Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Special Report: Same Day President Calls for Solidifying Victory, Pelosi Urges Surrender

Almost immediately after President Bush’s marvelous speech on Iraq, Democratic House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi today called for implementation of the Murtha plan of immediate withdrawal – this despite the fact that Congress just voted 403 to 3 to stay the course in Iraq. I consider this destructively partisan outburst to border on treason and have decided to do something I seldom do: publish an entire column Ann Coulter wrote recently. Here it is:

by Ann Coulter
November 23, 2005

In the Iraq war so far, the U.S. military has deposed a dictator who had already used weapons of mass destruction and would have used them again. As we now know, Saddam Hussein was working with al-Qaida and was trying to acquire long-range missiles from North Korea and enriched uranium from Niger.

Saddam is on trial. His psychopath sons are dead. We've captured or killed scores of foreign terrorists in Baghdad. Rape rooms and torture chambers are back in R. Kelly's Miami Beach mansion where they belong.

The Iraqi people have voted in two free, democratic elections this year. In a rash and unconsidered move, they even gave women the right to vote.

Iraqis have ratified a constitution and will vote for a National Assembly next month. The long-suffering Kurds are free and no longer require 24/7 protection by U.S. fighter jets.

Libya's Moammar Gadhafi has voluntarily dismantled his weapons of mass destruction, Syria has withdrawn from Lebanon, and the Palestinians are holding elections.

(Last but certainly not least, the Marsh Arabs' wetlands ecosystem in central Iraq that Saddam drained is being restored, so even the Democrats' war goals in Iraq are being met.)

The American military has accomplished all this with just over 2,000 deaths. These deaths are especially painful because they fall on our greatest Americans. Still, look at what the military has done and compare the cost to 600,000 deaths in the Civil War, 400,000 deaths in World War II and 60,000 deaths in Vietnam (before Walter Cronkite finally threw in the towel and declared victory for North Vietnam).

What is known as a "hawk" in today's Democratic Party looks at what our military has accomplished and — during the war, while our troops are in harm's way — demands that we withdraw our troops.

In an upbeat speech now being aired repeatedly on al-Jazeera, last week Rep. John Murtha said U.S. troops "cannot accomplish anything further in Iraq militarily. It is time to bring them home." Claiming the war is "a flawed policy wrapped in illusion," Murtha said the "American public is way ahead of us."

Fed up with being endlessly told "the American people" have turned against the war in Iraq, Republicans asked the Democrats to show what they had in their hand and vote on a resolution to withdraw the troops.

By a vote of 403-3, the House of Representatives wasn't willing to bet that "the American people" want to pull out of Iraq. (This vote also marked the first time in recent history that the Democrats did not respond to getting their butts kicked by demanding a recount.)

The vote is all the more shocking because of what it says about the Democrats' motives in attacking the war — as well as alerting us to three members of Congress we really need to keep an eye on.

It is simply a fact that Democrats like Murtha are encouraging the Iraqi insurgents when they say the war is going badly and it's time to bring the troops home. Whether or not there is any merit to the idea, calling for a troop withdrawal — or "redeployment," as liberals pointlessly distinguish — will delay our inevitable victory and cost more American lives.

Anti-war protests in the U.S. during the Vietnam War were a major source of moral support to the enemy. We know that not only from simple common sense, but from the statements of former North Vietnamese military leaders who evidently didn't get the memo telling them not to say so. In an Aug. 3, 1995, interview in The Wall Street Journal, Bui Tin, a former colonel in the North Vietnamese army, called the American peace movement "essential" to the North Vietnamese victory.

"Every day our leadership would listen to world news over the radio at 9 a.m. to follow the growth of the American anti-war movement," he said. "Visits to Hanoi by people like Jane Fonda and former Attorney General Ramsey Clark and ministers gave us confidence that we should hold on in the face of battlefield reverses."

What are we to make of the fact that — as we now know — the Democrats don't even want to withdraw troops from Iraq? By their own account, there is no merit to their demands. Before the vote, Democrats could at least defend themselves from sedition by pleading stupidity. Now we know they don't believe what they are saying about the war. (Thanks to that vote, the Islamo-fascists know it, too.)

The Democrats are giving aid and comfort to the enemy for no purpose other than giving aid and comfort to the enemy. There is no plausible explanation for the Democrats' behavior other than that they long to see U.S. troops shot, humiliated, and driven from the field of battle.

They fill the airwaves with treason, but when called to vote on withdrawing troops, disavow their own public statements. These people are not only traitors, they are gutless traitors.


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Is It Any Wonder I Consider the ACLU A Most Dangerous Organization?

Once upon a time, I suppose, the ACLU had a worthwhile purpose in defending our civil rights, but somewhere along the way, its mission has become destructive to the rights of the majority and dangerous to the survival of the America we know. They defend rights, all right: the rights of Nazis to march in Skokie, the rights of child molesters to rape children in Massachusetts and to be Boy Scout Leaders in California, the right of Saddam to butcher his people and threaten our safety, the right of a high school girl in Rhode Island to wear a T-shirt to school that says “Kill Bush”, and, lately, the rights of the few atheists among us to remove all traces of religious traditions and symbols from our lives.

There was a time, in these United States, when religious extremists on the right tried to ban the teaching of evolution in the classroom. The ACLU was right to oppose this form of censorship in an action that led to the famous Scopes Monkey Trial. Contrary to the popular movie, “Inherit The Wind”, that trial did not in any way prove or disprove the theory of evolution. (In using the term ‘evolution’ I am using it in its popular sense – short for macroevolution or Darwinism, the idea that all life forms developed in a series of steps from one original life form. ‘Microevolution’, the idea that life forms change slightly over time is not in dispute by any sensible person.)

Now we have come full circle. Recent discoveries by microbiologists and other scientists have called into question the idea that all life forms came into being through ‘evolution’, and a budding science called Intelligent Design has begun to offer serious challenges to Darwinian theory. About 40 states have taken steps to let their students know, to some extent, that ‘evolution’ is a theory, that not all scientists accept it and that an alternate theory is under development. Does the ACLU support the freedom to consider such matters? Not on your life. The ACLU is leading and financing efforts across the country to stifle any consideration of these ‘dangerous’ ideas.

It should also be noted that the ACLU has been behind efforts to erase all mention and all symbols of Christmas from our lives, as well as bringing lawsuits to prevent military services from recruiting at schools and colleges.

If the ACLU has its way, we will be left without a military to defend ourselves, but we won’t have to endure hearing “Merry Christmas” from US Post Office clerks, who have recently been warned to discontinue the practice or face disciplinary action.

One bright note: efforts that resulted in renaming the capitol Christmas tree, the “Holiday” tree a few years ago have now been overturned, as Speaker Haskert made it official that the tree will once again be called the “Capitol Christmas Tree”.

Merry Christmas, ACLU.

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Monday, November 28, 2005

The Poisonous Federal Involvement in Education

I have written many times here that federal involvement in education, which used to be an entirely local matter, is poisonous and eventually will undermine the constitutional form of government that protects us all. As a former college professor, I saw up close and personal how federal rules make it more and more difficult to provide a meaningful educational experience and maintain discipline in the classroom. I could not post grades; I could not discuss a student’s educational needs with a parent; I could not object to foot-long, weird jewelry hanging from the ears of male students. I had to provide open-book exams to students considered learning-disabled, and those students received the same degree as all other students.

All incoming freshmen (a forbidden word) had to take a test in writing and understanding the English language. Writing, reading and comprehension skills of high school graduates had fallen so low that Stonehill felt remedial action was necessary to ensure that most could handle college work. (Remember that SAT scores have been degraded since recent test-takers have, on the average, scored so poorly. You can compare current scores with each other, but not to previous scores – another scandalous sham.) The director of this remedial program issued a manual to students and faculty. According to this manual, one could not say “freshMAN”, “salesMAN”, etc., or use the pronouns – “he” or “she”. This was at a relatively conservative college run by the Holy Cross Order of the Catholic Church. I made it through 16 years of teaching there by ignoring this manual completely, and I know my students benefited by exposure to the proper use of the English language.

