:: The Fred Willard Fan Site ::


:: Tuesday, November 19, 2002 ::

Blogroll Updates

Andrew Northrup and Missy Schwartz have broken the blogger/blogspot cycle of abuse. Their new sites are very well done, too.
:: COINTELPRO Tool 12:21 AM [+] ::
:: Monday, November 18, 2002 ::

I'll Bet You Didn't Know ...

Lyndon LaRouche's 2004 campaign Web site has a campaign humor page.

It's not as funny as the rest of the site, though.

Just FYI.
:: COINTELPRO Tool 11:54 PM [+] ::

Ooh! Pamphlets!

:: COINTELPRO Tool 11:46 PM [+] ::

News You Won't Read at Indymedia

'Cuz they're like trying to hide the truth, yo.

The usual idiots protested the Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation (formerly known as the School of the Americas) at Fort Benning. I guess they were expecting what passes for martyrdom in their weak subculture, but they were visited with the most insidious form oppression. The Benning soldiers actually tried to engage them intellectually:
By the hundreds, protesters boarded buses at Fort Benning and entered the training center they want to see closed.

But the 334 people who got in Saturday weren't arrested for trespassing. Instead, they were the guests of the commander and faculty of the Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation.

"If they want to protest against us, we thought they ought to know a little about us," said Lee A. Rials, a public relations officer for the Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation, the successor to the U.S. Army's School of the Americas.

Imagine that.

:: COINTELPRO Tool 7:36 PM [+] ::
:: Sunday, November 17, 2002 ::

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

Damned If They Do, Damned If They Don't

Today, we have yet another "Stop Warning Us Already!" editorial, this time from NYT:
Once again last week, Washington, in effect, warned that the sky was falling, and officials did a good imitation of Henny Penny as they analyzed the latest intelligence data about Osama bin Laden. This is no way to conduct the affairs of the most powerful, technologically advanced nation on the planet.

The only thing warnings this vague are good for is providing political cover in case of disaster. They offer no specific information about the location, timing or method of attack, and are all but useless to the average citizen, or even to local law enforcement officers.

I suppose it never occurred to these flipping idiots that if the feds had "specific information about the location, timing or method of attack," they wouldn't need to issue public warnings about them. They would go get the muhfuggers who were planning them, a la London's finest.

And as for "political cover," I can't for the life of me understand why the feds would engage in such cynical behavior as that. It's not as if every amateur spook within the fourth estate is second guessing their ability to prevent terrorist attacks that were unprecedented in their ingenuity and sophistication or anything.

Maybe my threshold for this kind of stress is much higher than the delicate senses of NYT editorialists, but I really don't see where they get this "warning overdose" crap from. Such warnings, as vague as they are -- and sorry, but that's life. You don't get a blueprint, especially for dealing with chaotic events like acts of terror -- have been intermittent.

If Instapundit's dream of a vigilant society that acts "like a pack, not a herd" is to be realized, it will be over the dead bodies of these thin-skinned editorialists. They may chide the government for it's failures, but deep down, they want them to just take care of it, leaving the public out of it completely. But God help the feds if they don't do it perfectly, and without trampling on anyone's pricavy or civil liberties.
:: COINTELPRO Tool 6:23 PM [+] ::

I'm Back ... Sort of

Haven't posted anything since midweek, as I've been incredibly busy with my life outside the blogosphere -- grad school, crises at my day job, and as if that weren't enough, my fucking car was stolen Wednesday night!

I loved that car -- 1996 Special Edition Acura Integra.

Anyhoo, posting will be less than prolific for the next three weeks or so. And if anyone has any great ideas for my next car purchase, you know where to find me.
:: COINTELPRO Tool 6:02 PM [+] ::
:: Wednesday, November 13, 2002 ::

Sick Fucks 'R Us

From the Age:
Most of the conversation was inaudible to dozens of journalists and photographers who watched from behind glass, but at one moment Amrozi pointed to Western journalists and said in Indonesian: "Those are the sorts of people that I wanted to kill," prompting laughter in the room full of police.

General Bachtiar told reporters later that Amrozi had spoken of his pleasure when he heard that his bomb had exploded successfully.

Amrozi said he had been sent home to his village in East Java by the plotters he had been working with before the attack.

"He heard about the bombing in Bali on the morning of October 13 at exactly 7am on Radio EL Shinta," General Bachtiar said. "He was delighted that his bomb had successfully exploded in Bali."

