The Discerning Texan

All that is necessary for evil to triumph, is for good men to do nothing.
-- Edmund Burke
Sunday, July 31, 2005

Hewitt Interviews Maloney on Air America scandal

Radio Blogger has a transcript up of Hugh Hewitt's educational interview of Brian Maloney, one of the Bloggers who broke the Air America story--and Brian is asking the same question I have been; namely where is big media on this?:

Brian Maloney over at Radio Equalizer gets points for breaking the Air America scandal into very shady financial dealings with public money earmarked for a youth center. In case you want the primer, Brian joined Hugh Hewitt at the start of his show today. Here's how it went:

HH: You know, I don't often talk about Air America, because they don't often matter. It's a pretty terrible set of radio hosts, and a pretty terrible set of radio programs, as you know, if you've listened. Occasionally, I'll play a little bit from it, just when they violate the rules of 101 Radio. But now, scandal has wrapped itself around Air America. Believe it or not, and I found it hard to believe when I began reading about it, it appears that the Air America treasury was enriched last year, by the tune of almost a half million dollars, with some sort of a diversion of funds from, believe it or not, a boys and girls club, and Alzheimer's patients hospice or care center. All over the story is blogger Brian Maloney. Brian Maloney joins me now on the Hugh Hewitt Show. Brian, it's good to have you.

BM: Oh, Hugh, thank you. It's great to be on the program with you, and this has been an amazing week in covering this, and really working this. But Hugh, I've got to say right off the bat, it is incredible how much effort, and how much pressure has to be applied to try to get the mainstream media to cover a story this significant, and know, we're just starting to have a little bit of success. The Washington Times editorial today, talking about us, saying I've been working with
Michelle Malkin on this. I initiated it, and she has been doing a lot of additional research on it as well. And we were both mentioned in this editorial today, and they were saying where is the New York Times on such a huge story. I mean, Air America taking money away from children, from seniors with Alzheimer's, from community programs in the Bronx. It is an amazing story, and the thing is, a lot of people, Hugh, still haven't heard about it yet. I mean...

HH: Well, that's what we're here to fix. You know, one thing I want to tell you...congratulations. The second blog segment on Inside Politics was entirely devoted to this today. I hope you saw that.

BM: Oh, yes I did. Thank you.

HH: Nice screen shot of the Radio Equalizer, which is Brian Maloney's blog, which you can read at It's all linked at as well. Brian, let's step back and ask what did Al Franken know, and when did he know it? But before we do it, give people sort of the basic outlines of what you have uncovered. You own this story. You broke it. Tell people how you found it, and what's shocking about it.

BM: Well, yeah, let's do that, since so many people haven't heard word one about this yet. Basically, what it boils down to is a year ago, Evan Cohen, who was running Air America at the time, was also on the board of the Gloria Wise Boys and Girls Club in the Bronx. He went to this Charles Rosen, who was running the boys and girls club at the time. Both board members. Rosen is a well-known community figure in the Bronx, kind of a larger than life kind of character, who was overseeing this community center. So, eventually Cohen said to Rosen, hey, you know, I see you're getting a lot of grant money. Why don't you invest that grant money, before you need to spend it on any programs, in my brand new liberal talk radio network. And I'll pay the money back to you with interest. Okay, so that's what happened. And so Rosen kind of got sucked into this whole thing, know, thinking oh, I'll make a profit, and I'll have more money for my community center. The problem is, we still don't know for sure whether a dime has been repaid. Air America issued a statement last night that was cryptic, and we're still not clear whether they've actually repaid any of the money, because the money is missing. Air America has been saying...I mean, we've really forced them to talk about this, because they weren't willing to talk about it at all. And the amazing thing here about this is, the story was originally broken in early July, by a community newspaper reporter in the Bronx, for a small neighborhood newspaper, who wrote this story. And it was completely ignored by the major New York City press. Then the New York Daily News mentioned it, kind of obliquely, and in passing, one sentence about it at the bottom of a small story. And that was what was stunning about it. I mean, here you have this bombshell, and it's buried at the bottom of a story.

HH: Now what did...I think you'll also want to let people know, the boys and girls center has closed.

BM: Well, that's it. All these programs have closed. They've been shut down. What happened was other non-profits have had to ride to the rescue in a pinch, to try to save these programs before it's too late. And most of them have been saved, but only because they...other community centers and groups from outlying areas stepped in and saved most of them. But I mean, that's...this is what I'm saying. Air America said last night, well, we agreed months ago to repay the money. But that's how they said it. We agreed to. They haven't said whether they've actually repaid the money. They haven't said how much. They haven't actually even said whether a dime was repaid. And they only said this in their second statement. Two days ago, they issued the first one, which was very vague and cryptic. Last night under pressure, they issued a second one. And we pick apart the inconsistencies in their statements on my site. There are a couple of others, too. There's another site that's linked on mine and Michelle's blogs, that go into the legal issues. I think it's called Macho Nachos, I believe it is. And that...they consulted with lawyers who picked apart these statements, and gave a legal opinion on it. Today, we don't know if a penny's been repaid. And I've asked them. I have outright asked Air America, okay? If you guys repaid the Gloria Wise Boys and Girls Center, if you come the money's missing? Why has the city of New York initiated an investigation? The Department of Investigation is actually, you know, undergoing this right now. Why? I mean, if the money was returned, who got it? Who'd you give it to? Where did it go from there? See, their story doesn't add up.

HH: No, and now how big is that...

BM: ...And someone would have received the money.

HH: How big is the budget of the Gloria Wise Boys and Girls Center?

BM: I haven't seen a figure that gives the whole budget. They have been the recipients of a number of grants at the city, state and federal levels, of which five hundred thousand would just be a chunk of their funding. It would not be all of their funding. But, that particular money was earmarked for specific programs. It was targeted toward after school programs for children, the Alzheimer's seniors programs, for those with Alzheimer's, that kind of thing for particular programs. It was a city grant. Now sometimes this money, the exact origin of it isn't entirely clear. There was some indication that its original origin was federal. And you know, they give it to the city, and then the city doles it out. You know what I mean?

HH: Sure.

BM: This kind of thing happens. So, we were trying to find out if it was a completely city taxpayer money, or if it was a state or federal component. Because the relevancy of that is, well do you get the FBI involved? You know, how see what I'm saying?

HH: Sure.

BM: How many levels of investigation do you have? So far, it's the city of New York's Department of Investigations, the DOI, that's leading this effort. Now, Air America is trying to pass this off as well, it was the previous owner of Air America that was responsible. We bought its assets, which means we're off the hook, which is just absolutely incredible. Because their hosts are the ones railing about Enron, the ones railing about corporate America, and then they turn around and behave in probably the sleaziest way imaginable here, when it comes to their own money.

HH: And Brian Maloney, that's $480,000, right?

BM: Right.

HH: That money got spent.

BM: Well, that's the amount we've been able to determine.

HH: Yeah. That money got spent on Air America operations, whether or not the ownership shell has changed. It went to pay hosts like Al Franken, Janeane Garafalo, if in fact she was employed. I haven't figured out if she's employed or does it for free yet. But somebody took that $480,000 dollars and walked away with it. And I would think that Al Franken...I mean, the guy's rich. I would think at least he'd repay the money, pending the tracing of what happened to it.

BM: Well, that's it. And that's why we want to know. I think the only thing that would really...and I think it would only partly put this to rest, would be if they showed us the cancelled the check for $480,000 plus interest, you know, made out to the Gloria Wise Boys and Girls Club, and the date on it. But even then, the point I'm making is, hey. If you rob a bank, and then a month later you return the money with a note saying you're sorry, are you off the hook?

HH: No. Absolutely not.

BM: Do you still face prosecution? You betcha.

HH: So Brian, how are you going to follow up? We've got about a minute left, and I want to make sure everyone knows, for Brian Maloney's website.

