:: The Fred Willard Fan Site ::

(UNDER CONSTRUCTION)

:: Saturday, April 10, 2004 ::

Final Post

I want to share with you the funniest news article I read during Operation Enduring Freedom:
Military Lands Exactly Where It Didn't Want To
Afghanistan: The ground war is taking U.S. forces into rocky terrain and thin air, the sort of conditions that felled the Soviets.

By ESTHER SCHRADER, Times Staff Writer

WASHINGTON ? The fierce combat unfolding in the mountains of eastern Afghanistan is just what the Pentagon had hoped to avoid in this campaign: a battle in which superior air power and technology aren't trump cards and hundreds of U.S. troops are fighting hardened guerrillas in rocky terrain, thin air and brutally cold weather.

The large ground assault near the town of Gardez is taking the U.S. military into precisely the sort of conditions that felled the Soviets in Afghanistan during the 1980s--and precisely the sort of battle the Clinton administration assiduously avoided in Kosovo.

It is also the ground war Al Qaeda apparently wanted.

"Cities and mountains are two places where you don't want to fight," said one defense official who has been involved in planning the Gardez operation. "But if you're a terrorist and you hear that, that's where you want to go."

Despite the heaviest U.S. combat casualty tolls of the war--eight servicemen dead and about 40 injured in the fighting to date--officials said the U.S.-led force of more than 2,000 will continue battling Al Qaeda and Taliban forces until the militants are either dead or captured.[Emphasis mine]

What, you mean we didn't just give up?

Like Virginia Postrel, I think it's way to early to judge whether our current two-front war in Iraq is a proof that the whole operation is a disaster, or that we've got 'em right where we want 'em. But what kind of armchair general pundit guy would I be if I didn't offer some kind of commentary?

I will say this: While the timing of our confrontation with al-Sadr may have been unavoidable, I cannot for the life of my understand why we've waited so long to do in Fallujah and Ramadi what should have been done, oh, say, a year ago? There's been a lot of justifiable talk about the flaws in the Phase IV strategy of OIF (if there even was one), but I think this also points to flaws in the way the first phases of the war themselves were fought.

Gen. Eric Shinseki testified before Congress that we would need "several hundred thousand" troops to topple Saddam. Perhaps he should have said that we would need that many to do the job the right way. Instead of doing it the right way, it seems that we took the path of least resistance to Baghdad, and rather than secure the towns and cities in that path, we simply blew threw them.

We also allowed surrendering enemy troops to simply go home, rather than detain and process them properly. We ended up facing many of them again during the first phases of the war, and are surely facing many more now in the counterinsurgency phase. We opted for expediency over thoroughness.

This is not to say that there weren't very valid reasons for the strategy of getting to Baghdad as quickly as possible -- rather than take the time to button down the territories leading to it, but with the proper force size, we could have more of the latter, without sacrificing the former.

Regardless of how the next 90 days play out, I want to go on record now as saying that regardless of the problems (which were at least partly avoidable), it will not discredit the argument that overthrowing Saddam was the right thing to do. Nor will the tidiest roll-up of the two insurgencies absolve us from making some very foolish mistakes along the way.

BT

But I'm afraid I won't be around for a "cold wash-up" of Operation Vigilant Resolve. It's time for me to pack up this blog -- actually, something I've been meaning to do for weeks now, but couldn't bring myself to do it until now. I'm not suffering from burnout, or being pressured by The Man, or anything like that. Without getting into any details, let' just say I've reached a point in my current professional career which would create some serious ethical issues that I'd rather just avoid (to those in the tinfoil hat crowd who are obsessed with me: read into that what you will).

This has been a great deal of fun, and maybe some day I'll do it again, but it won't be soon. I do want to thank everyone who has given me links, plaudits, and other encouragement -- especially Damien Penny.

I've also received a great deal of thoughtful e-mails, and to those of you who didn't get a response from me, please don't take it personal. I did put a higher premium on responding to the nitwits who were constantly sending me "Oh yeah, well let's see you debunk this!" e-mails over those who sent kind words, and I feel bad about that now.

Please keep reading the blogs linked to your left -- I know I will. And keep the support for our troops flowing, in whatever way you can. Remember, they're heroes, not martyrs.

Bill Herbert


:: COINTELPRO Tool 6:57 PM [+] ::
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:: Thursday, April 08, 2004 ::

If You're Gonna Fact Check, Fact Check!

