March 10, 2006
Rich Galen has a theory that makes a heck of a lot of sense:
Yesterday the company issued a press release in which it said (according to an AP piece by Dave Espo and Andrew Taylor): "DP World will transfer fully the U.S. operations Â… to a United States entity."Here's where Galen is going with all this: he believes that, at the end of the day, there will be a "U.S. entity" running the ports in question but that entity will be a new U.S. subsidiary of DPW that "would only be connected to Dubai via a checking account into which the profits would be put."
Let us assume that the folks in Dubai didn't sit around drafting this language during morning coffee, waiting for the latest price of oil futures on the New York Mercantile Exchange.
Let us assume, rather, that hundreds of thousands (perhaps millions) of dollars worth of lawyers, lobbyists, former Senators and their former staffers, PR types, and the head guys from Dubai thought very, very carefully about this language.
Do you see the word "sell" in there?
Why use the term "transfer" instead of "sell," unless the drafters were being paid by the letter?
And to whom will they "sell" these assets? If there were an American firm interested in operating these terminals why didn't they join Dubai and Singapore in the bidding contest which had been going on since late September 2005?
Although Rep. Peter King insists that such an entity have "no links to DP World", there are plenty of high-powered lawyers who can craft something that the deal's opponents could probably live with. So everybody wins, eh?
Not exactly. While DPW will be seen as the loser in this situation, the reality is that from an investment point of view what they would have is comparable to what they were going to have.
No, there are only two losers in the situation. The first is the relationship between the U.S. and the UAE. Hopefully, in the long run, this relationship won't be so adversely affected that we can still count on assistance from Dubai and other Arab States in the GWOT.
The other loser? As Galen observes, it's the Democrats "who are now left to sift through the wreckage of their glee to see if even a minor political point remains to be scored."
March 09, 2006
March 08, 2006
Republicans rejected suggestions that the intelligence panel was retreating from its oversight duties on the NSA program. "The scope of the subcommittee's purview will be broad, wide, deep," said Sen. Chuck Hagel of Nebraska.Translation: Now I can claim to have been broadly, widely and deeply involved in the business of National Security when I run for President in 2008."
Democrats, of course, have their panties in a twist that their demand for a Congressional inquiry into the program has essentially been pushed aside.
"The committee, to put it bluntly, is basically under the control of the White House through its chairman," said a visibly frustrated Sen. John Rockefeller of West Virginia, ranking Democrat on the intelligence committee.Translation: The Sith Lord manipulating the Senate has intensified his plans for greater control over the Empire.
On the one hand, I'm glad that our intelligence capabilities won't be compromised by having details of the program released that would aid Al Qaeda. On the other hand, I'm a little disappointed that Democrats won't be shooting themselves in the foot by pressing the issue and having their ability to try and mischaracterize this as "domestic wiretapping" taken away.
March 03, 2006
Representative James Sensenbrenner (R-WI) points this out in his USAToday editorial urging his fellow
Congressmen Congressmen and women Congresspeople? Representatives in Congress to follow the Senate's lead and renew the Patriot Act next week.
"Extensive congressional oversight found no violations. Six reports by the Justice Department's independent inspector general, who is required to solicit and investigate any allegations of abuse, found no violations.I always suspected this was the case. Certainly if there were any the MSM would be pounding away at any such violation to hammer the President. Now we know for sure, notwithstanding all the paranoid delusions from the Left.
Intense public scrutiny has yet to find a single civil liberty abuse. Despite many challenges, no federal court has declared unconstitutional any of the Patriot Act provisions Congress is renewing."
The Patriot Act is set to be renewed and most of its provisions made permanent law of the land by next Friday, when it is scheduled to expire. Most importantly is the fact that it forever tears down the "wall" put up by the Clinton Adminstration to keep our intelligence services from communicating with law enforcement. Because of that wall, we weren't able to prevent 9/11 but at least going forward we'll have a fighting chance at preventing another one.
February 21, 2006
February 17, 2006
The panel's report, released Thursday in Geneva, said the United States must close the detention facility "without further delay" because it is effectively a torture camp where prisoners have no access to justice.As expected, the United States told the UN to go pound sand. The fact is that these "findings" are based on nothing but heresay and what the lawyers of the detainees tell them. The five UN "experts" have never even been to Gitmo!