Why haven't we granted MFN status to East Timor yet?

:: COINTELPRO Tool 9:33 PM [+] ::

Today's Warped Google Referral

ann coulter panties

They never seem to stay on this page for very long.
:: COINTELPRO Tool 9:22 PM [+] ::

Beat the Rush -- Get Your Inflated Body Counts in Now!

Marc Herold, you're already late. Even after Noam Chomsky's violently wrong prediction of a "silent genocide" in Afghanistan, Leftists still haven't learned the axiom, don't count your chickens until they've hatched -- or as the French prefer to say, "don't count your eggs while they're still in the chicken's ass." The Medical Association for the Prevention of War (MAPW) Australia is already weighing in with a body count for Gulf War II:
A US-led attack on Iraq is likely to result in between 48,000 and 260,000 deaths during the first three months of combat, according to a study by medical and public health experts launched in Parliament House by the Medical Association for Prevention of War (MAPW) today. Post-war health effects could take an additional 200,000 lives.

The group based this estimate on the casualties from the first gulf war -- all 205,000 of them. As they say, garbage in, garbage out.
[Via Mike Hanson]
:: COINTELPRO Tool 8:25 PM [+] ::
:: Tuesday, November 12, 2002 ::

Dogs and Cats, Living Together ...

"Greenpeace Demands Removal of IMC Articles Relating to their Labour Dispute"

Greenpeace. In a labor dispute. And hurling threats at Indymedia. What's not to love?
:: COINTELPRO Tool 9:10 PM [+] ::

Warning: May Induce Spit-takes

Or projectile vomiting. Either way, something's got to give:
To: Mr. Michael Moore

Michael Moore, we come to you as very concerned citizens of the United States.

First of all, we want you to know that we have the utmost respect for you and your insistence on doing the right thing in support of freedom, truth and human rights. Through your words and actions, you have shown us that there is still a beacon of hope for the state of our nation.

It is our faith in the future of America, and the facing of the painful realities of the past and present, that brings us to you. America needs Michael Moore in the Oval Office.

Years from now, they'll call it "Payback Tuesday II: Electric Boogaloo."

:: COINTELPRO Tool 9:00 PM [+] ::

In This War, There Are No Chickenhawks

Bruce Rolston gives some good insight on the absurdity of the chickenhawk nonargument, at least in a society that prides itself on civilian control of the military (duh!). Meanwhile, Christopher Hitchens has a more extended version of the remarks he made on C-SPAN Friday:
The first thing to notice about this propaganda is how archaic it is. The whole point of the present phase of conflict is that we are faced with tactics that are directed primarily at civilians. Thus, while I was traveling last year in Pakistan, on the Afghan border and in Kashmir, and this year in the gulf, my wife was fighting her way across D.C., with the Pentagon in flames, to try and collect our daughter from a suddenly closed school, was attempting to deal with anthrax in our mailbox, was reading up on the pros and cons of smallpox vaccinations, and was coping with the consequences of a Muslim copycat loony who'd tried his hand as a suburban sniper. Should things ever become any hotter, it would be far safer to be in uniform in Doha, Qatar, or Kandahar, Afghanistan, than to be in an open homeland city. It is amazing that this essential element of the crisis should have taken so long to sink into certain skulls.

My wife is not of military age, and there is little chance of a draft for mothers. Are her views on Iraq therefore disqualified from utterance? And what about older comrades who can no longer shoulder a gun? What about friends of mine who are physically disabled? Should their expertise—often considerable—be set aside because they can't ram it home with a bayonet?

Read the whole thing.

:: COINTELPRO Tool 11:15 AM [+] ::

The Next Front

JI, the Indonesian al-qaeda subsidiary, is trying to establish a beachhead in Australia:
US-based terrorist expert Zachary Abuza, of Simmons College in Boston, said he had been told by Malaysian officials that Hambali had visited Australia, but it was not known precisely why he came and where he went.

"I'm not sure of what he was doing in Australia, I don't think anyone does, but clearly he was there to help establish a network," Abuza told ABC televison late on Monday.

"Of the Jemaah Islamiah cells in Southeast Asia it was the Malaysian cell, which Hambali was the head of that was in charge of setting up a cell, a network in Australia.

"We do not know how successful al-Qaeda or Jemaah Islamiah was in setting up a cell in Australia."

