The Discerning Texan
-- Edmund Burke
Saturday, July 31, 2004
Commies for Kerry (humor)
Transcript of Bush Springfield Speech
Zell Miller: Why I skipped Boston
The bad reviews continue...
And so I dared to dream. Maybe the Democratic Party is going to recapture the security policy credibility it had during the Truman and Kennedy years. Maybe this display of McCainiac muscular moderation is not just a costume drama, but the real deal. Maybe hope is really on the way!
I should never have gone back and read the speech again. I should never have gone back on Friday morning, in the unforgiving light of day, and re-examined the words Kerry had so forcefully uttered the night before.
What an incoherent disaster. When you actually read for content, you see that the speech skirts almost every tough issue and comes out on both sides of every major concern. The Iraq section is shamefully evasive. He can't even bring himself to use the word "democratic" or to contemplate any future for Iraq, democratic or otherwise. He can't bring himself to say whether the war was a mistake or to lay out even the most meager plan for moving forward. For every gesture in the direction of greater defense spending, there are opposing hints about reducing our commitments and bringing the troops home.
Friday, July 30, 2004
Breaking News? Al-Zarqawi reportedly captured
(Kerry speech, continued) The BAD reviews continue to pour in...
Regarding his own Vietnam, as opposed to the Hollywood production staged around him, Kerry asked his audience "to judge me by my record." The question has been asked before, but Kerry did not answer it in his speech: If his Vietnam service offers proof that he is "decisive," then why is it that for two decades Kerry has been "only an average Senator," as pro-Kerry columnist Al Hunt wrote in yesterday's Wall Street Journal? If his wartime feats prove that Kerry is "strong" on national security, then why did he oppose virtually every stand-out weapons system in the U.S. arsenal today, speechify against the first Gulf War, and refuse to fund the second? Why, indeed, unless no correlation exists between his biography and his record? Kerry's speech last night showed how much distance there is between the two. Theatrics aside, it was far more in tune with his own lessons of Vietnam--and with those of the delegates before him--than with the Vietnam kitsch festooning the convention hall. Earlier in the evening, for example, Joe Biden sketched out a truly heroic foreign policy vision, insisting that Kerry understands the need to promote liberty abroad. He was followed by Joe Lieberman, who said we could count on Kerry to liberate those living under "murderous tyrannies." As for the candidate himself, he uttered nary a word about democracy promotion, nor even a banality or two about promoting freedom abroad. There was no heroism here. Only what Kerry defended as "complexity." Indeed, he spent far more time discussing domestic policy than he spent discussing foreign and defense policy. And when he did get around to discussing the matter of our national survival, he basically took a page from the post-Vietnam playbook favored by an earlier generation of Democrats. "We shouldn't be opening firehouses in Baghdad," the candidate declared to rousing applause, "and shutting them down in the United States of America." Suggesting that Europeans won't send troops to Iraq simply because they can't stand his opponent, Kerry promised to be nicer to our allies so we could "bring our troops home." Unlike, say, in Bosnia, he pledged to go to war "only because we have to." Leaving unsaid exactly by whom and at what cost, he dedicated himself to making America "respected in the world." Finally, and without saying precisely what it is, Kerry said he knows "what we have to do in Iraq." He has a plan, you see.
Meanwhile, former Clinton advisor Dick Morris weighed in with this:
Then, after this long rendition of his childhood, he tells us at length what it was like to serve in Vietnam for the four months that he was there. So far, so good. But then he spent only about one minute talking about what he has done since. Beyond a brief allusion to his efforts for crime victims and to prosecute crimes against women as an assistant district attorney, his support for Clinton's plan for extra cops and a balanced budget and a reference to his work with John McCain on the POW and MIA issue in Vietnam, that's it.
What did this man do as an adult? What happened during his service as Michael Dukakis' lieutenant-governor in Massachusetts and in his 20 years in the United States Senate? What bills did he introduce? What initiatives did he sponsor? Which investigations did he lead? What amendments bear his name? What great debates did he participate in? What did he do for his constituents in Massachusetts? What businesses did he persuade to come to the Bay State? Which elderly did he help get their Social Security benefits? What injustices did he correct?
Kerry's biography ends at 24. America does not want to elect a lieutenant to the presidency. The voters want a commander-in-chief, but there is precious little in the autobiography of John Kerry, as we heard it last night, to commend him to us. The Democratic National Convention closes as a nutritious, tasty, appetizing bagel — with a hole in the middle. John Kerry? Oh yeah, he's the guy who fought in Vietnam and then he ran for president. That's not enough. Where did his 20 years in the Senate go?
