Thursday, June 30, 2005

NBC News' Brian Williams: Founding Fathers "Terrorists"

This time Brian Williams of NBC Nightly News has gone too far. Reporting on the possibility that Iran's President-elect was one of the hostage-takers in 1979, Williams made the comment, "...and indeed, what would it matter? The Founding Fathers were certainly revolutionaries and might have been called 'terrorists' by the British Crown."

If anyone needed another example of the insanity of the liberal doctrine of moral and cultural equivalence, which came into fashion during the Cold War, this is it. It's actually less offensive for Williams to imply that our Founding Fathers were terrorists than it is for him to put them on a par with the bloodthirsty, unevolved barbarians who took over Iran in 1979.

Williams owes this country a sincere and abject apology.

Former Hostage: Iranian President is a Terrorist

Americans who were held hostage by terrorist revolutionaries during the 1979 siege of the US embassy in Tehran have identified newly-elected Iranian President Mahmood Ahmadinejad as one of their captors.

From Agence France Presse
WASHINGTON (AFP) - The United States is investigating accusations by former hostages that Iran's president-elect Mahmood Ahmadinejad played a key role in the 1979 siege of the US embassy in Tehran, the White House said.

Five survivors of the 444 day siege of the embassy say they remember seeing Ahmadinejad. But Iranian veterans of the embassy standoff have denied that Ahmadinejad was involved.

"The new president of Iran is a terrorist," retired Army colonel Charles Scott, a former hostage, told the Washington Times newspaper.

"As soon as I saw his picture in the paper, I knew that was the bastard ... He was one of the top two or three leaders," said the 73-year-old who lives in Jonesboro, Georgia.
Wonderful. A terrorist leader is now in charge of Iran and seeking to arm the repressive "Islamic Republic" with nuclear weapons. Iran's nuclear program should be taken out in the same way that Saddam Hussein's was by the Israelis in 1981.

The Jawa Report has photos of Ahmadinejad leading blindfolded American hostages in 1979.

Wednesday, June 29, 2005

Even For Nancy Pelosi This is Lame

This is Pelosi's "response" to President Bush's address last night. I put "response" in quotation marks because much of Pelosi's drivel gives one the impression that she didn't actually listen to the President's speech.
"The President missed an opportunity tonight for straight talk to the American people. He would have done more to honor the sacrifices of the brave men and women of the 'All-American' Division before whom he spoke had he given all Americans specifics about a strategy for success in Iraq.
What a wonderful idea! But why not cut out the middlewoman and just email our strategies directly to Zarqawi and bin Laden? On the other hand, the President did say that training sufficient Iraqi security forces to handle the duties our soldiers are performing now would allow us to withdraw our troops. Hmmm...a freely elected government with a new constitution able to maintain its own internal security...the first is accomplished and the second and third are under way. I was able to pick up on that. Guess the President was talking a little over Nancy's head, though.
"The President's frequent references to the terrorist attacks of September 11 show the weakness of his arguments. He is willing to exploit the sacred ground of 9/11, knowing that there is no connection between 9/11 and the war in Iraq.
The President is forced to remind certain deliberately obtuse Americans with extremely short memories why we chose to fight the terrorists on their own ground. You know, Nancy, the ones on your mailing list at campaign time. Do you have any doubts that the animals rushing to Iraq to meet Allah wouldn't be delighted to do the same thing in, oh, I don't know, Manhattan? Of course you don't, but what's a few more thousand dead American civilians if it can help your party back into power?
"As the President noted, it is only one year after the return of sovereignty, but it has been 27 months since the President launched his pre-emptive strike. Iraq is now what it was not when the war began - a magnet for terrorism - because the President invaded Iraq with no idea of what it would take to secure the country after Baghdad fell. The insurgency took root in the unstable conditions that have now existed in substantial parts of Iraq for far too long.
It was our pre-emptive strike Nancy, and it has had more positive effects on the Middle East in two years than the last fifty years of diplomacy. I realize that you hate seeing Afghans and Iraqis voting in free elections, and Lebanese finally being encouraged to throw off the yoke of Syrian oppression, because your party did virtually nothing to bring these things about, but try to think like a loyal American for once in your life. Most Americans with two brain cells to rub together prefer that Iraq act as the magnet for terrorists. Of course we all know Nancy, that you and certain other amoral pricks in the party of the Ku Klux Klan would prefer that a major terrorist attack succeed in the US. Just the thing to help out going into the mid-term elections, no?
"The American people understand what is at stake in Iraq and in the Middle East. That is why it is so disappointing that the President failed tonight, as he has failed consistently since the war began, to lay out specifics for success, including performance benchmarks.
That's your real worry, isn't it, Nancy? That the American people actually do understand what's at stake, despite the best efforts of you and your gang to obfuscate what's at stake. Were you sleeping on January 31? That was a pretty clear benchmark.
"Regrettably, the President did not address key questions that must be answered: What will it take to train the Iraqi security forces to a level that will allow them to conduct combat operations without the assistance of our troops? How will reconstruction be done a priority so that electricity flows regularly, people are put to work, and Iraqis see a future in which they have a stake? When will diplomacy be employed effectively so that leaders in the region know that we recognize that their assistance is crucial to taking pressure off our troops and to fashioning an inclusive political process in Iraq?
Regrettably, Nancy Pelosi holds her membership in the Democratic Party above her American citizenship. Why else this empty demand for a hgihly detailed speech which would do little more than supply information to our enemies?
"Our commitment in Iraq does not have to be measured by timetables, but neither can it be open-ended. The President must still do what he did not do tonight: lay out clearly the task that remains for the United States in Iraq and how it is to be accomplished."
Really? Then why are members of your own party demanding timetables? Did someone finally explain to you that it would play directly into the hands of the terrorist insurgency? And just how clearly do you need things explained to you? When the Iraqi security forces are able to perform the same duties as our troops, our troops will leave. Duh. Next time maybe you should actually listen to the speech rather than writing your "response" ahead of time.

Tuesday, June 28, 2005

Cayuga Indian Land Claim Tossed By US Circuit Court

In a case that has dire ramifications for other Indian Land Claim suits, the 2nd US Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled that the Cayugas waited too long to file their claim. The court followed the precedent set by the US Supreme Court in their recent decision against the Oneida Indians and in favor of the city of Sherill, New York. The Cayugas had been awarded $248 million from Cayuga and Seneca counties by a lower court. Both sides appealed that decision, the counties saying it was too high and the Cayugas saying it was too low.

From the Associated Press:
Cabranes and Justice Rosemary Pooler said those considerations included the passage of so much time; that most of the tribe moved elsewhere; the tribe's long delay in seeking relief; and the "long-standing, distinctly non-Indian character of the area and its inhabitants."

As a result the appeals court reversed and dismissed the Cayuga's entire 25-year-old land claim. The two judges also concluded that the Cayugas claim for trespass damages could not go forward "for the simple reason that there can be no trespass unless the Cayugas possessed the land in question."
This decision should directly affect four other Indian land claims in New York State, including the Onondagas', currently making their way through the court system. The decision is good news for property owners in New York State, and bad news for those who propagate hatred.

With "Journalists" Like These, Who Needs Terrorists?

"Balanced" Mainstream Media Getting Their Licks in Ahead of President's Address
Alright, we get it. Mainstream journalists are unhappy that George W. Bush was elected in 2000 and re-elected in 2004. So unhappy that they are willing to misrepresent events in Iraq using selective reporting and emotion-laden prose in an effort to turn Americans against the war, and, by extension, the President. Here are a few of the salvos being fired before Bush's speech tonight (which will apparently not be carried by CBS or NBC):

From the Associated Press:
...a violent conflict that has cost the lives of more than 1,740 U.S. troops and has no end in sight.
From Reuters:
President Bush will try to shore up support for the Iraq war with an address to the nation on Tuesday night, telling Americans it is essential to keep fighting to stabilize Iraq despite the prospect of more bloodshed.
From CBS (running the AP story):
...a violent conflict that has cost the lives of more than 1,740 U.S. troops and has no end in sight.
From the Los Angeles Times:
The White House may be billing President Bush's speech tonight at Ft. Bragg, N.C., as a major national address, but not all the broadcast networks have yet decided to treat it that way.
Not since Vietnam have mainstream media outlets made such a determined effort to create and slant news in order to shape public opinion (outside Presidential election years, of course).

More and more the actions of the West's mainstream media look like an actual conspiracy, rather than simply like-mindedness among journalists who self-identify as liberals.

Monday, June 27, 2005

Ignorant, Greedy Americans Refuse to Give Aid to Africa

In a bizarre fundraising gambit, organizers of the Live 8 concert are insulting Americans in order to get them to contribute more. I don't know about you, but I tend not to contribute to causes that insult me as an American. Maybe the "Empty your pockets, you cheap, stupid Yankee fatass!" approach works on liberals.

I'm also resistant to fund raisers that feature self-righteous pop musicians burnishing their images. If they want to feel better about themselves they should give their money and give up the perks that are used to entice them to perform for "charity".

From Reuters:
...experts say the biggest challenge in the United States is changing entrenched perceptions that it is the world's most generous country.

"It's pathetic how low our aid budget is," said Harvard University economist Kenneth Rogoff. He noted that if Americans feel disconnected from African issues it is because "the majority of Americans have never even been abroad."