Or consider the “right to an education.” IMPRIMIS by Hillsdale College reminds us that “education was vital to the people who built our country. In making land grants, our government said, “Religion, morality, and knowledge being necessary to good government and the happiness of mankind, schools and the means of education shall ever be encouraged.” They proceeded then to provide the most massive subsidy to education that has ever been given in this country. The one exception to the conversion of public land to private was the holding back of 1/36th of the western land for the provision of education locally, and of course under the direction of state governments which had the constitutional power.

Today, by contrast, we have the centralized Department of Education at the federal level. In providing the “right to an education,” it regulates our nation’s colleges in the closest detail (Hillsdale College being an important and rare exception). Since September 11, 2001, defense spending in the U.S. has risen almost 60 percent; spending on higher education has risen more than 200 percent.

What do we get for this money? Not learning. It is notorious that college graduates today know little to nothing of the history of our country or its constitutional meaning. If you doubt this, ask a senior a few questions about the Declaration of Independence or the Constitution.

Nor does the money buy political support for the party (Republican) that has voted these massively increased subsidies. It is notorious that the beneficiaries of federal aid to higher education, namely those who work in colleges, support the other party by embarrassing margins.

Nor do we get patriotism. In fact, a consortium of colleges is suing the federal government right now because they object only to the requirement that military recruiters be admitted to their campuses as a condition of receiving federal aid. Already these colleges are abiding thousands of pages of regulation. They object to this specific one. Perhaps they have forgotten that Article I, Section 8 of the Constitution—which enumerates the powers of Congress—mentions defense eight times. Education is not mentioned at all.”
Reprinted by permission from IMPRIMIS, the national speech digest of Hillsdale College

What these students do know is how terrible our country is and how awful were and are the oppressions laid at the feet of our forefathers and of our current businessmen and some politicians. They learn that the culture of a remote tribe in the jungles of Africa is superior to Western and American culture. They learn to despise the great writers and artists of Europe who provided the foundations of a civil and uplifting society – to be replaced by nonsensical women’s studies, African studies and programs that promote homosexuality. Almost all of this poison can be directly traced to federal rules that follow federal funding.

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Saturday, November 26, 2005

What is Actually Wrong With The Democrats? Are They Really This Stupid? Are They Really This Deceitful?

Back on the days before I had a website, I argued strenuously against the McCain-Feingold Campaign Finance Bill. I still think it was a huge mistake and should be repealed.

The other day I was contemplating what in the world is wrong with people like Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi and Senators Harry Reid, Carl Levin, Richard Durbin and Edward Kennedy. Surely they must know that this constant battering of President Bush on Iraq is shattering to the morale of our troops there. Surely they must know that we cannot possibly withdraw from Iraq for some time, nor can we even state a withdrawal timetable without throwing away all that we have accomplished with blood and treasure. Surely they must know these things, so how can they keep making such inane statements? Then I read the following piece by Tony Snow, which gives a possible explanation:

Harry Reid's transformation By Tony Snow
Sep 26, 2005

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Harry Reid was a famously nice guy before he became the Senate Democratic leader. Although reliably partisan, he built a well-earned reputation for playing the role of nice guy, the man of genial calm.

No more: The senator this week made official his descent into the Moonbat Grotto by issuing a lame rebuke of John Roberts, the president's choice to become the next chief justice of the Supreme Court.

Reid said he couldn't vote for Roberts because the nominee as a young attorney once used the phrase "illegal amigos" in a memorandum prepared for the Department of Justice. Reid considered this an insensitive way of describing people who steal over our borders, often bearing drugs, guns and contraband.

Note that Reid and his colleagues had access to 80,000 pages of documents dating back to Roberts' first federal employment as a twentysomething staff attorney at Justice, along with 50 or so opinions written as a federal judge. Despite having access to the largest-ever trove of nominee information, the "illegal amigo" quip was the worst Reid and his phalanx of opposition researchers could find. This could make Roberts the cleanest nominee in American history -- but not good enough for the New Harry.

Reid's performance raises an interesting and vital question: What on earth would persuade a naturally nice man to behave in such an inane manner -- and why would a majority of Democrats join him in voting against John Roberts, who may be the strongest high-court nominee in a century?

Here is the two-word answer: McCain-Feingold. The McCain-Feingold campaign-finance reform bill, designed grandly to "take money out of politics," predictably produced the opposite effect. It sucked in a flood of cash, gutted the major political parties and made poseurs more unaccountable than ever before.

The old villain, "soft money," merely changed names under McCain-Feingold. Lawyers now call it "527 money." Wealthy activists can spend like crazy through 527s, but with one significant difference from the old days: Before "reform," political parties could marginalize lunatics. Now, plutocrats rule without restraint from political pros.

Democrats find themselves beholden to a batch of petulant billionaires, led by George Soros, Peter Lewis and Steven Bing. That trio alone contributed nearly $65 million to Democratic candidates and causes during the 2004 election cycle.
All told, Democrats raised more than $318 million in 527 money between 2002 and 2004, while Republicans lagged far behind at $206 million.
These figures don't include presidential expenditures, which again show a huge advantage for the Plutocrat Party -- $182 million for Democrats; $64 million for Republicans.

Much of this cash went to such organizations as, the Joint Victory Campaign 2004, the Media Fund and the now-defunct America Coming Together -- all of which spent tens of millions of dollars on such losing causes as John Kerry's candidacy, opposition to the Iraq war and attempts to crush John Roberts' original nomination to the Supreme Court.

Their efforts failed because they offended people. As Americans shelled out millions of dollars to help victims of Hurricane Katrina, for instance, MoveOn broadcast ads that made George Bush the Satanic heavy for bad weather and poorly constructed levees. The spots reflected George Soros' apparent belief that his spite was more compelling than Katrina victims' plight.

Similarly, the raging plutocrats are underwriting the likes of Cindy Sheehan, who showed solidarity with hurricane victims by demanding the removal of all federal troops from New Orleans, and Michael Moore, who plans to produce a crockumentary on Hurricane Katrina.

Thus, the solution to our conundrum: Harry Reid has to act like a nut in public because money talks. As Senate leader, Reid has to tilt at every windmill, charge into every fusillade and dip his head into every wood-chipper just to please his billionaire bosses.

He's not alone. While the Senate approved Justice Antonin Scalia by a vote of 98-0 and Ruth Bader Ginsburg (with arguably the dottiest paper record of any recent court nominee) sailed through by a 96-3 tally, Roberts will be lucky to break 70 votes. Worse, Democrats have all but promised to subject the president's next high-court nominee to an exuberant character assassination, likely culminating in a filibuster.
This is what McCain-Feingold has wrought: Nasty commercials, incoherent attack politics and ill will on Capitol Hill. The eccentric rich call the shots. Mild-mannered politicians behave like Batman villains -- and none of it will improve until Congress finally declares that it's time to un-reform the reform before someone really gets hurt.

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Thursday, November 24, 2005

Happy Thanksgiving to All with Special Thanks to American Soldiers and to Michael Yon

Picture of American soldier who risked his life to save this Iraqi child. Taken by Michael Yon, whose reports from Iraq have have been one source of truth amidst the lies and negative hype of the mainstream media.

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Wednesday, November 23, 2005

If We Lose This War on Terror, We Lose the America We Know

Americans Jumping To Their Deaths On September 11, 2001

Although leftist treachery led to an obscene withdrawal from Vietnam at a time when our troops in the field had won every battle, there were no lasting effects from our defeat due to the efforts of Ronald Reagan. With the installation of the Peacemakers and the development of Star Wars, the “wall” came tumbling down. Through the ages Americans have gotten complaisant about the protection from harm our two great oceans and our brave and brilliant military have afforded us. Unfortunately, I don’t think the same good fortune is in our future if the Muslim terrorists get their way.

