:: The Fred Willard Fan Site ::


:: Thursday, October 31, 2002 ::

Pork Fat Rules!

I think I saw something like this on Emeril Live.
:: COINTELPRO Tool 11:41 PM [+] ::

:: COINTELPRO Tool 11:38 PM [+] ::

The 'Piece' Movement

Here is a collection of photos from the Berlin chapter of of last weekend's demonstrations, which apparently had no shortage of Hezbollah flags and loving portraits of Saddam. Gandhi would be so proud.
:: COINTELPRO Tool 11:15 PM [+] ::

Racial Profiling Hypocrisy III

Kaus has a good post on Andrew Sullivan's hypocritical "any kind of racial profiling is always wrong" statement, citing two cases that are, indeed, smoking guns. He also mimics my earlier post on Sullivan's false assertion that the cops failed to arrest Mohammad in one of the four or five times they stopped him because he was not the white guy they were looking for.
:: COINTELPRO Tool 9:19 AM [+] ::
:: Wednesday, October 30, 2002 ::

You Really Do Learn Something New Every Day

apparently, the World Socialist Web Site has a movie review section. Whacking Day notes a few howlers, like WSWS' review of Animal Farm, but my favorite is Any Given Sunday:
The case might be made that the rise of professional football -- a sport at whose skill and violence level only a relative handful actually participate -- to its present prominence coincides with certain historical trends in the US, especially the reduction of the mass of the population to the status of a disenfranchised spectator in the political process. There is something telling about millions of fans, passively but all the more ferociously, vicariously living through ?their? teams and individual heroes every Sunday. So much of what people feel dissatisfied about pours uselessly one day a week into this substitute life. And because here too they are cheated out of a real role, indeed by definition any participation in the action is impossible for the spectator, the fans' frustration and inarticulate anger only build, adding to the general social tension.

Is there a group of people anywhere on earth as joyless as these guys?

:: COINTELPRO Tool 11:50 PM [+] ::

Palestinian 'Moderates'

Now I know where the Nazimedia learn their craft:
A senior writer in the Palestinian Authority official daily claims that the attack in Moscow by Islamic terrorists was a CIA plot. According to the writer, the US hopes that having the Russians suffer a Muslim terror attack will convince them to vote with the US in the UN in support of attacking Iraq. France, who also has been opposing the US on the coming UN vote, may be next in line to suffer a Muslim terrorist attack initiated by the US, according to the Palestinian Authority daily.

The following is from the text of the article:
"[Russian] President Putin's ambassador to the Security Council is threatening to vote against the American's proposed resolution to attack Iraq. This is how we view the operation in the Moscow theater; we are of the opinion that the sympathy and friendship that bond Washington to several Islamic movements in Europe, among them the Chechens, cannot possibly be one-sided and there has to be some sort of repayment of the American friendship by the "Mujahedin" [quotes in source] of Chechnya, Bosnia, Hercegovina and Kosovo. The CIA will never acknowledge its responsibility
for this operation which claimed over 170 lives, including those of the perpetrators.... However, the American message reached Moscow and was, perhaps, read the same way by the decision makers in France, who oppose the American pressure in the Security Council and insistently resist giving the Americans an international power of attorney to destroy the most ancient of Arab countries.

"We do not know whether there are members of pro-American organizations in Paris, but we believe that American Intelligence has no need for operatives in France, and we therefore fear a recurrence of a bloody scene in the capitol of [our] friends, the French. We hope they are preparing for such an eventuality, lest it be Moscow first and Paris next."

I should be careful with these kinds of posts, lest I be accused of "hate speech" by the loony left, many of whom agree wholeheartedly with the PA author's thesis.

:: COINTELPRO Tool 9:50 PM [+] ::

Take Good Notes, Now

In a move that is sure to bolster our burgeoning democracy, Russia and Albania have agreed to send observers to monitor U.S. elections next week:
A high-level delegation of European and North American election observers ? including members from Russia and Albania ? arrived yesterday for a week-long mission to watch Florida's mid-term elections, which take place on Tuesday.

Their task: to see if the world's most powerful democracy has learned anything from the disastrous 36-day showdown between George Bush and Al Gore in 2000, in which the world saw every wart in Florida's deeply flawed electoral system without ever discovering for sure who had won.

Certainly, the Russians and Albanians know a thing or two about flawed, rigged or fraudulent elections. After receiving a decade of lectures from Western democracies about overhauling their own systems, they also have a good idea how to overcome them. It remains to be seen whether Florida isn't too tough a nut to crack, even for them. "Whatever else it is, it will be an experience," said a tight-lipped Ilirjan Celibashi, head of Albania's Central Electoral Committee.

Mandated by the OSCE, the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe, the 10-man delegation will not be manning polling stations. However, that might not have been a bad idea, given the experience of the presidential election and the more recent Democratic primary, when voting machines again malfunctioned and hundreds of people complained of being disenfranchised.

Rather, the team will look at the broader picture of Florida's electoral laws, how they are applied, and the ways in which US practices fall short of the stringent requirements imposed on emerging democracies in Eastern Europe and elsewhere.

:: COINTELPRO Tool 9:39 PM [+] ::

"I Feel Used"

How untoward does an event have to be to offend Ventura's sensibilities?
:: COINTELPRO Tool 5:52 PM [+] ::

Again with the Chickenhawk Nonsense

Actually, Michael Kelly has a great piece on the anti-war crowd's favorite substitute for having an argument:
In liberated Kuwait City, one vast crime scene, I toured the morgue one day and inspected torture and murder victims left behind by the departing Iraqis. "The corpse in drawer 3 . . . belonged to a young man," I later wrote. "When he was alive, he had been beaten from the soles of the feet to the crown of the head, and every inch of his skin was covered with purple-and-black bruises. . . . The man in drawer 12 had been burned to death with some flammable liquid. . . . Corpses 18 and 19 . . . belonged to the brothers Abbas . . . the eyeballs of the elder of the Abbas brothers had been removed. The sockets were bloody holes."

That was the beginning of the making of me as at least an honorary "chicken hawk." After that, I never again could stand the arguments of those who sat in the luxury of safety -- "advocating nonresistance behind the guns of the American Fleet," as George Orwell wrote of World War II pacifists -- and held that the moral course was, in crimes against humanity as in crimes on the street corner: Better not to get involved, dear.

Read the whole thing.

:: COINTELPRO Tool 11:51 AM [+] ::

I Guess Sniveling Is the Theme for Today's Posts

In an even more egregious example of Patrician whining about relatively modest impositions, three editors of the Daily Californian have resigned over the paper's Sinclairian working conditions:
At least three editors have resigned from the University of California, Berkeley newspaper, The Daily Californian, this week over the implementation of a new policy that requires editors who miss their 9 p.m. deadline to stay until the paper is sent to the printer.

The paper is supposed to be sent to the printer at midnight, though missed deadlines have occasionally resulted in it arriving hours late.

The editors, three of whom resigned Monday and Tuesday and a fourth who says she was fired, said the policy was announced last week without any of them being consulted. Editor-in-chief Rong-Gong Lin said he received no major objections when he introduced the policy and sought feedback.

Jennifer Kline, a former assistant editor, said the editors who left do not have a problem with the deadline.

"It's just the way the policy was though up without consultation and the punitive nature that's counterproductive to the news environment," she said.

Lin said the new policy was necessary because missed deadlines have been a consistent problem.

"The purpose of making them stay is to see what happens when deadline is not met," he said.

In a vindictive move, the former editors have implored the writers at the Daily Cal to stop writing for a week, shutting the paper down completely, to show their solidarity.

When these student go out into the job market as real journalists, one hopes they are able to find publications that aren't such ballbusters about trivial things like deadlines. Fascists!
[Via Romenesko]
:: COINTELPRO Tool 9:54 AM [+] ::

Conditions In Afghanistan Unsuitable to Air Force

What, no golf courses?
Bagram air base, the headquarters for U.S. troops fighting terrorists in Afghanistan, is woefully short on amenities, some Air Force personnel complain.

They say the mountain-rimmed base 27 miles north of Kabul is clouded in unhealthy dust. Troops sleep in crowded tents, work out in inadequate fitness centers and volleyball courts, and squeeze into small bathrooms.

Lines are long at the base exchange and the chow hall. There is also a complaint with how the Army uses recycled water to do the base laundry.

"Unfortunately, they recycle their water too many times, and they do not ensure your clothes are completely dry," says one airman. "Therefore, when your wadded-up, bagged clothes are placed back in the bin, they sit there."

The evidence of the poor conditions is in the form of 23 black-and-white photographs. The photos are being circulated at the Pentagon and at U.S. Central Command in hopes they will result in improved living conditions at the epicenter of the war on Osama bin Laden's al Qaeda terrorist network.

But in some circles, the photo spread is having the opposite effect. Some Navy officers say the Air Force is composed of a bunch of "whiners" and "crybabies."

