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

Friday, February 03, 2006

Egyptian Ferry

This is terrible news from the Middle East:

Egyptian ferry sinks in Red Sea
A ferry carrying about 1,400 people, most of them Egyptians, has sunk in the Red Sea.

Fourteen bodies and 12 survivors have so far been pulled from the sea, Egyptian officials said.

The al-Salam Boccaccio-98 went down about 80km (50 miles) off the Egyptian coast during a journey from Duba in Saudi Arabia to Safaga.

Rescue boats and helicopters are searching the area, but are being hampered by poor weather.

The cause of the sinking is not known but there were high winds when it left Duba.

The ship was carrying 1,310 passengers and 96 Egyptian crew, Jan Maher, a spokesman for the ship's Egyptian company, el-Salam Maritime Transport, told the BBC.

Most of the passengers are Egyptians working in Saudi Arabia although some are thought to be pilgrims returning from Mecca.

There were about 100 people from other countries, including Saudis and Somalis, Capt Maher said.

"We don't know how many casualties there are or how the ship sank," he said.

The head of administration at el-Salam Maritime Transport, Adel Shukri, said he was not aware of any SOS from the crew.

Memo to Pat Robertson:

Please don't comment on this story... Please... If you could be reliably trusted to simply extend your Christian sympathies, it'd be okay. But you're too prone to get into a guessing game regarding "God's message" of such tragedies... And it's quite disgusting.

Your Co-Conspirator,
ARC: St Wendeler

Chimpy W. McBushitler's Attack on Iran's Right to Self Defense

Today's OpinionJournal has this interesting editorial. The IAEA is scheduled to send Iran to the Security Council for its refusal to stop its nuclear program. Why it's taken this long, I don't know... I could've told el-Baradei that Iran wasn't going to stop its nuclear program 2 years ago, but I suppose that's the price of going the multilateral route.

Anyway, from a report this AM on FoxNews and from this editorial, it looks like some are still unsure as to whether this "provocative" step should be taken:

An 'Intolerable' Threat
What a world with an Iranian nuclear weapon would look like.

Friday, February 3, 2006 12:01 a.m. EST

As we go to press, the Governing Board of the International Atomic Energy Agency appears set to refer Iran to the U.N. Security Council. This supposedly indicates the seriousness with which the world views Tehran's decision to resume enriching uranium. Yet while the threat is very real, the seriousness is mostly pretend. The referral includes no call to action, which Russia and China object to in any event.

We will have future occasions to lament U.N. fecklessness vis-à-vis Iran. More worrisome is the hazy thinking about just what Iran's nuclear programs portend, and whether the risks of stopping it outweigh the risks of simply acquiescing in the "inevitable." For now, the weight of elite opinion, sighs and laments aside, seems to be on the side of acquiescence. And the Iranians know it.

"I would sleep happier if there were no Iranian bomb," writes former Times of London editor Simon Jenkins. "But a swamp of hypocrisy separates me from overly protesting it." Iran, he adds, "is a proud country that sits between nuclear Pakistan and India to its east, a nuclear Russia to its north and a nuclear Israel to its West. . . . How can we say such a country has 'no right' to nuclear defense?" In other words, what's the big deal?

Well, the deal is the combination of the world's most destructive weapons in the hands of clerical radicals who might use them. And even short of using them, Tehran's rulers could use the leverage of the bomb to dominate the Middle East and limit America's ability to defend itself and fight terrorism. Now that Saddam Hussein is in jail, the Iranian bomb is the gravest threat in the world to U.S. interests.

The ridiculous argument of hypocrisy appears yet again... it's so prevalent these days, employed to justify gay-bashing against Jeff GannonGuckert, blackmailing a US Senator to vote against Alito, and now to excuse the insanity of a nuclear armed Iran praying for Armaggedon.

The fact that Bush has been going the multilateral route regarding Iran should have comforted many of Bush's critics. Instead, as Bush takes a softer-line in foreign policy, his critics become even more pacifist.

