Wednesday, August 17, 2005

Law vs. War

Two items of interest from reader DL. The first from AP news:

WASHINGTON (AP) - An Army intelligence officer says his unit was blocked in 2000 and 2001 from giving the FBI information about a U.S.-based terrorist cell that included Mohamed Atta, the future leader of the Sept. 11 attacks. Lt. Col. Anthony Shaffer said the small intelligence unit, called "Able Danger," had identified Atta and three of the other future Sept. 11 hijackers as al-Qaida members by mid-2000. He said military lawyers stopped the unit from sharing the information with the FBI. The commission investigating the Sept. 11 attacks left the Able Danger claims out of its official report.

The second is from the New York Times.

WASHINGTON, Aug. 16 - A military intelligence team repeatedly contacted the F.B.I. in 2000 to warn about the existence of an American-based terrorist cell that included the ringleader of the Sept. 11 attacks, according to a veteran Army intelligence officer who said he had now decided to risk his career by discussing the information publicly. ...

"I was at the point of near insubordination over the fact that this was something important, that this was something that should have been pursued," Colonel Shaffer said of his efforts to get the evidence from the intelligence program to the F.B.I. in 2000 and early 2001. He said he learned later that lawyers associated with the Special Operations Command of the Defense Department had canceled the F.B.I. meetings because they feared controversy if Able Danger was portrayed as a military operation that had violated the privacy of civilians who were legally in the United States.

Belmont Club readers may also wish to read the US Army War College's recent monograph, Law versus War, whose subject is described as follows:

The authors address one of the fundamental assumptions underlying the conduct of the War on Terrorism - the nature of our enemy, whether perpetrators of terrorist activities are criminals or soldiers (combatants). Although the United States recognizes that terrorist acts are certainly illegal, it has chosen to treat perpetrators as combatants; but much of the world, including many of our traditional allies, have opted for a purely legalistic approach. Disagreement about assumptions is not the only basis for divergent policies for confronting terrorism, but certainly explains much of our inability to agree on strategies to overcome what we recognize as a serious common and persistent international problem. Their insights into how our respective cultures and histories influence our definitions, assumptions, and subsequent policy decisions can assist us to respect and learn from competing strategies. They correctly surmise that our current international struggle is too important for us to ignore assumptions underlying our own and competing ideas.


I wonder whether I should have included this quote attributed to former President Clinton in the New York Magazine, but only directly available by secondary citation.

"I desperately wish that I had been president when the FBI and CIA finally confirmed, officially, that bin Laden was responsible for the attack on the U.S.S. Cole," Clinton tells New York magazine this week. "Then we could have launched an attack on Afghanistan early." "I don’t know if it would have prevented 9/11," he added. "But it certainly would have complicated it.”

Despite his failure to launch such an attack, Clinton said he saw the danger posed by bin Laden much more clearly than did President Bush. "I always thought that bin Laden was a bigger threat than the Bush administration did," he told New York magazine.

What's striking is the use of the word "officially", which suggests President Clinton may have 'known' Osama Bin Laden was a danger with intellectual certainty without being able to assert it officially. That in turn suggests that Osama Bin Laden was implicitly or even subconsciously provided with the protection of due process by a President who felt he would have to defend any action he took against OBL. Those who followed the Army War College monograph will have seen the distaste of legal scholars for applying the concept of war to counterterrorism because it implies action on a "switch that is either on or off." The legal ideal is "violence on a dimmer switch." (page 7) Clinton it would seem, at least subconsciously preferred the dimmer switch.


Blogger Karridine said...

Having been part of an intel team that sent action reports directly to the basement of the White House; having seen the large gaps between "what is known" and "what can be legally discussed" and "what can even be acknowledged"...

I am pleasantly surprised to learn of this awareness in Clinton.

That said, I think he probably WAS president when it became known what OBL was, and was doing... and Clinton blew the chance to decapitate al-Qaeda!

8/17/2005 03:47:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

Clinton's insistence on "proof" refers to a legal certainty that demonstrates his continuing fecklessness on the war that Islamists had declared on the West years earlier. In fact, he already had "proof" that al-Qaeda and bin Laden had masterminded earlier attacks on US interests, especially the twin Embassy bombings in Africa in 1998. One reason that the FBI knew of Khallad was because they had established Khallad as one of the terrorists who helped plan and execute those attacks.
Capt Ed
Oh, Bill, Bill, Bill. Everybody knew it was Bin Laden. You knew it was Bin Laden at the time. Richard Clarke in his book says you specifically ruled out military action after the Cole in October 2000 because you wanted to try once again to get an Israel-Palestinian peace deal. Get real. Oh, wait, I'm talking about Bill Clinton here.
Clinton Ignored 1996 Warning On AQ?
Posted by AJStrata on August 17th, 2005
While we are realing from the Able Danger blockbuster news, Clinton decides to come out trying to claim he wished he had better information on the USS Cole bombing so he could have acted on Bin Laden. So one has to wonder about this news out from the Dept of State saying they tried to warn Clinton about Bin Laden in 1996, only to be rebuffed:
State Department analysts warned the Clinton administration in July 1996 that Osama bin Laden’s move to Afghanistan would give him an even more dangerous haven as he sought to expand radical Islam “well beyond the Middle East,” but the government chose not to deter the move, newly declassified documents show.
In what would prove a prescient warning, the State Department intelligence analysts said in a top-secret assessment on Mr. bin Laden that summer that “his prolonged stay in Afghanistan - where hundreds of ‘Arab mujahedeen’ receive terrorist training and key extremist leaders often congregate - could prove more dangerous to U.S. interests in the long run than his three-year liaison with Khartoum,” in Sudan. _____AJ Strata_____ .
NY Times:
The account from Colonel Shaffer, a reservist who is also working part-time for the Pentagon, corroborates much of the information that the Sept. 11 commission has acknowledged that it received about Able Danger last July from a Navy captain who was also involved with the program but whose name has not been made public.
Oh, yeah, baby:
Identical to what the lying commission that ommitted all reference to it in it's report has been saying:
Pick one of FIVE versions:
None of the address the truth.

8/17/2005 04:10:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

"them" (the five versions)

8/17/2005 04:12:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

He still gives three or four paid speeches per month, at anywhere from $150,000 to $250,000 a pop, though his aides say the money he receives from poorer . countries goes into his foundation.
the money he receives from poorer countries .
Good to know poorer countrie support his foundation.
" private jets don’t seem to be in short supply. (For this particular trip, Issam M. Fares, the business magnate and deputy prime minister of Lebanon, lent us his private jet, a fabulous flying wonderland of retro suede recliners, wood paneling, and mirrors—one half expects Austin Powers to pop out of the loo.) He still stays in the finest hotels, yet he’s also regained some measure of privacy: In Zanzibar, two young women in bikinis, each roughly proportioned like Jessica Rabbit, spot him as he wanders by the pool and leap out of their chaise longues to chat. He loves it, lingers.
One gets a perspective now that Ken Starr’s cloying legion of moralists could never fully appreciate:
To Clinton, the world’s a seascape of temptations. And the hip-shaking sensuality of the pageantry here—so awkward for other world leaders they haven’t a clue where to put their eyes—seems perfectly of a piece with who he is."

8/17/2005 04:20:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

It is my understanding that all data for able danger was publicly available.
Nevertheless, the fish rots from the head and despite Clinton appointed Judge Mary Jo White's pleadings (conveniently left out of 9-11 findings ALSO) that Clinton Justice (aka Gorelick) went BEYOND the necessities of law, all underlings became acutely aware over the years WHAT THE HIGHER UPS DID NOT WANT TO HEAR.

8/17/2005 04:30:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

Ranting Prof:
"Putting aside the fact that if that's true, you'd think the attacks on our embassies would have given him the excuse he was apparently itching for, maybe, just maybe -- and I'm just spitballing here -- he might not have wanted to support the Ambassador to Yemen, Barbara Bodine, when she insisted the FBI's lead agent, John O'Neill, one of our leading experts on al Queda, not be allowed back into the country after a quick trip to brief his superiors because his aggressive approach to the investigation was upsetting the Yemenis.

When the Ambassador argued that the size of the FBI contingent was too large, was distressing to the Yemenis, President Clinton backed her."
...UNARMED FBI, I might add, at Babs Bodine's insistence.

Here's what the head of the FBI's New York office (along with the DC office, the one with the most counterterror experience) said about the impact of O'Neill's being banned from returning to the country, by the way: By John not going back, we lost contact with the head of PSO.-MORE.

8/17/2005 04:53:00 AM  
Blogger buddy larsen said...

With Clinton, the shoes will forever keep on dropping. Just as the great Robert Bartley of the WSJ said in his early-90s opening essays on the once and future problem with Bill Clinton.

Clinton's message to the world--delivered with a friendly, folksy chuckle--is in his very being: "Don't be lied to. Crime DOES pay!"

8/17/2005 04:55:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

Mary Jo White on O'Neill:
"But John gained the respect, and he was on the ground over there for a substantial period of time. He gained the respect gradually of the president of the highest government officials over there, and we've seen the fruits of those relationships -- and we still are.
(esp compared to Hippy Chick Bodine laying back in her Levis)
After Sept. 11, the cooperation improved even more, and that has been explicitly attributed to their respect for John O'Neill and the fact that he died.
[There are people] who say maybe John O'Neill harmed the effort more than he helped it.
No, I say not a chance they're right. His elbows made more things happen, not fewer things happen. That's not to say that, as to a particular individual, he might not have been more successful getting their cooperation with a different approach. But in the long term and across the board, he needed those elbows, and I'm glad he had them."

8/17/2005 05:09:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

" The ambassador basically just said, "Let them sleep on the floor in the ballroom, because we're not finding additional facilities for them."

And John, being a guy who always took care of his troops was just incensed that she would not try to find some sort of accommodations so that he could make his people as comfortable as possible also. Right then and there, you knew that there was going to be strife between the two, because John was going to take care of his people, and he was going to do everything he possible could to make sure that they had what they needed to conduct their investigation.
So what was the next problem with Bodine?
The next thing with her was guns, weapons.
.She couldn't understand why our personnel needed to be armed.
(in Yemen, where there were more guns than people!)
She wanted the weapons sent out of the country immediately. As a matter of fact, I think she even commanded that they turn in their weapons the next military flight that came through, they would all be shuttled out of the country. John wouldn't stand for that. He stood his ground on that and did win the fight.
The next battle that I recall that they had was over manpower..."

8/17/2005 05:14:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

"Now we know the connections. There were connections between some of the individuals there in Yemen and the Malaysian meetings and some of the [9/11] hijackers. There were dots to be connected. What did we lose by, months before 9/11, having to pull out the best people to investigate the case, having to pull them out of Yemen?

