The Discerning Texan
-- Edmund Burke
Thursday, August 31, 2006
L.S.O.C. (Lithium Shortage on Campus)
Dark (Mushroom?) Cloud(s) on the Horizon
First I came across this from Ace:
The Gathering Nuclear Storm
War is inevitable, and a nuclear war is almost inevitable.
I know a lot of people consider that a fanciful or alarmist idea, but it's coming.
The fact that it hasn't happened before doesn't mean it won't happen in the future. Iran's psychopathic leadership considers it its national mission to destroy Israel and then, to the extent it can, cripple the Great Satan.
And, of course, nuclear war has happened before, way back in 1945.
Why so many are unwilling to conceive this as a genuine possibility is understandable -- something too horrible to imagine cannot be imagined -- but it's time to put aside such psychological defense mechanisms and confront the world as it actually is.Here is a portion of the Washington Times article Ace is referring to:
Leading conservatives have said World War III -- the ultimate clash of civilizations -- has been under way since September 11, 2001. Some neocons say it started when the mullahs forced the shah into exile and seized power in Iran in early 1979 -- and that President Bush and Britain's Prime Minister Tony Blair are treading water among the appeasers. They remind Mr. Bush he vowed not to leave office without first ensuring that "the worst weapons will not fall into the worst hands" and thus Iran cannot become a nuclear power. Their ideological guide Richard Perle goes so far as to accuse Mr. Bush, who knows Iran has pursued a secret nuclear weapons program for the last 19 years, of opting for "ignominious retreat."
Overlooked in this calculus is Mr. Bush's burden of two wars, Afghanistan and Iraq, and a much-diminished U.S. military. A third front against Iran, an ancient civilization of 70 million with global retaliatory capabilities (e.g., Hezbollah), is a frightening prospect that conjures up the nightmare of a return to the draft.
Mr. Bush believes deeply that Iran poses an existential threat to close ally Israel. Congress recently voted a resolution that said an attack on Israel is an attack on the United States. Mr. Bush also believes Iran is determined to sabotage American hopes of establishing a new democratic Middle East.
In Iraq, clandestine Iranian aid, from sophisticated "Improvised Explosive Devices" to funds and weapons to the two main Shi'ite militias, may be designed to maneuver the U.S. into a humiliating, Vietnamlike withdrawal from Iraq.
Given Mr. Bush's overarching dedication to "winning the Global War on Terrorism," said one former senior intelligence analyst, the neutralization of Iran has become a sine qua non, "equal if not higher on his list of priorities than 'victory' in Iraq, another impossibility that he is unwilling to recognize, even privately, much less acknowledge publicly."
Mr. Bush's national security advisers have also pointed out that an escalating danger of U.S.-Iran military confrontation automatically intensifies internal and regional opposition to U.S. objectives in Iraq. The president keeps reminding private interlocutors to think of how history will judge this critical period 15 to 20 years hence. He sees personal and national humiliation if he were to leave office having acquiesced to an embryonic Iranian nuclear arsenal.
So odds makers bet sometime before the end of his second term President Bush will order a massive air attack on a wide range of carefully selected targets in Iran, in partnership with Israel, and against the advice of many of his advisers. Mr. Bush is convinced a nuclear Iran would pose an intolerable threat to U.S. national security and, as one former intelligence topsider put it, "he is firm in his faith that God agrees with him on that point, and certain that history will eventually recognize and properly appreciate his courageous and visionary leadership."
Meanwhile, the Editors of National Review seem to echo the advice of those suggesting the President needs to take meaningful action (translation: something other than reliance on the utterly impotent UN):
At midnight tonight, the U.N. Security Council’s deadline for Iran to stop enriching uranium will pass, but the centrifuges at Natanz will keep spinning. That Iran has defied the deadline should surprise no one. What does surprise us is that the president who swore he would not “permit the world’s most dangerous regimes to threaten us with the world’s most destructive weapons” does not show more urgency in fulfilling that pledge.
According to a senior administration official, the U.S. will hold off on seeking sanctions through the U.N. for at least a month while trying to hammer out the details of a Security Council resolution with Europe. The charitable (and highly implausible) interpretation is that Condoleezza Rice and her top aide, R. Nicholas Burns, have good reason to believe that Europe is finally ready to break with its four-year history of appeasement and back some meaningful penalties. But as a display of resolve, the delay is rather less than impressive. If the West were really united against the mullahs — and if the U.S. and its allies really agreed on how to thwart them — the Iranian regime would see a draft resolution Friday morning. Instead, it will see a Security Council so irresolute that its members take weeks, even months, to agree with each other, and a United States that gives no clear signal of its willingness to move beyond fruitless and feckless diplomacy.
We’re glad to learn that the U.S. will press European financial institutions to end their lending to Iran. And we hope it will go further: expanding such efforts to include non-European countries (for example, Japan), and pushing for tighter enforcement of the Security Proliferation Initiative (an international pact to prevent the transit of banned weapon components). But these would be mere speed bumps on Iran’s road to the nuclear club. Likewise the ban on exporting nuclear materials and equipment to Iran that American and European officials reportedly plan to seek. The A. Q. Khan network showed how easily rogue states can buy nuclear technology on the sly. The one sanction that might work — because it would threaten the regime’s survival — is a blockade of Iranian oil. But this is a diplomatic impossibility.
Moreover, China and Russia are unlikely to support even modest sanctions. Russia in particular has hundreds of millions of dollars at stake in the construction of an Iranian nuclear reactor. Both nations promised the U.S. that they would back sanctions if Iran failed to halt enrichment, but neither shows any intention of keeping its word. Iran understood from the beginning that the Security Council’s supposed unity was a façade, and its 21-page response to the incentive package it was offered in June — a response that stonewalled on the question of enrichment but spoke vaguely of resolving the dispute through dialogue — seemed calculated to give Russia and China a pretext for splitting with the U.S. and Europe.
We would be fools to take comfort in the International Atomic Energy Agency’s report, released today, that suggests Iran’s enrichment activities are proceeding slowly and producing uranium of a quality too low for weaponization. Given enough time, the regime will build its nukes. The paramount mission of the Bush administration in its remaining two years should therefore be twofold: to keep the mullahs from going nuclear, and to speed their fall from power. Unfortunately, these objectives do not admit of a single solution. We should redouble our aid the Iranian democracy movement, but we quite obviously cannot assume that the revolution will come before the bomb.
Stopping the bomb will require us instead to hasten the diplomacy to its inglorious denouement and think very seriously about our military options. A preemptive air strike is a nasty thing to contemplate. The mullahs could retaliate against us in Iraq (either by attacking our forces or by increasing their support for the Shiite militias). They could sabotage tanker shipments in the Persian Gulf, causing a spike in crude-oil prices. They could back terrorist attacks on U.S. soil. But the alternative — a nuclear Iran — is vastly worse. Even if the mullahs never used their arsenal, its simple existence would deal a catastrophic blow to U.S. interests. It would effectively give Tehran a veto over U.S. military action in the region. Since the nuclear facilities are protected by the Revolutionary Guard — rabid ideologues who operate with a high degree of autonomy — a weapon could conceivably be transferred to terrorists without the central government’s okay. And an Iranian bomb would likely produce a regional arms race and multiply the number of Middle Eastern nuclear powers. This too would raise the likelihood that a weapon of mass destruction will fall into terrorist hands; and by making it harder to determine where a detonated bomb had originated and retaliate against the guilty party, it would give the jihad that much more incentive to push the button.
