Saturday, April 22, 2006

The Memory Hole

Thomas Jocelyn compares Mary McCarthy's position on the attack on the so-called Al-Shifa chemical weapons factory in the Sudan with that of Richard Clarke. Jocelyn brings up this bit of history from page 128 of the 9-11 Commission Notes:

On November 4, 1998, the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Southern District of New York unsealed its indictment of Bin Ladin, charging him with conspiracy to attack U.S. defense installations. The indictment also charged that al Qaeda had allied itself with Sudan, Iran, and Hezbollah. The original sealed indictment had added that al Qaeda had "reached an understanding with the government of Iraq that al Qaeda would not work against that government and that on particular projects, specifically including weapons development, al Qaeda would work cooperatively with the Government of Iraq." This passage led Clarke, who for years had read intelligence reports on Iraqi-Sudanese cooperation on chemical weapons, to speculate to Berger that a large Iraqi presence at chemical facilities in Khartoum was "probably a direct result of the Iraq-Al Qida agreement." Clarke added that VX nerve precursor traces found near al Shifa were the "exact formula used by Iraq."

Mary McCarthy did not at first support the decision to strike the chemical factory at al-Shifa, but she soon came on board.

The report of the 9/11 Commission notes that the National Security staff reviewed the intelligence in April 2000 and concluded that the CIA's assessment of its intelligence on bin Laden and al-Shifa had been valid; the memo to Clinton on this was cosigned by Richard Clarke and Mary McCarthy, the NSC senior director for intelligence programs, who opposed the bombing of al-Shifa in 1998. The report also notes that in their testimony before the commission, Al Gore, Sandy Berger, George Tenet, and Richard Clarke all stood by the decision to bomb al-Shifa.

Jocelyn concludes by saying:

There was a time when Mary McCarthy knew about the connection between Saddam's Iraq and al Qaeda. Just as Richard Clarke did. Will The Washington Post explore this topic? Probably not. Why? That's not what Mary McCarthy was leaking to them.

Commentary

So was there an Iraq-Bin Laden connection? Did Iraq have a chemical weapons program? It's like the Whack-a-Mole. Now you see it, now you don't. In an earlier post I wrote:

Here's the problem as I see it. The leaky and politicized intelligence system has made it difficult to judge the truth value of any proposition. Did the Plame affair damage national security? Did Ms. McCarthy's actions damage national security? Is there someone lying dead in a gutter because somebody talked? The answer to those questions about the intelligence agencies is going to be answered by the intelligence agencies themselves. And so we come full circle to the modern version of the Cretan Paradox: which asserts that when a Cretan says 'all Cretans are liars' all logical roads lead to a contradiction. How then to know the truth about the lies? When intelligence agencies -- and I use that word broadly to encompass the press, which is the civilian intelligence system -- are politicized, then even our knowledge about our knowledge becomes uncertain. We are in a Wilderness of Mirrors indeed. ... in Washington politics, like the gravitational field of a massive Black Hole, distorts everything. In regions sufficiently close to the political event horizon truth and facts simply cease to exist.

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84 Comments:

Blogger doolz said...

Some people have argued that the Al Shifa plant was just making 'aspirins', and until just now, I was unsure of what to make of the various claims.

This sidebar by a former Clinton counterterrorism official seems to have fairly conclusive proof that Al Shifa was involved in the production of VX nerve gas precursors.

Although, of course, there's nothing wrong with us 'questioning the timing' along with Christopher Hitchens.

4/22/2006 09:18:00 PM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

Wretchard laments the distortions that make knowledge "uncertain". I think he is too diplomatic to use the word "corrupt".

4/22/2006 09:34:00 PM  
Blogger Tony said...

Hmmm, but there's always one simplest solution, the most likely conclusion from the facts at hand.

Ever since we've re-considered "what the meaning of is, is" we seem to find it difficult to agree on facts.

So much criticism of the war is blatant disregard of easily found facts, history, current events. In a context of common facts, the current Progressive argument is that we are wasting our time ... fighting our enemies? Isn't this EXACTLY what our enemies would like us to think? Another Vietnam.

Yuck.

4/22/2006 09:34:00 PM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

Tony, that's what bedevils the bejeezis outta me--where is all the context, all the continuity--how did we find ourselves floating on a two dimensional sea of dots? Everything the same size, all gone tomorrow?

4/22/2006 09:53:00 PM  
Blogger Dan said...

Maybe I've gotten desensitized to the logic of these things, having been bombarded with so many for so long, but doesn't this seem like a pretty big crack in the on-running fascade?

Could it be that this entire campaign has been to deflect from the self-evident colossal failure of intelligence during the Clinton Admin? I thought "boogey to Baghdad" was bad...

4/22/2006 09:55:00 PM  
Blogger allen said...

"[B]ecause the law brings about wrath; for where there is no law there is no transgression."

4/22/2006 10:05:00 PM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

When Rousseau read that, and thought "how divine", mankind entered the modern battle for his soul.