"The feeling that we are somehow doing these countries a lot of good by forgiving their debts is incredibly ignorant on some level," he said.

Rogoff said rich nations should give grants instead of loans and African nations must reform.
Of course there's no mention of the money and lives spent freeing Afghanistan and Iraq. I want to see an announcement from Rogoff that he's tithing his Harvard salary to send to African charities. He could dun his colleagues, as well. A voluntary secular tithe, now there's an idea.

Update: In the comments, reader Oyster points out a BBC News (!) article that contradicts the perception being propagated by the Live 8 organizers:
It's true that United States "official development assistance" is less than 0.2% of its gross national product (way below that of Luxembourg, Holland, Denmark, Norway and Sweden, all of which exceed the 0.7% target set at the Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro in 1992).

But when non-governmental generosity is included, the US moves up the list - not to the top, but way above the bottom.

Jafaari: Two Years Enough For Security

In counterpoint to the gloom and doom forecast by US media, Iraqi Prime Minister Ibrahim al-Jafaari told reporters that two years would be "more than enough" time to establish security in Iraq. From the Associated Press:
LONDON - Iraqi Prime Minister Ibrahim al-Jaafari said Monday that two years would be "more than enough" to establish security in his country.

Following talks with British Prime Minister Tony Blair, al-Jaafari said factors such as building up Iraq's own security forces, controlling its porous borders and pushing ahead with the political process would all play a part.

"I think two years will be enough, and more than enough, to establish security in our country," al-Jaafari told a news conference.
Jafaari obviously doesn't follow Western mainstream media outlets, otherwise he'd know that every inch of his country is under attack from a "growing and increasingly sophisticated" insurgency, and that it will take probably 800 to a thousand years and millions of casualties before Iraq is secure.

Sunday, June 26, 2005

More Conflict Over So-Called "International Freedom Museum" at Ground Zero

The debate over what will be built on the site of the 9/11 attacks is starting to heat up, with many families of the victims on one side and the traditional guilt-monger wing of the blame-America-first crowd on the other. From the Associated Press:
The debate over the International Freedom Center museum is playing out on talk shows, opinion pages and the Web. Victims' relatives protested the museum last week at ground zero, and more than 16,000 people have signed the Internet petition condemning it.

Critics say the institution is being hijacked by left-wing advisers who blame the U.S. for the world's wrongs — and will focus on events with tenuous connection to the terrorist attacks, such as segregation in America and the Holocaust.
New York State governor George Pataki claims that the museum won't be an anti-American display questioning Western values. But a look at the players involved in it doesn't inspire confidence:
But academic advisers to the museum — who include the heads of the American Civil Liberties Union and Human Rights First — envision something more complex and potentially controversial.

Many see the International Freedom Center as a place to vigorously debate past and present issues of freedom, from slavery to the roots of the Sept. 11 attacks.

"9-11 should not be something you treat with kid gloves," said Fareed Zakaria, editor of Newsweek International and a principal adviser to the museum. "It should be something you debate, that you talk about, that we explore, that we use as a way to think about our position in the world."
Translation: "We intend to soft-peddle Muslim culpability and try to shift the focus of blame onto American society." And, by the way, what involvement did Mr. Zakaria have with the infamous Newsweek International cover that featured a photo of an American flag in a garbage can?

Good for those victims' families who are blowing the whistle on these weasels.

Saturday, June 25, 2005

Guantanamo Doomed As Source of Terrorist Intelligence

Politicians arrive to "protect detainees' rights"
These are the people Karl Rove warned us about. From the Associated Press:
GUANTANAMO BAY NAVAL BASE, Cuba - Progress has been made to improve conditions and protect detainees' rights at the U.S. prison for suspected terrorists, House Republicans and Democrats, including one who has advocated closing the facility, said Saturday.

The U.S. lawmakers witnessed interrogations, toured cell blocks and ate the same lunch given to detainees on the first congressional visit to the prison for suspected terrorists since criticism of it intensified in the spring.

"The Guantanamo we saw today is not the Guantanamo we heard about a few years ago," said Rep. Ellen Tauscher, D-Calif.

Still, lawmakers from both parties agree more still must be done to ensure an adequate legal process is in place to handle detainee cases. In the meantime, said Rep. Joe Schwarz, R-Mich., "I think they're doing the best they can to define due process here."

Republicans and Democrats alike fear the prison at the U.S. Navy base in eastern Cuba is hurting the United States' image because of claims that interrogators have abused and tortured inmates. The White House and Pentagon say conditions are humane and detainees are well-treated.
Great, now we have buffoons from Congress micro-managing interrogations at Gitmo and grandstanding for their lunatic fringe constituents at home. We can forget about gaining any useful intelligence from the detainees now. Remember this the next time we suffer a terrorist attack.

Friday, June 24, 2005

Iraq Becoming Like Vietnam

Democrat and Media Efforts Successful in Lowering Troop Morale
The Democratic Party and its many house organs amongst the mainstream media are having a negative effect on the morale of troops serving in the Middle East, according to an American Forces Press Service news release.
By Sgt. 1st Class Doug Sample, USA
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, June 24, 2005 - Media reports that Americans are losing support for the war effort concern military leaders and troops serving abroad, the general responsible for troops in the Middle East said in congressional testimony here June 23.

Abizaid recently returned from the region, where he met with U.S. commanders in both Afghanistan and in Iraq. "It was interesting to me how many of our commanders and our troops ask me the question, 'Are we losing support at home?'" he said. A poll by CBS News on the organization's Web site shows the country is closely divided on the issue, with the percentage of Americans who say taking military action against Iraq was the right thing to do now at 45 percent. The poll shows 51 percent think the United States should have stayed out of Iraq.

Interestingly, Abizaid told the committee, he is asked the same question about U.S. commitment to the mission in Iraq and Afghanistan by those country's military leaders as well.

"Contrary to popular opinion, they want us there," he said. "They need us there. They appreciate our support, and they worry that we don't have the staying power to see the mission through.
Democratic tactics likening the war on terror in Iraq and Afghanistan to Vietnam are taking on a self-fulfilling note. While most Americans believe that South Vietnam was doomed and fell immediately after US troops left, those who have studied events following the withdrawal know that the South Vietnamese were betrayed by Congress when it cut off military aid to the South. Bandages were washed for reuse and soldiers were issued three rounds apiece. The Soviets had no such qualms regarding the North, and the fate of South Vietnam was sealed. The final North Vietnamese offensive used more armor than Hitler's Wehrmacht. We know these things from people who escaped. Our media turned their backs on the bloodbath that followed the North's victory.

Those of us who lived through the Vietnam era recall the relentless media campaign to mischaracterize nearly every major event of that war, up to and including reporting the Tet Offensive as a defeat for the US. In fact, the Viet Cong were nearly destroyed during Tet, and never again fielded a force above company strength. Incompetents and willing accomplices in the mainstream media made such propaganda victories possible.

The same disinformation techniques are on display today. GoogleNews actually reports propaganda sites uruknet and jihadunspun as "news sources".

One of the first steps to securing defeat in Vietnam was the deliberate lowering of troop morale through biased reporting and slanted polls. Many Vietnam vets are still bitter at the treatment they suffered at the hands of the American media and traitors within the popular culture. The intellectual progeny of these weasels are with us today.

Thursday, June 23, 2005

Rove Speech Puts Liberal Panties in a Bunch

Bush adviser Karl Rove, speaking in New York City yesterday, outraged Democrats by telling the truth as he sees it about liberals' words and actions since the 9/11 attacks. From The New York Times:
"Conservatives saw the savagery of 9/11 in the attacks and prepared for war; liberals saw the savagery of the 9/11 attacks and wanted to prepare indictments and offer therapy and understanding for our attackers."
Rove is correct; the sickening blame-America-for-the-attacks meme was well-established just a few weeks after the attacks, when revolting liberal fossil Holland "I'm not really a judge but I play one on TV" Taylor smarmily opined on Politically Incorrect that the 9/11 attacks were just a case of spanking a spoiled child gone too far. In other words, we deserved it, but the hijackers just overdid things a bit. The audience applauded appreciatively at Taylor's sophomoric reasoning. It's doubtful that the applause came from conservatives.

From Newsday we hear that:
Rove also denounced Sen. Dick Durbin's comments comparing interrogation at the Guantanamo Bay prison camp to the methods of Nazis and other repressive regimes. He said the statements have been broadcast throughout the Middle East, putting American troops in greater danger. Durbin has since apologized for the remarks.

"No more needs to be said about the motives of liberals," Rove said.
I disagree with Rove here, I think a lot more needs to be said about the motivations of liberals. It needs to be said and repeated until it sinks through a collective consciousness dulled by exposure to biased mainstream media news sources. Remember, Durbin didn't apologize for what he said. He apologized if anyone was offended by what he said.

And finally, from San Francisco Chronicle, news of the Democrats' devastating response to Rove's simple truths:
Schumer said Democrats were drafting a letter asking Rove to retract his remarks. Jim Manley, spokesman for Senate Democratic leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., also called on President Bush to "immediately repudiate Karl Rove's offensive and outrageous comments."
A sharply worded letter, oh my! that'll show him. What a bunch of pathetic pantywaists and nancy boys.

