founded in 1973 by the world's banks. Pursuant to administrative subpoenas, Swift provided to Treasury electronic financial data that would be searched for terrorist-related information."

Two thoughts: The program is totally reasonable and legal; and, outing this secret program in no way serving 'the public interest,' as the NYT claims.

Rather, the only interests served by the outing of this story are in the editorial offices of the Times, in both LA and Manhattan, as well as the DC HQ of the DNC.

WaPo's Howard Kurtz writes:

"Even by modern standards of media-bashing, the volume of vitriol being heaped upon the editors on Manhattan's West 43rd Street is remarkable -- especially considering that the Los Angeles Times and Wall Street Journal also published accounts Friday of a secret administration program to monitor the financial transactions of terror suspects."

"Sen. Pat Roberts of Kansas, chairman of the Intelligence Committee, yesterday asked John Negroponte, the national intelligence director, for a damage assessment following the Times story. Three other GOP senators joined Roberts at a news conference, with John Ensign of Nevada saying the paper "should have worked in cooperation with those authorities in our government to make sure that those who leaked were prosecuted." Arizona Rep. J.D. Hayworth circulated a letter to House Speaker Dennis Hastert calling for the paper's congressional credentials to be withdrawn. And New York Rep. Peter King continues to call for the Times -- which, he told Fox News, has an "arrogant, elitist, left-wing agenda" -- to be prosecuted for violating the 1917 Espionage Act."

"[NYT editor Bill] Keller said he spent more than an hour in late May listening to Treasury Secretary John Snow argue against publication of the story. He said that he also got a call from Negroponte, the national intelligence czar, and that three former officials also made the case to Times editors: Tom Kean and Lee Hamilton, chairmen of the 9/11 commission, and Democratic Rep. John Murtha of Pennsylvania -- an outspoken critic of the war in Iraq.

"The main argument they made to me, extensively and at length, besides that the program is valuable and legitimate, was that there are a lot of banks that are very sensitive to public opinion, and if this sees the light of day, they may stop cooperating," Keller said."

I was surprised when my favorite paper, the Wall Street Journal, ran a front page story on TFTP. But as it turns out, it was the NYT that first posted the story online, then, and only then, did other papers follow suit. The LAT and WaPo were next, then the WSJ and then everyone else.

In the aftermath of this story comes word via the White House that other countries and financial institutions, previously involved in TFTP, are now openly questioning whether or not they can continue to do business with the United States in a 'secret way.' The issue is whether or not they can trust us.

'direct link'

Israeli warplanes buzzed the summer Presidential residence of Syrian dictator Bashar Assad (pictured above) early Wednesday in an effort to pressure Syria to urge Hamas to release captured Israeli soldier Cpl. Gilad Shalit, 19.

The raid, in the Mediterranean port city of Latakia in northwestern Syria, took place because Israel believes there to be a 'direct link' between Hamas and Syria. There is direct evidence that Assad has sheltered Hamas leaders that masterminded the kidnapping.

From the NY Sun:

"Fighter jets also knocked out electricity and water supplies for most of the 1.3 million residents of the Gaza Strip. Three bridges were destroyed to keep militants from moving Cpl. Shalit who was taken hostage Sunday by three Hamas-affiliated groups."

Three years ago, in an effort to force Assad to 'dismantle' Palestinian militant groups, warplanes flew so low over the summer residence windows were shattered.

I dig how Israel aggressively fights to protect its own interests, even sending tanks into Southern Gaza. I wish the United States were as free to do the same, without concern for offending irrelevant countries or irrelevant human rights groups or the irrelevant United Nations.

perplexed

Great op-ed in today's IBD about outgoing Transportation Secretary Norman Mineta.

I've written at length over the years about my outrage at Mineta's refusal to allow airlines to racially profile Middle Eastern passengers, particularly Arab men.

From IBD:

"When Norman Mineta steps down as transportation secretary next month, few who care about security in the air will shed a tear. He and his civil-rights cops have made pilots the enemy since 9-11."

"Mineta says he'd rather see security harass grannies and Girl Scouts at airports than offend young Muslim men who fit the terrorist profile. He says he can see no justification for gate crew to point out even three young Arab men kneeling and praying together in Arabic before they board a flight."

"To show how blind his tolerance is, Mineta hired a young Muslim man as one of his top aides. It turns out Suhail Khan is not just any Muslim. He's the son of the founder of a hard-line Wahhabi mosque in Santa Clara, Calif., that hosted and raised money for Osama bin Laden's deputy — not once, but twice — last decade. Al-Qaida No. 2 Ayman al-Zawahiri bought satellite phones with the funds. Mineta only proved that blind tolerance can also be dumb — very dumb."

I will never understand why President Bush retained Mineta's services.

legacy

Here's a story you won't hear from the MSM: The Supreme Court has upheld most of the Texas re-districting map devised by former GOP Majority leader Tom DeLay.

Only one district, located in Southwestern Texas, was ruled to be violation of the federal voting rights law.

The High Court's ruling on this map, a source of protest by Democrats both in Texas and DC since '03, will now be a major roadblock for Democrats, who had hoped to make meaningfull gains in this fall's midterm elections.

From Reuters:

"In the lead opinion for the court, Justice Anthony Kennedy wrote, "We reject the statewide challenge to Texas' redistricting as an unconstitutional political gerrymander and the challenge to the redistricting in the Dallas area as a violation of the Voting Rights Act."

That's a nice legacy for DeLay, isn't it?

Tuesday, June 27

more keller

Mr. Bill Keller, Managing Editor
The New York Times
229 West 43rd Street
New York, NY 10036

Dear Mr. Keller:

The New York Times' decision to disclose the Terrorist Finance Tracking Program, a robust and classified effort to map terrorist networks through the use of financial data, was irresponsible and harmful to the security of Americans and freedom-loving people worldwide. In choosing to expose this program, despite repeated pleas from high-level officials on both sides of the aisle, including myself, the Times undermined a highly successful counter-terrorism program and alerted terrorists to the methods and sources used to track their money trails.

Your charge that our efforts to convince The New York Times not to publish were "half-hearted" is incorrect and offensive. Nothing could be further from the truth. Over the past two months, Treasury has engaged in a vigorous dialogue with the Times - from the reporters writing the story to the D.C. Bureau Chief and all the way up to you. It should also be noted that the co-chairmen of the bipartisan 9-11 Commission, Governor Tom Kean and Congressman Lee Hamilton, met in person or placed calls to the very highest levels of the Times urging the paper not to publish the story. Members of Congress, senior U.S. Government officials and well-respected legal authorities from both sides of the aisle also asked the paper not to publish or supported the legality and validity of the program.

Indeed, I invited you to my office for the explicit purpose of talking you out of publishing this story. And there was nothing "half-hearted" about that effort. I told you about the true value of the program in defeating terrorism and sought to impress upon you the harm that would occur from its disclosure. I stressed that the program is grounded on solid legal footing, had many built-in safeguards, and has been extremely valuable in the war against terror. Additionally, Treasury Under Secretary Stuart Levey met with the reporters and your senior editors to answer countless questions, laying out the legal framework and diligently outlining the multiple safeguards and protections that are in place.

You have defended your decision to compromise this program by asserting that "terror financiers know" our methods for tracking their funds and have already moved to other methods to send money. The fact that your editors believe themselves to be qualified to assess how terrorists are moving money betrays a breathtaking arrogance and a deep misunderstanding of this program and how it works. While terrorists are relying more heavily than before on cumbersome methods to move money, such as cash couriers, we have continued to see them using the formal financial system, which has made this particular program incredibly valuable.

Lastly, justifying this disclosure by citing the "public interest" in knowing information about this program means the paper has given itself free license to expose any covert activity that it happens to learn of - even those that are legally grounded, responsibly administered, independently overseen, and highly effective. Indeed, you have done so here.

What you've seemed to overlook is that it is also a matter of public interest that we use all means available - lawfully and responsibly - to help protect the American people from the deadly threats of terrorists. I am deeply disappointed in the New York Times.

Sincerely,

[signed]

John W. Snow, Secretary

U.S. Department of the Treasury

you (should be) fired

NYT Editor Bill Keller is a political hack and should be fired for advancing a far Left ideology on his paper's news pages detrimental to the national security of the United States.

From the 9/24/01 NYT:

"The Bush administration is preparing new laws to help track terrorists through their money-laundering activity and is readying an executive order freezing the assets of known terrorists. Much more is needed, including stricter regulations, the recruitment of specialized investigators and greater cooperation with foreign banking authorities. There must also must be closer coordination among America's law enforcement, national security and financial regulatory agencies....If America is going to wage a new kind of war against terrorism, it must act on all fronts, including the financial one."