4/22/2006 10:09:00 PM  
Blogger Dan said...

"To hear some men speak of the late monarchy of France, you would imagine that they were talking of Persia bleeding under the ferocious sword of Tahmas Kouli Khan, or at least describing the barbarous anarchic despotism of Turkey, where the finest countries in the most genial climates in the world are wasted by peace more than any countries have been worried by war, where arts are unknown, where manufactures languish, where science is extinguished, where agriculture decays, where the human race itself melts away and perishes under the eye of the observer. Was this the case of France? I have no way of determining the question but by reference to facts. Facts do not support this resemblance."

Reflections on the Revolution in France
by
Edmund Burke
1790

4/22/2006 10:09:00 PM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

dan, i guess grate minds run alike, huh?

4/22/2006 10:11:00 PM  
Blogger allen said...

"no one has ever been so witty as you are in trying to turn us into brutes: to read your book makes one long to go on all fours." - Voltaire's response to Rousseau.http://humanities.uchicago.edu/homes
/VSA/letters/8.30.1755.html
What would he have thought of the Lord of the Flies? What does Ms. McCarthy think of Rousseau and Golding? Mr. Clinton?

4/22/2006 10:49:00 PM  
Blogger DanMyers said...

Dan,

But to lose a war for political cover? The chutzpah of that boggles the mind. What moment in history is preserved by such an act? The sole fact that they could do it?

Do we honestly believe that 2 hicks from Arkansas can roll a nation? If so, what nihilists have we all become to let it go unpunished? I mean unpunished in the historical context. To actually bring a traitor up before the bar may prove to be impossible. I think the next few months will tell that story. As we have come to the nexxus of jurisprudence - the court of public opinion (as presented by the media), who takes this on? Does the Republican party take it on? What would constitute proof? Would it be sufficient to have proof of collusion, or just stupidity? Collusion gets you a place in history next to Benedict Arnold. How hard did he try to convince the masses that he was right?

The "Free American Press" has made it's stand, they stand with anyone that is not US. What seems (to me, anyway) to be intuitive is that we the people could vote with our dollars to drive these self-flaggelators out of business. We haven't - therefore they must have the support of at least a vocal rich plurality to keep the presses running and the cameras rolling. And, in my opinion that rabbit-hole is just starting to be explored.....

4/22/2006 10:53:00 PM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

"Reading between the lines" kept Pravda a good source of truth, for the discriminating.

4/22/2006 11:02:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Dan 9:55 PM,
Given what was in Sandy's Pants, and when, I don't think it can be read in any other way.

4/22/2006 11:07:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Trish, the insider, posted optimistic comments about needed change happening at the end of the last thread.

4/22/2006 11:09:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

10:09 PM Wish Verc was here.

4/22/2006 11:24:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Taliban Attack U.S - Backed Afghan Builder

4/22/2006 11:38:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

McCarthy Firing
Several former senior intelligence officials said yesterday they could not recall a similar sanction being levied against a serving CIA officer in the past several decades, although they said they would have supported such an action if the agency had been able to trace a leak of a similar nature back to its source.

A majority of CIA officers would probably "find the action taken [against McCarthy] correct," said a former senior intelligence official who said he had discussed the matter with former colleagues in the past day.
"A small number might support her, but the ethic of the business is not to" leak, and instead to express one's dissenting views through internal grievance channels.

4/22/2006 11:47:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Since Bush appointed a Republican ally and former lawmaker, Porter J. Goss, to replace George J. Tenet as the agency's chief in September 2005, Goss has repeatedly criticized the media for writing about sensitive intelligence matters and called for reporters to be forced to reveal their sources to grand juries.

He personally oversaw the leak investigation that led to McCarthy's dismissal, rather than asking the Justice Department to do it -- as previous directors had requested in similar probes.

4/23/2006 12:00:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

OT
Shades of Babs Bodine
And in a subtle but important shift contained in a classified order last year, the Pentagon gained the leeway to inform -- rather than gain the approval of -- the U.S. ambassador before conducting military operations in a foreign country, according to several administration officials. "We do not need ambassador-level approval," said one defense official familiar with the order.

4/23/2006 12:07:00 AM  
Blogger trish said...

"A small number might support her, but the ethic of the business is not to" leak..."

That's exactly right.

On another note: That Priest won a Pulitzer for an article that not only contained classified information and had damaging international consequences, but that was also, taken as a whole, a piece of crap as a work of investigative journalism is just...beyond words.

4/23/2006 12:18:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

Dana Disagrees Trish.
Dana Priest:
Thank you. Don Graham called me up to his office and told me, with Len Downie, Phil Bennett (managing editor) and Liz Spayd (national editor) present.
It was a greeaaat moment.
Lots of hugs.
What really made it feel like Christmas, though, was that my other great friends and colleagues won as well.
As for the other prize-winners, they and so many of the finalists are such a testament to the powerful work that can be done by newspapers these days.
You should go to the Pulitzer Web site and check it out.
It's amazing work.