Annan told reporters he didn't necessarily agree with everything in the report, but "the basic premise, that we need to be careful to have a balance between effective action against terrorism and individual liberties and civil rights, I think is valid."
In a response included in an appendix to the 54-page report, the United States noted that the investigators had turned down an invitation to visit GuantÃƒÂ¡namo Bay. It rejected the findings and accused the investigators of selecting information to support their conclusions. The investigators declined to go to the camp after being told that they would be denied the opportunity to interview the prisoners.Give me a break. They don't need interviews with the detainees when the charges of abuse and unfit conditions have already been made by their attorneys. An inspection of the facility is more than sufficient to support or refute these allegations. But why refuse to even go there because of that one condition? They could certainly cite a refusal for detainee interviews as a qualification to their findings.
No, the UN doesn't want to go to Gitmo because they already know that they'll find conditions better than most prisons throughout the world. This is not some gulag. The military personnel who run the Gitmo facility bends over backwards to ensure that the treatment of detainees is as humane as you can get in a prison. Conditions that are far more humane, certainly, than they deserve. When a Congressional delegation - with members of BOTH parties - visited the facility earlier this year, they confirmed the situation there. "The Guantanamo we saw today is not the Guantanamo we heard about a few years ago," said Rep. Ellen Tauscher, D-Calif. On top of that, representatives from about 400 news organizations have also toured the prison, including Con Coughlin from the British newspaper The Telegraph. Of his recent visit, he writes:
Each cell has its own primitive lavatory and wash basin. The inmates are issued with tan-coloured prison clothing, are provided with a range of toiletries, games such as backgammon and chess - which they play by shouting moves to inmates in neighbouring cells - and a copy of the Koran. Each cell has an arrow pointing in the direction of Mecca to enable them to conduct their daily religious devotions.Oh, the humanity!
They are allowed two hours' exercise a day and to choose their three daily meals from a prison menu that includes ice cream, cookies and peanut butter. A fully staffed and equipped military hospital is available to treat any illness or medical condition, and the detainees have been treated for anything from wounds sustained fighting coalition forces in Afghanistan to cancerous tumours.
So the United States is supposed to close Gitmo based on a report of five UN "experts" who've never even been there? On who's authority? The United Nations? An organization where half the member nations are ruled by dictators, thugs and criminals? We're talking about enemy combatants united in their desire to kill Americans - military AND civilian. If the decision ever comes to close down this prison, it will be made by the military of the United States, not some bureaucrats at the UN.
I've got a better suggestion. How about we close down the UN?
February 02, 2006
This is the story behind the photo:
Leading the fight is Gunnery Sgt Michael Burghardt, known as "Iron Mike" or just "Gunny". He is on his third tour in Iraq. He had become a legend in the bomb disposal world after winning the Bronze Star for disabling 64 IEDs and destroying 1,548 pieces of ordnance during his second tour. Then, on September 19, he got blown up. He had arrived at a chaotic scene after a bomb had killed four US soldiers. He chose not to wear the bulky bomb protection suit. "You can't react to any sniper fire and you get tunnel-vision," he explains. So, protected by just a helmet and standard-issue flak jacket, he began what bomb disposal officers term "the longest walk", stepping gingerly into a 5ft deep and 8ft wide crater. The earth shifted slightly and he saw a Senao base station with a wire leading from it. He cut the wire and used his 7in knife to probe the ground. "I found a piece of red detonating cord between my legs," he says. "That's when I knew I was screwed."Now that is how I define defiance. This guy eats goat-humpers like Al-Zarquawi for breakfast! And there are tens of thousands of Michael Burghardts serving in Iraq right now - protecting your ass whether you like it or not. Think we're not winning? Think again.
Realizing he had been sucked into a trap, Sgt Burghardt, 35, yelled at everyone to stay back. At that moment, an insurgent, probably watching through binoculars, pressed a button on his mobile phone to detonate the secondary device below the sergeant's feet. "A chill went up the back of my neck and then the bomb exploded," he recalls. "As I was in the air I remember thinking, 'I don't believe they got me.' I was just ticked off they were able to do it. Then I was lying on the road, not able to feel anything from the waist down."