From the 9/25/06 NYT:

"Since September 11, 2001, our government has launched broad and secret anti-terror monitoring programs without seeking authorizing legislation and without fully briefing the Congress. Most Americans seem to support extraordinary measures in defense against this extraordinary threat, but some officials who have been involved in these programs have spoken to the Times about their discomfort over the legality of the government's actions and over the adequacy of oversight. We believe The Times and others in the press have served the public interest by accurately reporting on these programs so that the public can have an informed view of them."

Keller is now saying also that the program wasn't that much of a secret. If the program wasn't a secret, why do a story on it in the first place?

Special thanks to Hugh Hewitt for the heads up on this quote.

tied hands

As the controversy rages on about the NYT story which outed America's global counter-terrorism financial tracking program in clear violation of the Espionage Act, the Supreme Court may rule as early as tomorrow on the perceived legality of military tribunals and the detainee holding program at Guantanamo Bay.

Legal experts are predicting that the best the Bush Administration can hope for is a 4-4 SCOTUS tie, due to the fact that Chief Justice Roberts has recused himself from the case because last year as a member of the DC Circuit, he [Roberts] authored the majority opinion siding with the White House on the matter.

The more likely scenario is the Court will rule 5-4 with Justice Kennedy joining the more Liberal Justices Breyer, Souter, Ginsberg and Stevens ordering the detainees moved to the United States and given full access to the American judicial system.

Stop the insanity. Why do news organizations and our own legal system insist upon tying the hands of our government, which is tasked with protecting America and her citizens? Why make it more difficult to prevent deadly terrorist attacks on American soil? It makes no sense.

The Moussaoui trial, was a zoo that lasted four years. If SCOTUS rules as expected, there will be hundreds of Moussaoui-type trials.

'blood on their hands'

What to make of the offer by Iraqi PM Maliki giving amnesty to insurgents, involving them in the political process?

So far about 450 detainees have been released from Iraqi and US-run prisons across Iraq.

Monday, June 26

rfl election preview: mcsweeney v. bean (illinois)

Surprisingly, Republican congressional candidate David McSweeney, who is challenging incumbent Democratic Rep. Melissa Bean in Illinois' 8th District, has been endorsed by the Chicago Sun-Times AND the Tribune.

Ms. Bean, who has made enemies of even her far Left supporters, sounds as if she is a closet Republican. She angered union leaders by voting for CAFTA, which led to the Illinois AFL-CIO's declining to endorse her for re-election. Instead the union is bankrolling an anti-war, pro-union independent candidate named Bill Scheurer, who has said that he would rather see a Republican win Bean's seat.

Bean regularly supports Republican legislation in the House, voting to allow military recruiters on college campuses, for measures aimed at reducing class-action lawsuits. She tells frequently tells audiences that taxes are too high and government spends too much. She even has broken with the Democrats on Iraq, rejecting calls for troop withdrawal and expressing support for Bush's handling of the war.

McSweeney (pictured above at age 14 meeting President Reagan and below, present day) is a highly regarded investment banker and his four pronged 'Common Sense Conservative Platform' speaks loudly and proudly to the conservative principles of the GOP by making Bush's tax cuts permanent; eliminating wasteful spending and unnecessary programs; fully supporting Bush in the global war on terror and supporting the entire Bill Of Rights, including the 2nd Amendment.

later

I'm pleased that Transportation Secretary Norm Mineta has stepped down.

After 9/11 Mineta oversaw the creation of the Transportation Security Administration that took responsibility for aviation security away from the airlines, a huge task for which Mineta gets high marks. And he encouraged private investment in American roads and bridges. Both the Chicago Skyway and the Indiana Toll Road now collect tolls after having been leased to foreign companies.

Still, this is the guy -- the only Democrat in Bush's cabinet -- who refused to allow racial profiling on airlines in the wake of 9/11. I say good riddance.

candor

I'd like to thank Senator Russ Feingold for performing a public service yesterday on 'Meet The Press yesterday by claiming that Democrats were 'intimidated' into voting for the war in Iraq.

'Intimidated'? If true, that doesn't speak very highly of the core values of Democrats, does it?

If Democrats were intimidated by the Republicans and forced into doing something with which they strongly disagree, how intimidated would they be by the enemies of America?

How easily could al Qaeda intimidate a President Kerry, a President Edwards or another President Clinton? How easily could a so-called 'Democratic' Majority in Congress be intimidated into changing course on an already unpopular, but necessary, war?

Saturday, June 24

fiction

I just finished watching 'Syriana.' Taking this film at face value, the clear implication is that President Bush is:

(1) Responsible for every disaster that is occurring or ever has occurred in the Middle East.

(2) Responsible for unemployment in oil rich American states and as a result 'takes essential social services' away from Middle Eastern countries by forcing them to buy American made military aircraft.

(3) Sanctioning the random assasinations of leaders and family members of leaders across the broader Middle East.

Friday, June 23

spelling dies

CNN won't report the latest about WMD found in Iraq, but, by God, they certainly are the first on the journalistic scene to report on the passing of television pioneer Aaron Spelling, dead today at age 83, after suffering a stroke on June 18.

Mr. Spelling brought "Charlie's Angels" and "Dynasty," "Beverly Hills 90210" and "Melrose Place," "Love Boat," "Fantasy Island," "Burke's Law," "The Mod Squad," "Starsky and Hutch," "T.J. Hooker," "Matt Houston," "Hart to Hart" and "Hotel," to television.

Thank you for the viewing, Mr. Spelling.

'no'

So Arnold denied the President 1,500 National Guard troops...big deal. Of course, this provides instant fodder for the Left. But it is an ELECTION YEAR and Bush is unpopular in my state. Schwarzenegger has to win and he can't be seen siding with W. on anything, so the "denial twist" -- not the song by the White Stripes -- makes sense here.

I can just picture it:

"INT. OVAL OFFICE -- DAY

The President, sitting at this desk, when the intercom shrieks. His secretary is talking.

SECRETARY (V.O.)
"Mr. President. The Governor of California, line 3."

PRESIDENT BUSH
(taking the call)
"Governor. What can I do for you?"

GOVERNOR (V.O.)
"Ah. Mizta Prezidhent. This iz Ahnold."

PRESIDENT BUSH
(leaning forward)
"How you doin'?"

GOVERNOR (V.O.)
"Sadly, Mizta Prezhident, I muzt tell you I cannot lend you ze 1,500 extra National Guard troopz. I got ze Democratz all over me here in Cali-for-nee-uh."

PRESIDENT BUSH
(tilting back in his chair)
"I hear ya. Do whatcha gotta do, if you know whadda mean, and I think you do."

'homegrown'

Kudos to the FBI and the White House for continuing to be vigilant in fighting the war on terror, this time here at home.

Yesterday, seven men, ages 22 to 32, were arrested after the Feds foiled a 'homegrown' plot to blow up the Sears Tower in Chicago and the FBI building in Miami Beach. Six of the suspects were arrested in Miami when police raided a warehouse in Liberty City. The seventh was arrested in Atlanta.

The seven -- five U.S. citizens, a legal immigrant from Haiti and a Haitian national who was in this country illegally -- are reportedly sworn members of al Qaeda.

Said US Attorney General Alberto Gonzales:

"The convergence of globalization and technology has created a new brand of terrorism. Today terrorist threats come from smaller more loosely defined cells not affiliated with al-Qaida but who are inspired by a violent jihadist message, and left unchecked these homegrown terrorists may prove to be as dangerous as groups like al-Qaida."

From the AP:

"Gonzales outlined the contents of an indictment handed up Thursday, which identified Narseal Batiste as having recruited and trained others beginning in November 2005 "for a mission to wage war against the United States government," including a plot to destroy the Sears Tower."

"Batiste met several times in December 2005 with a person purporting to be an al-Qaida member and asked for boots, uniforms, machine guns, radios, vehicles and $50,000 in cash to help him build an "'Islamic Army' to wage jihad'," the indictment said. It said that Batiste said he would use his "soldiers" to destroy the Sears Tower."

"Gonzales said "the individual they thought was a member of al-Qaida was present at their meetings and in actuality he was working with the South Florida Joint Terrorism Task Force."

"In February 2006, it said, Batiste told the "al-Qaida representative" that he and his five soldiers wanted to attend al-Qaida training and planned a "full ground war" against the United States in order to "kill all the devils we can." His mission would "be just as good or greater than 9/11," the indictment accused Batiste of boasting."