BM: Well, what we're going to do is continue to apply pressure. But Hugh, I need your listeners to really get involved in this, to put pressure on the mainstream media outlets, to call them, to write them, to e-mail everybody, and make sure everybody's on this. Because the minute we let go, it's going to disappear. And that's really what the problem is. So any help that your listeners can provide in keeping this...ramping this up in the next week, would be helpful. I may go on one of the shows next week. We'll see how that goes, but we've got to get this out there even more. And your show helps a lot. I appreciate it very much.

HH: We will check back with you next week, Brian Maloney. The link to your website is at Keep up the interest. It is the Enron of the left-wing radio world, and Brian Maloney's all over it.

DiscerningTexan, 7/31/2005 10:19:00 PM | Permalink | |

NYT Chokes on WTC Memorial

Michelle Malkin gives us an update on the Blame America First memorial at the World Trade Center:

I couldn't let this snark-itorial from the New York Times pass without note today. The paper attacks the 9/11 families who oppose turning Ground Zero into the Blame America monument, an issue covered closely on this blog since Debra Burlingame first spoke out about the plans in her whistleblowing Wall Street Journal op-ed last month.

The liberals who snort and stamp whenever their patriotism is questioned have no problem challenging the loyalty of those who simply want the World Trade Center site to remain sacred ground. Huffs the Times:

[T]his is not really a campaign about money or space. It is a campaign about political purity - about how people remember 9/11 and about how we choose to read its aftermath, including the Iraq war. On their Web site,, critics of the cultural plan at ground zero offer a resolution called Campaign America. It says that ground zero must contain no facilities "that house controversial debate, dialogue, artistic impressions, or exhibits referring to extraneous historical events." This, to us, sounds un-American.

The Take Back The Memorial response is

All I'll add is that a newspaper dumb enough to publish editorials
like this one in a post-9/11 world has some nerve lecturing anyone else about a "sense of proportion"--let alone about what's "un-American."

Take back the memorial: update
Take back the memorial: They're feeling the heat
Take back the memorial: heat's on
Take back the memorial: rallying on
Take back the memorial: more voices raisedBattle at Ground Zero: The IFC responds
Take back the memorial
No guilt complex at Ground Zero
The Soros-ization of Ground Zero
DiscerningTexan, 7/31/2005 09:52:00 PM | Permalink | |
Saturday, July 30, 2005

Chavez silences protest

As if there was any doubt regarding this "democraticaly" elected President of Venezuala (if dead people count as "Democrats"), Chavez is now using his power to squelch free speech:

The opposition held a march to go from the East of Caracas to the Electoral Board to present a document demanding more transparency in the voting process. The National Guard and the police surrounded the Electoral Board where they built a barricade, threw tear gas and clashed with the protestors. The march was not able to deliver the document to the CNE authorities. The police would not even allow a delegation to reach the CNE. The General that heads the metropolitan police offered to receive the documents, but the leaders of the march refused to give it to him, demanding that they be allowed to hand it in directly to the CNE. At the end of the demonstration, one of the CNE Directors went over to get the document, complaining about the show of force, but by the time she got there the march had dissolved.Once again, the basic rights of Venezuelans are denied and excessive repression is used agaisnt peaceful civilians. The "pretty" revolution strikes again, but it strikes its citizens and their rights.
DiscerningTexan, 7/30/2005 11:05:00 PM | Permalink | |

Val and Joe go "Code Red" against their own commander-in-chief (click to enlarge)
DiscerningTexan, 7/30/2005 11:00:00 PM | Permalink | |

So What's so bad about the Federalist Society?

I am with Ed Morrissey: I really am tired of "handlers" who tell their politician clients what they should and shouldn't say; and for the Bush Administration to go out of its way to distance itself from the Federalist Society is not what I want to see out of my President. I want to see the "real deal. " Fortunately, up to now, that is pretty much what I have seen with this President...but, Mr. President, please. Membership in the Federalist Society is a good thing. You know it and I know it. So stop letting your handlers "define the situation.":

In one of the more prosaic examples of truth in advertising, the Federalist Society advocates a return to the Federalist model of government. That model empahsizes local and state control over public policy and funds, giving more freedom to Americans to shape the way government affects their lives. It also espouses a literal reading of the Constitution, which puts the responsibility for creating laws and policy on the Legislature -- the branch representing the people -- where it belongs. As one member says in the article, Federalists want courts to rule on the basis of what the law says, and not what they want the law to be.

So what's so subversive about this? Not much, even if Fletcher goes out of his way to include the Left's favorite bogeyman, Richard Mellon Scaife, in his article. That begs the question as to why the White House distanced Roberts from the Federalists at Warp Eight early after the announcement:

The eagerness of the White House to distance Roberts from the Federalist Society baffled many conservatives. They believe the reaction fed a false perception that membership in the organization -- an important pillar of the conservative legal movement -- was something nefarious that would damage Roberts's chances of confirmation.

"Are you now or have you ever been a member of the Federalist Society?" asked Roger Pilon, a vice president at the libertarian Cato Institute, mocking the suspicion that swirls around the group.

Put simply, the White House reaction was a mistake. It added to the notion that membership in the Federalist Society should concern American voters. Even if Roberts didn't belong, the next nominees to the bench might, and then the White House will have left the Democrats a handy, catchy-sounding club with which to rhetorically beat them. It would have reflected so much better on the Bush administration had they insisted that Federalist Society membership represented a long and honorable school of thought in American legal circles, one that had far too little representation until like-minded legal scholars formed the group in the 1980s.

DiscerningTexan, 7/30/2005 10:27:00 PM | Permalink | |

The Air America scandal: White hot...but where is the mainstream on this story?

This Air America story is not going to go away, despite the fact that no major news outlets have picked it up yet. Because this one stinks to the high heavens, and some heavy blogosphere hitters are onto this now:

Michelle Malkin has a high-level round up of the story: Air America - Stealing from Poor Kids. And Captain's Quarters has this update:

Brian at Radio Equalizer, who first broke the story on Air America's grasping of funds meant for poor children and Alzheimers patients, now posts the official response from the liberal talk-radio network on the scandal:

"On MAY 24, 2004 the newly formed PIQUANT LLC acquired the principal assets of AIR AMERICA RADIO from the prior ownership entities. PIQUANT has owned and operated AIR AMERICA RADIO since that time. The company that had run AIR AMERICA RADIO till then no longer had anything to do with the network.

"PIQUANT had no involvement whatsoever with funds from GLORIA WISE BOYS &GIRLS CLUB. PIQUANT neither received nor expended any of the sums that are the subject of the City's investigation of the CLUB.

"PIQUANT is not being investigated by the City, which is investigating a transaction that took place before PIQUANT existed."

Unfortunately for Piquant, when they bought Air America, they bought its liabilities along with it. They may not have broken any laws themselves, unless they've managed to keep Evan Cohen hidden from view, which given his popularity even at AA seems highly unlikely. However, if Air America did take money from Gloria Wise Boys and Girls Club illegally -- by having its chief executive officer transfer specially-earmarked funds from a non-profit on which he sat as a board member -- then Air America has to return that money.

Has it done so? One would presume that Piquant would have disclosed that in its statement if it did. Therefore, one can safely presume that Piquant hasn't returned the funds.

How long does Air America intend on keeping money from poor kids and Alzheimers patients? And exactly how does that fit in with their liberal political positions? And while we're asking, why did Air America
start promoting Gloria Wise after getting this loan? I'm not an expert at FCC law, but that kind of undisclosed financial transaction sounds an awful lot like payola to me, as Michelle Malkin notes.

If Piquant thinks that it can wash its hands of the mess Evan Cohen left behind, they're very much mistaken. As long as they hang onto that money and leave the poor kids in Brooklyn holding the bag, their leftist pap about taking care of the little guy will sound even more hollow than ever.

Al Franken's alter ego noticed Captain's Quarters! (Yes, this is a joke ...)

