ARC's 1st Law: As a "progressive" online discussion grows longer, the probability of a nefarious reference to Karl Rove approaches one

Saturday, November 19, 2005

Timeline of The War in Iraq

Greyhawk at the Mudville Gazette gives this historical timeline of our war against Saddam's Iraq - with quotes! This is a resource which must be read and kept in one's back-pocket, especially if you're about to have a discussion with a Moonbat - or CNNMSBCCBSABCNBCPBSNYTimesWaPoetcetcetc (aka MSM).

This individual post will be added to our right sidebar for future reference, as Greyhawk will continue to update and reference.

Great Job Greyhawk!

Your Co-Conspirator,
ARC: St Wendeler

Ah, At Last... The Democratic Iraq Plan

Pilfered from California Conservative who no doubt pilfered it from somewhere else.
Photoshop of the week!

Your Co-Conspirator,
ARC: MontereyJohn

The Post-Dispatch Gets the Headline Right... Amazing!

Opened the P-D online this morning wondering how they would slaughter the story of what happened in The House last night, and this is what I found:

House rejects nonbinding measure calling for immediate troop pullout
Liz Sidoti

At least online they didn't play fast and loose with the facts. I can't say how it was setup in the hardcopy or what the placement of the story was. But to have them be accurate at all is notable!

Your Co-Conspirator,
ARC: MontereyJohn

All's Well That Ends Well - The Murtha Resolution

D'oh! (In the immortal words of Homer Simpson)

It might not have been a shining moment for the U.S. House of Representatives, it sounded more like the British House of Commons at "question time" for the PM, but it's over and the other side blinked in the end.

By a vote of 403-3 it is NOT the sense of the house that the troops should be withdrawn from Iraq.

I am happy to say that I was wrong about the tactic chosen by the House leadership. I quit watching when the vote was 203-203 and disaster seemed imminent. Guess I learned my lesson, huh?

None-the-less, the debate was revealing of what many of the Democrats are made.

Your Co-Conspirator,
ARC: MontereyJohn

Friday, November 18, 2005

On a Happier Note: Ava's Video is Available!

This is the most beautiful child in the world. Anyone who disagrees... well consult Harry Truman on the subject. See the little beauty here.

Your Co-Conspirator,
ARC: MontereyJohn

Torture (aka Tickle Fight!!!)

Here are the torture techniques that are applied to terrorist thugs that cowardly and purposefully attack women and children.

Other portions of their accounts echo the accounts of escaped prisoners from one CIA prison in Afghanistan.

"They would not let you rest, day or night. Stand up, sit down, stand up, sit down. Don't sleep. Don't lie on the floor," one prisoner said through a translator. The detainees were also forced to listen to rap artist Eminem's "Slim Shady" album. The music was so foreign to them it made them frantic, sources said.
This is terrible... no one should be forced to listen to such noise. Of course, this may be the claims of a terrorist prisoner or that of a raver on ecstasy from Aurora, Illinois - who can be sure?
Contacted after the completion of the ABC News investigation, CIA officials would neither confirm nor deny the accounts. They simply declined to comment.
No doubt the CIA is embarrassed that they're holding raves on a regular basis...
The CIA sources described a list of six "Enhanced Interrogation Techniques" instituted in mid-March 2002 and used, they said, on a dozen top al Qaeda targets incarcerated in isolation at secret locations on military bases in regions from Asia to Eastern Europe. According to the sources, only a handful of CIA interrogators are trained and authorized to use the techniques:
1. The Attention Grab: The interrogator forcefully grabs the shirt front of the prisoner and shakes him.
holy cow!!! they're shaking a guy and touching his clothing!! l'horreur!!! l'horreur!!!
2. Attention Slap: An open-handed slap aimed at causing pain and triggering fear.
I believe this is referred to as a "b!tch slap" and is common among 6th graders.
The Belly Slap: A hard open-handed slap to the stomach. The aim is to cause pain, but not internal injury. Doctors consulted advised against using a punch, which could cause lasting internal damage.
It's a good thing they're not using a closed fist... just a slap to the abdomen. I bet it leaves a red mark - kind of like when you do a big belly flop into a pool??
4. Long Time Standing: This technique is described as among the most effective. Prisoners are forced to stand, handcuffed and with their feet shackled to an eye bolt in the floor for more than 40 hours. Exhaustion and sleep deprivation are effective in yielding confessions.
Prisoners are forced to stand in a single spot? Yes, 40 hours seems like a long time and this is probably excruciating... but, so is dying from ball-bearings and bone fragments flying through your body after an explosion.
5. The Cold Cell: The prisoner is left to stand naked in a cell kept near 50 degrees. Throughout the time in the cell the prisoner is doused with cold water.
Sounds like a weekend at my house, frankly... Wife can sometimes go overboard...
6. Water Boarding: The prisoner is bound to an inclined board, feet raised and head slightly below the feet. Cellophane is wrapped over the prisoner's face and water is poured over him. Unavoidably, the gag reflex kicks in and a terrifying fear of drowning leads to almost instant pleas to bring the treatment to a halt.
Ok, this one sounds pretty bad... No doubt college fraternities are taking notes for their next hazing ritual.

Of all of the techniques described above, the water-boarding sounds like it's the worse... woops, forgot about the Eminem.... nah, I would still prefer Slim Shady over waterboarding.

But seriously folks... when the Dems and the Media talk about torture, images of much worse come to mind. I know I normally have visions of car batteries... fingernails being pulled off, etc. And it's important to note that these techniques have only been used on 12 - count them, 12 - of Al Qaeda's top leadership. These are not employed for your average terrorist caught in the field. The fact that most of these techniques are rather milquetoast (shirt grabbing?!?!) and authorized only for the top leaderhsip makes me question our seriousness when interrogating prisoners.