Your Co-Conspirator,
ARC: St Wendeler

Thursday, February 02, 2006

On the Road Again...

Blogging is going to be sparse to non-existant for a bit. I and my bro (aka The Old Fool) are hitting the road on Friday. This should result in a LOT of posts when I get back. We're talking Big Sur, San Francisco, Marin County (for my right of center friends, I'll be sure to stop in and say "hi" to Nancy Pelosi for you all) the Sierra, Gold Country etc.Cheers,MontereyJohn

Your Co-Conspirator,
ARC: MontereyJohn

Good question...

Clarice Feldman at American Thinker (and crossposted to the very good analysis at Tom Macguire's blog, Just One Minute) has an interesting article about the recent correspondence between Special Prosecutor Fitzgerald and Libby's counsel:

For if the Special Prosecutor had no evidence that Valerie was a “classified” employee at the CIA why did he even proceed with the investigation? He was selected to determine whether there had been a violation of the law relating to classified information-in this case-the “outing” of a covert agent.

And he proceeded without even seeking to establish whether Plame was one?

Read the whole thing.

It appears that parts of Fitz's Fitzmas presser might have been just wishful thinking.

Your Co-Conspirator,
ARC: Brian

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Is it getting chilly in here?

Take a look at this great post from Tigerhawk, dealing with the morality and appropriate types of dissent during war.

However, there is a lot of anti-war dissent that is primarily motivated by other objectives, or which use methods that are designed not to persuade Americans that policy should be changed, but to interfere with the fighting of the war. Dissenters who are actually furthering some unrelated political objective or simply working out their personal rage may be acting lawfully -- the First Amendment is very powerful mojo -- but they are not acting legitimately. It is not legitimate to damage our war effort and undermine our soldiers because you hate George Bush, want to protect Roe v. Wade, are ideologically opposed to all war, believe that the United States needs to be cut down to size, want to bolster the fortunes of a particular Democratic candidate or Democrats in general, believe that the State Department has been disrespected, believe that the Pentagon is inept and corrupt, or want to discredit Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld. If you do that, you are being frivolous with the lives of our soldiers and helping the enemy without the benefit of having advanced the important public discussion over whether we should change American foreign policy. In short, your objectives and therefore your dissent are illegitimate, and it is fair for your opponents to attack you as unpatriotic. You are.

Similarly, if you use tactics that interfere with American policy -- if you attempt to obstruct military recruitment, campaign against American policy outside of the United States or to primarily foreign audiences, demonstrate against weapons manufacturers simply because they are weapons manufacturers, and so forth -- you are deliberately undermining the American capacity to win the war. This is not legitimate anti-war dissent (again, even if it is lawful), and it is by no measure patriotic.

Finally, and obviously, hypocritically arguing in front of the world that the President of the United States lied to or misled the United States Senate is to give aid and comfort to the enemy and undermine our soldiers for no constructive purpose other than political advantage. Fatuous claims that we must argue this issue now -- during the war and in the midst of great uncertainty in Iraq -- so it "never happens again" are nothing but a fig leaf to cover up the awful truth -- that anybody who makes this argument is sacrificing America's best interests for their own.

Read the whole thing... the setup is perfect, the analysis is dead on...

Your Co-Conspirator,
ARC: St Wendeler

The Chill Wind

It really is sad that the US has turned into a fascist and totalitarian state... I mean, people who speak openly about their disdain for the government are being locked up across the nation.

Oh, wait... Andrew Marcus was at a protest yesterday and didn't see any of that.

Here's a link to his video (Windows or apple quicktime format)

The protests were organized by The World Can't Wait [for another try at a communist utopia - see Discover the Networks for info]. In addition to Andrew's adventure in Chicago, Jim Hoft bravely ventured out to witness the huge turnout on the streets of St Louis.

I also watched Ramsey Clark & the usual suspects on C-Span calling for the impeachment of Bush. Throughout the entire discussion, people and presenters all decried the fact that dissent is not tolerated. By this, they meant that it really smarts when people say they're unpatriotic or un-American when they say that the troops are terrorizing the Iraqis and that the US is the largest threat to world peace. While such criticism of their stupid thoughts might hurt, it is well-deserved. And saying that someone is unpatriotic is not an infringement on their First Amendment rights...