Andrew Northrup links to this "Claim vs. Fact" critique of Condi's opening statement by the Center for American Progress. The first one's a doozy:
CLAIM: "We decided immediately to continue pursuing the Clinton Administration's covert action authorities and other efforts to fight the network."

FACT: Newsweek reported that "In the months before 9/11, the U.S. Justice Department curtailed a highly classified program called 'Catcher's Mitt' to monitor al-Qaida suspects in the United States." Additionally, AP reported "though Predator drones spotted Osama bin Laden as many as three times in late 2000, the Bush administration did not fly the unmanned planes over Afghanistan during its first eight months," thus terminating the reconnaissance missions started during the Clinton Administration. [Sources: Newsweek, 3/21/04; AP, 6/25/03]

If you click that second link, you'll find out why the Bush administration "terminated" those flights: they were busy expediting the program to arm the Predator, so they could actually do something with the intel they gathered -- they seemed to have learned something from the three times UBL was spotted in late 2000, and we weren't able to do anything about it. And there's this:
Another official said the CIA was opposed in the interim to running too many unarmed Predator flights for fear that would lead Afghan and al-Qaida leaders to be on the lookout for the drones and to flee sites before bombs or missiles could be launched.

??The agency wanted to keep it under wraps and catch them by surprise once they were armed,'' the official explained.

CAP later refers to this fact as a claim, and then refers to the same AP story in a lame attempt to refute it:
According to AP, "the military successfully tested an armed Predator throughout the first half of 2001" but the White House "failed to resolve a debate over whether the CIA or Pentagon should operate the armed Predators" and the armed Predator never got off the ground before 9/11.

This is simply horseshit. The piece does mention the debate between CIA and the Pentagon, but does not cite it as the sole reason for the "delay" -- they were also trying to find a way to arm it with enough ordnance to get a confirmed kill. Not that this distinction matters, because the program still became operation well before it was scheduled under the Clinton Program of Record (POR).

The first test was on Feb. 16, 2001, and the armed Predator was deployed by October. That's fucking unheard of in military POR.

UPDATE: CAP also resorts to butchering a Condi Rice quote (as relayed by commissioner Jamie Gorelick), to make it appear she was lying when she claimed that the Bush administration's strategy was the elimination of al qaeda:
CLAIM: "The strategy set as its goal the elimination of the al-Qaida network. It ordered the leadership of relevant U.S. departments and agencies to make the elimination of al-Qaida a high priority and to use all aspects of our national power -- intelligence, financial, diplomatic, and military -- to meet this goal."

FACT: 9/11 Comissioner Jamie Gorelick: "Is it true, as Dr. Rice said, 'Our plan called for military options to attack Al Qaida and Taliban leadership'?" Armitage: "No, I think that was amended after the horror of 9/11." [Source: 9/11 Commission testimony, 3/24/04]

Yes, they even included a link, as if to say, "you won't check it! You're afraid!"

Sure enough, the transcript quotes Gorelick/Rice thusly (I've emphasized the portion that CAP excised):
GORELICK: So I would ask you whether it is true, as Dr. Rice said in The Washington Post "Our plan called for military options to attack Al Qaida and Taliban leadership, ground forces and other targets, taking the fight to the enemy, where he lived"? Was that part of the plan as prior to 9/11?

Liars.

But this one takes the cake:
CLAIM: "While we were developing this new strategy to deal with al-Qaida, we also made decisions on a number of specific anti-al-Qaida initiatives that had been proposed by Dick Clarke."

FACT: Rice's statement finally confirms what she previously ? and inaccurately ? denied. She falsely claimed on 3/22/04 that "No al-Qaida plan was turned over to the new administration." [Washington Post, 3/22/04]

Chortle.

UPDATE II: Stuart Buck weighs in on CAP's claim about the "Catcher's Mitt" program, noting the rank hypocrisy of the same people who criticize the use of such wire-taps post-9/11 are now criticizing the Bush administration for stopping the practice pre-9/11.

He also notes that the administration was merely responding to being "severely chastised" by a judge over the practice -- another relevant factoid you can find in CAP's source material, but that they neglect to mention in their point paper.

Getting back to the rest of their items...
CLAIM:"When threat reporting increased during the Spring and Summer of 2001, we moved the U.S. Government at all levels to a high state of alert and activity."

