Saturday, July 30, 2005

Philadelphia Inquirer: Franken Squashed Like a Bug

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Excel web sharing - spreadsheet collaboration over the Internet made easy with BadBlueIt's tough to keep it all straight. Air America, embroiled in a scandal here, falling off the Arbitron ratings chart there... it all gets a bit confusing. The Philadelphia Inquirer -- no shill for red-staters -- weighs in with some key money lines:

Here [in Philadelphia, Air America] doesn't even register a pulse. The flagship show, hosted by author and former Saturday Night Live comic Al Franken, airs from noon to 3 p.m. weekdays on WHAT (1340 AM).

Both WHAT and the show have fallen off the charts, according to radio-rating service Arbitron, meaning there were too few listeners to measure during the second quarter of this year - the so-called spring book. Franken's show didn't start on the station until Aug. 30.

Franken named his show The O'Franken Factor to tweak his archrival, populist pundit Bill O'Reilly, whose TV show The O'Reilly Factor on the Fox News Channel outdraws all other talk shows on cable... Franken... [also] ...chose to go head-to-head with... Limbaugh in many markets. This, it turns out, was not such a good idea.

Limbaugh, still the giant among talkers, with 14.75 million listeners on 600 stations, has squashed Franken like a bug.

Franken's ratings have dropped 50 percent in Boston since spring 2004, and he is down 14 percent in New York, where his listeners now number fewer than 188,000...

Inquirer: Liberal Air America Radio stuck in cellar

Karl Rove, Diabolical Uberman

Picture credit: Washington College
Excel web sharing - spreadsheet collaboration over the Internet made easy with BadBlueEver wonder why the geniuses of the hard Left just don't get it? You know, the gravity of the war on terror. The magnitude and seriousness of the effort. And the borderline-treasonous, anti-American caterwauling of the MoveOn, Michael Moore, Hollywood left.

I have a theory. They've been distracted for lo these many months. They're too busy fuming, fulminating and hypothesizing about the diabolical Karl Rove, who defeats them at every turn. Consider the last few years of Rove coverage at the leading blog sites of the Left:

Karl Rove: CBS document forger
Karl Rove: The force behind Colorado re-districting
Karl Rove: Secret ally of the teamsters
Karl Rove: Sworn enemy of Paul Wellstone
Karl Rove: Vladimir Putin imitator
Karl Rove: Drop-out
Karl Rove: Democratic Tactician
Karl Rove: Anti-Christ
Karl Rove: Steel Tariff magnate.
Karl Rove: Dark Genius
Karl Rove: 2003 Planner: to take 55 seats in the Senate (whoops, I guess he did that)
Karl Rove: Economic policy wonk
Karl Rove: Class warfare expert
Karl Rove: Organizer of dirty-trick seminars
Karl Rove: The New Lee Atwater
Karl Rove: Howard Dean-supporter
Karl Rove: Enemy of the People
Karl Rove: Spouter of evil manure
Karl Rove: Party coordinator, use of 9/11 for political gain
Karl Rove: Political strategist for hire
Karl Rove: Saboteur
Karl Rove: George W. Bush Baby-sitter
Karl Rove: Donald Segretti-Protege
Karl Rove: Hypnotic Leader
Karl Rove: The New McCarthy
Karl Rove: Vetting John Roberts
Karl Rove: Fired by Bush in 1992 for leaking information to Robert Novak
Karl Rove: Finally, in his last throes!
Karl Rove: Coordinator of Depression-era Economics

Consider how deliciously maddening this must be to the Kosmonauts. Rove, a superior intellect, capable of thinking five or six moves ahead matched up against the combined brainpower of Biden, Kennedy, and Pelosi.

It's like the battle versus Coke and Pepsi. Only Rove is both Coke and Pepsi, while the hard Left is Fanta.

Perhaps one day they'll figure out the character of the real enemy. I just wouldn't count on it anytime soon.

Friday, July 29, 2005

All of the 7/21 London Bombers Arrested

Picture credit: Sky News
Excel web sharing - spreadsheet collaboration over the Internet made easy with BadBlueThis is encouraging:

...Relatives are understood to have given vital information that helped to end Britain’s biggest manhunt without further loss of life...

...After days of raids and arrests across the capital and in Birmingham, the breakthrough for police came yesterday morning when officers are believed to have traced a telephone call to a hideout at Block K Dalgarno Gardens.

Terrified neighbours could clearly hear officers shouting for the occupants to strip to their underwear and surrender...

The day can't come soon enough when these maniacal murderers are behind bars or have simply been terminated. With extreme prejudice.

The Times: London bombs

The American Programmer: Dead or Alive?

Picture credit: Kids.Nasa.Gov
Excel web sharing - spreadsheet collaboration over the Internet made easy with BadBlueHas the American programmer met his demise? Not hardly, according to John Challenger:

The death of the U.S. programmer is a myth. Absolutely,'' says Challenger. ''Much of the programming that's done today is highly complex and requires an immense amount of discussion with a lot of people. They're part of a development team. They have to deal with operations to customize the programming. There's a lot of in-person, on-site understanding that would really get lost if the work was shipped out to someone who is anonymous overseas... There is so much demand for programming -- people who can take technology and adapt it to a situation.

Youssef M. Ibrahim: Man on Fire

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Excel web sharing - spreadsheet collaboration over the Internet made easy with BadBlueThe Middle East Times' Youssef M. Ibrahim drops some science on the Jihadis:

...Do the cowardly jihadis who recruit suicide bombers really think that they will force the US Army and British troops out of Iraq by killing hundreds of innocent Iraqis? US troops now have bases and operate in Iraq but also from Kuwait, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Oman.

The only accomplishment of jihadis is that now they have aroused the great "Western Tiger". There was a time when the United States and Europe welcomed Arab and Muslim immigrants, visitors and students, with open arms. London even allowed all dissidents escaping their countries to preach against those countries under the guise of political refugees.

Well, that is all over now. Time has become for the big Western vengeance.

Visas for Arab and Muslim young men will be impossible to get for the United States and Western Europe. Those working there will be expelled if they are illegal, and harassed even if their papers are in order.

Airlines will have to right to refuse boarding to passengers if their names even resemble names on a prohibited list on all flights heading to Europe and the United States...

I fear those naïve Muslims who think that they are beating the West have now achieved their worst crime of all. The West is now going to war against not only Muslims, but also, sadly, Islam as a religion...

Slather yourself in the lotion of wisdom and read the whole thing.

Wednesday, July 27, 2005


An X-Ray view of one of the unexploded devices found in the trunk of the bomber's car shows that it was designed to inflict massive damage. (ABC News)

The accompanying photograph demonstrates the utter carnage that the London terrorists had hoped to inflict. Imagine nails ripping through the flesh of innocent commuters, tourists and their children, working men and women. Imagine the screams, the choking, sooty smoke, the blood and darkness. That's what the extremist nutjobs behind the attacks had intended.

The Left thinks that this is a simple exercise in law enforcement. And they couldn't possibly be more wrong. Here's a simple formula: if you have soldiers, dressed as civilians, launching mass-murder campaigns against non-military targets, then you are at war. And the Left refuses to even acknowledge our involvement in any war.

Because, after all, our recent military actions were based on a "lie" about "WMDs", to benefit "Halliburton" through a "war for oil" by a President who was "selected, not elected." At least, those are the sound-bites you'll get from the fever swamp of the Michael Moore Left. And they do a disservice to all Americans by minimizing the extent of the extremist threat.

Would Mohammad Atta, had he been able to acquire a 5-kiloton nuclear weapon, have detonated it in midtown Manhattan?