*** UPDATE ***
The Volokh Conspiracy also noted this story... QuickRob shares our opinion of these techniques.

Your Co-Conspirator,
ARC: St Wendeler

Watching the "Debate" on the Withdrawl Resolution

The Democrats have shown their color.

Almost none of them discussed the war. They did exactly what John Kerry did in his e-mail of earlier today, that is, to say that to disagree with them is to smear them. You would have thought Murtha had been accused by Republicans of some crime against nature rather than wanting to get out of Iraq. Seldom a word about whether to stay or leave Iraq. Because if they actually debated the issue, folks would see where they were really coming from. They want to quit. They are afraid to admit that.

It is not cowardly to oppose the the war, in fact I have from day one.

It is cowardly to avoid the issue by throwing rhetorical sand.

Their color?


Your Co-Conspirator,
ARC: MontereyJohn


They are about half way through the vote as I write this, and there have been five Republican defectors to the other side and no Democrat defectors. Whoever those five are, I trust someone is writing down their names and they will be remembered in primary season. I'm disgusted.

This vote is going to be very close. I thought this idea might backfire, and it looks like it is. Another fiasco. Great leadership. I wouldn't follow them to the laundromat.

Kerry E-mail Today re Republican "Smear" of Murtha

Hat tip to Kathryn Jean Lopez at NRO.

Here we go again. What is it with Kerry, The Left and many of the Democrats? To critisize someone's position is to smear him and question his patriotism according to those fine folks.

I like what the traveling White House had to say this morning which basical was, "we disagree with Congressman Murtha."

Frankly, Congressman Murtha has advocated capitualation on our part. As Orwell said, the quickest way to end a war is to surrender. Works everytime, just ask the French. Further, Murtha could be right. Maybe we should surrender. Maybe we should cut our losses and leave. But I don't think so. I disagree with him. That disagreement does not mean that his patriotism is questionable. It does mean there is an honest disagreement.

However, folks like Kerry just can not see things that way:

Dear Kathryn,

This is our moment of truth. You and I have to make it absolutely clear that we won't stand for Republican "Swift Boat" style attacks on Jack Murtha.

Yesterday, an extraordinary congressman, former Marine Drill Sergeant and decorated Vietnam veteran, spoke out on the war in Iraq. He didn't come to that moment lightly. He spoke his mind and spoke his heart out of love for his country and support for our troops. No sooner had the words left his lips than the vicious assault on his character and patriotism began.

Today, in a statement on the Senate floor, in interviews with the national media, and in this message to you, I am seeking out every opportunity to defend a brave American hero that the Republican attack machine has set their sights on.

I urge you to do the same. Whether you agree or disagree with Jack Murtha is irrelevant. These despicable attacks on Jack Murtha's patriotism and courage must be met with an enormous public outcry. Call your local talk radio show, write a letter to the editor, phone your members of Congress - join me in acting now to reject these "Swift Boat" style attacks on Jack Murtha.

It disgusts me that a bunch of guys who have never put on the uniform of their country have aimed their venom at a marine who served America heroically in Vietnam and has been serving heroically in Congress ever since. No matter what J.D. Hayworth says, there is no sterner stuff than the backbone and courage that defines Jack Murtha's character and conscience.

Dennis Hastert -- the Speaker of the House who never served -- accused Jack Murtha of being a coward. Well let me tell you, Jack Murtha wasn't a coward when he put himself in harm's way for his country in Vietnam and earned two purple hearts -- he was a patriot then, and he is a patriot today. Jack Murtha's courage in combat earned him a Bronze Star, and his voice should be heard, not silenced by those who still today cut and run from the truth.

Instead of letting his cronies run their mouths, the President for once should stop his allies from doing to Jack Murtha what he set them loose to do to John McCain in South Carolina and Max Cleland in Georgia.

The President should finally find the courage to debate the real issue instead of destroying anyone who speaks truth to power as they see it. It's time for Americans to stand up, fight back, and make it clear it's unacceptable to do this to any leader of any party anywhere in our country.

I urge you to join today in a massive public outcry that rejects the attempt to demonize and destroy anyone who dares to disagree with George W. Bush's aimless "stay for as long as it takes" policy on Iraq.

Please act now. Call and email your elected officials. Flood talk radio with calls rejecting these vicious smear tactics. Send a letter to the editor. Express your outrage about the tired old Rovian "Swift Boat" style attacks on Jack Murtha.


John Kerry

Your Co-Conspirator,
ARC: MontereyJohn

Vote on Murtha Resolution for Withdrawl from Iraq Tonight at 7:00

According to Drudge the House leadership has called Murtha's bluff and scheduled a vote on the his resolution to pull the troops out of Iraq.

Without Tom Delay counting noses and cracking the whip, this makes me very nervous.

Fingers are crossed this goes well. A close vote could be almost as bad as losing. The message going out to the world and our enemies is going to be important.

Your Co-Conspirator,
ARC: MontereyJohn

More Evidence Supporting Safire's Claims of a "Narrative" in the Media

Mickey Kaus is amazed at the way the press is handling the calls by Representative Murtha to pull out of Iraq.

a) The press is pretending to be surprised by Murtha's views ("An Unlikely Lonesome Dove" ... "a fierce hawk") even though he's been a known, public Iraq War skeptic since at least a year and a half ago. NBC News, even more ludicrously, pretended to be surprised by professional GOP apostate Sen. Chuck Hagel's apostasy. ... Update: Most egregious was the LAT's Maura Reynolds who, in order to set up the "jolt" of Murtha's speech, wrote
And when President Bush decided to wage war on Saddam Hussein, perhaps no Democrat was a firmer ally.
Assuming Reynolds means the current President Bush and the current war (and shouldn't she have said if she didn't?) this is correction-worthy garbage. Murtha questioned the war in 2002, before it began.