That's hard to say, what we lost. We could've lost a lot. We could've lost the intelligence that could've connected that dot to the World Trade Center. I don't know that to be a fact, but a lot of the Al Qaeda people are coming out of Yemen. A lot of the Yemenis are involved. I think if we could have had better investigative effort over there, had been able to build the confidence of the local law enforcement, we may have been able to find people, interrogate them, and get a lot more intelligence that would have shown us something going on.

8/17/2005 05:18:00 AM  
Blogger erp said...

After the attack on the USS Cole, Clinton apologized for its being in Yemeni waters. That's the way to stay friends with Islamists.

As Buddy correctly states, Clinton's shoes will keep on dropping for decades to come.

That we survived those years is nothing short of a miracle.

8/17/2005 05:36:00 AM  
Blogger cathyf said...

You are simply too generous to Clinton. He has decided, in retrospect, that he is guilty of no sins of omission in the first 8 years of the Global War of Islamofacists on Modern Civilization. Just like he was able to rationalize that he disn't smoke pot because he didn't inhale. Didn't "have sex with that woman" because they never had intercourse.

His failings are all too human and all to common. The grave danger to us is that we still think that this failing is essentially harmless.

cathy :-)

8/17/2005 05:40:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

O'Neill had the names of two of the hijackers who flew into the Pentagon on his desk one month before 9-11, when he was kicked out the FBI

8/17/2005 05:46:00 AM  
Blogger Tony said...

Here's the NYT story: State Dept. Says It Warned About bin Laden in 1996

Now, imagine if we had attacked Afghanistan with the effort we expended on Serbia. Or even Haiti.

It's like God was playing a trick on history, just at the time the Cold War ended and one superpower had the opportunity to bring unprecedented peace and unity to the world, the American voters installed Clinton in the one place that could most damage the nascent promise.

Surely I couldn't be the only one who realized within five seconds, upon first seeing Bill and Hill on TV on SuperBowl Sunday, that he was a lying adulterous scumbag, with that Stepford Wife bobbing her head up and down at each lie he belched.

Damn that Ross Perot! After Gulf War I, it seemed like Bush was a lock, especially against Clinton. We thought we could afford a protest vote. I've been kicking myself about that vote ever since.

As terrible it is to say, the 3,000 deaths and trillion dollar impact of 9/11 will eventually be less than the damage Clinton has done in arming our greatest strategic enemy, China.

8/17/2005 05:52:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

O'Neill Versus Osama

8/17/2005 05:55:00 AM  
Blogger trish said...

As I recall, Anthony Zinni was determined to have the USN call at the port of Aden, despite the known terrorist threat there. Determined - in order to facilitate better relations between the Yemeni government and the US military/US government. He and Bodine made a nice pair.

8/17/2005 06:05:00 AM  
Blogger wretchardthecat said...

One of Doug's NYT links says the Clinton administration felt it had scored a victory because Osama was no longer in the Sudan but in Afghanistan. Now he's no longer a danger because he's been kicked out of Afghanistan and is (depending on who you believe) in Pakistan or Iran where he's powerless right? In the only two Islamic countries with nuclear weapons potential remembering past glories.

So we're still in the middle of a story without an ending. Iraq's a dead end, one line of thinking goes, and there were better ways to meet the terrorist threat. Always better ways, and President Clinton thought of them all, except it came to him too late. Yet nobody who opposed Operation Iraqi Freedom would agree to invading Iraq or Pakistan. That would be illegal, so how this narrative ends is anybody's guess.

Ilsa: Can I tell you a story, Rick?
Rick: Has it got a wow finish?
Ilsa: I don't know the finish yet.
Rick: Go on and tell it. Maybe one will come to you as you go along.

8/17/2005 06:14:00 AM  
Blogger Tony said...


But, haven't you heard all the Lefties clamoring to invade Saudi Arabia? They are most forcefully in favor of the least likely and productive actions. By being in favor of the impossible, they give the appearance of at least favoring some action. Of course, by choosing the impossible to favor, they glue us in place, doing nothing.

"Master, we come to entreat you to tell us why so strange an animal as man has been formed?"

"Why do you trouble your head about it?" said the dervish; "is it any business of yours?"

"But, Reverend Father," said Candide, "there is a horrible deal of evil on the earth."

"What signifies it," said the dervish, "whether there is evil or good? When His Highness sends a ship to Egypt does he trouble his head whether the rats in the vessel are at their ease or not?"

"What must then be done?" said Pangloss.

"Be silent," answered the dervish.

"I flattered myself," replied Pangloss, "to have reasoned a little with you on the causes and effects, on the best of possible worlds, the origin of evil, the nature of the soul, and a pre-established harmony."

At these words the dervish shut the door in their faces.

Candide, Voltaire, Chapter 30 - Conclusion

8/17/2005 06:38:00 AM  
Blogger Marcus Aurelius said...

I just wonder what the level of certainity he would have required had it been legally ascertained that Bin Laden hit the Cole while he was in office.

I am not buying it.

8/17/2005 06:51:00 AM  
Blogger diabeticfriendly said...

The west (and israel) has been slow to move from criminal to military solutions...

today, with gaza major shift is occuring...

The Israeli's (i hope) will not reply to Arab attacks in Israel in "law enforcement" ways and rather treat it as it should, a border dispute and reply to "kassams" with overwhelming rocket and mortar fire aimed back at arab targets...

The USA should wake up and treat the OPEC/oil issue as a war issue, a Manhattan project to replace OPEC/oil power.

8/17/2005 06:51:00 AM  
Blogger buddy larsen said...

Tony, the Ross Perot fallout is a gagging memory for others, too. The George Mitchell senate effectively slimed Bush I (not to mention Reagan II), introducing us to the lung-rip political metaphor--but we didn't have to play along with Perot. You're right that a thing like Clintonism taking stage in time to take the applause from the last act of the USA vs USSR morality play, is pretty staggeringly Greek Tragedy-like. Remember that the sell-outs you mention were also accompanied by his challenge to basic meaning ("is" forever in irony quotes), his introduction of the blow-job dialectic into the nation's kindergartens, and his leadership style's mocking exploitation of the western politico-economic model in the eyes of a third-world.

He and Carter (blow dried hair-elected and born-again air-elected) are the 20th century's message that the system which won hearts & minds in the 18th, marketplaces in the 19th, and battlefields in the 20th, would in the 21st need to win something that we'd better hurry up and define--before success succeeds so well that we forget the meaning.

8/17/2005 07:05:00 AM  
Blogger mstng17 said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

8/17/2005 07:20:00 AM  
Blogger buddy larsen said...

The "eyes of the third-world" having become now the third eye of the world.

8/17/2005 07:21:00 AM  
Blogger trish said...

"Yet nobody who opposed Operation Iraqi Freedom would agree to invading Iran or Pakistan. That would be illegal, so how this narrative ends is anybody's guess."

- Wretchard

Except that Pakistan doesn't have to be invaded to get at bin Laden. It is my understanding that the agreement with Musharaff is that US forces shall be allowed to enter Pakistan for the purpose of killing/apprehending either bin Laden or Zawahiri. This understanding comes from the fact that the SecDef has to sign off on any movement of teams across the border, and that this activity is restricted to the objective of moving in on either individual, when and if located to the satisfaction of all concerned.

One doesn't invade allies - or "allies" - right? One acknowledges, as a consequence of the relationship, whatever restrictions come with it. You may be able to maneuver around them, but you won't publically disregard them.

Clearly, somebody thinks we've got the better end of the bargain with Pakistan. Just as clearly, somebody's awfully hopeful that the arrangement will pay off in a big way - before the next 9/11. Before a videotaped "we told you so" from a smug Zawahiri, or audio from a supremely pious OBL, to the stunned-again people of America.

8/17/2005 07:29:00 AM  
Blogger mstng17 said...

I wonder how many "Able Danger" documents Sandy Berger stuffed in his shorts and "lost"?

8/17/2005 07:34:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

While some of US see a Clash of Civilizations, a War on Islamo-facists or some other permutation of a greater conflict, the US Government does not. Still today.

to cathyf - After Cater's Iranian hostage fiasco, the modern Mohammedan/ US Military Conflict started when R Reagan and the USMC were chased out of Lebanon by Hezbollah and the Iranians . Well before B Clinton ever lived in the White House.

Hindsight being 20/20, it was Reagan that helped set the stage for this conflict. His withdrawal, under fire, from Lebanon has turned out to have been catastrophic fore shadowing of things to come.
He was supposed to be the Steel, causing the Iranians to give up the US hostages. Instead, we turned and boogied rather than leveling Beruit in response. Casting the die for future operations in Mohammedan lands.

Prior to GW Bush we have consistently failed to fully engage the Mohammedans on their own turf. Even under the current Administration we are half-stepping.
Tens of thousands of US Troops are garrisoned inside Iraqi cities, while the Borders are not patrolled.
Battalion sized movements, by US, are touted as major campaigns.
The main road from the Baghdad Airport to the US 'Green Zone' is not secure, two years after the Iraqi Army was destroyed.
In truth we are doing poorly in Iraq, from a Military/ Counter Insugency viewpoint.
We may have opened any number of schools, sewers and soccer fields. So many that the Peace Corps may be jealous of the Military taking over it's role in the World.
But the Insurgents are as committed and as capable now as two years ago, if not more so.
We have been using the wrong tactics and troops in Iraq for about the past 18 months. Our inability to secure the Capitial is proof enough.
In hindsight will allowing Imam Sadr free rein in Basra be seen in a similar light as UBL in Yemen? Will it be Bush's fault if Sadr comes to power in Iraq ten or fifteen tears from now?

8/17/2005 07:37:00 AM  
Blogger al fin said...

There was no need to level Beirut in revenge for the Marine barracks bombing. Only the parts of Lebanon controlled by Hizballah. After that, level all areas occupied by Syrian forces within Lebanon. After that, level Damascus. After that, kill every single mullah and revolutionary guard commander over the rank of lieutenant in Tehran.

You see, there was no need for excessive force after all. Merely a step by step, measured response, as listed above.

8/17/2005 07:43:00 AM  
Blogger al fin said...

Bill Clinton was a disaster for the US intelligence and military establishment. People of intelligence and awareness have known that for many years.

Still there seem to be many Yanks who would vote for the great amoral and destructive poseur all over again, if given the chance.

8/17/2005 07:45:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

I agree that we need only have targeted those areas where the Opfor reins.
We never did.
We still do not.

We have shied away from selected and targeted violence, with regards these Mohammedans. Even in Iraq we have bizarre rules of engagement and do not use the regions tried and true methods of population control.
We do not level neighborhoods in Mosul or Tikrit that harbour Insurgents. The Israelis used the tactic in Jenin. The Brits in Mayalasia
General Sherman used it in Georgia, CSA.
It is a tactic that will "break the back" of an Insurgency.

8/17/2005 07:53:00 AM  
Blogger RWE said...