"It's about time they grew up and learned the hard lessons of expeditionary warfare," said a Navy officer. "I expect that our Marines have been dealing with equally poor or worse conditions on the ground in Afghanistan, and I'm sure they haven't been complaining."

Navy officers calling their Air Farce counterparts "whiners?" That's unheard of!

:: COINTELPRO Tool 9:35 AM [+] ::
:: Tuesday, October 29, 2002 ::

More Racial Profiling Hypocrisy

This time from John O' Sullivan:
Racial profiling of this crudity--it was based upon a 55 percent statistical likelihood that the sniper was white--is not only illegal; it is also extremely foolish. What little we knew at that point was that the sniper was a new and different kind of serial killer--and therefore possibly a white male, but also possibly a terrorist, possibly a Muslim, possibly a disaffected black American, and possibly all three.

Not just illegal, but extremely foolish. Gotcha. I'm sure the same holds true for all classes of criminal activity. And terrorism, too.

The neocons are really hyping that 55% figure, but it's just more abuse of statistics. 55% of snipers may be white, but that speaks only to the weapon of choice, and could include not only random, stranger-on-stranger murders, but contract killings, vendettas against individuals, etc. If you're going to build a profile of a murderer, you would want to take other circumstances into account. And the truth of the matter is that only 5 % of serial killers are black. Regardless of how "unique" this case was -- and they all have unique characteristics -- there was no reason to throw those numbers out the window.
:: COINTELPRO Tool 3:37 PM [+] ::

Mark Steyn Channels Ann Coulter

From his latest:
Speaking as a macho hunter and an icy loner myself, I'm beginning to think the media would be better off turning their psychological profilers loose on America's newsrooms. Take, for example, the Times' star columnist Frank Rich. Within a few weeks of September 11th, he was berating John Ashcroft, the Attorney-General, for not rounding up America's "home-grown Talibans" -- the religious right, members of "the Second Amendment cult" and "the anti-abortion terrorist movement." In a column entitled "How To Lose A War" last October - i.e., during the Afghan campaign -- he mocked the Administration for not consulting with abortion clinics, who had a lot of experience dealing with "terrorists."

You get the picture: Sure, Muslim fundamentalists can be pretty extreme, but what about all our Christian fundamentalists? Unfortunately, for the old moral equivalence to hold up, the Christians really need to get off their fundamentalist butts and start killing more people. At the moment, the brilliantly versatile Muslim fundamentalists are gunning down Maryland schoolkids and bus drivers, hijacking Moscow musicals, self-detonating in Israeli pizza parlours, blowing up French oil tankers in Yemen, and slaughtering nightclubbers in Bali, while Christian fundamentalists are, er, sounding extremely strident in their calls for the return of prayer in school.

Firstly and most importantly, Frank Rich made no such argument. The only nugget of truth in the above passage is that yes, Rich suggested that Planned Parenthood had some expertise in dealing with religious fanatics -- which is the truth -- and their advice still seems pretty prudent to me:
As for Mr. Ashcroft, he has gone so far as to turn away firsthand information about domestic terrorism for political reasons. Planned Parenthood, which has been on the front lines of anthrax scares for years and has by grim necessity marshaled the medical and security expertise to combat them, has sought a meeting with the attorney general since he took office but has never been granted one. This was true not only before Sept. 11 but, says Ann Glazier, Planned Parenthood's director of security, remains true — even though her organization, long targeted by such home-grown Talibans as the Army of God, has a decade's worth of leads on "the convergence of international and domestic terrorism."

Ms. Glazier found the sight of Mr. Ashcroft and other federal Keystone Kops offering a $1 million reward for anthrax terrorists a laughable indication of how little grasp they have of the enemy. "Religious extremists don't respond to money," she points out. Such is the state of the F.B.I., she adds, that one agent told a clinic to hold onto a suspect letter for a couple of days "because we have so many here we're afraid we're going to lose it" (perhaps among the Timothy McVeigh documents).

Rich never suggested that such extremists were as much a threat as the Islamic fascist brand, and the claim that he criticized the administration for not making Christian fanatics the focus of their war on terror is simply a lie.

But while we're on the subject, why the Reuters-style scare quotes around the word "terrorist" when referring to the domestic variety? Is Steyn suggesting that groups who bomb abortion clinics, assassinate their doctors, and even put the names of physicians on "wanted lists," crossing names off as the individuals are murdered, aren't terrorists -- or aren't a threat at all?

There was no shortage of baseless speculation on the identity of the Washington sniper before Muhammad and Malvo were caught, and the media did not go into "denial mode" on the possibility of Islamic fundamentalism as a motive. But that possibility has not been adopted as the narrative of this case, and that's been the reponsible course of action. The media has certainly not made any attempts to sweep these facts under the rug. Muhammad's association with NOI, alleged anti-American statements and sympathies with our enemies (which remain unsourced, I should add) -- all were reported judiciously. And should the latest information about the Tacoma synagogue be borne out, then certainly the Muslim aspect will be featured more prominently.
[Via Damian Penny]
:: COINTELPRO Tool 11:19 AM [+] ::

Irony Isn't Always Funny

The Palestinian Authority has sentenced Haidar Ghanem, a human rights worker and journalist from B'Tselem, to death "collaboration" with the Israelis.

Strangely, there's no mention of this on B'Tselem's Web site. However, a quick perusal of the organization' spress releases confirms the outrageousness of the charges.

I have as much sympathy for Ghanem as any other victim of PA terror, and certainly don't view this as poetic justice. But the question of whether the one-sided human rights organization will continue to make ridiculous proclamations such as "Israel Adopts the Tactics of Terrorists,", is a fair one.

And when B'Tselem finally does denounce the killing of one of its own members, will it continue to ritualistically "urge the Palestinian Authority to do everything in its power" to prevent future human rights violations and stop acts of terror so obviously outside its control.
[Via Charles Johnson]

:: COINTELPRO Tool 9:44 AM [+] ::
:: Monday, October 28, 2002 ::

:: COINTELPRO Tool 5:32 PM [+] ::

Putin's Response

Here's a very well-reasoned editorial on the Chechen terrorist siege in Moscow and the Russian government's response, remarkably enough from (wait for it ...) the Independent (what, you don't believe me? Check the link. I'll still be here when you get back):
It is unreasonable to be too critical, with the advantage of hindsight, of the decision taken by Vladimir Putin, the Russian President, to end the siege at the Moscow theatre.

With the hostage-takers plainly sincere in their willingness to die, it was obvious that the prospect of the siege ending peacefully was minimal.

It was essential both that attempts were made to negotiate with the Chechen terrorists and that preparations were made to storm the building. But the negotiations were always an unpromising route. The demands of the hostage-takers were an end to the war in Chechnya and full independence for their homeland.

Those may be legitimate objectives – indeed, a Russian willingness to discuss them is needed to stifle terrorism at source – but they cannot be secured by terrorism. Even if the Russians had been prepared to concede them, it must be doubted whether any agreement could have been quickly reached which would have satisfied the suicidal fanatics who had taken over the theatre.

Wow. The piece goes on to take the Russian government to task for the sloppiness of its raid and susbsequent secrecy about what kind of agent it used. The former critique may be a bit unwarranted, but the failure of the Russians to inform their own medical personnel of the type of gas used is inexcusable. Worse, the excuse they did offer -- that the agent could not be divulged for security reasons -- is complete horseshit. Questions surrounding the manner in which the gas was used must also be answered: should they have known of the agent's danger in confined spaces, and could they have taken steps to properly ventilate the theater after its use? It's possible that these failures can be explained by the haste with which the Russian Special Forces had to act, but the questions are fair ones.

It's certainly true that far more would have died if the Russian government had failed to act and act quickly, and I don't see what else they could have done. But this should not be offered as an excuse the numbers they killed themselves, and I remain undecided as to whether they are guilty of gross incompetence.
:: COINTELPRO Tool 3:42 PM [+] ::

Palestinian 'Reform' -- Good While It Lasted

Remember this the next time you hear the usual Arafat-wants-to-rein-in-the-terrorists-but-Sharon's-violence-makes-it-impossible routine ...
JERUSALEM — Palestinian Authority Chairman Yasser Arafat is expected to replace his reform-minded security minister with a longtime loyalist in a Cabinet reshuffle as early as today.

On the way out is Security Minister Abdel Razak Yehiyeh, who was brought to Mr. Arafat's Cabinet five months ago and turned out to be a reformer determined to halt participation by Palestinian security officials in attacks on Israelis.

He is to be replaced by Hani el Hassan, 69, a veteran leader in Mr. Arafat's Fatah faction of the Palestinian Authority.

"[Mr. Yehiyeh] was overambitious. He didn't know where the red lines were," said one aide to Mr. Arafat. "He was angering people inside the PA and the security forces. He wanted to bash all the Hamas cells and disarm all the Fatah gunmen."