This all points to the fact that the media doesn't really report the news (per se), but rather they report events that are consistent with the current narrative. As William Safire put it on October 30th's Meet the Press:
MR. SAFIRE: There was a great columnist once who wrote about the breaking of the president. It was a play on the phrase "the making of the president" by Teddy White. I think now we're in the grip of a narrative. And the narrative is: "This president and this presidency is finished." And his polls are way down. He didn't do Katrina right, the war is not over. And everything he does is shaded by this narrative.

Now, the wonderful thing about American attention and media coverage, is the narrative has to change. It can't stay the same, or else it's not newsworthy. And so the story will be the comeback. And when you look at what's happened in the last few weeks, what we have overlooked is the fact that there was a constitution voted for in Iraq. Had it been voted against, it would have been a calamity. But it was good news, and it wasn't covered. Katrina was supposed to--and rising gas prices, that was supposed to clobber the economy, and turn things down, and ruin the stock market. Well, what happened? We just found out the other day that gross domestic product rose 3.8 percent, a huge jump. That the economy is, as it gets to 4 percent, booming. And that has to be reflected. But we don't cover it, because it's not in today's narrative.

The narrative today is that the Dems have finally gotten the cojones to openly challenge the prosecution of the War on Terror (from the war in Iraq to the treatment of terrorist captives to the USAPATRIOT Act). Thus, when a Congressman encapsulates that sentiment in a nice and tidy soundbite, it can be used to further the narrative of the press.

(Let's face facts... journalists are all fiction writers at heart.)

And I like the way that the WaPo describes the response by Hastert:
After Murtha stunned the Capitol with a morning news conference calling for a pullout from Iraq because our "troops have done all they can," the denunciations came quickly.

House Speaker J. Dennis Hastert (R-Ill.) accused Murtha of delivering "the highest insult" to the troops. "We must not cower," Hastert lectured the old soldier.

It is insulting to our troops to say they're doing more harm than good - especially when everyone knows that the good works that our soldiers are doing on a daily basis do not get reported AT ALL. And Hastert's statement was to caution the US public that we must stay the course on the War on Terror and not snatch defeat from the jaws of vicotry. Good to see that the Post transforms this into a direct attack on Murtha.

20 years from now... if our adventure in Iraq and the Middle East is successful, will those on the Left claim that they were on board the entire time? Will we allow them to rewrite history as they are rewriting history now about their authorization for the war?

Your Co-Conspirator,
ARC: St Wendeler

Thursday, November 17, 2005


Looks like our man Saint was way ahead of the curve on deducing who might have been the source of the so-called Plame leak.

From The Corner at NRO this morning:

POWELL [Rich Lowry ]He denies it. But I wouldn't be surprised if someone at State was the original source for Novak and/or Woodward. These people were not shy about talking to the press. Posted at 09:38 AM

HMMMM [Jonah Goldberg]Anyone want to take odds that Colin Powell was the one who told Woodward about Valerie Plame?Posted at 09:31 AM

Good to see everyone finally catching on...

By the way (and consistent with Woodward's characterization), I don't believe Powell (or perhaps Wilkerson) disclosed Plame's identity with malice. Rather, they were explaining how Wilson got assigned to the critical mission. Here is the post where I originally speculated that it was Powell and the reasons for my decision:
nd finally my speculation... This man (or someone in his organization) leaked that Plame was in the CIA, probably as part of background as to why Wilson was selected for the mission to Niger.
  1. Wilson attacks administration on yellowcake story
  2. reporters dig in to find out how someone who appears to be a critic of the administration gets such a critical assignment
  3. On background, they describe why he was selected.
[...and I go further regarding the "attack on Wilson" angle...]
BTW, if you want to damage a guy who's telling lies about your administration and the facts, you don't "out" his wife. No, you publish his contradictory statements and the evidence - oh, and get the FBI under that evil bastard John Ashcroft to search his library records, tap his cellphone, and photoshop some images of him with hookers (and send them to his wife).

Now, I had no evidence for this... just pure speculation. I also thought it'd be a great media snafu, given the fact that Powell is a Saint in the eyes of the Press & the Dems.
*** END UPDATE ***
Your Co-Conspirator,
ARC: MontereyJohn

Colin "Deep Throat" Powell

Saint, looks like your prediction is being echoed by others [more heavily compensated! -ed] in the blogosphere.

From Hugh's radio show last night, Mickey Kaus* had this to say:

HH: Well, that's what somebody did at this point. They consider this leak to be so significant. Who do you think talked to Woodward?

MK: Powell. That's who I think, if I had to bet.

HH: Oh, that's interesting.

MK: I mean, he's buddies with Powell. He's apparently hinted that it was an ex-official.

HH: Yes, he did.

MK: And Powell is the logical ex-official. [...]
*as to Mickey's venture... Maybe I was too harsh with the "voice for print" thing, but the face for radio... Definetely. I swear I've seen Mickey as a muppet somewhere in my childhood. Love ya though Mickey!

See Latest Post

Your Co-Conspirator,
ARC: Brian

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Al Gore - Please Call Your Office!!!

Ok, this is the third post with such a title, but it just couldn't be avoided. Our fellow conspirator, MontereyJohn has just posted video to Google Video and as I go through all of the video that the multitudes have posted on their site, I have a feeling that the "awesome" concept that Algore had for TV/Internet will be overtaken by Google. Why wait a long time to someone's submission on a topic when you can just search by category on Google?

For example, want to see some hardcore motorcycle riders? Here's a category. Here are two that I like:
Motorcycle Dog
FZ1 Ride In Germany

How about Jets?

Or whacky freestyler on a Jet Ski?

And if you really want to see the awesome content from CurrentTv, why watch it on TV when you can grab it on demand from google itself?


While we're on the topic of terrible video, does anyone have any thoughts regarding video blog posts? I'm sorry, but it's pretty dreadful - for a variety of reasons. First, as ARC:Brian put it, they have faces for radio and voices for print. Second, there are a lot of awkward pauses between the two, especially during the intro where they basically spend a minute or two saying "Hey... how's it going. Good.. how are you? Fine... we got some reviews... yeah, doing good."