Oddly, his absence of biography confirms the impression I formed of him during my White House years: He's a back-bencher. I never can recall a single time that his name came up in any discussion of White House strategy on anything. He was the man who wasn't there. We were always figuring out how to deal with Ted Kennedy or Pat Moynihan or Tom Daschle or Phil Gramm, or Al D'Amato or Bob Dole or Jesse Helms or Orin Hatch or Joe Biden. But nobody every asked about John Kerry. He wasn't much there then, and he's not much there now. Only now he wants us to trust him to be president.
Perhaps the most accurate analysis of the speech was provided by Thomas Sowell, a personal hero of mine. Sowell's take included:
John Kerry is running for a political office and he has a political track record that goes back 16 years in the United States Senate alone. The facts on how he has voted on innumerable issues are all on record. Yet everyone at this Democratic convention and on the campaign trail seems to want to talk about everything except that record. In fact, everything at this convention and on this year's campaign trail seems carefully designed to create the OPPOSITE impression from what Senator Kerry's voting record shows. Over the years Senator Kerry has voted again and again to cut spending on the military and on the intelligence services. In short, his votes have weakened this country militarily. Therefore the rhetoric of the convention and the Kerry campaign uses the word "strong" or "strength" at every opportunity. By repeating such words incessantly, the rhetoric counters the reality -- at least for those voters who cannot be bothered to find out the facts. John Kerry's military service three decades ago is likewise used over and over again at the Democratic convention and on the campaign trail to cover up his repeated weakening of this country's military defenses as a United States Senator during the many years since then. If we were fighting the Vietnam war over again, nobody would deny Kerry's qualifications for being an officer in that war. But that is not the job he is seeking this election year. You cannot defend this country with memories and rhetoric -- not in an age of international terrorism, which could become an age of nuclear terrorism in a very few years.
From all I am reading today about last night's speech, which many were saying needed to be a "home run", and from my own viewing of the speech, in which Kerry seemed rushed and hyperactive, I think those who think Kerry rose to the occasion are engaging in wishful thinking.
Washington Post: Kerry "fell short of demonstrating the kind of leadership the nation needs. "
Thursday, July 29, 2004
This is what it is all about...
How to completely mislead the gullible
"What if he is right?"
"In a nation that loves fairy tales, the president seemed so damned eager to cry wolf that we decided he was just trying to keep us scared and that maybe he was just as big a villain as the wolf he insisted on telling us about. That's the whole point of the story, isn't it? The boy cries wolf for his own ends, and after a while people stop believing in the reality of the threat.
I know how this story ends, because I've told it many times myself. I've told it so many times, in fact, that I'm always surprised when the wolf turns out to be real, and shows up hungry at the door, long after the boy is gone."
Our enemies ARE real--and this author asks a question that every liberal Democrat should be asking right now: what if Bush IS right?
"...ostensibly a three-way alliance between the United States, Azerbaijan and Kazakhstan for the integration of several interlocking program elements, namely airspace and maritime surveillance and control systems, reaction and response forces, and border control."
Special efforts are being made in the Caspian Guard iniative to encourage member cooperation with issues concerning the increasingly disturbing activities of Iran. Both of these initiatives are excellent examples of the Bush Administration successuflly using multilateralism and new alliances, as opposed to the often-heard shrill screams of "unilateralism" from the Democrats and "mainstream" media. The article's author, Bryan Preston, concludes with this summary of the President's efforts:
"For all the abuse that the Bush administration receives for its conduct of the war on terrorism, the Proliferation Security Initiative and Caspian Guard stand as examples of the other side of the war as conducted by a serious administration that knows we are all in for a long twilight struggle. Only by removing or intimidating terror-sponsoring states into renouncing terrorism, and only by stopping the spread of nuclear and other mass killing technology in its tracks, can the free world hope to win this war without incredible loss of life. Bush administration critics and the media -- often one and the same -- consistently fail to take the existence of the PSI and its start-up sister Caspian Guard into account when assessing how we are doing in the war. The existence of these organizations indicate that for all the squabbling over Iraq, most of the world's major powers do regard terrorism and weapons proliferation as serious conjoined threats, and are willing to band together to do something about it. And they are willing to be led by the unilateral cowboy from Texas who defied several of them to topple Saddam Hussein."
Couldn't have put it better myself.