"Overambitious." Good one.

:: COINTELPRO Tool 11:23 AM [+] ::
:: Sunday, October 27, 2002 ::

A 'Rumble' for Peace

The Portland Oregonian reports on how local anti-war nuts are winning hearts and minds, with the most appropriate headline I've seen today: "Peace march rumbles through Portland"
At Pioneer Place in downtown Portland, security guards locked several major exits while shoppers were inside. A group of marchers entered through an employee entrance and briefly struggled with guards, who kept additional protesters from entering the mall. No one was charged or detained.

Later, marchers took MAX light rail to the Lloyd District in Northeast Portland. The group walked through Meier & Frank and entered the main corridor in the mall, toting banners and chanting anti-war messages. Some stores closed their gates, and several customers clutched their children as protesters passed.

More than 50 people then stormed the Armed Forces Recruiting Station on Northeast Broadway, tossing brochures on the floor and scribbling on posters.

U.S. Navy recruiter William Steele, who was working alone in the office, called the protesters misguided.

"They're shouting like I'm some sort of baby-killer," he said. "If they had been overseas, they'd know better."

Ed and Liz Reed toted a sign bearing a message to the government: "You work for us." Liz Reed said President Bush and Congress, which passed a war resolution against Iraq earlier this month, should heed the sentiments of people such as those who marched Saturday.

"I think a lot of people," she said, "are fearful right now."

Here's another piece from the Oregonian that's definitely worth a read.
:: COINTELPRO Tool 1:04 PM [+] ::

Gore Vidal, Conspiracy Nut

I was going to adress Gore Vidal's "The Enemy Within" in the Observer, but then realized that I already had. Several times over.

That's because hs arguments are as unoriginal as they are flawed., being lifted nearly verbatim from the likes of Mike Ruppert, the king of conspiracy bullshit artists.

Vidal even mimics Ruppert's blatant lies about NORAD's response to the hijacked planes on Sept. 11, as well as his delusional interpretation of Zbigniew Brzezinski's The Grand Chessboard as a "virtual blueprint" of our invasion of Afghanistan. Any sane person who has read the book-- and I seriously doubt Vidal has, but simply relied on Ruppert to read it for him -- will note that Brzezinski argues that yes, Central Asia is an area of growing geostrategic importance that we dare not ignore, but argues for constructive diplomacy toward a foreign policy aim of "neither dominion nor exclusion."

That Vidal would so faithfully ape the arguments of a charlatan like Ruppert is proof that the man has nothing left to offer. The unsightly spectacle brings to mind Pierre Salinger's well-publicized dementia. I almost feel sorry for the guy.
[Via Stephen Gordon]

UPDATE: Damian Penny sums up the Left's newfound affinity for conspiracy theories quite nicely:
Vidal's pathetic conspiracy theorizing is yet another example of the moral quandry in which the ultra-left finds itself. The one and only guiding principle for the fringe left is that the United States is the most evil, oppressive country the world has ever known, period. And when an "alternative" like Islamofascism - a movement completely opposed to every stated goal of the far left, including women's rights and acceptance of homosexuality - comes along, the left is left with three choices: acknowledge that the Yanks and their allies are the lesser of two evils (as Christopher Hitchens has done); pretend to be "neutral" in the conflict, on the basis that (American) military action can never, ever be justified; or, in the case of Vidal and the IndyMidiots, assume that the Americans - especially the Republican president and his inner circle - must be in the wrong, because they simply cannot comprehend them ever being right. When the third option is chosen, wild conspiracy theorizing is what you get.

:: COINTELPRO Tool 12:09 PM [+] ::
:: Saturday, October 26, 2002 ::

John Muhammad and Racial Profiling

Still more conservatives are railing at the racial profiling of white guys. James Taranto calls the failure to arrest Muhammad on Oct. 8, when Baltimore police caught him sleeping in his car, "racial profiling at its worst. At the time, there was no evidence whatever of the sniper's race, so any assumptions police made stemmed from pure prejudice."

Huh? Since when is there ever "evidence whatever" of a suspect's race when profiling is used? That's the whole reason you use profiling, because you have nothing else to go on.

Also, I'm not convinced that the Baltimore police would have searched Muhammad's car on Oct. 8 sans the white loner profile. As they themselves noted, they were looking for "a white guy in a white truck." I think the misinformation about the vehicle was far more crucial in their failure to catch Muhammad sooner, but that misinformation had nothing to do with profiling -- it was based on firsthand eyewitness accounts.

Jonah Goldberg at least attacks the methodology of the profiling in this case, and doesn't simply whine about it's use against white guys:
Interestingly, James Allen Fox, a respected criminologist at Northeastern University--who favored the Caucasian icy-loner scenario--collects a database of sniper homicides. He found that out of 514 sniper murders between 1976 and 2000, 55% of the murderers were white. This, of course, would mean that whites are actually underrepresented among the ranks of sniper-serial killers. One can only assume that in a better world this increasingly influential subculture will look more like America.

This is highly flawed logic. Whether a specific race is "underrepresented" is irrelevant. The bottom line is that they are still the majority -- and, considering there are more than two other options for race -- are a solid one at that.

In developing a profile, it doesn't matter whether whites are more or less likely to be sniper-serial killers. The only question that matters is whether sniper killers are more or less likely to be white.

Let's suppose the opposite had actually occured -- that the police had developed a black Muslim profile, but the killer had turned out to be your garden variety Eric Rudolph type. Would conservatives have decried the use of race in profiling, or would they have said, as I'm saying now, "Yes, they were wrong in this case, but the numbers supported their presumptions, and having no evidence to go on, were perfectly justified in following them?"

I think racial profiling has been the victim of slander, primarily by the Left. No, it's not perfect, but this case proves only its limitations, not its uselessness. Like inductive reasoning itself (and that's all profiling is, essentially), it has exceptions, but it's often the best tool we have at our disposal. More importantly, if you're going to develop a profile of a criminal suspect, race simply cannot be taken off the table.

Conservatives have made this same argument to defend its use in homeland security and in criminal acts generally committed by non-whites. It would be nice if they could be consistent.
:: COINTELPRO Tool 2:37 PM [+] ::

Sniper Notes

I hate to say it, but the professor seems to have gone off the deep end in his assertions on the possible motives of John Muhammad. First, he takes CNN to task for trying to "de-Islamicize" the case, by referring to Muhammad by his fomer name, but the link he provides contains several instances in which CNN does refer to him as Muhammad. There's certainly no moratorium on using his current legal name, and the story does note that Muhammad has also used six other aliases. Here's another CNN story that refers to him as Muhammad, and it's more recent than the one Glenn cited -- maybe they're Instapundit fans?

The professor correctly notes that Muhammad needn't be a registered al-Qaedacrat to be considered an Islamic terrorist -- the ideology and motive, as is certainly the case in the Chechen terrorism in Moscow -- are enough. But then he says this:
Yes, it's the ideology we're at war with. And we know that Muhammad was an adherent to the ideology, whether or not he was a "member" of Al Qaeda, whatever that means.

Uh, sorry, but we know no such thing. We know that, yes, he was a Muslim, and likely an adherent to the Farrakhan school of thought, serving as security during the 400,000 Man March. Certainly, NOI has has offered apologies for all forms of Islamic terrorism, plus they're bigoted, and yes, anti-American. But I would hardly call them Islamic fundamentalists. I'm not even sure they're true Muslims, though that's not for me to decide.

I'm not saying that somewhere along the way Muhammad did become a jihadi, and that is what motivated his acts, but that's not something that can be inferred from "what we know."

And speaking of what we know, Glenn also links to documents from the Smoking Gun that show Muhammad changing his name in April of last year. Loyal readers of Instapundit will note that yesterday he linked to an Andrew Sullivan passage that alleged that claimed he had changed his name "recently." Not sure if I'd call 18 months "recent."
:: COINTELPRO Tool 2:03 PM [+] ::
:: Friday, October 25, 2002 ::

RIP, Senator Wellstone

When Paul Wellstone upset Rudy Boschwitz in 1990, I was pretty much a Wellstone liberal. I'm not anymore, but I'll always remember him as one of the most decent and sincere human beings in American politics.
:: COINTELPRO Tool 3:27 PM [+] ::

Here We Go Again

I have to agree with Treacher's sentiments on the spinning of the Washington Sniper arrests. I haven't drawn any conclusions myself on Muhammed's motivations, and I find it disturbing how bloggers are going at such lengths to spin the tragedy as an example of "Islamic terror." From what we know so far -- or think we know, for those of you who have kept track of the retractions on this story -- it appears likely that he was motivated more by personal failure than any political or religious agenda.