If we withdraw prematurely from Iraq, there will undoubtedly be a civil war between Sunni Muslims, aided by Al Qaeda, and the larger Shia population. No matter who wins out, the prospect for a continued Western presence in the Gulf, protecting the oil fields and the oil supply routes, is dim. Not only might Iran intervene to aid their fellow Shia and gain control of Iraq, but all the rest of the oil-producing Arab countries will respond to our weakness by giving in to the terrorists on many fronts. Kuwait first, and then Saudi Arabia, Bahrein and Oman may succumb. Iraq will once again become a haven for these terrorists for their training and support.

There would probably be an oil boycott of the USA and of any country that allies with us, as well as increased terrorism against US citizens and US interests all over the world – including here in our own country. Continued success of the Muslim terrorists might also lead to an effective boycott of our products on world markets, as they threaten other countries with terrorism and an oil boycott if they do not cooperate with the establishment of a new caliphate throughout the Middle East, Africa and parts of Europe. We came to the rescue of Europe three times in the last century; not only will we be unable to do it again, but we will be mired in the most terrible depression we have ever known. Who will save Europe from the Islamofascists then? Already an intifada is underway in France (where Mullahs have been reported as chastising French-Muslim youths for having acted before they were ready to take over France), and the Netherlands, for centuries one of the most peaceful and open societies in the world, has become an armed camp.

For those who still have not yet recognized the extent of the threat, I offer the following record:

Major Islamic Terrorist Acts Against USA Since 1978:
• Iran Embassy Hostages, 1979;
• Beirut, Lebanon Embassy 1983;
• Beirut, Lebanon Marine Barracks 1983;
• Lockerbie, Scotland Pan-Am flight to New York 1988;
• First New York World Trade Center attack 1993;
• Dhahran, Saudi Arabia Khobar Towers Military complex 1996;
• Nairobi, Kenya US Embassy 1998;
• Dares Salaam, Tanzania US Embassy 1998;
• Aden, Yemen USS Cole 2000;
• New York World Trade Center 2001;
• Pentagon 2001.

Note that during the period from 1981 to 2001 there were 7,581 terrorist attacks by Muslims worldwide. Since 9/11 there have been another 3290 documented Muslim terrorist attacks around the world, as of this morning. (For an up-to-the minute count, check the banner under my profile to the right.)

More people are killed by Islamists each year than in all 350 years of the Spanish Inquisition combined.

It's all about Iraq, isn't it?
Yes, it's all about Iraq and...

India and the Sudan and Algeria and Afghanistan and New York and Pakistan and Israel and Russia and Chechnya and the Philippines and Indonesia and Nigeria and Thailand and Spain and Egypt and Bangladesh and Saudi Arabia and Ingushetia and Dagestan and Britain and Turkey and Kabardino-Balkaria and Morocco and Yemen and Lebanon and France and Uzbekistan and Gaza and Tunisia and Kosovo and Bosnia and Mauritania and Kenya and Eritrea and Syria and Somalia and California and Kuwait and Virginia and Ethiopia and Iran and Jordan and United Arab Emirates and Louisiana and Texas and Tanzania and Sri Lanka and Pennsylvania and Belgium and Denmark and East Timor and Qatar and Maryland and the Netherlands and Scotland and...
...and pretty much wherever Muslims believe their religion tells them to:

"Fight and slay the Unbelievers wherever ye find them. Seize them, beleaguer them, and lie in wait for them in every stratagem of war."
Qur'an, Sura 9:5

The real shame is that we are obviously winning the war in Iraq. Not only has democracy been established in planned stages with enormous participation by the Iraqi majority that wants freedom and peace, but see what a leading expert and author on the Middle East had to say yesterday:

Sign of Al Qaeda Desperation
By Richard Miniter
Human Events Online | November 21, 2005

“Dead men tell no tales, but luckily for intelligence analysts, live women do.
Sajida Mubarak Atrous al-Rishawi was not able to detonate her bomb at the wedding party and fled with the guests as her husband exploded himself. Now, she is in the custody of the GID, Jordan's intelligence agency. By all accounts, the interrogation is going slowly. Still, enough information is emerging for us to draw some lessons for the triple bombings in Amman, Jordan, on November 9.
Mrs. al-Rishawi's family history reveals just how effective the U.S. military has proven to be in eliminating insurgents. Jordanian intelligence has learned that three of her brothers were killed by coalition forces in Iraq. Her brother, Thamir al-Rashawi, a member al-Zarqawi's inner circle, was killed in April 2004 in Fallujah, when a missile fired from a U.S. aircraft struck his pick-up truck. Jordanian Deputy Prime Minister Marwan al-Mu'ashir described her brother, Thamir, as "the emir [commander] of the Al-Anbar region [of the Iraqi insurgency] in the Al-Qa'idah of Jihad Organization in the Land of Two Rivers. He was the right hand of Abu-Mus'ab al-Zarqawi."

Her other two brothers, Ammar and Yassir, died in separate battles with U.S. forces in Ramadi, Iraq, in 2005.

Explosives Expert

Mrs. Al-Rishawi's sister had been married to a Jordanian explosives expert, Nidal Mohammed Arabiyat, also killed by U.S. forces in Iraq, according to Agence France Presse.

Though the American media is slow to report it, U.S. forces are relentlessly destroying Zarqawi's senior leadership. A November 2 air strike killed two senior al Qaeda operatives in Iraq: Abu Zahra, the so-called Emir of Husaybah, ran all insurgent operations in that Iraqi city, and Asadallah, Zarqawi's key recruiter. U.S. forces have now confirmed the identities of both dead terrorists.

On October 23, U.S. forces captured Abu Hassan, the head of al-Zarqawi's media cell. Hassan was responsible for producing video tapes of insurgent attacks to give to al-Jazeera and other television networks. Hassan even produced forged police and press passes to allow insurgents to case targets and film the devastation following insurgent attacks.

Following these air strikes and captures, Zarqawi ordered the Amman attacks. Was it a sign of desperation? Was he trying to regain the initiative from weeks of reverses?

Another sign of desperation: Consider who Zarqawi sent to run the Amman operation, Mrs. Al-Rishawi's husband. He also a member of Zarqawi's inner circle. He is now dead. Why did Zarqawi send a top officer to die? He has already lost so many. It suggests that either he's running short of suicide bombers (typically Saudi recruits) or he's running short of people he trusts. Either way, it's a sign of desperation.

Meanwhile, Mrs. al-Rishawi is alive and apparently talking. She can certainly tell her interrogators the location of the other insurgents and perhaps Zarqawi's hiding place.

Task Force 626, established last year by the Defense Department, is still searching for Zarqawi. At least three times in the past year, U.S. forces just missed capturing the archterrorist, according to the Los Angeles Times.

"We truly believe that Zarqawi's days are limited," Army Maj. Gen. Rick Lynch, deputy chief of staff of the multinational force in Iraq, told the Times. At least seven members of Zarqawi's inner circle have been killed or captured. Another 38 regional insurgent commanders have been seized or slain as well as some 71 insurgent leaders that the military refers to as "tier three." "Given [the] many, many sources of intelligence and information, we have great success at killing or capturing his leaders, his cell leaders, his coordinators and his lieutenants, and this chart just continues to expand, and eventually, he's going to be on this chart," Lynch said.

Time is running out for Zarqawi. And the Amman blasts may have only sped up the inevitable.” Richard Miniter

And finally, from Mark Steyn:
“Demonstrating the will to lose as clearly as America did in Vietnam wasn't such a smart move, but since the media can't seem to get beyond this ancient jungle war it may be worth underlining the principal difference: Osama is not Ho Chi Minh, and al-Qa'eda are not the Viet Cong. If you exit, they'll follow. And Americans will die - in foreign embassies, barracks, warships, as they did through the Nineties, and eventually on the streets of US cities, too.”