And that's not the half of it. A great deal of the heavy lifting on this story so far has been done by fellow Texan Macho Nachos, who I linked to yesterday. He has been following this story from the beginning, and he has now uncovered the fact that the "previous" owners are (pretty much) the same people as the "current" owners:

I've been hearing from a lot of folks that Progressive Media and Piquant LLC aren't as disconnected as they'd have you to believe. Remember, the essential defense of Piquant LLC through this story has been, "Don't blame us, blame the company that ran the show before us." The more information we dig up, the more it looks like the New Company is just the same as the Old Company.

First, Streiff at RedState dug
this old Professor Bainbride article (June 30, 2004)out, which says, in part:

The assets of Air America are
reported to be sold to a new corporate entity, leaving creditors of its existing corporate parents, Progress Media and Radio Free America, high and dry. According to the Chicago Tribune article, the new owner will be an outfit called Piquant, LLC, controlled by the original founders of the mini-net, Sheldon and Anita Drobney. Supposedly, millions are owed by the current corporate parents

Further, a check of the always-handy Wikipedia yields

As part of a reorganization, investors in Progress Media bought the assets of that company, creating its current owner, Piquant LLC.

Professor Bainbridge seems to be saying here that this legal two-step served to shield the new owners of Piquant LLC (the old owners of Progressive Media) from debts incurred by Progressive Media - and further that the corporate entity Piquant LLC was specifically formed to screw the creditors of Progressive Media. One of which, we now know, was the Gloria Wise Boys and Girls Club.

It might be legal, but it's certainly slimy as heck. And the statement by Piquant LLC that "this all happened before we got here," is looking more and more suspect by the minute.

A commenter here suggested that the board of Piquant LLC was the exact same roster as Progressive Media's, minus Cohen and Rosen. An enterprising person could verify this information with about ten minutes and
ten bucks, and then share that information with the rest of us. I think it would be interesting.

An earlier post from the very same Macho Nachos, lays out in great detail the legalities (or lack thereof...) for the layperson:

Air America Made Easier/More Interesting

I've been getting a lot of email from a lot of different people about some of the
legal analysis provided by my "lawyer-in-the-know". I'm sorry to say that I've confused Paul from Wizbang, and so it's probably time to boil it down with a little more simplicity.

Let's just say that Company X is a very shady company, very much like, say, Progressive Media. Let's say further, in this hypothetical, that the CEO of this Company X also happens to be on the board of a charitable organization that we'll call, hypothetically, Gloria Wise Boys and Girls club. And in this hypothetical, said CEO (we'll ascribe a random name to him, like "Cohen") bilks about $500,000 from his charity into the treasury of Company X.

Now, in this hypothetical, instead of paying the salary of Al Franken and buying a bunch of radio equipment, they use that $500,000 to build a local Subway Restaurants franchise. Later, MachoNachos comes along and buys said Subway Restaurants franchise from Company X (for a legitimate price). When it later comes to light that the Subway Restaurants franchise in question was bought and established through fraudulent means, the government can't now come after me for the $500,000. And I think that's pretty much fair.

Now, there are a couple of scenarios in which that changes - if, for example, I bought the Subway Restauarants franchise for, say, $20, then a prosecutor could make a pretty ironclad case that Company X was in reality diverting assets to avoid having to pay back the money, and they'd probably go ahead and confiscate the franchise from me to make the payment. However, if they determine that I did, in fact, pay full value of what the assets were worth, then it becomes a legitimate transaction and the government leaves me alone. Again, this seems fair.

Now, what is less clear (to me) is what the legal ramifications are if I had full knowledge before the transaction that the franchise in question was paid for with fraudulent funds. Lawyer-in-the-know says that this "could raise fraudulent transfer or abuse of the corporate form issues."

Of course, we have no way of knowing at this time whether Piquant LLC had any knolwedge of Cohen's previous activity, but they certainly got on the ball quickly with the B&GC promo, which took place about a month after the transfer of the company. Given that (I'm assuming) these things take some time to put together, it certainly seems that the new ownership was aware posthaste about the matter, if not prior to the sale of the company itself. These are questions that still need to be answered.

Indeed. I just being naaive in asking: WHERE THE HELL IS THE MAINSTREAM MEDIA ON THIS STORY?? Hello? CNN? NBC? CBS? New York Times? LA Times? Washington Post? Is anyone home?
DiscerningTexan, 7/30/2005 06:15:00 PM | Permalink | |

More Muslims speaking out against terror

James Dunnigan writes that more and more Muslims are speaking out against terror. Perhaps it is because they know that if they continue to do nothing about stopping this menace, a global backlash resulting from a successful large-scale attack could engulf all of Islam:

Moderate Moslem voices are now being heard, which is a major victory in the war on terror. Since the emergence of radical Islamic terrorism in the 1990s, one of the major failures of religious and political leadership in the world's Moslem community has been their apparent unwillingness to openly criticize fellow Moslems. While this reticence is not unknown in the leadership of other religions plagued by radical extremists, given the strength and lethality of Moslem radicals, this failure to openly confront the extremists has led to considerable public outcry in the non-Moslem world. Of late, however, there are indications that Islamic religious leaders are becoming increasingly aware of how their failure to speak up has served only to encourage the radicals, while further discrediting Islam in the world at large. For some time now Afghan and Iraqi clerics been speaking up, often at considerable personal risk. By ones estimate some 200 Moslem clerics have been slain in the past year or so because they spoke out. And of late, other voices have been raised as well.

In Britain, the Moslem Council of Britain has strongly condemned the recent attacks in London, one spokesman stating "These terrorists, these evil people want to demoralize us as a nation and divide us. All must unite in helping the police to hunt these murderers down."

In the United Arab Emirates (UAE), in an effort coordinated by the Islamic Affairs Ministry, on Friday July 15th, some 90 percent of the Mosques throughout the UAE preached sermons condemning terrorism and religious extremism. In Saudi Arabia, perhaps in a move coordinated with that of the UAE, on the same day the Grand Mufti of Saudi Arabia preached a sermon against terrorism, and specifically condemned Saudis fighting with the insurgency in Iraq.

Moslem media, including blogs and radio call in shows (which are all the rage in Iraq), all reflect this new assertiveness, and disgust at the Moslems being slaughtered by Moslems in the name of Islamic radicalism. The important difference now is that al Qaeda is killing so many Moslems. Were most of the victims infidels (non-Moslems), this shift in public opinion would take a bit longer. Most Westerners don’t realize that, despite great oil wealth, it’s still customary (and has been for a long time) in the Moslem world to blame “the West” for whatever is wrong on the home front. In this case, “the West” included the Soviet Union. Thus the withdrawal of the atheist communist Soviets from Moslem Afghanistan in 1987, was greeted with great joy, and glee, in the Moslem world. Same with the major al Qaeda attacks on Western targets, especially September 11, 2001. Not something most Moslems will admit to Westerners, but now that they are on the receiving end of al Qaeda terrorism, most Moslems are shouting at, not cheering for, Islamic terrorists.

UPDATE: Austin Bay links to an essay in the Middle East Times by Youssef M. Ibrahim, that speaks volumes about this issue

(...His) thesis, written with passion and vividness:

Indeed, jihadis have been killing for a decade in the name of Islam. They killed innocent tourists and natives in Morocco and Egypt, in Africa, in Indonesia and in Yemen, all done in the name of Islam by Muslims who say that they are better than all other Muslims. They killed in India, in Thailand and are now talking of killing in Germany and Denmark and so on. There were attacks with bombs that killed scores inside Shia and Sunni mosques, inside churches and inside synagogues in Turkey and Tunisia, with Muslim preachers saying that it is okay to kill Jews and Christians - the so called infidels.

Above all, it is the Muslim mind that is on fire.