Fortunately, more Americans -- and not just members of the GOP and red-state residents -- recognize the uncomfortable answer to this question every day. And, in doing so, render the Democratic party less relevant on that same daily basis, each tick marking their inevitable collapse in a stunning reprise of the fall of the Whigs.

Oblige me if you will, for a moment, and flashback to a couple of years before 9/11:

TAMPA - The spiritual leader of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad and a zealous cleric from Cleveland disagreed over whether they should call themselves terrorists...

"Terrorism and terrorism alone is the path to liberation," declared the cleric, Fawaz Damra, during a 1989 panel discussion moderated by Sami Al-Arian.

Maybe the Left can try to use a time-machine to tie statements like these to Iraq. Or Osama declaring war on the U.S. Or 9/11 itself. Or Sheik Abdul Rahman coming whisker-close to pulverizing the World Trade Center and killing thousands in 1993. Or Saddam Hussein's terrorist training camp at Salman Pak. Or the USS Cole. Or the Khobar Towers. Or countless other examples of extremist violence.

And while it won't make you feel better, the following story will reinforce my point. We are at war. On Tuesday, ABC reported that several Egyptians were arrested in New Jersey:

Five Egyptian men with maps of the New York City subway system and video of New York landmarks have been arrested...

FBI and law enforcement officials told ABC News the five men — four illegal immigrants and one law enforcement fugitive — were arrested Sunday night following a tip to the Newark Police Department. In addition to the subway maps and video, the men had train schedules and $8,000 in $20 and $50 bills...

And here, courtesy Michelle Malkin, is a Battle Staff Directive from Tinker Air Force Base in Oklahoma, issued a few days ago:

...On 14 Jul 05, three individuals were observed outside of the perimeter of Tinker AFB, OK. They were looking through binoculars, taking pictures and one appeared to be holding a large weapon at chest level. The weapon appeared to be aimed towards a low flying aircraft. The three individuals were described as being of Middle Eastern decent [sic] and left the area when approached. The weapon was later identified as a rocket launcher (MANPAD) and the low flying aircraft to be a B-1 Bomber. FBI in Oklahoma City and AFOSI determined the threat to be credible. Due to this and other recent incidents and security concerns surrounding Tinker AFB, OK, the potential for suspicious activity in the Tinker AFB (TAFB) Area of Responsibility (AOR) has increased...

The Democrats will continue to be consigned to irrelevance until they excise the cancerous Michael Moore and Hollywood Leftists. This whacked-out brigade of moonbats has soiled Democratic ranks with an anti-American ideology seldom seen in the last two centuries. And despite Hillary Clinton's posturing and Joe Biden's attempts to pull the "we're pro-military!" lever, no one trusts them to do the job. Because they don't even think we're at war.

If it were up to Teddy Kennedy, a Massachusetts State Trooper would be dispatched to the mountains of Pakistan to arrest Osama Bin Laden and bring him to justice. And, as far as Teddy Jo Kopechne was concerned, the crimes of 9/11 would have been solved.

The Democratic party will continue to lose elections -- by scorching, humiliating margins -- until they excommunicate the moonbat wing, which is as incompatible with most Americans as Michael Jackson is to the Marin County daycare center.

Is Cyber-Terrorism a Threat?

Turnrow Magazine features an enlightening interview with security guru Bruce Schneier that touches on, among other things, the threat of terrorism.

Now, in general, Schneier is acknowledged as one of the brightest minds in the security business. From time to time, I might find areas where I might disagree with Schneier: Video cameras in public places, for instance (Rich Lowry also has an exceptional discussion of the merits of camera surveillance entitled, "Caught on Tape").

And, once in a while, Schneier will wander off course:

Most criminals are copycats... [however] al Qaeda has shown itself to be very inventive. They never do the same thing twice; they always think of something new.

Cases in point: the twin London train attacks of 7/7 and 7/21 are evidence of copycat crimes.

But overall, Schneier is consistently rational and well-spoken on the topics surrounding security. In this portion of the interview, he deals with the so-called cyber-terror threat.

CKG: Is it possible that al Qaeda and similar organizations can launch virtual attacks, presenting us with something of the equivalent of a cyber 9/11?

BS: Not for a long time. These attacks are very difficult to execute. The software systems controlling our nation's infrastructure are filled with vulnerabilities, but they're generally not the kinds of vulnerabilities that cause catastrophic disruptions. The systems are designed to limit the damage that occurs from errors and accidents. They have manual overrides. These systems have been proven to work; they've experienced disruptions caused by accident and natural disaster. We've been through blackouts, telephone switch failures, and disruptions of air traffic control computers. The results might be annoying, and engineers might spend days or weeks scrambling, but it doesn't spread terror; the effect on the general population has been minimal.

The worry is that a terrorist would cause a problem more serious than a natural disaster, but this kind of thing is surprisingly hard to do. Worms and viruses have caused all sorts of network disruptions, but it's happened by accident. In January 2003, the SQL Slammer worm disrupted 13,000 ATMs on the Bank of America's network. But before it happened, you couldn't have found a security expert who understood that those systems had that vulnerability. We simply don't understand the interactions well enough to predict which kinds of attacks can cause catastrophic results, and terrorist organizations don't have that sort of knowledge either-even if they try to hire experts.

The closest example we have of this kind of thing comes from Australia in 2000. Vitek Boden broke into the computer network of a sewage treatment plant along Australia's Sunshine Coast. Over the course of two months, he used insider knowledge to leak hundreds of thousands of gallons of putrid sludge into nearby rivers and parks. Among the results were black creek water, dead marine life, and a stench so unbearable that residents complained. This is the only known case of someone successfully hacking a digital control system with the intent of causing environmental harm...

Bathe yourself in the fount of wisdom and read the whole thing.

TurnRow: Bruce Schneier Interview

Tuesday, July 26, 2005

Jane Fonda, the Bus Tour and the Terrorists

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Excel web sharing - spreadsheet collaboration over the Internet made easy with BadBlueThe insufferable Jane Fonda will embark on a vegetable-powered bus tour to protest the Iraq war. Not satisfied with one egregious, anti-military, and anti-American effort in her lifetime, she's decided to double up.

Pete DuPont, the former Governor of Delaware, writing in the Wall Street Journal, tells Jane what time it is:

Without the United States, Kuwait, Afghanistan and Iraq would be terrorist-controlled nations...

...Like Old Europe, liberal America is bothered by principled international positions. "The Right Nation," by Adrian Wooldridge and John Micklethwait, points out that liberals were "nervous about moral absolutes, preferring to see the world in shades of grey. After Sept. 11, liberal academics looked for reasons to explain al Qaeda: Was it the product of racism? Of economic injustice? Of American policies in the Middle East?" In his presidential campaign Howard Dean, now national Democratic Party chairman, said our "pre-emptive war is wrong for America"; and liberal leader Sen. Ted Kennedy, a Massachusetts Democrat, said that "the U.S. presence [in Iraq] is part of the problem, not part of the solution."

Like Neville Chamberlain and countless appeasers before him, Fonda and the rest of the surrender crew prefer to bury their heads in the sand and hope that signalling weakness will dissipate the threat of terrorism. One only needs to read the history books to predict, with certainty, that such a strategy is doomed to failure.

After all, we've tried it before, haven't we?

Imagine that Sheik Abdul Rahman, the spiritual leader of those convicted of blowing up the World Trade Center in 1993, declared war and the administration at the time couldn't be bothered doing anything about it - or even take the time to visit the site that almost turned into a tomb for thousands.

Imagine that war was declared by Osama Bin Laden in the nineties - and no one in the administration took it seriously.

Imagine the Cole, the Khobar Towers, the embassy attacks, Zarqawi at the Olympic Hospital under the protection of Uday Hussein, the Boeing 707 at Baghdad's Salman Pak used to train an unknown number of hijackers...