Via Captain's Quarters.

Wednesday, June 22, 2005

Popsicle Disaster Causes Flash Flood in NYC Park

You think I'm making this up? From the Associated Press:
NEW YORK - An attempt to erect the world's largest popsicle in a city square ended with a scene straight out of a disaster film — but much stickier.

The 25-foot-tall, 17 1/2-ton treat of frozen Snapple juice melted faster than expected Tuesday, flooding Union Square in downtown Manhattan with kiwi-strawberry-flavored fluid that sent pedestrians scurrying for higher ground.

Firefighters closed off several streets and used hoses to wash away the sugary goo.

"What was unsettling was that the fluid just kept coming," Stuart Claxton of the Guinness Book of World Records told the Daily News. "It was quite a lot of fluid. On a hot day like this, you have to move fast."
What kind of twisted monster created kiwi-strawberry flavored popsicles?

How Accurate Was Durbin's Information?

The mainstream media seem to consider the information about Gitmo interrogations that Senator Dick Durbin of Illinois used to slander US troops serving there unimpeachable. The information was reportedly supplied by an FBI agent unhappy with the treatment of detainees during interrogations. Since the FBI has jurisdiction over domestic terrorist attacks and espionage, it's an open question why an FBI agent would have been granted access in the first place. Well, in an exclusive interview with a former Gitmo interrogator, Right Thinking Girl raises more questions about the veracity of Durbin's information. An excerpt:
RTG: The first allegation is that, the conditions were deplorable. The exact quote is taken from an FBI agent who reported what he saw…

Smith: Stop there. I have reason to doubt this already since in general, the FBI isn’t permitted carte blanche access to detainees. In fact, it’s pretty rare to find an FBI agent on the base.

RTG: Because we’re dealing with foreign…

Smith: Unless there is a direct threat against a US interest in the continental United States, the FBI isn’t normally called in for interrogation proceedings.
Make sure you go read the whole thing.

Via The Jawa Report.

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

Durbin Apologizes

Senator Dick Durbin of Illinois offered his version of an apology today for the remarks he made on the Senate floor last Tuesday. Here's how the Associated Press reported Durbin's remarks today:
WASHINGTON - Under fire from Republicans and some fellow Democrats, Sen. Dick Durbin apologized Tuesday for comparing American interrogators at the Guantanamo Bay prison camp to Nazis and other historically infamous figures.
This is what Durbin actually said last Tuesday:
"If I read this to you and did not tell you that it was an FBI agent describing what Americans had done to prisoners in their control, you would most certainly believe this must have been done by Nazis, Soviets in their gulags or some mad regime — Pol Pot or others — that had no concern for human beings,"
Here's how the folks at a couple of my favorite blogs reacted to the news of Durbin's apology: Dr. Rusty Shackelford of The Jawa Report believes that Durbin's apology is sincere:
Durbin has apologized...I accept the apology at face value. Now let us see him try and undo all the damage that has been done.
While Captain Ed of Captain's Quarters takes a harder line:
Your remarks did cross the line, Senator. Why can't you just admit that, without qualification? This is yet another halfway dodge in putting the onus onto those whom you offended instead of taking responsibility for your own actions and comments.
Rusty, I respect your opinion, but I'm with the Captain on this one. Durbin's words were a bonanza for the propagandists at al-Jazeera and other choice places. There's no telling how many American lives Durbin's mouth will end. The only Durbin apology that I'll accept, and that grudgingly, is the same one that Nixon offered after Watergate: resignation.

The following transcript of Durbin's remarks is from The Political Teen, who also has the video.
Some may believe my remarks crossed the line. To them I extend my heartfelt apologies.
Yes, he did cross the line, and no, this is not an apology.
There’s usually a quote by Abraham Lincoln that you can turn to in moments like this. Maybe this is the right one. Lincoln said “If the end brings me out right what is set against me won’t amount to anything. If the end brings me out wrong ten thousand angels swearing I was right won’t make any difference.”
That's nice, Durbin, but which is it? Do you think you came out right or came out wrong?
In the end I don’t want anything in my public career to detract from my love of this country, my respect for those who serve it, and this great Senate.
He really means that he doesn't want anything to detract from his chances for re-election.
I offer my apologies for those who were offended by my words, I promise you that I will continue to speak out on the issues I think are important to the people of Illinois and to the Nation.
Translation: "I'm sorry if anyone was offended when I called our soldiers Nazis, Soviet gulag guards, and Pol Pot torturers. I'll do the same thing tomorrow if I see any political advantage to it."
Mr. President I yield to the floor.
Mr. Senator, you need to yield your seat. You are unfit to represent Americans.

Via Captain's Quarters, The Jawa Report, The Political Teen.

Andrew Sullivan Agrees With US Troops as "Nazis" Characterization

Remember when Al Franken solemnly demanded that captured terrorists be interrogated with "a red hot poker up the ass"? The Left has now come full circle. Turning down the air conditioning has become a "Nazi" act. This was prior to, of course, the discovery by many Democrats that political hay could be made with the Left's lunatic fringe by attacking US actions in the Middle East. Nancy Soderberg admitted as much in an interview with Jon Stewart on The Daily Show.

Writing two posts to add emphasis, Andrew Sullivan left no doubt that he agrees with Senator Dick Durbin's characterization of American troops serving at Guantanamo Bay as inhuman monsters on a par with Nazis, Soviet gulag guards, and Khmer Rouge torturers. Sullivan would apparently rather that another few thousand Americans die, than discomfit any of the enemy detainees at Gitmo.

Here's what Durbin said last Tuesday:
"If I read this to you and did not tell you that it was an FBI agent describing what Americans had done to prisoners in their control, you would most certainly believe this must have been done by Nazis, Soviets in their gulags, or some mad regime--Pol Pot or others--that had no concern for human beings. Sadly, that is not the case. This was the action of Americans in the treatment of their prisoners."
Sullivan demands that I answer Durbin's question. Okay. I would not "most certainly believe" that they were prisoners of the regimes mentioned because if they were, they would have been tortured, not simply made physically uncomfortable or embarrassed. Durbin would have been describing unrelenting physical labor and years of starvation, missing limbs, bamboo shoots forced under fingernails. In fact, as non-uniformed combatants, most would have been executed out-of-hand by any of the people Durbin mentioned.

Now, as to what Durbin and Sullivan are really up to, there are mid-term elections coming up next year. Somehow, the fact that they're grandstanding for partisan gain makes their behavior even more shameful.

Herewith, a list of people who profess to despise US troops:

1) Osama bin Laden
2) Abu Musab al Zarqawi
3) Irene Zubaidah Khan of Amnesty International
4) Senator Dick Durbin
6) Andrew Sullivan

Via The Jawa Report.

Monday, June 20, 2005

"Downing Street Memos" Forged By Reporter

The infamous "Downing Street Memos", purported by leftists to show a conspiracy between British Prime Minister Tony Blair and US President George Bush to fudge intelligence data regarding the threat posed by Iraq's Saddam Hussein, were actually forged by a British journalist. From the Associated Press [emphasis added]:
The eight memos — all labeled "secret" or "confidential" — were first obtained by British reporter Michael Smith, who has written about them in The Daily Telegraph and The Sunday Times.

Smith told AP he protected the identity of the source he had obtained the documents from by typing copies of them on plain paper and destroying the originals.

The AP obtained copies of six of the memos (the other two have circulated widely). A senior British official who reviewed the copies said their content appeared authentic. He spoke on condition of anonymity because of the secret nature of the material.
That's right, Michael Smith has admitted to forging the memoranda and destroying the alleged originals he used as models. Then AP, knowing full well that the documents are fake, has an anonymous source make a cursory judgement on their authenticity. Shades of Dan Rather's "fake but accurate" fiasco. Are there no honest journalists left in the mainstream media?

Via Captain's Quarters.

Sunday, June 19, 2005

For Father’s Day

Once, when I was small, my father taught me something useless. I had seen the old photographs and held the medals in my hand. Purple Heart and Bronze Star. I had been clamoring for stories of what he did in that war. What kind of guns did he shoot? Did he get to use his bayonet? How many Japs did he kill?

But he taught me something useless instead. He taught me how to figure out the firing order for an 18 cylinder aircraft engine. I had a pretty dim understanding of what cylinders did in an engine (I was only seven years old, after all), but I listened and I learned. Somehow I forgot about the war while we talked.

Sometimes he would tell me about his buddies from boot camp – the slim, smiling young men in the old photographs. I especially loved the story of the brawl they started one night in a bar, and how he escaped the Shore Patrol by slipping out through a bathroom window. And his friend who took him for a ride in a Corsair, a single seat fighter. They took out the radio gear to make room for my dad behind the pilot’s seat. The Corsair went into a dive so steep and fast that my father blacked out for a few seconds.

As I grew older my dad did share some of his darker memories with me. It was very different from what I had read in books and seen in movies. I began to catch a glimpse of the pride and terror of combat Marines, how they clung to each other as brothers, facing unimaginable horrors in a violent and pitiless crucible.

