Friday, April 20, 2007

The Secret Warriors

The UK Times tells the story of two CIA agents secretly held in a Chinese prison for 20 years. "Not until their release would they learn, with astonishment, that a man had walked on the Moon." Jack Downey and Richard Fecteau received a muted welcome from the country they had served so well. But in that era, at the end of the Vietnam War, there were no bands for any one. The Times writes:

With the recent Iranian hostage drama, the story has remarkable contemporary resonance, but with one signal difference. The British soldiers were held in Iran for 13 days, and some made a small fortune by selling their stories after their release. Downey and Fecteau — both of whom are still living —never told their story to the media, and never made a penny out of it. ...

Even today, the two former captives are reticent. Contacted in his Massachusetts home, Fecteau, 80 this year, is polite but firm: “I am an old man now. I would rather not talk about that time.” Downey and Fecteau both retired from the CIA within a few years of their release. Fecteau became sports director at Boston University, his alma mater. Downey’s second life was, in some ways, as extraordinary as his first: he attended Harvard Law School, married a Chinese woman born in Manchuria near where he had been shot down, and finally became a distinguished judge in Connecticut, specialising in juvenile cases.

It's a strange age that can forget Jack Downey and Richard Fecteau and yet devote unprecedented coverage to Cho Seung-Hui. But for both the memories are enough, as are the list of those who remember.

We carved not a line, and we raised not a stone,
But left him alone with his glory.


Blogger Parallel said...

See the source article direct from the CIA website at

4/20/2007 11:07:00 PM  
Blogger Sparks fly said...

Forgive the obliqueness.

Harry Reid is lost.

Thank you.

4/21/2007 12:04:00 AM  
Blogger 3Case said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

4/21/2007 05:17:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

4/21/2007 06:43:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

ahhh, sparks.

So far from reality.
Mr Reid is firmly entrenched, in the cat birds' seat of power.

His majority expected to increase with the next election, his branchs' favorability rating, higher than the Executives'.

He is blazing the trail to a new Iraq Mission definition. The US public following behind this pied piper of progress.

Even Mr Gates is on the peace train, telling the Iraqi that the "clock is ticking".

There is a difference 'tween the Dems and the GOP, in Congress, concerning Iraq. It's a matter of timing:

Representative David R. Obey of Wisconsin, the Democratic Appropriations Committee chairman, who will lead the conference committee, said Congress should be working to change directions in Iraq. “There are a lot of people who are apparently willing to fight until the last drop of somebody’s blood falls,” Mr. Obey said. “I think it’s time for that to stop.”

Representative Jack Kingston, a Georgia Republican, said the administration’s troop increase deserved a chance to succeed. But if progress is not achieved by fall, he said, “a heck of a lot of us will start peeling away.”

Many people agree with Mr Obey, even more with Mr Kingston.

As General P has said, "there is no military solution". The US troops will provide Mr Maliki some "breathing room", and then ...

How the US departure from Iraq is portrayed, how it is spun, will tell the tale of US success.

The clock is ticking.

4/21/2007 06:47:00 AM  
Blogger Herr Wu Wei said...


No, we are winning in Iraq. The tide is turning. The President said so yesterday. The next Republican President, elected in 2008, will probably have a veto-proof 2/3 Republican majority in Congress since the public will turn on the Democrats for being wrong on the war.

Bush sees tide turning in Iraq

President Bush yesterday said his strategy to send more troops to Iraq is turning the tide in favor of U.S. and Iraqi forces and rebutted claims by a top Democrat that the war is lost.
"The direction of the fight is beginning to shift," Mr. Bush said in a speech at East Grand Rapids High School in Michigan. "Day by day, block by block, Iraqi and American forces are making incremental gains in Baghdad."

By the way, newspapers have already begun calling for the resignation of Democratic leader Harry Reid for saying that America was defeated.