His colleagues cut off his trousers to see how badly he was hurt. None could believe his legs were still there. "My dad's a Vietnam vet who's paralyzed from the waist down," says Sgt Burghardt. "I was lying there thinking I didn't want to be in a wheelchair next to my dad and for him to see me like that. They started to cut away my pants and I felt a real sharp pain and blood trickling down. Then I wiggled my toes and I thought, 'Good, I'm in business.' As a stretcher was brought over, adrenaline and anger kicked in. "I decided to walk to the helicopter. I wasn't going to let my team-mates see me being carried away on a stretcher." He stood and gave the insurgents who had blown him up a one-fingered salute. "I flipped them one. It was like, 'OK, I lost that round but I'll be back next week'."
Copies of a photograph depicting his defiance, taken by Jeff Bundy for the Omaha World-Herald, adorn the walls of homes across America and that of Col John Gronski, the brigade commander in Ramadi, who has hailed the image as an exemplar of the warrior spirit. Sgt Burghardt's injuries Â— burns and wounds to his legs and buttocks Â— kept him off duty for nearly a month and could have earned him a ticket home. But, like his father Â— who was awarded a Bronze Star and three Purple Hearts for being wounded in action in Vietnam Â— he stayed in Ramadi to engage in the battle against insurgents who are forever coming up with more ingenious ways of killing Americans.
I got this courtesy of an email from mfsil, and it's been fully vetted and authenticated by the Urband Legend-busting Snopes.com. Can I get a hearty "Boo-Yah!" for Gunny Burghardt or what?
January 27, 2006
Damn, that's a lot of heavy lifting. Need beer.
January 26, 2006
His post, "Oh Those Pesky Iraqi WMDs!", scratches that "nagging itch" that has been at the back of his mind (and mine as well) over what happened to all these weapons that everybody knew he had.
Despite the Old Media's attempts to ignore this, this really needs to be verified and Syria must be investigated. Yeah, sure. I'd really love to tell those on the Left "told ya so", but more importantly if there is a possibility that these WMDs still exist they pose a huge threat not only to the region but to the United States.
January 25, 2006
Here's a portion:
Hugh Hewitt (HH): I want to make sure I quote it correctly. "I don't support our troops. This is a particularly difficult opinion to have, especially if you are the kind of person who likes to put bumper stickers on his car." Evidently, supporting the troops is a bumper sticker position?So Stein is pretty adamant about how he feels about our military and their various deployments overseas when he sits down and craps out what he undoubtably believes is a masterpiece. But when asked for clarification, he doesn't have the sack to say what he really means - that deep-down he really would like to spit on returning Veterans they way people like him used to do back in the good old days. But the most he's comfortable advocating these days is "no parades please".
Joel Stein (JS): It's not. Supporting the troops is. I think a lot of people have bumper stickers, and really don't do anything else, and are against the war, and have the bumper sticker anyway.
HH: "And at the end, I'm not advocating that we spit on returning veterans like they did after Vietnam." That's big of you. "But we shouldn't be celebrating people for doing something we don't think was a good idea." What I'm trying to figure out is what do you think is a good idea for the military to do?
JS: Well, again, that's not what my column was about, and that's something that people talk about constantly, and people give opinions on. There's a lot of Americans who are against this war and still think we should have a military.
HH: Now wait. This is the last...well, let me give you the two last paragraphs of your column. "I'm not advocating that we spit on returning veterans like they did after the Vietnam War. But we shouldn't be celebrating people for doing something we don't think was a good idea. All I'm asking is that we give our returning soldiers what they need: hospitals, pensions, mental health, and a safe and immediate return. But please no parades. Seriously, the traffic is insufferable." So you obviously do not honor their service?
JS: I don't honor their service? The people serving in Iraq right now?
JS: I honor them as human beings, and I want them home safe.
HH: But you don't honor their service?
JS: And honestly, I think that all these...for people who don't believe in the war and are putting up these stickers saying they support the troops anyway, my fear is that it's prolonging the war and putting them in further danger they don't need to be in.
HH: But Joel, I'm talking about you. I'm talking about what you honor, and you obviously don't honor military service.