I'm still waiting for the Security Policy to swarm on one of these protests and take everyone away... Apparently, Bush is even so incompetent that his gestaats polizei ("gestapo" for short) can't put down a few ridiculous protesters. No, all that happens is these idiots are given more and more free time in the MSM to promote their ideas. Somehow, this increased exposure is considered to be stifling their dissent.

(Why do I have a feeling that Rove & Bush are pleased when these nutjobs are showcased in the press?)

Your Co-Conspirator,
ARC: St Wendeler

Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Woodruff & Journalistic Navel Gazing

No one is surprised about the MSM's navel gazing over Woodruff's injuries, right?

I mean, to journalists the only "real people" are other journalists. It's one thing if some kid from red-state USA "gets it" in Chimpy W. McBushitler's war for oil... But God forbid if a journalist gets injured! It really "brings it home" in the eyes of a journalist.

Some US troops question Woodruff coverage

UPI Pentagon Correspondent

WASHINGTON, Jan. 31 (UPI) -- The American media stood up and took notice when an improvised explosive device grievously injured an ABC News crew Sunday.

In Iraq, and throughout the military, there is sympathy and concern for anchor Bob Woodruff and cameraman Doug Vogt, but there is also this question:

"Why do you think this is such a huge story?" wrote an officer stationed in Baqubah, Iraq, Monday via e-mail. "It's a bit stunning to us over here how absolutely dominant the story is on every network and front page. I mean, you'd think we lost the entire 1st Marine Division or something.

"There's a lot of grumbling from guys at all ranks about it. That's a really impolite and impolitic thing to say ... but it's what you would hear over here."
Modern American celebrity culture has certainly magnified the latest incident: Woodruff is recognizable, relatable, respectable. He was selected for his job as co-anchor not just for his undoubted journalistic credentials but also because ABC decided he was the kind of person Americans would want to welcome into their homes every night. His injury, therefore, feels personal to many viewers.

"He's the kind of celebrity we feel we know. That's the mature of these anchors. But we feel we know these people and we care what happens to them," Montgomery said.

That leaves the uncomfortable question about how much the media, or the American public, cares about the injured who are less well known, but in just as dire straits.

ABC News' national broadcast Monday ran coverage on the extremely well equipped field and manned hospital at Balad Air Base, a transportable emergency room with not one but two neurosurgeons on duty, better than most emergency rooms in the United States.

It was a story ABC News became aware of because that was where Woodruff and Vogt were treated. It was not a story ABC necessarily had reason to do before; there was no news hook. However, this was where hundreds of wounded soldiers and Marines had previously been stabilized before being moved to Landstuhl Air Base.

"As we are hearing the details of Bob Woodruff's medical care and how he was shipped to Germany, and we go inside the operating room, (we realize) it's a part of the war that the press has basically ignored," said Montgomery.

In the midst of a two-month reporting trip in Iraq in 2005, I stopped at the Balad emergency hospital, toured it for an hour and interviewed a dozen doctors and nurses. I couldn't find a news hook to write about it, so I didn't.

By the way, my brother-in-law served in the Balad hospital mentioned in the article, which the author visited but felt there was no "hook" to make it worthy of a news article.... I wonder if she would've found a hook if the facility had terrible conditions? No, since the facility was well-staffed and well-equipped, there was no hook.

Pamela - the "hook" for the story was that the facilities being provided to our troops are better than facilities back in the US. Heck, you could've even taken an anti-Bush slant in your "reporting," talking about how we needed more facilities like the government-run one in Balad throughout the US.

Media bias isn't just the slant that is used in certain stories, but also what never gets reported.