The author of the book "Inside al-Qaeda," Rohan Gunaratna, said Australian authorities had to do whatever necessary to disrupt any efforts by Hambali to set up a domestic network for Jemaah Islamiah.

Let's hope they're better prepared than we were.

:: COINTELPRO Tool 12:41 AM [+] ::

Leftists Eating Their Young

The lede says it all:
The four high-horsemen of the Liberal Left have mounted and are riding again, sprinkling no-brainer criticism of the current anti-war movement in with gobs of self-righteous, mindless Left-bashing. Renowned white, male, former leftists David Corn, Christopher Hitchens, Marc Cooper, and Todd Gitlin are once again sounding off against the contemporary Left, and in tacit support of the Bush Administration.[Emphasis very necessary, but mine]

I'd have read further, but what's the point?

:: COINTELPRO Tool 12:24 AM [+] ::

Neville Chamberlain Watch

Charles Johnson notes EU Foreign Affairs Commissioner Chris Patten's refusal to investigate European aid to the Palestinian Authority being used to fund acts of terrorism. This should be ample evidence of the EU's anti-Semitic tendencies, but actually, it's a lot worse than that.

Yesterday, I saw this Justin Huggler piece of tripe in the Daily Fisk, under the headline, "Hamas may halt suicide bombings." Then, Meryl Yourish brings this outrage to my attention:
The Cairo talks, the first of their kind since 1995, are being held under the auspices of the European Union and the Egyptian government. EU officials have held a series of meetings with Hamas leaders in Syria and Lebanon in an attempt to persuade them to confine their attacks to the West Bank and Gaza Strip.[Emphasis mine]

I think I'm going to be sick.

:: COINTELPRO Tool 12:04 AM [+] ::
:: Monday, November 11, 2002 ::

The professor has the rundown of the best Veterans Day posts. Here's another
:: COINTELPRO Tool 10:34 AM [+] ::

It's Official

Indonesian police have formally linked the prime suspect in the Bali bombing to Jemaah Islamiyah leader Abu Ba'ashyir. No one will be surprised by this but the Indymidiots, who are working feverishly as we speak to explain away these facts, keeping their CIA/Mossad conspiracy theory intact.
:: COINTELPRO Tool 1:56 AM [+] ::
:: Saturday, November 09, 2002 ::

Fisking Gore Vidal, the Extended Remix

To supplement Ron Rosenbaum's slamdunk on Vidal's tripe in the Observer, I offer a more extensive examination than my earlier post.

As Rosenbaum notes, LaRoucheVidal moves quickly from "we still don't know by whom we were struck that infamous Tuesday" to ...
Even so, we have been getting some answers to the question: why weren't we warned in advance of 9/11? Apparently, we were, repeatedly; for the better part of a year, we were told there would be unfriendly visitors to our skies some time in September 2001, but the government neither informed nor protected us despite Mayday warnings from Presidents Putin and Mubarak, from Mossad and even from elements of our own FBI.

Vidal cites the joint Congressional intelligence panel's report from September of this year, which, as I wrote back then, uncovered far more warnings of terrorist attacks abroad -- and not involving hijacked airplanes -- than the 12 warnings, over a seven year period. That Vidal would cite a 1994 warning of a plot to hijack American Airliners and blow them up over the Pacific ocean as evidence of "unfriendly visitors to our skies some time in September 2001" is a strong indication that he has never read the report, prefering the brief synopses provided by various conspiracy theory Web sites.

Similarly, his incredibly deluded interpretation of Brzezinski's The Grand Chessboard bears such strong resemblance to the "Afghan invasion blueprint" arguments, that it is doubtful he ever cracked open the book himself. Rather than quoting religiously from the book itself, he prefers the conclusions of others:
Ahmed sums up: 'Brzezinski clearly envisaged that the establishment, consolidation and expansion of US military hegemony over Eurasia through Central Asia would require the unprecedented, open-ended militarisation of foreign policy, coupled with an unprecedented manufacture of domestic support and consensus on this militarisation campaign.'

As I've written earlier, there is no mention of military designs whatsoever in Brzezinski's book. He merely states the obvious: that we are the last remaining superpower, and Eurasia is the most strategically-vital area on the globe. His criticisms of the isolationist mentality that has historically prevented U.S. engagement in far away lands unless we are attacked first, is twisted by the likes of Mike Ruppert into a brazen call for such an attack.