Peggy Noonan reviews the DNC thus far
More Fallout on the "Teresa moment"
Less obvious is what Democrats fear from Heinz Kerry's loose lips. That is, unless it's some casual remark that might give wings to the under-reported story of the campaign. Of all the icebergs the Kerry campaign has narrowly missed this year, one of the most inexplicable is the media's lack of interest in how Heinz Kerry's inherited money propped up candidate Kerry's once-faltering career and brought him to the brink of the U.S. presidency.
I think it was clear to anyone watching the other night that her being on the stage had everything to do with "her", and not much at all to do with electing Kerry. Her money after all is the reason Kerry is viable today, it was a good chunk of her fortune that enabled Kerry to make this run; so do not doubt who is wearing the pants in this family. The Dems had nothing to gain and everything to lose by putting her in the limelight, but obviously THKFK threw her weight around to get her moment in the sun. Here's hoping we see even more of in the coming days...
Democrat Foreign Policy: what Bush is already doing
Is the Mob funding Kerry/Edwards?
Wednesday, July 28, 2004
ANOTHER Muslim terror suspect arrested?
Teresa's bizarre speech
Acknowledging the applause, and maybe the signs, her first words were, “Thank-you. Thank-you. I love you, too.” Nothing about how honored she is to be addressing the convention and the nation. Just an acknowledgement of the assumed love for HER. Though the crowd had already stopped cheering and applauding, she gestured with her hands to quiet them, as if her body were programmed in advance to do so. The hands lingered a few moments too long, hanging there in front of her while the audience was silent. “Thank-you Christopher. Your father would be proud of you and your brothers.” Now this is getting downright creepy. Long before any mention of her current husband, she invokes the memory of her dead Republican first husband, Senator John Heinz, whose family fortune she now spends on behalf of a Democrat, and in support of extreme left wing causes through the Tides Foundation. Would Senator Heinz be proud that his son spoke before a Democratic convention, solely because his stepfather was the presumptive nominee?
To demonstrate the fact that she really does speak five languages, she hailed Spanish- and Latin-Americans in Spanish, Franco-Americans in French, Italian-Americans in Italian, and Portuguese- and Brazilian-Americans in Portuguese. A few words in each language, specifically using the hyphenated form in mentioning each group in its own native language. Because she was not speaking English, perhaps the hyphen overkill didn’t trouble as many people as it should have. Such linguistic showboating bothers me when people order their meal in French, sometimes to a waiter who doesn't have any idea what they want to eat.
She finally did thank the crowd, and promised to tell us about her husband, the living one, But then, out of the blue, hands pressed together in front of her, she declared, “This is such a powerful moment for me.” A slight audible brief buzz rose from the crowd. It was, after all, a stunning statement. Even this friendly crowd seemed shocked at the self-centeredness of the remark. She revealed to the world in that moment that the Presidential campaign, as far as she is concerned, is her toy, a fashion accessory, something for a woman who already has five houses, a Gulfstream V jet, and obsequious servants, business managers, and a Senator-husband dependent on her checkbook for the lifestyle he enjoys so much.
She is clearly a woman who enjoys telling others her opinion. She makes her pronouncements with a slightly grand air, as if giving a gift to lesser mortals. She went on to mainly talk about herself, her father, her marches against apartheid while a student in South Africa, and her right to speak her mind and be “opinionated” (hands making quotation marks in the air). It all seemed rather defensive, as if she needed to prove herself virtuous, and entitled to have a major voice in matters of public concern. Maybe growing up in a racist Portuguese colony as a member of the tiny white colonial elite has left her with a bit of guilt. Incidentally, she only referred to the land of her birth as a “dictatorship,” glossing over her family’s participation in a harsh colonial system oppressing black Africans. Because her father only was able to vote once, at the age of 73, she even posed as a family of victims of "dictatorship."
Eventually she did get around to mentioning that John F. Kerry served in Vietnam. She made the strange claim that he earned his medals “the old fashioned way,” as if Purple Hearts had been handed out for scratches requiring nothing more than a band-aid in the two World Wars. She also veered off into environmentalism, a plea to listen to the “wisdom of women,” and outright mysticism -- “the mystic chords of our national memory.” Lincoln? I guess he had a long face, too.
But it was really all about her. This is clearly a woman who thinks and feels that she is the one paying the bills, so she gets to call the shots. I can imagine that Sen. Kerry has had to put up with a lot of this, but has made his peace with it, considering the financial benefits.
It was a powerfully scary moment for me. After the speech, Brit Hume put it best when he said after mentioning that this was the first time in history a candidate's wife had made a major speech in a convention: "After this speech, I can see why..." No doubt.
