Sunday, April 23, 2006


Sweetness and Light has noticed that the press has quoted two former counterterrorism experts in defense of Mary McCarthy but omitted one interesting detail, which may or may not be relevant. Here's ABC News report quoting the first expert, Ray McGovern to the effect that McCarthy had a higher duty to "defend the constitution".

To supporters, McCarthy is a woman of conviction who exposed actions she believed were against the law.

"This a matter of principle," said Ray McGovern, a former fellow CIA analyst, "where she said my oath, my promise not to reveal secrets is superceded by my oath to defend the constitution of the U.S."

The second quote, cited by Sweetness and Light, is from a Washington Post feed, and features the second expert, Larry Johnson, who argues that McCarthy was fighting a "whitewash".

Since the revelation in 2004 of prisoner abuses by U.S. military personnel at Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq, the CIA inspector general’s office was charged with examining allegations of torture and other ill treatment of detainees by CIA officers and contractors in Iraq and Afghanistan. The allegations arose, according to sources, from complaints made by others within the agency about wrongdoing. ...

Larry Johnson, a former State Department counterterrorism expert who worked briefly for McCarthy at the CIA in 1988, said Saturday that if McCarthy was really involved in leaks, she may have concluded that the investigation was “a whitewash, and why not tell the press? ... I am struck by the irony that Mary McCarthy may have been fired for blowing the whistle and ensuring the truth about an abuse was told to the American people.”

Then Sweetness and Light notices that both Ray McGovern and Larry Johnson are associated with Daniel Ellsberg's The Truth-Telling Project. For those who are unfamiliar with the name Daniel Ellsberg, here's the Wikipedia entry.

Daniel Ellsberg (born April 7, 1931) is a former American military analyst who precipitated a national uproar in 1971 when he released the Pentagon Papers, the US military's account of activities during the Vietnam War, to The New York Times. His release of the Pentagon Papers succeeded in substantially eroding public support for the war.

Ray McGovern's role is described on this Truth-Telling Project web page.

The Truth-Telling Coalition, comprised of high-level national security truth-tellers, as well as non-profit whistleblower organizations, provides a personal and legal support network for each other and for government insiders considering becoming truth-tellers. Current coalition members include Sibel Edmonds, Daniel Ellsberg, Frank Grevil, Katharine Gun, Ray McGovern, Coleen Rowley, the Project on Government Oversight, and the ACLU. (Bios and info on members will be available on the Truth-Telling Coalition Website, currently under construction.) To see press coverage of the Truth-Telling Coalition, see the Press Coverage page.

Mr. Larry Johnson's involvement is described on this Truth-Telling Project petition to the Danish Government asking for charges to be dropped against "Danish fellow truth-teller, Mr. Frank Grevil" for

leaking three classified “threat assessments” to a Danish newspaper in January/February 2004, in order to substantiate claims made verbatim to the same newspaper. These documents demonstrated that his employer at the time, the Danish Defense Intelligence Service, provided unbalanced intelligence on Iraqi weapons of mass destruction prior to the decision of the Danish Parliament to join the so-called "Coalition of the Willing" in March 2003.


The association of McGovern and Johnson with Daniel Ellsberg's Truth-telling Project neither invalidates their views nor necessarily portrays them in an unfavorable light, unless one happens to believe that being associated with Daniel Ellsberg is pejorative in and of itself. One might even argue that neither the ABC News nor the Washington Post had any duty to inform their readers who these former intelligence and counterterrorist officials were. But the connection is an interesting one to know. Ask yourself: would you rather not have known?

It is probably impossible to banish bias from human beings. But it is important to recognize its existence explictly. People like McGovern and Johnson make a contribution to the debate, as would the John Birch Society, but their viewpoints should be recognized for if their submissions are not to becoming misleading. Without this explicit recognition we skew the sample. The newspapers in quoting these analysts endorsements of McCarthy without qualification are doing no different than presenting a product endorsement from a tout. The tout may well be right about the superiority of his product but it helps if the public knew where they were coming from.

Comment etiquette

Kindly keep the number of comments and their length to a reasonable number and length in the intersts of allowing others to participate


Blogger buddy larsen said...

"Let's just call it part of a parallel Truth-telling Project."

Oh, that's rich--wish it didn't hurt so much--I'd like to laff.

4/23/2006 05:47:00 PM  
Blogger Dan said...

"...the Danish Defense Intelligence Service provided unbalanced intelligence on Iraqi weapons of mass destruction," eh?

wow, this sure is a vast conspiracy. i wonder if it has more to do with the whistleblowers being the same?


4/23/2006 05:48:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

And which position is it that you take? I assume you believe she spilled the beans and broke the law because even if a law was being broken by the president, to let the public know this is unseemly. Anything a president wants to do is above the law etc etc

4/23/2006 05:50:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

When will the Special Prosecutor be named, or will a Federal District Attn take the case to a Grand Jury?

Anything less is going to be comical, espcially when, as our Host related, the story originally led with Mr Libby's photo.

That linkage may come back to bite someone in the ass.

4/23/2006 05:57:00 PM  
Blogger Dave H said...

I am posting in support of Wretchard's repeated (see previous) request not to post so many times that you give the impression of hogging the thread. That said I believe that Doug, Drat, Buddy et al are quite sincere when they think their multiple posts are relevant and interesting, but many of these comments are in fact only interesting to the small cadre of very frequent posters who reply and in effect have a sort of private conversation with each other, in many cases referring to comments in past threads. If they did this all the time you could just skip over them but in fact they are probably what they consider themselves, the backbone of most threads, the do in fact have relevant stuff to say, they just wander off down memory lane to much. I wish everyone would try to write as if this thread is all that a reader will see and try to stay more on topic. The level of acrimony does get too high, a few threads back it got vicious to the point where MIKA posting as "Matusela" or some such said he was leaving the club for good. The other side probably thought "good riddance" but I didn't think so. Enough, I've gone on too long.un

4/23/2006 05:58:00 PM  
Blogger buddy larsen said...

yep, I miss Mika, Rufus, and PeterBoston, and am embarrassed at being a thread hog. I shall forthwith recuse for the nonce. C4 can bring me back, tho--grrrr....

4/23/2006 06:06:00 PM  
Blogger wretchardthecat said...


LOL. I appreciate Doug, Buddy, everyone. I think everyone brings something to the table. But we've got to keep our hair on otherwise the Belmont Club will sooner or later become the Animal House.

4/23/2006 06:18:00 PM  
Blogger topsecretk9 said...

The NYT's included a quote by Larry Johnson (last paragraph) opining Mary was just a Goss sacrificial lamb...Do they owe it to readers to inform them Larry is a member of a group calling for CIA agents to reveal classified info?

Well they thought the VIPS group was worthy of a sympathetic story by Nic Kritsof in May, 2003 ...titled "Save our Spooks" so?


Guess who is quoted? Ray McGovern and Larry Johnson.

4/23/2006 06:21:00 PM  
Blogger The MinuteMan said...

Interesting about the Truth-Tellers.

FWIW, Ray McGovern led a similar organization announced in March 2003 - the Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity:

The 25-member group, Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity, composed mostly of former CIA analysts along with a few operational agents, is urging employees inside the intelligence agency to break the law and leak any information they have that could show the Bush administration is engineering the release of evidence to match its penchant for war.

VIPS member Ray McGovern, a 27-year CIA veteran who gave intelligence briefings to top Reagan officials before retiring in 1990, said the administration has not made the case that Iraq has ties to Al Qaeda and is providing information that does not meet an intelligence professional's standard of proof.

4/23/2006 06:22:00 PM  
Blogger topsecretk9 said...


Here is Larry's personal blog...he is getting testy at people in the comment section

4/23/2006 06:24:00 PM  
Blogger DanMyers said...


From your link -

"The American people were manipulated," bluntly declares one person from the Defense Intelligence Agency who says he was privy to all the intelligence there on Iraq. These people are coming forward because they are fiercely proud of the deepest ethic in the intelligence world — that such work should be nonpolitical — and are disgusted at efforts to turn them into propagandists.

Also -

Ray McGovern, a retired C.I.A. analyst who briefed President Bush's father in the White House in the 1980's, said that people in the agency were now "totally demoralized." He says, and others back him up, that the Pentagon took dubious accounts from émigrés close to Ahmad Chalabi and gave these tales credibility they did not deserve.

Can anyone connect the dots on this? It would be excellent to see a org chart for these people...

4/23/2006 06:29:00 PM  
Blogger Dan said...

David Horowitz will probably offer the nexus on his Discover the Nexus tomorrow or the next day, I'd bet. He's a maniac for this stuff.

4/23/2006 06:40:00 PM  
Blogger DanMyers said...