Pictured above, Stanley Grant Phano.

e.o.

President Bush has issued an executive order overruling the Supreme Courts finding on 'eminent domain,' or the highly controversial right of the Federal Government to seize the private property of Americans.

Here's the text from the White House:

"By the authority vested in me as President by the Constitution and the laws of the United States of America, and to strengthen the rights of the American people against the taking of their private property, it is hereby ordered as follows:

Section 1. Policy 1.
It is the policy of the United States to protect the rights of Americans to their private property, including by limiting the taking of private property by the Federal Government to situations in which the taking is for public use, with just compensation, and for the purpose of benefiting the general public and not merely for the purpose of advancing the economic interest of private parties to be given ownership or use of the property taken."

Exceptions:

+ Public ownership or exclusive use of the property by the public, such as for a public medical facility, roadway, park, forest, governmental office building, or military reservation;

+ Projects designated for public, common carrier, public transportation, or public utility use, including those for which a fee is assessed, that serve the general public and are subject to regulation by a governmental entity;

+ Conveying the property to a nongovernmental entity, such as a telecommunications or transportation common carrier, that makes the property available for use by the general public as of right;

+ Preventing or mitigating a harmful use of land that constitutes a threat to public health, safety, or the environment;

+ Acquiring abandoned property;

+ Quieting title to real property;

+ Acquiring ownership or use by a public utility;

+ Facilitating the disposal or exchange of Federal property; or

+ Meeting military, law enforcement, public safety, public transportation, or public health emergencies.

diminished effectiveness

The NY Times has done it again. They've endangered national security and diminished the effectiveness of a secret program.

First, they outed the NSA foreign wiretapping program. Now they've published a report outlining a program that tracks global financial transfers, all in the name of the 'public interest.'

So why did both the NYT and the LA Times -- and the Wall Street Journal and WaPo and USA Today and a bunch of other newspapers -- refuse to honor a White House request to hold the story?

"It's a tough call; it was not a decision made lightly," said Doyle McManus, the Los Angeles Times' Washington bureau chief. "The key issue here is whether the government has shown that there are adequate safeguards in these programs to give American citizens confidence that information that should remain private is being protected."

Tough? Sure. Uh huh. 'Tough' for the LAT, because with their circulation figures in the crapper, they'd hate to lose their last three conservative readers in Orange County.

BTW, the key issue is NOT 'adequate safeguards.' NICE try, Doyle. No, the 'key issue' here for the LAT was whether or not to safeguard a secret program designed to dry up sources of terrorist seed money around the globe. Let's be clear what their decision was: It was to NOT SAFEGUARD a secret government wartime counter-terrorism program.

Outrageous. But there's still more B.S. to be dispensed, this from the senile old 'Gray Lady.'

"We remain convinced that the administration's extraordinary access to this vast repository of international financial data, however carefully targeted use it may be, is a matter of public interest," said Bill Keller, the Times' executive editor."

You're killing me, Bill. National security ALWAYS trumps the public interest. It's not even a close call and especially in wartime. What a typically shallow argument from Keller.

Here's the headline from this story: The two editorial boards of the two biggest dailies in the country have been caught yet again playing politics with terrorism, all out of disdain for the Commander-in-Chief.

unturned stones

Former FBI Director Louis Freeh writes an important piece today in the WSJ, reminding America just how inept and feckless Democrats are when it comes to the most vital issue of our time: National security.

He begins:

"Ten years ago this Sunday, acting under direct orders from senior Iranian government leaders, the Saudi Hezbollah detonated a 25,000-pound TNT bomb that killed 19 U.S. airmen in their dormitory at Khobar Towers in Dhahran, Saudi Arabia. The blast wave destroyed Building 131 and grievously wounded hundreds of additional Air Force personnel. It also killed an unknown number of Saudi civilians in a nearby park."

After the bombing Bill Clinton promised "no stone would be left unturned" to find the bombers and bring them to "justice."

And then...absolutely nothing happened. Why? It was perceived that the Iranian President was a moderate, which turned out not to be true, and Clinton, in Freeh's words, wanted to 'accrue the political mileage of proclaiming to the world, and to the 19 survivor families, that America was aggressively pursuing the bombers.

At the same time Clinton and former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright prevented the FBI from photographing and fingerprinting Iranian 'cultural delegations' because the Iranians were 'complaining.' Freeh writes: "Of course they were complaining. It made it more difficult for their MOIS agents and terrorist coordinators to infiltrate into America."

Freeh writes:

"It soon became clear that Mr. Clinton and his national security adviser, Sandy Berger, had no interest in confronting the fact that Iran had blown up the Towers. This is astounding, considering that the Saudi Security Service had arrested six of the bombers after the attack. As FBI agents sifted through the remains of Building 131 in 115-degree heat, the bombers admitted they had been trained by the Iranian external security service (IRGC) in the Beka Valley, and received their passports at the Iranian Embassy in Damascus, along with $250,000 cash for the operation from IRGC Gen. Ahmad Sharifi."

work of fiction

Just what we need: More anti-Guantanamo propaganda. A new film being released today,"The Road to Guantanamo," according to WSJ film critic Joe Morgenstern is a 'Harrowing Prison Story, But Not Documented Truth.'

Morgenstern writes:

""The Road To Guantanamo" aims to be provocative, and it is that, to say the least. A feature-length hybrid, part documentary interviews and part drama, it tells the story of three young British Muslims who spent more than two years in the U.S. military prison camp at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. Their account is a harrowing one, and the film, co-directed by Michael Winterbottom and Mat Whitecross, depicts their imprisonment with incendiary intensity -- this is filmmaking with the potential to mold public opinion. At the same time, it is filmmaking of a discomfiting kind, coming as it does in the midst of raging controversy over Guantanamo. No facts are to be found here, only personal narratives that may or may not be factual, and remarkably skillful re-creations that invoke twin powers of the film medium -- to dramatize, and to propagandize."

Thursday, June 22

priorities

The Huffinton Post's Alex Koppelman is much more concerned with alleged abuse @ Guantanamo Bay than he is about mutilated American soldiers or protecting America from another 9/11.

Oh sure, he writes about 'context' in reporting, and that the Federal Government has tagged at least two al Qaeda detainees as the next "20th hijacker." (Mentioned are Zacarias Moussaoui and Mohammad al-Qahtani, who is currently being held at Gitmo. I would add Ramsey Bin Al-Scheib, who blew up the bomb in the parking garage under the north tower at the World Trade Center in 1993, to that list.)

Here we go again with the 'alleged abuse' mantra at Guantanamo Bay. Do Liberals really not want us to be able to get the information necessary to prevent another 9/11?

Koppleman uses information gleaned from a recent Time Magazine article to write his piece, which outlines 'tactics' used in interrogations of al Qahtani: "sleep deprivation, isolation, deliberate humiliation and, as in Abu Ghraib, intimidation by a military dog. These tactics, the magazine reported, led one senior FBI counterterrorism official to the conclusion that al-Qahtani was "evidencing behavior consistent with extreme psychological trauma."

What extraneous babel. Here's what I'm thinking about: The 'extreme psychological trauma' Pfc. Kristian Menchaca and Pfc. Thomas L. Tucker experienced as their eyes were gouged out, as they were being tortured and mutilated before they were beheaded by al Qaeda thugs in Iraq.

Imagine the 'extreme psychological trauma' experienced by those American citizens were died aboard airplanes on 9/11, who burned were alive at the Pentagon, or those who jumped out of the top floors of the World Trade Center? What about the thousands of families left behind? What type of 'extreme psychological trauma' are they experiencing everyday?

If al Qahtani was 'tortured' (and I don't believe he or anyone else at Gitmo has been) at least he is still alive. If he was 'tortured,' it was in the pursuit of actionable intelligence, it was done on behalf of you and me and nugatory ideologues like Koppelman, to keep us safe. That is the point, after all, of the Global War On Terror: To protect America, to preserve our freedom.

The goal is not coddle radical Muslim fanatics who seek to kill people with whom they disagree. It would be fun to put Koppelman, Cindy Sheehan, Michael Moore, John Kerry and Al Franken in a room with some al Qaeda guys. At that instant they would cease to care about the rights of terrorists.

Koppelman writes:

"Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld was personally involved in the late 2002 interrogation of a high-value al Qaida detainee known in intelligence circles as 'the 20th hijacker.'

"He also communicated weekly with the man in charge of the interrogation, Maj. Gen. Geoffrey Miller, the controversial commander of the Guantanamo Bay detention center."

"During the same period, detainee Mohammed al-Kahtani suffered from what Army investigators have called 'degrading and abusive' treatment by soldiers who were following the interrogation plan Rumsfeld had approved."