Is there anything that would prevent a reasonable person from concluding that the only reason she spoke on that podium last night was that she forced Kerry to force her on the rest of us? Personally I hope the whole country was watching... it was enough to scare the hell out of a bunch of undecideds right then and there...
Al Queda suspect arrested in Texas
Tuesday, July 27, 2004
Meltdown in progress...
McAuliffe: "God if you are listening to me, please help us find a way to keep Mrs, Heinz-Kerry under house arrest for the next three months..." I'd be praying too if I were he..... if America saw that, they are having nightmares this very moment that THKFK might actually have a degree of influence over her husband.
Speaking of THKFK's husband: did you happen to see the latest answer to Michael Dukakis in a tank? Here is Teresa's hunk of burning love touring NASA yesterday: Priceless! Does it get much better than this? I entered this week really concerned that Kerry was going to get a big bounce out of this convention; that it would really fire up the faithful and make the hill steep for Bush. But if tonight is any indication, I'm doubling down on the President.
Troops demoralized by Fahrenheit 9/11
Activists attempt to endanger the rest of us
Another Teresa Heinz-Kerry bombshell
Heinz Kerry, then married to Republican Sen. H. John Heinz III of Pennsylvania, said she ``didn't trust'' President Richard M. Nixon but added, ``Ted Kennedy I don't trust either.''
The combustible and ever-quotable Heinz Kerry said of Democrats, ``The Democratic machine in this country is putrid.'' Excerpts of the comments appeared in The Boston Herald American in January 1976. Coming a day after Heinz Kerry was caught on camera telling a reporter to ``shove it'' when the reporter questioned her on statements made in a Boston speech, the remarks could undercut Democrats' ability to showcase a positive message at the convention.
This coming on the day that Mrs. Heinz-Kerry is scheduled to share the podium with Ted Kennedy. The hits just keep on coming.
Monday, July 26, 2004
Ann Coulter jilted by USA Today
As I heard her describe the incident on the Sean Hannity radio show, both she and Michael Moore had been hired by USA Today to write columns at the Democratic National Convention. Then a funny thing happened: they fired Ann and kept Michael. They didn't like the sarcasm of her column. I guess they don't think that Moore comparing Bush to Nazis is sarcastic... Not only that, but USA Today also wants Mike the Enormous to cover the Republican Convention. Well... isn't that nice and unbiased of them...
So... am I to understand that the mixture of Goebbels, Goering, and Stalin, known as Michael Moore, is allowed to run columns for the largest nationwide daily, yet they can't handle a little cynicism from the lovely Ann, a Fox News analyst?? We are finally getting a bird's eye view of just how unbelievably biased the media really is. These guys are trying to influence the election! First the New York Times admits it is highly partisan and definitely left-wing. And now this....and it is too bad, because what Ann had to say to day was deliciously funny: Check it out.
Teresa="Danger Will Robinson..."
Teresa (and her husband) are living proof that money can't buy integrity.
The "ABB" party
Yet for a party that believes it is the vanguard of history, Democrats seem awfully cautious about their ideas. To the extent that they're hawking any agenda at all this year, it is watered-down Clintonism. And late Clintonism at that, after welfare reform had passed and impeachment had reunited Bill Clinton with his party's liberals. Mr. Kerry has surrounded himself with familiar (and often capable) Clinton Administration faces, and his political calculus seems to be to campaign as someone who'd bring back the 1990s without the you-know-what.
Democrats remain the party of government, with more spending for every perceived problem but a claim to "fiscal conservatism" because they would raise taxes to reduce the deficit. They are still the party of income redistribution, through taxing high-income wage earners, and increasingly through the promotion of lawsuits. Al Gore's 2000 theme of the "people versus the powerful" has returned in the guise of John Edwards's "two Americas." The party has become somewhat more protectionist on trade since the 1990s, and it remains firmly liberal on the culture.
If any new Big Idea lurks, it is probably national health care, though even this dares not speak its name. Mr. Kerry's proposal amounts to a huge new taxpayer obligation ($653 billion over 10 years, by the Kerry camp's own reckoning), but it is disguised in large part as a federal subsidy for business in return for covering all employees.
Where this back-to-the-Clinton-future strategy is most open to challenge is on national security. After 9/11 it is impossible to return to the holiday from world history that was the 1990s. Yet the Democrats are remarkably mute on how they would confront the largest threat to American national security since the Cold War. Their most notable hawk--Joe Lieberman--was routed in the primaries.