Now, I like both bloggers and read their posts often. But, not sure that what attracts people to blogs is going to work via video. (ie, it's tough to skim past the boring parts... ). With video, you feel obligated to either sit through the entire thing, hoping that it will improve. When it doesn't, it's not likely that you'll revisit the video... In addition, listening to Kaus or Wright read their sources to me is another problem. I have a feeling that if they had posted on these subjects, the quotes they would've excerpted would have been longer and more robust.

Just... don't... see... how... it... will work. perhaps I'm wrong. Of course, God knows that I couldn't do a video about our blog posts, so who am I to judge?

Great Job Bob & Mickey!!! (So they can quote me in their next vblog post thingy)

Your Co-Conspirator,
ARC: St Wendeler

Dick Durbin - Please Call Your Office!!!

Scenes from my gas guzzling SUV:

Gas prices are now where they were one year ago and inflation is slowing because of this return.... Let's hope that this reduces the idiotic push for a windfall profits tax and demonization of oil companies.

(BTW, all you ever wanted to know about the effects of "windfall profits" taxes is here.)

Woops... I should've known better.

*** UPDATE ***
Check out Land of Ozz and Michelle Malkin for more.

Your Co-Conspirator,
ARC: St Wendeler

Senator Rockefeller Has Some Serious Explaining to Do

I thought Rockefeller's appearance on Chris Wallace last Sunday was a bit strange, but the really strange thing went past me. Fortunately, not so Edward Morrissey of Captain's Quarters in his article at The Weekly Standard. It will be interesting to see how the ranking (which in this case is apt on more than one level) Democratic member of the Senate Intelligence Committee explains his way out of this mess.

Long story short, he told the murderous thug Assad of Syria in 2002 that the United States was going to attack Iraq.

What on earth was he thinking?

Foreign Correspondent
Why was Sen. Jay Rockefeller talking to Bashar Assad about the president's "plans" for Iraq?
by Edward Morrissey
11/16/2005 12:00:00 AM

PRESIDENT BUSH'S DECISION to finally push back against the "Bush lied!" fable paid off in strange ways this past week. Democrats seemed caught by surprise that the president would attack them so frontally on Veteran's Day; the shock caught them flatfooted all weekend long. Senators from the minority caucus could not explain their own words from 2002 supporting the same intelligence, and the same conclusions, as the Bush administration.

The strangest episode came from an appearance by Senator Jay Rockefeller on Fox News Sunday:

WALLACE: OK. Senator Rockefeller, the president says that Democratic critics, like you, looked at pre-war intelligence and came to the same conclusion that he did. In fact, looking back at the speech that you gave in October of 2002 in which you authorized the use of force, you went further than the president ever did. Let's watch:

ROCKEFELLER: I do believe that Iraq poses an imminent threat, but I also believe that after September 11th that question is increasingly outdated.

Now, the president never said that Saddam Hussein was an imminent threat. As you saw, you did say that. If anyone hyped the intelligence, isn't it Jay Rockefeller?

ROCKEFELLER: No. I mean, this question is asked a thousand times and I'll be happy to answer it a thousand times. I took a trip by myself in January of 2002 to Saudi Arabia, Jordan and Syria, and I told each of the heads of state that it was my view that George Bush had already made up his mind to go to war against Iraq, that that was a predetermined set course which had taken shape shortly after 9/11. [emphasis added]

What was the second-ranking Democrat on the Senate Intelligence Committee doing in Syria, a country which perennially finds itself among the top listings of terrorist-sponsoring nations, discussing President Bush's decision-making on the war on terror with Bashar Assad, one of the worst sponsors of terror in the months after 9/11?

So far, no journalist has had an opportunity to ask Rockefeller that question directly, and Rockefeller hasn't elaborated on the point. We do know, however, that Rockefeller didn't lie about the trip itself. Arabic News covered the January 2002 visit in a short report that confirms Rockefeller's meeting with Assad. While the report does not directly quote Rockefeller after the meeting, it describes the senator as "content" and noted his "happiness" in meeting with the terror-enabler (who now faces condemnation even at the United Nations for his involvement in the assassination of a political opponent in Lebanon).

Rockefeller, for his part, neglected to mention the trip at the time, although he did issue press releases about his meeting with Saudi leaders on the same junket (as noted by the blogger Dinocrat).

If Rockefeller discussed war plans with Assad while the United States had begun military operations against global terrorist organizations, which Assad has been known to fund, surely it is a major breach of the senator's duties? The Logan Act, a piece of rarely enforced legislation, may be pertinent:

Any citizen of the United States, wherever he may be, who, without authority of the United States, directly or indirectly commences or carries on any correspondence or intercourse with any foreign government or any officer or agent thereof, with intent to influence the measures or conduct of any foreign government or of any officer or agent thereof, in relation to any disputes or controversies with the United States, or to defeat the measures of the United States, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than three years, or both.

By Rockefeller's own admission, he went to Syria (as well as Saudi Arabia) to conduct his own foreign policy initiative. He warned Assad that Bush intended to invade Iraq and could not be deterred--giving Assad plenty of opportunity to communicate with Saddam Hussein, and Hussein plenty of opportunity to prepare for war.

Mind you, it took President Bush nine months from time of Rockefeller's trip to even bring the subject of Iraq to Congress, and even though he got the authorization he wanted, he spent five months after that attempting to negotiate with the United Nations for unanimous backing on military action. That hardly seems like an implacably-resolved president determined to go to war.