He described the queer, queasy feeling he got in the pit of his stomach, diving “ass over teakettle” into war as a tailgunner in a Dauntless Divebomber. And the queer, queasy feeling he got piloting a slow, ungainly Catalina PBY flying boat in a combat zone full of Japanese fighters. And the tight, heavy feeling in his stomach when he returned from a foot patrol near Yontan airfield on Okinawa, with only one other man of the ten who had left with him, and that man wounded and soon to die. He was seventeen when he enlisted. By the time he was nineteen he was a sergeant of Marines, and marked for life.

He was never strident. He didn’t raise his voice. He didn’t preach. He spoke of awful things in a flat voice and I knew the terrible price that had been paid by men like him in that struggle.

Many stories are told of the bond between father and son. Dramatic stories of courage, sacrifice, and impossible odds overcome by the power of a father’s love. But I think that bond shows its power most often in quiet, mundane ways. Like this:


That’s the firing order of a World War II vintage 18 cylinder aircraft engine - a bit of useless lore carried for decades as a token of love by the son, a symbol of that enduring bond, and a talisman for me to cling to and celebrate a life that ended years ago.

Happy Father's Day, Dad. I remember.

Saturday, June 18, 2005

Durbin Offers the "Sorry If You Didn't Understand" Bit

Senator Dick Durbin (Jackass, Illinois) is trying now to back off his own slanderous comments Tuesday when he compared American soldiers serving at Guantanamo Bay to Nazis, Soviet gulag guards and followers of Pol Pot. Durbin has decided to try the old "I regret if my remarks were misunderstood" gambit. From The Associated Press:
WASHINGTON - Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., said Friday that he regretted any misunderstandings caused by his comments earlier this week comparing American interrogators at Guantanamo Bay to Nazis. The White House, Senate Republicans and others had called for an apology after Durbin's comments Tuesday.

On Friday, Durbin tried to clarify the issue. "My statement in the Senate was critical of the policies of this Administration, which add to the risk our soldiers face," he said in a statement released Friday afternoon. "I have learned from my statement that historical parallels can be misused and misunderstood. I sincerely regret if what I said caused anyone to misunderstand my true feelings: Our soldiers around the world and their families at home deserve our respect, admiration and total support."
Durbin has also begun to lie about just what he said, stating on Thursday that he wasn't criticizing US soldiers but merely the interrogation techniques. Unfortunately for Durbin, that doesn't gibe with his actual words:
"If I read this to you and did not tell you that it was an FBI agent describing what Americans had done to prisoners in their control, you would most certainly believe this must have been done by Nazis, Soviets in their gulags, or some mad regime — Pol Pot or others — that had no concern for human beings,"
As far as Durbin's latest half-assed effort to excuse his behavior, it just doesn't cut it. Durbin should resign and seek psychological help.

Dick Durbin Before He Dicks More American Soldiers.

Via The Anti-Idiotarian Rottweiler.

Friday, June 17, 2005

Interrogation Log Using Durbin Rules Obtained

Below is a transcript of an Interrogation Log using the Durbin Rules For Guest Combatant Questioning obtained by The Dread Pundit Bluto from a confidential source.



17 AUGUST 2008

The detainee arrives at the interrogation lounge. His sunglasses are removed and he is seated in an overstuffed La-Z-Boy recliner with massage option. SGT A and SGT R are the interrogators. A DoD linguist and MAJ L (BSCT) are present. MS Z (Amnesty International) is present as an observer. MR H (ESQUIRE) is present as detainee counsel.
Session begins. Detainee is given a mocha latté grandé and offered a selection of croissants and pastries. Detainee sips mocha latté grandé and complains that it is too hot. Detainee spits mouthful (appr. 2 oz.) into SGT R 's face, calls him "infidel goat-lover". MS Z (AI) demands that SGT R check temperature of beverage. SGT R determines that the mocha latté grandé is five (5) degrees fahrenheit above optimum serving temperature and apologizes to detainee. MS Z (AI) states for the record that detainee is being abused according to the Durbin Conventions. MR L (ESQUIRE) states that a complaint of the "Nazi-like" treatment will be filed.
SGT A tells detainee that information from other sources implicates detainee in plot to detonate nuclear device somewhere in Manhattan, asks detainee for details of plot. Detainee denies involvement, but states that he hopes that the bomb will have enough power to, "...wipe all of the filthy infidel pork-eaters off the face of Allah's Earth." SGT A remonstrates with detainee, stating that "many innocents" will perish in attack and asks for detainee's help in preventing "...this horrible terrorist outrage." Detainee selects a pastry.
MS Z (AI) and MR L (ESQUIRE) call halt to interrogation. MR L (ESQUIRE) strenuously objects to use of term "terrorist" by SGT A . MS Z (AI) criticizes SGT A for "...applying Western values..." to detainee and notes that potential civilian victims of alleged plot are engaged in work to "...further the schemes of the capitalist warmongers of Western hegemonic imperialism." SGT A apologizes for "thoughtless characterization". MS Z (AI) demands that SGT A direct his apology to detainee. SGT A complies.
Session ends. Detainee is returned to Guest Suite. Detainee notes that, the previous night, air conditioning in Guest Suite was set at 73 degrees fahrenheit and that Room Service served him filet mignon that was well done when he specifically requested medium rare. MR L (ESQUIRE) states for record that a complaint will be filed and he will "...see that this inhuman gulag is closed down".

Parody (duh).

Thursday, June 16, 2005

Durbin Refuses to Apologize For Slandering US soldiers

Senator Dick Durbin, Democrat (of course) from Illinois says that he has no plans to apologize for the slanderous comments he made on the Senate floor Tuesday. Also, there's no word whether Durbin will submit to a psychological examination to find out if he's suffering from dementia or perhaps a brain tumor.

Here's what Durbin said Tuesday, as reported by the Washington Post:
"If I read this to you and did not tell you that it was an FBI agent describing what Americans had done to prisoners in their control, you would most certainly believe this must have been done by Nazis, Soviets in their gulags, or some mad regime _ Pol Pot or others _ that had no concern for human beings," Durbin said.

Arguing with Durbin's statement is as pointless as arguing with any of the propaganda coming out of various al Qaeda and related terrorist websites.

The reason for Durbin's outrageous outburst may be simple. It's likely that Durbin feels overshadowed by the junior Senator from Illinois, rising star Barack Obama. Whoring up a little treason is just the ticket to grab a few headlines.

Some pertinent questions: are the people of Illinois comfortable being represented by a talking anus in the US Senate? Is there a large talking anus constituency in Illinois? Has Durbin managed to ensure himself the entire Illinois talking anus vote, or did he go too far and offend even those people who are comfortable thinking of themselves as talking anuses?

The real question: are there Americans in Illinois with the guts to start a recall movement to rid the Senate of this buffoon?

Update: Tell Senator Durbin How You Feel About His Remarks
This link will take you to Senator Durbin's webpage. On the left you'll see a button for "Contact Center". The contact form asks for your name, address, phone and email. Provide it, and, without profanity or threats, explain to Senator Durbin that he has given aid and comfort to our enemies and that his best option now is to resign his seat in the Senate. As a Senator, Durbin represents the United States in the forum of world opinion, not just Illinois.

An "Unexpected and Compelling Love Story"

Jennifer Wilbanks, the so-called runaway bride, has granted rights to her story to a company that plans to pitch a movie based on her life and that of her lapdog fianceé. Gag me with a spoon. From The Associated Press:
ReganMedia, a New York multimedia company, told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution for a story in Thursday's papers it has acquired all media rights to the "life stories" of Wilbanks and her fiance, John Mason.

"I am looking forward to developing the scripted project with Wilbanks and Mason," company president Judith Regan said in a statement. "Theirs is an unexpected and compelling story of love and forgiveness that has certainly taught me a thing or two."
And what would that be Judith? How to take advantage of people with obvious mental disorders?

I don't mean Wilbanks. Anyone stupid enough to fork over $9.75 to watch a movie based on this pathetic imbecile's life is obviously suffering from some sort of mental disease. Too bad Georgia doesn't have a "Son of Sam" law to prevent criminals from making a profit on their crimes.

Update: Casting the Jennifer Wilbanks Movie
Reader Richard Steins suggests Harvey Fierstein for the role of Jennifer. Yeah, I think Harvey could carry it off.

Harvey Fierstein

Wednesday, June 15, 2005

Worst Excuse For Barbaric Behavior So Far Today

Brazilian Prison Rioters Display Decapitated Heads
Brazilian convicts, apparently upset about losing some friends, have rioted and are displaying the decapitated heads of rivals atop the prison walls. From BBC News:
Brazilian police have surrounded a jail in Sao Paulo state, where at least five inmates have been killed in riots between rival gangs.
The victims were decapitated and their heads have been displayed on stakes on the jail's roof.

The rioting prisoners are holding 11 guards hostage, but they have been negotiating with the state authorities.

It is thought the prisoners are unhappy about the transfer of fellow inmates to a different jail.
Shocking. Prison officials have been transferring prisoners without the consent of prison inmates? Quick, somebody call Amnesty International to close down this gulag.