Bush has made forfending that possibility his presidency’s raison d’être. We believe he means it. But we wonder how much longer he will wait before abandoning “solutions” that are anything but.
Finally we highlight A Warning for Islamo Fascist Terrorists from Jacques Dhervillez and The American Thinker (highlights are mine):
I suspect that you have found recent events in Lebanon rather disconcerting. One of your leaders, Hassan Nasrallah, the head of Hezb’allah, is quoted as saying:
“We did not think, even one percent, that the capture would lead to a war at this time and of this magnitude. You ask me, if I had known on July 11 … that the operation would lead to such a war, would I do it? I say no, absolutely not, for humanitarian, moral, social, security, military and political reasons. Neither I, Hezb’allah, prisoners in Israeli jails nor the families of the prisoners would accept it.”
Your traditional strategy, of using terrorist tactics while counting on your enemies to adhere to the rules of diplomacy and formal warfare, doesn’t seem to be working any more.
What you have really done, by past decades of terrorism, is open a Pandora’s Box of horrors that may ultimately harm you and your people more than anyone else. This toughening of the tactics of Western powers is merely an example of Magruder’s Law that:
“Combat inevitably sinks to the lowest common denominator of the combatants. If you like to wrestle in the mud and your opponent likes to gouge out eyes, then sooner or later you will both be eye-gouging in the mud.”
Civilization is essentially a compact of non-violence, a mutual agreement that certain measures will not be used by any party under any circumstances. Pieces of paper like the Geneva conventions are merely reiterations of that agreement.
But whenever this covenant is broken by one party for a sufficiently long period, it is inevitable that their opponents, and eventually everybody else, will break it too. The end result is Magruder’s Law, which applies whenever terrorism is countered by escalation. In essence, the terrorist teaches his enemies to use his own tactics against himself.
When the Germans started to use poison gas in WWI, it was regarded by the English and French with numb horror as something unthinkably cruel. But within months, they were using poison gas against the Germans, with improvements of their own. By the end of the war, gas warfare had claimed over a million casualties, many of them German.
At the start of WWII, England fought in a gentlemanly fashion, not hitting until they were first hit and scrupulously confining themselves to military targets. Then Hitler flagrantly violated that covenant by bombing civilian neighborhoods in London and other British cities, with the sole objective of terrorizing the British people. It took a few years but when the Allies had the power to retaliate they used it, bombing German cities with a rather half-hearted regard for whether targets were military or civilian and needlessly annihilating Dresden in what many think was a payback for Coventry. In the end, over ten percent of Germany’s people died in the war.
Japan pulled off the ultimate terrorist attack at Pearl Harbor, killing over 2,400 people. Our immediate response was what would nowadays be called “proportionate”—Doolttle’s daylight raid on Tokyo. But our anger festered over the years and was fed by news of later atrocities such as the Bataan death march. The end result was Hiroshima and Nagasaki and nearly a million dead Japanese.. I know that all sorts of pragmatic arguments were advanced, even cogent ones, but I contend that if Pearl Harbor had not occurred, we probably would not have used our atomic weapons.
Magruder’s Law may not apply during a short combat. It sometimes takes years or even a generation. During the Viet Nam War, when American troops were exposed for the first time to dirty no-holds-barred guerrilla warfare, the first signs of retaliation under stress appeared only near the end, in incidents such as the My Lai massacre, which may have been inspired by the Viet Cong’s prior massacre of Montagnard refugees at Dak Son.
And already in Iraq, there have been isolated ugly incidents that indicate that the patience of the US forces may be wearing thin. Although you may think that this will be to your advantage, you are mistaken. You don’t want escalation when dealing with an enemy with our resources, resolution, and (as cited above) our penchant for delayed but massive “disproportionate” retaliation.
You seem to have forgotten that the basic purpose of terrorism is to terrorize, to make your enemy cower, panic, and flee. Thus, successful terrorism is always a conspicuous exception to Magruder’s Law. On the other hand, when terrorism does not frighten the enemy but makes him more angry, the consequent escalation may be more than the terrorist bargained for and may work to his downfall—especially if his resources are inferior to those of his enemy.
But you have gone even further. First, by persisting in attempts to terrorize the Israeli people, who after sixty years of such tactics are uniquely resistant to them, you have succeeded only in goading them to increased aggressiveness. Second, by embarking upon policies such as the use of human shields, you are actually terrorizing your own people by exposing them to ever increasing danger and thereby weakening their resolve.
And there are signs that you may try to employ this suicidal procedure against the United States. I am particularly alarmed by the recent news that Iran has been trying to acquire cesium, for the obvious purpose of instigating some sort of radioisotope terrorist atrocity. Bear in mind that you are planning such an attack against the biggest nuclear power in the world and the only one that has actually used nuclear weapons against an enemy. The only thing that restrained us during the Cold War, aside from fear of reprisal, was a mutually agreed upon taboo. If an Islamic power violates that taboo and uses nuclear weapons against the US, what form do you think our retaliation will take? And how “proportionate” do you think it will be?
Is that what you really want? Does the prospect of your wives and children becoming martyrs of Jihad fill you with joy? If so, then I suppose I have nothing more to say. But if you are expecting the U.S. to continue to exercise Judeo-Christian restraint and compassion in response to your attacks, then according your own accusations, you are wrong. If what you have been saying about our degeneracy is true; then we are no longer a morally restrained Judeo-Christian nation. If most of us are, as you claim, hedonistic materialists, then we are just as capable of vengeance and cruelty as you are.
I do not mean this as a threat, but as an urgent warning. I am trying to make you realize that you—and your families—are at the edge of a slope, a steep muddy slope that slides down irreversibly into an unthinkably horrible pit in which the people of Islam may ultimately perish.
I do not think there is any question whatsoever that we are almost at the point Dhervillez is talking about. As much as this President may seem "weakened" and "wanting diplomacy to work", I still feel that in President Bush we still have a man of deep conviction and principle who is prepared to do whatever is necessary to prevent madmen from getting nuclear arms and using them against the West. And I think he will.
Will he be completely successful--i.e. will we be able to go through the crucible of total war without much sacrifice and perhaps more horrific attacks on our own soil? Maybe, maybe not. During the Civil War, America lost 25% of its male population. The carnage and the horror was real and terrible. But at the end the Republic prevailed. And if I were the mullahs I would consider this: if it does get to the point where it is us or you, the United States will bring weapons and resources to bear such as the world has never seen. You may think you know what hell is like from reading your Koran and imagining, but this hell will be real--and you and your loved ones will feel it. I no longer gamble on sporting events as I once did. But if I had to bet my life on either one side or the other ultimately prevailing, I know where I would be placing my chips.
I do not know what all these signs and warnings mean. I know what I think they mean and I know the heaviness of the decision that must be weighing on the President now. I think history will prove how fortunate we were to have elected and re-elected President Bush, because I think he too knows what the right thing to do is--whereas his opponents in both previous elections would not have had the strength; it may seem like he does not have the will right now, but somehow in the end I think he will do what must be done--we may have reached the moment in history when the United States has to go "all in". I wish it did not have to be so; I wish the evil ideology of madness that is the Islamist Fascist vision would just fade away quietly and peacefully--but I know better. This is collective madness and it will take a terrible price to make it go away for good. But it really is down to them or us now--I really believe that in my heart of hearts. And so I am willing to stand behind our President if and when he has to make the momentous decisions I feel are on the horizon.