None of this is to say that our elected representatives can't speak to foreign heads of state, even those unfriendly to the United States. However, by Rockefeller's own reckoning, this incident involves more than just fact-finding. The man who sits in judgment of American intelligence communities went to a known supporter of Islamist terror at a time when the nation had explicitly declared itself in conflict with such groups, and discussed our wartime preparations with a tyrant who could have--and may have--used that information to America's disadvantage. The timetable, and Rockefeller's admitted intervention, allowed the Assad and Hussein enough time to create strategic planning for the aftermath of the invasion of Iraq.

Given the facts we know now, it seems to be an excellent example of why Congress passed the Logan Act in the first place.

Edward Morrissey is a contributing writer to The Daily Standard and a contributor to the blog Captain's Quarters.

© Copyright 2005, News Corporation, Weekly Standard, All Rights Reserved.

Your Co-Conspirator,
ARC: MontereyJohn

A Soldier's Perspective

My old pal, Desert Rat, managed to track down the lovely soldier in the pic I posted over the weekend. She's a "for real soldier" serving in Kosovo. She posted her thoughts about the current political mood and her reactions to it today. While the non-sense going on in Washington seems to have it's effect, she for one has not changed her mind about the course we are on nor the person leading us.

Her site is worth a visit. In fact, it's worth several visits. I'm sure she appreciates hearing from us civie slugs with a word of encouragement. So, drop her a line or a comment!

Her words speak for themselves, so here they are:

The Current Opinion Column on Politics

So, I've mentioned a few times that I've been out of the loop on current events, don't really know what's going on back in the states half the time, and really am not feeling the effects of cost of living or what not back home, as I don't pay insurance or gas or any other living expenses while in Kosovo.However, I do find myself subject to the news and every so often you hear something about an opinion poll on politics or what
not, and I hear things about how much the government hates black people on account of Katrina, and in fact when I was in Europe, I ran into some New Orleans refugees who were telling me that it wasn't as bad as the news made it out to be. In fact, their neighborhoods had survived just fine.

So when i'm getting substandard reports and hearing all of these statistics about approval ratings or what not, I just sigh and shake my head.

I guess I'll feel the brunt of the force when I get back home.But what's really funny about it all is how it all seems to come back to Bush. Everything is Bush's fault, as if the government is responsible for every aspect of our lives and can control the weather. I laugh at this. So, with Bush's approval ratings at an all time low, do I have any regrets at giving him my vote? Of course not. For one, though perhaps Bush will not be remembered as one of our greatest presidents and has in fact made some mistakes in his presidency, I will never know if the alternative would have done better in the same circumstances, he very well could have done even worse.

Could he have done better?

Perhaps, but the thing is we will never know.

Though I wish Bush would have responded sooner to the Cindy Sheehan crowd with something along the lines of this. I was getting a bit dissapointed in him for not standing up and taking the heat sooner. Because frankly I was getting sick of the 'Bush Lied' mantra myself,
with all the high power libs jumping on the bandwagon and pointing fingers at everyone else other then themselves and not taking responsibility for the fact that they did in fact vote to go to war. That was their decision. If they are looking at it as being 'misled', suggesting that they didn't wouldn't have made the vote if they had known, then they have no business being under public office, as we're paying them the big bucks to make those tough choices. If they are just going to go under the policy of Hindsight, then I can't trust them to make an honest judgement if they have no foresight.

Besides, if you want somebody to blame, you'll have to blame the American people for electing these officials. And if you think you have to blame somebody about voting for Bush, you can blame me, as I still have no regrets over my choice. I don't believe Kerry would have done a better job.

Added to the Blogroll...

Your Co-Conspirator,
ARC: MontereyJohn

Elliot Ness - Please Call Your Office


Woodward testifies in CIA leak case
Editor says senior administration official told him about Plame

Washington Post Assistant Managing Editor Bob Woodward testified under oath Monday in the CIA leak case that a senior administration official told him about CIA operative Valerie Plame and her position at the agency nearly a month before her identity was disclosed.

This doesn't sound good, but you know who I think the source is...

I like how Libby's (new) attorney has framed the issue:
"If what Woodward says is so, will Mr. Fitzgerald now say he was wrong to say on TV that Scooter Libby was the first official to give this information to a reporter?" Jeffress said last night. "The second question I would have is: Why did Mr. Fitzgerald indict Mr. Libby before fully investigating what other reporters knew about Wilson's wife?"

Elliot Ness! Call your Office!!!

See Tom MacGuire at JustOneMinute for more.

Also see Decision '08

***UPDATE 2***
Taking a break from promoting picture books of dead Iraqis, the Kossacks are none too pleased with Woodward.

The DUers are not pleased either and have done this nifty photoshop of Woodward as Judy Miller:

along with this delightful cover photo:

*** Trackback Party at California Conservative ***
Welcome California Conservative Readers
See other Call Your Office posts from this day (I know, I went over the line...)
Algore - Please Call Your Office!!
Dick Durbin - Please Call Your Office!!

As well as this more recent post:
More Evidence Supporting Safire's Claims of a "Narrative" in the Media

Your Co-Conspirator,
ARC: St Wendeler

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Google It.... Just a Little Bit...

Think Bush lied about WMDs?

Then Google It... Just a Little Bit....
[yes, that's a reference to this song]

If only the Press and the Democrats these highly sophisticated research tools...

Be sure to check out this bit of video from which shows the Dems own remarks about Saddam:
Windows Media High Speed
Windows Media Low Speed
RealPlayer High Speed

No doubt the Kossacks & DUers will lament that this is pure propaganda - that you can clearly see Rove's hand moving the mouths of these puppets in the video. Heck, I think the White House should post this video on, sending OliverWillis into another fit over the taxpayers paying for "opposition research" for purely political purposes. (Strange that public statements by elected officials is considered opposition research by Oliver, but hey... when you're demented enough to think Howard Dean is a moderate, one shouldn't expect much.)

H/T to Doctor Sanity. Be sure to visit her site.