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Monday, November 21, 2005

The Incredible Deceit of Some Democrat Senators, But Not All

You may think it unnecessary to keep defending President Bush against the charge that he Lied about WMD, but as long as these dangerous clowns keep repeating the charge, and as long as the mainstream media keeps urging them on, bloggers like myself are going to keep answering.

Please take note of a new banner under my profile that asks "Did Bush Lie". If you click on it, it does a Google Search of "Clinton-Iraq-1998". The search results are very informative. Bush didn't lie, he acted to protect our children, our grandchildren, and our great-grandchildren to come - something Clinton, embroiled in the Monica sexual harassment scandal was unable or unwilling to do.

The Incredible Deceit of Some Democrat Senators
"Big Lie Democrats"
By Brandon Crocker
The American Spectator
Published 11/17/2005 12:07:13 AM

"When Bill Clinton left office in January 2001, he was convinced that Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction and active WMD research and production programs. George Tenet, the Clinton appointed head of the CIA, told George W. Bush prior to the war that the case that Saddam had weapons of mass destruction was "a slam dunk." Almost all of the Democratic members of the Senate and House Intelligence Committees, seeing much of the same intelligence reports given to the White House, and with direct access to the intelligence communities and raw intelligence data, agreed. The intelligence arms of most major foreign governments, including those that opposed the war, agreed. The UN concurred that Saddam had not accounted for stockpiles of WMD that were known to exist after the end of the first Gulf War. So, according to the U.S. Democratic leadership, there is only one logical conclusion that one can draw from the lack of WMD found in Iraq -- George W. Bush lied us into the war.

This has been the mantra of leading Democrats since the Senate Minority Leader, Harry Reid, pulled his stunt to force the Senate into "closed session" as a "protest" over the supposed foot-dragging of Senate Republicans in the "Phase II" investigation looking into the matter. ("Phase I," which looked into allegations that the administration pressured the U.S. intelligence community to "cook" the intelligence to support the war, concluded, without a single Democrat dissent, that no such pressure took place). And now, to complete the farce, Senator John Kerry, during a press conference on November 14, proclaimed "the war in Iraq was and remains one of the great acts of misleading and deception in American history."

Senator Kerry, one might recall, built his political career on his status as a "war hero" in Vietnam, due to the fact that he amazingly, in four months time, was awarded three purple hearts (giving him a free ticket home), for wounds that, upon further scrutiny, appear, well, hyped. His most serious wound seems to have been unintentionally self-inflicted, and the first, of unknown origin, required treatment with a dab of Neosporin ointment. Upon returning home he made a name for himself by accusing U.S. soldiers of routinely committing atrocities, which he now admits he never actually saw, and which may not have been true. And then, of course, there is his famous story of his Christmas incursion into Cambodia, "seared" into his memory, strangely seared, since it, too, never happened. And during his presidential campaign he gave the distinct impression that he had met with "foreign leaders" who endorsed his candidacy, "negotiated treaties" while serving as a senator, and had been a much better college student than the idiot George W. Bush -- all of which turned out to be untrue.

Senator Kerry is, in fact, the Great Deceiver. So it is fitting that he has now taken up the Democratic crusade against George W. Bush, accusing him of lying to the Senate and to the American people on the basis of, well, let's be honest, next to no evidence, and in the face of a mountain of evidence to the contrary.

So far, the heart of the Democratic case seems to be one CIA document, declassified with great fanfare by Senator Carl Levin, which questions the credibility of one source regarding one issue (the training of al-Qaeda personnel in Iraq). But it is not clear that Bush was ever given this particular document, or that members of the Senate or House Intelligence Committees did not have access to it. What is clear, however, is that the CIA had other sources that corroborated the story, and CIA chief George Tenet felt that the overall evidence supported the story, regardless of the credibility issues of one source. It is certainly ironic that this cherry-picked document, in the Democrats' eyes, qualifies as damning evidence that Bush "cherry picked" intelligence to "mislead" the country into war.

It is also fitting, and ironic, that the Democratic leadership, which has used language comparing the actions of U.S. military personnel with that of Nazis (as in Senator Dick Durbin's infamous speech on the floor of the Senate, broadcast throughout the Middle East via al-Jazeera, for which he eventually felt compelled to apologize), now seems so adept at employing the propaganda strategy described by Nazi Propaganda Minister Joseph Goebbels as "the Big Lie." Unfortunately, this Big Lie has been working (with the "mainstream" news media reporting the Democrats' daily accusations, with barely a mention of inconvenient facts to the contrary), and a majority of Americans now say that they believe that George W. Bush intentionally lied about Saddam's WMD programs in order to push an "unnecessary war." But as any watcher of public opinion polls knows, these sentiments can change.

Despite the often-repeated line in the media, that with no significant WMD finds in Iraq that "the primary rationale for the war" has been "discredited," whether or not WMD are ever found in Iraq is, in fact, irrelevant to the legitimacy for this "rationale" for the war. The rationale was (among other things) that we had good reason to suspect that Saddam possessed WMD and/or had advanced and on-going programs for their creation. Saddam gave us no reason to doubt this, refusing to cooperate with U.N. weapons inspectors (in violation of the cease-fire agreement from the first Gulf War), and actually kicking them out of the country in 1998 (prompting Bill Clinton to send a few cruise missiles into suspected Iraqi WMD targets). So the rationale that it was likely that Saddam had WMD programs -- which was the primary basis for Bill Clinton making "regime change" in Iraq official U.S. policy -- was perfectly sound, and remains perfectly sound rationale for having gone to war. But none of this matters in the new Democratic political calculus, and the big question is, why not?

The reason that the Democratic leadership seems intent on aggressively pushing a transparently false charge against the President of the United States is that it sees political advantage in doing so. It is what the Michael Mooron base of the party desires, and with the American public showing weariness of the war and of hearing the casualty figures reported daily in the media, the time is ripe, they calculate, to hammer Bush on the war. The only problem is, much of the Democratic leadership supported going to war. That dilemma is solved, in their mind, by pushing the argument that they were "misled" by Bush into doing so. This may turn out to be a bit uncomfortable for the Democrats' probable 2008 presidential candidate -- Hilary Clinton -- who is already on record as admitting that the intelligence used by the Bush administration was consistent with the intelligence assessments during the Bill Clinton presidency. But the Democrats will cross that bridge when they come to it. In the meantime, it is the Democratic priority to discredit the U.S. Commander in Chief, in time of war, simply because he's a Republican.

History will, most probably, correct the current misperceptions regarding Bush "lying us into war." And, most probably, history will eventually render an unflattering judgment on the Democratic leadership's current behavior. But that will be small comfort if the Democrats manage to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory in Iraq. Fortunately, Bush seems to have awoken to the fact that he can't continue simply to shrug off Democratic attacks and will, with the Republicans in Congress, aggressively respond to the Democrats' smear campaign." Brandon Crocker


Quote of the week from Senator Lieberman:

"I strongly supported the war in Iraq. I was privileged to be the Democratic cosponsor, with the senator from Virginia, of the authorizing resolution, which received overwhelming bipartisan support. As I follow the debates about prewar intelligence, I have no regrets about having sponsored and supported that resolution because of all the other reasons we had in our national-security interest to remove Saddam Hussein from power -- a brutal, murdering dictator, an aggressive invader of his neighbors, a supporter of terrorism, a hater of the United States of America. He was, for us, a ticking time bomb that, if we did not remove him, I am convinced would have blown up, metaphorically speaking, in America's face. ... The questions raised about prewar intelligence are not irrelevant, they are not unimportant, but they are nowhere near as important and relevant as how we successfully complete our mission in Iraq and protect the 150,000 men and women in uniform who are fighting for us there."

--Senator (and Gore's 2000 VP candidate) Joseph Lieberman on the Senate floor Last Tuesday (Kudos to you for taking the high road, Senator Lieberman.)

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Saturday, November 19, 2005

SHOULD WE PULL OUT OF IRAQ? by Mason P. Wilson, Jr.