JS: I honor police service. I honor military service. Any...I just think that...
HH: You do honor military service?
JS: Yeah. No, I'm grateful for people that serve in the military.
HH: But you don't support our troops?
JS: I don't...I don't believe in supporting the troops in an action that you don't believe in.
HH: And so, that would be everything I've named thus far. So I guess...did you support and honor the troops in the Pentagon on 9/11?
JS: Sure, yeah.
HH: All right.
JS: All the troops that are here to defend our country, I'm very, very grateful for. I'm grateful for the police...
HH: Provided they don't leave the country?
JS: Yeah, provided they don't fight in wars that I think are endangering them for no reason.
HH: And the moment they do, you stop honoring them?
JS: The moment I do, I think it's a poor idea to show support for them and prolong that engagement.
Reading through the transcript, I can't help but recall a quote from the movie "Goodfellas" when Joe Pesci's Tommy DeVito says "You know Spider, you're a f*****' mumbling stuttering little prick. You know that?"
UPDATE: From around the 'sphere:
Supporting the troops really just means that you appreciate that they stand ready to carry out the policies of the United States in defense of our freedom and liberty, as expressed in the policies of our elected government. That has no bearing on any particular mission or enterprise, but instead comes from the sacrifice offered by our fellow citizens in uniform to give their lives so that we may remain free -- free to select our own leaders, free to write blogs, free to disagree with each other ... and in Stein's case, free to make an ass of himself by writing one of the most ill-conceived pieces of tripe published in a major media outlet.
LetÂ’s break this down. Patriotism means Â“love and devotion to oneÂ’s country.Â” Dissent means Â“to withhold assent or approval.Â” Showing love can include disagreeing, but most often is an expression of approval and acceptance. Unless youÂ’re a bumper sticker lefty, in which case according to the one on whoÂ’s car I spotted the ratty sticker, the highest form of love of country that itÂ’s possible to show is one that constantly withholds approval of that country. Period. Being a bumper sticker, there werenÂ’t any qualifiers like Â“when itÂ’s clearly, unambiguously wrongÂ” or Â“when itÂ’s run by totalitarians like Stalin and Hitler and freedom has to be won back.Â” Just any old time, the best thing you can do for your country is to disapprove of it.
Very nice. I guess that makes me a very patriotic Frenchman.
WhatÂ’s most disturbing is that the same person who thinks that bumper sticker is true enough to make it a part of their car is actually allowed to operate that car on the same roads as the rest of us.
In the final breakdown, the sticker really is an exercise in self-flattery. Â“I disagree with this country. And that makes me better than you and all those deluded fools sent off on that war and stuff.Â”
Dr. Rusty Shackleford:
The underlying assumption of [Stein's column] is that wars are fought by Administrations, not by nations. By joining the military a soldier is volunteering as an extension of the Bush Administration. Hence, the soldier is complicit in Bush's alleged crimes.
While Administrations may start wars, they do not fight them. Nations fight wars.
There was no war against the Nazis. We fought Germany. And the Roosevelt Administration did not fight in WWII, America did. America is at war. When did the Left stop being part of America?
This is why the antiwar position is unpatriotic. This is America's war, and to be against it is to be against America.
There is a time to be against a war, and that time is before the war begins. Strategies for victory are legitimate debate, but as long as troops are on the ground then that is where debate should end.
In past wars an article like this would have landed the author in jail. Encouraging troops in battle to disobey commands is worse than the kind of defeatism that FDR would have arrested you for--it is inciting to treason.
UPDATE II: Another article by the unfunny Stein that shows how he really feels about the military.
January 24, 2006
This Nation has a long tradition of wartime enemy surveillanceÂ—a tradition that can be traced to George Washington, who made frequent and effective use of secret intelligence, including the interception of mail between the British and Americans.But here's exactly why a majority of the American people fully support the NSA's current surveillance program against Al Qaeda:
And for as long as electronic communications have existed, the United States has conducted surveillance of those communications during wartimeÂ—all without judicial warrant. In the Civil War, for example, telegraph wiretapping was common, and provided important intelligence for both sides. In World War I, President Wilson ordered the interception of all cable communications between the United States and Europe; he inferred the authority to do so from the Constitution and from a general congressional authorization to use military force that did not mention anything about such surveillance. So too in World War II; the day after the attack on Pearl Harbor, President Roosevelt authorized the interception of all communications traffic into and out of the United States. The terrorist surveillance program, of course, is far more focused, since it involves only the interception of international communications that are linked to al Qaeda or its allies.