Your Co-Conspirator,
ARC: St Wendeler

More Media Manipulation

H/T InstaPundit

While we're on the topic of Media Manipulation of the facts, QandO has a great post ripping E.J. Dionne (whose appearance on any Sunday Talk Show prompts me to scream as I power off the TV).

Why Democrats object to discussing foreign policy in the '02 elections I have no idea—well, I do have some suspicions—but EJ Dionne has a solution to the pesky problem of history. Change it!
The big difference between our current president and his father is that the first President Bush put off the debate over the Persian Gulf War until after the 1990 midterm elections. The result was one of most substantive and honest foreign policy debates Congress has ever seen, and a unified nation.
How is this wrong? Let me count the ways:
[... excerpted hilarity]
Oh, and finally—because it seems relevant, and because EJ Dionne doesn't sully his column with this kind of thing—it's worth noting that Democrats called for a public pre-election debate on the Iraq issue. Recall the Feinstein-Leahy resolution, about which Patrick Leahy said:
For the good of the country and for the long-term success of whatever approach we take, President Bush should follow his father’s lead and support a vigorous and constructive debate on Iraq. ... There should be a full debate and a vote. That is what the Constitution prescribes, and that is what the American people expect.
In 2002, they demanded Bush make the case for war to their face. Today, they've retreated to "not in the face!"

It seems that fact-checking was not something that E.J. believes in...

Your Co-Conspirator,
ARC: St Wendeler

Apparently the St Louis Post-Dispatch Editorial Staff doesn't read ARC

Or the Wall Street Journal for that matter. The St Louis Post-Dispatch manipulates the facts themselves in an editorial today about Bush's counter to increasing hysteria by the Dems (I rebut each point made by the Post-Dispatch with quotes from this post yesterday):

WAR AND INTELLIGENCE: It's patriotic to ask questions
Tuesday, Nov. 15 2005

IN A VETERANS DAY speech in Pennsylvania, President George W. Bush said this about criticism of the war in Iraq: "While it is perfectly legitimate to criticize my decision or the conduct of the war, it is deeply irresponsible to rewrite the history of how that war began." Then the president promptly rewrote history.
Actually, Bush said it was okay for people who voted against the war to remain critical. However, he asserted that it's irresponsible for those that supported the war (based on information they had at the time) to rewrite history of how the war began. Bush didn't say that questioning was unpatriotic - he was attacking those that have flip-flopped on the issue purely for political gain.
Mr. Bush's version goes like this: Before the war, Democrats in Congress and allied intelligence agencies agreed that Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction; after the war, bipartisan inquiries concluded the administration did not misrepresent that intelligence.

Mr. Bush must be counting on short memories because both claims are inaccurate.

There was general agreement across party lines and among intelligence services that Saddam had tried to develop weapons of mass destruction. But in the months before the war, there were multiple challenges to the accuracy of the administration's intelligence claims:
As is known to most 4th graders, intelligence is never rock-solid and there are always competing views about what intelligence information actually means. Thus, Wilson says his report on Niger refuted Bush's 16 words in the State of the Union speech from 2003. But the CIA actually says that his report supported the sentence.
The administration claimed that Iraq had imported high-test aluminum tubes for making nuclear bombs; U.S. Energy Department officials believed the tubes were for rockets, not nukes.
As stated above, this claim and counter-claim is in dispute. The French actually believe that the aluminum tubes were for a nuke program. Here's a quote from Larry Wilkerson, Colin Powell's underling and current critic of the Bush admin:

"The French came in in the middle of my deliberations at the CIA and said, we have just spun aluminum tubes, and by God, we did it to this rpm, et cetera, et cetera, and it was all, you know, proof positive that the aluminum tubes were not for mortar casings or artillery casings, they were for centrifuges. Otherwise, why would you have such exquisite instruments?"
The administration claimed that Saddam was trying to import uranium from Niger for its nuclear weapons program; U.N. officials said the Niger documents were
Yes, the documents were determined to be forgeries. However, the claim that Saddam was seeking uranium from Niger predates the discovery of the documents. The government of Niger confirmed that Saddam did send a delegation to Niger to discuss the possibility of procuring uranium.

"Britain's independent Butler commission concluded that it was 'well-founded.' The relevant passage is worth quoting at length:
  1. It is accepted by all parties that Iraqi officials visited Niger in 1999.
  2. The British government had intelligence from several different sources indicating that this visit was for the purpose of acquiring uranium. Since uranium constitutes almost three-quarters of Niger's exports, the intelligence was credible.
  3. The evidence was not conclusive that Iraq actually purchased, as opposed to having sought, uranium, and the British government did not claim this.
As if that were not enough to settle the matter, Mr. Wilson himself, far from challenging the British report when he was 'debriefed' on his return from Niger [...], actually strengthened the CIA's belief in its accuracy. From the Senate Intelligence Committee report:

"He [the CIA reports officer] said he judged that the most important fact in the report [by Mr. Wilson] was that Niger officials admitted that the Iraqi delegation had traveled there in 1999, and that the Niger prime minister believed the Iraqis were interested in purchasing uranium.