The professor correctly notes that "sure, the guy's got a history of violence and lunacy, too -- but so do most terrorists." But the converse is also true -- many common criminals happen to harbor extremist and bigoted world views, but in most cases, that isn't what motivates them. It's certainly possible for a Nation of Islam member to be a common criminal, just as it's possible for a hippie guru to murder his girlfriend after she dumps him -- or should Ira Einhorn's crime be viewed as an expression of his radical leftist politics?

More strangely, Andrew Sullivan comes close to channeling Mike Ruppert:
But we do know the following: he was a convert to Islam, he changed his name recently, he harbored "strong anti-American feelings and had publicly praised the terrorist attacks of September 11," he actively supported the Nation of Islam, and the New Jersey plates for the car were bought on the first anniversary of September 11, immediately after which a bomb scare emptied the DMV building. Call me crazy, but isn't that a striking series of coincidences? To read the papers this morning is like looking at several massive dots with no-one daring to connect them.

A bomb threat at a New Jersey DMV on the anniversary of Sept. 11? Gosh, what are the chances?!?

Instapundit also links to John Carney who notes, in the professor's words, that Michelle Malkin "predicted that it would be non-white Muslim extremists two weeks ago. Advantage: Malkin!"

Here is what Malkin actually said two weeks ago:
The AWM theory remains a plausible one, of course. But it isn't the only one. You won't hear Katie Couric or Peter Jennings talking about it with their conventional-thinking experts, but there is a significant possibility that the sniper and the sniper's support system could be non-white Muslim extremists with ties to Osama bin Laden's al Qaeda network.

Advantage: Malkin? I don't think so. She was definitely right about the limits of "racial profiling," but at this point, the only thing the authorities seem to have misjudged is the guy's race. Funny how conservatives -- even non-white ones -- react when such profiling is actually used against whites.

I'm certainly not ruling out the possibility that Muhammed is either an al-Qaeda operative or a wannabe. But too many bloggers seem to want him to be one. Even to the point of whining about the media's refusal to play the story that way.

UPDATE: Damian Penny echoes the difference between Muslim terrorists and murderers who happen to be Muslim.

:: COINTELPRO Tool 9:36 AM [+] ::
:: Thursday, October 24, 2002 ::

Hell Hath No Fury ...

The Left seems to be taking Christopher Hitchens' departure better than could be expected.
:: COINTELPRO Tool 6:21 PM [+] ::

Time For a Sophomoric Release

James Taranto has delighted with numerous installments of the most notable luminaries who have signed the Not In Our Name petition. But his selections have been a bit restrained, to say the least.

I on the other hand, suffer from no such mental obstructions, and offer this sample, solely from the B's:

Badvartz Ihava Dee Independant thinker
Bag Gas Men with hats
Balls Claude lecturer
Balls Lickmy
Ballsack Harry Civil Rights Attorney
Ballz Cee Mye
Ballz Claude wimp
Ballzak Harry Activist, coffee drinker, lover.
Baloney Phoney Gullible Liberal
Balsitch Olma
Balzonya Harry Pubic Health
Bastard Fat Overweight homicidal Scotsman
Bastards Com E
Bath Anita I woulda pledged but things have been kinda slow since I got outta rehab.
Bickle Travis Some day, a real rain will come.
Biggunz Emerson Photographer, Hustler Magazine
bin al-Shibh Ramzi Camp Counselor: Gitmo
Bitch Im Saddams Philozophizer
Bitemyass Runup N Department of Fenestration, MIT

Ahh. That felt good.
:: COINTELPRO Tool 4:39 PM [+] ::

Oh, Stop It!

Wolf Blitzer just asked a law enforcement official if he thought there was any connection between the alleged sniper suspects' shooting in Montgomery, Ala., and Montgomery Co., Md.

Anything for a different angle, eh Wolfie?
:: COINTELPRO Tool 12:33 PM [+] ::

Did You Hear About the New Sale at Macy’s?

NY Post columnist Steve Dunleavy's pants will be half off.

Ha! I kill me!
:: COINTELPRO Tool 12:29 PM [+] ::

As If Media Conjecture Weren't Bad Enough

Illinois Governor George Ryan has offered himself as a character witness for the two National Guard pilots charged in the April bombing error that killed four Canadian soldiers:
Ryan, meeting with reporters outside the Executive Mansion during a $50-a-person fund-raiser for Majs. Harry Schmidt and William Umbach, said it was his duty as Illinois' commander in chief to support the men.

"I was responsible for sending those people, or signing off for them to go when called by the federal government. If I don't stand behind them, I don't know who would," Ryan said. "And I don't know why I wouldn't."

Schmidt and Umbach are members of the Illinois Air National Guard's 183rd Fighter Wing based in Springfield.

Ryan said the April 17th bombing near Kandahar that also wounded eight Canadians was an accident and the pilots are getting a "raw deal."

"I know these two fellows, and I know their wives. They're not people who commit manslaughter. They didn't do this on purpose. They're solid, sound citizens," Ryan said. "They're not cowboys."

The two face charges of involuntary manslaughter, aggravated assault and dereliction of duty.[emphasis mine]

Despite Ryan's gross distortion of the issue by mis-stating the charges, governors have no business making prejudicial statements about individual criminal cases. Ryan's position as commander in chief of the state's militia is all the more reason for him to keep his mouth shut.
:: COINTELPRO Tool 10:56 AM [+] ::
:: Wednesday, October 23, 2002 ::

Once Again, Pilger Has It All Figured Out

Apparently, we caused Bali, by supporting a brutal dictatorship that oppressed Leftists -- using militant Islamists as a proxy.

He even has the audacity to bring up East Timor -- one of bin Laden's many Andalucian tragedies. Pilger claims we don't even know who is responsible for the bombing -- but that doesn't keep him from indicting the West.
:: COINTELPRO Tool 6:06 PM [+] ::

Sorry, I Just Don't See It

Damian Penny calls Bali massacre apologist Richard Neville an "Eric Idle lookalike." A gruesome cross between Reni Santoni and David Brenner maybe, but Idle? Nah.
:: COINTELPRO Tool 1:35 AM [+] ::

Another Root Cause Liberal

For those of you on the Left who still don't realize how moronic your why-they-hate-us arguments are, perhaps this will put things into perspective for you:
In her new book, "The New White Nationalism in America: Its Challenge to Integration," Vanderbilt University professor Carol Swain "infuriates her critics," says the Chronicle of Higher Education, by arguing "that society should combat white nationalists in part by acknowledging the legitimacy of some of their grievances" -- specifically by abolishing affirmative action and reducing immigration.

And for those of you on the Right who fail to recognize this as a glaring example of the kind of apologia you claim to abhor, then, er, ... never mind. Go back to sleep.

:: COINTELPRO Tool 12:09 AM [+] ::
:: Tuesday, October 22, 2002 ::

How's This For A Campaign Slogan?

Nancy Spannaus, La Rouche Democrat for U.S. Senate (Virginia):
If it can happen in Brazil, surely it can happen in the United States. And maybe even Virginia."

But the Zionist-controlled media doesn't want you to know that.
:: COINTELPRO Tool 7:37 PM [+] ::
:: Monday, October 21, 2002 ::

The Intolerance of Tolerance

I want to add my voice to the chorus of support for Charles Johnson, who has been wrongly accused of being intolerant toward Muslims -- for focusing too much on Muslim intolerance.

To read the comments of his primary accuser, you would think that Charles has attempted to portray the entire Muslim world based on the most extreme examples of hatred and anti-Semitism he can find. This is inaccurate on both counts.

First, Charles has never uttered a word that would lead a sane person to believe that these depictions represent all Muslims. Moreover, to expect him to continually qualify his commentary with obligatory "this is not to say all Muslims are bad" clauses is itself racist. Of course the maniacs who adorn their children in fake C4 belts do not represent all Muslims.

This same twit refers to Charles as "someon who claims that a group ought to be able to control the actions of its most extreme members." Also nonsense. The "extreme examples" Charles and media research organizations like MEMRI are not the fringes of the Islamist ethos. We're talking about media depictions of Jews as vampires in state-controlled media, terrorist organizations that are either officially sanctioned or tolerated in the countries in which they reside, and a Jewish journalist inciting an angry mob simply by his presence in Lebanon, to cite a few examples.

No, this is not to say that all Muslims behave this way (there's my obligatory qualifier -- the only one you'll ever get out of me). But this degree of hatred is alarmingly prevalent, and precisely so due to the official support it receives from our so-called allies in the Muslim world. To deny this would itself be racist, and to call someone who tirelessly rants against it anti-Muslim is no more enlightened than the claim by neo-Nazi that Morris Dees is somehow anti-white.

I hadn't heard of LGF before Sept. 11, so I'm unaware of the more "middle-left" Charles Johnson Mr. Dash longs to return. Despite his hysterical -- and outright wrong -- accusations of racism, I think Charles' rightward shift is what really bothers him. It's a shame such progressive intolerance would lead him to make such a baseless and cruel charge.