Lets put aside politics and think of the ramifications of a withdrawal from Iraq. What’s best for the country? Our children? Our grandchildren and the generations to come? First, if we pull out, will the terrorists take over Iraq and the Middle East? Most likely! Will they withhold oil from the American infidels? Most likely! Will the rest of the Middle East fall prey to the terrorists? Most likely! We seem to forget what the Middle East was like before 9/11. We seem to forget that appeasement of the terrorist only results in additional terrorist acts. Begin with Carter when he bumbled the U.S. Embassy in Iran. That appeasement led to the bombing in Beirut, the Cole and a host of other that eventually ending up with 9/11.

Remember the condition of the Middle-East prior to 9/11? Years ago the terrorists shot and killed Anwar Sadat, president of Egypt for signing the Israeli accord. Afghanistan was headed by the Taliban, Pakistan was overrun by militant Muslims, Saudi Arabia was frozen in terror and afraid of a rebellion of the militant Muslims, Indonesia was held hostage to them as well as the rest of the middle east. All of these countries have made significant advances in controlling the militant Muslims since we invaded Iraq. Only Syria and Iran are presently controlled by them. If you don’t think that the terrorists can take over the Middle-East just look at the recent evidence showing that Tehran is backing most of the terrorists presently in Iraq. Even Russia is getting angry with Iran over their intransigence over nuclear weapons. For much of the criticism over the Iraqis not wanting us, just think of the voter turnout for their elections, it puts us to shame.

Are we willing to betray all of the Middle-Eastern people and governances who have undeniably embraced the concepts of a democracy? What do you think of the shining example of democracy feeding them to the insurgency? Perhaps Karl Marks was right, when he said the seeds of the destruction of a democracy are sown in its very concept. Today, unfortunately, I am beginning to think he was right.

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Friday, November 18, 2005

The Attempted Impeachment of the President Implodes

The whole Wilson-Plame-Libby case is much more of interest to political insiders and groupies than to most of us except for one thing – it was and is part of the essential hard-left Democrat strategy for the attempted impeachment of President Bush. Now, thankfully, with both the President and the Vice President fighting back on the other front, the ridiculous charge that Bush lied, the whole strategy seems to be going up in flames.

I wrote a week ago that the Libby case was an abomination and only served to warn us never to give any information to an FBI agent about anything. Now facts are coming to light that have completely undercut the Libby indictment, which was a classic example of the left’s attempts to criminalize political differences.

In a more than two-hour deposition, Bob Woodward, of Watergate fame, told Special Counsel Patrick J. Fitzgerald that an official casually told him in mid-June, 2003 that Plame worked as a CIA analyst on weapons of mass destruction, and that he did not believe the information to be classified or sensitive, according to a statement Woodward released on Wednesday.

Woodward's testimony appears to change key elements in the chronology Fitzgerald laid out in his investigation and announced when indicting Libby three weeks ago. It would make the unnamed official -- not Libby -- the first government employee to disclose Plame's CIA employment to a reporter. It would also make Woodward, who has been publicly critical of the investigation, the first reporter known to have learned about Plame from a government source.

Since Bob Woodward also said that he may later have discussed Valerie Plame with Libby, Libby’s recollections of events appear to be correct or nearly correct, and certainly not perjurious. Libby has said he thought he learned of Plame's identity from NBC's Tim Russert. This game of who told who what and when has gotten ludicrous, especially since no crime was committed.

Karl Rove also appears to have been exonerated. Mark Corallo, a spokesman for Rove, said that Rove is not the unnamed official who told Woodward about Plame and that he did not discuss Plame with Woodward. Remember, outing Plame is not only not a crime, but two people have come forward to say that Plame’s husband, Wilson, outed her years before including Major General Paul Vallely, US Army (Ret.) who said that prior to the alleged leak, Ambassador Joe Wilson bragged to the general that his wife, Valerie, worked for the CIA.

William Jeffress Jr., one of Libby's lawyers, said yesterday that Woodward's testimony undermines Fitzgerald's public claims about his client and raises questions about what else the prosecutor may not know.
"If what Woodward says is so, will Mr. Fitzgerald now say he was wrong to say on TV that Scooter Libby was the first official to give this information to a reporter?" Jeffress said last night. "The second question I would have is: Why did Mr. Fitzgerald indict Mr. Libby before fully investigating what other reporters knew about Wilson's wife?"

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Wednesday, November 16, 2005

The Great Republican Illusion

Before you read this article, I want you to try out a David Copperfield illusion and then return to read the rest of the article by hitting the “Back” button in your toolbar. Somewhere in my article I’ll explain how this illusion works. Try the illusion now by clicking on the small red cross.

My purpose in using this illusion is to demonstrate the way that our Republican Congress has been bamboozling us for years, and we are fed up. Don’t get me wrong; I am still a strong supporter of President Bush and the way he is conducting the war on Islamic terrorists. That is clearly the most important issue of the day, and I am generally supportive of his overall policies.

It is all this other baloney, put forth by what are called “RINO’s” (Republicans In Name Only) that has me so angry. We didn’t fight for and contribute so much money to gain Republican victories to have them vote down ANWR (Arctic National Wildlife Refuge)drilling and pass a whole string of anti-conservative, pro-liberal measures.

Lets look at the record, starting with Bush 41:

“No new taxes” - we got new taxes!

Americans with Disabilities Act – we got lawsuits from drunks, druggies and obscenely obese people who now have rights the rest of us don’t have because we have some self-discipline.

The use of federal power to punish the police who overdid it trying to restrain and punish a drug-crazed Rodney King whose antics threatened their lives.

And let’s look at what we have had to swallow with Bush 43:

McCain-Finegold Act (Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act) granting special political speech rights to the media and to labor unions while depriving the rest of us of our freedom of speech with no noticeable decline in political fund-raising.

No Child Left Behind Act – seeing how it poisons the educational process, we wanted less federal involvement in education; instead we got more.

Medicare Drug Bill (Medicare Prescription Drug Improvement and Modernization Act of 2003) – for the first time in history Medicare became a welfare program with means-testing and all the rest of the confusion, intrusiveness, embarrassment and corruption that goes with it.

Illegal Immigration - with our country at risk as never before, not only from the entry of Islamofascist terrorists with weapons that can annihilate hundreds of thousands of Americans at one time (see Jose Padilla), but with our American culture being overwhelmed in some areas by multicultualists hyping Hispanic culture over our own, no strong action is being taken to stop illegals from entering the country.

And now, with drilling for new oil a top priority for economic and national security reasons, and with a hard fought victory within our grasp, the “moderate” Republicans throw away drilling in ANWR and off the Gulf coast. I am angry and looking for answers.

The David Copperfield Illusion uses a gimmick, just like our fair-haired Republicans do. The gimmick is that the five cards David shows you are not any of the cards he showed you at first. No matter what card you select, it will never appear in the second set of cards.

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Monday, November 14, 2005

For a New Englander, the Greatest Sports Picture of All Time

I had the great good fortune to have lived in Massachusetts and Rhode Island during the heydays of the three greatest athletes ever to perform for Boston teams. This remarkable photograph is the only known picture ever taken of the three stars together. You have no idea of the pleasure these three remarkable men brought me over a span of more than 50 years. The information below is entirely taken from theWikipedia Encyclopedia.

Theodore Samuel Williams (August 30, 1918 – July 5, 2002), nicknamed "The Splendid Splinter", "Teddy Ballgame", "The Thumper" and "The Kid", was a left fielder in Major League Baseball who played 19 seasons, twice interrupted by military service as a Marine Corps pilot, with the Boston Red Sox. It has been argued that he was the greatest hitter in the history of baseball. Williams was a two-time American League Most Valuable Player (MVP) winner, led the league in batting six times, and won the Triple Crown twice. He had a career batting average of .344, with 521 home runs, and was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1966. An avid sport fisherman, he hosted a television show about fishing, and was inducted into the Fishing Hall of Fame.