So everyone doesn't have to read the whole comments section, here's the one I thought was most telling -

from No Quarter Blog

Reckon who wrote this on July 10, 2001? Why, that would be Larry C. Johnson. And they are still quoting you in the NYTs.

"The greatest risk is clear: if you are drilling for oil in Colombia -- or in nations like Ecuador, Nigeria or Indonesia -- you should take appropriate precautions; otherwise Americans have little to fear."


Posted by: Axey | April 23, 2006 at 07:57 PM

4/23/2006 06:42:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

Remember now, LT General Newbold led the charge on Mr Bush using faulty intel. Then Mr Powell picked that ball up the very next day, advanced that Intel ball a few more yards.

Then the Whine of Generals in joined in general dissent

Now a torrent of CIA people, past amd present, take up the banner of the Intel debacle.

A cascade of truth?
A cascade of self serving falsehoods?
Cascading uranium enrichment,
does it equal Cascading dissent.

Many here believe Mr Hersh's portrayal is correct, that the Iranians could never be trusted, that Containment is therefore impossible.

Hopefully the men with tupperware cases are in the mountains and villages of Iran.

But debate another War, in Congress, it'll be a circus.

Just who is the Enemy?

Where or where did the Wahhabists go?

4/23/2006 06:45:00 PM  
Blogger A Jacksonian said...

I wish that I could speak concisely! I do not intend on hogging anything... just my thoughts can no longer be easily put together by me. My apologies to one and all. I shall do my best to refrain in future.

As for this...

WaPo taken in by sock puppets.

News whenever they can get the chance to make it up....ummm... find it from the same source... hmmmmm...

There is a reason I stopped reading the dead tree media. No news is good news.

4/23/2006 06:50:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

From the first time I visited Larry's site, he struck me as one of the sleaziest of the lot.
Dana may be more deceptive, what with the MSM covering up her connections with her husband and his Fenton Pro Cair Anti War Pro Soros, or whatever pack of Rats, but Larry is simply a lying sleaze and loser.
I too miss the presence of members of the club, starting with the recently departed Mika, all the way back to Verc and Lab Rat.
As to dave's complaint about referring to earlier threads, I see your point completely about the personal stuff of which I am of course guilty.
WRT to tying various threads and links and previous on topic comments is concerned, however, I'm all in favor of that, since it is easy to miss or forget something, and the communal mind is a gift for those occasions.
What's a nonce? Are there Nanononces?
WRT 'Rat's comment about the tragic comedy of possibly ANOTHER Big Talk, small stick affair wrt to prosecuting anyone (except GOP when they don't leave on their own)
I agree completely.
Trish made me feel better last nite citing warnings and reduced number of leaks lately, but ultimately, if no-one is prosecuted, it will be back to business as usual only worse as we all know in our adult thinking parts. Wishing otherwise does not make it so.
" A law enforcement official confirmed there was a criminal leaks investigation under way, but it did *not* involve the fired CIA officer."

What the hell's up with that?
Just like the enemy, how much more could be learned with a little more leverage at hand?

4/23/2006 06:56:00 PM  
Blogger trish said...

"Trish made me feel better last nite citing warnings and reduced number of leaks lately, but ultimately, if no-one is prosecuted, it will be back to business as usual only worse..."

Trish has lower expectations, Doug. I look at it this way: Any amount of progress, even temporary, is progress nonetheless.

The Belmont Club is a place of generally and very high expectations - so high, in fact, that an air of unreality sometimes pervades. (Then come the crashing disappointment and frustration with regard to this matter or that.) Rat and others have indicated, not incorrectly, that investing the administration, the congress, or other branches, agencies, and departments of the government with such expectations is not reasonable.

Conservatives, of which I am one, used to know this, before they forgot.

4/23/2006 07:28:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Yeah, but 'Rat doesn't think enforcing the law now and then is too unreal.
Used to be commonplace for lots of laws.
Can you refute that?
(and not the far distant past: look at Duke Cunningham and the rest of the Repubs that have left thanks often to Dem pressure)
(Doug Santo has cautioned us about our daily schizoid trips also, however and that's a valid point.)
Thanks for reminding us about Sweetness and Light, Wretchard, very useful site that I forgot about.

As you can see from link below, Horowitz has been on this before now!
Dana Priest’s Husband Gets Joe Wilson Gigs
Pulitzer Prize winning Dana Priest is

married to William Goodfellow. William Goodfellow is the Executive Director of the the

Center for International Policy (CIP).

Here is what Discover The Networks has to say about the Center For International Policy:

4/23/2006 07:34:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

"Any amount of progress,"
Repeated Threats, unenforced, are *not* progress imo, and are part of GWB's present weakness wrt to both the oppo and the Base.

4/23/2006 07:37:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I find it interesting that not only did the NYT tell us anything about Larry Johnson, but the version of the David Cloud article they ran on the wire seems to have been completely different from the print version, and expunged all information unfavorable to Mary McCarthy.

4/23/2006 07:43:00 PM  
Blogger Meme chose said...

The reason these people can't successfully be prosecuted is the same as in the UK - the prosecutions fail because the defendants can manipulate the trial proceedings to require the release of immense additional amounts of classified information.

This makes dedicated political partisans a long-term menace once they get inside the agencies responsible for national security, which is why it was truly disastrous that Clinton was able to spend eight years appointing and promoting them. Even if you fire them they just get picked up immediately and employed by left-wing foundations as professional leakers and critics (just watch this woman go that route, as several of the people now defending her already did).

This whole process suits the Democrats very well. The more their moles subvert the CIA's activities the less anyone wants to work there except more political hacks determined to see to it that does nothing effective under a Republican administration.

Is any of this sounding familiar? It's how the State Department was permanently rendered useless decades ago.

4/23/2006 07:46:00 PM  
Blogger HK Vol said...

Since when is the best way for a CIA employee to show concern over an issue is by leaking it to the Washington Post or the New York Times? Who made them the arbiter of what secrets should be "leaked" or not?

Where should she have gone instead?
Two suggestions:
The Senate established the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence (SSCI) on 19 May 1976. The House of Representatives followed suit on 14 July 1977 by creating the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence (HPSCI). These two Congressional Committees were set up in large part to address issues of concern such as these.

I have a hard time discerning between Mary McCarthy and Benedict Arnold. If she had problems / issues with this subject, she should have gone to a Senate or House member on the respective Committees. Not the New York Times or Washington Post.

4/23/2006 07:47:00 PM  
Blogger John (Useful Fools) said...

McCarthy is attacking the very basis of Democracy by secretly elevating the opinion of a bureaucrat above that of elected officials.

She had a way to do this right: use the internal mechanisms of the CIA. If that didn't work, and still felt that constitutional duty, she should have made her opinion known publicy.

In other words, by being a leaker, she was a coward. That destroys any "constitutional" justification.

If she doesn't have the courage of her convictions, she should be convicted for her actions. Even had she gone public, she should have been prosecuted so a court could sort it out. That's how the military handles a similar situation: violation of a direct order for "good" reasons such as preventing atrocities.

4/23/2006 07:58:00 PM  
Blogger trish said...

"Yeah, but 'Rat doesn't think enforcing the law now and then is too unreal.
Used to be commonplace for lots of laws.
Can you refute that?"

Ummm. No.

But we quite apprently don't inhabit a time and place called 'Used To'. So what're gonna do, Ranger, what're gonna do?

(Not a taunt.)

4/23/2006 08:13:00 PM  
Blogger fred said...

Please let it be known that we now have two contributors named "fred" and I would like to somehow be able to convey the difference in identity. Since I do not want to go through the process of establishing another identity, I will sign my comments at the end as "fred, New Hampshire."

4/23/2006 08:16:00 PM  
Blogger Karridine said...

" the interests of telling the truth..." I cannot tell a lie: I got my website back, and will continue to support and develop articles from Belmont, Gates of Vienna, Fjordman and others:

4/23/2006 08:20:00 PM  
Blogger fred said...

I agree with everything that meme chose wrote about the moles of the Left undermining government agencies' missions. This is, for all practical purposes sedition, because its aim is to erode the policies of elected officials and subvert our foreign policy. I have thought so for some time. "meme chose" writes as someone who seems to have a grasp of the legal hurdles which this process of subversion erect. Nevertheless, despite the risks of having to use classified documents in a public trail of these traitors it is in the long run interests of the people and their government that we undergo the inconvenience and pain associated with this public flogging. It must be done in order to stop the forward momentum of this deconstruction of our intelligence community. This is not a can you can kick down the road. Hit these people hard now and they will find that the price they have to pay for their perfidy is too much to bear.

signed: fred, New Hampshire

4/23/2006 08:32:00 PM  
Blogger trish said...

"So what're *ya* gonna do, Ranger, what're *ya* gonna do?"

A prompt for the ages.

4/23/2006 08:40:00 PM  
Blogger buddy larsen said...