*** Update ***
Austin Bay has commented on this story

Your Co-Conspirator,
ARC: St Wendeler

Lileks' Screedblog

Be sure you read this Screedblog from Lileks. Here's a taste:

I read stories like this, and the very first paragraph makes me tired.
A UNIVERSITY Christian Union has been suspended and had its bank account frozen after refusing to open its membership to people of all religions.

I could understand a University turning a cold narrow eye to a group that declared, in its charter, that nonbelievers and sodomites alike would be cast into the lake of fire on Judgment day - and to prepare them for that event they would be set alight should they attempt to attend a meeting of the Christian Union. But:
Members claim the actions have been taken against them after they refused on religious grounds to make “politically correct” changes to their charitable constitution, including explicitly mentioning people who are lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgendered.

Personally, I suspect that the organization would welcome anyone who showed up for services, and not inquire too closely about what they wish to do with whom. But the Union isn’t in trouble for excluding people. They’re in trouble for not rewriting their constitution to “explicitly mention” some noisy people who, one suspects, are less interested in access to this particular group than enforcing the use of a wide bland smear of magic words that somehow insulates them from exclusion. It gets richer:
The Christian Union was advised that the use of the words “men” and “women” in the constitution were causing concern because they could be seen as excluding transsexual and transgendered people.

Keep reading... it's a great post.

Your Co-Conspirator,
ARC: St Wendeler

One unfortunate aspect of the "blogosphere"

Arianna Huffington's idiotic comments being featured on CNN... as a fresh voice from the blogosphere.


...and it's interesting that she's paired up against her ideological rival, Andrew Sullivan...


Your Co-Conspirator,
ARC: St Wendeler

Liveblogging the SOTU

I'll be liveblogging the State of the Union, and expect that MontereyJohn will likely chime in - along with our good friend, the DesertRat. ARC:Brian is in an undisclosed location and "off the net," orbiting the east coast of this great land. Similar to Commerce Sec'y Don Evans being off-site in case something should happen, Karl has appointed Brian to assume his responsibilities should Don need some Rovian advice. I know I feel safe with Brian ready to take charge of the situation.

Right now I'm watching CNN and they're discussing how Bush has to "turn this around" and "pivot," lest his 2nd term go down in flames. This on the day that Bush has his 2nd (of potentially 3) Supreme Court nominees confirmed. They are also talking about how the Dems are looking for an olive branch and bi-partisanship, all the while that the Dems have pre-released their response talking about how it's sad that the President hasn't apologized for the "culture of corruption."

If anyone needs to "turn things around," it'd be the democrats who haven't had an electoral success since 1996 Presidential election and since 1992 for the Congress.

Key excerpts from the speech here

Your Co-Conspirator,
ARC: St Wendeler

Congratulations to our newest Supreme Court Justice

Done - 58 to 42.

Good to see that it will be unlikely for nominees to be stopped from having up or down votes in the future.

Shame that the Kossacks & Dean didn't get the victory they wanted. While they may have "Bought & Paid" for the Democratic party, it's a losing party and their influence isn't going to help - it's only going to exacerbate the problem.

Your Co-Conspirator,
ARC: St Wendeler


H/T Say Anything

It seems that the Left has once again donned their gay-bashing hats and are seeking to out someone who is still "in the closet."

This post will be read by thousands and thousands of people... It's directed at ONE person.
Mr. Senator:

Tomorrow you will be faced with a vote that may have the longest aftereffects of any other you have cast in your Senate career.

Tomorrow you will decide if your political position is worth more than doing what is right for others like you. For others like you, Mr. Senator, who engage in oral sex with other men. (Although, Mr. Senator, most of us don't do in the bathrooms of Union Station!) Your fake marriage, by the way, will NOT protect you from the truth being told on this blog.

How does this blog decide who to report on? It's simple. We report on hypocrites. In this case, hypocrites who vote against the gay and lesbian community while engaging in gay sex themselves*.

When you cast that vote, Mr. Senator, represent your's the least you could do.

Michael Rogers

*While votes on many matters are considered, votes "FOR" either the Alito nomination and the Federal Marriage Amendment are enough to qualify legislators for reporting on this site.