What a Democrat Congress would look like...Nightmarish
Consider the man likely to run the Judiciary Committee, Michigan's John Conyers, from the Congressional class of 1964. He recently made his plans clear in a 370-page report, "The Constitution in Crisis: The Downing Street Minutes and Deception, Manipulation, Torture, Retribution and Coverup in the Iraq War, and Illegal Domestic Surveillance." The report accuses the Administration of violating no fewer than 26 laws and regulations, and is a road map of Mr. Conyers's explicit intention to investigate grounds for impeaching President Bush.
If you think Republicans have been spendthrift, don't expect much change from Wisconsin's David Obey (class of 1969) at Appropriations. Mr. Obey was one of those Democrats who ripped Mr. Clinton for endorsing a balanced budget in 1995. Rather than cut spending, his goal would be to spend less on defense and more on domestic programs and entitlements.
Ways and Means, the chief economic policy panel, would go to New York's Charlie Rangel (1970), who opposed the Bush tax cuts and recently voted against free trade with tiny Oman. His committee's crucial health care subcommittee would be run by California's Pete Stark (1972), who in 1993 criticized Hillary Clinton's health care proposal because the government wasn't dominant enough. Over at Financial Services, the ascension of Barney Frank (1980) would mean a reprieve for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, despite $16 billion in accounting scandals. His main reform priority has been to carve out a new affordable housing fund from the two companies' profits. And forget about any major review of Sarbanes-Oxley.
Energy and Commerce would return to the untender mercies of John Dingell, the longest-serving Member first elected in 1955, who was a selective scourge of business when he ran the committee before 1994. The Michigan Congressman would do his best to provide taxpayer help to GM and Ford. But telecom companies would probably get more regulation in the form of Net neutrality rules, and a windfall profits tax on oil would be a real possibility.
Remember organized labor? Their champion would be George Miller (1974), who as the man in line to run the education and labor committee is the chief sponsor of the "Employee Free Choice Act," which would make it much easier for unions to organize by largely banning secret elections. Instead, union operatives would be allowed to publicly hound workers into signing "cards" that are counted as votes toward unionization. The Californian also wants to raise the minimum wage and fulfill the National Education Association wish to spend more federal dollars on local school construction.
We also can't forget California's Henry Waxman (1974), among the most partisan liberals and who at Government Reform would compete with Mr. Conyers to see who could issue the most subpoenas to the Bush Administration. And then there's Alcee Hastings, who, should Ms. Pelosi succeed in pushing aside current ranking Member Jane Harman, would take over the House Intelligence Committee. Before he won his Florida seat in 1992, Mr. Hastings had been a federal judge who was impeached and convicted by a Democratic Congress for lying to beat a bribery rap. He would handle America's most vital national secrets.If that isn't terrifying, what is? And of course the quoted text above does not even mention the hyper-partisan ultra-leftist from the Bay Area, Nancy Pelosi--who would be Speaker of the House, and third in line for the (gulp) Presidency. Newt Gingrich reflects on this horrific scenario:
Ex-U.S. House Speaker Newt Gingrich said Wednesday that the thought of California Rep. Nancy Pelosi becoming the next leader of the House and being third in line to the presidency is frightening.
"The prospect of her bringing San Francisco values and a whole attitude on foreign policy that is, I think, an attitude of weakness and appeasement and surrender, I think, would be a disaster for the country," the outspoken Republican said.
Gingrich said keeping power out of the hands of Pelosi, the House minority leader, and other Democrats is one of the reasons he was in South Carolina this week raising money for the GOP.[....]
The former Georgia congressman said he wakes up every day worried about national security and the potential loss of U.S. cities to nuclear attacks.
"If you think, as I do, that we're in the early stages of an emerging third world war, the world is truly dangerous on a scale that I think, in a worst case, could lead to losing several American cities to nuclear weapons in our lifetime," he said.
Gingrich, who says his decision on seeking the Republican presidential nomination in 2008 will wait until late next year, says there are plenty of reasons to worry about nuclear bombs destroying U.S. cities.
"Start with the North Korean drive to get nuclear weapons and ICBMs (intercontinental ballistic missiles), then go to the Iranian drive to get nuclear weapons, then go to the fact that Pakistan has probably between 50 and 100 nuclear weapons with an unstable dictatorship," he said. Then, look at al-Qaida's willingness to "kill as many Americans as they can find" and Iran's recruitment of suicide bombers, he said.
"If you have active, overt enemies who are religiously different and who believe that killing you would be a good thing in their religious terms and they're willing to die in order to kill you," Gingrich said, "how hard is it to imagine a suicide bomber willing to walk in with a nuclear weapon?"
To deal with the threat, he said, "we want to replace the North Korean regime. We want to replace the Iranian regime and the Syrian regime. We would like to replace them without using military force if we can."
The only bright spot is that--according to Robert Novak--all is not lost yet:
To date, we have discussed this election in terms of what the final outcome will look like in November. We have also mentioned Republican fears that, as one House committee chairman has said privately, Republicans will lose 25 seats -- or as we were told that national internal polls suggested, they could lose as many as 26 seats.
From here in, now that primary season has approached its end, we will resist such broad prognostication, particularly since we have not yet seen evidence that such huge losses are imminent when looking at the races as we always have in past cycles -- on a district-by-district basis. As we noted last week, "it is still at least challenging to construct a scenario of a 15-seat Democratic gain without positing some improbable upsets."
Still, if you read the scenario at the top--and you truly understand its implications--you will not let rain, sleet, snow, earthquake, or terror attack stop you from showing up at the polls in November and doing everything in your power to prevent this unmitigated disaster from befalling us all. Novak's current count has the Republicans holding the House--by just 1 seat. That is way too close for comfort. I know it is difficult, particularly because the drive-by media has been so negative 24x7. But the future of your country may depend on your rising above complacency and preventing a Pelosi-Conyers-Frank-Waxman-Hastings nightmare.
Unmasking "The Plame Game": Armitage will NOT be added to lawsuit
This, of course, tells us everything we need to know--both about the Wilsons and about those bankrolling this lawsuit: this suit is not about justice at all; rather it is just another cheap partisan parlour trick to try and inflict damage on the Bush Administration. In the immortal words of Colonel Klink (who would probably have done a better job with this investigation than did Patrick Fitzgerald): "Diiis-miised...."
Byron York reports on a situation where you could cut the irony and hypocrisy with a knife:
The new attorney for Joseph and Valerie Wilson says the Wilsons do not plan to add former State Department official Richard Armitage to their lawsuit against top Bush administration officials because Armitage “did not act with the same level of malevolence” as Vice President Dick Cheney, top White House aide Karl Rove, and former Cheney aide Lewis Libby in the CIA-leak affair.
In July, the Wilsons sued Cheney, Rove, and Libby, along with ten other un-named co-defendants, charging that were part of a conspiracy to “discredit, punish and seek revenge against the plaintiffs that included, among other things, disclosing to members of the press Plaintiff Valerie Plame Wilson’s classified CIA employment.” Armitage was not named in the suit.
This week, a new book, Hubris, by the Nation’s David Corn and Newsweek’s Michael Isikoff, confirmed widespread rumors that Armitage was the original leaker in the CIA controversy.
A few weeks ago, the Wilsons made changes in their legal team, joining forces with the liberal advocacy group Citizens for Ethics and Responsibility in Washington (CREW). The Wilsons also hired the San Francisco-based firm Cotchett, Pitre, Simon & McCarthy. Constitutional lawyer Erwin Chemerinsky, who helped write the lawsuit, remains with the case.