Andrew C. McCarthy, a former federal prosecutor, is a senior fellow at the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies, and has some subtle unpleasantries.

4/23/2006 10:13:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This quote from the MSNBC article is slightly off topic but is revealing in a way which the author did not intend.

A former intelligence official, who asked not to be named because of the sensitivity of the issue, said he knew of CIA officials who had refused to attend meetings related to the rendition -- or capture and transfer -- of suspected terrorists, because of opposition or anxiety about the legality of the practice. "They believe that if one chamber of Congress goes to the other party, there will be investigations, and those involved could be impoverished by legal fees."

This is not the first time, I have read of CIA officers worried about being improverished by legal fees. I read an interesting Atlantic Monthly article some years back that described how the CIA had been diminished during the Clinton years. CIA Agents were strongly advised to obtain Legal Services insurance policies.

My interpretation is that the CIA officers fear prosecution by the Democrat Party.

4/23/2006 10:15:00 PM  
Blogger ledger said...

This whole Mary McCarthy and Co. leak just reeks of partisan politics.

Just thinking of individuals such as Mary McCarthy, Ray McGovern and Larry Johnson of the "Truth-Telling Coalition" plastering secret information from our nation's prime intelligence agency all over the nightly news makes me shudder.

I agree with Rat that the book should be thrown at McCarthy and Co. Letting this thing slide lightly by will only encourage more leaks.

I agree with Doug and DanMyers that Larry Johnson is a self-serving sleaze-ball. And, I would not be surprised to find his great career as a "State Department counterterrorism expert" to be inflated.

Meme chose makes a good point about why these leakers are hard to prosecute => it leads to more leaks. But, there must be some way of successfully prosecuting these individuals sworn to secrecy who effectively commit sedition.

Fred (from New Hampshire) said it concisely: "Hit these people hard now and they will find that the price they have to pay for their perfidy is too much to bear." I agree with that. And, the quicker the better.

4/23/2006 10:42:00 PM  
Blogger buddy larsen said...

Whit's "My interpretation is that the CIA officers fear prosecution by the Democrat Party" is spot on. the other side of the coin of the politicization of government is the criminalization of politics.

They well know that one can indict a ham sandwich, and also that they're the ones--the only ones--who'll stoop to doing it.

4/23/2006 10:51:00 PM  
Blogger genwolf said...

If Mary McCarthy's concern was to defend the constitution I find it strange that she did not avial herself of a constitional means of raising her concerns that did not violate her duty as a servant sworn to uphold the constittionally established chain of command. She could have raised her concerns with the Congressional intelligence oversight commitee, or even directly with her elected congressman or senator.

The Idea that every employee of those government agencies who apply the decisions determined by an elected executive Authority are to be self appointed supreme Courts able to issue rulings on the constittionality of executive orders at any time on their own account, is an exceedingly strange way to maintain that one is upholding the constitution.

The even more absurd claim is of intelligence officers who have been transperently politically partisan in their own disloyalty complaining about the politicisation. A tu Quoque of amazing chutzpah.

4/23/2006 11:09:00 PM  
Blogger buddy larsen said...

Such "amazing chutzpah" is the luxury of a faction untroubled by any watchdog.

4/23/2006 11:52:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

In Your Dreams, Buddy!

4/24/2006 04:58:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

re: 10:51 PM
We're powerless, powerless!
I tell you, before their
Invincible Force Field of Corruption!
Or is it a self-defined quagmire hiding behind a New Tone?
Bang the drums!
Poke the Priest.
Bang em and Hang em!

4/24/2006 05:07:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

Or, put more reasonably,
" It must be done in order to stop the forward momentum of this deconstruction of our intelligence community. This is not a can you can kick down the road.
Hit these people hard now and they will find that the price they have to pay for their perfidy is too much to bear.
(I'm really like Fred in person, and he mirrors my online persona at home.)

4/24/2006 05:12:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

Trish 8:40 PM,
Well, one thing I WON'T be doing is coming up with rationalizations like Bud does for why it CAN'T be done!
At another site folks post that they would be inconvenienced by returning to law and order wrt legal vs illegal workers.
Their attitude toward the plight of the border states could be summed up by:
"That's THEIR problem"
(So what if 5 states become as corrupt and backwards as Mexico?)
As if sacrifice, even minor sacrifice is not one of the NECESSARY Costs of Liberty.
Same for the endlessly repeated "Conservative" Mantra of:
"It wouldn't be good for the economy."
As if it is an honorable thing to sell our souls to the Devil and discard our great country's heritage.
Has "Conservatism's" defining trait become COMPROMISE?
Rat hits the beach soon, I'm a walk away: F... It?
The "Conservative" Culture of Corruption:
Chertoff gets tough with employers of illegals Oh Goody!

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

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

4/24/2006 05:29:00 AM  
Blogger kstagger said...

I recently finished the book 'Will' by G. Gordon Liddy - at one time the CIA was providing men and material for him to damage the DNC. Now it would seem that the CIA has been taken over by the left to damage the GOP.

At one time you could count on the CIA for its almost unlimited budget and strong anti-communist members. But now the 60s generation has come to power, filled the ranks, and diluted a once powerful institution. It's no wonder that the DoD prefers to go alone.

4/24/2006 05:41:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

That proves it , doug, it was all Mr Clinton's fault.
Lack of enforcement = Mr Clinton, Clinton!!! Clinton!!!, what BS.

Some thinngs must be Mr Bush's resposibilitiy, after 5 years, no?

Iran's cascade, how do we blame Mr Clinton?
Iraq's political infighting, Mr Clinton?
Syrian infiltration into Iraq, Mr Clinton?
The good economy, Mr Clinton as well?

Maybe that is who we all should speak to, the one responsible.

Five tears, fellows.
If a President does not have his team in place, after Five Years, well, it's easy to assume he never will get his Team on the field.

4/24/2006 06:08:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

It is sad that so many posters, here, believe Mr Bush and his Team to be so inept and Mr Clinton and his team so omnipotent.
So many tell that tale.
It must be true
or an Urban myth.

4/24/2006 06:12:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

I mean, just whose Justice Dept got that Ms Martha conviction, as well as Jail time for Ms Stewart?
That really moved US forward.
Security of the Nation enhanced.

5,000 more illegals successfully infiltrated the Nation last night, about the same number were detained. Those detainees, they'll be back again, next week.

If at first you don't succeed, try, try, again.

4/24/2006 06:20:00 AM  
Blogger buddy larsen said...

yeh--I'm disappointed, too--especially since I'm so so deserving of perfection. I think I'll just curl up in the middle of the road and wait for an 18 wheeler to come hiballin thru and make it all better.

4/24/2006 06:27:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

As I approach the input allotment for the day, I'll leave trish with the answer to her question

I'll Lead the Way, ma'am.

Like my Daddy said,
"do somethin', even if it's wrong"

Anyone that just wore the tab, they'd know that answer, trish.

4/24/2006 06:32:00 AM  
Blogger buddy larsen said...

Have some vision for breakfast! It helps your brain perform better!

4/24/2006 06:33:00 AM  
Blogger buddy larsen said...

While we're singin' the blues--what d'you make of this--from Newsweek, no less?

4/24/2006 06:44:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

I had my vision about a year ago, buddy.
I do agree with Mr Sharansky about one thing, with regards Mr Bush and his Policy.

"... I agree with the president that promoting democracy is critical for international security. But I believe that too much focus has been placed on holding quick elections, while too little attention has been paid to help build free societies by protecting those freedoms--of conscience, speech, press, religion, etc.--that lie at democracy's core. ... "

We needed to win the War, prior to imposing the Peace.

According to Mr Bush, we have yet to win the War and are further from Victory than ever, decades in fact.
I am afraid we will find Mr Miliki to fit into this descriptive, from Mr Sharansky

" ... such a mistaken approach is one of the reasons why a terrorist organization such as Hamas could come to power through ostensibly democratic means in a Palestinian society long ruled by fear and intimidation. ... "

Exchange Palistine for Iraq, Hamas for SCIRI or Mr Miliki of the al-Jaafari faction.

The Vision thing is great,
Victory would be better

But then, Iran and the Mullahs as well as the Iraqis they support are not the Enemy. Right?

The US War is still against Sunni Insurgents?

4/24/2006 06:52:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

Just as Mr Cheney said, a Long War.

But there were those that believed the US would never turn the Panama Canal over to the Chicoms, without a fight. That we'd be there, always.
That Howard AFB was to "valuable" a location to lose.
Now the USAF stages out of Ecuador.

Subic Bay is another example of an enduring Occupation, that ended.

Let US not even begin to talk of the airports and assets in 'Nam that were abandoned.

4/24/2006 07:00:00 AM  
Blogger buddy larsen said...