Ladies and Gentlemen.... if they want a cultural war, I'll give them a [@$%&ing] cultural war. Fasten your seatbelts, it's gonna be a bumpy 2006."

UPDATE: Some of you have asked if he will be outed tomorrow. No. The blog will report on this closeted Republican Senator between tomorrow and a time when it may most impact the reelection effort of the Senator. Just because the Democratic establishment has given up the fight for our Nation, doesn't mean this site will...

It seems that the especially tolerant and "progressive" Michael at is looking to out this Senator if he doesn't vote the right way on Alito.

Waiting for the Jeff Gannon/Guckert reference... Woops!! Didn't have to wait long.

The Corner points out
that this post may be evidence in an upcoming prosecution... Hey, I've got a screen cap on my computer!

Your Co-Conspirator,
ARC: St Wendeler

Watching Flight 93 and It All Comes Flooding Back...

As I write this, I am watching Flight 93 on A&E. Lord, how I hate our enemy. I know it clouds my judgment, and I will not let the beast of hatred have me for long. But for these few short moments I need to remember.

In the anger born of hatred is the energy that will see me and all of us through.

For you Lefties out there, you friends of the Islamo-fascists, watch this movie. Watch and remember. And then tell me you think it wrong to hunt them all down and kill them. Tell me there is another way to deal with these people.

The hatred and anger brings back the clarity.

I doubted the war in Iraq was the way to go. Hell, I still doubt it. But the war has brought our enemy to that place like cockroaches to a dirty kitchen. If nothing else, we are going to kill a hell of a lot of them. Maybe some other good will come of it, like deposing that, in the words of Patton, "paper hanging son of bitch," but for me I see it as the chance to destroy the enemy, and destroy them we must.

I hate them. They have earned that hatred. I will support this president until he has hunted them all down and killed them.

And anyone who gets in the way of that great cause, and yes I mean you Teddy, Durbin, Reid, Kos and your ilk, you will be but a greasespot on the highway of history.

I needed this reminder.

"Let's roll!"

Your Co-Conspirator,
ARC: MontereyJohn

Monday, January 30, 2006

From The Kos-ster re Alito - Appears the Prozac is Working

"There's got to be a pony in here somewhere" goes the old joke.

Another one I liked was a cartoon that appeared in Playboy years ago. Two guys are emerging from the rubble of a totally destroyed city. The air is full of dust and a mushroom cloud is dissipating in the back ground.

The caption read: "I think we won."

With that in mind, I offer the latest from Kos.

We lost the cloture vote, but that was -- despite some of your best wishes -- a pre-ordained conclusion. But that doesn't mean we lost on the bigger picture.

What you guys accomplished the last week was amazing -- the outpouring of emails, letters, faxes, and phone calls was unprecedented for the netroots and particularly surprising given how weak our issue groups organized against Alito. We should've played a supporting role to strong efforts by NARAL, People for the American Way, and others. Instead, we ended up being pretty much the entire effort.

But say what you will about blogs and the netroots, we are not effective organizers for this type of large-scale effort, with an opposition wielding tens of millions of dollars. That we got this much accomplished in the fact of that is simply incredible.

Update: Apparently the Kos readership is not quite so placid, perhaps a shortage of Prozac?

Time to KICK ASS AND TAKE NAMES (4.00 / 2)

Any Democrat who votes for cloture is no longer a Democrat.

Take down their names and kick their ass in the next election theyre in.

Remember today, January 30, 2006. Today was the last day of the American democracy. It died today.

Welcome to the New World Order.

Your Co-Conspirator,
ARC: MontereyJohn

Update from Rove - Operation Deaniac

Received the following from Rove HQ:

FLASH Traffic
Classification: SECRET

Message follows:

Looks like the operation "Deaniac" has produced some real results. However, it appears that the Democratic party may be becoming privy to the sad state of their affairs. (H/T Drudge)

Mon Jan 30 2006 10:52:31 ET

Democratic leaders on Capitol Hill are privately bristling over Howard Dean’s management of the Democratic National Committee and have made those sentiments clear after new fundraising numbers showed he has spent nearly all the committee’s cash and has little left to support their efforts to gain seats this cycle, ROLL CALL reports.