Gitmo commander Maj. Gen. Miller is 'controversial' to whom? To Left wing pacifists? If Liberals are outraged, that just means Miller and Rumsfeld are doing their jobs correctly. I'll be more than happy to speak for Republicans everywhere by saying that we are extremely happy with the job the Bush Administration and the American military is doing as they wage the Global War On Terror.

So again, I ask. Do Liberals really NOT want our government to protect us from fanatical Muslims? Clearly Alex Koppelman and the rest of his ilk on the looney Left do not.

steve laffey

If my concept about politics being a game is correct, then it is incumbent on the party to elect strong players. That means we have to defeat weaker players. And I can think of non weaker than Rhode Island Senator Lincoln Chafee, who votes with the Democrats more than 75% of the time.

Chafee routinely votes not to cut taxes, he's voted no on everything related to Iraq and the war on terror. He didn't even vote for George W. Bush. The guy's gotta go.

His opponent this fall is Cranston, R.I. Mayor Steve Laffey, a tax-cutting, fiscal conservative. He's a solid choice.

i got two, babe

I'm scrolling through my iTunes music library and I noticed I have two copies of "The Weight Is A Gift" by Nada Surf. WTF?

I'm on the phone right now with Apple.

P.S. Awesome CD, btw.

wmd coverage

Maybe I'm missing something but I see nary a mention of the WMD story in the LA Times, the NY Times.

The spin from the Left on television is comprised basically of a combination of [1] these WMD 'are not the weapons we went to war over,' and [2] if this 'finding by Santorum and Hoekstra is true' why isn't the White House announcing it...and [3] the Department of Defense is disputing the report that WMD have been found in Iraq.

Online, a smattering of Lefty's decry the significance of the findings. Huffington Post mentions it in mocking terms, "only Fox News is pushing the story," blah, blah, blah. DailyKos is totally silent on the subject.

And speaking of Kos, check out this post, from some slug named 'Bill in Portland Maine,' who writes the following:

"BOMBSHELL!! Republican Family Values in Death Spiral!"

"Laura Bush stormed out of the White House after a blow-up with the president over whether he was cheating with Condoleezza Rice. [...]

"The infuriated first lady spent at least one night in the famed Mayflower Hotel in Washington, D.C., after the bitter row, respected author and national security expert Wayne Madsen tells GLOBE. ... We reported in our Jan. 16 issue that in a recent therapy session, the 59 year-old president confessed he lusts after other women. And now, sources say he's been acting out those fantasies with Rice, 51."

"Rumors of the affair have enraged Laura, who has been at odds with her husband for months over their deteriorating 28-year union."

"Meanwhile a host of other problems are plaguing the Bush marriage, including reports that the president had been caught drinking whiskey again after quitting for 20 years, and strife between Laura and her meddling mother-in-law Barbara, say sources."

Meanwhile Liberals across the country think the Clinton's have a 'normal' marriage.

Back to WMD non coverage: Huffington includes links to two hyper Left blogs, "CrooksandLiars," and "ThinkProgress," the latter referencing an interview that aired last night on 'Hannity & Colmes' on the Fox News Channel.

Transcript:

MCINERNEY: Well, Alan, I think it’s significant from the point of view is it shows there’s a lot more information out there, and probably more important is, is why has the administration not made this public beforehand?

COLMES: Why wouldn’t they?

MCINERNEY: Well, if you want, my personal opinion is, I think the fact is that the Russians moved large stocks out in the fall of 2002. You heard what General Sada said. They went into three locations into Syria and one location in the Bekka Valley.

And if you get in there and if you found those weapons and found the precursors, the fingerprints would go back to Russia, China and France. Now, those are the three countries that had the most conventional weapon sales to Saddam Hussein. We’ve done an inventory on that, so that’s public. And I believe they were complicit, so I don’t think the administration wants to trash three of the five members of this Security Council.

I love this. Liberals, for whatever reason, seem to be incapable of connecting dots, looking at situations logically, using the principle of cause and effect. Recalling the vehement opposition of Russia, China and France before the Iraq invasion, McInerery's point should be well taken.

Regarding the DOD's rebuttal of yesterday's NGIC report about the 500 munitions in Iraq, remember we are dealing with a number of classified documents...clearly we won't be told everything in this report, even though a portion of it was declassified yesterday and more will surely follow. Classified is classified. Is it really such a stretch to think that WE DON'T KNOW EVERYTHING?

Wednesday, June 21

santorum & hoekstra


The item on Technorati caught my eye: "Rick Santorum says WMD have been found in Iraq."

I did a Google. The first hit that came up was 'FOX NEWS - 1 hour ago.'

I went to CNN.com. Nothing, not a mention. Which proves Liberal bias in the press.

It is truly remarkable and scary just how under-reported this story has been.

The next time you hear someone say 'there were no WMD in Iraq,' you can confidently tell that person they are wrong because since '04 there have been 500 weapons munitions containing mustard or sarin nerve agent found across Iraq.

"We have found weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, chemical weapons," Sen. Rick Santorum, R-PA.

How do we know this? From a declassified portion of a report by the National Ground Intelligence Center, a Defense Department intelligence unit completed in April, but only recently declassified.

"This [the NGIC report] says weapons have been discovered, more weapons exist and they state that Iraq was not a WMD-free zone, that there are continuing threats from the materials that are or may still be in Iraq," said Rep. Pete Hoekstra, R-MI., chairman of the House Intelligence Committee.

Interesting stuff. Santorum and Hoekstra are doing good work. I wish the White House was this aggressive in presenting their case -- the truth -- about Iraq.

Interesting too are the names listed on the 'External Distribution' list on the fax linked above. They received this document today along with Santorum and Hoekstra.

Jane Harmon D-CA
Nancy Pelosi D-CA
John Murtha D-PA
Harry Reid D-NV
John Rockefeller D-W VA
Carl Levin D-MI
Daniel Inouye D-HI

All of these Democrats have consistently stated for the record that there we no WMD in Iraq. All of these Democrats, and many, many more, have joined the 'Bush Lied' chorus regarding WMD. If these people have any honor, if they are Patriots, now is the time for them to immediately declare to the world that they were wrong and apologize to the President for calling his veracity into question.

kidnap, premeditated murder

Seven Marines and a Navy Corpsman have been charged with kidnapping and the premeditated murder in the case of an Iraqi man.

This case doesn't make any sense to me. Why would American soldiers premeditate a murder of an Iraqi man? Clearly we will never know the complete story, the key evidence, the mental state of these soldiers, the extenuating circumstances. It is wartime, after all. Bad stuff happens.

I don't think premeditation will be proven in this case. But real damage has already been done to our troops, to the American image overseas and here at home. And I'm sure the al Qaeda thugs are enjoying this quite a bit.

From FoxNews.com:

"The Pentagon began investigating shortly after an Iraqi man identified as Hashim Ibrahim Awad was killed April 26 in Hamdania, west of Baghdad. Navarre did not disclose details about the incident but a senior Pentagon official with direct knowledge of the investigation has said evidence indicates troops entered the town in search of an insurgent and, failing to find him, grabbed an unarmed man from his home and shot him."

"After the killing, the troops planted a shovel and an AK-47 rifle at the scene to make it appear the man was trying to plant an explosive device, said the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to discuss the matter publicly. The larceny charge relates to the theft of an AK-47 and a shovel."

If true, this is a very unfortunate situation.

liquid fruit

Annalis just called to tell me that she got a free smoothie at Jamba Juice.

That got me thinking. Back in 1993, I was working for a downtown public relations firm in San Diego and I used to grab smoothies all the time at this place called 'The Juice Club.'

I was was always partial to the 'Razzmatazz,' a tasty confluence of raspberry juice blend, orange sherbet, frozen strawberries, frozen bananas, ice. Just to mix it up, occassionally, I'd order the 'Citrus Squeeze,' which is pineapple juice blend, 100% pure orange juice, orange sherbet, frozen strawberries, frozen bananas, ice. Sometimes, the 'Mango -A-Go-Go' was good too, with passionfruit-mango juice blend, frozen mangos, pineapple sherbet, ice. There were extras that you could add in, too, like vitamin C, or tofu or rice, or wheatgrass.

Annalis had a 'Mega Mango,' and she said it wasn't sweet enough.

Before there was such things as 'Starbucks Runs,' there were 'Juice Club Runs' at our office.

Today, 'The Juice Club' IS Jamba Juice, smoothies are a national phenomenon and available in 24 states, plus the District of Columbia and the Bahamas.

illegal autograph?