UPDATE: Meryl Yourish says that, despite the validity of my points, I completely missed the big picture. And as much as I hate to admit it, my estranged ex-fiance is right.

Rather than focus on the lone nut who attacked Charles, I would have done better to focus on the mainstream media outlet who allowed this one ignorant individual to define someone else's Web site for its mass audience. Using Dash's vicious accusation as a description for LGF -- which had been chosen by a preponderance of its readers as one of its "best blog" -- was incredibly irresponsible.

To hell with Dash. MSNBC.com owes Charles an apology.

UPDATE II: Almost immediately after taking me to task for focusing on the lone nut rather than MSNBC.com's recklessness, Meryl goes after Anil [must fight urge to make scatological jokes about name!] Dash herself. Good stuff.

Even if her taste in men is slipping.
:: COINTELPRO Tool 9:11 AM [+] ::
:: Friday, October 18, 2002 ::

I Had This Nightmare Once

:: COINTELPRO Tool 5:46 PM [+] ::

The Jihadi Version of Jakob the Liar

I'm actually starting to admire the amazing ability of these moonbats to suspend disbelief:
According to these reports, the Mujahideen attacked the new Khost airport, which was built by the Americans, raining down rockets from all directions. At the time of the attack, a committee was meeting in the airport to discuss the inner conflicts between the different Afghan groups, which resulted in one US soldier being killed on the spot.
The rocket attacks continued till three o?clock in the morning and according to eyewitness the attack resulted in at least 10 killed US soldiers in total.

It must be noted that the Khost airport is being heavily attacked on nearly a daily basis. The airport was attacked on Saturday as well, which the US now admits, too. A US military spokesman, quoted by Associated Press, said that 107mm rockets landed near the US base. The attacks on US forces have increased noticeably despite the news blockages that continue to cover over the actual number of American casualties. Neutral media sources internationally confirm the existence of heavy losses in the ranks of the US forces, a fact which even Western reports are now beginning to admitted, as they point out that the American campaign has not achieves any of its goals.

We definitely need to step up efforts to destroy the Afghan opium harvest.
:: COINTELPRO Tool 4:17 PM [+] ::

Who Needs State Censorship ...

when your journalists act like these guys?
BEIRUT, Lebanon, Oct. 18 (UPI) -- An Israeli journalist Friday was banned from further media activity at the 9th Francophonie summit in Beirut after his presence angered Lebanese journalists.

Gedeon Cotes, who also is French, had traveled with the French media delegation to cover the summit.

A Lebanese TV cameraman at the media center in downtown Beirut recognized Cotes from a picture published Friday in Lebanon's As Safir newspaper. Soon, a group of journalists gathered around Cotes, asking him whether he was Israeli and whether he was a reporter for Israeli Channel 2 television station.

According to As Safir, Cotes had appeared on the Israeli channel Thursday night to report about French President Jacques Chirac's visit to Lebanon.

At the media center, Cotes repeated that he was "a French journalist and not more," but refused to say whether he was an Israeli.

A group of Lebanese journalists started to shout, saying he should not have been allowed into the country.

Security officers for French President Jacques Chirac and Lebanese President Emile Lahoud rushed to escort Cotes back to the hotel where the French delegation was staying.

And the punchline ...
A Lebanese security official told United Press International that Cotes's presence caused chaos after he accused the Lebanese journalists of being hostile.

:: COINTELPRO Tool 1:19 PM [+] ::
:: Wednesday, October 16, 2002 ::

Words To Live By

From Montgomery County Police Capt. Nacy Demme:
Do not let witnesses or the media contaminate your memory.

Amen, sister.
:: COINTELPRO Tool 3:34 PM [+] ::

Good Journalistic Citizen Alert

The Baltimore Sun has this story about an Army soldier trying to peddle top secret photos of the Alternate Joint Communications Center, or Site R. Here's the kicker:
Howard Altman, editor of the weekly City Paper, said someone e-mailed the paper months ago offering interior photos of the facility. Altman said he contacted the FBI.

I'm sure there are many newspaper editors out there who would have reacted the same way. But I doubt any of them run papers with circulations over 50,000.

:: COINTELPRO Tool 10:45 AM [+] ::
:: Tuesday, October 15, 2002 ::

This Actually Makes Reuters Look Objective By Comparison

There's been quite a bit of criticism of the unquestioning tone of some reports on Iraq's Referendum on Saddam. Not that it hasn't been warranted, but inexplicably, none of those works mentioned Abject Factual Poverty's coverage:
Iraqis voted massively, some with their blood, in a referendum which ushers in seven more years of President Saddam Hussein's rule and keeps Baghdad on a collision course with the United States.

"Turnout was absolute and the yes vote was absolute," the regime's number two Ezzat Ibrahim said.

Oh, it gets better. So much better.
Non-Iraqis "cannot understand how a people, all of them, can vote unanimously for their leader," said Ibrahim, vice chairman of the Revolution Command Council.

"The democratic experience in Iraq is different from all others. It does not exist either in America or Vietnam to take as examples two countries with antagonistic political systems," he said.

Even the most shameless flacks for the Hussein regime payed some lip service to the fraudulent nature of the vote. AFP did not.

:: COINTELPRO Tool 11:40 PM [+] ::

This Actually Makes Reuters Look Objective By Comparison

There's been quite a bit of criticism of the unquestioning tone of some reports on Iraq's Referendum on Saddam. Not that it hasn't been warranted, but inexplicably, none of those works mentioned Abject Factual Poverty's coverage:
Iraqis voted massively, some with their blood, in a referendum which ushers in seven more years of President Saddam Hussein's rule and keeps Baghdad on a collision course with the United States.

"Turnout was absolute and the yes vote was absolute," the regime's number two Ezzat Ibrahim said.

Oh, it gets better. So much better.
Non-Iraqis "cannot understand how a people, all of them, can vote unanimously for their leader," said Ibrahim, vice chairman of the Revolution Command Council.

"The democratic experience in Iraq is different from all others. It does not exist either in America or Vietnam to take as examples two countries with antagonistic political systems," he said.

Even the most shameless flacks for the Hussein regime payed some lip service to the fraudulent nature of the vote. AFP did not.

:: COINTELPRO Tool 11:38 PM [+] ::
:: Monday, October 14, 2002 ::

The Sniper Comes To My Neighborhood

I live in Falls Church, off Rte. 50, just inside the beltway. I just heard on CNN a swag of 9:00 for the time of the latest shooting, and I passed the roadblock on 50 coming in from the beltway at around 9:35.

Which seems rather pointless to me. I can tell you that at that hour, you can make it to the beltway from Seven Corners in no more than five minutes. I'm betting they didn't have the roadblock set up in that amount of time.

I also wonder if they bothered to set up a roadblock along Rte. 7, which is a convenient interchange from where the shooting took place. And if I had just shot someone from 50, I'd probably want to change thoroughfares ASAP, rather than follow the same road right into an obvious checkpoint.

Or I would just stay in the area. Plenty of places to get lost in this area. It would seem a lot more worthwhile to do some heavy canvassing of the area, rather than expect the murdering vermin to march lockstep right into your arms.

But I haven't seen any police in my neighborhood (though I did hear one chopper swing by).
:: COINTELPRO Tool 10:59 PM [+] ::

Remember: This Is All In The Name of "Peace"

And you're condemned as a fascist for suppressing this kind of dissent:
SAN JOSE, Calif., Oct. 14 (UPI) -- An anonymous caller to a San Jose television station took credit for a pre-dawn fire at a military recruiting office Monday, cryptically referring to the blaze as a "pre-emptive strike."

Fire crews arriving at the facility on McKee Road shortly after 4 a.m. PDT found two government-owned vehicles parked in the rear engulfed in flames. They also discovered broken glass doors and the words "Preemptive Strike" written on the front walls in red paint, an apparent reference to the possibility the United States could launch a military attack on Iraq aimed at squelching the development of weapons of mass destruction by Baghdad.

"The graffiti is certainly an indication of the motive," Marty McKee, a spokeswoman for the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms told reporters at the scene.

And in keeping with the dumbing down of our language so as not to offend the sensibilities of the fragile left, wanton destruction of property shall hence be termed "graffiti."

:: COINTELPRO Tool 9:54 PM [+] ::
:: Sunday, October 13, 2002 ::

Say Hello To My Little Friend!

Which Firearm are you?
brought to you byStan Ryker

:: COINTELPRO Tool 11:06 AM [+] ::

I Just Don't Get Old Navy?

Painter's Pants?" Look more like Torgo pants to me.

:: COINTELPRO Tool 10:59 AM [+] ::
:: Saturday, October 12, 2002 ::

Queens Dispatch

One brief post during my weekend off (it's still raining, and I'm staying in to see if the Cards can turn the NLCS series around anyway).