I can understand Col Shaffer's frustration. While at the Pentagon I became aware of an intelligence-related matter that concerned me so much that I not only told everyone I could find - formally and informally - but also considered going to the press; but I did not.
A few years later I had the pleasure - and it was indeed a pleasure - to explain my findings to a Congressional Investigating Committee. They agreed with me.
And on Slick Willy's statement:
Pres Bush ordered a plan be developed to destroy Al Queda soon after he took office. That plan was to be presented to him during the week of 9/11/01.

8/17/2005 07:59:00 AM  
Blogger buddy larsen said...

Rat, as frustrating as it is, and as many soldiers pay hard for it, the "as-light-a-footprint-as-possible" has to've been a component of the "Arab Spring"...doesn't it? I mean, that's the basis of the policy, anyway, for better or worse. That moderate Islam will notice and appreciate the difference between what we do, and what we could do.

8/17/2005 08:04:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

In Mr Yon's story of the 'bionic runner'.
We should have destroyed the mother's house, her entire housing block, 10 - 15 homes. Then there would be no "smiles all around". There would be fear of retribution in the rest of the neighborhood. There should be a communal, no a TRIBAL COST to supporting the Insurgents.
If we will not spill their blood, we must, at least, destroy their property.
Each mother would then be actively aware of her child's reckless behaviour.

8/17/2005 08:05:00 AM  
Blogger Marcus Aurelius said...

The Embassy bombings in East Africa came along with a warden notice from the US Embassy (at least from the one in Abu Dhabi) that explicitly named Osama Bin Laden.

I am not saying the embassy bombings were preventable but find it laughable that our Government did not have any sort of certainity about who was behind the Cole bombing.

That picture of Prsident Clinton, Secretaries Cohen and Allbright doing the see no, speak no, and hear no evil bit looks like they were having a ball. Unfortunately, that seems to have been their approach to Bin Laden.

8/17/2005 08:09:00 AM  
Blogger Papa Ray said...

All this talk and arguing of "water under the bridge" is one of the many things that hamstring the US of A from being the world power it COULD be.

Sure, "lessons learned" has it's place, but HOW MANY TIMES TO WE HAVE TO LEARN THE SAME LESSONS?

I would like to put forth the other question I have (the pile of elephant dung that is in the middle of the floor).

Just exactly when are we going to stop fighting this war against "terror?" "Islamic extremists?" "thugs?" or what ever is PC to call the ones that want to either kill all of us or make tax paying slaves of us with such half measures, half efforts and with our Military's wants and needs either ignored or curtailed?

No, I'm not talking just equipment or manpower, I'm talking about Rules of Engagement and allocation of assets the way the commanders in the field want to do it.

We better wise up fast, because they are coming for us from all over the world, and they mean to destroy us all even if it takes forever, and their numbers are growing each and every day.

Papa Ray
West Texas

8/17/2005 08:14:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

If we had a "light footprint" there would not be 130,000 troops deployed incountry.
We should have an even 'lighter' footprint. Unless we are patiently waiting to use the troops in Iraq to invade Iran.
We wasted the first year, by not beginning to establish Iraqi Security Forces, immediately.
We continue on the wrong path.
No amount of patrols described by Mr. Yon will secure Mosul. Our troops are being misapplied. They are there enforcing the Law, not fighting a War.
The essence of W's post, writ large in Iraq.

8/17/2005 08:19:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

But papa ray

The Military does not want to expand the conflict, they are looking for a way out.
The enviorment that created General Powell permiates the Military, it is the Modern Military.

That is why we have Civilians in Charge.

8/17/2005 08:24:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

'Rat says,
"In hindsight will allowing Imam Sadr free rein in Basra be seen in a similar light as UBL in Yemen? Will it be Bush's fault if Sadr comes to power in Iraq ten or fifteen tears from now?"
Then he mentions Tikrit:
Anyone w/any common sense should have known that the way that spot on earth greeted our soldiers should have immediately been turned to dust.

8/17/2005 08:25:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

'Rat, please,
It's the Right Reverend General Powell.

8/17/2005 08:27:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

"We wasted the first year, by not beginning to establish Iraqi Security Forces, "
...when the right reverend powell had general Garner expelled.
(at least Bremmer was better than Bodine.)

8/17/2005 08:31:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

Talk about your "Walls of Separation"
The US Troops are NOT ALLOWED to use their allies, the Mosul Police, to interview the 'bionic runner'. No actionable Intel is obtained by our allies. Instead some bureaucratic route must be taken, ensuring that the Mosul Police are left to be the last to know. They should be the primary actors, obtaining the Intel in concert with our troops, not US interrogators that do not speak the language.

8/17/2005 08:35:00 AM  
Blogger trish said...

"Just exactly when are we going to stop fighting this war against 'terror?'"

- Papa Ray

Um, last month?

It's the Global Struggle Against Violent Extremism, formerly known as the War on Terror.

Though every US soldier, deployed and not, now wears the reverse-field flag on his uniform sleeve -signifying, as Schoomaker said, that "we are an army at war" - I guess it has since been noted that instead we are an army...struggling.

8/17/2005 08:36:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

" Global Struggle Against Violent Extremism,"
But isn't that SPECIAL?
Precious, even.

8/17/2005 08:40:00 AM  
Blogger Andrew Scotia said...

Re: John O'Neill and the Ambassador. I have known the ambassador since college having run into the personage from time to time since then. The problems were more fundamental than ideology. Delicately, a lady who prefers comfortable shoes. It appears that communications were poisoned from the start.

8/17/2005 08:43:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

That wisdom, trish, came from DoD, if memory serves.
The enviorment that trained General Powell, and still exists today.

8/17/2005 08:46:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

Comfortable panties, and etc.
Meets the real deal.
Plays the b.... witch.
We Pay.
Thanks, Bill.

8/17/2005 08:47:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

You don't mean you knew her at UCSB, do you?
(breeding grounds for truth teller Joe Wilson.)

8/17/2005 08:49:00 AM  
Blogger John Aristides said...

It is not at all obvious to me that a larger footprint in Iraq would have expedited our strategic goals therein. We could have brought total war and an all out occupation to Mesopotamia, and many of our present problems would have disappeared, sure. But other maybe larger problems would accrue to that strategy, too.

One positive consequence: Iraqis know those who are trying to kill them, and it's not America. Another positive: Iraqis developing an independent national narrative of valor.

Speaking of laws v. war, another point to be digested is that America boxed in her options by touting UN resolutions, regime change, and liberation as her cause, because it's difficult to reconcile total war and occupation with those justifications. It is unlikely our public or our leaders would have authorized such a move or been able to stomach the consequence of much larger casualties on both sides. It may be unfortunate that we need a larger provocation before we unleash hell, but there it is.

Still, I think it comes down to time, and we do not have 10 years worth of public support for an occupation or even 5 years of grace before the next round of this global war begins, whether we start it or not. In such a situation, a small footprint makes a lot of sense. The detail of our plan can be criticized, as in our treatment of prisoners (too hard v. too soft), but the overall strategy is a good one.

At least, assuming we have a next step.

8/17/2005 08:52:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

our old friend abakan spoke highly of the "Struggle in the thread "The Provincial West ".
he said
"...It is common to those who continue to believe against all evidence and statements that the WOT is a WAR and not a struggle. ..."

"Country at Struggle"
has a certain ring to it

I'm sure it'll 'Play in Peoria'

8/17/2005 08:52:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

Dougle has had his Struggles, but I don't believe it will hit the top 10 on the world history lists.

8/17/2005 08:57:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

Immediately post 9-11, most folks would have backed most anything, and many options would have had LESS casualties on our side.

8/17/2005 09:01:00 AM  
Blogger trish said...

"That wisdom, trish, came from DoD, if memory serves."

And if it don't give us all a bad feeling, well, we just don't appreciate what's in a name.

8/17/2005 09:03:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

There are many options between total war and our behaviour in Iraq, now.
Increasing troop levels would not lessen the Insurgency, anything but. The US's militarys presence is a contributing factor to the Insurection. A Rally point for the Iraqi Nationalists.
USMC Artilley units are not needed to secure the streets of Mosul. Iraqi Police or National Guardsmen are.
We should begin a phased withdrawal immediately after the December elections. The needs of Authorization for Use of Force having been successfully fulfilled

"..Whereas the Iraq Liberation Act of 1998 (Public Law 105–338)
expressed the sense of Congress that it should be the policy
of the United States to support efforts to remove from power
the current Iraqi regime and promote the emergence of a democratic government to replace that regime; ..."

8/17/2005 09:04:00 AM  
Blogger Unknown said...

I like political "gotcha" as much as the next guy, but we've got to get our arms around our intel mess and fix it.

I'm not sure if we've got the politcal will to do it--the 9/11 Commission is a case in point.

The President is a tough man, but I wonder why he seems to tap dance around this issue. Sure the politics are tough, and Bush I has close ties to the CIA, but our lack of cohesive action will end up getting people killed.

That said, I realize that there is likely much being done behind closed doors that we can't and shouldn't know about, but as Michael Ledeen says, "more and faster please." No more Jamie Gorelick debacles ever.

8/17/2005 09:07:00 AM  
Blogger John Aristides said...

re: phased withdrawal.

I think we should stay until Iraq can defend herself, but decreasing our exposure to an Iranian counterattack in the event of US punitive action on the regime would be prudent.

If Iraq is truly the only use of the military we will be afforded, and if we truly are not thinking about action on Iran, we lose everything if we withdraw from Iraq without completing our mission. If Iraq is the only shot we have until the conflict escalates, we must see it through.

8/17/2005 09:13:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

'Rat, 9:04:
. A New Police Force Emerges From Mosul's Chaos

8/17/2005 09:23:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

What is the mission you think we are on.
We have supported the emergence of a democratic government. They have an emergent democratic regime. The authorization does not make Iraq the 51st state.
Law vs War is the thread and the US is maintaining a Law footing, not one of War.
Should that debate arise I would support moving to WAR, but as it stands today we are enforcing Laws against Criminals

8/17/2005 09:24:00 AM  
Blogger NahnCee said...

When do you suppose doug will finally set up his very own blog?

8/17/2005 09:37:00 AM  
Blogger John Aristides said...

I will judge the Iraq adventure a failure if Sharia law is imposed and the women of Iraq subjugated, if the regions remain autonomous (thereby giving the Shia south to Iran), and if Al'Qaeda creates a base in Al'Anbar.

If we liberate a people and they chose Sharia, we will have failed.

8/17/2005 09:41:00 AM  
Blogger exhelodrvr1 said...

A number of you seem to be ignoring the fact that, like it or not, we are operating in a PC-world, and we DO need the cooperation of the PC-people in the United States Senate/House/citizenry, and we DO need the cooperation of the nations that are overly concerned with PC. That is what drives both our tactics and our strategy. The White House and the Pentagon have to be continuously taking that into account.

8/17/2005 09:50:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

Pack your bags then,
Sharia will be referenced, there will not be a Jeffersonian
"Seperation of Church and State" in Iraq.