4/23/2006 12:25:00 AM  
Blogger trish said...

"...and instead to express one's dissenting views through internal grievance channels."

Was she expressing a dissenting view? What was she dissenting on? US intelligence and detention facilites located abroad? The lack of advertisement of such facilites? What?

She helped make a story - a story bad for us and bad for others - where there wasn't one is ALL that she did. Dissent, my butt.

4/23/2006 12:37:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

Chester is worth reading:
Mary McCarthy: The Left's CIA Mole

4/23/2006 12:50:00 AM  
Blogger trish said...

"Powerful."

Yeah, well, she's unfortunately right about that.

Thankfully, her article also had the unintended effect of putting the fire under the intelligence chiefs.

4/23/2006 12:50:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

5. BEAT REPORTING
For a distinguished example of beat reporting characterized by sustained and knowledgeable coverage of a particular subject or activity, in print or in print and online, Ten thousand dollars ($10,000).

Awarded to Dana Priest of The Washington Post for her persistent, painstaking reports onsecret "black site" prisons and other controversial features of the government’scounterterrorism campaign.
http://www.pulitzer.org/

4/23/2006 01:19:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

Maybe one of the bigger mistakes, post 9-11 was sticking w/Tenet too long?
Some at our local forum called for his ouster within months.
I wasn't one at that time.

4/23/2006 01:48:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

A Day to Celebrate in the Newsroom
Two records are worth noting. The Post newsroom has won 19 Pulitzers under Downie -- more than any editor in history. The Post also has a record in public service finalists -- six in seven years with two winners.

Monday ended with a party on the roof of the Hay-Adams Hotel, overlooking the White House and downtown Washington. For a day, there were no falling circulation numbers or angry bloggers or disappointed readers. Only celebration. Then back to work.

4/23/2006 02:04:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

"There are times when she comes to know more about what she is reporting than some senior officials of the agencies she covers."
She said:
"The stakes [for journalism] could not be higher and the obstacles just keep growing."

4/23/2006 02:08:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

...and then there's the stakes for the rest of the World.
But I distract.

4/23/2006 02:09:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

"David Finkel, a national reporter, won in the explanatory division for a series documenting the failure of a democracy-building project in Yemen.
Finkel, a winner after being a finalist six times, has been at The Post for 16 years."
---
I was going to look for that, but it's just another failure.
Mighta Known.

4/23/2006 02:13:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

Finkle Visits the Daily Kos
He came back the next day and we did it again, though we did manage to go out for lunch. The Post paid the tab;
I was shocked to learn that Finkel would not accept a glass of water from me;
he didn't want the slightest hint of impropriety, which meant not even using our bathroom, I discovered.

4/23/2006 02:30:00 AM  
Blogger Shaun Mullen said...

I suppose I should be more exercised over what McCarthy did.

Here's why I'm not:

What the Washington Post did in writing its expose about the prisons was right. What McCarthy did was against the law. The two are not incompatible. National security was trumped by the public's right to know. These two also are not incompatible. Messy to be sure, but that's American democracy for ya.

4/23/2006 04:57:00 AM  
Blogger 2164th said...

Wretchard said,

"How then to know the truth about the lies? When intelligence agencies -- and I use that word broadly to encompass the press, which is the civilian intelligence system -- are politicized, then even our knowledge about our knowledge becomes uncertain."

All intelligence agencies, all, use the concept of "the need to know". Regardless of your level of clearance, you are restricted to your assigned area. This becomes more strictly applied as the sensitivity increases. One base, or a rumor of a base in Eastern Europe may be what it seems or maybe not. It could be a critical link established at great political or personal risk to individuals in that country. Recall that there was immediate criticism from the older EU countries about the new Eastern Europe entrants, not representing EU interests. The idea made respectable by Jimmy Carter in the amnesty given to Viet Nam era cowards, traitors and draft dodgers has set the precedent for the selective disobedience of federal laws. The only requirement is the cause.

These intelligence-busting vigilantes are naive; they are smug and self-righteous. They are dangerous scum. They have caused good men their careers, fortune and lives. I can picture the face of a good man killed in Athens because of the ilk of McCarthy.

As bad as this type of activity is, and it is worse than you think, it does not compare to the damage being done by lack of governmental response. The fool on the hill will dither away until someone explains to him the need and advantage to strike back at this fast and hard. We know it is hard work to be presidential. But pretty please, can we just enforce the law for a change?

4/23/2006 05:19:00 AM  
Blogger 2164th said...

Mullen said

"National security was trumped by the public's right to know. These two also are not incompatible. Messy to be sure, but that's American democracy for ya."

There is no "public right to know". There is no "right to privacy". If both rights existed you arrive back at Wretchard's Cretan paradox.

4/23/2006 05:41:00 AM  
Blogger Dan said...