To his credit, Mr. Kerry has said he won't cut and run from Iraq, but he says precious little else other than that he'd somehow persuade the U.N. and France to help. Good luck with that. As a political matter, the betting seems to be that Democrats can get away with saying little because voters will simply blame Mr. Bush for any new terror attack or more trouble in Iraq. Look for Democrats to repeat the words "strong" or "strength" a few thousand times this week, a mantra in lieu of policy.
The article's premise is correct in that this party has been doing nothing BUT bashing Bush since Inauguration Day, and any American who has been paying attention knows it. For them to pretend during this scripted love-fest for a willing media that they suddenly have found civility and positive campaigning is as full of propaganda as any Michael Moore film.
This is a DEMOCRAT platform?
- The platform SUPPORTS the concept of pre-emption to defend the nation against terror (aka "The Bush Doctrine").
- The platform SUPPORTS leaving the troops in Iraq as long as it takes.
- The platform SUPPORTS The Patriot Act!
Now I guess it was Lincoln that said something about fooling some of the people some of the time, etc. but is this platform fooling anyone?? Is there anyone in that convention hall who really thinks the Patriot Act is a good thing? Does their support of "pre-emption" mean that these people just can't wait for the next attack in the War on Terror? Or...is this "platform" in actuality a bald-faced LIE regarding what its party stands for in reality? Pre-emption? The Patriot Act? What kind of wool is Terry McAuliffe attempting to pull over the eyes of the American People?
If you support pre-emptive attacks on the states funding terror, staying the course in the war, and the Patriot Act, why in the world would you support a Presidential candidate who voted against funding the troops and against virtually every intelligence bill that has ever come before him?? Because he suddenly tries to make you believe that he is "for" these things? The only thing that I can see in this platform that is truthful is that Kerry wants to immediately raise taxes, reinstate estate taxes and increase the marriage penalty. So great, if you want to deprive the marketplace of needed capital just as we are finally coming out of the Clinton recession, fine, cast that vote for Kerry--then we can all suffer together. But anyone who buys that this "hawkish" platform really represents the heart and soul of this party or this candidate had better take a hard look at reality.
The "Party of civility"? Somebody better tell Teresa...
Am really enjoying listening to the Laura Ingraham show this morning; she is having all kinds of fun with the Teresa Kerry sound byte this morning. Now that's entertainment.
Sunday, July 25, 2004
New York Times admits its bias
An American in Paris
Lying for Liars
Friday, July 23, 2004
Decision time about Iraq
Bill Bennett's letter to the Democratic Party
Clinton caught red handed again in a lie...
"To the best of my knowledge it is not true that we were ever offered [bin Laden] by the Sudanese even though they later claimed it. I think it's total bull. "
This is former President Clinton, as quoted by Mr. Rather himself. There is only one problem with this: NewsMax has Clinton on tape, saying otherwise, in the Queen's English: Check it out .
Remember the guy in junior high school who always was the shrillest and most bombastic when he was covering up is own inner vacancy; driven foremost by the terror that someone else was going to find him out? That is what the Democrats remind me of this year. It's like they seem calm on the surface, but you can feel it: they are in sheer panic. Between Clinton, Berger, McAuliffe, and Kerry, something stinks to high heaven. The press may try to look the other way, but the stench is overpowering. And my guess it that it was the Clintons who fed Berger to the press. The Clintons have much to gain from the Convention turning out to be a dud.
Thursday, July 22, 2004
Nashville Terrorist Explosion?
Berger Brass Tacks
Search Engine Magic
Starbucks Lost and Found: Missing Classified Documents
How Bush will Win
Media "game plan" for Election Season
Did Clarke and Kerry hinder 9/11 Commission?
Wednesday, July 21, 2004
The Berger (and Kerry) Plot Thickens
Deep Background on the Berger Case
Greenspan: Bush Tax Cuts Prevented "Severe Recession"
Armstrong takes commanding Tour de France lead
More about today's race can be found here.
Nuclear Weapons Reportedly Found in Iraq?
Iraqi security reportedly discovered three missiles carrying nuclear heads concealed in a concrete trench northwest of Baghdad, official sources said Wednesday. The official daily al-Sabah quoted the sources as saying the missiles were discovered in trenches near the city of Tikrit, the hometown of ousted Iraqi President Saddam Hussein.
"The three missiles were discovered by chance when the Iraqi security forces captured former Baath party official Khoder al-Douri who revealed during interrogation the location of the missiles saying they carried nuclear heads," the sources said. They pointed out that the missiles were actually discovered in the trenches lying under six meters of concrete and designed in a way to unable sophisticated sensors from discovering nuclear radiation.