The Muslim fundamentalist who attacked the Dutch film director Theo Van Gogh in the Netherlands, stabbed him more than 23 times then cut his throat. He recently proudly proclaimed at his trial: “I did it because my religion - Islam - dictated it and I would do it again if were free.” Which preacher told this guy this is Islam? That preacher should be in jail with him.
Do the cowardly jihadis who recruit suicide bombers really think that they will force the US Army and British troops out of Iraq by killing hundreds of innocent Iraqis? US troops now have bases and operate in Iraq but also from Kuwait, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Oman.

The only accomplishment of jihadis is that now they have aroused the great “Western Tiger”. There was a time when the United States and Europe welcomed Arab and Muslim immigrants, visitors and students, with open arms. London even allowed all dissidents escaping their countries to preach against those countries under the guise of political refugees.

Well, that is all over now. Time has become for the big Western vengeance.

His conclusion:

What is more important to remember is this: When the West did unite after World War II to beat communism, the long Cold War began without pity. They took no prisoners. They all stood together, from the United States to Norway, from Britain to Spain, from Belgium to Switzerland. And they did bring down the biggest empire. Communism collapsed.

I fear those naïve Muslims who think that they are beating the West have now achieved their worst crime of all. The West is now going to war against not only Muslims, but also, sadly, Islam as a religion.

In this new cold and hot war, car bombs and suicide bombers here and there will be no match for the arsenal that those Westerners are putting together - an arsenal of laws, intelligence pooling, surveillance by satellites, armies of special forces and indeed, allies inside the Arab world who are tired of having their lives disrupted by demented so-called jihadis or those bearded preachers who, under the guise of preaching, do little to teach and much to ignite the fire, those who know little about Islam and nothing about humanity.

I’m not sure A Cold War Against Islam has begun — for there are many Muslims allied in the fight against Bin Laden’s jihadis. Most Iraqis see democracy as a great historical opportunity, an option vastly preferable to tyranny (Saddam) and terror (Saddam and Bin Laden).

But the jihadis declared war on the world, with particular hatred for “the West.” Saddam said in his February 1990 speech in Amman, Jordan, (I paraphrase) that to be great a great leader had to “step up” — and attacking Kuwait (and threatening Saudi Arabia) effectively declared war on the western world’s economy (if we include Japan and South Korea as part of “the greater West”– which they are).
DiscerningTexan, 7/30/2005 05:58:00 PM | Permalink | |

Inman: Plame affair was a CIA plot to bring down Bush

Retired Admiral Bobby Inman, formerly Deputy Director of the CIA and head of the National Security Agency, is no partisan. In fact he has been promoted in two different Democratic Administrations. But even he could not sit still while his old agency attempted to bring down a President. Rick Moran, writing in The American Thinker, has the story:

Admiral Bobby Inman is known as one of the most brilliant men who ever worked in the intelligence game. His service as Deputy Director of Central Intelligence under William Casey, as well as his stint as Director of the National Security Administration, were both legendary for the breadth of intellect and experience he brought to his work. Here’s how one writer put it:

One doesn’t have to be around Bob Inman long to realize that one is dealing with a different type of brain, a type not shared by many. He is the intersection of micro and macro, at once displaying an insane head for details, and in the next sentence, an awe-inspiring grasp of the big picture, seeming to see the dominoes and dynamics of world events at a glance.

Omni called him “simply one of the smartest people ever to come out of Washington or anywhere,” and Newsweek dubbed him “a superstar in the intelligence community [and] a tough-minded administrator.”

He is also a recipient of the DIA’s Defense Superior Service Medal for “achievements unparalleled in the history of intelligence.”

Kinda makes Valerie Plame’s #1 defender Larry Johnson look like a fool. Of course, Johnson doesn’t need to be compared to Inman for that to happen. Admiral Inman didn’t say “terrorism is not the biggest security challenge confronting the United States, and it should not be portrayed that way,” 60 days before 9/11. Johnson did.

Also unlike Larry Johnson, Admiral Inman is truly non-partisan. He was named to replace that fumbling bumble of a Defense Secretary under President Clinton, Les Aspin, in January of 1994. But then less than a week before his confirmation hearings started, he withdrew his name. At the time, Inman claimed he was the victim of a conspiracy hatched by Bill Safire of the New York Times and Senator Robert Dole. That charge was widely derided in the mainstream press as a fantasy. This didn’t stop many of those same pundits and reporters from starting a whispering campaign about his sexuality. Inman said enough is enough and left Washington for good.

And while the conspiracy charges against Safire and Dole were never proven, Safire did in fact have a long standing
grudge against Inman:

In early 1981, Israel suddenly bombed Iraq’s nuclear reactor. Puzzled, Inman, then deputy head of the CIA, realized that Israel could only have known where the nuclear reactor was located by having gotten access to U.S. satellite photographs. But Israel’s access was supposed to be limited to photographs of direct threats to Israel, which would not include Baghdad. On looking into the matter, furthermore, Inman found that Israel was habitually obtaining unwarranted access to photographs of regions even farther removed, including Libya and Pakistan. In the absence of Reagan’s head of the CIA, Bill Casey, Inman ordered Israel’s access to U.S. satellite photographs limited to 250 miles of its border. When Casey returned from a South Pacific trip, his favorite journalist and former campaign manager, Bill Safire, urged Casey to reverse the decision, a pressure that coincided with complaints from Israeli Defense Minister General Ariel Sharon, who had rushed to Washington to try to change the new policy.

Secretary of Defense Cap Weinberger, however held firm, supported Inman, and overruled Casey, and from then on Safire pursued a vendetta against Bobby Ray Inman.

I bring all this up only to shine a light on the difference between an honorable, non-partisan intelligence professional like Inman and the partisan hacks and leakers who have crawled out of the woodwork not so much to support Valerie Wilson but rather to attempt to politically harm the President of the United States.

In an interview with Stephen Spruiell of the
Media Blog at NRO, Inman had this to say about the Rove-Plame-Wilson Affair:

I was utterly appalled during the 2004 election cycle at the number of clearly politically motivated leaks from intelligence organizations — mostly if not all from CIA — that appeared to me to be the most crass thing I had ever seen to influence the outcome of an election. I never saw it quite as harsh as it was. And clearing books to be published anonymously — there was no precedent for it. I started getting telephone calls from CIA retirees when Bush appointed Negroponte, talking about how vindictive the administration was in trying to punish CIA, and I was again sort of dismayed by the effort to play politics including with information that was classified. What is the impact on younger workers who see the higher-ups engaged in this kind of leaking?

Inman was not saying that revealing Valerie Wilson’s name was right:

[The leaking of Plame’s identity] is still one I would rather not see, but she was working in an analytical organization, and there’s nothing that precludes anyone from identifying analytical officers. I watch all the hand-wringing over the ruining of careers… there are a lot of operatives whose covers are blown. It doesn’t mean the end of their careers. Many move to the analytical world, which is where she already was. It meant she couldn’t deploy back off to Africa, but nothing I’ve seen indicated that was possible in the first place.
Spruiell asks an excellent question: “Where was all the liberal outrage over the leaking of classfied information when the leaks were designed to hurt the Bush administration?”

This is where the scandal’s focus should be; the deliberate and selective leaking of classified information by unelected bureaucrats in the months leading up to the election for the purpose of swinging the contest against the President. And this is the context in which the White House had begun to “push back” as
Tom Maguire puts it against this cabal of CIA officials both in and out of government, who for a wide variety of reasons were trying to sabotage the Administration. The push back by the White House may have included Rove and Libby having a role in writing Director Tenet’s statement of July 11 in which the CIA took responsibility for the questionable use of the Iraq-Niger yellow cake story in the President’s state of the union address as well as the attempt to discredit Wilson’s trip by trying to highlight his wife’s role in getting the Counter Proliferation Department at CIA to send him to Africa in the first place.

The point is that the leak that outed Valerie Wilson did not take place in a vacuum. The White House was under attack by our own CIA.