There is no right to classified information. That's like Locke's 'right to revolt.' What the hell is a right to revolt? You want to revolt, you revolt. An issue of power, not right.

4/23/2006 06:23:00 AM  
Blogger Dan said...

Speaking of this stuff though - what we really need is a mole inside The New York Times. Salzburger, Jr. needs to go down, bloodied and dazed, to the metaphorical pavement.

4/23/2006 06:26:00 AM  
Blogger WLD said...

I am about ready to see some leakers put up against the wall and shot. And, at the risk of sounding proto-fascist, I wouldn't feel all that bad about seeing some journalists hanging from lampposts, either. I've pretty well had it.

4/23/2006 06:32:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

As I have said many times the US is not engaged in a War of anything but words.

Or so it seems, by the seriousness not applied by the Federal Government to the effort.

CIA agents "leak" war secrets and are fired, no Special Prosecutor or indictment for the miscreant.

Our enemies are handed control of a country occupied by US, and we celebrate.
President Bush said of the Election of Mr Milikai

"“Yet, the enemies of freedom have suffered a real blow today, and we’ve taken a great stride on the march to victory.

“This historic achievement by determined Iraqis will make America more secure,” he said.

Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice called him a patriot and “somebody with whom we can work,” even if he disagrees with the United States on certain issues. ... "

Yet he fails to describe how putting a radical secetarian Shia into the PM slot secures US.

The real divisions withi Iraq are left unaddressed by Mr Milikai's ascention to Power

"... “Weapons should be only the hands of the government,” al-Maliki told reporters. He pointed to laws requiring militias to be integrated into the nation’s security forces.

Al-Maliki’s toughest task will be assigning control of the defense and interior ministries, responsible for the army and the police. Sunnis have accused the Shiite-run Interior Ministry of tolerating death squads that target Sunni civilians. Army and police ranks are believed to be infiltrated by militias.

The current interior minister belongs to the largest Shiite party, the Supreme Council for the Islamic Revolution in Iraq, believed to operate a militia. U.S. officials have insisted the next minister have no ties to militias. ... "

But there are no Iraqi Politicians without ties to Militias.

Mr Milikai's option to "Integrate" the militias into the ISF dilutes the strength of which Force?
Finally the fault lines are still existent within the System

" ... the Mahdi Army, is controlled by radical anti-American cleric Muqtada al-Sadr, who supported al-Jaafari for another term. Al-Sadr refuses to disband his force unless other militias are abolished and the army and police prove capable of protecting Shiites from Sunni extremists.

While politicians from all sides called for unity and an end to sectarianism in Saturday’s parliament session, the differences were visible.

The new Sunni parliament speaker, Mahmoud al-Mashhadani, insisted the armed forces must be built “on the basis of national loyalty” and spoke strongly against sectarian violence — code among Sunnis for militia violence.

Then a lawmaker stood and chided him for not speaking out against terrorism — a reference to the Sunni-led insurgency.

Al-Jaafari took the podium and barked, “Your only enemy is terrorism. That is all.” ... "


Seems Mr al-Jaafari is still an influence in the Game, despite no being PM

4/23/2006 07:10:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

" ... Al-Maliki was deputy chairman of a committee formed to purge Saddam allies from political life. Many Sunnis believed the committee’s goal was to deny them a role in Iraq.

He also was a tough negotiator in deliberations over Iraq’s new constitution, passed last year despite Sunni Arab objections. He resisted U.S. efforts to put more Sunnis on the drafting committee as well as Sunni efforts to dilute provisions giving Shiites and Kurds the power to form semiautonomous mini-states in the north and south. ... "

So there it is, the US is "more secure" now that Mr Milikai is the "man",
and little Ms Mary is out of a job, but not "busted".

See you all on the beach, cause this whole escapade is headed "South".

4/23/2006 07:15:00 AM  
Blogger Boghie said...

Now there are two job reference letters.

1. NYT: Colleagues Say C.I.A. Analyst Played by the Rules

2. ABC: Will CIA Firing Cloud Public Window on Government?

These leaks have been continuous for over a decade. They have stifled American options and capabilities throughout the world.

As noted in an earlier comment, the Left hates the idea of deporting terrorists to the land of their citizenship - often a land of torture and depravity. But, they also don't like imprisoning terrorists for undetermined lengths of time - whether here or abroad. Guess what, terrorist once terrorist again.

The Clarke/McCarthy VX/Aspirin factory debate is just another symptom of stasis. They cannot make decisions and live with them - they are conflicted. The only thing that makes consensus possible for the Left is the intrinsic belief that nothing of scope will be done based on that consensus – because there is no 100% mandate.

Thus, the legions of academics that filled the intelligence agencies during the reign of Clinton could come together with confidence. They knew that little would be done. There was always time to forge consensus and coalitions. On 9/11 that ended...