This story may require verification: Reuters is running a story that the Iraqi Interior Minister has reportedly denied this news (however, one should use great discernment in accepting anything Reuters writes as "absolute truth"...). Still if it is true that missiles with nuclear warheads have been found, it would beg just one question for the Democrats, Joe Wilson, the "mainstream media", the French, the Germans, the United Nations, World Socialism in General, et. al: do nuclear weapons qualify as "Weapons of Mass Destruction"??
WSJ has its own Questions about Mr. Berger
Michelle Malkin on Northwest 327
Some Questions about Mr. Berger
In pondering the recent transgressions of former Clinton National Security Adviser (and John Kerry Political Adviser) Sandy Berger, a number of questions naturally come to mind:
- Last night I heard pundits such as Mort Kondrake, Mara Liason, and David Gergen go on and on about what a "great public servant" Berger was and how this incident was mere "sloppiness"; Question 1 is: if Condi Rice had been caught pilfering classified documents, would the same pundits, media outlets, and Democrat politicians be falling all over themselves to downplay it as they are with Mr. Berger? Or would instead the NY Times be devoting top-fold coverage to the "scandal" for weeks, and would Democrat politicians be calling for heads to roll?
- Mr. Berger was around when former CIA Director John Deutsch was fired in 1997 for taking classified information home; as a Presidential National Security Adviser (and as a reported candidate to be Secretary of State in a Kerry Administration) was Mr. Berger ignorant of the circumstances surrounding Mr Deutsch's firing, or of the laws regarding classified material? If so, what does this say about Mr. Berger's qualifications for handling national security matters in any Administration?
- Presumably when Mr. Berger went into the National Archives, he had a briefcase. If his removal of the classified material was mere "sloppiness", would not he have been more likely to have "accidentally" dropped the documents into his briefcase (which naturally would have been searched upon his exit)? As opposed to stuffing them down his pants?
- How does the fact that individuals observed Mr. Berger stuffing documents into his trousers and socks at the National Archives jive with his own explanation of "being sloppy"? I am as sloppy as the next guy, but I am rarely so "sloppy" as to "accidentally" stuff classified material down my pants and hide it in my socks...
- What was in the document(s) that Mr. Berger lifted? As Mr. Berger was ostensibly there (at the National Archives) to prepare for his testimony before the 9/11 Commission, did the missing documentation (now "lost"...) shed any critical light upon the anti-terror efforts (or lack thereof) within the Clinton Administration? Would such material have been useful to the 9/11 Commission?
- What motivation other than embarrassing Democrats at a bad time could there have been for Mr. Berger to take the documents? Why would he risk a Federal felony offense to "lose" one particular memo?
- Did John Kerry somehow benefit from the missing documentation? (it is notable that Kerry made a major policy speech about protecting Port Infrastructure one day after meeting with Mr. Berger...and shortly after Mr. Berger removed the classified material....)
This of course does not exhaust all of the questions about Mr. Berger's behavior, or how the missing material might have helped the "non-partisan" 9/11 Commission to shed light on what went wrong before 9/11--but it would be a good start.
Tuesday, July 20, 2004
Armstrong Wearing Yellow!
Are hijackers planning another air attack?
The take-off was uneventful. But once we were in the air and the seatbelt sign was turned off, the unusual activity began. The man in the yellow T-shirt got out of his seat and went to the lavatory at the front of coach -- taking his full McDonald's bag with him. When he came out of the lavatory he still had the McDonald's bag, but it was now almost empty. He walked down the aisle to the back of the plane, still holding the bag. When he passed two of the men sitting mid-cabin, he gave a thumbs-up sign. When he returned to his seat, he no longer had the McDonald's bag. Then another man from the group stood up and took something from his carry-on in the overhead bin. It was about a foot long and was rolled in cloth. He headed toward the back of the cabin with the object. Five minutes later, several more of the Middle Eastern men began using the forward lavatory consecutively. In the back, several of the men stood up and used the back lavatory consecutively as well. For the next hour, the men congregated in groups of two and three at the back of the plane for varying periods of time. Meanwhile, in the first class cabin, just a foot or so from the cockpit door, the man with the dark suit - still wearing sunglasses - was also standing. Not one of the flight crew members suggested that any of these men take their seats. When I returned to my seat I was unable to assure my husband that all was well. My husband immediately walked to the first class section to talk with the flight attendant. "I might be overreacting, but I've been watching some really suspicious things..." Before he could finish his statement, the flight attendant pulled him into the galley. In a quiet voice she explained that they were all concerned about what was going on. The captain was aware. The flight attendants were passing