Melanie Sloan, the executive director of CREW, is now the lead attorney for the Wilsons. In an interview with National Review Online, she said that if the account of Armitage’s outing of Plame in Hubris is correct, then “Armitage was just basically gossiping with [columnist Robert] Novak and just mentioned that Valerie worked for the CIA. His mentioning that to Novak is really not the same as the concerted effort that Cheney, Rove, and Libby made to get Valerie’s undercover identity out to the newspaper.”
Wednesday, August 30, 2006
At last, REAL Proportion
War is Over!! Peace in Our Time! Khatami wants to meet with.....Jimmy Carter! Jimmy Carter????
And so Iran now wants to talk to Jimmy: perhaps thay too will "promise" him "Peace in Our Time"--in exchange for a few hundred million US, perhaps they too will "promise" to stop everything, pull all their proxies out of Lebanon and Syria and Iraq, join hands with us and sing Kum-Bah-Ya; they will PROMISE to stop--cross their hearts and hope to die (only in this case they really do hope to die--all for the glory of "Allah")--not to use all those heavy water plants and their uranium enrichment facilities they spent billions on, for the only purpose those facilities possibly CAN be used for: building nuclear weapons.
If you believe that I have some beachfront property to sell you in New Mexico... But the MSM will believe it. Howard Dean will eat it up. John Kerry will say in haughty tones "reporting for duty" while Al Gore screams and pumps his fist. Can you picture this scenario? I can.
Here is my question: why the hell would we even give the guy a Visa??? It would be like talking to Heinrich Himmler to negotiate a Zyklon-B contract. Khatami should never set foot in this country. Period. There is absolutely no upside to the Bush Administration on letting this guy into the US and giving him ANY legitimacy whatsoever.
I am not the only one who feels this way. This from Hyscience:
Jimmy Carter Wants To Top Damage Done In 1979 Iran Hostage Crisis
That's the only way one could look at Jimmy the Dimmy's most recent plans to stick it to his country!
As though he didn't do enough damage in the crisis of 1979, now the worst president in the history of the country plans to stick his nose in another Iran-related crisis - this time he's planning to host former Iranian president Mohammad Khatami for talks during his visit to the United States starting this week.
This particular article appears in the Carter-friendly, Democtatic-leaning, anti-American agended, Washington Post, so it's rather kind to the aging liberal who consistently goes out of his way to criticize the current administration and jump in bed with the country's enemies.
If you haven't guessed it by now, I don't think very much of Jimmy, but I'm not the only one that has such a low opinion of him. For example, Robert Spencer refers to the Wapo article calling Carter's hosting of the enemy as "an event that would turn a page in American history," and says that it is instead, "proof once again that former President Dhimmi Carter learned nothing from the crisis with Iran that occurred during his administration."
As Spencer points out in his piece, in Jimmy Carter we have a man that (is so far removed from reality), he once referred to the Ayatollah Khomeini as a fellow man of faith.
And don't miss this from the Times of London: "Don't Get Carter. He Won't Do":
Next week the former Iranian President Mohammad Khatami visits the United States. Though he will not meet government officials, the visit is significant and welcome. Khatami is reputedly a reformer. It may be possible, through him, to widen the gulf between Iranian pragmatists and theocratic populists.
But there is a risk. The current Iranian regime menaces Israel and has lied to the EU about its nuclear programme. It must not interpret Khatami’s visit as proof of the value of bellicosity. Khatami must get the message that the West will be receptive to concessions, but will face down belligerence. There lies the problem: Khatami’s host in the US is Jimmy Carter.
Carter’s poor reputation as president reflects a record not so much of incompetence as paralysis. He led his Administration mainly in the sense that its internal disagreements faithfully reflected his own philosophical chaos and administrative ineptitude. In domestic policy Carter zigzagged left and right, baffling equally the environmental activists he patronised and the churchgoers whose social values he claimed to share. His proposed system of federal energy controls failed comprehensively. In 1980 he acknowledged that inflation was near a “crisis stage”.
He proclaimed human rights while lauding the Shah of Iran’s repressive regime. When the Shah’s revolutionary successors held 52 American diplomats hostage for 14 months, Ayatollah Khomeini accurately sneered: “Neither does Carter have the guts for military action, nor would anyone listen to him.”
Carter cancelled the B1 bomber in the hope of gaining Soviet goodwill, later acknowledging bemusedly the Kremlin’s persisting “unfriendly rhetoric”. He earned the contempt of friendly European governments by announcing deployment of the neutron bomb and then cancelling it without consulting them.
Last weekend he impertinently attacked Tony Blair’s closeness to George Bush. Doubtless he prefers the model of transatlantic relations he pioneered with Chancellor Helmut Schmidt of Germany, who observed in exasperation that Carter was “just not big enough for the game”.
Less an elder statesman than a soft cushion who bears the impress of whoever sits on him, the 39th president is the last person Khatami should meet.God help us all.
Five Minutes Until Midnight--This is not a drill
SF Jihadist killings is just "Road Rage"; But enough of that; who killed Jon Benet Ramsey??
We Love Life
You love life and we love death.
So said the voice speaking Arabic, with a Moroccan accent on a videotape retrieved from a waste basket near Madrid's main mosque and morgue (how very apt). This was in the wake of the horrific train bombings in Spain last spring, after a man with an Arab accent called in to TV channel TeleMadrid with instructions on where to look for the tape.
We declare our responsibility for what happened in Madrid ... It is a response to your collaboration with the criminals Bush and his allies ... There will be more if God wills it. You love life and we love death ... if you don't put an end to your injustices more and more blood will run.
Ostensibly, this message was a ploy to influence Spain's presidential elections (a ploy that would prove to be successful). But there is a more sinister and profound message in this disembodied warning to the infidels from Islam's holy warriors: it is yet another explicit avowal (we still don't get it, do we?) of Islam's sanguine nature. It is the love of death in God's name, whether it is the ignominious murder of the infidel or the glorious death of the shahid (martyr). It is the spread of God's domain--dar al-Islam--through the violence of offensive jihad. And it is the perverse diminution of what we here in the West hold to be most dear: the sanctity of life.
Islam is a divinely inspired (via the Qur'an) culture of death. In no other cultural construct is death a more revered and desirable part of life. Whether it is the killing of infidels who refuse to accept Islam's supremacy, or dying while endeavoring to kill them, death is fanatically embraced by Muslims. The mujahideen are not brave for their robotic resolution in carrying out their Islamikaze missions. They are merely brainwashed cowards who have come to believe that they are serving God and will be rewarded in the afterlife with pleasures of the flesh. It's really quite sordid if you think about it. They're not courageous. They love death. They're raised from infancy to hold death for God--at any age--as life's highest ideal.
Islam also exaggerates the psychological concept of in-group/out-group bias to an amazing extent. The out-group (non-Muslims) is not only marginalized in the Islamic mind, but is actually seen as an inferior category of subhumans who should be killed if they refuse to convert to Islam or to acknowledge its superiority. It's a hyperxenophobia. We all exercise the mental dichotomy of us/them, but most of us here in the democratic West have come to accept that just because people don't conform exactly to our belief systems, does not mean that they should be exempted from our compassion, empathy, and consideration. Here in America, through much struggling over time, we have built a solid, free society out of a vast, eclectic plurality. The fascistic, intolerant dogma of Islam leaves room only for the second-class citizenship of dhimmitude when it comes to kuffar (non-Muslims/infidels). That's what the book says, and the book is not to be questioned.