Would you descibing this act as 'defacing' the flag?

goodbye?

Yuri Fialko, of the Scripps Institution of Oceanography in La Jolla (which is about 15 minutes away from my office) says that the southern end of the San Andreas fault line "is under immense stress and could produce a massive earthquake at any moment."

Brilliant analysis, Yuri. Scientists have been saying this type of stuff for years.

I bet that if I had a sit-down with Yuri, he and I wouldn't agree on much of anything. Dollars to donuts, I bet he believes in abortion, evolution, global warming, stem cell research and every other Liberal litmus-test position.

Whatever the case, I live precisely two hours due south of downtown Los Angeles. My office is 90 minutes away. If we have the type of seismic disturbance Yuri's talking about, I'm toast.

Honor my memory by voting Republican.

Tuesday, June 20

three years ago

Three years ago today, June 20, 2003, former California Governor Gray Davis tripled the state's car tax, which ultimately led to his removal from office and the election of Arnold Schwarzenegger.

Click the 'three years ago' link above to read Governor Schwarzenegger's long list of achievements.

repeal it

Why do Republicans have to negotiate with themselves?

The goal was to repeal the Death Tax, not keep the tax and then raise it in four years.

From the H.R. 5638 bill summary:

"Permanent Estate and Gift Tax Relief

• The estate tax relief provided in the Economic Growth and Tax Relief Reconciliation Act of 2001 will end in 2010. Unless Congress acts, in 2011 the estate tax exemption will drop to $1 million per person and the maximum estate tax rate will increase to 55 percent. The Permanent Estate Tax Relief Act of 2006 would provide permanent estate and gift tax relief.

Unified Estate, Gift and Generation-Skipping Transfer Tax

• The Permanent Estate Tax Relief Act of 2006 would reunify the estate, gift and generation-skipping transfer taxes – giving individuals greater flexibility to make estate planning decisions during life. A non-unified estate and gift tax provides less favorable tax treatment for gifts made during lifetime than gifts made (through a will) at death.

Increased Estate and Gift Tax Exemption

• The Permanent Estate Tax Relief Act of 2006 would increase the exemption amount to $5 million per person effective January 1, 2010.

Lower Estate and Gift Tax Rates

• The Permanent Estate Tax Relief Act of 2006 would reduce the rate of tax on estates
up to $25 million to the capital gains tax rate (currently 15 percent, set to increase to 20 percent in 2011 unless extended).

• The bill would reduce the rate of tax on estates of $25 million or more to twice the capital gains rate (currently 30 percent, set to increase to 40 percent in 2011 unless extended).

Portable Spousal Estate and Gift Tax Exclusion Amount

• The Permanent Estate Tax Relief Act of 2006 would simplify estate tax planning by allowing married couples to take full advantage of the $5 million exemption by carrying over any unused exemption to the surviving spouse.

Tax Provision

• The provision creates a new 60 percent deduction for qualified timber capital gains. This deduction alleviates the disparate tax treatment of timber gains under current law (which is based upon the legal form of ownership of the underlying timber assets). The provision is effective for qualifying gains recognized from the date of enactment through calendar year 2008."

don't let the door hit you, dan

I've written before in this space about my interest in politics beginning around the Nixon years when I was a boy. I vividly recall the 1980 Presidential election. I had huge respect for Ronald Reagan, as did most of the country.

From a media standpoint, I read our local paper, first in Oklahoma City, (The Daily Oklahoman) then Shreveport, Louisiana. (The Shreveport Times) I watched ABC News because I liked Frank Reynolds and then Peter Jennings. They covered the stories and kept my interest.

The press didn't seem to like Reagan as much as they liked the Democrats, but the President's charisma was so great I never really thought about media bias. That was probably because the media choices were so limited back in those days and also because Reagan just bowled everyone over with his jokes and snappy one-liners.

When Hinckley shot President Reagan my Mom picked me up from school and we drove home really fast to turn on the news. Frank Reynolds was on the air and information was flowing fast and furious. There was incredible confusion as to Reagan's condition. At one point, Reynolds even reported that the President had died and my Mom and I freaked out.

But then Reynolds grabbed his ear piece, paused, and then he yelled into the camera, 'Dammit. Get it RIGHT, Man!' Then Reynolds composed himself and said 'I can happily report that President Reagan is alive. I apologize for reporting inaccurate information. It won't happen again on my watch.'

I was awestruck. I thought, what a great broadcaster, what a great journalist. Totally committed to getting the facts straight.

Nobody will ever say those things about, or make the comparisons to, Dan Rather, who, after 41 years of innuendo, half truths and lies, has finally been shown the door at CBS News.

sucker's bet

My buddy John Fund writes about how 'Democrats keep betting on failure in Iraq.'

I am so, so, so tired of the question as to whether or not 'Bush lied about Saddam being a threat.' But as long as the loony Left attempts to use it as a weapon against Bush, those of us interested in the truth have a duty to explain for the umpteenth time that Saddam, was indeed, an enemy of the United States.

John wrote yesterday @ Opinion Journal.com:

"Just two months before the war, the Los Angeles Times reported that chief U.N. weapons inspector Hans Blix "disclosed troubling new details about Iraq's weapons programs and expressed frustration with what he described as Baghdad's refusal to resolve long-standing questions about efforts to produce biological and chemical weapons, as well as long-range missiles." Mr. Blix later told reporters that in his gut he felt that Saddam had weapons of mass destruction. "These guys had played cat-and-mouse during the whole of the '90s, so I was suspicious of that," he told NBC's Tim Russert earlier this month. He later changed his mind when his officials uncovered no evidence of a weapons program. But the question remains: If President Bush lied about Saddam having WMD why did so many others also say the same thing at the time?"

"Some Democrats still believe Saddam was a threat, WMD or not. Former Nebraska senator and presidential candidate Bob Kerrey, now president of New York's New School, noted earlier this year that newly declassified documents from Saddam Hussein's office concerning a meeting between an Iraq official and Osama bin Laden show that "Saddam was a significant enemy of the United States." One document is a handwritten account of a Feb. 19, 1995, meeting between an official representative of Iraq and bin Laden, where bin Laden broached the idea of "carrying out joint operations against foreign forces" in Saudi Arabia. The document reports that after Saddam was informed of the meeting he agreed to broadcast sermons of a radical imam, Suleiman al Ouda, requested by bin Laden. Several months later al Qaeda terrorists attacked the headquarters of the Saudi National Guard. The document specifically said the question of future cooperation "between the two parties [is] to be left according to what's open" in the future."

"I personally and strongly believe you don't have to prove that Iraq was collaborating [with] Osama bin Laden on the Sept. 11 attacks to prove he was an enemy and that he would collaborate with people who would do our country harm," Mr. Kerrey told the New York Sun. "This presents facts that should not be used to tie Saddam to attacks on Sept. 11. It does tie him into a circle that meant to damage the United States."

I'm also so, so, so tired of hearing that 'there were no WMD in Iraq,' because it isn't true.

Both Fund and Richard Miniter, in his book 'Disinformation' speak of the Iraqi Survey Group, led by David Kay, which found numerous traces ricin, sarin gas, mustard gas and VX nerve gas -- all illegal substances -- throughout Iraq.

From Fund:

"The Iraq Survey Group, an investigative commission set up by President Bush to look at the WMD issue, released its last public report in October 2004. While it found no evidence of WMD inside Iraq, it reported that Saddam was preparing to reconstitute his WMD program "as resources became available and the constraints of sanctions decayed." According to the report, Saddam had the capability to start anthrax production within one week of making the decision to do so, and thereafter to produce more than 10 tons of weaponized anthrax a year. The congressional Office of Technology Assessment estimates that if even 200 pounds, or 1% of that amount, were released into the air over Washington, up to three million people would die."

"The Iraq Survey Group report also found that the CIA had "received information about movement of material out of Iraq, including the possibility that WMD was involved." These reports "were sufficiently credible to merit further investigation"--especially "given the insular and compartmented nature of the [Saddam] regime." The CIA was unable to complete its probe due to instability in Iraq, but it held out the possibility that an "unofficial" transfer of WMD might have been secretly conducted, with WMD material either shipped out of Iraq into Syria or destroyed by another country after being flown there."

Fund also describes the 'treasure trove' -- 36,000 boxes -- of untranslated documents, recordings, videos and photographs found in Iraq. ABC News has already translated some of the recordings with Saddam telling his cabinet "Terrorism is coming. I told the Americans a long time before [the 1991 Gulf War] and told the British as well . . . that in the future there will be terrorism with weapons of mass destruction." The Iraqi dictator then added that while he would not authorize such an attack, he speculated that someone else could launch a chemical, nuclear, or biological attack from a booby-trapped car.