Reid Should Resign

4/21/2007 07:08:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

On 1 May, 2003 Mr Bush "declared victory", in Iraq:

Admiral Kelly, Captain Card, officers and sailors of the USS Abraham Lincoln, my fellow Americans, major combat operations in Iraq have ended. In the battle of Iraq, the United States and our allies have prevailed.

So good to know that four years on that the same source tells US we are still on the path to WINNING!

Maybe some day, maybe not. Since Mr Cheney said, on 20 June 2005 that:
"The level of activity that we see today from a military standpoint, I think, will clearly decline. I think they're in the last throes, if you will, of the insurgency."

Just shy of two years ago, "last throes". The Bush Administration is lost in a cloud of smoke, surrounded by mirrors.

Mr Reid will not be resigning, at least not before Mr Gonzo does.

4/21/2007 07:29:00 AM  
Blogger Herr Wu Wei said...

Violence diminishing in Iraq

Here is some more good news about Iraq, some solid numbers from the Military. President Bush's surge = the Petraeus counter-insurgency plan has clearly turned the situation around. The key was to fight smarter instead of just being more violent.

Pentagon: Iraq violence diminishing

Published: April 20, 2007 at 9:02

Despite Wednesday's spectacular attacks in Baghdad, U.S. military officials say Baghdad and the rest of Iraq are getting better rather than worse.

They base their assessment on the last six weeks compared to the previous six weeks, before U.S. and Iraqis forces began the Baghdad security plan.

According to Maj. Gen. Michael Barbero, the deputy director of operations on the Joint Staff, sectarian murders have dropped. Civilian casualties and the number of attacks on civilians are down by approximately 50 percent in Baghdad. Across Iraq, civilian casualties are down by 24 percent with attacks against civilians dropping by about 17 percent countrywide.

4/21/2007 08:31:00 AM  
Blogger Herr Wu Wei said...

President Bush says we can't afford to let Gonzales go because "He is our No. 1 crime fighter".

At the White House on Friday, [Press Secretary] Perino lavished praise on Gonzales. "He has done a fantastic job at the Department of Justice. He is our No. 1 crime fighter. He has done so much to help keep this country safe from terrorists."

4/21/2007 08:38:00 AM  
Blogger RattlerGator said...

desert rat, desert rat, desert rat.

All they can do is blow up markets, blow up markets, blow up markets. And in this modern age we somehow conflate that with something militarily significant.

It is impotence if only we would open our eyes and persevere. Thank goodness our military and President Bush understands that.

4/21/2007 08:56:00 AM  
Blogger Kurt said...

Only the truly week would attack and kill civilians en mas like we have seen in Iraq. The perpetrators of these attacks are cowards and on the wrong side of history. Harry Reid and his band of defeatists can say nothing that will change those facts.

Good day to all.

4/21/2007 09:30:00 AM  
Blogger Herr Wu Wei said...

This is why releasing the Virginia Tech Killer's video was useful. It showed him to be the world's biggest loser, someone who had the tools to fix the problem he was born with, but instead chose to live inside his own head for his whole life.

The people who were close to Cho, like his roommates, said they learned a lot from those videos. One of them said "So he can talk". Someone who had been in school with Cho for 10 years said that was the first time he ever heard Cho talk, and to have any expression on his face.

The video Cho was not only different from what his college roommates saw, but from what everyone who ever knew the killer saw.

Cho was born with the biological problem autism, and from the very beginning he responded to it the wrong way, by being evil & violent, and by refusing to do anything about it but instead withdrawing into his own mental world.

The result was that Cho was a "Cluster A Personality Disorder", an extreme loner who is extremely paranoid, and according to studies, more often violent than the general population.

From the beginning Cho wouldn't talk to his parents, relatives, teachers, or anyone else. He was writing violent stories in middle school, and they are still seaching his earlier life. In early childhood, when he fought with his older sister, he was said to use "shocking violence".

So the thing is that some liberals had already started telling a story like "poor Cho", about how he had a speech defect and people picking on him caused his problem.

However, the video, along with his ability to carefully plan the attack, shows that Cho had free will, was capable of accomplishing things (which could have included turning himself around), and was capable of communicating.