What Brzezinski really calls for is "maneuver and manipulation in order to prevent the emergence of a hostile coalition that could eventually seek to challenge America's primacy" and "gradually yield to a greater emphasis on the emergence of increasingly important but strategically compatible parters who, prompted by American leadership, might help to shape a more cooperative trans-Eurasian security system." Real scary shit.

Then on to the tired war-for-oil theory:
Currently, the pipeline is a go-project thanks to the junta's installation of a Unocal employee (John J Maresca) as US envoy to the newly born democracy whose president, Hamid Karzai, is also, according to Le Monde, a former employee of a Unocal subsidiary. Conspiracy? Coincidence!

The fact that Unocal no longer has an interest in the pipeline project doesn't enter Vidal's ossified brain. Nor does he entertain the possibility that maybe, just maybe, Unocal hired the likes of Maresca (who was, as Vidal doesn't bother to mention, a career diplomat before joining the oil firm) and Karzai because of their expertise and influence in both the region's political culture and international relations in general -- instead of the other way around.
On 21 January 2002, the Canadian media analyst Barry Zwicker summed up on CBC-TV: 'That morning no interceptors responded in a timely fashion to the highest alert situation. This includes the Andrews squadrons which ... are 12 miles from the White House ... Whatever the explanation for the huge failure, there have been no reports, to my knowledge, of reprimands. This further weakens the "Incompetence Theory". Incompetence usually earns reprimands. This causes me to ask whether there were "stand down" orders.'?? On 29 August 2002, the BBC reports that on 9/11 there were 'only four fighters on ready status in the north-eastern US'. Conspiracy? Coincidence? Error?

How about outright lie, from start to finish? In addition to restating the baseless nonsense that no fighters were sortied until after the pentagon was hit, Vidal suggests that somehow, the D.C Air National Guard -- the fucking D.C Air National Guard -- should have been able to respond earlier. Yes, you brainless twit, the fighters stationed at Andrews AFB are weekend warriors.

Vidal also quotes Stan Goff, a Marxist activist from Chapel Hill who served as an Army Ranger, in his tirade about "stand down orders." Though he touts himself as an expert in special operations, most of Goff's drivel has to do with NORAD procedures, and aviation, about which he is woefully ignorant.
Now the real kicker: a pilot they want us to believe was trained at a Florida puddle-jumper school for Piper Cubs and Cessnas, conducts a well-controlled downward spiral descending the last 7,000 feet in two-and-a-half minutes, brings the plane in so low and flat that it clips the electrical wires across the street from the Pentagon, and flies it with pinpoint accuracy into the side of the building at 460 knots.

I'm not sure how much "pinpoint accuracy is required to hit a 6.6 million square-foot building, and in any event, the plane actually skidded across the ground before slamming into the pentagon. Goff also wrote:
The so-called evidence is a farce. The US presented Tony Blair's puppet government with the evidence, and of the 70 so-called points of evidence, only nine even referred to the attacks on the World Trade Center, and those points were conjectural. This is a bullshit story from beginning to end. Presented with the available facts, any 16-year old with a liking for courtroom dramas could tear this story apart like a two-dollar shirt.

In his defense, Goff did not have access to what we now know of the attacks when he wrote this diatribe back in October of last year, but Vidal cannot claim that as an excuse.

Goff has a rich history of promoting conspiracy theories, writing once that:
Slobodan Milosevic is no war criminal. Nor was he a dictator. Until the US started a massive campaign of extortion, bribery and election-rigging in Serbia, he won his elections fair and square--unlike the current de facto President of the United States. Nor did Milsoevic ever lead the non-existent movement for Greater Serbia. Nor do Serbs collectively "share" any blame for whatever flavor-of-the-day atrocity is being invented by the IMF, the State Department, NATO Headquarters in Brussels, or that fake Tribunal.

Getting back to Vidal, he goes on to parrot one of Michael Moore's stale canards:
According to BBC TV's Newsnight (6 Nov 2001), '... just days after the hijackers took off from Boston aiming for the Twin Towers, a special charter flight out of the same airport whisked 11 members of Osama's family off to Saudi Arabia. That did not concern the White House, whose official line is that the bin Ladens are above suspicion.'

Unbelievable. This guy really doesn't get out much anymore, does he?