"Other sources tell [Fund] that recently translated captured documents include target lists of U.S. facilities and frequent references to WMDs in Saddam's possession. "He was either being lied to by his own officials, lying to them or he had something," one intelligence analyst told me."

I am so, so, so tired of hearing that 'no progress is being made in Iraq.' That's a complete lie.

From Fund:

"Not every Democrat believes there's no progress in Iraq. Democratic strategist Bob Beckel, who managed Walter Mondale's 1984 campaign, had the honesty to tell Fox News Channel last Friday: "Yes, we're winning, but we're not winning fast enough." Imagine what would have happened if in the middle of the fight against Nazi Germany and Imperial Japan, Franklin Roosevelt had been accused of not rolling back the Axis fast enough. Mr. Beckel went on to conclude "This war is just--it's stupid politics."

I'm beginning to think that in order for the United States to have a complete and total victory in Iraq, the Republicans are going to have to have a complete and total victory at the ballot box this November.

'ready'

President Reagain's strong leadership in the face of fierce opposition from the so-called 'Democratic' party in the 1980's resulted in a defensive missile shield.

"Star Wars" was criticized and mocked, yet Reagan was undetered and got it done.

Good thing we have it today with the looming threat of North Korea.

From Reuters:

"U.S. officials say evidence such as satellite pictures suggests Pyongyang may have finished fueling a Taepodong-2 missile, which some experts said could reach as far as Alaska."

"It's good to be ready," said an unnamed Defense offical yesterday.

'with regret'

The bodies of two American soldiers, missing since last Friday, have been identified as Pfc. Kristian Menchaca, 23, of Houston, TX and Pfc. Thomas L. Tucker, 25, of Madras, OR, which the MSM is playing as the work of new al Qaeda in Iraq leader Abu Hamza al- Muhajer.

The face of the evil has been shown yet again. The Islamo-fascists show no mercy to their victims like Americans do. They don't imprison them and feed them cookies and ice cream like Americans do. They don't receive new Bibles and backgammon tables.

Our enemy tortured and killed Menchaca and Tucker 'with regret, in a barbaric way," according to Maj. Gen. Abdul-Aziz Mohammed, the director of the Iraqi defense military's operation room.

The face of the so-called 'Democratic' Party, are two former 'soldiers,' John Kerry and John Murtha, both of whom advocate the decidedly non-military approach of cutting and running.

Kerry, fresh off the 93-6 Senate defeat of his bill to withdraw all troops from Iraq by the end of this year, now says all American military should be home by July 1, '07. So, not only does he want us to cut and run, but he also wants to give al Qaeda advance notice of our departure.

Kerry has called the Iraq war 'the wrong war, at the wrong place at the wrong time,' yet he voted for it, but now he says he was 'misled' into voting for it and he 'made a mistake' in voting for it.

Murtha, for his part, wants to withdraw American troops and place them in outposts like Okinowa, Japan, which even prompted Tim Russert, this past Sunday on 'Meet The Press' to say 'you can't react very quickly to events in Iraq from Okinowa.'

Murtha is on record as saying that "We can't win this militarily." Wrong. We've already won the war. Now we're focused on rebuilding, training and leaving Iraq in better condition than it was under the Hussein regime.

How many times have we heard from the terrorists that their strategy in Iraq is to inflict as many American casualties as possible to wear down America's political will in waging the global war on terror? How many times? A hundred times? A thousand times?

Why are the Democrats continually choosing to play into the hands of the strategy of the terrorists? Why do Democrats side with the terrorists? Why do the Democrats care more about the human rights of terrorists than they do about protecting America and Americans? Why do the Democrats want to close Guantanamo Bay? Why don't Democrats (and the ACLU) care about the eight Marines currently in the brig @ Camp Pendleton in connection with the death of a terrorist? Why are the Democrats agreeing with the terrorists that America should pull out of Iraq?

Is any of this smart election year political rhetoric?

Not only are the Democrats weak on the war and weak on national security. They also suck at political strategy.

Wavering, cowering and position switching are not characteristics of leaders, but they are the hallmarks of today's Democrats. Meanwhile the cowards like Kerry, Murtha, Pelosi, Dean, Kennedy and many, many others decry the strong, steadfast, not-to-de-deterred position of 'staying the course.'

The electorate is noticing.

Thursday, June 15

ciao

I'm off to San Francisco...Have a great weekend.

idiot

I judge lawmakers by the legislation they put forth. By a vote of 93-6, the Senate repudiated John Kerry's absurd measure to withdraw troops from Iraq by the end of '06.

2,500

I thank God (yes that's a big G) for every life lost in Iraq, for every sacrifice. Thank you United States military and all members of military families.

My prayer is that not another American life is lost in Iraq, as we attempt to secure the country, as we attempt to wipe away terrorism from everyday Iraqi life, as we assist our Iraqi brothers and sisters in rebuilding their war-ravaged country.

Viva Bush! And God bless America.

some light reading

The argument by the Left that Iraq is not a part of the global war on terror will be easily dismissed after perusing this striking document found in Zarqawi's former safe house. (pictured above)

Zarqawi, focused on fighting America in Iraq, also postulated about the best way to cause America and Iran to go to war.

He wrote: "it is necessary first to exaggerate the Iranian danger and to convince America and the west in general, of the real danger coming from Iran," the exaggeration being the role of Iranian Shi'a in acts of terrorism in Iraq.

MORE:

"We have noticed that the best of these wars to be ignited is the one between the Americans and Iran, because it will have many benefits in favor of the Sunni and the resistance, such as:

1. Freeing the Sunni people in Iraq, who are (30 percent) of the population and under the Shi'a Rule.

2. Drowning the Americans in another war that will engage many of their forces.

3. The possibility of acquiring new weapons from the Iranian side, either after the fall of Iran or during the battles.

4. To entice Iran towards helping the resistance because of its need for its help.

5. Weakening the Shi'a supply line."

Click 'some light reading' above to read the entire Zarqawi document.

'huge treasure'

We're now learning just how huge last week's killing of Zarqawi might actually be. Scores of documents, found in the terrorists' safe house near Baqouba.

Iraqi National Security Adviser Mouwafak al-Rubaie called it 'a huge amount of information,' that included a laptop computer, a flashdrive and other documents.

The documents show that al-Qaida is in "pretty bad shape," politically and in terms of training, weapons and media,' said al-Rubaie.

Meanwhile the Iraqi government has begun an aggressive crack down on violence across the country.

"We believe that this is the beginning of the end of al-Qaida in Iraq," said al-Rubaie.

Wednesday, June 14

catching illegals

Operation Return to Sender is in full swing. Since May 26, some 2,100 illegal aliens have been arrested across the country.

From the AP:

"The operation has caught more than 140 immigrants with convictions for sexual offenses against children; 367 known gang members, including street soldiers in the deadly Mara Salvatrucha, or MS-13; and about 640 people who had already been deported once, immigration officials said. The numbers include more than 720 arrests in California alone."

More than 800 illegals have already been deported. Good. Let's keep it up.

above board?

George Soros' insider trading conviction has been upheld by a French court.

From the International Herald Tribune:

"In a March 2005 ruling, a French appeals court confirmed a fine of €2.2 million, or $2.8 billion, set by a lower court for the illegal purchase of 95,000 shares in Société Générale. The Cour de Cassation ruled that the fine would be adjusted to reflect Soros' profits, and it ordered the case returned to the appeals court to clarify the amount."

Soros, it should be noted, was the only person convicted in the case. Two others, Samir Traboulsi and Jean-Charles Naouri, were acquitted.

This Soros guy is trouble. I love the fact that he advocates higher taxes for all Americans because of his Liberal politics, while he pays no American taxes due to shelters and offshore accounts. The height of Liberal hypocrisy!

take it back

When John Kerry claims that 'politicians can't have it both ways in Iraq,' it only reminds me that Kerry himself has tried to have it more than half a dozen ways the last four years on Iraq.

On Tuesday, while pandering to the "Take Back America" convention in DC, he reversed himself yet again, saying he was 'wrong' to vote for the war and that he was 'misled.'

These flip flops earned him the adulation from the conventioneers that he so obviously craves, but, in doing so, he lost the Presidency again.

I've been thinking lately that Kerry was in the perfect position for '08. He's already well to the Left of Hillary and much more popular among the far Left crazies. All he had to do at this confab was serve up some recycled criticism of Bush to the delight of uninformed audience and then let Clinton absord the wrath of the anti-war crowd. That would have further strengthened his position, not kill his political future.