Google Stung By Criticism

Reacting to the latest in a series of articles on World Net Daily highly critical of Google's editorial policies (helpfully forwarded to their attention by Ms. G. Goldwater of Geneva Switzerland, self-described Internet Correspondent and Commentator), Google's AdWords Support team has sent an email with a long cc list, including Michael Savage, Sean Hannity and the White House, in response ( I was evidently included because of posts here and here).
Google believes strongly in freedom of expression and therefore offers broad access to content across the web without censoring results. At the same time, we reserve the right to exercise editorial discretion when it comes to the advertising we accept on our site, as noted in our advertising terms and conditions. As such, we do not accept ad text advocating against any organization or person (public, private, or protected).

We apply our policies equally, regardless of the political views represented by the ads submitted to Google. We welcome political ads and run many. We allow ads that urge voting against a particular politician, for example, but are likely to reject ads that allege someone is unethical. We routinely accept and reject ads for materials that are for and against a wide variety of political views.

Per our policies, Google accepted some ads for this book and rejected others.
Now this all sounds very nice and even-handed. Unfortunately, it's not really true. For example, "Google believes strongly in freedom of expression and therefore offers broad access to content across the web without censoring results." But they do censor results. Why else would superblogs like little green footballs and The Jawa Report be banned from GoogleNews while terrorist sympathizer sites like jihadunspun and uruknet are featured in GoogleNews search results?

And what about this statement: "As such, we do not accept ad text advocating against any organization or person (public, private, or protected)." I'd characterize these ads as advocating against a person (click on image for larger view):

George Bush fart doll ad.

George Bush punching bag ad.

Can a public company remain profitable while actively seeking to enrage over one half of the American electorate? Unlikely. It seems to be time for Google's shareholders to take charge and demand that Google management meet their fiduciary responsibilities by ceasing to indulge their personal political biases.

Other World Net Daily stories critical of Google's biased editorial policies:

Google still runs anti-DeLay ads
Google money engine for Democrats only
Google censoring conservative ads?
Google: Big Media has higher quality
Google censoring search results in China
Google bars 'hate' sites' ads, but runs porn ads
Google bans Christian ad

Tuesday, June 14, 2005

Christopher Hitchens on Eggs and Omelets

Writing in Slate, Christopher Hitchens bluntly and effectively spotlights the handwringing hypocrisy of the international Left vis-a-vis the War on Terror and the handling and interrogation of captured terrorists. Hitchens offers a pragmatic view of the Iraqi TV show Terrorism in the Grip of Justice, which humiliates captured terrorists by televising their confessions and apologies, and wryly notes that the show couldn't be put on American TV due to Geneva Convention concerns and the graphic captured terrorist videos.
When possible, it also shows the videos that these people have made, so that, for example, a man can be viewed as he slices a victim's throat and then viewed, looking much less brave, as he explains where he comes from, how he was taught to rehearse beheadings and throat-slittings on animals, and other insights into the trade.
Hitchens also questions, rightly, any claim of al Qaeda terrorists to protection under the Geneva Conventions:
The forces of al-Qaida and its surrogate organizations are not signatory to the conventions and naturally express contempt for them. They have no battle order or uniform and are represented by no authority with which terms can be negotiated. Nor can they claim, as actual guerrilla movements like the Algerian FLN have done in the past, to be the future representatives of their countries or peoples. In Afghanistan and Iraq, they sought to destroy the electoral process that alone can confer true legitimacy, and they are in many, if not most, cases not even citizens of the countries concerned. Their announced aim is the destruction of all nonbelievers, and their avowed method is indiscriminate and random murder. They are more like pirates, hijackers, or torturers—three categories of people who have in the past been declared outside the protection of any law.
And Hitchens asks the $64,000 question:
How many of those who express concern about Guantanamo have also been denouncing the administration for being too lenient about ignoring warnings and missing opportunities for a pre-atrocity roundup?
It's heartening to see such writing and opinions expressed in Slate, which can often be found a little bit to the left of Teddy Kennedy.

Via The Jawa Report, where Dr. Rusty Shackelford focuses on Hitchens criticism of Amnesty International in the same column.

Memo May Link Kofi Annan to Oil-For-Food Scandal

United Nations Secretary General Kofi Annan has consistently denied connections to Cotecna, the firm which employed his son Kojo, and which won a $10 million contract under the oil-for-food program. Now, a memo from 1998 has surfaced purporting to refer to discussions the elder Annan had with Cotecna executives. From The Associated Press:
UNITED NATIONS - Investigators of the U.N. oil-for-food program said Tuesday they are "urgently reviewing" new information that suggests U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan may have known more than he revealed about a contract that was awarded to the company that employed his son.

The December 1998 memo from Michael Wilson, then a vice president of Cotecna Inspections S.A., mentions brief discussions with Annan "and his entourage" at a summit in Paris in 1998 about Cotecna's bid for a $10 million-a-year contract under oil-for-food.

If accurate, the memo could contradict a major finding of the Independent Inquiry Committee — that there wasn't enough evidence to show that Annan knew about efforts by Cotecna, which employed his son, Kojo, to win the contract. Cotecna learned it won the contract on Dec. 11, 1998, days after the meeting.
Kofi Annan claims to have no recollection of the meeting.

Monday, June 13, 2005

Cheney Lambastes Media Coverage of Guantanamo Bay Detention Facility

Brian Williams closed NBC Nightly News tonight by excusing the amount of coverage given to the Michael Jackson child molestation trial.

"As a man who once sat in this chair said, we can't be above the news," Williams opined, referring to former anchor Tom Brokaw, who made an artform out of frowning and grimacing when forced to report good news for Republicans or conservatives.

Somehow NBC found itself above this news, from an American Forces Press Service story:
MACDILL AIR FORCE BASE, Fla., June 13, 2005 - Vice President Richard B. Cheney bristled in a June 10 interview here at the attention being given to allegations made by detainees held at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, and how the publicity given to those allegations far outweighs that given to the good things U.S. servicemembers are doing.

Cheney spoke with Air Force Master Sgt. Sean Lehman of the Pentagon Channel after presenting medals to five special operations servicemembers for valor in combat.

"I think what's representative of the efforts that we've mounted is best captured by those five men I decorated today - amazing Americans who put their lives on the line for their fellow soldiers and for the American people, and that doesn't get enough coverage," he said.

"We've got over 500 individuals there who are primarily terrorists -- who were captured on the battlefield in Afghanistan, are members of al Qaeda, or in some fashion constitute a threat to the United States," Cheney said. Yet, he noted, the detainees at Guantanamo are treated and fed well, they receive medical care and their religious needs are catered to. Much of the criticism leveled at Guantanamo, he said, focuses on isolated incidents or results from rumors peddled by former detainees who have been freed.

"We absolutely have to have a facility like this as long as we're engaged in the global war on terror," Cheney said. "And the important thing is that we not release these people back on to the street so they can go out and kill more Americans. I think there has been a certain lack of perspective ... on the part of some public officials as well as a number of folks in the press, frankly, who spend all their time thinking somehow that's representative, or that what we're doing at Abu Ghraib or, in this case, Guantanamo, is somehow unlawful or illicit, or not consistent with American practices and principles."

While the media are free to focus on whatever they choose to, the vice president said, he expressed the hope that distorted coverage or the actions of a few would not overshadow "the enormous goodness of this great nation."
When the Vice President of the United States finds it necessary to castigate the media for their grossly biased coverage of the war on terror, that's news.

But Brian Williams is right about one thing. NBC isn't above the news, even when they choose not to cover it.

Michael Jackson Acquitted on All Counts

Another California jury has reaffirmed that money and celebrity are what really matters when it comes to justice. I had a bad feeling about this case earlier today, watching the juror profiles on Fox News. One of the jurors had stated that she had seen the infamous documentary in which Michael talked about welcoming children into his bed. The juror thought that the documentarian had "put his own spin on it". O-o-o-okay...

Update: I heard one of the jurors explaining why they acquitted Jackson. At one point she said, "...what kind of mother lets something like this happen?". According to the verdict, nothing did happen, unless there's something else this juror wants to tell us.

Microsoft, Yahoo!, and Google Abetting Chinese Suppression of Internet

When I reported last week that the Chinese Communists were seeking to control free speech on the internet it didn't occur to me that companies like Microsoft, Yahoo!, and Google would be eager to make a few bucks helping the Chicoms out. From Agence France Presse (AFP)
BEIJING (AFP) - Users of Microsoft's new China-based Internet portal were blocked from using the words "democracy", "freedom" and "human rights" in an apparent move by the US software giant to appease Beijing.

Other words that could not be used on Microsoft's free online blog service MSN Spaces include "Taiwan independence" and "demonstration".

Bloggers who enter such words or other politically charged or pornographic content are prompted with a message that reads: "This item should not contain forbidden speech such as profanity. Please enter a different word for this item".

Officials at Microsoft's Beijing offices refused to comment Monday.

Yahoo! and Google -- the two most popular Internet search engines -- have already been criticized for cooperating with the Chinese government to censor the Internet.
Google has already more or less aligned itself with our enemies, but Yahoo! and Dollar Bill Gates should know better.

There's nothing intrinsically wrong with turning a profit, but there's something soul-blackening about turning a profit by providing the means of a people's oppression.

Ironically, the AFP story quoted above is being carried on Yahoo! Asia News.

Via Captain's Quarters.