I agree with the thrust of your argument, rat. My point of contention is that the things you want, are in progress--it's a matter of time to work them out. "Faster, Please" is great, but, jeez--don't we have people working the project, and isn't it our job to help explain that? As opposed to relentless denigration?

Here's the letter I just now wrote to the Sharansky article's comments section--maybe they'll post it later:

Yep--the blood & treasure bill for war on terror is drawing near to the bill for 911 (nice to've had only the one 911, but nevermind), and so it's little wonder that George Bush is becoming "a prophet without honor in his own land" (as the Book of Matthew is misquoted).

We're all bean counters now, and since the payoff for the Iraq war is all in the future, all in building the odds against a future world oil war between the forces of market vs the forces of extortion, and since this future can be built only upon a healthier mideast politics, and since the effort to build such is reported only in the bloody breach, then why not just damn George Bush in the present, in punishment for the demands of that future?

After all, there are lots of better ideas around (as well as worse ones, from bin Laden and ilk), for, you know, the future of mankind and all, and I'm sure that any day now, whoever's got 'em will be telling us about 'em. The better ideas, I mean.

4/24/2006 08:04:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

" ... In February 1848 Rep. Abraham Lincoln explained his opposition to the Mexican War: "Allow the President to invade a neighboring nation, whenever he shall deem it necessary to repel an invasion and you allow him to do so whenever he may choose to say he deems it necessary for such purpose -- and you allow him to make war at pleasure [emphasis added]. . . . If, today, he should choose to say he thinks it necessary to invade Canada to prevent the British from invading us, how could you stop him? You may say to him, 'I see no probability of the British invading us'; but he will say to you, 'Be silent; I see it, if you don't.' " ... "

Trust me, I see it.
As did Mr Lincoln.

You say things are in progress, buddy.
The way I see it, we have already hit the "high water mark" and now we're headed to the drainage swamp.

Democracy, ala Mr Maliki is not progress, it is "same as Saddam"
according to Mr Rumsfeld, if we were to leave.

If that is the revised definition of progress, fire Mr Rumsfeld for speaking the old school truth.

4/24/2006 08:27:00 AM  
Blogger JSAllison said...

Hmm, Clinton era hires and appointees are doing their bit to undermine the current administration in the service of a 'greater good'. This is a surprise, how, exactly?

4/24/2006 08:49:00 AM  
Blogger Doug Santo said...

At the risk of offending some of the folks who post here, the comment section often reads like a soap opera or chat room. There are a few people who post here that keep up a running commentary between themselves almost everyday. You know who you are.

Other people, like Cedarford for instance, insist on name-calling and extreme hyperbolic rhetoric.

I have often left intending not to come back, but Wretchard's analysis and commentary is usually good stuff, even when I disagree.

Doug Santo
Pasadena, CA

4/24/2006 08:56:00 AM  
Blogger Habu_1 said...

OK so I'm back. Fishing poor in Montana right now.

Let me say in the matter of the CIA leaker, Darling Mary.
As a former CIA intelligence officer I know a bit about 'The Company" or did in the 70',early 80's.(It's not the same place now though)
#1 There's nothing in the Constitution about outing US secrets "for a higher purpose..that's bull sh*t.
#2 She should be tried and hanged for espionage and sedition.
#3 It has become apparent that a cabal of Clintonistas are working aginst the US interests, They should be hanged as well ..ALL,of them including the Ringmeister.
#4 Guess the number of grams of coke and the number of joints or bong hits trashy President Clinton took while working in the White House. Atta boys & girls awarded.
Now I think I'll get down to the border and do some fence work.

4/24/2006 09:12:00 AM  
Blogger DanMyers said...


I'm going to call you on this one.... You bemoan the loss of Subic and Howard. Do you want to leave Iraq now?

You've heard my argument on this before.... We need troop strength in Iraq. What are you proposing?

4/24/2006 09:13:00 AM  
Blogger Brett L said...


Treason and sedition are easily proven in monarchies and dictatorships. It is far less clear what is and is not "aid and comfort" and who is or is not "an enemy" in republican (ie representative democratic) governments. Also, intent plays a factor. The president is NOT the nation as the king would be. It is not treason to act against him, unless you be acting to explicitly help an enemy of the nation.

All of that said, I think it shows a distinct lack of integrity to fight the White House by calling the WaPost if you work in the White House. However, I think it is a very, very bad idea to raise the hue and cry of treason or sedition. As the NYT found out, petard doth hoist whatever is on top of it when lit, careful lest you be hoist on your own.

4/24/2006 09:33:00 AM  
Blogger buddy larsen said...

I took him to mean that we've survived the Canal, Howard, Subic, Cam Ranh Bay, so, we could survive a mideast pullout, too.

Boone Pickens--the Cassandra of hydrocarbon supply--says that tho new fields come and old ones go, the 80+mm bpd the planet produces today will most likely--based on geological truth--never be exceeded. Yet global demand--today @ 80+ mm bpd--will double in 20, if not 10, years.

Assume a loss of the current open auction (say we've left the mideast and something less open has filled the vacuum). Assume a rival has ample supply at less cost.

The differential, depending on its size, will bias this country toward becoming either a garrison, or a vassal, state, over time.

Does the future count, or only the past and present?

4/24/2006 09:35:00 AM  
Blogger DanMyers said...


Possibly, but to read it that way you would need to believe that losing Subic and Howard were OK. If I have read DR correctly... He doesn't.

Not that I've ever been wrong reading other people....

4/24/2006 09:57:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

Although over my allotment for the day, as well as heading out the door...

The building of bases in Iraq, does not mean we will be staying. It means we are building bases.

We have abandoned many of them, as it suits US interests. The Bases are no foreteller of permanence.

My position on the US force structure in Iraq remains the same, given the Mission, in Iraq.
When the Mission expands...
35,000 US troops deployeed within the ISF, like the KATUSA progam, but with US troops in the minority role.
Prepositioned equipment, as required and about 25,000 troops to defend it and the USAF that remains behind.

4/24/2006 10:13:00 AM  
Blogger buddy larsen said...

Will the Han People allocate fairly through an open auction market? Will an OPEC run by a Caspian axis?

Or will the USA, that go-to for tsunamis, world wars against tyranny, asteroid collisions, and invasions from Mars--USA, the polyglot amalgam nation of all races, the mongrel melting pot with irons in every fire, the immigrant nation that came together by choice rather than historical determinism, and did so under an agreed law enforced by the masses--?

Is the USA the best bet--due to its intrinsic market orientation--to manage the energy needs in the interests of the whole world?

No? Then who is? And if no one will manage it--what then?

4/24/2006 10:18:00 AM  
Blogger Habu_1 said...

Your sophistry is buncombe.

Because sedition is more easily proven in dictatorships and monarchies isn't a valid or rational argument that it hasn't happened in this case.
That the leadership of the Democratic Party are antithetical to this country is to deny gravity exists.
Flush out your headgear,fella.

4/24/2006 10:21:00 AM  
Blogger Dan said...

Brett - but such disclosures violate procedures erected to protect the nation's - the sovereign's - secrets. This is not a political question, it is a legal question. The New York Times is covered by First Amendment; employees of the Central Intelligence Agency who've taken the oath are not, with respect to classified intelligence product. Subordinating these procedures - and thereby the classified character of the information - to the political or moral opinions of individual employees obliterates the whole structure, particularly when there are internal procedures with which to address the problem.

This person is a mole and a traitor to the authority vested in her by the Executive, to which the CIA is directly subordinate. Politically it would probably be Sacco-Vanzetti disastrous to hang her (cf. Newsweek's latest assessment that "the Left" in Europe are - oh my! - Bolsheviks), but doesn't mean doesn't need hangin'. And it doesn't matter Who is in office. Just because popularish sentiment runs the transnationalist way - which after all is complete 'oh Paris is so cool!' crap - doesn't mean it has any super-political justification.

4/24/2006 10:22:00 AM  
Blogger Dan said...

Brett - but such disclosures violate procedures erected to protect the nation's - the sovereign's - secrets. This is not a political question, it is a legal question. The New York Times is covered by First Amendment; employees of the Central Intelligence Agency who've taken the oath are not, with respect to classified intelligence product. Subordinating these procedures - and thereby the classified character of the information - to the political or moral opinions of individual employees obliterates the whole structure, particularly when there are internal procedures with which to address the problem.

This person is a mole and a traitor to the authority vested in her by the Executive, to which the CIA is directly subordinate. Politically it would probably be Sacco-Vanzetti disastrous to hang her (cf. Newsweek's latest assessment that "the Left" in Europe are - oh my! - Bolsheviks), but doesn't mean doesn't need hangin'. And it doesn't matter Who is in office. Just because popularish sentiment runs the transnationalist way - which after all is complete 'oh Paris is so cool!' crap - doesn't mean it has any super-political justification.