Inman points to dissatisfied former agents who were accusing the Administration of “punishing” the agency by the selection of John Negroponte as Director of National Intelligence. The DNI was created in response to recommendations made by the 9/11 Commission and was vigorously opposed by the CIA. And if the appointment of Negroponte weren’t bad enough, the President then chose Porter Goss to succeed George Tenet as DCIA and within weeks Goss had begun to clean house. He quickly forced out the Chief of Operations as well as his Deputy and sent out a memo (leaked to the New York Times the next day) informing agency personnel that further leaks would not be tolerated. Both the press and agents whined that this would destroy their “independence.” What Goss was trying to do was get a handle on what Senator McCain had called a “rougue agency.”

All of the events I’ve described overlap to form something of a confused muddle.
Christopher Hitchens clears things up a bit with regard to the intentions of the leakers:

The CIA in general is institutionally committed against the policy of regime change in Iraq. It has also catastrophically failed the country in respect of defense against suicidal attack. (“I wonder,” Tenet told former Sen. David Boren on the very first news of 9/11, “if it has anything to do with this guy taking pilot training.” Wow, what a good guess, if a touch late. The CIA had failed entirely to act after the FBI detained Zacarias Moussaoui in Minnesota in August.)

Could it be that there is an element of politicization in all this? That there is more to Mr. Wilson’s perfunctory “no problem” report from Niger than first appears? I would describe this as a fit, if not indeed urgent, subject for public debate. But the CIA has reserve strength. It can and does leak against the Defense Department.

But if anyone leaks back at it, there is a nutty little law, passed back in 1982, that can criminalize the leaker. Karl Rove is of course obliged to observe this law and every other one. And it appears that he did, in that he did not, and did not intend to, expose Valerie Plame in any way.

But who is endangering national security here? The man who calls attention to a covert CIA hand in the argument, or the man who blithely says that uranium deals with psychopathic regimes are not in train when they probably are? And we cannot even debate this without the risk that those who are seeking the true story will end up before a grand jury, or behind bars!

Despite all the speculation, no one really knows what Special Prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald is investigating at this point. But one thing is clear; the least understood aspect of this scandal – the war between the White House and the CIA - is also the least covered by the press. Whether the reason is it’s too complicated or whether it’s because the issues between the Administration and the CIA are too arcane to pique the interest of news consumers, it doesn’t matter. The result is the same; ignorance.

It may be up to those of us in the new media to push this aspect of the story to the front so that it gets the recognition it deserves.

DiscerningTexan, 7/30/2005 05:26:00 PM | Permalink | |
Friday, July 29, 2005

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DiscerningTexan, 7/29/2005 10:09:00 PM | Permalink | |

Air America scandal grows

Yesterday I blogged that Air America had been accused of diverting half a million dollars of public money from a Boys and Girls Club--to itself. Well, the blogosphere is seriously buzzing over the Air America scandal today. Even the msm has picked it up. Here is the Washington Times' take:

Did Al Franken's liberal radio network Air America divert city money for the elderly and inner-city children to itself? That's the question people should be asking this week after the revelation that the New York Department of Investigation is looking into whether hundreds of thousands of dollars were illegally transferred from a Bronx community center to Air America. Only a community paper and a few Internet bloggers seem interested in what could be an egregious case of illegal funneling of tax dollars to a private, partisan organization.

In late June, city officials designated the Gloria Wise Boys and Girls Club, a nonprofit organization that runs mentoring programs for children and day care for Alzheimer's patients, a "non-responsible city contractor." Investigators found "significant inappropriate transactions and falsified documents that were submitted to various City agencies." The city subsequently suspended the club's contracts, which run well into the millions.

It turns out, according to sources quoted anonymously by the Bronx News, that the mishandled money went to Air America. One source claims that $480,000 was wrongly transferred. The city investigation is concentrating on Charles Rosen, the club's president for 15 years, and Evan Cohen, the development director, who is a former chairman of Air America. Mr. Cohen resigned from Air America in May after the network's leasing plans in Chicago, San Francisco and elsewhere fell through.

No one has claimed that Messrs. Cohen or Rosen sought to profit personally from any transfers. The money was said to have been a "loan" from the community center to Air America, which Air America would repay with interest at some point in the future. But why the public till should be tapped to rescue a foundering news outlet was a question no one seemed to consider. Maybe Air America officers thought spending public funds on their network was a truly compelling public interest. It isn't, of course, and if the allegations are true, they reveal a misuse of tax dollars to support a partisan organization.

Air America's parent corporation Piquant LLC issued an "explanation" yesterday but did not deny the allegations. It instead tried to pin them on Air America's previous owners, on whose watch the transfer is said to have occured. That won't wash.

The Radio Equalizer was all over this story as well, this portion of his post is the Air America statement today and RE's commentary, followed by some relevant questions:


If the allegations of mismanagement and corruption at Gloria Wise Boys and Girls Club are true, it is absolutely disgraceful.

(If you know Air America received the money, as you indicate below, then aren't the allegations clearly true?)

As reported in the Wall Street Journal and the HBO Documentary, Left of the Dial, the company that the Gloria Wise Boys & Girls Club officials gave money to, Progress Media, has been defunct since May 2004. That company was run at the time by Evan Cohen who has not had any involvement in Air America Radio since May 2004.

(I don't like the way this paragraph is written. It implies that HBO's documentary and the Wall Street Journal covered the transaction between Gloria Wise and Air America. You need to read it very carefully to realize they're merely saying it was reported that Progress Media was purchased in May 2004. The problem is that the reader could be led to believe that this was somehow old news, previously published, now being dredged up for some ulterior motive. And so what if Cohen didn't have any involvement after May 2004, these actions still took place in Air America's name.)

The current owners of Air America Radio have no obligation to Progress Media's business activities. We are very disturbed that Air America Radio's good name could be associated with a reduction in services for young people, which is why we agreed months ago to fully compensate the Gloria Wise Boys & Girls Club as a result of this transaction.

(Glad you're disturbed about it. Note the strange choice of words here. "We agreed months ago", what exactly does that mean? See my questions below regarding this paragraph.)

We at Air America Radio strongly believe in the mission of Boys and Girls Clubs to provide a safe and nurturing place for young people to learn and grow. As a result, we recently allowed the same club, Gloria Wise Boys & Girls Club, to use our name in a fundraising effort for a summer camp for children in their community.

(So you knew Air America's previous owner engaged in a shady deal with Gloria Wise, but you still continued to deal with them? I thought your contention is that this was all about Cohen and former management? It wouldn't make sense to continue any type of relationship. This paragraph doesn't mesh well with the previous one: it says you realized the problem with the Wise deal months ago. Here, you say you've recently associated with them.)

The funding for Camp Air America was raised and collected entirely by the Gloria Wise Boys & Girls Club, and Air America promoted the camp on air and urged support for it. A link on our web site sent those interested in contributing to the camp to the Gloria Wise web site. Regrettably, the camp did not survive the closure of the Gloria Wise organization. We have offered any individuals who contributed to the camp as a result of Air America's promotion the option of a refund paid for by Air America Radio and the Club offered the alternative option of having their donation redirected to Kip's Bay Boys and Girls Club.There you have it, now, some questions:

1. Have you actually repaid the money to Gloria Wise, or did you simply "agree to" repay it at some future time?

2. How much did you pay them, and when? Can we see a cancelled check?

3. If you repaid the money, what happened to it at Gloria Wise? They don't have it, that's why programs were shut. Where did it go, who did you give it to?

4. When you made the decision to repay the money, why didn't you let the public know?

5. If you were above-board on this from months back, why wait until news of a criminal investigation hits the press?

6. If you knew Cohen had put Air America in a bad position with this money, early in 2004, why did you wait until early 2005 to agree to repay it?