We will not get a clone of a secular "Turkey". Modern Turkey is leaving it's secularism behind, anyway. Secularism will not be installed in Baghdad.
As to womens rights. That will be decided in the streets, whether or not it is in the written law of the land.
I do not think that the Iraqis are going to follow the Iraqnian pattern, either. Sistani seems to be charting a 'middle' course. We'll just have to see what THEY choose for themselves.

8/17/2005 09:55:00 AM  
Blogger Unknown said...

The body of law is reactionary. It always plays catch-up to reality. It is, after all, merely a collection of PAST wisdom; of mistakes made and solutions imagined. The only forward-looking laws are Constitutions and Charters which provide a framework for discussing future problems, not the answers to those problems.

As the civilzed peoples iron out who is a criminal, and who is more than a criminal, the law will in time come to reflect the agreed-upon wisdom. It is asking too much to expect the law to reflect a reality which has not yet come to pass.

I agree with the dig on Clinton though. As the Commander & Diplomat in Chief, it was his job to use the power of his imagination to imagine a better, safer, future, and attempt to lead the Nation to that place. Instead he sought out where the consensus already lay, and simply squatted there for a time until it drifted out from under him. Sadly, some people still think of this as "leading".

8/17/2005 10:01:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

Of course there is a realization that others in the World see these things differently.
Of course there are different options available to obtain an agreed goal.
In the current enviorment the Goals are limited, but for Winks & Nods. We all "KNOW" the enemy, but cannot speak it's name. We may offend a fence sitter.
Without defined goals there will be no success. Be it in business, school, war or struggle.

8/17/2005 10:04:00 AM  
Blogger Unknown said...

If we liberate a people and they chose Sharia, we will have failed.

Why is the US asking them? If the intention is to depose jihadis, why not do it now? Why not declare all that those pushing for Sharia law in Iraq enemies of the United States, and impose a secular democratic constitutional template, as was done in Japan after WWII?

8/17/2005 10:33:00 AM  
Blogger Jeff Kouba said...

I blogged my question of whether radical domestic politics played a role in erecting the wall. Gordon Kahl, a member of the radical group Posse Comitatus, killed a sheriff in Arkansas in 1983, when Clinton was governor. Then, the siege of the Branch Davidians happened in 1993. There was concern then that the Posse Comitatus Act had been violated. Finally, according Andrew McCarhty at NRO, the wall started in March 1995. But, the Oklahoma City bombing took place in April 1995, and the wall was strengthened in July 1995.

8/17/2005 10:34:00 AM  
Blogger Red River said...

Go read General Tommy Frank's book.

He said they knew it was AQ when it occurred.

They knew about OBL long before Bush II. And one of Frank's long-standing orders was to reduce AQ, but he never got anything from Richard Clarke. In fact, Franks wanted his own resources to gather intel so he could shoot at stuff rather than wait on Clarke, who he calls a buffoon.

So Clinton is blowing some smoke.

OTOH, Clinton was asking if we could send in direct action teams, and Chiefs of Staff blew him off.

As for teams going after our ships, CDR Chuck PFarrers' memoir details a SEAL team's foiling of such an attack in the Gulf and this was BEFORE the Cole. They captured enemy combatants - what came of this?

8/17/2005 10:40:00 AM  
Blogger John Aristides said...

Secularism will not be installed in Baghdad. As to womens rights. That will be decided in the streets, whether or not it is in the written law of the land.

I'm sorry, that is unacceptable. There were always many reasons to support the invasion, most of which have to do with Saddam's intransigence and the import of limiting terrorist capabilities and allies. The only reason to stay afterwards, after we couldn't find WMD, was to install a liberal democracy in the heart of the Middle East, thereby attacking the ideology of extremism by creating a viable third way that others could follow.

It does us no good if Iraq freely chooses to replace the bonds of Baathism with those of Islamism. Islamism is our primary enemy in this war; if we give it another home with vast oil reserves and a credulous dogmatic populace, we have failed.

8/17/2005 10:51:00 AM  
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8/17/2005 11:33:00 AM  
Blogger neo-neocon said...

"Law vs. War" has a long history in the US. The controversy about whether to treat terrorism as a law enforcement issue (the old approach) or a national security issue (the new one, and I believe the correct one), is given historical perspective here. I think it helps to understand what's behind it, because the Clinton administration and Gorelick were following a path laid down, surprisingly enough, in the events of the Vietnam War and Watergate.

The more I research things, the more it seems that in American life, those two events represent a huge watershed that is still deeply and powerfully affecting us today.

8/17/2005 11:52:00 AM  
Blogger Abakan said...

Trish said,

"Though every US soldier, deployed and not, now wears the reverse-field flag on his uniform sleeve -signifying, as Schoomaker said, that "we are an army at war" - I guess it has since been noted that instead we are an army...struggling."

It seems strange to have to point out that soldiers wearing the flags are engaged in actual warfare.

When are we going to stop struggling with terrorists?

You can stop anytime. You can take a vacation.

I don't think I've heard a single soldier serving in Iraq ask this question.

In fact, I think most veterans and soldiers, airman, marines understand this whole WOT concept.

8/17/2005 12:13:00 PM  
Blogger anybudee said...

Thanks TC,

Yeah, those three monographs certainly point out how the Able Danger info could be dismissed. Three letters - C Y A. The zeitgeist of any corporate culture.
That means it WAS significant that you quoted Bill Clinton - he's the patron saint of CYA.

All three of the authors show their problems with the terminology and implications of a "war on terror". That the problem should be handled as criminal behavior.

Pillar fairly sneers at the 'Jacksonian approach' as though it was the backassward product of some quaint 'folk community' consisting of 'security moms and NASCAR dads' (his words). He at least knows as much about America that we don't consider war as some godforsaken furtherance of policy, but doesn't seem to get the idea that war is a later resort in the aim of protecting one's people. And NO, the detainees are not at Guantanamo because they fought 'unfairly' and we are exacting revenge. They are continuing threats. We are at war.

German seems to think the biggest problem is: 'overreacting to terrorism by intensifying (our) oppression'. Oppression of WHO? The Iraqis? US? He would do well to hold his breath till Osama's "unbearable hell" manifests here.

And Boyne's fascination with Europe's (Germany) response to Islamic terror discounts the fact that Western Europe is moving toward sharia at breakneck speed. At least they will have a peaceful transition. What is the odds-on favorite now? Fifteen years? Twenty?

These guys at our War College? Who vetted them? Howard Dean?!?

Yeah TC, it makes perfect sense that with advisors like these, the products of our Europhile bureaucratic culture would discount vital intelligence to further their PC careers.

Oh Doug,

You need to start putting abstracts at the top of your posts.


8/17/2005 01:18:00 PM  
Blogger Tony said...


The one thing that is clear as can be in "The 9/11 Commission Report" as that this Bush Administration did more to counter Al Qaeda in its first 8 months than the Clinton administration did in 8 years.

If anyone doubts this, I'll post the cites from the report.

And Desert, I know it's a poor and sorry excuse, but we were facing down the USSR at the time of the Marine Barracks bombing in Lebanon. That same year, 1983, Reagan announced plans for Star Wars, and we ended up winning the Cold War. I'm afraid it was a case of one world war at a time.

8/17/2005 01:26:00 PM  
Blogger Cedarford said...

If true, and somehow Atta and company had been caught and "faced justice", chances are another plot would have targeted the WTC or decapitation targets in DC.

We needed the blood spilled on 9/11 to wake us up from the lawyer-ruled counter-terror system that failed us so badly. No blood spilled, the 9/11 plot would have just been treated as another goofy thing those crazy incompetent Arabs do, like the Millenium plot and the country would have just gone into "ignore mode" as Ira Glasser, Nadine Strosser, Irving Rosenbaum and the rest of the usual suspects mobilized to safeguard the precious civil liberties of Mohammed Atta and Co.

The ACLU and many black helicopter Republicans and Hate America Democrats would have of course attacked Lt Col Shaeffer and his group as "Orwellian", snooping on people here as legal guests of our country with the same sacred and absolute civil liberties as American citizens.

They would have demanded Shaeffer's group be shut down, Shaeffer reprimanded - just as they asked for and got Adm Poindexter's head for data mining even after 9/11 happened for real.

In the hypothetical, the FBI and Justice would have battled the ACLU in Court about all the evidence being tainted because it came from the Dangerous Precedent of military snooping on America itself. The ACLU could have had a good shot at freeing Atta on just the evidence question and the political firestorm it would have caused. Masses of students at Columbia, Brandeis, Berkeley, and Yale Law would have marched demanding the "Atta 7" be freed. The Courts would have been sympathetic, especially if they had the case heard in NYC where the judge ranks are full of Chomskyites and Schumerites.

But assume further that somehow the FBI and Justice got past that stage and got a trial. That the FBI didn't screw it up as they frequently have on with-held stuff in evidentiary discovery. Bin Laden would be getting daily reports in Kandahar as he learned of the data mining, phone surveillance, and disbursal of US intelligence assets wordwide - permitting him to fine-tune Al Qaeda.

Atta would have gone in with the finest lawyers the ACLU could muster and all we would have would be several silly Arabs belonging to a sinister organization here on legal visas taking flying lessons and talking about things in code like "the 2nd architecture" project" (the Pentagon) which the FBI would have been clueless on as signifying a specific target here in the US or abroad. And the ACLU would have supplemented the interrogation resistance training with full support of Atta in any interview session.

So perhaps in the end, all we would have is a group of 6-7 presumably innocent men who the Left and the Jewish intelligensia staged protest rallies supporting them- and defended from "Persecution based on ethnic profiling". Maybe the FBI would have lucked out and found evidence that they planned on hijacking an airliner or two, but no evidence that they planned on martyrdom crashes.

Lets say the best efforts to "Save the Atta 7" failed and they got a "stiff sentence" for a "hair-brained plot bound to fail at some point given it being in the hands of hair-brained Arabs" ....for plotting to hijack some plane somewhere...That would be a 3-5 year sentence. Atta and pals would have likely been free by 2004 and fighting deportation, perhaps with Lynn Stewart and Sidney Greenbaum serving pro bono, on grounds they would be subjected to "persecution" in Egypt and Saudi Arabia based on their radical beliefs. But, if they couldn't stay in America, they would all "accept" London or Afghanistan.


Sometimes learning and achieving fundamental change in a nation can only happen through pain and bloodshed. We changed because 9/11 was not "just another piddling little thwarted plot proving the wisdom of our lawyer-based counterterrorism system" - it was the plot where our dumb luck ran out. Had 9/11 not happened, had Shaeffer succeeded and lost his job at Schumer and Boxer's civil liberties insistence - we would have just puttered along fat dumb and happy until we were finally hit in an unacceptably hard way by some other radical Muslims.

One way or another, the shedding of lots of American blood was inevitable. Had Gorelick's Wall been breached and Atta's plot blocked, it would have only delayed the day we woke up.