Imagine a deadly litany of failures on the part of an administration too busy -- reading the weather vane of public opinion polls and covering up various scandals -- to do anything about the rise of extremist terror.

Finally, imagine you are at work bright and early on the 98th floor of the World Trade Center on Tuesday, September 11th, 2001. About 9am, you hear a loud *whump*. And then the power goes out.

As you look at the picture of your wife and children sitting on your desk, smoke is rising in the sky, unfurling like giant black flags at your window.

This is the world in the hands of Bill Clinton, Teddy Kennedy, Nancy Pelosi and, yes, Jane Fonda. It is a world of politics, nuance and law-enforcement. And it is a world in which the Democrats, should they find themselves in power again, will get a lot more people killed.

Monday, July 25, 2005

The Plame Affair and Larry C. Johnson

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Excel web sharing - spreadsheet collaboration over the Internet made easy with BadBlueThe blogs on the left are wondering why no one seems to be covering Larry C. Johnson's testimony and Democratic radio address this weekend. Even the mainstream media seems to be ignoring the story. Bloomberg recaps:

A former CIA colleague of Valerie Plame and professed Republican gave the Democrats' weekly radio address, saying President George W. Bush broke his promise to fire whoever disclosed her identity as a covert agent. Larry C. Johnson, who described himself as a former Bush supporter, suggested that Bush put politics ahead of security when he ``flip-flopped'' on his pledge.

Is it just the fact that everyone has had their fill of the Plame affair? Is it the fact that Plame's role may have been disclosed by a journalist and not Karl Rove? Or is it just the fact that Johnson, who claims to have been a Republican in the past, has been on a veritable Bush-bashing world tour of late? And thereby compromised any claimed partisan neutrality?

Consider Johnson's recent activities. Hardly that of a neutral in the game of blue-state, red-state. And just who is Larry C. Johnson? Among other things, author of a New York Times article in July, 2001, which stated:

[Americans...] seem to believe that terrorism is the greatest threat to the United States and that it is becoming more widespread and lethal. They are likely to think that the United States is the most popular target of terrorists. And they almost certainly have the impression that extremist Islamic groups cause most terrorism...

--Larry C. Johnson, "The Declining Terrorist Threat," New York Times, July 10, 2001.

Hmmm. We're not exactly talking Kreskin here, are we?

According to the Center of Cooperative Research, Johnson was also quoted (courtesy of Al Jazeera, of course) as saying:

We've entered the world of George Orwell. I'm disgusted. The truth has to be told. We can't allow our leaders to use bogus information to justify war. [Sunday Herald, 6/8/03]

Yup. That sounds like the prototypical Bush-backer to me. And, confusingly, Johnson is also on record as seeming to approve of the war:

When you allow terrorists and their sponsors to go unchallenged, terrorists are able to mount an even deadlier threat to us. When you disrupt their bases, it affects their ability to carry out attacks... An attack on Iraq may not itself be a part of the war on terrorism, but it does affect American credibility. A successful campaign will cause other states to reassess the support they render to terrorism.

So... causing other states to reduce their support for terrorism... isn't part of the war on terror? Okay, I'm officially confused.

Here's a bit more of the Bush-backer:

With this White House, I see an outright pattern of bullying... We've seen it across different agencies, a pattern of going after anybody who's a critic. When people raise legitimate issues that may not be consistent with existing administration policy, those people are attacked and their character is impugned.

Yes, this appears to be the same Johnson who has appeared as an honored Outfoxed interviewee, courtesy of the geniuses at and the Center for American Progress.

Wilson and Plame get a little more P.R. (Slate / MSN)

And, I suppose it goes without saying this is the same Johnson who paid a visit to the wildly unprofitable Air America network for an Al ("I Hate Bernie Goldberg!") Franken.

President Bush has stated -- in pretty stark terms -- that if anyone in the White House committed a crime they'll be dealt with accordingly. I think his track record speaks for itself: Rove would be no exception. In an administration that has been remarkably scandal-free, I think we can let the investigatory phase wind down and the chips fall where they may. If Rove committed a crime, he should be charged with a crime.

And I'm shocked, shocked that Johnson isn't nearly as outraged over Democratic Senators outing a nine- or ten-figure classified satellite program. But I guess that's not worthy of mention while Johnson and Valerie Plame get their various personal publicity campaigns geared up.

Sunday, July 24, 2005

Terrorists and collaborators

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Excel web sharing - spreadsheet collaboration over the Internet made easy with BadBlueThe war on terror continues unabated. The London train bombings. The car bomb attacks on Egyptian resorts. Hmmm. That reminds me: I wonder how the Left will try to link attacks on Egypt to the war in Iraq. Captain Ed ties the loose ends together, since the mainstream media seems unable to find voice for the historical facts:

...AQ operations point to a long-term strategy of isolating and crippling Middle East governments that (a) oppose radical Wahhabism and (b) operate in a secular manner that maintains ties to the West, especially Israel. That is the scope of the war Islamists have fought for twenty years under different banners -- Hezbollah, Islamic Jihad, and now al-Qaeda. They want to seize power by force, cast a Taliban-style tyranny over the entirety of Southwest Asia and North Africa (to start), and bring the infidel world to its knees through the control of petroleum.

Why, four years after 9/11, does the media and the Left still fail to grasp this? Could it be because acknowledging this fact requires a stark choice to either fight or surrender, and they would prefer to create a fantasy through sophistry to allow them to simply go AWOL instead?

Good question. The media has indeed been AWOL. As just one example, consider the following report from Haider, courtesy of Powerline, published a couple of days ago:

Tens of thousands of Iraqis stood silent for three minutes in over 130 Fahrenheit heat to commemorate victims of terror and in a sign of unified defiance of terrorism and I have not seen a single report on this. I waited all day Wednesday and all day today and nothing. The news reported the small anti America demonstration by Alsadar and some Baathists in April but some how missed the whole Iraqi nation standing still in defiance of terrorism...

So, to sum it up, the MSM/DNC didn't find an Arab statesman's proclamation -- that his country was honored to be in the front lines on the global war on terror -- to be newsworthy.

The terrorists know that Iraq is the crucible. It's a pity no one can seem to convince the mainstream media/Democratic party, which appear joined at the hip.

As I mentioned a few days ago, Jose Maria Aznar -- former Prime Minister of Spain -- knows the score. As does John Howard, Prime Minister of Australia.

...Can I remind you that the murder of 88 Australians in Bali took place before the operation in Iraq?

And can I remind you that the 11th of September occured before the operation in Iraq?

Can I also remind you that the very first occasion that bin Laden specifically referred to Australia was in the context of Australia's involvement in liberating the people of East Timor? Are people by implication suggesting that we shouldn't have done that?

When a group claimed responsibility on the website for the attacks on the 7th of July, they talked about British policy not just in Iraq but in Afghanistan. Are people suggesting we shouldn't be in Afghanistan?

When Sergio DeMillo was murdered in Iraq, a brave man, a distinguished international diplmat, immensely respected for his work in the United Nations, when al Qaeda gloated about that, they referred specifically to the role that DeMillo had carried out in East Timor because he was the United Nations adminsitrator in East Timor.

...I can only look at objective facts. And the objective facts are as I have cited. The objective fact is that Australia was a terrorist target long before the operation in Iraq and indeed all the evidence as distinct from the suppositions suggest to me that this is about hatred of a way of life... and I think we lose sight of the challenge we have if we allow ourselves to see these attacks in the context of particular circumstances rather than the abuse through a perverted ideology of people and their murder.