4/24/2006 10:22:00 AM  
Blogger geoffgo said...


I hear a lot of talk about alternative fuels; I don't see much action. One of the greatest wastes of gasoline is grid-lock; in every city, everyday. Yet, pedestrians still have the right-of-way.

Our elected officials (both parties) appear to be willing to let our problems get worse, just so some new "agency" can be created to not solve it, forever. How again, does adding a layer of bureaucracy fix something that's broken work? Like the new DNI superstructure?

And, why don't we have a "Manhattan Project" to build refineries, nuke power plants and drilling in ANWAR and off-shore?
What's that...the legal and time-delay will double or triple the cost of any solutions? You're against oil platforms because they ruin you view?

And, why isn't there a demand from the voters to take the annual pork expenditure, and direct it at solving the energy and border problems?

Maybe because only 5% of the seats up for reelection are at risk? Or, perhaps because the Supremes say that term limits are unconstitional?

How much worse can the system get, than when in 5-8 years, the number of folks working for govt's (local, state, fed) or living on the dole, outnumber the workers? Add the folks working for NGOs, that get much of their funding from govt and tax-exempt charities, and we almost at that point already. Is that why politicians from both parties want more illegal immigrant workers, to feed the system?

4/24/2006 10:42:00 AM  
Blogger Habu_1 said...

Thanks for being there to explain what I can't express as eloquently.

Good to read you again. You're a much finer grit sandpaper than I and can thus sculpt without gouging.

* I reserve the right to remain course and gritty ... soothes my

4/24/2006 10:47:00 AM  
Blogger buddy larsen said...

Sh*t, you got me, Geoffgo. The garden has grown awful rank since we quit weeding.

Will say that private capital is flowing rapidly into the energy sector--especially alternative.

Refiners and solar/wind/biomass/ethanol as well as shale and tar sands, all the quality enterprises have near-doubled if not trebled their market cap over the last year.

This will show up in due time, on the supply side--and thus, the price side, depending on rate of demand growth. I'm like you, it's bizzare how many 8 cylinders are hauling one dude around the freeways even at $3.

4/24/2006 10:54:00 AM  
Blogger Brett L said...

habu & dan:

I do not disagree that if Ms. McCarthy did as she is accused she broke an oath and committed a crime.

I will reiterate, be careful about throwing the word treason around. Someone might pass a law making a treason conviction easier. I am still not conviced that the actions Ms. McCarthy is accused of intentionally provided aid and comfort to declared enemies of the nation.

Count me among the people who don't want treason convictions to be easy to come by, even with overwhelming evidence.

4/24/2006 12:00:00 PM  
Blogger Dan said...

No problem, habu. Anything like this "the norm" while you were at CIA? They keep telling us leaks are a cultural given there. I'm a novice, and have no opinion on that. In any case, whatever IS leaked, i'd hope it were at least part of an operation, directed against our enemies. I've seen the fascimiles of a lot of the KGB stuff, for example.

4/24/2006 12:03:00 PM  
Blogger DANEgerus said...

I've been compiling furiously for days on this... please loot these links:

Mary McCarthy(D)

This McCarthy is waving a list of known... Patriots...

Not Sen. Rockefeller(D)... not yet...

4/24/2006 12:08:00 PM  
Blogger Habu_1 said...

Brett & Dan
The CIA during my years was still run by men who were from WWII and the OSS. Men who David Halberstam wrote of as "The Best and the Brightest" These were men in the mold of Wild Bill Donovan and William Colby. Colby set up the French reisitence after parachuting into France years before D-day.
The Company changed dramatically and almost overnight with the election of Jimma Carter and the installation of Stansfield Turner as DCI. They decimated the Agency, politized it and corrupted it's mission.
Following their treachery the Democratically controlled Senate held hearings under the chairmanship of Frank Church who demanded that every wrong ever committed be brought to light.
Lenin's "Useful Idiots" got what they wanted.
All the talent retired and a hollow, inexperienced, pandering body of Carter/Stansfield sychophants were left.
It is direct line back to them ...ask any of the remaining OSS people, they'll tell you the same thing.
I had the honor of talking to Edward Teller on more than one occasion and he even remarked about the change.
Finally, Porter Goss, current DCI, should have been attuned to the Clinton holdovers and immediately repolygraphed them can be polygraphed at any time for any least in my day.

4/24/2006 12:28:00 PM  
Blogger HS said...

Ray McGovern has a history of spreading all sorts of nonsense. He is one of those who has said that Iraq is an Israel/neo-con conspiracy, Bush being under their thumb and following orders. Sound familiar? See:

4/24/2006 12:38:00 PM  
Blogger Eggplant said...

These MSM news releases where "a former CIA analyst" says one thing and "a former State Department counterterrorism expert" says another makes me wonder why these guys are "former" and not still working for the CIA and State Department. Also, didn't these guys sign nondisclosure agreements? Supposably their jobs involved them having daily contact with highly classified information. If they're blabbing about their former trade, aren't they violating their nondisclosure agreements?

4/24/2006 12:51:00 PM  
Blogger Ash said...


you linked to an article way up the thread Why Isn’t She in Cuffs?

Which brings up some interesting...contradictions, or ironies.

Addrew C. McCarthy wrote:

"McCarthy had access to classified information about our wartime national defense activities by virtue of her official position at the CIA. The compromise of that information appears to have been devastating to U.S. intelligence efforts — in wartime, no less."

Wartime? Are there specific constitutional changes that occur during wartime? Have we formally declared war and thus triggered these constitutional changes? The answer to both is no! We have not formally declared war and (as far as I can tell) there are no specific constitutional adjustments made when at war (please correct me if I am wrong).

So, if we are at war and these secret prisons Mary McCarthy leaked about are being used to house these people we capture and interrogate in this war are they not prisoners of war and they should be treated as such? Mary was right to leak the information if we are not treating the prisoners as we have obligated ourselves to do.

If we are not at war, then Mary was right to leak the information because the public has a right to know if their government is operating secret prisons in other nations. In either case it seems to be a long shot that anyone will try to criminally prosecute her because these throny issues will have to be dealt with in a public forum.

4/24/2006 12:56:00 PM  
Blogger fred said...


Show us the legal statutes that waiver the terms of her contract and the obligations of her employment to declassify information that only the CIC has the authority to declassify. Who appointed her to be the judge and adjudicator of this detainment program? Where does the Constitution bestow upon captured jihadis the rights of American citizens? Plus, as non-signatories of the Geneva Conventions, these militant members of the Islamic ummah do not have legal standing on those statutes.

This woman had access to channels of political recourse for her ethical rectitude. The most important being the intelligence and foreign relations committees.

Her actions were irresponsible in the extreme, because she appointed herself as the arbiter of what is to be declassified and what is not to be declassified.

signed: fred, New Hampshire

4/24/2006 01:12:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

The men my son works with keep Secure Compartmentalized Information secure and compartmentalized.
His job consists of nothing ELSE but securing the information, ie, that is his "product."
"Mere" Secure information they also keep secure.
Divulging the nature of their work would not be considered a gross violation, but they make a habit of not doing it anyway, as it is a good practice.

Everyone I know that worked w/nuclear materials/warheads or on subs or Nuke facilities were equally fastidious.
I STILL don't know *for sure* if the missiles we carried around in field exercises in Korea had their Nuke warheads waiting for them back at the base.
Although we were not SUPPOSED to have them, I'd bet they did, cause otherwise they sure were getting a lot of security practice for nothing with their guard dogs, multiple fences and walls, and etc!

When my best friend worked for Lockheed Missiles and Space on the early recon satellites, he told me NOTHING about them of a secure nature, and in fact still wouldn't decades later.

Unusual? Not really, standard practice for the plebes in the field as the elite crooks that give it all away in Washington go Scot free in the name of a New Tone.
Slap a Clintonista's wrist, or give Bergler a $10,000 fine, that is "Progress," as is getting rid of Tenet 4 years later, or starting to polygraph lying Clintonistas 5 years after you get in office, even tho Clinton simply cleaned house and put in his Crooks at the giddyup: We will be rewarded in Heaven for playing by Roberts Rules, and in Heaven the Dems will have to also!
THAT's when we get our Revenge, and THAT's when the Dems get their just deserts.
(The Gospel according to Compassionate George)

And, of course G_d will reward us for preserving the environment of the Gulf off the Coast of Florida.

More illegals than Clinton is progress, prosecuting Duke, Mary Stewart, and Libby while letting Bergler, McCarthy, Clarke, and Gorelick capitalize on their crime and corruption is progress, don'tcha see?
Rome wasn't built in a day, was it?
Since we're the KATUSAS now, do we get to stand on the stools?

4/24/2006 01:18:00 PM  
Blogger skipsailing said...

The fundamental message in Ash's post is straightforward: Mary Mc Carthy did the right thing.