FACT: Documents indicate that before Sept. 11, 2001, the Bush Administration "did not give terrorism top billing in their strategic plans for the Justice Department, which includes the FBI." Gen. Henry H. Shelton, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff until Oct. 1, 2001, said during the summer, terrorism had moved "farther to the back burner" and recounted how the Bush Administration's top two Pentagon appointees, Donald Rumsfeld and Paul Wolfowitz, "shut down" a plan to weaken the Taliban. Similarly, Gen. Don Kerrick, who served in the Bush White House, sent a memo to the new Administration saying "We are going to be struck again" by al Qaeda, but he never heard back. He said terrorism was not "above the waterline. They were gambling nothing would happen." [Sources: Washington Post, 3/22/04; LA Times, 3/30/04]

This one isn't nearly as intellectually dishonest as the others, but it's still weak.

Note that the claim in this case has to do with being on a high state of alert, in response to threat reporting. But neither of the sources cited by CAP address this claim directly, or even at all. They both deal with long term strategic planning. For the record, I think this is a valid point (which is why I haven't gone after their claim concerning the Bush administration's funding of anti-terrrorism programs pre-9/11). I think it's undeniable that the Bush administration gave things like missile defense at a higher relative billing in its long-term national security policy planning, and perhaps even in domestic law enforcement planning.

But this is simply not the same as not responding to an immediate threat warning in an appropriate manner. By all accounts, the Bush administration was on a higher state of alert during the summer of 2001:
Hamilton said Sunday that there was "a sense of urgency" in the U.S. government in the summer of 2001, when U.S. intelligence began picking up extensive "chatter" from terrorist suspects about an imminent attack. But Kean said the administration "let down their guard a bit" just before the attacks when the chatter subsided. And most U.S. officials believed the threat was overseas.

"There's no question about it," Kean said on Meet the Press. "We were not at the state of readiness on Sept. 11 that we'd been (at) back in August. ... I think when the chatter went down, when they didn't hear all these people talking to each other so much, there were other priorities out there."

I believe even Richard Clarke has admitted as much.
:: COINTELPRO Tool 9:17 PM [+] ::
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My Lone, Sophomoric Take on the Rice Testimony


The resemblance is even more striking with Bob's new haircut.

Sorry I don't have any high-minded criticism of either the testimony or the bullshit political posturing questions by the panel, but given the mind-numbing predictability of it all, this is the best I can do.

UPDATE: OK, I lied.

Matthew Yglesias criticises Condi's use of the word "strategic" when he thinks she should have used "nuclear." For such a smart guy, he sure can be a dumbass.
:: COINTELPRO Tool 12:00 PM [+] ::
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:: Sunday, March 28, 2004 ::

Daily Mislead

The dissemblers of MoveOn.org are at it again. Here is their latest:
A previously forgotten report from April 2001 (four months before 9/11) shows that the Bush Administration officially declared it "a mistake" to focus "so much energy on Osama bin Laden." The report directly contradicts the White House's continued assertion that fighting terrorism was its "top priority" before the 9/11 attacks1.

Specifically, on April 30, 2001, CNN reported that the Bush Administration's release of the government's annual terrorism report contained a serious change: "there was no extensive mention of alleged terrorist mastermind Osama bin Laden" as there had been in previous years. When asked why the Administration had reduced the focus, "a senior Bush State Department official told CNN the U.S. government made a mistake in focusing so much energy on bin Laden."2.[Emphasis mine]

There are two distortions here. First, they distort Scott McClellan's comments in his Mar. 22 press briefing. He claimed that "going after al qaeda" was a top priority for the administration, not it's top priority, which would make it number one.

More importantly, they blatantly distort the comment from the "senior Bush State Department official" to CNN. The quote comes from an already short bulletin on CNN's Inside Politics -- a recap of the day's top stories by Judy Woodruff right after a commercial break -- which aired April 30, 2001. And the Daily Mislead cut it down even further, and took it out of context. Here it is in full:
The State Department officially released its annual terrorism report just a little more than an hour ago, but unlike last year, there's no extensive mention of alleged terrorist mastermind Osama bin Laden. A senior State Department official tells CNN the U.S. government made a mistake in focusing so much energy on bin Laden and "personalizing terrorism."

still, Secretary of State Colin Powell says efforts to fight global terrorism will remain consistent.[Emphasis mine]

The Daily Mislead clearly distorted this comment, changing the meaning of the "focus" from the context of one man in comparison to terrorist networks to one which compares him to issues in general.

Here is a more complete version of the story, from the network's State Dept. correspondent, Andrea Koppel:
ANDREA KOPPEL, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): His name has become synonymous with terrorism, and after years of contributing to that trend, the State Department wants it to end. And so, unlike before, in its new report on global terrorism in the year 2000, you won't find bin Laden's photograph or a long description devoted to him and his Al-Qaida terrorist network.