Augmenting an earlier litany of links, the Weekly Standard points out another stunning example of Iraq's connections to not only terrorism, but also to Al Qaeda itself. Pity you won't see this story in the mainstream media.

...John Lehman, a 9/11 commissioner... [noted], "There may well be -- and probably will be -- additional intelligence coming in from interrogations and from analysis of captured records and so forth which will fill out the intelligence picture. This is not phrased as -- nor meant to be -- the definitive word on Iraqi Intelligence activities."

There could hardly be a clearer case--of the ongoing revelations and the ongoing denial--than in the 13 points below, reproduced verbatim from a "Summary of Evidence" prepared by the U.S. government in November 2004. This unclassified document was released by the Pentagon in late March 2005. It details the case for designating an Iraqi member of al Qaeda, currently detained in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, as an "enemy combatant."

1. From 1987 to 1989, the detainee served as an infantryman in the Iraqi Army and received training on the mortar and rocket propelled grenades.
2. A Taliban recruiter in Baghdad convinced the detainee to travel to Afghanistan to join the Taliban in 1994.
3. The detainee admitted he was a member of the Taliban.
4. The detainee pledged allegiance to the supreme leader of the Taliban to help them take over all of Afghanistan.
5. The Taliban issued the detainee a Kalishnikov rifle in November 2000.
6. The detainee worked in a Taliban ammo and arms storage arsenal in Mazar-Es-Sharif organizing weapons and ammunition.
7. The detainee willingly associated with al Qaida members.
8. The detainee was a member of al Qaida.
9. An assistant to Usama Bin Ladin paid the detainee on three separate occasions between 1995 and 1997.
10. The detainee stayed at the al Farouq camp in Darwanta, Afghanistan, where he received 1,000 Rupees to continue his travels.
11. From 1997 to 1998, the detainee acted as a trusted agent for Usama Bin Ladin, executing three separate reconnaissance missions for the al Qaeda leader in Oman, Iraq, and Afghanistan.
12. In August 1998, the detainee traveled to Pakistan with a member of Iraqi Intelligence for the purpose of blowing up the Pakistan, United States and British embassies with chemical mortars.
13. Detainee was arrested by Pakistani authorities in Khudzar, Pakistan, in July 2002.

Interesting. What's more interesting: The alleged plot was to have taken place in August 1998, the same month that al Qaeda attacked two U.S. embassies in East Africa. And more interesting still: It was to have taken place in the same month that the Clinton administration publicly accused Iraq of supplying al Qaeda with chemical weapons expertise and material.

But none of this was interesting enough for any of the major television networks to cover it. Nor was it deemed sufficiently newsworthy to merit a mention in either the Washington Post or the New York Times.

We know from these IIS documents that beginning in 1992 the former Iraqi regime regarded bin Laden as an Iraqi Intelligence asset. We know from IIS documents that the former Iraqi regime provided safe haven and financial support to an Iraqi who has admitted to mixing the chemicals for the 1993 attack on the World Trade Center. We know from IIS documents that Saddam Hussein agreed to Osama bin Laden's request to broadcast anti-Saudi propaganda on Iraqi state-run television. We know from IIS documents that a "trusted confidante" of bin Laden stayed for more than two weeks at a posh Baghdad hotel as the guest of the Iraqi Intelligence Service...

But the MSM/DNC can't find time to add one and one together and get two.

But maybe the left is correct. Perhaps the act of submission, that is, simply ignoring repeated threats, murders, plots, and attacks -- most on innocent civilians -- for decades at a time, will help defeat terrorism. And maybe Michael Moore will star in the next SlimFast campaign.

Saturday, July 23, 2005

Bruce Schneier, the Tube, and Surveillance Cameras

I usually find myself nodding in agreement with Bruce Schneier's blog missives. But not in the case of surveillance cameras in public venues, which Schneier decries as "foolish":

I was going to write something about the foolishness of adding cameras to public spaces as a response to terrorism threats, but Scott Henson said it already:

Homeland Security Ubermeister Michael Chertoff just told NBC's Tim Russert on Meet the Press this morning that the United States should invest in "cameras and dogs" to protect subway, rail and bus transit systems from terrorist attacks. B.S.

Surveillance cameras didn't deter the terrorist attacks in London. They didn't stop the courthouse killing spree in Atlanta. But they're prone to abuse. And at the end of they day they don't reduce crime.

Fine. Let's imagine there were no surveillance cameras. Instead, city government posts a police officer on every street corner. Would there be complaints? If not, why would there be an issue about a video monitoring system? From a logical perspective, why would we not want to provide police officers with extended vision capabilities? After all, these are public venues we're talking about.

I'm certain that British authorities believe the surveillance system in the Tube is an invaluable asset. One commenter on Bruce's blog sums it up:

Cameras will provide some evidence of the crime and help the authorities back track to see if anyone helped them along the way. Perhaps a camera could capture a license plate number of a car that dropped off a suicide bomber. Perhaps that would lead to the arrest of other potential suicide bombers thus saving lives, perhaps your own. In this way, they do in fact prevent crime. Without them, more crimes are undeterred.

From a cost-benefit perspective, if a five million dollar camera system helps roll up one or more terror networks -- which are hell bent on the destruction of Western economies -- the expense will have been well worth it.

There are many facets to deterrence. And one aspect Bruce seems to have ignored is post facto   analysis. As the attacks in London demonstrate, surveillance systems in public areas can be plainly, starkly invaluable.

"Congratulations. You've got... a mess on your hands."

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Excel web sharing - spreadsheet collaboration over the Internet made easy with BadBlueLast I heard, Donald Trump is no fan of George W. Bush. But on the topic of the financial shenanigans surrounding the UN's new building, Trump was in stellar form. Testifying before a Senate subcommittee on federal financial management, Trump claimed the UN renovation project would likely cost $3 billion - more than double the original estimate and quadruple the cost of a competently managed project.

Sounds like a dry subject, right? His testimony was one of the greatest examples of ad hoc oratory ever heard. Here are a couple of highlights, as the Donald pounds the UN's egregious management team flatter than a sheet of aluminum foil under Michael Moore's mattress:

...when I went to see Kofi Annan, I was actually quite excited. Because I thought that I could save this country, this world, everybody, including myself, a lot of money, just by sitting down and having a meeting. Unfortunately, as our great Senator to my right said, There was just no response. They didn't really care...

...I wrote letters, and you have copies of the letters... I was expecting a call the following day from... whether it's Kofi Annan or his people. At that time, it was a man named Conners... Mr. Conners didn't know the first thing about what he was doing. He didn't know whether or not the curtain wall was going to be new, old, and didn't even know what a curtain wall was. I said, "What are you going to be doing with the curtain wall?"

He said, "What is a curtain wall?" Now, he was in charge of the project. The curtain wall is the skin of the building.

I said, "Will it be new or old?"

He said, "I don't know."

I said, "Are you using New York Steam? Or are you using a new boiler system?"

He said, "I don't know what New York Steam is." It's a very common form of heating in the building. He had no clue... The one thing I found him very, very good at, is that he didn't want to lose control of this project. He was a man that absolutely wanted to keep control of the project, but he didn't have even the slightest inkling of what it was all about. Knew nothing about it. He then told me that he may move people out. He may not move people out. He didn't know. He thought he might. He wasn't sure. He had no... he just didn't know.

So, I went through a whole list of questions for him, and then I realized that the United Nations is in serious trouble, because the $1.5 billion that they were talking about, there was no way it was going to happen...

...In New York City, we have a lot of asbestos buildings. And there's a whole debate about asbestos. I mean, a lot of people could say that if the World Trade Center had asbestos, it wouldn't have burned down. It wouldn't have melted, okay? A lot of people think asbestos...a lot of people in my industry think asbestos is the greatest fire-proofing material ever made. And I can tell you that I've seen tests of asbestos, verus the new material that's being used, and it's not even a contest. It's like a heavyweight champion against a lightweight from high school...