And again:
The report on [Mr. Wilson's] trip to Niger . . . did not change any analysts' assessments of the Iraq-Niger uranium deal. For most analysts, the information in the report lent more credibility to the original CIA reports on the uranium deal."
Secretary of State Colin Powell told the United Nations that satellite photos of a chemical weapons site showed deception by the Iraqis; U.N. officials saw
"routine" activity.
Here's Larry Wilkerson's asssessment of this instance:
"I can't tell you why the French, the Germans, the Brits and us thought that most of the material, if not all of it, that we presented at the U.N. on 5 February 2003 was the truth. I can't. I've wrestled with it. [But] when you see a satellite photograph of all the signs of the chemical-weapons ASP--Ammunition Supply Point--with chemical weapons, and you match all those signs with your matrix on what should show a chemical ASP, and they're there, you have to conclude that it's a chemical ASP, especially when you see the next satellite photograph which shows the UN inspectors wheeling in their white vehicles with black markings on them to that same ASP, and everything is changed, everything is clean. . . . But George [Tenet] was convinced, John McLaughlin [Tenet's deputy] was convinced, that what we were presented [for Powell's UN speech] was accurate."
The president warned that Saddam would turn over WMDs to his al-Qaida allies; the CIA found that Saddam and al-Qaida did not have close ties and that Saddam would not turn over WMDs unless backed into a corner by the United States.
I believe the Senate committee actually said that while Saddam did not have a direct tie to the 9/11 attacks and did not have "operational ties", his government and Al Qaeda certainly had a relationship and were not enemies of each other. From yesterday's post:

"Contrary to how its findings were summarized in the mainstream media, the committee's report explicitly concluded that al Qaeda did in fact have a cooperative, if informal, relationship with Iraqi agents working under Saddam. The report of the bipartisan 9/11 commission came to the same conclusion, as did a comparably independent British investigation conducted by Lord Butler, which pointed to 'meetings . . . between senior Iraqi representatives and senior al-Qaeda operatives.'"
It was partly because of these pre-war weaknesses in the intelligence case that the United Nations refused to approve the U.S.-led invasion.
Actually, a resolution to invade Iraq was never sought. Yes, it was primarily due to the fact that the US did not believe it could win the vote (thanks to the some of the Security Council member states being on the take from Saddam's Oil-for-Food program), but also because the US did not feel that it was absolutely necessray for the UN to authorize something which it had already authorized under resolution 1441 - namely, the imposition of "serious consequences" on Saddam's regime.

The dissembling continues from there... What the Post-Dispatch and the Left are failing to recognize (in addition to the numerous quotes from Democrats authorizing war with Iraq) is that after 9/11, we were not in a position to allow a ruthless dictator like Saddam (who had used WMDs in the past and was apparently in the process of re-establishing those WMDs) to continue to exist and (as Harry Reid put it) "[thumb] his nose at the world community." In addition, the cesspool that the Middle East had become was a clear danger to the US, as radical Islam had been at war with the West since the 1970s and the West had failed to recognize that fact. After 9/11, we finally entered the war.

Your Co-Conspirator,
ARC: St Wendeler

A Book Worthy of Promotion by the Leftists

Mark "Screw Them" Moulisas (aka Kos) has found a book that he can support: Unembedded.
It shows an "unbiased" view of the war in Iraq through photos of four photojournalists that were in Iraq and not attached to any US military units. At least, "unbiased" in that it doesn't show any US troops in a favorable light and presents images almost entirely from the view of the insurgents.

Photos from Unembedded
by kos
Tue Nov 15, 2005 at 08:29:36 AM PDT

Unembedded is a stunning book of photographs from four photojournalists roaming Iraq without U.S. military escorts. Over the next week I'll be featuring photos from the book.

Photo by Thorne Anderson

A young boy watches his relatives repair a rocket-propelled grenade launcher in the home of a Mahdi Army fighter.
For the impatient amongst us, you can see more pictures from the book here.
Given the amount of other books available and sources of information, why is it that Kos takes this opportunity to promote this book? I went to the site and reviewed the photos... not a single photo of our troops interacting in a favorable light with the Iraqis. And that's not because this never happens, because there are plenty of shots in existence.

This is similar to the Pulitzer Prize nominated photos which were clearly pro-insurgent from last Spring.

Be sure to check out the comments on this post...
Not MY Enemy (none / 0)

The Mahdi Army were fighting an illegal and immoral foreign occupation. And rightly so. If they tried to occupy Brooklyn I'd regard them as "the enemy," but in Iraq they are freedom fighters. Remember that they launched their uprising only AFTER the occupation government shut down their newspaper. Its a hard truth to swallow when they are shooting and killing U.S. soldiers. But thats the price of being on the wrong side.

Bill O'Reilly is a Terrorist sympathizer.

by Christopher Day on Mon Nov 14, 2005 at 08:39:59 PM PDT
And they're amazed when we say they don't support the troops?

Your Co-Conspirator,
ARC: St Wendeler

Monday, November 14, 2005

Grasping for Twinkies Political Advantage

H/T Jeff Goldstein at ProteinWisdom.

Oliver Willis is making a big fuss of the Bush administration using the White House website to promote their policies.... He thinks this is an improper use of "federal property."

Whose Money Are They Using For This?
by Oliver Willis

I know its probably something that will fly under the table, but last time I checked this sort of opposition research doesn’t have any place on the White House web site. It’s all well and good for that kind of thing to go on, but we aren’t paying the Bushies tax payer dollars to investigate Sen. Kennedy’s votes. At least we shouldn’t be.
to which I commented (pending moderation, so yet another test of Oliver's willingness to allow dissent):
Oliver - This is silly… I’m sure you’ll have a post out shortly about Harry Reid’s use of his government funded site for this partisan attack
against Bush’s Veteran’s Day Speech
. Or this partisan attack calling for Cheney to clean house.

Or Nancy Pelosi’s partisan statement attacking the failure of the House to pass the budget resolution.

And besides, I don’t think you can seriously make the claim that a Senator’s public statements and votes should be considered “opposition
research.” Now, if they had posted Kennedy’s bar bill from the local strip club on the White House website, perhaps you’d have a case… Nor
can you seriously object to the White House providing the text of a newspaper article in one of the nations leading newspapers… seriously…


Your Co-Conspirator,
ARC: St Wendeler

All You Need to Know About Iraq

Norman Podhoretz makes an excellent contribution to the on-going discussion about whether Bush Lied or manipulated intelligence in order to attack Iraq. (It's not really much of a debate, since every time you provide factual evidence showing that Bush did not lie, the Left merely turns up the volume.) Anyway, this article extensively covers the facts surrounding this issue and is a must read. I've only excerpted the beginning (and included the instructive Hans Blix quote), so be sure to read the whole thing:

Who Is Lying About Iraq?
A campaign of distortion aims to discredit the liberation.
Monday, November 14, 2005

Among the many distortions, misrepresentations and outright falsifications that have emerged from the debate over Iraq, one in particular stands out above all others. This is the charge that George W. Bush misled us into an immoral or unnecessary war in Iraq by telling a series of lies that have now been definitively exposed.