A senior State Department official told CNN, the U.S. government made a mistake, compounded by news reports by "personalizing terrorism, describing parts of the elephant and not the whole beast."

As an example of its new approach, the State Department report cites: broad international support for a U.S.-sponsored United Nations resolution, approved in December 2000, that targets sanctions against the Taleban in Afghanistan. The goal: stop the Taleban from providing a safe haven to Islamic extremist organizations and their terrorist training camps, not just bin Laden's.[Via Lexis-Nexis, not the CNN Web site]

Here is the web version of Koppel's story, headlined "U.S. report: South Asia is terrorism 'focal point.'"

And if you read the State Dept.'s Patterns of Global Terrorism report itself, you will find that it certainly remained focused on al qaeda as the most prominent terror threat facing the U.S. Compare it to the previous year's report and you'll find that the only real difference is, indeed, the lack of an inset devoted to bin Laden individually.

They don't call it the Daily Mislead for nothing.
:: COINTELPRO Tool 7:34 PM [+] ::
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:: Saturday, March 27, 2004 ::

I Got Mail. Yay!

Is Hesiod the Greek word for "hysterical?" Just asking.

It seems the hack took exception to my taking exception of this post (and I wasn't the only one). I invited him to post everything we've said to each other on this issue at his blog, but he didn't wanna. But he was nice enough to give his blessing to my posting the exchange here.

His first e-mail:
I know you have an agenda, but I hope you will allow me to clarify my post on Lt. Ratliff.
 
I was not accusing Bush of being responsible for his death because of the war in Iraq. Ratliff served in Afghanistan, not Iraq. An important distiction, because I supported the former war, not the latter.
 
My anger at President Bush was due to the lack of services Lt. Ratfliff received when he returned from Iraq.
 
The City of Columbus surely deserves blame for their cavalier and arrogant attitude toward his promised promotion.
 
But, nobody KILLS themselves for failing to get a $4000 promotion. That was the straw, as it were, that broke the camel's back.
 
As we NOW see, the DOD was doing a piss poor job of providing needed psychological and others support services to service men and women who needed them...to stem an increase in suicides.
 
http://www.miami.com/mld/miamiherald/news/nation/8280974.htm
 
So, Bush failed his men...yet again. He's the commander in chief. He's ultimately responsible for not providing what they need.
 
But, as I well know, Bush supporters never blame him for anything, or let him take responsibility for anything bad that takes place on his watch. It's always somebody else's fault. Bill Clinton. Paul O'Neill. Richard Clarke.
 
Anybody but Bush.
 
I don't want to get into an argument with you. But, I hope you will provide some context to my post. Most people who read it understood my point. Maybe you did too, but chose to distort it and make an ad hominem attack on me based on a strawman.
 
You did the same thing with my Afghanistan post. I was commenting, there, on the dishonesty of the way the Bush administration reported the deaths of our soldiers.
 
For some reason, more died in "accidents" than in combat operations. Even when they were CONDUCTING a combat operation at the time.
 
I wasn't belittling the deaths. I was attacking the Bush administration for trying to sugarcoat reality.
 
Another point that obviously went way over your head.
 
I don't mind it when people attack me for what I actually said based upon a correct interpretation of what I said. That's part of the process.
 
But when people mischaracterize my point, or don't understand what I wrote...and then attack me: that irks me.
 
So, consider this my attempt to clear up your misconceptions. I realize you still disagree with my actual points, and fully expect you to criticize me on those as well. But that's fine. That's an argument on the merits, not on strawmen, B.S. and made up arguments.
 
If, however, you continue to attack me along the same lines as before, I will have 100% proof that you are nothing more than a lying hack.
 
Your choice.
 
--Hesiod Theogeny.

To which I responded ...
Hesiod:

I'm going to put this the nicest way I know how --
your commentary on all things military is among the
most ill-informed and just plain idiotic that one can
find on the internet. There's a reason I don't write
much about labor laws or nanotechnology. I simply
don't know that much about these issues and prefer not
to make an ass of myself.

On Lt. Ratliff, I understood your post entirely, and
regardless of how many straws were already on the
camel's back, you simply don't know what the hell your
talking about.