But I forgot what a bad political strategist Kerry is. He'll wish he could take back his comments right about the time the GOP maintains its Majority status in Congress in November.

Even the AP acknowledges that the Democrats are stumbling around as Bush's poll numbers and the situation in Iraq is improving.

Tuesday, June 13

rice with dinner

Esquire Magazine polled men about the celeb with which they'd most like to have dinner. Not Julia Roberts, Angelina, Jen Aniston or even Oprah. The winner was Secretary of State Condi Rice.

Respondents, when polled on male dinner partners, chose President Bush, George Clooney and Jay Leno.

The survey of 1,083 men age 25 and up was conducted online in March by Beta Research Corp.

hogan's heroes?

White House Press Secretary Tony Snow (left) and White House Counselor Dan Bartlett aboard a military helicopter for the 8 minute trip from Baghdad International Airport to the US Embassy in the Greenzone.

ninguna salida

This guy is going nowhere, much to the chagrin of the loony Left.

And there's nobody loonier than DNC Chairman Howard Dean, who offered up this brilliant and non-sensical analysis:

"Rove doesn't belong in the White House. If the president valued America more than he valued his connection to Karl Rove, Karl Rove would have been fired a long time ago."

'media event'


This Huffington email blast came to me at 6AM, about an hour after the President landed in Baghdad.

Monday, June 12

iraq

I find it interesting that al Qaeda in Iraq is telling us 'how powerful' they are. Really?

Meanwhile, we learned today that Zarqawi died 52 minutes after last weeks' airstrike. He was treated by a US military medic who said that the terrorist had "a carodic pulse was such that he was not going to live. It was very evident that he had extremely massive internal injuries."

And Abu Hamza al-Muhajer ('al-Muhajer' means 'immigrant') was named Zarqawi's successor as two parked car bombs exploded in Balad, a town north of Baghdad.

fatah

A wild day in Israel. Fatah forces, loyal to Abbas, went on an anti-Hamas government rampage, riddling the West Bank cabinet and parliament buildings with bullets, setting them on fire, and kidnapping lawmakers.

'the saddam dossier'

Liberals savage the Fox News Channel as being 'GOP TV.' The fact is, FNC is one of the few objective news sources in the world. While CNN, MSNBC, the broadcast networks and others are busy reporting complete lies and distortions about Iraq and Saddam Hussein, Fox does actual REPORTING on the good and the bad in Iraq.

Case in point: Bill O'Reilly is airing a timely expose on Guantanamo Bay tonight. REPORTING.

And FOX is the only network that has hired Ray Robison, a military operations research analyst based in Huntsville, AL, to analyze the reams of documents found in Iraq after the fall of the Hussein regime. Other media organizations have lazily ignored these documents, making the 'editorial' decision that they are unimportant.

BTW, you can find these documents at the Foreign Military Studies Office website, listed to the right under 'R.F.L. Resources.'

From FoxNews.com:

"Was Saddam Hussein a security threat to the United States? Did the Iraqi dictator have connections to Al Qaeda or other terrorist ties? What happened to the weapons of mass destruction everyone believed were in his possession? Did Saddam move them? Did they ever exist? Until recently the general public has had little of the information necessary to make a fully informed decision on its own."

No wonder FNC is #1.

P.S. I don't wear hats, but if I did, I'd tip it in the direction of Hugh Hewitt for the head's up on this story.

success = contempt

Sometimes I think that Liberals would repeal the First Amendment just so they wouldn't have to listen to Ann Coulter anymore.

David Carr writes a piece in the NYT in which he claims, quite correctly, that Coulter seems to 'be afflicted with a kind of rhetorical compulsion.'

He lists example after example of headline-worthy things to come out of AC's mouth -- 'Timothy McVeigh should have parked his truck in front of The New York Times,' 'joked that a Supreme Court justice should be poisoned,' and said that 'America should invade Muslim countries and kill their leaders.'

Then Carr boldly asks himself and his readers: "Does she believe any of this stuff?" I would say: Yes.

"Godless," which is already doing gangbuster business according to the folks at Barnes & Noble, suggests that liberalism "is the doctrine that prompts otherwise seemingly sane people to propose teaching children how to masturbate, allowing gays to marry, releasing murderers from prison, and teaching children that they share a common ancestor with the earthworm."

Exactly. That sums up Liberalism perfectly.

I think Ann Coulter is a genius. She's an astute writer, a marketing genius, a top-rate attorney. She's a brilliant trainwreck.

Listen. Carefully. You can almost hear the books flying off the shelves.

***********

Working titles for this post:

"Weaponizing words,"
"Conscience, rectitude or logic"
"How to masturbate"
"Uncle Earthworm"

Sunday, June 11

'pressure'?

The spin from the MSM is now that three terrorists have killed themselves at Guantanamo Bay, somehow this is supposed to put new pressure on the White House to close down Gitmo.

That's a stretch.

It would never occur to the boneheads in the press (including the LA Times, which is claiming that the White House now is under 'pressure') that perhaps these three 'martyred' themselves as a PR stunt?

And to get their 72 virgins, of course.

Here comes the crap from the 'human rights' advocates:

"People have been indefinitely detained for five years without any prospect of ever going home, or ever seeing their families, or ever being charged, or having any resolution," said Jumana Musa, an advocacy director for Amnesty International in Washington. "There is no question serious psychological trauma comes from that."

These 'people' spend their time and energy trying to kill as many American citizens as they can, as often as they can. From my perspective, three less radical Muslims on the planet is a positive development.

I wonder if Jumana Musa ever visited a 9/11 family? Talk about 'serious psychological trauma.'

mythology

Daily Kos has an annual blogger convention in Vegas? HEY! I didn't get an invitation.

What's wrong with people? Howard Dean was there, as was Mark Warner and Harry Reid. Tom Vilsack, the charismatic governor of Iowa.

I like what Reid said. "There is an urban myth in Washington that Democrats don't stand for anything."

AND Democrats know all about urban myths -- because they create them all the time.

Here's a few, just off the top of my head:

'Gore got more votes'...'black people were disenfranchised in Florida'...'Republicans don't care about black people'...'the Federal Government was 'slow' to responding to Hurricane Katrina'...'there were no WMD in Iraq'...Bush lied, people died'...'Iraq is the new Vietnam'...'terrorism is caused by poverty'...there is no connection between Iraq and al Qaeda'...'Democrats are the party of the little guy'...'Fox News is 'GOP TV'...'Republicans only care about rich people'...'The 50th Congressional District election between Brian Bilbray and Francine Busby was 'close'...

Add your own in comments.

Friday, June 9

stinkbomb

I 've long believed that Democrats (some of them, anyway) behave like children.

The latest example comes to us from the great state of Colorado. Kathleen Ensz, a Weld County Democratic volunteer left an envelope of dog feces at the office of GOP Congresswoman Marilyn Musgrave. (pictured above)

Asked for an explanation of her actions all Ensz could manage to say was "it wasn't in the office doors, it was in the foyer."

insanity

Coming out of the mouth of a Liberal near you is the latest spin that President Bush, in the 'rush to war' in Iraq, 'avoided' killing Zarqawi. Therefore, some 700 people died by Zarqawi's hands, but Bush is really responsible for the carnage.

This sounds identical to what pacifist (and Green Delaware congressional candidate) Michael Berg, father of the Zarqawi-beheaded Nick Berg, said yesterday:

"Zarqawi felt my son's breath on his hand as held the knife against his throat. Hehad to look in his eyes when he did it. George Bush sits there glassy-eyed in his office with pieces of paper and condemns people to death. That to me is a real terrorist."

Just as their were no atheists storming the beaches of Normandy on D-Day, pacifism is a luxury we cannot afford as we are tasked in fighting (and winning) the Global War on Terror.

RFL buddy Rick Moran (from Right Wing Nuthouse) writes brilliantly in the American Thinker:

"Still spinning furiously, the left advanced the theory that Bush’s “rush to war” prevented us from killing Zarqawi in 2002. Leaving aside the notion that killing the terrorist at his lab would have been any more successful than President Clinton’s efforts to kill Osama Bin Laden by bombing his training camp in Afghanistan, one notices the flip-flop by the left immediately; if Saddam had no ties to terrorists, how is it possible that we “missed” anyone? And if he did indeed have ties to terrorist groups, doesn’t that justify the invasion and subsequent liberation of Iraq?"

i'm back, baby

Blogger was 'Down for maintenance' all yesterday. Here's some of what I might have said had I been able to post:

-+ Zarqawi was 'alive and mumbling' when US and Iraqi forces came upon the scene. He was on a stretcher and he tried to get up, but was detained. Then he died. Love it. Nothing warms my heart more than dead terrorists.