Those videos didn't glorify Cho, they condemned him. Besides being evil, they showed him to be one of the biggest losers in the history of the world, by his own choice. He never made a friend, never loved his family, and never cared about anything outside himself. His whole life was weakness and indulgence, to live in his fantasy world instead of making the painful effort to function in the real world. Cho could have talked anytime he wanted, could have lived in the world with real people -- that's what the video shows.

4/21/2007 09:44:00 AM  
Blogger NahnCee said...

In the absence of a definition of what constitutes "won" vs. what constitutes "loss", why is the default position automatically assumed to be that the US has lost in Iraq?

In going into Iraq, we toppled a dangerous tyrant, we overthrew his equally demented government, we enabled the citizens to elect people, to write a Constitution, and we introduced the concepts of women's rights, freedom of speech and freedom of press. They are at least thinking about how to share and use their oil wealth.

Just because the Iraqi's themselves have proven not to be up to the task of either behaving like human beings or accepting the concepts for living that we brought them does NOT mean that America has lost.

Going in, America has always said we weren't there to colonize or to steal their damned oil. That we would be leaving sooner rather than later once we had accomplished our objectives -- which has been done. Now that we're starting to pack up to leave, why must that be interpreted as us having "lost"?

To me the biggest objective in going into Iraq was to destabilize the Middle East. Even if the Iraqi's insist on killing each other over tomatoes and cucumbers, it seems to me that that objective has been met, and that change IS and will continue to flow throughout that whole sandy hellhole.

Let them built their own toilets and schools and infrastructure. It would be pleasant if the Iraqi's chose to turn themselves into Springfield, Anywhere, USA - but if they want to stay living in mud huts with sewage in the streets, I really don't see where that is America's loss.

4/21/2007 09:55:00 AM  
Blogger NahnCee said...

RE: Cho - several people who interacted with him have spoken of the feeling they had that he was crying behind his sunglasses. I find that fascinating, because it speaks to a sense of helpless frustration, as well as murderous rage.

I always wonder what the last thought of someone like this is before he eats his gun. Did he understand going into it that he would ultimately have to suicide? Or is it sheer stark terror at what he has brought on himself -- that the videogame he's been playing out in his mind has suddenly come to life and there are real live very large very mean-looking cops with real live very large and very very mean-looking guns shooting at him.

I have to think right before that final trigger-pull that he would NOT have been feeling a lot of self-satisfaction.

4/21/2007 09:59:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

As Mr Newt said many years ago, the Battle of Iraq is 10% military, 90% other.

I can easily agree that the 183 civilians killed in Iraq a day or two ago are militarily insignifgant, but they are politically vibrant.

They are in the 90% category.
Believe General P, or not.
Iraqi political reconciliation is the only way forward, for the US military, It seems to failing, according to Mr Gates.

It is Mr Gates that sayst the "clock is ticking" that "time is running out".
I agree with the Sec of Def.
Don't you?

4/21/2007 09:59:00 AM  
Blogger PeterBoston said...

The best strategic move in 2001 - 2002 would have been Afghanistan, Iran, Iraq, and Syria at the same time. The Middle Eastern Front. Perhaps if NATO really was a muscular military alliance among Western democracies that would have been the case.

Alas, the world is more complicated, and we had to accomplish what we could with what we had. As I have said innumerable times - look at a map of the Gulf Region. If we are to influence/determine the outcome of strategic events in the Middle East then Iraq must either be controlled, allied, or denied to the enemy. Each is a varying degree of victory. Even a dysfunctional Iraqi government engaged in a 100 year civil war that denies oil revenue and protected area to the Islamists is a good outcome.

To measure success or failure in Iraq by the number of suicide bombings on any given day or week is short sighted at best. Every road and sidewalk in the world is a potential suicider site. What is the magic number of suiciders at which people are prepared to turn over the keys of their city? 10 for Atlanta? 25 for Los Angeles? 1 for Cambridge, Mass?

