Friday, April 28, 2006
The Internet is for Porn
Friday, April 21, 2006
The White House knows how to treat China's President Hu
Vice President Dick Cheney appears to nod off during a news briefing by President Bush and Chinese President Hu Jintao in Hu's first Oval Office visit. (Tim Sloan/AFP/Getty Images)
A new tactic for foreign policy? Hu was heading toward the wrong set of steps as he prepared to leave the stage during official South Lawn Arrival Ceremonies at the White House. President Bush gave him a gentle tug. (Jim Bourg/ Reuters)
Either Hu was a less-than-charismatic speaker or he was speaking to a very drowsy crowd. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice appears to be taking a catnap, too. (Tim Sloan/AFP/Getty Images)
Wednesday, April 19, 2006
Rolling Stone on Bush
The Worst President in History?
One of America's leading historians assesses George W. Bush
How to start a war with Iran
You see, by posting this rich information here on a blog, I know the White House will be making good use of it. Moreover, by the creative use of bold, I am only helping the CIA find it quickly.
CIA mines 'rich' content from blogsI am not sure how I feel about this. On one hand, I am happy anytime I read the president is "receiving more intelligence"; god knows he needs as much as he can get.
President Bush and U.S. policy-makers are receiving more intelligence from open sources such as Internet blogs and foreign newspapers than they previously did, senior intelligence officials said.
"A lot of blogs now have become very big on the Internet, and we're getting a lot of rich information on blogs that are telling us a lot about social perspectives and everything from what the general feeling is to ... people putting information on there that doesn't exist anywhere else," Mr. Naquin told The Washington Times.
But at the same time the very idea that the intel community is now looking to blogs for information is scary as hell. No offense to anyone here, but if newspapers are the first draft of history, blogs are the random notes scribbled on a napkin in a dark bar of history. We are talking about an administration that continuously refuses to engage in any sort of critical analysis of the information they get.
N.B.: To all CIA agents reading this post, the opening sentence is for illustration purposes only. You still need to wait your 10 days before claiming Iran has the bomb. Sorry to get your hopes up.
Tuesday, April 18, 2006
Bernstein on Bush
It one thing to be ignorance or incompetence or to operate with the most Draconian secrecy. But taken together, now thats trouble and needs to be looked into.Senate Hearings on Bush, Now...the vehemence of anti-Bush sentiment in the country, expressed especially in the increasing number of Americans—nearing fifty percent in some polls—who say they would favor impeachment if the president were proved to have deliberately lied to justify going to war in Iraq.
How much evidence is there to justify such action?
Certainly enough to form a consensus around a national imperative: to learn what this president and his vice president knew and when they knew it; to determine what the Bush administration has done under the guise of national security; and to find out who did what, whether legal or illegal, unconstitutional or merely under the wire, in ignorance or incompetence or with good reason, while the administration barricaded itself behind the most Draconian secrecy and disingenuous information policies of the modern presidential era.
More from the article:
The calculations of politicians about their electoral futures should pale in comparison to the urgency of examining perhaps the most disastrous five years of decision-making of any modern American presidency.Come on, let's be honest and leave off the "modern", we're for the record! Worst President Ever!!
Monday, April 17, 2006
Baghdad to be liberated, again, this summer
The American military is planning a “second liberation of Baghdad” to be carried out with the Iraqi army when a new government is installed.Yes, that is what is needed, more rocket attacks. Especially rocket attacks in an urban setting. That has always worked so well, not only in Baghdad, but also in Afghanistan (7 Afghan civilians die in military attack) along with the occupied West Bank.
Pacifying the lawless capital is regarded as essential to establishing the authority of the incoming government and preparing for a significant withdrawal of American troops.
Helicopters suitable for urban warfare, such as the manoeuvrable AH-6 “Little Birds” used by the marines and special forces and armed with rocket launchers and machineguns, are likely to complement the ground attack.
The sources said American and Iraqi troops would move from neighbourhood to neighbourhood, leaving behind Sweat teams — an acronym for “sewage, water, electricity and trash” — to improve living conditions by upgrading clinics, schools, rubbish collection, water and electricity supplies.I hope no one reading this thinks this will actually happen, the improving of living conditions. I would love to be wrong with my skepticism, but the last three years leaves me feeling the re-construction phase of this operation will get under-funded and over-extended.