This is not to say that all of Islam should be scrapped. Like any religion, it has much of value to offer its adherents and mankind in general. But that's only if it's severed from its central tenets of hateful intolerance, brutal repression and totalitarianism, irrational arrogance, and obsession with killing and dying in God's name. That's not going to happen until Islam undergoes a drastic, fundamental reformation. To achieve that, Muslims will have to abandon the idea that the Qur'an is the infallible word of God, which would be to contravene the very foundation of Islam. And I don't think that's going to happen. As much as I'd like to be proven wrong, I really don't see much reason to hope.
So, in the meantime, we are locked in bitter enmity with people who have as their spiritual inspiration, (literally interpreted) verses like this:
- Of the believers are men who are true to that which they covenanted with Allah. Some of them have paid their vow by death (in battle), and some of them still are waiting; and they have not altered in the least. -Qur'an 33:22
- Our Prophet, the Messenger of our Lord, has ordered us to fight you till you [infidels] worship Allah Alone or give Jizya (i.e. tribute); and our Prophet has informed us that our Lord says:-- "Whoever amongst us is killed (i.e. martyred), shall go to Paradise to lead such a luxurious life as he has never seen, and whoever amongst us remain alive, shall become your master." -Bukhari Vol 4, Bk 53, No 386
- Allah has purchased of the believers their lives and their goods; for theirs (in return) is the garden (of Paradise): they fight in His cause, and slay and are slain: a promise binding on Him in truth, through the Law, the Gospel, and the Qur'an: and who is more faithful to his covenant than Allah? then rejoice in the bargain which ye have concluded: that is the achievement supreme. -Qur'an 9:111
- I heard Allah's Apostle saying, "The example of a Mujahid in Allah's Cause-- and Allah knows better who really strives in His Cause----is like a person who fasts and prays continuously. Allah guarantees that He will admit the Mujahid in His Cause into Paradise if he is killed, otherwise He will return him to his home safely with rewards and war booty." -Bukhari Vol 4, Bk 52, No 46
- Therefore let those fight in the way of Allah, who sell this world's life for the hereafter; and whoever fights in the way of Allah, then be he slain or be he victorious, We shall grant him a mighty reward. -Qur'an 4:74
- ...the Messenger of Allah (may peace be upon him) said: Nobody who enters Paradise will (ever like to) return to this world even if he were offered everything on the surface of the earth (as an inducement) except the martyr who will desire to return to this world and be killed ten times for the sake of the great honour that has been bestowed upon him. -Muslim Bk 20, No 4636
They kill women, children, and the elderly because they think it pleases their God. What sort of monster of a deity would be pleased at such depravity? The Holocaust survivors who are blown to pieces on buses in Jerusalem by Arab terrorist cowards; the Americans who leaped hundreds of feet to their death after Al Qaeda scum flew planes into the buildings they were in; the schoolchildren who were mowed down like so much human grass by the Chechen mujahideen: they all loved life, and I could never believe that any sort of good and just God would take pleasure in their murder.
I well know that not all Muslims engage in these reprehensible acts. I am not condemning Muslims, the people (although I certainly condemn the man who has already killed in his heart or with his hand, in the name of Islam). I am criticizing Islam, the unreformed, violent, and hateful politicoreligious death cult. There's a difference. The very few moderate voices in Islam are always drowned out by the mainstream, or by a bullet, or a knife. Death for blaspheming God's religion.
While we prosecute our soldiers for putting a pair of women's underwear on the head of Saddam's fedayeen to take an immature picture, "God's soldiers" of Islam respect the pride of innocent kuffar civilians they've captured--before sawing their heads off to the empty, droning declaration of "God is great!" While we take great pains on the battlefield to respect our own lives and the lives of noncombatants, the mujahideen love death. Their lives mean nothing to them, nor do the lives of any civilians who get in the way of their mission from God.
We love life. To love life is natural and good. To discount life's worth is aberrant and vile. We've spent enormous amounts of blood, treasure, and mental energy in broad efforts throughout the West's history to preserve and respect life. For those of us who are faithful, life is a precious and irreplaceable gift from our creator. We honor it, cherish it, and look for new ways to improve it and extend it. All of Western civilization is a living testament to how very highly we regard life. And when someone comes along who wants to treat our lives with the same pathological indifference with which they treat their own, we are obligated to destroy them and/or their ability to threaten us; even as we endeavor to minimize that destruction within reasonable bounds.
The mujahideen have come to mock and exploit our love of life, in their perverse delusions of godly purpose. But they have underestimated our willingness to kill them en masse if we need to. They love death. Let them have death.The Anchoress too has a right to be upset. After all SOMEONE ought to be; Our "journalists" (and I use that term loosely) sure as hell don't seem to be too concerned about our well-being; they'd rather have a couple of years of even more divisive partisanship in Congress (who know's maybe even the second impeachment trial in...the last two Presidencies...all while we are in this little scrap called the War for the very existence of Western Civiliztion. No biggie...
First there was the "pious" Egyptian Muslim (from the news accounts, don't you know...) named Hesham Mohamed Hadayat who on the 4th of July 2002 walked into LAX and up to the El Al counter and started shooting.
Then there was Mohammed Reza Taheri-azar who decided to drive his SUV into a crowd at Chapel Hill, NC. You remember him he's the one who told the judge,
"I'm thankful you're here to give me this trial and to learn more about the will of Allah."
Then there was Naveed Afzal Haq, the sicko who walked up to a Jewish Community center in Seattle--which just so happened to be hosting a Pro-Israel Rally--and started shooting. The reaction of the "authorities"?
"This was a purposeful, hateful act as far as we know, by an individual acting alone," said Seattle Mayor Greg Nickels at a news conference...
And also, from the FBI: "We believe he is a lone individual with antagonism toward this organization,"Nice. Mohammed Atta was a "lone individual" too. He just happened to be with some other individuals who also had "antagonism" towards the US. So?? What's the big deal?
Now we have the San Francisco man, one Omeed Aziz Popal, who decided to leisurely drive his SUV and start picking off pedestrians near a synagogue. Here is what the authorities had to say:
San Francisco police spokesman Sgt. Neville Gittens said the attacks in the city occurred at 12 locations over a 20-minute period.
"The hits were intentional,'' he said, noting that police are treating them as assaults.
Gittens had no information about a possible motive. [WTF??? --DT]
All this to say, it is not difficult to see where the Anchoress might be a bit upset. (or Michelle either for that matter). Many of our Blue State "bretheren" are continuing to live in a September 10, 2001 world. I would say that this indicates there is a bit of a problem (from The Anchoress):
Muslim kills Jews? “Road Rage…”:::UPDATE::: (SCROLL DOWN FOR ORIGINAL POST)
Maxed Out Mama has a brilliant and temperate post wherein she looks beyond the sputterings of some who (like me) “wrote angry” last night or in the wee small hours. As usual she is clear-thinking and wise, and she bounces an important idea off of my comment, below, that the press and powers-that-be are - by their reactions - fomenting distrust and prejudice toward moderate and peaceful Muslims much moreso than are these violent acts by Islamic Fundies. When people see a thing happening and are told, “no, that’s not happening, it’s something else and if you think otherwise, you’re an immoral person,” it creates enormous resentment, a sense of disorientation and a further sense that someone, “either me or thee” is nuts and must be guarded against. She writes:
I think there is a war here, but it is not a war between religions, but as Ali says, between Violence and Reason. Violence has a theology, but so does Reason. And coming back to the Anchoress’ point, I think that failure to confront and examine the “war within the Law of God” will leave people in the US with the impression that this is a different war, and that all Muslims are prone to go off like popguns in Jewish neighborhoods. I think it’s time to come to grips with what Violence is truly saying in order to let Reason prevail.