4/21/2007 12:09:00 PM  
Blogger Mike H. said...

dr, could you help lose someone else's war please? I'm sure there's a war going on in Somalia that you could help lose.

Sen. Reid could help you help them since he's not helping us.

4/21/2007 12:33:00 PM  
Blogger Herr Wu Wei said...

> As Mr Newt said many years ago, the Battle of Iraq is 10% military, 90% other.

Yes, and there is excellent news politically too. Even the liberal Washington Post has reported that Iraqi Sunni insurgents are turning on Al Qaeda.

There are only two insurgent groups who resisted peace, and no one of them is driving the other out of the country. The Iraqi Sunnis are issuing fatwahs that violence against Shiites or any Iraqi is forbidden.

Peace is near. Deals have been already announced in which Sunni, Shiite, and Kurd groups agreed to a cease fire.

4/21/2007 12:41:00 PM  
Blogger Herr Wu Wei said...

The car bombings, 183 killed, have no political meaning. They are a tactic of Al Qaeda, foreigners in the process of being driven from Iraq.

AQ recently used chlorine car bombings against the Sunni insurgents, their former allies and hosts.

4/21/2007 12:47:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

So the car bombings are both militarily and politically insignifigent.

Why is the US still in Iraq, if the enemy is so insignifigent, militarily and politically?

4/21/2007 12:55:00 PM  
Blogger allen said...

The authority on the operant conditioning of rats was B. F. Skinner.

“A behavior followed by a reinforcing stimulus results in an increased probability of that behavior occurring in the future.”

Personality Theories

PS: “Answer a fool as his folly deserves, That he not be wise in his own eyes.”

4/21/2007 01:11:00 PM  
Blogger Herr Wu Wei said...

What matters is that the Iraqis decide to make peace with each other, kick Al Qaeda out of the country, and then develop police & military forces to protect themselves against internal crime and foreign invaders like Iran.

All that is under way. By definition some part of the enemy will be able to resist and project violence until everyone surrenders. That is the way any conflict works including World War II. A defeatist in 1943 could have incorrectly quoted some Nazi or Japanese bombings as proof that the US & Allies were going to lose the war.

Suicide bombings will stop when the war is over, not before.

4/21/2007 01:12:00 PM  
Blogger PeterBoston said...

Why is the US still in Iraq, if the enemy is so insignificant, militarily and politically?

Get a map. Put your compass point in the center of Iraq and draw a circle with a 500 mile radius. Do it several times if you are a little slow on the uptake.

4/21/2007 02:05:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

ahh, so Mr Bush IS a liar, pb?

That has never been on his litney of reasons for military presence in Iraq. Nor amongst his reasons for staying.

4/21/2007 02:16:00 PM  
Blogger allen said...


Three extremely compelling reasons for why retreat is impossible.

Israel’s Gathering Storm

The Deteriorating Panorama in Africa and the World

Germany Threatened


4/21/2007 02:42:00 PM  
Blogger Herr Wu Wei said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

4/21/2007 03:03:00 PM  
Blogger Herr Wu Wei said...

** Repost with two typos corrected **

Here are three fresh reports showing we are on the way to victory in Iraq. One is from the retired general who wrote the surge plan.

Democracy blooming in Iraq

Petraeus is Making it Work

Surge 2 Month Status Report

What is making this successful is the use of counter-insurgency tactics.

The new plan pushes most U.S. forces out into the population. Americans and Iraqis are establishing Joint Security Stations and Joint Combat Outposts throughout Baghdad. U.S. and Iraqi soldiers eat, sleep, and plan together in these outposts and then conduct mounted and dismounted patrols continually, day and night, throughout their assigned neighborhoods. In Joint Security Stations I visited in the Hurriya neighborhood, in the Shiite Khadimiya district, American and Iraqi soldiers sleep in nearly adjoining rooms with unlocked and unguarded doors between them. They receive and evaluate tips and intelligence together, plan and conduct operations together, and evaluate their results jointly. Wherever they go, they hand out cards with the telephone numbers and email addresses of local "tip lines" that people can call when they see danger in the neighborhood. Tips have gone up dramatically over the past two months, from both Sunnis and Shiites, asking for help and warning of IEDs and other attacks being prepared against American and Iraqi forces. People have also called the tip lines to say thanks when a dangerous individual was removed from the streets.