Naturally, there is the political dimension to these plans. Since the whole war seems to have been one big political operation, why should this be any different.
Bush and Rumsfeld are under intense pressure to prove to the American public that Iraq is not slipping into anarchy and civil war. An effective military campaign could provide the White House with a bounce in the polls before the mid-term congressional elections in November. With Bush’s approval ratings below 40%, the vote is shaping up to be a Republican rout.(A realistic appraisal of the GOP's election prospects; your guide to quality reporting.) A bit late to be worrying about civil war, don't you think?
I'll let Larry Wilkerson have the last word on this:
“They have to show they can liberate their own capital,” he said. “Baghdad is the key to stability in Iraq. It’s a chance for the new government to stand up and say, ‘Here we are’. They can’t do that if they are hunkered down in bunkers.”
Meanwhile, The WashPost is reporting
Iraq's top legislator postponed the meeting of parliament scheduled for Monday, putting off "for a few days" an attempt to resolve a months-long deadlock over the formation of the country's new government.So there might be some delay before a new government is installed.
On the face of it, this planned operation is an excellent idea. If everything goes as planned, could bring stability of Iraq and allow US troops to start returning home. But the whole idea of everything going as planned, when the military still has Rumfeld at the helm, seems overly optimistic. And overly optimistic war plans from this civilian leadership has been its tragic flaw. Its the unlucky gambler, hoping this one last bet will be the one clear up all the past loses. And sadly in the case, we are measuring past loses in lives.
Even if there is success with operation and Baghdad is made secure, what about the rest of the country? I can not help but think in terms of Afghanistan and Kabul. At this point, Karzi is the PM of Kabul and the Taliban are on the rise.
Realistically, I see two outcomes for this. One, this is last we hear of this idea. The situation in Iraqi appears to be deteriorating so fast this month. By summertime and maybe even if there really is a functioning Iraqi government, the real situation on the ground will need a different plan.
Or secondly, even given the above and the operation goes forward, the war in Iraq finally makes that last complete descent into door-to-door urban warfare against indigenous local guerrilla forces. And I so much want to be wrong on this last point. But the insistence of Bush and Rumsfeld to let their ideas, not their generals, lead their thinking scares me.
Stop by DailyKos to take my poll.
Friday, April 14, 2006
Afghanistan regaining the lead it once had
Mr Simpson of the Globe and Mail ponders whether Afghanistan moving from being a narco-economy to a narco-state? Along the way, he points out
According to the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), 52 per cent of Afghanistan's gross domestic product in 2005 came from the "drug economy." Afghanistan, continued the UN report, supplies a staggering 87 per cent of the world's opium...Opium is being grown in 28 of the country's 32 provinces.
More Retired Generals Call for Rumsfeld's Resignation
"We need to continue to fight the global war on terror and keep it off our shores," General Swannack said in a telephone interview. "But I do not believe Secretary Rumsfeld is the right person to fight that war based on his absolute failures in managing the war against Saddam in Iraq."
Monday, April 10, 2006
Air Force makes available security details of AF1
Air Force reacted with alarm last week after The Chronicle told the Secret Service that a government document containing specific information about the anti-missile defenses on Air Force One and detailed interior maps of the two planes -- including the location of Secret Service agents within the planes -- was posted on the Web site of an Air Force base.Amazing incompetence in every corner of our national security apparatus these days. First pedophiles run amok in DHS and now IT personal unable to figure out basic web security. For AF1 no less. (or is there a more sinister motive afoot among the rank-n-file of the military?)
As of Friday, the document was still posted online.
Leon Panetta, former chief of staff to President Bill Clinton: "If I were still chief of staff, I would order the damned site (to) pull it down."
I work in the IT realm of the Fed Govt, part of which is web related. And let me tell you, we are constantly having to focus on security. I mean in the sense of requirements to met and training to take. And this is only concerning basic science data and our servers. Something is wrong when there are so many holes in the security of this nation's security infrastructure. I am still going with the simple answer, that gross negligence abounds. But I am being to wonder...
For all this talk of yellowcake
By April 2003, when the U.S. invaded Iraq, Saddam Hussein had stockpiled 500 tons of yellowcake uranium at his al Tuwaitha nuclear weapons development plant south of Baghdad.That is to say, whether or not Saddam was seeking out yellowcake (which he wasn't, right?), it doesn't really matter. He already had plenty. No good without an enrichment program, but who cares.