I want to reiterate this: for every act of violence in the west, there are ten in the Muslim world. The ideology of Violence must be defeated, because it will never surrender - but that need not mean that Muslims must be outcast, or that being Muslim is at all incompatible within being humane and just. What we should do is speak and live reason, even if we have to carry a gun to do this. I must, in the end, have a radical addiction to freedom, because I would rather live in an armed society than in one which carried out pograms against innocent Muslims.
Our society doesn’t fail to criticize and examine the violent Christian teachings which occasionally arise, and I think we now must confront openly the violent Muslim teachings without fear or favor. Unless we do this, it will end in pograms. H/T Sigmund Carl and Alfred.
That’s the crux of all of this. When I read about these sorts of events, be they the synagogue shooting, the LAX incident, the Tarheel SUV attack or this new one, and see how quickly there is movement to make excuses for that behavior, I get an image in my head of an American, looking around at all of it, and feeling like it’s all happening under water, in ripples of distortion. If the American does not feel like he or she can get a clear sense of what is going on, the frustration is going to ratchet up. Not good.
This is becoming an appalling habit in the press and by politicians. An Islamic fundamentalist shoots Jews in a Synagogue, and it’s some sort of random incident. An Islamic fundamentalist uses his SUVto kill people partly in front of a Synagogue, and in what would appear to be a somewhat “Jewish neighborhood” and the press takes a hours to cover the story (probably looking for the appropriate “frame,”) and until someone in authority can be found to sing out, “ROAD RAGE”! Yeah, that’s the ticket! Road rage! Mayor Newsom sees no problem, here…a “relatively young” person, obviously confused! Yes, that’s the ticket!
Omeed Aziz Popal, the poor confused youngster, is 29 years old.
Can you imagine, if someone had (God forbid!) driven a car into 14 gay people, how quickly the press would have managed to cover the story? Can you imagine that Mayor Newsom would call it “road rage” and suggest that there really probably wasn’t a “hate crime” attached to the action?
What the hell is wrong with the press, what the hell is wrong with the leadership? Why are they so incapable of calling anti-semitism what it is, of calling a terrorist action what it is? Newsflash, folks, when someone decides to drive his car into people as they’re crossing the street, it’s the same as tossing a molotov cocktail at them, it’s the same as tossing a grenade. It is destructive, it kills people and terrifies communities, that is called t-e-r-r-o-r-i-s-m! Hey, guess what, fellas, we don’t need no stinking anthrax to kill and terrify…we can use our cars.
I swear, these people are tempting me to some vile language.
I know this is rather an intemperate post for me, and I’ll probably regret some of these words, later…but I’m getting weary of watching the press and the people “in charge” go out of their way to downplay it anytime someone with an “Islamic” sort of name drives a car into people on a city street, or on a campus, or starts shooting people in a synagogue, or raises cain at an El Al counter at LAX. I know that somewhere in the minds of these movers and shakers they think they are protecting Muslims-in-general from reactionary prejudice, distrust and bias from us unruly, racist, mouth-breathing Americans (because we went nuts and burned down mosques after 9/11, right? We took to the streets and rampaged and lynched anyone named Abdul back then, right?) but the truth is, by their incessant downplaying, their knee-jerk move to protect-and-explain perps like this, they’re just making some people very resentful, and in the end, I think that’s going to do more to foment prejudice and bias, distrust and hate toward decent Muslim persons than would simply acknowledging the fact that when these Fundamentalists DO this crap, it is what it is - an act of aggression, hate and terror - and not some “mistake” that can be cooed away.
Gateway Pundit shows a map of the rampage, and lots of photos and updates. He says three people have been taken in for questioning.
LGF had the breaking story and lots of updates in the comments thread.
Apparently he perp “made comments” to arresting officers. I wonder if they were anything like Mel Gibson’s comments? We’d hear about them, then, certainly, wouldn’t we? UPDATE: LGF has video with a reporter saying the perp referred to himself as a terrorist. I’ll take it with a grain of salt, only because a year ago reporters were telling us babies were being raped in the Superdome…they’re not really good with breaking news anymore, so who knows what is known?
One of Michelle Malkin’s sources writes: “The 3500 California St hit was a 1/2 mile from the main Jewish temple, Temple Emanu-El and 41 miles from his starting point in Fremont.”
It will be very interesting to see how the reports go.
I seriously doubt that it will be that interesting--to most Americans anyway. The drive-by media will bend over backwards to make these acts seem as random as a day in the park; after all it is an election year--it would be criminal to give any credence to the charges that we really are in a war for our survival. And so what if we increase the likelihood of a catastrophic apocalyptic attack--surely that is a better result that for any of those war-mongering imperialist Americans to get anything resembling support from those giving us the news--right? Perhaps they can find a few more state secrets to leak between now and then and help our enemies so more of our finest can be slain and we can stay in a "quagmire"--at least until the almighty Democrats are elected again... I find this as repulsive and worthy of contempt as almost anything I have ever encountered in my life. And I am as convinced as ever that it is going to take another 9/11--or worse--before the public wakes up to what is being done to them. And when they finally do wake up--they are not going to be very happy with the people who sold them down the river--DT
(Lots of) Katrina Hot Air
Tuesday, August 29, 2006
The REAL Plame Scandal: that it ever saw the light of day
But Armitage, the source Novak had described obliquely as someone who is "not a political gunslinger," was by all accounts hardly a tool of White House political operatives. As the No. 2 official at the State Department from March 2001 to February 2005, Armitage was a prominent Republican appointee. But he also privately disagreed with the tone and style of White House policymaking on Iraq and other matters.
Tom McGuire is entitled to feel sweet vindication today; after all of his hard work, he is due some love:
The leak of information about an undercover CIA employee that provoked a special prosecutor's investigation of senior White House officials came from then-Deputy Secretary of State Richard L. Armitage, according to a former Armitage colleague at the department.
Armitage told newspaper columnist Robert D. Novak in the summer of 2003 that Valerie Plame, the wife of a prominent critic of the Iraq war, worked for the CIA, the colleague said. In October of that year, Armitage admitted to senior State Department officials that he had made the remark, which was based on a classified report he had read.
Let me toss in one belated "They told you so", based on this - although the report Armitage read was classified, "Armitage did not know at the time that Plame's identity was considered secret information...".At the time when the story of the INR memo first broke, many folks were adamant that anyone reading the report had to know that the Plame info was classified. As a reminder, here is a WSJ description of the document
But as happy as many conservatives are today, there is also a lot to be angry about--especially the unconscionable behavior of Fitzgerald himself. I hope he will forgive my quoting his entire post, but AJ Strata channels the emotions of a lot of people today--and this is just too spot-on not to be read my as many people as possible. It's title? "The Lies of Fitzgerald" here is a portion of a much longer whole:
I am still fuming that a prosecutor can so abuse his position that he lets two innocent people become smeared by innuendo while he (and Armitage and Powell and Taft) knew the truth and hid it from the public. So now it is time to investigate Fitzgerald based on his lying at the press conference for his Libby indictment. I am going to really enjoy this Fisking (or is it a Fritzing?). In Fitzgerald’s own words:
The grand jury’s indictment charges that Mr. Libby committed five crimes. The indictment charges one count of obstruction of justice of the federal grand jury, two counts of perjury and two counts of false statements.