Mental health care is a problem, especially, but not
exclusively, for military service members. We're
mostly men, which makes it all the more difficult to
diagnose, much less treat, problems that need to be
addressed. One could make the case that the Army
leadership (not DoD -- these matters have been the
domain of the services, and not just under Bush) had
been slow to react to this problem, but to use a term
like "piss poor" makes it sound like it was a routine
matter that was simply neglected. I know that isn't
the case. You're making a politica issue out of
something that isn't, and should never be. Most of the
defense budget increases passed by Bush and decried by
the loony Left have gone to medical and other
personnel benefits. So to blame the problem on a lack
of resource support from the political leadership is
simply nonsense. And to go even further by suggesting
that Ratliffe's suicide was the result of negligence
by the political appointees is as baseless as it is
offensive.

And despite any past failures, I think the Army is
addressing the problem appropriately now.

I'd say the same for your thoughtless post on the fast
rope mishap by the Ft. Bragg soldier last fall. These
kinds of operations are inherently dangerous,
regardless of which political party directs them. Yes,
the percentage of casualties due to accidents rather
than enemy fire is high. It always has been, and
probably always will be. Combat operations CAUSE such
accidents, by their very nature.

Tell me why this is Rumsfeld or Wolfowitz' fault? Did
Sgt. 1st Class Mitch Lane fall into that enemy cave
because Bush cut the funding for Ft. Bragg's special
forces training schools? Or was it because the Army
had to by cheaper and less reliable equipment, because
all the money is going to missile defense these days?

You're an ignorant ass, Hesiod. And by the way you've
slithered this response into my inbox, rather than
serving it as red meat to your dipshit readers, I
think you know that.

And the icing on the cake is his thoughtful, well-reasoned retort:
I'm going to respond to your post, because you took
the time to do so. But you still deliberately misstate
my point about the "accident" in Afghanistan.

I didn't blame the DEATH on anyone. I simply stated
that it was dishonest to classify it as an "accident"
when it happened DURING a combat operation.

Soldiers who's parachutes failed to open on D-Day (and
of course died) were not classified as "accidental"
deaths. They died in Combat.

That's my fucking point, asshole.

Second, I know more about mental HEALTH issues than
you do, prick. And I can guarantee you that this young
man wasn't getting the services and help he needed.

As I pointed out, the Arny is now ADMITTING that they
fell short.

And, yes, it's fucking Bush's fault. It's HIS damn
responsibility have the resources and help available
to deal with these problems before deployment.

Or, you don't send men off to these extended, shithole
deployments for over a year without a damn good
reason, and constantly extend their tours.

Now, Lt. ratliff was deployed to Afghanistan. So the
"damn good reason" part of my complaint doesn't apply.
BUT, he should have had better counseling and
adjustment assistance when he got back. Period.

If you want to suck George W. Bush's dick, that's your
choice. but I certainly don't have to. I want this
country run well.

And, as I predicted, NOTHING is ever Bush's
responsibility, is it? If you don;t hold your
President accountable for his actions, he's not a
President, he's a fucking dictator.

As far as I'm converned, we still live in a Republic.
Anmd, I'll be very happy when that asshole Bush is
frogmnarched off to federal prison during the Kerry
administration.

--Hesiod

On the issue of the "accident" in Afghanistan, Hesiod is flagrantly lying about his original post. Here it is again, in it's entirety:
STUFF HAPPENS: Why do our soldiers keep slipping on banana peels, or in the bathtub?

A special operations soldiers died from a "fall" in Afghanistan...during a "night assault."

Yes. Military operations directed by George Roy Hill.

He's lying on both counts, of course. DoD was never "dishonest" about the how that particular soldier died, and I most certainly didn't misrepresent Hesiod's post on the subject.



:: COINTELPRO Tool 10:24 PM [+] ::
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A Friend Remembers Lt. Ratliff

In resonse to this post, a friend who served with Lt. Brandon Ratliff in AMEDD, sends this e-mail:
I've been dealing with this moron, Hesiod, for a few days now. I was a close friend of Brandon Ratliff. I went to Officer Basic Course at Ft. Sam Houston in San Antonio with him from Jan through Apr of 2002. He was supposed to be at my wedding next weekend. He spent Thanksgiving helping the homeless, even though I invited him to Raleigh to spend it with my family since he was not very close with his parents. Even after serving in Afghanistan, voluntarily with a reserve unit that was not even his own,he wanted to go to Iraq. As a devout Catholic, he felt very strongly about supporting Israel and felt that taking out Saddam was the greatest blow to global anti-Semitism since Hitler's downfall. He was an avid Republican and supporter of the Bush Administration's War on Terrorism.