4/23/2006 07:28:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

Mr Robert Kaplan, of "Imperial Grunt" fame, writes:

"... We are entering a well-armed world, with more players than ever who can unhinge the international system and who have fewer reasons to be afraid of us. That's why a resentful state leader, armed with disruptive technologies and ready to make use of stateless terrorists, poses such a threat. Hussein was a wannabe in this regard. According to a Joint Forces Command study, parts of which appeared in the May/June issue of Foreign Affairs, he was preparing thousands of paramilitary fighters from throughout the Arab world to defend his regime and to be used for terror attacks in the West. Looking ahead, Ahmadinejad would also be a prime candidate for such tactics, as would Chavez, given his oil wealth and the elusive links between South American narco-terrorists and Arab gangs working out of Venezuelan ports.

We face a world of unfriendly regimes, even as our European allies are compromised by burgeoning Muslim populations and the Russians and Chinese deal amicably with dictators, because they have no interest in a state's moral improvement. Never before have we needed a more unified military-diplomatic approach to foreign policy. For the future is a multidimensional game of containment. ... "

The whole piece is interesting but since it's in the WaPo, many will discount the work's quality, authenticity and accuracy.

Just like the "work product" of the CIA.
It is not George "Slam Dunk" Tenent or Peter "we know where Osama is" Goss that is the problem. It's is not just "Clinton Appointees", though they are part of the problem.
It is the entire Government's inability to function at it's various Missions, effectively.

Beyond Mr Bush's own suppossed "incompetence" is the fact the entire Federal Government from the CIA & State to the Forest Service, behaves incompetently, and has for years.

4/23/2006 07:51:00 AM  
Blogger Boghie said...

Desert Rat,

You are being a bit hard on all us gubmint flaks...

The Clinton era was extremely hard to deal with. The closest comparison would have been the 'Wiz Kid' era of Lyndon Johnson. They do not value the military, and they do not value the intelligence community. In fact, they provided 'early out' bonuses to 'shrink the size of government' in those regions.

When the Clintonistas squeal that General Shinkeki wanted 400,000 troops they conveniently forgot that they left that military with 600,000 troops (ground forces). They would have been unable to do anything, thus we would have sent the FBI out to investigate and prosecute al Qaeda.

I used to sign my personal correspondence (fancy term for personal emails, but...) with:

'I survived the Clinton Legacy!!!'

4/23/2006 08:04:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

As to the Political rift, here in the US over Mr Bush's Strategies and Tactics,
Mr Zbigniew Brzezinski, national security advisor to President Carter from 1977 to 1981, writes

"... Although the United States is clearly dominant in the world at the moment, it has neither the power nor the domestic inclination to impose and then to sustain its will in the face of protracted and costly resistance. That certainly is the lesson taught by its experiences in Vietnam and Iraq. ... "

His article in the LA Timesdescribes the Strategy that Mr Bush has taken towards Iran as all wrong in "Been there, done that"

4/23/2006 08:05:00 AM  
Blogger Boghie said...

Desert Rat,

Let us not forget that the Clinton era lasted eight (8) years... And, the conflicted Liberals controlled the Senate for another two (2)...

The Last DOD budget under Clinton was 290 Billion, we are running at 520 Billion now. And, the Clinton DOD budget increased in his final year...

4/23/2006 08:08:00 AM  
Blogger Dan said...

"to read your book makes one long to go on all fours" - ha! nice.

i agree rat: this seems like more evidence that the weltanschaung of the Democrats is incapable of understanding the nature, scale and meaning of the Islamo-fascist threat, or even its reality. They view us as entirely too powerful, and seem to believe - I'll be optimistic here - that their malfeasance will only affect domestic political affairs, that the Afghan-Iraq campaign...

But wait - these are the folks who evidently charted the nexus from Afghanistan to Sudan: how could they not infer that this was a general modus operandi among all governments of the region? Do they just not want to deal with it? Are they just lazy? What's going on exactly?

Man, it would be nice if we had that free press we hear so much endless yammering about... I want a Rumsfeld briefing on this, posthaste, and watch the pig-sticking begin.

Spengler recently remarked that Bush would make a huge come-back before October, although for different reasons. I personally think the guy's a loon, but perhaps his general read of the sentiment is right. I confess politics confuses me.

4/23/2006 08:08:00 AM  
Blogger Dan said...

Brzezinski does not seem to me to be any remarkable strategist, or anything but a hack at this point. That we "have no patience" may be the case, but that does not preclude Learning such patience, nor does it cancel in advance the effect that subsequent attacks and other circumstances will have on how we view this conflict as it evolves. Brzezinski's "what's a few stirred-up Muslims?" comes to mind. He evidently feels the same way now.

4/23/2006 08:12:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

boghie,
I did not mean to imply that ALL Government workers were incompetent, just most of the "work product".
The Military accomplishes some Missions with distiction, others though are never complete.
While the individual troops in Somolia were valient to a man, the product was disaster.
The CIA, untrust worthy product, at best.
The Forest Service, here in AZ, was operating outside the Law.
Border Security & Immigration, Airport Security, Amtrack, and FEMA under Mike Brown.
Ruby Ridge & Waco. The Gonzalaz boy that was returned to Castro.