Williams was born in San Diego, California as Teddy Samuel Williams, after Teddy Roosevelt. He later changed his first name to Theodore. His father, a photographer and great admirer of the late president, and his mother, a Salvation Army worker of Mexican descent, were generally absentee parents and poor providers whom he later came to resent. Early in his career, he stated that he wished to be remembered as the "greatest hitter who ever lived", an honor that he indeed achieved in many eyes by the end of his career. He also loved to fish. He said it just relaxed him.
Williams played high school baseball at Herbert Hoover High School. After graduation, he turned professional and had minor league stints for his hometown San Diego Padres and the Minneapolis Millers.

Bobby Orr Born in Parry Sound, Ontario, Canada, Bobby Orr's ice hockey talents were evident at a very early age. As a 14-year-old he played for the Oshawa Generals in the Ontario Junior A League, competing against mostly 19- and 20-year-olds. National Hockey League rules dictated that he could only join the Boston Bruins as an eighteen-year-old. In his first professional season he won the Calder Memorial Trophy as outstanding rookie and began a turnaround for the perpetually last-place Bruins that culminated on May 10, 1970 when he scored one of the most acrobatic goals in hockey history to give Boston its first Stanley Cup in 29 years.

A defenceman, Bobby Orr revolutionized the game of hockey, creating a new breed of defenceman with his offensive role. His speed, most notably a rapid acceleration, and his open ice artistry electrified fans as he set almost every conceivable record for a defenceman. Most he still holds today. Despite being limited by knee injuries which would later force him to retire early, he dominated the National Hockey League during his career. In a shortened career, he still won the James Norris Memorial Trophy as the league's most outstanding defenceman eight times, more than any other player in NHL history.

He is the only defenseman ever to win the Art Ross Trophy as the league scoring champion, accomplishing this feat twice (1969–70 and 1974–75), and he is also the only defenceman to lead the league in assists, a distinction he held during five seasons. Orr's 139 points in the 1970-1971 season remains a record for NHL defencemen. He won the Hart Trophy as the league's Most Valuable Player three times, from 1969–1970 through 1971–1972. He captured the Norris Trophy as the league's best defenceman a record eight consecutive seasons, from 1967 to 1975. In 1970, he received Sports Illustrated magazine's "Sportsman of the Year" award.

In 1976, despite several knee operations that left him playing in severe pain, Bobby Orr was named the most valuable player in the Canada Cup international competition.
At the end of the 75-76 season, Orr's contract was over and the Boston Bruins needed to renew it. The Bruins offered Orr a lucrative contract, including over 18% ownership in the Bruins organization. Orr's agent, Alan Eagleson, did not disclose this to Orr and told him that the Chicago Blackhawks had a better deal. (Eagleson later was found guilty and served time in prison for numerous failings as an agent.)

Orr signed with the Blackhawks for two season before retiring due to knee problems. In the late 1970s, Bobby Orr was voted the greatest athlete in Boston history in the Boston Globe newspaper's poll of New Englanders.

Larry Joe Bird (born December 7, 1956) is a former NBA basketball player. Bird is generally considered to be one of the greatest players in NBA history. He was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 1998, and was voted to the NBA's 50th Anniversary All-Time Team in 1996. Drafted sixth overall by the Boston Celtics in 1978, Bird played small forward for the team for his entire 13-year career.

He retired as a player from the NBA in 1992. After working as an assistant in the Celtics front office from 1992 to 1997, Bird was the head coach of the Indiana Pacers from 1997 to 2000. In 2003, he assumed the role of president of basketball operations for the Pacers, a position he still holds.

Bird was born in West Baden Springs, Indiana, the son of Georgia and Joe Bird. He grew up in both West Baden and the adjacent town French Lick. Financial troubles would plague the Bird family for most of Larry's childhood. In a 1988 interview with Sports Illustrated, Bird recalled how his mother would make do on the family's meager earnings: "If there was a payment to the bank due, and we needed shoes, she'd get the shoes, and then deal with them guys at the bank. I don't mean she wouldn't pay the bank, but the children always came first." Bird sometimes was sent to live with his grandmother due to the family's struggles. Being poor as a child, Bird told Sports Illustrated, "motivates me to this day."

The Bird family's struggle with poverty was compounded by the alcoholism and personal difficulties of Joe Bird. In 1975, after Bird's parents divorced, his father committed suicide.

In spite of his domestic woes, by the time he was a high-school sophomore, Bird had become one of the better basketball players in French Lick. He starred for the area high school team, Springs Valley High School, where he left as the school's all-time scoring leader.

Bird's humble roots led to his most frequently used moniker, "The Hick From French Lick." More cynical or facetious observers called him "The Great White Hope." As a Caucasian superstar in a league dominated by African-American athletes, Bird undoubtedly stood out because of his race, but his skin color has little to do with his place in NBA history. Despite having relatively few athletic advantages (other than his height, at 6'9"), Bird possessed an uncanny and unparalleled ability to anticipate and react to the strategies of his opponents. His talent for recognizing the moves of opponents and teammates prompted his first coach with the Celtics, Bill Fitch, to nickname him "Kodak," because he seemed to formulate mental pictures of every play that took place on the court.

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Wednesday, November 09, 2005

What's a president to do?

The following article from The American Thinker puts in perspective the totality of the situation faced by President Bush as he contemplated his oath to preserve and protect us. It also gives some excellent background as to what is really going on with the Wilson-Plame-Libby situation and reveals more fully what hyenas Democrat leaders like Senators Reid, Kennedy and Durbin really are. They would destroy everyone and everything to get back their power, which is so rightfully theirs.

What's a president to do?
The American Thinker
Rick Moran
November 9th, 2005

"Suppose you were president of a country that had been hit by a massive terrorist attack that had killed 3,000 of your fellow citizens. Suppose you had come to the inescapable conclusion that not only were the terrorists to be destroyed for the threat they posed to the nation you led, but that other nations who supported the terrorists must also be dealt with. And suppose one of those nations in particular, already shooting at your fighters and bombers, was also known to give financial support to terrorists as well as allowing their territory to be used as a training ground for the murderous religious fanatics who threatened the very existence of the nation you have sworn to preserve and protect.

Now suppose that there were large swaths of the national security community unalterably opposed to your policy. Suppose that many of these unelected bureaucrats believed that their judgment was not only superior to yours, the elected leader, but better than those whom you appointed to oversee the agencies in which they worked. Also suppose that many of them were partisans who wished to undermine your decisions in order to swing an election to your opponent.

This scenario might make a good outline for a political potboiler of a novel. Unfortunately, this is the situation the President found himself in during the lead up to the Iraq war, and even more so afterward, as the 2004 election loomed on the horizon and the large stockpiles of WMD that most of the world believed were present in Saddam’s Iraq never materialized.

Aided and abetted by friendly and ideologically sympathetic reporters who eagerly published the cherry-picked analyses given them by current and former intelligence analysts, this faction at the CIA tried their best to discredit their political opponent in the White House by undermining the war effort and embarrassing the elected leader of the United States.

If you were the President, how would you fight back? Do you simply acquiesce and bend a knee to these arrogant apostates in the intelligence community who treat you with contempt and disrespect?

Every president has had to deal at one time or another with this amorphous mass of conceited and corrupt intelligence bureaucrats, who spend almost as much time worrying about the bureaucratic pecking order as they do the security of the nation. If you spend any time at all in Washington studying and writing about national security issues, you know exactly what they are all about. Their self-importance is evidenced by the way they bully subordinates and fawn over superiors. They mask their insecurities with an arrogant bravado more appropriate to a bullfighter than a servant of the people.

So the President and his people discovered early on that there was implacable resistance in the CIA to their plans to invade Iraq to affect regime change. They started to mistrust the intelligence analysis coming from that quarter. In what can only be described as a desperation move, the White House set up an entire operation devoted to disseminating Iraq intel to policy makers independent of the CIA. In effect, they made an end run around a bureaucracy using the office of Undersecretary of Defense Douglas Feith and his Counterterrorism Evaluation Group (CTEG).