Sunday, June 12, 2005

French Hostage Florence Aubenas Released

French "journalist" Florence Aubenas and her driver Hussein Hanun al-Saadi were released by their captors Saturday following negotiations described as a "dangerous operation". From Reuters
France, which opposed the U.S.-led war in Iraq, secured the release of two French journalists in December after they were held hostage for four months by Iraqi militants.

France said then the captors had never asked for a ransom.

It was not clear under what circumstances Aubenas and her driver were freed.

The head of media watchdog Reporters Without Borders said on Saturday their kidnappers could have asked for a ransom, but he later withdrew his comments. France's foreign ministry had said the remarks "did in no way correspond to reality."
As we all know, the French would never lie about something like paying a multi-million dollar ransom. Expect more details to be released in the next few days. Especially interesting will be what involvement French politico Didier Julia had in the release. Julia is under investigation for alleged criminal activity during a previous hostage crisis.

Saturday, June 11, 2005

Protecting Their Own: MSM Still Suppressing Linda Foley Story

In his June 9th column, devoted to stories that have been largely ignored by the Press, John Leo details the irresponsible accusations made by Linda Foley, president of the Newspaper Guild:
Another example: On a May 13 panel at the National Conference for Media Reform in St. Louis, Linda Foley, the national president of the Newspaper Guild, said that the U.S. military deliberately targets journalists, "not just U.S. journalists either, by the way. They target and kill journalists from other countries, particularly Arab countries, at news services like al Jazeera, for example. They actually target them and blow up their studios with impunity." We have heard this before. Eason Jordan, then a CNN executive, said something similar on a panel at Davos, the annual economic conference in Switzerland, setting off an enormous furor. Foley's comment was almost universally ignored by the news media. Thomas Lipscomb of the Chicago Sun-Times wrote a column about it. More than two weeks later, Jack Kelly, national security writer for the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette and the Blade of Toledo, Ohio, said the Sun-Times (Lipscomb's column) was the only newspaper in the country to report what Foley said.

A column in the St. Paul Pioneer Press mentioned it, and so did an editorial in the Washington Times . Bloggers and The O'Reilly Factor brought important national attention. But a Nexis database search last week failed to turn up a straight news report on Foley's remark anywhere in America since Foley spoke on the panel. Remember, she is president of the union representing 35,000 reporters, editors, and other journalism workers. "Where is the professionalism and the authority that is our main claim to writing the indispensable 'first draft of history'?" Lipscomb asked in a follow-up piece in Editor & Publisher. He wrote, "The mainstream media couldn't be bothered to cover 'Easongate: the sequel.' " Foley sent a letter to the White House calling on it to pursue the "worldwide speculation that the U.S. military targets journalists and the media." In other words, she doesn't have to back up her charge, but the White House should start trying to prove that what she said is false.
It's not clear whether Leo is being intentionally ironic when he says that the administration has to prove Foley's charges false. But they should do more than that. They should bring charges of slander against Foley.

The Newspaper Guild should be ashamed to have Foley as a member, let alone president. The Press at large should be ashamed that so few of them have spoken out against Foley's groundless and insane charges.

Friday, June 10, 2005

Ward Churchill Types Attempting to Hijack Ground Zero Museum

The blame-America-for-everything crowd is determined to spew their venom on the memorials planned for the victims of the 9/11 attacks. But Debra Burlingame, the sister of one of the pilots who died that day is just as determined to stop them. From WCBS-TV New York:
...she charges that the International Freedom Museum at Ground Zero is being hijacked by people who want to fill it with exhibits that have nothing to with the tragedy and discussions with a blame America political bent.

“We’re going to have a mud fight over what freedom means, where we would have politicized by activists who want to come down there and spew their views about what caused 9-11,” says Burlingame.

Among the exhibits reportedly planned are those dealing with abuse at the Abu Ghraib prison abuse scandal in Iraq, the Nazi holocaust, and the Jim Crow lynchings in the south. Burlingame says that they are fine things to teach people about, just not at Ground Zero, which is where so many people died and is regarded as a burial ground.

“Imagine if you will, the U.S. holocaust museum inviting someone to that site to give their views about why killing them was justifiable, understandable or even excusable,” says Burlingame
This desecration is absolutely intolerable. Do these creatures have no shame? None at all?

Via Citzcom.

Italians Pressured Afghans to Free Criminal to Secure Aid Worker's Release

Yet again, the Italians have made sure that kidnapping pays in order to obtain the release of Italian CARE worker Clementina Cantoni, abducted in Kabul on May 16. The Italians forced the Afghan government to release the mother of Cantoni's kidnapper, who was being held for complicity in previous abductions. From Agence France Presse
Her main hostage-taker, identified as Timur Shah, reportedly demanded the release of his mother, held prisoner on charges that she had helped her son in a previous kidnapping, La Repubblica and Corriere della Sera reported.

The Italian government had to convince reluctant Afghan authorities to release the woman, La Repubblica said. She was finally freed Wednesday, clinching the deal with the kidnappers, the reports said.

A local businessman then brought Shah's mother to an apartment in the Afghan capital and Cantoni was handed over in exchange, Corriere reported.

Interior Minister Ali Ahmed Jalali told reporters at a hastily arranged late-night press conference Thursday that the "policy of the Afghan government is not to deal with the hostage-takers. We did not pay any ransom."

However a high-ranking Afghan government official speaking on condition of anonymity said there had been a deal with the kidnapper.
Further proof, if any were needed after the shameful Giuliana Sgrena incident, that the Italians are worse than useless as allies and that Italian nationals should be banned from war zones.

Thursday, June 09, 2005

Amnesty International Calls for Abduction of US Officials

On the heels of the insane debacle resulting from Amnesty International head Irene Zubaida Khan's ignorant comparison of the US detainee facility at Guantanamo Bay to a Soviet gulag, US AI head William Schulz is calling for the abduction of President Bush, Donald Rumsfeld, and others.

From Amnesty International's Annual Report:
If the US government continues to shirk its responsibility, Amnesty International calls on foreign governments to uphold their obligations under international law by investigating all senior US officials involved in the torture scandal. And if those investigations support prosecution, the governments should arrest any official who enters their territory and begin legal proceedings against them. The apparent high-level architects of torture should think twice before planning their next vacation to places like Acapulco or the French Riviera because they may find themselves under arrest as Augusto Pinochet famously did in London in 1998.
This statement makes Dr. William F. Schulz Executive Director, Amnesty International USA, a US citizen, a traitor. This is not hyperbole. Schulz is advocating the illegal abduction of high officials of the United States of America, clearly a treasonous act. Furthermore, any American who continues to pay dues, contribute money, or support Amnesty International in any way may be guilty of treason as well.

Via Captain's Quarters by way of The Jawa Report.

NATO To Step Into Sudan Conflict

According to an American Forces Press Service report, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization is, in effect, taking over the United Nations' job in the Sudan, where Arab/black African ethnic violence has killed tens of thousands of people.
BRUSSELS, Belgium, June 9, 2005 - NATO will support the African Union with airlift support into the war-torn region of Darfur, Sudan, alliance officials announced here June 8.

Ethnic violence between Arabs and black Africans has left an estimated 180,000 dead and 2 million more homeless in the area, and the African Union is working to send in a peacekeeping force.

NATO Secretary-General Jap de Hoop Scheffer called the situation in Darfur "appalling." NATO must do all it can to assist, he said today during opening remarks at a meeting of the North Atlantic Council at NATO headquarters here. NATO defense ministers, including U.S. Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld, are attending the meeting.

Details are still being worked out, but NATO and U.S. officials said the NATO portion of airlift support will be coordinated through the Supreme Allied Headquarters Europe, in Belgium. The European Union also will work to coordinate airlift support through existing mechanisms at Einhoffen, Netherlands.
NATO also intends to send troops to Afghanistan to provide security for the elections scheduled for September.
NATO is planning to send three battalions from three different countries to support the elections, but no announcement has been made on which countries. The United States is planning to send an infantry company to round out one of the battalions, the defense official said.
With the United States and NATO performing the functions for which the UN was formed (except without the graft and child rapes), what future is there for the UN? Can it continue to exist solely as a forum for Islamist propaganda and for third world countries to savagely insult the United States and complain about the sizes of their foreign aid packages?

Wednesday, June 08, 2005

Four Terror Arrests in California

Four men have been arrested since Sunday in a Federal probe of possible al Qaeda terrorists operating in the US. One of the men arrested admitted attending an al Qaeda training camp and another had publicly condemned the 9/11 attacks, perhaps an example of taqqiyeh. From CNN:
(CNN) -- Federal agents searched the homes of two Islamic leaders in Lodi, California, and have made four arrests since Sunday, part of an ongoing terrorism investigation, according to the FBI and witnesses.

Two of those arrested are top Muslim leaders in Lodi, including one who publicly condemned the September 11, 2001, terror attacks and issued a declaration of peace with Christian and Jewish leaders in Lodi three years ago.

The other two are a father and son, identified as 47-year-old Umer Hayat and 22-year-old Hamid Hayat. The son allegedly lied about his attendance at an al Qaeda training camp in Pakistan, according to the Los Angeles Times.
The Muslim leaders arrested, Muhammed Adil Khan and Shabbir Ahmed, were planning to open a Muslim charter school. American madrassas, wonderful.