And few terrorists were quite as bad as this guy. Found among the rubble -- 17 boxes containing 17 decapitated heads.

Meanwhile, the MSM went from 'Zarqawi's dead' to 'Where's Osama?' as if the two searches are mutally exclusive. They aren't. In fact, the super, super secret Task Force 145 had been looking for Zarqawi INSTEAD of bin Laden, until now.

I continue to be very impressed with the new Iraqi government of Prime Minister al Maliki. US Ambassador to Iraq, Zalmay Khalilzad had a lot to do with the killing of Zarqawi. In recent weeks has brought Shiites and Sunni Muslims together. It was through these conversations (and intelligence gathered from detainees @ Guantanamo Bay) that we learned the location of Zarqawi.

Despite all this good news, however, I'm concerned about the media coverage, especially with regard to tactics. The press simply tells us too much and ABC is one of the worst offenders. Brian Ross reported the name of a Jordianian informant who was an important component in the Zarqawi surveillance. Osama, if he's alive, might learn enough about how we conduct our sweeps and be able to elude capture. Torie Clarke, the former aide to Rumsfeld deserves blame for embedding journalists into this war at every level.

And Left wing blogs deserve at least some of the credit for the dumbing down of a portion of the American electorate. Check out this bone-headed analysis from the Huffington Post:

"Well, for one thing, Zarqawi was an invented menace. Before the great “Iraq experiment” in democracy delivered not by necessity but by bullets and bombs (as well as WMD pretexts), Zarqawi was about as popular as Carrot Top. No one knew who he was, kind of like no one knows who else besides Kobe Bryant is on the Los Angeles Lakers. As terrorists go, he was what sportswriters might call a scrub. But once he got in the way of the Bush administration’s crusade on the banks of the Tigris, he quickly became public enemy number one. Or as Iraq’s prime minister Nuri al-Maliki explained, a “godfather” of terrorism."

-+ John Bolton, US Ambassador to the UN, had some harsh words for Mark Malloch Brown, who criticized Americans for getting their news from Fox News Channel and Rush Limbaugh:

“It is illegitimate for an international civil servant to criticise what he thinks are the inadequacies of citizens of a member government.”

It has been said that you can judge a man by the company he keeps. Malloch Brown hangs out with George Soros. He even rents one of Soros' houses in Manhattan at the bargain basement price of $10K a month.

Meanwhile New Republic's Peter Beinart praises Malloch Brown's anti-American comments.

-+ Not surprising is that two Republican Senators voted AGAINST repealing the Estate Tax yesterday -- Ohio's George Voinovich and Rhode Island's Lincoln Chafee. Chafee's running for re-election this year and as Hugh Hewitt points out in "Painting The Map Red," Chafee is third ranking member on the Senate Intelligence Committee, which is scary, unless he goes down to defeat this fall.

What IS surprising is that Maine Republican Senators Susan Collins and Olympia Snowe voted to repeal the tax. And then there's that special third category of Democrats who campaigned specifically on repealing the death tax but did the opposite yesterday: Evan Bayh (IN); Mark Pryor (AR); Mary Landrieu (LA) and Ron Wyden (OR).

From the WSJ:

"Mr. Pryor's Web site says he "supports the permanent repeal of an estate tax." No word as to when that comes down. Ms. Landrieu and her colleague Maria Cantwell of Washington were so torn on the vote that Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid wouldn't let them out of his sight until it was over."

"And an honorary flip-flop award goes to New York's Hillary Clinton, who during her 2000 Senate campaign declared: "You ought to be able to leave your land and the bulk of your fortunes to your children and not the government."

-+ Speaking of Congress, Tom DeLay bid the House adieu today and as he delivered his final remarks in the Chamber the classy Democrats hissed at him. Some walked out.

"I have scraped and clawed for every vote, every amendment, for every word of every bill that I believe in my heart would protect human freedom and defend human dignity," DeLay said. "I have done so at all times honorably and honestly, Mr. Speaker, as god is my witness and history is my judge."

Thursday, June 8

al-zarqawi killed

Iraqi PM al Maliki announces the killing of Abu Masab al-Zarqawi last night to cheering ovations.

'Identified by fingerprint, facial recognition and known scars,' according to General Casey, the US confirms that the # 1 al Qaeda in Iraq killer died last night in a US led air attack on Baquba, 60 miles north of Baghdad.

Press conference coming soon with General Casey and al Maliki...

How appropriate that it occurred on the 62 anniversary of D-Day?

'Ripple effect' to embolden Iraqi's...

Zarqawi is...

...The thug who beheaded civilians (pictured above holding the head of American Nick Berg)

...Just called 'The Godfather of sectarian killing in Iraq' live on Iraqi television. "Today is a good day. We will continue to kill those who wish Iraq to fail," said U.S. Ambassador to Iraq Zalmay Khalilzad.

MORE good news from Iraq:

Defense and Interior Ministers set to be named today...

Good news! Great work by US military.

***From what I can tell RFL was the FIRST American blog to publish news of al-Zarqawi's death.

friends don't let friends watch cnn

After 1st Lt. Ehren Watada refused to deploy with his Fort Lewis Stryker brigade, he was prevented from attending a press conference. So he sent a videotape saying the following:

"It is my duty as a commissioned officer of the United States Army to speak out against grave injustices. My moral and legal obligation is to the Constitution and not those who would issue unlawful orders. The wholesale slaughter and mistreatment of the Iraqi people with only limited accountability is not only a terrible moral injustice but a contradiction to the Army's own Law of Land Warfare."

This guy has been watching too much CNN. He's a coward and a traitor and, quite frankly, should be executed.

dots connected

Talk about connecting the dots.

Terror cell in Canada --

-- which is connected to a terror cell in Georgia --

-- which are both are connected to a terror cell in London --

Isn't this exactly the way Bush has been describing the War On Terror these past five years? Connected everywhere, all around the globe?

I'll be damned. The world actually IS a dangerous place. Do the Democrats care? Does the MSM care? Does Ehren Watada care?

the speech

Read the Malloch Brown speech by clicking 'the speech.'

Wednesday, June 7

'witholding support'

Mark Malloch Brown, the number two guy at the United Nations, thinks that Rush Limbaugh and the Fox News Channel (in other words, two of the most popular sources of news in America) 'undermines' the work of the UN.

Really? I have some questions:

Did America undermine the efforts to prevent genocide in Rhwanda? Darfur? Southern Lebanon? East Timor?

Does America prevent the UN from stemming the spread of HIV/AIDS in Africa?

Does America continually prop up brutal regimes in Syria, Iraq, Iran?

The UN attempted to prevent the US from liberating Iraq, after the US enforced the UN's own resolutions -- all 16 of them -- to remove Saddam Hussein from power. To this day, Kofi Annan claims Iraq was 'an illegal war.'

The UN's human rights commission is comprised of member nations that consistently ignore the basic human rights of their citizens.

The United Nations, the most corrupt 'human rights' organization in world history enabled all of this illegal behavior and much, much more.

I could go on and on and on...I could write about the rampant corruption of the UN but it would take up all my time.

Check out this dig Malloch Brown gets in at UN Ambassador John Bolton:

"Exacerbating matters is the widely held perception, even among many U.S. allies, that the U.S. tends to hold on to maximalist positions when it could be finding middle ground."

Not really. We just don't need to lectured about good policy by rogue nations.

BTW, I did some research and found an interview Malloch Brown did on -- FOX NEWS -- and he was singing the praises of Bolton. Here's what he said:

"People forget a little bit more than 10 years ago [Bolton] was a very effective assistant secretary of state in the State Department dealing with the U.N.

Second, you know, a U.S. ambassador to the U.N. has to be very effective in New York, but he also has to be very effective in Washington. And, of course, that's where there's a real silver lining to John Bolton's appointment."

Malloch Brown claims that the US is 'witholding support' from the UN. Last time I checked we still pay the majority of the UN's operating budget. Perhaps he's confusing 'support' with 'skepticism.'

Sez he:

"The prevailing practice of seeking to use the U.N. almost by stealth as a diplomatic tool while failing to stand up for it against its domestic critics is simply not sustainable," said the deputy, Mark Malloch Brown. "You will lose the U.N. one way or another."

'Losing the UN?' What a GREAT idea! I wish I'd thought of that! The day that the UN ceases to exist will be a victory for freedom, democracy, human rights and truth everywhere.
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