What CTEG found is exactly what the 9/11 Commission found; that there were numerous contacts between Saddam Hussein and al Qaeda – something the CIA refused to acknowledge, having so much invested in their conclusion that the supposedly secular Sunnis in Iraq wouldn’t sully their hands by dealing with the radical Shi’ites in al Qaeda. This analysis was demonstrated to be even more wrongheaded after the fall of Baghdad, when files from the Iraqi intelligence service revealed even more contacts with al Qaeda than had previously been revealed.

Other prewar analysis coming from the CIA seemed to confirm that Saddam in fact had large stockpiles of WMD. George Tenet famously referred to the case for WMD as “a slam dunk.” So is the Administration guilty of hearing what it wanted to hear and seeing what it wanted to see with regard to pre-war Iraqi intelligence, especially as it related to ties to al Qaeda and WMD?

What critics universally fail to point out is that in the wake of 9/11, the United States could not afford to take the chance that Saddam had WMD. This is such a fundamental tenet of American policy in the post 9/11 world that the argument for or against it reveals the great chasm in American politics and policy. The divide is not between Republicans and Democrats, so much as it is between those who live in a 9/10 world and those who live in a 9/12 world.

For those who live in the comfortable pre-9/11 America, Saddam was in a “box” and was no threat to the US. To those who woke up on 9/12 and saw a different world, Saddam was eventually going to outlast the world community and sanctions would be lifted, at which point he would be free to continue to threaten his neighbors in the region, as well as forge closer ties with the terrorist groups who ached to attack America and murder thousands of citizens.

Suppose you were President and faced with that possibility. Your political opponents would have the luxury of second guessing every move you made. But it is you who have the responsibility for the safety and security of the republic. If you had done nothing, you would have been taken to task for weakness, as was your father when he failed to effect regime change during the first Gulf War. But you, the president, not a sidelines critic, could not afford to do nothing. The downside risk of being wrong was too enormous.

Was the President hearing what he wanted to hear with regard to pre-war intelligence? Or, was he hearing the screams of dying Americans in his sleep, killed in a terrorist attack if he did nothing ? It really is too bad that our politics are so polarized today, because that is a debate that, on its merits, the President wins every time. It will be good to keep in mind that balance of risk during the coming confrontation with Iran over their enrichment of uranium in order to build atomic bombs. No one is going to argue that Iran doesn’t have ties to terrorists, or that they aren’t a threat to both our allies in the region and to us, the Great Satan,. If it comes to it, I wonder if the opposition will talk about “twisting” intelligence in the lead up to any military action we take against the radical mullahs who wish to wipe Israel off the map as appetizer and destroy the United States as the main course.

The momentous decision to take the United States to war was made even more difficult by the recalcitrance and disloyalty of a faction at the CIA, who opposed the Administration on ideological, political and/or policy grounds. They were the ones who “twisted” intelligence to try to affect policy by leaking classified information to reporters.

The announcement that leaks surrounding the classified CIA prisons where the worst of the worst terrorists were being interrogated will now be investigated is good news indeed. Perhaps, some of the unelected bureaucrats who have tried to bring down the President and undermine the war effort will themselves be revealed as the petty, arrogant small minded people that they are." The American Thinker

History teaches us that all wartime presidents and leaders from Washington and Lincoln to Roosevelt, Truman and John Kennedy had to face cabals of treacherous men who schemed to gain personal advantage out of the nation's struggles or who thought they knew better than the elected president how to proceed. In the past it has generally been those on the right who disgraced themselves. Today the internal enemies of this country are on the left, but, as always, presidents need the active support of sensible men and women in order to prevail.

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Monday, November 07, 2005

Don't Tell FBI Agents Anything About Anything

One thing has become crystal clear from the Martha Stewart and the Lewis Libby cases: even if you are not guilty of any crime and even if no crime was committed by anyone, do not answer any questions put to you by a government agent about anything. If you remember events differently from the way other people remember those events, you can be prosecuted for obstruction of justice. I am reasonably intelligent and have a good memory, but sometimes I can’t remember what I had for lunch yesterday. My mind tries to remember important things and to forget trivia. I imagine that busy people like Stewart and Libby have scores of phone calls and conversations with people every day. It is ludicrous to criminalize misperceptions and forgotten sequences of events, if you are not guilty of an underlying crime, unless it can be proven that you are deliberately trying to help a guilty person escape punishment for that crime, or that you are wantonly trying to impede investigators for devious reasons of your own. It is especially ludicrous if there is no crime involved, and months or years have gone by since the conversations took place.

Now I don’t know if Lewis “Scooter” Libby was deliberately trying to undermine the investigation to discover who leaked Valerie Plame’s name and what the circumstances were, but it seems absurd that a highly intelligent person, wise in the ways of politics and government and a lawyer to boot, would deliberately lie about when and how he came to learn of Plame’s identity, when he knew that others might contradict him, and that his own notes, turned over to investigators, also contradicted him. Would he do this just to save the administration from some political embarrassment? I don’t think so.

We also need to take note of what the circumstances of the charge are all about. Libby said he learned of Plame’s identity from Tim Russert, and that he understood that this was fairly common knowledge when he learned of it. His notes supposedly say that Vice President Cheney and others told him about it a month earlier, an exchange of information that implies no wrongdoing; and apparently the outing of Plame has turned out not to be a criminal act, no matter who might have done it.

According to federal prosecutor Fitzgerald, Libby lied about these matters in a certain way when investigators first questioned him, and also repeated the same story to the Grand Jury. Were these two prosecutors (of Stewart and Libby) just angry and frustrated because they devoted so many resources and so much time to investigations that led nowhere? Have they persecuted Martha Stewart and Lewis Libby to save face and gain some favorable publicity? I don’t know. Hopefully more of the truth will come out, but in the meantime, Mr. FBI agent, don’t ask me any questions about anything; I’m not talking. I don’t even know what time it is.

David Horowitz of FrontPage Magazine had this to say, “On the answers to these questions hang a possible 30-year jail term and $1.25 million in fines for a Bush Administration official who was merely attempting to expose the truth about Mr. Wilson, a critic of the Administration who was lying to the press about the nature of his involvement in the Niger mission and about the nature of the intelligence that it produced. In other words, Mr. Libby was defending Administration policy against a [mendacious] political attack, not committing a crime.

Mr. Fitzgerald has been dogged in pursuing his investigation, and he gave every appearance of being a reasonable and tough prosecutor in laying out the charges yesterday. But he has thrust himself into what was, at bottom, a policy dispute between an elected Administration and [dishonest] critics of the President's approach to the war on terror, who included parts of the permanent bureaucracy of the State Department and CIA. Unless Mr. Fitzgerald can prove beyond a reasonable doubt that Mr. Libby was lying, and doing so for some nefarious purpose, this indictment looks like a case of criminalizing politics.”
FrontPage Magazine, 10/29/05

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Saturday, November 05, 2005

Grandma Was a Corker; Grandpa Was No Slouch Either

Before the turn of the 20th century, at the age of 17, my grandmother, Isabella (Corvese) Montanaro left the dirt-poor area of Italy called Caserta, and traveled by boat to the United States. She came here all alone, with a couple of dollars in her pocket, and with no-one here to greet her or to help her. Just imagine, as you fume because the batteries in your remote have expired, just what courage, determination and just plain grit and strength of character that took. She made her way to Providence, RI, where she had heard that there was a factory job she could get. Over the course of several years, she earned and sent back enough money to bring over her parents and all her brothers and sisters; eventually, the entire family emigrated to the USA from Italy.