The list of incidents is endless, the Authority of the Federals unchallenged, their competency in question, no matter who is President.

4/23/2006 08:13:00 AM  
Blogger Boghie said...

Zbigniew Brzezinski fought a variant of the cold war on the basis of 'human rights'.

I reviewed his history and found it mixed, but not negative (other than Iran and the support of the mujajadeen in Afghanistan - both hindsight so I'll give him that)

However, where is his concern over human rights now?

He hung Iran - an 'ally' - out to dry in 1978 by pushing human rights. However, in 2006 he doesn't see the progress of human rights as a path to America security.

Me thinks he has spent too much time reading and commenting on teh DailyKos website.

4/23/2006 08:18:00 AM  
Blogger Old Dad said...

Check out Drudge.

J Effen K is defending his gal Mary...sort of.

How bizarre.

4/23/2006 08:21:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

Then, boghie, they WERE THE GOVERNMENT and the Government is, was, and by it's very nature, will continue to be more of the same.
Martha Stewart's prosecution was for "lying to investigators", not illegal trades.
Mr Libby is up on charges of "lying to investigators" not leaking information.

Ms Mary McCarthy, what is she being prosecuted for? nada.

Government workers Slide while citizens and Republicans to time.

Politics in Prosecution,
Selective enforcement of the Law

Not the type of competency I'd like in my heart specialist.

4/23/2006 08:22:00 AM  
Blogger Boghie said...

Ooo, ahhhhh, Zbigniew Brzezinski looks quite Kissingerian in the article linked by Desert Rat:

Been There, Done That'

So now, Brzezinski is a 'Realist' - a proponent of RealPolitik that left us the mess of kleptrocracies in the Middle East.

Yeah, he been there done that... And to boot, he is talking like an expert on Iran. I hope to God he has spend the last 28 years in careful study.

Brzezinski, Carter, Clinton, Berger, Clarke, McCarthy, Kerry, Beers, et. al. are all conflicted Liberals. They cannot make decisions and act decisively.

4/23/2006 08:28:00 AM  
Blogger Boghie said...

Guess what folks:

If you were a young teenager around the time of Brzezinski's major success (Iran Hostage 'crisis') then you are in your early 40's now...

Hhhhmmmmm...

How old are the flag officers (Majors and up) and senior Staff NCOs in our military.

Oh, thats right, they are in their 40's.

Ah, the memories... The 444 memories... Never forget...

4/23/2006 08:35:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

I was an E4 or 5 in those days boghie, before the bombs fell in Libya, before Mr Ortega was removed from office, before the USA beat Russia on the ice. All of which were accomplished before I eventually left the Army.

Seemed to me, then, that all the "best" people got out and those looking to "skate" through life to retirement stayed in.
That was Combat Arms, in the US Army, late'70's to mid '80's.

But as you say, that was then, and those that remained, are in charge, now.

4/23/2006 08:48:00 AM  
Blogger 2164th said...

I have a suggestion to MSM, disgruntled CIA employees, those who love to find and tell and all those advocates of the right to know. Think your good and clever? Find Bin Laden.

4/23/2006 09:08:00 AM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

you can add the current leaders of the enemy to that 444 list. from Achmadinejad's perspective, managing the American left has been a very do-able project.

4/23/2006 09:21:00 AM  
Blogger Red River said...

Loose lips sink ships. You keep your mouth shut and do your job.

Someone who discusses work with anyone but those who have a need to know is endangering their work and the lives of those involved.

The individual analyst never has the whole picture of what is going on and its presumptuous to think that you have all the information to reach a policy decision.

4/23/2006 09:22:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

One would think, 2164, that with all the resources of the Federal Government availble, the Hunt for Osama could have been accomplished, by now?

Either the effort has not been serious, or it has been under funded and under staffed.
Or the searchers are less than competent.

In any or all of the many locales that Osama could be finding Sanctuary in.

4/23/2006 09:23:00 AM  
Blogger Red River said...

Apparently McCarthy has been deleted from the CSIS website.

Coverup?

I wonder what other info is dissapearing as we speak?

Were McCarthy and her fellow dems running their own Dezinformatsiya campaign?

Was she assinged this task by someone?

Who else is involved?

Someone needs to dress McCarthy up in a Plumber's outfit.

4/23/2006 09:44:00 AM  
Blogger whit said...

History repeats itself.

From the closing paragraphs of the opening chapter of The Gathering Storm by Winston Churchill:

It is my purpose as one who has lived and acted in these days, first to show how easily the tragedy of the Second World War could have been prevented; how the malice of the wicked was reinforced by the weakness of the virtuous; how the structure and habits of democratic states, unless they are welded into larger organisms, lack those elements of persistence and conviction which alone give security to humble masses; how, even in matters of self-preservation, no policy is pursued for even ten or fifteen years at a time. We shall see how the counsels of prudence and restraint may become the prime agents of mortal danger; how the middle course adopted from desires for safety and a quiet life may be found to lead directly to the bull’s-eye of disaster. We shall see how absolute is the need of a broad path of international action pursued by many states in common across the years, irrespective of the ebb and flow of national politics.