Meanwhile, the arrests are being downplayed in the mainstream media. Whether it's over issues of multiculturalism or not wanting to give too much credit to Federal investigators is anyone's guess.

Update: The Jawa Report has more, including links to the national Muslim organization, CAIR, the Council on American Islamic Relations, and American Muslim refusal to cooperate with the investigation.

Tuesday, June 07, 2005

A Virtual Tianenmen Square: China Muzzling Websites and Blogs

Courageously leading the people's march into the nineteenth century, the communist government of mainland China is seeking to take control of all Chinese-based websites and blogs. That could never happen here. Unless the Federal Election Commission gets its way.

From the Associated Press:
SHANGHAI, China - Authorities have ordered all China-based Web sites and blogs to register or be closed down, in the latest effort by the communist government to police the world of cyberspace

The government has long required all major commercial Web sites to register and take responsibility for Internet content — at least 54 people have been jailed for posting essays or other content deemed subversive online.

But blogs, online diaries, muckraking Web sites and dissident publishing have been harder to police. According to, a Chinese Web log host company, the country has about 700,000 such sites.

Now, however, the government has developed a new system to track down and close those caught violating the rules, the ministry said.

"There's a 'Net Crawler System' that will monitor the sites in real time and search each Web address for its registration number," said one document listing questions and answers about the new rules. "It will report back to the MII if it finds a site thought to be unregistered."

The press advocacy group Reporters Without Borders protested the new rules, saying they would force people with dissenting opinions to shift Web sites overseas, where mainland Chinese users might be unable to access them due to government censorship filters.

The Paris-based group said that in May, many bloggers in China received e-mail messages telling them to register to avoid having their blogs declared illegal.

Monday, June 06, 2005

Left Prepares al-Arian Defense Strategy

Former University of South Florida professor Sami al-Arian goes on trial today, accused of helping coordinate Palestinian Islamic Jihad attacks against Israelis and funneling funds to PIJ. Leading lights of the liberal press are busy wringing their hands and looking for ways to discredit the government's case against al-Arian in the court of public opinion.

John Mintz of The Washington Post attacks the apparatus of the investigation, specifically the wiretaps of al-Arian's phones and fax machines:
The wiretaps, approved in 1993 through 2003 on as many as 10 phones by a secret FISA court, were originally intended for use only by FBI agents conducting open-ended "intelligence" probes, and not for use in criminal trials. But after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, the enactment of the USA Patriot Act and a ruling by the supersecret FISA court of appeals allowed much greater use of intelligence material in investigations such as this one.

Many civil liberties experts express grave concern about U.S. officials' introduction into criminal court of years of wiretaps approved by FISA judges under a lower standard of proof than that demanded by criminal-court judges. But U.S. District Judge James Moody has rejected defense attorneys' arguments that the information should not be heard in court.

Using FISA wiretaps in court is "a serious problem" that puts defendants at a disadvantage, said David Cole, a Georgetown University expert on the law related to terrorism. "Unlike with criminal wiretaps, FISA doesn't give defendants any meaningful chance to challenge the validity of the tap."
Eric Lichtblau at the New York Times waves the First Amendment right to free speech:
An impassioned advocate for Palestinian independence, Mr. Al-Arian never made any secret of his disdain for the Israeli occupation. But whether his work crossed the line from outspoken advocacy to terrorism is now a central question as he and three co-defendants go on trial in federal court in Tampa on Monday on terrorism and racketeering charges.

"This case has drawn such intense scrutiny partly because Sami has been so outspoken," said David Cole, a Georgetown University law professor who represented Mr. Al-Arian's brother-in-law in an earlier deportation case that also gained wide exposure. "The government has built a very broad conspiracy case, and the question is whether this will be a trial of Sami Al-Arian and what he actually did or didn't do over the years, or a trial of Palestinian Islamic Jihad itself and guilt by association."
And Jamie Wilson of The Guardian Unlimited (UK) makes the case for racism and profiling in the government's investigation:
However, supporters and lawyers for the Kuwait-born professor claim that it is not a straightforward case of terrorist funding. Instead, they say it raises serious issues about anti-Muslim bias in the US post-September 11, freedom of speech and what they see as a blatant attempt by Israel to silence a powerful Palestinian voice in America.
The Dread Pundit Bluto is shocked, shocked, that so many journalists are busying themselves looking for excuses for al-Arian. Could it be because so many on the left were busying themselves defending al-Arian for the past decade?

In 2002, Eric Boehlert said that the media had created the case against al-Arian
Jan. 19, 2002 | It may not provide him much comfort, but tenured University of South Florida professor Sami Al-Arian, recently fired after his appearance on a conservative talk show revived discredited, years-old allegations of ties to anti-Israel terrorists, may be the first computer science professor ever mugged by four of the nation's most influential news organizations.

The Al-Arian story reveals what happens when journalists, abandoning their role as unbiased observers, lead an ignorant, alarmist crusade against suspicious foreigners who in a time of war don't have the power of the press or public sympathy to fight back. It's called a pile-on, and this game first began in Tampa, seven years ago.
Events have invalidated Boehlert's story, but it is illustrative of the lengths some on the left will go to protect our enemies.

Sunday, June 05, 2005

Amnesty International USA Chief Admits Charges Against Gitmo Are Unfounded

Even though Amnesty International head Irene Zubaida Khan has already made wild and irresponsible charges against the US, calling the detention facility at Guantanamo Bay a "gulag", William Schulz, executive director of Amnesty International USA, said that they don't "know for sure" that Gitmo is a "gulag". From Reuters:
Executive Director William Schulz said Amnesty, often cited worldwide for documenting human rights abuses, also had no information about whether Secretary Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld approved severe torture methods such as beatings and starvation.

Schulz recently dubbed Rumsfeld an "apparent high-level architect of torture" in asserting he approved interrogation methods that violated international law.

"It would be fascinating to find out. I have no idea," Schulz told "Fox News Sunday."

A weeks-long dispute has raged since Amnesty compared the prison for foreign terrorism suspects at the U.S. naval base at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, to the vast, brutal Soviet gulag system of forced labor camps in which millions of prisoners died.
We should all thank Schulz for finally admitting that Amnesty International has simply been making irresponsible accusations for which they have no evidence. Schulz was trying to divert criticism to AI's London office, which issued the "gulag" statement.

Saturday, June 04, 2005

Looted Museum Artifacts Found in Hands of Insurgents

When the Baghdad Museum was looted more than two years ago following the Coalition invasion of Iraq, conventional wisdom held that common thieves had made off with the priceless exhibits. Now the American Forces Press Service reports that at least some of the artifacts have been in the hands of the terrorist insurgency.
On the Kharkh peninsula, a joint Iraqi-U.S. raid early June 3 recovered more than 30 artifacts that had gone missing following the initial liberation of Iraq in 2003, as well as five suspected terrorists, according to Multinational Force Iraq officials.
In other news from Operation Lightning, Iraq's major security crackdown, information from Iraqi citizens and detainees has lead to the capture of many terrorist suspects and large caches of ammunition and materièl.
The largest of the caches was found in an insurgent hideaway in an old rock quarry north of Karmah, officials said. There, a complex of underground bunkers contained four fully furnished living spaces, a kitchen with fresh food, two shower facilities and a working air conditioner. Officials said other rooms within the complex were filled with weapons, ammunition, black uniforms, ski masks, compasses, log books, night-vision goggles and fully charged cell phones.
Mainstream news organizations have been hard-pressed to report any of this news due to the necessity of providing 24-hour Quran-tinkling updates. The Dread Pundit Bluto is happy to step in and help.

Amnesty International, Others Wasting Military's Time and Resources

In a statement released by the US Department of Defense Friday, part of the true cost of so-called "advocacy" groups like Amnesty International is apparent.
Statement by Pentagon Spokesman Mr. Lawrence Di Rita on BG Hood Inquiry

In 31,000 documents covering 28,000 interrogations and countless thousands interactions with detainees, having issued 1,600 Korans, Southcom found 5 incidents of apparent mishandling by guards or interrogators and 15 incidents of mishandling and outright desecration by detainees.

Southcom's policy of Koran handling is obviously serious, respectful, and appropriate. The Hood enquiry confirms that.
Multiply 31,000 documents by a minimum of 10 manhours per document, add in 28,000 interrogations lasting at least 2 hours average and you have a grand total of 366,000 manhours wasted on the irresponsible, shrieking allegations of people like Irene Zubaida Khan of Amnesty International, the idiot responsible for comparing Gitmo to a "gulag". Khan should try reading some of the letters smuggled out of actual gulags during the Soviet era.

Irene Zubaida Khan and her ilk are responsible for prolonging the war on terror for at least 366,000 manhours. Al Qaeda couldn't ask for better allies.

Friday, June 03, 2005

Ilario Pantano to Resign Commission

Lieutenant Ilario Pantano, the Marine who faced the death penalty when he was tried for murder in the deaths of two insurgents, will resign his commission. From The Associated Press:
06/03/05 - WILMINGTON) — The Camp Lejeune Marine who was accused of murder in the shootings of two Iraqis last year says he will resign.
Second Lieutenant Ilario Pantano says he is resigning the officers commission he fought to attain after rejoining the military following the September Eleventh terrorist attacks. He says the intense scrutiny that came with the accusations have taken a toll, adding it has been an "unholy year" for his family.