Congressional leaders were furious last week when they learned the DNC has just $5.5 million in the bank, compared to the Republican National Committee’s $34 million.

Senate and House Minority Leaders Harry Reid (Nev.) and Nancy Pelosi (Calif.), along with the Senate and House campaign committee chairmen Charles Schumer (N.Y.) and Rahm Emanuel (Ill.), have made their concerns -- directly or indirectly -- known to Dean, claims the paper.

Emanuel was particularly upset last week upon seeing the latest DNC numbers.

“A lot of people are scratching their heads as to what’s going on,” said one senior Democratic aide.

Another Democratic source familiar with the party fundraising apparatus said there is “obvious displeasure” among the leaders.


We all knew it wouldn't last forever. Internal Rovian polls currently show that Dean still has a sizeable majority in the Kos Kids faction, so the blustering from the party members may be just that, bluster. Either way, the damage has been done.

Here's to a wonderful '06 campaign season.


Your Co-Conspirator,
ARC: Brian

Steyn on the Palestinian Elections

As I commented here, the Palestinian election is a success for Bush's foreign policy, since it's a clarifying moment of where the Palestinians stand. There is no more confusion or but-monkey's that can be employed to describe "the complex issues" in the Middle East "peace process." Hamas is a terrorist organization more radical than the Arafat's Fatah organization (even with its Al Aqsa's Martyr's Brigade) and the Palestinian people couldn't wait to rush out and throw their support behind them.

Well, Mark Steyn weighs in on the issue (and ties it nicely to Joel Stein's idiotic editorial in the LA Times from last week):

Hamas, by contrast, takes a Joel Stein view: Why the hell should we have to go tippy-toeing around some sissy phrase we don't really mean? Hamas doesn't support a two-state solution, it supports the liquidation of one state and its replacement by other, and they don't see why they should have to pretend otherwise. And in last week's elections for the Palestinian Authority they romped home. It was a landslide.

As is the way, many in the West rushed to rationalize the victory. The media have long been reluctant to damn the excitable lads as terrorists. In 2002 the New York Times published a photograph of Palestinian suicide bombers all dressed up and ready to blow, and captioned it "Hamas activists." Take my advice and try not to be standing too near the Hamas activist when he activates himself.

Oh, no no no, some analysts assured us. The Palestinians didn't vote for Hamas because of the policy plank about obliterating the state of Israel but because Fatah is hopelessly corrupt. Which is true: The European Union's bankrolled the Palestinian Authority since its creation and Yasser and his buddies salted most of the dough away in their Swiss bank accounts and used the loose change to fund the intifada. After 10 years you can't blame the Palestinians for figuring it's time to give another group of people a chance to siphon off all that EU booty.

So I'd like to believe this was a vote for getting rid of corruption rather than getting rid of Jews. But that's hard to square with some of the newly elected legislators. For example, Mariam Farahat, a mother of three, was elected in Gaza. She used to be a mother of six but three of her sons self-detonated on suicide missions against Israel. She's a household name to Palestinians, known as Um Nidal -- Mother of the Struggle -- and, at the rate she's getting through her kids, the Struggle's all she'll be Mother of. She's famous for a Hamas recruitment video in which she shows her 17-year-old son how to kill Israelis and then tells him not to come back. It's the Hamas version of 42nd Street: You're going out there a youngster but you've got to come back in small pieces.

It may be that she stood for parliament because she's got a yen to be junior transport minister or deputy secretary of fisheries. But it seems more likely that she and her Hamas colleagues were elected because this is who the Palestinian people are, this is what they believe. The Palestinians are the most comprehensively wrecked people on the face of the earth: After 60 years as U.N. "refugees," they're now so depraved they're electing candidates on the basis of child sacrifice. To take two contemporaneous crises, imagine if the population displacements caused by the end of the Second World War and by the partition of British India had also been left to the U.N. to manage and six decades later they were still running the "refugee" "camps," now full of grandchildren and great-grandchildren, none of whom had ever lived in any of the places they're supposed to be refugees from. Would you wish that fate on post-war Central Europe or the Indian subcontinent?