Mankind is vain and each generation thinks itself an improvement over the previous.

For too many, the desires for safety and a quiet life are leading to the bull’s-eye of yet another disaster. We lost much time during the Clinton years; wishing to relax with the peace dividend of the post cold-war years. Will we continue to engage in destructive partisan politics while ignore the gathering storm of a nuclear-armed Death Cult which has already sworn a solemn vow for our destruction?

4/23/2006 10:11:00 AM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

Focus on Sandy Berger and the Riadys.

4/23/2006 10:13:00 AM  
Blogger Cutler said...

Relevant I think:

US Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld has approved ambitious plans to fight terrorism around the world and retaliate more rapidly in the case of another terrorist attack on the United States, The Washington Post reports.

Citing unnamed defense officials, the newspaper said the blueprint includes a general campaign plan for the global war on terrorism as well as two subordinate plans that are considered the Pentagon's highest priority.

Details of the plans are secret, but in general they envision a significantly expanded role for the military and its Special Operations troops in operations to combat terrorism outside of war zones such as Iraq and Afghanistan, the report said.
"

4/23/2006 10:19:00 AM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

"...irrespective of the ebb and flow of national politics."

But mankind is vain, said Churchill. Yes, taken down to the nub, we're in the zone of sin, of vanity and pride, on this issue.

4/23/2006 10:20:00 AM  
Blogger Boghie said...

Gotta Go,

But Desert Rat, things have changed dramatically since you were in. It ain't the Carter era anymore...

There was Reagan - before my time.
There was Bush Sr. - beginning for me.
Then there was the Clinton era - which we knew would end sometime.
Now there is the 'W' era.

We are recruiting very highly qualified individuals. We are retaining very high quality individuals. Both statistics are over 100% of goal.

9/11 changed everything.

We will resolve this issue. It will take years and it will not primarily be a military confrontation - but some of that must occur. We do not want to send our military back when Iran has nukes.

Watch how Navy ships are named. Any carriers called the 'William Jefferson Clinton'.

Watched 'Blackhawk Down' again. Always reminds me of why the military is fond of Clinton/Carter. And, Osama always likes to look back at those glory days...

BTW: I never had the honor of wearing the EGA. I am just a civilian slug who works for the Marine Corps.

4/23/2006 10:22:00 AM  
Blogger NahnCee said...

I keep wondering when someone is going to post a bit called "Something About Mary", and wonder what sort of strange gook Ms. McCarthy is using to keep her hair in place. And could it be that it's filtered into her brain and contaminated it.

4/23/2006 10:24:00 AM  
Blogger RWE said...

Was it Churchill that said that the truth needs a bodyguard of lies?

Rather than merely a "bodyguard" lies need an entire army, complete with air, naval, and intelligence support.

The really big problem with lies in DC is that they yield still more lies.

There, when you are attacked by liers you have to lie back in defense - because there is never enough time to get the real truth established.

The typical lieing attack is released at around 1730 local, and you have to have a complete response formaulated and approved before you can go home that night.

You have to guess in order to form a response, which often leads to a lie when more details are demanded, instantly.

Eventually, it all comes out, but often not before a John Keegan or Victor Davis Hanson - (or me, of late) - explains it all, usually decades later.

4/23/2006 10:30:00 AM  
Blogger RWE said...

Danmyers:

"Lose a war for political cover?"

You need to realize, that just as in Vietnam, the Western Left has such deep-seated racist contempt for people outside their inner circle that they cannot conceive of foreigners ever theatening them in any way.

They are at the "buck toothed, bespeckled silly little yellow men flying bamboo airplanes" stage when it comes to recognizing Islamofacism as a threat - in other words, analogous to a 6 Dec 1941 view of the world.

4/23/2006 10:38:00 AM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

Boghie--good post--optimism is a generative force unto itself--when it's justified, i hasten to add. Yours is, by all evidence.

Nahncee--it's the cell phones.

Traffic deaths are up--breaking a 20 yr downtrend--and the cellphones are being blamed. That's a behavioral clue.

DC Dems are a biological clue. Already weakly-connected within itself, the liberal brain is especially vulnerable--to the cellphone rays.

The hairspray is a red hairing put out by Motorola and Nokia.

4/23/2006 10:41:00 AM  
Blogger allen said...

Governor Richardson was just on Fox. Among a plethora of suggestions for dealing with Iran offered by the Governor was “talking” to the Iranians. To his discredit, Brian Wilson did not ask Mr. Richardson the obvious: before or after lobotomy, ECT, and anti-psychotics.