7. Again, if you knew Gloria Wise Boys And Girls Club had participated in an unethical or illegal transaction with Air America's previous owner, why would you choose to have further dealings with the organization, months later?

8. Did any current Air America employees or managers have a role in, or knowledge of, this "transaction"?

9. If you had, in fact, repaid the money months ago, why didn't you say so in your earlier press statement? What would have been the use of holding back that important information?

10. Does Air America realize that even if you've since repaid the money, the network had benefit of its use, while inner-city youth and senior programs were threatened? If I rob a bank, but return the money later, does it mean I'm off the hook?

I just don't buy the transfer of ownership excuse they throw around so sloppily in these releases. Have Air America's hosts been this accommodating toward corporate America during their recent scandals?

11. Are your hosts welcome to discuss this matter on the air, or have they been asked not to, by management or the company's legal department? Have any addressed it so far?

What am I leaving out? Please leave comments below.New: Washington Times editorial addresses the issue, both yours truly and Michelle Malkin are mentioned.New: Malkin points to this excellent legal analysis at Macho Nachos.New: note from Captain Ed:Brian and Michelle,Congratulations on your excellent work on the Air America story! You've got them stuttering now ....Cheers!Edward MorrisseyCaptain's Quarters

New: More legal questions from Macho Nachos. And further follow-up here.

New: BoreAmerica weighs in, site regularly covers Air America issues.

--- Lance at RedStateRant alerts me to this at Wizbang today.Wizbang nails a huge point that I should have thought of first: are they repaying Gloria Wise with cash, or non-cash consideration? This means advertising, or other promotional consideration. This is very common in radio. Radio is heavily into barter and scrip. Did Camp Air America promotions count toward this?

--- Catch me on the Hugh Hewitt Show tonight, should be 6pm EDT, but we are still ironing out the details. (Update: interview went well, welcome to Hugh's listeners).

--- Also John Carlson's KVI/Seattle program, at 4pm PDT, 7pm EDT.

Go to KVI for audio streaming. (welcome KVI listeners)

--- Here's Michelle Malkin's latest piece on the situation to date. It's a home run!

--- Here's the Captain's Quarters take on this.

--- One thing interviewers continue to bring up with me today (Melanie Morgan of KSFO, Hugh Hewitt, John Carlson of KVI): doesn't this mean that Franken and the other hosts were likely paid with taxpayer funds intended for children and seniors? Don't they have anything to say about it?

--- Coming up tonight: an update on this story, plus another about Michael Graham's removal from WMAL/Washington over remarks about Islam.
Here's Michelle Malkin's very complete version. Mine will have additional points, seen only here, because I've been hearing from radio industry people all day who have knowledge of the situation.

--- CNN picks up Air America story for "Inside Politics". Radio Equalizer, Michelle Malkin, Wizbang and others mentioned. Here's a transcript link, scroll down toward the bottom to get the segment.

--- Hugh Hewitt has evening developments on the story here. He's been very helpful in moving the story along.
DiscerningTexan, 7/29/2005 09:34:00 PM | Permalink | |

Re: on-air criticism of Islam

Michelle Malkin has evidence of what happens to a radio host who dares to call Islam into question for the actions of its believers:

Conservative radio talk show host and NRO contributor Michael Graham has been suspended from WMAL-AM without pay in Washington, D.C., for bluntly challenging Islam last week on air and this week in a column. Excerpt from his JWR piece:

I take no pleasure in saying it. It pains me to think it. I could very well lose my job in talk radio over admitting it. But it is the plain truth:

Islam is a terror organization.

For years, I've been trying to give the world's Muslim community the benefit of the doubt, along with the benefit of my typical-American's complete disinterest in their faith. Before 9/11, I knew nothing about Islam except the greeting "asalaam alaikum," taught to me by a Pakistani friend in Chicago.
Immediately after 9/11, I nodded in ignorant agreement as President Bush assured me that "Islam is a religion of peace."

But nearly four years later, nobody can defend that statement. And I mean "nobody."

Certainly not the group of "moderate" Muslim clerics and imams who gathered in London last week to issue a statement on terrorism and their faith. When asked the question "Are suicide bombings always a violation of Islam," they could not answer "Yes. Always." Instead, these "moderate British Muslims" had to answer "It depends."

Precisely what it depends on, news reports did not say. Sadly, given our new knowledge of Islam from the past four years, it probably depends on whether or not you're killing Jews.

That is part of the state of modern Islam.

Another fact about the state of Islam is that a majority of Muslims in countries like Jordan continue to believe that suicide bombings are legitimate. Still another is the poll reported by a left-leaning British paper than only 73 percent of British Muslims would tell police if they knew about a planned terrorist attack.

The other 27 percent? They are a part of modern Islam, too.

The Council on American-Islamic Relations is outraged that I would dare to connect the worldwide epidemic of terrorism with Islam. They put it down to bigotry, asserting that a lifetime of disinterest in Islam has suddenly become blind hatred. They couldn't be more wrong.

Not to be mean to the folks at CAIR, but I don't: Care, that is. I simply don't care about Islam, its theology, its history — I have no interest in it at all. All I care about is not getting blown to smithereens when I board a bus or ride a plane. I care about living in a world where terrorism and murder/suicide bombings are rejected by all.

And the reason Islam has itself become a terrorist organization is that it cannot address its own role in this violence. It cannot cast out the murderers from its members. I know it can't, because "moderate" Muslim imams keep telling me they can't. "We have no control over these radical young men," one London imam moaned to the local papers.

Can't kick 'em out of your faith? Can't excommunicate them? Apparently Islam does not allow it...

For the record, I do not consider all Muslims terrorists and would not call Islam a "terror organization." But in his own clumsy way, Graham (like
Tom Tancredo before him) raises fundamental issues that need to be tackled head on, and he is certainly not alone in raising them.

Steve Emerson over at
The Counterterrorism Blog has a relevant, related post on the sham fatwa against terrorism issued by American Islamic leaders:
This morning a group of American Islamic leaders held a press conference to announce a fatwa, or Islamic religious ruling, against “terrorism and extremism.” An organization called the Fiqh Council of North America (FCNA) issued the fatwa, and the Council on American - Islamic Relations (CAIR) organized the press conference, stating that several major U.S. Muslim groups endorsed the fatwa.

In fact, the fatwa is bogus. Nowhere does it condemn the Islamic extremism ideology that has spawned Islamic terrorism. It does not renounce nor even acknowledge the existence of an Islamic jihadist culture that has permeated mosques and young Muslims around the world. It does not renounce Jihad let alone admit that it has been used to justify Islamic terrorist acts. It does not condemn by name any Islamic group or leader. In short, it is a fake fatwa designed merely to deceive the American public into believing that these groups are moderate. In fact, officials of both organizations have been directly linked to and associated with Islamic terrorist groups and Islamic extremist organizations. One of them is an unindicted co-conspirator in a current terrorist case; another previous member was a financier to Al-Qaeda.

this related post at Robert Spencer's Jihad Watch on a new column published in the London Spectator by Patrick Sookhdeo on the myth of moderate Islam. Sookhdeo points to the funeral for 7/7 London suicide bomber Shehzad Tanweer, who was hailed by Muslims as a "hero of Islam" while mourners shouted "Jihad Jihad Jihad!"

Little Green Footballs points to piece echoing Sookhdeo in the New York Sun today by Fiamma Nirenstein on "Muslim 'moderates' and terrorism."
Also at The Counterterrorism Blog, Walid Phares takes on the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) for its continued failure to condemn al Qaeda and Jihadism.