8/17/2005 02:24:00 PM  
Blogger Nathan said...

It does us no good if Iraq freely chooses to replace the bonds of Baathism with those of Islamism. Islamism is our primary enemy in this war; if we give it another home with vast oil reserves and a credulous dogmatic populace, we have failed.

And this is really the Catch 22 of the entire enterprise. Liberals and all manner of similar anti-American moral relativists will argue that if we, the United States, intervenes to prevent the formation of a "freely chosen" Islamist regime, that we will have proven that we are not in fact in favor of democracy and self-determination but are instead imposing our racist imperialistic will on the poor brown people who just don't know any better than to blow themselves up and beat their wives, and who, by the way, are victims of racist imperialist aggression, which obviously makes the poor brown people paragons of moral authority.

It can only be taken on a certain kind of faith that democracy will always lead to desirable results; but ultimately democracy is, by itself, only a means to uncertain ends. And the moral absolutists, I trust, will argue that it is only certain ends that are desired, democratic means simply being one more or less politically correct way to get there. The imperial British were not so idealistic and chose a different route.

8/17/2005 02:37:00 PM  
Blogger Nathan said...

More reasons why Cedarford is one of my favorite posters here, regardless of certain prejudices with which I regularly disagree.

I agree that the bloodshed of 9/11 was an unfortunate necessity to force the issue of Islamism, its tenets and consequences into the limelight. Furthermore, I believe that, sadly, much more blood will be shed on American soil before the issue is met with adequate resolve to force a favorable conclusion.

8/17/2005 02:46:00 PM  
Blogger Abakan said...

Actually I think this struggle VS war theme that plays here daily is a clumsy strawman.

The difference in design and strategy between the Bush administration and previous administrations is not that one chose a civil law strategy and another did not. It was that the previous administrations primarily limited the response to terrorism to civil, local law enforcement activities and the Bush administration defined a national security agenda and unleased our military against other nation/states hostile to the US who were sponsors of terrorism.

In fact, even Clinton wasn't opposed to a military response. He just limited the scope so as to be less threatening to an international audience.

So, much of what passes here as intellectual discourse is based on some rather simple misdirections.

The struggle against terrorists includes a military response. Warriors now have a new part to play.

Again, I'll conitnue to assert that all of this was explained in great detail.

8/17/2005 02:52:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

There are reasons those Arab countries did not have elections.

If you read the history of US you'll see it was a fear of democracy that created our Republic.

The Mob ruled in France, demrocray at work for the Good of Man, just prior to Napoleon's ascent to power.

8/17/2005 03:05:00 PM  
Blogger Tony said...


We did not need the blood spilled to wake up. We already were awake before Clinton, we had just won the Cold War and the Gulf War with indisputable power. We were not asleep all along, we specifically went to sleep, perhaps in the soporific haze of emotional exhaustion that follows any battle.

But I doubt that's what happened. I think the world's only superpower suddenly handed the keys over to a bunch of what Wretchard would call "hippies."

I can not stomach the idea that we "needed 9/11 to wake us up" or however you put it.

The world's only superpower elected and re-elected an Administration who behaved as if History Is Over. We fought battles in foreign countries based on how cool it might sound if couched in terms of the Civil Rights Movement. We ignored, purposely, ignored our enemies, because we didn't want to get in trouble.

So, in the end, we conducted Feel Good Wars in the 90's. We declined hitting Osama in Afghanistan 'hunting camps' in fear of the few incidental casualties we might cause. Those incidental casualties were traded for the 3,000 killed on 9/11.

This is not "water under the bridge" - this is the recent history that led us to this challenging point. And Vietnam is likewise history, where we "lost" a war in the media and among the youth first, and then the public in general.

History is the only Map we got!

And Recent History is the Local Map!

8/17/2005 03:48:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

You are responsible for the behavior of Frank Church, Leaky Leahi, JFK2, Teddy K, Bubba and Hill, Babs Bodine and Truthteller Wilson, Sheets Byrde, Slo Joe Biden, Gorelick, "Sweats" Algore, Ben Veniste, "Pants" Berglar, TV General Wesley C...
I could go on, but you get the picture: live with it.

8/17/2005 03:55:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Haven't finished all posts yet, but it occurs to me that Ms Bodine/Clinton were not only responsible for Cole refueling at that insecure hellhole (good for the local economy, you know) but also for the orders requiring Cole Crew to have

8/17/2005 04:08:00 PM  
Blogger Nathan said...

Actually I think this struggle VS war theme that plays here daily is a clumsy strawman.

I happen to have an intense dislike for the word "struggle". It has a certain onomatopeic flavor reminiscent of wrestling with a muddy pig. Furthermore, the scope of its common application seems too wide to yield itself any particular significance. One can "struggle" to fill out tax returns, but evidently one can also "struggle" against the enemies of civilization. One doesn't fight to fill out tax returns or declare war on paperwork. The latter terms have certain implications that the former does not.

Anyway, I find "struggle" to be a sonorously and semantically disgusting word that I'd rather not use. I suggest ("suggest" being a word only slightly less odious) the use of "strivance" for an equally ambiguous but better-sounding word. Perhaps the silliness of using the word "strivance" to describe the conflict, could convey the equivalent silliness of using the word "struggle" to those ends.

8/17/2005 04:09:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

This from the Washington Times,
a hotbed of leftist thinking

"... Several weeks ago, the Pentagon led an attempt to rename President Bush's global war on terror as the global struggle against violent extremism. Many commentators took this effort as a sign of a policy reassessment within the administration. But the name change was stillborn by the president himself, who in a subsequent speech pointedly referred to the global war on terror more than a dozen times. And despite other conflicting signals on Iraq policy coming from the administration, the president seems persuaded to "stay the course," ..."

Reassessing the war on terror

Thry go on to say:

"...within Islam the clash is between conservatives and indeed radicals such as Sunni Wahhabis and Salafists, who would keep the clock permanently set in the past, and forward-thinking Muslims who desperately see the need for reformation and modernization.
At issue are many of the values that the West holds most dear: the rule of law; separation of church and state; the role of women; and the rejection of terror in advancing political agendas. Exploiting and firing these two revolutions are jihadist extremists such as al Qaeda, who are out to seize political power using terror and disruption as key tools and tactics.
On top of this highly complex and now life-and-death struggle, the United States often turns a blind eye to fundamental policy contradictions. If indeed we are waging a global war on terror, how do we win when there is no enemy army to beat? This is the heart of our strategic dilemma -- how to defeat an extreme ideology by relying on traditional means largely dependent on military force. ..."

8/17/2005 04:12:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

"They would have demanded Shaeffer's group be shut down, Shaeffer reprimanded - just as they asked for and got Adm Poindexter's head for data mining even after 9/11 happened for real."
Does anyone know if we have ANY official, legal, data mining projects AT THE PRESENT TIME?

8/17/2005 04:15:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Who is this "president himself," guy, and what does HE know?

8/17/2005 04:17:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Maybe a "Struggle" is defined by my 4:08 PM post.

8/17/2005 04:21:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

No Intelligence, and no Ammo.

8/17/2005 04:21:00 PM  
Blogger Abakan said...

Aristides said,
"It does us no good if Iraq freely chooses to replace the bonds of Baathism with those of Islamism. Islamism is our primary enemy in this war; if we give it another home with vast oil reserves and a credulous dogmatic populace, we have failed."

You might desire too much too quickly. Is there any room in your worldview for measured steps towards what you would view as your desired conclusion?

If you were on the ground, watching the ebb and flow, and seeking a desired conclusion wouldn't what you expected hour by hour, day by day change according to practical and realistic considerations?

8/17/2005 04:26:00 PM  
Blogger buddy larsen said...

Re upstream comments on 1983 Marine barracks debacle--RR faced a congressional insurrection had he escalated/retaliated via boots on the ground going after the perps. Mistake was obvious--insufficient political power behind the troop insertion. The question I've always had is, how in the world could the bombers have known that the act would not bring hell down on themselves? This was Ronald Reagan, forcryingoutloud. How could such a huge direct attack make any sense to them before the fact?

8/17/2005 04:26:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

The 60's 70's Democratic Senators?
How would you like to have this same team of losers be 30 years younger again?

8/17/2005 04:28:00 PM  
Blogger M. Simon said...


I don't know if you were alive during the Clinton Presidency but every time he said Osama Republicans said "wag the dog" and proceeded to "wag the dick".

I guess the "wag the dick" bit is still quite popular.

Just think of the howls from Rs had Clinton declared war on Osama.

We get the government we deserve.

I blame the American people. Me included.

Every time Clinton said Osama I said to myself "Is this a joke?"

The joke was on me.

In 1998 no one (other than Clinton) saw the necessity for war.

9/11 changed everything.

Thank you Osama. With condolences to the lives lost to learn our lesson.

8/17/2005 04:30:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Reagan did have an Evil Empire to distract him.

8/17/2005 04:30:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

The GOP is responsible for Bill's sins.
Pass the joint.

8/17/2005 04:31:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

"In 1998 no one (other than Clinton) saw the necessity for war."
Yeah, NO ONE saw the necessity for passing facts on the ground THAT WE KNEW about up the chain of command, because the chain of command was intentionally broken BY DESIGN!!!
...Ask right wing wingnut Judge Mary Jo White:
She knew who we were dealing with from WTC I, and she knew her boss and Gorelick were nuts for sabotaging the system.
...another GOP plot I guess.
If you were in some haze, it does not mean everybody ELSE was.

8/17/2005 04:36:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

And Steve Emerson's Tape did not exist in 1994!

8/17/2005 04:38:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

...10 years after 84, btw

8/17/2005 04:38:00 PM  
Blogger Abakan said...

Nathan said,
"I happen to have an intense dislike for the word "struggle". It has a certain onomatopeic flavor reminiscent of wrestling with a muddy pig. Furthermore, the scope of its common application seems too wide to yield itself any particular significance. One can "struggle" to fill out tax returns, but evidently one can also "struggle" against the enemies of civilization. One doesn't fight to fill out tax returns or declare war on paperwork. The latter terms have certain implications that the former does not.

Anyway, I find "struggle" to be a sonorously and semantically disgusting word that I'd rather not use. I suggest ("suggest" being a word only slightly less odious) the use of "strivance" for an equally ambiguous but better-sounding word. Perhaps the silliness of using the word "strivance" to describe the conflict, could convey the equivalent silliness of using the word "struggle" to those ends"

So, what you are saying is that your emotional response to the word 'struggle' leads to a preference that favors something with more impact.

You want a more 'emotive' term to describe our current situation. Unfortunately, 'struggle' is the proper term for our current troubles, and your emotive response to the word misses the point entirely.

8/17/2005 04:39:00 PM  
Blogger buddy larsen said...

Simon, you have a point re GOP critique of Clinton-war. It was wrong, just as wrong as GWB's 2000 campaign rhetoric against "nation-building". Only defense is, Clinton's self-wrecked credibility, and half-assed photo-op tendency wrt the use of the military. Gresham's Law.