...I would love to help [the UN]. I don't want any money. I want nothing. I've made a lot of money. I don't care. I want nothing. There are lots of different... you know, if somebody said, what would be your dream on this site, while my dream is a dream that won't happen, but it's a dream that I might tell you. It's a dream to take the United Nations, and the Senator over here is probably going to go crazy, move it to the World Trade Center as a brand new United Nations. Sell the United Nations site, which is one of the greatest sites in the world, for much more money than the whole thing would cost, and you end up building a free United Nations at the World Trade Center, where I don't think anybody's going to want to stay anyway. I think it's going to be a very, very hard rent up at the World Trade Center.

But let's assume that's not going to happen. Not a bad idea, though.

Unidentified voice: no problem with that.

The Donald: Not too bad. He's got no problem, and most people don't have...

Unidentified voice: Put Kofi Annan on the top floor.

Savor the sweet nectar of wisdom and read the whole thing. As well as the Sun's coverage entitled, "Trump Tells Congress U.N. Should Abandon Turtle Bay."

Friday, July 22, 2005

Phishing and GeoTrust: Yeah, Right

Picture credit:
Excel web sharing - spreadsheet collaboration over the Internet made easy with BadBlueHere's yet another apparent "boil the ocean" approach that purports to solve the problem of phishing. According to, GeoTrust plans to offer tools for "trusted search". Later this year, it will reportedly introduce tools that will help consumers detect fraudulent phishing storefronts.

As an aside, I've always wondered about the PR folks behind stories like this. Over the years, I never found a public relations person capable of getting stories like this into the press.

Consider the pitch: "sometime, later this year, but we can't say exactly when, we may come out with a technology similar to that of, say, Thawte Secure Site. Plus, it may require a download."

Damn. That's one heck of a PR person.

The first problem I have with this approach? It looks like it requires a download. I call that a "boil the ocean" tactic: everyone has to download the client to get the benefit. Sorry, that business model is -- to put it bluntly -- about as feasible as stuffing Michael Moore into a Mini Cooper. Unless you're Google, don't expect folks to install yet another piece of client software. And I won't even bring up the support issues... oops, I guess I just did.

Next, consider the opportunities for spoofed GeoTrust downloads. A bad guy could easily offer a free download on thousands of freeware/shareware download sites that purports to be GeoTrust or a like-named product. Instead, it's a malicious trojan that serves as a gateway into your PC for some crook in Al-Qaeda-stan.

The GeoTrust software will apparently display a "badge or mark" of some kind to designate a legitimate site. Should I mention the fact that this approach has been used for years (e.g., Thawte's Secure Site)? And it's vulnerable to visual spoofing similar to that used by classic phishers?

Finally, I believe this problem has to be solved either on the server side (I proposed an anti-fraud checklist for financial institutions a while back) or integrated directly into the browser. FireFox is an excellent candidate for providing a more sophisticated suite of anti-phishing technologies.

But these guys have really good P.R. people.

Later this year, the company plans to offer tools for "trusted search," CEO Neil Creighton said during a meeting at the AlwaysOn conference in Palo Alto. In a nutshell, this means that search results will feature a badge or mark to indicate whether a company has been properly identified and authenticated through GeoTrust's software.

The lack of a badge doesn't mean that a company is fraudulent, but consumers will at least know that businesses featuring the badge have been vouched for. In turn, Creighton theorized, authenticated companies may see higher click-through rates because of the visible authentication badge... A large broadband provider later this year is expected to include GeoTrust's software in its toolbar. New search tools aim to identify phishers, fraudsters

Thursday, July 21, 2005

The London Attacks and an Oregon Ranch

Picture credit: Seattle Times
Excel web sharing - spreadsheet collaboration over the Internet made easy with BadBlueHaroon Rashid Aswat was arrested two days ago in a madrassa in Pakistan. He was armed with several firearms, an explosives belt, and was carrying around $30,000 in cash. Aside from that, he carried nothing suspicious on his person. He also held a British passport and was caught before an apparent attempt to escape into Afghanistan. One of the London train bombers -- Mohammad Sidique Khan -- placed a phone call to Aswat on the morning of the attack.

British al-Qaeda leader [Haroon Rashid Aswat was] linked to the London terrorist attacks [and] was being questioned by police in Pakistan last night after the discovery of mobile phone records detailing his calls with the suicide bombers...

...He spoke to the suicide team on his mobile phone a few hours before the four men blew themselves up and killed fifty-two other people. Intelligence sources told The Times that during his stay Aswat visited the home towns of all four bombers as well as selecting targets in London...

...Aswat is believed to have had a ten-year association with militant groups and met Osama bin Laden while attending an al-Qaeda training camp at Khalden in Afghanistan.

Whaa....? How can that be? Wasn't this all caused by the invasion of Iraq? What the...?

The Seattle Times outlines some interesting U.S. connections for Aswat. In 2000, he tried to establish a terrorist training camp. In Oregon.

A suspect in the London bombings lived in a Central Seattle mosque in early 2000 after he had scouted out a possible terrorist training camp in Bly, Ore... Aswat came to the Northwest in 1999 when James Ujaama, a former Seattle activist, tried to set up a jihad training camp in rural Oregon. Ujaama was based in London, where he had become a follower of radical cleric Abu Hamza, an al-Qaida supporter. Abu Hamza sent Aswat to the United States to check out Ujaama's plans, authorities said...

...During that time, Aswat... "met potential candidates for jihad training, they established security for the Bly property through the use of guard patrols and passwords, and they and others participated in firearms training and viewed a video recording on the subject of improvised poisons," according to an indictment of Ujaama...

Once again, this report cannot possibly be correct because all of these activities predate the invasion of Iraq. And, based upon what the Left tells us, all of the recent fuss was caused by the invasion.

You can either believe the Left or you can believe in fairy tales. I, for one, prefer Mother Goose stories. Immerse yourself in the spa of wisdom and read all of the articles:

Times Online: Top al-Qaeda Briton called Tube bombers before attack
Seattle Times: London bomb suspect lived at Seattle mosque
Michelle Malkin: The FBI and the Left

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

The Call Center of the Future

Picture credit:
Excel web sharing - spreadsheet collaboration over the Internet made easy with BadBlueThere's little doubt in my mind that future call centers will include polygraph-like capabilities. So... did you really make that payment, Mr. Johnson?

...A few call centers in Europe are experimenting with computers that analyze not what a caller is saying but how. Software parses dozens of parameters pertaining to the tone, volume, and frequency of the caller's voice, and the computer pings the agent when something seems unusual - say, a tone that suggests a lie on an insurance claim. A few more questions and, if things still seem fishy, the claim gets flagged for further verification. Advocates of the technology say call centers in the UK with emotion detectors installed have reduced fraudulent claims by 25 percent, and one manufacturer says its algorithms can sense and quantify a broad range of human emotion: irritation, duplicity, delight, and even sexual arousal.

...Blame cheap storage media. More often than not, calls are digitally recorded and locked away for later analysis. Tens, even hundreds, of millions of calls are archived daily and indexed by time of day, agent name, extension, and originating phone number. Many of the archives also store synchronized records of the computer screens the agent viewed and what information he or she entered during the call. All that data collection lets companies review employee performance, streamline call handling, and maintain detailed records in case they get sued.

Wired: Call Now - Robots Are Standing By

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

The Genius and the Group Blog

I feel that I must call your attention to two items. One is from mainstream media and one is an examplar of new media. The first is the Chicago Sun-Times, which routinely features the finest columnist on the planet, Mark Steyn.