So what happens now? Either Hamas forms a government and decides that operating highway departments and sewer systems is what it really wants to do with itself. Or, like Arafat, it figures that it has no interest in government except as a useful front for terrorist operations. If it's the former, all well and good: Many first-rate terror organizations have managed to convert themselves to third-rate national-liberation governments. But, if it's the latter, that too is useful: Hamas is the honest expression of the will of the Palestinian electorate, and the cold hard truth of that is something Europeans and Americans will find hard to avoid.

As with Joel Stein, you're always better off knowing what people honestly think. For decades, the Middle East's dictators justified themselves to Washington as a restraint on the baser urges of their citizens, but in the end they only incubated worse pathologies. Western subsidy of Arafatistan is merely the latest example. Democracy in the Middle East is not always pretty, but it's better than the West's sillier illusions.

Let's just hope that the EU has the will to withhold its subsidy to Hamas.

And thank GOD that the decision regarding foreign aid to the Palestinian state isn't up to the world's greatest monster, Jimmah Carter:
Former President Carter said the United States, by law, would have to cut off direct funding to the Palestinian Authority as soon as Hamas takes control, but it should look for other ways to give money to the Palestinians, such as through the United Nations. Hamas has been branded a terrorist group by the U.S. and Europe.

"United States law would require that the money would be cut off if Hamas is in the government, so that's a foregone conclusion," Carter told The Associated Press.

He really should focus on hammering nails, because idiocy like this is not going to look good in the annals of history.

Your Co-Conspirator,
ARC: St Wendeler

Burlingame on the USA PATRIOT Act

Be sure to read this op-ed by Debra Burlingame (relative of 9/11 victim Charles F. "Chic" Burlingame III, pilot aboard American flight 77):

Our Right to Security
Al Qaeda, not the FBI, is the greater threat to America.

Monday, January 30, 2006 12:01 a.m. EST

One of the most excruciating images of the September 11 attacks is the sight of a man who was trapped in one of the World Trade Center towers. Stripped of his suit jacket and tie and hanging on to what appears to be his office curtains, he is seen trying to lower himself outside a window to the floor immediately below. Frantically kicking his legs in an effort to find a purchase, he loses his grip, and falls.

That horrific scene and thousands more were the images that awakened a sleeping nation on that long, brutal morning. Instead of overwhelming fear or paralyzing self-doubt, the attacks were met with defiance, unity and a sense of moral purpose. Following the heroic example of ordinary citizens who put their fellow human beings and the public good ahead of themselves, the country's leaders cast aside politics and personal ambition and enacted the USA Patriot Act just 45 days later.

A mere four-and-a-half years after victims were forced to choose between being burned alive and jumping from 90 stories, it is frankly shocking that there is anyone in Washington who would politicize the Patriot Act. It is an insult to those who died to tell the American people that the organization posing the greatest threat to their liberty is not al Qaeda but the FBI. Hearing any member of Congress actually crow about "killing" or "playing chicken" with this critical legislation is as disturbing today as it would have been when Ground Zero was still smoldering. Today we know in far greater detail what not having it cost us.

Critics contend that the Patriot Act was rushed into law in a moment of panic. The truth is, the policies and guidelines it corrected had a long, troubled history and everybody who had to deal with them knew it. The "wall" was a tortuous set of rules promulgated by Justice Department lawyers in 1995 [hmm, surely evidence of a Rovian trick to go back in time?] and imagined into law by the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) court. Conceived as an added protection for civil liberties provisions already built into the statute, it was the wall and its real-world ramifications that hardened the failure-to-share culture between agencies, allowing early information about 9/11 hijackers Khalid al-Mihdhar and Nawaf al-Hazmi to fall through the cracks. More perversely, even after the significance of these terrorists and their presence in the country was known by the FBI's intelligence division, the wall prevented it from talking to its own criminal division in order to hunt them down.