4/23/2006 11:08:00 AM  
Blogger Aristides said...

OT, but interesting.

Watch this video taken in Iraq featuring an American sniper team. About half-way through (at 4:01), as the team is taking down the enemy in a "turkey shoot", the sniper asks his spotter about a man he sees holding a green flag.

His spotter responds, "That's Mahdi Army. Green Flag is Mahdi Army. They're to be engaged at any opportunity."

This was in 2005. Didn't we reach a truce with them in late 2004?

4/23/2006 02:05:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

In case you missed Old Dad's Drudge advice.
(as he says, Bizzare, but in keeping with Kerry's versions of "truth," I might add:

"SEN. KERRY: Well, I read that. I don't know whether she did it or not so it's hard to have a view on it.
Here's my fundamental view of this, that you have somebody being fired from the CIA for allegedly telling the truth, and you have no one fired from the white house for revealing a CIA agent in order to support a lie.

That underscores what's really wrong in Washington, DC Here.
"

4/23/2006 02:12:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Zbigniew Brzezinski has been all wrong, almost all the time.
And a Phoney to boot, imo.

4/23/2006 02:18:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Who would know the Putz if his name was Joe Smith?

4/23/2006 02:19:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Rat 7:51 AM,
One problem with DC govt is it's sheer SIZE, and that of the surrounding parasite "support" infrastructure.
Look at the non-imperial presidency sized staff of Truman vs what it has become.
Same for all the rest, diffusing and distorting accountability and efficiency.
9-11 was a great example of how much smaller decision loops would most likely have prevented it's occurrence.

4/23/2006 02:26:00 PM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

"That underscores what's really wrong in Washington, DC Here."

No, Sen. Kerry. What's "really wrong" is that you turned-coat on your fellow soldiers in the field, joined the enemy, and then made a political career out of it. THAT's what's "really wrong in Washington, DC, here".

4/23/2006 02:35:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Sorry to the Booster Club Section, but I have to agree w/2164th's 5:19 AM and some of 'Rat's critiques:
There have been an unbroken string of AVOIDABLE disasters that never would have happened the way they did if GWB had brought an Ax to town (didn't Clinton?) instead of the New Tone.
As 2164th points out, one thing more damaging than law breakers are law-enforcers that don't.

4/23/2006 02:43:00 PM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

I agree, but must point out that the guy had a grand vision of a better DC--that had one tiny li'l chance at succeeding, and was--in view of the benefit of two real parties again--worth taking.

4/23/2006 02:55:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Deception of this Magnitude makes GOP vulnerable to even Howlin Howie, and further degrades RESPECT for Law Order, and those Pledged to Enforce it:

Chertoff gets tough with employers of illegals

Critics say Homeland Security has done little interior enforcement since the department's creation in January 2003, despite existing laws that provide sanctions against employers who knowingly hire illegal aliens.

The Government Accountability Office (GAO) noted in a July report that ICE issued just three notices of intent to fine an employer for hiring illegals during fiscal 2004 -- down from 417 by the now-defunct U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) in 1999 during the Clinton administration.

4/23/2006 03:08:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Buddy,
But after getting kicked in the balls 10 times, shouldn't he have changed the plan?
Or now?

4/23/2006 03:09:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

3:08 PM was the MAGNET for the rush through the border at unprecedented levels.
...until "Amnesty" talk came along to supersede it.

4/23/2006 03:11:00 PM  
Blogger Ash said...

buddy wrote:

"No, Sen. Kerry. What's "really wrong" is that you turned-coat on your fellow soldiers in the field, joined the enemy, and then made a political career out of it. THAT's what's "really wrong in Washington, DC, here". "

So, Buddy, in your view of the world truth doesn't matter but only loyalty to your 'clan' does?

4/23/2006 05:51:00 PM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

Ash, ole friend, Sen Kerry is one of the biggest liars of all time. They're well documented. Actual things he says--has said--that are plain old deliberate falsehoods. He says these things for political gain, and in the highest contempt for his own followers.

What does that have to do with me?

4/23/2006 09:19:00 PM  
Blogger fred said...

Buddy,

The limited experience I have in reading "Ash's" posts leads me to conclude that he doesn't put a lot of substance out there. He's a provocateur. He'll attack a viewpoint rhetorically, but not back it up with some reasoning or fact. I would not expect him to answer your last question. The DNC considers the truth about John Kerry to be out of bounds to its members and heretical to even bring the subject up.

signed: fred, New Hampshire

4/24/2006 09:24:00 AM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

Fred, right, Kerry is tuned to that "higher truth", and facts don't matter one little bit.

I knew when the Left started calling itself "the party of reality" that it was beginning to understand that it needed much cover on that issue.

4/24/2006 09:46:00 AM  
Blogger Granddaddy Long Legs said...

Here is a nicely organized list of media articles dating back to the 1990's that mention Saddam's WMD or Saddam's collaboration with terrorists.

4/27/2006 10:28:00 AM  

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