"The repository, at Tuwaitha, a centerpiece of Saddam Hussein's nuclear weapons program until it was largely shut down after the first Persian Gulf war in 1991, holds more than 500 tons of uranium," the paper revealed, before insisting: "None of it [is] enriched enough to be used directly in a nuclear weapon."
-Newsmax (and other places)
Was the idea to makes everything think Saddam was getting 500 tonnes from Niger. Once the US is in Bagdhad, "claim" the yellowcake at Tuwaitha was the same as from Niger. Who knows.
Let's just remember, Saddam already had plenty of yellowcake; Niger, Wilson, NIE and all that aside. The whole of the 16 words in the SOTU were a lie as far as a reason to go to war.
Thursday, April 06, 2006
A Little Honesty Slips into a Bush Event
A man who identified himself as Harry Taylor rose at a forum here to tell Bush: "I feel like despite your rhetoric, that compassion and common sense have been left far behind during your administraiton...And I would hope from time to time that you have the humility and grace to be ashamed of yourself."
Bush told him: "You said would I apologize for that? The answer is absolutely not."
President Bush Authorized Leak of Classified Info
Smoking Gun has the court documents that include this tidbit
Defendant [Libby] testified that the Vice President later advised him that the President had authorized defendant to disclose the relevant portions of the NIE. Defendant testified that he also spoke to David Addington, then Counsel to the Vice President, whom defendant considered to be an expert in national security law, and Mr. Addington opined that Presidential authorization to publicly disclose a document amounted to a declassification of the document.See also ThinkProgress.
This matches what George Stephanopoulos said last October
...a source close to this told me this week, that President Bush and Vice President Cheney were actually involved in some of these discussions.
And what does the president's dad think of this sort of thing? Let's recall what G.H.W. Bush said back on April 1999
Even though I'm a tranquil guy now at this stage of my life, I have nothing but contempt and anger for those who betray the trust by exposing the name of our sources. They are, in my view, the most insidious, of traitors.
-At the Dedication Ceremony for the George Bush Center for Intelligence
One final note: ITMFA
375 million year old part fish/part four-legged walker found
Scientists have discovered fossils of a 375 million-year-old fish, a large scaly creature not seen before, that they say is a long-sought "missing link" in the evolution of some fishes from water to a life walking on four limbs on land...
The discovering scientists called the fossils the most compelling examples yet of an animal that was at the cusp of the fish-tetrapod transition. The fish has been named Tiktaalik roseae, at the suggestion of elders of Canada's Nunavut Territory. Tiktaalik (pronounced tic-TAH-lick) means "large shallow water fish."
Dr. Shubin, an evolutionary biologist, let himself go in an interview. "It's a really amazing remarkable intermediate fossil — it's like, holy cow," he enthused.
Michael J. Novacek, [a paleontologist at the American Museum of Natural History in Manhattan]: "...A good fossil cuts through a lot of scientific argument...We've got Archaeopteryx, an early whale that lived on land and now this animal showing the transition from fish to tetrapod. What more do we need from the fossil record to show that the creationists are flatly wrong?"
Wednesday, April 05, 2006
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Saturday, April 01, 2006
Minister kicks boy in the balls over dodgeball mishap
LIBERTY, Mo. - A youth minister was charged with knocking a 16-year-old boy down and kicking him in the groin, after taking a head shot from the teen in a dodgeball game.
David M. Boudreaux, 27, of Excelsior Springs, faces one count of third-degree assault. He was charged Wednesday in Clay County Circuit Court.
According to court documents, the alleged assault happened in February at Crescent Lake Christian Academy.
Authorities said the teen missed Boudreaux with one throw but then knocked the youth minister's glasses off with his next throw.
The boy apologized, authorities said, but Boudreaux pushed him backward and tripped him, causing him to fall. The boy got up and apologized again, but Boudreaux kicked him in the groin and left.
The teen suffered whiplash and post-concussion syndrome and had blood in his urine after being kicked, according to court records.
Boudreaux later apologized, prosecutors said.
Jeanne D. Hewitt, administrator of Crescent Lake Christian Academy, said Boudreaux has been placed on administrative leave.