:: COINTELPRO Tool 8:00 PM [+] ::

Experts:Yemen Strike Not Political Assassination

Yes, it has taken a series of interviews with legal experts for the usually-lucid UPI to realize the obvious:
"Based on what has been reported in the press, this is viewed as a military action against enemy combatants which would take it out of a realm of assassination," said Suzanne Spalding, a former deputy general counsel with the CIA and now an official with the American Bar Association. "It does seem to me this was characterized as a military operation in the war on terrorism -- not a rhetorical war -- and that these are enemy combatants. You shoot to kill enemy combatants."

An executive order from President Ford, subsequently upheld and strengthened by both Jimmy Carter and Ronald Reagan, barred the United States from engaging in assassination. Ford's order was a reaction to multiple failed and embarrassing attempts by the CIA to have foreign leaders assassinated, including several attempts on Cuba's Fidel Castro.

Steve Aftergood, with the Federation of American Scientists' Project on Government Secrecy, agrees the strike was not a violation of the executive order.

"I thought that the Yemen strike was necessary and appropriate. These are people after all who declared war on us and defending ourselves is the right thing to do. The bottom line is these are bad people that need to be stopped, so the mission counts as a success," Aftergood told United Press International.

But these legal experts do have reservations about such strikes, saying that conducting such "targeted killings" would make it difficult for us to criticize Israel for doing pretty much the same thing.

And they say it like it's a bad thing.

:: COINTELPRO Tool 1:45 PM [+] ::

Credit Were Credit Is Due

A while back, I posted this parody of a Barbra Streisand fundraising speech, which someone had anonymously posted at Indymedia. The true author is one TC Rider, who had originally posted it at Free Republic.com. Rider/Streisand's dire predictions are worth a second look, since the Dems have, indeed, lost the Senate.
:: COINTELPRO Tool 12:15 PM [+] ::
:: Friday, November 08, 2002 ::

The Coup de Grace on the Chickenhawk Argument

If you're not watching Andrew Sullivan and Christopher Hitchens on C-SPAN, you should be.

Hitchens just brought up two excellent counters to anti-war positions. First, he chided those who make the argument that "the president hasn't made the case" for war, calling it a cop out for those who cannot do their own research and make up their own minds.

Brian Lamb asked a collection of students their views on the issue, following up each by asking the students if they would be willing to go to war themselves. Hitchens' counter to that was so blindingly obvious that I'm embarrassed that I hadn't thought of it before. He pointed out that in this war, it is far more dangerous to be a civilian than a combatant, making the question quite irrelevant.


UPDATE: Here is a link to the video.
:: COINTELPRO Tool 8:53 AM [+] ::
:: Thursday, November 07, 2002 ::

No Wonder Fox Is Kicking CNN's Ass

I'm no fan of Roger Ailes' cavalcade of idiots, but at least they have better judgement than to allow a rabid quack like Helen "Every time you turn on an electric light, you are making another
brainless baby" Caldicott
parade without challenge the same tired lies about depleted uranium (not to mention the even more egregious bullshit about dead Iraqi children), accusing the U.S. of war crimes. Wolf Blitzer allowed her to respond to Pentagon "lies" -- which, by extension would include WHO lies, HHS lies, and European Commisison lies-- without any representation whatsoever for the sanity caucus.

Ideological balance aside, Caldicott has no standing in the medical research community, and the claims she parrots have been drubbed time and time again, most recently by Brian Carnell (writing for Skepticism.net).
:: COINTELPRO Tool 5:06 PM [+] ::

There's a PAC for Everything

Unfortunately, the Extraterrestrial Phenomenon PAC wasn't able to find any worthy horses this election cycle, but nonetheless managed to unload most of their inexhaustible coffers. On what, I have no idea.

Open Secrets even lists X-PPAC's donors. That's so wrong!
:: COINTELPRO Tool 2:57 PM [+] ::
:: Wednesday, November 06, 2002 ::

I Knew It -- Yak Balls in the Newsroom

Last Page provides an intimate look at an election night newsroom. But be warned -- this footage is disturbing.
:: COINTELPRO Tool 10:54 PM [+] ::

Wounded Inner Children Watch

The Virginian-Pilot thinks that Rumsfeld's changing military combined commander titles (from "Commander in Chief," or CINC, to simply "commander") will be bad for morale. I can't see junior military personnel giving a rat's ass, but yeah, I guess the egos of some flag officers would go unsatiated.
With Osama bin Laden still at large, the Taliban in hiding and the anthrax killer not yet caught, Rumsfeld should be worrying about far more important things than titles and stationery.