Instead, CAIR's
relentless efforts and strongest condemnations are aimed at its critics--from Paul Harvey to Dr. Laura to Daniel Pipes and to several other conservative talk radio personalities. It was CAIR's pressure campaign that led to Graham's supension and ABC Radio's cave-in (see Front Page Magazine for details). I just received an e-mail bulletin from CAIR crowing about the move. It begins:

In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful
DC RADIO HOST SUSPENDED OVER ANTI-ISLAM REMARKSCAIR applauds WMAL's move, says Graham should be fired
WMAL's decision to change its mind (it backed Graham last week, but wilted under CAIR's heat) will no doubt have a chilling effect on other ABC talk radio hosts and beyond--precisely CAIR's agenda. JWR editor Binyamin Jolkovsky reports on the controversy
here. Excerpt:

[A]s late as this week, a WMAL executive,
Randall Bloomquist, told the Washington Post that despite CAIR's protests about some of Graham's on-air utterances, the station had no intention of reprimanding him. Describing Graham's rhetoric as "amped up", he said, according to the paper, it is justified within the context of the program.

"Remember that this is talk radio," Bloomquist added. "We don't do the dainty minuet of the newspaper editorial page. It's not 'Washington Week in Review.' It depends on pungent statements to drive it. Michael is rattling the cage. It's designed to start and further a conversation, and it has certainly done that."

Okay, so why is he off the air?

***Update: Readers are asking for WMAL contact info. Try

Update II: E-mailers are getting messages bounced back when they use the above address. Try

Update III: Read Dr. Sanity.
DiscerningTexan, 7/29/2005 09:25:00 PM | Permalink | |

PC "random" checks won't catch jihadists

Charles Krauthammer once again states the obvious:

(From Give Grandma a pass...)

[...] The American response to tightening up after London has been reflexive and idiotic: random bag checks in the New York subways. Random meaning that the people stopped are to be chosen numerically. One in every five or 10 or 20.

This is an obvious absurdity and everyone knows it. It recapitulates the appalling waste of effort and resources we see at airports every day when, for reasons of political correctness, 83-year-old grandmothers from Poughkeepsie are required to remove their shoes in the search for jihadists hungering for paradise.

The only good thing to be said for this ridiculous policy is that it testifies to the tolerance and goodwill of Americans, so intent on assuaging the feelings of minority fellow citizens that they are willing to undergo useless indignities and tolerate massive public waste.

Assuaging feelings is a good thing, but hunting for terrorists this way is simply nuts. The fact is that jihadist terrorism has been carried out from Bali to Casablanca to Madrid to London to New York to Washington by young Muslim men of North African, Middle Eastern and South Asian origin.

This is not a stereotype. It is a simple statistical fact. Yes, you have your shoe-bomber, a mixed-race Muslim convert, who would not fit the profile. But the overwhelming odds are that the guy bent on blowing up your train traces his origins to the Islamic belt stretching from Mauritania to Indonesia.

Yet we recoil from concentrating bag checks on men who might fit this description. Well, if that is impossible for us to do, then let's work backward. Eliminate classes of people who are obviously not suspects.
We could start with a little age pruning -- no one under, say, 13, and no one over, say, 60. Then we could exempt whole ethnic populations, a list that could immediately start with Hispanics, Scandinavians and East Asians. Then we could have a huge saving, a 50 percent elimination of waste, by giving a pass to women, except perhaps the most fidgety, sweaty, suspicious-looking, overcoat-wearing, knapsack-bearing young woman, to be identified by the presiding officer.

You object that with these shortcuts, we might not catch everybody. True. But how many do we catch now with the billions spent patting down grandmothers from Poughkeepsie?

You object that either plan -- giving special scrutiny to young Islamic men, or, more sensitively, just eliminating certain demographic categories from scrutiny -- will simply encourage the jihadists to start recruiting elderly Norwegian women.

Okay. We can handle that. Let them try recruiting converts, women and non-usual suspects for suicide missions. That will require a huge new wasteful effort on their part. And, more important, by reducing the pool of possible terrorists from the hundreds of millions to, at most, the tens of thousands, we will have reduced the probability of an attack by a factor of 10,000. Those are far better odds at far less cost to us in money and effort. And infinitely less stupid.
DiscerningTexan, 7/29/2005 06:24:00 PM | Permalink | |
Thursday, July 28, 2005

Attack on the horizon?

Matthew Heidt (aka Froggy) thinks that, for a story like this to make the New York Times, it means that someone must be getting really scared about a big attack:

Apparently, the Opinion Editor at the New York Times is on vacation or had a family emergency or something because that page allowed the publication of perhaps the most sensible and thoughtful opinion piece I have read there in some time. Paul Sperry, a Hoover Institute fellow and recent guest of Michael Medved, authored a very important defense of the use of police profiling to interdict islamofascist terrorists on the nation’s critical transportation infrastructure. I’m not kidding. Click the link. I’m serious. No, really, click it.

That this column was published in the NYT at this time is a very pleasant surprise, and yet a disturbing one as well. The NYT head shed must be very concerned that the City is now facing a significant terrorist threat to have allowed a liberal shibboleth like this to be so publicly defiled. I applaud them for it, and I earnestly hope that this sentiment catches on not just in New York, but within security and law enforcement circles nationwide.Over the past several months, I have sensed a creeping anxiety about additional terrorist attacks to the American Homeland. The “Lodi Cell” that was recently rolled up by the FBI Sacramento office started to get me thinking, but coupling that with the 7/7 attacks in the UK made the stakes a bit higher. Some dubious sources have been making the claim that AQ already has nukes positioned inside the US, and then all of a sudden the Commissioner of CBP entertains the idea of a civil Border Patrol. The Tancredo Option discussion has launched another series of deliberations and concerns about what the US will do WHEN not if we get nailed again. The point is that we need to be serious about this situation.

I would like to see the gloves taken off not only in our overseas operations, but also at home. At the risk of offending Bill Johnson at the RMN, I don’t see why we shouldn’t take some steps legislatively to make profiling muslim terrorists and shooting suspected terrorist bombers on sight legal here in the US. Of course these “techniques” and many others should be adopted as war time measures with sunsets and provisions for there discontinuation at the end of hostilities whenever that is.

We are putting a lot of pressure on our law enforcement community to protect us from these threats to our Homeland, so it stands to reason that if we are going to give them this kind of responsibility, they should be also be given the capability to fulfill it.

One more thing, “Over There” sucked. Big time.

h/t RCP… again
DiscerningTexan, 7/28/2005 11:00:00 PM | Permalink | |

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DiscerningTexan, 7/28/2005 10:08:00 PM | Permalink | |

American Muslims speak out against terror

Glenn Reynolds notices that the American Muslim community is starting to speak out against terror as a means to any end, and by calling those who employ it "criminals, not martyrs." :

It's not just the Cairo protest that I mention below, there are more signs of progress from the Muslim community, at long last. Here's one:

Following deadly bombings in Britain and other nations, American Muslim scholars issued an edict Thursday condemning religious extremism and calling terrorists "criminals, not martyrs."

Many Muslim leaders overseas have made similar statements in recent weeks, but some have left an opening for violence to be used in certain situations. One group of British Muslim leaders who denounced the July 7 attacks in London said suicide bombings could still be justified against an occupying power — drawing criticism that itinvited violence in Iraq, where civilians along with coalitiontroops have been killed.

However, the U.S. scholars said in a Washington news conference that their prohibition applied to attacks on civilians everywhere. Their fatwa states that Muslims are obligated to help law enforcement authorities "protect the lives of all civilians."

About time, and the (relative) absence of weasel-wording is nice. But for really strong language you have to look to the people who are actually confronting the suicide bombers. Austin Bay reprints an editorial from the Iraqi newspaper Al Adala:

The eye-catching aspect is that there are states and leaders behind the terrorists' networks, as well as mass media establishments and personalities, who don't feel shame for supporting those terrorist organizations with the excuse of gaining a victory for Islam. Despite that, they have political schizophrenia in their contradicting stances, since sometimes they claim their commitment to human rights and to combating terror. On the other hand, they support those criminal movements which spread like a disease. At the same time, they adhere to improving relations with the European states, and yet they encourage those organizations to harm or destroy European countries.