Before I talk about those charges and what the indictment alleges, I’d like to put the investigation into a little context.
Valerie Wilson was a CIA officer. In July 2003, the fact that Valerie Wilson was a CIA officer was classified.
The fact that she was a CIA officer was not well- known, for her protection or for the benefit of all us. It’s important that a CIA officer’s identity be protected, that it be protected not just for the officer, but for the nation’s security.
Valerie Wilson’s cover was blown in July 2003. The first sign of that cover being blown was when Mr. Novak published a column on July 14th, 2003.
But Mr. Novak was not the first reporter to be told that Wilson’s wife, Valerie Wilson, Ambassador Wilson’s wife Valerie, worked at the CIA. Several other reporters were told.
In fact, Mr. Libby was the first official known to have told a reporter when he talked to Judith Miller in June of 2003 about Valerie Wilson.
We know that Miller has testified that Libby did NOT pass the name Valerie Wilson or Valerie Plame to Miller in June (or possibly in July) but that she recalls getting that name from someone else (whom she cannot recall, conveniently). So we know Fitzgerald is lying, because Miller testified that the name was not coming from Libby. But what is criminal - and deliberately misleading - is to jump from all this concern about a CIA’s agents identity to Libby and Miller, when Fitz KNOWS it was Armitage.
So let me tell you a little bit about how an investigation works.
Investigators do not set out to investigate the statute, they set out to gather the facts.
It’s critical that when an investigation is conducted by prosecutors, agents and a grand jury they learn who, what, when, where and why. And then they decide, based upon accurate facts, whether a crime has been committed, who has committed the crime, whether you can prove the crime and whether the crime should be charged.
That’s the way this investigation was conducted. It was known that a CIA officer’s identity was blown, it was known that there was a leak. We needed to figure out how that happened, who did it, why, whether a crime was committed, whether we could prove it, whether we should prove it.
Who is this clown kidding? He knew how it happened, who did it, why and whether there was a crime within weeks (if not days) of taking on the job and being briefed! In fact, he knew it was NOT Libby or Rove. Here he is again conflating the act of Armitage leaking with his witch hunt on Libby.
But as important as it is for the grand jury to follow the rules and follow the safeguards to make sure information doesn’t get out, it’s equally important that the witnesses who come before a grand jury, especially the witnesses who come before a grand jury who may be under investigation, tell the complete truth.
It’s especially important in the national security area. The laws involving disclosure of classified information in some places are very clear, in some places they’re not so clear.
Why is Fitzgerald prattling on about the exposure of classified information - a CIA agent’s identity - when he knows Libby was not the leaker? Why is Fitzgerald talking about this at the Libby indictment when he knows it was Armitage who exposed the agent? The only conclusion is he is deliberately misleading the public. He is LYING. If he were in front of his vaulted grand jury he would be open to real perjury and obstruction of justice charges. Trying to tie this back to the leak was bad enough, but knowing the leak that launched the inquiry was from Armitage, yet implying it was Libby, is tantamount to lying.
And, in fact, we now know that Mr. Libby discussed this information about Valerie Wilson at least four times prior to July 14th, 2003: on three occasions with Judith Miller of the New York Times and on one occasion with Matthew Cooper of Time magazine.
FITZGERALD: The first occasion in which Mr. Libby discussed it with Judith Miller was back in June 23rd of 2003, just days after an article appeared online in the New Republic which quoted some critical commentary from Mr. Wilson.
And all these times the mention of Valerie was instigated BY THE REPORTER! Note he says ‘discusses’ not Libby passed it on. He is being too clever by half here. If the reporter brings it up, then Libby “discussed it”. Except the first time with Miller, where Fitzgerald has admitted there is no evidence of talking about Wilson by name - let alone his wife. But so what? Is Fitz investigating a leak or testing the accuracy of memory? All I can say is he is being deliberately dishonest.
At the end of the day what appears is that Mr. Libby’s story that he was at the tail end of a chain of phone calls, passing on from one reporter what he heard from another, was not true.
It was false. He was at the beginning of the chain of phone calls, the first official to disclose this information outside the government to a reporter. And then he lied about it afterwards, under oath and repeatedly.
Again, the testimony is clear. There was no phone call to Russert (supposedly). Cooper admits bringing up Wilson’s wife and Miller admits using Libby to confirm her leads. libby is at the ‘end of events’. As someone pointed out, we cannot eliminate the possibility that Miller ALSO learned of Valerie “Flame” from her good buddy Armitage. If Miller met with anyone at the State Department during this time, then Libby can make the case Miller may have learned all about Valerie (and Joe’s phone number) from Grossman and/or Armitage. This is why Libby wanted Miller’s calendar and notes - to see if she was meeting with Armitage. My guess is there may be another shoe to drop here. And recall that Fitzgerald has seen the calendar and notes. Someone should ask him point blank did Miller have contact with State Dept officials during this time period. Her notes seem to indicate it was possible.
At this point in the press conference Fitzgerald gets bizzare
Well, why is this a leak investigation that doesn’t result in a charge? I’ve been trying to think about how to explain this, so let me try. I know baseball analogies are the fad these days. Let me try something.
If you saw a baseball game and you saw a pitcher wind up and throw a fastball and hit a batter right smack in the head, and it really, really hurt them, you’d want to know why the pitcher did that. And you’d wonder whether or not the person just reared back and decided, “I’ve got bad blood with this batter. He hit two home runs off me. I’m just going to hit him in the head as hard as I can.”
OK, the batter is Valerie Wilson and the pitcher is Armitage - as we all now know.
You also might wonder whether or not the pitcher just let go of the ball or his foot slipped, and he had no idea to throw the ball anywhere near the batter’s head. And there’s lots of shades of gray in between.
You might learn that you wanted to hit the batter in the back and it hit him in the head because he moved. You might want to throw it under his chin, but it ended up hitting him on the head.
The first line implies and accidental leak. The contains various nefarious excuses to mame, not kill. What this has to do with Libby is not clear. It is all about Armitage’s motives. Is he hinting Armitage did expose Valerie for less than honorable reasons? Like protecting State and himself? Isn’t that exactly what the left has been saying - someone exposed Plame to protect themselves?
And what you’d want to do is have as much information as you could. You’d want to know: What happened in the dugout? Was this guy complaining about the person he threw at? Did he talk to anyone else? What was he thinking? How does he react? All those things you’d want to know.
Well, no Fitz didn’t want to know. If he had he would have learned about Armitage’s talk with Woodward! But Fitzgerald is implying Libby did the leaking when he knows damn well it was Armitage (and had known for years).
And then you’d make a decision as to whether this person should be banned from baseball, whether they should be suspended, whether you should do nothing at all and just say, “Hey, the person threw a bad pitch. Get over it.”
In this case, it’s a lot more serious than baseball. And the damage wasn’t to one person. It wasn’t just Valerie Wilson. It was done to all of us.
Yes indeed, the damage was done to Valerie and all of us - by Armitage! This is where Fitzgerald got out ahead of himself and was discussing Armitage in reality but implying it had all to do with Libby. No wonder Fitz-Magoo looked so uncomfortable during his presser - he was knowingly misleading everyone.