In his most recent column, Steyn brutalizes the ridiculous Joe Wilson, using everything but a baseball bat and a cattle prod.

This controversy began, you'll recall, because Wilson objected to a line in the president's State of the Union speech that British intelligence had discovered that Iraq had been trying to acquire ''yellowcake'' -- i.e., weaponized uranium -- from Africa. This assertion made Bush, in Wilson's incisive analysis, a ''liar'' and Cheney a ''lying sonofabitch.''

In fact, the only lying sonafabitch turned out to be Yellowcake Joe. Just about everybody on the face of the earth except Wilson, the White House press corps and the crowd accepts that Saddam was indeed trying to acquire uranium from Africa. Don't take my word for it; it's the conclusion of the Senate intelligence report, Lord Butler's report in the United Kingdom, MI6, French intelligence, other European services -- and, come to that, the original CIA report based on Joe Wilson's own briefing to them...

Here's the thing: They're still pulling body parts from London's Tube tunnels. Too far away for you? No local angle? OK, how about this? Magdy el-Nashar. He's a 33-year old Egyptian arrested Friday morning in Cairo, and thought to be what they call a ''little emir'' -- i.e., the head honcho in the local terrorist cell, the one who fires up the suicide bombers. Until his timely disappearance, he was a biochemist studying at Leeds University and it's in his apartment the London bombs were made. Previously he was at North Carolina State University.

So this time round he blew up London rather than Washington. Next time, who knows? Who cares? Here's another fellow you don't read much about in America: Kamel Bourgass. He had a plan to unleash ricin in London. Fortunately, the cops got wind of that one and three months ago he was convicted and jailed. Just suppose, instead of the British police raiding Bourgass' apartment but missing el-Nashar's, it had been the other way around, and ricin had been released in aerosol form on the Tube.

Kamel Bourgass and Magdy el-Nashar are real people, not phantoms conjured by those lyin' sonsofbitches Bush and Cheney. And to those who say, "but that's why Iraq is a distraction from the war on terror," sorry, it doesn't work like that. It's not either/or; it's a string of connections: unlimited Saudi money, Westernized Islamist fanatics, supportive terrorist states, proliferating nuclear technology. One day it all comes together and there goes the neighborhood. Here's another story you may have missed this week:

''Iran will resume uranium enrichment if the European Union does not recognize its right to do so, two Iranian nuclear negotiators said in an interview published Tuesday.''

Got that? If you don't let us go nuclear, we'll go nuclear. Negotiate that, John Kerry. As with Bourgass and el-Nashar, Hossein Moussavian and Cyrus Nasseri are real Iranian negotiators, not merely the deranged war fantasies of Bush and Cheney...

Breathe deeply the fragrant perfume of wisdom and read the whole thing.

And, as a political group blog, PoliPundit reigns supreme. If you haven't visited recently, here are some snippets of what you've missed.

I caught Dennis Miller at the MGM Grand... hilarious... [but some] serious moments, too. The one that stood out was his pitch about the global war against Islamo-fascist terrorism. The harsh reality is that there is no [such place as] “al-Qaeda-istan" ...

...don’t underestimate the extent to which mainstream GOP political candidates can exploit mainstream voters’ inherent distrust of Democrats on issues such as: crime & punishment, hunting rights, and gun rights... Just ask Max Cleland. Or Jeanne Shaheen. Or Kathleen Kennedy Townshend. Or Tom Daschle... And given the fact the Democrat Party recently has turned over to the GOP 65 net U.S. House seats and 13 net U.S. Senate seats – despite the Democrat corpse, felon, drone, and family pet blocs... it’s only a matter of time before what’s left of the “Party of the People” finds itself in an irrevocable political {ahem} stranglehold

...It is 36 years today since Ted Kennedy thought his car was a submarine...

John Tierney in the New York Times writes an amusing and perceptive piece about the [Plame affair]. The money line reads, “For now, though, it looks as if this scandal is about a spy who was not endangered, a whistle-blower who did not blow the whistle and was not smeared, and a White House official who has not been fired for a felony that he did not commit. And so far the only victim is a reporter who did not write a story about it.”

Whom will the President select [as a Supreme Court nominee]? When will he announce the nomination? [And how] soon after that will Ted Kennedy start talking about segregated lunch counters?

PoliPundit: just go there.

Monday, July 18, 2005

Jose Maria Aznar Drops Some Science on the Left

Picture credit:
CG Sniper VideoThe indispensible LGF points us to a blogosphere exclusive. In an article in the Italian periodical Il Messaggero, Jose Maria Aznar -- former Prime Minister of Spain -- addresses the true nature of the global war on terror.

Attention, Messrs. Oliphant, Teepen, Herbert, et. al.: do you think -- perchance -- the former Prime Minister of Spain   knows just a skosh more about the war on terror than, say, any of you?

Drink deeply from the chalice of wisdom and read the whole thing:

...The adversary who stands before us is an enemy who has declared war on us: very simply, he has declared it and he has acted on his declaration. Just like Adolph Hitler in his day, Bin Laden has written and repeated very clearly what his objectives are and what his vision is for the world: a theocracy capable of bringing about the restoration of the Caliphate and imposing Koranic law from Al-Andalus (the name the Arabs gave to the Iberian Peninsula in the long period of their dominance), all the way to the Philippine Islands.

Bin Laden hates everything that is Western, not only for historical reasons but also for what he sees in the West: a civilization which promotes prosperity over poverty and equality over injustice; a civilization which, in the place of intolerance, advances the ideals of religious pluralism and the separation of Church and State.

He hates us, in essence, because of what we are. It is irrelevant, therefore, to connect the London bombings with any other concrete action or event. Islamic terror operates on a very different set of motivations in determining when and how it will strike. Whether we like it or not, the fact is that Al Qaeda is at war with us. And in time of war, one must necessarily change one’s mindset...

if Al Qaeda, in spite of recent events, still is weaker today than it was in the past, this fact is due to the aggressive action and constant pressure applied by the United States with the cooperation of the international coalition in places as remote as Afghanistan, the Philippines, Mauritania, and Iraq. Yes, Iraq. The activities of intelligence agents, soldiers, and special forces have substantially reduced the ability of Bin Laden’s men to plan and carry out new attacks. Without a doubt, Al Qaeda is weaker today because it has not left us waiting for a new strike...


Sunday, July 17, 2005

Ask not for whom the bell tolls, Joe Wilson

This drawing, included in a patent application, shows how an inflatable space shield could help a satellite evade detection. Observers believe the satellite known as Misty may have used such a shield (MSNBC)

The distant ringing sound you just heard was the death knell on the Rove story. The LA Times is now asking, "If Karl Rove was source No. 2, who was source No. 1?"

For those not practiced in the partisan ways of the LA Dog Trainer Times, this basically translates to, "Like a slippery eel, the diabolical Rove has escaped our grasp; therefore, who else in the administration could we nail to the wall?"

The Democrats were so close they could taste it. And, once again, they've been stymied - with the door slammed shut in their faces at the very last moment. The key question remains: what secret is Judith Miller still holding dear, now that Rove is out of the picture?

If the MSM/DNC is so concerned about national security leaks, perhaps they could investigate the following incident, which makes the Plame affair look as significant as a dropped jalapeño at the Texas State Chili Cook-Off.

Late last year, the AP reported that the Justice Department had been asked to investigate the disclosure of classified information regarding a "stealth US spy satellite program."