Fred takes his argument apart, but it is still amazing that someone could really believe that damaging our war effort, as Ms McCarthy did is "right".

It's just part of Ash's persistent anti American POV. In short, Ash seems to believe that what Mary Mc Carthy did was right because it hurt America.

4/24/2006 01:35:00 PM  
Blogger Ash said...

no, skipsailing, not right because it hurt America, but right because as a US citizen I have a right to know if the US government is operating secret detention centers in foreign countries.

4/24/2006 01:39:00 PM  
Blogger buddy larsen said...

As a US citizen I have a right not to have my nation harmed by Ash.

4/24/2006 01:47:00 PM  
Blogger buddy larsen said...

Where are our two aforementioned rights spelled out, Ash? And how on earth could you miss ALL the relevant points in that NRO article?

4/24/2006 01:50:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...


According to the Attn General, President Bush and Senator Biden the United States has declared War twice since 9-11-2001.
The first, the Authorization for use of Force, 14 Sep 01 gives the President carte blanche War Powers.
according to Senator Biden, who wrote the Authorization.

The second Declaration of War was the Authorization for use of Force in Iraq. Also authored by Senator Biden, also a Declaration of War.

I did not believe they were Declarations of War, either Ash, but Senator Biden left no room for doubt. He says they qualify in every legal respect.

The Congress has preapproved the President's decisions.
He really is, by the 14 Sep Authorization, the decider in chief.

More than you could ever like.
But the Congress, they Acted.

4/24/2006 01:54:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

brett repeats the Dem/MSM Big Lie:

"I do not disagree that *if*, Ms. McCarthy did as she is accused she broke an oath and committed a crime."
She has ADMITTED she did it brett, so it is only "if" in the MSM's alternate reality Universe, as is "She is ALLEGED to have..."
But hey, I'm with you: Mustn't be overly punitive with working mothers that violate their oath of employment, duty to country in time of war, and etc. We are a feminized, compassionate, politically correct lot these days, Liberal and "Conservative."
(and useful idiots and corrupt sell-outs are more than welcome too!)
Hey Ash, it's been FOUR DAYS and you still haven't answered my question about why these patriots didn't Rat Out Bubba when HE practiced rendition!
Tough question to finesse?

4/24/2006 01:59:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...


(a) IN GENERAL- That the President is authorized to use all necessary and appropriate force against those nations, organizations, or persons he determines planned, authorized, committed, or aided the terrorist attacks that occurred on September 11, 2001, or harbored such organizations or persons, in order to prevent any future acts of international terrorism against the United States by such nations, organizations or persons. ... "

4/24/2006 02:04:00 PM  
Blogger Ash said...

Desert Rat,

If a formal declaration of War has been made by congress what specifically changes in the presidents powers, anything? Do secrecy laws change? I've seen nothing in the constitution relating to 'war powers'. I believe he can use the armed forces to attack but what else is involved?

Buddy, was congress informed about these secret prisons or did they find out like the rest of us?

4/24/2006 02:05:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

In Ash's universe "doug" and his questions don't exist.
(see "doug's" 1:59 PM)

4/24/2006 02:07:00 PM  
Blogger Ash said...

DR, I've seen you answered before I asked. Thanks.

doug, I mostly have been skipping your posts due to the copious number of them that you make.

Running secret prisons in other countries is more involved then rendering prisoners to other countries. I would like to know if Bubba sent folks of to other countries to be tortured in order to extract information. If someone in the know knows I hope they rat him out.

4/24/2006 02:10:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

You are beneath contempt, "Ash."

4/24/2006 02:11:00 PM  
Blogger buddy larsen said...

Ash, congrats on the shamelessness!

4/24/2006 02:13:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

He can suspend habeous corpus, amongst other things, none of which are very Civil Libertarian.

Arrest and detain, without Warrant.
Whole litney of bad stuff.

Military Tribunals, suspend the Bill of Rights to defend it.
Just like burnin' that village in 'Nam.

The fact that detentions, deportations and other nasty things are not happening, while Authorized, is a testament to Mr Bush's respect for the Bill of Rights and Liberty in General.

Read the Constitution and reference the Presidental powers. Not the Bill of Rights, the Constitution, itself. You'll be shocked at what he or any President could legally do.

4/24/2006 02:15:00 PM  
Blogger buddy larsen said...

May the Dove of future 911s, and of the collapse of your national social compact, fly up your nose!

4/24/2006 02:17:00 PM  
Blogger fred said...

I await from Ash information and explanation of where the Constitution spells it out that American citizens have a "right" to know the whereabouts of ummah jihadis after they have been captured. I await the legal brief in this matter. Please do not disappoint me AS I AM GENUINELY INTERESTED in how it is justified. Ash, I may be a conservative, but that does not mean I do not have an open mind. And by the way, many years ago I used to be a Leftist. I may have a bias against the jihadis in favor of my government and the protection of its citizens, but I am also fair minded enough to respect the well constructed, legal exposition of your reasoning.

signed: fred, New Hampshire

4/24/2006 02:23:00 PM  
Blogger Alexis said...

There are two ways I know of to deal with bias.

One is to try to eliminate one's own bias. Or have "balanced" commentary. The problem, though, is -- "Balanced with what?"

"Fairness" and "balance" essentially balances one's own opinions with the majority culture of one's area. "Objectivity" in a hippie milieu is not necessarily the same as "objectivity" in a Mafia milieu or within an AME church. One's cultural environment tends to shape if not the content of one's opinions then the form of expression of those opinions so they will not be offensive to one's audience.

On the other side, you've got the British media. You need to read four or five different newspapers to figure out what is actually going on, and even then, one's perspective is skewed. It's a lot like South African history, really. As a rule, every historian of South Africa has an axe to grind and an ideological perspective to defend, to the extent that one could wonder if six different descriptions of the exact same event actually describe the exact same event.

And this leads to the inherent philosophical problem of news coverage -- an Andy Warhol painting of a soup can is not the soup can itself. I think the best a journalist can try to do is describe the situation around him as accurately as he can, and have enough humility to understand that no amount of reporting will give his readers or viewers a completely accurate explanation of what is going on around him.

4/24/2006 02:29:00 PM  
Blogger buddy larsen said...

"The Public Has A Right To Know"

Citizen Ash proclaimed!

"But what about MY right to NOT know?"

ask I, "Would it be likewise framed?"

4/24/2006 02:33:00 PM  
Blogger DanMyers said...


As a citizen of the United States, you DO NOT have the right to know about "Secret Prisons". What you have the right to do though, is make your complaints to the proper authorities, and vote. What you DON"T HAVE is the RIGHT to know.

Surely you don't think secret plans are for everyone, or then again, you might... You apparently didn't know we were at war..

Rather than deride, I guess I should try to educate myself. Please link any sources (law) that state everyone has the right to know, wartime or not.

Fred - NH - you beat me to it. Still, I must.....

Buddy - Man, my typing is slooww

4/24/2006 02:36:00 PM  
Blogger Deuce ☂ said...

My two favorite rights are "The Right to Know" and "The Right to Privacy". If you have the right to know you impinge on someones privacy. If you have the right to privacy, you keep someone from knowing.

If you have the right to think. Or if you think, it will be obvious you cannot have the right to know and the right of privacy.

You have neither. Whether you ever did, you gave them up a long time ago. If you care that you have a credit score, you do not care if you have the right to privacy.

You know what I mean?

4/24/2006 02:47:00 PM  
Blogger Ash said...

I am still trying to figure out how my rights as a US citizen change under war. I checked out the constitution as per Desert Rats recommendation and I don't see anything there specifying how the constitution changes when war is declared. Maybe I'm missing something obvious but if someone could point it out in the constitution I would appreciate it.

US Constitution

4/24/2006 02:56:00 PM  
Blogger buddy larsen said...

The white House, Autumn, 1944--

the president's secretary:

"Excuse me, Mr. President, but Ash is in the office, demanding a full report on the Manhattan Project."

"Oh, rats," said FDR suddenly drooping, "...I had so hoped to keep it secret...ah well, so much for avoiding those millions of invasion him in...I'll get Oppenheimer on the horn...Ash has a right to know the technical end...."

"Yes sir right away sir," said the secretary, turning toward the door and beckoning an annoyed-looking Ash, who marched into the Oval wagging his index finger.

"Now see here, Roosevelt," huffed Ash, "What's all this government secrecy? I Do have RIGHTS, y'know!"

and so on....

4/24/2006 02:56:00 PM  
Blogger allen said...

fred, 1:12 PM


You are too kind. Her behavior was malignant. The behavior of the administration to date, with reference to Ms. McCarthy is irresponsible. In short, she should now be sitting in an undisclosed location until some assessment of the damage wrought has been ascertained. And, yes, the President does have some limited authority in this regard.