8/17/2005 04:44:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Nathan and 'Rat,
Give "Avoidance" a try!

8/17/2005 04:46:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

Well from the Mohammedan view point they have
Huniliated Carter w/the hostages
Beat Reagan in Beruit
Fought BushI to a draw
Attacked our Miltary and Political outposts in KSA and Africa during Clinton's years
Dropped the Twin Towers and the continued the bleeding of our military under BushII.

Turkey abandoned it's long time patron, US

Israel has withdrawn from Lebenon and the Gaza

On top of that Pakistan has gone nuclear and Iran soon may, as well.

They are not doing all that bad, those Mohammedans.

8/17/2005 04:47:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

And if we had been told the FACTS that were known, as did Mary Jo, we would not have been the same ignorant folks, would we.
...and I STILL insist the GOP had nothing to do w/Gorelick, unless her policy was to protect bubba from the GOP, which IS possible.

8/17/2005 04:49:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Esp since they have not yet begun to fight:
They are just struggling a bit.

8/17/2005 04:51:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

"avoidence" of what, doug?

All we are saying,
is give war a chance

8/17/2005 04:51:00 PM  
Blogger Abakan said...

I would also add that Nathan while expressing his gut response to my contextually consistent description of the "WOT" as a struggle also ignored my assertion that the Bush administration only added a national security driven nation/state response to terrorism.
That was the extent of change between his response and previous administrations.

Since my role lately at the Belmont Club is to articulate the obvious, in what amounts to remedial education I feel it is necessary to remain on topic.

Is there anyone here who disputes my assertions that the Bush Doctrine and subsequent actions amounted to adding another tool to our toolbox and doesn't remove the legal civic response?

8/17/2005 04:53:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

you aba bc's.

8/17/2005 04:54:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

your aba bc's.

8/17/2005 04:54:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

...but be sure to be Textually Consistent while you are doing it.

8/17/2005 04:55:00 PM  
Blogger diabeticfriendly said...

doug, when did steve start his research?

8/17/2005 04:56:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

CONtextually, that is.

8/17/2005 04:56:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Not sure, he worked for CNN and saw a lot of stuff, then came WTC I, at some point he decided he HAD to get the truth out.
...but they have STILL done a damn fine job of burying it haven't they?

8/17/2005 04:57:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Latest UN Scandal is that they financed the printing of a bunch of stuff that essentially says Israel should be wiped out!

8/17/2005 04:58:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

"Is there anyone here who disputes my assertions that the Bush Doctrine and subsequent actions amounted to adding another tool to our toolbox and doesn't remove the legal civic response?"
Yes and no.

8/17/2005 05:02:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Are you saying give war a chance at home, also?

8/17/2005 05:03:00 PM  
Blogger Abakan said...


You are both my favorites, so let's liven things up a bit some additional content. What exactly do you mean by yes and no?

8/17/2005 05:06:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

If you could answer my 5:03 PM post, I might be able to say with some certainty...

8/17/2005 05:08:00 PM  
Blogger Nathan said...

So, what you are saying is that your emotional response to the word 'struggle' leads to a preference that favors something with more impact.

Not really. I'm just saying I don't like it as a word.

You want a more 'emotive' term to describe our current situation.

Again, not really. If the ambiguity and apathy of the conflict genuinely calls for ambiguous and apathetic language, I vote for "strivance" or some other equivalent nonsense.

Unfortunately, 'struggle' is the proper term for our current troubles...

I suppose it is, unfortunately.

...and your emotive response to the word misses the point entirely.

I think the thrust of my response, which I had thought rather ambivalent, was also missed in our strivance for mutual understanding.

8/17/2005 05:13:00 PM  
Blogger Nathan said...

Nathan while expressing his gut response to my contextually consistent description of the "WOT" as a struggle also ignored my assertion that the Bush administration only added a national security driven nation/state response to terrorism.

Probably because I agreed and didn't find it necessary to reiterate.


8/17/2005 05:15:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Go ahead and admit it aba, NATHAN is your real favorite!

8/17/2005 05:15:00 PM  
Blogger sam said...

An Alternative Explanation to Islamic Extremism:

The Arab world is currently suffering from an identity crisis as we have been unable to digest modernity. Sadly, this difficulty has become, for some of our wounded elites, a source of pride in our culture that has so far successfully resisted westernization.

The scene today is one of self-destruction and chaos. I fear this will remain the case for some time to come…

8/17/2005 05:18:00 PM  
Blogger Abakan said...

Abakan said,

"Unfortunately, 'struggle' is the proper term for our current troubles..."

Nathan said,

"I suppose it is, unfortunately."

Damn, I'm sick and I have hours to spare.

Doug, you may be my only hope.

8/17/2005 05:22:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

To have a chance, I gotta cheat and ask the answer to my 5:03 post!

8/17/2005 05:26:00 PM  
Blogger Abakan said...

I wasn't aware that this was a serious question.

Doug said,

Are you saying give war a chance at home, also?"

I have no idea what you are talking about, or what you mean by war, according to context.

8/17/2005 05:36:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Get by many of the Legal Constraints, some put back in since, 9-11, some never gotten rid of, that UNDERMINE our efforts.
AND Start PROSECUTING people that give away National Security info.

8/17/2005 05:39:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

...and do like Clinton did, but this time purge HIS traitorous lefties at State, CIA, Pentagon, and etc.

8/17/2005 05:44:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

...and don't forget Normie Minetta.

8/17/2005 05:45:00 PM  
Blogger buddy larsen said...

FDR solved that word-calibration problem with the use of the universal appeal for succor: "Waa".

As in "I hate waa. Eleanor hates waa. We both hate waa."

8/17/2005 05:46:00 PM  
Blogger sam said...

Yesterday Japan Surrenders. Today Jews Being Forced to:

Defeat will eventually be a reality for one side or the other in war. And while our generation (as other generations have in the past) sit at home debating (or protest in Crawford, TX) whether to go to war, stay in a war, or pull out of a war, let us not forget that the Japanese would not have surrendered, Afghanistan would not be liberated today and Saddam Hussein's regime would not have fallen, if America had pulled out ‘yesterday.’

Today, at least in the mind of this non-Jew friend of Israel, America is on the wrong side of the disengagement, the deportation, the pull-out of the Jews from their land in Gaza. It’s a 'forced surrender' that will neither result in peace nor satisfy those who want an end to any kind of state of Israel.

8/17/2005 05:46:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

New Motto for the Struggle:
"More Data Mining,
Less Undermining

8/17/2005 05:48:00 PM  
Blogger al fin said...

Sam, there is no easy path for the arab who desires to be modern, particularly if he is also secular. You would be the particular target of vengeance by the extremists.

Arabs who want their brothers and cousins to survive the transition to the modern world must be willing to commit violence, if only by proxy, against the arabs who are endangering all the arab people.

If the extremists are successful in starting the war of muslim against non-muslim that they claim to be working toward, even if you are an arab christian or atheist, very few non-muslims would stop to determine the difference. In the case of an all-out civilisational war, all muslims including moderate and non-practicing muslims would be at risk, as well as all arabs.

Western nations are the most tolerant nations at this time. It has not always been that way, and it could easily change. I hope it never does.

8/17/2005 05:49:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

That might work, Buddy, esp if we lose:
Waa, waa, WAA!
...not a funny scenario for our kids, however.

8/17/2005 05:50:00 PM  
Blogger Abakan said...

Doug said,

"Get by many of the Legal Constraints, some put back in since, 9-11, some never gotten rid of, that UNDERMINE our efforts.
AND Start PROSECUTING people that give away National Security info."

I suspect that will be a monumental 'struggle.' I'm all for it. It fact, we could probably call it a 'war' and 'fight' an idealogical 'battle' to the last man with the enemy with the hope that our side will be the 'victorious.'
Afterwards, we could all celebrate our 'victory' with parades and fireworks. Where do I sign up?

8/17/2005 05:52:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Fireworks are dangerous,
They pollute the atmosphere, leading to MORE Global Warming, which the ever prescient Algore reminded us in the 90's is a greater threat than terrorism.
Simon says the GOP made him do THAT, also.

8/17/2005 05:55:00 PM  
Blogger Tony said...

Buddy asked How could such a huge direct attack make any sense to them before the fact? referring to the 83 Marine Corps Barracks bombing - for Christ's sake!

They are suiciders, Buddy.

They are working in a spiritual/historical frame of reference where death and life have merged, or infected. They don't want to personally win, for them it's an easier way out to die the way a bug flies into a windshield. The car won't crash, but at least it's over for the bug. *\\ the jihadi //*

Kamikazis are not an inapt reference, just a more highly skilled fanatic.

Luckily, these diseased individuals are still humans who walk this earth, subject to certain free choices of the other humans they threaten.

8/17/2005 05:56:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

But 'Rat's list is pretty impressive, even to the non-suicidal, esp when the left continues to do it's damnedest to self destruct us, and many GOPers seem to lack sufficient spine.
Butter, Butter, Butter, and a few guns.
Even LBJ would be impressed.
(but he'd maybe buy more guns, at least! - if the Bloggers were there to out Cronkite)

8/17/2005 06:00:00 PM  
Blogger buddy larsen said...

TYony, I guess my wonderment was along the lines of old Assad, not far away in Damascuc. Why would he allow--or order up--such an attack (241 Marines KIA) when the Marines might well have come to see him, unless he was certain RR wouldn't be able to follow up the escalation?

It's all ancient history, I know, but instructive as there was a chance there to drive the disease back into a multi-century dormancy, if we had taken the position that such a massive terror attack justified any nation to go Roman in return, if it had the power to do so.

8/17/2005 06:19:00 PM  
Blogger Abakan said...

I guess there is no one here willing to to challenge my assertion that the notion that we are engaged in a "Law vs War" represents a superficial and misguided interpretation of current events.

I'm not the least bit surprised.

8/17/2005 06:25:00 PM  
Blogger buddy larsen said...

Trying to get at how Jefferson and Commodore Stephen Decatur managed to whip the bastids back in the Barbary Wars.

8/17/2005 06:27:00 PM  
Blogger sam said...

State Department July '96 Declassified Documents:

Terrorism/Usama bin Ladin

Since his alleged expulsion from Sudan in May, terrorist financier Usama bin Ladin has reportedly been traveling familiar routes to secure a new haven. Bin Ladin's willingness to issue recent public anti-western threats hardly fits the image of a man running scared.

Elvis' Competition

Since mid-May denaturalized Saudi radical dissident Usama bin Ladin has reportedly been sighted in the UK, Yemen, Somalia, Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Sudan. Bin-Ladin's many passports allow himn considerable freedom to travel with little fear of being intercepted or tracked.

Bin Ladin's homecoming

Bin Ladin would feel comfortable returning to Afghanistan, where he got his start as a patron and mujahid during the war with the former Soviet Union. With the April reconciliation between nominal President Rabbani and islamic militant leader Gulbuddin Hekmartyar, Afghanistan has become an even more desirable location for extremists.