Pantano faced an Article 32 hearing in the case, but the officer presiding over the hearing recommended that the charges be dropped.

Pantano is expected to announce his plans to leave the Marines today during a fish fry in Wilmington. U-S Representative Walter Jones will attend and will be honored by Pantano for his continued support of Marines.
Losing an officer like Pantano, who left a plush NYC job to volunteer, is a black eye for the Marine Corps, thanks to the feather merchants who pushed on with this bogus prosecution.

Via The Jawa Report.

Terrorist Sympathizer/Propaganda Sites Endorsed by GoogleNews

The editors at GoogleNews have been making some very questionable choices in the sites they choose to include and exclude from GoogleNews searches. The superblogs excluded, like little green footballs and The Jawa Report indicate a gross leftist bias - no big surprise, but some of the anti-American hatesites that GoogleNews includes indicate something more insidious; sympathy at GoogleNews for radical, lunatic fringe hatred of the United States and Western society.

Reasonable people expect "news source" to mean that the source makes at least a minimal effort to report the truth, and will clearly label opinion as such.

The sites listed below pretend to be "news", but really print only anti-US propaganda. At least one, jihadunspun, is listed as such by the US Department of State. Why the anonymous GoogleNews editors decided to include them is anyone's guess. Sites have not been added to the list merely because they have a leftward tilt, but because they have misrepresented themselves as straight news sources and are openly sympathetic to terrorists and terrorist organizations.

If you discover a site while searching GoogleNews that you think belongs on the list, send the link to me for inclusion to

If you believe your site has been added without just cause, email to make your case.



Iraq Occupation Watch

Worker's World


Peace, Earth & Justice News

Islam Online

Guerrilla News Network

Dissident Voice

This list will be updated periodically and brought back to the top of the blog.

Thursday, June 02, 2005

Terrorist Leader Zarqawi Dead and Buried in Fallujah Claims Sheikh

Sunni sheikh Ammar Abdel Rahim Nasir claims that Zarqawi died last Friday and was buried in a Fallujah cemetery according to adnkronosinternational (AKI):
Baghdad, 2 June (AKI) - The Jordanian militant Abu Musab al-Zarqawi - al-Qaeda's leader in Iraq - died on Friday and his body is in Fallujah's cemetary, an Iraqi Sunni sheikh, Ammar Abdel Rahim Nasir, has told the Saudi on-line newspaper Al-Medina. He claims that gunfights which broke out in Fallujah in the last few days involved militants trying to protect the insurgency leader's tomb from a group of American soldiers patrolling the area.

During a telephone conversation from the city of Fallujah with the Saudi newspaper, Nasir said al-Zarqawi was taken there after being injured in the city of Ramadi around three weeks ago, and may have been treated by two doctors who had worked with his aides in Baghdad. He said the two doctors had stopped a serious haemorrhage in al-Zarqawi's intestines, but that after his condition worsened last week, the militant died on Friday.
Gutshot. Excellent.

I first posted on Zarqawi's reported wounding here, with followups here, here, here, here, here and here.

Via The Jawa Report.

Lying For Allah?

In a comment to my post about Amnesty International head Irene Zubaida Khan's irresponsible comparison of the Guantanamo Bay detention facility to a gulag, reader Mohammed al-Thawra al-Iraqi mentions taqqiyeh: Islam the principle of "taqqiyeh" means it is a duty for a Muslim to lie and be deliberately untruthful if that is going to enhance Islam.

I have no doubts that Chairwoman Zubaideh Khan of Amnesty International, a Muslim, is purposefully lying in order to cover up for the crimes of her religion.

And I know this because I am a Free Muslim.
While I've seen no hard evidence, other than AI's choice of targets, to back Mohammed's opinion, I thought it might be useful to explore taqqiyeh (also, taqiyeh, taqiyah) and what it means. My own understanding (garnered mainly, I'm afraid, from James Clavell's novel Whirlwind) of taqqiyeh was that it applied in individual cases of personal danger, i.e., a Muslim is permitted to lie without sin about his faith in order to save his life.

However, internet citations show that taqqiyeh is used in a more generalized way to counter perceived threats against the Muslim faith. This is from Global Security:
Knowing what was discussed behind the scenes at all of these meetings might be more enlightening, but this is quite unlikely due to the normally closed and secretive nature of the clerical community and its policies of razdari (secrecy; not revealing honest information about the inner workings or internal discord among the clergy) and taqiyeh (dissimulation; misleading strangers about one's own true beliefs or intentions).
This article from Free Republic, written before the 9/11 attack, describes how the principle of taqqiyeh is used to "...infiltrate and destroy kafir [infidel] countries..."

There is some indication that use of taqqiyeh to further Islam is more accepted among Shiite than Sunni Muslims. Unfortunately, its very existence makes it more difficult for honorable and honest Muslims to be taken at their word.

Is Irene Zubaida Khan deliberately perverting the official goals of Amnesty International to defeat the infidels? Her choice of targets for slander (America and the West) and the principle of taqqiyeh indicate that it's a possibility.

Update: Amnesty International's contributions to the Democratic Party are discussed at The Jawa Report.

Wednesday, June 01, 2005

Iranian Islamic Court Acquits Iranian Pastor

Sherry at Bittersweet has been following this story closely. An Iranian Islamic court has apparently bowed to public opinion and acquitted an Iranian Christian of charges he was proselytizing.
“I don’t know who you are, but apparently the rest of the world does,” the judge said. “You must be an important person, because many people from the government have called me, saying to cancel your case.”
Get the full story at Bittersweet.

Amnesty International's Irene Zubaida Khan: "Gitmo is a Gulag"

Irene Zubaida Khan, who Amnesty International bills as, "...the first woman, the first Asian and the first Muslim..." to head the alleged international human rights organization, likened the US terrorist detention facility at Guantanamo Bay to a "gulag". Even for those inured to the hyperbolic anti-Western propaganda that flows regularly from AI this was going too far. President Bush quickly called Khan's charge "absurd".

A "gulag" was a Soviet-era labor/death camp for criminals and political dissidents. Guantanamo detainees are not required to perform labor. They receive medical treatment and are even given meals tailored to their religious beliefs. Perhaps Khan's ignorant statement will serve to point out the outrageous hypocrisy and anti-Western subversion at the core of Amnesty International.

Let's examine some claims from AI's description of their 2004 report.
During 2004, the human rights of ordinary men, women and children were disregarded or grossly abused in every corner of the globe. Economic interests, political hypocrisy and socially orchestrated discrimination continued to fan the flames of conflict around the world.
Actually, Muslim terrorist and terrorist sympathizer organizations "continued to fan the flames". Thousands were deliberately murdered by Abu Musab al-Zarqawi's al Qaeda in Iraq. But Irene Khan and her crew are quick to turn a blind eye to human rights violations from representatives of the "religion of peace."
The "war on terror" appeared more effective in eroding international human rights principles than in countering international "terrorism".
A baseless, asinine statement, unsupported by fact, but revealing in its blatant anti-Americanism. Perhaps Khan's real problem with the war on terror is that it has brought the battleground home to many of the Muslim countries where jihadist terror has been bred, instead of Manhattan.
The millions of women who suffered gender-based violence in the home, in the community or in war zones were largely ignored. The economic, social and cultural rights of marginalized communities were almost entirely neglected.
Absolute nonsense, as evidenced by the massive and unprecedented outpouring of aid in the wake of the Indian Ocean tsunami. By the way, where are Khan and her organization when women and children are being deliberately targeted in terror attacks in Iraq? Oh yes, dithering over whether or not a Quran was flushed down a Gitmo toilet.
This Amnesty International Report, which covers 149 countries, highlights the failure of national governments and international organizations to deal with human rights violations, and calls for greater international accountability.
But AI only wants accountability from non-Muslim, western countries (plus Israel, of course). It's time that AI provided a little accountability of its own. Specifically, why is AI so anxious to coddle terrorists who have been caught in the act of abusing their fellow humans' rights? Why, with a Muslim at the helm, are they trying to derail the war on terror?
The report also acknowledges the opportunities for positive change that emerged in 2004, often spearheaded by human rights activists and civil society groups. Calls to reform the UN human rights machinery grew in strength, and there were vibrant campaigns to make corporations more accountable, strengthen international justice, control the arms trade and stop violence against women.
Yes, "human rights activists" were responsible for liberating the peoples of Afghanistan and Iraq from brutal, inhuman totalitarian regimes. Please. How many deaths have been caused by "human rights activists" draining away resources in war zones that could be better used bringing the conflicts to a quicker resolution? How many "human rights activists" are actually more concerned with human rights than they are with demeaning the West in general and the United States in particular? How many "human rights activists" represent a fifth column of jihadis embedded within organizations like Amnesty International?
Whether in a high profile conflict or a forgotten crisis, Amnesty International campaigns for justice and freedom for all and seeks to galvanize public support to build a better world.
Right. That's why Amnesty International soldiers are on the front lines in the war against terror.

At least the grossly biased Irene Khan has inadvertently performed a valuable service. Her ignorant, over-the-top statements have served to convince more people than ever that Amnesty International is a corrupt organization that enables tyrants and terrorists worldwide, while pretending to be concerned with human rights.