notes to each other. She said that there were people on board "higher up than you and me watching the men." My husband returned to his seat and relayed this information to me. He was feeling slightly better. I was feeling much worse. We were now two hours into a four-and-a-half hour flight. Approximately 10 minutes later, that same flight attendant came by with the drinks cart. She leaned over and quietly told my husband there were federal air marshals sitting all around us. She asked him not to tell anyone and explained that she could be in trouble for giving out that information. She then continued serving drinks. About 20 minutes later the same flight attendant returned. Leaning over and whispering, she asked my husband to write a description of the yellow-shirted man sitting across from us. She explained it would look too suspicious if she wrote the information. She asked my husband to slip the note to her when he was done. After seeing 14 Middle Eastern men board separately (six together, eight individually) and then act as a group, watching their unusual glances, observing their bizarre bathroom activities, watching them congregate in small groups, knowing that the flight attendants and the pilots were seriously concerned, and now knowing that federal air marshals were on board, I was officially terrified. Before I'm labeled a racial profiler or -- worse yet -- a racist, let me add this. A month ago I traveled to India to research a magazine article I was writing. My husband and I flew on a jumbo jet carrying more than 300 Hindu and Muslim men and women on board. We traveled throughout the country and stayed in a Muslim village 10 miles outside Pakistan. I never once felt fearful. I never once felt unsafe. I never once had the feeling that anyone wanted to hurt me. This time was different.
Now a week later, Ms. Jacobsen has written a follow up article about her experiences with the mainstream media after the incident and contacts she has received from others in the airline industry. The Politically Correct approach that we all know and hate focuses thinly stretched and overworked security resources on "random searches" at airports, rather than focusing on what I will call "statistical profiling": focusing on those individuals with a statistically grater likelihood of being a terrorist. This has nothing to do with racism and has everything to do with National security: verifying travelers that are more likely to cause mass murder. When a person buy auto insurance, everything from their ethnicity to where they live to what kind of prior record they have goes into the actuarial computation of their premium: it is based on statistical liklihood. I would assume the actuarial likelihood of an 80 year old anglo American woman being an actual terrorist conspirator is probably through the roof. On the other hand, the odds that a large group of Syrian Nationals acting suspicously on a flight have a much greater probability of warranting special attention. It is difficult to disagree with anything the following pilot, who was quoted in Ms. Jacobsen's article, has to say:
According to Mark Bogosian, B-757/767 pilot for American Airlines, "The incident you wrote about, and incidents like it, occur more than you like to think. It is a 'dirty little secret' that all of us, as crew members, have known about for quite some time." Rand K. Peck, captain for a major U.S. airline, sent the following email: "I just finished reading Annie Jacobsen's article, TERROR IN THE SKIES, AGAIN? I only wish that it had been written by a reporter from The Washington Post or The New York Times. My response would have been one of shock as to how insensitive of them to dare write such a piece. After all, citizens or not, don't these people have rights too? "But the piece was in The [Wall Street] Journal, a publication that I admire and read daily. I'm deeply bothered by the inconsistencies that I observe at TSA. I've observed matronly looking grandmothers practically disrobed at security check points and five-year-old blond boys turned inside out, while Middle Eastern males sail through undetained. "We have little to fear from grandmothers and little boys. But Middle Eastern males are protected, not by our Constitution, but from our current popular policy of political correctness and a desire to offend no one at any cost, regardless of how many airplanes and bodies litter the landscape. This is my personal opinion, formed by my experiences and observations."
More obstruction by the Clinton Admin?
Sandy Berger, former President Clinton's national security adviser, is under criminal investigation by the Justice Department after highly classified terrorism documents disappeared while he was reviewing what should be turned over to the Sept. 11 commission. Berger's home and office were searched earlier this year by FBI agents armed with warrants after the former Clinton adviser voluntarily returned some sensitive documents to the National Archives and admitted he also removed handwritten notes he had made while reviewing the sensitive documents. However, some drafts of a sensitive after-action report on the Clinton administration's handling of al-Qaida terror threats during the December 1999 millennium celebration are still missing, officials and lawyers told The Associated Press.
Monday, July 19, 2004
Sun burning at its hottest in over 1,150 years
Parallels between 1944 and 2004
West Nile Virus - Saddam's revenge?
More Good News from Iraq
The Iran Connection - What next?