Posturing or planning?

Recent press interviews with bin Ladin, alleged to have taken place in London and then Afganistan, reveal an increasingly confident militant leader. Though bin Ladin's warnings to the UK and France to leave Saudi Arabia lest they face the same fate as the United States may be mere bluster, they could foreshadow future support for terrorist attacks against UK and French interests.

On the run?

Bin Ladin and his associates remain suspects in both the November 1995 OPM/SANG bombing and the Khobar Towers attack.

Sudan early May agreed to the expulsion of terrorist financier Usama bin Ladin on the condition that in the future he be allowed to return.

...hoped that when bin Ladin visited he would use false documentation and provincial airports, such as Port Sudan or Kassala, to avoid publicity.

8/17/2005 06:27:00 PM  
Blogger buddy larsen said...

abakan, you must define your terms before anyone can respond. the terms in use are general enough that no challenge is possible, other than some sort of semantic tug o' war.

8/17/2005 06:29:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

From two threads back Simon sez,
I have a copy I bought about 20 years ago.Here is a list of books (and their cover art) published in that era.
12:00 PM
M. Simon said...
The object of "We Never Knew" is to present a chronological account, in graphic form, of what we knew, and when we knew it.
...but he insists Clinton had nothing to do with KEEPING WHAT WE KNEW from getting to the people that needed to know it.
And even tho the internet and Video has the equivalent of his books for the dotcom 90's of no history, Simon wants us not to look and point fingers at what we knew and when we knew it, and who was responsible.
...I'll let my common sense and Mary Jo White be the Judge, thank you.

8/17/2005 06:43:00 PM  
Blogger Abakan said...

Buddy Larsen said,

"abakan, you must define your terms before anyone can respond. the terms in use are general enough that no challenge is possible, other than some sort of semantic tug o' war."

Damn, I'm almost ready to declare victory. The fact is that challenge is desired, and always requires definition of terms.

So, where exactly do you require further definition and clarific ation regarding my challenge?

8/17/2005 06:46:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

8/17/2005 06:52:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

8/17/2005 06:54:00 PM  
Blogger trish said...

From the Washington Times article exerpted by Desert Rat @ 4:12 PM:

"On top of this highly complex and now life-and-death struggle..."

Now that's a bit more like it, isn't it?

The Highly Complex Global Life-and-Death Struggle Against That Which Shall Not Be Named.

Or: The H.C.G.L.D.S.A.T.W.S.N.B.N.

Coming soon to the DoD: H.C.G.L.D.S.A.T.W.S.N.B.N ribbons for everyone!

8/17/2005 07:03:00 PM  
Blogger trish said...

Coming soon to the DoD: H.C.G.L.D.S.A.T.W.S.N.B.N ribbons for everyone!

Except LTC Tony Schaffer.

Bad Tony. Bad.

8/17/2005 07:12:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

"H.C.G.L.D.S.A.T.W.S.N.B.N ribbons for everyone"
I was going to suggest EVERYONE except active duty military:
We do have a deficit, and 'Rat does need those meds which also will go unsaid.

8/17/2005 07:21:00 PM  
Blogger Abakan said...

Ok, so I'm sick at home with hours to spend so I have to ask the following question.

Is there anyone who disagrees with this assertion?

Abakan said,

"Unfortunately, 'struggle' is the proper term for our current troubles..."

If so, why?

8/17/2005 07:24:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Maybe you're confusing it w/your struggle to get well?

8/17/2005 07:40:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

"Get Well Soon Abba."
...just doing my part w/the struggle.

8/17/2005 07:42:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

One of the neat Flash tributes to the fallen in 9-11 had Abba for the background music.
...I thought it sounded very appropriate.
Maybe that will cheer you up?

8/17/2005 07:44:00 PM  
Blogger trish said...


I know why the name was changed. I understand the reasoning and the motive behind it.

Doesn't mean I have to like it. Also doesn't mean that it will stick with the public.

New Coke, anyone?

8/17/2005 07:48:00 PM  
Blogger sam said...

Crawford War Protesters Lead Peace Vigil:

Carol Berglund, 56, of Madison, had a sign attached to the back of her bicycle reading, "It's time for peace. Stop the war."

"I don't think we ever should have gone there. I think it's immoral to be the starters of a war, to be the aggressors," Berglund said.,0,5216909.story?coll=nyc-nationhome-headlines

8/17/2005 07:49:00 PM  
Blogger Abakan said...

No Doug, I feel fine at the moment. It is amazing what over the counter medications can accomplish. How are you doing? How's the family?

8/17/2005 07:51:00 PM  
Blogger trish said...

Doesn't 'struggle' translate as 'jihad'?

8/17/2005 07:59:00 PM  
Blogger Cedarford said...

Almost 4 years after 9/11, we still have a Gov't that will not say we have an enemy - only that we oppose one method an enemy might use on us.

That technique - terrorism - which excuses Israeli or Pakistani secret WMD stockpiles - makes our real enemy the Tamil Tigers....the IRA..and those few misguided souls who have broken from the Religion of Peace.

Now, as of about 3 years ago until it was plain they totally botched the Iraq postwar Spring 2004 - the defense was that the brilliant Bush-Cheney Team talks honestly and brilliantly behind closed doors only while slinging the WoT, Religion of Peace, More Tax Cuts drivel on the backwards masses. OF COURSE THEY KNOW who the "real enemy is". They just can't say it openly. (Hush, it's the radical Muslims!! We could give 2 shits about Tamil, Paddy, or Chiapas terrorists! Shssssh!)

Now that we know better?


8/17/2005 07:59:00 PM  
Blogger Abakan said...

It's ok. I realize how threatening a simple question can be. Hell, if you want to deride me for asking it I can understand that too.

Thanks Doug for your support.

Where was I?

Is there anyone who disagrees with this assertion?

Unfortunately, 'struggle' is the proper term for our current troubles...

If you disagree, please explain why?

8/17/2005 08:00:00 PM  
Blogger trangbang68 said...

Gag me with a freakin' spoon Clinton!
The interview is typical Clinton post-disaster spin.Clinton didn't care about OBL,Al Quaida,etc.
What Clinton cared about was playing Big Man on Campus on a large stage.He was a cheap little hustler like Bill Blythe,the guy who was maybe his old man ,driving an old beatup v-8 down the road to the next hick town keeping one step ahead of the rube he conned in the last town.Clinton is a character in a Flannery O'Connor novel,a self righteous postering hypocrite who could be the mayor of some little town in Arkansas,but unfortunately for us all he somehow became head of the free world.In a calm before the winds of hell blew through he was an empty suit diddling the fat s and stealing the silverwear.
It would be justice if only the jackasses who bought his con game had to pay the piper,but we're all in the bullseye.Thanks,Bubba,take that heifer with the shrill voice and the linebacker calves and ride off in the sunset.We've got a war to fight.

8/17/2005 08:01:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

From this local news source here in DC we find a very troubling pattern of dangerous lawyering:
1996: Strike One -
“We had an al Qaida finance person named Khalifa in custody in San Francisco and, in essence, he was the money behind bin Laden,” says Fred Burton, the deputy chief of counter-terrorism at the State Department at the time.
“For foreign policy reasons and legal reasons, we were forced to hand the individual over to a foreign government.”

1998: Strike Two -
“bin Laden was located at a house in Kandahar City,” says Mike Scheuer former head of the CIA’s Osama bin Laden Unit. The military was poised to assassinate bin Laden in Afghanistan, but based on legal advice, says Scheuer, “the policy makers were afraid there would be some collateral damage.”

So they called off the strike.
2000: Strike Three -
“Our military identified Mohammed Atta’s (al Qaida) cell in New York along with two other terrorists… and they made a recommendation that was denied by the lawyers to take out that cell,” says Rep. Curt Weldon, R-Pa., vice chairman of the House Armed Services and Homeland Security committees.

Weldon confirms he got that information directly from the Army’s “Able Danger” intel unit. The result of the legal denials: the tragedy on 9/11.

2005: They're Out -
Lt. Col. Anthony Shaffer tells CBS News that military lawyers stopped the unit from sharing the information with the FBI out of fear they would be exposed as illegally collecting domestic intelligence.

Next Up
These decisions raise questions about what the 9/11 commission knew, and what they chose not to include in their report.
And I thought trial lawyers were bad…..
Posted by AJStrata on Wednesday, August 17th, 2005 at 8:05 pm.

8/17/2005 08:02:00 PM  
Blogger sam said...


"The whole world is damaged. Our humanity is damaged. If he thinks that it’s so important for Iraq to have a U.S.-imposed sense of freedom and democracy, then he needs to sign up his two little party-animal girls. They need to go to this war."

"We want our country back and, if we have to impeach everybody from George Bush down to the person who picks up dog shit in Washington, we will impeach all those people."

8/17/2005 08:10:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Former commission chairman Thomas Kean and vice chairman Lee Hamilton said last week that Schaffer had no documentation to back it his claims.

Shaffer rejected that remark.
"Leaving a project targeting al-Qaida as a global threat a year before we were attacked by al-Qaida is equivalent to having an investigation of Pearl Harbor and leaving somehow out the Japanese," he said in a Fox News interview.

8/17/2005 08:12:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

I guess Buddy will be lookin for work.
We have some dog poop on the beaches here, Buddy.

8/17/2005 08:13:00 PM  
Blogger M. Simon said...


My point was that Clinton was squeezed by the zeitgeist of the times.

The zeitgeist is the responsibility of the people. There was a bias against action from the American people.

As I said: we get the government we deserve.

You know back in that era I was against foreign adventures. Most of America was in that mode and Republicans campaigned on: no nation building, no foreign adventures. In fact W campaigned on that platform. 9/11 caused him to do a 180. Thank the Maker.

If you go back you can see the same bias in the Reagan administration. 241 dead Marines followed by a pullout.

The desire to blame Clinton for following the will of the people is misguided. Did his behaviior follow the political limitations and the tenor of the times? Absolutely.

If I was going to lay blame I would put it on the Republican Congress. They severely limited Clinton's range of actions. Why? Because he had an eye for the ladies and so was morally deficient. Wag the dick.

Why did Congress spend two years on Clinton's dick instead of focusing on Osama?

Same reason the positions are reversed today. Partisan politics.

This is nothing new.

In fact FDR labored under similar problems until 7 Dec.

And who was the scapegoat for the war mongering of the 30s? The Jews.

In fact nothing was done to help the Jews during the war for fear it would impactthe war effort. Anti-semitism in America peaked in 1944. Or look at pre-America's entry into the war. We sent boat loads of Jews back to Germany rather than let them come to America.

Even post war the most America would do was to vote in the UN for the establishment of Israel. The only Jews welcome in America at the time were the professionals - scientists, engineers, doctors, etc.