What makes this charge so special is the amazing success it has enjoyed in getting itself established as a self-evident truth even though it has been refuted and discredited over and over again by evidence and argument alike. In this it resembles nothing so much as those animated cartoon characters who, after being flattened, blown up or pushed over a cliff, always spring back to life with their bodies perfectly intact. Perhaps, like those cartoon characters, this allegation simply cannot be killed off, no matter what.

Nevertheless, I want to take one more shot at exposing it for the lie that it itself really is. Although doing so will require going over ground that I and many others have covered before, I hope that revisiting this well-trodden terrain may also serve to refresh memories that have grown dim, to clarify thoughts that have grown confused, and to revive outrage that has grown commensurately dulled.

The main "lie" that George W. Bush is accused of telling us is that Saddam Hussein possessed an arsenal of weapons of mass destruction, or WMD as they have invariably come to be called. From this followed the subsidiary "lie" that Iraq under Saddam's regime posed a two-edged mortal threat. On the one hand, we were informed, there was a distinct (or even "imminent") possibility that Saddam himself would use these weapons against us or our allies; and on the other hand, there was the still more dangerous possibility that he would supply them to terrorists like those who had already attacked us on 9/11 and to whom he was linked.
The intelligence agencies of Britain, Germany, Russia, China, Israel and--yes--France all agreed with this judgment. And even Hans Blix--who headed the U.N. team of inspectors trying to determine whether Saddam had complied with the demands of the Security Council that he get rid of the weapons of mass destruction he was known to have had in the past--lent further credibility to the case in a report he issued only a few months before the invasion:
The discovery of a number of 122-mm chemical rocket warheads in a bunker at a storage depot 170 km [105 miles] southwest of Baghdad was much publicized. This was a relatively new bunker, and therefore the rockets must have been moved there in the past few years, at a time when Iraq should not have had such munitions. . . . They could also be the tip of a submerged iceberg. The discovery of a few rockets does not resolve but rather points to the issue of several thousands of chemical rockets that are unaccounted for.
Bookmark it, print out the article, and keep it handy whenever a Lefty Moonbat strikes.

Your Co-Conspirator,
ARC: St Wendeler

Nudging the Left over the cliff since 2000....

On behalf of the Rovian Cabal, I'd just like to offer a little nudge to the Dems. Read Captains Quarters Blog story on the idiocy of the attacks on pre-war intelligence. Here is his final assessment:

How empty are the Democrats of ideas and long-term plans for national security? Three years later, they're still lying about their own statements on national TV to smear George Bush -- even though he can't run for election again! Rockefeller shows how lame this meme has become. It should embarrass every Democrat in the country and start a demand for new party leadership. Unfortunately, it won't, but it may finally convince the rational moderates that the Democrats have led the party over a cliff.
Go ahead and keep undermining the troops... you're a disgrace to America.

And speaking of disgrace, it seems the Kossacks aren't too pleased with the WaPo editorial staff (or Joe Lieberman for that matter). Armando sees Tailgunner Joe behind every word:
WaPo's Ed Board Editor Practices The New McCarthyism
by Armando
Sun Nov 13, 2005 at 09:26:14 PM PDT

Cementing his place as a Bush media lackey of the first order, Fred Hiatt, the Editorial Page Editor of the Washington Post, reaches a new low - stooping to the New McCarthyism:
. . . Congress . . . pours most of its Iraq-related energy into allegations of manipulated intelligence before the war. "Those aren't irrelevant questions," says Sen. Joe Lieberman (D-Conn.). "But the more they dominate the public debate, the harder it is to sustain public support for the war."

What Lieberman doesn't say is that many Democrats would view such an outcome as an advantage. Their focus on 2002 is a way to further undercut President Bush, and Bush's war, without taking the risk of offering an alternative strategy -- to satisfy their withdraw-now constituents without being accountable for a withdraw-now position.

Many of them understand that dwindling public support could force the United States into a self-defeating position, and that defeat in Iraq would be disastrous for the United States as well as for Mahdi and his countrymen. But the taste of political blood as Bush weakens, combined with their embarrassment at having supported the war in the first place, seems to override that understanding.
You no good SOB Hiatt. You have been irresponsible, grossly negligent, ingenuous and a Bush lackey on Iraq for 4 years now and you have the gall to write those words. You despicable McCarthyite cretin.

We're not supposed to say this anymore - but eff you. How dare you question the patriotism of people who are doing what YOU have failed to do - hold the Bush Administration to account? How dare you?

Your editorial page has always "clapped louder" at the behest of the Bush Administration. Now you dare to SMEAR Dems at the whistle of the worst President in history? How dare you sir?
Fred Hiatt should immediately resign his position. He has no credibility to comment on any issue.

Update [2005-11-14 0:1:36 by Armando]: In my opinion, Joe Lieberman should personally and loudly condemn this column. I suggest that we urge him to do so.

The language highlighted in bold is a McCarthyite attack in the eyes of Armando. Unfortunately, there is little evidence he can point to which would undermine such a claim. The Dems are clearing attacking Bush on pre-war intelligence precisely because they see political advantage in it.

Ironically, Armando is the one pursuing the McCarthyite tactic of calling for Fred Hiatt to resign and calls on a US Senator to condemn the editorial. It seems that some dissent (at least if it's against the Dem Party line) is not tolerated.

Your Co-Conspirator,
ARC: St Wendeler

Sunday, November 13, 2005