Why was this information going out? Why were people taking this information about Valerie Wilson and giving it to reporters? Why did Mr. Libby say what he did? Why did he tell Judith Miller three times? Why did he tell the press secretary on Monday? Why did he tell Mr. Cooper? And was this something where he intended to cause whatever damage was caused?
Here Fitzgerald knowingly ties all this to Libby when he KNOWS Armitage was the source for the actual news story. He is not being honest at all here. Fitzgerald is applying a double standard when he should be weighing all participants equally:
And what we have when someone charges obstruction of justice, the umpire gets sand thrown in his eyes. He’s trying to figure what happened and somebody blocked their view.
The only one who threw sand, who hid what was happening was Armitage. He hid the Woodward talk that was prior to the Novak talk. And clearly Miller had a contact prior to Libby, but that sand did not bother Fitz-Magoo. It did not matter that Miller had to correct her accounts per her notes, as did Libby, Rove and Armitage and Woodward. All of them had to correct the record. But only Libby’s correction was nefarious? The original leaker did not mention the original leak! Libby claimed he TALKED to reporters. Not that he DIDN’T talk to them!
As you sit here now, if you’re asking me what his motives were, I can’t tell you; we haven’t charged it.
So what you were saying is the harm in an obstruction investigation is it prevents us from making the fine judgments we want to make.
I also want to take away from the notion that somehow we should take an obstruction charge less seriously than a leak charge.
This is a very serious matter and compromising national security information is a very serious matter. But the need to get to the bottom of what happened and whether national security was compromised by inadvertence, by recklessness, by maliciousness is extremely important. We need to know the truth. And anyone who would go into a grand jury and lie, obstruct and impede the investigation has committed a serious crime.
I believe that includes prosecutors misrepresenting the facts. National security is serious and it may have been compromised, but it had nothing to do with Libby and everything to do with Armitage. But Fitzgerald is clearly sending the message that the national security breach was related to Libby - even though he was only used to confirm Armitage’s exposure of Val’s identity. Fitzgerald is truly shading the truth here.
QUESTION: For all the sand thrown in your eyes, it sounds like you do know the identity of the leaker. There’s a reference to a senior official at the White House, Official A, who had a discussion with Robert Novak about Joe Wilson’s wife.
QUESTION: Can you explain why that official was not charged?
FITZGERALD: I’ll explain this: I know that people want to know whatever it is that we know, and they’re probably sitting at home with the TV thinking, “I’m want to jump through the TV, grab him by his collar and tell him to tell us everything they figured out over the last two years.”
We just can’t do that. It’s not because we enjoy holding back information from you; that’s the law.
And one of the things we do with a grand jury is we gather information. And the explicit requirement is if we’re not going to charge someone with a crime; if we decide that a person did not commit a crime, we cannot prove a crime, doesn’t merit prosecution, we do not stand up and say, “We gathered all this information on the commitment that we’re going to follow the rules of grand jury secrecy, which say we don’t talk about people not charged with a crime, and then at the end say, well, it’s a little inconvenient not to give answers out, so I’ll give it out anyway.”
This is the biggest bunch of BS I have ever seen. Special prosecutors were required to generate a report on all aspects of their investigation. There is NOTHING against Fitzgerald saying “the original source for Novak’s column was Armitage, Rove provided a weak confirmation and the CIA provided a strong confirmation, but in the end no crime was deemed to be committed”. Fitzgerald is lying or misrepresenting again. First he implies Libby is the root of the leak and then he claims he cannot discuss the root of the leak per grand jury rules? Which mail order college did he get his law degree from?There is much more where that came from.
Also, don't miss Byron York's discussion of David Corn and Michael Isikoff's Newsweek article--which happens to have been published without even an attempt to contact the two people for whom this farce caused the most discomfort and injustic--namely Libby and Rove--the targets of the left's witch hunt, which Fitzgerald gladly went along with, despite his knowledge of the truth. Talk about an abortion of justice...
But the icing on tonight's cake is Navy Seal Froggy's evisceration of the real Plame Scandal on Blackfive. This is simply masterful:
Lost in all the excitement over Jon Benet and Katrina flagellation could be one of the most pernicious acts of political backstabbing in a generation. It occurred to me this morning that the Plame kerfluffle may very well have been a kind of conspiracy-or at least a little payback from one Cabinet member to his President.
It is clear that Richard Armitage did not deliberately tell Robert Novak about Plame's status as a CIA employee in an effort to destroy Joe Wilson's credibility, but it is likely that once the information got into the political bloodstream as a story damaging to President Bush, he intentionally did nothing that may have helped explain the situation. Armitage is well known as someone who is not a "political gunslinger" in Novak's parlance, but he was also a well known opponent of the Iraq War. So was his boss-Colin Powell.
Powell of "you break it, you buy it" fame with respect to Iraq was convinced by the President and ostensibly US Intelligence information that Iraq did have WMD notably made the case for war in a speech to the UN. As a man of stature (or who believes he is of stature in any case) I doubt he would have made that case at the UN just because the President said so-in the absence of credible evidence. But perhaps he did do the speech over his own objections-and when he felt burned, he decided to get some payback.
The first major objections to what was initially a popular war arose with Joe Wilson's infamous op-ed in the NY Times. The media-still shellshocked by 9/11-was looking for an excuse to turn on a Republican President and war and took Wilson's ball and ran with it. Then the Plame allegations dropped into their laps and they finally had something to sink their teeth into.
Armitage had inadvertantly been the progenitor of a big story that was hurting the President and discrediting a war that he didn't support-so he sat on it. From recent reports we know that he told a few fellow State Department colleagues that he was the leaker
so it seems logical that he mentioned it to Colin Powell at some point as well. This morning's Washington Post confirms that Armitage told Powell:
Armitage and two officials he later briefed on his role -- State Department legal adviser William Howard Taft IV and Secretary of State Colin L. Powell -- each discussed the matter with the FBI and testified before the grand jury, the former colleague said. But Fitzgerald told Armitage in February that he would not be charged with a crime, he said.
While Armitage and Powell were busy enjoying their just desserts, the nation began to turn against the war and our troops. And they said nothing. Fitzgerald continued with the case knowing that there was no intentional disclosure of a secret agent. And they said nothing. A reporter went to jail to protect a source. And they said nothing. Scooter Libby was indicted. And they said nothing. WMDs were found in Iraq. And they said nothing.If this had been done by a Democrat it could reasonably be described as another liberal putting politics ahead of the country and allowing people's lives to be ruined to get back at an opposition President. What do you call it when members of the President's own Cabinet do it?
I call it an abomination. Powell and Armitage are backstabbing traitors. They let their innocent fellow public servants twist in the wind and spend millions on legal fees--all because Powell had a personal disagreement over Iraq with the President. I would wish upon them all of the grief and ill will they have caused by their silent participation in the character assasination of innocent men. And Fitzgerald should be disbarred for what he has allowed to happen. This is a scandal all right: a scandal of Washington elites wanting to maintain their standing in Georgetown social circles while solid public servants are hung out to dry.
I haven't exactly been overjoyed with the performance of Secretary Rice in Powell's place--somehow the very culture of the State Department insidiously emasculates the United States from within; but I could not be happier that Powell and Armitage are nowhere near powerful postions anymore. And I am especially happy that now the whole world knows about their treachery. The whole world knows that this was not a Cheney-Rove production. And the whole world knows that all the Liberals' horses and all the Dems' men are not going to be able to put Fitz's reputation together again. And THAT, my friends, is a very good thing.