I mean, by the way, no criticism of you or your opinions; I'd just like to take the thing to the next level and wish the Bush administration was so inclined.

4/24/2006 02:57:00 PM  
Blogger allen said...

ash, 2:56 PM

Check under Lincoln: suspension of Writ of Habeas Corpus, as one instance.

4/24/2006 03:02:00 PM  
Blogger allen said...

buddy larsen, 2:33 PM

Where is it written in the Constitution of the United States that citizens have the right to know, what? If folk are unhappy with the administration's secrets, take it up with Congress.

4/24/2006 03:05:00 PM  
Blogger Brett L said...


When last I checked, Rat's posts notwithstanding, Pres. Bush has not yet issued a proclaimation of Martial Law. Until such time as Ms.
McCarthy is found guilty of a crime by a jury of her peers, our speculations as to treason or not are just so much hot air. Which was exactly the point of my first post. Like the NYT on the Plame investigation, you may just be crying wolf.

Don't get confused on my politics, I voted for Bush twice, but going to the barricades with words like "Treason" is wrong on both sides. I think Ms. McCarthy's actions are despicable. The startling lack of any sort of personal integrity or honor that allows someone to swear and sign a solumn oath, then betray that oath is sad (and felonious), but apparently all too typical of the DC orbit, where gaining and keeping power is far more important than doing something worth a damn with it.

And yet, I am still uncomfortable with accusing a fellow countryman of treason for leaking general information to an American newspaper. Handing nuke plans to Iranians on the Mall? Fry 'em. Knowingly sheltering terrorists targeting America? Hang 'em. Trying to turn a US fort over to the Taliban? Firing squad!

Maybe you don't see a difference, but p'raps we must disagree. Does that make me a traitor to my country, too?

4/24/2006 03:08:00 PM  
Blogger fred said...


I quite agree with you that her actions were malignant. For the sake of being diplomatic I used a less harsh adjective. They were indeed malignant, because her aim and that of her fellow moles and their political masters is to thrwart and to overthrow the Bush Doctrine. If you follow every confrontation over how we respond to resurgent Islamic jihad since 9/11 you can see, more or less, a starting point to this internal political war very soon after that October 2001 address before both houses, outlining actions AND alliances/sponsorships that constitute a threat to the United States of America. The Democratic Party and the Far Left began the internal political war soon after that.

What she did most certainly is covered under statutes which govern the unauthorized release of classified information. Those statutes may even obtain with respect to the journalist and her employer. The fact that Attorney General Gonzalez' office has not made its move yet bothers me.

"Meme chose" stated it well. These moles have become so burrowed into the intelligence and state department organizations that not resisting them is tantamount to the progressive destruction of those organizations. If you arrest and put the leakers on trail, however painful it is for the government, it is very expensive for the political and NGO allies and masters of the leakers. Far more painful for them, plus the jail time and fines.

signed: fred, New Hampshire

4/24/2006 03:16:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

brett 1

I have not stated the President had done any of those things, just that he could have, if he was of a mind to, that he has not is as telling as if he had.

So far there is little impact on US citizens, as far as the War on Terror goes.
The NSA wiretaps were well within the Law. Notice that tempest in a tea pot has faded away.

If anything Mr Bush has under utilized his Authority to prosecute the War.

4/24/2006 03:17:00 PM  
Blogger Brett L said...


In re: Your Constitutional Request


The United States shall guarantee to every State in this Union a Republican Form of Government, and shall protect each of them against Invasion; and on Application of the Legislature, or of the Executive (when the Legislature cannot be convened), against domestic Violence."

4/24/2006 03:18:00 PM  
Blogger Brett L said...


You are correct, I misread. I happen to agree. Hell, Clinton's DOJ kicked in a helluva lot more doors.

And with that, I'd better take some time off from the multi-posting.

4/24/2006 03:20:00 PM  
Blogger Ash said...

points taken on my "right to know". Still, given our freedom to express and since she she wishes to express it I'm happy to hear it. If the Bush admin is doing these bad things (running secret prisons, wiretapping without warrants) I am very happy there are those willing to risk their career to inform us, and thus congress, of these actions Bush is doing behind closed doors. There has been no formal declaration of war, there has been an authorization of force and Habeas Corpus has not been suspended. The bar appears to be quite high in the constitution for that to occur:

"The Privilege of the Writ of Habeas Corpus shall not be suspended, unless when in Cases of Rebellion or Invasion the public Safety may require it."

(article 1, section 9, US constitution)

4/24/2006 03:21:00 PM  
Blogger allen said...

ash, 3:21 PM

Thank you for citing the Constitution. Now, I repeat, check out Lincoln.

4/24/2006 03:26:00 PM  
Blogger Ash said...


re: Aricle IV section 4 - have we been invaded? Are you maintaining that the attacks on 911 constitute an invasion and we can't convene the legislature therefore Mr. Bush has carte blanche? That seems to be stretching that article a bit far.

4/24/2006 03:28:00 PM  
Blogger Ash said...

allen, I did, he suspended it and it has since been restored. Has Mr. Bush performed a suspension in secret?

4/24/2006 03:29:00 PM  
Blogger buddy larsen said...

Where are the victims of these massive civil rights abuses? Anybody got the lists of names, or *a* name? Or, a rumor of a name?

4/24/2006 03:34:00 PM  
Blogger buddy larsen said...

Why don't you just admit it, Ash--you'd vote for John Wayne Gacy if he was a Democrat.

4/24/2006 03:38:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

yeah, ash.
The Congress did meet, after the Invasion, and declared War.
Upon whomever the President, as Decider in Chief, determines could do it, again.

Anyone, anywhere, anytime.

Mr Lincoln warned of giving this Power to a President, any President, check my 8:27 am post, about half way up.

He said that before he was President, when he was in Outside, looking in.

President Bush has the Power, in precedent and fact. He's got the guns, by design. Mr Lincoln decried the Power, but later applied it as he deemed required.

4/24/2006 03:44:00 PM  
Blogger Habu_1 said...

Can you see the sky from where your head is?
I realize the methane has choked off any rational thought.
Yes, it's ad hominum but there's no truth table,Cartesian reasoning, or psychoanalysis that can permeat your what the hell.
When the bad guys come,please feel free to line up with them .... and we'll just have one less psycho-bable leftest to deal with.
Wait, I just realized you've already gone over to the other side...enjoy it while you can.

4/24/2006 03:46:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

And yes, he could do it in secret if he so desired.
The SCotUS has never limited a President's War Powers, not in over 200 years.
never this "new" Court will not, either.
Elections do matter
The President is a Constitutional Officer
He defends and protects, but the Constitution, it is not a suicide pact.
The Court has so decided.

4/24/2006 03:54:00 PM  
Blogger fred said...

The essence of "Ash's" argument seems to boil down to this logic: the people, and not the President, are the arbiters of what constitutes classified material/information, and they have a right to know all of it so that they can decide for themselves what remains secret and what is publicly divulged. Having said that, how do you take something that is public knowledge and then transform it into something which induces widespread amnesia, hoping, of course, that our enemies are also rendered amnesiac too.

signed: fred, New Hampshire

4/24/2006 03:56:00 PM  
Blogger buddy larsen said...

The mechanism, fred, to solve those problems of reality, time, sequence, order, etcetera, is called "elections".

4/24/2006 04:01:00 PM  
Blogger allen said...

doug, 1:59 PM

"working mothers"

I'm going to try this again, Linda Tripp was "a suburban mom." The people who would use such stupidity to defend Ms. McCarthy should be constantly reminded of this delicious irony. Doubtless, I expect too much from an administration that has just surrendered American sovereignty in California, today. Thanks Mr. Bush.

While debating Constitutional minutiae is fascinating, Ms. McCarthy took a job having first agreed that that job was both implicitly and explicitly governed my extra-Constitutional orders. If this reality is discomfiting, well, welcome to the real world. Not a great deal more should be said.

4/24/2006 04:02:00 PM  
Blogger RWE said...

I think I have a diferent take on this than most people.

For someone to be a "spook" - as it is known in the business - like most jobs, they need a certain kind of personality.

That kind of personality is utterly at odds with someone who would do what McCarty did.

Note that she did not go to the press because she thought that policy and bureacracy was keeping her from doing her job or that people were ignoring her urgent calls to face some danger. I even consdered doing that when I was at the Pentagon - and ended up testifying before Congress as to my concerns.

She went because of "principles" recognized by the Left and almost no one else. She was doing the job of the ACLU and, not of the CIA.

Someone who thinks in that "PC" manner cannot be a good "spook" -PERIOD. They are very likely to ignore evidence that is UN-PC and lend credence that which is PC. And we had considerable evidence that was going on in the CIA for the last decade.

Completely aside from the legality of what she did and the damage it did the US, she was clearly an utter incompetant - she could hardly have been any less.