Come to think of it, so should the Pilot's editorial staff.

:: COINTELPRO Tool 11:16 AM [+] ::

Every Combatant Has the Right to Counsel

That's the gist of Adrian Hamilton's sniv in the Daily Fisk. He's upset about the stain we left in the Yemeni desert the other day, and compares such missile attacks to assassination attempts on heads of state:
Before we accept this new morality, or applaud the CIA's blowing up of the al-Qa'ida's men in Yemen, it is worth remembering why the US Congress passed the law forbidding assassination of foreign heads of state in 1976.

Theevent was the farcical effort to kill Fidel Castro in Cuba using exploding cigars. The real reason was two generations in which the CIA had been involved in the overthrow of democratically elected regimes in Iran, Chile and Vietnam on the grounds that they threatened US interests. It seemed utterly wrong for a state founded on the rule of law to ignore it when acting abroad, for a country espousing freedom to adopt the methods of Josef Stalin, Enver Hoxha and Saddam Hussein.[emphasis mine]

What's next, an al-qaeda embassy and diplomatic immunity for their emissaries?

:: COINTELPRO Tool 11:08 AM [+] ::

The Effective Use of Scare Quotes

The trick is to use them conservatively, and not in situations scream for the word or phrase being ridiculed. Antiwar.com, no stranger to distorting the meaning of the stories they recycle, spotlights this AP piece under the headline, "Emotions run high as U.S. raids Afghan village in search of an 'enemy'" -- suggesting we were harassing innocent farmers in our War Against Islam:
Some 400 U.S. troops raided Naray and nearby Kot Kalay over the weekend, acting on tips they are transit points for weapons and pro-Taliban fighters moving across the Pakistani border, just two kilometers (1 1/2 miles) away.

They found 115 107 mm rockets — the same kind fired almost daily at U.S. bases — in a stable. They also found 14 rocket-propelled grenades, land mines, detonators and thousands of rounds of ammunition, some of it armor-piercing. Five people were detained for questioning.

Somebody getting married?

:: COINTELPRO Tool 9:32 AM [+] ::

And the Indymedia Connect-the-Dots Award Goes to ...

... Joel Mowbray, who is actually suggesting that flyers designed to confuse and intimidate black voters in Baltimore were actually planted by the Democrats -- to have the opposite effect!

Mikey Rivero, time to hand over that trophy.
:: COINTELPRO Tool 9:18 AM [+] ::

The Herbert Candidacy -- What Went Wrong?

Bill Saletan has the best analysis of last night's embarrassing performance by the Democrats:
In 1980, voters turned out for Ronald Reagan because he had a simple story about how he would fix the economy: cut taxes, reduce government, unshackle free enterprise. For years afterward, Republicans won elections by claiming Reagan had done exactly that. In 1994, voters turned out for Republican congressional candidates because Newt Gingrich offered a Contract with America. But in 2002, voters aren't turning out for Democratic candidates, because Democrats haven't packaged and sold—and in most cases haven't tried to package or sell—a simple story about what Democratic policies are, how they've worked in the past, and how they'll fix the current mess.

Moaning isn't enough. Whether through lack of resolve, lack of agreement, or lack of imagination, a party that can't summarize its economic philosophy—and can't connect that philosophy to the boom that occurred on its watch—is in for a long decade.

For my part, I can only hope that coherent philosophical agenda doesn't simply translate into 70's Liberalism. I refuse to believe that only fundamentalism can inspire, that you're either a Wellstonian liberal or a cynic. The trick is getting people to associate your party label with what you stand for, not whom.

There are already calls for the heads of Gephardt and McAuliffe but why not add Rangel, Pelosi, and Nita Lowey to the hit list? It's their DCCC.

I expected the only bright side (apart from the governorships the Dems picked up, will probably help them more in 2004 than capturing both houses could have) is that we may finally see an end to the whiny "We Wuz Robbed in 2000" theme in lieu of having anything substantive to say to voters. Kind of hard to attribute such a resounding defeat as last night to voter irregularities.

Oops, looks like I spoke too soon.

UPDATE: McAuliffe will try to explain himself at the National Press Club (carried live on C-SPAN) at 1pm today.