She met and married Grandpa Franchesco Montanaro, who had come here from the same area of Italy, and probably met her at the Holy Ghost Roman Catholic Church in Providence. In those days, particularly for Irish, French and Italian immigrants, the Catholic Church was a protector and a source of help and comfort along with providing spiritual guidance. Grandpa had found work in a foundry in the Olneyville area of Providence, and together they produced and raised 12 children in the days when a couple usually needed to have several children so that some would survive the terrible childhood diseases that killed many of them. Early in the Great Depression of the 1920’s and 30’s, Grandpa lost his job at the foundry and could find no other work. He then made a wooden pushcart, and supported his family until jobs became available again by purchasing fruit and vegetables at the farmers’ market every morning, and reselling them throughout the neighborhoods. There was no such thing as Welfare in those days.

Meanwhile Grandpa and Grandma Wilcox (Leslie Wilcox and Maude Turner) met in Fairfield Center, Maine, in the far-northern part of the state, she an immigrant from Nova Scotia, and he a native Yankee farmer’s son. They married and went on to raise 6 children, of whom one died as a youngster. They could not feed their family by farming in the area, so they pulled up stakes and moved to Fairfield, Maine, in the middle of the state, where they settled a farm principally growing potatoes and beans for baking.

Over the next few years, Grandpa Wilcox built and rebuilt five houses, mostly by himself, as over and over again chimney fires kept destroying homes he had built. Perhaps Grandpa understood nature and spiritual matters (he became famous in Maine for his faith-healing powers and his ability to foretell the future), but mechanical and scientific matters were not his forte. I remember as a young child Grandpa blowing himself up in the methane pit out back that fed the gas lights in the house. He shouldn’t have lit that match. I also remember seeing, when I was a child, that when an automobile or a truck stopped running, he would hitch a team of horses to it, pull it into the woods, and then go and get another one.

In the height of the same depression that put Grandpa Montanaro behind a fruit peddler’s pushcart, potato farmers could no longer sell their crops. This was in the days when disconsolate farmers died their potatoes blue to take them off the market in a desperate (and unsuccessful) attempt to raise prices above their costs. (Dairy farmers were also pouring milk down the drain for the same purpose.) Grandpa then hired out his team and himself and his sons to the railroad to pull and place railroad ties on new rail beds throughout Maine, and both he and Grandma became undertakers, laying out and dressing the dead for immediate funerals or for temporary storage in frozen vaults. At the same time, of course, all their vegetables, butter, eggs and preserves were home grown and home made.

The point of all of this is not to belittle the comforts and affluence of modern life, but to point out with pride the stuff my children and grandchildren should know they are made of; and to remind them that others have proven over and over again that almost any obstacle can be overcome if you don’t ever give up or give in – and that there is always an answer somewhere if you look hard enough for it.

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Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Great! First They Shut Down the CIA; Now the Senate

Everyone alive and still breathing on this planet knows that the Democrats, via the Church Committee, castrated the CIA and got rid of most of their human intelligence assets (humint). We know also, from the 9/11 Commission hearings, that the Clinton Administration, through the person of Jamie Gorelick, erected the wall between the CIA, the FBI and the military so that they could not share intelligence about prospective terrorist acts. No American is responsible for 9/11; the Islamic terrorists are the only ones responsible, but these failures of intelligence (especially the Able Danger warnings and the missing WMD’s) fall right in the laps of Democrat politicians and administrations.

It took enormous chutzpa yesterday, therefore, for Minority Leader Reid to shut down the Senate in another lame attempt to brand these intelligence failures as lies by President Bush. I would think, by now, that people would ignore such nonsense and such posturing for possible political advantage, but I know better. I know that every such attempt to distort the facts and rewrite history has to be met with a calm recitation of the truth. I therefore reproduce below the National Intelligence Estimate given by the CIA to the Bush Administration. No amount of spin and leaks by unknown CIA holdovers and by Joseph Wilson can change it.

“Within days, the CIA had declassified significant portions of the October 2002 National Intelligence Estimate on Iraq. That document reflected the consensus view of the 15 intelligence agencies that make up the U.S. intelligence community.

We judge that Iraq has continued its weapons of mass destruction (WMD) programs in defiance of UN resolutions and restrictions. Baghdad has chemical and biological weapons as well as missiles with ranges in excess of UN restrictions; if left unchecked, it probably will have a nuclear weapon during this decade. (See INR alternative view at the end of these Key Judgments.)

We judge that we are seeing only a portion of Iraq's WMD efforts, owing to Baghdad's vigorous denial and deception efforts. Revelations after the Gulf war starkly demonstrate the extensive efforts undertaken by Iraq to deny information.

We lack specific information on many key aspects of Iraq's WMD programs. Since inspections ended in 1998, Iraq has maintained its chemical weapons effort, energized its missile program, and invested more heavily in biological weapons; in the view of most agencies, Baghdad is reconstituting its nuclear weapons program.

Iraq's growing ability to sell oil illicitly increases Baghdad's capabilities to finance WMD programs; annual earnings in cash and goods have more than quadrupled, from $580 million in 1998 to about $3 billion this year. Iraq has largely rebuilt missile and biological weapons facilities damaged during Operation Desert Fox and has expanded its chemical and biological infrastructure under the cover of civilian production.

And later, a discussion of Iraq's nuclear capabilities:

Although we assess that Saddam does not yet have nuclear weapons or sufficient material to make any, he remains intent on acquiring them. Most agencies assess that Baghdad started reconstituting its nuclear program about the time that UNSCOM inspectors departed--December 1998.

The NIE specifically addressed claims of Iraq seeking uranium from Africa:
A foreign government service reported that as of early 2001, Niger planned to send several tons of "pure uranium" (probably yellowcake) to Iraq. As of early 2001, Niger and Iraq reportedly were still working out arrangements for this deal, which could be for up to 500 tons of yellowcake. We do not know the status of this arrangement.

Reports indicate Iraq also has sought uranium ore from Somalia and possibly the Democratic Republic of the Congo. We cannot confirm whether Iraq succeeded in acquiring uranium ore and/or yellowcake from these sources.

And finally, the NIE offered these conclusions with "high confidence":

Iraq is continuing, and in some areas expanding its chemical, biological, nuclear and missile programs contrary to UN resolutions.

We are not detecting portions of these weapons programs.

Iraq possesses proscribed chemical and biological weapons and missiles.
Iraq could make a nuclear weapon in months to a year once it acquires sufficient weapons grade fissile material.”

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Tuesday, November 01, 2005

The Religion of Peace?

One of the things I like to do occasionally is to visit some political forums on the internet to see what people, other than those who are journalists or bloggers, are saying. Whenever I do, I am often amazed at the number of people who have greatly distorted ideas about the Muslim religion and about Muslim terrorism around the world. In my view, 1. Muslim terrorism is an extremely serious threat to all non-Muslims and to peaceful Muslims alike; 2. it has been happening, in greater or lesser dimensions, since the Middle Ages; 3. it has become much more serious recently as Muslims have emigrated to Western countries and have gotten their hands on highly destructive weapons; and 4. it is endorsed by the Muslim religion, but not supported by the great majority of Muslim peoples.

The distortions that I see are twofold, and they are exact opposites: one group thinks that, since the Muslim religion calls for violent jihad against non-believers, all Muslims must be considered part of this jihad, and non-Muslims must oppose them on every front; the other group says that terrorism by Muslims is merely a nuisance, and, anyway, should be considered justified by the past oppressions against them.

I want to focus here only on the mistaken belief that terrorism by Muslims is merely a nuisance. There is a website called, “The Religion of Peace”, that is maintaining a huge tabulation of every Muslim atrocity that has taken place around the world since 9/11. It is incredibly instructive and shocking. This website provides code for a banner that updates itself whenever another such incident happens – and this banner also leads you to their website and their tabulation if you click on it. Their count does not include terrorist acts, like the Cole, the Khobar Towers, the first World Trade Center bombing and 10’s of thousands of other such acts that took place before 9/11.

I consider this information to be so important that I have placed this banner on my website just under my profile. I invite you to click on it from time to time.

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