The Daily Wanker has this offering on the "silenced majority" of Americans against The Madness™:
That the anti-Bush, silenced majority feels it is being ignored by politicians and the mainstream media is abundantly clear from unsolicited American responses to a critique of this week's Cincinnati national address by Bush published on the Guardian's website* and on US links. This random sample also indicates rapidly rising anxiety, frustration and anger about Iraq, and Bush himself. Here, perhaps, the authentic voice of America may be heard.

Please tell me that this is not representative of English familiarity with statistics.

If the responses were unsolicited, then by definition the sample was not random at all -- it was self-selected. There's nothing wrong with using such scientifically-useless polls and "unsolicited responses," so long as you represent them as such. But the Wanker's characterization of its sample is nothing short of appalling.

:: COINTELPRO Tool 3:59 PM [+] ::
:: Friday, October 11, 2002 ::

Going to NYC

Blogging will be light until Tuesday.
:: COINTELPRO Tool 12:12 PM [+] ::

Warning: Smarmy Military Propaganda Ahead

Here's an entertaining video. (Lo-res version here)
:: COINTELPRO Tool 12:08 PM [+] ::

It's a Friggin' Running Light, You Morons!

Gertz & Scarborough are flacking for the flaky right-wing watchdog group Judicial Watch again:
The Navy yesterday notified lawyers for Navy Lt. Cmdr. Jack Daly that they want to bar the court testimony of a former Pentagon laser expert who is planning to support Cmdr. Daly's contention in a civil court case that a Russian merchant ship was the source of a laser attack that permanently damaged his eyes during a surveillance mission in 1997.

The Navy action was the latest step by the service in legally siding with Russia's Far Eastern Shipping Co. (FESCO), which owns the Kapitan Man — the merchant ship that doubled as an intelligence-collection vessel for Russian military intelligence and was photographed during a U.S.-Canada military surveillance mission.
Mr. Kessler is a key expert witness who testified in pretrial questioning that a red light from the Kapitan Man, which was photographed by Cmdr. Daly from a Canadian helicopter on April 4, 1997, was more likely a laser than a running light, as FESCO contends.

Here's the photo (open the huge one to get a better look at the red dot):

Anyone who would claim that the red dot is anything other than a port running light should not be considered an expert in the matter. The government's move looks perfectly legitimate to me.
:: COINTELPRO Tool 11:37 AM [+] ::

Not Quite Clear On The Concept

CalPundit's "critique of pure fisking" attempts to expose the flaws of fisking as a rhetorical technique by employing it on the Gettysburg Address. Message to Garcia: fisking is supposed to be done on material that is factually or intellectually flawed.

Yes, there is good fisking and bad fisking, as with any forensic device. It can be abused with specious arguments If you're using flawed logic yourself while attempting to dissect the work of others, you'll invariably look like a jackass, whether your writing is in the form of fisking or a classical dialectic. Here's an example of fisking at its best. Contrast that with CalPundit's mockery, which attempts to slam a classic piece of oratory with nothing more than verbal spitwads.

To offer that as a critique of fisking itself is just intellectually dishonest.
:: COINTELPRO Tool 11:22 AM [+] ::
:: Thursday, October 10, 2002 ::

Memo To The Grand Zionist Conspiracy: Keep Up the Good Work!

Talk about serendipity: just moments after reading "Affable Anti-Semite Thinks The Jews Are Doing Super Job With The Media" at The Onion, I happened to catch Misha the Rottweiler's evisceration of this regurgitation of the 9/11-is-all-Israel's-fault arguments of the anti-SemiticZionist Left (in the most progressive of publications, of course).

This one's written by ex-Congressman (yyyyes!) Paul Findley, long the posterboy for martyrs of the omnipotent Jewish lobby:
For 35 years, not a word has been expressed in that committee or in either chamber of Congress that deserves to be called debate on Middle East policy. No restrictive or limiting amendments on aid to Israel have been offered for 20 years, and none of the few offered in previous years received more than a handful of votes. On Capitol Hill, criticism of Israel, even in private conversation, is all but forbidden, treated as downright unpatriotic, if not anti-Semitic. The continued absence of free speech was assured when those few who spoke out -- Senators Adlai Stevenson and Charles Percy, and Reps. Paul "Pete" McCloskey, Cynthia McKinney, Earl Hilliard, and myself -- were defeated at the polls by candidates heavily financed by pro-Israel forces.

Adlai Stevenson? Is Findley serious? How dare he try to lump Candidate Egghead -- a true liberal's liberal who would scoff at the idiotarianism that passes for progressive thinking today -- in with the likes of Hilliard and McKinney.

I'm beginning to hope that the Nazimedia freaks are right about the Jews-control-America propaganda. And if they can, as the terror apologists claim, be given sole credit for removing the likes of McKinney and Findley from their positions of power, then good on 'em! They're doing this country a great public service.

CORRECTION: Stevenson served as governor of Illinois, not one of its senators, as I initially indicated in this post.

:: COINTELPRO Tool 2:57 PM [+] ::

:: COINTELPRO Tool 1:42 PM [+] ::

"Attention Blogosphere Shoppers: We Have a Lost Child in the LGF Comments Aisle"

Charles Johnson attracted another little pest, this one posting Fangoria pictures from his favorite Islamofascist propaganda Website, along with the tired arguments about how many babies we've genetically damned with depleted uranium contamination.

Not one, but two OB-GYN specialists chimed in to cut the kid's lame attempt to ribbons. Go back to Nazimedia, little boy.
:: COINTELPRO Tool 1:37 PM [+] ::
:: Wednesday, October 09, 2002 ::

"Why Spy?"

John Perry Barlow argues in Forbes ASAP that the intelligence community's problems run far deeper than most of the facile diagnoses that are so prevalent in the media:
We might begin by asking what intelligence should do. The answer is simple: Intelligence exists to provide decision makers with an accurate, comprehensive, and unbiased understanding of what's going on in the world. In other words, intelligence defines reality for those whose actions could alter it. "Given our basic mission," one analyst said wearily, "we'd do better to study epistemology than missile emplacements."

If we are serious about defining reality, we might look at the system that defines reality for most of us: scientific discourse. The scientific method is straightforward. Theories are openly advanced for examination and trial by others in the field. Scientists toil to create systems to make all the information available to one immediately available to all. They don't like secrets. They base their reputations on their ability to distribute their conclusions rather than the ability to conceal them. They recognize that "truth" is based on the widest possible consensus of perceptions. They are committed free marketeers in the commerce of thought. This method has worked fabulously well for 500 years. It might be worth a try in the field of intelligence.

Intelligence has been focused on gathering information from expensive closed sources, such as satellites and clandestine agents. Let's attempt to turn that proposition around. Let's create a process of information digestion in which inexpensive data are gathered from largely open sources and condensed, through an open process, into knowledge terse and insightful enough to inspire wisdom in our leaders.

Almost (but not quite) directly contradicting the they-were-hamstrung-by-political-correctness arguments, Barlow argues that secrecy is at the heart of much of the bureaucracy's problems. From technological stagnation to the inability to view information within the proper "dedicated timeline" Louis Freeh mentioned yesterday, the agencies' penchant for secrecy is the primary cause of their problems.

Barlow doesn't argue that we don't need clandestine human intelligence -- far from it. But he does make a convicing case that the intelligence community uses secrecy far more to protect its turf than to protect sources.

:: COINTELPRO Tool 5:05 PM [+] ::
:: Tuesday, October 08, 2002 ::

Who Had The Prosciutto Panini?

At last, I've discovered my true calling. Though it's not nearly as intriguing as Meryl's. But at least it's not as sedentary as Treacher's.

(Via Tim Blair, who declined to offer his own lot)
:: COINTELPRO Tool 8:17 PM [+] ::
:: Monday, October 07, 2002 ::

A World Class Thumbsucker

Stefan Sharkansky was kind enough to translate the entire Die Zeit story on pre-September 11 intelligence failures and the Israeli "Art Student" spy scandal.

I was going to write a lengthy critique of Die Zeit's reporting, but Bruce Rolston beat me to it, and did a much better job than I would have. So let me just add a few minor details.

The first part of the piece, which centers on the Malaysia meetings and the CIA's failure to warn State, FBI, etc. about al-Midhar and al-Hazmi is not news. In fact, I could find no new angle or significant details in their version of events.

Likewise, the second part, which centers on the alleged Mossad operation that trailed the hijackers, offers no new solid information. Sure, it's conclusions are wildly divergent from those who have obsessed about this case since last fall, but it relies heavily on the same old 61-page draft DEA report that everyone else who has reported on this used. But Die Zeit incorrectly refers to the document as a "final report," and draws conclusions which are in no way supported by it. In fact, apart from that document, the story is entirely unsourced.

But go read Rolston's takedown. He has uncovered some glaring errrors in fact, sources notwithstanding.