4/21/2007 03:07:00 PM  
Blogger Charles said...

2 Thessalonians 2 (NIV)
The Man of Lawlessness

Concerning the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our being gathered to him, we ask you, brothers, 2not to become easily unsettled or alarmed by some prophecy, report or letter supposed to have come from us, saying that the day of the Lord has already come. 3Don't let anyone deceive you in any way, for (that day will not come) until the rebellion occurs and the man of lawlessness[a] is revealed, the man doomed to destruction. 4He will oppose and will exalt himself over everything that is called God or is worshiped, so that he sets himself up in God's temple, proclaiming himself to be God.

5Don't you remember that when I was with you I used to tell you these things? 6And now you know what is holding him back, so that he may be revealed at the proper time. 7For the secret power of lawlessness is already at work; but the one who now holds it back will continue to do so till he is taken out of the way. 8And then the lawless one will be revealed, whom the Lord Jesus will overthrow with the breath of his mouth and destroy by the splendor of his coming. 9The coming of the lawless one will be in accordance with the work of Satan displayed in all kinds of counterfeit miracles, signs and wonders, 10and in every sort of evil that deceives those who are perishing. They perish because they refused to love the truth and so be saved. 11For this reason God sends them a powerful delusion so that they will believe the lie 12and so that all will be condemned who have not believed the truth but have delighted in wickedness.

4/21/2007 03:09:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Hillary says, "Come and Get Me":
"Nigga Your Time Is Up, I Aint Come To Kid You
I Knew You Niggas Was Dumb, But How Dumb Is You . . .
I'm A Ride Or Die Nigga, I Be Tearing [expletive] Up
We Aint Like Them Other Fools, Who Don't Compare To Us
All The Hoes Love A Nigga, They be Backing It Up
But Me I Love Money I Be Stacking It Up . . .
I'm Rich I Can Pay To Have You Six Feet Deep (Nigga)"

4/21/2007 03:44:00 PM  
Blogger Mark said...

From Bill Roggio's latest post, I'd say the jury is still out on whether the tide is turning in Iraq.

I've wanted Iraq to be a success from the start, but I don't think we're anywhere near being able to say "we won!" yet.

4/21/2007 04:54:00 PM  
Blogger Sparks fly said...

Harry Reid is lost.

Whenever he or anyone else, right around now, says the war is lost; look up. Your response is in their mouths. They are always talking about themselves.

Get it!

Harry Reid is lost. He's just talking about himself. He doesn't really think that anything else in the whole world is going on except him. Just think if the secretery of defense had said,:Harry Reid is lost, instead of saying something stupid like he did " I disagree with him. (appox)"
It would have been a breath of fresh air. People would take one look at Harry Reid and say to themselves,yeahh. He is lost.

Anyway, I hope you get my point. We already won the war and now we are engaged in winning the peace.

Meanwhile things do look like they are coming to a head in Iraq so we should expect the fever swamp Lefties to go apopoleptic accordingly. The better we do the crazier they will become. Steady as she goes.

And what Nahncee said is also true. We have already accomplished a lot. Saddam did the air dance. That was no mean accomplishment among many other things.

The down with America types have dominated so much of the media lately that really wonderful victories have been denigrated. Satan is the father of lies and the lies seem to be getting more and more polished. Lies on lies. Stacks of lies. New Lies for Old.

It's not pretty. And when the righteous win a wave of revulsion seems to sweep over the win. Claims of discrimination and war for oil etc. And they never seem to be ashamed of their lies even when they are caught in them. Evil is real. But the Bible says we are to be babes in evil.

I'm going to be watching the press to see if someone with a national voice will speak up and say; Harry Reid is lost. That would be super.


4/21/2007 10:49:00 PM  

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