Those organizations are also supported by the Arab satellite channels and journalists, who rely on European support and are strengthened by European democracy, and then they call to kill the innocents, and they praise the killers and criminals under the guise of glorifying Islam and the Muslims. These badly twisted people express the deterioration in the political behavior.
Indeed it is, and it's nice to see more people noticing.

And it is also great that, at long last, center-right voices like Reynolds are being heard more regularly in the mainstream media.

Charles Johnson also has reports of progress with Moderate Muslims.
DiscerningTexan, 7/28/2005 09:23:00 PM | Permalink | |

Did Air America steal half a million dollars from an underprivaleged children's charity?

Yes, read the headline for a second time; I certainly did. For it appears that Air America -- you remember the ones, they are that "network" that only longed to bring "honesty" to the liberal-news starved American people (a reference to those who do not receive network television, PBS, or CNN...).

The kicker is that Air America somehow ended up with half a million dollars that had been earmarked for underprivaleged children. But obviously the youths in the Bronx don't need that money; they have much better ways to use their time -- gang banging, drug dealing, "fun" things like that. Meanwhile Air America is now trying to extract itself from a true public relations nightmare (Wizbang reports, with a hat tip as well to Michelle Malkin):

Air America Steals Half Million Dollars From Bronx Kids Charity

And the kicker is they're not sorry...

Here's the short version of the story, covered first by
Brian Maloney with followups from Michelle Malkin and Captain Ed.

The leader of the Bronx-based
Gloria Wise Club, Charles Rosen, reportedly loaned $480,000 in the startup Air America radio network, at the request of Air America chairman (at the time) Evan Cohen. The Gloria Wise Club was to benefit from the interest that Air America would pay on its loan. At the time the alleged transfers of funds took place, Cohen was also board member of the Gloria Wise Club.

Evan Cohen was sacked at Air America, and the was company sold to new investors. No one knows where the money went (though it presumably went right into the kitty of the cash hemorrhaging radio network) , or if any of the money has been ever been repaid. Because the Gloria Wise Club depends heavily on federal and city funding for its operations, New York City's Department Of Investigation (DOI) is investigating the charity for financial mismanagement specifically related to the Air America debacle.

So what does the network of Al Franken, Janeane Garofalo, and Jerry Springer have to say about this "loan," which literally robbed seniors and kids of needed services? Brian Maloney received this response from Air America:
"On MAY 24, 2004 the newly formed PIQUANT LLC acquired the principal assets of AIR AMERICA RADIO from the prior ownership entities. PIQUANT has owned and operated AIR AMERICA RADIO since that time. The company that had run AIR AMERICA RADIO till then no longer had anything to do with the network.

"PIQUANT had no involvement whatsoever with funds from GLORIA WISE BOYS & GIRLS CLUB. PIQUANT neither received nor expended any of the sums that are the subject of the City's investigation of the CLUB.
"PIQUANT is not being investigated by the City, which is investigating a transaction that took place before PIQUANT existed."Translation - We didn't exist as a corporate entity at the time of the swindle, so it can't be our fault. The Air America that stole that money doesn't exist anymore. Obviously this story is a diversionary tactic; plotted and orchestrated by Karl Rove to divert attention from his own troubles...

Action Items:

Call Air America (866-303-2270) on air and ask them "Where's the Gloria Wise Club's half million dollars?" You'll have to get by the phone screeners first - just say you want to talk about Karl Rove or Hillary Clinton...
Update: More information about Piquant and the purchase designed to screw the creditors (including the Gloria Wise Boys & Club) in,
Air America's Charity Scam Denials Don't Ring True

Update 2: Air America defenders miss the point. It's not about "stealing" the charities money, it's about paying the money back because it's the right thing to do. For those who would like to quibble about the word "steal," think what would happen if you as an individual took out a loan under fraudulent circumstances, didn't pay it back, then skipped town...
DiscerningTexan, 7/28/2005 08:38:00 PM | Permalink | |

A brave reporter speaks out

Mark Yost, a reporter from the St. Paul Pioneer Press, after hearing from a number of our troops abroad, cries foul on the daily efforts of the leftist, anti-war media to sabotage their efforts abroad by misreporting the good that is going on in Iraq and Afghanistan:

Two views of war coverage: Negative press reporting ignores positive changes

Why do they hate us? Where does one start? This isn’t a prelude to a column justifying why the Islamists hate Westerners so much that they’re pouring into Iraq to kill our soldiers (along with innocent fellow Arabs, including Egyptian diplomats). Or defending the sleeper cells planted to blow up Madrid, London and who knows where next. Rather, it’s about why most Americans, particularly soldiers, hate the media.

I decided to become a journalist when I was a soldier. I was in the U.S. Navy in the early and mid-1980s — “the glory years,” as I like to say, a reference to President Ronald Reagan. As part of my duties, I went to some of the world’s hot spots.

While sailing in the South China Sea, my ship picked up some refugee boat people on a rickety raft that I wouldn’t take out on a lake, much less try to float across the Pacific Ocean. One of the survivors, shortly after coming up the accommodation ladder dripping wet, grabbed me (the nearest sailor), hugged me as tightly as his strength would allow, and could only murmur “thank you” through sobs of joy.

I’d then come back to the United States and read accounts of places I’d just been — in papers like The New York Times and Washington Post — that bore no resemblance to what I’d seen. There was one exception: The Wall Street Journal editorial page. I began reading a column called “Thinking Things Over” by Vermont Connecticut Royster, one of the legends of that august page. He would later become a mentor — a god, really — and I eventually worked there.

I’m reminded of why I became a journalist by the horribly slanted reporting coming out of Iraq. Not much has changed since the mid-1980s. Substitute “insurgent” for “Sandinista,” “Iraq” for “Soviet Union,” “Bush” for “Reagan” and “war on terror” for “Cold War,” and the stories need little editing. The United States is “bad,” our enemies “understandable” if not downright “good.”

I know the reporting’s bad because I know people in Iraq. A Marine colonel buddy just finished a stint overseeing the power grid. When’s the last time you read a story about the progress being made on the power grid? Or the new desalination plant that just came on-line, or the school that just opened, or the Iraqi policeman who died doing something heroic? To judge by the dispatches, all the Iraqis do is stand outside markets and government buildings waiting to be blown up.

I also get unfiltered news from Iraq through an e-mail network of military friends who aren’t so blinded by their own politics that they can’t see the real good we’re doing there. More important, they can see beyond their own navel and see the real good we’re doing to promote peace and prosperity in the world. What makes this all the more ironic is the fact that the people who are fighting and dying want to stay and the people who are merely observers want to cut and run.

I feel for these soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan because I’m sure they’re coming home and noticing the same disconnect that I did when I served. Moreover, stories about their families and others who are here and trying to make a difference largely go unreported.

Ever heard of Soldiers’ Angels ( or Operation Minnesota Nice ( Probably not.

There have been just two mentions of Operation Minnesota Nice by the Twin Cities metro dailies, one a brief in the St. Paul Pioneer Press and the other a front-page story in the Minneapolis Star Tribune. Operation Minnesota Nice collects care packages — of baby wipes, lip balm, baby powder and other items — for soldiers serving overseas. Soldiers’ Angels does the same thing, matching civilians who maybe don’t have a loved one overseas with soldiers who don’t have loved ones.

Where’s the daily coverage of these groups and others like them?

Moreover, where are the stories on nearly every VFW and American Legion hall that’s actively supporting the troops? What about their stories?

Instead, we get Monday’s front-page story about a “secret“ memo about “emerging U.S. plans” to withdraw troops next year. Why isn’t the focus of the story the fact that 14 of 18 Iraqi provinces are stable and the four that aren’t are primarily home to the genocidal gang of thugs who terrorized that country for 30 years?

And reporters wonder why they’re despised.
DiscerningTexan, 7/28/2005 07:59:00 PM | Permalink | |