Four Democratic senators had gone public with details of the highly sensitive program: Jay Rockefeller (D-WV), Dick Durbin (D-IL), Carl Levin (D-MI), and Ron Wyden (D-OR), ostensibly because they were concerned about its cost:

...last month, several U.S. senators openly blew the whistle on a mystery spy satellite program, critical of its high cost... One lawmaker, Jay D. Rockefeller, D-W.V., the vice chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, openly criticized the program on the Senate floor. He said the program "is totally unjustified and very wasteful and dangerous to national security," adding that he has voted to terminate the program for two years, with no success.

There is now a delicate dance under way between issues of national security and open public scrutiny about taxpayer dollars being spent wisely or squandered. Meanwhile, the swirl of secrecy seems to be revolving around a top-secret "stealthy" satellite project, code-named Misty...

If that's not bad enough, perhaps the Democrats could investigate reports of a more serious outing incident that makes the Plame affair looking positively trivial in comparison:

...April 11th of this year, Senate Foreign Affairs Committee hearing, during the questioning of John Bolton, who's Bush's nominee to be ambassador to the UN, Senator Kerry said this.

KERRY: Could I just take one moment, 30 seconds, Mr. Chairman? This is reading from Mr. Flights' interview where he says, "Did Otto Reich share his belief that Fulton Armstrong should be removed from his position?" The answer is yes. Did John Bolton share that view? Mr. Flight said yes.

BOLTON: As I said, I had lost confidence in "Mr. Smith" and I conveyed that. I thought that was the honest thing to do.

What you just heard here was John Kerry blowing the cover of a CIA operative in his zeal to attack John Bolton. He identified him by name. This is exactly what Rove is accused of doing and didn't do. Here is John Kerry actually having done it.

I won't hold my breath waiting for Democrats to call for investigations into either of these incidents, which appear far more damaging to the national interest than anything related to Plame.


Clifford May, writing in the National Review Online, has a theory about who outed Wilson's wife. First, let's review what Novak actually said:

"Wilson never worked for the CIA, but his wife, Valerie Plame, is an Agency operative on weapons of mass destruction..."

No mention of working undercover, right? So if Novak didn't reveal Plame's supposed status as a NOC, who did? May believes that evidence suggests it was Joe Wilson himself:

The first reference to Plame being a secret agent appears in The Nation, in an article by David Corn published July 16, 2003, just two days after Novak’s column appeared. It carried this lead: “Did Bush officials blow the cover of a U.S. intelligence officer working covertly in a field of vital importance to national security — and break the law — in order to strike at a Bush administration critic and intimidate others?”

Since Novak did not report that Plame was “working covertly” how did Corn know that’s what she had been doing?

...Corn... claims that Wilson “will not confirm nor deny that his wife …works for the CIA.” Corn adds: “But let’s assume she does. That would seem to mean that the Bush administration has screwed one of its own top-secret operatives in order to punish Wilson …”

On what basis could Corn “assume” that Plame was not only working covertly but was actually a “top-secret” operative? And where did Corn get the idea that Plame had been “outed” in order to punish Wilson? That is not suggested by anything in the Novak column...

The likely answer: The allegation that someone in the administration leaked to Novak as a way to punish Wilson was made by Wilson — to Corn. But Corn, rather than quote Wilson, puts the idea forward as his own...

Saturday, July 16, 2005

Is the Mainstream Media the Enemy?

The accompanying photo, broadcast and distributed in print throughout the world, depicts an Israeli soldier brutalizing an innocent Palestinian. At least that's what the MSM, including the New York Times, said. The facts behind the picture? The man beaten within an inch of his life is Tuvia Grossman, an American, who was pulled out of his vehicle by a Palestinian mob and assaulted.

The invaluable LGF occasionally posts brief blurbs about the media's odd behavior with respect to the global war on terror. Each is labeled under the heading, "The Media Is the Enemy". And each describes an MSM article or anecdote ranging from disenguous to blatantly dishonest.

Think they're a bit off-kilter in targeting outlets like Reuters and the Associated Press? Well, frankly, how else to explain odd linkages between the press and terror groups? For example, consider the terrorist mastermind who played a role in a Reuters reporter's going-away party:

Top terrorist Zakaria Zubeidi made a “guest appearance” in a video prepared by the staff of Reuters news agency in Israel and the Palestinian Authority as a “going away” gift for a colleague...

Or the report that Agency France Presse and the Associate Press employed reporters who simultaneously received paychecks from the Palestinian Authority?

Agence France-Presse (AFP) and Associated Press (AP) ― have employed journalists with inappropriately close ties to the Palestinian Authority. Majida al-Batsh was a Palestinian affairs correspondent for AFP for many years, while simultaneously being on the payroll of the Palestinian Authority as a reporter for the PA's official organ, Al-Ayyam. If this is not evidence enough of impropriety at AFP, last year Batsh announced she would actually run for the presidency of the Palestinian Authority...

And how else to explain the July Fifth "March against terror" in Iraq, that you never heard about?

On July 5, more than 1,000 Iraqi citizens joined with Iraqi Army and police to march against terror. And mainstream media could not possibly have cared less.

How else to justify calling cold-blooded killers of scores of innocent children "insurgents" rather than what they are: terrorists.

...the use of the term "insurgents" by the mainstream media -- a conscious/unconscious attempt to cloak a rag-tag amalgamation of fascists, jihadists and common criminals in the romantic mantle of Pancho Villa -- should now be placed in the junk pile. "Insurgents," in most historical uses, has referred to groups trying to upset an illegitimate or semi-legitimate regime... It's time for the mainstream media to start calling the terrorists by their true names and ideological identities, such as they are. There is no justification any longer for the use of the euphemism "insurgents," unless you are writing pro-fascist propaganda...

Finally, one MSM outlet has put a stake in the ground. Yesterday's editorial in the Dallas Morning News offered stark admission of some fundamental flaws in MSM nomenclature (Call Them What They Are: Those who murder Iraqi civilians are terrorists):

Today, this editorial board resolves to sacrifice another word – “insurgent” – on the altar of precise language. No longer will we refer to suicide bombers or anyone else in Iraq who targets and kills children and other innocent civilians as “insurgents.”

...As children crowded around U.S. soldiers handing out candy and toys in a gesture of good will, a bomb-laden SUV rolled up and exploded.

These children were not collateral damage. They were targets.

The SUV driver was no insurgent. He was a terrorist.

People who set off bombs on London trains are not insurgents. We would never think of calling them anything other than what they are – terrorists.

Train bombers in Madrid? Terrorists.

Chechen rebels who take over a Russian school and execute children? Terrorists.

Teenagers who strap bombs to their chests and detonate them in an Israeli cafe? Terrorists.

IRA killers? Basque separatist killers? Hotel bombers in Bali? Terrorists all.

Words have meanings. Whether too timid, sensitive or “open-minded,” we’ve resisted drawing a direct line between homicidal bombers everywhere else in the world and the ones who blow up Iraqi civilians or behead aid workers.

No more. To call them “insurgents” insults every legitimate insurgency in modern history. They are terrorists.

It's high time the diminishing readership of mainstream newspapers told the editors and publishers what's on their minds before cancelling their subscriptions. It's one thing to offer honest dissent and criticism. Collaboration, obfuscation or encouragement of the enemies of the United States? That's another thing altogether. As it stands, the MSM is about as relevant as a can of lard in a GNC store. More and more citizens simply ignore it.

Friday, July 15, 2005


Picture credit:
Excel web sharing - spreadsheet collaboration over the Internet made easy with BadBlueThe dead-enders struck again on Wednesday, this time detonating a car bomb that killed 32 people. Most of them were children, who had gathered around a group of U.S. soldiers handing out candy.

Oops, I'm sorry, according to bloated geniuses like Michael Moore, the terrorists are "minutemen":

The Iraqis who have risen up against the occupation are not "insurgents" or "terrorists" or "The Enemy." They are the REVOLUTION, the Minutemen, and their numbers will grow -- and they will win. Get it, Mr. Bush?