The conflict against al Qaeda is, in fundamental respects, a war of information. We cannot build walls thick enough, fences high enough, or systems strong enough to keep our enemies out of our open and welcoming country. Instead, as the bipartisan 9/11 and WMD Commissions have urged, we must understand better who they are and what theyÂ’re doing Â– we have to collect more dots, if you will, before we can Â“connect the dots.Â” This program to surveil al Qaeda is a necessary weapon as we fight to detect and prevent another attack before it happens.Remember back during the 911 hearings when Democrats were shrieking about the administration's inability to "connect the dots"? The phrase "connect the dots" was like a mantra from the Left.
Well, that's what were doing. And it couldn't be simpler to understand. Which is why I hope Democrats keep attacking on this issue. And why I hope they keep screaming "impeachment". If a majority of Americans didn't support impeaching a President for lying about sex with an intern, they sure as heck aren't going to look kindly at a call for impeachment for protecting their lives. Bring it on, I say. The backlash will be so hard, LBJ will feel it.
January 22, 2006
Spc. Phil Van Treuren has a new feature at Camp Katrina - the Weapens Cache Databank.
Updated daily, it keeps a current tally of every weapon, bomb and gun that our military takes out of the hands of the terrorist insurgency in Iraq. You'll have to go here to check it out because you won't hear about it from the Old Media.
Excellent work, Phil!
January 20, 2006
It is unexpected events such as these that demonstrate the ineffectiveness of a Party whose only policy contribution is capitulation and obstruction. For the President, having your arch enemy admit his weakness while making vague threats is a tremendous political opportunity. Bush is already leaving no stone unturned as far as repelling AQ attacks, and this reminder that our enemy continues to resist us will likely go a long way to shoring up support for the electronic surveillance programs that have drawn liberal ire of late. That is not to say that the moonbats will cease and desist- far from it- but their vocal objections from here on out will ring even more hollow in the ears of the American people. As usual, the hard left will turn out to be their own worst enemies as the 70% of non suicidal Americans will quickly grow weary of hearing that the President is an evil dictator for having protected us so effectively thus far.Could it be actually Karl Rove on the tape faking an Arab accent?
January 19, 2006
"Based on what I have said, it is better not to fight the Muslims on their land," he said. "We do not mind offering you a truce that is fair and long-term. ... So we can build Iraq and Afghanistan ... there is no shame in this solution because it prevents wasting of billions of dollars ... to merchants of war."To this, I say: F*** You, ass-wipe!
Oh please, please, please let the Democrats suggest accepting this offer. Oh, please, please, please!
h/t: Ankle-Biting Pundits
UPDATE: Rick Moran thinks that tempting Democrats is exactly Bin Laden's strategy. I tend to agree.
January 03, 2006
For the terrorists to use the leak of the NSA spy program against us they simply have to start contact innocent Americans at random. That way their communications with their agents here in the US will be one contact within numerous fake contactsl. But it doesnÂ’t stop there. If these terrorists target liberals and well known leftists, then it will become clear the Feds will be detecting calls to these anti-war types. And if that news were to break, then the left would go more hysterical than they are now and we would have a real problem in the country trying to stay focused on protecting ourselves. And that would give Al Qaeda the distraction they need to get a WMD in place.Thank you, NY Times. A-holes!
There it is. A simple counter exploitation scenario. I have posted this because I realized the only possible way to pre-empt this scenario is to predict it before the next round of news stories come out with Howard Dean and Nancy Pelosi being identified as targets of the NSA because terrorists were contacting them to disrupt us politically.
December 30, 2005
Blackfive nails it:
Now instead of watching a farce conducted about the non-outing of a non-covert operative, we can eyeball the consequences of disloyalty and possibly criminal behavior to those who have made themselves W's and our enemies. Many executive branch agencies have sizeable components opposed to current policies and they have shamelessly sabotaged many of them. Leaks from all of these hampered efforts to gain international support prior to the Iraq war, efforts to fight it and ultimately damaged us greatly worldwide.