:: COINTELPRO Tool 9:07 AM [+] ::
:: Tuesday, November 05, 2002 ::

:: COINTELPRO Tool 12:23 PM [+] ::

An Iranian Eulogy for Wellstone

this link from an Iranian pro-democracy student organization:
The saddening news of the deaths of US Senator Paul Wellstone, his wife, daughter, and staffers as a result of a tragic plane crash on October 25th has greatly saddened us.

The dearly departed Senator's support of the "18 Tir 1378" [July 9, 1999] student uprising in Iran and his sympathy for the beaten, injured, and imprisoned students in those dark and fateful days; Which was followed by the "Brownback" concurrent resolution, in August 1999 and presented, as well, by gentlemen Lieberman, Lott, Helms, Graham, Mack and Wyden to the US congress; Will never be forgotten by the struggling Iranian students or this committee.

Definitely more tasteful than some of the domestic tributes.

:: COINTELPRO Tool 7:58 AM [+] ::

Why Not Me?*

I realize this is a little late, but I have just decided to run for Congress. No, not in 04, today.

The Bill Herbert write-in candidacy for the 11th District of Virginia was started by accident, really. You see, even with my warmongering tendencies and impatience with all Democrats to the left of Zell (which is like, what, all of them?), I cannot in good conscience vote for Tom Davis.

To be honest, I was completely oblivious to the flavor of opposition to Davis until a week ago. I moved here from the 8th District last year, and for the first time in my adult life, I didn't seek out the Democratic candidate. For all I knew, Davis was running unopposed this year, but I discovered who his opposition was really by accident, as I was checking the SBE Web site for the fine print on our various ballot initiatives.

And then ... whammo! Bill Herbert, meet Frank Creel.

You can imagine my dilemma.

So, I'm just going to have to vote for myself. The Senate, that's an even bigger mess. No democrat at all, unless you consider Nancy "What Happened in Brazil Can Happen in Virginia" Spannaus a true Democrat -- and if you do, you can bite me. Sure, Warner's pretty moderate, but I have my reasons for despising him as well.

So, it's Bill Herbert for 11th District Rep., and Meryl Yourish for Senate.
:: COINTELPRO Tool 12:15 AM [+] ::
:: Saturday, November 02, 2002 ::

Marc Herold -- Still a Dick

Roger Bournival has an interesting e-mail exchange with the UNH professor regarding his laughable research.

Not surprisingly, Herold refuses to respond to substantive criticisms of his numbers-crunching, except to say that those who discount sources such as the Frontier Post are guilty of "ethnocentric biases." In the interest of cultural sensitivity, I suppose we must now take seriously news reports such as this. Or this. Or this.
[Via Charles Johnson]
:: COINTELPRO Tool 7:56 PM [+] ::
:: Friday, November 01, 2002 ::

No Blood for Breadfruit!

The island nation of Kiribati is the victim of a vicious Kiwi prank:
The item claims President Bush had switched his attention from Iraq to regime change in Kiribati and that he had sent the Seventh Fleet to invade.

It turns out the source of the rumour is a New Zealand satirical website, Spinner , which claimed President Bush had forsaken his campaign against Saddam Hussein to go after President Tito, who was allegedly developing not only weapons of mass destruction but also some damn fine crab soup.

The invasion angle gained currency in Kiribati because one of the big issues in the election campaign is an Opposition promise to close down a Chinese satellite tracking station, which is believed to monitor the US Star Wars missile tests in the neighbouring Marshall Islands.

:: COINTELPRO Tool 8:41 PM [+] ::

The Volunteer Spirit

Everyone needs a hobby, and Kevin's (if that is, indeed, his real name) is teaching geography to morons.
:: COINTELPRO Tool 7:16 PM [+] ::

Flavor Flav Was Right

Still think racial profiling prevented DC area police from closing in on Mohammad and Malvo earlier? Let's go to the tape:
"Good morning," says a voice on a tape aired by the network. "Don't say anything, just listen. We are the people that are causing the killing in your area. Look on the tarot card: It says, 'Call me God.' Do not release the threat. We have called you three times before, trying to set up negotiations. We've gotten no response. People have died."

The call-taker replied: "I need to refer you to the Montgomery County hotline. We are not investigating the crime. Would you like the number?"

Would you like the number???

:: COINTELPRO Tool 7:10 PM [+] ::
:: 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 [+] ::

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