UPDATE: Stefan reports that someone using the handle "Citizen Able," who posted a comment in support of the circus freak himself, used an IP address registered to the "Texas Department of Mental Health and Mental Retardation." Makes a nice finishing touch to this nonsense, doesn't it?

:: COINTELPRO Tool 9:44 PM [+] ::

The Final Word on Chickenhawks

Only those who have never known the horror of combat are in favor of invaing Iraq, blah, blah, blah.

Those with military experience, like our hero Colin Powell, are against it, blah, blah, blah.

That will teach you to get your "pulse of the military" info from those who would never listen to people in uniform unless it suited their political agenda. There have, in fact, been polls conducted to gauge what military members really think about invading Iraq, but the Sawicky's of the world won't like its results.

If the action is to be multilateral, support among servicemembers is not much higher than that of civilians (88, compared to 79 among civilians). But when the question is posed as the U.S. acting alone, support among the military is 60 percent (compared to 38 percent among civilians), with only 31 percent opposed. The exception to this strong support is in the event of Congress not supporting it -- the only case in which military opinion is evenly split.

Of course, those of us who would actually deign to ask someone in uniform what they thought didn't need a poll to tell us that.

UPDATE: Speaking of chickenhawks, Dick Armey is announcing his change of heart on CNN right now.

UPDATE II: Color me fact-checked. The Military Times Company poll was of military readers of its four service publications, as Eugene Volokh points out. Shame on me for missing that, and even more so for not being suspicious of a poll of "military members." Indeed, collecting a representative sample of the military as a whole would be near impossible (those on deployment would certainly be excluded, as would most junior personnel in all branches, who live in barracks rather than private residences).

At the very least, such a poll would require the active support of the branches themselves (fat chance), or would even have to be conducted my the military itself (illegal).
:: COINTELPRO Tool 2:57 PM [+] ::
:: Saturday, October 05, 2002 ::

"Cairo: The Jewel of the Mississippi"


Sorry, Meryl. I was really looking forward to a Cards-Spankees series this year.

:: COINTELPRO Tool 11:31 PM [+] ::
:: Friday, October 04, 2002 ::

Salon.com Death Watch

Oops ...
The online magazine Salon has removed an article charging Thomas E. White, secretary of the Army, with participating in accounting practices that led to the collapse of Enron while he was vice chairman of Enron Energy Services.

The editors of Salon said one reason they removed the article was that a critical piece of evidence, an e-mail message attributed to Mr. White, could not be authenticated.

Cue derisive laughter.

Also, kudos to Paul Krugman, who acknowledged that he was wrong to cite the Salon story in an op-ed. Contrast that with the recalcitrant attitude of the piece's author, Jason Leopold, who wears his extensive record of generating work for corrections page editors -- at Salon and WSJ -- as a badge of honor.

:: COINTELPRO Tool 2:50 PM [+] ::

The Truth About Medical Research

There's a new health/medical issues blogger in town, and she's all over the malaria genome breakthrough.

Some day soon, private pharmaceutical companies will make a killing on the drugs developed from this important discovery made by government and academic researchers, who will not share in the profits.

Try to remember that, the next time you read nonsense like this.

The pharmaceutical industry is not, as some would have you believe, made up of Horatio Alger's. At least half of the research that leads to these life-enriching and profit-making medicines comes from your tax dollars. And the public share in research dollars is the most important piece of the pie, going toward the initial laboratory research -- the hard part, while private investment is weighted toward the development phase. This is largely true for any enterprise that relies on heavy government funding to leverage private investment, including, of course, the defense industry.

And that's to be expected. This public funding of R&D commonly goes under the euphamism of "risk abatement," because the private sector is understandably skittish about dropping large amounts of money in something that could never result in something they can sell. But government has never had this problem.

Yes, there should be profit potential. But the notion that the pharmaceutical industry must be bribed with infinite patents, or else the engine of scientific progress will die, is horseshit.
:: COINTELPRO Tool 1:52 PM [+] ::

Irony Alert

Dr. Weevil lays the smack down on a number of Max Sawicky's latest nonsensical posts, inlcuding his false assertion that Ollie North is a darling of the warbloggers (he cites me, correctly, as an example of one who can't stand the scumbag -- damn, he's got me pegged!), and one that alleges other strawman arguments about Bonior and McDermott. Interestingly, Sawicky hasn't addressed our real criticisms of their visit to Iraq.

But the worst is Sawicky's galling assertion that the It's All About Oil mantra is "an imaginary left argument in order to debunk it".

One of this medium's shortcomings is that we'll never know if Sawicky actually had a straight face when he wrote that.
:: COINTELPRO Tool 11:41 AM [+] ::

Blogosphere Hype on the Montgomery County Murders

I can usually count on the blogosphere to be a welcome counterballast against media hysteria on the issue of fearsome import of the day (brief digression: Fox News, which has been the most shameless in its saturation coverage of the Maryland shootings, actually broke away from that topic for a more important story, the death of Bruce Paltrow). Like the Massive Intelligence Failure™, this has been an exception to that.

Except for Susanna Cornett's thoughtful post, the blogosphere has been filled with the same kind of baseless speculation that reminds me why I can't stand most TV news. It's also why I've waited until today to post anything on it, and I still feel this is a bit early to try to frame this story, or go to general quarters over how the mainstream media are framing it. Another Fox reference: I'm continuing to hear broadcasters say things like "we haven't verified this information yet, but wanted to get it out to you as soon as we got it," as if that's something to be proud of. Bloggers should not try to imitate that.

There are even complaints that the police and mainstream press aren't mentioning the possibility that this killing spree is an act of terrorism. The professor even seems to take NPR to task for not mentioning it this morning. That would be a legitimate gripe if they speculated on other possible motives (I haven't heard the report yet), but the refusal to speculate at all is never a journalistic sin.

For one thing, I don't see how anyone benefits from the police saying publicly, "yes, we think this may be the work of terrorists." Smartly, they have simply made the conservative statement that they have no information that that would suggest terrorism. But they have not, as the objections suggest, ruled it out.

The suggestion that authorities aren't privately looking at terrorism as a possible motive is silly. Of course they are treating the incidents, in terms of framing their investigation, as a possible -- if not likely -- act of an organized terrorist group. But why say that publicly?

This brings to mind the Susan Smith murders. While in front of the television cameras, South Carolina authorities never let on that they had any doubts about Smith's story about an African-American carjacker, who just happened to want to take some strange white woman's children along in his new ride. But privately, Smith was their primary suspect from the beginning.

Acknowledging publicly the possiblity of terrorism would only give the terorists the public hysteria they would want. Yes, that is the stalest cliche imaginable, but sometimes things are cliche for good reason. The only information the police are obligated to disseminate at this point are facts that would make the public safer from future shootings, and help the public help the police bring the killers to justice as quickly as possible.

I say all this even though the possibility that this is terrorism would serve my own presumptions about world affairs: if this incident is to be viewed through the prism of the war on terror, it is further proof that we're winning. I don't want to minimize the tragedy of the deaths of these innocent people, but think about how far al-qaeda has fallen in the last year if they've been reduced to drive-by shootings.

For nearly a decade, the lethality of their attacks progressed at an alarming rate. Now, the best they can do is sending a crackhead with a bombs in his shoe, and lobbing hand grenades in far off countries. Whether the Montgomery County shootings is their work or not, they have truly jumped the shark.
:: COINTELPRO Tool 10:13 AM [+] ::
:: Thursday, October 03, 2002 ::

This Man Should Be Beaten to a Quivering Pulp

Flynn Kile, widow of St. Louis Cardinals pitcher Darryl Kile was the victim of a Opie & Anthonyesque prank:
An FM radio disc jockey called Darryl Kile's widow in her Phoenix hotel room and asked her on the air if she had a date to today's playoff game between the Cardinals and the Arizona Diamondbacks, according to the Arizona Republic.

The newspaper's report said Flynn Kile reported the phone call from Phoenix station KUPD to Cardinals manager Tony La Russa, who gave the information to Diamondbacks president Rich Dozer.

Flynn Kile was in Phoenix to attend Games 1 and 2 of the Cardinals' playoff series against the Diamondbacks. Her husband, Cardinals pitcher Darryl Kile, was found dead of natural causes in his Chicago hotel room June 22.

Chuck Artigue, a manager for the radio station, told the Republic that the prank "was in terribly bad taste" but that no action would be taken against the disc jockey, Beau Duran.

Here's a photo of the talentless fat fuck:

UPDATE: this guy has charges filed against him, over a harmless streaking incident, while the talentless fat fuck is not even reprimanded by his employer.

UPDATE II (Oct. 8): The talentless fat fuck has been fired.
:: COINTELPRO Tool 11:25 PM [+] ::

Israeli Art Student Conspiracy Theory -- With a Twist

Stefan Sharkansky has been generous enough to translate this Die Zeit story, as google will only do a half-assed job. What a mensch!