I LOVE your statement about Bush having nothing to do with the local
Democratic party in Columbus and the City's Health Department. Isn't
it ironic that the woman who the Health Department chose as their liason to the press is the SAME woman that took his job? What a conflict of interest and completely inappropriate and insensitive. Bush is no more responsible for the rulings of the 9th Circuit Court Judges in California than he is for this. As a Captain in the US Army, I feel that we have no stronger supporter of us than the Bush Administration.

As a Jew, I find Hesiod's (also a Jew) stance on Iraq to be self-hating
and appeasing. Winston Churchill once said that appeasement was like
hand feeding chickens to a crocodile hoping it eats you last. I am one of
those Dems for Bush because I believe he is right. Thank you for also
being a voice of reason here. It's disgusting that Hesiod chose to use
the fall of my friend to fly his banner.

I can't add much to that. But I will say that guys like Brandon Ratliff and Sgt. 1st Class Mitch Lane (just to name a couple) are heroes. It's unfortunate that people like Hesiod would try to rob them of that by making them into martyrs.
:: COINTELPRO Tool 10:40 AM [+] ::
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:: Sunday, March 21, 2004 ::

Downright Disgusting

Hesiod (yes, I know I should stop reading his tripe) links to this heart-rending story about Lt. Brandon Ratliffe, an Army Reservist who, after serving with distinction on active duty in Afghanistan, was declined a promotion he had been previously promised at his civilian employer, the Columbus, Oh., Department of Health:
Lt. Brandon Ratliff was upset that he could not afford to pay for an attorney to fight the city to get the job, according to an e-mail sent from Ratliff's account to The Columbus Dispatch on Thursday.

The newspaper said Ratliff was found dead in his home with a bullet wound to the head about three hours after the e-mail was sent. Police spokeswoman Sherry Mercurio said Ratliff's death was ruled a suicide.

Ratliff said he was promised a promotion and a raise in September 2002 before he left to serve in a medical unit in Afghanistan. When he returned, the higher-level job had been filled and he was forced to resume his old job, which pays $4,000 less per year.

Hesiod's comment: "God DAMN you Bush."

Yes, it's Bush's fault that the Democratic administration in Columbus was so callous in its treatment of a citizen soldier. Hesiod also has the audacity to feign outrage and sorrow over the incident, despite his history of making cheap jokes about the deaths of our soldiers in Afghanistan.

What a pig.
:: COINTELPRO Tool 3:12 PM [+] ::
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:: Monday, March 08, 2004 ::

They're Not Laughing at Us, They're Laughing with Us

Via Kevin Drum, the Guardian notes that it's bogus "secret Pentagon report" on global warming has received almost ten times the internet traffic as the paper's next most popular story last week:
The page loaded 456,671 times was a story, originally published by the Observer, about a secret Pentagon report which warned the Bush administration that global warming could destroy the American way of life as they knew it.

It also predicted that Britain would become the new Siberia, but that probably wasn't the reason the story, reporting the contents of the Pentagon's work, became so popular. It became popular because in a week when the president pushed himself further to the right with his plans to amend the US constitution to outlaw gay marriage, an article that showed his conservative instincts on the environment to have been badly misjudged played very well with liberals.

You could tell this because every liberal with a weblog linked to the story, and when a story is trawled by the blogs traffic goes up; exponentially. Jane Perrone, Guardian Unlimited's weblog editor explains. "The key to a story's popularity amongst bloggers is if it's picked up by one of the dozen or so big hitters.

But, as Kevin Drum notes, none of the three bloggers listed by the Guardian actually linked to the the story. And, while I'd never claim to be most people, I certainly didn't learn about it from one of those liberal blogs.

I suppose it's possible that the Guardian's version of how the story became so "popular" is correct, but considering that the paper is still lying about the subject of the story itself, you'll forgive me for being skeptical.

In any event, it would be quite depressing if they were telling the truth (this time), as it would mean that the paper's most popular piece is the one that got virtually every aspect of the story dead wrong.
:: COINTELPRO Tool 10:06 AM [+] ::
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:: Saturday, March 06, 2004 ::

The Hypocritical Condescension of the Anti-War Movement, In a Nutshell

Or, mind-numbingly platitudinous Left-wing intellectuals in Cadillac, Mich., know what's good for your impoverished and oppressed Third World country more than you do!
:: COINTELPRO Tool 6:55 PM [+] ::
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