Moore is hardly a lone voice among the cacophony of today's Left-leaning celebrities. How about NBC's Brian Williams? At the end of June, he compared the founding fathers of the U.S. with the terrorists:

...several U.S. presidents were at minimum revolutionaries, and probably were considered terrorists of their time...

1776 (IMDB)

Beheadings, suicide bombings, mass-murder of children, extreme religious intolerance... nope, I'm not coming up with images of John Adams, George Washington, Benjamin Franklin, and Thomas Jefferson in my head. But maybe that's just me.

Maybe it's time that the Moores and Williamses of the world watched -- Clockwork Orange-style -- the musical 1776. At least then they'd have no excuses for demonstrating their Olympic medal-class ignorance.

Thursday, July 14, 2005


Picture credit:
Excel web sharing - spreadsheet collaboration over the Internet made easy with BadBlueIf you don't have enough things in your life to stress you out, there's always the Mega-Tsunami:

La Palma is the largest of the Canary Islands, a territory of Spain located 700 miles off the west coast of Africa. It is a dormant volcano. In 1949 during its last eruption, a huge slab weighing an estimated 500 billion tons sheared loose, slid down a few feet towards the Atlantic Ocean below, and stopped.

Today it hangs there precariously, effectively an arrow on a drawn-back bow aimed at the heart of America. A small nuclear detonation in just the right place could set it loose to slide the rest of the way into the Atlantic, with disastrous consequences.

As noted by the British Broadcasting Corporation, "What will happen when the volcano on La Palma collapses? Scientists predict that it will generate a wave that will be almost inconceivably destructive, far bigger than anything ever witnessed in modern times. It will surge across the entire Atlantic in a matter of hours, engulfing the whole US east coast, sweeping away everything in its path up to 20km inland. Boston would be hit first, followed by New York, then all the way down the coast to Miami and the Caribbean."


Wednesday, July 13, 2005

The New York Papers are on a Roll

Picture credit:
Excel web sharing - spreadsheet collaboration over the Internet made easy with BadBlueIt's true, I've noticed some exceptional news coverage and analysis from the New York papers recently. Pity the Times hasn't risen to the challenge.

First item: the Sun's Seth Lipsky astutely points out that Bush's sentiments regarding Supreme Court nominations are effectively restated by this editorial:

The Supreme Court, by its very nature, must be a conservative body; it is the conservator of our institutions, it protects the people against the errors of their legislative servants, it is the defender of the Constitution itself. To place upon the Supreme Bench judges who hold a different view of the function of the court, to supplant conservatism by radicalism, would be to undo the work of John Marshall and strip the Constitution of its defenses. It would introduce endless confusion where order has resigned, it would tend to give force and effect to any whim or passion of the hour, to crown with success any transitory agitation engaged in by a part of the people, overriding the matured judgment of all the people as expressed in their fundamental law.

You guessed it: that was a New York Times editorial from 1916.

Second item: The Post's John Podhoretz restates the obvious regarding the Wilson-Plame affair:

...a 2004 British inquiry chaired by Lord Butler put it: "We conclude that, on the basis of the intelligence assessments at the time, covering both Niger and the Democratic Republic of Congo, the statements on Iraqi attempts to buy uranium from Africa in the Government's dossier, and by the Prime Minister in the House of Commons, were well-founded."

What isn't controversial is this: Karl Rove didn't "out" Valerie Plame as a CIA agent to intimidate Joe Wilson. He was dismissing Joe Wilson as a low-level has-been hack to whom nobody should pay attention. He was right then, and if he said it today, he'd still be right.

And if Valerie Plame wants to live a quiet spy life, she should stop having her picture taken by society photographers and stop getting stories written about her on the front page of the Times...

While the Journal goes on to call Rove a "whistle-blower":

...In short, Joe Wilson hadn't told the truth about what he'd discovered in Africa, how he'd discovered it, what he'd told the CIA about it, or even why he was sent on the mission. The media and the Kerry campaign promptly abandoned him, though the former never did give as much prominence to his debunking as they did to his original accusations. But if anyone can remember another public figure so entirely and thoroughly discredited, let us know...

As for the press corps, rather than calling for Mr. Rove to be fired, they ought to be grateful to him for telling the truth.

Of course, some of the New York papers still employ their long-time, failed theater-critics op-ed columnists, whose rants are frequently eviscerated in embarassing fashion. Witness this takedown of Bob Herbert by Faces from the Front.

“We want to inform the Ummah [all Muslim believers] that your brothers in the Al Qaida organization will not stop Jihad until the Sharia of Allah is the only source of laws on earth.”

When I first read those words from an Al Qaida In The Land of Two Rivers press release in April, shortly after the insurgent's failed attack on Abu Ghraib, I was obviously wrong about about their goals and how to deal with terrorism.

I am so grateful the New York Time's Bob Herbert and The Guardian's Gary Younge set me straight... Published in 1964, and given its prominence in Muslim political theory, I thought Qutb's Milestones, would be a good foundation from which to understand the roots of [Jihadism].

But, Gary Younge corrects my youthful err, "What he would not acknowledge is that [Blair's] alliance with President George Bush has been sowing the seeds and fertilising the soil in the Gulf, for yet more to grow. The invasion and occupation of Iraq - illegal, immoral and inept - provided the Arab world with one more legitimate grievance."

You see, I thought the roots of [Jihadism], at least the philosophical ones, were grown in the late 19th and early 20th Century by Muhammed Abduh, Hassan al-Banna and Sayyid Abu'l-A'la Mawdudi.

Obviouly the organizations... and philosophies developed by these men play little or no role [in] today's... terrorism. Their complaints about the back sliding of Islam, and the need for Muslims to confront the the west were the rantings of gadflys...

As the Time's Bob Herbert notes, "Whatever one's views on the war, thoughtful Americans need to consider the damage it is doing to the United States, and the bitter anger that it has provoked among Muslims around the world. That anger is spreading like an unchecked fire in an incredibly vast field."

What was I thinking? [Jihadists] only began to hate the West when Bush was elected. I mean, that bombing of the World Trade Center back in 1993... the Hijacking of the Achille Lauro in 1985... the Embassy Bombings in 1998--those were all related to something else...

Bathe in the fount of wisdom and read the whole thing.

Maybe some day, the geniuses at the Times will take off their intellectual-dishonesty blinders and have an open, realistic conversation about the world in which we live.

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

Frog-march Watch

Picture credit:
Excel web sharing - spreadsheet collaboration over the Internet made easy with BadBlueLeon at RedState neatly ties together the loose ends (hat tip: Ms. Malkin):

  • Wilson lied about how he got to Niger

  • Wilson lied about seeing a report that didn't exist at the time

  • Wilson lied about the conclusions of his own report

  • Wilson lied about what the administration had been told

  • ...[And] in the course of attempting to discredit the ludicrously false claims, someone in the White House (presumably Rove) told the press that Wilson was sent to Niger on dubious premises in the first place (the recommendation of his wife), without giving the name of Wilson's wife, which Rove apparently did not know.

    When this story first broke on the scene, I thought that Rove should properly be banished from the administration team, despite the fact that even at that time it was pretty clear that no crime took place. However, given the serial and politically motivated lies of Wilson and Plame, it's clear that the fairy tale the liberals have constructed in which Plame was the heroic CIA agent unjustly outed by Arch-Demon Karl Rove is totally and completely false - and I won't be shedding any more tears about either of their fates.

    That being said, if Rove violated any laws, he should prosecuted fully and completely. But I wouldn't look for him to be frog-marched out of the White House anytime soon. We still don't know who told Novak about Plame.