The gist of the piece, according to the BBC summary, is that the supposed art student spies were trailing the 9/11 hijackers, and actually tried to warn the CIA, who ignored them, as they had no details. I still think there's nothing to this, even though it would a) completely douse Justin Raimondo's obsessive ranting about the treachery of Israel, and b) in no way proves foreknowledge by our own government.

I am interested to see what Die Zeit has actually added to the story, which remains rooted in shaky French reporting and a draft memo by a disgruntled DEA agent. Stay tuned.
:: COINTELPRO Tool 5:18 PM [+] ::

Right Makes Might

Andrew Sullivan posted this response, 87 years before, to the peace drum crowd -- pointing out that while might does not make right, the two are not, as the peaceniks suggest, mutually exclusive:
"[M]y disagreement with the peace-at-any-price men, the ultrapacifists, is not in the least because they favor peace. I object to them, first, because they have proved themselves futile and impotent in working for peace, and second, because they commit what is not merely the capital error but the crime against morality of failing to uphold righteousness as the all-important end toward which we should strive ...

I have as little sympathy for them as they have for the men who deify mere brutal force, who insist that power justifies wrongdoing, and who declare that there is no such thing as international morality. But the ultra-pacifists really play into the hands of these men. To condemn equally might which backs right and might which overthrows right is to render positive service to wrong-doers ...

To denounce the nation that wages war in self-defense, or from a generous desire to relieve the oppressed, in the same terms in which we denounce war waged in a spirit of greed or wanton folly stands on a par with denouncing equally a murderer and the policeman who, at peril of his life and by force of arms, arrests the murderer. In each case the denunciation denotes not loftiness of soul but weakness both of mind and morals." - Theodore Roosevelt, anticipating Jim McDermott, from TR's "America and the World War."

Damn chickenhawks!
(Via Damian Penny)
:: COINTELPRO Tool 9:14 AM [+] ::

Anti-war Audio Terrorism

OK, maybe it's just an annoyance. Listen, if you dare.

But don't say I didn't warn you.
:: COINTELPRO Tool 1:46 AM [+] ::

Cats and Dogs, Living Together ...

Even the Sydney Morning Herald is abandoning the Palestinian-Authority-can't-stop-terror-because-the-Israelis-smashed-all-their-jails lie.
:: COINTELPRO Tool 1:35 AM [+] ::
:: Wednesday, October 02, 2002 ::

DUpe Update

Though the WaPo story on Bonior and Mcdermott's press conference today revisited their unwavering adherence to Iraqi propaganda on depleted uranium:
MCDERMOTT: Let me just answer back a little bit more on the health question.

The doctor in Basra to whom we talked, where we went in to see the patients, is the only person who's done any real research.

MCDERMOTT: The increase in childhood leukemias is more than 100 percent. The increase in malformations at birth is more than 100 percent. I said to her, "Has there been any other medical organizations or anything come in and take a look at that?" She said, "No." We think the WHO ought to go in and have a look at this, because we're proposing -- the White House is proposing putting our troops on the ground, walking through the very dust that apparently has affected the children of the soldiers of Iraq. Every father was a soldier.

The WHO has studied the effects of depleted uranium, as recently as April 2001.


McDermott went on to cite the precedent of our experience with Agent Orange as proof of the U.S. government's refusal to recognize evidence of public health epidemics until the damage has already been done. This is a fair example, but there have also been numerous examples of unnecessary hysteria created by junk science.

The ironic thing about this shameless performance is that I actually believe Bonior and McDermott when they say they aren't at all supportive of Hussein's brutal regime.

Which makes their unquestioning acceptance of its "research" completely inexplicable.

:: COINTELPRO Tool 11:06 PM [+] ::

Just When You Thought It Was Safe To Visit Your Capitol ...

I have to say, this is the first time I've seen women who need to wear suspenders.

In related news, my current school's campus rag is demonstrating its mastery of apparatchik doubletalk in its reporting on the weekend festivities:
Six hundred and forty nine people were arrested Friday at The People's Strike in protest of the International Monetary Fund and World Bank meetings.

There were autonomous actions throughout the city in the morning to attract attention to a multitude of causes such as military action against Iraq, third-world debt, racism and AIDS policy.

Autonomous actions????

:: COINTELPRO Tool 10:42 PM [+] ::

Cool New Toy Watch

From New Scientist.com:
Video system can redirect stray missiles

The new system, confusingly known as automatic target acquisition (ATA), allows a human to intervene if the missile appears to be going astray. It is already being fitted to the US Navy's SLAMER missiles, which in many respects work like a smaller version of a cruise missile.

SLAMERs are normally fired from planes outside enemy lines, and then fly in close to the ground, finding their own target using GPS satellite positioning signals and terrain recognition. ATA marks a sea change in this attitude of using "fire and forget" weapons, says Brookes.

ATA-equipped SLAMERs carry an infrared video camera that sends pictures back to the plane that launched the missile. The pilot will see if the missile is heading for the wrong target and redirect it.

Is there any other military in the world that would spend money on something like this?
:: COINTELPRO Tool 12:03 PM [+] ::

Bar Congress, White House From Recruiting on Campuses!

The Professor's take on Yale Law School readmitting military recruiters is right as rain.

I'm also opposed to Don't Ask Don't Tell, I'm also irked by the treatment of the military as an independent policymaking body. The recruiting ban is no better than the behavior of anti-war activists who spat on Vietnam vets for implementing Johnson/Nixon's war, or their scion who protested against CIA recruiting on campuses for foreign policy decisions it does not make.

Yes, I know the pentagon brass lobbied against a full repeal of the ban on homosexuals' serving openly, but the decision was not theirs.

Can you imagine Harvard or Yale banning Congressional offices or the White House from recruiting on their campuses? Or how about a ban on other federal departments from recruiting, when the fall under the tyranny of a presidential appointee the Left finds so distasteful?
:: COINTELPRO Tool 11:06 AM [+] ::
:: Tuesday, October 01, 2002 ::

Sailors Are Marine Mammals, Too

Laura Crane comments on a recent mass stranding of beaked whales that may be linked to naval exercises near the Canary Islands.
I want to believe that the Navy can use its newly-approved sonar technology to detect the presence of ultra quiet submarines without harming the whales and dolphins of the seas ... really, I do. Of course I want our soldiers to have the best technology available to protect themselves as they protect us. While we're talking about wishes and wants, I also want them to do so without bursting the eardrums and brains of dolphins and whales.

Though it's quite probable that sonars may have caused the incident (though there is also an indication that the animals were feeding at the time, which is another cause of the phenonomenon), it is nearly inconceivable that the U.S. Navy's new Low Frequency Active sonar was the culprit.

The LA Times adds to the confusion by incorrectly referring to the exercise as "sonar tests" in their headline, suggesting that the Navy was using LFA or some other spooky new device. If a sonar caused these strandings, it would likely have been a mid-range tactical sonar, with which all U.S. and NATO small combatant ships are outfitted and have been in use for over half a century (opponents of the technology have led many to believe that active sonars are something new, which is ridiculous). LFA is not even designed for use in the littorals (the Navy's Environmental Impact Statement included a self-imposed restriction on proximity to coastlines), and would not be used in such a multi-ship exercise -- as opponents have also noted, the sonar's range would allow it to light up everything in the vicinity, exposing enemies and allies alike.

I'm glad my email spurred Crane to read the EIS, and while it isn't exactly light reading, I hope she can find time to read the Navy's responses to public comments contained therein. Incidently, she notes that the EIS has "mysteriously disappeared" from the Navy's Website, which is a bit like chiding the LA Times, or any other online publication, for suspiciously hiding previous days' stories from the main page.

I hope that Crane is not arguing that the answer to this problem is a Luddite rejection of the technology itself, as that would have to include sonars that the Navy has used -- and relied upon -- for decades, and her comments don't seem to suggest that:
Perhaps what bothers me the most is this -- the U.S. Navy decided that certain mitigations were necessary to protect marine mammals, sea turtles and human divers during the use of their active sonar, including geographical and operational limitations based on whether these ocean creatures were known or likely to be present. Why is it, then, that these military exercises were conducted in the middle of a known whale migratory route, during migration season?

Ah, now we're getting somewhere: take certain mitigation measures to avoid the delicate species, rather than scuttle an entire technology. And the question is certainly a valid one, despite the minor factual error: most species of beaked whales are not known to migrate at all. In fact, very little is known about them, apart from the fact that they are deepwater species, which would make such "mitigations" very difficult. In fact, some are "known only from strandings." I'd file this one under ought implies can.

The answer here is more science, not less technology.

UPDATE: Reuters reports that the only U.S. ship involved in the Spanish-sponsored exercise was USS Mahan, which is not equipped with LFA.
:: COINTELPRO Tool 7:28 PM [+] ::

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