If Karl Rove deserved being frog-marched off in chains for mentioning Hollywood Joe Wilson's wife, I can't wait to hear what the retribution will be for these actual compromises of programs.
December 29, 2005
The support is pretty broad even across party lines. Captain Ed observes:
While almost the entire Democratic Party leadership has accused Bush of high crimes and talked about impeachment, a majority of their own party approves of the NSA program (51%), even as it might be endangered thanks to the NYT's exposure of it. Fifty-seven percent of independents also approve of the program, and combined with the 81% of Republicans, Bush has a solid mandate to continue using all the tools at his disposal to protect the nation.Of course, not everyone is interpreting these numbers the same way.
John in DC at AmericaBlog sees the glass as half-full for the anti-Bushites, calling the 64% "an abysmally low number for Bush":
"That number should have been in the 90 percentile and up, Americans who support the NSA eavesdropping on conversations with suspected terrorists. Yet it was only in the low 60s. Something's up.Hookay. That's an interesting way to look at it. First of all, when you consider that about 25-30% of the population would disapprove of anything the President did or said, I don't see how you could get to 90%. The other factor, according to John's logic, is that the respondents weren't sufficiently led with such phrases as "breaking the law" and "without having first obtained a court order". He is assuming that the respondents aren't familiar enough with NSA story and the questions need to be phrased in that context. But one of the other findings of the poll was that 68% said they are following the NSA story somewhat or very closely.
And may I also add that the poll question has nothing to do with the current scandal. It says nothing about whether the administration should be able to break the law in doing such eavesdropping, nor whether the administration should be permitted to do such eavesdropping without having first obtained a court order. Again, each of those added facts would presumably lower the poll number considerably.
Again, that number should have been in the 90s. The fact that only 6 out of 10 Americans are willing to agree to such a broad question, to me, says that Bush is not on solid ground on this issue at all." [his emphasis]
Like the Fitz-mas present that wasn't, Liberals can frame these results however they like. However, it doesn't change the fact that more Americans are concerned with protecting the homeland and winning the Global War on Terror than trampling on the "civil liberties" of people that would very much like to kill as many of us as they can or those that would help them.
Unlike the teeming masses in the Left-wing fever swamp, the Democrat leadership is more likely to look at these numbers and rethink their current strategy. As Captain Ed says:
I think we can expect to see the end of this particular line of attack. Instead of weakening Bush, this demonstration of executive will to defend the nation has Bush's numbers rebounding faster than anyone could have guessed. By the time November 2006 rolls around, these Democratic attacks might make Bush the most popular president since FDR.But then again, many high-profile Dems have already descended into the fever swamp themselves and they've demonstrated very little political wisdom in the last five years. Why should they start now?
December 21, 2005
Six months is better than nothing. An expiration of sixteen important provisions at the end of this month would have been celebrated by the people that are plotting to kill us. Now those in Washington who are more concerned about the civil rights of terrorists than the safety of U.S. citizens can try and make their case and a vote to reauthorize it once again will come as the 2006 mid-year elections are in full swing.
Beats me why Democrats would even want to talk about National Security in an election year when this issue is seen as their biggest weakness by a majority of voters. Karl Rove...you magnificent bastard, you!
December 15, 2005
Another milestone for a future of Freedom and self-determination for this nation.
I hope to God that President Bush shames the asshole Democrats who've been so negative about this situation in his State of the Union in January. But since I know what a class act he is, he won't do it.
He SHOULD say how ashamed he is that members of our government would bad-mouth and downplay such important events for political motive. These people are despicable. In another time and place they would be tried for treason.
He SHOULD say how disgusting the words and actions of these bullshit cowards are when they have nothing to lose except their own integrity.
He SHOULD point out how wrong they are in their assessment of the success of the Iraqi people.
But he won't. Because he has too much respect for the offices to which they've been elected even if they don't.
Congratulations again to the people of Iraq.
December 01, 2005
Courtesy of Pam of Blogmeister USA.
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