Furthermore, it was the impenetrable FISA guidelines and fear of provoking the FISA court's wrath if they were transgressed that discouraged risk-averse FBI supervisors from applying for a FISA search warrant in the Zacarias Moussaoui case. The search, finally conducted on the afternoon of 9/11, produced names and phone numbers of people in the thick of the 9/11 plot, so many fertile clues that investigators believe that at least one airplane, if not all four, could have been saved.

In 2002, FISA's appellate level Court of Review examined the entire statutory scheme for issuing warrants in national security investigations and declared the "wall" a nonsensical piece of legal overkill, based neither on express statutory language nor reasonable interpretation of the FISA statute. The lower court's attempt to micromanage the execution of national security warrants was deemed an assertion of authority which neither Congress or the Constitution granted it. In other words, those lawyers and judges who created, implemented and so assiduously enforced the FISA guidelines were wrong and the American people paid dearly for it.

Despite this history, some members of Congress contend that this process-heavy court is agile enough to rule on quickly needed National Security Agency (NSA) electronic surveillance warrants. This is a dubious claim. Getting a FISA warrant requires a multistep review involving several lawyers at different offices within the Department of Justice. It can take days, weeks, even months if there is a legal dispute between the principals. "Emergency" 72-hour intercepts require sign-offs by NSA lawyers and pre-approval by the attorney general before surveillance can be initiated. Clearly, this is not conducive to what Gen. Michael Hayden, principal deputy director of national intelligence, calls "hot pursuit" of al Qaeda conversations.
NBC News aired an "exclusive" story in 2004 that dramatically recounted how al-Hazmi and al-Mihdhar, the San Diego terrorists who would later hijack American Airlines flight 77 and fly it into the Pentagon, received more than a dozen calls from an al Qaeda "switchboard" inside Yemen where al-Mihdhar's brother-in-law lived. The house received calls from Osama Bin Laden and relayed them to operatives around the world. Senior correspondent Lisa Myers told the shocking story of how, "The NSA had the actual phone number in the United States that the switchboard was calling, but didn't deploy that equipment, fearing it would be accused of domestic spying." Back then, the NBC script didn't describe it as "spying on Americans." Instead, it was called one of the "missed opportunities that could have saved 3,000 lives."

Read the whole thing...

Your Co-Conspirator,
ARC: St Wendeler

Flash or Animation Developer Needed

Another Rovian Conspiracy is looking for someone with minimal experience with Flash and or animation to produce a political ad which would air on this site (and probably others) from now until the mid-terms.

We've got the concept, just need some assistance in the execution. I'm in the process of taking a stab at it, but know that someone else could really make a better impact than someone with my skills.

Anyone interested can post a comment to this post, or send an message to

- a - t -

Your Co-Conspirator,
ARC: St Wendeler

Sunday, January 29, 2006

Whose Side Are These Guys On? - Tim Russert and Meet The Press

I really have to start drinking de-caf before watching Russert.

Again the discussion of the NSA surveillance of terrorists came up. And again it is cast by the MSN, in this case Tim Russert, as some sort of domestic spying. I know Russert knows that is not what this program is. So why perpetuate that idea.

Is it because they know if people hear the same thing over and over again that it will be accepted as fact?

Where on earth did the idea come from that it is illegal to listen in on enemy communications?

Did we listen in on the Germans during WWII? The Japanese...

Now there is an interesting thought... the Japanese.

The Battle of Midway was won for one reason, successful signals intercepts. We KNEW where they were going to be when. Though we were hugely outnumbered, we won a smashing vistory.

Would the Lefties insist on a court warrant before obtaining such information or acting on such information once obtained?

So, when I listen to Tim Russert advancing such a bizarre notion as though it was somehow ipso facto so, my blood pressure elevates.

Pass the decaf!

Your Co-Conspirator,
ARC: MontereyJohn