4/24/2006 04:54:00 PM  
Blogger Deuce ☂ said...

RWE said...
"I think I have a diferent take on this than most people.

For someone to be a "spook" - as it is known in the business - like most jobs, they need a certain kind of personality."

Excellent point. It is the result and outcome of "PC gone wild!". Woman on naval war ships, flight attendant four feet tall, cops five feet tall and 245 lbs. Common sense was suspended some time ago and there is no sign of an early revival.

4/24/2006 05:03:00 PM  
Blogger allen said...

___Ms. McCarthy has already admitted to some limited wrongdoing.

___Ms. McCarthy’s employment has been terminated and she has been released into the community, unsupervised.

___Because it cannot now be known precisely what was leaked, to whom, or how frequently leaking occurred, for instance, Ms. McCarthy must be thoroughly examined in an environment free of distraction.

___Moreover, additional knowledge with which she has been entrusted, if leaked, could pose a threat to the security of the United States. Until means can be found to safeguard that information, Ms. McCarthy should be held incommunicado.

___In short, countless lives may hang in the balance, wholly reliant upon Ms. McCarthy's sense of integrity and confidentiality. Those potential victims must be protected on principle and as the matter of national security against further bouts of Ms. McCarthy’s delicate conscience.

___Consequently, under existing law and per executive orders, she could have been and should instantly be detained.

Under the circumstances, I could sleep well knowing that Ms. McCarthy has been rendered harmless.

4/24/2006 05:12:00 PM  
Blogger buddy larsen said...

Nah, leave her alone a few days--give her a chance to don that fake beard and sombrero, and drop by Thereza's "Ketchup Plant".

4/24/2006 05:34:00 PM  
Blogger Tony said...

I fastidiously refuse to bicker on Belmont, but since this touchs on one of my main questions (Why was there no "anti-war movement" in the 90's?) for libs, I'll go ahead.
Al Gore was for "extraordinary rendition" before he was against it

By TigerHawk at 11/23/2005 12:01:00 AM
While we're on the subject of the loyal opposition's wholesale memory failure, perhaps it is worth reviewing Al Gore's support for the practice of "extraordinary rendition" (aggressively anti-rendition Wikipedia entry here). I stumbled across this passage in Richard Clarke's Against All Enemies, published last year in a fairly blatant attempt to compare the Bush administration's anti-terrorism efforts unfavorably with those of Bill Clinton:

Snatches, or more properly "extraordinary renditions," were operations to apprehend terrorists abroad, usually without the knowledge of and almost always without public acknowledgement of the host government.... The first time I proposed a snatch, in 1993, the White House Counsel, Lloyd Cutler, demanded a meeting with the President to explain how it violated international law. Clinton had seemed to be siding with Cutler until Al Gore belatedly joined the meeting, having just flown overnight from South Africa. Clinton recapped the arguments on both sides for Gore: Lloyd says this. Dick says that. Gore laughed and said, "That's a no-brainer. Of course it's a violation of international law, that's why it's a covert action. The guy is a terrorist. Go grab his ass." (pp. 143-144)

This passage is especially interesting in light of Gore's more recent speechifying, in which he specifically denounced rendition. No more "go grab his ass."

Al Gore supported rendition before al Qaeda had declared war on the United States and hung its battle flag on the Khobar Towers, the USS Cole, the African embassies, the World Trade Center, the Pentagon, the Bali disco, the Madrid trains, and the United Nations. But after those defeats, Al Gore changed his mind. Has any reporter for any major news organization bothered to ask Gore to explain his reasoning?

4/24/2006 05:42:00 PM  
Blogger buddy larsen said...

Shucks, I guess he "evolved" huh?

4/24/2006 06:28:00 PM  
Blogger Tony said...

In other venues, I do argue with liberals, where I hear the most amazing "logic." For example, when confronted with the actual policy and endless lists of quotes from Democrats about the danger posed by Saddam in the 90's, their retort is "yeah, but at least Clinton didn't INVADE."

Huh? So, they all realized there was a threat, and now it's a GOOD THING they didn't do anything about it?

So, I say, "You mean, like how they didn't do anything about Al Qaeda, and that failure to act led to 9/11?"

Well, that happened on Bush's watch, you see. Back to the original point "So, after not doing anything against Al Qaeda, then AFTER 9/11 it was time to start doing LESS against another known and self-declared enemy?"

Yeah, Al Gore "evolved" and there were all those huge anti-war parades all over the country protesting the UNILATERAL attacks against a sovereign country that POSED NO THREAT to the US. You remember them, right? Went on non-stop througout the bombing of Serbia.

Oh wait, even though I'm just pretending, I'm bickering on Belmont. Aiiiyeeeee!

At least it's down here at the bottom of the thread, where nobody but Buddy reads.

4/24/2006 07:27:00 PM  
Blogger JOHN WERNTZ said...

How can one not "believe that being associated with Daniel Ellsberg is pejorative in and of itself." Ellsberg got away with it by releasing the Pentagon Papers to The New York Times only when the FBI was on the verge of arresting him. That enabled him to cobble up an effective defense of the Mary O. McCarthy sort: he was informing the American public of facts that they needed to know. Nonsense. His leak to the Times occurred months after the content of the papers had been broadcast by Hanoi Radio. The CIA clued the FBI in on the leak to Hanoi, which initiated their investigation.

Just for kicks, the "wall" between foreign intelligence and criminal pursuit created by the FISA Act of 1978 was a retroactive "Daniel Ellsberg Protection Act."

4/24/2006 07:30:00 PM  
Blogger fred said...

I read the bottom of the thread.

signed: fred, New Hampshire

4/24/2006 07:33:00 PM  
Blogger Tony said...

Hey Fred,

Noticed your predicament here. When I see other people posting as Tony (damn that Blogger database!) I warn them to get a new name unless they want to be publicly, although anonymously, associated with my oft-stated superhawk views. It wouldn't bother someone like Nahncee or Habu, but it's worked so far "Tony's."

I did notice the new Fred seems to have a different perspective than the one you got up there in New Hamshire.

And just for the record, I miss Mika and Rufus, too.

4/24/2006 07:40:00 PM  
Blogger buddy larsen said...

What scares me, now that the net has ruthlessly exposed the highest planes of liberal thought, is that the shallowness and ignorance is not--as I'd always assumed--just the form that deep-thinkers must use to communicate with us lessers, but is, rather, real shallowness and ignorance, and all there is there. Gore and Kerry are epiphanous in that way.

And since they don't understand how unqualified they are, they're able to plop themselves into the election machinery and rise all the way up to National Disaster.

Again and again. That's what scares me. Maybe I'm a Trotskyite.

4/24/2006 07:57:00 PM  
Blogger fred said...

tony, I miss them too. I want to keep my name for two reasons. First, because most of you know my views and might already know I reside in the "Live Free or Die" state. Second, it's the short version of my first name - given the fact that I'm too lazy to come up with something more creative.

One of the other things I find interesting about this topic is the interesting way in which rights are writ where none exist. Oaths and contractual obligations seem to mean nothing to the Left. Also, you never see the Left going to the wall for certain freedoms and rights that one gives up when one enters the military. Cummulatively, there are a lot of fine arguments put forth, albeit overwhelmingly on one side of this debate about Ms. McCarthy's "Truth-telling." And it isn't as if we will not listen to the other side. I asked one poster if he would construct the legal argument that supports the "right" of the public to know classified material. I am still waiting for it.

signed: fred, New Hampshire

4/24/2006 07:57:00 PM  
Blogger geoffgo said...

Ms. McCarthy meet Jack Bauer.

4/24/2006 08:03:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Buddy, 7:57.

Absolutely, exposed.

Shallow, nihilistic, cunning, and quite probably ruthless.

4/25/2006 03:19:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


If you don't like the spirited repartee that sometimes occurs long after the thread is worn out (hint, hint), then just skip over it.

Don't be a stuffed shirt. But, "no shirt, no shoes, no service."

4/25/2006 03:24:00 AM  
Blogger Tony said...

Hey Whit,

I LOVE the end of the threads, since that's where my brilliant work usually appears! :)

If Abu Ghraib was bad, what was Waco? How come no demonstrations? No guilty pleas, no convictions, no nuthin?

4/25/2006 06:47:00 AM  
Blogger buddy larsen said...

"Jackbooted Government" is like Bird flu, it just came up lately. Before, say '92-2000, it was just, you know, something that went a little weird from time to time, like that charmingly ditzy lady Janet Reno who kept Win Ho Lee "under observation" for several years while he finished up his ChiCom shopping list at the Los Alamos convenience store.

4/25/2006 09:17:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

Reno leftovers in justice have caused a lot more havoc than Bird Flu so far, and the flu never will, other than bigger govt.

4/25/2006 12:48:00 PM  

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