Every age has its politico/moral problems.

Osama/Islamic Fascism is ours.

In a democracy the solution to those problems is more dependent on the will of the people rather than the man in the executive office.

It is not like there was a clamor in the country to go after Osama after the cruise missles missed.

8/17/2005 08:14:00 PM  
Blogger Abakan said...

trish said...
Trish said,

"I know why the name was changed. I understand the reasoning and the motive behind it.

Doesn't mean I have to like it. Also doesn't mean that it will stick with the public.

New Coke, anyone?"

Are you afraid? It would be horrible for you if the opposition simply ripped out your fangs.

It really would be that simple.

8/17/2005 08:16:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Maybe Sheehan will have Schaffer hung?
...after they impeach all those folks.

8/17/2005 08:16:00 PM  
Blogger trish said...

We can somehow have a War on Drugs, which isn't. And a War on Poverty, which isn't either. (We have the Culture Wars, as well, and the Generation Wars, not to mention the Battle Between the Sexes. Or was that just a gameshow? I can't remember.) But we cannot have a War on Terror, that involves actual armed conflict.

I guess we can look at it this way, if we so choose: The very meaning of war has been so inflated and devalued, that 'struggle' offers hope of bringing us closer again to the truth of the matter.

But, brother, does it not sound good anyhow.

8/17/2005 08:20:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

"The desire to blame Clinton for following the will of the people is misguided. Did his behaviior follow the political limitations and the tenor of the times? Absolutely."
The tenor of our times demanded that he have Gorelick Stymie WTC I and his own Judge, install a hippy in Yemen, disarm the Cole and the FBI, and let her kick out our top FBI guy?
on and on,
Give me a break.
George probably didn't know any more than you when he first started to run.
(remember that question he muffed?)
If Clinton folks had not been busily burying everything, You ALLl would have known more:
Including how we took out Osama bin Laden.

8/17/2005 08:23:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Notice Simon has not addressed all the covered up facts and missed opportunities.
Even once.
...all to excuse his dear Bill.
What the?

8/17/2005 08:25:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Oh, I know, so he can blame the GOP and folks that might be ashamed of acting like a retarded teen for their entire life.

8/17/2005 08:27:00 PM  
Blogger jim said...

Abakan said,

"Unfortunately, 'struggle' is the proper term for our current troubles..."

Nobody knows the struggles I seen...

Struggle- huh! What iiiiis it good for? Absolutely nothing...

Nope. Troubles and war are what we've got, but we'll see them through. 'Struggle' is what some of us did in advanced physics class.

8/17/2005 08:28:00 PM  
Blogger M. Simon said...

So tell me friends and neighbors where was the Republican Congress in all the Clinton era misfires?

Were they complaining Clinton was soft on terrorism?

I must have missed it.


As a practical matter it does us no good to make Clinton a scape goat.

We could use a few of those Clinton Democrats on our side.


So why didn't Bush I go after Saddam? The road to Baghdad was open.

Why did he appease the Saudis?

Why did he suggest the Kurds and marsh Arabs revolt and then abandon them? That wasn't very nice. Or moral.

Plenty of blame to go around.

8/17/2005 08:28:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Don't forget the "tenor of our times" demanded he install that chick that outlawed security badges because they were discriminatory!
...In our nuke labs, no less!
And that he exchange campaign dollars for WMD Secrets.
Poor dear abused Bill:
Just a people pleaser taken advantage of by GOP Meanies.
Everyone bend over and take your medicine.

8/17/2005 08:30:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Yeah, Simon,
It's all the same. long as facts don't matter.
No need to learn what was wrong so we can fix it, right?

8/17/2005 08:32:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

"As a practical matter it does us no good to make Clinton a scape goat.
We could use a few of those Clinton Democrats on our side.
Like Leahy, so we can leak some more secrets.
Scape Goat is a label:
Check out all the FACTS we've posted above:
Clinton Lied, People Died.

8/17/2005 08:34:00 PM  
Blogger Abakan said...

Come on Trish,
There is nothing I'd want more than a few hundred words from you explaining in detail as to why the word 'struggle' doesn't apply to our current condition.
I'd save every word to desktop, and publish your every thought in gteat detail.

Let's start it now, you can choose to answer my questions or not, but rest assured that we are all waiting.

It is a simple question. If I said that the word struggle properly defined our current activiites against terrtorism would you disagree? If so, why?

8/17/2005 08:35:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

They ignored the facts before WWII.
Now you implore us to ignore the facts AFTER 9-11.
...and the fact that the Commission did just that.

8/17/2005 08:36:00 PM  
Blogger M. Simon said...

So Doug,

Where were the Republicans?

Don't we have a two party system?

Doesn't Congress set the agenda? Purse strings. Advise and consent etc.

There was no lack of adversarial feeling towards Clinton. Why wasn't some of that applied to the terrorism problem.

The core problem wasn't that Clinton wasn't saying Osama wasn't a problem. He said it often enough that even I remember it.

The problem is that you can't tell people something they don't want to hear. Especially in politics.

Why wouldn't Clinton wish to avoid policies that would draw Republican heat?


At the time I wasn't interested in Osama, and I certainly didn't want the CIA or the military to do domestic spying.

If any one is to blame - blame me.

8/17/2005 08:37:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

OK, and Clinton, and Gorelick and Minnetta and Bodine,
You ALL did your part.
And you continue to defend it.
Thanks again.
...they guys on the Cole appreciate it, since they didn't WANT ammo in their guns, and the FBI didn't WANT to do their job:
They would have taken GOP heat.
once again,
give me a break!

8/17/2005 08:40:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Why wouldn't Clinton wish to avoid policies that would draw Republican heat?
So I guess Bush should cave to

...gotta avoid that heat - there might be light somewhere.

8/17/2005 08:42:00 PM  
Blogger buddy larsen said...

Doug, out of the panoply of posting people to pick to perform impeachable poop-picking, pray promulgate perforce your particular position positing why you're persuaded to appoint my person as the poop-picking impeachable?

8/17/2005 08:43:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

I want whoever is willing to do it do data mining of public records in order to uncover terrorists at work.
...just like they did.
See AJ Strata post above.
...and I REALLY would NOT have minded if they had taken out Osama at Kanadahar.

8/17/2005 08:45:00 PM  
Blogger M. Simon said...

The Roberts Commission Republicans tried to prove FDR let Pearl Harbor happen (or he goaded the Japanese into it).

This desperate effort to gain partisan advantage out of mistakes that were greatly influenced by the tenor of the public is nothing new.

I do not see how it helps our current war effort.

Read "Pearl Harbor, the Verdict of History" by Prange.

There are a lot of parallels.


It is a lot easier to fix what is wrong if we let mistakes be mistakes and just fix the system.

Or we can go with the right wing version of the "Bush lied, people died" mantra.


Clinton did what I wanted him to do. He tried to warn me, but I wouldn't listen.

Blame me.

8/17/2005 08:45:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Just that unimpeachably poopy cute you, I guess!

8/17/2005 08:47:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

If we tell the truth, we are bad and something bad will happen as a result.
No wonder you liked Clinton.

8/17/2005 08:49:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

I'm so irresponsible.

8/17/2005 08:52:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Undeniably mad.

8/17/2005 08:52:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Over WHO.

8/17/2005 08:52:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

World health, not world Peace!

8/17/2005 08:53:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Bush is supposedly reading a book about a Flu plague while on vacation.
There are those that think the Trial Lawyers are gonna get us killed by Avian Flu, since they make it unprofitable to make vaccines.

8/17/2005 08:54:00 PM  
Blogger Abakan said...

james h.m. said,

"Nobody knows the struggles I seen...

Struggle- huh! What iiiiis it good for? Absolutely nothing...

Nope. Troubles and war are what we've got, but we'll see them through. 'Struggle' is what some of us did in advanced physics class."

Damn, I can feel the beats now, and see the flashing lights, and feel that skin to skin contact, and I am very close to believing that songs from the sixties offered us wisdoms that should guide us forever....

Unfortunately, I'm sober, and 42, and grew up.

I know the words, unfortunately I no longer see them as truths and wisdoms immune from reason and argument.

Try it again when I'm drunk and maybe we can groove together.

8/17/2005 08:59:00 PM  
Blogger M. Simon said...

Short and simple.

Why weren't the Republicans on top of this during Clinton's term in office?

8/17/2005 09:01:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Kanadahar -
Isn't that in Canuckistan?
Har har.

8/17/2005 09:02:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Why didn't the Police Stop OJ BEFORE he cut their necks?
It's the Police's Fault Damit!
Poor OJ.

8/17/2005 09:03:00 PM  
Blogger M. Simon said...

Second question.

If the Arab Danger folks were so upset why didn't one of them fall on his sword and alert Congress?

Isn't that the job of the military man? To defend the country at the cost of his life and career? Especially an officer.

8/17/2005 09:08:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

You will recall the FBI Man that went public with a book.
Got booked on all the TV shows.
Then the calls went out from HQ.
The guy is a Jerk, cancel the show. least he had right wingnuts to keep him from starving, more than most GI Joes can count on.
But yeah, why not blame them.
Why not blame EVERYBODY BUT the Perp, Right?
How very Liberal!

8/17/2005 09:12:00 PM  
Blogger Jack said...

"Doesn't 'struggle' translate as 'jihad'?"

Perhaps we should get the new Pope to declare a Holy War.

Cedar - you're completely right about 9-11 being necessary to get us going. I'd add another to the list of backpage events, the Phillipines plot. Unfortunately, I think it's going to take another one before we're able to act again, too much societal deadwood. Judging by the Sheehan Circus, this isn't going to end happily.

8/17/2005 09:12:00 PM  
Blogger M. Simon said...

So Doug are you saying that the Republicans in Congress have less responsibility for defending the country than the President?

Clinton kept saying Osama was a menace.

Why weren't the Rs in Congress demanding more forceful action?

8/17/2005 09:13:00 PM  
Blogger M. Simon said...

So why didn't the FBi guy resign and talk?

His pension more important than 3,000 dead?

8/17/2005 09:17:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

You win. I gotta take my meds.
PRESCRIPTION, of course:-)

8/17/2005 09:18:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

He DID talk, that's why the Clinton White house had him banned from MSM.
But I give:
We die for Clinton's sins.
...which will take multiple deaths.

8/17/2005 09:19:00 PM  
Blogger M. Simon said...

I blame Ronal Reagan.

He let 241 Marines die and just blew a bunch of craters in the Lebanese hills with a battle ship.

If he had gone after the jihadis the current mess might have been avoided.


BTW I voted for Bush in the last election. I'm really surprised to learn Bush is a liberal. Coulda fooled me.

8/17/2005 09:21:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Why is it more important to argue over defending Clinton than to study THE TRUTH about what went wrong after all these years of Lies, Stealing Documents, and Commission Coverups?
I know, it interferes with the struggle on terror.

8/17/2005 09:21:00 PM  

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