At the recent meetings in Tehran between a Syrian delegation led by President Bashar Assad and the Iranians, including Supreme Leader Khamenei and top deputies including strongman Rafsanjani, the head of intelligence Yunesi, several leading officials of the Revolutionary Guards, and Foreign Minister Kharazi, the two sides agreed on five key points:
- A common strategy involving Iran, Syria, and Hezbollah to thwart American plans for the democratization of the Middle East;
- Coordination of joint operations against the Coalition and the interim government in Iraq;
- Coordination of political strategy to influence groups and countries that oppose the American presence in Iraq;
- Planning for revenge should Israel attack Iranian nuclear, chemical or missile sites, or Syria's chemical and missile sites, or Hezbollah bases;
- Full cooperation to prevent the reelection of President Bush, including all possible measures (such as sabotage of oil pipelines and terminals) to drive up the price of oil.
The ramifications of this discovery on the US and the world are sobering:
Maybe that would finally produce an Iran policy worthy of the name: support for democratic revolution against the mullahs. But Khamenei's and Rafsanjani's experience with the United States leaves them pretty sanguine about that risk, because every time we come up with some devastating bit of information on Iran, we immediately follow it with "but that doesn't mean that the leaders knew about it, or that it was the actual policy of the regime." You find half of bin Laden's family and top assistants in Tehran? Not to worry, maybe the mullahs didn't know. You discover that that 9/11 band crossed Iran and were assisted by the border guards and customs officials? Not to worry, that wasn't necessarily the actual policy — this from the lips of the acting director of Central Intelligence on Fox News yesterday. Scores of Iranian intelligence agents are found in Iraq, some in the act of preparing bombs? Some bright bulb in the intelligence community puts out the line that Iran is actually helpful to us, and has actually restrained Hezbollah. We find Iranian involvement in the bombing of Khobar Towers in Saudi Arabia? The evidence is quashed by the Saudis, with the complicity of State and large sectors of the intelligence community.
So why should the men in the blood-soaked turbans fret over the consequences of aiding and abetting yet another murderous assault against Americans? I'm unfortunately betting on the second half of October, based on their happy experience with the Spanish elections last March.
Sunday, July 18, 2004
NY Times still resisting on Wilson
Communist Party endorses Kerry
Saturday, July 17, 2004
9/11 Terrorists Linked to Iran
Armstrong wins critical mountain stage
Los Alamos Closed over Security Lapse
Times Watch Quotes of the week
Does Cheney "Rumor" deserve NYT Page One, Top Fold?
Clueless in Seattle
Friday, July 16, 2004
How would Kerry fight Terror?
And in "Tour de Lance" news...
Joe Wilson: part deux
Left tries in vain to "Outfox" Fox News
Why Sleazy Lawyers want Kerry/Edwards to win
Thursday, July 15, 2004
Don't you hate it when that happens?
African-American leader rips NAACP
Now Mr. Paige has spoken to that farce of a "non-profit, non-partisan" organization known as the NAACP: we have known for some time now that the only “colored people” that the NAACP seeks to advance are Liberal Democrats. Conservatives like Clarence Thomas, Tom Sowell, Walter Williams, Condi Rice, even Colin Powell...they need not apply. This is what makes Rod Paige’s op-ed on the NAACP today especially juicy. The piece was published in today’s Wall Street Journal, and it is priceless. Some selected quotes:
“I have a message for the NAACP's Julian Bond and Kweisi Mfume, who have accused black conservatives of being the "puppets" of white people, unable to think for ourselves: You do not own, and you are not the arbiters of, African-American authenticity.
I am a lifelong member of the NAACP. I have a great respect for the organization. Its historical leaders, all visionary thinkers, have been responsible for helping to advance the struggle of African Americans over the past century, making our nation a more equitable and race-blind society. Sadly, the current NAACP leadership has managed to take a proud, effective organization in a totally new direction: naked partisan politics, pure and simple.
The corrosive rhetoric espoused by the NAACP may make headlines and get out the vote in some quarters, but it is counterproductive, damaging and a betrayal of the organization's own origins. I would think our community would be better off looking toward the future, helping our children live up to their potential. The civil-rights movement has historically been multicultural, and many of its founders, including those who established the NAACP, were in fact white. I long for the day when our nation's education policy will not be grist for the partisan mill -- when we can work together, black and white, rich and poor, for the sake of our children and for their future.”
Yet more deception on Niger/Yellowcake -- where will it end?
Wednesday, July 14, 2004
Not front page news now: NY Times downplays Wilsom falsehoods
Where is the media on Wilson, Palme, and yellowcake Uranium???
Meanwhile we are approaching our most important Presidential election since, oh, 1860 or so... one would think there would be more concern about the "lens" through which much of the uninformed public views the world.